Archive | January 2016

How to get your Driver’s License in LTO

I finally got my driver’s license. Yey!

I can now traverse the Philippine road driving my own car, alone, and legally.

And finally, I can go out of town any time I want. I’m excited.

If you already know how to drive and want to drive on the road legally here in the Philippines too, getting your driver’s license is not too difficult. Yes, it takes a little bit of effort and some amount of money and you are good to go.

Step 1. Prepare your requirements. Below are the qualifications and requirements listed in the LTO website. When I went to LTO East Avenue yesterday, I brought with me my Student’s Permit and the original receipt.

Qualifications:

  1. Must be at least seventeen (17) years old.
  2. Must be physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle
  3. Must not be a drug user or alcoholic.
  4. Must be able to read and write in Filipino or English.
  5. Must be clean, neat and presentable (wearing of sando, playing shorts and slippers during photo-taking and examinations will not be allowed).

Requirements:

  • Properly Accomplished Application for Driver’s License
  • Medical Certificate issued by any licensed physician practicing in the Philippines
  • Valid Student Permit (at least 1 month old)

Step 2. Proceed to the Customer Service Section Get the driver’s license application form and fill it out correctly. Choose the right restriction code depending on what vehicle you are ready to get licensed for. Since I was out to get my non-professional license (I don’t have plans of making driving a living), I selected restriction code #2. This code applies to both manual and automatic cars. Since I drive a manual Toyota Vios, this is what I chose.

If you are driving automatic cars only, you can select restriction code #4.

The Customer Service Section will also give you the requirements checklist and your queue number. At the same time, If you do not have a medical certificate yet, the staff will refer you to an LTO accredited clinic which is jus also nearby.

Beware of fixers around the area. The LTO East Avenue main branch is plagued with too many of them. Get your license the legal way. It’s going to be worth it.

Step 3. Proceed to get your medical certificate The medical check-up is just a breeze. Nothing really happens there except that you pay P200 for the doctor to check your Blood Pressure and check your vision. It’s finished in about 10minutes.

Step 4. Go back to LTO and wait for your number to be called. LTO East Avenue is well-organized. In just a short wait, you will be called and your filled-out application form, student’s permit with its original receipt, and the medical certificate will be collected. The staff will validate your requirements and encode your details in the computer. Prepare to pay P167.63 for the application and computer fee.

Fees and Charges:

Application Fee Php 100.00
Computer Fee 67.63
TOTAL 167.63

 

Step 5. Wait for your name to be called for your ID photo.  Prepare to be called for your photograph. Practice your smile as you only have one chance to get your ID photo taken for a license that will stay with you for the next 3 years. If you are lucky, you will have a good photograph in your ID.

Step 6. Proceed to the review room. The review proctor will hand you a reviewer. The reviewer contains the exact questions you will encounter in the examination room, but not exactly on the same exact arrangement, of course. The same reviewer also contains the answer to the questions. Take advantage of this and read through all the pages and understand the questions and the answers.

The reviewers available online may help you but I recommend you just read through the reviewer that will be handed to you. It’s more practical.

Step 7. Take the exam. My reviewer was in Tagalog. I am not very good in Tagalog but because I didn’t want to be confused any further with translating the Tagalog into English, I took the Tagalog version of the exam.

There are 40 questions for the non-pro takers. LTO only need you to get 30 items correct to pass the test. I recommend that you sit next to the wall for you to have good vantage point of the traffic signs posted on the wall. These signs are going to help you answer the questions on the test too.

Do not even attempt to ask your seatmate what the answer is to #30. Your test paper is not the same as his.

Pray that your name will not be called to go back to the examination room after the test. If your name is called, that means you failed the test and you cannot take the test again until after one month. That’s pretty annoying.

So take your time when reviewing inside the review room and always look at the walls of the examination room for the answers to the traffic sign questions.

Step 8. Take the practical test.  If you have a car, you can use it for the practical test.  You can also use the test cars in LTO itself. I paid P250 for mine for the manual car.

The practical test is easy. The proctor will just want to evaluate if you can start the engine right, operate the clutch, the break, and the gas pedals correctly, navigate the steering wheel with ease, drive through a bridge, and then park the car correctly too.

