Goosebumps From A Google Search

So, I looked up this particular place in Germany…

Just to bide time these past few days, I decided to rewatch the anime ‘Monster’ from the first episode up to the last. It may be my favorite anime, but I’ve forgotten a handful of details about it, including Ruhenheim.

I’m currently in the episode entitled Ruhenheim which is the name of a very important place for the story. A character held a postcard for Ruhenheim, so I got curious and decided to look it up in Google and came up with this tumblr post by user hellyeahurasawa explaining Ruhenheim’s position in the actual world map. Apparently, Ruhenheim is not a real place on earth. Instead, the place where Ruhenheim is supposed to be is actually a municipality called Oberstdorf. So I looked up this particular place in Germany in Google Images and was astounded at how it resembled Ruhenheim! I was so shookt that I got goosebumps.

I’m too lazy to include pictures of Ruhenheim and Oberstdorf in this post (because you’d see it in hellyeahurasawa’s post anyway), but it’s really fascinating. It actually seems like a beautiful place too. That just goes to show Urasawa’s attention to detail and makes me appreciate ‘Monster’ even more. Sugoi!

Things Took a Turn

Or rather, they didn’t.

Remember when I posted about traveling during the long weekend? Well, guess what? I’m typing this in my room at 12:30am of a Sunday midnight. I didn’t get to travel out of Metro Manila. So what did I do all those days?

One thing I did was drop my phone into a bucket full of water on Thursday night. I did that legendary first-aid of putting it in our rice dispenser over night. It worked, until the display began to fail and then it failed altogether. I went to the repair center on Friday and my phone is still there until now. You see, that’s the main impediment to my travel plans. I won’t go out there with no means to readily contact my loved ones! Also, music is very important to me while on a trip. I rely a lot on my auditory senses and hearing music helps me remember moments more vividly. All my music is in my phone, so it’s just useless to travel without it.

So yeah, here I am, goofing around at home as usual. It all turned into a stay-cation I guess. *sigh* At least I don’t get to spend money on anything.

It’s Gonna be a LOOOOONG Weekend!

What to do now?

I’m done writing the complete draft for my university thesis and will be turning it in tomorrow morning, April 26. I feel like a huge burden has been lifted from my aching shoulders, but of course it’s not the only burden I have to deal with. However, it just so happens the Philippines will be hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and because of that, work and classes for most places in the country’s capital were cancelled to ease Metro Manila’s road traffic congestion. My university has suspended classes from April 27-28, making it a five-day long weekend from April 27-May 1. Sounds like heaven, huh? And it’s my chance to finally take a break from my thesis.

Now, ever since the Easter Triduum (April 13-16), I have been aching to go on a long ride out of town, out of the capital and into the outskirts of Luzon. I’d go and travel even if I have to go alone, and I’m even eyeing some destinations including Baler in the province of Aurora, Baguio City, and San Juan, La Union.

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Baler, Aurora| photo courtesy of thepinaysolobackpacker.com
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Sunset in Baguio City| photo courtesy of wikipedia.com
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Beach in San Juan, La Union| photo courtesy of makeupquin.weebly.com

Apparently, I really want to see the beach. I want to see the Pacific Ocean particularly, and my number one option, Baler, is the place for that. Have I mentioned that I grew up in a town right beside the Pacific? Yeah, that’s the reason why I’m itching to see the open sea again. For the past few years, I’ve been cooped up in building walls and city streets.

But I know that going on an out-of-town trip over the long weekend would cost me a lot. I would need at least a thousand pesos for transportation alone and I don’t have that much at hand. So I’m thinking, should I just stay at home and wallow in existential dread all day for five days? Or should I use the money I could have spent traveling in buying a video game and playing it? For me, traveling and gaming are both experiences worth spending on. Besides, I also have a handful of anime series I got from a friend which I can binge-watch over the weekend!

Well, I deceive myself. I really, really, really want to go on a long ride away from home. My mind has been set on it and I’m long past the point of being able to convince myself otherwise. The song, ‘Wanderlust’ by David Sylvian has been playing on loop in my head…

“Travel light, don’t think twice
We’re leaving the shadows behind.
It’s given us, yeah
This wonderful wanderlust.
It’s given us this wonderful wanderlust.”

Ask.fm

Heya! I know it has been entire months since I wrote anything here. It’s just that I’ve never really produced anything worthy of putting here.

For now, I’m opening something more relatively personal–an ask.fm account! Yay! If you’re not familiar with it, you just ask me a question and I’ll answer it. Of course, I have discretion over which questions to answer. Check it out below and ask me something!

http://ask.fm/faurphen

Moana and the Austronesian

I’ve already seen Moana TWICE! And I’m gonna go see it with my parents tomorrow for the third time. I wanted to make a post about it here, but I’m caught up between…stuff… so here’s a highly informative post! I couldn’t do any better than this.

The Daily Opium

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I had previously written about the Austronesian expansion with respect to the peopling of the Philippines, but given recent events, I felt compelled to write more about this fascinating subject. Beyond the Philippines, the migration of people across the sea from our lands (from either Taiwan or Island Southeast Asia, or ISEA) to as far as Madagascar to the West and Hawaii or Easter Island is a great feat of the human race, even if academic opinion is split on how it happened. And perhaps a Disney film released in November 2016 became an unexpected catalyst that brought about renewed public interest. It goes without saying that this discussion may involve mild spoilers of the film in question.

Disney’s latest animated feature is Moana, a narrative about a girl from an island in the Pacific on an adventure in the vast ocean, aided by a demi-god from Polynesian lore…

View original post 1,665 more words

On Books

My thoughts and preferences on reading materials.

