HELLO 2017, GOODBYE 2016

2017

I think we all agree that 2016 is one of the crazier ones–if not the craziest one in the last decade or two. While I thought that 2015 was already jam-packed, 2016 just surprised me with even more loops in my rollercoaster ride.

I started the year with my personal hashtag: #LoveMore2016. Stuff happened though and I ended up just wanting to be “well” in all aspects of my life this year. More stuff happened though and towards the last quarter of the year, I just wanted to float along and survive.

2016 was a tough one for me personally. I cannot count with my fingers the number of times I have cried this year. Despite that though, I am still thankful to God for giving me lots of opportunities to love others with the many circumstances He has placed me in.

Here are some highlights of my year:

Meki Goes to Gigs

I’m pretty sure you know how addicted I got to OPM this year if you’ve seen my gig photo album on Facebook. This was all started by We have such a flourishing indie scene–as in, you need to give our bands a listen! They’re world-class yet very Pinoy at heart. My particular favorites for the year are Sud, Jensen and the Flips, MilesExperience, Autotelic, and Tandems ’91!!!! I am also forever thankful to God for the new people I met via the music scene. Sobrang bubuting tao ng mga banda that I’ve mentioned above, and all the other bands I’ve met (special shout-out to Mav, as his phone calls make me laugh). Other than the artists themselves, I am also very grateful for the gigfam–this community that was informally built by our regular attendance sa mga gig :) Hindi ko na kayo iisa-isahin, ’cause I love you all.

Additionally, I also had my #singfie series with some of my favorite singers/vocalists! You can search for the hashtag na lang on Facebook :) I had videos with Barbie (singing Ambon), Sarkie (singing Abot Langit), Miles (singing Love Supreme), Jensen (singing Could Have Been), Sud (singing How We Play), Josh (singing Languyin), and Rondero (singing Coffee–haha, fave Copeland song).

I also need to take note of the people who garnerd my #IndieCrush seal of approval this year: Carlo Maraingan, Aaron Cruz, Miles Bondoc, Kohl Aguilar, Andrew Harder, Josh Villena, Jem Manuel. Love you all.

Oh, and my sister Harmony and I also put up a music photography page on Facebook (HxM Snaps) where we dumped all of our gig pics c/o her new camera.

#LoveMar2016

For the first time in a long time, I found a cause to fight for–all thanks to Mar Roxas! I got pretty active in rallying for Mar right when I heard him during the 3rd #PiliPinas2016 debates and until the end part of the campaign season–complete with paraphernalia, converting cab/Uber drivers, quarreling with people online, and e-mailing Mar (and getting a response)!

I won’t devote an entire section about how messed up the issues are in our country (e.g. Manny Pacquiao issue, Marcos burial, EJK, etc) but I always end up still wishing that it would have been Mar in-charge instead.

Events, Events, Events

I was judging myself in the last few weeks for being very lazy about my real passion in life (organizing events). Thanks to today’s year-end life review though, I realized that I did quite a lot (and consequently learned a lot)! I organized Elaine and JC’s wedding (such a nice and understanding couple, those two), and the FCM Camp (which was pulled off in just a few weeks). In the office, I organized two major events: our summer offsite (for 800 pax; pulled off in 2 months) and our year-ender (for 1000 pax; pulled off in 2 weeks). I also helped out to organize GDE and PPM coffee talks/year-enders/meetings, and the PPM Planning Session, and one of my favorites, the PPM Offsite!

I was productive after all! Sometimes, you just really need to take a step back and see how far you’ve gone, ‘no?

#RealCrush

I seriously liked two people this year. I learned a lot from the first one about making assumptions and understanding when a guy is just not that into you. Oh, and I learned din na talagang super pang-friendzone ata ako. Hahaha. But I enjoyed liking him :) It was fun talking to him and picking his brain :) As for the second one, I am still trying to grasp my feelings but I am trying my best to move on since (as always) we’re just friends.

Me and My Itchy Feet

I headed to Boracay twice this year–once in February with the crew, and once in September with Mama, Tito Doy and Coy. During the February trip, we island-hopped and did all these touristy stuff. Had fun as it was our first time to go out-of-town with just us! During the September trip, I rode the G-Max and parasailed!!! Fun times :)

I also had a trip to Mindoro with the Mindoro crew–Ajilex, Calics, Daph and Kara :) It was a relaxing and recharging trip–thanks to Ajilex for prepping everything and to Tita Lily for cooking really good food! I thank God for this trip for expanding my view of the world because of the people we met–a European doctor who was doing work in Mindoro, and a group of folks who travel all the time (#SinoPinas)! PS: After the trip, we kept close ties with the rose among the thorns–Janine! Yey to new friends!

Lastly, I went to Bali with the block in October! Such a memorable trip. Everything in Bali is so beautiful. If I had the time and the money, I’d spend an entire month living there :) It also helped to have good company–you know naman na I love my block ;) They also seem to be into taking pictures nowadays and I am always a willing model.

#Connect2016

Our church theme for the year is “CONNECT” and I think that’s something that also became a theme of my life this 2016. I got to meet a lot of new people and build up relationships with existing acquaintances and friends.

  • The last two months of my year were mostly spent with Belle S, Alvin, Calics and Rap (aka the #MejBastos group). Marami akong stories pero ‘wag na natin dito ilagay kasi kagulers.
  • So thankful for the bond with our Offsite Core Team! Mga kasundo ko sa kalokohan at sa pag-ibig :) Never expected that I’d get along this much with them, but I’m really really glad that we became more than just colleagues :)
  • Toti was still part of my year (though pasulpot-sulpot). We had lots of random tambays and chibogs. I particularly remember our chicharon addiction with Kuya Rey and our movie-watching until the wee hours of the day.
  • We met less frequently this year but I think we are maturing as individuals in our CC. I got to have lunch with Kym early this year, and I built a special bond with Penggoy and Agay (the beshies). We also had various joint activities with Ate Vine’s CC, and we ended the year with our Christmas gathering at Eastwood. I love my CC very much. I hope to be a more responsible discipler to them in 2017.
  • Our meet-ups dwindled after the Boracay trip (thanks to my NALA shift) but we still had various eat-outs as a crew (Twish, Lem, DL and I). I remember Yabu, Trattoria, Lucky’s and Peri-Peri (top of mind). Oh, and Lemuel left the company huhu. And DL went to Singapore. And Twish went on ML.
  • Apparently had about 5 or 6 times that I ate at Nihonkai with Karuh!
  • The babies – watched Star Wars with Zyrkx (and Ate Ayuth and Kuya Noolen), did a birthday treat for the Mayo kids, brought Eeia to the office for trick or treat, went to Kidzania with them all, had a shopping day with the girls, and had them over at our house for so many times throughout the year! They will forever be close to my heart :)
  • Glad to still keep my connection with Daph and Mooch despite their not being in HPE anymore :) #RealFriends
  • Had a few rounds of boardgames with Inspire friends and newly-found acquaintances c/o Christian (e.g. Mike, etc)! It was so much fun to have a steady group of competitive people :p
  • I am still forever connected with our block tropa. We attended the Loopback, ate at Shakey’s for out 10th anniversary of knowing each other LOL, went to Ace Water Spa, went to Tagaytay, ate, sang, and played boardgames. Jam left us though as he went to the States for a long-term work assignment.
  • C&G group had a lot of changes as Nessie, Gelo, and Mea left the company. But we had some additions :) Oh, Aryan also came back for vacation and was able to speak during our fellowship! This is one area I hope to focus on for 2017, ’cause I know I can be a better steward of this ministry.
  • Since our PPM team got split and we ended up being with the actual PMs, we were left with about 25 pax who were busy with their own projects. I’m glad though that we eventually found our groove and got to build friendships in the team :) Shout-out to my EMEA friends haha! We also had lots of themed Friday gathering and random team inside jokes (#chorva).
  • Thanks to Coycoy’s being so masipag, we had a pretty fun year for FSY! We had that memorable teambuilding @ Philip’s Sanctuary, fellowships, the DepFest (woohoo I joined the choir), and our Christmas gathering :)
  • Thanks to our music addiction, I found home in Ajilex, Gelo and Daph aka the Gig Squad. I can’t put it into words but there really is just some sense of comfort knowing that there are people who like the same music as you do.
  • It was a rollercoaster ride as well for the family and relatives. We lost Nanay Oyco this year, but that paved the way for Tita May, Tita Beng and Tita Bong to be in Manila. I particularly enjoyed catching up @ Vikings with Tita May, Lian and Coy. We headed twice to Tagaygay, ate at Salsicia, ate at Four Seasons to celebrate Coy’s birthday, and rejoiced with Tito Ray for his wedding! Our family also had a hotel stay, which is memorable to me ’cause Dusit breakfast is love.
  • With Mayks and Ate Jez out of the country, I was blessed by God with friends from church whom I got to go out with for food trips, swimming (most random thing ever!! hahaha), fireworks, etc. I’m glad that Ate Ruth, Mayks, Ate Jez and I got to catch up as well when they came home for the holidays :)
  • Got to meet with JTA friends (finally!!!), met some visitors from Compassion International and toured them around, met Martin (my first ever French friend) in Manila after so many years, got to catch-up with my Portal favorites, met up with Denver, still grabbed coffee with KJ every now and then, comforted Babeng when she lost Asha, still met up with Migoy whenever we found some common free time, was able to go out with the Usi group (na relatively complete!), had our MSHS 2006 batch reunion, had outings with the Manila PDO team (Yabu, bowling) and many many more!

