Saturday, March 29, 2008

Linky Linky

Here is some juicy news that I learned from Jennifer Hubert of Reading Rants, a great blog about young adult fiction:

Remember Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield? Remember how Elizabeth was the "good" twin and Jessica was the "bad" twin? Remember Elizabeth's best friend Enid and Jessica's best friend Lila? Remember Elizabeth's long-time boyfriend Todd and Jessica's many boyfriends? Remember their friend Bruce? No? Well if you don't remember, that's okay, because the Sweet Valley High series created by Francine Pascal has been rereleased! As a girl I read and loved these stories about sister relationships, friendships, high school life, young love, and family life. I also enjoyed all of the spinoffs and the TV series! Sweet Valley High was the "Gossip Girl series" of the 80s and early 90s. They have now been updated - for example, the methods of communication and the fashion in the books have been updated and there are new, photographic covers - for today's girls. ;)

Remember getting freaked out by R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series? I only read a few of the books, but as a boy JP was nuts about these scary stories. The Goosebumps series has been revamped and reissued as the Goosebumps Horrorland series for the purpose of spooking a new generation of young readers!

And from the New York Times, here are interesting bookish bits about literary tastes making or breaking romantic relationships:

It's Not You, It's Your Books

Literary Dealbreakers

During My Blacation...

For those of you wondering about the Shakespeare exam I had to study for, here are some of the questions from the exam. It was a truly challenging exam, and I enjoyed it! :)

Describe or sketch the Elizabethan theater.

Write a synopsis, with commentary, of Hamlet Act V Scene 1.

Paraphrase the prologue to Romeo and Juliet.

Give four reasons why Romeo and Juliet could have been a romantic comedy.

Discuss Aristotle's definition of tragedy.

Who said this line, and in what play? What does the line mean and what is its context?
"Be not deceived. If I have veiled my look,
I turn the trouble of my countenance
Merely upon myself."

Who said this line, and in what play? What does the line mean and what is its context?
"He words me girls, he words me."

And I can't help but share a couple more pictures from my time with family and friends:

Back From Blacation

I'm officially back from my blacation. Did you all miss me? :P While I was away from the blogosphere, I was reconnecting with family and building connections with new friends. We ate a lot, talked a lot, went shopping, played arcade games, pampered ourselves, and even went out dancing. :) Here are some snapshots of that time with my brothers; my cousins James, Clair, Albert, and Benny; my nephew Bobbie; and our friends Geleen, Nikko, and John!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!

I just got back from a great study break! I settled down in a nice theater with my good friend April, popcorn, soda, and candy to watch Horton Hears a Who! It's different, beautiful, laugh-out-loud funny, and filled with charming and wonderfully weird characters. And there were subtle messages about imagination and doing what is right even when doing what is right is unpopular. The movie was really entertaining! I love Dr. Seuss.

After the movie, I demonstrated remarkable restraint by visiting the bookstore and not buying anything. I'm telling you, it was truly an exercise in self-control/discipline. I was dying to buy Boy Toy by Barry Lyga (the latest Cybils winner for best young adult novel) and Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande. I should first read at least a couple of the books waiting for me at home - hahaha!

Ok, time to get back to studying...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Candyfloss by Jacqueline Wilson

With cute illustrations by Nick Sharratt!

Flora Barnes (a very likeable preteen nicknamed "Floss" because her fluffy blonde curls are like candyfloss/cotton candy) has two homes - the best of two worlds, really. During the school week she lives with her mum, stepfather Steve, and half brother Tiger. Floss is very close to her very dependable mum. Floss is also very close to her fun and very loving dad. She spends every weekend with him at his cafe. When her mum and stepfather decide to move to Australia for six months, Floss decides to stay in England with her dad. She can't stand the thought of not seeing him for six months, and her dad needs her. Mum has Steve and Tiger. Dad only has her and his failing cafe. Floss soon discovers that living with her dad isn't easy. They face one disaster after another: awkward home life, bankruptcy, eviction, homelessness, and physical danger!

Floss is also having problems with her best friend Rhiannon. Rhiannon is the most popular girl in school. She is also the meanest and is increasingly disloyal to Floss. Floss wants to stay best friends with Rhiannon and be friends with the new girl Susan, but Susan always gets picked on by Rhiannon for being nerdy.

Candyfloss is a fun read (though sometimes I found it a slow read) about growing up. It also has plenty of depth from its exploration of family and friendship. This novel made me truly feel Floss' relationships with her family and friends. Jacqueline Wilson (the 2005-2007 British Children's Laureate) subtly led me right into the heart of a girl who loves her parents very much and wishes they hadn't gotten divorced.

Reading Candyfloss brought back the girl that I was and brought out the girl still inside me. I remembered the days when figuratively and literally my worst nightmare was being separated from my mommy. I still tear up at the thought of losing her. And I remembered the days when I thought my daddy was perfect. I was his princess, and I will always be "Daddy's little girl." Candyfloss reminded me of the value of my relationship with my parents and the value of my relationships with girl friends.

Another great thing about the book: I enjoyed learning a bit of British English! Traditionally, when a British book is published in the U.S., the vocabulary is changed. The American edition of Candyfloss (which is what I have) kept all the British vocabulary and even includes a little "British English guide" - Floss' Gloss!

Click here to read the book review that made me march right out to buy Candyfloss. If you're a girl, or "still a girl at heart," you should read Candyfloss too. :oP

Now I will really go on my blacation. ;o)

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Hahaha. I know I'm supposed to be on blacation, but I just had to share these pictures of Santi. Santi (short for Santiago) is my friend/former co-worker Melissa's son. He is so CUTE! My heart belongs to Santi. :o)

These pictures of me, Santi, CY, and our friend/co-worker Carlo were taken last Wednesday in the office.


Hi, there! I've been on an unintended vacation from my blog ("blacation") for some time now. I miss blogging and visiting other blogs! But I've been busy. My dad was in town, visiting from the U.S. I only get to see him once a year. My mom was in town too, visiting from General Santos City. It was her birthday on March 5! Then my cousins Clair (aka Clair Bear) and James (aka Ejam) came in from the U.S.

I miss the blogosphere, but my blacation will continue, now on purpose. ;) I have a paper on Macbeth to pass next week - I will examine how the witches caused Macbeth's downfall. It's my brother's birthday on the 23rd. And I have a KILLER Shakespeare exam (after Holy Week) to study for.

How are all of you? :o)