31 December, 2016

I will never forget the good times, 2016

Conquer was my word for 2016. There were a few times when I thought that I wasn't going to be able to live by it. I picked a strong word, too strong, that there were days when I just wanted to be curled up in bed and not be bothered by anyone. Kinda like a shutdown I-dont-care situation. When I think about it, that would be me over-reacting. Well, just a little because 2016 is like all other years: it is full of challenges. And right now, as I look back, I feel good because aside from the bold things that this year threw at me, it also brought me so much joy, love, opportunities, clarity, and new friends.

Thank You, 2016

On Work
Huge accomplishments at work go with 2016. It wasn't a walk in the park, but I'm glad that I saw them through as these are things that I hold important in my career as a Marketing practitioner and branding enthusiast. None of it would have been possible without the help of the people who supported me and the guidance of one of the most brilliant men in Philippine real estate that I know. I'm still a workaholic and I don't see this as a bad thing. For me, it simply means that I continue to be focused, driven, and motivated. I am constantly bombarded with questions from friends and peers in the industry why I stuck it out with the company I'm with right now. It's simple: I still enjoy and love what I do. When you're in that kind of situation, you find ways to make things work. It isn't always about being nice because not everyone is going to like you. So what. That's made me do 2 things differently:

1) I let go of my fear to ask for help. Asking for help does not mean you're weak.
2) I took courage to speak my mind and to say the truth even if I know that it won't win me cookie points.

In 2016, GoD blessed me with new bosses and new peers that I was able to genuinely call 'family' in my second home. Every bump that we went through was easy because you know that there are strong people with good hearts who have your back. Ever heard of Jack Johnson's song, Better Together? It kind of describes how I feel towards them.Ü "It's always better when we're together. Yeah, we'll look at them stars when we're together."

On Being An Adult
I'm grateful for everything that's happened in 2016. I know I am a different person ... definitely a better me! I'm not as reactive and am now less combative. Since I value the relationships I have whether it's on a professional or personal level, at times when I know that that I have every right to be angry, I choose not to because I know that throwing a fit will neither change nor make the situation better. It took a while, but I'm glad to have mastered the art of walking away from unnecessary and irrelevant conflict.

On Life & Relationships
On days when I felt like giving up, it was the people who surrounded me that made me want to soldier on. I didn't want to let any of them down. I don't think I was ever the type of person who'd let others down. To conquer means to be able to gracefully roll with the punches and it does not mean that you have to face them alone. This is just one of the many life lessons I learned from one of my favorite people in the world, JFS. In the process, I learned to delegate, to be more patient, to choose my battles, and most importantly, to once again trust in the goodness of others.

With just a few minutes til 2017, let's time-hop a bit and revisit some of the moments of one of the happiest years of my life.

First Wedding This Year. Finding Love When You Least Expect It
This was the first wedding that I went to in 2016. When I was told
that France & Tin were getting married, I just knew that I can't miss seeing this union.
I would love to share more about their love story, but yeah, let's leave it at that.
What's important is they get their happy ending and their happily-ever-after.Ö

Maramaing Salamat, Singapore Tourism Board.
I was in Singapore ( again ) this year.Ü Do you guys remember the #SingaporeInvites contest
that I joined back in 2015? Yup, I was one of the 25 winners. The lovely people from STB
were instrumental to a sorta reunion with good friends that I have not seen in a looong time.
Traveling always brings people closer. We certainly can't wait to be back. • Read More

Metal Mouth Again. And there is nothing wrong with it.
There were people who said that I didn't need it because my teeth were straight,
but when you grew up being teased by people from the higher batch,
because of your teeth, you never really get over that trauma. When I noticed that
my teeth 'flared', I knew that I had to find a new ortho. So far, so good.

Missing these guys .... #GoodTimes

A photo posted by R U S S (@ruussso) on

Family Time is Always LOVE.
My Mom's older sister was in PH for the death anniversary of my grandmother.
One good thing that happens whenever there is a balikbayan is how there is always
extra-extra family time. I saw cousins that I have not seen in a while and boy,
they're all grown-up! How fun were the good ol' times when we were all little kids.

