felix felicis

felix felicis

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hung over

In a very nice way. Hahaha. Finally saw Antoinette Jadaone's That Thing Called Tadhana. Twice. Hehehe. I had so much to say about the film-- stuff that made it great, personal reflections and the myriad feelings that it conjured from my usual lazy self. Yes, feelings. Charoz kaldo. Anyway, will still write them down so I'm posting an info graphic I found somewhere in the vast cyberworld illustrating "Where do broken hearts go?"

Source: https://misstache.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/tadhana-3-header.png

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Sunday, February 1, 2015


Sharing something Papa Jack, the guy from the radio, wrote. Was also shared by a Facebook friend. It was a good one. Read on:


Their death is a tragedy. It conjures too many emotions, majority of which anger. The urge to avenge and take the lives of the people who killed our brothers. We may find it easy to push government to storm Maguindanao and wage a fire fight because that maybe the easier way out. But will it solve anything? At the very least, calling an all-out war would mean more people will suffer displacement and death. We can demand justice but never another war. Our brothers and sisters in the South have suffered way too many. Our soldiers are also tired. We've wasted too much energy on fighting and never coming up with a resolution. It will not be easy because that crucial trust had been broken. But we can always go back to where we started and how far we've come. The peace process remains a better option than raising our arms to fight and spill blood.



What are we holding onto, Sam?

That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it is worth fighting for.

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Still writing

Writing is an arduous task. You seem to get ideas whirring in your brain. But the words, without proper motivation, do not form any coherent thought. Sometimes it seems that you got them right. And then after some reading, they may either sound jumbled or out of touch. You end up crumpling that piece of paper, throwing it in trash and flipping a new one to start again. The same goes when the writing gets electronic. It's either the backspace or delete buttons that get your fingers' brunt. Or the Trash Bin's filled with unfinished notes and too many drafts. 

Maybe it's the pen. Or the feel of the paper when the tip touches it. Or maybe I'm not in the mood. It takes a jolting experience to push us to write those pent up stories, scenarios or theories that fill our little heads. Sometimes, we tell ourselves we can't focus. There's just too much inside that we can't put to words. Or that concept's too magnanimous to articulate. It may take time. It may take so much effort. It may need a little more creativity or innovation before I can type the words so that blinking cursor could move.

Finally, we think, maybe I'm not a good enough writer. Other people can express those words better than what I've written so far. They weave in letters into syllables and then into phrases and paragraphs like looming a nice quilt. They all look and sound and feel different but when taken as a whole, the beauty of it all resonates. There's reason and rhyme. Maybe, just maybe, I am not good enough to write. 

O but you practice. You try again because you love how the ink slowly paves way for more letters to be scribbled. You try because there's beauty in the different handwritings you use depending on your mood. You try because deep inside you feel that at one moment, the rhythm you are looking for will finally be brought to life. So you try. Until the words bring forth flesh and life. You try. Because it is only through writing that you feel alive.


Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in an academic writing workshop. Our Thursday class Professor organised one with a colleague and together they shared guidelines on writing. I missed the first half because I was too sleepy to get up and go to school. The morning session focused on assessing the student's reading comprehension plus several tools on writing. 

During the afternoon, which I was able to finish, the discussions centred on answering essay-type examinations, creating annotated outlines for academic papers and then a mini-writing session. The guidelines were not different from those we get to read from writing books. What makes it special though, was that I can contrast the theory of writing with my current writing practice. I realized that on the one hand, my writing problems include my laziness to produce clear outlines. This is the usual reason why I get lost in the process of writing. Also, I tend to get enamoured by information and literature. The message of the papers I write then, end up blurred or messed up. On the other, when I become too meticulous, the paper ends up the same. 

They say balance is key. The only way to do so is practice and get as much feedback as I can on the papers I write. Hopefully, our Thursday class, which focuses on how we conceptualise special issues and write something about these stuff, will be that much-needed platform.

