Saturday, December 26, 2015

How to Make Healthy Food Choices This Season

Just like Joey Tribbiani from FRIENDS, we’re all guilty of getting annoyed when somebody comments on our holiday weight. They do say that a moment on the lips will forever be on the hips, right? It’s tempting to eat mindlessly during the holidays especially when we’re celebrating with friends and family every single day, but making healthy food choices this season doesn’t have to be a hopeless battle. You really can beat the odds and indulge in your favorite food by keeping everything in moderation, and here are just a few tips on how to keep your calories in check this Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Best Books of 2015

If you haven’t spent the whole of 2015 reading, then it’s not too late for you yet. Here are the most popular literary works in fiction for the year according to online rankings and critics, so grab your copies and get reading!

1.Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

This generation of readers probably doesn’t realize how lucky it is to witness the release of a sequel to something that was published about half a century ago. As a companion novel to the smashing success that is To Kill A Mockingbird, Go Set A Watchman brings Scout and Atticus back in a masterpiece by the one and only Harper Lee. Jean Louise Finch—or Scout as we all know her—is now twenty six years old, and she’s coming home amidst political turmoil to visit her father. The book beautifully chronicles the bittersweet, painful, and eye-opening journey of a young woman struggling to reconcile her past with her present. It no doubt brings justice to the American classic with the profound wisdom and touch of humor that only Harper Lee is known to bring. The novel may have been written in the mid-1950s, but Go Set A Watchman is more relevant to our current situation than we might expect.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas Wish List: The Most Wanted Tech Toys This Season

Who says toys are just for kids? In this mobile world we live in today, Santa’s list will no doubt be filled with gadgets and gizmos our tech-savvy generation just can’t get enough of. Send out your wish lists and wait by your stockings with these most wanted tech toys this holiday season. 

1.BB-8 by Sphero

It’s Star Wars mania around the world this Christmas with The Force Awakens coming out this week. Join the craze with this adorable BB-8 droid. Not only is it fun to see rolling around with that head balanced (with magnets) on top, but it is also educational for kids—if you want to use them as an excuse for buying this cutie. Controlled via smartphone with a BB-8 app, the creative Sphero toy can spin away on most surfaces to bug the members of your household with its cuteness. Best of all, you can also use voice commands to order BB-8 around and view holographic recordings, so it’s the perfect gift for any Star Wars fan. This truly is the Droid you’re looking for! Learn more about this sweet plaything in the official Sphero Facebook page for the Philippine market here:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Best Films of 2015

Before the year comes to an end, it’s only fitting that we list down the most awesome movies that rocked the cinemas for 2015. From swearing teddy bears to the little voices in our heads, here are just some of the films that made our year.

1.Inside Out

Who’s your friend who likes to play? Yup, it’s none other than Bing Bong, right? With that rocket that makes you go hooray, and who’s the best in every way? If you’ve already seen this animated masterpiece, then you’re probably getting the sniffles by now.

The brilliantly creative minds at Pixar have done it again. Inside Out is an honest and heartfelt look at the emotions that drive us every waking hour of our lives, with a particular focus on Riley’s circumstances. The beautiful coming-of-age film is all about change and growing up, and about how we all need to adjust as we enter the real world. The personifications of Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust are just too loveable not to enjoy, and as with any Pixar film, audiences should definitely get ready to cry their eyes out by the end of the movie. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Recap and Highlights of The Game Awards 2015

Already dubbed “video gaming’s biggest night”, The Game Awards 2015 certainly delivered last December 3rd in Los Angeles when it gave the fans what they wanted from the industry. The event aired live on gaming screens all over the globe, featuring much coveted awards, musical performances, exclusive world premieres, and major announcements from the industry’s biggest players. The Game Awards also offered huge discounts for gamers when they purchase titles at that very moment during the show on Steam, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network. These sales include The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (which won the coveted Game of the Year award) for 50% off, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for 25% off on PlayStation Network, and 25% off for Pro Evolution Soccer 2016.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Video Game Releases This December

