yes

drawing, dancing, and all the fun stuff in between!

more bondage

Apparently, I’m the go-to girl for bondage props. Last Christmas, my friend Kaity asked me if I had handcuffs, whips, and such for an s&m themed shoot she was planning to do. Although I did have most of the things she needed, I suggested that we just use ropes instead, as I wanted to practice my rope work.

Last Saturday, our shoot finally happened. Here are my favorites:
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It was my very first time to tie up a girl– girls really are prettier than boys. (sorry guys!) It was the first time I had to figure out how to tie ropes over breasts– but hey, we all need a bit of a challenge every time, right?

Thank you Kaity for trusting me with this! And, awesome styling by Vicky. I keep telling her she should have a fashion blog!

It was a very easy shoot, everyone was so chill and just going with the flow. We had so much fun we’re doing another one in a couple of weeks. Just wait and see.

Photography: Kaity Chua
Styling: Victoria Velasco
Make-up & Hair: Diana Santos
Model: Jhenn Olivar of Reign Models

Ropes: me!🙂

Where to Eat on a Hypoallergenic Diet: Slice

Slice is known for their cakes,  especially their yema cake (mmmmm), but they have other healthier options.

I ordered their spicy tapa (chemical-free and spiced with siling labuyo) that came with brown rice mixed with vegetables (yes) and vinegar for dipping (not necessary,  the tapa is good enough on its own). It also came with an egg. But since I can’t eat that,  it went to my lunch mate Miko.

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A couple of weeks ago, I ate at Slice too and ordered their vegetable omelette, without the egg. The egg went to my friend.

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It’s great that these restaurants can alter their menu to fit my allergic needs. I’m very grateful. Thank you!

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Slice is at High Street Central, BGC.

Skechers Sport with Memory Foam: Because Life’s Too Short for Painful Shoes

Since I promised to buy less,  I must choose well. I make sure the things I buy to wear are comfortable, will not irritate my skin, and hopefully,  pretty as well.

The comfort factor is extremely important when choosing shoes, especially since I love walking.

Ever worn painful shoes while traveling?  Awful.

That’s why I’m so happy that we were given the chance to try Skechers Sport with memory foam. It is like pillows for your feet! 

Every since I got a pair, that’s all I’ve been using for my travels.

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baguio

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Hong Kong

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Malaysia

I use it for everyday walks around the city,  too.

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katipunan

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ortigas

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makati

Walking is the simplest easiest thing a person can do for his health. I also like walking for the solitude– I get to think. I also like walking because then I discover interesting places and things I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed.

Go walk in shoes that are good to your feet .  Life’s too short for painful shoes.

Where to Eat on a Hypoallergenic Diet: C2 Classic Cuisine

Last Sunday, my Boracay trip did not push through because of typhoon Ruby. No matter– a canceled trip cannot stop this lola from having fun!

Great timing, because it was a very rare Sunday (like, once a year) when my kuya did not have to work.  So we had lots of coffee and kwento and I helped him choose secret santa gifts and he gave me Tony Robbins’ Money book (awesome).

We were also able to catch Radioactive Sago Project at the Shaw Station of Rock the Riles. I missed watching live bands!  It was my ex’s band after (ooops haha) so we went inside Shang to get dinner.

He was craving liempo so we went to C2 at the 6th floor of Shanri-la mall. And, the liempo turned to this:

Lechon kawali — deep fried pork belly with the bagoong,  eggplant and assorted veggies on the side.

Gising-gising–  It was my first time to try it with sigarilyas! It’s usually green beans. But this was better! I also loved the chopped labuyo mixed in, and the coconut milk sauce. I asked for the shrimp to be separated.

Sisig rice– rice, sisig, chicharon. Thankfully I’m not allergic to pork!

And I got the drink ginumis– sago, and coconut milk. I asked for the panocha syrup to be taken out.

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gising-gising, lechon kawali

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sisig rice, ginumis

The servings were huge– perfect for sharing. We still had a lot for takeaway.

I used to eat their bibingka souffle all the time— there’s nothing like it.  But it has egg so I cannot eat that anymore.  Sadness! But everyone should go try it out.  Goes great with a cup of hot black coffee. 

This is a wonderful place to have simple clean food that tastes great. And the service was excellent– they accommodated all my requests with a smile. Yey C2!

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For more information www.c2classiccuisine.com .

Lightwater Ambassadors Dinner

Three years ago,  Lightwater partnered with Polecats Manila to be brand ambassadors.
Since then,  Lightwater has helped us and our students go beyond limits in our projects.
I’m allergic to chemicals  so Lightwater is perfect– no sugar, no sodium,  just electrolytes in a pH level of 8.2. It means it replenishes nutrients lost during a workout.

