Gift of Turnaround: Two Turning Points

So I almost started typing the lyrics of Bonnie Tyler’s hit tune, because, you know, that’s how my brain processes and all. But this is supposed to be a serious entry! We’re talking about turnarounds and all! (Every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you’re never coming round… ugh, okay, hit pause now.)

Fine. Time to get serious. What two things turned my life around this 2013? Was it saying yes to a boy I love who, as fate would have it, lives more or less 1555 nautical miles away? Was it finding out that my body is not as young and healthy as I thought it was? Close, but I would say that these two are very important runner-ups. But if I were to identify the two top turning points for 2013, it would have to be the following (‘sides, I already expounded on the two in my previous entry):

Turnaround 1: Typhoon Haiyan. This November, a super typhoon wrecked havoc in the central region of my motherland. For days, we tuned into the news, feeling a mix of helplessness, indignation, sadness, anger… Many of us wanted to do something about the situation but couldn’t or didn’t know how. The news reached my office. And guess what? My faith in humanity was restored. Donations came in both in cash and in kind. People surprised me with their heart to give, to be a part of something that could somehow help out people whose lives were shattered in an instant. Really, there’s more goodness in people that we actually give them credit for.

Turnaround 2: The Big Move. As some of my works of flash fiction suggested, yes, people, we have moved. After two years of staying in the previous condo, it was time to face those boxes again, do those negotiations with agents again, tow around all those belongings again. You know how in Despicable Me, there’s this shrink ray that’s supposed to shrink the moon to aid in the pilfering process? I wish that shrink ray was real. Then moving wouldn’t be so laborious. Anyway, now we’re in a new place and it’s time to leave the old memories behind. Sigh. Nothing’s really permanent, you know? Oh melancholia.

Well, this is the last entry for this year, the last entry for looking back. Tomorrow we begin to look forward.

Here’s to the last day of 2013!


New walls to decorate.
New walls to decorate.

Gift of Pictures: Four Important Photographs

I’m so sorry. This entry is a bit late. I was supposed to post it yesterday but I was too caught up… watching Disney cartoons. Hehehe. Twas an awesome Christmas Hibernation Day. And then I went for Christmas dinner with some friends. So… better late than never. ;)

These are four important 2013 photographs. They marked certain milestones, certain heartwarming events, points of growth, and, you know, those meaningful, defining moments in life.

Photo 1: Lunch at Ipoh. Taken at a stopover when I drove my family over to Penang.


Photo 2: Worth Having. See how happy he is? Hehehe.


Photo 3: Tanah Lot. I learned so many things in Bali.


Photo 4: Thanksgiving 2013. I can’t believe we pulled it off. Well, with God, everything is possible. Yey!


As I look at these photos, I realize I’ve been incredibly blessed this 2013, despite the many downs I fell onto along the way. But God is just so good.

A belated Merry Christmas to you all. Happy Holidays, spread the love and cheer. ;)


Gift of Memories: Seven 2013 Highlights

Today I choose to be grateful, thankful for what 2013 brought into my life. These include the memories (even though they weren’t so great, he tastes like you only sweeter – err, no). Kidding with the parenthetical remark. Yeah, sometimes my mind bursts into song, so forgive me for the Fall Out Boy reference there.

Truth be told, a lot of my memories this 2013 were great and it’s hard to pick only seven. But I can try.

Memory 1: Long Drive and Family Visit. Because I couldn’t go home for Christmas last year, guess who came over for a Post-Christmas + New Year visit? My family! Yey! How cool was it to have the four of us living together inside my apartment like it was some parallel universe where we all stayed under a roof on this side of Southeast Asia? And I got broken into my first super-mega-long-drive too. We went to Penang! It took us about six hours! And I drove a manually transmitted car! Yey!

Memory 2: Writing Revival. The first quarter of 2013 saw an abundance of blog posts both here and in my sorta-travel blog. I wrote in a somewhat feverish frenzy, churning out at least one entry per day. Things got a bit busy by the second quarter though. I started hitting the gym. I started focusing on other projects, too. But I kept writing. And I will keep writing still.

Memory 3: Bali Workation. I got to see Bali! And eat babi guling! Those two weeks in bali were definitely worth remembering. Maygash. I can still taste the babi guling.

Memory 4: Hearts All Over The World. We were churchmates in 2004. Awkwardly close friends in 2009. Ehrm, courter and courtee (okay fine — in the process) when the last quarter of 2011 rolled around. May 2013, I said yes to him. Not, “yes, I do”, but “yes, let’s be a pair” and “yes, I will subscribe to your magazine and all your issues”. Mushy, I know. But then again, I’ve always been full of cheese and mush.

Memory 5: Patico Nuptials + Tramian Adoption. Nanay Patty got hitched this year! Awesome, right? That was one sweet early morning wedding. May ushered in a new season for her and hubby Kuya Ico, but then May ushered in a new season for me, too. There were tears, there were singing (cue Mari’s shaky version of Christina Aguilera’s I turn to you) and some adoption-paper-signing (okay, not really) — 2013 truly marked a big transition in terms fathering in the spiritual sense. So… Group hug, everyone.

Memory 6: Online Learning. This year, I signed up for an online course. Though it won’t give me any credits or certification, it’s been giving me lots of fun information and inspiration. I’ll be sad when the course ends this December 20. Will we at least get some graduation rites? Huhu. (For those interested, my tumblr here keeps a record of things that I have been learning so far.)

Memory 7: Unstoppable Kingdom Moving. ICPM Bangkok. DM Anniv. The Big Move. So this is what it means to be an Unstoppable Kingdom Mover. I mean that both literally and figuratively. We’re staying in a new house now. How many muscles were flexed just to transport everything from the other house to here (we only used a push-able  trolley). Are we unstoppable or are we unstoppable? Yeah.

And another yeah there.

Writing all these down, I’m realizing that 2013 has been good. Very good. :)

Now who here believes that 2014 will be even better?



The magical sneakers!