Fitness: 9 Things I Love About Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) Training at Impulse Studio in Bangsar

Impulse Studio, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Fitness, Workout, Gym, EMS, EMS Training, Electric Muscle Stimulation For 2015, I promised that I will take working out seriously. The goal is to be healthier, stronger, and to get toned. At 32-24-35, I’m what most people would call ‘skinny’. I’m considered tall for an Asian girl but I wear XS-sized clothes. Being thin gave me a false sense of security on how healthy I am.

But the truth is, despite being the farthest thing from looking obese, I’m actually ‘fat’ and unhealthy on the inside. Eep! I eat a lot of junk food and carbs are usually on the menu as well. I was never the type who exercises religiously. I did it when I felt like it and I thought that was okay.

But now that I’m 25 years old and I’ve gone from daily-on-the-go journalist to freelancer, I am more sedentary with a metabolism that’s slowing down.

Oh, and did I mention I’ve been eating the same amount of unhealthy food? So. It’s time for a change. I have moved on from my home workouts and every-now-and-then runs to actually going to the gym regularly! Can I get an applause out there? 😉 I’ve been going to Impulse Studio in Bangsar and I gotta say, it’s been fun!

The workouts are hard and I’m currently sore all over but trust me – I’m coming back for sessions! 😀 And that says a lot cos I tend to just stop doing workouts when I find them too hard. Really. But since I started going to Impulse Studio, I’ve been more motivated to work out and get healthy. Here’s why: Continue reading

Events: The Entertainer 2015 Launch

A blogpost! Yay! Sorry for the lack of updates the past few weeks. I’ve been up to my eyeballs with family stuff as my grandparents (mom’s side) as well as my mom and her boyfriend are here in KL for a visit. My husband and I don’t seem to have a shortage of people who love us and are more than willing to travel just to see us, don’t we?

And that’s not just because KL is so near Manila. After our current visitors, my dad who lives all the way in Sweden is also visiting followed by a friend! Or will my friend come first? I gotta check my calendar as I’m starting to confuse the dates already! Hihihi. I feel so much more loved than the usual lately, it’s just super awesome.

Speaking of love, I’m so excited to share with you guys that one of the products out there that I absolutely adore – The Entertainer – has launched their 2015 books and app! I’ve been quite excited for it as I’ve been told that this year, they will have more participating merchants which will make the product even better than last year.

Just in case you haven’t heard of The Entertainer yet, it’s a product (you can choose between a book or an app – whichever is more handy for you) that gives you access to buy 1 get 1 free offers in restaurants, bars, spas, hotels, and other awesome establishments. I previously wrote about it here and about using it in Langkawi here. Oh, and that one time my husband and I went on a quickie dessert date in one of my fave gelato stores in KL.

The Entertainer, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Launch, 2015, Starhill Culinary Studio

The Entertainer Malaysia and The Entertainer Travel 2015

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Events: ASEAN Ladies’ Circle Coffee Morning (Philippines)

A week before December 15, I was informed that I will be hosting the program for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ladies’ Circle Coffee Morning that’s hosted by the Philippine Embassy along with one of my husband’s colleagues. Eeeep!

Though I’ve been doing hosting on the side while I was still in Manila (been doing it since I was 13 as it was a great way to earn extra money), I found myself excited and a bit nervous. Coffee mornings for ASEAN ladies are usually a great venue to promote country as a tourist destination. I’m huge advocate of promoting our islands to people especially since we’ve been getting some bad press. Some have basis while the others were written by travellers who just found themselves in the wrong places at the wrong season. So I really wanted to do well in this gig.

And two – if I mess this up, I won’t be just an embarrassment to myself but to my husband as well! It was even our Ambassador who picked me to host. So if I mumble or call someone by the wrong name or if I trip while hosting – arrrgh. I would end up beating myself up so bad. I hate disappointing people – especially those who have so much faith in me. (Thanks so much sir! :D)

In the end… It went pretty well. Whew! So all my worries disappeared by the end of that event. Thank goodness that the past 6 months that we spent in KL – where I was considered pretty idle – didn’t make me rusty. Most of the ladies even approached me after the event to tell me that I did a good job. That meant a lot to me since just days before the event, I was already having dreams wherein I mess it up because I haven’t been hosting and even reporting in front of a camera/crowd in months! Oh, and since it was my first time to do a hosting gig in Malaysia, this is really an event that I will never forget. 😀

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Fashion: Golden Globes 2015 Faves

A bit late to the party and admittedly, I wasn’t able to watch it live. Thank goodness for replays and the internet! And of course, I won’t be able to forgive myself if I didn’t make a post on my favourite looks. Honestly, I watch award shows not just to find out who wins what but for the fashion as well. Nothing too spectacular about that. All I’m saying is I’m like every other girl who catches the replays and checks out the best/worst dressed lists so I can go ‘oooh’ and ‘aaah’ and ‘eeew’ at people. Pretty normal.

