January 28, 2015

Onward I go

A video posted by Debie 🔆 (@superdhebz) on



I miss home. But I know I needed to explore life in a different city -- a new territory. I am a nomad now. But I am still the same. My hopes are high for this city. I hope it will serve me right despite the roller coaster ride. 

1 of 25 Things


One of the things from my 25 of things to do for my 25th year is to plant at least 8 trees. Well, I am glad that I had the chance to plant 22 trees before I left the Philippines! We planted 17 trees in Lamanan Calinan and 5 trees in Malagamot, Panacan.

Trees planted in Lamanan, Calinan:
3 Calamansi
3 Mango Florida
3 Mango Apple
3 Mangosteen
2 Guava
2 Avocado
1 Jackfruit

Trees planted in Malagamot, Panacan:
2 Lanzones
2 Mangosteen
1 Durian

I shared this fun activity with my family (Ate Rachel, Manoy Junjun & Cousins: Kuya Danny and Romel).

January 24, 2015

Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery

 

Anne of Avonlea is the second book from the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery. This book was published in 1978. I scored my copy at the book sale same with my other Anne of Green Gables books (still looking out for #4!). 

This book is just as wonderful as the first one. Anne Shirley is now sixteen and growing up. I see a lot of changes and character development throughout the book. I got hooked most especially with Davy and Dora. These two add some spice into the story and I am glad that these characters somehow reminded me of Anne Shirley in book one. It is thrilling how these characters move with each other. The balance in every character is what makes me embrace this story and love it even more. 

Anne Shirley's character is on a steady-state here. I can't see any big events happening except at the last chapters of the book. Compared to the first one, which has a lot of excitement as to how and what will happen next, in this book it's more like a  prolonged story and a preparation for the next book. I think. Although I like the lessons and wisdom and frustrations and everything that Anne Shirley's character has stepped up from being a little girl to a teenager. 

I didn't have any problem with the visuals. I think having read and loved and imagined everything in the first book, reading it and visualizing each scene was not hard. Also, it helped me imagine the world in the book by looking through photographs of the Prince Edward Island, which is, of course, a beautiful place.

What I liked about this book is its power to capture me all the way because it totally is relatable(?). I guess that is because I have known the life from childhood to early twenties that I know how it was for Anne Shirley from book 1 to book 2.

Overall, I like the story just the same with the first book. Although I'd take one star from perfect five because there was just a tiny bit in me that I thought it could have been perfect if there were more events happening. However, I'm still looking forward to all the books in this series because I love Anne Shirley!

 

As I have mentioned, I scored this book at the book sale. In the recent months, whenever I visit the store, I get thrilled when I spot an Anne of Green Gables book because it's such a good old book! I remember one time a guy told his friend that finding an old book is like finding a treasure. I totally agree. What's more exciting when I found this book and scanned the pages to check if it is good is the writings in the back. I chuckled when I saw 'wonderful' written five times by Maya Marshall. I bet she's the first owner of this book and she probably is in her 60's or plus years now. I am trying to contact her now and hoping I could send her this photo and let her know I own her old 'wonderful' book now. It must cheer her up to know about it. So, if you know her please tell me how to contact her or tell her about this. That would be a great help!

*Update: I searched her address. Turns out she once lived in Maple Pond Homes. I e-mailed them and asked if she still lives there (because if she still does I can send her a letter.) but they replied saying "she no longer lives there~" I figured maybe she was still a kid back when she had this book and lived there. She must have changed her maiden name and married somewhere else and maybe she is in a different state or country. But anyway, it's okay. At least I've tried my best to find her! It could have been fun to let her see the book she once owned. :)

Lastly, here are some of the quotes I like from the book:

"Oh, I don't know. I've come so far short in so any things. I haven't done what I meant to do when I began to tech last fall... I haven't lived up to my ideals." "None of us ever do. But then, Anne, you know what Lowell says, 'Not failure but low aim is crime.' We must have ideals and try to live up to them, even if we never quite succeed. Life would be a sorry business without them. With them it's grand and great. Hold fast to your ideals, Anne."

"Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them to the future with us."

"I'm really a very happy, contented little person in spite of my broken heart. But, Anne, a broken heart in real life isn't half as dreadful as it is in books. It's a good deal like a bad tooth... though you won't think that a very romantic simile. It takes spells of aching and gives you a sleepless night now and then, but between times it lets you enjoy life and dreams and echoes and peanut candy as if there were nothing the matter with it. Isn't this candy scrumptious? I've eaten far more than is good for me already but I'm going to keep recklessly on."

"I must get out all my ambitions and dust them."

"Changes ain't totally pleasant but they're excellent things. Two years is about long enough for things to stay exactly the same. If they stayed put any longer they might grow mossy."

January 20, 2015

Everville: The First Pillar by Roy Huff


Mr. Roy Huff sent me this copy through Good Reads First Reads! It's a pleasure to read the first book of the Everville series entitled The First Pillar.  This is a YA Fantasy book published on April 1, 2013. It all started with the protagonist, Owen Sage, being a freshman in college. During his first days in college he was slowly experiencing weird things as he was crossing, at random times, into a different dimension named Everville. It is fairly an easy read though some paragraphs are too descriptive which I think does not need more explanations. The story got me hooked from the start because I liked how it drew me in apart from the story itself but into the different dimension created as part of the story.

As for the characters, Owen and The Keeper, I can't see any character development although I did not really expect for it since this is the first book of the series and there are too many descriptive paragraphs explaining things apart from the character themselves. However, Owen started to understand some things in the other dimension: Everville that I think what makes the story interesting so far.



