I recently bought a Slate 2014 planner where each month has its own color as its theme. For my 2013 review, I’ll have one theme for each month. This is going to be quite a reflection.
January is the most cliché month for me because of all the “new me” things I have planned every January of almost every year that I can remember. I did not plan for a ‘new me’ this month. I just woke up and it’s January and then it’s February. But I did buy a nice planner. Now that’s one cliché move from me I won’t discontinue.
There’s much to celebrate about February but as I had to choose only one, I’ll opt for this month’s Palarong UPLB. I got to become a ‘commentator’ where I just mostly babbled about and where my comments drew the ire of those who were sweating and grinding it out in the sack race. Haha. I love sports. I love sports fests but I don’t want to be in the coordinating committee again. I just want to play. With that said, I also hope UPLB strengthen it’s sports program. Like for reals.
[March] Cross-country smiles
I have already blogged about this. So there. Tipid space.
My sister finally marched at the green, green grass of Freedom Park! As for me, it has been 5 years since I received the blank paper which was supposed to be a diploma. 5 years since I stood at the Freedom Park feeling free albeit feeling awkward and uncomfortable with my high-heeled shoes. Hopefully, one year from now, I’ll once again be bored to death by the super long valedictory speeches and commemoration speeches of guests as well as stand shoulder to shoulder with my kapwa Iskolar ng/para sa Bayan as we sing UP Naming Mahal. Hopefully.
For my 26th birthday, I started Project26.
This is my proposal to my friends (I PM’d them this exact thing. I just had to delete my bank details):
As I turn 26, I want to remember my day by celebrating with 30 kids from Sta. Rita, Batangas City. Kids whose families do not have much but who would always go to our church on Sundays (my Nanay gives them breakfast every time). Some of them do not go to school and a number are malnourished.
I would like to give them a birthday party, to play along side them, to feed them, and to give them school materials (books, pens, pads, etc). But beyond the party and the material things, I just want to encourage these kids – through you – that they can hope for something bigger than their everyday existence. They can dream and they can hold on to the hope that God gives.
Honestly, I have longed wanted to do something like this but I’m always reluctant because of my own limited resources. Being a teacher in the Philippines doesn’t give much in terms of financial rewards but that’s just one side of the story. So to finally put this dream to fruition, I decided to tap my network (now, I’d like to believe I’m rich in this aspect).
And this is where I ask for their help in cash and in kind. So to my friends who helped me raise almost 20,000 for the event, thank you and thank God for you!
To cap my small project proposal to them, here’s what I told them [and I wholeheartedly believe every word in it]:
Final note: I’d like to believe that I have many friends who would also like to bless their immediate communities and I’d like to encourage you to start planning on it now and to tap your network of friends and get it done. We may not have the millions that the celebrities who do these kinds of things for the ‘least fortunate’ have but we do have millions of friends who would definitely want to bless others too, after all we are blessed to be a blessing.
[June] Relax. Chillax.
I went to Bacolod and La Carlota City, Negros Occidental [about 500kms from LB] for 3 days. I have been to Bacolod before but not on my own. I think the trip was more about the traveling alone part than the destination. Though I truly love Bacolod City and La Carlota City mainly because of the people and the quiet provincial spirit which is much like LB, the lesson was more on the going by myself. I’ve been traveling quite a lot since I could remember but always with a group. Being myself, hailing a cab at 4am and waiting alongside men in the airport at 4:30am made me feel a little grown up. I met with a friend over at Bacolod City and, honestly, I did not go sight seeing much. I mostly talked with them, sampled local food, slept, read a book, played along side the little girls there. It was right before the first semester of classes so it was a very welcome relaxing pre-classes travel. To the Alubog family, thank you ever so much.
The month MMA fighter Georges St. Pierre officially took over the throne held by basketball player Mike Cortez… but then, not really. They have separate thrones. One for the local and one of the International dude. Hehe. After watching one of his fights, I have since been a fan of the French-Canadian welterweight champion [even as he announced his hiatus from MMA also this year – December]. My Instagram account can attest to this.
I went to Davao City [about 1200 kms from LB] for 4 days. This is the first time I visited Davao. It was mostly to visit another friend and to see Kadayawan in person. It was the middle of the semester and was another welcome mid-sem gala. I was extremely glad to see my co-Kawayan Camper (2006). The last time we saw each other was in 2011 when I went to the airport to see her as she was about to go back to Davao. Friendships are never deterred by distance. To the Javier family, thank you so much!
[September] English in all its versions
I went to Bangkok, Thailand for four days to work. I was tasked to document an international conference on smart innovations in agriculture. Speakers were mostly Thai, Indians, Japanese, and a few westerners who are not native-English speakers. Hence, the theme ‘English’. My nose bled and bled as I tried to decipher the language they are actually using [they claim it’s English, I’m not so sure]. It’s a documenter’s funny nightmare, if there ever was one. Oh, but I enjoyed the food, the hotel, the nice people, and the food. Have I mentioned the buffet? Oh yeah, the food.
[Oct] Tears of frustration
I’m working on a department research with funding from the University and I have cried tears of frustration over it – not over how difficult the research is but how difficult the administrative stuff is. I can’t seem to get my head around these things – budgets, vouchers, etc. Plus the not so noob researcher-friendly system that the University has or maybe it’s just that there’s too much on my plate already that I have been viewing this research as a burden already. I just want this to end study to already. Oh wait, it still depends on me now. I have to write the report already.
[Nov] Parents to Palawan and Sister is 23
I love the feeling of seeing my parents enjoy their much-needed vacation. My Tatay was also recognized for his more than 27 years of serving the ministry. My heart swelled with so much joy that even if all my family members have all gone to Puerto Princesa, Palawan except me, it’s all good.
November also is my sister’s birth month. I still don’t believe it. For me, Hannah is still 18. But she’s all so grown up now. Working in Makati, wearing corporate world fashion, and dealing with grown up problems [while reading her Mangas in her phone]. She’s still my big baby sister no matter what age. But, really? She’s 23? I feel old.
Here’s a video I made for her.
[Dec ] Letting go
We had a small party among friends with the theme Letting go. Oh how apt. As for me, here are the things/notions I’ve to let go:
- I’m good at multi-tasking or even of the idea of multi-tasking
- GSP fighting in the cage again competitively
- Money squandering ways
- Unhealthy habits (too much FB, sleeping late, eating junk, etc)
Of course, all through out the year, teaching and thesis-ing had been the macro-themes of work and love and contentment, the macro-themes of my heart. There’s oh so much more that happened, so much I have to write about but I might not be able to do so in the coming months as my theme for this year is: FOCUS. Primarily in the context of my thesis and work.
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee