Hello 2014, Goodbye 2013


2014

Photo from We Heart It

Another year has come to a close! And with January 1 being the day that I turn a year older, I am again blessed with an opportunity to reflect on 2013 not just as a calendar year but an actual biological year of my life.

If I found 2012 to be fast-paced, I cannot even start to describe how crazily FAST 2013 was. With ALL the things that happened this year, I am just quite amazed that I made it through the year. Thank you, Lord!

I’ll start of this life review with one important lesson I learned this year: START OFF RIGHT. I started 2013 with no goals in place, no agenda in mind, and no plans of action to implement. As the gang in the movie Boy Golden puts it: Bahala na! And that truly seemed to be my credo for the year. And that is not a good thing to do when you’re already a grown-up. It would’ve been better had it been a Bahala na si Lord said positively and with a smile, but it’s a plain and simple Bahala na, which just exhibited my year of burnout. Nonetheless, I am grateful to the Lord ’cause He was the only One kept my tiny fire burning this year.

FAMILY

It was a grazy (great and crazy) year for the family! All I can say is that we are definitely closer now :)

fam1 fam2

CARE CIRCLE

There were a lot of ups and a lot of downs, yet I am excited for what the Lord will do as we split our CC into 3 groups to reach out to more people! This year, we did everything you can imagine–played badminton, had an ice cream feast, dressed up as superheroes, drank milk tea, ate Bondoy’s chicken, ate Bondoy’s chicken again, ate Bondoy’s chicken again and again, went to the Prayer Mountain, traveled to Rob Mag, played Monopoly Deal, cooked pasta, joined Walkway, swam, watched a movie, #pushedit, prayed, shared, learned, and loved the Lord.

cc1 cc2 cc3 cc4

LGG

Despite all the challenges, we were still able to meet for quite a lot of times this year. The year did not end on quite a good note for our group but I thank God for guiding me on how to handle the group discussions moving forward. It took a lot of trial and error but at last, this one seems to be working!

lgg1 lgg2 lgg3

C&G

This year has been amazing for C&G. Our group started to grow not just in quantity but also in quality, despite a lot of people (me included) leaving the company. We also had an amazing Binondo foodtrip! Bwahaha! I can definitely say that these people are friends for keeps. We’ve stayed in touch despite my transfer to WVI. And, we’re planning to go on another foodtrip soon! Also, I am very glad to see how they’re growing even more right now. I always thank the Lord for this group.

Binondo cg

BLOCK

It was a very good year for the block! I’ve finally seen majority of my blockmates and I can’t count the number of times we ate out as we sure did that A LOT OF TIMES this year! It was nice to see Ram and Wil joining block festivities as well. And, as always, it is so much fun to be with the “usual people” :) I did some reflection about the block recently and I can say that they are among the few people who know who I really am and accept me nonetheless. I love you, guys.

block1 block2

CHURCH FRIENDS

Praise God as well for church friends and great memories!

church

COLLEGE FRIENDS

Glad to have connected with some friends from college including Aly and Aaron (my padawans), CompSAt people, CS people, STC people, etcetera! People say that nothing beats high school life; well, to me, college rules.

college

HP

Before leaving HP, I got to be part of A LOT of things such as themed Fridays @ PPM, themed Fridays @ ADSI, the Ateneo Job Fair, the House Account floorwalk, coffee talks, hosting the career week opening, videoke, and dinners. I will ALWAYS and FOREVER treasure these memories!

hp1 hp2 hp3

PORTAL

Got to meet some Portal friends as well! Thanks to Sam’s birthday, Ronqz and Anne’s house blessing, D’s return from SG, and a random ex-HP people dinner!

portal

PROGRAMS

I led a ministry this year and it has been an amusing year as my brain was squeezed and used to the fullest to get those creative juices flowing. I was blessed to work with such gifted and helpful people!

programs

RUNNING

I ran 5K for Color Manila and 5K for the HP Run! Achievement!!!!! Also, I jogged once with church friends. Hahahahaha!

run

EEIAPOT

Eeiapot is my favorite person for the year :) Cutest baby ever!

eeia1 eeia2

BIBLE SCHOOL

Attended Bible School classes again this year! I continue to pray for this bit as we start of 2014 as I am having second thoughts on some items. Guidance needed from the Lord, definitely.

