The year 2019 marks the end of an era! Wheew! What a decade it has been! As though 10 years period is just a passing storm.

But I won't be associating my life to a passing storm in the past 10 years because so far I have lived the best of my life and never encountered any ground-shaking disasters. Except in 2018 where my phone was snatched in the bus on my way to work, then three weeks later, robbed my wallet, with all my identification and ATM cards stored there, and my newly bought mobile phone. I guess it was the only disastrous events that happened in my life over that decade.

Cheers to a happy life!
 

I've the best decade so far. I have accomplished more than half of my life's goals I have set in 2010. Got my masters degree, did three foreign trips, visited the country's beautiful tourist spots, published books and bought domains for my websites. Of course there are worst moments, well, as equalizer, to find balance. 😂

Here's my round-up of the decade and the most memorable events, and the worst, that took place:

2010 

Best memories

I started the year with an amazing disposition, beautiful mind and right decision. I went home to Surigao in 2009 holiday break, I had a great bonding with my family and able to meet my high school classmates. It's always awesome to be with your family during holiday season, it makes everything lighter and merrier.

2009 Holiday break in the province with my brother

In April, days after my birthday, I traveled to one of my dream destinations since childhood, Camiguin! Such a spectacular place to spend summer break. Beautiful beaches, relaxing countryside scenery, languid atmosphere, everything was terrific in Camiguin. I also started writing about my travel adventure and created a travel blog.

Camiguin, April 2010

By June I decided to go back to Ateneo and studied masters degree. I enrolled in the graduate school of business and started a busy life in school, writing case assignments every night, class reporting every week and to top it all, doing content writing online! Wheew, a well-lived life haha!

Worst memories

Announcement of the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton in November 2010. I remember feeling morose that year because I hate Kate Middleton. I always thought she is a bad choice for a wife of a future British king.

I've been following the European royals since I was in college and I am always a traditional royalist, meaning those set of royal observers who preferred the traditional customs and practices of the royal family. I always wanted Prince William to end up with a bride who is aristocratic by blood. Kate Middleton is a non-aristocratic commoner whose meeting with Prince William was orchestrated and carefully planned by her scheming mother.

2011

Best memories

Exploring the other side of my home province in Surigao by visiting two countryside spots: Enchanted River in Hinatuan and Tinuy-an falls in Bislig. It was surreal. Able to stomp my feet at Tinuy-an falls and soaked at its raging water curtain. It was the best feeling that year. Enchanted River is, well, just a river for me because I also grew up in a place with plenty of rivers and streams.
Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig in Surigao del sur, my home province
Soaking under the raging waterfalls, very therapeutic
Swimming at the Enchanted River in Hinatuan

I also visited the relaxing Bukidnon!  Such an amazing mountain scenery. Our annual retreat was held at the Benedictine Monks monastery and the place was superb in terms of relaxation and peace of mind. Hope to be back there some other time.
Bukidnon!

Worst memories

The death of the great visionary leader of  our time, Steve Jobs on October 4, 2011. I am always in great awe of Steve Jobs due to his business principles. He changed the way we communicated through the electronic devices that he innovated. On his death, Apple was never be the same again.
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, died in 2011

2012

Best memories

I started writing Tales of Royal Tragedies and The Quiz Master. I was on my last year in my masteral studies and I was making the best of my time. It was chaotic at first, I could not figure out what to do with the plot, but my burning passion to publish a book about royals and trivia quiz was so intense that I spent every night drafting the outline.

2012 photo, Gap Farm Davao

By August I had visited Pearl Farm, a private and exclusive world-class resort in the Island Garden City of Samal, just across the Davao gulf. I did not pay for the accommodation. My friend, Joice Lagat, paid for it as her wedding gift to our friends, Juvy and Roy. I just tagged along haha!

Pearl Farm Davao
Malipano island in Pearl Farm

Worst memories

Could not think of any worst memories in 2012 haha!

2013 

Best memories

I could say 2013 was one of my best years in the decade. I finished my master's degree in business administration, had my first trip abroad a month later. I traveled to Hongkong and Macau with university colleagues and spent five days exploring these quaint special administrative regions of China which are once colonized by Britain and Portugal respectively.

Nan Lian Garden, Hongkong
Senado square, Macau

By end of June I resigned from my work in the university to explore other fields. I traveled to Manila in July 1. Before looking for a job, I joined friends on a trip to Boracay. I enjoyed our stay at this beautiful beach, had my adventurous pursuit under the sea through helmet diving and screamed on top of my lungs during our banana boat ride haha! By September, I started my job in school again at St. Scholastica's college in Manila.

