Today is Thursday

…just another typical day. But another typical day means another happy day for the kids because school is out! (for another 3 days, that is). So, this is one of those usual days, but the difference is that the moments are caught on camera. Here’s to more usual days like this!

Basically, my cousins and I with my boyfriend hang out at home watching movies, play with the dogs outside and eat ice cream but I was holding a phone so I want to commemorate at least one of these days 🙂

They may not read this, but I am very grateful to these kids, they maybe naughty and noisy most of the time but I really know they always want to spend time with me even though I distant myself with them sometimes. They all call me “Pepen” now(Nyl was the only one before) which really means bestfriend. I hope when they grow old, they would still call me the same. Hihi.

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What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi Book Review

What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi, 2015

Rating: ☆☆☆

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Synopsis:

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?(goodreads)

My Thoughts:

It’s actually nice and the blurb really caught my attention. It’s one of those books I badly wanted to have, but unfortunately the feeling got old as the story progresses. It’s really bad because that’s now how I expected it to be. I was ready to at least shed a few tears but they didn’t came.

Characters:

The characters are okay especially Rye, I just hoped there’s a lot more of Meg because I didn’t really like Joni. I don’t know, she didn’t grow to me. I liked Meg’s bestfriend though, the Korean guy Alan. They’re just a bunch of typical teenagers and I found nothing special to them. It’s a good thing because it means it’s honest but maybe we need more creativity with that part.

Story Flow:

It’s a little bit slow and dragging at the beginning. I almost skipped the last fifty pages because I already know what’s gonna happen to the story.

Why You Should Read it:

It actually has a lot of potential. It’s like an aftermath of a Nicholas Sparks novel minus the sugar-coating. I can compare it to some Katie Cotugno novel but this one’s much better than those, I assure you. I know a lot people can relate to it, but maybe not me and as much as I wanted to get affected, I didn’t. But, it’s good enough for a light read. You might want to give it a try because others liked it but I don’t think it’s my cup of tea.


Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3) by Ransom Riggs Book Review (Short Review)

Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3) by Ransom Riggs,2015

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

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Synopsis:

The adventures that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued with Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls.

As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all.

Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography.(goodreads)

My Thoughts:

I was totally blown away! I really loved the third book for its consistency with the first two books. And, it’s a good kind of consistency where you can still see the progress and the development of the characters. I cannot really say a lot of things because I might end up spoiling you guys but one thing’s for sure-you will still feel like you are part of the peculiardom while reading this book. It’s the right balance of creepy and adventure, sprinkle of teenage love and whole lot of fantasy. It’s awesome! I really enjoyed the series and it’s kind of sad it has to end in the third book already.

I love how it ended to be honest. I was actually hoping for that kind of twist or I might aggressively demand a fourth book. Oh, and I did not put it down unless I’m done with it. I read it for 6 hours max, minus snack time and dinner(not that it matters) and I know that I will reread the series more than once.

I might do another blog post about it soon, because I felt that this book became a special part of me because somehow, I became attached with their world and the characters. But, for now, that’s it! Thanks for dropping by!


Breaking The Walls #4

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The challenge is when you don’t feel like it. It’s easy to hold on to what you promised to do when you feel good about it, but what happens when you are not?

Let me tell you how hard it is when you are Bipolar and a Christian. It’s really really hard. You want to do something but your mind tells you to do another. You want to understand people but your brain will rationalize why you don’t have to. Ha-ha. I know, I know. I’m a ball of contradictions and irony and I really don’t know what to do most of the time. But, the good thing is that we have a patient God and let me tell you it’s harder without Him. Emotions have been a big part of my life,and being too sensitive sometimes bring me trouble. But, being a Christian makes me more sympathetic towards others. It just creates the balance I need to be sane.

Today, I woke up feeling dreadful and unmotivated. But, what I’ve learned from the previous week that we actually have a choice to stand up against our feelings. I used to feel like I am doomed to be sad if I start the day with that feeling, but I realized that I have a choice. God has given us power to overcome our feelings and that we can have a different reaction toward our emotions. It’s not faking yourself, but actually standing up for yourself, and if you’re not that religious, you might wanna read/watch The Silver Linings Playbook and it’s saying actually the same thing.

Again, it’s my journey and I’m not saying it will work the same for every one, but I will be brave enough to say that God is patient to every one, and those who are willing to open their hearts to Him will never be disappointed.

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13 Reasons Why You Should Read 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, 2007

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

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Synopsis:

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.(goodreads)

Thirteen Reasons Why You Should Read 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher:

  1. It’s an honest take on what’s going on inside a highschool girl’s mind and how they still look for acceptance and real relationship from the people around them.
  2. The concept is unique. It’s actually hard to read at first from the constant change of voices but you will get the hang of it after the first few chapters.
  3. It’s almost 300 pages but you can read it in one sitting with a normal pace.
  4. It’s lyrical and depressive. Yet, I found myself anticipating what happens next. There are some moments when I needed to take a break to breathe because some scenes are hard to swallow. It’s painful.
  5. Hannah is very sensitive. Maybe too sensitive. Some people might think she overreacted all the time but if you are sympathetic enough or you have walked in her shoes(at least, while reading) you will see how hard things became for her just because of a List.
  6. You will look for yourself in the book. There are diverse characters and somehow you will ask yourself if you ever find yourself in that situation, will you be included in the reasons?
  7. A snowball effect-that’s how Hannah described what’s happening to her life. Things got worse one problem after another. You will get to choose whose side you’re on, I mean, will you understand her or simply just shrug and tell her to get a grip of her life?
  8. It will teach you how to be sensitive enough to know that people around you might be suffering from suicidal thoughts and depression.
  9. And these people need others. But, they also need you to be patient enough with them because most of the time, they have created barriers due to the painful things they’ve encountered in the past. Only few are brave enough to knock even when no one’s answering. Only few people stay even after you push them away.
  10. Simple things, like creating rumors might ruin someone else’s reputation and believe it or not, people care about their reputation. Not every one is thick enough to be bulletproof and invincible with people’s perception of them.
  11. The metaphor about the STOP sign: It’s quite a very obvious depiction of how Hannah wants to make things right after all, but people can be so mean and selfish to even care.
  12. No matter how depressing the story gets, in the end we get to see how Clay wants to use his new understanding of Hannah to at least, try to “save” other people through his words and actions.
  13. This book has a hopeful ending.

It’s my second time reading this book and I admit I did not enjoy it the first time. I even rated it 2.5 stars on Goodreads but I think I just don’t have the proper timing to read it before or maybe I understood Hannah better now. But nonetheless, I recommend this to everyone who are sixteen and above. It has some graphic description you wouldn’t want kids to read yet and I understand how it became a banned book. It’s sad the movie adaptation didn’t push through. I’d love to see Selena Gomez play the role well. 

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When traveling became an escape

Hello guys! How was your weekend? I really had sort of roller-coaster ride the previous week and I thought I was going to be exhausted but I am not. I learned so much and I feel like I am finally getting my life back together and I have to claim it because doing so will remind me that I am determined to continue getting on the right track again. But, we’re not talking about that right now. Traveling is fast becoming a necessity these days, and I have something to say about it.

I really have this thought for a long time now that I am gladly putting off for very long because I thought it’s absurd. I really question people who are getting their source of fulfillment and happiness through traveling. I mean, hey, let’s make this clear. I love traveling and I Iove meeting new people and learning new languages and all that, but I really wonder why some of my friends are really into it to the point that they no longer feel at home in their own houses and they no longer feel the need to improve themselves by immersing to an interest that barely needs going out. I respect people who can go to a different country and still feel responsible and connected to their roots. But, I usually encounter some who became arrogant just because they’ve already set foot on half of a continent or experienced winter across the globe. Some people even “forget” to speak the native language and the inconvenience of using public transportation.

And, let’s not forget those who are “moving on”. You have a broken heart, I understand you need to travel(and yes, let’s say you have the fund) to forget but, do you really need to escape your hometown to seek forgiveness and find yourself again? I just noticed that this generation romanticizes the idea of finding oneself by literally moving on and finding who you are in the wilderness, or on the snow, or whatever. Again, I have nothing against that, but really? Can we face our personal problems first before we commit to a year round of travel? I mean, it saves money, plus you will get to plan your own itinerary much better when you have clearer mind. Eat, Pray, Love have sold millions and I assure you, you can’t top that with thousand likes on Facebook.

I also encounter people who works to travel. I mean, they literally work just to save money and travel at least a month or once every two months or something like their lives depend on it. I can’t see any problem with saving money for traveling besides, it’s for your own sanity especially if you really have a toxic work. But, the problem is, it’s becoming the opium of their lives to want to escape and experience things like they don’t have their own family to spend time with.

One of the saddest person I know admits that she doesn’t feel alive on her own place. And that depresses me because I think she has a nice family and decent job but still, it doesn’t suffice.

