Friday, December 18, 2009

[Review] The Twilight Saga: New Moon

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Rating:★★
Category:Movies
Genre: Romance
Following "Twilight", "New Moon" is second movie adaptation of the book authored by Stephenie Meyer. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" is about the character development of Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), Bella's native American best friend.

Vampires had only a supporting role here. Edward (Robert Pattinson) leaves Bella (Kristen Stewart) for a reason that "she doesn't belong in their vampire world". Then Bella turns into a recluse, not wanting to talk to anyone for some months. This part is really the most boring part of the movie. What do you get for seeing her sitting in the same old chair for months, with a misplaced background music. But then suddenly, she moves on and becomes close to Jacob Black.

But Jacob turns out to be a werewolf. Along with it, the movie introduced new characters like the legendary Quiluete wolf pack, and the vampire royalty known as The Volturi coven.

The special effects were average. The werewolves looked like huge Siberian Huskies; the motion effects had a "The Matrix" influence on it (time warping and stuff like that), but it wasn't excellent; the waves in the cliff scene looked like fog.

But some scenes were pretty good: like the sparkling vampiric skin as it is hit by sunlight. Another climactic scene was the action-packed Volturi fight where the stones were shattering along with Edward's head. But he's alright, except for a few black nerves that popped out of his face. Don't worry, vampires don't die that way.

The sound effects were only good at a few scenes, especially during the swishing motion scenes and smashing rock scenes. However, some soundtracks were out of place, it's as if it was put in there for the sake of including it. It's very disorienting to hear singing voices in a fight scene.

If there is one thing that the movie can be proud of, is its excellent pool of actors. Taylor Lautner played Jacob well, with all of the character's fear, insecurity, and impatience. Aro, the head of the Volturi, had an aura of superiority. And Dakota Fanning played Jane well with only her eyes. Robert Pattinson's pain scene with Dakota Fanning was the best!

But there wasn't so much emotion in this movie. The adventure wasn't even heart-pounding. With all of "New Moon" created hype: Taylor's buff body, the fancy promotional posters, and it's new director Chris Weitz. It's quite a disappointment to "Twilight".

All in all, the movie is not outstanding. Better to curl up a "Twilight" DVD again. Though I don't know if the coming third installment "Eclipse" will be a movie that can make up for all the disappointment in "New Moon". Well, fans will still watch it, anyway.

Ratings:

Plot: 2 stars
Special Effects: 2.5 stars
Sound Effects: 2 stars
Promotional Poster: 4 stars
Trailer: 2.5 stars

Overall: 2.5 stars

Monday, November 9, 2009

[Review] Michael Jackson's This Is It

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"Like you've never seen him before" is really the appropriate subtitle for Michael Jackson's This is It. It presents the artist on his last performance on stage. Not only that, it also gives a glimpse of behind the scenes footage, which defines Michael Jackson as more than a performing artist.

In 'This is It', Michael Jackson could be seen as a musician, an artist, a dancer, a singer, a filmmaker, a critic, and a superstar performer. But above all of his works, you could see that he is a person and leader, capable of touching those around him. He gave corrections and instructions to his musicians, ever mindful of his perfectionist personality. But he did these with kindness, always reminding them that this concert is done for "L-O-V-E. Love" Indeed, this passion could be felt as Michael Jackson took control of the stage during his performances.

There were less narrations in 'This is It', as opposed to common documentaries. And that is one of the outstanding features of this movie. Every song has a story to tell: first, you could see Michael Jackson working behind the scenes; then, it gives the opinions of the staff involved; and finally, it concludes with Michael's smashing performance on stage. As a bonus, some highlighted songs had cinematics or mini-films that come with the performance. And the stage is a piece of art in itself. The props they used included unique elements like light and people. Indeed the preparations for 'This is It' was grand, and this movie presents that in vivid detail.

For that reason alone, 'This is It' becomes a concert documentary. There is excitement, euphoria, and adrenaline rush that a real Michael Jackson concert can give. Plus, the audience is given that much-needed information about the artist at work, enabling them to grasp Michael's passion to his craft. Furthermore, it drives the audience to wonder about "what could have been...".

The sounds were perfect! Seeing the movie in IMAX is the best recommendation but the sounds also do well in ordinary cinemas. You could hear the killer bass lines, the smashing percussions, and the other music elements at work. And one highlight was Orianthi's solo guitar performance in "Black or White". The sounds were of high quality, close to those of a real concert.

The lights were excellent, too. Even for a rehearsal, the lighting elements were already pumping up. Every angle was good. There were magnesium explosions and impressive pyrotechnics. Michael Jackson was bathe in a spectrum of colors that became a feast on the eyes.

The special effects were incorporated in the song cinematics. They looked like real and they pop out in IMAX screens, even in 2D. What's amazing is the genius of Kenny Ortega (the movie director) and how he embedded these cinematics with Michael's onstage performance.

Unlike an ordinary movie, 'This is It' has no ending. That was left for the audience to think about. Because really, Michael Jackson's music continues on forever, even as he said, "This is it... the final curtain call."

Ratings:
Sequence of Events: 5 stars
Sounds: 5 stars
Lights: 5 stars
Special Effects: 4 stars
Poster/Trailer: 4 stars
Overall: 5 stars

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Under the Sea in 3D... and Me

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One rare feature that I like here in Manila is the presence of 3D cinemas. It was my dream to watch at least one movie in 3D. And the most popular is SM Cinema's IMAX Theatre.

There are only two IMAX Theaters: one located in SM Mall of Asia and the other in SM North EDSA. The latter is nearer from where I live. So, I decided to finally make my dream come true.

Two movies were shown in the IMAX Theater: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and Under the Sea. I have already watched the Harry Potter so I picked the documentary movie Under the Sea costing at PhP 250.00. It's good to be aware of our oceans and other sea creatures. As a kid, I've always appreciated the beauty of the sea. Dolphins used to entertain my trip to Cebu as they jumped in arches near the barge. But that was a long time ago; now, I don't see them anymore.

In SM, there was a really spacious customer lounge for IMAX viewers. The floor was carpeted and it was furnished with stylish sofas. At the corner was a bar selling popcorns and softdrinks. I sat on one of the sofas and immediately made friends with a mother and a child. When it was already 3:30 PM, an SM staff escorted us to the cinema.

We were given really big black glasses at the entrance. Those were supposedly called 3D glasses. I have always known that it was used in 3D cinemas, but I never really got the answer on the concept behind it.

And wow! IMAX is completely different from your ordinary cinemas. The highlight of it all was the huge white screen on front. The sound system was very immersive, too.

A trailer of A Christmas Carol surprised me. There was a falling snowflake that seemed to pop out of the screen. Wow! Even the trailers are in 3D!

As the movie started with some fishes being shown, I experimented with the 3D glasses. When I removed it to see, the movie image on the screen was blurred. The images clear out when I put my 3D glasses on. So, I guess that is how those special 3D glasses work. Amazing!

I was so happy at my new experience. There was one time when they showed two blue seasnakes. They were swimming together as the camera focused in. At one time, the face the camera and it would seem that they could bite me. Of course, I instinctively avoided the "bite". Hahaha!

The movie showed not just seasnakes, there were also cuttlefish, sharks, jellyfishes, crown jellyfish, and sea turtles in their natural habitats. I was amazed at the beauty of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. There was even one big fish that seemed to look at me. And being in 3D, my mind told me it was real that I reached out my hand as if to touch it.

Of course there's also a little bit of Chemistry in it. It said that corals and the shells of Nautilus are made up Calcium Carbonate. Carbon Dioxide is required to make it. However, we pollute the environment with so much carbon dioxide that it causes a great climate change. Too much carbon dioxide hinders the generation of calcium carbonate. As a result, the corals bleach white and then die. The nautilus cannot make shells either. So, their species dwindle. How sad...

By the end of the documentary, I discovered a new species called the "dragon fish". It is such a beautiful creature that it turns "camouflage into art", as what the narrator put it. Indeed, its body resembled seaweeds of different colors. Sadly, their species are also on the brink of extinction.

But a spark of hope was given to the hearts of the viewers as the narrator said, "However, it will still change. But that change must come from us." :)

At the end of the documentary, a group of sealions could be seen gathering around the camera. They were obviously curious about it. They were so cute. Their innocent faces were popping out of the 2D screen. And in their eyes were a sense of purity and love. I reached out my hand as if to touch them. I was touched at how carefree they were. They were playing with each other and with the camera. At that moment, I wished that I was as free as those sealoins: to be able to radiate that kind of purity in my eyes, and to touch other people's hearts.

That 45-minute documentary was really worth my time and money. I went home very happy and fulfilled at being able to fulfill one of my dreams, and to learn something new about a beautiful world that is hidden under the sea. :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Life in my Sole

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Life happens. It always does. Happiness or sadness is just two sides of the same coin that is life.

But this time, I will introduce you to a new version of "Life".

It was a rainy Monday. Fresh from the trauma of having faced the super typhoon Ketsana, my soul was also drenched in the gloom of Manila.

One solution when you are sad is to think of happy thoughts. And so I did. I was at the Landmark in Trinoma. The first thing that came into my mind was a pair of sandals, one that I have always wanted for four years. Those beautiful Ipanema sandals, endorsed by Gisele Bundchen.

My mind was entirely focused on that. I didn't know whether to buy it at that time, so I decided to just see and feel, then treasure the feeling that it would give me. I knew that those were in display somewhere in Landmark. I looked around and indeed there were! I spotted my favorite Gisele Bundchen Seed Collection. My heart just fell in love with a sandal named "Life" in lush white and gold.

I touched it and felt happy for a while, with a remorse that I couldn't buy it. And then I realized something! My current flip-flops get slippery when wet, and my Mark Ecko shoes are still drenched from the flood (not to mention foul-smelling, too! I walked through the flood wearing those).

The next moments were happening at random. I tried to put on the sandals, then a feeling came that I should just buy it. Second thoughts did not enter my mind. However, when the salesboy told me that there were no more of those Life sandals in size 7, I didn't feel sad at all, instead I was more determined than ever. I knew that there was another boutique in Trinoma that sells Ipanema sandals.

True enough, when I looked up at the second floor, I saw a shop named "Shoe Salon". They were selling Ipanema sandals, too. But, just like in Landmark, they didn't have my size.

So, I just went home. And as I passed by Gateway Mall, I saw another branch of "Shoe Salon" and by the glass windows, I saw a shelf full of Ipanema sandals on sale. And yes, I gave it a try, my third.

"Do you have size 7 of these?", I asked the salesgirl as I waved the Life sandal. But this time, I expected to be declined again.

The girl just took the sandal from my hands then went inside their stockroom. After about 10 second, she came out with a shoe box! Next, she opened it and gave me the size 7 Life sandal.

Wow! Just like that! I put it on my feet to try it. It was perfect! I took it off immediately, handed it back to the salesgirl as I said, "Okay, I'll take it."

I very happy on my way home. Not only did I have the pair of sandals that I've wanted for four years, I was also given a raffle coupon and an eco-friendly Ipanema bag.

At home, I spent most of my time contemplating my new Life sandal. The sole is made up of soft material that wasn't rubber. It turns out to be Air-infused PVC, a synthetic polymer. It's so soft that it bends with my feet. PVC is a strong material, too. Life sandals are heavier than ordinary rubber flip-flops. The double-layer scheme makes it look sturdy and stylish. The lower layer is tough and rough, so I won't have to worry about slipping in the rain. On the other hand, the upper layer is soft and gentle with the feet. As a bonus, the glittering PVC ankle strap is so soft and smooth, I wouldn't have to worry about it bruising my skin.

The best highlight of the sandal is the printed design. It's a wonderful sight to have at your feet. Being a nature-themed collection, flowing leaves in brown and glittering gold were on the sole. Known as Gisele Bundchen's "Life Spiral" stud, it gives the perfect finishing touch.

For the first time, I put my very own pair on. And I couldn't help but to walk with confidence. Suddenly, a strong emotion developed within me. The excitement was overwhelming. I felt happiness coming from my feet and slowly rising up to my heart. It burst my soul with so much positive energy that I couldn't stop jumping and walking (even cat walking!)

"Wow!", I can just summarize it as that! The feeling was so intense that I really savored it. It had been so long since I felt that way. Yeah! I felt like a million dollars! I felt like I was Gisele Bundchen!

It's amazing how a pair of sandals can do great things for me! It comes with an auspicious name, too: "Life".

I am reminded of my life. And how it does not really go the way I want it. Happiness depends on our decisions. I'm glad that I decided to buy these pair of sandals. I will always remember the happiness that it generates each time I wear it. From now on, I will always be happy with every step as I trek on this journey called "Life".




Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Time for Michael

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Just recently, I stumbled upon the this issue of Time Magazine. It was a commemorative issue of the late Michael Jackson who passed away last June 25, 2009 at age 50. He was on the cover, giving off an aura of youth and energy. He was smiling as he shyly covers his face. The black and white concept added drama to it. The picture was reminiscent of his music video In The Closet. It was the only time that I actually got into the in-depth news of his death.

I was working in the laboratory when a co-worker told me that Michael Jackson had died. At first, I thought it was just a joke. He still had upcoming concerts to do. He died at a young age, I must say.

But the truth hurts. And from then on, lots of tributes were shown all over them media. His songs were once again being played in the radio. Why is it that a person is only fully appreciated once he dies?

Michael Jackson is a very influential part of my life. He was a complete stranger to me until the year 1996, when he went to the Philippines for his HIStory World Tour. His concert was held on August 12, 1996 in Manila. I can still remember that the cheapest ticket cost at PhP 5,000. Woah!

I was just 9 years old back then, and I had no idea who he was. So, I asked my mother, "Mama, who is Michael Jackson?"

And her reply was fully etched in my memory, "Michael Jackson? He is an artist. The King of Pop."

The King of Pop. And being a child fascinated with kings and queens from fairy tales, I pictured him as a really good sought-after artist. He is the King of Pop, after all.

Then, he was all over the news! Lots of feature stories sprang forth. But it was then that I saw him dance that made me like him so much! It was the Moon Walk. His body moves in perfect unison to the rhythm of his songs, and his execution of the moves is superb.

Suddenly, Michael Jackson became my first ever idol in music. I kept on asking my mother about him. She gave me little information that I can still remember today: Thriller was his most popular song; the song Ben was about a pet; He was a member of Jackson 5; and so on.

Then one day, my mother surprised me by giving me a a cassette tape collection of Michael Jackson's HIStory album. I got so excited that I wa jumping and running all over the house until I got to our stereo. I played it in and danced my way throughout the day. That was the time when I got into his songs. Rock With You was my most favorite track. The cassette tape was hot from rewinding because I couldn't get enough of Black or White and Man in the Mirror. And by the time that we acquired a Cable TV, I would always switch on MTV and wait for his videos to come out. My favorite amongst them was the music video of "Remember The Time" where he seduced an Egyptian queen, then he was dancing and magically disappearing in one of the scenes. His clothes were royal gold, which added to his appeal.

I had no issues with the way he looked. Rather, it was his performance onstage that influenced me. I've always wanted to learn the Moon Walk, which gives out an illusion of walking in mid-air. However, I was not successful with it. But on the upside, I was able to do his move of spinning then landing on tip toes. I was a kid and I did it. I'm not sure if I can still do it now. Sorry.

However, as I grew up and got information of how controversial he was, I slowly set him aside. I completely abandoned him when I found out about child molestation charges against him. Being a kid then, that was something that I didn't understand and was hard for me to accept. Then, I replaced him with pop boy or girl bands, with music and dance copied from him.

Now that I am fully grown, Michael Jackson returns once again. Slowly, as I read every article in Time Magazine dedicated solely to him, I realized that he was as human as he could be. The King of Pop was fragile after all. Having to work at a young age, he didn't experience the carefree life of a child. So that figure why he named his ranch Neverland. And he was also an abused child, I read. He underwent plastic surgery because he thought he was ugly. Having acquired a skin disease, he decided to bleach his skin. I never expected that a superstar would have a lot of issues with himself, too. And from there, I also started to accept his negative side as well, being the King of Pop didn't mean that he was perfect.

Michael Jackson, having all the fame and money, was not spared from loneliness too. I've read further that he doesn't trust anyone., because he feels that if anybody comes near him, it's just that they wanted something from him.

Now that I am 21 years old, I have come to appreciate him once more and in a deeper sense than when I was only 9. Even if he's gone, he still continues to teach me. And this time, it's not about dance; it's about the importance of having a happy childhood, a lot of trusted friends, a supportive family, and the passion to do the things that you love. But most of all, he taught me that money really can't buy happiness.

Finally, as I looked at his pictures at the last few pages of Time Magazine, I saw in his eyes a deep sense of humanity. In those pictures, I felt a sudden gush of emotion hit me. He will always be my first pop idol. And like all the other people in the world, I have only come to fully appreciate him now that he's gone.



Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Stop at MV Doulos

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Ever since Ma'am Locaylocay mentioned a "Floating Bookstore" where she bought a Physical Chemistry book, I have always been intrigued. "Hmmm... I have never heard of it before. What does it look like?", I thought.

Months later, I heard that the "floating bookstore" has docked in Cebu. It's name is MV Doulos. My interest of it grew when I saw on TV that the ship is one of the world's oldest and is maintained by an international crew.

"I want to go there.", I said.

However, with a lot of academic requirements on my hands, I failed to visit it. I was further saddened when I found out that it was their last voyage or something. "Looks like I will have the chance to go there ever!", I said with a heavy sigh.

But in life, we are always given a chance. Lots and lots of them.

Just this month of February 2009, I was surprised to see a brochure of MV Doulos. The ship is in Bacolod.Yippee! My chance has come! I'm so happy that it docked in Bacolod especially for me.

So, my sister and I scheduled February 28 for MV Doulos. The long queue startled us when we arrived at BREDCO International Port. And it was still 10:30 AM! Looks like a lot of people wants to check out the ship as well. So, I braced myself for a long wait under the sun, taking pictures to kill time. But I was wrong. The line was long, but it moved fast. And along the way, I saw a German girl giving water to those who were thirsty, Some of the crew entertained us with pantomime shows. I determined their respective countries when I saw the flags printed on their IDs.

And minutes later, we were on the boat! I was so excited as my dream was taking place. I waited for so many months just to get my foot on that boat! We hurried to the book fair. And oh! There were so many people that there were no more vacant aisles. But my sister and I pursued.

The book fair specialized in religious books, cook books, and children's books. There were few books on science and general knowledge. I bought a book along with some souvenir items.

Our next step was the International Cafe. I just love food! Unfortunately, I still had to fall in line. I ordered two ice creams, a cookie, and water. the ice cream was creatively whipped into a tower and the vanilla flavor was evident in my every bite. It was an extraordinary ice cream, soft and chewy unlike any other.

The cookie was my favorite. It was so big, being two inches in diameter and one centimeter thick. It was packed with flavor, nut, and choco chips. I was so full that I wasn't able to finish it.

The visit took us about 1 hour and 30 minutes. We took a lot of pictures, made friends with the crew, and admired the modernized ship. Honestly, I expected MV Doulos to look like Titanic, being made in 1914. Now, it resembles a cruise ship without all the luxury.

The MV Doulos Captain mascot was my favorite crew. His body is so fluffy and cuddly. "Yes?", he said with an American accent when I approached him. I told him to pose for a picture and he gladly agreed. He put his arms around me and I felt that comfy feeling out of a teddy bear. He was so cute!

Then, it was time to leave. With a fulfilled heart, I went down from the ship with a smile. And MV Doulos left me an unforgettable memory to relish forever. Dreams do come true. If you don't come to it, it finds you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Oathtaking

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Chemist Board Exam Blog Series Part 12


The Oathtaking


Dark blue business suit. Elegant makeup. Sexy hairstyle. And a killer smile. Those are the formula of a woman attending the much awaited Oathtaking and Induction of New Chemists at the prestigious Manila Hotel. And really! That woman happens to be… me!


The Manila Hotel was a very beautiful place. The foyer was adorned with gold and red. The chandeliers made it more grandiose than it already was, making a hotel for the rich and famous.


But I was going to stay there for only four hours. I predicted that the ceremonies would last that long. My two aunts, Tita Dixie and Auntie Angie, accompanied me to this important event. I could see from their smiles that they were as excited as I was.


A few minutes later, we gathered at the hall as the ceremonies were about to start. Gleenece, Rizza, Warner and I were seated at the back rows along with some new friends. I never knew that sitting there was a wrong choice.


The event started with a processional march of the Board of Chemistry, the topnotchers, and some PRC officials. Snacks were served as the speakers presented their speeches. Well, in my opinion, the food was pretty average. It failed my expectations of food served in a hotel.


Then, I was filled with happiness when the distribution of certificates, grades, and PRC license was taking place. I’ve waited and envisioned my license for so long and I was very thrilled to touch it with my hands.


As the MC said my name, I went to the center of the stage to get my certificate. It was like a graduation all over again. The Board of Chemistry members shook my hand and I gave them my biggest smile. It was a dream come true for me. And as I posed for the cameras, I gave thanks to Mama Mary and St. Sealtiel for helping me.


After that, the ceremonies ended. But my happiness wasn’t complete. All of us in our table wasn’t able to get a souvenir item. I felt sad. How unfair! We paid for it. So, we asked the waiter about it and all we got was an apology. They ran out of souvenirs because some parents asked for one. The souvenirs were supposed to be given only to the board examinees.


Oh! Why did the waiters gave some items to the parents? What about us who have none at all. That was an important event of my life, yet I have no remembrance of it. The red heart-shaped souvenir item was so cute and beautiful. I felt sad for days.


Because of that, I promised myself to always seat at the front tables during events so that I won’t get left behind. I want to ensure that I won’t get only an apology next time, so will become VIP in every event. And what better way for it to come true that be one of the keynote speakers.


Oh well… but those are ambitions that would entail a lot of oozing confidence on my part. As a matter of fact, I’ll start working on it right now.



Dedication:

So this is the last entry under the label of “Chemist Board Exam Blog Series”. I intentionally planned to have twelve parts. Twelve is a significant number as it means “universal” in The Holy Bible. I thank God for giving me inspiration in writing this chapter of my life. And I thank you, dear reader, for giving me an opportunity of sharing it with you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ang Ballpen Ko

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Hirap akong sumulat sa Filipino. Kung tutusin, ito ang pinaka-unang blog ko sa ating Wikang Pambansa. Pero, bakit ko nga bang naisip na gamitin ang Filipino?

Kasi... dahil kay Bob Ong, ang paborito kong Filipino author. Na-inspire ako sa libro niyang "Stainless Longganisa". Filipino ang ginagamit niyang wika sa pagsusulat. In his honor, pipilitin kong gumuwa ng babasahin sa wikang hindi ko pa na-master. Pero hanggang Taglish lang yata ang kaya ko.

Nahihintulad ko ang "Stainless Longganisa" sa isang importanteng handbook tungkol sa pagsusulat, pagiging manunulat, at paglalakbay ng manunulat tungo sa pagtupad ng pangarap. Nakukwento ang mga iyon ni Bob Ong from his experiences. (Ay! English na naman! Hehehe!)

Siguro nagagandahan ako sa libro dahil may plano akong maging author. Ang problema nga lang, hindi ko alam kung anong topic ang isusulat ko. Basta gusto kong makasulat ng libro. Yun na yun! Pero sabi nga ni Bob Ong, marami pang sakripisyo ang kailangan at marami pang rejection ang matatanggap bago pa maabot yun.

Ngayon pa lang, namumuhunan na ko ng mga 'credentials'. Na-publish na ang mga poems ko sa Meg at Candy Magazine. Masaya ako nang inedit pa nila ang mga gawa ko. Hehehe... Hindi man ako nanalo ng "Poem of the Month", sobra sa okay na sa akin ang makita ng mga teenagers ng Pinas ang mga poem ko. Yipee! Pero incomparable happiness talaga ang nadama ko nang first time mapublish ang pinadala kong "Letter to the Editor" sa Game! Magazine. Para akong lumilipad noon.

Naka-relate ako sa libro dahil isa sa mga pangarap ko ang maging writer. Nagkakaproblema din pala si Bob Ong kung saan kukuha ng inspirasyon sa paggawa ng kanyang mga obra. Hay! Inspirasyon talaga ang number one ingredient sa lahat! Kung wala iyon, hindi ako nakakapagsulat.

Dito na nagtatapos ang latest blog entry ko. Uhm, hindi ko alam kung makakasulat pa ulit ako gamit ang Filipino. Mas kumportable kasi ako sa Ingles. In school, I was trained to use English in writing my articles. Pero kahit na mahirap mag-Filipino, naappreciate ko pa rin ang kagandahan nito. Sana nga pala, hindi ako mentally umaabsent sa mga Filipino subject noon. Hehehe! :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I am a Chemist Thanks to Bob Ong

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“Yehey! No Calculus!”, that was my reaction when I read the BS Chemistry prospectus when I was 16 years old. My college days were just beginning but I fear that Math was going to ruin it.

Math17 Algebra
Math25A Trigonometry
Math36 Statistics

Those were some of the Math subjects that I would be taking. Along with…

Math51 Analysis I
Math52 Analysis II
Math53 Analysis III

“Huh? What are those?”, I asked. I thought it was some new subjects for college. I never expected anything from it. So, without any second thoughts, I enrolled myself in BS Chemistry.

However, I kept on wondering what the Analysis subjects represent. Then, I met Ate Patti who answered my question.

“Analysis? Oh! That’s CALCULUS!”, she said as she gave out a heavy sigh. (T_T)

“Oh no!”, I replied, having regretted that I asked. My hopeful and happy visions of college were suddenly enveloped in a dark cloud of pain and despair.

I continued with my rants, “Why didn’t they just put Calculus there instead of masking it with another name?” I was so angry. “Oh no! I will be taking not one but three Calculus subjects!”

But it was already too late. I was officially a student of BS Chemistry and classes were formally starting. There was no turning back.

So, I continued on with BS Chemistry and when the time came to take the first calculus, I had a really bad performance. The topics were entirely new to me but my other classmates were treating it as if it were a review. I couldn’t catch up with them.

When I got a failing midterm grade, I decided to give up my dream of becoming a scientist. “There’s no point in going to class when I don’t learn anything from it.”, I said to myself. I planned to shift to another course, ones that don’t require calculus in them. I found BS Nursing, Culinary Arts, HRM, B Fine Arts, AB Linguistics, AB Philosophy, AB Political Science, and other Liberal Arts courses. Among the list, the one closest to my interest is Philosophy.

I was at a loss. So, I just went to an internet café to unwind. ABNKKBSNPLAko by Bob Ong…. I saw that in my crush’s list of favorite books. Knowing him, it could be worth a read. I went to buy it in the nearest bookstore when I had the chance.

And oh boy! It was really worth it! Bob Ong is such a funny author. His ideas are very serious but he presents it with a sense of humor. His book ABNKKBSNPLAko talked about his experiences in school and the lessons that come with it. I laughed hard from his witty and funny stories.

But there was one line there that changed my decision of shifting from BS Chemistry to another course:

”Nalaman kong napakaliit na bagay pala ng isang recitation, project, at quiz para sumira ng buhay mo. At napakalaking pagkakamali ang kalimutan ang pangarap mo para lang makaiwas sa mga terror teachers at mahihirap na subjects.”

(“I have learned that one recitation, project, or quiz is a small matter for it to destroy your life. And it is a big mistake to forget your dreams just because you want to avoid terror teachers and difficult subjects.”)


The book touched my heart. It gave me inspiration to continue on with my dreams. Bob Ong helped me in getting the courage to face difficult subjects, not just Calculus but Physical Chemistry as well.

And yeah! I passed the three Calculus subjects, though my grades weren’t excellent. “Oh! 3.0 would do!”

My Thanks

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Chemist Board Exam Blog Series Part Eleven

My Thanks

“You’re one of the top performing schools!.”

That’s what our friend Jurgen said as the USC students jumped for joy and excitement. It never occurred to us that we would pass the exams, let alone be the second top performing school! All of us were so thankful to God and this brought us to greater faith in our prayers. Prayer works!

I was still in cloud nine on the day of our departure from Manila. Well, all of us were. Jurgen, Jeb, Marvin, Gleenece, Erwin, Jason, Warner, Jerome, Josephus, and I were busy taking pictures of ourselves in NAIA terminal 3.

We were so proud of ourselves and of our school!

“Hey, my sister went back to all the churches that were part of her pilgrimage when she passed the Physician’s Board Exam.”, Marvin said.

“Oh that’s great! Then, let’s do that, too!”, Gleenece replied with excitement.

I wanted to go with them, but I visited a different set of churches. So, I decided to go alone.

With a newfound zest in my heart, I went back and prayed to all the churches that have been part of my first pilgrimage: Sto. Rosario Church, Church of St. Arnold and St. Joseph, Immaculate Heart Parish, Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish, St. Francis de Assisi Parish, St. Joseph the Worker Parish Tabunok, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, and Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.

And of course, I scheduled another day for Mama Mary’s Sanctuary in Simala to give my thanks to her.

“My thanks also for the prayers of Bro. Apolonio. Thank you to all the angels and saints who helped us on that difficult quest in becoming licensed chemists.”

And when all was done, I packed by bags for another flight to Manila for the oath taking ceremonies.

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