Admittedly, 2016 was not the best year for my family (or to the whole world apparently). Both my parents had their moments in the hospital, Baby Kingkong had a few trips as well. It was quite a difficult 4th quarter of the year for us.
BUT (it’s a big but) we are not swayed, we are persistent. These trials were given by God to make us stronger, and that’s exactly what we intend to be – STRONGER.
So instead of focusing on the bad, I am highlighting the good. Sometimes we tend to count our miseries carefully, and accept our blessings without much thought. Well, I am choosing to count my blessings, so without further adieu, here’s my Top 10 of 2016!
My year wouldn’t be complete without exploring a new island in the Philippines. For this year’s ATM Center outing (where we almost always tag along), we went to Cagbalete Island in Mauban, Quezon.
It was an official business trip but memorable because I finally got to meet my colleagues in the APCB (Association of Philippine Correspondent Bank Officers). We stayed at the beautiful Movenpick Hotel and Resort in Mactan. This was my second solo trip after Singapore last November 2015. Solo trips are always special because you learn new things about yourself every time.
Our Baby Kingkong turned 1 last July 15. He had the most wonderful kiddie party at Jollibee Festival Mall in Alabang. We also found out that my sister-in-law, Ella, was pregnant again. Woohoo!
It was a spur of the moment thing, I told my parents there’s a seat sale to Boracay, they asked if it’s KKB, and then we’re off! Haha. Too bad though Nikki missed the fun.
What can I say, I’m THE BEST match maker in town. These two finally said I DO in a simple civil wedding ceremony at Manila City Hall. It was followed by a sumptuous buffet lunch at Spiral Restaurant. To Nikki and Ella’s friends and family, watch out for their church wedding soon!
Definitely one of the highlights of my year, seeing my babies dance their way to the hearts of everyone. We didn’t win. But the response from the crowd was craaaaazy, so we’re still happy. I still think they were the best performers that night.
It was more than just a staycation, this was the first ‘public appearance’ of my dad after the incident. This moment was like a sign to me that everything is going to be okay.
Usapang Byahe Gang goes to South Cebu! We went to Badian, Oslob, Sumilon Island, and Tumalog Falls. But the highlight of our trip was definitely our Canyoneering Adventure in Badian. It was both exhausting and adrenalin-pumpin’. Once again I marveled in awe at how beautiful the Philippines is, then jumped to my death the incredible canyons of the Matutinao River and Kawasan Falls.
16 hours of land travel and almost 2 hours of hiking through the Kalinga Mountains, all worth it, to be in the presence of the greatest tattoo artist in the Philippines. Apo Whang Od is a legend. I am so honored to be a living vessel of her art.
A few days before Christmas, my mom was confined in the hospital. I was devastated. I felt tired and defeated. Nothing will compare to that feeling of fear when your parents’ life is in danger. What more when we (Nikki, Kim, and I) felt that twice within 3 months? All material things I thought I wanted for Christmas went out of the window, I just have one wish for Santa, for my parents to be okay.
By the grace of God we celebrated the birth of Jesus, healthy, happy, and with grateful hearts. We miss Nikki so much, but we are complete with love.
Cheers to a better and more exciting 2017! May it be your most fabulous year yet!
Happiest New Year to all!