Friday, July 31, 2009

Movie Review - Spirited Away

Rating: 10/10

It tells the story of a young girl with her parents who are about to move in to their new house. They get lost, though, and end up in an abandoned theme park. Little did they know that it was enchanted. So the adventure, filled with love and unlikely friendships, begins!

This is a very nice and heartwarming movie. I guarantee you that your jaws will probably hurt from smiling until the very end. It's no surprise that it was called a master piece. This movie is a must-watch for any Japanese animation fan.

Spirited Away was directed by none other than highly-acclaimed Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki.

Recap of the week

Monday - July 27, 2009

Arrived at the dorm at around 5:30PM only to find out that our outlets were down and out with no one to fix them. Ged, I thought. Well, I ate my dinner and proceeded to review for my MBB1 exam tomorrow. At around 7:25PM, I went to the mess hall where the Nutrition Month event was taking place. I read Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx while there. It's just not my thing to watch people on the stage. Plus, I couldn't even get a good glimpse of their faces because I was at the back (so there you go!).

Sleepy... Sleep sleep sleep... Without an electric fan.

Tuesday - July 28, 2009

Ah... Still no electricity.

MBB1 exam!!! (Yes, I know I'm skipping but that's because there were no important events in PE1 and BIO1, except maybe for the fact that I scored a recitation point with Dr. Jacinto.) It was pretty easy, I guarantee you that. BUT. BUT. BUT. THE SCIENTISTS! Ged! I didn't study them well. So there it goes... It's all up to fate now, people. And the petty guesses.

I bought Carmine's I.D. lace for 120 pesos and also an ice cream for myself because I'm depressed over the exam. The thought of Clarence makes me go all happy, though. XD

I had nothing to do in the evening so I decided to finish A Study in Scarlet. Towards the end of the novel, I began to feel jumpy. I was constantly looking out at the window. The sky was tinged with a crimson color. The sight heightened my agitation, people. It was so scary looking that I was so out of my wits. I could have dropped the novel but because I was near the end, I decided to finish it. The feeling didn't go away, though. So I grabbed my laptop and began to listen to In Christ Alone, Hungry, My Heart will Trust, and With all I am. Immediately, the feeling wore off and I was more of myself then. I also read Zephaniah 3:17, which is a very uplifting verse. My fears disappeared like smoke into thin air...

Wednesday - July 29, 2009

Still no electricity.

Again, I'm gonna skip 'cause the best thing that happened at around 1PM. We were getting copies of two short stories for our CW10 in the 2nd floor of the CAL building when, to my surprise, I saw dear Clarence walking down the hall. My heart jumped and my eyes... Oh, my eyes! I just can't believe that he was really there, studying in U.P. Diliman. My vigor was restored and I could have run out when he did to see where he went but a classmate was with me, so I didn't. I don't want to cause something that would ruin a promising friendship. So we walked back to Kalay but my mind was filled with images of Clarence walking away, tying his shoe laces, texting in the train...

Oh, finally! We had electricity! XD

I arranged my accounts on a new notebook for organization's sake. I found out that I spent 799 pesos last week, which is so far the highest amount of splurging I ever did in my stay in U.P. Diliman. It's amazing, man.

We watched an indie film entitled Astig at the Film Institute (for the sake of extra points, dear). It was nicely done but some scenes were just not for young eyes. I might write a review about it, though, if I ever get the motivation to do so.

Thursday - July 30, 2009

Woke up at 5:30AM, as was usual.

Nothing special happened to-day, except that I'm feeling bad about my MBB1 exam. I don't want to buy ice cream, either. *sigh*

Had my second follow-up session with Ate Alleli. It was fun. We talked about relationship and fellowship with God. XD

I went to the Main Library to research about the babaylan of olden times. 'Twas a pity the book was on loan... Or was it? I'm too lazy to read anyway. Haha. So I went to the free Internet section and spent an hour there, searching for Cypraea leucodon's plot in vain. I whiled away the time posting in my blog and Facebook, checking out some stuff, and some random surfing.

Ack. Hungry. Didn't eat any lunch 'cept for a Gardenia Fun Bun. Kiddy, I know.

Didn't see Clarence. I expected that, dears. It's not everyday that your wish gets answered, you know? XD

Still has no idea how to plot Jose Dalisay's Cypraea leucodon. My researches were futile but I was able to know that he was given the Palanca award 16 times, graduated in U.P. Diliman, studied in the U.S., and was imprisoned during the martial law days... *sigh*

Watched Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away. It's very nice and heart-warming. I recommend it to some depressed people out there. It's a really fun movie that you'll enjoy at any age, although it was created specifically for 10-year old girls. Miyazaki is really a great director.

Clarence's story

A week ago, I published a short story in entitled Clarence. I mentioned that I got the inspiration to write that story when I saw a guy on the train. The descriptions I gave of the male character, Clarence Lewis, are true although some details (such as the lips and the chin) are all made up. I added them just to make him a little more interesting. Also, the events that followed are spurts of the imagination. I really wish that they could have happened, dear.

Enough said about the fictional Clarence. Let's go now to the real one.

As you can see, this blog post is dedicated to the real guy I saw on the train station. I can swear to you that he really looks like a girl. (He is so androgynous that he could very well wear a dress and pass on as a girl in a party, except for the high heels part, maybe.) I was very much struck by his appearance. It struck me as queer, well, because he looked like some weird guy that was so out of place in a place filled with brown-skinned people. He just didn't blend in with the crowd (perhaps maybe when his back is turned). He looked so innocent while tying his shoe laces (oh, the glory!), I can assure you of that fact. Also, he was toting a back pack. It never struck me at that time that he could be going to school. I thought that he was off to work, visiting some friends, had an appointment with someone, or was one of those lazy bums who would rather stay at home.

I mentioned in the story that he had a pretty little hat on. It was perched on his mane of hair and seemed as if it was glued there for eternity. It gave him an artsy sort of atmosphere.

One of the beauties of alighting on the last station is that you get to see where certain people leave the train. On this case, I was pretty lucky to see that he left at the Pureza station. It was also a good thing that we were in the same car and that I could just turn my head and see his whole creature. I think it funny now that whenever I look at him, he would almost always suddenly look up and see me looking at him. Sheesh. It really destroys your diskarte when you're boy watching, but whatever. It's alright. It's alright. Well, at least, I'm trying to tell myself that it's alright...

So Clarence's story ends on that Friday afternoon, at around 2:30 - 3:00PM, when he descended the train... Think so? Well, I sure thought so! Because, no. It was not the end. As a matter of fact, I saw him again Wednesday afternoon, at around 1:00PM and, no, it's not on the train station but on the College of Arts and Letters building on U.P. Diliman. I was like, "What?!?" when I saw him walking away with his pretty little hat perched on his hair (yes, I saw him only once but I had memorized his back quite well, I think :P). I can tell you that my heart jumped and did flip-flops. It was so weird, I know. It just happened that we were getting copies of Cypraea leucodon by Jose Y. Dalisay, Jr. and The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship by Gabriel Garcia Marquez for our CW10 class. Also, I had a companion with me. It was a good thing that he left the building right after I got my copies. I clambered down the stairs, didn't even bother waiting for my classmate, and nearly ran for the door. (If I didn't have my classmate behind me, I would have really run for the door.) To my utmost disappointment, when we got out of the CAL building, he was out of sight. He got mixed in with the crowd! Ged, I thought to myself, how do I go searching for Clarence now? I was happy, though, to at least get a glimpse of him. And the knowledge that he was studying in the same university as I am excited me very much, all the more reason to pass my subjects.

I walked all through the day as if in a trance. I could have destroyed my blue sandals with all the trips I got myself into. My mind was filled with thoughts of Clarence. I pondered, then, as to which course he took. The first thing that came to my mind was that he was (most probably) inclined with the arts. As I mentioned before, he had an artsy aura about him. I could imagine him behind the camera as a director... Or as a painter... Or as a pianist... Or as a guitarist... Or maybe even an architect... But never an engineer, scientist, historian, lawyer, teacher, or something else. He was an art-inclined fellow to me, at least that's my mindset. Hey, I can't ask him straight what his course is, you know? He'll think I'm stalking him! Well, maybe I am, in a sense, but whatever... To me, Clarence is an artist and ever will be. If my hunches prove to be correct, then ha! A genius, I am! No, maybe not. I'm probably reading too much of Sherlock Holmes, anyway...

