Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Stranger

The StrangerThe Stranger by Albert Camus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"...I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe."

I got intrigued when I saw this book displayed in a well-known local book shop. I thought I might try to read an Albert Camus book since his name sounds familiar. I could have heard about him during an English class when I was in high school. I was curious, so I looked for a copy online.

Initially, I thought it was a bit like "Catcher in the Rye" reading the words of an angst-ridden character. It's not just that. The story was told in a way that I got to explore the main character's world-- from his mundane, everyday routine until the occurrence of a couple of tragedies (the death of his mother and his killing of a man) that shaped the outcome of the story.

Surprisingly, the book made me sad. What makes it sadder still is the possiblity that the feeling of hopelessness bordering on indifference is a part of the real world and a fact of life. The last quarter part of the book was like swimming in the main character's thoughts and slowly drowning in them. It is such a short novel, but it shouldn't be considered "light" reading.

After reading the book, I realized I shouldn't have read it given the circumstances I am currently experiencing in my life. I couldn't help but be influenced by the thoughts the main character has shared in this story. Somehow, I got to understand how it would probably feel like seeing the world from Monseiur Meursault's point of view and living in his head. Then again, there is a personal lesson or two to be learned here. It is up to the readers to find them. What I learned, I will just keep to myself.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Into the Woods

Into the WoodsInto the Woods by Lyn Gardner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoy reading "juvenile" books and this is probably one of those books that I loved more because the plot stuck to being "for kids". Imagine a story created with twists from Grimm's fairy tales. I had fun guessing from which fairy tale this character or this scene came from. The main character even reminded me of Neil Gaiman's Nobody (from "The Graveyard Book") and Coraline. I can also picture myself reading it to children who have a penchant for scary stories with moral lessons in the end. It has a dark side to it, yet it is heartwarming. The story may be a tad too long or too wordy, but Mini Grey's illustrations within the book will help spark the imagination of both kids and kids-at-heart.

View all my reviews

Sunday, December 11, 2011


The Five W's of Life: 

WHO you are is what makes you special. Do not change for anyone. 

WHAT lies ahead will always be a mystery. Do not be afraid to explore. 

WHEN life pushes you over, you push back harder. 

WHERE there are choices to make, make the one you won't regret. 

WHY things happen will never be certain. Take it in stride and move forward.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Train - Save Me, San Francisco

My sister and I were planning to listen to Train songs on the entire evening of December 7th. We were bracing ourselves to miss their concert on the same day. Little did we know, things were about to change. The night before that, my sister was online. I guess it was a combination of fan-girly luck, impeccable timing and decent internet connection that she was the second to tweet the right answer when Train had a contest through Twitter. They were giving out free tickets to their concert. My sister always wins these types of contests. I already told her to try the lottery next time. =)

We braved the midweek rush-hour traffic and sardine-like, packed MRT on the way to the venue. I know it was going to be worth it. One of our favorite songs of all time is "Drops of Jupiter" and that was the reason why we saw them perform live at the Alabang Town Center last year. That day, I officially became a Train fan. They have beautiful songs. Jimmy is awesome on guitars, Scott is such a talent both on the drums and keyboards, and Pat knows how to work his charm on stage. Their performance was fun, interactive and unforgettable. Once I've experienced it, I knew I wanted more.

About 15 minutes before the concert, we were lining up for our passes. We were given these stickers and were already ecstatic knowing we will be in the VIP/Patron area. I asked the person who gave us the stickers if we will have a chance for a meet-and-greet, he said they was just passes to enter. Oh well, at least they were for free. I shouldn't try to push my luck. When we got in, we had no seats since the stickers meant we were "standing VIP('s)". I didn't mind. I am used to standing during concerts. Besides, concerts won't be fun if we spent it sitting (unless it was a stage play, ballet or opera, I guess.)