Graduation in MBA with Fr. Joel Tabora, Ateneo de Davao president
with MBA classmates

Boracay 2013


This year also saw the Roman Catholic Church elected a new pope after Pope Benedict XVI resigned in February. By March 2013, an Argentinian archbishop became the new Roman Pontiff, Pope Francis!

Worst memories

Perhaps one of my worst years in the decade because I had witnessed the death of one of the closest persons in my life who was a father figure to me, my former university boss, Sir Rene Deypalubos. It was traumatizing because we walked together in the campus that morning, had our lunch that afternoon, we shared great laughter and stories with Maam Emma, the new dean of engineering. 

After lunch, he went to his physics subject but 15 minutes later, he collapsed while giving lectures to his class and died on the spot. Oh God! Life is so unpredictable. I had a hard cry that afternoon. Sir Rene was an amazing person, a very religious one, an ideal husband and father and a perfect boss. I could not think of any nicer boss than him. He was so great and kind and generous. 

2014

Best memories

I transitioned to the corporate job which was my original plan when I resigned from the university in 2013. By February 10, I started my job in Accenture in the Technology tower (McKinley site). I was part of the support team doing admin job.

The best people I worked with in Accenture, the functional architects

This year also was my first attempt of submitting my two manuscripts for publication, the Tales of Royal Tragedies and The Quiz Master. I could not find an agent for traditional publication so I ended ip submitting to Amazon.

Baguio city 2014
Aquaria in Batangas

I made several out-of-town trips this year. I went to Baguio city with friends for the Panagbenga Festival. Tagaytay, about two times, Aquaria beach resort in Batangas and did some ice skating in MOA, and had my worst body pain that day haha! 

Worst memories

I had a rude boss in the technology tower and each month until December I felt like I was being tortured emotionally. Everyday felt like a punishment in the workplace. He was an unimaginable bastard, cruel, rude and a power tripper. I hate him down to the core of my life.

One of the saddest moments in 2014 was the death of my lola


My maternal grandmother died in March and it was devastating because I was close to her. I did not return home for the funeral because I had work.

2015

Best memories

My second trip abroad on New Year's day. I joined my two friends on a trip to the French Indochina territory: Vietnam and Cambodia. I always wanted to spend New Year in another country, nothing sentimental in my mind, I just want to experience how it would feel like being in a different country as the year kicks in.
Saigon, Vietnam
Walking around Saigon

It was amazing! I love Saigon in Vietnam, the atmosphere was super relaxing during our trip, no hassle, no traffic, no scourging heat of the sun. We just walked on foot exploring the first district of the city. I was in awe with its captivating French colonial buildings and breezy public parks. Vietnamese are so nice, very accommodating and always smiling.
Riding tuktuk in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor at sunrise!

On January 3, we crossed the border to Cambodia and spent the night in Phnom Penh. On the following day we traveled to Siem Reap and had a great moment at Angkor Park on the morning of January 4.

Moments in Angkor Park

By June 2015, I started writing the initial draft of The Red Star Tattoo Conspiracy and became hooked watching UAAP volleyball and basketball. I also began publishing blogs in When In Manila.

Pope Francis in Manila 2015
Standing in the sea of people during Pope Francis visit

I also got the chance to hear mass celebrated by Pope Francis in January at the Rizal Park during his 2015 January visit. It was surreal. I mean the experience was so awesome and very inspirational. It's very rare to attend a mass celebrated by a Roman Pontiff. It was one of my best moments of the decade.

Worst memories

And with it, my worst moment. 

By January, my angst toward the rude manager in the project I supported, exacerbated.  I could no longer endure the stressful situation and the more I find reasons to be happy at work, the worst it became. Everyday, I felt like walking into a war zone and my only bullet left was a stretched patience. I could not find meaning and purpose anymore in my job, so at the end of January I tendered my resignation.

2016

Best memories

The year of writing! I was on the final draft of The Red Star Tattoo Conspiracy. I was also writing my travel memoir, The Charm of Saigon and Angkor, a story of my trip to Vietnam and Cambodia and the strange experiences I had during the travel, But this was never published haha! It remained as a draft. I began to publish my two non-fiction books in Amazon.

My books currently available for purchase in Amazon

Worst memories

My beloved cat, Cotton, died in May. It was the saddest feeling that year. I love this cat. He was the first pet I ever spent money in the veterinary and the first cat to ever get close to me, sleeping with me at night.

Worst moment in 2016 was the election of Donald Trump in the United States. I was so disappointed that Hillary Clinton, the most qualified candidate for the position was defeated by this man who spent his time mostly tweeting nonsense.

2017

Best memories

By January I had finished writing The Red Star Tattoo Conspiracy and began looking for a literary agent for traditional publication since November 2016. It was a strenuous process and I had several rejections. I got tired also raking my brain with ideas to put in my books and blogs. So I decided to temporary stop writing and return to a corporate job which never uses much of my brain haha!

