2015: The Year in Review

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* It’s that time of the year when I round up all the wonderful, wonderful events of the year past and cram ‘em into a single post.

If I am to sum up my 2015, I would say it has a lot of highs and little to zero lows. As with every new year, I started out with a few resolutions, one of which is to go out more. You see, I am a workaholic and I always spend my day in front of the computer, writing or watching funny cat videos. I thought I made good of that promise because I got to travel locally and overseas more than a couple of times this year 🙂

I started 2015 by visiting Tagaytay with my SO to be with his family. We are in the middle of El Nino right now so I truly miss the chilly weather! My boyfriend’s aunt and cousins from Jordan visited PH and we were there to show them around Tagaytay.

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That was a lotta fun! Of course, we ate a ton of food. Moving on, my boyfriend and I celebrated our birthdays (our birthdays are less than a week apart) in beautiful Bohol!
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Being a beach baby, I love spending every waking hour near the beach just swimming, getting a little tan, eating and trading jokes (along with hopes and dreams!) with the boyf.

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I also adopted a new cat, a puspin I named Kaiju. True to form, Kaiju is quite the little monster. We actually had him neutered on December 31 because I wanted him to start living healthily as the new year approaches.

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And speaking of little monsters, my year won’t be complete without celebrating my Dimitri’s 6th birthday. I can’t believe my cat has aged so much, it makes me sad sometimes! As per tradition, I dressed him up on his special day and threw a feast. He loved the ice cream and his fave Fancy Feast.

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2015 was also a great year for touching base with friends. I met up with several friends, parted with others, and ate a ton of stuff.

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I was also busy prettifying my little house! I added bits of furniture and played with colors more.

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I’m not satisfied with the results yet because redecorating a house will take more than a few months. And when you’re writing for a living, you’re not being paid enough to get nice things, hahaha!

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I hope that this year, I will continue with the renovations and create a really beautiful living space for my cats and I, hahaha!

For our 4th year anniversary, my boyfriend and I had a week-long celebration that started with romantic dinner dates and then a staycation at the new Marco Polo Ortigas.

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The hotel is really great and I love how attentive and lovely the staff members are. My boyfriend and I enjoyed our stay so much that we plan to return for our birthday this year. I’m actually hoping that we get to visit another beach spot but we’ll see!

I also took my little brother to the city for his annual visit. We went to museums, malls, and did bits of shopping too.

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My boyfriend was also kind enough to take my brother to his first court-side basketball game!

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The final quarter of 2015 has been hella busy for me. For one thing, my sister came home from Kuwait and we planned a trip together. Here she is meeting my little bro and my boyfriend in the airport for the first time.

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I literally spent the last months of the year either shopping or eating.

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One of the highlights of my year is securing my Japanese visa. I heard that getting a Japanese visa is notoriously hard especially for freelancers. Good thing the Japanese government started easing their measures to attract more tourists.

Getting the visa was quite stressful mainly because of the paperwork involved. Getting all the documents is hard because our local government processes are bloated, stressful, and lengthy.

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Another highlight of my 2015 is, of course, my trip to Tokyo with my sister. The trip was a Christmas gift from my sister, can you believe it?

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What an experience it was. The highlights of our Tokyo trip are eating authentic sushis, making our way to our second Disneyland trip and revisiting those damn spinning teacups and of course, getting my first LV in Shinjuku:

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After our trip, the boyf and I started planning for our first Christmas celebration together. That’s also a milestone in our relationship. We managed to throw a little feast:

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The lengua, pasta, and the roasted chicken were prepared a little later so they did not make it to the food collage, pity. The boyf also stuck around until New Year, which is so awesome because I ended the year on a high note.

As far as my professional life goes, 2015 was solid as a rock. But during the latter part of the year, I decided to rock the boat a little and leave a longtime project. A new year, after all, means a fresh start and career-wise, I am ready for a change. I know my 2016 will pave the way for loads of changes, personal or otherwise and I’m going there full steam ahead!

So what a year it has been! I hope everyone had an amazing celebration, especially those who spent NYE alone or far away from home. I’m hoping for even more adventures, lots of good food, and laughter, as well as reconnection with friends. Have an awesome 2016, everyone, cheers!


Tina Lee

Tina Lee-Almazar is a writer with an insatiable appetite for all things bright, shiny, and beautiful. She's a beauty junkie, a shopping connoisseur, a book collector, a purse addict, and a budding mom-tepreneur. Tina has a long-standing (and well-documented!) but one-sided love affair with cats. Special talents include: the ability to eat again an hour after eating, shopping at 3 different malls in 1 day, and taking a 3-hour power nap every day including weekends.

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