Everyone who had read the Harry Potter stories would know how whiny Ron Weasley could be when it comes to his second-hand items. Since the very beginning, it has been established how he hated being poor as this requires him to use hand-me-downs from his brothers. At one point, I even thought that maybe he considered being a girl because that way, he'll be able to use new ones and then hand it all down to Ginny eventually. 

Personally, I think his character is understandable though. Because just like Ron, I've constantly wallowed myself in pity because I don't usually have new books, uniforms, dresses, or toys. I know the feeling of being laughed at or mocked or left behind because I don't have anything new to flaunt in school. My family, like the Weasleys, is a struggling one so there's nothing much I could do about it. It was painful - especially for a young teenager. 

But as I got older, I have realized that there are so many Ronald Weasleys in the world. A lot of teenagers would feel the exact frustration and disappointment Ron and I felt. Honestly, it's now comforting to realize that we're not the only ones in the boat; but of course, the memories just won't fade...

...until I have come to fully understand that some had it worst. 

I was riding on a jeepney to work several years ago. Since the traffic was heavy, the vehicle I was riding on had to stop for a few minutes. To combat the boredom, I looked out the window like I usually do. There was nothing to look at until a scavenger passed by. 

For the lack of better words, the man was dirty. He was barefooted, and was carrying a sack of what seemed to be junks. He was walking eagerly as he puffed his cigarette. 

Suddenly, he flicked the cigarette away and bent to pick another half-consumed stick off the dirty sidewalk. Then he began puffing it like it was his all along. And with a smug smile on his face that basically showed his version of contentment, he rushed away from the jeepney I was in. I could tell he was delighted to have found another one to replace his cigarette. It was as if he found another lifeline.

Imagine the prick in my heart when I saw him walk away. It felt disturbing to see someone be in such state. It's like he's in a second-hand world, living a second-hand life. 

I feel embarrassed remembering how stupid I was, whining over the simplest things. But I think I've grown past being the female version of Ron already. Remembering that incident, I think I have fully understood how I managed to accept my past of having to cope up with second-hand items. The incident basically taught me to be very grateful. The catch there is I got to go to school and now has a decent-paying job. That man obviously couldn't, and had to struggle picking up junks (perhaps) to sell, and half-consumed cigarettes to puff. 

To be honest, I was already lucky; and now, I'm appreciating that luck more than ever. What I used to before eventually led me to becoming thrifty somehow. Well, I do spend a lot but I make sure that I do not splurge. I get new items, but would still prefer second hand ones if possible. I was taught how to be practical by my experiences. I think that's the best thing about it. 

You see, life is tough; and you do not make it easier just by getting the best and newest material things. Sometimes, we just have to content ourselves with what's given to us rather than whine and go berserk because we cannot flaunt. Because at the end of each day, it is still way more preferable to have hand-me-downs, than a second-hand life. 

Free Cute Korean Fonts!

I know how difficult it is to find really cute Korean fonts in the internet. I mean, most of us are stuck with what Google (in English) could provide us with; so I decided to look through Naver and was eventually led to this site.

From there, you can download wonderful fonts like the ones shown in the picture above. All you have to do is to click on the DOWNLOAD button (the one with the down arrow)!

Enjoy guys!!!
(and oh, yes, I LOVE SUPER JUNIOR! ㅋㅋ)

I do not own the fonts. I just saw it on Naver and shared it. ^^

C&E Holidays: A Pioneer in Singapore Tourism

Singapore is definitely one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. Every year, millions and millions of travelers from all over the world come to this small nation to explore the unique beauty that it exhibits - a beauty that is intelligently formed by numerous attractions that appeal to people of all ages. 

However, it is not just the Singapore Tourism Board (and the rest of the government) that is responsible for the boosting of this industry. The travel agencies in the said country are also part of the successful ordeal.

Basically, the most famous thing that travel agencies in Singapore do is that they arrange trips for people who wish to travel to another city. You might raise your eyebrow and ask how that helps when they are actually contributing to other country's industry; but you see, traveling is a give and take process. The more they send to other cities, the more they attract to come to Singapore.

And among the many travel agencies which has been playing this important role in the tourism industry of Singapore is C&E Holidays Pte. Ltd. 

C&E Holidays, Pte. Ltd.

C&E Holidays is a renowned travel agency which has been in the business for more than 40 years already. During that span of time, it has created a reputation among the public as an efficient and trustworthy traveling partner. With this kind of background, the company has already established a good professional relationship with different major airline and hotel companies in different cities around the world - thereby assuring the clients of spectacular flying and lodging experiences.

The company is a proud member of the prestigious National Association of Travel Agents Singapore and the International Air Transport Association. Its operation is duly authorized by the Singapore Tourism Board so travelers can rest assured that transactions are not scams.

C&E Holidays has partners from all over the world. Thus, I think it is safe to say that sometimes, they also act as a redistributor of a traveling package. For example, their partners in South Korea design the itinerary which C&E Holidays will make available to Singaporeans. This simplifies the whole ordeal; because instead of transacting directly with the South Korean travel agency, people can just rest assured that C&E Holidays is doing the job for them.

This does not mean that travelers just have to follow the itinerary though. As customers, they are given the chance to express how they want their itineraries to be. Like for instance, they could choose where they want to stay during their trip in Seoul. Options are provided.

Being in the industry for more than four decades already, C&E Holidays has mastered the art of adapting to the fast-changing times; and as technology advances to the travel industry, the company has successfully kept up by launching AirTicketonSale and HotelsinAsia.

In Love: The 70/30 Principle

There's something very important which I remembered last night. It was the 70/30 Principle which I think I have forgotten for a while, due to this whole ordeal of feeling desperately in love with someone. Funny how I always impart it to others yet I would be the first to forget it when it's greatly needed. It is very stupid of me, I know; but I think I'm beginning to re-understand it. 

To those who don't know, the 70/30 Principle is the division of love you give to yourself and to your loved one. 70% should be yours and the other 30% shall be intended for others. This was taught to me by a really, really good friend and brother who I haven't met in a long time already. I know he's gonna be proud of me when he knew that among the many things he imparted with me, something this important is retained in my memory. 

I know that my principle could raise eyebrows. Others will deem it selfish but I believe it's just the right thing. It is based on the big question: "If you don't love yourself, how can you ever love others?" I mean, what could we give if we don't have anything to share, right?