Easy peasy.

Step 9. Go back to the LTO office to pay for your license. Once you are done with the test, go back to the cashier and wait for your name to be called. Prepare P417.63 for your driver’s license.

License Fee Php 350.00
Computer Fee 67.63
TOTAL 417.63

Step 10. Wait for your driver’s license. After you make your payment, you are now ready for your driver’s license and official receipt. Keep your driver’s license and official receipt together. The DL will not be valid without the OR.

Step 11. Take a selfie and upload your photo with your blurred DL on Facebook. And let your friends know you can legally drive now. Yey!

All-in-all, I paid a total of P835.26 to get my non-professional Driver’s License with restriction code 2. That already included the fee I paid for the car I used during the practical test.

If you want to use your car, remember that you cannot bring it to LTO unless you have someone with a driver’s license to drive it for you.

Enjoy driving.

And remember. Driving is a privilege, not a right.

 

 

 

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Make yourself sexy with this liquid condiment

Not too long ago, I have been called so many names. Not too flattering names in fact.

I was called “Baboy”, the Filipino word for pig and I was called other demeaning names in reference to how big I was.

One day while visiting a friend’s Facebook wall where he posted one of my photos we took near our office, one of his Facebook friends wrote in the comments section with the word “Balyena” the Filipino word for a whale.

Yes, being called those names in reference to my being fat, did not help me with my self-esteem. Truth be told. Those names hurt. Ouch!

But, those were a thing of the past now.

The wheels have turned!

metoo

From 180 lbs to 125 lbs 

Today, I get more reassuring comments each time I post photos of myself on my wall. And I always get comments asking how I shed off the fat. I also get private messages asking me what my secret is.

Of course I always gladly oblige. I am happy to share to my friends how I melted 53 lbs in 11 months of my weight loss journey. And not just that. I’ve managed to keep my figure in shape now, effortlessly.

My favorite Fat-melting condiment

Vinegar.  This mouth-watering condiment with all its sour flavor is getting rave in the weight-loss community. The most popular type among those who are aspiring to lose weight and those who want to maintain their sexy shape is the Apple-Cider Vinegar.

But Apple-Cider Vinegar is relatively costly and it doesn’t taste as good as my favorite vinegar when used for cooking and for dipping.

apples-and-vinegar

Source: http://authoritynutrition.com/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/

My favorites are those vinegar made from cane and from coconut. This type of vinegar has the right sour taste for cooking my favorite protein dishes. This is also perfect for dipping fried fish, poultry, and meat.

datu puti

Source: http://www.nutriasia.com/products/productdetail/datuputi&l=0

What is in the vinegar that helps you lose weight?

Vinegar increases satiety which results to reduction in the amount of food that you take. Vinegar lowers blood sugar and insulin level which results to the decreased craving for more food.

For instance, during breakfast, I would have a medium piece of fried galunggong (mackerel scad) and 3 pieces of 20-g pan-de-sal and a cup of coffee. I enjoy it with cane vinegar dip of about 3 tablespoons (9 calories only!). The taste is so good that my focus is in enjoying the entire piece of fish. I feel full afterwards that my next meal will be about 5 or 6 hours later already.

Dr. Mercola, wrote in www.mercola.com an article which highlighted a study in which those who ate high-carb meal but consumed small amount of vinegar with it, ate less food throughout the day compared to those who did not have vinegar. The study showed a reduction of about 200-275 calories among those who consumed vinegar.

Given that range of calorie reduction, in a month, you would have a healthy weight loss of about 1.5 lbs without doing exercise!

Take that!

Vinegar makes you look younger

Oh yea. When I was still fat, I looked considerably older than my age. Now, some of new acquaintances always mistake me for someone in the late 20s or in the early 30s. Haha. Flattering.

Vinegar helped me achieve this through its anti-oxidant properties. The antioxidants in vinegar removes free radicals that causes oxidative stress and inhibits oxidations that can cause you to age faster. Because of the antioxidants in vinegar such as catechin and chlorogenic acids, your skin can have better glow making you look younger.

