Date a girl who reads

And so the saga continues. I once reposted a very thoughtworthy article on how one should date a girl who tweets written by someone named Antoinette JadaoneWhile it is an interesting pick-me-up online piece, there is this old write-up that pretty much talks about the same thing. Albeit much celebrated, I infinitely enjoy reading personal accounts with matters such as this one and no  I am not reposting this because this article (divinely) strokes my ego and the entire bookworms club, but because..I just feel the need to. *woot, hello kilig feels.* 

Happy reading!

Searching for the girl who reads | By 

All the girls I ever fell for were girls who read. By “fell,” I mean the absolutely-could-not-get-her-out-of-my-mind-for-years-until-she-posted-her-engagement-ring-on-Facebook-and-prominently-tagged-me kind. The pretty ones are easy to forget, especially if they stop being pretty the moment they open their mouths. It is the girls who read who gently slip their fingers into your subconscious and never let go.

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In my last year at the UP College of Law, I received the most curious Christmas gift: a physical Harvard Law School application package. This girl procured one from Boston but told me I should use it instead. She wrote poetry, was on her school’s debate team, and performed as a dancer. And she loved to read. She could spend an entire afternoon in a bookstore and confessed her silly habit of reading the last chapter first, so as not to waste time on a book whose ending she would hate. She made me help complete her hardcover Nicholas Sparks collection, cementing my comfort in my masculinity. There was only one thing wrong with her: She was double-majoring in law and philosophy in another country.

Girls who would rather shop at Shakespeare & Co. than the Champs Élysées are absolutely wonderful. Bookstores are amazing places for flirtation; the best ones have inviting coffee nooks. Picture the opening of Erich Segal’s “Love Story,” minus awkward library rules on silence. Best of all, girls reveal their personalities in bookstores. One once rooted me to where I stood for half an hour with her tale of a pair of artists separated in different dimensions, their tale told through the artfully drawn postcards and letters in her hand. There is something liberating about listening to a girl who sees the world in dreams. 

Take it from the Ayala #MuseumValentines Twitter campaign. There is something uniquely enchanting about a girl gushing about how the vigor of a Juan Luna painting moves her or why “Les Miz” made her cry. A girl who reads is the perfect companion in the hidden alleys of all the fantastic places that books, paintings and theater whisk one away to.

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Before law school, I went on a monthlong tour of China with 200 other students and thought I would never see my bus seatmate again. She was a London School of Economics student who noted that my Ateneo senior-year material was what she studied in freshman year—but it is hard to be offended by a London accent (and those attached lips, in particular). I met her five years later when I visited New York for the first time and she happened to be working on Wall Street. We saw “Rent” on discount tickets, her magical smile adding to the magical music. We walked out laughing that our unfamiliarity with American culture made the plot incomprehensible, then laughed again when we realized the play was based on an Italian opera.

It was an unforgettable introduction to Manhattan’s skyscrapers and how fast New Yorkers can walk in high heels.

I often overthink whether I find a girl interesting. My tell is when I find myself wanting to borrow her favorite book. My subconscious says it is an ingenious way to gauge her true inner self. A girl made me read “Memoirs of a Geisha” well before the movie came out. I was soon absorbed in an intriguing conversation about a geisha’s preparation ritual, down to how a small amount of skin is left unpainted, just enough to hint at the woman under the costume. Another girl drew me into reflection on Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” though I still wonder whether she identified with Dagny Taggart’s determined individualism or the attempt to portray integrity in capitalism. And any girl who names “Pride and Prejudice” as her favorite novel is certain to be interesting.

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I am an introvert at heart and find it refreshing to move from self-absorption to absorption into the world of a girl who reads, led deeper by a mesmerizing voice that makes hours pass unnoticed. It is fascinating to penetrate, if one is able, the many layers of her mind as it is to turn the pages of a hardbound book. It is the cutting edge of sexy to be a little too passionate about something in today’s world of designer oversized glasses and the fake geek girl meme. It is refreshing to see a world you never saw before through someone else’s imagination, or see this world just a little more vividly. A girl who reads can juggle images of the world as it appears, the world as it really is, and the world as it should be. A girl who reads fits in Steve Jobs’ “Think Different” commercial, the one that ends with “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”tumblr_m6g7paBA8s1qkaoroo1_500

The dilemma is that girls who read are infinitely more difficult to find. Everyone knows where to find girls who party, but girls who read? It is probably more difficult to project beauty and intelligence in a coffeehouse’s gentle afternoon warmth, without the aid of alcohol, makeup and a little black dress, yet the girl who reads might be so subtle and unassuming one just might miss her.

