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Monthly Archives: April 2015

When you thought that you are a wallflower and a shadow of someone all along when in fact, you are not.

My last stop for Taking Chances bundle is  the beautifully written After the Moment by Six de los Reyes.

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TAKING CHANCES
 
Whether looking for closure, proving their worth, or wondering what happens after a moonlit night, the characters from these stories will invite you to take a chance for love. Will they find what they’re looking for? Or will their hearts get broken? Step into their shoes and find out.
Synopsis:
Under the most normal of circumstances, Aria de Luna could never imagine herself kissing the boy she has always considered to be miles and miles out of her league. She’s known as their year’s resident emo-girl and she plays the part flawlessly with her violet hair, scuffed boots, and her alleged angst from living under the shadow of her over-achieving, perfect, older sister. Meanwhile, Kristoffer Li is living the perfect life. He’s popular, next year’s captain of the basketball team, attractive, if maybe a little too frowny for people’s liking, but he looks very pretty on a chocolate-milk drink carton.
So it is only under the most unusual circumstance that Kris shows up at the Arts and Culture Festival Aria has been looking forward to all year. But does a morning of awkward conversations, an afternoon of provoking discussions, and a moment under the moonlight really change three years of oblivious coexistence? Or will everything go back to the way it was after the moment?
About the Author
Six de los Reyes has been reading and making up stories for as far as she can remember. In fifth grade, she learned to wield dragons and phoenixes through written word. Her day job has absolutely nothing to do with creative writing, and she wishes it did.
Follow her:
~Excerpt~

This just in: the world is about to end, and aliens have colonized human hosts.

Or maybe not, but it seems like a plausible explanation for the recent turn of events. Otherwise, how else am I supposed to justify kissing Kristoffer Li under the moonlight?

To fully appreciate the insanity of this, you must first understand that Kris Li is miles and miles totally out of my league. He’s the school’s basketball star and I’m the local class freak. Everyone knows his name from fame, and my name is thrown around in infamy. He’s shiny white jerseys and I’m black hoodies. You get the picture. For three years we’ve peacefully coexisted without ever once having to interact, and yet, here we are.

Maybe there are some moments in life that simply defy logic and explanation, and no matter how you try to put things into perspective, they refuse to fit like the way pieces of a jigsaw puzzle should. That moment, that entire day, is one of them. A moment that simply does not exist unless in some alternate universe beyond our realm of logic and understanding. A moment that could only ever exist in books, and in songs, something very nearly alive and with a sentience of its own.

I still can’t believe it now, hence the matter of the world falling apart and aliens invading the Earth. But it happened anyway, despite my attempts to rationalize the situation and find something to blame for it. Everything happened the way it shouldn’t, and no, I’m not okay thank you very much.

Sometimes, I just really don’t understand the way the universe works.

What I like about the story:
Aria the artsy one.  She’s not your typical protagonist and I like how unique she is! You go girl!
Throwback College life. No extravagant setting, just a school place but it let me remembered my student days: study, grades, batch mates and crushes! Sorry, I have to say this: Ang lakas maka-throwback!
Kris: The huge basketball player and… It is more than what you could see. I’ve been reading a lot of stories about ‘sporty’ and ‘boastful’ love interest yet I have to separate Kris Li! Okay, just saying his name makes me giddy already! You have to figure out why.
Conflict within their selves.  There is more than the ‘basketball meet the emo girl’. It is interesting to know more about the what ‘kept them apart’ for three years but ‘let them closer’ in just 24 hours!
~A statement that worth to remember~
Page 231:

How did one say goodbye when you didn’t exactly begin with hello? And goodbye probably wasn’t even the right word to say here.

How it ends:
To be continued… An open-ended story that you want to ask for more! When I finished reading the story, I really freaked out! I will wait for the full length novel that will be out next summer!
Perk’s rating: 5.5/5  (I have to rate it more than perfect because I’m so in love with Aria-Kris aka ArKris!)
Taking Chances Banner
For my first week of blog tour, I’m done and I can’t wait for the second bundle which I will be reviewing by next week!

Powerbank is still up for grabs until May 1!BUQO is very generous because there are giving away one to a lucky Philippine resident! How cool is that right?

Click the link here and don’t forget to join: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dc42906e266/

Let’s send our love to our dear Filipino writers!

Purchase the Taking Chances Bundle now at BUQO (45php for Single Issue): http://www.buqo.ph/Shop/Book/ccce389f-c1a2-4450-ba6c-ea39c7b4cca7/buqoya-1-taking-chances


According to a quote, it is better to be late than never.  Is it late to forgive and forget about someone’s pain? It is late to give someone’s another chance?

In Never Too Late by Jen C. Suguitan, my second stop for Taking Chances Bundle the answer is a big no.

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TAKING CHANCES
 
Whether looking for closure, proving their worth, or wondering what happens after a moonlit night, the characters from these stories will invite you to take a chance for love. Will they find what they’re looking for? Or will their hearts get broken? Step into their shoes and find out.
Synopsis:
When Cass goes to a trip to Corregidor, she thinks that it’s the key to finding closure over her sister’s death. But things change when she gets mixed up with the wrong tour group where she meets Noah, a budding filmmaker and photographer who wants to relive his grandfather’s war stories through the tour.
As they explore the historic island together, will Cass and Noah find what they are looking for? Or will they find something more, like a chance to fall in love, too?
About the Author
Jen C. Suguitan is a PR practitioner by day and a storyteller by night. Her love affair with words and letters led to a Journalism degree and stories cramped in her hard drive that the world has yet to see. She started writing professionally for a local broadsheet when she was seventeen, and she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. When she’s not writing, she’s probably thinking of what to write about next.
~Excerpt~

Chapter 1: 8:03 AM, Manila to Corregidor

[4:30 AM:] Wake up!!! 7am sharp @Soleil Tours terminal! DON’T BE LATE THIS TIME!!!
[6:45 AM:] I am almost there. Where are you? Why aren’t you answering my calls?!?!
[7:01 AM:] YOU ARE LATE!! Where are you, Cass?
[7:15 AM:] Called Daisy, she isn’t picking up. Where are you, Cass?!
[7:16 AM:] I’m calling mom. You are soooo screwed.
[7:18 AM:] Ferry’s leaving at 8. Where the hell ARE YOUUUU?!
[7:21 AM:] This isn’t funny. You can’t make the ferry WAIT for YOU.
[7:36 AM:] Okay, talked to the tour staff, we’re leaving EXACTLY at 8. Where are you?
[7:48 AM:] Acknowledging that you got my messages would be NICE, Cass.
[7:53 AM:] This is why mom and dad never should’ve trusted you.
[7:57 AM:] Three minutes. Corregidor will still be fun without you. #sorrynotsorry

I scrolled past my sister’s other pesky messages as I handed my ticket stub to the woman behind the check-in counter. I only replied to Anj, my sister, once and that was to tell her that I was five minutes away from the terminal. Knowing Anj, I’d probably get a lecture for not checking my phone’s battery level before leaving. But it was Anj’s constant nagging that distracted me before from my preparations for the trip. Besides, my phone wouldn’t die on me if she hadn’t called me twelve times in a span of twenty minutes.

What I like about the story:
Cass as the late comer. I’m a late comer myself and I can relate how difficult to wake up very early. Props with us Cassidy!
Corregidor is a picturesque place. I never been to the historical place yet I’ve been hearing about the tower and the beautiful sunset you can see. This story makes me travel and see the whole place. I love how the writer incorporated every amazing land marks as her chapters in the story. It makes me wanna go to Corregidor now and explore the place!
The cool guy: Noah. If you are stuck in a wrong place at the wrong time, who can’t say no to a handsome and hot stranger who sit beside you? Lucky Cass to met Noah! I like how typical Noah is. He is the perfect example of a stranger which you can pour your heart out.
Everyone has a reason.  At the start of the story, I was wondering what is Noah’s reason for the trip at Corregidor. When I found out, I understand that Noah’s rationale might be lame compare to Cass but it somehow changed his life and perspective.
~A statement that worth to remember~
From Noah (page 117) : “That you’re hurting because you loved too much, and you
can never love too much, Cass. It’s okay to hurt, but you can’t stay that way forever. I don’t think that your sister would want to see you like that. It’s okay to lose yourself sometimes, but you should find it again. Before it’s too late. Before you’ve lost too much and you can’t get it back.” Well said!

How it ends:

Remember it is never to late to forgive yourself and someone who hurt you and it is never to late to let yourself love one another.

Perk’s rating: 5/5

What is the next story that I’ll be reviewing for the blog tour?

You’ll have to visit my blog for another my next stop but you can check out the poster for more information!

Taking Chances Banner

Would you like a new power bank? BUQO is very generous because there are giving away one to a lucky Philippine resident! How cool is that right?

Click the link here and don’t forget to join: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dc42906e266/

Filipino writers are the best, let’s give our utmost support to them!

Purchase the Taking Chances Bundle now at BUQO (45php for Single Issue): http://www.buqo.ph/Shop/Book/ccce389f-c1a2-4450-ba6c-ea39c7b4cca7/buqoya-1-taking-chances


I’ve been seeing BUQO Young Adult blog tour since last year but this is the first time that I joined. I was elated and happy when I signed up for the book blog tour.

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For the first timer like me, BUQO YA have a couple of bundles with different stories written by Filipino authors. You may choose which story/stories do you prefer to read. It will be awesome if you able to read all of the stories!

The first stop is the Taking Chances Bundle where the story that captured most of my attention is Portrait of Jade by Justine Camacho-Tajonera.

TAKING CHANCES
 
Whether looking for closure, proving their worth, or wondering what happens after a moonlit night, the characters from these stories will invite you to take a chance for love. Will they find what they’re looking for? Or will their hearts get broken? Step into their shoes and find out.
Synopsis:
Jade Alverio is dying to get to summer art camp in Baguio, far away from her demanding parents and her ultra-perfect sister, Ruby. She thinks it will be a haven of likeminded spirits until she gets her first critique from Alexander Santamaria III, who seems to have converted all female camp members into his groupies.
Things get worse when she’s paired up with him on a major project. Will she survive dream-turned-nightmare art camp, or will she go running back home, the very place she wanted to escape in the first place?
About the Author
Justine Camacho-Tajonera was born and grew up in Cebu City, Philippines. Despite starting a corporate career in telecommunications, she pursued an M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies to keep her close to her first loves: reading and writing.
Her poetry has been published in several anthologies and local publications and she has published two books: Artemis Lets Go, a novella, and Gift, her first collection of poetry. She maintains a poetry blog, Claiming Alexandria.
She works full time at a corporate job promoting e-reading in the Philippines, is married, and has two children.
Follow her:
~Excerpt~

“I’m the semiprecious stone in the family,” Jade thought as he climbed up into the bus. She was still affected by the car ride conversation she’d had with her dad, who had interrogated her on the courses she planned to take when she went to college.

“Dad, I don’t know, okay?” She looked straight ahead.

“Jade, why didn’t you start thinking about this earlier? Ruby was gunning for business management as early as her junior year of high school.”

“I’m not Ruby.”

“I know. We’ve been over that. But it wouldn’t hurt you to prepare for college early, right?”

By that point, Jade had already zoned out. Any mention of Ruby tended to make her hear white noise.

She adjusted her black-rimmed glasses as she looked for a good seat. It looked like she was the first one on the bus. That was because her dad liked to over prepare. It was a good thing, really. She decided to move to the back of the bus. That way, she could observe everyone coming in without being conspicuous. Or she could just ignore them. She was good at that. She chose a spot by the window. She was looking forward to enjoying the view. She settled into her seat and took out her headphones and portable neck pillow. She had a whole playlist picked out. She was ready to chill out and get some snooze time, especially because she’d woken up so early.

