Word of the Year: FINIFUGAL – 2014 Year Ender :)

Another year done! I was looking for one word that would summarize 2014 for me. I dabbled with ‘fear,’ ‘indecision,’ ‘bad luck,’ etcetera, etcetera, but nothing clicked right. Until I saw this word: FINIFUGAL (thank you, other-wordly.tumblr.com.).

2014 year end blog

 

That was the best definition of this year. I think being finifugal relates to being scared of starting over, of new things, of changes (drastic ones, to be exact). A quick check of my year-ender the past years led me to one conclusion: I was, kind of, reliving my 2012 all over again, because the same quotes that I quoted still applied, the same complaints, the same worries, and a heartbreak (thankfully, a different guy this time, but jeeeez I never learn, do I?).

I would quote the same John Green quote in 2012:

“You spend your whole life stuck in a labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” 

–John Green, Looking for Alaska

*sigh*

Let’s kick off this 2014 recap, shall we?

Continue reading

Loopdeloop in 2013: Playlist fun

2013 was a crazy year for music: the confirmation of the relationship and then breakup of two of the biggest popstars (looking at you Haylor), a new Justin Timberlake album, a too-short NSYNC reunion on MTV Video Music Awards, the debate on whether Katy Perry’s Roar ripped off Sara Bareilles’ Brave, Miley Cyrus sticking her tongue out and twerking against Robin Thicke (an image that burned in minds and want to forget forever), a Beyoncé album dropping out of the blue, etcetera. (Those were the only ones I could recall top-of-mind, so…)

Last year, I did a run-down of my favorite albums, books, and movies, but this year I’m doing something different: a year-ender playlist of some sort. Check out the songs that I looped far more than my iTunes would’ve hoped for.

Little Me by Little Mix

Little Mix is the first group ever to win the X-Factor UK. They’re awesome performers and they write their own songs too! Their Salute album gave me the Destiny’s Child of the 90s feeling. This is one of the songs they penned. Favorite lines:

Wish I knew back then what I know now
Wish I could somehow go back in time
and maybe listen to my own advice

I’d tell her to speak up, tell her to shout out
Talk a bit louder, be a bit prouder
Tell her she’s beautiful, wonderful
Everything she doesn’t see

You gotta speak up, you gotta shout out
And know that right here, right now
You can be beautiful, wonderful,
Anything you wanna be, oh, little me

Do check out their other songs that I absolutely adore too: Towers, Good Enough, Salute, and These Four Walls

Last Hope by Paramore

First time I heard this song, I actually cried. There is something about the song’s bridge that kills.

And the salt in my wounds isn’t burning anymore than it used to
It’s not that I don’t feel the pain
It’s just I’m not afraid of hurting anymore
And the blood in these veins isn’t pumping any less than it ever has
And that’s the hope I have, the only thing I know that’s keeping me alive

Other looped songs from Paramore’s Paramore: Proof, Hate to See Your Heart Break, and Interlude: Holiday. 

Eavesdrop by The Civil Wars

Still sad about what went on with this band because they make so much good music. Eavesdrop is one of the many songs I loved off their self-titled (and probably last) album.

Let’s let the stars watch, let them stare
Let the wind eavesdrop, I don’t care
For all that we’ve got, don’t let go
Just hold me

This song makes it way too in the playlist of Gezellig 2 :)

Looped songs off The Civil Wars: The One That Got Away (THIS KILLS, LISTEN TO IT), Same Old Same Old, and D’arline. 

Pretty Hurts by Beyonce

Couldn’t find a link to the video of the song or to the song for that matter, so found a pretty rad cover of it.

What wasn’t covered in the version above is the question posed to Beyonce at the start of the song: What is your aspiration in life? And Beyonce’s reply: To be happy. 

Spot on.

Shot at the Night by The Killers

Learned this song through a colleague. Loved it, and loved the video even more. We all yearn for that escape, right? :)

Say Something by A Great Big World

Ever felt haunted by a song? This one plays wherever I go and on shows that I watch!

Bubble Wrap by McFly

Discovered this band by association to another band I was listening to. They wrote songs for that other band, so I thought of listening to them. Never regretted it. :) Their lead singer is the one behind the fancy wedding speech!

I wish I could bubble wrap my heart… in case I fall and break apart. It’s bubble wrap!

This is the last time,
I give up this heart of mine,
I’m telling you that I’m
A broken man who’s finally realized.
You’re standing in moonlight,
But you’re black on the inside,
Who do you think you are to cry?
This is goodbye.

Other hits I loved from them: Love is on the Radio (they have several versions of this, but do check out the Mr. and Mrs. F version), POV, Star Girland Lies (this one has a mean bass line).

Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

Would it be weird if I say I discovered this band because their song was used in a movie soundtrack? No? Okay, I’m safe (but, but…the movie was The Host. I know. BUT MAX IRONS.)

