One year of tri-ingΒ 

This post has long been overdue. A couple of months ago, I celebrated my first year anniversary in triathlon racing. Given that I had done a run relay and a bike relay June and August of last year also, well, that didn’t really count as being a triathlete, does it? But as I have written here before, it was after doing the bike relay in Cebu that prompted me to maybe perhaps try to race all three disciplines on my own… despite being undertrained at that time.

Fast forward to this year, I had just come from a painful experience in racing Cebu ironman 70.3 wherein I had written about my race experience here as well. While some people already called it off season, I had one more race to prepare for – aboitiz tri 2017 aka my anniversary race. Having had this race a year ago as my cherry popper, I felt compelled to do it all over again and compare how I’d fare this time around. 


It was only Lucas Lorenzo and I who were representing Team Gotta for that race, but our friends from the other teams took us in so we were with a group. 

What’s nice about doing this race in pico de Loro is that since it is an afternoon race, you can just make a day trip out of it. Arrive early morning, do all pre-race requirements of registration, bike check in, briefing, race, awarding.. then go home. 


It started raining as we were checking our bikes in… not a good thing as it would mean slippery roads — and we all know that there is that steep uphill right at the beginning of the bike course so a wet road won’t help us at all. The rain also meant rough water, and true enough, as I did my warm up swim, i remember feeling the waves as I tried to swim out and ended up just trying to swim back, nauseated as I got out of the water. My heart pounded, I wanted to throw up. I wanted to back out. The mental games have begun. My swim coach, Noy Basa aka Aquaman was there to race as well and upon seeing how frantic I was with the water, he just gave me additional tips on how to go about my race. 

It was a sweet surprise to see my parents there watching and cheering for me once again – they had told me earlier that they had important appointments that weekend and just wished me luck, so their presence was greatly appreciated.

Before the start, I went up to my friend  (who is the greatest PT in my book — he takes care of me when I get injured) Dr Francis Diano and asked him if we could start together. I teased him that I wanted to keep my eye on him to watch the competition but I low key just wanted to draft behind him in the swim (he knew that ofcourse). As the gunstart ensued we ran in, and 5 seconds in, I had lost Francis into the throngs of swimmers and I was left alone to fend for myself.

The swim was two loops of 750m and after the first loop, you had to go out of the water and do it all over again. All I remember was that the water was so strong going against us that I really had to give it my all in the swim. Minutes later, I found myself swimming at the first turn and remembered how last year, I had to stop by this turn and hang on to a buoy because I was getting a panic attack and thought I was going to drown. I guess I felt like Dory this year and kept singing “just keep swimming” in my head. Or maybe it was a different song… I don’t remember.

Now, I am not a strong swimmer. I’ve been swimming for a year. And given the water conditions that day, i wasn’t expecting to hit a PR on the swim so getting out of the water in 30 mins for a 1500m swim was fast for me. I thought there was something wrong with my watch because… how can I get that split? Ofcourse, being the kikay triathlete that I am though, before running to transition, I ran to a rinsing station to rinse off the lake water from my body – because eeewwwy. (Lol)



My non negotiables in every race also include my bottle of spray sunblock that I reapply every so often while on the course – because race results may matter but irreversible sun damage is forever. 

The bike and run courses weren’t easy. The first parts of both were steep climbs that would really challenge your muscles. But a reprieve was given as we would finish off with a few flat loops. The first bike climb was tough, I witnessed a few people who dropped and/or broke their chains while climbing. But once you get through that, it’s all somewhat flat (or perhaps falsely flat) from then on. It rained for 5 minutes while riding. Annoying. 



I got into the second transition with tired legs. It was a scorcher out there but I had set my mind that I had to finish strong. Our numbers were arranged by gender and age group, so the first thing I noticed upon racking my bike was that the two bikes to my left and right were already racked. I wasn’t sure if the others beside them were too, but I knew that this wasn’t my race at all. It’s ok, i thought.. I wasn’t gunning for podium anyway. But the competitive spirit in me wanted to kick myself in the butt for not pushing harder and maybe perhaps go faster. I tried to run those uphills but the legs started to cramp. Time to slow down then and just make up for it.. when the legs started giving up, I began running with my heart. My parents were watching… they can’t see me walking. I don’t want my mom to spend too much time under the sun – she hates being under the sun. So I ran. Or atleast tried to.


