2013: 5 Lessons Learned

What a breather. I woke up this morning with no internet connection and went panic with the idea of an internet-less New Year’s Eve, which also meant no blog post, but it turns out I just swtiched the yellow cables from the modem and into the router. I should pay attention to wires and cables next time.

Right after Christmas day I sat on the Thinking Man’s chair (the toilet) and began thinking about the year – and I don’t know where to start. I just went on and jettisoned all the excess baggage I’ve accumulated eating beef and lasagna in the span of two days.

Probably the best way to sum up the year wasn’t in a mushy emotional post. 2013 was intense, and there was a whole lot of stuff that happened around me and in the world too interesting to talk about so I’ve decided (just this morning) to cut things down into five mantras, inspired by a book I miraculously ran into by Stefan Sagmeister entitled Things I Learned In My Life So Far. The guy is an inspiration in the journey I have chosen in a risk-it-all-or-nothing-this-is-not-just-a-day-job attitude in the creative world.

Along I’ll share little stories surrounding the mantras I’ve replayed inside my head over and over the whole year – stop slouching on your seat.

Let it begin:


We all go through life with a feeling of looking for something – a person, a feeling, an object, a goal, or a passion. We crave it. One of the things I learned this year is that the things you love naturally gravitate to you (or in the same sense, you find it) when you leave no stone unturned. You know? The Strokes’ song I’ll Do Everything Once perfectly sums up this epiphany.

I spent a couple of weeks last summer doing internship in a film production company just for the sake of it and it was the snap that broke the branch where the idea of me working with movies was hanging around.  Man, the work times are unpredictable, call times early, and there’s so much to consider. One of my goals last year was to write a couple of short films. And oh yes I did and boy, they suck. So I sat down in my metaphorical sheets of epiphany and realized that I’m not up for that game. I should stick to design. And so I did.

It’s okay to be lost and confused at first but don’t settle there. I’ll nose around. I’ll be curious. Even if it means you’ll fail a lot, as long as you know which cup of tea is yours. Find What You Love and Let It Kill You.


The world has lost a lot of good people and things this year, and I still don’t know how to feel about The Fast and the Furious franchise without Paul Walker.. Couldn’t believe guys like those die.

I’ve let go of one of the most important people in my life this year and it was a huge decision- but I’ve always believed in my guts in things like these. So I went ahead. I’ve spent the best years with her, growing up and discovering things I didn’t know I’d run into. But it was necessary for the both of us to grow. I believe we’re both happier now and we’ve commemorated the friendship in a post-christmas handshake during Onion Day. Things are looking up.

The world has lost a lot this year but I believe the future holds bigger and better possibilities, brighter than I can plan out and imagine. Better Things Will Come.

it aint easy

One thing being president has taught me is that it is just simply not easy. Getting people to believe in you and trust you is one thing, but making things happen isn’t just a one-man-show. I haven’t been the best leader, but I’m doing as much as I can and as long as my passion can sustain to share what the world outside CAFA has to offer to our constituents.

I couldn’t make it without Donna, my better (and more organized) half, project managers for always pulling things off, Karen for being very patient with my erratic replies and unanswered calls, the rest of the A3 Officers who believe in their capability to work; as well as the members of the Atlas Squad – a very promising batch of creatives who will soon take the yoke next year. I’d be happy to see you do more than what we have done this year.

It’s daunting in the beginning and yes, It Ain’t Easy, But You Don’t Stand Alone.


The number of people who stay awake beyond ‘normal’ human hours outside their rooms are innumerable: It’s these people who tirelessly chase things and making things work. It’s good to know that there are people who are sleepless riots like me. The next time I see the sun set and rise again, I’ll feel safer knowing that I’ve lived more than everyone sleeping soundly.

At least once, go try to walk around the city at night. It’s beautiful. Sleep Less, Live More.


This year I ran into pretty interesting people who offer very interesting perspectives in basically anything from life to politics to the secret revolution to religion to conspiracy theories about your Jollibee burger (Cultured worms.)

In this interesting buffet called life you can choose between many a-la-carte dishes of beliefs and values- some you find, some offered, some imposed. But the secret is to choose these beliefs wisely- to whichever fits your deemed purpose.

Don’t be easily shaken. Stick To Your Guns. 

I’ll list down some cool stuff I’ve picked up in 2013:

  • Scored 2 pairs this year: A pair of Roshes and Hybrid Airmax’s. I couldn’t catch up after that I was too caught up in schoolwork!
  • Started a brand with my friends. Go check out karbunofficial.wordpress.com | @KarbunPH at Twitter and Instagram.
  • Moved thrice this year! I can’t believe I did it thrice
  • That fucking earthquake and that fucking Haiyan
  • Been kicked around project after project inside and outside the University and it’s amazing to look back and say ‘shit, that was intense’ and come out alive.
  • I’ve bought too many books for me to read (I’m still halfway through A Storm of Swords and at the same time, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
  • This year was full of silly senseless videos that me and my friends enjoy doing: The best being Robbed By Ninjas, a chronicle of Jumao being kidnapped and raped by Japanese Robbers. Here’s a link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10200617795881012
  • CAFA’s The Year of the Uprising + CAFA Colorfest = The bomb. After the stuff I surrender above my bed happy and dead tired.
  • Sir Radel failed me in my first failure in College I GOT A 5.0 IN PRINTMAKING 
  • The joy of my life, Doodle. I wish I had a good photo of her but she’s too jumpy. She’s a black-and-white Shih-Poo who hates neighbors

— And some photos from this year:


CAFA Colorfest (c) Phoebe Espejo


Young Studs in Manils (I miss these times)


I was locked out of my room. I left my keys and the laptop, phone and everything else inside. (c) Anya


Samboan. Crazy days


Relief in Medellin (c) Keane Valencia


Most favorite people I’ve met in 2013: The Golden Kids | Summer in Malapascual painting walls and teaching kids how to sing


CAFA Colorfest behind the Scenes and me trying to be an extra in The Walking Dead


My co-interns last summer, shooting Janice Perez’s The Muses


Streetkonect: We nailed a lot of stuff this year: Exhibits, events etc I must help out more next year! 




Ces and I with UDD Yay I got my Sketchbook signed


#Feast 2013: Design Thinking Process + Lechon + Dinner with industry peoples I am the only kid there what was I doing but thanks sir Mark Deutsch!


And I’ve signed up with the dark side


I love my girls | main men


This is how most of our nights end up


I won’t make any new year’s resolutions – no plans to say. I’ll keep them myself.  And I don’t think I’ll need a new year to start over, but it’s worth commemorating another calendar, another planner – we all need the breather anyway.

Happy new year fuckers!


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