Top 8 things I learned this 2018

What an incredible year! Today, I’d like to share my highlights and top 8 life lessons this 2018.

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A lot happened this year. Some things did not happen the way I wanted them to be. But that’s how life is. We are not always in control. The year 2018 opened opportunities that pushed me closer to some of the things I’m most passionate about. And for that, I am forever grateful to the people behind my successes.

  • Travelled with friends and family: La Union, Cagayan, Davao, Bataan, Cebu, Bohol, and Bali, Indonesia
  • Watched The Lion King!
  • Ate Samgyeopsal almost every month. HAHA
  • Became the principal investigator of 2 research projects
  • Entered graduate school and so far have good grades (better than nursing school LOL)
  • Read a lot (required and not)
  • Got a life insurance (Thanks to Enzo!)
  • Co-managing a start-up company (Nightingale Research Solutions)
  • Still no cavities. 😀
  • GCP certified
  • NIHSS certified
  • I am more calm.


Despite many successes, I also had failures. This year, I failed to:

  • Publish more blog entries.
  • Communicate with some friends and family.
  • Finish a research study.
  • Limit my Social Media time.
  • Contribute significantly to causes/advocacies I care about
  • Focus on the things that really matter.
  • Write better policy analysis. 😦

Life Lessons:

  1. Nobody is too poor that he/she cannot give. No one is too rich that he/she cannot receive. One of the best homilies I heard this year. We can be generous not only by sharing material things. We can inspire others or pray with them. We can share our experiences, knowledge, and expertise.
  2. People change. They, too, come and go. Let us not judge a person by his/her mistakes. People learn from these mistakes and it is up for them (with your help) to act on these mistakes. Some people also leave without us knowing. Communication is key to maintaining relationships (of any kind).
  3. Life is full of endless transactions. You do something in exchange for another – be it a material thing or a sense of fulfillment. We do things for and/or with a price. But not all have a price.
  4. We often fail to internalize the costs of our actions. We do not think of the consequences of our actions. Why? Because society fails to make us realize the severity of our actions. Say for example, when you buy coffee, a barista usually hands you a disposable cup. You throw that cup later on after you finish without realizing the cost of garbage collection. If the government, hypothetically, collects additional tax for every garbage collection, will we be forced to reduce our waste?
  5. There’s something good about pursuing one’s passion. I found love in Health Policy Studies. I believe this is the right path for me. I’m loving every minute of it! They say you cannot have all three: money, passion, and skills. In this new path I’m taking, I wish I end up having a job that (1) I’m actually good at, (2) a job that fulfills my passion, and (3) a job that pays enough for a decent living. Haha.
  6. Never sell your integrity, values, and principles. I would rather die hated by other people than die hating myself for turning my back on my principles.
  7. Strive to inspire others. A friend who recently topped the Dentistry Board Exam has been a source of inspiration for many. She’s one of the few people who really touches my heart. We seldom talk. But when we do, I always go home with a pinch of inspiration. Her journey (Erika Lasmarias) is a testament of God’s love and Grace. Continue to be an inspiration and blessing to others, Kaykay. Feeling down or lost?Read more about her journey in the link provided above. 🙂
  8. Detoxify. Disconnect. Love yourself. Nothing feels better than having time for yourself. Sometimes, it is okay to be alone. It is okay to attend to your needs first before thinking about the needs of others. It is okay to disconnect from the world and be with the person you love, or simply just yourself. You do not only deserve rest, you owe it to yourself.

Cheers to a better year! 🙂


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