My 2014 in pictures

Wooh! I know this post is sooo late, but like what they say, “better late than never!” Hahaha.

Anyway, I just wanna say that 2014 was such an unforgettable¬†year for me. I traveled, I got a tat (not really, but close enough), I swam in freezer-cold water, I ran for my life (and nearly suffocated lol), I experienced new things, I partied, I lived my life as much as I could… it was great. Darn great! ūüėČ

405618806 (1)

(Thanks again, Collage.com, for compiling all my photos. Seriously, I love you, man.)

Of course I’m very grateful for the year that was. Everything in it— the places I saw, people I met, things I experienced, stuff I discovered, skills I never knew I had (but I have lol)— I’m thankful for. Now, I know 2015 is gonna rock my world too. I hope it would. ūüėČ

Happy blogging (and reminiscing!)
Jane

National Museum: Trip Down History Lane

I’m sort of a history lover.

Well, I wasn’t an attentive student when it comes to history classes, but I’ve always been fascinated at how people lived in the beforetime. I can tell you the¬†names (in correct order too) of Jose Rizal’s siblings because I had fun reading his biography when I was a younger. Whenever my dad tells¬†stories about the war in 1940s, I’m always all ears. When I was a kid, we had this very big and thick book called the “Tree of Knowledge,” which contains almost all information about the world. My favorite section there is the history part— all about Queen Elizabeth’s era, the¬†Black Death, the Trojan Horse, and more. And when it comes to entertainment, you know I love classic stuff… BW movies and old songs are the best.

IMG_20140629_155548

That’s why when I got the chance to visit our country’s (Philippines)¬†National Museum last Sunday, I was like a kid¬†all over again. I went there with my dad and little sister for her school assignment, and as soon as I stepped inside, I already felt the museum’s historic presence. Building’s old, slightly dimmed lights, echoing voices bouncing within the walls— I loved it!

IMG_20140629_155604

The National Museum has many galleries to feast your eyes on, housing¬†a wide variety of art pieces. From old sculptures to paintings to church ruins to art memorabilia, the museum has it all. I had the opportunity to look closely into each art and examine how they were made and what they’re made of. It’s a great experience— to be able to really zoom in on a certain art piece. But, of course, no touching!

IMG_20140629_161635
(Dad and Joy reading about the sculpture’s history. Cute sighting)

I’m not just gonna talk about it. Here are some snaps instead:

IMG_20140629_155350
(Dad and me)

IMG_20140629_155446
(With my little sister Joy)

IMG_20140629_160117
(Behind me: Juan Luna’s famous “Spoliarium.” The painting’s larger than life! Too bad I wasn’t able to take a full picture)

IMG_20140629_160200 IMG_20140629_160234
(Yes, the museum was once a Senate building)

IMG_20140629_160415 IMG_20140629_160646 IMG_20140629_160657 IMG_20140629_160812 IMG_20140629_160955
(My favorite art piece there. Just kidding)

IMG_20140629_161147
(Dead Child by Simon Flores)

IMG_20140629_161321
(Juan Luna’s self-portrait)

IMG_20140629_161344 IMG_20140629_161627 IMG_20140629_161653 IMG_20140629_161900 IMG_20140629_161943 IMG_20140629_162101
(With the “Prehistoric Man”)

IMG_20140629_162119 IMG_20140629_162147 IMG_20140629_162329 IMG_20140629_161735 IMG_20140629_161840 IMG_20140629_162737 IMG_20140629_162925 IMG_20140629_163304IMG_20140629_163526 IMG_20140629_163704

The National Museum is really a happy place for people who love history and art. Best of all, admission’s free every Sunday! Visit their website and Facebook page to learn more.

IMG_20140629_164131

Happy blogging (and learning)!
Jane

The Bitch Goddess Notebook | Book Talk

515vxVzVvJL
(Photo: amazon.co.uk)

The Bitch Goddess Notebook
Martha O’ Connor

“Set in a small-town high school in Illinois in 1988, three misfit girls join forces with devastating consequences. Rennie, the stunningly attractive straight-A student, finds herself way out of her depth when she embarks on an affair with her married teacher. Cherry builds a shrine to Princess Diana in her bedroom while nursing her hippy mother through her coke-fuelled rages. Amy, who tears up her cheerleader’s uniform while her drunken parents concentrate on presenting a fa√ßade of perfect family life to the outside world. Together the three girls form the Bitch Goddesses, a take-no-prisoners gang of fierce teenage rebellion. They swear to stick together, whatever life throws at them, until one night at Porter’s Point when something so horrific happens it shatters their friendship forever.”¬†(Source: Goodreads)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I stayed up until 5 in the morning just to finish this book, and only had almost 5 hours of sleep before heading to work today. (Yes, today. As of this writing, my eyes are begging me to shut them off.)

