I found some new fairytales! (Buqo YA Bundle 3 excerpts)

I’ve been posting for a while now why I have a love/hate relationship with Buqo. I love that you can pay for books through your Smart Prepaid or Postpaid SIM. But of course I “hate” it because it means I can’t stop buying ebooks and so I always get suprprised when my Smart bill comes along.


I’ve also been following the whole Buqo YA project and seeing all the writers’ interactions on social media and I knew I would be one of the first people who would buy and binge read when the bundles/stories would finally come out. YA will always have a special place in my heart no matter how old I get. But to be honest, I’ve never really had the chance to read YA written by homegrown writers. Well, now I (and you) have the chance to do so! I haven’t finished reading all the bundles, but what I’ve read so far is pretty interesting, and I am very hopeful about the future of books (whether print or digital) because we have a lot of darn, good writers.


I’m tasked here to share with you (with all my pleasure!) the excerpt from Buqo YA Bundle 3: Finding Fairytales. You’ll find below the short descriptions and a short expert from each of the six stories in the compilation. You can also check out the other blogs that are part of this week’s blog tour by clicking here.

And if you’d like to buy the bundle, head on over to Buqo and get it! It’s just P45! Be sure to check out the other bundles as well. There’s also a giveaway at the end of this post (Buqo’s giving away a powerbank for Philippine residents), so be sure to join.

To read the excerpts, click on this link 



Fall for Grace by Anne Plaza

Aso’t pusa, away-bati…

Sino sa inyo ang unang aamin?

Meet Grace Almeda—the darling of Luna East Arts Academy—maikukumpara sa isang artista sa hitsura, reputasyon, at katarayan. At heto si Jason Jacinto—the resident school genius—kilala rin sa pagiging go-to person ng mga estudyanteng problemado sa pag-aaral. Nang magkabanggaan ang kanilang maliit at magkaibang mundo, napilitan si Grace na hingin ang tulong ni Jason sa isang mala-life or death na sitwasyon. Mukha ngang pumuti na ang uwak dahil dumating ang araw na kinailangan ni Little Miss Spoiled Brat si Boy Genius. Pero ang hindi alam ni Grace ay may dahilan ang lahat sa likod ng pang-aasar at pambubwisit ni Jason. At sa ‘di inaasahang pangyayari, may isang mahuhulog ang loob para sa isang naghihintay lang ng tamang pagkakataon.

About the Author:

Si Anne Plaza ay mula sa Lungsod Quezon at nakapagsulat ng isang chick lit novella, ang In Over Her Head (2013). Ang Fall for Grace ay ang una niyang kathang YA romance. Nagtatrabaho siya bilang isang marketing associate para sa isang ad agency at malimit siyang nagsusulat kahit hindi pa tapos ang kanyang shift. Nakahiligan na niyang magbasa ng Tagalog romance novels (noong kapanahunan pa nina Helen Meriz, Jo-An Solis, Gilda Olvidado, atbp.) at nakapag- publish na rin ng apat na akda sa ilalim ng My Special Valentine.



Just the Way You Are by Kat Sales

Rica Valdez has always been one of the guys, so it was hard for her to find a prom date. When her new friend and crush Joshua Fernandez volunteered to take her to the prom, she wondered if he liked her back too, or was he just being nice?

About the Author:
Writer :: Thinker :: Problem Solver



Love in the Time of Viral Videos by R. Linea

Like. Retweet. Follow. Fall in Love?

They say that that the things we own tend to own us in the long run. Today, at a time when we’re connected 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, social media has helped shaped who we are, how we want to be seen and how we deal with other people. And if that’s the case, then who knows us better than our own social media accounts? This is the story of Patch and Sebastian who met in real life, as told by their digital selves. This is their story in the time of #hashtags, inspiration boards, and viral videos.



The First Time They Met by Ana Valenzuela
What’s making Mayumi anxious on her best friend’s birthday party?

Is it her long time best friend Marie? Marie is now in college, and Mayumi starts to doubt their friendship as Marie meets new people and gets closer to them.

Or is it this basketball player named Micah? A guy she recently met and who has turned into an overnight confidant.

About the Author:

Ana Valenzuela is a graduate of AB Literature from UST. She has written for several magazines and online news blogs.

The Path of Us by Cassandra Javier
Are our paths already laid out for us, or can we make them ourselves?

Can fairytales actually come true?