Last December 4, we were invited by Lightwater to an ambassadors dinner at Treehouse in A.Venue. They were launching their hashtag #begreater .

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As we were waiting for dinner,  photos of Lightwater ambassadors were flashed on the screen.
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Then we had a sports trivia game, where the winners got Lightwater rolling luggage. And then it was announced that there would be raffle prizes.  I never win, and I told Amaya so.

As expected,  the raffle was almost done and I still wasn’t called.  Amaya won a gadget that monitors oxygen in the blood while working out.  And then, for the next prize, an iHealth (a fitness and sleep tracker,  quite fancy! )– the host Yesu Labrado called my name. Wow!
And then, the final prize was a GoPro 3. Everyone was eligible to win the Grand prize.  I was still so giddy from winning when the host called my name again! I was so surprised I kissed him and Jasper Ong of Lightwater on the cheek haha.

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host Yesu Labrado, me, Jasper Ong of Lightwater

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fun stuff from the Lightwater dinner!

Thank you Lightwater! Amaya and I had so much fun!
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Here’s to more years of working together. Thank you for helping us #begreater.

My New Favorite Food Place: Marketplace by Rustan’s

I teach pole classes at the Fort every Thursday and sometimes I have several hours gap in between,  so I’m always on the lookout for healthy places to eat in.

I wander into Central Mall (where the theater is) and see a sign saying Marketplace is open. Being a curious cat, of course I check it out.

And wow! So happy that I did!

They sell ready-to-eat food like pastas and roasted chicken. They also have sushi plates. No photos– I forget to take photos of things I can’t eat haha. For that day,  I stick to roasted veggies and sausages. (They also have the best plastic spoon fork and knife. Knife! Super sturdy and won’t break. Not very environment-friendly so next time I’ll bring my own.)

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They also have fresh fruits and some chips that I can actually eat.

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And they have a tiny but pleasant eating area.

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I checked out the supermarket area as well– wow they have such a good selection! 
Check these out– some stuff I can’t eat but were too pretty to not take a photo of.

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And also, they sell potted herbs.

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This is heaven for me.  I always drop by every Thursday.  If you’re in the Fort,  check this place out.  So much fun🙂

Hypoallergenic Eating in KL

Traveling has been a source of anxiety for me since I started my hypoallergenic diet. Cooking is not an option,  and besides,  I want to try the cuisine of the place in traveling to.

Last week I was in Malaysia to judge the Pole Stars Championships. I was quite excited to discover what I could eat.

First night,  we went to Jalan Alor– a streetful of hawker stands! We settled in this Chinese restaurant.  And it was then that I realized most menus only served chicken and seafood, Malaysia being a Muslim country.  The only thing on the menu I could eat was bak kut teh– pork in clear soup. So I ordered that with a cup of white rice. And I ordered in Chinese!  Years of studying in a Chinese School is paying off haha.

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top: Jalan Alor. bottom: bak kut teh

Afterwards we looked for fruit,  just so I’d have something to eat at the hotel. There were lots of stalls selling durian and other street food,  but I settled for dragonfruit and papaya.

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The next day,  we had buffet breakfast at the hotel. So happy we booked through Agoda.com and stayed at Ibis Styles Fraser Business Park! Every RM spent was worth it– fun clean rooms complete with amenities pkus breakfast buffet! I had rice,  beans, greens,  fruits,  black coffee. The bread looked good but! Bread,  I cannot eat.

Lunch was at Old Town at the ground floor of our hotel. Again it was all chicken,  so I had curry potato with prata (just one piece). And my new favorite dessert, cendol. It’s beans with coconut milk! (OK fine the green noodles with pandan flavoring aren’t exactly hypoallergenic,  but better than chicken. )

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top: curry potato and prata. bottom: cendol

Then we went to Chinatown for some rice,  veggies and roasted pork. yummmmm.
Dessert was at Central Market– pandan puto-bumbong. And then some more desert at Precious Old China, still at the Central Market. We had versions of burbur– Coconut milk with sweet potatoes and yam, and coconut milk with black rice.  Now this was good!

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top: pandan puto bumbong. bottom: burbur (porridge) variations

I skipped the food at the cocktails that night since everything was duck or seafood.  I ended up eating a veggie rice pack from 7-11, and since I was so hungry,  a piece of coffee bread. In a pinch,  I choose the lesser evil.  Gluten will give me a bum tummy, but chicken and seafood will give me hives.

