If you have a son, would you want this for him?

If you commute, there is always a possibility that you hear funny conversations between passengers. Most of the time, I hear the annoying ones. But this tops everything I've heard from before.

There were 2 friends (I think they are moms because they are talking about their children) talking about the suicide jump at one of the malls in the city. Yadda, yadda, yadda....and then their conversation turned to this.

Mom 1: Unsa man pud gud tung lakiha to nga seryoso man kaayo, tinud-anay man mag uyab uyab. (I don't know how to interpret her statement but from what I understand, "That guy should have not taken their young relationship seriously...")

Mom 2: Mao jud. Naguol lagi ko sa akong lalake na bata oi. Kay seryosohon, hilomon ba. Tipong one man, woman magmahal. Unta mu-testing pud unta siya ug fling fling. Kay lisod kaayo ning mga seryoso sa isa ka babae, dili makakaya ug sakit. (I agree. That is why I am worried about my son. He is so serious and quiet. He is the type to be a one-man woman, a man who will only stick to one girl. I hoped he would give flings or other girls a try. It is very difficult for a guy to be smitten and be serious with a single girl, he might not be able to handle it when they break up.)

I got upset with what I heard because when I was single and I am sure ALL single woman out there is praying that God will bless them with a faithful and honest man and here is a woman hoping her son would try "casual flings", so as not to be a weakling when it comes to dealing with emotions. I find it so absurd that I wanted to butt in their conversation and lecture them. Of course I didn't. I just took out my headphones and turned my music loud to tune them out.

Maybe being a mom to a daughter is a whole a lot different of ballgame when you are a mother to a son. But this is just me thinking. I always told myself that I will never judge another mother, no matter what choice they made for their children, but I could not help but say something over this. I am greatly bothered.

Oh well. I can only hope that the mother said those out of ... what? I don't know the story that made her say those things. I am just hoping that realizes that she should have not said those words. Ever.

Or have I thought of this all wrong? What do you think, moms of boys?

So-so Read: Endless Night

Photo from HERE.
Title: Endless Night
Author: Agatha Christie
No. of Pages: 215

Perhaps there was something more sinister behind the old gypsy's warning...

Michael Rogers dreamed of a rich, beautiful wife and a perfectly designed house. He found the girl and they built the house - but the site was at Gypsy's Acre, a place with a curse where sudden death had already struck more than once...and was about to strike again.

Maybe I've been reading too many Christie's (45 out of her 84 published works, to be exact) that after reading the few pages - SORRY FOR THE SPOILER - the narrator is the culprit. And because of that, I could not enjoy the book anymore because I knew, and I was sure. Or maybe it was how Christie wanted this story to go, although I have to say this book would be embarrased to be beside The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (which was also written in first hand narration style). I felt that everything was spot-on for the protagonist-antagonist Michael Rogers.

But no matter what, I still love Christie and I would still read the remaining works I have not read from her.

Missus Rates It: 3/5
Currently Reading: Shosha by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Read: Dancing on the Edge

Photo: goodreads.com
Title: Dancing on the Edge
Author: Han Nolan
No. of Pages: 244

Miracle McCloy feels so insignificant that she sometimes doubts her own existence. Her mama died before Miracle ever had a to know her. Her father, a distant, brooding novelist, disappears without a trace. And her psychic grandmother, Gigi, is too preoccupied with the search for knowledge of the beyond to pay much attention to her. Dancing is the only thing that makes Miracle feel whole. But when Gigi forbids her to dance, Miracle does something shocking and desperate just to prove she is a real person.

Committed to the psychiatric ward of a hospital, Miracle is forced to face the disturbing reality of her life. Can this troubled young woman emerge from the shadows that surround her and at last find light?

Before I proceed.........I know, I know, my posts lately are about books. Even I am thinking I might be slowly turning this personal blog into a book blog, hahaha. But I'm not. But kidding aside, reading has relaxed me from everything. I actually have a lot of stories but they just have to wait because right now, I want to just read books and think about books. So please hang in there, friends. If you want, you can borrow my books.

Going back to the book......

Reading the first part of the book made me doubt whether I was reading the book right or whether I truly understood whatever it was I was reading. But I think there lies the brilliance of this book: reading the struggle of Miracle between real and unreal will pull you on the mystery of her family. I SIMPLY CANNOT PUT THE BOOK DOWN NO MATTER HOW CONFUSED I THOUGHT I AM OR WILL BE.

The second part now gives you a clear picture of the mystery of the struggle and I was awed of the complexity of the struggle, yet on how simple it should have been.

Now, if my opinion is still unconvinving, well, this book is well recognized receiving the following awards: 1997 National Book Award, American Library Association (ALA) Best Book for Young Adults, A BOOKLIST Editor's Choice, A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. If that's not enough to get you interested, I don't know what.

Missus Rates It: 5/5

Currently Reading: I am now at the last few chapter of Endless Night by Agatha Christie and once I finish with it, I plan to read Shosha of Isaac Bashevis Singer, which I found out is a winner of Nobel Prize for Literature. Right now, I will take a pause in my bookshop buying because I found that our University library has the books that I've been looking for! Woo hoo!!!

New Books for February

She was my college instructor in Philippine Literature, which happens to be my favorite subject much to the disbelief of some of my classmates people. Hey, nothing beats reading stories and books for homework. She is also our wedding Ninang. And now, Mam Pam is like S's fairy godmother of books. S's first set of books were from her.

I sort of promised to blog about the Mindanao book exhibit which I totally forgot because of tight schedule but Mam Pam was still kind enough to get me some books from the exhibit :) I am not sure if this a review or a critic because I am not a children's book expert but rather this is my two cents about the books, based on the content and of course, S's response during our read aloud time OR S picks them as her choice for read aloud. Yes, S now chooses the books she wants to be read to her.

Kakanin, Kailan ka kakainin? (Rice Cakes, When will You be Eaten?)

This book tells the story of how children nowadays have forgotten how delicious our native delicacies like puto, kutsinta, suman, etc. This story is written in both Filipino and English. S was not so keen about it during our read-aloud but she likes the pictures of the faces of the rice cakes because she identified happy to a happy looking puto. This is probably a good read aloud to a grade-schooler, particularly if talking about Philippine culture.

The Hairy Fruit (Rambutan: Ang Mabalahibong Prutas)

An alamat (legend) on the origin of one of Mindanao's popular fruit, rambutan. The book is written in English and Filipino. Again, S is not also receptive to the book. However, I might try to read this again to her as she is fond of eating rambutan.


Noong Unang Panahon (A Long Time Ago...or is it, Once Upon a Time?)

This book is written in Filipino and I have to say, I cannot read this properly not because it is in Filipino but because S does not sit still after the 1st page. I think because she is not used to the language OR I read slow because I am not used to speaking in Filipino. Something must be done about this.

Ang Mabahong Prutas (The Smelly Fruit)

Personally, I was bothered by the negative undertone of the title and the cover photo. I mean, if we want our kids to like "durian", I do not think it would help if we bring the attention immediately to the smell, which is the first thing that is noticed. But content wise, I find the story okay, although again, I have a problem with the Filipino words. So far, S has not touched this book, even though I try to suggest to read it to her. Sorry.

Maylan and His Toy Top
By far, this is my and S's favorite. The story of this book is based on a Mandaya tale. At first, I was worried about the scary illustrations (see below) about the mythical creatures but S seems not to mind them. In fact, S learned how to say sorry through this book. S also prefers to skim this book. By far, this is the most read book in this bunch.

Other books we got for S during one of our book shop me-time were:

I Want To Be by Tony Ross

After learning to use the potty, the little princess now wants to grow up. I love this book because it is easy to read and funny. And I can easily draw the characters, hahaha. That is a plus, believe me.

My Father the Dog

This book is about  how the author finds the endearing traits in their dog, in his Dad.
I Wish I were a Pilot

This is more of a picture book about different kinds of transportation. S loved it at first glance but ignored it after two days.

So there, I hope to do this book finds monthly and I will probably include our books. For more of our book finds, you can check The Missus Reads.

Watch: The Croods

I think some people are busy watching the movies that were recognized in the recently concluded Academy Awards, and I think this because I am one of them (I've watched Captain Phillips but I cannot seem to handle 12 Years a Slave as it is sad heart-wrenching but I will blog my thoughts after I watched them), but I am here to blog about the entries in the Best Animated Feature. Well, times have changed as what this meme has said...
I got this meme from my friend's FB page but I have no idea who she got this from.
S's movie time is rare, like twice a week, 3 hours at most because after that, she seems to throw a light tantrum. So far, she has only watched Ponyo and Frozen. If I had my way, S would have not seen Frozen at her age (21 months) but oh, the songs are really adorable that I want S to learn them. Hehehe. But I am always beside her during her movie time. I sort-of take PG seriously.

For the 86th Academy Awards, there were 5 animated films nominees: Frozen (Winner), The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest and Celestine and The Wind Rises.

I've seen Despicable Me 2 but it's not yet appropriate for S's age.

Ernest and Celestine is a French-Belgian film and based on the trailer, I love the simplicity of the story and the animation.
The Wind Rises is a Hayao Miyazaki film and although I am a huge fan of his works (Ponyo, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle), I find the storyline of this work not for S at this moment.

