12 years of missed steaks

And so the (somewhat) inevitable has happened.

12.5 years ago, i became an ovo-lacto vegetarian all because i watched a documentary by PETA that made me cry my eyes out because i felt sorry for the cows and pigs.

a year later, i started eating fish because i was advised to do so.

fast forward to September of this year, as i had just finished my first ever Olympic distane triathlon race and was gearing up for my second one, a triathlete/nutritionist-in-training friend of mine told me that maybe i should start eating meat to get stronger. i told him i’d think about it but would only really consider it perhaps after my race. i didnt want the meat to mess up my system, if ever.

And so for 2 months, i was mentally and emotionally preparing myself with the fact that i might have to try eating meat again. the thought made me shiver. it made me scared. how will my body take it? how will it react? will i get sick? will i like it? i was secretly hoping i’d hate it.

What most people didnt know though, was that dizzy spells was becoming a norm for me already. practicing yoga would sometimes make me feel dizzy with all the inversions; i open my eyes and i see stars. i didnt want to admit that i was feeling weak. i didnt dare show it.

i guess my doctor’s spidey sense went tingling when he messaged me to drop by his clinic as he was concerned about something. and so, to cut this very long story short, i was told that i was getting anemic, and that my body NEEDED the meat to fully recover from my intense trainings. plant and fish protein werent enough for my body’s needs anymore. it was a choice of either eating meat or having to heavily supplement artificially. that was the clincher.

my friends who raced with me in Bohol kept me company as i had my first bout of meat. Sara set up 2 cameras and edited this video too. so for those who were wondering how i reacted the first time i tried it… here you go.

the first bite was the weirdest sensation and taste ive had in years. the juice, the texture…. it was something i wasnt used to. it was weird. good. but weird. im so sad that i love it. now ive been eating steak almost everyday….

yes, i was trying to delay having to eat it. yes, i felt bad. and yes, i cried myself to sleep that night. it wasnt an emotional cry, but i think i really just felt bad for the cow. sorry mister cow, ive begun to love you in a different way now….




BGC CycleAsia 2016

Yesterday was such a special treat because not only did I get the chance to meet and ride with Australian former cycling pro & three-time Tour de France winner Robbie McEwen, but i also had the privilege of doing that 40km course with my dad by my side.

The starting line- my dad to my right, Robbie McEwen to my left; surrounded by Polo Tri Team and pro triathlete Dan Brown

Early that morning, I made sure to get to the starting line way before gunstart, waited for my dad, and made sure I had brought with me his bike nutrition (an energy bar), his race belt, and bike emergency tools (co2 and pitstop). It was the first time my dad and I were riding together so this was an extraordinary bike ride for both of us.

As the gun was shot, off we went. We were surrounded by the full force of the Polo Tri Team and those guys were fast! It was a test of willpower and tons of EQ for me as I wanted to push, go fast and try to chase them (keyword: try) but I knew I had to stay by my dad’s side. 

A screencap of The Facebook live video that caught my dad and I side by side on the kalayaan flyover

Having suffered from a bad crash caused by his heart stopping a few months ago, the doctors told my dad to ease up on the bike. Meaning, he can’t quite raise his heart rate anymore. Only slow, steady rides for him. He knew I liked going for speed..told me I could race it and just leave him, and just wait for him at the u-turn. But I couldn’t, wouldn’t  and didn’t. What if something happened to him in that few minutes that I’d leave him? I was not going to risk that. Besides, the only reason I joined this was so that I could ride side by side with him anyway!

The course was easy and beautiful. Having the roads of BGC, buendia and roxas all to ourselves, my dad told me stories about his old biking adventures the whole way.

Other bikers would pass us, as we would also pass some bikers… we didn’t care about speed, just biked merrily. My dad admitted to me as we climbed the last flyover that he purposely didn’t wear his heart rate monitor just so that he won’t panic if his HR goes up by just a bit (which would cause him to stop); But he looked like he was having fun so I was the least bit worried.