Clara has always been fond of fairytales and grand gestures. She always had a plan of how she’d like her life to turn out, and that’s why she worked hard to be on top of the class, and make sure that she has her real life Prince Charming to boot.

And then there’s Andrew.

Andrew’s always been the easy go lucky guy, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not smart and appealing; it’s just that he chooses to go through life in a fuss-free, no nonsense way.

When Andrew and Clara’s paths meet, things don’t exactly go easy. They hated each other with a passion, but then they got to share unexpected moments, and end high school with a memory that they’ll never forget. In college, they lose each other, and Clara has to go through the hardest things on her own–until a trip back home sends them to each other’s paths again.

Will they ever be able to understand their role in each other’s lives?

Or will they just get out of each other’s lives for good?

About the Author:

Cass is a cat lady who graduated with a degree in Broadcasting and has worked as a copywriter, a researcher in an IT company, a call center agent and was even a trainee for a time in a television network. She writes articles for a living. When not writing articles, she writes novels, fanfiction, short stories and whatever she may think of. She loves TV series, movies, music, and is a very big bookworm. She’s also addicted to butterflies, faeries and Ice Cream.



When Cocoy Became Kikay by C. P. Santi

Cocoy’s not-so-secret dream is to one day become a gun-toting, ass-kicking secret agent. But she has another dream—and this time, even her best friends don’t have a clue—she dreams of being with someone.

Problem is, she finds out that Jaime Arguelles—a.k.a. the guy she’d been secretly crushing on for years—likes girls who . . . well . . . like pink.

To Cocoy’s logical mind, there’s only one solution: it’s time to go girly. After all, how hard can it be?


About the Author:


C.P. Santi is a Filipina author based in Tokyo, Japan. She is a wife to an engineer/musician/jokester and a full-time mom to two energetic boys. She loves cooking and baking, and enjoys feeding people, gorging on chocolate, watching J-doramas, belting it out in the karaoke box, and running around the house playing tickle tag. She also loves dreaming up stories about the people she meets.

In another life, she is also an architect and academic.

Her first book, Be Careful What You Wish For, is a contemporary romance based in Tokyo.


 Click on the link below to join the giveaway!

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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


36 things I will do/should do/want to do in the next 12 months

Why 36? Go figure!

1. Get a tattoo in the “traditional” way in Kalinga.

2. Go to Kota Kinabalu.
3. Start that personal book blog.
4. Visit Tacloban for the first time.
5. Reconcile with that one person.
6. Sing in public again (no, karaoke doesn’t count).
7. Go to Japan.
8. Restart my MA studies.
9. Lose 10 more pounds.
10. Go to the doctor and get the whole kaboodle of tests.
11. Attend an international conference.
12. Read at least 40 more books (to reach my goal of 60 books until December)
13. Learn a new skill that I’ve never tried before.
14. Watch a live football game that doesn’t involve the Azkals or a Philippine club.
15. Go to Palawan for the first time ever.
16. Learn how to invest in the stock market.
17. Write a blog post every other day (no, work doesn’t count)
18. Commit to one church.
19. Write capsule reviews of all TV shows/movies I watch.
20. Go to a concert/gig of a local artist at least once a month.
21. Join a book club.
22. Join or start an interest group.
23. Try my best to sleep at least 5-6 hours everyday.
24. Start running again.
25. Get published in an international online magazine.
26. Finish at least two Coursera courses.
27. Put some sort of color in my hair.
28. Treat family to a hotel staycation.
29. Finish a whole notebook before starting a new one.
30. Do a fund-raising party/event for a foundation.
31. Start scrapbooking again.
32. Read the “difficult” books of the Bible.
33. Buy shoes with kitten heels. (I haven’t worn heels in almost a decade)
34. Cook at least once a week.
35. Do a cleanse every two months.
36. Do at least half of the things on this list.
So yeah, I’ll get back to you after a year.
baby birthday
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Posted by on May 7, 2015 in To Do List


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Winter is almost here again! (I mean Game of Thrones okay?)

Winter is almost here again! (I mean Game of Thrones okay?)

Anyone who knows me well enough (or who happens to glance at my Facebook or Twitter feed every once in a while) know that I am a huge Game of Thrones (TV show) and A Song of Ice and Fire (the book series) fan. The wait in between seasons (and between book 5 and 6) can be so long that I re-watch and re-read and go through fan sites and all, just to keep me busy, Westeros-wise. And while I may have issues with some liberties that the tv show has taken (I will never forgive them for how they treated the rape, which they said wasn’t rape, scene from last season), I would still devour every single episode, behind the scenes videos, and even Vine and IG clips from the stars and the show.

