The Year That Was: 2013

Repeat or Delete. 
 
Sounds easy at first read, but either way is prerequisite to the process of change. You don’t have to ‘just choose’ between the options and break free, rather it takes a lot of weighing before hitting the precise target. Change is ephemeral, short-lived. We don’t know what would be in store for us later at four, the day after next or in the coming months, but one thing’s certain: in everything that we do, we lived or seem to divine a purpose.
 
And this is New Year for most of us. The usual time of generating resolutions (where often comes into the collision between the new promises vs. the old year’s habits) that need to undergo deletion or repetition as to my admired speaker Francis J. Kong. Deletion of the not-so-good-things and memories that have brought out weighty baggage on our backs. Repetition of those wonderful mementos that have created remarkable stories of inspiration and contributed to our becoming as better individuals.
Well, as for me, the year that was is very kaleidoscopic. Immersed in a different world, I have gotten along with new people in various forms and brilliance, trampled upon into majestic places and sceneries the world can offer, and most of all, have even reached the end of the rainbow in some of my endeavors.
 
Now I can say indeed, the year that was slowly baked me into perfection. Deletion would never be my option for that matter.
 
Subsequently, allow me to marvel you back to the journey that has been.
 

JANUARY

The usual tandem of Dad and I went on a south trip. First month of the year opened gates for me on my first travels then. Escaping from the metro’s bustles (and from my first heart wound), I appreciate the finest things I see in this little city of Lucena where I felt the serenity seeping through my senses. I dipped into Queen Margarette’s pool at nights and that feeling of a King enthralls me, perfect for an escape that you ever wanted. Next stop entitled us to experience the coolness of Tagaytay. Well, it’s for the nth time may be, but that dream of living in its ambiance still lingers and lingers, and will ever be.   (Hope to get a place in this literally cool abode soon.)

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FEBRUARY

DSC_0864ChinaI don’t like to feature this as the month of hearts (bitter), but let us see this in another dimension (well, for us Chinitos) I suppose. Having been in Manila for a year and a half, t’is the only time I have experienced Binondo at its best. Talking about authentic Chinese and Cantonese dishes, I have tongued my way out of the foodgasms the place can limitlessly offer, not to mention celebrating Chinese New Year for the first time as well with some of my first-known blogger friends.

Nearing to its end too was the yearly Hot Air Balloon Festival where Clark, Pampanga is known for. First time experiences never cease as I have witnessed the festive ballooning event where I only imagined it to happen in my dreams. Thanks to Patrol ng Pilipino Kuya Mac, my mentor then during my TV broadcasting days who’s currently assigned there for making this possible. Certainly, it’s where everything flies.

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MARCH
Summer Paradise it was known. Yes, who could never spend it off far from the urban’s scorching heat? Since I was a kid, I always wished and enjoyed water park experiences esepcially during this sun season. With planned invites from colleagues at work, I never hesitated to bring out those six-packs (of goodies) and bunch of friends on a splash. Summer is as hotter as the awesome activities we have ventured in this mini island in Laguna.

IMG_0197299129_637680649579528_1613542146_nI have also grabbed the chance of dropping by our national hero’s native land which roused my patriotic blood. In my veins runs Pepe, whom I look up to and was been tagged as one (not because of my hair-do) since I was juvenile.

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APRIL

IMG_0199What is more rewarding while working is when you are given the chance to see the world as well. In line with Dad too, we attended the International College of Surgeons (ICS) Convention at Dagupan which made us one of the country’s tastiest milkfish. Going down to later weeks close to my natal day, I took the call to be one with nature as NiteWriter’s Ron sheltered us to their place in Majayjay with blogger troops: Tonto, Nixon, Otep and Taympers. As blogged, the said falls enticed me to splurge in its very cold and pristine waters where truly you could say that we are indeed blessed with so much splendor in this Paradise on earth. This is my first time too to see that water-trickling-down-from-atop right in front of my very eyes for real!

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Next stop carried us to Kamay ni Hesus in Lucban, where that burning faith on Him was strengthened more upon witnessing its resembled Holy Land.
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MAY

IMG_20130505_220017Just as scribbled in my Making Simple Things Happen post, I strived to collect more first-time mementos and make those wishes be realized. Going extreme is one, and I believe accepting the dare inside the ice rink counts. Thanks to my Chinita partner-in-crime Alyssa for always doing such challenges with me.  Falling and getting bruised is as building up the audacity we need in every strife we take.

Of course, summer would never be as complete without spending it with your family. Having a short vacation in my homeland sufficed me more than being elsewhere in this planet.

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JUNE

The hype to more extremes is getting tougher! The mighty morphine goes back when bespren Jid of KLDKRN and some of his P&A gang climbed uphill Luzon’s tallest as Power Rangers. Not having set foot to any hilly landforms ever since didn’t hinder me to pass through and reach the zenith. Benguet’s Mount Pulag is truly a Heaven at Hand, not to mention being infamous as having the sea of clouds atop. At 2,922 meters above sea level then, I have been once a god on top of the clouds. With all the brags now I can proudly swank that I too, can conquer. This is one of my most loved adventures so far! (Thanks Travel Factor for the trip!)

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These guys, Gnomeo, Apes, Fonz, Ielle and Jid were the adventure buddies to almost every quests be it paintball shooting, 10k running, mountain trekking and whatsoever (name it)-trips.

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JULY
IMG_0204‘Habagat’ season struck yet no disaster can’t stop my travels. Just before the rains heavily poured down its angst upon the Metro’s floors, I have already escaped my way up north. Keep your eyes shut. Foodporn! This is where I’ve tasted another dips of sumptuous meals and seafoods especially during a dine at Matutina’s. Nothing more can be precious than paying a visit to Our Lady of Manaog which is just a stone’s throw away from there. This time, I have come to boost my devotion with the ever Blessed Virgin. 
 

AUGUST

IMG_0209Up, up and away! Well, how I wish. But hey, the opportunity to get inside the hangar and be left in awe with the actualization of the so-called toys for the big boys is a great treasure! I am very grateful to Scenes & Cuisines’ CJ for giving me this exclusive pass. Opening up Tito Wil’s largest plane, Tita Jamby’s  chop and getting inside Sir Chief and Maya’s shooting aircraft among others already filled my starving dreams for such. I have even tried to sit like a pilot myself too even just for a very short while. This is one privilege and experience I could never forget, which inspired me to fly more and chase various horizons I’ve always yearned.

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SEPTEMBER

This is Hydrophilia! It seemed that the waters love me, but no, it’s the other way around. Supposedly, the Power Rangers were set to sail the seas and venture water activities. But due to some unforeseen commitments, three of us were left which never stopped us to push through still! Together with Apes and Fonz, that dream of wrestling with the angry rapids of CDO was fulfilled in its most perfect way. Despite the drizzles (which gave a li’l challenge for us), we paddled our way up for almost 3.5 hours in the 24-rapid sea of monsters. Needless to say, we have surpassed them all. What can you say, Percy Jackson?

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Also, that famous white beach can never lurk from us. For three days with one whole day set for Camiguin tour, our quest conquered the whole island! No seas, falls and beaches were left untraveled. Go, go Power Rangers!

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OCTOBER

IMG_0212Unleash the real you. The Masskarra fest was on! Bacolod’s famous masquerade parade went its way for the month. But prouder to share, the football night games at Panaad Stadium with our very own Azkals (where most grew to where I was) excited me better to a higher degree. ‘Twas a boys nights out as well together with Dad and Lyle (my younger brother) which, in one way or another, opened avenues for us to bond from time to time.  From the football capital I was raised, and seeing my folks play at greater grounds today made me miss those slipper-kickin’ soccer boys we were before. Kudos for all the laurels you’ve brought to us, team!

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NOVEMBER

Traveling by land is more fulfilling to note than any other means. And this is what we chose when we zoomed northernmost of the country, that is to have a glance of the sceneries and wonders in between. Since I am always left Home Alone every Halloween, I’ve looked for some traveling feet to journey with and good thing I found some reps to get along with. Ilocos has always been in my bucket list and never did I imagine that it would be this early. Pagudpud’s tranquil ambiance taught me serenity, Bangui’s windmills made me soar higher in my dreams, Kapurpurawan’s white rocks made me appreciate nature’s majestic hands. Well, this whole travel was nature appreciation basically.

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And the Vigan sidetrip (where I’ve been already for a couple of times) never tire to give me that vintage vibes. Come visit and for sure’s all memories are worth.

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DECEMBER

IMG_0219Yuletide season will never be memorable without the winter feel! Despite planning the trip just 4 hours before pulling off (yes, that’s how abrupt it was), the La Union-Baguio getaway was pushed through. No preparations, no shopping galore, just backpacking and good to go. To top the list in my 10 simple dreams, I really searched for ways on how to go surfing after passing from the Soul Surf Feast in La Union last October, and taddah, I really have it! Surfin’ is akin to living your dreams, no matter how many times you fall, maintaining that zeal and perseverance amidst the crest and troughs will soon bring you to achievement. That’s one thing why I desperately want to try this extreme sport.

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Gearing away next, my girls (reps under my team) asked me to bring them to Baguio. And with no backing out, I have set foot again to that winter wonderland for the nth time. Baguio will always be Baguio, that breeze I always wanted is just soooo perfect for me during the Holiday season.

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As to some who knew me well, this kind of me today is one who’s deviating from what is typical. I’ve never been too adventurous as how you see it on my year’s travel escapades. There is only one thing I have learned, and it’s traveling the world for all its worth… while they’re still there… while you are young.

That introvert me, who always have his crestfallen before, gradually encompasses the real meaning of living. The year that was is a quest for some unknown treasure, yet it turned out to be as bountiful as it seemed in my wildest imaginations. The bond with family grew stronger. New friends came in and moved me, inspired and helped me get out of my nutshell in so many ways. My career and passion developed me into a one mature young guy which helped me now to be one with the world.

New Year’s resolutions are everyday promises, I believe. You must not only confess to do them at the first day of the year, but every single day that you exist instead.

So now, repeat or delete?

No, rather I must say that I have a lot more of fond memories in my 2013. I hope a lot more will try to unfold in this next page of my life. No repetitions, no deletions, just going with the flow.

Will you come with me? (Wink*)

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