Sigh. Again, I have nothing against traveling. It’s cool, and immersing yourself to different culture makes you feel connected to everyone and it makes you cultured and smart. But, do we really have to make it our final goal? Or you don’t see that our final goal is a circle that actually never ends? Maybe we should ask ourselves why do we really have the desire to go. Is it because you are needed somewhere else? Maybe because you really feel like moving is the only way to breathe again? Or maybe because this society have built up the standard that traveling will make you feel like you are superior or you have actually touched the world?

Again, I see nothing wrong with wanting to travel. It’s just that sometimes we forget that we have a home no matter what people say, or the books that says that “home is not a place but a feeling.”(That actually is a bad metaphor to be honest) or an internet meme that says “travel while you can, money is just there.” Have we fell into the trap of being part Generation Y?(a generation without a goal or a purpose) I want to believe we have not, and I want to believe we don’t need to be perpetually lost that we constantly feel the need to find ourselves somewhere else.

Maybe we should try to build a life where we don’t need to get away just to feel alive. Maybe we need not to depend our happiness by wanting to escape all the time. We have our home, and if you haven’t found it yet, don’t just fly away and swear never to return again. Because chances are, home is still where your roots are(even if it’s somewhere else, and I’m praying you soon find that place) And there’s nothing better than going home to a cozy home where you can sit back and let your guard down.

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Breaking Down the Walls #3

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It’s my third day of choosing to fight and I must say it’s been a ride! I cannot say that I loved every moment of it. I still resist sometimes and there were moments of weakness I almost choked because I felt like I cannot continue doing it anymore. I cried so hard and told myself I should give up again because I lost, but when I woke up, I felt God’s love inside me again. I cannot say I’m back on track again but a beautiful thing happened yesterday.

My godmother and I met at the mall because she wanted to talk to me. I know from how it started that she wanted me to go back to the church’s Praise and Worship Team because of the way I sung Touch The Sky by Hillsong last Sunday(which is actually a surprise because I was not informed beforehand. God, You are so sneaky). I did not expect everyone to take it seriously, I was always used to being invisible because I thought nobody appreciated me. Turned out, one of our Elders and our Pastor was also there. They talked to me and told me that they really miss hearing my voice every Sunday and if there is any problem between me and the team. I told them honestly that I feel like nobody really sees me at church anymore and that I feel shy going back after being gone for a long time and that I no longer have the slot since it seems like they are already complete. They reminded how our former Pastor anointed me as the church’s official worship singer and I can’t help but cry a little bit because I’d be honest enough that I always think about that.

The thing is, I don’t know what will happen next. The conversation didn’t really have a conclusion and that they will talk to the team on Saturday and I’d be welcome to join. To be honest, I don’t know what to think and feel but I learned that feelings should not be the indicator of my spiritual growth. I’ll just trust the Lord to bring me victory into whatever plan He is going to make me do.

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Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt Book Review

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Hi guys! The book we are going to review today is a 1997 Pulitzer Prize awardee. It’s actually a memoir. I don’t really read memoirs because I think it’s a little pretentious (oh well, I’m absurd like that) and a little edited out of reality. But I gave this one a try and I did not regret reading it. I actually had a hard time finishing this book because it’s really heavy and the format isn’t really the traditional novel format. It doesn’t have quotation marks and some of the accents are sometimes indistinguishable. I finished this book more than a week and that was long for me, but nonetheless, I think I enjoyed reading it. So, here’s the review!

Synopsis:

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy — exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling — does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.(goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Let me just say that this book is so depressing. It actually made me feel uncomfortable and I almost did not want to finish it. From the story of Frank’s mother and father to how his sister and brothers died and how they almost became beggars. I also had nothing to do with his father because I resented him for his alcohol problems. I wouldn’t want to experience something like that.

You will imagine everything that’s happening around them because the writing is easy to grasp once you get the hang of it.

I never thought that I would remember everything that happened in the book because I was really not that determined to finish it but I found myself really absorbing everything around Frank’s life and how I imagined him growing up and experiencing more out of life, which, if I’d be honest is really really hard and I don’t know how they survived those miserable years. Pig’s head for Christmas anyone? How about going to school with broken shoes and being rejected by the Priests for secondary school? I had a lot of issues with this book but not because I don’t like the writing and all that, but I found myself asking why those had to happen to little kids?! I.JUST.CAN’T.

I read a review that this is just a one sided account of Ireland during their time, but one sided or not, all I know is that life is hard for Frank. And how he survived? Well, people are resilient and he showed me that. He’s very inspiring and I’m glad he lived to tell the tale.

