I’ve been many things to many people over the past few years. When I was a kid, I was the Girl with Glasses. When I graduated and entered university, I was the Girl Two Years Younger Than Everyone Else (I was accelerated, and entered UP at 15 years old).

Then I got on the internet, and it was here that I first found some semblance of control of my identity because everything required I select some sort of handle or nickname (before we started calling them “usernames”). One of the first internet rules I learned was to use a different name from my own. For a teen still finding her own voice, this was golden because I felt I could be anything online. I created a home page on Geocities and my username was “Barbie-q” or some kind of iteration on that.

It wasn’t long before I found people online and in real life with whom I shared similar interests. Back then, I was into anime and because of this subscribed to the Pinoy Otaku Mailing List. Living in that world of fantasy, I soon created and inhabited a persona I called “Doctor Megumi” after the character Takani Megumi from the anime Rurouni Kenshin. I even attempted some fanfiction under that pen name. *shudder*

As more people started using the internet and social networking sites like Friendster, Myspace, and then Facebook and Twitter grew in popularity, establishing an online identity under your real name became the new norm (although anonymous usernames still stuck around). I had also begun keeping a personal blog under my real name in hopes of creating a portfolio good enough as a jump-off point for finding writing work.

Then I started writing about fitness and active lifestyle, which started pointing me in the direction I’ve been going ever since in both the magazine articles I’ve written, and the television appearances I’ve had. Some people still recognize me from my ShopTV Live guesting demonstrating products like this. *shudder*

But never has anything grown to define me as much as my latest identity “Kikay Runner”. It started when I wrote a few blog entries about starting to run and join races. One of my friends said I was the next Bull Runner, referring to an already-established running blogger. I demurred, saying, “Hindi naman. Kikay Runner lang.” I didn’t think anything of it back then; the term was just a brain fart.

But when I split off my running-related posts into its own blog and called it Kikay Runner, it really took off. It was easy to remember and juxtaposed mental images of a feminine woman in a hardcore sport. And I guess I’ve grown to become that name, too — even as I invested in trademarking it for fear that TV networks would use it on one of their young stars to capitalize on the growing popularity of running.

These days when people call out to me I can tell when I got to know them. I’m “Noelle” to most long-time buddies from the blogging world, “Megumi-chan” to my anime friends, and “Kikay” to my acquaintances in the running community. And some people who know me by “Kikay” now don’t even know my real name. But that’s all right. My name is Noelle… but I’m Kikay, too.

BODYJAM and BODYBALANCE at 360 Fitness Club

I’m glad to be on the BODYJAM and BODYBALANCE team for 360 Fitness Club, which offers these two programs from Les Mills in its Makati branch (Ortigas and Quezon City are upcoming). 360 Fitness also offers Zumba, suspension training, pole dancing, and its main fitness program: circuit training.

Check out these videos!

360 Fitness Club featured in Star World

BODYJAM at 360 Fitness Club

BODYBALANCE at 360 Fitness Club

Surfing Daydreaming

Last long weekend I saw a number of friends head off to La Union, Zambales, or Baler to surf. Alas, I staycationed in Manila and the only surfing I did was on my laptop. *sniffle* I wish I had gone surfing for real, though. It’s been years since I actually surfed in the ocean (Club Manila East wave pool is nice, but not as romantic as the real thing).

Living Asia Prod June 28-30: Surfin' Zambales

Hanging loose at Crystal Beach, Zambales in 2007

Also, I’d just been sent a Quiksilver watch fresh off the Spring/Summer 2012 line. Maybe I’ve just watched Blue Crush one too many times but wearing this watch makes me feel like I’m Michelle Rodriguez in the movie.

2012-08-12 1344736451

This is the Quiksilver Speedway. It has an analog clockface which I love because it’s so retro, but also has the digital time on display. Its plastic case and polyurethane strap make for a hardy and rugged construction, so if it gets banged up on the coral it won’t look too much the worse for wear. It’s also got a chronograph with lap operation, an hourly chime, a built-in calendar, and a temperature reading.

While this watch doesn’t look out of place on this internet surfer’s wrist, I really do need to schedule a surf trip with the gals just so I can once again embody being a real surfer chick. (I can dream, can’t I?)

Check out the rest of the new Quiksilver and Roxy watches at Quiksilver stores in Alabang Town Center-The Gardens, Abreeza Mall Davao, Nuvali Solenad 2, SM North EDSA-The Annex, SM Cebu, and Harbour Point Subic. You can also keep track of promos on the Quiksilver Philippines Facebook page.

Five Days in Singapore

My friend Julia and I headed to Singapore at the end of June just in time for the Great Singapore Sale. We’d booked our flights six months in advance to take advantage of promo fares, hoping to scrape together enough savings to shop with. Thankfully we didn’t need to pay for lodging due to some kind friends who had settled there and offered to host us during our stay.

We had two hosts for the trip: spent two nights with one family in the Mount Faber/Harbourfront area, and another three nights with an old school friend in Tampines. If you’ve seen the Singapore SMRT map, you’ll know that’s almost on opposite sides of the island! Taxi fares are expensive and most of the SMRT is underground, so I didn’t get to see how all the streets and areas connected with each other. I did try to map out a run route once and was surprised that it would be almost 21 kilometers just to get from Tampines to a nearby beach and back. People say Singapore is so small you can tour it all in a day. After my trip, I doubt that’s really true.

Singapore Swing

waiting for a bus

Singapore Swing

amusing myself with train station names

Singapore Swing

random dude I spotted on the train on his way to the airport

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I recently joined the Apple herd by getting an iPod Touch. While my BlackBerry is great for social media use, its battery runs out too quickly when I use it to keep my hands from being idle. So these days I use my iPod for games, which it is great for.

Another thing it’s great for? Instagram. While iOS and Android devices have Instagram apps, developers simply haven’t seen the need to make one for BlackBerry. So while my iPod doesn’t really take great photos (it’s got low-resolution cameras front and back), it’s wonderful just being able to snap, edit, and upload photos and share my photographic point-of-view.

Check these Instagrams out after only a month of having the app on my iPod:

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m even more talkative than even my Twitter tweet count indicates. Ü