The Takeaways: The War, The Surrender and Everything in Between

What if your life is crumbling down before your eyes? What if all you know is starting to look like a lie? What if being in control brings more trouble than surrendering?

Finally, I’m done reading War Room. It’s been 3 months since I’ve started opening it and tried to read. But unfortunately, haven’t read it continuously because I’m too busy reading other books.

Only this February, I picked it up again from my bookshelf and read it. And this time, with the intention of finishing. And boom… this book hits home… and it hits home hard enough to make me fall on my knees and surrender.


  • You cannot win a battle on your own.


  • There is no sense on fighting a battle that has been already won by God.


  • Praying is not a matter of God granting a wish, but it is more of aligning your heart desires to His plan.
  • Stop taking control. Stop doing it on your own. Let Him do driving.
  • So much God can do to your life, allow Him to work with your heart.


  • Praying is the best battle plan to defeat the enemy.


  • Trust God.
  • Praying for other people is liberating.


to be continued…

Book of the Month: Found by Isa Garcia

“This is a story about love, adventure and friendship with a heroine who dares to disturb the universe because she can rest in the certainty that she will always be… FOUND” – Found, Isa Garcia

Before I start, I wanted to tell all of you that this month I am fully fulfilled as a book nerd.  I did not expect to read 5 books on January. One Yey for me.

With these five books, I can’t choose which book will be the Book of the Month. There you have Regret No More by Nelson Dy in which I  learned so much from it; Skulduggery Pleasant The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy which I did not expect it will be good and of course the cliffhanger; Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, my first YA of the year, which is unexpectedly good also; Of Mice and Men by John Steinback which is as usual can rip my heart into a million pieces, and; Found by Isa Garcia.

But because Found is too beautiful both its aesthetics and context, I will choose it as January’s Book of the Month.

Have you ever felt that seemingly in this world full of people, no one can get you? No one can feel you? I, sometimes, feel that way. I thought no one is feeling and thinking the way I do. I thought I am alone in this. But then, there is this book that speaks whatever my mouth cannot utter, my mind cannot put into precise context and that’s Found by Isa Garcia. And I am grateful to read this.

Found is a collection of letters on love, life and God. I love the letters inside plus the postcards.

So, as a whole, Found is an easy read and inspiring book. If you are a girl who is lost or who finds it hard to get along with life… this book is for you.

2016 Year in Books


Starting 2016, I am in the hunt for new books to love. One of my goals is to read more. However, life seems to ignore the fact that I have 35 books to read this year. There you have some uncontrollable circumstances that hindered me to read more. Or that halfhearted weekends when I want to read but I also want to practice my new found hobby: lettering. Or those times I ended up scrolling my phone for  the latest news/gossip in Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.

This year I have only read 31 books. Unlike last year where I read 34 books or the year prior last year, 37 books. To be honest it frustrates me because why on earth I only read 31 books this year? WHY???

And aside from reading less what I’ve expected, only quite few books that resonates me (in no particular order):


The Last Apache Girl (paperback) by Jim Fergus


“Yet only the atrocities of the conquered are referred to as criminal acts; those of the conqueror are justified as necessary, heroic, and even worse, as the fulfillment of God’s will.”
Jim Fergus, The Wild Girl

When Breathe Becomes Air (ebook) by Paul Kalanithi


“That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”
Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air

Hollow City (ebook) by Ransom Riggs


“I liked this idea: that peculiarness wasn’t a deficiency, but an abundance; that it wasn’t we who lacked something normals had, but they who lacked peculiarness. That we were more, not less.”
Ransom Riggs, Hollow City

The Little White Horse (paperback) by Elizabeth Goudge


“Nothing is ever finished and done with in this world. You may think a seed was finished and done with when it falls like a dead thing into the earth; but when it puts forth leaves and flowers next spring you see your mistake.”
Elizabeth Goudge, The Little White Horse

The Hidden Oracle (ebook) by Rick Riordan


“Not all monsters were three-ton reptiles with poisonous breath. Many wore human faces.”
Rick Riordan, The Hidden Oracle

And Again (ebook) by Jessica Chiarella



The Throne of Fire (ebook) by Rick Riordan


“The right choice is hardly ever the easy choice.”
Rick Riordan, The Throne of Fire

The Sun is Also a Star (paperback) by Nicola Yoon


“How can you trust something that can end as suddenly as it begins?”
Nicola Yoon, The Sun is Also a Star

Other books are just okay, not astounding enough for it to resonate.

So here’s the summary of my 2016 Books








What I Learned from The Throne of Fire

It is 12 midnight, not my usual hour to sleep but I am engrossed on reading, here’s the climax, I said. One more chapter, I plead to my sleepy head. I can confidently say, reading wins, it always wins.

