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How to Enjoy Sports Activities Under the Sun.

Summer has come around again this year, and it is only getting hotter every day. There are many activities one can do during the summer season, and sports is one of them. But because of how hot it can get during this season, it is important to know how to be prepared under the heat of the sun. Here are some things to take note of during the summer and tips on how to enjoy sports activities under the sun.
Photo credit:
Prepare Your Skin for the Summer
A healthy body is important for athletes and sports enthusiasts as this means that they can perform their tasks to the utmost of their ability during sports activities. During the summer, however, one should take into account the amount of time they are outside underneath the heat of the sun. Too much sun exposure can be harmful to skin, which is why it is important that one prepares their skin during prolonged periods under the sun.

The sunlight that reaches the earth has ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which are the main causes of skin damage. UVA and UVB rays affect the skin’s sensitivity to sun exposure in different ways. UVA rays are more dominant than UVB rays and can cause long-term damage to the skin since it penetrates deep into the skin’s layers. UVB rays are more intense during the summer season, most especially during the middle of the day, and can cause skin cancer.

It is important to prepare the skin before venturing outdoors. Protect your skin from the rays of the sun by making sure to apply sunscreen on any exposed skin, including the limbs, the face, and even the ears. Use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 50 or higher, and reapply every two hours especially for extended outdoor activity. One should also try to go under the shade as much as possible. Cover up where you can with wide-brimmed hats or visors, and wear comfortable clothing that is lightweight like cotton, hemp, or linen and are light colored.
Kim Woo Bin for Merrell (2016).
Wear Protective Clothing
There are many sports clothing companies that have already thought of the athletes and sporty people that love to stay outdoors. Clothes that have UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor, on the label should be the prime choice for outdoor athletes. The higher the UPF rating, the fewer UV rays reach the skin. Clothes with a UPF of 50, for example, allows just 1/50th of the sun’s UV radiation to reach the skin. Light-weave UPF clothing can protect the body without impeding on the workout or activity.

Protective clothing extends not only toward protection from the sun but protection from overworked muscles as well. Athletes that train under the intense heat of the sun are at risk of both burning their skin and burning the muscles used. Ensure that you are protected from muscle overuse by using KT tape. KT tapes are made of 100 percent cotton fibers with specialized elastic cores that help reduce the pressure, discomfort, and pain from using the muscles during training. This tape alleviates the swelling and muscle inflammation from lymphatic fluid buildup in the muscles while also supporting it by improving the muscles’ ability to contract.
Han Ji Min for Dazed (March 2019).
Protect the Eyes with Sunglasses
The eyes are the next part of the body that need to be protected during the summer season as they are also vulnerable to ultraviolet rays from the sun even when the effects aren’t felt right away. Short-term effects of overexposure to UV rays include excessive blinking, swelling, or difficulty looking at strong sunlight. Overexposure can also cause sunburn of the cornea known as photokeratitis, also known as snow blindness or welders’ flash burns.

Photokeratitis, or ultraviolet keratitis, is a painful eye condition caused by exposure of insufficiently protected eyes to the ultraviolet rays from either natural or artificial sources. This is why it is important to protect the eyes during scorching hot weather during the summer season. Sunglasses protect the eyes from 5 to 10 percent of visible light that absorbs almost all UV rays. These glasses should have large lenses and should always be worn.

Be Cautious of Some Medications
There are a few medications that you should be aware of that make you more sensitive under the sun, so make sure to be extra vigilant when outdoors when these are being taken. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are a few to take note of.
Missha All-around Safe Block.
Don’t Forget to Take a Break
Prolonged exposure under the sun is how one gets sunburned, so make sure to take a break every hour or so. Since sports require that you train your body for hours on end, make sure that every training session outdoors is timed accordingly. Since sunscreen needs to be reapplied, taking a break will help remind you on when to dab on a new protective layer of SPF lotion onto the skin.

Although there are many things to consider when it comes to sun protection, it is imperative that one is reminded of the good things that the sun can offer. Sunlight is known to be a great mood enhancer—no wonder why others tend to say “Go out in the sun” when they see another feeling blue. The sun is also a great source of vitamin D, which is a vitamin that helps maintain bone strength. Lastly, don’t forget the important thing of all during the summer, and that is to enjoy and make great memories!


