Apple Cider Vinegar for Fat Loss

It was a one hot humid summer afternoon.

I was enjoying my favorite pick-me-upper when my hubby came over to ask what I was drinking.

I have him take a sip of the ice-cold refreshing drink that I was enjoying so much, and he got curious what it was due to its deliciously distinctive taste.  Boy was he surprised when he found out that it was Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, calamansi or lemon with a dash of cinnamon!

Hubby was actually amazed how, the ACV and lemon / calamansi concoction worked.
Not only that, it gave me that much needed energy to push through with my workout.

Thirst buster.

What got me interested is that studies at UCLA and other establishments show that ACV’s abundant potassium and other nutrients can flatten bloat by flushing water retention from tissues, improve digestion and assimilation of nutrients, fight gallstones / kidney stones, fight arthritis and gout, bring down blood pressure, helps regulate menstruation, and more.

It has been recommended that, to control weight and banish obesity, this fat flushing drink should be taken three times daily. This can also help with skin care by helping reveal new skin beneath outer older layers with a weekly ACV “facial” making your skin more youthful and refreshed.

Note however that commercial ACVs that have been filtered, and refined does not have that effect of ACVs made from organically grown whole apples with no chemicals have been added. What makes it work is the one that contains the “mother of vinegar” which is a natural gelatinous substance formed during the fermentation process.

Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar being the brand that’s available in the local supermarket, has a brownish color that, if you hold up to the light, you will see the tiny “strand-like” substance which is called the mother. This is the most nutritious part of the ACV that is not found in the more processed “non-organic” brands.

Having said all that, I would like to further share what I have discovered (taken from about this wonderful drink and what it does to belly fat.

*  Aids in Weight Loss

According to a 2009 study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, it was hypothesized that the acetic acid helps suppress fat accumulation, thus aids in weight loss. This speeds up the body’s metabolic rate and helps alkalize the body. This does not mean that ACV is a magic bullet for fat burn, but proper nutrition, exercise plus the ACV boost could be a good game plan.

* Helps Insulin Sensitivity and Minimizes Belly Fat

Another well-studied property of ACV is its ability to improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that enables your body cells to utilize energy from the sugar in your bloodstream ~ however, when levels of insulin in your bloodstream are high, such as after consuming a high carbohydrate meal ~ your body is more likely to store it as fat. If your body is resistant to insulin (from habitually eating high carbohydrate meals), it will produce more insulin in attempt to reduce blood sugar levels, thereby, storing MORE FAT.
ACV helps increase insulin sensitivity according to a 2004 study published in Diabetes Care.

A morning shot of ACV and Calamansi;
Best way to start the day

* Increases Satiety thus Making you Feel Full

ACV may help you eat less by increasing feelings of fullness after a meal. According to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005, subjects who consumed ACV with bread reported increased satiety. Another study that year was published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, found that when vinegar is consumed with a meal, calorie consumption throughout the day drops by 200 to 275 calories (20 minutes of jogging).
Though scientists are not sure why apple cider vinegar helps curb appetite, it could be related to increased insulin sensitivity but if you consume a healthy low-calorie diet full of fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains, adding ACV may help you resist the urge to over eat or needless snacking between meals. For results, one to two teaspoons of ACV in a glass of water before each meal does the trick.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, in my opinion is one of the best super drink out there.
1 to 2 tbsp of Organic ACV, 1 to 2 tbsp of honey to taste, calamansi, cinamon and ice cold water (8 to 16 oz), just thinking about it makes me want to prep up one for myself after this article.

It not only optimize wellness and helps with ailments such as the common colds, its ability to cleanse, boost energy, detox and lose body fat is enough reason to grab one and write it down in your planner to add to your routine.

Sadly however, not all would like the taste of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, though some (including me) take ACV shots as part of their morning routine, if mixed as a refreshing drink, it would indeed taste like a treat.

Try it out and tell me how ACV had helped you reach your health goals. As they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.

