Not to another place. I'm moving to another blog site:

I know I just scored this really great blogger theme and I'm already off to another space. Why? Mainly because of 2 things:

1. I was having problems getting the domain name. Even was already taken. I should have planned this a long time ago when I started this blog- but hey, it's a learning process.

2. I felt that G-ography was harder to remember and I predict that the hyphen will cause issues down the road. Moreover, upon reflection Pinay on the move is a better title for my blog. It's more definitive.

So please don't forget to set your bookmarks and change your feeds to my new website:

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Tech Off Takes Off with a Travel Gear Poll: FUD


A couple of days ago, I was surfing on the web for workout underwear (I know their seo/sem folks sure picked a brilliant keyword) when this photo came up on my search:

It's an FUD- female urination device! It's made of flexible medical grade silicone which you can throw away after use or clean then reuse. It also has a patented "splash guard" design which prevents mess and spills. You can discreetly read more about it at GoGirl's website.

I have to say, I didn't know what to make of this device when I first saw it. Then it got me thinking back to all those times when I was on the road and I needed quick relief but a) I was in the middle of nowhere OR b) the public restroom was just horribly disgusting.

Can you keep a secret?
I actually went on and added this to my RTW wishlist (FYI, I'm still working on this folks). I'll worry about the mechanics of using and cleaning this device later. I think it's nifty and practical. If you travel or go outdoors a lot this FUD can come in really handy. Plus look, it comes in lavender!

That being said, I'm curious: How many of you ladies would buy and use this (and is it true that European women have been using FUDs for a long time now?)? Please do me a favor and take the poll below. I really want to know and put this question to rest before my brain explodes. Don't let me find out that I am the only weird girl that actually thinks this could be cool. Note: I am no way endorsing or marketing this device =)

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Travel Therapy: Ultimate Destinations for Yoga and Meditation

I'm kicking off Travel Therapy with a post Happy Hearts day special on my ultimate destinations for yoga and meditation. Chocolates and flowers are sweet and pretty during Valentine's day. But for the day after and the following days to come yoga and meditation is the key to a happy heart.

1. Rishikesh, India
Known as the world capital of yoga, this town is located close to the Himalayas and is next to the Ganges river. [Cool to know: George Harrison had his ashes scattered along this river.] What is important to note is that the Ganges carries an immense cultural and religious meaning for Hindus. For them this body of water is a symbol of life and purity.

Of course, one of the most popular thing to do in Rishikesh is to check in to an ashram where you can study yoga, meditation and Hindu philosophy. I discovered the photos below when I was searching for ashrams in India on Flickr (I use Flickr for inspiration on travel destinations). These are real yoginis captured in a very solemn moment.

 Photo Credit: Freestyler
If you don't know what an ashram is (chill it's not some cult compound) it is basically a hermitage where you go to find tranquility or get some form of instruction. Now, it is not some sort of spa. There are some things you have to know and take into consideration before booking that flight to Rishikesh. summarizes this best with the following:

If you're considering an ashram stay, it's worth noting that ashrams tend to have a distinctive rhythm and protocol. For one thing, while some have stricter rules than others, most still have mandatory daily schedules, often requiring you to rise before dawn. If you are fairly new to yoga, a day consisting of four compulsory yoga and meditation sessions could be overwhelming. Also, visitors are often asked to practice karma yoga (selfless service) by contributing to the upkeep of the facility—in the form of kitchen duties, gardening, cleaning, and other chores. In short, you should be comfortable with communal living to fully enjoy and benefit from the ashram experience.

A few tips: Most ashrams serve only vegetarian or vegan food; alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco are not permitted. Don't try sneaking in a bottle of Chianti—you'll be asked to leave if the contraband is discovered. Guests typically stay in dormitories with shared bathrooms. Modest dress is usually required at all times; shorts, short skirts, leggings, and sleeveless or sheer tops are not appropriate ashram attire. Instead, pack loose pants and a short-sleeved shirt for your practice.