Making Your Bedroom a Sanctuary.

We all know that sleep is important, vital in fact. Your bedroom style and layout can impact on the quality of your sleep. Why not consider making a few small changes and creating a sanctuary in which to sleep? Whether your style is designer chic or quirky retro, you can really make your home feel like a home with some alterations however big or small.
Kim Miso's bedroom in 'What's Wrong with Secretary Kim' (2018).
Firstly, make sure that your bed is fit for a princess. No uncomfortable mattress will allow optimum sleep, so consider splashing out on a new one. It really is worth it for a superb night’s sleep. Comfort is imperative. Don’t forget to research the best places to dispose mattress along with the best mattress for your requirements. Investing in some new, fresh bedding is also worthwhile. Remember that feeling of getting into a bed with newly laundered linen? New duvet covers can give the exact same sentiment. A few scatter cushions are also a great addition to your bed, adding a touch of cosiness and luxury if you choose wisely.
Comfort and style.
 Next, look at the space you have. Does it appear cluttered? If so, devote some time to sorting out anything you no longer need, yet is taking up valuable room. Charity shops are crying out for good quality, second-hand goods, so why not take a few bags full to one of your local ones. Knowing a charity will benefit alongside yourself will warm your heart too. Getting into bed on an evening without having to attack the route like an assault course from the bedroom door to your side of the bed will really help you to feel relaxed.
Clear your clutter.
Giving your walls a lick of paint can really freshen up the room without costing the earth. Choosing a calming colour will help relax your mood as well as changing the feel of the place. Avoid too much white as this has a clinical look about it. Blue can be a cold colour, so choose wisely if this is what you’d like in your bedroom. If you are keen to stick to a fairly blank canvas when it comes to the main hues within your room, consider adding a splash of colour with a bright rug on the floor, throw on the bed or maybe even a brightly-coloured or sparkly framed mirror. A bedside lamp or light shade in a powerful colour could also be a brilliantly-chosen addition.
Chae Soo Bin and her Heart Touch Lamp in I am Not a Robot (2017).
Finally, make sure that your bedroom is a space reserved for bedroom activities i.e. sleeping (and maybe a little bit of fun too!). Having a television in there or maybe even a desk can prevent quality sleep. Both drama on TV and within your working life can stop you from switching off your thoughts properly and allowing you to drift off into sound sleep. Furthermore, experts suggest you do not have a bed-facing clock in your room, as this too can thwart the aim of peaceful sleep.

Whatever the end result is, as long as your bedroom meets your own personal requirements and expectations, you will have succeeded in creating a sanctuary. May you have many happy nights’ sleep in it.


Aritaum Tips on Taking Care of 20s Skin.

Most skin care experts say that the best time to start a consistent beauty routine is in your 20s, which is probably because the skin’s renewal process start to decline as early as age 25, and may even happen sooner if you have poor lifestyle habits that aggravate free radical damage. Your 20s is the best time to start using skin care products like Aritaum.
Aritaum Flagship Store in Gangnam.
Here’s a comprehensive guide about taking care of your 20s skin that you can easily incorporate into your daily routines:

1. Start exfoliating regularly.
Exfoliation speeds up skin renewal by facilitating the removal of dead skin cell layers more efficiently to reveal new skin layers underneath. Sluggish skin renewal is the main cause for dull looking skin and pigmentation (e.g. dark spots), and our skin’s natural cellular regeneration process begins to decline gradually starting at age 25. Furthermore, premature skin aging may be aggravated by factors like stress, environmental pollution, and bad lifestyle habits that can make your skin look older than it's supposed to.

Exfoliation also helps unclog pores, smoothen skin, and prevent future breakouts. Choose mild exfoliators like acid-based ones containing alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic, and/or glycolic acid. Acid-based exfoliators are not abrasive yet effectively remove dead skin cells from within.
Laneige Clear-C Peeling Mask.
2. Prioritize sun protection.
The sun’s UVA and UVB rays cause a lot of skin damage. In fact, people who are regularly exposed to the sun develop premature signs of skin aging like wrinkles and dark spots than those who don’t. However, most people aren’t concerned about using sun protection products.