Our schedules may be fully booked for the holidays, but that’s no excuse—these hot new games are fresh off the developers’ desks and just waiting for us to play them. Here are some of the latest releases you simply can’t miss out on:

1.Just Cause 3

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

8 Ways to Have a Peaceful Christmas

“Christmas now surrounds us, happiness is everywhere. Our hands are busy with many tasks, as carols fill the air (Shirley Sallay).” Yes, it’s true that we’ll never be as busy as we are now during the holidays, but is that really what the season is all about? Instead of driving yourself crazy with all the errands you need to run here and there, check out our suggestions on what you can do to get some elusive peace of mind this Christmas.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Top Productivity Apps for the Busy Holidays

Now that the hectic holidays are upon us, you’re no doubt facing year-end deadlines left and right—not to mention all those family reunions and barkada get-togethers you just can’t excuse yourself from. Because everyone (including yourself) is fighting for your spare time and your weekends, it helps to have some life-saving productivity apps on your ever-reliable smartphone. Here are some of the top picks that you should download this season for your own sanity’s sake.

NaNoWriMo 911: Insider Tips on Getting Published

According to Harlan Coben, “Let me back up a little and tell you why I prefer writing to real life: You can rewrite. A novel, for example, can be cleaned up, altered, trimmed, improved. Life, on the other hand, is one big messy rough draft.”

While it’s true that writing can be revised, editing your novel to perfection is anything but easy. Now that we’re midway through National Novel Writing Month, do you already have something worth showing the world, or have you not even begun to jot down a single word? Writing your masterpiece is extremely difficult—we can all agree with that. But thanks to an editing master class I attended last month during the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators conference that our home country hosted this year, I at least got a glimpse of how editing actually works.

Award-winning author Sally Breen held a writing workshop last October 24th titled “What Editors Want”, and the class was just that—an insider peek at the publishing landscape so that we can finally find out what exactly editors want. She shared a bunch of do’s and dont’s on how to get noticed and how to rise above the so-called slush pile, so without further ado, here are some insider editing tips that I’m totally sharing with all of you (free of charge!):

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Waze vs. Garmin: Avoiding Holiday Traffic with Smart Navigation

Now that the holiday rush is upon us, expect EDSA to be your second home. Take your life back from intense traffic in the metro by using the GPS navigational tools available to us today.

Gone are the days when in-car navigation was tedious and only available to the most advanced cars. “If you want to update the maps in your car, it’s an expensive and complicated process of having to go to the dealership,” Strategy Analytics’ John Canali says. Now, with Web-based navigation, updates come easier than ever. “We’ve historically had these onboard, embedded nav systems. That’s just not going to cut it anymore,” says Tim Nixon from OnStar, the navigational service from General Motors. “The game has changed, and the bar has been raised by these always-connected devices that bring fresh information into the car.”

So, with everyone clamoring to mount devices on their dashboards and windshields, which do you think is better: Waze or Garmin?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What’s So Ultimate About Ultimate Frisbee?

If you’ve always thought that ball sports were too mainstream, then trading that ball for a flying disc might just be the perfect thing for you. Move over, basketball. Ultimate Frisbee is steadily growing more and more popular in the country today—because isn’t badminton or bowling too last season?

Where it all began

Who would have thought that when American toy company Wham-O popularized the Frisbee Disc in the 50s, it would spawn a myriad of followers and create a whole new sport of its own? And it’s not just about throwing and catching—Frisbee enthusiasts all around the globe will tell you that it’s so much more. If you’re looking to increase your stamina, enhance your agility, and improve your cardiovascular endurance—not to mention develop your body coordination—then this sport is all you’ll ever need. With Frisbee’s ability to help you burn a hundred up to seven hundred calories with just thirty minutes of playing, what more can you ask for?

Book Review: A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami

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A girl with magical ears. An ovine-centered photo. A Sheep Professor. A Rat gone missing. A dying corporate giant who may or may not rule the world.

And of course, at the center of it all: a mark shaped like a star on a seemingly innocent sheep.