Also looped their: It’s Time, Amsterdamand Demons!

Save Rock and Roll by Fall Out Boy feat. Elton John

You are what you love, not who loves you. In the world full of the word ‘yes,’ I’m here to scream NO. 

Other lovable tunes from their Save Rock and Roll album: The Phoenix, Just One Yesterday, and Miss Missing You.

We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus

I had to. Whether we’d like to admit or not, this song was stuck in our heads at one point or another. I do adore the version with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots.

I have space for only ten songs (and I did try to embed the vids, but YouTube keeps on effing up), but I’ve looped a whole lot of albums and songs this year. (Okay, okay, Midnight Memories is still looping on my iTunes. Their new sound is rad. And check out Sara Bareilles’ The Blessed Unrest and Olly Murs’ Right Place Right Time).

How about you? What are the songs that had the highest play counts in your media player / iTunes? :)

xx., Kesh

Everything, all at once.

It takes a holiday to take some time off to write. Honestly, this blog’s a bit… sad now that I’m not posting stories here anymore, but I do like the freedom that WordPress gives me in terms of formatting my stories. :(

Anyway, let’s kick this off, shall we?

Ripped Off. Those who have read my stories from the start, particularly Solace, will be familiar with this one. I have mentioned it a bunch of times there, referencing it as one of JJ’s best-selling novels. But Ripped Off is a real novel, something that I’ve got sitting in my laptop for a long time (like since 2011 long), written close to 70 pages of it, and parked it because I got stuck with the plot. Now I’m trying to revive it, as part of the writing goals that I told Ms. Mina. :) I’m revisiting the chapters I’ve written, smoothing out details, and posting them slowly. Please don’t forget to check out my Figment and Wattpad pages for it :)

Anti-bullying. If I had so much money, one of the movements that I will support will be this one. I don’t know if people realize how much being bullied changes people’s lives. To quote Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why:

You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything… affects everything.

Recently, 1D came out with a PSA, urging everyone to Live kind, love everyone, and move together against bullying. To be true, celebrate being original, courageous and unique, confident and successful. CHOOSE TO LIVE NICE. PSA below:

There is one comment that struck me though: the one by Bellasmee97: “Me: *buys 1D against bullying notebook* Me:*gets bullied for having a 1D notebook against bullying*”

Sadly, likely to happen :(

Music! I am late to the party with Imagine Dragons, but I’m enjoying their music so much. Like this:

And while we’re at this, can we discuss Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran’s music video for Everything Has Changed? TOO MUCH CUTENESS, I can’t even.

John Green. I am recently getting frustrated about not being read as much as I wanted to, but it only takes a little John Green to remind me why I do what I do.

2013-06-11-johngreen

Link to properly access photo, click here.

That’s it… I think.

Have a happy Independence Day, Philippines!

.xx,

Kessica

Soooo… on travel, writing, and living (a.k.a. a recap of why I missed some months on blogging)

Hello, hello! Welcome back! (?)

So I haven’t been blogging / posting much here because I’m busy doing three things, namely:

  1. Work, of course, which I recently found out need not take precedence over everything in life;
  2. Writing my contemporary romance novella, now with the title The Real Score for my #RomanceClass (more on this later); and
  3. Living. Actually living. 

In my past few months of absence on this blog, I went to exactly three places I have never been to before: Negros Occidental, Davao, and Bataan (at least the tourist spots that we went to). Traveling is fun – minus the grueling part where you wait for delayed flights and long trips on buses and/or cars. (On some days, though, I like the long trips because it helps me think.)

I went to Negros Occidental, particularly in Silay, Bulata, and Danjugan Island, because of a trip I won from work (see, hard work really does pay off). In Silay we did a tour of the ancestral homes there, and I learned a lot particularly at the Hofilena’s house because of Sir Ramon. Go there, and he’d make the trip worth it.

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After the trip in Silay, we endured this three- to four-hour car ride to Punta Bulata, which is virtually paradise, especially if you want to disconnect from everything. I say this because there is little to almost no signal in this area, which could work to your advantage as well. This scene welcomed us, which made me love the place:

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It has calm clear waters and white (or should I say coral-ly) sand. And to top it off: the place is a bit private. There were some families who do day trips to the resort, but during the nights, it was mostly us and a handful of other guests which is less than 30. It’s a happy place if you enjoy the peace and quiet. And sunsets like this:

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Honestly, I only thought sunsets like that existed in the wallpapers that came with laptops or in Boracay. I was glad to be wrong about this, because Punta Bulata has one of the most gorgeous sunsets I’ve ever seen.

