Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Postcards Exchange


Have you heard of Postcrossing? It’s a site for exchanging post cards with members from all over the world. I think it’s a wonderful idea so I signed up for it! Smile

It’s a lot like BookCrossing too. I didn’t sign up to send or receive books though, because the cost of shipping out books to other countries tend to be more expensive than just buying new ones myself. Maybe I’ll change my mind someday, maybe not. It’s a good idea though. It would be nice to just have a local version.

Anyway…. Today was family day. Baby Amir is in the house, along with his parents. We all went out to lunch to celebrate my Mom’s birthday (her actual day was on Friday). The little angel is currently asleep on the couch, surrounded by pillows and flanked his grandparents (my Mom and Dad). He is so cute.

For some reason I had thoughts of our old dining table from when I was little. We had that table for maybe 16 or 17 years, maybe more. There was a time when my brother and I used it as a table tennis table. I am not making this up. Someone gave me a set – actually just a miniature. The paddles were way small or maybe they were just kiddie sized. We’d set up the net (it wasn’t even a screw-on type, you just stick it up on the surface but the suction thingy isn’t that strong so it’s prone to toppling over every time you hit the net), take our places, and hit away.

I don’t remember what age I was then, or for how long we did it. I don’t even know if it was something we did just once or repeatedly. But I have a memory of it. A fun memory of spending time with my brother who surely would have been in high school by then. Smile

Jose Antonio Vargas: Undocumented Immigrant

I read Jose Antonio Vargas’ NY Times piece on being an Undocumented US Immigrant the other day, and I’ve been thinking on and off about it. Yesterday, on the BlogHer newsletter, they included a link to a small compilation of bloggers’ reactions, and I’m sure it’s but a small sampling of the many different reactions.

This post is by no means a stand on US immigration laws, I don’t presume to have a say on that. I also am not judging Vargas nor his family who brought him to the States, and his support network through the years. This is just a simple reaction.

Had he stayed in the Philippines, maybe we would have been batch mates at the UP. Perhaps he’d be a well known journalist here too. But his elders decided for him when he was 12, decided that his fate was to live in the US. That he was to make his fortune there.

I empathize with him. It couldn’t have been easy, and I can’t even imagine the anxiety he has felt all these years having a secret identity. But what struck me most in his article was the absence of a show of love for the Philippines – for his heritage. I get it. His point is that he is American. He has lived, breathed, and has been thinking like an American. So maybe in some level he does love the Philippines, maybe he is proud that he is also Filipino by heritage. But he is American. He’s no Pinoy in the US. He is American.

What will happen to him? I’ve wondered about it so many times in the past two to three days. I hope he doesn’t get deported and that he has a really good lawyer. But even if he does get deported, it wouldn’t be so bad. The Philippines will welcome him like the long-lost son that he is. He would probably get a hero’s welcome.

But I think I understand where he’s coming from. I don’t see anything wrong with him seeking validation via a legal US passport. Like he said, he has earned it. But he must (or at least someone should), I think, also pay for all the falsified documents he has used and produced all these years. When he was a minor and was fed all those illegal documents, he had immunity. But when he came of age – that was all him. I understand that he did it in order to survive. He is no petty criminal and he had all good intentions. But the same systems and relations that allow undocumented immigrants is likely to be the same ones that make our children and young people prone to trafficking. He himself was smuggled into the US. Good for him that the purpose wasn’t to exploit him but others who avail of the services of the same person who escorted him to the US may not have had the same purpose in mind. That year that he was brought into the US, how many other children were flown in the same way?

So in the end, I do hope that his campaign is a success. I hope there becomes a way to legalize the status of illegal immigrant children. After all, they are already there, through no fault of their own. But I hope too, that his story shows both the US and the Philippine governments that they need to tighten up. There may be many more stories like Jose’s, but also many un-like his. Other stories may not be that of success and good fortune – but the opposite.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


On days like today, with the rain falling heavily outside, the clime quite cool, it would be nice to curl up on the sofa to either channel surf or flip pages of a good book or a magazine. But because it’s the digital age, we can now add surfing through our iPads or netbooks to that list of to-do stuff Smile

One of those websites that I go through at leisure is Kickstarter. It is not just another blog or website. It’s a service, and as they define themselves: “Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects.”

One of those projects is this, and I’m thinking of supporting it:


I think it would be cool to have Air Guitar for my iPhone!

There are many other interesting and creative projects there. It amazes me how many people come up with brilliant ideas and I don’t have a single one, hahaha. No really, it amazes me how much potential is out there. Kudos to Kickstarter for being a venue for people to seek out backers to make their dreams come true.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Yes! Magazine


I don’t remember when I bought this issue, but it must have 2-3 months ago. This was the first issue of Yes! I’d ever bought, and it was a back issue from October 2010.

Their features are well written and can really get one hooked. I particularly enjoyed reading about Derek and Angelica’s South African trip, Tuesday Vargas’ wedding, and the feature on Che Che Lazaro.

Iza Calzado’s home was also featured. Her design theme is Modern Pinoy and that doesn’t mean it’s all gone native. Nice lovely home. She has this corner with a writing table that doubles as a console for her trophies and awards, paired with a nice animal-print covered chair, and an idea board on the wall. I like her wall of photos in the hallway leading to the entrance. They showed a photo of her in her fat days. I’ve heard that she used to be big as a young girl, but was surprised that she peaked at over 200 pounds while in highschool! I didn’t hit 150 until after high school. How come I couldn’t lose all that weight and ended up over 2oo now? Why couldn’t I do an Iza Calzado and shed the unwanted weight in a year?

No, those aren’t serious questions. Smile 

Though I don’t really read showbiz magazines, I’d say Yes! has become somewhat of a guilty pleasure. I bought the May 2011 ish too Smile

*Photo of the cover lifted from NugglePurl.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Farm Girl Blogger Giveaway

Zoan is a blogger I became friends with after she joined my giveaway in 2009. And because I already think of her as a friend, here I am supporting her blog giveaway at Farm Girl Blogger!Smile


She’s giving away Ecobags + $5! I love canvas bags and ecobags in general, I can’t get enough of them.

She’s made it so easy to join in too, checkout the details (very short, I must say) at her blog post here.

Go go go!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting for Weekend

The boyfriend is going away on a weekend trip beginning tomorrow. His friends from work arranged an all-expense-paid trip to Bantayan Island, Cebu. It’s their birthday gift for him.

Lucky him!

I, on the other hand, have two more shifts before I call it a weekend. Two consecutive days off after two long weeks of split offs and going to work on my rest day. I am sooo looking forward to it. But what will I do this weekend?

I’m not sure yet, but I have a feeling that after this week, I’ll be back in fighting form. Maybe this feeling tired and moody (or is it broody?) is just hormonal. Perhaps PCOS-related. And because of that thought, I tried reading up a bit on this syndrome that I’ve got. I was trying to look for this gel or patch that a woman can stick to her skin and it sorta tames the hormones, or promotes balance. Was it testosterone gel? I saw an ad for one somewhere and I immediately thought of getting it if it was something that would help my PCOS. Good thing I wasn’t the impulsive buyer that I usually am.

High testosterone levels is what can actually happen with women who have PCOS, like me. It leads to acne, oily skin, hair loss (my current major issue!) and, wait for it, mood changes!

So I should stay away from those gels, or patches. It’s the opposite of what I need.

Hmmm. Maybe I should try the Juju Cleanse this weekend… I wonder how much that costs…

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bloggers Without Borders

In times like this, I feel like wishing I never got into customer service jobs, but instead found my way as a professional blogger with multiple streams of income. But I feel like it’s bad luck to think that way. This job is what funds my whims. Without this job, I’d be missing out on a lot of comforts. So I embrace it.

Here’s one reason why I prefer to blog though: because blogs are also a source of inspiration, and some blogs (or bloggers) show us more humanity.

Donate to Bloggers without Borders!

Should you want to know more about this project, checkout this BWoB update.

While you’re at it, click the Donate button will you? Smile

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Boy Who Could Fly

Things that seem to characterize my rest days of late include these two:

> Sleeping

> Watching movies on cable

I’m way past the point of complaining about not being able to do anything exciting, or something substantial, when I’m off work. Now I just appreciate that days as they come. And there’s no problem there.

One of the films I saw over my weekend (my offs this week are actually workdays for most: Monday and Tuesday), is one from the 80s. I don’t ever remember seeing this is a kid, nor do I recall seeing it on TV or on VHS/Betamax. So though this is an old film, it was completely new to me.


The film starts with teenaged Milly, her little brother Louis, and their Mom, moving in to their new home in the suburbs. She picks her room, opens her window, and says Hi to the neighbor, who doesn’t seem to notice her.

As Milly and her small family get acquainted with their new home, school, and work, she also gets to know more about the strange boy living across her window.

Eric Gibb is autistic. He thinks he can fly. He has lived with his uncle since he lost his parents to a plane crash when he was 5. He’s under constant threat of institutionalization because of his condition, and also because his alcoholic uncle is unfit to care for him. Uncle Hugo also believes that Eric can fly – that’s probably why he keeps on drinking.  Only his English teacher fights to keep him in a normal home and in a normal school. Milly is soon recruited into this effort, when the teacher notices how Eric started mimicking the girl’s every move.

Fred Savage is in this movie, a very young Fred Savage. He keeps getting sent home with notes from the teacher about the toys he brings to school. He convinces his sister to sign for Mom so she never finds out. Eventually though, she does. He has moments when, in an effort to affront the bullies who won’t let him ride his ATV-looking bike around the block, his plan fails and the bullies tear his ride apart, throwing ATV parts over the hedge and all over their front lawn. His dog Max, who was supposed to attack the bullies’ Doberman was cowering across the street, hiding behind the bushes. In anger, Louis calls to Max and demands him to come over, RIGHT NOW. The dog hesitates, then obeys. But there was an oncoming car that hits him. While Max was recuperating at the vet’s, Louis shows tender moments. How he truly misses his dad and thinks that dad gave up and didn’t fight the Cancer. And how Max will die and leave too.

But he gets moment of triumph when he maps out another plan, and finally succeeds in going around the block, armed with a piss-filled-water-gun, and the help of the still-recovering Max. Smile

Meanwhile, Milly almost gives up on teaching Eric. She is encouraged though when she sees him smile on his own, not just because he copies her. And that’s when things really start to go better. Milly finds herself even falling for the quiet boy.

So does Eric really fly? It is fully revealed in the film of course. Smile

Maybe this trailer will clue you in?


Here’s another review of the film that I enjoyed reading, including the comments. Smile

Yay for films from the 80s! Cheers to young love! And hurray for families coping with loss and change!