Thursday, January 11, 2018


Every year since 2007, I post a review on Multiply about the year that passed and rate that year with stars--5 stars being the best. Sadly, Multiply closed down, and along with its closure went my reviews for 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Those reviews are forever lost but I have continued that tradition on this blogspot page for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

A photo to remember my first New Year away from home.


1. Wonderful additions to our family: Mia and Baby Maxenne a.k.a Baby Max, Baymax, the G.O.A.T. and the MVB (Most Valuable Baby). My younger brother got married last year, and in the process I gained a sister-in-law, a niece, and a hundred bucks. 😏

At the wedding reception of my brother (and new sister!)

Baby Max is a perfect (hehe biased) bundle of joy. Perfect, mostly because she is cranky and looks a lot like me. And she makes my mom very, very happy.

Mama and Max

2. Three new godchildren. Three babies--Max, Julian and Mira--joined the elite (nyehehe) group of children I was chosen to be second parents to. Only God knows why their parents chose me, but being ninang is a responsibility I take seriously and to heart.

3. Best friend got lawyered. 2017 started out on a very high note because one of my best-est friends passed the Bar Exams, and joined the legal profession.

4. Traveled more. Aside from trips around the Philippines that I took because of work, I traveled to South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand in 2017, and celebrated many firsts in these countries.

From top to bottom:
Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul
Ngong Ping Village in Hong Kong
Wat Chaiwattanaram in Ayutthaya

Every trip offers another lens from which to view the world. Seoul gave me a taste of the ideal (a perfect first international trip); Hong Kong showed me the importance of traveling with friends; while Bangkok marked an ending and a beginning.

5. Moved up in the office (literally, from first to second floor), and was given more responsibilities. Juggling everything I was given became too overwhelming at times but I view everything as an opportunity to learn and to serve.

Welcome Game!

6. Went crazy(-ier) for sneakers to the point that I need an intervention. To my estimate, I have spent...way too much for sneakers in 2017 alone. I even met up with a sneaker seller in Iloilo!

My 2017 sneaker haul was a mix of old and new

One can't have too many white sneakers imho!

The Pride 2017 Pack 🏳️🌈

For 2018, I plan to be more prudent in spending money wisely, especially when it comes to sneakers.

7. Went back to an old love: reading for leisure. Last year, I read books of different kinds: (1) those that mattered (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, Option B), (2) books that didn't (a couple of YAs haha), (3) books that I really liked (Sneaker Wars, basketball books, A Wrinkle in Time) and (4) books that were given to me that I have yet to finish reading (Closed Chambers, What If, Halina Filipina, Adulting is a Myth, Beta Ball and The Breaks of the Game).

2017's Best Reads

Currently, I am on a book buying moratorium until I finish my two years worth of #MIBF backlog.

8. Went to an Oh Wonder concert. It was perfect. I finally know what it feels like to live ultralife.

Lights out solo in the blue before I found you. --Ultralife, Oh Wonder

9. Strengthened friendships and built new ones worth keeping. I've always viewed the office as a place for work and never for friendship. #realtalk Last year, I was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong.

10. Stopped compartmentalizing...for a day. In my short 28 years on Earth, I have forged friendships with people from different stages/phases of my life--college, law school, work--and I made it a point to keep these friendships within their respective spheres. But last year, I opted to spend my birthday with as many close friends as I can. I was overwhelmed by the turnout. I was so overwhelmed I had acute gastroenteritis the whole time. Ha ha.

It was an interesting experience to say the least. A once in a lifetime kind of thing.


11. Sent paper planes, and consequently opened myself to possibilities. Of love and heartbreak, of success and failure. Of joy, of grace and of happiness.

I wrote about the whole paper plane thing here.


1. Continuous challenges to the rule of law, desperate efforts to weaken judicial independence, and to curtail the system of checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution.

2. Sad realization that certain friendships, ones I expected to last forever, are ending. Le sigh.

3. Failed Ultimate Leap. I am counting my failed ultimate leap as one of 2017's few lows because, to paraphrase a common adage, we miss all the leaps we don't take. I view that failed leap as the universe's way of telling me to wait for a better and (as a friend put it) more organic moment.

Crossing my fingers for the right time to find the right words, and (to paraphrase Jack Kerouac) I hope they will be simple.

VERDICT: FOUR AND 3/4 STARS | As 2016 closed, I only hoped to travel, read, shoe-hoard and "swim" more. Thankfully, I was able to do all of these in 2017.

2016 was a great year and, to be honest, I didn't expect 2017 to be just as good (cos' law of averages). But the Universe opted to one-up itself and gave me a better, happier 2017.

My 2017 was a year of firsts, of taking leaps of faith. Most of the leaps I took were leaps outside my comfort zone. Not everything turned out great or the way I wanted (I even missed that last leap!), but I can proudly say I am a happier person for having taken all those leaps, all those risks.

Thank you, 2017. For the courage, for the hope, and for genuine happiness.

 I've got a hope in the headlights
Stood still but I'm feeling fine
Cause all these plans I've been making
Will get me out of here in time

--Plans, Oh Wonder

THE FUTURE: Almost two years down, three to go. In the past year, my idea of a Good Judge--the kind of judge I want to be--became clearer. The next three years will be utilized to attain the experience and expertise necessary to make me closer to my idea of a Good Judge. To prepare myself better for a life of service to the people, of upholding the rule of law.

Oh my life is changing every day, in every possible way. --Dreams, The Cranberries

Personal life-wise, I aspire to build on last year's gains. I hope to make better life choices--at work, in finances, in health, and in "swimming."

No comments: