January 18, 2014: Gayle Forman in Manila


Apparently the title says it all.  New York Times Bestselling author of If I Stay and Where She Went, Gayle Forman, had booked a flight here for two days to promote the second book of her second series, Just One Year. The events were scheduled January 18-19. So yesterday my best friend and I had the chance to meet her and had our books signed. It’s already our second time attending an event like that and just like last year, we were ecstatic about the whole thing. Some things never changed, like I still went with my best friend, we felt like it’s our first time, and how we went there even though we’re not done with all of Gayle’s books yet.


sup 118 and 119

The registration started at exactly 10 AM, the moment the bookstore opened its doors for us bookworms. And we arrived at 10 AM just to get numbers 118 and 119. Oh my. We didn’t expect that. Last year, when we went to Tahereh and Ransom’s book signing, we got numbers 20 and 21. What does that mean? Haha. Anyway, we considered ourselves lucky compared to a friend of ours who unfortunately was given 292.


me, jhedi and chui

The friend I was referring to was Jhed. She’s an old friend from high school, but we still have this constant contact to each other. And oh, she was with me during the MIBF last year. Hopefully we can hang out more often, if our schedules permit.


candid shot, eh? chui reading a children’s book she got from a nearby shelf

For several hours the registration table seemed to have this never-ending line of awesome bookish people — both teens and adults. We roamed around the mall, window shopped, talk about the most random things, and laugh about the most stupid jokes while waiting for the event proper.

ImageWe spent most of our waiting time sitting on the carpet with our backs against the bookshelves. We talked, read, and listened to music to kill time. We sat with our eyes directly seeing Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. And then I remembered Beatrice and how Lemony (or should I say, Daniel) wrote all these books for her with these wrenching dedication pages that made our hearts melt. It’s painful.


At 30 past four Gayle finally arrived. I didn’t expect her to be that.. hyper, I guess? She basically had this 101% of energy while going to the stage, and the next minute I couldn’t hear my voice while I tried talking to Chui. The crowd got overly excited and they, including me, had a hard time setting down. Before she even let the interviewer talk, Gayle asked everyone to wave their books so she could take a selfie with us in the background. She’s adorable.

That same old woman who interviewed Tahereh and Ransom last year was also the one who had the chance to interview Gayle. I’m sorry to say this, but I think the event planners could have gotten a better one. Hearing the other people inside the room comment about her punctuated it all. Oh well, what could we do? Maybe next time she might consider avoiding looking at her cue card every time she talks.

Gayle talked about her books, how this transition from being a journalist to being a YA writer happened, and how she painstakingly wrote If I Stay after something really tragic happened to someone she knew. There were three people in the room who asked her things about her writing and an advice she could give for all the aspiring young writers. She’s amazing and hilarious.  The forum lasted for almost an hour and the moment everyone was waiting for, the signing of books, had began.


more like a pandemonium


they said foods and drinks are not allowed inside the bookstore; we said it’s allowed LMAO

Reader, you can’t blame us for eating inside the venue. My stomach’s been rumbling for what seemed like forever and Chui gave me my favorite. Huhu. Seriously, reader. I think I fell in love with Kripy Kreme even more. And oh! Remember we’re 118 and 119. It took us more than an hour after the forum to have our turn.


oh i love her hair


Miss Gayle Forman with yours truly (excuse my face)

On another note, what I love the most about Miss Gayle is that she’s a frustrated singer like me. 🙂


Miss Gayle and Chui



She gave everyone this cutesy bookmark she had printed the night before her events. Such a sweetie.



Another memorable day to document, isn’t it? Aside from meeting one of my favorite authors, what’s so important to me is being reunited with my best friend. Everything last year seemed to be on a roller coaster that only goes down (TFiOS alert lmao). I missed her and I know we’re both trying to make it up to each other. Finally we choose to look behind the cracks. Remember last time I was with her when Tahereh and Ransom went here? Yayy me too. Haha. By the way, she’s my fave doughnut buddy in the entire universe. I’m grateful that we’re okay now, (well, okay is an understatement) and I’m looking forward to attend more book signings with her. I know you’re happy for me, reader. DFTBA!

I was now in a situation where I didn’t have to prove myself, because the one person that fully accepted me, my best friend, was now a permanent fixture in my life. — Jamie McGuire, Walking Disaster


Driving taught me…

keep going

I promised myself to learn at least one new thing a year. Last year I learned how to swim, and that’s pretty much a milestone for me since I used to be terrified when bodies of water are involved. I thought that I wasn’t making the most of everything so I pledge to keep learning new things, basically to keep growing. This summer I’m into driving. My sister and I’s seven-day driving course ended yesterday. I wanted to tell you, reader about it ever since we started the lesson, but the schedule didn’t let me. I woke up and headed there way too early for the past week, and once I arrived home, I’m one tired porcupine. We’re driving an automatic car and I think that’s what makes it as easy as pie for us. We’ve had two instructors and they’re both expert, I must say. Our first instructor was a perfectionist of some sort, and I couldn’t help not to feel tensed, but what’s good is that I learned in less than half an hour. The second one, Sir Joey, was real witty in his own way that we pretty much laugh every day inside the car while driving. He never ran out of words to say, be it about encouragement, jokes, and whatnot. It feels amazing, how something that once seemed so foreign to you, now feels like you’re doing it ever since you became aware of it.

Driving taught me..

  • ..that I must not do things on impulse. Lives are at stake, and they’re something that cannot be returned once lost.
  • ..that it’s better to do things slowly if you’re not ready yet, rather than be sorry in the end.
  • ..that there will be uneven surfaces, and you cannot just stop just because it becomes hard.
  • ..that patience is the key. The destination can be nowhere in sight at the moment, but just wait, keep on driving, keep the patience in place, and you’ll get there in no time.
  • ..that sometimes it doesn’t matter who got to a certain place first. Sometimes what matters is whether you got there or not.
  • ..that nothing’s boring when you have people you dearly treasure riding with you.
  • ..that sometimes it’s not about getting there in the end. It’s about the longevity of the ride and what happened in that span of time.
  • ..that there will always be twist and turns and I have to get used to that, or else I’ll be lost.

And last but definitely not the least, I was taught to not stop. Keep going. It’s worth it.

Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. — Walt Disney Company

Let Me Paint You A Picture


*Neil Buchanan’s voice* This is an Art Attack. THIS is an Art Attack. THIS IS Art Attack!!!

Hi there, reader! So, somebody called me a little crazy last time for reading an Accounting book this vacation. She’s somewhat right at some point, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I really should pay more attention to making the most of my remaining vacation days.

I’ve always loved painting book covers ever since  that day last year. I was reviewing for a test in the midst of a strong typhoon when I got bored and remembered that I still had Acrylic paint from my Humanities project. It was fun, I must say. Now that boredom usually kicks in, and I’m not in the mood to read anything (I don’t know why, though), I started painting book covers again. I know these aren’t all pleasing to the eyes but forgive me I just love doing this. It’s funny how most of my favorite books have minimalist covers and they were not being a pain in the neck. I’m not really into painting but because of these books that have a big part in my heart, I’ve come to love the brushes, colors, mixer. Just everything.

ImageDespite the messy look my room had achieved, it gave me that sense of fulfillment. It’s weird but for once, it felt like I’m a part of something big. Weird.

ImageThanks to Jerry Spinelli’s book designer for making such easy covers. Plain but immensely adorable.


Also, John Green’s movie adaptation of TFiOS’ release is getting near. How near? Oh I don’t know, but both Gus and Hazel’s role were revealed. Shailene Woodley is playing Tris while Ansel Elgort is playing Gus. Being Tris and Caleb Prior in Veronica Roth’s Divergent, I hope we won’t feel awkward watching TFiOS and then Divergent. Either way, we’d love to watch both movies ASAP. A collaboration between two wonderful authors wouldn’t hurt too!

ImageNow this is by far my favorite painting. Hihi. Like Craig, I like making maps. Close enough to the original, isn’t it? 🙂

ImageThere you go! I can’t wait to get myself an album so I can neatly keep them there. Yikes!

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth. — Madeleine L’Engle


Day 14, May 14th, Tuesday: Ten things that make you really happy.

  • Seeing my family happy
  • Good grades
  • Books
  • Food (especially pizza)
  • Churches
  • Dresses
  • Swimming pools
  • Singing
  • Internet
  • Bookmarks

Too busy that I can’t even explain each one. *sigh*


It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.  — Lucille Ball

Beat the heat!

I live in a country where it feels like summer everyday, so just imagine how every human being here is pissed because of the heat.  But that doesn’t mean pools and beaches are all out of the topic. My family didn’t have a plan of going somewhere this summer at first. Going out is definitely something out of the checklist. It means intense battle with the weather and perspiration to the extreme. We prefer staying at home and enjoying the luxury of the air-conditioning. You must be wondering why we went here. Haha. This mini resort is just inside the village and being the lazy people that we are, we went there.


what photography? wolf time!


serene, isn’t it?


hey, I’m Tris Prior!!


love being with them

Too bad my sister has this skin problem and the pool water isn’t so friendly to her skin. Oh well prevention is better than cure.

We were excited but absolutely in a state of euphoria. If you noticed, I rarely use the tag happiness; and I used it in this post! *applause*. No matter how annoying they are at times, you can’t just stay mad at them for long. That’s love, I guess? If that’s how it feels like. One fact. Summer isn’t just about being able to rest in a way that you’ll get to escape from everything and go somewhere far away. Sometimes, it’s simply being with the people who truly make you think that home isn’t a correctional facility and that you can still feel serene at all cost. This is one of the reasons why I love being at home. Yes, there are family issues and dramas but there are no people and works from school that will add up to your stress. Even just reading a good book plus a pizza can make you feel like you’re the happiest human being with a beating heart in the whole-wide world. I just love my family so much and I can’t imagine a place without them. I am starting to get overly cheesy. why is that idk ohmyyyy 😉

My brown skin turned into a toasted (sorta) meat and enrollment for our summer class will be tomorrow. Classes start the day after tomorrow. WHO CARES ABOUT MY SUNBURN? NO ONE SO THEY BETTER DEAL WITH THAT. HAHA

Until next time! Bye, stranger! DFTBA, always.

“What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn’t just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger.” – Sarah Dessen, Lock and Key