And with that I say, bottoms up!

*Adding FAQ link from Bragg*

How to Make the Most Use of Your Planner (Three Simple Ways to Productivity)

I love fitness.
I also love writing, reading and yes, collecting planners. 
Some might say, in this digital world, writing in paper is near extinction – I say, it’s a lost art that is a gold mine once discovered.

In my case, having these notebooks and binders give me this compelling need to use them  for whatever function they may bring, then again, we all know that it is not possible.

Take your pick

I eventually came to terms with the thought that these are just tools for me to do what needs to be done, while enjoying what I love doing — which is writing, and providing a venue for creativity. As tools, we  need to know what works and what does not.

Everyone wants to be productive. 
There is a sense of accomplishment when one ticks off a “To Do List” or when things happen as planned. With this thought in mind, a question popped up :   What do we “plan” for? What goes in our “planners” or notebooks?

In this post, I am sharing three things that I have realized would help in “planning” your day.

First of all, know your non-negotiables.

What is it that you love doing? 

If I say that I LOVE FITNESS, then, I should make sure that it is scheduled in my day, if not, it’s just lip service and I would not be “walking the talk”.
Choose your Top 3 things that needs to be done for the day and make sure that what you incorporate what you love doing in your MUST DO list — until it becomes a routine.

30 minutes of various exercises a day makes a big difference!

Second. Know your role.

What are the various roles you play in life? 

For me, I am a mom for four lovely teeners, a wife of a very supportive husband, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a believer of God. 
With this in mind, I would make sure that I do my commitments on each role and balance my activities based on the outputs required of me for those roles.

Third. Know your goals.

What do you want to get accomplished in the big picture? How do you want your 2016 to be? What do you want to do, what do you want to have? 

Make sure that everyday, you are working towards that goal. 
Another way to solidify your goals is by creating a vision board which will be discussed in detail in my next few posts. It is always good to have visual reminders of how you want your life to be, and what best way to make that happen than to always be reminded of it with a page dedicated as a portable vision board in your planner.

Make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebounded). Have a short term (1 year), medium term (3 year) and long term goal (5 year) and ensure that what you are working on is supporting the goals you have set for yourself. 


With these points, I can then start my planning at any point in time.
I just need a small quiet spot, some coffee and my planner.

Coffee and some planning, a sure fire way to start a great day no matter where you are

Happy planning!

15 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Fitness – Part 2

As promised, here are the remaining items on the list..

     6.    Magazines
Reading fitness magazines and looking at possible workout moves motivate me. 
Yes I am aware that most are perfected by photoshop and some are probably genetic freaks, but being a visual person, fitness models and their workouts motivate me to work harder. 
Fitness mags for PinayFitness geeks.

Besides, cut outs are a good addition to one’s Vision Board (hmm.. might do an article on that one time)

     7.    Blogs
I know that reading blogs inspire me. This is the same reason why I decided to bring back the habit of writing in my blog. It gives me accountability to my readers and who knows, I might be inspiring other people with my PinayFitness Journey too.
Until I have figured out the “subscribe” button, please feel free to visit my blog anytime. lol.

     8.    Success Stories
If a fitness website has success stories, for sure I will go back and read inspirational stories. Showing the ups and downs they go through is such a learning experience.

     9.    Instagram
Those catchy memes in Instagram really helps me in getting back on track. I usually download them and make them my wallpaper or share in the PinayFitness Facebook Page.

     10.  Forums and Facebook Groups
Talking about one’s fitness concerns and sharing ideas in a group full of like minded people would definitely help your fitness goals. Check in daily. 
Interact and post : PinayFitness Facebook Page

Post and interact. It really helps. Be part of the PinayFitness Facebook Group and share your thoughts on fitness too!

     11. Rewards
If you exercise for a few days, give yourself a reward! Progressed to a week? Add another reward. Do it often during the start of you “Balik Alindog” Program.
Stickers and pretty stuffs are my rewards. How about you?

