Nineteen Firsts in 2019 (Part 1)

I like measuring my year in firsts, even if I haven’t been consistently doing that on this blog. *sweats bullets* This year, I’ve felt extremely blessed with wonderful firsts, both in my personal/author life and my work life, so what better way to usher in the new year than by remembering them!? Hopefully this post will be the start of a yearly tradition, so let’s get the ball rolling!

1. Becoming a podcast guest

Adulting For Authors is a podcast where Filipino authors talk about productivity, their different writing processes, and interesting anecdotes about their current, past, and future work. Author Ansela Corsino invited me to be on her podcast late in 2018, and we had a lively conversation over paella negra and other scrumptious dishes at Barcino — and all of that became this episode, which came out in January of 2019.

2. Traveling overseas on my birthday

I’ve never been away from home during special occasions, but I decided to do something new this year. Together with my sister and my friends, TDR (who spends her birthday the day after mine) and Jazz, I planned a HongKong trip to celebrate my birthday. This was the second time I’ve ever been outside the country, and the first time I’ve traveled with my sister, so it was super duper special for me. We enjoyed this so much, we’ve decided to travel out of the country at least once a year! <3

3. Visiting Hong Kong Disneyland!

I spent my birthday at Disneyland…like the child I am, sometimes. I didn’t have a birthday cake, but I did have a Mickey Mouse pancake (this is also in honor of our friend, Mymy, who passed the week before), and that was good enough for me. Our first stop for the day was Festival of the Lion King, which was easily a favorite. <3 I also really loved The Iron Man Experience, although I wish it were longer. And I screamed my head off at Hyper Space Mountain, which I still get teased about to this day. We spent the entire day at the park and it still was not enough, so hopefully we could go back someday!

4. Getting a Macbook

After experiencing a lot of technical trouble with my ASUS laptop the year before, I decided to finally buy a MacBook Air. Not cash, no. I don’t have that much money. Let’s just say it’s my birthday, Christmas, and any-other-occasion gift to myself for the next 14 months. I’ve since adjusted to the new interface and it’s limitations and I’m loving it so far (even if I’d installed Catalina without knowing it’s a bit buggy)!

5. Releasing two books in a month

Play It by Ear (Backstage Pass #2) and Stay With Me (Backstage Pass #2.5) were both released in May this year, and boy…was that a doozy. Still fun, though! <3

6. Selling books at the theatre!

If you knew anything about me, you’d know this is a huge deal because it’s basically two of the things I love coming together in one place—musical theatre and #romanceclass. In January, we supported Jef Flores in his production, Flashcard Tangle, and he in turn invited us to sell our books at the theatre lobby! The same-ish thing happened in August during Rak of Aegis, where we got to sell our books at the PETA Theatre Lobby during one of Gio’s shows. ^_^ It was an experience.

Some photos!

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7. Getting my photo taken at a studio just for fun

I’m not sure anymore how this entire “Hey, let’s take fab photos of ourselves at the studio for no reason” conversation began, but I’m glad I was part of it. PICS!

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Instagram will load in the frontend.

Instagram will load in the frontend.

8. #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy activities

This year, I tried a couple of new things for #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy (August), mostly to push #romanceclass titles, and also encourage people to try out new Filipino creators. I created a #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy BINGO card and also organized the #romanceclass Virtual Panels.

I also had my very own Author AMA during one of the Virtual Panel weekends, and in case you missed it, here’s the complete thread.

Looking forward to doing something like this again next year!

9. Signing up for a playwriting class

Back in August, I came across this online playwriting course (thanks to Carla and being at the PETA Theatre Center at the right time) facilitated by Rody Vera. You can say the person manning their booth didn’t need to work their marketing charms on me, because the magic word online already sold it. I signed up for the course in September, but have yet to check all the modules out. (That’s part of my personal project this quarter, so yay! I hope I learn a lot. <3)

10. Being on the Rak of Aegis stage!

I’m just going to leave these here:

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Instagram will load in the frontend.

Okay, so…wow! This year was really something…and I’m not even done yet. Part two is coming up soon. In the meantime, let’s enjoy some Noche Buena, shall we? ^_^ Merry Christmas, everyone—I hope the gifts you’re opening at midnight are as precious as the people you have around you at this time of year.

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