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32×22: New Year’s Resolutions

32×22: New Year’s Resolutions

Every year the list gets longer and gets harder to fill. Also, I’m running out of things to make a list of. But it’s an annual tradition and I’ll feel like I’ve failed myself if I don’t do it so here I go…

This year’s list is about my new resolutions and goals. Some are short-term (meaning I hope to accomplish in a year or three) and some are long-term (which I hope I get to accomplish before I die). I don’t know if I can cover the list but this definitely covers all aspects of my life. So without further ado, here is my 32×22 list:


1. To sleep early. I’ve been adjusting my sleeping patterns for the last 5 years to earlier than it was. Hopefully this year I’ll manage to sleep at 10pm.

2. Exercise. I used to exercise regularly but for the past year, I’ve been lazy. And I really wanted to bring myself back in shape. I realized last LGUlympics how easily I got tired of a short run.

3. Eat healthily. I have a really bad diet. This is a big goal for me.

4. Limit coffee to once a day. It’ll be tough but I should be able to endure it.

5. Gain weight. I should ask Maymay Entrata how she managed her 10 kilos in a year. It sounded like a miracle. I know you’ll say I just need to eat plenty but believe me, gaining weight is not that easy.

6. Avoid retail therapy. Should I delete my online shopping apps? It’ll be hard but I’ll try to avoid them.

7. Extend my patience. I’m actually a very patient person even if a lot of people will not agree with it. I guess I have to work more on it.

8. Get back to reading. I’m so sad I haven’t hit my reading goals last year and probably this year. I’m just not in the mood to read a lot these days. 😭

9. Get back to blogging. I miss it. I’ll get around to doing it again one day.

10. Get back to writing. I feel like I’m not totally me anymore since I stopped doing this. But I made plans already and decided I’ll start with baby steps. I’ll be putting up my Wattpad soon. I decided to make some sort of an online diary where I tell about my days. I don’t care if nobody reads it as long as I write it.

11. Get back to drawing. I don’t even have the talent, I know but I love it and it helps me relax and destress. It eases my mind and maybe I’m so stressed because I don’t do it anymore.

12. Meet with friends. This may sound so simple but as I’m living so far away, this is really getting hard. I miss having friends.

Here are my short-term and long-term goals for my physical mental and spiritual well-being…

13. Travel to a place I’ve never been to before alone. Maybe in 2021 or 2022.

14. Have Lasik surgery before my 35th year ends.

15. Travel to Japan and/or Korea before 2025.

16. Celebrate my birthday by doing a charity event for kids. Feeding Children, Teaching out-of-school children, Technically I am hoping to spend it by making children happy and maybe make that an annual thing.

17. Be part of a cause. I mean officially be part of a cause. I don’t know which yet but probably something to do with children.

18. Encourage people at my church to have the same courage and confidence that I have in serving Him. Not because I’m good but because I am willing and I know that to Him that is all that matters.

19. To teach and inspire my young brethren not only to be good kids as they grow up but to be good leaders as well.

20. Buy/Build a house.

21. Learn to drive. I want to add, buy a car. But the truth is, I want to learn to drive but I don’t really want to drive. Just imagining being on the road makes me nervous. So…

22. Save a million pesos before I’m fifty.

23. Donate blood. I’m underweight so I can’t. I’d been dreaming of doing this since college but I simply can’t.

24. Have a tattoo. I think my religion is forbidding me to get one. But I really want to experience it. Will God punish me for wanting it? This one makes me feel like I’m such a rebel.

25. Meet my online friends. At least one of them if not all of them. There was a phase in my life when they’ve been a great help. I probably wouldn’t be this fine if I didn’t meet them. So I want to meet some of them in person.

26. Learn to bake. Or learn to cook a dish. Or something that is not my thing. I don’t know if I can but I should at least try.

27. Have a check-up. It sounds simple but this is something I should have done months ago but I keep putting it off. I hate going to the hospital. I may be old enough but I guess I’m not adult enough.

28. Buy an alarm clock. You probably wonder why. It’s because I said about a month ago that I should put my phone away before bed. But I cannot do it because it’s my alarm. Lame excuse right? And it’s also a lame part of the list because I’m running out of things to add to this.

29. ….

30. ….

31. ….

32. ….

I couldn’t think of anything more right now but I’m sure I’m forgetting something. So allow me to leave this space and get back to it one of these days.

For now… this is the end of this year’s annual tradition.


2016: Reflections Vol 1: Two Years and a Thousand Likes

2016: Reflections Vol 1: Two Years and a Thousand Likes


I can’t even believe it’s been two years already. The first year I became a blogger but likes kept dancing around 800 and I figured I won’t really get past that anymore. To reach 1000 during my 2-year bloggiversary celebration was like the icing to the cake. It’s little thing, but it made me so happy.