Now, it is Bes turn now. Ok. I cannot believe what I just have read. *spoiler alert* He risk his ren, his soul, the part of himself that contains who he was and his experiences. HE RISK IT ALL. For what? For greater good.

That scene left  me dumbfounded and teary-eyed. How could this particular middle-school fantasy novel hit home that hard?

Risk. For a person as cowardice and conventional like me, risking is a bit of a hardcore. Living in the comforts all my life, I came to believe that life is about being here, just being here. And not to my surprise, I am WRONG again. Sometimes, we need to risk something in order to have that one thing we desire. I think selfishness is the number one reason why a person like me is having a hard time risking even a little bit of myself.

And here’s Bes, an Egyptian god, the protector of household, risk not just a little bit of himself but all the essence of him, his name, his ren, his soul.

Courage. It takes a greater courage to risk.A cowardice can’t risk because he is bound inside his comfort zone. And there’s Bes again, he goes all out for his friends, Sadie and Carter.

So what’s the point of this entry? The point is we can never truly live if we don’t risk anything at all. Sometimes in our life, we need to be courageous and selfless in order to live… to truly be alive.

William Shedd was right when he said, “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” Imagine we are the ship and we are only in the harbor, are we living our purpose? Are we living the life?

Opportunities, possibilities and life  only happen when we step out from our comfort zone. Risk. Have courage. Live.

Book of the Month (October): The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2) by Rick Riordan




Book of the Month: And Again by Jessica Chiarella

Hi again fellow bookworms! I am still guilty of not reading as much as I can. Yet, I have reasons why I haven’t read that much this September. And one of those I should have yet to tell you soon because it deserves another story. But mind you, it is a sad story.

It is already October but I have not yet disclosed my September’s pick. Without further ado, my September’s Book of the Month is And Again by Jessica Chiarella. It is all about 4 people and how an advance experiment change their lives forever.


Actually, it is a nice read with a good concept. It is about second chances; about living in a body without any mark of the past but only memories, and; about finding out that you are a stranger of your own body. However, it is not as mind-blowing as I expected it to be. But it has so many potentials.

What I like about this book is I can relate to it. I can feel the characters’ dilemma. Here are some quotes:

If only we could turn back time without ruining everything.
Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know. (*Frozen*)
It is what time does in a relationship, it can ruin it or make it flourish. But by this time, it is ruined.


My world had grown so small that the only thing left to do was to leave it.


Beauty is fleeting
When silence is deafening

Yes, that’s it. It’s October I haven’t finished any books yet! I am 2 books behind as scheduled. 😦

Book of the Month: Wonder by R.J. Palacio


This season was such a not good season for reading. I have many valid reasons why I haven’t read that much. However, I think you all know my reasons, that never-ending “LIFE HAPPENS.” Luckily, I got the chance to read a light and heart-warming novel of R.J. Palacio. At first, I felt like not reading it… since the story line seems childish. But who am I fooling? I love children’s book. So for this month, I read Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

Wonder is about a boy named Auggie who has facial deformity (I think that word is such a light word for his illness) and how he brave the world full of judgmental and critical people.

I can’t say that Wonder has a great and complex story compared to other stories about illnesses, disorders and disabilities. But it brought me to the core, the heart of someone who is different which where other stories seems to falter. Its sincerity and realness are the main reasons why I loved it. And this light read is what I needed right now after a month of reading hiatus.

After reading the book, I came to realize many things. Wonder allows me to see the beauty of the world despite of its share of ugliness. A book that will let you see pass through the physical and let you see the soul, its beauty and its kindness. The kind of book that can touch one’s heart because of its rawness and Auggie’s somewhat innocent but the realest of heart.

And these quotable quotes really struck me while reading Wonder:

“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary – the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.”

This world will be a nicer place indeed!



Choose kindness!

“no, no, it’s not all random, if it really was all random, the universe would abandon us completely. and the universe doesn’t. it takes care of its most fragile creations in ways we can’t see. like with parents who adore you blindly. and a big sister who feels guilty for being human over you. and a little gravelly-voiced kid whose friends have left him over you. and even a pink-haired girl who carries your picture in her wallet. maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. the universe takes care of all its birds.”

Nothing is an accident!

“It’s what you’ve done with your time, how you’ve chosen to spend your days, and whom you’ve touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.”

You can change the world one person at a time.


