A Tub of Jelly Beans

Take your pick!

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Color your World with Kulay Pinoy! (Giveaway Alert!)

I am not really surprised that I also jumped onto the bandwagon of Adult Coloring Book. I mean, it involves colors and the act of putting colors, so how can I resist it? In my childhood years, I remember finishing countless coloring books, and as I grew older I still bought those with cartoon characters.The sudden trend in Adult Coloring Books is really an awkward-no-more excuse to continue my love in coloring.

My first try in Adult Coloring Book was not a pleasant one. That experience was seriously horrendous. I gave up on it while finishing only a quarter of the page. The tiny details were stressful for me, I guess I was too accustomed to doing Disney and Justice League coloring books. I even vowed that I will never try coloring again.

However, eventually, after seeing another set of coloring sheets and constantly trying them, I got the hang of it. And now, I am continuously trying new patterns and theme.


Most of the coloring books that are available in the market are imported, and it delights me to find local publishers releasing artworks done by Filipino artists. It’s good that we get to showcase Filipino talents, which we are rich of.

Just recently, Vermailene Barrios launched her Kulay Pinoy coloring book.
Illustrated in her coloring book are the various Philippine traditions and places. It’s interesting to find our colorful culture in this format.


I know you would love to get hold of this Kulay Pinoy coloring book. So, we’ll be having a giveaway!


 Along with Louisechelle, the giveaway host, I am giving you a chance to own a copy of this Kulay Pinoy Coloring book. Participate through the Rafflecopter below.

Here are some vital details you have to remember:

Terms & Conditions

  • This giveaway is open only for Philippine residents.
  • The giveaway will run until the 15th of December
  • Winner must reply within 24 hours and confirm necessary details.
  • Failure to do so, Louisechelle will choose another winner without prior notice.
  • Winner will be formally announced as soon as entries are verified and as soon as he/she confirms necessary details needed.
  • Shipping fee will be handled by the giveaway host.
  • The item will be shipped as soon as winner confirms delivery address.
  • Tracking number will be provided to the winner so he/she can track the parcel.
  • Winner is required to take a selfie with the prize. The photo must be sent to the giveaway host via email. Louisechelle will be sharing the photo in her blog and social media accounts.
  • Posting in social media and tagging the giveaway host is optional but highly encouraged.

Just wait for the Rafflecopter to load and follow the instructions for a chance to win this lovely Kulay Pinoy coloring book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the widget does not load, you may also just click the link above.

Best of luck!




Anybody home?

*clears cobwebs*

*clears dusts*

*more cobwebs*


*and more cobwebs*

Whew!!! I’ve been wanting to post a blog entry again, but I don’t know how to start. I mean, how would I clear all the cobwebs and dusts that sit on every corner of this blog site after years (?) of no constant posting? But, since it’s All Souls Day today, and just like a ghost of your distant past (oh!) I am here to make a comeback. And I’ve been listening to Hello by Adele. Yes, that inspired me. Hashtag:FeelingAdele.

How should I start all over again? (Oops. Feels.) I don’t think there’s any point in overthinking on what I should post just to pave for my comeback. This is my blog anyway, right? Thus, I can post anything that I want, in any way that I want? Right? No? Okay. But here it goes, anyway. Bleech.

I’m Currently Busy With:

For the period that I was in hiatus, I spent my time doing random stuff. I missed devotedly reading my books as I enrolled in Voice Workshop (at 32!), got serious in achieving my fitness goal (I gained weight! Yes!!!), pursued my hobby in calligraphy, lettering, painting, and other arts and crafts related matters.

Currently, I am into lettering/ calligraphy, and I jumped on the Adult Coloring Book bandwagon. So, since this blog site is meant to be a port where I can just post anything I find interesting, expect to find other non-book related postings (here I go again!!!).

There’s this ongoing project that I am joining. If you are into calligraphy or lettering, you might want to join this lettering prompt.

Special thanks to @jennyhighsmith (IG) for spearheading this project.

Now I am Reading.

Of course, I think, a booklover will remain to be a booklover, no matter what. So, despite my busy schedule, I still find time to read, at least to lessen my TBR pile. 

  I am trying to finish this book by Mandy Hale, I’ve Never Been to Vegas but My Luggage Has. This book has quite a lot of surprises in every pages. I would love to write a review again, after I’m done with this.

Holiday Giveaways.

Halloween season is officially over, (by tomorrow?) therefore, we can now start celebrating Christmas season! (Who doesn’t love Christmas, Grinch?) I am now thinking on what to give out for Christmas for all my faithful followers. But of course, expect it to be handmade (but peppered with love). 

I’ll post about it by December, after I have decided on the mechanics and what to give.

So there! Wooooh! Nakaraos din ang isang post! I hope you will appreciate my upcoming posts, no matter how nonsense it can be. I’ll try hard to post sensible thoughts, trust me.

Till my next post! 

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Another for the Tub: Love Walked In (photo)



Book Notes: The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes

My rating: 5 of 5 jelly beans

It would be a cliché to say that reading is a good way to pass on time while doing nothing, but I would still say it. Last week’s heavy downpour prevented me to report for work, and I know I should take advantage of another day off to catch up on my reading. I decided to look for a thin, easy to read book to finish in a day or two, so I pulled my copy of The Sense of An Ending from my bookshelf. I sat myself on the couch, with a blanket to keep me warm and started reading. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the book, except to help me keep up on my reading quota.

After 15 minutes, I found myself sniffing in tears.

“We live in time, it bounds us and defines us, and time is supposed to measure history, isn’t it? But if we can’t understand time, can’t grasp its mysteries of pace and progress, what chance do we have with history – even our own small, personal, largely undocumented piece of it?”

Here’s a book that talks about friendship, reconciliation with the past, and self-assessment of decisions we make in life. I met Tony Webster, as he shared a recollection of his past, of his almost forgotten friendship from his teenage years with Alex, Colin and Adrian. He talked about his life at present; how he dealt with his past failures and how he end up with his past decisions.

The first memory he shared was his reminiscence about his old time friends – Alex, Colin and Adrian. Initially, there were just the three of them, until they met Adrian Finn at school. They were almost inseparable in spite of their differences, as Adrian was an opposite of how they treat school life. They parted ways when they started on their university life, but promised lifelong friendship. They pursued their dreams, found love, but still found time to meet once in a while. A few years after, they all received news: Adrian Finn committed suicide. It was unclear to them why he did it, despite the suicide letter Adrian left. There were speculations on what he was must be thinking, since Adrian was the serious, more intelligent one, with different, least to say odd, perspective on things amongst the four of them. Eventually, he lost contact with his Colin and Alex, he lived his life as he wanted, until his mundane living was disturbed, and he is forced to recollect his memories.

The part of his narration about his old time friends brought me back to my own memory of teenage years – from those clever ways of getting away from school works, to planning about the future, to being away from your trusted friends and trying to keep the communications open, until you heard of them no more. Though I haven’t completely lost contact with my old friends, the mere thought of reaching that point brought me pain.

I adore how Barnes was able to write about life’s realizations in a no-nonsense manner. Tony Webster was forced to look back as certain moments from his past were resurrected. One by one, he went through the details, not just to tell a good history, but also to understand his life at present. It also helped me to look at my own life, and how I usually come up with a decision in life.

It was revealed how a younger Tony dealt with life and love failures. He was then reckless, with a valid excuse that he was young. Our youth deceives us into making reckless decisions.

“We thought we were being mature when we were only being safe. We imagined we were being responsible but were only being cowardly. What we called realism turned out to be a way of avoiding things rather than facing them. Time…give us enough time and our best-supported decisions will seem wobbly, our certainties whimsical.”

As the story unfolded, giving Tony the chance to answer his life’s question, it also brought more questions about living. Most of the time, life is about survival. But is it really just about survival? If it so, are survivors has an absolute claim to be a victor, or surviving is also for the defeated?

He is a lot wiser now, had a career and a divorced marriage with a woman he was able to maintain a good friendship with. Tony recalled his well-spent safe life, lived with complacency. But is living just about keeping away from hardships, free from trouble? What are life’s real accomplishments? Tony was busy arranging his life in order; he was so focused looking ahead. We often look ahead, trying to do good for a better future, and not seeing it in a different perspective: that we must do well at present, so when we look back we have something worth remembering from our past.

“It strikes me that this may be one of the differences between youth and age; when we are young, we invent different futures for ourselves; when we are old, we invent different pasts for others.”

