Need a F-R-E-E Love Story and Wedding Writer? :D

I guess I am posting this to sort of announce that if you have friends who are tying the knot and want some form of writeup as a souvenir of their wedding (and if I can interview the couple about their love story, so much the better!), I can actually do it for free and post it here on my website. I just hope the venues are pretty accessible by commute. I will make time. 🙂 But I do hope it’s during weekends. Haha. (May qualifier pa rin. Labo!)

Since I started this blog, I have this thing for making features about interesting people. And one of the topics I genuinely enjoyed writing about are weddings. An example is the one I wrote for my friend Ate Amery. It’s not really too glamorous like a magazine feature that involves fancy pictures and lots of really creative wordplay. It’s something personal, simple, and sweet that helps preserve and share the memories of the couple.

Even if I am a Roman Catholic, I am actually quite intrigued to see weddings of other different religions. So yes, different religions are welcome! 🙂  In fact, this month I am already scheduled to attend a very good friend’s Mormon wedding in Pangasinan and I am super duper excited to see what it’s like.

So yeah, I hope I can write about it more aside from the usual thingamajigs I write here. Heartache is so overrated. Let’s celebrate love more. 🙂

Any takers?

Due Date

“We made three cups of him. I think there are still eight cups of my dad in here. He really enjoyed coffee, and in the end, he was enjoyed as coffee.”

That was my favorite quote from this slightly strange movie.

To a certain degree, I like this movie. But not as much as I like other films. Maybe I will be giving it a 3 out of 5 stars rating. But I do not have enough retention to make a good review of it.

I find some scenes to be weird and uncalled for, but the main lesson was to also love and accommodate the strange ones. Some good friendships can actually spring out of those strange people in real life.

And I like the “Life is full of surprises” vibe that the movie gives off as well.


I Love 43Things

A few years ago, I discovered a very useful website called 43things from Google. I think that was the time when I shut off my Friendster account. I only joined Facebook in 2009, but I even shut it off for more than a year for board exam review purposes. I was looking for useful websites for helping me accomplish my dreams, and I found 43things. 😀 I actually have my 43things list on the right side bar of this blog, and I have seen some readers go to my 43things account, thanks to Feedjit log below.

It is a life tool that helps you accomplish your goals by linking you with other 43things users who are doing the same things that you are doing. It is pretty cool since I made some friends there. But what I like about my friends there is that they are more or less detached to me. They simulate the same relationship that I have with my therapist for free. And they are very focused on addressing my goals and what can be done to help me achieve them. And whenever I feel discouraged, somebody posts a comment and cheer and it kind of helps me continue.

Like Facebook, the website allows other 43things users to like or comment to your posts and your goals. But it’s called CHEERS instead of likes. And everyone can cheer for you, not just the ones on your personal network. If you like a user well enough, you can subscribe to him or her, and vice versa. The only catch is that you will not really know who is subscribed to you. You will only know how many people are subscribed. So far, there are ten people there who are following my progress in life.

Aside from linking you with people who are doing the same things as you are, you will also find a lot of useful resources from the people who have already accomplished your goals or targets for your life. There are “How I Did It” articles for most of the goals and the 43things users are very generous in giving their advice.

There is a morale tracker, which will help you check your mood swings. Since I am bipolar, you will find my moral tracker to have that dramatic zigzag fashion in it. 🙂 On top of the life goals, you can also have a separate list of New Year’s resolutions. The website also helps you summarize your accomplishments or milestones through the “Your Year in Review” tab.

Such delight because I even found a Doctor on the other side of the world who shares my birthday! And she says it is the first time in her life that she found someone with the same birthday as hers. On my end, she is already the fourth person. It’s cool.

I am posting about it because the website has been quite useful to me and I want more people to know about it.

Review Center Tips

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. 😉

I would like to apologize to the soon-to-be board exam takers who have been waiting for me to update my series of posts on board exam tips. It has been a while. I am really sorry. 🙁 Some things just… came up. Moving on to the present, I am posting here a new set of tips that will benefit those who are already preparing to enroll in review classes before their board exam. This just might aid you a little bit.

When I was reviewing for the Geodetic Engineering licensure examination, I enrolled in Review Innovations Center in Morayta:

Most of the review centers here in Manila are actually located in Morayta, so you will not have a hard time finding all of them. I leave you to find the exact location in Google Maps and I will instead focus on the tips that you may find most useful for your review.