Plus this new research writing job I took on the side. Hahaha. :) 

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Reading challenge

Found this post from my friend's feed. My youngest sister thought it was a good idea and said she'll try it out. My younger sister agreed. Bandwagoning with them on this and then using the BBC Top 100 List as reference for titles. If successful, I can hit two birds with one stone: accomplishing two reading challenges by fusing them. Hopefully. :)

Sharing it here.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hanoi thoughts

It's been exactly a month after that slightly spur-of-the-moment trip to Hanoi in Vietnam. Slight because I was half hoping that I'd get that opportunity to study for at least a week overseas. But yeah, kept my expectations at the minimum because the universe usually plays tricks on me. Hehehe. Anyway, Paulo Coelho was right. When you want something, the universe conspires for it to happen. Two weeks before the scheduled start of the short course, I received an email congratulating and inviting me to participate. Quite like manna from heaven. Hahaha. When the organisation I work with agreed to finance the course registration fee and half of the airfare, I was ecstatic. Bonus blessing indeed!

Vietnamese flag!
Of course, the trip wasn't all bed of roses. The weeks before it, I had to work overtime to meet all of the requirements and preparations for the project entrusted to me plus school stuff that I had to submit before I leave. It wasn't easy. I can't get too excited lest I botch the work I'm doing as of that moment. At one point, I thought: should I just not go and prioritise work and academics? But on the other, I felt I cannot let this opportunity pass me by. Again. I already had a chance last time to present a paper in an international conference in Davao but I ditched it for work. I cannot let that happen again this time. So yeah, I pushed through with the trip. 

When I got there, I was quite nervous. I dunno if I'd make friends during the whole course or if I'd be able to participate during the discussions. I mean, I'm confident with my command of the English language but I'm not really the talkative type so yeah, not sure how the whole thing will go about. But thank God for adding a dose of courage, I was able to muster enough to speak, participate and meet new people. It also helped that my classmates were quite intrigued about the Philippines. Their usual assumptions bordered okay to downright funny: 
  • They thought English is our national language. Told them no. The Thomasite teachers brought by American imperialists taught early Filipinos in English. Most Filipinos also grew up with Hollywood culture and are in love with anything Western or American. The same love for American culture remains. The results of a certain survey saying we love US more than anyone else proves just that. Hahaha
  • Filipinos are mostly chubby. Whuuuut. Ok. Because we love to eat, that is why. Most of our gatherings serve food for everyone, usually with two to three hour intervals. But but but, I have a slimmer frame according to my Vietnamese friends. Naxxxx. 
  • Filipinos are great singers. Usual examples include Charice, Christian Bautista and Lea Salonga. Told them Filipinos love to sing. We have karaokes everywhere and singing has become a favorite past time for most. But not all are can belt out those notes perfectly. Like me. Hahaha! I tried you know. Hahaha!
Anyway, as I have said, it was a great and awesome experience for me to gain new friends from different parts of the globe. It was also enriching to learn about their culture and the work that they do. I have a classmate who is a Vietnamese-American working at a large development group. She took a leave and travelled halfway across the globe to see her hometown for the first time. The peace workshop we had happened just in time for her month-long visit which was good for her. There's also this unassuming man who happened to be the leading poet in Bangladesh. He even gave us copies of his book and signed it. Waaaw. Hahaha. And then, some of them teach at the university-- two are from Nepal, the other's from Thailand and then there's also from Hawaii and South Korea. Others have also equally interesting backgrounds and stories that might overwhelm this post. Hahaha. But seriously, this is something I want to experience and participate in again. 

More about the lessons on other blog entries. For now, enjoy the photos posted in my Flickr account. Did a bit of street photography. Some of them are here:

Everyone's dancing during the cultural night. I'm taking pictures and hopping in between. Hahaha!

Oreo milkshake. Viet style.

This is the poet from Bangladesh. We call him Mr. Language, I dunno why. Giang gave him that name.

Giang (in green) tried to test if the cow dung was hard enough for her to stand on. It was not. Fail.