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My Day 26 entry for Inktober 2016

When I was in grade school, I would spend hours in the school library reading books while waiting for my mother to fetch me. My favorites were the children’s rhymes and stories. When I was seven, I read John Grisham’s ‘The Client’ and proceeded to read a collection of Charles Dickens’ Christmas stories. Experiencing different worlds and eras aside from my own little one was the favorite pastime of my childhood. Nowadays however, I have absolutely no idea how I manage to squeeze time to read books [though the traffic congestion in Metro Manila could be the main culprit for this]. I have jobs and university to mind, but I still allow myself to slip out of this reality from time to time through the world of fiction.

A few months ago, the Facebook page of a bookstore chain in my country shared a picture which asks what books you are going to get from them if all wold be for free. My answer: EVERYTHING from the classics section. Any book marked classic is something I would get my hands on, abridged or not, as long as it’s in a language I am fluent at. Sometimes, even if it’s not a classic but still has a historical setting would do for me. Call me picky or an old-soul wannabe, but I prefer classic literature over anything else, no matter the theme. There’s a kind of easy eloquence that only classics can portray. Perhaps, it’s like learning an entirely different culture apart from those that the world has now.

Aside from classics, I also enjoy thrillers, particularly political thrillers. Fast-paced novels that involve conspiracy and mystery are a welcome distraction from my day-to-day life. I admit that my life has little excitement in it and, being the lazy and penniless bum I am, I want to experience exciting lifestyles without much traveling and physical exertion. The best way for me to have that is by reading thrillers.

This is a recent development, but I have also grown to like thought-provoking and almost philosophical novels. Though I’m not gonna lie, ‘Sophie’s World’ by Jostein Gaarder bored me. I picked up ‘1984’ by George Orwell this June and it has affected me deeply. In case you haven’t noticed my blog description, I consider myself an over-thinker in the sense that I fall asleep every night with my mind exhausted from contemplating the cosmos. Most of the time, I come up with stupid thoughts though. Needless to say, ‘1984’ gave me tons of stuff to think about and I continue to spend sleepless nights over its theme. So when my uncle in Chicago asked me if there’s anything I want him to send me along with the package for the rest of our family, I readily requested any book by Albert Camus. I got ‘The Fall’, ‘The Plague’ and ‘A Happy Death’, and I couldn’t be happier. They all keep me up at night, thinking about death and my existence on this planet.

If you take a trip to the bookstore with me, these kinds of books are what I will most probably grab provided that I have the budget for ’em. I’ve been hoarding books these past few days because I keep finding rare gems in a secondhand bookshop in the mall near my university. I even take those with the former owners’ handwritten comments and annotations, it’s fun to read them because it assures me that someone else has enjoyed the volume like I did.

I’m ending this here. Until next time!

Red: I Feel My Soul On Fire!

Malory reveals being a low-key theater trash…and also talks about Pokémon Go.

love Les Misérables! And no, not the anime ‘Shoujo Cosette’. I love the book and the musical. Sure I identify as an otaku, but I also love musicals!

Anyway, that’s not my topic here. I want to talk about something I recently fell in love with–the augmented reality game, Pokémon Go. Say what you must about it, but I really like the game and its effects on me and other people.

Some people (particularly my family) are annoyed about how it has become too mainstream within a short period of time following its release. The thing is, Pokémon is a huge part of the lives of the newer generations. We watched it, we played it, we sang its songs and memorized the names of its creatures. Our generation has breathed Pokémon. To those aware of this, Pokémon Go becoming a big hit would be of no surprise at all. We have waited for ‘Go’ ever since its development was announced. Hence it irks me that people hate on ‘Go’ players. They don’t know how much the existence of such an advanced game carrying a theme from our childhood affects us so. Really, please just let us enjoy the game.

Upon reaching level 5 in the game, players get to choose between three teams: Instinct, Mystic and Valor. ‘Go’ had just been released in the Philippines on August 6 but, like the rest of the world, it immediately boomed here. Even government offices acknowledged it! Even before its Philippine release though, I was dead-set on joining one team…Team Valor.

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Lately, friends have remarked how fierce of a Valor I am. I tell them that it’s because I really love the team and list three reasons why:

  1. Candela, our team leader, is GORGEOUS.
  2. I agree with the team’s values.
  3. I was born on the Philippines’ Day of Valor (April 9).

For me, Valor embodies the motivation to “be the very best like no one ever was” and that’s exactly what drives me when playing Pokémon. I also believe I have strategic advantage being in that team since my area is dominated by Valor. I take deep pride in being part of this team.

The Valor stereotype is competitive and relentless, fiercely fighting for gyms and guarding them. We’re all about the battle and gaining strength. And according to a video by MatPat, extroverts tend to choose the outgoing Team Valor. Being an ENTP in my most recent MBTI result, I can attest to that. I am aggressively passionate about this game and it has also led me to freely approach other players outdoors to share information . This is one effect that ‘Go’ has on me, I have become more driven and extroverted.

Even in the office where I’m spending my internship, ‘Go’ seems to have loosened communication. Ever since its release, Pokémon Go has been a constant conversation topic. Being the communication geek that I am, it makes me very happy.

Like in most games, gratification is a main motivation for playing Pokémon Go and what makes it great is that it provides both immediate and delayed gratification. Of course, with its augmented reality feature, the game is guaranteed to be engaging. I also need to thank it for making everyday a leg day for me.

But no matter how passionate we are about something, always remember to practice moderation. At the end of the day, Pokémon Go is just a game and barely a lifestyle. Games are for making friends, strengthening bonds and improving oneself; not for hate and making enemies.