Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Journalism on a Whim

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2010 at 9:25 am

Yesterday, I joined my serious journalist friend Ja on a trip to Quezon City where she interviewed residents who face the threat of demolition by the National Housing Authority. I acted as her official photographer (hehehe) as she scribbled furiously in her large notebook. What I learned there was mind boggling. The residents are being forced to move to Montalban where new homes await them. It shouldn’t be such a bad deal except that:

a. Montalban is too far away from the residents’ workplaces and schools.
b. The houses in Montalban are all made of cheap materials. One strong push can send the walls a-falling.
c. Montalban is notorious for crime.
d. Montalban is near a river with a flimsy dam (that was apparently destroyed recently).


e. Montalban is located right above the Marikina fault line which, according to the DOST, will break open in five to ten years.

Hello! No wonder the locals call it Mentalban. Who wouldn’t go crazy living there?


Words of Import

In Uncategorized on September 19, 2010 at 1:34 am

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page. – St. Augustine

Where will you go to this weekend?

The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2010 at 5:23 pm

via AudioBooksOnline

I have finally finished reading The Dragon Reborn– third in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. If you haven’t read any of these books, then you’re missing out on an epic adventure. I suppose I have to give a quick overview of the story so you’d be able to appreciate this entry. Mind you, my memory might be a bit altered so you should still pick the first two books up before jumping into the third.

The first book– The Eye of the World– plucks Rand Al’Thor, Perrin Aybara and Mat Cauthon out of their quiet lives in Emond’s Field. Moiraine, an Aes Sedai (women who can channel the One Power), and her Warder Lan quickly learn that these boys are Ta’veren, meaning that the Wheel of Time weaves its patterns around them. One of them could possibly be The Dragon Reborn although the other two left are certainly no small fish. An attack on the village more or less confirms it and Moiraine takes them away with her seeing as they are no longer safe where they are. Two girls– Egwene and Nynaeve– stubbornly go after the group and realize their own growing abilities along the way.

Past the first book to The Great Hunt, all three boys dream about the Dark One. It scares them out of their wits, of course, but they try their best to fight against him. Somewhere along the journey, Mat becomes tainted by a dagger, Perrin becomes one with a wolf pack and Rand faces the possibility that his father might not be his real father. Oh, and he discovers he can actually channel the One Power, making him The Dragon Reborn. Egwene and Nynaeve become Aes Sedai-in-training but find themselves dealing with the Black Ajah (Aes Sedai sisters who have betrayed the light) and sold as slaves. The Horn of Valere is sounded and the Dragon Reborn finds himself with an army of supporters.

It’s a long, long journey for everybody– full of triumphs and defeats. Along the way, they meet more Aes Sedai, an Ogier, a Daughter-Heir, Aiel Warriors, Whitecloaks and of course, Darkfriends.

The third book starts out with a peek into the Whitecloaks camp. While said to be Defenders of the Light, the Whitecloaks are actually more sinister than that. They believe too much in their own righteousness, more willing to let innocents suffer than to let suspected Darkfriends free. They are suspicious of everything and yet within their ranks are foul servants of the Dark One. Think of them as the Spanish Inquisition. Pedron Niall, leader of the Whitecloaks, has his own agenda. He wants all of the world to know his name and so he allows Rand to roam free until the time comes for him to strike. But he is a fool for there are larger forces at work– forces that would crush his ambitions all too easily.

Apart from the first few chapters, there is not a lot of Whitecloak participation throughout the book. It’s actually a very good thing because I don’t like reading about these men and the way they see the world in black and white.

Anyway, by this time, Rand Al’Thor has been proclaimed The Dragon Reborn though he has yet to come to terms with it. Perrin himself has trouble accepting his link with the wolves and Min’s vision of a Falcon and a beautiful woman isn’t helping matters either. Egwene, Nynaeve and Elayne (Daughter-Heir of Andor) have reached Tar Valon at last with Mat in tow but it isn’t long before they must leave the White Tower again on a mission for the Amyrlin Seat herself. The danger is greater than ever as some of the Forsaken (the Dark One’s Generals if you will) have been freed from their bindings.

This is a pretty exciting part of The Wheel of Time as everybody is more or less gathered together again. It just keeps getting better and better. Books in The Wheel of Time series are not meant to be plowed through. There are too many details to take in and you’ve got to thank Jordan for that glossary he puts at the end of every book. His characterization is also something to be admired. Nobody is perfect here. All of them possess all too-true annoying habits at times but every one of them grows with each chapter. There is not a lot of romance either but there are hints of it here and there– not enough to take over the story and just about enough to be realistic. The Dragon Reborn is just part three of the battle against the Dark One. I can’t even imagine what the other eight books have to offer.

The next part is called The Shadow Rising. I can’t wait to read that one!

P.S. I am doubly excited to learn that The Wheel of Time audio books exist!!!