Vinegar controls diabetes

Years before I changed my lifestyle, my doctor told me I was already borderline diabetic. That said, if I didn’t control my food intake and the type of food I eat, I would become diabetic.

Last year, during my medical check-up, the talk about diabetes didn’t even come up!

A study published by the American Diabetes Association showed that vinegar helped insulin-resistant diabetics (type 2 diabetic) raise their sensitivity to insulin. Their conditions improve by taking 2 tablespoons of vinegar before going to sleep.

I love vinegar

Each time I eat and vinegar is available, I would always have it.

I would replace fried chicken gravy dip with vinegar. I would replace catsup with vinegar. I would even put vinegar in my soup.

And I just love it.

 

 

 

From Fat to Fab: How I lost 25 kgs fast

The image of my obese and sickly 81.81kg-self back in June 2014 is still on my head. It’s still vivid.

It used to make me so awkward and lowered my self-esteem. I always wanted to lose those unnecessary fat, fast.

meandmyfriendsapril2014

Me in April 2014 with my favorite Aeropostale shirt.

It was impossible to fit in the clothes that I want.   I wanted to look fab too but I couldn’t. I always had to settle with what fits instead.  I would end up buying slacks and blouses that I would outgrow in just a few months. Heck! In my peak, my clothes sizes were 3xl and 4L. Wearing those clothes made me look older than my age.

It was also a pain riding in the FX, a transportation in the Philippines where a 3-seat row is packed with 4 people. And those FX seatmates would look at me as if I caused everyone to be packed too tight causing their discomfort!

“Common, I paid for this seat too. Stare at the driver for packing all 4 of us here. Don’t look at me.” I always wished I could give them a little sarcasm. “Hello, were you not taught that it’s really rude to stare?”

meinbgc

My photo of me taken 4 days ago during our Sunday night hangout with friends.

It’s all a thing in the past now. I have successfully achieved my goal of shedding off 25kg of unnecessary fat. From an 81.81kg awkward and obese woman, I am now 56.6kg.  And my clothes size is no longer 3xl. It is now size small.

And yes, I’m more confident with myself now too. And happier.

Of course some of my friends and acquaintances would ask me what pills I took or if I took some special diet drinks and teas.  No way! I didn’t do that and I don’t plan to do that either. And so when I told them what I did, they are all too surprised.

Here are 4 tricks which I did to lose 25 kg of unnecessary weight and prevent them from coming back

1. Drink lots of cold water.  Yes. And I mean cold water not hot or lukewarm water.  It takes 9.5 calories more to burn cold water than its counterpart at room temperature. It’s a trick to make our body burn more calories for us even if all we did is just drink water.

I drink at least a glass of cold water in the morning right after I wake up. It’s refreshing and makes me feeling full. Aside from that, it hydrates and flushes toxins out of my body. All throughout the day I drink at least 6 glasses (about 1.4 L) of cold water.

2) Drink a cup of Zero sugar coffee with unsalted butter every morning.  I put 10 g of unsalted butter to my customary cup of morning coffee. Although I am not obsessed with what brand of butter that is, I have been loyal to Anchor Butter, a brand that comes from New Zealand because their cows are grass-fed. Haha. I support organic products too.

For only 72 calories all in my cup of coffee and thanks to the good fat in the butter,  I enjoy full-bodied coffee which makes me feel full for about 5 hours. Yes, with a cup of this mix, and at least I can last the whole of my morning without any cravings for other food. And I don’t feel hungry either.

But because I am a proponent of no skipping breakfast, I always have at most 4 pieces of 20-g pan de sal too. Or I would have a piece of apple or a small solo-sized pineapple for breakfast.

3. Eat veggies and meat for lunch.  The macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates, and fat –  are necessary for our body to carry its normal functions. Aside from their major functions, they are also needed for our body to absorb and use certain vitamins and minerals. That said, my lunch will always have vegetables and meat, poultry, or fish. And of course, I drink at least a glass of cold water with it too.

veggies

My typical lunch. It always has mixed vegies and I pair it with either meat, poultry, or fish.

