A Weekend of Fitness and Fun with Women’s Health

Monday, 14 April 2014  |  Bullish Insights

I just arrived from a weekend of fitness and fun at Boracay with the awesome women of Women’s Health and Summit! I think all women need an annual getaway for us to focus solely on ourselves—our body, mind, and spirit—every once in a while.


We flew off to Boracay for the weekend for Women’s Health’s annual event, Beauty and the Beach, the biggest beauty and wellness event in the country.  It was also a grand celebration of Women’s Health Philippines’ 5th year anniversary wherein they encouraged women to give themselves a high five for their achievements.  I felt fortunate to be invited to Beauty and the Beach again having had a fantastic time there last summer of 2011.  Read about it here.

So, last Friday, I hopped on my bike trainer (because I wouldn’t be able to ride that weekend), bid the hubby and kids goodbye, and flew off to Boracay for a weekend of fun and fitness!

As soon as we arrived and after checking in at Pearl of the Pacific, Women’s Health spared no time in pampering us.





Together with Solar news anchor and event host for that weekend Hilary Isaac, we were whisked off to a 90-minute massage at Mandala Spa and Villas. It was my first time there and I loved everything about it from the friendly staff, the ambiance, the clean and well-kept rooms, and, of course, the fantastic massage. I asked for a strong massage and they gave me strong…just the way I like it! We ended the massage just in time for a quick dinner before we got some rest before the real fun began on Saturday.



The following day, I got up early for Beauty and the Beach classes by the beachfront. First class: Hatha Yoga! I’m a big fan of yoga especially for runners because we need to loosen up our leg muscles, which take a pounding from all the runs. It’s also great for busy people like me who need to slow down, clear the mind, and simply recalibrate.

 – Women’s Health Editor in Chief Lara Parpan welcomes everyone to Beauty and the Beach –

– with Lara and event host Hilary Isaac –


– Never thought I’d do a yoga selfie LOL –


Second class: Piloxing. The class was taught by the only certified Piloxing instructor in the country, my good friend and roommate for the trip, and also a partner for the Weight Management Sessions we offer at TBR Dream Marathon, Mitch Felipe-Mendoza. Piloxing, as the name suggests, is a mix of Pilates, Boxing, and Dance. I thought it was going to be an easy workout, but boy was I wrong. It was a lung-busting, challenging workout that had me thinking: I would rather be running 21k right now! LOL. Still, it’s always fun to learn new things, to use muscles that are rarely used, and to challenge myself constantly with workouts that I find difficult to do.

– with Summit Group Publisher and TBR Dream Alum Edna and Lara –

After lunch at D’Mall, I met up with Women’s Health Editor-in-Chief and triathlete Lara Parpan. We dove into the clear, pristine waters of Boracay and proceeded to swim 1.5k. I had never done laps in Boracay and, as we swam, I couldn’t keep myself from smiling about how fantastic it felt. The water was clean and not too choppy, there was absolutely no jellyfish (we were viewing Ann Curtis’ jellyfish attack photos over lunch! Gaah!), and I felt that I could go on and on. There are times when I’m reminded of blessed I am to have the opportunity to swim, bike, and run the way I do and this was definitely one of them.


By the afternoon, we enjoyed cocktails at Women’s Health’s Chill Out Sunset Party by the beach front. It was an evening to meet other like-minded women of Summit, fashion bloggers, and fitness enthusiasts. More importantly, it was also to congratulate the Women’s Health team for all the great work the past 5 years.



– Cheers to the fantastic team of Women’s Health!  You girls and guys rock!

– with Hilary and Jillian –

The next morning, as expected, I got up early to run on the white sand of Boracay.  Hey, no trip is complete without a run, right?!  Running on sand is always a tricky situation; it’s unstable and soft. My light and minimalist Nike Free Run 2 was perfect for the job.  It was hot and humid, but running with that beautiful scenery before me was just a delight. I just enjoyed every moment.


The next classes for Beauty and the Beach were the Flirty Girl Fitness and Pound Workout.  I have two left feet so I decided to spare the rest of the women from watching me make a fool of myself.  It looked like so much fun though!  This is just even more proof that there are limitless ways to get fit while having fun.



Oh, aside from fitness, Women’s Health treated women to free mani/pedi and hair braiding services at their Beauty Dome by the beach. I would’ve wanted to get my nails done, but I think I was just too excited to maximize my workouts while in Boracay. I guess you could say I’m a pawis (“sweat”) over pampering kinda girl. Hah!

Before we knew it, we were bidding each other goodbye as the event came to a close.  It was great to make new friends, learn new fitness workouts, swim and run in Boracay, and just have the opportunity to get away from the daily grind.  Thank you so much to Women’s Health for the great weekend.  High five to all of you!

Give Yourself a High Five!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014  |  Bullish Insights

Sometimes I think I’m too hard on myself.  Correction, I think I’m hard on myself MOST of the time.

I’m always wondering if I could’ve done better, trained harder, ran faster, done more, said nicer things (and shut my mouth about the negative ones), ate more greens, skipped the chips… Okay, you get the point.