Before I became a book blogger, I only blog about my life and all the boring stuff that I did. I used to have a reflections corner that I do every week. So now I’m bringing my reflections corner to my book blogging life. It’s not much but here’s my first blog for the year and the random things I realized over the last few weeks:

1. EDITING is a tough subject to discuss in the indie community. I don’t really know why they’re having all the fuss. About whether self-editing is enough or not. Or that if hiring an editor is really necessary. I don’t even know why some authors think that editing is all about grammars and punctuations. But I don’t want to go on a debate on my first item (insert nervous laugh). Here’s a fact I know from a friend who’s working in  a publishing house: When a manuscript is submitted, it first go to an editor to read the story and check if it gets approve (for publishing), revise or rejected. If it’s for revision they will return it to you with the comments on why you need to revise it and it could take several revisions until the editor is satisfied then it’ll get approved. Once it gets approved, it goes to the proofreader to check for grammars, language, punctuations and all that technical stuff.  Then it’ll go to the copy-editor to give a run through if the proofreader did the job well. Then it’ll go back to the editor who approves it for final checking. If the editor is satisfied, it goes to the lay outing and then scheduled for printing. That’s in trade publishing.

I think indies have advantage over one aspect, you never have to feel what’s it’s like to get rejected by an editor. If you hire an editor it’s all about polishing your work and not about giving them the choice whether to publish it or not. I’m losing my point though, all I really want to say, is that you should never diminish the value of an editor’s job. Because some of the post and comments I’ve seen with regards to this topic makes want to cringe.

The truth is, I had one book published by a local publisher and I had 9 rejections before I got that one. I had to revise it 3 times before my editor was satisfied and to be honest, all the things I had on my rejections? I often see it in books that I’ve read and sometimes those editor comments are part of my guidelines in judging a book when I review them but more so when I beta read them.

  1. Promoting. I did a spotlight feature this week on my blog and I still have a few authors lined up for this week. I realized over this week that it’s a lot easier for me to promote a book that have read than those that I haven’t. My opinion hardly matters but it’s still easy to say something good about the book regardless of whether I enjoyed it or not if I know how the story goes. I actually wanted to read at least one book of the authors I highlighted this week but my time is just not that many. But maybe next time I can do that.
  2. Struggles. I know authors have struggles and we bloggers have too. This struggles almost made me want to close down this blog two times in the last two years. But I guess I won’t be having those thoughts any longer. Because now I have more blogger friends. I can just bitch to them how I feel and I know they’ll understand. And maybe they’ll bitch with me about it.
  3. Helping authors. I hope that my blogging help authors. I’m not really sure I’m doing a good job at it. This week when I did a spotlight, I had two people pm-ed me and said that they are not really sure if they want to read this author’s book but with all that I’m saying in my spotlight they decided to finally buy the book. I’m not if they really bought the book. But I hope they did. Because that would feel like I finally did something right. Because honestly, I’m not sure I know what I’m doing half the time. I don’t know if other bloggers feel the same way. It’s been two years but I’m still making things up as I go and sometimes, I feel as lost as when I started this thing.
  4. Reviews. I used to get books to reviews through a tour company. Now I only reviews request made to my blogsite. Sometimes, an author will message me and say, ‘I’ve been following your reviews on goodreads’ and I don’t know if I should be happy about it. I’m part happy but then I always have a feeling no one really read those reviews and they are only saying that to get me to agree to a review. Sorry I’m so jaded. But I’m easy, I always ended up saying yes. Saying no to an author is a real struggle for me. I could be all jaded about all these nice things they say on their emails but even if I don’t believe them (they could be sending the same email to a hundred other bloggers) I always find myself saying yes. Unless I’m too busy and see the email a month later. I would be then too shy to respond on it. If you don’t get a response from me, well, that’s why.


I’m running out of things to say. I made a mental note before I went to bed but I guess the dreams washed the list away. Hopefully, I can write another one of this. I really want to make this a thing on my blog. But right now, I have to keep my fingers cross about it. I hope I didn’t bore you with my rambling. If anybody is reading this at all, that is.





Someone once said that the fact that we set aside a day to celebrate something means that it’s not normal. That is why it needs to be highlighted and recognized. Does that mean we are not normally thankful so there needs to be a day set for giving thanks?


Which made me wonder, why is there a Thanksgiving holiday? I’m not American or Canadian or European even. We don’t have that holiday here in our country. I don’t know if there’s such thing in other Asian countries but we don’t have that here in the Philippines.

When I worked in a BPO company serving American clients, I saw how important and celebrated Thanksgiving is. My ‘virtual office mates’ usually don’t take day offs even during holidays but when Thanksgiving is around, none of them remains in the office. Some of them are even gone as early as Monday.

But to answer my question at hand, I have another question. What exactly is Thanksgiving and how did it came to be (a holiday)? And here is what I found over the web.


According to my friendly web neighbor, Wikipedia, Thanksgiving Day is a federal holiday celebrated during the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and every second Monday of October in Canada.

According to history, Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated as a Federal Holiday since 1860s. However, the first record of it goes as far as 1621 when the Plymouth settlers held a harvest feast after a growing season.  There were several other celebrations since that year onwards celebrating Thanksgiving with regards to a bountiful harvest.

There is however a claim that the first Thanksgiving was actually celebrated on Feb 21, 1621 when a band of starving pilgrims at Plymouth Rock were saved at the last minute by the arrival of a ship from Dublin bearing food from Ireland. The Boston Post, the largest circulation newspaper in the 1920s and 1930s, discovered the earlier date for the Thanksgiving ritual. It showed that the traditional date of the autumn of 1621 was actually incorrect. According to the “Observant Citizen,” a columnist for the Boston Post, the Pilgrims in the winter of their first year were starving and faced the end of the their project to colonize the new world when “a ship arrived from overseas bearing the much needed food.” Because of anti-Irish prejudice at the time, the “Observant Citizen” neglected to name it as an Irish ship, but it was actually The Lyon and “its provenance and that of the food was Dublin Ireland.” It turns out, from records at the Massachusetts Historical Society, that the wife of one of the prominent Plymouth Rock brethren was the daughter of a Dublin merchant and that it was he who chartered the vessel, loaded it with food and dispatched it to Plymouth. The “Observant Citizen,” whoever he was, never admitted the Irish connection, even though a number of Irish organizations challenged him on the issue. Nonetheless, the Massachusetts historical records revealed the tale, giving the Irish a fair claim to saving Thanksgiving.

During the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress appointed one or more thanksgiving day each year observed accordingly to different states. The first national proclamation of which given by the Continental Congress in 1777 from York, Pennsylvania.

From then, several national days of prayers and thanksgiving was proclaimed throughout the years.

Inn 1863 during the middle of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving day to be celebrated on the Last Thursday of November. From then on, Thanksgiving day was observed annually throughout United Stated.

All succeeding presidents followed Lincoln’s example and declared Thanksgiving day during the final Thursday of November. However in 1939, November had five Thursday and so President Franklin D. Roosevelt broke the tradition and declared the fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving day instead of the last. It was the time of The Great Depression and President Roosevelt thought that an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants more time to sell until Christmas.

Republicans decried the change as an offense to the memory of Lincoln and this resulted to people calling November 30 as Republican Thanksgiving and November 23 as Democratic Thanksgiving.

1941, Thanksgiving became a matter of the law when both houses signed a joint resolution fixing the Thursday date of thanksgiving and finally declaring that it will observed every fourth Thursday of November starting 1942. Since 1942 up to present, Thanksgiving Day is observed on the fourth Thursday of November.


Regardless of how Thanksgiving came to be, I think it is not so bad to have a special day set aside to celebrate it. We’re humans and we’re all sinners. One thing all of us are probably guilty of is taking for granted the things we are blessed with. More often than not, from the moment we open our eyes in the morning, our thoughts are directed to the things we have to accomplish for the day or the troubles and problems we need to find solutions for. It may sound bad that most of the days of the year we are an ungrateful lot even when we don’t mean to be ungrateful.

Sometimes because of our temperament, we could always think of what is missing. We tend to whine and complain and we totally get blinded and forget the blessings that is given to us every day and one of them is to be able to open your eyes and live another moment.

We don’t remember every good thing that happens to us. And God is not even asking us to. Psalms 103:2 said, ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.’ He’s not asking us to remember everything, just as long as we don’t forget them all. Whether you believe in God or not, I hope this holiday will give you time to reflect all the blessings and benefits you have received and thank the one who gave them be it Him or whatever higher power you believed in. May we be thankful not just for the things but also for the people that made our good days special and bad days bearable.

Here’s a couple of things that have marked with me with regards to giving thanks:

  • If you cannot be grateful for all the good things God bless you, you should at least be thankful for the troubles that He doesn’t send.
  • There was this text message that said, “Don’t be sad when all your dreams never come true. Just be grateful that your nightmares don’t.”


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.


Other Thanksgiving blog post

Random Thoughts Volume 5


These thoughts are not really random but I can’t think of a title for it I decided to put it on my random headings. I don’t really know how to say this but I know I want to, so yeah, maybe somehow, it’s still done randomly.

You know, I have always wondered how my mom and dad came to be together. Well, I know my dad courted my mom sometime during their high school year and got together during their college years; I never really bothered asking mom. We’re not very close any way so I think the opportunity to do so just didn’t really happen.

