The Malaysia Women Marathon (MWM) is a yearly running event that happens on International Women’s Day. It’s 8th version in 2020 and it was called off three days before the race day due to the coronavirus (COVID19). Many got upset about the last minute decision by the organiser and sponsor. The run was called off when the exhibitors and sponsors were already on race village to set up. The MWM was not the only race that got cancelled or postponed. However, other runs in Klang Valley went ahead on the same day -> Malaysia Youth Run 2020 & Kuala Lumpur City Day Half Marathon 2020.
Despite the cancellation, the three day expo continued at Padang Timur of Petaling Jaya. Runners came to pick up their race kits and finisher items as promised by the organiser. I was not able to go and got someone to pick up mine. I opened the race pack the day after the race day just to find the shirt I ordered was the wrong type and the finisher buff missing. This was not the first time such thing happen. A friend who ran the half marathon last year was not given the finisher buff too. I checked the event facebook page and saw many angry comments about not receiving 5km medals, even on the last date.
I committed to run the half marathon and raise funds for the Malaysia Rare Disease Society. I had obligations to keep to my words, especially towards donors who collectively contributed RM1,140 to the cause. I just had to run. I knew many wanted to run too. After all, it is a good practice to earn the medal. So, I put up a post on my instagram, inviting others and Nashata Runners to join me.
A few wanted to join but a couple of turned up to run on International Women’s Day. It was a 8 km loop around the Putrajaya Lake starting from Perdana Lake Jogging Track . It was a safe and scenic route, with a couple of public toilets along the way. I brought some water, coconut water, energy bars and mars chocolate and left them at the gazebo where we started (at the Perdana Lake Jogging Track). Below was the route.
We started running at 6:40am and finished when the sun was scorching hot. The first loop with Farhani and Farhati was easy and breezy, while the second loop after the 15km mark was a bit hard for both of us due to the heat. We stopped after the first loop to replenish and ran slowly until we finished the second loop under 3 hours.
Throughout the run, we bumped into other MWM runners, some solo and some in a group of two. All of them ran in a great spirit of International Women’s Day!
Now, I feel I do not need to run in races. Having a bigger cause, like raising funds for special need groups make running more meaningful. After all, with availability of public toilets, GPS/Running watches and running companions you can just train frequently and run with your friends. If I want to push the envelope, I would just join major and well-managed marathons for a good experience!
Happy International Women’s Day! #EachforEqual. To me, every women is strong and beautiful. It is a day for us to celebrate. Here’s sending lotsa love ♥♥♥ to the ladies out there.
Take advantage of Nashata RM20/USD5/SGD3.5 voucher valid until 11 March when you purchase more than RM100/USD25/ worth of items at nashata.com. Use vouchercode EachforEqual.
It is Visit Sepang 2020 and Visit Malaysia 2020, so I decided to play tourist at the Selangor Marathon! Sepang is where the international airports are and it is well-known as a logistic hub in Malaysia. Sepang is a district in the state of Selangor.
The Selangor Marathon 2020 is the first of its kind, organised by Comrades Team Ventures. Although new, the race is organised by a reputable and experienced organiser. If you want to have a good race experience, it is important to know the historical background of the organiser.
I signed up for the half marathon, 21km. I was specially interested to register longer distances because the start and end time are before dawn. Therefore, if you plan your pace and train well, you can finish the run and just in time for Fajr / Subuh prayers at the race site. Furthermore, it would be my first time running in Sepang.
The race was held by the fringe of the Sepang Circuit on the 22nd and 23rd of February. Just to be clear, no activity was done in the circuit area. There were a few categories : 42km, 21km, 10km, 5km and kids dash that brought together about six thousand runners who laced up and ran. The start time for 42km was at 1:30am, followed by 21km at 4:30am, 10km at 7am (flag off delayed though) and 5km at 730am.
Here are collective views from the half marathon runners :
- Race kit
👍 – Well-managed. Race kit collection was held at MAGIC, Cyberjaya on 21st and 22nd of February. It was simple and well organised.
- Baggage Drop
👍 – Well-managed within the race village
👍 – Ample along the route
- Medical & Paramedics
👌 I only saw the tent at the Race Village, not on the route. Probably it was just too dark or I was just too focused looking at the starry night.
- Road & route management
👍 Overall good. There wasn’t much elevation – pretty much flat. There were some dark area with no street lights. The good thing was that the roads were smooth and well surfaced. No potholes or uneven roads unlike the ones in the city. Runners MUST wear head lamp or/and blinkers when running in the dark. It should be a mandatory item and I feel organisers should remind runners to wear when the race is at night or early morning. Certain street lights may just fail on you on the race day and you don’t want to get injured. The runners were running in parallel with the plane at certain parts of the route. Now, I know how it feels running next to planes taking off and landing right next to you – SUPER SLOW.
- Water Station, Sponges and Muscle Spray
👍 – Well-prepared throughout the run. Coconut water was provided at some stations.
- Traffic Control
👍 I felt safe throughout the run. There were ample volunteers and traffic policemen at main junctions. There were not many traffic on the route as it was very early in the morning.
- Medal and Finisher Collection Area
👍 – Collection was superb, fast and well-managed. As I passed the last check point and the finish line, I received a medal and continued to queue for the shirt. Just named my size, and they gave me one. Design of the medal and finisher item was simple and I always like it simple!
👍 Unlimited food at the event village. Just pick as many nasi lemak, cendol, bananas, buns and water as you want. There is no limit. I find this super cool and relevant because each and everyone of us has a different appetite, calorie intake and running distance. So, take what fills you up.
👍 Since the start time for the full and half marathon was early, many manage to finish their runs and pray at the race village. A few late runners had to pray at the water station.
- Running Participation
👍 Healthy number of runners. These numbers are taken from results.checkpointspot.asia indicating those who ran, registration may be more.
- 42km : 916 runners
- 21km : 1,565 runners
- 10km : 742 runners
- 5km : 1,600 runners
- Kids Dash : 87
- International Participants
👌 Due to the COVID19 and travel restrictions, I didn’t see many foreigners. Just a few Indonesian runners at the half marathon. I was glad the organiser decided to proceed with the run as many were looking forward to it and the threat was not much in the month of February.
- Race Village
👍 Nice and friendly environment. Finishers would sit around, get foot massages, rest, eat their nasi lemak and catch up with friends until it got hotter. Every runners looked happy and cheerful refilling milo from the milo truck. There was ample finisher items and refreshments for everyone!
I enjoyed the run that day, mostly because of the beautiful starry night skies. The sky was so clear that I could see countless twinkling stars every time I look up. It was a cool morning as well.
One is never too early or too late to learn how to swim. You can enjoy being in the water more when you know how to swim, breathing techniques and water confidence. Knowing how to swim in fact is a must-have, life-long skills for everyone. Knowing how to swim opens up a broader spectrum of water adventures like scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing and many more.
Although you burn lesser calorie for the same amount of time when you swim, as to compared to running, swimming is a better form of exercise as it a low impact sports. Therefore, make sure you know the proper swimming techniques – so that you make the best of your time in the pool.
There are more and more female swimming instructors at swimming centers and some are muslims. We reached out to nine of them from five different countries – Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and USA. Some of them have special skills like open water swimming and aquafit.
Do reach out to them and do let us know if you know others who offer swimming lessons for ladies close to you. We would love to include them on this list as well.
- Female swimming and aqua fit instructor since 2008 : Carly McEnaney
- Areas covered : Mississauga Valley Community Center, Ontario, Canada
- Hours : 4:45-7:15 pm, every Saturday
- Level : Preschool A-D, Swim4 Life 1 -11 Adult Level :1 -5+ and 2 Aquafit classes
- Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 647 338 4051
- Full time Female instructors : Sarimah and Bashtiah
- Areas covered : Seksyen 9, Bandar Baru Bangi, Bangi area
- Hours : 8 am – 10 am, 3 pm – 6 pm and 8 pm ( daily)
- Duration :1 hour per session, maximum of 4 pax per class
- Level : Zero to basic swimming, basic to intermediate swimming lessons
- Contact info : +60198089101/ +60173547372
- Instagram @Irenang_18
- Female instructor : Sakeenah
- Areas covered : Kuala Lumpur City Center ( KLCC, AMPANG, SETIAWANGSA, WANGSA MAJU, KERAMAT KAMPUNG BARU)
- Hours : weekdays – 6pm to 9pm
weekend – 8am to 6pm
- Levels : baby from 6 months – 3 years // toddler 3 years old – 7 years old // children- 7 years -17years // adult – 17 years and above
- Whatsapp : +60 0133509940
- Full time Female instructors : Nurul Atiqah and Nurul Athirah
- Areas covered : Cyberjaya (Kenwingston Square Garden, Lakefront Residence, Mirage by the Lake, Ceria Residence, Perdana Lake View)
- Duration : 1 hour, once a week class.
- Level : beginner, intermediate, advanced
- Whatsapp : +6018-2488459
- Female instructor : Risyadinie Rasyiqah Razmi (Dinie)
- Areas covered : Klang Valley
- Duration : 1 hour session
- Female adults (group/private one to one)
- Contact : email@example.com
- Freelance female instructor : Nurul Ashira Azman
- Areas covered : Shah Alam, Subang Jaya
- Level : beginner and intermediate, open water
- Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Female instructor: Mudzalifah Anuar
- Areas covered : Punggol, Sengkang, Hougang, Yishun
- Hours : Weekday mornings 8-11 am. Weekday Nights 8-9 pm
- Level : Beginners and intermediate
- Contact info : +65 81835954 and email@example.com
- Female swimming instructor : Naadhirah Mukadam
- Areas covered : Cape Town, South Africa
- Hours : Monday to Wednesday as well as Saturday and Sunday.
- Classes :
- Squad Training (includes water safety and life saving training)
- Learn-to-Swim for kids and ladies
- Stroke Correction,
- Aqua Bambinos (baby classes from 0-3 years old)
- Aqua Aerobics for ladies
- Hydro Therapy and Aqua Parties for birthdays and team building.
- Special Swimming Classes for Underprivileged. In 2020 the focus is to empower and motivate young orphan girls to be strong and confident in everything that they do. Each child gets swimming kit, towel, sweater, sandal, travelling cost, 10 x 30 minute swimming lessons over 10 weeks and yummy nutritional meals after each session. At the end of 10 weeks, their achievements is celebrated at a swimming gala where every child gets a swimming certificate, medal and prize as well as a hearty meal.
