Sans the fireworks and firecrackers that marked the birth of a New Year past 12 midnight last night, it is now January 1, the first day of the year, and it is but apt to look ahead and explore the vast blank canvas we are once again tasked to paint with little colors of our lives.

new year

But before proceeding with the future ahead of us (no matter how bright or dim it may be), it is also but apt to look back into the masterpiece we have painted the previous year–all the strokes, the dashes, the lights and the shadows, the uphills and downhills, the light and dark moments–they’re all worth reminiscing and worth learning from, especially because they will be pivotal in drawing the next future for us.

And as per tradition of my blogs for the past couple of years, I’ll have to name this year with something that describes its entirety. Last 2004 I named it The Year of Discovery, 2005 The Year of the Two, 2006 The Year of the Change. 2007, I believe, would be aptly named The Year of the Risk–for all the times I had to leave my comfort zone, for all the time I had to take on a challenge, for all the times I took a leap of faith (and times I fell, and times I rose from falling), and for all the times I took a chance… this year, it was definitely worth taking risks, for I’ve reaped many rewards because of it.

So come journey back with me and forever remember the significant moments of my life this year.

This year, I sealed my fate with Mass Comm. I told myself I’d give my course two years and if I didn’t feel comfortable with it, I’d shift out. But somehow I’ve grown to love MassComm (but somehow I don’t think it has grown to love me back; or it could just be me), the place, the courses, but most especially, the people who I interact with everyday. Somehow MassComm is not just Plaridel Hall anymore. It has become a home, a haven when I’ve no place else to go, and the people are more than welcoming in greeting me whenever I enter its doors. I go on withdrawal fits whenever I don’t get to go to MassComm. I hate MassComm during Saturdays because there are not much people and the walls and halls are silent. Somehow MassComm has grown in me, and I in it. Yes, I believe I’ve become attached with my College.

Last year was also the year I was chosen as one of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Scholars. To tell you the truth (sige na, modesty aside) I didn’t really expect to get picked because, as I’ve said before, there are far better people than me who deserve to get the title (and all its rewards). But I took it as a gift and a great opportunity instead and after a battery of tests and psychological whatnots, all three of us nominees from UP Diliman bagged the scholarship!

It was last year when I first “moved out” of Mandaluyong to move into a boarding house near UP. Commuting has become a chore for me and I always end up sleeping (because of the tiring trip back home) when I get home, having no chance to do some school work. Boarding has been the ultimate solution for such inconvenience, although it was not really easy on the pockets. I moved with Kuya Luis (who’s a freshman UP Law student) and Leo (preparing for his board exams) in UP Bliss this year, and it just opened up a whole can of new experiences for me. Last November we (Kuya Luis and I) moved out of our first semester boarding house to rent an apartment (with one of his blockmate, Kuya Don) in UP Village. The financial part of the moving out definitely wasn’t easy, because we have to pay our electric and water bills now, but having our own space where we can move around freely is definitely worth it. I learned that being independent is quite hard, because this time we really have to take care of ourselves–wash the dishes, cook our food, clean the house, to say the least. But the experience is a bit renewing because you learn something new everyday (like just recently we learned not to store to much perishable goods in the house because they tend to, well, perish. We had to learn how to store them properly so they won’t waste away).

Last year was also the year when a most unexpected thing happened. Somehow my political ideologies have been stirred up and shaken, thanks to a blog post I’ve written criticizing the (ultra)progressive stance of our University paper. I was merely criticizing the paper on the journalistic point of view but somehow people misconstrued my message, reading it as anti-activist and, quite expectedly, pro-elitist. What I wrote caused the ire of many activists in UP, especially the staff of the university paper, causing me to be featured in a hapless blind-item column in their paper. It brought up raised eyebrows, long stares and strained friendships. I didn’t expect to be treated marginally, especially from, as a blockmate would say, “people who fight for the rights of the marginalized.” It caused me to avoid people whom I think are against my stand on certain issues, but it gained me new friends who stood by me despite the occasional frightening glances thrown my way. It taught me that in a university as diverse as mine, a hegemonic and totalizing ideology exists which tend to dominate and influence every student’s thinking. They’re no different from the regime they’re fighting against, quiet honestly. But, just like what I said to a friend, take me out of UP and itaga mo sa bato, I’d be fighting for the same things they’re fighting for. It’s just a matter of how you approach people–I agree with most of what they fight for but the way they closed their minds on opposing views such as mine, thereby marginalizing me and people who think like I do, is deplorable at the very least. And what’s a bit comforting is the fact that I know I’m not alone in this “struggle,” if you may call it that.

2007 also marked my return to the “Blogging Scene” via this blog, Blue Pencil Chronicles. Before this I used to hop from blog to blog after my now-defunct 4awhile blog ended its runs sometime in 2006. I’ve been blogging since 2002 but for most of the time I’ve been, like I said, hopping from one blog to another. Hopefully this one’s for keeps.

Also worth noting is this year’s line-up of blog events. Many people have chronicled this already in their respective New Year’s Day wrap-up, and I think they’re more worthy of doing so because they’re the once who attended more blog events than I have. To date I’ve only attended four offline blogging events namely the Bloggers Kapihan 1 & 2.0, the WeeWillDoodle Moleskine exhibit and the Theater Talk with Floy Quintos. Also this year, thanks to my brief stint over at PinoyCentric, I was sent to Antique to cover a DOH launch and with it comes my first trip to the land of sweaty bodies and white sand, what else but Boracay!

