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My Year in Photos 2018

In many ways, 2018 was a simple year. No seismic changes in my life, but many small ones. It was a year of putting my head down and just doing the work, hanging out with family and planning for the future, and making small choices that hopefully down the line makes a big impact.

This year reminds me of 2016. All my other Year in Photo blog posts featured huge changes in my life. In 2014, I married my wonderful wife, Stephanie Rose Villarica. In 2015, our first child was born, Manu. In 2017, our second child was born, Matti. Looking back at 2016, there were no big changes, but plenty of minor discoveries. 2018 turned out to be very similar.

This was the year I finally started a podcast, Zerothreetwo Conversations. I uncovered a message thread on Facebook dated back December 2014 stating my interest in podcasting. Yup, I’m slow. Apparently, it takes me four years to make a decision.

Fortunately, I bit the bullet and committed to it, and it’s one of the most fulfilling decisions I’ve ever made. Not only do I spend time with interesting creative people, but it seems to be making an impact. People are sharing it online, I’m having offline conversations about the podcast, occasionally someone messages me about a particular episode (I’m looking at you Monica), and it’s just been a ton of fun.

If you are reading this, haven’t listened to an episode, and don’t know where to start, Steph and I recapped 2018 (Part 1 and Part 2).


The title of the episode was called “Friendships Filled with Beef, Dick Jokes, Stupid Decisions and Music with Rescue A Hero”

My favorite episode of Zerothreetwo Conversations is the one I did with my friends from Rescue A Hero.

It isn’t a particularly popular episode, but it is still my favorite. Everyone happened to be in Cebu at the same time. Mcoy and Jeremie were in the Philippines, so Jason flew in from Manila. We only managed to free up one day, but we made the most of it, and even recorded a podcast.

My Jamis Renegade Exile is bumped, bruised, dirty, ugly and used.

Just how I like it.

In 2017, I discovered the efficiency of using a bicycle to get around the city. It’s made traffic a million times more bearable. I just need to be careful. Really careful.

But 2018 was when I transitioned from “cycling as a commute” to “cycling because damn it is fun!” In the middle of the year, I started taking longer rides with friends to new places, I even borrowed a mountain bike to try a few hills, and eventually I purchased a gravel bike, a Jamis Renegade Exile, to fuel my new passion. It’s not the fanciest most expensive bike, but it gets the job done. As of this writing I’ve logged almost 2000km on the new bike. It’s only three months old.

First crit race. Wow they are fast!

Changed my single speed to a fixed gear. Love it!

On a whim, I even decided to join the Rapha Festive 500. It was one of the most tiring things I’ve ever done, but at the same time, one of the most fulfilling. It made me realize what I can and can’t do on the bike. And honestly, it’s opened up a whole new world for me.

This is the only family photo we could muster in our trip to Taiwan.



Cebu Safari and Adventure Park

Even though 2018 was about hunkering down and doing the work. We still managed a few trips. It’s not in my DNA to plan these things, but fortunately, I have a wife who enjoys traveling, is willing to do the planning, and is one of the best travel partners a guy could ask for, especially since we’re bringing two kids. 

Usually leading up to the travel dates, I’m never enthusiastic, but when we’re there, I never regret going. It’s tiring, especially with the two kids, but much more fulfilling seeing their faces when they experience new places. Also it’s an excuse for me to bring out the camera and take tons of photos. Because every year, I always complain that I want to take more photos. Travel is an easy way to force myself to do so. 

As with any year, there was a lot of randomness.

There was important stuff like my youngest sister got married. Congrats Monica and Tim! Tons of random fun stuff like when I took a trip to Singapore just to babysit Miki’s kid Leah. And tiny moments that I wish I could remember forever. 

See the photos below.

While in Siargao for Monica’s wedding, I made sure to include a surf session. Continuing my streak of my once a year surf trip! Lol.

Wedding of Monica and Tim. Great opportunity to get the family together.
Photo by Rainbowfish.

Contrary to what the photo looks like, this is my laughing crying face. Miki did a great job with her wedding speech for Monica.

Screen grab from Digital Minds.


As part of my routine, I try to wake up early to squeeze some work in before everyone gets up. I sit on our front porch because it’s usually nice out.

One morning, as I was doing work, Manu opened the sliding doors, and said hi daddy. He noticed it was raining outside. Without saying anything else, he went back in the house, took out his little chair, set it in our garage, and just sat there.

That’s it. There’s no climax to this story.

It was just a tiny moment. It meant nothing, but at the same time, it meant so much. It was the first time I realized that my little boy was a real person.

It sounds obvious as I type this, but I never felt it till that moment. I was oddly proud of him. 

I was proud that he was capable of sitting quietly and staring at the rain

2018 feels like that for me. Maybe there’s so much more to this year, and I don’t realize it. But like Manu, I’m happy to sit quietly and look at it for a few more minutes. 

Photo credit to the waiter in Balai for my favorite family photo of 2018.

Carlo Villarica

If you want to hear more from me, I publish a weekly newsletter called Monday Musings — a set of recommends and thoughts I had that week, subscribe here. Or follow me on instagram @sobermusings. Lastly, if you want to support what we do, we have a Patreon!

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