Sunday, July 29, 2012

OF MICE AND MEN by JOHN STEINBECK


072412. tuesday.

Of Mice and Men is a straightforward and moving story of friendship, dreams and sacrifices.



George Milton and Lennie Small have been accompanying each other for the longest time, both moving from one place to another to find a job in a ranch. they work hard with the hope of soon achieving their dream of having a land they’d own. and due to an unexpected circumstance, George had to do something that would forever separate him from Lennie, which is also for the latter’s good.

as for me, what George and Lennie had was real and unconditional friendship. George is the picture of a dependable companion. despite all of Lennie’s flaws(things which are not easy to bear and tolerate), George never left him and never thought of doing so. he considered Lennie his family. in contrast, Lennie is a symbol of honesty and sincerity. he’s not normal, he easily forgets, he finds happiness in stroking mice and rabbits. he trusts George so much. he might be naive but when it comes to George, he’s willing to do everything and obey anything that he’d say.

there are a lot of poignant instances – when George comforts Lennie by telling him about all their plans over and over again, when George is worried about Lennie being hurt, when Lennie only listens to what George has to say because he knows George won’t do anything that will harm him, when George does all he can to give Lennie what he wants.

the most heartbreaking moment was when George had to kill Lennie to make sure he wouldn’t suffer in the hands of other people. it was like suicide, euthanasia. George’d rather shoot Lennie himself instead of letting the enemies lay their hands on his friend. i nearly cried. i was dumbfounded. i mean, what else could me more tragic??? :(

as a consequence, the dream they once had would never ever come to life now. if it’d ever happen, George would be alone in it.

Of Mice and Men is a quick read because it is told in a simple and direct manner. it does not have much details but the story is just brilliantly crafted. this is one of those stories which doesn’t have to try hard in touching the reader’s feelings. the emotion is felt right away. the surprise hits you just in time. the heartache comes and stays longer. depression takes over.

now i totally understand why it has become a timeless classic. consider this among my favorites from now on. :)

after everything, i asked myself, i think it’s also a good idea if i’d ask you.



how far are you willing to go for your friend? 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

a saturday well-spent


072812. saturday.

my saturdays are always about night-outs with absolutely crazy friends (could be my high school or college buddies), food overload (mostly an overkill of unhealthy, fatty food) and lots of other things unimaginable and hilarious (the possibilities are limitless with us. HAHA.). it just doesn’t feel right not to spend at least day of my week with them. i’d be needing a dose of their humor and rumor from time to time. HAHA. them evil friends. HAHA. their wickedness makes me love ‘em even more. HAHA.

so last saturday, july 21, i went out again, this time with my high school girlfriends. joson, faith, katrina, julie, rochelle, jusz, sarah, josan. :) well, this hang out was kind of special in a sense. for the first time, we don’t share the same paths in life, at least for now. there are those who’ve already jumpstarted their own careers, those who are now graduates but prefer the life of a bum for the moment (is that me right there? HAHA.), and those who are still to sweat out the remaining sems left for them. well, we really now have our own lives but that doesn’t mean we’d stop seeing each other. HELL NO.

here are some photos to satisfy you with everything that happened.

struggling to choose a resto. it always takes us a long time to pick. HAHA.
who's that hiding behind the bag? HAHA.
maybe you should stop picking your nose in front of the table? what do ya think? HAHA. 
pizza. :)
pasta. :)
great seeing josan again! haha!
and the fangirl strikes again. hahaha! we still love you, julie. don't worry. HAHA.

there’s actually something else that happened that night, something humiliatingly funny or should i say funnily humiliating? HAHA. as much as i’d want to tell you, i don’t want you to doubt our personalities. HAHA. just forget i told you anything about this. HAHA.
guess i'll be seeing them again this SATURDAY!

*thanks to faith for the photos*

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

THE PURGATORIO (THE DIVINE COMEDY) by DANTE ALIGHIERI (translated by John Ciardi)

072412. tuesday.

following Inferno, Purgatorio is the pitstop before Dante reaches Paradiso. this book is a voyage through the catharsis of a sinner’s soul, hence the title Purgatorio. if in Inferno souls suffer to pay for their sins, here, the spirits have to undergo torment in order to get the purification they need to be accepted in Paradiso.


Purgatorio is basically a mountain that has ledges which represent each sin.  in each ledge, Dante, still with his guide Virgil, witnesses two things that are part of the whole cleansing process. he sees the WHIP of sin and the REIN of sin afterwards. on the one hand, whip illustrates examples of beings who did the opposite of the sin showing images of good character. on the other hand, rein demonstrates acts of souls who committed the said sin. here, he also meets and talks to souls who submit themselves to purging.

what i like about this book is the idea of how even the little details are so connected and consistent to the bigger picture. i think it’s ingenious. HAHA. for instance, Purgatorio is found between hell and heaven. hell only has darkness(night). in paradise, the sun is up every day. thus, Purgatorio has both night and day. also, Dante can only keep ascending to the mountain when it’s day. there are other things that are also like this. HAHA.


just like Inferno, it wasn’t that easy to understand the content of each stanza in this book. as a poem, the story wasn’t told in a direct manner. it’d always be about digging deeper to what Dante actually wants to convey. and since it’s been written a long, long time ago, it’s in the context of that era. meaning, it is based on what people believe and think during those times. and some people see some things differently from then and now. HAHA.

i hate it when there are mentions of stars, zodiacs or constellations because i don’t comprehend any of them. even when there are explanations already, my understanding never gets any better. i tried but i just don’t seem to have a thing with astrology. HAHA.