Your 20s is a great time to begin using sunscreen in your regimen daily. You can prevent a lot of skin care issues in the future just by prioritizing sun protection. Choose a sunscreen that has at least 35 SPF (sun protection factor) and protects against both UVA and UVB rays (broad spectrum protection), as most sunscreen products may not protect against both UV ray types. Wear sunscreen daily all over your face and body, and leave on skin for at least 30 minutes before going out.
Mamonde Everyday Aqua Sun Cream.
3. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise.
Diet and exercise are non-negotiables are you want to maintain good health and vibrant skin. Sticking to a healthy diet and having regular exercise in your 20s gives you an edge amongst the average population and will surely give you huge incredible benefits you can reap in the future. A sound diet and exercise regimen in your early 20s is the best investment you can get for your health, beauty and even money down the line.

4. Find the right cleanser.
Many teenagers who’ve experienced oily and acne-prone skin may have been used to using strong cleansers, astringents, and skin care practices that can strip your skin of its natural oils and moisture. Once you reach your 20s, however, your hormones are beginning to be more stabilized. Thus, it's also important to begin switching to milder cleansers right for your skin type and begin concentrating on skin hydration and nourishment.
An array of cleansers at an Aritaum store.
5. Adapt your skin care routine to the season.
Just as your hormones begin stabilizing in your 20s, it’s also advisable to begin adapting your skin care routines according to the season. Use lightweight, water-based, or oil-free formulas during warmer seasons to prevent excess oil production and breakouts, and use creamier formulations during the colder months to prevent skin dehydration and dryness. Adjusting your skin care products according to the season puts less stress on your skin and help you adjust to environmental stressors better.
Aritaum Baby Face Mist.
6. Try adding retinol into your regimen.
Retinol is a popular skin care ingredient because it functions both as an anti-ager and for controlling acne. Your 20s is a good time for incorporating retinol into your regimen, as you may still be coming off your acne-riddled young adult days and transitioning into an older adult facing risks of skin aging.

7. Consider anti-aging products.
It is actually never too early to control skin aging by using anti-aging beauty products. Your 20s is an excellent time to begin introducing anti-aging products in your regimen, as your 20s skin is still good at absorbing nutrients and renewing skin cells. When buying anti-aging products, opt for ones loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants, since these actives deal best with fighting free radical damage, oxidative stress, and UV damage.
More skincare products from Aritaum.
Your 20s is an excellent time for starting health and skin care regimens that will pay off greatly in the future. Take care of your 20s skin by adopting these habits, using products like Aritaum and being confident in maintaining that youthful-looking glow well into your 20s and beyond.


How to Dress Baby for Bed.

When dressing your baby for bed, it is essential to choose a sleepwear made with soft and breathable fabric so the baby sleeps comfortably. A baby's skin is sensitive and it is important to choose the type of sleepwear to avoid rashes and discomfort. This is an informative article on how to dress baby for bed so your little ones will be comfortable when they go to sleep in the night. One of the tips to go by is to dress the baby as per the climate.
Baby Sol, Eulachacha Waikiki (2017).
Onesies and footsies
For the cute little ones who are still swaddling, you can dress them up in a onesie when they grow a little older. A sleeveless cotton onesie is one of the most comfortable sleepwear for the baby to sleep in. A onesie is lightweight and is appropriate for summer, spring, and fall seasons. When it's not the cold season, you can dress your baby in a cotton onesie. Do not layer or overdress the baby when they are going to sleep. You can also wear the socks to keep their tiny feet warm. In addition, you can make the baby wear a cap or booties for bedtime.

Choose a room temperature 
No matter what the climate is outside, let the baby sleep in a room temperature set to 18 degrees. This is the ideal room temperature for the babies to comfortably sleep. Install a thermostat or an indoor thermometer inside the baby’s room to monitor it. Do not put your baby sleep closer to windows or air conditioning vents. Feel the tummy of your baby to check if they are feeling hot or cold.
Baby Sol (Han Yeo Reum in real life).
Swaddling babies 
Choose a lightweight fabric to swaddle babies. Lay the baby over the blanket and swaddle the baby folding the blanket over it. Use a soft and breathable fabric to swaddle the baby. Ensure that it fits snuggly and is not tight. The way you swaddle the baby should not restrict the baby’s movements. You can use the swaddling fabric for the baby up to three to four months. To check when to stop swaddling the baby, leave one of the arms of the baby out to check if they are able to sleep well in this position.