Next day I visited my high school friend who opened a juice shop called La Juiceria. They make cold pressed juices! So healthy and delicious.

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Anabelle gave me the Fruit Tea and the PAM (pineapple apple mint) in a really cute tote (I use the tote all the time now!). Both so refreshing! If you’re in KL make sure to visit their shop at MidValley Megamall.

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And that’s it.  I ate more bak kut teh because I could and even snuck in a kaya toast at the airport on the way home– not the best idea. I got a sore throat from the sugar.

That was a really fun trip and not so bad for my allergies. Not so good for my gluten intolerance but I’ll take it. Got to live it up a bit from time to time. 🙂

Where to Eat on a Hypoallergenic Diet: Kitchen 1B

After watching a movie on zombies and love,  with an apple and a banana as movie fare, I was hungry again.  OK that’s a half truth. The truth is I’m always hungry.

My friends decided to go to Kitchen 1B to try it out.  Ok let’s go.

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Such a fancy place!  I liked the table setting and the high ceiling and the light fixtures.  The seat covers not so.  Colors were OK but the fabric didn’t feel good against my skin.  Probably not 100% cotton,  but that’s really just my problem.

The menu was digital–

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Kitchen 1B is marketed as a healthy food place but as expected,  I couldn’t eat most of the things on their menu. 

When this happens,  I go and order sides.  Last night I had sweet potato grows fries, organic brown rice,  and a side of  cruciferous vegetables. This is exactly what I eat every day,  except it was way more expensive here.  Hahaha. If it weren’t to see friends,  I’d really stop eating out.

It was a so-so meal — how different can veggies taste? Hahaha.

But then,  dessert!  Which wasn’t digital–

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And OMG! Can you see that??? Dairy-free ice cream! I got the Adam’s Seriously Good ice cream in Coco Van as the others had nuts or chocolate.

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Fresh coconut milk and Madagascar vanilla.  Organic and 100% natural. The first real dessert I’ve had in over 2 months.  And it was sooo good!

This made my day and I forgive Kitchen 1B for its overpriced so-so food. Next time I come here I will just get the ice cream.

Adam’s is also available at the Legazpi Sunday Market so I guess I know where I’m going this weekend.  I love you Adam! Thank you! 

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Kitchen 1B is at the ground floor of KL Tower  Gamboa St, Legazpi Village, Makati City.

PoleStars Championships 2014, Malaysia

Last week, a group from Polecats Manila went to Kuala Lumpur to compete at the PoleStars Championships 2014. Company members Miguel Ignacio, Kayleen Ortiz, and Duds Ignacio were going to compete in the pro divisions; our students Georgina Rovira and Ronald Singun in the amateur divisions. I was invited to judge. Hannah Villasis was in KL for work and decided to join us for the fun.

We arrived late Friday night,  was driven to the hotel by Shiva who I met the last time I was in KL (that trip I stayed for only 12hours! I crossed from SG just to watch the pole championships).

Checked in Ibis Styles Fraser Business Park– such a nice hotel with very friendly staff.  We booked through Agoda.com — I really love booking my accommodations through them.  They’re very accommodating and will make sure your booking is hassle-free.

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checking in with kayleen, miggy, hannah, duds

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See! Our rooms were fun. And with complete amenities. And a breakfast buffet! And best of all,  it’s in the same building as the competition.

The next day was all about the competition.  Rehearsals for them, judges’ briefing for me, Hannah helping source hair and makeup supplies. We also had cocktails where we were treated to a circus show.

Then Sunday morning– we woke up early to prepare. Hannah and I drew on Duds with a permanent marker– he was playing a tribal Prince and would need tribal tattoos to complement his costume. Hannah worked on Kayleen’s hair to make her look like Ibong Adarna.

Off to rehearsals they went, and I had a judges’ meeting. Vee Lea, of IPDFA and organizer of the competition,  briefed us on the judging criteria: Deductions, Core, Technical and Artistic.

Group A judges (amateur and semi-pro) were:  Renee of Groove — Deductions,  Reiko — Core, Ming of Acropolates –Technical, and me for Artistic.   Vee would take over someone’s place whenever there would be conflict of interest (in my case, for George and Ronnie).

Group B judges (pro): Hyun Joo of JKAERIAL– Core, Masayo of Sweeti Pi– Deductions,  Marlo Fisken — Technical, and Marion Crampe– Artistic.

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with the other judges and the wonderful people of x-pole

The Pole Fit award was for the highest score of Core+Technical; Pole Art for Core+Art; Ultimate Champion highest for all combined scores.

