The year that was: 2011

2011 has been a crazy year. It went by really quick – but I reached so many milestones that I could say it’s my best year so far. Here are some of the highlights of the year that was. I could only think of 11 (lucky, because it’s 2011) but these 11 are really big events, in no particular order:

Me and my mom during my graduation

1. Graduating. This is by far, the most important milestone. Of course, who wouldn’t like to graduate and be out of school? It took me two schools and six years but I finally made it, with a gold medal for leadership to boot. I got my degree in AB Psychology and frankly, I don’t know what to do with it. Right now I’m working in an industry where my degree is totally unrelated, but I might pursue a more relevant career in the near future. School was really great, and now that I’m a working boy, I can say that work is a lot easier. Maybe it was because I handled the paper in my senior year, but I found myself less stressed when I got a job. I might take up my Master’s for Abnormal Psychology (which is still my first love), but I think I’ll enjoy making money first.

My calling card of five months 

2. Getting a job. Honestly, I had a tough time looking for a job. At the beginning, I vowed never to use my or my family’s connections, but I realized that when it comes to your career, it’s never what you know but who you know. I tried the “normal” way of getting a job, sending my resume via e-mail and all that, but unfortunately, no matter how good and qualified you are, if they’re not looking for anyone, you can’t do anything about it. I looked for jobs in PR, but it didn’t work out so I accepted a marketing executive position at Colorpoint, a printing press / photography studio who did our school’s yearbook. The president saw me talk one time and he hired me as soon as I graduated. Things didn’t go well at the company and I only stayed for five months, but I earned a lot of money and spent a lot of it, too. Currently, I’m unemployed but I have a sideline project going on.

Me awarding a certificate to Mr. Rick Olivares, one of the guest speakers

3. My editor-in-chief position. I was awarded the editor-in-chief position last year, but the paper has made a lot of headway in 2011. We started Erratum, a journalism seminar and we invited renowned practitioners from Business Mirror, ABS-CBN, and the Philippine Daily Inquirer to speak. We’re turning it into an annual tradition and they invited me to be the ‘inspirational speaker’ this year, whatever that means. We also started the Perpetualife, a year-ender magazine that was well-received by the student body. In fact, all our issues for the school year were well-received and I’ve been told a couple of times that my year was the best yet.

4. The yearbook. I was part of the yearbook committee as the literary editor. It was really tough going through the process, having to deal with lots of people, but I got to work with an incredible team. There were a lot of issues attached but everyone made it with no missing limbs. My first job was with the company who did the yearbook so I took it with me but when we finally closed the book (after so many months), I heaved a huge sigh of relief. I don’t have a picture of the actual yearbook because I haven’t picked it up yet. I’ve seen it everyday for the past year so I’m not that excited.

My feature at Chalk magazine

5. Chalk magazine. I was briefly featured in the March issue of Chalk magazine. It was very short, three sentences only, but a statement I made regarding not graduating on time appeared with my picture. An online friend of mine, KB, is an editor for the magazine so she managed to squeeze me in with other late graduates.

With hosts Aida Sy, Lourd de Veyra, and Joey Reyes

6. Tayuan Mo At Panindigan! In the same month, I was a guest for Tayuan Mo At Panindigan!, a talk show on TV5 with director Joey Reyes, radio personality Aida Sy and media fixture Lourd de Veyra as hosts. We talked about graduation and what my plans were after college, and I mentioned writing. I never got to see the episode, but my friend Skate, who is the talent coordinator, said I did good and direk Joey was impressed by me.

My debut article for The Philippine Star – Supreme

7. The Philippine Star. I mentioned a while ago that I’m doing a sideline project. It’s writing for The Philippine Star – Supreme. I make weekly contributions by writing the Best of the Week section. I’ve been part of the team for over nine weeks now and have met the team once, including Tim Yap, the editor-in-chief when we did a group feature for SM Megamall. It has its down sides but I learned to swallow my pride and just be grateful my works get included in the Star. I’m planning to branch out by contributing to other publications in the near future.

Kylie Minogue live in Manila

8. Kylie Minogue. When news broke out that Kylie Minogue is performing in the Philippines, I just had to get tickets. I’m a huge fan so I was thrilled. I was lucky to be employed the time she came, so I was able to afford good seats. I danced, sang, jumped and cried, it was such an overwhelming experience. So many musicians are performing here this year, but I’m looking forward to the day Madonna will come. I will buy front row tickets, no questions asked.

A photo I took while biking with the folks

9. My love life. My love life for 2011 isn’t as colorful as 2009, but I did go out on several dates with several guys. One was with an ex who wanted to rekindle a bad romance, another that took two years in the making, with two guys who are friends (I dated them separately), two colleagues, a schoolmate, and one straight guy who I’m not quite sure if we dated or not.

Me with Nikko, Roi, and Jan, writers from the school paper

10. Nikko. Nikko has been one of the best parts of the year. He was a writer who applied when I was editor-in-chief. He was one of my favorites because he was assertive, creative, and ambitious. His passion for writing was inspiring and he greatly helped make my tenure one of the best. On top of that, we became good friends and he has a thirst for life that I admire that we ended up doing new things like watching plays, eating new food, and going to new places.

At Boracay

With family and friends at Puerto Galera

At Xintiandi, Shanghai

With friends at Batangas

11. Boracay, Puerto Galera, China, Batangas. This summer was the best, with the most trips. Normally, I go out of the country for a week during the summer and that’s it, but this year, my family and I went to Boracay, Puerto Galera, and China, then my friends and I drove to Batangas for a day. I’m not really much of a beach person but Boracay changed me. It was so beautiful that I promised myself to go to the beach (preferably Boracay) every year. Met some friends there and even hung out with Don. And just when I thought my 2011 beach trip was over, a family friend invited us for a trip to Puerto Galera. We stayed at this island resort called Aninuan and it was so great having an island to ourselves. A week later, the folks and I were off to Shanghai to spend a week. I had such a blast even though the language barrier made things a bit difficult. But China is a majestic country and I can’t wait to go back, this time to Beijing.

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