Category Archives: Fangirl

UAAP Season 76: Broken heart, Brotherhood and BROs!

First of all, I’m really sorry for not updating my blog especially last September where I did not post a single entry. The long and short of it is life has taken a toll on me, specifically my academic and family life. And in cases where I am not busy (or supposedly busy but I chose not to), I am closely watching this University Athletics Association of the Philippines or UAAP Season 76 of the Men’s Basketball.

THE ELIMINATION ROUND

Last year, I’ve mentioned on how excited I’m going to be this season but I did not expect it to be this exciting. Of course, I rooted for University of Santo Tomas where I am an alumna and University of the East where I am currently a law student. But this year De La Salle University Green Archers earned my respect so much. I loved how they matured as a team and the trust they gave to each of their teammates and coach. It was a tough road for De La Salle because during the first round of the season, they were on the bottom four of the standings. There was a long break after that because the Philippines hosted the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship and one of the venues of the UAAP Games, Mall of Asia, was one of the venues used for such basketball championship. Yes, we know what happened next—Team Gilas Pilipinas made history and would be going to Spain on 2014 FIBA World Cup! But somehow, this changed De La Salle, too. When they returned, they were unstoppable. They won all their games in the second round just like that.

Madrid, baby! Smart Gilas' Historic Win.
Madrid, baby! Smart Gilas’ Historic Win.

Everyone was surprised as many people then were already predicting that Far Eastern University Tamaraws is going to be the new champions for this season for sweeping the first round. But yeah, personal issues among players like irresponsibility and immaturity blocked FEU to the winning goal. Sadly, their MVP, Terrence Romeo, acted more like a liability as their campaign to the championship slowly approached its end. He returned to his old self—brash, cocky and a ball hog in crucial plays. I wished that he would have redeemed himself for next season but he chose to go pro instead.  Well, I wish for all the luck in the world for UAAP’s favorite “BRO”.

MVP.
MVP-worthy? Well he did managed to get the title of the MVP of UAAP. He got the most haters, too.

There was one more favored team at the end of the elimination round and that is the National University Bulldogs.  Three schools—NU, DLSU and FEU—finished the elimination round on top of the standings with 10-4 win-loss record. The Bulldogs ended on the top of the standings because among the three, they had the best quotient value. However, they were stopped by the fourth seed, University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers. UST was a great team however what hurt them the most during the elimination round was the injury made by Jeoffrey  Javilionar to UST’s top gun and team captain, Jeric Teng, almost ruined UST’s campaign to the Final Four. The sad part is, Javilionar was not punished at all! Unfair as it may seem, I believe that this has been the driving force of UST in passing through that tough twice-to-beat advantage of NU.

With the rest of the teams, this is the quick things I have to said about them. For Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles, you nothing to be ashamed of. Five-peat is still five-peat and you cannot always be on top. Then again, you must really do something and discipline your mega-arrogant coach. For University of the East Red Warriors, words cannot express how your talent was wasted because of useless sanctions given by the UAAP Board to our players especially in crucial games. Maybe this is not our year but maybe next year, it will be. Igma Kadima! For Adamson University Soaring Falcons, I really wondered what is wrong with such a good team. A part of me dies whenever I see you crumble after you take the lead in the first half of the game then completely losing it. But you can do it! For University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons…what on earth is happening to you? I had been a UAAP fan ever since a I was a college freshman back in 2005 and so far, UP is the only team that never reached the Final Four. And despite that P5 Million donation from Manny V. Pangilinan to improve their basketball team nothing happened. In fact, they did not win a single game. But as the saying goes, once you reach the rock bottom, there is no way but UP. Good luck, UP. You can so do this.

THE FINALS

Teng vs. Teng! Sibling Rivalry at its finest!
Teng vs. Teng! Sibling Rivalry at its finest!

De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas finally reached the finals together. Now, this was a feat. For some reason, the fans of DLSU and UST were so supportive with each other since last season. The fans even call this union as DLSUST! A big factor in it was when Jeron Teng, the younger brother of Jeric Teng, entered DLSU. Everyone loved them together! I’ve seen brothers joining UAAP but they had always been on the same team. The Tengs are different—they are rivals but after the game you would see that pure brotherly love, support and respect emanating from them.

UAAP Finals is only for best-of-three. Game 1 came and it’s a pain that I could not watch them because of my Remedial Law finals. But what a game! UST owned it with a solitary point!  Also, that ended the winning streak of the Archers.

Everyone in the UST community went ballistic. The UAAP statistical records show 71% of the time, there is no Game 3. But DLSU was really determined.  On Game 2, they dominated UST almost the entire game. They took Game 2 with a hefty 7 point lead.

Game 3 did push through one week after despite the typhoon scare. Nobody is really sure what is going to happen. Both teams are almost equally matched. They both have what it takes to defeat each other. UST got an early lead with as much as 15 points. But soon afterwards, DLSU managed to run after that lead. An overtime was needed to know who really deserves the crown and unfortunately for us, Thomasians, DLSU took it with a cold 2-point lead from Almond Vosotros.

Gahhh…I swear that it was one of the most painful moments in my life. The bad news was Studio 23 kept on replaying that game several times this week.

Why can’t UAAP have a best-of-five for finals instead? 😦

THE AFTERMATH

Life moves on, as they say. I went back to school and finished my course. There are still no results yet but I do hope that they are positive. Yet every time I remembered that the time went out, I die. I also thought that it was good that I have another school to think about. If this happened within the years I am in UST, I won’t really know how I’d cope up.

tengg
AWWWWW. This photo gives me goosebumps. Every time. Cheers to the Teng brothers!

There were cheers and celebrations in DLSU. Their player, Arnold Van Opstal, was so happy that he showed his abs to everyone. Their players were everywhere this week, from TV guestings, to radio shows and the front pages of the newspapers.  But the DLSU crowd was the most gracious opponent ever. They cheered the infamous “Go USTe!” after the game and even in their Animo Night to show their respect to the Tigers.

Most Improved...Abs. Green Archer AVO is giving the crowd some fan service!
Most Improved…Abs. Green Archer AVO is giving the crowd some fan service! Yes, he is the Most Improved Player of the year, too.

Finals MVP Jeron Teng was an instant celebrity together with his brother Jeric. Who wouldn’t go “AWWWWW” seeing how they hugged each other after the game. The lesson that the Teng brothers taught us: Basketball is just basketball. Be very professional in dealing with it. But after the game, it’s back to being brothers again. Anyway, Jeron revealed in the interview that they did not celebrate his victory in his family knowing how his brother grieves for their loss. Well, Jeric is now preparing for his PBA Draft so we’re very much excited for him. What we didn’t know that our favorite “BRO” also enlisted for PBA draft. Yup, it’s bye-bye time for Terrence Romeo for FEU, too. Sayang, he has one more year to redeem himself.

So yeah…it’s good bye Teng Brothers’ Chowking Memes. Goodbye to our Bromeo, too. It’s the start of a brand new era.

Oh. And there’s one more person.

Who would not forget Tiger Aljon Mariano? I really feel bad for the boy. He was playing very well for the UST Team especially when Jeric Teng was injured, If it wasn’t for him, the UST Team should not have reached the final four. His efforts in defeating FEU was outstanding. However, his meltdown started even before the finals. When UST entered the Final Four, we had not seen any stellar games from him. This went on until the finals. His biggest fault was when he failed to listen to Coach Pido Jarencio’s instruction to make Jeric Teng take a shot. Probably, he wanted to take that hero shot and decided not to pass it to Teng. But I cannot just particularly blame him. That 15-point lead of UST cannot just slip from UST’s hands is not just his working. Also, if he did not make those two free throws, the game could not have reached overtime. What pains me is the fact that UST “fans” are making malicious accusations that DLSU paid him. This is totally not cool and very childish. It’s a good thing that Aljon was matured enough to understand his mistakes and gave this message via his Twitter account:

Breaking the silence. Al
Breaking the Silence. Aljon thanked everyone and said sorry for his shortcomings. But the best way for him to express his sincerity…bounce back next season! 🙂

I can’t wait for new season. I’m particularly scared of the DLSU Green Archers because none of its players graduated and they are threatening everyone with that big import, Ben Mbala. Ateneo is also very much determined to regain that crown or at least return to final four. Their top player, Kiefer Ravena’s brother, Thirdy, is joining the team. And he played exceptionally for the Junior’s team. There are a lot of graduates of FEU so it’s a big challenge for them to have their veteran player like Cris Tolomia, to really step up. UE said goodbye to 6 of its players but their main men, topbilled by Roi Sumang and Charles Mammie, are still there. UST bid Jeric Teng and Clark Bautista farewell but everyone else is there. For National University, they would struggle without Emmanuel Mbe and probably Ray Parks, too. I have no idea what would Adamson and UP do but I hope that they are cooking up something really great for Season ’77!

