I wake up so early these days it’s so unlike me, but I don’t mind.

I tell myself I had a beautiful year; 2015 was sweet. I finally graduated from BCIT, with distinction and academic awards I didn’t seriously think I could achieve (thank you Jesus). I look back and realize it’s because of a disciplined attitude I chose to keep way back in high school after reading this verse in the Bible: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” (Colossians 3:23). That, coupled with my love for learning. I’ve always been enthralled by the process of learning new things and skills. Over the years I’ve developed a growth mindset, meaning:  1.) I don’t mind making mistakes or constantly falling (it’s really not that big of a deal if you don’t make it out to be)  2.) I concentrate on enjoying the process and compete with myself instead of others (because I am not comfortable competing against others anyway…)

I find these things so important not just in the pursuit of happiness, but also in the maintenance of psychological and emotional health. I hope to someday nurture this same mentality in my future child/children! I want them to grow up as independent-thinkers, in addition to of course being firm believers in Christ, who believe they can do anything they want as long as they don’t give up. Now maybe some of the skeptics and naysayers might say “Aren’t you encouraging idealistic ambitions in a harsh ever-degrading society? The world is not all sunshine and rainbows.” Yes, I know. But there’s a difference when a child believes he can shoot for the moon, because, yes now you know it, he might land amongst the stars!

However, there’s an essential ingredient to that mix: The ability to accept disappointment.

The more we shelter children from every disappointment, the more devastating future disappointments will be. -Fred G. Gosman


Okay, major sidetrack! Getting back to the round-up of 2015. From last year’s annual post, here’s my checklist:

1. Get a good job that will make me want to wake up early from Mon-Fri.
– Wow. This one is really something… The year before I also prayed that I may get a job I truly enjoy. I honestly thought it would just be wishful thinking, almost impossibly too idealistic, but guess what. I am now working… at a mobile game studio… doing front-end web development work… which I love! I *actually* enjoy my work. It’s crazy I know, but that’s grace!

2. Get a BC driver’s license (commuting wastes so much time huhu)
– I took the road test last Monday but failed :( But rightly so, I took a left on a green light in the intersection and assumed the opposing side was red, which now I realize is from an instinct driving in the Philippines. But it’s alright, I will try again next week! No plans to get a car yet though.

3. Live by myself or with another female housemate in an apartment, preferably in Burnaby or close to my future workplace.
– Wow wow, double wow. This is spot on! I live with a sweet Scottish-Indian roomie downtown, right next to BC Place, Stadium-Chinatown Station and Roger’s Arena. Although it’s not super close to my office, the commute isn’t bad and the location is amazing. I love it when I live somewhere walkable. One time as I was making granola, I realized I lacked oats… Granola without oats, say whaat. So I grabbed my coat, ran down to the nearest grocer, picked up oats and walked back to the apartment, all in 10 minutes? I love it. City-living convenience at its finest.

4. Do the splits (hahaha! This was a small goal I made at the end of 2013. It’s much harder than I thought…)
:( This is a goal that I am unexpectedly taking waaay longer to achieve. Postpone.

5. Learn how to cook better, and consistently make raw vegetarian food. This will be merged with ‘Continue to eat healthy’.
– I can cook vegetarian food better in a sense that they don’t taste as bland anymore so yipee! I have discovered the secret: spices spices spices. Next I should learn how to make real dishes instead of roasted veggies and fried rice/bibimbap style meals.

6. Take more photos and actually make videos.
– Nooope. This has gone downhill. I am planning to sell my Canon 5D Mark ii soon in exchange for a more compact, convenient DSLR-quality camera, such as a Fujifilm XT-1. This is going to be a very difficult breakup for me though… The quality and colors of the 5D are too beautiful to let go.

7. Write more so that I can learn how to express myself better. Hopefully after school I’ll have more time to blog. I really wanna make more helpful blog posts if not creative ones.
– FAIL. lol. I will just take this out entirely and concentrate on making a new blog theme… Now that WordPress has launched its own REST API! I am less apprehensive about the time consumption of making this new theme. Woohoo for ajax calls, good bye PHP-driven WordPress codex.

8. Concentrate on developing the fruits of the Spirit.
– This process is actually perpetual, until the day I die. So I guess this will be a sticky-goal. *marked* I think this year I need to work on my forbearance and gentleness.

9. Read more books and watch more documentaries.
– Hmm. I am currently reading 2 books. I guess progress wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Not great either. Documentaries were less than the year before but I’ve ended up watching for TEDx Talks and classical movies. Whenever I feel meh watching Audrey Hepburn instantly makes me forget the meh-ness.

10. Save enough money for a good investment, and regularly save at least 20% of my salary.
– This starts this year :) I will do my best. In addition to my tithing~

11. Continue to exercise regularly.
– Once I recover from this cold I’m going to enrol myself at… 😀

Things I want to accomplish in 2016:
– Get a BC driver’s license.
– Do the splits (I won’t give up!!)
– Learn how to cook better, vegetarian quick meals. I want to master this type of cuisine.
– Develop a new blog theme using the WordPress REST API.
– Continue developing the fruits of the Spirit: “…love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
– Read a book every night before I sleep instead of staying on Facebook (ok, cut-off is 8:30PM) and watch more documentaries.
– Have at least $10,000 as savings. Save 20% of my salary. Although I want to save more, my rent is already almost 40% of my salary /cries
– Move out to a cheaper place before the end of the year!
– Exercise regularly and have fun with it! Run with the girls every Sunday, go the gym/studio after work to de-stress.
– Continue my wisdom wall until the very end:
Every morning and night I write Scripture from the Bible so I can instil or somehow remember them into my life. It’s a great thing to do. My sleep is much better when I end my night doing this. Hopefully by the end of the year this wall will be super full of post-its yipee.
– Most prominently I have decided to dedicate this year to the Lord in singleness. I am on, what my friend calls a Nazarite vow. I want to concentrate on growing in my faith and as an individual this year.

Things that happened in 2015:

– Visited my sister, her family and my friends in Alberta! It was so much more fun than I ever expected!
I got to experience dog sledding, snowboard with my friends, see my sister and her family try the snow sports for the first time (I’m so happy the kids had lessons!), go snow shoeing, ice skating….
I am soo happy! Heehee. God is so good. I feel the love and grace overflowing.

– Internship at Flowmarq Creative Inc together with Christina. Thank you Pastor Brian Ho, Jeremy Kwok, Rachel Poon and Alice Huang!
– Developed a digital marketing micro-site, My Mercedes Experience
– Designed and coded my own WordPress-based digital portfolio at
– Graduated from BCIT with distinction and academic and achievement awards for Digital Design and Development
– Toured the Electronic Arts (EA) headquarters in Burnaby. I used to be so addicted to The Sims!
– Photographed my first freelance wedding gig at Grouse Mountain
– Photographed my first family photoshoot in Richmond
– Photographed my dear friends, Christina and Ryan’s civil wedding

– Spent my summer in Cebu with family and friends :)
– Trekked all the way up to Osmeña Peak with my high school classmates. The view was amazing! You could see Cebu from east to west!
– Traveled to Manila with Natalie and stayed with our dear friend Karla. Had a blast doing a horror Escape room with the girls and Hazel
– Joined Living Word church’s Young Pro camp at Talamban. It was so fun!

– Toured around Vancouver with family
– Toured around the beautiful city of Victoria (with a sunburnt face)
– Toured around Calgary and Banff with family and Chad + Ian
– Visited Allie in Seattle in the summer when she was still very much preggy :)
– Attended a Paint Nite social session
– Went up to Agassi to see the tulip festival with Kryz Uy, her sister, Jacklyn and their beautiful mom
– Went to Whistler with the ladies from my small group at Willingdon. First photo is epic-level blurry but I think its the only one with all of us…
– Moved out of my dorm… It was so bittersweet
– Moved in to an apartment downtown with my roomie, Rittu Berman. Check out the view from my room!

– And finally, the most impulsive thing I have ever done in my life…. Helix piercing on my right ear.
Okay, quick story and the deal about my piercing. Just a week ago I was attending C3 Church (Sundays 10:15AM at Cineplex Odeon Cinema 8, International Village). All throughout the service there was a mother (one of the many) carrying and soothing her baby in a tula in front of me. She passed me a smile, and I instantly felt a connection with her. As she sat with her head back in front of me, I saw the beautiful blue stud on her helix piercing. I don’t know why, but it made me reflect on SO many things in my life–changes, goals, events, feelings, thoughts… And then it hit me. I want to dedicate 2016 to the Lord and to concentrate on growing as an individual. Just myself and the Lord this year… No potential of a distraction for dating/relationship or any of the sort. Someday I want to be a mother, and I seriously want to prepare for that because in my heart and mind I know raising a child does not come easy– it should be treated very seriously! As of today, I am honestly not sure that marriage is for me or on my radar (if it is God’s will for me then I will receive the blessing gladly), but I am sure that I have been impressed to adopt. Writing this out publicly is now like an unofficial declaration of my intention. All I know is this: I want to give a child a second chance at life, and then when she/he grows up, I hope she/he might be compelled to adopt as well as a way of giving back.

My realizations were so heavy that I felt the importance of solidifying it permanently, and so came the piercing. This way, I will always be reminded that I am no longer the same person as before. I want to be more courageous and strong, but at the same time become kinder and more gentle.