Am I late to write this? Guess not.

I don’t have enough time to write my 2017 in review, or my 2017 realization in the first weeks of 2018 or at the end part of 2017. So I am assuming I am late for this but I thought maybe not.

I am writing this not only for myself but for all people who failed, succeed, and hoped last 2017. First of all, we will all fail again, succeed again, and hope again this year, so do not look down at yourself and see yourself as a disappointment last year because you are not the only one who fell short of your expectations.

2017 has been a year of plot-twists for me; it has been, so far, the most exciting year in my life. It was the year where I learned to be by myself and to be dependent on others. Ironic? Yes, because it was 2017 when I learned fully well that everyday we are to make choices of our own but at the end of the day we think of others first before we make those choices.

March 2017, I received a chat if I was available to go to Mindoro. Mindoro always have a special place in my heart as it is where I first went on mission without anyone from Laguna with me, without hesitation, I said yes. I met new friends and got to catch up with old ones, more than that I loved even more. The Mindoro mission made me realize to serve without hesitation and doubts, even if some people might not understand what you are doing, even if it is your family as long as it is for God, do not make this as a hindrance in serving the Lord.

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April 2017, World Youth Congress. One of the highlights of this Congress, for me, is when we looked back to the previous Congresses. Seeing all people around me, old and new, made me grateful on how great God is in my life. Hearing one of the participants in a youth camp where I talked about Faith, sharing his own Jesus Christ story in front of the community was a great way to end my years of serving as a cluster servant.

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May 2017, Christian Life Retreat and last SHOUT. It was this year when I transitioned to YFL to SFL and attended my last SHOUT. The discernment of this two events was so exciting, it was when I talked to one of my brothers in the community that he will be now be the cluster (chapter) servant of our area, sharing my vision to him and what the Lord has done for the past 6-7 years and letting him now be the “kuya” was a blessing. He was a blessing, and still is. I am proud that God led me to him and to his partner in letting them guide now the area God has entrusted to us.

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June 2017, Triumphant. The title of this youth camp tells the story of how great God is in fulfilling His promise to us. I said yes in being a cluster servant way back 2011, back then I thought that all the members will stay and it was just about gathering them and conducting youth camps to be bigger, I was wrong. It was a struggle in gathering everyone else, all the nights of crying, praying, going from house to house, ended 2015 when we conducted the youth camp that God promised us on those prayers, and looking at that youth camp and this youth camp, the servant leaders now are the participants of the youth camp we conducted last 2015. It was indeed a victory that God planned all along.

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July 2017, Nehemiah Leadership Weekend. Just like the youth camp, this weekend was an affirmation for me. There were a lot of Nehemiah Leadership weekends I attended when I was still part of the Laguna core, and this was not different from all of them, other than there are a lot of new faces and new realizations. For me, it was an affirmation that God is indeed a promise keeper.

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August 2017, WAGI. This was the first Area Youth Conference that I was not part of the service team but God is not done with me yet, as I was the one who went to Bicol to accompany five YFL from Camarines Sur to attend the AYC. It was a long ride, got ill in the middle of the night in the bus yet God was a God of surprises. There was this shop near the terminal where we are that has a sign that says: “Chosen Few”, that morning God told me that He called me by name. That morning He affirmed me of saying yes to Him every time.

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September 2017, You Matter Live Pure Conference. Every Live Pure Conference, there is a realization for me and it was no different this time. Where we are right now is where we are supposed to be. Today is your point A and where you want to be, your purpose in life, is your point B. This was when I remembered the line from my favorite anime, Hunter x Hunter, “You should enjoy the little detours. To the fullest. Because that’s where you’ll find the things more important than what you want.Our point A is where we are right now and as we journey to our purpose, our point B, we enjoy the little things in our journey, the people we meet, the views we see, the experiences, because it will make our point B more meaningful.

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October 2017, Another CLR. This time, I was a speaker. I never imagined myself giving a talk in a CLR within 2017 as I just finished my own CLR last May of the same year but God has other plans. It was fulfilling and it was like the first time I gave a talk, the chills, the doubts, but God never failed me. I doubted myself yes but I never doubted God.

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November 2017 (and all other months of 2017), Basketball. I always love basketball, I watch it live in TV, watch reviews in the internet, read articles, and I even write one too and started it 2016. My love for basketball grew to not just enjoy it as a player and know it as a fan but to learn it even more. This was the month that I said to myself that I will watch more live basketball, in the venue itself. One of the highlights of watching live basketball was watching the last game of the UAAP Mens Basketball eliminations, Ateneo versus La Salle. I am no stranger to live college basketball because I watch NCAA live, but this was different, I always thought it was different but watching it live was on another level. The trashtalk, the rivalry, the story, the fans, the intensity of the game, was all different. I’m glad I shared this with two of my great basketball friends.

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December 2017, the greatest plot-twist of the year and affirmations. As I was browsing through Facebook late November, I found an application to be part of an organizing committee of a big event. I applied and GOT IN! December was the first meeting, little did I know there was a lot of us who applied for that post and only six were accepted, I was overjoyed inside as I learned about the process and knowing that I am part of it is a blessing as I end the year.

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Christmas parties, Year-end parties, and family gatherings were always part of our December. I was affirmed that all of these things happened in just a span of one year! As I was writing this, I even looked again the dates of the events because I though some happened 2016. I may have missed some details, some pictures, some realizations, but that does not mean that you were not part of my 2017 or it was not a highlight, this was just a gist of what happened, imagine if it was more detailed.

(More of 2017: SBC League, 2030 Youth Force PH, Praefatio Youth Camp, CFC-FFL Anniversary, Night Outs with Brent, Aldwin, Mok, It’s Time Assembly, Worship Workshop for SFL, first SFL Mission in Lucena, Grateful Christmas/Year-End Party, Kalaw-Burgos Reunion, Team Joanna Bataan Escapade, DTV Family, FC Manila, Team Pipay, and a lot more!)

I always see people sharing online that 2017 was just a trial and 2018 will be the real one, I smirked and told myself the same but if it was indeed a trial, 2017 was and is the best trial run ever happened but it was not. It was not a trial rather it was a year of being Undefeated and choosing God. As I open the 2018, not being a cluster servant anymore and looking forward to experience new things and serving God even more. This is the year that we are to be MORE UNDEFEATED, MORE VIBRANT, MORE LOVING.

As we journey this 2018, we look back at what God promised us and we remember that God is a promise keeper. That even if that promise may not be fulfilled this year, this year will be great. This year we are all great because we are destined to be one. God made this year great for us for we are destined for greatness. On to 2018! Let’s Go!

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