Before I get to the actual content of my blog, here's a little introduction, as this might be a somewhat long entry: I had actually intended for this blog to be about the recent happenings in my life, just to update you all about what's been taking place, as my my tweets don't (and can't, with the stringent character limit!) exactly say much. That was the plan, until of course I realized what the date was... It's the 31st of December, ergo, the last day of the year! Now, although exclamation points may hint at excitement, to be honest I don't quite know how I feel about that yet.
It seems as if the year just sped right by, leaving no remnants of its existence whatsoever! For some reason, I'm tempted to feel sad about the time that rushed right past me—the time that I can never get back. But I just can't. As much as it seems that way, that isn't the case at all. It was a quick year, given, but time flies. That's its job. And to say this year left no remnants whatsoever would be laying it on pretty thick. 2011 has left so many beautiful memories with me. Although no "spectacular" events took place, the seemingly trifling memories that have been left with, and attach themselves to me so strongly; the epiphanies and revelations that have been made known to me; are what made this year beyond spectacular, and thus, one that I will never forget.
Throughout the year, I went through so many ups and downs, you cannot even begin to imagine. But as I look back and reflect upon each moment, I now see that I did not go through a single one on my own. As a matter of fact, regardless of how utterly alone I felt, not for a single second was I left alone! Not for a single second. Not in my happiness, not in my misery. And as I reminisce, I realize that God truly is a man of His word. Thousands of years ago, He said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). Thousands of years later, His promise still stands, and has proven to be true in my life. Which brings me to my next idea...
And because of this—because He has been the same throughout the entire year, throughout my whole life, and throughout the life that transcends my life; because He has been the same God, constantly nagging at me and pushing His rightful way into my heart; because He never gave up on me, even when I had given up on myself; because He did not change even when I did; because His love for me never failed, even when I had failed—I am who I am today. I am new. My life is new. Everything about me is new, and I will never be the same. I have changed because my God has remained the same.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
On the whole, 2011 has been a beautiful year, and I thank each and every one of you that were a part of it, because without you it would not have been the year that it was, and I would not be who I am right now. I hope it was a great year for all of you, too, and I hope 2012 brings even more joy, and open doors to each of us. God bless you guys!
Now to the actual blog. Hahaha told you this was gonna be long! Gimme a break, I only ever post once in a while. ;) Just wanted to highlight some awesome parts of this past year!
Started off the year with Shout Out, which taught me SO much! (Get it? SO? Haha!)
The last day... We cried so hard!
Spent the most amazing summer at Bacolod with my best friends.
Most of which we spent in the back of a pickup. Haha good times <3
And these awesome people spent quite a bit of time in Manila, too!
These were taken at one of their most memorable visits...
When they surprised me on my birthday, which was my first surprise party. Ever.
Sauveur, French for Savior; another first.
Did A LOT with my hair. Most of which I did myself.
Thank God they were able to fix it. Hahaha!
100 Days to Heaven!!! One of my memorable experiences thus far.
(Don't know who screencapped these photos, but thank you for doing so! Hope you don't mind my using them)
First time spending my birthday at work!
Which just so happened to be the last day of taping as well... Hence the emotion. Hahaha
My "brother" Raf (or Bart), whom everybody says looks like he could pass as my real brother.
Gosh, I'd love if that were so! He's one of the most awesome friends I made in the industry.
My godmother Coney Reyes, whom I was so privileged to have worked with.
Two of the most talented actresses alive (no exaggeration), Ninang Coney & Jodi Sta. Maria
Mall tours for the show!
They took us to various provinces to perform for, and play games with the viewers as a form of thanksgiving to them for their undying support.
So much fun!
With my new bud Smokey, playing our favorite game, Text Twist.
The Star Magic Ball with my first ever love team, Neil!
Who also happens to be my first suitor who was open to the press about it.
Did not know how to handle it at the time. Hahaha
(We're just good friends though!)
These were taken at the wrap party where my 100 Days family surprised me with a cake & bouquet!
Gahhh I felt so special that night! Thank you sooo much guys :)
(Our AP Ms. Eleanor on the far right)
(L-R) Ms. Rustica Carpio, Ms. Coney Reyes, Louise Abuel, myself, Sir Noel Trinidad, Raf Rosell, Xyriel Manabat, and Smokey Manaloto at the thanksgiving dinner
Star Magic catalogue pictorial
Summer youth camp!
Made toooons of new friends (whom I love very much) and had a blast.
Also heard from God for the first time this year.
Most surreal out-of-town work experience ever in Sorsogon for the Sosogon (meaning "to follow") festival.
This is what my prior blog post was about.
I went with a Markki Stroem, a long-time friend.
We actually were on a float! It was my first time, and it was crazy. In a positive way of course. Haha.
There were so many people! What a blessing.
Mom and I flew to Cebu the next day with Joem Bascon.
What a crazy experience! I had almost no sleep that entire week, and got incredibly sick because of it.
Boy, did I learn my lesson! Haha.
I live for moments like these.
With Phoebe, the first person to ever support my music.
No words can describe my gratitude to this girl. She has a beautiful heart, and has become my friend over the years.
With Joem and Ate Gian. Awesome people!
This year, the management I'm under, Cornerstone Talents, decided to give back.
The fans have been a HUGE part of each of our careers, so we invited these lovely people to celebrate Christmas with us at the
Fab Stripes and Polka Dots Cornerstone Christmas Party! (whew)
This year, I met the most incredible girl.
Her name is Tonette, and she's my faithful, hardworking, very first PA. We warmed up to each other in such a short time, and I got to know what a truly amazing person she is. She has taught me so much about responsibility, discipline, and what it means to love and serve others. I love her with all my heart and am so thankful God put her in my path this year.
But the best part of this year was discovering who my best friends were.
It was a long and grueling process, but once I found them, we made the best memories. And they weren't all happy ones either, but each one held a valuable lesson. These people opened up my eyes to so many things, and I have them to thank for helping me realize who I am, and what I live for. God used them so mightily in my life, and there aren't any words to describe how grateful I am for what they imparted in me, and that I have people like them as friends (even though they deserted me and fled halfway across the world. Boooo. Hahaha).
They like ruining my photos.
Before they left for the States, we went down to the ranch and spent their last days with them.
Twas a time to remember!
Most of the kids at the ranch. Gahh I love them so much.
You'd never guess their backstories from all the love and joy they exude.
Christmas eve at the Peninsula, and a family portrait at my Mita's house!
The holidays are always best spent with the people who really matter.
(L-R) Mita, Elijah, Tito Jonathan, Mom, Dad, Dani, Coco, myself
(L-R, upper row) Dani, myself, Mom, Dad (L-R, lower row) Nana, Mita, Elijah
Got my first dog ever this year!
Our family's baby, Jackson <3
Aside from the mere fact that I woke up with breath in my lungs every day, had food whenever I was hungry and water whenever I was thirsty, a place to live, a car, a phone, electricity, a functioning body (and sooo much more!), I've had lots to be thankful for this year. And I know that whatever next year has in store is much to be thankful for. Hopefully we can all begin to count our blessings, choose to see the positive things God is doing for us, and thank Him for it. Life is beautiful. Open your eyes to see it.
Again, happy new year and God bless you all! :)
Let There Be Morning - The Perishers