1

JANUARY

Birthday 2013 – It has been a tradition of Meralco to having their power supply FAIL in Malanday during the midnight of January 1. So yes, we again spent the first few hours of 2013 literally powerless, albeit busog. And, as it has been a constant as well for the past 2-3 years, I spent my actual birthday with the family, Coy and Kuy to watch an MMFF film. A simple celebration, yes, but I’m not really fond of ‘celebrating’ my birthday. (Thanks for the greeting, Nico #Elorde5ever and Chris! And thanks for the shoutout, Abra? Haha!)

2014a

Met up with Rodrick – And I note this as a milestone because it resulted to ANOTHER milestone which I don’t need to/want to expound here.

Rodz

NCD Post-Christmas Party – I include this as a milestone as this was the last activity ever for the NCD team as we got regrouped into different ministries due to the church reorg. We had quite a great time as we had a cruise in Manila Bay (my first time to do that), and upon scouring places upon places to find a place where we can hangout, we ended up in BHS Central (my suggestion hahahaha forever a BGC baby). We played games, people-watched, and saw a rat pass by. Classic.

2014b

TEDx ADMU – It has long been my dream to attend a TED talk ’cause it’s freaking cool. Alas, I do not have money to go somewhere faraway. Thanks to Ateneo and AJMA though, I was able to attend a TEDx where I have found a new/deeper fascination towards Philippine cinema, and witnessed a former Pathways ate change the perspective on public schooling for everyone who attended (+ people online ’cause her video is making the rounds on Facebook–hi Ate Sabs!).

2014c

Miggy left for Barcelona – A major thing, of course, because Miggy has been one of my closest friends and constant companion in almost all lakads with college friends. It was also a normal thing for us to meet up in Katip or Eastwood to eat or walk or just catch up. I remember wondering in January 2013 how I’d manage to live without Miggy in the flesh.

Miggy

My External HD (which I bought with my own money huhuhu) died. RIP.

FEBRUARY

The Carolinos meet Mike Ross! – This is my bucket list item-crossing moment of the year as I FINALLY met someone from Hollywood! It’s quite crazy how this happened. I just happened to chance upon Jack TV’s Facebook account giving teasers about someone from Suits (a.k.a. my favorite TV show) who’ll be coming to the Philippines. After some anxious waiting, Jack TV announced that I was Mike Ross (or Patrick J. Adams in real life) who was coming! Despite desperately hoping that it was Harvey (#thedream), Mike was very very very welcome to enter my life, so I found myself joining the contest they ran and…I WON 5 MEET AND GREET PASSES to meet Mike Ross in the actual flesh!!!!

MikeRoss4

Got my driver’s license!!! Yebah!!! – After one week’s worth of driving lessons and multiple instances of stopping the engine in the midst of trucks and buses, I got my driver’s license. I can now say that I am an official adult as I finally have a badass government-issued ID.

Attended the Ateneo Dean’s Listers Dinner – This is something that I sorta look forward to every year as I get to go back to Ateneo looking all fancy. This year’s was made even more special as I found out that Sir Jon *insert hearts here* was apparently the DISCS department chair. It was a good night that ended with me, Danna, Kara and Ma’am Jess going to Starbucks Home Depot for some catch up :) Also, got recruited by someone from Unilab to apply for their IT department. Hahahaha.

SirJon3

Attended FNL for the first and last time in 2013 – 2012 was made colorful by my experience of regularly attending another church for their yuppie service. I got busy with my home church and didn’t get to attend for quite a while but I was able to visit once this year complete with Angel, Mooch, Ezra, and Chumms! These girls and these people will forever leave a mark on me. The girls and I headed to Moochie’s after for a movie marathon and for me to sleepover as we visited JP’s dad’s wake the next day. And that was the time when I incurred the cut shown in the photo below. Huhu.

FNL4

Spent Feb 14 with church friends – I’ve never been fond of Feb 14 as I’m one bitter individual. This year though, I decided to stop the drama as I organized a hangout for our youth at the nearby milk tea place. I can’t believe that I don’t have a photo of the gathering but it was so much fun as we played games and talked the whole night :)

Phone was un-Shaina-ed! – My earphones got stuck in my phone (aka John Lloyd-Shaina) and I was feeling hopeless until Nelvin, Rudolf and Dugs saved the day! Yahooooooo!