Jonah Rivera, Robbie McEwen, Myself & my dad right after crossing the finish line altogether

On the last 10km we found my good friend & Tri trainingmate Jonah so he caught up with us and stayed by our side. Upon reaching the last 5 km, Robbie showed up beside me and paced with us too! How awesome right? He said we looked like a group he would cross the finish line with. An hour and half on the course and we crossed the finish line, all four of us, me, my dad, jonah & Robbie, with big smiles on our faces. Yes, it was probably one of my slowest rides to date but  I wasn’t doing this to PR anyway. This was perhaps one of the best (if not THE BEST) dad & daughter bonding experience I’ve had with my dad. Such a priceless experience that I wish to get to do over and over again. Yup, the medal that we got in the end may just be a piece of metal, but what it represents is something I will forever cherish. 

Big thanks to Princess Galura & Sunrise Events for organizing this well-executed event! 

Forever daddy’s little girl

My Bellevue 5150 Bohol 2016 experience

5 months ago, I posted about my first ever triathlon relay experience, and a lot has happened ever since.

After dipping my toes into triathlon via that relay wherein I did the 10km run part, I wasn’t planning on getting fully into triathlon until maybe next year. But the universe had other plans for me. As I was training to do the run part once again, for another triathlon- the Ironman 70.3 in Cebu this time, the biker of my team had a bad bike crash and fractured her hip. She was therefore unable to fulfill her role in our team anymore. Having been kinda training on the bike anyway, Our team captain decided that I’ll do the 90 km bike course instead. The delicious 2nd place podium finish whet my appetite to maybe do all three already.

Three weeks later, I did my first ever triathlon via Aboitiz 5150 in Pico de Loro. 

It having only been 3 weeks after cebu, I wasn’t really trained for it. I just did it Coz I wanted to, much to both my coaches’ chagrin. I had only learned how to sight the day before, so me almost drowning in those large swells was perhaps expected. Even before doing Aboitiz 5150 though, I already knew I was going to do Bohol.

My training days leading up to this race weren’t exactly the best. I suffered a nasty bike spill on the 2nd of October making me unable to train completely for a week and a half, and was only able to swim twice the whole month. I also fell ill and was coughing even until I got to Bohol. On the day before race day, I tried to swim, bike and run, only to have a head on collision with a fellow athlete in the middle of the ocean and thus having my face get a huge scratch by the eye because of it, got stung by a jelly fish on the leg, stepped on an urchin on the way out of the water, and to top it all off, began my moon cycle.

Perhaps a normal person would think that all of these setbacks happening to one person was either a sign not to race anymore or is the universe conspiring against her. But I’m not normal. I’m weird and perhaps, crazy. I thought that this was the universe challenging me and testing my spirit. I’m a fighter, always have been. Nothing will stop me from racing and chasing that endorphin high. It also helped that I had just finished reading Chrissie Wellington’s book, so to say I was inspired was an understatement. 

It was a beautiful day on race day – it had just rained the night before so although our bikes were completely drenched and the roads a bit slippery, the cloudy day was perfect. I woke up feeling good, and oddly calm. Why was I so damn calm? Having such a bad day the day before, I was set to believe that the universe will be a lot nicer to me today. It should be. I had my pre-race brekkie of oats, nuts, fruit & superfood with 2 cups of coffee, took my Optygen, and went on my way to transition to put my things in my box. 

My friends, who all belonged to other teams, and I had a group prayer before heading to our respective waves and then we were off. It’s my second triathlon race to date, but my first for it to be early morning and first deep water swim start. I ws nervous about drowning even before the gun was shot. 43 mins later, I was out of the water, but time had counted the minutes where we were walking onto the shore, which was extremely long so I made it a little less than 50 mins.. Given the amount of swim I was able to clock in prior to this race, I was just happy to have survived it.

I’m always happy when I’m on the bike so the 40km flat course had me smiling the whole time. It was mostly cloudy with a bit of rain for a couple of minutes but I managed to clock in 1:18. Again, I kept wondering why I was oddly calm. 

The run course was painful. Not because of anything else but the fact that I could still feel that sea urchin’s needle poke my foot every time my right foot landed, I started coughing again, and my tummy started cramping. Why, of all days did my moon cycle decide to begin yesterday?! I tried to ignore everything I was feeling and  pushed til the finish line. After exactly 3 hours and 20 mins of swimming, biking and running, I crossed that  sought after finish line and placed 4th in my AG. An unexpected strong finish, having only wanting to finish smiling given my circumstances. 

Oddly enough, I didnt cry like how I did on my first tri. But instead, I just let out a huge exhale, shook my head and smiled. Oh what an exhilarating feeling!! I looked for my friends immediately after, and our endorphin high had us enjoy the rest of the day laughing and talking about the race that was. 

I also met Sam Betten, the back to back champ of Bellevue 5150. Ironically enough, he was also the champ of the Regent 5150 5 months ago, yup the first one I dipped my toes into. I was already in awe of his speed and strength then, and nothing has changed til now. I was fangirling and starstruck to say the least. 

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we pay to swim, bike and run our hearts out? Why do we push ourselves to the limit? 
Because we can. 

A huge congratulations and thanks to Sunrise & Bellevue for this well organized event! The course was beautiful, everything about it was obviously well planned. Perfect race for a newbie like me. 

My first Tri (relay)

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No words can describe how marvelous it felt while racing the run leg of this Olympic distance triathlon. Sure, I’ve ran 10km countless times.. But it wasn’t for a triathlon. It wasn’t at 8:30am. It wasn’t in subic, where the weather was SCORCHING HOT (about 36°) with a cloudless sky and no trees by the road to give you shade. 


With a Gretchen Fullido as the swimmer, chef Carlo Miguel on the bike and me on the run, we aimed for an over-all relay podium finish. 

 But what with Cheffy’s front wheel breaking, we lost about 10-15 mins when he changed his wheel to one from a marshal’s bike. We finished 6th, not bad right?

Despite feeling like I could pass out from the heat, I was smiling from ear to ear because the vibe and energy of tri was just so alive. It really kept me going. 
I wouldn’t have joined this if it werent for the push, motivation and inspiration from the people I train with..

Kuya Kim crashed head first from his bike yet managed to still finish the race albeit bleeding and needing to get stitched up after the race (he went to the ER after finishing.) such a warrior!
Jonah suffered a flat tire on the 34th km mark of the bike so he WALKED the remaining 6km of the bike in his bike shoes and transitioned to the run after. What a rockstar.
Chef Carlo Miguel, as mentioned, broke his front tire and wanted to DnF but he said he couldn’t bare disappoint me and not let me run on my first tri. Thanks for that, Cheffy.
It was too hot that day, but everyone pushed. Keith, who is part of our little chat group, even got a podium finish.
Mark Bu, Coach Ige and Mark H all finished with a sub 3… But apparently that was slow for them already. (It’s super fast for me)


 I’m so lucky and happy to be training with these strong triathletes.. And I’m happy to have somewhat experienced the endorphin high that they get after a race. Sure we endure the ugliest tanlines after.. But it sure makes our hearts happy! I can’t wait for my next relay (ironman) and my first whole TRI! 💪🏽 



Solaire Staycation

This time last week, I, together with my training buddies Sara & Lian, went on an all out girls-last-summer-hurrah staycation in Solaire Resort and got spoiled rotten.
Lian and I came from a 30km bike ride in Nuvali so getting picked up by the hotel’s Benz (with back massaging seats) was surely a treat. 

The service from when we stepped foot into the car up until we were dropped off back home was impeccable. Upon arriving the hotel, we were greeted by staff and were immediately ushered to our rooms. Despite having two rooms (and three beds), the girls and I decided that we wanted to stay together in the suite since it was big enough to accommodate a family anyway. 
First up on our itinerary was lunch in one of their signature restos, Red Lantern. As I mentioned, since Lian and I came from training and Sara had just arrived straight from work, we were famished. We consulted with our server which ones were the best sellers and ordered them. The seafood that we had felt like butter in our tongue as it melted in our mouths. That’s how fresh they were. We also had the honor of meeting the resto’s Chef, whom we commended non-stop for his sumptuous food and he then made us tey his special mochi dessert right after. Creamy goodness. Yum.   

Now as if we haven’t eaten enough, the girls and I walked over to Patiserrie where we had more sweets and some coffee. They had a vast selection of pastries, gelato and other desserts that we had a hard time choosing what we wanted. We ended up with 3 mini cakes and our choice of caffeine. 

Coming back to our suite, you could see the pool from our window and we thought that it was too beautiful a day to stay indoors so off to the pool area we went to spend the rest of the afternoon for some R&R in our cabana. Looooved the hot tub. Our muscles were thanking us for that.  
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We just spent the whole day bonding with each other. It’s different when you’re all in training or racing (or shooting). Having a more relaxed set up gave us girls the chance to get to know each other more outside of sports. 