Manila's Fittest. Training for my First Kettlebell Tournament.
I remember how excited I was when my name was chosen to join Manila's Fittest.
KBs are my favorite and even if the training was almost gruesome, it felt great.
to get my groove back. Unfortunately, I got sick days before the tournament and was not
able to join. Sayang talaga. I bet it would have been an awesome experience.

Second Wedding This Year. #LesMikeHappyEnding
This wedding that we attended joins my Top 3 best weddings of couple friends.
I met the other friends of P. It's always great to meet the people he grew up with.

Unlikely Friends. Unexpected Friendships. Super Women Unite.
I always had this sort of 'shield' or 'wall' when it comes to people in Sales in our office.
This year, new and beautiful friendships were made. I don't know how it happened,
but it just happened. And I'm glad it happened. I really enjoy my time when I'm with
Susan G. & Frances J. Dinners take forever — the kind that you wish won't end.Ü

This just happened. 😜 #BW #BTS #PhotoShoot #Tagaytay #NoChoiceJustGrind

A photo posted by R U S S (@ruussso) on

Moldex360 Photo Shoot. This was one for the books.
We, Sir Joey Santos and I, fondly called this, our legacy. Months after the shoot,
our legacy is slowly happening. I'm proud of this and will definitely share with you
what we've done. I'm proud of it. I am also happy because this was instrumental
in giving me the opportunity to work with one of the best men in real estate in PH.

My First Mid-Autumn Festival.
This is a memorable event for P and I. He'd always invite me to go with him
to Mid-Autumn parties but I always make some lame excuse not to go.
This year, we went to our first Mid-Autumn Festival and wow, I enjoyed!
We came home with a lot of treats, prizes, and the Zhong Guan. • Read More

10.25.16 Sunset. All in a day's work.

A photo posted by R U S S (@ruussso) on

Another Career Milestone in My Real Estate Journey.
This is part of 'our legacy' that I mentioned earlier. This was at GRS, during my first-ever
drone shoot. It was one of the most stressful that I've done in my real estate career.
I remember how I was almost in tears during the first viewing of the corporate AVP.
This day, the universe ( except for DFA ) conspired to make this long overdue wish happen.

Fall 2016 🍂

A photo posted by R U S S (@ruussso) on

Japan Take 3, Yet Still So Many FIRSTS.
Japan will always have a special place in my heart. We are super lucky that we were able
to visit again this year. It's our third time in Japan and second time in Osaka,
yet it still feels like we're here the first time & it also never fails to teach us to expand
our perspectives. Thank you for making us experience the magic of FALL. See you in 2017.

Someone's always saying in goodbye in December.
December is supposed to be a month of smiles. Although for me, for the second year,
someone I look up to and have become really close had to say goodbye. Sniff. Sniff.
As I write this post, I obviously have not gotten over this person's decision to leave,
It still sucks, but life goes on. "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

I end 2016 with a positive, thankful vibe the same way as I did last year and in previous years. I am taking a minute to not ask for anything but to continue to be grateful for the opportunities, for all the blessings, for everyone who's still in my life, for new friendships, and for everything that has been given to me. Despite some sad moments, 2016 has still been good to my family and I. Each time I feel like I can't go on any longer, I take time look at the bigger picture and realize that I still have no reason to complain. I promise to always do my best to be a good person even if others are not.Ü

To YOU ( the person reading this post ), I am happy that we counted another year of being virtually together. I wasn't able to blog that much this year, but I hope to write more often in 2017. I genuinely hope to meet you in person in one of my future travels. From my blog to yours, may you have a blessed, peaceful, and adventure-filled 2017 ahead. Happy New Year beautiful people! xoxo  Peace + ❥ Love + Good Vibes. RUSS.

2015: Purposeful
2014: Family
2013: Forgiveness


Liz Martin said...

i love love love this post Russ! it's so heartfelt. and i love your word for 2016 - conquer and congrats on making it! what's your word for 2017? :)

Anonymous said...

I could take a lesson from you about being an adult, even at 45 I still find myself having moments of throwing tantrums, I just can't help myself in some moments, of course i'm at home and never publicly would throw a fit, but behind closed doors, I can be quite childish sometimes. :)

John Paul Quiambao said...

