August 31, 2013

Outview by Brandt Legg

Outview, the first book of the Inner Movement series, by Brandt Legg is published by The Sager Group on January 29, 2013. The story is about a teenage boy named Nate who has been seeing and experiencing outviews in his dreams. Certain circumstances made him realize that there is something much more than his present life. As the days progress, he becomes more and more acquainted with these weird experiences in which he is always being chased by someone armed or something weird. Little by little, he and his friends, including his family, realized there is something happening around which is more than what is normal. The story becomes more complex as it progresses. There were puzzling situations, twists and turns, and amazing magical powers happening as Nate (and everyone close to him) walks on a journey he never thought of passing through. A part of the story made me think if there is really that kind of secret group in the government. I admit reading that part of the story made me kind of scared which is a good thing because that means the book really captured me.

Needless to say, this is a fantasy story and the book has that ability to portray such fantastical situations or events.  Such are the effective portrayal of each mystics that Nate has to encounter, portals, mystics, magical things among others. It does not only focus on fantasy but it does make you think if there is a secret institution in reality or the things going on inside a mental institution, among others.

The story, although it gets complicated as it progresses, is slow-paced but I don't see it as a bad thing. It's just I get more excited for a certain situation but the story just slows down a bit. It is a page turner, definitely, I must say. The writing is okay. Sometimes I need more explanation about certain situations but since it is the first book in the Inner Movement series, I bet more things will be explained in the second book. The ending is a cliffhanger but it ends good. The story ended great for the first book. There was a revelation, a big revelation. Something that you would never think could happen.

Overall, the story is satisfactory. It does have some points that you can ponder on. Nate, as the protagonist, has developed as his journey continues. Issues between each character are raised. The story gets interesting until the end; convincing and thrilling. This book is a must-read for anyone especially those who likes fantasy genre.

August 28, 2013

Letter challenge: yours dreams

Dear dreams,

The reason why I still go on walking along this rocky path of life is because of you. You are comprised of both real and unreal things. Some real, tangible things that seem so easy to achieve but I am too clueless how to start. Some unreal things that require me to take risks, do wild things, or nothing. Most of the time I just let you sit in the air and not mind how to deal of your presence. That does not mean I don't care. It means I still have hope for you but there are more things easier to achieve. Or so I thought.

Thank you for existing in my head. I know it takes years but you are still hanging in there. Thank you for the patience. It's not like how others' dreams are; others seem to achieve theirs quickly than I do but maybe that is because I dream about big, difficult, and almost impossible things.

I am taking baby steps now. I clearly don't know how to put myself out there but once I figure it out, perhaps it will be easy. Be patient, trust that I won't leave you hanging in the air just like that for the course of my life. I won't do that, no. I may alter you a bit but it will be for the better. I may also have to add some more or take some things to and from you but I will never ever let you go empty. Remember that.

A full-time daydreamer,

August 25, 2013

Something a little lighter

(August 4, 2013)
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

It is quarter to eight in the evening and it is raining. Thought the weather would make me sulk further but as I am typing down my words I am feeling better. Maybe writing has that effect on me. It has a capacity to calm me down and think about what really matters in life. For years I have been dealing with unlikely situations and although I try to avoid such happenings it just comes along with me anywhere I go.  I know I am too old to write about the same thing over and over: writing down words while pouring out all the emotions away. I don't mean to be mushy or whatever, it's what my life has been lately. I can't get away from that and believe me I want to get away from all of these unlikely things. I could not find my way out just yet. Screw the one who made me feel anxious all the time. I sometimes pity myself for being with this kind of person but I know it won't stay this way forever. I am tired of being with, let's just say, someone-who-destroys-all-the-happiness-in-the-world kind of person.

When you are down, there is no other way to go but up. So despite all the hurtful things I receive, I uplift myself by thinking of happy things. Sometimes all I can do is close my eyes and recall how my day was aside from that (another) bad experience. Today, I was with my little cousins and their mother. We were harvesting some almost-ripe guava in their front yard. 4 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon and everything felt light. The laughter, the eagerness to find a ripe guava above us, the giggles when we miss to hit one, everything... I had a joyful Sunday (despite somewhat mournful experiences) and I am very grateful for that. Life is good.

August 22, 2013

Holga 135BC: Kodak Color Plus 200 (January to March)

It's my first time to use the Holga135BC camera that I borrowed from a friend. I loaded it with Kodak Color Plus 200 film and used from January to March. I encountered a problem with the camera's counter after several shots. It doesn't move once it reaches 8 but I can still roll the film. Having no clue what was going on, I slowly opened its back under a shade and checked if the film was placed properly. I knew it would ruin some photos but I wanted to make sure the camera still works. Although the camera is designed to have some light leaks (which I thought so), I have gotten several photos that are fully leaked. Not really sad about that though. That's film. You won't always get perfect photos. I reckon I have multiple photos that are blurred and out of focus but I like them. The light leaks add more drama and feel to each of the photo

Also, for this first roll, I learned somehow that 200 ISO needs more lighting than what I thought. I don't really know much about the technicalities in photography so I have some photos that are quite blurred out. Most of the time, in life, the way I get to learn something is by trying it for several times. It's emotionally draining but it's worthwhile.

Cagayan de Oro City
Taken from a moving car. Travel from Davao to Cagayan de Oro.

San Pedro Cathedral, Davao City
Inside a jeepney

Justin and Karsten
A view from my window

Divine Mercy Shrine, Misamis Oriental
Cagayan de Oro City
Pigeons at San Pedro Cathedral, Davao City

San Pedro Cathedral, Davao City
Somewhere along Davao to Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro City

My very first double exposure.

I am glad I have captured photos of places mostly during my first travel for the year 2013.

August 19, 2013

Tea: English Breakfast Tea from Twinings


Taking for granted the medium level (of flavor strength label) of this tea was a wrong act. Based from its aroma, one would definitely indulge a big gulp. That's what I did when I had my very first cup of English Breakfast Tea. To be honest, I did not quite like its flavor. I thought it was too strong for me. I knew it will take me a while to evaluate fully the taste. And so from one sip to another, I ended up drinking the whole cup. 

My primary reaction of its bitterness is basically because of my expectation. At least now I know what Twinings' medium flavor strength tastes like in my mouth. Once I learned that the English Breakfast Tea is actually a black tea, I just started loving it. My sister gave me a bunch of teas so I am just basically trying out everything. In which I am really thankful for because I have now a good alternative of coffee. Green tea is a good alternative but I must say English Breakfast Tea is just as good as coffee. 

Sometimes I drizzle a teaspoon of honey and/or milk to have a bit of sweet taste.  I have not tried it cold yet. Other times, I pair it with a sweet fruit like banana, mango, or (in the photo) langka. I usually take some tea late in the afternoon or as meal for dinner (that is if I pair it with fruits) and it really keeps me up for hours. 

If you're a (black) coffee lover or tea lover, you really have to check this one out! It's fantastic. :)

August 16, 2013

A good dose of sunshine

It's the first time (in a long time) that I woke up early again and it feels great. As usual I drink coffee, read new blog entries, and listen to a breakfast mix composed of French songs over 8tracks in my pajamas. My usual good dose of sunshine on a rainy month, same old good morning vibes (except that I miss seeing the simple interface of Google Reader). This morning routine has been going on for two years. It's funny how I still feel the same morning feelings except that now I wouldn't worry about school stuff. I have been feeling blah ever since I finished college. So now I feel lucky that I don't have to force myself to school but at some point I long for those busy days because being busy is better than doing nothing, obviously. But some things must end. I reckon how many times I wished those days would end. It's so true that once you get out of college, you'll definitely miss it especially when you're jobless. So I let myself busy by writing, reading books, making hand-made stuff because what else is there to do aside of doing chores? 

I really miss college but then I remember those several reasons why I wanted it to end. Moving on. And, oh, is it not obvious yet that I wish I get a job as soon as possible because this stillness is draining me emotionally and physically.

August 13, 2013

Mimes Chimes and Rhymes by Ian Graham

Mimes Chimes and Rhymes (verses by Ian Graham; drawing by Emilie Vercruysse) is a 50-page book of poetry published on March 2013. First, I want to talk about the verses, in which I really enjoyed reading in one sitting. The poems are funny and smart. It's not the boring kind of fun. When reading poems, sometimes it makes me giggle whenever the last word of each line rhymes together. So I enjoyed the verses very much. Second, the drawings are absolutely fitting to each of the verses. Not the kind that I would draw from the verses. In other words, I'm not clever enough to draw such witty comics! Overall, it's an easy, short and funny read. :)

I got this from First Reads and sent by the author himself in which he wrote: "All our best to Debbie Grace. Winner of the Goodreads race. So where's this sun of which you speak? Well, here's some fun to make you shriek." I totally shrieked while reading it because I LOVE RHYMES AND HE JUST WROTE SOMETHING FOR ME THAT RHYMES AND THAT IS TOTALLY AWESOME AND CUTE AND AAAAAAHHHH I LOVE IT HAHAHA! I like the fact that Mr. Ian visited my little blog. (Heehee). Thank you, Mr. Graham! I really enjoyed your book. Please write more. :)

August 10, 2013


Hi! A couple of months ago, I made my very first S'mores. You just need some Graham crackers, marshmallows (fat-free), and chocolate bars.

