Tuesday, October 31, 2017

THE STORYTELLER

Two months ago while listening to M’s Poland trip over Skype, I was lying in bed wondering why the place was so familiar. I was like experiencing déjà vu of a place or situation I have never encountered. It gave me the chills when M showed me the pictures. Then I remembered The Storyteller.

Reading books can really take you places you have never been. This is one of those books that will stick with you for a long time. It’s so easy to get consumed in the story and start developing a relationship with the characters.

The story begins with a baker who befriends with a camp supervisor at Auschwitz and later reveals a startling connection with baker’s grandmother who survives Auschwitz and tells the horrors she endured during the Holocaust. It’s a historical fiction exploring the Holocaust, not a new topic to most of us, yet it was a thought provoking book with so many layers of events and people. It’s a story about forgiveness, identity, and justice.


...what he did was wrong. He doesn’t deserve your love. But he does deserve your forgiveness, because otherwise he will grow like a weed in your heart until it’s choked and overrun. The only person who suffers, when you squirrel away all that hate is you...
Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s saying, ‘You’re not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.’ It’s saying, ‘You don’t get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future. I’m moving on to peace and happiness.

The Storyteller asks how can we--and should we--forgive the unforgivable, and it comes up with the answer that we can’t forgive, but we can hold accountable, that when we forgive we do it for ourselves, not for the other person, which seems to me the right response.

“It doesn’t matter what it is that leaves a hole inside you. It just matters that it’s there.”

The expense of forgiveness is not your dignity. So often we think that we must forgive, and that means we must get rid of our boundaries and let the forgiven one back in the same spot. That is not forgiveness, that's being a spineless person.

Forgiveness does not impede having boundaries and protecting yourself. Even when you forgive another person, you always keep yourself complete. You don't ever give up your individuality, your sensitivity, your self-respect for anything.

Yes, forgive, but keep yourself safe from being lessened, degraded or diminished in the future. Forgive, but keep your voice. Keep demanding what you need and requiring respectful treatment. Forgive, but don't be afraid to do so at a distance.

You have to forgive if you want to be forgiven.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

AT THE MOMENT

SADNESS

the sun slowly drifted away
the moon proudly
ruled and stayed

BROKEN

the sand castle's beauty
alluring as it can be
conquered by huge waves

GOODBYES

leaves are turning dry
yet to the tree they cling still
not wanting to fall

Monday, October 9, 2017

LET GO

Let it go.

It's very liberating to do so.

Whether we like it or not, life is one continuous journey of letting go. We have a tendency to try to hold on to everything that we have - the perfect relationship, our youth, our possessions - the list goes on. But life has a remarkable habit of taking away that which we may treasure at the time.

I breathe deeply. I inhale the delicious fragrance of the present moment. I remind myself with my thoughts that there is no better place to be than the one I am in right now. I spend as much time as I can outside in nature. There is something timeless and nourishing about the kiss of the sun on my skin and the song of the birds in my heart.

Live in present time, love people you know, appreaciate things around you, but don't get attached to anything because every good things must come to an end.

Knowing that, no matter what happens, all is well.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

#DRAGONWARRIORSDUBAI



Riding the waves, unperturbed by the howling wind and even beating the heat of the sun, the dragon conquers the water and forces through to reach its destination such as dragon boating. It’s a team water sport that originated in China around 2500 years ago on the banks of Yangtze River and in modern times developed in East Asia and worldwide as a competitive sports. Twenty two people, one boat, with one aim. Each member on the boat personifies the spirit of the dragon and it’s the same spirit that runs through Dragon Warriors.

The Dragon Warriors are a Dubai-UAE-based paddle club. Being one of the oldest clubs in the local dragon boating scene, founded in 2010 by Nerza Del-Rosario Manalastas, the former Philippine Dragon Boat National Team Co-Captain. Growing from strength to strength over the last 6 years as a competitive club, participated in competitive races such as Shangri-La Abu Dhabi Dragon Boat Festival, Dubai Marina Dragon Boat Race, Dubai Creek Dragon Boat Festival, and IDBF Club Crew World Championships semi-annually, with a couple of medals to our honor. The team is a diverse crew made up of people from all walks of life, different nationalities, who are looking to stay active, push their limits, and always up for a challenge to be better, competitive without losing sight of how to have fun, as well as introducing others to the sport of Dragon Boat Racing.

Dragon Boat training develops core strength, endurance, coordination and team spirit. Training sessions are essential for paddling development. There is a reason we have the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” Paddling, like most things in life, doesn’t improve without practice. Training is what takes us to a higher level.

Dragon Boat Training is held three times weekly on the Dubai Creek Yacht Club. Monday & Wednesday – 730PM and Friday – 530PM.

Land Training is held weekly in the Zaabel Park.  Fitness is an important aspect to Dragon Boating and is highly encouraged.

Safety is extremely important to the team and strive to meet all associate regulations. All practice sessions are conducted by an experienced coach and new members are given a safety briefing before going out on the water.

What to bring?  One of the most frequent questions asked. So, what should you wear/ bring to Dragon Boat? Clothes you don’t mind getting wet, flip flop or water shoes and bottle of water.

Dragon Warriors Dubai are now eyeing the October 27-28, 2017 Dragon Boat Competition in Abu Dhabi and December 8 – 9, 2017 Dubai Marina Dragon Boat Race, where they will go up against 30 veteran teams at the waters off Shangri-La Hotel and Dubai Marina.

