Sometimes the city can be a bit overwhelming with its constant noise and nonstop movement. Don’t get me wrong, I love the urban jungle in all its form- good and bad, but like everything we love, a little distance is all we need to make the heart grow fonder.

So when you find yourself lost in the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s good to take a step back once in awhile and find some stillness. In times like this, I found a sanctuary in Abby’s Garden Resort.

Located in Butong, Taal, Batangas, this idyllic place is unlike anything I’ve been to before. Knowing that Lemery isn’t known for beaches, I wasn’t sure what to expect as the tricycle we rode in took us across paved roads with a kind of peaceful vibe you only feel in the province into a small road surrounded by fields and grasses.  

Before the road ends, we were dropped off at a nondescript place and was told we’re at Abby’s Garden Resort. I thought, “How can it be?”. From the outside, the place looks like a private home of some rich haciendero. But yes, we are exactly where we should be. This is indeed Abby’s Garden Resort.

As soon as we entered, my attention was caught by the blooming flowers and the fresh breeze. The staff quickly welcomed us and introduced us to Sir James, the resort’s General Manager. I was pleasantly surprised at how homey the place feels like.  The place has an open and relaxed atmosphere, thanks to wide open doors and the breeze from the garden.

Home Is Where The Heart Is
The room we were assigned to was pretty spacious with 2 double beds, a private T/B, air-conditioner, and a TV. My favorite part of the room are the wide windows and its dramatic curtains. It even has a small table and chairs that is perfect for reading, working or simply relaxing while looking out at the fields outside.

As soon as we were settled, we explored the place and boy, were we in for a treat. It is not surprising that Abby’s Garden Resort is known for being the wedding destination of choice. The Mediterranean-inspired hotel and garden is a sight to behold.

Planked by the Mediterranean Garden on the right and the swimming pool on the left, the Gazebo is the perfect place if you want to have an OOTD or simply just sit on the steps and relax. Be careful though as the calm breeze and stillness might lull you into sleep.  

A few steps from the Function Hall is an entrance to Cherry’s Victorian Garden. All green, blooms and sunshine- you can immediately see why anyone would choose this place as their place of celebration. It just screams freedom for me. Unbound by walls and surrounded by trees and flowers plus the swing with the vines and all - it’s just perfect. My heart was swelling with happiness as I take one picture after another.

I went for a walk here with one of the guests in the early morning and I fell more inlove than ever (Disclaimer: If you are afraid of the dark or strong winds, do not attempt to walk or jog here alone. It can be a bit daunting,)

But enough gushing for me because clearly, I’m enamored by the place. I don’t think I have enough words to describe how I felt when I was here. Peaceful seems to be the only word I can think of but really, you need to be here and experience it. Allow me to let the pictures do the talking. 


I would like to thank Sir James and Mrs. Brown for allowing us to stay here for the weekend in celebration of their 9th year. Thank you to the staff as well for being kind, patient and accommodating. 

Abby's Garden Resort is truly a home away from home. For more details on their rooms and rates, you may visit their website-

I am lazy as hell. I don’t like to walk when I don’t have to. So what am I doing joining a marathon, you ask? Well… despite my laziness, I’ve always wanted to join marathons and get my hands on one of those finisher medals. In short, inggit lang ako. Char!

Seriously though, it is a source of inspiration and fascination for me to see runners with their medals and reading their stories of perseverance, determination and victory.

So when an opportunity for me to join one, I took it. It was for the Runrio Trilogy Race Series. I wasn’t sure what came over me that made me say “Yes, I am joining.” So I did. I signed-up for 10k. 

10k! 10 effin’ kilometers! KILOMETERS!

I refuse to even walk a mile going to the MRT… How am I supposed to finish 10k? In 2 hours? But I have already registered and paid. No backing out now. 

I only had a few weeks to prepare for the run but since I go to the gym, my coach tweaked my training to help me prepare for it. On the weeks prior to the run, our training consisted mostly of cardio and agility workouts. The workouts were meant to help with my endurance and condition my body. Not fun at all lol.

But I know that wasn’t enough so I braved going to UP to practice. The 1st time I ran, it took me 1:55 minutes to finish the 10k mark with lots of walking, pauses and buko juice break in between.

The 2nd (and last) practice, I was 4 minutes faster lol. Yaaaasss! I am sooo ready! NOT!’

March 18, 2018.  Mall of Asia. 
These words will forever be engraved in my mind as the day and place of my suffering (char!).  There were a lot and I mean, a lot, of people. It was a bit overwhelming but surprisingly comforting. If I fail to reach the required hours, I am not alone so I just have to focus on having fun and just enjoying the race.

