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Happy New Year!

Another year has passed, and another year is just beginning. 
 
I look back at 2008 and see that it has been quite the colorful one, probably one of the most exciting years I’ve ever had so far, if not the most exciting. 
 
Here’s a quick recap of the year’s highlights:
 
1. Spiritual matters  
This year has seen a lot of challenges which were also opportunities for growth.  I’d like to think God blessed me with insights and learning from the things I’ve experienced in my struggles to love and trust in Him some more. 
 2. Family matters
I thought I was going to die of dengue in March this year.  Seriously.  It was a real test of faith.  It was the worst of times, but it was also the best of times.  I can say that this was one shining moment, among so many, that my parents stood up for and stood by me during this trying time.  I love them so dearly. 
 
This was also the year we said goodbye to Ninong Chito.  He lived his life and achieved his dreams.  May the tender mercy of God welcome him into His Kingdom forever. 
  3. Personal matters
Still no girlfriend: I’m still single and available, and an active member of the No Girlfriends Since Birth Club.  So, what else is new?  Hehehe.  Oh well.  Sigh. 
 
I underwent dental surgery to remove an impacted tooth at the lower right-side of my jaw.  That was a load of fun. 
 
This has been my best “academic” year to date!  This year I finally earned the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) in Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP): Server Administrator (Windows Server 2008) credentials.  It was more than what I targeted to achieve, and I thank God so much for His guidance and help in seeing my through from training to review to taking the exams.   
4. Work-related
Work has always been challenging.  Because of some changes this year was particularly challenging.  Suffice it to say, I got through the storms that came my way and ended up getting what I wanted in my career. 
 5. Friends
A number of my good friends finally tied the knot this year!  My best wishes go to Chris and Maika, Bryan and Karen, and Ryan and Sheryl.  May God bless their union with love and prosperity all the days of their lives!  Bryan’s and Karen’s wedding is of particular note. 
6. Special Mention
Fr. Bob McConaghy said his last Mass at the company this year.  His bishop finally asked him to come home for good to the States to fill a shortage of priests in their diocese.  He was one of my favorite priests.  I always look forward to hearing him preach about how much God loves us and forgives us of our sins.  Thus ends his missionary tour of duty here in the country, however he brings back with him all the fond memories of his stay here.  By the way, for those who don’t know Fr. Bob, he was a missionary assigned to the Philippines for close to a decade if I reckon right.  He would celebrate the Holy Eucharist at the Greenbelt Chapel, and has become pretty famous in his own right for the very insightful homilies he delivered.  A quick search on Fr. Bob will provide some more information about this loved priest.
 
The Olympics were held this year, this time in Beijing.  It was a “coming out” party of sorts for the Chinese to showcase their strength as a nation and as a people. 
 
Finally, in the closing days of 2008, I’ve broken into further territory in cyberspace by officially launching my blog in Windows Live! Spaces entitled “Notes Series Generation 3” (http://engrjpo.spaces.live.com).     
I have received all of these gifts and blessings from the Lord because of His Mercy, and I thank Him greatly for that. 
 
What’s in store for 2009?  I guess I’ll just wait and see what God has in store for me and for all of us.  I hope to grow closer in my relationship with Him and with the people He has blessed me in my life.  He is the ultimate storyteller of our lives.  In His hands I’m sure this New Year, whatever happens, will never have a dull moment. 
 
May the Good Lord grant us the grace to take advantage of every opportunity He sends to us to love Him and one another everyday of our lives. 
 
Here’s looking forward to the New Year. Smile
 
Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in You!
 
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