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Q4: Keeping score

Before the year in review, thought to assess the last quarter of the year because a lot happened in this quarter, both professionally and personally. It was lined with lessons in humility, a handful of bitter pills to swallow, and some humble pies. It was tough to say the least.


  • Still high from the previous month's work wins, I let it color my days with joy, which allowed me to really dive deep into work. No sweat.

  • We returned to office on a hybrid setup and it's like things haven't changed but also, how things have changed!

  • Finally having a complete team, a full year later

  • Rolling up my sleeves, getting my hands dirty by implementing new things at work — and seeing results


Spontaneously watching Gary V live one Friday night. It was the replenishment I didn't know I needed. I also didn't know I had I been so tired and bored with my life until I was able to do this that November Friday night. It was different and definitely fun.

  • Going to Geloy's book signing event. I know he was probably making a joke, putting me on the spot but you know what? Hearing him acknowledge my hand in his career felt wonderful. I wish I was cooler than that, you know? I wish I didn't need that acknowledgment and recognition but again, I'm done wishing myself away. I value receiving the correct credit and byline. I appreciate being recognized for my efforts. I like it when people remember and thank me when I have done something good for them.

  • Eating one of the best meals of the year at Gallery by Chele's 10th anniversary. Virgilio Martínez of World's best restaurant Central (Peru) created a delightful dish called Coral (octopus, papaya and sea urchin), Chele's 500 which was nearly paksiw-like in its surprisngly pleasant tartness, and Nerua's dish of grilled oyster was the meal's cresendo, with the duck by Chef Julien of Odette (Singapore) being the meal's high point.

  • Jerome's 50th birthday party. I had been feeling lonely and unmoored, after shedding skin in the pandemic, experiencing large personal changes, and losing friends. But Jerome's party informed me I wasn't alone or all that changed. It assured me I had friends. Good ones! Fun ones! Intelligent ones! Creative ones! It was so fun to see people again and see how they've changed, see what they're up to, and boy are they up to a lot of good things. Work had been so demanding that I missed myself outside of it. It's nice to be reminded I have a life. A fun one.

  • But then work and all its problems beckoned. Ran into miscommunication that showed me how odd things could get/are actually are. Began thinking about the future, my personal values vs the company's, my vision for my life, etc.

  • Running a successful reportage that had management noticing the importance of the lifestyle team, and the quality of work we put out. Despite the fatigue and the disappointment, I consider this a win.

  • Taking a personal leave to take care of myself but not being able to unplug 100% because work is a bitch and why do I have that strange sense of responsibility for my team and their performance and output while I'm away. What is my problem?


  • Meeting Ken Paranada in person and going out to dinner with Jhesset are a full circle moment for my 2023. Their presence at the beginning of the year ensured I started it on the right note. I would like to believe their presence at the end of it means I'm ending it on a high note.

  • Running into a staffing problem bordering on insubordination and I hate it so much. Working with people you don't care for is one thing, working with people you don't care for and who are questioning your authority and bypassing your decisions is another. I hate it so much.

  • My final hire tendering her resignation and I'm just so tired. Too tired. WTF. It used to be work meant stories and numbers. When did it become about personnel? I don't like this part.

Climate projects getting greenlit and then being put on pause due to scheduling problems. I'm ending the year with them up in the air, to be rolled out in Q4 so I guess that means my 2024, or at least Q1 of 2024 is already written.

I have one last climbing session for the year but I guess it's safe to report that I failed to reach my climbing goal of 6b this year. It sure sucks but I learned a few things climbing-wise: I should listen to my body instead of showing up just for showing up's sake. I mean, I was very consistent with my thrice a week practice but the quality of my climbs sucked, especially on days/weeks when work was on full throttle. I should've remembered climbing's cardinal rule: Rest often.

I am ending the year at 6a+, having done intervals for the first time and playing with the hangboard and doing pullups a lot more often this year. It's the year that's ending, not the world, nor my ambition.

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