What I like about the story:

I’m not artistic. That’s why when I found something about art like drawing and painting, I easily look into it.

I can relate to Jade. I’m like the semi-precious gem in the family and my parents don’t usually recognize my talent especially when I was in high school and college.

I’m being introduce with art. I like the concept of art camp (wish I can join one), art collaboration and the way paintings and one’s art are being critique. This story opened up my mind that the mind of every artist is very mysterious and interesting.

Alex is not your ordinary male protagonist. There is a deepness in his character which I hope you’ll also find out when you read it!

Believe in your dream. This story reminds us to always hold on what our heart really desires no matter what people say because in the end, if you will be able to achieve it nothing else matters.

How it ends:

I love the recognition from the family and the surprise at the end. It was not what I expected but I was somehow satisfied with the ending.

Perk’s rating: 4.5/5 

What is the next story that I’ll be reviewing for the blog tour?

You’ll have to visit my blog tomorrow but you can check out the poster for more information!

Taking Chances Banner

Who wants a power bank? BUQO is very generous because there are giving away one to a lucky Philippine resident! How cool is that right?

Click the link here and don’t forget to join: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dc42906e266/

Let’s support Filipino writers!

Purchase the Taking Chances Bundle now at BUQO: http://www.buqo.ph/Shop/Book/ccce389f-c1a2-4450-ba6c-ea39c7b4cca7/buqoya-1-taking-chances


When you wish to the universe, it answer back to you when you least expected. I joined a radio contest for the Best of the Best in the Philippines concert yet at the back of my mind; the chances of winning is thin because I’m not lucky with a raffle.

Photo from asialive365.com

Photo from asialive365.com

It was announced that they were giving away lower box and VIP tickets. I was not included with the lower box ticket winners but hope began to creep in my heart when the DJ announced that the winner of the VIP tickets joined during his show. I had my ears on the radio when my name was called. I got the VIP tickets! I immediately invited a dear friend of mine who is a huge fan of K-pop especially Super Junior.

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The venue of the Best of the Best in the Philippines was held last April 12 at the newly opened Philippine Arena. It is located near the Bocaue Exit, Bulacan.

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My friend and I arrived at the place, two hours before the event to prevent the traffic.

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The area was already jam-packed with the immense fans of Super Junior and Girl’s Generation who had their light sticks and head bands.

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It was my first time to be in the VIP area and by just seeing the seating arrangement from afar, it was like a dream come true to me.

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The crowd was screaming already even though the wide screen just shown photos of the performers. That only showed how excited and supportive the Filipino audience to see the concert of their favorite K-POP artists.

The first act who took the center stage was the four girl group: Red Velvet.

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The 2014’s break-out stars –composed of Wendy, Seulgi, Joy, Irene, and Yeri who performed for the first time in the Philippines sang their latest single, “Ice Cream Cake”.

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They were overwhelmed with the warm welcome and cheer from the Filipinos. They also sang “Something Crazy,” “Candy,” and their debut single “Happiness” which is my favorite song from the group.

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Male domination came up next and BTOB or Born to Beat made more fans go crazy.

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It was the second time for Sungjae, Changsub, Peniel, Eunkwang, Hyunsik, Dong-geun, and Ilhoon to visit the country.

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They performed “Thriller”, “Irresistible Lips, “I Only Know Love,” “Lover Boy,” “2nd Confession,” and “You’re So Fly” that kept the momentum on high level.

BTOB 4They ended their performance with their smashing songs: “Wow” and “Beep Beep.”

Pink Power with one of the Korea’s biggest girl group: Girl’s Generation! Like BTOB, it was the second time for YoonA, Taeyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Seohyun, and Tiffany to visit the Philippines after the sad departure of Jessica Jung.

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The group opened their show with “Mr. Taxi” and followed it with their tremendous hit “Tell Me Your Wish” (Genie) which the audience happily sang together.

