If 2012 was about recreating myself and my life, 2013 was a year of taking things on. Despite and perhaps because of my commitment issues and fear of making mistakes, at the onset, I was intentional in making 2013 a banner year for my newly-recreated life. And, truth be told, I enjoyed every bit of it. :)
In 2013, I took on the opportunity to be with my family and relatives, communicate my love with them, and let them feel my presence. I was there during our annual reunion. I was there during my niece’s birthday. I was there when my younger cousin was preparing for her prom night. I was there during my nephew’s christening.
I was also there when my uncle was hospitalized. I was with them when my uncle passed away. I was also there when my aunt was rushed to the ICU and got hospitalized for a few weeks. I stood for their acceptance and moving on, which was something I knew I was capable of doing but never really took on. It was a privilege getting to spend time with my cousins and knowing them on a deeper level, getting to have conversations about life with my aunts, and being a source of strength and love for my entire family. Although I didn’t have a full-time job at that time and couldn’t really provide support monetarily, I got it that my presence was more than enough.
And, I acknowledge my friends for being a source of MY strength. It was during these moments that I got how blessed I am to have a family outside my own. Their phone calls, text messages, and emails got me through these trying times. And, them actually taking time to be with us was cherry on top.
It was also in this light that, for this year, I chose to be present in the lives of my friends as they have always been present in mine. I was present at G-anne’s bridal shower, G-anne’s wedding, Gelu’s 30th birthday, celebration of Angge’s promotion, Raisa’s tea party, and Angge’s house party.
We also had numerous coffee and milk tea sessions, drinking sprees, and dine out experiences throughout the year. To have conversations about life, celebrate successes, commiserate during breakdowns. Or, just because.
This year, I also made time to experience art with my family and friends. Through an invitation from Sarj, I got to watch The King and I with him, Angge, and Andi in February. And, right after, I got to crash Dash Berlin’s gig, for free!
I also witnessed my cousin, Ceejay Manuel Javier, be his awesome self on the piano as he musically directed Atlantis Productions’ The Full Monty and Rock of Ages: The Repeat Run. I had so much fun watching both and they were truly entertaining from start to end. The entire cast played it full out. But, the highlight of the shows for me, time and again, was seeing my cousin, The Full Monty’s and Rock of Ages: The Repeat Run‘s Musical Director, Kuya Ceejay, up in the band section REALLY enjoying himself. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being proud of this guy. :-)
This year, I also got to enjoy the first full-length film of my friend, Sigrid Bernardo, Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita (my favorite for this year!), Raqs Regalado’s Raqsified stuff, and Eilyn Yatco’s notebook art. I’m also so happy that, after years of hiatus, my best friend, G-anne Ronquillo, went back to theater in September, through O Happy Dagger Productions’ Bill Out. I was sooo proud and teary-eyed when I saw her again on stage. I just had to cheer for her, which resulted to, uhm, her forgetting her first few lines. Haha!
In September this year, I also finally took on a full time job with INCITEGov. It was a big thing for me ‘cos, you know, I didn’t want to commit to something so important. But, I finally took the plunge. Yes, I find it challenging, taxing at times. But, seeing the big picture and knowing that my efforts are actually going somewhere, I know that this is something worth spending my time on.
Plus, it helps that I get paid on a regular basis, too, which means that I now have resources to be generous to my family and friends, who’ve been there for me and who supported me during those times that seemed like I was at a loss and didn’t know where I was heading to and how I would get there. AND, I also now have resources to fund my travels. :)
Like, this year, I got to visit Tagaytay on several occasions: with Sarji and Angge in January, kicking off my travelling for 2013; with Therese and her friends in August, satisfying our food cravings with the awesome choices of the culinary students we were with; and an impromptu trip with Angge, Ros, and a new friend, Justine, in November, ‘cos life’s too short at madali kaming kausap (and we’re easy to talk to).
Because of its proximity to the city, I got to visit Zambales a couple of times this year. In March, Angge and I went to Crystal Beach Resort, during which Julianne Tarroja and a couple of other artists (they were awesome!) were playing. And, in April, I had my first camping and beach camping experience, when we visited the islands of Capones and Anawangin and camped in Nagsasa Cove. Everything – the water, the sand, the stars, the company, the view, the experience – all worth the, uhm, hassle, ultimate boho-ness, and very sunog skins. :)
It was also in April when Angge and I made actual plans to go to Indonesia. And, in August, we made Indonesia happen! We got to see the places we intended to visit, like the Temples of Sukuh, Borobudur, and Prambanan, in Java (plus a lot of bonuses, like Candi Mendut, Puro Mangkunegaran, Sultan’s Palace, Taman Sari Underground Mosque, the Chocolate Factory, and a jeepney trek to Mt. Merapi), and enjoyed their local food in between. And, I got to chill in and swim in the beaches of Bali. Oh, we caught the sunset, too!
After Indonesia, both Angge and I got busy with our professional lives – Angge for her training gig that got her to tour the Philippines and me with my political and institutional sustainability work for INCITEGov. So, when she brought up the idea of a weekend getaway in Mindanao, I immediately said yes. In November, we went to Cagayan de Oro as well as explored Camiguin Island. We encountered a number of circumstances that would have ended my friendship with Angge. Promise. Haha! But, it was really a good thing that she’s so cool that despite her being the square person that she is and me being dubbed by her as her durian friend – compartmentalized, feeling organized – she gets me. All the time. :) Looking forward to our next adventure, dude! :)
And, as our last out-of-town trip for 2013, Angge, Ros, and I went to Bulacan to visit Raisa at her home. We got lost a couple of times because of that freakin’ fork (that we never really got to see). But, the over two hours of trip from Quezon City to Paombong, Bulacan, was all worth it because of the great company and awesome pastries that Raisa and her family baked. Super yum!
But, my biggest breakthrough for this year happened in May, when I visited an old love, Baguio. In 2012, I shared with my friends that I was going to be open to dating starting July 2013. It was a deadline I gave myself after the breakup. A year of completion and recreating myself and my next relationship was enough, I thought.
Then, May happened. I reconnected with a person from my past and we hit it off again. Yes, we do not know where we’re heading to. Or, perhaps we haven’t embraced yet where we’re heading to. To be honest, I don’t know. Setting that aside though, what I am grateful for is that I made a choice to take it on; I took a step forward. Despite fears, I am letting myself experience again emotions like pain, anger, jealousy, and insecurity. I am letting myself love again.
So, 2013, thank you; you were awesome. :) 2014, I’m ready for you. Let’s rock, shall we? :)
This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers blog carnival “Let the Curtains Close on 2013. A Year-End Post” hosted by Brenna Bustamante of The Philippine Travelogue. You may view the rest of the entries here.
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