Everyone is looking forward to 2018 to start afresh, to make something new, to tread a new horizon, to climb one step closer to the goal or to just move on from the previous years’ heartaches. Resolutions are made. Vows are renewed. Baggage is thrown.
All of us are looking forward to the beauty of what 2018 holds and some of us are eager to leave 2017 behind. But, nonetheless, we are all happy that we made it through all the topsy-turvy journeys of 2017.
As I close the book of my 2017, I would like to look back on how the year has made me better, stronger, and wiser in all aspects of life. This is a year where I discovered more of my weaknesses and flaws and continually work on it to become a better individual. This is also a year where I try and develop my strengths to use it to my advantages as a professional.
There were a lot of ups and downs in my life with friends, family, loved ones and especially work. But, every day, I become a better person and learn more about myself.
2017 is a special year as this is my first year to run a blog and advocate Mindanao. My blog, although earned few but loyal audiences, kept me from losing my sanity at times and gave me an outlet for my depressive thoughts and feelings. It kept me company when homesickness strikes.
Like people my age, 2017 was a year of travels; both for work and for my personal pleasure. I have been to approximately 12 destinations in the Philippines (cities and provinces).
I have been to Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, Tagum City, Davao City and Gensan for work-related trips. The first quarter of the year was an adjustment period for my career as a business software consultant traveling all over Mindanao.
It isn’t quite easy at first and it doesn’t really get easy further. But, as the months go by and I grow professionally, I have learned a lot of things such as finding enjoyment during official business trips.
I have learned to travel independently and to rely on my wits and instincts. I also find the pleasure of knowing new things, registering new flavors on my palate’s dictionary, and immersing with the locals to whatever city or province I am assigned to.
For wanderlust travels, I have been to Bohol, Iloilo, Bacolod, Guimaras, Silay, Koronadal City, Surigao City and Siargao. My wanderlust travels were both liberating and spiritual experiences, in a way.
It was liberating and an empowering experience as a Filipino to discover all the beauty the Philippines hold. Traveling to historically significant places such as Silay and Iloilo City, I discovered how rich and colorful Philippines’ history, arts, and culture is. It’s liberating to know that every architectural gem and places hold stories of Filipino grandeur and stories of resiliency.
Spiritually, traveling around beautiful beaches, seeing mountains, exploring the great nature that God has bestowed upon the Philippines, gives you peace and tranquility. It allows you to meditate and see how beautiful it is to co-exist with other people and other living creatures. It opens up your soul to be more purposeful with this life.
2017 also is a year of good food and good company. I have met different persona in the culinary industry and have drawn attention to some of the local restaurants in Gensan. It has been a great experience for both my palate and my belly which honestly made me earn some extra pounds. Despite the extra pounds and the expenses made during the year for food, I still think that it is worth it. Investing in good memories over good food with good company will always be worth it.
The year wasn’t always good. I had a lot of mental and emotional breakdowns as I hurdled the year. Work has been extra stressful due to governmental and political changes that affected the industry.
Due to the lack of experience and lack of self-confidence and esteem, I also found difficulty with client facing. There were days I could not function well as I lacked sleep, had anxiety and was undergoing serious episodes of depression.
In a way, blogging was therapeutical for me. I also had my friends, my family, and my partner to support me in my lowest of lows. I also had my workmates and my mentors, who were both my bosses, who lent me a hand, a shoulder to cry on, and gave me advice when the work got toxic and unbearable.
I also had difficulty to cope up with people who were toxic to the point that it got me depressed for a very long while. Maybe, it was anxiety or overanalyzing stuff, but it depressed me and caused a lot of heartaches. Despite that, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
I believe that expressing your points and opinions isn’t wrong especially if you are expressing it in a free platform and is not directed to a specific person(s) and you are only speaking up in generalities and factual observations.
I also found myself heartbroken over friends who I thought would always have my back. However, ‘always’ is too optimistic.
My blog depressed me at times due to the viewership and my urge to become famous. But, finally, it dawned on me that blogging should be about what makes me happy. It doesn’t matter how many views, follows or likes I get. It is my personal outlet. I had to remind myself that it is my service to the Filipino community, especially to the Mindanaoans.
I created this blog for people to discover more of Mindanao and Philippines as a whole. It serves as a guide and not a platform to fish acceptance or validation. I aim to influence people to love Mindanao and this country.
Through all the hardships, I would like to give thanks to the people who really mean a lot to me.
Pat and Lea.
My work family both in Cebu and Davao.
Lady, Gladys, and Febie.
And, all who were there to support my journey as a blogger and as a better individual. 2017 was one of the greatest years, though, filled with different hurdles.
Alas, I would like to end this post with a simple prayer of thanksgiving to God Almighty. Thank you so much for all the blessings. All Glory goes back to You.