Looking Back at 2014.


As you may have (or may have not) noticed, I have been absent from the blogosphere for quite some time and even on social media, posting only a few photos here and there.

To be honest, I have suffered from quite a burn out from all aspects of my life.   Don't get me wrong though.  I am truly grateful for all the opportunities that I have been given the past year and just need a bit of time and space to rest, recuperate, and do things that don't involve my phone, the computer, or the Internet.  So I decided to go on a hiatus just for the holidays.

And since I have this tradition of reminiscing the past year before it ends, what better way to ease into blogging by looking back at the fun memories of 2014?  Here we go!


New Year's Eve 2014
January

One of my favorite photos of the year was the one I took during New Year's Eve in Tagaytay Highlands.  I just had my phone in hand, wanting to take a photo of the sign '2014', when the fireworks suddenly filled the sky. 




 Nik & Nic's Wedding
January

Our friends Nik Juban and Nic Espina got married this year and it's one of the prettiest weddings  I've seen!  T was one of the groomsmen because he was instrumental in the 'meeting' of the couple. 

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The Juban-Espina Wedding




The Secret Book Club
January

It started when I talked to two of my batchmates from high school, Iza and Lar, about how there aren't any book clubs in our area.  We all share our love for books so we jokingly called ourselves The Secret Book Club, telling each other our newest reads and recommendations in "secret".   Before we knew it, we had more friends and their friends joining the group.  Right now we're about 23 but we hope to meet even more book lovers this year.

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Day Before Valentine's
February

One evening, T and I were listening to Magic 89.9 and the topic was Valentine's Day.  Boys Night Out were on and they said that kabits (mistresses) were usually taken out on dates the day before Valentine's and the girlfriends or wives on the 14th.   So I laughed when T took me out on an impromptu date on the 13th at Caviar Champagne Restaurant and Bar.

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Valentine's Day
February

Little did I know that T also planned a Valentine's Day lunch at My Mother's Garden the next day.  So I guess I am his both his kabit and his girlfriend ;)


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Wicked in Manila
February

My family and I were in New York the year Wicked premiered on Broadway.  Although we wanted to watch, tickets were sold out for the next few months.  The broadway musical finally came to Manila after over a decade so despite having the flu, I had to watch it!




Mind Body Soul Yoga & Finance Retreat
March

My friend Garet Bacani organized a finance and yoga retreat called Mind Body Soul in Laiya, Batangas.  It was my first time to do mat yoga (or does Bikram count?) and on the beach too!

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Batanes
April

Finally got to cross off one of the items on my dream destinations list.  I really should prioritize blogging about my trip here.




Abaca Boutique Resort in Cebu
April

Sensory shock overload (in a good way) when, in less than twenty four hours, I was taken from the lush rolling hills of Batanes to the blue green seas of Cebu.




RH Law Declared Constitutional
April

The RH Law was finally declared constitutional by the Supreme Court!  I have worked on the law from the beginning of the 15th Congress up until it was brought to the Supreme Court.  I couldn't find the raw version so I'll use this edited photo taken in the Supreme Court which I captioned "I photobombed a 'powerhouse'".




Shrine of our National Hero
April

While T and I were in Calamba, we took a quick trip to Rizal's ancestral house.




Staycation in Vivere Hotel
April

2014 has been the year of staycations and my stay in Vivere was the first of many.  My mom checked us in here because we received a notice from the village association that we wouldn't have water during Holy Week.
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Cutting My Hair
May

I have always worn my hair long regardless of hair trends so it was a big step to cut almost a foot of my hair.   I sent my hair to a foundation that makes wigs for cancer patients.




Wax & Abbey's Wedding
May

T and I weren't able to go to the ceremony because of work but fortunately, we were able to follow at the reception in Blue Leaf. 


My Birthday Dinner at Ogetsu Hime
May


It was pretty hectic during my birthday week and when T asked what I wanted to do on my birthday, I said I just wanted to rest. But he insisted that we go out even for dinner to celebrate so we went to this Japanese restaurant I've been wanting to try in SM Aura.


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Taal Volcano
May

I wanted to go out of town for my birthday but because of my schedule, T couldn't plan anything.  We went to see the crater of Taal Volcano instead, which was only a few hours by land. 

