zumba and thanksgiving…

i was on a two week vacation in Manila, Philippines…

the highlight of my stay was the Zumba party i remotely planned while still in B.C. with the BIG help of dear friends from High School. usually for mini reunions, a dinner will be set in honor of whoever flies in from abroad.. a roll call will be posted and any high school batch member is welcome to attend.


coachbut i thought, how about getting the ladies all together and have fun doing some physical activity… since i was unofficially designated as their Biggest Loser Coach, i’d rather have a Zumba party than the usual dinner. all i needed i said were three things, venue, Zumba instructor, and at least 10 participants..

guess what,, a venue was chosen, an instructor was hired to come, and voila, almost 40 signed up and 30 showed up!!! it was a blast and a really joyful reunion!! those i never thought would do the Zumba, did! we had two who danced the first time.

call time was 8 a.m. some complained of setting it too early, but c’mon ladies, with my two week stay, i wanted to get the most of my time, plus morning exercise is still the best! our Zumba instructor gave us a big thumbs up saying we all danced like we are in our 30s hehe so 50 IS the new 30 eh??


50 is the new 30!!

after the dance session, before we started with brunch, the hostess (venue owner) shared a very inspiring thanksgiving prayer, mainly for healing/recovery for mates who underwent major surgeries, including Jonathan, a 16 yr old son of my classmate, who just had brain surgery. thanking God that we are all under His care, and what would be the best thank You we can give back is to take care of our physical bodies while we can…

brunch was served afterwards, with delicious menu of rice, eggs, boneless bangus (milkfish) with tomato and onion relish, chicken sausages, bananas, desserts of cake, crepes and waffles… oh dear,,, i hope we didnt overeat, though there were leftovers which was a good sign??


before 12 noon, we were on our way home feeling joyful…

in 2 Samuel 6:14, “Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might…” maybe it would give deeper meaning if the reason we danced was for the Lord… as our thanksgiving to His graciousness and Sovereignty, then it would not be a meaningless swaying and jumping. with thanksgiving season coming up, have you been dancing for the Lord as a thank You to Him? maybe we ought to take the first steps now. 🙂

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men..” ~Colossians 3:23


losing and gaining….

uh oh,,, is it September 06th already????

last February, my high school batchmates launched the biggest loser challenge, i wrote all about it here, so every 6th of the month thereon, we would do weigh-ins for the 12 participants who joined (including yours truly) and our final weighing in is planned to happen before the year ends, probably in December before the Christmas season (to avoid the weight gain from Christmas dinners,,, he he)..

they unofficially called me “COACH LUGS” to monitor each one’s progress (or regress huhu) and supposedly to motivate them by sharing work out routines or whatever is there to push them. sad to say, i don’t think i kept up with my role as their “Coach” 😦 i myself gained and am struggling too to keep those extra pounds off.



monthly, i see some of them gained, some lost weight. they say once you’ve reached the golden age, metabolism is slower so it takes more than hard work to really burn those “calorific” intakes..

today is weighing in day once again. (it’s 6th in North America, but already the 7th back home in Asia).. they haven’t heard from their beloved “Coach”… it kinda slipped my mind and really, i stayed off my weighing scale for a while.. they make me cry huhuhu… this is the only gain i do not welcome in my life..

recently, i lost a friendship. how hard was it? well, i honestly felt sad for the falling out, though it was a very short lived friendship, but come to think of it, we two were a mixture of oil and water, fire and ice, that it was bound to happen. i never knew what the reason was but, i am on the guilty side because i complained a lot about her to another friend,,, so, maybe the vibes were so strong that she knew about it…

what did i gain from this loss? i gained wisdom. i think it was God’s main purpose, that now, i try to be MORE CAREFUL with my words, making sure i don’t hurt anyone, and if i do, i am no angel, God forgives, i try better the next time. i never heard from her since, but, it’s okay, i am at peace now with myself and happy i learned my big lesson the painful way…

so there, losing and gaining,,  both can bring you joy or disappointment, but the kind of gain or loss we should be thankful about is that which can make us be a better person, both inside and on the outside, and pleasing to God, that will make us the winner…  what have you gained or lost  in your recent life experiences?

er… excuse me,, back to my weighing scale….. hmmm….