Dante has shown more curiosity in Purgatorio than in Inferno. his questions here are mostly about the possibility of some occurrences, particularly regarding the soul’s state and the nature’s conditions. and i am amused by his hunger to know and understand.

CURIOSITY.

after reading, one of the things i realized is how reason cannot at all times be used, and that some things should be left  unsaid, without questions of how or why. sometimes, reason is not enough to enlighten our minds with everything that bothers us. this is shown when the character of Virgil, the epitome of human reason, reached his limit as Dante’s adviser.

last comes Paradiso, a tale so surely full of love and happiness. i am halfway through. can’t wait to finish The Divine Comedy.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

THE INFERNO (THE DIVINE COMEDY) by DANTE ALIGHIERI (translated by John Ciardi)



071812. wednesday.

i’ve been eyeing The Divine Comedy ever since and finally somebody gave me the three books! the liberty to read all these is all mine, all mine! HAHA! i was so excited because it was the first time i was gonna read a classic. i was like, “for real?” HAHA! there’s something about the classic books that’s so special. HAHA. i know it’s kinda weird but it’s the truth. that’s what i think. HAHA.

first off, INFERNO.

obviously, this is about Dante’s journey, with the guidance of Virgil, through hell where he witnessed and encountered the worst of the worst. this is the first step to reach Paradiso. he, first, had to recognize the sins that humans (gods and goddesses also) committed. in this book, Dante discussed the transgressions according to their severity, which puts treachery at the last.

i love the creativity of Dante here when he thought of how each sin must have its equivalent and appropriate punishment. i mean, they were not just some penalty to make the sinners pay for what they’ve done but they were very fitting castigations. HAHA. i think it was the most imaginative element of Inferno.

i realized how complex and cruel each sin can be. it was like looking at the science of the offenses. Dante dissected the roots and consequences of every sin. he even showed that some of them have sub-categories, especially those found at lower hell.
i'd like to share my favorite statement from the book. this is a description of LUST which, i think, is its perfect explanation. HAHA.
honestly, i had a hard time reading because Dante talked about people, places and stories i don’t know. i am not very familiar with Roman history, Roman mythology, ancient philosophers, and the Holy Bible. you see i’ve heard some of the names he mentioned but i was not knowledgeable at all about whatever it was that made them worth mentioning in the book. i was clueless as hell. poor me. HAHA. thanks to the notes  found at the end of every chapter. they, at least, provided me things that would lead me to where the story’s going and to what was happening. if not for them, i think i’d be lost. HAHA! this is also the reason it took me a while to finish reading. i’d have to check on the notes from time to time. HAHA.

aside from that, i am not used to reading a story written in such style. Inferno is not in prose form, it is an epic poem. i was actually surprised at first ‘coz i had no idea that it’s like that. HAHA. the use of symbolisms made it an even subtler tale.

there were also times when i got confused. in Dante’s narrative, he merged mythology with Catholicism by citing sinners and events from both. i find it fascinating though. to me, it was another artistic approach to his book although i am not so sure what made him decide to do that. well, maybe because he grew up learning about these two things that he was able to find a way to relate one to the other. HAHA.

while going through the book, i learned ‘a few’ things about history and mythology. i said ‘a few’ since my mind doesn’t seem capable of retaining a lot (retention issues). HAHA! at least, i’ve learned somehow about Western (particularly Florence, Rome, Tuscany) civilization, culture and beliefs.

at the end of the day, i realized how sinful i am. HAHA. kidding aside, i got scared of what’s really gonna happen to me after i die. who can tell what awaits us afterlife? HAHA. suspension of disbelief -  if what’s in Inferno is real, i don’t even wanna imagine how it’d look like – darkness, foul odor, wailings of the damned, demons all around, hopelessness, eternal misery! just to think about it gives me goosebumps! man, that’s literally one hell of a place! HAHA.

don’t wanna prolong my agony so i’m gonna start with Purgatorio now. HAHA.

BTW, i’d like to thank ate delee for giving me the books! :))) more books to come! HAHA.

Monday, July 16, 2012

An Escape to Anawangin!


071612. monday.


let me share to you our post-summer getaway to Anawangin, Zambales!

we’ve been wanting to do this since graduation but we never really had the time and money. HAHA. until finally, without any plans or anything, with only the urge to go, ago, roc, jonas, and i still pushed through with this escapade. HAHA.

it was a two-day outing. i must say that though it was just two days, it felt like forever! HAHA.

DAY 1

it took us almost six hours to get to Zambales from Manila. it was raining when we pulled in. it took us another hour of a nauseous boat ride to reach the island itself. the view on our way to Anawangin - the clear waters, the other untouched islands, the green mountains - was breathtaking enough to make me feel better. HAHA.

we first fixed our things and set up our tent upon our arrival. 

we changed clothes right away, then off we went swimming excitedly. the surge of the waves was so strong we couldn’t get farther from the shore at first. so, we just started throwing sand at each other instead. we even played with the waves. the four of us would be fighting the tides and whoever would fall on his/her feet loses the game. we’d get closer to the strong waves every time until only one remained. i’d always, always be the one to fall first. so weak! HAHA. we had fun just like kids. HAHA.

then, we headed back to our place for lunch. the food was included in the package so we  didn’t have to worry about what to eat. every meal, they served us with scrumptious dishes! woooo! HAHA. oh, i’d have to say this, their food was absolutely great. we were always bloated after the meals! and, they were very accommodating. whenever we needed anything, we’d just tell them and they’d take care of things from there. wonderful people. :)

after lunch, jonas insisted that we play frisbee, and so we did. it was the first time for the three of us(except jonas of course. HAHA). roc and i were teammates against ago and jonas. HAHA. well, we enjoyed it, realized it wasn’t that hard to learn. HAHA. 

we also went trekking that day. it was cool but tiring. the way up to that mountain was so steep and narrow plus rocky. it was no easy hike. you can just imagine how sweaty we were then. oh, and let’s not forget the sunblock we put on when it melted and ran down from our foreheads to our eyes! it hurt! HAHA. all the sweat and bruises paid off when we got to the top. the view, it was amazing, beautiful! it was there that we really got a full view of Anawangin and the other islands around it. wherever you look, all you’d see is the beauty of nature, untouched. :)
what else is better to do after trekking than to soak up in that salt water. HAHA. and yes, we swam again. this time we learned the trick. we just had to follow the waves and let them carry us up to keep us afloat from time to time. instead of getting scared when the tides came near, we were then excited. the bigger the waves, the better! HAHA.

it was already evening when we returned to our camp. HAHA. all the guests came rushing to the showers. we still had to queue for our turn. following bath, we had dinner. again, they never failed us. the food was overflowing. it’s perfect. after a jam-packed day of fun, a delicious dinner was the only thing we needed. the bonfire added to the beach “feel” right there. HAHA. while eating, we had a little chat of how cool our experiences were so far. we could think of only the good things. HAHA.

DAY 2

we were awaken to an appetizing breakfast, just enough to get us through a fun-filled day ahead. HAHA. we played frisbee for awhile before we hopped on to the boat for island hopping!

actually, we were supposed to  visit three islands, but due to the rain, we only got to check out one. it was fine though since it was for our safety. HEHE.

Capones Island was such a beauty. this virgin isle found in the heart of Zambales has fine white sand. it is surrounded by cool boulders. the shells are scattered everywhere. the rocks under the sea are so huge that our boat couldn’t get ashore. we all had to swim to get to the shoreline. thanks to the life vest, i managed to work my way there. HAHA.
there was a lighthouse on top of the hill. in order to reach it, we had to hike again. HAHA. o man, it was oh so tiring. every step seemed so heavy. we just enjoyed the climb and laughed the stress off. HAHA. when we arrived at the top, there was this old structure. i have no idea what it was before. it was beautiful though. then we took photos in the lighthouse. from there, we once more witnessed God’s wonderful creation. :) the view was worth the effort. see for yourselves.
when we walked down the hill, we swam and we swam and we swam again. HAHA. it was fun there. it would’ve been more fun if not for the sharp stones underneath the water. when the waves strike, the solid rocks come with them. you can only imagine how much our feet and legs suffered. i had bruises right after. HAHA. the sun was at its peak when we finished. HAHAHA!
it was an amazing experience. we even met new people. i forgot to tell you that there were five groups who availed the package, including us. we were with them in all the activities we did. there were those who’re friendly and approachable, there’re those who weren’t. HAHA.
thanks to the kuyas and ates who showed warmth and generosity to us while we were in Anawangin. :)

this video sums up everything that happened in two days.







just like Charlie in that The Perks of Being a Wallflower novel, i felt ‘infinite’ that moment, hearing the waves, feeling the sand. i didn’t wanna leave. it felt perfect that second, like nothing wrong could happen. :)
i hope to see you again, Anawangin!

*thanks to jonas, roc and ago for the photos and video(edited by ago).

Monday, July 2, 2012

21

070212. monday.


just wanna share a photo of this cutie present i got on my birthday. :)

thank you to the TWO thoughtful friends of mine who still came over to our place even if i begged them not to. don’t know if i should or should not be grateful for that. KIDDING! of course i’m grateful! HAHA.

they had to wait for me ‘coz i left home and went somewhere else. they were too patient and persistent to leave. HAHA.

i do appreciate this so much. SIMPLE YET SWEET. :)


made it my wallpaper. HAHA. wag na majinx.
i don’t even wanna take a bite. i don’t want the cupcakes to lose their form thinking they won’t be cute anymore. HAHA.

thanks again JOSON and FAITH for the gift. :)))

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