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Mind Body Soul's The Beach Body Project
June

Mind Body Soul had another event called The Beach Body Project where we took different yoga classes and were given a lecture and tips on how we can achieve our 'beach bodies'.

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BGC 4DX Theaters
June

The first 4DX theaters in the Philippines open at Bonifacio High Street. Like 3D cinemas, we were given glasses to wear but the difference was that the chairs also move based on the movie.  It also had other components such as purified water being sprayed on your face or scents that fill up the theater during particular scenes in the movie. 


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Hong Kong
Macau
June

T and my friends went to Macau to see the Transformers 30th Anniversary Expo at The Venetian.

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Ngong Ping
June

We also went to Ngong Ping to see the Tian Tan Buddha, which is the largest seated outdoor bronze statute in the world.

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North Park: America's Best Hipster Neighborhood
July

It was my first visit to this town called North Park which was named by Forbes Magazine as America's best hipster neighborhood. Discovered some pretty cool places and restos.




My First Baseball Game
July

My sister took me to the stadium to watch my first American pro baseball game.  Of course, I had to order a hotdog!




Fourth of July
July

Laboracay what? Met up with my high school friends during Independence Day at Pacific Beach in California.  Another fun day!




The Whaley House
July

Once called by LIFE magazine as "the most haunted house in America", the Whaley House has witnessed a great number of deaths which occurred inside or on the land it is on.

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Del Mar County Fair
July

It was my first time to go to a county fair and it was amazing!  My sister and I rode the Slingshot, which is infamous for making people, even grown men, pass out.




Medenhall Glacier in Juneau
July

From sunny California, I flew to icy Alaska.  It was my first time see a glacier and what a surreal experience!




North Pole
July

Home of Santa Claus.  I met him.  Seriously.  And this is one of his reindeers.




Chena Hot Springs
July

It was still pretty cool to take a dip in the hot springs on top of the mountain.  My body didn't know whether it was feeling cold or hot!




Mount McKinley Adventure
July

This one is for the books.  I even saw a grizzly bear on the way up!




Homer Spit
July

The longest road into ocean waters in the world, also known as "the end of the road", and home to Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch.




Post-Birthday Celebration in Benihana
July

Since my family is in the States, I just had a post birthday celebration and treated them to Benihana, our favorite restaurant in San Diego!




LACMA Lights
July

Visited my college friends in LA and we went to see the famous lights featured in the movie No Strings Attached starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman.




Yulo's 1st Birthday
July

My godson Yulo turned one and he had an Elmo party in Chili's Alabang Town Center.




Flying Trapeze
August


T and I took lessons with Flying Trapeze Philippines (FTP), the first and only full size flying trapeze rig in the country and I was able to fulfill a childhood dream!

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Dinner at Qi Wellness Living
August

Because I love spas, I was so excited when T and I received an invite to this new dining and wellness destination in Tagaytay.


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Staycation in Crimson Hotel
September

T and I were invited to stay at Crimson Hotel in Alabang and I was very grateful for this opportunity because as much as I love going out of town, I couldn't because of my schedule.  So the next best thing are staycations such as this.

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Tito Bam's 60th Birthday
September

T's dad turned 60 this year and he celebrated it with family and friends in Makati Sports Club.




Rizal Park
September

Since I don't remember being able to join my grade school field trip, this is my first visit to Rizal Park.  We had to find the best angle so the photobombing Torre de Manila construction would not be seen!




Nestlé Get Away at The Greenery
September


I was brought to a hidden gem in Bulacan called The Greenery.   I'm happy that my friend and high school batchmate (the real Super/Star ;)) Patty Laurel was also there for the event so I get to spend the day with her and also with the fab Kim Jones and BrandSpeakAsia account executive Joreen Baquilod. 


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The MRT Challenge
October

This is the first time I rode the MRT.. during rush hour.. and in heels!  I came from a DOJ conference in Crowne Plaza and had no intention of watching the UAAP game with T and our friends, Neil Arce and Chippy Andolong.  But since I was in the area anyway, T asked me to go with them.   This was the day that EDSA was transformed into a swimming pool, when flood waters in front of SM Megamall and Camp Crame rose waist level.  Since EDSA was impossible to pass through, we went down the car, told the driver to meet us in Araneta and walked for a kilometer or two along EDSA to get to the nearest MRT station.  Crazy crazy crazy!  




