KBA

December 31, 2013. 1:23 PM

His lips tasted like salt
Dry
Chappy
Like kissing sand paper

We slept, skin on skin
The stars watched on
And my eyes opened.
It was nothing special
But it was everything for me

If only he knew me

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BEST BOOKS I READ IN 2013

(Please understand that these were not necessarily published in 2013. I just only read them then.)

1. Life of Pi

This is a to-read for everyone. I know most of us must have already watched the movie, and it was pretty accurate, but like every other book that was turned into a movie, there were still some scenes missing. And although I understand that there are different audiences between the two, there’s still some importance in knowing how Pi watched the meerkats run to the trees, or the hope he felt when he talked with the blind man.

Life of Pi is essentially a fantasy novel that will keep you up for a week wondering which of his stories were true, and asking why that would be so.

2. Kite Runner

Some people hate this book, others love it. But one thing is for sure: it was a deeply affecting novel. The way the scenes are told, in the eyes of a young boy, will have your breath hitched, feeling as if you were there watching the scene yourself. I had to wonder though, if I was in his place, what would I have done?

3. Wonder

I just hope they would never make a movie of this book. Auggie is a young kid with facial deformity, and Wonder tells the story of how he survived 5th grade. Although all the descriptions are there, it’s great how the reader leaves it up to the reader to conceptualize his features. In a way, I think he represented all our insecurities and tells us that we can always get past those.

4. Annarasumanara

This isn’t really a book, I think, but hey. It was a great read. It’s like a comic strip, only weirder and more psychological. And did I mention awesome? The clipouts and colors draw you in, even the drawings are weird and confusing that you are pulled to keep on reading.

5. Peter Pan

Here is a book that tells you a story about childhood and growing up.

“Stars are beautiful, but they may not take part in anything, they must just look on forever.”

-J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Happy New Year everyone. 🙂

December 28

I’m packing while I write (well, type), so forgive me if my words seem choppy. But I’m flying to Canada tomorrow! Agh. It’s such a huge moment of my life that I just have to write it down.

K. So I know lots of people actually leave their homes when they turn 18, but again, I do have to emphasize the social and cultural differences, and in our country, leaving home at 18 is really rare. So is visiting other countries at such a young age (only the rich and elite get to do that), and I was (am going to be) able to do that!

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but yeah, I’ve been accepted to an Exchange Student Program. This will be a first in many ways for me:

1. First time to ride a plane

2. First time to go abroad

3. First time to see snow!

Speaking of snow, what are you guys’ suggestions for stuff to do during winter? 😀

It’s official!

It's official!

So I just got the awesomest news today. After weeks and weeks of wondering whether it would ever get approved, I got my Visa (TRV) for Canada today! But before that, details. I and four other students from my University, was/were (sorry) accepted to an Exchanged Program for the University of British Columbia. This was such a big opportunity for us, so when I finally got my visa, I was literally jumping with joy. This stamp on my passport meant to many things to me:

1. It meant that I wouldn’t have to spend my next four months just sitting around the house doing nothing (cos I didn’t enroll in our home school).
2. It meant that I would actually get to travel abroad, a dream I had since I found out what airplanes were for.
3. It meant that I needed to go buy jackets, pants, scarves, gloves, and bonnets.
4. It meant that I needed to plan a get-together with my friends cos I won’t be seeing them for a while.
5. It meant that I needed to go out and celebrate because I won’t have to undergo restless nights worrying about whether I’ll ever get to do the stuff mentioned above.
6. And most importantly, it meant looking for a solution for my next problem: air fare.

We got it on a scholarship, so we don’t have to pay for any tuition. We do have to spend on our own rent, allowance, and air fare though. Since the cost in BC is just about four times the cost in the Philippines, this was a big, big problem. Rent: relatives will take care of it. Allowance: still looking. Air fare: Still looking. I’m planning to visit all the government institutions that would be willing to give this little girl some help. 🙂

What can you guys advice? How do you think I could raise that money by 29 (our planned flight)?

And what tips can you give me about the cold, freezing world I’m about to face? 😀

Christmas [Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays Past]

Christmas [Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays Past]

T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house
All creatures were stirring, yes, even a mouse
The stockings were hung by the walls with care,
In hopes that ole Santa Claus soon would be there.