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I got the 2nd book and looking forward to meet him again, soon 😉

Breaking Down the Walls #2

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Naming the Walls

It’s easy to get caught up with all the chaos in our lives that we forget where it all started. Tearing down each problem is painful because you will have to face a lot of troubling questions and hurting pasts. Many people (me, included) have hurtled into temporary solution only to find ourselves lost in the labyrinth of emptiness and numbness. Is it wrong to admit that you, alone, can’t help yourself? We deny the existence of pain and problem until we are in the pit of despair with nowhere to run. Maybe, it’s time to decide who’s the real enemy.

Your walls are not people, circumstances, emotions.

I am a very emotional personal. I take everything personally and I cry easily when people don’t understand me. Do I have to be defined by that? Maybe, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the rope. I am sensitive, yes, but I want to use my sensitivity to comfort others and understand them fully because I realized, that’s what I do best. But, I cannot. Why? Because I am having these Walls of Resentment and Selfishness.

I want to do something productive but I am afraid I will mess up and people would make fun of me. It’s clearly absurd but that’s the truth. I have Wall of Laziness and Wall of People’s Expectations of Me.

……..and those are just four of the many.

Seeing them clearly written on paper(or on screen) seems minuscule compared to what these are doing in my life. They are the walls that keep on hindering me on living my life the way God wants me to live.

What about you, what are your walls? What keeps you from living life? 

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Breaking Down the Walls #1

*This is inspired by Ryan Rush’s book 

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Good morning every one. Have you had your daily cup of tea or coffee? How are you feeling today? I feel energized but calm when I woke up and that’s a good thing. I’m no longer on meds for my anxiety and no longer drinking caps so I could go to sleep, so that’s okay. So what’s keeping me sane? You guessed it, BOOKS! But not quite. If you read my previous post, I had this peculiar conversation with God (hey, if that creeps you out, that’s okay, I respect you)and I think I’m finally having the reason to live again. But, it’s not easy. It’s actually a lot of hard work and tearing down boundaries that I have built upon me. So, I’m taking them day by day. I don’t know where this journey might lead me, but I’m okay with working with an invisible God than playing victim with myself all over again. I used to worry about looking like an idiot, so I tried living on my own terms and living for the sake of living and that made me hollowed and full of pride.

How the Walls Started

I am nineteen years old when I got back to college. It was actually fun interacting with kids my age(and not my age) and I am happily the good girl of the group. I don’t drink, I don’t have sex and I am known as the girl who goes to church and the girl they ask about trivial things in Bible. I liked it. I actually lived up to my reputation and I feel energized going to school knowing that I won’t only learn but I could little by little influence the people around me(and I actually did, I heard two of my friends talking about how they should at least try to live as wholesome as me). And, they respect me for that. I’ve became their control system. They would ask me if what they’re doing is right.(not that I am God or something) I loved every moment of that.

Unfortunately, things changed after a sem. I don’t know what happened but I got wounded up to the dark path that I actually disowned before. I found myself no longer enjoying the journey of always being the one who’s in control. I became like them.Yes, I don’t drink but I became as dark as I could, acting like a child and judged people whom I used to love and understand. I became resentful, always mad and sad.

I don’t know where to go from there.

As much as I want to live happy. I started looking for distraction and that’s where my obsession with books resurfaced. It became my way of life escaping from one world to another, letting go of reality. But, still, I am trapped, I am lost.

There are a lot of things I couldn’t say to you

. I’m not that bold enough, but I know where all of this came from. I know what is the root of all this, I just don’t want to admit it because there are other people involved.

That’s where we’re going to start:

NAMING YOUR WALLS

Your walls are not people. Your walls are not your circumstances. Your walls are not your emotions. Your walls are not your disorder. Your walls are built on your heart and your mindset you’re letting to control you’re whole being.

I am a Bipolar since I was a kid. I became a Christian when I was in senior highschool and I saw how the world could change with a little goodness and faith. I had a relapse almost two years from now, not that it went away. But, I lost control when I let my mind rot with bad things that are happening to me. I went away and I want to come back.

If you don’t know how to name these walls. Look at your life and see if anything that makes you feel dead because of your mindset hinders you from living and makes you feel afraid to live life with abandon. Think about the things that you think when you think about it, you actually feel suffocated. Maybe we should stop the blame game. Maybe we should start looking inwards and see where we made mistakes. Maybe, we have the choice but we don’t have the power. And maybe, positive thinking no longer works.

Think about it.

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