Thursday, July 26, 2012

OFF-LOADING OF FILIPINO TRAVELERS: Is it fair or discriminating?

Date: July 26, 2012
Time: 9:57 PM
Location: City tower 2, Al Barsha, Dubai UAE

A total of 521 passengers were offloaded or not allowed to leave the country in 2011 because of falsified travel documents, according to a report from the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) NAIA Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons. The report showed that of the 521 passengers offloaded in 2011, 30 were classified as minors, 316 as Tourist Workers and 175 as OFWs with irregularities in their documents.. 'Tourist Workers' are people who attempt to travel for the purpose of gaining employment abroad without proper documentation and those people who attempt to go to countries where the Philippines currently has a deployment or travel ban, or those who provide spurious travel documents. (Divina, 2012) (If you would like to read the rest of the article just go to http://www.ofwngayon.com/2012/01/521-passengers-offloaded-naia-2011/)

Before I went here to Dubai, isa sa mga problemang iniisip ko is the PHILIPPINE IMMIGRATION. Sila yung mga Immigration Officers na kailangan mong daanan before you could board into the plane. Ang tanong, bakit sila naging problema sa akin or sa kahit sinong nagbabalak umalis ng bansa? ANSWER: Kasi meron silang kakayahan na pigilan kang umalis. Pwede ka nilang pigilan umalis kahit na nakapagbayad ka na ng malaking pera sa visa at plane tickets mo. Bakit? Hindi ko din alam. Sila lang ang nakaka-alam.

Philippine Immigration (Source: google.com
Bakit nga ba napaka-higpit nitong mga Immigration Officers sa Philippines? According to what I've read, since 2011, strict departure formalities have been imposed. All travelers are required to undergo what they called 'primary inspection' wherein a passenger should present a valid passport, required visa and a round-trip ticket.

For tourists, inspection thing doesn't just end there. After the primary inspection, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) is authorized to do a secondary inspection. According to the article made by Ruiz (2012) from the Manila Bulletin website, the secondary inspection was made "for the purpose of protecting vulnerable victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment and other related offenses". The assessment will take into consideration age; educational attainment, and financial capability to travel. (If you want to read the rest of the article, just go to http://www.mb.com.ph/node/349903/new-guide).

Its the discretion of the Immigration Officers (IO) if they would allow you to go out of the country or not. The question is, bakit meron pa ring mga passengers despite having complete or should I say enough documents to show, hindi pa rin sila pinapayagang umalis?

I came across different forums in the internet and I got the chance to read different cases of people being offloaded. Most of them were on visit/tourist visas. They were offloaded because there were insufficiency with their documents. Pero ano nga ba ang mga dapat dalhin na mga documents pag haharap ka na sa immigration?

According to Grace (2011) from her blog post about "Unjustified 'offloading of Filipino travelers", Despite having proper documents, Filipino still face problems at the immigration desks while exiting the country. The proper documents would include passport, visa to enter Dubai and that Affidavit of Support (a new document imposed last September 2010 by the Philippine Government supposedly to curb human trafficking but has been subjected to a lot of abuse and seen only as new money making scheme) authenticated at the Philippine Consulate in Dubai and Air tickets. But horror stories have surfaced how people are bullied into answering ridiculous questions like proving his/her relation with the sponsoring relative in Dubai (which have been proven during the notarization of the Affidavit), show money (cash on hand), ATM cards, Credit cards, certificate of employment in the Philippines, etc. 


I don't know if it was just my lucky day that day when I had my encounter with the immigration at NAIA Terminal 1. Iniisip ko nga nun mamimili ako ng babae na immigration officer (IO) baka mas mababait sila. Yun pala, pag dating dun, isa lang yung pila, tapos depende kung sinong officer yung unang mabakante, dun ka pupunta. Yung balak kong mamili at mapunta sa babae, hindi nagkatotoo dahil sa lalaking immigration officer ako napunta. Siya yung tipong pilosopong immigration officer na tipong huhulihin ka talaga.

Turn ko na nun na pumunta sa kanya, malayo pa lang, tinignan niya na kung ano yung suot kong damit, kung ano yung itsura ko. (sorry kuya, prepared ako, I was just wearing shorts, polo shirt na black, jacket and a running shoes that time, para mukang turista) when I stepped into his counter, binigay ko na agad yung Passport, Tourist visa, at yung card na maliit, Embarkation card yata yung tawag dun.

Immigration Officer (IO): Sino pupuntahan mo sa Dubai?
ME: My cousin, sir. (pinilit ko talagang mag-english para sosyal, haha!)
IO: First, Second or Third?
ME: First cousin, Sir.
IO: Ahh, sige punta ka muna doon sa secondary inspection ha, kapag pinayagan ka nilang umalis, balik ka dito sa akin.
ME: (at first naisip ko, ay shit! na hold ako, pero sinabi ko na lang..) Okay, sir.
IO: Nag-wowork ka ba dito?
ME: Yes Sir. I am working full-time as a Sales officer sa _____Corporation. and I am working as a part-time Market Researcher in ____. (That time, I came prepared, may dala akong Company IDs, Leave of absence, at Employment Certificates, pero ang hiningi lang yung Company IDs)
IO: (Tinignan nya lang saglit yung mga Company IDs, tapos sabi..) Pwede yun sa inyo? Dalawa trabaho?
ME: Yes, sir. (Pero sa isip ko, Obviously SIR!)
IO: (may ginawa lang sya saglit dun sa mga papers ko, hindi ko alam kung ano, tapos sabi..) Sige, okay ka na.
ME: Where should I go next, Sir? (nalito ako kasi sabi niya for secondary inspection daw ako)
IO: Dun ka na sa gate.
ME: (pagtingin ko ng passport ko, may tatak na.) THANK YOU SIR. (sabay alis)

Though thankful ako, hindi din naman ako nagulat na makakalagpas ako sa immigration kasi first time ko lang umalis ng country. Malinis pa ang passport ko. Prepared din akong humarap sa kanila. Lahat ng possible na documents na hingin nila sa akin, meron ako. Valid passport, Tourist visa, Roundtrip tickets, Affidavit of support, Birth certificate ko at ng sponsor ko, OEC ng sponsor ko, Copy of passport at visa ng sponsor ko, Company IDs, Leave of Absence, Employment Certificates, pocket money, at ultimo pictures na magkasama kami ng sponsor ko, meron ako.

Ngayon, nandito na ako sa Dubai for more than a month na, nakahanap na rin ako ng work at naghihintay ng visa. Wala naman akong balak takbuhan ang gobyerno natin sa pilipinas, mag paparegister pa din ako sa POEA/OWWA dito. Magiging documented overseas Filipino worker pa din naman ako. Hindi naman masamang pumunta ka at mag-apply ng work sa ibang bansa with a visit/tourist visa. Katulad dito sa Dubai, they allow it. Pag na hire ka, magiging working/employment visa yung visa mo. The thing is, kailangan mo ding isipin kung saan ang nanggaling at magparegister ka ng  maayos as a documented OFW. Yes, magbabayad ka ng taxes and all, pero its the law, you have to abide by the laws.

Dito ko naintindihan kung bakit ginagawa ng immigration yung ginagawa nila doon sa airport. Dito lang sa Dubai, napaka-daming Filipina na prostitute. I don't know if may visa sila (but I doubt, wala namang kumpanya ang gagawa ng visa for prostitutes) pero madami sila. Nagkalat. Hindi ko din masisisi ang gobyerno kung bakit nila ginagawa na mag-higpit sa airport at in-offload ang mga passengers na sa tingin nila eh magiging prostitutes lang sa ibang bansa.

Ang hindi ko lang naman mainitindihan, bakit sinasabi ng ibang mga tao sa mga forums na meron daw mga immigration officers na humihingi or tumatanggap ng 'suhol' para lang mapa-alis nila yung mga passengers. Pati tuloy yung mga tao na balak humanap ng matinong trabaho abroad eh naaapektuhan din. Sana gumawa pa yung gobyerno ng Pilipinas ng mas maayos na paraan para sa mga ganitong cases. After nilang magbayad for their visas, passports, plane tickets na hindi biro ang presyo (dito lang sa Dubai, it would costs 3000+ dhs. kulang kulang 40000 pesos) tyaka palang nila malalaman na hindi pala sila papayagan umalis or worse, susuhulan pa nila ang mga immigration officers ng malaking pera din para lang maka-alis. I'm not holding any facts here, I am just basing my judgments  sa mga nababasa ko sa mga forums and I don't think 'people' wouldn't create such things na hindi naman talaga nila na-experience, so, I guess, meron nga. totoo nga.

Hindi ko masisisi ang gobyerno for implementing rules like these kasi ang iniisip lang naman nila eh yung protection or yung safety ng mga Filipinos all over the world. Kung baga ang gusto lang naman nila eh maging documented lahat para kung sakaling may mangyaring masama, eh may record sila. Meron kasing mga tao na nag settle nalang sa pagiging undocumented, walang record sa POEA para hindi na magbayad ng taxes or kung anu-ano mang fee. Hindi din naman natin sila pwedeng masisi, kahit mali, gusto lang naman nilang mag kumita. Pero sana magawan nila ng paraan yung mga nagpapabayad na immigration officers. Sana isipin nila yung mga taong gumastos ng malaki para lang makapagtrabaho sila sa ibang bansa for their families.

Para naman sa mga taong balak lang maging prostitutes, undocumented workers at mag cause ng human trafficking, wag kayo magalit kung ma-offload kayo. Kayo nga ang dahilan kung bakit nag-higpit ang government natin ng ganito. Mas mabuti pa ngang na-offload kayo at least hindi kayo napahamak sa mga balak niyong gawin na masama sa ibang bansa. Think about it.

Kung noon ko sasagutin ang tanong kung fair or discriminating ba ang pag-offload ng mga passengers, I would answer its discriminating, no doubt. But seeing Filipinos here doing such acts na hindi na maganda, sila ang dahilan kung bakit napaka-baba ng tingin ng mga ibang lahi I'm sure hindi lang dito sa Dubai pati na rin sa ibang bansa. I think its just fair. Depende nalang sa tao. Maayos ang law na ipinasa ng Gobyerno natin sa Pilipinas. Depende na lang yan kung papaano ii-implement ng mga Immigration Officers, kung magpapa-suhol ba sila or not, depende rin kung papaano titignan ng mga taong maapektuhan ng mga laws na ganito.

