Lookback at 2022

On a personal level, 2022 was the worst years of my life as it was the year I lost my dear mother.  Otherwise, it would’ve been my best year since the pandemic started.

2022 saw our lives gradually returning to the pre-pandemic normalcy, thanks in huge part with the widespread availability of effective vaccines, higher immunization rates, boosters, and thankfully, less deadly (though more contagious) variant of COVID-19. I had my first booster back in January (Moderna) and unlike my previous shots (Sinovac), my body really felt it and I was down for a day. Afterwards, it gave me more confidence to do the things I do without worrying too much that I might die of the virus. It was a huge boost for our mental health that’s suffered enough since 2020.

Selfie after having my first booster shot.

Because of my boosted confidence from the booster shot, I was able to get back to walking and running around, mostly to ease my mind, and resume working out in the gym. I even upgraded my tracker to a Fitbit Versa 2! But meeting many of my friends and colleagues for the first time face to face in years would be one of the more memorable memories of the year.

What I’m currently using: Fitbit Versa 2.
Meeting friends again face to face after years was definitely one of the highlights of the year.

It was in March when I had my first encounter with the EDSA Carousel bus line, and I immediately learned to avoid it at all costs! It was also on this month that I got the chance to return to our office for the first time since 2020.

One of the EDSA Carousel stations.

April widened my horizon as we started travelling. It started with a staycation at Okada Manila and it was lovely to watch the sunset while in a jacuzzi in our own room. It’s a great reminder of the things we missed since the pandemic started, and how lucky we were that we can now do these things.

Sunset from our room.

May was the peak of the campaign season and the election month in the Philippines. Never have I seen Filipinos so involved and extremely polarized. Having joined the “miting de avance” felt so surreal as I was with thousands of fellow Filipinos with the same hope for the country. Never have I joined such a huge crowd in my life! And to think we’re still in a pandemic, that’s quite a feat. It’s one of the pleasant memories that I’ll treasure in my life and always be proud of. It didn’t go our way but our desire for a better country will never fade.

A memory that I shall never forget.

Our heartbreak led us to another staycation at Sofitel Manila, again enjoying the sunset view of the Manila Bay and savoring the famous buffet at Spiral. It turns out that it was a great decision as when we returned last December, the bayfront was being filled in with sand for another reclamation project. I guess the days of this area seeing the bay is counted.

Manila Bay as seen from our balcony, May, 2022.

Additionally, this was the month that we had a new puppy! The month was concluded with a quick trip to Tagaytay.

The newest member of the family.

June was also a great month as I was able to return to the Ilocos region after more than a decade. It was a trip on the typical tourist trail: Paoay, Bangui (Windmills), Vigan, Baluarte, Laoag, etc.

San Agustin Church of Paoay.
Bangui Windmills.
Somewhere in Vigan.

It was quickly followed with a quick trip to Baguio City.

Baguio City skyline.

Before the month ended, we got the chance to return to the beaches of Bohol—my first flight since the pandemic.

Alona beach, Panglao, Bohol.

We continued our trip from Bohol to Cebu via sea giving us opportunity to see the newest and probably the longest bridge in the country linking the city of Cebu with Mactan island from beneath. It will be used in the 2023 edition of Cebu Marathon.

The newest bridge this side of the country.
Glad to see the Basilica restored.

This trip also gave us the opportunity to experience arguably the best airport terminal in the Philippines, Terminal 2 of Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Unfortunately, all these travels and weakening effect of the booster shot made my immune system weak and I got infected with COVID-19.

Inside Terminal 2.

Fast forward to October. For the first time in my life, I attended yoga classes. And for the first time in my life, I did a bunch of things I never did I could! Sure, I feared that I’d break my neck in the process, but I came out of it unscathed.

Never in my life I imagined I’d be able to do this.

But this month realized one of my worst fears.  In a matter of days, my mother’s health declined and we lost her.  It was the lowest point of my life and to this date, I don’t think I’ve ever completely processed what happened.

My life resumed in November with my first in-person race since the pandemic, Run Ortigas 2022. It was also the first time I got to see some of my old running/blogging buddies in a long time.

A scene post-race from the Ortigas Run 2022.

The last month of the year was as pre-pandemic typical as it can get with parties everywhere. And as I mentioned earlier, we got to revisit Sofitel Manila and saw the bayfront now filled with sand.

What used to be part of the bay, December, 2022.
Sunsets are still magnificent.

As for my blog, 2022 was its worst since conception.  It’s the first time I have not posted a single post in a month, for three consecutive months!  For the year, a total of five months has not a single post in them.

Overall, the year was dotted with a lot of highs, but it also brought me to my lowest point. It was a year that I surely won’t forget.

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