Christmas Wishlist 2016

Christmas Wishlist 2016

The Christmas vibe came early this year for me. 🙂 Unlike last year when political ads and jingles pervaded the air, I am hearing more Christmas songs this time. Jose Mari Chan’s Christmas album is playing *en loop* in the car, pero hindi sya nakakasawa. 😛 I personally like “The Sound of Life”and “Mary’s Boy Child.” Elmo likes listening to “A Wish on Christmas Night”, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and the carrier single “Christmas in Our Hearts”! Sometimes, he’d let me sing those songs to him. Buti na lang Jose Mari Chan’s songs are so easy to sing along–no birit required. And they are soothing too, actually. 🙂

It’s also colder now. (Cue music: “Malamig ang simoy ng hangin… Kay saya ng bawat damdamin…” ^_^)

The Christmas spirit was only slightly dampened by Super Typhoon Lawin, but was immediately restored. And after that storm, I am just grateful more than ever that my loved ones and I are alive and unscathed (because one can be alive, but still broken 😦 ), and our house only sustained minimal damages (the northeastern door of our house got ripped off). This renewed sense of gratitude and the recent reminder of what matters most has made me look forward to Christmas all the more. 🙂

But that doesn’t mean I am not participating in any exchange gifts this year. So for the sake of my Secret (and Not-So-Secret) Santas, here’s an updated version of my wishlists from Christmases and birthdays past! Just so you know what to get me which I will definitely find useful. 🙂 NO MUGS PLEASE, except if they are Cath Kidston. 😛 No clocks and picture frames too! And lest I be considered choosy or an ingrate, allow me to explain: We still have a couple of extra clocks we don’t know where to place. Same goes for the picture frames. I’m still figuring out our wall layouts. Dapat final na when you decide to bore holes on your walls and hammer the pegs, hence the indecision. 😛

My Christmas Wishlist for 2016:

  1. FunKo Pop TV toy figures of Mulder and Scully. FunKo POP dolls are so cute! I’m contemplating whether or not to include Harry Potter as well, but I would have to throw in the whole gang into the mix. (Because I’m a completist like that. 😛 )
  2. Scully’s crucifix pendant
  3. These anatomically correct heart, ribcage & ECG pendants, from Bijoux de Lou.
  4. A small and cute Korean “perpetual” planner. Or–and this goes our to the usual suspects–the Starbucks Blue Siren 2017 planner. 😉
  5. A large and pretty desk calendar
  6. Lip and cheek tint from The Body Shop
  7. Virgin coconut oil
  8. Washi tapes
  9. Label-maker, Brother brand

I didn’t include books coz I’m still doing some “Konmari” on my little library. Will probably come up with a separate blog post on my “Book Wishlist” in the future. 😉

Hope in Uncertain Times

Hope in Uncertain Times

And just like that the storm has passed. We’re still dealing with the bands, but at least the worse is over. Thank God for the Sierra Madre which broke the winds.

Terci woke up in the early morning, and together we kept vigil as the eye of the storm passed over us; it was a momentary period of calm. 😯 Elmo got awakened by the loud banging of the doors and windows, but was consoled back to sleep. I was also able to sleep already after that, but only for a couple of hours.

Woke up this morning to find puddles outside our room.

Terci: Oh there’s water on the floor.
Elmo: Yes. It went in through the windows. Because it rained for forty days and forty nights! ☔️😅

Aww Elmo, our little ray of sunshine in this stormy weather. 😊 I realized that although kids are dependent on adults for their physical needs, they are not useless. In fact, they are a great morale booster! Their seeming “helplessness” is overmatched by their hopefulness.

