October 30, 2012

I'm on the next thing



The things that you thought to be permanent were the ones that ended up being part of your past. One thing is for sure: you can't tell whether the things that seem very perfect, lasting, and happy would be forever. They usually wear off at some point. Don't ask why, though, just try to understand how it came to be. Such thing happens and it's normal although it hurts.

We grow. And sometimes growing up means breaking away from a good habit. It really is difficult at first but you know you need to walk away to open up new adventures. The reasons may be difficult to understand but you know deep inside that you need to break away and move along and make new experiences, fresh experiences. These reasons, though blur, will find its way to you and slowly explain why.

I'm on the next thing; along my journey, it excites me to know what is there and what isn't there.


October 27, 2012

Stress-free mindset


This is what I have been doing lately. School is hard but at the end of the day, I find myself reading a chapter or two of a book. It brings me to a good sleep and a refreshing/stress-free mindset in the morning. :)

October 24, 2012

Opposites

These people defining other people's lives;
acting like they're some kind of a higher sort
of being; like they have the right to control
them. Who are like puppeteers
except that they are evil
at heart and mind.
To sneak in and hear other voices talk,
trying to grasp every single information
of every single happy thought.
They naturally just turn it around
and make your dreams seem
unreacheable.
Dont.
Don't trust these people; even trying to
pray for their souls because it has been
prayed over and over by satan's little angels.
Selfishness is their kindness.
Unity means division.
Their heart and mind see the opposite.
And the opposite is always the best.
They like seeing scars; playing with your
emotions; turning your mind around.
They make you feel welcome to a party.
Be careful!
Everyone in the party knows who you
are. They know the things about you
that don't know about.
Simply because they know the opposite.
Opposites which are being told
and made up by these little monsters.
These little monsters will live longer.
So, it's useless when you wish they'd
realize things when they're older. They'll
not realize the badness of it. They'll realize
the opposite until their lives end.
There is no chance to change these kind
of beings. Pity them because they have
an opposite heart and mind.
A heart and mind that you should run
away from before it reaches out to your own.

October 22, 2012

The Fault In Our Stars



The story is told by Hazel Grace Lancaster, 16, Indianapolis. 

She has thyroid cancer and stopped going to school but attends a weekly Support Group. There she met Isaac and Augustus who changed her life dramatically. The change was good, though. As it hasn't seem to be boring but colorful and with more adventures and emotions. Though I haven't witnessed her showing her feelings fully during times when if I was in her position, I would cry. Except of course in the last part of the story. Maybe she isn't so emotional like me and that's what I like about her. She is strong and brave like what almost all characters told and described her.

Augustus is my kind of guy -- witty, smart, humorous, and according to Hazel, hot. But the most thing I like about him is that he loves Hazel so much. You just can feel it through his words and actions.


They got closer because of the book that Hazel likes to re-read. It's called An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten. Augustus liked it too and they discussed it over the phone or in person almost every where. The book ends mid-sentence, a hanging end. Everyone who reads it would think Anna, a character from that book, who is also a cancer patient, died. They both thought of that, too. But Hazel was not only curious about Anna, she was curious for the other characters as well including the hamster.

“That’s part of what I like about the book in some ways. It portrays death truthfully. You die in the middle of your life, in the middle of a sentence” -- Hazel, on The Imperial Affliction.

Hazel has been sending letters about questions on the characters' life after that mid-sentence ending to Peter Van Houten but she didn't get a reply. Augustus emailed Van Houten's assistant about it and then eventually they found themselves being invited to meet the author personally in Amsterdam for free by an organization that grants one wish for cancer kids. Hazel had one but she spent it visiting Disney Land some years ago. Augustus was very generous to spend it for her. He went to Amsterdam with Hazel and her mom.

My favorite part is when they were in Amsterdam. Their dinner date in Oranjee where they drank two glasses of champagne which was described as closely to stars by the waiter. And then they finally went to Van Houten's house. Van Houten was acting very badly in front of his visitors and he was drunk to entertain Hazel's questions about the book. The meet-up was not so good and Hazel didn't get her questions answered properly.

Anyway, the time before the "Venn diagram" moment was my favorite. I was surprised so much by that. It was lovely and sexy. And lastly, the time when they were both in Hazel's hotel room. Augustus admitted to her that he is sick, and maybe dying.

Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me, so I knew what Augustus was doing. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but a Sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look at the person who loves you and smile. -- Hazel, describing how Augustus is doing while talking about his sickness to Hazel which he kept for a long while.

The pre-funeral which Augustus arranged was full of emotions. Being witty as he is, he invited two if his friends, Isaac and Hazel, to make a eulogy for him and to recite in front of him. I almost cried again in this part. How could you not cry reading a eulogy for a dying cancer patient by cancer patients? Heart-breaking. The dialogues may not be really sad, but you know that behind all those laughter and funny words and thoughts are heart breaks.

"I can't talk about our love story, so I will talk about math. I am not a mathematician, but I know this: There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a Bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.” -- Hazel Grace, her speech in Augustus's funeral.

Their families are very supportive of the two even though there are some conflicts in between. During Augustus's funeral and after, Hazel wasn't alone because she has her family and Augustus's family as well.

Hazel read Augustus's letter to Van Houten which he wrote while in the hospital. Isaac mentioned it months after the funeral that Augustus may have written something. Hazel eventually figured that out. She emailed Van Houten's assistant, who wasn't in good terms of his then boss because of the attitude her showed while the two kids were in his house. The letter says asking Van Houten to make a eulogy for Hazel. He mentioned how she is like and how he loves her so.

“You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” -- Augustus, ending part of his letter to Van Houten.

Moreover, his letter ended about hoping Hazel likes her choices, too. And, yep, she does.

October 18, 2012

Scrapbook 709

Here's what's in my scrapbook! Don't mind the number. That's just random. 


I saw these post cards while my sister was cleaning/sorting out things in an old suitcase. It's a series of post cards from Athens. I wonder who owns this. (See that red thing in my finger? Yeah, I cut my self because I'm emo. Hahaha just kidding. I accidentally cut my finger while slicing vegetables)


One afternoon, I was in the library. Just roaming around and nothing to borrow in mind. I was just looking and browsing some books. I went to the farthest shelf and found travel books. I opened a travel guide to France and in the middle, I saw those two post cards. They look so old and I wanted it badly. So, you know, there they go. Hahaha


Yeah, that's true.


"Decisions, decisions, decisions."

October 15, 2012

Blog Challenge: Your Earliest Memory

When I am asked about what my earliest memory is, there are actually a lot of scenes playing in my head. I can't point which one's the earliest, so I'm just guessing the one which I danced on our wooden bed when I heard this TV commercial. I can't remember what it was but my sister told me years ago that I used to dance to Humpy Dumpy TVC. 


I used to hide in our bedroom when I dance. I'm shy. :P

October 13, 2012

Textile Letter from Karina Rios


I got a letter from Karina in Copenhagen. She's a textile designer and has been sending and receiving textile letters from people all over the world. Inspired by the textile letters she received, I emailed her and asked if I can send and receive one, too! I am not an expert when it comes to textiles but I am working on my letter for her. :)


She shared in her letter that in the Summertime, she likes visiting pea markets and always looks out for vintage textiles; embroidery, bobbin lace, and hand-woven towels. Weaving is special for her and is very close to her heart.


"This photo is from an exhibition with the embroidery technique Hedebo very complicated to make. I have just started to make again."

Pressed fern leaf from Assistens.

Thank you, Karina, for your beautiful letter! Your works are so lovely to look at. Your talent is amazing. I love all these samples you've woven for pillows! I love touching them because they're soft! Thank you for making me part of your textiles letters. I know my letter is a bit late. But I am working on it now. :)

October 10, 2012

Mini-bonfire in the backyard














 Mini bonfire on a Saturday night with Ate Aling, Karsten and Regine. It was relaxing and fun!

October 9, 2012

SumoSam @ SM Lanang Premier



I am lucky to be invited to the opening of SumoSam Legacy located in the Ground Floor Fountain Court of SM Lanang Premier last October 7, 2012. Bloggers/media had the chance to interview, chat and learn a little history about SumoSam from co-owners Mr. Marvin Agustin, who handles marketing, and Mr. Raymond Magdaluyo, who handles business development, along with SumoSam franchise owner Mr. Carlo Lorenzana. 


The Vision of SumoSam Legacy, as told by Mr. Magdaluyo, is "to be the number one provider of Japanese Restaurants". They are building a community to expand their business but they are not expanding beyond 30 SumoSam stores because they want to develop other concepts. Expansion of business isn't just the main goal but to execute their menu since raw materials are very accessible in the city such as fresh varieties of sea foods.


Other exciting news about SumoSam Legacy aside from their delicious Japanese cuisines is no Service Fee charge. That means the prices are a bit lower around 15% than in Manila, as told.

Chicken Teriyaki
Prawn Tempura
My favorite: California Roll
Spicy yet very delicious Sesame Chicken!
New, creative and exclusive for Davao: Mt. Apo Roll. It is stuffed with Durian cream!
A mix of grilled prawns, tomatoes, walnuts, mango and lettuce: Pride Salad! 
SumoSam Chopsticks!

Instead of ribbon cutting, Mr. Marvin Agustin sliced sushi rolls instead. Very unique and creative!



Sushi rolls with salmon


The interior design/style is sophisticated. I am fascinated by their artsy ceiling; a series of Japanese art blocks!



Before the Sushi Cutting, SumoSam Chef Gemma Heradurra introduced the deliciously enticing cuisines individually to everyone.

SumoSam Chef Gemma Heradurra, Mr. Carlo Lorenzana, Mr. Raymond Magdaluyo & Mr. Marvin Agustin

SumoSam has so much more delightful Japanese cuisines to offer. It has three branches in Davao City:
(1) 3rd Level, Abreeza Mall
(2) 1st Floor, The Annex, SM City Davao 
(3) Ground Floor, Fountain Court, SM Lanang Premier

Whether you are in north or south part of Davao City, it's easier for Dabawenyos to beat their Japanese food cravings!

Thank you, SumoSam & Davao Bloggers for this opportunity to experience Japanese delightful treat! :)

October 7, 2012

Zooey



The second part of the book is entitled Zooey. Salinger introduced Zooey as the leading man "who has made the most eloquent appeal" for him. And that "He feels that the plot hinges on mysticism, or religious mystification". Salinger explained that for him he knows the difference of mystical and love story. "I say that my current offering isn't a mystical story, or a religiously mystifying story, at all. I say it's a compound, or multiple, love story, pure & complicated."

It begins with Zooey who is sitting in the bathtub, smoking a cigarette and reading a four-year-old letter from Buddy, his older brother. A lot of things were discussed by Buddy in that letter. One is reminding Zooey to be kinder to Bessie not just because she's their mother but because she is weary. Another is reminding him to get a Ph.D. rather than focusing more on being an actor. He explained that Bessie wants them to become successful in life and that she insisted him to write about Ph.Ds and acting for Zooey. 

Buddy and Seymour studied Religion and Philosophy. They educated the younger siblings, Zooey and Franny about it when they were young. So as they grow up, they become preoccupied with Religion. In Buddy's words, he shared something what Seymour had believed on education: "Education by any name would smell as sweet, and maybe much sweeter, if it didn't begin with a quest for knowledge at all but with a quest, as Zen would put it, for no-knowledge."  He said something about what Dr. Suzuki said that "to be in a state of pure consciousness is to be with God before he said, Let there be light"  Buddy and Seymour thought of holding back this light or knowledge from them until they are in the state of being where the mind knows the source of all light. In the end, Buddy told Zooey to act if it is what he wants and instructed to do it with all his might. He will always have his support at whatever distance.

Zooey was interrupted by Bessie. Arguments on Buddy not getting a phone, Lane, and, of course, Franny arise. Bessie is so worried about Franny and eventually Zooey revealed the crisis Franny is going through. He admitted that Franny has been reading The Way Of The Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way. It's a book owned by Buddy and Seymour and it tackles on Religion. He told Bessie that their brothers are responsible of what they are going through -- that they can't live like normal people their age do because they are preoccupied too much by Religion. 

Eventually, the two siblings, Franny and Zooey were able to talk. Zooey is criticizing her by the way she deals with what she's going through, mostly about the way she says her prayer. For him, Franny didn't get the whole idea of prayer. And that she seems idolizing other stuff and not seeing the specific. The two argued. "God Almighty, Franny. If you're going to say the Jesus Prayer, at least say it to Jesus... Keep him in mind if you say it, and him only, and him as he was and not as you'd like him to have been. You don't face any facts. This same damned attitude of not facing facts is what got you into this messy state of mind in the first place, and it can't possibly get you out of it." 

What is wrong with Franny's prayer? It is that she doesn't focus on the specific. That the specific is Him and only Him. But instead, she thinks of St. Francis of Assisi among others. Zooey insisted that if she doesn't understand Jesus, she wouldn't understand the meaning of prayer at all. He is surprised on how Franny couldn't see or realize it. He knows she's intelligent but she refuses to see what it really is. "You're misusing the prayer, you're using it to ask for a world full of dolls and saints..." 

Zooey left the room. Franny was sobbing inside. Zooey went to Seymour and Buddy's room. The two elder siblings have a separate phone line in the house. Zooey called the phone house, impersonating Buddy and trying to talk to Franny. For a while, Franny realized it wasn't Buddy who she was talking to. She knew it was Zooey. And from that time, Zooey continued what he knows is best for his sister. That he should give her wisdom to open her mind, to the reality, to help her with what's going on with her mind. Franny listened.

Both of them are actors ever since they were young. They were part of a show called "It's A Wise Child". Franny was disappointed with acting because she couldn't find any meaning of it. Zooey could see that. And in their argument, he connected Religion to acting: "You can say the Jesus Prayer from now till doomsday, but if you don't realize that the only thing that counts in the religious life is detachment. 'Cessanation from all hankerings.' ... You not only had a hankering to be an actor or an actress but to be a good one. You're stuck with it now. You can't just walk out on the results of your own hankerings. Cause and effect, buddy. Cause and effect. The only thing that you can do now, the only religious thing you can do, is act. Act for God, if you want to -- be God's actress, if you want to. What could be prettier?"

