This is the 2016 year end post for my Azrael’s Merryland Blog
I should have posted this blog post before the end of 2016, and its already the half of the 1st week of January 2017 and you see me blogging these kind of stuff. I’ve think about it for days if ever I need a year end blog post, doing a short chronicle of my success and failure through out 2016.
I will be reading my old post from January 2016-December 2016 to know how I survived that year, what have I learned and also what are the things I should do next this 2017.
Medyo corny noh? But this blog post can be for myself or can be a news to my blog readers.
Kayo ba? What are the awesome things and part you like here in my blog last 2016? Siguro if you mention something below sa comments, it will be a help for me to know it so that I can do better as a blogger this year.
So let’s start
FB Virus – hahaha my year started when my Facebook account got infected by a virus. Grabe nakakainis ito. What a great time to start my year. But its okay, whenever I got infected, I always find a way to remove it, stop it and also prevent it. That’s the peril of being connected to a large network, you don’t know when will it hits you.
Bag endorsement – Awesome start of my year when I was invited to endorse Europak bag and back packs, been using this bag brand for a year now and I super love it. I still use them and for this year I am planning to buy a bigger one to expand my habit to carry many things.
Birth of #EATgetaway – January 2016 is the birthdate of our blogging trio #EATgetaway. It all started when I travel frequently with Ted and Enzo from the previous years, then was invited to stay and feature Island Cove Hotels and Resort in our blog and social media. The planning started for the travel lifestyle trio after we landed here in our home, watching some TRAVEL VLOGS, where Enzo introduced me the vlogging world of Will Dasovich, then I shared to them that I follow this famous vlogger named Casey Neistat, the idea exploded when we saw another travel vlog by LeBlanc featuring the beautiful beaches of the Philippines. The collaboration with Ted and Enzo kick off here at Island Cove and we got 8 hours to think of a name of our travel lifestyle squad – named #EATgetaway
Blog project – I attempted to do another year for my travel and food blog project, I failed to complete it again and my problem last year is budget, time and don’t where to start. This year I’m going to do it again. If you want to know about, feel free to ask me via FB messenger. But at least, my Nazareno blog project is still active and Im doing it again for my 8th year to do a blog coverage.
12 Hours tour project – I mentioned that I have a travel and food blog project, here’s the other travel blog project, my attempt is to create a 12 hour tour around a certain destination, city or island. The mission is to stay for 12 hours in one city and do my best to create a travel and food feature. My 1st trial is Binondo, Manila just in time for Chinese New Year 2016. It was fun doing it and It educated me well that there are lots of things to discover around Binondo. Enzo Luna accompanied me and we did a 7 hours tour around Binondo. For this 2017, I might do a 12 hours project again...let’s hope that my budget permits haha
2nd #EATgetaway is at Binondo Chinese New Year – Ang haba ng title noh? I just can’t believed that my plan in organizing a trip – like booking a hotel and organizing Ted and Enzo and also Eli for a night of CNY blog coverage in Binondo. It was a fun get together and I want to do it again for 2017. It is also my 1st time to organize and create an itinerary for the team.
3rd #EATgetaway trip is at the hot air balloon fest - Another successful run of our EATgetaway!! After this 3rd trip, we agreed to do more travel for the rest of the year.
As a judge at Bacardi U-Mix contest – I was invited to be a judge by a pro bar tender, thanks to Richie Cruz for inviting me, I was so nervous because I dont know that time how to judge a cocktail entry, but then I got reminded that my taste buds, heart and soul will be my tool in judging that contest. Hahaha! Awesome experience to try 20+ cocktail drinks in one day.
TV interview about Google and Blogger – I didn’t expected that I got an overnight offer to be a resource guest for a Game Changer TV show at ANC. Im glad that its a pre-recorded interview and not a live hahaha. Check the link here and watch my interview - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xn8ky0Rb00
Toycon started early – Its a challenge for us at Toycon Philippines to organize an early event or lets say a roadshow for our main event that is usually held every month of June. Normally I organize the side shows of our event, but for our small event at UP Town Center, I helped the team in doing the online promotion and call for volunteers. I have no news yet if we will do another 2nd year at UP Town Center, just visit our Toycon FB page for news.
OPPO F1 – OPPO F1 camera phone is my main camera phone for the year 2016. Im using this camera phone now and I think this will be my phone forever hahaha. Thanks to OPPO Philippines and M2Comms for inviting me to their events, end of 2015 and start of 2016 is the start of my OPPO appreciation. I super love the phone because it has the right tools and specs I need for my blogger gig and life.
Events Events Events – The events didn’t even stop for the month of March, I saw my blog post from March 2016 and its full of blog event coverages. I attempted to attend them all, I super enjoyed the event, program, food, perks, freebies, raffle awards and many more. Its the busiest and tiring month for me because March starts to heat up as summer season arrives. More events in the next season...more blogs to post. I became hyper and I didn’t know that Im wasting too much money for transpo, food and other incidentals. Lesson is: Dont cover them all
Sunglasses life hack – I will never buy branded sunglasses, becasue there are times that I break them or loose them. So I decided to buy sunglasses at DAISO for a price of PHP88. They sell good sunglasses with UV ray protection. For 2017, I bought a new one, and now my plan is to buy more so that I can re-stock the new designs that they have and own a set through out the year.
The trek to Mt. Pinatubo – the only destination that made me learn how to organize the things to bring, to discipline myself and also set my body in a good condition. The trek to Mt Pinatubo is not a joke, its the most tiring trek ever due to the hot steamy weather in the dusty desert of Masinloc, Zambales. We survived the trek, thanks to Power Mac Center for bringing us there. Here I traveled without using my DSLR camera.
PH Election snafu – its the most stressful election campaign ever!! Too much negativity from left and right, offline and online, even friends and families tear each other because of their opinions. I learned here that I will keep my vote to myself and never reveal who I supported. Its a good way that I can still be friends to everyone.
We’re good campaign managers – so when M&M Philippines tap us bloggers to campaign for the best M&M character of the year, me and my team got assigned to campaign for M&M Red. Its a month long campaign in line with the PH election, it was fun and we felt that it was a real election! Then during the campaign period, we almost lost some friends because of the heated campaign hahaha.
Ashton’s soccer tournament – I learned that my son scored a goal at their soccer tournament. I was not there but the news came from my wife who was there watching. It was a surprise goal made by Ashton and this made their team won the tournament. Wow! The small kids beat the big kids! Hahahaha. Im happy that moment to see that my son is now into sports. From payatot, naging maskulado na sya haha.
Travel feature of Maragondon – The travel episode for BRIGADA offered me to be a guest and presenter for their episode featuring Maragondon, Cavite. I gave a big YES after I learned about it, but I told them they should shoulder all expenses if ever I will do the job for their episode. It was a fun and tiring video shoot around Maragondon, it was a 2 days shoot and the fun part is that I became a semi-presenter at the 2nd day of the shoot due to the main presenter went back to Manila to prep for her travel assignment. The episode aired in GMA NEWS TV many times and Im so happy to be part of the show. I wish for another invitation...kahit ako na gumastos! Watch the full episode here - https://www.facebook.com/azraelsmerryland/videos/1344656812216133/
Toycon PopLife FanX – Its the 1st collab event with a foreign convention organizer. It was a successful event, we can say that its the biggest ever in the PH. Im happy for the turn out of the event and Im glad that my team mates are always have an open mind and aware of the concerns of many people about this production. Expect us to do it again this 2017, a much more bigger bang!!
Blog Vacation – My first time do to blog vacation after for so many years!!! My advise when you do blog vacation, dont open your emails ahahahah. If ever I will do a blog vacation, I will travel and stay to a city where internet is not available. I took a short blog vacation after doing Toycon PopLife Fanx
Regular vlogging – I celebrated my birthday by attending a series of event. I asked my wife if its okay, and she told me that its fine at least I get to see my friends during my birthday, I promised that I will be home before 10pm so that we can celebrate my birthday at home. Turns out that the traffic jam in EDSA made me arrive home too late. Also I started my vlogging activities during my birthday last July 2016, One of my birthday wish is to do a regular vlogging in my Youtube channel. Watch that episode here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTR333xj_aM / During one of the events I got lucky to meet the lovely Jennylyn Mercado!
Joined my 1st fun run – Wow! My wife convinced me to try the 5km fun run. It was easy but I just enjoyed the walk...not the run hahahah. I dont know if I will do it again, but if Robinsons Supermarket will invite us again, sige game! Basta may grocery bag uli sa finish line.
Too many blog events - I was on vacation that month, its a month right after Toycon, but I noticed that Im so active in attending blog events. There’s this one day that I completed 6 events in one day. Its the craziest day ever!! It rained and then it was traffic in EDSA, but Im happy that the people behind the events waited for my arrival. My Lesson is: cut down the events hopping in one dayjust to have a stress free day.
Trip to Cavinti – Its my first time to cover the Sambalilo Festival in Cavinti, Laguna. After the festival we encountered an accident – our 4x4 ATV vehicle suffered a flat tire. So we got stranded in a remote mountain for 5 hours, it was cold, stormy and we’re all wet. It was a life and death situation because the cold at night is not a joke! Im glad that one of our guide is an expert in survival training, he helped us prepare a bonfire for us to warm our body. Its the first time ever I truly appreciate the wonders of bonfires.
Being an advocate of weather news – This is one of my advocacy, because we live in a tropical country and regularly visited by typhoons, its good to join forces with local agencies in sharing weather news in social media. Been doing that part for so many years and now I have insider friends at PAGASA and also at a private own company – Weather Philippines, I joined voluntarily to watch the skies and take note the updates given by our weather agencies.
