The Epic 2023 Yearend Special

Last year, I didn’t quite feel writing up a recap. I did write about my personal journey and how I had thought 2023 would be like… and I couldn’t have been farther from the truth – or farther from Davao for the most part of the year.

Here we go, bringing some normalcy back into my end of year recaps. More on that, near the middle of the post.

Let’s start at the beginning and narrate how the year has gone bit by bit.


I started out January quite chill. A breakup of sorts, if you wish. Because news at the tail end of 2022 affected me just too much to hold any serious relationship at that point. I have remained noncommittal since then until the moment I am writing this. Of course, it is greatly believed that this will change with 2024. :p But we’ll see.

It was in January as well that I booked a ticket for WordCamp Cebu. The first of many flights that I will have had to the city of Cebu in 2023, still unbeknownst to me.


In February, all hell broke loose. Domestic relationships were kind of put to a test, and thanks to some itsy bitsy blackmailing by an ex of mine, I ended up escaping to Cebu. Yet, before I escaped to Cebu on the 17th of February, I went there a weekend prior for WordCamp Cebu. As mentioned, that was the first of meny Cebu escapades that followed shortly after.

In February 17th stint to Cebu, I managed to know my now-bestfriend much better, thanks to her accommodating my insane plan of running away from Davao. A week after, I was on my way to Manila to fly on an A333 of 5J back to Davao. Seeing a Triple 7 of PR when I departed Dava on February 17th, evoked the airline enthusiast in me again.


In late February towards early March, I was living at my friend’s place in Flores Village, Davao City. In exile, if you wish. Determined only to go home if I have a decent job offer to present my mother. This job offer, however, hurled me all the way to the center of the Philippines. Cebu. Again.

I was hired by a German car maker brand to serve as an HR Personnel. This was also my first on-site role since a loooong time ago. This is also the first time that I splurged a bit of money, buying a Google Pixel 7, only to realize after purchase that the Pixel devices in the Philippines do not support 5G. But that’s fine, I bought it for the camera and not necessarily for the connectivity.


In April, I ventured back to Davao for the first time in over a month of staying in Cebu and working from Cebu. I’ve quite gotten used to living in the city as well. Initially, I stayed for two weeks at Red Planet, near Ayala, where my workplace was… and after that time was up, I spent my first baby steps in Cebu staying in Banawa.

It felt quite surreal traveling back to Davao after being gone for over a month. Davao didn’t feel like home to me anymore. It felt like a hostile environment for me. Not because of the people, but because of what it represented to me at this point in time. This particular month, I flew to Davao for two weekends. Early in April and two weeks after as well.

If I remember correctly, it was also in April that WordCamp Iloilo 2023 was looking for speakers. I felt it in my gut that I can make the cut, and I even told myself after WordCamp Cebu, that I will try become a speaker at the next one that I attend. Without even being assured the slot of being a speaker, I booked my flight to Iloilo for the said WordCamp aaaaand then I submitted my application to become a speaker.


Earlier in April, I was able to encourage one of my close friends to join me on this Cebu adventure. Cyriel joined me at the company I was working at in May and it has been a blast from hereon since. It was in this month as well, where some of our other Davao friends joined us for a night out as well.

In May, Cyriel quickly befriended workmates and locals and found a nice place for us to stay at in the form of Molave Suites, located at Molave Street in Camputhaw – or as I would always tell Taxi drivers, unahan sa Parklane for those not quite familiar with Molave Suites yet.

Molave Suites has been my home away from home. It has been my headquarters ever since I moved in. And in January 2024, I will bid thee farewell.

In May, the company hosted their midyear party which I dearly missed because of Yannah’s birthday. Quite unfortunate, but of course, family comes first. It also marks a period of successive flights for me. I flew to Davao via Clark on May 19 and returned back in Cebu via Z2 on May 22. This has been my 13th flight for the year.

