22 January 2012

2011: My Crazy 12 Months


I've been through a lot for the year 2011; from being a student, to being an adult worker, been out of my teenage years and went abroad. It was a crazy year for me. Undeniably, a lot of things have happened but it was 'FUN'.

I'd briefly look back on how my year 2011 has been.

From January to March, I've been busy with school matters that I almost never went home. I have retreat, events management, thesis, strategic management, and more school-related matters. From April to June, I was busy looking for a job, going here and there and submitting resume. June to December, my life was adjusting to my work schedules. Yes! WORK.


I went to Caleruega for my Retreat. Of course, I went there with my class and two other classes. The place was amazing! I never though there's a place like that in the Philippines. Moreover it was just in Batangas!

We stayed there for 2 nights and 3 days. It was actually hectic but the place was just too great to relax. I'll admit something although this is not a secret: I'm sleeping during every session :)
It was actually a perfect place for photography, or practice shoots. It really brought me closer to nature. I actually wanted to visit that place again, but commuting alone to that place is just no good.

Then, there was the celebration for the 400-year existence of my university. It was a week of festivities but I'm too busy to partake to the events. Well, we are considered the 400th graduating batch and yet we're the ones who never felt the celebration. We're graduating students after all. That was a quick break from all the mental stress caused by the title 'Graduating Student'.

There was a fireworks display. They actually call it pyro-musical but it was nothing like that. Basically, the fireworks doesn't go along with the music beats. I believe it's a three-night presentation.
What I at least enjoyed was the fiesta-thing provided by the university. Well, it was just like Paskuhan.


Our event was on February. It was very hectic. It was clashing with our thesis and strama papers. Actually, we're at school 7 days a week. We had our pre-event a week before our main event, too.

When our main event came, it was a really, really terrible day. I was working backstage so I really don't know how our event went. However, working backstage doesn't gave me the excuse to slack off. Actually, we're more stressed there compared to those working in the floor who all did was chat and complain about the presentation.

After the event, we had our Strategic Management Defense. Now, I can't imagine how I survived my hectic schedule.

Despite telling myself not to go to the other events, I still went to my friend's event which is a bit similar to our concept. It was on impulse and I never really planned to go there. But I still went.

Oh! I almost forgot about my Sociology course. We had a little wedding ceremony as a requirement for that course. Of course it was rush and we never really planned it well. We just had our funny-couple for our wedding couple. Somehow, we managed it.

Here's a video link of the photos taken. This one is for the pre-nuptial, a short date at UST: Night Date. This one is for the nuptial proper: Umali-Santos Nuptial.

Before February ends, I was able to dine at Papa John's Pizza. It's a restaurant specializing in pizza - a pizzeria, that is. It was a really good idea that my friend and I tried dining there. It has been my favorite ever since. I go to that restaurant every month just to eat there :)

What made me come back there is their pizza and Seafood Marinara :)


March was such a peaceful month. I had my final final examinations during the first week of March. And our professors are just too kind to us. I wished they had been like that through my four years in college? The night after the final examination, we went to Ortigas for the Street Food Market known as Banchetto. We had quite a big group at that time. It was fun since it's my first time for that food-trip, and quite stressful as well due to the huge crowd in there. Well, it was a Friday after all.

For the sake of the awarding-feel, we are called to the university, despite the provinces we are living in, just to take group pictures with medals, certificates and trophies. The certificates were given later in the month, though. We are called again on another day to get our clearances and learn of our academic standing. I got a 'Cum Laude' title even though I slack off since the second half of my college years. Then, we are called again on a another different date for the orientation for graduation. We had a short boring practice as well. It was quite annoying and a bit funny. We're thankful to be relieved of stress since we're done with everything. On the same day, we are invited to a small dinner to celebrate our batch as the 400th slash quadricentennial batch.

It was a free dinner so why not come, right? I still have the unit rented so going to Manila is not much of a hassle. The food were catered by Ate Eva's which is one of my favorites among the Carpark restos. The admin even performed for our sake, as well as the student presidents. It was a fun evening.

Oh! This month is my only time eating at Seoul Garden Philippines in SM CIty Noth EDSA. It's not as exciting as the one in Singapore though.

Then, my friend and I dine at Tender Bob's. It was a steakhouse but I love the Mango Crepe and Lemonade above anything else.