“We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” ~James 3:2


the day after…

it is finally over!!

the only unwelcoming difference from the scenes posted on the BMO RunVan sites was the absence of the sunshine… 😦

rain rain go away
rain rain go away

it was a rainy event. i had on, the BMO bright yellow tech shirt, on top of another dri-fit shirt, on top of a long sleeved run shirt, and my favorite pink cap, and wore my capri running pants. running shoes was not rain proof so,, i got them wet, socks and all… weather was light rain, i.e. more than a drizzle but less than a rain but run under it for 2 hours will leave one soaking wet in the end.. temp was cold 9 to 10 degrees, overcast day… we didnt have a big garbage bag to use as “ponchos” so i said, que sera sera, there’ll be thousands others running in the rain anyways.. it’ll be fun!

so we were given a pair of running gloves which i decided to wear around the 16th km mark when my fingers were going stiff frozen from the cold brrrrrrr… i was trying to snap some photos but i couldn’t even press the button of my phone ha ha…

i promised myself i will follow the 2:15 pace bunny unlike last year when i was overconfident and thought i can do it myself.. but from the pink corral where i was, i didn’t or couldn’t see the pace bunnies, not until we reached the 13th km mark, on a turn around route did i see her on the opposite side ahead of me, a distance gap of prob’ly a kilometre???? from there, i knew i may not be able to beat my targeted 2:15 finish.. okay, so i thought, if i cant beat it, at least i should do better than my previous times…


guess what… i didn’t beat my time, but only for a second ha ha… in 2012 i finished 2:26:11, my PR so far,, yesterday, basing on my chip time, i finished 2:26:12… it’s okay i crossed the finish line with a big smile… happy happy…

here are some highlights of my run yesterday, taken under the rain…

as i crossed the start line yesterday, i can’t help but feel grateful thinking i am so blessed with so much in life, and that i tread along the streets of Vancouver running a half marathon race, which i never had the chance to do in Manila, Philippines… i thought this would not be possible if God have not sent me a beautiful being, whom He named Evelyn.. or Blynn, my self created nickname for her… 🙂 she is the “Allyn” counterpart for me here in Canada… apparently God takes care of me… Blynn was my running buddy since i moved here to Canada and for that, i am so fortunate having known her. she almost beat her dream of a sub 5 hours for her full marathon finishing 4 minutes longer.. so proud of her… way to go, Blynn and thank YOU!!

bonding times with Blynn:

what’s next for me? sure will still keep on running, race or no race… but won’t think about that for now,, my next project is my first major trip to the U.S. to reunite with my family.. it’s happening soon… 2014,, indeed, my year of JOY..   i love you dear Lord Jesus.. 🙂

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” ~James 1-17


may the 4th be with Allyn…

well, nothing to do with Star Wars’ saga.. but May 4th is RunVan and is eleven days away… same as last year, i am so excited.


it will be a special day, i am dedicating my half marathon run to my running mentor, my friend, my coach, Allyn, aka OWL-lyn.. OWL-lyn because many times i catch her deep in the night in the Far East, chatting with our group viber members here in the North Americas, when we are just about to start our day, she’s a night owl… and May the 4th happens to be her golden birthday!

allyn hkg

in my early days of learning to be a runner, she supported me many times, ran with me in countless 5 kms races, despite that she is already a full marathoner, ran with me on my first 10km run as my photographer to document every step i made, i experienced my first trail run at Timberland Heights, though not with her as she did 10kms, i did 5 kms, but she got the race kit for me.. and the rest is history… (er,, i think i have blogged about this a few times)…

she claims she doesn’t run as often as she did, family responsibilities and a new job got in the way… so, ahem, i do the running for her. but i do hope she can still fulfill her dream of running an ultramarathon, i will definitely cheer for her.

this is supposed to be my final week of my 16 week train plan.. but, i chose to do cross-training and maybe do one 10km run on Saturday, and two more short runs next week, then shake out time. ok, i know it’s only half marathon, like, it’s not going to be as grueling as a 42km run.. but let’s just say, i want to feel like i’m a full marathoner he he.. just let me be.. give the “old” lady a break.. 🙂

Allyn, my dear friend, i’ll greet you on your birthday, watch out for my surprise!!

tech shirt

2014 Tech shirt and 21.1 km medal

“A friend loveth at all times; And a brother is born for adversity.” ~Proverbs 17:17

Lugs 🙂

on friendships and motivation…

hey hey hey.. i am so excited..

my High School Batch (1981) launched a challenge, we are calling it ICA Batch ’81 Biggest Loser Challenge (ICA – Immaculate Conception Academy) we have participants already signed up and submitted their vital measurements,,, (i actually joined too to motivate myself to lose weight and be more fit). i act as the weight tracker. they will submit to me their monthly progress and i will be monitoring who has the highest percentage of weight loss.


it will be a self-administered programme, meaning, it’s not the same as with what we see on TV shows where there will be personal trainers to push the participants, unless they do get someone to help them it’s one’s prerogative really. there’s a doctor in the batch who also prepared diet plans for them. then it will be up to the participants to do what they can to achieve their goal in weight loss.

now since we are all over the world, i mean, a lot of my batchmates are still home based in the Philippines, some are settled in the States, some here in Canada, others in some parts of Europe and Australia, and even China, the only way we keep in touch is through the VIBER app. thank God for technology. through viber we can boost each others’ morale, encourage each one to keep healthy, motivate the participants and follow up on how they are doing. it’s really fun!

