Fourth. PEX Book Challenge.

Fourth. A Princess of Mars.

Time: May, June
Rating: 5/5
The book where the movie John Carter was based from. Naturally, I had to check what the original novel was and I absolutely loved the book. It took me quite some time to finish it but I enjoyed everything, from beginning to end. I’ve always loved sci-fi and this is going to be one of my favorites. This is the story of John Carter and his journey when he got transported to Mars or Barsoom. He first meet the green Tharks and got engaged in their politics and more so when he meet the princess of Helium, Dejah Thoris. He fought for her, profess his love, got separated, lived happily ever after and some awesome adventures in between. What good is a love story if there is no conflict right? I really liked John’s journey throughout Mars, how he learned of their customs and laws, their irrigation system and agriculture and how they made atmosphere. Yes, Mars in this story is a dying planet and with John’s arrival in Barsoom, it sent a ripple of change in Mars politics and world.  It is also an action-packed novel with air battles, close combat and they even have sort of gladiator arenas.
I really love this book and the movie seems nice too. It deviates a little but what do I expect? It’s a movie. I’m looking forward to read more about John Carter of Mars. I still have 10 more books to read for this series.

PEX 2012 Book Challenge

The Pinoy Exchange Book Challenge for 2012 officially started 3rd week of February. I’m two months late but the book requirement for this year is not high. Just 40 books. I think I can probably make that number since I still have 7 months left. Yes!

I’m taking this challenge because I have a lot of backlog books to read and this would finally motivate me to finish them.  This time I’m not going to be distracted with Facebook. Oi. I will be listing here the books that I’ve read and how I feel about it. I am also to write a review as part of the requirement. Now, I don’t do reviews very well but I’ll do my best.

If you want to join, here’s the mechanics: PEX 2012 Book Challenge.


First Book.

 Title: Canticle – The Cleric Quintet 1
Author: R.A. Salvatore
Time: 4/7/2012
No. of pages: 330+
Rating: 5/5

Canticle is the first part of a five-novel series set around the Snowflake Mountains of the Forgotten Realms universe. It follows the young scholar-cleric Cadderly and his friends in stopping the “Chaos Curse” to be unleashed to the world.

I haven’t read Salvatore’s more famous series, The Legend of Drizzt so I can’t compare the two. From what I’ve read of the first few chapters of that book, it was awesome. And I can’t wait to get my hands on it. As for the Canticle, I enjoyed the story very much. Most characters are very likeable. The plot is not complicated and is very easy to follow. Good triumphs over evil. You get to see the motivation, frustration and plans of the antagonist Aballister and how much he has sacrificed to attain his current powers.  I have a new battle cry now. Me brudder. Love the dwarves Ivan and Pikel Bouldershoulder. All in all, it is good for a quick and fun read.

synched to blackberry

When my BlackBerry app miraculously started working, I wasted no time and downloaded the wordpress app. A useful tool to post anytime, anywhere. My posts from blogger were already transferred here. everything is now set up from the word go. Looking forward to mobile blogging.

In love with this mix.

Songs that make you feel better
I got this link from Facebook and I’m so loving it.
Most definitely my kind of music.
The first 8 tracks are songs that will really make you feel better.
And it’s not mainstream music.

Here’s a sample and my favorites:

The Decemberist – On the Bus Mall
Rilo Kiley – Dreamworld

 Pop Levi – You Gotta Run

Manic Street Preachers – Ocean Spray

Try listening it and I think you’ll like it too.

The trouble to see Chelsea FC

May 2011
Cebu Pacific did their 50% off on selected destinations which included Bangkok. It made so excited because my football team Chelsea FC was coming to South-east Asia for their Pre-season Asian Tour.  The cities included were Malaysia (July 21), Thailand (July 24), and Hongkong (July 27 and 30). HK would have been a practical choice in terms of money but I didn’t know anyone from that city and I was doing this trip on my own. Bangkok was more of a favorable choice for a lot of reasons despite having to stretch my budget a bit. 
Firstly, about twenty of my college classmates (Go Go Avoue!) are currently working in Bangkok. Secondly, I have friends who are also Chelsea fans so this will not be a lonely visit. And thirdly, I didn’t have to pay for a hotel since I was going to stay with a friend. However,  it took me until the last day of the seat sale to decide and finally book that damn ticket. I was so worried about pocket money. How am I supposed to finance myself? Can I save enough money in three months? But as my good friend said, “When there is a seat sale. go make the plunge.” Haha. I eventually followed his advice. Cha-ching. Happiness!
The problem with this ticket was that it leaves Clark International Airport. I had to book another flight to Manila and then traveled to Clark from there. Sounds like a lot, right? 

But I had this to motivate me. 
My ticket.
Weeks before I left the country, I had everything prepared. Money, Tickets, Backpack. The only thing that scared me were the immigration officials. Boy, did I hear a lot of stories. Since this was the first time I got to travel on my own, I really didn’t know what to expect. With some research, my visit to Thailand will not require a visa. I will just need a valid passport with a validity of 6 months (mine will expire on April 2012), a return ticket, an address of residence (covered by my good friend Doyle) and some pocket money. But wait, there was more. My friends said that I need to have a letter of invitation. WHAT? I didn’t have that. I had no time to prepare that document since I’ve only learned about it a week before I left. Another friend of mine was asked to submit one. Oh boy. Ever since I left Cebu the morning of July 23, that letter was the only thing I’ve thought about. However, I just had to be confident about my intent to travel. I also bought my company ID and COE (Certificate of Employment) for back-up. Surely, they wouldn’t deny me just because I didn’t have the letter.