I like the judging system here.  Judges have been chosen based on their expertise.  And since we were only judging one category,  we can really focus on those criteria instead of being overwhelmed by judging the whole performance.

And so the competition began.  There were a lot of really strong performances!  I learned new tricks and combinations.  I was so inspired watching all the competitors.  Pole dancing really has infinite possibilities! 

I was quite proud though that after each polecat performance,  my seatmate Ming would say how good the performances from our studio were.

Then, awarding time. I was quite nervous.  Maybe this is how a mother feels when her children are competing?

I gave out the awards for Women’s Amateur — and when the host showed me the name of the champion — Georgina Rovira, wow I was so happy! I gave George her medal and prizes and she cried. So cute.

And it went on. Ronnie won Champion for Men’s Amateur. Kayleen and Duds were runners up for Pro Doubles.  And Miggy won Pole Art and Ultimate Champion for Pro Men’s. Wowwww. I was so happy and so proud! 

I’ve seen everything that our competitors have gone through to make it to this competition.  Conceptualization, choreography, costume design,  hours and hours of rehearsals.  With other students and company members pitching in to help. 

At the end of the night,  Ming says to me-“Your studio produces the best people.  Amazing.” And I say,  “It’s not my school,  but ours. Thank you! ”

And I guess that sums it up: It starts with one,  but grows with many.  Teamwork always wins.

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Voluntary Simplicity

I adopted a new habit recently, and that is listening to podcasts while stretching before I sleep.  I tried just stretching but found it tedious. I tried just listening to podcasts and found I couldn’t sit still for an hour.  And then I tried both at the same time and it works! 

Now I’m listening to The Tim Ferriss show. Tim Ferriss is the author of the 4-hour books. 4 hour workweek, body, chef.  I love that he experiments with everything so that I don’t have to, and I could just use the most efficient way to achieve whatever goal I want. I value my time a lot, so all his books provide me with valuable time-maximizing tips.
 
Last night I listened to him interview Kevin Kelly. I’ve never heard of Kevin Kelly before (nonsense) but wow, what an interesting man! Co- founder of All Species Foundation– a non-profit cataloging all species on earth. Co-founder of the Rosetta Project– this one aims to catalog all documented human languages. And that’s just two of the things he does. So cool , you have to listen to the podcast here.

But more than all their accomplishments, I really like when they said that you don’t need a lot to live a contented life. Ferriss brings up Stoic philosophy and how they advocate a life of poverty. And then Kelly brings up the term voluntary simplicity.  Because living a simple life that is forced on you is not fun, but that if you choose it then there is freedom in that choice and you can choose how you want to fill your life.

It’s kind of amazing how much crap I have in my life. I don’t even consider myself a shopper, and I try to give things away but wow, all those years of nonsense stuff are difficult to get rid of. 

I find that I work better and sleep better and think better in a clean simple room. I do appreciate maximalist design sometimes but often, clutter gives me headaches. Even if it’s organized clutter.

So there.  Now I’m in the process of emptying my life– first of stuff then later on, of preconceived ideas and harmful thoughts– so that I can choose what to fill my life with. 

There are different ways to live a simple life,  I am finding one that is right for me, and it’s not always easy.

What I like with this ongoing process–of minimalism or voluntary simplicity or whatever you want to call it– is that it frees up my time,  energy,  and money to go to people and things and activities that I truly love and believe in. 

There are so many ways to live a life. I want to make sure I live mine the way I want to.

A Minimalist Approach to Dressing Up

Or ok, maybe it should be dressing down.

There was a period in my life when it took so much time and effort to figure out what to wear every morning,  and double the time and effort for special occasions.

And then I read an article about willpower and decision-making. It said that we have a finite amount of willpower that was renewable everyday. Meaning, if you use it up making small decisions early in the day, you probably won’t have any left later on which can result,  among other things, late night snacking and other bad decisions.

So the goal was to make the little things as routine as possible to reserve decision making skills for the important tasks.

It sounded a lot like minimalism to me– take away the non-essentials to focus on the things that matter.

So I streamlined my wardrobe. (Concrete steps on how to do that in another post.) Everything is black and plain and cotton. So that whatever I pull out from the closet would match. I have black dresses for dressier occasions. I have tops and shorts and pants. They all go together.

I won’t have ootd posts because I wear the same things every 2weeks on rotation.  But it’s very liberating. Wearing black makes me look dressed up,  I don’t need to be so careful about dirt, and it has a slimming effect. 

Most of all, I can get dressed in 5minutes or less and use my time for other things. After all, life is for living,  and not just dressing the part.

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