2013 is a year like no other, full of bloopers and mishaps, and the Philippines was surely a great honorary in that aspect. ‘Twas a year of great exposes, cataclysmic super typhoons and mega quakes, and God-knows-what-else.
I had my fair share of the year’s karmic play. During the first quarter of the year, I lost my job. Second quarter, my daughter, now a toddler, began to exhibit progressive extravagant displays of autonomy: temper tantrums in a snap, rolling on soiled floors in busy malls, defying my every whim – the whole shebang. We lost two of our longest standing, well-loved pets. And towards the last quarter of the year, my stepdad, whom I have grown up with since I was three, passed away. That last bit left me scathed, emotionally and otherwise.
It is seemingly, a very, very bad year.
But as the obligatory New Year countdown begins and I look back at the year that was, I see that much as it is disastrous, it was packed with many celebratory moments, where together with families and friends (or at least with their prodding), this mom gained ground in the oft-neglected area of self-confidence.
Alas, I share with you, the year’s brightest highlights.
Bagging a My Favorite Book Awards win – March
Opening the year was an uber pleasant surprise of me receiving an honorable mention award for my essay “Becoming A Mother” for the My Favorite Book Awards 2012 along with seven other writers. During the ceremony, I had to read my thank yous from a digital notepad, for I was jittery as hell. I mean, if you had to speak in front of the Socorro Ramos, the Krip Yuson, the Butch Dalisay, the Jessica Zafra, the Igan D’Bayan and all the other important the’s in the literary circle, wouldn’t you be?
As a writer, I have reservations about my literary capacity, but in that moment, despite the Alzheimer’s-like shaking, it felt that I have finally arrived home to cushy pillows stuffed with faith.
BUT, the cherry on top of the sundae was, six months later, I would receive an e-mail from the Asia Literary Review that says, ‘We would very much like to publish your poem, “Killing for Gourmet”’. Oh shoot. Just spoiled the news before the actual publication. Sorry about that.
I wasn’t sure if I would be excited with the fact that my daughter was turning a year old. Terrible twos are frightening. And turning one means there’s only one more year before she transforms into that destructive, self-governing, tiny creature of monstrosity.
There are tons of times when doubt overshadows me as a mother. But as I began to craft ballerina-themed wreaths, table centerpieces, tokens and invites, I took a newfound excitement for toddlerhood. You are now officially a DIY mom, a fellow mom said. I take serious pride in that; I cannot even sew a proper running stitch to save my life. Being able to juggle all that exhausting home crafting with freelance writing, chores and a demanding toddler gave me a feeling that maybe I can do it. We – my little monster and I – can do it. Okay, maybe not always amiably, but it can all be done, with love. And I’ve lots of that for her. Cheesyyyy!!!
A First Teaching Engagement In Baguio – September
Teaching has always been a dream of mine. There’s that desire to do it at least once, but I didn’t think I have the skills and esteem requisite to teach. A group of MassCom seniors from University of Baguio thought otherwise and invited me to conduct a solo speaking engagement in their turf.
Summiting Mt. Manalmon – November
While my curiosity with mountains spans beyond the desire to ogle, I possess a terrible fear of heights above 20-ish feet. But the stubborn woman in me has, for years, been bugging me to just climb another darn mountain!
The White Hair Mania – November
One long-standing item in my 30 before 30 project is to dye a strip of my hair white. Pretty sure my aunts would hand me one of those she’s-such-a-loony look, but anyone who calls me by my nickname knows I can be quite complacent about external perceptions.
However, at this age, I had doubts if I can pull such a spunky do. What if it doesn’t match my skin color? Will it mesh well with the freckles? What if my hair magically turns to blue?
You just never know until you do it.
So I did. And ya know, I’m happy, though I still have about three bleaching sessions to endure. This momma’s still got it, y’all! I decided that I will not be sorry for turning to the dork side in a small provincial town. A woman’s gotta do what she’s gotta do till it’s done right.
Indeed, 2013 was a year that – Rihanna lyrics ahead – shines bright like sun rays. Just like the way Garnier Light Complete does to the skin. Enriched with active ingredients such as Pure Lemon Essence and SnowPine™ Whitesource, the Garnier Light Complete Extra UV Protection offers measurable fairness in 14 days and helps reduce 3 kinds of spots: acne marks, dark spots and sun freckles! Talk about complete, eh?
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- SNOWPINE WHITESOURCE, a revolutionary whitening ingredient derived from a powerful molecule that exists naturally in pine trees. It has ten times more whitening efficacy than Vitamin C* to act on melanin synthesis at the source*.
- SPF 17/PA++ to better protect the skin from further darkening caused by daily UVA and UVB rays.