Tony discovered how unreliable his memory can be; how the truth of his past does not jibe with what his memory can remember. Is our memory reliable enough to give us credible, dependable history? Is our memory based on facts of the past, or do we only remember what we want to keep, and how we want it to be remembered? There are parts of our past that we learned to forget, and sometimes, though unaware, we tend to tweak some part of it to create a better version of our history.

We rely on the passing of time to eventually mold us into something better. We rely on time, on our memory to build history, to speak of our past, to give meaning to what we are today. To tell us who we are. To tell us what we should be.

The book relied on nostalgia. On the drama of looking back to our past, and finding our self again even we are not lost. Straightforward; it does not include unnecessary characters to build Tony’s history, for there was no need. Swiftly, the right emotions needed for the book is served in such an easy to read story.

Poignant, heart-tugging and gripping; I cannot stop reading some parts of the book again, and there are a lot of highlighted paragraphs in my copy. I shed a tear for a number of times; Julian Barnes successfully hit the spot in making me cry. It’s been so long since I cried while reading a book and The Sense of An Ending satiated my longing to fill that hollow gaping in my heart after finishing the book.

The Sense of An Ending is an instant favorite of mine, and I am surely rereading this again when I get older.


Book Notes: Manila Noir, an anthology

My rating: 4 of 5 jelly beans

“I like to think of Manila as a woman of mystery, the ultimate femme fatale, sexy, complicated,

and tainted by a dark and painful past. She’s not to be trusted.” – Jessica Hagedorn

Manila – I guess the selection of the focal place for the anthology suits it best. Manila, no matter how lively it appears has its dark side, too.

Manila Noir has the right amount of crime, violence and sinister enough to bring life to Manila’s dark facade. An anthology of 14 short stories by different Filipino authors, written in English, the book offers the readers stories sited in different areas in Metro Manila, giving us a glimpse of the horrid and the dubious side of the city. It speaks of the obvious that in most places, but not only in Manila, there are untold stories of hatred, greed, violence, and, at the same time, complacency on what’s happening around us. These stories really fits the noir genre.


At first, the stories did not appeal to me that much, for a reason that I think it’s too close to home that there’s no need to write about it, but as I read each story, I appreciated it more. For, I see the transparency, the attempt not to conceal reality and it does speak from a Filipino heart – though not necessarily greedy and in such menace.

Subdivided into three parts – Us Against Them, Black Pearl of the Orient, and They Live By Night – Jessica Hagedorn gave a very fitting contradictory to the expected glossy surface of the city, and the other unhidden side of it. Each author, in their short stories, has their own style. Every story came out fresh and each brings a new flavor to the reading senses.

Let me share a line or two about the 14 stories in the book.

1. Aviary by Lysley Tenorio, Greenbelt

A story about discrimination between the poor and the rich. Situated in Greenbelt mall, this talks about the rumors that went viral online regarding Greenbelt management’s assumed decision not to allow “poor” people enter their establishment. The rumor however was eventually denied and was considered a faux one but this became a good topic in Tenorio’s story, bringing the right emotion and disturbing character to the readers.

2. A Human Right by Rosario Cruz-Lucero, Intramuros

A story of Isabel and her meeting with the alleged killer of her father. The killer is said to be a member of Davao Death Squad. Here’s a story of an effort to seek redemption and revenge at the same time.

3. Satan Has Already Bought You by Lourd De Veyra, Project 2 Quezon City

If you have read De Veyra’s Super Panalo Sounds, you’ll notice the similarity of the theme. I’ve read the aforementioned title, so it’s easier for me to visualize the mood of the setting. But no, it’s not a prerequisite to read SPS, they are not interconnected stories anyway – but it is as edgy as the other.

4. Broken Glass by Sabina Murray, New Manila

A glimpse at the world of the upper class strata, and how some people can just shrug off the news of someone’s death, and apparently, concealing it at the same time.

5. After Midnight by Angelo R. Lacuesta, J.P. Rizal

The story appears to be a mundane scenario that happens on any of the roads of Manila. This tells us the story behind a seemingly simple narrative of a guy on his way home.

6. Trese : Thirteen Stations by Budjette Tan & Kajo Baldisimo, EDSA

The only story in the compilation rendered in graphic comics format. As other stories in the anthology is focused on one location, the duo – Budjette and Kajo – took advantage of MRT’s different stations along EDSA to cover a wider range of subject venue, thus giving the readers more story points to appreciate. This is an offshoot of the two’s successfully published “Trese”, a paranormal investigative themed comics.