Manila is not the place to wait for a train and peek whether the satchel beside you has “Pride and Prejudice” or “Fifty Shades of Gray.” The anonymity of iPads and tablets further makes improbable the casual glimpse of a book jacket.

One is left to chance upon that knowing smile and that glint of wonder in her eye when one meets her glance…

                                   …which is how many great novels begin.
See article here. 

 

 

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Six months of separation

It has been 6 months, guys. Six looooooooong months until this comeback post. I wish I could say I was busy all throughout these past months that I have been MIA. I was, though. I think. But meh, I was out of the online hemisphere mainly because I haven’t been writing lately. After summer, I got into the whole “F yeah, I’m a senior, let’s get this last year count” mantra. I spent my first senior months slacking and basically putting everything into a constant hold. Me and my bum tendencies. All I did was… sleep. I think all those hours I dedicated for sleep this year amounted to what I’ve lost ever since time immemorial.

Along with my snores and sleeping sounds…..are my writing cells. I think I’ve lost some of them. Huuuuu how do I get them back anyway? I can’t find the inspiration (and the urge) to write. Until today. I need to reevaluate my life choices starting from that day I decided to prolong my internship agony. Why even. Ha, mom if you’re reading this, I promise to finish my internship this month so stop stressing over the issue, kay? Have faith in me.

And so today, I’d like to believe that I’m slowly getting back into the groove of writing. God knows I need to get back on track. Shouldn’t this quarter-life crisis come after graduation? NOT MONTHS BEFORE I CAN FINALLY CAP OFF THE FOUR LONG YEARS I HAVE STRUGGLED.

Ha. So yup, I’m currently taking my time into bringing back the old me: the inspired and determined me. And no, I don’t need a love life.

I will be revamping (actually as of this writing, I am revamping) my blog! Have you seen my new blog categories and pages? Heehee, you can also click on the web articles tab to read my Philippine Star and UNICEF VOY works!

More posts soon!

Much love,

FINAAAAL FOR BLOG

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And so I’m back! (definitely not from outer space)

I am alive! Everyone, I’m aliiiiiiive! *insert squeaking emoticon here*

I have a lot of explaining to do as to why I haven’t blogged for the past couple of months. It’s been crazzzyyyy! Blessed, is what I am today. Great opportunities and big doors have opened for me and I am beyond grateful.

Maybe, those months of being nowhere to be found in the blogging world has done nothing but good to me. But meh, I missed you guys so I decided to at least write about my whereabouts and current conquests.

Not feeling all summer-y btw. The weather, yes. Very very summer-y. Actually no, the weather outside doesn’t feel like summer. It feels like hell has came terms with Earth and I can feel the soil screaming to its core. Intense like that. Summers should be warm, not scourging hot. The only thing important to me right now is my airconditioner. I think I’ll marry this one. Yeah?

I’ve been busy with my internship. I got accepted at Philippine Star. For most working days, I deal with news. Thank goodness I love reading news. It lightens the burden of having to know everything as soon I step into the office. Also, I’m with Metro Magazine right now. So happy I got in! The struggle I had to go through just to have this internship — unbelievable. I underwent three interviews. The first one was with the Human Resources manager and the other two were with the magazine’s editors. Imagine my brain cells at that moment. I think if it wasn’t for my confidence (which btw is one of my most treasured traits, thank you so much) I don’t think I will survive the process. And yes, thank you to my presence of mind for being so helpful. Those tips I got from a yoga website and me being a pretend Pilates lover did good to my internship. I think I have to be serious with the whole Pilates thing though.

Sadly, I had to turn down a couple of great opportunities due to my schedule. I think the “choose your battles” quote fits right into this. I’ll always be grateful for those which I now call “the ones that got away.” Maybe regret will sink in sooner or later but hey, it is these choices that define who I am and what I will be in the future right? In this regard, I have chosen the right battles….. I think… in my own twisted way.

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While you’re young

I was browsing through my Twitter feed when I came upon this very interesting read online and thought that I should share it with the rest of the world. Hands down to Jeff Goins for this! Love love love this article! 

Why you should travel young | by Jeff Goins

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As I write this, I’m flying. It’s an incredible concept: to be suspended in the air, moving    at two hundred miles an hour — while I read a magazine. Amazing, isn’t it?

I woke up at three a.m. this morning. Long before the sun rose, thirty people loaded up three conversion vans and drove two hours to the San Juan airport. Our trip was finished. It was time to go home. But we were changed.

As I sit, waiting for the flight attendant to bring my ginger ale, I’m left wondering why I travel at all. The other night, I was reminded why I do it — why I believe this discipline of travel is worth all the hassle.

I was leading a missions trip in Puerto Rico. After a day of work, as we were driving back to the church where we were staying, one of the young women brought up a question.

“Do you think I should go to graduate school or move to Africa?”

I don’t think she was talking to me. In fact, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t. But that didn’t stop me from offering my opinion.

I told her to travel. Hands down. No excuses. Just go.

She sighed, nodding. “Yeah, but…”

I had heard this excuse before, and I didn’t buy it. I knew the “yeah-but” intimately. I had uttered it many times before. The words seem innocuous enough, but are actually quite fatal.

Yeah, but …

… what about debt?

… what about my job?

… what about my boyfriend?

This phrase is lethal. It makes it sound like we have the best of intentions, when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards while sounding noble.

Most people I know who waited to travel the world never did it. Conversely, plenty of people who waited for grad school or a steady job still did those things after they traveled.

It reminded me of Dr. Eisenhautz and the men’s locker room.

Dr. Eisenhautz was a German professor at my college. I didn’t study German, but I was a foreign language student so we knew each other. This explains why he felt the need to strike up a conversation with me at six o’clock one morning.

I was about to start working out, and he had just finished. We were both getting dressed in the locker room. It was, to say the least, a little awkward — two grown men shooting the breeze while taking off their clothes.

“You come here often?” he asked. I could have laughed.

“Um, yeah, I guess,” I said, still wiping the crusted pieces of whatever out of my eyes.

“That’s great,” he said. “Just great.”

I nodded, not really paying attention. He had already had his adrenaline shot; I was still waiting for mine. I somehow uttered that a friend and I had been coming to the gym for a few weeks now, about three times a week.

“Great,” Dr. Eisenhautz repeated. He paused as if to reflect on what he would say next. Then, he just blurted it out. The most profound thing I had heard in my life.

“The habits you form here will be with you for the rest of your life.”

My head jerked up, my eyes got big, and I stared at him, letting the words soak into my half-conscious mind. He nodded, said a gruff goodbye, and left. I was dumbfounded.

The words reverberated in my mind for the rest of the day. Years later, they still haunt me. It’s true — the habits you form early in life will, most likely, be with you for the rest of your existence.

I have seen this fact proven repeatedly. My friends who drank a lot in college drink in larger quantities today. Back then, we called it “partying.” Now, it has a less glamorous name: alcoholism. There are other examples. The guys and girls who slept around back then now have babies and unfaithful marriages. Those with no ambition then are still working the same dead end jobs.

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“We are what we repeatedly do,” Aristotle once said. While I don’t want to sound all gloom-and-doom, and I believe your life can turn around at any moment, there is an important lesson here: life is a result of intentional habits. So I decided to do the things that were most important to me first, not last.

tumblr_m4g3snaMAh1qfik8to1_500_largeAfter graduating college, I joined a band and traveled across North America for nine months. With six of my peers, I performed at schools, churches, and prisons. We even spent a month in Taiwan on our overseas tour. (We were huge in Taiwan.)

As part of our low-cost travel budget, we usually stayed in people’s homes. Over dinner or in conversation later in the evening, it would almost always come up — the statement I dreaded. As we were conversing about life on the road — the challenges of long days, being cooped up in a van, and always being on the move — some well-intentioned adult would say, “It’s great that you’re doing this … while you’re still young.”