The travel from Manila to Clark was a long one and I was panicking because I left Manila around 3 pm and my flight leaves at 830 pm. Turtle. The traffic in EDSA was horrendous. It took us more than hour before we finally arrive at the NLEX exit and another 2 hours+ before we arrived in Dau/Mabalacat Bus terminal at around 630 pm. Now, how to get to the airport. I asked around and there was this sorta shuttle-slash-aircon jeepney that offers a ride (500 php) to the airport for a minimum of 5-8 people. Since I was the only one traveling and I was in a hurry, I had to pay the entire amount. I did managed to bring it down to 400 and that was an achievement. haha. I do not believe I have haggling prowess.    

Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (as per my itinerary receipt) was something I did not expect. It was still “under construction”. It was small, like an ordinary provincial airport. I bet the new airports in Bacolod and Ilo-ilo looked way more decent. After I paid my dues (1600 travel tax, 600 for the airport fee), it was time to meet the immigration official. And I have to say this, he’s so gwapo. (lol). I gave my documents. He did some checking and asked me these questions:

IO: Mga ilang days yung stay mo. (How many days are you going to be in Bangkok?)
Me: Two days. Babalik po ako sa 26th ng gabi. (I will be back on the evening of  the 26th.)
IO: Ano ang reason nang pagpunta mo? (What is the reason of your travel?)
Me: Manonood po ng Chelsea FC. Meron kasi silang tour. [taray mode haha] (I’m gonna watch Chelsea FC. They are on tour)
Then he said, “Ok.” Stamp. Stamp. Stamp.
HAPPINESS!!! A sigh of relief.
The 5-minute interview felt like forever. It wasn’t so bad after all that worry. All is well that ends well I guess. 
All I wanted was to board that plane and get some sleep. I was awake for like 12 hours+ because I had to work the previous night. 

Suvarnabuhmi Airport 
This airport just floored me about how amazingly good it looks. I was in awe on how different it was compare to our own in terms of its size and design. Everything about it was totally new to me and so beautiful. The queue for Passport Control was so organized. I was so impressed. (hayz, the noobness)
I’d rather not talked about the bad taxi driver that greeted me on my very first night in Bangkok because all the other taxi drivers that I had during my stay were awesome. 
Next post, The Chelsea Day. 🙂

first mobile post

512 characters only for this entry. my first post from my mobile phone. i wonder what it’ll look like.

Long night. time to sleep.
breakfast at sinangag express. food wasn’t good. rice was cold and hard. the bangus was ok tho. not going back there I guess.

When will I ever start to read you?

 I had some thoughts in my mind to go when I took the photo but I got so busy preparing to leave for Manila I didn’t get  to post something. 

Anyway, Hyperion first. Dune chronicles after.

Sloth days are over

The sad thing about today was I missed my roommate Lotlot’s wedding to Jerkie. I promised that I was going to attend but the opportunity of having another job came knocking at my door about a month after I said yes. Sigh, another missed opportunity to bond with my Avoue batchmates. But I still have 3 roommates who aren’t married yet so hopefully I can finally keep my promise of attending at least one Avoue wedding. 🙂

The day has finally arrived.  I am no longer jobless (thank heavens) and hopefully will stay that way for a long time. Even though I already accepted the job offer almost two months ago, it just started today. Yes, I waited for a long time. First training day ended and I love it when it’s just a 15-minute walk to my house. I walked a part of Escario street from Diamond Suites and Residences to Capitol site. I’m glad there is something that I can do to counter my sedentary lifestyle and it’s economical as well. (Seven pesos is good economics. Oh yes, it is. lol) I fear it’s still going to be a difficult first few months. I don’t know if my money will last till first pay day (Oh gawd but I’ll make do) and I have to think about the training months in Makati too. The sloth days were killing me financially but I’ve discovered courtesy of Jessica Zafra’s blog that bananas can save any dying stomach. Poor financial strategy I should say. The entire 2010 was bad in that aspect. I was struggling with managing my money. Impulsiveness should just die and helping someone should not come at your expense. Save! Save! Save! will be my battle cry. I’ve learned my lesson. I’m hopeful, as we all do, that everything will work out fine in the end. Being positive is how I should greet 2011. In five days, a new year will begin. It’s a start of something new after all and a chance to improve and be better.

Malaysia vs Indonesia

Happy Christmas from the Azkals credit

I wish it is the Azkals that will play in this two-legged finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010. But alas, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. Though I’m not discounting their historic run, there is really a lot to work on. I hope next year we will see something more from them and of course Philippine football in general.

You will not read here heart-wrenching analysis about the game (which will start tonight), the rivalry between the two nations or its history. I honestly don’t know anything much just that it will be an electric first leg in Bukit Jalil Stadium. The young Tigers have some scores to settle with the Garudas. 

I just really want to have an excuse to insert Anggun’s song Snow on the Sahara which is absolutely one of my favorites. I first heard it in highschool and I still love it. And she’s Indonesian.

So I guess this would mean I’m rooting for Indonesia? It will further increase the Azkals stock especially if Indonesia beats Malaysia by more than two goals. It meant the Azkals were the only ones who challenged them. Anyway, whoever wins wins. For livestream, you can check it here.

Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas!

It’s the eve before Christmas and the neighbors are so loud with their killer karaokes.
I just want to greet everyone a Happy Christmas.