So without further yapping (I should try to be less verbose, right? But really, that just won’t be me.), here are my favourite, favourite looks from the last Golden Globes (cos T&A won’t be hosting next year – and really – who can ever replace those two?!):

1. Emma Stone

Emma Stone, Golden Globes, 2015, Lanvin

Photo from MTV

Surprise! Not. Everyone who knows me personally knows how much I love this girl the moment I saw her on Superbad (Loved her more in Easy A). She is fun, she is quirky, and she has great taste. A couple of friends have told me for years how much I remind them of her cos of the humungous eyes and the quirky personality (in reel and real life) and I’ve always had one reaction to it: I’ll take it! Haha! That’s how much I love this girl. But really, my love (read: bias) for her is not really playing a huge part on her being my number one. Just look at that outfit.

I mean, really. Look at that Lanvin number on her! I practically drooled when I saw it. It’s classy and elegant with just the right amount of oomph to it. It’s crisp and sleek and shiny but not too loud. It’s so many things rolled into one. Damn, girl. I want that on me.

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Berjaya Hills: Christmas Getaway Pt 2

On Christmas day itself, Alvin and I drove around Berjaya Hills, the complex where the hotel we were staying in – Colmar Tropicale – was located.

I love, love, love the weather in Berjaya Hills! A bit cloudy with just the right amount of chill. Enough for a light jacket or a bit of layering right in the middle of December. And with that kind of weather, it’s so much fun to do some walking/exploring (as opposed to the extremely humid weather in the tropics paired with extra bright sunlight).

We took the car instead of opting for the transport the complex provides as they come in different intervals and will surely take much of our time. We also noticed that the lines waiting for them were pretty long. Holiday = More people.

Japanese Garden

When Alvin told me that we can actually participate in a Japanese tea ceremony near the hotel, I was over the moon. I’m crazy over Japanese history and culture so it was only natural for us to give it a go. 😀

Colmar Tropicale, Hotel, Bukit Tinggi, Berjaya Hills, Japanese Village

Before all that, #OOTD! 🙂 Jacket is from Balmain (a gift), white cami from Forever 21, jeans from Next Jeans (Brand in the Philippines for teens – yes, I can shop still in teens and kids’ sections. Haha!), and sandals from Forever 21. 🙂

The garden was stunning. Not perfectly manicured but that’s what makes it seem natural – real.

Colmar Tropicale, Hotel, Bukit Tinggi, Berjaya Hills, Japanese Garden

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An Unpopular Opinion on Charlie Hebdo

Thought long and hard about this. And as someone who worked for the news, I admit that yesterday, I felt extreme fear and anger over the incident in Paris. So much so that it won’t go away until I wrote down my two cents: Murder is never the answer. An insult also deserves an insult, not a violent retaliation. An eye for an eye.

Meanwhile, freedom of speech – a privilege we enjoy – should be used as a tool to inform, to criticize (constructively), and to inspire change where it is needed. Humor is welcome. To poke fun at some things we find different from what we are used to is a mainstream reaction. But as journalists, we all have the responsibility to use freedom of speech to bridge gaps by giving information rather than widening them. To inspire change where it is needed and not force it on people.

To give laughs (satire) every now and then but know when to stop. Know when it is doing more damage than good. Not just for the muslims but for any other religious or racial group.

This doesn’t mean we’re scared or that we’re ‘toning it down’ for a senseless reason. We must speak the truth and point out what’s wrong. Always. And that should be the number one reason for a report or a cartoon – not to illicit ridicule or to make others feel inferior over one’s values (whatever they may be) that he/she find superior over others.

Bringing together people through understanding how different they are from each other and promoting respect between them is important. Freedom doesn’t mean you can go around insulting everyone just for the sake of it. It means you have the right to an opinion. A constructive one. To go way beyond that and to hide behind this freedom as an excuse for being mean is an abuse of the freedom of speech we enjoy.

Giving constructive criticism is different from promoting ridicule and being mean. You can always argue that to you, it’s valid. You like racist jokes? Go ahead and laugh but keep it to yourself and your friends. If you publish it – for thousands or millions of people to consume, a journalist must ask himself whether what he is sharing to a huge number of people is a responsible piece of journalism or something that will just promote hate and misunderstanding.

Having the freedom of speech doesn’t mean you can go around publishing irresponsible and mean pieces of journalism just cos you are free to do it. If it ain’t helping to share information or promote understanding of an issue (negatively/positively/whatever) – trash it.

By all means, poke fun at the things and people that need to be given a taste of satirical medicine. But will a naked prophet on a compromising position get your point across to someone who you decide to insult (in the most extreme way for them possible)? Or maybe a different funny drawing – one that would not fan the flames of an ongoing problem – could have done it better? Maybe something else that can represent the problem you see in them clearer rather than their prophet in a scandalous position. You insult, enrage, then expect them to understand you. How will they listen to you when you’ve already made them so angry that they are now blind and deaf to what you’re saying? There are other ways to be effective in one’s job. And as journalists we must call a spade for what it is. Those cartoons were made with the intention to enrage some, to illicit condescending laughs, and to sell copies – to inform was just secondary. And this may seem like being too much of an idealist but maybe we should all remember what journalism is all about. While selling more copies is great, shouldn’t your responsibility to the society have more weight?

It’s time we value freedom of speech more. It’s time we put a higher premium on journalism. Do it responsibly. A pen is mightier than a sword (or a gun). Use your might properly.

I entered journ school not to become famous or to be rich (it will and should never happen in journalism!) but with the mindset that maybe my stories can start a small change in the world and inspire a bigger change in the future. Sounds like a boatload of cheese, I know. But Im sure other journalists felt the same way. So we should stick to that. Don’t let yourself be disillusioned by what you see other journos are doing. Be that change.

Once again, murder is never the answer. I hope the gunmen are captured and brought to justice. Murder is an act that is most vile and my heart is broken that these people had to die for their craft and their ideas even though I disagree with them to some extent.

This incident should not dampen the spirits of those who seek to report true and unbiased stories. Journalism is a vocation. The truth can sometimes be expensive – some journalists had to pay for it with their lives. But it’s the life we chose and if we stand for the truth and everything else that matters like peace and the freedom of expression and practicing one’s own religion, then we may be seeing a better world in a nearer future.

I look forward to a world where it is normal for Atheists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and any other religious group to coexist by letting each one do his own thing. “You believe that? That’s weird. But that’s all cool. I believe this. You find me weird. I’m ok with that too. Let’s agree to disagree.” Sounds better, don’t you think? Heck, I want my future kids to live in that kind of world. Too idealist? One can dream. ‪#‎NoToViolence‬ ‪#‎CharlieHebdo‬

P.S. And just so its clear: I have my own opinions about religion and politics. I’m no saint. And I have bias too. But to let your bias make its way to your journalism is irresponsible.

Colmar Tropicale: Christmas Getaway Pt. 1

For Christmas, Alvin and I took a short drive outside the city to a place called Bukit Tinggi in Pahang, Malaysia. It’s a place en route to the Genting Highlands and is known for a couple of hotels and family-friendly attractions. We stayed there for two nights – one of which was Christmas Eve. We stayed in Colmar Tropicale, a French themed resort-hotel and explored other attractions in the area during our short trip.

Our trip to Colmar Tropicale was the result of my husband’s tireless research for places near the city where we can spend Christmas eve as it was our first away from family and friends. He was able to book the place long before invitations from our friends here in KL to join their families on Christmas Eve. So sweet of them! So we promised them we’ll come join them next year. 🙂

The drive took about an hour from KLCC. It is quite easy to get to with the help of our car’s GPS and Waze. Getting there is also far from boring as the drive can be quite scenic with lots of mountains and lush greenery.

Colmar Tropicale, Hotel, Bukit Tinggi, Berjaya Hills, French Village

French-themed resort hotel

Located 2,700 feet above sea level and surrounded by acres and acres of trees, the place is definitely cooler than KL and its surrounding areas. At night, it can even be chilly enough for a sweater or a light jacket.

The hotel’s complex is a replica of Colmar, a 16th-century town in France preserved to look the same up to this day. It’s not a perfect replica, of course. But stepping into Colmar Tropicale does feel like going back in time to a small European village where a Disney princess is expected to just come out and belt out a song at any time of day.

Colmar Tropicale, Hotel, Bukit Tinggi, Berjaya Hills, French Village

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