Sunday, September 30, 2012

A break in a stressful life... #funtime :)

You know how I kept going on and on about how stressed out I’ve been these past few days? Well, yeah, that statement stands still... but I just want to say that despite setbacks, there are still a couple of moments that I find myself enjoying and having fun.. Take for example: YESTERDAY.

September 29, 2012 | At that day, we attended the 2012 Regional PICPA Conference at Hotel Dominique, Tagaytay City. It was supposed to be a two-day conference for CPAs all around Region IV, but I guess some accountancy students were invited. There were just a few, us included, alongside some students from LPU-C and DLSU-D. I think one of the perks of this seminar is me having to see some of my old acquaintances from high school and even elementary. Well, being the socially awkward human being that I am, I just got to say “Hi” to some. XD

The ride:

Tagaytay City is really quite close to our school so some may expect that we’ve visited it for the nth time already. But, nah! I, myself, just visited it, I think, 4 times (?) during my whole college run – this being the 4th. XD

It was a slightly rainy day, with a very damp atmosphere. So guess what? FOG! Philippine don’t have winter, so I think the closest thing to it is having thick fogs all over. When we and my classmates were on our way to Tagaytay, the fog was so thick I initially thought someone lit a big fire. LOL.
No. It's not blurred. That's just how wet and foggy the road is.
We enjoyed the ride. And the kind driver drove us straight to our location because we’re his only passengers. (We filled the whole jeepney! XD)

The Event:

The amazing thing about Hotel Dominique is when you first see it, it looks pretty small to be a hotel. I am always accustomed to hotel being high rising and stuff like that, so we were pretty surprised. It turns out that the hotel was constructed to be look like a compound – houses with several rooms in them which are flocking together in one place. The landscape was pretty interesting, it’s like you’re in some executive village where the houses were kept pretty close to each other.

A picture I took while walking towards the hall.
Woops! That’s ME in RED. :) Bianca took this one.
All signs were written in Filipino, I guess. This one translates to “Meeting Hall”. This is where the conference was happening when we arrived.
We arrived a little late, but the place was packed already. We tried to get whichever seats are available, so I ended up being separated from my mates. But it’s okay. The place where I sat was a bit close to the front, so I was able to get at least one decent picture of one of the speakers.

It was so weird taking just one snapshot during that event. I’m surrounded by professionals and I could just imagine what’s going on in their minds or if they even mind me. XD I don’t know if it’s normal taking pictures during that kind of event, so it was pretty nerve wracking – especially when I know no one from where I sit. But whatever thoughts got in my mind, I still continue clicking away. I have a blog, and I need to share this event so taking picture is a must.

I never got a chance to grab hold of the program, and as I said, we arrived late, so I have no idea regarding the name of the speaker *coughs the shame*. But I was just so glad to have made it at least before he finished his talk. Judging from what I’ve read in the tarp and from what I’ve heard, it was about Ethics. He said a very nice thing about INTEGRITY: “it is doing the right thing when no one else is looking”. Though I’ve already heard that statement before, hearing it in this seminar and somewhat understanding it on a deeper level is different. One thing that got me is when he said that when a person have the same appearance/character (for lack of a better word) towards people and just when he is by himself alone, that is when he can say that he has total integrity – because you don’t do or react to things for how, because that just exactly who you are. I don’t know if I grabbed that concept clearly, but it left a mark on me.

Based from that criteria alone, I think I don’t have that solid, impeccable integrity that he is talking about yet. Hehe. I am a very introvert person, I prefer solitude most of the time. But sometimes when the situation demands it or when I’m with many people, I tend to be very outspoken and things like that. It’s sometimes hard, it’s almost like I’m two totally different people. Sometimes, I want it to stop. Integrity is a very important trait in our profession, so I really hope I could develop it into something that I would be really proud of. :)

After that inspiring talk, the CPAs proceeded to discuss the amendments to the Code of Ethics by conducting a public forum. Code of Ethics is pretty dull especially when in class but I can’t deny its importance. The speaker reads the provision, and then they proceed to commenting in words or statement that might prove inconvenient or was a little unclear and they note the comments. It was pretty interesting, what they did there. I just watch in awe at the awesomeness of what they’re doing. A rather new experience added to my list of unforgettable things.

