2017: An Optimistic Recap in Photos

God, this year was awful. That, I’m sure, is an indisputable fact. 2017 was just awful. I thought ’16 and ’15 were terrible years but ’17 just took the cake.

But anyway, I don’t want to end this year with a long, whiny recap of every infuriating, depressing, demoralizing thing that’s happened to me and to those around me. Nope, I intend to greet the new year with a nice little recap of everything comparatively good that happened to me in 2017 through a collection of photos I posted either on my now defunct Tumblr or my Twitter.

Granted, I doubt each month will have a one hundred percent happy memory. I’m trying to be optimistic, not delusional.



My family and I spent the first day of the year at the considerably new mall in the city. Funnily enough, the weather that day kind of served as a warning of the days to come. Dark, gloomy, bleak, yet we still tried to make the best of it. We failed, of course, but we tried and that’s what really counts. 2017 in a nutshell, I think.



As per requirement for graduation – one of the many that made no sense but we could do nothing about – us seniors had to attend a retreat organized by the university. Luckily, I managed to schedule my retreat with a few people from my batch. Unluckily, I was also stuck with a lot of people that I didn’t really got along or agreed with. But whatever. Touchy-feely-spiritual things were never my thing anyway so I didn’t really feel like I missed out on much.


As my days as a college student came to an end, I couldn’t help but feel just a little bit – a tiny bit – melancholic. I had transferred from a different university more than three years ago and I didn’t really think I’d belong in my new uni that well. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would actually do as much as I did. I had, whether I liked it or not, actually formed an attachment to my alma mater. It was strange.

On graduation day though, I felt almost disappointed at how bland the ceremony was. I didn’t know what I was expecting but I definitely thought there would have been more of a fanfare. Perhaps it was because I was detached from my batchmates. Perhaps it was because I had always been terrible with goodbyes and shut myself off from feeling even a sliver of emotion at the time. Either way, graduation day did not live up to the hype.



Bid my school publication team goodbye in my last outing. It was refreshing to spend the whole trip relaxing for a change instead of worrying about the coming production. The senior tribute was extremely sweet too.

In total, I attended close to ten pub outings since I got in and although not all of the trips were enjoyable or productive, I’ll always cherish each and every outing, even the one where we got stuck in a dorm room that looked eerily like a prison cell.


Probably my favorite family trip abroad ever was our 9-day stay in Japan. Unlike our Korea trip, we weren’t bound to a travel guide so we were able to explore as many places for as long as we wanted. We even experienced getting lost in Japan’s convenient but also quite complicated railway system. It was really fun.

I took a heck ton of photos during our trip and I couldn’t decide on one so I chose four food shots. Trying new food is one of the best parts of traveling.



I finally got to attend the Zine Fest where my best friend tabled at. I felt a bit in the way though because there was so little space per artist’s table. Still, it was interesting to see so many artist people huddled up in one area. My non-artistic arse felt so out of place.



After months of bumming around and being glued to YouTube 24/7, I finally resolved to start writing again. My first big-ish fiction piece for the year was this short story that I’ve had knocking around in my head for a while. Honestly, though the end result was just a long, rambling mess, I was rather proud of how quickly I punched out this short story.  Took me about a week or so to finish it, I think. It’s fourteen thousand words of banal trash but I like to think that I needed to get it out of my system. It anything, at least it served as a sort of warm-up before I try my hand at writing a novel.

You can read my rambling mess here if you want. I also posted it on Wattpad but, eh, what even is that site, really?


I started semi-officially working in one of my family’s businesses and I hated it. I still do. Now, by hate I don’t mean with a passion. Just the apathetic, sort of empty annoyance that I suppose everyone feels for their job at some point. We got new puppies though and that’s what’s really important. The big dog on the left is the father.



Around this time, the monotony of work had already consumed me and I had to periodically take myself out on a self date to replenish my will to live. One such date was the book signing event of Kevin Kwan. I hadn’t been in a book signing in almost four years and it was more or less the same as my first one. The event started an hour or so later than scheduled and my turn came and went in a blink of an eye. But whatever.



Another first of the year. My very first convention! Me and my friend Josh were straight up shocked at the number of people at the mall that day and almost didn’t go in the con itself. We eventually managed to muster enough strength to brave the sea of people and thank goodness for that. It was hella fun.


Despite only being an alumni for a few months, I was invited to my school pub’s Alumni Homecoming. Only a few alumni from farther generations came though. There were some older ones that we didn’t recognize were interesting.



What can I say about the last month of the year? It was… something. Honestly, I think this month had the most tragedies out of all the months combined. Seriously, it’s been one hurricane after another and I do mean the literal kind as I live in the global south. Things have been so crazy that I barely noticed Christmas. I just want this year to end already and, in a few hours, it will.

At this point, I have no idea what to expect for 2018. Maybe it’ll be a comparatively better year. Maybe it’ll be a catastrophically worse year. Who knows? All I know is that I am so sick of shitty years and I swear I’m going to make an actual effort to improve my life in 2018. Yeah, that’s total bull, we all know it, but I think I’m better equipped this time around so maybe I have a better chance of succeeding. I’ve got a better grasp at what I want to do in life so now I just need to find a way to achieve that. Should be easy, right?

Oh, and wouldn’t ya know it, I’m on the brink of coming down with the flu. On the flipping last day of the year, I get sick. Fuckin’ hell, 2017.

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