Yes, this season had been full of B’s for me: Broken heart, Brotherhood and BROs! Sadly, my UAAP fandom would now lie low starting now because of another B. I would definitely take the bar exams next year. But surely, it would be a blast. And hey, UE’s the host next season!

***Disclaimer: Almost all the pictures are from UAAP NCAA Memes. The Jeric Teng and Jeron Teng picture embracing each other is from Philstar. AVO’s abs shot is from DLSU Sports. I can’t find the exact link now so please just inform me so I can link it back properly. 🙂

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That Feeling of Being Infinite: Book Review of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.

—Charlie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Two days ago, I finished reading Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” By the way, you may find this weird, but I haven’t watched the film version yet and probably I will not be able to watch it for a long time because it was last shown in SM Cinemas just this Tuesday. Hence, I am telling you this now, there won’t be any comments on how hot or perfect Emma Watson was as Sam. At any rate, it took me two days to read it.I really could not remember the last time I had read strictly for leisure purpose. As a law student, whenever I get the chance to have that vacation, which usually spans just for two weeks, I try avoiding all kinds of reading materials.  Because my family hardly goes into any vacation, being away from any reading material is the best type of rest for me.

Yesterday, when I was about to finish the review, I realized that I missed the main twist, the most significant part in the story. I tell you it was so subtly and intelligently written that even my intricate sister, who finished the book weeks ahead of me, missed it too. Maybe because I am a law student, my eyes are automatically skipping some parts and trying to search the main idea. I will read paragraphs quickly, and then when I realized that I didn’t get any grasp on what I have read, I will read the whole thing very slowly. Well, sometimes I do that. But there are times when I’d just shrug and tell myself to keep on reading because I might understand what is going on in the next sentences to come. Maybe that’s how I missed it. So now, I’m paying the price by rewriting everything I had written yesterday.

The book promises that it is a coming-of-age novel. The story revolves around fifteen-year-old, Charlie. He writes to “friend” his daily life as a high school freshman his struggles in school and his closely-knitted family. His story tackles on several issues and problems of high school students nowadays like drug addiction, smoking, sex, teenage pregnancy, homosexuality and everyone’s favorite problem—falling in love for the very first time. Who wouldn’t want stories about high school life and angst? Everyone says that the most memorable part of their lives is their high school life. This is where our we know more about ourselves, build our character, first voice out our thoughts, unleash our curiosity in many things, develop lasting friendship and feel that we are living slowly in the center of the world. This is the part of our lives wherein we could say,  “I swear we were infinite.

Charlie seems to be an ordinary high school boy. At first glance, you would find him a very smart, straight-A’s boy who is obviously beyond his years but he still possesses the innocence. He loves reading books, especially the novels his teacher, Bill, gives him as extra homework for his Advanced English class. He is also a big fan of music. All throughout the book, Charlie mentions several songs which I’m mostly unfamiliar with. The story was set in 1991 and I was three-year old then. Anyway, he is also good in mixing tapes and gives them to his friends and family. Charlie is endearing. He is a good son, a supportive brother and a loyal friend. Charlie could be very cool, too. Although he could be small in size and could easily be targeted by the bullies, he is a very good fighter. He is a wallflower, the quiet observer of life.

Nonetheless, one would wonder why Charlie seems to be friendless among his batch mates. All his friends are high school seniors. He is always going to his psychiatrist but he supplies no direct reason why in his letters to friend. You would see how submissive he is. He dated a girl who he hardly likes. He let his gay friend kiss him every night on the time of his depression. He can’t really say no to anyone. It’s also a wonder why he suddenly became addicted to cigarettes the moment he tried it and the next days to come; he smokes ten sticks a day. Later, he became addicted to LSD and marijuana, too. It’s as if he is trying to escape from something but he does not want to express what. Or perhaps, he cannot express it. He seems suppressing something in his memory. But what must it be? He has a good and close family who loves him so much. He is doing so well in school. He has caring and intelligent friends.

One must think deeper in reading Charlie. Stephen Chbosky’s writing style was too simplistic. I am sometimes annoyed with how literal it is written. There are times that you feel like the author is not giving you the chance to use your imagination or think. Charlie is blatant on writing to friend what he sees like his sister having sex with his boyfriend or how he masturbates. But I am telling you this: don’t let the writing style of Chbosky fool you. You must comprehend what Charlie is really undergoing by reading the novel very carefully. Recognize that Charlie is a character full of complexities. He is a broken character yet a very riveting one.

Perhaps, the novel shall be best remembered with the line, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” I remember that for weeks, my friends in Facebook and Twitter posted that line as status message or tweet after watching the movie. I understand why those eight words are popular. Precisely, that is the answer why a lot of us suffer in broken relationships or are abused or are settled with very little love received. The love we accept are directly proportional with our self-esteem and how we measure our self-worth. But besides that, I shall not forget this lesson:

“But it’s like when my doctor told me the story of these two brothers whose dad was a bad alcoholic. One brother grew up to be a successful carpenter who never drank. The other brother ended up being a drinker as bad as his dad was. When they asked the first brother why he didn’t drink, he said that after he saw what it did to his father, he could never bring himself to even try it. When they asked the other brother, he guessed he learned how to drink on his father’s knee. So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we came from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

Powerful lines. It simply states that all of us could be wounded people from circumstances on our past. But one could always choose a better path. And with our choices, it makes who we really are. A weak man shall always blame his past like how his job sucks now because he lived and raised in the slums or how he can never have a stable relationship because he thinks all women are the same because his mother left his father and him when he was little. However, a truly successful man who lived in a similar situation shall be the one who should be working extra hard because he does not want his sons to suffer poverty that he experienced when he was little and would value his relationships more. Charlie taught us that your past should be a story not an excuse. Charlie must live in each one of us.

I recommend this book to anyone. It is a book filled with life’s lessons that would let you reminisce on your teenage year. At the same time, you look back your past and think whether the wound inside your heart has healed and made you a better person or think if the effect is otherwise. You would love the overflowing hope it promises you after reading it.

Remember: You cannot change your past but you can always choose you future.

From http://projectfree-tv.net/perks-of-being-a-wallflower-trailer-hermione-percy-jackson-go-to-high-school.html
We accept the love we think we deserve. I think in the movie, it was Charlie who said it to Sam. In the book, it was Bill, his teacher, is the person who said it to him. In any case, those words will live on.

UAAP Season 75 Aftermath Random Thoughts

I don’t know if it is really normal to really be a big fan of college basketball even if it has been years since you last graduated. But I am still a big fan of it. I know I have not blogged much last month because I had been busy but if you are following my twitter account, you probably have noticed that I tweeted so much about UAAP. UAAP stands for University Athletic Association of the Philippines. It is composed of eight of the biggest universities in Metro Manila namely, Adamson University (AdU), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU),  Far Eastern University (FEU), National University (NU), University of the East (UE), University of the Philippines (UP) and University of Santo Tomas (UST).

As you all know, I received my Economics degree as well as some units for College of Law in University of Santo Tomas and now I’m pursuing my Law degree in University of the East so in a way, the UAAP is very much alive in me. But you see, both in UST and UE, my classmates care little if not at all about UAAP. In law school, people hardly participate in school activities. Also, there is that big attachment formed in their undergraduate. I was told that your true love is your undergraduate school and not your post-grad school. Personally, I both love my schools so much. I scream equally on the games. I swear you wouldn’t want hearing me scream because it might damage your eardrums permanently. Though I really need to know more about UE—the history, the cheers and the school spirit. Did you know that I just learned today that UE was formerly known as Philippine College of Commerce and Business Administration? Well, I still have remaining two semesters to know my law university better.