- Contact :
- Female instructor: Ola Alghazzouli, an Americal Council on Exercise certified personal trainer, certified Red Cross Basic Swim Instructor
- Areas covered : Chantilly, Virginia, USA
- Level : Beginners and intermediate, for adults and children
- Contact info : IG BeFit4Akhirah
Lastly, checkout Nashata Aqua Wear at our store and just keep swimming
My name is Renee, but online I go by Fit Aussie Sista, and you guessed it, I am Australian. I have pledged to not set foot inside a car for a full year for a charity called World Bicycle Relief. They gift bicycles to children and healthcare workers, including midwives that get around via foot. Owning a bike gifts them back their time. It also improves education rates and healthcare. Many of the people receiving bikes are girls and women, which is why I love them so much! I was also inspired to reduce my carbon footprint and do my bit for the planet.
Australia, particular the outer suburbs of Brisbane, is much like other car centric nations like Malaysia. Life is busy and cities are designed for cars to dominate. I am a teacher, a wife with two busy sons. I also love to run ultra-marathons and cross train with cycling and the gym. My life was full before this challenge, so you can imagine this has been a stretch so far! I have been car free so far for ten weeks, riding roughly 280-300 km’s a week, running about 40- 50km a week, and completing my regular gym sessions. Don’t forget the household, employment and my son’s sports activities as well. During the yearlong challenge, I hope to raise enough money for 100 bikes. At $195 AUD that is about $19 500, or roughly $55 000 Malay Ringgit.
What I do sounds exhausting just reading it aloud, but I wasn’t always this active. Although I was the sporty girl in high school and selected sports captain, life started to get in the way in my 20’s. I married and had two children and got on with work. In 2015 I got a job at an international school, and moved to Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia opened up a world of hot weekends spent in shopping malls, roti chanai and tea tarik along with every other delicious treat it had to offer. With the stress of work, highways, my trusted MyVi, and cheap delicious food on my doorstep my fitness faded and the kilograms started to pile on. Living near Bukit Jalil Park I spent many a Saturday morning watching joggers and walkers sweat it out as I casually meandered through.
In Australia I had used the lack of Muslimah or modest active wear as an excuse or barrier to not participate in activities, although I knew I had skill and drive from my youth if I could just activate it. But after spending time in the park I knew that Malaysia had an active wear brand, I just had to find it. Towards the end of my contract, and 2016 I found Nashata, packed it in my back and headed back home to Australia.
With nothing but our suitcases I knew I wanted to design a new life. I decided to buy a bike that I could use as a form of transportation rather than for fun. That is when I found cargo-bikes and my love of cycling evolved. I later fell pregnant and was excited, alhamdulliah. But after 14 weeks of a rough pregnancy I lost the baby. I started to get depressed, but a friend pulled me out of it by asking me to go for a jog with her. Running gave me something to focus on. I fixated on improving my times and it was from there I got addicted to the adrenaline of exercise again.
After everything, I am thankful that I found Nashata and my love of exercise again. It helps me to stay balanced and calm. I am a better mother, employee and Muslim because of it. Now, in 2020, I have taken on my biggest challenge yet in the hope of making a small change in the world. Practically, due to my busy schedule I am going through multiple outfit changes, but Nashata has my back! I particularly love their Amin Sports Hijab, Hooda Ellipse hijabs, and the Ultra and Azza tops. These products have got me through many a race, and hopefully the year of training and cycling. In the future I hope to head overseas, hopefully back to Malaysia for one of the amazing Ultra Races on offer!
I would really appreciate it if you could support me on my journey by checking out my weekly YouTube updates on my channel Fit Aussie Sista and @fit_aussie_sista on Instagram. It is through the power of social media we can show the world that we can be taken seriously as athletes and active, passionate members of society. Of course, I would also appreciate if you could support a fellow sister and donate at the following link.
Renee- Fit Aussie Sista
How is trail running different from road running? Do you need to wear a different type of sports hijab? What are the considerations when you shop for trail run sports hijab? Here are some tips and sharing for you.
Three Main Differences Between Road and Trail Runs
- Trail run takes you onto different types of terrain, paths and weather. You may have to run in between trees and shrubs with sharp twigs sticking out from different angles, across a river, under fallen branches or trees, over slippery rocks and tree roots, and many more unexpected conditions. For your safety and comfort, you need to wear a snug fit, all weather sports hijab.
- Trail runs are longer, not just n distance but also duration. Typically, it takes almost two times longer than road running for the same distance. For example, if it is takes 30 minutes for you to run 5km on road, it may take you almost an hour to complete the same distance on trail. Furthermore, with elevations, you will sweat more, so, be prepared to get drenched. Trail runs are long hours and you may need to run with many mandatory items like hydration bag, headlamps and others. Therefore, you’d need to wear sports hijab that is breathable, lightweight and preferably multi-functional. An example of multi-function is that the sports hijab can be used as towel or wristband, like the Raazglove headwear
- Trail run offers you unexpected conditions. You may be running alone, surrounded by nature that looks the same throughout your run. With slightest mistake of a turn, although not far, you may find yourself lost. You do not need camouflage effect when you run in trail. It is important to wear outfits that are visible so that others can easily see you.
