It’s January 1, 2012 already and I just came from the rooftop of the place where I am staying now. The inner kid in me enjoyed the colorful fireworks display and I even started a few chats with some of our neighbors. It’s funny how many people can live in one building yet they don’t really interact.
Yesterday afternoon, I met up with two travel bloggers and accompany them look for some items in a nearby shopping place. It’s been months since I entered the tiangge area. I am not really a shopaholic and I don’t buy clothes and shoes not unless I really need it. I guess I’m just a lazy shopper and I would rather wear comfy clothes that exert extra effort to look good. Is that a good thing? I think not.
I talked to my mom via Skype and I truly miss my family and friends in the UK. Last NYE, we made noise by singing loud OPM songs via thru the Magic Sing.I think every OFW owns one to ease their homesickness and it does help!
If 2010 is the year of travel for me, I can say that 2011 is one Â rollercoaster ride. I experienced some uncertainties emotionally and financially, although these are not really problems if you take a look at it in a bigger picture. Sometimes, overanalyzing things can drive you crazy. Also, ‘Too Much of something is bad enough’, no matter how good (or bad) your intentions are. Sometimes, you need to take risks, sacrifices and let go. Learn to step back and try to see where all of these are headed to.
I think I’m starting to get a bit serious and preachy here LOL 😛 Now let’s take a look back and reminisce some parts of 2011:
JANUARY – FAMILY FIRST
– It is such a wonderful feeling that after three years, I am reunited once more with my family. I went to the UK to fulfill my job as the eldest daughter of my mom and as the caring sister of my brother Carlo. We went out on New Year’s afternoon – my treat. It is such a rewarding day to dine out with them again. I also met some relatives who are based in London and made new friends thru my mom, cousin and friend of friend. Observing how our kababayans work abroad just to feed their families back in the Philippines is the biggest learning of the month. I appreciate my mom more now upon observing what she needs to go through just to keep up with the expenses and all that. I admire my mom so much even if we fight a lot. When she’s bored, she argues with me hehe but I love her still 😛 It’s been a habit of mine too to check my brother’s school notebook to read his progress report. Kinakarir ang pagiging ate and I love the feeling. Ate Virgie kept on cooking Pinapaitan for me and I also got addicted to hot tea. Hot Tea for the Hottie 😀
FEBRUARY – LOVE MONTH
They often say that your London experience is not complete unless you watch a theatre play – and I did! Thanks to my cousin for bringing me to watch Wicked in Apollo Victoria. I also experienced the London Eye River Cruise for the first time on a Valentines Day. Did more traveling too by exploring more of London, Warwick, Worcester, Birmingham and Stratford Upon Avon. I saw three movies (Tangled, A Little Bit of Heaven and The Fighter) with one person. I’ve mentioned in my past three year ender posts that I’ve been single, right? Guess what? This is ALMOST exemption. At least now I know that I am capable to love and be lovED in return. Hehe gumaganun eh LOL
MARCH – LEAVING|ARRIVAL
I went back to the Philippines with uncertainties. I stayed in the UK for three months and it simply sucks that I had to leave at the moment wherein I’ve adjusted and willing to give up everything in the Philippines just to be with my family. I’ve been checking some possible options but at the same time, I miss my grandparents and my awesome friends in the Philippines. I also miss the sun LOL.
When I arrived back here in the Philippines, my close friends surprised me in the airport and I really appreciate that. I started to worry when I went home and saw that my grandmother is not in a good condition. Apart from her, I am also worried for my grandfather since they’re really close. I decided to cancel some of my trips for that month to be with them. I had to do the necessary adjustments that fast. In denial? I guess. Also, I lost a good friend and up to now, we’re hoping to seek justice. Thank you and I miss you, Kuya Stephen.
APRIL- EXTRA CHALLENGE
April is a challenging month. I was invited to speak about Personal Blogging at the Bloggersfest 2011, attended Day 1 of iBlog7, conquered the Corregidor Challenge and met some awesome PTB members, Manila Bay Cruise and ayun. Good moments, right? Those were the only good moments of that month. The rest of it can be compared to a luggage full of stuff – Â Hindi na pwedeng i-hand carry. Kailangan nang i-check in at magbayad ng sandamakmak na datung sa sobrang bigat! . I wanted to escape back then, but you encounter some difficulties wherever you go -home included. Thinking about it now makes me feel a bit proud of myself. Kinaya ko naman, teh.