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They continued to wow their fans with “Gee,” “Hoot,” “Complete” and their 2014 chart-topping single “Mr. Mr.”

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The most awaited performance of the night was from the popular male group: Super Junior.

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Eight of the Korea’s superstars namely Siwon, Donghae, Eunhyuk, Heechul, Kangin, Ryeowok, Kyuhyun, and Leeteuk melted the heart of every Filipina.

Heechul

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They started their performance with “Shirt” and “This Love”.

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Kyuhyun serenaded everyone with his solo debut titled “At Gwanghwamun” which followed by Eunhyuk and Donghae who let every one groove with “Oppa Oppa.”

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They continued to own the stage with “Evanesce”, “Mr. Simple” and they ended the night with their number one billboard chart single “Mamacita”.

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The concert was unforgettable and very enjoying but like the other K-POP fans, the show was a bit short.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy friend and I wanted more and we hoped that when they come back, it will be a non-stop all night concert!

having fun with eunice

Thank you concert buddy! Super love the photo! 🙂

Photos credited to: Eunice V.


This is a bit late post of mine that’s why I’m reviewing two books that you surely enjoy to bring to the beach while you are in vacation or just relaxing while sipping your favorite drink while the sun is scorching hot!

The Witness by Nora Roberts (February)

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Photo from www. goodreads.com

I think everyone is familiar with the popular romance novelist. Whenever I visit bookshops, I can easily spot her books from the array of shelves.

When I saw her 200th novel (which was originally priced as 649 php and it was 80% off at Powerbooks), I immediately bought it! I remembered the first book that I read was Irish Hearts which I borrowed from my friend and I instantly fall in love with her writing style! I owned few books from her namely: Sacred Sins, One Summer and Her Mother’s Keeper.

The Witness is about Elizabeth Fitch/Abigail Lowery is a 16 year old girl who attested a killing that changed her life forever.

What I like about the story:

It is rare to read female protagonist who is fearless.

I like Elizabeth because she is not a damsel-in-distress. She is intelligent, mysterious and brave. Though she went into hiding for most of her life because she is scared to be found by the Russian mob, she still destroyed the group by exposing their internet scams with the help of new technology.

At first I was not into Brooks Gleason because I compared him to a character that I read from a previous book. Yet, I fell in love with the hunk cop like Abigail as the story progresses. His persistence and curiosity wins my heart!

How it ends:

I’m very particular with the ending. I was satisfied on how Nora Robert’s finished the novel, not the typical one and it answered all the questions on my mind.
Verdict:
My favorite Nora Robert’s so far! If you haven’t read any of her stories, The Witness is a great start!
Only A Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao (March)

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Honestly, I’m not a fan of stories about best friend who become a couple. That’s why when I read the synopsis of Only A Kiss, I frowned. I might not enjoy this but there is no harm in trying especially if the author of the book was the former editor-in- chief of the kid’s magazine that I truly loved when I was in high school.

When I asked for a copy at NBS Glorietta 1 and SM Mall of Asia last February, it was already sold out. Yet I didn’t lose hope and I finally purchased one at SM Megamall. The book is only 195 php!

Only A Kiss is about Katie who was nine years old when she experienced her first kiss with her best friend!

What I like about the story:

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Photo from giphy.com

Every one can relate. Katie’s confusion about love, wedding and first kiss is part of every teenager’s life. It was funny that when she was kid, she was worried of what would happen to Chris if she is going to marry her long time crush Ethan.

The change of Point of View is incredible. I am “Anti-Iris and Anti-Andrew” since they’ve been introduced. I knew right away that these two were going to be the antagonists between the Katie and Chris.

How it ends:

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Photo from mademistakes.com

I cried. It was in the part of the ‘confession’ which was beautifully written. I loved how they revealed their feelings to each other especially the sketches had been part of it. Kudos to that Miss Ines!
Verdict:
Only A Kiss is the first book that I enjoyed reading though it is about best friends who turn into lovers. I will forever cherish this lovely and unforgettable story!