Looking Back at 2013

January 1, 2014

A summary of my 2013 Highlights

I’m practicing my memory and checking to see how the previous year went for me. So much has happened in a span of one year and I feel like I’ve learned many things as the months went by. Here’s a summary of my 2013.


First sinulog out in a long time. The last time I went to Sinulog was when I was probably less than 10 years old. I’ve lost interest in the parades ever since it turned into a chaotic celebration. But that particular January, Jeremie and I had the same thought. We had nothing to do so we decided to brave the waves of people and went to Baseline. BAD IDEA. It was chaotic and I felt like a lemon about to get squished out of its juices.


10-day trip to Ilocos Norte. The biggest highlight of the year was probably our trip to Ilocos Norte. It was filled with discovery and relaxation. The trip showed us that the Philippines is truly gifted with Natural Resources and Picturesque Scenery.

We trekked Mount Pinatubo and met some new friends along the way; We explored the well-preserved streets of Vigan; We went Sand boarding in Paoay, Laoag; We were humbled by the giant Bangui Windmills; and we were pampered in a gorgeous resort in Pagudpud. We stayed in Kapuluan Resort during Valentines Day. The minimalist-inspired resort also served organic food (yes, we saw their vegetation).


Went berserk and cut my hair short. After several debates in my head, I finally decided to go Pixie. It was a long stretch but totally worth it. The new hair gave me confidence.

Camping in Zambales. As if the 10-day trip in Ilocos wasn’t enough! My family and I went to Zambales last March. We walked around the streets of Olongapo, went camping in Anawangin, explored the nearby islands, went to Zoobic, and on our last day, dropped by Ocean Park Manila. This was my gift to my 2 younger brothers who had graduated that month.


Turned 6 years with Jeremie. After all the “wanderlusting”, I didn’t realize we had already turned 6 years together. Anyway, he was out-of-town during our Anniversary so I didn’t really expect much…until a surprise came knocking.

A big bouquet of flowers! Now, we both don’t see the significance in giving flowers but this one was an exception.

Started living on my own. After searching for the right home to live in, I finally found an empty apartment in Mabolo that was just perfect for me. It was love at first sight! I couldn’t wait to transform it. There was a point though when I couldn’t stop buying things I didn’t need but thankfully I was able to overcome that impulsive behavior.


Opened Happy Sacks. On May 11, we opened our first stall in JY Square. The whole process of running a business was new to me and it was very stressful. I learned so many things from Happy Sacks like how to pick your staff, how to interview and train them, how to manage and run the numbers, how to deal with people in a non-introverted way, how to promote products through marketing, how to solve problems, how to create a system, and so so much more. It gave me nightmares (literally), but it was so much fun at the same time.


Experienced the untouched beauty of Siquijor. I don’t know what it is but I can’t seem to say no to traveling. Sure I still have lots to do for our new business, but when the opportunity of travel came, I had no doubts about it. Siquijor felt like being lost in a secret island that only a handful of people have experienced. We spent some time sun-bathing and swimming and floating at the beach.

Watched dolphins in the wild. We were about to give up when they didn’t show up but then at the very last minute, when everyone was saying we should just go back home, they came out! Dolphins are real pranksters.


Learned to make my own mochi. July was uneventful for me but I learned a new skill. I had then been too addicted to Mochi and couldn’t stop craving for the little balls so I decided to do some research and replicate the recipe. It was a partial success! We got the texture and taste, however, I couldn’t find the right way to place the ice cream without them melting quickly.


Swam with sea turtles. It was incredibly mind-blowing! We were a foot away from them! We were not allowed to touch them though but just looking at them blows you away. This was my first time seeing them in the wild. On a side note, Apo island is great too!


Jeselle’s homecoming. One of my closest childhood friend came home from California. We rarely see her so this was something big. We had plans to go out of the country or out of town but everyone was too busy and it’s really hard to plan something when there’s a whole bunch of people involved so we ended up swimming at Lex Hotel. We ate dinner at my apartment and we had a slumber party after.

Featured in Sunstar. Happy Sacks got featured in a prominent newspaper in Cebu! Jeremie and I were so nervous during the interview.


Jeremie moved to Singapore. Other good news, Jeremie got an offer in Paypal so he had to move there. I was happy and just a little sad that we were going to be separated by water. So this is how long-distance relationships feel like. I expected something far worse but it turned out okay.

Folk Fiction’s first pop-up event. Happy Garaje with their handmade toys, Ballista Games with their board games, and Happy Sacks with our dumplings and milktea teamed up to create Folk Fiction.


Ra Ra Riot, Explosions in the Sky. We celebrated Jeremie’s birthday at the Camp Symmetry Festival in Singapore. Lots of great bands played but we were there for Ra Ra Riot and Explosions in the Sky.

The World’s 2nd largest aquarium. Intrigued, we decided to check it out. We both love the ocean and sea creatures! All I can say is…Wow. That was a big aquarium. I can’t wait to see the world’s largest aquarium.

National Geographic’s 50 Greatest Photographs Exhibit. Enough said. National Geographic is just…aggghhh

Attended a writer’s festival. Learning and getting inspired at the same time!

Sad to say goodbye to Happy Sacks. We sold the company to a good friend of mine. I am sure they will take good care of it. It’s sad to say goodbye to our first startup but on the plus side, at least it lives on.


Birthday surprise. Another one of his crazy surprises! I really didn’t know he was already here and I had embarrassingly told everyone he was coming on the 15th because it was my birthday. Anyway, I cried that night when the blindfolds dropped and I saw him standing with balloons.

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