In my case, my “rewards” are stickers. I am a member of a planner community & it gives me pleasure to put stickers in my monthly planner, knowing that I got it done. Weird, but that’s how I roll.

     12. Stress Reliever
Work. Home stuff. Life in general. Yup. All stress producer. Exercise = stress relief.
I also use exercise to regenerate and refresh myself as a form of rest.

13. An exercise log / graph
Writing it down makes a whole world of difference. Monitoring your progress in you planner, writing what you ate, how many glasses of water you took in (hydration is very important!), you body weight and tape measurement – then graph it at the end of the week for four weeks. You’d be pleasantly surprised once the month ends.
Graphing my one month progress was a great motivation for me!

14.  An exercise class

Golds’ Gym Bootcamp, Cardio Martial Arts, Yoga. These are my favourite combination. I have fun working out with my kiddos, laughing at each others moves during the class, and eventually putting in that workout for the day. Invite your friends to join you for a class and for sure, you’ll be motivated to go there and workout.

     15. A day at the beach or a Class Reunion.
Yep. You know how that feels.
Last December trip. Good thing I was beach ready!

So how about you? How do you motivate yourself?

15 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Fitness – Part 1


 a ten letter word that is so hard to keep up. If this specific word has a gender, it probably is a lady that is super high maintenance.
We all can relate to writing resolutions at the start of the year and planing to work out – actively tackling it on the next few days, only to stop after a week or so, then trash it all and go back to the same old rut. It is the second month of the New Year, so how are we with our goals and plans?
But, how does a regular pinay with lots of things in her plate, find motivation to exercise when you feel that just thinking about it makes you tired already? I ask myself this million peso question every now and then, and I know that I’m not the only one.
Image from the net
Yes I have days when I struggle with putting in a workout in my schedule. I know that I should start making it a habit until it is part of my PinayFitness Routine, but the “M” word  is needed until the habit sticks and that, is where the challenge begins.
Recently however, I felt so happy because after lots of failed tries,  I was able to actually work on my goal – I was able to find motivation that was needed to make the habit stick. 
In this post, I am sharing what I did differently and what had helped get back on track.
The happiest loss of all. Loss of excess body fat.

Feel free to see if you can make some of these ideas “your own” so you can start working on your fitness goals..

     1.    Your before picture.
The past months have been really telling that I haven’t been exercising. The picture below shows how, from a fit 2014 me, I was transformed to a fatter version of myself.
My kids usually comment on how I gained weight and had been teasing me a lot about it  and that motivated me to do something before it goes awry – making it hard for me to get back.
     2.    Me Time.
Capturing the moment. My youngest kiddo and her “me-time” on the treadmill.
I enjoy spending time alone a lot. A time to think about things in my own personal quiet time. As a mom, a sister, a daughter and a wife, we usually take time taking care of others  but we don’t make time to take care of ourselves. Prioritize your “me time”, don’t miss your own workout appointment, so that you can give more to others.
     3.    How you feel after a workout
I know the feeling of dread before working out. “Oh no, do I need to work out again?” We sometimes hear ourselves complain. All possible excuses comes to mind once you decide to workout.  Interestingly however, during a workout, the adrenalin and endorphins kick in, that after a workout, it beats having an espresso shot!
Post Cardio Martial Arts Endorphin high with my daughters
and  Miss Universe / Philippines’ trainer John Cuay.
Store that feeling in your memory bank. Put that in your “happy place” and know that how you would feel afterwards would be a great motivator for your fitness goals. Tell yourself “You know you’re gonna have a blast and feel great after this workout  [INSERT NAME HERE], so let’s do it!
     4.    Having fun
Find a workout that’s fun for you. 
I love biking. I love the feel of air in my face (provided that I’m not navigating C5’s  and EDSA’s pollution filled road), I love pedalling through the streets of the metro and racing jeepneys and cars (in my mind hahaha). I love it so much that time just flies – 30 mins to an hour is over without me noticing it. 
Make it FUN.
Find an exercise that’s spells F-U-N for you. If it isn’t, look for one. It might be running, or having an outdoor adventure, as long as you’re moving, it’s all good. I also love lifting weights (no, it does not make you bulk up like She Hulk), so I spend some time lifting in the gym too.
Yes, this is FUN for me.. You have to figure out what’s FUN for you!
5.    How you’re going to look.
I have teens that love clothes shopping. 
Often times, we’d dress up and check out stuffs in the mall and they’d comment if it looks good or, if fat and flabs showImagine how consistent workout would let you buying the nice clothes that fits – Imagine how a fitter slimmer you can motivate. 
Imagine and let that visualization drive you. 
This was a recent photo after resolving to do something about it.
If 2015 was a not so physically good year, I will do my best to make 2016 better.