Truthfully, it’s kind of depressing having no one to talk about sports in school but thank God for the Internet, I could still discuss the games with my college buddies and also at home because everyone in my family graduated from a UAAP school including my little brother who is a first year engineering student now in UST. Also, in Facebook and Twitter, you can easily air your views and read the views of another. It feels so good cheering for your teams as well as trash talking some schools at times though.  Yes, trash talking shall never be parted from cheering your school.

I did watch a game live this season in the Mall of Asia Arena. It was between UST and DLSU and surprisingly, DLSU did win that game. But although I was sad that UST lost that game, the experience of me chanting UST Cheers and having that adrenalin rush all throughout the game made me feel younger again. Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I watched a game live but I’m happy that I relieved it in that game.

Photo credits: Interaksyon.com
Intense. Often, I am usually noisy when watching UAAP when one of my universities are playing. But I’m very quiet when watching them playing against each other. UST’s Teng and UE’s Sumang are battling it up here.

My UE Team did not fare well this season. They only won 3 out of 14 games in the eliminations. Nonetheless that includes one big win from this season’s champion, Ateneo. I was lucky enough to watch the game with the entire UE community in our lobby. I must tell you that the UE is crowd is one of the most passionate players in the league! Also, I just love it when the even Coach Norman Black’s face turned pale when they lost to the nothing-to-lose UE Team.

UST almost had it all. Almost. I was really sad hearing their loss to Ateneo. I really thought that the 2006 Championship would be repeated. I can never forget that season which some dubbed as a “Cinderella finish”. Why? It the first round of eliminations, all schools except FEU had defeated the lowly UST Team. Probably because of three things: First, they are still adjusting with their new coach, Pido Jarencio. Second, they lack maturity as a team. Third, their players kept on having illnesses. If I remembered it correctly, there was a dengue outbreak amongst the players. But coming into the second round of eliminations, they were a solid, strong team. They defeated all the teams in that elimination round and they were defeated by Ateneo only on the Game 1 of the finals. In the end, they emerged as champions. In this season, nobody is really expecting UST to reach the finals but they did. They were such a great team to watch and I assure you that they are not for the faint-hearted. They are usually lagging behind their opponent in the first three quarters but damn that fourth quarter of theirs. For some reasons, they could easily steal the ball and shoot them effortlessly. Unfortunately, they did not defeat Ateneo this time. So all bitterness aside, I congratulate the Hail Mary Squad, Ateneo de Manila University. Five straight winning basketball championships are not easy to achieve. I also salute the Atenean community for being extremely supportive of their basketball teams.

I hope in the future there shall be more teams included in UAAP. The season feels so short because we only have eight teams. Probably at ten teams, we could have a longer and more intense season. I heard that since San Beda College would be turning into a university soon, they are planning on joining UAAP. I would love that but I don’t like some super proud Bedans ask us Warriors to change our school colors because although San Beda was established way before UE, we were in the league as the fifth member of the UAAP. Also, Ateneo is now campaigning for their sixth title or the ANIM-O. I challenge all teams in UAAP to do something and halt them. I mean come on, five championships are way too much.

I just cannot wait for the next season. Generally, only a few good players from all schools are graduating so I expect a very good and quality basketball next season. I heard that UE have two ‘import’ players for next season and recently, Manny V. Pangilinan donated P5M for the UP Team so in a way, every team is stepping up and prepping up for the next season.

More than the school rivalry and the intrigues and protests this season, what shall linger more is the camaraderie, sportsmanship and mutual respect for all people under the UAAP member schools.  UAAP is one of the biggest reason why I am proud being a Golden Lady Warrior or a Red Tigress. Probably, that is what made me addicted to it up to now. I can see that UAAP will really last for a very long time and could go on even after my death. But for now, I could imagine myself as a grandmother taking her grandchildren into the game and still shouting,”O, Defensa!” even with arthritis on.

Long live, UAAP!

Unlikely Combination. A Red Kitty. Weird but it is what I am in UAAP.

The Crossroad of Imagination and Reality: Ruby Sparks Review

This is the true and impossible story of my very great love: Ruby Sparks. You may see this and think it’s magic. But falling in love, is an act of magic.

—-Calvin Weir-Fields from the film, Ruby Sparks

Ruby Sparks. When fiction meets reality.

At age twenty-four, I figured out one bad thing: nothing seems to make you really enthusiastic anymore. It seems that you have heard, read or seen every story whether fictional or not.  It’s probably the worst part of growing up when everything you perceive with your senses is something hackneyed to you. That state of ennui is inevitable and perhaps one of the unwritten burdens God gave to mankind when He banished us from paradise with the original sin. Life was suddenly tedious and uninspiring. For months, I’ve felt that. But thank God for Ruby Sparks!

The story was about a famous writer, Calvin, who had a very bad case of writer’s block. Aside from his brother, Harry, who hangs with him every other day or so, he is also friendless. His day usually starts with walking his dog, Scotty, and ends up with practically nothing to do. He asked for help from his therapist, Dr. Rosenthal, who gave him an assignment to write at least a page about a person who would probably like his dog, Scotty. That night, he dreamt of a woman who he met because of Scotty. The next thing in the morning, he was sitting in front of his typewriter, writing everything about her. He named him Ruby Sparks. Suddenly, his day would go on with half of it dreaming about Ruby and the waking up writing everything about their conversations, the things they do together, her smile, and her laughter—everything about her. He made her a painter, probably so their love for art would collide beautifully.  Soon, he confessed to his brother that he thinks he is in love with the character he created in his mind.

Of course, even Calvin thinks that he is crazy falling in love with the character he created. But one day, he woke up seeing the Ruby he created whipping something for him in his kitchen. He ran away from her, believing that he is just an image from his mind. Later, he found out that she truly exists in this world. Although she is a manifestation of his mind, she is living and breathing among us. Nonetheless, Calvin discovered that being a character he created, he could easily modify everything about her by writing attributes about her. For example, he could make her a fluent French speaker just by typing those words in his typewriter. Their days were filled with pleasure and love at first but although she could easily be controlled by Calvin, Ruby is also a real person who could get upset and bored. She eventually asked for space and this act of hers brought too many complications on their relationship. He made her really missing him, and she turned out to be very needy and dependent to him but she wasn’t happy. He wrote that Ruby is effervescently happy but it seems she only acted with forced joy. Near the end of the film, he revealed to Ruby that he could control her in his own will because he only wrote about her and demonstrated it to her. But whatever he made her do, he saw nothing but anger, disgust and revulsion in her eyes. After he stopped typing, the very tired Ruby went out of the room. Disappointed with what happened between them, he typed that he is finally setting him free.

I will no longer spoil you anymore with what happened with the story in the end and everything that happened in between. I would really recommend this film to everyone because it is creative, rich, innovative and a beautiful love story. It is not light-hearted but it is profound as it is depicting the complexities of men’s desire, possessiveness, self-loath and affection.  If it teaches us something, it is to let go the people who means a lot to us and to understand that when we love somebody, we love them because they are who they are and not because of the person we expect them to be. They can’t be subordinate to us nor be controlled by us. By controlling them and we hinder their growth and their freedom and without freedom, one cannot be truly happy.

“In the luckiest, happiest state the words come through you, not from you. She came to me wholly herself, I was just lucky enough to be there to catch her.” —Calvin Weir-Fields

I tell you now, you MUST see this movie. It was well-acted by real-life couple, Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan. Zoe Kazan is extra amazing because she didn’t only act poignantly in this film; she even WROTE it, so consummately and intelligently wrote it. The cinematography is breath-taking. The overall impression for me is I am watching an enthralling poetry in the big screen. This is the type of film that would leave that lingering feeling for quite some time and the best part is inspire you to write your own story.

What are you going to write today? Take some precaution because who knows when they will walk in to your real life.

Yes, We Seek Shamy!

“With the understanding that nothing changes what so ever – physical or otherwise, I would not object to us no longer characterizing you as not my girlfriend.”

—Dr. Sheldon Cooper, The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition.

The fifth season of The Bing Bang Theory ended and now we start the long agony of waiting for the sixth season on September.

