Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Happy 2018!

Happy new year, everyone! As I always do at the start of each year, before I jump into 2018, I will take some time to look back at what happened in the previous year.

I gotta say, what a year 2017 was. Let's start with the highlights. We celebrated my grandmother's 90th birthday. I treated my family to an incredible French feast at Zucchini's to celebrate the birthdays of my mom and my brother. My high school batch got together for a grand reunion. I visited Marcia Adams with two of my closest friends from high school. I got to meet up with a whole lot of my friends during the year. There were also a handful of weddings: Eman and Mia, Mike and Reb, Jef and Diane, and Geop and Ana. It was in this last wedding that I experienced being a wedding ninong for the first time.

While we are on the subject, 2017 also proved to be a year of many firsts and many new things. For the first time in more than a decade, I moved to a new company. I also got a new phone and started using apps like uber, waze, fb messenger, viber, and foodpanda for the first time. Apart from visiting some restaurants like Zucchini's and Marcia Adams for the first time, I also got to try and enjoy the ensaymada and cheese rolls of Segovia's Cakes and Recipes. I also made my first purchases at Estrel's and Tim Horton's. I went to my first art exhibit opening: the Small Wonders Exhibit by Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan. I watched my first live professional volleyball match - the finals of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino conference. I got a new aircon. I set up my cooking stuff and purchased new cookware. I got a new chest of drawers.  I replaced my old, broken down washing machine with a new one before the year ended. And while we're talking about getting some stuff sorted out in my life, I finally updated my SSS, Pag-ibig, and Philhealth. I also finally got my SSS UMID.

2017 was also the year of geeking out big-time. I got Voltes V shirts (plus a free Voltes V umbrella) from Giordano and Star Wars shirts from Folded & Hung. I watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi wearing one of my new Star Wars shirts. :) I successfully escaped the Star Wars-themed Rebel Resistance room in first-ever Mystery Manila experience. I continued to have game day/nights throughout the year and I went from participant to contributor, getting my own horde of games and bringing some of them to the game nights I attended. I started 2017 with only 4 games and ended it with 25. And that's not counting expansions. Wow.

I didn't travel abroad again but I got to do a bit of local traveling. Apart from a few trips to Tagaytay, I visited Baguio for the first time in a couple of decades. I also revisited Bacolod after going there a couple of years ago and in this trip, I got to enjoy an afternoon at the Tawhai Floating Bar in Lakawon.

I am also thankful that I got to see some great shows this year. I braved the crowds, the heat, and being on my feet for 10 hours just to watch Coldplay perform live at the SM MOA grounds. I got to see West Side Story for the first time and Wicked for the second time. I also saw the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra twice: once during a free concert in Glorietta and the second time at their Ayala Museum concert right before they left for Austria where they won second place in the Summa Cum Laude International Music Festival.

There were also many sporting highlights that made the year even more special for me. Nadal won his 10th French Open title, his 10th Monte Carlo title, his 10th Barcelona title, and he ended the year #1. Mika Reyes was named Miss Volleyball, won her first individual award as second best middle blocker during the All Filipino Conference in which her new team, the Petron Blaze Spikers, emerged as champions. She followed that up with a first best blocker individual award in the PSL Grand Prix where Petron placed second. The DLSU Lady Spikers won their second women's volleyball championship in a row, with Majoy Baron being hailed MVP. Dawn Macandili continued to gain honor with a 2nd best libero at the Asian Women's Volleyball Championship and another best libero award during the PSL Grand Prix where her team, F2 Logistics, won the championship.

The reason I continue to blog and write mainly about the positive stuff that I experience is that it makes it very easy for me to see all the amazing things that happen in my life and for which I should be very grateful (and I truly am). I really love this personal tradition I started many years ago of starting the new year by looking back at the highlights of the previous one. I have now written more than 1500 posts in almost 13 years of blogging. Hopefully I can keep doing this because I do find it quite rewarding.

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