The King and Kingdom-Building

It was highs and lows in my fellowship with God–there were definitely peaks (some of which I shared about on Facebook) but there were more valleys. This is something I am working on with the Lord for 2017.

Ministry-wise, it was still fun and fulfilling to be of service to the Lord via our Program and Creatives ministry :) I enjoyed attending the Servant Night, helping out during Sunday services, putting up decors, buying giveaways, prepping marketing/comm materials, FINALLY PRODUCING OUR HIPSTER VISITOR KIT, and coordinating during our anniversary.

It is Well

I was active in some months of the year. I jogged, did yoga, tried Zumba, used a kettlebell, did piloxing and Body Combat, danced along with Paula Abdul and Keiara Lashae, et al. There were more months though that I was stagnant haha. I got 3 pairs of eyeglasses–1 of which I gave to my sister. I got some massages–but the highlight is the one I got at Big Apple Express Spa since I fell asleep for 30 minutes without anyone waking me up.

Oh and I got food poisoned thanks to Omakase’s uni sashimi. Ended up going to the ER, getting IV-ed, taking meds, and staying at home for a week.

24/7 Job

Work was insane but I thank God for giving me great opportunities where I have a chance to network with leaders in the company. I churned loads of contracts for my CPT work, did major pursuit work, handled two big programs, and did lots of initiative stuff on the side. I had a chance to build skills though as I attended a TTM training and did my PMP review.

I progressed in the career ladder (THANK GOD!) and met a lot of new people through my projects–some of them I even met in person here in Manila! Unfortunately, we also bid farewell to my bosses–Marc, Jonjon and Simon :(

A Good Year for Entertainment!

There are so many things this year that made me happy and kept me entertained!

  • Sherlock’s new year special was legendary!
  • I was able to keep up with Modern Family, Fresh Off The Boat, Suits, Silicon Valley, Halt and Catch Fire, Humans, and Jane the Virgin :)
  • I discovered Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!!! I am rewatching the show as I type this blog post. This never fails to make me laugh and take my stress away.
  • Speaking of stress, one show that GAVE me stress is Making a Murderer. Aghhh.
  • The two bullets above have been possible because of my being so freaking hooked with Netflix. I got to watch House of Cards (intensely awesome), Flaked (I love you Will Arnett), Gilmore Girls (became a family favorite), and Gossip Girl (still love ya Nate)!
  • These good things aside, we lost American Idol. Aww :(
  • Oh, but good movies came out such as Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse, How To Be Yours, The Third Party, the various MMFF movies (finally, no more Enteng, Shake, Mano) and…YOUR NAME (Kimi No Na Wa), which I declare is the BEST movie of the year!
  • I watched Les Miserables at City of Dreams as well with Zaza and Denise, and then Rak of Aegis with Kara, Gelo, And Ajilex :)
  • Oooh Harvey Specter tweeted me! And, I got to meet some folks from Magic Temple!
  • I started disliking Taylor Swift ’cause she’s such a b.
  • Finally, Survivor! Ahh, what can I say? Still the best reality show on earth. Got hooked with Survivor: Kaoh Rong and Survivor: Milennials vs Gen X!
  • PS: John Mayer released Love On The Weekend! It’s so freaking brilliant and is one of my most played songs on Spotify though it was just released in the last quarter of the year!

More Stuff to Love

Since it’s #LoveMore2016, here are more things that I loved this year:

  • NIHONBASHITEI
  • JOE SNACK GRILL
  • HOBING
  • My new phone :) Finally an Apple girl!
  • McDo nacho cheese dip
  • McDo garlic butter shake shake fries
  • ALDEN RICHARDS — I received a standee of his from some friends during my birthday (#BestGiftEver), I got hooked with the #KantoRJ and #SosyMeng Twitterserye, I watched Imagine You and Me with other Aldenatics for their block screening (Alden made an appearance so yehhhhh), and I saw him sa year-end party ng Marikina (people made an effort to get me VIP tickets aww)
  • DOTA 2 is something I never thought I would end up being hooked with, but I am. As in nanonood ako ng mga stream ng games. This is all thanks to Djardel/XCTN.DJ.
  • I loved wearing caps towards the end of the year. Not sure why. I attribute it to Lem withdrawal. Hahaha.
  • Oh, and I loved being featured on Smile mag!!!!! My blurb on Hanoi was published yahoooooo!
friends

My Issue About Liking a Friend

I cannot anymore count with my fingers and toes the number of crushes that I have. I just know that I do have a whole lot. The funny thing though is that I do not have issues with my feelings towards a majority of them. It’s so easy to move on or just pine from afar when your crush is distant (i.e. hello Aaron and C-Low hahaha #IndieCrush). If a crush turns out to like you back and things eventually end up sour, it’s so easy to forget if you haven’t really gotten to know each other that much prior to your crushing (i.e. people I will not mention haha).

