Beyond the Book Cover 07 | Before Ever After

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I suppose you already know how I’m a knocked-out-romantic-hopeless reader. I didn’t want to read those sad novels that make you cringe, and cry, and weep at the peak of the climax except that I want to read it. I didn’t want to feel the pain some characters go through but I want to cry and weep with them as well. I am torn in between reading these kinds of novels. How do I know if a book is that ‘kind’ of novel? Well, google. Goodreads. Book reviews. They’re everywhere and I even got friends spoiling me with tidbits of information. But with this book, I only got Goodreads reviews telling me what to expect.

One day in my life, as I listened to my professor in literature talk about various Filipino novelists, I found myself opening my mobile data and search for each one of them. I’ve found gems of different genre from the list of authors she gave us. Then when I got home, I researched thoroughly and that’s when I stumbled across Samantha Sotto’s book, Before Ever After. I listed about three books and presented it to the class for some references on what book we are going to read for our final paper. Most of which are fiction. I then presented the book’s synopsis and reviews that I got from the said site. My blockmates voted for her book. I even relayed false information saying that the book can be bought for 235php (around $4-$5) because that’s what the local bookstore’s website’s price. When we checked it out, it was for 400php++ ($6). We opted to get the eBook instead. (I have the ebook copy. So… if you’re looking for it you can email me.) Continue reading

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Film Photography, where to start?

Hola!

I recently came across an old camera (the one with films) when I was looking for a second hand phone to buy for my brother who badly wanted to play Pokemon Go on his phone but unfortunately, his phone isn’t smart enough to let him play. Anyway, my curiosity arose when I googled film photography and displayed series of blogs regarding Lomography. So with a few clicks here and there, reading each article that I found, I suddenly wanted to try this. (FYI: I don’t own any camera as of the moment. The ones I use are my cousins’ properties. All I have is a phone camera.) This has led me to watch videos in YouTube teaching film photography for beginners. Upon asking questions to some professional photographers through their emails, I suddenly had the urge to buy and own a film camera. I then found a group in Facebook Lomomanila Marketplace that consists of lomography enthusiasts. There, I found good deals for second hand cameras. YET, I still don’t know what actual camera to buy. The cheapest second hand SLR that I saw in that group costs around PHP 1,000 – PHP 3,000. Too bad, they’re already sold, but I still researched about the camera and I think it could be enough for beginners like me.

These are the cameras I came across:

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Olympus Pen EE3

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Olympus Pen EED

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Pentax Auto 110

I honestly don’t have any ideas on how these cameras differ except from the articles that I’ve read through google. Also, I recently talked to someone concerning my plan on learning film photography who suggested that I try to Continue reading

Five Years Later, 1826 Days After

in that same coffee shop

that witnessed what could have been,

what should have been;

came the day they sat across each other

feeling the strong nostalgia,

killing the dreams they both made

when they finally decided to go separate ways.

she was looking through his eyes

trying to remember what it looked like

when it was still wearing the spark they both shared.

he held her gaze

trying so hard to swallow the fact

that he lost the only one that truly matters.

and they both wander in each other’s mind

asking the same questions they have last time they were there,

‘what happened to us?’

five years later, they met up

and she finally spoke her mind

“we’ve grown apart.”

it also took him 1826 days to finally say the words

“yes, because I screwed up.”

he saw remorse in his eyes

she wanted to ease him

except that she won’t

she won’t come running back to him anymore

because five years later, she learned how to love herself

more than she loves him;

because 1,826 days after

she realized she was doing a lot better without him.

five years later, 1,826 days after…

He realized he lost the love of his life.

The Last Memory 1

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I pull up my blanket from half of my body up to my neck. Some rays of the sun peek through the small gaps of the blinds I installed when I moved into the apartment, warm on my face helping my body adjust to the cold temperature in my room. Last night, I conclude today to be my rest day and I know there is no stopping me. I savour the moment I have with my bed and my warm blanket than turns even cozier in the morning. I feel my throat burn from thirstiness, and then I remember how lazy I am last night, neglecting the need of my body for water. Right now, I can settle to the fact that I am a lazy-ass girl who can’t leave her bed for her own benefit. Well, blame my bed… and pillows… and blanket… and the weather itself. I wonder how possibly it could be that my bed is a lot more comfortable in the morning than it already is. I am just so grateful that it’s my rest day today.

I stare blankly at the plain white ceiling I re-painted weeks ago. I can’t deny the fact that I am badly missing my room back home—painted in pastel blue color, with my painting materials carefully arranged on the cabinet beside the window, Kara on the bunk bed going through the stack of books I have. I miss everything back home, but I have to deal with the choices I made. My doorbell ring for three times and I hesitate for a moment if I should stand up and get the door, or just ignore it away, but in the end, I shrug the laziness away, wrap the robe around my body and head for the door.