But, today, I got a little reminder from an email from Women’s Health reminding me to give myself a high five for anything that I should be proud of.  And, I thought, wait a minute, they’re right. I ain’t doing too bad! I should give myself a pat on the back every now and then.

So, here are five things I think I should give myself a high five for:

1) Getting the kids through another year of school;

2) Adding more speed to my running program for the past 2 weeks;

3) Passing on the Cheetos that keep calling my name whenever I pass the kitchen;

4) Cooking more at home (you must taste my Spinach-Feta Cheese Quinoa!  I eat it almost everyday! LOL);

5) Swimming, biking, running, and practicing Bikram Yoga despite this awful heat. (Congrats to all of you out there who are doing the same!)

– Track work is hard enough. It’s even more challenging in the heat. But, you gotta do what you gotta do! –

How about you?  What do you think you should give yourself a high five for?  Women’s Health believes that you have a lot of things to be proud of and I do too. 


Speaking of Women’s Health, they’re celebrating their 5th birthday in Boracay from April 11 to 13.  I’ll be there to join in on the fun.  You’re invited too!  Drop by if you can!

Watsons Sun Up to Sun Down

Tuesday, 25 March 2014  |  News + Promos

Women’s Health Philippines in partnership with Watsons is inviting women to join a full day of activities on April 9.

The schedule of the classes are as follows:

1. 11:30 – 12:30 Sunrise Flow (yoga)
2. 1:30 – 2:30 Zumba
3. 3:00 – 4:00 African Jam (upbeat dance class)
4. 4:00 – 5:00 Hot Hula (hula upbeat dance class)

Here’s the mechanics:

I’ve signed up for the Sunrise Flow. Woohoo! Hope to see you there!

Women’s Health Beauty and the Beach

Thursday, 21 April 2011  |  Bullish Insights

Every woman—fine, a man too—needs a break from life every now and then.  Thanks to Women’s Health, I got the perfect weekend getaway right when I needed it the most.

Last April 16 & 17, 2011, Women’s Health sent me to Boracay to attend the Women’s Health Beauty and the Beach in celebration of its second anniversary.  It was a weekend of fun, fitness, and adventures shared among ladies who deserve to pamper their bodies and refuel their minds.

– with Lara Parpan, WH Editor in Chief, and Christine Ong, Summit Team Publisher –

– with Marie Calica, Runner’s World Editor in Chief –

We were encouraged to register for various fitness/dance activities over the weekend, which were all new and foreign to me:  Indian Bollywood, Chair Cabaret, Hapa Haole Hula, and fitness Hula Hoop.  Admittedly, my two left feet and I chickened out, so I ended up going for the competitive event: Havaianas Always Summer Race to Hawaii on Saturday followed by a relaxing Sunrise Hatha yoga session on Sunday.

– Mia Bayuga of Magic 89.9 hosted the event. It was a pleasure meeting you, Mia! –

For the Havaianas Always Summer Race to Hawaii, I was introduced to my teammate just a few minutes before the race: TV host/athlete Reema Chanco.  Of course, she was a familiar face, but it was the first time we had met.  We were enlisted for this race as “media” so weren’t qualified to win the big trip to Hawaii.  Shucks.  So, we took our time, walked—while everyone else ran—and chatted our way into the first challenge.

The first challenge: Guess the ingredients of two fruit shakes…

– with our shakes! Mission accomplished! –

The second challenge: Search for two items buried under the sand.  Our team had to find a rake and a lei.  By the time we arrived several teams had been digging endlessly. We dug, dug, and dug.


And, in less than 10 minutes, we found our items!  We were the only team that found our items before cut off! Oh boy, this “win” triggered our competitive sides and got us raring to win the entire race!


– Mission Accomplished! –


By the 3rd challenge, Reema and I were running across the shore, sweating it out under the sun, and were pretty darn serious about coming in first for this race.  (Uhm, this wasn’t really surprising given our backgrounds!)  We worked well as a team and covered each challenge smoothly and seamlessly.  Before we knew it, we accomplished all tasks and met the race director, good friend Neville Manaois, at the finish line.  We had reached first place as Media!

– with Reema and Neville at the finish –

– Feeling like real winners! –

Since we didn’t qualify to win the Hawaii trip, we were given Sony Cybershot DSC-3000 as prizes!  Woohoo!

– What a thrilling adventure! And what great prizes! We were happy campers! –

Dinner was at the Havaiana’s Cocktail Party followed by the Women’s Health Dinner Buffet.

– with my dearest sis, Janice of Creative Juice, the organizer of Havaianas Always Summer Race –

– with good friend Nevs who did all the brainwork for the race –

The following day, I ran 5k along the shores of Station 1 in Boracay. It was a fast run yet it felt easy with less impact landing the soft sand, the sea breeze hitting my face, and the wonderful view of Boracay.  I then joined the Sunrise Hatha Yoga along with other participants of Women’s Health Beauty and the Beach.

– Lara Parpan welcomes participants –



The rest of the day was spent sunbathing by the sea.  The perfect way to end a fit and fun vacation for this bull.  Thank you once again to Women’s Health for a great weekend.