But then there was that moment

Fountain is dancing to the beat and I watch it cheerfully.
It sways to the left, right, and into my shallow hilarity.
I never laughed that way to such, there must be some magic to it.
And so, it waves here and there, and I, giggling from ear to ear.

Fountain is dancing to the beat and I watch it cheerfully.
I almost tumble and get lost in it with sheer delight,
Until I glance at you, and you’re beaming nowhere but at me.
Has anyone told you that you look the cutest with that smile?

Fountain is dancing to the beat and I watch it cheerfully.
I turn to it again, yet I desire more glimpse of your face.
I peek at you once more and get an unfaltering effect.
What’s wrong with you? I think, but everything feels so goddamn right.

Fountain is dancing to the beat and I watch it cheerfully.
It’s a spectacle, yes, yet something else steals my attention.
If only I can stare back at you and still get that same look,
God, I will do anything to make Father Time freeze the moment!

I remember the fountain danced and I watched it cheerfully.
Looking back, you might be grinning ‘cause I was too petty.
But, heck, who cares if for that I got extremely gratified,
I can insult my intelligence for more rounds of that.

And now…

Fountain may dance once more and I can watch it cheerfully.
But you smiling right at my side may never happen again.
After the tears and hurtful words that ruined us and our trust,
‘least there’re happy moments like this that I can cherish in mind.

*June 2012

You were Born to Fight!

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Photo grabbed from Flickr

Each of us is a warrior. We may not be in a physical war wherein we are armed with physical swords and shields, but there really is a war that we cannot escape. And yes, being a Christian doesn’t guarantee a worry-free living, in fact, we are more prone to trials set by God and even by the devil who wants to steal us away from Him.

There is a war within us, and this is a spiritual war. That is why we were born to fight. But the bad part is when we are ignorant of the battle. Sun Tzu said in his The Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete.” So know who or what your enemy is to succeed.

One of the daily adversaries that we should know of is laziness, and The Bible can attest to this:

Proverbs 6:10-11
A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep–
So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.

Fight. Fight and leave that indolence behind because that’s what we were born to do. And remember: Success isn’t going to be given in silver platter, we have to move and do something to achieve it. And when we do that, we are sure to get hurt and shed tears, but God promises that at the end, we’ll win. It will be hard, indeed, but just hold on and never stop.

Deuteronomy 1:6-8
The Lord our God spoke to us in Horeb: ‘You dwelt long enough at this mountain.
‘Turn and take your journey, and go to the mountains of the Amorites, to all the neighboring places in the plain, in the mountains and in the lowland, in the South and on the seacoast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the River Euphrates.
‘See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to your fathers–to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob–to give to them and their descendants after them.’

Do you have something worthy to fight for? You must have, because that’s what makes each of us tick. And when you fight, never leave God behind and make sure you also fight for righteousness, your families, and your future. 🙂

Foodtografia de Camilla Pt 1

Maybe it’s because of the trend and Instagram in particular, or maybe I just want to remember the various food that I eat, but I love taking pictures of food! Sadly, much as I adore doing it, I oftentimes forget to take snapshots of them because, yeah, I’m almost always hungry especially at the sight of, yes, F-O-O-D. So before I realize it, all I have is a clean plate. Too bad.

What happens then, you say? Well, I end up capturing images of empty plates just so I can remember and tell myself someday that, “Once, I was able to eat at this or that restaurant. As a proof, look, there’s the plate I ate at with the resto’s tissue in the photograph.” Hehe.

Anyway, there will be no empty plates in this post. Below are (only) five images of food and a drink that I ate and was able to catch on camera either in Macau or in Hong Kong. There are no food reviews about them since my memory is now betraying me, most of them are taken back in 2010.

P.S. I’m no photographer so I hope you’ll forgive my shots. ^_^

 

Restaurante Vinha
G/F AC Dinasty Plaza, 393 Alameda Dr. Carlos d’ Assumpção, NAPE, Macau

 

Deep Fried Spicy Crab
Spicy Mama
Tak Hing St, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong

 

(I forgot what it’s called, but it’s composed of noodles in tomato sauce, with different kinds of mushrooms, some veggies, and one chicken skewer.)
Glass Flat Q’ Noodle
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

 

Fried Noodle with Beef in Malaysian Sauce
Sun Thai Restaurant
Shop 3-4, G/F, Tonnochy Towers, 272 Jaffe Road , Wan Chai, Hong Kong

 

Milk Tea that comes with the food above
Sun Thai Restaurant
Shop 3-4, G/F, Tonnochy Towers, 272 Jaffe Road , Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Love in the Time of the 33rd MIBF

I once declared to the world wide web: “If I am to drown, I want to drown in a sea of books.” (Whoa… Did I just quote myself there? Haha.)

Books everywhere! *drools

Of course, I didn’t sink literally. But just imagine how elated I was when my friend and I were finally surrounded by books at the 33rd Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) held from the 12th to 16th of September 2012 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

Lookie! I was looking for this book almost everywhere and it was only at the fair that I finally found abundant copies of it. Wooo~

With more than a hundred exhibitors that gathered from bookstores like Fully Booked and National Book Store, Inc., to publishing companies like PSICOM Publishing Inc. and Anvil Publishing, Inc., the whole exhibit area served as a paradise for book lovers like yours truly.

Paradise just got more blissful with these! I LOVE THE HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY!

But what might be the most thrilling about the MIBF was the hundreds of items, from novels to educational books, that were mostly on sale. Even Fully Booked, that which may be considered as every bookworm’s favorite bookstore, had an exciting 20% discount on their books, plus, for every 1,000-peso worth of purchase, customers got to have a free Fuel Your Mind notepad, which I am more than proud and delighted to own.

