The Year That Was: 2009

A grace-filled new year to all the readers and visitors of The year 2009 was a non-writing year for me: I blogged less, wrote less. I guess that is what happens with age. Sleeping became my favorite activity, more favored than eating, shopping, traveling, reading, and yes, even writing.

This 2010, my New Year's resolution is actually to sleep more and eat less.

How did the year 2009 go? It was a very good year for our family, busy but good. Here are the major things that happened:

1. It was a year of milestones. My son Adi turned 13 and is now in Grade 7. My daughter Ali turned 7 and is now in Grade 1. Both my parents turned 85 and are still healthy and well.

2. It was a good year for the credit rating business. PhilRatings, the company I work for, saw a lot of bond issuances which we credit rated. San Miguel Brewery offered the biggest bond issue ever at P38.8 billion. Financial and material blessings thus came our way.

3. The Viloria family went on its annual vacation at Playa Tropical Resort Hotel in Ilocos Norte. Manuel went on a trip to Palawan with his officemates. Angel went on a trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for work and training.

4. I went to writing class with Rica Bolipata Santos. I enjoyed the readings, the exercises, but most of all, I enjoyed meeting new friends who also liked to write. There are not very many people who are like that, I tell you.

5. Mom's A Stewardess, the book, celebrated its first year anniversary. Also in 2009, I started to do stewardship talks for select groups outside of my own parish, Christ the King. I hope to do more talks in 2010. Mom's A Stewardess, the book, also won the Best Book in Family Life in the Cardinal Sin Book Awards. The award was given during the 2009 Catholic Mass Media Awards last October 14, 2009.

6. While I was not able to go on a major retreat again in 2009, I was surprised to discover (after checking my diary for 2009) that I managed to go to seven spiritual-related talks and also completed the simbang gabi. Special thanks go to Fr. Borja, Fr. Tom Green (may he rest in peace), Bishop Ambo David (The Spirituality of Stewardship Lenten Recollection), Bishop Tagle (Found by Love Lenten Recollection and Grace Upon Grace Advent Recollection), Dom Xavier, Moses Catan (Vocation of Money) for adding to my spiritual knowledge and enriching my faith in the past year.

7. Manuel and I both celebrated our 25th year since graduating from high school. Xavier School had its homecoming last December 5, 2009, while St. Pedro Poveda College's Homecoming will coincide with its 50th anniversary celebration. This will be on January 9, 2010, with Batches 1984 (my batch!) and 1985 celebrating their silver jubilee. So to Povedans everywhere, be proud to be a Povedan! It's time to come home. It's time to give back. Be at Poveda on January 9, 2010. Registration starts at 4:30pm. There will be a program, a mass, a dinner, and a dance party. Reconnect with your friends from school. After all, you would not be where you are today had you not gone to Poveda.

It was a year of relatively good health for our family. We remember those who passed away. Parents of our friends. Relatives like Consuelo Bautista (97 years old), Tita Dolly (90 years old), and Lorraine Villanueva. Members of the Ateneo community: Headmaster of the Grade School, Fr. Joey Fermin, SJ and Master Amiel Alcantara (Grade 4-Manobo). We recall happy celebrations like the weddings and wedding anniversary celebrations of friends and relatives.

On the national front, we remember: the victories of Manny Pacquiao; the Pangandaman and de la Paz Valley Golf incident; fears and "no classes" caused by AH1N1; the passing away of former Philippine president Cory Aquino; the devastation caused by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng and the demonstration of heroism and kindness by Filipinos to those who were affected; the Ampatuan massacre; CNN Hero of the Year Efren Penaflorida; and the restiveness of Mayon Volcano.

We face another year 2010 with hope and faith. For Filipinos everywhere, it will be a historical year. The May 2010 elections give us another opportunity to improve the lot of our beloved nation, the Philippines. Vote wisely. Choose wisely.

So, as we face the unknown, I wish all of you a grace-filled 2010. In 2009, I finally caught on cable TV the movie The Bucket List. At some point in the movie, there is a mention of the two most important things in life - to find joy and to bring joy to others. To all our viloria readers, may 2010 be filled with opportunities for you to bring joy to others and for you to find joy in every situation that life brings your way. God bless you.

[By Angelica Viloria | Sunday, January 3, 2010]

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