Train after show stickers

We were worried when the front act, 6-Cycle Mind, started performing because there were a lot of vacant seats. In a venue as huge as the Big Dome, empty chairs are obvious. Maybe because it's a weekday. I don't know. So, we vowed to be as loud as we can and didn't care if we lost our voices in the process. I know we had a great show ahead of us.

stage background

The crowd thickened when Train started performing. It was nice knowing that the crowd was comprised mostly of Train fans because we were loud! I even found myself smiling while listening to the guy behind me belting out all the lyrics of all the songs they played. It was not shabby at all! Also, that was the closest I've ever been near the stage. As expected, it was one helluva ride! Pat never hesitated to interact with the audience. He was hilarious and a great singer as well. They had a lot of freebies and giveaways. Like their previous show, lucky girls from the audience became trainettes. They got to dance and sing with Train onstage. One of them got luckier and brought home Pat's guitar with his autograph! They sang songs I love, songs I am familiar with and songs I haven't heard of. They also sang their Christmas song "Shake Up Christmas". Incidentally, that was what my sister answered when she won us these tickets! Pat wore white and walked in a huge circle throughout the coliseum while he sang "Marry Me". He "married" Manila when he sang "...Say you will." Of course, the audience answered "I will!". He, then, signed the white shirt and gave it away. They gave out more Train shirts and Pat's guitar picks. Scott even threw his drum sticks. The guy in front of me was too tall that he caught it. Aww!

[Click here for Manila Concert Scene's set list.]

Manila trainettes 2011


After the show, we lingered to take some pictures. We were surprised when someone announced on the loudspeaker that those with round stickers/after show pass can line up near the stage. I nearly swooned. We were not prepared to meet them in person (especially after being all sweaty during the concert)! I mean, look at us!

"If It's Love"
holding our cellphones up in the air
Train tweeted this after the concert

A smile was stuck to my face since we started walking to the backstage area until after I met Pat, Scott and Jimmy in person. I shook their hands and my sister told them we also watched them last year. Pat said, "Thanks for coming back!" They were all really nice. I just wanted to hug them and take them home. Haha! They'll be releasing another album next year and hopefully, I'll get to see them again when they come back. I know they will. =)

Meet and Greet
Photo courtesy of Dayly Entertainment
and Magic Liwanag Photography

Sunday, December 04, 2011

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, book 1)

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have heard pretty good reviews about The Mortal Instruments trilogy, so I was excited to start reading them. The story from the first book is interesting. I can see some influences from The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Twilight. There was excitement, but it was not consistent and I found myself being dragged throughout the story. I don't know if it is due to the very descriptive writing or the need for more editing. It felt like I was being spoon-fed with information that is redundant or unnecessary. I thought maybe I was just reading a book for really young kids, though I doubt that the plot itself is appropriate for those below seven years old. Besides, I have read a lot of so-called "juvenile" books and they're not overflowing with adjectives. Descriptions are okay to fuel the reader's imagination, but it was just too wordy for me. I got bored. I was also disappointed because I have read "The Very Secret Diaries" (of the Lord of the Rings characters) written by the author (Cassie Clare) a few years back. I compiled, laughed at and loved them all! Maybe I was just expecting too much.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One Day

One DayOne Day by David Nicholls
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a sort-of book review but really, below are mostly random thoughts.

I think it's sweet to fall in love with someone you grew up with-- a bestfriend and confidante. I also think that if a woman walks away from you in any situation, but you still want her to stay in your life, always, ALWAYS run after her. I feel that despite all the disappointments in life and all those dreams that didn't come true, there is still someone or something that would make it all worthwhile.

The book made me realize these things. Although the jaded part of me knows a plot like this can only exist in fiction, the romantic part still loves how well-written this story is. I like that Emma and Dexter are both imperfect in their own ways. It makes them easier to relate to. It doesn't matter if you're fresh out of college or middle-aged. Life has its way of making you doubt the direction you're going. It makes you question yourself and your purpose of living. I like the way the book focuses on one specific day (albeit different years) and how it isn't chronologically written. It's true-- the past always finds its way back. Sometimes, to haunt us and make us feel like crap. Sometimes, to make us realize that we know better and we should move on because time will never wait for us.

Lastly, this book made me want to go to Europe. I can still hope. =)

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Irish Goodness

Earlier today, I was lucky enough to be online and catch Mark Feehily (my favorite Westlife lad) start a live stream of him getting made up for a morning show in London. I was there to witness the number of viewers grow from less than a hundred to almost 500 in a few minutes. 

Since I am a fan girl, I was chatting like crazy wishing he would read through my tweet. At 15:02, Mark said "Karen from the Philippines" as he read what I tweeted. I can die happy now. =)

Notable times:
10:02 Shane got his top off
10:14 Mark suggested Shane gets his top off on the Farewell Tour
13:09 Mark and Shane started singing The Birthday Song to a fan named Priscilla from the Philippines
16:17 Shane enjoying his morning coffee and Danish pastry
20:58 "Why is Nicky so cranky?"
21:09 Mark starts singing "That's Kian in the corner" to the tune of "Losing My Religion" and the rest of the lads follow -- This is my second favorite part of the stream.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I made a wish at 11:11 on 11.11.11.

Sooner or later, I would know the reason why it did (or did not) happen to me, why I did (or did not) deserve it. When that time comes, I will understand and I will be okay. Everything will fall into place.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

7 Wonders of Nature

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Please vote for the PP (Puerto Princesa) Underground River in Palawan to be included in the 7 Wonders of Nature. One vote (7 choices) per email address. Make sure to check your email inbox to confirm your votes and make them count! Voting ends on 11.11.11. =)

When in the Philippines, you can also vote through SMS. Each SMS sent counts as one vote for PP Underground River in the New7Wonders of Nature.
Send PPUR to 2861
Cost per each SMS sent:
PHP2.00 (Sun)
PHP2.50 (Globe, Smart)

Monday, November 07, 2011

The world is their stage.

I was thinking of writing about the Big Bang K-pop fandom, but I don't think it'll just be a blog post. That would probably be a whole chapter in my book. I'll just say it all started from my sister's influence. Then to watching videos and guestings, buying their albums, listening to their music, buying their merchandise, downloading wallpapers for my desktop, attending K-pop conventions, and best of all, meeting new friends. It has been a long journey. So, I'll just focus on the MTV EMA win. This is not an entry that will try to change the opinion of others with regards to K-pop in general. Haters will always hate (and if you are one, you are welcome to stop reading this). It's just that I have so much emotions in me right now and writing about it is the best way I can express myself.

Big Bang light sticks
photo taken from

Big Bang, one of our favorite K-pop groups, was nominated for the MTV EMA Worldwide Act. They won an initial voting/screening to represent the Asia Pacific. I remember liking this Youtube video about a month ago telling other VIP's to vote for them (just look at the most-liked comment! ^^). I also remembered someone replying to me that Big Bang would not have a chance because so-and-so artist is leading and is better than them. I was so tempted to reply back, but then again, I told myself I am better than that, so I ignored it.

Everyday, my sister and I would reach the voting limit using several browsers and several sites for MTV. Our fingers even got the most out of it because we became much more passionate with the voting after seeing Big Bang (all five of them!) leaving Incheon airport for Heathrow airport a few days ago. Most, if not all VIP's, know that this year has not been very gentle with Big Bang. It's been a rollercoaster and tumultuous ride. Earlier this year, a friend and I watched them at the Korean Music Wave in Singapore. Just the four of them. I missed Daesung. He had been on "leave" for months now because of that car accident, and then this most recent marijuana issue with GD happened. VIP's couldn't help but wonder when they are going to grace the stage together again.

It was Monday morning from where we're from. My sister and I woke up at 3 AM to watch the pre-show of the MTV EMA. My Twitter,Tumblr and Facebook are full of Big Bang posts for the past few hours. Before the winner was announced, I was shaking. I was so nervous I couldn't even understand why. I told myself, they're going against Britney Spears. That no matter what happens, VIP's are still proud of them. When Big Bang was announced as the winners, I wanted to shout, cry and laugh all at the same time. I was like a mother so proud of her kids.

"We can do everything!" - Taeyang

"This is only because of our fans, through all the ups and downs, thank you for standing by us. Thank you!" - Taeyang

"Woah, it’s amazing! Thank you so much! We are called BigBang from South Korea! It’s nice to see you and this award is all the more valuable because it’s a present that you, fans, gave us. Thank you VIPs! Please take interest in Korean Music and BigBang even more from now." (spoken in Korean translated to English) - Jiyong

This Worldwide Act Award is what they needed to get out of the slump. It just goes to show that when you're down, there's nowhere else to go but up. Now, they can do anything they set their hearts to. It was wonderful seeing the five of them together again and, of course, the VIP's went to the rescue! I am so proud of Big Bang for bringing attention to the Asia Pacific talents. I am also proud for the VIP's (and the K-pop fandom) whose support never wavered despite everything that happened and who united in achieving a single goal. The boys can now share their music to the whole world! Big Bang Fighting! ^^

Dear YG, I am hoping this would be enough for you to plan a World Tour for Big Bang in the days to come. =)

Note to Self

"Don't Quit"

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow,
Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Edgar A. Guest

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Power of Six

The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2)The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have always been intrigued by what the Lorien Legacies can offer. This book is as adventurous as the first one. There are probably paragraphs that I find too cheesy, but the last 50 or 60 pages are action-packed and thrilling that I wished I can zoom through each page just to know what happens next. It was that good! Of course, the ending seemed to come in the most inconvenient of times. Now, I shall wait for the next book. Again.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The main reason why I started reading this book is because my sister sent me a link of the movie adaptation trailer and I told myself, I wanted to read it before I watch it. This is the first Jonathan Safran Foer book that I've read and I don't understand why I just started reading his work. Some of his books have been on my to-read list and getting this one crossed out made me a fan. The book is extremely hilarious and incredibly touching.

The story is very unpredictable. It took me from 9-tear-old Oskar Schell's adventure after his father died at the 9/11 tragedy to his grandparents' story years ago during the bombing in Dresden, Germany. Back and forth. Back and forth. It made me laugh out loud, then made me pause and digest the words. I never would have guessed how the "mystery" of the Black key would be solved.

Reading the book is a journey. I noted a lot of quotable quotes and learned a lot of trivia. I found it funny how Tom Hanks was mentioned in the book and now, he'll be playing Thomas Schell (Oskar's father) in the movie. It was nice seeing "Philippines" mentioned as well.

I've grown to love Oskar. At first, he reminded me of Charlie from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", but then again, he's totally different. I like his innocence and the way he likes writing letters. I like how smart he is and how he idolizes Stephen Hawking. I like his vulnerability and the words he used. I read the line "Succotash my balzac you dip shiitake!" again and again so I can laugh at it some more. One of my favorite moments was when he was playing "the game" with Dr. Fein, his psychiatrist. I couldn't stop laughing then. It's amazing how Oskar touched and changed so many lives. In the end, I just wanted to hug him and tell him it's gonna be okay.

I've watched the trailer a couple of times before. I watched it again after reading the book and saw it in an entirely different light. One, I don't think this is another movie made to just profit from 9/11. Two, this time, the trailer made me cry. "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" gave me heavy boots but still made me feel like a hundred dollars.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A Game of Thrones: A Storm of Swords

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third book of the Game of Throne series is not as page-turning as the first two, but no matter how I try to find spoilers in Wikipedia, this book still has its own share of surprises. I think that's one of the reasons why I like George R.R. Martin's writing. He can make me love or hate a certain character and before I finish reading, the opinion or affinity I have with someone will change, and even do a 360-degree turn. He can write from a point-of-view of an innocent child in one chapter and change to a brutal outlaw who wants nothing more but revenge in the next chapter. This book is action-packed and, in my opinion, the most violent from the three I've read so far. That's the reason why I would stop and give it a rest from time to time. After watching the Game of Thrones series again, which gave me a whole lot of different perspective after reading the book, I resumed reading. So far, the books have not yet disappointed me.

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Slán, Westlife

Westlife: Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, Nicky Byrne

I will never be who I am now (in all my fangirly ways) without Westlife. Thank you for the 14 years of beautiful music. It's really nice to be a part of it all. I shall take cherish all the Westlife tokens and memorabilia I have collected through the years. I wish to see you again perform as a group for the last time during your farewell tour. Who knows? Maybe years from now (when we're old and gray?), I will be screaming again at your reunion concert. Good luck on your future endeavors. Mark, Shane, Nicky and Kian: you will always be my original favorite Irish lads. ♥

Slán! Or is it slá go fóill?  =)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day Watch

It has been a while since I read the books and there were events in the movie I cannot even remember happening in the books. Some characters confused me and some were not as I imagined them to be. It would have probably been better if I watched "Night Watch" the movie first before seeing this. But given the chance, I still want to watch the movies starting from the first one. The books were too interesting for me to just ignore the movie adaptations. Besides, the special effects were visually stunning. That took my mind off being annoyed with the mouth movements not in-sync with the spoken words. Yes, the movie was dubbed in English and the subtitles showed different spellings of the characters' names. Haha! =)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Game of Thrones: A Clash of Kings

A Game of Thrones / A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1-2)A Game of Thrones / A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since there is no half-star rating (4.5), I'll go with 4. Like some war-themed books I've read, I found my eyes skipping some lengthy descriptions and going directly to conversations. (But then I always go back.) It also helps that, as a visual learner, I look at the maps every so often. Sometimes, I couldn't help but wish "A Game of Thrones" has an "Atlas of Middle-earth" counterpart. (Or is there?) What's similar to my experience with reading the first book is that I still have my own favorite chapters, thus admitting to having my own favorite characters. There are characters I want to kill though. Maybe the book is bringing out the violent side of me. (Haha!) I guess that's how good a writer George R.R. Martin is. Like most great writers, he makes you a part of the world he created that sometimes you wish you were really a part of it. =)

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Harry's Wand

Today, we got Harry’s wand. My sister joined a contest a few weeks ago and won.

Thank you very much, Fashion Cousense!

The second picture shows a second wand our father made way before we got Harry’s. =)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lenka Live in Manila

A few hours before the concert, my sister learned that she won two tickets for Lenka Live in Manila. She's always lucky that way (I told her next time to try the lottery). I am not really a hard-core Lenka fan, but I know some of her songs and I like them a lot. They make me feel good and they're mostly happy and would often urge you to dance or clap with the music.

We waited for quite a while and were entertained by three front acts. It was worth it because Lenka was cute. Listening to her was fun and I can almost believe myself when we chanted "We will not grow old" with her because her music has such a child-like quality to it. Speaking of "child", I love that baby bump she's sporting!

It felt wonderful when she sang my favorite song "Don't Let Me Fall" as a lullaby to her baby. It was a beautiful rendition and I never thought about it before, but the lyrics to that song can be applicable to any kind of love, not just in the romantic sense. The crowd's favorite was also the last song. We didn't want our "money" back because we just enjoyed "The Show" (of course).

Click to view full album.

Lenka Live in Manila

Click this to watch "Trouble is a Friend".

Click this to watch my favorite song "Don't Let Me Fall" and fave performance of the night.

Click here to watch the final song "The Show".

* All the puns in this post are intended.
** Thank you for the tickets, Manila Concert Scene!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Westlife in Manila 2011: A Fangirl Account (Long Post)

I have been down in the dumps for days I wanted to give myself a house arrest for life. But the world awaits and when you're down, there's nowhere else to go but up, right?

No, this is not supposed to be a blog entry about my personal life. So, here goes. I haven't blogged a fan account in years. Well, September 29, 2011 happened and it is probably one of the highlights of my year. You see, I was supposed to be in Singapore and I was prepared to miss Westlife's concert in Manila for the first time in my fangirling history. I guess, I'm meant to be here in Manila for now. Things happen for a reason. I got to experience this and it is true, the best things in life are free.***

My sister and I were open to "whatever happens, happens", as long as at the end of the day, we will watch Westlife's concert at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Since I'm stuck in a financial rut right now, General Admission will do. Little did we know that we're in for surprises and happy moments galore. There it was again, the fangirl in me just wanted to shout out, dance, cry in hysterics all at the same time. It has been 11 years since I watched Westlife's first concert in Manila. I was a student then and I learned that time that I have these stalker tendencies. I haven't missed a single concert since. I have been a fan since Ronan Keating introduced them in Smash Hits! That was 13 years ago, more or less. Yes, you can probably guess what age bracket I belong in. Some people I got to know during those "fangirling" times are still my friends until now. There were funny, incredulous, tiring and embarrassing moments that would be a part of my "The Things I Did for Westlife" list.

Earlier in the day, we got invited to attend Westlife's press conference in Edsa Shangri-la Hotel. After all these years, I'm finally going to meet them up close. I couldn't believe my luck. There were changes in the start time and it turned out, the lads just woke up and were jet-lagged. After more waiting, we decided to give up our initial seats and I ended up cross-sitting on the floor right in front of Nicky. When the lads came in, I wanted to burst in excitement. But since I was in the presence of the members of the media, I kept quiet. The lads were funny and decent despite them just getting out of bed. Questions were answered (and we can probably reads those in newspapers, online or watch them on TV). I was just there, snapping pictures and smiling. I don't think the smile even left my face. I got to wave to Nicky who was busy taking videos of everyone. He chuckled when we posed for his camera. That moment is already ingrained in my memory.

Q and A

group shot

Much to my surprise, we were informed that we will have a chance to meet-and-greet Westlife before the concert.*** I could have died and gone to heaven then. But since I don't wanna die before meeting Westlife again, my sis and I took a late lunch/early dinner, then headed for the venue.

getting giddy

photo courtesy of Magic Liwanag Photography for DAYLY Entertainment

The photo was taken by an official photographer and no personal cameras were allowed. Funny thing was, my sis and I were practicing on what to say to these lads when we finally get to meet them. We had about 2 hours of practice and I told her to go directly to Nicky while I go to Mark (yes, he's gay but I don't care!). I was planning to steal a hug from him too! We went in and it was finished in a couple of seconds. Too bad they were pressing for time and all we got to say was "Thank You!". Since we were looking forward to the concert, we hurried to the entrance so as not to miss the opening song and found our seats. We barely warmed our seats when the opening song came out, we ran to the front. It was like deja vu. (I ran to the front as well in one of those Westlife concerts in the same venue.) We danced and sang and got sweaty. I even cursed our point-and-shoot digital camera because it kept blurring the supposedly great pics I got. I didn't let it ruin my mood. It's amazing to be there, watching them do their thing up close. I'm sure about eleven thousand people in that venue agreed with me when I say listening to those songs we grew up with felt nostalgic.

"epic crowd" - Nicky

Westlife on stage

That was my not-so-typical Thursday. It was a roller-coaster ride of emotions for a fan like me. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I won't mind if something similar happens to me again soon. Who wouldn't want to fly without wings again, right? =)

More photos here.

Click here to view "What Makes A Man" (fancam).

Click here to view "Flying Without Wings" (fancam).

Click here to view "Uptown Girl" (fancam).

