2018 Year in Review: Life

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I frame each year around an intention. In 2017, my focus was to ‘be more intentional about where I spent my time and energy’. After a painful breakup midway through the year, I realized that my time and energy was best spent on myself.

Committed to my theme, I paid more attention to social events I attended and people I surrounded myself with. I made calculated decisions, leaning on intuition and a turbulent comfort zone. I also did many things alone armed with dozens of books on my Kindle (I read 30 that year!).

My theme for 2018 was inspired by a quote with a theme that somewhat counters the previous one. Uncertainty is a precursor to rapid change and transformation. In situations where I would normally evaluate cost-benefits (ftr, still do), I let curiosity override my concerns. In the spirit of embracing uncertainty all year, I dated, solo traveled, produced a documentary, joined a tennis league, co-chaired on a board of a future non-profit, and learned a ton about myself in the process (lolwutsnew).
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TL;DR — embracing uncertainty meant trying things outside of my comfort zone

  • got lasik

  • traveled on an international film festival tour

  • joined two tennis leagues

  • dated

  • founded pilipinos@ pinterest x joined faster board

  • celebrated life

  • infinite self-reflection on technology

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1

I can see clearly now, I just got lasik.

You don’t need a rich, successful person to tell you the best investment is in yourself. But if you do, rest assured, a fake Warren Buffet account tweeted it.

For some people, investing looks like a down payment through seasonal retail therapy and reaping the reward of compliments on trendy outfits. For a person who despises the labor-intensive, consumeristic idea of impulse shopping, I’m totally okay with paying big money on long-term benefits like cosmetic health care instead.

Last year, I paid off my braces. This year, I got lasik, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.
Glow up has been slow and steady. Aging like wine, I might add.

2

Nothing on US: Pinays rising goes around the world

Never imagined I’d be saying this, but WE WENT ON TOUR IN 2018 FAM. An international tour! What started out as a creative project, manifested in a two-day music video production, snowballed into a global movement.

Tapping into the film festival circuit was serendipitous af, special shout out to CAAMFEST for premiering our documentary in a sold out theater. But even more rewarding was building and creating with a fierce, talented, unapologetic pinay, Ruby Ibarra. Living out the thesis of our documentary, pinays are rising, and we

As mentioned in several of our interviews, she told me, ‘This project is yours as much as it is mine’. This might have been our first collaboration, but it sure won’t be our last. ;)

Sold Out World Premier @ Roxie Theater, San Francisco CAAMFEST 2018

Sold Out World Premier @ Roxie Theater, San Francisco
CAAMFEST 2018

East Coast Premier @ Producers Club Theater, New York NYC2Paris Film Festival

East Coast Premier @ Producers Club Theater, New York
NYC2Paris Film Festival

Canada Premier @ Toronto, Canada Toronto ReelWorld Film Festival

Canada Premier @ Toronto, Canada
Toronto ReelWorld Film Festival

Boston Asian American Film Festival @ Paramount Theater

Boston Asian American Film Festival @ Paramount Theater

Pacific Island Premier @ Guam Museum Guam International Film Festival

Pacific Island Premier @ Guam Museum
Guam International Film Festival

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

Interview with The Filipino Channel

Today at Apple Screening @ Apple Union Square, San Francisco

Today at Apple Screening @ Apple Union Square, San Francisco

2018 nothing on us pinays rising poster ruby ibarra evelyn obamos

Film Festival Tour:

3

Joined the bay club & two tennis leagues

L.O.L. As someone who used to tout how pointless gym memberships are, I’m eating my words in retrospect. Moreover as a cheapskate– my hotmail messenger alias used to be kuripot_05@, which means stingy/unwilling to spend– I still bite my lips when I see my monthly (bougie) Bay Club bill.

Joining a tennis league has been a long-term goal of mine since I left college. I play tennis recreationally but haven’t played competitively since high school. On top of their pricey membership, the SF Tennis Club also offers clinics, challenge courts, and seasonal leagues.

Not only does the cost force guilt me to play more regularly, their courts are conveniently next to work so excuses are harder to make. merp.

At the end of the day, some people prefer to blow their money on hangovers. Paying for a gym membership is self-mutilation in a different way.

Ultimately, it’s gainz all around. amirite.

tennis serve gif bay club

4

DATED

Oh boy. Where do I even begin? Out of my 2018 highlights, dating takes the cake on fulfilling my yearlong intention of embracing uncertainty. Literally. There were hangouts that seemed like dates. Dates that sucked. Crushes that didn’t evolve. And what is dating in this era if you don’t encounter an occasional fuckboy?

Considering I haven’t used any dating apps, I’m quite satisfied with how I’ve met people IRL. As much as it’s equally terrifying and underwhelming, dating as an adult has been fun and continues to teach me SO much. I love learning, so it works so far. I guess.

5

PILIPINOS@ Pinterest

While I tend to keep my blog about topics outside of my day job, I’m fortunate to work at a company that’s allowed me to blend passion and profession. Pilipinos@ was actually established in November of 2017, but our first year as an established Employee Resource Group (ERG) was this year.

I did not initially plan to work in tech, but I’ve been in the industry for four years now, and I’m realizing my story isn’t unique — especially when it comes to Filipinos in the field. Pilipinos@ was born out of curiosity to find out where we are in the industry and deconstruct what ‘representation’ means.

Because we’re clumped under a monolith nametag as Asian Americans, we’re considered over represented in the industry. But a quick scan of where we are (& aren’t) in tech tells a different story.

Even more eye-opening is the spectrum of how Pilipinos in tech self-identify. One of the most-voted org initiatives was to ‘learn more about Filipino culture’ from Filipinos and allies. Thankfully, I had a lot of lesson plans from Pin@y Educational Partnerships (pepsf.org) that I just repurposed!

Oh! And Candice (Head of Diversity, Pinterest) and I were featured on The Filipino Channel’s (TFC) Balitang America. I think mama Obamos knows what I do now…

 Processed with VSCO with fp8 preset

6

Celebrate life

When life gives, it also takes away. As morbid as it can be, death is inevitable. Losing people is never something you can really prepare for, yet it’s so easy to take the people and things we already have for granted. Despite their physical absence, their spirits live on through all the lives they touched. Oh, and fuck cancer.

In loving memory of Alysha Perla, Vincent Carabeo, and Dawn Bohulano Mabalon. <3

7

Social media, an ongoing love-hate affair

This was my third year of deactivating all my social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — not Pinterest) during the holidays. I still stand by my four take-home messages;

  1. Ambient awareness fogs our vision of DEEPLY understanding each other. 

  2. Whether deliberate or not, every post contributes to image crafting. 

  3. Social media blurs the lines between vanity and insecurity.

  4. In widening these spaces, we've lost depth.

And to be completely honest, seasonal depression is real. I know myself well enough to know it affects me, so why put myself through the torture? It’s also a no-brainer that deactivating and unplugging makes me feel so much more productive.

Cheers to uncertainty and recognizing life’s challenges / victories won’t always be within our control. But with enough intellectual curiosity, reason, and emotional intelligence, we have the power to look at situations as teaching moments and blessings.

— evelyn, unapologetic af 2019