Sunday, April 28, 2013

That One Line #3

Oh my! I can't believe it's been -- what? -- more than a month since my last That One Line entry. I was soooo distracted I almost forgot this meme existed -- blame it on the busy-ness (and laziness).

Anyways, here goes....

Welcome back to That One Line! :) Just a refresher:
"That One Line is an online meme in which you'll feature a certain sentence or paragraph from a book you read which struck you or left a deep impression on you. According to Goldie: "It should be from a book although quotes related to reading are also welcome." 
I was scanning my quote book for another awesome quote to feature this week, and I remembered this one. I'd say I chose well, this time. What better way to make a comeback than feature a quote from my all-time favorite series, A Song of Ice and Fire, and one that is about reading! :D

After so long, here's my One Line for the week:

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only once."

That awesome quote was from A Dance with Dragons, which is the fifth book in the series, by the awesome George R.R. Martin. And said by one of my favorite (guilty-pleasure) characters, Jojen Reed.

There are a bunch of quotes about reading in the whole series (i particularly remember Tyrion's "the mind needs book like a sword needs a whet stone" quote) -- but I think this one is the best. Brilliant way to put that together, right?

I'm a strong believer of that quote, really. No matter what, my initial reaction to people when they say they "don't read much" or just straight-up "don't like reading"/"too lazy to read" is: "HOW BORING! o.O"

Reading is not just a past time. It can be one's escape when the real world gets suffocating. It can be a safe zone. And you can experience so much that ordinary people can't even if they live a hundred years. You can experience magic and go to so many places, with just a flip of a page - armed with your imagination. You can experience heartbreak even if you haven't fallen in love for real.You can feel genuine joy when you read about a character getting his/her deserved happy ending. Your horizon widens. And you definitely come out a better person with a deeper perception of the world - and what's happening in it.

No, reading is not only for children. Adults need it as much as children do. 

When some people ask me what's my hobby, and I answer "Reading, definitely!" right up, I can see their weird expressions with their raised eyebrows as if to tell me that I'm a really boring person... well, I don't really care - because I know that people who read are far more interesting than those who don't. Right?

#InterestingPeopleRead! advocate right here. :D

I hope you like my One Line this time! What do you think? Comment up! :)

Gawad Karangalan 2013 :D

I'm so lucky to be living in a very organized city where the government honors its people. *sounds own trumpets* >.<

But no kidding, I really am.

Last April 26,2013, we attended yet another event -- the GAWAD KARANGALAN 2013.

I don't know if you're familiar with this event -- I'm guessing you're not -- but to give a little background, it is an annual event organized by the City Government of DasmariƱas that started waaaay back 2000 where they honor and recognize the students that excelled in their academics and those that brought honor to the city by passing their respective board exams.

I don't know if all cities/municipalities do this but I just wanna commend the whole city government for organizing this kind of event because it really is nice to be recognized - plus, it gives the students some inspiration to achieve more and do more for the betterment of the society and themselves.

#THROWBACK! Gawad Karangalan 2004
 I first attended the Gawad Karangalan waaay back 2004 -- Hihi, I was roughly 12 years old then and just graduated from Elementary. That event was a "game-changer" (for lack of a better term), and I remembered that I felt really overwhelmed becoming part of a group of achievers. Most of my high school classmates attended that event, and I felt really weird realizing that the same people that will become my best and dearest friends were also in attendance there -- you know being there and being unconscious of each other's presence until later? -- but well, there goes my nostalgic self again.

It's really hard to imagine that it's been -- what?-- roughly 9 years later and I'm back to that same event again. So much time has passed and it's amazing when you think about all the changes that you've been through. 

Want a more graphic representation? Teehee! Here's a before and after picture:



See what I'm talking about? So different! >.< Neneng-nene pa ako and Papa was thinner then. Ugh, don't get me started on my skin color. Hihi.

Well then, enough of the overwhelming nostalgic feelings. Here's a rundown of what happened after the jump. :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

An Interview with Thomas Amo -- #ForeverMe Blog Tour Stop 4/25

Rzzzp doing blog tours, eh? Surprised? I know, this is a pretty new venture for me but I'm doing this for a book that once touched my heart -- Forever Me. :) (click the link to view my book review!)

My friend, Thomas Amo, is hosting a blog tour for his book this 2013! And this blog is one of the stops, isn't that amazing or what? :)

So let's kick start this blog tour, shall we? Here are 5 questions for Thomas and read on how he answered each of them:

Q: I understand Forever ME is inspired by true events. Tell us how that came about?

A: I was just about to leave the house one morning when I caught a segment on morning television about a group of teen girls at a Texas high school who had organized a group called, “Redefining Beautiful.” They were trying to encourage fellow female students to go one day a week without makeup. They were stressing that you don’t need makeup to be beautiful. I was so amazed by their bravery and confidence to go against type, especially in high school and at an age where girls feel the most awkward with themselves. A close friend of mine who is a film producer had been asking me if I had anything I was working on I could share with him. By the time the segment was over, I had the basic plot in my head and before I left the house, I already knew the ending of the story. I phoned my producer friend and told him I had something, we met that afternoon and I pitched the idea to him as a film. He loved the concept and told me he was interested. Could I write the screenplay? I went to work right away. But about 50 pages in, I found these characters were so lifelike, I felt it needed to be a book, it could always be a film later. I called my friend back, said, I have to write this as a novel. With his blessing and two years later. Forever ME was published.

Q: How are teen girls responding to a book written by male?

A:  I was concerned about that. Would they relate to it? Would it seem real to them? Or would it come across as a guy giving his version of what he think teen girls are like today? Well, to my pleasant surprise, teen girls are sending me emails, tweets, and telling me, they completely relate to the situations, they’ve said, “OMG, that is so me!” “I’m just like Hannah!” Or they know girls like Shelby and the Stilettos. Or jerk guys who treat them like property. I got plenty of praise from some parents even grandparents on Forever ME, but the real vindication comes from the teens who love it. I couldn’t ask for better than that! (Plus I have a 19 year old daughter, so I wasn’t totally in the dark.) But I did do my research.

Q: What did you learn about teen girls that you didn’t know?

A: A lot! I learned that some girls lose precious hours of sleep by getting up at sometimes between 3 and 4 a.m. to begin their daily regiment of getting ready for school to make themselves look “normal” or what they feel they must look like to their friends and fellow students. Girls are under tremendous pressure to always look a certain way, weigh a certain amount. Often it is self-imposed, even the prettiest girls feel insecure about their looks. Girls who are bullied often feel completely alone with no one to turn to. Even if schools have zero tolerance for bullying, there’s always an unspoken rule to not tell. Being bullied is embarrassing, especially when the girls get publicly humiliated in school and other students stand by, watching or laughing. School can more often than not, feel like prison instead of an educational institution.

Q: Speaking of Bullying, there’s quite a lot of it in Forever ME. Were you attempting to send a message?

A: Actually no I wasn’t. Not consciously anyway. My wife pointed out to me that bullying wasn’t just limited to the students. Friends bullied each other and even parents bullied their teens. It made me realize, there are many different ways for kids to be bullied, like there are as many forms of abuse. It’s not always physical but it is always damaging.

Q: I see in several past reviews Forever ME gets compared to the film, “Mean Girls.” Did that have any influence on your writing?

A: Not at all, I have not seen the film. So I’m always surprised when someone compares it to that film. I imagine since the subject matters are similar I can see how someone could draw that conclusion. It was important to me in the beginning that my main character, Hannah was not the new girl at a school. That’s always tough on a teen to be the new kid. I wanted her to have her own friends, a well-adjusted home life and content with her life as it was. It was only when she crossed the invisible line of mixing with the social elite did it present a problem in her life. Wichita Falls is a place where a girl from her side of town is often reminded it’s best if she stays there.

As for me, I think the most defining thing about Thomas' book is the message. It's something we can all relate to. Plus, after knowing the reason why he started it and what inspired him to do so -- the book felt more real than ever! Right? Still not satisfied?

Here's a surprise:
An EXCERPT from the book after the jump! :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

The extent that people do in order to not lose the things they love

It's amazing really.

On my way home, I figured I had some extra time so I decided to drop by my favorite bookstore. As usual, I'm content in just caressing and marveling at the paperbacks that I've been dying to buy but can't because I have this promise to myself to buy them after the review sessions.

There's still no sign of the paperback edition of The Fault in Our Stars. So I moved on to the second in my list. I didn't find any copy in its usual place. Strange, because the list says that it was available.

And then I spotted that yellowish/brown cover behind the copies of Untamed. Bingo.

There's no way a bestseller like that would be put in the back, unnoticed.

Maybe the stock is getting low. And finding that copy,  maybe someone who's saving up for it put that there so that no one would see them unless they search thoroughly.

Realizing this, I can't help but smile.

Maybe those loaded kids don't experience this, but for us who still need to figure out a way to save all this dough to buy what we love can understand.

You don't have enough money to buy the book at that time. And you want it soooo badly, that you this idea -- to hide it so no one would pick it up and buy it -- would come up.

I just find it so amazing -- holding on to the things we love.

Have you also experienced something like this? Did you experience hiding a book, too, because you want it so badly? :D

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Site under construction....

Yeah. So I figured I just have to do it myself. Since I officially finished that commissioned work which kept my days and nights booked over the last couple of weeks, plus a little more than 3 hours ago I just finished watching the first season of #SUITS, I think I could handle giving this blog a little more attention. I'm just gonna code my way out of it, so just wait -- I think I can have this done in a week.

In the meantime, have a great day sleep, guys!
I have an appointment tomorrow, so I better sleep myself.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Recent Haul: A 'book pile' kind of day.

It's been awhile since my last haul post, but I somehow gained some momentum today so I'm posting one now. :)

If you follow me on Instagram (it's @rzzzp, folks!), you may have seen my occasional updates regarding the books I've bought in a whim over the past months. But if not, here's everything in a nutshell -- well, almost.

From top to bottom:
The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Troy by Adele Geras
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings Part I) by J.R.R. Tolkien
Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro
Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat

  •  The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. I love this book to bits. And I'm ashamed that I ever said that "I don't like to read it yet". I'm currently kind of in a developing-my-spirituality phase, so I guess this book really is for me right now. I searched for reviews, and from that, I figured this book is not for every body (in my opinion, that is). In order for someone to appreciate and absorb the wonderful message that this book holds, you must read this with an open mind. You can't find everything here, unless you're looking. And if ever you decide to read this, I'm sure it would be life-changing. I'm definitely recommending this even though I still haven't finished it (almost there!).
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Can you believe I bought it for only 30 Php? I'm lame, I know, for not having read a single Dickens classic 'till now. But this proves interesting since "it ranks as one of the most famous works in the history of fictional literature". I'm excited. :)
  • Troy by Adele Geras. One hurray for medieval fantasy, oyeah! My love for the A Song of Ice and Fire Series somehow inspired my fascination to all things related to war. But this is far from it, as I am too surprised to find out. Hmmm. It's YA. And until now, I can't still wrap my head around the idea how a book entitled "Troy" be a YA fiction - but I guess I'll just have to wait 'till I read it.

