2008 was the year…

I almost missed my honeymoon flight… and ran straight from my arrival gate to my departure gate without my luggage.

I introduced Marlon to his new Indian relatives, and gave my family in India a new jamai (son-in-law). 

I fell in love with Rajasthan.

I rode a camel for the first time.

I saw my first desert.

I woke up before dawn to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise. If there’s anything I would ever wake up that early for again and again, this would be it. 

I left home and moved to Singapore.

I began to create a new home — my first. 

I learned to cook. Really well, I might add. I also discovered a new pleasure — cooking with Marlon.

my first pasta

my first risotto

I became obsessed with Jamie Oliver.

I started writing beauty articles for Singapore magazines.

I learned that fighting with your husband never, ever means the two of you are doomed.

My grandmother died.

I got the job that I really, really, really wanted – despite having potentially screwed up my chances to get it.

I made a choice that gave me what I really, really, really wanted – despite knowing that there were going to be some people who would absolutely hate me for it.

I started working at BDA.

the office cat, da huay (“big gray”)

bda’s big black-and-white pre-war office on oxley road

I learned how to take ownership of my own ideas and be responsible for them – thereby killing a long-suffering suspicion that in my old concept team at GMA, the only person responsible for the kick-ass work we did was my brilliant partner. Oh, the dramz!

I delivered my first pitch.

I began to learn just what it takes to bring an idea to life. In short, I started to glimpse what it was really like to be a producer.

I conceptualized, scripted and produced my first spot for a regional network.

I bought my first piece of sculpture (from the Taka project, a piece by Juan Sajid Imao).

I made my first overseas remittance (and officially became an overseas Filipino worker!).

I saw Alicia Keys…

and Rihanna live in concert.

I traveled to Malaysia…

… Seoul, South Korea

… and Shanghai, China (where I turned 27 years old) for the very first time.

I jumped off a pier for the first (and what will probably be the only) time in my life, at Tioman in Malaysia.

I did an overnight shopping junket in Hong Kong.

Marlon and I paid off all our credit card debt.

I started having fun doing monthly budgets. Even beyond cleaning off the card, this to me is the ultimate sign of financial freedom.

I made the switch from PC to Mac… and wondered why I never did it earlier. (Oh, yeah. Macs are expensive. Now I remember.)

I learned that not all badings are fabulous and smart, and that my ACS badings are truly rare treasures.

I adopted a cat, Rogue (and inducted Marlon into the wonderful, adorable, thrill-a-minute world of felines).

I attended my first Promax BDA conference.

I got completely, passed-out-and-dragged-home drunk and had the worst hangover of my life… thanks to an office party.

battling for the honor of “drunkest expression” with my boss, james, and the creative director of our sydney office. i passed out shortly after this photo was taken.

I became a student of flamenco (which subsequently led to the most expensive shoe purchase of my life). 

I started muay thai.

I made my own Christmas ornaments, and set up my first Christmas tree.

I had a choir-less Christmas for the first time in over 10 years.

I celebrated one year of being married to Marlon… and continue to discover the thousandfold reasons why people fall in love and get married.

celebrating our first anniversary at the boutique hotel in tagaytay (i’m wearing my favorite of marlon’s christmas gifts this year — my bikini necklace!)

when i look back and see what a year we’ve had, how can i believe that 2009 will be any less phenomenal?

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