The Year in Retrospect continued.
Travel within the country at least once:
I have not really travelled much for a couple of reasons but for 2016, I was hoping to travel somewhere, as a sort of break from the daily routine of life. Amazingly so, I had opportunities to go out and about not only through all my hikes but also with trips I had, both personal and professional. As the department attained its goal, we all went to the beach at Batangas for a day away. We rode a banana boat and a flying fish which were pretty fun first for me. My family and I also went to Batangas for an overnight trip, had an indoor pool all to ourselves, caught the sunrise while strolling along the pine tree-filled resort, and had lunch over at Tagaytay to cap it all off. It was really lovely as we don’t often get that chance to go out as a family, given schedules and other reasons.
I also got a chance to go to Albay, Bicol for a work trip where I spent a week on a project and had some of my weekend to go around, from historical churches to an ATV-ride, from hiking up hills to seeing the perfectly-coned and beautiful Mayon Volcano in its many angles. To say, there was also a ton of food-tripping along the way. An October trip was set but I guess it wasn’t meant to be as it was the week I had chicken pox and became unfit to work let alone to push through with the outing.
Timeline: April, May, July, August
Travel outside the country at least once:
Planned with my JTA-mates, we booked a flight to Bangkok, Thailand for a 3-day, 3-night trip last November. We arrived Thursday evening and stayed at a great place we found through AirBnb. Called Snooze, it had a café on its first floor and we had our room at the third and topmost floor. It was an amazing trip as we got to see the ancient city of Ayutthaya and the lovely elephants, go on a shopping and food trip in Chatuchak Market, Amphawa Floating Market, and Khao San Road, and go on a tour to the historical sites of Bangkok such as Jim Thompson’s House, Wat Pho, and The Grand Palace.
We were constantly on the go, even till wee hours of the morning at Khao San, and finally trying some of their insect delicacies. Of course, along the way, we got to talk to both locals and foreigners alike, another of the nice things one gets to experience when travelling. I’ve realized that my favorite was the ancient city for its story, historical richness, and ruins and I would like to go back to visit another part of the country some other time. Interestingly, we also came at a period of mourning as Thailand reached it first 30 days for their late King Bhumibol. I was able to witness their great respect and love for their king, something which I appreciated, apart from everything else I got to experience while there. It’s been a while since I went on a trip out of the country, and I guess this was the right timing for it.
Join an organization that supports a cause or do volunteer work:
A part of me has always felt heart for things that I believe in, be it the environment or animals, and for those who are lacking in aspects of life, be it in education or a family, among others. I feel glad whenever I get to help and with that, I wanted to join a cause or volunteer for something that would benefit others. I did join a cause at work called Bigay Husay that allowed me to extend a helping hand to children.
Then during my hike to Hungduan & Ifugao, we actually brought school supplies, books, and a few computers to children who study in the mountains. Called the Big Brother, Big Sister or BBBS Hike for a Cause, everyone of us who went on that hike became big brothers and big sisters to many young ones. We spent a night with them, entertaining them with performances and playing games with the kids while they too, shared to us bits of their culture through dance and music. I thought to myself about how these kids spend an hour or two walking to school every day and I have nothing but admiration for their constant enthusiasm and willingness to do so.
Timeline: May (Hungduan & Ifugao), September (and throughout the year, when needed)
Continue learning a different language:
I studied a bit of German back in university as well as Mandarin Chinese when I was in Taiwan and I wanted to continue learning either one or both. I find the former quite enjoyable while the latter was more practical. I wasn’t able to achieve it this year though, as other things also happened. I guess I also didn’t put it as a priority hence I was unable to pursue it even if the idea was very appealing. With that, I’ve been thinking about 2017 and contemplating if I should add it back to my list – after all, my priorities will put emphasis on the things that I really want to focus on. I still do find the value in knowing how to speak more than two languages.
Save at least X amount for the year:
Ever since I started working, I had a savings target that I hoped to achieve within the year. That meant setting aside some of my salary every month, balancing it out with my personal expenses and family contributions. My grandma, mom, and aunt always gave gentle reminders of how important it is to save up for a rainy day and I agree with it, given the things that we also went through before. I also realized the value of hard-earned income especially when I saw the effort it takes to actually earn it. While the millennial in me enjoys YOLO-ing and having great experiences, the old soul in me also thinks about responsibility (yes, I do!) and the future. It was great when I finally got to cap off that aim this year, another achievement that I celebrated with a pat on my back.
Timeline: Monthly (as much as possible)
Learn how to put make-up on:
I don’t really put a lot of make-up on a daily basis, sometimes even opting for a lip balm over a lipstick. However, I do understand the need to know how to put your own make-up especially if a need arises. Admittedly though, since it isn’t a priority, I didn’t exactly take much time to learn the basics and DIY of putting on cosmetics. I knew a bit already but I know I needed to learn more. Since I didn’t get to practice much and we had our company Christmas party coming up a few weeks ago, I quickly searched YouTube on how to shave eyebrows and use an eyebrow pencil. I bought some products (a lot actually, for my standards) and used some that I already have. I cleaned my eyebrows, practiced with the pencil, and then it was time to give a go. It was not all bad as I was able to pull off a look coupled with beach waves styled by Blo Blow Dry Bar (much thanks) and my teal gown for our Hollywood Musical Awards Night party.
Timeline: [A few days of] December