Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: What A Year!

To say that 2016 was a tumultuous year is an understatement. From beginning to end, it seems that the year dropped on us one bomb after another. From deaths to tragedies to political situations, our country and the rest of the world went through one tough year. You don't need to go beyond your Facebook feed to see how divisive the world has become. 

Personally though, 2016 was good for me. I needed to go through 2016 to reboot, recharge, and realign myself with what I really wanted with my life. 

The year before this, 2015, had been rough. Between family drama, a business venture that didn't pan out, and getting sick again, I needed to breathe. In the latter part of 2015, an uncle offered me a job in the province, and it was the perfect opportunity for me to reset. I stayed there for a year. 

After living independently for many years, it was refreshing to be cared for again. I didn't need to worry about cooking my own food, doing the laundry, and cleaning the place. I had to adjust living with others though, because I wasn't used to not being alone in the house anymore. 

Many afternoons in the province were spent enjoying snacks like suman sa lihiya or tamales, a delicacy from Tiaong, Quezon. 

My job was pretty easy, the office a mere five minutes away from the house, and I always had a ride to and from the municipal hall, save for some days when I had to commute. On weekends, I went back to Manila to spend time with Jay and his family. 

Slowly, I began to heal. I began to dream again. I began to pick up the broken pieces and believe that things can still get better. 

I enjoyed bonding with my aunt, who loved entertaining guests over food. We had tacos for dinner one night!

And they did. After a year in Quezon, I went back to Manila. I took classes and workshops that helped me pursue my passion for writing, and I started being active on this blog. I met with friends, family, and carefully chose the jobs I applied for. I traveled. I felt my faith being restored and my commitment to God get stronger. 

4x4 ride at the Laoag sand dunes in Ilocos. 

With authors and editors Mina V. Esguerra (left) and Ines B. Yao at the Writing for YA workshop in September.

Experienced fall and winter in Tokyo, Japan.

At the airport before our flight back to Manila, I mailed a postcard addressed to my Dad, the first of many. At that moment, my siblings and I were in different parts of the world. I was in Japan, my Kuya in the States, and my sister in Norway.

With my high school girlfriends turned maid of honor and bridesmaid.

The most important blessing I received this year was when Jay and I decided to get married. We have been together for more than half our lives, and to finally take that step toward marriage is a prayer He answered in His perfect time. 

Our Japan trip was the cherry on top of my beautiful cake. We witnessed our first snowfall (it hasn't snowed in Tokyo in November for 54 years), and were fortunate to glimpse the magnificent Mt. Fuji. With the snowcapped mountain behind us, Jay asked me to be his wife. It was amazing. 

"He has made everything beautiful in its time." -Ecclesiastes 3:11

But God wasn't finished because there was another bonus in store for me. I planned to sell my banana loaves in December just in time for the Holiday season. I prayed that people would order because having no regular job, this was my chance to earn an income. And boy, did God deliver. 

Many friends ordered for their gifts and personal consumption. My heart is full!

My baking sidehustle was such a success, orders have spilled over to 2017! This is the path I really want to pursue, and I hope I get to have an opportunity to do so. 

2016 taught me a lot of things. To patiently wait, but to also ask for what you want and need. To pray, but to also work hard. To hustle, but to also rest when needed. 

Thank you dear readers for going on this journey with me. I know you're there (so please leave a comment! heehee), and my wish is that thru this blog, may I meet new friends and kindred spirits. See you in 2017 and let's discover together! 

Happy New Year! 🎉🎉🎉


  1. Happy for you Ro :) Cheers to 2017!

  2. Ahhh love this post. Dami natin who had a tough 2016, but may bawi sa end :) Love it!

    Ines B. Yao is my 'virtual' co-worker. Faney na faney ako sa kanya since her Candy mag days :)

    1. Yes, grabe rin yung 2016 sa karamihan hehe. But onwards and upwards! :)

      Really? Me too, sila ni Mia Fausto! In-approach ko pa si Mia in Music Museum after a Freestyle concert (how dated haha). Candy girls unite!