Move over, 2010. 2013 is the best year so far.

Today is the second day of 2014, and I am jumping on the bandwagon that travels backwards. Someone asked me how the past year was for me, and I was like “Meh, it was okay.” Not very fabulous. Not something I’d write a blog entry for. Not worthy of the title “The best I’ve had so far ♥” (2010, if you browse through this blog). Looking back on events that happened, however, made me realize that 2013 was amazing. A lot of things happened, I’ve done a lot of firsts, and I’ve made realizations about the more important things in life. It has been a crazy one, and it actually snatched 2010’s title of the best year ever.

I started 2013 with some volunteer work with my colleagues. We headed to Cavite, had a hearty meal at the very accommodating Gomez residence, and then went to the headquarters of Kariton Classroom to be able to experience educating kids with materials peddled on wheels. It was a great experience and we are thankful to have experienced a day with these very willing children.

It was during the first working week of 2013 that I was officially promoted to a new job title. I became a Sourcing Specialist after a year and a half at a Support Coordinator role. I have learned so much from my previous title–the ins and outs of Taleo and Erecruit (the recruitment platforms that we use), establishing connections with counterparts, and the attitude to have in every situation (life lessons and support made possible by my ex-boss Christian Padaca).

Now I have a fun boss and fun colleagues. We bond over team meetings, make funny hats and fancy cupcakes, surprise birthday celebrants, play badminton together, engage in friendly paintball games, and enjoy each other’s company as we sing and celebrate the end of the year with a pool party and free-flowing booze. Crazy as we are, my team plays hard as we work harder. I have always been very proud of the account I handle (both support and sourcing sides), and that’s always because of my topnotch team mates.

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It was in January that I got an iPad, which is so far the most expensive thing I have purchased for myself (not more than the total value of my records though). It felt great to finally get something for yourself with the money you worked hard for. It is also good to be able to read without having to turn the lights on and get a lot of books for free, thanks to the beauty that is the internet.

It was in February that I started to be more conscious about my health. I got on my running shoes and ran/jogged/walked around Ayala Triangle. It was with the support of my friends that I was able to do it fairly regularly, except for very busy days and/or days that I forgot to bring extra clothes. We are now always on the lookout for fun runs we can join as part of our bonding experience.

This is something I never thought I would do. I used to consider my first 5km run as a very traumatic experience (I was required to do it for my PE class in college), but it wasn’t really bad. In fact, I will be doing my first 10km this weekend 🙂 (First challenge of the year. I’ll never know if I don’t try.)

And yes, I lost weight. High five!

This year, I pledge to actively avoid fast food, chips, and instant noodles. And sweets, even if it makes me cry just thinking about it.

2013 also gave me my fair share of travel adventures. I wasn’t able to go farther than Southern Luzon, but I still had fun. I was able to trek Taal Volcano, which is an island within a lake within an island within a lake within an island within the ocean (Islandception, baby!). It was a very dusty trail (you are climbing up a volcano crater, what do you expect?) with a lot of horse poop but the view was well worth it. For someone with a broken biological GPS, I now have a mental image of the most important streets of Tagaytay city… I think.

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I have conquered my third summit in 2013. Mt Manabu in Batangas with my friends Kris, Jaycee, Nestor, Kane, Mark, Nash, and Angel. Itsalottafun!

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It was in 2013 that the youngest member of my high school barkada was formally introduced. Ladies, this is the boy that would steal your mothers’ hearts: my godson, Aixen Jeremie.

After this handsome baby boy’s baptism, my high school friends and I went out to drink for the first time in a long time. We talked and laughed at the past, and wondered why we don’t get together more often. It was in 2013 that I developed closer friendships with my high school classmates.

And all of a sudden, our house became the usual venue for barkada gatherings.

Speaking of barkada gatherings and booze, I got drunk twice in 2013. With the same people (why didn’t I learn the first time?!). One time I woke up with a gay friend on my bed (what!) and ended up flushing my retainers on the toilet bowl, the other I was puking my guts out at a sewer. Not my proudest moments. Thank God I am still alive.

