Mid-Year Reflections & Life Updates

July 2017? Is it already really July 2017?

Wow. These last 6 months have been action-packed. Let’s go through all of them.

January 2017

  • I had the blessing of enjoying a vacation in Disneyland, Knottsberry Farm, and SoCal with my eldest brother, his then-fiancee, and my nephew.
    • The major highlight of this trip was that I was able to get so much closer with all of them. The three of them are their own little subunit amongst our bigger family – and I never really had moments at home when we would just talk. But this trip was an opportunity for me to see the candid side of their lives without feeling as if they were filtering things they said and did.
    • Ever since this trip happened, I’ve felt like I can talk to my brother and now sister-in-law more openly. There’s more of a conversation happening at home, and I love it.
  • I started my second semester of freshman year at USF.
    • One of the many things I love about college is the finality that comes with a break from school. Finals – as painful as they may be – mark the official end of a set of classes. There’s no pain of having to study over breaks in order to keep up with the information (even though I never actually did that in high school). A break is a real, much-deserved vacation away.
    • It was surreal coming back to school after this especially long winter break, but it was a long time coming after nearly 6 weeks of being home. I felt refreshed, and ready to be surrounded by friends basically 24/7 once again.
  • A bunch of other miscellaneous January memories:
    • I went to a DNCE concert with Audrey. We saw a past love of our lives, Joe Jonas aka DJ Danja. I also had to endure a very rotund man breathing heavily behind me the entire night.
    • I had many food adventures with high school friends and my college hoodrats.
    • I read so much more. Winter break really gave me a chance to satisfy my hunger for reading – even if it is just my YA shit.
    • I managed to start training to become a volunteer at UCSF.
    • I made lists – lots and lots and lotssss of lists in preparation of the beautiful new year.
    • I started practice for Kasamahan’s Barrio Fiesta as soon as I got back for the new semester.

February 2017

  • I turned 19???
    • 18 flashed by in a blink-of-an-eye and now I’m here in the first of the two limbo years before I’m 21. It’s odd knowing that I’ve been a legal adult for more than a year now.
    • My 19th birthday marked the beginning of a lot of new things for me as well as an opportunity for realizations to be made.
      • The friends I made with high school will always stay my friends. Julia, Gelly, Kat, Stephanie, Jamila, Amber… Though I didn’t realize it for a while, they have really stuck by me through a lot of different moments in life. Just be simply being involved in my life, remembering those special moments, it means a lot and it reflects the fact that coming out of high school, I gained a lot more than I had initially thought.
      • The friends I’ve made in college will always stay my friends as well. First semester was a whirlwind in and of itself, and I know for a freakin’ fact I wouldn’t have survived if I didn’t have such amazing people behind my back.
      • Pledging for my service fraternity was one of the best decisions I’ve made so far in college.
      • I love my family sososo much.
      • I never sent thank you cards after my 18th debut, whoops.
  • I started pledging for a serving fraternity.
    • Looking back at this moment, I am so thankful of the decision I made. In the beginning, I just went with it. By the first pledge meeting on my 19th birthday, that was when I was like, “Well shit, I’m in this for the long-run.”
    • They gave me a sense of intimate community. Larger organizations are fun and all – but it’s so difficult to find a solid group. My pledge brothers and the other brothers are people I can count on, regardless of the occasional petty drama that may linger.
    • I remember feeling so overwhelmed from the first meeting. I didn’t know if it was worth everything, but once we reached the last activity, that’s when I knew it was.
  • I made the choice to stop being friends with everyone.
    • By this point in time, the eagerness of the first semester had died down remarkably. However, this choice was also paired with the fact that I would have to get to know 27 other human beings through my pledging process. I didn’t really want to waste my time on more people I didn’t really care about from the beginning. So I cut back from saying those empty “let’s hang sometime!” promises and honed in on spending time with the people I already truly cared about. This didn’t mean I was being rude to people who weren’t my friends – I just learned to know who my real friends were and still are.
  • More miscellaneous memories, but for February now:
    • I went to my first USF Men’s Basketball game and realized how much we suck at sports. At least tickets are free for students.
    • I visited Kathleen and Gelly, and got another cartilage piercing while Kat got her tattoos done. It’s funny knowing that nearly half our group is tatted and/or pierced now.
    • I had Halal Guys for the first time, and enjoyed some spontaneous time with Kuya Roneil.
    • I went karaoke-ing as a pre-birthday celebration, and let me just tell you that was the most fun I’ve ever had.
    • I was able to celebrate my birthday again with my high school squad at BJ’s.
    • Received some very sweet mail from Julia and Amber for my birthday.
    • Ate at Blackwood with Caitlyn (Sponsor!) for my very first Brother bonding. I feel blessed to have had that time to bond with her and really get to know her outside of campus.
    • This was the month when I fell in love with the Marina.
    • I realized that I can rock a black turtleneck.

March 2017

  • Another family vacation yayyy! This time I went down to SoCal (I swear, when am I not here) with my parents, Kuya Roneil, and his girlfriend Steph.
    • We were able to go to Universal Studies, The Broad Museum, Anaheim Packing District, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Hollywood, and the San Marcos area. It was nice to be able to venture around with the 4 of them, especially because at that point in time I was already getting heavily involved with pledging and not being able to come home as often.
  • I got a Bigs!
    • The moment of the big reveal was so unexpected, and a little jumbled. There was a mix up during the reveal, and the person I saw at first didn’t really end up as my Bigs. But my Bigs is Melanie and I appreciate her a lot. Even though we are still getting to know each other, I know that Pledge Team picked her for me for a reason.
    • We have a lot more in common than I would have ever expected, and while our relationship is still growing, I know I can turn to her to talk about most things.
  • All the shit I had going on hit me like a ton of bricks post-Spring Break.
    • The nine week pledging process was still going on in full force. The preparation for Barrio Fiesta was reaching the murderous rehearsal hours. And on top of all that, school was really picking up.
    • I barely had time to take care of myself, and of course, I got overwhelmed. There were so many things on my plate, and I didn’t know how to achieve everything I knew I had to do. I cried once (in all honesty I allow myself to just do all that breaking down stuff once a semester), and it was comforting to know that Jackie was there to listen to my blubbering.
    • I was exhausted, but I remember I would tell myself that everything would be worth it in the long-run. And yes, I know now, it all was.
  • Miscellaneous March thangs:
    • I was able to see Alex Aiono and Will Singe live with Hanna, Aileen, and Jenyse.
    • My third roommate MOVED OUT! Thank you God for removing her from my life.
    • I realized I am not invincible. At the same time, I realized that if I start something, I need to finish it, no matter how exhausted I may become.
    • Churros and ice cream are so good together.
    • Butterbeer is better frozen.
    • The service event we did as a class was a favorite memory I had with Ju-Hoon when he just talked to me without any filter.
    • I can survive rehearsals until 4AM.
    • I can survive meetings until 3AM.
    • You need sleep in college even though it is nice to survive late nights.
    • I FINALLY started my volunteering position at UCSF, and I couldn’t be more thankful for such an amazing supervisor and work environment to play with kids.
    • “Krispy Kreme Donuts! One for $1 and $10 for a dozen!” will be forever seared into my mind.

April 2017

  • All the busy-ness in my life had really taken a toll on my academic standpoint at USF.
    • April was the month where I learned that I can’t keep fucking around during my time at USF, and put my studies on the back-burner. It’s great to get involved with organizations, and I love everyone I’ve met through getting involved, but I need to learn balance.
    • I failed a few midterms. Like legitimately failed. While it didn’t phase me too much (thank you AP Biology for getting me accustomed to receiving F’s and D’s on exams) I knew that this wasn’t something I should get used to. I am a hard worker, but I don’t put the effort in on areas in my life where I need to.
  • I ended my pledging process and became a Brother of Alpha Phi Omega.
    • It’s hard to sum up this entire process in a measly paragraph, but to keep things short and simple – joining this fraternity was a blessing I never anticipated.
    • USF isn’t big on Greek life, and coming into college I never would have expected myself to ever get involved with anything of the sort. I surprised myself by even going to the rush events. Through this organization, I realized how no one can really plan accordingly for a great college experience. Things will always pop up that you never would have anticipated – and that’s Alpha Phi Omega for me.
    • You know that feeling that you know for a fact that you’re in the right place at the right time? That was what pledging felt to me, from the beginning to the very end. Yes there were frustrating moments and I was exhausted more than half the time, but I knew that the process wasn’t meant to be easy, and it wasn’t. But having my Pledge Brothers, Pledge Parents, Bigs, and Brothers by my side throughout the entire thing – I knew that this was a community that I could make an impact in since they already made an impact in my life.
  • Jackie, Charlotte, Mae, and Audrey are real blessings in my life.
    • Because I was so busy with pledging and rehearsals for Barrio, I was rarely ever able to see Jackie or Charlotte. I only saw Mae and Audrey when we were running around doing practices for our separate dances. I missed all of them.
    • I remember that they would ask when I would be free to hang out, and I literally had to look so far in my planner to find a few hours where I would be free. I felt so bad every time, but they all meant so much to me that I knew a few hours would be better than nothing.
    • Once pledging and Barrio was over, I felt liberated to be able to hang out with the four of them. I’m honestly thankful for every moment I get to spend with each of them because they made my first year at USF one I am grateful to have been able to experience.
  • I really missed my family.
    • I wasn’t able to go home for Easter, and that really broke my heart. I felt so bad because I know how much my mom loves Easter, but it was my last pledge meeting and it wasn’t humanly possible for me to get home and back to campus on time.
    • I know my parents don’t understand what APO is and why I became so busy with this organization, but they still respected that I couldn’t come home for Easter weekend. So they came to me with my Kuya Ro, and I couldn’t have been more thankful. They’re busy people themselves, but they made the sacrifice to come all the way out to San Francisco to spend a few hours with me.
  • Four straight days of going out after 9 weeks of not is so refreshing.
    • First semester I went out basically every single weekend from the second month in. While it killed my bank account, I had major FOMO and I couldn’t resist not going out with my friends. The transition from going out so much to not going out at all for 9 weeks because of the demanding pledging schedule was refreshing, but that being said it felt so nice to be able to go out.
  • More miscellaneous memories of April:
    • After months of saying it, Jackie and I finally had the opportunity to have some roomie bonding time.
    • I can turn really freaking red when I drink. What a talent.
    • I LOVE LIZA MAE, I am thankful for my Hawaiian beeb for always being down, and more or less succumbing to peer pressure by me.
    • The transition from seeing the same people basically every single day to barely once a week is damn near heartbreaking.
    • Getting housing on campus is a blessing.
    • BLD Bonfires always get the Youth out.
    • Blackout at the Park is such a chill way to recuperate from a crazy Banquet night.
    • My Kuya Ro left for graduate school – go brobro!

May 2017

  • A very odd transition into doing nothing.
    • As you can see, I had one hell of a semester. While I enjoyed a lot of it, I was exhausted. I just kept sleeping, sometimes I wouldn’t even eat because I would sleep so much.
    • Post-finals I was puzzled. I didn’t know what to do. There weren’t any rehearsals to go to or meetings to prepare for. I was doing nothing during my last 5 days living on campus once my final exams were completed. While it was refreshing to be able to just roll out and do whatever I want, I missed the busy-ness of it all.
    • In retrospect, I should have taken the opportunity to reflect and really digest my spring semester, but at the same time, I’m glad I took that time to just do nothing. My mind was at ease, and my body was at rest.
  • The realization that I need to declutter my life occurred.
    • Moving everything out of my dorm room was an easy process. But I literally had to take back my shit in two car rides. Somehow – at some point – the amount of stuff I owned basically doubled in size. Granted, I was taking some of my friend’s stuff back home as well, but I gained a lot more materialistic objects than I ever intended to keep.
  • I had the first beach day of the near-Summer!
    • Hanging out with Sky, Hanna, Des, sick Liza, and Audrey was such a great way to just chill out before the difficulties of finals.
    • While I love my usual gang of friends, I love having the opportunity to hang out with other people I’m friendly with in life because it lets me learn from different viewpoints and personalities.
  • Miscellaneous moments in the month of May:
    • I want to learn more about the Philippines.
    • Teen Wolf really turned trashy after Season 4.
    • Ate Cath is really friggin’ amazing.
    • I tried DQ for the first time and it was underwhelming.
    • Those high heels at Bigs’ house have been through a lot.
    • Tyler and Ju-Hoon always got my back, even at 3AM in the Tenderloin.
    • Deidre and Wes are so beautiful together.
    • Tyler is very photogenic.
    • Kristen finally walked! What an odd Dominican thing to make her wait until May since she’s been done in December.
    • Zeusy woosy got bigger.
    • I went through SnapChat memories with Aud and laughed more than simped at 2AM while Jackie knocked tf out while watching Bridget Jones’ Baby.
    • The screaming fish video was born.
    • Moving out of Fromm made me lowkey teary.
    • I already met up with Charlotte after like a week HAHAH
    • I went to Santa Cruz with #OGDenimSquad for Memorial Day Weekend
    • I met dad aka Mae’s boyfriend.
    • I was able to really bond with Ate Victoria for the first time.

