My Happy List

As promised, I am listing my Not-Really-Bucket List. Will add more pics and links soon. Remember, crossed out and in red means done. Here we go…


1. Smile at people all day and see what happens.

I was 13. Heard a smile could make others smile, too, so I experimented with trying to spread joy. It was going well until a lady looked at me like I was crazy…

2. Do something really amazing and meaningful

3. Ride the roller-coaster

4. Try a scary sport or adventure

5. Learn to swim

6. Learn a third language fluently

I’m partial to Spanish, which won’t be so hard to learn given our country’s history, plus I can find people to converse with. Just partial, not sure. We’ll see…

7. Learn Baybayin


This is just to show my handwriting. Baybayin/alibata should be written vertically actually

Baybayin is the ancient script of our ancestors. Why it’s more commonly called as alibata is a bit of an issue, but that’s become the better-known, more commonly used term. We forgot about it while under the rule of Spain. We just began re-learning it in the recent decades, but people have just really started appreciating it this past decade (sadly, mainly because they think its characters look cool when used in visual arts).

I don’t claim to be an expert in it as I’m not that quick yet in reading words in baybayin/alibata. I do claim to be a baybayin/alibata advocate, though. I think we should start really including it in the curriculum instead of simply teaching it under the Filipino subject in passing. Anyway, I tend to follow the Spanish-influenced baybayin/alibata because the use of the cross makes reading words easier, for me, at least.

Related post: How to Spell the Ancient Filipino Way

8. Learn a martial art


Learned the martial art Muay Thai. Forgive the sort of leggings here. MT shorts are too short for better movement and I couldn’t find my cycling shorts that time


9. Learn to paint on canvass

10. Travel around the Philippines

11. Visit Disneyland with my family

Japan, Hong Kong or the US, whichever opportunity presents itself

12. Travel around Europe

13. Visit New Zealand

14. Visit The Louvre Museum

15. Experience the West End

16. Experience Broadway

17. See ‘WICKED The Musical’ live

18. See ‘CATS The Musical’ live

musical playbills

I was lucky to have watched both CATS and WICKED (and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) with the help of my dearest mother and of one of my friends…Thank you!!!!

19. See ‘Les Miserables’ live

20. See ‘Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ (JATD) live

21. Act in a real stage play/musical (school skits do not count)

That almost came true. I was to be 1/3 of The Narrator in JATD. There’s only 1 Narrator but the Director wanted three for various reasons I won’t enumerate…*sigh* I’m not giving up yet, though. Who knows?

22. Go to the Netherlands, watch Veerle Casteleyn perform live onstage, get her autograph, and have a twofie with her

23. Watch a Lea Salonga stage musical, get her autograph, and have a twofie with her

How I got the twofie deserves another post. I was not able to get Lea‘s autograph, but this is okay already, right? The main purpose was to meet and talk to her face to face 🙂 Meanwhile, I have seen her perform live onstage in some of her musicals.


Miss Lea and I. Standing beside her only emphasized my plainness, but who cared???


I never heard about BABY The Musical till then, but I loved it!

The very-first Lea musical that I actually saw live was MISS SAIGON, but we were seated so far away and I was not able to buy a playbill *sniff*...See this faded ticket

The very-first Lea musical that I actually saw live was MISS SAIGON, but we were seated so far away and I was not able to buy a playbill *sniff*…See this faded ticket

24. Attend a live music concert that I paid for


This concert, I enjoyed. Isn’t it obvious who I’m a fan of???

Back in college, I was able to attend three live concerts, all for free. One was because I interviewed a band for the school paper. The other two were care of the college radio station I worked for. I wasn’t even really a fan yet of all three. I watched because I got in for free. So I decided I wanted to be able to attend a concert I was really interested in and I would pay for my ticket. I did. Watched Mariah Carey’s live Manila concert. It wasn’t so nice an experience, actually.

25. Sing solo on stage in front of everyone

I’ve got stage fright. Easier to conquer if with others, not so alone. I wasn’t even too crazy about the idea, but one of my best friends asked me to sing a song at her wedding. I thought better that than be a bridesmaid. Also, I wanted to be able to say I did that even just once in my life. Turned out I’d do it several times, but not without me trembling inside everytime. At an office Christmas party, I actually messed everything up! Yikes! Epic fail! *hides* (No pics to show)

26. Win an award or medal

They’re not like some big awards or anything, but I guess I earned them. I did not know how I could get any, but I ended up getting some anyway. *Speech alert!* “I would like to thank the school paper and the radio station for those awards….” If they’d be interested to know, yes, I still have those certificates.

I did win with my village friends (twice, I think) when we played volleyball in the local summer league when I was a teener. Then when I was already working, I also won second place (or was it third?) with the School Administration Team (playing volleyball also) when the tertiary school we worked for let us join the Intramurals.

I played for the Administration team during the Intramurals back when I worked for a tertiary school. I’m third from right here. At my left (facing camera) is/was the Girl with the Smiley Heart

27. Choreograph a dance number

Did that thrice in college for three different groups on different occasions. Won for me a Star of the Night Award, too, among other things 😉

28. Learn to play a musical instrument

I think these count even though it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how they work


The kubing (jaw harp)


The bungkaka (bamboo buzzer)

29. Be in a respectable indie film playing a bit role

30. Start a good family business

31. Build a reading and hobby room

32. Buy a vehicle for the family

33. Live in a beautiful house where it’s peaceful with our family

34. Enjoy our future grandkids

35. Get a master’s degree

36. Become a teacher


These are just some of the tests I gave the little boy

I somehow have some illusions of becoming a teacher. My kids are here, though, so I think I can cross this out. I’m a proud teacher, too — our incoming first-grader actually passed his exam with flying colors! Someday, I might teach students in a real school environment, maybe about writing…

37. Become a radio DJ

I always wanted to be one. Then when I was 13, one of my friends became one of what were called as Junior DJs and I would tune in to the city’s local station so I could listen to her and several other kids. Not without envy even though I knew that envy wasn’t good. The opportunity to become an actual DJ knocked when I was in college so I did not let it pass. I was even surprised I had the guts to try. It paid off, fortunately.


These were taken just a few years ago, just to show my radio colleagues I kept souvenirs all these years

38. Become a writer

I wasn’t planning on making this my career because of the starving artist “syndrome”, but I am here because I think I sought this fate anyway. Fate is still part-effort.

39. Finish my novel

40. Write/create a comic book

41. Fall in love

My real name’s hyphenated now, so, yeah 🙂

42. Tell someone my innermost secret and hope not to be or feel judged

43. Give birth to a live, healthy baby…

God has yet to grant this wish. We are not giving up yet so we hope he lets us have the baby the next time. We’ll try to be ready.

44. See both/all our kids graduate from college

45. Build a home for the aged whose own families have abandoned them

46. Buy a land and build a large animal shelter, for abused/neglected/abandoned animals

47. Grant scholarships anonymously

48. Build my Dream Museum

49. Attain peace of mind

50. Die happy

51. Do my best jump for a jump shot

This is My Happy List Item #51. What about it? CLICK HERE.


With the permission of all the peeps here, I shared this to JUMP FOR JOY! Photo Project‘s Eyoälha Baker and she posted it on her project’s Facebook page

52. Finally watch Patti Austin in concert, live

Okay, that’s My Happy List. I’ll add more to it if I think of more. Care to share your own happy list, though? Feel free to do so and put the link in the comments! 🙂


6 thoughts on “My Happy List

  1. You’ve crossed off so many great accomplishments. (Probably even more now, since this post is from 2016.) Congratulations! It must have been challenging to learn the Baybayin script. I tried to learn the Greek alphabet and had a hard time with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The ones that I’ll probably have trouble the most are the travel-related ones, but I’m not giving up. Too bad, I could have crossed off several items from the list if I was able to join the company outing last weekend (long story and not totally my choice).

      <a href= is not super-challenging as it depends on the sounds of words. You just really need to have the time to learn it and practice, like a kid learning her ABC. I’m not so quick with it ’cause I’m not able to practice it with anybody really. But I try.

      Now Greek! It’s all Greek to me (pun intended)!!! I do feel like it maybe something I’d have a hard time learning. Maybe even Russian and other Asian characters that differ based on how certain lines are drawn in very similar-looking characters (is it there, is it straight, is it curved…).


  2. J.Gi., love your Happy List! It took a lot of thought to put it together! Never thought about a whole list. One thing at a time, maybe! So, can’t participate! Enjoy crossing your milestones off! 💛 Christine Elizabeth (C.E)

    Liked by 1 person

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