It's been a long Hajj holiday and my neurons are just firing up for the coming year's onslaught.
I'd like to say goodbye to 2006 with a few questions I filched from the Dear Me blog. I didn't ask permission, so thanks for the rip-off.
What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before? :: Hmm… interesting question – I didn’t do anything “new” as to new activities. Maybe I should have gone wakeboarding or some extreme stuff. No, nothing new in terms of activities – but in terms of the degree to which I did things, I’ve gone a few notches higher this year in terms of professional achievement. Probably admit my feelings for a person in a blog post.
Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for next year? :: I’m pretty much on the same program since the start of 2005 and I plan to stick to it. The faith life part is still difficult. I am not on a higher plane of piety, though I’d like to think I’m more spiritual. The rest? I still don’t have a steady relationship, but I’d like to think I should be a better person to love than yearning for someone to love me.
Did anyone close to you give birth? :: I wasn’t there, but a few of my friends or their wives gave birth this year.
Did anyone close to you die? :: It was a bad year for deaths, especially early in November, and served up a grim reminder that it’s time to share love when one has the time and the opportunity.
What countries did you visit? :: I specifically visited India as my first time. I also visited Dubai for two stretches – one for leisure and one for work. I also visited Bahrain. Stopovers in Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. That is about it.
What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? :: As a whole, more equanimity and determination. Personally, a girlfriend. Materially, my own vehicle. The rest? Always nice to have gadgets, but after the first two, the rest is dross.
What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory and why? :: June 16 – the day my middle sister got married. A number of things make this day memorable, but mostly because she was happy and she got one of the things she had wanted for a long, long time.
What was your biggest achievement of the year? :: Personally, I’d rather not crow about achievements. It’s the year of my emotional roller-coaster ride at work. I started with negative energy, almost got myself into “let’s move on” and now am swinging toward “let’s get great things done” mode. This year was a gradual acceleration of my development as a professional – I wouldn’t say I deserve to be a manager, NOT YET, but I was a lot closer to it this year than I was in each of the last two years. On another level, there were the shows we produced in the organization, my achieving Competent Communicator with the Toastmasters, but that’s just about it.
Did you suffer illness or injury? :: As documented here.
What was the best thing you bought? :: I did not buy anything of note this year except a video camera, and it’s not the best thing to buy, though I’m happy with it.
Whose behavior merited celebration? :: Me? Nah! I’d like to say those of my students and my actors from “Apat na Sulok ng Pag-Ibig.”
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? :: I’ve tried my utmost best not to be cynical. I earned this tag fifteen years ago from Monic N. and never got to shake it off. But back to the question --- politicians from the world over, specifically from the United States and the Philippines, have appalled me even further. What saddens me is that so many of our countrymen fail to put the political situation in perspective. Nope, I haven’t gotten depressed over someone else’s behavior.
Where did most of your money go? :: To the tune of Destiny’s Child – “Bills!” I’m still on track on my savings program but I haven’t been able to make it progress the way I wished.
What made you really really really excited? :: Nothing really. Except the prospect of going home.
What song will forever remind you of 2006? :: I haven’t really thought about it. Most of the stuff I liked this year were released in 2005 or earlier. And, since I’m an oldies fan, nothing piqued my interest this year.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? :: Net overall, happier. There are peaks and valleys of course, but overall, it has been a better year. Nothing to top 2004, not yet, but one always hopes the coming year would be just as great as that year.
- thinner or fatter? :: (Um, cough! Cough!) Fatter.
- richer or poorer? :: Since I’m less in debt, richer. But since there are higher expectations, slightly poorer.
What do you wish you'd done more of? :: Concentrate on work, say nice things to my mother, be more thoughtful and considerate of others. Exercise!
What do you wish you'd done less of? :: Eating, lazing in front of my desk for stretches where I could have been more productive.
How did you spend Christmas? :: Christmas Eve I was with my colleagues at my boss’ home (while the boss was away) and the next day I was at work because we had no break. I spent Christmas evening at home.
How did you spend New Year's? :: The fellas wanted another edition of Christmas Eve and we did the same. Aside from eating, we whiled away most of New Year’s Day watching videos.
Did you fall in love in 2006? :: I wish I did, but it was just an infatuation. I had several, but documented only two I can think of. It was “just my imagination, running away with me…”
How many one-night stands? :: The Lord’s honest truth? Just one.
What were your favorite TV programs? :: I got glued so much to “24” that I stopped watching it on TV and got myself the DVDs.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? :: I hope I have enough love in me for me to hate someone. But there’s no one out there enough for me to hate. I’d rather have no feeling for them at all.
What was the best book you read? :: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. As a series, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin is tops.
What was your greatest musical discovery? :: No one really, but I did like the work of Sitti Navarro since most of us in the family really dig Bossa Nova.
What did you want and get? :: I got the vacation I needed, and that was about it.
What did you want and not get? :: Same thing as always each year since year-end 2002 – a girlfriend. The rest? I wanted a bigger raise, naturally, but my performance did not merit it.
What was your favorite film of this year? :: I only watched a few new movies this year because Saudi Arabia is not exactly a movie-lover’s haven. Of the ones I saw on the big screen, the best one I watched was “V for Vendetta” but my personal enjoyable cinema experience was “Mission Impossible III.” My personal DVD favorite was “The Motorcycle Diaries” and that catchy tune “Chipi Chipi” (which hasn’t left my brain since I first heard it).
What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? :: It was the opening day of our production of “Apat na Sulok ng Pag-Ibig.” I was struck to find almost nobody within my circle in Saudi Arabia remembered my birthday because of so many work and community commitments. That hurt me big-time, but they did have a great comeback anyway. I turned 34 (the numbers get a bit uglier and uglier each year).
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? :: See question on getting what I wanted.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? :: Fat Boys ‘R’ Us.
What kept you sane? :: Am I?
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? :: Keeley Hazell! But that’s just my hormones talking. No one in particular.
What political issue stirred you the most? :: It’s enough to get stirred up on politics, at least in the case of the Philippines. The country is a mess. People say that all countries are f*cked up to some degree, but it’s the Philippines to whom I belong, so I'd get stirred up as much as I want.
Whom did you miss? :: Mostly, everything about home.
Who was the best new person(s) you met? :: No one new this year, at least in the category that could answer this question.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006. :: Among all my posts, this oneback in February was the best lesson I learned for 2006. It actually made my whole year.
Favorite memory of 2006? :: There are several, but the best would be the family’s road trips, first to Tagaytay, and then through Central and Northern Luzon, in June, to give my newlywed sister and her husband the semblance of a honeymoon. That, and being slightly heartbroken would be the most indelible memories. I’ll probably forget her face and almost everything she said, but I’m glad I felt what I felt just the same, even if the entire episode didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped.