A Week In Fitness: Day 1

Anyone who knows me well enough would agree that I am not a fitness enthusiast, even if Spotify.me predicts otherwise:


no i don't
I just like listening to Kpop, okay?


I never liked PE, sports, or physical activity of any kind. I loathe the idea of having to move to maintain a healthy lifestyle because I find it so difficult and boring. I also don’t like sore limbs and sweaty clothes.

But I do like the idea of not catching my breath when I climb a flight of stairs, or not being accused of being a heavy snorer. These things, along with a couple other concerns,(i.e. clothing choices) finally forced me to get my fat butt off the chair and get moving.

I haven’t exercised in a while. I work an office job and spend most of my time sitting, so the chances of moving around and being fit are pretty slim. But most of my coworkers do find time to exercise–I’m just a lazy potato who would rather binge on Mad Men than work out.

I know that my health choices aren’t stellar, so I decided to research on some things I could do to help me lose weight. I was scrolling mindlessly on one of my numerous Facebook groups when I came across this post:


I became a tad curious because I wanted to know how these people (who also work from home) manage their health and lifestyle. I scrolled down to the comments and saw this:


Basically, the person recommended T25–a workout I have never heard of, but sounded pretty interesting. I decided to google it and a result from WebMD came up.

Focus T25 is a DVD workout series from Shaun T, the trainer who created the Insanity video workout series.

His T25 program is an intense full-body routine, similar to Insanity or P90X. But for those of us who are too busy to spare 45 minutes or an hour at a time to work out, T25 packs all the benefits of a full-length program into just 25 minutes a day.

The Focus T25 program consists of 10 different 25-minute workouts. You start with the Alpha phase, which includes five workouts:

  • Cardio
  • Speed 1.0
  • Total body circuit
  • Ab intervals
  • Lower focus

You do one workout a day for 4 days, and two workouts on the 5th day. Then you skip a day and do a stretching video on the 7th day.

It seemed intense but I decided to go and try it anyway–at this point, I’m willing to do anything to get my BMI back to normal (and have access to more clothes again).

I got the workout videos and the exercise schedule a few days ago but I didn’t want to start right away because I feared that it was going to be so difficult and that I’m going to pass out if I do it. Eventually, I decided to just start and get it over with.

The first workout on the calendar was Cardio, and boy oh boy was it difficult. Twelve minutes in and I was sweating like crazy, and my heart rate was way, way up. I hated myself for going through with it and nearly collapsed when the instructor made me do faster versions of the exercise. I tried to play BTS in the background and it did help for a few minutes, but it was still so tiring that I just laid on my back after the workout while listening to ‘DNA.’


Thanks for saving my life, you beautiful boys.


Eventually the 25-minute workout was over, and I looked like this:


I don’t know if you can see it but I’m sweating buckets here

I got up after what seemed like an eternity on the mat and wrote this entry, because what is the use of a goal and a new habit if I’m not documenting it? I figured this would help me commit more to exercising and just be a bit more mindful of my health.

I’ll try to do the same thing tomorrow, but for now, I’ll drink more water and binge Mad Men again.



Crawling Back In Time

Spotify made me a ‘time capsule’ playlist! I don’t know if I should feel delighted or old. I guess it’s a bit of both.

I’ve been listening to a lot of old songs (read: songs from my past) lately. The playlist must be brought about by nostalgia or a lack of good things to listen to, but hey, I’m not complaining. At least I have something to balance out my endless (private) Kpop playlists. I’m still mad that JYP won’t put their artists on Spotify, though.

Trigger warning: Some of these songs are fairly recent. When I say old, I mean songs I listened to when I was a teenager. And I was a teenager four years ago. Please don’t attack me.

Here are some of my favorite tracks from the playlist:

1. Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader

Because dancing under the sun is overrated.

2. Jenny – The Click Five

The Click Five was at the height of their fame when I was in high school–I used to sing this with my friends and unapologetically pronounce it ‘Jeneh’ instead of ‘Jenny’. Good times.

3. Out of Reach – Gabrielle

Spotify.me tells me that 79% of my tracks are energetic, but it did not use to be that way. The late 2000s to early 2010s was a more mellow time for me. I didn’t know what I was thinking.

4. Ordinary People – John Legend

I don’t really relate to this song that much, I just like how John Legend sounds when he sings.

5. Won’t Go Home Without You – Maroon 5

Before Adam possessed his Jagger moves, he used sing to a girl so she’d listen–and sounded awesome while doing it.

6. Prinsesa – 6cyclemind

Not a princess, but imagining that this song was about me was good enough. I never had anyone to sing to me though. Again, not complaining. (!!!)

7. Breathe – Michelle Branch

What is it with Michelle Branch and her songs?

8. The Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani, Akon

I remember pre-pubescent twelve-year-olds dancing to this in some school program. It sounds okay, but were they ~aware~ what it was about? I doubt it.

9. Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson

I always thought this was Since You’ve Been Gone???? WHAT YOU DOIN’ MESSIN’ WITH THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, GURL??? I can’t.

10. If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys

Ah yes, the ~quintessential~ Alicia Keys song. It’s still relevant until now. It’s also timeless because literally everyone sings it during karaoke nights.

There are still a lot of songs I didn’t include in this list, but each one makes me remember a distinct albeit repressed memory. High school was a fun but complicated time. I probably wouldn’t go back if someone gave me the chance.

How about you? Are there any songs that give you ~intense~ flashbacks? Share them with me and let’s talk about them!


#WriteIn2017: The Tutor Experience

All right, reader. I’ll suck it up.

I haven’t written a single thing in here for over two months–that’s like ten posts I need to catch up on. You’re probably thinking that I’m too lazy and can’t even set my writing goals straight. And you know what? You’re probably right.

But since taking a creative hiatus (you and I both know that that is just a fancy reword for laziness), I busied myself with another goal, one that I frequently forget to go into detail when I write about my daily life.

You see, I’m an online English tutor for RareJob–the same company I work for so I can pay for my monthly Netflix subscription. RareJob is a company that offers online English tutorial services to Japanese students, and most of its tutors work from home.

I am a tutor, but since I work for them full-time as a barmaid (that’s not what I really do, my real job is pretty insignificant) I get to teach lessons in the office, which is pretty great. The internet connection is pretty superb.

And as a tutor, I have full control of how many lessons I want to have in a day. One lesson slot? Topnotch! Six consecutive slots without restroom breaks in between? Difficult but doable! It’s like playing an addictive numbers game.

I started out with at least two lessons each night last January. The reason I started teaching again after resting for several months was because 1) I’m about to reach inactive tutor status and 2) I really needed the money. I figured that I can devote my free time after work to a little money-making scheme.

As someone who is inherently opposed to talking to people, I find the whole RareJob lesson system fun and interesting because 1) I get to discuss important topics with students and 2) I learn interesting stuff from some of them. Plus, it helps that each class only lasts 25 minutes and that I don’t have to make physical contact with any of them. (Please don’t judge.)

It’s real, okay?

I’d recommend RareJob to anyone who wants to earn extra moolah without the extra pressure or stress. There aren’t a lot of responsibilities and you can do it whenever you want, which is pretty neat if you’re a chill person who does not like to be restricted by time. Just make sure to open at least one lesson slot a month so you can maintain your active tutor status. You don’t want tutor support e-mailing you every month with warnings of your impending inactivity.

If you have more questions, let me know so I can answer them or just click on the links below. The site is pretty easy to navigate and I’m sure you’ll get the answer to your query in no time.

  1. How it works + FAQs
  2. Tutor application (if you’re down for it, no pressure):
That’s a pretty sick banner! Well done, RareJob.

Let me know if you tried it and maybe we can swap interesting tutor stories. I’m always down for a nice chat with fellow tutors. 🙂

#WriteIn2017: A Flamin’ First Week


This is the only good photo I have from last week.


My first week of breaking out and diving in was on fire.

And I don’t mean that on a positive note. Everything, from my set schedules to my breakfast plans, were consumed by fire and left in ashes. To put everything mildly, I was a wreck during the past week.

Starting a new habit is pretty freaking hard. Waking up at 6 a.m. alone took all of my strength for the entire week so  that when Friday finally rolled around, I was already too exhausted to think of getting up early, let alone making breakfast. (I want tocino so bad…)

I wanted to punch myself last night for not trying new stuff. In my mind, I was organized and deliberately changing my life. Reality, however, has proven otherwise.

Nevertheless, I don’t see any point in giving up. Better to have failed once than to give up completely because a single thing didn’t go according to plan.

To compensate for the lack of new things I’ve tried, I am now attempting to draft a schedule so I can create an overview of the stuff I should be doing, such as:

  1. Wake up early.
  2. Make breakfast for myself and the people at home.
  3. Follow the fitness plan I’ve subscribed to (It looks too difficult tbh)
  4. Cook a dish that isn’t pesto pasta, or ramyeon with different vegetables.
  5. Learn how to properly make kimbap.
  6. Get a haircut.

These things are pretty normal and can be easily accomplished within a month, but nothing is too easy when you are so used to sleeping in and doing nothing. (I lack so much sleep I almost dozed off while typing this. My body clock is a troll.)

But I did open a savings account a few weeks back, so there’s something new and useful. At least I’m saving money… or am I?

Also, I want to buy a new headset for our home computer because I’m planning to teach from home. I could have easily done that in the office, but I feel really embarrassed when there are people around who can hear my loud and annoying teacher voice. I figured it would be easier for me to teach in an environment that I am more comfortable with.

That’s it for now. If there are other things you think I should try, please leave a comment on this post and I’ll see what I can do! Send me an e-mail as well and let’s talk. 🙂

See you on Saturday!

#WriteIn2017: Breaking Out and Diving In

Hey, it’s me trying out a new thing!

When I started this blog in 2013, the only objective I had in mind was to motivate myself to write more. I’ve already used numerous blogging platforms in the past but I wanted a clean slate–I figured that the fresh space here would eventually call out to me, like I was made to fill it with good stuff and wonderful memories.

It is now 2017, and I have done neither.

At this point it would have been easier to say the reasons why I neglected to write. But I’m not going to do that today.

From here on, I’m starting the clean slate I should have written on three years ago.

Breaking out and diving in

I am a person who is inherently opposed to trying out new things. I order the same food until I get sick of it. I drink the same coffee. I listen to the same songs.

My aversion to new stuff is a force of habit. Because I found something good, I always I assume that it is the best of them all and that nothing else would come close. It’s a pretty annoying trait that doesn’t really grow on people, even if they’re your friends. Believe me, I know.

So when someone invites me to go on a trip to some unknown island, or when I click on a video to see if it’s actually funny, I always hesitate because I don’t want to take risks. I also don’t want to do things that would potentially waste my time.

This year, I aim to change that.

At first I didn’t know where to  begin. Should I join a class? Learn a new language? Talk to strangers on the street and hope I don’t get shot? I know that there are plenty of new stuff out there for me to try, but what should I do first?

A friend told me to ease myself into my plan first. Start with something small, like going to bed early to catch the sunrise the next day. It seemed easy on the onset, but I realized that disciplining myself to get more sleep was a lot harder than it looks.

So now, I want to try new things that I am having a hard time adjusting to. It’s not a groundbreaking plan, but it’s something that can teach me more in a week than a month’s worth of language or cooking classes. Eventually, I hope to take those classes when I can manage my time better.

I’m in, 2017!

But what does my blog have to do with all this?

In order to train myself to write more and break out of my shell at the same time, I plan to document my adventures by writing a blog post about them once a week.

It’s not going to be an easy task. My goal is to have at least 52 posts on my blog by the 31st of December–a cinch for pro bloggers but one hell of a journey for an amateur like myself. Still, it’s for the better. Maybe I can meet more people along the way and learn from them.

The rules are the following:

  1. One blog post must be uploaded for each week of the year.
  2. It must feature at least one new thing I tried over the course of the week.
  3. The week starts on a Sunday and ends on Saturday.
  4. No need for long explanations.
  5. Provide photos as much as possible.
  6. Don’t make excuses.
  7. Don’t be a lazy ass.

I normally don’t set rules for myself, but since I’ve always been so stubborn, now is the time to unleash the dragon lady. I feel like I’m already violating rule number seven though, and it’s only the first week of January. This is going to be really tough.

That’s it for my new plan. It’s really simple and a lot of people must have done this already–I know some bloggers who even had daily writing goals. (a 2018 project, perhaps?)

If you have done something similar in the past, are starting a new project or in the midst of one, do let me know so we can share our thoughts and ideas with each other. I’d love to get tips as well.

Send an e-mail to fayevalenciawrites@gmail.com and let’s talk!

Now, back to regular programming. See you next week!

Julyt Up My Life!

It’s August, but hey, stories don’t have expiration dates!

As all things are with my life, the past month was pretty uneventful. People are always quick to respond to that with a quick ‘No, your life is exciting, you just have to look harder’. I appreciate that, but sometimes that’s how adult life is–you create your own excitement. It doesn’t come to you.

So even if I didn’t do anything ~relevant~ during the past month, I will still shower this post with some photos BECAUSE I CAN. Hah. I love the adult life even if it doesn’t like me back (I assume that it is disgusted with me).

July 2


Back story: I went to San Juan to watch an ‘indie’ movie with the office mates, only to find out that the next screening was at 11pm. (Whut?) This is a shot I took inside the taxi while we were on our way to Megamall to catch some grub. I ended up not watching the movie.

July 4


Back story: I thought of my crush, so I wrote him a letter on a whiteboard. I had to erase it afterward because someone was about to use the conference room. Also, because none of my coworkers deserve to know the emo raging inside me. #fayerebels

July 5


Back story: Had a spontaneous dinner with the homies/friends/officemates. This was taken at Nook Cafe in Maginhawa, a Harry Potter-themed coffee shop. Look at me rocking those glasses! (Side note: I’m actually a Hufflepuff, but the robes were nowhere in sight so I had to be a Gryffindor. D:)

July 7


A #flatlay photo I took during a late night I spent at the office.

July 8


The homies’ birthday cake slices from the office! That’s Mica on the left and Juvy on the right. I ended up eating Mica’s share because she was on leave wahaha

July 14


Some ~artsy~ shot I took of Juvy.

July 15


Went to le friend’s house (condo unit) to eat chicken and pasta. I saw this gem scrawled on her bedroom window. Naturally, I had to take a photo.

July 16


Went to Lilac to eat with le friends. I also met a new friend, KC!

July 18


Took a leave of absence from work because my chest hurt like hell. The doctors told me I was fine, but I totally wasn’t. Haha. Read more about my experience here.

July 19


Was back at the office, ate some good pizza at Leona Art Restaurant with Mica.

July 22


Ate maki and had coffee with this girl.

July 23


Had an irritating experience with someone I barely knew. Read more about it here.

July 24


Joice graduated from SOL 1! Woohoo! #lifegroup

July 29


A little pissed. Was also infected by a virus. Coughing like mad.

July 30






Finally had that long overdue date with my best friend, Honey. It’s funny because when we saw each other, it was like time hadn’t passed by. We still adored the same things, laughed at the same jokes, liked the same people. We reminisced, ate some good food, walked along Maginhawa (that was a pretty long street, you guys), and enjoyed coffee and books together. Looking back, I was glad that we became friends, and I know that what we have is something that I can cherish for a lifetime. (Wowwww hanep drama haha)

July 31





Finally capped off the month by having dinner with my favorite people. 🙂

The adult life is finally getting to me, and to be honest, I like it! It’s still something that I need to get used to, granted, but learning a new thing or two every now and then is not so bad. Also, I liked that my purchasing power is now stronger than ever! Haha

So, yeah. I hope this photo dump made sense. If you’re also a twentysomething with stories to share, feel free to hit me up so we can talk about them! #titamode

Until my next update, whenever that is. 😀


Note to self: be better

Hello, self. It’s been a while since I wrote to you.

