Friday, December 19

By Danah and Stacy   Posted at  4:11 PM   view your body right No comments

The world obviously dictates women how they should view their bodies. Whether its associating dark skin with societal class, or automatically labelling fat people unhealthy, everything projected around you strongly suggests a message on how you should feel about your physical appearance.

I've decided to list down some habits and mindsets that could give you an idea on whether or not you're on the right track when it comes to having positive body-image. I ain't no professional, but being a body love advocate for five years, here are some of the things I've discovered.


1. You acknowledge the truth that you are more than your looks. Sure, you have a rocking pair of legs, really luscious hair, tantalizing eyes, but you don't reduce your being to just your physique. You know that you have skills, talents and gifts to offer the world. You know you ARE MORE than to be just looked at.

2. Comparing your body to someone else is NOT your habit. You recognize that you are your own body, and comparisons paired with complaints (or boastful ego boosts on the other end of the spectrum) are nothing but a waste of time. You only compare yourself with yourself, because you know full well that progress is more important than perfection.

3. You don't let superficial things be the reason of weight loss. "OMG, the Victoria Secret Fashion Show makes me want to run a mile." "My crush told me he'd like me if I lost weight, I'm hitting the gym." "I need diet pills to fit in those!" These statements are all leaning towards temporal (not to mention detrimental) weight loss, with very shallow reasons too. You don't say these things, because you know your desire for fitness comes from a deeper place of self-love, like wanting to live longer to experience your passions, or striving for your optimal health.

4. You don't rely on externals to feel good about yourself. Sure, make up, fashionable clothes and a nice pair of shoes can instantly boost your confidence and make you feel extra pretty, but you don't end up feeling like a horrible-looking monster when these things aren't available to you. You feel great about your skin whether you're in your sweatpants or little black dress, no excuses.

5. You listen to your body. Whether you stop eating when you're about to get full or get enough sleep when the week's stress has been too much, you actually listen to your body and respond to its needs. The human body is a smart instrument that has a mind of its own. It signals you when it's dehydrated, in need of energy, and so much more. You take the time and effort to give what your body demands because you know it deserves your TLC.

6. You call out people who have something bad to say about your body. Although I encourage people to choose their battles, you still have the responsibility to put people in their place and stand your ground when they choose to throw negativity or body hate at you. This also means calling out your family and friends when they start doing a "lait-spree" against strangers or people they don't like. You recognize that body positivity is not just about you, but others as well.

7. You are not afraid of compliments. You're comfortable accepting compliments from people about your body, but you don't let it get to your head. Sometimes, your eyes can only see so much, so when others point out something beautiful about you that you hadn't known, you try to view it from their perspective. Of course you also politely and modestly say "thank you" with a smile!

8. YOUR TURN! Share with me some of your personal practices and habits on viewing your body right. I love hearing from our readers, and maybe I could learn something from you too? Do not hesitate and leave me a comment below! :)

Plump love,

By Danah and Stacy   Posted at  12:26 AM   victoria's secret models No comments
I hate to admit it, but I spend a lot of time exploring Instagram—maybe waaaay too much than I should. I scroll through hundreds of photos in a day, from selfies to memes to quotes to nails to food to ootds, which are (you guessed it!) mostly from women. I believe that you are what you post—captions and hashtags included. I consider social media as a reflection of who you are in the digital world. Everything you upload in your account for your followers (or the public) to see really says a whole lot about the kind of person you are.

If there's one thing that makes me shake my head in disappointment every time I come across it, it's going to be the annoying #fitspiration posts.

I know, I know. This is just one Instagram account for "fitspo". But look around you—it's pretty obvious this is how fitness is depicted in our culture and society today. 

It's not difficult to standardize the fitspo of girls who aren't aware that size doesn't dictate one's overall health and fitness. What they consider as fitspirational are in line with what the media convinces us into thinking that is fit—may it be through magazines, movies, tv shopping commercials, etc.—they're all based on the physical. These girls categorize a certain look, label it "fit" despite not truly researching more about the health of the person who owns the body. It's cookie-cutter "fitness": arms that are less toned and more skinny, thin thighs that do not touch, and a flat stomach with abs. Simply put, any woman who resembles a Victoria's Secret Model is the ultimate "inspiration". (Am I the only who noticed that when you've seen one VS model, you've seen them all? They all have the same body type, which, mind you, only represents less than 10% of the entire female population. And yet, it's what we see everywhere.)

This is why I truly believe that with the way fitspiration posts are trending, it should be replaced with a more fitting term—vainspiration.

Wait, all we see are half naked photos of abs. What does this have to do with overall health and fitness, really? How do we know their bodies look this way because of proper eating habits and exercise?

This is what you'll see when you visit @fitspiration on Instagram. Basically they're sending us the message that this is what strong, flexible, agile, enduring—basically "fitness"—looks like. And this typical, illusory portrayal doesn't end on Instagram. Just the other day, I was driving along EDSA and LOL'ed in disbelief at the copy of this Biguerlai tea advert that flashed on the LED billboard alongside a photo of Marian Rivera in a sports bra: "Tiyan na flat, yan ang sikat!" I mean, really? Now they get to dictate what kind of body part are in style for the season? How lazy can these people get with marketing their product? Ugh. To further make my point, check out the hashtag #wcw on Instagram which features thousands of Women Crushes posted every Wednesday. A bunch are captioned with how envious girls are of these celebrities' "hot" bodies, and sometimes, even how badly they'd suffer from the torture of a crazy diet fad just to look like them. :(

Let's face it, we're living in a narcissistic society. We see millennials get obsessed with people who are self-obsessed. Case in the point—the Kardashians. I don't know what real talent they have (I don't care what the heck Kim says, balancing a martini glass on your butt is NOT talent in a sane, rational person's book) and still they have millions of followers. All because they have lots of money, they look good, and they dress well. This obsession with vanity is being taken way too far. That's why we read of a woman who is in a debt of 30,000 USD for undergoing a bunch of cosmetic surgeries to look exactly like Kim K. That's why a young man who copies Justin Bieber's face (by spending 100,000 USD on plastic surgeries) makes headlines, and why there are living Barbies and Kens walking our planet in this day and age. 

Sure, it's easy to assume that a person with 6-pack abs is fit, but it's also quite dumb. As mentioned, flat stomachs, perky breasts, and washboard abs can already be bought these days. I'm not discounting the fact that some people work hard to get the body they want, but my main point is: how do we distinguish the ones who worked hard for their bodies from the ones who went under the agonizing pains of plastic surgery or detrimental diets if a picture is our only basis of one's fitness? How sure are we that it wasn't airbrushed and contoured to look toned in the first place? Or even worse, photoshopped??? And how do we know that these lean "fitspo-worthy" people are doing it all for health's sake? How do we know if the bodies that gain so much likes and approval on Instagram aren't starving from crash diets? Or suffering from an eating disorder? Or aren't abused with sleepless nights of parties, drugs, alcohol, and cigarette-smoking? How do we know based on a single photo?

Less than 10% of the women's population have this body.

I'm not declaring that it's a crime to want to look good by losing some weight. I am a friend and a fan of the very fitspirational Ronita, who shed 100+ pounds from her then 300-pound body for health's sake (she's super into fitness that she even has her own gym clothing line!). All I'm saying is that women shouldn't get too caught up with having a body looking like Anne Curtis', or Ellen Adarna's, or Kylie Jenner's. Undoubtedly, they are slender women who exude sexiness. But as far as their health is concerned, we know very little about it. We don't know what they feed their bodies with and how healthy and active their lifestyles really are.

This is NOT the mindset to have when pursuing fitness, at least for me.

If you're to ask me what kind of woman is worthy to be a fitspiration, it would be these women (below). Real fierce fitness warriors. It's about time we idolize women who possess genuine strength, passion, perseverance, and self-discipline. Women who focus on their overall wellness—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually—rather than the shallowness of merely looking good naked. And I'm not limiting fitspiration to women athletes. Anybody you know who's simply trying their best with consistency and tenacity to be their fittest can be an inspiration. She could be a grandma who didn't let her age stop her from committing to a healthier lifestyle. He can be a fat man with a big stomach who happens to swim 20 laps daily in an olympic-sized pool. She can have one less of a leg and still be running marathons. It can even be Nick Vujicic, a man born without limbs (yep, no arms, no legs) who didn't let the way he looked hinder him from shining as the superstar goalie of his high school soccer team! 

Click to zoom. These women are all Olympians. See how diverse these athlete's bodies are? You can't box fitness.

I hope this post doesn't get misinterpreted as me hating on women with "perfect" bodies because I'm "jealous". Let's get over that lame conclusion against the motives of my articles, shall we? :) Perhaps I'm just sick and tired of this generation being too starstruck with merely hot bodies and beautiful faces. Maybe I'm just seeing the dangers of deeming a certain body type as fit, as it can lead young girls and boys into thinking that if they don't look like that, they're unhealthy, despite their bodies being in great condition. All I know is I need to awaken the young ones of this society to realize the things that truly define one's health and fitness.

I just hope more women would be honest enough with themselves to admit if they weren't really after health, but vanity instead. Once this reality comes to surface, then it would be easier to make the necessary adjustments on perspective, thinking, and behavior to rectify seeing their bodies in a superficial way.

Real care of one's self translates to (1) not comparing your body to anybody else's because you are secure in your uniqueness and (2) doing what you can at your current weight to get genuinely healthy—like being more mindful with what type of nourishment and physical activity you fuel your body with, not to torture yourself but to feel better about you and your body inside-out.

I hope this post encourages you to stop looking at someone else to motivate you to look a certain way or to start prioritizing your health. Why should taking care of yourself be sparked by someone else's external appearance anyhow? Shouldn't that come from your own decision to pursue fitness? You're supposed to look like yourself. Make sure that fitness is your goal, not vanity. Only then will you be able to see your body for what it really is and accept it with loving arms. Soon after, you'll find yourself appreciating your body more and having the desire to deeply nourish it. And this motivation will not end as soon as a different celebrity recognized as the Sexiest Woman Alive entices you with her looks. This motivation will last you a lifetime, because it keeps pushing you to become a better version of you without the nagging, irritating voice of insecurity in your head that keeps comparing you to a person or a body you will never become.

Love your body, love yourself, and most of all, love the One who blessed you with it. :)


Wednesday, December 17

By Danah and Stacy   Posted at  5:34 PM   vivo city No comments

Our mom gifted us with a trip to Singapore during the first week of December as an early Christmas present, and we couldn't be more grateful! We landed Changi Airport at around 5pm, and we checked in at our hotel right away. Unfortunately, Stacy was being drained by the stomach flu that had caught her the day before, probably from the back to back travels we've been doing, and the bad adobo she ate at the Iloilo airport. We got back from the province just a day before our Singapore trip, only to unpack, repack, and fly out again! By the time we arrived at our hotel room, Stacy was already out of it. My aunt and I ended up going around Plaza Singapura, rushing our window shopping and dinner to be able to feed Stacy once we get back. I just wanted my travel buddy to be back to her usual self for our adventure time!

Checking in our luggage (duffel from Borders)

Breakfast of champs! I consumed this while Stacy rolled her eyes at me as she ate toast and soft boiled eggs due to her food poisoning the day prior.

Ready for take off!

I can't help but thank God for the beauty He created for me (and you, of course)!

Touch down SG!

Our first meal was in Crystal Jade. BEAN CURD ROLL! Yum!



Stacy was finally up and energetic! We went back to Plaza Singapura because she wasn't able to go anywhere on her first day.

I love that Singaporeans are huge fruit lovers! They have skewered fruits for sale almost everywhere. 

OLD CHANGKEE!!! We were so disappointed when the branch in Greenhills closed down years ago. We binged on crab claw and shrimp balls!

LAKSA!!! One of Singapore's specialty. You'll see how much I love this dish. Just you wait.

After looking around and doing some shopping in Plaza Singapura, we headed to Bugis Street to check out their version of tiangge. One thing I love about travelling is being able to be totally independent and explore a new city. My sister and I do not ride the train in Manila, so riding Singapore's MRT was such a thrill.

Bugis Street is 2 stations away from Dhoby Ghaut, the station where we were staying. We were uttering our "oohs" and "ahs" as we walked around their MRT station because of its cleanliness, order and system. We were so impressed! As we lined up waiting for the next train, my mind was playing around a miserable thought: what if Stacy ends up inside the train and the door closes, leaving me behind? As we shuffled with other riders of the train, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS!!! I was holding her hand as we entered the train and then the door shuts right before I could step in (which is actually good 'cos I don't my leg getting stuck in there, hehe)!!! My heart dropped and I panicked as Stacy frantically tapped on the glass, mouthing words I couldn't make sense of. I froze for a good 5 seconds while passengers nearby stared at my weirdness. They were probably wondering what the heck happened to me. After a while, I finally got what she was trying to tell me—"I'll meet you there!" I was sending her messages through our twin wavelength superpowers since we didn't have our phones activated. As soon as the next train arrived, I hopped on and started praying that we get to find each other right away. As it moved slower to my next stop, I saw her sitting there, worryingly looking for me in the crowd. I ran to her and we burst into laughter and people were looking at us like we were crazy. Haha! It was so funny! It seemed like we haven't seen each other in years! After that unforgettable experience, we were ready to shop till we drop!


After a tiring afternoon of shopping, we finally got to eat late lunch! This was Stacy's first real meal in SG: Hainanese chicken rice! 

The hustle and bustle along Bugis Street

I didn't get to buy as much as Stacy did because of the sizes of their clothes and shoes. I ended up buying one pair. I was actually starting to feel bad about my size and was toying with the idea of losing weight... all for the wrong reasons. I had to catch and remind myself that my body image isn't dependent on clothes, and that if I wanted to lose weight, it should be because of my health and fitness, not clothes. I had to rationally think why I was feeling sorry for myself. I shook it off and bought Sephora goodies instead! Hee!

We went back to our hotel to rest for a while and meet up with our good college friend. She's one of our closest friends way back in UA&P and is currently based in Singapore. Thank God for Viber! It makes reconnecting so easy!

She took us to Newton Food Junction for a seafood feast! We've never been here so were ecstatic to try out the food.


This is Po. I asked if I could take pictures of their tiger prawns on display and he posed for my camera right away! Haha! He's so charming!

Catching up while waiting for our food

We ordered fried rice, tiger prawns, cockles and another type of shellfish

Our favorite! Spicy baby squid!

Goodbye, Newton!

I'm loving this man's street style. He seems so tired from work though! :(

MRT selfies as we headed back to our hotel

I am so joyful I got to bond with this bride-to-be! I'm so excited and happy for her. We bonded and talked about what's been happening in our lives. It's amazing how time changes us. I just feel like we've both matured and grown separately over the years we've spent apart, and yet the friendship never vanished. It's one of those moments your heart overflows with fullness. 

Some pasalubongs for my mom and yaya that I bought from Bugis.


En route to Sentosa!

Here's John of Sentosa's ticketing office. Doesn't he look good in blue? Haha!

Our view onboard the monorail


We got a good deal on Resort World's website where we got 13S$ discounts on adult passes with free meal coupons! YAY FOR ONLINE DEALS!

Hurry little girl...


So excited!!! It's our first time in Universal Studios!

Stacy with our aunt


Po enjoying picture-taking with his fangirls

Goofing around

Marilyn noticed I was taking a photo of her and she looked at me!

To our adventure!


One of the best rides ever!!! Transformers!!!

Photo ops before riding The Mummy (I loved every second of it!)

This Egyptian guard scared us as he pretended to bite off our faces! Haha! I'm sure he's Pinoy too!

Lunch time!

This castle doe. I. LOVE. IT!!!

So... I thought he was gonna turn into a prince? Why did he end up a stoned frog (no pun intended)??? HAHA!

We had to cool off the heat with this berry slush!

We were about to leave when we spotted these two minions!!! We just had to take a photo! BELLO!

My top was from @shopbertha on Instagram, shoes from Bugis St., pants from F21+
Stacy's top was from Old Navy, leggings from @BeAmaz1ng Instagram and Birks

I should've bought this baby when I had the chance!!!!!! *tears*

We love laksaaa! Merienda time!

We got back to our hotel room at around 6pm and I was already feeling nauseous and feverish. Going in and out the rides took a toll on my body since it was terribly hot outside and extremely cold inside. Stacy ended up having dinner with Kephren, a good friend of ours who lives there. They just brought me some Indian food to make me feel better. Such a sweetheart, this man! He's one of the volunteers from Singapore—yes, he flew to Manila just to walk in Tacloban for 40 days for Climate Walk! We were introduced by Stephanie, our mamasan, and we clicked right away! He's amazing!


My sister and aunt left me for their last day shopping because I was still down with a fever early on our last day and the rain started pouring! I was planning to treat Keph out for breakfast but we all woke up to heavy raindrops tapping on our windows.

I still had a few dollars left so I tried out the pub just beside our hotel when the skies cleared. I was craving for aglio olio and they have it on their menu! Just my luck!

Changi Airport looking so beautiful and serene

Our last meal. The best laksa I've had in this trip was from the airport!

Because Stacy and I were gushing over this cutie! Heehee!

Touch down Manila!

This is one of my 2014 highlights! 
Thanks for the gift, ma; and thanks for the awesome memories, SG!

I'm so grateful to God for a wonderful opportunity to safely and joyfully travel with my loved ones. :)

Plump love,