Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 is all about ~ADVENTURE~

It's been a while since I last posted more so an annual post of some sort. Here's quite a year-ender review. Photo-packed. Puro ako (duh.). And quite long. But I do appreciate if you clicked the link and is gonna finish reading this. It only means you're part of my 2016, so thank YOU. ;)

My 2016 word would have to be... Adventure. 

Yes. Of all sorts. 

2015 was... I don’t kow how to describe it, but sort of pivotal, no matter how heartbreaking it was. Because if 2015 never happened, 2016 wouldn’t be as awesome as it is now. O diba.. High five guys! I haven’t seen myself saying these things 20 months ago HAHAHAHAHAHA! Now I can say I am finally moving forward. Way to go, self!! I am so proud of you. 

Early this year, I told myself to go on an adventure at least once a month. Achievement unlocked. My 2015 was so stale HAHAHA! I crippled and pinned myself to my bed most of the time, that or I overwork, thank you EMBER!!! Alam niyo na, I had too much drama that year. But 2016, I decided to MOVE albeit sloooowlyyyyy. May drama pa rin. Baduy if wala hahaha (excuses). And 12 months back, I never expected I’d be so eager to write something like this on my blog. Btw, this is gonna be sort of a finale post. After 10 years with this blogspot, I decided to try a new platform. Dami memories nitong blog na to, ayokong burahin because they're all part of me. Go reminisce and back read 'cos hanggang diyan na lang yang mga yan.  But transporting every GOOD memory and moral with me on my way forward and up.

12 provinces. Three mountains. Seven countries. And a lot of in-betweens. My most adventurous year YET. 


To start the year with a climb. I want it to be metaphorical. That my year would have roadblocks and ups along the way, and if I managed to overcome a mountain, I would also do so with what life was yet to offer in 2016. Thanks to some friends for doing it with me. We traversed a mountain in Batangas. I learned that I can be a weakling. I almost fainted at the first 20 minutes of the trek. Slept for barely two hours, I remember going home late from work. But I also learned that it takes determination to finish the race. And yes I did reach the summit and traverse the mountain. Little did I know that that point which I tried to overcome what I thought was my limitation lead me to more adventures the coming months.  Oh the agony of my first half of 2016! I felt like 2015 was pulling me back. But just like how I traversed this mountain, look at me now at the end of this year. Apir!

Climbed another mountain and camped in a valley. After more than a year, it felt so good to just bring yourself with some basic needs. No signal on where we camped so we were forced to talk to each other and fall asleep early. On this climb I realized that I am stronger *cue* cos you made me stronger by breaking my hearttttt~! Or or but now I'm stronger than yesterdaayayyyy!!~ Okayyy hahaha! But yeah I mean physically kasiiii. Feeling ko lang naman. It was mostly assaults but I didn’t get tired easily. And then I realized an improvement on my EQ (NAKS!). And no matter how difficult the ups are, the view from the top is worth it – actually, the view doesn’t matter, it is the feeling that you made it. 

Went home to our province Isabela, to realize the treasure I have there – my lovely relatives. It was a month of losses. A relative and a close friend had their last day on earth. We tend to overlook people we are surrounded with. Must not be the case. Life is short. You must say hi and take the opportunity to catch-up, to express your ~love~ whenever you get the chance. March taught me that there would be questions and mysteries left unanswered. Only someday can.

Fun and memorable chaperoning summer trip to beautiful Iloilo and Guimaras. I learned that I am capable of shifting my introvert self to a mild introvert tendency -- I can be friendly! And oh, I can be as decisive as throwing myself off a cliff to the water less "scared" now. 

My first solo trip ever and in Taiwan! A highlight of my 2016. This was when I realized how much courage I have and how much I can still exert. I motorbiked and trekked to satisfy my craving to see some nature.  I sent my prayers through a sky lantern. I overcame my weakness on directions!! Boy I failed at one point I took a cab back to my hostel hahaha! I learned to put the blame on myself but taking it lightly and laughing at it. It was a trip that I can call my very own. I enjoyed being with no other than myself. And then I decided that this is gonna happen more often moving forward. A barrier was taken down; it gave me a much better and optimistic view.

It was also a trip back to nature, to the same place last February. You can go back to a place and create new memories. I learned that indeed, you never climb the same mountain twice. Because the memories rebuild it, and each particle surrounding you and the stories and burdens and raves that you brought with you recreate the experience.

