Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Pretty Late Bookwormism Update + Some Good News

The last weeks of my semester have been pretty demanding. Defenses, write ups, studies, reporting -- they just hit me one after another. I set up my priorities straight and that means sacrificing time for the things that I do out of just pure love. 

BUT, I am really pleased to say that all the sacrifices are worth it. These are my partial grades for the last semester:

Smooth... XD
I'm just one grade short, and I'm crossing my fingers for that one. PLUS I am just so happy, because there is still an almost 75% chance that I would get back my scholarship though just half, and a whooping 25% chance that I would get a full scholarship this sem. (And no, I haven't computed that. LOL. Those chances are just assumed numbers.) But still, there is really a high possibility for both and I couldn't be much happier. I've been vying for that scholarship for more than two semesters now, the result just proves that my all my hard work was recognized. 

As you are quite aware of, the semester break is on! And that means having time for myself and for everything that I love doing. I was scanning through my October posts and it struck me as odd that I haven't posted anything book-related to this blog except this post (which is just mildly there, but I appreciate if you would read it). Events, giveaways, whatnots -- those are the focus of this page of mine for the last couple of days but still I've got to apologize for the complete lack of book-related material in this blog. I've put up this blog for the sole reason of sharing my experiences and the things I love -- and surely, my love for books deserve a whole lotta space in here.

So these are the books on my currently-reading shelf right now:

Top to Bottom:
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin,
Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella,
AND The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
If you're a follower of mine at Goodreads, you'll notice that these are the same books I had on my shelf for quite a while now. 'On hiatus' may be the term, but I really have no choice but to put off reading because of my school works. But now, I am glad to say that I'm finally back to reading, folks!


  •  A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin. Books in the ASOIF series require time. And when I started reading it, I accepted that. That's why no matter how demanding they may get, I still bear it. That's one of the perks of being a ASOIF addict. It consumes you. LOL. But on a brighter note, I'm still in the process of reading it. I'm almost through with the first quarter and it's been interesting so far. I'm pretty excited to write a review about it, and move on to A Dance with Dragons which I've been fighting the urge to flip through in my bookshelf. XD Especially since finishing the A Song of Ice and Fire Series is one of my 2012 goals which are yet to be achieved. If you are an ASOIF addict like me, or just reading one of the books in the series, I recommend you join The Lit Bitch's reading challenge. It provides more motivation, and besides, you can also have friends to discuss your views in the book with. :)
  • Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella. So far, the only book I've got and read in the Shopaholic series is the first one, Confessions of a Shopaholic -- and it was fun. This the fifth book in the series I guess, and I think I could read it without bothering for the other three. XD Since I don't have that much chic lits in my bookshelf, reading them somewhat alienates me every time. Hehe, but so far, this comedy of a book is proving to be so hilarious. I can't stop laughing. 
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I swore that I'd read and finish it before the movie comes out, but somehow, I broke my promise. (Unpopular opinion alert!) There's just something that creeps me, or it's just me reading so many books that focus on depression (i.e. Norwegian Wood and Hold Still). But seeing the movie trailer puts everything in good light, so I decided to give it another shot. Originally, I already finished almost half of it, but I think I should start from the beginning again and give this book a chance. 
AND another, which is not included in the picture above. It's Justine by Lawrence Durell. It is a book I purchased way back September last year and has been sitting in my bookshelf gathering dusts. I originally purchased it because of the price (hello, 50 pesos at NBS? who wouldn't.)  and the gorgeous cover so I don't really have an idea about its background that time. And doing my research just days ago, I was surprised to learn that it was a critically acclaimed book! It's the first book in the much talked about Alexandria Quartet, a tetralogy of novels (I've no idea it was a series, for goodness sake) set in Alexandria, Egypt which is an  "exploration of relativity and the notions of continuum and subject–object relation, with modern love as the theme" according to Durell. It has garnered commercial success and a religious following from readers -- and of course, a number of critics as well. Knowing all of these made me realize that I am in fact missing out so much by letting it gather dust in my shelf. That's why I instantly knew that I, also, have to give it a chance.

And that's all for the news. I wish I could really make the most out of my Halloween vacation by devouring and enjoying the company of my books. With a hot cup of coffee (or a cold treat of coffee jelly, which I recently discovered the recipe thanks to my classmate), I'm off! Happy reading everyone! :))

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stylish Accessories from Laces and Tiaras!


I’ve already gushed enough on my Twitter page, but  now, I’m gushing over it again in this post.

