These Weeks in Virtual References

Tuesday, May 3, 2022



If you are a reader, will you leave something in the comments section?  It seems like updating this website has become such a downer recently and I am actually thinking of abandoning this because I can't seem to keep with everything. 

When I started this during the height of the pandemic, I envisioned it to be an apothecary of all my interests which for a time it is and then I just woke up one day and I feel that it is becoming such a chore. Which I reminded myself to complete abandon the thought. I have so many things to write here but I don't have just the energy to do so. Maybe my 9 to 5 is zapping all my creative energy to write? 

Currently, I am anxious of my final defense for my masters and that probably is occupying all my concentration so this is me hoping that when that is through I can still go back to this. 

But for the meantime, I am sharing with you the snapshots of my many weeks: 

Heartstopper is my new favorite show. If you are not a homophobe because if you are, leave, this will make you love your LGBTQIA friends more! 

MOS Burger in Megamall is bringing in Japanese charm. 

In Megamall, the theme this summer is lantern festival.

Biblio is the Fullybooked of used books. This particular branch is in Ayala Mall Feliz. 

In Robinson's Place Antipolo, the theme is umbrella festival. 

Swoon-worthy Kit Connor is my new crush! 

Riverbanks Marikina is like a budget Coachella and I am here for it. 

My new favorite is a pop culture tee. This time, It's Britney, Bitch! from Bershka

As a chairperson for BJMP elections, I come prepared with all the cutesies. 

My other new favorite tee: Stephen King's It from Out of Print. 

Happy Birthday Shaine! Love you! 

Fullybooked in BGC is my favorite bookstore bar none. 

I heart BGC. 


Lord, please please make this happen this year. 

Do you also love Poppeyes? 

I love collecting coffee cups! 

Din Tai Fung's Xiao Long Bao is a new favorite! 

So what have you been consuming these past weeks? 


Credits: Kit Connor's pic grabbed from his Insta.

Cover Photo by Alexey Demidov on Unsplash

La Union, April 2022

Friday, April 15, 2022

La Union Map on Behance
illustrated by Katsy Garcia on BÄ“hance

I have always dreamed of going to La Union ( wokes call it LU) so when our master planner Ubegail asked the group about where to go just before the last batch of our subjects ( that we will be teaching) kicks in, I know it has to be La Union since we already planned of going 2019 but pandemic happened. And ever since I fell in love with the movie I'm Drunk, I Love You where the most pivotal scenes were shot, I needed to have my full Carson moment. 

But things did not happen the way I imagined it only because of some unavoidable circumstances which definitely added to the experience that left us feeling empty, like it could still turn out to be something great and memorable ( not that I'm saying that it wasn't great and memorable. I have the best company and we always turn things around whenever necessary). 

With the crew (from L-R) Ate Baity, She, Graciabelle, Rain, Ubegail, Maricor, Erika, Aubrey, Enah, Kimmy, Miss Abbu, Moi, Mar and Sir Ata. 

We weren't able to fully experience all the listed itineraries because of what happened the night prior ( it was technically morning since it was 3:30 AM when the car brakes broke in the middle of Tarlac). Our expected arrival to La Union if Waze can be trusted should have been 7 AM but since the contingency of the travel and tours company that we booked did not leave up to standards, we were rescued past 10 AM so it kind of ruined all of the plans and places that were promised to us. We arrived at La Union astronomically hungry at 1:30 PM and to our desolated hostel at around 3 PM. So basically, our first day gone to stale. But I have to say props to our 'rescuer', who belongs to other travel and tours company, because he let us experienced some sights despite the near-twilit hours. 

@The Man-made Forest


@Bahay Na Bato

@Trinity Beach Resort


@San Juan Beach 

@Grape Farm

The question remains. Shall we go back to La Union despite what happened? 

Many times over but probably trying a different tour package because it was the most disappointing of the trip. 

But mighty glad to get away from the hustle and bustle even for just a few days. Can't wait for our next tours and detours. 


A Year in Consumable Art

Thursday, December 30, 2021

In your many hours poring over the juggernaut that is the Internet, maybe you have stumbled upon this meme of the two identical twins, creepy but iconic I must say, from The Shining, standing straight facing you as they have always been with uncomfortable, chilling inscriptions: 2020 & 2021. If that ain't an accurate representation of the past two years, I don't know what is. We are basically still in that pandemic era whether restrictions are lowered down to several subterranean notches. People are still lining up to be vaccinated because the anti-vaxxers had a change of heart at the very last minute, just because their chances to socialize are thin to near nil. So yeah, the two years are identical twins, sharing the same frustrations, the same penchant for worries. 