What begins as a crippling divorce ends in uncovering a diabolical plan to plunge the world in anarchy. And when that happens, you can be sure that it’s one heck of a story. But then again, that’s how all Haruki Murakami stories are.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Awesome November Celebrations You Didn’t Know About

There’s more to November than Thanksgiving, so before you busy yourself with stuffing turkeys, here are some of the coolest days you can celebrate this month (yes, Black Friday aside).

                    November 2 – National Plan Your Epitaph Day and Cookie Monster's Birthday

It doesn’t matter if you’re morbid and obsessed with death, or you’re just a curious little thing. On November 2 (just in time for All Souls’ Day), you can go ahead and look far into the future into your own demise. It’s tough to decide how you want people to remember you by. After all, your tombstone can only contain so much words and letters, right? Planning your epitaph is so important that the world is giving you a whole day to figure it out—and if you decide to change your mind, you can always have another go at it next year.

Is it any wonder that the day of death also coincides with beloved Sesame Street character Cookie Monster’s birthday? We think not, because a cookie overload does indeed equal an early death, doesn’t it?

                    November 3 - Sandwich Day

Speaking of dying young, the following day is a day of celebrating one of the most amazing and ingenious human inventions in all of history—the sandwich. Imagine: anything you’ve always wanted to scarf down between two slices of hearty bread? What an inspired creation! Today is the day to celebrate your fave PB and J with your best buds, or perhaps whip up your own concoction in the kitchen. Whatever you decide to do, just dig in and indulge—it’s a “holiday” after all.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My Life For Aiur: Waiting for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void

StarCraft fans, rejoice! The dawn of the Protoss is finally upon us. After all those excruciating years of helplessly waiting since the first game came out in 1998 and doomed us to a lifetime of sitting in front of the computer all day, we will finally get a closer look at the Protoss home world of Aiur. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void comes out next month on the 10th of November. The release marks the thrilling conclusion to the StarCraft II trilogy, and the story arc that’s 17 years in the making. Brace, brace, brace. It’s the end of an era, and we’re sure it’s going to be one heck of a ride.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Haunting Books You Should Read This Halloween

Everyone knows that Stephen King has the genre down pat, but there are a lot of other bone-chilling horror novels worth losing sleep over out there. Now that Halloween is almost upon us, lock yourself up in your room and feast on these horrific delights—just be sure you don’t turn the lights out afterwards.

1.The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson (1977)

Why do people always fall for the huge, old house that obviously has its deep, dark secrets? Based on a true story (although that certainly has led to plenty of lawsuits), the book revolves around the horrors that the Lutz family encountered in a house where Ronald DeFeo, Jr. murdered his family in 1974. The Lutz family moved in about a year later, and because of the terrifying paranormal activity that surrounded the house, they eventually left after 28 days. After visions of glowing red eyes, demonic imaginary friends, and waking up at the ungodly hour of 3:15am every night, who wouldn’t run out of there screaming?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wear That Pink Ribbon: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and aside from wearing a pink ribbon, here are some of the things you need to know about the most common female invasive cancer in the world.

Basic overview: What do you need to know?

Developed from breast cells, breast cancer occurs when a malignant tumor forms in the breast’s lobules or from the milk ducts. The first symptom is usually a lump felt by the woman on her breasts, and while most breast lumps are non-cancerous, it’s always best to seek medical attention just to be sure. Another sign may be some sort of pain in the armpits unrelated to the monthly period of a woman, a rash around the nipples, or perhaps an unusual discharge from the breast. The breast size or shape may become irregular, and the nipples may become inverted or sunken. The skin on the area may also flake or peel.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Age with Grace: Health To-Dos For Women in Their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s

Aging is a privilege, and we must all learn to greet our golden years with grace. Here’s how to stay fit and healthy no matter what your age is.

