Weight Gain On Christmas Season

Note to self: Do not ever gain weight this Christmas season or you will get back to box training like you will be going on a match against Pacquiao and will also have to get back to running like your butt is on fire.

Christmas season is a season for partying and bingeing that only a few stayed on their weight as the new year enters. I know the feeling and I hated it but also, there was a few Christmas seasons that not only did I maintained my weight but actually lose some. What did I do?

Sure, I tasted the party food but just tasted not eat them entirely. In some instances, delaying the gratification worked because the food disappeared after I delayed eating them (thanks to those who were not mindful of what they pick). And even if the gym always looked stranded during this Christmas season, working out was a must. No matter if the party is on the next hour, hitting the gym to burn the fat. It worked.

Hopefully, there will be a repeat for this year. Already, the aerobics time was doubled to two hours mixed in with a few boxing sessions and a few runs around the gym’s running track.

Meantime, let’s not forget that Christmas time is not party time entirely but it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Like going to the gym, sharing our blessings and helping our less fortunate brothers is not an option but a must.


Even The Monkeys Cried

The truck and the grotto were the only ones left standing while the roaring winds blew everything off in their way. They hide and secured the baby inside the grotto while most of them crouched low and prayed hard inside their military truck. They were experienced soldiers used to attacks, skirmishes and ambushes but Pablo’s fury was totally unpredictable and unmatched that one of them said that never did he pray so hard in his life until this typhoon came along.

After the winds calmed down, everything was so eerily quiet except for a few human stirrings of life and a few animal sounds of howling probably, animals keening for their lost loved ones. When the wind and rain settled, they saw that the devastation was so indescribably massive that one soldier said that he could even hear the monkeys crying after Typhoon Pablo decided to move away.

I passed through these lands innumerous times through the years. The green and undulating terrains dotted with big swath of lands of rice, tree and fruit farms were such that their nature’s beauty during those travels were expectedly familiar to me. Mostly agricultural with dotted forest covers, these areas of Mindanao were not only fertile farm lands but also, rich with minerals. Not so, when I came back today.

The unfamiliar horizon that lay before us was monochrome-like, humid, forlorn and outworldly. Trees were thrown helter skelter like toothpicks everywhere, electric poles were transferred right in the middle of the street, ruined houses like they were made of chopsticks while some stood bare-roofed and not a few of these roofs were thrown some distance away. People, young and old alike, extend their hands begging by the roadsides.

Those were the scenes that greeted us as we made our way through the Compostela Valley Province, one of the provinces hardest hit by the Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) on the first week of December. Our target destination was the small towns of the Municipality of Monkayo. Prior coordination with the military personnel assigned to the area was made and designated towns were targeted. We had about 500 relief packs of 2 kilos of rice, a few packs of noodles and canned goods. We also brought shoes and slippers and used clothings.


 A girl waiting while her mother lined up to get the relief pack.

The travel to the military detachment that served as our relief distribution area was just about 15-20 minutes away, if they were good roads. But potholes created by the typhoon were like craters so big that they could easily fit the military truck. Debris of fallen trees, crumpled houses and downed electric posts punctuated the roads that we reached the area after almost an hour of bone-jarring, teeth crunching ride.

The people were already organized by small groups by their own local officials and by our military personnel escorts that only the weather of confusing interchange drizzles of rain and sudden hot sunshine made the orderly relief distribution much more eventful. A lot of them walked through the mountain roads to reach us and yet, they did not complain about it. Some were recognized by the soldiers as their rebel enemies but the relief packs were given equally without discrimination. We know that what we brought will only last for a day or two but the people were just as thankful and some even readily shared their typhoon stories to us.

A soldier said that he used to look out at the mountains and could not even see and hear what or who was out there in the forests but now he could actually see clearly so far that any rebel doing a reconnaissance on them is an easy target.

I could never reconcile the scenes I have seen today to what I have grown used to see on my previous travels to these lands. Probably, relief packs will arrive to these people from time to time to help them somehow get through their daily sustenance but recovery of their lands will take at least a year and some miracles to happen.


Sunday Stealing#132

Today we ripped off a blogger named Zoe from the blog Mama Geek. She states that she got it from Mummylish. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

The idea of the 11 Questions Meme is that you are given a set of 11 questions to answer by a fellow blogger , and then once you have answered them you have to think up 11 questions of your own to ask, we consider that part of the meme a bonus and optional, so.. feel free to come up with 11 questions, ONLY if you feel like it.  Fun stuff. 

Sunday Stealing: The 11/11 Questions meme

What is your favorite possession?

Hmm..Nowadays, the photos I took during our European trip.

 Do you like to read? If so, which books do you love best?
I love to read. I keep an eye on those bestsellers and see if I like them.

Do you have any pets?
We have 8 cats, one dog at home.

What was your favorite food as a child? Is it the same now?
It was hotcake but not much now.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?
What I like blogging is that I can pick any subject/topic I like and talk about it. 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Aside here in my home country, I'd like to live in Spain.

What is your favorite number?
Favorite number is 4, 7 and 8.

Which of these things would you find hardest to give up for a year? Chocolate, reading, coffee or smoking?
Reading and coffee.

If you could make your life into a movie, what would you name it.. and who would you want to play you?
Boring question..hmm..next!

If you had £20,000  for a shopping spree, what would you buy?
I'd buy a travel package for me and my mother.

If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?

Obama and Gandhi.


Help For Mindanao

Mindanao has always been a typhoon free part of the Philippines. We were proud of it considering that most part of the Philippines have always been battered by 30 to 40 typhoons a  year. We grew up in this place content with heavy rains and recently, a few surprises of flashfloods. In fact, we had more bad press from rebel situation news than about weather-related ones. It started to changed recently though. Flash floods took over some parts of our city more than a year ago leaving death and devastation. Last December, Typhoon Sendong's wrathful waters caused landslides and flashfloods during Christmas time last year. But slowly, reticent as always, our people picked up the pieces and rebuild.

This is now being challenged. Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) came in packing 160-more than 200 kph winds and made landfall in some parts of Mindanao that have long been considered typhoon-free. Pag-ASA and the local government units prepared and warned the people to evacuate and brace themselves as this strong typhoon promised to be one for the books. Indeed, after making landfall in some parts of Davao Oriental and the Bukidnon area early this week, Typhoon Pablo left such huge devastation that left thousands of Mindanaoans shellshocked and homeless.  There are now more 300 people confirmed dead and about 500 people that are still missing.

These typhoon victims could not live and could not go on with their lives without help. Let us help our brothers and sisters who not only lost their homes but also their loved ones. A few peso could go a long way for their basic needs. We could delve from our Christmas shopping budget to help provide for the typhoon victims' basic needs: food, shelter and medicine.

To help, there are several ways but I would rather recommend Philippine National Red Cross and Gawad Kalinga. Both are actively coordinating and helping for the delivery of relief goods to the typhoon victims.