YA Feature: Meet Dana! She’s My Best Friend.

Drumroll, please!

So guys! On my Monday post, I mentioned I’d have a special surprised for y’all today, so I’m not going to delay any further. I’m doing my blog’s very first YA Feature! And today, I’m sharing my best friend with you. She’s really special to me, and I know I’m just as special to her. We’ve been best friends since preschool, and I’m proud to say we’ve remained besties since.

I’d love to rave about her, but today isn’t about what I have to say. It’s about what she does. I’ve asked her to fill in the blanks and answer some questions I’ve prepared for her. So! Without further ado…meet my Bestie.

Name: Danelle Iana K. Diaz (but you already know this haha)

Nickname/s: Dana, D, Danak, Daynuh

Hobbies: Swimming, exercising, watching stuff that don’t require using my brain, music

Favorite food: ice cream no doubt, no questions asked, hands down, always the winner winner chicken dinner

Favorite books: the Percy Jackson Series, the I am Number Four Series, This Present Darkness

Describe yourself in three words (okay, wait, that’s hard…make it five): I can do three haha. Diligent… Um, can it be in one word instead? JK… Determined, and grounded (hopefully that last one is true).


This is Dana…most probably cheering for her swim team.

So, D. You’re basically a YA now…what scares you about being one?

Well, I used to get scared of the thought that I would be able to achieve my dream of being a fund manager and carrying out my plan (yeah I kinda had a plan for the next 7 years of my life). But I made peace with that fear of failure, because I know God has it all figured out for me. And if this dream I have isn’t meant to be, I’ll find another one and start over, because working towards that dream and finding yourself along the way is the best part. (Too deep? Sorry, you asked a deep question *shoulder shrug*)

No, that was good 😉 

Okay, now to show our readers that the YA life isn’t all that terrifying, give us some factors you consider pros!

Pros… Pros… Okay, so like I previously said, working towards a dream and finding yourself along the way is the best part. Honestly, there will be bad times, sad times; but there will always be good times. And those good times are spending it with the people on this earth you love the most. On a brighter note, maturing seems really cool–like I kinda can’t wait to wear nice office clothes and look all legit and pretty. Haha I mean I am pretty pretty now (LOL), but there’s a certain grace that comes with age. And office clothes.

Oh, Dana…you’re hilarious. 

You’re in college now…and you’re part of the varsity swim team. Yes folks, my best friend is a real hardcore athlete. What’s a typical day like for you?

Well, my typical day starts at around 5:30 when I get up and get ready for training. Training usually ends at 7:20-7:30 and after a quick shower, it’s off to class, with no time for breakfast 😦  My school day ends at 11 or 2 depending on the day, and my breaks are spent eating the breakfast I missed and hanging out with the team. At 3:30 it’s off to afternoon training (which is really hard). Sometimes I don’t want to go. The swimming part usually ends at around 5:45 and land training (if there is that day) ends at around 6:20 (depends on the workout). I have taken to showering at the dorm since…hot water…YASSSS! And by 7, I’ve settled down. Dinner depends on when my roommates come back, so there is no real set time. After procrastinating for a while, studies come next till around 9:50, then it’s off to bed. And the whole cycle repeats.

Woah. Okay, I’m taking you out to Starbucks again…

Tell us about a situation where you tried to be an adulting YA and failed. You know…like that time you came over to my house during your college break, and you were so stressed, that we ended up watching The Suite life of Zack and Cody. (((HUG)))

Uh, okay, so college is pretty stressful, and I mess up nearly everyday (whether it be I didn’t study enough or I procrastinated too much or I didn’t push hard enough in swim training). But that’s life–you learn from mistakes. I know it’s really clichés, but I honestly live by that principle. It’s what keeps me from focusing on my mistakes and getting depressed by them.

A specific instance besides the one you mentioned would have to be UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines). As you know, I got into swimming later than most of my peers, so I’m always catching up; and honestly, (wow am I saying honestly too much?) I didn’t think it was such a bad thing. I improved faster than anyone else and I was much more motivated (maturity, I guess). But all that changed when I joined the Ateneo Swim Team. Suddenly the gap between our years of training was more evident–WAY more. I couldn’t be motivated because I was always getting left behind. I wasn’t used to the team or the pool and couldn’t give my all in training. But seeing them (my teammates) work so hard in and out of the pool, I ended up motivated too. I trained hard before our only meet of the year and my times were getting better. At the meet itself, I actually did better than I expected. I even got to 9th place. But seeing everyone fight so hard for the points to win and some of my teammates swimming even while injured, was like a cold slap in the face from my short-comings. It was all so close yet so far for me.