And I’m having all these thoughts now inside my head because, mom and dad are like the opposite sides of a spectrum. Dad had been always so sweet, and patient and understanding but when he gets angry, man! until now at my age, I am still afraid of dad when he’s angry and I still don’t ever want to make him mad because of anything that I did. Most people think that my dad is scary. Probably because of the authority in his voice in he speaks. Or the way he stands. He has this amazing ability to get attention of people in a room and get them to listen to him. I think it’s the leader in him and people are probably not really scared but instead, it’s respect to what he is and what he is capable of as a leader. But well, there’s still that scary impression to those who don’t know him. I think the right term really is, suplado. A lot of people thinks he is suplado when first meeting him.

Mom on the other hand, she’s short tempered. She gets angry easily and stays angry a long time. She’s sweet in her own way but since we didn’t really got close until I am an adult I don’t really know how to deal with her ‘paglalambing’. But mom is very charming compared to my dad. She’s really good at drawing people in and make them feel comfortable. In fact, every classmate/friend that I brought home always said my mom is so nice and sweet with a side note in a whisper ‘your dad is scary and intimidating’. It’s funny because I personally think my dad’s a lot nicer than my mom. Well, I could be bias too since I’m a daddy’s girl.

That said, I always wondered how they managed to stick together. They’d be 30 years married in January. You know I’ve only ever seen my dad lost his temper when my mom gets antsy and ended up nagging him. They never really fought in front of us so I don’t know what causes those times but I’m guessing it’s my mom. That or dad went home drunk the night before. One thing I remember very clearly was  my dead saying that it’s okay to fight over little things or big things but never ever fight because of money. Relationships are more important than that. Which, I am realizing just now is very ironic considering the situation I’ve been into with someone for the past few months which until now is weighing heavily on my shoulder.

Anyway, I’m not really here to talk about me. I know I’m boring you (if ever there is a you) but this is really about mom and dad. So I’ll get back to it.

Yesterday, mom went to the doctor because she’s been bleeding for a month already. If there’s one thing mom hates the most, I think it’s going to the doctor alone. I have an errand to do and I wasn’t able to accompany her. I received a text around lunch time asking me where I am. I just got home by then. I asked her why and she said, she was hoping to have lunch with me. Turns out it was not really the reason.

An hour after lunch, dad came home and told me he was going to town. I got confused, I went to the town because he wasn’t available so I did the things he needs to do there for him. If he was planning to go there shouldn’t he have told me earlier? I felt like I wasted my time.

He didn’t tell me that mom asked him to go with her at the doctor. Turned out he doctor told mom her myoma got worse and advised her to undergo hysterectomy. She even went to a second doctor but she said the same thing. If there’s another difference between mom and dad, it’s the way they worry. Mom worries about everything and this clearly worried her a lot. Dad on the other hand, even if this seem to worry him too, most of the time, he’s this person who sees beyond the worry and look for the positive things that happened and that might happen from any given situation.

And looking and listening to the two of them yesterday, I guess this is what made them stick together. They complement each other well. I fill each others short comings and gives strength to their weaknesses. And most of all, I realized how much they love each other. My mom and dad is not the type of people to display affection. It’s part of the things I often wonder, you know… if now that their children has grown up and all that how do they really feel? But today’s events answered those question and much more. More than anything, they need each other. Either to give each other strength for times like this, or just so that my mom could have someone to nag so she can get over whatever it is that is annoying her or making her antsy or when dad needs to be reminded that he needs to moderate on the drinking thing.

It’s still amazing how they get along with all those differences and love each other despite that. Love do moves in mysterious ways. I just hope and pray that this love keep them strong, and that that Dad’s love and support would keep mom strong to overcome this struggle.

Random Thoughts: It’s July… Again


July has always been a hard month for me for four years now. Especially this week. I almost always get depress every time this time of the year has arrived. And today is no different. Have you ever felt happy and sad at the same time? Thinking about things you want to regret but not really? Hoping you could bring back yesterday but also know deep down that it’s not going to change so having today as it is is better?

I’m feeling all of that. And more.

I know I promised I will be okay, I’ll work on getting better without you. And I know it’s been a slow process but if you could see me now you’ll be proud that I somehow did. I hope you are.  Yet, I find that I still can’t help but cry every time I remember this day. And I just realized that reading a book with an emotional roller coaster inside is not helping me. I don’t know if you’re playing tricks on me but I seem to always pick the wrong book at this time of the year. I even wonder if it’s your way of making sure I remember.

But then I know you. I know you know I’ll never forget. And I know you’ll want me to be happy as I remember. I didn’t know how to do that before. But since last year, when you’ve sent some people (of course I want to believe that it’s your doing) to help me learn how to remember without hurting, made today better and easier than before. I may not be totally there yet, but I’m learning to let it go.

I guess, I just want to let it all out. And maybe pretend for a while that you are there listening while I rant how there’s always a gloomy weather on your birthday. Today’s not any different. There’s a storm brewing and lots of rain. I could almost see you teasing me because you know how I hate it. Though I can say that today, I appreciate it. And also let you know that I have found something new to have and hold which I’m sure you’ll approve. And that I miss you with a bit of sadness and without the heartache. And that I’m happy even if today I’m a bit blue. But I’m generally happy and I hope you are too.

