As the story has it, one day I headed to the opposite side of the globe – the Flipside. I arrived in Korea on February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d do a year, then leave. I went from being some random foreign girl to taking on labels I never imagined – university professor, film extra, professional boxer, reality TV star, CEO of my own girls-only fitness company (Flipside Fitness), CEO of my own boxing club (Hulk's Club, formerly known as Hulk's Boxing), and now I'm launching my 3rd business -- Empowered Clubhouse.

After 11.5yrs in Korea, I then picked up one day and returned to Toronto, Canada. But then I left again. This time it was for the Philippines. That's where I am now, living in the land of the happy people. The struggles are real and the struggles are many but I'm living life on my terms, I'm calling the shots, and I'm doing what I love. Life is an amazing adventure and this is my story of yesterday.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Not Cheap and Not Hot... Tuesday, March 7

Whoever said living in the Philippines is dirt cheap has obviously never lived in Eastwood.  Eastwood is upper class Philippines.  With the exception of the boxing club whose one month fee of personal training sessions doesn't even equal the price of a one hour personal training session in Toronto, everything else here isn't "dirt cheap".

Gym membership at Fitness First, $88.91 (3,290 PP) and that's if you buy a 5 month membership.  There is no one month membership, a fact I was just made aware of today but was told a different story by a different sales rep last Friday.  I personally wouldn't have wasted my time with the free 3 day trial membership if I knew I wouldn't be able to buy an official membership here for the 3 months I'll be living here.  I mean, it's such a tease.  I had started a routine, got familiar with the equipment and even some of the staff, and now I have to do it all over again at a different club?!  Thanks but no thanks.  I left that meeting today feeling totally ticked off.  Lucky for them I had already been fed, I had my breakfast in my belly, so I wasn't able to unleash any hangry vibes.  Instead, I mumbled some Korean words and walked out with a frown on my face.  

Did they honestly say no to my money?!  Yup, apparently so.

Boxing and breakfast, the only two "dirt cheap" things here.

And anyone who says the Philippines is crazy hot is, well, perhaps crazy themselves.  I've only once turned on the air con in my house.  I personally like the heat but haven't really found it so hot.   It's warm.  It's freezing in the shops and restaurants though, dang Skippy!!!  They crank up the air con like it's nobody's business.  I was treated to a movie out tonight, we saw "Logan", and I think I was more distracted by what felt like sub zero temps than anything.  I had worn a sweater to the theatre but half way through it I ended up having to curl up on my seat and use my shoulder bag as a makeshift blanket for my thighs.

It's not so hot here, not by my "Koreanized standards" that is so ya, I went down to the pool with a hoodie on.  The pool was cold but I wasn't the only one who thought that.  Got in 50 laps today and froze my butt off for the first few laps of each set -- 1 set of 20 and 1 set of 30.  

Not cheap and cold, so far that's my impression of the Philippines... Hahaha... Nice.

I like it here.  Eastwood is super pretty and so much like Toronto but if it were my choice I would have picked some place more rural.  I think with living in a city like this, a city that is clearly not the typical Philippines that most foreigners imagine, it's inevitable that the cost of living would be much higher than the "typical Philippines".  Just a short walk out of Eastwood is more so the Philippines I invisioned, the Philippines I remembered.  Today I visited Elorde to officially set up my training and on the side of the road I passed a family that clearly had claimed that section of the sidewalk as their living space.  Poverty is so real here.  I will never forget that little girl that leaned her face against my Uber window and I probably will never forget this small family with the little kids occupying the sidewalk.  

The Philippines has been quite the experience for me and as blessed as I am to be given the chance to come and train here I must also remember how blessed I have it back in Toronto too.  Even if all else fails and I run out of money or hit hard times with trying to start up my business, I am reminded that I have my health and family.  I will always have my father waiting and willing to help me out as well as various dear friends who have proven to be there for me already.  I will never experience hard times like those I've seen here and in comparison to them I really have absolutely nothing to complain about.

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