March 22, 2014

Missed Connection: Miss V

This is one of the photos I have taken during the semester wherein I encountered the coolest professor I've had!

I seldom enjoyed my classes back in college but it's probably because of lack of motivation (though that does not mean I was a full-time lazy student). However there is one class I remember enjoying even if it made me do a lot of reading and writing essays out of the movies or readings discussed. It's one of the four Philosophy classes I've taken. It's not even the last Philosophy class I've had but second to the last. It was my Philosophy of Morality class under Miss V. (P.S. I enjoyed all of my Philosophy classes!)

And probably I did not only enjoy it, I even like how cool Miss V was. She was a favorite. The coolest professor I've ever had. It isn't even a major subject but it was one of the few that I like remembering. It's probably because I was feeling independent back then, I practiced myself being alone at the university. Not too dependent with others. In other words, I basked myself with books, doing projects mostly by myself, talking to some people but not for too long, making lists of side projects, and tried cooking seriously, etc. Miss V, aside from being so intellectual, became an instant role model to me. 

Her aura was remarkable. I don't know how to explain it. She's intelligent and it's definitely just one of the many reasons why I like her. When I remember her, I remember to be serious, responsible and empowered. She has a strong personality that speaks to me silently. It was two years ago when I had that class but until now, I am still trying to figure out what it is exactly that I want to be out of her influence to me. I know there is something.

I will always remember the time when she took a book I just borrowed from the library just before the class started. She read it and asked why do I read such book: Franny and Zooey, and I answered: I just want to. She just stared and smiled at me. At that moment, I knew she wanted to say something but probably didn't continue to converse because she does not want to spoil me about the book. The book, by the way, was a really good one. Not just a good one, it was a book one ought to read and think about life in general. It's a favorite book and I want to tackle that book to one of my favorite professors if given the chance.

March 18, 2014

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

FIRST OF ALL: This is my favorite book of all time (!!). I need not to say a lot about The Hobbit because there's nothing else to say about it because it's so beautiful and I don't know how to elaborate my adoration for this beautiful book! --END

I figured maybe I should forget all the ~feels~ I have for this book and be relevant somehow, so...

Some points (which contain spoilers):

1. My favorite character would definitely be Bilbo Baggins. His movement of this character from being introvert to adventurer, this gradual change, the transformation, is one of the reasons why I am glued to the story. Every end of each adventure towards Smaug made him tougher, wiser, and a leader.

2. The flow of the story: light to dark. Which also drives Bilbo from being just a simple fellow to becoming a hero. Although Bilbo has no interest in the adventure itself, he actually made better decisions (with the help of Gandalf) than Thorin. I think.

3. Tolkien introduced each races with different moral characteristics but can easily be defined as good or bad. Those who are Good are fighting for the good (but some, like Thorin, are selfish and only seemed to fight for the good because of his birthright-- for the treasure alone).

4. The Gollum & Bilbo scene wherein they played the riddle game and when Bilbo, with the ring on, escaped from Gollum were, needless to say, one of the amazing (also, all sorts of funny, frightening, and exciting) parts of the story.

5. The feeling I get every after they leave a place varies upon the current set-up. Like, for example, when they left the place where they met the Trolls was comforting but then there goes another one. And another example is when they left Beorn's place and (kind of) knowing what lies ahead was kind of scary. The movement from lighthearted to serious to more serious actually makes the story very interesting for the reader, I suppose.

6. As the group comes nearer Smaug's lair, in the Lonely Mountain, the dwarves are becoming useless especially Thorin. This moves Bilbo to be wiser and heroic. Especially when he encountered Smaug for the first time.

7. Bard, the bravest among all the humans in the story, killed Smaug. I admit it was very surprising because in my head I have been thinking on how will Thorin or Bilbo kill Smaug. I was not expecting Bard to kill Smaug but I was joyful somehow that the fearsome dragon is dead. (So yay Thorin! Also, booo)

8. The heroism that Bilbo portrayed amongst other "good" people, the realization that being a hero always ends up with peace and not with lust for gold~, and the evil's power fades no matter how they deal with the good -- these are some of the points I learned from the book which reserve as a reminder not only in fantasy books but also in real life.

It's one of the most well-written story of all time and I am happy to experience being in Middle-earth for a month. It took me a long time to finish it simply because I don't want it to end so easily. :p

Let me talk about some things not with regards to the story but with regards to the book. I used to go to the Booksale a few months ago and I spotted a lot of The Hobbit books in the shelf for 180 pesos only. I would have bought this book if only the book has a 'more appropriate cover' (aka not movie-based covers) but I got tired of finding other book editions so I actually bought the one with a movie-based cover. But after a week, when I went back to the store, I found this beautiful and better edition and I felt so sad for not having it and mad for having bought the crappy one. To make the boring story short, the sales lady agreed to give me this edition instead in exchange of the crappy edition I had. SO YAY. This was 20 pesos cheaper but she said there is no refund but I didn't care just as long as I have a beautiful cover of the book I am reading. What is 20 pesos when you can't even appreciate the story more because of the movie-based cover? I know, I have book cover issues. Hahaha! 