Then another speaker discussed the amendments to IFRS specifically 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 19. That was a very nerve-wracking seminar because it was so interactive, and the topics were included in Advance Accounting mostly and, honestly speaking, that is one of my weakest spots. The speaker kept asking questions in the audience, and I was like a stone sitting in my place, looking at my feet, and fearing for my life. LOL. But it was rather fun, I just had to thank him because he didn’t ask me a question which I figured will just be answered by a stare if that ever happen. XD

Then with that, the seminar ended. One of the best things about this is [though very trivial], there is UNLIMITED BREWED COFFEE. Just how I like it, strong and black (well, not that black). It was so fun. And I’m so thrilled, it’s almost criminal. XD

Right after the seminar ended, what remains is *drumroll* (you guessed it right!): PICTURE TIME! :)

[WARNING: Photo spam incoming]

Lovelies! Edlene and Lilet.

Edlene and me at the front. :)
Abby, Edz, and Me. :)
Beloved classmates (L to R): Roann, Lilet, Aubrey, Abby, Carmie, Hannah, and Ate Mila. :)
With our beloved Department Head, Ma’am V! :)
too many to mention but I’ll mention them anyways) L to R: Ma’am V, Edlene, Me, Jean, Roann, Arra, Bianca, Aubrey, Abby, Carmie, Ate Mila, Boss, and KC.
Our professors striking a pose (L to R): Ma’am Aguilar, Ma’am Pascual, Ma’am Bigalbal, and of course, Ma’am Victorino. :)

Beautiful right? That’s inside Hotel Dominique! :)

CSU Delegation pic. :)

Speaking of wacky. XD

Me, with Jean-chan.
Me with Edlene, again. :)

And alas! A solo picture of me. :)

Overall, it has been a great day – the last part, mostly! XD It’s nice to have these additional memories especially now that I’m almost graduating from college. Wee! Can you believe that. I hope there’s still more to come. :)

Ciao! xoxo Riza

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quick Post: DRAINED. :|

I am currently slumped in front of my laptop for hours now since yesterday. I barely slept (just a rough 2 hours), and then get back to what I’m doing. And since my hands and my brains are already pretty whacked out typing my wits away to finish these bloody reports, I figured I should take a break by posting a quick entry on this page. Besides, I think it was ages since I last posted a personal post, but I’m not exactly sure how personal this is. XD

Let me just say that I am seriously stressed out for the past few weeks. Ugh, less than a month to go and this semester would be over. Though that itself is expected to be a relief, end of same requirements are really killing me. Gosh, I look like a zombie now with how pale I am and my EYEBAGS! – don’t even get me started on that. :| I’ve been up late in the nights for quite a while now. Finishing bloody reports, studies, and cases. My face has more than its fair share of pimple by now, and I hate that most of all. Looking this way really is crushing even my confidence. I was just glad that my BB cream somehow covers most of it, but not quite.

What’s worse is I can’t seem to concentrate enough these past few days – especially now! (Yeah, just great.) I can’t even concentrate reading a bloody chapter of my AUDI book and end up always doodling in my notebook, worse my book –and that would go on  for hours, until I realized I’ve wasted almost my entire day with drifting in and out of useless things. I ended up staying so late till dawn just to force myself concentrate and at least understand a bit of my lectures. And when I came to class, all I do is feel sleepy it’s not even funny. I can’t keep up with my classmates that way, and it's really hurting my self-esteem pretty bad.

I’ve been pretty worked up, drained, and stressed lately, it’s a wonder I’m not feeling sick. Days like this, I honestly fear for myself. XD I tend to be emotionally unstable when driven by so much pressure. One evidence I think is that I’ve used up more pages in my diary this past week than what I wrote last month. Maybe I just have many feelings, and I can’t just vent out my frustrations and insecurities with just anybody, and whatever little self-motivation I’ve been throwing for myself were all just bottled up.

I know this has been a very negative post, and sorry to whoever is disgusted with this one if it happens that you’re looking for some breathing space in the blogosphere and ended up stumbling in this pessimist of a post – but I just have to vent it all out. I knew better than flooding my Facebook timeline with useless and pointless self pity when some people resent them. The last thing I need is people talking behind my back. At least I know that in here no one would bad mouth me, because I know that this space is for me – JUST MINE.

Anyways, the only upside of my week so far is MY LOVE CHEHON AND ELIANA WINNING SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE SEASON 9. #TEAM BALLET prevailed, and I am more than thrilled. I’ll just distract myself from the uneventful dullness that is my life with their success.

Okay. Need to go and face the pressures again. I hope thing will work out fine – soon.

xoxo, RIZA

Friday, September 14, 2012

Book: A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3) by George R.R. Martin

It’s been two weeks since I finished reading the third installment of the A Song of Ice and Fire (ASoIaF) series, A Storm of Swords, and I’ve put off making a review ever since. Quite a time has passed, but I’m still in awe of what I’ve just read – by almost everything. 

Well to start this post, I just want to say that making this review has not been easy. I would try to make this as spoiler-free as possible, but I cannot say, so I still need to warn whoever is reading this to watch out for them. It MIGHT spoil the fun.

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world...

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others--a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords.. 
~ via Goodreads

As per the ASoIaF tradition, the events in this book have been chronicled in the eyes of the characters. The tale was told through the POV of a total of 10 people: Jaime Lannister, Jon Snow, Catelyn Stark, Tyrion Lannister, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Bran Stark, Samwell Tarly, Davos Seawoth, Daenerys Targaryen. Plus two one-off characters, each during the Prologue and the Epilogue, Chett (a member of the Night’s watch) and Merett Frey (a member of the Frey Family), respectively.

I must say, the addition of Jaime and Sam’s POV has provided so much, at least for me – especially Jaime’s. A Lannister always pays his debts POV is one thing that I enjoy so much during the last two books (*coughs* Tyrion *coughs*), and it has not failed me this time. With the POV of two Lannisters presented in this book, it has been such a delight. It has comic relief, but on the other hand, it also has this story. Reading into Jaime’s POV has made me understand him better. And for reasons I can’t quite put out, I like him more than most of the characters in the book now. He doesn’t care one bit how others see him, which is quite sad because of the people he care about seem to think more of what others think of them than what he feels in a world where everything you show is being judged, especially when you’re the eldest son of the Lord of one of the most powerful houses in the Kingdom. And his banters with Brienne! Oh God, how I loved that. I am honestly shipping them so hard it’s not even funny. XD

Tyrion's POV as always has been my favorite, and is still not changing. Though Arya’s POV has also proven to be quite interesting – especially with her interactions with Gendry, and of course, the Hound. (Ship alert: Gendry x Arya). Bran’s was also interesting, especially in the later chapters. The little side/short story as told by Jojen Reed about the Dragon Prince and the Wolf Princess has provided me so much material for yet another formulation of my own theories. I’m quite excited, because I think I am guessing right, or even just close to it. But of course, you never know. It’s GRRM after all.

And just a side note, I don’t think I enjoyed Daenerys’ POV here. Well, except for that part where someone’s real identity was revealed to her in the later part of the book, I don’t think I appreciate every bit of thing she is doing in the free cities. I know that she is probably one of the most important leads in this series, but something was off with everything. I just don’t enjoyed her that much. The last time I think I was interested in her was in AGoT. 

But surprisingly, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I honestly miss Theon. There’s so much that is revealed about him back in the last part of A Clash of Kings, that I’ve become somehow attached to the character. No matter how much of a douchebag everyone thinks he is, he has seriously grown on me.

I must say, reading this book has been such an emotional torture. People die, some survive. Those who deserves to die *evil laugh.jpg* from the very beginning has died, but then innocent people to  whom I’ve invested so much  also perished. This is one sort of a roller coaster ride where, as usual, you don’t know where everything is going – and when I say EVERYTHING, I mean it in the truest sense of the word.

When I think about, it seems the events in ACoK and AGoT just slowly built up to the climax of the story, which for me is A Storm of Swords (so far).  The things that happened in this book were so crucial, that they drastically changed the game. “What game?” “The only game, the game of thrones” (I loved that line from Petyr Baelish). There’s so many things packed into this 1000+ paged book, that I think is the best book in the series so far. There’s no stopping with ASoIaF, it just keeps getting better and better book by book.

I made the mistake (again) of glimpsing into certain Wikis of A Song of Ice and Fire and I happen to read SO MANY spoilers on the way – even those that are so crucial and shocking, I hardly thought they would affect me when I actually read them again in the book. But even though I knew most of them beforehand, they still left me disturbed after I read them. There was this one time when I was in the later part of the book, I think it’s chapter 50, where one of the most painful event in the series happened – I can even say it WAS the most painful one so far (thinking about it now is still tearing me up), yeah, even more painful than Ned’s beheading and Bran’s goodbye to Maester Luwin. I swear I put off reading that, I think, for a week or two. I just can’t bring myself to. Because I fear for the emotional trauma that it could possibly bring me. But thankfully, I get by it nice and whole. Seriously, after I read that chapter, I put it down and stopped reading it for about a long time, because I just wanted to rest my mind and my feelings  if just for a bit. (And that, my friends, is one of the reasons why I’ve read this book for such a long period of time.)

What’s amazing with George R.R. Martin is his ability to make an event so full of suspense. It’s gradual, but you can feel it building up. Like in ASoS, you know that there’s something coming up, something dreadful or perhaps something big, when there’s this alternating POV of those who are present in the event. When that happens, be prepared. Because it might leave you thunderstruck and speechless for a moment, or even an hour (in my case, yeah, happened several times XD).

There were moments when I just sit in my bed, staring into space because I can’t believe what just happened. And there were also moments when I was screaming like crazy because of how happy I am or something that came up. But most of the time, I am in awe – absolutely amazed, on how a very beautiful story was woven. Web after web, tangled up in one ball. That’s what ASoIaF is.

So much is revealed in A Storm of Swords, that even make A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings less revealing than they already are. I especially wanted to note the last chapter of the book. Something very important was revealed. Up until now, I am still confused and I don’t exactly know what I’m feeling about it. Heck, I don’t even know how to react to it. It changed how I viewed the whole book and all the events that led all of them up to that point – and a major player was revealed. Those who you think are the ones responsible were truthfully not, and those who you think are outsiders or even so just have little hand in events, were truthfully now. In their world, everything is not what they seem. In a world where deceit and politics is almost everything, watching these revelations unfold bit by bit is just PRICELESS.

I’m a goner for ASoIaF. The characterization was so layered. The foreshadowing was fantastic. It’s realistic. It doesn’t embrace convention. I don’t think any book series have affected me this much (and I’ve read Harry Potter and the Hunger Games, mind you).  After months of reading this book, I’m glad to say that I finally finished it whole. I struggled through 1000+ pages, but it is really worth my time.

Quotable Quotes:
“Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next. Sometimes the best way to battle them is to make moves that have no purpose, or even seem to work against you. Remember that Sansa, when you come to play the game.”
“What... what game?” [Sansa]
“The only game... the game of thrones.”
~ Petyr Baelish

“Why ask for truth, if you close your ears to it.” ~ Barristan Selmy

“...the more we bleed each other, the weaker we shall all be when the real enemy falls upon us.” ~ Stannis Baratheon
This has been part of my 2012 Reading Challenge. Currently the 10th book I’ve read this year. And part of The Lit Bitch’s A Song of Ice and Fire Reading Challenge. This is the 3rd book of the series.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I sit in my bed... trying to write things. And by writing them, I rid my mind of clutter. And posting them online gives off that sense that somehow, these thoughts are special. That somewhere, here in this country, or in this world, someone is reading it, and appreciating it – appreciating me.

This may come off a bit odd, but this is a letter – untitled – to whoever is reading this right now.

Whether you visit this blog regularly, or just came across this crap while searching the internet for book love or book quotes or random stuffs, i just wanna say THANK YOU.

Thank you for somehow reading this blog. Whether it’s just a glimpse, a minute or two, or somehow, luckily, hours – THANK YOU.

For putting up with my constant jibber jabbers – THANK YOU.

