2021 ~ Year of Unexpected Adventures

 


The pandemic ravaged the world all throughout 2021 causing so many restrictions and limitations. Ironically, these difficulties made me experience several unexpected adventures last year.

I simply learned to enjoy life as it lasts. While the year was especially challenging for everyone, it wasn't exactly all bad. I guess, we needed to learn some simple life lessons after all.

2021 was the year I developed the ability to relax despite adversities. It was the year I learned to believe, trust and surrender everything to God, to strategize when bad things happen, to forgive myself, and to have plan Bs and Cs...



Early January
Quarantine Music Class

At the very start of the year, I immediately felt the effects of the pandemic on a deeper, personal level. I had colds and coughs that wouldn't go away. And so, as per doctor's advice, I had to quarantine myself. Thankfully, the RT-PCR test yielded negative results, but it came out after a week has already passed.

So, for the first full week of the entire year, I was on quarantine without knowing my status. The internet has kept me from getting bored though; I enrolled in an online song-writing class which I enjoyed very much.

There were blissful moments here and there. I saw a hummingbird flying near my window one time. It went off so quickly that I wasn't able to capture it with my camera.


5 February
Venus, A New Car


My father has been insisting that I get a new car. I've had enough savings the past few years so I was able to afford a Honda Civic Model 2020. I named her 'Venus' for two reasons. First, I want her to be my goddess of love. Second, my maternal grandmother had 'Venus' as her maiden surname.

I'm not really into material things at all so I can discipline myself when it comes to handling money. I simply avoid temptations and just enjoy life as it is. Indeed, there can be many other sources of happiness out there, and material things can actually be a hit and miss depending on the circumstance.


6 February
Mama Hayne's Birthday

"Isus-Isus Maria si Larah!" Mama Hayne exclaims on her birthday.


Mama Hayne is one of our funny aunts on the mother's side (five sisters and two brothers). Our clan holds a special kind of tradition of calling and regarding our aunts as second mothers. That is the kind of bond we have in the family.

Until now, our group chat has always been active with our cousins, aunts, and other relatives leisurely posting random stuff. It's great to have a closely-knit extended family who could blow your blues away.

Mama Hayne, the eldest sister, celebrated her 76th birthday today in what felt like the funniest birthday celebration of the year --- our Ate Larah gave her a surprise. As Mama Hayne has always been the serious but funny aunt (incidentally, all our aunts are comical as well) and the Miriam Defensor of the family, her birthday celebration turned out to be hilarious...


20 March
Sta. Magdalena Escapade

Our father celebrated his birthday this month. As a gift, I treated the entire family to a beach getaway in Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon. The trip was almost cancelled, actually. A wrong interpretation of an executive order made us think that going out of the province would be impossible. It turns out that we were mistaken. 

Thankfully, the trip materialized. Sta. Magdalena is so beautiful and unique, I haven't seen anything like it before. The beaches transition from white to black to pink in very short distances!



End of March | Sudden Trip to Daet!

Just ten days after the Sta. Magdalena trip, I had another sudden excursion to the opposite side of the peninsula - Daet, Camarines Norte! I went to Daet only two days after deciding to go there. What was supposed to be a six-hour road trip lasted for nine long hours as the protocols required us to get antigen tests in a laboratory one hour away from the border. The results came out another hour after.

But the trip was amazing! We surfed the waves of Bagasbas Beach and met new friends! Daet felt almost a second home --- everybody was genuinely friendly and candid! The food was amazing... Their Chicharon Bagasbas was the spiciest food I've ever tried!

Special thanks to Tito Noy for making this trip possible, and to my buddy, Kenneth, for the nice advice!


23 April
Earth Day Imaginations

Hardin Falls of Viga, Catanduanes. Photo Credit: Celine Murillo.


As if the soul of the planet communicated with me on Earth Day this year. It was one full night of no sleep at all as my mind was actively imagining a certain place I couldn't go to --- Hardin Falls of Viga, Catanduanes...

The falls had a secretive vibe to it that made me imagine so many things. The next day, April 23rd, I immediately wrote all my imaginations. It began what might be my very first novel in my entire life...

Special thanks to Laur Farhie for all the suggestions and writing! :)


23 May | An Hour in Masbate

Animasola Island, San Pascual, Masbate.


Our mother's side went off on a brief vacation at the western coast of Albay. During the trip, we had a very short (one hour) island-hopping tour of nearby Masbate. We saw the gorgeous contours of Animasola Island...


10 July
Brief Island Getaway

My very first ocular inspection of a client's property turned out to be memorable. It was a beach-front property with splendid seascapes. The sands were a bit off-white; the stones sprawling on the beach shined like gold. I have never seen a beach like it before...

Special thanks to Peter Biason for making this splendid getaway possible!


5 September | Lovely Sunday



I cannot exactly say why it always is lovely on September. Maybe the nice weather perhaps, or the beginnings of the yuletide season. One Sunday was especially nice. I was able to do so many great things that day such as watching a really good movie and writing a chapter to my novel.

On top of it was this scene of my father still working on a late sunny Sunday afternoon. I will forever remember this scene my whole life...


12 September | Waterfall Adventure

The Sixth Cascade of Escaldera Falls, Malilipot, Albay.

I've had so many sudden, unexpected adventures this year but the best one of all was my trip to the seven tiers of Escaldera Falls...

I really thought the falls consisted of only one tier. I was surprised to learn there were eleven more. We climbed the seven cascades (the other five were infested with venomous snakes). The trail was especially slippery but the flowing waters were invigorating!