I just wanted to be able to contribute for the team. I know this is a story about failure, but it actually isn’t done yet. After the meet I decided that this wouldn’t be the end. That I would come back stronger than ever and get Ateneo (my university)  on the awarding blocks for breaststroke events. Prior thoughts about quitting were gone, and I vowed never to stop while I am in college. So you see, failure, to me…isn’t actually a failure. It just makes room for a greater win.


Now tell us about a situation in which you tried to be an adulting YA and succeeded! *fist bump* Like that time you didn’t let yourself eat candy for one week.

This would have to be living away from my parents in the college dorm. I was unsure at first about how I would handle living away from home and not seeing my parents. I didn’t know if I could handle it–the responsibility of basically everything–your time, when you wake up, when you watch TV…I mean I was already kinda doing it with Homeschool, but the away-from-your-parents factor made it much more scary. However, when I got to the dorm, I found out that I can actually manage my time and studies pretty well. Yes, occasionally I end up being on my laptop for too long or talking to my roommates instead of studying (more than occasionally sometimes, but it’s getting better now), but overall I think I’m doing a pretty good job.

Atta girl!

College advice from a college freshman?

It’s not that different from high school. You’ll be absolutely fine. Maybe be friendly cuz you know…socializing = connections. Get on your teachers’ good sides 😉

Will keep that in mind. 

Now, I know you. Swimming is part of you. Why do you love it so much?

I actually don’t like swimming all that much. Swimming is hard and tiring. It’s a sport where they tell you when and when not to breathe. It requires so much strength to get the proper form and execute the techniques. But when I can feel my stroke in a good training session or a good meet, when everything in my body is just aligned perfectly and I can glide through the water effortlessly, that’s when I love swimming. Someone once told me that you don’t enjoy the sport cuz you’re not good at it…but when you have that moment–that perfect moment…you’ll get hooked (Okay fine, I got that from an anime). And that’s what makes all the morning practices and freezing water worth it.

I’m proud of you.

What’s a quality one needs in swimming that is also needed in the YA life and why?

Perseverance. No one becomes great at swimming (or at any sport really) by natural talent. Hard work and perseverance will always trump that. The same goes for life–you won’t be the best at whatever it is you want to be the best at just like that. It will require long hours and hard work, and even then there will still be someone better. But (Uh where was I going with this?) eventually all that work and sacrifice pays off. It always does.

Now to mix things up a bit! Let’s play a game called… How Well Do You Know Your Bestie? Since you’re the guest, we’ll do you first. I’ll answer questions about you to see how well I know you. Then we’ll switch.


Favorite TV shows?

Beatrice: How I Met Your Mother. And Bones?

Dana: I don’t watch Bones anymore hahaha. I actually haven’t been watching much nowadays.

Ultimate ships?

Beatrice: Oh, shoot, I don’t know his name… the main character of How I Met Your Mother and Robin—the girl who’s also in the Avengers. Artemis and Wally West? Maria and the Captain in The Sound of Music?

Dana: My one true ship in life is *deleted due to the people she mentioned being REAL people we respect the privacy of…right, Dana???* I told you that I don’t really get emotionally invested in the love lives of fictional characters. I think that’s because I know I’d get too hooked on them and it’s probably not healthy for me. If I don’t stop myself, I could probably get super obsessed.

Favorite color?

Beatrice: Red! No…wait. Blue. No. Red. My final answer is red. pushes imaginary button*

Dana: Red is probably right. I haven’t had a favorite color in a while.

Pet peeves?

Beatrice: Okay, knowing you, there’s a lot. Um… *racks brain* I can’t think of any!!! Ooh! I got it! You hate it when people assume you’re going to pay for the food. You hate it when people touch your hair. You don’t like being called “Dan”. You don’t like the sticky feeling of putting sunblock on (which is pretty ironic because you’re a swimmer). It gets to you when you see old people alone.

Dana: YOU KNOW ME SO WELL! I have a lot of swimming pet peeves, but let’s not get into that haha.


Favorite TV shows?

Dana: ARROW, THE FLASH, SUPERGIRL, The Mentalist, Prison Break, Fringe, Chuck, Legend of the Seeker (remember this?), Young Justice, Chicago Fire, the Blacklist, the Walking Dead…do you really want me to list them all because it would take up like a hundred pages haha)

Beatrice: Hahaha! YES!!!!

