One Helluva Year


The year is almost over in a few days. Time has passed so quickly I never realized another year will say goodbye again and a fresh year will start. I had my share of ups and downs in the Year 2010.

I had a good percentage of travel this year. I went to Singapore in January, Chiang Mai and Kanchanaburi in February, Saraburi and Pattaya in April, went back home in May, Phuket in November and again Philippines in December.

I love to travel which fortunately my job require me to do so once in every few months. I am looking forward to more trips (Holiday is preferred of course!) next year. Every time I travel, I learn new things, see interesting places, do exciting activities and more. I only hate waiting in the airports, train or bus stations.

This year has been very challenging in terms of work due to slow down in business across Thailand due to the political unrest in April-May. We have to exhaust all our creative thinking and continue to motivate the team to overcome the difficulties. It is not with sheer luck that we are able to conquer the obstacles but it is because of excellent team work, dedication and passion that put us intact and that despite the gloomy business climate, we are still able to put a good smile in everyone’s faces.

I’ve been overseas for almost 3 years now and I can say I am already used to living far away home. However, this year our family went into a very difficult situation that also tested our faith as well as our relationship with each member of the family. As earlier posted in my blog, my Dad was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer and he has undergone 2 operations this year including the total removal of his bladder. It was a very tough and stressful situation. The family is challenged physically and financially. Physically as each one (except me of course) has to have a fair share of contribution of their time (in between work, family of their own and other activities) in helping my Dad when he was confined at the hospital and up to now that he is still recuperating (He is not 100% recovered yet). My contribution is more on moral (encouraging everyone especially my Mom and Dad) that we could pass this test, spiritual (through daily prayers and prayer for a special favor, etc.) and financial.

When I went back beginning of this month, my Dad I can say is on the way to complete recovery. I really encourage my parents to fix their passport and other documents this time so they can have a holiday here in BKK next year as a treat.

As far as my love life is concerned, a year after a long term and serious relationship ended I can’t say everything is the way I wanted it to be though I am still hoping next year would be brighter on this aspect of my life. I am keeping my fingers crossed btw.

I met new and good friends this year and also catch up with long time friends through Facebook, Blogsphere and Chat. When I went back home this December, I was able to meet my College friends and the sort of reunion is definitely one of the best events I had in year 2010.

They say it is better to give than to receive. I observed this principle more this year than in the past. And true enough, there is such an unexplained joy helping those in need or just sharing your blessings to family, loved ones, colleagues and friends. Definitely double, triple or hundred fold blessings just flow easily.

As early as now, I am certain God has better plans for me in Year 2011. I will gladly accept the blessings and prepare myself for the challenges ahead for surely God is using me as His instrument to become a channel of blessing to others so I will try my best next year and more years to come so when I look back, the passing year brings Heavenly feeling to me.

Have a Blessed, Healthy and Bountiful New Year to all!

P.S. Just to make it clear, the Santa in the picture above is not me.

: )

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Christmas in the Sky

For the 3rd straight year, I am celebrating Christmas away from home. I just came back home for a very brief holiday beginning of December so I am not too emotional not having to spend Christmas with my family. In Facebook, I can read many of my friends working overseas and not spending their holidays at home are posting all those comments about missing their families for Christmas, being alone in a faraway land which makes it more difficult, etc.

The fact of life is that most of us working abroad decided to have this kind of life for our dear families in the Philippines so we just have to make the most out of our situation.

Fortunately for me, 2 of my friends are staying in Bangkok for Christmas. Most decided to fly back or spend the holidays somewhere so the 3 of us decided to experience Christmas the GRAND way.

We booked 2 nights in Lebua Hotel, a 5-Star luxury hotel located near the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. Because of some connections, I managed to get our room upgraded. We were assigned in a 58th floor Suite with a very spacious living area, a kitchenette, luxurious bathroom with Bulgari toiletries and a balcony overlooking the magnificent river. We felt like a total VIP!



We had dinner in a Pizzeria near the hotel as it’s almost 10 PM and there was also a bit of traffic jam on the riverside area perhaps due to Christmas festivities in the hotels within the vicinity (most of the hotels along the Chao Phraya River are 5-Star International chain hotels). We were deceived by this restaurant because from the outside, it looked quite well and have a good number of selection.

The food served can be forgotten as it is not tasty at all. The Pasta in white sauce I ordered seemed more like a stew because of overflow of sauce that made it tasteless. My friend ordered a glass of Red wine and it was served chilled (which is not the correct way) and tastes like the wine cooler “Spy” than an actual Red Wine. Only thing good was the Caesar’s Salad I ordered but I can’t say it is outstanding. Anyway, for the price that we paid, we can’t complain much (price range almost the same as Pizza Hut)…and we just console ourselves that the highlight of our Christmas Eve celebration is a drink in the signature bar of Lebua- – Sky Bar.

After Dinner, we called home and greeted our families. It is midnight in the Philippines and is quite difficult to call. After few attempts, we managed to speak to our loved ones back home. It was such a good feeling spending time with family over the phone and asking them about their celebration and vice-versa no matter how short the conversation was.

Suddenly, there were fireworks near Shangri-La Hotel which is few minutes away from our hotel. It’s the signal that the world is already welcoming Christmas Day!

After the fireworks, we headed to the 64th floor (roof top) of the hotel to a bar called Sky Bar. Sky Bar during Christmas Eve is teeming with people (foreigners mostly). On the edge of the bar are glass panels which serves as the walls of the bar. Since I am afraid of heights, I am a bit uncomfortable in the beginning especially with cool winds blowing and less space to walk around.

Anyway after getting our cocktail drinks and having a few sips, I felt easy. We took a few snapshots though most of the pictures didn’t come out quite good because we failed to bring any DSLR cameras.


We decided to sit in a corner of the bar and while me and my friends are talking, we were able to witness an actual marriage proposal at the Sky Bar. The couple are just few meters away from our spot and we realized it was a proposal when the 2 just started kissing each other and the lady was so happy and they are looking at the ring just worn in the hands of the wife-to-be. It was such a romantic venue to do a proposal.

Only thing that is unappealing are the huge crowd in the bar at that time which makes the place very noisy. Nevertheless, it is the thought of asking someone to marry him and on the other way around her replying on the affirmative that matters most.

We headed back to our Suite almost 3AM, tired but full (of food and drinks) and satisfied. Next day we enjoyed a buffet breakfast feast in the Hotel’s coffee shop and headed to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. Later at dinner, we went to Narai Hotel to try Buffet in their Thai Restaurant wherein the food was superb! It really compensated for the lousy dinner we had on Christmas Eve.

It was such an enjoyable and unforgettable Christmas in the Sky with friends.

What about you, what is your Christmas Story?