Monday, October 12, 2015

NaNoWriMo: 5 Steps to Getting Your Novel Done Right

November might mean Christmas trees and stuffed turkeys for most people, but for writers, it’s something else entirely. It’s here—the dreaded month all frustrated authors have been waiting for all year. NaNoWriMo brings sweat, tears, and countless hours holed up in a room like a hermit with the sound of fingers tapping keyboards well into the night, but it also brings the irreplaceable triumph of finishing a 50,000-word novel by the end of the month—if you know what you’re doing. Instead of rushing through the 30 days unmotivated and unprepared, get that rotting old story idea from outside of your head onto actual paper with these NaNoWriMo tips for success.

Friday, October 9, 2015

World Teachers Day: 8 Fictional Teachers Who Taught Us Unforgettable Life Lessons

Teachers are awesome—we all know that. They’ve taught us during our formative years and helped shape us to become who we are today. We have our favorite mentors, but there are those who, despite being fictional, have taught us life lessons we will never forget. Don’t you wish you had these teachers in real life?

1 . Mr. Feeny  from Boy Meets World

“But to me, a real hero is someone who does the right thing when the right thing isn’t the easy thing to do." Honestly. If all neighbors were as totally cool as Mr. Feeny, I’d be at my backyard, talking to him all day, too. George Feeny wasn’t just Cory Matthews’ teacher in school—he was also Eric Matthews’ life coach. Without Mr. Feeny, who knows what would have happened to Eric? It’s Feeny’s no-nonsense wisdom that made us walk out of every Boy Meets World episode as a bit of a better person than when we came in.  "If you let people's perception of you dictate your behavior, you will never grow as a person," he says.

Besides, if there were no Mr. Feeny, there would be no Feeny call—and who wants to live a life having never heard that?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Funko POP Culture: Where Geeks Unite

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Pass by any hobby shop or corner toy store and you’ll see it—rows and rows of collectibles, boxed in little uniformed cuteness, the only toy line where Batman, Elsa, Lumpy Space Princess, and Sheldon Cooper are side by side. It’s the magic and wonder of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl Figures, and because nobody can resist the call of their adorableness, Funko has succeeded in uniting toy collectors and geeks all over the world.

Where it all began

Big square heads, black beaded eyes, and standing poses 3.75 inches tall—these are what people everywhere are going crazy for. Washington-based toy company Funko has stuck to this template because it works. All of the figures are classic, charming, and hard to resist. The collectibles have gone from beloved comics characters to television actors, and even sports athletes and music icons, which is why the toy line has made Funko Pop collectors out of everyone—geeks and non-geeks alike. Practically every franchise has a Funko Pop version, with the company securing 180 licenses including Star Wars and StarCraft, and it’s hard to believe how it all started.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Upcoming Video Game Releases for October 2015

While most people busy themselves with Halloween this month, we hardcore gamers look forward to new releases that will keep us hooked to our consoles all night. Here are some of the upcoming games to look forward to this October 2015.

1. Halo 5: Guardians

Yes, yes—we know you all can’t wait to get your hands on the latest installment of the Halo franchise. Fortunately, the game is officially coming out this October 27th. Following the story of Spartan-II Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, Halo 5: Guardians is set after the Spartan Ops from Halo 4, and will focus on the operations and various investigations of the Blue Team. Apart from this, Halo 5: Guardians will feature playable character Agent Locke, who will go on a mission to locate the Master Chief after the mysterious disappearance of the Blue Team. The perspective of this “legendary manhunter” will switch with that of the main protagonist throughout the game.

Exclusive to the Xbox One console, Halo 5: Guardians will run at 60 frames per second (FPS) with a four-player online campaign co-op mode. Sadly, there won’t be any offline gameplay and local networking options, as well as split-screen cooperative campaigns. According to producer Josh Holmes, the Halo 5 engine will use a “new progressive resolution system that allows us to dynamically scale the resolution at which we render the game.” Still, Halo 5: Guardians will feature more player mobility and new enhancements called Spartan abilities, so that’s got to be exciting, right?