I think that’s it! That’s August Book of the Month. Oh! This is such a coincidence… Auggie’s real name is August! 🙂

Yien 082516

Book of the Month: The Trial of Apollo

To be honest, I have been too busy to read a book or even create a beautiful masterpiece or write a blog post. Curse you adulting and responsibilities. That’s why this month, embarrassing as it may sound, I’ve only read one book and that book is the first book of Rick Riordan’s The Trial of Apollo. So, I don’t have any choice but to give this book the crown for this blog’s Book of the Month feature.


Don’t get me wrong, this book is a nice read. I also rated it 4 stars on GoodReads. It is just that I am more of a feeler whenever I read book. If my heart didn’t melt or my mind isn’t boggled enough, I wouldn’t be as in love as much as I tried to be.

Book One made me laugh. I couldn’t stop laughing at Apollo’s narrative. It made me think if Apollo has any way related to Narcissus? I checked, but none. Anyways, this was such a great read. But I’ve made a big mistake… If you are familiar with Rick Riordan, you will know that he is the god of cliffhanger. My big mistake was starting this series knowing the next books are still in the works of Riordan.

Anyways, there are some few quotes that really are remarkable:

“Not all monsters were three-ton reptiles with poisonous breath. Many wore human faces.”

A very on point observation, Apollo! Yes!

“Nothing is more tragic than loving someone to the depths of your soul and knowing they cannot and will not ever love you back.”

Deep Apollo! Very deep!

“Things can turn out differently, Apollo. That’s the nice thing about being human. We only have one life, but we can choose what kind of story it’s going to be.”

And the bacon part… I love the bacon part.

Oh, gods—bacon! I promised myself that once I achieved immortality again, I would assemble the Nine Muses and together we would create an ode, a hymnal to the power of bacon, which would move the heavens to tears and cause rapture across the universe.

Bacon is good.

Yes, Apollo, BACON IS LIFE.

So what did I take home in reading this?

  1. You are never old enough to read a children’s book or a YA book.
  2. And yes – bacon! The unwavering love of bacon.
  3. Humans are way scarier and meaner than monsters.
  4. You have one life, don’t be foolish to ruin it.
  5. Mythology spin-off is the best!
  6. Humans are monsters too.


Moving On… The KonMari Way

This month I will be starting some new feature in my blog. I would have liked to start it by July, however, the impulsive me gets in the way, voila, here’s June’s Book of the Month.

I know it is too early for June but I cannot help but share with you this book I have read.

This is Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.”

So going back, in this feature, instead of reviewing the books I’ve read, I will be telling you how it affects me.

So here it goes…

Imagine this, you enter your room/house and it dawn on you that your room/house is very untidy. There are clutters everywhere. There are many unnecessary things around. Then, you question yourself, why are these things even around? Why you keep on accumulating things which you aren’t using? Why you keep on storing things which are only nuisance in your home?

This is what I am feeling while and after reading the book. Actually, it made me anxious… Oh to be exact, VERY ANXIOUS. That is why, after reading this book, I immediately tidy the house (we have a very small house). And guess what, I was only organizing clothes but there are all in all 16 bags I’ve discarded and put in a donation box. Yes, that’s how untidy our home is. There is no wonder, why people here are always irritated and hot-headed. Imagine a house that is cluttered, it is irritating I can tell.

In KonMari Method, the key to discard and organize your home is to ask yourself,

is this thing I am holding sparks joy?

If not, say goodbye to that thing and discard it. It is no way you should keep those which are not making you happy… Even it is still useful or comfortable or memorable. If it does not spark joy, DISCARD it.

Well, life is like that, I think. Many things in life does not spark joy. May it be people, thoughts, dreams, mundane things. But we keep on accommodating those people and those thoughts. We keep on holding to that dream. We keep on doing the mundane things. Why? Maybe it is comfortable that way. We may feel secure that way. But in return, it is only making us anxious. It drags us down. We cannot be our full potential, if there are some things that are weighing us down. I am not saying that those things did not help you up but what I am saying is that their purpose have already been accomplished. Now, it is time to move on… the KonMari way. Ask yourself if it is still making you happy. If not, time to discard.

If we keep on being a minimalist, lessening things we accumulate, we can easily see the things which are important, things we admire the most, things we truly value. That way, we can become who we really are.

P.S. I have learned many things reading this book, from practical to the deepest of thoughts. Maybe I can share it to you soon.



A Thousand Lives

I would like to live in a world wherein no books will be left alone, abandoned and orphaned. But I would also love to live in a world wherein there will be no illiterate children left.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

My ultimate dream is to have a big library wherein people, especially children, can come to read books they cannot buy because of lack of finances. I am into education and reading. And giving people a chance to be educated is one of my many passions.

