13 Highlights of 2013 (Part 1)

2013 is one hell of a rollercoaster ride for me. I can honestly say this has been my saddest and happiest year, my most eventful and most serene -- the year when I was at my richest and poorest, and at my most stupid and most wise.

I have gotten used to reminiscing awesome and not-so-awesome events at the end of each year, believing that both the good and the bad say something about what I am now. And you know what? I fucking love what and who I am right now: a not-so-happy but contented person who has learned a lot in a year, and who is ready to face whatever it is that awaits me in 2014! I’ve never been so ready! Lovelife na lang nga kulang eh, hahaha!

So, here you go … the 13 highlights of my 2013:

13. Getting Poured with Iced Tea on the Head by the Person I Loved in Front of My Whole Family at My Own Birthday Party

Yes, you read that right.

You’re probably wondering why I included such a humiliating thing in this list. Damn right, it was incredibly humiliating—imagine inviting someone over to a special occasion where only your loved ones and closest friends are invited, and then becoming the victim of an oh-so-classy act. I felt like a fucking doormat.

But you know what? I went up quickly and brushed the dirt off my face and picked up the pieces. Not because I have to. But because I want to.

My birthday party was the pivotal point in my life. You’d think that it’s all about the pains brought about by intense, foolish, unrequited, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it love, but for me it was more than that. The incident made me realize how drastically I was losing myself.

Looking at it now, the incident was a blessing in disguise. I was reunited with my first love, writing—and true enough, after June 2013, I felt that I became better at blogging. I remembered my abandoned dream of pursuing photography, and took the purchase of a Lumix GF5 as a stepping stone towards that goal. I suddenly had a lot of time in my hands, time I used to things I really loved but didn’t do because of the time I was obsessed with him: reading books, hanging out with close friends, and actually talking to people.

Most importantly, what he did brought me so much closer to my family. With my busy lifestyle, it was easy to forget that I have my family waiting at home, wondering where the hell I was and whether I was going home or not. But because of the incredible support they showed me, I realized how badly I was taking them for granted. So now I learned to balance between my “projects” and my “home time”.

12. Dancing Like a Frenzied Maniac at the 2013 DSCPI Midyear Ranking

As you probably would predict, after my birthday fiasco, part of bouncing back was getting better at my dancing. That’s why in the two weeks of preparation for the midyear competition, I put my heart and soul into everything I learned—yes, even from him, which was a lot—so I could give the best performance I could.

And damn right, I did!

My performance during the competition was something I never thought I could do. It wasn’t the best in the eyes of the judges (we finished 2nd place only) but it was the best that my heart perceived. And I don’t care what anybody else think about it. I danced like it was my last and didn’t want to let anybody down—not certainly my family, who went to watch.

I wish anyone could dance and feel how it’s like to be on the floor, showing everyone what you’ve got, each movement a result of hours, days, months, years of hard work. My heart poured out that day and up to now I don’t know if I could ever dance as passionately as I did that day ever again.

Read more about the 2013 DSCPI Midyear Ranking here.

11. Discovering the Wonder that is The Feast

Still in relation to #13, I went out and sought ways to occupy me, people to inspire me, and words to teach me so I could get over what happened to me. Fortunately, my friend Jaypee took me to The Feast.

The Feast is a weekly prayer meeting conducted by Kerygma Family, founded by the famous preacher and writer Bo Sanchez, and carried out in different venues nationwide as well as in other countries like Singapore. I attend the 4:00pm session in PICC, under Bro. Alvin Barcelona.

OK, stop laughing. I know you didn’t expect to find The Feast here—yes, cusswords and prayer meetings are hard to combine—but believe me, I fucking love The Feast (see what I mean)!

My first session with Jaypee shocked me because the inspirational talk was about love, and wouldn’t you know it, I cried like a madman in my theater seat.

