Tuesday, June 30, 2015

THE WKND SPECIAL Vol. 2

Wow, it’s been a long while since the first time I did a post for this series. It’s not to say that my previous weekends were humdrum. (They were anything but that. *winks*) It’s just that I never really had much opportunity to document many of my whereabouts. And when laziness strikes sometimes, it strikes hard and for weeks on end and gives birth to all excuses I can think of to convince myself not to bother posting. But today I’m feeling positive, itching to just type whatever crosses my mind and wanting to let go of some unnecessary tension, so here goes… (Also, I have a few snappies to support and keep this post interesting.)

Technically, weekends start on Saturday. But knowing that I belong to the middle class eight-to-fivers, I consider that critical period from 5PM onwards every Friday to be the start of not minding adult life and embracing social mayhem. Who gets into the same mood?
There was no better way to open the weekend madness habit than a nice buffet. It was unlimited kare-kare and lechon kawali for me at Cabalen ATC last Friday. I shyly tagged along with the boyfriend to join in the birthday dinner of Lola Itang – 79 and still groovy! We occupied about ¾ of the restaurant, so we did what we pleased. We were back and forth the buffet tables, both to munch on or just eye everything that was being served. Chocolate fondue was my nightcap!

His clan is the best anyone could have for a new extended family – warm, welcoming and caring people.

Saturday was for some boyfriend quality day out and late night dinner date. That’s all. Hihi. Bye.
Hahahaha! Look at Queen Elsa, Incredible Hulk and Superman! Aren't they the cutest?!?!
Come Sunday, meeting with the college mates for the June babies’ celebration happened. We didn’t have any grand plan for the day, but a videoke and a cake did the trick. We were mababaw like that! Too bad only Jerome of all the celebrators showed up; we missed Marfi.

It was also the eve of St. Peter’s feast which meant more food for us courtesy of the Maligayas. Thank you for the hospitality!

I would also like to greet all my other dear ones who celebrated their birthday this June – college mates Joanah and Jamie, niece Nicole, cousin Jaycee, and, most importantly, the best dad to ever live, Danilo! We love you, Daddy! Happy birthday, everyone! Hope you all had a blast! :)

Weekends are complete with loved ones.

xx

*Photos by Heidi Dela Cruz, Paul Maunahan and yours truly! :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

POINT OF RETREAT by COLLEEN HOOVER

Still very much in love, Will and Lake wholeheartedly took upon themselves the parental responsibilities to their younger siblings while also fitting themselves into unusual living and studying arrangements to make ends meet.  As told through Will’s eyes, a lover from his past surfaced again who would knock on their undisturbed lives and make Lake question everything about the foundation and direction of their relationship. Will would try to piece the perfect answer together to Lake’s ultimate question to win her back.
My heart pounds against my chest. Not because I'm nervous. Not even because I want her worse that I've ever wanted her before. It's pounding against my chest because I realize I've never been so sure about the rest of my life than I am in this moment. This girl is the rest of my life. – Will Cooper

Okay, so let’s be real here. I don’t think there ever really was a complication in the story. It was like the characters just created their own, so there would be something to deal with throughout the rest of the pages. It felt forced. Honestly, I think it was petty and not needing an entire book for a solution. The incident on the last part, though it spiced up things a bit, did not help the story that much and still lacked something.

But in fairness, though this novel quite lost its bearings on plot depth, it still managed to keep its flow at a constant, slow, steady pace which also got me glued on reading. It could get irritating because of how unnecessary some things were, but it would make up for it by keeping some interesting things going. It could get frustrating, just frustrating, without being totally unbearable.

It is also worth pointing out that Point of Retreat at least still managed to keep the cute romantic feel going between the central characters which got me hooked to this series in the first place. The little sweet nothings were just hard to contain, more so were the childish acts of cute quarreling and making up. Colleen Hoover surely knows the way to the heart.

I know how you like to be asked and not told. But I'm not asking you to marry me... I'm telling you to marry me, Lake.. because I can't live without you. – Will Cooper

Sadly, the poems were less present because they had been replaced with journal jottings and musings. But every time this play on words made an appearance, it never failed to awaken the poem lover and romantic in me. I forgot to mention this in my first post for this book series, but I thought, though they may sometimes be too personal and trivial content-wise, they could still strike such a strong impact on the story and the reader. Talk about romanticizing what was already romantic, yes please.

That hospital situation where Will was so devastated and worried felt so real to me. What he went through became a truly relatable moment in which he got all my sympathy. It must have been a hell of an ordeal. How he handled himself through out that part was also worth admiring and would make for an ideal coping mechanism.

Overall, I think that Point of Retreat was still a nice read despite all the off-putting observations I had. It just really lacked any oomph factor, even just a slight one, that could have sealed the book as fascinating at least.

So I'm not about to apologize for loving all these things about you, no matter the reasons or the circumstances behind them.