Phone

Saw my ultimate crush #jetlag – For probably the last time in my entire life, I saw my ultimate crush/prayer item in the flesh quite surprisingly. I didn’t expect that he was in Manila and it was kilig (for me haha) to bump into him in the office. It was probably the last time of me seeing him albeit my desire to sing Everything Has Changed to him each time I “stumble upon” his Facebook page. *cue “I just wanna know you better, know you better, know you better now”*

Oh, and I fell in love again with Malcolm in Survivor: Caramoan and won a logo-making contest for HP’s PM Community.

MARCH

ADSI Fiesta! – After almost 3 years, we finally had another tower offsite! When I received the e-mail about a tower activity which was to be held at Club Balai Isabel, I couldn’t help but flail with joy. The theme was “fiesta” and we were assigned to Pintados (no clue what it is), teamed up with the team under Chris. We had a great time performing, competing, playing patintero with iZoom, doing PPM (project and party management), singing with not-so-sane people, and eating good food! Offsite activities ALWAYS bring the team closer together. I love it! Also, the PMO girls starred in a very inspiring movie.

ADSIFiesta7

The ‘Daylight Savings’ Experience – I had one of the craziest times of my work life in March, thanks to this project, which required me to work during random hours of the day–sometimes at 2 am, sometimes at 6 am, and what have you. The project itself wasn’t that complex but the implications were quite grand! It was definitely an experience of a lifetime–working with people from all over the globe just to get 1-2 hours of their time for a cut over. I also learned a lot PM-wise as I worked with a more senior PM for this project–truly, nothing beats on the job “training”.

Simon’s Servant Leadership Talk – As part of our team’s awesome activities, we had one afternoon with Simon sharing with us about servant leadership. Simon, my boss’s boss, is already an inspiring speaker to begin with, and to hear him speak about the said topic is a very welcome added bonus. Though I had such awkward moments (e.g. eating a doughnut right when Simon calls you to speak, etc), nothing beats learning about leadership from someone who has already walked his talk. Oh, and I also learned that Simon’s mom is a born again Christian, too! Fabuloso!

March for Jesus – We walked from the Freedom Park to Barangka and back for Jesus! Yahoo!

M4J

Walkway 2013 – Being a BGC mainstay (for the first half of 2013, at least), I stumbled upon Walkway during one of my food trips and immediately knew that I needed to bring my Care Circle there for the Holy Week! It was one of the most beautiful and heartwarming experiences I’ve had EVER in my entire life. Honestly, it was one of the very few times that I actually got to stop and reflect about life and the Lord that intently. It was great to share the experience with my CC as well as they are among the few people whom I’ve fully opened myself to spiritually. A few tears were shed during the “walk” and we ended the night at BHS Central, sitting on the grass to watch Jars of Clay live for free! What a memorable day!

Note: I hope to replicate it in our church for Holy Week 2014 as most of our brethren might not be able to go to BGC. Please include it in your prayers! :)Walkway6

Oh, and a street/road was named after me. Hahaha. Almost.

April

Foursquare Convention in Davao – It was such a blessed opportunity to join the Foursquare Convention in Davao, though the backstory before we got to the actual point of going to Davao is quite too long to share here (summary: we were fooled). Pastor Jerry Dirmann, the pastor who spearheaded Operation: Solid Lives, was the main speaker for the event and the Lord truly spoke to me through him. This was the time when I got reminded by the Lord to set my heart on higher things. Ah, such a wonderful message! Also, I love going to Davao ’cause the food is good and cheap! This trip was made even more memorable though by my near-death experience aboard the plane. I know for a fact that I have GERD and that I need to limit my intake of milk tea, but I didn’t know that my condition could lead to difficulty in breathing while I am thousands of feet above the ground. I really thought that I would die, and my life montage was already starting to play in my mind. But alas, it was not yet my time, and the Cebu Pac folks were able to provide me oxygen. Yahoo.

