Life Lately: 2023 recap

#AJ  #books  #chicken 

Story by gioweeargao

January 05, 2024

Aj and Gwe, 2023. Photo by Kenji Kilala.

Update from 2024: this blog is still poorly maintained πŸ‘». I think I blinked that one time in May and now it's the new year. That was a jampacked 2nd half of 2023 and all I hope for this year is rest and relaxation.

Here's my fave photo from new years eve 🐢


Okay back to the recap:

  • January 5. HBD Chicken. Chicken has started to act old since Boom arrived πŸ‘΄πŸ» late last year. I still don't know what I feel about it.
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  • February 14. AJ's first car. Our Valentine's date: the release of AJ's first car, and it's a surprise for his parents! He has been dreaming of this for years and it's finally here.
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  • March 4-11. HBD Kwe, Bali. We still didn't go to Nusa Penida because I am impatient and cannot deal with the stress that kind of travel will cause me 🀣. Time to accept we're the lazy (and maarte) type of travellers. Blogged about our guide to anyone who will go soon.
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  • April. Photoshoot with the siblings. It's official, big sister is going to USA for good! I just wanted to include these photos here because they were πŸ’―πŸ’―πŸ’―
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  • April 15. First bookish event. FullyBooked invited me for a bookish meetup in BGC! Apart from my social anxiety at an all time high, it was amazing! Haven't seen the official photos yet until now 🀣
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  • May 1 - 5. AJ's company trip. Thailand. His first international trip without me! The girlfriends (me and ate Pau) had to remind them again and again to take photos of their trip 🀣
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  • May 12. FullyBooked SM Pampanga. FullyBooked opened a branch in my province and invited me! There was a whole interview portion that I am glad did not see the light of day πŸ™ˆ (I hate myself on videos hahaha).
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  • May 20. Ba-kweh-lorette. Besties' surprised me with a Bachelorette! This was something I never imagined would ever happened to me, specially knowing that my maid of honor is not in my other circle of friends. I am so glad for female friendships 😭. This honestly felt nice and now I wish we'd have more girls night in 2024!
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  • May 27. Wedding day πŸ’. Our perfect day! Still preparing the blog post 7 months later...
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  • June something something. First trip as newly weds in Boracay! 
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  • June 26. AJ's sister's college graduation πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ“! This is a big deal because AJ was in charge of paying for her tuition. Just a few years ago it had been a struggle for him to keep up with this responsibility and now it's done. They did it!
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  • June 26. new work at Jitera! Started out as part time employee while I render my notice. It was the longest month with a pressured onboarding project and nonstop meetings with my previous company to make me stay. 
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  • It was an amazing company, an opportunity I've been looking for for years now. I really really liked the people I was working with. Unfortunately my employment there was cut short due to a family urgent matter. I am unemployed by choice again!
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  • July 11. HBD AJ! We booked an overnight stay in AJ's favorite place (because of his membership), Swissotel. Mostly it was my bad for not planning anything better because I am new at work πŸ™…β€β™‚οΈ.
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  • July 20. A motorcycle crashed into our parked car 🫨. We were on the 2nd floor of this building in our dentist' clinic when we heard a loud crash. Few minutes later, there were people outside looking for the owner. It was our car. TLDR; A Montero crashed into a motorcycle ➑️ injuring the rider ➑️ making the rider release his vehicle ➑️ his motor went straight to our car. 
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  • Auguest 6. Gabby's Predebut shoot. With the photogs in our wedding! It went well apart from the unprofessionalism of the HMUA team.
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  • September 16. Gabby's debut! This was stressful to plan, more stressful than our wedding πŸ‘€. Gab and I are very strict with what we want and it felt like we had to fight for every tiny thing to get the party we liked. Event was a success, so it had been worth the heavy mental toll. 
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  • September 19. HBD Boomie. Our Disney princess is not a puppy anymore πŸ₯Ή
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  • September 27. Hamilton Musical in Manila. I was aiming to watch Paramore this year (but their tour didn't stop in the PhilippinesπŸ’’), instead I got Hamilton. Never in a million years have I imagined they'd have a tour in my country. Dream (I didn't even dare to dream) come true ✨. 
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  • Watched with the bestie, Prads 🫢. I am convinced the experience was much more meaningful because I watched it with a friend who's also a big fan. I was all emotions. Prads was too. My husband was a normal amount entertained (not bad, really). Highly recommend!!
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  • I blacked out and bought every merch I liked.
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  • September 29. US Visa application approved. Everything about this was rushed πŸ™. Our initial booked date was way into March of next year. The ever patient AJ checked and rebooked us multiple times until we got a date that's a week away! It was AJ's first try and the second for me (my first time I got a single entry to Guam).
  • Nov 7 - Dec 7. USA Trip / honeymoon. We were supposed to be in Thailand (Chiang Mai) for our honeymoon, but here we are! Now that's why I was too lazy to actually plan our elephant sanctuary trip, something bigger was about to come along.
  • We went here to be with my family. And AJ finally met papa! They are besties now, joining forces to make me eat more food πŸ‘€
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  • Dec 20, Dec 26. Disneyland 🏰. For years now I've been saying I want to go back to HongKong just for the happiest place on earth, turns out I'll get to see it here in California 😭. 
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  • It ended sourly though because we waited 2 hours for the fireworks only for it to be cancelled due to heavy winds. Plus the fact that Disney funds genocide has ruined it, by a lot πŸ’’
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  • Dec 9-16. Singapore + Malaysia. During our US trip, AJ came back to work for a week, only to find out he's invited to go to Malaysia for work. So we only had 1 day in the Philippines and we're in airports again.
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  • Explored Kuala Lumpur alone! Yes it's major for me and my social anxiety πŸ‘»
  • Dec 23. Disney on Ice. We braved Manila's holiday traffic for this! AJ and I have been planning to watch this for years now. Turns out all it takes is asking my bestie where we'll go on our annual December meetup, and my only request was I do not want to just eat.
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  • As per my reading goals, I think I ticked them all off. There's not a lot of pressure this year, however there were more disappointing reads than expected. The most challenging for me was to review every book I've read in my online reading journal. Hoping not to get too lazy for this in 2024!
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And we spent the rest of the year back home, in our peace and quiet, with our dogs. Our happily ever after 🏰 




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