--------------------------------------------------

MY TIPS FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO WILL BE HAVING AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE PHILIPPINE IMMIGRATION:
1. If you are on a tourist visa, dress up like a real turista. (Wearing shorts is not prohibited in the airport, in fact, it could help you look more convincing)
2. Bring all the documents needed, when I say all, think of ALL the documents that an immigration officer could ask for (especially the filipino immigration na napakadaming hinihingi kahit wala namang connection)
***Valid passport, Visa and Roundtrip ticket (they will surely ask for a roundtrip ticket in case you are on a tourist visa)
***Company IDs, Leave of absence and Employment Certificates --- Just in case they will ask for all, in my case, they just asked for my Company IDs.
***Birth Certificate of you and your sponsor (to prove your relationship with your sponsor)
***Copy of the passport and OEC of your sponsor (just an additional documents)
***Photos of you and your sponsor together (I brought one during my time but they didn't ask for it)
3. When approaching them, don't be nervous. (Paglapit mo pa lang, titignan ka na nyang mga yan)
4. Answer their question STRAIGHT TO THE POINT. If you just need to answer YES OR NO, just say YES OR NO. No need for further explanations.
5. IF YOU KNOW IN YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE RIGHT, DON'T HESITATE TO REASON OUT. (In a good way of course) HUWAG KANG PUMAYAG MA-OFFLOAD KUNG SA TINGIN MO HINDI KA NAMAN DAPAT MA-OFFLOAD.

If you have comments or violent reactions about my post, don't hesitate to write on the comment box just below this post. Thank you! :)


References:

Divina. (January 16, 2012). "521 passengers 'off-loaded' at NAIA in 2011".  http://www.ofwngayon.com/2012/01/521-passengers-offloaded-naia-2011/ 7/27/2012 1:55 PM

Ruiz, J.B. (January 31, 2012). "New Guides for Off-loading Passengers", Retrieved from http://www.mb.com.ph/node/349903/new-guide 07/27/2012 12:53 PM

Grace, (October 17, 2011). "Unjustified 'offloading' of Filipino travelers", Retrieved from http://sandierpastures.com/dubai/expat-life/unjustified-offloading-of-filipino-travelers.html 07/27/2012 3:20 PM

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bringing back 'My Life After Coffee'

Date: July 25, 2012
Time: 3:05 PM
Location: City Tower 2, Al Barsha, Dubai UAE

Good afternoon! Out of boredom I decided to bring back my old blog name 'My Life After Coffee'. I just thought that its more cool than the previous one. No important reasons at all. haha. I would like to thank all my readers na bumabalik kahit puro tungkol naman sa akin tong mga pinopost ko. 

This photo was taken during my first week here in Dubai, thats in Jumeirah Beach Residence here in Dubai Marina, Dubai UAE. There are lots of beautiful places here in Dubai. I will post all my turista moments here soon! Thank you!






Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another Chapter..

Date: June 12, 2012
Time: 2:37 PM

Hi, everyone! Its nice to be back. Happy Independence Day to all the Filipinos out there! Its been 2 years since I graduated from College. I could still remember what I said before that I will never ever work abroad because I don't want to leave my family here in the Philippines. But guess what, I am going to work abroad and I'll be leaving na next next week. haha. Now I believe in the saying that, "Huwag kang magsasalita ng tapos". Because though you have plans for yourself, you have limitations in terms of the path that you wanted to take, still, at the end of the day, God's plans for you will still prevail. I know God wanted me to take this big step on my career. I know He was the one who made this possible for me. 

Back then, when people say abroad, WOAH. There are lots of pre-requisites, MONEY is one. PATIENCE, etc. But now, God made a way for me to be in my position right now. I am going to leave the Philippines next next week. June 24 to be exact. How am I feeling right now? Mixed emotions. I feel excited because of the opportunities that I will get. I will get to choose what type of career path I will take. I will have the chance to live by independently. Since I was a kid until I graduated College then had a job, I never left home. Now, this is my chance to experience LIFE. How it is like to live independently. Though I know, it will be hard, I am still excited for it. 

Of course, I couldn't release the thought of being some kinda rich someday. Because you know, the mindset of most of the people, pag nasa abroad ka, mayaman ka. And I won't deny, dati, ganun din ang naiisip ko. But now, I will get the chance to experience it myself. I expect a lot of difficulties and troubles. You can't call a success, a success without hardwork. Does I make sense? I expect to experience a lot of problems when I get there but I know that through God's help, everything will be fine.

Honestly, madami na akong naiisip na pagdadaanan ko. Dito palang, the Immigration officers at the airport. I don't know how I am going to be treated by the Immigation Officer. I've been reading a lot of articles about them and really, it makes me sooooooo damn nervous. Sorry for the word. After going through them, there comes the people in Dubai. How am I going to talk to them? How am I going to act in front of them? The laws in Dubai are different from ours so how would I know If I am doing something wrong? Should I wait for a policeman to tell me that? haha! Those are just some of the potential problems that I am preparing for right now.

