11 Pipers Piping: 11 Monthly Highlights

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me… 11 pipers piping!

Yes, we can sing about those 11 pipers now. 11 months have pirouetted past our eyes and now we’ve only one more piece to play before the year ends. It’s strange. There were instances this 2012 when the days just seemed to drag until forever. But now that we’re here — now that December is here —

Gosh. I can’t believe we’re nearly at the end of this year’s song.

But the pipers will play on. But — for now — let me share to you those riffs that had made up my year’s tune.

  • January: I went back to writing after 11 weeks of blogging silence. I started a 30 Day challenge, determined that I would finish it even if it wouldn’t take me 30 Days.
  • February: I saw elephants. And fireflies. And I got to sing “Old McDonald” with little kids. In Malay.
  • March: I learned to “turn up the music”.
  • April: A Stevie Wonder song painted a smile on my face and made my 24th birthday sweet and, well, lovely.
  • May: I ended my days of chasing train tracks and got myself a faithful companion who would keep me company in the days, months, and years to come.
  • June: Sabay-sabay na ulan.
  • July: I went home for a 4-day visit. One of my cousins tied the knot and I got to witness one of the most touching bridal marches ever. Oh, and I got to sing Marie Digby’s “I do” for the bride and groom, too.
  • August: I traveled to Vietnam. :)
  • September: A dear friend from UPLB changed address and flew over here, to Malaysia.
  • October: I witnessed seeing changed lives again — in Destiny Singapore’s Encounter 14. 
  • November: Twas a month of thanksgiving. I flew over to the Philippines for 3-and-a-half days, saw UPLB again after 2 years, and celebrated with friends and family — baby showers, bridal showers, family days and conferences, anyone? Then I flew back to Malaysia to give glory to God in a celebration of our own.

So there you go. And, as fast as those 11 pipers have been piping, 10 lords would soon go a leaping. So love life. Cherish the moments. Get every bit of lesson you can get.

Oh! And don’t forget that December will also have some highlights of its own.

Love life!
Love life!

12 Drummers Drummin: 12 Lessons from 2012

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me… 12 drummers drummin! 11 pipers —


Hold those pipers. Don’t get so enthusiastic and finish the song off just yet. Can’t those little drummers have their own little spotlight first? That kid who went pa-rum-pa-pum-pum did, so why can’t they? They often get so easily glossed over, being sung about just once while the rest of the true love’s gifts get sung about two to twelve times in the cumulative Christmas song. I think they deserve a bit of a break.

I’m doing a 12 Days of Christmas Fire Potion Challenge and the 12 drummers — 12 lessons from 2012, in my version — are the first on my list of lists. So before we sing about them 11 pipers piping, let’s allow the drummers to first go a drumming. Let me share to you the 12 lessons that I got from 2012:

  1. Driving a manually transmitted car is easier than you think it is.
  2. Slice carrots into equal sizes if you want to serve a dish that’s not half overcooked and half undercooked.
  3. It’s okay to get a little lost as long as you have a full gas tank and as long as you have a clear destination in mind. You’ll find out there are signs pointing you to where you want to go to. You might do better with a GPS, but even a GPS can’t be trusted — sometimes.
  4. Make new friends. Don’t forget old ones. Life is so much better when you have people to share good times and bad times with.
  5. Call people up — your parents, your friends — even if it’s long distance. Those few precious minutes cost less than a packet of Oreos anyway.
  6. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel sad. But when you find yourself in the brink of depression and you find yourself falling in — well, if you must fall, fall into the arms of the Loving Father.
  7. Don’t be afraid to give. He who receives much also gives much. Have wisdom in managing your finances still.
  8. Read books. Travel. Paint. Write. Sing your heart out. Live life to the full.
  9. Set your eyes on what God has in store for you. Don’t compare what you have (or don’t have) with what you see in others’ possession. Contentment is the key. If you must feel some sort of discontent, it should be because you are not yet the you  you are supposed to be.
  10. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Don’t be afraid to revisit old dreams and rekindle long-forgotten talents as well.
  11. Treasure people. Cherish whatever time God has given you to spend with them. Life is too fragile and too unpredictable to take people and relationships for granted.
  12. There are people who deserve the most honest and most transparent you — don’t be afraid to “bear it all” and “watch [yourself] unfold”.

So there you go. 12 lessons. A lot of these lessons came from the depths of the depths because, in all honesty, this year has been one of the more rocky ones. This blog doesn’t quite show it but I have been through quite a lot this 2012.  Anyway, listing down all these lessons — I’ve come to realize that, indeed, “the experience is so different when you go higher” (at least that’s what my new notebook says). It is so much more different when you look at things from the Penthouse’s point of view.

Ain't it so? :)
Ain’t it so? :)

Fire Potion

(Desktop Wallpaper from Smashing Magazine)
(Desktop Wallpaper from Smashing Magazine)

“For sweet kisses and warm hugs.”

I’m guessing it’s already very chilly now in La Trinidad, my hometown. The Salad Bowl must be already experiencing the perfect bonfire weather. I can almost feel the warmth of those orange-yellow flames. I can almost taste the gooey sweetness of toasted marshmallows, the juiciness of the sausages and barbecues my aunts and uncles love to grill. But since I’m not going home this December, I guess I’ll be missing out on our annual Noche Buena and Media Noche  traditions. I won’t be seeing any bonfires this 2012.

I will be in Malaysia. Working on the 24th (which is a Monday) and on the 31st (also a Monday)  because I have no more leaves left. Oh well. I’m not turning into Ebenezer Scrooge just because of this though.

Instead, I’m going to give out some sweet kisses and warm hugs to all of you reading this blog.

Let’s start another project/challenge now, shall we? One that will look back at the year that was. One that will look forward to the one that is to come. One that will spread warm and fuzzy feelings all around. In the span of 12 blog entries. Anyone want to sing a round of “12 Days of Christmas” with me?

  • 12 Drummers Drummin: 12 lessons you’ve learned from 2012.
  • 11 Pipers Piping: 11 highlights from each of the 11 months that have passed.
  • 10 Lords-a-leaping: 10 men who have made a significant impact on your life this year.
  • 9 Ladies Dancing: 9 women who have made a significant impact on your life this year.
  • 8 Maids-a-milking: 8 songs about 2012.
  • 7 Swans-a-swimming: 7 books you’ve read and loved.
  • 6 Geese-a-laying: 6 photos that made/make you smile.
  • 5 Gold Rings: 5 things you are grateful for.
  • 4 Colly Birds: 4 new places you want to go to this coming year.
  • 3 French Hens: 3 “wishes” for 2013.
  • 2 Turtle Doves: 2 new things you want to do this coming year.
  • A partridge in a pear tree: Paint a picture of your 2013.

I’m copyrighting this challenge (hehe) so let me know if you want to take it on, too.

So, December — are you ready? Let’s leak out some love. ;)