yearender: 2019 in review

Manila, 25 December—Merry Christmas to you and yours, friends!

This yearender masterpost is the 50th post for this year—I’ll try to make two other yearender posts to make it to 52, which has been the original target for this year. Suffice it to say I really did spend a heckin’ lot of time trying to keep myself afloat throughout all of Q4, huh.

Anyway, for this yearender I just want to put together some chronological month-on-month highlights as my way of taking stock: Where was I at the beginning of this year? Where am I now? How the fuck did I get here? Hehe.

So, without further ado:


  • #nerdweekend: visualizing transport data from grab. I may now need to update this analysis to include data from this year! Hmm.

  • resolutions. Technically a call-out post. I set out to read more books; I ended up reading (and re-reading jfc) fanfiction instead. Not that that’s a bad thing, but you know. It needs to be said that there was a target and that I did not meet it haha.

  • viva pit señor! I covered Sinulog for the company this year. My first time! I quite enjoyed it.

  • i remember. Here we note Visprint’s closure announcement, and some current events notes: House lowering MACR, start of election period. For media, there’s Haunting of Hill House (ebook), Russian Doll (Netflix), and Betty Who’s I Remember video.


  • holy cow. Magdalena Millenniors sessions, mostly.

  • should i share that survey?: a handy chart. Election-related dataviz!

  • herd immunity. That measles outbreak coincided with this year’s first major flu attack. It was horrible. Media recs: One Day At A Time S3 (Netflix), and this YouTube video by The Head and The Heart which has Troian Bellisario in a lovely/dreamy old-school lesbian love affair which has all the trappings of the typical lesbian love story of yore: Bicycles, woods, manual cameras, and, of course, bury your gays. I know.

  • a problem like maria. This post is about Maria Ressa’s arrest by NBI, a commentary on the media’s ‘fractured’ response, and then some. Media recs: Brigitte Bautista’s Don’t Tell My Mother (ebook), Betty Who’s new album, Ariana and Pride stickers at Komiket.

  • stimulus dive. Includes rundown of February’s stimulus dive activities: Graphika, Komiket, Art Fair, FHL exhibit at Ayala Museum. Family update: My dad’s birthday + his yearbook. Plus: Making it to the World Data Visualization Prize long list. Also this month: The PCOO toured Europe and tried spreading their agenda and disinformation using our taxes. Feature animated thing: Kitbull.



  • mango season. A meditation about my mother triggered by a death in the industry. Some mental health discussion and commiseration.

  • bikes and birthdays. Spent C’s birthday biking around Intramuros. I hadn’t been on a bike in decades, so this was a Great Feat, haha.

  • on rising. Spent Holy Week 2019 with the fam in Makati + swimming with Rocco + a rant about GOT S8’s demonization of women triggered by the S8 pilot (LOL)


  • citizen panic. Panic ahead of my first election season outside of the media cycle. Panic about the 6.1-mag earthquake that hit Metro Manila this year + trying not to talk about GOT S8 and Avengers Endgame. Media recs: Someone Great (Netflix), She-Ra and the Princesses of Power S2 (Netflix).

  • brief notes about endgame and winterfell. Joined a company-sponsored Avengers Endgame screening + Captain Marvel’s butch haircut (lord) + GOT’s monster 80-minute ep, Battle of Winterfell + that Arya moment set to My Heart Will Go On. This year had so many memes it’s hard to keep track. I mean—my introduction to BLACKPINK was in the form of this Thanos video dancing to Let’s Kill this Love.

  • pool season. Mother’s Day and summer and Four Sisters.

  • now what?. Post-elections, post-Game of Thrones. Media recs: Carly Rae Jepsen’s new album, saw at the cinemas Detective Pikachu (adorable).

  • borongan's best-kept secret. Was in Eastern Samar for an official work trip + beach with college girlfriends.


  • championship heart. Heard about my high school batchmate’s battle with kidney disease and signal boosted it. Media recs: Killing Eve S2.