Okay. I suck at poem making, even just editing them. Sigh. But I do love Christmas! And I love the poem (the original one, of course). It just struck me how different Christmas is in America (which was where Mr. Moore lived), and in our country. Christmas is usually just the same each year, but there’s always that thrill in your bones, so I don’t have any particular memory to write about.

Anyway, the first two lines of the poem already outlines the first difference. In the Philippines (or in our household, at least), most people stay up til 12am of the 25th, much like how everyone in the world stays up in New Year’s Eve. And that’s when we all open our gifts, with an appointed “Santa” calling out our names one by one. The next difference is in the third line, and is a bit, well, literal. We don’t have chimneys. Some houses do, most don’t. Too hot. Too expensive. And then finally, people in our country rarely call him St. Nicholas, so I thought it would also be appropriate to edit that out. Though it doesn’t make much of a difference. I could go on editing the whole poem, but there’s really no need to further mar something so beautiful.

It’s exactly 12 AM as I write. That’s eight days to Christmas. I. Can’t. Wait.

Inventions [Daily Prompt: Necessity is the Mother of Invention]

It’s a small black clamp, attached to the stem of small plants and bushes. From afar, it looks like a metallic device wrapped around the plants, but upon closer inspection, you will notice a bulb attached to its side. The bulb is see-through, and empty.

But it only looks empty. Because inside, the molecules are being compressed, stretched and rearranged into something else.

It has no name yet, but it assists the plants in its conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen. Aside from making the process faster, it also expands the limit of carbon dioxide that the plant can take it in a day.

There aren’t any for trees, yet though. But we’re working on it. 

Love, Vani [Daily Prompt: Fifteen Minutes]

Dear friend/world,

I have a nephew. His name is Nate. He’s turning two in two months. A curious kid, learning to talk, learning to pronounce my name. I say he looks most like me, but all of my other siblings (there are seven of us), argue the same. I know I win, though. We’ve got the same big eyes, the same bald head when we were born, the same toothy grin.

I wonder how the world will be when he turns ten.

Will he climb the same trees I climbed in, or eat the same wild berries I did? Will he be able to climb the rice terraces, feeling the constant burn of the sun and the rough feel of the soil in his feet? Will he dream of dragons and mermaids, or a wizard who saved the world?

I read about it in the news a few weeks ago. The Black Rhino, extinct.

I remember when I was a kid, reading about lions and rhinos and pandas and bears. I remember when I dreamed to see them in person. All I got to see in our country were stray dogs and cats, house birds, and the occasional hamster in the pet store. So you can imagine how the giant horns and towering trunks amazed me. I have yet to fulfil those dreams, and here’s the news telling me I should hurry up.

I would, except I don’t have the money to go abroad and see them yet. I’m about to finish college, though, and maybe someday, I can. I beg them though, I beg the lions, and rhinos, and pandas, and bears, please. Wait for me.

But more than that, wait for my nephew.

Wait for my children.

And my grandchildren.

And their children.

Because I don’t want them growing up speaking of these animals as if they were fantastic creatures that lived long ago. I want them to be able to see them. Maybe, touch them.

Speaking of fantastic creatures, though, I also read a few articles about that. Parents placing dinosaurs around their house, so when their children wake up, they’ll think the toys were alive. Just to awaken their children’s imaginations.

I’m not exactly sure who to blame for how it came to be this way, but I know there was a time when parents didn’t have to go to that extreme. I remember when children dreamed—because that’s what children do. I remember when I could be a princess, and my parents could be king and queen. That’s what I thought. That’s what I believed.

I knew nothing of sex, of gadgets or guns. And I had one heck of a childhood.

I’m not saying, though, that all of these are bad.

I’m just saying that these things can wait.

There’s no need to put it up on every television channel, or advertise it on every mall.

My fifteen minutes are almost up, and I have to stop writing soon. So…please guys, the children can wait.

Nate can wait.

For now, let him dream.

And someday, let him see.

 

Love,

Vani

 

Procrastination

I procrastinate. Ironic, really, considering the dozen dreams I have. 

Maybe it’s why nothing happens with the story drafts I have kept in my laptop, or why this blog remained un-updated for months. It’s a sickness, to which I haven’t found a cure to yet. I try, though. But there’s a pulling force from just sitting down and staring into space that seems so ideal to me.  

I hope something changes soon. I hope I start moving. My dreams are running from me, and I haven’t even put my shoes on yet.

Or maybe I don’t need shoes.