Since You’ve Been Gone: by Morgan Matson

INTRODUCTION:

“Don’t be afraid to do something you’re not used to. Taking risks are the best part of one’s life.” – Seasielle

Best friends forever – words that we usually say to our closest friend ever that sometimes we feel that he/she is a part of our family more than ever; but what if one day, your best friend just disappeared and all she left behind is a to-do list? What are you willing to risk just to see him/her again?

Since You’ve Been Gone is a self discovery story about how far are you willing to let go and to sacrifice for a person that you love.

HELLO BOOK:

Sloane, the best friend of Emily just disappeared without saying any word to her. She just left a to-do list.

Emily, upon receiving the to-do list was in doubt at first; until she decided to give it a try if it’s the only way she can have Sloane back.

With an unexpected help from Frank Porter, Emily faced her fears and learned to let go of her insecurities as she unfolded all the activities written under the to-do list.

THOUGHTS:

I like the way Since You’ve Been Gone is written: very light, yet an appealing one.

We all have that kind of a best friend who always push us beyond our boundaries; letting us do crazy, yet unforgettable stuff. Those things that we never thought we would do in our lifetime, but ended up fulfilled because we achieved something that we can be proud of.

Upon reading this book, I remembered my best friend; we’ve been friends ever since we were in lower school, and maintain our communication through social media. Unfortunately, we stop seeing each other last 2014, though I still leave a personal message to her Facebook and other social media accounts. It just goes that way: communicating through social media, yet no bonding moments. I honestly missed all the things we’ve done together, and those we should be doing right now. I really felt connected to Emily because her fierceness, and courage radiates as she completed the to-do list just to see Sloane back. If I’m in her shoe, I’m also willing to do such things if it is the only way I can see my best friend. Honestly, I’m always the one making the first move, yet there’s still no progress. Hoping that we can see each other soon.

Going back to the book, I love the friendship of Frank Porter and Emily. It’s so genuine, and so natural. Finally, I’m hooked to their playlist. I even downloaded half of it🙂

Someday, I wanna meet a Frank Porter as well. I guess, I should include him to those fictional male characters that turned me on. Hello from the other side, Frank.🙂

RECOMMENDATION:

I’m highly recommending Since You’ve Been Gone to all of you. Great job for Ms. Morgan Matson; cheers for more amazing books!

Thank you for reading. God Bless!

The Girl On The Train: by Paula Hawkins

Infidelity will never stop unless the person committing it becomes faithful. – Seasielle

INTRODUCTION:

Commuting is part of our daily lives. Sometimes, the ride is too long or too short; sometimes, there are stories that we had created on our mind; or there are strangers who we become friends and shared stories with; nonetheless, we are the story.

HELLO BOOK:

The Girl On The Train confused me on some parts, but then, I immediately got hooked once I felt the connection and the thrilled that got me on.

I felt lonely for Rachel and Megan. They wanted attention, and all they got was temporary love which left them more broken than before.

THOUGHTS:

At first, I thought that person was the one who did the crime because of insanity or split personality disorder, but as the story went through, I was so shocked to discover who finally did it. I just felt unconvinced by the way it was done because for me, there would be a solution for that one.

Paula Hawkins is such a genius; for her first novel she had written such an incredible one. I really liked the twist, and everything about this book. I’m hoping to read more of her books.

Depression is really an issue in our fast growing world. With all the technologies and medical advances, still, there’s no cure for depression or doctors and/or psychiatrist can’t detect it immediately. Sometimes, the damaged has been done; nevertheless, it was lead to broken pieces of one’s dream and/or for the person to be broken.

Let us not be a victim of depression and/or the people that we cared for. I’m not an expert who can say what to do or not to, but I know the feeling of a person depressed because I once felt it. To avoid it, always unwind every week; talk to someone; and let us not live a person’s side, especially in times when they needed us most (meaning they’re the ones who started to say “Hi” or the ones who dropped by just to see us). Let us always have a spare time to spend for ourselves and for our loved ones.