The highlight of the trip was Danjugan Island, a marine reserve about ten to fifteen minutes away from Punta Bulata. Trips to this island need to be pre-arranged as only forty people are allowed on the island at a time. Since it is also a reserve, you are not allowed to take anything from the island (so no, if you’re like me who likes shells for keepsakes, hands off), and you also have to conserve the amount of freshwater that you use (one pail of freshwater per person). The waters too are gorgeous at this place, and Mang Ruben, our guide, is entertaining, fun, and informative. We also got to see the tabon bird, an eagle, and a couple of orioles. We heard bats, saw big crawling crabs right behind the cabana where we stayed overnight, and met a lot of mosquitoes (so bring your repellants aside from your sunblock).

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A (very) early morning at Danjugan

Beautiful, right? Continue reading

#RomanceClass

Earlier this year, I joined a contemporary romance writing class mentored by a popular local author Mina V. Esguerra (check out her works like Fairy Tale Fail and Interim Goddess of Love, among others). On Twitter, it’s addressed as #romanceclass, thus the title of this entry. (And it also makes my friends double-take whenever I say I’m taking a ‘romance class.’ Yes, they made that leap.)

While the platform for the class is primarily online via a Facebook group, there were monthly meetups for those who are in Manila for discussions. There were about a hundred of us in the class, something that really amused me. A group of writers (or those who want to be, at least). I personally only know about three or four people who like to write as a pasttime, so this is a revelation to me.

Anyway, the goal: come up with a contemporary romance novella in about six months. If you’re into definition of terms, that is a work of about 30,000 words (not exceeding 50,000), set in the present time. Characters should be real people—no vampires or werewolves involved—with the primary plot being love.

A couple of days ago, I submitted my complete manuscript to my beta reader (so that’s what they’re called!) and to Ms. Mina. A bit ahead in submission (looking to be a rather busy May, and there’s this thing called… ‘flow’ or Muse or plain inspiration).

Let’s recap this writing experience, shall we? Continue reading

Lend a helping hand

So just recently (Feb. 17 recently), the boys of One Direction came out with a single, a remake of Blondie’s One Way or Another for Comic Relief. Comic Relief, according to its website, is a charity based in the UK that wants to create a positive change with the use of entertainment. According to some posts, this single is set to be one of the biggest for Comic Relief, as it is currently #1 in 63 (YES, THAT IS SIXTY-THREE) countries worldwide.

The boys’ goal to incite change is to encourage people to donate £5 for a vaccine that can save a child from dying in Africa. Check out this video:

You can check out how to donate to Comic Relief here (the amount are in pounds, so… a bit of caution before clicking), or you can buy One Direction’s single, One Way or Another, via iTunes, where the proceeds would go to charity.

The boys also came out with a music video for the single, where you can see them touring and in the shower, but honestly all I could think of at the end of it is… cupcakes.

[They also performed this at the Brit Awards 2013, but links on YouTube have been pulled down due to copyright, so I’ll try to find a working link so I could share. [UPDATE:] and below is a working link c/o Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day YouTube channel, YAAAAY! Sidenote: congrats boys for winning Global Success!]

Now, I’ll take this opportunity as well to share with you my charity of choice: World Vision. I worked here during my internship days back in college, for their Social Mobilization Against Tuberculosis department, and I saw firsthand how much they change people’s lives. All you have to do is sponsor a child at P600 per month, and the organization pools the funds they collect from sponsors all around for the development of the community where the child lives. More sustainable, don’t you think?

I started to sponsor last year for my birthday, getting two kids. It’s tough to sustain (money budgeting gods, please shine your light upon me), but if you can help, lend a hand. We’ve all got blessings to share, and while we can, we should.

To learn more about how to sponsor a child, visit this link. To sponsor a child, click here.

Share the love.

.xx, Kessica

I miss you.

Ever heard a song, saw a movie, smelled a familiar scent, or saw a sign and then somebody immediately just popped into your head, and  you are overcome by this sense of longing for that person? And then you grab your phone, and you text, tweet or message that person and tell them: I MISS YOU. This is usually followed by “see you real soon” or “let’s meet up!”

Or if it’s in the case of you can’t tell that someone that you miss them because (a) you parted in bad terms or (b) you just grew apart and you haven’t contacted that person in such a long time that it’s going to be real awkward when you tell them you miss them without any follow through, you just sit there, wade through your (dark) pool of memories and then pray that somehow you get over that longing, that feeling of terribly missing someone (and admit that possibly, these feelings aren’t reciprocated).

Maybe it isn’t just the words “I’m sorry” or “I love you” that we take for granted when we say them. Maybe those aren’t just the phrases that we don’t mean as much even if we hoped we do. Maybe those aren’t just the words that we say to fill up awkward silences or lapsed time that we regret we didn’t capitalize on. Maybe they aren’t just the phrases that we can classify as part of our biggest lies.

Maybe “I’M SORRY” and “I LOVE YOU” aren’t just the words that require action after you say them.

Maybe I MISS YOU is also in that league, and we just can’t admit it to ourselves.