Friday, September 25, 2015

6 Things Dystopian YA Blockbusters Have Taught Us

Stop me if you’ve heard it before: an alternate timeline, a future government where things are not quite right, and a young hero who rises to the challenge to change the world. Whether that future societal structure is desirable or not, there is always something that upsets the world order (or lack of order), and the protagonist becomes the catalyst of that. A steady trend of young adult blockbusters today is all about what happens in a world that’s not quite like our own but where current themes of society still remain.  If there’s one thing that the success of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games has proven, it’s that audiences everywhere—the youth or not—have a taste for the post-apocalyptic, and that the lessons we can learn from them are applicable even today.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Feels: How Pixar Makes Us Cry Every Single Time

If you’ve never cried in a Pixar movie, you are not human. Admit it—those animated characters can go on the wildest of adventures and give you the biggest of laughs, but they somehow always know how to tug at just the right heartstring. Haven’t we learned by now that Pixar knows what it’s doing, and that we should expect that a depressing scene is coming? Apparently not, because we still always leave the theater bawling like a baby. Oh, Pixar; what have you done to us?

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Wellness in Books

Stephen King once said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” There is nothing quite like the wonder and magnificence that a treasured book brings. And when it comes to wellness, taking good care of your books will help them take good care of you, too.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

When Games and Toys Collide

This is it—the era when toys really do come to life. No, it’s nothing like Woody and Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story; they’re not going to come bursting through your door any second. They can, however, burst through your TV screen—that’s what Disney Infinity can do. Yes, your actual physical action figures can truly come to life on screen via your video games. The technology behind Near Field Communication or NFC used wireless connectivity to enable data transfer over short distances, which means your toys and your video games can talk.

It’s nothing at all creepy. On the contrary, it’s absolutely amazing, and Nintendo, Activision, Disney, and Lego all seem to think so. If you’re not convinced yet that this is the future of gaming right here, let’s take a look at what Amiibo, Skylanders, Disney infinity, and Lego Dimensions have to offer.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Meditation for Beginners: 8 Ways to Quiet the Mind

When you live in a world of stressed workaholics, it’s hard to find time to slow down and recharge. Clearing the tumultuous mind for some momentary quiet is considered a luxury people don’t think they can afford. But much like Po from Kung Fu Panda, your “inner peace” is just a steady breath away—if only you want to find it. Here are some ways on how to meditate and achieve that ever elusive peace.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Top 3 Book Clubs in Manila For Your Inner Bookworm

It is the dream of every bibliophile to gush about the latest novel like a crazed maniac without the fear of being judged. Because scouring the bestsellers list on each bookstore is too exhilarating to do on your own, wouldn’t it be nice to have another bookworm with you? When you find a comfy little group who shares your sentiments—discussing your theories and arguments over good food and good conversations, no less—then you have truly found your home. Isn’t it better to bond with your fellow species? Thankfully, you don’t have to be alone. There truly is a place for booklovers to come together. Here are just a few of the hidden book clubs around the Metro where you can unleash your geekiness (and sniff all the books you want).

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

5 Things You Can Learn from Kali or Eskrima

I am a wimp.

Completely non-confrontational and non-athletic, I am the epitome of the damsel in distress. Throw me into a potentially dangerous situation and I will freak out before you can even say “self-defense”. I am hopeless. I am weak. I am fragility personified.

Which is probably why enrolling myself in a martial arts class was probably not such a good idea.

Thankfully, despite my feeble attempt at trying to be stronger than a piece of paper, I did learn a thing or two from my classes. It’s time to stop being so pathetic. It’s time for some serious Kali.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What’s So Super About Superfoods?

No, the big green monster isn’t some scientist-turned-radioactive super soldier who likes to hang around with the Avengers in his spare time. The big green monster is a lettuce leaf stuck to your teeth, or a lone piece of broccoli abandoned on a plate. More than the rampaging Hulk on steroids, these greens have terrified little children all over the world since time began. Ever since we were kids, we’ve always had an innate distaste for greens, and no matter how big and strong Popeye grew, we can never seem to stomach that can of spinach the same way he can.

Sadly, most people carry that love-hate relationship with veggies into adulthood, leading to a deficiency in the most important nutrients greens can give. But the fast-paced world we live in today has found a way to catch up: why not mash everything together in a super mix of greens? This is where superfoods—and superfads—come in.

