An App that Helped Me Wake Up Early


I am happy to tell you that I have finally found a way to wake up early in the morning without feeling lazy, sleepy or tired. I’ve read some articles on the internet on how to keep a routine of waking up early, and watched videos on YouTube as well. Almost all of them have the same strategy on how to wake up early. One thing that really worked on me though is just an app. Yes, an app!

I’ve downloaded the app, unplugged my night light, started tinkering our actual digital alarm clock (which I haven’t used since I bought it), tried to set the alarm at 4:30 am, not sure if it will work; I also tried to wind down 1 hour before my bedtime (10:00am). I did bedtime yoga, using my yoga app called Daily Yoga, meditated, closed our bedroom door to keep the noise out (my husband likes watching basketball before he sleeps), and turned off the light so the room was in total darkness. Then I set off the app that helped me wake up.

I’m sure you’re dying to know what that app is. It’s called Sleep Cycle.

It’s a really wonderful app. It’s not just an alarm clock, it also analyzes your sleep cycle. It will show you a graph of the times you are in deep sleep and the times when you’re sleeping lightly. It will also show you when you snored and I did! You can listen to it but then you have to pay for the subscription. The app is free, but if you want more option, then you have to pay. The good thing about it? It wakes you up in between your preferred alarm time when you’re in your lightest phase of sleep, so it feels like you’re just waking up naturally. It feels amazing! A regular alarm clock will go off and can wake you up whether or not you are in deep sleep. That is why you tend to hit that snooze button a couple of times before you decided to finally get up and still feel sleepy, lazy and tired.

So that very first morning when Sleep Cycle app woke me up, I didn’t hit the snooze button. I didn’t feel like going back to sleep. It woke me up around 4:15 am. I got up and was able to do some yoga and meditation before going to work.

I just can’t tell you how much this app was able to help me. Today is my day off and I still managed to wake up early and it feels so good! I was able to do a lot of things and it also kept my mood in checked. I have plenty of time to do my check list.

It’s unbelievable how an app can help you. I’ve also downloaded an app to help with my weight loss. It’s called Lose It! Everyday when I wake up, I check my pre-breakfast weight and record it on the app. Then it allows me to log all the foods that I eat and calculates my calories. Based on your height and weight, it will calculate your ideal caloric intake. It tells me whether I’m over my daily calorie requirement and I can make my own adjustments. Like, I can either, eat lightly at night when I ate a lot during the day, or I can exercise more to compensate for the extra calories I’ve eaten.

I am so proud of myself! Good job, me! 🙂

Aja, fighting!

(BTW, our digital alarm clock didn’t work. It must’ve been set up at 4:30pm instead of 4:30am. Who knows?)



An Attempt to Lose Weight

This whole marriage thing made me stop my running routine and diet. I lost 6 kg before my marriage (from 52 kg to 46 kg). When my would-be-husband saw me, he said I don’t look good. I looked better with my chubby cheeks. But my chubby cheeks came with a 3-layered bulging tummy and a multiple tiny dimpled legs and arms. Could I just puff my cheeks then if it makes him so happy?

My husband wants me to eat healthy. By healthy, in his own definition, it means eating rice three times a day excluding the snacks in between meals. Well, he succeeded.  In his first attempts to make me eat dinner (I only eat breakfast & lunch), I had stomach cramps every night, which gradually disappeared. Now, I can’t go to bed without having dinner. My running routine has been replaced with our afternoon walks to the grocery store buying junk foods. I didn’t notice I’m slowly gaining weight, until I wore my favorite jeans and suddenly I couldn’t  sit without the bulges showing on my tummy. When I weighed myself, I am now 50 kg.

Then I went home to the Philippines…

…and came back to Abu Dhabi with more bulges in my body. (I don’t even wanna know how much I weigh..)

Now, I promise myself not to heed to my husband’s attempts to fatify me.

I will:

– Get rid of our snack bar which consists of junk foods & chocolates and replace it with fruits instead.

– Run every afternoon for 2 hours during days off and 30 minutes every after work.

– Eat rice only once a day.

– Drink lots of water.

– Cook healthy meals.

I seriously need to get back in shape. And I hope my husband will do the same.

To losing weight! And puffing cheeks!

Pasta (English)-n. noodles/Pasta (Tagalog)- n. dental filling

My flatmate was cooking pasta and it looked yummy so I wasn’t able to prevent my thoughts from coming out.

“It looks delicious,” I said.

Then I realized I sounded like I’m asking for a taste and confirmed I did when she said, “I’ll let you try some.”

“No,no! I didn’t mean it that way! It just looks delicious,” I said.

I think she got offended by it when she said,“It just looks delicious?”

“I’m sure it’s delicious, really,” I said.

