Serendipity – Sarah J. Maas Book Signing in KL

Have you ever experienced things that were a happy coincidence? Serendipity?

First, let me elaborate. Being an avid reader living in the Philippines, it’s very fortunate that local bookstores have been organizing book signing events featured authors that I’ve read. I’ve been to one before. The latest one featured Sarah J. Maas, author of the bestsellers – the Throne of Glass series and the Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy. Both series are still on going and I am eagerly waiting for the next books to come out.

The Throne of Glass Series is a six book series (with 4 books out and the next one coming in September 2016) about Celaena Sordothien, an 18 year old imprisoned assassin who was offered freedom by the Crown Prince on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find the new royal assassin. It’s a retelling of Cinderella with a bit of a Hunger Games vibe.

A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy is a book series centered around Feyre, a 19 year old huntress who kills a wolf in the wilderness to feed her family. Then, a beast-like creature arrives and demands retribution for the wolf. Feyre is taken away into a magical land and discovers that the beast that took her was no ordinary beast but of the beautiful immortal fairies who used to rule their world. Sound familiar? It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with some fairy magic. The second book was recently released and I’m obsessed! Waiting for a year for the next book is torture!

But this isn’t what this blog post is about. Well, it is, sort of.

So, serendipity. Ms. Maas’ Philippines leg of her Asian tour only covered Manila and I am all the way down here in Cebu City. Personally, having never been to Manila, I was not interested in going. Because I love love love the book series, I considered having my sister go in my stead since she was working and living in Manila. As is the PH wasn’t the only stop in Maas’ tour, she was slated to visit Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next, and lo and behold, we were going to be at KL at the same time time. See, serendipity? Aren’t I lucky?

As our KL itinerary was not so packed, we went to her book signing event at the Borders Bookstore in The Curve mall which was a 30 minute drive from our hotel.

We went to the bookstore a few hours early to browse the shelves upon shelves of books. Seriously, why can’t the bookstores in Cebu be as big and well stocked? I was having serious bookstore envy, if that’s even possible. LOL Also, they had a Starbucks in the bookstore! We don’t have that here! Well, we had a Bo’s Coffee Shop in a bookstore once, but that cafe closed. Hurr. Books and coffee – two of my favorite things ever!

Anyway, here are pictures of our day spent in that heavenly bookstore. No photos of the said shelves, I was too distracted by the actual books to take any. Oh, well.



Hopefully, more authors will come ’round to our part of the world.


Looking back and moving forward.

The month of August has always been a turning point in my life essentially because it is my birth month. I turn a year older every year as the month ends. But there are so many things that make 2013’s August different from the years that have passed.

Firstly, on the month’s very first day, I got hired. It is my very first job. For being a sheltered youngest daughter of the family, actually getting hired was a big deal. In the couple of weeks that I’ve been at the office, things couldn’t have been better professionally. My actual job utilizes things I’ve slaved over in university. I count myself lucky because of that. Finding that job vacancy with a job description that actually involves something I’ve studied was extremely serendipitous.

Secondly, I’ve been feeling a bit of heart-ache the past few weeks. As they say, some things just aren’t meant to be. With that, though, I’ve learned so many things. I have learned that relationships need a lot of work. Affection and feeling are never enough for everything to work out. I have come to realize that letting go can also mean growing up. After all, the only constant thing in life is change and I have come to accept that the change needed now is the one thing that has always been there for years. Yes, it’s very hard for me to think that this person will not be there anymore but that’s how life is. Change. This is the change I need. The change I need to be better and to grow.

Lastly, I’m turning a year older next week. Age-wise, I’m an adult.  I’m not a teenager anymore. All the dreaming, wishing, hoping and the “when I grow up…” statements can actually be fulfilled.

The situations in my life lately have pushed me to look at the bigger picture and forced me to see things clearly. This made me see what I want in life, especially in the near future. I’ve set goals in my head. Although some are petty, each of these goals are things for me to strive to gain so that I can improve myself and my life. I have realized that things I have dreamed about before can be achieved now, with hard work and time. I feel as though I can do anything I could ever want to do. That feeling is so liberating. It is as if nothing can stop me. And I won’t let anything do that. I won’t let anything or anyone hold me back and keep me from attaining all my goals and making my dreams come true.

There’s something about Twilight.

This is not a review!

So, just yesterday, I went to see the last movie of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2.

I’ve been a semi-fan of the saga. When I found out online that some romance/vampire movie was being made, I became interested. That’s just the sap in me, maybe. So, I read the books and breezed through all of them. Not the best that I’ve read but the story was quite compelling… or maybe I just can’t resist that kind of love story.

Trust me, I am not a fan girl, even though I got the whole book set for my 18th birthday. They now lay in a box, gathering dust!

Through the years and watching all the previous movies, it became rather boring. Honestly, I became more intrigued with the actors’ lives and their other projects rather than all the Twilight hype. But seeing the last movie made me remember what got me interested in Twilight in the first place.

It was that love story and I saw that in the last movie. Although the whole Twilight saga is made up of very farfetched story lines, in its essence, I think, is a very special kind of love between the two lead characters.

In the books and also in the last movie, I saw something that people would die to have. It’s not living forever, immortality or special powers. That’s a plus but being with that certain someone; having the courage to give up everything, even your own life for that someone (without really having to); feeling lifeless when that person leaves you; going against all odds just to be with that person – deep inside, these things are what we want to feel and want to have. We all want to experience that kind of love – a true, passionate, unconditional love.

My thoughts of Twilight may be found in any other romantic novel or movie out there. They’re not the best movies ever or the best books ever, they still give a simple yet true message. Even if presented in the weirdest and most twisted way possible, love is what it’s all about… the true kind, the passionate kind and the unconditional kind. In my opinion, nothing tops that.

BTW, I did enjoy Breaking Dawn Part 2. It was the  best one out of the whole series, me thinks.

About the First of the Last

Warning! Text heavy post up ahead! 

Today is the day that marks the official end of the first semester for my last year in university! I passed all the projects. Defended one, even. Gave my adviser all my internship documents. It’s finally done and I am relieved. Hey! Only 5 more months to go before graduation. The anticipation is killing me and I’m sure, the school load will too.

I have to say, the past semester has not been good to me. Some things just didn’t pan out the way I desperately wanted them to. But, these things do happen.

Let me elaborate…

For starters, my On-the-Job training requirement for school was not much of a dream-come-true. With internships, you tend to have this dream job of sorts in mind. I think. That so didn’t happen to me! But you have to deal with what the universe has given you, especially with the time constraints. My internship contract ended around the 2nd month after school started but despite finishing quite early, the experience landed me into LOTS of personal trouble. I admit, I have made poor poor poor choices.

Another thing. My student organization council gig was not so good. I don’t know. Before the start of the academic year, I was ready to face things head on. I was ready to commit. But life happens, I guess. I had to finish my OJT work. Also, I had errands at home, and sometimes the parents just decide that I should stay at home for some days. Clearly, despite being in my early 20s, my parents still think I’m a kid. Sheesh. Excuses aside, I did not perform. I know that for a fact, regrettably so. Hopefully, I can redeem myself for the next semester.

With these first two cases, I seriously wish I could turn back time. Since I can’t, then, I have to live with my poor! decisions.

The projects. Grr. Those projects are the bane of my existence (as a student). The only thing that bothered me with regards to all the projects that I’ve passed for my final this semester was that it wasn’t good enough. So not good enough. Being a semi-perfectionist and wanna-be overachiever in school, those projects did not make me happy. They were very much not up to par. But what’s done is done. I’ve passed them and hopefully, the grade will be better than the actual project. Plus points for attendance, sir?

On a more personal note, my relationships with people around me suffered a bit. My family, peers, the boyfriend – these relationships have been a tad rocky. I can certainly pinpoint why I rocked the boat on these relationships… and for that, I’m sorry. Truly. I am. No excuses. I promise to get better at all this though. Promise. Promise. Promise.

Hopefully, in a couple month’s time, I’ll be blogging about walking down the aisle… and accepting my diploma! YEY~

Wish me luck for next semester!

How Blogging Affected Me

So, i was looking and reading blogs all throughout the inter-webs, and I wondered how so many blogs exist and how these bloggers continue to just have heaps of ideas and stuff to write about. Look at me, for example, I haven’t “blogged” about anything in days simply because lately, no event has been deemed “blog-worthy” to me. Maybe I am just picky about my topics or maybe i’m just too plain and boring to have an interesting life, it still doesn’t change the fact that I had nothing to share to the blogosphere. So, here I am.

