Oh 2013, the year that was.

Oh, the year that was.  Here I go again, religiously scanning the things I’ve done for the year, and yes, the things I have not accomplished. It’s always so nice to sit in a corner with a cup of coffee, accompanied by a good music while you while away time and just plainly reminiscing the year that was. I can only smile. 

Time flies so fast that I didn’t even realize it.  Another year has gone by.

2013 felt like just yesterday, 365 days went by so swiftly and everything seems like a dream.  Crazy beautiful dream. Dream or real, whatever that was, it sure feel so good.  So much has happened in 2013. My 2013 quite started very unlikely, my cheese got moved and I went on a crazy depression stage and lasted a whole quarter plus a month, I was squandered, broken and almost dead. Yes, I wasted four months of goodness but hey I was finally able to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. It wasn’t much of a story to tell and I digress to share it here. It’s something that is meant to be buried 6 feet below.  Nada!

Ormoc City Cleanup Drive

As 2014 is finally here, thoughts came floating my head. Seemingly trivial questions like ------ Are you happy? Are you contented? What are you most grateful for? What’s your biggest achievement this year? What are biggest lesson you have learned all throughout the year? What do you want to achieve next year?
Well, guess what?  I’m going to take a deep breath and answer those questions truthfully.

Gumasa, Glan, Saranggani

Are you happy? Are you contented?

Yes I am happy. I have learned to accept things as they are. Contentment is key. Life is beautiful. It’s no rocket science kind of thing, why confuse? Clarity is better than guesswork.

What are you most grateful for?

I’m not making this shit all up but trust me, I’m thankful for the challenges that made me stronger and made me realize the gift of acceptance. It’s rock hard to go on with life without this. I know this will be the unsurpassed foundation to keep up with happiness, my own happiness.

What’s your biggest achievement this year?

I am a simple girl that only wishes for a simple life and simple things, at 23, all I really wanted is the strength to overcome inevitable circumstances. I have never felt this brave.. well braver. I have changed a lot and ecstatic that I am living a new life. Let me also share that, part of my biggest achievement in 2013 was being able to visit the places I've been dreaming to visit and from those experiences, I embraced the real essence of backpacking—solo or in a group. I’d still prefer solo backpacking though. 

I backpacked for 10 days in the first quarter of 2013 (Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao Del sur- now Davao Occidental and South Cotabato), a month long backpacking (Cebu City, Southern Leyte, Northern Leyte, Samar, Surigao del Norte, Siargao Island) – then followed by a quick 7-day backpacking (General Santos, Koronodal City, Maguindanao, Cotabato City, Davao City, Davao del Norte), another 10 day backpacking(Misamis Oriental, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte)  and then #TravelMindanao. It wasn’t that much but I’m grateful I've done these trips in 2013. It was an Eat- Pray-love moment for me. I learned a lot from this trip and most especially learned more about my self. I think I know myself better now. 

What are biggest lesson you have learned all throughout the year?

“Nothing beautiful comes easy” and it’s true. I can fully attest to that. I really strive my hardest to attain my goals; may it be material things or not. I always try to put in mind that nothing and no one can't stop me from achieving those. I must always know that I have to be brave, and that a pat on my back and a reminder that 'it is okay to fail and its okay to cry but be sure to pick your self up and deal with your shit later'.

What do you want to achieve next year?

Suob, Albuera, Southern Leyte

I am really looking forward to stamping my passport away. Days in unfamiliar streets and nights in unfamiliar beds.  I want more backpacking adventures and I've been dying to taste the best Pho! Other than that, I only wish for one thing; to maintain a peaceful and simple life. Luxury has never appealed to me. I like simple things. 

Letting go and letting God.. 2013 has been a good year for me despite and in spite of everything; truly remarkable in so so so many ways. Its was a crazy roller coaster ride with all the ups and scary downs but I'm glad I came out alive. I survived another year so yeah 2014, bring it on. Life is amusingly beautiful and horrible altogether, embrace it. Its a lesson we must teach ourselves. Happy new year friends! Cheers!

Your summer kinda girl.


  1. Teh happy new year!! hope to see you this year ;)

    1. Yes teh! Happy new year!! See you soon sa Malaysia truly asia? hehe

  2. Beautiful year-end reflection chock-full of life lessons. :) Happy to travel with you this year and see you again on the road someday.

    1. Hi Claire! Yes, I have had a rough 2013 but Im happier than ever na. It was so nice to meet you and Im hoping to see you this year. Manila soon, yes? :D

  3. ang dami mong naputahan this 2013 and so many lessons learned :D Hoping for a better 2014 for you :D

  4. awww.. your 2013 looked so happy and nice! I'm sure your 2014 will be the best! :D

  5. Kudos to a fruitful 2013! Ganda pa ng pics and lessons <3

  6. Kudos for a fruitful 2013! Ganda ng lessons and photos! <3

  7. To my dearest soul sistah,

    I wish nothing but the best for you.. though the past year was a tough one, I feel that a better year is about to unfold for you.. for us.. for our family and friends. You, like every strong soul that I know, will always persevere..

    Here's to my travels your way! And here's to traveling with you real soon. :)

    Your Soul Sistah
    Mai :P


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