This gets A WHOLE LOT TRICKIER though if you end up liking a friend. If they do like you back but you do not end up together forever (’cause people always leave, sabi nga ni Ate Peyton Sawyer), it’s so tough and painful to detach yourself from the person, especially because you have a shared history prior to becoming an item. If they do not like you back but remain to be your friend, well, you’re in for a crazy rollercoaster ride of emotions. While someone you like who doesn’t like you but isn’t your friend would be easy to avoid, having a friend-crush means having so many opportunities to interact that you just end up liking the person even more than you intended to. While you don’t really expect to be liked back, being good friends with someone involves getting used to the common experiences that you have. And sometimes, you just end up wanting to have more of those moments.

So, yes. This is what I’ve learned today. I really should stop liking my friends.

photo-1441205337478-70cb1521e35a

People and Seasons

I mostly love Facebook’s On This Day feature. Yep, it’s that daily reminder you get about things that happened on the same day last year, the year before that, and so on. I’m nostalgic and I love being sucked into certain memories, so I’m definitely their market. Even before Facebook had the feature, I was already an enthusiast of Timehop, which does the same thing only including other social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram).

There’s just something fun and heart-melting to look back at moments in the past. Just recently, I got a “throwback” from 2011–that year of my ultimate spiritual high. During that time (when I had a brand new encounter with Jesus), I could not talk or think about anything else but my faith, which led me to be very active in starting up our office Bible study group. I got really close with this spiritual family, and Facebook reminded me that we used to be so attached with each other to the point of texting and chatting everyday, spending the night in someone’s house, making it a point to attend Friday Night Light (FNL) in CCF Makati every Friday despite our work schedules, and actually looking forward to our Thursday gatherings (and pushing through with the session as long as there are at least 2 people available). Months passed and some eventually resigned, which caused a decline in our being clingy. Without me realizing it then, text messages and private messages became less frequent, reasons/excuses suddenly came up to justify non-attendance in FNL, and Thursdays became more of a chore. I remain to be friends with the group, but our closeness definitely had a falling out.

While I was reminiscing about this group of friends, I felt a pinch of regret. We had something good. Why did I let it go? I started to blame myself about what happened. Should I have exerted more effort to maintain the relationship? What could I have done differently? Will we ever have something as good as what we had? Questions started to pour in, and even worse, I realized that it wasn’t just that certain group of friends that I had regrets about. I remembered my high school guy friends whom I used to talk to about NBA. I remembered my first team at work and how clingy we were after our Boracay trip that we’d spend 5 hours after work just to eat and hang out. I remembered some girl friends from HS who were my constant weekend companions and daily chatmates. I remembered some friends in the office who used to be the only occupants of every free minute I had at work. There were so many great friendships in my life and the greatness just had to dwindle down. It left a bitter taste in my mouth. I got frustrated.

During that time of frustration though, God met me and addressed my need by reminding me about this truth:

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1

People come into our lives for certain seasons. During a season of difficulty, we could be given someone to lighten our load or to make us laugh a little. During a season of prosperity, we could be given someone to bless or to share our overflow with. During a season of loneliness, we could be given a companion or a friend who likes to give random hugs. During a season of struggle and discouragement, we could be given a Barnabas (to our Paul) or a Jonathan (to our David). And the list goes on and on.

I don’t discount the fact that there are some people who are meant to stay throughout our lifetime, but majority of the people we encounter are really just passersby. As soon as their purpose in our lives has been served, they leave. Whether this leaving is caused by a fight (you may have instigated it or not), a death, or just an inevitable falling out, I am reminded that these people were really just meant to stay until their “work” is done.

Putting that in mind, my regrets were replaced with gratitude. I looked back at these relationships and realized that I learned from each and every one of them. Who I am today can be attributed in some way to these friendships that I’ve had. Regardless of the duration (as some just dropped by for a day, and some stayed for a few years), these people made an impact in my life. You know how they say that it’s better to have loved and lost? Well, it’s better to have had great moments and great friendships and lost them than to have never met these great people at all. Kinda cheesy, but totally true.

It is my prayer that as we put this reflection to heart, we’d learn to: (1) be thankful for people whose seasons have already passed, (2) make the most of the time we have with people who are part of our current season, and (3) welcome new people who are to meant to be a part of the next season of our lives.

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do. – Anonymous

***

To everyone whose season in my life has already wrapped up: Thank you for passing by. I hope that I also served my purpose for when I was in your life :)