I was officially 20 mins faster this year than the first time I raced here. 20 minutes — that’s a huge jump! That alone was a win for me. But the surprises weren’t over. While I thought I was just there to do my anniversary race, the sweetest cherry on top was landing on the podium. It was a 3rd place finish for me and I couldn’t be any happier. 

Since my one and only teammate had already left the premises, I was adopted by my friends from Revv Multisport for the awards dinner. And guess what? Their team members Miguel Aldeguer, Gadric Chusenfu & Enrico Menichetti got on the podium too! 

Ended the night and my first tri year on a high. My first season lasted a full year. It’s been 9 weeks since that last race and I have since claimed to be in off season already…. I may have raced the Trek100 while on this “break” but who said you can’t still SBR on your off season right?  So elated to have ended my first year with a bang…. and now I can’t wait to train all over again and prepare for another race at the start of 2018z 🀘🏾

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Top 8 IG worthy places in Seminyak, Bali

Let’s admit it, we are an instagram generation and posting photos of our travels are a definite MUST. I have to admit that I’m also guilty of having to make sure that I have cute photos to post, aside from having a good time. Ofcourse, as much as we “do it for the ‘gram” and pose and post photos, we have to make sure that most of the time, we put our phones and cameras down and just genuinely be in the moment and enjoy.
Having said that, I can go on and on and on about how Bali is special to me but having had written about the island a couple of times already, I find that I might sound redundant. So to shake things up a little, I decided to compile a list, a guide for you guys.. incase you plan a trip to Bali and wanted cute spots to take photos of.

Having stayed in Seminyak for my 2 most recent trips to the island, (end of sept and Halloween weekend), and having spent most of my time there in cafes and other hangout joints.. I realized that some places are a bit too dark yet vibey.. meaning the vibe is awesome but the place wasn’t as photo friendly, while other places seem like it was made for social media postings. So, without further ado, here’s my 

TOP 8 instagrammable places in SEMINYAK, Bali, Indonesia πŸ’–
1. Kynd Community – 

  • A vegan cafe that serves smoothie bowls, energy balls, nut milk lattes, avo toasts and more! 
  • Every wall and corner are cute for photos — and don’t forget to check out the bathroom too!

2. Cafe Organic

  • Another cafe that serves the same thing as above but their menu variety is quite different.. also, their avo toasts alone are soooo different yet both so good! 

3. Sea Circus

  • Another cafe but this one also serves main course food. Too bad I only needed coffee when I went (but ended up also ordering a milkshake). The exterior alone is already eye catching, but the interiors match what you see outside as well

4.  Motel Mexicola

  • Every nook and cranny of this place is just so interesting it’s like it was made for instagram
  • Their food is amaaaaazing. Maybe this is why I Keep coming back!


5.  W hotel 

  • Whether you’re checked in or just wanna hang at the woobar, don’t forget to check out their wall murals and take cute photos! 


6.  Potatohead 

  • Make sure you catch the sunset from this beachfront. There are no words. 

7. Katamama

  • The hotel right across the potatohead entrance — yup the one that looks like a stage is actually the entrance to one of the best hotels in the area. 
  • The rooms are amazing and the pool area is quite picturesque as well.

8. Random stores & walls just along the road

  • Just go around Seminyak on foot and you will find that everything is just so worthy of a photo! The girls and I tried to walk to our lunch reservation but ended up stopping every chance we got!

Ofcourse, if you have the chance to get out of Seminyak, go for it! 

If you head to Canggu, don’t forget to check out Old Mans — you can get surf lessons there as well!


Did I miss out on anything? Should I make a short list of places in Canggu and Uluwatu as well? What do you guys think? 

A day in the life of a yoga teacher/triathlete/entrepreneurΒ 

A lot of people have been asking me about how I manage my time given that I wear quite a number of hats. I get questions like how I get to do all the things I do, and how I manage to keep the same energy everyday. I also get a lot of questions about how my usual day looks like. So I decided to finally tell you all about it– one time, big time. All questions answered in this entry. 