Truthfully, I just recently became a fan this summer. My sister had always been a fan of the series and literally pleaded for me to watch a couple of episodes so somebody could understand her fandom. I refused for years. Definitely, I’m one of those uncool geeky girls that you had seen in high school. I always wear those thick eye glasses and I’ll always be fan of anime, manga, games and technology. Yeah, I admit that I sometimes speak like a know-it-all especially when I was younger.

So why was I very averse with The Big Bang Theory? It all boils down to pride. Yes, I’m a very proud geek BUT I am not a science geek. In fact, science is the subject I practically know nothing especially Physics. My high school teacher was created with just air. Our Physics class was like the phrase, ‘all candy but no nutrition’, except that our candy has mercury for a surprise center. In short, I’m afraid that I will not understand Big Bang and being a proud geek, I vehemently refused in being characterized as, normal. My theory is that normal people will not understand Big Bang so if I won’t be able to understand Big Bang then maybe I could be called as normal. The thought of it gives me shudders. Oh, and one more thing—they said that Big Bang is about a group of four geek guys. The geek guys in my high school did not amuse me much. They have the world of their own. They even had a language of their own. But nonetheless, they always have my respect and they are my friends. When I was in college, I do not have geek guy friends any more. I had taken Liberal Arts majoring in Economics. With exception of Asian Studies, there are hardly any geeks in our college.

Anyway, this summer break is exceptionally warm. I think the word ‘scorching’ could be an understatement. That’s why there are days where my sister goes on with her Big Bang marathon and I was just lying on my bed with my hands and legs apart doing nothing. Subconsciously, I started picking up the dialogues and I understand them. I find it so hilarious! Slowly, I moved and sit behind her and I watched a couple of episodes. My first favorite character actually was Rajesh Koothrappali. His cluelessness on many American thingies, his inability to speak with women except when he is drunk and his bromance with another Big Bang character, Howard Wolowitz, makes him really dorky yet adorable or simply put, adorkable. But watching one episode after the other, I really fell in love with Sheldon Lee  Cooper.

Sheldon Cooper is easily the smartest person in the Big Bang Universe. After finishing fifth grade, he went straight to college and at sixteen years old, he already received his first doctorate. He highly regards himself as a perfect human being but we could easily see his faults and imperfection. He is really hard to hang around because of his obsessive-compulsive disorder, mysophobia (fear of germs) and hypochondriasis (fear of getting sick) among his other quirks. But I believe the hardest thing to deal with Sheldon is his lack of empathy and narcissism. He always emphasize to his friends that he is superior to them. I always pity Howard Wolowitz because he is easily the favorite target of Sheldon (and actually of the other characters at times) because of his lack of a doctorate degree. Sheldon says a lot of things which in his point of view was just being honest but is in fact hurtful to another person. Nevertheless, he is really lucky to have good friends who try to understand him to the best that they could.

Sheldon sitting on his infamous “spot”.

Clearly, the character of Sheldon Cooper is as interesting as it is and Sheldon knows this. He even said these lines for Howard and Bernadette’s wedding, “The need to find another human being to share one’s life with has always puzzled me. Maybe because I’m so interesting all by myself. With that being said, may you find as much happiness with each other as I find on my own.

So why create the character of Amy Farrah Fowler for him?

“May I buy you a beverage?”
The madness all began here.

Truth be told, not a lot of people were happy seeing Amy entering the Big Bang universe. Some commented on how unattractive and boring she looks. Others greatly oppose the notion of Sheldon Cooper having a significant other because they like Sheldon’s ‘asexual’ nature. Actually, I read that there are some gay netizens who wished that Sheldon could find a male soul mate instead. Maybe because it is no secret that Jim Parsons, Sheldon’s actor, is a gay man. But regardless of that, I’m still digging the ‘Shamy’.

“Ooh, look who’s out on a date. Pasadena’s favorite power couple, Shamy!”

The character of Amy Farrah Fowler was introduced during the last episode of Season 3 when Rajesh and Howard entered Sheldon’s information in a dating site. Raj threatened that he had hidden a dirty piece of sock in Sheldon’s apartment and will not remove it until Sheldon agreed to come with them and meet Amy, he will not remove it. Sheldon, being the clean-freak guy he is, reluctantly agreed to come and meet Amy. The two almost instantly were connected to each other!

But actually at that time, nothing is known about Amy. When her actress, Dr. Mayim Bialik, auditioned for the role, she said that the staff of Big Bang was finding a female version of Jim Parson’s character and that’s it. The next season, we found out that she is a neurobiologist which is probably based on Dr. Bialik’s educational background of having a doctorate in neuroscience. Anyway, nobody would really like Amy’s first appearances. In the words of Leonard, “Amy is judgmental, sanctimonious and frankly just obnoxious… So we already have you [Sheldon] for all that…” Sheldon also agrees that Amy is the person most similar to him. But Amy’s was definitely far more annoying than Sheldon at least on her first appearances. She was hardly smiling yet Sheldon is generally a happy person. I love how Sheldon smiles, by the way! Anyway, she also insults people the way Sheldon does but because she’s a girl, it’s more exasperating because of the bitchy factor.

So that’s the premise: Amy was created as a male counterpart of Sheldon. But is she really just a female Sheldon Cooper? In my humble opinion, hell no!

“Well, whether you see it or not is irrelevant.”

Although they are both an oddball and do things together that only they could understand in their universe of their own, they have many differences. First, Sheldon is very much child-like. He’s about thirty-two years old now but he still enjoy comics, computer games, model trains and everything in between while Amy on the other hand, shows no interest in all of these. Second, while Amy was very condescending like Sheldon at the beginning of the series, she changed when she started her little chic clique with Penny and Bernadette but nonetheless both she and Sheldon are still very straightforward people. Third, Amy does not have the mysophobia, hypochondriasis and obsessive-compulsive disorder like Sheldon. In fact, she could eat a sandwich while dissecting a human brain. Sheldon, on the other hand, freaks out even with the fact that he drank Leonard’s water at the Cheesecake Factory accidentally. Fourth, Amy does not fear on being touched by other people and could be sexually aroused at times while Sheldon does not like people touching him mainly because of his mysophobia and hypochondriasis and also, let’s face it, he is borderline asexual.

Nevertheless, I do love the pair so much because of their similarities and differences. I remembered how giddy I felt when Amy held Sheldon’s hand for the first time and he just let her do it. Knowing our Sheldon, he’ll freak out whoever would touch him.

Sheldon not objecting on being her “experiment”!

But he did not only let her touch her hand, he danced the night away with her and…he also let her kiss him.

“Dirty, dirty, dirty.” The drunken Amy finally kissed Sheldon—and he kissed her back!

Not only once but he let him kiss her twice. The other was from a spur of the moment when she received the tiara he gave him as a gift for being insensitive of her achievements in the field of neurobiology.

"I’m a princess, and this is my tiara!"
“I’m a princess, and this is my tiara!”

However, Sheldon is not the only one compromising. Amy had her fair share in compromising with Sheldon’s imperfections. For example, there was a time when Sheldon promised her that he would come with her on her grandmother’s birthday party but Sheldon’s gang decided to have Star Wars game that night. Sheldon desperately wants to go until that very day when he’s supposed to meet Amy’s family. Amy sarcastically said that he could go down and play with them if he wants to. Yes, Sheldon is a genius with 187 IQ but his comprehension with sarcasm is so bad. Later, when she confronted this issue to him, he finally understood that he made her upset and offered his valuable “Cooper Coupons” to her as restitution. She forgave him as swift as a thunder after that. She also forgave her quickly when Sheldon said sorry for messing up in her laboratory, rather than helping her, the day before.

“We’re playing doctor. Star Trek style.”

She also does her best in making him happy. In one episode, she told Sheldon that she wanted to make progress with their relationship so she did a lot of things that made him happy like playing the theme from Super Mario Brothers and prepared Strawberry Quik and Spaghetti with little hotdogs cut up on it. She also “played doctor” with her by making Sheldon her patient while dressed up like Nurse Chapel from Star Trek. Remember that she probably researched heavily on it because she remarked to Penny in one episode that she does not even know the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars.