All that rant and disorganized thoughts probably made you crazy.

Thank you. There may be a lot of things I wish I did but didn’t and vice versa. But I know one thing will always remain true. That I’m thankful to Him for you. For sending you my way in this lifetime. You’ll always be a special part of my life.

Happy Birthday!



Random Thoughts Volume Forgotten: Why Am I a Blogger?

Random Thoughts Volume Forgotten: Why Am I a Blogger?

It’s been a year and a half since I started being a book blogger. Before that, this site was nothing but my home for all my randomness. Random thoughts, random ideas, and things I wanted to vent and rant about.

Until more than a year ago when an author so very dear to me asked if any of us have a blog and would like to share a word about an upcoming release. I thought to myself, ‘why not?’ After all, I rarely post anything on this page so I might as well have some use of it. That’s where my journey as a blogger began.

The road to being a blogger is not easy. I don’t know how my fellow bloggers do it as they seem to handle it perfectly well but for me it’s not an easy road. From random blogger to being a book blogger, I slowly paved my way through. On most days, it feels like I’m not really getting a word out to anybody. There are days though that it feels I have hit a jackpot. A couple of months after my first post, I’ve been a regular part of two Promotions Company and that was when I decided that having a facebook page for my blog a good idea. Not. The lack of reach on Facebook feels like a big slap on the face every time.  It’s been for that reason that I’ve been thinking for a while now of shutting it down.

So what did my year and a half as a blogger lead me to?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself. Running a blog means taking a part of your time to spend in it. Allotting time to it is not really the problem but thinking of what content to put in aside from promoting authors that will gain attention that makes my head ache. Facebook really had screwed us big time. Though I feel like it might be just me and that maybe, I don’t really know what I am doing. If the number of likes prove the success, I’m clearly a failure. So yes, I’m probably dealing with all of these the wrong way.

Still, I love being a blogger. I love sharing about the authors and their books that I love. I love helping a new author even though on most days it seems like I am not helping at all (thank you, Facebook). A year and a half into blogging and my only success was being part of the blog tour I co-host with another blogger and my only part really was doing the cover photo for the tour and setting up the google sign-up form.

But despite the lack of reach on Facebook and even on wordpress (I’m not really sure I’m getting any even if the stats tells me otherwise), I’ve met some amazing author and bloggers along the way. I love reading. And I became a blogger because I love sharing about what I’ve read. And blogging open the doors for me to meeting new authors and their great books that I would probably not met at all if it weren’t for this blog where I am ask if I would mind sharing a word or reviewing the book.

I’ve seen some author drama and bloggers’ drama throughout the year, too. What I’ve learned? Problems would come through every facet of life, it’s up to you how you’ll handle them. I’ve seen things that turned nasty and ugly just because some authors don’t know how to behave publicly or how to deal with mean reviews. I’ve learned more about some of the authors I love and some I have unfollowed along the way. Some I’ve just read through review request but now I have come to love and religiously wait to one-click the next one. The Indie world is big enough it’s like being in a new world. Sometimes, there’s even more drama I feel like grabbing a popcorn as I watch. Better than watching a movie or a reality show!

Why am I saying all these?

Recently, something made me question why I do this and if it is still worth it. And as I typed everything above, the answer came to me. This may not be an easy road but I’m already here and I’m here to stay. Well, at least as long as you authors are out there, then I’m here. If you need any help (teasers, release day,  promo post) just message me. I’m easy. Except maybe posting teasers with naked man or woman on it. It’s not that I’m being a prude but as a reader I get excited over a book for the story and not for all the nakedness. That’s why I usually just make my own teasers to post. Request for reviews is open for those okay with September onwards (I’m booked until August) except for erotica and same sex romance . And if you have any suggestion please don’t hesitate to throw it in.

“Happiness is a cup of coffee and a really good book.”



Jumbled Thoughts: Reflections of the Week Vol. 3


Lately, there’s about a couple of friends who asked why I don’t blog anymore and said that they are waiting for the next one. I didn’t know that there are people who actually read them and waste time on my shared thoughts. Hahaha! So now here I am. I don’t really know how to say it because lately my head is in a big mess of confused and jumbled thoughts. There are however a few things that can’t be left unsaid, so I’m bringing back my reflections corner. Here’s a few things I reflect upon when I looked back on the last few weeks…