***All these wonderful memories will not be possible without the help of Dayly Entertainment. We are eternally grateful. Congratulations for a sold-out and successful concert! =)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Song of Ice and Fire - A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading the first book of made me feel like watching the first season of the series all over again, minus the sex scenes galore and more of the touching back-stories of the characters. There were lull moments, but there were also favorite chapters (which meant favorite characters as well). There were questions answered, but more questions created. Finishing it on a stormy afternoon did not add to the dramatic flair as I hoped, but only gave me the sense of urgency to read the next books. No rest for the weary eyes, I guess. =)

View all my reviews

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Coelho Moment

Okay, so it's one of those nights when I just randomly check out tweets from the people I'm following. Sometimes, I reply, re-tweet or just ignore them. Then I saw Mr. Paulo Coelho (one of my favorite authors) tweet another one of his quotable quotes. I just thought I'd RT it to my followers with an additional piece of my mind. Then he replied. Until now, I am starstruck. O_o

(Note: Begging your pardon for my grammatical error. I was in a hurry. =D)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


When I'm there, I miss being here. When I'm here, I want to be there. Maybe, I have to appreciate what I have here first before I enjoy what being there entails.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Let Me In

It's a well-paced, gripping thriller that did not make me scream, but got me hooked until the end. Great acting, great story and great quality. I have yet to see the original Swedish movie. No, this is not just another vampire movie.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

"...We accept the love we think we deserve."

I picked this book up one random day in the book store because I found the title interesting. I read the blurb and I knew I want to read the story as soon as possible. It's just an added bonus that they are going to make a movie out of this and I am looking forward to that.

"...But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there."

The story of Charlie reminded me of "The Catcher in the Rye" combined with "The Incident of the Dog in the Night Time". The story is simple yet the characters are complex in their own ways. It is very interesting to note the literature, films and music mentioned in the books. I am listening to the songs from Charlie's "Winter" mix tape while I'm typing this and somehow, it helped me get a glimpse of the "real" Charlie. I believe there's a Charlie inside everyone of us-- pure, good and selfless-- no matter how out of place and weird this world sometimes makes us feel.

"...And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have. Good and bad."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Leap Year

“May you never steal, lie or cheat.
But if you have to steal, then steal away my sorrows.
If you have to lie, then lie with me all the nights of our life.
If you have to cheat, then cheat death
 because I don’t want to live a day without you.”

I love Amy Adams. She's talented, smart and funny without trying hard to be all of the above. She can create chemistry between herself and her on-screen partner. I added a star for Matthew Goode, just because he is very... umm... "goode"-looking. Pun intended. It's not much of a movie since it's simple and predictable, but it is a feel-good chick-flick and if you like romantic comedy, expect some laughs and "aww..." moments. I love the location! It's very scenic and it reminded me of that longing to go to Ireland, thus adding another item to my bucketlist. =)

Saturday, June 04, 2011

X-Men: First Class

The special effects were cool as expected. The acting was excellent-- special mention to the McAvoy-Fassbender bonding moment that made me cry. Kevin Bacon was, well, one of those villains I love to hate.

I am one of those who haven't read the graphic novel series, but watched the movies and grew up with the animated TV program. It was awesome seeing how it all began.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Last Watch

The 4th and last installment of the Night Watch series is fast-paced and the most page-turning book of them all. "The Last Watch" (a.k.a. "Final Watch") has revelations that surprised me and made me want to know more. The book brings to light some mysteries that the previous books imparted. I was not a big fan of the ending though. I found it a bit anti-climactic. Will there be more action to follow with the young heroine as main protagonist? I hope so.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Twilight Watch

The third installment of this four-book series is more fast-paced and action-packed than the first two books I've read. This is the part where everything falls into place and starts to make sense. New and interesting characters are introduced in this book. Main characters get developed in a way that is both unexpected and well-thought-of. It's the kind of writing that makes me enjoy reading. Again, I have experienced that instance when I can't stop my eyes from scanning the page and jumping from one phrase to another just to fast-forward the scenes in my mind. I couldn't wait to know what happens next.

Monday, May 09, 2011

I'm a BeLEEver

I was alone but I had to see him. Made a couple of acquaintances as I found myself falling in line at least 2 hours before the show was supposed to start. I have this silly infatuation for him since his audition day for American Idol season 9. I never missed an episode. I was ecstatic when he won. I knew he'd be coming to my country and when I heard the news, it didn't matter if I had company or not, I told myself by hook or by crook, I'd be watching him live!

