Best of 2016: Dawning as Alenna

This year has been truly awesome (대박)! My expectations have been exceeded by all the experiences I gained throughout 2016. I met a lot of people from varying walks of life and from different parts of the world, made new friends, and built enriching relationships. My eyes also feasted on a lot of breathtaking places in the Philippines and in South Korea as well!

My year started with saying a few ‘goodbye’s (also equal to ‘See you again someday.’) last January to some friends.

In February, I spontaneously volunteered with The Hope Project (UP Manila) through the encouragement of my friend, Novaya. In the same month, I rediscovered the Philippine history in Corregidor island.

At the end of March, I started my blog, “Dawning as Alenna” and celebrated achievements in Sofitel’s Spiral (my favorite restaurant).

April was when a lot of events took place, I was inducted as an officer of the Honor Society of Mapua in Caliraya Lake of Laguna. Furthermore, a lot of ‘first time’s happened when I traveled alone to the other Palawan, Coron/Busuanga, which easily became my favorite island (came back last September). During that trip, I finally loved being a scuba diver. In this trip, I was able to meet a lot of travelers from all over the world.

When May approached, I rode the emotional roller coaster that came along with it. It brought me up and down while spiraling through the loops. As the track became crazier, I toughened up and became stronger.

In June, I unleashed the prowess of beauty in me when I walked for the fiesta in Balayong as Reyna Flores.

At the EECE summer outing in Bataan last July, my best friend, Ate AJ, finally decided to join me in South Korea as an exchange student. In this event, I also became closer to my electrical engineering colleagues (batch mates and seniors). July was when I went on a camping/team building trip with IIEE at the Sacramento Adventure Camp in Rizal.

As my last month in Mapua for the year 2016, I strutted on ramp for Honor Society of Mapua in Teknorampa reigning as Aqua Virreina and Most Popular in August.

#DawningInKorea was the highlight of my ‘-ber’ months (September, October, November, and December). I flied to South Korea and lived there for 3 months as an exchange student in Kumoh National Institute of Technology. #DawningInKIT as I would go for. This country was where I learned a new language (Korean) and started studying Chinese. I indulged my taste buds on the rich Korean cuisine. My fashion sense also shifted when I boldly got bangs and permed hair. Two more seasons were added to my list: autumn and winter. I also experienced my first snow and tried skiing. I also traveled around South Korea; Gumi, Daegu, Changwon, Pyeongchang, Seoul, Yongin, Imingak, and DMZ (demilitarized zone) as well as the border to North Korea. As a new found self-tradition, I spent my birthday traveling. I celebrated my 19th birthday (20th in Korean age) which was beyond spectacular. I made a lot of Korean friends as well as other international friends during my stay in Korea. They’ve opened my eyes into their cultures and broadened my perspective about people of different races. 감사합니다 to all my friends in South Korea.

Finishing the year off (with a bang), I went camping with my closest college friends in Masasa beach (Batangas) and dived once again into the magical underwater paradise! Home once again, the holidays are as what I remembered from since when I was child.

I ended my year with more goodbyes, but same as how my ‘goodbye’s before meant, it’s supposed to say ‘See you again someday.’

2016 was a great year for me, #DawningAsAlenna progressed successfully. There were challenging times, but all those were conquered. The year ending marks the start of accomplishing more plans that are vital for my future. I truly am ready for the surprises stored for me in 2017. This new year will be full of smiles, laughs, lessons, challenges, tears, friendships, love, excitements, thrills, adventures, and opportunities. #DawningAsAlenna will be better this 2017.

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