Six considerations when you choose trail run sports hijab:
- Snug fit – design that snugs nicely onto your head, neck and body to avoid any garment gets stick to twigs, branches or trapped in between items. Avoid shawl or headwear that floats in the air.
- All weather – The fabric of the sports hijab need to suit many types of weather – hot and humid, cold and rain, windy and foggy.
- Lightweight and breathable – With the elevation and long hours, you need to make sure your sports hijab is lightweight, breathable and fast drying.
- *Visible – this is a nice to have factor. Choose headwear that is visible and if you plan to run in the dark, having reflective elements on headwear is useful
- *Multi-functional – this is another nice to have consideration. The more functions the headwear has for you, the better – so that you can run light.
- *Durable – Choose breathable yet strong fabric that can withstand harsh weather and rough conditions can last longer.
* indicates nice to have.
The table below evaluates nine sports hijab of Nashata that is functional for trail run. The Raazglove headwear and the Iman sports hijab are the top two, followed by Raazniq headwear, Amina Sports Hijab, Hooda Ellipse Sports Hijab and Crop Toplectic. There is an ample selection for you to choose from based on your preferences.
|No||Sports Hijab||Snug fit||All- weather||Breathable, lightweight||*Durable||*Multi- functional|
|2||Iman Sports Hijab||√||√||√||√|
|3||Amina Sports Hijab||√||√||√||√|
|9||Mumtaz Tunes Extended||√||√|
Run safe, protect your head and keep comfy at your trail runs!
Venue : Stadium UiTM Shah Alam
Distance : 52 km, 84 km, 104 km
Kategori : 52 km (Women Vateran)
This is the Vol. 4 for this event. But it is the 1st time for me to join. Dari vol. 2 nak cuba, sebab nak rasa lari di tempat saya ambil degree dulu, tapi keadaan tak mengizinkan. Actually, this year pun tak dapat nak register sebab faktor masa. But last-minute, a week before the event one of my friends have an emergency issue, she can’t make it. Luckily It’s possible to transfer the bib, so I can change my name to the event system.
Terus terang, saya memang tak cukup training, millage collect past few months pun tak banyak. Paling jauh saya berlari bulan Januari itu pun 20km saja. Cuma sepanjang Januari hingga ke hari event saya ada join BiiB challange, iaitu setiap hari tanpa miss walau sehari saya perlu berlari 2 km. Itu saja persediaan yang ada. The only I had is the spirit and confidence plus a few experience, sebelum ni saya pernah juga join event 50km.
Saya baca banyak review tentang event ni, and they said this event was well organized. Patutlah event ni semakin besar dan ramai. Konsep larian ialah looping, 1 loop = 5.2km. So untuk kategori saya, I have to run 10 loops within the cut of times 10 hours. Kalau ikut teori matematik, 1 loop berlari dalam masa 1 jam, itu memang cukup-cukup masa COT.
Flag of untuk kategori 52km ialah pada 1 Februari jam 10 malam. Untuk loop yang pertama saya easy run belajar route, tengok jalan ada lubang or not, tengok keadaan jalan, tengok timing mat, cari di mana toilet dan sekeliling. Starting dari Padang Kawad terus ke Kolej Aggerik, Pusat Kesihatan, Fakulti Engineering, dan sehingga di cabaran pertama bila di Bukit Tonggek dan waktu ni saya rasa kaki saya melekat di jalan. It’s seriously tonggek. This hill was killing me, how can I walk here for 10 loops? Hahaha… Than, lepas azab di Bukit Tonggek, jalan terus menurun bukit sehinggalah jumpa cabaran berbukit kedua, di Kolej Seroja terus ke Fakulti Art & Design, Menara, dan PTAR. Kira-kira 1km lebih juga laluan bukit disini. Laluan bukitnya yang agak panjang. Terus ke Fakuti Sains Gunaan, Kolej Perindu, Pusat Sukan dan terus ke starting point semula.
Water Station (WS) :
Sebab loop cuma 5.2km, jadi ada 2 saja WS. WS1 di starting line dan WS2 lebih kurang dalam 2km di Bukit Tonggek, Konsep minuman kat sini you all kena bawa cawan/ botol sendiri / Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB) bawa 2 bottles , satu letak di WS 1 dan 1 lagi di WS2. Bottle/ cup di marked guna number bib. So senang you all nak cari.
Baguslah konsep yang macam ni, kurangkan kos dan environment friendly. Food & drinks semua sangat mewah. Air coke, kopi ice, nescafe ice, sirap, 100 plus. Food pun banyak sangat, ada cekodok, sandwich, bubur dan sup dan banyak lagi sampai saya tak tau nak makan apa, saya cuma makan pisang dan watermelon sebab senang nak kunyah dan telan. 🙂
Di WS ni ada sediakan kerusi, boleh lah kalau you all nak rehat-rehat. Tapi kerusi ni juga boleh makan diri kalau tak ada sebab jangan duduk tau, bahaya!
