Rough and Tough: My 2015 Year Ender Blog

Every once in a while, people and experiences come to our lives for a purpose.  They may be a happily ever after or a painful lesson. This year has been a tough and rough year for me in almost every aspect of my life. My life took a serious hit for a while with a wrong decision for the wrong reason, and might be a perfect example of wrong timing.

Through the help of my most frequently used social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare) and my 2015 Starbucks planner, let me recall some of those experiences; good and bad.

I opened up the year with an out-of-town getaway with my old friends in our parish in Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. (My first time!) Through this trip, my friends were able to let me conquer my fears of heights and the sea water. It was an overnight break for us.  I had fun.

I ended up forgiving someone and tried forgetting things she did few years back. Just when I accidentally found it out when she left her Twitter account signed it to my mobile phone. I cannot elaborate anymore but to say, she relived the very foundation of my relationship issues.  Nevertheless, you forgive the people you love, just to make them stay into your life. I did. And maybe this is the most crucial decision I ever did to put where I had been to the later part of the year.

This was also the time; I was offered and given a Citibank Platinum Card and Diners Club Card.

I tried my luck to see Pope Francis when he visited Manila but to no good. I might see him at very distant when crowd started chanting and made noise.

Valentine’s Day – Yeah right. I was not even in relationship for the past four years. So pass. Haha!

I bought a Macbook Pro with Retina Display for the first time Mac device joined my gadget portfolio. I really want to develop apps for IOS! Xcode!

I celebrated my birthday at Niu by Vikings with my sister and at Circles – Makati Shangri-La at the night with a special person. Back to back buffet. *puke*

I went back to Ilocos after few years with a later person. (It was on 2009 when I first went there when I accompanied my girlfriend (that time) to go home. It was 12 hours land travel from Manila). I revisited some of the places and even hire a tricycle driver to go all the way to Bangui (this is the most northern part of the Philippines I ever went to!) Some of the places were even nostalgic for some unexplainable reasons.

For the very first time, I travelled with my HP colleagues. We went to Beijing, China! We stayed for five days in Jun An Hotel and had guided tour for three days. I had my personal itinerary after to explore more of Beijing. Walk, walk, walk. Yup, I survived climbing and walking under the sun in the Great Wall of China! Nevertheless, flight was delayed two hours going back to Manila. I used my Diners Club membership to gain access to the Business Class lounge of PEK.

I filed my resignation to Hewlett-Packard Company, my first job after graduation. I stayed 3 years and 8 months with them. I searched for better opportunities. Some companies called, sent invitation. A company phone interviewed me for technical assessment once. Few weeks later, I was accepted and signed with them. Say, Accenture!

My Australian Visitor Visa was approved. This allowed me to stay and study in OZ for three (3) months and valid for the next six (6) months. However, I was not able used it because of the path I chose later this year. Regretful but still has a room for next time!

I renewed my Japanese visa and it is now valid for five (5) years! Though I was not able to use it this year there are four more years to come! Going back to Tokyo and heading up to Sapporo will be great!

My eleventh international travel was set to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I was booked for nine (9) days. I stayed at Admiral Plaza Hotel *Tourist mode*. I explored Dubai alone until time came need to head home. But since I let my heart rule my mind, I started ditching things one by one. My return ticket lapsed. I needed to transfer on my tenth(10th) day in Dubai on a regular flat(apartment) to sustain my living on that foreign land. Tourist mode is over. I already seen what I want to see; Burj Khalifa(the tallest tower in the world) and the Burj Al Arab (the only 7-star hotel) the Dubai Mall (the largest mall in the world) among other. The quest for a brighter future begins. I earned in pesos and saved in pesos. That time, I was stuck on 12pesos/per dirham rate and the cost of living was very high.  Weeks passed, and I was experiencing tight budget, and financial stability became in red alert. All my life, I worked hard, not to experience this level and kind of hardship. Budget for this travel diminished and started to pull off some of my lifetime savings. I started borrowing and seek help of my mom that I never did for the past years.  I was really demoralized and stressed. My self-confidence and esteem hit all-time lows. I never felt this terrible all my life.