RECOMMENDATION:

I do recommend this book, especially to those people who wants a good turn around of stories.

Thanks for reading. God Bless!

Exploring the Wonders of Laguna: On Old Church Ruins and Rapids of Pagsanjan

Holy Week is the longest holiday ever in the Philippines, well aside from Christmas since sometimes it is only three days. Holy Week is the time where family bond – some goes to the province, while others goes to explore the wonders of the Philippines (which includes going to the beach and have fun) because Holy Week is also summer time in this tropical country of mine. Some considered it as the official start of summer.

WHAT WE DID LAST HOLY WEEK:

I can say that our family has a close relationship with my relatives (mother side) that’s why we always spend each holiday together. My aunt bought a place somewhere in Laguna and built a rest house (as they want to call it) where we usually spend each long weekend. Ever since it was built, we spend almost every day of our vacation being in its premises only – doing random stuffs; but this year, we did something different- we went to explore the churches of Laguna, and experienced the rapids of Pagsanjan.

Paying a visit to different churches during Holy Week is a tradition here in the Philippines and we, Filipinos, call it “Visita Iglesia.” It is usually done during Maundy Thursday, but in our case, we did it on a Black Saturday that’s why the churches were all closed (sorry not sorry).

The first church that we visited was the Nagcarlang Church or St. Bartholomew Parish Church.

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The second church: Liliw Church or Saint John the Baptist Church

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(Thanks, Oben)

Finally, the last church that we paid a visit was the one where Emilio Jacinto died. It is called Magdalena Church or St. Mary Magdalene Parish Church.

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After we visited those amazing churches, we now went to Pagsanjan Laguna to see its famous falls. Unfortunately, one boat ride is worth Php 1500 for three people, and you need to go to Pagsanjan’s Municipal to write your name for them to have a record since accidents were reported on that area. I really felt downhearted because I’ve been waiting for it for almost a year (hyperbole). I guess it was not really meant for us that day (try again next year). The owner of Casa Blanca (the resort where we rode a boat) noticed that we were downhearted so he offered us a ride until the first rapid. We all agreed, and we never regretted our decision because we saw the place where Tabing Ilog (a hit television in the early 2000’s) shoot most of their scenes, and we saw some of the amazing sceneries of Pagsanjan. We were all five in one boat; each one of us paid Php 250 or 300 (sorry I can’t exactly remember) and it was quite worth it.

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The place where Tabing Ilog had shoot most of their scenes.🙂

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After the first rapids🙂

Indeed, an unforgettable experience. After our breathtaking adventure, we went to dine at Aling Taleng’s Halo-Halo restaurant. It is the famous one in Pagsanjan; true to its name – their Halo-Halo tasted awesome. Affordable, yet it is overflowing with varieties of ingredients. Okay, a Halo-Halo is a well-known dessert in this country, especially during summer since it is topped with ice. It is really a food to beat the heat.

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Aling Taleng’s famous Halo-Halo🙂

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Aling Taleng’s burger meal. (Not worth the price)

Heading back home, we passed by the famous Itlog ni Kuya delicacies. (Well, lots of gems can be found in Laguna). We bought Balut (it is an egg boiled with a two or three weeks old chick inside it) though I did not eat that time (personal reasons).

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Famous Itlog ni Kuya🙂

Well, it was a Holy Week well-spent, and I can’t wait for our next adventure this summer.

Me Before You: by Jojo Moyes

“…And all I can say is that you make me… you make me into someone I couldn’t even imagine. You make me happy, even when you’re awful. I would rather be with you – even the you that you seem to think is diminished – than with anyone else in the world.” – Louisa Clark

INTRODUCTION:

“We don’t know what will happen next in our life. That’s why live for each moment; chase every opportunity; love unconditionally; and share your blessings to others no matter how small it is.” – Seasielle

What if one day, your perfectly life turned into a worst nightmare you didn’t expect will happen in reality? Those planned travels, adventures, social events, work promotion, wedding and bonding with your family will all vanished in just a blink of an eye because you don’t have the ability to perform or to make them happen anymore?

Your physically and mentally fit body will be immobilized because some careless people hit the road unexpectedly and Boom! You’re the target. Shattered dreams are now your everyday life.

Me Before You is a story about a girl named Louisa Clark who has a perfect family, but needs a job to support them; and William Traynor who’s the most perfect guy one wishes to have – adventure seeker, well-provided job, and handsome gentleman. Until a terrible accident hit him. Destined to meet each other, their path crosses unexpectedly and created a bond that will lasts longer than any scars.

HELLO BOOK:

Louisa Clark or sometimes called Lou by her family, never goes out of her comfort zone – she never tries to explore new things and to discover herself. She’s just satisfied with the way her every moment seems to revolve until she met William Traynor.

William Traynor or Will, is the opposite of Clark. Adventurous and do what he wants to do. He thinks that every person in this world is like him until she met Lou – the person that will change his perception about life though not everything about it.

THOUGHTS:

With all honesty, I don’t know if this book is classified under YA ’cause I somehow think that it is an adult one.

Anyway, I like the way the story went through, though there were certain parts that I can’t hold on to.

I like that Lou and Will never had an intimate attachment (sexual intercourse), still, you can feel the love they had shared for each other. I just didn’t get why Will still continued his plans just because he can never be the same person he was before. I get that he was really different before – a person full of dreams who can stand on his own and has control on his whole body – unlike his current situation where he was a quadriplegic.

All the frustrations and depression he was feeling was really reasonable and acceptable. I’m just wondering why he didn’t even try to continue his life? What’s the reason? Okay, the reason for him was because he was quadriplegic, meaning he can’t do all the things he had planned for himself, and can’t even control his body movements. Is it really enough? My gosh! I won’t and I can’t accept that reason because I know how precious one’s life is.

There are thousands of people suffering for terminal illnesses every minute of the day; while some were born with disabilities which they will carry forever. Yet, they have many reasons to live, and they are fighting their way towards it. They don’t think of committing suicide or they don’t pray to vanish in this world forever. So why would someone like Will, ever do such action? Just because he was immobilized now unlike before he had the right to do what he just did. Well, I’m sorry to say but he had no right to end his precious life.

I just want to share this to all of my readers:

If you ever feel that you’re trap in a dark room with no window and no door on it, just pray. There’s always a way out because in the first place, you won’t be able to enter it without passing into something.

If you ever feel that your life is miserable, just think of those people who are living along the streets yet they have a reason to wake up every morning.

If you ever feel that your illness can’t be cured, just look at those people suffering from tremendous and deadly diseases yet they believe that they will be healed.

If you ever feel that you can’t do all the things that you ever planned for yourself because you’re immobilized, just think how much more misery those comatose and paralyzed people are feeling every single day.

If you ever feel that no one is out there listening to you, just think of those mute people who can’t even say what’s on their mind.

You see, there are many reasons to live, and much more advantage than others yet, they are the ones who enjoy life to the fullest. The irony of life. Everything is just based on our imagination and perception. According to studies, if you really think that something bad will happen, it will really occur; but if you set your brain for positive thoughts, you will see your life is changing piece by piece.

Let us learn to value ad respect our life and the life of others.

RECOMMENDATION:

Absolutely yes – just for a change if you want to read a romance book.

All The Bright Places: By Jennifer Niven

“There’s always a bright place waiting for us somewhere at the end of the bridge.” – Seasielle

INTRODUCTION:

There’s always a “worst” day in our life – a day where we feel so miserable that the only thing we just want to do is to hide under a blanket and never get off of our own bed.

Apparently for some people, their suppose to be “worst day” lasts for a week; a month; a year; or forever – that’s why it’s not just a day, but it is now their whole life.

How does a perfect life becomes depressing for some?
According to studies, there are many reasons why people usually became depressed, and some of the important ones are: (This was based on the research that I made when I was still in college, for a certain study for my subject)

1. The stress of work/paper loads they have to endure every single day of their life.
2. The feeling of being unwanted by certain people or their own environment.
3. Being bullied in their school which is the reason why some are frightened to study or lost interest at all.
4. No one to talk too or open up things/problems that currently need to be assisted.
5. Peer; society; and parents pressure that usually leads for them to be perfectionist, and when they didn’t achieve what is expected for them, they will be depressed.
6. Aspirations in life that they think they can’t achieve at this moment or not at all because something in-between happened, also leads to depression.
7. Material things that they can’t have because they don’t have the ability to buy, which leads for their circle of friends to leave them.
8. Finally, the thought of being unloved because sometimes they want attention that they can’t have.

Of course, these are only some reasons, but there are a lot more that’s why we needed to be aware of the presence that surrounds us, rather than thinking of ourself all the time.

What’s the solution that depressed people usually come up with? Well, the answer is simple: they think of having a Suicide.

What’s suicide?
For those of you who are not aware of it, here’s the definition:
Suicide is an action of killing oneself intentionally. (Webster)

We all know that one’s life is precious, therefore, committing suicide is unforgivable because God’s plan will not be fulfilled.

All The Bright Places is a story about a girl named Violet and a boy named Finch whose lives will be changed forever.

HELLO BOOK:

A typical high school story where girl is a popular one while boy is a nobody specie.

When they met each other at the Bell Tower, Finch thought that this is a way to reach out for someone who is really thinking the same way as he does (killing oneself); that’s why when their professor gave them a project to explore the wonders of Indiana, he chose Violet to be his partner without getting her approval.

Well, Finch had planned their trips very well that’s why they really enjoyed the company of each other. Their carefree moments and unselfish friendships made each day a memorable one. Until one day, it became clear to Violet that Finch has other plans after everything. She asked for help which only makes the situation worst.

THOUGHTS: (spoiler alert)

I felt that Violet did what she can to persuade Finch not to commit suicide; but something was missing.

His life was not perfect. He was abused by his father as a child; left by his so-called friend because of his “crazy” actions; felt unwanted by his own family; his entire environment calls him “freak” though no basis for it; and he tried to go out of his comfort zone but didn’t get any helping hand from others.

Depression is really hard to read and to be recognized. It’s too complicated. Sometimes too much attention from a person suffering it may push him to commit suicide or less detachment from them may really push them to end their life immediately. That’s why proper caution is always recommended. But how can we determine if a person is depressed or not? Based on the facts stated above about the reasons why people commits suicide, some of the ways to determine if a person is suffering from depression are: if he lacks interest or too overwhelmed for a certain thing or event; not interested to social gathering; lack of interest when it comes to food; and always counting the days or time when a certain event will occur or end. The solution: Well, the only way I can suggest is to open up with your family or anyone who has knowledge with the said illness. Well, I know that most of the time, our own family is the reason. For that case, we must find somebody to lean on – a person who is very knowledgeable to tackle that matter.

Also, this is always a reminder for everyone to stop bullying anyone in this world. You see, we are all in a battlefield fighting our way to reach out for our dreams. We are all wounded warriors that need assistance and not discouragement. Why can’t we just mind our own business? Hey, if you think that bullying is cool, well, you’re really wrong. BULLYING IS A SIGN OF BEING COWARD because you know that that person has something special that you don’t have; or you’re shielding yourself from your own weakness which will lead for you to be bullied. Any other way you want it, BULLYING SHOULD BE STOP IN THIS GENERATION.

Statistical data about suicide shows that the top reason for committing it because of bullying. See? Any forms of unwanted actions, words, etc is now considered bullying. Bullying that not just happened in school; it also occurs in the workplace; online; on the streets; etc. that’s why is should be stop.

All The Bright Places clearly stated that this society is ****** up and even though someone is out there reaching out to help, the victim is the one who chose to close or to accept what’s in store for him because he believes that it was too late already. I hate to state that fact actually because I know that there’s no such word as “too late,” rather, delayed is a better choice. There’s always a bright side for every darkness that surrounds us. We just have to find our way out there. Apparently, this is a two way process – we should help our self to find that way out of darkness, and then we should be helped.

I already read books about suicide or self killing. I don’t understand why they can’t value their life because they are perfectly normal. There are many people out there who are sick but wants to live longer only to learn that they will only lasts for almost a month, year, etc., so quit killing your own self. You don’t know how precious your soul is.

When you think that there’s no way out, just Pray. Pray unceasingly and you will see your way being guided.

RECOMMENDATION:

I do recommend this book to raise awareness about depression, bullying, and suicide.

I do also recommend some titles in case you want to read some life changing books or books with same storyline. I think its time to raise awareness regarding how precious one life is, and that life goes on no matter how miserable it was before because there’s always a bright side for everything.

Books Recommendation:
Every day by David Levithan
The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino
Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Tell Me Your Dreams by Sidney Sheldon
Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Well, these are just some titles that you would want to read.

Hope you enjoyed reading. God bless!

Forbidden: by Tabitha Suzuma

INTRODUCTION:

Sharing this line from The Perks of Being a Wallflower: “We accept the love we think we deserve.”

The most incredible feeling in this world is to be loved by someone.

There are different kinds of love in this world: The love we have for our family; friends; relatives; animals; and the love we have for our special someone. That someone who will stand by us until the end of time; the one who will accept us even with all our flaws; the one who will hold our hands through eternity; and finally, the one who will love us when no one else does.

But what if the person we choose to love unconditionally is our sibling? How can a forbidden love be an eternal one?

HELLO BOOK:

Lochan. He’s the ideal brother that any of us wishes to have. Smart, caring, good-looking, and harmless. Negative point: He can’t recite on class, and he’s always biting his lips when he’s currently feeling an extreme one, i.e., too afraid, nervous, happy, etc.

Maya. She’s the ideal sister that any of us wishes to have. Pretty, popular, caring, good-looking, and a mother figure. Negative point: She lets her heart to control her, and she does not listen (sometimes), which paves way to a tragedy.

Apparently, they’re the characters that matters though they have three other siblings but only cameo or supporting roles. The whole story is really intended for the two of them.

The first part:

It shows their family: the struggles; the way they live; their actions or treatment towards others; what kind of parents do they have; their life in school (mostly in class); peer pressure; and how they handle each situation and came up with a solution.

The second part:

Centers now on Lochan and Maya. How they fell in-love; when it started; how they are as couples and siblings; how they manage their quality time with each other and with their three siblings; how strong their love grow each day; and how they battle the unacceptable or what we call “The Forbidden Love.”

THOUGHTS:

In ancient times, we all know that royalties usually tie the knot with their brothers or sisters and/or with their relatives to preserve their loyal blood and all the wealth they possess.; it is also the same with ordinary people.

Today, it is now forbidden since we value our family bond more than others and we do believe that it is immoral, for you both came from a same blood and flesh. That kind of love is called incest. Incest love is now punishable under the law and society will look at you like you’re a crazy animal.

But can we really dictate what our heart is saying? Can we really choose who to love and not to love?

With all honesty, we all know that some of the reasons why many couples were divorced is because they don’t love each other. Some were just fixed marriage; others unplanned pregnancy; while some uses their wealth to marry the person who doesn’t feel the same way towards them; some felt that they’re currently unwanted and run towards the person who made them feel special; their parents don’t want them for each other; their status in life; and others, they just depend on the looks.

We all know that even though our parents don’t want that man or woman for us, we must not listen for them since they’re not the ones who will make a promise in front of the altar and say their vows together to live eternally till death do them apart.

Yes, parents know best, but sometimes you have to make your own decision – guided by your own will and powered by your own mind not blinded by what others do say or what your parents want.

THOUGHTS TO PONDER:

Love do come in unexpected way. It will just hit us, and we will be drowned on it forever. It is like a drug that can make us high, and can give us a dose that will end our life. Too much is bad for our body.

For now, let us just accept what’s in store for us. Don’t mind society for they won’t be around us when we’re in misery. Enjoy life. Be happy and live freely. Love who you want to, and not who others want for you.

Forbidden is an eye-opener of what incest love is all about. Not everything that is written under the law is right and just; sometimes, they are just there for mere public attention. Just read that last part of this book, and you will know what I mean.

RECOMMENDATION:

I’m highly recommending this book to everyone. Don’t be ashamed nor afraid when someone caught you reading this book in public places. Instead, hold your head up high because you know something they don’t.

Happy reading!

God Bless!

Exploring the World through Books: Seasielle’s Book Museum Adventure

“All my bags are packed, and I’m ready to go…”

Last Sunday, 13th day of March, year 2016, Seasielle and her mother went to visit a museum located in Marikina. It was not your ordinary one since its primary showcase are: BOOKS. Yes, books are the main star of the said journey. Aside from it, artifacts from Northern and Southern part of the Philippines can also be seen.

This journey was overdue since it was really scheduled on the 6th day of March, year 2016. Unexpectedly, changed of plans, it was then moved on the date being said on the first paragraph.

WHAT’S SO EXCITING?

Personally, almost half of us had been to museums and saw many amazing and unique things, mostly artifacts or paintings. Here, you can’t only see artifacts and books, but this journey will also bring you to the culture of different countries in this world.

You will have a vision of what countries or cities you need to visit soon; what travel essentials you need to pack; where to eat; and which places do you need to explore. Of course, you can do all of these by reading some books according to the countries where they belong. (Yes, visitors can read the books on display).

Exciting isn’t it?

WHAT TO EXPECT?

Nevertheless, expect the expected: TONS of BOOKS.

But wait, there’s more. The said place is divided into three buildings.

The first one: The Book Museum

Inside, you will see all the countries where the owner had set foot; his collection of wide variety of books – from the oldest up to the smallest; a replica of his right foot; and all his awards and recognition as a person.

The second building: The Northern Part or CORDILLERA culture of Philippines

Here, a wide array of artifacts can be seen that was used by the Northern people. From the coffins up to the rituals they do, can be found here. Take note, some of the collections can’t be found in our National Museum.

The final building: The Southern Part

Mostly, the colorful culture of those people living in Mindanao can be seen here. From the clothes being worn by their royalties up to the weapons they used to fight their enemies.

Really, a treasure of culture.

Bonus: James’ diner or should I say, James Dean’s diner is currently under construction and will be opening soon to serve its guests. Yehey! A cool place to relax after a whirlwind enrichment tour of one’s mind.

SUGGESTION:

Base on Seasielle’s experience, she thinks that the said museum should give all their visitors a free bookmark as a souvenir from the said place.

Well, she’s sure book lovers out there would surely love that treat, especially if its for free.🙂

PAY A VISIT:

Since I’m not really good at this part, let me just share to all of you their Facebook page.

Facebook page: https://facebook.com/BookMuseum/

Get ready to set your foot and embark on this magical journey as you leave a mark along the trail.🙂

Indeed, a wonderful experience and a Blessing in the skies since that same day when Seasielle and her mom toured the said place, it was the owner’s birthday. According to the tour guide, there would be a surprise for those who visited on that day. Wow!

God bless!

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Hello, James Dean

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This is how the Southern people play Chess🙂

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The facade of Book Museum🙂

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Totem.

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Just One Shelf of hundreds of incredible ones. The smell of these books🙂

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Smallest woodcarved crucifix🙂

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Smallest woodcarved “The Last Supper.”

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Coffin being used by the Northern people during the early days.