2012: You’ve Been Preciously Awesome (Part 2)

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! :) *FIREWORKS FIREWORKS*

And yes, it is official, 2013 is finally here! But before I totally close my book for 2012, I’m finishing my second half of yesterday’s post first. Clingy I might be, but hey, it’s nice to look back to what an awesome year it has been! ;)

JULY

July 28, 2012 : Golden Girl’s Birthday Celebration

Yes, you may not believe it, but my mother already reached her golden year. For the grand celebration, my sister baked cookies for the whole family. My sister and I also surprised her with a bag from Charles and Keith. If you don’t know, my mother has this addiction with bags. Whenever we go to malls, she can’t help but look over the bag section of the department store or boutiques!

Golden girl's happy with her bag!

Golden girl’s happy with her bag!

And take note, my father came home for that special day! *CLAP* Though he stayed for only 3 days, it definitely made us, especially my mother, happy. This is one of those rare opportunities my father was given the chance to come home for special events like birthdays and graduations. Over some good food and catching up with relatives, this pretty lady had a blast on her big birthday!

Giddy in Pink! Happy 50th, Ma! :)

Giddy in Pink! Happy 50th, Ma! :)

Getting mushy!

Getting mushy!

AUGUST

August 05, 2012 : Claire’s Post Birthday Celebration

It’s been quite a while since I last saw these people. We used to celebrate our birthdays together but because of the differences in schedules (since most of them are nurses with indefinite free times), we hardly had the time to catch up. Right on schedule, one Sunday evening, the latest birthday celebrant had her free time that we decided to meet over our favorite “chill-out” place, Ultimate Liempo. I just had to say, we super duper love their chicken wings in here!

Happy beer-day, Claire! :)

Happy beer-day, Claire! :)

Over this night, I also had that “closure” I hoped for months so I can finally move forward. Though it turned out pretty confusing with some unnecessary actions brought by my soberness, I think it still made clear, “I’m done with this phase, I’m over and moving on.”

August 11-12, 2012 : Hello QC, I missed you!

February 2012, I reserved some nail pampering deal over the internet to be consumed over the year. It was specifically for two of my closest HS friends, Leb and Claire. At that time, Leb was living in QC along with her sisters. We agreed to have our QC day pampering and overnight at their house, since the Nail Salon we reserved is within the area. It was a loooong time since I last saw Leb, it was April to be exact. Imagine how ecstatic I am to see this girl!

Nail pampering with the girls!

Nail pampering with the girls!

Of course, before going home, we stopped by my Alma Mater! We ate the famous Rodics Tapa, walk along the Sunken Garden, rode the UP Ikot and stopped by the School of Economics building (my home for 4 years). I just missed this place soooo much!

Don't you just love the trees?

Don’t you just love the trees?

August 18, 2012 : Archery Madness

This day had been quite busy. In the morning, I spent my day with my office teammates to learn ARCHERY. Being intrigued with this sport and influenced by the movie “Hunger Games”, I’ve been wanting to try this one ever since. Being a big failure in sports, it was somehow hard for me to get a grasp on this skill. It may look like easy on-screen, but it is really hard to pull that string! Though, before the 1-hour session ended, I am proud that I hit the target : bulls-eye!

Feeling Katniss!

Feeling Katniss!

After which, I spent the rest of the afternoon with two of my closest friends EVER for this year, Anna and Darika. I think, this was the start of our endless conversations and spontaneous lunch and dinner dates for the rest of the year.

Endless conversation over unlimited cakes!

Endless conversation over unlimited cakes!

August 24- 27, 2012 : Coron, Palawan

Another experience I would never forget. This was my second travel experience with my OBEM friends. From international destination, now we opted to have our trip in our own country, to the beautiful place – CORON, PALAWAN. I didn’t know what to expect, didn’t even research about the place. All I know was that this trip will be soaking wet and my skin will definitely be dark as it can be. Being a beach-lover as I am, I’m definitely giddy for the day to come!

We arrived the place behind the schedule because of delays in flight. Good thing we had a good place to crash in after!

Planning our expenses for the next 2 days in our new house!

Planning our expenses for the next 2 days in our new house!