Once the changes start taking effect and unknowingly, someone notices it, it feels good and it makes you want to work out more.

Urban Legends: Fitness Myths Vs Facts

In the fitness world, there are lots of urban legends you’d hear in the gym locker room.
Statements like, “I don’t want to eat sinigang or sisig because ingesting pork fat will make me fat!” or “I stay away from those heavy weights because I don’t want to look like a She-Hulk”

Image from the net
An urban legendurban mythurban tale, or contemporary legend, is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true. As with all folklore and mythology, the designation suggests nothing about the story’s veracity, but merely that it is in circulation, exhibits variation over time, and carries some significance that motivates the community in preserving and propagating it.
– Wikipedia

As we embrace the fitness lifestyle, it is our responsibility to question these statements and find out for ourselves if these are categorized as what we all know as “fitness” urban legends.

Below are some of the Fact vs Myth statement that I stumbled upon and would like to share with you.

Please feel free to add some more.


Myth: High – carbohydrate, low fat diets works best.
Fact: People are becoming fat from carb overdose.

Myth: If you exercise, it doesn’t matter what you eat.
Fact: If you exercise, it matters even more what you eat!

Myth: Eating right means three big meals a day.
Fact: Eating  nutritious balanced meals with the proper portion is the way to go.

Myth: Weight training is only for young athletes.
Fact: People of all ages should do weight training.

Myth: Muscle grow while you’re working out
Fact: Muscle grow while you’re resting and recuperating, AFTER a good workout.

Myth: A certain number of sets and reps gets the job done.
Fact: High-intensity efforts produces the best results.

Myth: Aerobic is better for shaping up than weight training.
Fact: To transform your physique, you must train with weights.

Myth: If women lift weights, they’ll get “bulky”.
Fact: Resistance exercise helps women create lean, toned bodies.

Image from the net

Myth: You need to drink water only when you are thirsty.
Fact: Your body needs more water than it’s telling you.

Myth: Pinays are weak and dependent
Fact: Pinays are Positive Independent Natural Adaptable andYouthful!

So, now that all the myths and urban legends are debunked, care to share what have YOU heard through the grapevine?

How to Workout During the Rainy Season

So you want to work out but its raining really hard outside.

Running is not an option and going to the gym is too much hassle because of the heavy traffic.

From the net

That’s fine.  However, that’s no excuse for you not to work out.

The good news is that you can burn that extra jiggly fat, start being lean, and have a great workout with just using your existing furniture at home and your body weight!
How?  Let me introduce you to Body Weight Circuit Training.

Completing one exercise right after the other without stopping a set  is what’s known as “circuit training”.  This builds both lean body weight and give you a great cardio workout.

So why does it work, you ask me?

In these exercises multiple muscle groups are used to complete the movement. These challenging movements get your heart rate pumping and in effect helps with the caloric burn that we all want.  With this in mind, studies showed that Circuit Training burns more calories than interval training — which actually burns MORE calories than steady cardio.