Davao

ADSI Thanksgiving Buffet Lunch – ADSI treated the initiative folks to a lunch buffet at Heat with a +1! I love free food! #takaw And, it was nice to be with fellow bibo folks and our super boss Simon outside the work setting. Got to introduce my sister to him as well, and said sister agreed with my stories on Simon’s being down to earth. Oh, we ate the most ODD-TASTING calamansi panna cotta thing during this affair. Don’t worry if you missed that dessert. You didn’t really miss a lot. Hahaha!

Heat

Kuya Ken got married! – First CC-mate and guy church ka-barkada to get married! Yahoo! It was a simple yet fun celebration as my church friends and I were able to celebr-eat (haha!) with the couple. As always, the boys were kagulo!

Ken2

MAY

Labor Day happenings – The first day of the month was crazy as we attended the last SELD convergence, attended the prayer meeting and watched Iron Man in Eastwood with the gang + Kuy.

May1

Swimming with the Cluster 1 CCs! – Praise God for this opportunity for my CC + Tita Jo’s CC + Muning’s CC to fellowship for the summer with a day out for swimming at the Filinvest clubhouse. Food and laughter were abundant throughout the day!

Swim1

JP got married! – One of my friends from Connect & Grow (our weekly Bible study in HP) tied the knot this year with his Taiwan-based wife. We ‘witnessed’ their engagement through stories and prayers, and it was wonderful to see them finally brought together for eternal commitment at Fernwood Gardens.

JP

Philippine General Mid-term Elections – This year, we voted for new folks for the Senate, House of Representatives, and local government unit posts. It was Muning’s first time to vote this year as she turned 18 in October 2012! As with all my voting experiences so far, it was smooth and easy as we were in the precint early in the morning. The whole PCOS issue had both Doc Muga and Doc Mana in the limelight with their CS/Math expertise. Both were my professors from Ateneo.

Elections

Jason Mraz in Manila AGAIN! – Jason Mraz came back to Manila as promised and we AGAIN had fantastic seats for the concert! Yahoo! It was the BEST concert I’ve gone to (tied with his first one) as it was filled with much love, laughter and good music. I couldn’t stomach Muning missing out on her favorite artist’s concert (thanks to me for being of good influence hahaha), so I bought her a ticket as well, on loan. Haha!

JM

Nick Vujicic with the sistahs – Nick visited Manila and had a speaking engagement at the newly built CCF worship and training center along C5. I did not want to miss hearing him speak in person (and seeing the interiors of the new CCF building) so I brought the whole family along to attend. Parking was terrible though, so we (the children) were obliged to watch on our own.

Nick

Additionally, we had an evangelism trip in Montalban, THE MOTHER was revealed (ARGH FACEBOOK SPOILER) and I got addicted to these:

Sweets

JUNE

Operation: Solid Lives Batch 3 – For the 3rd time in our church, we had the Basic Training for OSL, and I again was involved as a coach. I had the wonderful opportunity of coaching Philip, Emman and Jethro throughout their journey of discipline and intimacy with the Lord. It was nice to see majority of my Care Circle be part of this as well!

OSL2

Mami Oyen and Boss Migs got married! – My most FAVORITE couple since college finally tied the knot as well this year! It was something we (Rai, Clang, and I) have been waiting for as we just knew that Boss Migs and Mami Oyen were meant for each other! It was the most FUN wedding I’ve attended so far as the geeky Super Mario-ish theme showed the personality of the couple. The whole CS 2008 gang was also there, which added to the fun factor! Additional blessing: Saw Kalil after 4-5 years since he graduated!

Oyen

Prayer Mountain with C&G – I got to visit the Prayer Mountain in Antipolo for the first time without churchmates as I had my HP Bible study-mates as company. There’s a quite lengthy story about my experience for the day, as I woke up late and showed up late but God had a different agenda for me as I was able to share the Gospel with the driver of the jeepney I rode. This one was memorable as we shared stories very openly with each other, and it definitely built a stronger bond among us. It was also my first time to meet Zurie!

PM

JULY

Ceej and Nins got married! – These guys were the first HP-couple I know who got married! Yey! They are among the coolest people I’ve met in HP and it was so nice to see them finally tie the knot, especially after knowing their love story! It was a fun wedding (THEY SANG YOU AND I!) which I got to witness with some HP friends.

Nins

Heartbreak – No need to expound.