Staycation in F1 Hotel
October

The final staycation invite for 2014!

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Oster Kitchen Conversations
October

My friend Sab Cristobal-Go launched her blog Sinfully Sabrina at Oster's kitchen with the help of our other friend, Patty Laurel-Filart.

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Gilbert & Gene's Wedding
October




Jacob's Christening
October


After my godson's baptism at St James, we all went to Lasa Restaurant at Commercenter Alabang.  Loved the nautical theme!




Meeting Chef Tareq Taylor
October

How often can I say that our lunch was personally prepared by a world-renowned chef?  Not very often, which is why I got excited when I received an invitation from Scripps Networks Asia Pacific to an intimate luncheon at Makati Shangri-La's Sage Restaurant where Swedish Chef Tareq Taylor of Asian Food Channel (AFC)'s Nordic Cookery will prepare lunch for us. 

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Di's Birthday at Duck & Buvette
October

For my friend Di's birthday, we tried Break Out Manila and Duck & Buvette.  With the signs we're holding up, you probably know what happened.




Halloween
October

I love Halloween and prepare costumes for me and T every year.  But at the last minute, T will tell me he doesn't feel like wearing them so we end up not going in costume at all.  This year was our 8th Halloween and I wasn't really expecting anything anymore.  But when T bought masks and consulted me about his costume, I got excited and we talked about what we were going to be.  T and I had a number of options but at the end we decided to be Annabelle the Doll from The Conjuring and Billy the Puppet from the Saw movies.  Check out our DIY costumes and makeup!

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Selfie with Allen Iverson
November

I was invited to a Meet and Greet with Allen Iverson in Solaire.  Didn't realize how lucky I was to be able to have this selfie with him until I read rants of people on my Facebook wall about how Iverson doesn't allow people to photograph him.  


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Seven Years
November

T and I reached seventh heaven ;) We usually go out of town for special occasions but like I said, my schedule has been crazy so we went to our go-to get away place, Tagaytay!




Lex's First Birthday
November

My goddaughter Lex turned one and had a Lala Loopsy party at San Antonio Plaza Forbes.




RIP Senator Juan Flavier
November


I took this photo during the necrological service for Senator Juan Flavier in the Senate.




Patty Laurel's Blog Launch
November

Patty Laurel had a relaunch of her blog "Come Waste Your Time With Me" through an intimate gathering with friends at Shine Bakery in SM Aura.

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New Commercenter Cinemas
November

We have been waiting for almost a decade for new cinemas in Alabang and now we have it!

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T's Birthday at Gulliver's of San Francisco
December

T was the one who suggested this place and the steaks are really good!  Will blog about it soon.




Noche Buena in Acacia Hotel
December

My family are all in the States so T and I had noche buena in Acacia Hotel after hearing mass in St. James. 




Paul & Kat's Wedding
December

My good friends from law school Paul & Kat got married after being together for 9 years!  The ceremony was in Manila Cathedral and the reception was in One Esplanade.  It's the first 'black' wedding I attended and everything was so glam!  Here's a nice photo of Kat walking down the aisle, taken by my fellow entourage member Ange.




Phew!  That's a lot although I still may have missed a few celebrations and events because I'm just trying to ease my way into blogging again as I do this.  Plus, I still have the flu so I'm not a 100% yet.   But I'm really happy I did this stroll down memory lane.  Didn't realize a lot of things happened in 2014!  I thought it was just another year that passed. 

Although I still can't say the same for other things, I am finally looking forward to blogging again!  I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported Joei & Me this past year.  Sponsors, readers, partners.. Thank you so much!  I love receiving emails and reading comments and those really helped a lot during my short hiatus :)

Albeit late, I want to wish everyone a happy new year! 




2 comments

  1. What a busy year! Wishing you another year filled with unlimited joy & fun adventures dear Joei. I'm thankful for 2014 as I met you, Patty & Mish. Sorry if I was a bit detached these few months, So many mommy & other duties to fulfill. But you are always in my thoughts. All the best to you & Timmy. Mwah! :-*

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