Simula

December last year, I left Deltek — my employer for roughly four years and moved to Demand Science Team, Inc. as part of their marketing team. And part of our projects are promotions of our brand on social media. For the month of February, since it’s tagged as the “love month” by many (at least here in the Philippines) we came up with “Valentine Videos” showing different kinds of love.

There were three installments and we started publishing each part every week. And being the one who part-time as a talent for ads, the team put me in one of the presentations. Haha :p

It’s titled “SIMULA” (beginning, a fresh start). Please don’t mind my bare face, we didn’t have make up artists. Hahaha

 

Visit our Facebook page for the rest of the valentine videos we put effort on. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by!

~ N

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Simula

Thank u, 2018… next!

I’ve been thanking the past years since 2016 (Thank you, 2016! Thank you, 2017!) just because, and I thought what’s not to thank about 2018? I was going to use the same title this year but I want to pay a little homage to my favourite 2018 Ariana Grande song, so… thank u, 2018… next! 🙂

I’m very thankful I had so much time in my hands this holiday season for me to be able to write my year-end blog as part of my tradition since Multiply days. Last year, I wasn’t able to write much, and this is the only blog I wrote this year. So for 2019, I’m hoping I could go back to blogosphere just like before. 🙂

January

I started my year meeting my idol friends, Wani and Jerome. Although we talk everyday via FB messenger, we rarely meet in person because of our schedules. This was actually a huge achievement for us three. Haha

01 Jan- Kakaibabes

Went back to my alma mater early this year also, to run some errands. It felt like my soul was replenished. Letran Calamba is still as pretty as I left it 10 years ago. 😀

01 Jan- Letran

February

Attended a free conference about data science and storytelling with my office friends from Deltek. It was a 3-hour long event with speakers from the industry. Learned so much about Data Science and Storytelling that I can use in the future.

02 Feb- Visualize PH

March

Saw the first musical for 2018! Glad that I found a musical buddy in Jhenna, now I don’t have to watch my favourite shows alone. Haha! And at long last, Kinky Boots had a run again this year. They had a run last year but alas, I missed it. I’m a super fan of the show but since I still couldn’t go to New York, I’ve been asking the universe to bring them back here in the Philippines and my prayers were answered. Haha

April

This was probably my most eventful birth month. A lot happened! See the pictures below. 😀 For the first week, I spent it with my best friends in Boracay finally for the first time. Also to celebrate our (Lexie and I) birthdays. Just in time before the island closes down for its rehab.

The week after, I went to La Union and Ilocos with another set of friends (my beach friends haha). It was a week of just touring, beaching, chilling, eating, and drinking. I had too much Ilocos Empanada. I swear there was not a single grain of regret from it, Ilocos Empanada was the bomb!

04 Apr- LU

Visited the Sand Dunes for the first time. I was a bit scared for my back because I no longer go to my chiropractor (for obvious reasons haha), and it started to hurt again, but I still did it anyway. 😀 Fortunately, I didn’t hurt my back, and there were no injuries after the activity. I even tried sandboarding. 😀

04 Apr- Sand Dunes

04 Apr- Pagudpud

For the third week, I finally saw The Lion King Musical, this time with Jhenna and my sister Nancy. This is probably an unpopular opinion but the show was amazing but it wasn’t really for my taste. Haha, it was too pambata for my humour. 😀 But it was definitely worth it. The reviews you’ll see on the internet are true. 😉

04 Apr- LK

And for the last week of April, I attended my first ever TED talk, TEDxADMU. There were so many inspirational speakers and I really felt empowered from the talks they did. It will definitely not be my last TED talk. I also loved the freebies. Haha

04 Apr- TEDxADMU

May

Reunited with my Kiki! Visiting to a lot of beaches in the Philippines totally made up for being away for a while with one of my high school close friends, Karen. It was a whole month of beaching around! Haha ❤

Went back to Coron after two years. Coron was the first place I went to, alone. And going back there with a friend was just as fun!

Made this pose a thing but it didn’t fly. Hahaha

05 May- Coron 03

A heartbreaking event happened to me when I got back home from Coron. My baby girl, Maja passed on from an unknown disease. She already lost her appetite before I left for Coron but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take care of her since I was away, and there was nobody at home to focus on her. She couldn’t wait for me and died a few minutes before I got home. </3 She was the sweetest. I miss her pretty face everyday.

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I also went back to Baler, this time with 3 different people: Karen, her brother Eric, and their cousin Gabriella. ❤ I loved the Paco salad! I didn’t have a chance to try it when I went there the first time so I hoarded a lot but unfortunately I left it inside Karen’s car. Hahaha

Went back to Manila for a Bruno Mars concert. He was uh-may-zing.