Last year I met two people who instantly became two of my most-treasured friends. You guys know who you are. 2007 was much brighter and more beautiful especially because of the two of you (because hey, you’re two beautiful girls and that’s enough to make one’s year beautiful! Hehe). You’ve been with me through thick and thicker and thickest and I just love our food trip sessions and waiting for 7pm because of number coding. Here’s to a more beautiful 2008! Hehe.

Last year I managed to grab my coveted 15-minutes-of-fame thanks to a certain blog post and Manolo Quezon’s coaxing. It was a nerve-wracking experience to co-host The Explainer for me because I’m naturally camera-shy, but somehow, through some divine means or whatnot, I managed to pull it off (save for that backlash thing which will be remembered ’till time immemorial. Hehehehe).

Last year, I received my first-ever digital camera, a Kodak Easyshare C330. Well, it’s not technically mine but I’m the one who’s using it most of the time, hehe. I use it to snag most of the pictures I’ve posted in this blog, and it’s been quite a very trustworthy companion all the while. Soon I’m planning to buy myself my very own dSLR, if I manage to raise that much money.

And the killer gadget of this year would have to be… my laptop! You’ve read about how desperate I was of getting my very own laptop. And I didn’t tell you that I managed to get one thanks to my mom. But that’s because a lot of internal financial matters still needed ironing before I could fully declare this laptop as “mine,” so I didn’t blog about it just yet. But now I’m proud to say… BLOGGING LIVE FROM Joaqs (pronounced Wax, my laptop’s nickname), this is BLUE PENCIL CHRONICLES, and a HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU! WOOOHOOOO!!! =D

There. I think I hit it all with a chord. There are still a lot of unbloggable things that made my life very wonderful this year, and I choose to make them stay that way, for now. Suffice to say quite a number of unexpected things happened, as always, but I welcomed all of them with open arms.

Here’s to hoping we have a swell year ahead of us! =D

17 Responses to “It’s a Wrap!”
  1. Jaypee says:

    Congratulations on your new laptop! Happy New Year and all the best! πŸ˜€

  2. Andrew says:

    Hi JM, congrats. Looks like 2007 was a great year for you. Happy New Year!

  3. Baklang AJ says:

    Hey JM! Congratulations on your laptop! Finally! 2007 was great, but here’s to a Fantabulously Beautiful 2008 for you!

  4. Dane says:

    Congratulations for your new laptop, for “The Explainer” and holding on to MassCom ─ okay, let’s add up all the other stuff! I hope 2008 will be a great year for you. πŸ˜€

  5. IA says:

    I miss you, JM!

    See you tomorrow.

    (And yes, nakaka-withdrawal syndrome nga ang MassComm. It has become our home away from home. I guess we’ve all learned to love our college because of all the precious people we’ve found there. Shoot, ang mushy. Hehe.)


  6. Global Voices Online » Philippines: Bloggers look back to 2007 says:

    […] was the “Year of the Risk“, according to Blue Pencil […]

  7. Bloggers look back to 2007 | says:

    […] was the “Year of the Risk“, according to Blue Pencil […]

  8. IA says:

    Thank you sa gift. I love it. I love eye-stuff. MWAH! >:D

  9. elsie says:

    hey friend. πŸ™‚ 2007 would be hell without you and IA. πŸ™‚ obstacles will always be a part of life… ganun talaga eh. don’t be afraid of taking more risks, learning new lessons, discovering things, and loving and living life. and no matter what happens, i’ll always be around. i know you know that. πŸ™‚

  10. Gian Paolo says:

    I just read this post. Now I know why your blog ended up in the Philippine Kangkungan. Hmm.

    Let 2008 be a better year for the all of us. πŸ™‚

  11. joanna says:

    funny. if the activists’ ideology causes people to be marginalized then the tuition increase would have been junked ages ago. look not only within the confines of the university but within the entire society as well, then you’ll see who’s marginalized (read: the workers, farmers) and who has the ideological hegemony (read: the upper class, the mainstream media)

  12. Gian Paolo says:

    He said that, ironically, he felt he was treated marginally by those people who were supposed to fight for the marginalized. That’s what he felt. Can you blame him for that? Does that make him a pro-elitist? He was criticizing the Collegian from a journalistic POV. Does that make him pro-elitist?

    The issue here is neither the tuition increase nor the farmers, etc. The issues here (as far as his two blog posts are concerned) are the way you way deliver the news and the way you treat other people who have views opposing those of the Collegian’s.

  13. JM says:

    Hi guys, sorry for not posting these days, for as usual I’m caught up with “real life” that I’m finding it hard to muster enough “courage”, so to speak, to blog. LOL. as if that needs courage at all.

    In any case…

    Jaypee: Happy New Year too!

    Andrew: Happy New Year and thanks! =)

    AJ: Happy New Year and same to you! =)

    Dane: Thanks for being such a loyal reader this 2007. Here’s expecting more of you this year! =)

    IA: Nagkita na tayo. Wahahaha. Namiss din kita. =P

    Elsie: Here’s to a stronger bonding this 2008!

    Gian: May 2008 be a better year to all of us, indeed.

    That aside suffice to say the entrance of the year wasn’t so good for me. Hope it was better for you all! =)

  14. Fort Lauderdale Caterers says:

    I am a affiliate of the church orchestra and tomorrow we will be singing at a wedding. I’ll be singing at such an event and I can’t wait to see the bride and groom. They are both lovely and good citizens in our town.

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  1. says:…

    It’s a Wrap! | Blue Pencil Chronicles | News and Views of a Journalism Major…

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