When Jaypee went to Saudi to find his one true love do some soul-searching, I was left with no one to attend The Feast, so I invited another friend Krizzia to go with me. I didn’t expect she would like it so much! The next week, we invited Yenyen. And it was solidly the three of us on the next weeks to come.

My The Feast buddies!
You have to be there to believe it. When I attend the Sunday session, I feel invincible all week. That was The Feast’s effect on me.

10. Receiving My First-Ever Food Tasting Invitation and Feeling That My Blog Has Been Baptized

Life has a way of surprising us really. There I was, very depressed, pouring my pain onto writing and churning out good stories for the blog, and suddenly I got an email from a marketing agent of a certain restaurant, inviting me to visit their place.


I was totally psyched that someone noticed my work. Moreover, I was excited to eat for free hahahahaha just kidding.

Quickly I contacted my blogger friend from Cebu and another one from Hong Kong to ask for advice and tips. Then I called my friend Yohanne to accompany me to the invitational lunch. Thanks to them, I think I managed to pull off my first ever “blog event”!

Only a week after, I received another email. Another invitation! And it was because the marketer liked what I wrote about me liking Harvey Specter of Suits. Gosh, amazing!

Looking back, I think my blog started to do well when I changed my layout and made my themes more cohesive, thanks to my friends Yohanne (the techie), Jervik (the basher), and Aleli (ultimate food buddy) for the feedback.

Right now my blog is in the top 100 Pinoy blogs in terms of page views and visitors, and has almost 30,000 total views. My blog turns up—amazingly—in the first page in google searches!

This is not such an impressive achievement compared with my favorite blogs, but considering the fact that 12 months before, I was the only one reading my blog …. hmmmm, fuck. This is gold.

9. Drowning in Cagayan de Oro River and Spending 30 Minutes in Camiguin White Island

Undeniably my worst vacation ever, made even more horrendous by Zest Air’s incompetence. We flew towards CDO in the midst of a storm, and after a 3-hour struggle with the winds, we went back to Manila. How cool is that?

My trip cut short, I only got to spend 30 minutes in White Island in Camiguin because of the tight itinerary, and then on the last day of trip, almost drowned in CDO river while whitewater rafting. I’m such a skilled swimmer, you have to see me to believe it. And then there were the bomb threats—we got stuck inside the dorms at night.

In any case, I have to admit that Camiguin was awesome and I plan to return there in the future. As for CDO, I don’t know if I’m excited to do whitewater rafting again, and was disappointed with the lack of choices of places to dine there, so I don’t know. If anyone disagrees with my opinion on CDO, please let me know—point me to a direction of a really good restaurant worthy of visiting and I would just probably consider.

Read more about my first-ever Mindanao adventure here.

8. Jumping from 2-Dance to 4-Dance after Recovering from Chicken Pox for the Philippine Summer Ball in Baguio

The 3rd Philippine Summer Ball was the most exciting competition this year: (1) first time to compete outside of Manila under BMG; (2) first time to do 4 dances; (3) first time to compete with only a week of practice because of chicken fucking pox.

Below: That's us in the white top (me) and orange dress (my partner).

Doing the Samba was just … awesome. If your saw my bucket list, reaching 4-Dance level is one of my dreams. Summer Ball should have been witness to my first-ever victory in 4-Dance, but no, we barely reached the Finals hahaha. Still, it was fun learning the depths of Samba and hopefully soon I would see myself in the Top 6 of Grade B.

It’s just too bad I wasn’t able to tour Baguio because we were incredibly busy, but I can always go back.

Oh, and I fucking hate chicken pox. Just saying.

There goes the first 6 in the list of 13 highlights this year! I hope you enjoyed reading about these adventures and misadventures as much as I did reliving them. Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog post, which bears the next 7 of my favorite moments: experiencing winter in another country, a sunrise above the clouds and a hundred meters underground, a degenerative disease, wearing skirts and heels, going back to my favorite place on earth, competing like a wild animal, and getting lessons from a world champion! Can you guess what I’m referring to?

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