All fueled up, with gratitude

Still high on life and looking forward to the bigger and better adventures 2013 brings, I found myself saying yes to the freshest of experiences I have been craving for a very long time. In over a month and a half, I saw things in a new light and gathered a tremendous amount of inspiration from the world around me. It's only unfortunate that I left a lot of good moments unspoken here on my blog. As my writing habits gradually turn into a conglomeration of #throwbackthursdays and #flashbackfridays or a memory game wherein I match a photo to a feeling and a feeling to a story and so on, January and February have come and gone without a trace in my little online space. Now as another new year slowly creeps in, I'll try harder to wring my brains out and share those worthwhile tales before it's too late (or before my hair turns so gray and blogging about these tidbits will be the last thing on my mind).

As the song goes, how do you measure a year in a life? 2013 kickstarted with vibes both good and bad: celebrating my grandparents' fiftieth wedding anniversary with just the immediate family and spending my birthday (21st) for the first time in a long time at home vs. mourning for the loss of a dear friend's beloved mom and heading back to Manila to face the reality that is growing up (aka being independent, finding a job, etc). But so far so good, I thought, as I gained insightful advice about my future after catching up with my creative writing professor over coffee on the same day I went on an art gallery and youth service date with my little sister. That same Friday my favorite History classmates and I watched and critiqued El Presidente like we were required to do a paper, then capped the night off with Doctor Love-like conversations while injecting as much Theology of Love concepts as we could. Our professors would have been proud! Saturday I had a lovely brunch date with two of my high school batchmates after we checked the college exam results of our younger sisters (which they passed with flying colors!) so early that morning.

On Sunday, my twin and I threw a little brunch party for our friends in celebration of our 21st birthday. Definitely a step-up considering the last time we put together something like this was through a very small pizza party in our freshmen dorm lobby! Also, as far as bucket lists are concerned, I've finally ticked another box off when I did a cover of a song so close to my heart with my good friend, KR, and which I included in the month-long Valentine's playlist I created out of sheer boredom my overflowing love for the season. Lianne came home to the Philippines and us girlfriends spent a great amount of quality time with her in the most random way possible: from the usual Starbucks hangout followed by an Italian dinner to—get this—a starlit night picnic with food truck grub and later caramelized beer at a pub. We also squeezed in a trip down memory lane by self-inviting ourselves to the dorm party we used to organize ourselves. This was all after I had breakfast for dinner and then coffee with my fellow newsies from our university school paper. Oh college how we miss thee!

I took a breather from the city life with a family drive to my most-loved Tagaytay. I know I barely even go there but in my two or three visits I just can't help but fall for its rustic charm. Besides, I'd give anything for the cool breeze. And then more cultural/inspirational immersion ensued: I checked out each and every booth at #CHECKPOINT, Ateneo's Information Design thesis exhibit, caught up with my cousins and some good friends while the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra plays original Filipino music live in the background, had fancy schmancy dinners with more friends and family, and praised and worshiped to my heart's content during our church's leaders' convergence. All that, and I found the time to dine at a floating restaurant some miles off Manila.

Ain't life grand? I'm grateful to be blessed, not just with moments as upbeat as these but with the right attitude to take all the negatives in stride. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thank you all for still taking the time to read this. I know I don't deserve anything close to a world's greatest blogger award, but I try, don't I? I have a lot to fill you in on and I hope you stay much longer. My final words before I have to dash home (It's getting pretty late and it's kind of weird I'm still in the office typing this): Bless and be blessed. Spread the love and gratitude from here on out. Besos!

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