June 2017

  • I chopped my hair off.
    • Now this was an impulsive decision. I was honestly just going in for a trim because it had been more than a year. But I thought, fuck it, why not? So I chopped off 10 inches of my hair. My hair is so short now that I can’t even tie it up. I have to stuff a few clips and make a few pigtails to keep my hair out of my face, and while it looks really nice at other points, it’s such a transition from the long hair to the short af hair.
  • I started summer classes.
    • This summer I’m taking Anatomy and Nutrition online. I honestly love both of my classes. I’m glad I’m taking initiative of all the free time I have at home to be able to grow more as a student and focus on Anatomy, a notoriously hard subject.
    • I love learning about the human body, and I’ve met a great group of people through this class. While it is insanely rigorous, and there are several moments where I wish I wasn’t taking a class so I could just hang out with friends and work instead, I’m thankful to have the opportunity to grow a little more as a student.
    • Nutrition has been really informative, and while I’m making a steady change in my lifestyle and my choices, I’m glad that I’m learning more about an additional side to health as well – the nutritional aspect.
  • I’ve been doing a lot of lifestyle changes.
    • Honestly, I was shit at taking care of my mental and physical health last semester. So I decided I needed to make a change.
      • I get up before 8AM in order to get started with the day.
      • I sleep by 1AM (most nights) to get consistency within my life.
      • I have 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. My breakfasts have been consisting of overnight oats and smoothies lately. I try to eat more healthy items more frequently, rather than gorging on whatever I can find.
      • I’ve seen an actual improvement in my desire to exercise. My body is telling me to exercise, and I’m doing it, and mainly in the mornings. I even got a gym membership to be able to work out.
  • A few other things about June:
    • Amazingly, I found out I ended the semester with a B or higher in each of my classes, despite my intense procrastination for studying and doing assignments.
    • Saw the ultimate BFF Noe to watch some Zac Efron trash.
    • I hung out with Mae and brought her to Praise and Worship.
    • Led Praise and Worship with Josette!
    • Got a call for a second interview at a new ICU UCSF position
    • Ate at Gen in Milpitas for the first time – definitely must come back.
    • Was able to bond with Jacob for the first time
    • Went to my first Giants game with Ma and Pa


  • I’ve been on a very, very happy streak in life.
  • I love what I’m learning in summer school, even though I still struggle in getting myself to study it.
  • I’ve really missed writing.
  • Waking up before 9AM makes the day seem much more promising
  • I’m torn between keeping up with my Passion Planner or starting up a BuJo forreal for the new school year and the new year (in like 6 months lol)
    • Update: I decided to start up a BuJo forreal
  • Smoothies for breakfast are so damn delicious
  • I’m working on my faith in my religion. It’s slow, but it’s progress.
  • I’m becoming more aware of the world around me since it does affect me, despite my past thoughts.
  • I really need to do monthly reflections instead of 6-month ones because this post has gotten so freaking long.

Thanks for seeing what’s new in my life – here’s to the rest of 2017!

It’s going to be amazing.




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