Twenty Sixteen: A Rewind

It’s hard to describe 2016. The experiences, both good and bad are multi-layered to be chalked up to one word. It was a plethora of different colors and emotions – crazy, painful yet beautiful all at the same time. As each year unfolds, we never stayed in one place. We’re bound to embrace the constancy of changes. Strangers became friends, challenges arose out from what used to be mediocre, we opened ourselves to different possibilities, tasted different versions of pain and pleasure, and awakened to a new sense of beginning each time we fall.

The year 2016 was both a challenge and a gift to me. I was more than blessed with my career and blogging, family and friends,church support group, and huge opportunities to travel to astounding places in the country. Inevitably, there were occasional emptiness and brokenness,  longings and frustrations, which are all but elements to build a stronger character in me.

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As you move forward, you step back and review the pages you flipped, the stories you wrote. Recall where you stumbled and smiled. And here’s my story last 2016.

In January 2016, I finally get to release myself from what kept me chained for so many years. Bittersweet it is – but liberating. That feeling of relief when you get to know the answer to a question that has hounded you for so long. You held on too long, but you knew it was indeed time to go. And I am proud of myself being able to do that.

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By February, I injured myself in longboarding. A detour at an uneven, rough pavement caused me to slip and fell hard to the cemented ground and the strong impact fractured my pelvic bone. I was not able to walk properly for almost a month, with intermittent feelings of pain each time I bend and stand. After 6 months, I was declared healed by my orthopedic doctor. While I was lying on the bed in the emergency room, I was praying, still thanking Him it was not major accident that will impede my routine and work. No casts, no crutches needed. He still spared my life.

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My turning points and trials allowed me to draw myself closer to His word and ministries, immersed myself in activities that will deepen more my relationship with Him. I continued supporting the Youth Group of our church. I also created my cell group wherein once a week we meet to pray for each other, share insights on God’s word and carry each others’ burdens.

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I went to Cebu with my sister and mom last June, which marks our first out-of-town trip and bonding as a family. That was my first time also to swim with the whalesharks in Oslob.  We explored food and nature, and enjoyed each other’s company.

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Then Basti came to our family. This sweet, cute furball truly changed our home and brought us priceless joy.

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This year I also bought my first DSLR camera, Nikon D3300. It helped me capture more food and travel stories for my blogging. I admit I still have a lot to learn about photography though.

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My adventure level stepped up to a higher notch, as I get to visit more places last year.  I went to Laresio Lakeside Resort, Cebu, Iloilo City, Guimaras Islands, Laiya, Batangas, Gigantes and Bukal Falls in Laguna.  My  restless feet and unparalleled curiosity brought me to new avenues to further discover the beauty of the place, its locals, and the capability in me to surpass the challenges enclosed in each activity. Before, I hated hiking. But I renewed my perspective and knew it can be as enjoyable every time you reach the peak despite the unfavorable circumstances. I conquered Mt. Sembrano, Mt. Talamitam, Mt. Maculot and just recently, Mt. Ulap.

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Last 2016, I revamped my blog and passionately wrote about my love for food and travel. I was overwhelmed with the traffic and response of my readers especially when I wrote about Gigantes, Guimaras and Iloilo City. I get to meet a lot of people, explored a wider and more diverse range of restaurants, and constantly found motivation to improve myself more in blogging. I’m still trying to find my rhythm again to get back on track with writing for I get too occupied sometimes with work and other activities.

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I did great with my career last year. I received recognitions beyond my expectation. I just did my best at work and loved what I am doing.  I look forward to helping and inspiring more people in my workplace this year.

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What I am really grateful about is the people who’ve helped my journey in 2016 become easier and more meaningful. I am blessed to be surrounded with people supportive of my dreams and passions, encouraging me and motivating me in every way. Their love keeps me grounded and stable, unshaken in times of trouble.

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With all the breakthroughs I survived in 2016, I am confident that I can embark on greater challenges and more opportunities this 2017. I’m praying that God will continue to give the desires of my heart this year, as I cling more to His words and fulfill His will in my life. I pray for a more successful career, good health for me and my family, more blogging projects, more wisdom in handling finances, more people to train and disciple, and yes, a lifetime relationship.

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To God be the honor and glory.

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