First Visit to Bookay-Ukay

I’d been wanting to go to Bookay-Ukay since college when I saw a photo about it on a social networking site, but never had the chance since it was far from home and I had no one interested enough to go with me. Then came last year and I thought I finally found that perfect Bookay-Ukay buddy, but sadly, our bridges burned a few weeks after we agreed on going there together. I couldn’t brave the big Quezon City on a search for it alone so I thought my desire for book-hunting at the store went to ashes along with my “incinerated” friendship.

But then at the start of the year, I went excited ’cause my friend and fellow blogger invited me to visit Bookay-Ukay. So without hesitation, a date was marked on the calendar.

Bookay-Ukay 01

To give a good picture of what the store is about and why I’ve been meaning to pay a visit to it, let me explain its name. Bookay-Ukay is a play of words certainly thought of by its lovers-of-words owners. “Book” and “ukay-ukay”, those are the two terms. “Book”, we have no problem about its description, but “ukay-ukay” is a  Filipino term for “thrift store“, so put them together, and we’ll know that the shop sells second-hand books that are still in good condition.

Since settling in Maginhawa St in 2008, it has been visited by cool and book-loving celebrities like Saab Magalona and Mercedes Cabral. Not that I want to look and be labeled cool, I’m actually proud to border on the nerd side, but Bookay-Ukay is a must-visit simply because it has books. And cheaper ones, I must say.

I didn’t know it was so easy to get there, but still, I wouldn’t know how to if not for my friend who frequented the area back in college (She studied at Miriam College and its near there.). We met at SM City North EDSA and took a jeepney ride to Quezon City Hall from its terminal for 8 pesos each person. After that, we walked to the side of National Housing Authority and told the driver of the first tricycle in line to drop us at the restaurant Tomato Kick for 17 pesos for two persons. As soon as we got off the tricycle, we were greeted by a two-storey old commercial building, and looking at the right side of its second floor is the sign of Bookay-Ukay. We finally arrived.

Contrary to what I imagined, the store is quite small, in fact, it’s only a room full of books. Perhaps I visualized it to be like those giant bookstores Fully Booked and National Book Store, which was so wrong of me. But at least its interiors speak of what it offers, unlike the formality and plainness of its rival book thrift store Booksale. The green wall on the left is filled with doodles and other stuff like a poster of local pop punk band Kamikazee, and the shelves just below contains other stuff sold in the store like magazines, CDs, and wall clocks which numbers are in counter clockwise. On the counter next to it are key chains from Pop Relief.

Bookay-Ukay 02

Bookay-Ukay 07

Bookay-Ukay 08

Then after those, everywhere else was filled with nothing but books, books, and yes, books on the shelves resting on the remaining walls and even on the floor. Just the perfect haven for book lovers like me and my friend.

Books on the wall

Books on the wall

Books on the floor

Books on the floor

For some time, my friend and I seemed strangers to each other as we both engaged in separate solitary quests for the books we like. From novels, both local and international, to medical books, Bookay-Ukay has second-hand books for everyone.

While I was busy on my hunt, a couple entered the shop and as the guy looked through the shelves, I heard him mutter to his girlfriend in Filipino something like, “I’ll be out of budget again because of books.” Hello there, fellow bookworm! Nice to meet ya! I wanted to tell him, but of course, that’d be crazy. hehe.

Bookay-Ukay 05Bookay-Ukay 04

At the end, I wasn’t able to buy myself a book (Booo! Shame on me!) as I remembered my pile of unread books at home and how I’ll just decrease the chances of finally reading them if I buy more. At least now I know where Bookay-Ukay is. Meanwhile, my friend was able to buy two books for only 350 pesos. She got James Clavell’s Shōgun and Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha, and she was very happy with her finds.