  • i am not a traveler. On our block’s 18th anniversary. Wow, time flies.

  • puddle season. Block brunch with the Jowas. Media recs: Caught in the cinemas Men In Black: International (Tessa Thompson you guys). Sold Pride merch via Shopee to support the 2019 Pride March, too.

  • pride. Meditation on last year’s Pride, being a young queer person before the age of social media, and looking forward to this year’s Pride. Gay recs: A podcast on Fix-it Fanfiction, a New Yorker cartoon about Drawing Horses, and Taylor Swift’s You Need to Calm Down.

  • pride as protest. Post-Pride 2019 write-up, C and I’s first Pride March together. It rained, it was muddy, but hell we were with 70,000 other people! What a party.


  • one hell of a time. This year, we binged Lucifer (Netflix). So good.

  • The biggest lie I was ever told. Meditation on social media, the beginnings of traditional media entering social media, how this ultimately broke the news cycle, the misplaced importance placed on metrics, and how all of it gave birth to the massive infrastructure of disinformation that we have today.

  • Straddle or swerve?. Caught Stop Kiss MNL at the theaters and it was amazing. This entry is mostly a review. Featured meme: The Cats Trailer Set to ‘Us’ Music.

  • we were in el nido. My first time in El Nido was for work, of course. Rainy but still beautiful.


  • information diets. Rains and slowdowns.

  • t.g.i.s. (+ hey queer makers). This project has been on hold for months. It had the unfortunate distinction of being thought up at the cusp of Q4, a.k.a. The Strama Quarter. I hope to pick it back up sometime Q2, after the Defense. Also, this meditation on TGIS began as a tangent to the whole Julia-Gerald-Bea issue.

  • a postscript on family. Something strange happened to the family this year; it was so strange that I had to write it down.

  • let them pee in peace. Gretchen Diez became a household name this year, bringing to the forefront issues of Filipino transgender women.

  • the first mayor. That time former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez almost got out of jail. Media rec: Caught in the cinemas South Korean movie Parasite. Definitely up there among my top 3 best movies this year. Also: Taylor Swift released her album Lover this month.


  • The L Word (and everything after). Meditation on The L Word, and how crucial it was to me as a queer woman coming of age in the mid-00’s, triggered by news of an L Word reboot. Also, Smart Millenniors at the 17th Quill Awards! + CRJ concert tickets went on sale.

  • an open letter to the transphobe down the hall. Man, I got really angry this year. Found out through social media that one of my co-workers espoused anti-transgender sentiment, and another co-worker was trying to educate her. It amazes me that they’re still good friends after that heated debate; I have much to learn.

  • amulets. A meditation on being bulletproof. Media rec: Carole and Tuesday (Netflix)—what an underrated animated series. So damn good music too! Also caught in the cinemas The Panti Sisters.

  • And we're back (in school!). After applying for an extension (I’d been out of school for two years), I finally decided to come back and finish it, or at least try to. Strama quarter was a really challenging quarter but I think I’m now in a better place to pick up where I left off. Sometimes, that’s really all it takes.

  • Martial Law in the Philippines, 47 years hence. A round-up of Martial Law materials to commemorate its anniversary.

  • The perfect pitch. A meditation on the question, Who are you? + timely re-visit of that epic Buffy body-swap episode asking the same question. Featured meme: “Somebody here is possessed by an owl.




  • hello, december. Caught Knives Out in the cinemas (So good!) Cram time ng final paper, and it shows.

  • capricorn season. Mid-December wrap of things we enjoyed: SEA Games, Sibol, Frozen 2 on the cinemas (Sing-along win), The L Word pilot, Nintendo Switch!

As you can see, I love making lists! They make me feel so accomplished haha. Thank you, 2019 self, for this kinda good attempt at documenting our year. It took a while before I got back into a sort of life recording groove, and maybe this year has been a good attempt at it.

How was your 2019? Are you making any yearend lists? Please share them my way!

Share your yearenders!

Hope your holidays are bright and warm.