4:50a. And the race is on. 

My companions ran ahead of me and am left on my own; though, technically you won’t ever be alone in a race. Anyway… so there I was running and my pants felt loose and am like “What the eff? I knew I should’ve worn the other pants. Damn it!” 
My sorta disastrous outfit lol

Newbie tip #1: Make sure your shorts/pants and undergarments are tight AF. Never underestimate the power of tight clothing lol. But don’t make it too tight or else, you won’t be able to breathe. 

I kept adjusting everything until eventually, I sweat enough for it to not be loose hahaha. Seriously, it was annoying at first.  Also, the first few kilometers were kinda difficult for me because it was pretty early and dark and there are some areas I had trouble seeing well coz I have bad eyesight (ugh, I know!)  On the flip side, it was not hot so running was easier. 

3k: “Shit! I think I just got my period. Damn it.”
4K: “Get past World Trade and you’re almost finish”.  
5K: “Is it here where we turn now? I see the LRT station.”
6K: “Why the hell is the LRT station so far? It looks so near earlier”
7K: “Ok. You survived this far. Just a few more steps. You got time.”
8K: “Yass! I see the finish line. Just U-turn and you are soo done! 
 Wait… why is the U-turn so far? 
  Damn, it’s almost 6:50a! Hurry up!”
9K: “1 more kilometer. There it is! A few more lampposts and you’re done!
 “Hurry up and finish so you can change out of your bloodied clothes.”
FINISH LINE: “YASSSS! What was my time? 1:25! Yasss!”
 “I need to change. I need to change. Where is everyone?”

I know am crazy but this craziness kept me sane and stopped me from just plopping in the middle of the road and give up. 
Image source:

Crossing the finishing line was surreal. I was so happy and damn proud of myself. I was grinning from ear to ear holding my medal. Finally, after wanting it for years, I now have one of my own. Who would’ve thought I’d be here? Anyone who knows me well would say “impossible”.

But there I was - running as if my life depended on it, clutching the medal like a precious cargo worth a million bucks and grinning like a madman who won a bet. And I guess in a way, I did win a bet- a bet against myself and I won. 

For others, 10K may be nothing but for me, it’s no small feat. This is more than just getting the medal. It is me overcoming my own limitations and going out of my comfort zone. This is me realizing that there are still potentials left untapped within me. 

All I have to do is be brave and say yes to opportunities. Yes to believing that I can and I will. Yes to trusting other people and the universe. Yes to better things. 

And that is my story. It's not over yet. I'm just getting started!

For more pictures, visit my FB page right here: Don't forget to share some love and like my page! Domo arigatou!

PS. Thank you to the nice family who helped me attach my tracker on my shoes. I hope you enjoyed the run as much as I did.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? If you’re like me, saving up is most likely one of them. Right? Right! However, just like losing weight, many tried but only few succeed. I personally am guilty of that.

But all that changed when I attended Chinkee Tan’s Ipon Pa More talk last January 20th in Victory Church Greenhills. The Ipon Pa More talk focused on practical and effective ways of saving and going beyond the 52-week challenge.

The talk was pretty insightful, interesting and yes, fun. I walked out of the event with these lessons:
  • Know why you’re saving.
Bakit ka nag-iipon? If you don’t know why you’re saving, it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus. Dapat may goal ka at dapat realistic yun. Be SMART about your savings goals.

  • Process. Plan. Practice. 
Sabi nga ni Coach, dapat may process ka sa pag-iipon. Wag basta bira lang bira. Pag may proseso, madaling magplano kasi alam mo na steps na dapat mo gawin.

  • Stay consistent. Stay focused. Stay disciplined.
This one I love the most because it applies to everything we do, not just in saving up. Wag ningas-kugon, ika nga. Stick to your plan and keep your eye on the ball. Hindi porke may ipon ka na eh back to waldas mode ka na. Be consistent and stay disciplined.

MY IPON DIARY: A Quick Review
If your goal this year is to save up and be financially independent, I suggest you get your hands on one of  Coach Chinkee’s My Ipon Diary. This no-fuss, all practical guide book/diary will not only teach you the hows of savings but also a few nuggets of wisdom along the way. 

It includes sections such as My Smart Iponaryo Chart and the 52-Week Ipon Challenge Chart. It even includes My Ipon Challenge Stickers!  The tips are so easy to follow that even kids can try them.

Neat, right? Do you want to be an Iponaryo, too? Get your copy and start saving now. Plus, you’re in luck coz My Ipon Diary is on special sale. Check out this link here- to know about the amazing discounts we’ve got for you.

Ipon pa more, mga besh!

Whoever said OPM is dead is obviously been living under the rock. For the past years, the OPM scene has been making a buzz and creating one hit after another.  And for the production outfit called Nice Set Pups, it presents an opportunity for them to reintroduce everyone of the awesomeness that is OPM with their first event of the year - Nice Set Pups! The New Year Kickoff!

Being a blogger/online media, I was one of the chosen few who got invited to join their event. Although I listen to OPM and love music a lot, I am not generally fond of bars and similar places. But with the help of a friend’s company and enough courage, I decided to attend and watch this gig (so millennial lol).  And boy, was I glad that I did.

SaGuijo Bar, Makati
When I asked my friends where SaGuijo Bar is, they were all “oohs” and “aaahs”.  Apparently, it is a must-see place or the IT place. How was I to know? (so #titasofmanila, I know).  Anyway… SaGuijo Bar is a nondescript hole-in-the-wall place located in Guijo street.  It is pretty easy to miss especially if you’re not familiar with the area. No LED signs nor extra lighting.

Nice Set Pups! The New Year Kickoff!
Nice Set Pups! has prepared an impressive lineup for their New Year kickoff. Unfortunately, the only band I was familiar with was Autotelic so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop me from having fun and dancing to the beat.

The first band that performed is Rob and the Hitmen and their hits include Illusion and So Right. I particularly like this band because of how smooth the vocals and the music is.  It’s the perfect start to a fun Saturday night.

Another performer during that night is Autotelic. What I loved about them is it reminds me of the alternative rock music I used to listen to back in HS. Plus, the lyrics to their songs are simple yet has deep emotions aka hugot. If you have not heard of them before, I suggest you start now.

The other performers that night included Fourplay MNL, Gian Bernal, Out of Order and Milesexperience. Of all them, Milesexperience seemed to me the biggest crowd-pleaser with several of the audience singing along to their songs.  Fourplay MNL, unfortunately, I didn’t get to listen to them because I went out to grab a bite to eat. I also like Gian Bernal’s performance. It’s the kind of music that would make you close your eyes and just dance to the beat.  Out of Order, on the other hand, was just straight up fun.  It was the perfect ending to an awesome night.

Nice Set Pups! The New Year Kickoff! was a success!  They are off to a great start in 2018 and hopefully, they will have more events like this in the future soon (ehem ehem, QC). Kudos to all the bands and to Nice Set Pups! for keeping the OPM scene alive and kicking!

Key players in the business world are cooking up something big and awesome! 

A collaboration between Yupangco Electronics Corporation (Distributor of Yamaha Sound and Audio Technology) headed by Jose Mari Laurel Yupangco, the grandson of our former President of the Philippines (Jose P. Laurel) and TAG Media and Public Relations headed by Engr. Grace Bondad Nicolas (Entrepreneur, Broadcaster, Writer, Public Speaker) led to the birth of the Asia Leaders Forum in Real Estate to be held in Davao, March 30, 2017 (10a-4p).

Held last January 31, 2017 at The Misono Japanese Restaurant in Makati, the first Asia Leaders Forum, the first in a series of events this year, included Dr. Elton Tan of E-Hotels, Robert Laurel Yupangco of Zoomanity Group, Engr. Ben Co of BSC Construction, Mario Berta of Flyspaces, Congressman Prospero "Butch" Pichay of Surigao Del Sur, Koo Kwan Kon of Global Morning City Development, Tanya Llana of Victoria Court, LiZan Kuzter of Impact Hub Manila among others as key speakers. Some of the key attendees during that night includes representatives from SMDC, ProFriends, DMCI, DibZ and Megaworld.

And for our 2nd Asia Leaders Forum, we will be featuring subject matter experts who are considered pioneers and trailblazers in their field.

With this in mind, participants can expect to gain insights on how to gain a competitive edge and beat the myriad of other real estate participants chasing deals. Our experts will share their strategies, best practices and tips on how to maximize your resources to promote the Philippines.

For this year of ASEAN 50th Anniversary and the chairmanship of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, all eyes are focus to the Philippines as the hosting country, it's time to showcase the skills of the Filipinos and the Philippines products and services. Asia Leaders Forum is just one way to promote the backbone of any organizations and our world class infrastructures and talents.  

The objective of the forum is to promote the Philippines as the premier business hub in Asia and to share to participants the updates with regards to the real estate landscapes in the Philippines & beyond, technology & digital marketing and the government mandates and initiatives to improve the real estate sector in the country and the preparations we are doing for ASEAN 50 since foreign tourist and investors are coming in. 

For more information, please contact or call 09166299381.

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