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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The night that I danced....

It has been quite a while since I last visited the gym.  I have been a member of Fitness First Cebu for around 6 years already and my account was dormant for many months. I was practically wasting money every month by not even trying to go to the gym.  Last month, I finally decided to finally end my "misery" and cut my account. Unfortunately, I have to pay 1 more month before I can really have the account pronounced dead.  Since I got one month of pre-paid gym time, I gave exercise a shot once again.

I don't want to run yet as I am very much overweight and I do not think it would be good for my knees.  I was like 106.5 kilos when I started going back to Fitness First Cebu.  Well, I loved to join their Group exercise and I have been regular Group X dancer before. So, to make it fun I gave myself a dose of Body Jam, Body Combat, Zumba, and even Sh'Bam. After a few days, my body adjusted and muscle memory allowed me to somehow keep up with the regulars. 

The gym's Christmas party was fast approaching and one of the instructors asked me if I want to join their presentation.  Obviously, I was quite hesitant because I really felt that I was out of shape (and I really was).  On the other hand, I thought that it was boost that I needed to continue my gym membership and quest to have a six pack at 36. ;) I decided to say YES. And surely, I started practicing with the group of Cire and Cai.  Save for Cire, I was the only guy in the group.  I was thinking "what the heck am I going into".  Our music was tribal and it was well-choreographed by Cire. It was fun and I was keeping in step and some members obviously noticed me since I am the only fat guy in the group.

After mastering our main dance, I was informed that I have another dance and it will be with a partner.  It was going the first track of our performance. I was stunned.  I just thought I was invited to somehow provide a comic relief. Oh well, I got no choice but to practice my other dance.  My partner Lala is one heck of a dancer and I do not want to come out as an embarrassment. The constant practice and the stress probably helped me lose a few kilos of fat as I was down around 103 kilos during the 8th anniversary of Fitness First Cebu.

The day of reckoning came and I have to prepare my costume and have to look like a participant of a carnival.  I asked Ariane and Rexcy to help me create the Carnival King look.  Good thing that Angelica brought some nice rented costumes for the group.  I came unusually relaxed before the performance and I was just taking pictures and joking around with some people I know in the gym.  I learned that we will be the second group to perform.  After seeing a great number from the first group, I wanted to dance immediately to get it over and done with.  

It was our turn and I was like saying this is it and I told myself just have fun and hope that nobody posts a video in youtube. We had a blast in our presentation.  My teammates were really good and amazed that they can gyrate and wiggle and jiggle like pros. I think I did well enough to somehow blend in. In the end, our group won and I received a bag and a water jug from Fitness First Cebu.  The group was also awarded a buffet dinner as a prize.

It was a great experience.  I gained new friends, lost weight, and extended my gym membership.  Hopefully, I can sustain and win my battle against obesity.  I am actually starting to see results and I like it a lot. ;)

Here are some pics:

Me with Lala and Cai

My fellow performers

Look at how they dress up

I am supposed to be a King or something

I should have worn a mask too!

Some FF's friendly staff

Group 1

Group 3

We won!


Great party !

Don't hit me with the front kick

Cai and Cire!

FF Dance Gurus!
and someone took a video of our winning number..dang:


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Remembering Typhoon Ruping

As Super Typhoon Pablo approaches, I read somewhere that it will follow a similar path and strength as the 1990's historic howler Ruping. Oh I remember Ruping.  Ruping was the typhoon that knocked down Cebu and Veco for a few months.  I was a sophomore in high school then. No water, no electricity, and .... no classes. It's like the world stopped.

I had to take a bath in the almost dried up and sometimes mango juice-smelling Guadalupe river for almost a week.  My favorite food became Virginia corned beef for a while. 

Typhoon Ruping battered Cebu so much that there was no electricity for over a month.  I think our school's intramurals was even moved to a later date.

In a way, Ruping brought a lot of changes in our life.  Mineral water became the "in" thing.  Back then, mineral water was supplied by big brands like Viva and Summit.  Generator sales also went up as many industries needed the power. Even households bought generators to power deep wells for water.  Some even attributed Ruping as the start of Ceboom

Fast forward 2012...

Another Super Typhoon is on its way.  Unlike before, many people now have the internet and we can actually somehow know more information about incoming weather disturbances.  At least now, we can prepare for a typhoon days before it actually hits.  Weather forecasting now is somehow more accurate compared decades ago but there are just typhoons that are very unpredictable. Forecasts are never 100% right so it is best to err in the side of caution.

Costliest Philippine typhoons
1Parma (Pepeng)200927.3 billion608 million
2Nesat (Pedring)201115 billion333 million
3Fengshen (Frank)200813.5 billion301 million
4Ketsana (Ondoy)200911 billion244 million
5Megi (Juan)201011 billion255 million
6Mike (Ruping)199010.8 billion241 million
7Angela (Rosing)199510.8 billion241 million
8Flo (Kadiang)19938.75 billion195 million
9Babs (Loleng)19986.79 billion151 million
10Xangsane (Milenyo)20066.61 billion147 million
Even with more modern equipment and greater reach of mass communications, the 5 most destructive typhoons in the country happened within the last 4 years. Hopefully, Pablo will not dislodge any of the top 10.  It is time for us to prepare and brace for impact.  People should take this Typhoon seriously because it surely is bound to do a lot damage.  

