2020: One Fine Year


2020 was like wine... sour but with a sweet aftertaste...

The past year has been extra challenging for everyone. The same was very much my experience as well. There were days when I wanted to quit altogether. Yes, it was that difficult for me.

But along with the horrors were life-changing lessons that made the year feel as though it was a glass of sour wine that felt better as it went on.

It seems ironic to describe everyone's annus horribilis as a fine year, but I have the inclination to label something based on how I remember it, regardless of how different it has actually been...

Early January | Lost Kittens

Beloved, one of the lost kittens.

December 2019 was extra joyful because our family enjoyed looking at four tiny kittens running around the house. These little creatures brought joy to a home of all adults. 

Unfortunately, 2020 came off to a bad start. All four kittens were swept away by some misfortune. They hopped on to my car, without me knowing, and while I was driving it, they either fell from it or ran away.

We don't know exactly what happened to them but, ever since then, we never saw them again...

29 February | An Unusual Sunset

The pandemic was looming around by this time. It was one of the last days before the lockdown and the so-called new normal.

It was still cool due to amihan but it had some tinges of warmth as summer was about to come. Balmy weather --- that was how the Leap Day turned out.

But it was not only that. It had the most amazing sunset in a long time --- scarlet-colored clouds hovered near the beautiful volcano...

Late March | Tourists in their own Villa

Just as the summer arrived, the entire Luzon Island was placed on hard lockdown. And so, the tiny spot of our home was all we could roam around.

Our parents sipping wine against the backdrop of a nice view...

It had a magnificent location however. We can peer to a nice view of the volcano, giving us all the liberty to gaze upon her spectacular sight...

04 April | Half-Birthday Song

Remember all the downtime we had during the lockdown? Well, it enabled me to write a song to a friend from halfway around the world.

The song makes perfect sense. Birthdays give another number to our age so why not celebrate a somewhat significant day that doesn't make us feel older?

22 April | Earth Day Diva

Mayon Volcano showed her barest glory on Earth Day, as if inspiring us to take care of the environment regardless of climate change's veracity...

Late June | Chloe Passed On

My sister "doing" a pre-natal check-up on Chloe.

Chloe, the mother of the lost kittens, didn't survive 2020 as well. She succumbed to complicated pregnancy and died. All nine kittens in her womb went with her.

It was excruciatingly sad, but we didn't know it could get even worse later on in the year.

02 September | Sunset at the Boulevard

One of the perks of living in Legazpi is that you can be a tourist without spending money. The sight of the volcano never grows old, and she often changes her appearance depending on weather, time of day, and one's relative location...

While the volcano rarely changes, you can have dozens of diverse pictures of it. It deserves as many entries as one cannot imagine. Sometimes it's blue, sometimes it's violet, but at other times, it's tangerine...

15 September | A Nice Visit to Naga City

This year, my birthday coincided with the feast day of Our Lady of Penafrancia, the patroness of the entire Bicol Region.

As I have been a devotee for a long time, I made a short but nice visit to Naga, the pilgrim city where her shrine is located. Covid numbers have been going down since the start of the month so it felt safe to make the short voyage.

It ended really well with several nice pictures of the different landmarks of Naga City...

20 September | Birthday Dinner By the Lake

The Sumlang Lake

We spent my birthday at a very scenic body of water, Sumlang Lake, whose idyllic appearance was complemented by the melodies of chirping birds and insects.

The dinner itself was splendid...

02 October | A Short Trip to the Sea

My friends and I did a very short trip to a beach resort. The sea was so placid and inviting, I decided to take a dip even though I didn't have spare clothes with me at all.

15 November | A Visit to Loved Ones

The pandemic and the supertyphoon collaborated with each other to postpone this year's All Saints' Day.

But on a beautiful sunny day in the middle of the month, I was able to visit the cemetery to pay my loved ones annual respects.

The setting sun illuminated the beautiful cemetery with its golden rays which the verdant grass blissfully received.

It was the nicest All Saints' tradition I have ever done because it usually rains on this day. This year, however, we basked in the sun...

22 November | Cristo Rey Sunday

The successive typhoons from late October to early November made me feel my bounden duty to help the victims and to share my blessings.

Together with my grade school classmates, I organized a fund drive, donated my old clothes, bought necessities, and helped in three relief operations.

With my family and classmates.

We were unaware that it was Christ the King Sunday where the gospel distinctly stated Christ wanted us to help the least of our brethren. We did it today.

10 December | Timmy 

Photo Credit: Nancy M. Andes

This was the most difficult night of the year. After all the calamities and lost pets, I was down to a breaking point. Just as I thought all the bad was over, Timmy, our last remaining cat, figured in an accident and died.

I was so heart-broken, I could not anymore bear to go out of my room and check him out. I've had too much sorrow this year already.

15 December | Maxxie Saved the Year


The gloom had to go away. And so, my sister and I agreed to buy another pet. Maxxie, a Persian cat who looks more like Himalayan, arrived home, saving the entire year from all its sorrows.

25 December | A Well-Spent Holiday

Myself, enjoying the last few hours of the holiday with Sangria wine...

The best lesson I learned from the pandemic was that life is indeed short so I better make the most out of it.

This year's Christmas wouldn't have been that nice if it weren't for that lesson. I relished every moment of the day with my family and enjoyed it the most I can.

The best part, however, was when I delighted my mum with my present --- a very comfortable pillow akin to those found in lavish hotels. She said the sweetest 'thank you' and we tightly hugged each other. It was the best moment of the entire year...

26 December | Lunch with Friends

My friends and I have very tight schedules but we were able to pull off another meet-up this day. We played 'Monopoly,' the Christmas gift my sister gave me three years ago.

But because my friends really have busy schedules, the meet-up lasted for only two hours! Lmao.

31 December | NYE Dinner

We capped the entire year with a pleasant dinner at Il Morso Restaurant. It has been such a difficult year that we tried to enjoy the holidays as much as possible in order to off-set all the year's sorrows.


2020 had several terrible episodes. The bad ones kept turning up from start to finish. But somehow, it doesn't mean we cannot have a splendid year anymore. Sometimes, things have to make terrible turning points to lead you to nicer destinations. That, exactly, was my 2020...


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