The Croods however is a must watch. I was hoping this would win the Oscar yet it didn't (don't get me wrong, I like Frozen) but as I've said, all families should watch this movie, particularly Dads and their teenage daughters. I find the story relatable because one way or another, I was like that curious and rebellious daughter Eep with a Dad who seems so outdated with his ideas. But there are things that never change: a dad and daughter's love for each other. However, S will not be watching this movie until she is 4. It is not for toddler minds yet. But if you have older children, please do check this movie. You can check the trailer:
 Happy watching! Drop a comment and share what part of The Croods you like best.

Not so good read: Family Secrets

Title: Family Secrets
Author: Judith Henry Wall
No. of Pages: 297

Sypnosis: After their father's death, sisters Vanessa, Ellie and Georgiana are stunned to learn a well-kept family secret. A yellowed letter tucked away in a family Bible reveals that the woman who gave birth to their late father had not died when he was born, as they had always believed. Their paternal grandmother gave up her son shortly after his birth, leaving this note with instructions to never reveal her name or background to him. The letter is signed, simply, Hattie.

The sisters are each at a turning point - Vanessa is feeling stifled in a stale marriage and career; Ellie is perpetually single but desperately wants marriage and motherhood; and baby sister Georgiana is a successful model but longs to do something more serious with her life. Seizing upon the idea of finding their long-lost grandmother, the women set out on a trip to Montana, where they hope not only to find their father's birth mother but also to rekindle their bonds of sisterhood and possibly even find their true selves.

But they have no idea of the consequences of their quest. If the sisters find Hattie and live to tell their story, everything has worked and dreamed for will be destroyed. Will she allow the sisters to uncover the family secret and escape alive?

The premise of this book is exciting: searching for a blood relative, particularly their grandmother, after years of believing her dead. Will it be a happy or a sad reunion? But after reading, I was flabbergasted. The promising eventually ended into a huge mess of loose ends.

(spoilers alert at this point...)

The story of the sister's search was dramatic. The story of Hattie's past (the long lost grandmother) was thrilling. Her attempt to silence her granddaughters was sinister. I told you, this book had promise. But what really disappointed me was that it ended abruptly, without even revealing anything spectacular. I felt the characters were just given the happy endings they deserve to mask the dreadful end of this book. The story was robbed off the ending it deserved.

I still gave it a rating of 2 because one, I have to give a little credit that I enjoyed a part of this book, two, I got a little nice quote from it that I will talk about in another post (but not related to the book) and three, I find the story of siblings a bit touching because I came to realize how meaningful siblings can be. But other than that, this book deserves a better ending.

If you have read this book and read this blog, please share in the comments on how would you want this book to end. In fact, I can lend you this book and let's discuss how we would end it our way.

Missus Rates It: 2/5
Currently Reading: Brida by Paulo Coelho I have to tell you, I cannot seem to get the drive to read that book so I decided to read Han Nolan's Dancing on the Edge instead. I got this book together with Family Secrets.

Read: The Noodle Maker

Title: The Noodle Maker
Author: Ma Jian
No. of Pages: 181

Sypnosis: Two men meet for dinner each week. Over the course of these drunken evenings, one man, a writer, recounts the stories he would write, had he the courage: a young man buys an old kiln and opens a private crematorium, delighting in his ability to harass the corpses of police officers and Party secretaries, while swooning to banned Western music; a heartbroken actress performs a public suicide by stepping into the jaws of a wild tiger, watched nonchalantly by her ex-lover. Extraordinary characters inspire him, their lives pulled and pummeled by fate and politics, as if they were balls of dough in the hands of an all-powerful noodle maker.

Initially, I was worried that my lack of background of China's open door policy to truly understand this book. However, if this book does have more than meaning beyond what I've read, then it's okay with me because I truly enjoyed the book at the value that I have hoped for.

I enjoyed the way that the book is disturbing and humorous at the same time. I enjoyed the contrast between the writer and the blood donor. It was the argument between the intelligent but barely living versus the beastly but rich. And most of all, I enjoyed the dark and may I just say it again, disturbing stories about the writer's characters: the story of the swooner (someone close to our culture-it would be the man who embalm the dead) that leaves my mind in a distressed state every time I remember it, the suicidal actress, the relationship of the editor husband and novelist wife, the writer and his letter writing business, the father who wants to abandon her retarded daughter, the woman obssesed with breasts and the most hilarious one is the relationship of the dog and the artist.

Despite the shock that I got from reading this book, it is still a worthwhile read. I am actually going to look for another of Ma's work, particularly The Dark Road.

Missus Rates It: 4/5
Currently Reading: Brida by Paulo Coelho I have to tell you, I cannot seem to get the drive to read that book so I decided to read Han Nolan's Dancing on the Edge instead. I got this book together with Family Secrets.

Beach Camping

Hello, hello. I want to think I am bit over my blogger's block but my busy-ness is not yet over with me. Haha. Anyway, I just want to share what my little family did over the weekend.

We went beach camping! :) This beach thing has become a sort-of tradition (we started 3 years ago), thanks to our very generous friend whom I believe would not want to be named, but I am so tempted. Hahaha. Anyway, we do this for him so that he will have beautiful memories to take with him when he goes away again, chos! But seriously, this has become a very nice yearly tradition with friends because we get to catch up and simply have fun, amidst the very busy and demanding lives that we all have.

Last year, we were not able to join them in the overnight plans because I thought S was too young (S was 10 months old then). But this year, I really wanted to go. The problem was, I was worried where we would be sleeping. Since we were going to the same place (I'll talk about our venue at the later part of this post), the room rates were really expensive for a one night stay. Sleeping in a tent was the only option. Oh-oh. S had never camped before and I was fretting about nonsense stuff like, "what if it gets too cold?", "what if it rains?" and "what if S will not sleep?". But my desire to join my friends was greater than my worries, hahaha. I told myself (with Y's encouragement) that S needs to try outdoor-sy activities like camping. I mean, Y and I were outdoor people of sorts when we were still dating, why not teach S at a young age? So I turned to the Internet and searched about camping with toddlers and boy, I felt so silly for worrying because I read about a baby as young as 6 months old was already camping like a pro.

To set my little girl's heart for the activity, we read about camping outdoors. Though the books we have are not exactly about camping, our books had photos of tents and people staying in it. Then we did a tent set-up for a week to let her understand what it actually feels like inside a tent. I particularly focused on the fact that we can sleep inside the tent. Hehe.
One of our practices in sleeping inside a tent. (laughs)
It was a very sunny and hot last Saturday, just perfect for our short getaway. Upon arrival, S wanted to swim right away. For this part, I will just let the photos do the talking. Thank God for the lovely weather. As I've said, it was scorching hot even at 5PM but I will not have it other way around.
It was her Daddy's duty in the afternoon as I was busy setting up our things. Rajz also played with S's toys claiming he never had the chance with sand toys like this. Hahaha.
We had to stop swimming at around 5:30Pm since it was getting dark and the air was getting a bit crisp (but still dry for my taste). S had dinner and slept at around 8PM and her normal sleeping time is 9:30PM. She must have been so tired from all the swimming she did. I have to say though, it was really warm inside the tent. And to think I brought a lot of warmer clothes, sheesh. The air got colder around dawn and I attempted to wrap S in a blanket and she was perspiring a lot so we had to ditch the blanket.
With S asleep, I can now catch up with friends. I wanted to stay up really late, actually until dawn like what my husband did, but I know I will really suffer the next morning since S will wake up early and I will not have the energy to be playful and fun. Haha. I slept an hour beyond my usual but it was so bitin.
When S woke up, she wanted to swim right away since she saw the sea upon looking out of the tent. I convinced her to eat breakfast first. We tried to dip in the water and homaygash, it was soooo freaking cold. Even S was shivering but she still kept saying, "swim, swim". I had to stall her by playing by the shore but I felt she was still cold (she was wearing a damp swimwear) so I had to change her clothes into a dry one and thankfully, she was game for a photo shoot (photos below), hahaha. Daddy at this time was still asleep since he was up until dawn. And finally, the temperature was a bit friendly to dip in the water but the sun was already high but it was better that way.
We had a bit difficulty of getting her out of the water but the tide was getting low and the sun was getting really hot and there were no more shade near the shore.
And as usual, thank you Ronald and Rugene for the picture perfect photos.
We had a superb time but I am thinking we will not be holding our annual thing in this place next year. Since I was not there the last time, I was not fully aware how exorbitant it actually was to stay there overnight. I find it ridiculous that my almost 2 year old toddler has to pay the adult overnight rate (Php220) and pay the adult fare in the ferry (Php15). I love the place because I've been there a lot and to be fair to them, I really like their ambiance but sadly, this trip has been too much on our pockets, especially on our friend. Tee hee hee. I am kind of regretting we didn't choose our second option but the thing is, we have no one to assure us that the particular area was great. Oh well. What matters is that, we had fun and S had her first outdoor camping experience.
Until next year then! And thank you Tito _ _ _ for this fun! And thank you Ninong Rowe for driving us all the way home and leaving crumbs in your car. (I just have to say it, hahaha.)

- FriendS -