My Strategy and tips
As i said before, saya memang tak cukup millage untuk training game ni. Dapat bib seminggu before event. Jadi apa yang saya buat ialah :
Seminggu sebelum game :
- Saya berlari sehari 3km je, slow-slow layan angin pagi
- Plank seminit 5 kali sehari
- 90 x squart
- 100 x 5kali sehari jumping jacks
- 90 x burpess
- Makan minum macam biasa avoid yang pedas
Event day (tips macam mana nak kejar COT)
- Masa 1st loop saya lari untuk tengok route, tengok jalan kalau ada berlubang berbatu, tengok part mana bukit, turun bukit yang flat, kat mana toilet, timing mat dan segala nya yang boleh nampak.
- Bila dah tau, saya atur strategy 🙂 naik bukit fast walk, turun bukit dan flat kena lari. Jangan rehat terlalu lama di WS, minum dan sambung lari. My aimed, 1 loop mesti lari dalam masa 40-50 minute, so that saya ada buffer time, If anything happened, saya masih boleh kejar COT. Bila dah loop ke 5, saya stop makan energy bar dan ambil Natura shot. Alhamdulillah, kenyang dan sangat berkesan.
- Jangan duduk! Kalau kaki cramp streching, kalau penat berlari, jalan. Mengantuk? Memang akan rasa mengantuk sebab waktu tidur kan, ambil coffee, makan gula2 kopiko. Jangan tidur! sebab game ni you all yang pilih, so kena lah berkorban waktu tidur, tak mau rasa susah, jangan sign up event ni.. your choice!
- Listen to your body! Badan kita semua tak sama, you control your mind and body. Kalau rasa tak sihat, stop dan jumpa medic!
Alhamdulillah, strategy saya ni berjaya untuk saya dapat habiskan game ni dalam masa 8jam 17 minit dan dapat no 7 kategori Women Vateran. My personal best so far. Yeayy!!! Bangga sangat dengan diri sendiri!
Overall event ni sangat baik. Semua cukup, medical, marshall, peronda Uitm pun selalu round, air dan makanan cukup, ada tempat massage, surau, toilet, dan bagagge area, tempat rehat, parking space pun besar. Nak pacak khemah, bentang tikar semua boleh. Seronok dapat jumpa kawan-kawan yang datang support, ramai juga yang bawa family “berkampung” .
Terbaik event ni walau route sangat mencabar, mungkin saya akan kembali beraksi di lain kategori. Who knows.. :). Good job & well done kepada organizer & crew!
My venture to swim with the majestic blue whale sharks was the best thing that ever happened in my life. I assure you, you won’t have any regrets in this trip.
It was on the 23rd of December when we got into our hotel located by the seashore in Oslob. Oslob is on the east side of Cebu Island. We were foretold that the Swim with the Blue Whale Shark tickets had to be purchased by an agent from the hotel before midnight. This was to reduce traffic on the next day, most of the tourists come early to the center to get tickets for the boats, therefore it was important for us to get the early boat tickets. No one of course would want to penetrate through the hubbub and deal with the pandemonium of noise there. We paid before hand before that evening, and we were briefed that the shuttle would arrive early in the morning at 5 am.
The next morning, we hopped on the shuttle and arrived at the Blue Whale Shark Center in about 5 minutes. By the time we arrived, there was already a long queue. I was dressed in Nashata Sleeveless Body suit and Nashata Red Heather Top. My mom was dressed in Nashata Sibaha. The body suits provided us with great support and the products did not slip or move about during drastic movements. Upon waiting for the briefing session provided by the staffs, a few salesmen walked around, promoting the waterproof phone cases. I purchased one because I wanted to record the experience in my phone. Hence, they also explained that there were GoPro devices up for rent. We took that too.
After a few moments, the staff conducted her briefing session using a small mic and speaker, it was fairly loud but the crowd was really loud. The staff explained that all swimmers must keep a distance of 5 meters away from the Whale Sharks. It was also compulsory for all swimmers to wear the life vest at all times. She also strictly warned us to not touch the fish. As soon as the briefing session ended, we were escorted to the second boat, luckily we were the first few to jump in the water. Why? This is because the early birds would witness the feeding time of the Whale Sharks up close !
I was extremely shocked to see the whales at a surprisingly low water level. The water depth was approximately about 15 meters deep. The Blue Whale Sharks would come up close to the shore to be fed, that was incredible ! They were super friendly too, despite the bountiful amount of humans swimming and circulating them, they were very calm. As I dropped my feet into the water, and lowered my head to see the whale shark, I was amazed. They were so beautiful, each individual whale own their own pretty white spots. From the upside view, I could see their shark-like fins that were actually pretty scary. However, from the lower view, they were as calming as dolphins. Their large sized mouths were like vacuums. They did not have any teeth or such, they only had a big mouth that would suck anything in front of them.
Swimming with them for the first time was actually really terrifying. Based on movies and documentaries, the whale is enormous and since it belongs to the shark family, sharks are dangerous animals too. Essentially, I was awestruck when there were no security or life guards provided. Was it safe? What if it tries to swallow me? However, none of that happened, they were perfectly calm and friendly. They had been there for a while and supposedly, they know their whereabouts pretty well. Here is a fact, the swimmers do not need to move around too much to avoid contact with the whale, because the whale would make its way around you. Conversely, the whales do have a blind spot located right in front of their head. This is because their eyes are situated by the sides of their heads. One of the boatmen rendered his assistance to videotape us using the rented GoPro. He was pretty skilled in taking the videos as the outcome was spectacular !