To tell you honestly, I don’t have a “usual” day as my schedule is different everyday — the only constant schedule are the yoga classes in the studio. But my daily schedule more often than not kinda looks like this:

 I usually start my day before the sun even rises to drink my coffee, go through messages I missed during my slumber, check social media and news sites. Only after I’ve caffeinated can I really get up to prepare myself for a long day ahead. And once I’m out of the house, I usually only get to go home again mid day (to have a quick shower and perhaps change my bag) then off I go again.

 Morning’s are usually meant for training so I head out to my run/bike/swim/gym sessions and train depending on what my coach has in store for me.  

 After training, I head to the yoga studio to teach a class or two and then also do my self practice. If I’m lucky, I get to go home for a quick shower and to change my outfit for some meetings and errands. There are times when i get to end my day early but often I teach another class to end the day (usually private bookings for corporate spaces). 

 When the day is done I make sure I’m in bed before midnight and the next day is another one. Sometimes I train twice and teach once. Oftentimes I train once and teach thrice. It’s always a different mix, and i feel that it makes life pretty exciting.

 Having laid out my day here, I’m just grateful that I live within the area of where I work so I usually just walk everywhere. (Because  A)carbon footprint and b) its faster to walk that bring a car) 

That being said though, it also means I have to bring all my stuff with me as I walk from one place to another. As much as I’d want to bring a shoulder bag with me, it’s just not practical.
I found this really cool backpack from Avon designed by Jodi that’s super cute, super affordable and big enough to carry my life. Well, ok, not my life but it’s big enough to carry everything I need for the day.


It’s got so many pockets so you’ll be surprised with what things I get to stuff in there. From extra shirts, small towel, yoga mat cleaner, yoga balm, toiletry kit and even my camera.

Cute fact: the bag contains a small pouch that doubles as a body bag so I can just leave my backpack in the studio and just bring the pouch with me when I head out for lunch. So. Practical. #love


With everything that’s going on with my life everyday, I just make sure that I don’t have to think about anything else anymore. Everything I need are in one bag so I can carry on with my day, be early or on time in every appointment. And have a smile plastered on all throughout.

Cheers!
*if you think my bag is cool, you can avail it too! Shop at http://www.avonshop.ph πŸ™‚

My 2017 Cebu ironman 70.3 experienceΒ 


As 2016’s Asia Pacific Championships was when I first dipped my toes in an ironman event by doing the bike part of the race, 2 months ago for this year’s event, I faced the challenge of racing all 113kms of swim, bike and run all by myself.

They told me that Cebu was always unpredictable and it would always have that once curveball during the race… what we didn’t see coming was that this year, there were two curveballs. 

Everything was going smoothly…. I was nervous yet excited for the race to to begin. I have a penchant for starting beside my friends/teammates and this race was no different. After finding them by the shore, we all warmed up together and planned to run into the water together and swim side by side. (I still have a lingering fear of swimming so my teammates are nice enough to always let me stay with them as much as I can just til I get comfortable) 


But sometimes, things don’t go as planned… and as the rollingstart begun, I found myself being pulled by a marshal to the front and having had to start all by myself. I remember running in, looking back to my teammate, and gave him an “oh sh-t” look. I was alone. Suffice to say that I ended up getting lost (people were hanging onto the buoyline so I swam past it and ended up in the deep, really black part of the sea already… faaaar from where the racers were) and ended up swimming around 3km. 

The current was so strong and we were swimming against it. At some point, when I had realized that it was pitch black and there were no other swimmers next to me (I got lost in my thoughts that I didn’t realize it early on – swimming is very meditative), I looked up to find myself in the middle of the sea… I screamed for help and a nice marshal on a kayak went up next to me to tell me that I was far off course already. I asked him if I should just ride his boat and call it a day but he said he believed I could still make it to the cut off. Kuya Manong kayak, whoever you were…. thank you for that.

So I swam back. Or at least tried to. Once I got back to the pack, everyone was swimming violently. I remember being punched and kicked countless times. I was frustrated. I was screaming as I exhaled in the water. I just wanted this to be over. The moment I found myself lost in the deep blue was when it stopped being a race for me and became all about survival. Screwy target time. I just wanna live. Maybe finish… but I told myself already that if I get cut off, then so be it.

