2019: A Year-end Review

This is by far the most delayed posting of my year-end review! I had a busy new year, spending the NYE somewhere in Scotland. And then the days that followed that were busy prepping for yet another busy season. And then another busy season to go through. Indeed, I had no time to blog about my 2019 YE review! I managed to summarise though on my IG, so at least I had it documented there. 😊

And an update as of date of posting (I have drafted this post a while back!): We are currently experiencing a pandemic – yes CoVid-19 is currently paralysing the world. We are in lockdown in the UK as of date of posting. There!

Anyway, sticking to 2019 first (which felt a long time ago now, to be honest!) – that year definitely was a mix of highs and lows – it went by so fast, before I know it, another busy year is catching up on me. Anyway, as always, here is a summary of the highlights of my 2019.


1 of 19. First off – Getting legally married.

16 Feb was the date we chose for our Registry Wedding, primarily to align with the mid-Feb celebrations being: 14th Feb – Valentine’s day, 15th Feb – the day we first met, 17th Feb – the day we got engaged. 😂 This meant that we will have 1 celebration for all 4 life events!

Not wanting to overload this with photos so if you wanted to see some of the photos from this Registry Wedding, click this link. :)

2 of 19 – Weekend Trips in Europe.

Valencia
(France) Toulouse in Feb – The trip was booked mainly as a support during my application of a Schengen Visa through the French embassy. It was pretty much an easy weekend trip a week after our registry wedding. The food was amazing – favourite food from the trip was Cassoulet!

(Spain) Barcelona in March and Valencia in Dec – Mainly to support @63fills in his #marathon craze. Happy that he finally set a new PB—well done on that 3hr 15seconds in Valencia! That 15 seconds was a bit devastating but hey, still 7 mins off the last PB so hooray!

3 of 19 – Church wedding in April.

Most favourite highlight for the year (and most stressful next to the busy season hahaha!) But anyway, the build up to the event was a mix of excitement and stress. Too many things to consider – losing weight (which I successfully did!), finalising guest list (and chasing for people’s responses!), liaising with suppliers and coordinator/s, making sure our supplies (and drinks) get to Zamboanga City in time for the event, and making sure no one gets kidnapped (well haha!). What a beautiful hassle, but not wanting to go through it again. :p

MR2_6349_sc3 psd
*Photo’s taken after the church ceremony and before the reception. And also before I had a tummy trouble, probably from my very tight dress haha—so bad that I thought I will miss the reception haha! Gikabuhi ko sa stress!*

4 of 19 – Palawan trips with my new parents.

Palawan
Following our church wedding, Phil and I travelled with Phil’s parents to Coron and El Nido, but we left them on their own for Puerto Princesa and Cebu. We thought the best way to let them see the Philippines was through island trips – but probably forgetting that whilst Phil and I are generally used to the full-packed itinerary, they are not. So it must have been exhausting for them to be traveling with us. But I hope they still managed to enjoy sightseeing.

5 of 19 – South Korea and my visa issues.

I’d save the story of the latter for next time. 😏 It’s my second time in #Seoul and this time, did a lot of wandering around: Bukhasan National Park, the streets of Myeong-dong, temples, Olympic stadium, etc. One thing that I won’t forget during this trip was that Korean food-tripping was so satisfying after the wedding diet! Hahaha! Made all the visa hassle worth it!

South Korea

6 of 19 – Visiting Jeju and ticking another item off the New 7Wonders of Nature list!!

Jeju
Visiting Jeju and ticking another item off the New 7Wonders of Nature list!! This is our 5th out of the 7. Overall, it was really an amazing trip, seeing several volcanic landscapes. I mean, the island wouldn’t be on the Wonders of Nature’s list for no reason, right? But we weren’t spared of the hassle on this trip. (1) It was Phil’s 30th when we were in Jeju and I booked for a hot air balloon tour, that got cancelled because of the very windy weather on the day of the trip. (2) We were supposed to be renting a car for the duration of our stay on the island but we were missing the international permit that can only be obtained from the post office in the UK – hence we weren’t allowed to rent a car and we had to take public transport to see places. It wasn’t too bad actually because they have a very good transport system and so it was easy to go around places. Thankfully, the food here is superb, so that and the landscapes still outweighed all the hassles.

7 of 19 – Started to run more, followed a specific plan with a goal to run 10k.