Moments have passed. I was in the kitchen washing dishes when she approached me again peering at my face.

Flatmate: “Asan ang ngipin mo? Lalagyan ko ng pasta.” (Where’s your teeth? I’ll put some dental filling.)

Me: “Ha?”

Flatmate: “Yang ngipin mo, lagyan ko ng pasta.” (Your teeth, I’ll put dental filling.)

My face was all contorted and I was thinking if I ever asked her if she knew some Dentist…

Then I realized my mistake. She said PASTA, didn’t she?

Oh my gosh…ahahahaha! This was the actual question:

Flatmate: “Asan pinggan mo? Lalagyan ko ng pasta.” (Where’s your plate? I’ll put some pasta.)

Me: (My thoughts) Ahahahaha! Tanga! (Stupid!)

To regain my composure, I made another mistake by quickly pulling out a plate from my cupboard and gave it to her, just so she wouldn’t realize I didn’t hear her right. But then I realized I looked like I’ve been waiting for her to share the pasta with me. So I made another stupid statement.

Me: “Uy, di ako nanghihingi ah! Baka sabihin mo nanghihingi ako…” (Hey, I didn’t ask you to give ha! Maybe you’re thinking that I’m asking…) Pardon the translation.

Flatmate: Okey lang, marami pa naman.” (It’s okay, there’s plenty of it.)

Seriously, I wasn’t really asking…

My thoughts just turned into words and my ears heard wrong.

But she did peer at my face and I thought she wanted to have a look at my teeth if it needed some dental filling…

I even forgot she cooked pasta.

Then why the hell did I hear her wrong?

Pasta…I don’t need pasta! My teeth are perfectly fine. But you can put it on my plate, thank you.


The Slimy Noodles

After walking at Corniche beach with Ryan yesterday, he treated me to dinner at Subway. Then we met up with Noel (who also went jogging) and treated us to this Indian Restaurant to try out this veggie noodles. I guess I’m not the only one turning into a health buff. 🙂

Noel said there’s this noodles that resembles and tastes like “Lomi,” a kind of noodles in the Philippines which is famous in Batangas. It’s a thick, flat noodles in a clear, kind of sticky, slimy white soup. He forgot the name of that noodles on the menu so he asked the Indian waiter which noodles it is as he described it.

Noel: Brother, which noodles here has thick noodles with white sauce? I can’t remember if it’s the Hakka or the Szechuan noodles.

Indian waiter: Hakka is blah, blah, blah, a little bit spicy, blah, blah. Szechuan noodles is red, a little bit spicy, blah, blah, blah.

Noel: No, that’s not it. (Thinking long and hard.) You know, in the Philippines it’s called Lomi.

Me: E di lalong di nya naintindihan...(The more he wouldn’t understand…)

Ryan: Brother, you know, it’s slimy.

Indian waiter: (Blank stare.)

Noel: Masyadong malalim ang English mo, simplehan mo lang. (You’re English is too deep, make it simple.)

I was trying to think of a much simpler term than slimy. Sticky? Gooey? Viscous? The more that the waiter wouldn’t understand me.

Me: Don’t you have pictures of the dishes in your menu so we can show you which one it is?

Indian waiter: No, we don’t have. No problem, order what you want and if you don’t like, you can return. No problem.

Noel: Okay, we’ll just try. We’ll have the Szechuan and instead of Hakka, make it Singaporean noodles.

He then turned to us and said, “Baka yung Singaporean noodles yun.” (It must be the Singaporean noodles.)

Alas, when our order came, nothing resembled our famous Lomi. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the noodles even if it’s not “slimy.” 😉

Not Another (De)Classified Excuse

There is no other valid excuse that I can think of of not running today. It’s my day off, I was able to sleep (I came from night shift), and I was able to chat online with my family earlier. But the thing is, how can I run when all I ate the whole day is a bag of potato chips?

I’m not hungry. I was supposed to cook pancakes but I’ve changed my mind. Then I thought about cooking hot dogs, eggs, and fried rice but I lost my appetite. I tried thinking about mouth-watering food just so I can have the feeling of hunger. But tried as I might, it didn’t work. Am I sick or something? Is there anything psychologically wrong with me?

I’m fond of analyzing things so I’m gonna analyze myself and my so-called eating behavior:

1. I’m alone. Eating alone plays a major factor of not having any appetite. Ever notice how a bag of chips become enticing when shared? Or how you tend to eat a lot when eating together with your friends, colleagues, or family? Eating alone, no matter how delicious or tasty your food is, it just becomes bland and unappetizing.