Efficient use of time is important for me and spending hours of running on a treadmill is not how I envision my time spent.  Here is a sample basic  workout that can be completed at home, in the park, or even in your office during lunch break.  
In a circuit routine, you’ll do each exercise in sequence without breaks in between as much as possible. 

Once done, you do it all over again.  If you can still do a set after the 2nd set,  try one more for third.
Note that it’s better to stop and take a break than to do an exercise incorrectly.  If you can’t do all three set of circuits without stopping, then you have yourself a goal.

As in any physical activity, WARM UP before starting.  Elevate your heart rate by running in place, jump rope, or jog up and down your stairs.  After the warm up,  start the circuit by doing the following movements:

Air Squats. defines Air Squat as “an effective exercise for both the beginner and the advanced athlete. It uses just your body weight to tone and strengthen the muscles of your buttocks–gluteus minimus and maximus–and your thigh muscles, the hamstrings and quadriceps. Air squats also increase flexibility in the hamstrings and glutes. This exercise is great for women as it targets the problem areas of the butt and thighs. It’s also effective for people on the go who might not have access to a gym or weight-training equipment.”

Yes, you read it right! It’s GREAT for women as it targets butt and thighs.
Try to do 10- 15  repetition per circuit.
Here’s another great move for you.

Table push ups.
Push it!
A push-up is a classic muscle-building move that tones the arms, chest, the front of the shoulders, and the triceps.  This makes your arms tank top worthy and eliminates those jiggly upper arms.
Of course these movements can be modified depending on your fitness level. You could try wall push ups or modified push ups with bended knees if you prefer the floor.
Try to do 10- 15  repetitions per circuit.

Table Pull-ups.

Pull yourself up under the table!
Doing a perfect pull-up is one of my fitness goals.
Most people can’t perform one strict pullup with perfect form because pullups are one of the most challenging body-weight exercises.  Pull-ups requires us to use all of the muscles in your upper and mid-torso to lift 100 percent of your weight off of the ground.  Developing the strength needed to do pullups can be done by practicing other exercises that are similar — therefore, table pull ups it is for now!
Try to do 10- 15  repetitions per circuit.

The Plank.

Let’s do THE PLANK!
The plank is the ultimate core exercise.
This “simple” move improves on your strength, balance, and endurance.
With this exercise, you straighten your entire body and maintain it  in a rigid position just like a plank of wood.  It requires no extra equipment or weights, making it one of the most convenient forms of core strength training.
The term “core” involves all the muscles in your trunk area, including your obliques, rectus abdominus, deep abdominal, and back muscles.
Try to maintain proper form for 30 to 60 counts.  Beginner can do 10 to 15.

Jumping Jack  or Burpee Finale.
(No picture)
Try to do 10- 15  repetitions per circuit.
And finally, always remember to STRETCH after a work out.
To summarize, the Body Weight Circuit Training goes like this:
* Warm up
* Air Squats
* Table Push ups
* Table Pull ups
* Planks
* Jumping Jacks or Burpee
* Stretch.

Along with every workout, you need to ensure that you’re eating properly.

Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand.  Fuel yourself properly with real foods, minimize soda, and eliminate the junk.

Now, armed with these how to’s of Body Weight Circuit training, who’s afraid of the rain?
From the net

Reward Yourself

So you’re slowly inching in towards your goals.. Then what?
Oh yeah, the reward  – It’s important to reward yourself for your accomplishments during your fitness journey.
Reward yourself for the behavioral changes as well as physical.

After all the key to maintain  the habit  depends on the lifestyle changes you’ve made along the way.

Your rewards need to be non-food rewards.
The purpose of rewarding yourself is to strengthen your resolve to have that fitness lifestyle and maintain it.
Rewarding yourself increases your awareness of all that you have accomplished.

