Ad Astra per Aspera

After over a year, I’m back! 2016 has been my best year so far. I’m already a CPA and whatttttt? Here’s to another chapter of my life. I’m excited. Well, that was an understatement. Earlier I was in the middle of writing a brief speech for our testimonial lunch at school, but it turned out to be kind of a long post for my blog, but this time, I really don’t care if I babble too much. I’m just happy. I still have so much to say but I know if I do that, I won’t finish. I have a long list of people to say thank you to, and so here it goes.

I have always imagined myself delivering this speech as a new CPA. It was actually one of my ways to feel motivated whenever I was having a hard time dealing with Accounting during my undergrad and review, but now that I am finally here, I didn’t know this would be this awkward. Unlike others, I wasn’t one of those who took this course because their families pressured them to do so, but because I have always wanted to be a CPA. The high school I studied at were one of those few who have Accounting as their electives, and maybe that was actually the start of it. And now, I still I can’t believe that I am here, and that I’m already a CPA.

I wasn’t one of those super smart students during undergrad. I was just ordinary, barely passing my Accounting subjects, but still not neglecting my duties in extra-curricular orgs that I was part of. Of course, it was difficult, but it was possible, and I think that’s what matters.

Review was definitely the most challenging, but somehow the most rewarding experience as well. I started and finished review feeling excited about everything. I gained a few but real friends from CRC, and aside from all the Accounting-related stuff I learned from my reviewers, whom I consider my family there, surely meeting and being friends with new people is something that I’m really grateful for.

As for the advice on passing the board, well I’ve got a few.

Mindset is half the battle. Always be positive. Believe in yourself, no matter how cliché that might sound. Don’t let your failures keep you from getting those three letters. If you think that you’re not smart enough, that you’re not ready to take the board yet, well, everyone else is feeling the same way. You have to remind yourself that it’s okay if you’re struggling. It’s okay to complain once in a while, to cry when you’re feeling down. At least you are being reminded of how much you want your dreams to come true. But please be reminded as well that dwelling on something that is negative will get you nowhere.

Analyze. Don’t familiarize. I know you’ve heard that a lot of times already, but still, focus on the concepts. It would be better if you solve a lot of problems as well and try to analyze why it was solved that way. It saves you a lot of time, because four months of review is not enough to answer all your handouts, your friends’ handouts, and your books. You’re lucky enough that you finish your own.

Trust your review school. They know what’s best and they’ve been conducting reviews for so many years and just trust them to help you. Don’t take your classes and pre-boards for granted. You’ll know their worth once you’re taking the actual board exam, and you’ll feel thankful for all the times you were present in class.

Great things take time. Just because you didn’t graduate on time, or you had to leave your first school for some reasons, it doesn’t make you less of a person you are. Sometimes, it’s God’s way of saying that He has something better in store for us. Maybe He wants us to develop a better attitude while at the same time working even harder for what we believe in. All I know is that we deserve something more than instant gratification, and that we are not what happened to us. We are what we choose to become.

Don’t forget to pray. Always start and finish everything with a sincere prayer. Thank Him for every single blessing that He gives you. If you’re tired and you’re starting to doubt yourself and what you’re capable of, just leave it all to Him and you’ll feel better. But mostly, don’t forget to thank Him whenever your prayers are being answered. Just do your best and if God sees that you badly want it, and that you’re doing your best, I don’t see why not he will not give it to you now or maybe sometime later. Don’t be afraid because in the end, it’s not between you and BOA. It’s between you and God anyway.

Remember that there’s always something to be thankful for. Sometimes it gets to a point where you just want to give everything up. You start to think, “is this really for me?”, “why didn’t I just take the easier path?”, but then remember that you’re doing this not because you badly want it, but also because there are people who struggle as much as you do, just to try to support you all the way, and I’m referring to your family and friends. Whenever you feel like you’re not smart enough and you doubt yourself, remember those people who continuously push you to fight and believe.

So I want to thank these people:

To my high school Accounting teacher, Sir Cyr, Fundac1 wouldn’t have been easy if not because of you. It’s sad that you didn’t even get to see us become CPAs. I hope we made you proud.

To SBCA, especially Miss Rowena Carpio and Atty. Alvarez, thank you for making me appreciate Accounting and Law even more.

To LCCM, thank you for accepting me despite the circumstances. I will be forever grateful for that. I had a great time in this school, not to mention how you welcome me and other transferees like family. Thank you.