Use a light blanket 
A blanket made of fleece or any light and soft material is good to cover the baby when it sleeps. Do not choose heavyweight or furry blankets for baby when it sleeps as it would suffocate the baby. Avoid using materials that increase the body temperature of the baby as this can be hazardous to the health of the baby and lead to SIDS.

Layer the sleepwear during cold seasons 
Check how comfortable the baby is when you are layering it with clothes when sleeping. If you feel that the baby is feeling too warm then you can remove one of the layers. The body temperature of the babies is usually colder than that of adults. You can remember this point when layering the baby’s clothes in the cold season. Babies feel cold easily because of their body temperature. This is the reason you can layer the body of the baby with lightweight fabrics until the little one feels comfortable.
Adorable Baby Sol. :)
Things to avoid putting a baby to sleep 
Ensure there is no smoke in the environment. Put the baby to sleep on their back instead of their stomach or on the side to avoid SIDS. Never cover the face of your baby when you are putting it to sleep. For babies older than 12 months you can use sleeping bags. If you find the baby sweating, damp hair, rapid breathing, or a heat rash, remove the layers of clothing. Do not check the body temperature of the baby by testing the temperature of their hands or feet. This will not give you an appropriate queue if their body is overheating.

Fabrics for bedding 
Choose proper fabrics for bedding as well. Bedding made with thick fabric can increase the body temperature of the baby so make sure they are soft and lightweight. Check for rashes on the baby and change the blanket if it is coarse. Always choose an organic mattress as they do not emit toxic gases. They are firm enough for the baby to rest and develop their muscles. This is how to dress baby for bed and keep them comfortable through all the seasons.
Kim Jung Hyun with Baby Sol.
Also, you can take a look at various types of baby products or baby related queries on


6 Awesome Birthday Gift Ideas For Your Girlfriend.

Your girlfriend's birthday is coming up but still don't know what gift to give? Make her birthday memorable and exceptional with lots of love and one (or maybe all) of these gift ideas. Choose from this list of awesome birthday gift ideas for girlfriend and surprise her on her special day. These wonderful gifts will definitely make her special day even more special and truly unforgettable.
Kim Jae Wook and Park Min Young in Her Private Life (2019).
'What I Love About You' Diary
Fill this diary about all the things that you love about your girlfriend and surprise her with it. This is a lovable and a cute personalized gift that you can give for her birthday. It lets you express all the things that you love about her that made you fall in love. It also has some interesting fill-in-the-blanks questions about your relationship, and you can answer them in such a way that will allow you to express your thoughts and emotions and make your girlfriend feel truly loved.

What I Love About You (By Me).
Pillow with Love Message
Another beautiful birthday gift for your girlfriend is this pillow with a love message. Unique and personalized, this pillow allows you to express your love for girlfriend with words of your own. She can sleep thinking about you, or use it as a decoration and be reminded of your love. This is a sweet gift to make your girlfriend think about you when you are not around.
Pillow with Love Message.
Couples Card Game
An interesting birthday gift for your girlfriend is this Couples Card Game. This game has fun and exciting activities, and ice-breaker, conversation-starter questions. It can help you get intimate with your girlfriend and bring you closer to each other. With the element of fun, this card game also gives you an opportunity to learn a lot about each other, your likes, dislikes, choices, and everything else.
Couples Card Game.
Wooden Picture Frame with Love Message.
Express your feelings with words! This wooden picture frame has a space not just for a photo, but also for a sweet love message. This contemporary picture frame features a heart-shaped pattern made with cotton, a space on the side for your photo with your girlfriend, and another space in the middle for your sweet birthday message. This frame can be hung on the wall or placed on a table - a great gift that looks good as a room decor for your office or home, and a nice reminder of your love for your girlfriend.
Wooden Picture with Love Message.
Playful Checkbook for the Bedroom.
If playful gifts are your thing, here's something that you and your sweetheart will love - a checkbook that you can fill with sweet, fun, and naughty things. This gift will enhance the romance and closeness between you two, and will make your lives together even more interesting with the witty advices and playful activities. Some are simple, some are complex, but in all of it, there is fun. Your girlfriend will love this gift on her birthday. This is a creative gift that channelizes your emotions and gets you even closer to her.
Playful Checkbook.
Spa Basket with Lavender Bath Items.
Finally, we have this spa basket filled with lavender bath items. This set has a bath comb, bubble bath, body scrub, bath salt and more. Surprise your girlfriend with this gift basket, and let her indulge and pamper herself with these bath and body products. Each item in this spa basket has the aroma of lavender, which can soothe her body, set the mood, and keep your girl in a happy state of mind.
Your girlfriend will definitely love this very thoughtful gift basket.
Spa Basket with Lavender Bath Items.
Hope this list has given you an idea for your girlfriend's birthday!
These are some impressive and unique gift ideas, guaranteed to make the recipient (aka your girlfriend) truly happy. For more wonderful gift ideas and party ideas, visit


Why You Should Get Your Van Insured.

No matter what type of van you have, you should always make sure to get insurance. Doesn’t matter if it’s a fancy brand new one, or an old one. You will need insurance. Getting insurance is so important for so many reasons. If you ever get into an accident then having insurance can mean that you are protected, it also protects any other passengers that are in your car. If you don’t have insurance, then you won’t get the compensation that you deserve if you are in an accident.
Miss & Mrs. Cops (2019).
Accidents will happen
No matter how careful a driver you are, there are often things that we cannot control. The accidents might be a minor thing, however, sometimes they can be deadly. Over the course of a lifetime, the average motorist might be in about four accidents. Obviously, this number depends on how much you drive, where you drive and how you drive. Accidents happen regardless of how good the driver is, so even if you’ve been driving your van for years, you can never be too careful.
Running Man episode 429, December 2018.
Damages might occur
The best way to avoid getting your van damaged is to park it off the road in a secure location. Most of the time though, people don’t have a big enough garage to place their van in or even off-road parking. Your van might also be damaged whilst you are out driving for a work-related reason. This is why it is so important to get your van insured, as if anything does happen you can be assured knowing that your insurance will cover you. Depending on what insurance you get, only some types of damages might be covered. So, it’s a good idea to double check all that you can about your insurance so that you know what you have.
Vampire Prosecutor, 2011.
Your van could be stolen
Having your van stolen can be disastrous, not only does it cause a lot of stress and annoyance, but for many people, it can mean a loss of earnings. If you use your van for work, then it is a good idea to make sure that your insurance has a “like for like” policy, as this way you can easily get a replacement van. However, this will only help you get to and from places. So, if your equipment was left in the van when it was stolen, then you need to make sure that you can get your money back.

One way to avoid losing your equipment is to store it in your home overnight, rather than leaving it in the van. If you can empty your van when you leave it, then this is the best thing that you can do. Why risk losing out on your business when there is a simple solution?

You might be thinking that you want to risk it and get cheaper insurance. A lot of people think that just because something hasn’t happened to them yet means that it won’t happen again. However, they are wrong. If you do this then you end up risking an awful lot and it’s just not worth it. Anyone who drives a car, van or motorbike needs to get insurance. For more reasons why you need insurance click here.


Pampered at Purple Strawberries Salon & Spa.

The new school year is almost upon us, and I, like most moms, am savoring the last few hours (barely 24 to go! ) of summer. And so before I go back to the daily grind of waking up early, preparing my son's meals, helping him with school work, organizing lecture notes, and writing reviewers and mock exams, I treated myself yesterday to a bit of pampering  at Purple Strawberries Salon & Spa.
Purple Strawberries Salon & Spa.
The spa is located at Colago Avenue, right across the Community General Hospital. Ironically, this place is just a few meters away from my son's school, but it took me years to finally come and visit. At first, I thought this was just an ordinary nail bar which offers the usual manicure, pedicure, and nail enhancements. I guess that's the main reason why I never bothered to come here despite its 'very accessible location'.
Purple Strawberries at Buena Ventures Trading Post.
My indifference changed to interest when I learned from a friend that Purple Strawberries now offers massage and body care services. My poor, aching back had long been pining for a massage, and I had been meaning to get my nails done for the longest time. And with this salon offering both nail care and massage services, it's like killing two birds with one stone. Yay!
The reception desk/waiting area.
Photo credit: Purple Strawberries.
I booked an appointment for Saturday afternoon, after Yue's karate training. I made it a point to call the salon a day before my visit, because weekends are usually the busiest days for businesses like this. Yue and I arrived a little after 3:30 pm, a few minutes ahead of my 4 pm appointment.
The Nail Bar/Nail Care area on the first floor. 
I was ushered to the Nail Bar on the first floor, where the nail care services are done. I was planning to have the massage first, then the footspa and pedicure later, but the receptionist told me that the schedules got a bit mixed-up; the couple at the waiting area had to be massaged first since they were availing the couple massage at promo rates (Php 500 from 11 am - 4 pm).
Locking in the moisture on my feet with lotion, cling wrap, and a warm towel.
The therapist who was in-charge of me that day was apologetic for the mix-up, and assured me that my nails will be dry before I get my massage. (She used a nail dryer to dry my toenails, lol). At least she did a nice job with my foot spa and pedicure. The foot spa was very relaxing, and I did not feel pain the whole time she worked on my toenails. (Goodbye, ingrown and dry cuticles! So nice to get rid of you, finally!)
The Nail Bar.
I like that Purple Strawberries has a wide selection of nail polish, most of them from imported brands (think Zoya, Orly, and the like). So don't be daunted by the rates if you see their price list. They're pretty reasonable considering the (high) quality of the brands. Aside from the regular manicure and pedicure, they also offer nail stamping, with various stamping images to choose from. I'm not really into nail art since I do house chores, plus the fact that I always wear sneakers when I'm out and about, so I chose a purple Zoya Matte Velvet nail polish instead.
Color selection for Orly Gel Nail Color.
Massages and other body care services are done on the second floor. Their body massage is a combination of Swedish, Shiatsu, and Thai, with rates depending on the duration of the service. A 1-hour full body massage at Purple Strawberries costs Php 350 - still at par with the rates of other spas here in my hometown. I'm not sure if you can request for a specific type of essential oil for your massage, but mine had a minty scent. Something like eucalyptus, which I actually prefer.
The Massage/Body Care area on the second floor.
They also offer hot compress and cupping (ventosa) for an additional Php 125 for each service. I tried cupping for the first time in my life, and oh my goodness, I could feel the months (years, even) of soreness and stiffness being sucked away as the cups were placed on my back. It felt so good! Why have I never tried this before???
The place is dimmer in actual. Very relaxing, imho.
Overall, I enjoyed the massage despite the therapist being a bit heavy-handed. I had to ask her to soften it up a bit on my arms because my skin is rather flimsy and  I get bruised easily, and it was only when I got home that I discovered tiny bruises on my left arm. Nothing a concealer can't handle, but I will most likely request for another therapist next time, lol.
Yue hanging out at the Nail Bar. :)
If you're planning to visit Purple Strawberries with a kid, you'd be glad to know that they have free wifi. Just ask the receptionist for the password, which my son boldly did, haha. This kid would be willing to wait for me hours as long as he has his phone, his power bank, and data/wifi connection.
Buena Ventures Trading Post
Colago Avenue, San Pablo City
(049) 521 2511 / (0995) 1977 037 / (0929) 2515 284 
Operating Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 1pm - 10pm 


The 1st Shoshinkan Invitational Tournament + Life Lessons from Karatedo.