After a good 20 minutes, the boatmen demanded us to get out from the water to return to the deck. The whales did not stay for long, therefore to ensure all the tourists present get the chance to swim with the whales, the boatmen must be in complete control of the flow. As soon as we arrived the shore, an army of tourists were already flushing into the empty boats. I was really glad we had gone early to swim with the whales. After that, I went to the GoPro rent shop to alter the video and pictures into my mobile phone. It took a while for me to do that because the video and pictures were in large files and ate up most of my storage. Therefore, to all future tourists, please ensure you have a large empty storage in your phone or laptop if you wish to rent the GoPro! After the transfer was completed, I took a peep at the videos and I was very astonished by the quality. It was amazing, I definitely recommend you to get the rented GoPro or bring one from home, it would be a great help !
That sums up my venture to swim with the Blue Whale Shark in Oslob, Philippines. It was one of the best moments in my life, I felt so happy that i wanted to swim with them again !
On the 22nd of December 2019, I woke up at 4am in the morning to catch the sunrise at Osmena Peak. I got ready and waited for the transport provided by the hotel at Badian area, which is on the west side of Cebu Island. It was pitch black and only a few vehicles could be seen on that dark chilly morning. My family and I hopped on two motorcycles and were foretold that the ride was only a 5 minute ride to Osmena Peak. My mom and I were told to get onto a motorbike with a male rider on it. We agreed and immediately started our journey although I knew my mother was not comfortable to ride a motorbike without a helmet. After a few minutes, the motorcyclist stopped by the road side and told us that they had to stop for gas. Surprisingly they fueled up by the road side using a bottle filled with fuel from a house. I guess they keep all their stocks in the houses for easy refuel. As we continued our journey, it took longer than 10 minutes then little puffs of imaginary light bulbs started popping up on our heads. Why was it taking so long ? But neither of us dared to speak up because it was super chilly, we were ascending a hill. With the cool breeze slapping and whooshing our faces, all we could do was hug each other very tightly. The roads were also windy and bumpy, it really made an impact on my leg injury that i had the day before.
We passed by many houses, villages and a small yet busy town trading vegetables, and there were surprisingly a great number of chickens and dogs. The animals there were extremely friendly, unlike the ones in my country, they are more ferocious and violent. The animals in the Phillipines do not attack you, they act more like companions. It was so calming to see the village, the people smile and waved back as we passed by. After a good long hour, we finally reached the Osmena Peak checkpoint.
There was a slippery slope that we had to ascend to reach the hut. The morning fog covered the land with cold droplets of water, it was comfortable to breathe but difficult to walk as the path was slippery. We looked like clumsy babies going up the slope, the villagers just smiled. When we reached the hut, there was an entrance fee of probably 100 pesos per person, and if we wanted a guide, it would cost an additional 500 pesos.
Walking sticks were also available for rent for 50 pesos each, the staff explained that the walking sticks are important during the descend. So, we took 3 walking sticks and hired a guide. We were shocked to see the guide, confidently only wearing a pair of flipflops, draped over with a grey jacket and attired with a simple black colored short. While us on the other hand, were dressed up like mountain hikers, geared up with sports shoes and training attires.
The guide introduced himself as “J.R” he was very cheerful and amazingly friendly. He rendered his assistance for photography purposes, so I gave him my mobile phone, he said it would be a piece of cake for him. He briefly told us that the climb would only take about 20 minutes. By that time, the sun was already up. We missed the sunrise but the weather was still perfectly fine, sunny but rather chilly.
As we ascended, i notice that we were going slightly at a slow pace, the rock edges were fairly slippery and covered with growth. The hike was not challenging but the weather factor made it particularly grueling.
One crucial element that hikers must take note is not to forget the spectacular view from above. Although we haven’t reach the top yet, we could see the wide range village and heaps of those beautiful green mountains, it was amazing. The piles of grassy mountains were wrapped round with windy routes that almost seemed like a whirlwind. The sun cast its warm beams of sunlight on us, it felt like a fairy tail. The echoes of roosters ring the air as we ascended.
As we ascended, J.R effortlessly took shots and videos of us during the climb, it almost seemed like he was just casually stretching his arms while hitting the record button. But the video quality was really good, it was barely difficult for him to make the ascend, it was like walking for him. He explained that he goes up and down the hill more than 8 times a day to guide the tourists. Clearly he was very experienced in this.
On the peak of the hill, I witnessed a lady running some errands beside a tent she’d built. I was shocked that one would camp up there despite its chilly, freezing weather. J.R guided us to a popular spot for magnificent pictures, it was in between sharp shaped rocks demonstrated with the beautiful sea background. Luckily, the sun was on our side, the lighting features were splendid !
Osmena Peak, at 1013 meter is not the highest peak in Cebu Island. In fact, on the about 20 meter east of Osmena Peak, there is another higher peak perhaps 5 or 10 meters taller, but not easily accessible by public. J.R confirmed our observation!
