2017 Theme

This year is starting out with what seems like one resounding theme: Letting go of all things that no longer serve me. It is about re-evaluating priorities and making hard decisions. From goals to friendships and everything in between. This year is about growth in meaningful ways. It is about being more selective with the things I choose to spend my time on. And most importantly, it is about knowing which things deserve my commitment and support. Anything that diminishes my worth should not have space in my life this 2017.

Here’s why I’m not talking

I have two states of being: talkative and silent. I can talk for hours with anyone about a lot of things. I’m comfortable with absurd, deep, silly, pointless, and whatever type of conversation a moment calls for. I can also be silent not only in my regular forays into solitude. I tend to choose silence when I don’t see the value of talking. If I’m not talking it’s probably because:

1. I have nothing “cool” to say

I’m one of those proverbial pegs that don’t easily fit in certain circles. I’m cool with being “uncool”. I believe that we all have tribes where we fit in seamlessly. I may not get to see the people in my tribes as much or as often as I like, but I take comfort from the fact that they empower me.

2. I’m thinking of how to say things without offending anyone

I tend to say things in an honest and straightforward manner. I come across as cold and logical which baffles me because I’m more like the opposite of that. I do think things through a lot and I’m not afraid to call out any bullshit when I hear it which may be the reasons why I’m sending out this heartless bitch vibe.

3. I’m trying to get a feel of things

I’m slow to warm up. Engaging in small talks is the equivalent of me walking through a field riddled with landmines. But my ignoring anyone isn’t about arrogance which seems to be the conclusion some people jump at. I’m cautious, wary, and unsure of how to deal with people who may be too sensitive for my brand of honesty.

4. It takes time for me to connect, if at all

I find it hard to maintain a conversation with anyone that I can’t connect with even at the most superficial level. There are people I can connect with in an instant. Some of the friendships I’ve been lucky to have over the past years have been built on instantaneous connections. But there are just some people I can’t seem to reach no matter how hard I try. And I guess it’s futile to lament or dwell on that fact. The best thing I can do is move on and let things be.

5. I’m done talking

There’s a limit to the amount of crap I’m willing to take. I’ll try hard to let my voice be heard, especially on matters that could potentially affect not just me but other people around me. But I know when my views aren’t welcome. If I were those who deliberately ignore or try to silence me, I’d be less worried if I voice out contrarian views. What would be more worrisome is when I go silent. And when I say silent, it’s a silence so profound that my ability to care is buried so deep. I’ll have no qualms about quietly watching and doing nothing while everything burns.

Words of Advice from a Brod

Joining a sorority in my first year in college not only meant being part of a sisterhood. It also gave me the opportunity to meet some of the best male friends I have from our sorority’s partner fraternity. One of the things I like about my brods, especially the ones I’m closest with, is their brutal honestly. I can rely on them to call me out on my bullshit and dish out sage advice if needed.

Nates_editedOne brod has become a coach and confidant over the years. He was the one who got me into arnis. And I remember that time when he had enough of my wallowing over my first heartbreak so he brought me to his dragon boat training. He was also my teacher in capoeira. As a longtime practitioner and teacher of martial arts, he’s been one of the few people I can really count on when I need someone to talk to when I’m having a tough time in kendo. When it comes to words of advice, he unfailingly gives me a lot to think about:

I think you are being too dependent on what is taught in class. Do you train morning and night on top of the regular class? It’s not about 1 hour before class additional training. It’s about lifestyle. Are you thinking like a kendoka? Or as someone who does kendo. You were an elite rower. You know what it takes to be elite. Apply your knowledge from other disciplines that you have been elite in to this one. The formula is the same.

Complacency kills. Keep the edge sharp. Train like the old men of war. They survived real combat. Not like this pretend fighting crap. Read Musashi and his book of the 5 rings. There is real wisdom in there.

you don’t do a martial art. you are the martial art. you don’t wield a weapon. you are the weapon. you don’t have a rank. you are the rank.

“the true master of an art reveals it in every action” – samurai maxim from the book ” zen in the martial arts ” by Joe Hyams

Actually having too many techniques for attack is not an advantage. It’s about how many techniques you have mastered. In tourneys I have a maximum of 3 techniques that I have mastered. The trick is having a defense that can’t be breached. When you can’t get hit, you’re only concern will be scoring.

Find the strike you like. Then create a defense based on that strike

Just train until your art is your philosophy. You need to be the sword .

A Samurai will recognize a fellow samurai among simple swordsman.

The body mind and spirit must be one in a fight. You need to allow the art to take over. That is Why you train to embody the art so that you can move without conscious thought. If you are focused on making something work then that is conscious thought.

Skills will tell everyone how to identify a senior. Not skill because of power , strength , and speed but because of simplicity and effortless ease of movement and execution with intent. You can be in a corner alone and your movement will show who you are. I repeat. Work to understand your art. Find the essence of it

A martial artist’s road is a solitary one sis. Who cares what anyone else thinks? You are your own sword . They will not wield yours and vice versa.

And it’s not a sport. It’s a way to enlightenment via understanding the blade. Never degrade your system by calling it a sport.

It’s the mindset sis. The objective is to kill your opponent without getting hit. So how do you that? When you know what method of killing your opponents you prefer then you practice it to the point that it becomes second nature for you. When you fight or spar you will be responding without conscious thought.

Women in Sports PH – What happened in the past three months

IMPULSE PH participants have been busy in the past three months since the seminar. I have been trying to keep track of what my tribe mates/sports sisters have been up to as part of  a project I will be doing beginning the second half of the year. Here’s something I made that provides a glimpse of what some of the IMPULSEPH ladies have been up to so far:





How will your 2016 be?