9754_10151750773163246_1441539188_nRed Horse night. Oh dear…

It was in 2013 that I purchased a record player and some records. Am I a hipster? Maybe. Personally I just thought it would be very nice to save up money to buy music again, like what I did for cassettes when I was a kid. Knowing that your favorite album is available locally will make you jump for joy. Finding a rare vinyl at a thrift shop will make you believe in miracles. It feels good to be able to hold the music in your hands, carefully take the record out of the sleeve and into the player, and even more carefully place the needle on it. There is a pleasure in cleaning these records one by one after being played. This is the only vice I have and it is an expensive one, but more than the money, it is the love that you invest in each record that makes them more valuable. And the sound that the vinyl makes when you lower down the needle? Priceless.

That is something an iPod cannot give. There is no romance in digital.

It was also in 2013 that I wrote lyrics to yet another song. “Brighter Days”, made with the effort of my good siblings in Christ: Ana, Erick, and Frenz.

I got a shoutout from a British radio station while they are playing Kasabian’s Hard Rock Calling set.


2013 provided a temporary quenching for my thirst to go back to the academe. I enrolled and finished a short online course on rock music history (11 weeks in total). I can now identify the prototypes of heavy metal and defend the Beatles whenever there is a need for it (I just did the last time I got together with my classmates and I won them over).

Taking that class was also a step towards my dream of being able to make a living by combining writing and music. I was also able to put up my music blog, Three Song Encore, which I haven’t updated in a while but surely will in the days to come.

Part of my resolutions last year was to support local music, and I did. I was browsing through records at a bazaar where live bands are playing, and a certain band caught my ears. I thought Arctic Monkeys suddenly came to Manila and decided to play at a bazaar in a posh mall. The band was She’s Only Sixteen, now my favorite local indie band. Another one is Progeny, who gave me a demo CD with some songs off their upcoming album. I saw these boys at a 30 Seconds to Mars event where they pulled off the best cover version of Closer to the Edge.

Of course, my support for local music is epitomized by Kjwan. KJWAN. THE BAND THAT I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE FIRST TIME I SAW THEM LIVE. KJWAN. Full story is here if you want to know how I became a fan.

My love for Kjwan made me join a member of their street team. I have met the band (yes including Eo, my drummer crush hehe), and all of them are very nice. KJWAN.

Check out their album Kjwan IV Vol 1 available in record stores nationwide. Watch out for Vol 2 soon.

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Needless to say, I made friends because of a common love for music. I have made friends with a lot of people because of Kjwan’s Street Team, and I found a soul sister in a girl named Iris who is a fan of 30 Seconds to Mars AND Sherlock!

I have also made another very important friend because of music, but I will tell about him later. 😛

2013 gave me the best concert experience I have ever had. And I wasn’t even a fan before going to the concert. THE KILLERS FTW!

I have learned to love myself more in the past year. I realized I should stop trying to reach out to someone who has long been distant. I have gone through a process wherein I got so tired of telling that someone how I feel to the point that I knew nothing would make sense anymore. I went through a process of halamanization, i.e. that point in life where you are so broken that you just get so numb of all emotions (like a plant). I wanted to move on, but I can’t until there is someone who can make me completely forget. And there was none, until…

…There was him.

The guy from halfway around the world, whose hair reminds me of Michael Cera and the words of the Fox when he asked the Little Prince to tame him. He has the same music taste as I do, and a smile that looks forced and genuine at the same time. He stands 9 inches taller than I am, and has beautiful eyes partly hidden by spectacles. His voice sounds like he treats the world as his friend.

He likes the movie Submarine. He’s got a record collection that I will gladly spend the day playing.

I can talk to him for hours, from the time that I get home from work to the moment before I close my eyes to sleep. We once engaged in a virtual lightsaber battle which is one of the craziest things that I wanted to do with someone but no one was willing until he came along. He made me feel better when I was sick by talking to me all night.

He makes me smile. He awakened those butterflies in my stomach that have been sleeping for a long time, and sometimes they get me so overwhelmed that I feel the need to throw up.

We are separated by 13 hours and a thousand miles, but we still find a way to talk every day. He spent the first hours of his new year with me (it was already 1PM when his timezone entered 2014).

He understands what I have been through and even though I am a wreck because of my past, he still thinks I am worth it.

Dear God, I don’t think I will ever be thankful enough for the things that you gave me the past year. Thank you for healing me of my wounds and allowing me to open myself up to someone else again. Thank you for the friends I have gained and even more so for the ones who stayed. Please continue to guide me and guard me as I walk with you this year. I love you.


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