The countdown begins, you blink an eye, and the year dissipates into the smog-filled sky. Pretty fascinating how the lifespan of a year can be summed up in a ten-second count.
In about 18 hours, a new year shall spring. New hopes, new desires, new goals. While I have never been big on resolutions and promises, I like to keep a mental note of what I wish to accomplish within a year. Fortunately, I was able to do many of that in 2013.
Lucky I was to have fulfilled 21 out of 30 to do items on my 30 Before 30 list, and that includes visiting/ revisiting at least 4 destinations on my bucket list (Visited 8! Yey!). Nearly all of them are in the north, because, well, I now live up north and the husband’s not too keen on driving to destinations on the other end of the pole.
Opened 2013 with a day trip to Corregidor. Much, much better when I first visited it 20 years ago. Food at the island’s only advertised inn was more edible too. LOL.
Morong, Bataan; Zambales; Pampanga; and Tarlac
Went on a three-day sun basking trip in Morong, Bataan during the summer with me dad and the whole gang. To and from the beach we cruised a bit around Subic.
Visited the father-in-law’s relatives in Tarlac last November and on the way home, passed by Air Force City in Clark where we saw some really bad ass kites used by the Philippine and US Navy during the 90s.
Baguio and La Trinidad, Benguet
Last September, I was summoned to Baguio to speak in a university and we wasted no time in making a tour of the city and neighboring Trinidad Valley. Hurray!
This year, I was able to climb my second mountain (after Coron’s Mt. Tapyas in 2010), Mt. Manalmon in San Miguel. Won’t be my last, I can tell you that. Stopped by the haunted Bahay na Pula mansion in San Ildefonso going home, and Jesus, was it real creepy.
First time to have an eskarsyon with ze neighbors at Sitio Lucia Resort in Sta. Maria during the summer. Attended a garden wedding in San Jose del Monte halfway through the year. Lia and I enjoyed the playground swing there. Totally.
Mi madre took us to her soon-to-be nest in Trece Martires, Cavite. Lia was amazed by the life-sized chess players and the grassy open parks. Had no idea it takes only 3 minutes to reach Macapagal Avenue from Cavita via Cavitex until that time. Boy, that was one lightning-fast sprint.
On days when my husband is out for a bike, I sneak a li’l trip to Manila with the tot. Some of ’em I occasionally do when I drop by for client meetings. It’s a love affair I can’t break free from. I love Her. Dan Brown could allude all nine circles of hell to Manila, but to me, She is still one of the most vibrant, most fascinating cities in the Philippines, and forever will be my one true home.
Went inside Fort Santiago a first time where Lia had her first kalesa ride. I know. A Manilena who hasn’t been to Fort Santiago. Pfft, right?
Caught up with friends at the SM Mall of Asia a few weeks ago and coincidentally there was a Christmas Parade – Santa, bears and cute bumblebee-like girls in red. Lia had her first gimmick/ night-out/ live band there. And she got drunk. On nachos.
This year was a year of losses too. Quite a lot actually. A job, pets, a dad. But I would like to think that I am blessed despite that. Freelance writing came knocking just a week after I was laid off. I received invites to give blog reviews of products, food and e-shops. I was able to take part in life-saving advocacies: rescue efforts for 20 dogs on death row, UNICEF Champ for KIds program, and Breastfeeding Pinays’ Hakab Na event.
The universe is good. 2013 was a splendid year and I take my hat off to it with much gratitude as I embrace a new one.
As we bid 2013 farewell, I leave you with this quote from one of my favorite New Year movies.
“It’s suspended there to remind us that before we pop the champagne and celebrate the new year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by. To remember both our triumphs and our missteps, our promises made and broken. The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures or closed ourselves down for fear of getting hurt. Because that is what New Year is all about: getting another chance. A chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about what if and start embracing what would be. So when that ball drops at midnight and it will drop, let’s remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other. And not just tonight but all year long.” – New Year’s Eve
Happy New Year to you all and may you enjoy these last hours of 2013!