Monday, June 29, 2015

6 Reasons Why Comics are Making a Comeback

“It begins in a quiet Midwestern town, one summer afternoon in the quiet Midwestern future. Away in the big city, people still sometimes glance up hopefully from the sidewalks, glimpsing a distant speck in the sky. But no: it’s only a bird, only a plane—Superman died ten years ago.”

That last line really strikes a chord, doesn’t it? Thankfully, these words are only from an imaginary tale written in the dramatic opening scene of the great Alan Moore’s Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? back in 1986. While the shock of killing off the Man of Steel might have caused a handful of nerd-related seizures back in the day, it will no doubt horrify a greater number of people today—perhaps even the whole world. That’s because comic books are making a cape-swishing comeback, converting more and more ordinary citizens into blissfully geeky fans. Here's why.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

7 Books to Read Before Seeing Their Movie Adaptations

At the risk of sounding like one of those self-righteous “experts” who broadcast to the world that books are always better than movies, I am here to tell you exactly that. Well, not all books are better than the movies, but at the very least, here are just some that will help you appreciate the story more if you hold off on the big screen first.

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Obviously (and admittedly with bias), the first in this list would be the seven Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling. While witnessing the magic come to life on the silver screen is something that no amount of words can do, some do argue that the real magic is best experienced when read. This is because when you read, your wild imagination is hard at work trying to create these magical elements and worlds for you, so you get to enjoy the story better. Another thing is that it’s virtually impossible to cram all the minute details of the book into a single film, and the thing about Rowling’s books is that the devil is in the details. Even a single mention of a piece of locket plays a monumental role later on in the series, and this kind of brilliant foreshadowing is something that a movie cannot accomplish. Still, it’s pretty cool to see magic spells flying here and there on film, so feel free to watch the movies after reading the books. I guarantee that your enjoyment of the movies will be ten times better.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Rise of the Girl Gamer

She’s got sass, pizzazz, and can kick your ass. Some say she’s part urban legend, part hallucination. Kind of like Batman, but if you bring that up with her, she’d call you on it and challenge you to beat her trophies in Batman: Arkham City. She’s the ever elusive party member you want on your side in any multiplayer scenario, and men in every Internet cafe clamor for a chance to team up with her. She’s the Girl Gamer, and her awesomeness is going to take over the world.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How to Deal with a Miscarriage in the Family

Miscarriage—the forbidden “M” word nobody wants to talk about.

Losing a baby is one of the most painful tragedies a person can ever experience, whether the child is fully grown or a fragile little fetus inside a mother’s womb. Because society dictates that a miscarriage should be kept hush-hush, grieving parents all over the world carry the pain in their hearts and suffer in silence without any way to mourn their loss. But keeping it all in does not make the pain go away, nor does it make the loss any less real. Here’s how to deal with a loved one who’s coping with losing a baby.

For a Friend

1.Talk to them.

Sadly, we live in a world where women hide in the shame of miscarrying. Being there for your friend and letting her talk about her miscarriage will lift a huge burden off her shoulders and help her pour out her heart without fear of being judged.

2.DO NOT minimize the situation.

A great, big no-no is to say “at least” to your friend who has just miscarried. Never say “at least it was only three months” because it doesn’t matter if the baby was two weeks old or two years old—the pain of the baby’s death is just as excruciating. 

Another horrible thing to do is to say that she can always try again next time. There is no comfort in telling a grieving couple that they can simply replace the baby they’ve lost with another one.

Monday, June 22, 2015

E3 2015 Highlights

Warning: Nerdgasms Ahead.
That is exactly what a sign outside the E3 should say. A sadistic annual celebration of new games, features, and unexpected announcements, the hallowed hall of the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 is every gamer’s Mecca. This year, from the 16thto the 18th of June, teaser trailers and new game announcements will once again compel us to lie awake at night, wondering why the official release date of a much-awaited game has not yet arrived.
Because the big giants of the gaming world just love to torture us helpless little fans with bite-sized teasers that are just enough to give us a seizure, here are the top eight highlights so far:

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Yoga in the City: How Yoga Helps You Find Peace in a Busy World

Errands. Meetings. Chores. That family reunion you just can’t skip. Your friends’ dinner that you all planned weeks in advance. The dirty laundry you can pile no higher waiting for you at home.

With the myriad of responsibilities being a mature adult entails, can you really find peace in the midst of all the noise of everyday life?

It’s a sad common practice to forego your much-deserved alone time especially when there’s an important deadline looming over your head. But finding peace isn’t just a luxury—it’s a necessity. Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle of the world today, slowing down and quieting the mind does not come easy. If you’ve ever craved for peace within a toxic life, here’s how yoga can save the day.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Top 3 Book-Themed Cafes Where You Can Read a Good Book

In the noisy hustle and bustle of everyday life, finding a quiet little nook to read a good book can be a welcome but often elusive respite. We are always too busy trying to be an adult that we forget just how therapeutic it is to just sit ourselves down on a comfy corner in a cozy café with a good story to bury our noses in. Sure; there’s nothing wrong with preoccupying ourselves with deadlines, meetings, and personal responsibilities—hey, it certainly helps pay the bills—but there’s something about book cafes that remind us how to slow down every now and then.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Time to Read, Philippines! (Or why we need to have our own version of ‘World Book Night’)

Mold. Prints. Folds. Ink.

Pages bound together. A tear in the corner of a copy loved. Adventures colliding in silence. The weight of a world in a single flip. Rejuvenating, intoxicating, surreal.

The power that a good book wields is irresistible enough as it is. But if that book is FREE, how much harder would it be for any of us to say no?

That’s exactly the kind of euphoria that World Book Night brings—250,000 free books, ten thousand volunteers, one awesome day.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

To The Woman Who Has Miscarried --- Happy Mother’s Day

I was pregnant.

After all the treatments and pills and injections and debts, I was pregnant.

All it took were two pink lines and our joy was complete. I remember exactly the way my husband grinned at me when I rushed out of the bathroom, waving a gross peed-on stick around in the air.

In the sky that night, we gazed up at the fireworks exploding gloriously just as our own hearts were. We squeezed each other’s hand and knew that by this time next year, our holidays would be filled with a wonderful little addition to our married life. This was it. Our baby was here.

And then it was gone.

We’d always known it would be a high-risk pregnancy. The years of fertility treatments, blood transfusions, and failed inseminations made sure of that. So when our baby came, I transformed into the most delicate person in the world. The masks, the home injections, the quarantine, the house arrest. I was hospitalized twice in three weeks and couldn’t leave my room for days. All of these to make sure our precious little miracle hung in there and made it out safely.

But no amount of medical treatment could keep our baby alive, and at just 8 weeks, that tiny heart stopped beating.

And then mine broke.

It was cozy in our doctor’s clinic. While everyone was staring up at the game show flickering on TV, I was huddled in the corner with my stupid face mask on and the blurred photo of our tiny one in my hand. Nobody was looking at us, at my husband who was trying his best to be strong for me. Nobody was looking at how I tried to muffle my sobs because this just wasn’t the time and place. Nobody cared about the life we were losing.

Our baby was struggling inside me, her heart weak and frail and beating at 50 beats per minute. “Too low,” the doctor said. Too low to sustain the pregnancy, too weak to go on, too impossible to live.

When her heart rate dropped to zero, she was taken from me.

A lot of preparation, a lot of waiting, and a lot of blood. What was once my baby was now called a “specimen”, and that was it. In my last desperate act of clinging to my little one, I asked the nurse if they found anything during the procedure. But they didn’t. Not a tiny speck, not a single piece of evidence that my baby was once alive. Just bits of meat and blood, blood, blood.

The moment I woke up from the anesthesia, there was a sound in the other room, the beautiful cry of a newborn baby being delivered. And there I was, having just had mine removed.

They told me it was normal. They told me that losing an early baby was just like having your period. But when that baby has lived inside me for eight weeks, how could I not love her so, so much? Towards the end, all I could say to her was that it was okay. “It’s okay, sweetie, I’m still here. Don’t be afraid; I’m not going anywhere.” And it was true. Even in our baby’s final moments, I was still there. And that hole in my heart reserved for her would remain empty forever.