When I finally got out of the water, I checked my watch only to realize that I had still ample time before the cut off. “Great” I thought. As I got to the transistor area, I was surprised to see quite a number of bikes still there. Wow. There were still plenty of people swimming then…

For those of you who have read my other entires, you probably already know that biking is my favored leg of the 3. So despite everything that happened on the swim, I was glad to finally be able to ride my bike. 


Biking 90km in Cebu under the heat, with crosswinds and headwinds was harder than I had remembered. I pushed and pedaled and got lost in my thoughts… I wanted to save my legs for the half marathon that would come after. But at the same time, I wanted to make up for the horrible swim time that I clocked in.My quads and hamstrings started to cramp but I kept telling myself that I should keep going. Now is not the time to dnf. The will to survive. I was thinking.. hey, I’m already in pain, might as well keep going and get a medal for it! 

When I finally got back to transition, that’s where the mental game started. I didn’t want to run anymore. My legs were giving up on me. I started pacing by my box, debating with myself if I should go on… I was feeling weak. It was too hot. But a voice in my head said “come on, it’s just 21k… you do that for fun every week today is when it matters.” So I put on my shoes and attempted to run. 


It was a scorcher out there. I found myself getting as much sponge, ice, water, sports drink and bananas I could get my hands on in all the hydration stations. I was taking my gels. I was strict with my nutrition. But the heat was stronger than my body. The people of Cebu were lined up in the streets cheering, screaming our names… it was a nice reprieve from all the suffering we were enduring. I was smiling through the pain.. their energies lifted me up. 


I was smiling when I crossed that finish line. It was a sense of relief. It was A sense of accomplishment. And as I found my teammates by the ice baths…. I suddenly felt the adrenaline wear off and I let out a loud cry.. “kuya that was so painful” and I was hugged as I cried…. cried because it was painful. Cried because it was finally over. Cried because I survived. It was a roller coaster of emotions for me, and everyone else who joined. Cebu was a tough one. That was one hard earned hardware. Will I do it again next year? We’ll see…

Musaman TriDavNor inaugural race


A couple of months ago, we got an invite to race the inaugural Olympic Distance Triathlon in Davao, the Musaman TriDavNor, that was set to happen on the last weekend of June 2017. We happily accepted the invitation, and looked forward to the racecation.

But a sudden change in climate in Mindanao made us a bit apprehensive of still doing the race. A lot of people backed out, yet also plenty were still trying to get in. Mindanao was in Martial Law, there were news of rebellion just near the race venue. We were quite scared, but the organizers assured us that they will beef up security and make sure of our safety.

So we still flew out of Manila and into Davao, got greeted by police escorts and off to Tagum we went to stay in Hijo Resorts where the swim start and first transition would take place.


They say before the race didn’t feel like one at all. When we biked out to register at the sports complex, I got to appreciate the beautiful palm tree lined road that we would pass on race day. The roads were smooth and flat – it was so beautiful. Of course, it was also my first time to have police escorts as I rode out on the road – an extra precaution that the organizers gave us to entail our safety.


It certainly felt more like a vacation as we just relaxed by the pool and got fed so much local food – fresh seafood, and ulam’s and delicacies from the different tribes of Davao.. everything was so delicious it was hard to stop eating.

Race day came, and the elites were to start first, then the men, followed by the women 10 mins after the first group. To say I was nervous was an understatement, but good thing I was able to shake off my nerves after spotting some friends cheering us on.


It was a fast 1.5km point to point swim in clear flat waters and I was quite surprised to have come out of the water in 31 mins. Having zero swim background, this was very fast for me. I was elated to see my time and went on to transition to my bike ride.

The 40km bike course ran through the palm tree lines roads, and on to a banana plantation til we reached the sports complex where the next transition was. The turns were quite tight so I found myself overshooting and having had to make a u-turn.. I tried to make up for the time lost. My nutrition plan was out the door when I realized my gels dropped from my bento box when I hit a bump on the road so I had to make do with what energy I had left. All in all that bike ride was amazing and I still hit a personal best for that 40km stretch.

As I came onto the flats as a pancake run, the temperatures have risen to 35Β° and all I wanted was to run as fast as my tired legs could take me. I didn’t see a water station until 3km in so I found myself suffering in the heat. On the last km stretch of the run, I found myself running  along 3 male triathletes, one of them stayed by my side and paced with me til the finish line. Grateful for that last push to the finish.