7. Comforter of the Afflicted by F.H. Batacan, Lagro

The main character of the story didn’t need much of an introduction for me, since Father Augusto Saenz made a comeback from Batacan’s first novel, Smaller and Smaller Circles. I realized it’s easier to appreciate stories with recurring characters from another story.

8. The Professor’s Wife by Jose Dalisay, Diliman

I don’t know exactly how to describe what I felt after reading this story. I just think this is wicked and a bit too tragic. Well-written, indeed.

9. Cariño Brutal by R. Zamora Linmark, Tondo

What I like best in this story is the characterization, and the story flow is just so easy to follow. Isn’t too complicated in terms of its narrative, but it didn’t fail to disturb me.

10. The Unintended by Gina Apostol, AliMall, Cubao

Admittedly, amongst all the stories, this one comes unclear to me in terms of the character’s interconnection. I think I miss something with the story when I read it. The emotions it’s trying to give me, is a blur.

11. Old Money by Jessica Hagedorn, ForbesPark

Uhmn. This brings a 90’s feel for me. The way I visualize the story as I read it keeps bringing me some nostalgia. I don’t know why. Here’s about greed and vengeance, and I think this one is a bit high on emotions.

12. Desire by Marianne Villanueva, Ermita

Desire. Why does the word feels like it has something to do with anything carnal? Villanueva tells us a story of how a desire can make us do worldly things.

13. Darling, You Can Count on Me by Eric Gamalinda, Santa Cruz

I must say I am relieved I am no longer hearing any news about incidents of chop chop ladies, as this story tells us a story of Lucila Lalu, and the tracking of who killed her and who did chop her body in parts.

14. Norma from Norman by Jonas Vitman, Chinatown

Violence begets violence. Witness the unexpected metamorphosis, not just physically, of Charmaine as she experience cruelty from the people around her, which eventually led her to commit the same.

Truly, this book is worth the time to read. It has the right dash of flavor of mystery and violence without having to be too bloody or graphically brutal. This anthology made me feel closer to Manila. It’s like knowing Manila intimately, understanding its murky past, and loving the city despite of.



Booklovers Unite: Manila Noir Book Launch

It’s no book fest or fair but it seems it is when nine Filipino authors and book lovers gathered last July 6, 2013 at NBS Glorietta.

Manila Noir, an anthology of 14 short stories in noir genre, published by Anvil Publishing, Inc, was officially launched on July 6, 2013 at National Book Store, Glorietta. The event was held at the ground floor of NBS offering the book lovers the opportunity to see their favorite Filipino authors read an excerpt of their contributed short story, and have their copies signed too.

I was there to attend the book launch of Manila Noir, along with other book lovers from TFG, Tricia, Cary and Ella. We were able to see Jzhunagev and Emir, too, sharing their passion with books. It’s been quite a while since I attended a book-related event due to busy work schedules (my last F2F discussion with TFG was in May), and I was already thinking of attending the book launch when, timely, Tricia opened the idea to meet and attend the book launch. Of course, I didn’t waste time to agree in joining them.

Yours truly, with Tricia, Jzhun, Cary and Ella

Yours truly, with Tricia, Jzhun, Cary and Ella

It was Saturday, and office work will finish at 4 p.m. There’s no sense in attending the launch if I will arrive late, because it was slated to start at 4 p.m, too. I don’t want to miss the authors speaking about their stories, so I requested for an early-out for that day, despite of the workload (minsan lang naman eh).  Of course, I made some compromises – making sure the required tasks for that day are accomplished.

We were supposed to meet at 3 p.m, but at 3:15 p.m, I was still in SM Aura, checking an event our company participated on.  I felt like The Flash when I ran to the bus terminal near Market Market, took the bus even there were no seats available and rush to National Bookstore at 3:30 p.m. I found Tricia and Cary (Ella was late), and we then proceeded to the registration area to get our priority number for the book signing, and of course to ensure our seats.

Picture 015

The event was graced by the nine authors who contributed short stories for Manila Noir. Jessica Hagedorn, author of Dogeaters and Toxicology gave her opening remarks, reading a portion of her introduction from the book. Hagedorn gave a brief background on how the book materialized, and how the selection of the contributors was made.