First day was dedicated to the city tour. Since it is almost night, the only activity we had was to climb the ever-exhausting but fulfilling Mt. Tapyas and a dive over the ever-soothing Mt. Maquinit Hot Spring.

Reached the peak before dark!

Reached the peak before dark!

Second day was more exciting with the island hopping. We also had snorkeling and I even found Nemo and Dory! Can you just imagine my excitement when I saw how beautiful and clean the beaches were?!

Beautiful cave shot!

Beautiful cave shot over Malcapuya Island

See how pristine the waters are!

See how pristine the waters are!

Goofing around Banana Island!

Goofing around Banana Island!

Jump shot!

Jump shot!

We ended the day with good Italian food from Manneken Pis Resto and a good hard drink until we became sober!

Third day was for matching-shirts day. It had been a tradition during our trips to have matching t-shirts and to wear it for a day. It brings us closer as a group and identifies us as one big happy OBEM family. More island-hopping and snorkeling happened on this day + very delicious seafood favorites from the island! We also stayed at the known Castaway Island for more survivor feel!

Black and White Matching Coron shirts!

Black and White Matching Coron shirts!

Mouth-watering!

Mouth-watering!

Last day was bittersweet. The day we hoped would never come. It had been a pretty happy 4-day vacation for us. We do hope for more in the coming years!

Before leaving Castaway Island!

Before leaving Castaway Island!

SEPTEMBER

September 09, 2012 : Sakae Sushi

After 3 months, we finally decided to have another bonding for the team. Since my teammates are craving for some Japanese food, we opted to try Sakae Sushi’s Unlimited Buffet. Not a big fan of Japanese or sushi back then, I was kinda hesitant with the food. Mostly also because of my allergy to raw and seafood. But now, lo and behold,  I’m addicted to it and won’t freakin’ care about the allergies.

Cranky and happy over some Japanese sushi!

Cranky and happy over some Japanese sushi!

September 22, 2012 : UP Pep Squad

It’s been a long time since I last saw these beautiful girls that we decided to finally meet up and watch the UP Cheerdance Competition, just like the old times. No, we didn’t score any Smart Araneta tickets, but Moonleaf surely accommodated us with their live screen projector, along with our fellow UP schoolmates. Same with the live crowd in Smart Araneta, ours had been wild! It surely livens up my school spirit again! Every UP student was definitely happy that day, with UP Pep Squad bagging all three awards that day!

My roomies, Ate Jen and Ate Rowcee!

My roomies, Ate Jen and Ate Rowcee!

Congrats, UP Pep Squad! :)

Congrats, UP Pep Squad! :)

September 28, 2012: Wensha with Family

During the short vacation my father had last September, I decided to treat my family to Wensha since they never have heard the place. It really was a relaxing day for the four of us, with the massage and overflowing food during the rest of our stay. It was a different experience from our usual lunch and dinner outs! I do hope I get to engage my family more to different activities, since I believe there are a LOT of other things we can do apart from eating. hihi.

Looking like Japanese!

Looking like Japanese!

OCTOBER

October 11, 2012 : Neil’s Comeback

Unlike his sister, Celene, who visits us every year, this young dude last visited us in the Philippines 5 years ago and look how big he was now! It’s nice to be able to hang out with him even just for a short time!

Clingy Cousins!

Clingy Cousins!

October 13-14, 2012 : Stellars Overnight

Our last overnight as a group happened during Independence Day in June. As clingy as we are, we decided to have another one over Marc’s house. For some turn of events, they decided to have it over our house for a change. This was the first time they visited our house, the first for my mother to meet them more up close. The usual drink and games happened during the night, until one by one we dozed off at the middle of dawn.

It's drink night once again!

It’s drink night once again!

October 14, 2012 : National Museum

If you may not know, I’m a sucker for museums. I find them both interesting and intriguing, especially the artifacts from different set of culture and tribes. When I learned that the National Museum is free for the public, I immediately invited my long time bff, Kisha, for some Manila adventure to this place! It was funny to know that we still pass for that HS-teenage look that one tour guide asked us if we’re there for some HS project.

