Sunshine Glow || The Magic of 2023!

 Here comes the sun. That's how 2023 felt like. The pandemic was over. The rains of La Niña were over. The restrictions were gone. People were up and about!

There were many good things about 2023, but the best part was the ray of sunshine it represents - the sun was a mighty force last year as the sunny El Niño replaced the dark and dreary La Niña!

I look back on 2023 with "sunshine glow" as its all-embracing aura and vibe. We didn't even have typhoons, which is a first in many, many years. We could all breathe a sigh of relief that 2023 has been a good year, nature-wise, at least in this part of the world. That alone is enough to be thankful for.

Mood-Setting Music

At the very start of the year, I have been hooked with Mozetich's "Affairs of the Heart." I played it several times. It basically set the tone for the rest of the year.

2 January || Bicol Express

I was invited to a client's grandson's baptismal party this day. I was delighted when I found out local delicacies were served. I absolutely love Bicol Express and Kandingga. This day went down as one of the memorable ones of 2023.

22 January || Happy Year of the Hare

This happens once every twelve long years so I needed to make it special! 2023 was the year of the water rabbit, which is my zodiac animal too... so that explains all the effort to bring in bunny stuffed toys for NYE. :)

3 February || A Night with Erden

Erden Eruc holds multiple Guinness World Records, one of which was "the first circumnavigation of the world by single human force." One of his stopovers for another feat was Legazpi City so he was here with us for a talk about plastic wastes, which is the reason why he has been doing these ultra-human accomplishments. Well done, Erden! We have been missing you!

5 March || Sunday Golfin'

Amidst the busy schedules, I was able to go out with friends to do golfing. It was fun. They thought I have been practicing for weeks. Nope, this was my first in a very long time!

7 April || A Vivid Day at Vanishing Island

It was Holy Week so we did a beach escapade, and Vanishing Island was one of our stopovers. It was hot and humid but it didn't matter!

22 April || Earth Day Effervescence

Cleaning up the beach was hard, but I wanted to do this so much that I didn't care about all the inconvenience anymore. The day was sunny. It was the zenith of summer, after all.

30 April || Chasing A Cruise Ship

On this day, a cruise ship docked at Legazpi Port so we wanted to see it up close. It was hilarious and suspenseful because we literally chased the ship as it was going to leave very soon. In the course of the "hot pursuit," I left my car in the middle of the ocean to hitch a ride at John Gochenouer's boat.


My car

With John G

1 May || Goddess of Oblivion

My mum celebrated her 69th birthday at Camvias Spring Resort in the middle of the summer heat. The refreshing waters of the spring resort was the most rejuvenating and invigorating part of the year.

The story behind the title goes like this. I encountered an unspeakable event inside the comfort room so I was forced to find ways to forget about it. As I was bathing under one of the "falls" of the resort, I imagined that a "goddess of oblivion" was helping me erase the memory. I forgot about it, all I remember was that it was a nice, refreshing day and that I enjoyed my time there lavishly.

3 June || IBP Induction

Some of my law school students passed the 2022 Bar Exams. The results were released in May 2023. On June 3rd, we officially welcomed them to the legal profession.

With my HS buddy (also a lawyer)

4 June || A Cousin's Eclectic Home

Ate Claire, my fourth cousin, welcomed me to her beautiful abode, an eclectic house overlooking the ocean. It was by far my most favorite of all the houses I've been to. I could go on and on about how I loved it and I wish I could post more pictures, but that might mean violating Ate Claire's privacy.

With Ate Claire

5 June || A Perfected Concoction

Baligang Yakult, my concoction, was finally perfected in June. I should say, over and above all biases, that this is the most rejuvenating drink you'll ever come across, plus all the natural benefits it has for your health. Only yakult and baligang were added to the mix. No sugar, no salt.

10 June || Home-Hopping in Juban

We explored the beautiful antique houses of Juban, Sorsogon. They were built during the early part of the 1900s. They withstood all the wars and calamities that they have witnessed over several decades. I'm glad that they have been preserved and still standing.

30 June || Hymen, oh Hymenée!

We saw Juan Luna's elusive painting on June 30. It had so many details and back stories interwoven seamlessly in one grand painting. I am amazed at the genius that is Juan Luna...

3 September || Off to Europe

My first out-of-the-country tour begins today. I was surprised to see so many things I haven't yet seen. It was a totally different world even though it belonged to the same planet.

Etihad Airways

4 September || Marveled at Milan Duomo

The Milan Duomo was the most magnificent structure I have ever seen...

5 September || A Visit to Venice

Visiting Venice made September 5th, 2023 the most beautiful day of my life...

6 September || At Home at Pianello

Pianello del Lario was a picturesque resort town in Lake Como...

7 September || Bedazzled at Bellagio

Bellagio's vibrant row houses are a beauty to behold...

8 September || Cruisin' Lake Como

It was a relaxing day cruising the various towns and cities of Lake Como...

9 September || The Tuscan Countryside

We explored the rolling hills of the Tuscan Country...

10 September || The Florentine Flair

Florence was a beautiful city in the heart of Italy...

11 September || Rome, the Eternal City

Rome, a city for all eternity, has been existing for millennia, even before Christ was born. We have seen parts of all its glory. A day or two were not enough.

12 September || Venerated the Vatican

The Vatican was truly divine. The sweat and heat did not matter anymore when we entered St. Peter's Basilica...

14 September || My Sister's Birthday

My sister celebrated her birthday in Monaco...

15 September || Mesmerised by Monaco

Monaco was the cleanest and most beautiful country I have ever been to...

16 September || Drove a Vintage Racing Car

Driving a vintage racing car was fun, especially if you did it on the streets of Monaco...

20 September || Birthday with Maxxie

My cat and I share the same birthday!

22 October || Masquerade Ball

Mayon Toastmasters Club celebrated its 8th anniversary in a masquerade ball...

23 November || Anytime Legazpi Anniversary

Anytime Fitness Legazpi celebrated its first anniversary on this day...

9 December || Sweet Sta Magdalena Escapade

The alternating colors of Sta Magdalena's beaches are a delight to the sight...

12 December || Pastores A Belen

Pastores A Belen has taken its grandest form ever in 2023...

14 December || At a Radio Talk Show

I appeared at a radio talk show on this day. This was not my first, but this is the first time that the topic was about myself and my legal career...

17 December || Bureau of Magical Places

I've always had fun hosting the table topics portion of Mayon Toastmasters. On December 17, I made the toastmasters promote "magical places."

24 December || Sister Singing Portuguese

I'm pretty sure my sister was not "possessed" that time. LOL.

31 December || Copacabana NYE

Like in Christmas Eve, we also had karaoke fun on NYE. Here, my sister and my mother enjoyed singing and dancing on NYE. 

Over-Arching Lessons

I learned to be more grateful in 2023. Despite the many blessings in life, there will still be problems, but you've got to focus on the nicer parts and be thankful for them. 

I also learned not to speak ill about anything. If I come up with a bad thought, I don't need to utter it anymore.

With these being said, I am definitely looking forward to a very optimistic year ahead. Many of my problems have been solved over the last two years so I'm off to a really fresh start this year...


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