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Untitled (Hello, Laziness)

I’ve been MIA for a few days but only because I’ve been busy with life. Sort of. I was supposed to write an entry regarding my trip to Sagada (which was awesome, by the way) but I’m feeling pretty tired at the moment so that will have to wait. A mini update will do for now although I can’t promise that it’s going to be exciting or whatever.ImageToday I used my cousin’s Polar watch to check how many calories I burn during my workout (weight lifting + HIIT). The number surprised me a little because I had no idea that weight lifting really does burn a serious amount of calories despite being seemingly more laid back than cardio exercises. My right knee became haggard again and it’s starting to worry me. I should figure out a way to strengthen my knees.

Yesterday, I binged on cookies. I have no idea why. I wasn’t stressed or anything and the cookies weren’t even vegan. This morning, my sinuses got worked up and I really think that the dairy I consumed has something to do with it. I am never going to touch dairy again. And I need to learn how to bake vegan cookies.

Although I am still traumatized by my previous company, I applied for an English tutor position this afternoon and will be coming in for an interview tomorrow. I hope this one goes well because I seriously need to start working for the sake of my second degree. I guess if this company still isn’t very good, I’ll have to suck it in and endure it until I have enough money saved. I am doing my best not to end up at a call center.

When we went grocery shopping two days ago, I bought buckwheat flour which is so exciting because I’ll finally be able to make buckwheat pancakes! Problem is, I don’t have baking powder so I have to search for a recipe that doesn’t call for that ingredient. I’m not one for experimenting in the kitchen because I don’t even know the basics of cooking. I don’t even know how to tell if a pan is hot enough to cook things on; it’s all a matter of trial and error for me.

So there you have it. Not a lot has happened but at least I finally got out of the house. I’ll try to write that Sagada trip entry ASAP. I know how helpful travel-related blog posts are for people who plan their own itineraries so I want to give my own small contribution.

Have a great week, guys!

 

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The Other Kind of Travel

Active travel. Why have I heard of it only today? It’s probably because I don’t know of anyone who does it–travelling in other people’s books entails simply going to a place, taking pictures, sightseeing, discovering the history behind geographies, and having a taste of local cuisine–and that to me is a tad bit disappointing. I don’t know if it’s because of the lack of physical activities in people’s lives today or the tight hold of city life on them telling them to be wary of Mother Nature and her array of threats in the form of cliffs, wild animals, and poison berries; whatever the reason is, it has to disappear from the face of the earth. To date, my only active travel experiences are 1) hiking a mountain for four hours straight and then going down for several more hours in torrential rain and ankle-deep flood threatening to wash us away into an untimely death, and 2) island hopping to swim and snorkel among schools of fish addicted to pieces of bread. Aside from monetary problems, like I said earlier, the thought of active travel has not crossed my mind until only a couple of hours ago when I read about cycling in Death Valley (an instant addition to my bucket list). That led me to researching about physically challenging local trips and, ultimately, to the term which makes me giggle like a schoolgirl in excitement.

Active travel. Doesn’t that sound beautiful or what?

I spoke with my mother last night about our spelunking and trekking trip to Sagada and she reluctantly agreed to give me the money to make it happen. She thought that I was going to ask for a converted amount of $232 which I was appalled at. First off, her inexperience in travelling has seemingly led to her overestimation of the expenses for a trip. Secondly, she does not know that she has passed on her being a cheapskate to me. And third, well there’s no third but I felt that coming up with just two things wasn’t right. Anyway, I quickly explained that I needed less than half of that amount and that it included everything. She wasn’t able to protest much after that. So, my third active travel adventure will definitely happen soon, and I plan on making the most out of it.

In preparation, I will be training harder starting tomorrow. I have less than three weeks to get into a much better shape in terms of strength and endurance. I am the one who planned the itinerary and made the budget so I only hope that my friend will be able to do all the activities with me. She’s trim but she doesn’t exercise due to her schedule as a grad student and I’m worried that, like a lot of the people who have gone on the same journey, she’ll be too tired and sore by the third day to do anything else other than walk around and go on a food trip. I might have to ask her to jog or at least walk for a minimum of thirty minutes a day every day before our trip. Cross fingers that she’ll agree to do it.

My goal is to be able to partake in more active travel trips in the near future. I want to swim, climb, trek, dive, pedal, and row my way across the world. I already have one adventure in mind: climbing Mt. Pulag, the third highest mountain in the country. I’ve read about people awakening to a sea of clouds and that, to me, is something worth seeing. Oh, and I would like a photo of me doing a handstand on the summit, haha! I’ll be working hard on my yoga to be able to do that little number. Nothing is impossible!

I need to get a job soon. ;;;

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I Refuse to Be a Rabbit

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This week, my workout routine went through a major overhaul in my desire to stop being a frickin’ cardio bunny. I am now more focused on weight training and have split my days into upper body days and lower body days, which I have also split into upper body day 1 & 2 and lower body day 1 & 2 when I saw that the workouts were too long. I still do steady-state afterwards for the sake of endurance but I do it for only 15-30 minutes. I also managed to do HIIT after my lower body day 2 (Thursday) since the exercises I did didn’t seem to be that taxing (I found out the day after, however, that they were actually as tough as my lower body day 1 exercises when I could not do a single Russian Twist due to my glutes hurting like hell) and I will do another HIIT round later afternoon.

So now my schedule looks like this:

Monday – Lower Body 1 + Steady-State

Tuesday – Upper Body 1 + Steady-State

Wednesday – Off

Thursday – Lower Body 2 + HIIT

Friday – Upper Body 2 + Steady-State

Saturday – HIIT

Sunday – Off

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I think that what’s amazing about weight training is, while you’re doing it, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to do that much damage because it’s not steady-state cardio that’ll squeeze all the air and sweat out of you. It’s fun and almost relaxing at some point. But then, the next morning, your muscles prove you wrong by being sore and stiff to the core. The pain slowly sneaks up on you and I prefer that a whole lot more than feeling death looming over me while I’m on the elliptical.

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I expressed my desire to do yoga in my last entry and I’m glad to announce that I have began practicing the beginner poses and am loving them. I don’t do yoga for a long time, though; I just do it whenever I feel like it. My favorite poses are the ones that stretch my calves and hamstrings nicely such as the downward-facing dog pose and the wide-legged forward bend. I’m hoping that my gargantuan calves will slim down in the future.

As for other, still-somehow-related-to-health updates, one of my close friends asked if I wanted to go with her to a place here called Sagada. It’s a tourist spot that’s pretty far from the capital where I am, around 14 hours. She suggested that we take a packaged tour but when I made my own itinerary, I found that we could decrease the expenses by $30 (the tour costs $130) while doing more activities. The trip will involve spelunking and generous amounts of trekking, a.k.a. fun exercise! I have yet to ask my mother for money (I’m unemployed and not looking and I’m not sorry hahaha) but knowing that I could plan a cheaper, more action-packed trip on my own makes me feel really good. I may not be well-traveled but I will be in the future. I have to start practicing my backpacker skills if I want to be a successful wanderer. 🙂

Happy weekend, everyone!

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Homesick for the Neighbor’s Home

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In 2010, I left my country for the first time in over two decades to spend a little over ten months in South Korea, particularly in the province of Cheonan, as a foreign exchange student. I was with five other people who are now very close friends of mine and though our experience was far from struggle and problem-free, we all certainly had a blast and since then, Korea has held a special place in my heart. Most of the space in there probably.

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We plan on going back there in 2015 and I can’t wait. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to meet our Korean friends because we’re supposed to be somewhere we’ve never had the chance to go to–Busan, if I’m not mistaken–but I’m looking forward to just being in that beautiful country with its awesome scenery and delicious food and lovely people. I’m not sure, though, if I’m ready for the heartache once I have to leave it again. Ten months had not been enough, so what more if we stay there for just one week? I can imagine that it’s like picking at a wound that hasn’t truly healed.

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Two years ago, I decided that the endgame of my life would be South Korea. I want to study, live, and work there despite the language barrier (which I am continuously working on, by the way). It’s not that I don’t like my country; I just like Korea a little bit more. Kidding. Kind of.

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If I don’t end up in Korea for one reason or another, it’s alright. At the very least I would like to be able to travel there often and to keep getting better in Korean. That country has given me such wonderful memories to look back on. Oh, Korea, you have mesmerized me so, you son of a bitch.

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