I have to bluntly say that this year was definitely better than the last. But there was an equal balance of challenges and changes.
Although I did start it off this year by being completely off the interwebs for a bit because I was finishing my last term at UNI. That being said, I wanted to put my best foot forward and bring my A game by staying focused. Plus, my anxiety was also getting the best of me, which is only normal because it only showed how badly I wanted to do well and graduate.
And yes, I did pass my architectural thesis! The whole 5 year architecture journey was very tedious and challenging, but oh was it worth everything when I heard high praises from my judges and guests! I have never had so much butterflies when I found out that I made it and that I was officially in line to graduate! Such a bittersweet ending to this chapter in my life.
As a reward, my college buddies and I(#BaliBabes) took a trip to Bali for a week to experience the Eat, Pray, Love life before our graduation ceremony. We had such a great time adventuring(not a real word) around the island of Bali, through narrow Ubud streets, temple running and getting ourselves stuck in rice paddies, it was all worth it because I was with my girls. Plus, we stayed in this gorgeous Airbnb villa, which felt like paradise. (link to our cottage HERE!)
If you read my 2015 resolutions(link here!), I mentioned that I wanted to prioritise my health this year. So after my trip to Bali with the babes, I started exercising more and eating better, by eliminating certain food in my diet.
By the end of June, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture at De La Salle College of Saint Benilde. I am (still) so thankful to have met a genuine bunch of people in those 5 years because they made everything worthwhile, stress, cramming, failing and all.
A few weeks after graduation, my buddy(Hazel) and I joined this workshop, organized by the Architectural Association(our dream school) in my hometown. What an experience it was! Never would we have thought that we would meet so much talented and brilliant people from all over Asia. Always push yourself out of your comfort zone.
When August hit, people started to notice my weightloss and damn, was it rewarding! A few weeks after then I hit my 20lbs mark, I know I took a bit long compared to some, but I felt that I should loose weight the right way, by exercising and eating healthy, not by extreme diets and weight loss pills. Plus, I didn’t want to have hanging fat on my body. I plan on writing a more detailed blog post about this sometime, maybe when I hit -50lbs.(haha!)
In lieu of all my daily exercise regimens, freelance architecture work, taking care of my grandmother’s business and blogging, I was planning my month long trip to Australia, which was definitely the highlight of my year because I love Australia as a whole and I love exploring.
When I arrived in Sydney with my brother, I got to stay with my long time friends, Nika and Trixie(their faces are on this post!, link HERE!), who incidentally lived a few blocks away from my brother which was perfect. We got to explore the different sides of Sydney together, the coastal hikes(my fave), the delicious brunch spots, basically just pretending to be local Sydneysiders.
We then moved on to Melbourne to meet up with our parents to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday and to explore the beautiful city of Melbourne because we always just find ourselves in Sydney. We spent a whole week in this charming city and I think we saw Melbourne inside out as well as coast to coast. Plus, I got to catch up with my one of my close friends from high school that just moved over there(Hi Ser!) and got to catch up with life. I miss her so much!! : (
So the whole point of this trip actually was not only for my brother and I to bond, but to also see him graduate!(yes, double wammy for my parents this year!) After he graduated, we had to pack up his apartment and experience the city for one more time. (All my Australia travel posts are over here!)
My trip to Australia was so good that I had such bad FOMO(Fear Of Missing Out) with my friends over there and was sad about some lbs that I gained(but happy lbs though).
Shortly after my arrival, My High School friend got married, where I got to hang out and catch up with a bunch of my classmates and share friendly banter with everyone! Then one of my best friends, Nicole, came home with her boyfriend, Christian, to show him around and to introduce us to him.
Just recently, I got hooked on spinning because I needed a little switcharoo with my workout, plus, the good music choice of the instructors are a major plus. I now spin (almost)everyday, no excuses! I would definitely recommend this for people who love a great leg, ab workout and want a tighter ass(mine is still in progress).
December this year was a little bit more festive than most because we had relatives come by for the holidays after a few years of not visiting. Family time is my most favorite time, aside from amaretto time! Catching up over cold beers, salty ocean breeze and good childish banter with my cousins are always bound to be a good time!
2016 in a nutshell
I have got to say that this year was better than most, in terms of the fortunate and unfortunate events that steered along my path. I am just glad that I got to fulfill all my promises that I made for this year and end on a high note. So so grateful for everything that I have and that has happened this past year!
**All photos and video were taken with a Sony A6000**