What's unique about this book from other Fantasy books I have read is that the setting can be confusing. The characters move from one setting to another: normal world and the other dimension: Everville. As far as I can remember, there was no problem in the writing in terms of shifting from one setting to another and vice versa. At the same time, this book is too descriptive that I had no problem visualizing the story. That is probably why I had no problem with regards to moving from two entirely different worlds.

Owen Sage's character is interesting in terms of his experiences that were put into words and phrases that somehow I can relate to. The story is great as a start of a series. It is very interesting and as one of the reviews says it is a combination of Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, and The Lord of The Rings.



Here are some of the quotes I can relate to:

"I should warn you, though, that even good intentions could lead to unintended consequences. As you gain more awareness and control, you should not lose focus of your end goal. Otherwise, it can lead to over-confidence and even corruption. [...] That's why it's important to stay connected with those close to you who share your principle values. They can help ground you and stay focused, even from a great distance."

"I knew life was not perfectly simple and luck was involved, but it was undeniable that hard work paid dividends and being lazy was not generally a good idea. I also believed that having hope and a general sense of optimism made one more likely to be aware of opportunities and take advantage of those opportunities when they existed. After all, a serial pessimist would have no reason to take a risk if he thought failure was the likely outcome."

"You see! If you come in contact with great power, you must not be overwhelmed by it. The secret to controlling great power is the same secret that you must apply in your daily life when you are faced with great challenges. You must calm yourself and quiet your mind. Learn to filter the distractions and focus on the key elements that really matter."

"The answer you seek lies in learning to combine the power of reason with the passion of emotion. If you let reason alone control your choices, you lose the power of intuition. If you let emotion control your choices, you will be a slave to every minor tragedy."

"The only thing that could be done now is to stay focused on the task at hand and try not to get distracted by the utter grandiosity of the moment."

"One of the foundations of truth in the universe is that courage is required of any truly great species, and not just any courage. A lust for death and a willingness to die does not constitute courage. Courage is when you are willing to sacrifice your short-term desires for a greater purpose. Courage is when you are willing to live and endure suffering to achieve a greater end."

January 16, 2015

That Falling Star

I have always been fascinated by the heavenly bodies that at some point in my life I wished I could be an astronaut or an astronomer. Stars make me wonder all the time. Seeing them makes me feel easy for a while and reminds me that it's an amazing world. Somehow, whenever I look at them or even just a glimpse, I forget about my troubles -- a heavy breath, a smile. I remember back in 2012, I wrote all the astronomical events in my calendar and patiently waited for a show in the sky. I didn't see anything at all ... ever since. The earliest memory I can remember looking at the clear evening sky was when I was around 7 years old. I was singing Twinkle, twinkle, little star. How I wonder what you are? I remember it so well. It was so vivid.

I was quite satisfied with the same stars I see. Though I hope I could see the northern lights and wonder if I will ever see a falling star in my existence. Life surprised me one night while I was in the terrace talking to my cousin Romel and family friend Jak-jak. We were sitting under the clear evening sky. When I unintentionally looked up to my right and saw a falling star. It disappeared just when I exclaimed its existence! It was so bright and beautiful. Also, magical. It was a magical night. I also made a wish.

That night, I felt very special for seeing such a beautiful and simple event in the sky. I am very glad for that little connection that made my life even more meaningful. I always think that I haven't figured out everything yet but maybe I am looking at it in the wrong way. I don't really have to figure out everything in this world. Just like a falling star, my life is also fleeting however bright and meaningful.


January 12, 2015

A postcard sent to Germany.


Another postcrossing venture! I sent this one to Philip from Germany. He likes anime so I figured that he might know Detective Conan which, by the way, is a great one!

January 8, 2015

Postcard swap: Manila, Philippines

Shinichi and Ran The #postcard I sent to Manila for @phoebe.swaps! I'm glad that you have finally received it. I wonder where your Where's Waldo postcard has gone though. I might as well find him inside the post office next week! Oh, Waldo!! Hahaha

A month ago, I participated a postcard swap with Phoebe from Manila. She wanted this postcard: Shinichi & Ran of Detective Conan Anime and I am supposed to receive a Where's Waldo postcard in return. To my dismay, up to now, my post office has not sent me the postcard. I already checked the office but there's nothing for me. I guess it's lost now. But I am glad that Phoebe has received my card safely! I have a stack of Detective Conan postcards with me that I am very much willing to give those who likes it. Do you want one? E-mail me!

I have said it before and I will say it again: Yay for postcards! :)


January 4, 2015

Ice Breaker #5: What is the best gift that you can give to yourself? Why?

A lot -- if we talk about material things, there are a lot. If there are no boundaries and money is not an issue, I would go crazy choosing just one best gift or gather everything in this world in a box so I could just choose that box for me. But I am not hungry for physical existence of things that would probably disappear and their meaning would most probably won't matter in, let's say, two years or so.

The best gift that would matter right now, aside from all the abstract & positive things out there, I'd give myself the risk of living on my own. I know that would not happen right away but, as for the moment, that sounds just right. If I haven't said it enough in my blog, I have been packing my things and categorized them as 'to donate' and 'to keep'. It sure is very difficult to do it. I can't count how many times I've cried. Twenty-four years of living in this home was lovely. I've had the perfect childhood, crazy high school life, challenging college life... there were a share of happy and sad days. I know everyone knows what I feel right now because all people go through this phase where they just have to give themselves the freedom to live on their own. I am excited and I am constantly reminding myself to be fearless. Because I want to believe that everything is going to be alright.

I choose this gift not because I know it is going to happen but I know that I needed this push to level up my life. It's not a fancy gift, at all, but I know it is going to give me an entirely different twist in my life story.

***Thanks to my sister Rachel and her husband Melbert for being the medium for this big change.
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