what was my love/hate relationship with 2015

Social media is a lie. Probably one of 2015's hottest topics.

I personally had no take on it. For me, it didn't carry enough weight to be discussed at length. Social media is what you make it and your success (or number of likes) is more a reflection of other people's opinions of your life than your own.

I'm not saying I don't appreciate the likes I get (oh yes, I do, a big part of my livelihood relies on that so please keep on liking, thank you! :P), I'm just saying that what garners the most hits doesn't always best represent real life and the hits and misses that go along with it (especially if you like to keep your personal life private, like me).

Here's my "Best 9 on Instagram"

It doesn't remotely tell you the real story of my tumultuous 2015....

ps. it's kinda long but I hope you'll read 'til the end, that's where the best parts are :P

2015 highlights press features


If based on paper and print, 2015 was probably one of my best years career-wise...

the real best nine on instagram

I had several features in local magazines, my home makeover even made the cover of Real Living magazine which gave birth to my career as a non-licensed interior designer.

the real best nine on instagram

I even got featured in an international paper abroad:

2015 highlights press features

That's me in the pages of the Borneo Bulletin:

2015 highlights press features


My job even allowed me to visit places I used to only dream of...

vios cup 2015 the real best nine on instagram

It gave me the opportunity to cross things off my bucket list...

wonderful bali 
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It gave me the gift of realizing how good it feels to get out of your comfort zone once in awhile and try things you wouldn't normally do.

wonderful bali the real best nine on instagram

How to appreciate life, the goodness of everything and everyone around me. 
How fleeting life really is and how to slow down and #livethelittlethings.

the real best nine on instagram baguio craft brewery the real best nine on instagram 2015 highlights press features


2015 was also the year I decided to branch out and tap into my entrepreneurial skills with Beach Born (which is thankfully doing better than I expected.)

We sold out in a day at BeautyMNL.com! (I still get excited each time I recall that day :P)

2015 highlights press features

Looking back at all that's happened, yes, indeed, I have a lot to be thankful for. I can't deny how good 2015 has been for me...

As is my life and who I am, nothing goes to plan.

I initially began writing this post to tell you guys about all the personal struggles I went through last year but after listing down all the good, it doesn't seem important anymore.

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I could tell you about how I almost lost my family, permanently shifted careers, risked living a whole new different life somewhere abroad (I didn't know where yet).

I could share my sob stories with you and tell you how I overcame it all along with some tips thrown in here and there. But no.

I think the internet is already far too littered with articles that tell you how you need to live your life.

And I think it's all bullshit. Reading those things always make me feel like a fuck-up when I'm not.

Although all our problems may seem alike on the surface, I believe that none are entirely the same.
The process of going through a break-up or any other personal crisis is unique for every individual. Our thought processes, the people involved, our emotional strength, etc are all distinct.

So no single (or 100s) of articles on relationships, business and life can solve whatever it is we're going through. Only we can.

And I guess that's the best advice I can give you and the greatest lesson I learned in 2015...

It's all you. Your life is in your hands, whatever happens depends on the decisions you make and nobody else. The choice to end or save a relationship, start a new business, shift careers, go to different places, anything and everything is possible.

Where you end up is where you want to be. That is why it is extra important to focus on the positive and attract only the good.

But "Where you want to be" doesn't always translate to greener pastures. Our minds are tricky bastards. There is a drama queen (or sadness) in all of us that wants and needs to be experienced and expressed. Just like in the movie, it's fine, give her time. Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom to be able to appreciate what we have. To see and appreciate all our blessings in a new light. To realize how good we have it and how much worse it can get.

"The sweet ain't sweet without the bitter"
-Vanilla Sky

With that being said, I can honestly say that 2015 was one of the best years of my life.

I have nothing but love and gratitude for all the people who helped make this personal journey an unforgettable one.


You may find it hard to believe but I learned something from every single one of you no matter how long or fleeting the times we spent together were and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You taught me without even realizing it.
Us meeting has turned me into a better person.


Thank you.


Thank you.

the real best nine on instagram

Thank You.

wonderful bali

Thank you.


Thank you.


Thank you.


Thank you.


