Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Review: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.

Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love. (Goodreads)

You can purchase Star Girl on


Its sweet. It conveys a lot of emotions. Not an ordinary teen novel. When I started reading it, for some reason I couldn't put it down. The lead character named Stargirl Caraway is an enigma. As I continue reading, her mysteriousness reveals herself to be far from ordinary. I myself couldn't resist her charm. Her wittiness, child-like innocence, innate naturalness and enthusiasm struck me. 

This book helped me to look things in different perspective. To appreciate things that we usually take for granted. Stargirl made me realized that it's OKAY to be different as long as you're HAPPY, as long as you have your FAMILY who loves you, accepts you and believes in you. After all, you're NOT born to please other people. So why change yourself just to FIT-IN, to feel love and accepted in a world you're in.

Would definitely recommend this book. 

This book deserves a 

Growing up, Jerry Spinelli was really serious about baseball. He played for the Green Sox Little League team in his hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and dreamed of one day playing for the major leagues, preferably as shortstop for the New York Yankees.
One night during high school, Spinelli watched the football team win an exciting game against one of the best teams in the country. While everyone else rode about town tooting horns in celebration, Spinelli went home and wrote "Goal to Go," a poem about the game's defining moment, a goal-line stand. His father submitted the poem to the Norristown Times-Herald and it was featured in the middle of the sports page a few days later. He then traded in his baseball bat for a pencil, because he knew that he wanted to become a writer.
After graduating from Gettysburg College with an English degree, Spinelli worked full time as a magazine editor. Every day on his lunch hour, he would close his office door and craft novels on yellow magazine copy paper. He wrote four adult novels in 12 years of lunchtime writing, but none of these were accepted for publication. When he submitted a fifth novel about a 13-year-old boy, adult publishers once again rejected his work, but children's publishers embraced it. Spinelli feels that he accidentally became an author of children's books.
Spinelli's hilarious books entertain both children and young adults. Readers see his life in his autobiography Knots in My Yo-Yo String, as well as in his fiction. Crash came out of his desire to include the beloved Penn Relays of his home state of Pennsylvania in a book, while Maniac Magee is set in a fictional town based on his own hometown.
When asked if he does research for his writing, Spinelli says: "The answer is yes and no. No, in the sense that I seldom plow through books at the library to gather material. Yes, in the sense that the first 15 years of my life turned out to be one big research project. I thought I was simply growing up in Norristown, Pennsylvania; looking back now I can see that I was also gathering material that would one day find its way into my books."
On inspiration, the author says: "Ideas come from ordinary, everyday life. And from imagination. And from feelings. And from memories. Memories of dust in my sneakers and humming whitewalls down a hill called Monkey."
Spinelli lives with his wife and fellow writer, Eileen, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. While they write in separate rooms of the house, the couple edits and celebrates one another's work. Their six children have given Jerry Spinelli a plethora of clever material for his writing.

Book Review: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional--but is it more true?

You can purchase Life of Pi on
Been meaning to read this novel for a quite sometime. And finally, was able to finished it before they release the movie.Obviously, from the title itself, this novel is about the life of Piscine Molitor Patel or simply "Pi" as what he wanted to be called (I wouldn't elaborate more why is that so, you have to read the book and discover it for yourself).  I was in awe when I started reading. It was far from ordinary. It tackles about life, faith, religion and zoology. Yes, you read that right. RELIGION and ZOOLOGY.The first part of the story started with Pi's childhood memories. When they were still living at Pondicherry. I was taken aback when I found myself smiling and imagining the things that Pi's were telling. With every detail, God, it felt real. I could picture myself wandering around the zoo. I feel like I could live with that place.  Living with different kinds of animals, how cool is that? Ha-ha!

Upon reading this, it made me understood or at least gave me a better insight of the other two religions that was mentioned here. (I once worked at the Middle East and made friends with Indians and Nepalese, that makes them Muslims and Hindus. What a coincidence, huh!? Actually I haven't got a problem with them. I respect their religion and beliefs. Its just that sometimes I really had a hard time figuring out what the heck they were talking about or what activities they had. And believe me it was a riot when they started talking about it). Pi's faith was tested in the second part. Thats when the unexpected happens. The turn of events had started. 

I love Pi's character. Amidst the danger that he's facing in the hands of his unlikeliest traveling companions, he finds ways of survival. He was able to surpass the playing out of the food chains. They say that in the throes of unremitting suffering, you should turn to God. That's exactly what Pi did. He kept his faith and his hopes alive. That in the end only him and Richard Parker left of the seafaring menagerie that lasted for 227 days.

What I love about this book is that it shows that nothing is impossible if you believe in God. Clearly, if you have that strong faith in Him, amidst the danger, eventually you will find yourself struggling to find ways to live. And when you feel that there's no hope, He will be there to push you through. He will not leave you nor forsake you. 

I strongly recommend this book to all the readers out there. No matter what religion you're in, you'll find this book amazing.

This book deserves a 

Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Yann Martel, the son of diplomats, was born in Spain in 1963. He grew up in Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Alaska, and Canada and as an adult has spent time in Iran, Turkey, and India. After studying philosophy in college, he worked at various odd jobs until he began earning his living as a writer at the age of twenty-seven. He lives in Montreal.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Suring Aklat: Sa Ano Nabubuhay Ang Tao ni Sofronio Calderon

Ang "Sa Ano Nabubuhay Ang Tao" ay isang orihinal na akda ni Leo Tolstoy na isinalin sa tagalog ni Sofronio G. Calderon. 

Ang kathang salaysay na ito ay tungkol sa isang mahirap na magsasapatos na ang ngalan ay Semel na namumuhay kasama ang kanyang asawang si Matrena at ang kanilang mga anak. Umikot ang istorya ng dumating sa buhay nila si Mikhail na minsang tinulungan ni Semel. Si Mikhail ay isang masipag, mabait, matulungin at tahimik na tao. Pero SINO NGA BA TALAGA SIYA? Ano ang misteryong nababalot sa kanyang katauhan? Napangiti ako ng mabasa ko ang kasagutan sa aking katanungan. Isang napakagandang pagpapahayag!

Labis akong nasiyahan dahil sa pagbabasa ko ng aklat na ito,ako ay may natutunan.Kung bakit tayo nabubuhay. Para sa ano. Para kanino. At ang napakasimpleng kasagutan ay dahil sa PAGIBIG. Pagibig sa Diyos, sa sarili at sa kapwa tao.

Isang napakagandang awitin ang masasabi kong sumasalamin sa mensahe ng kathang salaysay na ito. Ito ay ang "Diyos ay Pagibig" Hayaan ninyong ibahagi ko ito sa inyo.

Pag-ibig ang siyang pumukaw
Sa ating puso't kaluluwa
Ang siyang nagdulot sa ating buhay
Ng gintong aral at pag-asa
Pag-ibig ang siyang buklod natin
Di mapapawi kailan pa man
Sa puso't diwa tayo'y isa lamang
Kahit na tayo'y magkawalay

Pagka't ang Diyos natin Diyos ng pag-ibig
Magmahalan tayo't magtulungan
At kung tayo'y bigo, ay h'wag limutin
Na may Diyos tayong nagmamahal
Napakasarap talagang mamuhay ng puno ng pagibig. Sana ay madami pang makabasa ng salaysay na ito. Sigurado akong magugustuhan nyo din kagaya ko.


Friday, November 16, 2012

My Wishlist!

Who doesn't want to receive the perfect gift for Christmas? 

Two days ago, I made these collage so my friends and family will have an idea what I wanted to get for Christmas. Haha! 

Presenting my wishlist *drum roll please!*

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
Baking Tools
Books (Filipiniana, Memoirs, Fictions)
Kindle Fire HD

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Suring Aklat: Ang Pagsusulatan nang Dalauang Binibini na si Urbana at ni Feliza ni P.D. Modesto de Castro

Ang Pagsusulatan nang Dalauang Binibini na si Urbana at Feliza ay isa sa mga klasikong akda na nabasa ko. Ito ay ang pagpapalitan ng sulat ng magkapatid na si Urbana,na nasa Maynila at nang kanyang babaeng kapatid na si Feliza,na naiwan sa bahay nila sa Paombong kasama ang kanilang mga magulang at nakababatang kapatid na si Honesto.

Ito ay hindi mga ordinaryong pagsusulatan. Sapagkat bawat sulat na mababasa mo ay kapupulutan ng ibat-ibang aral at reglas na dapat matutunan ng bawat isa sa atin o maging isang pamantayan upang maging isang huwaran na mamamayan. 

Sa panahon ngayon, masasabi nating sadyang malaki na ang pagbabago sa kaugalian ng bawat Pilipino. Iilan na lamang sa atin ang mga sumusunod sa mga matatandang kautusan. Ilan na lang ba sa mga kababaihan ngayon ang masasabi mong parang si "Feliza"? May mga kalalakihan pa bang halintulad kay "Amadeo"? o mga kabataang katulad ni "Honesto"? Kung meron man, kakaunti na lang siguro.