  • The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings Part I) by J.R.R. Tolkien. Consider me a horrible human being but I really haven't read a single Tolkien book, and haven't watched a single Lord of the Rings film. Yeah. I'm too secluded like that. Thinking about it, it felt like I've been living under a rock for the last couple of years. Anyways, I am really too thirilled to have found a copy of Book 1. I've searched high and low for the first book in the installment, but all I found were copies of book 2 & 3 most of the time. If I would want to read this series, might as well start with book one, right? So when I saw this, I've gone gaga again and immediately headed out to the cashier. On another note, the book cover features an illustration done by Tolkien himself. Nice.
  • Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro. Just because I remember Camilla Morton's How To Walk in High Heels. >.< I'm not really into this genre but the fact I've been really fascinated with books that are inspired by other books, or books that make other's book a key point in their plot -- or something like that -- kinda appeals to me. Well, Elegance is centered on Louise as she tried to reinvent herself and rebuild her life after falling apart. She found a book entitled "Elegance", a A-Z guide for style written by the genius Madame Antoione Dariaux, and upon opening it and taking the book to heart, her life is transformed. This doubles as a selp-help book too, and is promising to be an enjoyable read.
  • Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat. Well, above all of these purchases, this one is my absolute favorite of sorts. First, this book is written by an Indian, so it's very rare here. And this book is THE book in which the famous Indian film, 3 Idiots was based on. If that doesn't explain why I'm really giddy about this book, I don't know what will. That film inspired me during my dark days in school, and I hope this book will inspire me as the film did. Well this book is about friendship, and it's certainly something that I'd like to read about. To spot this at the lower box of paperbacks in the thrift book skop is something I'm really, really happy about. I'm glad not so much knew about this book, if not, I wouldn't have this in my shelf right now. :D

So that's about it. I was't able to include my copy of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre but that deserves a post of its own. It's been awhile since I wrote an entry with a taint of my bookwormism in it, so this is certainly refreshing for me. I hope I could catch up with blogging before May for I will certainly be busy for the review by then.

What do you think of my purchase? Comment up and let's talk. :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hi guys!

I'm thinking of changing my blog's layout and overall theme -- but sadly, I don't have much time to do it. Do you know anyone who could help  me with this? Or perhaps someone I could (possibly) hire who is easy and fun to work AND affordable at the same time? Hihi.

Any suggestions would be welcome (or help at that :P).

Riza. :*

At last! :)

Howdy, mates! These past few days were such a blur because of how hectic my schedule have been so I really have no time to update much. But now that the actual graduation rites are done, I feel so blessed because everything is finally over.

I am now a full-fledged graduate! Yep, you read that right. :D A degree holder of BS Accountancy, and I'm very proud of that. And remember the news that I've been talking about here? I can now confidently say it: I graduated Cum Laude last April 10. :D

It's such a big deal for me because I've been praying high and low for this and God actually granted it. It's such a thrill that I need to share it to you, guys. Obtaining that degree was no joke. A series of every negative emotions have been felt, but with that comes the satisfaction and joy of finally overcoming each of them and emerging victorious. It was a very hard battle. But still, without that, I won't be here today.

It felt really good to be an accountancy student, and that day was proof of that. 16 out of 21 in our batch graduated with honors. And with every clap, we knew that every little pain, disappointment, stress, and hurt that we've all experienced through those five years are worth it. Another chapter has ended, but with that, another door opens up. The battle is not over yet. The board exam is still there to be conquered, but I know through God's grace, we will all be CPAs in no time. :)

To Mama and Papa, thanks for all the hard work. I don't say it much but I really appreciate all of it. Without the both of you, I absolutely know that I won't be even an inch of who I am today. I hope that when I climbed that stage, I made you proud. This is just the beginning, you'll see. :D

To my Father Almighty, I do not deserve every single blessing that you've given me, but you still gave them anyway. I feel so blessed, and overflowing with gratitude for everything. Thanks for always watching over me and providing me with comfort when I needed someone to talk to. I know that it's Your will that I am here today. This victory is part of Your perfect plan, and there's more to come. 

This is for the family.

This is for God. 

And everyone who believed that I - we - can do it.

After five years, here we go... reaping the fruits of our labor.  :)


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