1. Research. Go where the topnotchers of recent years went. When I say recent, I mean the last 3-5 years. Trends do change. Competition is fierce among review centers and their review styles do change and the owners of review centers either shape up or stagnate. This is what I did. R.I. is famous since schoolmates from previous batches recommended them to us. Ask the upperclassmen which review center is the best for your particular board exam.

2. If at all possible, get the topic schedule before classes begin. This is vital for your time management. I manage to get the topic schedule within the first week of our review classes and I used it as a basis for how I am going to manage my review time at home. The one advantage of enrolling in a review center is that you get to cover all the topics since they are all within the schedule.

3. Reserve early and get the best seats in the room. The best seats in a conventional classroom are illustrated in this colored grid. Red seats (first two front rows) indicate 100% retention, Pink seats come in closely with 80% and Blue seats are passable with 60%.

(I have read so many books on body language, seating psychology and whatnots that I actually forgot which book I got this from. Sorry. 🙁 )

During my review classes, I was at the center and front row. 😀 The other topnotchers were mostly on the first row, too. 😉 So do sweat the small stuff and get the best seats.

4. Socialize with your review center classmates. Synergy is power. Even Stephen Covey promotes that in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Sharing of reviewers and techniques abound when you socialize with people from other schools. There are some negatively competitive schools but just ignore them. Crab mentality is not really that conducive in such an endeavor. And yes, I have heard that some people managed to get some romantic interests at play as well.

5. Take advantage of early bird and group discounts. Some centers offer discounts when you enroll with 9 or 10 other people and done at least two months before the first day of review classes.

6. Check your foundations. Every course has a “Bible” or reference. How well do you know your course’s Bible? In my case, my foundations in some subjects were really lousy. My teachers in UP were good. But I was so lazy in some subjects in college. So I had to read our “Bible” twice from cover to cover before review classes started. That helped me get a head start. If you are a laude filled with straight A’s, you can go ahead to refining your solving speed since your foundations are already pretty strong.

7. Review and/or Refresher? Question. Some people enroll only in Review classes. Some people enroll only in the Refresher course. I enrolled on both because I like the discipline of the schedule and time. I also found long preparation to be very conducive and less stressful for me. But if you are working, strapped for cash or just wanting more time for self-review, choose the Refresher over the Review. The hidden goodies of review centers are often given during the Refresher course.

8. Topnotch Aiming tip: Do not just rely on what the review classes will be giving you. They are just supplements to what you are doing for your own personal preparations. Honestly, I think I got 40% from the RI classes and 60% from my own personal efforts. It is much nicer to come to the review class na nadaanan mo na yung topic from your personal study than have to familiarize yourself with it in the review class for the first time. If you can really go the extra mile, go through all the topics in the schedule even before the classes begin TWICE.

All my personal efforts aside, R.I. has done its job really well in preparing us. In our batch of geodetic engineering board exam takers, 10 out of the 10 topnotchers in our board exam were R.I. reviewees.

Seven out of ten were UP graduates, including yours truly, which made it also a successful year for our department then.

(We UP geodetic engineers are also hoping that UP board exam takers this year will also achieve the same or more this September 2011. But of course, I am leaving all my tips open to everyone else, regardless of school. ;-))

What else? Just one last: DON’T BE ABSENT! 😀

Good luck! More tips to come soon! 😉 Share the love!

Image credit goes to:

Gagang Gupit

Hawak ko ang hibla ng mahaba kong buhok nung naglalakad ako papunta sa parlor. Binalak kong pahabain ito. Ngunit, naluto ng chlorine sa huling swimming na pinuntahan ko at hindi ko na halos masuklay. Nanghihinayang ako. Nagbago ang isip ko na pagupitan. Sabi ko: “Hot oil na lang. Sayang ang mahigit isang taong pagpapahaba nito. Pinakulayan pa ng ash blonde.”

Pagdating sa parlor ay binati ako ng babaeng mukhang may pitong anak na aburido ng konti sa buhay. Siya pala ang mag-aasikaso sa akin. Medyo naasiwa ako kasi sanay akong bading lagi ang humahawak ng buhok ko. Lalo akong nagduda na matutuloy ang paggupit ko ng medyo mahaba ko ng buhok. Wala akong tiwala sa kanya.