So when I was given the chance to attend an advanced screening of the first episode of Season 5, wild direwolves couldn’t drag me away. The event was even more special because we were among the first in the whole wide world to watch this episode. My officemates who were fans of the show as well, hated me the entire Wednesday (I hope that day only) when I told them I was one of the privileged few to be invited. Hurray HBO Asia!

Of course I will not spoil anything here (unless you message me and beg me to spoil you!) but here are the non-spoilery things I observed after my heart calmed down and the end credits rolled. Some of these things have already been remarked upon if you’ve read the previews of the season.

  • This episode features the first ever flashback in the entire TV series. And if you’ve read the books, you’d immediately recognize the scene. But it was cool to hear some people gasp during the transition from flashback to the “present” timeline
  • A fan favorite does not show up in this episode and some will probably complain about it
  • Fans of Daario Naharis/Michael Huisman will be pretty happy, if you know what I mean. Wink wink
  • If you’re expecting non-stop action, big twists and turns in the premiere, you might be disappointed. Instead, there is character development, great dialogues between some favorite characters, and over-all, a pretty quiet (by the show’s standards) but nonetheless meaningful and great build-up to the rest of the season.
  • Did someone die? If you know your Game of Thrones, you’d know the answer to that.
  • I can’t wait until we get to Dorne and meet the Sand Snakes!

I’m really happy that HBO Asia will be airing the season premiere and the rest of the episodes at the same time it airs in the US. So that means if you don’t have school or work on Monday, April 13, 9AM, then tune in to HBO and catch the start of what should be another great Game of Thrones season. There will be an encore telecast at 9PM the same day.

Oh, and for those asking, the Iron Throne will be going to a different venue (it was at Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street until today) starting tomorrow until April 23. I’ll let you know where so you can have your own 5 (or 10) seconds, feeling like the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

Game of Thrones will air every Monday on HBO at those times mentioned.

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite viral GoT related clips from the past few days. Enjoy!

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Posted by on April 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


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If I could make a blog/website from scratch I would do this…

Having attended Blogopolis (thanks Chuckie!) today, my blogging heart and brain have been fully awakened with so many thoughts and ideas running through them. So I thought of making a wish list of blogs I want to do, if I had more time and if I don’t start procrastinating again.

These are dreams. Highly possible but “gosh-it-will-take-a-lot-of-work” type of dreams. But very doable. So hopefully soon.

1. Group food blog with friends
Since we eat out a lot and most of us take pictures (me not included) and since we love to eat and since some of us cook really well. But there should be one section that will feature my after-eating pictures since I only remember to take pics after all the food is gone.


Green Pastures at Shang – the aftermath of my grilled cheese and tomato soup

2. Budget Travel blog
I’m tired of getting the “wow ang yaman” comment whenever people find out I’m going somewhere, especially outside the country. I am so far from rich, I just prioritize, have friends who are great researchers and organizers (Hi Ysabs and Cathz!) and I’ve eventually learned the tricks of traveling on a budget. Aside from sharing my past adventures, I also want this blog to show and help people travel as well.

At the Hong Kong Museum of Art – December 2014

3. Media literacy blog
Yes I have a pop culture blog (neglected, but existing) but writing about how to help people think more about the media they consume is another thing. The problem with us most of the time is that we just watch and listen and consume all kinds of media without really thinking about their sociological and ideological meaning, its effect on us and on other people, etc. I’d like to share what I teach at school and also what I’ve learned from preparing my lessons. But this will involve research and a lot of “deep thinking” and planning so, yeah. Just to be clear, I will not be imposing my thoughts and views, but rather how to help people start thinking and analyzing more.

4. Reading advocacy blog
This will be more than just a book blog. I have in mind research, articles, tips, interviews with experts and authors, book recommendations, etc. I do some of this for work already, but this will be a wider scope. Again, a lot of work and more planning as well.

5. Photo a day (with short poem/caption)
This would be to hone both my mobile photo and creative writing skills (both of which have been sorely neglected or maybe non-existent). This probably scared me the most, so I’d like to do it just to learn a new skill set and to conquer that fear.