So if there's one thing that is constantly changing, it's the plethora of consumable art in the forms of literature, motion pictures, TV shows, vlogs and the like. There is a wealth of boredom busters this year which I haven't really partaken to be honest because of my aversion to bandwagoning so I ended up consuming what created stirrings from years back. The thing about me is I have to wait for my mood and when it does ignites, there is nothing that will occupy my mind but that. 

So what I will be rounding up in this post is everything that made my year, art-wise. If you are expecting for some Gauguin and Van Gogh, this is not it. 

In order for me to remember everything, I used an organizing app called Notion because yes, even if we remember it all too well, it's also a year that we like to forget, only to cripple the pangs of the panini. 

1. The Hours | Michael Cunningham- There is a lengthy review about this book over at my personal Facebook account and I can't repeat myself here. All I know is that the ending took my breath away. I live to tell the tale and to shout to whoever is listening: Read The Hours, skip the movie version if you may, and understand why this deservedly won the Pulitzer. And for someone who hated reading award-winners, this changed my mind. The sentences here are too exquisite for words. 

2. Kissing in Manhattan | David Schickler- I once read of this book from a review by Jessica Zafra and imagine the shrieking when I found this lounging in the discount bins, unpicked by untrained eyes. THIS IS KISMET everybody! This is a delightful and acerbic short collection about the inhabitants of a certain Manhattan apartment who go about their twisted lives, entangle in the tethers of their relationships, and free-falling in the destiny that binds them. I read this for 3 days and for someone who can't commit to longform everything, this is a record! 

3. Convenience Store Woman | Sayura Murata- There is supposed to be a full-blown commentary of this book in this blog but I never get around to doing it because life happens but I managed to quip a droll riposte that I logged in at Notion: Deceptively simple tale of nonconformity that is anything but simple but always, always deceptive. I want to add more to it but the book is so slim, I'm afraid if I factor in few details, I am robbing you of the opportunity to check this out which will be a travesty. This is clearly my favorite book of this year. 

Other ongoing reads: The Virgin Suicides, Big Magic, Writing Down the Bones, Olive Kitteridge, Holes and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweiler. 

1. Miss Congeniality- You can always rely on Sandra Bullock to always deliver. 

2. Little Women- This adaptation had me questioning why I allowed myself to watch this only now when it's clearly magnificent in all the sense of the word. 

3. I Know What You Did Last Summer- I don't know about you but this 90s flick always gets me whether for swooning or pumping. Definitely, this slasher film is the latter. 

4. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer- Still as unsettling but did not live up to the gore of its predecessor. 

5. Marriage Story- If you are like me who pays particular attention to dialogues even with minimal movements, let's say movies with swashbuckling swords play, then this is for you. I would marry Adam Driver in a heartbeat. 

6. To All The Boys I've Loved Before: Always and Forever: The perfect ending to a trilogy that I love so much. I know for a fact that if I find myself at a crossroads of here and there, I'll always choose this beginning, middle and end. Obsessed with the soundtrack, too! 

7. Ponyo: You don't watch a Studio Ghibli and not to be gripped with overwhelming ambrosia of wonder. 

8. Flipped: This is a rewatch forever. I don't even need to justify this now. 

9. Sailor Moon Eternal: Go for the nostalgia, stay for the gorgeous visuals and storyline. 

10. About Time: It's an upgrade on the disappointing Time Traveler's Wife although I love the book. This one's a reality check without relying heavily on romance. 

11. Notting Hill: 90's Julia Roberts and the dreamy Hugh Grant are match made in heaven. This is a rewatch because it was on DVD the first time. Thanks to Netflix. I enjoyed this heavily because they don't make these kinds of movies anymore. 

12. Serendipity: First of all, that title is dreamy AF. I mean destiny could suffice but it's a tad too corny. Second, when Annie Lennox sang Waiting in Vain from one of the scenes, even if what's unfolding are not necessary tear-inducing, I cried. This is so silly romantic I can only love it. 