Place crackers on a microwavable plate. Top with a chocolate bar and marshmallows. I used Toblerone (!) and fat-free marshmallows. Put as much as you want but if you want a not-so-messy (!) S'mores, you can put just enough. As you can see, I did otherwise. Top with another layer of crackers. You can do two layers if you want. Cook in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.

I added some more locally-made fat-free mango-flavored marshmallows and caramel puffs! Now you are ready to party!

Look at that! It looks very messy, don't you think? But who cares if it's messy, it's S'mores! The marshmallows did  not melt so I suggest using smaller ones or adjust the time it is in the microwave. As you can see, I still have some excess melted Toblerone! Messy but yummy! I'll try to make a less messy and designed for small bites next time! Let's say this is just a trial. :P

August 7, 2013

Blue Vote 2013 Experience

Throughout my entire college life, I have never experienced volunteering in campus activities. I have some courses and organizations that required me to get in touch with the community which I enjoyed and learned so much from. I was a passive student most of the time and I'd rather focus on little things that mattered most with regards to my course rather than be all-out.

In the Summer of 2013, my last months at the university, Don and I heard news from UCEAC seeking volunteers for the upcoming Midterm Election. Together with Nemuel, we volunteered for the Blue Vote 2013. Came the day of the Volunteers' Training and Orientation, 6 days before election, it was a half-day activity wherein we were informed about the rules & regulations, PCOS machine, and field reporting led by different speakers including local news reporters. There were around 600+  volunteers from Ateneo. Came the day of the election, the three of us, together with four volunteers, were assigned as a Roving Team in District 3. The tasks were to monitor our field volunteers, check every volunteer in their respective precinct, prepare the packaged foods, snacks and drinks along the way, get field reports, feedback, and other concerns by them and by voters and deliver back to the headquarters (school).


We went around district 3: Puan, Talomo, Bago Gallera, Bago Aplaya, Dumoy, Baliok and Toril. I have one concern though. Some volunteers have not received their snacks and lunch packs on time. Thus they complained to us without thinking that we had difficulties in going from one school to another. Also, this is because the food came late to be distributed to the roving teams. We knew it might take a while for the other volunteers to get their food, especially those who were assigned farthest, so we spent the time wisely by going to nearby places first. By that, I suggest for an early distribution of food to roving teams so other field volunteers will have lunch on time.

Overall it was a great experience to be able to serve the volunteers and help the voters somehow. I am proud to be a Blue Vote volunteer. :D

August 4, 2013

Tea: Wild Berry Zinger Herbal Tea from Celestial Seasonings

These days my afternoons are usually spent drinking coffee or tea to blend with the cold weather. A cup is perfect for calming down after a whole day's work. Much better with soothing music in the background or even just the sound of rain.

One of my favorite teas is the Wild Berry Zinger Herbal Tea from Celestial Seasonings. It consists of hibiscus; rosehips; roasted chicory; orange peel; blackberry leaves; natural flavors of: black raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, red raspberries, cranberries and cherries; citric acid. A definitely caffeine-free tea. The sweetness is enough for me but you can put some honey if you want. It has a fruity aroma and a strong fruity taste.

It's the first tea I got from Celestial Seasonings and so far I am loving every sip of it. :)

August 1, 2013

Something I wrote in the library

First page of the book Farmwife by Marion Roberts. If you're from Ateneo, you might want to read it patiently.

(Written during my last month in Ateneo as a student. In which I spent time in the library reading a really old book, Farmwife by Marion Roberts, and sometimes free writing in which, most of the time, for more than 5 years, I didn't make any sense at all although I try to give my best but always fail.)

Let me tell you about myself. What I have become after twenty-two years of living. To tell you quite frankly, I don't know where to start. If I will write something based on today, it might or might not matter tomorrow, in a week, a month, or in five years. But today, I exist. I exist among these students in an air-conditioned library who are trying to study for their exams.

Today I am trying to finish a book published on 1952. It is about a woman who lives in the farm. It is not a novel rather a diary with twenty-two chapters. I am half way to finishing it. That is if I really want to read on. To be honest, I feel sleepy whenever I read it. The reason why I am reading it is because it is talking about a peaceful life of a woman in a farm with her family and tourists, who visit their little hotel, who are unbelievably interesting, nice, and happy. I have cheated though. I read the end pages of it and I learned that the story did not have an ending. The author was simply writing down her lovely life in the farm. I am seeking a peaceful and lovely life, situation, or even a fleeting happenstance in life, maybe that is the reason why I keep on reading it. The images I see when reading it somehow helps.

I am just killing time writing just like how I am killing time reading a very old book that no one around seems to care enough to open it. Killing time to read an old book that I love but don't love (because it is lengthy and boring) at the same time but cares to finish it anyway right after my hands, heart, and mind decide to stop pouring and writing down words on this paper.

And so I guess it ends here.
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