Last year of pre-teen. One dozen. 12 days of Christmas. 12 months in a year. 12 animals in Chinese zodiac. 12 astrological signs. 12 inches in a foot. Mask on. Mask off. I'm still here. Yes. Cheers to twelve years!

Everything seems to be going back to normal again. Whatever "normal" means nowadays. And I’m still here, keeping this tiny space of mine in the blogosphere when some of my contemporaries already consider themselves as retired bloggers. It could be because it’s keeping me sane. Or maybe because I still want to go back to our old backpacking life. Perhaps, I still want to write about our experiences even if no one reads my stories ‘coz I still want something that sort of anchors me back to my happy carefree travel days. Or maybe because I want this space of mine to be some sort of time capsule for my son or whoever it is that would want to read me up in the future.

Last year was a fresh start from the tumultuous 2021 we had. We started to explore outside our comfort zone, our home, which became our refuge for the past two years because of the worldwide pandemic that "forced" us to be together (I ain't complaining though). Being in his wild toddler years, Akira was amazed when he got the chance to go outside for the simplest of things such as traffic lights and buses.

We’ve already been to a boutique resort in Laguna, we went back to Cabangan, my parents’ hometown in Zambales, we stayed in Boracay for three weeks during my annual school break, we also went to Nueva Ecija, and every chance that we could tag along our son, we would do it, even if it entails discomfort from our end ‘coz our son couldn’t sit still and “behave”. We are still in the stage of learning the virtue of patience as parents ‘coz he’s learning so many things and he’s such an explorer at a very young age.

I would also bring him to my school every chance I have because I want him to see more, feel more, and explore more. Oh yes, school.

After two years of online distance learning, we finally went back to on-site classroom teaching with them teeners who were really excited to go out of their houses. I would love to have online classes still but it’s very different when you’re inside the classroom. It felt surreal during our first day when I could actually see my students in flesh.

Politics in the Philippines has been crazy for the past year. I've never seen this nation be as divided as it is now. Wild times. But yeah. As Joseph de Maistre said, "In a democracy, people get the leaders they deserve."

It’s been twelve years since I started this blog because I needed an escape from the death of my father. It’s been twelve years since I was led to one of my greatest passions, traveling. It’s been twelve years since I started exploring the world and documenting it. I want to get back in the groove. Travel. Love life. Live life. Not just survive.

Happy 12!

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