Thirteen moments of 2013

Tis the season for lists. People love year-end lists. Thirteen has always been considered an unlucky number, so I figured I'd turn things around by making a lit of my thirteen favorite moments. It's been a roller-coaster ride, this year. With  a string of really great highs with a regular does of complete desolation. Because balance, always, is key. Looking back, there's been so much to be thankful for, and so many moments that could be added to this list. But below are some of the more memorable moments of 2013, listed countdown style, 13 to 1.

13. Going to my first gig night alone
"It's gonna be fine", I tell myself, "there's gonna be so many people in there, no one will even notice you're alone". I was hysterically incorrect. Going to events alone terrifies me. And seeing that the venue wasn't filled to the brim and had space for tables and chairs and people chilling in their own cliques made me want to walk out the door as soon as I came in. But I stayed. And waited. For that one band I came for. Best part is, I got to chat with their vocalist. I know, crayyyyy.

12. Bazooka Rocks Fest
My first indoor rock music festival experience. Also, my first intense mosh pit experience. In which I rocked out to a band I didn't know, to a song I've never heard, and fell on a complete stranger in a failed attempt to form a circle pit. Also, experiencing what it would be like to be crushed to near death by All Time Low fans as I tried to leave the pit. Took me two days to fully recover from it, and it was awesome.

11. Facing the month long anxiety and sending out applications

If there's anything I've learned this year, it's that sometimes in order to get the things that you want, all you have to do is ask. Nicely. But the thing is, sometimes, asking, and putting my work out there terrifies me more than killer bees do. Yet that feeling weeks after finally facing my fears, I realize things aren't so bad. Maybe I'll give it another shot next month/year. With a lot less anxiety.

10. People showing up at the first big event I've co-organized
I've never been this invested in a band before, but something about Thirty Seconds to Mars and the Echelon just takes up a cozy spot in my heart. So me and a few friends put together a gig night that happened to be set at the end of my birthday week. About 80+ people showed up, the bands that played were awesome, and everybody had a great time. Took me a day and a half to physically recover, which is telling of how great it was. It's great spending the night with my college barkada, and Echelon friends. It felt like a great night with family.

9. Seeing Fall Out Boy after six years
It doesn't happen very often where I quite literally panic-buy a concert ticket on the first week fearing that they'd run out. But I did. And I waited six long years for them to come back. I was right in the pit, and we were all jumping and dancing and they were absolutely amazing. It was worth the wait. And the asthma attack that came after thanks to temperature changes (all sweats + walking in the rain + drying up in an air conditioned room) was all worth it. Something about seeing your favorite band and enjoying their music live is just so therapeutic.

8. Stephen Christian of Anberlin loving a photo I took at their set in Manila
As a HUGE fan of Anberlin, it took a few days of internal screaming to finally get it out of my system. I think it's pretty cool that someone I photographed likes a picture I took of them. Also serves as a constant reminder to always watermark. Because you'll never know when that'll be of great importance. But ho hey hooray. He still has the said photograph on his twitter and instagram. Which I still think is super awesome. Copyright issues aside.

7. Metric in Manila
The band I would literally wake up at 3am for just to see their set at Coachella, or Lolla, or at the Bowery, has finally arrived to my city. Although I'm still bummed about not getting floor tickets or meeting them after the show, and me still dealing with my post concert depression over them, it was perfect. They were so good live. I've waited for so long to finally experience singing along to Breathing Underwater with them and a bunch of strangers, and it was glorious.

6. Seeing my photo in Meg magazine
There are no words to describe how awesome it feels to see your work printed on half a page of a popular local teen glossy, with such great people. Got multiple copies of it, and gave one to my grams. Months later and I still get all warm and fuzzy and grateful for such a cool opportunity.

5. Going to a music festival alone
If I can survive gig night alone, why not see how far I can go? This is where my concert buddy bailed (with good notice and reason), and my friend who's already in the venue, could not be reached by phone. There are not enough words to describe how uncomfortable the entire experience was until I found two ladies, who turned out to be cousins, kind enough to let me hang with them. The event was perfect tho. Neon Trees was amazing, and Tyler crowd surfed. And by now, my love affair with mosh pits is probably no secret, right? Right?

4. My first writing gig for Pindie Music

I've never really seen myself as the writer type. So it does make me all mushy on the inside to meet people who think I can write. And my first writing gig for them involves meeting and his team for The Voice of the Philippines. It was awesome meeting the contestants, and Apl himself who was very down to earth and curious about the underground music scene. I do hope he gets to swing by B-Side and see one of those flip top battles (is that what they're called?) himself, and check out indie bands at SaGuijo which is just a cartwheel away, sometime in the near future.

3. The annual birthday cake

I stopped making a huge deal of birthdays since grade school. It seemed to be that day of the year where I used to think I deserved some extra kindness yet get sorely disappointed. Since then, I've always been pleasantly surprised with all the little yet awesome things that come. Like cake. I'd never say no to cake. With a candle to blow. I think it's super sweet that my close friends from college give me cake every year. Always makes me warm inside.

2. When a piece of me makes it to Japan in an art exhibit
It all started with an email. Next thing I know, I'm sending a semi-updated artwork from two years ago back. A few weeks later, an update. A piece of me is part of Ayala Museum's The Filipino Spirit is Waterproof exhibit at KIITO in Kobe, Japan! Super surreal.

1. Waking up to my parents singing Happy Birthday to me at 6 in the morning
What can I say? I have the sweetest, most supportive parents, beyond anything I could ever ask for. Also this happened six hours after I stayed up all night so I can tweet a line off Taylor Swift's 22. I know. I'm so mature. But seriously, I love them to bits and pieces, it makes me so happy to have their support in my pursuit of my love for music and photography. <3

If there's anything that was constant with this year, it was my regular duel with my anxiety, and my appreciation for the little things. I think working at home has made me even more anxious about many many things that didn't bother me as much before. What I've taken out of reading the book The Art Of Non-Conformity was investing and appreciating the things that you can't exactly put in a box. Like moments, and dreams, and a bunch of little things. Perhaps I've taken the "invest in memories" part to heart way to much, because I've seen A LOT of bands this year. From music festivals, to concerts, to gigs. And this is bound to escalate come 2014! Anyway, there was much to be thankful for in this roller-coaster of a year that it honestly makes me excited on what the new year brings.

Here's to spending everything on seeing bands, and fun times in 2014!


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