And during these interesting times (and I don’t just mean this typhoon, but all the other uncertainties in this world right now, i.e. terrorism, wars, political instability, disease epidemics, climate change), when I start succumbing to worry and fear and anxiety, I look at my son. His innocence and carefree ways are a source of cheer and strength and encouragement. 😃 No wonder children hold a special place in Jesus’ heart; they are a tangible evidence of God’s love and grace and promise that everything is or will be alright in this world. 😃

What Matters Most

What Matters Most

I am writing this on the occasion of our 7th year anniversary as a couple. We are holed up in a hotel room. Elmo is soundly asleep. Terci is asleep as well; he is trying to stock up on strength and energy, but I can feel that he is restless with the way he keeps fidgeting. 😯

As for me, I can’t sleep. 😯 I hear the wind howl outside and the windows rattle against it. Neither of us imagined that seven years from when Terci first asked me out that fateful morning, we’d be spending this night na nag-alsabalutan, with a toddler in tow, on preemptive evacuation from one the strongest typhoons (literally! 😛) our relationship would have to face.

Super Typhoon Lawin is expected to wreak havoc this side of the country. At sustained winds of 225 kph, it is weaker than Yolanda which devastated Southeastern Philippines in 2014, but it has stronger gusts at 315 kph and has a wider range 800 km vs. Yolanda’s 600 km. It is predicted to make landfall in a couple of hours in neighboring Cagayan, and storm signal no. 5 has already been raised in our province. NDRRMC has been regularly sending SMS updates, warning us of a “severe danger” and to prepare for a “catastrophic event.”

Better OA than sorry.

So last night, we packed our things. One large luggage to hold 4-5 days worth of clothes. Not even my favorites nor most fashionable clothes, but those which are comfortable and practical. 😯 (And they are few! Coz I wear dresses and skirts more often, and my “pambahays” are so ratty! 😛)

In a smaller bag, we placed our “valuables”: legal documents, a hard drive of pictures, “The Life Application Study Bible” which was Terci’s first gift to me when we became a couple, and Elmo’s little devotional book.

Elmo thinks we’re going on a holiday. I caught him slipping in our luggage some choice Star Wars space ships 🚀 and the book, “Guess How Much I Love You.” 😊

And as for today’s gloomy weather, he has this to say “Today, the sun went to sleep. Tomorrow, it will wake up again.” 😃

Life and death situations (whether brought about by calamities or terminal illnesses) can force one to examine what is most important. And in the grand scheme of things, apparently my library (and for Terci, his Lego and Star Wars collection) do not mean much.

And what matters is Faith and hope and family. ❤️

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Tawas

“Mommy, sing Tawas song.”
“Huh?”
“Get Tawas book.”
“What?”
Enunciates it loud and clear, “TA… WAS!”
“Ah. Star Wars.”
“Yes!” 🙂

* * * *

Meanwhile, in a galaxy far away in a nearby room, Daddy Vader was listening and amused by our exchange. He immediately understood what his son meant. Slow si Mommy! 😛

* * * *

The Tawas song, according to Elmo: “ten… ten… tenenen…”

Ennui

Ennui

Attended last Sunday’s service and was pleasantly surprised to find that a former schoolmate is now a pastor of one of our Church’s “branches.” He was smiling at me before the start of the service, but I thought he was just being courteous. Even when our pastor introduced him onstage, I didn’t recognize him immediately, as he now goes by the name “Ptr. Sky.” Only when he started talking did I realize that I know this guy! He used to be a scrawny little kid, with hair ala Jose Rizal, and I know him as Kuya E. He was already a good boy back then, an altar boy even, I thought he’d become a priest.

His message comes at a most opportune time. Lately, I’ve been feeling… I don’t know, hollow? The feeling’s akin to being tired and bored. It seems like things are just routine and meaningless. 😮 If there is a book in the Bible that describes the rut I am in, it would be Ecclesiastes. “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” That would be Solomon, the wisest man on earth, waxing poetic and philosophical about it. In my current pilosopo-ical state, I am wont to ask “Anong point?”

Anong point kumayod, kung yung mga bagay na ipinupundar mo naman eh hindi mo madadala sa hukay?
Anong point magshopping ng damit, wala namang bagay o kasya? 😮
Anong point magsuncreen, kukulubot den naman ang balat mo?
Anong point magpakabuti, kung maraming gumagawa ng masama?
And sometimes they are even more prosperous and powerful because of their bad deeds.
Anong point mag-invest sa relationships, umaalis den naman ang mga tao? Whether by choice or circumstance.
Anong point ng buhay sa mundo? What is the meaning of life?

I am neither sad nor suicidal, so I don’t think this is depression… at least, as per DSM IV criteria. Could be Seasonal Affective Disorder coz it’s been raining the past several days and I am in dire need of some sunshine… Or a vacation. Or perhaps I just have too much “thinking” time on my hands to mull over things.

Anyway, listening to the message sure jumpstarted my mood. I hope things continue looking better and brighter soon.

Tsundoku

Tsundoku

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This week on The Broke and The Bookish’ Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books that have been on your shelf or “To Be Read” List that you still haven’t read yet.

I am reminded of this Japanese term that so precisely describes this phenomenon. “Tsundoku” is Japanese slang, derived from “tsunde-oku” (to pile things up ready for later and leave) and “dokusho” (reading books). It literally means “reading pile” and it describes the condition of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them; it also pertains to books still in the bookshelf for later reading.

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While I have since given up on some books I will surely never ever read anymore, there are still a few I’m still holding on to, with hopes that I will be able to find the time to finally read and put closure on them.

1. Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. I’ve listened to the soundtrack numerous times, watched the movie a dozen times, and have read the books at least thrice… but they were all abridged versions. I have yet to conquer all 1461 pages of the complete and unabridged version from Signet classics. It still is one of my goals to be able to read this magnificent piece of work… and watch the play too. 😎

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2. The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien. I tried, I really did; I even tried to psych myself when the movies were shown. 😮 But I never got beyond the first few chapters. Though I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia, I guess this kind of fantasy adventure is too much for me. Anyway, I’m still keeping this in my shelf, still hoping to be able to read it in the future.

3. Watership Down, by Richard Adams. My girlfriends luv this book; my wedding Ninang (mom of one of said girlfriends) even wrote a prize-winning review of it in one of the local dailies. I started reading it, but it was during a very busy time in my life, so I never progressed beyond a few pages.

4. Tales from Watership Down. This was given to me by one of my girlfriends, as a supplement to the main book. I planned on reading it after finishing #3 above.

5. Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffeneger. I luv The Time Traveler’s Wife. I thought I’d feel the same for her next book, but the synopsys didn’t intrigue me as much as TTTW. It’s still just there lying in my shelf, as I am undecided whether to give it away or give it another chance.

6. A Spot of Bother, by Mark Haddon. Again for the same intentions and motivations as #5 above. I enjoyed his “The Curious Incident of Dog in the Night-Time.”

7. The Weight of Water, Anita Shreve. I’ve read her “A Wedding in December” and though I didn’t enjoy it as immensely, thought I’d give her another chance. Read better reviews for TWOW, but I never got around to finding out myself.

8. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I bought this on a whim; thought I’d try other genres.

9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, by J.K. Rowling. It’s just a short book, I know, but it reads more like a textbook. (Well, it is a textbook at Hogwarts!) It could do well with some illustrations so that it’s not boring to look at. Perhaps the movie script with an actual story would be more engaging.

10. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. Yep, I haven’t finished reading this book yet. Though I am proud to say, I’ve been decluttering and organizing more. 😉

What’s on your long-overdue reading pile? Share in the comments below. Or better yet, join the link party! 🙂

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Favorite Book Quotes

It’s time again for another Top Ten Tuesday. And this week’s a “Rewind”, so you can make a list on any of The Broke and the Bookish‘ previous topics. Thought I’d go for my favorite quotes. I like quotes. They are so succinct! 🙂

Here are some of my faves. I’m just putting out ten and saving the rest for future TTTs. 😛

1. “There is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.” – JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

2. “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” – JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

3. “That’s the worst of growing up… The things you wanted so much when you were a child don’t seem half so wonderful to you when you get them.” – L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

4. “People have a habit of inventing fictions they will believe wholeheartedly in order to ignore the truth they cannot accept.” – Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

5. “We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

6. “Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

7. “Things that break–be they bones, hearts, or promises–can be put back together but will never really be whole.” – Jodi Picoult, Handle With Care

8. “The truth doesn’t always set you free; people prefer to believe prettier, neatly wrapped lies.” – Jodi Picoult, Keeping Faith

9. “Happiness is what you choose to rememeber.” – Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes

10. “Kid says to me, ‘You play baseball? What position? Left out?’ and gets a big laugh from the rest of the class. Kid is only one person out of 6.792 billion humans on this planet. This planet is only one-eighth of the solar system, whose sun is one of two billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Put it that way, the comment loses its importance.” – Jodi Picoult, House Rules

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I am a big fan of the Harry Potter books. I remember anticipating the release of each book, signing up for the reservation list and scrimping on my meager student allowance so I could save and buy it when it finally comes out. On the day of its release, I would wake up while it is still dark and fall patiently in line (I was mostly the twentieth plus person, though at my earliest, I was number four in line! 😉 ). I would block a couple of hours off my day and breeze through the book. (Those were carefree times, when I still had a lot of time. 😛 ) I even have this fond memory of me and my crush reading Book 7 The Deathly Hallows together–I was reading the earlier chapters and he was reading the last few pages. ❤

So when news came out that an 8th book was in the works, I was of course excited. 🙂 Got hold of it on the first day of release (sans falling in line in the wee hours of the morning), but didn’t get to read it until later in the day after I have put my son to sleep, and I have the entire night to myself.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes off from the final scene in Deathly Hallows, and is set 19 years after the books. And oh what a difference several years make! In the book, Harry, Ginny, Hermione and Ron are already adults, with families and jobs and responsibilities. 😮 (In my world, my then crush is now my husband and between us, is a toddler. 😛 ) I liked that Harry Potter has grown up along with the generation that first loved him, unlike say Nancy Drew who is forever 18! Because as much as it’s nice to be a child and live in a world where friendships are golden and good easily prevails over evil, that’s not how it goes in real life.

The story is intended as play, hence the book reads in the form of a script. It may well be spectacular on stage what will all the special effects, but as a book, it is lacking in vivid descriptive prose.

JK Rowling rehashes the time travel technique she first used in Book 3 The Prisoner of Azkaban. But makes more liberal use of it, taking us back to familiar scenes from the previous books, but mostly from Book 4 The Goblet of Fire. She presents different scenarios of “what ifs/what could have beens.” But ultimately concludes that whether due to choice or circumstance, we are where we should be; and that the past should stay where it rightfully belongs.

The request of Amos Diggory to bring back his son Cedric is a clever segue to the book’s overarching theme of father and son relationships. The titular son may be pertaining to Harry’s son, Albus, who is struggling to get out of his father’s shadow. But there may well be other “cursed” children in the story.

More than the adventure and the magic, the story affected me as a newbie mother (okay, not as new since my son’s already 2 years old, but everything is still a novelty for me 😉 ). For all the courage he has shown, Harry is most afraid *for* his son. Indeed, no amount of magic can prepare you for parenthood. It is one of the most frightening, and yet most beautiful things. And if only for how poignantly this was depicted (I’m trying to imagine the play), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child rates high in my book. 😉

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Have you read “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”? What do you think about it?

Stormy Sunday

Stormy Sunday

Hello everyone!

I hope this blog post finds you safe and warm in your homes. Tropical Depression Carina (International Name: Nida) is now a storm and is wreaking havoc this side of the country as I write. It’s been torrential since mid-day and the winds have already felled some of the small trees in our neighborhood. Fortunately, we were able to finish grocery shopping earlier in the day before the rains intensified. The evening Church service which we attend got cancelled because of the storm and a power outage. 😮 So we just spent most of the day at home.

It was nice though, inclement weather notwithstanding. 🙂 It’s reminiscent of class suspensions back when they were still applicable. 😛 I remember waking up early but still groggy. @_@ Somehow, I was always up early during typhoons, perhaps from the sound of the rain on the roof, or the howl of the wind outside, or the blare of the TV. Or maybe it was this sense of anticipation that something good was about to happen. 😛 And when the TV/radio announcer would declare that it was Signal No. 2 and classes are suspended, the previously sleepy me would be fully awake with excitement! 🙂

That was a long, long time ago. 😮 Class, and eventually work, suspensions have become fewer and farther in between, and are now practically nonexistent in the adult world. So it was a rare opportunity that we actually got to rest and just hang out at home. 😉 I was also able to do a little bit of decluttering and tidying-up.