1. Whatever was said and shared confidently in private should remain with confidence in private.
2.Problems shared are half solved. The another half have to be acted upon or ignore it until the problem die a natural death.
3. There’s a comfort in confiding to a stranger, that because they don’t know you there wouldn’t be judgement, but just an ear to listen.
4.But yeah, maybe not all strangers will do that, well at least they don’t really know you and you can just say you don’t care and brush it off as an experience.
5. It’s still best to trust your instinct when it comes to who to trust and who to … Hate? Nah, just people who not to get too comfortable with.
6. Again, I’ve proven that time is not the test of true friendship. Trials are.
7. Friends are essential part of your being. It’s easier to walk the extra mile knowing they are there, ready to help you up when you fall.
8. Loosen up. Once in a while it’s good to just let yourself go with the flow. A little fun and a little goofing around is good for you.
9. It’s nice to know that I can still shock people.
10. Paasa. I so hate that word. We have control over our lives. It’s not someone else’s fault if you cling with hope over something.
11. I like people who are passionate over their dreams, goals and ideals. Because I am.
12. Moving on might be a decision, but letting go is a process.
13. Leaving the past where it belong doesn’t mean never looking back. Opening your door to both the past and the future and seeing them without the pain, and sadness that was there once was actually a refreshing experience.
14. Maturity doesn’t come with age (but with experience). So is being ‘cool’.
15. Your words are like double edge word. Be careful of what your lips utter. Or in another case, what your hands will type in the keyboard.
16. Accepting your weakness is where you begin to find your strengths.
17. Never under estimate the effect of the Super Moon to your sanity.
18. There are things you can’t share without ending up liking each other and forming an inevitable bond of friendship.
19. Some things are not meant to be shared.

20. Technology is both a blessing and a curse.

21. The human brain and emotion is still the most fascinating subject to analyze and discuss. And politics would be next.
22. Yeah, not many people will agree with that last one and just regard me as boring.

Well, this is probably my longest self reflection thus far. You probably agree some, smile some, shook your head some… I just wish  you didn’t fell asleep. That’s all for now folks.

~valerie shyne~


Wandering Thoughts #1: On Reviews


It’s been a while since I posted ‘nonsense’ blogs like the weekly reflections I used to post before back in the days that I do blogs on Multiply. So, I have some free time while waiting for a much awaited release to go live on Amazon US and here I am pondering on some thoughts.

I have been doing review blogs lately all of which I cross post to amazon (if the book is available on amazon) having this free time in my hands kind of made me wonder what made me love/like writing reviews aside from the fact that a few of them were by request.

I’ve read somewhere, someone said that reviewing books are the best way to help the author.  I’m not really so sure since I think that the best way to help the author is to actually buy the book. Probably to spread the word around so others will buy the book too?

But the thing about reviews is that it can go both ways right? I mean, I have written a few negative reviews before that others even said it was outright mean. Although, I never meant to be a ‘meanie’ when I wrote those reviews. I was plainly going for honesty.  Anyway, when I write not so good reviews, I emphasize that it’s solely my opinion and not an absolute one and may be differently viewed by different people.

I really really love reading and and have read tons of books already. I have read many great books and some that I don’t even get to read until the middle. I don’t have a specific genre, I read any book genre as long as I think they’re interesting.

Saying that, the reason that a book may be ‘bad’ for me is not absolutely because the book is bad but mostly just because I’ve read something a lot better than it.  And there are authors who are just good in every book they wrote and surprises you every time and there are those you initially find bad but surprise you with their next ones.

So what about the reviews? My reviews specifically?

First of all, I write these reviews mostly to express my opinion on the book. There are times that I am so happy with the book that I can’t get enough of it and there are times I am just so disappointed with it and at both times the only way to get it out of my system is to write my thoughts about it. That’s why I decided to use the tag “My Thoughts” instead of “My review” on the part where I get to lay my opinion. Because at the end of the day, it’s simply my own thoughts and it hardly even matter.

Last week while I was watching American Idol season 13, Keith Urban said on being asked on his opinion about saying ‘no’ that it’s hard but he thinks that sometimes, these hopefuls needed to hear that so they can get better because there are times that the people around them keep saying that they are great and good even if they’re not and that telling them no sometime will actually help them grow. Second to what I said above, I think that’s what most reviews are about. Though coming from a nobody like me, saying that I do reviews to help the authors improve their craft doesn’t sound right and well, conceited. Who am I kidding? They could just say, ‘go to hell’ or even just ignore it and most of the time, I’m not even sure if they took time reading it. But deep inside of me, yes, I write my reviews with hope that it get to inspire and encourage the authors write more and better stories.

Lastly, as my reviews are plainly just a lowly reader’s opinion, it’s some sort of a challenge to the people that these post reach to read the book and see it for themselves. I am not above myself and I know I could be wrong and I know it could be just due to cultural differences or book preference that made me thought otherwise. Just like what it is often said, “To each his own.” What might be good something good for me might not go the same about you and vice versa.

I know writing a book isn’t easy and it’s not my wish to make the writer feel bad if ever there’s something in my review that offended them. In as much as possible when I don’t have anything good to say, I go with the ‘keeping it to my self’ routine. If it’s too overwhelming to do that I do the review but keep it private. Kind of pointless when nobody get to read it but well, at least I felt better.

