Char Experience

Mandatory New Year Ruminations

Can’t believe it’s been 4 years since my last post on this blog, and the moment I opened it to write an entry, a lot of things were broken! Particularly the control panel– where I type the post. Took me a few days to figure out what was wrong, but it’s fixed now, so I can type this overdue entry in peace.

Right! I’ll skip 2015 – 2017 events (or maybe make separate posts about them) and go ahead to talking about my 2018 (chronologically), and some priority shifts for 2019.

? February

? So 2018 was the year my medical insurance took full swing as a regular employee with the company I’m working at, and naturally, the first thing I’ll do is abuse it! I decided to get an endoscopy since I’ve been getting a lot of reflux episodes. It felt nasty having to swallow this metallic tube and just feel something unnaturally cold slowly crawl its way down inside your chest and to your stomach! Still makes my skin crawl, but turns out my innards were fine! Plus I get to keep a cool video of the trip from my throat to the opening of my intestines!

? March

? Firstly, I had a peculiar moment with this random old stranger while having lunch at McDonald’s. Long story short, I got curious at what he was drawing and decided to have a little chat. Turns out he used to be a pilot, and he was sketching landscapes as seen from a plane’s cockpit. We had a nice conversation sharing travel adventures, and he suggested me some pretty good next destinations around the country!

?‍♂️ I think it was my first time joining a club activity, and I had a great time at this hotel pool with a big water slide! Was pretty cool, and relaxing, would do it again!

✈ Way too early in the morning, I was helping a friend who ran away from home, only to end up intercepted by his mom just before I could approach him as he arrived at the airport. Had an intense, emotional conversation about him speaking up for why he ran away, and coming to a resolution that worked out for them both. The whole time I was wondering why I even got myself into that situation, but a family was stopped from getting broken that morning, and I suppose that’s more than enough to make my, and some friends’ efforts feel very much worth it!

? Second club activity was island hopping around Olango Island, which was also a rest stop for the birds that fly south! Though we didn’t get on the island itself, we docked on this small sandbar and had some fun time and lunch at the beach! At least until it rained quite heavily for 10-15 minutes, we had to wait it out before heading farther out for some snorkeling! Makes me wish I had an underwater camera, there were lots of colorful fish among the corals, and even an eel!

✝ Finally, I went home to my parents’ place for the holy week and spent quality time with my fam!

? April

? Not much went on this month except me finally playing Oregon Trail, buying new shoes because my old one tore a hole, and of course… watching Avengers: Infinity War!

? May, the BEST month of my 2018!

? After about a year of planning, it was finally the month where one of my closest friends traveled halfway across the world to come and visit me for a week! I had so much fun touring her over at the current island I’m living in, and at my home island. We went to malls, historical and modern landmarks, flower gardens, pilgrimage sites, waterfalls, and enjoyed a lot of good food! She also gave me some really sweet presents for my birthday, and I got to introduce her to my fam! Overall, it was a week’s adventure that words won’t ever be enough to express, and I’m absolutely thankful to both our families for supporting us through to make this grand adventure happen!

Paddle Boat
Chilling on a paddle boat

? This is also the month I attended my first ever furry convention (and it’s also their first year as a convention), FurryPinas! The furry subculture has been a big hobby of mine for a long while now, it’s a community that’s overflowing with talented artists, animators, musicians, entertainers, and more! Joining this convention is just one of the many ways I can help support and enjoy it as well, especially the local community! I got to meet some friends and artists I’ve commissioned before, some really nice suiters– including the guest of honor, play some board games, and got myself some commission pieces from the artist alley!

FurryPinas 2018
FurryPinas 2018 at SMX Convention Center

? June

⛵ We had a company outing to this really fancy resort in Albay, called Misibis Bay! I mean, I’ve been to Legazpi City the year before and scaled the slopes of Mt. Mayon, but a resort there is definitely a different experience! It was fun reuniting with my then co-trainees, the food buffet was good, and the activities were alright, just a tad on the expensive side! I decided to get a boat tour, and a spa package. Overall, it was a great experience, but something I probably won’t do again unless it’s sponsored or I have that much cash to throw away ?

Misibis Bay
Misibis Bay in Albay

? July

? A friend invited me to watch a play/musical he’s also participating in, Miss Saigon. I can’t remember the last time I’ve watched a musical, or any play in a theater for that matter! It was well worth it, and we all had a great time throughout the show! Definitely wish I could watch more of these plays.

? August

? This was probably my first time doing a wing-it trip because of unfortunate circumstances, but that probably warrants a different post of its own! Long story short, we went to the famed, enchanted island, Siquijor! We hired somebody to take us to the sights and tour us around this small island for a day, then the rest was chilling at the pool where we stayed, and enjoying some good ‘ol grilled food by the beach!

Cambugahay Falls
Swinging at Cambugahay Falls in Siquijor Island

? November

? Finally, for my last trip of the year (or was it?), we went to the island borne of fire, Camiguin! We admittedly had a lot of hiccups during this trip due to little to no planning, just plain naivety, or the wrath of a short but sudden heavy rain that drenched our otherwise already dry swim clothes. Nevertheless, we climbed the trail up Mt. Vulcan lined with 15 stations of the cross; went to a sandbar off the coast called White Island; jumped into the icy cold springs; and spent our last night at Ardent Hot Springs– with a most pleasant massage. I also had a lanzones ice cream, which was really good! Despite being comparable in geographic size with Siquijor, we weren’t able to circle Camiguin all around; and despite the hiccups of this trip, I definitely would want to return to this island again in the future, but this time with a way better itinerary! I’m also absolutely thankful that my roommate was around, keeping me together and putting up with my frustrations, trying his best to make it better. Best travel buddy anyone could ask for ?

Camiguin Panorama
Panoramic shot of Camiguin Island as seen from the trail at Mt. Vulcan

? December

? Christmas time again and I received a lot of gifts from the company I’m working at, my colleagues during our Christmas Party, and my friends alike; and I appreciate them all very much!

? I also got to enjoy a good 2-week vacation from work since Dec 24, 25, 31, and Jan 1– all holidays– conveniently fell on consecutive Mondays and Tuesdays. I went home and had plenty of bonding time and catching up with my fam and old friends! Also, a lot of fooding ?

? Exiting 2018

➕ Capping it up, 2018 has been an insane year! I’ve been to a lot more adventure trips than in any prior year, met an awful lot of new friends, have newfound appreciations, and definitely learned a lot more!

➖ Though it’s not without pitfalls as it’s also the year my health spiraled down a notch due to bad diet and habits. Not to mention my old phone and desktop broke down from wear and tear, and I had to get new ones– drowning myself in a pit of manageable debt. Also dealt with a mutual break-up and moving on for the later part of the year.

✌ Nevertheless, I’m absolutely thankful that I got to spend the year with the people I cherish most, especially my fam, roommate/travel buddy, and friends who put up with my shenanigans and were always there for me when I needed the support. Hoping the next year would be better and more wholesome!

? Entering 2019

I probably didn’t need to think too hard about it, but though I left 2018 with a plethora of adventures and great memories, I also had a lot of losses: such as my health– physically, mentally, and emotionally; and my financial stability. So I’m dedicating my 2019 to rehabilitating those– need to get back up on my feet, diet and lifestyle change, and recover my savings, among others.

Hobby-wise, I’m thinking of doing a couple of pet projects during my spare time, one being redesigning this blog site, and maybe making a different site overall to put stuff like my portfolio and whatnot. Maybe change domains when I think of a good name! I’m also already booked for FurryPinas 2019 with my roommate this June, definitely looking forward to it and meeting both new and old friends!

Career-wise, I’m attending WordCamp 2019 this March for some insights on the platform and maybe just mingle with the community. Though unsure yet, but I’m thinking of pursuing some certs from AWS.

Travel-wise, I have no plans yet, but speculating on Bohol and Balicasag Island if it won’t cost me an arm and a leg for my next travel destination!

Aaand I think that’s all I have for this sappy post, hopefully my next post will not be another 4 years into the future ?. Thanks for dropping by and reading all that if you did! You deserve a ?!