Speaking of Holmes, I should have liked to apply his methods but that was utterly impossible. I do not trust myself in "dogging" or "stalking" campaigns. I would probably reveal myself in the first minute. You see, I'm not that careful. But, then again, I might be able to pull it off what with my almost invisible aura feel. But, no. That was not the method I choose to use. I just want to wait. I don't want to set up an investigation and find out in the end that he has a (!!!) girlfriend. Nuh-uh. That would hurt so. It would be better to just look on from far away and treat him as a source of inspiration, a source of strength when I'm too lazy to study or listen to a teacher's discussion. But, if the chance comes like in the story, I would ever so gladly grab it. How I wish that fiction was indeed true...

Ah, I get sick just writing this. Clarence in my mind...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Not a thing... Not a thing...

Hi. Just felt like posting.

I'm at the Main Lib right now and finishing my hour on the computer. *sigh sigh sigh* I wish I had my laptop on hand so I can post some stuff I want to post. Haha.

Yes, this is a so nonsense post, brought about by absolute boredom. Tralalalalala...

Clarence, you are so dreamy. XP

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sherlock Holmes 2009 trailer

To those who are interested to watch it, well, here it is. This is the official movie trailer of the Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. It's in high definition (I think).

A first look at the 2009 version of Sherlock Holmes

One of the official pictures of the new Sherlock Holmes movie. It stars Robert Downey, Jr. I've read in an article that he lost weight for the role (although he didn't really get the body Holmes had in the books) because of Chris Martin's influence. I hope that this is going to be a beautiful movie.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My UPCAT story

I can still remember that day when my friends and I decided to take the UPCAT. They were all excited because it would enable them to enter the premiere state university in the Philippines. I also thought the same but I actually took the test just to gauge myself. If I failed, then it's alright. If I passed, better.

However, as the weeks passed, one by one began to back out until our numbers dwindled to a mere three. I would not back down, was what I said. Even if I was to be alone in this, I didn't care. After all, I had nothing to lose.

So came the day of the UPCAT itself. I was scheduled to take the morning exam, which began at 8AM and ended at 12 in the afternoon. Imagine my horror when I woke up and saw that it was already 7:30AM! I threw down the blankets and began to speedily finish the daily routine of eating, bathing, and dressing up. I was dreading as I did these things and was praying to God.

Thankfully, I wasn't late. The exams hadn't even begun yet. I heaved a sigh, relieved.

The UPCAT was divided into four parts: English, Science, Math, and Reading Comprehension. English and Reading Comprehension were fine and pretty easy. But Science and Math! Ugh! I can assure you that I was only certain of my answers in one-thirds of both. The rest? Well, it's all up to chance.

I was the first to finish in every part of the exam. I had to wait for the time allotted for each to move on to the next. I observed my fellow UPCAT takers. Their foreheads were all furrowed, concentrating. They were really striving to enter the state university... Unlike me, who was taking it all for granted.

So the months passed. I pursued my studies and took entrance exams in two more universities: PNU and FEU. I was granted a scholarship in both. The most promising one was in PNU, though. Can you imagine a 100% scholarship and a 100 peso fee for every unit? Obviously, it was the better choice.

The thought of the UPCAT was out of my mind. I had dropped all hope of ever passing it. After all, what chance did I, a Kapampangan girl who only stood out in her class because most of them were mediocre, have of being granted an entry in the University of the Philippines where the most intelligent students go? It was an impossible dream (although I still prayed for it in secret).

Well, imagine my surprise when I found out that I passed the test and was admitted, not in UP Baguio (my second choice of college), in UP Diliman with my first choice of course: BA Journalism. I was, of course, happy. But a new problem was presenting itself.

UP Diliman was known for its student activists, hazings, and fraternities and sororities. I was not keen on enrolling because of the said reasons. How could I, a small girl, survive in such an atmosphere of temptations and vices? I saw absolutely no chance.

