A Look Back to ’19 (Super Late Edition)

This may come a little late but I’ve been collecting my thoughts on the year that was, Anno Domini 2019.

On one hand, I’ve gotten a bit active with my content creating, infusing some life into my 10-year old Youtube channel, among other personal highlights.

On the other hand, the world around me has become less kinder as climate change, political and humanitarian crises, and terror have wrecked havoc once more. My own country has bore the brunt of all these with people in power who are not entirely in touch with the plight of their consituents.

Basically, the usual, only much worse now than then.

So let’s some stuff up, shall we?

1. Eurovisie Reactions

2019 was the year I’ve finally infused some life back into my main Youtube channel, having done vlogs and reaction videos for the better part of the year.

It’s my reaction videos for Eurovision 2019 entries that have gained a lot of traction than the vlogs ever could. Given the competitiveness I’ve seen with Youtubers trying to get their videos up as early as possible for people to see their reactions on songs taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest (probably for the views), I didn’t bother in following their lead and just have much of my reactions canned and have them edited at a later time before releasing them online in no particular order throughout March, April, and May.

While any views my videos in general will gain is appreciative, I didn’t expect views to come in throngs, unless the videos in questions are Eurovision-related content. This is strongly evident with my reactions on entries from Hungary and Portugall getting thousands of views. It’s quite humbling and at the same time, it has given me the motivation to continue on doing them.

I have done other non-ESC reactions, more of reviews on movies, but the time needed to put them out didn’t feel as urgent  and I still have one in the can that I have yet to edit so yeah. The motivation may not be there enough for me to continue doing those particular videos but let’s see.

2. James in the City

I started James in the City at the end of 2016, when I decided to record my time going to a former classmate’s wedding in the province. It doesn’t have a particular consistent format except to showcase the things I see around me. It also spun-off a different series, James from the City, where I explore places outside the city, but so far it has only one video under it.

I began making more James in the City vlogs in 2019, starting with my coverage of that year’s Graphika Manila. While I didn’t feel the need to rush what I recorded into a cohesive video so soon after the event, I took my time editing it during some free time at work before getting to put it up on Youtube a month later. Since then, I’ve made about 11 videos in total, most are from a single event where I went to a Dami Im concert, and the rest are those about my adventures around Metro Manila, from going to Intramuros to checking out vegan foodfest in Taguig.

I have some pending JITC projects that I need to start working on, from which I hope I could finally get them made this year.

3. James Aprende Español

Since launching my second Youtube channel, it has yet to gain some solid traction, but that hasn’t stop me from maintaining its purpose of existence: To document my journey in learning Spanish. My main series now has 33 episodes under its belt. I wrote the scripts for majority of those episodes, but I have made a good few where I made myself speak off-script and just rely on what I’ve learned.

For the most part, I can now form some sentences but not enough to fully speak like a native in a conversation. I think for that to happen, I need to be in some sort of immersion program to really practice what I’ve learned. Unfortunately, taking an immersion course in Spain is crazy expensive and way beyond my payroll.

Anyway, I still am planning to take the DELE, and hopefully by registering for a scheduled date sometime this year that I would finally take the time to study and review all my past notes.

4. Mga Bagong Supling

My brother have been married to his longtime girlfriend for only less than a year when we found out that they were expecting a child in late 2018. Fast-forward to April 1, my niece, and goddaughter, Thea Aurora “Tara” Habitan, was born. It’s been a joy being an uncle to two beautiful babies, especially with the oldest in their generation, Jaycee (as I would affectionally call her, instead of Jadwin) growing up so fast and becoming a little more active as she gets older.

I actually never expected little Jaycee to feel incredibly attached to me, but apparently because I always spent a lot of time babysitting her when her parents are away, such an attachment was bound to form. I enjoy taking her around the neighborhood, which has become something of a pass-time with us two.

And just when the family is getting around the hang of it, we now have another one on the way. Life is full of surprises, isn’t it?

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