The Bridge of life

Yesterday I met some of my friends in high school just to have a little trip before I go to the Philippines. And as always I went there with a smiling face despite of the struggles that I currently having. I never really thought this trip was a cheering moment for me.

We met at Myeongdong, probably the most busiest tourist spot not only for foreigners but also for Koreans like us. We went to eat and stroll around shops went to Myeongdong chapel and decided to go to N Seoul Tower. We were hoping to ride the cable car but the waiting time was too long so we headed off to climb the mountain and we were really really exhausted by the time we were on the top. Then we went to Han River where we ate again and where they surprised me with a cake and a hot chocolate. I was really touched on how they put their little efforts into it. After that they were kind of murmuring on going to the “life bridge” which I had no idea of and followed them. That was the moment when I really wanted to burst into tears. I had a whole day of fun but I can’t seem to forget all the problems that I have. I was also in this negative shade that I can’t get out of. But there I was with my problems slowly melting. The bridge is infamous for the rising number of suicidal people. Recently it is called the “bridge of life” because an organization decided to write encouraging words on the lanes and can be read one by one when one is walking along the bridge. I can’t remember exactly what those words were but it sure made me thankful and blessed for all the little things that I have. I have clothes, shelter, at least three meals a day, education, life and healthy body. And here I am wasting a whole good day thinking about problems that can be solved somehow.

I am always trying to be strong for me and my family. Yet I always crumble and fall whenever trials hit me. I get up, but I get up weak.

So I have decided that from now on I will try to stay as positive as possible and stronger than ever. I need to smile and be contented more because life is literally to short to waste your time whining. I hope everybody will be happy too.

Abrupt endings, Long beginnings.

It’s funny how my life turned out to be in sync with the show that I’m currently watching. I’m on the last few episodes in The Office where *spoiler alert* Michael decides to leave the company to go marry and stay with Holly. He has been working in the company for 19 years and one day just like that, leaves it. I mean I haven’t been in high school for 19 years thankfully, but it felt like it. It makes me wonder why I hated being in high school and being here in Korea when I now grieve for it.

Few weeks left and I’ll be heading to the Philippines to attend university. It frightens me just by the thought of it. Start living all by yourself. In an unfamiliar place. alone. alone. alone.

But the most horrifying thing about college is the money that I will spend. Financial problems have been and will be the biggest challenge in my life. It’s not because I am a big spender or buy lavish things her and there. I am mostly sorry and guilty for my hard working parents. I hate the thought of them working hard to pay for my sister’s budget and mine. That’s why I worked during summer but my ungenerous company payed me less than I was supposed to get.

Long story short. I’m short. I don’t have enough money to buy all the things that I need when I return to the Philippines. And asking my parents for money has always been a big deal for me. Because the problem is, they would give it happily. They can’t even use the money that they had worked for to buy nice things for themselves and still they would give it happily, no questions. That’s why I have shorten my list of the things that I really really really really need to buy.

I wish I will be successful someday and buy them nice things that they want. Rather, ALL the things that they want. Without looking at the price tags just grab and buy. One day I’ll be reading this and smile and look around all the accomplishments that I have. Someday, I will. Because I may be sad with the near ending but I will try to make things happy for this beginning!

Everything I never told you – Celeste Ng

 Rating : 4/5

Lydia is the favorite child of James and Marilyn. But in a blink of an eye she’s gone. Her death shocks not only her family but the community. As time passes by she is forgotten. However her family is still in curiosity on who would kill the happy,

kind and smart Lydia.

They discover secrets and lies from the clues that they had failed to see before. Everything became clearer and its too late for realizations. A story of family, self acceptance, dreams and racism this novel shows the importance of seeing things beyond what we can only see with our eyes.

I thought this book would be a crime solving murder book. I always expected to find a murder weapon or some suspense behind. But this book pinched a part of my heart that cradled me to sleep at night.

The story is fast paced and most parts of it narrates a detailed story of both parents before forming a family. Of what they dreamed to be, their unfinished mission and regrets of the past that they wish to fix through their children. A very heart touching book that opens your eyes to the process of being a parent.

And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini

Rating : 3.5/5

From the author of Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini comes back with a novel of love, acceptance and destiny. The novel goes around the story of a brother and a sister, their family and caretakers, the people they got to live with in the same ground but never met. They almost aren’t acquainted but an invisible string straps them into one place.

The story is narrated from different characters around the globe where they tell us their misfortunes, regrets and realizations through their course of life.

I had no doubt reading this book since its the work of Khaled Hosseini and I trusted him with my time. But page after page, chapter after chapter I was beginning to get this feeling if I did the right thing.

There were a lot of characters with great stories with them. I enjoyed every confessions and stories that they share. However I was always left with a lot of open doors that I can’t even peek into. The stories were cut short and no one knows what happens to the mentioned characters. Some characters I felt were even unnecessary to the flow of the plot.

And I was expecting a more dramatic kind of novel but it failed to give a really big (or any) impact while reading this book.

But Khaled has beautifully written the book, every word melts in my mind. It kept me reading this entire book. I love how he expresses a character’s emotion with amazing choice of words that you may think that he himself is in the moment.

I give this book a four star because it is still a good book to read and each stories of the characters were amazing despite its lack of further explanation.

Taking a break from Facebook

This marks my first day away from Facebook. I have always controlled my usage of Facebook for a very long time and since there really is nothing fun about scrolling my way down and checking on people’s business. But lately maybe because three weeks was a very long vacation for me and the first, in my high school life that I became bored. I have not been studying and reading. I’ve been on the site for too long. I haven’t been really productive too. So no Facebook for me this year. I will be trying to keep away from Facebook. Bye Facebook.

Good thoughts

The past few days have been very wild on social medias since the legalization of LGBT rights. The rainbow filtered profile pictures on facebook has also been spreading like wildfire. A lot people support the LGBT rights and marriage compared to the past few decades. But still there are A LOT of those who are not in favor of samesex marriage. One of their main reason why they don’t support this advocacy is that their religion doesn’t agree with it. It is forbidden, a sin, offensive…and the list goes on.

Now here’s what I think about it.

I grew up in the Philippines without my parents. My aunt was the one who brought me and my sister up. She was a lesbian. Of course through the course of my childhood I did noticed that my aunt cut her hair shorter than any women in her age, wears clothes like a man and didn’t had any boyfriends or suitors. But I didn’t mind because I was a child and I loved her more than anything. I was in 6th grade when I found out. There was a lot of hints and same kind of events even before that but I did not noticed at all and only realized it now. I was very shocked and heartbroken. The person who raised me and my sister is a person who had to keep what she really is all these years. She was maybe afraid we’ll look at her and deny her. But no, I was not disgusted nor did I think it’s wrong or weird even though I was young. I love her and I don’t care if she is a lesbian.

She raised us with love. She was the one who taught me my first Filipino song. She was the one who taught me to make the sign of the cross and pray to God every night before I sleep. She was the one who made me learn English and Tagalog because I was falling behind my class. She was the one who tells me about ancients mythical creatures who lurks at night but do not be afraid because she’s there to protects us. She was the one who told me to be an independent and strong lady. She is my mother. I don’t think just because you’re gay, you are evil.

I have a lot of gay friends and I am fond of them. I have never seen them as someone who is different from us. But why do I see these negative responses from adults who loathe these people because they do not meet up to their norms? Especially when they wave their religious flags and strongly deny them as a part of the society. But I did not expect this from the Philippines. Sure, I knew most of the population were a Catholic and Catholics does not support gays but never did I encountered a person who is unwelcoming because a person is ‘different’ in the country. Filipinos are welcoming and the best entertainers when it comes to new people or guests. But why? Most of the people think as it is stated in the Bible marriage is a right for a man and a woman. Adam + Adam is not mentioned in the Bible so NO. But what about pope Francis who visited the country and said “If someone is gay, who searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?” Is he possessed by a devil too? Is he a terrorist? Is he a bad person just because he respects?

We should be concentrating on the good. Its okay to have faith in your religion. But you can’t insult and pull down another being just because they don’t have the same beliefs than you do. If you have different views then why don’t they just stick to it? Why do you feel the need to make these harsh comments about them?

I’ve heard someone say “Biologically, gays can’t have their own offsprings so they can’t have a family and they can’t be happy.” This is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Sure, they can’t produce a life together but they can be happy. It’s not just their right but they can be no matter what you say. Even straight couples can’t be happy or can have family. But that’s just what we are. We humans have flaws or make mistakes. And LGBT are humans too. They can be afraid to choose someone to be the one by their side till they die. They can be vulnerable, make mistakes, be wild. They are allowed to make mistakes and to enjoy life at its best. We don’t decide their happiness. We have to respect their life.

I love my aunt for what she is. I will always support and love her like she did for me. We haven’t really opened this subject because we knew in our hearts that I respect her and she is happy. There’s a lot of good things in the world. We just have to be positive and love one another. Do not use any excuse to pull down a person. Open your minds.

P.S. I still love you – Jenny Han

Rating :1.5/520698530

The sequel for “To all the boys I’ve loved before.” Starts the book with the continuation of a letter Lara Jean wrote. Confusions and gossips could Lara take it all?

The author should just added a few pages to the first one and let the first book finish because I did not think my 9 hour reading was worth it at all. I was curious about the first one so I decided to continue but I was unlucky to read it. Lara is 16. Only sixteen but acts like 12 and do stuffs like 20. And Peter was a jerk.

I think this is the best depiction of “Nice guys finish last.” Really.

To all the boys I’ve loved before – Jenny Han

Rating :2.5/5
Lara keeps a box full of goodbye letters for the boys she loved and got over with. Until someone sends it all away.

The relationship of the Song sisters were the only good part I read. Mainly because after the death of their mother, the eldest tried very hard to fill in their mother’s absence. And their father who cooked Korean dishes to keep in touch with the culture in their mother’s side.

The other parts…I don’t really know. I can’t just stand how Lara is in love with every person. The book ended with an open ending that made me read the next book but…

Overall I did not like this book. I just thought the characters were not that relatable or realistic.

The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult

Rating :4/5

Sage befriended an old man who turns out to be a former war criminal during the Holocaust. He one day ask her to kill him. She is horrified although she was not practicing jew her grandmother was a survivor of the Holocaust. As Sage tries to make her decision of what to do about the old man, he begins to tell her his story. In a parallel way her grandmother begins to tell her own story. These two stories help Sage decide what she needs to do.

The first pages where Sage narrates her daily life and the allegories that is written in italics who is about and upior(a monster) and a girl was okay for me. But when Minka, the grandmother told her story, I couldn’t put the book down. It made me think again about all those people who died without a fight. Those who survived but lived day by day in their nightmares.