Twenty Four: A List

I’m twenty four today! 🙂

The cover photo for this post is a comparison in a span of twenty years (1997 / 2017). Would you believe? I re-enacted the same scene on our living room…except there are now merch displayed there because it’s become our temporary warehouse for Shop Abbey Sy. 😛 ANYWAY~

Every year feels like a rite of passage for me. At fourteen, I received my first journal (from my then “crush” lol) and discovered that I wanted to be an artist and writer. In went the influx of teenage angst, emo days, hiding my feelings in music, and the like. At seventeen, I started a little online shop and at eighteen, I pushed myself further to be creative while I was in college. Coincidentally enough, I shifted to a different course (Advertising), and that has made such a huge impact in my (accidental) career (aka my job now). At twenty two, I received my first book offer, gave a TEDx talk, and eventually resigned from my day job. Maybe it was just coincidence that the stars aligned all at the start of the year. But maybe it was just bound to happen — in that unexpected order.

I guess that’s why birthdays seem to be a significant turning point in my life. Weirdly enough, I’d spend the days before my birthday doing a “general cleaning” or maximizing the last few days of my then age. This year was the same; I took days off and met up with my favorite people, spent more time at home working, enjoying my free time, and brewing up new ideas like I always do (sometimes I think I still work too much but okay let’s not try to discuss that in this post for a change).

Given that I’m a list-loving girl, here are my current musings at the start of the year…or rather, on the first day of being 24. 😀

2017 Plans

(I told myself no ~concrete~ goals so here are things I’m going to do this year. I just don’t know how, when, or why. I’ll figure them out eventually.)

(1) Read more and write more. No excuses this time, and hopefully I get to share more insights in my future projects.

(2) Start a podcast + vlog channel. I’m just putting this out there because I have been itching to do this but I don’t know how or when. We’ll see. 😛

(3) GO TO NEW YORK CITY and see my 3rd book displayed at their local bookstore (all caps because)

(4) Take care of myself more. Not skipping workouts, sleeping early, knowing when to shut off, etc.


(5) Overwhelmed with everything that has happened in a span of two years (really, now)

(6) Grateful for every learning experience, good or bad

(7) Content and surprisingly complacent with where I am right now (miracles happen)

(8) Excited of what’s in store for me this year, and the years to come

Wondering about:

(9) The outcome of this semi-hibernation (will it be good or bad?)

(10) #ABCReadSearch and new responsibilities I’ll be taking on this year (new job description, maybe?)

(11) The multitude of things I still want to create (!!!)

(12) Whether or not I’ll change my sleep habits this year (I have to sleep early. I have to. But here I am editing this at 2AM)

Grateful for:

(13) The best support system I could ever have

(14) Good music, good films, and long discussions with friends on said good music/good films (friends, you know who you are!)

(15) My little happy place – the ABC HQ (it’s been a love-hate relationship but I am grateful to be able to work here)

(16) Staying driven despite the rejections, detours and setbacks

(17) Getting to do what I love. Always.

Looking forward to:

(18) Discovering more about myself — in all aspects. Mostly in non-work related endeavours. 🙂

(19) All the books, films & music I’ll be knowing more about this year. And all the movie marathons I’ll be having on nights off. 😀

(20) Traveling with my favorite people (and hopefully crossing out my dream destination this year!)


(21) To be more fearless, take more risks, and be braver

(22) To never lose my drive for writing, illustrating, and doing things that keep me sane

(23) For more dreams / goals to cross out of my never-ending life bucket list

and most of all —

(24) For the best 🙂

To you reading this: Thank you for dropping by, for being part of my journey, in one way or another. For the support. For showing your appreciation, for making me feel infinite whenever I make art, share stories, and do things that inspire you guys to be better. I feel like this is what I really want to give back to the creative community, and I hope I get to do that. I hope you enjoy your own journey the way I’ve enjoyed mine so far. 🙂

To my future self who will be reading this: I hope you remember those moments that never get written on your diaries — those night drives alone humming to old songs, sudden bursts of possibilities swirling around that crazy workaholic brain of yours, random realizations that come out of the shower, or those funny flashbacks of you realizing how crazy life has been. I know you think it’s crazy, it’s difficult, it’s tough — but it always is. And you know you’ve always been capable enough to get through it and find a way to cut through the cracks. You’re brave, you’re independent, you’re pretty much everything you never thought you’d be. And isn’t that great? You stopped hiding inside your own little cave and found your voice. You do you. As per usual. 🙂

Photos / stills by Tin Villanueva, Shutter Panda & Koko Ko

  • Happy birthday po Meez Abbeh!
    I hope you had a good sleep po despite having coffee.
    Who was that who gave you boxes of coffee anyway?
    Was s/he truly un/aware that it poses danger on your sleeping habits and goal #4.