However, if you are a yoga enthusiast such as myself then staying in an ashram is something you have been dreaming of doing. For ashram recommendations, I would like to start with my personal choice Parmarth Niketan (it's in my bucket list).  They offer offer 6 different programs on Yoga which ranges from general classes up to a 4 week intensive instruction that requires at least one year of practice before attending. The Parmarth also offers simple residential facilities to students, pilgrims and devotees. Oh and you get to wake up next to this view:

To find the right Ashram for you, here are some resources at your disposal:

When I was looking at the list, I noticed that some Ashrams were pretty pricey (I think it is because they are part of the Yoga Alliance which allows them to issue teacher certifications valid in the US). I was reading on some of the forums that the smart thing to do is to go canvas around the town until you find one that fits your budget and your purpose. Of course, this only works if you have a lot of time.

2. Kathmandu, Nepal

In a Buddhist town which lie in the Kathmandu valley you can find the Kopan Monastery. They offer a one month meditation course at their international center for study and meditation. They also offer other courses which focus on Buddhism (if you are into this). For $420 dollars, you can enroll in their annual meditation course which happens every November. The fee includes dormitory accommodation, all meals, course material and a course administration fee, which covers travel for teachers, course preparation and material, and administration expenses. You can read more about Kopan Monastery's program here. 

  La nostra aula.. Kopan Monastery, NepalKopan monastery
Photo Credit: Mo-pop

Warning: this is not for the faint of heart. It's not the usual retreat that you are used to where you have all the amenities that you need. I hear that the regime is rigorous and the conditions can sometimes be harsh (cold). Remember, it is a monastery so they have rules which can be very austere especially if you are used to independent hedonistc city living. The bright side is you get to experience a simple and quiet life free of distractions. 

Full moon from Kopan monastery
Photo Credit: Mo-pop

If you think that the month long course is not for you there are shorter courses available at other monasteries. has a section called spiritual pursuits which you can check out.

3. Paro Valley, Bhutan

I think these two pictures alone should give you an idea why this is on my list.

Photo Credit: Gavin Gough                          Photo Credit: Christo

Both were taken at the Taktsang Palphug Monastery or better known as The Tiger's Nest. It is a Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and temple complex located on a cliff side near a cave (No this is not where they filmed Batman Begins). Apparently, this cave is open for public viewing only once a year. You will also require a special permit and a guide to travel to this place. Then after you acquire these you will need to hike on foot or ride on a mule to get up to the monastery (is it just me or is this sounding more like a quest?). The way I think about it the awesome view on top is worth a few hours of pain.
4. Tibet

Last but not the least is the mystical and mysterious place in the Himalayas- Tibet. I did not write down a specific place because there are a lot of temples and gompas that you can go to. I think this would be a great choice for the "self-guided traveler" who does not want to be confined in a facility or receive formal instruction (note: individual travel is not allowed in Tibet so trips here have to be arranged through agencies). Sometimes the journey alone provides us with enough inner peace and tranquility. You can use the open roads and breath taking views as tools for deep reflection.

If you want to find a list of Tibetan Monasteries Wikipedia has one.

Potala Temple, Tibet
Photo Credit: Katarina
 Chiyu Gompa and Mt. Kailash, Gang Rinpoche Tibet
Photo Credit: reurinkjan (please check out his Tibet sets- it is very surreal)

There you are. I hope you enjoyed the out of this world landscapes captured on photo. Are there lesser known places for yoga and meditation? Don't keep it a secret- share =)

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G-ography's New Geography


G-ography has a new geography. As cliches go: new year, new look. I admit I have not devoted the time and the passion that this blog deserves. But as I go into this new year with very clear goals you are going to see a lot of exciting changes. These changes are part of the original vision I had for G-ography and I am making it happen!

Exciting Change #1:  LAY-OUT (imagine my hands moving around this blog Vanna White style) Notice that I chose a blogger theme that is more travel oriented. It's still a work in progress and I will continue to play around with the lay out. I am also in the process of figuring out how to add an About page on this blog. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do this and what to write in it?

Exciting Change # 2: CONTENT This is a big one. One of the challenges I face as a blogger is delivering a focused content. I am a person with eclectic interests so a misconception that I had to dispel was that focusing meant sacrificing self-expression. So not true. I now realize that I can still express my eclectic ideas without being all over the place.

So I brainstormed and came up with a solution that will allow me to have focus yet still be my eclectic self. This effective solution is called creating sections. Yes, moving forward I am launching fun little sections inspired by my NNP: Next New Project one. This will also be an easy way for all of you to hone in on subjects that interest you the most (my posts will be labeled and tagged appropriately).  I have a brief description of each section below so please read on! (P.S. Feel free to give me some feedback on the graphics and the titles. I'm all for making things better.)

