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Archive for December 2011

2011 in Books

Another year coming to a close. I always loved making these lists of stuff I did for the year - it gives me a chance to look back on what I have (or haven't) achieved and gives me a chance to prepare new goals for the next year to push myself even more!

So, in 2011, I have read 32 books. It is threee more than what I've read the last year (at 29 books). It would have been more had circumstances been different but I'm definitely not complaining. Then again, I read more picture & children's books this year so I think I read more last year page-wise than this year!

The best book I have read for the year is a four-way tie between Take That - Take One, Take That - Take Two, Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.

So, why choose those four books as the best for the year? Well, The Take That books should speak for themselves: they're so packed with photos of the band, which I absolutely loved and adored.

For Anna & the French Kiss, very rarely do I find a book that I can't put down. I finished this book in three days and had to force myself to sleep as I was reading it. I actually finished reading this in three days and re-read the book a few days after. I loved it that much. The chemistry between Anna & Etienne is sizzling! It died out in Lola & The Boy Next Door to be honest, but nevertheless, Anna was brill and the setting added to the loveability power of this book.

For Before I Fall, I read it and I was like: WOW. An eye-opening book, and well, it feels so real and I just felt for the main character as I was reading it. Such a shame it has to end that way but that's the way it is. We don't know what will happen and the ultimate saying of carpe diem kept repeating itself over and over in my head.

Without further adeau, below is a list of the books I've read. Click on the book name & author to read my review of it:

1. The Little Prince (Graphic Novel) - Joanne Sfar, Antoine de Sain Exupery (January); NetGalley
2. Chrissie's Shell -  Brooke Keith. (January); NetGalley
3. Take That: Take Two - Take That. (January); bought from Book Depository: BEST BOOK EVER :)
4. Ragdolls are the Best - Elaine Landau (January); NetGalley
5. Amazing Grace - Tara FT Sering (January); provided for review by publisher
6. City of Glass - Cassandra Clare (January); borrowed from a friend
7. The 39 Clues # 3: The Sword Thief - Peter Lerangis (February); borrowed from a friend
8. The Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot (February); borrowed from a friend
9. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan (February); borrowed from a friend
10. The 39 Clues # 4: Beyond the Grave. Jude Watson (February); borrowed from a friend
11. Bless this Mouse - Lois Lowry (February); NetGalley
12. The 39 clues # 5: The Black Circle - Patrick Carman (February); borrowed from a friend
13. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins (February); won from a contest
14. The 38 Clues # 6: In Too Deep - Jude Watson (March); borrowed from a friend
15. The 39 Clues # 7: The Viper's Nest - Peter Lerangis (March); borrowed from a friend
16. The 39 Clues # 8: The Emperor's Code - Gordon Korman (April); borrowed from a friend
17. Take That: Take One - Take That (April); bought from Dubai
18. The 39 Clues # 9: Storm Warning - Linda Sue Park (April); borrowed from a friend
19. The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan (May); swapped with a friend
20. The Chancer - Shane Lynch (May); bought from the Book Depository
21. The Princess Diaries: Take Two - Meg Cabot (May); borrowed from a friend
22. The 39 Clues # 10: Into the Gauntlet - Maargaret Peterson Haddix (May); borrowed from a friend
23. The 39 Clues: Agent Handbook (May); borrowed from a friend -- rubbish book
24. The Sign of the Four (Sherlock Holmes) - Arthur Conan Doyle (May) - free app for iPhone/iPod
25. The 39 Clues # 11: Vespers Rising - Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman & Jude Watson (June) - borrowed from a friend
26. Wake - Lisa McMan (June) - bought from Booksale
27. Delirium - Lauren Oliver (October) - bought from Tescos
28. Lola and the Boy Next Door - Stephanie Perkins (November) - bought from Amazon.co.uk
29. Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver (November) - bought from National Bookstore
30. Where The Heart Is - Billie Letts (December) - bought from Booksale
31. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason - Helen Fielding (December) - bought on discount at National Bookstore
32. If You Could See Me Now - Cecelia Ahern (December) - gift from a friend.

So, some stats from the above list. I love making stats so bear with me :)

This year, out of the 32 books I've finished, 16 are from friends - either won through contests, gifts, borrowed, or swapped with! Wow!