Trip to my lovely province, Bohol, to celebrate my Lola's 90th birthday. Another reason to be thankful is having all these relatives I am surrounded with. I get to appreciate my province again and bring and tour around some Team Reyes (mother's side) relatives.  June and Bohol reminded me that you can have the same photo on the same spot more than once -- but it's when you realize where you better stand. In my case, I took the photo on the same spot I had taken a photo in 2015 (crap maybe in 2010 and 2012, etc.), but heyyyyyy I am in a much better "pose" this 2016.

First solo trip locally and in Mindanao. Butuan and Surigao del Sur. PHILIPPINES, you are SO BEAUTIFUL. There is so much more about the known Philippine islands. One just needs to explore. I learned to trust more but without giving much of myself away.  To just let things be at times. To trust the kindness in people. I learned that no matter how long the ride is, I rode a habal-habal for 40 FRIGGIN' KILOMETERS and back and forth (!!!), there is an end to it -- a beautiful destination, an enchanting one maybe? And maybe even more!!! It's then I knew that I am alive and meant to see the beauty of this world! July taught me to enjoy myself, to be with me, to connect the Merie before and after, and that link in between is what makes her stronger and better and wiser and braver.

Sometime in transition from July to August, I went to Virac, Catanduanes. It's the most eastern part of the Philippines - the one that usually welcomes the howling winds when there's a typhoon on this tropical country. I learned to literally and figuratively face the upcoming storm - to address issues. Because it's also the same time I have to let go of opportunities as I had let previous opportunities pass me by. It was a bitter-sweet feeling of learning and letting go.  I have never known of a storm that got stranded in the Philippines forever. So SHUT THE eff UP storms, you are just passing by. But hey we learn from it.
As I had an introductory scuba diving in Anilao, I also learned to say that I CAN to things that I long said I CAN'T and I WON'T. Sometimes you just have to eat up some words and learn that it won't hurt your tummy of an ego at all. In fact, it turned out to be something tasty and interesting. 

Went back to Rizal for some nature trip again. It won't hurt to open your fences again with some company.  And you enjoy the least expected moments and people. There's a part in Masungi that I believe is quite challenging, the one that you get down and cross to the other side through a rope. If I'm not mistaken, it's better that you brave cross it than turn back. In life, just go on.. and on and on... Rewards are waiting somewhere. 

Oh San Pablo Laguna and its seven lakes amused my October. But it was a good kind of fun. This trip told me that it's not about the mistakes, and detours and wrong turns. It's about how you view those moments and take out something of/from it. And to not repeat the same mistakes over and over and over and oveeeerrrrr again.

I also went to Singapore and Indonesia simply to relax and do some last of my side hustling. Take time to pamper yourself, you deserve it. Singapore pulled a string in me. It has that connection. But we all know that not all connections are meant to last forever. I realized that some broken things are meant to be broken. I officially said to myself it's over.  Cut the string, and it won't pull something in me anymore.

HIGHLIGHT of my 2016. Most spontaneous trip ever as a birthday treat to myself. Ho Chi Minh - Bagan - Yangon - Bangkok - Kuala Lumpur. This trip gave me the signal of a new beginning. I have seen the most beautiful sunrise ever! Of hope. Of trust. Of FAITH. And I started to truly niche on what I want - of what really matters. Of letting go. Of breaking free. Of true joy. It's the trip that told me "Way to go Merie, be excited! See this?? No, this is not the best, it's still out there for you to experience. Can you imagine how exciting that can be? Let go. Believe. Trust. Fall in love. Let your heart smile again. Let your thoughts spill out the imaginative juice you are well-capable of. Let your words inspire once more. Let your eyes window clean interiors. Let your hands create beautiful things. Let your feet wander more and touch lives. Vomit creativity. Let. Love. Flow."


The best adventure I ignored for the past 11 months -- Rest. Because it's needed. And trust me, there is also an adventure in resting -- it's when you know what you really are longing for and looking forward to.

I can truly report that 2016 is my best year so far - regardless of the downs - it's about time to count the ups twice or thrice as much. I'm welcoming 2017 with a lesser load and more souvenirs to show off the world. I am excited. I firmly believe 2017 is my season. And even though ~adventure~ ain't my word for 2017, it won't make it less of an adventurous year. Thank you 2016, you were SO AWESOME, way beyond I imagined it to be. Get set 2017. I'm ready to make the world in awe of my testimony twelve months from now.

All glory to God for my awesome 2016 and more awesome way way awesome 2017.
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