I want to borrow Sir Bo Sanchez' idea of a love tank. He said that unless our love tanks are filled first, we would certainly not be able to fill others'; because as how I see it, people could only share when they have enough for themselves. 

No, that's not selfishness. I'm stating a fact here. And if you think that that 30% is too little, think again. That small percentage could actually equate to 70%, or even 100%! Then, the 70% which you are supposed to allot for yourself will, of course, mean more. 

My friends, don't think that that's impossible; because that blood-pumping organ in your chest - despite being just the size of your fist - could actually give room to the whole world, if you just let it.

Like how Stephen Chbosky wrote in the Perks of Being a Wallflower had said, we are infinite. We, as human beings who are capable of handling emotions, can actually handle much, much more than what we think we can; and provide others with so much. It's just a matter of how we do it. 

So going back to the real topic, I found it relieving that I got reminded of this principle. For a moment, I've lost myself on the thought of romance. I was just so eager to have the love of my life that I forgot that even to him, the most important thing is that I learn to love myself first. 

This is indeed an important thing to realize and I wish everybody who are in the same position as I am now would have this thought imbued in their hearts. Remember, if we don't love ourselves first before we love others, our love will be demanding. We would require our loved one to compensate so our love tanks would be filled and we would feel complete. In the end, we'll just be burdens to them; and that's not how love goes exactly. 

Love is selflessness and that's the main point of the 70/30 principle; and I'm glad that I remembered that. I realized that all these dramas should go now. I've had enough already and it's about time that I pay attention to myself more again.

So does this mean I'm letting go? Perhaps, I am. Or maybe I'm just moving on? I really don't know yet. I haven't decided. I can't decide. I'm nowhere near ready; but I'm this close (-) to giving up. Nonetheless, yes, I have to figure out first what to do with my own love tank and fill it with so much love so that I would not demand for anything back; and could just concentrate on providing unconditional love to people who deserve it. 

And if fate allows, I'm gonna go back to him as soon as my love tank gets filled and share with him everything I can - without expecting anything in return, without making him feel obliged that he should reciprocate. 

Someday, I'll be able to make him feel what true love is. But for the mean time, it's the 70/30 Principle first. It has to be me, first. 

Forgiveness and Maturity

It is not a secret that despite the fact that we need to keep a childlike heart, it is entirely necessary that we push ourselves toward full maturity. As human beings, it is a must that we learn to grow - and become the people who we should be.

However, it is a given fact that the pursuit to totally understanding everything takes a lot of time. Sometimes, it takes even a whole lifetime; and when we realize it, it's too late. That is why it is a great blessing that I've finally proven myself that I am now on my way to there.

What transpired earlier today brought me into a deep realization. After being repeatedly cursed and blamed for something we didn't do by a 25-year-old drunkard 'engineer', I know it's human nature to feel very furious. But surprise, I actually felt disappointment and pity.

Only now did I realize how ironic some people can be. Certainly, a college degree doesn't assure someone's maturity. Sometimes (along with money), it actually contributes to the formation of a figurative hydrocephalus which would basically ruin everything else. Clearly, education is not always a panacea. What happened to us this morning is definitely a proof that maturity is not really learnt from school. It depends on how well you were raised and is entirely dependent on the kind of community you grew in.

I tried to settle things with the 'psychologist/teacher' who is the elder sister of the 'engineer'. I sent her a message asking if we could meet to talk things through but my invitation was turned down. She remarked that I should actually settle things within myself first and apply the teachings I learned from serving the church. She told me that there are things that I do which I thought were right, but were actually wrong. 

No offense meant here. But I really think that for a psychologist, she's pretty ironic. I wonder why she didn't realize that the reason why I reached out is because I'm actually applying the things I've learned in church. I told him I've forgiven her and her family already, and I honestly mean it. I have apologized for my mistakes and faults, and never waited for her to return the favor. 

I'm not blogging about the incident to boast. It's just that I feel proud and quite better that I know I'm on my way to spiritual and emotional maturity; and I hope that the few people who would take time to read this would realize how important those two things are for a person. Even if you're not a Catholic, this still applies.

There are really a lot of things which happen that could lead us to feeling angered and frustrated. Sometimes, towards others; most times, towards our own selves. But we would reach one point in our lives when we would feel mandated by a strong urge to just settle things and ask for people's forgiveness. It would take time - definitely take time - to be forgiven and to forgive.

But I tell you, it's gonna be worth it.

At the moment, I feel so at peace. Even though my efforts had gone futile and my parents are going to take action on the matter, the important thing now is that I have extended my desire to patch things up. So what if it has gone one-way? So what if they didn't understand? 

What matters now is that I have proven myself that I am on my way to maturity. With that, I'm authentically happy.

Of Coloring Books and the People Today

A few days ago, I was strolling around the mall looking for nice gifts to give my godchildren for Christmas when I saw a Harry Potter coloring book at Precious Pages. Instantly, I bought it - along with a 16-piece Crayola set - and knew that it would be the best and most meaningful gift I could give someone.

And of course, I've known already to whom I wanna give that set. 

So that night, I met up with my friend and gave him the coloring book. I decided to surprise him because I want to see his real reactions; and when he opened it, I knew instantly that my thoughts were right.

He didn't appreciate it. 

I'm not hurt or anything. I've expected that. For a while, I've wondered how stupid of me to hope that a 22-year-old professional would appreciate the very childish present. But then, he said 'thank you' and that was fine with me. 

Nonetheless, I sent him a message that night to explain why I did that. I told him that I want to see him go back to being a child because it's too tiring to try to understand why some people always have to be matured and upright. Apparently, he got my point and replied. He said he was really tongue-tied when he opened it up because he no longer knows what to do with a coloring book. He called me thoughtful and generous too. 

I think that's enough to compensate. 

Honestly, it was an impulsive decision that was triggered by the fact that all these efforts to prove that I'm all grown-up now are exhausting me. Seeing people require themselves to be always like that is as tiring. You see, life needs not to be taken seriously but some people just won't accept that. They constantly tell themselves that they're enjoying (and they know how) but in the end, they still can't... Why? Because they're afraid of going back to being a child. And that's like forbidding oneself to breathe. It's not right. 

What people should understand is that every once in a while, we all have to go back to who we were when were toddlers or teenagers. Every once in a while, we have to let go of all the pressures adulthood is dumping on us. 