Still on a high from last week's belt promotion, the kids of Demuraha Shito-Ryu Genbukai Laguna (aka our kids) took on another challenge - their first invitational karatedo tournament.
Demuraha Shito-Ryu Genbukai Laguna, represent! 
Hosted by Shoshinkan International Philippines, this event is also a first for the Quezon-based organization. The inaugural tournament was held last Saturday (June 1), at the Sentrong Pangkabuhayan in Pagbilao, Quezon.
The 1st Shoshinkan International Philippines Invitational Karatedo Tournament.
More or less 100 karatekas, mostly from Calabarzon, participated in the event. Most of the karatekas were Shoshinkan practitioners, while some were Shotokan practitioners. Our kids were the only ones who practiced Shito-Ryu, and the smallest delegation at that.
The Voltes V of Demuraha Shito-Ryu Genbukai Laguna. :)
Participants listening to the rules and regulations of the tournament.
They say you should 'keep your circle full of quality rather than quantity' - well, these kids proved just that. They may be few, but all of them won medals in the Kata competition. All those grueling hours, days, and weeks of fine-tuning their moves and stances and practicing their kata definitely paid off!
Sensei Louie giving the kids a pep talk before they hit the mat. 
Yue preparing for his turn.
Winners, Kata Intermediate Division, 9-11 years old.
Yue won bronze, while his teammate Kal-el won silver.
Lance, the oldest in their team, also won a silver medal in Kumite (sparring), Intermediate Division.
Medalists, together with Senpai Jolan, Sensei Danny, Sensei Louie,
and Teacher Digbay of Kaleidoscope Kids Learning Center.
L-R: Daniel won silver in Kata Novice Division, 9-11 years old;
Kal-el won silver in Kata Intermediate Division, 9-11 years old;
Mark won gold in Kata Novice Division, 9-11 years old;
Lance won silver in both Kata and Kumite Intermediate Division, 12- 14 years old.
Yue won bronze in Kata Intermediate Division, 9-11 years old.
It was a very proud moment for all of us, especially the coaches, who devoted their time and effort in training these kids.
With Sensei Ramil Abragon, head of Shoshinkan International Philippines.
But what makes me even prouder is how Yue has completely embraced the karate lifestyle. There came a point in time when he wanted to quit karate because the training was 'tiring him out', but now, he never misses out on training, even if it meant going to the dojo thrice a week for the past two months.
Yue's achievements this summer - his Green Belt in Shito-Ryu Genbukai,
and his Bronze Medal from the 1st Shoshinkan Int'l Philippines Invitational Tournament.
Karate has also instilled in him these valuable lessons, which has become his guiding force throughout the years and hopefully, for the rest of his life:

1. Never stop learning.
When you practice karate - or any other form of martial arts - you will come to realize that learning is a lifelong process. Learning all the different katas, for instance, will take years; all the more if you're a Shito-Ryu practitioner, which has 90+ katas in the syllabus.

2. Patience is a virtue.
The road from a white belt to a black belt is long and arduous. The kids' latest belt promotion took almost two years to happen, but they patiently learned all the kihons and katas and practiced their kumite skills until they were finally able to prove to their senseis that they are ready to be promoted and are worthy of their new belts.
Yue during his kumite competition.
3. Confidence is key.
By learning their strengths and working through weaknesses, these young karatekas were able to build their self-confidence. As they gain mastery over their skills, they have a deeper understanding of their capabilities, and can assimilate things beyond it. They become empowered, which gives them the confidence to overcome not only their opponents on the mat, but also the toughest situations in life.

4. Hard work brings great rewards.
For the past two months, the kids have been training really hard for their belt promotion test and this tournament. At times, they would even extend their training by an hour or so just so they could nail their katas to a T. 'You reap what you sow' so goes the old adage, and these kids finally reaped the fruits of their labor with their new belts and medals.

5. Discipline is everything.
Some people think that karate is all about kicks, punches, power, and technique, but one of the first and the greatest thing that kids from learn from it is discipline, which is critical for success in any field. Whether you want to be a black belt karateka, a pastry chef, a professional gamer, or even a make-up artist, you must invest a serious amount of time and effort to do so. It’s not always easy, but being disciplined will allow you to weather the storms and keep you focused to achieve your goals.

That being said, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Yue's senseis and senpais for inspiring these kids to work hard and train harder and for helping them to achieve their goals.Thank you Sensei Danny, Sensei Kenneth, Senpai Louie, and Senpai Jolan! Our kids are so lucky to have teachers like you!

Yue is a proud member of the Demuraha Shitoryu Genbukai Laguna, training under Sensei Danny Bualan, Senpai Louie Gelizon, and Senpai Jolan Asia. Classes are held every Saturday at Kaleidoscope Kids Learning Center. Come train with us and join our dojo! :)