Zooey was trying to say that she should know by now that an actress should act, not just talk. He shared something to Franny about Seymour back when they were doing the show "It's a Wise Child". Seymour told Zooey to shine his shoes but he doesn't want to. Because everyone in the audience and all that are watching them are morons. And that they wouldn't be able to see it anyway. But Seymour said to shine his shoes for the Fat Lady. Franny eventually told him that she was told about this Fat Lady by Seymour as well. But she doesn't know who that lady was. Zooey, of course, realized this embodiment. The Fat Lady wasn't one of the audience or anyone in connection with Seymour. "Do you know who that Fat Lady really is? .. It's Christ Himself, buddy. Christ Himself." 

A dial tone. A disconnection of a long conversation from the start with Zooey. It all made sense to Franny. She got wisdom. She had it all. And she seemed to know just what to do next.

For some minutes, before she fell into a deep, dreamless sleep, she just lay quiet, smiling at the ceiling.

October 4, 2012

August: Murmuration





Around 5:30 in the afternoon, my sister and I witnessed murmuration. It was exciting, amazing and beautiful! It's been on my wishlist to witness such beauty from nature (one is to witness northern or southern lights!). Kids in the village were also in awe! A few weeks after that, I saw them again doing the same thing even if it was raining. Amazing!

October 1, 2012

Franny


The first part of the book was about Franny Glass and Lane Coutell. Lane was waiting for Franny in the train station. While waiting, he reads Franny's letter written on a pale-blue notepaper. It's a love letter which is about her excitement to see him on that day. Also, about his letter for her which she adored but described it horrible when she found out that he didn't say those three words in his letter. Among other things mentioned in that letter, it says to try to have a marvelous time together and not try to analyze everything.

The train arrived and Lane spotted Franny immediately. He carried her things and asked what book is she holding but she didn't tell it to him yet. She seems to convey to him that the book she's holding isn't such a big deal. So, they rode a cab and Franny exclaimed "It's lovely to see you! I've missed you!" But she didn't mean those words. She felt guilty and held Lane's hands tightly.

They went to Sickler's, a highly favored place among, chiefly, the intellectual fringe of students at the college, and both had a glass of Matinis. There were exchanging of words and opinions on different topics. Lane acted so arrogant about his English essay paper that he wants her to read it. Franny described him as one of the section men who are so brilliant they can hardly open their mouths. She gave an example on a section man that is talking about Turgenev, a novelist. They usually ruin the person and when they're done with it, they start to talk about their personal achievements, papers, thesis, etc. Lane seemed he didn't like what she was saying. He asked what the hell was wrong with her. Franny said sorry and she just feels so destructive lately.

Here are some of Franny's statements that I love reading:

"If you're a poet, you do something beautiful. You're supposed to leave something beautiful after you get off the age and everything."

"Everything everybody does is so not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless and -- sad making."

"I'm just sick of ego, ego, ego. My own and everybody else's. I'm sick of everybody that wants to get somewhere, do something distinguished and all, be somebody interesting. It's disgusting -- it is, it is. I don't care what anybody says."

Franny told Lane about the book she was holding. It's about a peasant who is walking/travelling around Russia to meet different kinds of people and to know how to pray incessantly. According to that book, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me" are the best words to say when you pray. Mercy means enormous and can mean so many things. It doesn't just have to mean mercy. "If you keep saying the prayer over and over again -- you only have to just do it with your lips at first -- then eventually what happens, the prayer becomes self-active. Something happens after a while. I don't know what, but something happens, and the words get synchronized with the person's heartbeats, and then you're actually praying without ceasing,  Which has a really tremendous, mystical effect on your whole outlook. I mean that's the whole point of it, more or less. I mean you do it to purify your whole outlook and get an absolutely new conception of what everything's about."

She started to talk more about that Religious book. She seemed so into it. She didn't say she believes those kind of stuff or not but she finds it fascinating when Lane asked her if she really believes in those stuff. When Lane asked what's the result of it she said "You get to see God. Something happens in some absolutely nonphysical part of the heart."


Franny excused herself and went to the comfort room. Before she reached the room, she collapsed. Five minutes later, she woke up. Franny and Lane were in the manager's office. Lane went out to ask for some water for Franny and call off the spirits of Ammonia, which the manager was doing at the moment (since they ran out of it), and pay the check. He will also hunt for a taxi since most of the taxis will probably be cruising around for passengers going in and out to the game where they should be in at the moment if only Franny didn't collapse.


Alone, Franny lay quite still, looking at the ceiling. Her lips began to move, forming soundless words, and they continued to move.


 This statement seems that she is actually trying to pray. As what the starets told the pilgrim: you only have to just do it with your lips ar first then eventually the prayer becomes self-active.


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