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Top 20 of 2020

I am not sure how to do my year-end summary this year since we're too paranoid about travelling because of the pandemic. For inspiration, I read all the year-end post I've had since 2012. 

I never realized how much I travelled before and how happy I was. Before, I was happy and broke, visiting new places and meeting people. Now, I am not broke, but I don't travel, and I am not as happy as I was during my carefree younger years.

For fun, here's a link to all my year-end posts in chronological order:
For this year, I will make a list of the top 20 things that made me happy, I accomplished, or that happened in my life this year.

What made me happy or smile

I'll try to group the things I list down here. The first part are things that made me happy.

Number 1. Jomar

We started working from home in March 2020, and I am so glad that I love Jomar, or else it would have been unbearable. He's a fun co-working space officemate. We would eat cookies in the afternoon, and when I am swamped talking with customers, he will refill my water. Being with Jomar 24/7 has been an amazing experience.

Jomar and I during our rare trip to Downtown Vancouver to run errands.

Number 2. Snow

At the start of 2020, we got a healthy amount of snowfall here in Vancouver, and I still love it. I am like a child seeing snow for the first time every time! We would walk from home to work while it's snowing, and I am so amused at how beautiful everything is. Here is a video I took on one of our walks going home from work last January.


Number 3. Spring

We stayed at home in March and April, so I thought I'll miss out on spring, but the tree behind our apartment building was flowering (is that a term?), and it's comforting. I would open our balcony door and let the fresh air in and watch the flowers outside. God is good.

Beautiful spring flowers in our backyard.

Number 4. Fall / Autumn

Taking a walk to grab groceries and being rewarded by trees and clear skies like the picture below is why I decided to stay in Canada. I just love it so much!

Who knew running errands would be rewarded with such a beautiful view?

Things that happened

In this section, I am listing things / events down in chronological order.

Number 5. First and Last Whitecaps Game at BC Place

My brother, Jomar, and I watched the first home game of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place with 22,000 people on February 29, 2020. They lost, but who knew that would be the first and last time we're going to watch them for the year. Here's a video I took.


Number 6. Working from Home

We have been blessed to still be employed and working from home this year. Thank God!

Number 7. Mother's Day

Mother's Day this year is extra special since it's the first time Jomar and I visited my family in Richmond since working from home in March. We ordered Korean cuisine - my mom's favourite.

Happy Mother's Day!

Number 8. Youngest Sister's High School Graduation

Yay! Congratulations, Alyanna! She wasn't able to attend the graduation ceremony because of the pandemic, but since we already rented out (or purchased - not really sure) the graduation gown might as well dress up and take photos. It's also the week of my mom's birthday.

This is a rare photo of Alyanna smiling. It needs to be framed.

Number 9. Summer at Kitsilano Beach

My parents, youngest sister, Jomar, and I spent a couple hours near Kitsilano beach during summer. It was their first time there.

My parents people watching in Kits Beach

Number 10. Picnic at Queen Elizabeth Park

My younger sister missed our day at Kitsilano Beach, so she organized an outdoor picnic at Queen Elizabeth Park. We found a great spot near the Rose Garden and ordered lunch for delivery via Skip The Dishes.

My parents enjoying the shade under the tree.

Number 11. Smog at White Rock Pier

I wish it was misty beautiful fog, but no, it's really smoke from a forest fire happening in Washington State in the USA that reached White Rock and yet here we were walking around and eating our ice cream.

We're at Canada's Longest Pier

Number 12. Turkey for Thanksgiving

I convinced my sister Therese to cook turkey (which she did in 2018) to celebrate Thanksgiving. It's the first time we're complete for Thanksgiving.

The turkey has been carved and is now served with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce.

Number 13. My Birthday Celebration

This year's birthday is made special since it's the last time things are open before they are restricting things again because of the increase in COVID-19 cases. Honestly, the best thing about this birthday is spending time with the family... it's actually the cake. I am still not over how much I love that mocha cake I ordered from Arts to Bakes.

My Filipino birthday celebration - Mama's spaghetti, kare-kare, lumpiang shanghai, kwek-kwek, Filipino-style barbeque, and mocha cake.

Mocha Cake

Number 14. Christmas Celebration

It's the first Christmas that we didn't spend with my family, but we had a delicious Noche Buena and we received a lot of gifts from family, friends, and colleagues.

Noche Buena

Gifts

Things I accomplished

Number 15. Quit Work

Jomar has been asking me to quit since July 2019 (after our Catholic wedding in the Philippines). I stayed one more year before deciding it's finally time to leave.

This is the farewell and thank-you meeting the team organized during my last day.

I was actually recognized as employee of the month last May 2020.

This is the last holiday dinner I had with the team.

Number 16. New Work

Helping a family business and their customers is fulfilling. I realized I am "built" for small businesses or start-ups, where I feel accomplished by the end of the day. I am not a fit for big corporation culture where I am seen as just a number.

New desk to signify my new work and we got a new modem and router too.

Number 17. YouTube Videos

I have started a YouTube channel to upload random Pokemon GO videos. I just upload videos there and get so amused by how I'm getting views. I also helped QSR create videos for teachers on how to use G Suite for Education. I pray that it helps the teachers back in the Philippines.

Shiny Alolan Grimer


Number 18. Food Blog

I have not been posting anything on this travel blog since I haven't done any travelling. However, I am still eating out and ordering things for delivery, so my food blog is well maintained.

Travelling may have stopped, but eating out is still a thing. Visit my food blog!

Number 19. Supporting Filipino-owned businesses in Metro Vancouver

If you check my food blog, all the weekend of August, we supported Filipino home-based entrepreneurs trying to make end meets by selling food online. We purchased from a handful of them and were treated to the delicious food we missed back in the Philippines.

This ube cake is the first purchase I made from a Filipino home-based entrepreneur.

Number 20. Google Certified Educator Level 1 and Level 2

My GCE Level 1 and 2 certification expired last 2018 and I didn't see a point in renewing since I do very little work with the education sector and G Suite. Ms. Myna encouraged that I take the certification exam again which I did right before the year ended.

Thank God 2020 is over and we made it. I hope and pray that 2021 will be a kinder year to all of us.

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