2. Shifting schedules. Our body clock’s way of telling you how confused it is. When you should be sleeping, you’re awake. When you should be awake, you’re sleeping. When you’re supposed to eat, you don’t feel hungry and vice versa. Now the hunger center in my brain is not doing its job because my body is supposed to be asleep. I bet I’ll finally feel hungry when it’s time for bed. Typical. That’s why there’s this so-called raiding the refrigerator during the night. Ever felt that urge to get up in the middle of the night sleep-walking to your fridge?

3. Eating junk food can suppress the appetite. Have you heard your mother tell you not to eat chips before dinner? Well that’s the reason, I think. It’s the salt. It tricks your body to think that its full because salt causes you to gain unwanted water weight. It pays to listen to your mother (sometimes).

4. Other than the above-mentioned-reasons. Like me, for instance, I just had a chat online with my family. The urge to go home was so strong that I wanted to go home right there and then. My mom and I discussed some valid and invalid reasons of  going home and not going home. She made me think of the consequences of whatever decision I make. I’m torn apart. It’s hard to decide against reason. That’s what probably made me lose my appetite.

If I could turn this event into something that will make people lose weight, by tricking the body to suppress its appetite, I’d be in jail, he he. I don’t want to go teaching people how to become anorexic. I don’t even look like one, so screw it. As much as I’d like to lose some weight, I’d like to have my appetite back. There’s nothing worse than looking malnourished.

Dog Food?

My Pakistani colleague and I were talking about weird foods that people eat because our Filipina office girl mentioned that she likes to eat dogs. Errr…yeah. Dogs. Cooked, of course. 😉 It made my Pakistani friend shudder.

In the Philippines, it is against the law to eat dogs. But there is a certain tribe that is allowed to eat dogs because it’s part of their culture. – Asocena: History of Dog Meat-Eating in the Philippines

I clearly remember as a kid, when our neighbor, with their alcoholic father, will start making pulutan before having their drinking session. I saw a dog tied in a tree, barking, more like crying, and then our dogs and all the other dogs from our neighborhood will start barking/howling altogether, like something was about to happen. Then I saw it coming. The alcoholic father was holding a piece of wood and the dog was barking at him, aggressively hostile and terrified. Suddenly, he lifted the piece of wood and forcefully aimed for the dog’s head like a madman, over and over until the dog stopped crying…the next thing you hear is the of  howling neighborhood dogs that sounded like grieving for the loss of one of their own.

I stood there paralyzed.

I could not really tolerate any form of maltreatment and abuse to any living creature. But I can’t do anything  to stop it either . But then for that little girl whom I used to be, no matter how shocked I was for witnessing that event, and the people around me just treated it as a normal occurrence, I got used to the idea that eating dog meat for pulutan is a part of our culture. But it doesn’t mean that all Filipinos eat dog meat.

There was this Fiesta, when I was small girl, that our family attended, and my older cousin told me to try this one dish that stood out from the rest. He said there’s only a few left so I might as well get my share before it ran out. It looks delicious so I took some and started eating. It does taste good. Then my cousin suddenly laughed so hard and I was wondering why. That was when he told me that I just had my taste of dog meat. I threw up.

So I have tasted dog meat.

That was the first and last time I ever tasted one. From then on, I’m careful to ask what the mystery meat is before eating a certain dish, especially in the provinces.

“Is it true that Filipinos eat dogs?” asked my Pakistani colleague. And I jokingly said, “yes, that and some other weird foods they call exotic.” And I started listing down the exotic foods that I can think of just to see how he’d react.

My Pakistani colleague’s face twisted and said, “I don’t like Filipinas anymore…”


I love dogs and I respect culture and tradition. But I hate cruelty.

So I strongly support these organizations:



I hope you do, too. 😉

Hello, May I Take Your Order?

My work schedule is preventing me from eating on time. I always tend to skip one meal. I don’t have time to cook so I buy my food at the hospital cafeteria, eat junk food/instant noodles or eat outside when I’m off-duty.

One time when I was rushing for work, I stopped by KFC to order some dinner. Luckily, there wasn’t any queue so I went and placed my order.

Me: One piece original chicken please, thigh part, for takeout.

Crew: Original or Spicy?

Me: (Ignoring her question because she might not have heard me. Didn’t I just tell her???) Original…

Crew: For dine in or takeout?

Me: (Sheesh! eyes getting smaller…) For takeout…(drumming my fingers on the counter.)

Crew: And what would be your drink ma’am?

Me: Sprite. Ooopps, sorry…Mountain Dew.

I saw the crew getting a tumbler  filling it up with Pepsi. I didn’t say anything until she gave me the wrong drink.


Crew: Ooopps, sorry.

Did she just mock me???

I don’t know but, is she dumb or what??? Did I place my order wrong? I just told her my order in one complete sentence (except for my drink). Did spicy ever slipped in my order? Did I just say for dine-in instead of takeout?

I might as well place an order from a robot.