My mother was wearing Nashata hooda racerback sports hijab , purple heather top and black riada active pants. The color of the heather top contrasted the background perfectly, the shots were nicely taken too. The hooda racerback sports hijab was a great support for the activity because it did not flip through out the venture and was perfectly still but rise is fashion. I felt slightly shaky when I sat on the rocks because it was located by the edge, one small error then I could have fall. However, J.R was superbly jumping from one rock to another, in those worn off flipflops, readily finding a perfect position to take my photos.
He demanded me to do certain poses as he was the camera master. I should say, I was very impressed by his skills. After a bountiful amount of photos, we finally started our descend.
As we passed by other hikers, we also slip past a few convenient stalls located up on the hill. They sold goods such as soda drinks, snacks and lettuce. They grow remarkably a lot of vegetables. The villagers too, had impeccable English. People there were so buoyant and in good spirits, I admired their characters.
After reaching the hut, we returned our walking sticks and managed to greet goodbye to the amazing J.R, then continued our descend down the slippery slope. However, J.R surprisingly followed us down to make sure we returned safely, how sweet of him. Our transport had already arrive so we hoped on. It took another one hour to return to our hotel, but that was alright. The view and the environment was very entertaining. Although the bumpy road was a bit of a nuisance.
In conclusion, Osmena Peak is a worthwhile hike, staffs are incredibly friendly and environment is simply enchanting. As an advice, hikers should wake up extra early, probably at 3 in the morning to catch the sunrise, else wise, you would be experiencing the hot rays of sunlight. You can also catch the sunset instead. Please note, that every tourist behooves personal belongings to assure that there are no loses or any possible damage.
Cebu Island is a picturesque land that is surrounded by heaps of beautiful green mountains. My trip to Cebu Island was definitely a remarkable and enchanting trip for me, most of the adventure activities progressed were the attributes that stamped a check on my ‘ Life to do list ‘. It felt like my life is complete, I managed to accomplish my wish list with ease !
On the 21st of December 2019, around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, my family and I made our way out from the hotel. We were ready for our canyoning or canyoneering activity at Badian, Kawasan Falls. Canyoning offers you a mixed of different activities going though canyons by walking, sliding, climbing up and down rocks and going through caves and jumping over waterfalls. Before leaving, we were equipped with safety tools such as the life vest and helmet. Then, we got on two motorcycles to the place. For your information, three people were on each motorcycle. Next, yes, you might be wondering, is Kawasan Falls attached to the canyoning starting area ? Well, absolutely. Kawasan Falls is the last fall that you encounter when you canyoning at Badian.
The canyoning starting point is way on top of the hill, and to get down to the sky- blue river to start the journey, we were given two choices. First, to walk 1 kilometer on a hilly pathway till we reach start point, with no porter included. Second, to ride a 1 kilometer zip line to the checkpoint with additional fees.
For the sake of the adventure, we decided to take the first option, which was to walk with a distance of 1 kilometer to the start point. It was not that challenging, however if you carry a heavy load of goods, I recommend you to prepare a lighter weight bag, the back pain can be stingy. As a reminder, if you want to take beautiful pictures and countless videos of throughout the journey, I decisively advice you to bring your own waterproof camera, or GoPro. It will be a total life saver for you! You should tie the camera/GoPro with an empty plastic water bottle to ensure the camera does not sink or be easily lost. Every group includes an instructor/guide whom will be responsible for your well-being and safety. That also involves securing your belongings and assist in photography and videography. That way, there would be no difficulties in snapping your memorable photos there, in addition the guides are incredibly talented at taking photos and videos. The whole package is extremely reasonable as you get to comfortably experience the canyoning adventure while not worrying about the camerawork. Other than that, you must wear aqua shoes through out the activity, the rocks are slippery and covered with fungus.
During the briefing session, our guide explained about the falls and adviced us to consistently wear all the safety tools given such as the safety helmet and life vest. There were 7 activities in total throughout the whole canyoning adventure, consisted waterfall jumps of heights ranging from 4 meters to 14 meters and sliding down natural waterslides. If you are acrophobic, hakuna matata! The jumps are not compulsory. All activities are fully bound up to your own free will. However, if you decided not to jump, i must say, it would be a wasteful.
Upon jumping the first few cliffs, my anxiety level gradually arisen. The cold, glacial, chilly river water was really enjoyable. The river was partially covered by huge, beautiful cave-like stones up above, in that way, the temperature down below was cold. Some sunlight managed to penetrate the small gaps of the caves but most of the time it was chilly.
I was wearing Nashata black ultra top and Nashata black iman hijab. If you are a hijabi, and require comfortable and suitable sports attire for this activity, i highly recommend you to consider Nashata Products. If you are not a hijabi, rest assured, there are still so many fashionable and sporty products from Nashata that you can take a peep at ! 😀
During the 4th jump, it was for 7 meters high. It may not sound that frightening but it was actually spine-tingling. The blood curling moment made me hold the line. It took me almost a good 10 minutes for me to finally muster all my courage and took that one inch leap into the midst of air. As my body splashed in the chilly water, a sharp pain started throbbing around my upper back leg area or scientifically called the biceps femoris. It felt more like a cramp but simultaneously felt like a harsh slap. But after a few seconds, the pain faded away, so it was all good. After this tremendous jump, I knew it was going to be way harder for the next few jumps. I expected it to be more challenging for the next jump, so I was mentally ready.