Insert poem here

Other less thought out and less priority ideas
– football (but fan perspective)
– things I’ve learned from teaching
– creative news blog (news aggregator)
– short real stories (kind of like HONY but with people I actually know and seek out)

So yeah, let’s see which one of these will come to fruition in the next few months.

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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in On blogging


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Why I binge watched 6 episodes of Hindsight (and why you should too)

Why I binge watched 6 episodes of Hindsight (and why you should too)

When I first heard that VH1 was going to have its first scripted series, I was like, meh, not interested. When I heard it was going to be set in the 90s, it piqued my curiosity, but then I forgot all about it. I only remembered Hindsight when I saw this list of TV shows you should be watching (but probably aren’t) and so I decided to give it a try. After “acquiring” the six existing episodes, I forgot about it again, until Saturday night when I saw the files on my netbook and I decided to give it a try.

And I ended up watching all six episodes in one go and slept at 5AM. And then I got really frustrated when I found out episode 7 is still a few days away and that the show has not been renewed yet.

The show is about a woman, who on the eve of her 2nd marriage, is suddenly transported back in time (20 years before) to the day of her 1st marriage. No explanation is given on why/how she travels back to the 90s, but that isn’t what’s important here. It’s all about second chances, regrets, do-overs, love triangles, oh, and freaking awesome 90s pop culture.

Here are some of the reasons why I fell in love with the show. Maybe you will too!

1. A lead character I actually like (and maybe love)

When TV shows are built around one lead character, I oftentimes end up hating that character or liking the supporting ones better (see Dawson’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, House, Scandal, etc). But Becca is someone who can theoretically be annoying, but is just such a joy to watch. From trying to decide between the two she loved/loves/will love, to always clumsily spoiling TV shows to her best friend (the only one who knows she traveled from the future), to trying to figure out what the heck to do with her life, she is always charming, funny, and very real. Oh, and also, very pretty!


2. A love triangle that is really confusing

Usually, I passionately ship 2/3 of a love triangle, but this time around, it’s really difficult to choose who to root for. Should she go with the hot Australian painter whom she married in 1995 and eventually divorced, and who you think is one-dimensional but apparently is also deep and adorable? Or should she already start a relationship with the guy she’s supposed to be marrying in the present day, but who is also her childhood friend and is an awkward geek who is all sweet and cuteness (and is with someone else in 1995)? Oh your choices Becca, your choices.

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3. A hilarious best friend who is more than just a sidekick

The friendship between the more normal Becca and her free-spirited and hilarious best friend Lolly is truly one of the best things about this show. While they gab about boys of course, they can also pass the Bechdel test a lot of times. And also, apart from her connection to Becca, Lolly is also a fully realized character with her own issues and neuroses and storyline. And lastly, she’s cute and hilarious without being too precocious. Plus, there’s also a huge mystery surrounding why their friendship breaks up in the future, and I’m really dreading the reveal because these two are so great together.


4. The people you thought you’d hate actually surprise you

I will not spoil your viewing pleasure by saying which characters I’m referring to, but what I can say is that there are no caricatures or outright villains in this series. Well, for now.

5. The 90s pop culture references

“What? Chandler ends up with Monica?” “What? Patrick Dempsey becomes hot?” “What? REM break up?” The “whats?” goes on and on. You’d think you’d get tired of it eventually, but of course not. 90s nostalgia will always be a part of me.

6. The 90s music

Of course since this is a VH1 series, you can expect it to have a killer soundtrack. Mazzy Star, Collective Soul, REM, Ace of Base, Spin Doctors, Lisa Loeb, etc. I probably have not stopped listening to 90s music since this Saturday, and it’s all Hindsight’s fault. Wikipedia has a listing of all the songs played in the episodes

Sadly, this series isn’t carried by any local channels (at least not that I know of), so “acquiring” it is the only way to go.

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Posted by on February 16, 2015 in TV Shows


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Pop Culture Recommendations #1 (2015 Edition)

The Librarians

It’s not the most intelligent show, it’s not that well-scripted (although it has potential) and the acting is campy at best, but there’s something about a show about magic, artifacts, and adventure that just gets to me. If you’re one of twenty people who loved Warehouse 13, then you’ll love this one too. Basic premise is that Noah Wyle is “The Librarian” (it actually started as a series of made-for-tv movies) and his duty is to collect artifacts from around the world to keep them from falling into the wrong hands. Hijinks and fantasy characters and (sometimes not so) witty one-liners ensue. It stars Rebecca Romijn, Christian Kane (Angel, Leverage), Lindy Booth, John Kim (I crush Ezekiel Jones!), and John Laroquette. Favorite episode so far is the Christmas one where cult hero Bruce Campbell plays Santa Claus.