And how could I ever forget my 2nd Pyromusical Olympics? It was not as exciting as the first one since it rained this time and I don't have a good view of the stage. I mean, they changed the layout of the sections this time and it was not good. I'm willing to pay fair enough for a good view though. however, being in front isn't much of a wise idea either since the stage is too close and too broad.

I also went to Los Banos, Laguna to meet my friend. However, I enjoyed our lunch time more than our meeting. The cream puff is my favorite and the Mango Egg Tart is just so sumptuous. They're Baked Macaroni is fantastic as well.

And of course, as an ender for my March is the Baccalaureate Mass. We don't have a University graduation held for everyone, but we do have a mass were all the graduating students from all colleges gather. It was a big event for all of us. It was long and pretty tiring but was never boring. There is a mass, a presentation, introductions, and etc. Well, there was also the time capsule thing. I really don't know what's inside that capsule, though. And, finally, we had our exit walk in the Arch of the Centuries. During our first year, we had our Welcome walk, so before graduating, we had our Exit(?) Walk.

A P R I L - M A Y

Once April arrives, we always think of summer vacation, beaches and long holiday. That is true! But for me, April is the beginning for a new chapter and ending for a previous chapter. Well...I graduated on the 1st of April with three medals and a Cum Laude title. I was thinking that I could have done better if only I maintained my attitude during my first year. Not that I'm bragging or something, but I COULD have...there's a possibility. And that small possibility is a big difference!

However! April also means that I need a work and I need to find a proper job. I'm no longer a student on a summer break. It's a talk of pride. But in the end I didn't find a job that easily, despite having an academic title. Experience is still the number one key. I went to a couple of interviews and went from from to place to submit my resume. It was tiring. And it was a hot season on top of that! I also went out to have fun with my friends. And it was actually my first time to sing in a karaoke house :)

J U N E - J U L Y

I started working on the month of July. I got accepted in Marriott Hotel Manila as a part-time Banquet Associate. I have a steady schedule for the first ten days since I have to clear 90 hours for my training. After that, I didn't have a proper schedule. It was difficult for me since I have to travel from Cavite to Manila. Even if I stay in Manila, going to Marriott is still quite troublesome. It costs me a lot of money just for the travel itself. I had three schedules with pay and after that, I never showed up for work again. My colleagues are fun to work with and I have a senior who is from the same University.


At the beginning of August I started to work under a new employer. Compared to Marriott which is a five star hotel and a big company, my new employer is just a small company operating mostly in real estates. In my new employer we have rooms no more than a hundred. It was a three-star hotel. Oh, I was working in the reception by the way. I learned everything in a week. Or rather, I was forced to learn everything in a week. I also did night shifts alone. Night shifts are interesting since I get to meet interesting people. The best part was that it was about twenty minutes away from our place in Manila. That gives me a great advantage. I don't need to wake up really early in the morning :)
I also had the chance to go for some photography practice. It was a really good thing. I discovered some interesting spots too :)
Rizal Park is a conventional one but it was different at dusk to night. I went there in the after noon when the sun is just about to set. The park at night was astonishing! I never really thought that the water fountain musical show was interesting. I stayed there for the colorful fountains :) The photo was at the other end of the Rizal Park, where Rizal monument was.
Then, I also discovered a small park slash old cemetery (I guess, since it looked like one) in the heart of Manila. I mean it was Paco Park and near Malate. Who would have thought that I can find such a Place in Manila?! Amazing things are just every where, really.
Then, I also went to Harbour Square for a sunset photography and a try of night/reflection photography. didn't get to see a good sunset and I failed at night photography. It's not a waste of time though since I get to see how undisciplined my fellows were.

S E P T E M B E R - N O V E M B E R

I ended my employment in Corporate Inn in this month. Well, it was a good thing that it ended since I don't plan to stay there for long. Also, this is the month that I returned to Singapore. Yeah! I was back to my Little Paradise.

I get to meet new people, pay for my own rental fees and work in the Front Office department. Oh! I also got a good photo of the Marina Bay. I'm happy with that. Hence, I learned of how I should take night photos using my camera :)


This is my first time spending Christmas Eve out of our house and not even in the Philippines at that. Well, I got quite a good Christmas this year since we had exchanged gifts and celebrated happily. The thing is I spent a month's worth of salary to buy gifts for others and for myself as well. That's a pain in the pocket for real.

I'm not particularly fond of New Year's so it's fine with me that I worked a 1700 - 0100 hrs at that time. I got no problem with it. Although celebration of New Year here is not as noisy as it is in my place in Cavite. Oh, well.

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