On the brighter side, I learned how to do some house chores. I became extrovert a bit. And I learned that it was not meant to be, it will never be. I got new friends and acquaintances in Dubai (Hi Kuya Obet/Charlie/Renato/Heintz,/Ate MJ/Lhoren/Joan and Jessie!) Each of them had played roles that help me survive Dubai away without anybody. This also made me realized the hardships of an Overseas Filipino Worker sacrificing away from their families. On a typical weekends, I can see them skyping with their children, wife or partners. I reached Sohar City in Oman to renew my UAE visa three times. At first, I was determined, challenged and eager. There were a lot of interviews and assessment I had but the competition is so tough not only for my co-Filipinos but also with other nationalities. If ever I am offered a job, it was not even match half of what I am earning in the Philippines; just around 2000-2500 AED.

 I am really discouraged as the reasons why I was there were gone, so am I. I flew back to Philppines with really hard emotions in September and tried to regain my lost life. Accenture was not able to wait for me any longer after their one month ultimatum. I searched in the internet and luckily in the first week since I came back, I was overwhelmed by different interview invitations among large multinational corporations. Another week passed, I am hired and they gave my asking price. By then, I understand, why I never it made in Dubai; maybe not the right time just yet or maybe not in Dubai. I envisioned myself to work legally abroad, become a resident and if possible even a citizen.

The first two months on my new work consists of Web-based trainings and boot camps. Luckily, I passed the certification exams and aced the later exam. They almost have the same perks as my previous company; just eliminate the work on-call and weekend and holiday work. Hahah!

Turnaround of events happened last week of October when I started seeing changes. And good things were unfolding. People come and go… then go back. There are persons in our life that no matter how much we “really” hurt them they stay still want to be with us. They still want to see the better things in us. They still hope that a douchebag can turn into something ‘wholesome’ Haha. That made me back to Caleruega with her. I was there five years ago during the university retreat. Ironically, I wished five years ago, that someone will fall in love with me. Five years after, I am still with the person whom I betrayed her trust and true loyalty for someone to fall in love with me. Did God send pun or message on me? This also brought me to Angeles Flying Club and among first-timer BGC resto among others. We might not get back each other again or not too soon but as you said, there will always be a special place of me in your heart. Right? *Hugs*

I had my first formal and classy Christmas Party with my new colleagues at Casa Real in Acacia Estates. Oooppss. Did I forget to mention that it is my first time to buy a suit?! Hahaha!

I invested my half of my back pay from my previous company to stock market and luckily it boosts my recovery period that I targeted March or April 2016, in God’s will/ Inshallah!

Day by day I am recovering my life and I am very glad. To what happened to me versus my high hopes boosted my confidence that I can survive this. I am not saying it is an easy process, what I am saying is that I got back my focus, priorities and goals back to where I want to be. This might bound to happen to me as God’s way of waking me up. I was idled for three months and coping up with it. Luckily, I was never that wrong whom I chose to be real friends with.

To the person I accidentally saw twice this year: (Jan 1 & Dec 30), Glad to see you again. You are still gorgeous as ever, my longest girlfriend (uninterrupted 3.5years). You’re maybe among the foundation reason why I had fears and issues with some of my later relationships, but still thank you. God knows why. I do not blame you anymore, not on this point. We’re both grown-ups now, right?

To my Uncle Dante, Uncle Lucio, Lola Igkang, Anti Lila,who passed away this year, may you rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon you. You will be missed. Our family clan hit successive deaths this year with a less than six months.

This year taught me a lot that costs my sanity and well-being that up to now, I am still holding back my tears when it crosses my mind. Cheers to a Comeback 2016!

On a tough decision making, I am now putting it to God to decide on what is bound to happen.

Travels and gadgets will always be part of my identity among my peers. I am off for my every two years phone refresh (iPhone 7!) and to further explore the world. To date, I’ve been to two twelve different countries since 2011. Part of my recovery is to address my obligations and stabilize my financials again. It took me a year and a half before when I landed my first job but targeting it for the next six months for my new job. Of course, I want to learn master manual driving so I can now use my slightly used one and half year old SUV to go to work and personal leisure. Master French. Learn Russian. Etc. etc.etc. It’s already 3:03AM GMT+8 31st December 2015 and typing my personal blog for the past two hours already.

HAPPY 2016! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Sincerely,

AeronPaul

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