2009 In Review

Whew, finally.

It’s just like 2009 that I would have a minor argument with my mom last night. And I’m all, Please, give me a break. And then I heard of my teammate’s mom passing away and it’s just…sad. Quit it, 2009.

Maybe it’s silly of me to be blaming it all in the year. A couple of days ago, when I was feeling feverish at work, I kept on muttering, “I hate 2009. I hate 2009.” My teammate asked me why, and I told him a lot of bad things happened in the year, primarily Ondoy. He asked me to name more reasons why 2009 sucked and as I tried to remember my other reasons, I realized that they’re all small things that just happened to converge at the latter part of the year, which made 2009 seem unbearable. I was trying to recall the good things in the year, and even if I still have a hard time remembering anything else that happened before the flood, I know there are a lot of good things in this year despite all the bad things. So now let’s try to remember that.


2009 Year-End Survey # 1

I am officially on vacation again. :D I miss last year’s Christmas break, two whole weeks of no work. But beggars can’t be choosers today, so, I’ll take any day off from work. :)

As with tradition for the past two years (or so), here’s one of the year-end surveys that I do every end of the year. Let’s see how different my answers are this year from the past two years. :D

(And yes, I will still make a better recap. But answering surveys can be a bit mindless, requires little words, and I don’t have to have a health risk life insurance for this. So here you go. :D)

What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Read more than 50 books in a year. Watch more than 40 movies. I also started to sponsor a kid to school through World Vision. Go to Hong Kong and Coron, Palawan! Follow a diet, work out consistently and lose 20lbs! :-)

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I think I managed to accomplish half? A lot of it weren’t accomplished because Ondoy kind of threw us all out of the loop. :(

Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one I know. My teammate isn’t due until February.

Did anyone close to you die?
No one again, but a lot of people passed away in 2009. :(

What countries did you visit?
Hong Kong! I want to go back, if only for the food.

Continue reading 2009 Year-End Survey # 1

Coron, Palawan

I’ve dreamt of going to that province for the longest time. I remember, ever since seeing the place somewhere on TV or reading about how beautiful it is there (I can’t remember which, exactly), I told myself: someday, I will go there. And I did. Before 2009 ended, I was able to see a part of Palawan, Philippines.

View before landing
View before landing

It’s ironic how we got to book the trip on the day we got flooded. I remember coming out of my room that morning, totally jubilant, because I had just booked my flight to Coron, and then all that joy got wiped out when I saw the water rising up our street.

But let’s not talk about that.

It was a trip I looked forward to after the entire flood thing. It was a trip that I looked forward to after I suffered through major burnout last November. It was a trip that I wanted to experience to make  my 2009 a little bit better than it was turning out to be.

And what do you know, it was.

Now, I won’t be able to write down every single detail that happened, so let me put them down in bullets and photos. :)

  • Coron is a province. I haven’t been to Puerto Prinsesa yet, which is a city, but Coron is far from being a city. I don’t think I saw any cars, save for the vans we rode, and everything is walking distance. And don’t expect to see anything like Minka Aire there, because there’s none. I almost thought we would be landing in the middle of nowhere as the plane descended when we got there. This was my view:
    The view WHILE landing
    The view WHILE landing

    It was a bit unfortunate that while we were there, the island was having electricity problems. Then again, we were always out of the house, so it didn’t matter anyway. :)
    Continue reading Coron, Palawan

2009 in Sentences

First off, Merry Christmas! :)

6 days left until 2010, and I honestly can’t wait. But before 2010 comes upon us, it’s just right to look back, regardless of how 2009 was, right?

So here’s the first one for this year. I did this for the past two years and it’s kind of like a tradition already, so here we go. :D Good thing it isn’t anything complicated, so I don’t need any business plan consultants for this. :D

And here we go!

Take the first sentence (or two) from the first entry of each month and post it here. That’s your year in review.