14. Jaws: This iconic blockbuster about a ravenous great white shark terrorizing the summer tourists of Amity delivered the thrills and the shrills!

15. Ruby Sparks: The first movie off our Friday Night Movie Club. what if you can conjure out of thin air who you are writing right now? How will you go about it? How will you control her? Are you fair to your character that you created? Can she be herself? This is the premise of this film and it is interestingly the movie, if you are a writer, the realization of your dream. 

16. Book Club.  Four respectable women formed the eponymous Book Club and read the salacious Fifty Shades trilogy to add pizzazz to their mundane lives. Although this is not as enjoyable as The First Wives Club. 

17. When Harry Met Sally: A charming film that stands the test of time! and oh, I'll have what she's having. 

18. Bride Wars: Nothing makes me happy than a beautifully realized chick flick!

19. Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Stars: I love it! Vanessa Hudgens is just soooo good. It's predictable I know but I want to be rubbed with holiday cheer so I really couldn't ask for more. 

20. All Too Well: The Short Film: It's 10 minutes of pure artistry and sheer emotional tour de force. 

21. Single All The Way: It’s a Christmas movie starring gay friends-turned-couple who needed to be nudged that what what they have is beyond friendship and their love story is right in front of them. What not to love? 

22. Love Hard: Bound to be a Christmas classic, just so you wait. 

23. Don't Look Up: The only disaster movie that I genuinely like. People describe it as satirical, I call it eye-opening. 

24. Holidate: Emma Roberts, who I love on the short-lived Scream Queens, has been too jaded about a prospect of love during the holiday season only to be swept by someone who's even more jaded. 

25. From Up on Poppy Hill: Definitely underrated especially in the midst of other great Studio Ghibli movies but I like to keep it that way. I want it to be eclipsed by say, Spirited Away ( my fave from the legendary animation studio) because I would like to maintain an almost spiritual attachment to it. I couldn't stop thinking about it even if months have passed since the last time I saw it. 

26. Whisper of the Heart: Much has been said about Studio Ghibli's masterful take on fantasy but their silent love stories are just as riveting. If you have a dream and you won't let others take it away from you because you are holding onto one promise by one person who gets you through and through, then this film is a comforting hug. 

1. Every Single Album, Taylor Swift: Nora Princiotti and Nathan Hubbard break down the entire discography of Taylor Swift with all the panache of collective Swifties. If you are not a fan of the artist that they feature (they are currently doing Adele), chances are at the end of each episode, you will definitely be. 

2. Ang Walang Kwentang Podcast with Antoinette Jadaone & JP Habac: What do you get when you pair two of the most engaging directors in the Philippines today and have them dish on popular culture, relationships-gone-wrong advises via Sta. Roselle Nava Tulungan Mo Po Kami which is equal parts witty and hilarious and just about everything that they like to shed light on? You get this podcast, schooled, learned while rollicking on the floor laughing. 

3. Switched on Pop: “Musicologist Nate Sloan & Songwriter Charlie Harding pull back the curtain on how pop hits work magic on our ears & our culture”. Their dissection of Butterflies by Kacey Musgraves made me even love the song more and I don't think for one moment it is possible. 

4. Sway by New York Times: Particularly the Nobel Prize Winner Maria Ressa’s episode because she’s one woman who never sways to fear. As we all should. 


1. Solar Power | Lorde: I am not really a Lorde disciple so I really did not dig this but it has interesting cuts which admittedly I have forgotten now. 

2. Star-crossed | Kacey Musgraves: Nothing to be compared to Golden Hour which is more accomplished, this album is a tragedy in 3 parts and it delineates all the situations that lead to the divorce. But it is a beautiful album through and through. 

3. Red (Taylor's Version)| Taylor Swift: There is a reason why critics considered this her best album. The 10-minute All Too Well is worth the wait and hype! Dayumm! 

1. Trese: Pinoy lore for worldwide audiences. This adaptation deserves a resounding applause for breaking the barriers of what is known to be dominated by Japanese and American. Yes, we can compete with the best of them. 

2. Big Little Lies Seasons 1 and 2: The book saved me last year during the pandemic. This series does not disappoint at all! The episodes that cover the 2 seasons are some of the finest hours in television! It's a masterclass on writing and acting and I'll laugh at you if you still haven't seen this. 

3. Ru Paul's Drag Race ( Seasons 4-13, All Stars 4-6) This is probably my favorite reality series of all time. I only have these words to say: This show is what? SICKENING! OKUUUUUR!

