10 Reasons Why 2012 Had Been Good To Me

Strange haircuts aside, 2012 was a good year for me. While 2011 was a hellishly wild roller-coaster ride, it prepared me for the battles ahead.  I won most of 2012.  Let me count the ways.

10. Had another cat, the Persian-Himalayan Arya
She’s kinda dumb and simple, but isn’t she a beauty? Here’s a photo of her being groomed by our Siamese cat, Kirara.

9. Short vacations at Boracay and Bataan.
If it weren’t for the long travel time between Manila and Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar…well, I still say the trip was worth it. Especially after seeing the first UP Fine Arts building.

8. Moved to Makati
Not only did this move make it easier for me to get to Makati Medical Center (5 minutes walk), it also assured me that my entire system would get the circulation it needed. All that walking actually helped me overcome an accident (fell off a Greenbelt5 escalator earlier this year).

7. Healthier lifestyle, less hospital visits
Cooked my own baon. Well, it was mostly budget at first, but became a health concern later.

I gave myself a P100/day food allowance and upped it to P250/day when I got promoted and became the highest-ranking Producer at work. One thing about being a Producer and a PhD student at the same time…it made me so much more conscious about my health (more than 3/4th of my net salary went to medical bills!!). I learned how to balance my meals, found ways to exercise (lots of walking), learned how to calculate my liquid intake (3.5-4 liters, mostly water). The routine is still not perfect, but the food experiments have been fun.

6. Released Puzzle Pets Adventure on my birth month

5. Released Grave Mania: Undead Fever on my birthday
It also peaked at #5 in Japan and had a fairly great review rating in the US.

4. Spoke at the Youth for IT Congress
Made me realize how much I missed the academe. I still have stage fright, but knowledge sharing has always been a fulfilling experience for me.

3. Survived game development AND PhD studies
I had been (endearingly) called crazy for doing both at the same time but there were actually many factors that conspired for me to achieve this:

  • I had a boss who would bake me goodies all the time. (Pastries are the best stress busters!)
  • A super friend who thought I was the smartest pretty/prettiest smart girl he has ever met (di ko na to papakilala sa friends ko, hahaha, lalawak ang coverage, hahahaha!) and rewarded me for it with more stress busters (coffee, cakes, reams of paper).
  • A best friend who acted like my personal assistant during critical paper submissions (and lent me her colored laser printer).
  • Talented work teammates who never gave me headaches because they didn’t need micromanaging.
  • Friends and family who never stopped believing in me.
  • Have a mother who is also finishing her PhD while working in her industry (so it kinda helped me see that I was not the only crazy workaholic nerd at the Lapa residence).

French macarons perfected by my boss (COO) Michael Carranceja

2. Grave Mania: Undead Fever and Puzzle Pets Adventure WON
Best PC/Mac Game for Grave Mania
Best Browser-Based Game for Puzzle Pets

at the Philippine Game Development Festival 2012. Was told that it was 70% jury, 30% public voting. The 70% was a result of all my teammates’ hard work and dedication. Every single one of them had loads of talent, intelligence and resilience. The 30% is probably thanks to my entire family and my teammates’ students. LOL.

1. Obtained my PhD in Communication
I am definitely not the sharpest tool in that particular UP shed, but I was cursed with ADHD and was indirectly told by a psychiatrist that this was actually the reason why I had been so focused on getting my PhD.

Told myself that I would graduate in 4 years or less and despite the naysayers in my previous employment (and those who thought that my ADHD would be my greatest enemy), it came to pass. I am thankful for my adviser and critic, Dr. Arminda Vallejo Santiago and Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso, who had both provided valuable readings and insights that have helped me bridge game development (my work) and research (my studies).

Truly, I have a lot to be thankful for this year. (Oooh, and RH Bill had been passed!) Thanks be to God, the Supreme Architect.

What about you? Was 2012 good to you?

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