Updated: Mar 20, 2020

Explore Malaybalay through the eyes of athlete and single mother, Abby as she talks how living in the boondocks has given her an appreciation for nature, helped her slow down, and establish the routines that make her feel happier and more motivated.

Photos captured by Rixel Photography

Tell us about yourself: a little about your background and where you grew up.

I live in Malaybalay, Bukidnon with my family and 9-year old daughter. This is where I was raised, where I chose to build my own family, where I gained my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and began helping my family manage our business. I have a very busy schedule which can at times be demanding and stressful. Given this, I make it a point to spend time with my family, daughter, friends, and dogs to relieve stress and relax. Also, spending my mornings in the mountains is vital to my overall well-being. Connecting with nature has always been and always will be my happy place that’s why I’m also grateful for being exposed to this kind of scenery every day. I’m truly blessed.

“spending my mornings in the mountains is vital to my overall well-being”

What is life to you in three words?

Struggle. Learn. Adapt.

I noticed you have an obsession with trail run. What do you find so fascinating about it? What time is best for you to workout?

Nature is such an incredible source of inspiration and energy. Having a connection with it plays an important part in having a great start to my day. We all have different versions as to how we start our day. Personally, I prefer to do a long run on the trails here in Malaybalay at the crack of dawn before sending my daughter off to school and before I start with work. Running in the morning helps me stay motivated throughout the day. I was already fascinated with trail running the first time I tried it. I realized that it is hard to get bored doing a trail run when you are constantly paying attention to your footing and the surrounding environment is beautiful and relaxing. I mean, who wouldn’t be amazed when you’re surrounded with nature, right? It has also vastly benefited me physically, mentally, and emotionally because it challenges my coordination and balance. I can also say that my agility and movement have greatly improved. When you’re always trying to land properly on uneven surfaces, avoid slipping and injuries, cutting around sharp corners... I mean, who wouldn’t develop agility especially running on trails with uneven terrain? Because it surely did help build my athleticism.

“it is hard to get bored doing a trail run when you are constantly paying attention to your footing and the surrounding environment is beautiful and relaxing.”

How do you incorporate a sustainable and environmentally-free approach into your daily life?

I just started cutting back on my meat consumption. I now prefer to eat less meat as I’m a firm believer that eating too much of it leaves a hefty impact on the environment. Plus, I also feel lighter, stronger, and healthier overall. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against meat-eaters. I’m also an athlete and I try to find alternative sources of protein. But for now, this is what works for me. As for living waste-free though, I can say that it’s a start! I now find it unchallenging to go a day without using a scratch paper or a notebook and take down notes on my mobile phone instead. BUT I’m not going to lie, it really is hard working in an office without having to use a single paper, so what I do is I keep copies of my files in my computer and if it’s unnecessary to print something out, I then send the file via email instead. Taking the sustainable direction can be a slow and tedious process but we all got to start somewhere, right?

Can you share with us your secret ways to maintain an active lifestyle? We’d love to know how! (Promise, we won’t tell a soul…)

Living an active and balanced lifestyle is essential to staying healthy. To be honest, you don’t have to be a trail runner or do distance running to improve your health. You just have to stay active – that’s the most important thing. My tip is for you to find something that you really enjoy doing. You don’t have to hit the gym or enroll in different classes, JUST. GET. MOVING. Find some home-friendly workouts that you can start slowly with no special equipment needed. Wanna know what really gets me up in the morning? Before I hit the shower, I do quick squats and planks every morning at the comfort of my own home. And of course, hydrate. A LOT.

“find something that you really enjoy doing.”

Shop Abby’s look here.