Thursday, January 16, 2014

The 2013 Milestones: A Look Back

I am sooooo back! And I would begin my first entry of 2014 by completing on the months that I made this blog blank on the remainder of the year 2013. (Ooooops!)

And as for every year that comes and goes, it is always nice to reflect and look on what had been the blessings that I am thankful for, as well as the trials that molded my strength. The year 2013 was a year that tested my capacity on major decision-making skills, taking big steps toward personal finances and investments, and best of all, the bloom of a LOVE LIFE! =D

So, here are the milestones of the 12 months in my Year 2013:

January 2013 – As most of my readers here know, I always take December as my holidays to spend Christmas and New Year with family in the Philippines. And returning to the cold winter January in the UK after a month of vacation at my warm tropical Philippines always gives me a heavy heart.  The beginning of this year was also “supposed” to be the last year of my 3-year working permit visa in the UK. I am just SO EXCITED to finally be back in the Philippines FOR GOOD come December 2013!!! (And as you may now know as of this writing, this did not happen. You will know the major reason in the coming months to follow). And this reason was also briefly introduced to me during this month of January. I was assigned for 4 months (from January to April) to our affiliate office to work on a client. This was the longest I was ever away from my 2nd home! And my adventurous self did not like being away for such a long time – but I tried and managed to enjoy whatever life has thrown on me at the onset of the year 2013. Picture was the sunrise at 8am in Guernsey Island from the penthouse apartment provided by our office.


February 2013 – Since I started receiving my very first salary, I made a budget (which most often is not being followed.) My spendings are over the variance and I admit that I do not have the proper money management skills, plus a really low personal finance and investment knowledge.  I took budgeting a little bit seriously when I started working abroad in 2011, equipped myself through learnings via the internet and get myself involved into investments. Two years passed and I became thirsty of finding a community who share the same enthusiasm that I have towards financial literacy.  I found them via The Global Filipino Investors (TGFI). Join our Facebook group of now more than 22,500 members!  I also became one of the group’s administrators during this month.  Read my full interview at MoneyGurado’s blog here.


March 2013 – Too late for winter, ei? Who would not get excited to tick off one of the looooongest pending adventures on my bucket list – an experience which I had been dreaming of since I was in high school? Finally, I experienced being under the rain of snow and felt them melt under my bare hands. Freezing cold!!! Definitely worth it. And FYI, I never want to experience snow again, though. The road was wet and slippery, plus it was sooooo cold!!! Brrrrr….. One of my weekly work flights was also cancelled for 2 days due to snow – and I was able to take much from my travel insurance for the delayed flight. Yey!


April 2013 – Flowers bloom and the spring season has finally come – and the end of my 4-month secondment, too. I was so grateful and felt more blessed to be surrounded by gurlfriendz who were always there for me. Two took a ferry trip and one booked a flight to go to Guernsey Island to “fetch me” and helped me carry my luggage(s) back to our second home. I was sooooo touched. They went over on a Friday night, tour around the island over the weekend, and back on Sunday. These gurlz are my source of hope, inspiration, and laughters. Life is indeed great with true friends around you. =))


May 2013 – I flew to the Philippines for a 2-week holiday to attend the wedding of one of my dear friends who are also working here abroad. It was such a lovely sunset wedding in Boracay. I wanna get married, too!!! =)) It was memorable coz it was the first time that my family (except for my elder brother who was residing in Manila) able to spend an out of town holiday (and to the famous Boracay Island, for that matter). I spent Mother’s Day with mom, too! This month of May was so significant for me coz it gave me loads of “wake-up’'” calls on my personal and career lives.  I was half way through December 2013, finally the end of my UK work visa, but I was faced with many roads in front of me: to going home for good, to grab job opportunities abroad, to setting up businesses, etcetera… I spent countless of sleepless nights thinking of all what-ifs scenario, writing my objectives, goals and plans of actions, while I was being haunted by worries and fears of the unknown future. I ended up tossing and turning, and never came up with a single decision. This went on for months, until I wake up one morning, and made a full surrender to the Great Guy above. I found peace.


June 2013 – …..still countless of sleepless nights for major decisions that I need to make. BUT, I just have to see the Man of Steel casts when they visited our place! I saw Henry Cavill + Russell Crowe + Amy Adams in flesh! I made this as my Facebook profile picture, and currently the one with the most likes among all of my photos. **smilez**


July 2013 – With the wonderful summer sunshine, it is but just properly right to enjoy it, grab the bikini and go to the beach! Yabadoooooo!!!! =)


August 2013 – Summer was still extended! And the gurlz and me enjoyed the summer festivals in the island.


September 2013 – Remember my January post? This uber makulit, sweet, caring and loving Irish man has finally captured my heart and made me say my “YES!” Below is our first photo together during a town event where the Filipino Choir sang. He came straight from his one week holiday at his home country, and arrived at my doorsteps with flower on hand. =))


October 2013 – The best ever celebrated birthday I had! We also spent our first monthsary as a couple in London and Scotland. GH treated me to watch the opera show, The Phantom of the Opera, in London City, where I also met his cousin, and went on to celebrate our monthsary and my birthday in Edinburgh, Scotland. We visited Alnwick Castle (Hogwarts School in Harry Potter), Dan Brown’s Roselane Chapel, the Edinburgh Castle, and the South Borders of Scotland. It was an amazing trip!


November 2013 – Who would have known that a month before Christmas time, a great typhoon would struck my beloved homeland? Our Filipino community decided to forego our Christmas Party and spent two Sundays to do a charity event for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. Our plans were published in the newspaper, shown on television and heard over BBC Radio. During the two consecutive Sundays of November, we were able to accumulate GBP15,000 (approximately Php1.1 million) to aide our fellow Filipinos. Even if we were more than 7,000 miles away from home, nothing beats the spirit of bayanihan and the will to help our fellow brothers and sisters.

11Nov_2  11Nov

December 2013“I am home for Christmas…” and I am as always been thankful about it. And also, all the worries, what-ifs scenarios I made during the mid of this year all went down to drain. More than just the monetary value, I have now a major reason to always look forward returning to the UK (see September 2013 above). Philippines will always be my home (in my heart) – but I also have realized that I had grown up, and there maybe now a new place that I can call “home”.  During the past 12 months, nothing among my plans had happened, but I got everything that I would have ever wanted: an extended visa, a boyfriend who loves me the most, a loving understanding family, a blooming career, true friends and community who are always there for one another, and a quality happy imperfect God-driven life. I have more than what I have asked for… and continuous blessings keep pouring in!=)))


Cheers to a blessed and fruitful 2014 ahead of us! =))


Love Lots,
Ly-Lyn \(“,)/


  1. Awww, my lablyf!!!

    Nice nice nice

  2. Yay!!! You're back!!!

    And may lovelife news pa talaga! Loving the M&Ms matching shirts :)

  3. Yes "I shall return", Ate Jill! :) And I hope this is the start of more blog entries to follow :))


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