Travel Therapy

Travel Therapy: The perfect cure to cubicle blues. This section will feature drool worthy travel destinations and bring you news on interesting things happening in the world of travel. I'll also be documenting any on the road travel that will guarantee to leave you on the edge of your seats (or at least in the vicinity of the edge of your seats).

vantage point 3

Vantage Point: It's all about being a nostalgic nomad. This section will haunt you with images and stories from my past trips. Part of being a traveler is being a storyteller and our stories seek to bring new perspective. This is the value that a vantage point offers.

F.O.B. Report

The F.O.B. Assimilation is the name of the game. As a foreigner abroad, it is important for me adapt to my host nation's culture. It is also very important for me to maintain my own identity as a Filipino. It may sound easy but it is a constant learning experience. This section will feature observations and commentaries on being a Filipina traveling, living and working outside of the Philippines.

Tech Off: Because the geek in me has to be unleashed from time to time. This sections will basically feature any cool technology aside from travel gear. It could be a new apps, mobile device, computer hardware, console game, photo equipment or a social media site. Definitely blogger's choice =p


Tsibog: Because food makes the world go round. I'm a foodie and a burgeoning cook so this section is a no-brainer.Watch out for recipes, photos and good eats!

Exciting Change # 3: INTERACTION Throughout the years I have mainly blogged for my family and friends. This time around I want to be active within the blog community. I genuinely would love to connect with people who have the same interests and passions. Travelers of the world unite! If you have any suggestions on groups or resources-online and offline- I would love to read it! Drop me a line or two at

TADA!!!! That's it. My trifecta of exciting changes ready for roll-out beginning 02/14/11!

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Next New Project (NNP): Watercolor Painting Update

Next New Project

You may remember my last NNP post about watercolor painting with local artist John Yato I had my second session last Saturday and I am well on my way to creating my first proper piece of art. It's a beach scene of Point Loma in San Diego. You can take a peek at the photo of my work station below.

It's still a work in progress. I can't wait until I get to choose my own scene to paint. I'll be posting more photos and updates of my progress. If you want to take a stab at watercolor painting here are a few resources you can check out:

Free Watercolor Painting Free Lessons & Tutorials
Watercolor Painting Techniques
Watercolor for the Absolute Beginner

My "candid shot" by Yato san....hehehe.

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Unsuitable for Ladies- The Travel Book to Read

If you are looking for a good travel book to read, I highly recommend Unsuitable for Ladies: An Anthology of Women Travellers. It is the type of book that any self-respecting female traveller should have ready by the bedside or in the suitcase. This excellent collection is composed of snippets of adventures written by women as early as the 1800's. describes it as:
A who's who of 200 adventurous women travelers, explorers, scientists and writers, organized geographically. Editor Robinson provides a short introduction for each along with a helpful selection of maps. In this anthology ranging over 16 centuries, she includes excerpts from the Victorian-era derring-do of Mary Kingsley, war accounts of Florence Nightingale, Karen Blixen's memoirs and some of modern writer Dervla Murphy's adventures.

It is the kind of book that you must savor. Meaning you don't have to hurriedly read it straight through. The style of words may seem outdated but the characters are modern- so full of wit, sass and guts. Personally, I find it most useful for a quick inspiring read about exotic places or exciting misadventures. I would even dare to suggest that you try randomly picking a page and reading it. The more dated ones with the flowery but proper English text are the best! Every time I read them, I feel as though it is a story from a letter that one my kindred female travelers has sent to me by "post".

It's fascinating to think that back then they had no cellphones, no cameras, no internet and no Facebook to help them update folks back home. You either had to write everything down and wait to get back home after surviving a long trip across the ocean or you wait for the next port of call to post mail. I know! It gives me the chills when I think about not having the modern comforts that we are now used to.

Pity really. We should envy the earlier travelers because they were free from these distractions which allowed them to be purely immersed in their explorations. They were also free to discover everything for the first time- no googling "first female to travel across Papua New Guinea" only to find out that Kristina Dodson had already done it or no naysayer commenting on your blog or status update that base jumping off of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil is no longer an original idea (I checked it has be done:

Nowadays, all sorts of information about a destination is already on the internet- from reviews on accommodations, must see lists, itineraries and maps. It makes me think about how we are getting ahead of ourselves. We are already predicting the experience before it even happens. There is such a thing as over planning a trip you know!

