Year In Review: 2016


2016 is a huge mistake, generally. It killed off the coolest people in this planet, for one. Then, it brought out the worst in people–especially those put in so much power. Also, violence is everywhere. Even the environment agreed with us and just decided to eff it off. Not sure if we're in an episode of Game of Thrones or Black Mirror. But either way, it's a mess. Personally, good things happened to me in 2016. It goes beyond "I'm alive", "I survived". Actual changes that either benefited me or taught me something happened. I can't say I'm super satisfied with this year and rate it a 10/10. But I took baby steps to self-improvement, for sure.

I intended to post this around the last day of the year. But with so much to do, I'm writing this in advance to avoid further delays. Procrastinating won't do favors. So I compile the highlights from the bumpy ass road called 2016.

Weight Woes Wound Down

Universal Studios Hollywood, April 2012. Who dis be.

I struggled with weight since childhood. Sometimes, I'd lose the weight only to gain it back again. My once poor diet didn't reflect my physically active lifestyle. Honestly, I did not mind the weight at first. I accepted myself as a bold, beautiful thicc girl who loves what she has.

But my diet reflected on my skin. I had lots of acne. Covering it up with makeup didn't do it any good, either. I broke out due to the BB cream I used... I was so sad because I loved the brand and it was expensive. My mom suggested birth control. Although I did clear up a bit, I packed on more pounds. It also didn't help that I still wore the makeup from the high-end brand I loved.

Then one day, my mom's colleagues / friends told me about the Ageloc TR90 diet. I wanted to get rid of my acne and lose weight... So why not do a diet solving both? It was tough getting used to it at first. But soon enough it turned to a habit I doubled with exercise. It lead to really good results. I went down from 67.6 kg (149.03 lbs) to 57.4 kgs (126.54 lbs) as of this entry.  Not bad!

Self portrait shot with #CanonEOSM10 👻

A photo posted by Aica (@aicstheticist) on Oct 31, 2016 at 1:25am PDT

My skin cleared up too, even with fluctuating breakouts. I don't get red acne anymore. Also, I experimented with fashion. I started wearing clothes I felt conscious about before. If it was 2012, I wouldn't wear an off-shoulder top with a choker! Others complimented me on my progress too, and I'm very thankful for their kind words.

I'm happy with my progress. But I haven't reached my goal yet... I'm stoked to get to my ultimate weight goal this 2017!

Creative Comm Arts Child

After resigning from my previous job last year, I found another job this March. It was the same job title but in a different environment. With guidance from our team, I got creative with the projects they assigned me. My college degree and graphic design school prepared me well for this.

Blogs became my main hobby this year, too. Early this year I started Art Student Aesthetic. I only got to blog about two events this year: Graphika Manila and Art Fair PH. I wanted to expand more on that blog. Had I pushed through with the blog, you'd be reading this entry there. Back then, I didn't choose my niche wisely and lost focus on creating. Now that I have Aicsthetic, I plan my content and creative goals. Started from the bottom now I'm back to basics...

I also tried getting in touch with traditional art. More often, I sketch with my Wacom Intuos tablet. When I get home from work, I attempt watercolor painting. Every time, I end up disappointed. Blame my inner perfectionist for that. I could let go of my perfectionism for blogging, but art... Art is on a new level. But I strive to do better with it this 2017 though, considering some plans I have in mind.

May 2017 bring better creative projects for me that I won't delete on the internet after receiving less traffic.

Damn, Dengue

I used to believe I was in tip-top shape. Despite my BMI, I survived years of only colds and coughs as my only illnesses. It was years since I had my last fever. I always thought physical activity, proper eating, and barely any sleep would suffice from the flu.

But on an October Friday evening, I kept shivering. I still went to work the next morning, because we had stuff to do. Even my favorite sizzling steak couldn't warm me up. From head to toe, I covered myself except for my face and hands. It turns out I had fever. My mom made me rest. Luckily, my fever didn't last long. My headaches, however, didn't stop.

It got to the point where my parents took me to the hospital. The lab ran tests on me... I tested positive for dengue. I had to stay in the hospital until my platelets stopped dropping like mixtapes. Even if I had my laptop and tablet with me, I couldn't be productive with the dextrose hooked to my hand. My appetite decreased even if I pushed myself to eat for recovery.

Good thing I recovered before my parents left for their Europe trip. Imagine the hassle if I was still confined... I got home 3 days after being admitted, and spent the rest of the week resting. My rest ended with me watching Japanese horror films for my Halloween movie marathon.

I'm definitely going to apply insect repellents every now and then. And shoo every mosquito that lands on my skin.

Crushing It, Crushing On At Comic Con

Last 2015, I only went for 1 day with my friend Bel. APCC lasted for three days, and I missed out on some activities / appearances. I did get to meet Commander Holly though so that made up! Also, I went home from last year's APCC with a haul. I'm glad it was payday that week, otherwise I'd be broke.

My #APCCManila haul. Definitely worth it! I also got my brother a Baymax plushie and an adult coloring book.

A photo posted by Aica (@aicstheticist) on Sep 19, 2015 at 4:14am PDT

But this year, I had low expectations at first. Guests kept cancelling and they announced late. The con's social media accounts kept quiet until the event dates drew nearer. Later on, they had a better line up that hyped everyone to go! They invited Millie Bobby Brown and Joe Dempsie to the con... As a fan of Stranger Things and Game of Thrones, I was stoked!

No hauls for me this year, though. But I got myself the ultimate con experience! Bel and I finally got exclusive showcase passes. We missed out on Captain America: Civil War last 2015, but we made up with the Doctor Strange sneak peak this year! Along with our other friends, we played Magic: The Gathering. (It got boring fast, though.) We also watched the cosplay competition. However, I didn't complete the show on both days because 1) I lined up for the exclusive showcase pass, and 2) my meet and greet session with Joe.

It was a pleasure meeting you, Joe! Appreciate ya, Papa Bless 🙏🏻😌

A photo posted by Aica (@aicstheticist) on Aug 28, 2016 at 7:30am PDT

Meeting Joe topped everything, though. We chilled, joked around and talked about music. I gave him a quick sketch I made of him as Gendry. Also, I did not want to ask him whether he was going to return to the next Game of Thrones season. Everyone asks him that! He definitely needed a refresher.

I spent my days in the con very well. Here's to the next APCC!


I give 2016 a -2/5 star review in terms of world history. But in my life, I give it a 4/5. I'm actually positive about my progress as a person. At 22, I also learned the importance of setting goals and meeting deadlines. I had plans that didn't push through because I failed to realize how short time was.

Most importantly, I learned something vital that motivated me for a certain goal in mind. Focus on what can  be improved. I couldn't control my surroundings and there are a lot of things I do not like about it. Not gonna lie–I do complain about it everyday. But do I let it stop me from what I can do? Maybe not. I work towards that goal instead, because then I can have a change of setting. Anything's possible, really, if you set your heart into it.

Here's a toast to 2016, the worst roast against the human race.