Before anything else, I’d like to clarify one thing: 2014 wasn’t my best year. Don’t get me wrong; it was still great. I learned so much and met a lot of new people. But 2015 proved that things can get better (and it did) and I’ve never felt more light and free in my life.

This year, I learned how to let go and just let things happen to me. And because of that, I experienced some pretty cool shit. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take note of everything. That’s the price you pay for being present, I guess.

1. Having creative freedom is both fulfilling and stressful.

Because of Toff, I was able to learn the meaning of being a design director. At first, I had no idea what I was doing. But you know what they say: fake it til you make it. I did and here I am now! I’ve never experienced a project as big as No Filter and it definitely taught me a shit ton of things. The six months I spent working in that production is better than six months in college, tbqh.

2. Being cool is so 2008.

For years, I’ve denied being a fan of anything because I thought it was ~*uncool*~. But alas, I’m knee-deep in One Direction shit and there’s no turning back. Being in the fandom can be stressful at times but the momentary joy it gives me (when they’re not being problematic) is incomparable.


3. There is no goodbye in music.

Before One Direction, there was Urbandub, the band that I have truly loved in my teenage years. Their music is a big part of my life (like, I still cry when I listen to Endless, A Silent Whisper) so when they announced that they’re breaking up on April Fool’s (CAN YOU IMAGINE???), I lost my shit. I tried getting tickets to their farewell concert but luck wasn’t on my side.

And thank god that it wasn’t at that time. Months later, I was able to catch them at 12 Monkeys. They played a more intimate set and I was able to express all my feelings without being squished by the crowd. I’ll never forget that night.

A video posted by Maine Manalansan (@millimetrs) on

4. Some birthdays are best spent alone.

This is probably the most important lesson I learned this year. Fun fact: I don’t always feel good when I turn a year older. My mom always force a celebration at home and my friends bug me to go out. This year, as I was sitting alone in a quiet coffee shop in Singapore, I realized that I ain’t about that life. My personal celebration was peaceful and it prepared me of my 22nd year of #lyf.

5. If you can’t be one thing, be everything.

Finally. FINALLY. I’m done figuring out what kind of an artist I am. I’ll just do what I like doing and own up to it. I’ve spent way too many years deciding if I’m a graphic designer or illustrator or photographer. So just, fuck it. I’ll do what I want. *drops mic*


6. When it comes to planning out of town trips, one rule applies: don’t think, just do.

Read as: when you’re burned out, don’t hesitate to take a vacation. Don’t even think about your to-do list or deadlines. Just learn how to be present and take care of what you need (or want) right now.

7. Get active because you want to.

I did yoga for the majority of this year and it was great. I also tried surfing. Also great, but very hard.


8. If you’re really friends with the person, they’ll be honest with you.

No explanations needed.

9. Your social media presence is what you make of it.

So, one of the most drastic changes in my online presence is my Instagram format. I didn’t like admitting it but I felt the pressure of getting like after like for my posts. It’s unhealthy. I’ve been putting that pressure on myself and I didn’t even know about it. So yeah, I decided to just fuck it and do what I want. This is what my Instagram looks like now.


10. Don’t give up. Love always wins in the end.

This year, love won. I hope it will keep on winning for everyone everywhere.




See the rest here.



Since I got a Kindle this year, I decided to turn this into another yearly project! Yay! See the books (including fanfics) (keep the judgements to yourself) I read this year here.



You’ve read this post so this shouldn’t be a surprise to you.



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  1. Mary says

    2015: the year you invested in a relationship thats not yours. Hahahahaha!

    Also, ang ganda ng instagram mo! Love et!