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2016: The Best Worst Year

A movie sign showing "2016: The Best Worst Year" at night.

Ah, 2016, what a ride it was. At this time, I can pretty much say that 2016 was one memorable year for a lot of us—some more than others. The events that transpired over the course of this year have, as I'm sure, made a significant impact for the most of us. This was the year that Brexit happened, Duterte got elected, Trump got elected, Harambe died, Overwatch was released (I love playing the game, by the way), shootings and bombings happened, and a lot more. Aside from those events that somewhat shaped the human race, this year was also memorable for me.

Early–Mid 2016

To be fairly blunt, I kind of went on a date with someone... kind of. At around the beginning of the year, a friend of mine asked for "help" and I agreed to help her. We arranged a time, date, when, where, and all the other specifics. We met, I treated her at Starbucks, walked around for a bit, ate Starbucks again, talked about her life and her current situation, hugged, and parted ways. Now, I don't want to look like some wealthy person, but that whole "arrangement" cost me around 2,000, and the money mostly came from my savings over the past year and from Christmas gifts.

The funny thing is that, after our small "arrangement," we barely talked. I messaged her every now and then to ask how she was doing and I'd often get one-liner replies or very slow replies. I believe I asked her about a second arrangement, and she agreed, but I things didn't go through. At the near-end of the year, I was so strapped for cash, so I kept on messaging her when can she return the money because I needed it and she just kept ignoring me. Eventually, I learned that I was just used, sweet. I just blame myself for being so dumb and falling into a ruse like that. We don't talk anymore, although I can see her post on Facebook and on Instagram of the somewhat (I believe) expensive food she eats.

Around February to late March was the highlight of my friendship with my brothers JR and Loy (Capacia). I still remember those times, JR would usually call me or find me during my vacant period (which was 4 hours) and we'd go to La Salle to visit our friend there. We also went there to hang out, drink, and even catch up with our other friend who was also studying in La Salle. I remember that this was the time when we just went to this café and the four of us would just talk and rest there. At this time as well, the three of us participated in the APC Epidemic along with my love interest at that time, C. We also joined another horror-themed event at APC, which was No Escape. The fun part was helping Loy (my friend who studies at La Salle) enter APC without getting noticed or caught. We were successful in getting him to APC for APC Epidemic, but he was caught for the No Escape event. He was still allowed to participate in the event with no stipulations or anything of the sort. I miss these times.

We won first place in the No Escape challenge, whew!

February to late March was also the time I was with my friends from other blocks the most. I regularly played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive during my free time with my high school friends from other blocks. My social interactions this term were mostly focused on my friends from outside my block, and finding out new places with them. This was also the time I was doing good in APC Speaks, and befriending some of the people there. I hung out with mostly Diego and EJ, and we either ate curry or just ate outside of APC. The picture below was taken around this time.

Around mid-February to early April was the time I started trying to court someone, C. I started off strong, as I believe. I joined this ministry (like a church group) at school because I knew she was there, and I tried to get closer to her. I shared every detail, every chat log, almost every message to my friends and frequently asked them for help, tips, and advice. Some tips were successful, and some were not, but it was all good. Despite that, I didn't get the girl my heart was beating for. Her decision had both good and bad effects, but, to be honest, I'm quite glad with her decision. I can explain in-depth in a future blog post, and I'll leave it up to your imagination on what happened to me during this time.

At around late April to early May, I joined this overtly-religious summer camp and got to meet the members of the Carolet team. I've made a small series about my time in camp, and overall I could say that it was an extremely great experience for me. I still miss the members of the Carolet team, and I personally want to tell them that I miss them so much and I love all of them for caring for me during one of my lowest points in my life, but, as you all know, I'm a shy guy who has difficulty expressing his genuine feelings.

I miss them.

Mid 2016

Not much happened in May aside from me lounging around in the house, so fast forward to June. The months from June to August was the time I was really distanced from my blockmates. Because I failed to enroll early due to "problems," I wasn't able to take 2 classes, and the classes I had with my blockmates like GUIPROG were all but full. So I placed myself in the class of MI151. This was, I guess I should say, one of the heights of my academic life because I performed so well in my programming classes—especially my GUIPROG class. I would often start the day learning about proper UI design and some online graphic design classes because my class would often start at around 1:30 p.m. or 9:30 a.m. I did horribly for the first part of the term because my GUIPROG class mainly consisted of eating up PowerPoint lectures. However, at the end of the term, I excelled so much in the class, and I often had others messaging me for help and tips. It was such a fun experience helping others and being of great help to those who were struggling in the subject. I made a lot of great (I believe) programs during this time, and here's one of them. (Oh, and majority of my work during this time can be found on my Behance profile.)