Goofing around the National Museum! ;)

Goofing around the National Museum! ;)

October 25- 28, 2012 : Ilocos Tour

This was one of the most spontaneous trip we did as a group. It started off with a seat sale and immediately clicking that reserve button so that there’s no turning back. The trip was something we’ve longed for over the months, a sort of breather from the stressful life of work, an escape from the heartaches and personal struggles. Many happened during the trip that it cannot be contained in a single post. Let’s just capped it off with what the trip made me realized:

1.) Good friends will always be there for you, no matter how damaged you are. They will always be there to support you and guide you on your decisions. Letting go, though hard as it can be, will always be easier if you have true friends to surround you.

2.)  Letting go is hard but it’s part of moving forward. This is where I learned to let go of the things I treasured for over the years. Things that remind me of what I once had and loved but lost. Though how emotional that night of “letting go” turned out to be, the rest of the trip was made of laughter, smiles and new experiences. Letting go made me feel a whole lot “lighter” as I describe it.

There’s no doubt you will fall in love with this place. Some photos of our trip include:

No rain can stop us from getting here!

No rain can stop us from getting here!

Alas, the sun is up!

Alas, the sun is up!

The beautiful Bangui Windmills!

The beautiful Bangui Windmills!

Goofing around our room!

Goofing around our room!

The ever famous, Bantay Bell Tower!

The ever famous, Bantay Bell Tower!

Family role-playing with Darika as Mother.

Family role-playing with Darika as Mother.

At the UNESCO-protected site, Calle Crisologo!

At the UNESCO-protected site, Calle Crisologo!

It was during this trip that I get to see Anna, my OBEM orgmate, again. As mentioned in my previous post, she lives in Ilocos. I cannot be more jealous on how lovely the place she grew up to!

NOVEMBER

November 10, 2012: Baby Miguel’s Baptism + Xtremely Xpresso CafeSubic

The well-loved baby of the team, Baby Miguel. He is the first-born of Ate Cherish, one of my colleagues in the office. Traveled far north to Cabang, Zambales to attend his baptism. Baby boys are just adorable. <3

Baby Miguel's baptism

Baby Miguel’s baptism

After which, on our way home, we had the chance to have a stopover in Subic. We ate at this very cozy place called Xtremely Xpresso Cafe. The place, food and service were all great! I swear, I’m not exaggerating! If ever you’re in the area, the place is a must try!

We're definitely full and happy! :)

We’re definitely full and happy! :)

November 17, 2012 : Creativity strikes!

It was 5-days before the birthday of our closest friend, Anna, that Darika and I decided to spice up the party by doing some prodwork for her birthday. Being a rockstar wanna-be Anna is, we decided to have the party a rockstar theme! Darika came over to our house, which by the way, took her 4 hours to arrive given that she lives in the far North side of Valenzuela.

For the love of a friend!

For the love of a friend!

After which, we decided to go to Up Dharma Down’s gig in SM Southmall. I’m not a big fan of the band, but boy, after that night, I got addicted to them! Maybe one of the biggest influence of this is having my photo taken with the lead vocals, Armi Millare, who I find so talented, beautiful and adorable! After tweeting my photo of her that night and tagging her, she replied and I’m hooked! I did not expect that she really comments on the posts of her fans.

We're on Patron seats!

We’re on Patron seats!

With girl crush, Armi Millare!

With girl crush, Armi Millare!

Come November 21, 2012, it was the day of Anna’s birthday. And our setup and party has been pretty successful. I do hope the birthday girl really enjoyed her day ;)

Rockstar Party Birthday Setup!

Rockstar Party Birthday Setup!

The rockstar wanna-be, Anna!

The rockstar wanna-be, Anna!

November 28, 2012 : Up Dharma Down “Capacities” Album Launch

Didn’t I just mention I’m addicted to Up Dharma Down? And this day was one of the proof. Regardless of how tired and sick I was that day, I did not regret attending their album launch. They are really good performers, with witty comments from Armi over breaks. She is really adorable! And I do love their songs, especially those whom I can “relate” to. I’ve been playing only their songs for over a month, listening and singing on to it every single day, before I finally decided that it’s time to listen to other artists again.