To our Accrev reviewers, thank you for the training. Thank you for always reminding us not to take Accrev for granted, and how it would help us during the formal review. It was indeed a huge help.

To Sir Ardhee and Sir Dennis, I’m not sure if they remember me, or if they even know me. Still, I want to thank them for being so kind when I first entered La Co. If not because of Sir Ardhee, I would have spent my first semester here enrolled in just one class, and that was NSTP.

To Dean Bravo, for being ever-supportive of everyone in this school.

To Marj, John, Shine, and Jean, thank you.

To my friends in San Beda, I miss you and I hope we can hang out soon. I can’t wait for the day when we’re all CPAs and we’re going to prove Papa V wrong.

To my CRC-Ace family, reviewers and staff, thank you for everything. To Atty. Sagana, Sir Roel, Sir Jekkel, Sir Mike, Sir Mark and Miss Jacqui, sobrang gagaling niyo po. Nakaka-inspire. As in. I’ve actually got a LOOOOOOT to say, but hindi ako matatapos if I do. There was never a day that I was not excited to go to class because you made us feel like we’re just studying at home. You made us feel like we’re part of a family.

To Makii and Avie, you two were part of the reasons why I was always excited to go to class. I thank God for blessing me with people like you. This might sound cheesy, but I really do feel like I must have done something good in the past to be receiving such kindness from strangers. Lmao. You guys are always In my prayers. I’m going to miss you both.

To Room 309/601, Lorie, Cathy, Juvy and Rachelle, I am beyond thankful for the memories we’ve made. I can’t imagine my review without the surprise celebrations, the stolen shots, pop quizzes at 2 in the morning, the non-stop chikka and videoke sesh after pre-boards, thank you, for being my sisters by prescription.

To Mon/Mars, I remember being all alone in AdvAcc3 and had no one to work with, and you walked up to me like we’ve always been friends. Lol. Sorry if at first I didn’t talk to you comfortably. Thanks for being my AdvAcc BFF and I appreciate your support all throughout my review, even up to now.

To my Fangirls family, thank you for always being on the sidelines, for being my cheering squad, for understanding if I was always MIA for the past months. I miss you, ladies, so much.

To Majoy, Lester, Ellaine, Zia and Ate Joan, you believed in me more than I believed in myself. Thank you for always reminding me not to be too serious about everything and telling me straight that I’m being paranoid.

To Chelsea, from SMS, to Beda, and now here, you’ve always been really supportive. Here’s to almost eight years of friendship. You’ll be the one standing here next time.

To my best friend, Tina, thank you for always putting up with me. God knows how grateful I am for our friendship. I’m happy that we both passed the exam now and we’ll get to see each other during the oath-taking.

To my family, especially to Mama, for being my role model. I wish I could be half the person that you are. You’re selfless, loving and tough. You inspire me so much. To my Ate Ann, for always, always, wanting what’s best for our family, especially for me and Say. Thank you.

And lastly, to God, without Him, I’d be nowhere near the person I am — and the person I’m still working on becoming. I don’t think I’ll be able to express my gratification in such a way that is enough, but I think this is a good start. I owe you one. You’re the best.

Ad astra per aspera, like, really.

“There are moments in our lives when we find ourselves at a crossroads. Afraid. Confused. Without a roadmap. The choices we make in those moments can define the rest of our days. Of course, when faced with the unknown, most of us prefer to turn around and go back. But once in a while people push on to something better. Something found just beyond the pain of going it alone. And just beyond the bravery and courage it takes to let someone in. Or to give someone a second chance. Something beyond the quiet persistence of a dream. Because it’s only when you’re tested, that you truly discover who you are. And it’s only when you’re tested, that you discover who you can be. The person you want to be does exist. Somewhere on the other side of hard work and faith and belief… and beyond the heartache and fear of what lies ahead.”

–Lucas Scott, One Tree Hill

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032215: E. Lockhart in Manila

Hi there, everyone! It has been more than three months since I last posted something in here, and I am extremely embarrassed about it. Sure I had been really busy the past semester with all the i-just-transferred-to-another-school-and-still-kind-of-adjusting thing that I didn’t bother writing about the recent book signing events that I had attended, but I’m glad I’m writing something now. So last Sunday, my Fangirls family (Jhed wasn’t around, though) and I went to see E. Lockhart. *throws confetti*. I did actually plan on going there exactly three hours before the registration (seven hours before the event). I was expecting a high number of readers because of all the hype with her latest novel We Were Liars, which even won an award on Goodreads just recently. But when I arrived six minutes past seven, the line was barely visible from the vehicle I was riding in, and I almost did a happy dance, but of course I didn’t. (I was beaming, though.)

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avid readers waiting for Emily to arrive (an hour or so before the event)

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Emily listening intently to a fan’s question

For those of you who are not familiar with the author, Emily Jenkins, who sometimes uses the pen name E. Lockhart, is an American writer of children’s picture books, young adult novels, and adult fiction. She is known best for the Ruby Oliver quartet and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. (from Wikipedia)

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signing pass number 80 and my wonderful original cover of Frankie and of course, We Were Liars

A lot of people had asked me about where I did get that rare edition since all NBS had to offer was the latest edition of Frankie with the red cover, which I really really hate, by the way. I told them about my lucky day three years ago. I was just roaming around the bookstores, without any plan of getting anything (’cause I was broke) and then this area near the cashier with a big SALE sign caught my attention. There it was sitting  together with other books from unrelated genres. That time I was already a big fan of John and Hank and was into watching their videos. On one of his videos, John recommended this book and so I ran to the cashier before I changed my mind. I read Frankie several months after buying it, and I liked it. That was not one of those books that easily made it to my ‘favorites’ shelf, but it was wonderful. It was the first book that introduced me to the idea of panopticon. The author was a feminist and I find it really really cool.

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free bookmark yayy and that ‘woof’ was kind of hard to decipher (ps it’s a Basset Hound)

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THIS BOOK. THIS AWESOME BOOK THAT ALMOST BROUGHT ME TO TEARS WHILE FINISHING IT INSIDE THE BOOKSTORE. IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS, YOU MUST. RIGHT. NOW.

We Were Liars has to be one of the best books I have read this year and is definitely one of my all-time favorite YA books. It took me a long time before getting myself a copy because it’s slightly pricey for a paperback, but after reading it, I realized it was really worth every single peso I spent on it. I didn’t see the end coming. I started it the night before the signing and finished it the next morning. I tried keeping my cool. Thank God I was able to. OKAY READER. READ. IT. NOW. MY GAT.GAT GAT. *ugly sobs*

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THAT TAT, THOUGH

Out of all the authors who visited, her interview was by far my favorite. Her enthusiasm and humor will absolutely make you like her. She’s got awesome writing tips, too. She got us all laughing with her jokes and sarcastic side comments. Another thing is that she’s into torturing her characters, and whether we admit it or not, books that made us do an ugly sob will always have a special place in our hearts. (or it’s only me? Lol) On an average, a standalone has more or less than 60 000 words. Her writing tip got me thinking. She used email as an example. Imagine writing an email to a friend. It will only take you an hour, maximum. On an average, notice that it’s about 500 words. In a week, excluding weekends, that’ll get you 2500 words. In a month, you’ll have 10 000 words. After six months, you’ll have 60 000 — a novel. Sure, writing the draft is the most difficult part and you’ll most likely to edit it about 700 times, but what’s important is, you already have something, and it’s the first real step. She told us not to stop writing, and no matter how many times I’ve heard that same line before from different authors, that tip really got everyone in the event thinking. Maybe sometimes we just need to hear something like that, in my case, at least. (I’m not really into writing, though)

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Jas really has a thing for wacky poses

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unplanned book haul (MAUREEN’S BOOK IS SIGNED WHAT IS AIR I CANT OKAY BYE

“Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.” ― Louis L’Amour, Matagorda/The First Fast Draw

112314: Marie Lu in Manila

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Last November 23, 2014, my friends and I got the chance to meet Marie Lu. Yes, reader. You read that right. Marie Lu. As in the New York Times bestselling author of the Legend Trilogy. She visited the Philippines to meet us, sign our books and promote the first book of her new dystopian series, The Young Elites. Oh my, she’s  incredibly nice, not to mention how beautiful she looked. I couldn’t help but act starstruck when I met her. Don’t laugh at me, okay? Lol. You can’t blame me. That wonderful soul who put that beautiful story into printed words was right in front of my eyes(!!!) Super cool beans. But what really made my day super awesome was the fact that I got to see my friends again. Reader, do you see that girl on the bottom-left photo? That’s Rochelle. We’ve been online friends for quite a few years and we’ve created this alliance that’s so close to that of biological siblings’. How cool is that? Anyway, that’s the second time we got to hang out and thank God it was longer than the first time (the first time was during the Manila International Book Fair, which I totally forgot to write about). I missed her. Hi, twin! By any chance, if you’re reading this right now, I’m sending you all the love from here. Lol. On the bottom right photo are the Fangirls. They’re like my soul sisters. There was never a day they didn’t fill my group chat with hundreds and hundreds of messages, and I am more than willing to back read every single message or emoji on that thread. I have this profound admiration to these people not just because of their love of books but because they’re interesting and nice. I learn so much from them. If there’s one thing that I really am grateful of this year, despite everything that has happened, it’s my new found friendship with these people. We’ve got this bond so tight that not even the strongest of storms can ruin. Why am I so cheesy? 