4. Schitt's Creek ( Seasons 1-6) This is the sort of TV show that you watch for just one episode and YOU ARE COMPLETELY PULLED IN FROM THE GET-GO AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT YOU ARE LAUGHING LIKE CRAZY HELL, CRYING EVEN WHEN THE SCENES UNFOLDING ARE NOT PARTICULARLY LACHRYMAL AND JUST MIRACULOUSLY HEALED. I slap myself silly for sleeping on this when this started back in 2015 so I consoled myself from the sting by just combing the ends of the cyberspace to learn everything that my midget brain could handle about it. This show is a gift wrapped in the most splendiferous of papers with ribbons and bows and all the frou frous. If you trust my taste, GO TO NETFLIX, SEARCH FOR IT, PRAY BECAUSE YOU KNOW MIRACLES ARE UPON YOU AND PRESS PLAY. You're welcome! 

This is quite a handful this roundup, I must say. But this is me paying homage to the creators of each piece of art that I mentioned above because hey, let's face it imagine our collective lives without books to read, movies and TV shows to watch, new albums and podcasts to listen to? You might as well be dead right? So consume art to live. You owe it to yourself. 

Happy New Year to you! 



Cover: Tom Mossholder on Unsplash

Notebook layout: Canva

Photos: Google Images, Pinterest. IMDB, Booklist

This Week in Visual References

Friday, November 26, 2021

I know I haven't been updating here as much as I wanted to because as always life gets in the way. So this is me trying to pay penance by finally introducing a brand-new, squeakily-clean, sparkling feature for the blog! 

It's an update no one asked for but I need to do this because my website has new readers since I have been promoting this nonstop to my students lols and I don't want them to berate me to high heavens because I have nothing new to offer. Whew. That was a breathless sentence. 

So the question remains. What sort of gimmickry will I be doing to cater to those who want to read my blog more? Nothing extraordinary of course. I mean I can't have giveaways because I am cash-strapped but I might for Christmas so you better WATCH OUT FOR IT! 

So basically, every week, from Saturday to Friday, and since I love taking screenshots of anything that piques my curiosity, I will be dumping them here as a sort of snapshots of the week gone by. There will be memes, soc-med posts of any kind or pictures that I take myself with brief explanation of course because I insist. 

So if you are ready to get lost in them, here's This Week in Visual References: 

Last Saturday I went to my favorite mall because I am so desperate to feel the Christmas spirit and this year, their decorations did not disappoint at all. From the looks of it, I think the holiday theme is enchanted forest! 

Can you guess which mall I went to? The thing about Christmas tree is that even if its pagan in nature, it's a surefire way to get you in the holiday mood. This gives me butterflies! 

You know it's going to be magical when iridescent butterflies let loose! 

This vinyl showcase from Satchmi is a dream to own! 

One day if I get to own a turntable, I already decided to buy my records here.  

Lately, I have been obsessing over cooking videos on Tiktok so this spices portion from Healthy Options is right up my alley. 

Don't you love a heavily-filtered, overly decorated throwback photo? I do! Especially if you are in a good company of fabulous friends: Me, Ubegail, Salve, Shiela and Maricor outside a place that I would do anything to forget. 

If you are going to ask me where I make and edit my slide decks for my subjects Creative Writing and 21st Century Literature, it's in Genially! Collaging as an art form is something that sets my blood astir so using this template is a no-brainer! 

You know I love them trees decked with balls! This is the holiday set-up in Vista Mall which we noted is a 'repeat performance' from many years back, lels. 

It's the obligatory groupie for me with my Samgyup buddies: Ubegail, Enah, Gracia and She! 

The birthday artcard I created for one of my favorite people using Nichi app. 

With my loves, Ubegail Rubibay who I will catch a grenade to. 

Dolomite Beach who? 

The Urban Dictionary entry of my name. Yes to asshole personality! You may find yours here

My excellence incarnate friend Rizza and her version of Christmas staple Oh Holy Night will give Celine Dion and Mariah Carey a run for their money! 

So honored to judge our district's Essay Writing Contest in celebration of English Month. 

Yey! We won! 

I can't wait for next week's dispatches! 


* All pictures, aside from the screenshots from different sources, are taken by me. 

Cover photo from Unsplash