    Also, before I forget po:
    *Clears throat*
    Happy birthday to you!
    Happy birthday to you!
    Happy birthday
    Happy birthday
    Happy birthday to you!



    qrjkadm.,v;jia;v – Riley 😀

    • abbey

      Thanks pamilee! Thanks also for the kopi. I’m excited for next week yaknowzzZzzz

  • Felice Fernandez

    Happy Birthday, Ate Abbey! I can’t wait to see even more amazing things from you this year. You have always inspired me and I’m so thankful for your presence. I hope you have a great day

    P.S. I can’t wait for your podcasts/vlogs!

    • abbey

      Thanks so much, Felice!

      Lol on podcasts/vlogs. I’m praying I get to do them soon!

  • Aine Magalang

    hABBEY hABBEY Birthdaaaay , Achi Abbey! May God bless and guide you even more always. You deserve E V E R Y T H I N G great that is happening to your life now. Thank you so much (can’t express how thankful i am) for being an inspiration and for making me realize that there’s a hidden talent inside of me. Have a blast today and I love you so muchoooo.

    • abbey

      Thanks so much Aine 🙂 <3

  • Zoie Sy

    Keri yung podcast / vlog channel? You can do deez! ❤

    • abbey

      Haha. We’ll see. IDK yet! Thanks Zoie!

  • abigail lazatin

    happiest birthday, ms abbey!!!!! thank you for the ~inspiration~ and courage to make artworks!!!! you’ve been great to everyone else for the past 23 years and it is your time now to make yourself great!!!! i am hoping you find more about yourself! reach your goals with a positive mind! continue to make amazing artworks and inspire more young artists! enjoy your day, i love you!!!!!

    love, abi
    (yep my name’s also abi)

    • abbey

      Thanks, Abi!!! <3

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the person who inspire me to do more and not settle for less. Huhuhuhu. Keep creating! I’M SO EXCITED FOR THE PODCAST/VLOGS ~soon~ and for all the ahrt you will create this year!!!

    P.S. I love your letter for your future self huhu

  • Leoujae Caballero

    Happiest 24th Birthday Ms. Abbey! More books to create! And me to buy more books (your books ofcourse)!


    I really enjoy viewing your hand letterings. Also, inspired in doing such things. Well, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ABBEY SY Best wishes that the world can offer

  • Hi Abbey! Buhay pa ba yung Tumblr blog mo? Dun ko sa isuat yung dedication post ko pero dito na lang 😉

    Happy birthday Abbey! *sabog confetti*

    Thank you for being there; chasing that dream, believing that good things can happen, and especially for doing art, your art. I’m amazed on how you came up with your trademark that the whole world have adored and loved. You don’t know how many lives you have inspired to always be creating. You’re an enabler, an influencer, and a friend. Your first book was the gateway for me to make art again. I would like to express my deepest gratitude in everything that you do.

    I wished to meet you even only once, that would be enough. But what happened is that I met you thrice in 2016 and also my dream of having a pen meet with you came true as well. And if only I can invite you to the NBS Color and Calligraphy Fair in Davao this January 28-29, 2017 in Abreeza, I will conduct a 30-minute demo for calligraphy with Marvy Uchida. You were right, taking risks and being courageous can take you far. I’m dedicating my upcoming demo to you. Again, thank you so much!

    Happy birthday amiga! Enjoy your day!


  • Mau

    Happy birthday Ate Abby! Continue inspiring us <3 Thanks for sharing your Art with your heart! We will support uuu 🙂 All the love x

    • abbey

      Thanks Mau! 🙂

  • Jullia Mabingnay

    Happy happy birthday to yewww! As much as you’re thankful to us, we are also greatful for existing in our lives. Its our pleasure to be inspired by you, who came out of your own cave and expressed your thoughts through art. If I had’nt known you, maybe I’d still be vulnerable of endless negativity and crazy thoughts that I didnt know how to express and control back then. Thank you, achi. #AlwaysBeSupporting❤❤

    • abbey

      Thanks Jullia!