Swim Deep | Current Sound

Having a lousy day doesn’t last that long when armed with the right music library. Take “The Sea” for example, a three chord gem of a song which can liven up a doldrum day. Swim Deep’s album “Where The Heaven Are We” is obviously inspired by the 90s bands that changed the sound from keyboards and synths back to guitars and drums. Notable songs are King City, Soul Trippin, and Francisco.

Don’t Mess With The Best | Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang has always been a personal favorite of all the numerous muscle cars from that era. You know, the one where machizmo and being bad-ass wasn’t something you’d have to be ashamed of. Where going for a drive was exciting and exhilarating and not to just get from point A to point B. Well, I believe Ford has brought all that back and then some with the launch of the new Ford Mustang. The venue was in High Street Central in Bonifacio Global City and immediately had a racing heritage feel and spoke muscle in the automotive sense.

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Some of my teammates from Ford Forza Triathlon.

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My friend Mikko leading the mirrorless revolution of Fujifilm! Haha!

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The cars were covered but their iconic shapes were too striking to hide.

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A quick retrospective that I am sure brought back memories to a lot of the people in attendance.

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I know what you’re thinking, it’s not a fastback but it is a beaut nonetheless! They revealed the Mustangs one by one with the help of models.

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Hubba hubba! (the car, the car)

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I saw this Mustang a few weeks prior, I dig the racing stripes.

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Like it’s ready to go!

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Then lighting and rock music blasted while the two Mustangs were driven in by Matteo Giudicelli and Stefano Marcelo!

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I could hear the rumble of the 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 engine inside this Mustang despite the loud music! Rolling in was also a white Mustang with the all-new twin-scroll turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost® I-4 engine.

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The design is impeccable. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?

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Onlookers in awe.

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Stefano delivering details on how the handling feels and probably wanting to drive the Mustang more.

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That my friends, is a smile no woman can give you. Only oil, smoke, gasoline and the roar of a V8 can give you that!

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Nice shoes.

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Every angle thought out.

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Ford Forza Triathlon with Ford Philippines.

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The “Ok na (nag-down na ako)” face! Haha!

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High shoulder and masculine interiors make me want to schedule a test drive real soon.

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Look at that rear end!

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DRL that looks menacing and powerful and less bling.

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Concluding that the Ecosport version of the Ford Mustang is a “practical” car good enough for daily driving and errands. Right? Right? Help me out here.

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Read more about the new Ford Mustang.

Unleash Yourself

http://www.ford.com.ph/cars/new-mustang

http://www.ford.com.ph/

Going Further | Ilocos Norte

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Blue Lagoon, Bangui and Kapurpurawan. I never knew these names of places before my trip to the North, I am so glad I decided to take the initiative and finally make my way to practically the end the Philippines!

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My friend Will enjoying the view and the breeze.

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Interesting collection of plants that grow here.

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Sleeping giant.

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Grassy hills, very easy to climb and an incredible vantage point.

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After the quick trip to the beach, we proceeded to see the windmills wherein everyone was competing for the best instagram photo.

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It is such an impressive sight, seeing the actual things in person. They are easily as tall as a 15 storey building to me.

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They reminded me of the drive along the California coast.

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Impressive initiative to create clean energy.

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Drove all the way in a Ford Explorer Sport, ride was as smooth as silk and horsepower was very up to the task.

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Mini windmills being painted to be then later sold to tourists.

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Shoreline scene.

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Strictly no swimming as the tide and current is very strong.

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Another shot of the Ford Explorer Sport and the windmills.

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Same day, rushing to catch the light. Arrived a bit later than expected but made the most of it. Kapurpurawan Rock Formation is a must visit.

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Like a scene out of Lord of The Rings, was so happy to see horses by the water!

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In hindsight I was glad we arrived later, since the crowds I assume had thinned out already.

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Looking out to sea and contemplating life, haha! But seriously, it is an incredible experience. Can even be a place to find the right kind of quietude.

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Interpol album cover?

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Moonrise.

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Looking out, and seeing within.

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Peaceful and hardly a soul in sight.

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My friend Ash somewhere in the photo!

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The group all instagrammed out and ready to head to the next destination!

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Shot on location with a Fujifilm XT-1. Blue Lagoon. Bangui Wind Farm. Kapurpurawan Rock Formation.

Habitable Heritage City of Choice | Vigan #GoNorth

I’ve always wanted to spend time in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. This is not the first time I visited the heritage rich place, but the first time I really got to explore the sights, walk around and actually interact with the locals and learn about the culture up here. I drove of course, as I very much enjoy driving and it sure beats waiting in the car for hours at a time. Photos below of the places I visited, I wish I had more time and more photos of myself as always!

Left around midnight, and got to see the sunrise just when we finally arrived in Ilocos Sur. This moment alone made the trip I feel. Alright, maybe I exaggerate but it is beautiful. Vigan, being situated on the western coast has equally stunning sunsets.

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Quirino bridge, built in honor of then president Elpidio Quirino traverses the Abra river and is actually right next to a newer, albeit less photogenic bridge used in replacement. I am just happy that the Quirino bridge was preserved as a tourist attraction.

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Bridges give me a feeling of adventure, journeys and ultimately their amazing destinations. I used to hold my breath going through bridges for good luck as a kid, I doubt one could hold their breath through this one!

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The instagram snob, Ino Caluza. Haha!

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Competing for the best possible instagram shot!

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Nestled between two beautiful mountains, the bridges are striking and awe-inspiring.

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Almost forgot how hungry we were shooting all those bridge photos! It was time for breakfast! Arrived finally at Hotel Luna in Vigan which in my opinion is one of the best places to stay in the area. It places you smack dab in the middle of things with tasteful luxury to spare.

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Quick inhalation of breakfast which consisted of the hotel’s famous Tapa, vigan longaniza, dried fish, breads, crispy bacon and lots of sinangag. Quick inspection of room and to wash up and get ready for a day of exploration!

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High threadcount sheets, spotless room and fluffy pillows which I tempted me to take an hour nap! Haha! I like how the hotel is also environmentally friendly, always a good thing considering how water is such a valuable resource.

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I’m getting this sinking feeling. Get it?

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“Dirty” ice cream from the local sabatero!

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Back in time indeed. A few streets are closed to vehicles to preserve the cobblestones, the local government has done an excellent job at keeping the place for future generations to be inspired.

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I wanted to take a number of signages home.

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Blue skies contrasted rust coloured doors.

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Ash, the only actual photographer in our group was in his own world and totally in the zone. This is a rare occasion when he isn’t doing crazy camera moves!

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God blessed our journey.

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Beautiful image.

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Calle Crisologo and two girls taking a break from the afternoon sun.

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Kalesas! Great way to get around, hear about the history of the place and perhaps get cozy with somebody?

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Going at own’s own pace.

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Confessional. These are usually closed, interesting to see such exposed ones here.

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Rare photo since I’m usually taking photos! Smiling it up.

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So many interesting pieces in Lucy’s Antique Shop, thank you so much for the blanket! Great unexpected gift.

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St. Augustine Church, or otherwise known as Bantay Church was next on the non-itinerary for sunset. Nice thing about Vigan is that all the sights, are very close to each other and make for good last minute stops. Great for the impulsive types, namely yours truly.

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Bantay is also known for it’s Bell Tower, upon reaching the Belfry the sun was a watercolour mix of shades and hues.

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Took more photos, but cannot overload this post too much! Look at that sky, these are moments which make every trip worth it.

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Enabling quotation for travel, learning and experience.

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Last look. I feel I go a bit dizzy, hence the crooked photograph!

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Inside Bantay Church. I always try to feel something in churches, I was moved in this one. Prayers and intentions, hopes and dreams.

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Back at the hotel, greeted by numerous artworks on walls. Also took a quick tour of the museum located inside the property which features a lot of our local artists including masters.

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A chest from the galleon trade, owners were said to have lined the insides with bible pages in the hope that when a thief were to steal from one, he would see the pages and conscience would get the better of him.

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Ino kept interrupting our guide, such a know it all! Haha!

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Recommended stay in Ilocos would have to be about 5 days! So you can see more sights without feeling rushed! I spent a weekend.

When in Vigan, stay in Hotel Luna. http://hotelluna.ph/

Sunglass Sunset | Ronnie & Joe Anniversary

Ronnie & Joe, the eyewear boutique one would go to when looking for hard to find labels such as Cutler & Gross, Matsuda, Ksubi, Native Sons, DITA, Margiela Karen Walker, and Thom Browne to name a few celebrated their anniversary as well as a new store opening on a semi-hidden gem of a rooftop of Powerplant Mall, Rockwell. I naturally brought my camera given the details.

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Emel playing my jam, haha!

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Photo from my personal instagram.

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Man of the hour, Mike ConcepcionP1170614

As candid as “candid” gets

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Hi Nix!

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Sunset, moonrise.

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I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the refreshments that day.

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Laureen, always smiling!

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Jess, doing her thing.

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Ronnie & Joe Ground Floor, Powerplant Rockwell

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Ronnie & Joe SM Aura

A Pinatubo Trek | ECCO

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I rare to go to places that I’ve never been, with people who are just as excited to be outdoors as I am. I always see my friend Marc’s photos of the whole Pinatubo experience on facebook complete with 4x4s and always find myself incredibly envious! So when SSI contacted me for this trip out to the active volcano with Scandinavian shoe brand ECCO I immediately accepted even if was to arrive from Boracay on that same day. But hey, no rest for the wicked right? My plane had arrived late in Manila (no surprise there) so I just high-tailed it to the north with sand still stuck in between my toes.

I love the drive to the north, it’s really smooth and can even be a bit too comfortable if you’re driving alone because it can be hard to stay awake when all you see are road reflectors and you’ve got cruise control engaged. I reached Green Canyon (a peaceful, eco friendly hotel which features a lot of wood carvings by artist Nico Jose) in about an hour or so, I missed the dinner they had for everyone but I was determined to join in the adventure the next morning with ECCO.

I was greeted with this “Go Anywhere” kit! ECCO 02 shoes, a cap, shirt, towel, socks and umbrella (just in case) after a quick inspection I was off to bed.

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After a rejuvanating sleep, probably thanks to the peaceful surroundings I was ready for a whole day of trekking and filling up my camera with photos. Slipped my ECCO 02 shoes on, and was surprised with how breathable they were.

Good morning guys! Roy Macam and Alyanna Martinez were there also, I was glad there were more than a few familiar faces in the group.

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Tall guy in photo is Martin Hein, who is the Business Development Manager for ECCO in Asia. He was with his team from Singapore.

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Up and at ’em.

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We got a covered 4×4 which I was thankful for when the sun started to really come out.

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Bloggers united! Paul aka Paultheprguy was there too!

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The ride is around 45 minutes until the start of the trek, it’s mostly lahar and looks very otherworldly. No traffic, no roads, just an appetite for adventure!

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Kwentuhan underway, I learned about the brand’s origins as well as how Martin started out with ECCO and the brand’s range and commitment to producing quality shoes. Was pretty impressed with the care and detail given to each shoe, it isn’t mass produced and is premium.

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Talking about triathlon now, totally bro-ing out. I found out Martin is training for his first IRONMAN 70.3 Triathlon!

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Quick stop for photos!

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Roy’s ECCO 02 pair!

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Daniel Tan! Mr. Photog, aerial cam extraordinaire!

