The Year That Was: 2016

I’ve decided to spare people from my entry to the annual Facebook essay writing competition and talk about how my 2016 was here on the blog instead.

I was skimming through my wall on Facebook the other day and looking at my posts for 2016, I realized that the first half of the year was pretty much okay.

I took classes on music theory where I met very talented people.

I went to a really nice beach in Batangas with my family.


I also went to Baguio with my co-workers in January, and flew to Cebu in March to participate in the second installment of the presidential debates because we wrote a paper for the candidates.


But everything went downhill, I guess, when my dog Katsu died in May. She had a liver problem.


My dog Taco had a difficult time accepting Katsu’s disappearance, and soon he spiraled into some sort of depression, which consequently affected his health. He caught the deadly distemper bug. He died two days before my birthday.


It was devastating for me because they were such good dogs (I mean, all dogs are good but), they were equal parts sweet and protective and overall loyal. What’s even more heartbreaking was that both didn’t live up to a year.

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Not a day goes by without mentioning how much I miss them. Sometimes I blame myself for their deaths, and sometimes, I don’t.

Days after Katsu passed away was the national elections and I saw my nation in its most divided state. And a political shitstorm followed, marked by a burial of a dictator, thousands of killings, and a massive spread of hatred and ignorance (and it’s still going on, btw). People I considered friends, and even a few family members fell for that hatred and ignorance and it was just disheartening to hear them speak ill of the rights of others.

My grandma passed away and it broke my heart to see my mother in grief. The family flew to Cebu for her, and on the last night of the wake my brother’s laptop was stolen.

And oh, goals… my god, I only struck off a measly three in my list.

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But 2016 wasn’t all bad.

My dad was home for the latter half of the year and I spent a lot of time with him. On the day after my birthday we went to his hometown and we went to this really nice beach in Sorsogon.


OMG AAAAAAAAHHHH I DELIVERED A PAPER IN AN ACADEMIC CONFERENCE! It was so surreal because I was so used to working behind the scenes in conferences, in addition to getting rejection letters… I just didn’t expect myself to be the one up on the stage, speaking about something I pulled from my brain! I messed up at the forum after our panel but still! I also got amazing feedback from amazing people. So ayun, di naman pala ako ganun ka-bobo. HAHA.

(Photo by Andrew Ty)

My family and I went to Hong Kong in November (I’ll blog about this later). I felt the magic of Disneyland! Also I went to my first international music festival where I watched Lucy Rose, Shura, Foals, and The Chemical Brothers.


One of my closest friends from high school got married! The ceremony was in Australia and we’re not rich kids who can fly there in a snap, but my friends and I felt super happy for her because we know the guy she married really loves her.

I also spent many a tabletop game session with friends! My favorite game for 2016 is Dead of Winter.

I also got to listen to a bunch of really cool songs–I’ve blogged about it here.

There were a lot of challenges at work–this year I got some sort of promotion–but I was able to pull through with the help of my awesome co-workers.

It was also this year that I got to take graduate classes and all I can say is I fracking love learning stuff about art and music. It definitely helps that I have a very interesting bunch of classmates and professors with me in doing that.

Aaaaaand… that’s about it.

Unlike others, I have no big lessons from 2016. I know I have to toughen up, I know I have to be kind always, I know that I have to hydrate regularly.

What I am sure of, though, is that I am still grateful despite the shit I’ve been through.

With that, I say…

Onward! To 2017!

A post shared by Lea (@leathedino) on


Updates, in Bullet Points

  • First things first–Happy New Year! And before you know it, 2015 will be over. I guarantee it.
  • I read my first post again and I am utterly embarrassed for not staying true to my own word. I actually have no legitimate excuse–it’s just plain and simple laziness. I’m so sorry, Lea from 2014.
  • And since I’m going through the cliche New Year motions, I’ve changed my blog name and blog address. It is now A Very Nice Mess. I want to start afresh, and I think that a new name (and a new theme) will help.
  • I am also planning to create another blog that will house my reviews for books, music, and film and it shall be called… booksmusicfilm, unless someone beats me to it. Yes, I’m creative. Very. (EDIT: I’ve decided to publish all my stuff here! Check out the menu above!)
  • And finally, here is a photo of me and my dog Nacho goofing around.

Power’s Out!

For those who aren’t updated, the Philippines was recently hit by a strong typhoon named Glenda (international name: Rammasun) yesterday. It did some pretty serious damage to the the transmission lines of electricity, thereby leaving millions of households without electricity. We were hit with the power outage as well so we had endure more than 12 hours of darkness. Power was gone at 5 am and returned at around 7 pm to the tune of collective sighs of relief, at least in my area. Some had their electricity back earlier, while others are still struggling with the darkness as of writing time.

Continue reading “Power’s Out!”