My friend and fellow blogger, Claa (http://watchamacallit-claa.blogspot.com/) with her two new books

My friend and fellow blogger, Claa (http://watchamacallit-claa.blogspot.com/), with her two new books (Photo grabbed from her)

Are you a fellow bookworm who loves to hoard and read books for less? Visit Bookay-Ukay today and satisfy your book addiction! 😀

 

 

Bookay-Ukay
55 Maginhawa St, UP Village
Diliman, Quezon City
Mobile #: 0905.428.3125
E-mail: bookayukay@gmail.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/bookayukay
Operating Hours: 1pm – 12pm, daily

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Lovin’ the Right Way with Kuya Kevin’s Book

Basta Lovelife (Kuya Kevin)

My closest friends have found my battered heart on the ground some time ago. And while most of them showed support and gave me honest opinions and advices about it, my college buddy coupled hers with a book called Basta Lovelife: Making Wise Relationship Decisions by Kuya Kevin, an American pastor/minister and blogger living in the Philippines for a decade now.

It just got buried on my pile of unread books, though, ’cause I was too busy both with adjusting to my new work and with helping myself stand up again. And besides, there’s that term “lovelife” on the title, and I didn’t need it then.

But now that time is swiftly turning the pages of my life’s book to my 25th birthday, and I’m starting to wonder if I was born for single blessedness or married life/committed doublehood, I remembered it, and so I dug my dusty pile, read it, and enjoyed the pieces of information I got from it.

Basta Lovelife answers relationship questions about love (like the right age to be in a relationship, dealing with rejection, same-sex relationships, etc.) and sex from a Christian’s perspective and with pieces of evidence from the Bible to support the ideas. Its aim is to help young Filipinos make wise relationship decisions.

When it comes to sex, those addicted to a premarital one may not like it because the book has a strong conviction about sexual purity. Kuya Kevin discusses why one should keep their virginity until the day they get married by comparing  purity and impurity with fresh water from a water dispenser and contaminated one from a freshly painted curb, and asks which one would people drink. He also tells sex is the highest form of intimacy and that each time people engage with it, they give a piece of themselves to each sexual partner, so just imagine what’s left to offer to their future spouse if they do it outside marriage. Sex even loses it true meaning in the process.

Likewise, the book may also receive a couple of eyebrow-raising from the close-minded people because it discusses the double standard in males and females. They say that men, unlike women, don’t lose anything in premarital sex. But the Bible, through Kuya Kevin’s simple explanation, says it is untrue. Men lose too; they lose self-control, intimacy, themselves, safety, and security. Men’s sex drive is also explained in the book to make it clear if it’s a blessing or a curse.

The book isn’t just being conservative. As Kuya Kevin says in the book, “I base my beliefs on biblical commandments and principles.” So if the Bible has no clear stand on a certain act, like kissing and masturbation, he doesn’t say no to it although he also explains the potential consequences of such. And he didn’t condemn anyone who has made the mistake of having premarital sex in the past. God, after all, forgives, as long as one will be committed to change.

Potential detractors’ reactions aside, Basta Lovelife is a must-read for people seeking a more fruitful relationship in the future, the book is after all made for them. If you want to be enlightened, too, about its subject and others that surround it, this book is recommended to be added on your book list. Its 161 pages sure have a lot to teach you.

 

***

I got a shocking question from a guy friend a few weeks before reading this book: What’s your opinion about sex? It was shocking because it was the first time I got such query (He even added: I can ask anything, right?and yes, he could, I guess, since I indirectly agreed to have that Q&A session with him. But still…), so I didn’t know which part of sex I should talk about, how to start with my answer, and it was awkward for me speak about it alone with a guy.

It took me maybe about a minute to compose myself before I finally said something like: I’m open-minded about it and I can talk about it with people. I don’t even have a problem saying sexual words like penis, vagina, and sex, unlike most people who bleep them, since I don’t find anything wrong with them. I surprisingly know a lot about sex as compared to what my personality would suggest, so I can talk about sex in an educational way–although I haven’t done it yet, mind you–and laugh wild with people dropping green jokes all the time. But I won’t do it. (I just find it fulfilling to be knowledgeable about any stuff foreign to me, but no applications, please. It’s way too early for that.)

The texts on the photo sum up my stand on premarital sex.

The texts on the photo sum up my stand on premarital sex.

Later on, I started questioning myself with my answer, thinking maybe I was way too conservative that I’m now missing a lot in my life. But as I read Basta Lovelife, I began feeling proud of myself and my beliefs and I decided to hold on to them tighter ’cause I know that I’m on the right track. The book is now a favorite. 🙂

Visit Kuya Kevin’s blog at: kuyakevin.blogspot.com

 

Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.

–William Penn

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! 😉

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