Up Dharma Down <3

Up Dharma Down <3

November 30 – December 1, 2012 : Club Punta Fuego, Batangas

Though it was a team building activity of CorpComm, I’m glad that I was invited to come with them during the trip. Since they are one of my closest friends in the office, I’m already comfortable hanging out with them. I did not expect that we will be living together in a house (I thought we have a hotel room or something). We cooked and prepared our own meals, spent the day lying on the couch, had endless videoke singing, got sober over the drinks, swam through the beach, and fell in love with the beauty of the place.

The whole group during the drink night session!

The whole group during the drink night session!

Back in the beach! <3

Back in the beach! <3

DECEMBER

Since it’s officially the holiday season, my December was jam-packed with reunions and Christmas parties here and there. Thus, this will just be a compilation of photos that happened over the month. “Catching-up” was entirely the theme of this month.

December 03, 2012 : Ongpin Group of Companies Christmas Party

Resort-wear inspired costumes!

Resort-wear inspired costumes!

December 07, 2012 : BS Christmas Party at Yakimix

The only complete photo we have and it's blurry.

The only complete photo we have and it’s blurry.

December 08, 2012 : OBEM’s 25th Anniversary/ AHC

Stellars! <3

Stellars! <3

December 09, 2012 : HS Friends Christmas Party

Sambokojin Buffet for some level-up dinner!

Sambokojin Buffet for some level-up dinner!

December 12, 2012 : Something worth remembering for 12/12/12

Spontaneity is where we're good at!

Spontaneity is where we’re good at!

December 14, 2012 : Ex- Housemates Christmas Party

Welcome back, Ate Joannie! :)

Welcome back, Ate Joannie! :)

December 15, 2012 : Athena’s Birthday / Darika and Anna’s South Chill

Happy birthday, Athena!

Happy birthday, Athena!

Goofing around, as always.

Goofing around, as always.

December 20 -21, 2012 : PhilWeb Asia – Pacific Dinner at Mona Lisa/ Darika and Anna’s Overnight

Yummy Italian food with the big bosses!

Yummy Italian food with the big bosses!

Another proof of our spontaneity!

Another proof of our spontaneity!

December 23, 2012 : Tita May’s House Blessing

With cousins and new acquaintances!

With cousins and new acquaintances!

December 24, 2012 : Noche Buena with the Family

Family <3

Family <3

Cousins <3

Cousins <3

December 25, 2012 : Batangas Visit

Second cousins! <3

Second cousins! <3

December 27, 2012 : BFFs Catch Up Day

Tested friendship over the years!

Tested friendship over the years!

Level up dinner! WINK! ;)

Level up dinner! WINK! ;)

December 28, 2012 : Batangas “Resort” Swimming with Cousins

All grown up!

All grown up!

December 29, 2012 : Joyce’s Despedida / Stellars Christmas Party

Welcome back, Joyce!

Welcome back, Joyce!

The whole group!

The whole group!

December 31, 2012Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!

Since Emerald Green is the color for 2013, here we are sporting some green!

Since Emerald Green is the color for 2013, here we are sporting some green!

Playing some cards while waiting!

Playing some cards while waiting!

Mga batang kalye!

Mga batang kalye!

So there, I’m finally ready to end the chapter of my life for 2012. As the title of my post goes, “2012, you’ve been preciously awesome”. This year was the year where I was able to spend my time with people I somehow “neglected” over the years. I’m glad that I have patched up what I missed before. And for the new friends I found this year, I’m glad I’ve met you. Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you and helping make my every day happy and more bearable. I do hope the friendship we found is something you will treasure, because I know I want you for keeps. :)

Cheers for another awesome year ahead! I wish for more adventures and travels, lunch and dinner dates, reunions and get-togethers and of-course, for deeper relationships, both friends and family, alike. Hope you enjoyed 2012 as much as I did! That’s it for now!

Much love, Irene <3

2 responses to “2012: You’ve Been Preciously Awesome (Part 2)

  1. Wahahahah, i kept on scrolling down for where daxiemom and i are included:))) wakekekekeke Happy new year cece!

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