The Joy in Plastic Covers

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

I blog about anything. Even the littlest randomest thing about my life. And today I'd be sharing just another mundane post. Plastic covers. Does this interest you? Of course, not. Who cares about plastic covers anyway? They're just petty little transparent things that doesn't really have any impact to our lives, albeit useful. But you don't think it's really worth blogging at all, do you? Well, it doesn't matter. I'd blog about anything that makes me happy. So please, excuse my kababawan. hahaha :)

The Book Thief

Saturday, April 27, 2013 5 Comments A+ a-

I just came from a heartbreak.

F*** you Markus Zusak. I hope you are now aware how many people could have hated you so much for writing a terribly depressing but brilliantly written novel. 550 pages. Five hundred fifty gripping pages. Tearing my soul page by page. I am amazed how you can actually create such a simultaneously beautiful and heartbreaking story. I don't know how you're doing it, but just keep it up. You sir, are a genius.

Mang Nanie: More Than Just a Book Caretaker

Saturday, April 20, 2013 5 Comments A+ a-

What can I say about a man who turned his home into a free reading library? A book caretaker? A street librarian?

Hernando "Nanie" Guanlao, a man with an overwhelming passion for books set up a little library - encouraging little kids, students, young adults, and adults to read. It started some time in year 2000 with his own books of no more than a hundred. Placed it outside his house by the door to see if people will be interested to borrow them, and they did. Some are even returning with more books to add to his collection. Thus, the birth of his public library, or simply he calls it, Reading Club 2000.

It is a library with no strict rules, the only rule is to enjoy reading to your heart's content. Readers can take home as many books as they want and they can keep it for long without having to worry about overdue fees, they can even keep it permanently. For the many years that he was running his public library, rather than having a dwindling number of books, his collection seems to grow amazingly that it has already taken over his house as more and more people donate to his cause (Bless you angels!) This just proves that despite the instability of our economy and the redonk rise of prices, some of the best things in life remain free. :)

His goal to share the joy of reading to local communities didn't stop there. To be able to reach out and help the marginalized communities in Manila, he travels with a big pile of books in his "book-bike". He also sends boxes of books for different public schools, barrios, remote areas and island provinces. He devotes himself distributing the books that were donated by kind-hearted donors and he has already contributed a lot for the literacy of many people. I do believe that this man really deserves a recognition more than this blog post, more than the written articles, more than the TV guestings.

I've heard of Mang Nanie last October 2012 when I was given a web design project. I was moved by his deed. And since then he became my inspiration. Mang Nanie is from Barangay La Paz, Makati and I am from Davao. But despite the distance between us, I feel like we're already connected. I am a book lover and I love reading books, that's one. Two, I am honored to design the official Reading Club 2000 website and logo.
It is so far the simplest design I've ever created for a website, but it's the project I feel the most honored. I'm telling you about this because I am so proud of what I did. :)

I and the rest of the team (the company I worked with) are happy to be a part (at least) of his advocacy. That even in our very own little way, we helped in spreading his act of kindness through the internet. That through his website, we'd be able to reach out to more people throughout the country and worldwide. To let people realize the importance of reading. To inspire other people to help those who are not given the privilege to read. To reach out to you, to us, the more fortunate class. We are so lucky that we were given the opportunity to learn, to read. And we have brothers and sisters out there who have not even held a book yet their entire life. I know that we, even in our own little way can help.

I really admire Mang Nanie. He's more than just a book caretaker or a street librarian. He's a modern day hero. An inspiration to everyone who loves to read and those who want to learn to read. He's someone to look up to. Someone who has shown that you really don't need money or great influence to be able to help. I wish I'd be able to visit his place one of these days with a pile of my old school books. I'd be very honored to meet a man that has inspired and helped many. I love his pledge to help people gain easy and free access to literature and education. Not everyone in the Philippines is privileged enough to own a book or two, or worse, read. But if there were other Mang Nanies around, our country would definitely be a better place.

"You don't do justice to these books if you put them in a cabinet or a box. A book should be used and reused. It has a life, it has a message. As a book caretaker, you become a full man." -Nanie Guanlao

Mabuhay ka Mang Nanie! Saludo kami sayo!

Thankful for Mondays

Monday, April 15, 2013 5 Comments A+ a-

Most of us dread Mondays. I say "us" because that definitely includes me. Monday comes when you least expect it, so stealthy, so quick, striking you hard right in the face. Weekend over. Finito. Which made me feel like I haven't had any rest. No wonder why I hate Mondays 8 days a week.

But no matter how dreadful Mondays are, little things happen that either make us smile or laugh, let us feel relieved, or comfort us. It's just that they always go unnoticed. Good things happen on Mondays too, we only choose not to recognize them because we loathed Monday in the first place. So from this day forward, I'll be posting about petty little things that made my Monday a good day as my way of saying "I thank God for Mondays."

