I get it, you’re a coffee lover like me :).

I know how hard it is to find a nice and cozy coffee shop around Quezon City, especially if you are from the North. I’ve struggled for quite some time to find a coffee shop that will really satisfy me. I’m tired of Starbuck’s brewed coffee, for my opinion the coffee of McDonalds for 25 pesos is just the just same with their coffee.  So I would go for a 25 peso coffee instead of their overpriced coffee.

I have been travelling to Asia for years, I went to Vietnam last 2016 and omg! they have the best coffee ever!!! For coffee lovers you really need to go to Vietnam and buy a ton of coffee to bring home. Laos has really good and very French style coffee shop as well , I loved the brewed coffee there together with Cheese Cake (the best combo ever!). If you’ve been to Thailand, they have a lot of small coffee shops in there too with really good coffee. I’ve been to different places in Thailand and they never failed me with their coffee. Believe it or not even the 711 in Thailand has a good coffee and pastries. I compared all of the coffee from the different countries in Asia I’ve been, and Vietnam is the winner, you must try a Vietnamese Coffee  ASAP.

Here’s my good news!

There’s already a nice coffee shop in Quezon City, it is the Retro Coffee Shop along Susan Road in Novaliches. They served different variety of coffee… they have coffee from Thailand, Vietnam and also local coffees from Sagada and Davao.  Yes! No need to go to Thailand and Vietnam to taste their coffee. I really love this coffee shop is very clean, the design is very Retro and it feels like home. The staffs are very accommodating and they are very nice. There is enough parking space in their area, actually they also own a Car Wash shop so if you wanna have your car clean, just go in this coffee shop while waiting for your car isn’t it nice!

1. It is 40 times stronger than Blueberries for antioxidants.
2. It has more calcium than Cow’s milk and is definitely lactose free
3. For people who need Iron in their diet, it has the highest plant-based source of Iron.

The top reason to eat cacao is that it taste like hot chocolate. In fact it is hot chocolate—real hot chocolate.

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make real hot chocolate with Cacao (Tablea).

Living in Manila, a packed city of 1.7 million people, can be a drain on you. The noise, the smog, the traffic become too much after a while. Luckily, there is a nearby escape that doesn’t require a plane ticket out of the Philippines metropolis. I’m talking about Antipolo City.

By Grab, Antipolo Rizal is only about a 400 PHP ride away from Makati. In distance, it is around 28 km from downtown Makati. In regular traffic, it takes a little over an hour to get there. Once you get to Antipolo, though, it feels like a world away.

Day 1:

Check-in at LeBlanc Hotel Resort, 3 Taktak Rd., Antipolo, 1870 Rizal, the Philippines

Choose LeBlanc Hotel if you want to stay in a new hotel that is centrally located. The hotel is across from Robinson’s Place and directly behind the Antipolo Public Market.

As you can surmise from the name, the LeBlanc Hotel is painted white inside and out. It is a minimalist designed theme. Being all white, it is no surprise that it is a popular venue for weddings. Indeed while I was there, a wedding party was also there.

The staff at the hotel is very accomodating. There are many staff members. They include trainees. No worries though. Even the trainees are good at making guests feel welcomed.

There is an outdoor pool on the same floor as reception desk. The restaurant offers a good selection of Filipino food including Salmon Sinigang and Bulalo. If you are craving a Western meal, I did notice Grilled Steak on the menu. And yes, there is a full bar.

The rooms are bright. They do run a bit small, especially the Single Deluxe. I recommend booking the Twin Deluxe. Also request a room on the poolside. You will hear less noise from the cars on the main road.

The Crescent Moon Cafe Antipolo City

Lunch at The Crescent Moon Cafe and Studio Pottery, L. Sumulong Memorial Circle, Sitio Parugan, Dalig, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal, the Philippines

After we got settled in our room, we were famished. So off we went to start our adventure in this “art town.” The destination was The Crescent Moon Cafe. It is about an 80 PHP ride from LeBlanc Hotel via trike. Uber costs about the same. There are less Uber cars in Antipolo as compared to Makati, so you may have to wait for a little while to find a driver. Trikes are everywhere though so that is a good transportation choice.