I just pray that the everything will be alright from the time that I will leave the Philippines until I reach Dubai. From then on, I will try to think of the present time. I will try to avoid thinking of the future or the past kasi baka mabaliw ako dun. haha. Thank you for reading! I just need to have an outlet ng mga nararamdaman ko, kasi iniisip ko palang ang mga mangyayari parang ayoko na. hehe. Thanks again!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

American Idol 2012: Phillip Phillips!

Date: May 24, 2012
Time: 10:24 AM

After 132 million votes nationwide, the AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 11 is........ PHILLIP PHILLIPS!!!

Soooo.. How do you guys feel about the results? I've been reading tweets and blogs about the results of American Idol right after Ryan announced the winner and guess what? Most of the tweets that I have read expressed bitterness towards the results. Well, that's expected. There's a Filipino blood running through Jessica's veins. But then again, I don't think we should destroy Phil's feelings because America voted for him to be their Idol.

YES! There's no doubt about it, Jessica sings better... No, I mean, waaaaayyyy better than Phil, but American Idol is a POPULARITY CONTEST. More votes, more chances of winning as what they say. So I guess, the Filipino power failed to outshine the voting powers of Phil's fans. Well, Congrats Phil!

Even though Jessica did not win, I still want to congratulate her for sharing her godly talent to the world. Thank you for bringing (somehow) the name of our Country (Philippines) to the world scene. Remember, Jessica got voted off during the Top 7 eliminations (If I am not mistaken), but the Judges used their 'SAVE' that brought Jessica back to the competition and look how far she came after that scene.. AMERICAN IDOL FINALE! Clap clap for JESSICA SANCHEZ for that! If ever there will be another person with a Filipino blood who will join American Idol, he/she will surely have a difficult time to go over with the success Jessica has achieved because in order for that person to do that, he/she should be the AMERICAN IDOL WINNER!

How I felt for the results? Hmm. Of course, I would be a hypocrite if I would say that I was not bitter about it. I would want Jessica Sanchez to win. But now that Philip has won, I was happy for him. Winning does not determine your success. There were lots of American Idol winner who were not 'that' successful in the music scene, compare to those who did not make it and were able to make it bigger than those who did win. So I am sure, even though Jessica did not win, she will make it big there. I can't wait to hear her music on  the radio and see her music in the charts. I also hope that Jessica and the rest of the Idol finalists could visit the Philippines. I will surely watch out for that! :)

Again, Congratulations PHIL PHILLIPS! I pray for you and the rest of the idol finalist will make it big to the music scene all over the world! See you around. wow. :)


American Idol 2012: Jessica or Phillip?

Date: May 23, 2012
Time: 8:27 PM

Jessica or Phillip? 
Who's your American Idol Season 11 Winner? Is it Jessica Sanchez or Phillip Phillips? 

If you would ask me, definitely, I would say, its Jessica Sanchez. Why? Because for me, vocally, she is perfect. Considering her age, she is just 16 years old and look what she could do with her voice.

I am not saying that Phil Phillips doesn't have what it takes to be an American Idol, its just that,  as far as I'm concerned, American Idol is a SINGING COMPETITION, and comparing him to Jessica Sanchez, I think Jessica is more deserving than him.

I was able to see how Jessica and Phil evolved in terms of how they sing and even how their looks were changed. I never missed an episode of American Idol this season. Performance or Results night? name it. haha. Idol fanatic huh? 

Last night, during the finale, I think Jessica did better than Phillip. In terms of the songs they sang, I believe Jessica sang more finale-appropriate songs than Phil. Does I make sense? On my opinion, Phil should have sang 'Volcano' or 'We've Got Tonight' than 'Movin' Out'. For me, those two songs are few of the best songs he sang for the entire season.

There were actually rumors from twitter that Phil's 3rd song entitled 'Home' was not really his original. The song was originally sang by Greg Holden. If its true or not, it doesn't matter anymore, what's important was he was able to sang it very beautifully that made the judges stood up to their feet.

What I don't understand was why the judges didn't like how Jessica sang her 3rd song which is 'Change Nothing'. On my opinion, it was perfect for her. Biased right? haha.

Whatever the decision may be tomorrow, let's leave everything to America and to God. For me, I pray that the title will be on Jessica's favor. I pray that Jessica Sanchez will be this season's American Idol. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Leaving Convergys..

Date: May 21, 2012
Time: 9:14 PM

Good evening, everyone. Its been a while. Sorry for being absent for several weeks. For no reason, maybe, I just ran out of interesting topics to write about. But it doesn't mean that I was not happy these past weeks. In fact, how I lived my life these past weeks or should I say months was like one of the happiest moments that I would always remember. Yes, I am talking about how I lived my life in Convergys.

Time really has flown so fast. After I graduated from college, I worked for NCO just for the sake of experience. I just wanted to try how it was like to work in a call center company. But then, look, I just left Convergys, the third call center company that I have worked for. Leaving was never easy especially when you got to be attached with the nature of your work and to the people you have worked with.

In Convergys, I experienced how it was like to work and enjoy at the same time. I never got tired of going to work everyday. In fact, I never had an absent for almost 9 months that I have worked for the company. Aside from the nature of the work (just so you are aware, we are doing surveys) which I considered not-so difficult task to do, my relationship with my office-mates and even with my bosses really  contributed significantly of why I had fun working for them. Every day was like just a happy day.