Google-d ‘blogging’ and this was the first image result. 🙂

Again, I was browsing through random blogs, right? As I was reading the stuff they’ve posted, it occurred to me that these bloggers know their stuff. What I mean is that, they know what to write about. I guess they just know what they want to tell the world. And with my usual over-thinking self, I realized that these people had solid identities. They knew who they were inside and out. They are very much sure as to who they are for they are able to share to their readers their thoughts, likes, dislikes, etc. They all had unique personalities.

These thoughts brought to mind the very harsh words my sister told me: “You don’t have a personality.” Ouch, right? It sucks to know that someone perceives me to be lacking of a personality. Hell, it’s my sister!

But anyway, she explained that I don’t have a personality due to my not having any “hard-core” hobbies. You see, i do whatever I feel, whenever I feel like it. A freewheeler, you might say. (See what I did there? LOL) I don’t want to box myself in with regards to what I want to do for fun.

Despite that though, there are a few activities that I tend to do more than others, like reading and writing, like going on food trips, like taking photos – stuff you might see here on my blog. Still, those things aren’t enough for my sister, I guess. And no, she is not a villain for saying that to me. She just said that to “guide” me in life, as she feels i’m not moving forward nor up. LOL

Whew. That was a lot.

I’ve come to a realization as i write this blog entry. (that blogging is cathartic!) With regards to my personality, hey, maybe I just don’t know myself that much yet. I haven’t really bloomed and became conscious of who I am and who I was becoming till i started university. The past years, I’ve really looked at myself – the good, the bad, the things in between and I’ve made visible changes. I am getting there, I think. I guess it all boils down to me knowing who I am so that I can be true to myself and share that truth to the world… hence, the blog.

Am I making any sense? (Anyway, rant over.)

On this day…

I am having this post scheduled at 12:01am Philippine time. Why so specific? It is because it is the start of the 30th day in August – my birthday.

image found via Google

I’ve decided to dedicate a blog post to the things that I am thankful for. If interested, read on. Pardon writing mistakes, if any.

  1. My life. Of course, I am very much thankful for having reached 21 years. It seems like a long period of time, but having lived through that length so far, it doesn’t feel that way. Hopefully, more and more years to come 🙂
  2. My parents, mostly my father. Although he and i have not been seeing eye-to-eye on things lately, I am very much grateful of all that he has done for me.  Giving me all the things I could need, indulging my sometimes unnecessary wants (while shopping!) and mostly, for providing me with an education. I think that going to school & being able to achieve that degree (soon) is one of the best gifts he gave me.
  3. My sisters. They are both elder. They are my guides. As elder siblings are, they are very protective. They have taught me so many things and have given great advice. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. I am very thankful for all that they’ve done. The two of them are preparing me for proper adult life after school and I am very appreciative of that. Sometimes, it’s like they’re the ones raising me and I hope I don’t disappoint.
  4. My niece. I have a 7 year old niece. She turned so 15 days ago. Despite her age, she’s taught me a lot. She taught me to be kinder, wiser and more responsible. I am thankful that she is in our family… things would have been different otherwise. She is our glue. Our center. She’s very cute, too!
  5. The boyfriend. He just makes everything better. He always makes me laugh. He makes me happy. He encourages me. He berates me. He puts me in my place. He appreciates me. And he thinks I’m amazing, which is debatable. He’s always there for me no matter what. I am so so very thankful that I met him 6 years ago. My life wouldn’t be the same if I hadn’t.
  6. My friends. They’ve brought me joy. They are always there. Always ready to listen whenever there are problems. Always there to share that super random joke. Always there to reminisce about old times and then not stop laughing about it. I am thankful for them for always being there. (If you read this, I love you, guys!)
  7. Surprisingly, the people who’ve done me wrong. The people who have been mean to me and who put me down. There are a few of them, I tell you, since grade school. Imagine that? LOL I am very much thankful for them because they’ve made me strong. They’ve made me realize that whatever they might say against me or about me, they can’t hurt me. I am stronger than that. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, eh?
  8. My mistakes. In a previous blog post, I shared my thoughts about regret. I am thankful for these mistakes. They are examples of what I mustn’t do ever ever again. They can help me move on, help me be better. Although a bad experience, it’s still a learning experience.
  9. Music. I am thankful for music. It’s the thing that I run to whenever I have problems. Music is my consign friend. It never fails to know exactly how I feel and it never fails to make me feel better.
  10. Photography. Weird, I know. How could I be thankful for that? Let me explain. See, I’ve never been the usual artsy type. The one that draws well, paints well, etc. I’ve never had the hands to  do those things. With photography, it gave me the means to be “an artist.” For me, art is a means of expressing yourself creatively. Photography (or my attempt at it) gave me that outlet and for that I am thankful.
  11. Technology. In the years that passed, technology was rapidly evolving. I remember when I was a kid, it felt cool to have a PC running Win98 at home. Win98! Then years passed, we got ourselves an internet connection and then came everything else. I am thankful for technology because it opened my eyes. It showed me what’s out there in the world. All the places to see, the billions of people, all kinds of food all over! It’s amazing. It’s funny how technology made the world seem small and accessible yet rather big and vast at the same time.
  12. My inspirations. There are many, so so many – from people to things to places. How? With not going into specifics, well, these things are my driving force. They give me motive and they inspire. Because of these, I am influenced to be the best and to do my best, to achieve certain things and to go certain places. I am thankful for them and for the push that they give.
  13. This blog. Without it, I’d never get to have an outlet for all my thoughts.
  14. YOU. My blog’s readers. Seeing my stats and knowing somebody viewed my blog always makes me smile. So, thank you, reader. You make my day whenever you click onto my blog.

So, happy birthday to me! Yey, 21!

Loneliness – a bad thing?

As it’s Saturday, I’ve come to reflect on all the things that happened this week… and I found a common factor on the past 7 days.

I’ve been lonely. I felt lonely.

Because of this realization, I went on Google to search for handy-dandy quotes on the subject… but more on that later.

from Tumblr: picture depicting loneliness. 😦

One would equate loneliness to something negative. Most people’s thoughts of being lonely would turn to a sad-slash-depressing notion. I thought of that, too, at first. It saddened me a lot that I felt this way. Let me explain…

See, this week was my university’s annual intramural. The week was filled with activities – from a battle of the bands type of event to a presentation of research papers to various sporting competitions. Each day was filled to the brim with activities for students and university personnel to take part in. (And it was a requirement to attend at least one event in the morning and another one in the afternoon.)

On these intramural days, most, if not all, students use this time to be with their friends and go to whatever event they want. This would’ve been the case for me too but my usual bunch of friends, or as Filipinos would call it “barkada”, had to prioritize other things.

So, that’s why i felt lonely. It is a petty reason, I admit. Although I still had friends (from the non-usual bunch. LOL) accompanying me, there were still moments of stillness. It felt like, despite having them around, I was still alone. (It’s not their fault, though. They are great people! I wouldn’t be with them/be in their company if they weren’t.)

So. Google. I read a number of quotes but the one that got to me had a different message than what I initially thought.

“Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. And intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.”

― Janet FitchWhite Oleander

Quote from

I, then, realized that loneliness can be a good thing and not necessarily sad. Loneliness can help us grow. Help us be more self-dependent. It’s a good thing to feel lonely at times because it can push us to get to know ourselves better and with that, mould ourselves into the best persons we can be.  As my ever wise sister always tells me, “At the end of the day, the only person you can lean on and count on is yourself.”

Not that I like feeling lonely or anything… but when the feeling does come, i should welcome it (not be sad!) and take the time to just be with myself and my thoughts. Get to know me a little bit more and grow from it. 🙂 Nothing bad with that.

Inspiration for the Photography Newbie

Yesterday, together with other members of the Dynacom Council, I had the great opportunity to attend the Canon Pixma Seminar at the Quest Hotel, Cebu. The seminar was all about Canon cameras and printers and what they offer. The speaker was professional photographer Per-Andre Hoffmann. (His photos are amazing! Truly inspiring!)  Basically, he showed us photos he took all over the world using Canon cameras.

photo of the council members with Per-Andre Hoffmann.

Even though I have been interested in the field for years, that was the first ever seminar/workshop thing I have been to that was about photography. It’s safe to say that I learned a lot!