Then it was just like a dream come true through The Book Stop Project, they open a pop-up library at the heart of the very busy city, Makati. This movement of TBSP is to encourage reading and a passion for books and promotes the sharing of ideas through the redistribution of books. Everyone can exchange pre-loved books to the books available there. Also, everyone can borrow.

The pop-up library will be at Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati City until May 7.

My first day

I didn’t take a picture that time because I want to cherish that moment of indulgence and cravings.

I thought I will never see anything that will interest me. But because of my “Book Sale” skills, I saw these books:

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I’ve been meaning to have a hard copy of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” I’ve read a pdf file of this, but owning a hard copy is the most precious moment of my life.

My Second Day

In exchange of the books I’ve taken home on my first day, I gave these precious books of mine:

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I tried to observe who would take these books and how fast they will spot these. In no 5 minutes time after I placed the books on the shelf, someone got Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die. After a couple of minutes, it was Ang Perang di Bitin. Then afterwards, The Little Pink Book. The next one was the Living Beyond your Feelings. And the last I’ve observed was A Stolen Life. Then afterwards I left, with these books:


Third Day:

Then this Tuesday, I returned. The first thing I did was to look for the books I left… and I haven’t seen any. Yes! At least now, those books will be read by another person.

There’s a lot of books yesterday compared to the previous days. And I’ve seen Elizabeth Goudge’s The Little White Horse. It looks good and it’s summary is good. So I took it.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Book Stop Project for indulging my booknerd cravings.



When We Say Freedom

Freedom means a liberation from slavery or from the power of another; an independence; the state of being free.

I live in a country of democracy. We vote, we choose and we are free to do whatever we want to do, of course, aside from things beyond the law.

However, somewhere far from home. Somewhere in the middle of the world, are some of the countries which are chained from slavery and terror.

Yes, until now, in the 21st century, there are still lots of people fighting for their right to be free.

Free in terms of cultural biases, free from gender inequality, free from ignorance, free from poverty, and most of all, free from war.

After reading I Am Malala (a true story of a girl named Malala, who in her own way, speak out to let the world know that she, a Pashtun, has a right for education, a right to do whatever males can do), I realized many things, I appreciated many things that I took advantage of and I am distraught of how I, a free woman, a free human being, am still living discontented and ungrateful for the things other people see as a luxury.

I Am Malala Novel

For a girl like Malala who lived in a country where girls and women are treated as less of a human. Girls like her are bound to a hundred of year tradition. They couldn’t go to school because their culture told them to cook inside their house instead of flourishing their minds. They could not show their face because it shows vulgarity. But more than these… is the poverty and ignorance. That’s why terrorists have begun persuading some of her people to believe in their so-called “religion.” The terrorists used distorted religion (which only self-preserving to their group) to persuade people to obey them. They used the ignorance of people to read. So these people cannot validate, if what the terrorists saying are true or not.

Some people are afraid of ghosts, some of spiders or snakes – in those days we were afraid of our fellow human beings.

These terrorists beheaded many people, whipped them, bombed schools wherein innocent children died.

That’s when Malala spoke up. She could no longer stand the inferior thinking of her people. She stood up to fight for education, she fights for the right of her people to get what they deserve in this world… which is to live. Because for her, ignorance is the enemy. If only her people is educated enough, less lives would be in danger, they will no longer shut their mouths and no more chains from ignorance. And this caused her life (she was shot on her way to school) and the life of her family. And this caused her to leave the “comforts” of her home and be an immigrant to UK. Until now, she’s speaking. At her young age, she has been recognized as a peace advocate, a feminist, a social activist. For her, her life’s purpose (and why she did not die) is to fight for humanity, for freedom, for peace.

Has she achieved freedom? Has she achieved equality? Has she achieved peace? No, not yet. But at least she’s one step closer to liberation, one step closer to freedom.

I am very blessed to have freedom, to be born with freewill. But, because of lack of contentment, people like me, crave for something grander than life, may it be a luxurious life, work-free life, school work-free life, full of travel life. Then here’s Malala, fighting for one thing, EDUCATION. And here I am wanting, craving for nonsense things.

I am aware that we are fighting different fights. For Malala, she’s fighting for what she knows will benefit the future humanity. Maybe for some, they are fighting for what they know is right. But here’s one thing I want to ask: Have you made any difference in this world, not only different difference but a better difference?

I like this quote from I Am Malala book:
“If you want to resolve a dispute or come out from conflict, the very first thing is to speak the truth. If you have a headache and tell the doctor you have a stomach ache, how can the doctor help? You must speak the truth. The truth will abolish fear.”

Speak the truth. Speak it now.


040316 Thoughts after reading I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. Have you read this book? Any thoughts?