Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Caramoan 2015: Where The Clouds, Sand and Sea Meet

I think I may have left my heart and soul in Caramoan.

As what has become a prized tradition of ours, I ventured with my college trip buddies again in search for the perfect adventure. We found ourselves nestled in our summer shell in Caramoan Island after travelling and transferring from ride to ride for 15 hours straight. We spent an entire weekend living like somewhat nomads disconnected from the rest of the world who have nothing better to do but restlessly boat around from island to island to island just to bask in everything that makes up this piece of heaven on earth.
Lahos Island 
We were fortunate enough to have gone to six islands, namely Lahos, Matukad, Cagbalinad, Cotivas, Manlawi and the other one with a name I forgot, since, according to our tour guide, one or two of these are already closed to the public right now for an upcoming international television show.
Cotivas Island ~ Where the sand and the sea and the clouds become one (The sandbar in the middle was everything)
All the islands we visited boasted sands of white, each having a quality apart from the rest but equally beautiful. Lahos and Cotivas Islands both house the powder-soft, polvoron-like kind which easily embraces the feet once they step in while Matukad has the flat and compact kind which doesn’t easily make the toes sink. It was the best feeling – knowing that when you dip your feet in the sand, you will feel something that is not just pure, but also different in a good way. 
Manlawi Island ~ Where lunch in a floating hut on a summery day with the best people happened
The water scattered gradients of white, green and blue shades. It is at a cold temperature just right for the hot weather. True bliss. The rock formations seem to just have taken their own unexplainable shapes and become effortlessly breathtaking. How?
Matukad Island
Cagbalinad Island
I would catch myself lost in the view, spacing out for long moments while looking at the wide seas. For once, I felt like our boat was floating on a huge, endless gelatinous form of blue water. It was more amazing than nerve-wracking in spite of knowing the water’s very depth by how much we were seeing (or not) underwater. While in transit, there were parts where despite being above water, we could still see the beautiful paradise beneath made up of corals, jellyfishes and reefs with utter clearness. I was in awe. It was also during that particular boat ride that, for the first time in my life, I saw the sea and the clouds come together seamlessly. It was like God would come out any second then, what an astounding view. It was indescribable and something photos will never be able to give justice to because it’s just beyond capturing. That particular scene would stay with me long after we have left Caramoan.
Planning this trip was a first for Jusz and me, and it made us realize how much hard work coming up with something like this needed. This further showed us that before all the adventures lies a rollercoaster of drama and excitement which only made me even happier and more accomplished when everything finally fell into place. Thank you to Jusz and Jerome for their patience and determination to make things happen. We did it, huzzah! One down!
Escapes to the beach always lead us to an open and comfortable outpour of emotions, may it be through revelations or open forums, which in return, despite all the craziness, only strengthens the bond we already have. This trip witnessed some extremes in the form of misdirected infuriation, outbursts, torrential nerves, and uncontrollable sobbing (or involuntary shedding of tears for that matter) caused by personal life struggles, love loss and family matters. All these emotions we saw through together in the middle of all the fun in the best place we had ever been, and it somehow felt alright. I guess this is what friendships are really about.
St. Michael The Archangel Church of Caramoan before heading home. Thankful!

***

Budget Breakdown:
P2300           - Food, Accommodation (3D/2N) and Island Hopping
  (Caramoan Travel and Tours Services c/o Mr. Victor Avilla III)
P1600           - Two-way fare
(From Turbina to Caramoan with bus-van-boat-jeep transfer and jeep–boat–van transfer from Caramoan to Turbina)
P600            - Snacks/Other Fees/Pasalubongs/Allowance
P4500         - TOTAL


*Photos by Justine, Aileen, Jerome, and yours truly.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ME BEFORE YOU by JOJO MOYES

Used to a life of excitement and adventures, Will Traynor was devastated when he met an unfortunate accident that turned him into a quadriplegic always in need of someone else’s hands to do even the simplest things for him. Louisa Clark was hired to be the extra hand he needs and to keep him company daily. What was initially employee-employer relationship turns into something special. What starts out as solely a means for her family to survive the recession gives her a deeper purpose which later becomes her love-driven mission in life – to keep Will’s interest in life alive.
All I can say is that you make me... you make me into someone I couldn't even imagine. You make me happy, even when you're awful. I would rather be with you - even the you that you seem to think is diminished - than with anyone else in the world. – Lou Clark

Me Before You is another sad, moving love story about two people who were both introduced and separated by an ill-fated circumstance.

It was a sad story but not as sad. I liked how it was building up to the love affair while also keeping it a bit hollow and shallow, not making the attachment too hard to let go, so it became really sad in a way that it did not give the reader false hopes.

It became very easy for me to understand where both central characters were coming from and why they acted as such and such, especially with Lou. She had no known knowledge about Will’s situation, so everything began from rags with her. How everything built up for her was also how everything built up for me as a reader.

You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible. – Will Traynor

It was good that it did not just revolve around Will and Lou. It also captured the side of the other characters while in the process of being affected by the life of the two central characters. If anything though, the other voices/perspectives used only added variety but didn’t make much of an impact.

I felt like the last part was cut hastily, that final conversation between Will and Louisa. It could’ve been stretched out longer to be made more heartrending. I was already feeling the emotions but before I reach the most painful words, it was over.  It was like there were “almost” tears that never happened.

Push yourself. Don't Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE. – Will Traynor

It was not the kind of ending I had hoped for. Of course, I wanted the ideal, happy ending that would put a smile on everyone, but I later on realized it was the nicer ending for it gave better meaning to the real intention of the story.

Me Before You is a beautiful read for someone who wishes to enjoy something that cuts straight through the heart.

Are you done reading this book? What are your thoughts? I’d like to know them! Feel free to share them below!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

THIS JUST IN Vol. 2: New Binge x New Splurge x New Eats

Well, life’s still life. It goes on – pretty quickly actually. So… I am sharing here some of the new stuff that came in/took place during the previous months first.

IN TV SERIES

Yes to Game of Thrones Seasons 2, 3 and 4 – hell to the yeah! The politics going on between kingdoms and inside each clan is what amuses my fancy mind so much. It’s fascinatingly intriguing, the flavorful politics. Love it!

Also, there are way too many additions to the already tons of characters and subplots to go crazy about. The dragons are my hero at present. I see them as the ones most likely to take over if ever a kingdom-wide battle begins soon. The son of Stannis caught me a little off guard, though (because what’s really up with the shadow son?!), but I’m still going to give it the benefit of the doubt. We’ll see what happens in the coming seasons. Hope its existence will serve an awesome purpose. And then there are the White Walkers! It’s like GOT meets The Walking Dead, and that surely ought to make a good combo. :)

Related but unimportant and I’m also not proud of this, I’m now playing Clash of Clans simply because it reminds me so much of GOT, and I like imagining myself leading my own village GOT-style.

And the twists, baaam! Right in our freaking faces! Without knowing what, where and why things happen, things happen. Why do all the characters I root for die? Why?! Hahaha!

S05 is already happening! Can’t wait to be back in King’s Landing!

IN MOVIES

I have decided to take on the challenge of slashing one film after another off the list of the 99 MINDFUCK MOVIES sent to me by my friend Kreng. I have an initial headstart of already watching eight of 99 which isn’t much I must admit, but those eight were just super crazy and twisted and mindblowing that they motivate me to get on with this list. I am not sure if all the movies here will appeal to me, though, as most were filmed during the ‘80s and ‘90s. Haha. Whatever, I’ll try watching everything and decide for myself which ones are my yeah-bsolute favorites.

But then again, I know for sure I’ll feel dizzy watching, so I’ll have to be mentally ready first. Until then, I shall keep them hidden in my laptop. Lol

IN STUFF

FINALLY, AN AIR MAX FOR MYSELF! I had been on the lookout for the dopest (wow, dopest hahaha) Air Max 90 around. I had seen some of the most kickass ones pass me by because I didn’t have the money to burn at the time, so I was so stoked when I was able to put my hands on a really nice pair at last. It’s very retro! I’ve been wearing sneakers for far too long that it felt kind of different when I first tried on my AMs, different in a nice way. My new kicks can be an eye turner on their own even when they have very simple colorways or even when paired with the most normcore outfits I can think of. Also, if I’m not mistaken, they are my first ever Nike shoes. What?! Oh, well. J I’m ready for the streets! By the way, super late but belated Happy Air Max Day!
My eyes are eyeing the AM1s this time. Oh, shoot. ;)

Also, I got an art work for a gift! How awesome is that?! J I just ran an errand, and I got home with a pretty painting from Ate Sarita, a relative from Daddy’s side. Cool thaaaang! Why didn’t I get her skillzz?! Hahaha. I have always admired her creative hands ever since we were kids, and this token just takes me back to childhood and beautiful drawings. Happy memories!

IN EATS
Since my first post under the food segment of this blog series, my nothing-can-get-more-amateurish potato experiment has been followed up with a few other simple recipes which I’m proud of despite the easiness of said preps. This also has become a routine I always look forward to since the boyfriend and I made this one of our chances to further bond. Food is the third wheel in this relationship. Lol (I guess there’s no questioning why we’re getting flabbier and flabbier each day huhuhaha). Tacos, quesadillas and, now, pizzas! *insert heart-shaped eyes here* They tasted so good!!! We just used the ready-made dough available in the supermarket. We topped our pizza with pepperoni and bacon. We all know nothing could go wrong with bacon, so yes, it was a pretty successful try. We made pizzas twice already. We used mini dough the first time and regular-sized ones the second time. Such a delightful feeling to learn something new!
What should we try making next?

P.S.

Holy Week went by just like that. I didn’t even feel the long break, but at least my family and I were still able to join everyone in our little barangay in the annual Way of the Cross last Good Friday as we followed the 14 Stations of the Cross from our San Isidro Labrador Church to the comboni on the hilltop. It was an opportune chance to fast, reflect and pray. It was my own little sacrifice, my panata. Grateful for the experience, as always.
xx


(Edited late post)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Arem and Kate’s Wedding: Bridesmaid Duties

Ladyhood has always been a challenge for me because I know it takes a lot before a girl can become a proper lady. Admittedly, I cannot yet call myself a lady, and, sadly, I may never be one. Hahaha. Good thing a pretty make-up and a decent red gown were able to cover up my true ragged self, and I was able to front my face as a fine, young lady for a day.

It was my first time to attend a wedding as a bridesmaid, and I enjoyed it so much. It wasn’t really the duties that come with being it that made it fun for me but the striking womanly feel it brought out in me. It was new for me, so the experience was unforgettable.
Also, the people/new family I was with were just as crazy and carefree as me. Young and old, they were all nothing short of awesome! They showed just how possible it is for people from different generations to have the same grasp and acceptance of modern-life jokes, customs and attitudes.

Anyway, here are some of the photos from Wednesday’s wedding!
This bouquet is a symbol of the other things that happened that wedding day. No, I didn't catch it, not really. Everything had been predetermined, and I was just a part of it, a victim. That's all I'm gonna say. Hahaha!
Congratulations, Kate and Arem! Your wedding was elegant and heartfelt. What a beautiful day for your wedding. Glad to have witnessed your true love. Thank you for having me! I already feel so welcome in the family. :)
It was also Basty’s Dedication day!

Sadly, I was unable to take pictures.  But here’s a dolled up photo of him. The titas did this to him. Hahaha. Cute!
I love you, Basty! Please stay fluffy!

The rest of the day was spent swimming in the pool with water in just the perfect temperature, neither too cold nor hot, just right. Also, billiards happened. Stoked!
P.S.

All photos were taken from my S5, and I have to say I am absolutely enjoying my phone more and more each day. It seems like the only thing I need to get by in this “ultra social” world.


xx 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

SHARP OBJECTS by GILLIAN FLYNN

In need of a fresh start from rehab and a break in her career, Camille Preaker was unwillingly brought back to Missouri, her quiet hometown she didn’t feel much like at home, through her news assignment about two missing teenage girls. Staying with her mother, stepfather and sister who she felt very distant with was making it harder for her to adjust. In order to get a full grip of the case, she had to know what has become of everyone in her hometown and, more importantly, face her demons and her family’s history. Before she knew it, she was already caught in the middle playing an important role in the solving of the crime.
Sometimes if you let people do things to you, you’re really doing it to them. – Amma Crellin

Sharp Objects is another book that showcased a woman for a central character, another Flynn signature. Here, I saw a woman as a fighter but more as a struggler. It was baffling to read through something with a woman facing every tribulation and seeing her suffering eat away at her. I couldn’t help but feel pity for her. Majority of the characters were also women, women who weren’t winning in life either, women who became slaves and victims of their own flaws and environment. This book was just dark for women, and I was depressed the whole time.

Everyone has their own version of a memory. – Richard Willis

I have to admit that it seemed like it was taking longer than usual to get to the thrill. It was a bit slow-paced and sometimes dragging, especially from the beginning up to the first half of the book. It wasn’t that bad, though. It just took me a while to get a grasp of the story, but I also have to say that the remaining half more than compensated for everything else. Gaaaaaaahddd!

There were two scenes that stood out as the most poignant points for me. The motel scene between Camille and John revealed themselves as too weak and hopeless at that moment. Two vulnerable people finding comfort in each other didn’t seem a lot like anything helpful and consoling. When the revelation where Camille found the teeth brought back and connected all the circumstances in her family and town, it was all too much to take in because in the middle of everything is the death of three children and the trauma of two struggling daughters.

But children digest terror differently. – Camille Preaker

Haunting and gritty would be the perfect words to describe the general feel of Sharp Objects. I couldn’t make it a read before I go to bed because I was sure to have nightmares if I ever tried. It was horror but in real life. It’s the kind of story that has gotten under my skin, affected me in a way I was caught dumbstruck and left feeling sad for everyone in the end. The plot is of rare situation and nature, but it still managed to become all too relatable and consuming for me. It felt real, felt like a condition anyone can be in. Of course this was how it’s supposed to be knowing that this is all a product of Flynn’s genius, simply shocking. I was so affected that I wasn’t nearly done even after the last page. I had to stay silent for some time to contemplate what the hell just happened in the book because it was too twisted and unexpected.

Are you done reading this book? What are your thoughts? I’d like to know them! Feel free to share them below!


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