final weighing in will be by the end of this year, when i also intend to go home and join the annual reunion.

they said the hardest part is walking out the front door. it is an important decision to think about our health.. especially most of us are turning golden gals this year :)… i for one, always struggle in my run schedules, especially here in very cold country. it was always,, “i’ll run tomorrow, it’s raining or it’s too cold today”.. or “i’ll run later, it’s almost lunch”… then when i go run.. “i’ll do 10 kms. today,, oh no,, just 8,, er,, maybe 6″ and sometimes end up running 5kms only..” not good, ha ha..


well, at least i already did walk out the front door, didn’t i? at the end of the day, i always feel glad that i did. and with my batchmates around, though only virtually, i get the motivation that i needed,, and hoping, too, that i will be an inspiration to them.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11


5 days to go…

i got 5 days left to running my first half marathon on Sunday.
i told my friend who “announced” my feat through a group email saying “LUGS will be running her first half marathon, good luck, LUGS!”, that it is not a big deal, that i am embarrassed…

truth is, it is a big deal for me hehe… to the effect that, i have written down what to wear, what to bring, what to prepare before and on the race day… been trying on my running gears, which one will look best on me, in case the official photographer takes my snapshot (which, by the way will be another expense but i hear they are pretty steep)..

it is taper week, so, i have been off the ground for the last 2 days (actually healing a slight foot ache) but finished a good 8 kms this afternoon by the seawall again. so now as i rest, i get to sit and think about my forthcoming run as well as how everything has come up to this..

i have been athletically prone but maybe because when i was younger, we did not have the means to go and have proper training, not much encouragement from the family as no one was really into any serious sports. i only know a little bit of this and that, so it was kind of frustrating that i only sit and watch as my more sporty friends hit the hard courts or the oval or the pool.. i know in my heart, i could have been like one of them.

so God decided to send me the people who would finally influence me to run. there’s Allyn, my High School batchmate, Laila, my long time neighbor, and now Evelyn, who worked in the same office i did, all of whom i never knew that they do run and the rest is wonderful running history for me. TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR EVER…


PSALM 139:16 “You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

(click on photo to enlarge)

for a friend in need….

my mother had only a handful of really close friends… probably because she was busy taking care of us that her social life took a back seat like permanently… she spent time managing our family business in the mornings then taking her afternoon siesta then managing our family business again for the rest of the day.. i grew old seeing her in that routine, day in day out.. however, we had the chance to go out of town, head to the beach or go for joy rides, just with us, her family, and her loyal employees. in fact, it was rare occasion that we had parties at home, if we ever had those, guests would be, again, just us, her family, and her loyal employees,,, and an old friend, we call her Auntie Glo (for Gloria)..

Auntie Glo and my mother knew each other when i was not even born yet. She was my eldest brother’s nanny, turned house help, turned business assistant, turned business woman herself. She married a handsome man about 10 years her junior, who was working for the factory beside our house. they have been married for about 40 or 50 years and are still together despite ups and downs in marriage like normal. Auntie Glo and i have one thing in common, we are childless.

Many misunderstood her, especially her next of kin expected to love her as who she is. Probably because she’s got it made, and that she dictated most in their family affairs. She was able to have her spacious concrete house built out of hardwork.   When she was still well, each time we, my family, i.e., visit, she would light up all her chandeliers, bring out her best china, cook the best food she always prepared for us. on other days, her house is a lonely, empty house, with just the silent halls and walls, only thing you hear is her antique grandfather’s clock ticking…

We took Auntie Gloria and Uncle Tacio to be our wedding sponsors not only because she is more than like a relative but because i know that she will be there to be my mama’s friend until death do we all part. when she went to my mother’s funeral, she was crying like a little girl, asking my mother over and over, “why did you leave me behind?” (she is about 7 years older than my mother).. Sadly, Auntie Gloria, whom we jokingly called “faded glory”, started having dementia late 2010 and has since deteriorated slowly, that now, she is in and out of the hospital, according to my sister who keeps us updated of things going on back home.

i am thinking if i grow older, who will be kind enough to visit me? especially when i am ailing, aside from my sisters or brother, will there be my nieces or nephews? cousins? friends? it would be sad to think that no body would come and pay a visit… if only there is a chance for me to do it, i will try to visit Auntie Glo everyday, just to touch her hand, to sit beside her in silence, to share Bible stories and to let her know that God loves her and that she is never alone. But all i can do now is to pray for her.

sometimes i think it is good to share some of our time to uplift the spirits of those discouraged, or unhappy. i feel i was made happy by the Lord, not only for myself but to use it to share it with others.. with this in my mind now, it makes me want to meet people who may be needing a pat on the shoulder, a small prayer, or even a smile.. yes, i think i want to do that small act each day,, for Auntie Glo,, this is for you..

“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” -Romans 15:1-2