  • January
  • February
    I should have made this post yesterday, but I was too busy with my sideline that I didn’t have enough juice to write at night.
  • March
    It’s been a long time since I have read a Ted Dekker book, and I have been eyeing this one ever since I saw it at National Bookstore.
  • April
    I love retellings. Ever since I read about this NaNoWriMo story about putting characters from Greek mythology into one story, I’ve always wanted to write my own retelling of something.
  • May
    And finally, I got to read this book.
  • June
    I haven’t exactly blogged it before, but to those who care (or not haha), here’s some news: I’m not exactly a Twilight fan anymore.
  • July
    I’m writing this down on TextEdit because my Internet connection refuses to cooperate (of course by the time I post this online, my Internet is obviously better), and I just need to let these thoughts out or else I wouldn’t be able to sleep thinking of all the things related to this.
  • August
    I was born a little less than a month after EDSA People Power Revolution, so I never really had much of an experience about that revolution.
  • September
    Am I the only one who’s kind of bewildered that it’s September already?
  • October
    It’s been five days since that day that I saw our house submerged in the flood, and sometimes I still wonder if everything that happened was just a dream.
  • November
    With all the hoopla of the flood and all that, I almost skipped National Novel Writing Month this year.
  • December
    Ah…December. How excited I am to see you.

Interesting. Some of them are first lines of a review.

Once again, I can’t wait for 2010. :D

Joseph’s Lullaby

I am truly amazed at how Christmas is this year. 2009 is not my favorite year, and I think a lot of you know that. And it seems like 2009 is still not done with all its surprises, both pleasant and unpleasant. This is one of those years when you wonder if Christmas would still be a happy one, you know?

But if there was anything I learned from the flood, it’s that no matter what happens, there’s only one thing that I am sure of: it’s God. Whatever flood, storm, calamity, temptation, crime and bad things that come, there’s still Someone who is bigger and stronger who is there, and it cannot stop Christmas from coming. It is CHRISTmas after all. :)

This Christmas, I present to you a little story. I’m not really sure if it’s accurate with what’s in the Bible, so please treat this thing as a work of fiction, an interpretation of one of my favorite Christmas songs by MercyMe, Joseph’s Lullaby. This tells the story of the first Christmas night, after Mary has received visits form the shepherds and the wise men (not the usual gifts for new moms, right?). This is also hardly edited, so please excuse grammatical errors. I hope that somehow, this story would help us remember that Christmas is not about gifts or what we want, or even how we would have spent Christmas if so and so didn’t happen. Christmas is, ultimately, about the One born on this day. :)

Blessed Christmas to you and your family! :)

Continue reading Joseph’s Lullaby

Hello Ho Ho Ho

Okay, I really meant to blog this week. And lats week.

Thing is, even with that intention, there were a lot of other things that caught up to me the past two weeks that made me not blog. Ugh. I have so much writing backlog that it’s driving me nuts.

But because it’s almost Christmas and it’s the last work day of the week today, I won’t go nuts.

Forgive me if I haven’t been blogging. I owe you guys a lot – two more lessons from the flood, reviews, year-end surveys, stories and yes, the Coron post.  Oh and there’s the post-NaNoWriMo post that’s long overdue. Work’s just been crazy and with that, workouts (I have to post about that, too!), and Christmas preparations, everything just goes crazy, you know?

It’s a good thing I don’t go to school, or else I don’t think I’ll be blogging now (although I think everyone who is in school is on vacation now).

Which reminds me, I need to renew my domains and pay stuff. Ahhh crazy — not enough to go to drug rehab, but still, too many!

But it’s okay. Because it’s Christmas in two days. I promise to post a Christmas story by tomorrow. But now I have to work. So close, so close!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Beach bound

Photo from Our Awesome Planet
Photo from Our Awesome Planet

Someone’s excited. :)

I can’t help it! We’re hitting Coron in a few days and I am just super excited. This is like the beach trip of the year — four days of sun, sand and water, and I don’t care if it’s really, really cold in the country right now. :P

I can’t wait to see that (see picture up there) beauty up close. :D And swim in their waters. With life vests, of course. We don’t want any travel emergency, don’t we?

Of course, this trip will probably be the most expensive trip I’ve done this year that I pulled out of my own pocket, but I think it’s well-deserved. After everything that happened this year, especially during the latter part of the year, I think we deserve a treat like this. :) (Ironically, we booked our tickets for this trip the morning before we got flooded…is that a sign or what?)