Wow! you're really blessed for 2016! your post is so motivating that I just can't help but go so "kilig" as i read the post. It's really nice to read articles like this every now and then. They're just so amazing and all. :)

lalalaPatricia said...

Ehh I feel you! Especially with letting go of your fears. I learned to asked for advices, as well as be firm o what I believe and speak about it. But yes, I always be careful that I don't hurt someone. Cheers and to more good times this 2017!

Fred Hawson said...

Always nice to look back at all we have done in our family and our career and ourselves in the past year. What a great idea to bring them all together in one blog post to reflect upon the lessons you gained from each activity.

Masshole Mommy said...

When you have a great tribe of people that surround you, it definitely helps. Glad you found a way to soldier through.

Franc said...

Congrats on a successful 2016. You had a lot of new milestone, lessons and things to be grateful for.

Franc said...

I'm having a hard time at kettlebells, which makes me more impressed that you trained for a competition. Too bad you got sick but I'm sure the training did wonders on you.

Candace Kage said...

We should be able to look back and reflect on past Year hopefully with happiness. Se our achievements and remember what e learned.

Jennifer Johnson said...

I love Kettlebells!!! I know one of my focuses for 2017 is to get healthy again and back to strength training.

Jennifer EngineerMommy said...

It's great to go over all the best moments of 2016. It sounds like you had a wonderful year. I can't wait to see what 2017 brings for you!

Bhushavali N said...

Best wishes for your workouts and wishing you a wonderful health and love and friendships in 2017. Happy New Years dear!

Jacqui Stewart said...

That's awesome that you're finding your way as an adult and being less reactive. Heck, I'm 44 and I STILL have this issue lol. Usually the teen sets me off though. Can't wait to see what 2017 brings you!

Anosa Malanga said...

Isn't it just grand when God provides us or leads us exactly where we need to be? Be it help with out careers or making new friends.
2016 sounds like it was an amazing year for you and good luck with 2017

Liz Mays said...

It's awesome that you've been able to accomplish so much in a year! You definitely did a good job with your 2016 word.

Cori said...

Happy New year, have an amazing 2017! It sounds like you have a fantastic and blessed 2016. All the best this coming year.

Garf said...

I like everything that happened to me in 2016. That includes the bad, good and the ugly.

Dawn McAlexander said...

It is good to see someone who thought 2016 was a good year. So many people have been complaining about how bad 2016 was, this is really refreshing.

Emily, Our house now a home said...

You had such a full year! It is great to look back on the past year and see what happened, how we grew and changed. Maybe even some hard lessons learned. It is great to use to start the New Year off right. You are so inspirational to have trained for the competition. You got it this year!

Kita Bryant said...

A lot of people have said that they hated 2016. Honestly, it was rough at times but it's because 2016 had a lot of huge changes for me!

Stephanie Jeannot said...

I have to agree. 2016 was no walk in the park though there were many great moments. You are like me, I decided to have a word for the week this year because it keeps me with a positive mind set on trying to conquer just that. I love it. I hope your 2017 s filled with conquering goals.

Jess Holmes said...

You did such a great job at wrapping up your 2016. Makes me want to do the same now!

Ricci said...

Looks like you had an amazing year!! I agree, 2016 wan't really all that bad!!

Dae Nerys said...

Looking back at our accomplishments the past year can help us find our way forward to a better and brighter tomorrow. Congratulations for conquering it all! What amazing adventures you had. Wishing you more of these blessings and more this 2017!

Mom Knows Best said...

Looks like a nice year in review. Here is to a wonderful 2017

Kimberly C. said...

What a nice way to reflect on the past year. Makes me want to do it too. I think looking back makes us appreciate life much more and be grateful for all we have. I sure am.

Sarah-Louise Bailey said...

It is nice to reminisce about the past especially if it makes you a better person. Be thankful for all the achievements you have received and keep up the good work and probably be an inspiration to everyone.

laborders2000 said...

Wow! It looks like 2016 was wonderful for you and you accomplished so much. Wishing your 2017 to be as great as 2016!

Vicky said...

I love reading about 2016 review of different people. Yours is very good. I hope you continue with "Conquer 2017".

Becca Wilson said...

I totally am learning lessons still every single day. I love your word for the year!

mira pstr said...

