Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Post for 2006

In a little less than two hours, it'll be the end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007. I thought this would be an apropos time to write the final post for 2006.

Having a blog is a great way of tracing the ups and downs of the past year. I just did a quick review of the highlights for 2006. On the whole, it's been a good year for me. I have much to be thankful for.

This was the year I went on three gruelling solo biking trips. I did Casaroro Falls and the Japanese shrine, the Siquijor circuit, and the Panglao circuit. A bit foolhardy to be travelling those trails alone, nevertheless I did it. Looking back, I'm grateful to be alive and in one piece.

Continuing last year's summer travels, I did the northwestern Luzon, travelling to Vigan, Ilocos Norte, and Pagudpod over three days. Alone, of course. One of these days, I must get myself a permanent travelling companion, but in the meantime, I am enjoying the solitude among strangers.

Blogwise, I gained a bit of notoriety for my Wowowee post. As with all things in the Philippines, it died down after a few weeks. On occasion, I've started weighing in on the hot political topics of the day, though admittedly, I am still a lightweight.

Problogging nirvana still eludes me, but I suppose it's because I don't have the voice, the discipline, or the temparament for that line of work. My entries are far too varied and personal.

On the other hand, I have not lacked for friends in the blogosphere. I've kept touch with friends from far away and I've made a few new friends. I've met up with some, and I am looking forward to meeting more. This has been the biggest reward of blogging: getting to know like minds whom I might not otherwise have met.

I spent three weeks in the Dumaguete National Writers Workshop. In a way, it was an affirmation of my ambitions. It was a fruitful time as I got to learn more of the craft. But most importantly, I learned much more about myself: that, although I have the seed of the writer in me, it was all for the best that it was the engineer that flourished. I do not have the writer's temperament.

That said, I should work on getting published in 2007.

I spent several weeks getting reacquainted with my technical side, courtesy of PhilNITS-AOTS. Two weeks of Java training, and six weeks of software engineering. These, too, were affirmations. Deep down inside, I am an engineer. Now I know it for sure.

I also devoted a lot of time with civil society groups promoting open source policies. In the process, I got to know many more people who share the same passion and commitment to free software. Open source hasn't made me rich, financially, but personally, it's been a worthwhile undertaking.

This year, too, I had my first breakup. Not as devastating as I expected it to be, though a little disappointing because the friendship did not survive as I had hoped it would. Quite possibly, a lot of it owes to my own pride. Well, that's life.

Finally, I think I've outgrown Dumaguete. The two years spent there have been very good, but now I think it's time to look elsewhere. Towards the end, that small town mentality has gotten stultifying, and I never really integrated all that well socially. Again, that's life.

And so, 2006, I bid thee goodbye. You've been very good to me, and the hiccups only serve to make me love you more. I shall remember you with much fondness.

And to you, too, dear friends, who've accompanied me on this leg of the journey: thank you very much.