53.13% - (17/32)books that were lent or given by friends or won from a contest
18.75% - (6/32) books that were bought new from various merchants
15.63% - (5/32) books that were provided for review.
9.38% - (3/32) books that were bought used from various merchants
3.13% - (1/32) books for free from the Apple app store

I've started economizing - 23/32 books (71.88%) I've read for 2011, I've paid 0 pesos for!! Woohoo!!! :) Way to go!
The rest, I've bought - mostly full price but that's about to change for 2012 as I rearrange the budget & the priorities.

That's it for now, Happy Holidays to you :)

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason - Helen Fielding

Book blurb from Amazon.com: Lurching from the cappuccino bars of Notting Hill to the blissed-out shores of Thailand, everyone's favorite Singleton Bridget Jones begins her search for The Truth in spite of pathetically unevolved men, insane dating theories, and Smug Married advice. She experiences a zeitgeist-esque Spiritual Epiphany somewhere between the pages of How to Find the Love You Want Without Seeking It (can self-help books really help self?), protective custody, and a lightly chilled Chardonnay.

I was reading this early this year but misplaced the book. Found the book eventually later this year - which was a good thing. I breezed through the book really quickly - Bridget was just really funny at the latter part of the book. I felt like she was a real person and she is just very relatable (I don't drink as much as her nor smoke at all!). I felt her pain when she was pining over the loss of Mark Darcy, I felt her pain as she relates how much she feels lonely and how she tries to distract herself from her day to day life.

Ahhhh this book is utterly entertaining - although there were just some parts where I wanted to hit Bridget over the head due to her many bloopers that she could have avoided, and for her chronic lateness and short attention span.

I wish there could have been another book in the series, but unfortunately that will be a wish that will not be granted in the near future.

I've actually seen the movie based on this book and it was just... different. Sure, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant were absolutely brill in it but the story in the movie doesn't seem to be quite as funny as the book. It always seems to be the case for book adaptations turned into movies - something gets lost along the way.

Funny moment though: Bridget is obsessed with Mark Darcy, Mr Darcy & COlin Firth (based on his portrayal of Mr Darcy in Pride & Prejudice). I find myself laughing at multiple parts in the book because in my head, Mr Darcy is Colin Firth & he is also Mark Darcy!!

I have to say that Bridget is a good marketer of goods as well. Because of her, I found myself buying a Pride & Prejudice DVD (The one where Colin Firth starred, of course), and buying a whole load of Milk Trays!! Hmmmm Milk Trays.... A male friend of mine told me that a Milk Tray is actually for lonely single ladies because of the names of the chocolates. Ha ha ha.  True that. Go Bridget!

2011 in Travel - Part Two

I was compiling a list of things I did this 2011, and this is the travel bit. You may read my 2011 in Travel part One post here. I couldn't just put out all of my adventures in one post - it was faaar too many!! I <3 this  year - it was amaaazing !


June 4 - Baler, Aurora: Mother Falls. Baler Museum. Quezon Par. Balete Park & Millennium Tree. Stayed at Bahia de Baler. Ermita Hill (where the people went up to try and escape the tsunami of so long ago). Old Japanese Tunnel. Souvenir shopping. Baler Catholic Church. Quezon's new house. Marker for Aurora Quezon. Baler City Hall & Square.

June 5 - Baler, Aurora: Surfing Lesson & bumming at Sabang Beach.
Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija (to get a bus back to Manila).

June 10 - the start of my very first ever backpacking trip!!

Cebu-Mactan International Airport. Cebu Ferry Terminal. Supercat ferry to Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
Bohol: Mag-Aso Falls, Kawasan Falls, Canugao Falls (this one was scary - we had to plod through rice fields just to get here!), Sagbayan Peak. Stayed at Darunday Inn. Bojol Grill (dinner).

June 11 - Bohol Countryside Tour: Chocolate Hills at Carmen. Butterfly Center. Man-Made Forest at Bilar. Tarsier Viewing. Loboc River Cruise. Hanging Bridge (ha ha - one of the scariest things I've ever done. Good thing there was shopping in the end to reward me for my bravery ;) ). Python Viewing (Prony).  Baclayon Church. New Blood Compact Site. Bohol Bee Farm (hmmmmm yummy ice cream + bread spread!)

June 12 - Bohol Sea Tour: Dolphin Watching (a success although I did not see much and they did not swim beside the boat). Snorkelling at the Marine Fish Sanctuary. DUmaluan Beach. Hinag-danan Cave. Taver's Inn. Bohol Quality Mall. Plaza Rizal. Bohol City Hall. Tagbilaran Church.

June 13 - Bohol Tourism Office. Macaque Monkey Sanctuary (Cantamucad, Loon). Punta Cruz Watchtower. Island City Mall. Alona Beach.

June 14 - Bohol Sea Tour # 2: Dolphin Watching. Snorkelling at Fish Sanctuary. Balicasag Island. More Dolphin Watching (saw some dolphins swimming past the side of the boat. What's more, is that there were very few boats trying to chase after the dolphin! Amazeballs!). Vanishing Island. Virgin Beach. Rode a habal-habal for the first tmie ever. Bohol Beach Club.

June 15 - Tagbilaran Pier. Supercat ferry to Cebu. Sugbutel Hostel. Crown Regency: 4D Theatre: The Lost Island. Viewing Deck. Edge Coaster. Sky Walk. Ayala Center Cebu. Shopping at Mango. Bufffet dinner at Crown Regency.

June 16 - Fort San Pedro. Plaza Independencia. Cebu City Hall. Magellan's Cross. Basilica del Sto Nino. SM City Cebu. Colon Street. Cathedral & the Museum. Heritage of Cebu Monument. Casa Gorordo. San Diego-Yap Ancestral House. Shamrock (Pasalubong shopping). Basilica del Sto Nino Museum. Dinner at CNT Lechon.

June 17th - End of backpacker trip. Cebu-Mactan International Airport.

June 30th - Ninoy Aquino Terminal 1: Airport Lounge. Business class: Etihad from Manila-Abu Dhabi.

June marked a turning point in my life: I backpacked alone in some parts of Bohol and in Cebu. It's the first time i've travelled solo - so I decided to choose a place where I could be quite familiar with. As we all know, Cebu is almost like Manila. I was supposed to go abroad but the airline tickets were quite expensive when I was trying to book for stuff at the last minute. Nevertheless it made me believe in myself: that I could travel alone and survive by commuting around. Ther was a lot of research involved in this solo trip before I did go though!


Ahhhh the start of one of my favourite months of 2011. It was another turning point in my life. :) Read on!

July 1 - Abu Dhabi International Airport. Etihad Business Class Lounge. Six Senses Spa: 15 Minute Spa Massage (it was so good, I nearly fell asleep!!). Business Class: Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow Terminal 4. English Breakfast. #1 Pepys Street Apartment. Liverpool Street Underground Stn. #175 Bishopsgate (my office whilst in London - I loved this building). Spitalfields. Mitre Square (ooh where Jack the Ripper killed one of the girls). Tower of London. Tower Bridge. Hays Galleria. HMS Belfast.

I was pretty jetlagged on that day but nothing can stop me from going around my favourite city in the whole entire world!

July 2 - Tower Hill. Kensington High Street. The Gap. H&M. Kensington Park. Kensington Palace. Hyde Park. South Kensington. Gloucester Road. Wembley Stadium. Take That: Progress Live 2011.

Ahhhhh.. I finally saw one of my favorite boy bands ever. LIVE. And with Robbie Williams!!

July 3 - Victoria Tube Station. Westminster Cathedral. Wimbledon: Men's Finals (Nadal vs Djokovic). Queue for hours on end to watch Djokovic win from a screen in Court #2. We may not be inside Centre Court but the atmosphere of just being there. PLus, we saw him come ot with the trophy too! Pimms & Strawberries & Cream. Hmm Yum. Yum.

July 4 - First day at work. 175 Bishopsgate. Hmm. Little did I know that my world is gonna go topsy turvey.

July 6 - Leon's. Spitalfields Market. :) I realized who my real friends were. And yes, what they told me was true. I really was regretting all the things that I said.

July 9 - Buckingham Palace: Changing of the Guards. Starbucks. New Scotland Yard. Westminster Abbey. Houses of Parliament & Big Ben. Trafalgar Square - tried going up the lions, but it was too slippery in the sculpture. Covent Garden. Zizzi Pizza/Pasta Place. The National Gallery.

July 10 - Westminster Cathedral. Ashford OUtlet Store Shopping (Kent, England).

July 15 - Drinks out the back of the office!!! (COney & Barrow)

July 16 - Cambridge, England: London's King Cross (high speeed train to Cambridge). Sedgewick Museum. Nando's (hmm peri-peri chicken at its finest). Punting at the River Cam (so relaxing and so nice!!!). King's College. Cambridge High Street.
July 17 - OXford Street: Primark. New Look. Next. M&S. Chinatown.

July 19 - Drinks at All Bar One (boss's treat!). Tennis lessons of sorts at Islington.

July 20 - Party at my friend's house. The first party we ever threw together - it was a little get together of sorts!

