2017 || Highlights

I don’t normally do a recap of my year, but the days of 2017 flew by faster than I expected and most of it, I didn’t really get to document every memorable thing that happened within the 365 days. I am quite sure I still won’t be able to within this post, but I feel like a quick recap of my year would do well for whenever I feel like I wasted the year doing nothing. 🙂


Usually, the start of the year is pretty light because people are coming back from their holidays and going off the holiday high. My disposition took a rapid downward spiral because I had some health issues that the doctor initially thought was a lot worse than it really was. I had a lump that could have been a number of things, but with a family history of hereditary illnesses (cancer being one of them), the doctor had me tested for most of the things that could possibly cause it. The medication and some of the tests are unfortunately not covered by my health care, hence, I also had to shell out a significant amount of money for it. I spent the entire month with constant anxiety and only ever got to relax by the end of it when I got the results and it only turned out to be an infection. C and I celebrated the results over ramen at Yushoken which opened the following month for us..


..by waking me up with rashes. I have no known allergies and my friends get envious of my ‘iron stomach’ because I can eat street food and foreign cuisines without a care as it never had an adverse effect on me. This is why I panicked when I woke up with a swollen face and small red dots all over my body. C brought me to the emergency room where they gave me a lot of medication that for the most part, just made me severely dizzy (even sitting up is a struggle against gravity). It was the first and last time I ate seafood ramen, as I spent the month on a hypoallergenic diet as they could not quite figure out what triggered this reaction. I didn’t even have time to wean off meat and flavored drinks, I just went into surviving from fruits, vegetables, rice, and water. My days were surreal blurs as I was medicated and it was making me sleepy, but I couldn’t sleep because my entire body is itchy and contact with anything (like the bed) is making it more so. The hives only started disappearing three weeks in and it couldn’t get any better. It was overall a frustrating experience that I never want a repeat of.

This was not even its worst state!

C and I celebrated our 9th V Day together. I am personally not the biggest fan of this pseudo-holiday as two of the things I hate the most happens during this day – establishments are insanely crowded and heavy traffic commences. God forbid the day does not fall on a weekday (which it did for this year) because the weekends before and after also makes me hole up at home and postpone my errands instead of braving that hassle. C surprised me by picking me up from work on the 13th to bring me home, and he gave me sunflowers (my favorite) and a Pandora charm. While the card that came with them was funny and sweet, what gave me the kilig is getting some Potato Corner and Jollibee burger on our way home. He truly knows the way to my heart! As usual, I gave him a box of baked goods (Smores Cookies) the following day and we went on with our lives. No romantic dinners on the 14th is how I wanted to spend it. 🙂

Another bright side to this month is buying my first ever laptop. I have survived without my own laptop ever since I graduated college (my college laptop heaved its last breath a short time after I started working) because it wasn’t on the top of my priorities and I honestly couldn’t afford to buy it when I first started working. I have a 15-month financial plan and figured I can finally include monthly payments for a laptop so I went for it. 🙂


Nothing really consequential happened this month as I transitioned back to work the day shift for three weeks and had to adjust again when I got assigned to another project on the night shift. You can just imagine how much days passed by like a blur as I spent days half asleep, just trying to keep up.


C and I went to Puerto Galera but it seems my luck has not yet fully recovered because I lost all the files I have of the trip. While it was slightly devastating at the moment (it was an undocumented three-day trip), thinking about it now doesn’t invoke any similar feelings. All I could remember from that trip is staying in a villa atop a hill on an island, and being woken up by an earthquake. We spent the rest of the trip terrified that we’re going to die on that island, which had us taking the first boat out of there the following morning. There was also bed bugs in the hotel room bed and it was horrible because part of my arms and thighs got itchy.

The siblings and I also went on another staycation when I booked a night at Infinity Tower Suites in Makati.


We celebrated Gin’s birthday in Subic! While Edward is now someone we refuse to talk about because he ended up being an asshole (after 5 years!!!), I’m still glad I got to celebrate her birthday with her. We’ve been best friends for a decade and I can’t believe how old we’ve gotten and how much we’ve matured over the years. I have also realized how much I don’t have upper body strength because the obstacle course on the inflatable island strained my muscles and left me bruised all over. I hope I get to work on my core strength in 2018 so I can head back and conquer this inflatable obstacle course.