Mr. Hoffmann showed us loads of photos and as he showed them, he shared his techniques and what he experienced when he took those pictures. Listening to him was truly inspiring.

He said, “try to see things a little bit differently.” That was the statement that stuck with me. Why? These days, most people have this perception that just because they own a digital SLR camera, it means they’re photographers. With that said, it seems that anyone can take pictures of just whatever and deem themselves photographers. And as a person truly interested in photography, I would want to exclude myself from that norm. So, I plan to take to heart what Per-Andre Hoffmann said, and see things in a different way.

I realized then that photography is not only just capturing memories. It can be the expression of how you see the world – how you see people, nature, everything. And just like every other medium in art, photography is self expression. (oh! and I will surely attend more workshops in the future LOL)

That seminar is 4 hours of my life that could not be replaced. That seminar left me feeling inspired to do more with my craft. Hopefully, what I’ve learned, I will apply.

“ Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Words from a not-so-teenager

Just last week, my older sister showed me this picture. She is 10 years my senior, so, I trust her & listen to her advice a lot. Anyway, she practically planted my face in front of the laptop’s screen just to read this little article.

image from Google

(I have a feeling this is going to be a heavy post. Pardon me if my thoughts are not organized.)

I am not a teenager anymore. In fact, I am turning 21 at the end of the month. At this age, I guess I have to “man-up.”

In my country, the Philippines, most 20 year olds have already finished university. I am one of those who got lagged behind. My slight delay in finishing my studies and the reasons behind it are a bit of a concern for my sister and the rest of my family. I think that they have this impression that I am too lax… that I don’t care. They assume that I am waiting on the world – waiting for it to give me something. I’m not, though.

They keep on telling me that I have great potential. I could succeed… if I only wanted to. That’s just it though, I do. I want to succeed. I want to “have it all.” I mean, who doesn’t, right?

I have asked myself hundreds of time as to where I would be after I finish my studies. And it terrifies me. Why? Because, I honestly don’t know where I’d be. I don’t have a concrete plan. I don’t know what kind of job I’d want or see myself in. I don’t know what it will be like and it’s scary not knowing. The future is scary.

But I do want to know. I want to know where I want to be. I want to know who I’m going to be. And putting pressure on me won’t help me see and decide.

I might not be as independent as expected but I would like to be. I want to someday soon be able to fend for myself. Stand on my own feet. That counts for something, doesn’t it?

I am graduating next semester. See there? I AM. I am sure of this. I don’t care if I jinx it or whatever. I will do this. I might not know where I’ll be but I know I’ll get there.

*Hey reader, if in any way you can relate to this post, I hope you will realize something that I have… The world does not owe me anything. The world has given me many things. I guess, it is up to me to use what its offered make something worthwhile.

“Most successful men have not achieved their distinction by having some new talent or opportunity presented to them. They have developed the opportunity that was at hand.”
Bruce Barton


image from Tumblr.

Everyone has regrets. Everyone has made mistakes. I think there is no one on earth without one. There are things that you’ve done you’d rather you didn’t. Sad as that may be, that’s just how life goes, i guess.

There are those memories that would be best forgotten, you know? There are experiences that you just wish were just dreams – figments of your imagination; that you wish you could travel back in time and stop from happening. And when you look back, you ask yourself, “what were you thinking? were you even thinking?” I have a handful of them and i still berate myself whenever i get reminded of my regrets.

I think it’s natural to make mistakes and to regret them… but it would make everything, at least, slightly better if we learn from them. It would be worse if we committed mistakes then, in the future, commit the same ones again. That’s just plain stupid.

I’ve come to realize that yes, it would feel better if these bad memories are washed away from your head; that they would be erased forever and never to be known again but it would be best, I think, that these things be kept with you as you walk through life. For me, it’s a good thing to have reminders of your mistakes. These regrets, these mistakes, they keep us in check. They remind us of what we’ve done and they are examples of things to not do… again. Ever.

Yes, we make mistakes. Yes, we regret them. Yes, we’d rather we forget about them… but in reality, there’s very little chance we forget about them, so, just make good out of something perceived as bad and learn from them.

Don’t kill that memory. Keep it  and learn from it. I know I will.

Mistakes are sometimes the best memories.