To add, late May, I gave on working multiple online jobs on the side, because my body just wouldn’t cooperate with it all. Your body is your capital, after all.


June comes around and it’s my birthday time. But before that, I decided to take out quite a hefty loan which I used to purchase the Mayday Parade tickets, appliances for Molave Suites, downpayment for the place, and so on. Oh, and before I forget, I also got myself AirPod Max’s at this point as well. This time in green color.

I hosted two birthday parties in June, and I flew quite crazily in this period as well. This is where it started to slowly sink in that I will be a frequent flyer for the remainder of the year and tenure in Cebu. During my birth month, I have flown flights 14 through to 19. Heading for Davao twice, and with multiple instances of layover flights.

The craziest really was the fact that I traveled to back to Cebu on June 14 and went to Davao again on June 16 through to June 19. Crazy times.

June is also the month where I have met some important people. Certain personalities that may eventually turn out to be life changing. Let’s see though how 2024 opens on this regard.

I was also able to travel to the beach at the tail end of June and also visit Simala, but I think the latter happened at the beginning of July… basta, it’s definitely around this period. My tinnitus got worse as well, just before I was bound for Iloilo to talk at WordCamp Iloilo 2023.


July was a rather timid period of flights for me. Aside from becoming sick and nursing a fever, and having to deal with my tinnitus… I have only flown twice… Twice on the dreaded ATR planes of DG. This time, heading for Iloilo for the WordCamp there. It was a nice experience, and quite novel to be a speaker at my first ever WordCamp… after having attended soooo many of them and after having been a WordPress user for so long.

It was in mid July that we lost Doctor Tommy to his multiple diseases.


Flight 22 through to 24 followed in August, with another quick Manila layover on my way back to Cebu coming from Davao. It was just a regular visit, if you wish to Davao. Not much really to write home about.

More influential people joined the fray around this period as well. There has been whispers about some concerns that I had at work and what I am doing (or lack of things to do) that I was gently mulling over the thought of returning to Davao.

At least in August, I got to hangout more with people that Cyriel has already befriended. And as it would turn out, I ended up working on their floor as well on a more long-term basis, eventually lol

IF there is anything of note, it’s perhaps that I ran into my ex at Upstairs – pretty much ordering the same thing. While I was also with Andrea, one of my best friends. She certainly enjoyed my misery and anxiety that time, schadenfreude, if you wish… but I definitely didn’t.

While we’re on the note of restaurants, I was also able to eat at Pig & Palm, which was just such an amazing experience. <3

Oh yeah, in August, I also returned to Banawa for a while because I was planning on staying long term in Cebu.


But things have quickly changed come September when my mother gave me the gentle nudge of reminding me that she is alone in Davao. I had someone stay with her, but said person wasn’t quite as cooperative or useful as I had hoped… so there was no way around it, I would have to return back to Davao sooner or later.

Long term plans of improving the place I stayed at at Banawa were scrapped, and I was headed back to return to Molave Suites, about exactly one month since I left.

It was in September when I was moved departments and was asked to work on the 8th floor. Eager to learn as much as I can and hit the ground running, I came up with an excuse to travel to Clark – at my own expense, which I don’t mind – in order to meet teammates and absorb the training firsthand. As you will realize later on, this hitting the ground running didn’t go so well, as I just wasn’t compatible with the tasks given to me. I tried… but my heart wasn’t truly into it. It wasn’t what I signed up for initially.

September marked a batch of 7 flights for me in total, with my most expensive flight coming in on September 30 flying PR2345 Cebu-Davao that booked just the night before. A combination of struggling with work, my ear getting terribly loud again, and just being depressed and stressed forced my hand to book a ticket to Davao right then and there.

On the said day, I also hosted to Mobile Legends tournament of the company, therefore the internet at home came in really handy.

In early September, also, I sold my iPad mini and added a Galaxy Z Flip 5 to my devices.


And then we have October. Needless to say, I started this month in Davao. It was quite an exciting month ahead for me as well, since this was the month of the Mayday Parade concert.

In October, I flew a total of 4 times. I started out the month swimmingly in Davao by going out with people that are dear and close to me.

Late into the month, I swapped out my Galaxy Flip 5 for a Huawei P60 Pro.

And then, on October 29, right after the concert, it was time for me to head back to Davao.


Domestic relationships between some relatives reached a melting point wherein I had to immediately book a ticket for someone back to Cebu. I just couldn’t tolerate them staying longer.

But before that, I opened up November with a drunk text to my ex. Amazing, right? Quite ironic given that the sound track of my life at this stage was Clean TV. Not just that, but I also lost my wallet quite early into the month too. And I wasn’t even drunk or anything. I was only eating out. A renewal of friendship happened this month as well between me and Nins. One of my former colleagues turned BFF.

With my mind somewhat set of returning to Davao, I tested the waters and stayed a bit longer there. But prior that, I had a bit of an interlude in Iloilo. It’s quite novel for me to have so many places so easily accessible on-demand, and while I was still in the middle of the Philippines, I just had to take advantage of opportunities to travel.

In November, I spent a lot of time at airports, you could say. I flew 9 times. What added to these as well, was that Yannah had her first communion near the end of the month. In November, I also received my renewal device from Globe. My Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. I am not quite a fan of it, even until now… but I guess it’ll have to make do.


December started out with a bang. With my time limited in Cebu, and the clock ticking. I was invited to travel all the way to Bantayan Island. It was a great experience. There was great food… but in terms of sights, nothing that I haven’t seen within the Davao region. I have some gorgeous photos from this period though! It’s even worthy of its own post at some point…

In December, I flew back and forth between Davao City and Cebu City twice. Early into the month, and then my final flight back to Davao on December 21. That DG/5J flight ended up being my 48th flight for the year.

I am writing this post away on December 31, 2023 at 3AM. I am sure that there is plenty that I have missed to mention or to expand upon.

All in all, in hindsight, 2023 was a blessing to me. I met so many new people. I made so many new friends. Despite it being local flights, I enjoyed flying so many times and staying in the varying lounges allowed with my Globe Platinum subscription.

I am grounded back in Davao again, but that doesn’t mean that it’ll be the end of me flying. I have got a taste of it, and I definitely want more. Not just locally, perhaps internationally as well.

What’s up with Gaming?

2023 was a year to forget in terms of gaming. I barely played anything aside from Mobile Legends and some FIFA. Heck, I didn’t even get the new FC23 game this year.” even get the new FC23 game this year. Quite ironic that I didn’t play more, given that I bought a new OLED Switch and a Playstation 5 last year and that I even bought TOTK in May. But yeah, I have barely played anything.

Games that were added to the collection this year:

  • Octopath Travelers 2
  • HFW: Burning Shores
  • Pokemon SV DLC
  • Zelda: TOTK

And that’s pretty much it, really.

I am hoping that this will change next year and that I get to play some more.

I am eyeing on finishing at least 1 RPG in January of next year.

New Years Resolution, any?

  • Greatly reduce drinking habits
  • Take more care of my health by exercising more frequently
  • Play more games and see them through
  • Find a serious relationship
  • Make it free of her
  • Travel internationally
  • Travel more with Yannah
  • Don’t take any loans anymore
  • Streamline and minimalize gadgets
  • Cut on excess subscriptions and costs
  • Improve the place I’m staying at now

Let’s see what 2024 brings. 2023 was a sleeper hit, but 2024 should definitely be a big bang.

The Year in Some Random Numbers

Flight Stats

  • 8 DG Flights
  • 35 5J Flights
  • 1 PR Flight
  • 4 Z2 Flights






One response to “The Epic 2023 Yearend Special”

  1. Rich D. Avatar
    Rich D.

    Heartwarming journey!

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