I went on a errand today, going to my grandparents’ house in Taft. I had a straight but long commute going there. The streets were surprisingly empty, as if it was Pacquiao’s fight all over again. I thought there was going to be a New Year shopping rush. Manila was in its beautiful state again, it’s empty and quiet, which is unusual. I had these sudden thoughts about how my life has been the whole year. 2013 has been both amazing and as ass at the same time. It might be cliche to say (and perhaps overused) that it has been a crazy roller coaster ride. But it really has.
The year started with Seoul. I have been given the chance to travel to South Korea, one of my favorite places in the world in February (Part 1, 2, 3, 4). Technically it’s a school activity but I considered it as an opportunity for a lot of us to explore what was outside our homeland. As I have not been able to travel internationally, I became too excited for the trip to the point that I constantly listened to kpop songs and watched dramas until the Hallyu Wave has consumed me. It was a nice way to start the year, experiencing an entirely different culture apart from ours. Not to mention it was my first time seeing snow (and actual snowfall too!). I couldn’t forget that, it was probably one of the happiest moments in my life.
Being a junior was exhausting, but of course senior year was way harder. 2013 was also the year that I had my practicum training. As every senior would undergo 600 hours at an airline office, airport, travel agency, events company and what have you. It was an incredible experience working with Qantas Airways Manila. I have learned a lot, what it’s like in the “real world”. Harsh, exhausting and draining. But it was worth it. Apparently, my practicum training also paved way for obesity to finally kick in. I gained (drumrolls please) a total of 9 kilos during my training. I didn’t rent an apartment or a dorm near the airport so I chose to take the commute from our house in Quezon City to Paranaque EVERYDAY. It was horrible because aside from having to catch the train every morning, you’d have to be extra careful with your uniform (white button down and a tie) and try not to get it dirty which is inevitable considering the MRT has tons of passengers and it smells too. Not to mention I had to catch the train ride before 10pm or else i’ll take the bus that would take me 2-3 hours to get home. The transportation killed me. But having been able to work with QF was wonderful. You’ll learn a lot from it. Click and click!
I also thing 2013 gave me the chance to bond with a lot of my friends. I was able to know them more. This year, I was able to travel to different places in the country, together with my blockmates. Despite the fact that it was school-related, the experience was for keeps. Especially in the past month where I spent most of my friday nights at a friend’s place to work on our thesis. The partying and the booze nights were also memorable as well. Although i’m looking forward for crazier nights in 2014 for us graduating (hopefully!).
Now, this is the cream of the crop. The motherload of all memories this year. My reign as president of the Students Tourism Society. Truth is, I still can’t believe that i’ve come this far. Me being president has changed the way I live my student life, in a good way though. All that and more when I make a separate post before the school year ends haha. Being president and having my practicum is not that hard, actually. Kidding! It’s crazy! I have to constantly check my phone throughout the day for updates and reports from my officers. I had to run to the restroom during flight operations when it’s an emergency and during my days off, I had to sacrifice sleep for meetings. But I have to say I never regret doing those things. It kept me busy and I have learned a lot from it too. I can’t actually imagine how I was able to juggle the two and survive. It’s a blessing though, that I had practicum first before thesis. If not, I could’ve sworn that i’ve died already even before the Tourism Week started.
There were a lot of times this year when I felt so much sadness. Like no one was there for me and that no one bothered to care. I was in an emotional wreck. Even the most mundane of things caught me off guard. The simplest of tasks I couldn’t even do well. Petty fights that transformed into a long battle of arguments and misunderstandings. 2013 made me emotionally challenged. I guess I can say that I can blame myself for not being strong enough. I admit, I had a lot of weak moments, moments that would’ve been great but I chose not to because I was scared. I took risks but put half my heart on it. I was selfish to think that only I needed attention. Only I needed help. There were so many issues that I could barely remember. Problems that only I could solve…because those problems came from me. This year, I gave my mind a total damage, thoughts that lingered as I slept. Tears ran down my cheeks at night thinking if I could feel good again. Alas, I gave myself a fresh start and shaved my hair. Honestly, people were asking me why and I would straightforwardly tell them that it was already planned a long time ago. Actually, it’s my way of stripping down the anxiety I felt in the past months. My desire for things that shouldn’t even be thought or even supposed to acquire. Heck, I even started to go to the gym and put off the weight I gained. I lost the 9kilos I acquired and started eating the right way. I unleashed my anger in the treadmill.
That was then. I am living a good life now, and i’m not saying it with nonchalance but with a voice similar to the ones you hear in musicals. The people that I knew would always be behind my back were there. They were there when I needed someone to talk to, someone to eat a burger with, or to hang out with at Lacson. I thank these people for giving me a wider perspective and a warm hug. I had so many realizations this year, so many transformations and so many challenges faced. But i’m glad I was able to conquer it all, with God of course.
So to the people who have been a part of my life and my constant struggle to be emotionally strong, thank you. You know who you are and you know how much I owe you because you have helped me a lot, to be better and not selfish. Oh and If you’re reading this all the way down, thank you for bearing with me and my lack of use of better vocabulary. I promise to learn more words in the new year.
Here’s to more blog posts, more photos, and more bonding moments with friends! Let’s welcome 2014 with open arms (not with open legs).
Happy New Year!