The coloring set had much more meaning in it, actually. You see, it conveys the message that it's fine to live in simplicity. If you give that to a kid, you'll get to see how their eyes sparkle with interest and appreciation. Their smiles would be authentic because to them, the coloring set is already an extravagant gift. That's what we all should learn to go back to - the days when we we still think that coloring books and a 16-piece Crayola set were the best things life has to offer. 

Another thing is that I hope that people understand that just like how we did in coloring those images back when we were young, it's okay to make a mistake and slip past the boundary line. I mean, it's fine to be messy sometimes. It's fun to break the rules and just be free. 

You see, life is already difficult so why do we need to make it more difficult, right? We need to breathe. We need to relax. And I know that coloring books would help us with that. 

Incidentally, as I was writing this blog, I remember Bo Sanchez's book: Take Delight on the Simplest Things. There, he wrote about his honeymoon gift to his wife - a few pieces of coloring books and a 64-piece Crayola set. I guess his preaching was really that influential that I have managed to do the same thing (although not as a honeymoon gift!) unconsciously. 

LATE POST: Happy Feast Day, Nuestra Señor Padre San Francisco de Asis

For many people, October 4th was an ordinary Thursday. But for us, who serve at the Parish of St. Francis of Assisi in Meycauayan City, it was definitely one of the most important days in our lives as Catholics. We even filed our leaves off work for this day, and some students I know had to be absent from their classes. Why? It was the feast day of our dear patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi. 

I was lucky enough to be picked as the official photographer of the events. So excuse me if I don't detail the life of St. Francis here or the history of the parish. I intend to detail on this blog everything I could remember from that hectic yet definitely fulfilling celebration.

Lakbayan 2012

Basically, the celebration began on September 22 (Saturday) when the Parish Commission on Youth - together with different church and community organizations - held the Lakbayan. It is the traditional retrieval of the Cross of Toril from Bahay Pari (then Sitio Toril). This commemorates the birth of Catholicism in our town as - as history recounts - the first parish was actually established in the said place before it was transferred to its present location in Poblacion. 
As what we have been doing for ten years already, there was a motorcade to parade the cross for all the people to see. As soon as the cross reached the church, it was venerated at the altar, and a mass was held. Afterwards, a Taizé prayer led by the PCY happened at the Multi-Purpose Hall. 

D-Day: Happy Fiesta, St. Francis!

My day started early on that morning of October 4th. I got to church at around 6:30AM and the others were there already. Kuya Marvin (one of the main organizers) was already there, together with other involved personalities.

At 6:45AM, Most Reverend Bishop Emeritus Cirilo Almario, D.D. arrived at the sacristy, assisted by Luis Francis Tan. He officiated the 7AM mass, which was concelebrated by Msgr. Epitacio Castro (Parish Priest of St. Francis of Assisi Parish), Fr. Romi Sasi, and Fr. Ulysses Reyes.

Well, I really wasn't able to concentrate on this mass because I had to run to everywhere to take pictures and videos. Tina, my friend who assisted me, was late so I had to carry out two responsibilities for a time. Nonetheless, it was a good experience. She arrived in time for the liturgical readings so it was good. 

Anyway, I had to mention here that the choir for the 7AM mass was the Marian Music Ministry from St. Mary's College of Meycauayan. It is headed by Robby dela Vega, a good friend who helped much in the preparations for the feast. 

San Agustin Church and Museum

photo from Wikipedia
If there is one place in Manila that I will forever hail for the glorious history it holds, it will be the San Agustin Church. Located within the celebrated walls of Intramuros, this notable structure has been a huge part of the past that honed the Philippines into what it is now.

History Retold

Frankly speaking, the history of the church structure kind of reminds me about the story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf. The present San Agustin Church is actually the third one to be erected. The first was made of nipa and bamboo in 1571. The second was made of wood. Both were destroyed by fire. So in 1586, the Augustinians decided to rebuild the church – plus the monastery - using adobe stones which came from Meycauayan, Binangonan, and San Mateo (Rizal). It’s basically thrilling to know that my hometown contributed to the construction of this historic place. Though it took quite a long time to finish, it opened its doors to the religious public on January 19, 1607 under the name St. Paul of Manila.

photo from Wikipedia
Designed by Juan Macías, the church has withstood a series of strong earthquakes which hit Manila on the late 19th century. Thanks to its elliptical foundation, San Agustin Church was the only structure that remained standing in the area that time, although the left bell tower had to be removed due to severe damages. 

Basically, San Agustin Church is more than just a religious site. It has also served as a witness to the dark days of the Philippines during the war era. During the Japanese occupation, it has ironically became a concentration camp where prisoners of war (mostly residents of Intramuros) were imprisoned and were later on killed by the Japanese forces.

Meycauayan Bells: A Piece of an Invaluable History

A hundred and thirteen years ago, American troops took these bells as war booty from the church of Parish of St. Francis of Assisi. A hundred and thirteen years later, it has found its way back home. 

Journey Back Home

Tagged as the "Meycauayan Bells", this piece of artifact was retrieved in Omaha, Nebraska, USA on July 2011. It was found by archivist Monte Kniffen of the Sisters of Mercy. It is believed that it was taken care of by the Sisters of Mercy in Red Bluff, California. According to the archivist, it is possible that a family or a small museum administration have turned it over to the convent after realizing that it was church bells.*

It was then given by Sisters of Mercy Midwest Community USA President Sister Judith Frikker, RSM to Philippine Consul General to Chicago Leo M. Herrera-Lim on October 2011.*

Later on, it was turned over to the National Museum. And then on August 6, 2012, it was turned over to the Diocese of Malolos, where it will be kept as a major part of the diocese's history. It could have stayed with the parish in Meycauayan but since we don't have a museum here, it has been decided that it will be kept in Malolos.

Turn-over of the Meycauayan Bells to the Diocese of Malolos
August 6, 2012 | Jubilee for Clergy
(photo by Marvin Dalag)
But of course, it has to be taken back to where it originally came from. Thus, it will be displayed at the Parish of St. Francis of Assisi until October 4, 201, feast of St. Francis of Assisi. 

Meycauayan Bells

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the artifact is approximately 10 inches in length and about 3.5 inches in width. Having seen it up-close, I personally think the measurement fits. It is quite heavy for a typical handbell used in masses and I think it's because of the thick wood where the bells are attached. 

As seen on the photo, it comes with a parchment that contains the inscription:

"Taken from the church at MEYCAUAYAN, Luczon (sic) Islands after bombardment by Utah Battery March 29, 1899. By P.O. Thomas, Co. A Battalion of Engineers."

Kuya Marvin and I thought that it could have originally been a part of a bell wheel, but Fr. Uly pointed out that the cut on the sides of the wood were fine so it is quite impossible that it was a part of a bigger artifact. Also, he pointed out that if the bells were taken on 1899, it is definitely older than what we all believe it is. For all we know, it could be as old as our parish (more than 400 years old!)

The fact that the bells are very historic amuses me; but what fascinates me more is its sound. It creates a kind of ringing sound that gives me goosebumps (and I am not exaggerating). It resonates like the Señor San Jose bell on the tower. It was beautiful to listen to.

Valuable Motivation

After seeing the bell and then talking to Kuya Marvin, Kuya Ron-Ron and Kuya Robby, I found greater motivation to discover the history of my town and my parish; and to be part of the group which aims to take care of the great stories that hones the Parish of St. Francis of Assisi and the town (now city) of Meycauayan into what it should really be. 

I wish that like the Meycauayan Bells, the glory that this wonderful place deserves comes back home too... soon.

*Taken from
image source:

[BOOK REVIEW] 50 Shades Freed by E.L. James

Okay. So this is the final review for the trilogy and I hope I would be allowed to be very honest here.

Negative first. 

The story was a little draggy to me, that I had to skip some parts on the beginning until almost 60% of the book (or maybe I was just sleepy when I read it?) and then when things just get riled up and the climax is finally on, things got rushed. 

I hate it when that happens. But I cannot blame the author. Perhaps, it's the fact that there are many questions raised during the first two books that everything had to be done that way; but personally, I could say that that 60% could have been cut into half and then add the 30% taken to the remaining 40%, then make the story much, much more enticing and detailed. 

And perhaps, (OOPS SPOILER HERE!) I was just too inclined with stories where the heroine had to be severely battered and not just kicked on the rib, that I really would have loved it more if Anastasia had to battle it out so she could have displayed more things she had learned from Ray, the ex-army stepfather. 

That's it.. for the downside. 

Despite the minimal flaws I saw, 50 Shades of Freed was really a good story. It did answer questions. It did sufficed me with reasons why things happened in the first two books. I really liked the fact that Anastasia remained to be the brave young girl who fought for herself, for her family and for the people she loved. We are already in an advanced world where chauvinism (excuse me if I exaggerated with the term) may also be expected from women, and this book had added to the list of the stories which prove that. Gender equality! Girl Power! Yeah!

And I think I have to admit that I actually cried during the part where Ana was saying goodbye to Christian over the phone at the bank. I also cried during the confrontation when Christian was being a ridiculous, idiotic, and selfish bastard for not accepting his son easily. My thing for rejection kicked in and the waterworks came. When that happened, I knew that I loved the story more than I thought I did.

Although it was really rushed, I really loved the 'bedtime story'. It's good that the author found a nice way to tell Christian's history (which I was dying to know). I felt like it was a breather. You know, most times they're in bed, they're just having sex; so it's something new that they really just laid on the bed, talk about things and gear themselves up for a new future that awaits. I guess I have to thank the incident and Christian's self control for that matter. HAHA!

At the end, there was an epilogue that dates to 2014. Okay, so that's two years from now and Ted's born already, Christian's enjoying the life of a father, and Ana's pregnant with another kid. Like one blog had said, it's a happily ever after, and I think I liked it just like that. 

Then, there's Christian's short story as a child. It may seem boring at first but I loved that part. You know, Christmas is like a a symbol of redemption. You get to enjoy the season only if you are truly happy or - at least - when you know that you should be happy. Christmas is a time for kids, and Christian - celebrating his first Christmas with the Greys - is like a refreshing memory to always remember. It signifies that Christian was finally a child - free from all sorts of pains and horrible experiences.

The last bonus material was my favorite. It's a whole new perspective. Like Midnight Sun of the Twilight Saga. It's a quick trip through Christian's mind, and I would love to read that. The 50 Shades Trilogy was written on Ana's point of view, as we all know. 

Argh. I really want that part to be turned into another trilogy because I want to read it as much as I want to read Midnight Sun. 

So yeah, 50 Shades Trilogy was a very interesting read (obscene scenes included!) and to people, it's more than just the sex. Some friends tagged it as the 'porn book' but skip all those details and the story is still good.

Take time to read it, people. :)

P.S. I'm not joking nor exaggerating; but most times I intend to type 'CHRISTIAN' in this post, I end up typing 'JAMES'...............................................................

My Bipolarity and the Sanctity of Words

I just don't get it how easy people can change. Are good relationships really as evanescent as it can be? Is there really a supposed time frame for people's good attitudes? Are people really not that strong enough to maintain the dignity they have as human beings, and resist the urge to be monsters?

I am bipolar. My moods are unpredictable. One minute, I'm happy. The other, I'm fucked up. There is totally no way to tell my next move, the next emotion I will feel. Sometimes, I annoy people. Most times, I annoy people. That's just the way it is.

But despite my intense bipolarity, I feel so proud to assure you that I am sensitive - extremely at that. It could come off negatively, but I try hard to use it for the positive things. Often, I use it to detect how others feel, so I may know how to deal with them properly.

One truth about me is that I'm uncontrollably tactless. My mouth is an Armalite once it begins. I am overflowing with opinions as my thoughts are incessant when I'm in rage. There's no stopping.

And because of that, I hurt many people in the past; and until now, I feel guilty for all that happened. I tried to apologize and reach out, and work hard on changing myself. I have promised not to use words again to hurt others. Because learning it the hard way, I know how deep it cuts - because I've been wounded by it a lot.

Words are indeed powerful. It make or break people. 

Some told me before that the words will only affect you, depending on how you perceive its meaning. I think it's from the theory of Symbolic Interactionism of George Herbert Mead which informed me that. It says the meaning of things derive from the kind of interaction a person has with the society. So if I understand it correctly, a simple 'NO' to someone who had been exposed to a lot of rejection in the past could be a little dreadful, if compared to a 'NO' said to someone who had been treated fairly well by life.

Realizing all these things, I can now conclude that words are sacred. It convenes meaning which could change lives. Like what James Lee had said, the power of words is beautiful. I never want to lose that quintessential character of whatever I say.

But then sensitivity also plays a great role in a good relationship. Social status is not enough to jeopardize the healthy connection between two persons. I don't believe that one who has a higher position is given the right to be mean to someone standing below his level; because if tides turn and they switch places, I am pretty certain that the 'higher' wouldn't want to be treated rudely by the 'lower'. 

I am not entirely sure as to why I'm writing like I'm in an academe. My bipolarity might have kicked in unknowingly. Perhaps, I'm just trying to sound professional and elite, even just for this time, so I could give off the impression that I'm definitely more than who people think I am? 

Oh yes, maybe that's it. 

But I think that for a bipolar that I am, it's not all fun. 

Bakit Ako Anti-RH Bill at Usapang Plagiarism

Masyadong mainit na usapin ang Reproductive Health Bill. Nung una, payag ako. Naisip ko kase, may mga bagay na kailangan tayong malaman. Masyado na nga naman tayong nahuhuli sa lahat. Pero ewan ko ba. Matapos ang habagat, bigla kong naisip na hindi ko pa rin talaga pwedeng isakripisyo ang prinsipyo ko para lang sumunod sa gusto ng marami.

Hindi nga naman talaga masama. Naiintindihan ko ang sinasabi ng lahat na makakatulong ito para mabawasan ang populasyon sa Pilipinas at makakapagsalba nga naman ito ng buhay ng mga ina. Hindi naman siguro masamang tanggapin na may mabuting maidudulot kapag naipasa ang batas na ito.

Pero hindi ibig sabihin non, bibitawan ko na yung isang bagay na pinapaniwalaan ko.

Hindi naman sa nanghuhusga, pero ang paniniwala ko kasi, kapag naipasa na ang bill na ito, magiging morally accepted na ang Pre-Marital Sex. Naiintindihan ko naman na maraming gumagawa nito, at hindi ko naman sinasabing masama. Pero... pero... pero pano ko nga ba ipapaliwanag ang isang argumentong nag-ugat sa pagiging Katoliko ko? Na hindi sasabihin ng lahat na korni ako?  

Wala akong sinusubukang kumbinsihin sa sinabi kong iyon. Wala rin sa kagustuhan kong makasakit o ano pa man. Ang sa akin lang, ang pagpasa ng RH Bill ay parang pagtakas sa mga responsibilidad natin bilang tao.

Hindi ganoon kalawak ang kaalaman ko tungkol sa batas na ito, pero hindi naman siguro masama kung sabihin kong ang mga bagay na gustong ituro ng RH Bill, pwede naman magawa sa natural na paraan. Kung may disiplina, kung may diskarte, kung may self-control, hindi magiging problema ang mga bagay na sinasabing sosolusyunan ng kontrobersyal na batas na ito.

Ewan ko bakit ganito katindi ang paniniwala kong hindi natin kailangan ang RH Bill. Siguro kase mas gusto kong ginagawa yung mahirap na bagay para mas matutunan ko yung importansya ng aral na ituturo non, kesa instant ang resulta. 


Pero aaminin ko, nag-iisip na rin ako kung gusto ko pa ngang maging ANTI-RH Bill. Hindi dahil sa nag-iiba na ang paninindigan ko e. Kundi dahil ayokong makasalo sa isang paniniwala ang isang taong hindi alam ang ginagawa.

Yung totoo, hindi patungkol sa isyu ng reproductive health ang matinding pagkainis ko ngayon sa isang senador ng bansa. Tungkol ito sa usapin ng plagiarism.

Meycauayan Spots: Randy Simbol's Salon

Frankly speaking, if it's not for Louie and Kuya Marvin, I wouldn't have known that there's a very impressive hair salon in Meycauayan who will finally make me understand why beauty salons are necessary in a community.

Owned by Randy Simbol, this salon is located in Calvario, Meycauayan City. As I was exposed to likes of Tony and Jackey, the place's layout is typical for me. But if we are to compare this among the different salons in Meycauayan, there is no denying that I would prefer this place over anything else. It has the minimalist feel which I undoubtedly adore.

Aside from being the proprietor, Randy is the main hair stylist. I first went to him last July and I loved what he did to my hair. When I got home, I told my friend that I've worn the layered hairstyle a lot of times in the past already but I think it's only when I had it cut by Randy did it actually look good on me. 

Just recently, I got my hair colored there too. Although it was Randy's assistant (I forgot to get his name!) who did the job, it was still under his supervision and it turned out good. :) At the moment, I am actually loving the changes and I'm just so thankful that I actually entrusted a huge part of it on this new friend.

I am yet to discover about Randy's background on cosmetics and hair styling but I guess you can check out his Facebook page to at least get the idea of how credible he is. He's friends with Mannie Halasan, the gown and crown designer I blogged about last time; and his clients include Cong. Linabelle Villarica and Vice Mayor Jojo Manzano.

BOOK REVIEW: 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James

photo not mine
Eric wasn't joking. The story was R18. Erotic scenes between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele were painstakingly detailed and it would - no doubt - totally sidetrack you from the main story. One who has been exposed to smut genres surely would not help but grin as s/he reads this book - in private or in public. But while I sound so much into all these 'perverse' thoughts, I have to say that setting aside all its artistic sexuality, the first book from E. L. James was a good read. 

I won't be spilling anything but as I owe my Ate Jorlette a review of this book, I am apologizing in advance if I would unconsciously do. But if ever I did, I hope it would just make you more curious and motivate you eventually to read it.

Okay, so here it goes...

Frankly speaking, the general plot line was common to me. Having been exposed to several Rated M fan-fictions (and as I am writing one), a sexual relationship between a multi-billionaire and an ordinary young woman is a very usual ordeal. However, it has brought upon a tinge of distinction to my playful mind. 

Indeed, the concept of BSDM relationships is something new to me. Sure, I have heard about the top/bottom thingy, but I never took it seriously because most times I come across it, it's an inside joke within my KPOP fandoms; or it comes from a very personal conversation between me and my homosexual friends.

So yeah, Fifty Shades of Grey was generally old yet unfamiliar to me - which thoroughly makes it exciting. I particularly enjoyed it (as I've noted earlier). Kindly set aside the thought that I am for the sexual parts though because while I should admit that I found it a little fascinating, I was more inclined with the attempt of the author to add wit to the story. The e-mail exchanges between the two protagonists were really something to look forward to; and as you read, never forget to take notice of the email subjects. These little things play a great role to the comic, I swear.

Putting it simply, I find myself attached to the book. Once again, it's not because of its general nature (I am desperately being defensive, obviously) but because for the first chapters, I have seen myself in Anastasia Steele. Like her, people think that I am something while here I am, mocking myself for being a nobody. Most importantly, I am in love with a man who is very much out of my league.

But then, of course, the comparison ends there.

Basically, 50 Shades of Grey opened up a portal which exposed me to a bigger reality about sex, relationships, and the people who do it. If there is one thing that I have managed to pick up from the story, it's about having the determination to make things work if you want to stay in a relationship. Partners must adjust to each other, and compromise is the key. 

And oh, I learned that baby oil is the best make-up remover. It will surely save me money.

The book is a first of a trilogy. I am currently reading the second book and there is an external conflict now. Things are getting interesting; but in a way, it's becoming more and more predictable. But there are questions yet to be answered, so I'm sticking with it.

As for the characters... You see, I need to have a mental image of the characters in the story so I could appreciate it more. While I am honestly having a hard time imagining how Anastasia Steele looks like, I couldn't fathom why Christian Grey came off easy. And no, it's not Ian Somerhalder. In my imaginations, it's James Lee, the hot and lovely bassist of a Korean band called Royal Pirates. 

AND I SWEAR I HAVE NO IDEA WHY HE'S THE FIRST PERSON TO INVADE MY THOUGHTS. BUT PERHAPS JAMES WOULD LIKE TO AUDITION FOR THE ROLE? He grew up in the States, anyway, and all you judgmental people, he can speak English better than anyone else I know. *winks*

So okay. I don't think this came off as a decent review; but I wish this somehow intrigued you to read the book. It wouldn't topple Harry Potter on my list, of course. But I sure prefer this over the saga which practically inspired this one.

Meycauayan Spots: Parish Church of St. Francis of Assisi

It is not a secret that I have been serving the church for more than 10 years now. I am no saint but I know my spiritual needs. And as a writer, I think I am in dire need to allot even just a small space in this blog for a church which I have long been so fascinated, the Parish Church of St. Francis of Assisi.

It's Never Too Dark

DAY 1 / August 7

It was 4AM. I was awakened by the strong pouring of the rain on the roof beside my window. I felt really uncomfortable so I jumped out of bed and took a glimpse of the situation outside. There was no lights on but I could totally distinguish the unusual water level. It has gone deeper.

Flood level around 10AM, August 7
At first, we were in-denial. We even got to watch the live coverage of the Olympics and I was able to go online and found out that James Lee replied to me. However, the rain poured harder and my gut feeling that we will be flooded prevailed.

Soon enough, the water level increased and the next thing I knew, our house was once again submerged in water. It was Ondoy 2.0. Worse, though.

My lola
What we did first was to bring my 86-year-old grandmother upstairs. We then moved to secure the refrigerator and other things which may be reached by water. It was pure panic, I tell you.

As the water level gets higher, I kept on praying. I couldn’t stop crying either. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by fear. My paranoia was killing me. It’s currently 2012 and December is fast approaching. What if it’s the end of the world already? I don’t want to die yet.

Such thought ran on my mind that I really was shaking. I couldn’t sleep nor eat properly. Even though we have our dad with us this time, I can’t help but still worry. My phone’s battery was running out. I couldn’t work because aside from the fact that we don’t have electricity, Sun network’s services were dumb (more to this soon!) so I couldn’t connect to the internet. The rain was continuously pouring hard.

Although I know some had it worse, I was starting to feel devastated.

Who's to Blame?

We are God's stewards here on Earth. I've learned that on high school. We, as his prime creations, were given the supreme task of taking care of all other things He mad, and that includes nature.

But did we?

Sure, not all of us are illegal loggers. But I'm sure all of us had once littered on the street. That, alone, is a huge mistake. Imagine if more than 7 billion people would throw recklessly even just a piece of plastic trash. The pile of garbage we're gonna come with up could probably block a length of drainage already, or maybe a river, and eventually lead to flash floods.

Mind you, we don't just throw candy wrappers, and we've been destroying nature since God knows when.

I don't know about the statistics but in Meycauayan alone, I could see piles of garbage improperly disposed. That is why one strong rainfall, and it's difficult finding dry land to walk on. I find it unfortunate and definitely annoying, but who's to blame?

We constantly blame the rain and the abnormal weather turnouts whenever there are calamities; but what we fail to realize is that instead of blaming the natural occurrences, we should blame ourselves.

Maybe, this is becoming a religious blog again, but I strongly believe that the constant submerging of our streets, and our homes, is a call from God. It's a tap on our shoulders, telling and reminding us that we were not doing our responsibilities well.

I always find fault in our government officials. Instead of spending time going to beauty clinics for cosmetic surgeries or going for unnecessary photoshoots to boost popularity, why can't they just spend their time thinking of solutions to deepen the river? It was made possible in Tullahan in Valenzuela, why can't they do it in Meycauayan? Instead of using the public funds on senseless tarpaulins and tents infested with their annoying names and faces, why can't they use it for better purposes like drainage improvement?

But then again, are they the only ones to blame?

The residents who would thrown their plastic and chemical wastes on the river, the rascals who would throw everything on the street even when there's a trashcan in front of them already, the street vendors and sweepers who - instead of picking up the trash they collected - would just dump it on drainage holes, and the people who wouldn't care...

Aren't WE the ones to blame too?

The rain is a natural occurrence as we are a tropical country. August is a rainy month so this kind of weather should have been expected. But flood is not typical. Although we always encounter it, it doesn't mean we should get used to it. We have to take actions. We have to do our part.

So please, let' stop destroying what we all should be taking care of. Not just in Meycauayan, but everywhere else in the country. Discipline is the key, and it's never too late. Whether one finished schooling or hasn't even stepped on a school does not matter in this issue, it's about growing some conscience and finding ways to be better people to this land.

God bless Meycauayan.
God bless the Philippines.

Lord, keep us all safe.

A Very Late Post: Singapore Trip (Day 4)

Ah, finally! The last day in Singapore. Our departure flight was at 12NN and we checked out early from the backpacker's inn because we wanted to go to the church since it was a Sunday. Too bad that the mass will start at 10AM, and we had to be at the airport by 10:45AM. We didn't want to be rude and leave the mass early so we decided to just pray and off we went to the airport.

We walked around the streets and found ourselves getting lost. LOL But while Ate Yan and Ate Tin were finding our way to the train station, I took the opportunity to snap some photos of the different attractions around me that time.

This was the church we visited. I think the name's Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.

A Very Late Post: Singapore Trip (Day 3)

The third day in Singapore is the highlight of our trip! Why? Of course! It's Super Show 4!

The day began with us meeting a new Korean whose name I forgot, but she looked like Moon Geun Young and she was really happy to hear that from us, Filipinos. It was quite a funny experience because as I was fixing my things, she suddenly came up to me and showed me an owl lamp. Clueless, I just said 'LAMP'. LOL. And I guess, just so I wouldn't make her feel bad, I talked to her and yeah, we had a really short but cute time talking.

Anyway, Ate Yan had to fetch Shane from Little India so Ate Tin and I went first to Singapore Indoor Stadium. I tell you, it was freaking creepy when we got there. As soon as we got out of the stadium, IT WAS SO DARK! Rain clouds were really hovering above us, until it finally began to rain. Super Junior aren't called RAIN GODS for nothing.

Since we have our own seat numbers (Thanks to Weiling for getting us the tickets!), we needed not to fall in line. And then we met up with Sai (a very nice and beautiful Indonesian friend) and Shane came as well.

Frankly, the highlight of our waiting was meeting Camel, the master of (YOU'RE UNNIE!) She's so cute, I was literally stuttering when she was talking to us. I can't reveal her pictures here, but if you wish to know how she looks like... imagine Lee Jaejin from FT Island. ^^

So after a while, we went inside the concert hall and it was so small. Araneta Coliseum is way bigger but no doubt, I would still choose my hometown venue. We were seated at the 8th row of a good section and it was a nice experience. No fan accounts though, because although it's kinda weird, I didn't enjoy that much. Probably because it's still better and more fun when it's held in the Philippines.

But then, I just can't resist stating here one thing which I really, really hated. During Zhoumi's solo, people one by one stood up from their seats and left the stadium. This mass walk-out was really rude. The stadium lights were on and the man was standing in the middle of the stage, and you can really see people leaving. Fuck. Until now, it makes me feel so mad. It's the first time I've seen something like that, and I think that's worse than a black ocean.

Geez. People just have to learn how to play fair. And then people said that they just went to the restroom? WHO ARE THEY FOOLING? They started coming back as soon as Siwon's solo began. Come on. For what I know, you would need like six songs to finish before you could go and back the CRs. The one is in the station. The other's in the mall.

But then, it's their choice. It just felt better that they didn't do that to Henry... or I would have probably gone berserk.

Tsk tsk. I really wish SS5 would have Manila on their list.

No pictures during the concert too because freaking guards were so strict. They were literally taking our cameras. Goodness. Camel was disappointed. We were too. Luckily though, we were able to snap some photos during the ending for memories' sake.

Shot before the concert. I was that close to the stage, and I looked stupid. Yes?

A Very Late Post: Singapore Trip (Day 2)

Our Day 2 in Singapore was pretty much an exciting one. First, I met my lovely Yuxing UnnieSecond, I met up with Mook, Zhen and Weiling. And last, we literally walked around Singapore City so much!

The day was very tiring that I ended up with blisters on my feet, but it was sure worth it. Although it drizzled a little (because Super Junior arrived at Singapore), it was a fun and enjoyable experience.

Yuxing Unnie and I, at the walkalator to Sentosa Island. We used the Boardwalk because the tram is a little expensive.

Welcome to Sentosa Island!!!

A Very Late Post: Singapore Trip (Day 1)

This is so late but I just want to share my experience with my first out-of-the-country trip; and my destination? *drumroll* The beautiful city of Singapore!

It was actually an impulsive decision. Due to the fact that Manila won't be a stop for Super Junior's Super Show 4, we decided to go to Singapore to watch the concert. It was a pretty stupid thing to do, for some. But for me, who had been a fan of Super Junior for five years now, it's worth it.

Tiger Airways had a promo back then and Ate Christine (a good friend from Olongapo City) helped us book tickets. We departed from Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, Pampanga; and it was really a nice experience.

Here are some of the pictures we took on the first day:

It was quarter to 5AM when we reached the airport from Olongapo, and imagine how pissed off we were when we were told that our flight was delayed. Anyway, while waiting, we paid our Travel Tax (1,200php) and Terminal Fee (600php) which we believe were unnecessary because 1) it's only in the Philippines, and 2) our airports are considered some of the worsts. >.<

Anyhow, it feels good to have my passport stamped.

Is Being a Writer... BORING?

Whenever I say I am a writer who works from home, many gets envious. Well, who wouldn't? I am exempted from the hellish traffic of Metro Manila and I could always wake up a few minutes before log-in time and still not be late. But after a few breathing, they would eventually comment on how dull my work is. I don't meet new people and I am stuck in the four corners of my room. 

So sometimes, I wonder myself: Is being a writer really boring? For some, maybe. But for me? Never.

1. Being a writer makes me practice what I love doing.

I have a lot of pens and sheets of paper stuck at home. The most used application in my old and dull Blackberry phone is the memo pad (and the drafts for my Samsung). I don't listen to lullabies to send myself to sleep. Instead, I write. 

Basically, I love writing. I have known that since I was a kid. It is the only thing I'm confident at. It is the only thing I have. It is my lifeline, my passion, my everything. Take it away and I'll be a lifeless soul. 

So why would I get bored of being a writer? 

2. Being a writer exposes me to new knowledge.

Next to writing, my most loved thing is reading. I am a sucker for knowledge. I love discovering things about the world, about myself. If I could, I would just want to stay as a student for the rest of my life. I even read the dictionary, although that would sound creepy as fuck. But yeah, I do. It's fun reading the dictionary, especially if you call yourself a 'writer'.

Basically, being a writer requires me to do research. I could not write anything I have no clue about, after all. So I read a lot and read a little more. I am not being geeky or what but my brain is a glutton. It is always looking for food, which are new pieces of information.

So if I'm learning about a lot of things, why would I get bored?

3. Being a writer brings me to different places.

Truth is: I don't just read to be able to write. I go to places. As a blogger, I need first-hand experiences about the things I will write; and as a travel writer, I am looking forward to going to different cities - even though the company would not fund my trip. I've actually started on one: Singapore.

So if being a writer takes me to different cities, why get bored?

4. Being a writer saves me from getting lost.

When I went to Singapore, I never felt worried about getting lost. Well, it's not just because everything is accessible to the country; but also due to the fact that I am familiar with a lot of things already, way before I went there. I got that from writing different articles about Singapore's tourism. 

Now, if somebody would bring me to South Korea, I tell you, I could find my way around easily. Thanks, Manager Hyung!

Tell me again, why should I get bored with my job?

5. Being a writer makes me meet different people.

Most of my real life friends who I treasure a lot, I have met through my blog. They're wonderful people who share the same interests as mine. Let me be particular with Yuxing-Unnie, a beautiful Singaporean girl who used to follow The Angels' Haven. I could totally say she's a soulmate since we are basically similar about everything, and I finally met her (after three years!!!) when I visited Singapore on February this year.

Who said I don't get to meet fabulous people because of my boring job?

6. Being a writer allows me to make more money.

I'll be particular with being an online writer. I am stuck at home. I work for my full-time work from 9AM to 6PM; and then I do my part time jobs immediately afterwards. If I would, I could find another job which could let me work from 11PM-4AM, and that would be another source of money. I can feed my family, I can buy whatever I want, I can fund my KPOP addiction.

My capitals? Knowledge and determination.

There's so much to do. Why should I get bored?

7. Being a writer challenges me a lot.

There's this thing we call 'Writer's Block'. It is that time of the day, week or month when I don't know what to write anymore. So as someone who lives through writing, it is my constant challenge to combat that mood. 

And you know, challenges would always relieve the boredom in me. How come I'd get bored?

8. Being a writer makes me proud of myself.

Compared to other people, I have nothing but my writing abilities. As I've said, this is the only thing that I'm good at; and there is not a lot of people who is good at it. So I'm really grateful that I can write decent articles and blogs. I could even write stories. Not many could do it properly. I'm proud.

I swear, it's impossible to get bored with constantly being proud of yourself.

9. Being a writer makes me feel free.

I worked as an office-based writer and a proofreader before I finally settled about being a homebased writer. And without hesitations, I could say that my present job is the best among the three. Why? Because time is mine. I've got no restrictions. There's no CCTV camera behind me, observing everything I do. Social networking sites are not blocked in my computer so I could open it whenever I feel tired.

Furthermore, I could work while lying in the comfort of my bed, in my pajamas. I could eat, listen to music, watch a movie, smoke cigs, and do whatever - and still be efficient with my work. (Actually, I work faster with distractions, and that's ironic.)

On a more serious note, I am free because I exercise the Freedom of Expression the best. I could say what I want and not be judged (because I could edit it before posting).

I've got freedom because I am a writer. What's boring with that?

10. Being a writer does not take me away from my family.

Although it gets annoying at times, my present job allows me to be with my family 24/7. I could help/annoy my parents, bond with/get annoyed by my brother, and cuddle with my dogs anytime. Fun, right?

How can I get bored?

Come to think of it... A writer is usually underappreciated because it does not earn as much as managers, accountants, and other professions do. But that doesn't make it boring for me. Writing is still, by far, the most interesting job there is; and I have told you all why already.

Meycauayan Spots: Kyoto Ramen Station

Aside from Our Kitchen, another favorite dining spot of mine in Meycauayan is Kyoto Ramen Station. Located in Malhacan, it is a wonderful restaurant serving quite a variety of authentic Japanese dishes.

Some dishes served in Kyoto Ramen aren't here, so better ask Tito Badz.
Kyoto Ramen is owned and operated by Tito Valdz. He was a cook in Kyoto, Japan for several years before he came back to the Philippines for good. He's a homosexual so it gets more fun because he never runs out of stories, sometimes obscene though, which he will willingly tell you as you feast over your food. He would even teach you some Japanese phrases if you want. A really warm person!

The restaurant isn't really big. I think it has a capacity for only 13-14 people, maximum. The store interior isn't really that 'Japanese' but it exudes a homey feel... like you could just eat in the counter of your home as you watch your TV, while someone cooks your food in front of you. 

nice piece in front of me. ORCHIDS!!!


Live Life to the Fullest

July 19...

I was browsing through Facebook to unwind. I noticed Ate Sol's status. She said Mary Christene Nunez has died. I don't know how. It's not like I can just ask right away, because we weren't really that close when we were in St. Jude... 

After a few minutes, Ate Rose sent me a message on Facebook informing me that Ma'am Garcia, our librarian in St. Jude during my time and a close friend of our family, has been in the ICU for a week now, lying there unconscious.

Two different incidents... which made me realize two different things.

First, life is short. 
Second, life is so short to be spent on bitterness.

It is not a secret that I hated St. Jude Academy. I hated the memories. I hated the people. I completely shun myself from everything that concerned the years I have stayed in that school because of some prejudiced teachers and students who had turned my teen life into hell.

But as I did that, I didn't notice that I have turned myself into a demon I've hated for so long. My world shrunk because I was condensing it. I forgot that the ten long and painful years I've spent in that school had still contributed to who I am right now.

There were so much pain during my stay in St. Jude Academy, and I've created an ocean of bitterness because I was stuck in those nightmares. I refused to accept the fact that despite all those heartaches, that school had given me at least some memories worth cherishing. 

In St. Jude Academy, I learned how to write, read, and do mathematics - three basic things I know I need to survive this judgmental world. There, I learned the Art of Debate which eventually paved way to me, representing UE Caloocan in a national debate competition in Baguio City. In this school, I discovered that I love writing - even though no one gave a damn and I was even accused of plagiarizing. In St. Jude, I realized that aside from writing, I can also dance and I am good at it. In St. Jude, I met my best friend who I love so much for sticking with me and my craziness for all these years.

And lastly (no pun intended)... In St. Jude, I experienced the worst that everything that happened in college became simple matters to me.

The bitterness I harbored against St. Jude Academy had eventually turned into a very uncontrollable one. I blamed everything to it, that sometimes, I wonder if I was just finding an excuse to justify the actions of an unbecoming person that I am. 

It sucks that I have to realize all these things given the circumstances. But somehow, I thank God for sending me His message before it's too late. Honestly, I still don't know what I have to do so I could move on; but I think I'm getting there...

I am getting there.

Ate Mary, rest in peace.
Ma'am Glo, get well soon.