 Staying in line for more than three hours before the registration and waiting for another four hours for the signing was no joke, but with them everything was bearable. I missed them. That was a day filled with stories, laughter, inside jokes, food trip, picture-taking and book discussion. Of course crushing on cute author pictures on random books inside the bookstore was a must too! Lol. After the event, we went to Ayala Triangle to watch the light and sound festival. It was awesome. I wish I had recorded at least a few seconds of it, but I was too absorbed by how magical it all was. (Plus I was with my friends so I was deeply happy to do anything.) I can’t wait for our Christmas party!!! Until next time, reader! DFTBA!

Friends are the best anti-depressants; with only positive effects, no side-effects. ― Piyush Kaviraj

When My World Goes Crazy, You’re Right There to Save Me

I think I look like this gif this very moment.

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I’ve been wanting to write something about turning 20 since less than a month ago I just did. Bruh enough with that and let me share this post with you. Readers, embrace yourselves because I think I haven’t done this before. Let me tell you a few things that I love about my best(est) friend in the entire world. You’ve read it right. Few, because if I list down here all the things that make her my favorite friend in the whole world, it would take forever. She’s super duper cool beans and I know this is severely cheesy and maybe she would give me a pinch the next time she sees me, but whatever.

  • She believes in me. When I’m having a rough time, she’s the one who never fails to encourage me to never, never, never give up. She’s like my number one fan. Lol. When I’m starting to doubt myself, she’s always there to remind me of the things that I often overlook. She believes in me so much that when times like that come, I want to believe in myself too. Also, if there’s someone who never gets tired reading whatever I write (even though sometimes I believe they’re not of great significance), it’s she.

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  • She’s brutally honest. When I am singing and she doesn’t like it one bit, she would say it directly. Lmao.

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  • She doesn’t tolerate my being a mean bitch at times. She’d say it until I realize it myself and feel guilty about it. (I can’t help it sometimes, though, especially when you-know-who is being extra rude to me.)4
  • She inspires me to become a better person. I mean, there are so many reasons why I aspire to be better, but she has so much goodness in her heart that makes me restore my faith in humanity. Need I say more?

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  • She listens and doesn’t judge. No matter how pointless, endless and oh-so-dramatic my stories are, she was and will always be there. There was never a time when she wasn’t there for her friends. I can attest to that.

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  • She makes time for me and shows it in her own little ways, which I truly appreciate, by the way.

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  • She respects my silence. Sometimes you don’t need a life-changing advice, just someone who would listen.

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  • We’re like sisters, just with different parents.

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  • She is always ready to go for an adventure.

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  • She’s one of the most selfless people I know. The Abnegation compound would love to adopt her. She is so kind that you just want to hug her until she sort of deflates in your arms. Lol.

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  •  AND LASTLY… Brad, have I told you lately you’re my best friend?

12 U DA BEST BRAD WAHAHAHA

The title comes from Tim McGraw’s song, “My Best Friend”.

Babbling

There’s something about Sundays that make me feel so alone and lonely. It’s always been that way. At this very moment, I’m all by myself inside this room. They all went out. I couldn’t get myself to go with them so I decided to stay here. I also hate that someone’s radio is playing outside and all I hear is the sound of this gloomy music that gives me this depressing feeling. There’s all these things in school that just seem to pile up and I don’t know what to do anymore. It’s plain hard to look at things positively when you know it all boils down to one thing — it’s not going to be okay. God knows how hard I am trying. It’s difficult to see things as they are not. It’s not easy to fight when the fight isn’t fair. I hate how day by day I’m getting worse, over-thinking things, getting all these horrible thoughts locked up inside of me. I want someone to talk to and I’m grateful for Tina for always, always, always being there. Chui’s presence means a lot to me, too. They don’t know it but they’re the ones who keep me going. I know they love me but I hate to bother them because I know they’ve got enough things to mind to. I don’t know why I always feel like I annoy them, especially Chui. I always think that maybe she’s getting tired of me, that’s why I can’t tell her everything. I appreciate it when they try to make me feel better, but we all know that when someone already feels this bad, not even the longest motivational quote there is can make her feel like everything’s going to be okay. I am so pathetic. I don’t want to be that person who needs help, though I’m not saying it’s wrong to need a hand once in a while. I’m too young to feel this unhappy. I’m just tired of feeling like I’m not good enough, that I’ll never be good enough. I’m trying of crying all the time over the same thing. I’m tired. I just want to rest. A little less pain would do.

