It absolutely blows my mind how fast January flew by! Being an adult and having a full time job, especially with a long commute, really takes up so much of your life, huh! I miss having little breaks between classes and work to take power naps or watch a quick show on Netflix. ^__^
But overall, I do enjoy #adulting. I love having my own schedule to account for, my own well-earned money, using said money to surprise people by paying for stuff, feeling like I’m now at an age where people take me a little more seriously as an adult, and even feeling like I am not that much younger anymore, but rather a peer, with other famous people in their 20’s like Jennifer Lawrence, Daisy Ridley, or Taylor Swift. (I realized this when Jennifer Lawrence became the youngest person to ever be nominated for 4 Oscars, and she’s only 3 years older than me… crazy huh… but I digress…)
I feel like 2015 was a crucial year for me in that transition to real adulthood; not just the fantasy adulthood that we think is real adulthood when we are still in college living in a community with ALL your friends. Yeah, that’s really not adulthood.
2015 definitely had its ups and downs, but it was such a transformative year for me. I call it my character building year. I had to learn how to give up my whole self to God and grow to more fully wrap my mind around the fact that He is the only one who can fulfill me. Of course, I’ll always struggle with these aspects of my relationship with God (stinking human nature, you suck), but I grew closer to Him in ways that I haven’t experienced in awhile. I will talk more about the deeper details of my growth with the Lord in my next post, but for now, I just want to share with you some of the best moments I experienced from 2015. It was definitely one for the books and I am so thankful for all the people, opportunities, travels, love, and blessings God continuously pours into my life!
So here are 15 of my favorite memories of 2015 (in no specific order):
1) May 22nd, 2015 – College graduation. I finished my Bachelor of Arts in Cinema & Media Arts with an emphasis in Production from Biola University in 3 years and graduated Magna Cum Laude. My college experience was cut a year short, but God knew what He was doing when He planned that for me and I’m thankful. He specifically brought me to Biola and provided for each semester’s tuition costs right on time. The classes, professors, friends, chapels, conferences, studying abroad, and everything else that I experienced through that school were above what I can even describe right now. A huge blessing and a huge part of the foundation of my relationship with Jesus.
*BONUS. June 3rd, 2015 – Luke’s graduation. I got to graduate the same year as my brother, Luke, who graduated high school so that made it more special!
2) June 7th, 2015 – Luke and I’s graduation party. I love throwing parties! The planning, the decorations, getting everyone together. It’s such a fun time! Luke and I had a big graduation party together this year and the highlight was definitely the lip sync battle! Yes, I currently possess videos of this. No, I will not post that embarrassment here. Well, maybe if you ask nicely 🙂
3) End of July, 2015 – Being back in Orlando, Florida, with all my extended family. I spent my elementary days in Orlando surrounded by so many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends that were just considered aunts, uncles, and cousins. Ah, simpler days. *Cue Twenty-One Pilots’ Stressed Out. And this past July, we were all reunited. It started with my family planning to go to Orlando for my (not really related) auntie Liz’s daughter’s dedication, then we invited our aunts and uncles who currently also live in California to join us, then word spread to our family and friends in Orlando that we were all coming back to visit and then BAM! Reunited, and it felt oh, so good. This reunion was the first time everyone I grew up with were together again in about a decade. Everyone carved out time to be together and all of us kids, who are now teenagers and young adults, played games like we were kids again, reminiscing days of swimming in the Floridian humidity and pretending to be the Power Rangers in the living room. It blows my mind that after years of no contact, we can come back and feel like nothing has changed. Those are lifelong friends.
4) October 31st, 2015 – Halloweeeeeeen. <– That was supposed to be in a ghost voice. My family and our close family friends went all out this year for Halloween and we had a superhero themed party. It was beyond AWESOME. Making my little sister, Ella’s, Loki costume and my doggy, Ryder’s, Rocket Raccoon costume was a ton of fun!
5) December 16th, 2015 – Thursday night showing of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. It was an epic night, made box office history, and made me feel all the feels. Need I say more?
6) April 24th, 2015 – Becoming a Biola Mock Rock champion! If you don’t know what Mock Rock is, it’s when you commit your soul (a little harsh, but some nights it felt this way) multiple nights a week to a team months before the competition is actually going to happen and you create a story full of pop culture references and choreograph dances and lip sync to that story. It’s actually a blast! Probably one of my favorite activities I was part of at Biola. You can watch our performance here!
7) Spring Break, 2015 – SAN FRANNNN with #SKC! What a great week with great company. Aaaaand SO. MUCH. FOOD. If you’ve never been to San Francisco, it barely has any chain restaurants, which allows you to try new foods for every meal pretty much everyday. It’s legendary if you ask me… or if you ask Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother reference). Plus, we took a tour at the Pixar Studio. These 4 film students were inspired after that.
HALF WAY THERE! I’M SO SORRY THIS POST IS SO LONG… I’LL START WRITING LESS… welp, I’ll try. AGGHHHHHH.
8) Thanksgiving, 2015 – Quito, Ecuador. This was my first time in South America and our trip was nothing short of amazing. We saw some absolutely breathtaking views, especially the vibrant, colorful buildings from the top of the Basílica del Voto Nacional. And then there were the volcanoes that surrounded the town and getting a chance to stand on the equator that were other highlights to the trip as well. Plus, listening to my dad speak in another country, this time to a room full of Spanish-speaking students, about his passion in drawing always makes me proud. And the hosts who brought us there cooked us a memorable Thanksgiving dinner. They spent all day, even if they were busy preparing for the event we were there for, slaving away in the kitchen for our dinner. They were immensely kind to us. Definitely a Thanksgiving for the books.