Something must be wrong with our bellies as when the clock struck 8, we were all once again hungry. We already had reservations in another Solaire signature restaurant, Finestra, and dining there was quite an experience. Our server, Earwin, was the best. He was chatty without being overly so, was knowledgeable of everything we asked of, even when Sara & Lian asked him what size of steak seemed a suitable order for them. Our lobster salad was beyond amazing, my seabass order was incredible and Lian & Sara’s steaks were (as I’ve been told) ridiculously perfect.

With happy bellies, we went to dreamland, but only to escape at 4am to do a race back in BGC. A weekend wouldn’t be complete without a run for us three anyway. (Had we not raced, we would probably be spotted in the hotel gym still doing our thing.  

That 10km race surely worked up our appetite. We decided to just order in and wait for our spread whilst we rested and freshened up. 

Sara and I got the “healthy lifestyle” breakfast option while Lian chose the Chinese breakfast. We also had detoxifying juices on the side. The spread looked like it could feed a family of 10 but 3 hungry girls wiped out all the plates.

Now, you wouldn’t have a weekend of R&R without a trip to the spa right? What with our full training schedules most of the time during the week, this 2-hour “For Her” spa treatment — a 30 min body scrub, 45 min massage, 45 min facial — was exactly what our bodies needed. Least to say we all fell fast asleep right when the treatment began. 



We capped off our Staycation with more food — late lunch and afternoon tea at Oasis garden cafe. After ordering our sandwiches, and afternoon tea Filipino special (with Turon, bibingka and whatnot), I realized that I had left my Cartier bracelet inside the spa locker. 5 mins later, someone from the Solaire staff personally brought it back to me in the resto. Their 10/10 service rating for me just went up a notch, if that were still possible at this point.      


The weekend was nothing short of perfect. It had the perfect balance of food and activities; rest, relaxation & racing. From their service, staff, food — everything about Solaire was solid. To say that I loved my stay there is an understatement. They surely know how to treat you like a princess. Although I think my friends and I were treated more like queens, more than anything else. Thank you , Solaire for that wonderful, unforgettable weekend. I can’t wait to do it again!


Beautiful Bali 

Bali is a place I will forever hold dear in my heart as this is where I went to heal, pray & yoga after going through a great ordeal last year.

Several days ago, with a new set of happy & content eyes, I went back, all for a different kind of adventure.
I’ve always been meaning to surf, or atleast learn how to, so just imagine how ecstatic I was upon finding out that first on our agenda was surf lessons from Quiksilver’s Bali Surf Team. 


I was very much elated to have been able to stand on the board right at the first time!! Even if I only surfed baby waves, boy, was I stoked!


Other beach activities were on our itinerary the following day but I chose to just chill by the beach in my very “conservative” swimwear. Having been training under the sun all the time, my shoulders and arms were already a lot darker than my legs. This new swimsuit design allowed me to even out my tan. Don’t you just love it?


At the behest of no one, I still awoke at 6am everyday in this trip to practice yoga. Glad the other girls were able to practice also on our second day though! 



Sunset sessions, shopping & just enjoying the sights were also some of the highlights of this trip. To say Bali is Beautiful is an understatement. No words will ever suffice to describe the beauty of it. So let me just say more than a thousand words by these photos. 


What a fun & memorable trip this was. The best part? We didn’t really have to pack anything as we were lucky ducks being able to don Roxy’s newest collection that’s just being released in a few days! Can’t wait for the  the new collection to hit the stores! 

Shop Love, Candy Pie

One of our favorite retail therapy place, Shop LCP turned one and as a thank you to its loyal clients and friends, owner Pie Alvarez threw a lavish dinner at The Manila Peninsula last night. All the ladies donned their favorite Shop LCP outfits from the various designers that they carry. What with the numerous collections they’ve released, it wasn’t a surprise that no two ladies wore the same outfit. It was such a fun night with the girls, as we ate, drank wine and caught up with each other. Thanks, Pie! Cant wait to shop again! 🙂


it’s ladies night 🙂


outfit details:

dress: Ixiah the Label from Shop LCP

sleeveless blazer: Zara

Shoes: casadei

bag: Alexander McQueen

bangles: Kate Spade & C Wonder



LCP squad: Sam Rodriguez, me, Kelsey Merritt Cat Antonio, Patty Ang, Mika Martinez


You can sit with us! hamming it up with Sarah & Mika


sumptuous dessert… i may have eaten two of these. oops.


with one of my favorite young designers, Patty


we couldnt resist a hallway mirror shot!

most Photos by: Magic Liwanag

Heart & Wio’s book launch


“Daughter of the Sun and the Moon,” a children’s book written by my good friend Rocio Olbes with illustrations by Love Marie Ongpauco-Escudero was launched yesterday and i wouldnt dare miss it. These girls worked really hard for this to happen, and because of their hearts of gold, proceeds of this book all go to charity.


I came from teaching an afternoon yoga class that day so i had to rush upon getting ready to grace the event – fortunately i made it in the nick of time before it ended, unfortunately the program was over. Wio assured me that it was ok though, because i showed up nevertheless, and even bought a book (which i had both authors sign). Being in a hurry meant just throwing on the first items i saw in my closet– im glad the look came together really well. 🙂 whew! it’s all about highstreet brands for this one!


outfit details:

top: zara

skirt: miss selfridge

shoes: topshop

sunnies: Karen Walker

bag: Chanel

IMG_0450photos by: Magic Liwanag

shot at: Discovery Primea

(feeling) Pretty in Pink


Walls upon walls of flowers covered Valkyrie last night as Lux transformed it into “House of Lux” to formally launch their perfumed bath collection nationwide. We were asked to come in purple or pink so i decided to commission my friend/business partner/go-to designer Patty Ang to create an ultra feminine dress for me to wear to the event. Since being a yoga teacher and fitness enthusiast has gotten me living in workout clothes most of the time, getting dolled up is something i truly enjoy. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been in the fashion industry half your life!

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outfit details:

flowy mullet dress: Patty Ang

shoes: Casadei

clutch: Givenchy

hair by: Myk Feliciano

make up by: Riza De Guzman



photos by: Magic Liwanag

climbing Mt. Pico de Loro

Guess who’s back? Decided to change my blog so that i’m not restricted to writing only about food and fitness. I already have a weekly column at The Standard for that already anyway. For my first post, let me tell you all about my adventure last June 6, as i climbed Mt. Pico de Loro with  my 2 superclose friends, Angel & Chito. You may have seen my countless instagram posts about this climb, but believe me, you haven’t seen half of it. (I have 367 photos on my phone from this climb alone – here’s 20 of them lol)

Angel, Chito and I met up at Angel’s house at 2am so we can make it to the bottom of the mountain by 6am — with our water, snacks & mountaineer bags in tow. We sought help from mountain hiking experts, ofcourse, and to my surprise, as they said hi to us, one of them, is a childhood friend of mine. It made the climb much more fun, i think. It made us feel like we’ve known all our guides for a while.

I dont have a specific timeline of our hike, all i know is, everything was very picturesque that we kept pausing to pose away and snap photos… :p



After a few hours of hiking (and taking a few breaks in between), we finally reached the campsite, which is just near the summit (the peak).. so near, yet so far..


doing a yoga pose with the summit behind me felt right. lol.


The climb to the top wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. The view was breathtaking and these photos cannot suffice how marvellous everything was.

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At the summit, you can see the tall rock formation called the monolith, which is behind us in the photos above.. we weren’t originally planning on climbing it, but since we were there already, we decided we were up for the challenge. Ofcourse, we only realized how dangerous everything was AFTER we climbed. It didnt help that it started raining while we were on top, which made us a little bit worried that we might slip on the way down.IMG_2095IMG_2231

the vandalism on the rocks are quite an eyesore though. sad. IMG_2193IMG_2196IMG_2012

view from the summit…


behind me is the summit.

after climbing down the monolith, we decided to traverse our way down the mountain. We grabbed lunch as we found some logs to sit on in the middle of the trail. Stories and jokes went on all throughout the climb. To say it was fun is an understatement.IMG_2183IMG_2118

found a grotto where i had to take time out to pray..

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a few hours later, we were at the bottom of the mountain. We climbed the mountain from Cavite, and went down in Nasugbu, Batangas. It was a fun-filled yet tiring 8-hour hike for us. a real UBE (Ultimate Bonding Experience) for friends and i cant wait to do it again.