This month started great with news of my promotion to senior analyst. Unlike all my previous promotions, I wasn’t gunning for one and was pleasantly surprised when I found out the news from my team lead. I’m still a bit unused to planned career advancements because a lot of my work experience have been ‘baptism by fire’ scenarios (which is jarring but good learning experiences). 2017 also marked our ‘official’ anniversary and we decided to head to Bangkok for our eight years together. ❤


C’s birthday fell on a Sunday, and I decided to indulge him by doing what he wanted for his birthday. NOTHING. I booked a room for us at Manila Hotel (not gonna stay here again lol), and literally planned nothing else. I let him play video games while I worked on writing my own blog posts. 🙂


I haven’t really spent my birthday at home ever since I started working. However, for this year, I decided to spend it in Manila with C and my siblings. We stayed at Rizal Park Hotel for two nights, and it was a well-spent long weekend. I got to do what I wanted for my birthday – which was to relax, eat good food, and spend it with my loved ones.


As I’ve said in a previous post, C’s mom and my dad’s birthday falls within the same week and it’s always a struggle to schedule both our attendance because we both want to attend each birthday dinner. Fortunately, both celebrations fell on different days so we got to do it. And another party I got to attend was Ate Joko’s bachelorette party (which I also got to decorate). 🙂


Ate Joko and Kuya Jeeves finally got married! I’ve known her before C and I became an official couple, and it was such an awesome wedding (rain aside). C is my family, and by extension, our families have become ours (if that even made any sense). I cried so much happy tears when she walked down the aisle. I just know they are going to have a great life together. ❤

Gin and I went on a spontaneous beach trip to Dumaguete to swim with turtles. Although we stayed in a resort I wouldn’t ever stay in again (not even if you pay me), we still had a great time.


I, again, needed to transition back to being on day shift.. without having a project assignment waiting for me. It’s not something I would have preferred because I already get bored as it is, even with everything that’s going on. However, year-end is the lean season for project assignment and I ended the year without being assigned to a project for the first time in my career! I did make the most out of it by spending the time and effort meeting up with friends who I used to be too busy to meet up with. Reconnecting with great friends always feel like time barely passed at all!

This November also marked my mom’s second death anniversary which isn’t really the best thing to kickstart the holiday season. My mom was an avid decorator, and she had the most elaborate DIY decors in the house for every holiday, especially Christmas. The Yuletide season has been quite tough the past three years because she passed so close to Christmas, and most Christmas ads and shows are family-oriented. Quite hard to navigate social media and establishments without a constant reminder that Christmas (and any holidays you usually celebrate with your family) will never be the same, nor will it ever fully feel complete again. I do think that one day, I’ll find December festive again. Just not this year, but someday!


I finally bought my first camera! I’ve only ever used my smartphone or the family camera for my travels (mostly my phone because I prioritize bringing small bags everywhere), but took the plunge before the year ended to buy my own. I bought a Sony A5100 because it’s within my budget, light and would fit in small bags, and has a flip screen display so taking self-portraits while traveling will no longer be a guessing game. I have ZERO photography skill and is still learning to take better photos to put in my physical album (yes, I get my travel photos printed out).

I bought it just in time for our annual family holiday trip too! Early this year, it was announced that Philippine-passport holders no longer need a visa to enter Taiwan (our passport is unfortunately weak), so we decided to head there. Last year’s Christmas in Singapore was plain sweltering that we wanted to head somewhere cooler this year.

I’m excited to start off 2018. I don’t have any resolutions, but I hope this time next year, my ‘highlights’ list would contain mostly positive experiences. Happy New Year, everyone! Thanks for staying with me throughout the years. ❤

20 thoughts on “2017 || Highlights

  1. I’m so happy I got to be part of your 2017, Teesh. I’m excited to read more about what 2018 has in store for you (also I’m excited to read about your Taiwan trip). Happy New Year. May 2018 be amazing! ❤


  2. Hi Teesh! Happy New Year!! I am in Philippines for the first time now and I am so happy to have read your post! Sounds like you’ve had quite an eventful year. All the places you talk about now make so much more sense since I’m now actually here in the Philippines. Also, I have never seen traffic like this before!! It seems like all the road signs and lane markings are just “guidelines” as everyone is zipping in and out of the lanes! The tricycles and motorcycles are so daring too!!

    I can imagine that my cousins can relate a lot to your writing about your mother and the holidays. I noticed this too when I was spending time with them that all these advertisements are very family-oriented – a constant reminder. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with my cousins now and we even visited the places they are staying while at university. My cousin talked about how her papa built the table she uses to study, put up a wire for her clothes, and she now has to learn how to pump her own bike tires since her papa always did it for her. Again, she has constant reminders of him. I do hope eventually you can find the holiday season festive again. Your post really really touched me and makes me want to treat my parents better and do more things with them since you never know what could happen.