I recently joined Ate Eunice’s Stylish September giveaway at her blog, Laces and Tiaras. I am just so glad to say that I’ve somehow luckily won an online giveaway! I’ve been joining giveaways and promos for a while now, but sadly, my entries have been always in vain. So that makes this my first ever win. Yey for me!

Here are the things I’ve got:

A written note by Ate Ish. :) Nice handwriting, btw.


A blue leather bracelet which I’m not really sure how to put on, but we’ll find a way. :)


A gorgeous ivory cocktail ring. This is honestly my favorite among the bunch of accessories that I’ve got. It’s vintage, classic, and have a Victorian-feel to it if you know what I mean.

Black Butterfly Glitzy Earrings.

A lovely Victorian cuff which my mom is eyeing. Hehe.

A pair of black and gray tassel earrings. This is my 2nd favorite among the bunch of accessories, it doesn’t look as pretty in the picture because of the patterned background (sorry), but trust me, they really look good. Excited to wear them. :)


Eight-charm statement necklace. This is so gorgeous, especially each of the charms. I especially love the mirror charm.

And THIS. This is only a bonus but it's one which I appreciated the most. I luuuuurve books, and seeing this in the stash made me really happy.  This is classic chic lit, I guess. The last book I’ve read that is close to this genre is Confessions of a Shopaholic which is really a fun ride, I hope this would be too.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of these things, ATE ISH! :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bonggahan 2012


October is one eventful month for me – and one of its highlights (one which I’ve been looking forward yearly since 2 years ago) is the annual BONGGAHAN [2012] event.

I’ve been an officer for our local student org (JPIA *Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants*) for about 3 years. And I can clearly say that almost all of my most significant college memories were gained because of being one. I am now in my last year in college, and I finally decided to leave the org because when I evaluated my priorities, I decided that I need to focus more on my academics instead of enjoying the perks of being a full time officer. :P Despite all of these, I am not ashamed to say that JPIA has done so much in my growth as a student, as well as a person.

This event started almost 3 years ago in honor of the newly passed CPAs that our school has produced. Testimonies were given, and hearing first hand stories and experiences, this event became sort of a happening where I always pull inspiration and motivation from. Apparently, I am not the only one who felt that way... this event continued on yearly, and has become some sort of a tradition.

I was still a second year accounting student back then, an officer. And it seems pretty weird, when I think about it, that I’ve helped organize the very first Bonggahan event we’ve had, and now, I’m in my last year in college, and also, this is my last Bonggahan as a student. I don’t know, it just puts things into perspective --- how fast time flies, and how much we’ve grown ever since I can remember.

This is such a fun and inspirational event. And this year, it was no exception:

21 October 2012, Sunday – After several mishaps with the scheduling of the vent, it still pushed through. And this time, it was held at the Amore Recreation and Leisure Park at Trece Martirez City, Cavite.

I came late so I have to find the place myself which was pretty hard because it was pretty hidden in the heart of Trece. As I tend to be so paranoid when travelling alone to a place that I barely knew how to go, I had to talk to every person that sat beside me in the public transpo I rode into. Luckily, the local folks there were really nice, comely, and helpful, I managed to find the way. XD


Fast forward to arriving at the place -- I must say, the weather was pretty nice that day, and very good for taking pictures. I am not really an outdoor-type of person, but I’ve done my best to roam around the venue since it was a pretty enormous place and the cottages, function halls, and whatnots were all so far from each other.



A shot I took from the dais. It was a pretty big maze that I haven’t had the chance to try out. XD A pretty nice place. Too bad, I think only a few people knew this place exists.



Hunger Games inspired trophy for the game that took place right when I arrived. It was placed in our cottage so I decided to take a shot.


The cottage walls were painted with unique nature-inspired designa. This happened to be ours. Isn’t it just beautiful? Loved it!


A quick picture with my friends. L to R: Lilet, Abby, Bianca, Edlene, and ME.


Up on the dais, with my classmates. :))

I have a mild fear of heights so I really had a hard time climbing those freakin’ daises, believe me. XD



With the occasional swimming...because it was just so hot that day. But it was nice.


Then came lunch. My classmates prepared a whole lot of rice, good thing our ulam is enough. :)


I brought my mom’s signature adobong Bicol (which is honestly my favorite) to add to our ulam.


And they bought some chicken inasal (grilled chicken) to go with it. It was such a lovely lunch.


Since we forgot to buy paper plates that time, Edlene and I decided to gather some wide banana leaves to serve as plates. We grilled it a little to remove the germs, wiped it with the tissues, and voila! Lunch, probinsya-style.


And they’re right, it was such nice fulfilling feeling to eat with just our hands along with everybody! Especially after swimming. :)))


The last ones eating. LOL

Though I am not really experienced in not using utensils when eating rice, I pretty much enjoyed the experience. I was a little (ahem) messy, but whatever, we were hungry and there’s food – so we just dug in. XD


Another quick shot after soaking ourselves in the pool. L to R: ME, Judith, Lilet, Roann, and Cynthia.


Proceeded to Videoke! I’m a sucker to videoke, so me and Bianca just sung our heart out. XD My voice failed me that time though, I think I was pretty flat for the most part so I always stop midways.


I just love this shot. :) I don’t own a DSLR camera, so shots like these tend to always make me happy. Besides, I am more comfortable taking pictures of things other than people, so it’s a plus.

Oops, before I forget, other than the maze and the pool these are some of the amenities of the resort/park:



That’s our Dean right there.


That’s Aubrey I think.


And my classmate, Arra.

Well, being the risk-averse person that I am *evillaugh.jpg*, I haven’t tried any of them – mainly because of the height and all. XD

But this:


This is the giant seesaw which my classmates and I totally love. We even played on it even at 1 AM for more than an hour because it was just so fun. Sometimes, we really forget our age. One of our professors even tagged along. It was just pure laughing.


This is a sample of the excellent caricature one of my classmates did for the token to be given to one of the passers. I could’ve posted more, but I’m not really sure if she wants me to. The amazing thing here is that she’s not even a professional. She only does this for fun. Add the fact that she didn’t use those professional charcoal things. It’s just plain ol’ pencil – literally, a normal pencil: Monggol #2.


Hehe. Another random snapshot. :)


It was truly such a nice day.

But then again, all the important things truly happened during the night event, as always.

I had the honor of being one of the hosts during the night event. It was really fun.


Nope. Definitely not hosting. It’s singing in the videoke. XD


This is the part where testimonies were given – my favorite.

Even though some people in the area didn’t care about what’s happening in the stage, I was listening intently to what they all have to say. They’re the new passers. The new CPAs. And it feels pretty amazing because these are the same set of people that I was saying ‘hi’ to in the hallway just less than a year ago. The same people who I’ve been planning org events with. And now, they’ve reached their dream. And when I think about it like that, even MY dreams seem so much within my own grasp – and they are. I believe they are. That’s one thing I’ve learned during that night. ‘Claim it’.

Claiming your dream even if you haven’t achieved it yet. Because that would give you the drive to keep going. You keep going because you know you’ll eventually reach your destination.

And every single thing, you cannot achieve all through your own. You have to believe in an existence greater than yourself. You have to have FAITH in God. Because He’ll guide you through the way, be it thick or thin. He will – and will never abandon you.

What’s fascinating about this group of people is the strong faith that they exhibited for Him. And when they say it like that, they make me want to believe MORE.

It was such an amazing moment, realizing all of that. 


After that, the officers gave them a token as per tradition. Which was such an emotional time but I won’t go into the specifics. I just have to say that I love their friendship. :)

My classmates then cooked some midnight snacks for us to share. And it’s raining coffee! XD


The kitchen, monopolized by acc 5-1! XD


Fish balls and squid balls both. XD We haven’t really thought that through. But it was fun. And experimenting on the sauce with everybody was fun.


Lol at this shot. XD

Because the night sky was so beautiful that time, we decided to star gaze. We just lay there on the pavement and stare at the night sky. Freaking freezing night time. XD

I caught sight of a lot of falling stars. Of course, that means automatic wishing for each one. I think I saw more than 5? :D


Futile attempt to capture the night sky. //wrist XD


Beautiful dawn. :) I really love this time of the day. There’ just something pretty special and amazing about the sunrise.


One last picture of my stressed face after staying up the whole night at the event.



And just like that. We’re off with our backpacks. :))

It was such a rewarding experience. It is pretty hard to imagine that the same older sisters and brothers I’ve grown accustomed to working with when I first started the crazy ride of being a JPIA officer are all CPAs now. Just two years ago, I’ve worked with them to organize the event, and now, they are the one being honored to. And I’m just so happy. And so proud of them. They certainly deserve that three-letter title at the end of their names.

Next year, WE’RE UP. Let’s go for a hundred guys! I know we can. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Of Faith and Old Books


I promised myself to do nothing today but review for my upcoming exam, but I knew I HAVE to post this. :)

Painstakingly hand calligraphed. XD

For the past couple of days, I’ve been trying out something so new to me – doing a DAILY DEVOTION. For those who have known me for quite some time now, I know that they will say how strange it is of me  --  I must admit, I haven’t been a very religious person for these past years. My friends urged me to do this, and so I tried it.