These are some of the list that I happen to stumble upon in my readings:

1. Begin a “Success Savings” Put PHP 100 (or any amount  you think is doable) in it for every week you’ve achieved your goal.  Put  PHP10 or PHP50 in it for every pound you’ve lost .
You decide the amount of money you’ll give for the desired action. Such as for sticking to your  plan. Not pigging out when you were depressed. For each pound lost. For each day or week you stick to your meal plan.

2. Buy or make a special piece of jewelry – be it a bracelet, necklace, earrings or rings. Every time you wear it, you’ll be reminded of your successes.

3. Begin a collection – be it stamps, mugs, dolls, action figures, memorabilia etc. Each time you achieve a goal, allow yourself to buy another item for your collection.

4. Get a massage. It’s relaxing and will reenergize you from the inside out. A little pampering can go a long way.

5. Get your hair done, either a dye, cut or do. Try something daring. Have fun and experiment with your new look. Get a makeover with a professional. And when you’re all made up you may as well get a glamour shot. When you look good on the outside – you feel good on the inside.

6. Enjoy the outdoors and buy yourself a bike if you don’t have one yet. If your wan’t to indulge in the “kikay” you, get yourself your favorite designer bag!

7. Pamper yourself with a manicure and pedicure. Try a sparkling new color.

8. Have a night out at the movies with a friend you haven’t seen for a while. Skip the popcorn.

9. Enjoy a leisurely morning at the park. Breathe and take in the fresh air. Spend time with your kids, watch them play.. Get in tune with the simpler things in life.

10.  Buy yourself a new outfit to show off your new body.

11. Redecorate a room in your house. Let your creativity flow. Let the room capture the real you. Don’t be afraid to go a little wild.

12. Do something daring … Something you’ve always wanted to try. Go cliff diving, bungee jumping, hang-gliding, parachuting, white river rafting etc. get a new tattoo (or piercing). Something that’s uniquely you.

13. Buy a new book and schedule uninterrupted time to read it.

14. Give to you favorite charity. It always feels rewarding to share what we have.

15. Fun in the Sun. Plan a trip to Boracay, Coron or Bohol and show off what you have worked for upon achievement of your goals!

These are just some ideas to help you spark you imagination — I’m sure you could come up with hundreds of ways you can reward yourself.

After-all you know yourself best.

Your weightloss journey is your personal experience.

It’s about you, every challenge you have overcome and every little goal that you have achieved.

What an Inspiration!

Posting this to inspire us ladies who need a little motivation.

Okey, take a good look at the lady in the picture and try to guess her age.

She’s no pinay but the fine lady in the picture recently made it into the Guinness Book of Record as the “World’s Oldest Female Body Builder.”

Her name is Ernestine Sheperd.
So, how old do you think she is?
40? 50?

My guess is as good as yours.. and we are ALL wrong.

Try Seventy Seven… yes you read it right.. 77!

Surprised? To know more about her, check out her article and video here and be totally inspired!

Her message is clear and inspirational: “being out of shape” as we age is something we can now contest. She is indeed a role model not just for senior women, but for everyone else who have read or heard about her story.

Need motivation?

Think of how a lady of 77,  Ernestine Shepherd , and how her dedication and commitment can make a difference in one’s life.

Thank you Ernestine, for showing us that these things are possible!

My Mom

I’m super proud of her. She is such a strong woman and if you click on this video, you could see her playing dodgeball with her grand kids. 
For someone who’s turning 70 years old this 2012, this is amazing (considering that she does not lift weights and do gym stuff)
She always makes sure to eat healthy though, drink her water and put it 30mins of movement every day (jog around, do body weight squats and play wall ping-pong for agility)
I pray that she makes is as sustainable as possible so that she can continue to inspire the lives that she touches.

Mt. Kinabalu : We Came, We Saw, We Conquered!

Me with Mount Kinabalu at the background.

It was January of 2011 when hubby and I found ourselves packing our bags and taking the flight to Kota Kinabalu to climb the majestically surreal Mt Kinabalu –  4,095 meters above sea level, the lure of  Guinness World Records’ world’s highest via ferrata, was so hard for us to resist that we HAD to try it for ourselves.


