I was born in the Philippines, during the heydays of the magnificent Madonna and the late, great Prince. I qualify under the Senior Millennial age bracket.

I have been working since I was five years old, starting out as a radio talent. I spent my school years not only devoted to my studies but also as a competitive athlete, stage actor, student leader and amateur journalist. I eventually wrote my way into national and regional publications. After completing my degree in Business Administration, I served various Philippine government and private organizations. In my free time, I worked as a freelance writer, web developer and performing arts instructor.

Over the years, I trained in various disciplines of dance and martial arts. I am a certified Group Exercise Leader and have taught Aerobics, Aqua Fitness, Cardio Kickboxing, Kung-Fu, Mixed Martial Arts, Zumba, Bokwa, TRX Suspension, Piloxing, Pound and STRONG by Zumba. I am certified as an Advanced Level Instructor under the Les Mills system for the RPM (indoor cycling), BodyBalance/BodyFlow (yoga, pilates, tai chi fusion), BodyPump (total body workout with light weights), BodyCombat (martial arts-inspired cardio) and Tone (cardio, weights and core) programs.

I am also a certified Cambridge International Examinations Officer. I will soon complete my graduate studies in Public Administration, Major in Human Resource Management.

My husband, Peter, and I moved to the Sultanate of Oman in October 2007. We have both lived and worked in the Middle East since. We both currently have careers in the Education sector.

Peter and Shirley – 30 March 2016 maternity photoshoot
Courtesy of Natalia Costa Photography

We first got pregnant in 2014 with twins, but we lost both babies in the first trimester due to a miscarriage.

Our first child, a bouncing baby girl, was conceived in July 2015 and born in Oman on April 2016 at 39 weeks and 2 days’ gestational age. Arya came into the world weighing 3.3 kilograms, with a length of 50 awesome centimeters.

Peter, Arya and Shirley – 9 July 2016 family photo

At present, we reside in Muscat, the Sultanate’s capital. It is a blessing that our jobs are based in the city and require minimal travel, so we get to spend a lot of time with our daughter despite having full-time jobs.

If I am not with my family or looking after my household, I love to write my fiction novel series, blog, create websites on my various interests, teach fitness classes, and cook (it’s a paradox).

For more on what I love and what I do, please visit my blog and website collective.

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