Ouch. Those last words — while you’re still young — stung like a squirt of lemon juice in the eye (a sensation with which I am well acquainted). They reeked of vicarious longing and mid-life regret. I hated hearing that phrase.

I wanted to shout back,

“No, this is NOT great while I’m still young! It’s great for the rest of my life! You don’t understand. This is not just a thing I’m doing to kill time. This is my calling! My life! I don’t want what you have. I will always be an adventurer.”

In a year, I will turn thirty. Now I realize how wrong I was. Regardless of the intent of those words, there was wisdom in them.

As we get older, life can just sort of happen to us. Whatever we end up doing, we often end up with more responsibilities, more burdens, more obligations. This is not always bad. In fact, in many cases it is really good. It means you’re influencing people, leaving a legacy.

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Youth is a time of total empowerment. You get to do what you want. As you mature and gain new responsibilities, you have to be very intentional about making sure you don’t lose sight of what’s important. The best way to do that is to make investments in your life so that you can have an effect on who you are in your later years.

I did this by traveling. Not for the sake of being a tourist, but to discover the beauty of life — to remember that I am not complete.

tumblr_lzgnma4G5I1r9zpbzo1_500 There is nothing like riding a bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge or seeing the  Coliseum at sunset. I wish I could paint a picture for you of how incredible the Guatemalan mountains are or what a rush it is to appear on Italian TV. Even the amazing photographs I have of Niagara Falls and the American Midwest countryside do not do these experiences justice. I can’t tell you how beautiful southern Spain is from the vantage point of a train; you have to experience it yourself. The only way you can relate is by seeing them.

While you’re young, you should travel. You should take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. Spend an afternoon sitting in front of the Michelangelo. Walk the streets of Paris. Climb Kilimanjaro. Hike the Appalachian trail. See the Great Wall of China. Get your heart broken by the “killing fields” of Cambodia. Swim through the Great Barrier Reef. These are the moments that define the rest of your life; they’re the experiences that stick with you forever.

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Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you. You will begin to understand that the world is both very large and very small. You will have a newfound respect for pain and suffering, having seen that two-thirds of humanity struggle to simply get a meal each day.

tumblr_me5tymUqHB1rbsre4o1_500 While you’re still young, get cultured. Get to know the world and the magnificent people that fill it. The world is a stunning place, full of outstanding works of art. See it.

 You won’t always be young. And life won’t always be just about you. So travel, young person. Experience the world for all it’s worth. Become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion. While you still can.

 Do not squander this time. You will never have it again. You have a crucial opportunity to invest in the next season of your life now. Whatever you sow, you will eventually reap. The habits you form in this season will stick with you for the rest of your life. So choose those habits wisely.

tumblr_lq3uvzjo7J1qf351bo1_500And if you’re not as young as you’d like (few of us are), travel anyway. It may not be easy or practical, but it’s worth it. Traveling allows you to feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way, like little else can. In other words, it makes you more human.

That’s what it did for me, anyway.

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Read the article here. 

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GG Thursday: Monstrous Ball

#gossipgirls06ep05

With the recent explosion of bombs, looks like my favorite girl (smell the sarcasm) is loveless and best friend-less. Thank God Serena’s life is finally over. But of course I know they won’t let her character die in the end though I wish they would.

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Gossip Girl is not Gossip Girl without cotillions, galas, balls and social gatherings encompassing the best of New York. With tonight’s episode, Sage is in rage after finding out that her dad, Steven, is going to ask Serena to marry him. To end her father’s dream of having Serena on his arms, Sage asked for B’s help to cancel the proposal.

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When Georgina realized that Dan is back to his delusional episodes for Blair, she threatened him that she will release that video of him and Serena making out — seconds before Blair decided to choose Chuck.

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But before the great Georgina Sparks could break the news herself, looks like Sage saved her the effort. Way to go, girl!

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Before the scandal went out, B and S ended their girl war. Too bad, Steven’s little girl got them a new battle.

