Saturday, November 07, 2009

good old optimism

it's official, I AM OFFICIALLY DONE WITH CATCHING FIRE and will be waiting for the third book!!!!

it's amazing how this one sembreak managed to make me fall in love with reading again. reading is the only way I can keep myself sane and to prevent myself from imploding. seriously, I thought this sem would be a good fresh start for me; I guess I was wrong. the only consolation is that I only have a few months more and thus, there's nothing to worry about (insert fake smile right here).

so seriously...I need optimism right now and if only it grew on trees, or came with every pack of safeguard, then I would be good. but no, it's learned, and I have to do whatever it takes to keep myself from going over the deep end.

well, there's always selecta cornetto. don't you just love their caramel cone?

AN: am i becoming too emo?hahaha

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

my sembreak booklist

I'm actually happy that the time I have right now is partially devoted to catching up on my reading. Last year's sembreak (2008) saw me buying "Love in the time of Cholera" by Marquez, which I managed to finish this year around May. During our Dumaguete vacation, I managed to buy around 5 books, 4 of which I'm done reading! I'm also happy because these are some of the books I have always wanted to get my hands on but couldn't because of time and finacial constraints. Eunice actually told me that she could just imagine me at National Bookstore like a child running around, like it's already Christmas or something. Yeah, I do get giddy everytime I enter a 'real' bookstore. There isn't any thing remotely close to that here in Zamboanga.

So I was really excited when I saw the 39 clues being displayed at the entrance of the store. These are short (150 - 200 page) books published by Scholastic press, with each book penned by a different author. It revolves around the lives of Dan and Amy Cahill, who, upon the death of their beloved grandmother, discover that they are actually part of a powerful clan which basically shaped modern history. The whole point of the story is that the siblings are on the chase to find 39 clues that will lead them to the source of the Cahill family's power. A slew of greedy, powerful, deceitful, and oftentimes idiosycratic relatives who also took on the challenge of finding the clues add spice to the story. I only bought books 1 - 3 (The Maze of Bones, One False Note, The Sword Thief respectively) because 1. I didn't know if I would like the story and 2. Each book costs around P500 so buying in bulk is pretty hard on the wallet. But lucky enough, these are actually the kind of books I would really really read. It engages the reader enough to actually want to be part of the quest himself (The nerd I am). But seriously, the pace is just right and the one thing I craved about the book is its ability to make the reader want more.

Next on my list is the Hunger Games trilogy, with Hunger Games and Catching Fire (by Suzanne Collins) being the first and second book respectively. Now, this is totally different from 39 clues in the sense that if the 39 clues is a humorous adventure-thriller which is most of the time, PG, the Hunger Games on the other hand, tells a story of survival in the strictest sense of the word, in a post-apocalyptic US, which is ruled by an omnipresent government bent on maintaining order through fear. We have Katniss Everdeen, the underdog and a representative of the hungry masses. Her life turns around when she was chosen to represent her district in the Hunger Games..A contemporary gladiator bloodbath where teenagers (aged 12 - 18) are forced to kill each other in order to survive and to win. This was instituted by the government as a tool to keep in the people in line. For Katniss, winning guarantees fame, food and safety...or does it? If your don't get what the Hunger Games are about, or if you feel my explanation to be inadequate, you can always google it, or better yet buy the book!

I'm done with Hunger Games and I'm in the first few pages of Catching Fire and I have to say that I have become a fan. You can always look up reader's reviews and they are generally positive, heck, even Stephenie Meyer loves it.

Monday, November 02, 2009


it's been a few days since I arrived from my Dumaguete vacation and I really managed to get the detox I need. A part of me actually didn't want to go back to Zamboanga because that would mean the end of the stress-free days wandering in the city, the tricycle rides and the really good food and atmosphere. But I still had the time of my life with my friends and taking it from Nelly Furtado, all good things come to an end. So here's a rundown of the moments I had while I was on vacation...

I drooled on the bus to Dipolog


I experienced my first Ro-Ro ride bound for Dumaguete (really)


We stayed at Silliman heights courtesy of MJ and I really liked the fresh Dumaguete air. In hindsight maybe I just place Zamboanga on a lower pedestal so much that I subscribe to the idea that everything's better than Zamboanga. hehe


We ate Panda Ice Cream for breakfast...EXTREMELY SATISFYING

Photobucket Photobucket

then had lunch at Aunty Pilar's carinderia, a Zamboanguena (and a family friend of the Wee family) who's based in Dumaguete. again, EXTREMELY SATISFYING.


We toured around town and also realized that we made it in time for the Buglasan festival and lo and behold...seized the opportunity to do things we could never ever do in Zamboanga: take pictures with the floats and dancers!!!


sampled a town favorite: Hayahay resto's pizza ('All-meat' and 'Hayahay special'). What actually made the pizza tastier than it already is, is the fact that it was really affordable and the portions were just right.


strolled along the boulevard, taking in how not all boulevards are created equal.


cam-whored a bit around the plaza

realized how ukay-ukays do hide treasures and the power of a convincing haggle; I bought three apparently designer shorts for P 150.


discovered the 'diamond in the rough' of Dumaguete resorts: Antulang..the place where Ryan Agoncillo apparently proposed to Judy Anne. I also took in the crashing waves and truly felt the exhilaration of a good vacation!


tasted Dumaguete's version of a tempura. It doesn't really wow me because I never really liked tempura anyway, but the hype is apparently huge that stalls selling the stuff line the boulevard every night and they sell like hotcakes


made a one-day segue to Cebu with Eunice and tasted REAL gelato from Gelatissimo at SM: a scoop of exorbitant paradise...


Had a 360 degree view of Cebu city atop of the tallest building (?) in Cebu: the Crown Regency. The group also experienced the fear and adrenaline rush from the Edge Coaster and The Sky Walk. It was there that I realized I love high altitudes and had no reservations about seeing the cars dots the streets like ants.


Like I said, the trip didn't really last long. But we managed to squeeze in a lot of 'Us' time while we were there. I wouldn't say that it wasn't totally stress free...boat and bus rides didn't really appeal to me but I guess it's part of the adventure. But no I haven't and will never master the art of being a snob so I kept my feelings at bay and managed to reframe the situation into the something positive. It's only the ride to the destination after all. haha. Anyway, this was my first real non-working vacation with friends so I grabbed the chance as soon as the invitation was up.

Dumaguete's atmosphere had this inviting vibe that made people fall in love with it. It has all the amenities people could ask for, and it also helps that the people are friendly. But it was a challenge for me to understand Bisaya and it doesn't help that I'm the only one in the group that can't really communicate using the language. So my friends actually conversed with me in Bisaya which apparently was part of me learning. And now that I'm back in dear old Zambo (which I actually miss), I actually miss the constant buzz of unintelligible (HAHA) phrases.

I fell in love with Dumaguete...wait, love is an understatement. If you can find a bigger word for love then that's what I felt. I can't wait to go back!!!