I had already reconciled to the fact that I was going to PNU, and I was determined, too. The future looked more promising there. However, I was not satisfied. Our relatives and family friends wanted me to go to UPD so badly. I told myself again and again that I did not go around to please others, rather I was going to go around pleasing myself. But even this mindset did not work and I was more confused than ever. Somehow, putting people down was not my style.

I finally acquiesced to enter UPD when I heard a sermon stating that God wants only what's best for us. He was giving us a million opportunities and it was our job to grab them all. That's when it all became clear to me that God gave me this chance so that His goodness and glory would be evident even as far as Diliman, Quezon City. I was to be an ambassador of God and I was more than ready to accept the mission. I no longer dreaded the thoughts of living in a dormitory with people you barely know, "monster" professors, paper works that could well comprise a three-storey building, and "worldly" organizations. I felt in my heart that God's hands were moving in all of this. I rested on the solace that everything would work out for good because the Father was acting.

And it was indeed true. All His promises hold true.

So, here I am, a freshman student in the University of the Philippines Diliman, a proud testimony of God's love and faithfulness. For without him, none of this would have happened. I would never have passed the exam without the wisdom and knowledge He most graciously imparted in me. I would never have survived that hard and (home) sickening first week. I would never be the person I am now if it was not for God.

I believe now that there are no accidents in life. Why? Because long ago, everything has been written by the Master's hand. Everything works out for God's holy purpose.

FictionPress update: Clarence

Okay, this is my first real shot at creative writing. It's a short story entitled, "Clarence." It popped into my head when I saw this guy on the LRT awhile ago. I hope you enjoy. XD

And, yes, Heather Holmes is the narrator. Why? Because I am that vain.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A reaction to in vitro fertilization

We just studied this form of assisted reproductive techniques in Biology 1. It's fine with me but what shocked me most was the mention of a surrogate mother. This is opted when the wife's reproductive system does not have the ability to conceive a child, no matter what kind of ART is used. Another mother, termed as the surrogate mother, is used to carry the baby. What bothered me was this: the embryo may have come from the married couple but it was the other woman who bore it. Isn't she considered as the mother of the child also? I was also wondering if that woman is paid by the couple. If so, does it satisfy her when she knows all along that the child she is carrying will be given to another even with the thought of money in her head? Isn't it unfair on the part of the surrogate mother? It's like taking another woman's child with her full knowledge.

Well, it just seemed weird to me.

One thing's for sure, the mother (where the oocyte came from) can't this to the child: "I carried you on my womb for nine months and this is what you're going to do?!?"

(I'm writing this for boredom's sake.)

A reaction to "armchair activism"

I just read an article about armchair activism in the University of the Philippines Diliman's weekly newspaper, the Philippine Collegian. It was written by Apol Mario Mabini. In this blog entry, I want to highlight some advantages and disadvantages of this so-called form of activism in my point of view. I could be wrong, or right. It's totally up to the reader. I just want to de-stress myself. XD

One of the advantages of armchair activism is that the rant or information conveyed by the writer is available to the whole world and is not limited only to his/her country's citizens. Face it. Not all of the happenings in the Philippines are broadcasted abroad. With armchair activism, even foreigners will be able to react and share sentiments with the writer.

Another advantage is that the writer can choose to be anonymous to his readers. Somehow, it would be easier to "hide" from his "targets" or those people who are described in that article or entry. Also, the amount of violence can be reduced. As mentioned in the newspaper article, most of these rallies have ended with serious injuries and forced disappearances.

The writer also does not necessarily need to form a group to voice out his/her opinions. All he/she has to have is access to Internet. Plus, it doesn't take as much time as going out to Mendiola or EDSA and shouting your protests out loud. It saves energy and enables the writer to do more things.

However, it also has its disadvantages. Because the article is posted in the Internet, there is a chance that it might not be taken seriously (as could be the possibility with this post). Additionally, as also said in the newspaper article, not everyone has access to the Internet. Although a large percentage of Filipinos do, it is not enough to just reach the middle- and high-class families. Everyone has to be involved.