I will definitely blog about this after the trip, and post loads of pictures and details about our trip in case others want to go to Coron too. In the meantime, I’ve got to shop and prepare for this trip!

BUT WAIT! Because I can afford this trip, it also means I can afford to help other people out this December. I’ll post more about that tomorrow here. :D



I love this time of year. I mean, I love that December is now here, but I love it even more because of the cold, cold weather.

It’s not as cold as the picture up there, but it’s cold enough for me to shiver whenever I’m walking outside at night. And speaking of being outside at night, Eastwood is probably one of the prettiest places at night at this time of the year. Of course I have no picture, but I’ll get back to you on that.

I wish the weather would stay like this. Cool nights with just the right warmth in the morning/afternoon. No more typhoons or heavy rains or anything destructive.

How I wish. Can that be my Christmas wish now? I’d like that even more than rv towing or anything.

I know this kind of weather will last until February, so I’m going to make the most out of this. And, I pray the weather in Coron would stay this way too. :D

December, December

christmastreeAh…December. How excited I am to see you.

Seriously. November has got to be one of the most difficult months I’ve had this year for some weird reason. I hate that NaNoWriMo was involved, but sadly, it was one of the things that kind of made me want to scream too.

I hate that I’m complaining, but I mean how was it, that my office laptop and ID would just break down one after the other? What’s up, world, why are you picking on me all at one time?

And I hate that I’m complaining about the little things that I’m complaining about are just small petty things — little inconveniences! Why am I complaining about this when I didn’t even complain (as much as I would have) about what happened to us in the flood? Is it the perspective thing?

I don’t know. But still, I’m really glad November is over. It really felt like the month had it in for me. Today I woke up feeling strangely optimistic. I got a pretty good workout done, my laptop is now working fine and I will get an ID replacement by tomorrow. And the weather is just perfect, too.

So maybe it’s just one of those months?

I’ll post about NaNoWriMo again after the TGIO party this Saturday. And if you could spare us some time, please, can you pray that we get the venue? I’m getting zero response from our contact and it’s already on Saturday and I’m panicking already and…

Breathe. Breathe. You’ll get the venue. If you don’t, you’ll find another one.

But Lord, please give us that venue. Please? :D

Yes, prayers. We need that.

I need prayers. I hate to admit that I haven’t been praying that much again. :( I hate that the flood got me praying almost all the time but when I have recovered (I think), I stopped again. I hate this inconsistency. I hate that I am too lazy to pray when I am not too lazy to go to the gym or do other things. I hate that I am afraid to hear what God has to say to me, because I’m afraid that I might not like it. Talk about being disconnected. What I hate the most is that I seem to be getting used to this kind of lifestyle, the one that isn’t rooted in prayer. :(

I can see how messed up my life has been in the past month, all of a sudden.

So December, I really am excited for you. Maybe this month I can take it slow (sort of) and focus on the things that are important. Like rebuilding my spiritual life and my prayer time. And spending time with family and friends. Going on vacation (Coron in two weeks! I need to shop — but no Dansko for now, I don’t think I can bring that to the beach!). And taking care of myself. And enjoying Christmas.

Maybe this month I’ll find a way to appreciate 2009. But that’s for another post.

ETA: Okay, I just realized that I don’t know why I added that Charlie Brown Christmas tree image. I guess I just want to have a picture in this post. Which reminds me — I resume designing next year. Wish me luck. :)

Sweet, sweet victory

NaNoWriMo 2009 Winner!


After a month of trying to get time to write, of almost burning out, and wishing November is over, I finally hit 50,000 words last night. 50,047, to be exact.

*weeps with joy*

This has got to be the sweetest NaNoWriMo victory yet, and the longest time I had since I tried to reach the goal. 2007, which was also my not-so-good year, had me reach 50000 words by November 28, and that had a lot of word padding in it, while the rest of the other year except for 2004 had me writing breezily and almost effortlessly (yes, I even wrote about acne treatment in my 2006 novel — and it’s part of the story). This year, I am actually almost finished with my story. :D

Ah victory. Finally.

Now for TGIO.

If you’re not yet done, don’t give up hope! You still have time! I believe in you!