You may wonder… why?

This book put a wonderfully-dangerous spell on me the moment I saw its title: The Bitch Goddess Notebook. Bitch. It definitely caught my attention.

You may wonder again… why?

We all have dark sides. I hold no exception to this, because even though I’m a of a bit goody-two shoes, I still have a little hint of “bitch” inside me. We all do. So when I saw this book on my favorite thrift bookstore, I immediately read the synopsis on the back and bought it without any hesitation.

The Bitch Goddess Notebook is a very edgy, dark and mature novel that only open-minded and non-judgmental people can love and understand. In this book, the stars of the show are three troubled girls who deal with sex, drugs, self-mutilation, swearing, and blood… lots and lots of blood. Martha O’Connor effortlessly tells the girls’ stories and how they dealt with their problems when they grew up. In the end, a shocking dark secret welcomed me, and all I could mutter was “Holy crap,¬†that¬†happened?!”

This book is really hard to put down. You think you’re okay with reading just one or two chapters in one sitting? Wrong. Every last page leaves me hungry for more. This is, actually, the best explanation on why I¬†spent almost 5 hours reading it. Hahaha.

It’s an amazing novel. But, just like any other stuff, it has its flaws too (again, just my opinion).

I liked the story so much, but I think I got a little dizzy with all the POV changes. Now I’m reading it in first person POV, then it shifts to third person POV on the next. How Cherry’s story ended also left me a bit puzzled. Did she die or just pass out? I don’t know, maybe I’ll re-read it again. But just like one certain reader on Goodreads, I also didn’t understand that last scene with Cherry.

All in all, I like The Bitch Goddess Notebook. Yes, it’s dark and brutally honest, but it’s also very touching and sentimental. The story shows us the harsh reality of life— that no matter how many “perfectly good” people there are on the planet, there will always be the “outcasts” who are judged, misunderstood, and, oftentimes, just victims¬†of their own problems. It shows that the world isn’t fair; it will never be. It shows the true meaning of friendship— no matter how troubled or messed up you are, true friends will never leave you behind. The Bitch Posse (their group) is actually a perfect example of a real friendship. I just love this novel, I can’t seem to shut up. Hehehe.

I suggest you read this book too. It’s a bit detailed (especially on all sex and self-mutilation parts), but it’s a really good story. Just like me, you’ll be transported back to 1988 and 2003 and actually feel that you’re with them during¬†their struggles in life. For once, I felt like I was the fourth member of The Bitch Posse. Amazing things that a great novel can do to you, eh?

Okay, I’m gonna stop. Hope you didn’t get tired reading! ūüôā

catherine-hardwicke-thebitchposse
(The author, Martha O’Connor. Photo: geektyrant.com)

Happy blogging (and reading!)
Jane

Sweet Escape: Baking Paradise in Makati

Having a hard time looking for a good baking store in the ever-progressive city of Makati? If yes, then fret no more! It’s time to go to every baker’s “sweetest escape” in town!

IMG_20140607_181410

Recently, I discovered Sweet Escape, a small, one-stop baking and confectionery store in Makati, while browsing for good baking stores on the Internet. As you all know, I’m a budding baker and I need these kind of places for my experiments (lol). When I found out that they’re only a few blocks away from my place, I literally jumped with joy. Finally, a super near baking store for me! ūüôā

IMG_20140607_181142

Sweet Escape isn’t very spacious, but it’s packed with all the things you need for baking. When I went here for the first time, I was like, “Oh… my… OMG OMG OMG!” I was beyond happy. Seeing all those cool baking stuff made me very excited to buy my cupcake essentials. I’ve already visited the place three times, but it still feels like magic. ūüôā

IMG_20140607_180530(Refrigerated goods like butter and fillings)

IMG_20140607_180604(Pastry bags, sugar crystals, etc.)

IMG_20140607_180745(Ready-made labels)

IMG_20140607_180808(Flavors and pure vanilla extracts)

IMG_20140607_180857IMG_20140607_175502IMG_20140607_175509(Chocolate creams, food color, etc.)

IMG_20140607_180923(Flours, sugars, etc.)

IMG_20140607_181133(Food dyes!)

IMG_20140607_181148(Piping tips and toppers)

IMG_20140607_175452(Baking chocolates, etc.)

IMG_20140607_180304 IMG_20140607_180340 IMG_20140607_180518(Decors!)

IMG_20140607_180415(Cupcake liners! OMG OMG OMG)

I really love this place. It’s convenient, very accessible, and they have all the things I need to whip up my “delicious” cupcakes. Lol. Definitely found my “baking bliss” here. ūüôā

IMG_20140607_181247

If you’re also residing in Makati and don’t want to go farther anymore, then visit Sweet Escape! For more information, visit their website here and Facebook page here ūüôā

Sweet Escape
250 Pablo Ocampo Avenue (V. Cruz Ext. / Kamagong Area) Makati City
Contact: (02) 546-6892 / (02) 624-3579 / 09063982182
Email: orders@sweetescape.ph

10366316_10152123583211914_4604207896865954799_n(Shopping basket selfie. Lol. From my Instagram account: @sjalexandreac)

Happy blogging (and baking!)
Jane

Tales of a First Time Archer | Kodanda Archery Range

Guess who tried archery for the first time? ME! ūüôā

IMG_20140606_184349

Yesterday, I had my first ever archery experience at Kodanda Archery Range, a must-visit for those who love shooting with bows and arrows.

IMG_20140606_185850

Located under all the hustle-and-bustle of Makati Cinema Square (MCS), this not-so-new archery range (they’ll be celebrating their 1st anniversary on July 5, congrats!) is equipped with everything an archer needs. This place is fully air-conditioned, has seven 10-meter lanes, and doesn’t require any membership for people to play. How cool, right?

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Kodanda is actually Sanskrit for “he who has a bow.” ūüėČ

CYMERA_20140606_184434(The area is quite small, but enough to fit a group of excited archers— rookie or expert.)

Okay, so about my first time…

I’m not much into sports… well except running and badminton. If you’re an avid follower of my blog (lol), you’d probably agree to this. Most of the things I post here are about food and cupcakes, and although I run from time to time, I still don’t consider myself as “sporty.”

So when I got the opportunity to try archery at Kodanda, I wasn’t thrilled at first.¬†But guess what? I think I’m going back there real soon. ūüėČ

IMG_20140606_183119(With my instructor)

The experience was great! I thought it’s going to be really hard because I’ve never done archery before, but it was actually easy to learn. The bow’s a bit heavy, but it’s fine. At least I know that it’s still an exercise even though it doesn’t involve a lot of moving. Lol.

And the best part of my first time experience? I got a bit lucky:

CYMERA_20140606_184915(That lucky shot inside the yellow circle… hurrah!)

Sadly, that lucky shot didn’t happen again. Lol.

Anyway, here are a few tips and rules if you’re thinking of trying out archery in Kodanda:

  • Wear rubber shoes (good thing it’s “Casual Friday” for me, so I was naturally wearing one). No slippers allowed.
  • Listen to your instructor(s) and don’t move around until you’re told to do so.
  • Secure all loose clothing and take off any jewelry.
  • Stretch your arms before the main event, especially the one you’ll be using to hold the bow. Trust me, it’s heavy. Warm it up or you’ll end up with a sore arm like me.

So to my fellow archers out there (lol I’m just kidding; I still have a lot to learn), head to MCS now and try Kodanda Archery Range! For P550/hr/person, you’ll definitely have a whole-new archery experience– no sweat (literally and figuratively)!

For more information, you can visit them at FB-D3A Upper Basement, Makati Cinema Square, Chino Roces Avenue (formerly Pasong Tamo), Makati City. They’re open from Mondays-Sundays, 10:30 am-7:30 pm.

Contact: (02) 621.9109 / 0932.843.6614, look for May
Email: kodandaarchery@gmail.com

Check out their Facebook page here

Special thanks to Ms. Ice Morales ūüôā

IMG_20140606_183359(Oh no that face! Hahaha)

Happy blogging (and bow-shooting lol)!
Jane

Movie Talk: Maleficent

My family and I watched Maleficent last week and well well…

… it was¬†okay.

large(Photo: weheartit.com)

Don’t get me wrong– I enjoyed it, but not enough to make a huge¬†mark in my mind. So I won’t say it was great, but it was okay.