To have finished under 3 hours for the second time in a row at an Olympic Distance Triathlon is a huge achievement for me, especially since I haven’t even been doing this for a year yet. All the training hours certainly pay off.

All in all, Musaman is a beautiful and memorable race and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.


Shout out to Father Jay, Andy, Christopher, Missy & Keith for inviting us and taking such good care of us in Davao. Our experience wouldn’t have been the same if not for you guys. Also ofcourse, this racecation wouldn’t have been as funny and fun without Kuya Kim, coach Ige, My soul sister Sara (this was her first Olympic distance tri and she rocked it!), Greta, Tim, Cj, Jonah & Jane, Rico & Trixie, Keith & Joyce. And of course the three people who keep me race ready – my swim coach Noy, my tri coach Ige and my unofficial nutrition and race strategy planner Enrico. You guys are everything a newbie triathlete can dream of. I feel so blessed to have you all as my friends. πŸ’•

CT IronMan70.3 Subicbay 2017


I’ve gone from 1 run relay, 1 bike relay, 2 Olympic distance triathlons and 1 duathlon straight to my first half ironman in less than a year. Am I testing my limits or am I just crazy? Up to you to decipher.


Yesterday’s race was challenging. It was my first 70.3 and it didn’t come easy. As January rolled in, I started to train for this race but as luck would have it, I injured my shin 2 weeks in and was out of training for a week. After that, my coaches only allowed me to swim and bike. Three weeks before the race, friends, team mates and my coach sat me down and asked if I still wanted to do it. I haven’t been running much and my injury still wasn’t healed – it concerned them that things might get worse. But since I’m stubborn, and the type who wouldn’t stop at nothing to get what she sets her mind to, I told them I’d manage. Or at least try to. 


Come race weekend I was nervous but calm. I had no idea what to expect and my coach had told me to just pace the whole race and not push too hard as he didn’t want me to injure myself yet again. The goal was just to finish, I can push when on the next one. Triathlete friends (who have been doing this for years) all gave me tips on how to go about the race and what to expect, what to do as to not blowout and bonk.


On the day of the race, as I was getting my transition area ready, i had a little crisis as my front bike wheel was deflated and even the bike mechanics didn’t have a valve extended to put air in it. Fortunately, Jay Caniza of the Alveo tri team came to my rescue, he kept telling me to relax as it was my first race, and he was the one who looked for a solution for my problem. Big thanks, jay!


At the swimstart, I didn’t have butterflies in my belly– I had a whole insect farm in there! My heart was beating so loud and fast I kept holding on to my chest. As the whistle blew, off I went. At some point of the swim someone accidentally punched my face and pulled my goggles down so I had to stop to put it back on. Nevertheless I think I had a good swim, still slow but I wasn’t freaking out in the water nor was out of breath anymore. Yay! 


I took advantage of the fact that I could take my time in this race and there was no time pressure from myself, my coach or my friends so at the first transition area, I took my time and applied sunblock all over to protect myself from the sun on the cloudless bike course on sctex. If you check my bike photo you’d notice the bottle of sunblock spray in my back pocket. The bike course was tough as it was full of rolling hills, false flats and rough roads, apart from the sweltering heat. Oh boy. I also initially suffered with problems with my gear shifter. For some weird reason, I couldn’t get the chain to the big ring. I was already thinking that maybe it’s the universe telling me to really take it easy on my legs but then it worries me as that would mean no power on the flats and downhills. But as I hit the first major downhill, on the 7th try, it worked, and I was so grateful. Every successful small to big rig change from them on felt like an achievement for me from then on. 


Having had only a handful run sessions during my training due to the shin splints, I knew I wasn’t going to run fast or strong. But I was willing to put up a fight. I wore my shin compressions for added protection, and changed my bike shades into pink running ones (because.. kikay) and went on my way. The blistering heat of the sun was unforgiving. I stopped by every aid station to grab ice, sponges, water, have them pour iced water all over, and even grabbed a banana or two just to keep me going.  It helped a lot that fellow triathletes would cheer me on as I ran, those who knew it was my first time would scream “you’re doing great!” As they passed. 


I never wiped the smile off my face the whole race. Yes it was painful, yes it was tough, but it was worth it. And apparently I was 7th in my age group too! Not bad! 