I am going to miss everyone there like hell. From my bosses up to the respondents that I used to have my surveys with. My wave-mates! WAVE 43. I will always love you guys. You know that. My team-mates from Purple (the people closest to my heart) and to the Pink-ones (though we never got to spend a lot of time together) thank you for everything. I am going to miss you guys! I'm sure we will get to see to each other soon!  I am going to miss my projects as well! haha. From the everlasting Grocery and Pharmacy up to the very sensitive 5/3 Bank. I will always remember all the PAT RESPONSES that I have learned from each project! haha! 

Though it was very sad to leave not just this company but to leave in general, every sacrifice means a better opportunity. I don't want to reveal it at the moment, tyaka nalang. haha. Thank you very much for reading! 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How to Run with Proper Form and Technique


How to Run with Proper Form and Technique



Running may be challenging, but it is an activity humans were designed to do—and it's something nearly everyone can enjoy if we allow time and patience for our bodies to adapt to the demands of the sport. But that doesn't mean that proper running form will come naturally for you.

If you were to watch 10 different people run, you would notice that each one has a distinctive style. There is not one "correct" way to run. You should run the way that is most comfortable and efficient for you. However, you can still fine-tune your running technique, whether you're an experienced runner or a walker who is ready to jump into running. Every runner should understand the basics like proper breathing, posture and foot strike. With proper form, you can help improve your performance and decrease your risk of running ailments and injuries.

Proper Running Posture
Just as you should maintain good posture when standing or sitting, maintaining a relaxed, upright posture while running is essential. Good posture will help release tension and reduce strain in the neck and shoulders, which can prevent muscle fatigue. The idea is to run in a relaxed manner with as little tension as possible. Follow these four proper posture principles to do just that.
  1. Hold your head high, centered between your shoulders, and your back straight. Imagine your body is hanging from a string that is attached to the top of your head. Do not lean your head too far forward; this can lead to fatigue and tightness in the neck, as well as the shoulders, back and even your hamstrings. While a backward lean is not as common, doing so puts greater tension on your back and legs, so avoid that, too.
  2. Focus your gaze approximately 30-40 yards in front of you. Looking down when running can lead to greater strain on the neck muscles and spine, which can lead to fatigue especially in the latter part of your run.
  3. Relax your jaw and neck. Holding too much tension in your face and neck can lead to tension in other parts of your body, making for an inefficient (and tiring) run.
  4. Keep your shoulders relaxed and parallel to the ground. Do not pull your shoulder blades together as this increases shoulder tension. Your shoulders should hang loosely with a slight forward roll for optimal relaxation. If your shoulders rise toward your ears or tense up during your run, drop your arms and loosely shake them out. Do this several times during your run.
Arms and Hands
When you run, your arms (and hands) are just as important and powerful as your legs are. They provide power and speed as they propel forward. Proper arm and hand placement is just as important as good posture if you want to be a better runner. Here's a rundown of proper alignment and movement from your fingertips to your shoulders.
  • Lightly cup your hand as through you were holding an egg or a delicate butterfly. Don't make a tight, clenching fist or keep your hands too loose that they become floppy.
  • Keep your wrists loose. This will help you maintain a good hand and shoulder position—and avoid tension in the hands and arms that can work its way up to your shoulders.
  • Bend your elbows at approximately a 90-degree angle with your elbows slightly pointed away from your torso. As your arms pump, your elbows should swing somewhere between your chest and waistline—not higher or lower than that. Carrying your arms too high can lead to fatigue, a shorter stride length, and increased shoulder tension; carrying them too low can lead to bouncing and a forward lean.
  • Allow your arms to swing from the shoulders in a pumping motion from front to back. Be careful to prevent your arms from crossing the midline of your body.
  • Pumping your arms at a faster rate will allow for faster leg turnover, however make sure you do not put too much power into your arm movement unless you are doing speed work, running up hills or powering yourself to get across the finish line. Your goal is to hold off fatigue and muscle tension.
Breathing
Over time, each runner will discover a breathing technique that works best for him or her. As to whether you breathe through your nose, mouth, or a combination of the two, is a personal preference. Most runners find that mouth breathing provides the body with the greatest amount of oxygen.

Whatever technique you choose to use, make sure your breathing is relaxed and deep. It may take conscious effort in the beginning, but deep abdominal or "belly" breathing is ideal for running. Most of the time, we breath quickly and shallowly into our chests. This may work fine for daily living, when the body isn't demanding a greater need for oxygen, but it's an inefficient—and even stressful—way to breathe when exercising.

To practice belly breathing, lie flat on your back with a book on your abdomen. Slowly inhale as you watch the book rise, then lower the book by slowly exhaling. This takes focus, but overtime you will find it easier to do this type of breathing during your runs.

Side stitches (sharp, cramp-like pain in the trunk of the body) are quite common among new runners, and they can really put a damper on your workout. One cause of side stitches can be shallow, upper chest breathing. This is where belly breathing helps tremendously. By inhaling and then forcefully exhaling through pursed lips, you can very often help prevent the dreaded side stitch. Maintaining good posture, with your body in an upright position, also allows for better lung expansion, therefore permitting for greater delivery of oxygen to the muscles.

Finding Your Stride 
One of the most common mistakes new runners make is overstriding. When you extend your lead foot too far out in front of the body, it lands in front of your center of gravity creating a breaking effect. This can lead to injury issues such as runner's knee and shin splints. Also, make sure your strides are not too short and choppy so that you appear to bounce; this is just as inefficient as overstriding. It is far better to understride than to overstride, however, but you should find a stride length that is comfortable, almost effortless.

Over time, your leg turnover or "cadence" will get faster. You may also find your stride lengthening, but this is not due to overstretching the lead leg as many new runners do, but rather from increasing the forward motion of the rear leg.

Be careful not to lift the knees too high as doing so can lead to fatigue in the quadriceps (front of the thighs).

Footstrike
Footstrike refers to how, where, and when the foot hits the ground. There has been a lot of debate in the running community as to whether heel striking or mid-foot striking is a better approach to endurance running; however, the reality is that most average runners are heel strikers. In other words, they land with their heel first and roll to the ball of the foot. This comes naturally to most people, but striking with your heel can increase your risk of injury—especially to the knees—and may set you up for shin splint or hamstring injuries. Over time, it isn't uncommon for a runner to change her footstrike as she develops greater muscle strength in addition to developing stronger connective tissues in his legs and feet. A mid-foot strike, in contrast to a heel strike, provides greater shock absorption, decreases strain on the calves and Achilles tendon, and may help prevent shin splints. As long as your foot strikes the ground directly below your center of gravity—not too far ahead (as explained in the Finding Your Stride section above)—the best technique for you is the one that allows you the best running efficiency while preventing injury.

As you develop greater muscle strength and the connective tissues supporting the legs, eventually you may find your footstrike evolving into a more advanced technique known at the ball-heel-toe strike. This occurs when you land lightly on the outside ball of the foot then quickly roll to the heel only to push off with your big toe.

Run to the Hills
Hills can bring anxiety and dread to runners of all levels. It is usually a runner's biggest concern when scoping out races or courses to run. Nevertheless, the more you practice, the better you can cope with the terrain changes you encounter.

Runners should practice both uphill and downhill running, which both demand different running techniques. Uphill running requires greater power from the hamstrings (back thigh muscles), glutes and calf muscles, while downhillrunning requires greater use of the quadriceps.

Before you begin training on hills, it is best to have run on a flat surface for several months first. Even though many people believe uphill running poses a greater injury threat, it is actually downhill training that can pose a bigger risk, especially if you do not have a solid running foundation.

Once you start hill work, remember to keep these training runs to no more than 1-2 days a week, while allowing for adequate recovery before trying them again.

Uphill Techniques
Uphill running burns more calories, improves oxygen delivery to the muscles, and can help an average runner train to become faster and more efficient on a flat terrain. Hills help a runner increase his or her leg turnover, and they increase strength and power in the leg muscles.

Below are some changes you will need to make to your running form in order to conquer the hills safely and effectively.
  • Attack or charge the hill while still maintaining the same rate of effort, however know that due to the gravitational pull, your speed will naturally be slower.
  • Pick up your knees and shorten your stride while increasing your stride rate. Your stride should still allow for a landing in the center of gravity or just slightly ahead of the lead foot.
  • Pump your arms at a slightly faster rate, keeping in mind that the steeper the hill, the more arm motion you will need to drive up the hill. This will help offset the gravitational pull.
  • Lean into the hill, not from the waist or hips, but from the ankle. Leaning at the waist can lead to potential injury and lessens the expansion of the lungs. The best explanation I've found about leaning from the ankle comes from an article in Running Times magazine. Author Danny Dreyer writes, "pretend you're a ski jumper gracefully extending yourself out over the tips of your skis, body fully extended." I couldn't have said it better.
  • Practice focusing on getting up that hill. Because uphill running requires greater strength and stamina than flat surface running, many times just taking control of the hill can help you conquer it.
Downhill Techniques
What goes up must come down. As much as runners despise uphill training, downhill running actually requires greater concentration in order to prevent injuries. When gravity pulls you downhill, your quadriceps absorb the impact of gravity plus your body weight. This increases your risk of knee and quadriceps injuries—if you don't take precautions—and may contribute to muscle soreness more than uphill running does. Slowing down and maintaining proper form is essential to run downhill injury-free.
  • Because the potential for injury is much greater running downhill, it is very important to maintain the same running form as you would on a flat terrain while still allowing gravity to do some of the work.
  • While it is tempting to lean back when taking on these types of runs, it is very important to keep a slight forward lean at the ankles, similar to the technique you used running uphill.
  • Instead of using your arms to increase power and speed, think of them as helping you maintain rhythm and balance.
  • Land lightly on the ball of your foot as you run downhill so that your feet don't act as brakes and slow your forward progression.
Although there is no "perfect" way to run, improving on some areas will make you a stronger, more efficient runner over time. Do not feel you need to make these changes all at once. It is far better to focus on sharpening one specific area, such as hand and arm positioning instead of trying to change everything at once.

You may find yourself a little overwhelmed after reading all that is involved in developing proper running form. Don't be. The most important point is to allow yourself time to adapt to the sport of running. Remember relaxation, whether with your breathing, arm positioning or body posture, is the key to becoming the best runner you can be!

Selected Sources
Burfoot, Amby. 2004. Runner's World Complete Book of Running Revised Edition. United States: Rodale.

Dreyer, Danny. Physical Running. Running Times magazine. http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=5857 (accessed September 11, 2009).

Galloway, Jeff. 2005. Running Getting Started. Oxford: Meyer and Meyer Sport.

Glover, Bob, and Jack Shepherd and Shelly-lynn Florence Glover. 1996. The Runner's Handbook. New York: Penguin Books.

Kuehls, Dave. 2007. 3 Months to Your First 5K. New York: Perigee.

Liberman, Art and Stephen Pribut and Carlo De Vito. 2008. The Everything Running Book. Avon: Adams Media.

Miller, Thomas. 2002. Programmed to Run. Champaign: Human Kinetics.

Murphy, Sam and Sarah Connors. 2008. Running Well. Great Britain: Human Kinetics.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Its running day, once again!

Date: April 9, 2012
Time: 10:02 PM

Goodevening folks! I'm back! Well, its been a while since I last posteda blog here. I'm sorry, I'm kinda busy with my work and with the abroad requirement stuffs that I am currently taking care of. Yes! you read it right! I'm going abroad! most probably, I'll be leaving this coming May (hopefully!) but I don't know yet. There are things need to be accomplished first. I'm gonna blog about it next time. This blogpost is about me fascinated again with runnning! haha!

Well, as you can see, I have changed the layout of my blog again! I'm sorry, not just the layout but the name or the title of my blog as well. From "My Life After Coffee" its now called, "Running Without Limits".. Is it nicer? :) Actually, I don't have any concrete reasons why I changed it. I AM JUST FASCINATED WITH RUNNING NOWADAYS. that's all. haha.

I fell in love with running when I started jogging last month I think. You can read some of my blogposts about it from my archives. hehe. I don't know, when I run, I feel like I am free. Whatever results I would get out of running, its really because of pure hardwork. I mean, you don't need any requirement or something for you to do it, you just need COURAGE, PATIENCE, and RUNNING SHOES. Thats it! haha.

Speaking of running shoes, I have bought one already! haha. One of the reasons why I was excited to run tonight was because of my new running shoes. haha. It just feels good when you are wearing comfortable shoes when you are running. Ang sarap lang sa feeling.
  



Not just about my running shoes, but also my armband! haha! finally, I was able to get one after weeks of searching for it. Every store that I go to, they only offer armbands for Iphones, what about for Blackberry??! :)



I promised to myself that I will take running seriously from now on. That's why I decided to register myself to this race called, 'I RUN FOR INTEGRITY'. This will be held on May 6, 2012 at BGC. I am excited at the same time nervous, why? Excited, because this is going to be my first time to join a FUN RUN. But nervous because I don't know if I could keep up with the pace of other runners, I mean, this is my first time to run, and I don't know if I could last up to the finish line. Hopefully, I could. I have a pic of the running shirt/singlet that I will be wearing on the day of the race. 


That's why, I'm trying to run everyday, I'm trying to train myself so that on May 6, I could keep up with other experienced runners. I have no plans of competing with them but just to keep up with their pace, and not to be the last person to finish the race, I am already happy with that.

PLUS! this race would be extra special because I will run with a friend whose very special to me. YES! I have a special guest, pero secret kung sino! haha. I just hope that this race would be fruitful for the both of us in every possible way. I don't want to elaborate on things but I hope what I am thinking could happen would happen on that day. 

Sayang lang, kasi kung kelan naisip ko na I will take running as like my career, ehh.. aalis na ako to dubai.. I will not be able to enjoy as many fun runs as I could kasi wala na ako dito. I just hope in Dubai, they also have this kind of races so that I could join them all. hihi!

This is the end of my blog. thanks for reading! KEEP RUNNING! :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Birthday to me! (overdue!)

Date: February 23, 2012
Time: 9: 01PM


Goodevening guys! :) I know this is kinda overdue already, but its better late than never! haha. I just wanted to thank ALL the people who remembered me on my birthday last February 17. "Thank you" is not enough to express how happy I was on my birthday. All the personal greetings from family, friends on facebook and twitter, loveones thru text messages.. THANK YOU! :)


I love you all, forever! 




www.mylifeaftercoffee.blogspot.com


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Canticle Choralefest 2012: VIVA!

Date: February 11, 2012
Time: 4:21 PM


February 9, 2012 -- A very magical day for the Adamson University College of Nursing. It was the day that the Canticle Choralefest 2012 was held. Every year, this is somehow the 'event' that all of us are waiting for. Among all the events in our school's foundation week, this is like one of the 'highlights'.




Having the chance to be a part of this event was like heaven already for us because once again, we will have the chance to represent our course, our department against the different departments/colleges in our school. 




But I never thought that there will come a time that we will be able to experience how it is like to win such prestigious contest like this. YES! GUYS! WE WON! :) That's why I was very lucky to be a part of this group and this competition. I am so thankful to God that He gave me such wonderful talents that I have right now. 


Aside from talents, another thing that made me sooo lucky is to have a wonderful friends that I consider a family as well. THE COLLEGE OF NURSING FAMILY. All of us people that came from AdU-CON are very lucky because even though we are already finished with our business in terms of schooling, they never fail to let us feel that we are as important and loved as other students in CON.


Special mention to AdU-CON's Dean, Dean Naressia Seludo-Ballena, whom we all consider as our second mother and to all the faculty members of AdU-CON. In the bottom of my heart, Thank you and we all love you. Because of you guys, I never get lazy to go to school everytime you request me to, because I feel that I am never away from my home, because AdU-CON mismo is my HOME. Our HOME. I guess that's one thing that College of Nursing has, even though, we only have a small number of students, each and everyone of us makes sure that each of us is well-loved and well-taken care of. 


Anyway, I will show you some pictures of what happened before, during and after the competition. Here they are!








These are just some of our pictures before the competition. We arrived at the venue around 1PM, for all we know that the competition will start at 2PM. (1 hour earlier! Nurses are always like that!, haha!) We arrived at the venue without expecting anything. We did not expect that we are going to win the competition because we rehearsed for four days only. But still, we did not use that excuse to not give our best and still compete even if we consider our group as the 'underdog' in this competition.








These photos are taken during our performance. Each group sang two songs. The first song was the 'chosen piece', it was the song that the group chose to sing (obviously, haha!). I forgot the name of our Chosen piece, the only phrase I could remember was the 'VIVA LA VERGEN!' phrase. haha. And the second song was the 'contest piece'. The song was composed by the organizer of the competition in relation to the celebration of the 80th year of Adamson University. Among the seven groups, we were the 6th group to perform on stage. I was the one who got that number from a draw-lots. Lucky number huh! :)









And the decision came! COLLEGE OF NURSING WON! WOOOOO! All of us gone wild because we really didn't expect that we would win. Actually, we almost gave up days before the competition because of some reasons. Good thing, Dean Ballena decided to join the competition. 


Overall, I really enjoyed my Canticle Choralefest experience.  From the first day of our rehearsals up to the moment we had our victory, each moment would be treasured and always be remembered. Thank you Dean Ballena and Maam Lilac for letting us (alumni) join the competition. For Sir Roman, Thank you for being so kind and patient with us. Your teaching technique was perfect that's why our performance came so perfectly! To all the students who participated in this competition, you guys have talents, don't waste it. I'm sure malayo mararating niyo if you will just use those talents in a good way. See you next year guys. I'm looking forward seeing each and everyone of you the next time we compete. And to all the students and alumni who came and support us, thank you so so much. I pray that all vincentian nurses will be successful in everything that we do and will stay the same, supportive and humble in every way. Let's continue to support our College, the College of Nursing and forever be recognized, if not the best, one of the best and closest college/department in terms of relationship in Adamson University.


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I would also like to congratulate the 'Nursing Pep Squad' for being the Champion in the recently held Adamson Cheerdance Competition! You guys just proved that we are not just beauty and brains, we also got the talent! :) CONGRATS GUYS!




Before ending this blogpost, if you want to watch our performance, you can go these addresses:


1. Chosen piece: VIVA LA VERGEN: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=367513853276373
2. Contest piece: NOW WE CELEBRATE OUR 80 YEARS: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=367488976612194
3. ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=367479289946496




Thank you all for reading! :)





www.mylifeaftercoffee.blogspot.com




Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3rd Day With Anna and Romeo

Date: February 1, 2012
Time: 10:03AM

Goodmorning peeps! Its February 1! Love month! and 16 days to go, I'm gonna be having my 22nd birthday! I can't imagine that I am already 22 and yet I don't have a steady and good career.....and relationship? haha! I'm still praying for it! 

Well, anyway, what I will share with you guys today is about my 3rd day of jogging. It happened yesterday. Every jogging day gives me different experiences. Though the experience of being 'pagod' and  'uhaw' and all that jazz were like the same. The thing that keeps it different was the company. This time, I was not alone nor with Pamela Diokno but I was with Anna Alvarez and her friend Romeo. 



Anna and I were friends since College. We were seatmates when we were in 4th year because of our Surnames 'Alvarez' and 'Anacleto'. Though we were very very close before, I was surprised when I saw her 'transformation'. haha! (transformation talaga?). Well, because I know Anna who is very tactless, very loud, someone who has a very strong personality. A lot of people actually do not like her because of her personality and I know she knows that back then. But then the 'Anna' today was like very different na. Infairness, nabawasan ang pagiging maingay, ang pagiging eskandalosa at medyo tahimik na.  Very matured Anna na sya ngayon. Wow! :) One thing lang ang hindi pa nagbabago kay Anna, hindi pa rin maka-getover! oooops! hahah! pareho tayo di ba? haha!

Time and experiences really could bring changes in us. Either for the better or for the worse, it's up to the person how he/she will handle his/her life. How about you? May nagbago na ba sayo? Attitude? Personality? Looks? at sino nagpush sayo to change? Its time to reflect. 

By the way, for Romeo, it was nice meeting you! Looking forward spending more time jogging with the both of you. Thanks for accompanying me for my 3rd day! 



Thanks for reading! :))






www.mylifeaftercoffee.blogspot.com

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