2016: Of Travels, Friendships, Family, and Spreading Happiness

“Life is meant for Good Friends and Great Adventures”

As we bid goodbye to 2016, I look back at how the past year has brought me to awesome places and taught me life lessons along the way as I travel with friends and family. Lessons that honed me as a person, a friend, a sister, a cousin, a daughter, a mother, and so much more. Lessons that not only helped me but helped those dear to me as well.

January: Cebu

My first roadtrip of the year is to the South of Cebu as I joined in the birthday celebration of a dear friend. It was with a group of friends from my previous team in Cebu and this journey reminded me that it doesn’t mean that friendships end when we stop spending (working) time with each other. It was also the time when some of my new team mates joined the older group and a good opportunity to build new friendships as well.

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Dalaguete road trip with Sasuke; Osmeña Peak sunset

February: Mindanao Adventure (CDO, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Iligan)

Despite hailing from Mindanao, it was still a fresh experience for me as I went on this Minda trip with friends. We experienced the thrilling rides at Bukidnon, chased Iligan waterfalls, went on white water rafting at CDO, and drooled in amazement at the White Island in Camiguin. As I built new friendships and bonded with old ones more, I learned that you need to step out of your comfort zone to experience the beautiful things, may it be an amazing sunset or a smile of a new friend.

White Island, Camiguin

April: Yui turns Seven

My March and April were spent preparing for Yui’s 7th birthday. The entire celebration was blogged here. Most of the decorations were DIY’ed thanks to the help of my family and friends. It was a memorable experience not only because we pulled off the DIY party but mostly because it was a time for family and friends to meet and celebrate with Yui and with each other.

Yui with the Dayots and the De Guzmans

May: Tagaytay and Cebu

It was a pleasant surprise when my dear brother went home for a quick vacay last May. Although he left before our birthday, he was able to celebrate Mother’s Day with us where we spent it together at The Lake Hotel, Tagaytay. Towards the end of May, I went on another Cebu trip with some Manila team mates. It is always fun touring new people in Cebu, which feels like my second home. This month has taught me that a simple surprise is more than enough to warm one’s heart.

August: Hong Kong, Cebu, Batangas

August was probably my busiest travel month this year. Earlier in August I went on a one-week HK trip with family, mid-month was spent at Moalboal, Cebu and National Heroes Day holiday was spent at Pico De Loro with dear friends. I’ve learned a lot from these trips also, most memorable is that I learned who my true friends are – who will stay honest with me no matter what.

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From top-left, clockwise: spending a gloomy afternoon at Pico de Loro beach; roadtrip photo op with close office friends; At The Peak, Hong Kong with sis & aunt-in-law; At the Ngong Ping village

September: Cebu

After two weeks, I went back to Cebu but this time with some of my Manila dev team. We spent some days at the office and the weekend at South Cebu. They swam with the whale shark in Oslob (I just waited at the beach since I already tried this 2 years ago). After the whale shark, we then spent the afternoon at Sumilon Island and basked in the beauty of the sea and blue sky. We trekked at the Aguinid falls and also went up Levels 6 to 8, which are not included in the basic tour. Although there were several 90 degree rock/falls climb, our tour guides and our group helped us along the way. It was a pretty scary trip but it has taught me that I just need to trust my friends and the people who are willing to help so I can reach my goals. This trip was one of the highlights of my year.

Sumilon Island Love ❤

October: Singapore

Last October, My family journeyed to Singapore to witness my brother’s wedding. It was a short and sweet ceremony and was witnessed by the couple’s immediate family and closest friends. Although not really a travel escapade (we only spent the weekend at home with the family), it was memorable for me as I got to spend precious time with my family. This trip reminded me that no matter how far we all go or how long we don’t see each other, family is always where the heart is.

My Brother’s Wedding

November: Singapore, Zamboanga

An unplanned trip, this Singapore visit was a quick one and I just spent it with my brother and his wife. It was here where I felt really close to my brother. I realized that I can move heaven and earth for him, even if we quarreled like crazy when we were little.

Quality time with the bro and SIL

A week after Singapore, we journeyed to Zamboanga to attend my cousin’s wedding (this year is really full of love and weddings :)) I had a great time spending some time with my cousins who I rarely see. I can say that this month was really all about family lovin’.

My cousin’s wedding

December: Batanes

What great way to end the year than go on The Great Batanes Dream. Our 6-day Batanes trip was full of emotional rollercoaster (delayed flights, unfavorable weather, and amazement of the view). We spent the 6 days just being at an awe of the great scenery at Batanes. It was from this experience that I was reminded that all great things are worth the wait.

Always gonna be at awe with Batanes

The holiday season was filled with office Christmas party, meet-ups with friends, and quality time with family.

Holiday with the clan: Always crazy, Always fun, Always busog!

2016 ended already, but the memories and lessons I’ve learned will stay with me as I greet 2017 with open arms. Here’s a huge shout out to everyone as I welcome 2017 and spread love and good vibes. Lablab!

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