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The Obligatory New Year Post

I'm a few days late from all the yearender and 2013 kickoff posts.The New Year is the perfect time to romanticize life and be cheesy. Kidding. :)

Though I am not a fan of New Year's Resolutions, I do love looking back and seeing how the year went. I look back not to scrutinize and redo things in my head, but only to be reminded how fantastic 2012 was. Despite the low points that I've mostly brought upon myself, 2012 is still one for the books. 

Here are some of the things on top of the list:

Got published.
Certified at work.
Laidback provinces.
Won free airline tickets.
Rode a bike in Vietnam and went home with a scar to prove.
Chickened out on getting a tattoo.
Chicken rice. Chili crab. Shakespeare in the Park.
Grandiose mosques.
Wept for the Phantom of the Opera.
First luxury (not!) cruise at Halong Bay.
Short-term assignment for work.

Let the photos do the talking!

Blow-by-blow Travel Tidbits:
First Quarter: 2012 started with sweating it out on a kickoff climb in Mt. Pulag, only to gain back the pounds days later while wolfing down every edible thing there is in Bacolod. February came and being the Love Month, it felt fitting to finally show love for one's self and fulfill a childhood dream of flying high up in the sky in a huge balloon. Sadly, we had to let go and see the balloons fly out on their own because flying with it costs an arm. 
Second Quarter: In what can only be called pushing it to the limit, I took a long bus ride in the middle of the summer heat to the hottest point in the country, Tuguegarao. The trip ended with longer hours spent indoors while cooling down in front of the AC and having countless servings of halo-halo. Just when I thought chunks of ice was enough to quench the thirst that summer brought, the camp site and estuary in Zambales provided much needed reinforcement.  
In May, the universe paved way for the first overseas trip of 2012. For a couple of days I found myself in Universal Studios, Sentosa, Orchard Road, and MRT, all sitting in the middle of Singapore, the "Disneyland with Death Penalty".
In a tropical country where summer is all-year long, the family flew off to Cagayan. My parents took the kids and the young-at-heart rafting at the Cagayan River, while the adults sat at the nearby resort, thinking how fun it must be if only their knees would let them. 
Third Quarter: Then came July, armed with a nice weekend spent in the heart of Manila. Seeing Carlos Celdran doing what he does best paired up with an al fresco dinner with a sweeping panoramic view of Intramuros was enough to make me believe that the once glorious city could rise again. 
In August, I tried to see Dumaguete with much gusto but dengue had the best of me. The trip was cut short, much to my disappointment. Towards the end of August, I bounced back from the sick bed and sat on the bus floor for hours, went up north, and witnessed the art of traditional tattooing. 
Fourth Quarter: With the last quarter workload push catching up on me, I quietly sneaked away for a relaxing weekend at Bellaroca. I am such a little sneak that the events that took place before I reached Bellaroca is post-worthy on its own. PNoy must have been feeling really good last October that he declared another long weekend. The thought of grabbing my things and just taking off was too appealing that in one long weekend, we hustled to Baguio. 
And then it was November and the 9-day trip to Vietnam, number one in my backlog post list. I would have loved to extend and spend a few more weeks but the 9-to-5 was impatiently waiting for me to get back. 
And just as I was ready to cap my year off and recall all in 2012, work suddenly posed an opportunity for a short assignment in Brunei in mid-December. That's the buzzer beater finisher of the year.

And so, I say goodbye to 2012 full of gratitude for what it has made me -- better, tougher, and seemingly wiser than before.

I welcome 2013 with anticipation for all the things that it might bring -- don't get me wrong though, I find that there is much joy in having no expectations.

Cheers to a rocking 2013!


  1. Free airline ticket... how lovely is that =)

  2. Really lovely indeed! Tickets courtesy of Jetstar.


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