4. Eat lots of fresh fruits.  My favorites are pineapples, apples, banana, pears, and watermelon. They are a regular in my fridge and on my table. These fruits are high in fiber and low in calories. A cup (165 g) of chunk fresh pineapple for example only have 82 calories. And 1 large apple of about 223 g only has 116 calories.

You can eat until you are full without to worry about packing too much calories. And to top that, you would notice your skin will acquire a different kind of beautiful glow.

The results

Of course I did not lose all 25 kgs in a matter of 10 days.  I had to do it the right and healthy way. I lost about 6 – 9 lbs of weight each month in the first few months then it stabilized at around 5 lbs every month. I made it to 128 lbs in April 2015 coming from 180 lbs in June 2014. That’s 11 months from when I started my healthy weight loss journey.

You can make it too. Remember: Obesity is not a life sentence.

Being fit and fab is totally in your hands!

 

The day I played basketball

Yesterday, I played basketball with some of my male and female friends. It was a thrill-of-a-game that got all of us players pumped up and hyped up. To top it all, I played a triple role: a player, the coach, and the team manager.

Me and my friends were having a good time. We were winning. I felt the adrenaline rushed all over my sweaty body. The crowd was crazy and ecstatic. It was the kind of happy crazy. I was feeling high and happy myself too.

Few minutes before the end game, the other team got ahead of us by hitting an open 3-pointer. There was a mad scramble and my teammate got hold of the ball. I supposed he must be feeling the pressure as he threw the ball to our teammate in the other court instead of passing it to someone close to him. The opponent intercepted the pass and we lost our turn.

It was crunch time and the ball was on our side now. Just one sure 3-point shot in those last seconds will make us win the game.

We only had 3 seconds left when my teammate passed the ball to me. The crowd went crazier and the screams were all over. I felt the need to throw the ball to the ring, no matter. From the 3-point line and with the opponent guards trying to block the shot, I threw the ball to the ring.

basketballon

Source:  http://sports.inquirer.net/files/2014/07/basketball-ball-ring-net-stock-photo.jpg

The basketball got into the basket, the buzzer rang while the ball continued to dance inside it. We stopped what we were doing and stared at the ring. The ball danced for a few seconds more, bumping the sides of the rim. Then it got out of the basket instead of making the score.

We lost the game.

“We could have made it if that ball got in!” I can hear frustrated voices and sighs of disbelief. I felt down. I know I could have made us win if that ball got in. Depression started to creep in. The thought of the what ifs were overwhelming.

I looked at my teammates and they were not too happy either. All their hard work are gone in that one moment that I could have made that winning shot.

I felt accountable and responsible not just for my emotions but for the feelings of my friends and teammates too. As a player, coach, and manager, I am frustrated and depressed about the results too. But looking at my teammates looking all too sad and upset, I know I have to do something. This is no longer about what I feel now. This is already about what everybody feels.

I had to get out of my own frustrations and help my team feel better.

I approached my team and smiled a happy and sincere smile. I felt light actually when I smiled.

“Good job everyone. You guys did a good job today. We did good today. See we almost made it. That means, we can make it the next time. I am happy to have played the game with you. You guys are awesome!”

I felt even better when I talked to them in that manner and I saw their faces lightened up and saw them smiling and cheering. “Oh what a game!” I thought to myself. That was fun.

Then I felt like I needed to go to the ladies room. And I woke up.

20160110_114543-1-1

I dreamed about basketball the night after I played badminton.

Yes it was a dream. A vivid and lucid dream and all in colors. It was a dream that gave me a feeling of happiness, calm, and peace.

When I make a goal for myself and circumstances make me take a different turn for the moment, it is just like that ball which danced around the rim for a while and then bounced out of basket.  It isn’t just me whose emotions are affected by the ball getting out of the goal. The people around me are affected to.

It is my responsibility to improve on my mark and practice throwing the ball right. Those misses are a good chance to learn and to make it right the next time. It is my responsibility to get up and not allow life’s little detours to determine what tomorrow will be.

coffee

Yesterday’s game is over. And tomorrow is another day. We will play again. And we will be better. And I will see my friends and family feeling lighter and happier because we are all in this together.

We are a team. And this is how teamwork, works.  🙂