Yearly review: 2010

What a year for major life changes!

image imageMy cat Neko and I officially moved to Canada this year when I got my permanent residency in January. After wrestling my unhappy and rather pointy cat into the soft-shell carrier, I stowed her under the seat in front of me. Not a single meow or yowl  out of her during the long flight, although there was a moment in airport security when I had a cat on my head.

imageNeko seems to to be getting along quite fine. She has discovered all the warm spots in the house, and has claimed the top cat position at home even though Luke and Leia are both twice her size.

imageMe, I think I’ve figured out the secret to dealing with winter, too. Flannel pajamas, soft and warm sheets, plenty of thermals, and the renaming of winter to "baking season".   Good thing we biked a lot during the warm months.

I got a promotion and a new manager at work. I’m doing a lot of Drupal development again, which is tons of fun. I’m starting to get the hang of this, I think. There are topics that I feel comfortable being "the expert" on in workshops, although really it’s more like doing the background research and being ready to brainstorm and ask questions.

J-’s in grade 7. The alternative school she’s going to now is interesting because the subjects are integrated, so she’s learning about, say, world hunger in mathematics and geography and all her other subjects. She’s hitting that growth spurt, too. Her feet are bigger than mine, and she’ll grow into them soon enough.

image We picked up and deepened a few interests, too. We all learned woodworking this year, building our own Adirondack chairs. (Yes, even J- built one, with our help!) I’m still amazed that I can have a chair that actually fits me, as most lounge chairs are a bit too long.
The chairs were a great vantage point for viewing our garden, which has  imageyielded lots of ampalaya (bitter melon) for pinakbet, plenty of herbs for pasta sauce, and peas and cherry tomatoes for snacking. We’re looking forward to growing even more fruits, vegetables and herbs in next year’s garden! 

image W- and I got married in Toronto City Hall. To keep things sane and introvert-friendly, we celebrated with just family and a few practically-family friends. Everyone flew in, and it was fantastic having family gathered around the kitchen table. The poor photographer was probably intimidated by all these people with better cameras and tons of photography
experience, but he survived. Tita Gay was a force of nature, practically bringing along a wedding in a suitcase. She surprised us with bubbles and image wedding favours. She and my sister Kathy catered the whole thing, and they conspired with Ching and John to spring a wedding
cake on us. We ate pretty much constantly during the week my family spent in Canada, and really good food too. We just finished the very last lumpia from our stash from Tita Gay and are looking forward to making more.

image Inspired by how my mom and dad built these great friendships over time and distance, we’ve been working on being more social: giving home-made kitchen gifts, writing Christmas cards and letters (hi!), and going to and organizing get-togethers. It’s surprisingly fun! We’re looking forward to learning more about building relationships over time.

What a year!

imageimage 2011 promises to be amazing. We’re looking forward to celebrating Kathy and John’s wedding in the Netherlands and the Philippines. We’re also looking  forward to learning more about woodworking and getting even more out of our garden. Me, I can’t wait to do more writing, drawing, and programming, and I’m excited about opportunities to develop my communication and consulting skills.

Please help us with our project of building relationships. =) How was your year? What are you looking forward to in the next one? What are your stories? You can find our past yearly updates at . Looking forward to hearing from you!

Updates from last year:

In last year’s learning plan, I said that my key priorities were:

  1. Share as much as I can at work and in life. I want to share as much as possible so that other people can build on that foundation. At work, this means creating enablement material, blogging, organizing the shared content, and helping communities and individuals.
  2. Learn more about drawing, animation, and video. I want to get even better at thinking things through and communicating what I’m learning. The better I get at sharing, the more I can help people learn.
  3. Continue living an awesome life! I can’t wait to explore the experiment opportunities that are sure to come up. I’m looking forward to further building my relationships with W- and J-, family, friends, communities, and the world, too. And I’m definitely looking forward to bringing my cat to Canada as I complete the permanent residency process. I miss her! =)

Although I didn’t get as much into animation and video as I hoped to, I’ve had fun learning about everything else, and I think I’ll continue to focus on writing, drawing, sharing, and connecting in 2011. =)


  • mhh

    Although this is my first comment on any of your topics, I have nothing to say but my respect to you grow every time I go through your blog. Have a wonderful life and new year where you can accomplish all your dreams and teach us more of precious experience and humane characteristics you have.

  • Sacha,

    I’m Abdul, the youngest son of Tita Genie, one of your mom’s college friends. You probably don’t remember me, I think the last time we met was twenty years ago in Baguio, and you must have been five or so! Anyway, your mom forwarded your blog link to me because we were talking about annual letters. Just wanted to say I had fun reading your annual review–keep it up! If you guys are ever in the Washington DC area, drop us a line.



    • Good to hear from you both!

      Abdul: I remember a house that was wrapped around a tree, in Baguio. Was that yours? It was awesome. =) And the recent family update, too – way cool!

      mhh: Welcome, and thanks for commenting. I look forward to learning more from you through the years, too. My dreams will come in time. I think it would be even more fun, now, to think about how we can help other people dream good dreams and make them happen… =)

  • Linditt

    Cat on your head, that’s a very cute situation to be in. Which airline did you take? Not alot of them allow pet in cabin. What other information do I need to know if I have to transport my dog?

  • I took Northwest because that was the only airline I could find that would allow me to take my cat in-cabin on an international flight, and that served Manila. (Whew!)

    You won’t be allowed to take your pet out of the carrier while in cabin, so don’t feed your dog too much. =)

    Also, read up on the terminals you’re going through. Some of them even have pet-friendly areas where you can take your dog for a walk. If you have a choice, route through those airports instead.

    Hope that helps!

  • Linditt

    Yeah, that’s a good pointer. I didn’t think of the transit time.. Thanks!

  • It might not matter that much. Neko was so scared that she hid in a corner of the DTW airport and wouldn’t even touch the litterbox I’d set out for her. (Always keep your pet on leash, and stay near the corners. It’ll save you a lot of chasing.) I’d never heard her growl so much before. Now she’s totally at home here. =)

  • Roy Villasor

    Dear Sasha,

    Thank you for sharing your life with us. I found it so inspiring, that I have sent my eldest daughter, Regina to live in LA. Hoping that opportunities unavailable in the islands will open to her.

    I continue to visit and listen to your Mom on raising such extraordinary daughters (I have two). I deeply regret not being at your wedding. There is a legal battle going on over my mother in law and her assets which did not permit me to leave. I am happy that I met your husband while you visited and to see you have blossomed into a woman.

    Regards to W and J. Happy New Year.

    Ninong Roy

  • Dear Sacha:

    Been wanting to hear from you! Have changed email addresses and somehow lost contacts.

    I like your website. I will look into having one as well. I find it more flexible considering my varied interests.

    I have been an avid Annual letter writer and they are all in my multiply site, which unfortunately have been taken over by the now famous Facebook or Twitter.

    How do I send this letter (its in word with photos) to you? Could your site get attachments, how?

    Meantime, I missed your wedding due to distance and my work schedule just wouldn’t permit me out on those dates. I am also glad you are into crafts, at least that’s something in common between the two of us.

    I am sure you will do fine with married life. But since there is no school for it, books have been a constant guide, even for my self.

    All the best to you too and God bless you always,


    Tita Susie