“Good day, Isabelle.” It is kind of appalling for me to see Mrs. Bloomberg behind the door holding up a tray with pancakes on it. Mrs. Bloomberg—a woman in her fifties—is my neighbour across our apartment who, by rumours, I learn that she is living alone for almost five years already.

I widen the door opening upon recognizing her face. “Hey, Mrs. Bloomberg, what can I do for you?” I ask flashing her a bright smile. Continue reading

Beyond the Book Cover 06 | Love Letters to the Dead

love letters to the dead

Howdy ey! You must’ve thought that this is kinda strange that I’m doing a book review again on the same day and it is mainly because I got my book reviews stacked up already. I’ve read one book to another and I cannot stop myself from doing so. That’s the main reason I’m doing book review one after the other. Aaaaaaaand! I am stoked becaaaaz this book is in progress with the movie adaptation, yay or nay? IT’S YAY! Remember the director who did the Twilight adaptation? Yep, Catherine Hardwicke will do the screen adaptation of Love Letters to the Dead. Did I say this yet again? But yes, I am excited. Thrilled, even.

Continue reading

Beyond the Book Cover 05 | How I Lost You

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I’m not fastidious with books that I read. Whatever’s available when I finish a book, I would likely to start reading. First, because I don’t want to really feel the hollow in my chest whenever I realize that I am already at the last page of the book. It feels like it’s my last day as well. So, I eagerly start a book right after. Without having the chance to check out the overview of Janet Gurtler’s book, I quickly flipped over the table of contents and gave life to it.

I used to say that my cousins were my only true friends; they know every little bit about me, they’ve seen me grow, they watched me fall and get up, and they helped me through life. But then sometime in your life, you’ll meet that one person that will be your best friend—someone that somehow changed your life forever. The story is superb. It has every detail of a love for a true friend—unselfish, understanding, and kind. It got my heart twisted into endless knots, needing and badly wanting to change the way Grace treats Kya. No, Grace doesn’t treat Kya in a bad way, but Grace treats her very well that it often leads to Grace giving up things for her, very important things. She was so good and it’s not helping Kya grow up and stand on her own feet. Honestly, at first I was very reluctant to continue reading for a reason I don’t know, until I came to realize that maybe it was because I am under the same situation. I hate how Grace loves Kya because I can see myself in her. It was selfless and forgiving. It’s not healthy but then all I wanted is for her to find genuine happiness. Not that she is sad, but she’s not happy either. And I want her to feel it. It’s these things that some books lack. The way it made me feels extremes. Extreme happiness and sadness. And the most beautiful part of it is how Grace finally decided to let Kya go. One did their own thing without the other and they both learned how to live without having to depend on the relationship they had. I know this review states some of the opposites of friendship as positive and you wouldn’t understand… unless you read the book.

Continue reading

Worth

Dear self,

Today is not yet the time to give up on life. Just hold on a little tighter because there’s an earthquake that kind of shook your soul, but don’t give up just yet. You’ve seen better days and you know how it all look so bright, right? If you give up now, you won’t be able to see a whole new level of brightness that will soon come into your life. You don’t want to miss that, do you?

Go ahead and cry your heart out, until your eyes are all puffy from crying all night long. Yes, weep all you want. Go and cynically look at your life. But never ever forget your reason why you’ve come this far in life. It hurts. Pain supposed to hurt, right? I know you can get through this. I know you would understand. I know you can heal your own wounded heart. It may hurt you even more because the pain came from the least person you expect it to give, but then look at you, knowing all the reasons to push through with life after all the hardships that could crash your whole being.

You got hurt by words uttered, and I know how you are scarred forever, for the rest of your life. You did the right choice of staying silent and letting yourself just hear out the most painful words thrown at you instead of spitting some baneful words that could hurt them like how it was hurting you. You don’t want her to feel the same feeling you felt, right? It was bad. I know. And I’m sorry I didn’t stand up for my side but sometimes keeping silent can do so much more than bickering. You are strong, for once let’s claim it. You have to be strong. You know well enough that no one else would be there for you, except yourself.

I  don’t know why your mother could never give any appreciation on anything you do but never forget to believe in yourself. Please yourself, not others. Better your best. People would come to appreciate you even though that one person could never. And that’s fine. Othed people could love what you do, and appreciate what you love. I know that even though it’s only one person, she means a lot to you, but we all have to live in reality. We cannot make people understand us the way we need to be understood. So you have to gove credits to yourself too.

Love and believe in yourself. That way no one can change your worth. You’ve gone through so much already and I know you can get through this.

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