MAY – TURNING 24
Although I celebrated my 24th birthday in an unhealthy state, I can say that my birthday month is a breather. I attended the Davao Food Appreciation Tour, which is full of food, adventure and fun! Â I just love the combination of participants for that leg. I went to Cebu for the Cebu Blog Camp and got the chance to bond with some good friends of mine – you all know who you are! I remember laughing out loud in Ayala, trying out the Gyoza at Joed’s Lutong Hapon, sizzy mode at Alba Uno and more funny moments. I just love Davao and Cebu. I wanna cry now huhu.
JUNE – MORE BLESSINGS TO COME!
In June, my lust for traveling flourished because of the wonderful opportunities given to me. I tried the Dawel River Cruise for the first time and explored some of Dagupan City’s new restaurants and coffee shops. I went to Boracay with Fritz, Nina and Winston for the LTE Testing of Smart. That is one short but sweet trip. Paraw Sailing in Boracay with Tanduay Ice is a must! I went to Puerto Princesa for the 3rd time. Thanks to AirPhil Express for inviting me to be a part of the Puerto Princesa Fam Tour! I remember that Bagyong Falcon was dominating some parts of Luzon and Visayas when our trip pushed through. Rainy departure, Sunny arrival lang ang peg hehe. The Iwahig River Tour is a must in Puerto Princesa and Adobong Pusit in Marianne Home Inn is delicious!
JULY- LIFE AND MOVIES
July is the reflection month. Things are starting to improve and I am trying to learn from everything that happened. I took down notes, wrote some posts and attended the Cinemalaya Film Festival. I am happy because I was granted a media pass by Pinoy Parazzi and got the chance to watch almost all of the competing films! The Film Nino, which my uncle Loy Arcenas directed bagged a lot of awards and recognitions for his film. I also met some film lovers and learned from every movie I saw. Cinemalaya season is always an inspiring week for me. Going to the Cultural Center of the Philippines requires extra time and effort, but it is worth it. Ang sarap manood ng sineng Pinoy na iba’t iba ang genre, pero may kirot.
Wait… Kylie Minogue went to Manila and it is the best concert ever!
AUGUST – I MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY!
As far as I can remember, my August is pretty productive. I went to the shooting of the movie ‘My Neighbor’s Wife’ in Kamana Resort in Subic, visited my relatives in Binalonan and witnessed the opening of a friend’s nail salon. I met up with some bloggers and reunited with some good friends of mine. The highlight of my August though is my weekend trip to Kuala Lumpur. Thanks to Edward, I enjoyed my stay in KL by going to Genting Highlands and Petronas Towers. My stay there is short and if only I had more money, I could’ve extended my stay. Next time, I’ll go back with more moolah and we will dine at the KL Tower. Puma-pangarap lang po 😛
SEPTEMBER – KEEP ON MOVING
September is a month of moving forward. I started the month with the very fun-filled S3X Tour Tres and bonded with the participants. I also learned that Ilocano is widely spoken in Sarangani and Cotabato. I instantly fell in love with Sarangani when we went to Maitum and Maasim! It is also my first time to do the Davao-General Santos route, which means I now know how to commute to my ‘homes’ in Mindanao. A good friend of mine passed away which made the Philippine blogosphere sad. He may be physically gone, but his memory lives on. We miss you, AJ!
I went to Dagupan City, specifically in my alma mater Lyceum-Northwestern University to do a talk on Blogging, Social Media and Search Engines with Hannah, Fitz and Don. The overnight trip turned out to be a very special one because I got the chance to see the people who helped me way back in college and it is nice to see some students listen and learn from you. I consider that talk as my biggest achievement as far as blogging is concerned. This month too, I did some spontaneous stuff within the Metro.
OCTOBER – COLORFUL SMILES
When Hannah and I were in Greenhills for dinner one time, we were joking about the possibility of attending the Masskara Festival. Thanks to AirPhil Express, that simple wish of ours came true! We went to Bacolod to cover the Masskara Festival supporting Brgy.17, where one of the star dancers is my Yaya Eric of Byahilo.com. He devoted most of his time and effort this year for the team and I am glad to see the audience mob him to have a souvenir photo taken. Hannah and Eric are from Bacolod, so exploring their hometown is a bang! We ate at the famous Manokan Country, tried Sylvannas and Mocha in Bob’s and went to The Ruins of Talisay, which is considered as one of the 12 most fascinating ruins in the world. My grandparents also celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary together.
NOVEMBER – TOPLOAD!
You know the feeling of wanting to do more things but you just worry too much? That didn’t stop me though from traveling to Banaue and Batad with Alex, a Slovak blogger friend of mine. For the first time, I tried Jeepney Toploading and we were able to test our trekking powers. Kaya ko pala 😀 We also explored some parts of Manila and Pangasinan. It is nice to hear some thoughts in the vision of a foreigner.
Apart from that nice trip, I also did some evaluation about my life. I therefore conclude that I am ready to take risks and live life to the fullest and that money is not a hindrance. Well, it is in some aspects LOL but if I want to live a certain lifestyle, it is doable. Just like what Flipnomad said, Money is not the biggest resource, it’s time! I need to learn how to discipline myself in terms of scheduling and budgeting my time for me to get fruitful rewards.
DECEMBER – BONGGANG YEAR-ENDER!
Merry Christmas! Hehe. December is a good month for me. I went to Tagaytay and stayed at Taal Vista Hotel with my Yaya Eric and just like in our previous trips together, we discussed on how we must appreciate the blessings coming in our way. There are some hardships and days can be tiring, but it is better to appreciate than complain.
The trip to Cebu with PTB Bagets is a bonggang-bonggang yearend trip. We went to Moalboal, Bantayan, attended Hotel Elizabeth’s First Anniversary Party, tried the Sunset Chill-Out Cruise in Mactan, ate at Larsian’s, Casa Verde, La Marea, bonded with Cebu-based friends (BITIN!) and had some sentimental moments. I am just thankful that the trip pushed through. Full of good vibes and positivity despite my airport mishaps LOL.
I attended some family Christmas parties and it is pretty evident that I am now old because I received less gifts =)) I used to receive lots of gifts, and now it is my turn to share my blessings. I also booked some flights impulsively and I know I will not regret it. I am excited!
Woot! I think 2011 isn’t a bad year after all. I may be a bit down in some parts of the year, but I must not dwell on the negative part. I must appreciate the blessings and continue to do what I love doing. LEARN from the past, GROW as an independent individual and LET GO of the hindrances. Life is so short to be miserable. Let’s make the most out of it!
Let us all start 2012 with a good view towards the future. I am turning 25 this year and some of my friends and relatives are getting married. I have some goals before I turn 25, like going to law school
and traveling to a few more places and I can’t wait to fulfill them. =) Well wait hahaha we will never know what I do next. I am unpredictable. Happy New Year ulit sa inyo!
happy new year Mica. Kita kits . see you when i see you !
I miss traveling with you Mica:) Happy Travels for both of us this 2012:)
a lot of things happened to you in 2011… you really had a blast! Cheers for more travels and blessings this 2012! Happy New Year Mica! ^_^
@Chin Chan – See you soon! Thanks sa Corregidor at Cebu memories hehe 😀
@Melo – Same here 🙂 Halos hindi kita nakita last year hehe let’s have a merry 2012!
Mervz – Thanks Mervz! Kaloka mga travels mo hehe
and i think the best times are the ones with your brother. ang gwapo ni carlo! =)
have a blessed, relaxed, and joyous 2012 Mica!
everyone’s doing a year end post!
maka gaya nga rin! hahahahha
and how come di mo pinost yung session sa balcony sa the fort? ha? ha? ha?
More happy memories in 2012. 🙂
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year Mica!
Bongga ang 2011 mo! Cheers to a more “bongga” 2012! (which made me think, what is the superlative of bongga? LOL!”
Happy New Year Mica! Wow so many exciting things happened to you last year. Sana you can come back to Iloilo! 🙂
Go, grow, and glow teh!
Di lang pang pagkain pang kabuhayan showcase din!
Cheers to better moments and more adventures in 2012! 😀
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Hi, Ms Mica. You have an interesting experiences with your travels.
If ever you would visit California, do visit us in San Francisco. There are
quite a lot of beautiful places here to visit. Something memorable that
certainly can experience and worth of your time.
Yeahhh… there are lots of Filipinos too here in SF bay area. What’s bad is
that many Filipinos here dont interact as much as they should. I dont know,
pata asan ng ihi yung ibang tao dito. You know… kasi feeling nila, iba na
sila dahil matagal na sila dito…
Anyway, let me know when you will have time to visit your fellow Filipinos here
in SF Bay area.
Do take care and keep smiling, Ms Mica!
-Leo from SF Bay area
@Leo A – Hello Leo! Thank you so much for the invitation! I would love to visit San Francisco soon since I also have distant relatives there 🙂 Medyo matatagalan pa siguro hehe. Ingat kayo r’yan and always smile din 😀