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08.01.12, Sentimental Sunday; 14:43

Latest shocking news: us.splinder will be discontinued on January 31st! Noooooo!!!

Dear Niwee,

It feels wrong to slightly busy myself in making plans for 2012 when I haven’t made proper thanksgiving for 2011. It’s another one of the best years in my life and, if this blog will be pruned from everyone’s memory forever soon, then let this elaboration be my final bow.

1. Back-to-back best friends’ weddings

Have you just tuned in and haven’t heard of the parade of weddings that I attended late 2010-early 2011? My 2011 begun earning new gowns to include in my potential 27 Dresses list…and I loved every minute of it! Witnessing my college best friend exchange vows with Kiko and my post-graduate best friend Ina and his husband Alistair thankfully blame for being their matchmaker during the reception for everyone to know brought happy tears and hope to my cynical-now, hopeful-later heart.

Making the newlyweds Lienne and Kiko laugh with my fashion booboo. At 6 degrees in Baguio that night and with my role of an emcee, can you blame me for donning leg warmers and slip-on sneakers underneath my long gown?

That’s Vince and I in action, putting the cord on Alistair and Ina!

2. The mission
 

I’ve come to realize that it’s my mission to spread the word of body acceptance and lend a shoulder to lean on to every self-loathing plus size woman in this nation through blogging here. Who else can do it but someone who’s faced the same demons and who still battle with standards of beauty and the stereotyping that cause women to plunge to unhealthy practices such as dieting and others. Little did I know that my imagined niche would expand and include morena women, children and even men. I truly look forward to help more suffering souls in 2012.

3. Batanes

As I have painstakingly elaborated in my entries in May and June, Batanes is one the reasons I continue to ask for a longer life. Now that I’ve finally gone there this year, I still cross my fingers to make a returning trip and explore the rest of its group of islands. Whenever I see a full moon, I am quickly reminded of the breathtaking supermoon that appeared right before our very eyes in Batanes THEN I appreciate what’s in front of me. I  miss Batanes!

Class picture with Toni, Hazel, Rye and DJ in one of the heritage towns in Sabtang, Batanes
 

4. Raw food diet

I have my own reasons for choosing this “radical” path and I pray the entire world will find their own reason to follow suit. I’ve never felt healthier and livelier when I was in high raw food diet and, for 2012, I wish I can maintain this lifestyle and serve as a good example to my loved ones and random strangers alike. I wish I could make more what’s-in-my-lunchbox-today posts that people will find easy to duplicate and apply in spite of our busy lives.

The frustrated Superwoman and the superfoods
 

5. Kalantas and my ka-small group

It’s great to have found the Church where you belong. But it’s even greater to find your own small group you can share your love, dreams, hurts, prayers and everything else in between with, knowing they will include you in their prayers. I owe it to Kalantas for all my learnings from Sex & Singles, From Working to Working Out and a looong list of talks I didn’t find time to blog about anymore. I often feel guilty for being unable to attend regularly due to my graveyard shift and other conflicts and I am hoping for more opportunities to learn and share from them this year.

My small group as taga-Bollywood during Kalantas’s Christmas par-tey
 

6. BlackBerry

My 2-year contract had ended and I could use a new phone that would keep up with my super-busy lifestyle and growing number of contacts. My BlackBerry unit allowed me to be 24/7 online and accessible on Facebook, Twitter, gmail and yahoo mail (as long as I have Sun signal) and keep in touch with my BBM friends. Plus, I get to share BlackBlurry™ photos for my blog and my social networking accounts. This is NOT a paid segment.

Goodbye, 2011!
 

7. Published Article

With Extra Seksi! occupying my thoughts most of my free time, who would have thought I’d even have a published article via Batulao View Magazine this year? I only have words of gratitude for this opportunity. Will there be a follow-up assignment? That’s for 2012 to determine.

8. Free counselling

Whoever said the best things in life are free must be a genius. One fateful day, I gathered all my courage and started to disclose my heart out to a random stranger. I paid attention to his instructions and watched my life alter for the better. Since then, I tried my very best to make my Wednesday mornings available for my favorite stranger.

9. Incubus + Jason Mraz and Toca Rivera concerts

And the past year witnessed the groupie in me come alive. I will always be grateful for my one night with Incubus and Jason Mraz, for how they touched me with their music and made me raise my arms and sing along with the mad crowd. I look forward to meet Jason Mraz again for his comeback concert this 2012.