“Believe it or not, Amy has embarked on a campaign to increase my feelings for her by making me happy.”

I also love how Sheldon developed feelings for Amy over time. For example, when he got confused with the fact that Amy wants Sheldon to meet her mother and asked Leonard about it, Leonard explained to Sheldon that Amy probably wants their relationship to the next level. Sheldon disliked the idea and said that he is giving his blessing for her and Leonard to be together instead. However, after one season, there was this scene where Leonard just got home after escorting Amy to a wedding. Sheldon asked him how it went and karate-chopped Leonard afterwards when he mistook Leonard’s statement about his pulled groin with Leonard and Amy engaging in coitus. Sheldon vehemently told the very puzzled and hurt Leonard, “To send a message. She is not for you. NOT FOR YOU!” God, how I love replaying that scene! It Is Sheldon’s way of saying, “She is MINE!” And yes, recently, he also admitted to Leonard that, “Her efforts are causing me to have affectionate feelings for her at inappropriate times.

“She is not for you! NOT FOR YOU!”

Perhaps, the reason why Amy was made for Sheldon is to see growth in Sheldon’s character. For the first three seasons, he was pretty much the same character. But now it’s amazing seeing him understanding more about relationships because of Amy’s presence in his life. With Amy, he knows how to say sorry and admits he was wrong. He also learns how to make up with the mistakes that he had done. He also listens to her suggestions. This is a big leap from his very haughty and pompous character who always thinks that he is right. Yes, he is that freaky yet delightful genius we all loved but now he is probably more human, more relatable in a way perhaps. Changes in Sheldon may be difficult for other people who love the way he is on the first three seasons but bear in mind that changes is what makes a person’s characterization interesting because we can see growth. Sure, Sheldon is fun on his own but without growth in his character he would probably lose that charm in him. Everything would be so repetitive, routinely and ultimately, boring. We wouldn’t like Sheldon to be like that.

” I am a man of science, not someone’s snuggle bunny!”

Well, it’s good news for us Shamy fans though. Bill Prady said, “Rest assured, the perfectly matched geek and geekette won’t be going at it like sylvilagus audubonii anytime soon. There’ll be no changes in [Sheldon], though I think the character is capable of things we haven’t seen.

Now this brings us to the question: What else is Sheldon capable of that we have not seen yet? God, please let it be September already!

Boldly go. He ultimately held her hand at the last scene of the fifth season. The Shamy-shippers nearly died because they can’t breathe looking at this scene. Need to say more? 😉

Kramer vs. Kramer: Battle of Choosing What You Want vs. Knowing What is Right

My wife used to always say to me why can’t a woman have the same ambitions as a man, I think you’re right and maybe I learned that much. But by the same token what law is it that says a woman is a better parent simply by virtue of her sex? You know a lot of times, think about it. What is it that makes somebody a good parent? You know, it has to do with constancy, it has to with patience, It has to do with listening to them. It has to do with pretending to listen to them when you can’t even listen any more. And it has to do with love, like she was saying. And I don’t know where it is written that says a woman has a corner on that market. That a man has any less of those emotions than a woman does? “

—Ted Kramer, Kramer vs. Kramer

Because of my father’s directive, I watched Kramer vs. Kramer this lazy holiday afternoon. He recommended that film after one breakfast morning at my cousins’ coffee shop, The Freedom of Espresso, while my siblings and I are having our favorite French toasts. I had a copy the film obtained the next day but since I was so busy in school, I did not have time to watch it. Thank God for making Andres Bonifacio’s birthday today.

The film focuses on a couple, Ted and Joanna, and their son, Billy. They were married for eight years until all of the sudden, Joanna bid Ted goodbye. She told her how unhappy she was with the marriage and she’s leaving Billy under his care. Ted had an exceptionally hard time dealing with the abrupt leaving of his wife especially now that his most awaited break is already on his reach. However, Ted found out that more than the difficulty of his job is the difficulty of being a single parent to his son. There are several things that he cannot do for Billy like whipping up his favorite French toast. But eventually the father and son overcame their differences and the two became extremely close. Ted, however, lost focus on his work. That’s the price he paid for making his son a priority over everything else.

Eighteen months later, he received a call from Joanna asking him to meet her. She did not want for her to return as his wife but she did come back to be Billy’s mommy again. And thus the ugly custody court battle began.

I do not want to give many details in the story or who would win in the end. It’s best if one watches the film himself and be the judge on who really deserves Billy’s custody. It’s interesting to know that both Ted and Joanna have their own fault. Ted, on his want to give his family a better life, worked himself to death to have that position in the advertising company. However, in doing so, he forgot to be a husband and a father for five years. On the other hand, Joanna tried to keep up with the life of being a housewife and a mother faithfully all those years. Nevertheless, she felt as if she is the saddest woman in the world because she felt no personal growth in doing those jobs that’s why she decided to abandon both her husband and son for eighteen month. This is something that the court would frown on because it appears that she is not fit to be a mother to Billy anymore.

The plot of the story may be simple yet more than the tear jerking scenes between Billy and his parents; it introduced the modernization of family roles that a mother and father should take. I believe that a husband cannot just confine his wife at home and doing all the chores and counting all responsibilities in raising their children. He is also capable of doing that. A wife also remembers that she is a woman before becoming his spouse. Therefore, she also has personal aspirations that she wants to accomplish other than family life. She wants to be a career woman too. Unfortunately (most especially here on Asia), even after thirty-two years since the release of this film, many husbands still wants to work solely as the breadwinner and let their wives quit their job to be a full-time wife and mother. People also frown down on men raising children on their own. It is perceived that men doing this job will make one lose his “manliness” or whatever society calls that. The movie’s objective is simple: it is to show the viewers that there is no exact and exclusive husband’s role or wife’s role in family relationships. Both must make way for the growth of the family without compromising the dreams and ambitions of another.

Nonetheless, if I would make some amendments in the movie, I would love to bring Billy to the court and make him choose who between Ted and Joanna. Making a child choose would be very heartbreaking, especially to the un-chosen parent. However, what if he didn’t want to choose? What if Billy answered that he wanted to be with both of them and return to their family of three that they had for years. I think the fault of the movie lies on the issue that they did not tackle and that is whether Ted and Joanna could work out their marriage again. I mean, they now understood where their problem is coming from. In the process of the custody battle, they had the chance of speaking in front of the court and each other what made them unhappy or dissatisfied with their marriage. Now that you know the problem, wouldn’t it be easier to talk over the solution? The story did not state what ground did they use in severing their marriage but I hypothesize that it is “irreconcilable differences” as there are no other grounds that I see fitting for their marriage. I do not understand why something is irreconcilable if they did not put effort to reconcile it. The movie would have ended happier had the movie shown that Ted and Joanna tried saving their marriage, which they never did.

Personally, I had issues with this movie. I now have doubts on fulfilling my dream as a litigator specialized in family court cases. I mean it breaks my heart seeing how people bid farewell to their ever after in court after swearing that they would be with each other until death do them apart. Nevertheless, the pain in the former scenario is nothing compared seeing children part with their parents who they also want to live and grow with. Defending the client’s best interest would be a piece of cake but how about the best interest of the child? Who would protect it? Someday, could I really have the heart and guts to witness those scenarios all the time?

But, whatever. You must watch the film. Dustin Hoffman who played Ted and Justin Henry were outstanding father-son tandem on this movie. However, though she have limited scenes, you must really watch out for Meryl Streep as Joanna. Without saying anything, your heart has been carried by the pure emotions of her eyes. Priceless, I tell you.

By the way, for my next assignment, Daddy wants me to watch Al Pacino’s “…and Justice for All.”

"We built a life together. We wake up and have breakfast and I take him to school and then I pick him up after school and we have dinner together and...I read him a bedtime story...I'm not always the perfect father...but I'm there. I'm there." ---Ted Kramer talks about Billy, defending himself in court. One of the dialogues that made me cry.

This Bird Had Flown: My Thoughts on 2010 Japanese film, Norwegian Wood

And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit a fire, isn’t it good, Norwegian wood.
—Norwegian Wood by the Beatles

I opened the month of August by watching the 2010 Japanese film, Norwegian Wood, based on the novel of the prolific writer, Murakami Haruki. To be candid, I never read the book that is why I have to compare it none other than what I perceived in the film.

The story revolves around Watanabe Toru (Matsuyama Ken’ichi), a student during the 1960’s. It was the era where Japan looks very much like the Japan today minus the cellular phones and other jaw dropping gadgets and ultra fast trains. Going back to the story, Toru was involved with two women, Naoko and Midori, which were interestingly, very different in character. Naoko (Kikuchi Rinko) is a quiet girl who had really low self-esteem. She was the girlfriend of Toru’s best friend Kizuki. Naoko and Kizuki had always been together since they were three years old. They were almost never apart until Kizuki, the reason was neither supplied nor implied in the story, took his own life. After Kizuki died, Toru moved to the city for college where he had a roommate who was popular with women. He introduced Toru to some women whom he knew and Toru awakened his sexual side to the same.

Shortly after that, he met Naoko again. They meet during weekends and gradually became very close because of the mutual comfort they receive from each other from the lost of Kizuki. On the 20th birthday of Naoko, Toru took her virginity. She disappeared the next day and eventually settled in a secluded village where some people who suffered mental anguish such as her took sanctuary. Her feelings on both past and present conflicts as one part of her forever died together with Kizuki. Toru sometimes visits Naoko but it only pained him seeing that Naoko cannot give himself fully to him. Naoko is always with another patient, Reiko, a middle-age woman, who acts like a guardian to her. Reiko sang Naoko’s favorite song, “Norwegian Wood” by the Beatles. Obviously, that was the film namesake.

Back on the university, Toru became close with Midori (Mizuhara Kiko) who was the exact opposite of Naoko. She was vibrant, self-confident and unable to contain herself from saying what is going on her mind. She is bold enough to tell Toru her sexual fantasies over her. Although Toru admits to Midori that he is in love with someone else [Naoko] and that Midori has a boyfriend in her hometown, this did not prevent both from falling in love with each other.  That further complicated the emotions of Toru. Toru decided to go the village where Naoko was but bid Midori goodbye first and expressed his feelings before he left. Midori admitted that she now broke up with her boyfriend. She also told him that he would wait for him until he comes back, embracing and thinking only of her.

When Toru and Naoko saw each other one winter day, he immediately told her about his plans on leaving his boarding house and rent an apartment. He asked Naoko to come with him, however, the latter did not give a direct answer but promised that she would think about it. Toru went back alone and tried looking for Midori but she was already avoiding her calls and even telling him outright that she does not want to talk to him. A few days later, the worst news arrived to Toru as Naoko hanged herself. Her death impacted his life greatly and he went somewhere very isolated to mourn for Naoko. When he returned to his apartment, he saw Reiko waiting for him outside. They comforted each other and then Reiko asked a request to Toru to sleep with her which shocked him but eventually granted her request.

The film ended with Toru phoning Midori. He was professing his love for her at the phone, even using the word “Aishiteru” which the Japanese people hardly use for saying how much they love someone because it was very emphatic. Midori was initially cold when she answered the phone but Toru’s words softened her and asked her where he was. It ends here, not knowing where Toru is and what would happen between him and Midori.

My thoughts on the story are mixed. First, let’s discuss the good parts of the film. I love Toru’s actor, Matsuyaman Kenichi, interpreted his character. Toru may look like a detached character from the world but you could feel his love and compassion to the two women. Surprisingly, his actor was L Lawliet’s actor from the infamous live-action films of Death Note. You would really see the versatility of this young actor. The other characters were picked well too, except that I was kind of annoyed with the actress of Naoko. One would hear fingernails screeched down the blackboard when she cries, or rather wails. Probably, that’s how Murakami-san wrote it but it really got into my nerves. Lastly, you would really commend how good the background music made for this film. It was made very powerfully and emotionally that it really captures your heart and empathize with twisted and melancholic emotions of the characters.

Personally, the bad parts of the plot is why they focus how sex was used to be determinative the feelings of the characters. Like for example, when Toru and Naoko first spent the night together, that’s the only point where in they realized that they actually have this existing love each other. Second example was, it was only after Toru and Reiko had sex where both characters fathomed who really matters in their life. For Reiko, it was her husband and child whist for Toru, it was Midori. I thought that it was rather odd making sex as ascertaining love. It is not debatable that love is different from sex. Sex may be a part of love but definitely not its determinative factor. That concept is particularly incomprehensible especially on the part where Toru and Reiko had sex to realize what they wanted in life.

My last comment would go on who Toru truly loved between Naoko and Midori. I would have to definitely say Midori. I believe that though Toru had strong feelings for Naoko that is not purely love. In a way, he is morally obligated to protect and care for Naoko because she is her best friend’s girlfriend, childhood friend and basically, his soul mate. On the other end, Naoko may have taken her life understanding fully that she never really loved Toru and that in a way used him to get over Kizuki which she can’t move on from. Kizuki is clearly her dream, her man and her raison‘d etre. For Naoko, without Kizuki, nothing makes sense in her life, in her universe. It incised her heart even more after she realized that she kind of betrayed Kizuki’s memory by sleeping with his best friend.

In contrast, Toru loved Midori without any mental obligation or reasons. He loved her even if she suspected that she already have a boyfriend. He loved her straightforwardness and her kindness. In return, Midori truly loved him too. She broke off with her boyfriend and swore to wait for Toru to come back to her and embrace and love only her without any assurance that it was what Toru would do. The ending too, was a hint that they would eventually be together now that Naoko is gone, Midori’s boyfriend is gone and that Toru is now sure of his feelings to Midori, that in this world, nothing else matters to him but her.

Naturally, I won’t be surprised if you, my darling reader, would rebut my statements and observations above because of the several interpretations we perceive from the dynamism and fullness of the characters made in the movie. Moreover, the open-endedness even opened more questions on the minds of the perceiver than answers. But that is the beauty of life embarked on literature—we all make and shed our own light on its obscurity.

"I guess I've been waiting so long I'm looking for perfection. That makes it tough...No, even I know better than that. I'm looking for selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you're doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don't want it anymore and throw it out the window. That's what I'm looking for."

All is well, Harry.

All is well.

I happen to be a Potterhead since I was eleven, I think. Coincidentally, this is the age of Harry Potter when all the magic began in Hogwarts. My aunt was a dean in Angeles University and someone gave her a copy of the Chamber of Secrets. She did not read it as its position in her clear cabinet filled with books never changed even after several times we arrive home in the province. I tried reading it once, I found it cool but I was confused. Obviously, something came before it so I placed it back. However, some months after, I saw it with a different book—the Sorcerer’s Stone. I got curious with it and read it until I can’t let go with it. I asked my aunt if I could borrow it together with the first book and she says yes. She always encourages us to read as much as we can.

I finished both quickly and checked if there were more books published at that time. She bought me the Prisoner of Azkaban, too. Now, the fourth one, the Goblet of Fire, was really hard to find then. We searched every National Bookstore we could find until we found one but it was very foreign in my eyes as it was published by British company, Bloomsbury, unlike the rest of my Harry Potter books which were published by the American company, Scholastic.

The last three books were already book-bounded as we “reserved” our copies from National Bookstore in SM Fairview. Our family hardly watches movies on the big screen but we watched ALL Harry Potter movies in the big screen. But now, as I saw the credits roll on the last movie, I suddenly felt depression. What is next for a Potterhead like me?

Of course, I am happy on how things turned out on the end. Madame Rowling indeed kept the excitement, the logic, the plot and the magic very strong at the very end. And as I hoped, the last film brought justice with ending the Harry Potter saga. I cried a lot seeing on the big screen how Severus Snape sacrificed himself for the love of his life, Lily Potter (nee Evans) and her only son, Harry. Seeing how many people died on the first battle of Hogwarts also helped in washing away all my makeup in thee cinema. I certainly love how some of my loved character had their moment on screen besides my favorite character, Snape, who was portrayed powerfully but Alan Rickman. I mean, who would forget how Professor Minerva McGonagall yelled, “COWARD” to Snape after the latter flees Hogwarts when he was defeated by her in a duel. Of course, we all felt the spirit of success when Molly Weasley shouted to Bellatrix, “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” and finishing of in a duel. Bella’s death gave me a sense of sweet revenge after remembering how she mercilessly killed her own cousin (Sirius Black), niece (Nymphadora Tonks), Dobby among others. I was also so proud of Neville Longbottom for being the first one to fight back Voldemort after the “death” of Harry Potter and slicing the head of the freaking snake, Nagini, in one stroke of the Sword of Godric Gryffindor.

Oh, memories…happy memories are engulfing and overpowering me tonight. Memories of my childhood made magical by Harry Potter. Though definitely, I’ll remain as a Potterhead forever, it is still kind of saddening that it all ends with me watching the final movie. I would miss the anticipation, the fan theories on what would come next and the excitement it brings with every page of every scene on the movie. I love how much it taught me on love, friendship, courage, family and loyalty. I love the fact that it brought out the “witch” in me, giving me confidence that even if I was as ordinary as Harry Potter in the beginning, I could make something extraordinary with making my life magical by sharing this life with the people I love but at the same time, defending myself from being succumbed by the people who are seemingly Death Eaters in the real world.

I probably lack sense now either because I’m sleepy or I’m still overwhelmed with the last film (which I really intend to watch again in the movies—the first time ever that I want to watch again a film that I saw on the big screen). But for now, I feel like saying goodbye to an old friend, Harry Potter. Though I am sad that I might not see him again, I fear not. He’s already engraved forever in my heart.

From Everythingharrypotter.tumblr.com
Bravo, Harry Potter! Rowling is our Queen!

The Vainest Post Ever: 100 Facts About Me

A week ago, Twitter had a trending topic called #100factsaboutme. I worked on it slowly for a week. It’s really so hard to come up with things about you at times and it makes you feel like nothing but a speck of dust in the universe. Nevertheless, it’s a miracle that I finished mine. It may be the vainest article that I could ever post on-line but I think that it’s also a good practice for everyone to do. In a way, this is another channel for self-discovery and self-appreciation. I promise though, that the succeeding articles won’t be as vain as this. Anyway, here goes nothing… 🙂

  1. My teacher once gave us homework when I was in second year high school. The question was, “Who are you in your past life?” This question is incorporated with our topic on Indian Literature on reincarnation. I answered:  I was an Empress of China. I wore the best clothes, had servant and was revered by the whole country. Yet I cannot stand my husband having many concubines. I also do not feel any love with my husband. I want to be loved truly, wholly and undividedly by the person I love. But still, I did my duty as empress the best that I could. I stood by my emperor in all circumstances. Hence, when I was reborn again, God turned me into a regular girl to find love myself. I got a perfect score in that assignment! Beat that! 😀
  2. I am the eldest child of my parents. I was born 8th of May, 1988. I actually chose that date. I was supposed to be out on the 5th day but for some reason, I did not come out. My mother is happy though because I was born on a Mother’s Day.
  3. My name is Maris Angelica. My parents want me to be named after Mama Mary, but they do not want to give me the “regular” form of her name like Mary or Maria or Marie. They got Maris from the doctor next door my mom’s obstetrician. Her name was Maris Stella. Angelica was after my father, “Angelo”.
  4. Maris Angelica literally means Sea Messenger. Ummm…so does it mean that I am destined to be an environmentalist or something?
  5. Despite my name, I never swam on the sea yet. I just “passed by it”.
  6. Coincidentally, I am now trying to follow my father’s path. He’s a lawyer and I’m now a law student.
  7. I am a Christian by faith. I am forever a follower of Christ. Being a Christian is my decision and not merely my description.
  8. I have terrible eyesight. My eye grade is now 900-850. As soon as I take the bar, my parents promised that I would undergo lasik surgery. Also, it’s naturally brown.
  9. My parents are strict and overprotective. They bought me all the toys I like when I was a kid and I’m still keeping them. Hence, about one third of the junk in my rooms are toys.
  10. My favorite colors are red, white and pink. But actually, any pastel color makes me happy.
  11. However, most of my clothes are colored black because of the corporate nature of my law studies. I could wear white but I could not. I don’t like it being a dirty after my long travel every school day from North Fairview to Manila.
  12. I was born in Capitol Medical Center then I lived in Cubao. But shortly after my 4th birthday, we moved here in Fairview.
  13. Fairview is such a suburban place that my alarm clock every morning would be rooster crows.
  14. Since I was born on a Sunday, St. Michael the archangel is my guardian angel. Also, I later found out that May 8 was really his feast day.
  15. I’m suffering from Japanophilia since I was about six years old. Well, it is not exactly a disease but I love all things Japanese! Don’t worry though…the Philippines is still my favorite country. But I believe that we have a lot of things to learn from the Japanese in order to succeed.
  16. My Japanophilia started when my father had a business trip on Japan. I was amazed a his story on how clean the country is, how beautiful the flowers are blooming despite the fact that it was autumn going to winter when he went there, how disciplined and high technology the people are there and they have their own Disneyland. It was the first time in my life that I ever felt envious. I want to see it all for myself.
  17. I admire the Germans and the Italians too. Go, Axis Powers! 😀
  18. But I also admire the Jews. Look how many great people descended from the Jews despite the fact that they aren’t many in numbers and they suffered so much during the World War II.
  19. I like the smell of apple, cinnamon, cherry blossom, rose, chocolate, green tea, vanilla and newly-sharpened pencils.
  20. My first crushes were anime characters. I am such a crazy child, I know. I actually had my first crush on a boy when I was in second year high school.
  21. I remember things as early as two years old. I could remember clearly what I was doing during the Great Luzon Earthquake of 1990. I was dancing at that time. I thought the world was dancing with me. However, people in our house, pulled me under the dining table while they were frantically praying the rosary. But still, under the table, I continued dancing.
  22. But, honestly, I am the worst dancer ever. I cannot follow the simplest steps in dancing. A little kid could easily insult my dancing skills.
  23. I am not a good singer too. But, Lord…how I love to sing.
  24. I studied in five different schools in my lifetime. Nursery and Kinder was in Holy Child Montessori. Prep was in Flos Carmeli Institution. First Grade to Fourth Year High School was in School of Saint Anthony. College and a year and a half in law school were in University of Santo Tomas. And now, it is my first semester of law school in University of the East.
  25. I watch Korean dramas and movies, too. But I have not watched for quite sometime now because the plot is becoming too repetitive for me.
  26. But oh…Korea is the gold mine of hunks for me! Taiwan is a close second. I like guys with small eyes especially if they always seems like smiling—it makes my heart melt.
  27. I barely watch Taiwanese dramas though because their original plot has always got to do with amnesia. Those without the amnesia are usually based on Japanese manga.
  28. Anyway, going back to Korea, I am so in like with Lee Min-Ho and I am so in love with Hyun Bin. In fact, his birthday, September 25, is my “personal holiday”. Yeah, I celebrate it.
  29. I am complex yet very childlike.
  30. I have a younger sister. She’s 19 and she studies in UP-Diliman, majoring Chemistry. Ewww, I know. But she’s my best friend so I support her.
  31. I also have a younger brother. He’s still in high school. He wants to be a Civil Engineer in college. Most probably, he’ll be a Thomasian, too. But we’ll see about that.
  32. I love amusement parks! Space Shuttle of Enchanted Kingdom? Piece of cake.
  33. I am right-handed. I have tried teaching my left hand write endlessly but I am so unsuccessful. But, at the very least…my left hand could type alone like what I am doing now.
  34. I am a Filipina of Chinese descent. I also have Spanish and English blood but they are very minimal. But I am raised 100% Pinay.
  35. I am sort of a loner. I live in my own world. I understand that because I know I am really weird for a lot of people with my views and likes but really, I do not care.
  36. I like to draw. I was also painting when I was in high school. I really want to do that all again.
  37. Things that I would like to do in my lifetime: become a family lawyer, a diplomat, a book publisher, and the president of the Republic of the Philippines.
  38. Actually, I already planned on my presidential bid on 2028. The Election Day 2028 is exactly my 40th birthday. So please, do vote for me. I am serious.
  39. Don’t take everything that I say seriously. I am crazy!
  40. I don’t smoke. I could drink socially though.
  41. But I am addicted to C2 Apple and to the Internet. A day without even one of them drives me nuts.
  42. I do not like eating anything with squid, eggplant and okra in it. The tastes are sickening.
  43. I only learned about sex when I was 12 years old. Before, I thought that if you got married, the priest would give you a secret key that would help the woman conceive. I’m such a naïve child. Needless to say, I only learned about broken family, children born out of the wedlock and common-law relationships when I was in mid-high school.
  44. I have soft spot for children. That’s why I want to be a family lawyer. I do NOT want their parents to separate and I want homeless children be adopted by their own loving families.
  45. I got hospitalized twice. First was when I was six years old to correct my “banlag” eyes. The second one was when I had dengue when I was fourth year college. I missed our class picture!
  46. I like boys with small eyes. I like how they always seems to be smiling when they got embarrassed of just plain happy. I find it unbearably cute!
  47. I adore dimples, fair skin and broad shoulders on men as well. If you fit those description perfectly, sorry but I can’t help but to ogle at you.
  48. The sexiest part for me of a person is his smile and his intelligence.
  49. My province is Pampanga. I like it in there. I always feel like home even if I do not speak Kapampangan. I understand it though.
  50. When I was a child, I thought I was special because the moon is following me. When my playmates said that they were being followed by the moon too, I did not believe them.
  51. I also thought that I have powers before because when I whistled, a soft breeze would suddenly happen.
  52. I don’t know how I choose Economics for college. But I’m proud to say that an Economist.
  53. Instant joys for me: spaghetti with thick tomato sauce, banana-chocolate shake, sushi, creampuffs and strawberry shortcakes.
  54. I’m a tea and coffee addict. I dislike drinking them cold though. My tongue and lips are so sensitive that they easily become scalded. I love my drinks ice cold.
  55. My Chinese sign is Dragon. My zodiac sign is Taurus. Both signs always emphasizes that I am a very stubborn person. How right they are!
  56. I always ask for the intercession of Mother Mary. I always at peace thinking and talking to her.
  57. I’m good at saving but I hate the fact that I’m a very impulsive buyer. Hence, I often leave home with very little cash.
  58. I was born with big eyes, black hair and dark skin. But eventually, my eyes became smaller, my hair turned chestnut brown and my skin became fairer. I have no idea why.
  59. My hair is naturally wavy, but I sometimes have it straightened because of my belief that wavy hair breaks easily compared to straight hair.
  60. I’m not a picky eater but I really have difficulty in liking squid especially takoyaki and adobong pusit. I eat calamares and squid balls but that’s very seldom.
  61. My teeth were all permanent at age 11. I wore brace shortly before I entered fourth year high school. I got them removed at second year high school. Recently, I felt my wisdom teeth are growing.
  62. My best birthday gift ever was my 17th birthday held in Disneyland in Los Angeles, California. Seriously, at that moment, I won’t be surprised if someone would wake me up from my sleep. It was too happy and magical to be true.
  63. I am a big girl but my shoe size is only 7! I easily trip because of this defect.
  64. …and also because, I am the type of person whose head is on the clouds.
  65. …Hence, in Disney princesses, I identify myself clearly with Belle. But my favorite girls are Mulan and Rapunzel.
  66. Vital statistics? Hahaha! I have no idea what’s mine. Ignorance is bliss. I do know that my cup size is B. That’s all I’m sharing to you!
  67. I could easily laugh, cry or flare up. But I easily cool down as well. Happy now, crying later, and then cursing afterwards. I told you, I’m crazy.
  68. I love listening to the piano. My favorite pieces are Rhapsody in Blue and Canon in D.
  69. I first saw myself in television when I joined the Digital LG Quiz. I lost though I had kept the blue cap.
  70. When my mother had a job offer in the United States and my father allowed her, I immediately cried almost non-stop for two days. I cried everywhere and at any time…from the moment I wake up, while eating with my family, while having a shower.  Eventually, I influenced my sister and brother. Hence, because of that cry campaign, my father revoked his consent. My mother refused to talk to us for days but after three days, she bought ice cream and we’re okay.
  71. I find silk sexy…and laces too. And animal prints also. But I do not find anything sexy with leather and whips.
  72. My parents taught me how to hear the mass seriously. I never missed a Sunday Mass, though some of them are anticipated, in my life except the first Sunday of my life—the day of my birth.
  73. I love all kinds of flowers, but I love Casablancas and roses the best.
  74. But I identify myself as a daisy—energetic and spunky. Also, a bit informal too, compared to Casablancas and roses.
  75. I’m unusually good in remembering dates. I could remember birthdays even without facebook reminder. In college, too, I had the best grades in World History and Asian History.
  76. I love nail polish, but I can’t apply them myself. I tried all colors except black and green. I don’t know…I just felt that I do not express my true feelings with those colors.
  77. I could speak and write Filipino and English very well. I understand Kapampangan, but I do not speak it. I understand little Spanish and Japanese. We have Spanish subjects in college and I learned Japanese by watching their subbed dramas and anime.
  78. Like my Chinese ancestors, I believe that the greatest things in life are predestined but it won’t happen unless you work hard for it. In short, I believe in both faith and fate.
  79. I usually plan what I’m going to do for the week ahead, but I barely follow schedules. I am so spontaneous which brings out the best and worst in me.
  80. I am bad in remembering class room numbers though. I need at least two weeks to perfect the place where I am supposed to be.
  81. In case that it’s not obvious yet, I am a geek and I’m proud of it.
  82. My family usually likes eating in Chinese restaurants. My personal favorite is Hap Chan and Flavors of China.
  83. I tried my best to excel at using chopsticks, but no matter what I do, nothing beats spoon and fork.
  84. I can’t lie. I tried, but I end up saying the truth.
  85. When I meet a person who asks for my name and I think I cannot trust that person, I instantaneously say that my name is “Abby.” That’s the first name that you would see in a baby book for girls.
  86. Speaking of baby names, I love reading them when I have free time. So you might find me weird when saying, “Eh your name is _______, which in Latin/Greek/Hebrew/etc. means _______. That probably means you are a _______ person.”
  87. I used to read palms when I was high school. I saw a book in the library that tells me how to do so. That made some girls that I hardly knew come to me during breaks to have their palms read. Some boys did come to me too. However, I decided not to practice it in college days. Now, I can’t even remember how to read my palm as well.
  88. I hate last minute changes. This drives me temporarily nuts.
  89. I prefer cats over dogs. I want a Manx or a Birman or a Tabby someday.
  90. I own a Wii named Aka-chan, laptop named Freya, cellphone named Momo-chan and and iPod which is named iTouch.
  91. My favorite novel is Stargirl. I’m really as eccentric as Stargirl Caraway in the story. But I don’t like its sequel Love, Stargirl so much. I really like Leo too. I feel that she is out of character in that novel.
  92. I obtained my driver’s license when I was eighteen. However, since my father feared that I might break his car, he did not let me drive it hence, I forgot how to drive a car now.
  93. I would be twenty-three in a month and I think that I am ready for a relationship. However, I really cannot find someone who I like and vice versa. I give up looking for this already so in this aspect of my life, I fully trust this to the Lord.
  94. Science was my best subject from preschool to fourth grade. I started hating Science when there was already Mathematics involved. Math was a subject that I struggled on since I was a kid. But when I was in college, I am more or less average in that subject.
  95. I hardly studied in high school but I was a web developer, a blogger and a fan fiction writer. Now that I think about it, it’s no wonder that I brought the lowest of grades to my parents compared to my brother and sister.
  96. I am corny but that is just me. I laugh at everything too, including my mistakes.
  97. According to psychology tests that I have taken since first grade to fourth year high school, I am an introvert. According to UST when I was third year college, I am an extrovert. Now, I do not know. Probably I’m back in being an introvert?
  98. In anime series, nothing beats Detective Conan though I was also obsessed with Ghost Fighter and Fushigi Yuugi before. I still watch Detective Conan up to now. I love detective series but I refuse to watch those like CSI because of my fear of blood. Yes, I’m hematophobic.
  99. I dislike shoes or slippers. At home, I usually walk barefoot. I feel freer walking in barefoot.
  100. Given a chance, I would like to be a TV host or an actress. I love knowing and influencing people and I think that is my purpose in life. But in the meantime, I am doing it in writing. 🙂