2021 – The Year That Was

We experienced a brief period of relative normalcy in 2020 before COVID-19 caused havoc in the subsequent year. Unknown to most, it was just preparation for a more challenging period. From a mountaineer’s perspective, 2020 was just the acclimation stage before the substantive assault that happened in 2021.

Last year, the pandemic has dominated our lives since day one, and we were all forced to adapt to the new normal. It seemed so impossible at first but we all eventually thrived. We learned different ways to connect, picked-up several life hacks to apply, and discovered various ways to earn. For many, the result has been a year spent mostly online.

Now, as we all welcome a new year clad in high hopes and big dreams, we whisper a prayer that may this be a better and kinder one. Although the Daba kid that 2022 is just another 2020 – 2020, too – and that it’s a trap. Lol.

Kidding aside, I am still thankful for the year that has passed. It may have been a tough one, but for me and my family, it was a year full of blessings.

This is our story of 2021.

NEW BUSINESS

2021 opened an avenue for me to try a new business venture – bangus farming. Together with my brother who lived in Dagupan, Pangasinan we braved the belly of the clueless beast. The start was indeed tough, expensive, and extensive. But that is expected in all startup businesses, eh? The whole process from putting fingerlings to harvesting took 3 months. There’s not much profit in our first harvest, but it was definitely fun! Lots of learning curves, and we gained immeasurable knowledge through experience. So it’s still a win!

After applying what we have learned from the previous yield, our bangus produce will again be ready to be harvested next month, and we’re hoping for a bigger ROI this time. Thankful that Daba is very supportive throughout.

ADULTING

After years of dilly-dallying, I finally got life insurance with Sunlife. I paid the year-long premium in full. 

For those who know me, I am a practical gal. I do not sign up for something I am not sure I can keep. Thus, I do not recommend getting life insurance unless you can bet with your life that you can pay the premiums. Signing up for life insurance and defaulting after will bring you no good. Of course, peeps in the insurance industry will not agree with me. They have this spiel “If you love your family, if you care about the future, blah, blah, you gotta find a way” drama. Easier said than done.

That’s why I love my insurance agent, Audrey. Not too pushy. No hard-selling. If you’re someone who wants to understand how insurance works, schedule a meeting with her. She explains well. Chill and no dramas. Check her FB Page.

CAREER

Since I discovered freelancing in 2020, I realized how easy it is to earn online. I regret that I ventured into this thing a little too late. I am able to get a monthly salary which is 5 times higher than my previous one; and the great thing is, I own my time!

In July, I became a Facebook Blueprint Certified marketer after taking the 90-minute exam which was proctored by Pearson Education, a British-owned education publishing and assessment service to schools and corporations. We used OVue tech system which automatically disables other windows on your computer. It comes with a camera and audio. The exam measured my Facebook advertising IQ. It was graded on a scoring system that requires a score of 700 to pass. I got 853.

I want to think I reached the peak of my freelancing career last year when I started earning a minimum of P110,000 a month. That is if I work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Although I had to let go of some clients when my post-graduate class resumed. I am no robot after all. Lol.

In June, I organized a webinar “How to Jumpstart your Freelancing Career” as my way of paying it forward. I invited 3 high-paying freelancers, and it was attended by 51 participants who stayed with me from start to end, more than 2 hours! It felt so great to share with them the infinite possibilities of freelancing. You can watch the recorded webinar below.

TECH SPLURGE

Last year, since my freelancing career has picked up, I started investing in gadgets. I bought a 27-inch iMac and a 13-inch MacBook Pro, the most expensive tech splurge I did in my life history. Daba bought me an iPhone just so I get matchy-matchy stuff. Lol. For someone who cannot afford to buy a typewriter in high school, buying high-end computers was definitely one for the book!

EDUCATION

Skye finally got her Learner Reference Number (LRN). That’s a big deal for us, homeschoolers. The LRN is a permanent twelve-digit number which the learner/student must have and keep while completing the basic education program. She’s now in Grade 1.

I, on the other hand, also received my level 1 certification as a law practitioner from the University of San Carlos.

JimBry has his wins, too! After completing several units last year, he’s now in the process of being BIR-certified. He also signed up several clients last year and he came to a point of no longer accepting new ones as he can no longer handle them all. He started working on estate taxes and transfers, too! 

What a feat!

PROPERTIES

I think one of our biggest wins for 2021 was buying a farm lot near Tagaytay. Since Daba is the one taking care of all our home expenses, I am able to save enough to buy the property.

I think I should also include in this narrative that I am able to get my parents’ property title after more than 3 years since my grandfather’s estate dissolution. I am happy that they are finally emancipated from the money-sucker broker who took care of the transaction. My Dad wants to sell their property by the way, so in case you’re interested, just let connect with us or comment below. It’s a 908-sqm lot just beside the national highway and very accessible to Naga airport and the famous CWC.

SKYE WROTE HER FIRST BOOK!

It’s amazing that it only took a little over 2 hours for our six-year-old daughter to write her first book. The printing took longer, 2 months. We can’t be more proud as her parents, eh?

A NEW BUN IN THE OVEN!

Many good news have come, and here’s another one!
A new member of #TheDabas is coming next year and we cannot wait!

Although I was diagnosed with a 6.5 unilocular cystic mass in my left ovary a week after we learned that I am pregnant, this did not impede our excitement.

Now, I am in limbo – happy and sad at the same time. I am not sure if I am awaiting an operation when I reach 16 weeks or will live a normal life until my due date. (Let’s reserve this issue for another topic.)

2021 was nothing short of the year prior. It opened with the promise of vaccines and the belief that we would all return to “normal”. That businesses will take off once again but instead was derailed by a fast-spreading virus that continuously mutates. The casualties of the pandemic continued to amass, governments fell, democracies were challenged, and we were all forced to live a life were not all familiar with, but we thrived!

Our passions, hopes, and fears created a year that was anything but calm yet a life worth living nonetheless.

2021, like many other years before it, was still a great year.

Too many tears cried,
lives lost,
lessons learned.

Thank you for dropping by!

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