Eight Inspirations from 2018

If I could summarize my 2018 in a few words, it would be ‘an inspiring comeback’. Well, the whole year wasn’t perfect really. Let’s get that right. The rough edges will always be there, but compared to the challenging years previously, I am grateful indeed to have kept going and be where I am now. This paved the way for some unexpected things that happened and came.

As we turn the pages to a fresh slate in 2019, I’m giving myself a throwback to those who became (and still are) the sources of inspiration for me. Hopefully, they will do for you too. Here are they.


David Archuleta

Being a fan of this guy for a decade, pretty sure there’s so much inspiration you can get. His recent visit and benefit concert for Mabuhay Deseret Foundation (last November) is enough to inspire us. Though my fangirl craziness has slightly subsided through the years, I still didn’t miss out watching it. That concert awakened my senses that it’s Christmas season already.

credits: David Archuleta IG (acct: @davidarchie) β€” ps: spot the Calai ✌🏼🀣

Simple acts of kindness and generosity towards others are what we can draw from him. Not failing to mention keeping life at low-key despite successes is what I should keep in mind and apply.

This 2019 I hope to hear more music from him and continuously inspire people beyond music (aside from more IG posts too..hehe).


Abbey Sy

She made a name out of her artistic works and books. Following her for a few years already, I was drawn into reliving my love for handmade artworks and crafts. I started doing self study and drills at home or during my spare time. It even led me to meeting her in 2016 by attending one of her workshops and learning from her.

In the latter part of 2018, she stepped back for further studies and a lil break overseas. Before her hiatus, she gave a few remaining workshops. Good enough I was able to attend in one of those.

credits: Abbey Sy IG story (acct: @abbeysy)

She inspired me to unleash a creative side of my life that was set aside and to take traveling to a different, better perspective. From that break, I realized too that I should never stop learning; never settle with what you only know.


Erwin Dawson

Ok, I am sure some would be asking who is he. Let’s put it this way.

It all started with curiosity. Given I have a few friends from our neighboring countries, that led me to my curiosity of how their countries go about — in terms of food, popculture, media and personalities and so on. Ok, back to who he is and how I found him…

My lurking mode ended up to finding a tv series I found recently in Malaysia. The title was “Nafas” (Breathe in English). I came across the show, watching it online. Despite the fact that it was almost 70-80 spoken in Bahasa Malay (yeapppp!!! kid you not), I still felt the connection with the show just by mere watching their movements and emotions. Malay is somewhat similar the Filipino language. That’s why even if I don’t comprehend the whole sentence, a few words grasped from it somehow make me feel where the dialogue is leaning to. That’s when I also learned to appreciate the lead actors, Kilafairy and Erwin Dawson.

Kilafairy and Erwin Dawson, portraying the roles of cancer patients Deja and Amar, on Nafas

At the moment, my post is for Erwin because I noticed his posts on his social media accounts depicting positivity. He inspires people to live a simple life, to keep the faith to the Supreme Being amidst the fame. Well, he kinda reminds me of David too, who never allows fame get in the way of being low key and faithful.

credits: Erwin Dawson IG (acct: @erwin_dawson)

After Nafas, he had a few more Malay shows wherein the last one was The Bridge, shown in HBO. Hopefully this 2019, he’ll have more projects not just in Malaysia, but overseas too (plus a little English subs on some of his shows will do).


Masterchef Australia Contestants

For years I’ve been watching Masterchef Australia, each season had a unique serving to the viewers. By far, season 10 didn’t just make us emo-attached but also influenced to trigger my travel goals (finally achieved) last 2018 to Australia. I had my bets early on during this season, but the ones who inspired me are these two from WA (Western Australia) territory.

Brendan Pang

Each season, there has been a contestant or two that made me go ‘awwww’ then sad face during eliminations, wishing they stayed longer. This simple (and charming) guy from Perth had me on a roller coaster of emotions watching him — getting eliminated, returned as a contestant, then got eliminated again.

credits: Brendan Pang IG (acct: @brendan_pang)

However, it’s not this which made me put him on the list. His journey during and after MCA inspired me to be determined to do what you love, amidst risks or giving up other things. He’s also a fitness buff, which makes him one of my fitspirations too (ah eh, it will take a while for me though to be in shape…haha). He’s usually at the beach / outdoors which I, a water-born signed gal, happen to appreciate as well. For now, I only follow him on IG, but I know he’s gonna be relevant in the food industry in Australia soon. #positivethinking


Jenny Lam

A marketing manager who joined in Masterchef Australia, Jenny Lam beams optimism when I used to watch her in the show. During her elimination, I was even amazed on how she turned a usually disappointing moment into an optimistic one, believing this will be the start of good things for her. Well, she was right on that one. In the latter part of 2018, she opened up her resto serving up Vietnamese street food called “Bunn Mee” and also squeezed some food events. She’s also working on her upcoming cookbook, which I hope to get a copy soon (not sure tho how that will work given I’m in Manila…hehe).

credits: Jenny Lam IG (acct: @jennylamau)

Now that I recently made it in Sydney, thru God’s grace, I might make it to the western side of Australia soon. *crossing fingers and toes*


Zander Ng

I only had the chance to see his performance in Masterchef Singapore online. Based on those vids I saw, I initially had a gut feel he could win it. The fact he was inspired by watching Masterchef Australia (which is one of my fave reality shows too), seems the dishes he prepared could be at par to the show mentioned.