Experience it for yourself! Come and paddle with Dragon Warriors Dubai. The team’s goal is to provide a competitive atmosphere through hard work and commitment while keeping the environment fun.

If you are interested, please contact +97152963960 / +971503119331 for additional information.

Make a connection. Interact with DWD through social media.

Facebook :  facebook.com/dragonwarriorsdubai
Twitter : @dragon_warriors_dxb
Instagram : @dragon_warriors_dxb
Website : http://www.dragonwarriorsdubai.com/

Thursday, August 24, 2017

THIRTY-FOUR LIFE LESSONS


It was my 34th birthday yesterday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ME!  As I look back at how fast time passes, I am surprised at how much can change in a matter of a year. I think we go through cycles of change, when the complete unanticipated tosses you off your stability, giving you the opportunity to reassess and make things right. This past year was one of those cycles for me and slowly but surely the pieces that were thrown up in the air are falling into place.
At a time of reflection, I’d like to share with you some of the things I have learned.
  1. Everyday should be a celebration of your life.
  2. Always be willing to admit that you don't have all the answers.
  3. Endings are just new beginnings in disguise. You may be uncomfortable with the uncertainty, but some of the best things in life are born from those times of being open to new opportunities.
  4. I know now when to distance myself.
  5. Learn to be patient.
  6. It really is never too late to be what you might have been.
  7. Once you feel you are avoided by someone, never disturb them again.
  8. You will have your heart broken, and you will survive.
  9. People you love will hurt you and disappoint you. Try to look beyond their mistakes and understand their intentions. Sometimes a friendship just needs time to breathe before it can flow again. And that’s okay, too.
  10. Learn to forgive.
  11. Love should never be complicated, but it is.
  12. Be selective of who you share your heart and body with.
  13. Take care of your body.
  14. Procrastination can sometimes be disastrous.
  15. Make that move you've been waiting to make. There's no need to be timid. If it's meant to be, it'll happen. If not, you saved yourself time.
  16. When it doesn’t work out with someone in the present, it’s because it’s meant to work out with someone else in the future.
  17. There are moments in life, when the heart is so full of emotion That if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like a pebble drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret, split on the ground like water, can never be gathered together.
  18. Learn to make peace with uncomfortable feelings.
  19. It takes so much inner strength and courage to make a decision to let somebody go, to set them free. I think it's one of the hardest things to do in life.
  20. It's okay to make mistakes but learn from it.
  21. A little bit of fun is okay. Try not to take life too seriously. Live your life. Laugh often. 
  22. If you work hard mainly to impress people, you will hardly find happiness from it. Work for yourself. Impress yourself. All is about you.
  23. If you have the power to make someone happy- do it. The world needs more of that.
  24. Money can’t buy happiness but Experience does.
  25. It’s okay not to be okay.
  26. Best conversations you will ever have, are the one without boundaries.
  27. You don’t take communication for granted.
  28. I’m better off without Facebook and Instagram.
  29. Less TV, more books.
  30. Never, ever stop learning.
  31. Love yourself more.
  32. Appreciate yourself more.
  33. Look for beauty in everything.
  34. Let God be the center of your life.


Monday, August 14, 2017

EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU


“Everything I Never Told You”  by  Celeste Ng was moving, beautiful, heart-breaking, and at times unbelievable, but yes, what you see with the Lee family, really does happen and their stories need to be told.

Celeste Ng is a masterful writer. Her words paint pictures of real people suffering from interesting problems that many readers will relate to. I was drawn into the lives of the five members of this family as if they were my own relatives. The best part of the book is the exquisite writing. The word pictures are stunning and revealing of the character of the people whose lives unfold in this wonderful novel.

The book starts off with the family’s daughter, Lydia, is declared dead (this is from the first sentence, so don’t worry, no spoiler) and her family deals with her death in different ways. Each of her family suffers some kind of identity crisis. Through flashbacks and multiple perspectives, each characters, reveal their motivations and the scars perpetrated on each of them as a result of feeling like outsiders in a world that doesn't accept biracial marriages. What Celeste Ng does so well is make the characters' revelations unfold like a mystery leading to wonder if Lydia was murdered, committed suicide, or had an accident.

This is a great read. There was a feeling of anticipation of what is felt to be good experience and will hold its readers captive from the first to last sentence.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

S U R A T


This is a post I've been itching to write from the time I got my own SURAT products, an advance birthday present from a friend. To my friend – I’m so sorry Thank you so much!, Maraming Maraming Salamat & Thank you for introducing  #SuratJournals. I was actually surprised with the care package that I received. The smell of genuine leather hit the moment I unwrapped the brown paper carrier, super-duper-excited-unboxing-moment – I just love the smell of leather. I myself am a great fan of leather: handmade leather, old school looking handmade and things with personal touch (touch of love)...

Skipping the backstories, I received a lot of things: a long wallet, two card holders (one that has two credit/business card slots and the other one has four), passport holder and my personal favorite is the “journal” (the flagship product of  #SuratJournals).  I have been a keen journaler (if there is such a word) ever since childhood, I’ve been interested in writing and sketching, so, receiving a journal as a gift is overwhelming. Again, Thank you! You know who you are. =P

The word “Surat” is used in Indonesian means  write, letter or mail (thanks to google translate, to Arum, too, an Indonesian friend of mine, Hahaha – I also asked and get the confirmation from the owner itself). So, it makes sense, right?! =)

#SuratJournals Artisan leather products, handmade in Philippines, creatively designed and owned by Kenneth Surat.

a look inside my journal...