The "base" of the design I made in Photoshop.

The final program. Took me around 6~7 hours to make this in Visual Studio.

Late 2016

My second term of my second year in APC was the "rocky" one, and it was from September to mid-December. This term was the beginning of the end for me.

The term started out well, with me being in the full comfort of my blockmates once again, after many terms. This was the term I spent the most time with them as I had 4-5 classes with them, and I saw them almost every day of the week—even Saturdays. I started getting closer to some of my blockmates, and I grouped up with some of my friends in the block for some subjects.

Eventually, I started acting irrationally and, at times, even monstrously in a bid to fit in with them because I was scared that, since I wasn't exactly "with them" for many terms, I thought I was going to get alienated or ostracized from the block. I desperately tried to fit in with some of them. If some of the guys in the block were perverted, then I tried to become more perverted than them. If they were lazy, then I'd try to be lazier than them. If they were failing and are doing bad, then I'd try to do horribly as well. All of those were in an effort to fit in with them and to relate to them. I don't exactly know the reason why I wanted to fit in so badly, but it's probably because I never really did "fit in" in my classes in high school and elementary, as I was usually the lonely kid in the class.

Those months were also the time my "problems" showed up. I was constantly strapped for cash and the 150 Pesos daily budget I enjoyed in the terms before were now down to 50 or sometimes 40 Pesos. There were also days where I'd only ask for 20 Pesos and I'd use the remaining money I saved the days before as my budget. So, on some days, (or more often than not) I would ask my blockmates if they had some spare food just so I could eat lunch.

It was also at this time when my depression started showing up again, and my addiction to Steam and gaming resurfaced. I stopped using Steam since March, and I last used it to play Counter-Strike with my friends from high school, but I wasn't really quite addicted in collecting games (I've stopped in 2015 due to various reasons) or gaming. I often found myself depressed and resorted to just asking for games online to fill the void within me. To be fair, I was super efficient in asking for stuff, as I got Overwatch, Slime Rancher, Stardew Valley, Formula Fusion, and Fallout 4 (which I gave to my friend) among others in this time period.

So my addiction + depression + some bad influence + problems eventually brought me down. It even went to a point when I tried to ask my dad for help and it resulted in me breaking down even further. Nevertheless, I showed a happy face towards everyone, but, deep inside, I had a deep hatred of my life and who I am—and who I had become.

I managed to talk to my dad at this time, and I thought that he really wanted to help. After getting to know him, talk to him, I eventually learned that he's a man a thousand times more pathetic than I am. The more I talked to him, the more I learned who he really was, and the more monstrous he looked. With his self-righteous posturing and intense delusions of infallibility and grandeur, I slowly started to hate him even more.

Great, now I was addicted, depressed, horribly influenced, problematic, and infuriated. My meltdown occurred at the end of the term, when my groupmates didn't even care to help me in the final projects. Thankfully, in one subject, one of them offered to help me out (and there were four of us in that group). I was doing so horribly in the other subjects, and I focused on playing and having fun with my "other" blockmates. I constantly found myself a part of every perverted joke, every famous Facebook scandal (rapbeh, that R-Breezy model), and other unspeakable things.

Thankfully, my guiding starlight eventually found a way through the smog and saw me through. I was still unbelievably lazy for the remaining part of the year, but I started to heal. Because I was so unhappy dealing with "problems" everyday in my household, and because I wanted to "escape" from all the things that, I believe, were dragging me down, I decided to spend time with the family of my best friend over the holidays.

I was able to rest and, well, get healed. I actually feel very thankful and I have a heavy sense of gratitude towards them as I've thought of them as my family for many years. They've also done so much help to me over the years just for being there for me, and for bringing me along with them in their family trips. I've went to Pangasinan with them, watched Train to Busan with them, spent my past Christmases there, and so much more. To be quite honest, there wasn't a single second where I didn't feel loved or cared. The family of my best friend always made sure that I ate or was doing well, and that means a whole lot to me.

For a while, I actually felt like I was part of a family. I felt what it was like to have a dad who actually cared, and a family that wasn't all about berating you on how dumb you are. The best part was that the father of my friend was more of a father to me than my real, biological father. And that means so much to me more than words from my real father ever could.

I ended 2016 and began 2017 at their house and with their family. I went through a lot during late 2016, but I'm thankful that I managed to get the necessary love and support to fuel me through 2017.

Sure, 2016 was a bad year for me in retrospect, and 2017 might be worse because I might not be studying in APC anymore, but I'm hopeful. I plan to make the most out of 2017, even if it's the last thing I do. I just wish that, for the many years to come, I should take note of the little things in life that bring me joy every once in a while—even after the worst things have happened to me.

And that's my 2016.

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