Dining at Mary Grace in 2017

On my birthday, April 3, I started anew in Accenture. And to make sure I would not encounter that monster boss I had in the technology tower, I applied in the Operation tower haha.

Had a great time of self-discovery and new found joy this year. Able to expand my network of friends, meet new people and experience a new culture in the new working environment. I also submitted my debut novel to Amazon and was published that year.

Worst memories

I could not think of any worst memories this year. I'm always a happy person. haha!😂

2018 

Best memories

Started blogging about food and bought a new domain for my travel blog, GOURMAND TRAVEL GUIDE. I also created a youtube channel for my travel blog. I made several food and travel adventure this year and had my first solo trip out of town on my birthday. I went to Twin Lakes in Tagaytay and spent the whole day exploring the place.

Solo trip in Tagaytay on my birthday

I made a revision of The Red Star Tattoo Conspiracy and created a complete edition. Happy to know that the book sold copies more than I expected. I also began writing the revised edition of Tales of Royal Tragedies but still not done.

Jomalig island in the Quezon province

One of my busiest years when it comes to travel. Had three beach trips this year. Balai Sa San Juan in February, Stilts in July and Jomalig in September, the farthest place I've ever reached in Luzon so far. The year 2018 was also the year of frequent food trips with colleagues. Able to write reviews on a number of restaurants. 

Worst memories

The announcement of Prince Harry's engagement of a divorce commoner American woman. Meghan Markle. As a traditional royalist, I always considered her as an inappropriate choice for a wife of a British prince whose father is in line to become King. Harry could have married someone else who is more fit to the role of a princess of the United Kingdom.

For the first time in my life, I experienced being terrorized by bad elements. My phone was snatched while riding a bus on my way to work in July. And just three weeks later, my new phone and wallet full of identification cards, atm and debit cards with 1,200.00 cash were stolen while I was sleeping in the nap room of the company I worked with. Can't believe there are thieves working in such working place whose security is a top priority. 

I reported it to the security guard but nothing happened. So I just lifted it to God. It has given me a hard lesson to be watchful with my belongings and to never trust anyone. anywhere, anytime.

2019 

Best memories

So here I go for the last year of the decade!
Magalawa island
Torres Farm and Resort
Pinto Art Museum
Luljetta's Hanging Garden and Spa

Perhaps, one of my greatest accomplishments this year is having peace of mind. Since the early months of the year, I resolved to discard things that I cannot control and just focus on the things I can do. I pondered hard on my fate in the middle of the year and realized I could not do anything to go back in time and avoid my failures but I still can rearrange my life, reconstruct failed goals and make things happen. So I began inundating myself with happy thoughts and satisfaction on things that I have.

Puerto Galera
island hopping in Puerto Galera with colleagues

I started the year with a trip to Naic, Cavite, visiting Torres Farm resort, an instagrammable spot featuring landmarks of popular cities around the world. I also got to travel to Magalawa Island in Zambales for our team building. By November, I made another beach trip with colleagues. Puerto Galera has been my childhood dream and finally visiting this place is a dream come true.

Worst memories

Several of our pets died. It's just so terrible. One of my beloved cats, Shan Shan died in November and just before New Year's eve, on December 31 at 2:00 PM, our dog, Cooper died. I was so helpless watching him struggled and grasping his last breath. The feeling was terrible and I could not do anything about it. Death, sadness, heartaches, had it this year. But I just treated is as part of human existence to find balance in my life.
Morie died in August
Cooper died yesterday, December 31

Welcome to the New Decade!

Just like most years since I got the job out of college, I spent New Year alone at home. But nothing new and I am used to it. I did not feel any strangeness in myself, I did not feel lonely, in fact I am happy and at peace. Perhaps because I have already sort out things in my life, recognizing the best, accepting the reality and discarding the things I don't have control. I am in my most assured self right now. 

My yummy strawberry cheesecake
to welcome Year 2020
Each New Year since rescuing her in the bridge, I always have a selfie with Mary

Last night, I made a Strawberry Cheesecake, a salad, a potato and carrots croquettes and  Ham Salpicao and welcome the New Year with our cats and dogs. Happiness is a condition of the mind, a state we created. So I always choose to be happy amidst adversities.

Spending the New Year morning writing and drafting plots

I am wishing for a great life this year. I hope that this new era will be a different one for me. Though I have nothing to complain and I have lived the best of my life, free from entanglements, I am still wishing for a change.

Change in the routine, change in the status haha! I hope I could make an out of the country trip this year again! Wooot. Hoping for the best!

Happy New Year everyone!

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