July 22 - Wimbledon Tennis Tournament at work (but not exactly in Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club). Dog & Fox Bar @ Wimbledon Village.

July 23 - St Pancras Train Station. Canterbury West Train Stn. Canterbury Tales. Canterbury High Street. Canterbury Cathedral.

July 24 - Bearsted. Leeds Castle.

July 26 - Strada Restaurant, St Katherine's Docks (where boats are moored) - quaint little place.

July 28 - Bowls at Finsbury Square. Tried a new sport~ if I could call it a sport.

July 29 - Thames. Millennium Bridge.

July 30 - London Paddington. Oxford. Blenheim Palace (childhood home of Winston Churchill)

July 31 - Kew Gardens. Kew Palace.

Tiring July? Well, wait until the next few months! Such a shame that in July we failed to go out of the "comfort" area of Southeast England and London. We didn't even begin to take overnight trips out until August!!

So, that's it for now. Wait until Part Three and Part four of my Travel 2011 posts! :)

Topsy Turvey

You know the saying, "some drink to remember, some drink to forget." Memories. Some you want to keep forever, some you just want out of your head. As I pick up my next book to read, I find myself drawn to "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know I've blogged before how much my emotions affect my reading habits? Well, my reading genre and habit has changed drastically again. I'm at a low point in my life. I just want to forget, but I don't want to - if you get my drift. I am a very complicated person to know. It is a bit embarassing as I announce to the whole world to read how I am feeling. But I am lonely, I am depressed, I am lost. I feel a bit like Bridget Jones when Mark Darcy had left her, and she still can't get over him. I'm not sure if many of you read the books that are about Bridget - if you haven't, do. So what is the point of this post? The point is, well, there is no point. I am just here to vent out what I am thinking. This is my blog anyway, I can say whatever I want to say. So forgive me if I can't review any books that deal with love (maybe except Eat, Pray, Love since that is about travel anyway) - I don't want anything to do with a story about girl meets boy, boy meets girl, they get close, they fall in love. Ugh. I'm cynical, Im annoyed, I'm upset. Can you guys suggest any books that do not have characters that fall in love??? YA or Chick Lit only puhlease. And no weird un-human characters: no vamps, no fallen angels, etc. I wanna deal with books that deal with real people only. Maybe I'll read Leviathan - or some of the nerdy books out there that make you think. Or one of the Paulo Coelho novels. Sometimes I feel like travel would be the only escape from what I am feeling. The feeling of just being free, seeing the world, meeting new people, being lost, then being found. I don't know. Maybe this is why I'm going to read Eat, Pray, Love - to find something I'm desperately looking for but yet I still don't know what I'm looking for. I think I read because I also want to get lost from reality. Then again, that's just me.
Maybe the only cure is to just let go and leave everything behind. Take the leap. I'm not getting any younger. I can't wait any longer. Maybe I look too highly of myself and think that what I'm asking for is reasonable. Maybe no one would really miss when I flew like the wind and disappeared to another country. Maybe that's the right step for me. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I think I need to find the new place I would proudly and happily call home eventually. Song for the moment - When We Were Young: Take That. The lyrics are calling out to me. I just hope this phase won't last long.
Tag : , ,

2011 in Travel - Part One

Looking at the tiny little notebook that I have that contains a summary of my goals, dreams, and what I have achieved for specific months and/or days in a certain year, I realized the pages are a lot more written on this year: the 2011 notes definitely added more "scratch" in it - travel ideas that were written down hastily while on the road, directions where to go & anything else. What I love aboout it though, is that the colour of pen I used to write stuff in is still the same: PURPLE :)

There's just something about writing on a piece of paper that appeals to me - nothing like opening up a notebook, old and battered, and looking back on ideas that was written from days/months/years past and the ability to look back on it everytime you want to: without looking for a specific file you have saved down from your computer or worrying about losing your files.

Anyhoo, it's nearly the end of 2011. At the time I'm writing this, it's December 10th, a Saturday, with 3 weeks to go before the last day of the year. I've always loved the New Year - it brings new hope, new joys, new experiences to look forward to. At the same time, the last day of the year gives me more than enough time to look back on the year past and think about what I did for the year: was it worthwhile? Did I make the most of my borrowed time?

Surely some of my old blog posts (and even book reviews) state the fact that we should live everyday to the fullest! And I would say that 2011 has been quite a fruitful year for me. It's one of my best years in the 27 years of my life so far!

And here we go, I will share what I've done for 2011 (so far) travel-wise.


