2015: A Year of Wonders

In 2014, I had the best year of my life. And 2015 didn't fail me, too. Life gave me a lot of new opportunities to experience and grow. 2015 is a milestone for me coz i've already lived a "quarter" of my life. There were a lot of surprises and I can only be grateful for all the blessings that God gave me. 2015 is a year of Wonders. A year to explore the wonders of the world, my career, my relationships and of my self. I've stood by my motto "Carpe Diem", to seize the day, learn to appreciate and enjoy life. Here are the highlights of my 2015:

January. Had our traditional new year's day outing at Abong-abong River with the family. Our cousins from Davao visited the city and had some bonding sessions. At work, I had my first SOCA experience where we stayed late up night to do the reports and presentations. At the end of the month, Ate and I went to Manila for Graphika Manila. We went to the National Museum with Pey, Binondo with our little bro Aljo and explored the BGC and Makati Area. The last day of January was the first day of Graphika Manila.

February. Second day of Graphika Manila. My artwork was included in the GM Book. I learn a lot from the speakers and went home with lots of inspiration. Together with some NMCA friends, we created an installation art #RTLIM100 at Plaza Pershing in commemoration of the 100th Birthday of Sen. Roseller Lim. For the first time, I went to Sagada with Ajhay, Sam and their college friends. We had spelunking at the caves and trekking at the rice terraces. We went to the famous Kiltepan Peak but we didn't see the sea of clouds due to heavy fog. We also passed by Baguio before heading back home. I organized the Zamboanga Film Festival for Dia de Zamboanga. It was very fulfilling especially when I saw my student and friends who are passionate in film and animation and being recognized by the Mayor during the Awards Night.

March. I had my first unplanned travel. I was sent by the office to attend the International Festival for Language at the Resorts World. I had the chance to visit my friends is Manila, too. Wella, my cousin, also had her college graduation and we had a party at home. Then, I had my 2nd surprise travel. Sir Reymond of Vista and I went to Manila to present a demo reel video we created for a mining company. I had a chance to meet my friends again. Back in Zamboanga we celebrated the Earth Hour and did some on the spot doodle session and candle lighting at Plaza del Pilar.

April. Started the month with a family vacation. We went to Dapitan, Dakak, Misamis, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon. I did the white water rafting for the 2nd time, but now with my family. We went to Dahilayan Nature Park in Bukidnon and tried the ziplines and had picnic at the pine forest. I love the roadtrips and bondings with the family. Back at home I rekindled by artistic side and explored new techniques like brush lettering and paper cutting. At work we officially kicked off the Summer Na Zamboanga festival. I had my first mountain run challenge "Murok 3.0" and finished 13.8k in 1 hour and 47 minutes, a new personal record. We conducted a scriptwriting workshop with the local film makers group called Cinema Castellano. My childhood best friend, Farhana, also graduated in medschool!

May. Celebrated Labor day at Sta. Cruz Island with my Sagada buddies and my sister and Wella. (The photo is in April collage, my bad). For the summer festival we had the annual Kite Festival and was just amazed by the beautiful kites! I invited the cosplayers too in that event. My main event is the Zamboanga Hiphop Dance Competition which, for the first time, is divided into different categories (Junior, Varsity, Adult, and Megacrew). I was just amazed by the talented young dancers. We also had the Juego de Antes, a festival of traditional Filipino games. Wella and I created "Well-crafted hearts" our brand for our art and craft products like paper cut and hand painted art. We also had the "Festival de las Bellas y Flores" or the Flores de Mayo. To end the summer festival, we had a street party "Danza Verano" at Paseo del Mar. It also featured an Art Fair where we displayed and sold our artworks. It was one of the best summer experience I had!

June. It's back to school time! I'm teaching Visual Communication once again. Beacon Newsmag, ADZU's student publication where I trained for layout and design, invited me to create a hand-lettering mural for the OrSem. At work, we celebrated the flag days, independence day and Dia de Fundacion de Chavacano. My main event is the CineChavacano Film and Animation Festival. It was another fulfilling event!

July. Had a vacation with Jervin, Pey and Coline at Ilocos Region. We went to Laoag, Vigan, Paoay and Pagudpud. Despite the typhoon, we enjoyed each other's company especially during the Paoay 4x4 ride. We went to a lot of tourist spots and had so much laughs and photos. I also had several talks for Campus Journalism workshops. At work, we are already preparing for the Hermosa Festival.

