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Christmas just ended, yet here I am receiving messages from my friends about the year ending. Amidst the heartfelt texts and Facebook messages I’ve been receiving, I am faced with this thought, “Am I ready to say goodbye to 2011?”

This year was a roller-coaster. It was that much of a roller-coaster that I had to italicize it. Although it wasn’t one of my best years, I must admit that it was one of the most memorable ones yet. I’ve watched myself fall down and stand up more times than I could count. A natural tendency of mine would be to look at all the bad stuff that happened this year, but I am lucky to say that among all the really shitty events that occurred, the good memories are the ones that surface more. I admit that those bad stuff happened for a reason. I’m not ashamed of them, and I think that I benefited the most from them. They were painful, but worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears.

So, my 2011 in a nutshell?

1. The break up – I’m listing it at the first, because it was the catalyst to all the good stuff this year. It was my blessing in disguise. No regrets about the relationship, but no regrets about it ending either. To you, thank you for the amazing ride. 🙂 Shame that it’s over, but it seems like there are other people destined to be ours. Thanks for teaching me what it means to love someone, and thank you for loving me, even for just a while.

2. My summer internship at Shangri-la Makati – one of the periods of my life when I was so bloody scared to pick up a telephone. They’re right though; you do get the hang of it once you get past the first phone call. Also, I managed to control my eating habits – thank you to buffet lunch in portions – and I took part in one of the hotel-wide events. Hurray to shaking hands with the General Manager and to twelve-hour work days watching the HR managers practice a song and dance number for their retiring boss.

3. Bellarocca + Cebu 2011 – some of the best beach trips I’ve had in a long time. Cheers to amazing breakfast buffets and happy hours at the club lounge in Cebu, basking in the sun for hours on end, snorkeling with some of the most colorful fish ever (and even seeing a turtle in Bellarocca!), swimming in the pool and lounging in the most amazing hotel rooms and the most amazing quality time I’ve spent with my friends, immediate and extended family.

4. Little Shop of Horrors 2011 – there are NO words for this experience. From the audition and callback process, to grueling music rehearsals with THE Ejay Yatco (he will be famous one day, I tell you), to deadly choreography (plus singing, meh) with Nina de Leon and Nikki Surtida, all the way to blocking with my dear Toffeepie and Aryapie – even to the postponed shows with the star-studded cast and an amazing save from Reb Atadero for two days! Professionalism at its finest during this production; I learned so much and I was truly blessed to be part of such an amazing cast and production team. I must say, this was my coping mechanism to get over the break-up. I was really glad that I had people like Roxci, Abi, Chiz, Ant and Tina with me all the way to remind me that I wasn’t as broken and weak as I thought. And on the lighter side, it originated Pino Saturdays!

5. COA HR ExTeam life – when I broke up with my ex-boyfriend, one of my wisest friends (Kitkat Narciso) immediately told me to go for it when I asked her if I should apply for the COA HR ExTeam. After filling up one of the most nerve-wracking applications, I was finally interviewed by the COA Chief-of-Staff then. Trust me when I say that Teox and I had an amazing conversation during my interview, and soon enough, I was welcomed into the ExTeam. Our team had gone through so many ups and downs, but we emerged stronger, happier and closer as a family. Also, this gave us the opportunity to serve the most amazing people – the COA Central Board, the Council of Representatives (the presidents of all 49 organizations of the Ateneo!) and the other Executive Teams. I met the most amazing people, and I’ve gotten close to a lot of them as well. From soulmates to crushes and first choices, most importantly I met people who were just as passionate as I was to serve a bigger cause.

6. SET in Baguio – during the sembreak, Roxci, Raisa, Ea and I went to Baguio for some well-needed rest and relaxation. We were so thrilled that we were finally going somewhere outside our usual North-and-South dates, and this was an amazing start! We spent days shopping, eating and exploring Baguio, while we’d have wine, cheese and even legit s’mores at night. More importantly, my friends and my family meshed together as if we were one big family. I felt so blessed knowing that I didn’t have to entertain both of them separately. Plus, we’d have Starbucks everyday – hello to my Oak Starbucks planner! 🙂

7. BARE 2012 – I know that this hasn’t really come out, but the process DID start in 2011. I really thought that LSOH would be my last production, but when they announced that we’d be reviving BARE for the season finale Mikey and I downed a million beers. Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to reprise my role as Nadia. I can’t say much about it now, but I will tell you that you will die if you miss this one. 😉

And to think that was my 2011 in a nutshell! No words can even express what I went through in between all of that. No lie, I was reminded that I have the most amazing friends – blueREP, ACIL and COA alike  – and that I was stronger than I originally perceived myself to be. To my friends, thank you for always being there to remind me. Know that I got all my strength from you. I also have the most supportive family ever. Thank you, fambam, for everything that you’ve done for me. I wouldn’t have made it this far without you. 🙂

With that, I think I can say that I’m ready to say goodbye to 2011 on the 31st. 2011, you’ve been – well, amazing. But I think 2012 is going to epic.

Just saying. 😉

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