So there. I end my post (because I can't think of anything else to say). Anyhow, I may say whatever I want to say but it is still up to you, the reader, to choose for yourself. :D

July 20, 2009 - Media Tour

I woke up at 5:30AM to prepare for the media tour. We were to meet at the College of Mass Communication, 7:45AM. I was not as excited as I thought I was going to be (itineraries were Broadway Centrum and Creativoices). I was actually too calm for my own good.

I arrived to the meeting place at around 7:15AM. No one was there yet but I could have anticipated that.

We left at about 8:30AM or much later. There were only nine of us compared to the twenty-five who signed up to come. It seemed that when Saturday rolled by, people just started to back out. The result was the dwindling of the numbers down to less than a half. But it was all right, all the same.

Upon entering the Eat Bulaga studio, I was pretty surprised with the size of it. When you look at it in the television screen, it seems huge but when you're really there... Well, it was pretty small. I got over the first shock and sat down with my companions. We had to wait for the show to start because, well, it's going to be live so what did I expect? Sheesh. Anyway, after some waiting, the show officially began. Now that I think of it, I forgot the first performance.

I did have a good look at the hosts, though. I was able to see Pauleen, Paolo, Kim, Allan K, Julia, Lougee, Daiana, Anjo, Jimmy, the Sexbomb dancers, Joey de Leon, and, of course, Vic Sotto. They looked pretty much the same in personal. No disappointment there, guys. I didn't expect their faces to change or something, you know?

After that, we had lunch at Jollibee. I ordered a 1 pc. Chickenjoy with Jolly Spaghetti for 100 pesos with a regular Coke. :D

We proceeded to go to our final destination in Makati - Creativoices. I was not so giddy here as I thought I would be. Creativoices is the home of the dubbing industry in the Philippines. They've given voices to the characters of Meteor Garden, Boys over Flowers, and animes in Hero TV. We got the chance to meet the VoiceMaster, Pocholo Gonzalez. He taught us some valuable life lessons like the law of the flagpole (which he invented himself) and the law of the bicycle. It was pretty nice. But what excited me the most is the fact that Creativoices forged a partnership with UP Broadcaster's Guild (our block handlers). They were to notify and invite the guild if there were events such as AniCon, ToyCon, MangaHolics, and the likes. I could tell you that my heart leapt. Just hearing the word "cosplay" and "anime" excited me much. I would consider that as the best thing that happened that day.

I arrived at the dorm at past 7:30PM. No more dinner... It was a good thing that I still had some left-overs: the fried chicken from Jollibee and the spring rolls my grandmother gave me last Sunday. So, yeah. Itadakimasu!

Here ends the day of July 20, 2009. XD

Crap! Internet

Could you believe it?! The Internet service at Kalayaan dorm has a brain! I mean, seriously. As soon as I finish researching some stuff, it suddenly goes off on me. I always look around me to see if the others are having the same problem but they're not. Isn't that weird?

Okay, so here's another situation. I was surfing the 'Net a while ago looking for the story of Princess Urduja, the elements of a short story, and feldspar. In about ten or fifteen minutes (thank God for Internet!), I was already finished so I decided to check out my Facebook account. I accepted some friend requests, added some friends, confirmed some trading stuff, and replied to my teacher's posts. Finally, when I was posting something on my Wall, the page just showed stuff like "The page cannot be loaded" or something like that. That isn't Facebook's fault. The Internet service went off on me. Again. I was so pissed. Why can't I do something fun and get a break from feldspars and clay pastes? Like, hello? Even the Internet service at the Library cooperates with me.

I'd be more than happy if I would be able to get a private Internet service but that is so not possible. I definitely won't beg at my parents to give me more money. Nuh-uh.

