2023 Wrap Up!

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I cannot believe another year has passed. Time is going by so fast. Can we just slow down?

2023 was definitely a memorable year for me. After years of pandemic, we were able to finally travel, and I was able to tick off one big item from my bucket list. 

However, there were also not-so-good things that happened this year, like in terms of my work, I did not have work-life balance at all. I think majority of the weekends and even public holidays in 2023, I was at work as we are trying to release our project to production. I also got sick a lot! 

Anyway, without further ado, let me summarise my year in bullet points!

First Quarter

  • Celebrated the New Year's day with my family. I slept overnight at my dad's place. Kevin was not able to join us since he had work that day, unfortunately. Aside from New Year's, it was my and Kevin's 10-year anniversary. I still cannot believe we have been together for a decade. Since Kevin had work, we celebrated earlier by having dinner at Panamerican in Sentosa Golf Club.
  • In February, my family and I went flew to Kuala Lumpur for a weekend trip. We had so much fun as we were able to visit a lot of places. We had a SweetEscape session, and our photos turned out amazing; the Petronas Towers is a beautiful backdrop. We also had a great dinner at Grand Hyatt with the view of the towers.
  • A week after our KL trip, I contracted dengue fever, unfortunately. I was guessing I got it in KL. It's my first time contracting dengue. I initially thought it was COVID as the feeling was very similar. 
  • In the same month, Kevin and I flew home to Manila to attend our friend's wedding. I was actually still sick, but my doctor gave me permission as long as I get my platelets checked during the entire trip. I didn't want to cancel the trip as I was a bridesmaid. It was an intimate and lovely wedding in Tagaytay. After the wedding, before heading back to Manila, Kevin and I had lunch at Antonio's. Our stay was not that long, but we were able to meet some friends. I met my college and Trend Micro friends. It's nice that my friends always make time to meet me whenever I am in town. 
  • In March, my Kevin and I celebrated our 2nd year wedding anniversary. We flew to Tokyo for a short trip. We were so lucky that cherry blossoms are in full bloom during our stay. However, it was raining our entire stay also but that didn't dampen our trip as Tokyo was amazing. We ate a lot of wagyu; we visited TeamLab and Shibuya Sky; had a day trip to see Mt. Fuji; and of course, we saw the beautiful cherry blossoms and we did a photo session at Shinjuku Gyo-en.  
  • While we were in Tokyo, we attended the annual PunkSpring Fest, and we saw Simple Plan and My Chemical Romance, and a lot of other Japanse and international bands. As you know, Simple Plan is my favourite band, and Kevin's favourite is MCR. This is actually one of the reasons why I convinced Kevin to go to Japan. 
As I trace back what happened in my first quarter of the year, I just realised that A LOT has happened.

Second Quarter

  • In April, I finally got my second tattoo. I was supposed to get inked together with my sisters in February but because I got dengue, my doctor advised me to defer it. The tattoo was a script which says "sisterets". I wrote the story behind the word here.
  • At the end of April, we celebrated Kevin's 32nd birthday. We had dinner at Skai Restaurant, which is on the 70th floor of Swissôtel The Stamford hotel. The view of Singapore's downtown was wonderful.
  • To prepare for our big trip, after months of research, I bought a new camera, a Ricoh GR III. I was initially contemplating on buying a second-hand Leica Q2 but I couldn't justify the price. Anyway, my GR III is such a great camera, especially it is very light and fits my small bags. 
  • In early June, I kid you not, I got sick again. This time, it's COVID, my second time. Although the symptoms are not as bad as my first time.
  • For my 31st birthday (my god I'm so old), we went for a short weekend trip to Johor Bahru. It was our first time to visit the city centre. We had a good full body massage, and it definitely helped relieve our stress. On my actual birthday, we had dinner at a Filipino-inspired restaurant called Kubo.
  • Kevin gifted me a Kindle, and this started my transition as a hardcopy believer to an ebook enthusiast. For my first book on my Kindle, I read "The Silent Patient."
  • For Father's Day, we had dinner with our dad at Eden Restaurant in Pullman Orchard. 
  • We were able to grab Coldplay and Taylor Swift concert tickets for 2024! 

Third Quarter

  • In July, we went to Sentosa Grill Fest. We were able to eat different kinds of grilled meats from different countries. 
  • Kevin and I are fans of building mechanical keyboards. We attended the first ever Monokei ♡ Friends Offline Edition. We met Caleb, the founder of Monokei. We also bought our "end game" keyboard which is a TGR 910 v2 ME. 
  • For our big Euro trip, we got our UK and Schengen visas! We were so nervous about these visas but thankfully, there were no issues.  
  • In August, we sadly bid farewell to our friends, Mike, Miche and Mikaela. They are moving back to Manila while waiting for their US visa. 
  • In September, the project we have been working on the whole year has been released to production. We really went through a lot as a team. I am just happy that it is finally live.
  • My cousin and my aunt, visited Singapore, and we watched Formula 1 with them. Kevin and I didn't originally plan on watching but my colleague, Jayashri, had tickets from her husband and she gave them to me.

Fourth Quarter

  • We went on a 3-week Euro trip! This is the highlight of my year. We visited 7 countries -- United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Since I was young, it has been my dream to go on a Euro trip, and I am so happy to finally have done it. I was able to visit lots of places that I was only able to read and see in photos, like the Big Ben in London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Leaning Tower in Pisa, the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain in Rome, the canals of Venice and Amsterdam, and many more! I will definitely blog about this trip as I want to reminisce about the beautiful places we have visited. I hope we can go on a Euro trip again. Next time I would like to visit Iceland, Spain and Greece.  
  • When we were in Switzerland, Kevin and I bought our first automatic watch, a Tissot PRX. Kevin has been interested in watches lately. I don't really know anything about watches. I just bought the same watch that Kevin bought. Haha! 
  • On the last week of our trip, I got sick (again!). It really affected our trip as my energy didn't last the whole day, and the weather made it worse as it was very cold, especially in Scotland. I still tried my best, though, as I didn't want to waste time cooped up in the hotel. But I really regret not being able to watch a musical in the West End, and we were not able to have an afternoon tea in London. Oh well, there's always next time.
  • In November, Mediante family came to visit Singapore, and we got to spend time with them. 
  • In December, we attended the Singapore Comic Con. Kevin met Peach Momoko, a famous comic book artist.
  • My dad went home to Manila to celebrate with my mum and Jazz. So, Kevin and I hosted Christmas in our home and invited Kate and Peter. I cooked all the dishes for our noche buena. We bought an electric oven, and it was just in time for the holidays. I was cooking the entire Christmas Eve; it was exhausting but definitely fulfilling. 

That's it for my 2023. How was yours?

By the way, I also created a reel to summarise my 2023. Enjoy!

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