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

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Tales of A Family Drayber: Driver’s License Renewal at LTO Pasig

Having to deal with government offices here in the Philippines is challenging, to say the least. It’s one of the errands that I personally don’t look forward to or try to avoid as much as I can. That’s why I’ve been dreading having to renew my driver’s license. What with all the horror stories I read online such as waiting for 3-6 hours just to complete the transaction and getting just the receipt in the end. Yes, one piece of paper instead of the driver’s license card.

I tried to hold off my trip to the LTO. But it sort of had me “trapped” at home with nowhere to drive to, and it’s not good for a lakwatsera like me. So I literally dragged myself to LTO to get it done. I originally planned to renew my license at SM North Edsa but upon doing more research I found out that there’s a District office near my where I work. So this morning, I just dropped my things at my office, took a 10-minute cab ride and arrived at LTO Pasig.

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Life Skills You Learn from Minecraft

I was never a hardcore gamer and would conservatively call myself a casual one at that. The only gaming accomplishment I’m most proud of is completing Diablo II in PSP a looooong time ago. Well, aside from getting 5 stars in Just Dance. Haha.

With this I would say that Yui’s Minecraft addiction and gaming skills didn’t come from me. But as a supportive mom, I’ve grown to love the game as well and by watching her play, I came to realize that there are actually life skills you can get from playing Minecraft.

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Yui’s 7th Birthday: Tangled Party

For her 7th birthday, Yui wanted a party so she can celebrate with her friends. At first she wanted a Minecraft themed party, then changed her mind and wanted Descendants instead. I was already searching the net for ideas when she asked if she can change it again. I told her that as long as we haven’t started the actual preparations, she still can. Her third, and thankfully the last, theme is Tangled – the Rapunzel movie. I got excited as well since I LOVED that movie too! I immediately told my friends Rog, Wendy and Ivy so we can start the preps. We spent two months for the planning, Divi shopping, and DIY-ing the decorations and other items for the party. Complete with a detailed workplan, help from other friends and our hyper-mode excitement, we were able to pull our DIY event styling.

Our DIY moments

Here are the things that we DIY’ed for the little girl’s party. (Apologies for the long post, I just wanted to chronicle our labor of love ❤ hehe!)

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Pulled out my Photoshop skills to create her invite. Since we’re digital, go green and all, this wasn’t printed anymore but was just posted in the FB event
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Created 40 of these lanterns in 3 weeks

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The Continuing Saga Called Life

I was there at the back of the boat looking far into the horizon, the sun beginning to set on that late afternoon. I was staring blankly at the waves when it suddenly hit me. Here I am, spending a day in a far away island with friends old and new, still alive and enjoying life. It’s been almost two years since the day that he went away. September 22nd, Sunday twenty five after nine. In the doorway with his case, no longer shouting at each other there tears on my face. We were letting go of something special… (okay, enough with the M2M pun) 😂

I’ve spent the last two years trying to rebuild my life and building a new one without that someone I thought would be here for forever. Well, walang forever so anong nakakagulat? Haha! Anyway, it is a very educational experience. I needed to spend time to reflect on what was, what is and what will be. It was hard, very hard. But slowly I found myself smiling again, then laughing again. With the help of my family and friends, I’m here alive and kickin’.

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The Journey to a Happier Me

As the proverb says, “fall down seven times, stand up eight.” This has been the mantra that kept me going the past months. Despite all the challenges, there was always a reason to stand up and fight another day. Thus, I stood up.

The past year has been challenging, to say it simply. It has taught me a lot of life lessons that I didn’t even fathom before. It’s showed me the harsh reality of life but at the same time it’s showed me that life is still bearable and eventually, beautiful despite these obstacles. Honestly, although I’ve known these all along, it’s different when you’re the one that’s actually there. When life kicks someone we know in the butt, it’s easy for us to offer our advices but if you’re the one in that situation, it’s very difficult to follow a sound advice. Now I know why my friends seem to never listen. Because it’s hard to.

I’ve been kicked, pushed and strangled by life and sadly the bubble I was living in was burst in an instant. I was in a deep, deep hole. And when I thought I couldn’t go up, I remembered the proverb. Slowly, I stood up. Slowly, I regained the “old me”. Slowly, I started the journey to a happier me. It wasn’t easy, but with help, I eventually found it. I know life is a roller coaster so this moment I am in will soon fade and I would find myself at the bottom again but with what I learned the past year, I know I can stand up.

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Zac’s First Birthday: Lego Party

My friends and I had another opportunity to plan and setup an event this month. This time it’s a Lego themed party for the first birthday of Zac, the little boy that we did the Dr. Seuss baby shower for. We started planning for the party around May, went on two trips to Divisoria, spent a weekend painting boxes and sleepless nights designing and printing stuff for the party. It was truly a team effort and on top of the successful event, I was grateful to have spent more bonding moments with friends. It made the party much more special for me. I hope Zac would look back at his first birthday fondly when he grows up, since mommy, daddy and his ninongs, ninangs, titas and titos, all made the party special. Here are some details of the setup we did for the party. 🙂

Preparations started around 10AM and since we lost the balloons we bought at Divi, we had to make a quick trip to Market! Market! to buy additional balloons. It was worth the trip, since the venue truly brightened up with all those balloons hanging from the ceiling.

Rog and Kaye setting up the ceiling decor
Rog and Kaye setting up the ceiling decor

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