I guess, I’m just really making a disclaimer for future review request that I might be saying not only good things on my reviews and that I wrote them as straightforward as I can and straight from the heart of what I honestly thought and felt about the book.

On that happy note, I hope you folks are having a great day. I hope I didn’t bore you to death with this little wandering thought slash reviewer’s confession.


Valerie Shyne


Writing of Pain


Today I’m feeling blue. I don’t know if it’s because of the weather but most probably it’s because of the weather. This cold and gloomy sky just makes the depression inside of me come out. Plus I’m thinking so much. Lately, I always find myself in turmoil inside my head. So, I decided to do that thing that always helps me clear the cobwebs of thoughts that won’t go away… cleaning my closet. I don’t know about you but cleaning and doing the laundry always help me think more clearly. In the middle of cleaning my closet, I came to this box that I haven’t opened in ages. It contains all those sentimental stuff that I can’t find in my heart to throw away. And inside of that box is a journal that contains my thoughts when I am feeling gloomy just like I did today. It kind of makes me think that my wisdom was better when I was younger – another quite depressing thought. But well, thanks to those moments of self-reflection, I felt a little better. I decided to encode what was in the journal and share it here…

            “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”

            These words were both a line and a title of a book by Robert Schuller; words that had left a mark on me.

            Time and again, I would come to remember my experiences and be delighted at how I was able to manage all of them. Well, maybe not everything with flying colors but everything with success. Yes; on going back at those moments I could remember how in those times I’ve been clouded with so much despair, disappointments and questions. How on times I was so desperate to resolve them and realized later on that those trials have their purpose of coming my way.

            I could remember the painful times when someone in the family died, had my plan go out of the way, and times when I failed on something that I wanted so bad to succeed. It brought me so much hurt that I thought nothing could ease it anymore. But when pause, I remembered that I am not alone. I have a God up there who is waiting for me to call on Him and ask for guidance and assistance. Through all those hurting, the greatest lesson I’ve learned is that, amidst all the troubles and pains, my prayer – the communion I have with my Lord; is by far the greatest help I could have to carry it all and later comprehend His mighty purpose for letting all of those events take place.

            Upon the pains that I went through, God helped me understand that life is much more than what you think of it. So as long as you do not let yourself be consumed by all the hindrance that blocks the way and let not yourself be wallowed in self-pity and disappointments; there’s no reason for you to not come out of the dark tunnel with success. Sometimes, you might get bruised and scarred but don’t despair for those will help you stand firmer the next time around. With that, you won’t stumble down on the same block of hindrance over again.

            There are still moments when I get depressed and disappointed. Circumstances sometimes hid us the good things that we could still be thankful for despite the trials; but at least, I know better now than get carried away with my unfortunate experiences. Life, like what they say is a matter of perspective. I could get hurt and let depression rule over, or I could get hurt and use it as a stepping stone to stand up again.

            One of God’s greatest gifts to humanity is the gift of choice. With that gift comes the choice of choosing a better perspective and looking at things positively no matter how everything around you seems to work negatively. After all, happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and offer thanks for the troubles that we don’t have. Life is hard, that’s a given, but then it is also happy, depending on how we look at it.


October 12, 2009


And that folks was some of my thoughts during my best “lucid” intervals.  Writing always makes me feel better and today I’m just glad that I was able to do that.

Destination: Hong Kong (My First Out of Country Trip)


My trip to Hong Kong will probably one of my most unforgettable trip ever. Why? First of all, it was raining so hard when I left home. Typhoon Odette was on the run then, but was about to leave the country around afternoon the next day. My flight was around 5:40 am. Fortunately for me, all flights was cancelled that day except for my flight. Unfortunately for me, Typhoon Odette (International name Usagi) left the country almost the same time that I did. And so there goes my first day at Hong Kong. All the tourist destination was closed because of the typhoon.

It wasn’t that bad though. I was able to go to Central Hong Kong and meet with a friend’s sister during the afternoon of my first day. She taught me the way around Central Hong Kong through buses and trains (MTR). She also treat me to lunch at Jollibee Hong Kong which is not so different from Jollibee here except that they have bigger serving. I was also able to observe the way our fellow Filipinos who works there spend their day offs, hear stories about their jobs and their employers. And I must say, I admire our overseas Filipino workers all the more.

“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” It was Anne Frank who said those lines. On my few days in Hong Kong I have seen how true those lines were. Specially to those Filipinos who treat every kababayan as a sister or a brother on first meeting even if they don’t really know them. And so, Hong Kong day one was over.

Day 2:

Typhoon Usagi was still on signal number 8 but will go down at 10 o’ clock that morning. Mind you, their weather forecast was quite accurate. I woke up around 6 am, had my bath and breakfast and prepared myself to a day’s adventure.