Giddy Monday
Today, R came home with an enrollment form, the tuition fee statement and the list of requirements (school supplies) for Pre-schoolers. My eyes widened as I read the last one. I am thrilled.

This Monday, I am thankful for that giddy feeling the list of requirements brought me. Why? Do you remember everytime school is nearing that your mom will take you to the mall and buy you new school supplies? Do you remember how excited you felt at that moment with your new loot? That's one of the happiest moment for me as a kid. The best back-to-school-thing ever. And that is exactly how I feel right now. Except, the school supplies are not for me. :)

I am so excited. I am excited to buy Rhett a new bag, lunch box, new shoes, new books,new pencils, new crayons, new notebooks, new everything! At 27, I still find myself overly excited about new school supplies! Hahaha! It's one childhood bliss I can never outgrow. Anyone share the same sentiments?

Meet my new reading buddy

Sunday, April 14, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Passed by the flea market this morning and I happen to spot a cute little Furby! It's so cute that I could not resist to take hold of it immediately. So cute that he deserves this post! Hahaha. Yeah, yeah sometimes I do have a different eye for "cute".

Tag says it's from Tiger Electronics, year 1999. It's in excellent condition (it still has a tag but it's torn into half, so I just ripped it away), it's clean and adorably cute.  And what's more surprising it's only 10 Pesos! ($0.25). No, this is not the creepy talking Furby, this is just a plush. Don't panic. ;)

I went home not knowing what am I to do with it. So I just randomly placed it on top of my books then I suddenly knew what I want next... I want more furbies! Haha I am weird. While almost everyone is creeped out by these big-eyed plushies, I on the other hand have this sudden obsession. (And now, I feel like a child again. >.<)

The Perils of Working from Home

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 7 Comments A+ a-

When people learn that I work from home, I get different reactions. Most people would say "Ka hayahay."  Hayahay is a term from our local dialect which could mean any of the following: relaxing, comfortable, convenience, ease, and all other terms related to it. It is as good as saying "It must be nice to have a stress-free work."  

No, not really. And there's no such thing.

Sometimes, people envy me, thinking that I hold all the time for myself. Note, thinking. It seems most people with "real jobs" think home-based jobs can be as easy as just clicking the mouse, (e.g. paid to click, networking, referrals, ponzi schemes) earning while doing almost nothing. No. These are real office jobs we do, only we chose to be at home.

Working from home is not what you really think it is. I am well aware of the perks of working at home, and I absolutely love it. However, I can't deny the fact that I also need to acknowledge the perils that come with it.
My Workstation

Achievement Unlocked: Get Others to Read a Book

Friday, April 5, 2013 4 Comments A+ a-

My love for reading started at an early age. From my childhood years to present, I lost count on how many books I have actually read. Books have introduced me to people, pierced my heart, taken me into new and unfamiliar worlds while I lay captive on my own bed, and who knows what else I can experience from the pages of the book. I love getting lost in the books and emerge later feeling devastated to be back in the real world.

I love to read. And I have this tendency to influence or encourage, or should I say, bug those people around me to read.

For many years I struggled in letting the very reluctant boyfriend read a book. I've had several attempts, but at least, not all efforts were done in vain because last year I have actually managed to let him read a 300-page book. Haha! Okay... he liked the Hunger Games movie, that's why he "willfully" read Collin's Catching Fire. He liked what he read but he said his eyes got somehow strained and stressed (oh the excuses).
Oh well. I guess it was a torture for him. And though he did not fully embrace reading, I felt victorious. It was very overwhelming that I made one soul finish one book his entire life. And that's not gonna stop there. Not ever.

Not now that I have a son to whom I'm hoping he'll also get those reading habits from me. So as early as two I started buying him board-books. But don't worry son, there's no pressure at all. Perhaps we'll just do a little poking and pushing. Or maybe there's no need for that. Now he's almost 4, I can see he's getting fond of reading. After work, he would oftentimes ask me, "Read tayo ng book, Mom."  And I love it when he does that. Although he can't read yet. He loves to follow the words that I read, point at pictures and make up his own stories. It's just starting. I can't wait til he'll learn to read and would soon be flipping the pages of my books. We'll get there. :)

Anyway, I would also like to encourage everyone, to get others read a book. You see, not everyone is privileged to read. Many of our brethren desperately want to learn. We, on the other hand are fortunate enough, let's not put it to waste.

What happened to the good ol TV shows?

Monday, April 1, 2013 5 Comments A+ a-

As much as I want my 3-almost-4-year-old son to steer clear from the internet, TV, and other tech gadgets, sometimes I find myself the need to give in especially when I have to work my ass off. We never hired (and have no plans of hiring) a nanny for him. So I'm all hands-on to him while I help R make the ends meet. But I am so thankful that even though I work full time, I am still able to monitor all his activities; the games apps he plays, every normal and the not-so-normal things he does, and of course, the TV shows that he watch.

It's disappointing to see that TV shows nowadays are no longer child friendly. I remember when I was a child that I enjoyed these shows every morning: