Second Regatta

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And WOW was back in action! It marked my second official competition. We had a month or so of practice and we were never complete! The boat was never full so we never really experienced how fast we could really go and how long it would take us to row for 500 meters. But we still practiced like crazy! There was one Monday that I didn’t know how I managed to go to work because my body was so sore I couldn’t properly get up without whining in pain. But it was all worth it!

May 22, 2017

We had a total of 3 races, 500 meters each along with a very lovely warm weather on that day. In total, we only had 16 members including the spares from other teams. So our coach kept on looking for other spares so we would have a full boat. Luckily enough, we found some who were willing to paddle with us even after rowing for their own team. Their dedication AND endurance is unreal, I didn’t think I could do it myself.

We were on the 4th lane for the first two races. Our times were meh which I was half expecting considering we never practiced together! Now for the whole race, I was front stroke, which means I get to lead the speed along with my partner who, mind you, only had one practice with me and it was 2 days before the competition. She was quite fast which I wasn’t too used to but I’m glad I was able to keep up with her!

For the third and finale race, we were on the 2nd lane, an answered prayer, I thought. I never really liked the last and farthest lane. I felt like it was a bad place to row! It was a rush of adrenaline and I loved that our coach was the one who was drumming because I’ve always liked how she motivated us. During practices, any coach would say to look ahead of you, keep your head on neutral like there’s a baseball in between your chin and neck and not mind other teams but for a split second I saw our coach look to her right in the middle of the race because we were so close to finishing gold. I couldn’t help myself but look as well. The other team won by 2 freaking seconds! AND WE WEREN’T A FULL BOAT, TOO. Only 19 women paddled on our 3rd race and it was a stroke of luck that we even found 3 other spares last minute. But nevertheless, we were incredibly happy because so far, that was the best time WOW ever had for a 500-meter race. We didn’t get. medal but it was okay. It was a fun experience!

Thank you WOW, One Dragon, Paddle Rangers, Eh Team, and our coach!! Good job, team!!!

I can’t wait for the next competition! Harrison (hopefully), here we come!

Currently…

June 3, 2017

READING: *re-reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han **She just released the last book for the trilogy last month so of course I’m going to re-read the first two, like I always do!**

PLANNING: On how to get back in shape… Did you happen to find my motivation? I’m still looking for it!

WATCHING: And can never finish Grey’s Anatomy. I lost momentum, guys. I used to watch this straight for 8 hours but after I stopped because we moved, its like my interest also moved to some other series. Okay, I’ll just wait for How to Get Away with Murder Season 4!

EATING: Right now, I just finished my carrot cake muffin with walnuts. Yum!

DRINKING: You’d think water, but it’s green tea.

LOVING: the new *adventure* decals I bought from Michael’s yesterday!

FEELING: Gloomy because of the weather. People, I’m going to get SAD (no, not literally, it’s short from Seasonal Affective Disorder) because I’m happy when it’s warm and sunny but kind of eh when it’s cloudy and windy.

LISTENING: to Selena’s Bad Liar. I’m obsessed!!!

CELEBRATING: my dad’s 45th birthday! It was yesterday, so I’ll just say birth week!

EXCITED FOR: my dad’s 45th birthday surprise which isn’t really a surprise anymore because he got upset on the day of his birthday because we weren’t at the house (we forgot the party was a surprise so we were all thinking we’ll be celebrating it anyway therefore made plans on his birthday) so my mom ended up telling him the surprise. He was in a better mood after! And we went for sushi!!!

PRACTICING: how to better at squats!!! I want those round butts, ya’ll.

Jenny Han in Vancouver

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My first thought was “Finally!”

I’ve been reading Jenny Han’s books since I was in college, that was 4 years ago! I picked up the Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy and even though I’m one of those readers who doesn’t really like reading about fluff and cheese, I was drawn to the main character’s world. I think mainly because it was centered on first loves and heartbreaks, which I was going through myself at that time. Good times 😉

So when I saw To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, I immediately bought it because I saw it was written by Jenny Han and also because I loved the cover, even if I’m not a fan of book covers with people on it. Her books are an easy read, that’s what I like about them. You can imagine them happening and they are very relatable. I lost the first opportunity to see her when she went on a book tour to the Philippines – one, because it was in Manila and I would have to get plane tickets for that, and two, I was stuck in work. So when I saw that she included Vancouver on her book tour for Always and Forever, Lara Jean, I thought that I should definitely go!

I almost didn’t want to go on the day of. It was a gloomy and rainy Monday and I was stressing on the amount of people that would go but I couldn’t let this chance pass by. She’s so much closer now and I know I’d regret it if at least didn’t try to go. I went and arrived at Chapters around 5:30 pm, bought the book and waited patiently. I felt so old to be there. All I was seeing were a bunch of excited teens with their mothers! Knowing my personality, I would never start a conversation because I went there alone but it was fine, Jenny Han finally came out around 7:05! She started talking about how the third book came to life. I know for one there was never supposed to be a third book. But to anyone who has read the first two are definitely happy that the third one came out, especially me because it was because of that book she decided to go to Vancouver for the first time for a book tour!

The line was a little bit long and I was so close to going home. Seeing her in person was enough for me to be honest. I couldn’t ask for more. But then I was already so close to actually get her to sign my books physically and to have a picture taken with her. I got to her close to 8:30 pm and I know she was already tired so I just opted to get TATBILB trilogy signed and just kept the other three in my bag, even though I wanted to get those signed, too. I told her I really wanted to go for her PH book tour but couldn’t and then she asked me how living in Vancouver was. It was a short talk but I got really nervous my lips were shaking! I got a really nice polaroid picture after.

Thank you Jenny Han for making the fan girl in me happy! Thank you for coming! Here’s to the next book. 🙂

2016

Here’s a quick re-cap of my 2016:

January:
Migrated to Canada and became a permanent resident (starting the year right, eh).
EXPLORING TIME.

February:
Landed my first (and still, thank God) job! First met my BKK friends.

March:
I bought a Polaroid camera after getting my first pay! After debating for so long, I finally decided to get it and I. Have. No. Regrets.
My Aunt came to visit and it was one of the most fun short vacation I had – went to so many places such as:
Whistler – we didn’t stay long because my Aunt just really wanted to see snow because it never snows in Florida (???) and Sea to Sky in Squamish – spectacular view!

April:
First time experiencing Spring! What I was looking forward to most were the Cherry Blossoms – my favourite flower ❤
Went to the Tulip Festival.

May:
Mother’s Day celebration with just me and my mom. Felt a bit lonely but at least she has me to celebrate it after 5 consecutive years.
Met new people 😉
Went to Richmond Public market for the first time and it actually felt like I was back in the Philippines because feels!

June:
Getting more warm ❤
This month marked the first time I attended rowing practice! I didn’t know what to expect, just that it was going to be difficult. Survived and loved every second of it!

July:
Happy 18th birthday, Isabelle!
My dad and sister were back for good!
Jogged on a daily basis with the sister at the park because hello, Summer!
First official hike – went to Quarry Rock. I am a little scared of heights but I told myself I will conquer it, one mountain hike at a time.
Hiked Garibaldi Lake with Ate Charla, my sis, and Ragveer! I have a separate post for this!

August:
Went to Capilano with my sisters. I was so scared at first but the view was so worth crossing all those bridges.
Joined my first Dragonboat Festival. It was held at Steveston and I actually have a separate post about the whole event, too!
Hiked with a few from the Filipino Community at Mt Seymour Provincial Park.

September:
Our first clubbing with BKK and the very first time I got so drunk that I blacked out. It was like 80% of what happened from 10:30pm-2am were hazy. It was really fun before the alcohol kicked in because we spent the whole day walking around downtown Vancouver! Definitely doing it again!
PNE with the family.
Went hiking with Ate Charla and my sis at Golden Ears Park. The waterfall was such a breath-taking view!
I went clubbing again with Vanessa (!!!!!!) but that wasn’t really the highlight (BUT I HAD SO MUCH FUN). The highlight about this part was when we spent the whole day going around Vancouver ❤ AND finally getting Ernest ice cream! It was heavenly.
I won an Instax mini 90 thanks to BCIT. I bought something from there store and got one raffle ticket. Thank you, lucky star!

October:
My first biggish get-together with the Filipino Community.
Also, my first Cranberry Festival. I was so unprepared for the weather. I was only wearing slippers and it was like 0 degrees!!! People thought we were crazy because of what we were wearing. Once you get on the boat and start paddling, it gets warmer though so it was all good. I’d do it all over again.
My first *really* killing date.
Hey, Fall!!!
Went to a Halloween party with Reza and people I don’t know but I had so much fun!
Halloween party at the office. Well, not really a party. It was just another normal day except we were all dressed up and there was potluck, too! Me and my sister won Best Pair (as if there was another competition lol)

November:
Celebratory dinner with my WOW fam.
It’s not so much of a highlight but I loved every minute we practiced for our dance for our company Christmas party. We were able to bond more because of it!
And of course, TNM annual Christmas party!!! It was a month early because duh November, but it was fun! We were finally able to meet most of the people working in the main office (we from Processing Department rarely get to see them because we work in a different office) so it was nice that we got to see what they actually look like. Also, the super duper highlight was our win from the talent show! AND OF COURSE THE AFTER PARTY THAT GOT ME SICK THE NEXT DAY.
First time that I went to a Canucks game because duh, free tickets. Thanks, Dr. Z!

December:
Moved to OUR house – more exciting than my 24th birthday. I love the place because there’s so much more space compared to the one we previously rented. My room is bigger which meant I got a bigger bed.
Celebrated my first Filipino Christmas party! The people I was with were all from work (there’s a lot of Filipinos in my work place) and I’m so happy we are so tightly bonded. It was a craaaazy night!!!
Grandparents came to visit for month.
Surprise, surprise, happy birthday, self!
Merry Christmas! It was the most quiet Christmas I ever experienced. We just had a simple dinner and then I fell asleep at around 10 pm. Meh.
NYE (a day early though) clubbing with my bb ❤

2016 was definitely my year. For some people, it might be just another year but for me, it was amazing. There were so many things that happened to me this year that I didn’t know I would experience. I am so thankful for all the blessings!
See you in 2017!!!

Michelle 01052017

I hope you read this…

She Overthinks Because You’re Constantly Giving Her Mixed Signals
By: Mariya Hoque

She overthinks because when you stare at her, you always look so puzzled. She questions why you have no excuse to text her until the sun rises but during the day there’s always a reason not to see her. She worriedly laughs off how someone who memorized all her habits by heart can make her feel like a stranger.

She overthinks because the girl who broke your heart is still in your life. She wonders why she spends so much time mending your heart yet, you spend so little time trying to win hers. She’s nervous that she is only temporary, a healer, and once she fixes the heart another girl broke – she will be left with a broken heart of her own.

She overthinks because you kiss her slowly but are in a rush to not let it linger. She doesn’t understand how you feel about her because you don’t understand it, either. She contemplates about finally cutting you out of her life until you send another 10:15 PM text pulling her right back into yours.

She overthinks because she is curious if you will ever talk about her the way you talk about your ex. She tries to understand why you still hang on to your ex’s memories but claim to have moved on from the past.

She overthinks because you close all doors when you call her your friend but open an unexpected window when you hold her hand. You blur the lines of all the boundaries but refuse to stick a label. She worries that you are making unspoken promises. You leave hints of defining a hazy picture, but refuse to spell the words to describe it.

She overthinks because you tell her you’re busy with no money however, you spend your weekends drinking at bars with your friends. She is forced to hold back a frustrated sigh when you text her a “happy birthday,” but don’t make any plans to celebrate it.

She overthinks because you said you will be there for her yet hesitate when she tries to make plans.

She asks herself what could she be doing wrong when you pull her into your arms but don’t try to keep her there.

You’re not ready for something “serious” so she prepares herself for all the excuses.

She overthinks because she hears the words you didn’t say to her more loud than the words you did. She wonders why you open up your past to her but don’t say anything about wanting her in your future. She wonders why you tell her you “like” her, but don’t ask her to be your girlfriend.

She overthinks because she’s falling for you, and finally realized that she read too much into the “signs” that made it seem as if you were falling for her too.

She overthinks because you make her think too much about what she means to you, instead of just telling her the truth.

You know who you are.

Michelle 12272016

24th

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My 23rd year has been so good to me. 2016 has got to be one of the best years of my life. A lot of things happened – good and bad. I couldn’t imagine all the new adventures I was able to experience. As awkward as I am, I was able to meet a lot of new friends that I know for sure would be part of my life for a long time.

A month after I turned 23, I had to face a new life that I thought was dreadful at first. Change is good but it’s hard to break routine. I was so scared to leave my comfort zone because I was already starting to get used to how I was living then. It all came so fast that it felt like a blur. It was like being thrown into some place unfamiliar, unarmed, and you’re there panicking not knowing what to do. But I slowly adjusted. I had to do things on my own because who else would do it for me? I learned to start saving, something I never cared to do before the big move. I mean, what would I spend it on, right? I didn’t have friends. I only had my mom who was working 24/7.  It was sleep, eat, work for a while.

I consider myself very lucky. I didn’t go through a lot to get here. A month after moving, I found a job. Other people would spend 3 months just looking for a job while I spent 2 days looking through ads. I found one, applied, got scheduled for an interview, and then bam I got hired. Lucky, right?

I started new hobbies – rowing and hiking. I met more people of different races and I came to understand and accept the different kinds of cultures. I also started to live a healthy life. I went back to the gym and tried (TRIED) to eat clean. Alas, food is life. I can never stop being a foodie. This year, I made a promise that come 2017,  I will work harder at being as healthy as I can be.

Fast-forward to 11 months and guess what? No regrets. All the decisions I’ve made, stupid or not, led me to where I am now. I know it’s not really that much but it’s something I didn’t think I would be able to do. All the firsts I experienced this year will always be remembered. To the people who helped me pop my bubble, thank you. Thank you for pulling me out of my shell and making me see how big the world is and showing me the many opportunities there are for me still to take.

On my 24th year, I promise to live an even fuller and more vibrant life. I was back to square one, but everybody’s got to start somewhere, right?

All my love,
Michelle 122616

The Happy List: October

I know I have been away for so long. But here I am with updates! I won’t be able to edit so much as my laptop is missing and I’m only using my phone for now. I’m still alive!!!

1. This was during the last days of Summer… Our last hike – 5 km back and fortg this beauty. Golden Ears Provincial Park, everybody.

2. Finally got to try Earnest ice cream!!! It is really as good as they say it is. 

3. With a little stroke of luck, I found myself winning on a school (that I don’t even go to) raffle!!! Thank you, BCIT! I got a new baby- my instax mini 90!

4. Sweets overload! 

5. My very first Cranberry Festival race. Even though it was raining all day and the weather was as cold as ice, I was glad I joined. Rowing with those kind-hearted women made everything worth it! We were unprepared but it was a good experience. 

6. Two things I love: reading a good book and matcha

7. First time participating in a halloween party (not really party, but still I dressed up)

8. Experiencing fall for the first time…

9. Catching up with a dear best friend- hello from the other side of the world! With love from Canada and New Zealand ❤

Steveston Dragonboat Festival

My team has been rowing every week for the past two months and in the last month, we were just preparing for the Steveston Dragon Festival that was held last August 20, 2016. I for one would say we really weren’t ready. We never had a practice when everybody was there and inside my head, I was actually just hoping for the best and if anything, at least we’d know how it’d feel like to be in an actual race. 

But, we actually got to take home medals! Okay, this was how our races went:

We were actually one of the first racers of the day. We were in lane 6 and it was a little shallow so I guess a disadvantage? The first race was for 200 meters and I know we really gave it our best, we were still last. We didn’t lose hope though. Maybe we were really good, other teams might just have been better. Our drummer said we were good at timing so that cheered us up! I was second seat which was good because I didn’t think I was good enough to be the first. I a little relieved it was Laura and Amber because I knew they have had more practices outside our weekly ones. 

Our second race was around 11:30 am and this time it was a 500-meter race. By then it was already very warm and scorching and I actually got so tan it felt weird seeing myself so dark. Ha. Anyway, we had a little panic attack because we never had a lot of members to begin with so Cheryl, our coach, had to go around to see if she could get spares to row with us. Luckily she found some last minute. And away we went still on lane 6. And still, we were last. By then, I felt like 6 was our unlucky number and even for other teams who get to row on that lane. I was watching other races and lane 6 was most of the time the last to arrive and lane 3 always got the lead. When we tried asking how they arranged the racing teams, we were told by senior paddlers that lane 3 was where they usually place the fastest team on that specific bracket and the slowest was either 1 or 6. And that actually made sense. 

On our third race, we were finally moved to lane 1. It was our last race for the day and would determine our placement. We were in Division D and I was just hoping for the best that time. I was a little bit motivated because I heard for the different divisions, for the first three to get to the finish line, they get medals. Who wouldn’t get pumped up by that, right? For the last race, not once did I dare look at our competitors because I didn’t want to get demotivated when I’d see they were ahead or I wouldn’t want to be cocky if I see that we were ahead. I was just focusing on the end of the line. I just kept paddling and paddling and paddling. It was one of the most exhausting one I raced in. At one point, I felt like I wanted to give up and just stop rowing but when I heard our drummer say “dunk it” or when our coach from behind yelled “finish it now,” that just kept me going. Imagine how happy we felt when we saw that we placed second and were told we got silver medals!!! It was one of the best days of my life, when you know all your hard work was paid off at the end of the day! 

At first, rowing was just something I never wanted to do because I thought it was a difficult sport. But look at me now, rowing/dragonboat/paddling is now something I love. 🙂

Paddle on! Until the next race! We are Warriors on Water!

Garibaldi Lake Hike

So I’ve been really into hiking now! I find that it’s such a nice way to kill your legs. I’m obviously kidding but seriously, I thought I couldn’t handle the hike because it was too difficult. I mean I knew it was going to be but I never expected to that extent. But fortunately, all those nights runs my sister and I did for the past weeks paid off.

We started the drive at 5:30 early in the morning because we live in Surrey and the trip would take an hour plus to get to Squamish. Of course I didn’t (still can’t) drive so Ate Charla picked us up and Ragveer also came at that time. I actually had an hour of sleep that day so I was mostly asleep going there. Around 7:30, we had breakfast at White Spot. 


Ragveer is vegetarian but I’m not. You already know which plate’s mine. 

When we got to that starting point, there were so many people already! It was most likele because it’s Summer, the weather was exceptionally nice that week (last week), and that Garibaldi Lake is just an amazing place. We started hiking at 9 am.  



All in all, the hike was said to be 18 km, 9 going and 9 back to the parking lot. I told myself that I can’t complain about being tired because I was just carrying a backpack while other people who planned to camp were carrying much heavier stuff. 

But the hardest part for me was the lack of portable washrooms! It was so hard to hold the pee in for the whole hike! I’ve always done that before when I was still a student nurse but still. 



At this point, we were just so tired but seeing that we only got 2 km left got us going! Hussle!



A little bit of the pain got washed away when we got a glimpse of this beautiful lake.


Twilight feels?

…and then finally!








It was so worth it! I was just in awe at how blue and clean the lake was and even though so many people have been coming and going, it’s still a peaceful place to be at. It was magnificent! I am so glad that I said yes when Ate Charla asked if I wanted to go. I’m always up for any adventure and this one is ticked off the bucketlist. Life is really amazing. 

We only stayed for an hour. We ate, took pictures, chilled for a bit. It was getting really cold so that was a sign to start hiking back down. It wasn’t as hard going up. My sister and I started jogging back to the parking lot because it was easier. My only motivation to reach the parking lot was the washroom. By that time, it’s been 5 hours away from a washroom and judging by the amount of water I drank, my bladder was at it’s limit. Inside my head, I was just shouting washroom. So when I started hearing the river, my happiness was over the moon! And fortunately, there was no line!

We did the whole thing for 6 hours. Not bad? 🙂

I’m not going back there any time soon but when I do, I know it’s going to be as worth it as the first time. Keep being beautiful, British Columbia. 

Until the next trip!

Deep Cove

It’s been so long since I last hiked (hello, college days) and now, with the invite of one of my closest friends here in Canada, I was finally able to do it again. The trail was okay but according to a lot of people it was considered one of the easiest when you’re a beginner at hiking. Anyway, the weather during that time was a little cloudy and I thought it would rain. It drizzled when we got to the top but stopped a few minutes after. 

We started at around 7 in the morning just because we woke up a little late. Darn it, alarm! 

It was a good thing we started early rather than waiting for the sun to come out (that never did) because 20 minutes after, people kept on coming. We got lucky that by the time we reached the peak, there were only 3 people, meaning if you take pictures, not a lot of people would photobomb you. Personally, I am somebody who takes time to take pictures. I would stop if I see something worth capturing. The view was breath-taking and I could stay there all day and just stare at the beauty of Deep Cove. 

I had a hard time getting up the following day, okay. And I had rowing practice, too! But I did get up and guess who was very sore the Monday following all those activities? Looking forward to the next hikes!









Stay active! 

Michelle 7|26|2016