Ito ang isa sa nagustuhan kong winika ni Urbana sa kanyang mga kapatid:

"Huwag ipapanhik ang nakikita sa kapwa tao at sa ating bahay naman ay huwag ipapanhik ang nakikita sa eskwela, sa lansangan at sa bahay ng iba, lalo na kung nauuwi sa paninira nang puri."
Sana magkameron ng pagkakataon ang iba pa na mabasa ito. Madami talaga tayong matututunan. Madaming magagandang punto si Padre Modesto,lalong-lalo na sa kaasalan sa sarili, sa pakikipag kapwa-tao, sa salitaan, pagiibigan, pagaasawa at mga aral ng ina sa mga anak na dalaga.

At kung mababasa man ng iba ito, tandaan natin ang isa pang bilin ni Urbana:

"Ibig ko disin, na ang mga sulat kong ito ay basahin mo, huwag minsan-minsan kung hindi ang maminsan-minsan, sapagkat, kung minsan-minsan lamang, matalastas man ang kahulugan ay madaling makalimutan; kung basahin tuwi-tuwina, may malimutan man ay naaalala, at ang nakaligtaan sa unang pagbasa ay maaaninaw sa ikalawa; ang di nagandan nang una, ay mapagaralan sa huli, kaya ipinamamanhik ko na basahit-basahin."


Monday, November 12, 2012

The Promise

Writing poems has been my outlet for expressing my thoughts and feelings. As a frustrated poet that I am, I occasionally write poems whenever I have time. So let me share this to all of you. I made it months ago.

I can't fathom this feeling 
Im like someone who's plummeting 
My heart is excruciating so bad 
As if it was tormented apart 

I scream, run and hide 
Leave everything I got behind 
Im yearning to be happy 
But all I've got was misery 
Suddenly my tears were gushing 
Like the rain that keeps on falling 
Realization just hits me 
Can someone takes away this melancholy? 

Then I looked out and I see 
A stranger standing in front of me 
He showed me how much he care 
Pledged that he will always be there 
His promises, Im still holding 
Even it means years of waiting 
But where is the man now? 
Did he forgotten his silent vow?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Suring Aklat: Bakit Baliktad Magbasa Ng Libro Ang Mga Pilipino ni Bob Ong

Iilan pa lang ang nabasa kong libro ni Bob Ong pero masasabi ko na ito ang pinakanagustuhan ko. Kahit na puro kapangitan at "bulok" na sistema ng bansa ang nakapaloob dito.

Hindi ko maiwasang maluha (Oo, naluha talaga ako) habang nagbabasa. Isang malaking sampal sakin ang mga nabasa ko. Apektado talaga ako, kahit pa alam kung totoo naman ang mga ito. Hindi ako Nasyonalistang tao, pero masakit para sakin ang lait-laitin at sabihan ng hindi magagandang salita ang bansang sinilangan ko.

Pagkatapos ko itong mabasa, ako'y napaisip. Tuluyan na ba talagang nilamon ng baluktot na sistema ang ating bansa? Nang maling paniniwala? Sino nga ba ang dapat natin sisihin sa nangyayari satin ngayon? Ang mga opisyal ng gobyerno o ang mga sarili natin mismo?

Bakit nga ba sa tuwing may mali, kung sino sino ang tinuturo nating may sala? Gusto natin ng pagbabago, pero wala tayong ginagawa para makamtan ito. Karamihan sa atin ay nakadepende lang sa gobyerno. Hindi ba magandang magsimula muna sa mga sarili natin ang pagbabago?

"Ano ang talino kung walang disiplina? Ano ang gamit ng mapagkukunang-yaman kung walang kaayusan? May iba na kaunti ang biyaya kesa satin, mas malayo ang narating. Kaya natin manguna. Ang kailangan lang ay DISIPLINA."

Sang-ayon ako dito. Kaya walang asenso, dahil hindi disiplinado. Kung tutuusin, madami tayong likas na yaman, pero ano ang ginawa ng iba dito? Inabuso at ginamit sa maling pamamaraan sa halip na pagyamanin at pakinabangan ng nakakarami. Isama na natin dito ang mga taong walang pagmamahal sa sariling bayan. Mga kapwa natin Pilipino na nakarating lang sa ibang bansa ay akala mo na kung sino. Sa halip na tumulong sila para iangat ang bansa, ay sila pa mismo ang nagbabagsak dito.