So a friend took this quiz and it got me curious. I thought I might as well give it a try for fun. I’m loving the results  although I’m curious about number 1. I haven’t really thought of owning a car. I even flatly refused my dad’s attempts to convince me and my sisters to let him buy a new one. This was about two years after he wrecked his car in an accident that traumatized us.  Still, I don’t mind it being there. One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that nothing’s absolute. Who knows, I might develop a liking for driving and owning my own car. For now, I’d be happy with the rest.

2016 for me

[How will your 2016 be? quiz]

Kids Playing Amazing Dodgeball

The winning team kept it simple. They were strategic, synchronized, focused, efficient, and effective. And I love how they have girls on their team! Cute and impressive! It may seem like they took the game way too seriously than their opponents. But I don’t think so. People of all ages just play differently. Some could be a bit intense, but that doesn’t mean they’re not having fun. It could be that for them seriously going at it and giving their best may be their idea of fun.

Well-played, both teams!


May the Chill be with you — with the $10,000 moving, life-size R2-D2 refrigerator!


スクリーンショット 2015-10-30 7.40.39 のコピー

With the release of Star Wars Episode VII less than two months away, fans (and merchandise manufacturers) are naturally hyper-excited about the myriad Star Wars related gadgets, as well as foods and drinks, that are hitting the market around the world.

Now, it looks like we may have found the ultimate collector’s item for Star Wars fans. It’s cute, it beeps, it’s a limited edition made-to-order item and best of all, it can bring you a cold can of beer—it’s the life-size, moving R2-D2 refrigerator, and it can be yours for a cool US$9,000!

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Things an INTJ May Leave Unsaid to Keep the Peace

~If you already know about the things I said as you often claim, then why aren’t you doing anything to act on them?

~I can read through you no matter how much you try to convince yourself that I can’t.

~I know you’re lying, but I won’t call you out since I seem to be the only one among us here who notices it.

~Last time I checked, I didn’t sign up for a popularity contest. So rest easy because I’m not competing with you.

~I’m trying to find something about you that I can respect. But it’s proving to be harder than I thought.

Virgo friends are all kinds of awesome

(Image from pixabay.com)
(Image from pixabay.com)

I went to Manila last July to lodge my Schengen visa application. My appointment was on the morning of the 6th so I booked a flight a day earlier than my schedule. I’ve learned my lesson in 2010 when I missed my appointment at the China embassy in Makati. This was because my early morning flight to Manila got cancelled due to a typhoon.

It was drizzling when I arrived in Manila. There was a typhoon somewhere in Luzon but there was no storm signal raised in the area. Still, it rained non-stop the whole time I was there. Despite the bad weather, there were friends who went out of their way to spend time with me. One of them even hosted me at their home. It was after I got home that I realized that these friends had one thing in common — they were all Virgos.

Virgo friend #1

My Virgo friend/sorority sister and our brod said they would meet me for lunch at Mega Mall. I chose the place because I wanted to eat at a Japanese restaurant there. The resto’s owned by a Manila-based senpai in Kendo who I’ve recently met.

Given the nasty weather, I was half-expecting my sis to cancel. My flight arrived at past 1PM. While it was a Sunday and traffic was lighter than usual, it still took me long to get there. I was really touched that they waited to have a late lunch with me. They were even there already hours earlier than our scheduled meet-up.

I couldn’t stay long at that time because another friend was waiting for me in Makati. The rain was also getting heavier. In my mind, I began worrying that I might have a hard time getting a cab. To my surprise, my sis volunteered to drive me and my brod to Makati. I know that it was not easy for her because she still had a long drive back to Quezon City as the rain continued relentlessly.

Virgo friend #2

My club teammate and I became close when she joined the women’s crew we formed for the Asian Championships in Japan in 2002. It was a great experience that bonded us together. Since then, she’s always been there through thick and thin. She’s the type who never forgets and makes time to connect. She even sent me emails when I was staying abroad for a few months many years ago.

I initially planned to book a room in a hotel near the embassy to make sure that I’m early for my appointment. She volunteered to host me when she heard about it. She said that she always leaves early for office since her dad has to drop her and her brother off to work before 7AM. I was happy to accept the offer. We found out later that it was actually a great plan since her office is just about 200 meters away from the embassy. Suffice to say, it was a most convenient arrangement.

Virgo friend #3

I met Virgo friend #3 during my national team days. She lived in the same tower where the women’s athletes quarters (dorm) were at that time. She has been a friend for quite a long time and we’ve shared a lot of things together over the years.

One memorable experience I’ve had with her was when a strong typhoon battered Manila several years ago. I was on my way to training when the storm got worse. The flood was already waist-high when I arrived at the corner of the street near Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC). She braved the howling wind, heavy rains, and rising floodwaters to meet me and help me get to the safety of RMSC.

In last July’s trip, we planned to meet in Makati after I finished my visa appointment. But the weather was getting worse by the time I was done. I was totally okay with it if she cancelled. Instead, she told me that she’ll just meet me at the airport. This was after I told her that I plan to go there already because I didn’t want to risk getting caught in traffic. It was past 10AM and my flight was at 6PM. I was willing to wait for hours at the airport than risk missing my flight.

My friend arrived only a few minutes after me. And she stayed with me until I had to go to the gate to wait for boarding.

Looking back in those two days, I feel grateful for having great friends who continue to surprise me. I went to Manila hoping to get a Schengen visa. And I got more than what I came for.