And though I was initially advised to take a break, next week I’m off to do my first aquathlon. Wish me luck! πŸ™‚

Powerman Duathlon 2016

I know it’s been months since this race but I’ve only gotten hold of the photos recently so i think it’s about time I share this wonderful race experience with everyone.


Last year, I got an invite to join the Powerman Duathlon 2016 in Clark, Pampanga. I’ve never done a Duathlon before but I was told to expect pain as it is a run – bike – run race, which would be heavy on the legs. As the days came close to the race, I started to get mental and slacked off in training. I didn’t really want to do it anymore. But 2 of my tri friends, Noy Basa (who is also my swim coach for tri) and Jonah Rivera were doing the race with me so I thought I’d just do it for the experience. Don’t get me wrong though, even if I “slacked off” in training it doesn’t mean I really let go. I just had an additional rest day, that’s all. But I’d still do my long bike rides and long runs as I should.


I arrived in Clark the day before and only had enough time to register, attend the briefing, check in my Trek Emonda roadie and then head to my hotel for dinner and bed. I was wearing this cute little cut out maxidress that made me look more ‘plus one’ than athlete. (much to the chagrin of Kuya Kim)

On the day of the race, i felt good but sleepy. We had to wake up way before dawn to head to the race village and prep our gear. Since I was doing the shorter distance (with most registered athletes), I was on the second to the last wave, which meant the wait til gunstart would be longer. I only had one cup of coffee instead of two so to say I was sleepy was an understatement.


Jonah was asking me if I still wanted to race because he found me sitting on the grass with my head down and eyes closed… then I said “yeah… I’ll just aim to finish fast so I can go back to bed.. my motivation will be my hotel bed” — oh what motivation that was!

And so when the gun was shot for my wave, I started running .. but took it easy as I didn’t want to tire my legs out too much. My goal was to finish the race in 2 hours, or perhaps 2:12 but no longer than that.


I finished my 5k run in the middle of the pack, noting as I got into transition that half the bikes were gone. Half. Oh well!

As I rode my trusty steed I felt good. I think I’ve said this before, but again, I’m always happy when on the bike, so I pedaled away, trying to tick off and overtake as much girls as I could to make up for my slow but steady start and enjoyed the ride. I had no idea how fast or slow I was going compared to the others. I was aiming to break my own personal record and perhaps go back to sleep. Towards the end, in an uphill, there was a teenager right behind me who was almost out of breath and kept saying “ayoko na!” I looked behind me and saw the teen struggling. I smiled and said “Kaya natin to. Tara!” 


Entering the second transition for the last run leg, I noticed that there were hardly any bikes in the area. I looked around and saw only a couple of bikes in my lane. “Oh sh*t.. I think I can win this.” Was the first thing that entered my mind. As I was running out, the teenager I spoke to was just coming in, and he waved at me and cheered, as if a sign of thanks for helping motivate him to finish earlier on. (Yay)


I becan running like I stole something. I ran as hard as my tired, heavy yet jelly legs could go. I kept looking back checking if there was anyone behind me. On the last kilometer I wanted to walk but I could hear Coach Ige’s voice in my head telling me I’m not allowed to do so. And upon seeing the finish line, I sprinted, saw the banner, posed and crossed it. Yes, I had to pose. Being the Asian that I am, I threw two peace signs by my face and smiled. Raymund Magdaluyo, the organizer of this race (who is also a friend) gave me a tight hug as I crossed the finish line and screamed “I’m so proud of you!!!!!”– I didn’t have any idea why until one of the marshalls told me that I was the third woman overall to cross the finish line. WHUUUT. I was so elated. It felt so surreal. I did a sub2 hr finish.. waaay faster than I expected I could. Yay!


To win first place in my age group and third woman overall on my first ever Duathlon was priceless. The elation I felt was so indescribable. All I can say is that it wiped the exhaustion from my body and I just had endorphin overload.


That was the last race that I joined for 2016. And now, its two weeks away from my first race of the year, which will me my first Ironman 70.3 race. I’m not sure how I’ll fare as I’m still nursing a shin injury but I think I can still finish, with a smile I hope.. wish me luck!


*all photos (except the last one) from Powerman 

Special thanks to Carlos de Guzman of SBR for my race kit and accommodations. You the best!