Bike! Still lacking the biking abilities. Pffft.

A teapot's inside this basket to preserve heat. 

Well, well, well.

This is some sort of a snack made of clear, glutinous rice and diced mushrooms wrapped in
mint leaves then dipped in vinegar. Yum!

Here's the fish our classmates caught. Grilled and served on a banana leaf. :D

Traditional Vietnamese head gear. Even motorists use this. Hahaha!

Everyone's tired from touring the museum. 

Traditional Vietnamese house. That's me trying to get down the steep stairs. Scaredy cat.

I love these hand painted necklaces! They're a bit expensive but still worth taking home as souvenir.
Got two necklaces, mine's painted with a fish, the other which I gave to the self-help guru friend is painted with a cat.

Bargain finds at the Old Market.

Scooters everywhere.


That's Erkin buying his bargain backpack. 


Hanoi traffic at night.
I promise I'll go back. :D

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Do more 2015: Two more years before my Bucket List expires

Two years back, I promised that I’ll complete my bucket list before I turn 25. Listed around 50 things to eat, experience and places to go. Halfway through the expiry date, let’s see if I did more. Hehe.

Things I achieved out of my bucket list:
  • Participate in a fun run.
  • Go hiking or wall climbing. Also did mountain climbing!
  • Eat something exotic. We did fried frogs, fried ants and tamilok!
  • Pig out. Doing this most of the time.
  • Appear on whatever show. Hello, cameos in news clips. Haha!
  • Have my own photo blog and camera. Hihi. Working on my own online portfolio. Nakzzz.
  • Go on a road trip. We did Ilocos and Los Banos.
  • Distribute bibles to random people.
  • Do some charity work. Continue the shoebox thing. 
  • Have my own business. Burloloy’s on a hiatus but we promise we’ll be back.
  • Join a festival. Yay, Masskara and Panagbenga!
  • Join a cosplay. Good thing we have Christmas costume contests at the office. Hehe.
  • Participate in a bazaar.
  • Learn pottery. Winner experience in Ilocos!
  • Be better in baking.
  • Study abroad. Short course in Hanoi during the last quarter of 2014 was an awesome and blessed experience. More for 2015!
  • Disneyland! Yay we’re going back. Hahaha

Things I tried but have yet to improve on, coz I’m a noob:
  • Learn to play the piano. 
  • Visit all the places enumerated in Tara Na Byahe Tayo song. Only did 13 out of 31. More more more.
  • Learn how to bike. Balancing is weird for my body. Tsss.
  • Plant a tree. Need more lessons on herbology.

Things I’m halfway done:
  • Finish reading the books I listed on my to-read list. 50 or more. Hahaha
  • Finish my MA. One more sem. Hehehe :D
  • See Southeast Asia. Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, SG, Myanmar. Done with Vietnam, Thailand and HK.

Things I still need to achieve:
  • Be on a gig. Play an instrument or sing.
  • Be a street musician for a day. Guitars would do.
  • Try an extreme sport. 
  • Learn how to scuba dive.
  • Party til I drop.
  • Participate in a flash mob.
  • Paint walls. Vandalize.
  • Learn French. Be better in Spanish. 
  • Spelunking.
  • Visit Batanes.
  • Have my own library. Create my own book.
  • Go on a cruise.
  • Have a kiddie birthday celebration.
  • Create a short movie.
  • Watch a meteor shower.
  • Have a pet dog or a cute goldfish.
  • Own a car. Learn how to drive.
  • Publish an article in a major broadsheet or magazine.
  • Go bungee-jumping.
  • Get a degree on graphic design or advertising.
  • Study abroad under a scholarship.
  • Wear a bathing suit.
  • Ride on top of a jeepney.
  • Live with indigenous peoples for a day.
  • Treat a total stranger to a nice meal.
  • Ice skating. 
  • Play with snow.

All in all, I did 17 out of 50. Needs improvement but not really that bad. Do more 2015! :D

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