There are no funerals for a miscarriage. There is no ceremony to mourn the death of an unborn child, no eulogy for a dead baby, no socially accepted outlet to grieve over this loss. And even though your body heals itself in a few weeks, your heart just can’t recover the same way.

To you who have miscarried, I am sorry for your pain. I’m sorry that the world tells you to be quiet about your agony, to suffer in silence, to hide the baby you’ve lost. I’m sorry that not everyone understands how losing a baby means losing a part of yourself, and that no matter how long you tried to keep her alive—days, weeks, months—you will always carry that death in your heart. I’m sorry if every baby shower, every children’s party, every TV ad, and every pair of onesies on sale in the window reminds you of the child you never got to raise.

But that is how a mother is. Horrific and scarring and excruciating as the loss might have been, your child is your child, and no miscarriage can make you any less of a Mom. Our baby may only have been with us for a brief time, but for those magnificent two months, my husband and I became the happiest parents in the world. And that’s something nobody can take away.

So to you who have ever had a miscarriage, I salute you.

You were willing to do whatever it took to keep your baby healthy and well for as long as you possibly could.

You took that seed and nourished it, planned your baby’s life ahead of you, and knew exactly what he or she might have grown up to be.

You carried her and took care of her, stayed up late on troublesome nights to make sure she was okay.

You took her to doctor’s appointments to keep her healthy; you played with her and read to her and sang her to sleep.

You were brave enough to stay with her throughout her whole life, and even though you were scared, you were strong enough to hold on to her and never let her go.

You touched her with a mother’s touch and loved her with a mother’s love.

You are a Mom.

Here’s to you then, dear sister, and here’s to every beautiful unborn baby in the world. You are our children, and we are your Mom.

And no matter what happens, sweet little one, you will never be forgotten.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

What Reading a Good Book Can Do For You

Blame it on that hardbound Ladybird Book that told me tales of a Little Red Hen who tried to bake some bread for her farm friends, but ever since I was a little kid, I have been a sucker for books. Slap me anywhere with a good story and I will stay there, hooked, unmoving, and perfectly primed to grow my own mold culture for years and years to come.

I know that booklovers around the world will affirm with a resounding “YES” when I say that there is nothing more intoxicating that sniffing a book until my brain cells hurt, but that is just how it is, and no amount of hi-tech ebooks can replace that.

Thankfully, a fellow bookworm friend of mine found this little nook where we can surround ourselves with books lined up against the walls and not have to worry about sneaking some food away from the librarian. So, at the expense of my incredibly poor eyesight and thick-as-waffles glasses, let me just point out a few reasons why books are simply the best things in life.

Why Should You Read a Good Book?

Tweedle Book Cafe at 106B Sct. Gandia, Diliman, Quezon City. Call them at +63922-8051688.:)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Boyfriend vs. Husband

The new year always brings some fresh perspective into anyone’s life. In my case, 2015 is shaping up to be a great year to appreciate my husband more.

In this short-short post, I’m just gonna go ahead and list down a few of the small, mundane things that have changed now that I am married.

1. When we were still boyfriend and girlfriend, he would lean over to kiss. Now that we’re married, he leans over to fart.

2. We used to text all day about sweet nothings. Now we text about what’s for lunch.

3. Goodbye, sexy outfits that take forever to complete. Hello, lounging around the house in comfy sleepwear all day.

4. In the movie theater, we used to cuddle while watching the film. Now, we either eat like ravenous kids or fall asleep.

5. Fights then: “You said WHAT?” Fights now: “Who had the last gulp of soy milk in the fridge?”

The bottom line: I love married life. I thank God for my hubby every day. I wake up with a smile on my face when I see him beside me each morning, sleepy and disheveled and just as unglamorous as I am.  And whenever he looks at me or smiles at me or does whatever it is that drives me insane sometimes, I just know that he loves me more and more each day.

Which is perfect, really. Because I feel exactly the same way.