Of Rotten Co-Workers

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2010 at 11:20 am

There are days when I wish for a more normal job but most of the time, I’m quite happy with the way things are. Working from home gives me total freedom. My turf, my rules. There are deadlines, of course, and the occasional interviews, but at least I don’t have to deal with rotten co-workers.


That, by the way, is supposed to be an ominous sound effect.

Anyway, I just came from a friend’s blog and read the most awful story about a rotten co-worker who omitted certain facts of a particular incident to keep her ass scorch-free while my friend (who was only involved because said ass-protective hussy asked her for a favor) was made to take the fall. And the only thing said hussy did afterward was to send my friend a message asking if she were mad at her. Duh! I suppose it’s human nature to want to protect yourself but this just borders on cowardice.

I can’t disclose any details since this might blow up into something big but I’m glad that at least my friend had sent in her resignation letter weeks before this all went down.

Have you ever had rotten co-workers? And did you ever do anything about it?

Happy Weekend

In Uncategorized on September 4, 2010 at 2:22 am

via Elle Decor

Wouldn’t it be amazing to spend the weekend at this place? Peace and quiet in your own backyard. Well, in Michael Bay’s backyard anyway.

Have a good weekend you guys!

Miranda Kerr in 3D

In Uncategorized on September 3, 2010 at 10:00 am

I am constantly amazed by how magazines continue to evolve. I’ve just learned that my favorite model Miranda Kerr is in 3D on Vogue Italia’s September 2010 issue. I don’t know how they made that work but well, I’m guessing the magazine comes with 3D glasses as well.

via Trend Hunter

Doesn’t she look gorgeous? I’m glad she and Orlando Bloom ended up together. I really hope they stay together, too.

Hollywood romance aside, I hope that magazines won’t make use of 3D often. As fun as innovations are, I really want my dead-tree publications to remain 2D.

More Pretty Books

In Uncategorized on September 3, 2010 at 9:00 am

Coming from yesterday’s pretty vintage-looking cover, I thought I’d look around for more beautiful books online.

via Bandelle

Aren’t these spines so romantic-looking?

via Green Paper

From what I understand, this is more of a journal than a book.

via Anthropologie

Never read Little Women because I was too engrossed with the animated series. Oh, Nan. I should really find the time to actually read the classics.

via Design Related

This one looks like it came straight out of a museum.

Truthfully speaking, I don’t take very good care of my own books. Somehow, they always end up getting squished inside my bag. The covers are usually the ones that end up being damaged the most. And when I see a crease on it, I just want to cry and bang my head on something solid. Sometimes, I wish all my books were hardbound. Then they’d be resistant to big butts and accident-prone readers.

Starting Her Own Book Collection

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2010 at 10:00 am

There was a book fair at my little sister’s school the other day and with the money she saved up, she bought this. Isn’t the cover amazing? Don’t be fooled though. It’s a modern print– 2008 if I remember correctly. I’ve only skimmed through the pages but it appears to emulateĀ  its big sister versions: How to Walk in High Heels, How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World, etc.

The inside pages are not as glamorous though since there are no pretty colors. There are a few illustrations here and there but for an 11-year-old, it’s not too bad at all.

I have reason to believe that perusing through my older sister’s The One Hundred by Nina Garcia days before the fair might have influenced her decision.

My little sister also bought a paperback copy of The Secret Garden (where does she get the money?) and I’m glad that she’s getting into reading. One of my little brothers, on the other hand, didn’t even have a clue that there was a book fair at school. But he’s a Math genius (and yes, he really is) so I guess it’s okay if he doesn’t take reading to heart. I wonder how he’ll react if I gave him a piece of literary fiction for Christmas?

Writing About Bloody Stools

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2010 at 10:00 am

Some days I like my job, some days I don’t.

But as some members of my family wonder, what the hell is my job?

I’m a freelance writer. I write for different organizations and publications. A few months ago, I was employed in a small marketing/events company. When it became apparent that my “career” wasn’t going to go anywhere with them, I jumped ship even though I knew I was risking it all. I got accepted as a film archivist in a giant TV network but turned that down to for the opportunity to work for one of the largest magazine publishers in the country.

How did that go? Not very well. I ended up writing for their Web site instead. It’s not as stable as what I would have wanted but at least my articles are being read. I also regularly contribute to an online news magazine though I mostly fill the Web site’s Culture section. I had a short writing gig with a travel magazine before but soon got frustrated because of the company’s very slow payment system.

And of course, there’s the most regular of all my writing gigs. Ghostwriting for ahem ahem and writing about anything he wants me to write about. It’s mostly articles on self-improvement but I just had to laugh out loud when I saw my next assignment. Yes, I’m going to write about bloody stools. There’s nothing funny about the condition itself as I will no doubt learn later in detail when I do my research but I can’t help wondering about the range of topics I write about sometimes.

Bloody stools, indeed.

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