Monday, March 18, 2013

Yes, Tattoo

Many were surprised when I inked myself last 1st of March (1.3.13). It has been my plan for three years to get one but can't decide where to do it. The design is the Philippians 4:13 verse. For me, getting a tattoo is a personal decision. I did this as a declaration and profession of my love to Him, that with Him, I can do everything. I've been through a lot for the past years but I am still glad that I have experienced those tests because it made me stronger and taught me a lot of lessons. I will not justify my act in terms of biblical factors as I don't want make a statement that might lead to argument. My personal relationship with Him is still intact and will always be strong.

The artist was my high school classmate (Melvin Miranda) and when I saw his works on his Facebook account, I knew he was the perfect man to do the job. He was so frank to tell me that it will hurt and yes, it was painful but I managed to stay calm but the sweat on my legs was the proof that I was so nervous that day. The session took almost two hours and it was the longest two hours of my life but the result was good. I went home immediately to wash it, clean it with an antibacterial soap and apply Vaseline lotion. Before having it, I made a research about the aftercare. The tattoo artist won't have any responsibilities in taking care of a tattoo after the session. I read the aftercare tips and learned some few things. First, you need to apply cream on the wound (yes, tattoo is an open wound) three times a day for first three days (I used Bepanthen). Going to work, I have to cover it with a bandage so the art will not be destroyed. On the fourth day, the tattoo should be applied with a cream that is colorless and fragrance free. In my case, I used Eucerin Aquaphor and after 5 days, my tattoo was completely healed but I still applied the same cream for the next 10 days. In getting a tattoo, you should think it a million times and assess your true motive before having it. I am not encouraging you to get a tattoo unless you are sure and no one is influencing you to make such decision.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Personal Trainers in Singapore

I transferred to Singapore last 2008 to work in a French financial services company. I can say that I was physically fit during that time but since it was a new environment for me, I forgot about the words diet and workout and tried several foods and was so lazy to go to gym. I gained a lot of weight and fats and the rest was history. Fitness First has always been my gym so I enrolled for a membership after a few months.

I received a call from a trainer asking for some workout trials with him and that time, I thought it was a chance to get back in shape so I agreed. Then I met Ashraf Stephen and I could say that the workout we did was really good so I signed up for 30 sessions worth 2,000 SGD. I learned new workout routines that I haven't experienced from my previous trainers. Also, he taught me some modification on some machines/equipments in case the required item isn't available for use. He knows what he is doing and being in the fitness industry for years I can say that he is a good trainer. On his personal side, what I remember is that he is from Great Britain, converted to Islam, married to a Singaporean and they have two kids. I was about to renew the sessions with him when he got another job from other fitness center and I still have a contract with Fitness First so I can't move to other gym that time. His work experience is considerably one of the best and in the fitness industry since 2005. He was a personal trainer in California Fitness and now working in Sky Fitness in Harbourfront both in Singapore. Other qualifications include (1) Advanced Personal Trainer, Asian Academy for Sports & Fitness Professionals (AASFP) / (2) PTS, Resisted Movement Training, American Council of Exercise / (3) CPR & AED Certified. His motto: "Tomorrow Never Comes". He once told me that he was joining (I forgot the exact name) Singapore's Strongest Man. After my 30 sessions with him, I felt stronger and more active again. I also noticed some improvement in my body and I regained my endurance. Ashraf is a very good person and trainer; currently we are still in contact with each other and will definitely see him when I visit Singapore again. So if you want his professional expertise then go now to Sky Fitness and acquire his services.

A good friend of mine encouraged me to workout with her and at the same time, referred me to her personal trainer. She introduced me to Don Abaya. Since I noticed a big improvement to my friend's shape (she became sexier and lost a lot of weight), I was convinced to hire him as my PT. So I signed up for 50 sessions for around 3,000 SGD. After few sessions, I started to enjoy his workout routines and his techniques to improve me not only physically but also on mental thinking about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. He talks a lot and you can't stop him once he started talking. He is an all-around trainer; he knows boxing, core training and TRX. Before entering the fitness industry, he used to work in a clinic and was a medical representative in Manila. He entered and started to be a personal trainer when he joined Slimmer's World (a famous fitness center in the Philippines). He was a junior trainer then eventually became the head trainer. What's really good about him is that he is a licensed physical therapist so I can basically say that he knows what he is doing in terms of muscle, joints or other physical related matters. Don is in the fitness industry for more than 10 years now and working in Singapore since 2009. Now, he is an elite trainer and working in California Fitness at Orchard Road. When I confirmed that I'll be transferring to Dubai, I tried to finish all the remaining sessions with him. Sometimes I book 2 hours and it was almost everyday haha. He did not complain and by that, I was encouraged to do and give more to our workout routines. He is a hardworking person and a very good man. He has a lot of sense of humor that we can talk anything under the sun. After my training with him, I noticed a huge advancement on my physical attributes and I can really say that I was transformed into something better. I formed some amount of muscles and I became comfortable again in running. I used to have a muscle pain for small amount of activities but eventually, Don taught me the correct way and position of working out to avoid joint problems. I still have a contact with him until now and we remained friends. So hey, go now to California Fitness and get this guy!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Istanbul Trip Part 4

I woke up early on my 4th day since it was my last day in Istanbul. I wasn't feeling well that time and the headache was killing me. Nevertheless, I packed my bags and left the hotel after my breakfast. I walked directly to Hagia Sophia (about 15 minutes) and queued then waited for it to open. It was before 9:00 AM but there were numerous tourists already lining up. The entrance fee is 25 TL; it was once a mosque then converted into a museum and is famous because of it's massive dome. The place offers impressive architectural design and creative arrangement of lights. Also, you can explore the "second floor" but you have to climb up in a labyrinth-like passage. There were souvenir shops and some display of art. Some part of the museum prohibits the use of camera especially on the mosaic exhibition. The place is a bit huge and the atmosphere boasts it's rich culture.

Topkapi Palace is also walking distance from Hagia Sophia and the entrance fee is also 25 TL. It was originally the primary residence of the sultans and royals. I must say, it is a wide place. There were several entrances that lead to different buildings and semi museums where photo taking is also not allowed. The palace is preserving important relics especially Muhammed's cloak and sword. UNESCO gave the World Heritage Site title to this place on the year 1985 and indeed, it deserves the award. What I really liked was the garden area where I think the royalties used to relax with a view of the sea and refreshing air. There were also some "mini mosques" on which a certain piece of historical item is being displayed and the internal design is so beautiful. The complex also has hundreds of rooms that used to be a royal bath, dormitories, jewelries storage room, meeting hall and a sole room for circumcision.

My last stop that day was the Miniaturk. I headed to Eminonu tramway station and from there, I took a cab going to this place since it isn't accessible thru trains and walking isn't possible. The fare was around 30-40 TL. As I arrived there, I remembered a place that I went to in Shenzhen, China; it was like 'Windows of the World'. Miniaturk showcases the miniatures of all Turkey's famous landmarks, buildings, mosques, government buildings and other historic structures. It also covers non-Istanbul spots. It is one of the world's biggest miniature parks with a total land area of 650,000 sq ft. Also, there are these speakers with button that you need to press so that a voice will be heard explaining about a certain miniature.

For more pictures about my Istanbul Trip, you can click here to view it. It was a short but very memorable trip. Istanbul taught me the lesson about handling personal items carefully and how to manage and survive in a cold environment. Istanbul is a very beautiful place and I really admire the transport sector of the city. I will definitely come back here if given a chance.

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