Upon arriving, the first thing you will notice about The Crescent Moon Cafe are the canopy of trees that shade the property. There is a fish pond too so you will hear the relaxing sound of water flowing. We felt immediately at ease. The painted mural put our minds in the proper mood to be artistic, even if we are only talking about lunch.

Try the Alagao. It is a signature dish that is good for 2 or 3.

We also had the Vietnamese Chicken Wings with Mayo Mulberry Sauce.

Both were delicious.

As for the drink, we had the superfood drink called Moringa Calamansi. That was good too. It paired well with our healthy lunch.

For dessert, we had the homemade Suman at Mangga. It tastes a lot like Mango Sticky rice which is one of our favorite dessert combo.

After eating, you can stroll the grounds. People make pottery here so you can certainly try your hand at creating something that is truly your own. It is easy to spend a few hours here.

Alagao

Alagao

Vietnamese Chicken Wings

Vietnamese Chicken Wings

Vietnamese Chicken Wings

Suman at Mangga

Watch Sunset at Cafe Augusta, Grand Heights Rd, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal, the Philippines

One of the top things to do in Antipolo in the early evening is to enjoy a view of the sunset with the Manila skyline as a backdrop. On this first night, we decided to watch the sunset from the outside tables at Cafe Augusta.

The Peak 360 Spa

We arrived 2 hours before sunset in order to secure a good table. Lucky for us, the Peak 360 Spa had a soft opening. It didn’t take too much persuasion to get us in there for a one hour massage. We tried the hot stone massage. That one hour went by too quickly it seemed. But we were completely refreshed for our sunset viewing.

The spa is steps away from Cafe Augusta.

Day 2

After our lovely first day in Antipolo, we woke up feeling recharged, alive, and well. We were ready to embark on our soul rejuvenating journey. But first, we needed to fortify ourselves with the most important meal of the day — breakfast.

Breakfast at LeBlanc Hotel

A breakfast buffet was included in our room rate. The lineup included rice, a meat dish like fish or pork adobo, ham, scrambled eggs, cereal, toast, fruit, and waffles or pancakes depending on the day. Fresh brewed coffee was also served. Yay.

Day at Pinto Art Museum, Grand Heights Rd, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal, the Philippines

We were excited to go explore the Pinto Art Museum after we had our breakfast. The ride from Le Blanc to the Pinto Art Museum was about 80 PHP by trike or Uber.

It was a cloudy day so we were apprehensive about being able to enjoy the museum. We weren’t sure whether it would rain.

It did rain a little bit but there was plenty of shelter to wait it out. The museum is larger that we thought so allot plenty of time to see the whole place. There are also many Instagramable backgrounds so set aside plenty of time for picture taking too. Needless to say, there will be queues as you wait for your turn to do your selfies at certain choice exhibits.

One day at the Pinto Art Museum convinced us that Antipolo is the art capital of the Philippines.

Dinner at Tahanan Bistro, 22 Loresville Drive, Lores Farm Subdivision, Antipolo, 1870 Lalawigan ng Rizal, the Philippines

We took a trike from the Pinto Art Museum to the Tahanan Bistro after our tour. Like most destinations in Antipolo, it was a relatively short ride. We only got a little lost because the trike driver was confused that a restaurant would be located in a residential neighborhood. Since it was our first time, we didn’t know what to expect either.

I guided the trike driver using my Google Maps GPS. It led us to a narrow residential street. He dropped us off and quickly sped away. So there we were, standing in front of an old oversized door, in the middle of the street. Yet that was what the GPS guided us too.

It took us about a minute of staring before we tried to get the door to open somehow. First we tried “Open Sesame”. No effect. Then we tried “Abracadabra”. No effect. Next we tried the unlocking charm from Harry Potter. No effect. The fourth attempt better work because we were getting hungry. And did I mention that it was dark?

The fourth attempt was reaching for the oblong ball shaped lever on the top right of the door and using it to tap on the wooden door. Tap. Tap. Tap. The sunflower face ornament moved and we saw a person’s eye peering at us from behind the door.

“Yes?”, she asked. We felt like door-to-door salespeople. “Uhhh, we’re looking for the Tahanan Bistro”, we replied timidly. “This is Tahanan Bistro. Do you have a reservation?”, the voice with the peering eye said from behind the door. “No, we don’t”, was my honest answer. Then silence.

A moment later, the door opened just a crack. The woman looked us over from behind the door. I think she wanted to make sure that we weren’t vagabonds. Then she told us, “This is a reservation only restaurant. We are fully booked for tonight. We serve set menus. It is 1,200 PHP per person.”

Wow. That was a lot of info that she blurted out. It was dark. We were hungry. So we were desperate. “Sorry we didn’t know. We are from out of town. The trike just dropped us here. We have no car. But we do have 1,200 PHP”, was what I remembered saying to her.

“Wait here. Let me go the kitchen and see what I can do”, she said and closed the door.

So we waited. We had no other choice. This must have been how Mary and Joseph felt trying to find a vacant inn. At least we had mobile phones with charge and a signal showing 3 bars.

Finally, the door opened again. This time, it opened all the way and we were welcomed inside. What a miracle.
Once inside, we were struck by the beauty of the place. Imagine an expansive garden, finely carved wood, a stream, a canopy of trees, foliage, and a view of Laguna de Bay all in one take. That would be the property that is called Tahanan Bistro.

It was night time so we had the added bonus of the city lights from down below since we are on the hills of Antipolo.

It would be a bon appetite night for sure. We ordered Tindalo and Yakal Set Menus.

Our dining experience at Tahanan Bistro was absolutely first rate. We made a mental note to go back so that we could see the museum in the day time. We also heard that they changed the menu regularly.

Day 3

This was our last day in Antipolo. We wanted to try another restaurant so we skipped breakfast at LeBlanc and headed to a place that a friend recommended. It was nearby so the trike ride was only a few minutes.

Breakfast at Casa Abuela, 167 Ortigas Avenue, De la Paz, Antipolo City, Luzon 1870, the Philippines

This is a Filipino restaurant with some very California influenced dishes. It also has a bakery. This is a perfect place for breakfast. Try the California inspired burrito. It is a big portion so you can share.

Thunderbird Resorts, 1940 Eastridge Ave, Binangonan, Rizal, the Philippines

Since this was our last day in Antipolo, we had a longer list of places that we needed to see before heading back down the hill to Manila. The first stop was Thunderbird Resorts. It is only about 10 km from LeBlanc Hotel. You can take an Uber car. Once you are there, it feels like you’re really far away from civilization. And that is a good thing.

When we arrived at the resort, we immediately made a mental note to self to try staying at this place the next time we are in Antipolo. The property is well manicured, has a nice pool, and a great view.

We had a drink at the Koi Restaurant. Hung out by the gazebo. Checked out the views. And generally just chillaxed. The setting was enough to put us into a great state of mind for the rest of the day.

Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Daang Bakal Rd, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal, the Philippines

Our time at the resort was way too short. But we had to head down the hill and back towards LeBlanc Hotel. Since we saw many wedding parties at our hotel, there must have been a church nearby. Sure enough, that church is none other than Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Apparently this was where a couple of famous Filipino celebrities got married so it must be really nice.

We took Uber to the church and when we arrived, we were definitely not disappointed. The architects did a great job of integrating this modern designed church into the hill and forest surroundings. Try the station of the cross. It was a good journey.

Hinulugang TakTak Falls, Taktak Rd, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal, the Philippines

About 1000 meters or less down the road from the church is Hinulugang TakTak Falls. There is a small entrance fee. The fee is higher if you are a foreigner.

From up top, the falls doesn’t look so impressive. However, as you descend the steps it gets nicer. There are picnic tables and a pool area. If you plan to have spend a day there, you can. This would be a good place for families with young children.

Dinner at Vieux Chalet Swiss Restaurant, 456 Taktak Rd, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal, the Philippines

Since Antipolo was so much about the views, we decided to have our last dinner of this trip enjoying a final view of Manila from atop the hill. We also wanted to try Swiss food since we normally eat Filipino food. Vieux Chalet hit the checkboxes so off we went.

We took a trike to the restaurant. After that journey, I suggest that you take a car instead. The hills gave the trikes a bit of a workout.

The restaurant looks like a genuine European cafe. We arrived early enough so that sun was still far from setting. It allowed us to check out the property and afforded us our choice of dining table.

The menu is also set. The portions are large, as in European large, so plan accordingly.

In terms of ambiance, the place is quite romantic. The jazz mix that they played was perfect for relaxing and enjoying the meal.

Tomorrow we have to head back to the hustle and bustle of Manila. But the 3 days spent here in Antipolo was very close to perfect. It would have been more perfect if we had more time to stay for even longer. Antipolo is a hidden gem. It is much easier to get to than Tagaytay. It has less wind yet still is cool. The food and the art and the people here are first rate. Antipolo is a Real Pinay winner destination.

If you have been chatting or talking to your Filipina special someone for a while, you may pick up hints of her cultural influence.  Online and over long distance, it is hard to really know about the Filipino culture and its influence on her people. But there are certain things that stand out, especially if you are a Filipino. When I say “stand out”, I really mean they are cultural quirks.

You, as a foreigner, will eventually find out about these quirks. So rather than leaving you guessing and finding out about it later, I’d rather give you the key things that you should know about us Filipinos now. Of course there are many more cultural norms, but these stand out in my mind.

Filipinos Love to Sing

The Japanese may have invented the term “karaoke” but the Filipinos are the ones who fully bring it to life. Filipinos love to sing. When I say “sing”, I mean singing with gusto, — regardless if we have the range or not.  If you are a Filipino, you believe with all your soul that you have the range of Bruno Mars or Ed Sheeran. If you are a Filipina, you know that your voice descended from Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston or Celine Dion… Sometimes all three.

Of course we practice our art.  Every proper Filipino household will own a karaoke machine with a couple of mics.  One will be working and the other will be broken. It’s just the way it is from regular use. In addition to the Philippine National Anthem – “Lupang Hinirang”, the top 10 songs from the top 3 divas would have been memorized by all members of the household.

With this knowledge in mind, you may be able to score points with your Filipina by asking her what is her favorite song to sing.  If you encourage her, don’t be surprised if she actually sings for you. It can be sweet or it can be bad. No matter. Just go with the music. In fact, you will score bonus points with her if you can perform as well. Don’t be shy. Filipinos love to sing and they love even more those who can sing (or at least try).

Filipinos Are Superstitious

Superstitions are irrational beliefs borne out of some ancient story. It is passed down from one generation to another. Since we hear about it starting at a young age, it often leaves an impression on us and can affect our behaviour. Every culture has superstitions, but for some reason, Filipinos seem to have a lot. It affects the older people, especially in their day to day life.

Here are some common superstitions. See if you recognize some of them in your culture:

  • A pregnant woman eating a twin banana will have twins. This makes sense, right? Banana DNA and human DNA are linked somehow.
  • If you open an umbrella inside the house you will bring bad luck to your household. This makes sense from a safety perspective. You might knock something over or bang someone with that huge umbrella.
  • To properly prepare a new house, you should bring salt, rice, water, and a religious image. This makes sense to me. Bring in some food into that empty house so you won’t go hungry. We can’t live without our rice.
  • Don’t comb your hair or cut your nails at night. This will cause your parents to die an early death. It’s best not to groom yourself at night. Don’t worry. People won’t be able to see your unkempt hair and long nails at night anyways.
  • Speaking of the night, don’t sweep the floor either at night. This will cause your good fortune to be swept away.  Oh well. Only one thing left to do at night then if I can’t sweep, comb my hair or clip my nails… Oh wait. Maybe that’s why Filipinos have large families.

Filipinos Wear a Slow Watch

There is a special way that Filipinos tell time. 09:00 means 09:30 or sometimes 09:48. “I will be there in 30 minutes” means “I will be there in one hour.” Welcome to Filipino time.

If you want someone to show up at a certain time, keep in mind their Filipino timezone and add some extra time to the clock.

 

To be fair, not all Filipinos are tardy. Some are tardy because of the unpredictable nature of traffic in the Philippines, especially in Manila. I’m talking about street traffic as well as the long queues even to take public transit like MRT and LRT.

So if your Filipina is late for your scheduled meeting, you will know why.

Filipinos Love to Celebrate

If there is a chance to get together, share food, have drinks, eat cake, sing karaoke, play games, we Filipinos are there!  We celebrate Fiestas which are the birthday of the patron saints. We celebrate all birthdays and key birthdays of children. We celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ, sometimes as early as late August. Our Christmas celebrations lasts until the first week of January.

I think this has to do with our close knit family mentality. If you visit the Philippines, chances are good that you will be invited to a celebration or a get together of some sort.

Keep these cultural knowledge in your back pocket so that you better your Filipina’s perspective. For more and deeper insight into the real pinay’s mind so that you can totally win her heart, subscribe to my newsletter. It will be worth it in love and affection that you will get from your Filipina. I promise.

It seems like every culture has some sort of comfort food. Here in the Philippines, it is no different. Ginataang manok is one of our comfort food. In this case, though, it also has superfoods as its ingredient. So you can have a delicious meal and feel good that you are filling yourself with high quality nutrition.

Ginataang manok is made with coconut milk, green papaya, and moringa normally. We call moringa “malunggay” in Tagalog. Malunggay is easily found here. However, it may not be easy to find in countries like the US or Europe. So in this recipe, I will substitute malunggay with spinach. Fortunately, they are both considered superfoods.

Ingredients:

 

  • Chicken, whole chopped up;
  • Green papaya, small;
  • Spinach, bunch;
  • Onion, one;
  • Garlic, 4-6 cloves;
  • Ginger, 2 fingers;
  • Jalapeno, 3;
  • Thai chili peppers, 3;
  • Coconut milk, 14 ounces;
  • Coconut oil, 2 tablespoons;
  • Paprika;
  • Salt;
  • Pepper.

Preparation:

Slice the onion, dice the garlic, and cut the ginger into strips. Also cut the jalapeno peppers lengthwise. Adding the peppers is optional. If you don’t like the heat, you can omit them.

Heat the coconut oil in a big pot. You can check to see if the oil is ready by dipping in a wooden spoon. If you see bubbles around the spoon, the oil is ready. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 2 minutes and add a couple of pinches of salt.

Add the cut up chicken and stir fry until the chicken is light brown. Don’t overdo this step otherwise your chicken will not be tender.

Pour in the coconut milk. I like to add about 3 ounces of coconut water too. Add about a teaspoon of salt. Add some pepper. Sprinkle in the paprika.

Let the coconut milk come to a boil, then lower the heat and let the chicken simmer for 30-40 minutes so that it will become tender. You may need more time depending on your chicken.

Add the green papaya and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the peppers and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the spinach, stir it into the pot, then turn off the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot with steamed rice

You have probably heard that the Philippines is a Christian country. This is unusual because most countries in Asia are either Buddhist or Muslim.  This was mostly due to the Spaniards who colonized the Philippines and introduced Catholicism to the people.

Today there are about 89 million Catholics out of 103 million Filipinos. Chances are the Filipina that you interested in is Catholic. Thus it is best to understand a few things about the Catholic Filipina and dating.

In her dating profile, she may have put the term “God fearing” woman.  What does this mean exactly?  Simply put, it means that she was raised with Christian values. This includes respecting the family, treating others with kindness, loving God, and generally trying to do the right thing according to the teachings of the Bible. For many Western men, this “God fearing” attribute may be the main reason why they seek a Filipina partner.  

The Catholic Filipina’s religious upbring should be a good thing. She would likely make a loving, devoted and loyal partner for the right guy.  Yet I hear from my friends and blog readers that many of the same guy who seek out the “God fearing” Filipina also want them to be naughty, easy, and hot in bed — all on the first date.  In fact, “that guy” also expects her to be experienced with sexting, x-rated chat, and baring all for the webcam.  That makes my head spin with confusion.

If you are seeking a respectable God fearing Filipina, you need to act like a respectable guy. It is that simple. Don’t treat the woman that could potentially be your long term girlfriend or wife like a bar girl. Most Filipinas on the dating sites are investing their time and energy to find a real relationship. They are not there to play. Their lives are difficult enough juggling family, work and sometimes school.

Here are some simple Golden Rules to abide by if you want to go to the front of the line with your dream Filipina:

  • Ask about her family. Remember that the family is the first form of societal glue in our culture. It keeps us functioning and happy even when most of us don’t have much by way of material things.
  • Ask about our children. Yes it is true that many Filipinas on the dating sites are single moms. We love our children. We are their caregivers. And we would choose them over a guy. But we do need long term companionship and that is why we are seeking the right guy.
  • Ask about our religion. You will likely find out that we go to church every Sunday. We make the sign of the cross and pray before every meal. We pray before going to bed. We pray when we wake up. It is a habitual act as much as it is spiritual. Our families expect it of us and being spiritual is good for the soul.

If you want to go to the back of the line or even get blocked, do these things:

  • Ask for a naked picture or video. Come on, what “God fearing” woman would expose her private parts to some stranger guy online? On the first contact?
  • Ask to go travel with you. Would any respectable woman in your country pack up a suitcase, leave her kids, and fly off to Bali with you for 2 weeks? Before you’ve ever met in person? Before you’ve ever met her family? Her friends?
  • Offer to pay her to see her naked. Now you’ve officially called her a sexual performer. Thank God she is God fearing because she has her family, she has her children, she has her friends, she has her sanity. She doesn’t need you or your money if you are that kind of guy.
  • Ask her to stay in your hotel when you visit. It is a big no-no for her to stay in your place when you meet for the first time. It is not respectable and goes counter to all that she has been taught. She will feel self conscious even with the hotel staff. The look and disdain from her family is not worth it to her.

“So is the God fearing woman boring, listless, and a starfish when it comes to excitement in the bedroom?” You may ask. I don’t think so.

The key to a Filipina’s heart — the key to a woman’s heart is in the space between her ears. We have a mental checklist that we are not even aware of many times. They include the very things that our Christian religion has told us that we should do. Want to know what that checklist looks like?

Here it is:

  • Is the guy responsible? When he says that he will call at 1 pm, does he call at 1 pm? Does the guy call his mother to check on her? Does he talk about taking care of his kids? Does he have a regular job? This is a very Christian concept.
  • Is he thoughtful? Does he remember things about their chat? Did he remember their 1st month chatting? Does he offer to do things for her virtually like getting her coffee? Does he tell her sweet things just because? Jesus was always mindful of others.
  • Does he have a sense of humor? Filipinos are easy going people. We tell a lot of funny stories. We love to laugh. Life is tough. You either laugh about it or you cry. Christ might have said it differently, but I believe that was his message.

Follow the Golden Rules as I laid them out here, pay attention to her checklist even though she may never verbalize it, and you will be 80% ahead of the pack.  To get to the very top of the pack, subscribe to my newsletter and find out from a Real Pinay how to win the heart of the Filipina of your dreams. Approach this the right way and you will have a mentally stimulating, soul stirring, and sexually charged relationship with her especially if she is “God fearing”.

You will notice after talking with your Filipina friend that she mostly likely has a large family. There will be discussions of her parents of course, but there will also be talk of her grandmother, grandfather, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, godparents, and cousins. Oh my, there will be a lot of cousins. If you begin to count, there may be as many as 200 to 1,500 cousins.

Compare that number to about 5 cousins that a typical American has, and chances are your head will spin. Does this mean that each Filipino family has a lot of kids? The short answer is twice as many as a US family. The average Filipino family household size is 4.4 according to the government census in 2015. The US family household size was 2.5 in 2015. Don’t tell that to my mom and dad though. They had 10 of us!

Since the household size doesn’t account for the huge difference in the number of cousins that Filipinos have, there is another explanation for the large number of cousins. Filipinos count the number of 3rd and 4th cousins as their “cousins”.  Since Filipinos have extended families this makes sense. We actually know and keep in regular contact with our cousins, distant aunts and uncles.

All this is to say that family is very important to your Filipina. She shows them respect in the way she talks about them and in the way she talks to them.  You will hear terms like “ate”, “po”, “tito”, and other forms of polite address.  In order to endear yourself to your Filipina and to her family, try and understand the way Filipinos address family members and close friends.

Here is a table to help you navigate how to address her family.

English Tagalog
Grandfather Lolo
Grandmother Lola
Grandparent Lolo at Lola
Father Papa or Tatay
Mother Mama or Nanay
Parent Magulang
Uncle Tito or tiyo
Aunt Tita or Tiya
Elder Brother Kuya
Younger Brother Toto
Elder Sister Ate
Younger Sister Nene
Youngest Sibling Bunso
Sibling Kapatid
Son Anak na lalaki
Daughter Anak na babae
Child Anak
Grandson Apo
Granddaughter Apong babae
Grandchild Apo
Nephew Pamangking lalake
Niece Pamangking babae
Godfather Ninong
Godmother Ninang
Husband Asawa
Wife Asawa
Spouse Asawa
Father-in-law Biyenan na lalaki
Mother-in-law Biyenan na babae
Brother-in-law Bayaw
Sister-in-law Hipag
Cousin Pinsan
I Ako

 

A beach vacation in the Philippines is one of the best ways to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And what better way to rejuvenate than basking under the sun on a picturesque shore? If exercising is one of the important activities in your daily schedule, the only downside to spending a few quiet days in a remote beach town is the distance it puts between you and the gym or fitness training sessions.

Most Filipino scenic resorts lack state of the art training facilities and those that offer gym services as an extra surcharge that will only increase your travel expenditure. If you’re going to stay fit away from your gym while on vacation, then this calls for a little improvising. The truth is you don’t need access to a fully stocked weight room, treadmill or other gym equipment to engage in your regular workouts while on a beach vacation. I will list 5 beach exercises you can do on vacation to avoid breaking your fitness regimen.

Start with a Warm Up

Every workout must always begin with a warm up session. This prepares the body for action and prevents injury. There are different ways to warm up depending on the goal of your workout. Classic warm up moves include lunges, toe touches, cross arm stretches, jumping jacks and high knees. A good warm up should help the joints to loosen up, get your heart pumping and stretch the muscles.

#1: Squats

Compound movements like the squat are very beneficial because they engage more than one muscle group. A simple standard squat will work the muscles that make up your calves as well as the hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps. All you need to do is get in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart then squat down and finally stand upright again to complete one repetition. Aim for at least five sets of 15-20 reps and take 20 second breaks in between segments.

#2: Burpees

Burpees offer a perfect transition from squats. They will work your arms, chest abs, and the same muscles that squats do, thus offering a full body workout.

You will begin this routine in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. Next, squat down and get into a push-up position by placing your hands on the floor and kicking the feet back. Perform one pushup then kick the feet back to the squatting position. Finally, stand up and jump into the air while clapping your arms overhead. Repeat this compound movement several times. Start with at least 5 burpees in a row and work your way up to 15 reps in future sets.

#3: Push Ups

Pushups are another fantastic body weight exercise you can do right on the beach without the need for any special equipment. Place a towel on the ground to keep the sand off your hands. For a good workout, attempt to complete 5 sets of 10 push up each with 30 seconds of rest in between sets.

#4: Crunches/Sit Ups

You will definitely get sand in your hair and on the back when doing crunches or sit-ups at the beach. On the plus side, these workouts will keep you from packing on unwanted belly fat while indulging in all kinds of exotic seafood during your beach vacation.

#5: Sprints

The kinds of exercises you can perform on a beach are not just limited to body-weight routines for strength training. If you want to stay aerobically fit, why not do several 30-40 meter sprints along the shore?

There you have it: 5 simple beach exercises you can do on your Philippine vacation without the need for any equipment. If the workouts mentioned above are part of your everyday fitness routine, consider breaking away from the norm by trying your hand in any available beach sport. From beach soccer and volleyball, to scuba diving, surfing, kite boarding and water skiing, there are a ton of adventurous beach sports that can keep you physically active throughout the vacation.

Because space and weight are premium nowadays when traveling, it is important to take fitness gear that is both lightweight and space conscious. Here are some items that will keep you fit while traveling, but take up little space and add almost no weight to your checked or carry-on luggage.

Yoga Mat

Not just any yoga mat, but a packable one made to be folded and not rolled so that it doesn’t take up as much space. Lay it out flat on the floor once you are at your destination. The folds will flatten out and it will be a constant reminder to get down and use it.

Plus it is a surface that you know where it has been instead of exercising on a floor that could hold any number of unwanted things. You can do several bodyweight exercising from planks to lunges, push-ups and crunches.

Yoga and Pilates are also options for some variety. If you don’t have a routine of either or both memorized, load a video or two of them on your laptop and follow along.

Resistance Bands

These are not only light and conserve on space, but they can take your bodyweight exercising to a higher level while on the road. Most come as sets with different strength bands. The stronger bands can even serve as a suspension trainer in your room or outside.

Fitness Tracker

Sometimes you just want to walk to get some exercise and explore your new destination. By wearing a fitness tracker, you’ll know your heart rate and how many steps you’ve taken and a whole host of other fitness information. Be sure to wear it on travel days too as you would be surprised at the number of steps you get just getting to your departure gate.

Jump Rope

The lowly jump rope is still one of the best cardio workouts that works both the upper and lower body, not to mention increasing flexibility and coordination. It fits the fitness equipment travel criteria of being light and not taking up much space. You can either jump on a smooth floor in your hotel room, around the perimeter of the pool or on a flat surface outside.

These four pieces of equipment take up little room, weigh almost nothing and can provide you with a wide variety of bodyweight exercises. All items can be purchased through a local sports equipment store or from the provided Amazon links. Not only will it help straighten out the kinks of traveling, but will also help clear your mind and keep you in shape.

Just as exercising in weather colder than you are used to can potentially cause some health issues, weather warmer than usual can cause some health issues too … some of which can be life-threatening, namely heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke – the last one being the most dangerous.

To prevent being a heat casualty, there are some things to watch out for when exercising in hot weather. You will need to pay attention to these tips when you travel to the Philippines; especially if you are coming from a colder climate like the USA or Europe.

Time of Day

It is the coolest early in the day, so plan your outdoor exercising in the early morning. In many locations, as the temperature and humidity rises during the day, it becomes harder for your body to rid itself of heat through the evaporation of sweat. Because the air is already humid, the sweat on the skin can’t evaporate as fast and cool you down as much, thus increasing your chances for overheating and a heat injury.

Stay Hydrated

Getting dehydrated in hot weather is a recipe for disaster, but can easily happen. Water normally is the drink of choice, but in really hot weather you can lose a lot of electrolytes too along with water, so a drink containing electrolytes may work better to keep hydrated and the body in balance. Gatorade® or any number of sports drinks work well in hot weather.

Dress for Success

Dress in light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes made out of a moisture-wicking or dri-weave material to get as much moisture (and heat) off of your skin as you can.

Be Smart

While you may be a fitness guru (or at least think you are), if you are not used to exercising in hot weather, you may want to reduce the intensity along with the duration of your workout. It normally takes at least 14 days for your body to adjust to a new climate. Go at a light to moderate rate during this adjustment period and listen to your body.

Wear Sunscreen

While advisable to wear long sleeve shirts and shorts, be sure to apply sunscreen to exposed skin if you are going to be out when the sun is starting to heat up the day. Sunburned skin is not only very uncomfortable, but it doesn’t get rid of body heat through evaporation as well as non-burned skin. Also don’t forget to apply sunscreen on the tips of your ears, nose and be sure and wear a hat that shades your face and sunglasses.

Have a Backup Plan

For days when it is just too hot to exercise, take your workout indoors where it is air conditioned. If traveling. opt to use the hotel or resort’s fitness center or get a day membership at a local gym.

Use these tips to reduce your chances of suffering a heat injury. Not only can they be dangerous, but when once suffered, you are more susceptible to another one again. Exercising in hot weather is not something to be taken lightly. Be safe; exercise smart!

About Maria

Maria Peña is people connector. She created Real Pinay to connect foreigners with authentic Filipinas for friendship, romance, and perhaps even marriage.

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