12 Highlights of my Year 2016

 

To say that 2016 was great is an understatement. So is likening it to a roller coaster.

2016 for me, was like a steep uphill climb, with difficult roads to traverse, shaky rocks I had to step on, rest stations to catch my breath. All done in the summer. Yep.

So this entry would not just be a list of highlights but a reminder of how God had been so good to me, guiding me throughout my journey that was filled to the brim with surprises–good and err…challenging ones (which I had to power through).

Number 1. #romanceclass2016 

Part of the reason why I binge-read on Filipino-authored romance books was this workshop. Before we get to participate, we should have read at least 3 of Ms. Mina’s books and 3 #romanceclass books plus the text book. I’m not complaining. It started my ‘fangirling’ mode, hahaha. This workshop gave birth to Karlos Inigo Vicente and Yasmin San Carlos, whose story is still in the BETA-reading process as I write this blog.

I'm ready. 🤓 Now to think of what my manuscript will be about 🤔 #romanceclass2016 #conceptualizing

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Number 2. Face to Face class for #romanceclass2016 

One of the things I like about joining workshops like this is that there are discussions to help us develop our characters. One such event was the F2F class with alpha males held at Toby’s Cafe, Ortigas. Note that this isn’t the first F2F class that I went to. But it is one of the most memorable because one of the speakers was a living embodiment of what I wanted my character to be. But as I wrote Igo’s story, it turned out that the guest speaker became the ‘threat’ in the story, hahaha. Which was fine too.

Number 3. Watching the UPWVT in action 

I don’t watch volleyball games even in college. But my housemates were huge fans and decided to take me to a UAAP game where my and le fiance’s alma maters are going against each other. Although my team lost, I’ve been up-to-date with their games and ranking even in the Shakey’s V-League. Although I don’t watch their games live or even via simultaneous broadcast as I have a “curse”, needless to say, I had become a fan since, hehehe.

😳😳😳🏐🏐🏐 #UPfight #UAAP #volleyball

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Number 4. Serving at the LoveLife Retreat

The experience of being a participant in a retreat is different from that of a server. As a participant, there’s a lot of introspecting. But as a server, especially one who had to play the guitar for two days, is overwhelming. I felt all the emotions of the participants in full-blast, numerous times, I found myself crying simply because I could sense their burden. It’s like carrying the burden that the participants were able to unload in the duration of the retreat. The minimal preparation, the sleepless nights, the callouses I had from playing the guitar was all worth it. I’m planning to make this a yearly thing for the Holy Week 🙂

 

Number 5. Buying myself a Fender acoustic guitar

I may not have pursued playing the piano, but I could with the guitar if I’m not singing at the Ortigas Feast PM session. This Fender guitar also marks my third year in my current company yay!

 

Number 6. #AprilFeelsDay

By this time, I have already finished writing the first draft of my manuscript. However, I had doubts so I parked it. Meanwhile, everyone from #romanceclass was super excited for this event. One month before the actual event, we had daily instagram posts related to promoting our colleagues’ works. On the day itself, Ms. Mina held a short meeting with the #romanceclass2016 participants before heading to the venue for the #AprilFeelsDay. We were all unmindful of the aircon unit breaking down because we’re preoccupied with spazzing over the actors who brought excerpts of selected novels come to life. Just look for the hashtag in IG to get a picture of how fun the activity was.

 

Number 7. Wattpad-related Meetups

It’s an annual thing for Wattpad readers and writers. And for two consecutive years, I was invited to be a speaker. I’m proud to be a member of the Wattpad community because despite the bashing that we get, nobody can underestimate the number of young writers who want to be heard/read. Also, readership among Filipino youth went up.

Another annual meet-up that I went to on the same day the Summer Wattpad meet-up was held was our group’s “bonding time” with our readers. This is our way to show how grateful we are to our readers who had been supporting us since the inception of the collaboration even prior to us getting published.

Many thanks @goodkidsupply for the awesome design 👊🏻 #CtafPNBCmeetup #whenyouseeit

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Number 8. Travels

I think 2016 has been the year where I traveled the most, going to new places with either my team at work, with le fiance, and with family. It’s where I tried new activities too including trekking to the Taal Crater, trying out the bandwagon at Laiya, Batangas,  glamping at Aurora, and relaxing in El Nido, Palawan.

Island within an island, lake within a lake 😳 #nature #tripinas #morefuninthephilippines

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Bandwagon! 😎 #latepost #beachplease

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The bridge to the beach ☀️🏖 #SummerIsNotOver #beachplease #camping #LelongAndLelang #Baler

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Number 9. Meeting Atom and Pia

Need I say more? Maybe it’s huge thanks to Ms. Mina and the #romanceclass for making this possible because this was one of the face-to-face class to better understand and write about characters who are in the journalism industry. Ms. Pia Arcanghel was there early and so we initially thought Atom Araullo wouldn’t make it. But he did. And he made our day.

That smile is just… 😳😍❤️ #romanceclass

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Number 10. October #FeelsFest

Another full-blown event by, for and of the #romanceclass authors and readers where we spazzed for half the day. See my earlier post for this event here.

ATM. #feelsfest #romanceclass #supportfilipinoauthors

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Number 11. Philippine Readers And Writers Festival and MIBF 2016

It was my first time attending the PRWF event to support #romanceclass authors who were panelists. And then, when I heard about Anna Todd aka Imaginator1d in Wattpad, I bought all the books sold at the NBS kiosk, hahaha. I believe, her work–the After Series– is the most-read in Wattpad and I wanted to pick her brain by reading the entire series. Also, buying the books gave me a chance to meet her too. I even had a chance to record a video message from her.

Meanwhile, I’ve been going to MIBF since 2013 to hoard books (most of which still remain untouched on my shelf haha). But what made it different MIBF2016 different than the others? The #romanceclass booth!!! Also, I only bought five books, all of which were signed by the authors. Yay, Me!

ATM. Aisle J. Manix Abrera in the house y'all!!! 😳😳😳 #mibf2016 #booksigning

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ATM 😳😍❤️ #booksigning #mibf2016 #fangirling

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ATM with Miss Mina V. Esguerra 😆😍❤️ #booksigning #fangirling #mibf2016 #supportfilipinoauthors

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Number 12. Answered Prayers

…which are life-changing, words or photos won’t be enough to show how grateful I am.

 

To cut this TLDR post, I can’t wait for what 2017 has in store for me. I hope you’ll be part of it too. 🙂

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