Which means that I have to stick with the suck-y Internet connection... *sigh*

It's really different in UP... Even the Internet service has a mind of its own...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Book review - The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Rating: 10/10

This book is amazing. It's only about 163 pages long but the content is certainly pretty. Even though it is written in simple prose, the message is very deep. It's an inspiring story and I am not at the least surprised by the fact that this is an international bestseller.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Things to be thankful for for the previous week

1. for letting me join Campus Crusade for Christ
2. for sending Ate Alleli to me
3. for giving me wisdom and knowledge in my first Biotechnology quiz (17/19)
4. for giving me guidance in everything
5. for helping me to cope with every situation
6. for providing for my family
7. for giving us a place to call home
8. for protecting me in my way to and from UP Diliman
9. for blessing me in everything
10. for making my Sherlock Holmes collection complete


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Picking up the pieces of the lively whirlpool

Yes. Finally, after over a year of not watching Shippuden episodes, I've picked it up again. Actually, I'm watching it for the sake of watching the Hidan-Kakuzu arc in animation. I'm watching episodes 81-88. Heheh.

Why am I watching this part? Well, for one, there's Ino and Shikamaru. That is my only reason, actually. LOL. Yes, I know, it's super shallow...

Movie Review - The Phantom of the Opera

Rating: 9/10

This movie stars Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, and Patrick Wilson. It's nicely done and the story flow is brilliant. The songs are very beautiful and catchy. They stay in your mind for days on end. It's lovely but, for me, something is still lacking. Maybe it has something to do with the Phantom's mask... But I liked it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tofu Furai in SC

Yeah. It cost me 65 pesos. It's just simple fried tofu in a brown sauce with sesame seeds. It doesn't taste like anything, really! Yeah, I know. Tofu is supposed to be tasteless. But some tofu cuisines I've tasted are sort of a mix of sweet and sour. Now, that's yum! Heheh.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Book review - Jacob have I loved by Katherine Paterson

Rating: 10/10

Another great novel from highly-acclaimed writer Katherine Paterson. It captures the life of the watermen on Chesapeake Bay, specifically on the island of Rass. It tells the story of Louise, older of the Bradshaw twins, who hates her perfect younger sister, Caroline. She feels deprived of everything: her schooling, family, friends, and even her name. In a confusing world, Louise strives to find her place and outshine her sister.

This one of the books that could make you cry.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Movie Review - Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Rating: 10/10

Fantastic movie. I love the special effects and it's just great. Nothing much to say about 'cause it'd brilliant. (I don't get it why some people still have to notice Megan Fox's pants while watching the movie. I'm there to watch and enjoy it, not see if her pants are dirty or not. Sheesh.) BumbleBee and the new Autobots were great. I think Optimus Prime is too overrated in this sequel. But, yeah, that's just me.

But it's great great great.

Movie Review - Faith like Potatoes

Rating: 10/10

The movie is based on the true story of Angus Bachan, a Scottish farmer in Africa. He moves from Zambia to Southern Africa to continue his farming career with only a patch of land a trailer truck. At first, difficulties oppose him and he is about to break. However, one Sunday, he hears the beautiful message of Jesus Christ's salvation and he decides to accept Him as the Lord and Savior of him and his family. Then, slowly, things start to change...

It's a touching tale of hope and faith. If you're looking for a movie that can lift your spirit, this is the movie to watch.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fanfic update - TDSoL

TDSol is officially done:

Gone are the days of contemplating and thesaurus use. *sigh* I'm gonna miss that 'cause I'm thinking of going into a hiatus for the next few months. However, if a really good idea comes into my head, I'll start writing again.

Song review - Viva la Vida by Coldplay

Rating: 9/10

The song is very catchy and the lines are quite easy to memorize. It's not your usual song, what with the theme and lyrics. What else can I say about this..? My sister introduced it to me three weeks ago. She found it in a Code Geass AMV. Thanks to whoever made that! Anyway, this song won "Song of the Year" in the Grammy's...

So yeah. It's a great piece of music that you should add to your collection, if you haven't got it yet.

And this is my first song review.

Book review - Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LeRoux

Rating: 10/10

This French novel is simply fantastic. The words strung majestically by Monsieur LeRoux exudes all the feelings meant to be shown. The dialogues are very beautiful. The whole of the book is written in simple prose, making it easy to understand. You'll almost never need a dictionary, if your vocabulary is quite wide. Also, the reader will find it easy to delve into the roller-coaster love story of Vicomte Raoul de Chagny and Christine Daae, and the sorrows of Erik, the Opera Ghost.

This is really a must-read for any bookworm. :D