A-Babies vs X-Babies #1
This actually came out back in 2012 but I recently re-read it and I still squeed and gushed over it like crazy. All you need to know is this: baby versions of the Avengers and the X-Men go to battle over a teddy bear (Bucky bear!). It will just take you 10 minutes (or less) to read it, but it will take you longer because you’ll just “aaawww” and “wheeee” so many times. You can buy the digital comic here for just $1.99.
Brutal Romantic by Brooke Fraser
It’s hard to define the exact genre of her latest album because her music has evolved so much from her What To Do With Daylight. Suffice to say I still enjoy her music even though I probably won’t be able to sing along to her songs in this album, since it’s more atmospheric rather than melodic. But her words still get to me, particularly these lines from Brutal Romance (not to be confused with Bad Romance okay?)
“And I want to sing
Over you and into you
What can’t be unsung

Love and death, and death and love
Brutal romance
A silver thread, a sharpened knife
A spinning slow-dance”

Louisa Wendorff’s mash-up covers
I first came across her because Taylor Swift recommended her excellent mash-up of Style and Blank Space (she didn’t sing Starbucks lovers!). I got curious about her so I explored her YouTube channel and discovered her other excellent covers. Her voice is haunting and the camera just caresses her face. Hope she uploads more videos soon!
TV Show Tracker 3
Y’all know that I watch and follow a gazillion TV shows. I’ve been looking for a simple app that can help me track all these shows and remind me when they’re already available to “acquire”. Finally found this app (iOS only, sorry) that is simple and efficient. I also love that it can adjust to our time zone so that I don’t get confused (which is fairly often) with the time difference. It also lets me check which episodes I’ve missed or haven’t watched.
Things I haven’t watched or read or listened to yet but I plan to this week
  • watch English Only Please
  • check out new show Galavant, a fairy-tale musical comedy
  • read Philip Yancey’s Vanishing Grace (shameless plugging!)
  • read My True Love Gave To Me (yes Christmas is over but I saw Mina Esguerra post about it, so voila, book envy)
  • read Naermyth by Karen Francisco, which Stef recommended and lent to me
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Posted by on January 5, 2015 in Pop Culture Recommendations


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Schools and Parents: Please teach kids to be better commuters

Things I wish (and hope) parents and schools would teach children so somedy they will be better commuters

(Honestly, I really don’t know whose fault it is why there are a lot of inconsiderate and horrible commuters in Metro Manila)


1. Keep right when walking up the stairs or riding escalators or just walking on the road. And maybe explain why we have to do that.



2. Follow the arrows painted on the MRT/LRT platform. They are not there for decoration.



3. Let people get out of the train first before rushing in. Same applies for elevators.



4. If there’s enough space to breathe or move (which rarely happens), respect other people’s personal space. Unless close talaga kayo.



5.  Don’t lean or embrace the poles. They’re there not just as part of the train’s physical structure, but also so verticallly-challenged people who can’t reach the hand rails have something to hold on to.

Huwag tularan ang mamang ito (pero tularan niyo yung Mama ko, ang ganda niya eh)


6. Kung malayo pa ang bababaan mo pag sakay mo ng jeep, okay lang maupo ng malapit sa driver. Di naman siya nangangagat. Sana.


7. Same applies kung marami kang dala na ipapatong mo sa gitna ng jeep at makakaabala sa mga sasakay.


8. Kung may makikiabot ng pamasahe, iabot mo na kaht di ka naman sinuswelduhan ng driver na maging assistant niya. Pag yung nakikiabot ng bayad ay di nagsabi ng “paki” or “please”, mag thank you ka sa kanya para maguilty naman.



9. Kung ikaw naman ang magpapaabot ng pamasahe, mag thank you ka sa nag abot. Pag walang gustong mag-abot, tumayo ka at lumapit sa driver (tapos pag nag preno bigla, upuan mo yung ayaw mag abot ng pamasahe mo. joke lang)


10. Mag deodorant bago umalis ng bahay lalo na kung alam mong makikipagsiksikan ka sa MRT, LRT, bus, jeep, etc. In fact, kahit hindi, mag deodorant ka pa rin.




Anything you’d like to add to this class called Commuting Ethics 101?

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Posted by on October 14, 2014 in This city


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