The Braderie! – There are TOO MANY stories to tell about this but to sum it all up, God has been so faithful to our church and we got to minister to the community and fellow churches through this food bazaar and singing contest (which I hosted for a few times). It was so much fun to have an automatic wholesome tambayan EVERY DAY of EVERY WEEKEND for about 3 to 4 weeks!

Braderie

Kuya Ogo and Donats got married! – Another wedding for the month! Kuya Ogo and Donats tied the knot in Sto. Nino in a simple yet personal and intimate wedding graced by mostly churchmates. They both cried and with what I know of their backstories, I’m sure they were tears of joy because of God’s faithfulness to their lives, bringing them together.

Ogo

Frolic was born – From a simple yayaan with my Programs ministry-mates, Frolic was born. We had a fun second-half of the year, organizing Tine’s debut, Philos’ birthday and MMND’s first ever conference, and I’m sure we still have a LOOOOOT to learn but all I can say is that I think I’ve finally found what I am meant for :)

Frolic

August

I QUIT MY JOB – It was a difficult decision to make, especially because I love HP and I love my bosses and I love my teammates. It made no logical sense to leave but I just knew that I had to get out of my comfort zone and do something that I felt that the Lord wanted me to do. I still question my decision every now and then, but I am just grateful to the Lord for making HP a part of my life. It’s probably the best company out there for a fresh grad to grow and learn.

Bye

Oh, I also got sick and had to take a 3-day leave. Sadness.

SEPTEMBER

Start at WVI – Soooo, I started working for WVI and I have this amazing view from my table:)

WV

Da Mo’ Da Merrier – September’s highlight was definitely getting to be part of the first every 70’s Bistro hiphop gig! It all started when I posted about my Abra crush, to which Kuya Chino (of Silent Sanctuary) replied, offering to introduce me on their next gig. Apparently, he plays the violin for Abra/LDP. Pretty cool, yes? I went to Bistro with Kuy and Joisaac, the only people I know from church who attend gigs hahaha! It was a night of great music as I had a newly-found appreciation for hiphop. It was quite memorable as I finally met Abra, who is like the George Clooney of OPM hahaha! And had some photos taken with Loonie, Ron Henley, and Apekz as well. The most amusing moment of the night/morning was meeting Josef Amarra, whom I share a lot in common with. He’s a CS grad from La Salle, and he worked for an IT company after graduation (in Mckinley Hill as well, I think?). We have a few common friends, and…he’s Ma’am Amarra’s brother. Hahaha surprise surprise!

Damo

OCTOBER

Quarterback – This year, Cory Monteith died. It’s quite sad and I always wonder if anyone ever shared Jesus with him. I stopped watching Glee in Season 2 when it became crazy and when they started covering new songs but I was a fan. I even started the Glee community in Livejournal hehe. Glee dedicated an episode to Finn and it made me cry buckets. We’ll miss you, Finn.

MMND Conference – As earlier mentioned, Frolic organized MMND’s first ever conference! What an experience!

NOVEMBER

We are international businessmen – Just kidding :) This year, I met a lot of new friends thanks to my new job! I can now travel to Kenya, Chad, Lebanon, India, Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Nigeria, Zambia, and Georgia knowing that I know someone from their country. Hahahaha! I am such a people-person so I can say that this is definitely the highlight of being part of WVI so far.

WV1

Shine Bright Like a Diamond – I fell in love with Bangkok! Aaaah, such a beautiful place where I see myself working/living/doing mission work. I went to Thailand with the boys and we had an amazing time shopping, walking, commuting, acting like we’re locals, eating street food, taking pictures, quarreling, and staying in a beautiful apartment. The trip was definitely one for the books and is something that I will remember forevaaaaaah!

Thai

We also had our church sportsfest!

Sports

DECEMBER

High 5 at 45 – We celebrated the 45th anniversary of our church this year! God is faithful!!! It was a Christ-centered and crazy (sorta) event for me as I led the program coordination and set-up. That is what I call Martha-mode. Yet, I rejoice for what the Lord has done, has been doing, and will do for JCLAM! Yahoo!

45

Rubs and Denden got married – The first Portal/SuppConn wedding that I attended!!! :) I missed my HP first friends, so it was nice seeing majority of them before the year ended. I didn’t really get to say goodbye properly when I resigned, as Mark Frond pointed out. Haha!

Rubs

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