Do you know that you can walk from Central station to the Peak Tram? Yes. But it’s a really long walk. So it’s more advisable to take bus 15c. However, if you walked from Central station to the Peak Tram, you can drop by the Hong Kong Botanical Garden and Hong Kong park. It’s not too far from Central to the Peak Tram if you make stops to those two garden/park. The Peak Tram is at Garden Road. The Tram going to the Peak leaves every 15 minutes. The Peak is probably one of Hong Kong’s highlight. From there you can view all of Hong Kong. Though I strongly advise that you only go there if the weather is good. Even if it was already sunny when I went there, it’s still a bit foggy due to the weather. You can still see all of Hong Kong but it won’t register the same on your camera. Yes, you can’t take really good pictures unless it’s clear skies. Unless you have a really high grade camera unlike mine which is just the ordinary digicam. The Peak Tram cost 40HK$ and ticket to the Sky Terrace cost another 40HK$.

Next stop: Avenue of the stars

Avenue of the stars is Hong Kong’s ‘Walk of Fame’ street. From Central Hong Kong you can take a ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui or you can take the MTR going to Tsuen Wan, drop off at Tsim Sha Tsui and exit at J. From there you can start walking along the street of the ‘the Avenue of Stars’. From there you can visit the Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Cultural Center and the HongKong Museum of Arts. The Clock Tower is also on the same street at the far end of the Hong Kong Cultural Center building. Entrance to the Museums ranges from 10-20HK$ but they’re free on Wednesdays.

From there, I rode the MTR to Mong Kok and visit the ladies market. I also went around the area where the Converse, Levi’s, etch boutiques were on sale. If you still have the energy, you can go to the night market which is near Jordan station by MTR. The market starts at 8pm. If you plan on buying souvenirs and pasalubong I suggest that you do it at the Temple street night market because all the little souvenir stuff that you can buy at the tourist places, you can find it there at half the price.

Day 3:

On my third day, we went to Ngong pin Village and Disney Land. You can go to Ngong Pin by Bus or by cable car. From our place, we ride the MTR going to Tung Chung. From there we took the cable car ride to Ngong Pin. There are several packages for the cable car ride. We took the one for the standard cable car ride back and forth. Standard round trip tickets cost 135HK$.

Once we disembark the cable car, we started our tour around Ngong Pin village. There you can see the custom and culture of Lantau Island. In the center of the village is the Po Lin Monastery Plaza. From there you can see a flight of steps (268 steps) going to the Giant Buddha – the world’s largest bronze statue.

After we went around the village, we headed back to the cable car terminal back to Tung Chung for our Disneyland adventure . Alternatively, you can also take bus 23 from Ngong Pin to Tung Chung.

Next Stop: DisneyLand


If you have more time to tour around Hong Kong, I suggest that you alot one day to Disneyland. The resort opens at 10 in the morning.

From Tung Chung take MTR to Sunny Bay and transfer to the pink line that will you directly to the Disneyland Gate. Disneyland one day admission ticket is currently at 450HK$. Enjoy watching the parade ( unfortunately we weren’t able to cath the parade), the shows, stroll around the parks and the rides.

One of Disneyland’s highlights is the fireworks called “Disney in the stars” that starts at eight o’ clock pm. After the fireworks, we headed back to the night market, then back home.
Time to rest. The next day is my flight back to the Philippines.

Tips on Tip

Hong Kong cabs are costly not to mention the drivers don’t speak english. If you want to save money ( you can use them instead to shop) I suggest taking the Bus and trains instead. Hong Kong buses are really okay and trains too. Unlike our trains their stations are adjacent to each other that’s why it’s no hassle to transfer stations. On my 3 days in Hong Kong I spent a total of 200HK$ on fare. There’s this 50HK$ Value ticket which is unlimited for a day. Or you can loan an Octopus card. It cost 150HK$ the 50HK$ is refundable upon the return of the card. You can reload it anytime at  7/11 stores which is anywhere in every station. The advantage of the Octopus card is that you can use it both on train and buses. MTR ride is discounted when you use the Octopus card. You can loan an Octopus card in the airport. It’s right in the middle once you exit the Hong Kong immigration.

All admission tickets (Disney, cable car, the Peak, Ocean Park etc) can be bought at a discounted price when you buy them at China Travel Service (CTS). They have a stall inside the airport at the far left once you exit the Immigration.

Don’t forget to get your maps. All Hong Kong travel destinations have maps and brochures near the exit.

For security purposes, it will help if you print your travel itinerary even if you can’t really follow them just in case the immigration personnel invite you for a short interview. And of course, never forget to have your passport with you anywhere you go.

Always bring a pe. You will need that in the airport to fill up forms. From the Philippines, you will need to pay 1620Php departure tax and 550Php for the terminal fee.

So there… That’s how my first out of the country adventure went by. I had a lot of fun and I definitely plan to come back. Maybe next te around I can successfully travel to Macau, and I’ll add ocean park, and Hong Kong Wetland Park on my list.


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