Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of 2009

After the very memorable 2008 I had, I was expecting 2009 to be relatively uneventful. And it started off pretty much that way: for the first time in years, I had a quiet birthday, overshadowed by Barack Obama's inauguration; after January, I didn't attend any weddings or big parties for several months; AND I was mercifully kaisiao-free for 4 months, which was quite a long dry spell for the undisputed champion of serial blind-dating.

Then in April, things started picking up: my family went on a terrific tour of Japan (with Auntie Nene, natch); my cousin Danny proposed to his girlfriend Lai (Sir Tirol and I had introduced them, making it my first truly successful matchmaking attempt); my college buddies and I bought promo-fare plane tickets for a trip to Shanghai in October; AND I got 4 kaisiao offers in a span of 2 weeks, which was a record even for me.

From there, 2009 took off, and I was taken for one of the most memorable rides of my life. My best friend Raqs took the Bar exams; Nikki gave birth to our third LM girl baby, Jacob; my cousin Joy got married; I spent 4 days in Shanghai with Angge, Yangelo, Inigo and Christine and had a blast; the Ateneo Blue Eagles won their second straight UAAP basketball championship; I went back to Japan, this time to attend my cousin Chie's wedding in Yokohama; and by the end of October, the unthinkable happened: the Kaisiao Queen finally abdicated her throne.

This year I stepped out of my comfort zone so often, there were times I wasn't sure I'd know how to get back there. I attended a belly-dancing class with some former co-teachers for Shirley's birthday (I sucked at it, but it was fun); I squeezed myself into a slinky serpentina bridesmaid dress for Joy's wedding (it was green, I might add); I started driving more (albeit still confined to the Greenhills area); I stopped wearing black as often as I used to (became enamored with purple and red); and I entered the heretofore uncharted territory of being in a committed relationship.

On a wider scale, 2009 was a year of tragedy. There was the accident that happened in the Ateneo Grade School parking lot; the AH1N1 virus and the accompanying paranoia over it spread throughout the globe; Metro Manila was laid to waste by Typhoon Ondoy; a horrifying number of lives were lost in the brutal Maguindanao Massacre; and now Mayon Volcano is on the verge of a massive eruption. 2009 also saw the deaths of so many beloved icons: Francis Magalona, Farah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze, John Hughes, Cory Aquino. But there were also many moments of redemption and hope: the spirit of patriotism and national unity rekindled while mourning Tita Cory's passing; Mar Roxas' decision to step aside and let Noynoy Aquino become the Liberal Party's presidential bet; the extensive public response to the Ondoy relief operations; and Efren Penaflorida being named CNN Hero of the Year. To sum up the year that was, the oft-used line from Dickens comes to mind: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

On a more personal level though, I will remember 2009 as the year I faced down my fears, and not only did I succeed, but I was rewarded for it with one of the best things that's ever happened to me in my life. Perhaps my only rueful thought as I look back on the past 12 months is that I let my monthly blog post count dip deplorably in the latter half of the year, but I beg my bloghounds' pardon and indulgence, for reasons given under item #6 here. Suffice it to say, my miserable output is inversely proportional to how miserable I was feeling throughout the year, so yeah, I was really, really, really happy. :)

And now, to close, my annual "Best of" list:

Best day: May 16
Best life-altering decision: saying yes
Best family vacation: tour of Japan in April
Best non-family vacation: Shanghai in October
Best traveling companion: Auntie Nene
Best wedding date: Angge
Best first date: Jon :)
Best surprise: Sheraton Saturday (double surprise =D)
Best gift given: a copy of The View From Saturday
Best gift received: 21st Century Mixed Tape
Best party: Chie's wedding reception
Best luxury item purchased: Coach multicolor Op Art Audrey, for Hanks
Best new TV show: Mad Men
Best sitcom to share with shobe: The Big Bang Theory
Best movie: Up
Best actor: Zachary Quinto
Best actress: Zooey Deschanel
Best sports hero: Roger Federer
Best book: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan
Best author: Zadie Smith
Best CD: U2's No Line on the Horizon
Best song: "Moment of Surrender", U2
Best LSS (last song syndrome): "I've Got a Feeling", The Black-eyed Peas
Best live performance: Atlantis' production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Best object of lust: Roger Federer
Best fictional object of lust: Don Draper
Best inspirational figure: Cory Aquino
Best miracle moment: scoring Lower Box tickets to the Ateneo-UE championship game
Best fashion trend: leggings/tights
Best fashion staple: short shorts
Best beauty aid: C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint
Best caffeine fix: milk tea from Serenitea
Best sweet tooth treat: Red Mango
Best meal: 10-course tofu dinner at Mei Hua in Yokohama
Best 15 minutes of fame: my review of Serenitea was framed and posted on their wall
Best achievement: overcoming fear (in more ways than one!)
Best healthy/unhealthy pasttime: phone marathons 'til past 1:00AM
Best new online preoccupation: Twitter
Best blog post: my own pick is "Much ado about nothing", about the Hayden Kho scandal, but if any of my readers wish to share a different opinion, go right ahead :)


At Wednesday, January 20, 2010, Anonymous Ange said...

A very eventful 2009 you had. I only vaguely remember what happened to me last year. :|

And I take it your favorite book to give is The View from Saturday? :)

At Wednesday, January 20, 2010, Anonymous Ange said...

Oh, and Happy Birthday! :D That was the real reason I dropped by your blog today. Haha


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