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  • Kitchen floor dinner. In clarendon. Hahahahaha.
  • Since today is Valentine's Day, I am flaunting my book hoard in Makban. This is love like no other. Hahaha.
  • Read harder challenge #5: read a collection of essays | David Sedaris, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

David Sedaris is the best toilet companion. Years ago, this distinction was accorded to Jessica Zafra whose Twisted books made many otherwise mundane mornings at the loo way above average.

When I say this about David Sedaris, I mean this as a compliment. Sincerely. 
I always keep a bag at the toilet, it sags with reading materials that include Archie comics, Penthouse letters to editors, poetry collections, magazines. For a book to earn its place in my toilet, it must have entries that can be read in a space of more or less 10 minutes, just about the right length of time to properly empty my bowels. And ever since Me Talk Pretty One Day, I am in awe of Mr. Sedaris humour and acerbic wit. 
Diabetes is book 5/25 in this year's read harder challenge under the category 'read a collection of essays.' Diabetes is not exactly hard material. But the read harder challenge is not really about reading hard books; rather it is diversifying the genres and subjects I read to expand my outlook and experience. I am justifying because I know that I should be reading more helpful essays like those about halting climate change or those that offer tips on becoming a productive human being. But it's David Sedaris. It is nutritional supplement in book form. LOL

#readharder #readharderchallenge #readharder2017 #aboitizbookrioter
  • Miss U fanatics forever. Hahahaha!

#missuniverse #confidentlybeautiful
  • Watched Ms. Universe 2016 live! Childhood dream fulfilled. 
#missuniverse #confidentlybeautiful
  • January 2017 is almost over and my carefully deliberated goals for the rest of the year are cast in stone. Charoot. Hahaha.

Because the planner instructs to snap a photo and post with these hashtags: #StarbucksPlanner #StarbucksPlannerPH
  • Read harder challenge #4: Read a book you've read before.

When I was a student, weekends and school breaks would be spent in my Mother's little sidewalk carinderia. I don't want to be sentimental about it but that eatery kept our family afloat. Well, it also cultivated my love for food and dining though to this day, I still don't know how to cook. Ha!

Lunch and evening were toxic but the hours thereafter, especially from 2 to 5 o'clock, were voids that I filled with reading. Back then, I would be envious of my classmates' grand vacation activities. In retrospect, I wouldn't want it any other way. Those years introduced me to literature, which continues to enrich my life.

In one of those afternoons, perhaps some 20 years ago, I read Amy Tan's first novel, The Joy Luck Club. The novel was pivotal in my reading life. It ushered my growth to more serious literature. I must admit that I also passed through the Danielle Steel, Sidney Sheldon, John Grisham phases. After The Joy Luck Club, I started reading Alice Walker, Anne Tyler, Harper Lee. 
I also became somehow discriminating in the books I read. It is no longer enough for me to be suspended in cliffhanging suspense or to be drowned in too much drama. I read fiction to meet characters shaped by their experiences, cultures, and histories. I root for characters who are not victims of their circumstances but emerge as masters of their lives.

I've wanted to re-read The Joy Luck Club, but I was looking for an original cover hardcover edition which I finally found last year. This year, I am also on a mission to complete 25 reading challenges and one of the tasks is to read a book I've read before. The Joy Luck Club remains as wondrous as when the first time I've read and cherished it. The simplicity of Amy Tan's language perhaps is one of the attributes of the novel that made it easy for me to transition from the plot-driven novels I devour back then. 
In writing about the struggles of immigrant Chinese women with their occidental daughters, The Joy Luck Club truthfully expounds on love and forgiveness as unbreakable elements of the often turbulent relationship between parents and children. 
#readharderchallenge
  • Re-reading an Amy Tan novel on a quiet Sunday morning is being a college kid on summer break again. ;)
  • All you need really is a dependable pair of walking shoes. And yeah, sunscreen if you feel like covering kilometers on foot when the sun is burning starting past 1 in the afternoon. LOL.

Next goal would be to cover that stretch from Seaoil to Bitin to Los Baños. Leah yeah? LOL
  • Today is the exact date two years ago when I joined AboitizPower. To celebrate, Leah (a best friend who was stage mother when I had my interview, took my exam, and moved to my home here in Batangas) and I are now exploring the Makiling-Banahaw geothermal communities on foot. 9 kilometers so far and getting stronger. Beautiful weekend, world! ;)

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