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Shoe selfie. I like how sleek they are without looking too-fashiony. You get what I mean? Classic lines but still stylish without looking overly designed.

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“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” – Dr. Emmet Brown

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ECCO 02 shoes with smart air channelling system and breathable yak leather uppers, which offers more effective heat transportation as well as a waterproof and breatheable GORE-TEX® SURROUND™ membrane.

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Okay, I admit it. I didn’t actually drive. This was more of my shoot with Paul! Haha!

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The trek begins! Daniel must have been carrying 20lbs of camera equipment!

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Admiring nature’s art.

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Here we go!

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Water is no problem whatsoever.

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No trailblazing please. Even if it’s really tempting!

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After a few steep climbs, narrow paths and streams we made it to the caldera!

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And what a site she is! It’s hard to believe this place looked like the end of the world when Pinatubo erupted.

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Friendly reminders were scattered about.

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Requisite OOTD! Thank you Paul! Ray-Ban Aviators, ECCO shirt, APC x Carhartt trousers, ECCO 02 shoes.

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What a view. I was speaking to Martin about how this is how I imagine this is how the Fjords in Norway look like. He has been there and agreed, I have yet to confirm this in the future.

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Paul with his trusty Fujifilm camera! Mirrorless revolution!

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Roy said that swimming was allowed before, but alas no more.

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Daniel’s drone, excited to see his video!

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Utterly breathtaking!

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The walk back!

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“Artsy” shot of Sam.

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Every corner a sight to behold.

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Back by the 4x4s complimentary cleaning was offered, to show how easy to maintain and clean ECCO shoes are. They are clearly a company that cares about the lifespan of a shoe and doesn’t just churn out pair after pair.

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ECCO is exclusively distributed by Store Specialists, Inc. (SSI) in the Philippines. Located at Rustan’s Makati, Glorietta, Bonifacio High Street, Robinsons Midtown, SM Mall of Asia, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Robinson’s Magnolia, Gateway, TriNoma, Fairview Terraces, and Rustan’s Ayala Center Cebu. Visit http://www.ssilife.com.ph for more information!

In Living Color! | Watsons Color Manila Challenge

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I finally got to join an actual color run! I’ve been wanting to join one since I saw the photos from indian holy powder festivals (Holi) where people throw coloured powder into the air and mostly on other people.

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Watsons Color Manila Challenge was at the SM Mall of Asia concert grounds and the perfect starting point which was essentially a big pre-party party with everyone ready to get down and colorful. Sam YG hosted and rallied the crowd to do a warmup and a couple of dance moves.

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I ran the 10K, which was surprisingly challenging considering the number of obstacles and of course the time the run was held! So early! But the climate was perfect and the sun was barely creeping in, but of course I still applied sunscreen. One can never be too sure. It’s like that one song “Don’t forget the sunscreen” which I always remember when heading out for a run, bike or swim. Ah, the triathlete life haha!

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This run featured obstacles which were challenging and a bit daunting at first since you have to get through some of them with people throwing powder at you! But of course seeing how game the other participants were, I eventually just jumped in! My friend Noelle De Guzman (Kikayrunner) paced with me as I had just started building up my mileage again, consistency beats random bursts of sprints any day.

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Finally the finish line! Was too busy taking photos to pay attention to runtimes and PRs which was very refreshing and no pressure! Also saw Mikyle and Dani Baretto at the finish line! Others who joined were Yael Yuzon and Karylle, but they must have gotten an earlier wave so I didn’t get to see them! The run was a whole lot of fun and will be sure to join next year’s one, I encourage others to join also, but of course “Don’t forget the sunscreen”!

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Watch the video to learn about UV rays!

Back To The Island | #SMARTSUMMER

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Talk about action packed! Looks like I am going to have my hands full this Boracay trip! Will try to relax a bit on some days and get some swimming in for my upcoming triathlon. Balance! Though I usually just run one morning and sleep in the rest during labor day. We shall see!