A via ferrata (Italian for “iron road”) is a mountain route which is equipped with fixed cables, stemples, ladders, and bridges. 

The use of these allows otherwise isolated routes to be joined to create longer routes which are accessible to people with a wide range of climbing abilities. 

Walkers and climbers can follow via ferratas without needing to use their own ropes and belays, and without the risks associated with unprotected scrambling and climbing. – Wikipedia

Just the perfect husband and wife adventure! 

The day of the climb, our guide picked us up from our hotel and eventually was introduced to two American Navy doctors  and a French Quality Manager of Petzl.  

Our guide was a silent, yet pleasantly friendly Malaysian guy named Francis – It was THE perfect team.
Hubby and I at the Timpohon Gate

The climb started with a refreshing view of Carson’s Waterfalls after Timpohon Gate, 1,866 meters above sea level.

As the elevation increased, lush forest unfolded, flora of all kinds, rock formations that served as our stairs welcomed us as we continued on our seemingly never-ending climb.

The big old trees were such breathtaking sights to behold with their large trunks and the greenest of greens served as our backdrop as we climbed our way towards our destination.

The four hour climb had us taking short recovery stops every once in a while as my heart rate was constantly at 160bpm (oh yes, I was using my HR monitor during the whole climb).

Interestingly, the distance was less than 10km but at 3,289m starting at Timpohon’s  1,866m and acclimating to thin air while climbing, we left the gate at 9:30am and arrived at the Laban Rata base camp at 1:30pm.

Coming from a tropical country, it was the first time for me to experience 10 degrees Celcius. I took a mental note of thanks for bringing along a pair of gloves, bonnet, thermal pants, 2 shirts, and a warm jacket.  Inside Pendant Hut where we were staying, I was freezing. 

By 3:30pm, our Mountain Torq trainer was already familiarizing the five of us on how to work with the steel rungs and cables embracing the mountain’s rock face and eventually, we had our early dinner since we needed to sleep early and wake up at 2am.

At 8:30pm, it was lights out. The room was comfortable and had double beds to accommodate us five climbers – I guess it was excitement plus the low temperature that gave me a hard time sleeping  that I found myself tossing and turning in my sleeping bag until it was 1:45am. 

After our light breakfast, at around 2:30 am it was time for our ascent to Low’s Peak. The highest accessible peak in South East Asia.

It was a freezingly cold non-stop uphill climb that tested our wits and strength. It was all mental, factoring in the steep incline, darkness, near zero temperature – The mind has to agree that you can do it – but it was totally all worth it. 

Our camera conked out on us and we have to ask for a stranger to take this photo for posterity.
Four months after,  he sent us the file via email and we were so happy even if it was a funny unexpected shot.

 Upon reaching Low’s Peak – the highest point – we have to have our picture taken at the peak’s signpost for posterity. But since our camera’s battery died out from the altitude, we have to ask for a stranger to take ours! 

The two American US Navy Doctors and us.

It feels surreal to be transported in a place were you just were looking at in the photographs as posted in the internet and then, actually feeling, being and enveloping yourself with the whole experience – an experience well worth the challenging spectacular climb. 

The sunrise was breathtaking – seeing how it slowly casts its rays to the majestic granite rock face of Low’s Peak makes it seem eerie yet beautiful that even a high end cam would not give justice in capturing how it really looks – there was a bluish green metallic glow on its granite as the sunrise started to show its way and make its presence felt. It was one of those moments that make you feel so thankful to be alive. 

After a few shots with our friend’s camera.  We have to go take on another  task – the via ferrata.

After the initial descent from Low’s Peak, we then met the our Via Ferrata trainer at Sayat Hut @ 3,600m for Walk the Torq – Asia’s first Via Ferrata.

It was such an exhilarating experience going down the mountain via ferrata and knowing that we came, we saw and we conquered.