PS: To my two best friends: Sorry to annoy you, but I just feel better having you around. Allow me to break down sometimes because you see, I’m not as tough as I look.

Why I Love My Bookish Friends

  • I learn a lot  by listening to them talk about their favorite writers. It’s like you’ve already read that particular writer’s book even though you haven’t just because that friend is so great at describing that person.
  • They know how to listen. I can be annoying at times because of my addiction of books and they’ll just listen to me babbling about a certain book and instead of stopping me, they will just smile. Because they know how it feels like being addicted to something. Like books.
  • I never run out of words when talking to them. Even just talking a single book can consume the whole time being with that person.
  • I can shout to the hallway about a literary character that I love and that friend will shout back. And we won’t give a shit about what others think. I can see the way they stare but we’ll just smile to each other instead.
  • We tell each other which bookstores are on sale on a particular month or date.
  • They’re always willing to discuss.
  • They’re always there to argue about their favorite characters, which is nice because that leads to more discussion.
  • There’s not a book signing event they wouldn’t attend without you.
  • They wouldn’t mind hearing your girly squeals over and over.

This list was actually originally posted on my old tumblog on January 28th, 2012. I just added a few more.

I’m Still Here, But It Hasn’t Been Easy

Right this very moment, I don’t actually have a concrete idea about what I really want to write. So reader, excuse the level of randomness that this post is heading its way to this time. It’s sad that there were several things that happened for the past months that I consider pretty huge, and yet I didn’t have the guts to write about those, out of fear of underplaying those important moments. I wanted to post a whole bunch of pictures and just try to remember every single thing that happened, to be able to go back to that certain point in time when I was actually happy. But I don’t know how. Maybe I’m just scared because I know for a fact that I’m not good enough to write something about that certain event, that I might just lose its meaning, and yet, I want to see my page and be able to see something that reminds me of that day. I’m sure I don’t actually make sense, but whatever. I miss the way I didn’t usually get tired of talking about how my day went, how happy I was with the people who mean so much to me.

I once thought if it’s possible to miss someone you see every single day, and I guess the answer is yes. Because I miss my best friend. I miss how close we were. I miss those days when she used to be my study buddy. I miss how we never kept secrets to each other.  I miss the way everything was so great between the two of us. I miss the way she actually made time for us, her friends. I miss the way I never did hesitate to tell her what’s on my mind. I miss those days when we used to always, always, always have each other. God, I just miss her. And I don’t have the fucking courage to tell her how I really feel because a) I don’t want to be that person who needs someone to depend on, b) I’m afraid she might cut me off completely, especially when someone I loathe is involved, and c) I don’t know, okay? God, I feel miserable.

I still sometimes find myself looking for that girl I used to know, that person who never backed down, that girl who never let anything get in her way, that same old selfless person who never once failed to treat everyone with kindness no matter how much they have wronged her, a.k.a. the old me, circa 2012. Looking back to the old days, I feel stupid to let so much to happen. It felt like I didn’t do my best to take care of things when I actually had the chance to.  I no longer know what would make me happy. I can’t even understand myself most of the time. I try to be better. God, I really am, but bad things still keep on happening. Sometimes I hate the person I’ve become. If only I could get things to the way they once were I would. God, I would. Trust me, reader. There’s nothing I would give to bring back the old me. I’m trying to find and get her back, I really do.

I am trying my hardest to let go of this blanket of bitterness that has been enveloping me since I don’t remember when. So much things had happened and I just grew exhausted of being exhausted, being sad over the same thing and same person every day. I hate to live every day, just merely trying to get everything over with. I’m just tired of being sad.

I just want THIS to be over.

Tears are words that need to be written. — Paulo Coelho

The title is from James Morisson’s song, This Boy.