We all still have around 2 days to prepare and make plans for the typhoon.  Keep safe, everyone!

UPDATE: Typhoon Pablo became the costliest typhoon ever but ST Yolanda could be as destructive, please prepare!!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Time to prepare for a Super Typhoon...

A mean looking super typhoon is on its way to Cebu.  Typhoon Bopha which has winds of as strong as 240 km/h is expected to graze Cebu in a few days.   In a few hours, it will be known as Super Typhoon Pablo in the Philippines.  I do not think that many people are even thinking about this typhoon.  It has been sunny for a while here in Cebu and even today I can see that we have a very good weather.  Hey, it is time to really hype this typhoon because it is always better to err in the side of caution when it comes to weather disturbances.  Here are some tips that could help you and your family prepare for this once in 10 years event:

1. Start charging all electronic devices like emergency lights, cellphones, batteries, etc.
2. Buy flashlights and batteries because with winds over 200 km/h there is a definite possibility that electricity will be cut off.
3. Store water and food like biscuits, canned goods, and other easy to prepare items.
4. Strengthen houses that could be weak against wind.  Check roofs for leaks as well.
5. People in coastal areas, flood prone areas, and landslide prone areas should start making emergency and evacuation plans.
6. Prepare transistor radios to monitor the situation in case of brownouts.
7. Start coordinating with your local government and barangays about emergency procedures.
8. Never ignore government warnings about evacuation especially that we are dealing with a super typhoon.
9.  Do not go swimming or fishing out in the sea especially if you are a resident of the areas that are expected to be affected by the weather disturbance.
10. Do not go out of your house starting Tuesday unless it is necessary.

Based on the storm track of website , the typhoon is expected to cross Cebu on the Tuesday night or Wednesday dawn. Winds as strong as 200 km/h is expected when it ravages through the Visayas.  Residents of Surigao, Leyte, Bohol, Cebu, Negros, Panay and Mindoro should take this forecast seriously as Pablo could make landfall in any of these areas.

When was the last time that Cebu ever experienced a storm signal No.4?  Pablo is big possibility to have effects similar to Ruping in the 90's if people and the LGUs are not prepared.  It is time to be ready because this could potentially ruin a lot of Christmas plans.  Spread the word and feel free to make your own suggestions in making us all prepared and to minimize the damage and casualties.

UPDATE: ST Yolanda is coming, please prepare!


Super typhoon could affect Cebu next week
Typhoon Pablo expected to sweep the Visayas
Remembering Typhoon Ruping
Super Typhoon Pablo enters PAR

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pre-Birthday Bash at Little Saigon Big Bangkok

Due to a death in the family, I was kinda forced to celebrate my birthday earlier. I just decided to treat my sales group to a dinner in a new restaurant in Guadalupe.  Little Saigon Big Bangkok serves Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Vietnamese cuisine.  I really love the flavors of Southeast Asia, so I felt that it was the perfect to try out the dishes of this new restaurant.

The place was packed even in a rainy September night.  Luckily, we found a table.  We feasted on satay, pad thai, curry, goi cuon, pho bo, banh mi, fried rice, grilled pork and a variety of desserts. It was money well spent and I am looking forward to going back and trying their other dishes.  Although a bit pricey, I recommend that you eat here on special occasions or when someone from out of town visits. 

Here are some of pics of my 36th birthday celebration with the "Rainmakers":

 Little Saigon Big Bangkok is located at the back of the Guadalupe Barangay Hall.  You can go their either via V. Rama or Andres Abellana.

 The Satay was good and probably I will order it again when I come back.

 In lieu of the birthday pancit, I ordered Pad Thai.

This was my "birthday cake". ;) yum yum

Southeast Asian Cuisine at Little Saigon Big Bangkok
Rainmakers Sales Group website
Rainmakers having fun at Aspen Heights
My 35th Birthday
Domings in Guadalupe: My favorite cure Ngohiong craving

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bicol Adventure with Mom and Steph

After a 2-week birthday break, I finally started writing again.  

Well, as my first article after my 36th birthday, I will be basically de-clogging my writing backlog.  I have visited quite a few places in the past 3 months and I need to start putting it in this blog before the hard disk space of my Macbook runs out.

Around a month ago, I went to Legazpi City, Albay as part of mom's annual or bi-annual visit to the Philippines.  One of my uncles is based in Bicol and he says that he cannot travel back to Cebu anymore. My mom promised to visit him this year as he was celebrating his 80th birthday. At first, I was kind of hesitant to go with her due to some work commitments and it was just days after Secretary Jesse Robredo died in a plane crash from Cebu on his way to Bicol. In the end, I was sort of compelled. It so happened that my wife had a long break in the Cebu Doctor's University Medical School. 

My first ever visit to Bicol was special.  Not only was I able to see Uncle Pastor, I was also able to see Mayon and somehow had a taste of what Bicol had to offer. 

When we arrived in Legazpi we immediately checked in at Hotel Venezia. We asked at the reception how much their rates were for a city tour and they gave a price list. Well, I know that tours booked from a hotel are more expensive than usual, so I looked for an alternative.  I looked up in the internet for someone to drive us at a reasonable rate.  I was referred to Noel Sarcilla by a fellow poster at and fortunately, he was available.  Noel is based in Albay and he is some sort of expert in tours in the area.  He drives his own 2012 Toyota Grandia Van and he knows practically all the nice places in Bicol.  For 3 days, we received excellent service from Noel.

In day 1, we went to Cagsawa Ruins, Lignon Hill and Legazpi Boulevard.  We also had a taste of famous Bicolano dishes like laing, Bicol express, pinangat, and inulokan at Let's Pinangat.  For dessert, I had pili and sili ice cream at the First Colonial Grill. 

In day 2, we had a belated birthday celebration for Uncle Pastor at the hotel. We went back to Cagsawa Ruins and Legazpi Boulevard, had shopping at Albay Pilinut, and capped the night with a dinner at Waway's. 

In our last day, Noel took us to Mayon Volcano Natural Park and Kawa Kawa Hill.  We had lunch at Alamo's before heading back to Cebu. 

Here are some pictures of our adventure:

Lobby of Hotel Venezia
Hotel Venezia Lobby

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back after a semi-long break...

I haven't been able to write much in the past couple of weeks.  It was really busy in the family side.  First my mom came to visit from Sydney.  We went to Bicol to see her brother Pastor and the Mayon Volcano. A few days later, Auntie Alice came back home from Arizona. I had to spend a lot of time in Bohol with mom because Auntie was sick.  Cousin Jan-Jan and her eldest daughter Trizia came to visit Auntie. Then, they along with my mom went back to Australia.  After sending them off, I have to bring Lot-lot and family to Bohol.  A week ago, I was back in Bohol because Auntie Alice died just a few days before my 36th birthday.

It was a roller-coaster fortnight and I never had the chance to update any of my blogs. Now I am back I will start posting what I have been up to in one of the most emotional times of my life. Glad to be back in blogger. ;)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wedding Anniversary at Cyma

To celebrate our 8th year wedding anniversary, I took my wife to Cyma Greek Taverna at the Ayala Terraces. I am very happy for the new milestone in our relationship. The 7th year was quite challenging and it was full of changes and new opportunities in our lives as an individual and as a couple.  I am vey thankful to God that he has a given ways to somehow overcome some challenges in our lives.  We would not also be able to be together for this long without the help of our parents, elders, and some dear friends.

If I have to include our years as girlfriend and boyfriend, Steph has been with me for over 17 years already. Such a long time already but it is really fun to have her by my side.  Judging from how long-term our relationship has become, long waits have been a norm. God know what have we been waiting for and who knows on the 8th year it will be fulfilled. ;)

Carlo and Steph poses at the garage
Posing at home before going to Ayala

Stephanie Arlene Miel Olano August 7, 2012
My lovely wife who seems to have stopped aging ;)

bread and dips at Cyma Restaurant
Appetizing appetizers!

The Dip sampler was superb!

Kakavia at Cyma
The Kakavia was memorable!

moussaka at Cyma Restaurant
Moussaka - Greece's national dish

Gotta love the breads

Anniversary dinner at Cyma
Souvenir pose

Carlo Andrew Olano on august 7, 2012
happy me!

7th year at Plantation Bay
Food Trip First quarter of 2012
Steph and Carlo at Olio

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Zumba fever at the CICC

Aside from running and triathlon, another "in-thing" when it comes to fitness here in Cebu is Zumba.  Zumba is basically a latin-inspired dance fitness program.  It is easy to follow that kids and grown ups can have an exciting time while losing weight and gaining stamina.  Last weekend, a big Zumba event was sponsored by Gold's Gym Cebu at the Cebu International Convention Center.  There were many participants and they can in all shapes, sizes, and age groups.  Watching many people dance made me want to go to the gym again and join a dance class.  Since I was not dressed properly for the event, I decided to just be contended to taking pictures and cheering on the participants.  Here are some of the pictures that I took on the said event:

 Maam Evelyn, our colleague at the Rainmakers' Group at Robinsons Homes Cebu is the primary why went there.  Evelyn has been involved in aerobics for quiet some time now and she was very excited to join the event.  When we saw her, she was ready to go.

 Before the event started, Evelyn and a couple of friends spent sometime trying to perfect jump shots for posterity sake.
 Her group also did some "backling" while waiting for the sun to set so that event would start.

 Taking pictures was contagious as Steph and I joined the fun by taking some souvenir shots as well.