There I was on May 7th at the Venice Piazza. It looked like it was about to rain after the sweltering heat that day. I didn't mind. I was just so excited! I got a copy of his album because I know I had to be up close to him and have him sign it. I was nervous but I had the guts to thank him for coming to Manila and greeted his mom a "Happy Mother's Day" in advance. It was a wonderful experience. =)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Shawshank Redemption

"Get busy living or get busy dying."

I have always been a fan of Morgan Freeman. This movie is another proof that he is one underrated actor. Hats-off to Tim Robbins as well for a very outstanding performance. The story has a good mesh of comedy, drama, suspense seasoned with witty lines from brilliant actors.

This is one of those Stephen-King-book-based films I consider a classic. It gives a lesson on freedom, hope and humanity. The character of Morgan Freeman, Red, said, "I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged", and the same goes with this story. It's meant to be spread around.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Day Watch

"Day Watch" is book 2 of the Russian "Night Watch" series by Sergei Lukyanenko. This book has all the important elements that a "middle book" in a series should have. It introduces some important characters that played or will play a big role in the entirety of the story. It's not as page-turning as the first one, but it gives the reader a longing as the book stops at a very interesting part of the plot-- just like a deep breath before the plunge.

Gnomeo and Juliet

This movie was entertaining and a laugh trip from start to finish. Two star-crossed gnome lovers from Verona, oh well, we all know the tale. This one, though, is full of witty and funny lines plus a dash of Elton John songs, you can't help but have fun while watching it.

Monday, March 28, 2011


The Color Purple

Based on a classic best-seller by Alice Walker, this is one of those movies who stood the test of time. A Steven Spielberg creation minus the flashy special effects and sci-fi based plot, plus award-winning performances from the actors, this drama is set to move you. 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

There's more to Jack Nicholson than just playing the usual villain in a story. He proved it in "About Schmidt" and this is another one of the movies that proves he can be a great dramatic actor who can move the audience. I have not read the book where this movie is based from, but the witty lines, great performances can make you laugh and cry and maybe make you nuts once in a while.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Love Story

This movie was recommended by a friend who warned me about getting this urge to wail while watching this film. I was not disappointed. There's something about these classic movies that is honest and straightforward. It wasn't carried by special effects, breath-taking cinematography, award-winning acting or well-blending soundtrack. Nevertheless, it was pure and the story goes straight to the heart. That's why films like this become timeless.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

I have always wanted to read the book with the same title, so when I saw this Swedish film, I had to watch it. This puzzling thriller lasted for about 2 and a half hours complete with subtitles, but the movie was beautifully made that I never even noticed. It was a mixture of intrigue, suspense, mystery and a few more emotions that would keep a viewer glued to the screen. It was not just the story that made me appreciate this foreign film, but the superb acting as well.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Super Show 3

It was the evening when a VIP also became an ELF. 
Thanks to my sister who convinced me to watch Super Show 3.

Sorry, Sorry
my sister and I
Choi Siwon, my SuJu bias

I Am Number Four

This is another movie that encouraged me to read the book. There are a lot of eye-candies in this film that may have compensated for the not-so-great acting. I am adding an additional star for the story and the special effects. I think they would even be cooler in 3D.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekend Movies

I saw three movies this weekend and here are my thoughts. =)

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

This movie showed awesome animation and special effects. I wish I could have seen this on 3D. Though the story was predictable, the characters were so lovable! It was entertaining. =)

Charlie St. Cloud

Another movie based on a book I have yet to read, “Charlie St. Cloud” was predictable. I have to say, Zac Efron was not just an eye-candy in this film, he delivered a good performance as the lead actor. The entire story though was so-so.

West Side Story

An adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set in the 1950’s, here is another tragic tale of love in the middle of a gang war. This is another musical crossed-out from my list of must-watch films. There are corny and funny moments, but the ending still tugged some heartstrings and I understood why this has become a classic. =)