Being the male version of Jenny Lam, like the other contestants’ stories from the franchise, he used to be in the corporate world before taking that big leap to pursue his passion. Glad he did and he became the first Masterchef Singapore winner. His journey became a hard-knocked source of inspiration for me to start all over this 2019, pushing to pursue the things I love to do. Even if we are in the comfort zone due to careers, it pays to take risks towards our goals and dreams.

credits: Zander Ng IG (acct: @zanderng)

Since I followed him on Instagram, he has been into various food events and cooks recipes online. Well, my friends can tell that SG travels for me had been consistent the past years. Of course, how I wish it’s a walk in the park to see him during his food events. Maybe soon (in months, basta nagka-seat sale?! haha…crossing fingers), who knows? Aside from his awesomeness in the kitchen, he’s nice, grounded and family oriented too. I haven’t personally met him, but the way he responds to his followers and from his posts for now, we can tell. It would be a dream, perhaps if God and time permit, to go for an SG food trip or to have a cup of coffee with him and talk about food and travels.


Bo Sanchez

Since I started attending the Feast, a Catholic charismatic community, my life took a detour and a better turning point. This community touched a lot of lives leading to faithful with better perspectives in various aspects of life. Though it has been a collaborative effort of all who volunteer, the mind of one man made this community going and evolving — Bro. Bo Sanchez.

credits: Bro Bo Sanchez IG (acct: @brotherbosanchez)

For years, I attended and served but I only get to see Bro Bo from the stage or around the Feast vicinity. I never had a personal encounter with him. Not until March 2018, an unexpected and unforgettable blessing came to me which inspires me to keep the faith and keep going until today. For the first time, I had the opportunity to have a pic and minutes chat with him and his fellow preacher, Bro Audee Villaraza.

That blessed moment with Bro Bo Sanchez and Bro Audee Villaraza

Grateful to have had this chance to share a squeeze of my life story, what led me to attend / serve the Feast and what are my plans / goals that need intervention in the future. He continues to make God’s love manifest thru his talks and works.

Bro Bo inspired me to keep believing in God amidst challenges, as He is always with us, even if we don’t see Him. He has inspired me to flourish financially using God-given talents and from those earnings be able to help and serve others. Above all, he has been one of my inspirations to keep writing and be the medium to awaken people’s thoughts and actions.


Catriona Gray

December 2018 was a proud moment not only for me, but for the Philippines, when we got our 4th Miss Universe title thanks to Catriona Elisa Gray. I rarely update myself with beauty competitions lately, due to my focus on other priorities in life. Catriona created a buzz since she won Binibining Pilipinas last 2018 to represent our country in Miss Universe. This led to my curiosity about her and how she would make it to win back then.

credits: Catriona Gray IG (acct: @catriona_gray)

She made more buzz during the prelims — from her intricate national costume to her accessories, gown and walk. Everything that reflected with her during the competition are correlated to our country. Somehow a renewed patriotism sprung from her efforts and without a doubt, these contributed to her win. Just like every Filipino touched by her win, it sparked a flame for the love of country for me. My overseas travels, in reality, made my feels for the Philippines diminish one bit at a time. I felt that, despite the better efforts now of our government and advocates, there are still things about this country that I cannot tolerate — lack of discipline and malasakit (care), people focus more on making fun and hating each other (socmed or personal), endless debating rather than acting out what needs to be done (politicians, hellerrr). There’s more to that list, but thanks to Catriona’s efforts to help this country, I snapped and see how this little self should see the country in a different light.


For the past years, I have always been hit with such wake up calls. I guess 2018 was just more upfront and cut throat in opening my eyes to realizations and answering the questions on pursuit of passions. Aside from these eight, there are my so-called constant and consistent inspirations who keep my fire to pursue those passions burning and who continue to believe there is something good in me that I can bring out for others. I am blessed and grateful that these eight came across my 2 0 1 8, along with my constants (family and friends, local or overseas) leading me to one of the best years I’ve had so far.

Aside from the events I’ve mentioned from the list, there were a few events in 2018 that not only made it an awesome year, but a learning year too:

  • work related: team buildings and trainings
  • Feast related: Media Ministry bonding at Pinto Art Museum, Holy Week retreat and Grand Easter Feast
  • travels: Singapore for Katy Perry concert; Sydney, Australia

How I wish I could meet some in this list personally, to let them know the impact they have brought to this simple gal from Pasig City, Philippines. I just hope their kindness thru social media and in events also translates or channels behind the cameras. 

Just to wrap this up, for those wondering if I do have a few resolutions for this year 2019??? Surprisingly, yes…but more on the small details. Do I have wishes this year? RESOUNDING YES TOO! But that, I’ll keep it between me and the one above and beyond the skies.

Happy New Year!

Cheers for an awesome 2019 ahead,




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