Thank you.


Thank you.


Each place/province/country I visited,
all the new friends I made from different backgrounds and nationalities,
all the new religions I discovered...

I came out of it all different, Better.

You are all my brothers and sisters. Knowing you has made the world a smaller, happier and more friendly place for me.

Thanks for all the strength you gave me.

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In closing, I'd like to make a toast and I think it's apt to borrow the words of a dear friend...

This 2016...

I wish that all "Our hearts be light and our pockets heavy!"


You are a brave and "confidentially beautiful" woman (with a heart, of course!) Tita!
I am so happy to be part of your 2015, and I am equally glad you became part of mine.
Cheers to more adventures!
Cym Marzan said…
I agree with you about social media, how people always get advice from the Internet with conflicting "studies". What you said is true, they make me feel messed up, like my life is ugly and less than perfect, even down to the clothes. Social media strengthens our FOMO, which is bad. Only I can live my life, only my choices count.
Happy new year! Hope you have a fruitful one!
ava te-zabat said…
I agree that no article can help us unless we ourselves fix our life. It may have been a roller coaster for you, sarah! But I'm really glad you landed where you really want to be before the year ended :) I'm happy for you!
sarah tirona said…
thanks ava! glad were both in good places now, i was chekingm y fb parang 2015 was crazy for a lot of other people din, buti mine ended good, but like i said in the post, i think its also because i chose to end it good. thanks for being there for me! :)
sarah tirona said…
hahhaa tita! with a heart e, lol lol. winner ka talaga. see you sooooon, we have yet to go on that beach adventure with rodel!
sarah tirona said…
cheers to that cym! happy new year and i wish you all the best too! more positivity less dount this 2016!
Berlin Maynigo said…
i so love how you say it -- t's all you. Your life is in your hands, whatever happens depends on the decisions you make and nobody else... anything and everything is possible.
Though I know it already, sometimes I need to hear it again from others to push me and act. This 2016, I claim that anything and everything is possible. Super thanks to such great post.
sarah tirona said…
you're welcome! :) thanks for appreciating and cheers to a better 2016! :)
Janice Lim said…
I may not know your personal story but I can relate to how you feel. 2015 was also filled with highs and lows for me. It was a highly emotional ride. But you're right, we just have to focus on the good. Have a great 2016 to you and your family! :)
sarah tirona said…
hi janice, thank you! wishing you and your family a wonderful 2016 too! :)
Denice Joyce Diaz said…
Looks like an amazing 2015 for you! You're right that we should really zoom in and focus on the good that has happened vs the bad parts. Hope your family will have a wonderful 2016!
tgf said…
What a wonderful wish you have for everyone this 2016! I'd definitely love to have a light heart and a very heavy pocket. Happy New Year! -- Maria Teresa Figuerres
mama speaks said…
Wonderful post Sarah... you really wrote your heart out on this one. You are trully blessed and may the Lord continue to bless you and your love ones.
Patty | MrsC said…
Hat a great post, and yay for being optimistic! You're right, it's all in our hands. Our life is 100% what we make of it.
Ju Divina Cruz said…
<3 tears in my eyes as i read through. looking forward to the best of 2016 will give us! :)
"Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom to be able to appreciate what we have."
sarah tirona said…
can relate ba ju? i think 2015 was a rollercoster ride for most of us but there's always good thrown in w the bad which makes it all worth it in the end :) excited for 2016!
sarah tirona said…
its hard but i dont think there's any other choice but to be positive :)
sarah tirona said…
thank you so much for your kind words :)
sarah tirona said…
hahha cheers to that this 2016! :)
sarah tirona said…
thank you and i wish the same for you and your family :)
Ju Divina Cruz said…
totally! :)
What a touching post, Sarah! May God bless you and heart abundantly in 2016!
Rhoda Fajardo said…
Congratulations on all your achievements! I've always wanted to be featured in magazines, particularly Real Living Magazine. Even if you're not a licensed interior designer, your works are really amazing. I even remember your DIY makeover of your home. I wish you more success this 2016 and to all our fellow mommies. God bless. =)
sarah tirona said…
thank you so much rhoda! :)