When I started it sometime mid-May after the wedding and the wedding holiday, I hadn’t run more than 5k, ever. So it was a bit of a struggle. Did a lot of 5k’s (some park runs, a charity run, solo runs mostly). Finally I was ready and did a 10k in Aug. I aimed for sub-70 but finished at 62 mins, 48secs! Wooohoo!
10k
In Sept, went back to TVP and finally did a 5km run in under 30mins hahaha! Sorry, this might be easy for most, but this was a goal that was not too easy for me to achieve. It must be the alcohol from the shots I had the night before!

8 of 19 – Ticking the last Scandinavian country off my list.

Stockholm
A Christmas (2018) gift from @63fills. 🤗 Went on a long weekend trip to #Stockholm in the summer, enjoyed our scenic walks, island and museum trips, and of course food trip – finally some authentic Swedish meatballs!

9 of 19 – Aimee and Florian’s Church Wedding.

Wedding
I did not want to miss this event for the world, so despite a busy month, still went on ‘leave’. Had to work whilst on flights and during night time in the Ph, but never mind. 😏😂 If there’s a will, there’s a way.

10 of 19 – Got my British Citizenship.

Finally and hopefully easier to travel now. 🤗

11 of 19 – Got a career progression.

It was a tough busy season, sure.

12 of 19 – Started redecorating our home.

I am excited to start my garage project. 😂

13 of 19 – Went on a birthday hunt

(and got a table tennis!! 🤗)

14 of 19 – Family trip to Once Islas.

A homecoming will never be complete without a trip to the beach, and this was no exception. Went exploring some of the islands, swam, snorkelled, got a sunburn (Phil), and I got tan lines that lasted til now. It was that hot! 😂 But worth it.
Once Islas

15 of 19 – Side trip to Japan.

A last-minute-kind-of-plan. We were not really planning to go to Japan this year because it’s already planned for 2020. But because there was a good deal when we were booking flights in June, and also our trip was during the Rugby World Cup, we went for it; Osaka and Kyoto were the main cities we visited. It was short and sweet! I cannot wait for our 2020 trip!
Tokyo, Japan
Although, as of date of posting, our Japan 2020 trip is very unlikely to happen. The Olympics has been postponed to a year later – oh well.

16 of 19 – Hong Kong, a layover and an excuse to explore the city.

Hong Kong
On our trip back to the UK during our second homecoming for the year, we decided to stay in Hong Kong for a couple of days and do some wandering around. It was an easy one at first until seeing and being in the middle of the protests in the main streets of HK! It was a bit scary and definitely unforgettable.

17 of 19 – Arctic adventure in Tromso, Norway.

Tromso
Our last out of the UK trip for 2019 and a super late birthday treat for @63fills. It was an amazing laid back trip where daylight is limited and with Christmas postcard-like views. Glad that we saw the elusive Northern Lights dancing in the winter sky!

18 of 19 – Catch ups with friends.

Birthday

Sommerset
Surely, it’s been a busy and tough year but took every opportunity to catch up with friends! Hoping for more of these in 2020! (Or maybe not?)

19 of 19 – Trips within the UK and ending 2019 and starting 2020 in Scotland!

We spent some of our weekends going for walks, sightseeing like tourists or mainly just passing the time off and destressing.
England

As a year-ender trip, we flew to Glasgow, Scotland, met up with some friends and drove up to St Andrews. We spent the last few days in a cottage by the sea, ate and drank whilst we counted down til the first day of 2020! It was good to be far away from home this time to celebrate the new year and with easy access to scenic walking paths to attempt to burn all the calories from binge eating and drinking!
Scotland

I had a pretty good year; as I said it was a mix of highs and lows, but nevertheless a fulfilling one. The challenges only proved that I am stronger than I thought I could be, and they definitely kept me on my toes. And the achievements were proof that all the hardwork were worth it.

Getting married (twice) to the person I truly want to spend the rest of my life with is the best thing that happened in 2019, definitely all worth the wait.

As a note-ender, I normally wish everyone a better new year. Quarter 1 has passed and seems like the world is a bit harsh these days. Life, ways of working, of communicating, of going about the daily routine, have changed because of the pandemic. However, I still hope and pray that we all surpass this sooner. Let’s keep the faith and hope the rest of 2020 will be better! ♥

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