SALE, SALE, SALE, and yes, SALE! ^_^

My free Fuel Your Mind notepad from Fully Booked with the books I bought: Life in Pictures: Michael Jackson (for my Mom), Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, and John Green’s The Fault in our Stars.

I learned about this fair just last month but it is actually one of the longest-running book fairs in Asia. Last year, on its 32nd, it garnered more than eighty thousand visitors, and although as of writing this there isn’t a definite figure yet, this year’s event must’ve gotten more attendees. MIBF was prominently promoted online and on newspapers especially by its ambassadors, online celebrity Ramon Bautista, stand-up comedian/cartoonist Stanley Chi, famous tour guide Carlos Celdran, and actor/DJ Tado Jimenez. Chi and Jimenez also had their respective book launches at the fair.

33rd MIBF Ambassadors online celebrity Ramon Bautista, stand-up comedian/cartoonist Stanley Chi, famous tour guide Carlos Celdran, and actor/DJ Tado Jimenez (Photo by Clarissa Catalina Repollo)

Tado Jimenez’s book signing at the 33rd Manila International Book Fair

 

Look at who was at the Best of Anime 2012… Conan Edogawa! Such a cute little kid. :3

 

Coinciding the book fair was the Best of Anime 2012, a two-day weekend event (September 15 – 16, 2012) that was already on its third year. Thousands of cosplayers, anime and manga enthusiasts, and animators/illustrators, among others, took part in the success of this fun-filled convention.

As an extra color to the event, the Japanese band Uchuu Sentai NOIZ rocked the visitors with their music for two days.

My friend and I were supposed to go there, too, but upon seeing that there was an admission fee of 190 pesos for a day and 350 pesos for two days, we decided not to anymore. It seemed totally organized from the outside, though, so the price might be just right for the event.

 

‘Til the next Manila International Book Fair and Best of Anime event! 😉

Haunted

Just a little empty joke and it comes rushing back. Not even slowly, but recklessly swift with a promise that it’ll hit every corner of my fragile side.

And then I hear it, that satisfied, vicious laugh for it got its desired effect again. And my heart, oh, that poor little thing, it can’t even do something, anything, though it has been yearning to jump off my chest and run away from it all.

It’s always like that–I get long moments of bliss, then one day, it’ll suddenly slap me. Hard. Hard and proud.

It’ll happen again in the next days. It will.
 
 
When will this end, this fluctuation of emotions?

Stop… Stop… Stop…

Pain is vital, but I don’t want even a single thing about this anymore.
 
 
—–
 
In time, I’ll be able to stand up. And when I do, I’ll be taller and definitely stronger than before.

You were Born with a Purpose!

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

We were definitely born not just for anything, but for great things, and God assures us of this through His Word.

All we have to do is ask ourselves, What am I here for?, pray and believe in Him and His plans for us, and work hard in following wherever God leads us to. As a further declaration of His promise, God also says:

Mark 9:23
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

The pastor said that it is important to find out what we were born for because:

1. it reduces stress

Photo grabbed from Flickr

– It keeps us from getting jealous and envious of what other people have and are capable of doing better than us.

2. it increases the chance of success

– Because it give us something clear to focus on and therefore, a better path to take

3. it increases our passion

– When we know our purpose, passion comes oozing from within and provides us more willpower to reach what we are born for. Can’t recall what being passionate is? Just look at children as they play with their fellow, you’ll see.

Are you now aware of God’s plan for you? Maybe it’s time for you to finally find out. Just always bear in mind, you were born to do something great!

Proverbs 22:29
Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.

Book Review: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Photo grabbed from Wikipedia

It was through a classmate whom I first knew about it this book. I heard this classmate telling its story to my other classmate and right there, I knew I had to find the book and read it. The story just intrigued me, and so I made a vow to find a copy of it no matter how hard it might be, until at last, I found it at a bookstore in Cubao.

In the Greater East Asia where dictatorship defines the government, fifty third year junior high school classes are selected every year to play a Program set by the government. Each class is placed in a deserted island where students are forced to kill each other until only one is left standing. And these students, even their parents or guardians, cannot resist, or else, they’ll be punished.

But what’s the reason for this? It’s so that when the face of the winner is broadcasted on national television, people who are watching will feel that they can never trust anyone and will thus prevent them from forming a coup d’ eat against the government.

It’s sick, right? But as absurd as it may be, even if it was criticized as a “violent exploitation” when first published in Japan in 1999, it became a bestseller and was translated in English in 2003. A film and a manga were also made based on this piece.

All 616 pages of the novel shows where trust ends. The students, who are just a day ago sitting inside the same classroom and most of them call each other friends, are to kill each other using the weapons given to them the next day. And they can’t resist because doing so will end their own lives.

By reading about 42 students, one may think that it will be hard to remember who’s who, but no, each character is distinctly portrayed from each other that you can clearly keep in mind each of them.

Maybe it’s because of it being a mere translation, but the language used in the novel doesn’t have figures or in other words, it lacks creativity, not like the others I’ve read. It’s so straight forward with the description that it’s literally just narrating to the readers what is happening. But maybe, the author’s being uncreative in the use of the language is a style in itself to show how dire the situation of the students is.

In the end, I give this novel five stars.

If you’re up for suspense and thriller like myself, Battle Royale is must read for you. You’ll find yourself turning from page to page with excitement as to what’s going to happen next (that is, if you’re willing to disregard the absurdity of the Program’s rationale).

*Originally posted in my Multiply in 2008