2017: My Year in Review

Jansell Iris SimbulanHAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! At this point, we officially welcome 2018 with a new hope, enthusiasm and energy. While we map out our plans and even resolutions for the new year, let’s also take a moment to sit down, revisit the old pages and reflect on the past year.

Summing up my 2017, I’d like to say it’s LIFE-CHANGING. A lot happened and I find myself smiling and thanking God for what this year brought into my life.


I’m grateful for…

  • Post-birthday celebration at Cebu
  • Seeing the beautiful Kawasan Falls
  • Up-close encounter with the whale sharks at Oslob
  • Salbabida moments at Zambales
  • Extreme 4×4 ride at Puning Hot Spring
  • La Union’s gorgeous sunset
  • Reaching Mt. Daraitan’s summit
  • First solo travel in Singapore

I learned that…

  • Cebu is probably next to Manila in terms of traffic
  • Conquering my fear of the deep part of the sea is worth it
  • Salbadida made my mermaid dreams come true (Haha!)
  • Hot spring temperature rises in rainy season
  • 2-3L of water is a must in hike
  • Changi Airport is one the best airports in the world
  • Where God guides, He provides


I’m grateful for…

  • Walking with Jesus
  • My family
  • My tita role for Ella
  • New friendships
  • Wednesday Badminton sessions
  • Brothers and sisters in Christ and
  • Being “Ate” to some
  • Blog readers
  • Catch ups and happy moments with friends
  • Everyone who prayed, showed their love and support on past relationship
  • Moving on from a breakup and letting go of past heartache (all by God’s grace)

I learned that…

  • Starting and ending the day with God has become my top priority
  • Listening to praise and worship songs makes my day
  • Being Tita [to Ella] and Ate [to everyone] are one of the best roles I have right now
  • I had to be broken to know there is something to fix
  • Not all breakups should be ugly and miserable (at some point, it can be a blessing)
  • We need to concentrate more on becoming the right person than finding the right one
  • Singleness is a gift, a season for boundless opportunities, growth, learning and service
  • True love waits
  • God makes all things new and beautiful in its time
  • The best thing to pursue in this life is God’s will


I’m grateful for…

  • Youth TOR Conference (Batch 61)
  • KJP Conference at Skydome
  • First 10k run at 41st MILO Marathon
  • Being one of Top 50 5k Finishers at Run for Christ 2017
  • 2nd work anniversary at TOA Global
  • First IMAX experience at POTC Advance Screening
  • This blog
  • Project Kaluguran Christmas Outreach at Sitio Haduan
  • Christmas celebration, church service, greetings and presents

I learned that…

  • God’s grace is always amazing
  • I no longer write/share/shoot for travel and style alone and
  • I want to honor God through this gift
  • There’s so much to see, do and be grateful for
  • Reading the Bible, devotionals, spiritual growth books and faith blogs equips me with God’s Word and His faithful promises
  • The same God who helped and favored me in 2017 is the same God who will do even greater things for me this 2018


“Heavenly Father, thank you for a life-changing 2017. As I leave the past year behind with no leftovers and cling to even greater things You have for me this year, let me die to my old way of living, repent my past sins, seek You first that I may no longer live for myself – but for You and for the good of others.

I pray that I will appreciate the gifts of the present season of my life, to learn that patience and trust are necessary to wait for Your perfect timing in all things – faith, family, career, service and relationship. Bind me with strength and grace to sustain me through any circumstances as I face the uncertainty of 2018. With all my heart, I am entrusting everything and leaving the planning to You. Amen.”

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