Thursday, March 29, 2012

Click to Save: Arena Island Promo

I've never been to Palawan, the contender of Boracay in terms of most talked about tourist destinaton in the Philippines. That's why when my friend Rej Avena tagged me in FB to share this promo, I grabbed it immediately. It's the Arena Island's Click to Save Promo.

Joining is simple:

from Arena Island's FB page

Arena Island, also known as Isla Arena Turtle Sanctuary, is located at Narra, Palawan. It is a 1.5 hour travel from the Puerto Princesa International Airport. Its advocacy is to protect pawikans and help preserve nature's blessings.

The promo is extended until May 31, 2012. To join, click here. For more information on the island, visit

Monday, March 19, 2012

6 Little Ways to Lessen The Things That They (we?) Hate in the Philippines

I watched the video '20 Reasons I Dislike _____. (the Philippines) which featured an American named Jimmy Sieczka. He has been in Cebu for three years and he enumerated reasons on why the country sucks.  And I  was all agreeing, and thinking of my own encounters.

Yes, I hate all men shaking their urine all over the country. Cockroaches in every city I went to also disgust me. And I already have a traumatic experience with a beggar (punched and pinched me when I didn't give him money). What he enumerated are almost all the things I want out of my beloved land.

The man has all the points in the world; there's no reason to hate him. What we Filipinos do is try to lessen the things that can make anyone hate our country. Here's my list of what I'm doing and  going to do:

1. Refuse plastic bags. Whenever I have my bag with me when I'm buying something, I refuse the plastic bag that the bagger is offering. It will be redundant if I put the plastic with goods inside the bag, will it not?

2. Candy wrappers. Put them in your pockets. When trash cans aren't around (We really lack them here in the Phils.), I put my trash in my pocket or inside my bag if it's big for my pocket. Why? Because no matter how small the trash is, trash is trash and is unpleasant to look at, especially on the streets. Also, they will eventually go to our waters or they will clog our drainage systems.

3. Love thy color. I honestly am using some whitening products like papaya soap, but I am not gaga over being white (I like its smell, plus it's Pinoy made,so.). I like my color and I'm working on loving the whole of me. And it should not be about just the color, it should be about loving every part of your body. The thing about loving yourself is that it is cheaper. Ordinary lotion is cheaper than whitening lotion. Ordinary snacks are cheaper than diet snacks. Surgery-less face is free. And unique. You get my point.

4. Spit on sinks. Phlegm on sidewalks is always an eyesore. If you have a cough and sinks are nowhere to find, bring tissue to spit on. I would love it if we would adopt Singapore's law on spitting.

5. Read. We would see our situation with better eyes if we see other countries' progress. TV won't suffice, especially our networks. And we also need to think critically. And where can we get it better than in reading?

6. Accept criticisms. I read the comments section on the youtube version of the video and the Filipinos there are ranting on making Mr. Jimmy go somewhere else, cursing him and trolling each other around. What kind of reactions are those? Honestly. Mr. Jimmy may not be the best critic ever (his cursing is not helping the Filipino temper), but still he has points that we can use for the Philippines to be more fun to be in. They, criticisms, are quite painful to take, yes, but they can make us grow. So. We should have the strength to hear them and do something on how to improve ourselves.

Our country is faced with piles of problems, so let's do our part. Everything counts no matter how small it is. Let's try our best to not be a part of the problem. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

1000 Cranes

Last year, May 19 was our 100th day as a couple, and I made 1000 cranes for this occasion.

He and I love green, and I didn't want the cranes to be rainbow-colored so I picked different hues of green papers for the project. I chose to work on 4cm x 4cm papers so that it would be a hassle to find box to put them to. I really measured them because working on a supposedly square origami paper but failed to be one is such a hassle. The initial plan was to write notes on every crane but I could not finish it on time if I do that so the notes are limited.

 I took pictures after I finished the 1000th, but I was so busy for the past months that I only have time to edit the shots now. XD

The Flames Crane

The Color of Love Crane

1000 cranes!

I had so much fun doing it, and I learned that if I choose to be OC, I can be OC too.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I chose to lead my own life.
But am I ready for it?
My priority and discipline skills screamed no.
I want to improve myself.

Sunsets and Ride homes

I am always the one who falls asleep during a bus ride, or any transportation ride that is. The only things that can keep me from sleeping are nice conversations, sunrises and sunsets.

I've seen many breathtaking sunsets and most of them were during bus rides, so I usually bring my camera with me. It's one thing to bring a camera. Taking pictures inside a moving vehicle is another thing, so it's a cool feeling to have even just one good shot out of the zillion shots that I took every time there's an opportunity.

So, here's my recent Star Tollway sunset pictures taken inside my dad's Navarra. I'm happy with them, and I want more of them soon. :)))

On our way to Batangas City

On our way to Batangas City

Sunday, March 4, 2012

13 Books of 2011

Last January 2011, I promised myself that I would read 100 books for the whole year. I started great, but since I graduated last April and I took the board exam last August, I ended up reading only 13 books. Having not reached my target, I promised myself to write a blog about what I learned from the books, so as to feel great that at least, even though the number wasn't great, the values that I got were of quality. :D

So here goes my list in no particular order:

1. Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag by Edgardo M. Reyes. 

I finished the book for a Malikhaing Pagsulat 10 (MP 10) requirement - to read at least 3 books of the author our group wants to interview. I finished one. It was a short read; I read it for less than a day, but it got me thinking about it for weeks. It has a simple plot (, and most of the Filipino couch potatoes can say that they have seen one like it at Primetime Bida, etc. But it's the writing style that wowed me. Edgardo Reyes himself told us that topics for writing are everywhere and for everyone to use - use the most used topic in the writing world and it's fine; it's the writer's style that will captivate a reader. And based from two of his novels (I did not finish Sa Iyong Paanan), he practiced what he preached. As I was reading the novel, it felt like I was reading a song. I mean, I felt the rhythm in the words he used, and it was amazing especially because it was written in Filipino which is a language that is just romantically poetic (in my opinion). I was so entertained that I felt happy that I was obliged to read the book. If not for MP 10, I wound't borrow this from the Filipiniana Section of the Main Library of UP Diliman. My hope for the Philippine Literature was unearthed because of this book.

Gist: Classic. Epic. Recommendable. 

2. Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk

I borrowed this from my orgmate Mel (Thanks!) and I had to finish this for a week so I camped out to McDonald's Philcoa until about 4am to finish the book . It's my first (and only aotm) time to read Palahniuk and it was a one of a kind experience. It is an epistolary novel and 'was written' by a 13-year old boy who wrote in broken English, was a trained operative disguised as an exchange student and based from the way he thought of Americans and their culture, was not trained to face normal people. I puked rainbows and laughed so hard as I was reading the novel. The eccentric views of an epitome of a teenage foreigner to the American life were a joyride. I loved the humor. Plus with existentialism as a theme, this novel got me thinking, what if it occurred to me, after religiously fulfilling it and making it as a base of my identity for a great deal of years, that I had a shitty purpose, how and what would I be? 

Gist: Joyride.

3. Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco

I also borrowed this from my orgmate because everyone's talking about it, being an internationally acclaimed Filipino author and all. Sadly, I did not enjoy it as I thought I would be. But it gave me an insight on how an one views our history; it's written in the point of view of a person coming from an elite political family. So no farming and land problems, no psychological stress because of hunger and money. It's a good thing for me as a reader to experience a new point of view, but I learned that I am not ready for that view yet. The protagonist has problems like drugs, love and sex life, and traffic and barkada that I felt that story is wasted because of the identity of the protagonist. I mean, having an elite eyes in the story isn't the problem, it's just that I don't get why the bar scene with the drugs and the horny girl should be a part of the novel. If comparing the eyes of the book, I like Viajero by F. Sionil Jose better. But as justice to the book, it really has this twist in story telling that could (should?) be lauded for.

Gist: I'm neutral about this.

4. Now and Forever by Ray Bradbury

I bought this book because it's R.B., it's hardbound and it's only 50phph. I loved Fahrenheit 451, so I thought I would love this too. Lesson: Don't judge a book by its author.

Gist: I don't want to talk about it.

5. Sa mga Suso ng Liwanag by U Eliserio

Since Sir U Eliserio became my teacher in PanPil17, I had been intrigued by this book. So when I heard that one of my orgmates have this, I borrowed it. It's a fast read, and I don't know what to do about the whole thing. Well, I learned something from it though. It's that sex is good with condoms. Else, die worrying until the red days return.

Gist: Shocking sexual scenes are shocking.

6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Reading Wuthering Heights and a Dostoevsky book consecutively or simultaneously is a bad bad thing to do, if you're not into heavy reading like me. I suggest one to read five or lighter books after Brontë before reading Dostoevsky. These books have characters that are too passionate: when a character is at rage, every being of that character spells rage. But because of that, I learned to seek what is inside a person before judging his actions. I had a peek of a dark person's insides because of this, and I'm glad I had one. 

Gist: Heavy.

7. Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

I read this during my review classes, so I had to read it every break that I had. It was worth it. As the lender of the book described it, it was the book of all genres (not verbatim). If one had to read a book to Learn with the capital L, this is the book one's looking for. As I was reading the it, I wondered what kind of man Dostoevsky was to have that kind of mind. 

When I finished reading it, I missed the characters that I want to read it again if only I did not return it already. Who wouldn't miss the ever passionate Dmitri and his wild actions and decisions? I must have a copy of this. 

Gist: Please give me a hard copy of this.

8. The Star Diaries by Stanislaw Lem

Star Diaries by Stanlislaw Lem. I'm a sucker for otherwordly stories, plus I am in my phase of wanting to learn philosophy, so it was orgasmic/ecstatic for me to know Lem and his works. The Star Diaries presents other worlds in a way that one would contemplate in the condition of our world, of humanity. If copies of this book are easy to buy, I would give copies to my bookworm friends. And i would give myself one too. (As usual, I borrowed this book from a friend. i'm a poor poor miser indeed.)

Gist: WHOA.

9. Personal by Rene Villanueva

Personal. This is a collection of essays about the author's journey to adulthood - from being a tv addict without tv, to walking from his house to his school due to lack of pamasahe, to buying porn colection from porn hideouts. His essays took me to places where Philippine reality truly is, since majority of the Filipino population are the masses. It made me look back to my experiences growing in a province as a child exposed in a Filipino way of life. Plus, the essays are entertaining because of the details. One can taste, smell and feel the Laloma that he was born in.

Gist: Pinoy 'tong talaga.

10. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I have heard of this book because it is being analyzed alongside my favorite dystopian novel of all time, 1984 by George Orwell (You are the dead.). Since dystopian novels have a special place in my heart (I love how the what ifs are materialized in a story), I felt that I should read the novel. Good thing his views are interesting; they had kept me reading it until the end. Plus there's Murugan. Brown and handsome Murugan. But it was rather a preachy ride.Quoting Virginia Woolf, it was "All raw, uncooked, protesting.”  And the ending is so-so. Maybe I just expected too much, but on the long run, I would say that I didn't regret reading it. 

Gist: Informative. 

11.  Complete Idiot's Guide to Philosophy by Jay Stevenson

For this year, the book that I enjoyed rereading the most is The Complete Idiot's Guide to Philisophy. I read this book because  want to understand my boyfriend why he likes philosophy, Stanislaw Lem's Star Diaries and Kierkegaard. Now, I don't only understand them, I understand many things (including Jostein Gaarder's The Castle in the Pyrenees and I'm quite thankful to it) as well. If only I have the power to make everyone read this book, I would, so that many conflicts (e.g. religious, social) would be resolved immediately if not completely dissolve. Mikolaj Kopernik is the real name of Nikolaus Copernicus. This fact is one of the trivial things that I can't forget upon reading the book. Sometimes too many trivialities can lead into thinking more complex ideas.

Gist: Must reread.

12. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

For the third time, I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and that's the time that I truly understand the plot of the novel. I was amazed and it was info overload for me for the first time (I was in high school then and I only understood Sweet Valley and Animorphs at that time. Sorry for being a late bloomer.). For the second time, I focused on the myth part and completely forgotten that there's a story behind the gods. So finally, the third time's a charm. But anyway, I instantly became a Gaiman fan even at first reading because I love his world. 

Gist: Orgasmic.

13. Sophie's World by Joisten Gaarder
After reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Philisophy, I decided to read Sophie's World. I'm glad I'm through reading many books and genres before reading this. If say I read this when I was in high school, I would not enjoy it as much as I enjoyed it irl because it was bursting with ideas, stories and all things that I would be too overwhelmed. I would conclude that to enjoy it, pefect timing was essential. And thank all deities that I picked the perfect timing there was.

Gist: A must-read-before-you-die book.

THERE. Must read more this year!