August. My birth month! To start the month, I was invited to do a live art exhibition at Ateneo for the CSIT Acquaintance Party "VOX". It's my first time to do such thing. I also spent a day visiting barangay halls at the west coast to distribute letters for a cultural mapping project. For the first time, i stepped on new territories and was amazed by the picturesque beauty of some barangays like Muti, upper Dulian and Sibulao. I had a surprise travel to South Cotabato to attend the Koronadal International Folklore Festival. I spent my birthday there together with some employees from the Secretary Office. We went to Lake Sebu and experienced the highest zipline in Southeast Asia at the Seven Falls. We watched folkdance performances from different countries like Poland, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and Mexico. It was an amazing experience especially because we're always in the front rows. Back at home, I had dinner with the family at the new restaurant just outside our house, Carls. At school, it was Midterms time! My student created artworks and had a gallery exhibit/presentation. It was a lot of fun!

September. Maam Beng's birthday. It's been 2 years since the Zambo siege happened. Our office came up with an exhibit "Dos AƱos Despues". A turning point in my life happened. I gave myself a second chance to feel again :) My high school friend Galen got married and i did their musical SDE. We did all preparations for the Hermosa Festival. I designed an emblem which was turned into lanterns and was decorated on the street lamps. What an amazing feeling looking at my design around the city. At the end of the month, we had the pre-fiesta event Bandoreal Parade at both districts. It was my first time to witness a bandoreal and it was really fun! I also had the chance to be with the Azkals / Meralco Sparks when they visited the city. I gave mama a beautiful fondant cake for her birthday!

Ocotber. It's fiesta Pilar month! For the first time, our office is assigned to organize the biggest festival of the city! The Opening Salvo was really amazing especially during the lighting of the giant emblem! My main events are the Art Exhibit, Original Chavacano Video Music Festival and Danza La Vida. Wella and I created the float entry of Unique Motor Center for the Parade of Lights and we won 3rd place! We really enjoyed the street party at the Butterfly Garden as VIP's. I got to be in the backstage with the guest DJ's Ashley Rivera, Nina Saputil and Marc Marasigan. It's the best street party this city ever had! After the exhausting fiesta, I went to Manila met with Jotie and went to Tagaytay. Had dinner with my Ate who was under training in Laguna. I met her boyfriend RJ. It's wasn't the best time for a vacay because of the typhoon but I still had a good time with my travel buddy.

November. 2nd Sem at school, and i'm teaching Desktop Publishing once again. I was invited by the AdZU Alumni Association in an art exhibit "Past to Present". I went to Cagayan de Oro with Jotie for the Mindanao Communicators Network Congress and met other PIO's from the region. We had a social night and had my first ever costume party. The theme was Enchanted Night, so Jotie and I came as the Lost Boys from Peter Pan. Had so much fun with the #ArribaBanco team. We also did the White Water Rafting (my 3rd time) and Dahilayan Adventure. I tried the python zipline, dropzone and luge for the first time. Back at home, we celebrated Papa's birthay and promotion. I gave him a watch as a present. At work, we made an installation art for Dia de Cesar then we did the preparations for the Christmas Festival.

December. It's our favorite time of the year! We opened Pascua na Zamboanga with the theme Candyland. You can watch the SDE here. Me and my adventure buddy had a short weekend vacation to Pangasinan. We went to Bolinao and explored its beautiful caves and falls. Another bucket list item was ticked off when we did island hopping at the famous Hundred Islands in Alaminos. In Manila, we went to Makati to see the amazing lights display at the Ayala Triangle. Back in Zamboanga, a new big mall is opening, the KCC Mall de Zamboanga. I went to Manila again to participate the Philippine Visual Arts Festival (PVAF) at the University of the Philippines - Diliman Campus. It was my first time in UP and I was just honored to be one of the participants. My artwork "Regatta de Zamboanga" was my entry in the group art exhibit at the Palma Hall. We had workshops and seminars, too, which gave us a lot of knowledge and inspiration. I learned casting from a master sculptor, Manolo Sicat, at the UP College of Fine Arts. It was a fun experience and i just felt blessed being there. It was a childhood dream to study in UP Fine Arts, and during the closing program, I felt like a fine arts student receiving the certificate from the NCCA director for Visual Arts in front of artists around the country. Another dream became a reality when we joined the UP Lantern Parade as front liners of UP Fine Arts. Finally, I really enjoyed my Christmas holidays with family and friends. It was a really a great year!

2015 was simply wonderful! God answered a lot of prayers and I faced the year with a lot of positivity and perseverance. I'm contented with my life but still I hope for better things to come. 2015 is a turning point and it's just the start of another crazy chapter in life. Here's to all the memories and for future adventures! Cheers! Thanks for being part of my life one way or the other. I wish you a prosperous and great 2016! Carpe Diem and God bless!
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