Mom and Sis – It was a surprise visit from my mom and sis, after so many years they lived in the U.S., they got a time last August 2016 to visit us here in the PH. It was a fast and short stay, but Im very to happy that all is well and they finally met my son Ashton, who was 6 year old that time. Its a busy month for me with my two family. Sana maulit uli this 2017.
The month of blog events – I did some experiment, what if I cover all blog events. So there...I did it. But I noticed that income stream are not so stable on that month. I will never do that again...going out everyday is so expensive!
Motorcycle ride to Baler – Another life changing experience...we rode a big bike and traveled to Baler, Aurora for 6 hours per day. It was fun! And it was the day I learned that surfing is not for me! Hahahah I made a vlog series about it, so watch it here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtNHXZwoYho&t=106s
Start of 1 million hits per month - A milestone in my blogging career. I learned that this blog can generate 1 million hits per month and the milestone started here in September. Wow o Wow!!!
First time to cover a soccer game – Thanks to some connections, I got to score free tickets and an insider news about the exhibition games of our Philippine football team. It was a challenge for me to cover the game for my blog. Its one of my dream to be a sports photographer, I only have a 200mm lens for my DSLR but I managed to get some good shots and my photographs were featured at the
Philippine Football Federation Facebook Page. Its a good training for me to do sports photography, I was preparing for the Suzuki Cup, but then I back out after the end of the exhibition match, because its too stressful to travel going to Philippine Arena which is located in Bulacan near NLEX highway, I dont have a car to use going there. Maybe next time, I can score a media accreditation and a car pool with photographers.
Co-organize with festival organizers – Its my first time to collab with the LGU of Bacoor, especially with the Bacoor Tourism office. We successfully did a blog and social media coverage of the 2016 Bakood Festival. Thanks to our Bacoor Tourism Officer, sir Edwin and Bacoor Mayor Lani Revilla for hosting our stay in Island Cove and also ushering us at the coverage area. I hope we do more rounds this 2017.
Disappointed at IMAX – After the screening of Doctor Strange in IMAX SM Megamall. I was invited for an interview that will be posted at IMAX FB. I heavily prepared for it and gave my time at the end of the sneak peak of the movie. Then after some weeks. I’ve learned that my segment got cut off and not included in the video feature.. nakakainis. Next time wag na lang.
Back to PUSOD TAAL LAKE CONSERVATION CENTER – We went back to PUSOD as part of Globe’s CSR to help PUSOD in taking care of the conditions of Taal Lake. And for the first time, I rode a sail boat in Taal Lake, and that sail boat is the same sail boat that we hand built last 2015. Im so happy to see that our boats are okay and its really working. After the visit at PUSOD, we managed to organized another visit in the same month to do our PBNET CSR project. Thanks to Globe and our sponsors for helping us making the CSR (we named DSR as digital social responsibility) project at PUSOD happen.
Start of a big project - I didn’t expected that my feet will take me to places. This is the month were we got so serious in blogging.
Played the guitar again – Wow! I played the guitar and did two sets of songs during the PBNET Christmas party. It was an impromptu performance. I borrowed Eli Villagonzalo’s electric guitar and tried to jam some songs. Enzo became our vocalist and then I strum the guitar playing my fave E-heads songs and other popular songs that we can find on Google hahahah. Im glad that there’s internet., we can search for the song’s lyrics and also guitar chords. Super fun night, we provide songs to our guest who are from the marketing and PR industry. Also a fun Christmas cheers for PBNET for having a 3rd year of Christmas party.
The busiest month of my year – I thought that May, June and September will be my busiest month ever. But the last month of the year made me the busiest blogger on a holiday season. Ted and Enzo can tell the same hahaha. It was a successful run. thanks SM Supermalls.
Life Saver – I believe that God answered my prayers. There are times that Im down and sad, but whenever I wish something, pray for something, Im happy that God is always there, and Im very thankful to Him for granting my wishes. I asked too much but Im happy that my December is filled with so much love and also fun. I celebrated the happiest Christmas season of my life. Kahit na nag tantrum anak ko sa gift opening activities, but still its the best hahahah. There are lots of things that I’ve learned from 2016. I promise myself not to do the not so good things ever again..no more experiment and no more trials. I should walk straight and keep an eye of obstacles along the way. Challenges are fun, but life without challenges is boring. So for 2017, I will conquer all challenges, I almost quit blogging last 2016, but this time no more quitting, because after conquering all challenges, I will make sure I will create a new one, just to keep me going and going.
Thanks to YOU! For the support and for reading my blog post.
This 2017 I will make my blog content more juicy and tasty! So watch out for it!
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Saturday, January 07, 2017
Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, PBNetwork PH, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.