My 11 Stories for 2011 and More!

One of the best ways to have a thankful heart in welcoming the New Year is to review our journey and accomplishments for 2011.  Here are highlights of my adventure.  Cheers for 2012 and happy reading!

1)                  Ni Hao Mandarin!

Do something new each year! Learn a new skill or write a dream list and make sure at least one of it gets done.  I’ve always wanted to learn a new language and a promo I got this year from a reputable language school just made me sign up and take Mandarin classes.  

 2)      When I was First Called Teacher

Witnessing how former students and young people I’ve mentored excels and how they could possibly exceed their teacher’s accomplishment over the years is fulfilling.  My former experience in Sunday school with kids is something I look forward to do again. 

 To the youth group of COGOP, I miss all of you.  To my former students at Tasashyass College, I look forward to hearing your success stories one day.

 3)      Benchmarking 

This article recalls some breakthroughs I experienced after attending a Benchmarking workshop last February:  Facilitating a seminar at Letran College, Spearheading a nationwide fundraising campaign for Tsunami victims. 

 Related to this, I have met wonderful people this year who influenced me to pursue the best and become the best.  An encounter with one of them even inspired me to start a blog. 

Also read thru my post My desire to blog first started here for a roster of mentors I have to thank this 2011.

 4)      Close Encounter with Celebrities

Meeting showbiz personalities and having to spend a memorable time with some this year serves as “refreshing treats” to my work life.  Don’t get me wrong – my career is not a piece of sweet cake with cherries on top.  I have faced hurdles this year and a whirlwind of transitions which in the end taught me to be resilient.  I noted the lessons I learned at work this 2011.  It’s not for me to share yet because I need to apply it first J

 Aww, I still have to look for my photo with Christian Bautista!  I seem to have saved that somewhere…

 5)      Meet Me Halfway

There were instances I’ve thought about deleting this article despite having the most views.  I felt I have risked a part of me I don’t usually let out in the open.  Love and relationships are simply complicated – or is it really?  I’m excited for the unfolding of another story this 2012.  I need to be braver and wiser in this arena.

 “It’s not an easy process: a bumpy ride, yet full of thrill like any journey of discovery is.”

 6)      Restaurant Picks

I don’t deliberately plan eating out with friends on a fancy restaurant (for budget constraints) but I enjoyed random food trips this 2011.  You’ll learn it’s not hard to ask me out even past my early bedtime. I’m cultivating my love for food and would eventually do more blog this 2012.  First idea in mind: Master 25 dishes before my being 25 ends this March (Wish me luck!)

 My other food adventures this year include:

  • Initiating a potbless once in the office – me and my Marketing colleagues brought dishes that we cooked.  We enjoyed this event and intend to do it more often next year.
  • Baking macaroons as Christmas gifts.  Thanks to my mom’s recipe and sister Aki’s coaching– they loved it!

 Note: check out my sister’s blog on food and fashion:

 Bonus:  This year’s Unforgettable (and Weird) Resto Experience

Went out for lunch with colleagues Mike and Anthony sometime last November (Guys, was it November or December?).  We were choosing to dine between a famous grilled chicken food chain, and a famous grilled seafood chain in Timog.  So the seafood chain won, partially because I prefer to eat fish that time.  We came into the restaurant and our order came in late after more than 20 minutes of waiting.  Just when we started to eat, heavy rain poured down – which we could see thru the glass window.  Soon after, we could hear a sound of water gushing in at the restaurant kitchen.   In a matter of seconds, water from the kitchen flowed through the dining area.  The dining area got flooded from the inside due to a broken gutter.  Customers, including us, started to elevate their feet on chairs so as not to get wet (1/2 an inch water right there).  The entire crew then got busy mopping out the floor and asking other customers still waiting for their orders to leave.  We didn’t want to go out either since we left our umbrellas.  Besides, we just started to enjoy the food.  We finished our meals and claimed a discount instead.

 7)      Reunited (and it feels so good)

What would you do if money and time is not a question?  I would spend it organizing reunions and get-togethers.  I love eating, events and meeting with friends. It also energizes me.  Since this year I was restricted in both; my resolve was to join activities which others initiated.  There were still occasions I missed – like Julie’s son’s birthday and even family occasions (Grotto Vista resort with my family, Uncle Noel’s and Auntie Baby’s.. and reunion with relatives from my dad’s side).  Jonah, family reunions should be a priority next year.

 8)      Roster of Good Reads from 2011

I will be checking a variety of books this coming year.  One challenge for me is to finish a novel.  The only novel I finished so far (aside from book reviews required from college, Final Fantasy to name one) is Paulo Coelho’s Witch of Portobello last 2009 or 2010.  What’s great about books I encountered this year is that they’re sort of linked with my present circumstances.  I haven’t narrated yet my experience with the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, but like my story of Lorie Beth Jones’ “The Path”, my pursuit of financial learning rolled out smoothly after reading Kiyosaki’s book.  In between my reading, I met a business consultant who happened to facilitate a Cashflow101 workshop related with the book.  I was able to participate another seminar related to Rich Dad Poor Dad 3 months after at Crowne Plaza.

 9)      Family’s Techy Adventure

Participating cosplay with Jaki, my gateway treat to Joey,and  cooking sessions with mom are some of the bonding activities we had this year.  I got even more excited that my dad’s now on facebook – he can easily track our posts (even Jaki’s heartaches).

 By the way, congratulate my mom for her first public speaking engagement this year!  She was invited as a resource person in a couple’s event in one of the churches here in Caloocan.  So proud of her!

 Surprisingly, we have quite a number of computer and online games e played as a family this 2011:  Angry Bird, Restaurant City, Sims Social, Castle Ville, It Girl,  Fairway, and Wedding Dash to name a few.  I admit they’re more advanced than I am – I haven’t finished Plants Vs. Zombies, Zuma and Wedding Dash which I started I think more than a year ago.  I’m not a fan of online games so I just watch my siblings’ restaurants grow or let them tour me to my friends’ stores at restaurant city.

 We’ve also watched out for the following TV series this 2011:  Nikita (Super liked Maggie Q.. and Shane West!), Glee, Glee Project (Cheered for Samuel), Top Chef and America’s Next Top Model All Stars.

 Challenge: go out as a family more often next year (Now I really have to save up more..) and teach dad how to start a video call via fb

 Note: read my brother’s blog at

 10)   How’s Your Heart

 This encapsulates the status of my spiritual life, with an encouraging message I’d definitely carry over next year.  Read thru the post to find more about the story.

 11)   An Iron and An IPhone

I won two raffle prizes this year on different occasions:  first was a hand iron, and second was an iPhone.  Now for both of these, I had that same weird feeling of assurance that I’ll be winning before my numbers were called as winners.  I’d like to call that – “The Gift of Faith”. 

 Look for my blog post entitled His Little Gesture of Love for more story of how I won an iPhone 4 for Christmas J

 Faith, in the bible is defined as being certain of what we hope for and what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).  I hope this 2012, I could apply how faithful I am in little things, to pursuing great big things I know God has in store for me.

 Xian Nian Yu Kuai. Now that’s Happy New Year in Mandarin (but I searched that thru google). Manigong Bagong Taon!!!






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