Book Drive

While on my trip in the Philippines, I visited a school where my cousin worked just to see what it was like. Comparing to the schools here in Australia, I could actually see a lot of differences.

Class sizes was one of the first thing I’ve noticed. There would’ve been about 40 or so children crammed in a small classroom space. There was not enough room to move around. It was also interesting that because of the large number of students in the school, students were only there from 7 in the morning until about lunch time. Then a second lot of students would start their school day from 12:30 until about 4 or 5 (I’m not 100% sure that this is accurate, but I know there are two school sessions).

Upon visiting the school library, I’ve noticed that the books were very old. At a glance, they looked like they were mostly curriculum books. Really old curriculum books. They were behind glass and looked as though they are rarely touched.

As soon as I returned to Australia, the first thing I did was go straight to a friend who worked as a school librarian and asked her if she could help me with a possible book drive. We were to collect old books that were still in good condition and donate them to the school I visited. I started purchasing some books as well, ready to be donated. It started off well, but kinda died down towards the middle of the year.

I’ve kept the books and resources that we collected, ready to be sent when the opportunity came up. I was meant to fly back to the Philippines at the bed of this year and deliver them in person. I may collect some more and try again next year.

New Year’s Eve Preparation

Now that Christmas is over, it’s time for me to think about what to do for New Year’s Eve.

Normally, I’m out of the country for New Years. A few times I was in the US celebrating it with my friends there..

Last year, I was in the Philippines visiting my relatives. I had prepared a meal for them as a way of reconnecting with them. It had been a very long time since I left. I was just a child when my family and I flew to Australia because my dad was transferred here for work.


From left to right (from the top) . Sirloin steak, Pancit lug lug, Shepherd’s Pie, Lamb Kebabs, Rockmelon (cantaloupe) wrapped with prosciutto, Paella, Fruit platter (Pavlova didn’t turn out right), Creme Caramel, Cesar Salad.

Getting the ingredients from supermarkets in the Philippines was a task in itself. I probably went to quite a few specialty stores in order to find a nice sirloin or even prosciutto..

It was fun making this meal for my cousins and from what I remember, they enjoyed loved it.

This year I’ve decided not to fly anywhere and celebrate it with my friends here. All I know at the moment is that my friends and I will be partying in town until midnight. At first I wasn’t keen on going to the city or to Glenelg beach because it would take forever to go home afterwards. I was talking to one of my friends and she was still keen on partying in town. Actually she just wanted to do something for New Years.

After thinking about it, I decided to book an accommodation in town so I didn’t have to worry about getting home. Sorted!!

The next thing to think about was where in the city my friends and I should celebrate. There are a lot of places that will be doing their thing in the city. Just need to sift through and find the one that will be right for everyone.

One other thing that entered my mind was the “countdown kiss”. I never used to do it, though if the moment came up with the person I liked I’d probably do it. To me it would probably mean a lot more if this was the moment where we take our first kiss.

In the past the one I was with was very much not into this so I got used to not expecting it at the stroke of midnight. I’m in a different situation now so anything can happen!! That is assuming I find someone who shares my feelings mutually by then. If it does not happen, then I’m still with my friends partying until the New Year.

The True Meaning of Christmas?

This will most likely come across as a rant rather than a blog.

Yes I know that Christmas is a time for giving, to be kind to one another, etc.

But what if the person has been rude to you for the past year and a half?

I actually don’t know why it is the way it is, but my older brother has started acting rude towards myself and my younger brother. Before that he was fine and would joke around. But that stopped for some reason and I don’t know why.

I was never rude to my brothers and sisters. Sure we’d have sibling rivalry from time to time, but the fights never last long and we would end up being friends again. But this was different.. My older brother first started acting rude towards my younger brother. He’d do small things that would agitate my younger brother. Then all of the sudden he was doing it to me. I tried to confront him and ask, but he just ignores me and continues on his business.

So from those little things, it started escalating to the point where he clearly has no respect for me (and my younger brother). I try to “take the high road” and make it look like it doesn’t faze me. Rather than realizing that it doesn’t bother me, he decides to continue doing it.

Which brings us to today: Christmas Day..

He invited his girlfriend to the family dinner. I didn’t want to be in the same room as him. I know for a fact that he’ll put on a show in front of his girlfriend in front of my parents. My parents know what he’s like with me. So they understand why I’m not joining them for Christmas dinner. It’s a shame really because she does seem to be a nice person. But why would I be expected to be nice to someone who has been rude to me for the past year and a half? I don’t see any indication of him changing his ways.


Wouldn’t it be nice if I actually maintained this blog?


A lot has happened since I last posted on here.. I thought I’d highlight those in this post.

I celebrated my birthday in style. I stayed in a 5-star hotel for my birthday weekend.


The room was amazing!! The bottom floor had all the living and dining spaces. The second floor was the bedroom. I had the place all to myself for that weekend (talk about spoiling myself).

I celebrated with friends for most of that weekend. One even flew all the way from Melbourne to celebrate my birthday, which was so nice of him to do!!

In November I attended a pop-culture expo called Supanova. My friend Phuong came with me. Actors from my favourite movie and tv shows came and did talks, posed for photos and signed autographs. On the Saturday event, I went in and dressed up as a character from the Kingdom Hearts franchise. I wonder if you can guess who it was from this photo:


Yes, that is Nelsan Ellis from the True Blood series. He was impressed when he saw my costume. He saw the “weapon” I was carrying and wanted to hold it. There were other actors there as well, who I had the pleasure of meeting. Can you guess who this is?


Overall, it was an amazing weekend and I’m looking forward to going again next year.

The weekend after, I flew to Brisbane to attend the annual YouTube Gathering. Last year it was held in Sydney and Melbourne. This year it was Brisbane’s turn. I caught up with my YouTube friends and met new ones. As always, I didn’t take much footage – or any at all.. I probably took about 12 photos that weekend.. It was great catching up with them as well.

There were also some not-so-good things happen during the year. The passing of my best friend’s dad was probably the saddest for me. I’ve known Tomaso since I was in high school with his son, who is one of my best friends. He passed away due to cancer and is now in a better place.

Not many know about this, but this was partly the reason why I ended up participating in Blue September. It was to help raise money for cancer research in men.

That is why I still have the blue fringe:


The other thing that I wanted to mention is that my work contract ends this year. Work had decided not to renew my contract at this point because the person who I took over from is returning from maternity leave. You’d think that I would be sad or annoyed by this, but in all honesty I wasn’t. I was grateful to be able to work there for two years. In those two years, I had made quite an impact and have learned quite a lot. I am on holidays at the moment and I’m sure something will come up for me in 2013.

Personal life is still the same.. I am still unattached, which in a way is good because I could focus on work, family and friends. That’s not to say that I couldn’t do that while I’m with someone.. I just haven’t found the right one. I did try by having a nice arrangement of flowers sent for brighten up their day, but nothing became of that. I’ll just continue focusing on myself and I’m sure it will happen.

That’s basically it in a nutshell. I’m glad the world didn’t end, like the Mayans thought it would.. I won’t have to fight off any zombies.


On that note, thank you so much for reading this far. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas (or whatever it is that you and your family are celebrating) and all the best in 2013.