Well, my world didn’t exactly end (A quick look on my 2012)

It’s two days before we welcome 2013. As expected, the world didn’t go exactly kaput in 2012 — much to the dismay of the doomsayers and “end of the world opportunists”. So what do we do? We dust ourselves from the battles and scars of the past year and soldier on to new opportunities and challenges of the incoming one.

In retrospect, I consider 2012 my very own annus horribilis — for those with dirty minds, annus horribilis means “horrible year” or “year of horrors” in Latin and is complementary to “annus mirabilis” (wonderful year). It DOES NOT mean that I have a horrible ass — with so many frustrations and challenges experienced this year. Whether personal, financial or health-wise, this year challenged every bit of my core and every personal values that I hold dear to my heart. The good thing is that I came out a lot stronger and wiser after the ordeals I have been through this year. I became more focused, more mature and cultured a better relationship with God.

In the interest of positive thinking, I also experienced a lot of good things this year: went to new places, met a lot of new friends and made small steps to make my life better.

I began the year catching up with old friends, while trying to bring enthusiasm to my work, considering how boring the Grindhouse can be. The highlight of the month is taking a leap, throwing caution to the wind and just saying “yes” to the opportunity to go to South Korea with my sister. While it’s not my dream destination, South Korea has always been on top of my go-to list. When my sister’s travel plans with her friend fell through, I was of course, the quick and more viable replacement. So, I threw caution to the wind and applied for a visa.

Spent the month doing the usual: posting about my cats, about my fashion choices, how little I have been eating. But the highlight definitely was getting approved for a South Korean visa! The whirlwind planning commences! (Whirlwind planning automatically transformed to a research fiend and a super travel agent picking out lodging and even clothing choices for the trip)


A lot of things happened: got invited to a fashion show launch and spent a weekend acting like teenagers playing hooky with my college friends, but the highlight definitely is the week-long stay in Seoul. (Read more about it here)




Anyeong Haseyo! - Much Love, from Korea
Anyeong Haseyo! – Much Love, from Korea

April is the month where I started getting busy (with what? I have no idea) and posts have become far and farther in between for this blog site. I was also affected with a series of setbacks with work and with my health. Things were on a downward spiral, especially with my weight, which came to bite me back in the ass each time I enter a fitting room. I started shunning social activities with friends, fearing the usual reprisal of me being fat and still being childless. The month was capped with the passing of my paternal grandmother. Thus, my annus horribilis officially began.

After we buried our grandmother, the family and I decided to celebrate my 33rd birthday
in Baguio
and in Benguet with my sister is based. It was an opportunity to get away from the challenging and sad month that was April and a chance for the family to bond over the exasperation of travel.

God's greatest birthday gift
God’s greatest birthday gift


stolen moments
stolen moments

Money was pretty tight and I started seriously toying with the idea of freelancing — an idea I have come to actually dread the months after due to my busy schedule and constant trips to the doctors. For the rest of the month, I was seriously depressed. I guess it was another of my mid-life crisis hitting me: imagine being in your 30s, financially-distressed and with just a lot of hang-ups to deal with. It was just to much. Meanwhile, the hubby’s gallstone was acting up making him lose sleep and appetite in the process. The pressures I had from his side of the family didn’t help in the situation at all. There are days when I just want to hide in my room and sleep.

The despair about the hubby’s health, the lack of money and the pressures I got from his family continued. It was so bad, I was depressed and sad most days. There were silver lining against the deep, dark clouds like the chance to bond with good friends and reconnect with my paternal side of the family following grandma’s death. I just wanted the month to over and for things to finally pick-up.

Meanwhile, the sister decided to book tickets for the whole family to Hong Kong. Finally, something to look forward to.

The inevitable finally happened — rushed the husband to the hospital after he experienced excruciating pain in his abdomen. The prognosis was not good, he had to be operated on. With just whatever little savings that we had, pure guts from my end and the faith that my health insurance will cover his treatment, I said yes and hired the best surgeon I could find. My company pulled me out of the mess — with health insurance covering all his treatment and operations expenses, plus government health insurance supplementing the remaining operations cost.

in sickness. and in health,

Over all, his treatment reached up to PHP150,000.00 with payment settled by my HMO (PhilCare) and the government’s health insurance. I had to pay like PHP57.00 for some incidentals, but imagine the weight being lifted from my shoulders when I saw the final bill. It was in that moment that I realized that the husband and I pretty only had each other for situations like these. I learned that I had to be a lot stronger — to not rely on the help of anyone. My family was my only source of strength during these trying times as they were with me from the time hubby was brought to the hospital to the time that he was discharged.

Because he had to take a prolonged absence for the operation and to recuperate, the hubby lost his call center job.

Buoyed by my love for travel, I decided to begin a travel blog where I can write about the things that I love about traveling.

The husband did well in his recuperation and on his way to recovery. Meanwhile, in my part of the world, things remained the same. The world continued to play its cruel game on me and I had no choice but just grit my teeth and just soldier on.

After a prolonged absence in blogging, got a nice surprise by being featured again on WordPress’ FRESHLY PRESSED — my second time during my three years of blogging. The feature was a nice surprise, hooked on my desperation to see Japan. Earlier in June, my sister told me that she was able to book cheap tickets to Tokyo and was asking me to join. Knowing that I was broke and with a sick husband to tend to, I told her “no” much to my chagrin and heartache. I tended to my broken heart and toyed with Google Maps in order to see the sights she will get to visit in Tokyo. Posted about it here and got a nice surprise with a FRESHLY PRESSED feature. (Read it here)

tokyo tower, minato
A quick visit to the Tokyo Tower
a nice surprise
a nice surprise

I also discovered my love for Big Bang and bought tickets to their first concert in Manila. On a last ditch effort to bring life to my job, I arranged for a media junket which turned to be heavily-criticized by the powers-that-be including my own boss! I was just so fed up with work! Good thing that there was an upcoming family trip to HK coming up in October.

October was like a piece of oasis in a very dry and patchy desert. Started the month with an adventurous and memorable (in so many ways!) trip to Hong Kong with the whole family. In between teaching mom and dad to use the MTR and single handedly planning the whole trip on my own, it was a blast. The look of happiness from my parents’ face when they entered HK Disneyland for the first time was simply priceless. In spite the hassles and all the heartaches I had to go through for the trip alone, it was something I’d do over and over again for my parents.

the family that travels together, stays together
the family that travels together, stays together

Decided to finally take care of my body and of my health by signing up to FitFil. Enjoyed the experience so much that it has become a passion. To date, this remains one of the best experiences and one of the best investments that I made.

The legendary Team Six Pack
The legendary Team Six Pack

Had a lot of new experiences courtesy of the fitness boot camp that is FitFil: I experiences boxing and dragon boat. This renewed enthusiasm in losing weight brought in good results – lose 8.8 lbs and 4 cms off my waist. I feel better and healthier, and with a renewed purpose as I welcome the New Year.

...after a great paddle!
…after a great paddle!

When I look back, it doesn’t seem like a really bad year at all. Challenges, problems and obstacles will always be there — but I guess, what’s important is courage and hope. And with all these hardships, I’ve become more mature and positive in life. So whatever 2013 may bring, I am all up for it.

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