2017 Year in Review

Of all the years of my life, I think 2017 had been the most challenging so far, but also most exciting year of my life. So many new experiences that I never thought would have been possible. Here’s a rundown of the highlights of my 2017:

WORK

ASEAN Workshop for PWDs in Bangkok, Thailand – At the start of the year, I was tasked to attend a workshop to develop the M&E Framework of the ASEAN Decade for PWDs. It was my first time to represent the Philippines in an ASEAN activity. I got the chance to meet Mr. Lauro, an active PWD advocate who is a PWD himself and his cheerful character and passion for the cause inspired me to hope for a better future for our PWDs. Truly grateful.

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I was assigned Officer-in-Charge of  a Division, where we successfully organized two workshops on Risk Management and M&E, one training on M&E where we served as the Resource Persons, one M&E Conference, and one Evaluation Study. I think this was the most challenging part of my 2017, having to lead a team of people who I considered my peers and friends, but also having to deal with other people within our Bureau and outside our Bureau. Made me realize that leading and managing people is not the easiest task and it takes a lot of character, love, respect, patience and intelligence. I learned a lot and would not have done anything any different. I may have disappointed some people at times, but it is from there where I have learned to become better.

Wrote a paper and presentation for the National Evaluation Capacities Conference 2017 held in Istanbul, Turkey – where I celebrated my birthday for 2017. This was my first time to be outside of Asia and Istanbul was truly mesmerizing. The conference was attended by over 500 evaluators and governments from 113 countries.

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Selected to be the student for a Certificate Course on M&E at the Asian Institute of Management where I graduated top 4 of my class. I learned a lot from the professors but also to my fellow classmates. I realized that I still had a lot to learn, and to learn I have to interact with others, be inquisitive, work with other people, share enthusiasm and also establish friendships + hard work! Grateful for the opportunity.

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I got accepted to AIM Master in Development Management program with scholarship, and my office approved for me to do it on official time. I am so excited for this chapter!!!

PASSION

2017 was the year I *tried* to actively pursue my passion for the arts. With the extra push from my Love, I started an Instagram account of my art. I tried to practice by producing as much artwork as I can, and asking people about how I can help if they needed anything designed.

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First ever commission for a friend ❤

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For a friend’s passion project 🙂

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Our wedding invitation ❤

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For my friend’s proposal (Yays and Chie, whom I love dearly)

I realized that it’s so much easier for me to create art if it’s for other people, not just for me. I look forward to using my love for art to make more people happy in 2018. 🙂

I also attended three painting classes this year – Cheryl Ong, Enon de Belen and Joannie Candi. I thank the Lord for the provision. 🙂

FITNESS & HEALTH

Okay, I have failed at losing weight again! But I’ve managed to enroll in a gym and have had for the most part of the year some regular exercise with my Love.

Highlight for 2017 was the successful 21K run sub-3 hours!

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TRAVELS

Calatagan with family

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Mt Pinatubo with friends

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Cambodia-Vietnam with Love

FAMILY & FRIENDS

I am not the best at maintaining friendships and relationships because… sometimes I prefer to be alone, I don’t know the right things to say, I suck at conversations, I’m shy, I’m introvert. But I have a few people to whom I can just be me, where they feel my love despite my lack of warmth.

This 2017, I tried to be there for family and friends – big moments, small moments, even awkward moments. I just hope that no matter how distant I may seem, they know that I will be there for them if they need me.

LOVE

Got married! This year was all about love, not just from friends and family but also from my soul mate and best friend. My love proposed and the rest is history! I made the best decision of my life. ❤ Truly the highlight of my 2017.

Credits to owners of the photos! Wedding planning went smoothly and it actually brought us closer. We were lucky that all of our wedding suppliers performed great and the guests felt our love. We could not ask for a better wedding. ❤

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So many chances given to me to choose love and respect, exercise grit, perseverance, hard work, patience and leadership – traits I have been praying for. 2017 has taught me so much about dealing with challenges in life as if they were really sent to you for the purpose of building your character, being of service to God and the people around me in all that I do, in acknowledging my innate skills to be of help to others, and choosing when to speak and stay silent.

If I were to name my theme for 2017, it would have to be Love and Service. I sacrificed and cried a lot for others, and in return I got so much love from so much unexpected places and people. 

I am excited for 2018! Each year just gets more packed with surprises, dreams, friendship and love. 🎉

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#28teen

It’s my birthday! Grateful for all the wonderful blessings sent my way in all its shapes and sizes 😊

in the form of good, honest, caring, sincere, and loving people, 

in the form of soooo many challenges to my brain, heart and character that have made me cry but also made me better (I hope!), 

in the form of new wonderful opportunities and missed opportunities that tested my faith in myself and in God but strengthened my belief in His perfect timing, 

in the form of passion projects and supportive people who share my hopes and dreams to make life more meaningful but also share my frustrations in trying to keep it all together in an oftentimes uncooperative world. 

I am just plain happy to be alive – to give love, to be loved. Still trying to keep it all together. Still praying. Still learning. 🙏 Thankful for everyone who patiently stick around. 💕

Bravest 1.5 Years Ever (July 2017-2018)

I’ve been praying to the Lord for about more than a year now. I’ve been asking Him to guide me by revealing to me (in His own way) His plans for my life, my purpose. I’ve been told by my fiance to pray for it and so I did. Continuously. 

And it’s funny, because the more I prayed for it, the more I worked for it. I read devotionals, books, articles, listened to podcasts, went to classes… I reflected based on what I’ve read and I feel like slowly, God is revealing some of His plans for me by allowing me to get to know myself better – by the desires He has planted into my heart, my passions, and the innate abilities He has generously showered me. 

I have some inkling now of what I really love doing. Which is to create – art that inspires emotions, designs that spark joy, and the combination of art and words that teaches people (especially kids) about love and doing good. 

I have some inkling of how I want to live my life – to live simply with my family (and extended family) but with the freedom to eat healthy and exercise, to pursue our passions, and to have meaningful experiences. 

I want to practice minimalism as a lifestyle too. Capitalism has led so many people to live excessively or dream of living excessively. And this consumerism has also led us to become increasingly dissatisfied with our material posessions. Our focus on accumulating wealth for material possessions has led us to disregard the sustainability of our environment for future generations. 

So far, this is my big picture. Simple but close to my heart. Simple and yet complex because the path to this vision is not the path most taken, and it will most likely not be the easiest one to take. It’s an unconventional path that I have yet to discover, learn from and actually live. It will be a path that I may have to make up along the way, tread slowly, take uturns, accelerate fast, make temporary stops, continue on and hopefully have some some moments of clarity and awakening. 

This coming 1.5 years will be my bravest years ever. Because I will live it with intention towards this path. After this, maybe I may have to depart from the main road I’m in. Maybe I can tread on both. Maybe God has a totally different road to place before me but I have to find it still. Either way, pray for me. 😊🙏

Chapters of my life themes:

Hope 2017

2017 goals in watercolor 😊❤️

  1. Graduate MDE (Master in Development Economics)
  2. Save 5k per month
  3. Run 21km in good time
  4. Travel Cambodia-Vietnam
  5. Read six books
  6. Build portfolio – 50 new watercolor paintings
  7. Seek volunteer opportunities 
  8. Seek new employment opportunities