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Oh how I love that Chuck and Blair ends every episode right. Thank you for the gift of redemption, you two lovey doveys. At least I can sleep well.

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5 episodes left and it’s a wrap for Gossip Girl! /ENDLESS SOBS./ 

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Page-turner: The Duff

After Looking for Alaska, (btw, my entry for this one will be up, soon!) I got so excited to read a new title. I need to get a breather and so I decided to hop on a light YA novel. And that brought me to this. 

The Duff by Kody Keplinger. 

BookDuffComing from a very very gripping and unputdownable (if there is such a word) book which is Beautiful Disaster,  (entry here.) my struggle can be defined by the question, “What to read next?” See that’s a problem I always encounter whenever I finish a good read. Dammit call me a sucker for chick lit but hell yeah, I had (still having btw) a hard time looking for something that can surpass the feeling that Beautiful Disaster gave me. Screw you, Travis Maddox. 

Anyway………….. I decided to pick up The Duff after a lot of thinking and contemplating. To give you a glimpse of what the book is all about, you could simply refer to your High School life. Lucky for you if you’re not the Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) then you can’t prolly relate to the story. But well if you kinda feel like you’re the odd one in the group (that unattractive kind of girl that boys can’t or DON’T usually date) then tada! This book is made for you. (Or for us?) 

Bianca Piper is the Duff. While most of her friends enjoy the pleasure of being a girl like clubbing, shopping and boys, Bianca was different. But it wasn’t as if her world was so close to a total collapse after realizing that she is a Duff. As a matter of fact, she perfectly knew well that she is definitely different. She’s an absolute idealist. She despises boys and drama. She believes that love is something that you don’t feel in High School. And most especially, she hates Wesley Rush. That Greek god-looking, hot and irresistible Wesley Rush. If 99% of the student body adores that guy, well Bianca is that missing 1%. 

Until they met on a Friday night.

With Bianca’s current situation regarding family ties and ex-boyfriend dilemmas, the last thing she needs is a boy like Wesley Rush. But surprisingly, she made up her mind that he is exactly what she needs at this very moment. He can serve as a distraction from all the lemons life is giving her.

Their secret affair went on for weeks. Basically, they are not in a relationship and they just use each other to deal with their respective dramas. They are having the best time of their lives…… until they realized that they are more than just sleeping partners. 

Lol! Reading this book feels like I’m reading my life’s story.

The Duff was cute and light. Not as solid as the other YA novels I have read but it was nice enough to keep me up till 1AM. In all honesty, the story got me. Not in a kilig way but you know, more on the serious level. I can relate to Bianca’s character so much. We’re both bitter, empty, stiff, occasionally boring and well… cynical. We both have trust issues. Just like her, I have a lot of hangups. This is the reason why I did enjoy the book. I see myself in her.

As for Wesley Rush, I can’t deny the fact that he was something. Although I was expecting more sincerity from his character but nevertheless, he was… okay. Male book characters like Wesley are not a shocker for me. I’ve read Fifty Shades for God’s sake. But he was too ordinary. Too ordinary that he has the slightest chance on being listed as one of those book boyfriends you wish would come to life.

All in all, The Duff was catchy and… steady. Maybe 3 out of 5 stars. 

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GG Thursday: Portrait of a Lady Alexander

#gossipgirls06ep04

Past bedtime stories, scandals and….. horses. Episode 4 is so full of these!

Remember my last GG entry? I’m so happy to finally see my otp together in action! With Chuck’s determination to unlock Bart’s secret, Blair comes in very very handy. Her impeccable ability in scheming helped Chuck discover Bart’s great fascination to horses. Or not.

Unfortunately, Bart was smarter than them. Well, smart enough to figure out that his son is up to something. Boom. Busted.

But the biggest “eew moment” of the season goes to…………….. (drum roll please)….

LILY. Like mother, like daughter. It turns out that Lily had a past with Serena’s new guy. And by past I mean, a past bedtime story. Woot! Once a VW, always a VW. Oh well.

Sage is such a savior! Disregard (for a moment) the fact that her style is awful, her anger for Serena just keeps on getting better! And I looooooooooove it! Can I please see a decent goodbye episode for this girl? She deserves an award or something.

 

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