Also, I found out that this cover was designed by Tolkien himself. So I am really lucky to have it even if it's a second-hand. The book is in good condition actually, no paper tears, no cuts, no losing pages, no folds, no pen marks, whatsoever. The paper is kind of old but that actually makes it more special. This was published in 1996. :)

March 16, 2014

Outin by Brandt Legg

Outin by Brandt Legg is the second book of the Inner Movement series. The story continues swiftly where the first book ended. It introduces a new setting, a new world, a dimension -- Outin -- wherein new things and a lot of discoveries were learned. Outin seemed to be a secured dimension where the characters could refresh themselves spiritually, emotionally and physically. A month in Outin is an hour in reverse time so they had a lot of time to heal, think, and reflect. With the help of Future Nate, Nate and Dustin learned about the four lakes: (1) Star Falls -- which helps conquer fear, (2) Floral Lake -- for nourishment, (3) Dreams Lake -- for dreams and fantasies, and (4) Rainbow Lake -- for some glimpse into the future. They spent 8 weeks in all four lakes and practiced their powers. Another great thing in Outin is the different windows where they can go to a place so easily. And so with the new safe place, the characters were able to strengthen their different abilities. Until Lightyear, the secret government group, found the same dimension where they were staying. Their journey continued as more and more complexities such as death and other matters were involved (including romance which I think will be expounded more in the third book I hope!). Deciding who to trust was now different. Outin turned out to be a chaotic place; an entirely different place to be in.

What I like about the story  is that it kept me wanting for more every end of each chapter. It kept me interested because of how the story evolved from less complicated to super chaotic adventure. It totally captured my curiosity about who is telling the truth, who is loyal, who is real. It is a great fantasy story to read. And I honestly had a lot of WHAT?!?! moments while going through it. So, I really enjoyed the story and I definitely recommend everyone who likes reading fantasy genre to give this series a go! 

Looking forward to read the third book entitled Outmove.

To add more, I would like to thank Mr. Brandt Legg for being so generous in giving me the second book. Congratulations for publishing such a story. Thank you, sir!

March 9, 2014

Holga 135BC: Kodak ColorPlus 100 (April-May 2013)

Here are a few of my shots taken using Holga 135BC camera with Kodak ColorPlus ISO 100. These photographs are the only ones with better quality (somehow better rather, lol) out of 24 shots. Clearly, I am kind of bad at manual photography but I am happy with the results nevertheless.

I remember this shot clearly. I was with my younger cousin on the second floor of a fast food chain when we saw that helicopter passing by. It was bigger with our naked eyes (in other words, nearer) but it came out the other way in this photo. 

Early morning sunrise. One of the reasons why I enjoy doing laundry early on a Sunday is this. It's kind of relaxing; a recurring reminder to face another week with a fresh start and a light heart.

Blurry photo of a lavender Hydrangea  and my left hand with my personalized bracelet given to me by Eileen years ago. Among all the flowers I have touched and seen in person, this is my favorite. It is growing so beautifully in my Tiya Petra's garden.

If you can't tell (obviously), this is a shelf full of books. Mostly academic books. The last few months of my college life was spent in the university library amongst books.

Taken on another Sunday morning. This time my brother installed a wind turbine toy. Ah, summer breeze.

When I am eating alone in a place with big transparent glasses overlooking a part of the city, I take photos as much as I can (mostly of strangers, and cars, and the sky). One of which is this.

The sun was high, and so was I~

Finster building,  Ateneo de Davao University. Taken by my friend, who was curious about the camera, named Don. He is a photography enthusiast as well.

Twin coconut trees standing tall and firmly in the city.

My last months in Ateneo were spent here. Mostly in the afternoon while waiting for my class, I stayed here reading a couple of books which had empty borrower's card list. There were a lot. I wish I could have spent more time for them.

The famous dancing fountain at SM Lanang premier. My cousin and I used to spend some time here sitting on the concrete stairs and eating ice cream while watching it dance to the music. Also, looking at groups of people taking photos of each other in front of the fountain.

Which reminds me about taking self portraits of people for my next film journey.

March 4, 2014

Postcards from China, Germany, and Iceland

I have some new postcards in the mail lately and all of them are lovely~  The postcards above are from Michael, a postcrosser from Denmark, who sent me three postcards in one envelope. Sad to say the original postcard he sent prior to these got lost and so he sent me a bunch. Thanks, Michael!

The third postcard is (YES I KNOWWWW OMG SO LOVELY) [a] The Little Prince postcard. I'm so thrilled when I saw it the first time just because~ Olivia of Beijing sent it to me because she knew I read books and it is her favorite one. Good choice, Olivia! The fourth postcard is one of the three postcards Michael sent me -- "Peaceful Place" by Henning Kappenberg.

The fifth postcard is a postcard sent by mon amour! It's a postcard from Iceland and it says "Aerial view of Namaskaro, one of the largest solfatara sites in Iceland." He has been around Iceland last year and I am so jealous about that. Hahaha! 

March 2, 2014

Ube jam recipe

A few months ago, while at the night market, my sister decided to buy some Ube (or Purple Yam) and make Ube jam. Without knowing how to properly make it, I volunteered to work it in the kitchen with some ideas in mind.

What I did was: peel the skin, grate them to small pieces as much as possible so it will be easier and faster to melt, put them in a hot pan, add a can of condensed milk (depends on how much ube you have), and keep stirring until it has a jam-like texture. I even added some pinch of salt for taste. It actually turned out great~ as what everyone at home said so.

Here's my scoop of Ube jam (and my failure attempt at making it less boring, lol). :D
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