    I love that you and C are so practical and don’t just stick to the status quo with your Valentine’s Day plans! I also happened to have a jolliebee burger for the first time today!! It was amazing. Much better than McDonald’s. I can see why this is the way to your heart haha


    • Hi L! 🙂 Until when will you be here? I know you must be spending Christmas in the province with your family, but if you ever find yourself with a free day in Manila, let me know! Hahaha yes traffic is not the best touristy thing to navigate in the country, but I hope you still have a good time. The Philippine culture is family-oriented and everyone seems to go to numerous family reunions during the holidays (and even throughout the year), so a lot of the Christmas specials target that.

      Which Jollibee burger did you try??? There’s a lot of options, I hope you get to try them all to find your favorite! A lot of people love the Aloha burger, but I personally prefer Yum with Cheese/Yum with TLC hahaha! And please try out the chicken joy and burger steak rice meals! Jollibee is my comfort food lol!


      • Hi Teesh! We actually just had a short whirlwind of an adventure here! I wish I could stay longer but we spent a day in Lucban (my family origin) then the next day in Capas then Manila and today we are heading back to Singapore! I had a really good time! We met a lot of family I had never met before but they welcomed us into their home, celebrated New Years
        With them, and it was as if we had known them for years.

        I think I just had the cheeseburger? We didn’t include lettuce or tomatoes bc we were so careful this trip about eating anything that had so much been touched by the water since last time my mum came years ago she had gotten pretty sick. Ooh I wish I had tried the aloha burger! I realized that I am so unfamiliar with Filipino food since my mum is the one cooking and there are literally no Filipino restaurants where I am from. The closest I could get to Filipino food is to drive around an hour to a Filipino grocery and make food myself! We didn’t eat much street food but we had Filipino food at different restaurants and at the hotels. It was pretty good!!

        I hope to come back again and stay longer! There are so many beautiful places in the Philippines that I hope to explore one day! I’ve seen your posts and all the different places you’ve been in the Philippines and the variation in scenery is amazing.


  3. I’m sorry to hear that you started 2017 with visits to the doctor. Definitely not ideal but at least you were able to make a recovery. It’s sweet that C surprised you with a cute little celebration of Valentine’s Day!

    Your new laptop looked sleek! April going onwards sounded awesome with all of those vacations! Even though they were little trips, the fact that you guys went out to do something different is neat. I hate it when hotels are dirty and leaves you itchy!

    Congratulations on getting promoted back in June! It’s always amazing to see people growing in their careers. You’ve made the most out of your year and overcame your obstacles. Hope 2018 will be a great year for you!



    • Hey Nancy! I’ve been reading about your career growth too, and I get second-hand pride from everything you’ve accomplished at 23. 🙂 I hope 2018 will be your best year yet! ❤


  4. Hi Teesh! I finally get to visit you on your blog, yay! Looks like you had a great 2017 for the most part. I’m super excited for 2018, too! Can’t wait for where the new year takes you! xo


  5. Hi!! Happy New Year Tish. Health is wealth in all its forms. I am just so glad you were able to surpass all those things and be back on tip top shape now. I think the magic in a happy life is family, love, health, adventure and self/career growth. Glad you experienced all those last year. ❤ You are blessed!


  6. Gosh, even though the beginning of the year sounded pretty rough for you, I’m so glad things started to level out for the remainder of the year! I felt so bad for you reading what you went through!

    That anniversary photo is so beautiful. Cheers to you in 2018!


  7. I love the format of this 2017 highlights post! Can’t wait to see all the pictures you take with the new camera! Your new laptop looks gorgeous. And I think Valentine’s Day is pretty overrated too. I don’t care if we don’t do anything on Feb 14th but I always feel a bit ashamed when everyone asks me what we did on that day and my answer was “nothing.” Do you ever get that?


    • I don’t really get that from people that actually know me because they already know I hate crowds. Haha! And I also don’t feel ashamed when we do nothing on Valentine’s Day because I feel like we do a lot more things during the rest of the year? 😛


  8. What a great year it has been for you despite the visits to the hospital! Congrats on the promotion, girl. You deserve it! Also, just keep on practicing with photography. It’s such a fun thing to learn ?

    May you have a wonderful 2018 ahead!


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