One of the few things I like about Maleficent is that it’s a different take on something so classic. It showed a whole new point-of-view, away from Disney’s usual fairytale storytelling. Here, we won’t see a damsel in distress who longs for true love’s kiss. Instead, here’s a kick-ass fairy who doesn’t believe in true love’s kiss… just because she was hurt and betrayed by it.

1394820240_angelina-jolie-maleficient-zoom(Photo:  usmagazine.com)

However, it failed to make me say “wow!” The story is, somehow, predictable. Right from the start, I already knew how the story would go. Plots like Maleficent’s always go¬†that way. And the movie lacks something. I just can’t pinpoint what that is. Seems like the execution of the story is kinda weak.

Despite the tiny glitches, I applaud Maleficent for misleading me into thinking that her sidekick raven is Aurora’s true love’s kiss. I already¬†knew that the prince won’t be able to revive the princess from her sleep spell, so I thought it’s gonna be the raven since he took care of her ever since she was a baby. The predictability of the movie vanished for a moment. Lol.

Anyway, I’m not really a movie critic, so don’t take my word for it. Watch the trailer first and head to a cinema near you!

Happy blogging (and watching)!
Jane

Poetry Day: Anatomy of You

Wow! Been gone for a while. I should really apply what I’ve learned from the A-Z Blogging Challenge— to make a schedule and blog consistently, that is.

Anyway, I’m just gonna share a super short poem. Spur of the moment one. Just struck me when I was so happy and inspired. Hahaha.

“Anatomy of You”

Your eyes
Staring with passion
Looking closely
Into my soul

Your lips
Ever so gentle
Kissing its way
Into my own

Your hands
Lacing, intertwine
Softly brushing
Against mine

Your heart
Beating, racing
This love
Forever yours
Forever mine

Forever ours

Told you it’s a short one. Haha. Will blog about stuff soon! I badly wanna share my undying admiration for The Bee Gees, Roaring 20s and more! Gaah. Stay put!

Happy blogging (and writing randomly)!
Jane

(Super)Mom’s The Word

Mothers.

Until now, I’m still amazed at how they manage to keep things up without breaking a sweat. They’re actually all sorts of people rolled up into one—¬†president, finance officer, chef, laundry lady, babysitter… everything! One¬†mom could actually run a whole company. Lol.

And they don’t stop caring for us, even when we’re old enough to run things on our own. They still treat us¬†like their little girl/boy… just because they still see us as one. To their eyes, we don’t grow up— ever. We grow old, but we’re still their babies.

181909_500474221913_4343417_n(Mom and me, back when I was still super adorable lol)

Of course, my mom is one of them. ūüôā ¬†Until now, she still organizes my closet whenever she sees it all cluttered. She still cooks for us when she has time. She still buys me stuff that I need (super duper thank you for the electric mixer and pastry bag!). She still looks out after us, even if the¬†majority of us are¬†already working and the other one’s already in college.

248630_10150199500101914_6306787_n(Mom and me, taken during my 18th birthday)

It’s true, isn’t ¬†it? A mother’s love is endless and unconditional, from the day we were conceived to the time we conquer the world on our own. They see past our mistakes and imperfections. And even though we’ve hurt them several times, they still understand us.

So to my mom, thank you so ¬†much for everything. I know I’m not always around and we don’t see each other more often, but always remember that I love you and I’m forever grateful because you’re my mom… my supermom. :*

IMG_20131224_234921(Mom and me, Christmas 2013)

To all the mothers out there, happy mommies day! Stay pretty and awesome! ūüėČ

Happy blogging!
Jane

 

Poetry Night: Silent Scream

So… I am sharing another poem with you guys. Hahaha. I actually wrote this¬†two years ago, when I still have an¬†“inspiration” for this kind of poetry.¬†Fortunately¬†(lol), I don’t have any reason to write this type of poem anymore… or at least not yet. Hahaha.

“Silent Scream”

Distance
far enough to bridge
Time
long enough to keep
Feelings
painful enough for me
Hurt
more enough to bear
How long
will you make me think?

How long
will you hold time?
How long
will you shatter my heart?
How long
will you make me wait?

Can’t you hear
my voice screaming?
Can’t you see
my soul drowning?
Can’t you feel
the fire igniting?

Tired
of this repeating crap
Soon
we will break apart
Slowly
my love will fade
my love will die
my love for you

Gone.

Happy blogging (and poetry-writing)!
Jane