2023 – A Year in Review

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As we enter the new year 2024, I feel like reflecting of what I’ve learned throughout 2023. This is not necessarily related to tech, but I’m going to share it anyway as you may learn one or two things about my life. Please feel free to skip reading as this is more about me, rather than tech.

WordPress Caching


I feel that both my blogs have been really slow, despite changing hosting provider to a higher tier. During the years I’ve implemented CDN, disabling unnecessary plugins, and other measures that may speed up both sites. However, the one that really stands out is implementing caching. It gives the site a significant loading time boost. If you haven’t tried it, then maybe you should. I’m currently using LiteSpeed cache, which is recommended by my hosting provider, and it’s pretty easy to set up.

Foldables are Great!


This year, I got the chance to use the Samsung Galaxy Fold 5 as my daily driver. I haven’t got the chance to fully review it since I don’t have the time, but what I can say is that having a foldable phone really opens up new possibilities. It’s like having a small tablet that you can easily access whenever you need it. Multitasking is also a breeze. I really enjoy inputting my expenses while looking at my bank statements side-by-side, or gaming while opening an online guide in the same screen. It’s very convenient.

Alas, a few months after the Fold 5 launched, OnePlus Open / Oppo Find N3 Fold launched globally, with wider aspect ratio, slimmer and lighter profile, as well as the crease that is much less visible than the Fold 5. Did I regret not waiting? Yes, a bit, but here’s hoping Samsung can come stronger next year. Now that they have real competitors in the global market, they should start innovating. The Fold 5 is too conservative, and if this goes on, I might switch brands. Oppo has proven that Foldables can be as good as traditional flagships, and Samsung should take note.

In 2023, Samsung got a proper competitor, Oppo Find N3. Here’s hoping that Samsung can come up with a better competition next year!

Of course, there’s that elephant in the room in terms of inner screen durability. That’s why, if you can afford a foldable, get an insurance for that peace of mind. You need a phone that you can enjoy to the fullest, instead of worrying if the inner screen ever breaks.

Budgeting Teaches You A Hard Truth

I’ve been a sucker when it comes to managing money, and my wife helped me fix that. She taught me about budgeting, and how to manage my savings and expenses. During the recent years, it has taught me that no matter how much income I earn, it will always feel… lacking. I mean, look at the social media. Influencers always flaunt their wealth and constantly shows off going on holidays, buying new luxury stuffs, etc. I don’t blame them, since there is actually a market for that. However, I think it’s important to have a mindset that we don’t have to be like that to feel happy. You can eat cheaper meals, and that’s fine. You can buy cheaper, second-hand cars, rent a smaller house, and that’s fine. You do what makes you happy, not others.

Do what makes you happy, not others.

We need to put a limit on our lifestyle, to the point that it makes us content. Because if we don’t, the sky is the limit, and we can get drowned in debt, real fast. And with how the economy is going recently, trust me, being debt-free is the best freedom there is.

Car Maintenance is Worth It

Routine maintenance for your car is worth it! Make sure your car is always in its prime condition!

Ever since I was a child, I kept hearing from my parents that fixing cars is expensive. While there’s some truth to that, what they didn’t teach me was how that could affect the comfort, or even safety, of our cars. This year, I spent some money replacing shock breakers and repairing my car’s exhaust. Of course, when the mechanic told me that my shock breakers may need replacing, I asked them to show me why it needed replacement, and they did, so I was assured to pull the trigger. This is, of course, outside the regular maintenance a car needs such as oil change, tire rotation, etc.

After the repair? Oh, I could really feel the difference. The new shock breaker made the car more comfortable when going through bumps and pot holes, and the exhaust repair seems to make my car more responsive and fuel-efficient. Now my mindset has changed. Maintaining your car is always worth the cost. If you’re using your car every day, take care of it. In turn, it will take care of you, and will less likely to fail when you need it the most.

Oh, and always get insurance. Bickering on the road after an accident is never worth your energy. Just laugh it off, talk about it, and move on. Better pay a little premium rather than spending your time and energy arguing with people on the road.

Trust me, guys. This isn’t worth it.

Your Job is Not Your Life

2023 is a rough year for startups. Many of them have either shut down, did mass layoffs, or went through a massive structural change. If you’re experiencing either one of those, please keep strong, as you’re not alone in this. We have survived 2023, and let’s believe that things will get better in 2024.

Doing your job is fine, but don’t forget to also maintain your wellbeing!

To all of us, this is also a reminder that our job is not our life. Strike a balance between your job and your life. Go outside, take some rest, spend some time with your family and friends. The bitter truth is that no matter how our company says they care about us, we’re just statistics, expendable. They can just replace us whenever they want. So, just keep doing our responsibilities while taking care of our wellbeing. Being loyal is fine, a good thing, even, but being too loyal may cost us.

Don’t be Sorry, be Better


This is my favorite quote from the new God of War game. They really did well when redeeming the seemingly-irredeemable Kratos. In my opinion, it’s one of the best saga of gaming of all time, from start to finish. But hey, that’s a discussion for another day, let’s keep to that quote.

Ever since I was a child, I had this notion that if I made any mistakes, I should be ashamed of it. Unfortunately, that notion is still there, even after becoming an adult, even until today. Whenever I make mistakes, I’ll always blame myself to the point I feel worthless. I’ve been trying to fight and rectify this long-held notion, but it’s not as easy as making a Pull Request on Github, merge, then release. I’ve been telling myself, and you should too, that making mistakes is okay. The most important thing is how we fix it, and be better going forward. Apology is cheap, and just apologizing won’t make us a better person. Learning from it, and fixing it, will.

Conclusion: Thank You 2023. In 2024, Let’s Become a Better Person

Thank you 2023. Let’s welcome 2024 with joy!

Well, I guess that’s all for now. I think I have more, but I forgot, lol. The points above are the ones that I remember so far. Well, as the year 2023 is ending, let’s welcome 2024 with a sincere hope that we will become a better person. After all, life is a never-ending attempt to keep learning and improving, is it not?

Here’s to 2024. May it make us a better, happier, and fuller person!

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