What I'm Thankful For, 2015

I am grateful for so many things this year has brought to my life. My Belle de Jour Power Planner 2015 had a weekly page with a small space where I could write what I am thankful for the week. If only I could elaborate the things I was thankful for everyday, that little space in there wouldn't be enough.

The first day of this year was spent cruising at 37,000 feet but I'm thankful I was able to fly out the same day to Manila and to Leyte the following day. I was home the third day of January and happy to have spent a fresh start of the year at home with family. Later on, I visited my relatives in Davao, with my aunt Tess and my younger sister. That was a sudden trip, with no advance plans. I only said I want to see Papang in Davao because it has been a long time since we last saw him. Airfare tickets were then booked and Nanay, my grandmother from father's side started making muron, a sweet delicacy from our place to bring to our relatives as 'pasalubong'. We flew to Davao via Cebu and Jeff picked us up from the pier and drove us to the airport. We saw Papang (our lolo), Tita Bibing, and our cousins from mother's side. We had some sort of a reunion. We went to a resort in Samal Island to have lunch together. We did a sightseeing tour of Davao that even my relatives themselves haven't experienced yet. I'm happy I was able to put smiles on their faces. And I knew mom was happy that we found the opportunity to see them. Back in Cebu from Davao, Jeff and his mom invited us for lunch at their place. 

During the Sinulog Festival in Cebu, I was able to bond with my two sisters, also a time spent with Jeff and his sister when the two left for Leyte. A week after, I met few of my good friends from my previous workplace. I met Pearl at Red Kimono and we finished our chats at Coffee Prince. I had dinner with Barbi at Brique and realized how much we missed our 'laags' together. He was one of my close friends in Convergys. I met Gwen, Jen and Sheena at Anzani and memories about our Royal Brunei days came back.

Upon returning to Jeddah after a month of vacation, I collected my new passport - a sign to a new set of travel adventures! ;)

First week of February, my friend and I trained for a new aircraft qualification which meant more destinations. I spent my Valentine's in Cebu with Jeff. We had our first boodle fight experience at Seafood Island with my bouquet of flowers. We headed to Mountain View Resort to have an afternoon view of Cebu. Then we had dinner at Pizzeria Michaelangelo in Escario. We spent a day in Best Western Sand Bar resort, a day after. I flew to Frankfurt in Germany for the first time. I get to see London again because the last time I did was a long time ago when I was still with my previous airline. I was able to see Stonehenge, a famous world heritage site in England. I'm happy I flew with a nice girl Mona, an Egpytian, for the whole month of February. 

I first set my foot in Africa in March. I was able to see Tunis for the first time and visit a lot of its attractions. I get to see another city in India, Cochin. I flew to Guangzhou in China. 

April was when I deactivated my Facebook and it took me a long time to reactivate it. It was a fulfilling sense in my part because I get to spend my time with more useful things than spending it on the news feed, always on the lookout for updates from people. I activated it again because I was missing a lot of updates and news from our company page in Facebook. It's also where I can view schedules and lines without having to ask my friends. But since I reactivated it, I was no longer the same person who used to spend most of the time viewing photos and status updates from friends. ;) I get to see Lucknow and Bangalore, the hub capital of India. Niyati, my flying partner was another good friend. The month of April wouldn't be much nicer without her.  

In May, Lady, Marj and I joined the World Flight Attendant night at the Valkyrie Club in Manila. I visited the city of Los Angeles in California for the first time. That was the longest flight of my life and I'm proud I succeeded the almost 17 hour flight. I was lucky to fly with a very sweet girl from India for the whole month of May. Her name is Ishita and until now, whenever we meet in the Flight Operations, we'd say how much we missed to have each other on our flights. 

Lady and I went to Istanbul in Turkey in June as passengers. We spent a day and a night there while our friend, Marj was on layover. We stayed in her hotel room and the three of us bonded together. We did a lot of eating and sightseeing. 