Rosario Cruz-Lucero, Angelo Lacuesta, Lourd De Veyra, Budjette Tan, Kajo Baldisimo, F.H Batacan, Jose Dalisay, and R. Zamora Linmark were there to share their experience in writing their short stories, the inspiration and they even shared their initial thoughts when they received Jessica Hagedorn’s invitation to contribute for the book. They all took turns to read a fraction of their short stories too, which the audience really enjoyed.  The audience had the chance to ask questions, which the authors graciously accommodated. 


I think I spotted some personalities – Joel  Torre, Carlos Celdran, Manix Abrera, Gang Badoy and Diego Castillo –  who attended the book launch too.  

To cap the event, the book lovers lined up to have their copies signed by all the authors. Aside from my Manila Noir copy, I brought my Smaller and Smaller Circles for F.H Batacan to sign. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bring my Trese copies for Kajo and Budjette’s signature.  

Tricia, Jzhun, Cary and I went for the queue for book signing. Ella had to wait for her turn since her priority number placed her in the 86th turn, Emir, on the other hand, chose not to have his book signed. Lining up for the signature could have been boring if not for the company of my bookish friends.

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The author’s signatures. (Fangirl ON: Look, I don’t have the same message from Lourd De Veyra like the others! :D)

I was in paparazzi mode as I took photos of all the authors as they sign my book, taking advantage of them being occupied writing my name on the page. I had the chance to share photos with R. Zamora Linmark and Lourd De Veyra (I was such a fan girl, so I really requested for a photo).

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While the authors are busy signing my book, I took their photos.

After the event, the six of us headed to Burger King to have a quick dinner, shared stories and laughed with our crazy thoughts. I must say, Emir and Ella is a good tandem for a comic show.

An awesome afternoon – that is how I can quickly describe that Saturday. Hanging out with my fellow book lovers, and seeing the talented Filipino authors gathered in one place, it is surely worth the time and effort to be The Flash.


Another for The Tub: 10 Titles


I remember my friend telling me, “Pity those books, ginagamit mo silang panakip butas,” when I told her how I’ve been handling an emotionally tough week by buying books for 4 consecutive days, which ends me up with a total of 10 books.

Ten new books in 4 days. I know the sound of it does not make me any different from other bookworms. For sure, some people must have hoarded more than 12 books in one day. However, for someone like me, who practices austerity and is frugal at some point, that quantity is unexpected. Since I bought myself an android tablet, I started to utilize e-books more (I always say because it is cheaper) and became selective on printed books that I buy. The ever-growing number of must-read books cramps my bookshelves, and my mother is no longer happy with my continuous obsession in printed materials.

So, what happened in me that I bought those 10 books? As I mentioned above, I went through a tough time last month, so, on one of those Im-close-to-crying-in-public-as-I-walk-with-music-on-my-ears days, I decided to divert my attention to book-buying to keep me sane.


On my first day of book buying (4.23.2013), I bought 3 books in Powerbooks Greenbelt: Smaller Smaller Circles; Birchwood; and Einstein’s Dream. I only intend to buy Smaller Smaller Circles since it’s our book topic for F2F discussion, but as usual, I found myself buying 2 more.

Day 2. (4.24.2013) After office schedule, I went to Booksale, Makati Square and ended up buying When We Were Orphans, The Alchemist, and Gilead.

Day 3. (4.25.2013) I went to Booksale, Cityland Makati (They hold their office there) in my lunch hour and bought Home and The Boy in The Striped Pajamas. I have something to share on my trip there:

I was sitting on bended knees on the floor searching for good titles in the bottom shelf; on my right is a guy who is busy scouring through the titles on his side. As I turn my head on his side of books, I saw a glimpse of The Boy in The Striped Pajamas, on which without further thinking, I stretch my arms under his chin, while saying “excuse me” and grabbed the book. One good book! Then, after a couple of minutes he checked another horizontally piled books, in which I noticed on the farthest side was a copy of Home. Again, I muttered “excuse me,” then stretched my arms and grab the book. I saw the guy glared at me, but I just pursed my lips tight and headed to the cashier.

On the 4th day (4.26.2013), I went back to Booksale Makati Square to check more books, until I bought Atonement and Middlesex.

Those 4 days are one of the fun-filled-est book hunting days, so far. It didn’t totally eased the sorrows, but hey, I found a numerous reason to smile!