10. Corregidor

In spite of this island’s proximity to my residential town, Corregidor remained a strange land until this year. Imagine my shock to learn that it’s actually part of Cavite. My IBM batchmates and I had long planned to explore this historical island and, inasmuch as I avoided to be the organizer for out-of-town trips with family and friends, I ended up to be the mastermind of this Amazing Race-inspired adventure. I know I will step my flat feet here again. Will it happen in 2012?

Our batch could only jump in joy in spite of losing to the other team. It’s lunch time at last!
 

11.  Meeting the Talaandigs in Bukidnon
 

In college, I led our group do a video documentary on the Badjao’s migration to Batangas. In graduate school, my group and I conducted a research on the mobile phone use of the Mangyans in Mindoro. Both data gathering opportunities had been brief and limiting. Little did I know that I would get to meet a different tribe outside the confines of a classroom and get to spend 3 whole days in interacting with the members and observing their practices. As if it were not enough, the invitation to re-visit them is open all year round!

My lessons from the ways of Talaandigs had been quite challenging to capture in one blog entry. So far, I’ve shared bits and pieces here and here, but there’s still a looot of learnings to write about! For starters, I truly admire their tribe to display great pride for their roots and tradition and passion to fight for their rights in a peaceful manner. They never build walls against strangers; they welcome everyone from different backgrounds and from all walks of life to join them enjoy life and share love the best way they can. And, yes, I would like a tribal wedding for myself.
 

Witnessing a Talaandig tribal wedding (me at the far left)
 

12. Returning trip to Camiguin

I’ve long decided to look for a quiet place to settle down even before retirement age rolls round. Camiguin happens to be one of my favorite sanctuaries and it would definitely be worthwhile to bring my childlike energies again. From Bukidnon, I could only repeat words of recollection and anticipation for what lies ahead for us. The first trip was too tourist-y; we barely had time to make new friends. This time was more relaxed and more cosmic.

Jumping with Lakapati and Mikey Bustos este Alvin with the Sunken Cemetery on the background

Meeting fellow raw foodists from Ontario, Canada in Mantigue Island
 

13. Waldo
 

Just when I’ve assumed that I’ll be forever a bridesmaid or third wheel or a friend’s confidant to love issues, here comes one guy who took notice of my big heart instead of my loud laughter (that night and beyond). Sometimes I still shake my head in recollection of how speedy things had been and think how others might judge me as desperate for giving the first guy who knock on my door a chance and for welcoming our big differences with open arms. What happened here, I imagine you asking. I don’t know either. And I don’t want to look back anymore. Just what I’ve learned from the Beyond Romance commune, I refuse to judge and overthink and, as my best friends advised, keep my ideals and unrealistically high standards anymore. Who would have thought I’ll attract a sweet guy in return? I know he’ll play a role in my evolution as a person and I refuse to impose anything so I’ll be equally instrumental in his. Basta, I’m enjoying one day at a time!

The birthday girl and…the birthday gift from above? Pwede!
 

14. Coco Beach turns 25!

Remember this entry? Coco Beach in Puerto Galera had been my home since my friendship with Ina. This year, I helped them organize a series of events to kick-off their 25th birthday and, in the process, never felt this comfortable in preparing for the events. I spent my weekends in the resort every weekend of November to assist in art exhibits, raw food demo, tree planting activities and other events we brainstormed for and came up with. It was a gift to commune with nature again and it was all the more rewarding to make the guests have a great time and make things easier for the management and the staff.

Joining Coco Beach’s 25th anniversary gala night!
 

15. New Friends

Being awarded as Ms. Congeniality in the workplace for the 1st quarter rendered me speechless. Sure, I heard I was effortlessly laughable and approachable (except when I’m sleepy and ravenous) and all, but, in my standards, I could use more tips from the likes of Mario Toral and Walter Eden Sanchez (my former officemates) in terms of friendliness. I consider myself too shy bordering on snobbish in dealing with other people.

However, when the year ended, I notice how I tend to have different lunch break dates every day and  earned friends from people outside my team and outside my line of business (LOB). I somehow managed to leave my comfort zone and made friends easily! Applause!

Also, I noticed how I became closer to second-degree friends than the actual friend who introduced us. In addition to that, I take delight in the fact that the world wide web helped me make more kindred spirits in ways I didn’t imagine. Let’s drink to that!


See, 2011 was an awesome year! If I missed out on anything, please forgive me and my poor memory. I am one grateful soul, believe me.

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