We’ve officially entered a new chapter in our lives. Just like everyone else, I have the habit of looking back and feeling thankful for the year that ended, and hopeful for the one that just started.
One thing that I’m amazed of is that I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be able to sustain a conversation based on beverages. I remember looking at bottles of wine, and editing menus and listings in past jobs, but wouldn’t really have a clue of what I was writing about. I’d do my research, just like any PR-Marketing person or writer, but as I haven’t really tried the product or conversed with the “authority”, the lines remained mere words to me.
Although I wouldn’t consider myself as an “expert”, as my friends would tease, I’m glad that I somewhat understand brands and products now.
Ogier’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Rhône Valley, France was the first wine I met. It was my first week at work, and I was having my weekly one-on-one with my boss, when he took a bottle of this French wine and explained that it translated as “The New Castle of the Pope.” He mentioned that the papacy was a fan of the wines of the region, hence regularly drank them, and helped in promoting them.
This was how I grew passion for my latest marketing post: stories. I don’t mind forgetting the technicalities of the products - appellations, tannins, etc, and having the need to read them again. But I cared about the stories behind each brand. I love that the ones we’re carrying feel like people you meet. Not to mention that I still get the opportunity to actually talk with these amazing individuals who make and market them.
To some extent, a number of representatives feel like visiting friends that you’d geek out with the most random of things. I couldn’t forget what Flora mentioned during our after work dinner “you’re now amongst friends. You don’t need to be serious and talk about work.”
If you asked me before 2017 what a G+T is, I wouldn’t even know what to tell you. Googling it might be my initial reaction. However, another amazing thing that happened to me last year was that I was given the chance to mix cocktails in events. Again, don’t expect bartender moves and recommendations, but more of the Mixology-at-Home concept. That’s what we’re promoting anyway. That said, I think I fit the bill.
Last year also allowed me to work with some of the best in the cocktail industry. From Ken, an old friend from Shang - World Class Champion - ABV; to Alex Kratena, Tales of the Cocktail International Bartender of the Year - Imbibe Magazine’s Bar Personality of the Year - Artesian’s Former Head Bartender. It’s humbling.
Organizing these events and activations also brought me several opportunities. Challenged me to push harder every time, beyond the point of what’s familiar to me. At times of doubt, true camarederie arise.
I remember starting the year managing the biggest trade show of the company. That was a fun ride. I didn’t know what will happen, but still, it went well.
What’s awesome about life is that when we ask for certain things, we sometimes think that we never receive them, but looking closely, it’s either we got what we needed at that time or we received what we hoped for in a different form.
Like the Symphony of Wine, our annual wine event that brings the experience of Les Chorégies d'Orange, one of the oldest summer opera festivals in France, to the Philippines. We partnered with the Manila Symphony of Orchestra and Antonio’s Restaurant in Tagaytay.
One of my wishes for 2017 was to watch a theatrical production. Although I didn’t see The Phantom of the Opera nor Wicked, I did experience the music of some iconic shows because of this event.
Another wish was to attend a fashion show. I missed my friend’s prod because of conflict of schedule, but I got an invite from another friend for a different show. I was able to attend Under the Stars, the anniversary prod of Bench -Thanks, Ate Lam!
You really get surprises as long as you remain positive and open to blessings.
I thought I didn’t travel as much as I wanted to, but because of family, friends and work, I still felt that I went to places, tasted great food, and embarked on new adventures.
With all the food that I had to eat and drinks I had to try, we can all agree that I needed some exercise. So Margaux, Allan, and I decided to start our fitness journey, again.
We all enrolled in Anytime Fitness last July. I still don’t have a progress pic that I’m proud of, but I’m proud enough to say that despite the busy schedules, we’re trying. Hopefully this year we can do better.
I’m also happy to create new memories with old friends, and make new friends along the way. Like they say, relationships last as long as they are true.
From tastings, wine dinners to a casual night out, wedding or just paying someone a visit, I was able to do a lot with my crazy bunch.
I’m lucky to have a very supportive family. No matter how rough the road may be or bright the horizon may appear, I knew I had a bigger God, and a family to keep me grounded and purposeful.
Although some would argue that we don’t necessarily commit to our resolutions, turning over a new leaf is something that we should be doing whether or not we are celebrating a new year.
We should always be grateful for the many blessings that we receive. Promote the good that is around us. Be instruments of love and equality rather than division and hate.
Thank you to everyone who made 2017 fruitful.
As we continue our journey this 2018, I hope we remain true to our purpose. I hope we create more personal connections, and celebrate life. I hope we always find time to help out, to forgive, to be grateful, to smile and laugh. I hope we wake up each morning determined and sleep each night thankful.
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Later days. Stay inspired.
Niguel is an experienced creative and marketing professional pursuing his dreams while growing with infinite possibilities.