Magandang irekomenda ang librong ito para mabasa ng mga kabataan at kapwa Pilipino para mamulat ang kaisipan. Nang sa ganon ay maging paki-pakinabang at maging isang huwaran. Hindi ako nawawalan ng pag-asa na uunlad din tayo. NASA ATING MGA KAMAY ANG ASENSO, KUNG MAGTUTULUNGAN LANG TAYO


Review: MUFE's Aqua Rouge #8

Weeks ago, I joined a blog giveaway by Ms. Joyce Platon. It was actually my first. The mechanics is so easy. You just have to guess the brand and color of the lipstick that she's wearing and follow her blog. I was hesitant at first, but then, I gave it a try. 

I couldn't believed it when she tweeted and informed me that I was one of the lucky winners. Mind you, I was ecstatic by that time.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Book Review: The River by Jeff Tucker

A black and white cat, Pokey, comes to visit Farmer Jeffries Corn Farm, she meets Sparky, a red haired young pig that needs glasses. Sparky, having just been rescued from the farm that was loading a truck for you know where, has a new friend in Pokey. Then, Bill, a white duck is flying by and sees fresh corn in a bag by the barn, stops to sneak a few kernels, and meets Pokey and Sparky. Jumper, 
a brown cottontail rabbit had been released a few days earlier from a trap by Farmer Jeffries. Jumper shows up looking for a safe home. The four friends meet new friends throughout their Adventures, many also end up living on the farm.

My Thoughts: 
Are you a pet lover? If YES, then this book is definitely FOR YOU! 

I finished reading this book in less than an hour. I really enjoyed it. It was a quick read,indeed. I wanna commend Mr. Tucker for his creativeness and wild imagination. I love the characters, especially Pokey (who reminds me of our cat, Mings) for her wittiness. I couldn't stop my giggles whenever the characters have humorous comebacks to each other. I admired their friendships coz despite their differences,they remain intact and found comfort in each others company.

SELFLESSNESS, TRUST, COURAGE, FAITH, LOVE and CAMARADERIE are some of the values I learned upon reading it. Yes, it might be like an ordinary book and that but dude you'll  get something from it! 

I would definitely recommend this for the young ones and young at heart.


Suring Aklat: ABNKKBSNPLAko?! ni Bob Ong

Bakit namamalo si Miss Uyehara?
May mga notebook bang lumilipad?
Bakit masakit sa ulo ang Mafhemafics?
Ano ang lihim sa likod ng pagkakaibigan nila Pepe at Tagpi?
Bakit may mga taong nakapikit sa litrato?
Masarap ba ang Africhado?
Sino si Tigang?
Bakit may mga classroom na kulang ang upuan?
Masama bang mag-isip nang malalim habang naglalakad?
Saan ang Ganges River sa Pilipinas?
Bakit may mga umaakyat ng overpass pero hindi tumatawid?
Sino ang webmaster ng bobongpinoy sa Internet? (Goodreads)

Ang Aking Rebyu:  
Eto ang pangalawang libro ni Bob Ong na nabasa ko. Matagal ko ng nakikita sa mga bookstore ang librong ito, pero ngayon ko lang naisipang basahin. Maganda naman ang mga kwentong chalk ni Bob Ong. Dito nia ibinahagi ang karanasan niya noong nagaaral pa cia hanggang sa makapagtapos at maging isang guro. 

Napapangiti ako habang binabasa ko ang mga kwento ni Bob. Hindi ko maiwasang alalahanin ang mga karanasan ko nung ako ay nag-aaral pa. Naka relate ako sa ibang kwento nia. "May mga notebook bang lumilipad?" tanong nia. Isang malaking OO ang sagot ko dito. Dahil minsan isang araw, lumipad na din ang notebook naming magkakaklase. 

Nakakaaliw basahin ang librong ito dahil totoo naman ang mga nakasulat. Makakarelate ka talaga dahil gawain talaga yan ng mga estudyante. Lalo na yung kwento nia nung tumuntong siya ng kolehiyo. Masasabi ko na kahit yung iba ay dumaan sa ganung karanasan, dahil may mga kakilala ako na dumating sa punto na nawalan din ng ganang mag-aral, pero sa huli muling nagsimula at nakapagtapos din naman.

Ano ang natutunan ko sa pagbabasa ng librong ito? Ang pagpapahalaga sa edukasyon at sa mga guro na naghihirap sa pagtuturo.


Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

SynopsisDiagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind. (Goodreads)