I hope 2017 will be as great as 2016, I wish you a happy new year and a huge success this year.

Annemarie LeBlanc said...

My 2016 was a flurry of all sorts of things. There were major changes I had to adjust to and thankfully, I was able to get through that huge hurdle unscathed. I am hoping you (or we) will be blessed with lots of wonderful opportunities. And always remember to give back. Remember, "What goes around, comes around." Spread the kindness. :)

Brenda said...

I like that you found positive things in the midst of hard times. It's important to be able to ask questions when you need help. The picture of the sunset is so beautiful. My husband is also from the Philippines.

Lauren Michelle said...

Giving yourself a word to sum up your year is a great idea! Taking a look at every aspect in your life and comparing it to that word helps you compare and contrast your challenges and how you came over them, seeing your progress. I love it!

Angela Risk said...

It's so refreshing to see someone focus on the GOOD THINGS of 2016!

I love the picture of you all dressed up! What do you think 2017 is going to look like for ya?

Kat said...

I didn't like to ask for help, but later I realised it's nothing wrong with! It can really make life so much easier. And of course it doesn't mean we're weak! I'm glad you had a really good year and I'm sure 2017 will be even better:)

Mary Jane Tauyan said...

amazing recap for 2016! i always have mandatory recap as well but i failed for 2016, was too busy with lots of things. i miss the trip in singapore too, i lived there for 6yrs mygosh time flies! nice to know you've met a lot of good friends on the way

Anonymous said...

Japan sounds beautiful and special, We look forward to going some day. I love your bit on being and adult. I sometimes give into my childish behavior even at 45 but mostly have learned over the years to pick my battles and handle things a little more diplomatic. It can be hard but whining and complaining really get me know where. I think it's a normal life lesson that we all learn as we start to grow into our own as an adult. beautiful recap of the year.

Vanessa Palma said...

I love how you took a nice long look at the events that shaped your year. What a great idea.

Emma Oxley said...

Such a lovely positive post! Some great experiences and memories. For me, 2016 was the year I started my blog so that is what I'm most thankful for - I now have an outlet for my creativity and something I am incredibly passionate about. Here's to 2017!

mail4rosey said...

I love that you conquered some big things. Being less reactive/combative is so very good!! Here's to an amazing 2017!

AiringMyLaundry said...

It looks like you had a lot of good things happen in 2016. I loved seeing all your photos!

Brandi Kennedy said...

Looks like your 2016 was much better than mine was! Here's to a great 2017 - for both of us!

Emma white said...

Its always good to look back on our previous year and see how far we have come! Ive always wanted to go to japan!

sandy n vyjay said...

2016 has indeed been a rocking year for you. I feel every year comes with a mix of the good and the bad. One needs to take everything in ones stride and keep moving on. Wishing all your dreams flower into reality in 2017.

lhourdes mercadero said...

You had a great 2016. I like the #1 that you've said, about asking for help. I also thought asking for help makes me weak and incompetent.
Wishing you a have a great year again.

Natasha Smith said...

This was a good read. Conquer was an awesome word for 2016. Kudos to you for a great 2016.

Athena Nagel said...

Congratulations on such a great year. Sounds like this one brought you so many great memories.

George said...

I'm happy to hear that you feel like you have become a better version of yourself. From what I can tell from your post, it seems like you have accomplished a lot in 2016, big thumbs up. Looking forward to follow you in 2017.

Maria Han said...

Sounds like you had a great 2016 and mine was a full of challenging, I hope we had a better 2017

michelle said...

Looks like you had an amazing year. I wish 2017 will be great for you as well.

Misty Nelson Dawn said...

I'm so glad that you have a wonderful year 2016 and I wish you have a better 2017

Crystal Gard said...

I like that you cam up with a word to describe how your 2016 went. If I were to do the same I would say Chaotic. It sounds like you had a pretty good year and hopefully this year will be as well.

CourtneyLynne said...

Omg what a fabulously happy post!!! So happy your 2016 was awesome!!! Wishing you the best in 2017

Elizabeth O. said...

That was a busy year! But full of good memories as well. I'm sure you'll have more adventures this year. It's nice that you got to do so much last year.