How Victor Basa bulks up ‘the right way’ | Inquirer Feature

The model-actor creates his own exercise programs and watches what he eats to get just buff enough, so he won’t ‘look like a bouncer’


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LIFTING lighter weights builds muscle endurance. NELSON MATAWARAN

In GMA 7’s homosexual-themed teleserye “My Husband’s Lover,” model-actor Victor Basa plays David, a chef and ex-lover of Vincent (Tom Rodriguez). He is buff, as vain gays are wont to be.

Standing almost 5’11, Basa weighs some 170 lbs, thanks to a diet of brown and red rice and weight-resistance training. He taught himself how to pump iron in the correct form for health and aesthetic reasons.

“I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder. Once, I got so bulky that somebody said I looked like a bouncer,” he says.

Then again, he loves to eat, and names his favorite restaurants—Aysee Sisig in Pasig, Som’s, El Cirkulo, Jozu Kin in Burgos Circle and Barrio Fiesta for bulalo steak, which he also cooks at home. The pleasures of life once took their toll. One day, he couldn’t fit into his jeans that he ended up wearing shorts every day.

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BASA’S philosophy: Gain more muscle and strength without injuring one’s self

He then made his own weight-training program and eschewed white rice. He does his own split program at Gold’s Gym at Robinsons Galleria.

“I prefer working out at the gym. As males, we are competitive creatures, so we thrive in a competitive atmosphere,” he says.

Asked how he lost the excess fat and bulked up, Basa cites the benefits of pyramid training, which builds an intense workout as the muscles become overloaded. When the muscles are given weight that they are not accustomed to, they react physiologically to adapt to the stress, thus the increased muscle size or power.

The pyramid program either increases the weights while decreasing the repetitions or decreases the weights while increasing the repetitions or a combination of both. After warming up on a stationary bike, Basa executes push-ups and lifts a light weight to warm up the body and gird him for eventual heavier lifts.

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PULL-UPS using body weight as the ultimate test of strength.

Basa says he creates his program according to how his muscles feel, or until muscles get exhausted from lifting the heavy load. He can lift 200 lbs in a bench press while maintaining the form. However, he doesn’t really overload himself.

He favors lighter weights to build muscle endurance. More repetitions mean more calories burned in a session, compared to lifting heavier weights with fewer repetitions.

Occasionally, he’ll do a selfie to see any improvements on his body mass. “There are calipers and tests to determine the ratio of fat to muscle. Nothing will tell the truth better than the mirror,” says Basa. Or in his case, his photographs.

The results: a 39-inch chest, a 30-inch waistline and bulging biceps.

“I was bulking up but not the right way. I enjoy food. Since my workouts this summer, my trips to the restaurants have decreased. My wallet thanked me for that,” he says. Basa reads online magazines such as Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness, but ignores the training forums. “It’s called ‘bro science.’ Everybody is different. The advice that works for one person will be different for another. These forums are not filtered. I trust the magazines.”

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WARMING up on the stationary bike.

For his diet, he eats oatmeal for breakfast. His household serves brown and red rice for their health benefits. The antioxidants lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and fight free radicals.

With the brown rice, he serves stir-fried broccoli and grilled chicken breast. Basa says he learned how to cook when he stayed in Singapore for a modeling assignment. He picked up cooking tips and recipes from his foreign flatmates. At night, Basa doesn’t deprive himself of his favorite dishes, such as crispy pata.

Off-camera, Basa does podcasts on geeknights or posts on his blog, Still, Basa says he’s found his venue for self-expression. “I’ve tried telling a story through music and writing. But I found it in acting.”

For him, the ultimate wellness program is to take a week off from the computer and even social media. Still, Basa acknowledges their influence, especially on his media career.

“In ‘My Husband’s Lover,’ we were surprised by the reaction. We were trending for 27 days on Twitter. That’s a lot of clamor for the TV show.”

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At left, with fellow GMA 7 actor Rafael Rosell at Gold’s Gym in Victoria Tower, Quezon City

Rainy Days equal Music Videos | Volcano Choir

Here’s a video from Justin Vernon’s (Bon Iver) side project Volcano Choir, to relax your Monday nerves. It’s a great track for the rainy days ahead, starts of slow and builds up into a powerful emotionally charged song.

Director: Michinori Saigo
Director of Photography: Toshihiko Kizu

Volcano Choir
Artist Page…

Volcano Choir – “Byegone” from ‘Repave’ out September 3, 2013 on Jagjaguwar

Using Data to Keep Fit | Samsung S Health

photo b2_zpsef159745.jpg Health is such an important word or term thrown around nowadays, it’s associated with lifestyle, well being, or even the latest fad diet or gimmick meant to shave off pounds without much effort. When making a toast to somebody, good health is rarely ever unmentioned. So what is it if it isn’t just the fitness regimens, cleansing crazes or calculated meal portions delivered to your door? Essentially when I think of health, it’s achieved by one’s activity level daily (i.e.: meters walked, staircases climbed, as well as intake choices such as sisig platters and extra orders of rice reluctantly avoided) but who really has the time to count footsteps and jot down meals in a little notebook when trying to maintain a fairly healthy lifestyle? Luckily for us, we really live in the age of convenience where your email, social network accounts (Facebook, instagram, foursquare, et cetera) are all rolled up into little wonders we know simply as our cellphones. One can very well document their existence (duly curated of course) on one’s Samsung Galaxy S4 or other variant. Which is a really wonderful thing considering many of us really lead such interesting and incredible lives.

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with a truly unique prospect for all of us to further our pursuit of salubrity and happiness, dubbed S Health it features little programs bundled up specifically for your well-being. Interesting little suite of programs that make sure you continue to stay active and reach your personal fitness goals. 


Walking Mate

Essentially a pedometer that you start up and keep in your pocket and it measures how many steps you take in a day, the 10,000 step goal resets daily.

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Exercise Mate

A personal favorite of mine, one can select from an extensive list of activities ranging from aerobics, badminton, basketball, bowling, boxing, billiards, hula-hooping, rock climbing, skiing, all the way to weight training and yoga. Enter a total activity time, and an approximation of calories burned is reflected as well as a visual indication of how far you are from your daily activity level goal for the day! 

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Food Tracker

This clever little thing lets one input their meal choices, through another extensive searchable list of foods as well as having a really clever bar code scanner which then searches online databases for food products! So instead of inputting the information manually, one can just take a photo of the barcode of let’s say soda or bag of potato chips and see how many calories it actually has.

photo I31B3244_zps291dbf73.jpgSome delicious burgers and hotdogs on the grill! These are all included in the food tracker’s database!photo b_zps652cd39f.jpg

Comfort Level

This is an interesting one, first time I encountered it on my phone I didn’t know what to expect at all! Apparently it measures ambient temperature and humidity level around an individual and determines if it is actually comfortable in a certain place. You can also customize your preferred parameters so it really meets your standards in terms of comfort.

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I really appreciate having these ingenious little programs that assist and break down activities into numbers and figures because it’s then easier to measure which areas need improvement or need to be focused on. Of course these tools only help out and can never replace plain old sweaty effort and dedicated time working out and training but the suite helps develop habits which can help you get into the groove and lead you towards achieving your personal fitness goals.

Get the Samsung Galaxy S4 at Plan 1599 from Globe Postpaid, and customize the way you experience postpaid with the My Best Ever Plan.

Check it out here!>

Back In Black | Monotone Movement

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Summer’s definitely over but if you’re like me then you’re still wearing pastels and bright colors even well into the nighttime. Hopeless, or so I thought. Definitely going back to my roots, I chose to select pieces of a more understated nature. I went to Guess the other day and found a bunch of black clothes ready to look like a murder of crows. Back in Black most definitely but still retaining a sunny disposition. See the pictures below. 

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photos by: @iamMavzx

“NYTLYF” Tee by GUESS | Coated Denim Jeans by Guess | Shoes by SUPERGA | Casio Watch | Asprey Leather NATO Strap (worn as bracelet)

Shout out to GUESS! Happy to be working with you guys!


My Husband’s Lover | SUPREME Shoot BehindTheScenes

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I’ve been a little quiet lately on this blog, pretty much due to the fact I’ve been running around which is a really good thing in my opinion. In addition to Appetite Wars, I’m currently taping episodes of GMA 7’s new hit show “My Husband’s Lover” directed by Dominic Zapanta and written by Suzette Doctolero (Encantadia, Amaya, Indio) I play one of the antagonists vying for affection while caught up in a web of complicated circumstances.

It’s a great show and I urge all of you to watch it, it’s on weekdays 9:30PM on GMA7. Here’s a behind the scenes from the pictorial Dennis Trillo, Tom Rodriguez and I had the other week for Philippine Star’s SUPREME.

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I’m really happy with this project, flexing acting muscles and whatnot. The cast and crew is really supportive as well, which really takes a bit of the weight off one’s shoulders given how demanding the roles can be. I’m also thankful to everyone as to how positive the response has been for such a daring show. Thank you all and I hope you continue to follow the lives of Lally, Vincent, Eric, David, Vicky, Elaine, Armando and the struggles and great loves they will experience and live out.

Appetite Wars | 4th of July / Philippine American Friendship Day

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It’s the 4th of July! or Philippine American Friendship Day! Either way, had a lot of fun at Appetite Wars with the usual bunch namely; food editor of Appetite Magazine Migs Borja-Yambao, Editor In Chief Nina Daza-Puyat, of course my co-host Victor Aliwalas, and the rest of the crew you saw in the above photos. Our special dinner party guests were Ornusa Cadness and Sanya Smith, and they were gracious enough to lend their food expertise in good humored spirits. Set production was astounding, the room really transformed into a cheeky white picket fenced American dinner party. I won this round, but it isn’t really about the competition per se as it is about bringing the best in our competing Appetite Warriors (chefs) to impress and please our guests.

Catch Appetite Wars, Mondays 6PM on 2nd Avenue.

Best Shoe Forward | Fancy Footwear

If you must only own five shoes (or if there’s room for only five pairs given your limited closet space) make sure they’re the ones on this list. Let me tell you why they’re the best you can have.   

Converse Jack Purcell

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This classic tennis shoe from Converse just looks like quality, from the clean lines and the signature “smile” on the toe. Jack Purcell designed this in 1935 with durability and protection while on the badminton courts. While similar to Chuck Taylor All-Stars, Jack Purcells are seen less in the wild and retain their vintage appeal more. Choose solid colors.

Hussein Chalayan x Puma Disk Blaze

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Heavily ventilated, fused and designed expertly. It’s a glimpse into the design mind of Hussein Chalayan that has brought forth a shoe that tightens not with laces but with an ingenious disk. This design was utilized before, but was further redesigned to suit modern aesthetics. If you are to wear trainers while in town, I suggest you purchase these.



Gaziano Girling Cooper

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Step up to the red carpet, or any polished place being in your total element. Beautifully designed Gaziano and Girling shoes use the finest leather from Italy, and are all Goodyear welted and stitched with Barbour thread to ensure the highest durability possible with their slim oak bark leather sole. This pair from the Deco line is handsomely streamlined and is the embodiment of the tradition, impeccable craftsmanship and style details that are not seen in ready-to-wear. Putting your best shoe forward means putting a pair of these on.

Red Wing Iron Ranger

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Red Wing Boots are a mark that you favor durability and classic style over quick trends -a pair that will last you a generation or two. The Red Wing 8111 Iron Ranger is as tough as they come, with double layer leather and triple stitching is a great combination with the chrome hardware, speed hooks and hardwearing Goodyear welt construction.


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Perfect this summer and for the beach are these waterproof loafers from Native. They’re even nice enough to wear to lunch when you’re out of the water, definitely an upgrade from the flipflops you’ve been sporting. A customization tip you can also do is add some real laces to give it a real boat shoe feel.