My 20 Best in 20 Years (Part 1)

Episode 122 – Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 (7322)

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In the past 20 years, I’ve experienced lots of unforgettable moments that I ever had in my life. These events made me so happy, grateful, colorful, and full of love. The happiness, having a love life, and wonderful experiences were there during that period. And in this episode, I just want to share my top 20 most memorable moments around my life in the past 20 years (dating from January 1, 1997 up to December 31, 2016). Because I love to write long stories about my personal life, I just decided to divide this topic into two parts (or episodes). And there are the lists:

  1. Attending “Black and White” Christmas Party (November 30, 2012)
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My officemates from RR Donnelley during the company’s Christmas party on November 30, 2012.

Almost six months since working at Mandaluyong, I attended the company’s Christmas party for the first time with my work colleagues from our team. This was only my second time to attend the company Christmas party after my first job in Alabang back in 2010 (I didn’t go in 2011). But this one was memorable because of the atmosphere among our team. The theme was black and white, and we gathered with fun, eating delicious food, and the excitement where some of my colleagues from our team competed in a dance contest (I remember the popular song during that time was Gangnam Style by Psy). Even our team didn’t win the first place, we really enjoyed the party.

  1. “End of the World” midnight drinking session with my officemates (December 21, 2012)
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Together with my officemates on “End of the World” drinking session (Photo courtesy from Caroline San Gaspar on Facebook)

Some people thought that the year 2012 was already “end of the world”, but it was just a big false for everyone. During that time, in a breeze December night, I was working for an evening shift in Mandaluyong, and someone invited me and some of my colleagues to join for a midnight drinking session. My log out was 11pm –the time where I enjoyed the night style of travel going home past midnight, but I just decided to join with them to celebrate the supposed to be “end of the world”. We really enjoyed the food and drinks that we took after a long day of work. After the bonding moment, we got to go home around three in the morning. And because I took a long travel going back to Laguna, I arrived home just before 5am while the early morning mass was already held at the church nearby on that time.

  1. HOT Team overnight stay in Tagaytay (March 8-9, 2014)
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It’s me (left) with my Feast friend, Ralph, on the pool at One Tagaytay Hotel (Photo courtesy from Sony Camelon on Facebook)

Around late 2013, I looked some old photos from my Feast friends on Facebook where they stayed in a luxury and expensive hotel overnight in a low, affordable price. I found out that they, calling themselves as HOT Team, were the members of a travel business where they had privilege to use the great discounts from the hotels worldwide. So, after I joined the team, I attended seminars and gatherings with them to become successful in business. And because we’re part of the club, we had a chance to stay one of the precious hotels in Tagaytay.

On March 2014, I joined with most of my friends from the Feast, as well as members of HOT Team, in an overnight bonding inside the hotel in Tagaytay. We had our Light Group right before we slept past midnight even though our room was quite small. On the next morning, we had our sightseeing trip to Picnic Grove where there’s a nice view of Taal Volcano and Lake Taal. This was my first and only time to have bonding time with my friends in the hotel overnight.

  1. Overnight swimming outing with Team Romy (May 26-27, 2012)
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My colleagues from Team Romy after overnight swimming at Pansol, Calamba

There’s another overnight bonding that I included on the list for the best memorable moments. Just days before my departure from my first job in Alabang to shift my new workplace, there was a simple gathering from my officemates led by my team leader, Romeo “Romy” Enriquez. Team Romy provided our overnight swimming outing in a hot spring resort in Pansol, Calamba, Laguna together with our two close proofreaders. This was the only time that I had bonding with my officemates while working for my first job.

  1. Attending and serving Kerygma Conference for the first time (November 21-22, 2015)

Although I had attended a Grand Feast of Kerygma Conference (KCON) in 2013, I didn’t attend the classes provided from the event. But two years later, I had my opportunity, not only to attend, but to serve the KCON for the very first time.

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With my friends and co-servants from Feast Santa Rosa after an evening plenary talk of KCON 2015 (Photo courtesy from Che Bughao on Facebook)

KCON 2015, entitled Coming Home, was supposed to be a four-day event when the APEC Summit was coincidentally held at the same week with some strict security measures which made the KCON to be cancelled out for two days, but despite of interference, the annual spiritual event continued to have classes to be attended within two days (throughout the weekend). On that time, it was also my first time to serve for Media Ministry, together with my friends from Feast SM Santa Rosa, to provide the visuals for the event including a class that was presented by Bro. Bo Sanchez with his wife. On the Grand Feast held at Mall of Asia Arena, it was an overwhelming to flow the blessings and inspiration from the guest speakers.

  1. PUP-Santa Rosa trip to Enchanted Kingdom (December 14, 2007)
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It’s me with my college classmate, Hector, during our Enchanted Kingdom trip on December 14, 2007. (Photo courtesy from Tent Archives)

The year 2007 was my best year during my life in college. And one of the memorable moments that I ever had during that time was the campus trip to Enchanted Kingdom. Most teachers and staffs of Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Santa Rosa Campus, together with students from different courses, gathered and went there to have some fun. I and some of my college classmates enjoyed the exciting rides that we explored. There was one ride called Rio Grande where some of us got wet by the splashing waters from that ride. But despite of getting wet, we really enjoyed the fun to have daybreak from our tough studies at school.

This was my first time to take rides at Enchanted Kingdom despite of its near location from my home in Santa Rosa.

  1. PSD Boy Scouts trip to La Mesa Dam (February 20-23, 2003)

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When I was studying high school at Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) in Pasay, I had an opportunity to join some extra-curricular activities including the Boy Scouts. And for the second time after our adventure trip in 2002, I and other Boy Scouts members of PSD went to La Mesa Dam in Quezon City for the Baden-Powell Camping. Together with our teachers who guided and interpreted us, we joined with other Boy and Girl Scouts from different (non-deaf) schools around the Metro and stayed there for four days and three nights with lots of adventures and activities. I remember that time when we approached some girls from some non-deaf schools to interact, and I got my first “textmate” (but not officially) after I got a number from one of them even though our text communication didn’t last.

  1. PSD Boy Scouts trip to Zambales (February 22-24, 2002)

250px-ph_locator_zambales_candelariaAs what I said earlier, the Boy Scouts trip to La Mesa Dam was my second time to participate in 2003. A year earlier, I joined for the first time with other Boy Scouts members of PSD to have an adventure camping in Candelaria, Zambales (about 160 miles or 258 kilometers away from Manila). It was the farthest that I had ever traveled within the Philippines. Our camping lasted three days and two nights where we explored mountain hiking, sightseeing to the rivers and the mountains of Zambales, night gathering with a bonfire, and a nice swimming at the beach on the last day of camping. What a great experience for me to join the Boy Scouts camping which was my first time to do so during my life in the “Deaf World”.

  1. White Water trip with my ASD dorm mates (May 14, 2005)
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My summer adventure with my ASD dorm mates at Six Flags White Water in Marietta, Georgia on May 14, 2005. This was the one of my most memorable experiences while I was in U.S. for the exchange program (Photo courtesy from Tent Archives)

During most of my whole school year at Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD), I had been staying at the dorm with my dorm mates who were my school friends (some of them were my classmates as well). Just only few weeks left before the school ended, we had an early summer trip at White Water in Marietta, Georgia (about 117 miles from Talladega, Alabama). We took swimming and water slides that we really enjoyed. This was my only time during my one-stay in the United States to have a summer experience with my ASD friends.

  1. Going to Tennessee with fellow exchange students (October 4-7, 2004)
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Together with other exchange students on one of our adventure trips in Tennessee (Photo courtesy from Tent Archives)

During my wonderful stay in the U.S., Mr. Wally White asked me to join with him and other exchange students in a nice trip in Tennessee together. And I didn’t waste my time to go with them for a great adventure which lasted for four days and three nights. We traveled from Talladega, Alabama going to Chattanooga, Tennessee where we explored at Tennessee Aquarium. After that, we traveled in a long journey going to Knoxville and Pigeon Forge where we ate dinner, took a race track, and stayed overnight in a budget hotel. On the second day of our trip, we went to Smoky Mountains in Townsend then ate pizza for lunch, played some games, took swimming in a pool, and at night, we went to Gatlinburg to explore the interesting places like Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum (we didn’t enter there), Hard Rock Café, and eating a dinner at Subway. On the third day, we went again to the Smoky Mountains to have short hiking where we stepped the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina.

Within four days of our adventure, we traveled about 575 miles (or 925 kilometers) to have sightseeing and to explore the nature and the beautiful places in Tennessee. This was the best adventure that I ever had (outside my host family, the Woolmakers) during my life in the U.S.

The second part (10-1) will be published later on. Have a nice day!

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