And no, I don’t need days, or weeks, or months to think about why I love you.

It’s an easy answer for me.

I love you because of you.

Because of

every

single

thing

about you. – Will Cooper

I’m onto This Girl, the last book of this series, now, and I do hope it’s better than this one.

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

Photo source: http://www.goodreads.com/

Thursday, June 18, 2015

SLAMMED by COLLEEN HOOVER

Layken Cohen and Will Cooper clicked together instantly the moment they met that first time she stepped foot in her new home in Michigan. Some more first moments together and they fell in love with each other immediately and unhesitatingly – until they realized they should have hesitated because it would not be as simple as they thought. Caught in between a classic tale of the frowned upon student-teacher relationship, Lake and Will would try to work things out, so they could carry on loving each other while also trying to fix the personal and familial baggage clutched to them.
Regret is counterproductive. It's looking back on a past that you can't change. Questioning things as they occur can prevent regret in the future. I questioned a lot about my relationship with your father. People make spontaneous decisions based off of their hearts all the time. There's so much more to relationships than just love. – Julia Cohen

We could all agree that there’s no better way of expressing love for another than through poetry. This said, the poems and lyrics incorporated in this novel added a beautiful dramatic effect on the love story.  What was already romantic became extra romantic by miles. They were the perfect introduction to set the mood for each chapter and the best way to express the characters’ feelings when even they themselves couldn’t do so with just plain words and actions. Also, I don’t often chance upon reading novels with poetry, so I find this book to be really unique and inspired in that sense.

This thing about you that you think is your flaw – it's the reason I'm falling in love with you. – Lake Cohen

Slammed portrayed young love as this romantic, cute and beautiful thing. In this book, I read about the ideal face of love, and it made me dream of my own kind of just the right amount of sweetness and cheesiness. It made me want to fall in love as well because it looked as though love is the only thing in this world, the only right thing that would help everything else find its proper place on earth.

Slammed is a very light chick-lit – nice and easy – light in a way that though there were issues about death and sickness, they were not tackled in a way that would make the heart ache so much. Just don’t have any expectations – this book is set to get you all cozy and comfortable reading, so just go with the flow.

If anything, I would like to point out that there was no huge complication in the story, not really. I thought the central problem the characters were facing was something others may consider petty. But seeing as the story was from a teenager’s point of view, I guess it was already expected that the issue at hand would be viewed as a very heavy struggle.

Push your boundaries, Lake. That's what they're there for. – Julia Cohen

Teens and young adults who want nothing but to feel butterflies and cheesy things will surely enjoy patronizing this novel. This book will give them hope about love and all the good things that go with it, that it can be less complicated if people only choose to look at it that way, that solutions are everywhere though not all can be easily done.

That being said, others may also find this novel too shallow, sometimes bordering to already being boring and uninteresting. I admit to realizing just how overly trivial the problem was. But since I was not expecting anything intense and only looking forward to having a good time reading, I let this awareness go and carried on to the next chapter. Besides, Will made up for everything by melting my heart many times over in love with his conscious acts of sweetness and charm. Oh, Will!

Suffice to say, I had a good time diving into the cute story of Lake and Will, good enough that I would like to start with its part two, Point of Retreat, as soon as I get the chance.

Whatever it is you’re running from-it goes with you. It stays with you until you find out how to confront it. – Lake Cohen

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

Photo source: http://www.goodreads.com/

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dalitiwan River 2015: Post-Summer Nature Tripping

The cold torrents from a spring matched with some shade from tall, green trees and thrill-inviting boulders are just as good a combination as being on a beach with salt water on the sun-kissed skin.

Located in Brgy. Banga, Majayjay, Laguna, Dalitiwan Resort is a hidden wonder that is a product of Dalitiwan River which springs from the lovely Mt. Banahaw to make swimming and nature tripping within the area more comfortable and enjoyable. The river has been commercialized, so that aside from its stream of cold freshwater running endlessly, there are also cottages, rooms and pools to better cater to the wants of vacationers.
Majority of the place consists of lush greens sprouting just about anywhere, huge rocks playing along the running water, quite strong torrents of nature-colored freshwater, ambient sounds one only get to hear when in a forest, AND PEOPLE. I mean, it was a weekend when we went there, so, obviously, it was packed full. But though this was the case, the aforementioned elements managed to override the distractions and still got us all feeling adventurous.
We all chose to explore the less populated, far end of the resort where we braved our way through people, rocks and surges to get to what seemed like mini-waterfalls. There were even mudpack-like things that others enjoyed applying on themselves. Reaching the falls, we were all happy experiencing the falls cascade on our heads and backs. It was definitely worth all the nerves and bruises.
I am just so stoked to have spent a good day out with my high school friends again simply because I can’t even remember the last time we did something like this. It may have been a quick getaway, but it was a getaway – with them – nonetheless, and it was definitely chock full of good fun and happy memories.
What made it even more memorable was the fact that this was the second trip Justine and I managed to make happen successfully. For us, hearing the laughter of our friends while also laughing with them is the true measure of the perfect adventure and the reward itself. Such happiness is also what excites me to organize our next get-together right away. Kudos to us!  
At the end of the day, there’s always a thing or two to ponder on somewhere in between trips like this. As for this one, it’s more of a comparison. While the beach showed me how far-reaching and wide the world is, how there still is so much out there, Dalitiwan, on the other hand, reminded me that the world is also just one touch away from my hands, that it’s actually too close to me that I step on it, feel it, and live it every day. This place made me realize just how close I am to nature and how refreshing it actually feels.
This is the best way I know how to say goodbye to summer for now since, judging by the scattered rain showers every so often lately, the wet season has already begun. But then again, summer is a state of mind, I’ll carry it with me wherever I go.

Entrance Fee:
P80.00 (Day tour)
P150.00 (Overnight stay)
Cottage Rate:
P500.00
Room Rates:
P2,400.00 to P3,500.00
Target Budget per Person:
P500.00 to P600.00

For more information: Dalitiwan Resort Facebook Page


Photos by Froiland Pajutan and yours truly! :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

This Just In: New Binge x New Splurge x New Pursuit

Lately, life has been pretty uneventful, in so far as eventful means going out to have a good time. But in a different context where staying at home can be considered just as exciting, I have been up to quite a few little things.

Kindly allow me to blabber and blabber.







IN TV SERIES

So I finally had the audacity to start with the much-raved-about Game of Thrones after months of delaying it due to fear of it being too good, too serious, too slang I wouldn’t be able to understand one bit of it.

Initial reaction after the first episode was, “Maybe my mind can digest this.” Three episodes in and I was all, “There’s too much blood and flesh, I’m loving it!”

There’s no knowing for sure who dies and who wins – so much anticipation going on. Seriously, it feels like anyone can just die in one blink. One of those who I thought was among the central characters was suddenly flat dead and headless on the ground at the turn of an episode. Why and how do you do that, GOT people?

Aside from the twists that I could almost not take – there’s too much cliffhanger than my life can handle! – it also takes me to the medieval times when honor, loyalty, family, and wealth clash. And there are dragons for Chrissakes. How’s that for some extra thrill.

If I may just please say this, Khaleesi is so damned blessed with all the beauty it’s almost unfair. That face, darn it.

And the Imp, oh like him a lot!

Moving on from GOT (because I have already watched everything I got and have yet to find a copy of the rest of the seasons somewhere), I am currently burning my ass off sitting and binge-watching The Big Bang Theory Season 7, and there’s just no stopping now. I missed the gang, and we have a lot of catching up to do. There’s nothing like TBBT to cap off every night with a sense of humor that I sometimes get and sometimes don’t, gives me a hearty laugh nonetheless. 

Lastly, New Girl Season 3.

IN BOOKS

Well, well, here's another BDSM for me. I just recently opened the second book in the Crossfire TrilogyReflected In You. There isn’t much to say yet because I have just begun reading it, barely on the 55th of 500-something pages. I have no deep expectations whatsoever with the book as I only wish to enjoy it. You know, just something I can squeeze in between other mundane doings.

As I turn to page 56, I’ll say more after I finish reading. 

IN THINGS

Hello, consumerism!

I’m sorry I’m not sorry that I gave into another mundane want in life despite the apparent lack of money.

I got myself a new pair of Vans sneakers with gum sole, just the thing I’ve been wanting to have ever since gum soles became a trend. Sneakers are my go-to shoes, my classic pangharabas. They are very laid back I can wear them anywhere I want to go. You know what they say, you are what you wear. Well, in my case, I am my sneakers.

Here’s the catch, I got the pair at the kids’ section of the dept. store, boys’ to be exact. I had been complaining before because the girls’ section always only offer very few and super duper girly designs which hardly appeal to me. All along I was looking at the wrong place. And get this, since it was kids’ stuff, the price was expectedly cheaper. I’m a winner.

IN PURSUITS

At the age of 20+, I can count with fingers in my two hands the things I know how to cook – that sadly includes hotdog and meat loaf.

Just a few weeks back, I had an epiphany – I can’t stay this way forever. Hence, I vowed to learn real cooking (as somewhat inspired and influenced by outside elements).

To put said promise into action, I played with some potatoes. And voila, I made something! I don’t know what it’s called; I just fried it with some melted cheese. Not to brag, but it actually tasted good. I know potatoes aren’t much, but one potato step is better than no potato at all. 

I have been checking online for easy-to-learn-yet-still-tasty recipe treats for future references. After browsing for so long, I have zeroed in on which particular recipes I want to learn. Then I've come up with another realization, that many of them involve baking of some sort. And that in order to learn the said recipes, the only logical and major step to take to make all these things possible would be to get an O-V-E-N.

xx

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