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Arigatou and Sayonara, 2019!

2019 is probably my most expensive year, but everything’s worth every peso/yen. I am rich in memories and friends!

I went to Japan thrice: Fukuoka & Nagasaki in March, Yamanashi in July, and Tokyo in November. The first one was planned for almost two years, while the latter ones were unexpected, especially the latest trip. Having a multiple-entry visa is both a pro and a con: on the one hand, it’s so much easier to schedule visits to Japan, but on the other, I feel this constant itch to go there repeatedly! I know I will visit again, just not anytime soon. I need to recuperate financially, but I don’t have any regrets. Every experience is unique and just makes me love Japan even more. One of my dreams is to visit all of their 47 prefectures, and so far, I’ve been to just 6 (including Chiba and Yokohama). Slowly but surely! ^^

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The UAAP basketball season was shorter this year because of the SEA Games. I am proud to say that I was present at all of the UP men’s basketball team’s games! That meant various extra expenses: tickets, transpo fare, gas/parking fees, food, merchandise, cheering paraphernalia, etc. No complaints, though! I’ve been cheering for them since 1999, and I have no plans of stopping. In addition, I found new friends who share my passion and energy for supporting the UPMBT and UP in general. I don’t recall exactly how it happened, but people now call me the “patron saint” of UP fans! Hahaha! Not sure if it’s because of being a long-time supporter, helping people get tickets, or both?! 😀

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Because of my Japan and UAAP basketball experiences, I’ve become much closer to a few long-time friends. I also gained a new family thanks to the #UPFight community on Twitter, particularly my core group: Grace, Bea, Tiff, Golda, Mark, Li, and Phim! Despite meeting most of them just this year (Bea and Grace in college), I feel like we’ve known each other for years! Moreover, a few players followed me back on Twitter and Instagram, including *gasp* Shaun Ildefonso of NU!!! Basketball fan goals!!! (sobrang kilig ko dito hahaha di pa ako maka-get over!!)

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Of course, all these won’t be possible without my job, so I will never get tired of saying I am forever grateful to RareJob! Here’s to more lessons, Japan trips, and school support in 2020!!!

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2019 Project 365 Day 356: #MikeeBaka

Photo #356: December 22

Our first #MikeeBaka meet-up!!! What started as a “joke” became a full fan club, hahaha! Thank you for your time, Mikee and Kata! Hopefully, mas marami na next time.  #UPFight

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2019 Project 365, Day 317: UAAP 82 Semis, Game 2

Photo #317: November 13

Ngingiti ngiti pero deep inside umiiyak hahaha huhuhu

Glad to have shared this day with 2 of the original Maroon Maniacs. Night capping by sharing UAAP memories. Di rin magbabago ang damdamin! #UPFight all the way! :’)

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2019 Project 365, Day 307: 2004 UPMBT Reunion

Photo #307: November 3

“Hindi lang kasi kayo fans, part of the family kayo.” :,)

SURREAL.

2004 UPMBT +++++

15 YEARS IN THE MAKING.

MY HEART IS FULL.

#UPFight #GalingUP #GalingUPIS #UPMBT

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2019 Project 365, Day 298: Paul Desiderio

Photo #298: October 25

“From Bo-ttom dwellers to Bo-ast-worthy.”

Naka-graduate si Paul Desiderio na wala akong picture with …. WAIT MERON PALA! 😂😅#UPFight

I don’t know if this issue/volume of UPDate is still available, but thank you to Jo-Anne Domingo for sending me a copy! 🤗

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2019 Project 365, Day 296: Coach Lito Vergara

Photo #296: October 23

For the benefit of the new generation(s) of UP Men’s Basketball Team fans, let me share what happened in 2004 – UAAP Season 67.

I was a sophomore back then, but I’ve been supporting the UP MBT since I entered the UPIS in 1999. Anyway, we started the season with 6 straight losses. My friends and I, we called ourselves the Maroon Maniacs, still supported them and watched their games live because that’s what real fans do! Now for our 7th game, it was against NU at the Araneta Coliseum, another team that wasn’t doing well at that time. OMG WE WON THAT GAME, AND IT FELT LIKE WE WERE CHAMPIONS!

Many people thought it was a one-time thing, but noooooo! We went on to defeat AdU, UE, UST, FEU, and *ONE BIG GASP* even Ateneo! The Ateneo game was extra physical, though. Marvin Cruz was suspended for pushing LA Tenorio!

The team became a dark horse because of their consecutive wins. Nangangamoy Final Four: a feat that UP hasn’t achieved since Paolo Mendoza days, a little over a decade then. However, on September 4 at the ULTRA (now called the Phil-Sports Arena), DLSU (led by Cardona, Yeo, etc.) put a stop to our F4 bid. It was a good run, and at the end of the season, we had a 7-7 record (we had a sweep of NU).

This is actually an appreciation post for one of the best coaches the UP MBT has ever had: Coach Lito Vergara! He encouraged the players to improve and WIN! At the same time, he was (and still is) equally supportive of us fans! I’m glad we’re still friends after all these years! 

One team, one heart, UP FIGHT!

p.s. a few days ago, he challenged me to make a poster showing my support for Toti Almeda, and to bring it to today’s game… so hello, challenge accepted hahahaha! I printed it on a piece of A4 paper, and I even ran out of ink, so I had to use a marker to shade the affected area. I used an old cardboard box to make the poster sturdier haha ways ways!

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