People of My Year 2013

This is an overdue post! 

I should have written this entry early this year but haven't yet identified the set of people to be included in my list. Today, I realized I should give it a go.

I've been writing about people of my year since 2010 (I was inspired to create my own list after reading it from Bianca Gonzalez's blog), my purpose is to honor the people I encountered in my life who had given me an enormous influence in many aspects and also to recognize the positive impact they had imparted. They are not necessarily friends or close associates, they are individuals who are unique in so many ways and who had left an incredible mark in my memory in a particular year.

For 2013 however, I gathered names of people who made my year incredibly inspiring and memorable. I figured, inspiration, motivation and influence do not necessarily come from the people in our circle but it could also come from someone we just encountered in a split second or even far from a distance.

Here they are:


Who would not be inspired with the extraordinary character and humility of the current Vicar of Christ? Pope Francis is truly an adorable human being. His influence is massive and extraordinary.

The first non-European to become the successor to the throne of St. Peter in over 1,000 years, Pope Francis brought a new light of motivation in an institution marred by controversies and scandals. He provided so much inspiration to Catholics and even non-Catholics to strengthen faith.

His deep humility, charm and simple lifestyle are truly remarkable, his commitment to maintain a poor church and renounced grandeur earned him a worldwide respect. Through these extraordinary traits and attributes, TIME magazine named him Person of the Year for 2013, making him the third Roman Pontiff to receive such accolade, the first was Blessed John XXIII in 1962, second was Blessed John Paul II in 1994. In an amazing circumstance, the two former Popes would be jointly canonized in Vatican City on April 27, 2014 by Pope Francis.


I'd known him for 15 years and he was my immediate head in the University for six years. I always considered him as my second father and a great inspiration. He was an amazing human being, very generous with his time, down-to-earth, level-headed, very thoughtful, a good leader, deeply religious, full of wisdom whose kindness was legendary, but in just a blink of an eye everything was gone.

His untimely demise in 2013 at the age of 53 knocked me off, it was totally shocking! Through his death, I came to believe that life in this world is totally unpredictable and a little bizarre, there's no guarantee anymore not even our ultra health conscious lifestyle. In a matter of just two hours, everything happened so drastically. We had this beautiful conversation over lunch, full of laughter and sharing and the next thing I know he was dead. It was so dreadful that I was grief-stricken for the next two weeks until I left for Manila.

I did not completely gotten over his death maybe because of the degree of guilt I felt deep inside, I was the one who knew his real condition that morning but I let it passed because I thought it was just normal and he was just having his usual routine of visiting a therapist just like in the past years. The event swirled in my mind for months like a deadly tornado until November (2013) when he visited me in my dream. In one scene, he assured me that he's fine in the after-life and that everything has to take place as it should be. It relieved me from guilt.

I learned so many lessons from him especially in the leadership aspect, he was so cool even in the middle of crisis and tension in the workplace. He knew how to control his anger and temper and I did not witness him got mad. He always looked things on the brighter side of life. His strong influence did not die with him, it goes on in my memory.


Helen is always part of my list each year. She is a wonderful, incredible friend. I'd known her since college but we did not become close until we became colleague in the university. Since then our bond grew stronger. We always understood each other.

She went to UAE in 2009 but we continued to get in-touch. She is the only person in my circle who never forget to give me a call everytime my birthday comes. Considering the skyrocketing expenses of making an overseas call just to greet someone, her thoughtfulness is incredibly stunning.

She is so generous and kind and if there's someone who really live up to the meaning of what genuine friend is all about it's Helen. With this, I am indeed lucky to have her as one of my truest friends in the real sense of the word.


She is a childhood friend. We practically grew up together in the province, just like Helen, Anelyn's generosity is fantastically eternal. She is someone who never hesitate to offer help when she sense you badly needed it, she's like a shooting star who burst in when the surrounding is shrouded with darkness, she gives light to the darkest day.

Anelyn is extremely generous and I am very lucky to be one of the recipients of her generosity. God indeed used individuals as instruments to make life in this world so much easier especially during the very lowest point and Anelyn is exactly one of these definitions of God's instruments. I am forever grateful with her kindness, may she will be blessed with a safe and successful life in Germany.


We've been friends for more than 15 years now. We're colleagues back in the University. I would partly attribute my journey to the corporate world to her because it was her who convinced and inspired me to try my luck in the industry.

At first I hesitated because I was very anxious to live in an environment where serenity is no longer meaningful, it took several months before I made up my mind. So whatever success I would be reaping in the future within the corporate world, Rowie will always be part of it.

Now that we're both here in Manila, we become closer than ever. I would say that she is another "me" because we have the same wavelength and we would easily agree on everything. We talked almost everyday and shared "secrets" hahaha! Yeah, we love to poke fun with ourselves and burst into laughter. We shared so many common "longings" and dreams.

Just like Helen and Anelyn, Rowie is extremely generous, she would give me whatever she has in her box of food haha! Her countless meal treats gave me so much guilt, may God reward her for that amazing generosity. Thanks ya for being a very supportive friend!!


If there's one person I truly missed having a good conversation over technology, it's Kathy. She is a web developer and an expert in the information technology field. She is knowledgeable in the technical aspects of blogging so I always run into her every time I got some troubles in my blog templates. I admired someone who is expert in this field, coding, programming, hardcore computer stuff, you know technology people. Kathy is everything in this definition so we formed this closest bond.

We also have lots in common. We both adored foods and photography!! Back then, we would frequently go out to a cafe shop to talk about our blogging activities and other matters. Towards the end of 2012 and the early part of 2013, we visited almost every cafe shop in Davao City. Oh how I missed those peaceful, quiet days, sitting in a couch while sipping green tea and devouring carbonara, brazo de mercedes and cheesecake. Hope to see Kathy in the coming months.


Another former colleague I truly missed is Juvy Panos-Platon. We only spent few moments in 2013 but those few moments were enough to make our friendship stronger. We continued to communicate even after I settled here in Manila.

Juvy is one friend who never turned her back when I needed something. She is always there willing to offer help and assistance. I admired her strength of character, very devoted and faithful to everyone she considered special friends. I am very grateful to have her as one of my friends.

I was there when she got married in 2012 and went with them when they spent their honeymoon in Pearl Farm haha! The accommodation was courtesy of another good friend, Joice Lagat.


Ate Pearly has been a great influence in my life for the past years. We worked in the same university. She has been a great support especially during the lowest point in my life. I always come to her every time I needed someone to inspire and motivate me. Her spiritual energy is so amazing.

She would share bible verses everyday and back in my UIC days, not a day goes passed without visiting her at her office because I loved talking to her. She is so generous! She represents optimism and positivity and her vibrant approach in life is so mesmerizing.

I admired her family life enormously. Ate Pearl has a close-to-perfection marriage with beautiful, well-disciplined kids and admiring husband. She is so exceptionally blessed with an ideal husband, sir Jimmy Dela Vega. I loved the way they treat each other! So romantic!!

Ate Pearl, thanks for the inspiration and massive spiritual influence you had given me. I learned so many things from you!


She is my former colleague at St. Scholastica's College, Manila. She works directly to the school president, she also works as a part time college instructor.

Maam Cindy is so pleasant and very kind to me. She always made sure I am comfortable in my daily routine and even in the house we shared. She would ask me if I am okay or if everything is fine.

Maam Cindy is someone I can rely in times of difficulties and during those times I was at St. Scholastica's College, it's her whom I always run to when I have concerns and worries.

There you go, the people who made my 2013 an inspiring and unforgettable one. How about you guys who are the people of your year?

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