Not going to lie, I don’t even know where to begin. The gravity of this personal milestone has yet to completely sink in. With everything going on outside the virtual world — last sets of academic requirements, final exams, political issues (re: Ferdinand Marcos is still not a hero), globally impactful events and loads of personal stuff, my blogging anniversary was at the farthest corner of my mind. I almost forgot about it, really. Nonetheless, here I am, finally writing this and finding myself absolutely overwhelmed and inexplicably pleased.
Unfortunately, as I was kept busy by my personal life, I was unable to organize a giveaway.
Maybe I’ll somehow be able to whip up something before the year ends but I can’t exactly promise anything either. This is quite sad on my part because I think a giveaway would have been an excellent way to extend my thanks to all of you. Despite not having any free stuff to give out this time around, I hope you’re all aware of how infinitely grateful I am to have each and every one of you!
I specifically want to thank a number of wonderful people.
To my college friends: I don’t want to drop names because I’m pretty sure you know who you are. When I first started blogging, I was low-key embarrassed about sharing this with personal friends. But you’ve all been so unbelievably encouraging! Whether you are an active reader of what I write or whether you occasionally visit my page just because you know seeing my blog stats grow makes me feel all mushy inside, thank you! Whether you’re here solely because you support my attempts at poetry (keyword being ‘attempts’) or whether you actually take the time to read my book reviews even though the last novel you read was probably The Hunger Games, thank you! Whether you’ve had to put up with much of my blog-related fangirling or whether you’ve had to put up with my fussing over more than 15 different color palettes when I was in the middle of revamping, thank you! Your support — in whatever way you decide to show it — means so much more to me than you realize.
To the Filipino friends and acquaintances I’ve made through blogging: Bea @ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic (one of the friendliest people ever, tbh), Joanna @ Fiddler Blue, Christine @ Tine’s Reviews, Aria @ Aria Stuck in Wonderland, Shea @ Bookish Wanderlust (we have similar names and similar tastes in books omg!!!), Jam @ Heartscent Reads (hi girl, look we made it!), JM @ Book Freak Revelations (aka the person responsible for converting me into a solid Nicola Yoon fan), Bianca @ The Ultimate Fangirl (such a qtp2t + it’s always great to find someone who appreciates a lot of the TV series that I’m also into), Eunice @ Nerdy Talks, Blessie @ Mischievous Reads (also a qtp2t), Allie @ A Literary Wanderer, Trish @ Heart via Pages, Jay @ A Lovelorn Virgo, Alyssa @ Diary of a Book Maniac, Rafael @ The Royal Polar Bear Reads (still can’t thank you enough for featuring me on your blog!), Fay @ Bibliophile Soprano (yay UP Diliman represent!), Louise @ Genie Reads, Beatrice @ Beatrice Learns to Read, Mark @ Bongbongbooks, Cara @ Periods and Semicolons (Yay, #MarcosIsNotAHero!!!), Gem @ The Book Weirdo, Louise Ramos (or alternatively, my blogging and ahrt goals) and many others who probably won’t fit into just one blog post. I was actually pleasantly surprised to find so many PH-based bloggers! All of you have made the blogging scene a whole lot more welcoming and less intimidating. I probably wouldn’t have stayed in the blogging world for so long without your comforting presence. Salamat!
To my blogging friends from different parts of the world: Anthony @ aVeryAwkwardBlog (first friendly face I’ve encountered in the community), Jonas @ Other Things (I obviously thank him way too frequently but I can’t help it), Summer @ XingSings, Em @ The Argle Bargle (an absolute sweetheart), Claire @ Blank Slaters, Sara @ Freadom Library, Sumedha @ light up the shining night stars (unbelievably friendly!), Shela @ She Latitude (her book looks are always on point), Becca @ Becca and Books, Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books, Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout, Sam @ RiverMoose-Reads, Tash @ The Bookie Monsters, Warisha @ Warisha Reads, Charley @ A Writer Named Charley, Flavia @ Flavia the Bibliophile, Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra, CW @ Read, Think, Ponder (basically the other pea in my pod but simultaneously everything I could ever hope to be as a blogger), Melissa @ BookNerdMomo, Yarravy @ hiraethforthepages (too nice and wonderful for my life), Melanie @ MNBernardBooks and again, many others I probably forgot to mention in this list (I’m a forgetful duck, sorry). You’ve made my first year in blogging incredibly worthwhile! You’re all awesome in your own way, and that honestly keeps me inspired. Thank you very much!
To all the authors: Prior to blogging, I never thought I’d be given an opportunity to connect and to interact with so many talented writers and amazing authors. I am still constantly overwhelmed by it!
Cary Denault, I’m not sure if I’ve said this before but you really are one of the kindest and most approachable authors I’ve ever come across. It amazes me how easy it is to talk to you, even though we’re just trading emails. As you know, I am in love with your debut novel and I won’t ever tire of shamelessly promoting Willow’s adventures on my blog. I can’t wait for Gambit‘s sequel!
Heidi Angell, you are the first author I’ve worked with and I won’t ever forget that! Thank you so much for believing in me, especially during the time my blog was still almost totally experimental.
Tom Merchant, you aren’t an author yet, but I can promise you that once your novel is finally out there, I will definitely exhaust all bragging rights and let everyone know that I was lucky enough to read your initial manuscript before it was published. Thank you for your kindness, patience, and most of all, your unceasing encouragement!
Carole Avila, I received my first physical review copy from you, and I cannot thank you enough for valuing my insight (and whatever cockamamie thing I have to offer in reviewing books). I swear I’ll get right to it this Christmas break!
Nicole Loufas, Jessica Peterson, Danika Stone, Sarah Noffke, Colleen Halverson, C.J. Anaya, J.A. George, Pintip Dunn and Sarah Marsh — I am extremely grateful that all of you have agreed to work with me this year! I’ve never felt so fortunate. Be it a contribution to one of my giveaways or an interview with me, thank you so much! More power to all of you.
To the friends I forgot to specifically mention: As I’ve already said, I’m quite the forgetful duck. Kindly bear with me and my embarrassingly poor memory. If, at any point, we’ve interacted within this year, thank you! I hope we get to have more meaningful conversations in the future.
To all 1,337 of my followers and 7,712 people who have visited this blog since its inception: I can’t even with all of you(!!!). Sometimes I still have a difficult time convincing myself that all of this is real. I mean, my blog has been visited 22,656 times in just its first year? There are no words that can succinctly describe how insane that is. I never thought there’d be many people who would be interested in what I have to say or would actually take the time to read the crap that I write, but you guys have proven me wrong! I am immensely blessed to have all of you. Your presence and your unwavering support definitely keep both me and my blog going. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
P.S. My feelings summarized into one GIF photo: