The Year That Was: 2008

It is time for my year-ender. As we await January 1, 2009, I am grateful for all the joys and challenges of 2008 and look forward to 2009 with hope and faith.

The year 2008 was a good one for me and my family. While we also contended with high oil prices and asked ourselves "Are these all our grocery bags?" after we had our credit cards swiped, the year that is about to finish brought us a lot of opportunities to marvel at God's graciousness. We were blessed with good health. We were part of many happy occasions -- from friends' weddings to major milestones like titos and titas turning 80, 85, or 90. We reflected on cherished memories as relatives and friends moved on to a much peaceful, better world.

What were the major developments for the viloria family in 2008?

1. I left my fourth job after only four months. There are jobs that work out and there are those that don't. Still, I am grateful for the experience and the chance to try something new. Made some friends in the process so nothing we go through is ever really wasted.

2. Rejoined my former company in February 2008 so my third job is now my fifth job. I am happy.

3. We had another reunion for the Arabit-Bautista-Olmedo-Yamzon families on February 16, 2008 at the Makati Sports Club. Will there be another reunion in 2009? I think the organizing cousins are reunioned-out for the moment.

4. Adi is done with his shots! After years of going to the pedia for all sorts of immunization, my son will finally be free of such scheduled shots. All that's left is for him to get a flu shot yearly. Freedom!

5. We went to Boracay for our family vacation in May 2008. It was our third time in Boracay as a couple, our second with Adi, and our first with Ali. Next destination, please!

6. We had a family reunion as we celebrated a wedding in Utah and a graduation in California. This was my first personal trip (without the husband and kids -- business trips and retreats don't count) since I got married and it was good to be a child again.

7. I launched my very first book - Mom's A Stewardess (Or Why There is No Vacation from Your Vocation) -- Stories of Stewardship on July 9, 2008. The book is published by Claretian Publications and is available in the Philippines at National BookStore, Powerbooks, and BestSellers branches. This is one of my biggest dreams come true!

8. Although I missed out on the chance to go on a retreat this year, I was blessed to attend an Advent Recollection last December 14, with Bishop Tagle as recollection master. Bishop Tagle is just so blessed! I will never look at Advent the same way again. I hope to share his teachings and reflections by next Advent, maybe.

Oh, and did I tell you that my phone malfunctioned, so much so that when it got repaired, I lost all the contacts stored in my phone memory? A lesson in backing up data and detachment. We all rejoiced as Pacquiao won over his opponents (the dream match with de la Hoya had me yawning -- kaya pala, dream match) and couldn't believe the shenanigans that government got itself into.

Still, it was a good, blessed year. So, as we end 2008 and look forward to 2009, let me share with you an SMS message that I received from a friend just a few minutes ago:

2008 is nearing its end. It was a great year. We smile as we look back at happy moments, victories, and successes, no matter how small. We relish life and all its struggles. Let's forget the unpleasant times and thank our Lord for giving us new mornings and better tomorrows. I wish you and your family a prosperous new year!

[By Angelica Viloria | Wednesday, December 31, 2008]

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