No Buko, No Pie

Counting Down 2013

What defined my year? Career. But I’d rather define my year with the little moments that made me skip, smile, and feel like a little girl…at least sometimes.

Sail away, 2013! You've been good.

Sail away, 2013! You’ve been good.

CAN’T GET OVER MOMENT. “The Red Wedding” from Game of Thrones S03 E09. Despite the spoiler that sprouted from my FB news feed, nothing prepared me for what went on in that behemoth of an episode. My GOT friends on FB sympathized with me and kept posting GOT-related posts on my timeline. My male colleagues got the brunt of this grief,  and I didn’t spare them the spoilers. When it was their turn to take in the shock, these men flocked to my corner and sought refuge, proof that you just cannot get over something like that easily. Runner-up: “The National Anthem,” Black Mirror S01 E01.

SONG OF THE YEAR. “Just Friends (Sunny)” by Musiq Soulchild. Not a new song, but it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling, like Christmas on a summer’s day . Runners-up: Clarity, Blurred Lines, Love on Top.

MOVIE OF THE YEAR. Given that this was mostly a year of TV series, I guess I would say “Frozen,” because it brought back the classic Disney magic when it came to story-telling, while at the same time being “anti-Disney.”

ICONIC MOMENT OF THE YEAR. The moment I found out I passed my specialty board exams and the events that lead up to that. It was only slightly reminiscent of my first board exams years ago, except this meant the culmination of years of finding my true path. That was how monumental those exams were. Back in January, when I realized that none of what I was reading was penetrating the deepest recesses of my sulci, I resorted to the more pricey way of studying for the board exams – cafes the whole day everyday. On Feb 15, I was a weekend warrior on a bus en route to three beaches in Quezon, when Luke Skywalker called me up. He couldn’t stand not knowing whether or not I passed, so he called the Secretariat at 8 am on a Saturday to pester her on my results. It was Luke who first knew that I am officially a specialist. And what iconic way of knowing than with a weekend adventure that usually defined my profession.


Dampalitan Beach in Quezon is one of those few beaches with pine trees instead of coconuts.


Bouldering in Borawan. Just so we’re clear, Paolo was acting as my spotter, thus, ensuring my safety.


Puting Buhangin with its white sand, crystal blue waters, beautiful cave, and sea urchins that attack. At least that’s how I recall it.

BREAKAWAY MOMENT. Hosting an event for the first time. I can talk in front of a team, I can deliver oral reports, but I have never hosted. I have observed up close how professionals do it. And so with a double dose of bibo, I went in front of that crowd and co-hosted with a friend. I would seriously do it again.

BIGGEST REVELATION. How much people believed in me and my potential.

MOST HEARTWARMING MOMENT. I gained a fan in the person of Potpot, a 3-year-old girl. She knew who I was when she saw me and excitedly called my attention, kept talking to me, kept talking about me to anyone afterwards, and demanded her mom to invite me to her birthday party.

EVIL GENIUS MOMENT. When I convinced three people to…let’s just say, sell their souls to me. It was something that had to happen, and we have since maintained our friendship, which still bewilders me. It’s as if none of them still suspect that I was really the one that formulated that scheme, or that they actually “sold their souls” to me. It may appear like a evil genius move, but it was truly more for my survival.

ADVICE OF THE YEAR. Came from my young associate whom I fondly call “Bunso.” She said, “Doc, we gotta have G, as in game. Dahil kung walang G, ang PAG-ASA ay nagiging PAASA.

FONDEST “PANG-UUTO.” My bosses wanted me to give out a fun activity, hence, I organized an Amazing Race for the whole team. They went absolutely wild!!! My favorite challenge was when I asked them to go to a convenience store and build a 5-tiered sundae cone. Which reminds me…

BEST BABAW ACCOMPLISHMENT. To build a 5-tiered sundae cone with one take. I did this to dry run the challenge.

IMG_8990BEST SPUR OF THE MOMENT TRIP. Bringing 2 Indian friends and a young associate to Liliw, Laguna to go shoe shopping. Maddy went crazy and nipped 9 pairs in just one hour. She later told me, “I’m so happy! I feel like I’m in heaven!!” Awww! And I was so glad I was able to do that for her.

BEST IMPULSIVE DECISION. Signing up for the Activities Committee of Mensa. Did it without thinking. Which brings me to…

EPIPHANY OF THE YEAR. I can be an events organizer if I wanted to. The people at work believe I know the best adventures, the best restaurants, the best bars…I’m not really sure why.

SWEETEST REUNIONS. Re-connecting with Slipknot after 11 years. Being with Sailor Moon after a year, but this time with her dream role – being a mommy. And a surprise call from K-pop.

MOST MEMORABLE WTF MOMENT. I was already passed out in my friend’s bed one night. Johnny Bravo, my buddy of the year last year, picked me up because he was saying goodbye. I am used to saying goodbye to him with a hug and kiss. This time, though, I got a kiss on my lips. WTF?! A nanosecond later, I thought I was too drunk to care, so I went back to sleep.

MOST “UN-MEMORABLE” WTF MOMENT. Joaquin Bordado (a mutual friend with Johnny Bravo), thought I was at least 8 years younger than my real age. I didn’t realize that despite the years of friendship, he still doesn’t know that we have a 12-year age gap. He kept guessing and was astonished with each wrong guess. What’s even more dumbfounding to me was that we had this same conversation twice – on the eve of my birthday, and 3 months later on the eve of his birthday – and he clearly has no recollection of it.

BEST LESSON. Something I’ve known all along, but I had to re-learn the hard way – follow your passion and happiness will follow.

SOUL CONNECTION OF THE YEAR. Havarti, hands down.


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