2013: Highlights and Lowlights

This blog post will be updated with pictures

It has been every blogger’s task to post either a summary of what happened over the past year or a realization of what the outgoing year has brought him. And I think now is the best time to stroll down the memory lane and share with you what 2013 had offered.

1. Work
Of course, this will be the top of the list since I have spent most of my time in the office. I am thankful because at the start of the year, I became an official employee of the company where I’m working at. After spending two and a half months as a project-based employee, I finally got to sign the contract for a regular position. And I was given the most challenging tower to handle. I could say that I have done the best that I can and even went the extra mile of doing my tasks as I didn’t have a permanent manager. It was a very challenging situation but I am proud I have surpassed it and still kicking!

Before the year ended, I was recognized for a vital contribution to the company. As of last year, we were the only institution with that huge number of employees with that niche skill in the Philippines. Thanks to the team for helping me out! We did wonders and even the big leaders in the US are very impressed of what we have pioneered.

I am also a part of a Six Sigma Yellow Belt project, which might become a Black Belt project due to its complexity and the financial impact that it will contribute not only to our current site, but also to the new upcoming sites in the Philippines.

My supervisor in my former employee once said “We are here to work, not to make friends. If you gain friends, good for you.” And I am lucky to have the best teammates ever! All are helping one another and you can really see that everyone is working very hard to meet and exceed the expectations of the company.

2. Travel
I didn’t have the time to travel for leisure this. In fact, I only used 2 of my vacation leaves in the entire year and I just forced myself to use the remaining this month. That’s because I focused too much at work. And that is a learning experience for me. I should have managed my time better by giving myself some time to go out and explore the places that I haven’t gone to.

One of my regrets is not seeing the churches in Bohol that are now gone because of the earthquake that hit the province. So for next year, I’ll plot my VLs accordingly and save money for traveling, with at least one out of the country trip.

But at least for this year, I have gone to Cebu twice and Iloilo for work. It was embarrassing though since I wasn’t able to sleep before the flight and we headed to our venue when we landed to these provinces so I was groggy and very sleepy on the first day of our activities. But I’m still hoping for more provincial job fairs next year.

3. Family
I’ll keep this category a private matter. I don’t usually share anything about my family, even to my friends; well, most especially online. I don’t want the US National Security Agency spy on us. LOL! Not that we are hiding or guilty of anything but I just want to be private about it.

Maybe I can share about our pets since we consider them as an extended part of our family. So you might have already known that my dogs Maxene and Bibo died this year. I truly miss them so much. But we are very happy for Hiro and Camcam, our shih tzus. And recently, Camcam gave birth to three cute little puppies, plus another dog gave birth to two, which I think fathered by Bibo.

4. Friends
A friend once wrote a blog about different kinds of friends. There are people whom we really care about, and there are some whom we consider as virtual friends. Of course you know the difference already. Haha!

As mentioned earlier, I consider myself lucky for having worked with talented people and eventually they became my friends. There were no drama compared to where I previously worked. I’m sorry if I’m comparing but that’s what I have experienced.

Just a brief back story… When I shifted my career a few years back, I met wonderful people at work and I really had a great time with them which I consider the best moments of my life; until they, one by one, left the company. New faces were hired and I spent good times with them as well. However, there were dramas involved. I don’t want conflicts, well who does? But those conflicts were purely personal and immature. And that was one of the reasons as well why I resigned. I can’t let myself be surrounded by people who are emotionally unstable because I get affected.

Anyway, there are these friends of mine whom I haven’t had a chance to meet this year. Blame it on our conflicting schedules and personal priorities. But just last Friday, I was able to see them again. Though we were incomplete, I felt different again. You can really identify a different feeling of comfort when you are with your best friends.

And lastly for this category, the virtual friends. Yes they exist! With my addiction to social media, I have virtually amazing people who indirectly taught me different things and they helped me grow as an individual both mentally and emotionally. Of course it would be better if I met them personally and built a foundation of friendship but that’s how the world revolves nowadays. I can’t not disregard these set of people in my life.

5. Hobbies
This year, I have rekindled the fire of my passion in photography. I may not have continued full blown but it’s a start. Aside from having an iPhone 5 with its great camera, I bought a Fuji X100S and Nokia Lumia 1020 for the love of taking pictures. Until now, I still haven’t post-processed and posted them on Flickr but I am keeping it and I just recently viewed them one by one which made me somehow revisit the moments I had this year. I have also followed a lot of good photographers on Instagram, Flickr and the blogging world to see their work which serves as my inspiration and motivation to improve on this craft. Next year, I promise to take more pictures and criticize myself if I am on the right track.

So that’s it, my friends! Those were the highlights and lowlights of my 2013 and as every one hopes, let’s make the year 2014 better. It’s all in our hands.

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