Special thanks to JJ Sallao for such an amazing experience!


14 September | Sister Cooks Dinner

Steak, steak, steak!

What I love most about my sister is her ability to cook delicious meals. On her birthday, she cooked us a sumptuous steak that makes my mouth water even to this day. Thank you, ate!


19 September
Sudden Midnight Ideas

I often have sudden midnight ideas... so I gave myself this lamp as a birthday gift... so that, when I suddenly wake up in the middle of the night, all I have to do is to turn it on and write my ideas down. :)

 

20 September
Double Birthday Celebration with our Cat


I have asked my sister over and over again but she gave the same response all the time. Our cat, Maxxie, indeed shares my birthday. On this day, Maxxie and I celebrated our first birthday together. :)




3 October | Street-Cleaning

I'm tired of politics and corruption... so I channeled all my frustrations into doing something nice. On this day, Monic and I cleaned a portion of a nearby street. The activity was fulfilling and therapeutic...


10 October | ATV Adventure


It was a Sunday Funday with law school friends. We explored Mayon's lava trails through ATVs! The occasional drizzles didn't stop us from having fun! :)



Late October | My Covid Experience

I've always thought it's inevitable. In fact, I don't think the pandemic will be complete without myself contracting the virus. Indeed, I've had it on the second half of October. I regretted what I had wished for --- it wasn't that easy! Thankfully, I was the only one in the household who got infected. :)



23 November
Toured a New Friend in Town

It all started with one look. I saw her at an online seminar where she immediately got my attention. She was all too serious one moment but suddenly smiled and laughed. I thought this girl must have a lot of personality!

I immediately looked her up on FaceBook and sent her a friend request. She was always fun to chat with. As she lives in Masbate, the first time we ever got to see each other was on November 23rd. Our first time to bond lasted for seven and a half hours!

I toured her around town and we laughed and laughed and laughed. I've had a great time with her and would want to see her more...



Mid December
New Lessons, New Chapter

While my personal life is going so well, the world around me is struggling. Somehow, I made a decision from a long time ago to share my blessings through activities. However, sometimes I just cannot do it. I am not in control of the things around me. The frustration had left me agitated that I would have a hard time getting to sleep.

A talk to my mother was not enough, and I was staring on the screen of my laptop for so long. I decided to write a long post about it to release. I wrote down all my frustrations. Everything. All my bad emotions.

I prayed the very next day and lifted all up to the Lord. I also resolved that, instead of saying bad, hurtful things to others, I will make everybody happy the best way I can. I also decided to treat everyone pleasantly regardless of how bad they are or how frustrated I am with them. And I will guard my mouth as much as possible.

All of these began a new chapter in my life. All the days after that night were better, brighter, and more productive. :)


18 December
My Best Friend's Wedding


This was a great day with friends. My BFF Trina and Mik got married today. Our other friends attended the wedding as well. We have waited for this for so long and now that it finally happened, we were very happy for them. :)


23 December | Soulful Odyssey

Yet another adventure took place near Christmas Day. I ventured into a new business (my very first). Soulful Odyssey is a calendar styled as a brief leisure magazine. :)

My friends asked me why I even ventured into this business. I honestly couldn't give an answer --- I just wanted to give it a try. :)


25 December
Local Products as Presents

Cosmetics made of Pili Oil as gifts to my mother.

What I love most about Christmas is the gift-giving part. For this year, I bought local products as gifts to my family. It was impossible to have all of them sourced from local manufacturers so I didn't attempt to do it for all. What matters is that I am able to contribute something to the local economy in simple ways I can. :)


28 December | First Time Golfer

A new friend invited me to eat at a restaurant that has a mini golf course beside it. That was the very first time I have tried playing golf. Immediately, I had fun!




31 December | NYE Revelries

The many lessons of 2021 have made me loosen up and enjoy life as it lasts. On top of it all, I also learned to let God take control and not to worry too much. And so, I am no longer the uptight person I used to be. While my life was already nice, it went even better after learning these lessons.

The NYE Revelries of 2022 has been one of the best so far and it partly was due to the new lessons I learned this year...






My Sources of Happiness in 2021

2021 would not be complete without the people who have my year wonderful. After all, my life doesn't operate in a vacuum. I am truly grateful for these people. Allow me to thank all of you in the following ways...

God

The Heavenly Father has made me sane all throughout the pandemic. His words even brought me joy and peace of mind. Because of Him, I am not only surviving but also thriving.

Special thanks to Fr. Jerry Orbos. It was through his homilies that I gained strength, happiness, and most of all, peace. Because of him, I learned to believe, trust and surrender everything to the Lord...



Thank you, Fr. Jerry Orbos!


Maxxie, Our Santa Claws


Maxxie is such a nice addition to the family! He gives us joy every day by letting us rub his tummy. He would initially run away but would eventually give in every time. Such a playful and endearing cat!


Family


I was a rebellious person for a long time but my family extended quite a lot of patience with me. I really didn't want to become a lawyer and because of this I resented.

But eventually, I found joy in litigation. I guess it is all fate, because even my family was surprised that I would do well in litigation.

I'm sorry for being a little bit rebellious and I would like to thank you for having patience with me, and for supporting all my studies.


Friends


Of course, you were part of this year's joys too! If you've read the entire article, you are certainly one of my friends! Thank you for taking time to read this long article. I also thank you for making not only 2021 worthwhile but also the rest of my life worth living! Thank you!


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