The leather is incredibly soft and flexible. The covers have been beautifully done; they aren't roughly cut. Be that as it may, the leather is not over-finished but that totally didn't bother me (perfectly imperfect ika nga). It has an uneven and rustic look that I like, leaving some marks such as small scratches, spots, and blotches. The scrapes just added to the highly vintage feels.

The bindings along the spine were relatively secure, stitched with waxed thread and not cheaply done at all (kumbaga hindi basta-basta minadaling ginawa) though, there are some pages, hirap ako sulatan – maybe it’s just me. Each of those bindings is what holds the sections of paper together, inside. The strap used to wrap around the journal and close it up, just as soft and supple as the rest of the journal's outer shells.

The paper are made from finely crafted recycled paper. Old-style paper just like it was back in the old times, softer feel and easy to write on. It has four bundles of blank paper that were bound into it. I don’t know how many pages but one thing is for sure it’s not enuf for expressing your innermost thoughts and feelings to fill those blank pages.

This isn't just a leather products that you should be afraid to get scuffed or toss in your bag unprotected. It's going to look even better as it shows its age.

I'm fascinated and impressed. #SuratJournals makes excellent leather journals at a sensible price. It all comes down to whether the style fits your personal preference. Super thanks to Kenneth Surat for creating these gorgeous journals and the other products as well.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this review. I just love the products! Kenneth Surat, Alam mo na ha! Hahaha

OWN A #SuratJournals NOW =)

Receiving gift from someone is one of the best moment of life for everyone. It’s just kind of way to express our feelings. Act of gift giving inspires and admire to bring the friendship or closeness in relations. So, it’s only not important to receive a gift, but it’s also foremost fact that the person who gives the gift is important for us.

So, if you are looking for a special gift, for yourself, or a surprise to your friends or loved ones, then you're in the right place! #SuratJournals is a PERFECT GIFT. No Charrots!

Record all of your thoughts, ideas, sketches and travelogues in this handmade leather journal.

OWN A  #SuratJournals NOW!

If you need further information, please check and contact #SuratJournals , just click the links below , and he will be happy to help you further.



Thursday, July 27, 2017

E N Z O

First I would like to thank the person who is very special to me and always hold a special place in my heart by recommending this book, Thank you! When I have received the book, which I ordered from Borders Bookstore a month ago – the book cover caught my eye right away. It showed a dog peeking over the bottom on a blue background, with the title reading “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” I wasn’t quite sure how a dog and racing related to one another but — once I brought the novel up to the counter and walked out the door — I looked forward to finding out.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is a masterpiece of contemporary fiction. It makes you go through all the emotions in this book, from extreme sadness, to anger, to happiness and sometimes make you laugh out loud. It’s also a very tuff book to read if you have a dog because of all of the sad moments that really relate to you. There are so many real life things in this book such as cancer, lawsuits and just plain old friendships. It really makes you think about what is important in life and if one thing is worth losing over another.

that's our dog "Misty'
I loved this book; and I love the person recommended this book in fact I have to say, after finishing this book it was probably one of my favorites. I found it to be profoundly philosophical (also a very philosophical person), and deep. Yes, it had a dog as a narrator, but to me, that made it all the more charming. Through the perspective of a dog, Enzo, Garth Stein brilliantly reveals the beauty and cruelty of human life, the love within true friendship, the trials of an ever-changing family, and the wisdom that lies within car racing. I know nothing about racing, yet found the racing segments to be analogies related to real life, if one looked at them in that way. I never got bored with the racing segments.

I felt Enzo was a wonderful character, and felt the book was different. I have adapted many of the quotes to use in my own life.

My favorite is: "That which we manifest is before us." That quote is so true. "Your car goes where your eyes go" is just another way to say, "that which we manifest is before us." 

This quote actually comes from Denny’s time on the race track and becoming an excellent driver. He always talks about the significance of taking the car where the eyes go, being in the moment and positively not overthinking. While the quote is associated to racing, it’s more a reflection of life. It says that we are the creators of our own destiny, if we have the audacity to do so. That if we believe this and follow the lives we picture for ourselves, the fates that we dream of for ourselves will manifest before us. We are the controllers of our end result.

There are many more quotes I wish I could share with you, but I’ll let you discover them for yourself. Enzo, an amazing dog, but dog nonetheless, this old soul of a dog has much to teach us about being human. One thing is definitely for sure, though. You won’t regret picking up this book, and I guarantee you’ll have a hard time putting it down until the very end.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

S E C R E T S

It’s been a while since I started sharing a personal stuff and I kind of miss writing here online about it, after I’ve done loads reading or so I hope. What drives me to write again – something personal is my being the secret-keeper to some of my friends, mostly girls.

When I was on my freshman years, my classmates would always share their secret crushes, secret boyfriends, and some problems which they found me to be their confidante. Even when I was in university, some new friends did share the same thoughts, issues and secrets to me. I never complained or even criticized them. But what I realize, after hearing all their secrets, is the thought that not a secret did I hear that someone has a crush on me or someone liked me. I pitied myself but I keep on reminding myself not to because I consider it as a gift. It’s a gift to gain one's trust. It’s a gift to console someone who's in trouble by just listening and also give a piece of advice.

I never thought that after so many years of being their unpaid counselor/adviser, I still am consulted for the same topic. What differs is that some of my friends now are already married having an affair with other married men.

What a secret indeed.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

SING YOU HOME

 
Zoe Baxter and her husband, Max, desperately wanted a child, but couldn’t because of Max’s genetic problems. They started doing in vitro and three embryos were created. After several miscarriages, Zoe had finally become pregnant. She was very depressed when she found out that it was a stillbirth. Soon after, Max and Zoe divorced, as Max didn’t want Zoe to pressure him into trying for another baby. When Zoe met Vanessa, an openly lesbian, she was slowly pulled out of despair as their friendship accelerated into love. They married and Vanessa suggested that she could carry one of her embryos. Zoe agreed and she asked Max for the permission to give her the frozen embryos. But instead, Max, now a born-again Christian, sued her for the rights to these pre-born children.

In humanities, we were just learning about human rights and in this book, a lot of things surrounded gay-rights. No one should be discriminated against because of their race, and so of course no one should be discriminated against their sexual orientation. Your sexual orientation isn’t something you can choose, you are just born this way, so why is it that gays should have less rights than heterosexuals?

In the book, the Christians considered “engaging” in a homosexual lifestyle as a sin, and that they are not fit for marriage, for raising children, that they should not deserve these simple rights that everyone else have. No one will ever want to be a homosexual, and certainly will not “engage” in one’s lifestyle.

Why will anyone want to be gay, and be criticized and judged at when you are just going out for a walk, holding hands with your boyfriend. But that doesn’t make them a worse person, just like being heterosexual doesn’t make you a better person. They can still provide love for their children; they can still sustain a relationship.

Homosexuals are just the same as anyone else, and they have the right to happiness, they have the right to express their feelings, they have the right to a family.

Even though our society is slowly accepting homosexuals, there’s still a lot of discrimination relating to sexual orientations. We need to try and open up our minds toward the things that are different from the norm. Just like what the book says, “You can’t choose who you love.”

Monday, July 17, 2017

S I N G L E

Enough about books, let's talk about me, something personal, about singleness.

I wonder if I am meant to be with someone I can share the rest of my life with. I kept myself busy with work-reading-exercise. I forgot to date even though someone asks me to. I become oblivious of the fact that I desperately need someone to hold hands with. I can’t remember the last time I kissed or have been kissed. Charrot! My mother constantly urge me to have a baby or to get married, though she knows what my preference is. She has never really dealt with or spoken about my sexuality.

How can I tell them that my chance of getting married is hanging at the edge of a cliff?

Later I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, and those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love, well, that’s just fabulous. Thank you for that quote, Carrie!

However, part of me has always felt that life has no real meaning until you get to share it with somebody. Maybe that’s what I’m afraid of: my life finally taking meaning or suddenly becoming void of it.

Maybe I’ll share my life with somebody… maybe not.

But the truth is when I think back of my loneliest moments, there was usually somebody sitting there next to me.

Why you are so elusive?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

K A L A N I T H I

Paul Kalanithi When Breath Becomes Air was possibly one of the most profound and heart-breaking autobiographies I have read.

Talking about death, reading about dying, writing about it, is not easy.  As a doctor, Paul Kalanithi was confronted with death constantly, and reading his narrative history are jarring; the cases he’s dealt with are at times disturbing. The man is a saint for doing what he did for so many years. He’s the doctor you’d wish you could have when, or if, you need it.

Through this book Paul Kalanithi proves that he is more than just a talented surgeon. He is an exceptionally talented writer. His words are deep, philosophical, and penetrating, showing the world from his perspective in a way that is full of honesty and perplexity. He spent his life searching for a deeper meaning, both figuratively and literally, through the study of scripture and literature and the study and practice of medicine.

“I was driven less by achievement than by trying to understand, in earnest: What makes human life meaningful? I still felt literature provided the best account of the life of the mind, while neuroscience laid down the most elegant rules of the brain” 

This is a powerful and moving book but is not for the squeamish. He writes reliably about his time as a medical student, and later as a neurosurgeon. He tells about the first cadaver he ever worked on, the studying of organs. He describes what was left inside the stomachs of those who died before their last meals, pills, were digested. He says that many medical students change their course of study by about their fourth year of medical school, would rather to work in lifestyle areas such as radiology. But Paul Kalanithi chose neurosurgery. 


Death is unavoidable, but when will we die?

With no way of knowing how much time he had left, Paul Kalanithi was at a loss for how to spend what very valuable time he had. His doctors had no way of providing him a solid time frame because it was impossible to determine how his cancer would change with various treatment plans. His wife Lucy had recently given birth to their daughter, who brought new life and happiness to their lives and the lives of their families.

Paul Kalanithi eventually spent his last days in writing. Once they learned that his cancer had spread to his brain, it was all a matter of writing as much as he could as fast as he could while he still kept the mental clarity to do so.

“This book carries the urgency of racing against time, of having important things to say. Paul confronted death – examined it, wrestled with it, accepted it – as a physician and a patient. He wanted to help people understand death and face their mortality. Dying in one’s fourth decade is unusual now, but dying is not”

Death is not, in fact, unusual. It is the abruptness of being faced with it when we least expect it that is hardest to understand. And yet, Paul Kalanithi faced his death with strength.

Paul Kalanithi has given so much of himself in this book, he’s encouraged us to live meaningfully, and that we can effectively conquer the fear of death. There is nothing that can surmise this memoir better than his words himself.



Read More Reviews:

My Name is Lucy Barton - Elizabeth Strout
My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
House Rules - Jodi Picoult

Thursday, July 13, 2017

LUCY BARTON

I just finished reading My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – yesterday, which had only taken me about three hours ( I am not a skimmer, but a careful reader). Second book for this month – July.

I think My Name is Lucy Barton is not a novel  –  that was short, but rather a short story that was long. I was like wish-there-was-more-story-to-tell, but Elizabeth Strout creates a unified story – about love: about the complicated, complex love between a mother-daughter relationship. Sparse, grows on one as you read, but it is perfect for Lucy, who struggles to speak the unspeakable, both aloud and in her writing.

Lonely was the first flavor I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, reminding me.

Lucy carries a deep loneliness throughout life. A loneliness that stems from a childhood in a home where poverty was so fundamental that it overshadowed both love and goodness.

Can you call such a family dysfunctional?

The extent to which one can give their children a safe and loving childhood – full of joy – when the threat of hunger and homelessness are banging on the door every night?

To what extent affect our childhood, our choices later in life?

Brilliant storytelling. Lucy delivers a personal and refreshing narration. The language is beautiful. The story is infused with suggestive and aptly remarks about life and the relationship between humans themselves.

I have mixed emotions in recommending this book. I don’t know.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

MY SISTER'S KEEPER

I think cancer has affected us all – one way or another.

My mother is a cancer survivor. My father was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2013. We took him to treatment but he was at stage 4, so it was nearly impossible to get rid of the cancer. My father died December 12th 2014. He was 65.

I'll never forget that day. I basically saw my father take his last breath in front of me, holding his right hand and within seconds, he was gone. He died in his own bed, I was sitting beside him – alone. Watching someone you love suffer – die is not just painful. It takes everything out of you.  I thought My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult would be an interesting book that I could connect to personally.

Intense. My Sister’s Keeper is a poignant, thought-provoking, heart breaking and a compelling story about the Fitzgerald’s family. Kate has been diagnosed with leukemia at a young age. Her younger sister, Anna, was designed to be a perfect genetic match for Kate, and has been through numerous medical procedures as Kate’s donor to keep her alive. The story kicks off with a nice dramatic lawsuit, in which Anna files for medical emancipation against her parents.

No, I won’t spoil the whole story or the ending for you.

I’m flabbergasted with how this book is written. I feel a stirring of curiosity and I literally can't put it down! I've been reading it every spare second I have! Most of the chapters have a cliffhanger-ending, which makes me want to continue to read and read. It conveys the emotions of any family dealing with cancer, which is something I can simply relate to, which makes it even more interesting for me.

All the characters in the book are doing some soul-searching. Jodi Picoult has allowed the reader to read the six main character’s thoughts and feelings about every situation and predicament that comes their way.

One of my favorite characters was Jesse – wanting to live his own life – away from family drama. I adored his happy-go-lucky-troubled, I-don’t-care-if-I-get-in-trouble attitude. Although Jesse didn’t follow the right road in life, still, he cared deeply for his two sisters.

I also enjoyed the character of Campbell, the lawyer Anna hires. There was a great sense of mystery – intriguingly as he never told the real reason why he has a service dog. Plus, his relationship with Julia gave him more depth as a character.

At the end of the book, you realize that in life; there are no easy choices, or even right answers. There isn’t one person who can be judged for what they think is moral or ethical, or even justifiable. Sometimes you don’t know what the right thing is but as a mother, as a doctor and even as a sibling, you do what you think is right for you and for everyone else.

Through this novel, Jodi Picoult was not only able to capture all the emotions experienced by the characters but it speaks deep truths about life, family and selfless love.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

AMERICAN GODS

Neil Gaiman's American Gods This is one of those books that you simply cannot read in one sitting; there’s simply too many layers to take in, to think over, to enjoy it to the full.

It took me two months, almost, of reading to finally complete the book, not because I found anything undesirable, but because there was this assumption that somewhere, hidden in those pages, all the secrets of the universe waited to be discovered.

I know. It’s senseless to think a fictional tale about gods would hold the answers to everything, but that’s exactly how it felt at times. The work of a master wordsmith or… maybe the work of a guardian who holds the universe’s mysteries?

It’s hard to separate the two ideas when it comes to the author. Then again, perhaps the two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive.

This book, which traces on a variety of subjects, is possibly one of the greatest literary work of art of the modern era. It is relevant, contemporary, somewhat relatable, and it delves into the human mind on more than one occasion.

Yes, some may find the work difficult to understand, or struggle to see past the religious figures who grace the pages of American Gods, but there is something incredibly important about the story.

But American Gods isn’t for everyone. I guess.

Over all, it's an EPIC novel.

And I am so excited to watch the TV series adaptation of the book.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

DEAR AMR,

I know, I know how much life sucks right now.

Don’t overthink it. If it seems wrong, runaway. Your gut is usually right.
Except when it comes to sweets. Maybe resist some of those.

Promise to treasure your time.  Don’t fall in love with potential.

Don’t get too attached. They always leave eventually.
Don't force someone to make time for you. If they really want to, they will.
Don't waste your time with someone who only wants you around when it's convenient for them.

Know your self-worth, and move on if you must.

Remember that just because you want it, doesn’t mean it deserves to have you.
Be patient, but don’t procrastinate. Be hopeful, but not naive.
When it’s right, you’ll know. You don’t have to force it.

You are wonderful, strong, loved, smart and special. Always remember that.

I know things get tough, and I know you’re capable of so many great things.
I just hope you took the leap to get there.
I hope you still love yourself.
But most importantly, I hope you’re happy.

I know it sounds cliche. I just thought I would remind you.

Love,
AMR

Monday, June 5, 2017

What People See, and What They Don’t

People see what they want to see
and are blind to what they don’t.
Often I think what makes us men
is the capacity to make shallow judgments
without cognitive basis,
without ethics.

People hear what they think should be heard
and are deaf to opposing thoughts,
It is this trait that makes us cannibals,
to each others’ flesh.
without choice cuts,
without concern.

People touch only what they think they can,
and are abhorred by those they can’t.
I believe this makes us civilized.
calling those that conform
normal, and those that aren’t as ab-,
without consideration,
without fail.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

W A L K A W A Y

He cried. He is crying. He will cry.

Talking to himself during stressful moments became helpful. He would always recite his mantra to help him soothe his mood. "I am my own captain. I am my own captain." He also shared his thoughts with his pillows, who were so sympathetic that they let him punch them when he couldn't control his anger anymore. All of a sudden, he was alone in the world. And all the things he used to know, all the things he used to have, are now walking away from him. Those ungrateful things never looked back. They just walked away. 

He never wanted to be alone. It was like suicide to live his complicated life with only himself and lifeless plump pillows to talk to. He used to be the happiest person in the world, laughing over simple things and smiling every time he wakes up. He used to have that unique glow that was very contagious and he made everyone so cheerful. But now he was enveloped with gloom, sulking inside his room whenever he is idle. His world seemed to stop revolving, as if his orbit had a clot and he didn't know where to go anymore.

He told himself that it will all get better in time. Yes, he will wait for fresh wounds to heal again. And he will wait for his world to find a new orbit, a new solar system, a new galaxy. Will the things walk back to him again? He didn't care. He will wait for new things to come. And he will embrace these things with open arms. He will embrace them tight enough to keep them secure but loose enough for them to have their own space to grow. And if time comes that these new things wanted to walk away too, he was now ready to let go. There may be wounds, but old scars will make him stronger.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

M E M A

Today highlights on life's full circles: sometimes you end up right at that spot where you started.

How and why it all happened will perhaps remain to be a mystery, but the journey of "getting there" can only encourage us to press on, or just simply give up in defeat.

Life's choices is like the caveat  where the "promo is valid only while supplies last". And it did not last long enough for me.

Maybe next time.

“But there is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it's better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you're fighting for...”

True, but I think I have lost for good, my trust and faith in the goodness of man.

Strong words, but time and again, I hit a bump on the road because of wanting to do good, and worse I get criticized and penalized because I did "wrong".

Some people think I am an idealist and difficult but I am human too capable of anger, hurt, rage, as much as they have their own imperfections too (which actually caused the anger, hurt, rage).

My time amidst the solitude of the mountains and the sky is long overdue.

A month in the forest might help.


Or do a run like Forrest Gump (minus the ugly beard after coming out of his hiatus).

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

6-2-3

Life is full of surprises
And yet, we never notice
Our minds fly clueless
Not all memories we can regress

Rare, it is to happen
To have a glimpse of bliss
Its lack of certainty I have proven
Our destiny is God-laden

The moment I saw your face
I long and hoped for a kiss
For at perfection, I have gazed
Sooner or later we would leave this place

The smile you wear is everlasting
Its daintiness I’d surely miss
There’s no more room for asking
Happiness, it would surely bring

All of these, I've said
because I'm sure how true it is
That those which are not expected
Would always leave us elated...

Like you.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

S I K K A

Naglakad sya nang walang patutunguhan sa eskinitang madilim. Ang dingding ng eskinita ay magaspang, ang ibang parte ay may lumot, ang iba nama'y mga bakas ng mga papel na nkadikit dito dati. Hindi nya alam kung saan patungo ang eskinitang ito. Walang liwanag na naaaninag sa dulo nito. Wala ring ingay na naririnig sa paligid, mga yapak lamang ng kanyang paa at ang pagtibok ng puso nyang nag-aalinlangan. Sa kanyang paglingon, wala ring sumalubong sa kanyang paningin kundi kadiliman at kawalang pag-asa.

Habang dahan-dahan nyang tinatahak ang eskinita ay hinahaplos nya paminsan ang dingding. Kumaskas ang kanyang palad sa isang bahagi ng dingding na may mga nakausling bubog. Wala syang naramdamang sakit ngunit nang tingnan nya ang kanyang palad ay nakita nyang dumudugo ito. Napatigil sya sa paglalakad at tinitigan ang nagdudugong kamay. Pinisil nya ang palad at hinayaang tumulo ang dugo sa kanyang paa. Nang wala nang lumalabas ay pinahid nya na lang ang dugo sa kanyang damit.

Patuloy syang naglakad. May nakasalubong syang mga ipis at daga na tila iniiwasan sya. Sinubukan nyang apakan ang isang ipis at naramdaman nya talagang tumigil ito sa paggapang nang nakita ang anino ng paa nya. Parang pinaubaya na lang ng ipis sa paa ang kanyang kapalaran. Nang maapakan na ito nang tuluyan, tumalsik ang lamang-loob nito sa dagang noo'y kumakaripas ng takbo papalayo.
Wala syang naramdaman sa pag-apak nya ng ipis. Pinahid nya ang paa sa dingding para maalis ang mga natirang kalamnan ng ipis. Sa kanyang paglalakad, naramdaman nyang unti-unting umiinit ang sikat ng araw. Pinagpapawisan na sya nang maigi sa likod at mukha. Hinubad nya ang kanyang damit at pantalon at nakaramdam nang ginhawa. Ang pawis nya'y daliang natuyo at sya'y napangiti dahil dito.

Wala syang pakialam sa patutunguhan. Wala syang pakialam sa mga nkakasalubong. Wala syang pakialam kung ang eskinitang ito ay walang katapusan. Dahil sya ay hindi nakakaramdam ng sakit. At ang mga ipis, daga, at malamang kahit ano pang peste ay takot sa kanya. Hindi sya pinupuna nang kahit sino kahit sya'y naglalakad nang nakahubad. Ang panahon lamang ang kanyang kalaban ngunit madali na itong isipan ng solusyon.

Sa eskinitang ito, siya ay siya. Hindi nya alintana ang sinumang pipigil sa kanyang paglalakad. Masaya sana kung may kasabay syang maglakad, ngunit hindi rin sya magpapapigil sa kalungkutan ng pag-iisa. Siya ay patuloy na maglalakad, patuloy na gagawa ng kanyang landas.

Monday, April 10, 2017

13 REASONS WHY


#13ReasonsWhy Rape and suicide are heavy things for any TV series to tackle – and doubly so for any series that is aimed directly at teenagers. But, given the terrible toll that such crimes and tragedies continue to take on teenagers and the people around them, it can surely be argued that young people could benefit from being better informed about them.
  1. #13ReasonsWhy has 13 episodes and I just finished the whole season within the same day, as this is not a series one can easily let go.
  2. Thirteen Reasons Why is extremely tuff viewing at times.
  3. It has something to say about gender imbalances, the damaging power social media has over young people’s lives, and how behind every individuality or audacity is a fragile secret just waiting to be unearthed.
  4. I do have my share of bullying. Whether you're getting pushed around or someone spreads rumors and gossips about you, bullying is no fun at all.
  5. This series pointing out that we put attention on the wrong issues. We put blame in the wrong places. We put bandage on open wounds that aren’t healing and believe we have made a difference. We make suicide a social media thingy instead of figuring out how to stop it from actually happening.
  6. There’s something in this series that will have you remembering to your own unforgettable teenage days.
  7. Be aware and kind to people. You never know how big a part you play in their story.
  8. No matter how many people are around you or in your life, depression can still bring loneliness.
  9. Suicide should never be an option. Never.
  10. You are not alone.
  11. If you want to say something to someone, say it now. If you love someone, say it, say it loud before it’s too late.
  12. The final episode of the season leaves it open-ended in a way and made me think that a second season is definitely a possibility.
  13. This new TV series is worth a binge watch and offers many reasons to watch it.
See for yourself!

Monday, April 3, 2017

HOUSE RULES

My crush slash friend slash brother and soon-to-be recommends this book House Rules to read     to add some Jodi Picoult to my reading list. I just finished the book yesterday morning in total of 20-hours, of course not in one sitting. I make it a habit to read a few pages first thing in the morning, or read a chapter after lunch and at night before falling asleep.


So here's my thoughts about the book :

1.  Emotionally powerful from beginning to end, this novel looks at what it means to be different in our society, how a persons with disabilities affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way -- and fails those who don't.

2.  The book does have some great characterization because of its multiple perspectives and you do tend to get into the heads of the character.

3.  Cooking color-coded meals for an eighteen year old is the most cringe-worthy moment. I just can’t.

4.  Three rules that I cannot forget : Clean up your messes, Tell the truth and Take care of your brother.

5.  This was a great way to learn about Asperger's or  people with special needs if you don't know too much about it.

6.  Spoiler. The sexual and romantic relationship between Emma and Oliver.

7.  I remember my Mother in a character of Emma, a single parent who invests almost all of her time and energy trying to insure that her son has a chance to enjoy a fulfilling life.

8.  I almost did throw the book against the wall to get through the last few chapters.

9.  Power Rangers was mentioned in one chapter. Wala lang, Natuwa lang ako. He-he  :-)

10. Picoult used cliffhanger writing technique which the ending left you guessing about will happen, I don't know if she did the same thing to her other works but I love it. Stellar technique.


House Rules is tough to read at times     near to the end of the novel, I think it's good read and I highly recommend it.

In support for World Autism Awareness Month.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

THE CROWN

I really loved this TV series, so much so that I established a personal record of binge watched hours in a row for an entire series. This is an addition to my Binge-watching list. Yes, I am serial watcher (pun intended). Here's why :


  1. Claire Foy appears perfectly comfortable in her role as The Queen.
  2. The wedding and coronation.
  3. The script and cinematography.
  4. Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend's forbidden love.
  5. The hatred of the members of this family is pure fuel for my interest to the royal family.
  6. Decision making between love and loyalty.
  7. It really is never too late to learn something new (Episode 7)
  8. Embrace , welcome every moment and take charge (Episode 8)
  9. The Crown is certainly worthy of a watch.
  10. I can’t wait for Season 2!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

H A L O - H A L O

I'm just stressed over everything in my life.

I am so worried about everything.  

I just feel like I have so much on my shoulders.

I have come close to bursting out in tears a few times today.

I thought this would be a good place to talk.

I don't have many close friends where I live.

I don’t feel sharing it with my family.

I feel more comfortable sharing things here but not in detail though.

I just feel sad, depressed and worried.

I am totally stressed out.

Shit happens in life.

I want a halo-halo right now.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

WINDOW SEAT

I love window seat.

I love sitting on a window seat or in any means of transport and even at home. I love to look out the window and see what is below me or thinking over something of something. Yes, I love to contemplate. Intriguingly, I feel the same when I am walking alone in the street. Whatever thing that creates an impression of you moving at a reasonable pace where you can feel the sense of motion makes me feel this way.

Why? I believe the motion reminds us an evanescent universe. Nothing in the world is permanent. That things change. As you move forward, you get a sense of outside world being left behind. Our mind instantaneously correlates this to memories or anything we have left behind.


Memories are melancholy and quixotic.

Although that moment in the past was not-so-special, whenever you would recall about it, you would see it as being happier … more contented than it actually was. This is why we crave things from the past. We miss things.  By surrendering to such a craving we can visit our past, and re-live feelings that may bring their own special healing moment.

From those memories, we bound on to our rational sojourns exploring the meaning of life as we realize that everything is impermanent.

On air travel particularly, looking at the vast open vistas makes us realize how small we are.

It’s all a matter of relativity.

I find this phrase 'walk away from' to be rather appropriate. You are displacing air, you are making a new situation and something is changing. The minute we sense that we involve ourselves in change, is sometimes extraordinarily powerful.

But you know what, one time I was sitting on the bus, I was experiencing these sentiments, mulling over life philosophy and what-not.

BUT.

The whole feeling, is a bit uncomfortable.


I realized that if I am sitting backwards to the motion of the bus. 

I feel I was left behind.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A N I M E


How do I start this? Hmmm... I will make this as light and short as possible. Let's see if I can do that. Oh-kay! I am already 33 years old which I won't deny it. At this age? I am still a BIG fan of anime or any animated series/movies. An avid fan-fiction reader and an active participant in the world of fandom. YES that's the other side of ME aside from being EMO on this blog ...or maybe not?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

3 6 7 4 M I L E S

Sending a letter is the next best thing to showing up personally at someone’s door.

Ink from your pen touches the stationary,

your fingers touch the paper,

your saliva seals the envelope.

Something tangible from your world travels through machines and hands,

and deposits itself in another’s mailbox.

Your letter is then carried inside as an invited guest.

The paper that was sitting on your desk, now sits on another’s.

The recipient handles the paper that you handled.

Letters create a connection that modern, impersonal forms of communication will never approach.

I just did. 

Ten pages.

#snailmail

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

#LettingGo

I realize that letting go the person you love is proper.

Not because you're giving up on how you feel about a certain person.

It is sometimes just choosing to love that person from afar to save yourself from further pain.

#lettinggo
#charaught
#loveyourselfmore

Sunday, February 19, 2017

S T R E S S

These past few weeks has been very stressful as the one man team at work. It all started when my team-partner was fired last year. PG! Why are you doing this to me? #birolangpo  Yeah I know how lucky I am that all eyes are on me. 

So I’ve been doing all these things alone since he left ( my team partner ha! #defensivelang ) . Well ganoon naman talaga kapag naiwan ka mag-isa, napakahirap sa simula #hugot It was very hard at first but I am getting used to it day by day.  Nasasanay na din ako. #hugotulit
It isn't easy to stay positive through this, but I am trying to remain positive. Most of my co-workers are miserable. 

The good news is I am back on track with all my exercise routine this week. I was so tired the other day but I made myself get down on that floor and do my some exercises.

And my sleep has been horrible. I have laid awake trying to figure out some issues and not able to shut my mind off. Plus, I am getting weird dreams like me being escalated by the boss and all these shitty things about work. But I also had nice dreams, too, with that special person. That person who I haven't met yet. Actually palage sya sa panaginip ko... That's a good thing right? 

Life is tuff. 

But. 

There is always something to be grateful for.

Monday, February 13, 2017

#AppreciateYourselfMore

Since, I'll be spending this Hearts Day alone.

So what am I doing for myself this Valentine's Day?

I am celebrating ME.
Appreciating ME. Appreciating YOU.
I'll be doing whatever my inner wisdom
     tells me it needs this day to show LOVE for MYSELF .
And we all have to find something in life
     to be THANKFUL for every single day.

Happy Self-Love and Appreciation Day!

#LoveYourself
#LoveYourselfMore
#BeGratefulEveryday
#HappyValentines


Sunday, January 29, 2017

M.A.D.

It's like music to my ears.

Each sweet word that's spoken tells me how you feel.

Is this love I feel inside?

A gentle touch and then a kiss. I crave these things you know.

To be the one you wake up to and who watches you while you sleep.

Each time I hear your voice my heart skips a beat.

The tune it plays is meant for you.

Because each time I hear your voice it's music to my ears.

Monday, January 23, 2017

I Think I'm Falling...

Everyday I think of you.
Every morning I wake with you on my mind.
Every night I dream of you.
Time after time after time.
And I think I'm falling in love.

You once only thought of me as a friend.
Now I hope your thoughts of me will never end.
I wait for you to make you move.
I seem to wait so long.
I'll be here patiently waiting on.
And I think I'm falling in love.

At first the thought of love just made me cry.
Because I've been hurt before.
But I just can't resist these feelings anymore.

Because I think I'm falling in love.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Here I Am

we have our ups and downs.

sometimes strong, sometimes weak.

then there comes a point when we just have to break down and everyone doesn’t want to go there.

somehow staying focused is the key. not letting go of the child in us and get to see the better side.

all that I could think of for now is…

to make something that is failing become strong and successful again.

to make skin / hair look healthy again

to make someone feel healthy again.

thus, giving myself, someone… a new lease of life.