After all the fret and jitters, the moment finally arrived, we reached the 10 meter jump. It was the second last jump, so i knew the adventure was already coming to and end. It was around 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Since the sun sets early in Moalboal, the guide adviced us to speed up. For your information, the sun sets at around 6 o’clock in the evening. There were no lights at night, although there were small stalls selling barbecue meat and some other snacks. That jump was the only “run and jump” type of a jump. At that hour, many people were already at that end of their expedition, therefore the place was slightly crowded, however still manageable. After witnessing a few of the other tourists and guides doing the jump, I managed to pull out the brave inner-self and finish the jump without hesitation. I must say, when jumping, the gravity pull force seemed 10 times stronger. It felt like someone was pulling you down, but of course that was just the gravity. When i hit the water surface, i felt the same cramp slap pain on both of my back legs. But this time, it was more intense, the pain started to sting. For a moment there after landing, I could not move my body, I was stiff. The guide quickly asked me to swim aside to let other people proceed with their jumps. Subsequently, I had to force my arms to push the water against the current and swim to the sides. The water current was amazingly strong.
Nevertheless, the stream was the most enchanting scenery ever. It was quite an eyeful. The turquoise, serene balletic streams of water shot me in the state of tranquility. In my opinion, even the best quality camera was not capable of capturing the astonishing sight. I had to snap the beautiful scenery with my own eyes and embed it in my memories. The water was so blue, it was like swimming in a fantasy water park. The compound was also upgraded with a man-made water slide by the small falls. It was simply amazing. The environment was also magnificently maintained.
In addition, there was also a tree rope jumping just like a tarzan, except you fall into a pool. Yes, the one with the long rope tied up to the tree trunks. The rope jump was extremely safe and fun. Basically you would just have to hang on to the rope, bend your knees throughout the jump and let go when you reach the middle zone. The guide warned us to not return back to the starting point once you had already reach the middle zone, this is simply because there is a high chance you would scrape your knee or injure yourself when you hit the starting rock. Frankly, you should just finish what you have started in one go.
Moving on with the journey, we reached the last stop, the final jump. It was an intense 14 meter jump. Some of the people ought to skip the last jump because they had enough of the cramp and adrenaline shock. Initially, I too wanted to skip the last jump, but after a long thought, I changed my mind. I knew I would regret the moment, it was a once in a lifetime experience. Where else could I find a majestic river like this? When would i be able to do this again? All those thoughts flushed my brain and subsequently, I decided to take the last jump. The last jump was on top of a fall, yes, right on top. It still gives me the heebie-jeebies every time I recall that moment. I stood on the roots of a huge tree, just a leap away from flying in the air. It was incredibly spooky. With the strong force of the waterfall, whooshing and splashing cold water like a giant creepy octopus, I closed my eyes and held onto my life vest as tight as i could. As soon as I made that jump, my throat voice started to squeak. It sounded like a mouse in the video. As usual, the pain was stinging. It hurt so bad this time, droplets of tears started forming from my eyes. Luckily, there was nobody in line, so i got some time for myself to endure the throbbing pain. After that, i swam to the side and reunite with my family.
Considering we finished all the jumps, we finally made it to the last fall, Kawasan Falls. The falls was so pretty but half of it was marked as a restricted area. The guide explained that it was too deep, and there were a number of death cases due to that fall, because the depth was to deep and it was difficult to recover the person’s body. It was kind of scary after he explained that to us. At that stage, there were many stalls and benches. Most of the people who do not wish to do the canyoning would probably just pay an entree fee of about 100 pesos ( if I am not mistaken) from the entrance down below and enjoy that fall. However, I must say that I was grateful to have joined the canyoning from up above, it was more worthy and beneficial, we got to explore more gorgeous rivers and even managed to play with the man-made entertainments. It was worthwhile.
It was around 6 o’clock in the evening when we came out from the park. The 6000 pesos family package also included a complete dinner meal by the beach, we even managed to witness the beautiful sunset by the sea. We got to the restaurant by a tricycle which was also included in the package. The ride only took approximately 5 minutes from the Kawasan Falls entrance to the restaurant.
The food prepared included delicious prawns and a dozen hot mouthwatering spring rolls. You can also order add-on dishes but of course along with some additional fees. After that, we took another 5 minute walk back to our hotel. In a nutshell, it can be concluded that the canyoning activity was totally worth it, i had a jolly time although it was very an extreme sport. I decisively recommend that tourists should do the canyoning venture rather than directly going to the Kawasan Falls. In conjunction with that, the weather factors are crucial in determining the entry of any tourists. It rained on that night, so the next day, the staffs had to close the park due to slippery and dangerous sites.
For some extra guidelines, during any falls or jumps, do ensure that you cross hold your vest and jump with maintaining a straight leg posture, this is to guarantee no injuries. Never try to attempt a cannon ball posture because this would only slap your lower leg with more pressure and leaves you with non-stop pounding of pain and discomfort. You should also bring a waterproof bag, and place your mobile phones and other gadgets in an air-tight plastic bag. Please note, that every tourist behooves personal belongings to assure that there are no loses or any possible damage.