Hold the Horses: Let’s Look Back at 2013

Before we end the first day of January and trot our way to 2014, here’s a  toast to 2013.

2013 was an extension of my 2012—growth—and the realization (of sort) my word for this year—receive. I have been blessed with extended families called friends and I would like to believe 2013 has been a great year for me when it came to opportunities and career, of traveling and meeting new people, of saying yes when everyone seems to say no—basically receiving both life’s challenges and rewards.

All in all, 2013 was all about:

receive

Asking and receiving without the guilt. I’ve learned that it is okay to ask—for help, for forgiveness, and for what you want, especially for something you think you deserve. It is not cowardice to admit you cannot do anything and everything. Just as it is not wrong to assert what you think, you deserve to ask from the people around you (and from the Universe in general) the things you think you deserve. It is also not wrong to give second chances to the people who have either failed or hurt you. At the same time, you must learn to forgive yourself for your shortcomings. It is okay to commit mistakes and take wrong turns just as long as you are willing to make up for it.

Acceptance and bond. Friends will be friends. Love them or hate them they will be the first in line to listen to your rants, eat and drink to your triumphs and tribulations, laugh at your stupidity and even make an effort to try to laugh at your corny jokes. Some may drift away. You might drift away. Some friendships remain strong after years of no communication at all while there are those forged in just a short time.

2013 was my first trip with my SMB barkada—a friendship that was born out of listening to the same radio station and has grown to sharing other passions in life such as music, movies, sports and food. I would not have made it through 2013 if not for these crazy people. They were my uppers when depression hit me, my sounding boards when I needed to vent out and yes, my mirrors when I needed reminders to live in reality. I am glad to be their friend.

friends

I’ve also accepted that not all your friends can stay with you, at least in proximity. This does not mean that you burn the bridges and turn your back on them. You remain their friend and hopefully they remain your friends, too.

 

Openness and letting go. I’ve learned to believe that everyone has a good side in him/her. You just need to be patient to see it. When people seem to make your life difficult, pause and try to put yourself in their shoes. It is not an easy task but it is not impossible. And if everything fails, if these people keep on hurting you, walk away and move on.  You deserve better. 

Investing. I decided it’s time I think about my future. I also realized it’s okay to spend time, effort and money on things that matter to me. I’m just starting but hopefully I gain ground as the months pass by.

Living the dream. A lot of my dreams came true in 2013. I finally had my first trip out of the country. I met Linkin Park and watched their concert. I ran and survived my first 10k and ended the year with my first 16k. I got to interview one of my dream subjects (interviewees) and wrote my first cover story. I even gained a noticeable amount of weight! Looking back I never thought these things could happen but they did. I also got to write more.  I thank those editors who believed in me. I know the best way to express my gratitude is to come up with clean and read-worthy copies.

They say 2014 will be a difficult year for us born under the Wood Rat but I say no year was free of hardships so why stress yourself too much and worry?

So here is my wish:

May 2014 bring us love to understand ourselves and the people around us; courage to face our fears and meet new challenges; wisdom to remember our mistakes in the past and to make the right choices in the present; health to keep us on our feet so we can also help others; peace for us to hear and listen to our hearts, as well as to the hearts of other people; and fortune because we all need some luck to make life easier.

Have a great 2014 everyone!

Untitled

“Cause baby, I’m not scared of this world when you’re here.”

                                         —Silenced by the Night, Keane

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Thank you 2011!

I must say, 2011 was one of the best years so far. A lot of things happened to me, a lot of blessings and challenges came my way. I know I cannot cover all of them but here’s my attempt in justifying why 2011 was a great year:

More assignments, more stories. 2011 gave me more opportunities to go out of my comfort zone and make my own stories (thank you for the trust!). Some of the memorable articles were those on emergency and disaster preparedness (my first major story), the concert business and the Travel Expo (it was my first sit-down interview). I was also given the opportunity to write our column. It was also a year where I finally got to go to Cebu and Davao and meet new faces in the process.

Deeper friendships, extended networks. This year, I was able to know better the people I work with everyday and extend the relationship outside office hours. Friendship was established. I also got to spent valuable time with my rusher friends. A group of them, I got to spend time watching movies every Saturday night, giving birth to what we called the SMB (Saturday Movie Buddies). Going to events also allowed me to meet new people in the same industry I am part of.

The Script's concert in Araneta was EPIC ( photo from the band's twitter page)

Better music appreciation, great concerts. I swear, 2011 was a crazy year for me when it came to going to concerts and live shows. It was a year of realizing one of my dreams–seeing my favorite acts live. I was one of the people who said ‘thank you and goodbye’ to Sugarfree. I never thought I would enjoy Fra Lippo Lippi during their Valentine’s Day concert. I discovered my love for Yellowcard after going to their presscon (until now, I really feel bad that I didn’t catch their concert). My birthday week was capped off with an amazing concert of The Script. I was lucky to catch Maroon 5 when they went back here. It was my first time to see Sandwich and Kjwan perform live. The Westlife Gravity Tour was a blast from the past. And of course, the top two concerts for me were Train’s and 30 Seconds to Mars‘. Train capped off this wonderful concert year for me. And the best part of it? I got picked by Patrick Monahan to be on stage with the rest of the Trainettes! Crazy, right?

Me and the rest of the Trainettes during Train's 2011 concert at Smart Araneta Center (Special thanks to Astroboy and Ron for the photo)

Patrick takes a photo of the crowd (Train live in Manila). Yes, that's me beside the guy on black!

Of course, the concert that turned my world upside down was that of 30 Seconds. I never really expected that they would do a concert here that soon! Going to their show was one of the major decisions I had to make. I mean, back then, I didn’t have friends who dig TSM the way I did so it was hard getting someone who would really go with me (no second thoughts whatsoever). Prior to the announcement of the concert, I remember telling myself that if ever TSM and Linkin Park would do a concert here, I would make it a point to be in the section nearest the stage/VIP.

30 Seconds to Mars' Tomo, Jared and Shannon during the presscon at Edsa Shangri-La

Jared performing an acoustic number during TSM's rainy concert at Trinoma Open Park.

I bought my ticket even if I know it would entail me going to the show ALONE. I tried joining contests to get VIP or meet-and-greet passes and got lucky to win a pass to the presscon. It was surreal. It’s that “so-near-yet-so-far” moment! I was seated two rows from their table just mesmerized by the band’s presences, taking photos of them while trying to calm myself. During the day of the concert, I prepared myself to be rained on (it was July, we were having typhoons left and right). In the end, I was proud of myself. I went to a rock concert all alone (although I met with friends afterwards); braved the rains and the wild crowd; lost my watch and busted my camera ; and lived ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING NIGHTS OF MY LIFE.

With friends during the 16th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Going places, exploring things. I mentioned above that 2011 allowed me to finally go to Cebu and Davao. Even though the trips were work-related, I enjoyed them just the same. I never expected to be going to these places this year and for that I am thankful. I also got to join my friends in watching the 16th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Clark, Pampanga and the World Pyro Olympics held at the Mall of Asia. I spent my Holy Week break touching base with my high school friends and visiting The Grotto in Bulacan. I enjoyed watching Kaos, Rent and Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai (and the best part: it’s free!).

With Chico and Delle

2011 was also the year The Morning Rush turned 15. I was lucky to be part of the anniversary celebration, being a rusher since 1996. TMR has been a great part of my high school life and I’m glad the show is still growing strong. They even came out with a book (which I heard is selling like hot pancakes) and the community of the show’s listeners is just getting bigger as days go by.

I know that 2011 was not a perfect year. I know there were times that difficulties tested my faith and patience. Not only once did I give in to temptations, to my temper, to my carelessness. Yet the positive events in my life overtook the negative. And for this I am truly grateful.

Thank you, 2011. Let 2012 be better, if not the same.

I know it will.