I went to Davao! This is my second time to go to this city. No blog post yet (you'll find that I owe a LOT of blog posts - I never did try to sit down and blog about my travels)

Stayed there for 4 days and 3 nights - from January 17-21.

January 17 - Davao Crocodile Park, People's Park
January 18 - Philippine Eagle Park, Malagos Garden, Sul Orchids (where my mum went crazy buying a whole load of orchids for her to take home), Tribu K'Mindanawan village, Butterfly House, Shrine of Holy Infant Jesus of Prague, Jack's Ridge
January 19 - Pearl Farm.. Aldevinco Shopping Centre. Bangkerohan Market.
January 20 - Museo Dabawenyo, Magsaysay Park, San Pedro Cathedral, City Hall, Rizal Park, Davao Airport.

(Won Cebu Pacific tote bags on the way home from their fun flghts! :) )

Good January - got the airfare on sale so it was well worth it!


February 3 - Well, this is not exactly a travel-thing but I watched The Joy Luck Club Play alone at Onstage at Greenbelt!

February 12 - Hot Air Balloon Festval at Clark Field, Pampanga. Well worth sleeping on a bus just to get here. The balloon flight was amazing.
Treetop Adventure: Trekking & Canopy Ride at Subic Bay.
Shopped for some cheap imported goods at Subic too.

February 19th - 18th Philippine Travel Expo. Got a lot of brochures. It was time to plot where I was going and what opportunities were there (little did I know that I was embarking on a huge adventure soon)
World Pyrolympics: Portugal vs the UK. (The UK won 1st runner up for 2011, after winning the 2010 competition).

February 26th - Nido Science Discovery Centre. Not exactly the best science museum in the Philippines (quite expensive admission price, if you'll ask me).
Under the Sea 3D - bought a deal online. Cute little animals :)
World Pyrolympics: China vs France (meehhh - not that impressive).

February was okay, it could have been more memorable but couldn't complain given the opportunities I got :)


March 6 - Resorts World, Manila. Saw Kaos - It is a brilliant show, it reminds me of the West End productions. I love Kaos the white lion & Sito the white tiger.

March 18 - Midnight Mercato. It's a food market. Uhmm, I'm not too big on food.

March 20 - The Postal Heritage Tour. Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila Post Office & Museum, The Metropolitan Theatre, Arroceroz Forest Park, Manila City Hall & SM Manila.
I know I promised to have blogged about this adventure but sadly I didn't get the time too. Why I was so lazy before, I couldn't understand.
Manila from the Met Theatre

Living it up in Corregidor


April 6 - Good Charlotte live at Glorietta. I wasn't supposed to watch this. Until I got a text rom a friend saying I got tickets. Who am i to turn down such a great opportunity?

April 10 - Corregidor (Including the Malinta Tunnel Light & Sound Show). This place is very, very pretty. It has a lot of history to it, which I absolutely adored. I didn't expect such a brilliant place like this to exist so close to Manila! The ruins are so well-preserved, and it is a place that is just so photogenic.

April 15 - Shakespeare in Hollywood. More of a bookish milestone, but I bought a deal online and watched this alone too. I love watching plays and musicals - even if it means that I am going to have to watch them alone!

Sumaguing Cave, Sagada

April 22 - Banaue, Ifugao, Rice Terraces (Only photo ops though). Sagada - Trekking the Banga-an Rice Terraces & the Bomod-Ok Big Falls (it was absolutely tiring trying to go up the steep & the bazillion steps going up from the falls. I felt my heart beating and screaming at me. Even drank a whole bottle of gatorade!!)

April 23 - Sunrise at Kiltepan viewpoint. Cave Connection - Lumiang & Sumaguing Caves (I loved the caving adventure!! It was such a thrill! I never knew I could do it). Sagada Pottery & Lake Danum.

April 24 - Echo Valley & Hanging Coffins - The Echo valley is soooo pretty!!
St Mary's Episcopal Church - saw the vice mayor giving out coffee. And might I say that the coffee in Sagada is really, really yummy??? Also the yoghurt - some say that it was really sour but it was nothing like I've ever tasted! It was good! Souvenir shopping at both Sagada & Banaue (we stopped over somewhere in Banaue where it was quite cold and foggy - absolutely cool!)


May 20 - "Defending the Caveman" play at RCBC - another deal I got online. It was cool & funny.

May 21 - Anilao, Batangas. Stayed at Balai Anilao. Island Hopping: Sombrero Island & Eagle Point.

May 22 - Anilao, Batangas. Twin Rock beach.

May was okay - I didn't rally get a chance to do much. I guess I was quite tired from April?

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Post Travel Depression & Itchy Feet

Itchy Feet. 

Let me confess something: I have itchy feet right now. Its Dec 10, Saturday, as I type this, and for lack of better things to do: I've woken up super early and there's nothing on the telly, I don't feel like watching anything - be it a movie or a telly show, and I don't want to read, I decided to write. 

Its been two months since the 3 1/2 month European adventure, 2 weeks since I came back from Cagayan de Oro City, and I'm stuck at home. Last week it was bearable, this week it isn't. :( Then as I was reading other travel blogs out there, it turns out that I'm suffering from Post-Travel Depression. (PTD). As the Sole Sisters suggested, if you're feeling down and out, wondering where else to go and what to do next, its best to share your experiences on a blog to reminisce and share to the world what you saw. They have a point. My friends have bee asking where I've been, where I'm going, and they do enjoy reading blogs to so here's something new for them to read about as well. This time, it's someone they know that's sharing the story, and not just something they have googled or surfed the net over. 

So yes, it happens  travel depression. The utter feeling of being stuck in a routine, wondering where my life is heading and is this what my life is supposed to be? As compared to the feeling of being free, going wherever your feet (and finances) take you, not a care in the world and just jumping out of the workplace and not confirming to what everyone is doing (work, make money, go home, sleep, go to work again)

I'm watching Samantha Brown's Passport to Europe and she's currently in Stockholm, Sweden. Oh, what I would give to just jump on a plane and go there. 

Let me tell you a little story: in 2008, I was 23, a year in my job, and was sent to London. I know I've blogged about this before, but I just want to reiterate this experience out. I've met people who I've worked with and are older by a few years who have managed to take a year off and travelled around. WOW. I want to be like that too. 

Two of my friends have just left their jobs a month ago and are currently travelling around South America right now. I'm jealous whenever I see their Facebook updates and their photos! Maybe I'll do that someday: quit my job, take a year (or maybe a few months off) off and explore Europe. Why Europe? Because if my time is limited and I have to pick specific places in Earth to go to, I would just choose my favourite continent! 

So, there. Even if I live in a third world country, I can do it. I'll just need to save, save, save and well, have the courage to travel alone (I'm not sure any of my friends would want to go with me given the tough expense of it all). 

But in the meanwhile, while I eventually make up my mind to do the ultimate dream, I'm looking forward to my future trips. I've already booked a 9-day trip to Korea so here's hoping I get a visa :) I'm thinking of going to Anawangin and to Tagaytay (again) in January, and going somewhere else from March onwards! 

The thing is: If you're feeling travel depression and your travel fund is depleted, give yoursef little perks here and there: buy a plane ticket on sale, go on an overland adventure somewhere (there's loads of other places in the Philippines that I have yet to see, within Luzon too) and that may curb up some of your sadness. Eventually when you get the money, you can now go on the trip you wanted :)

So, onto my next post & travel plan!! 

Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver

Summary from Goodreads:
What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Thoughts - OH.MY.GOD. How could you write a review for a novel so beautifully written? One of the best books that I have ever read so far! This is all about the realities of death, and time - and how we don't hold it. AMAZING.

I picked this book up when I was walking through a local bookstore. I wanted to wait for the sale period (so i could get an additional 20% off but I just couldn't wait!) but couldn't so I walked home with this book (thanks to my National Bookstore points, I got this book for free!)

What can I say about this book? First off - LIVE EVERY DAY AS IF IT WERE YOUR LAST. I wish I could use that saying more but sometimes I feel as if I'm just living in a cyclical world where everything is routine. Anyway, I think the concept is not new for the book. It's like Groundhog day, but with a twist. I admit that I had my apprehensions as I was reading it, feeling as if I might get bored with details that appear over and over again but the author definitely played things up. Everyday in Sam's life is definitely different.

It's a good thing I read this book, it made me realize how important life is, and how interconnected we all are. One lousy or good thing that we do can directly affect others.

Sam as a character - well, she is a bit lousy, but I've grown to love her in the end. Kent is okay. Rob is an arse, and Sam's posse: Ally, Elody & Lindsay. I'm not sure how to feel about her posse. They're okay, they're typical popular girls in high school - and shows how peer pressure can definitely affect your decisions.

So, in summary: pick up this book, love your life, and live it! :)

Published: 2009

Available From: everywhere!
Book was: bought from National Bookstore
Rating: 5/5

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