Where And What I’ve Been Up To (A Life and Reading Update)

As you might have noticed, I’ve been rarely posting something here in my blog this month. This month is really draining the hell out of me. From work to some personal problems, I consider this month as my worst this year. And it did greatly affected my reading momentum. I always feel so tired and pre-occupied after I came home from work that even reading (which usually works) fails to ease that out. Reading a book which is my solace fails to divert my attention. I decided to not force myself to read because it will just be a waste of time because I will just end up not liking the book so I only pick up a book when I feel like doing so which translates to reading 5-10 pages per day. So yeah, I spend most of my weekday nights and weekends going out to anywhere my feet takes me, watching and re-watching TV series and movies and just reading a few pages here and there. Luckily an opportunity came which helped me overcome that phase; a long needed vacation. But before going to the details of that, here are the things that I’ve been up to during the past few weeks.

CURRENTLY WATCHING / WATCHED:

train-to-busan-movie-poster-lg Train to Busan – I’ve watched this one with my workmates when it came out in cinemas and I really did enjoy it. Whenever someone asks me to describe me what it is, I always say, “Just imagine the zombies in the movie World War Z present in the Korean movie Miracle in Cell No. 7”. I guess that piqued their interest as they all end up watching it too.

Synopsis: While a zombie-virus breaks out in South Korea, a couple of passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan. (IMDB)

Pamilya Ordinaryo – This is a local indie film shown here in the Philippines that really got me curious after watching its trailer and after reading all the reviews about it. The movie also reaped major awards in the recently concluded 2016 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. So when my workmate asked me if I want to watch the movie, I immediately answered yes.

Synopsis: Jane and Aries are teenage parents. They make a living out of stealing on the streets… until fate hits back at them. (Cinemalaya.org)

mv5bmjezmdaxotuymv5bml5banbnxkftztgwnzaxmzyzote-_v1_uy1200_cr9006301200_al_Stranger Things – This finally happened! I’ve only watched the first episode of this and like what others suggest, if you enjoyed the first episode of this series, this TV series is for you. I did enjoy it! I’m planning to binge watch this one this coming weekend.

Hayao Miyazaki movies – My plan is to watch all of Hayao Miyazaki’s movies that I have and this “worst than a reading slump thing” helped me in a way tick off some of his movies from my list. I watched Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Sky and Nausicaa Valley of the Wind. I re-watched Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, The Wind Rises and The Secret World of Arrietty.

ATTENDED:

The Manila International Book Fair 2016 – I am planning to have a separate blog post on this one so I won’t go in detail. In summary, I attended the fair’s last day, meetup with some friends, met new friends and brought home some books. 😉 Like last year, I again only books by local authors. 🙂 Here’s my loot:

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And yes, the vacation!!! This vacation was planned ages ago and when my workmates reminded me about it a few weeks back before the said date, I had no actual plans of going. Then September came, the lazy me still answers yes whenever asked even though at the back of my mind, I know I won’t go. I was thinking back then that it’ll be just be this tiring trip especially since we’ll just stay there over the weekend and we’ll still go to work the next Monday. But I don’t know, for some unknown reasons, I found myself packing up and preparing my things two days before the planned trip and just finally decided to go.

My workmates and I went to Quezon Province, which is like a 4-hour drive south of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. It’s actually the home province of one of my workmates and his family kindly allowed us to stay at their house while we’re visiting.

On the first day, we went to this hidden beach. It’s an hour drive to where we were staying so we had to leave at dawn. Upon reaching the place we again had to ride a boat and after the boat, we had to walk for almost 20 minutes. And lo and behold, this is where we found ourselves.

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The place is called Puting Buhangin at Kwebang Lampas (White Beach and Overreaching Cave) and is located in Pagbilao, Quezon Province. I googled the place before our visit and I did not imagine that I’ll still be in awe after seeing it in real life. The sand is white and fine, the water is very calm and clear and the place is very quiet and serene. I guess we were lucky because the place is still not that too commercialized. There are no establishments aside from the huts and rest rooms that visitors can use. There were also only a few visitors and campers considering that it’s a weekend which is a plus for us. It’s a good thing too that we went there early as we were able to do a lot of things before the sun’s heat became unbearable. We were able to swim like we own the beach and enter the cave only to find ourselves in another beach on the other side. Based on my research, the island really has this series of white sand beaches only separated from each other by rock formations.

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At around 10 am decided to leave. We had to leave early as we still had to go visit other places. After lunch we again set off and visited the Kamay ni Hesus (Hands of Jesus) shrine in Lucban, Quezon which is one of the more popular pilgrimage site in the Philippines. Aside from being a place to meditate and pray, it also features parks with themes from the bible like the Noah’s Ark and Sea of Galilee. The main attraction of the place is climbing the 300+ steps going to the top of the hill where a 50-foot statue of the Ascending Christ was built. Ti’s a tiring feat to accomplish but the serenity and the view at the top is so worth it. After leaving the shrine, we decided to roam around the town of Tayabas, Quezon and taste some of its local delicacies like Leche Mani and Chame. Leche Mani is a fusion of Leche Flan and Sinukmani which is mixture of peanut and gelatinous rice. Chame is made of miki noodles doused in sweet and sour sauce. Yum!

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On our last day, we decided to not go out and just attend church service as we do not want to tire our selves that much because we still have work the next day.

This vacation is like the piece of the puzzle that I’ve been looking for. I was so lost the past few weeks and this vacation helped me find myself and be more optimistic about things. This vacation helped me to focus and stop wandering. This vacation really helped me have that peace of mind that I know I needed but I don’t know where to get. This vacation helped me re-assess my self and be back on track. I realized how I really miss reading. The comfort and the joy of that reading gives me is unparalleled. I miss being transported to a different world. I miss posting here in my blog. I miss visiting the blogs of my favorite book bloggers checking what they’ve been up to. I miss watching my favorite Booktubers. This vacation really reignited my love for reading and everything that comes with it. Life has been rough to me the past few weeks but I am very glad I’m more positive now. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you to you guys for sticking around. To those who regularly visits my blog to check for updates, liking my blog posts and leaving their comments, thank you so much! 🙂

And of course, this blog post will not end without me thanking my awesome friends who invited me to have this vacation. Thank you! Thank you! Looking forward to our next adventure. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Where And What I’ve Been Up To (A Life and Reading Update)

  1. Beautiful photos!! I can see that you had a wonderful time with your friends!! beautiful island! ☺
    ohhh, it’s a coincidence!! I started watching stranger things, too! My classmate suggested for me, hehe. And I’ve only seen one episode, haha, but I really liked! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We all have seasons that are better and worse. I am glad you are coming back from your vacation in a positive mood. It happens to all of us, but aren’t you glad you decided to go on your vacation? Just what you needed. That beach was beautiful, the food looked delicious, and your mates look like great fun. Blessings for a great October!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I realize that sometime it’s ok to step back and rest if I needed rest. I should not be putting too much pressure to myself and I should always look on the brighter side of things. 🙂 I do hope you’ll also have a good October. 🙂

      Like

    1. Woooah! You’re probably the 100th person who told me that they enjoyed the first season of Stranger Things. Every person that I know who watched it really enjoyed the series. I’m just hoping that it won’t end in a total cliffhanger.
      Thank you Carolyn. 🙂 I’m very optimistic about October. I hope you’ll have a good one too! 🙂

      Like

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