Matapos ang hot oil ay binanlawan na ni Ate ang buhok ko. Habang pinapatuyo ang buhok ko, nakita ko sa telebisyon ang commercial ng bagong Koreanovela sa GMA 7. Hindi ko maalala ang pangalan, magkakamukha lang naman kasi sila diba.

Pero nakita ko ang bidang babae. Kinalabit ko si Ateng aburido: “Ate, ganyan gawin mo sa buhok ko.”

Ate: “Sigurado ka?” (at may anim na beses niyang inulit yan)

Ako: OO. Bagay yan sa akin.

Ate: *umiiling*

(Pero ako pa rin naman ang nasunod kahit pakialamera much si Ate.)

In fairness naman, mahusay si Ate. Nakopya niya ang buhok ng bida sa Koreanovela:


Ito na ang pagmamarka ng bagong kabanata ng buhay ko bilang isang dalaga.


Maraming salamat kay Ann Michelle Medina para sa unang larawan at sa kapatid kong si Huglets para sa pangalawang larawan. Second photo also enhanced by Ms. Haydee Lyn Suarez. 😉

Isang Pirasong Kuwerdas

Lunurin mo ako sa saliw ng iyong musika at sa iyong musika lamang. Ito ang iyak ng pusong pagal na mabagal na humahakbang patungo sa liwanag, ang liwanag na pakiwari ko’y paandap-andap at mabilis ding natatabunan ng lilim ng kaliluan. Isang malaking pagkakamali na paulit-ulit ay nababadha sa aking kabuuan, isang uri ng pagkakamaling pinayagan kong mamanhikan sa aking kalooban. Sa likod ng tabing ng katapangang sumabak at buksan ang sarili para sa iba ay tunay na takot akong masugatan at maiwang mag-isa.

Ako ay nagtatangis sa kadiliman ng paulit-ulit na tugtog ng aking iisang melodiya. Ito ang magarbong tugtog na walang laman kahit ito na ang mistulang tugatog para sa karamihan. Ngunit hindi ito tugatog para sa akin. Isa lamang itong ilusyon na bumubulid sa kaisipan kong hindi naitutok sa tamang lugar. Tigib ako ng pighati sa pagikot-ikot ng mga imahe ng nakaraan, ang nakaraang humigop ng oras dahil sa pilit na pagtugtog sa maling kanta.

Paano nga ba tutugtugin ang tamang kanta kung hindi mo alam ang sariling pagkakahulma at kung para saan ka?

Waring numinipis ang aking kabuuan sa paulit ulit na paggamit, ngunit alam kong nararamdaman ko lamang ito dahil sa kapagalang dulot ng aking pagtingin sa labas ng kaha ng gitara. Sa impit na tugtog ng iisang nota ay nakatago ang mga luha. Bawat isang tipa ay may patak ng dugo at pawis na kasama.

Kadalasan ako ay napipigtas sa tindi ng hagupit sa pagpilit sa maling kanta. Mula sa pigtas na piraso ay aarko na parang bilog– bilog na tanikala na nagsisilbing pambigti sa aking mga pangarap. Ito ang unti-unting pumapatay sa akin.

Ang pinakamalaki kong kalaban ay ang aking sarili, ang masokistang sarili na mahilig pa ring makipagdiyalogo sa mga anino na lumalason at dumudurog sa aking pagkatao.

Lunurin mo ako sa saliw ng akmang tugtog na laan para sa akin. Isama mo ako sa ibang kwerdas na nilikha upang itugtog din ang kantang tanging ako lamang ang maaaring makatipa.

At alam kong sa pamamagitan ng walang maliw na pagtipa na kaalinsabay nila ay hindi ako kailanman mag-iisa para ipakasal sa anino ng walang hangganang dilim.

Pero habang wala pa sila sa aking tabi ay pagsusumikapan kong manatiling unat at nasa tono upang ako ay maging handa sa kanilang pagdating.

Maghihintay ang isang pirasong kuwerdas para sa tamang kanta.  Titiisin ang timyas at sakit ng kawalan ng musika ng isang buong buhay kung ang ibig sabihin naman sa huli ay mahahanap ang tamang kanta na may dalang liwanag na hindi magmamaliw kailanman.


(This post is inspired by my perpetual frustration to learn guitar. And it is also further inspired by my seatmate sa ordinary fare bus kaninang umaga na nagtutugtog sa kanyang imaginary guitar. Salamat, kapwa biyahero ng buhay. I will try to learn to play this instrument again.)