It’s the last day of 2015 and looking back at all the shining moments for me this year seems to be in order. So here goes ^_^

January – Family Road Trip to Tabogon, Cebu

We started the Year of the Wood Sheep with a family road trip to Tabogon in order to attend a relative’s birthday. Riding at the back of our small pick-up truck (which has been with us for years) with the wind in my hair is definitely one of my favorite things to do. Best of all, my parents, my sister, and a cousin went along for the ride. We got to eat Lechon and local chicken stew, yum! Then we heard there was a spring pool nearby that meets the sea, so we went to investigate. That turned out to be a great decision!

januaryMarch – Road Trip to Carcar, Sibonga and Argao

My father needed to go to the south of Cebu to do some work. We decided to come along because, you know, road trip! So we headed to Carcar and stopped by the market to get some Lechon and Puso. Before we arrived in Argao, we decided to have lunch/picnic by the side of the road. We were in the rural areas already so the air was fresh and the smell of trees was very apparent. That roadside lunch/picnic was definitely one for the books.

Then we arrived in Argao and father did his business. Afterwards, we asked the locals if there are nice things to see nearby. They didn’t disappoint for we found the Argao pier and then a tiny spring where we took a bath and witnessed locals washing clothes. Then, since the mother wanted to visit Simala, we dropped by there before heading home. All these in one day 🙂

marchApril – Went Camping with Friends in Bantayan

Summer time in the Philippines means beach, beach and more beach! A couple of friends, my sister and I decided to go to Bantayan Island, but we were budget-limited so we roughed it out. We went camping for 3 days and just chilled. Bantayan was pretty and relaxing as usual. The sun was shining and the sea was crystal. We managed to sneak in a volunteering activity too, which was something one of my friends really wanted to do. So yeah, got to dig out a septic tank for a housing project. The rest of the time, we just bummed at the beach or biked around. We were also lucky to score a cheap deal with a boatman who took us to Virgin Island where I saw one of the best sunsets ever!

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May – Gabii sa Kabilin with Mama and Sis

The Gabii sa Kabilin is a culture appreciation event in Cebu that has been going on for several years now. It entails visiting numerous museums and other historical establishments in the city. Finally, this year I was able to buy tickets. My mother, sister and cousin tagged along. We had a lot of fun museum hopping and discovering the history of Cebu. Got to ride a calesa too, which I’ve not done since I was a kid. The best part was the visit to The Freeman, Cebu’s oldest newspaper. That was really meaningful for me because at one time I wanted to be a news writer or newscaster. I got to see a very old printing press too and won trivia prizes. The writer in me jumped with so much joy that night 😀

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June & July – Attended Friends’ Weddings

Got invited to two weddings this year, yay! First was the wedding of two college friends. I was really honored to be invited since we haven’t seen each other for years and communication was limited. I happily accepted the invite and witnessed a wonderful celebration. Met other college friends too, which was great! Then came the wedding of two of my colleagues. It was yet another great celebration and had a blast with the ladies from work (even if they tried to set me up with the married photographer, jeez!). Best wishes to you all!

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July – Bucas Grande and Siargao with the Family

Fulfilling our new tradition to travel out of Cebu once a year, my family decided to head to Bucas Grande and Siargao. It was amazing from start to finish! We headed to Surigao by plane, then took a small ferry to Bucas Grande, then another small ferry to Siargao. We visited a cave half submerged in the sea, jumped off cliffs, swum at a natural sea pool, and had a great time island hopping. Wanderlust has infected everyone in my family, no doubt about that ^_^ Oh and the best part – I celebrated my 30th birthday in Siargao where I got treated to delicious Italian dinner by my parents, yay!

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August – Brother’s Homecoming & Bon Odori

My brother has been working in Singapore for more than a couple of years now. We always miss him every time we go on family road trips or outings. Thankfully, this year he was able to return home for a few days. We were so glad to see him again and we spent all the time he was here going out and celebrating.

IMG_1675As for the Bon Odori, this was the second one in Cebu and I didn’t want to miss it since the first one was great. Once again, I had so much fun. Went there solo but then bumped into a workmate and we just enjoyed ourselves absorbing all the sights and sounds. The stalls were brimming with delicious food. Saw and heard a real Enka singer perform too! Then there was the Bon Odori dance which is always memorable 🙂

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October – Resigned from Work

On this month I left the company I was working for six long years. Sad because I had to leave co-workers who I enjoyed collaborating with. But this is still part of my review of shining moments this year because finally I was free from stressful people whose actions didn’t make sense to me at all. New doors of opportunities opened and I met new professional acquaintances. Change is the only constant in this world. It was just the right time to move on.

November – Fulfilled My Dream to Travel to Japan!

I am still over the moon that I finally got to experience Japan for myself. It has always been my dream to go there. After long months of saving, a friend and I made the trip and after 8 days of exploring Kyoto, we didn’t want to go home at all! We visited several beautiful temples and saw temple night shows. We fed a lot of deer in Nara and intentionally went through a cemetery near the bamboo path in Arashiyama while the sun was setting. We ate so many delicious Japanese foods, got to experience the trains and buses, and had GERD from so much green tea. But that’s okay! 😀 We also got to hug a stuffed Totoro toy in Japan, visited KyoAni and Toei Eigamura – meaning we anime fangirled to our heart’s content!

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December – LP & NAP Christmas Party and a Night in Maxwell Hotel

An ex-colleague invited my sister and me to join her new company’s Christmas party. Since it’s been a while that we had some sisterly bonding, the sis and I decided to book a room at a nearby hotel too and make the whole weekend an exercise in introversion 😀 So yeah we partied with the LP people and lazed out in Maxwell.

Merry Christmas LP writers! Thanks for inviting us Des!

The Before and After. Bow. :D

Then my new workplace’s Christmas party came around and it was so much fun just hanging out with my new colleagues. Looking forward to getting to know these people more ^_^

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And that’s my 2015. It wasn’t all happy and sparkles for there were many stressful and rage-inducing parts too. But hey, I’m always pro-positive thinking, so never mind those negative events. Life is short after all so let’s celebrate and cherish all the happy moments!

Cheers to 2015 and hello 2016! May the Year of the Fire Monkey bring more shining moments to us all!

 

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