[YEAR-END POST] Paw-printing 2016

Photo grabbed from @michelleobligacion #isabeLUH

Note: No photo stealing please. Do not take out an my photos out of my blog. Thanks!

I don’t believe in luck. However, I always tell my friends that I think years in multiples of eight have its magic on me. I’ve always considered 2008 as one of the best years of my life (hahaha I’ve so much to say about this, but maybe in another post). And now that 2016 is about to come to an end, I have to say that it has the same magical feels as that of 2008.

2016 is the year of saying yes… and no. It is the year I travelled A LOT and the year that had so much attachment to the word adulting. It was crazy, but I have to say it was worthwhile and I can definitely say that I am not the same person I was when this year started. Naks! Haha

Because I came out fresh from the hospital before 2016 started, I told myself that I will make the out what I have. No holds barred and cease every opportunity that comes my way. So what better way to prove that I can do all things? Spend money, of course. Hahaha

First memory of 2016 was Exoluxion. I remember telling Tin about this and how much I spent to see EXO live. Well, let’s just say that Tin’s new currency is Paw’s-EXO-concert-tickets. It was fun, but I enjoyed TLP in Hong Kong (2014) better. No regrets though. At least I was able to have that less than 1.5-meter moment with Chen. Too bad my fancam was shaking like crazy when the moment happen. Anyway, it’s all stored up in my memory, which is way better than replaying a video.

Of course, February had its own charms and I was able to have my own version of my best friend’s wedding. As of writing Tin and Jhing are happily married for ten months now and they are already expecting their first child. Hooray! Will this little nugget be my next godchild? Well, we’ll see. Haha Oh, wait! Did I mention I was able to join a 5-km run hosted by UP College of Engineering. So yes, that’s actually a slash-off my 2016 to-do list. *pats shoulder for a job well done*

March was as exciting because of Les Miserables came to Manila. April came with my Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Thank goodness I didn’t wait for Note 7 as it had a lot of controversies and malfunctions. And since I can’t have my hair dyed, I’ve decided to be more radical with my cut. I think my undercut really meant to be a sign of liberation and it marked the beginning of summer 2016 with my official hashtag #itsPAWrtytime and #yeogisummeradventures.

May was unofficially back-to-school for me… literally. I took time learning a little of Japanese (you can find free worksheets and instructional media here and here) and I enrolled again in Dr. Joem Antonio’s Storywriting class. It was also the kick-off of my travel diaries #pawprintingplaces with my travel buddy #travellingchen. I didn’t blog most about it, but I did keep a healthy number of photos in my photoessay, which I will share really soon. First trip out of my turf was this small resort in Cavite called Balai Indang. The food was scrumptious, my cousin and aunt from the US loved it. Their minatamis na saging is a must-try. 😉

Despite being back to work by June (as you know, educators get a month’s paid vacation), my travels didn’t stop. My family and I went to Kota Keluarga in Laiya, Batangas. Well, to summarize the experience, I didn’t throw a tantrum despite being disconnected from the world for 3 days. Yeah, no internet and mobile access. Believe me, it was very refreshing. Plus, my family and I were able to bond over food (don’t we always do that? Haha) and I get to snorkel and enjoy the beach.

Almost a week after, I found myself in NAIA terminal 4, boarding a flight bound to Kalibo. Yes, I went to Boracay with the newly-weds and lived luxuriously in Karuna Villas. We did a lot of walking, swimming, drinking, and yes, helmet diving. But I have to say, Bora already lost its glory. The water is too murky because of algae. Oh and since I also mentioned that I was already back to work, I should mention that I was promoted as Junior High School Coordinator. Hooray! 🙂

July was no different to my June itinerary. Flying once is not enough. The next leg was up north to Isabela and Quirino with the Captivating Ladies, where the Cos hosted our stay. To summ arize, it was human vs. food and unending sight seeing. Highlights were CCF Cauayan, the farm of Tito Damian, the rice mill of the Tios, Magat Damn, the mango farm, CCF Alicia, Aglipay Cave, Governor’s Rapids, rice fields and more rice fields. Hahaha Conquered a 19-feet cliff that gave a huge bruise on my thigh. Ouchie, but I’d do it again for the books!

A week after (hahahaha See! I really did travel a lot bwahahaha), I was in NAIA Terminal 1 for my Singapore trip to see iKON! Met up with Jeanette and did a lot of eating and drinking with Mabs and Daene. We stayed in 5footway Inn Bugis, which is directly accessible to bus stops and Nicoll Highway MRT station. Notable places I went to were Tiong Bahru, Forty Hands, Loof, that authentic hainanese chicken place Jean took me to eat lunch on my second day of stay (I forgot the name), Ah Seng Bak Kut Teh, the bar behind our hostel named High Blood Station (I can’t remember the name as well, but we drank up a lot of Hoegaarden Rosee there, thanks to Sunday happy hour hahaha), Dong Po Colonial Cafe, and Orchard Road for some chocolate shopping. Of course, my first concert in Singapore Indoor Stadium. iKONCERT!!!! All I can say is iKON was amazing, until now I still cannot even! Hahaha

August was life-changing and it all happened in Ho Chi Mihn, Vietnam. Just like my other trips, I ate so much food and walked around the city. Daene graciously hosted my 3-day stay in her condo in District 1. What I loved about it is its mix of culture and urban grind – so many cafes to go to, while keeping hints of old Saigon. The cafes I was able to visit were The WorkshopMam Cafe, and The 1985. My coffee tastebuds were changed because of Vietnamese coffee. Hahaha And of course, Vietnamese food is in order – the infamous Pho Hoa and Bun Thit Nuong Cha Go. We did some Korean food tripping too (hahaha we couldn’t resist, sorry). The place we visited for this was Arirang, nearing the Municipal Theater. I didn’t party much in Vietnam. But we did a lot of drinking in the condo because the nearby convenient stored had stocks of Cass Beer. I visited the War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Mihn Book Street (opposite the Notre Dame Cathedral), Ho Chi Mihn Statue, Bahn Mi Hoa Ma (where I ate the best bahn mi op la ever), Jade Emperor Pagoda, Ben Thanh Market, and Saigon Square (where I was able to buy factory-made-in-Vietnam Kipling bags).

I got to see my Boni Family in September because Dekya went home. I have to say I miss my tabletop-gaming days. I wish I can do more of those in the coming year. It also marked the beginning of my #pawprintplaylist compilation in my Instagram. And it was the same month I decided to really pursue the rough plans I drafted in Vietnam. What plans? Well, you’ll see. 🙂

The celebration of Teacher’s month took place on October. And that means discounts and free stuff for me. Hehe And yes, induction of sugar in the blood because of the sweets gifted to me by my students.

I graduated from GLC 1 last November, but couldn’t attend the Level Up Ceremony because I went to manage the school camp in Rizal Recreation Center. No regrets because it was all good food. Also, Luhan (my laptop since 2013) broke down on me due to driver errors. So I finally succumbed to the temptation of buying my own Mac Book Air. Yup, I’m using it as of typing. And just like any other gadget I have, I bestowed a really an alias to it: The 4th Prince.

Before the month ended, Poi gave me a special treat. He and couple of good friends working in ABS-CBN took me to see Sandara Park the day after the announcement of 2ne1’s disbandment. That’s another mark off my bucket list: to see a Kpop superstar up close. She was a foot away from where I was. Whoah!

I am very happy to say that despite I was [sick and] tired of working, I was still able to give myself time to refresh on random days of December. I did a lot of cafe-slash-restaurant hopping around the metro. Some notable finds were Cafe I’m Here in Timog and Penpen’s in Cuba Expo. I found gold in the form of deep fried mantao with condensed milk in Shi Lin. And of course, those hole-in-the-walls in Poblacion: Tambai, Bean & Yolk, The Wild Poppy, and Alamat.

Also, my birthday weekend a.k.a. #Paw2ne9. It was nothing special, but because I was able to spend time with my family, it’s priceless! And yes, my very first ever SHINee World PH event, in which SWPH had a SHINee World 2016 DxDxD viewing party. Happy birthday, OnHo! Hahaha And of course, the annual Semi-circle of Friends Chizmax Parteeh!

Before I end this year-end post, allow me to make a rundown of some notable films and Drama. I was able to see Rogue One, Your Lie In April, Captain America: Civil War, Star Trek Beyond, Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them on the big screen. I saw the following Kdramas (the ones underlined were the ones I finished or interested in finishing) Moonlight Drawn By Clouds, Descendants of the Sun, Uncontrollably Fond, W – Two Worlds, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, Cheese in the Trap, Oh My Venus, Drinking Solo, Seven First KissesHwarang: The Beginning, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, and Reply 1988. And of course, the notable debuts/comebacks are the following: Blackpink, EXO-CBX, MOBB, Sechs Kies, Chen’s participation on Kdrama OSTs Taemin’s Press It and Sayonara Hitori (Japanese debut), Jonghyun’s ‘She Is’ and Inspiration Concert, SHINee’s 1of1 and 1and1, Bigbang’s MADE series and MADE Full Album, Arashi’s ‘Are You Happy?’.

Well, 2016… it has been a fun roller coaster with you. No doubt, I’m looking forward to 2017 and hope it will be equally, if not more exciting than you. Thank you Lord for all the challenges that resulted to a blessed 2016. God bless you all and see you in awhile, 2017!


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