And so... I bought a notebook, and reach up to my old Bible. I read it slowly, write down the verse(s) that got to me, jot my interpretation and why I chose it, and compose a simple prayer – every day.


Frankly, I never really expected much of myself when I started doing it. I initially did it just for the sake of trying it out, and I honestly envisioned myself abandoning it when I get tired of it – BUT I WAS WRONG. It started out simple, but now, I regret not doing it for the last couple of years. I understood Him more, and because of that, I also understood myself more. It clears my mind, and as time passed by, it became both a meditation and a self reflection of sorts.

Add the fact that these good things have been happening to me lately, and seemingly, all the things (even the trivial ones) that I’ve been wishing and hoping for are coming true – bit by bit. I am just so thankful to Him that though I didn’t really deserve the love and all the things in between, He is still there giving me His blessings and guiding me throughout.

So... I was doing my early morning devotion and when I got the prayer part, I suddenly remembered something. It was a book that I had way back in high school – a prayer book of sorts.

This book was given to me by a certain someone as a gift for Christmas. I remembered feeling the preciousness of this book because of how special that certain someone is to me. I immediately devoured it, finished it in whole. And when he asked me about it, of course I said it’s good. Well I’m not lying when I said that, in fact, the book  has had its share of highlight marks for all the passages that I feel I connected so much. But it centers on religion and finding one’s self, and I must admit that those topics were quite vague for the naive high school girl that I am.

Upon remembering it, I scoured through my bookshelf. I tend to be so nostalgic whenever I see that book so I tucked it away where I can’t really see it easily (Hehe). But alas, I found it.


The Green Desert: A Silent Retreat by Rita Winters. It was dated December 19, 2007 (the day I received it), I can’t believe it’s been almost 5 years!

I loved this book when I first read it. But I must admit, I haven’t really understood the meaning of this book much at that time. This time though, when I saw it again after all these years, it’s like seeing it for the first time. I was so overwhelmed, so I start flipping through it. And what amazes me more is the fact that suddenly...the words I have highlighted 5 years ago seem to mean so different and so much more to me now. I even felt myself almost crying.

Things like:
“Turn anger to love
As you turned water to wine.
Change me
As you once changed yourself.”
And:
“When God sends us crowded days, it is because he wants us to find our prayer in our work rather than in solitude.”
And also this:
“God always waits for me no matter how late I am. After the twenty-minute grace period afforded by convention, God doesn't leave in a huff. God won’t fire me or banish me from the communion of the faithful. And if I desert her, I will be welcomed back as warmly as the Prodigal Son. God’s arms, like the saguaro’s, are always ready to enfold. The Holy Spirit, like the nurse tree is always there to protect a vulnerable soul.”
Plus this:
“When you look closely and for a long time, you discover things that are invisible to others. Most people make the mistake of trying to ‘look deeper’ when all they need is to pay attention to the obvious.” (I think she quoted ‘God Was in This Place and I Did Not Know’ by Lawrence Kushner)

It was just so good. And I think, this devotion’s doing good things to me, and I strongly feel that this is going somewhere.

How can I explain this? Hmm... It’s like... yeah, reuniting with someone that you’ve loved so much in the past? Something like that? Hehe. It’s like rekindling the love and everything. Loving the book all over again, and much more!




Plus, I also got to see this card that a friend gave me five years ago. This made all the difference during those times when I was down in the dumps because of certain things. It made me really happy to see this after all these years. :)

On the other hand, these are two of my favorite prayers in the book -- those that exactly echoes what I am feeling right now.

VIGIL
"All I do is wait.
I wait or your call.
I wait for your voice.
I wait for ecstasy
only to find
you've been here with me
all along.
Then I wait and I wait and I wait
for your rebuke,
which never comes."




PRAYER IN THE DARK
"I believe you will come again.
Maybe even tomorrow.
Like the sun
you have set on my soul
many times,
only to shine your face
that much brighter
upon your return.
If you didn't go away
how would I ever know
you were here?"



God has been barely present in my perspective in the past few years -- and when I finally realized that He was always there, I appreciated everything He ever did and felt guilty for everything I've ever felt all this time. My devotions were full of apology, but I know He forgives me. I know I do not deserve the forgiveness, yet I know He still loves me for who I am.

I am still in the process of slowly building up my faith. Someday I will finally get there. And when I get there, I know He will be waiting – his arms wide open, ready to embrace me. :)


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