I spent long days off in Cebu in July. I was able to trade a round- trip flight for an open day so I could connect my days off and open days. I had my Executive Check- up from head to toe in MyHealth Clinic in Robinson's and happy about the results. I spent time with him and his family. We went to Mountain View for lunch, Temple of Leah and an art museum in Mactan, He had his house blessing. His entire family and I spent a good time at the Westown Lagoon. I flew to Geneve in Switzerland for the first time and I saw the beautiful Swiss Alps from the top. 

Dee-ann and I met in Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates in August. She is one of my high-school and college buddies. We never had the chance to see each other in Leyte but we were both glad I was able to visit her on a weekend so she toured me around the city and we chatted non- stop, recalling our school days and talking about anything. I was called up to fly to Washington DC and luckier when I was upgraded to operate a Manila flight where I get to stay in our layover hotel in Sofitel. But I could have been the luckiest if my family were able to join me in my stay. It was such a short notice and I was sure the airfare from Tacloban to Manila was soaring high. 

In the whole month of September, I get to fly with Lady. I'm thankful I had a close friend with me every time I flew especially on layovers. I visited another city in India, Madras. We discovered the place together. On my days off, I bravely traveled Cairo in Egypt on a solo trip. That was my first international solo journey. I will write a separate post about my experience there. Lastly for this month, we flew to Jakarta in Indonesia. This time Marj used her free ticket to fly to Jakarta while Lady and I had our layover.

In October, I was upgraded for Los Angeles flight. During the layover, I was with a Filipina and we both visited Disneyland California. I am lucky to have visited Disneyland in Hong Kong, Paris and this time in the United States. Next time should be in Japan. :) Jeff and I visited Vigan in Ilocos Sur for our 5th year anniversary.

November was when I reunited with my family in Leyte again. I didn't want to risk flying to Manila this month of December when all flights will be full of people going home for the holidays. I first get to spend a night with some of my high school batchmates at home. The following morning, our family and Jeff headed to Caluwayan Palm Beach Resort in Samar for a weekend escape.

I spent my pre- birthday celebration in London with my Aunt Janet. I get to see a theater for the first time, playing Miss Saigon. Upon returning back to Jeddah, I was surprised by a birthday cake, balloons, a birthday card and bouquet of roses. It was his surprise with the help of Lady. December was indeed full of surprises. I get to see Gwen who was having her layover here in Jeddah. I get to spend Christmas with lady with a lunch out and dinner at home.

Those are good things that remind me how God has blessed me so much. It really isn't about the place or the length of time I've spent with my friends and loved ones. It's all about the fulfillment, happiness and inner peace that come with the moments. It really isn't about the number of times I've been to a certain place. It's all about the people I'm with and the unique experiences I try each time. I thank God for new days.. surprises and thoughtfulness through wonderful presents from people I care about.. the grace and kindness bestowed on me by others.. the thank you responses from thank you's I've said.. the smiles I got back.. relationships that have gone further.. expectations met and exceeded.. the presence of my close friends when I felt like needing to cry.. the ears that listened.. the strangers who took their time to help.. the hi's and hello's from people I saw again.. the 'that will pass' from people who I first met but shared comfortably my stories with.. the fun and laughter.. the sweet kisses and hugs.. the good- byes which meant looking forward to's..

And there were also 'not so good things' that remind me how God has blessed me with so much MORE. There have been the lowest of lows, sadness, sacrifices, enemies, humiliations, doubts, arguments, unanswered questions, fears, heartaches, confusions, and even points of crying out so loud and giving up. And that's about it because I don't want to dwell on bad feelings and experiences anymore. The reason I said God has blessed me with so much more is He made greater things out of bad ones like turning broken relationships into healthier ones. He made me realized how more beautiful life is with downs and challenges. He made my goals and focus a lot much clearer this time. Yes, I still cry but that doesn't mean I'm not a stronger person.

I can still be more specific with everything I wrote in here but that means this post will never come to an end. :) There are just so many things I'm thankful for- every second, every minute. Thank you Lord for everything! I appreciate everything You did to my life and to this year of 2015.. the abundance of things, good or bad and the lessons that come with them- I will forever be grateful.