For just simply being there – THANK YOU. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Recent Haul: A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin

Finally! After months of mentioning it in this blog, and fantasizing in the book shelf at the local bookstore, I finally got what I wanted. :)) Thanks to National Bookstore (@nbsalert) for extending their super sale, and to my parents! XD I just love them to the core for buying this for me. I really have the best parents in the world.

My mom got me this A Song of Ice and Fire series (5-volume boxed set) by George R.R. Martin yesterday. And I was so glad, I am literally caressing this boxed set for months now whenever I visit the book store, but starting today, it's mine now. I'm just too happy. Add the fact that this is discounted by 20%! Originally 1,495 Php, we got it for only 1,196! Five books for the price of FOUR! :) It's quite a deal, eh?

The boxed set contains the first 5 books of the ASOIAF series, which I've loved so much, ever since I've watched the TV series and read the first three books. Includes (:: click the link for the reviews ::)
I just finished "A Storm of Swords" last Friday, and it was freakin' long. But nonetheless, all the effort and time I put into it were never wasted. Each book never disappoints. I still haven't written a review of the third book, because I still need to go over (fast-tracked) the whole book because I've read it for quite a long time. Just need to refresh my brain on the plots and turns. XD

I tried flicking through the pages of A Storm of Swords, marveling at  its whole printed glory when I saw a preview of  "A Feast for Crows" at the end of the book. Then I saw this:

I swear -- I literally shrieked my heart out when I saw Cersei's name printed in that. Cersei's POV! Finally! I've been waiting, three books, just for this moment. No matter how people criticize and bash her, she is one of my favorite characters in the series so far. Maybe even placing second to Tyrion (he IS my favorite character). She has her flaws, yes, but I love women who fights, who don't want to be chained by standards and traditions, and who wants to rule. She might have taken it a bit overboard, but i don't care, I loved her for that.

Honestly, I'm pretty much excited to finish these five books and I hope GRRM publish the 6th book sooner. I've seen previews, but I guess I can't really understand them unless I've read through A Dance with Dragons. So I just have to wait...:)) The thing is I really need to finish them this year because I've entered The LitBitch's A Song of Ice and Fire Reading Challenge. Two (2) more books to go before I complete it! :)

Well, happy reading to me, and to everyone else! I'll update you in the coming days. :) xoxo

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Recent Haul: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I don’t really have the luxury of having some pretty big extra cash so I make it certain that I know which books deserve my savings. I research books. I read reviews. And most of the time, I follow the recommendations of certain bookworm friends as well as the book blogs that I religiously follow.

Last week, I suddenly had the urge to save for something because I’ve been feeling that my allowance has been continuously going to nothing and pretty worthless things. It felt like a real waste, because I can’t really save decently without a certain purpose in mind. And when I think about what I wanted to buy...of course, my mind automatically answered “a book”. XD

I thought it would take a rough two to three weeks before I could buy one, but it turns out that if I just keep my mind to it and monitor my expenses carefully... I could save enough within a week!
And the book where my money was spent to turned out to be The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky; Paperback Edition, 299 Php; (Taken with instagram)

And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” This line has been quoted several times, by several book bloggers...and I just can’t explain how beautiful it was. 

This books follow “the tradition of The Catcher in the Rye” (USA Today), and since I’ve already read Catcher, I think I know why.

I’ve been a fan of Young Adult (YA) books for a while now (my favourite book incidentally is a YA book, Hard Love), and I absolutely love first person POVs, and reflections of life, and those beautiful one liners – so I really think that I would enjoy this book.

If you don’t understand what I’m saying in “beautiful one liners”, I’ll try to elaborate. You know those kinds of lines... whether they bore a thought, or just a description. Those types of text that are so beautiful you just hold your breath for a moment and marvel at it to take in how an author could describe a sensation, an event, or a thing so vividly and exact the way they had. Those lines that make you think that the one who wrote it is a word genius (if that even make sense).

I would like to tell you more, but I guess I should stick to the topic. So yeah. So many people have been gushing at Perks for a while now, as I’ve observed. And they’re also turning it into a movie! With Emma Watson and Logan Lerman, if I’m not mistaken. So before the movie starts airing, and before it all become too mainstream... I figured I should finally read it. And here I am, buying it.

I hope it would be everything I figured it would be. Happy reading! :)


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