9) June 9th, 2015 – Jimmy Kimmel Live and the Jurassic World premiere! Yes, I got tickets for Jimmy Kimmel specifically on this day because I knew it was the same day as the Jurassic World premiere across the street from where they shoot JKL and so I knew Chris Pratt would be his guest on that episode. Micah and I are huge Chris Pratt fans from Guardians of the Galaxy and Parks and Recreation, so it was super awesome sharing this experience with him and seeing Chris in person. Plus, Micah loved Jurassic Park as a kid so seeing the premiere was like the cherry on top of that amaze-balls day.
*Yes, Chris is just as beautiful and hilarious in person as he is on camera.
10) End of June, 2015 – Icon Manila 2015. This conference was a dream that God planted in my parents’ hearts. My dad is an artist at Disney and my mom is an event organizer for my church, so this conference definitely used their God-given talents. After the devastation from typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, my parents started to question how they could help their home country. They had a vision to host an entertainment design conference in the Philippines and to use all the profit from the conference towards humanitarian aid to help give back to the people of the Philippines, especially those whose homes were hit by the typhoon, but have not been given help by the corrupt government. We’ve also helped provide new fishing boats for a community so that they could fish for food for their families and for a source of income, helped a church build their building, and helped a preschool that is run by another church buy supplies and food for the kids. The first year we did this conference was in 2014 and it was a success. 2015 was year 2 and we SOLD OUT! It was such a God thing! Definitely encouraging and humbling to see something like this happen from the start and see it grow to where it is now. Plus, it is always nice to go home to the Philippines and help out our fellow Filipinos and visit our family, especially our Lolas (grandmas). Can’t wait to see how year 3 will go! Maybe we’ll get to start planning on venturing out to other countries too! If you’re interested in the conference, check out IconManila.com or like us on Facebook!
11) November 2015 – My parents became homeowners! The only other time they owned a house was in Florida and then the economy went downhill so that did not have a happy ending for us. We’ve had to wait years before we can buy again, so we’ve been moving around a lot, renting here and there. But thank the Lord, we got this beautiful house! Honestly, the timing could not be more perfectly God’s timing and he opened so many doors for us to get this house. For example, our family friend who is also our realtor got this brand new house for us for almost $30,000 less than what they are selling it for. When she made the offer, the person at the office laughed a little and said it was a long shot, but nothing is a long shot if God is in the mix. It’s the perfect size for my family and it makes us feel settled again. God is good.
12) September 2015 – Got my first real adult job haha whatever that means! I studied film in college and now I am currently doing what I love, which is video editing. It gets hectic at times, but I love where I’m at right now overall 🙂
13) Beginning of August, 2015 – New York, baby! This was my graduation gift from my Tita Liz (Tita means aunt in the Philippine language, Tagalog, btw) and Tito Perry (you guessed it, Tito means uncle). You’ll hear a lot about them in my blog posts about my life so just get familiar with them now 🙂 It was my first time in New York and it was ginormous! Crowded and made you feel like a tiny specimen on this earth. But beautiful and made me feel like I just jumped into a movie. My main priority going there was to see a play in Broadway, so my mom, my sister, Ella, and I watched Finding Neverland. I really enjoyed that film and was interested to see Matthew Morrison from Glee in a theatre performance, that’s why I picked it. And it did not disappoint! But what was funny about that was when my mom and I were getting the tickets. We were in line for the TKTS booth when we heard a guy screaming that he had tickets for Finding Neverland. Of course it’s sketchy buying from a dude on the street, but if we bought tickets from the TKTS booth, we might not end up sitting together and we’d have to wait in the long line with no guarantee of getting tickets. This guy said he’s a regular in Times Square for selling tickets; he even walked us to different security guards so that they would know his face just in case he was lying and trying to sell us fake tickets. So we risked it and it was worth it! That was such a fun experience!
14) SO MUCH TITA LIZ. I don’t even have dates for this one. Tita Liz is my mom’s best friend from Florida that has been in our lives since I was 4. I literally saw her 5 times in 2015! Tita Liz, Tito Perry, and their baby daughter, Vanka, flew to California for my graduation in May, for my sister, Ella’s, birthday in October, and for Vanka’s, 1st birthday in November, and then we flew to Florida in July for Vanka’s dedication, and we also met up in Utah last December to ring in the new year. It’s like she’s obsessed with us, huh? LOL well, this brings me to the last memory…
15) End of December, 2015 – Utah trip! Other than Tita Liz and her family, we spent the last week of 2015 with my cousins, a bunch of aunts and uncles, and my best friend, Nikki’s, family. Such a blast! We would drive around or hike during the day in Zion and then come back to our lodge to chill, get fat off of the food that the aunts and uncles cooked, watch movies, cuddle with our tsum tsums (Google it), and just share quality time together. These are my favorite kinds of vacations. It was freezing outside, but my heart was full of warmth from all the love. Cheesy, I know.
I hope your 2015 was great as well, but that you’ll have an even better and blessed 2016! I just have that feeling in my gut that 2016 will be a big one! What are you looking forward to most in 2016?
*P.S. Thanks for reading this far!