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To be honest, I just posted my unforgettable 2016 post. And guess what? I was not able to add anything. 2016 was not really my year. I was emotional and writing about it got me into a writing block. I can’t really find the words on what to say. I decided to post it and just update it when I am ready and comfortable writing about it.
Why Gracious 2017?
Well, after my unforgettable 2016 happened, I felt very sad and depressive. I took each day with a mediocre attitude. Though I wanted it to be a productive year, my emotions got the better of me.
Most of the time, I am just up living and catching up my breath to whatever task comes my way.
But God is so gracious. I felt so undeserved in many ways, but His blessings continually flow and even overflowed. 2017 was a year that God has blessed me, my family, and my blog with many things.
Grace is defined as undeserved favor. I felt undeserved, but He blessed me with many things that I was not able to imagine that it will happen in 2017.
I always dreamt of us as a family to travel around the Philippines as part of our #WanderFourLife goal, but I didn’t imagine that it will start happening in 2017. Our first family travel was in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. The difference with this kind of travel was we lived there for about one and half month. Not in Bacolod City but at Talisay City. Staying there enabled us to visit several tourist spots even if we were short on budget.
#WanderFourLife at The Ruins, Talisay City.
I was able to meet my blogger friends from Bacolod City. It was a great reunion, especially I started my blogging career when I was still living in Bacolod.
Blogger Friends turned Kumare.
We were not able to stay longer because my eldest daughter has to go home. She is still enrolled in a regular school, unlike my two youngest children who are currently homeschooled.
But our travel didn’t end there. We were able to go to Manila by October 2017. We all attended the Philippine Homeschool Conference. It was my second time, but for the kids, it was their first time. We went to Manila on an earlier date and visited a lot of places such us Kilometer Zero, Rizal Park, museums, and many others.
#WanderFourLife at Rizal Park, Manila.
2017 was also the year to which #WanderFourLife was blessed with a lot of staycations. We had at least one every quarter and that I have to blog about soon enough.
Check out and follow our family travel and adventures at https://www.instagram.com/wanderfourlife/. Thanks in advance!
I think it was 2013 that I was most active last. I was so enthusiastic from 2007 to 2013. After that, it went all downhill. It was more on sponsored posts, press releases, and events. I was no longer blogging like what blogging used to be for me. Well, I had this one-word life review and some, but that was it. A lot of factors affected my blogging life, and of course, just like my unforgettable 2016, my emotions got the best of me, too. Hahaha…
Anyway, I felt so blessed as a blogger last 2017. Though I had several out-of-town trips courtesy of blogging last 2016, in which I am still thankful for this day, I felt 2017 was a bit different. It was more frequent and I was able to experience a lot of new things. I went to Manila, sponsored by brands, thrice.
The first trip was courtesy of Cebu Pacific and SELRACHO Management and Consultancy Services. I was there to cover the Cebu Pacific’s Juan For Fun 2017 Backpacker Challenge Send-Off Event.
The second trip was courtesy of another brand that I currently working with. I was able to experience a luxurious stay in Manila because of them. Aside from that, I was able to do a side trip with fellow blogger friends from Bacolod to some awesome places in Manila. We also attended a blogging event after going on an experiential company tour at Globe Telecom’s Head Office.
Sidetrip to the 38th Manila International Book Fair with Marz Dhadha Garcia and Mommy Mea Pabiona.
After our company tour at Globe Telecom Head Office.
The third trip was courtesy of Blogapalooza and Philippine Airlines. This is my second sponsored trip by these generous companies and I am so grateful for them for this experience.
With Ace Gapuz, CEO of Blogapalooza.
Another thing I am thankful is that this blog turned 10 years old last November 27, 2017. It has been 10 years since I started blogging. I can still remember how Lalain Caballero and Janet Luison encouraged me to start a blog.
At the last quarter of the year, I joined the International Bloggers’ Association. After a few months, they granted me an Award of Excellence in Writing and Design. It was amazing to me! I thought my blog wouldn’t pass but it did!
And during our CDO Bloggers’ Christmas Party, I was awarded the CDO Blogger of the Year Award. It was unexpected because it was done by votation. I never thought I will get the award since I never thought I was deserving. With this, I am so thankful for those who voted. Thank you for seeing me that way, as someone who has greatly contributed to the org, especially I was not an officer last year. And what’s funny, by the end of the night, I was elected as Vice President for Events for 2018.
I also spoke for CDO Bloggers Network again last year for their Blogging Workshop 102. I talked about monetizing your blog. It was a fun experience because I spoke with two very capable millennials. I felt young too! Hahaha…
Talking About Monetizing Your Blog
CDO Bloggers Officers, Members, and Fellow Speakers
And not to mention, aside from the blog collaborations I had, I got four contracts with monetary compensation last year! I was really amazed! I was able to pay a lot of debt because of that. Thank you, Lord!
Recovery and Good Health
My eldest daughter was hospitalized last July 2017. After that, she had constant asthma attacks due to stress and dusty roads. Thankfully, we were able to find a pediatrician whom we can trust, my high school classmate. We are yet to visit her again to start planning for her asthma action plan. Yes, we are late, but I guess it is never too late to learn how to have one.
My children are now taking health supplements and we are trying to eat healthily. We are planning to continually do this.
Old and New Friends
In 2017, I had more opportunity to get out from home. Thanks to my blogger friends turned real friends, the TERS, I was able to go out more often. We had a great time talking about anything under the sun over great food.
We are the TERS.
Though we weren’t able to meet that much last year, my friends from VG Momsies, constantly chatted over messenger throughout the year and prayed for each other. We were really glad we ended the year with a get together inside a karaoke place in which not one song was sung. We just talked all night long.
But wait! My happiness doesn’t end there. Finally, I have met fellow homeschooling parents in Cagayan de Oro City. We have created a support group. I have gained new friends who shared the same passion for homeschooling. We have met twice and we can’t wait to start 2018 with a blast! I am so blessed to have met them!
And 2017 was indeed a year of friendship for me. As an introvert, I rarely form a close friendship or find someone to whom I find comfortable with. Aside from the people above, I have old friends that I find them closer this year. And I thank God for 2017 for the many opportunities it gave me to bond with these people.
I was sad and emotional because of how my 2016 went, but God has been very gracious in uplifting me last 2017. He proved to me that He is indeed God beyond my emotions and my needs. He is God overall. 2018 is here. I don’t know what God has in store. It might be the same in 2016 or better. At the end of the day, God has plans for us. All we need is to trust Him. This 2018, I am trusting Him to lead it for me.
BONUS: Catwalked for the first time!