05 May- Bruno Mars

June

Reunited with my favourite people from my previous job and spent it on Cagbalete Island. With no sleep from work, it was a very relaxed staycation by the beach. Travelling to Cagbalete was such a pain in the ass, literally, because we had to be on the bus for 8 hours.

On the way home from Cagbalete, I received a text from my sister that my baby boy Bibo is sick. I had him brought to the vet to check and found out the he has been infected by parvovirus. It was the most difficult and longest 8 hour trip from an island back home because of the anticipation of my boy, passing away. Just a month ago, his mother, Maja died. Here’s a photo of Bibo when he was sick and while recovering from it.

Thank goodness we saved him! I really thought he was going to die, because I went home to him literally dying. 😦 My sister and I did everything we can to save Bibo, I made sure I’m always beside him so I had to work from home for more than a week to give him meds and just let him know I will never leave his side. Bibo now is a huge and spoiled dog. ❤ #FuckParvo

The month of June is also the usual month when me and my friends from Deltek go out of town, and this year, we went to Dumaguete. We did a lot of water activities and it was surprisingly fun. A very much needed vacation from all the emotional stress Bibo gave me in the past weeks. Haha

06 Jun- Deltek Dumaguete 0106 Jun- Deltek Dumaguete 02

July

It was time for the annual Deltek Makati Marketing Team team building. We had it in a secluded place somewhere in Rizal. There was no signal there so making IG stories was a challenge. Haha! My group won the challenge. 😉

August

Reunited with Les after 2 years. We were together in El Nido summer of 2016 and she finally came home this year to have R&R with her family and friends. Saw UDD again this year. Haha ❤

08 Aug- Les Reunion

Reunited with my PSP peeps too over dinner. We tried to plan the next trip but realised that when planning a trip, it doesn’t push through, so we just ended up not planning it. Hahaha, typical PSP peeps.

08 Aug- PSPeeps

Me and my MFF (Musical Friend Forever) Jhenna watched our thirdmusical this year, which is the Ang Huling El Bimbo. I didn’t expect the show to be so political and heavy. It was a roller-coaster of emotions. I think they will have another run in 2019, if you missed it, I still recommend to see it. Prior to this, we were planning to see RAK of Aegis (for the second time for me, and first time for Jhenna) but we missed it. I hope there’s another one next year. It is a really good show.

08 Aug- El Bimbo

September

I finally started my MBA program in Ateneo. This was a very long overdue, I started to plan to have it in 2011, but never got back on track because of life. Haha, and thankfully, I was able to start it this year. I got admitted last April but didn’t start the program right away because of a lot of things (and travels) I need to finish before I put all of my time and attention in school. It has been a decade since I graduated from college, so I knew it would be a challenge for me; but the going-back-to-school was surprisingly easy. It was one of my biggest accomplishments this year. Kudos, self!

Last out-of-town trip with my loves for 2018 and it was our first time on Siargao Island!

09 Sep- Siargao 0209 Sep- Siargao 01

October

I was blessed again with another project this year, and this time, it’s a promotional ad for 2GO. 🙂

November

My last Deltek Year-End Party. It was a little anti-climactic because I can’t drink too much due to my acid reflux and wasn’t able to join the YEP after party party too, because I was being a lolo. Hahaha

11 Nov- Deltek YEP 2018 0211 Nov- Deltek YEP 2018 01

And the last musical for this year was my favourite, Waitress. I have been waiting for them to have a run here in the Philippines (please, bring Dear Evan Hansen here next); I’ve been a fan of the show since. I was holding my tears while watching Joana Ampil perform She Used To Be Mine because I don’t want to be the big guy ugly crying in the theater. Haha! Bituin Escalante was of course, a force to be reckon with, not that it’s a surprise. 🙂

11 Nov- Waitress 01

December

Reunited with my EndlessRise peeps at Elise’s wedding. It was nice catching up with the Awesome Nerds again after, how many years? Five? Haha

12 Dec-01 Elise

And of course, the MIGS Year-End Party. Lexie being a pussy at pictures because she doesn’t want the world to know she had her dental braces back. Haha

12 Dec-02 MIGS

It was my last two weeks at Deltek and these people didn’t make it easy for me to leave. But as my “normal” self, I didn’t show it. Haha, I will definitely miss seeing their faces everyday.

Image may contain: 25 people, including John Abrenio, JP C. Barsalote, Nikko Borromeo Mariano, Charlotte Mae Achivida, Jian Marienne Co, Ae Arcilla, Camille Lanuza, Verly Isip, Vin Eugenio and 8 others, people smiling, people sitting

12 Dec-03 Deltek Xmas Party

Last hoorah for the fam this year. We just had a simple staycation at the Canyon Cove that has a terrible, terrible customer service and very unfriendly facilities for old-people. Haha, I’m never going back there.

12 Dec-04 Fam

And lastly, I was welcomed by my new family from my new work, DST. This is the biggest leap I took this year since I already established a stable job and amazing everythingships with people from Deltek; this move was so totally uncertain. I just trusted my guts and their judgment on me being fit to the team in terms of chemistry, and I’m glad to say I made the right decision. I didn’t feel I was the new guy on my first day, it was as if I was just remembering a familiar energy and felt that I was the last piece of the puzzle to complete the whole picture. 🙂

12 Dec-05 DST

There are just too many amazing things to be thankful for in 2018. Yes there were ups and downs, losses and gains, but these things make us. And here’s for an even more fruitful 2019. I’m not expecting the incoming year to be so great, and I didn’t even have any booked out-of-town trips because I want to spend my money and time to gradschool, but I’m still hoping for good plot twists. I’ll definitely go back in shape this year, I gained so much in 2018 — it’s actually my biggest and heaviest, so I promised myself to get back on track and be fit again. I know I’m just using my back problems as an excuse to be lazy so, here’s to officially removing it from my system. Haha!

So thank u, 2018, for the amazing year. I’m ready for what’s next!

Happy New Year!

N

Thank u, 2018… next!

Thank you, 2017!

Happy almost new year! Another year is coming, so another year-end blog post is served. As usual, I just highlighted the memorable (for me) events happened on each month and as always, the purpose of this year-end is for me to have something to look at whenever I feel like it. 😉

So here it is…

January

I was lucky enough to start my 2017 just like how I started my 2016: a modelling gig. It was the last leg for my BoardWalk Silversaya project. It was one of the highlights of my 2016 and I’m thankful it lasted until January of 2017. I met a lot of Filipino celebrities and cool people through this project.

01 Jan- BW Gig

I was reunited with Yzelle and Ish, and finally met their partners Brian and Geno. It was also kind of a pre-wedding meeting (for Yzelle and Brian) of college friends. 🙂

01 Jan- Reunited

My first 2017 travel was to Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. I enjoyed this trip although it wasn’t the easiest, it was the cheapest — the cheapest accommodation, cheapest food, cheapest pasalubong, etc. I posted a short blog about this trip and you can find it here.

February

This month and year was the first time I traveled outside the Philippines alone and it was Taiwan that I visited. It was very liberating, fun, and addictive — addictive for someone who enjoys being alone. Haha! Luckily, I was able to blog about this trip too and you can find it here.

March

I finally saw Wicked! I remember Wicked having a run in the Philippines sometime in 2015 or 2016 but for some reason, I wasn’t aware about it until its final show day. I missed it that year and promised to not miss it again when they return for another run. Fortunately, they did in 2017 and bought my ticket 2 months early to make sure I don’t forget. Haha! The show was amazing. I can’t wait to watch it again!

03 Mar- Wicked

April

Spent the holyweek with friends and “staycation-ed” eating, playing board games, and drinking. It was a low-key reunion because I’ve never seen these people in a while.

04 Apr- Holyweek Staycation

Reunited with my college friends at Yzelle and Brian’s wedding by the beach. That night was crazy, haha. Dang and I drank too much we were throwing up everywhere. XD

May

First time to visit Bacolod for my high school friend Toffer’s wedding and witnessed the beauty of The Ruins (not the wedding venue) in the evening. The place was so romantic, too bad I was alone. Haha

05 May- Bacolod Ruins

It was time for the Deltek Makati Marketing Team team building. Super chill night with food and booze that we spent somewhere in Tagaytay. I must say, I got closer with some of my office friends that night and grew a deeper friendship. 😀

Another staycation with my favorite people from home. Haha, celebrated my sister’s birthday with our mother bonding over local tv shows, food, and non-stop kwentuhan. With our busy schedule at work, we can’t do something like this at home that much.

05 May- Staycation Sis Mom

June

I remember myself at the end of 2016 promising to take care of myself more this year and start to focus on my back problems. So I started with having my spine checked; I did therapy, too but to no avail. So I resorted to chiropractor which was very effective and made me feel so much better. Unfortunately, it was so expensive that I can only purchase 36 sessions, although I needed a lifetime maintenance.

06 Jun- Chiro

The annual Deltek Bowl-a-thon!

July

First time to travel with this crazy bunch to Boracay! It was so foreign for me to go to Boracay with so much friends. I usually go there alone or with just a few of my close friends. It was a total madness! 😀

07 Jul- Deltek Bora 0107 Jul- Deltek Bora 02

Finally watched Up Dharma Down live!

07 Jul- UDD 03

August

Celebration of our mother’s 67th birthday. Just another day in the year that my family get to see each other for a simple celebration. 🙂

September

Rai and Lem finally got hitched! Attended my favorite loveteam’s wedding! ❤ I have always been the 3rd wheel for this couple for a while, and I must say this is just as timely. I’m so happy to see them tie the knot. 🙂

09 Sep- LemRai Wedding

More from my Deltek friends. The annual Deltek Employee Appreciation week! 🙂

October

First (and last) fun run with my Deltek friends. Haha, we all ran 10km for the last leg of the RunRio event.

November

Went back to Japan at last! I explored the Kansai area this time. Spending 10 days alone made me realised so many things about my plans for the next year. And I finally tried onsen (public bath) on this visit – it was so liberating; all inhibitions will be thrown out the window. Everybody who goes to Japan must do it.

December

Deltek Makati Marketing Team Christmas Party! This is my 3rd christmas party with my Deltek family and they never disappoint. Another crazy party with these crazy people. Haha, Happy Holidays guys!

12 Dec- Deltek Xmas Party 0112 Dec- Deltek Xmas Party 02

This year wasn’t as good as 2016, but it wasn’t bad either. I’m still thankful I was able to go to places I’ve never been before, met amazing people I’ve never met before, and experienced things I’ve never done before. 2017 was the year of 3 Fs for me: Family, Friends and a lot of Firsts, and hopefully we all get a better year in 2018!

Happy New Year!

N

 

Thank you, 2017!

Taipei, Taiwan

Ni hao! Here’s a summary video of my 4-day stay in Taiwan. 🙂

This trip was extra special to me from my previous out of the country trips because this was my first ever solo travel outside the Philippines. Haha!

It was so much fun and liberating! Well, I really like to travel alone so I already expected that I would enjoy this trip. Haha! But what I was super excited about before going to Taipei were the food I’m going to nibble on, the places I am going to visit, and the amazing weather! It’s the last week of February so it’s still chilly but not so much and it was perfect.

Below are some of the photos I took from the places I went to and a few of the food I tried while I’m there.

 

Lungshan Temple of Manka

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A typical street in Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan.

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Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market

 

Squirrels and the lovely view in 228 Peace Park

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I was also lucky to see Sakura trees started blooming! So if you want to witness sakura blossoms in Taipei, it is perfect to visit sometime between last week of February and first week of March. 🙂

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Raohe Street Night Market

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Subway to Taipei Main Station

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The most famous skyscraper in Taiwan, the Taipei 101. I took this from the peak of the Elephant Mountain. It’s a steep hike but the view from up there is worth the sweat! Also, a few minutes of trek won’t hurt so much.

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That’s me and Taipei 101. See how wet my shirt is? Haha! For a very unprepared and unfit person like me, it was a challenge. But it didn’t kill me so, I would still recommend to do this. You can relax on the top after, it was amazing.

 

Taipei Zoo

 

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

The vastness of Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is amazing! It’s also a great place to relax, take photographs, picnic, and whatever decent. Haha! There are sakura trees around, too. 😉

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That’s me again, with the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. Hehe

I also tried the famous Modern Toilet Restaurant in Ximending on my last day. The food is served in a bowl that looks like toilet. It’s cute, and very instragrammable. The price of the meals are a bit high from the usual prices of food in Taipei but it’s okay. Taste is OK too. I only had chicken curry, and I love chicken and curry so my comment about it is kind of bias… and yes, I loved it. The complimentary poop-shaped chocolate ice cream is so-so though. I would still recommend it for first time visitors for experience. The place is cozy, and homy so you will absolutely like it. 😉

 

Modern Toilet Restaurant

There are places I wasn’t able to go to because of oversleeping. Haha! Like Yehliu Geopark up north, the Sanxia District, Jiufen Old Street, and a lot more. I think it’s okay, then I have a reason to go back.

Taiwan, I’ll see you again! ❤

~ N

Taipei, Taiwan

Lake Sebu

I flew to the lowermost part of the Philippines for my first solo travel this year to experience Lake Sebu. It is an actual lake in a small town also called Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, Mindanao. Before I leave for this trip, my mother, sister, friends, and office friends kept on telling me to take care, for obvious reasons that it is just a few hours away from where the bandits are nesting. To be honest, I kind of hesitated because of its reputation but still followed my guts, that everything will be fine. So I decided to go. But as expected, it has the warmest people. 🙂

It’s amazing to find peace in a place where most people perceive is lacking. 🙂

Here is a video of my adventures in Lake Sebu:

 

Things you must try:

  1. Seven Falls Zipline
  2. Extreme River Tubing
  3. Water Biking

Places to visit:

  1. Divine Mercy Garden
  2. Lotus Watching on Lake Sebu
  3. Bai Lang Dulay
  4. T’Boli Homestay
  5. Seven Falls
  6. T’Boli Museum

I will update this post soon for my Guide to Lake Sebu. 😉

Be well,
N

Lake Sebu