Ultimate ships?

Dana: Olicity and Snowbarry duh.

Beatrice: I have trained you well, my friend. I’ve trained you so well. I’mma tweet this on twitter. Especially for my #Snowbarry lovies (We’re going through some tough times).  😉

Favorite color?

Dana: Purple (or did it change?)

 Beatrice: Yeah, you got it…purple is the color of royalty.

Pet peeves?

Dana: I guess when people try to take advantage of your friends and family. (like when *deleted segment due to the reality of the event she wrote down–DANA!!! You. Are. Hilarious.*) I’m pretty sure you hated being called bossy in grade school and when guys won’t say what they mean…it annoys the crap out of you. In school, you always wanted your notes to look perfect, so you always tore out the entire page when there’d be the smallest mistake (you’re kind of a perfectionist). You dislike it when girls are shallow and giggly for no reason. You also dislike it when people don’t act their age (*yet another deleted example. sigh.*) And you don’t like it when the cover of a new book gets folded.

Beatrice: Awww! You know me just as well. Yes, yes, yes, and yes!!! I’m so glad I have someone who knows me. And gets me. You really mean the world to me, D! So, in the spirit of appreciating our BFFs, here’s your next question…

What do you love most about having me as a best friend? (I know, totally unrelated to this post featuring you…I just wanted to hear it 😉 Hahaha!)

Um, since it’s unrelated I refuse to answer the question at this time. Time’s up. I love having you as a best friend because you balance me out with your love and care for everyone around you, and at the same time you challenge me to be a better person. I know that before I kinda took that challenge as a competition and I was such a bad sport (sorry 😦 ), but now I realize it’s a blessing. I enjoyed chasing after you in grades or in music. It drove me to get better at it and it was actually a good thing for me. (Are you surprised that this segment is this long? Well you should’ve known I’d have so many great things to say about you.)

I love how we can talk about anything and everything, especially the parts about life that really matter. I love how we can go to Starbucks, wanting to just spend time and end up talking about how much we’ve matured these past few years. I love how you take into account my diet or whatever when I’m at your house and you want to offer me food. I love how you won’t hold it against me when I make grammatical mistakes as I answer your questions ;). I love how you worship God with all your heart and soul, and how His Presence comes when you sing. I love how you can write such wonderful and meaningful songs that we get to sing together, and I mean REALLY SING. I love how we both struggle with procrastinating (which is what I’m doing now) and how we try to help each other with it. I know from the bottom of my heart that God made us to be best friends, and I am so extremely thankful that He did. 🙂

*Beatrice is crying now*


That’s me, Beatrice, on the left. See how I have to reach up to put my arm around Dana??? *rants about short people problems*

*Beatrice is scrambling to get a hold of herself. Okay…okay, she’s drying her eyes now. Are we good? Okay, keep rolling. We’re good.*

D, thanks so much for taking time to do this with me. You’re the first person I had in mind to do a collaboration with. Before I end this post, there’s just one more thing. On my homepage, I wrote that I believe that YAs are wiser than a lot of people think we are. So, as a young adult, what are some life lessons you’ve learned so far? 😉

I think I’ve had my fair share of life lessons in my 18 years of life, and I know there are many more to come. But I believe the most important is to do what makes you happy. Yes there are those kinda “guidelines” like “be disciplined” and “don’t give up,” but those are just tips to help you get there. Happiness is what counts, not what people say about your hair, but rather what you yourself think about it. Some may find happiness in material things like cars, or immaterial stuff like achievements. My happiness lies in God, my good good Father. My happiness lies in knowing that He has a plan for me and that He put me here with these amazing people I call family (SUPERFRIENDS!!!) My happiness lies in being loved by Him.

Oh, D…you’re a gift. You’re so way beyond your years. Thanks again for doing this with me. I love you forever. 🙂 

So guys, that’s a wrap for my very first YA Feature! I hope you enjoyed looking into the mind of a fellow YA other than me. 😉 Dana is special to me, and so I wanted to share her with you. I hope you picked up a few things from this beautiful, wonderful person!

D’ya have any cool questions you’d like to see me ask my next YA Feature? (They can be deep. They can be trivial. Any is good.) Feel free to comment them below! 🙂

Happy Weekend everybody!

Oh! And Happy Chinese New Year (even if i’m not Chinese)!

4 thoughts on “YA Feature: Meet Dana! She’s My Best Friend.

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