In any case, I leave you with an excerpt from Lady Florence Dixie's Across Patagonia, 1880:

" What was the attraction in going to an outlandish place so many miles away?...Precisely because it was an outlandish place and so far away, I chose it. Palled for the moment with civilasation and its surroundings, I wanted to escape somewhere, where I might be as far removed from them as possible. Many of my readers have doubtless felt the dissatisfaction with oneself, and everybody else, that comes over one at times in the midst of the pleasure of life; when one wearies of the shallow artificiality of modern existence; when what was once excitement has become so no longer, and a longing grows up within one to taste a more vigorous emotion than that afforded by the monotonous round of society' so-called "pleasures"."

Do you have any good travel reads you want to share? Leave it on the comments field below.

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Yummy Breakfast Oatmeal Recipe

One of my goals for this year is to eat a healthy and balanced diet. As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you a lot of energy and it helps to jump start your metabolism. Thus, I bring you the oatmeal! This recipe was inspired by my co-worker's packet of instant spice & raisins oatmeal.

Now, I like the convenience of quick flavored oats but lately I have been hankering for home-made food with the "non-cardboard" taste. IMPORTANT: This recipe only takes 10 minutes to make so no excuses! You can cook it on the weekend then pack the rest to bring to work for a breakfast with lots of flavor and nutrients. I took the liberty of counting the calories and a small bowl is only about 140-180 calories (depending on toppings and if you want to help yourself to some more).


3 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup chopped raw nuts (walnuts or mixed)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (for this recipe I boiled a vanilla bean before mixing in the oats and it was AWESOME)
Pinch nutmeg (or more to taste)
2-3 tablespoons raw brown sugar
1 container of small apple sauce
1 cup lowfat milk
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Stir in the oats and raisins, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, place nuts, if using, in a dry skillet over a medium-high flame, and toast, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. You can also bake it in the oven at 350 degrees F or 10 minutes. Set aside.

When the oats are cooked remove pan from the flame and stir in the vanilla and nutmeg. Swirl in the brown sugar and apple sauce.

That's it. It is ready to serve (6-8 portions). Just pour milk on your bowl and top with toasted nuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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They Come in Threes

and that means good things =) Good things come in threes!

1. We had our company meeting the last week and as we were filing into our meeting area we saw packages underneath all of our chairs. Oh what could it be? We were told not to open. At the end of the meeting, before our CEO could even say NOW...a loud rustling sound exploded in the room. It was from people grabbing the blue paper packages and tearing them open. Gosh, now I know how it feels to be on Oprah. Guess what it was?

I've always wanted to get one but have been largely debating it since I really love the scent and feel of a paper book. I was surprised at how the screen is so matte! Barely any glare its almost like looking at a grey opaque sticker with clear litographic print on it. Except that it's not. Really a cool gadget you can bring when you travel. Plus it also has a wifi. I'd take this over an iPad any day. Yes the iPad is very colorful but I already have a Macbook and an iPhone why carry another device?

2. Also that same day, I come home to find a $100 check on my mail. I love getting money in the mail =) Elliot Benson is a Market Research group who randomly contacted me last year on LinkedIn. They had asked me to join a small focus group for where I received a thank you check of $150 which I ended up using for a snowboarding trip to Mammoth. This time around I only had to set aside one hour of my time to join another focus group for Cisco. Easy money, right? Just remember to do it during your personal time.

Now, I don't do this a lot but if you are interested in making a quick buck check out these links. NOTE: exercise your own discretion and common sense to see if they are legit, read the comments, look for reviews online or better yet give them a ring:

Best Paid Focus Groups

Get Paid Cash to Participate in Focus Groups

How to Make Money from Focus Groups

3. I am definitely spinning this one into a positive experience. Folks, I just received my first ever traffic ticket for running a red light on a photo enforced intersection! I knew this was coming and let me tell you when I saw the mail from the police department I was so anxious. When I tore up the envelope, I had a good laugh instead. On the top corner of the citation was the best photo I have ever taken =)

Picture 1

Needless to say, lesson learned. It's a very expensive ticket but nothing that I won't be able to earn or save back (this means no shopping or eating out for some time). Plus, on the bright side I get to 1) contribute to money to the San Diego county and 2) attend a comedy traffic school. FUN =)

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