It’s nice to take a step back every once in awhile and evaluate everything that’s happened. Are we happy now? What were the challenges that we encountered? Are we being a little too hard on ourselves lately?

Are we making a change in the world?

Changing the world is a big step, isn’t it? I remember when we had big dreams for ourselves. When was that? Was it three or four years ago? Back then, we weren’t sure of what the future had in store for us, but we were happy. Happy and hopeful.

I don’t know when or where we went wrong, but I think we messed up along the way.

When did we start letting people’s opinions get a hold of us? When did we become obsessed with the friends that we make that we forget that they have their own lives as well? When did we begin defining ourselves the way other people do? Why do we keep feeding these thoughts when we know for a fact that they would never change us?

Why do we like dwelling on our yesteryears? We are so fond of looking back at our past memories that we become so paranoid of losing the ones we have at present. We hold on to some people so tightly that we become unaware of the walls that we are building around us: high, unreachable, and unbreakable.

We pushed other people away because we didn’t want their opinions messing with our lives. We didn’t want correction because we believed that if they can’t accept our flaws, then we are better off without them.

But honestly, life now isn’t any better.

We’re still down and out. We’re insecure of petty things that should not even matter. We overanalyze everything, thinking that everyone is out to get us. We are always vigilant and scared to bare ourselves in fear of having our heart broken.

I barely recognize us now.

But dear self, I want to change.

I want us to be better. I want to be able to tell people that I never stayed the same. I want to show the world that yes, change is possible, and it starts with myself. If I change, then everything will change.

If I change my outlook, maybe things wouldn’t seem so bad.

If I change the way I react to situations, maybe I wouldn’t be so paranoid.

If I change the way I look at people, maybe I wouldn’t have to explain myself all the time.

If I change my mindset, maybe I will finally see the world the way I should see it.

Dear self, let us be better. Change isn’t easy, but it’s doable. Maybe it wouldn’t happen in the next few months. Maybe not in a few years. But let’s take it slow. Slow, yet steady. Let’s live and change one day at a time.

Oh, and one more thing.

You are awesome. Don’t ever forget that.

To the Dreamer on the Edge

Some say you made the right decision at the wrong time.

Some say you shouldn’t have made that decision at all.

You are, of course, entitled to your own judgment; whether it is the best or worst decision for some is entirely irrelative of your own mission. You have taken a step to the place where your heart truly belongs, even if that meant sacrificing many of the things that has kept you in your comfort zone for so long. You are now about to embark on a journey of endless ups and downs, away from the cozy yet menial life you had before.

But you’re happy. Your eyes sparkle from all the excitement, your heart beats at an inexplicably fast rate, and there is finally that feeling of elation you haven’t had in years. It’s like dating your crush for the first time: there’s a rush, a spark, and a glimmer of hope. Everything seems possible, simply because you believe it is. And it is.

But somewhere along the road, its charm will fade. Your beautiful, golden aspiration that once shined and sparkled will gather dust. It will lose the luster it once had. You will get tired of taking it with you everywhere you go, because lugging a dream as big as yours is not an easy task. People will tell you to just take half of it. Some will ask you to just put it down and get a new one. You will grow weary and ask if everything you did for your dream was really worth it.

But please, dear dreamer, do not give up.

There is a reason as to why you are there, standing halfway through the road you chose to take. A road deemed impractical by many but has changed your life in meaningful and significant ways. It’s hard and seemingly impossible to see the end, but know in your heart that nothing good in our lives ever comes easy. As clichéd as it may sound, you are there for a reason. Please do not stop now.

Dear dreamer, I salute you. I know that when you left your previous life, you also gave up a lot of things–comfort, assurance, and even security. You were brave enough to face a new chapter in your life, and for that alone, you deserve my congratulations. While quitting seems to have a negative connotation for some, I know that it has a better meaning to you more than anyone else.

Thank you for quitting the right things at the right time. Thank you for making the people around you see how much your dream meant to you, enough so that you are willing to venture a world unknown even without the assurance of being wildly successful in it. Thank you for taking the first step for everyone else.

Thank you for inspiring others to do the same.