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Haunters

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This book is written by Thomas Taylor and is classified under the science fiction genre. The story is an interesting mix of mystery, crime solving and adventure which revolves around Eddie, Adam and David. The boys are all in their teens and one thing that they have in common is a specific set of abilities – they can time-travel in the past but they appear as ghosts. However, they have different mindsets on how and why they are using this ability. Eddie is sworn to protect the course of history. Adam wants to change it for his own ends. And David must find a way to keep them apart – and save the future of the world.

As a firm believer of the possibility of time travelling, I have always been intrigued reading these kinds of books. As mentioned in the story, the characters are able to time-travel but with a catch. They can only do so in their dreams (in which case, they are called Dreamwalkers) and they look as if they are ghost if they are already outside their timeline. The book tackles about the studies of projected consciousness or astral projection as a way of travelling back in time. In a way, the projected “soul” of the character possesses ghostly abilities like passing through walls or transforming into something scary.

This story is a very good read, in my opinion, not only because of its interesting plotline but because it also talked a bit about the essence and importance of relationships, trust, honesty and forgiveness. Since this is about time-travelling to the past, the plot emphasized that little actions done to alter the past can hugely affect the present and presumably, the future.

I really liked reading this book knowing that in some alternate universe, people can do stuff that normal people cannot do. One of the morals that I learned while reading this book reminds me of the infamous line of Uncle Ben in Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Having abilities that other people cannot do makes a person greedy of that power that he forgot about being humble and using it for the greater good. With that being said, we should always be modest and grateful of all the things we are able to receive. It is never up to us to make other people feel inferior just because they have less.

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They Both Die At The End

“Yes, we live, or we’re given the chance to at least, but sometimes, living is hard and complicated because of fear.” This line is one of the many quotable passages in this book written by Adam Silvera that talks about life – from living to death. The story revolves around the characters Rufus Emeterio and Mateo Torrez who both received a call on September 5th. Both calls are from Death-Cast, a phone company that tells you that upon receiving the call, you only have about 24 hours or less to live. Shocked to receive the news, the two strangers planned on how they are about to spend their End Day. They both ended up signing up at an app called the Last Friend and they instantly connected. Because of the app, they met up for one last great adventure that will change both their lives forever.

The concept of the book is not fairly new. I can compare that it is somewhat similar to the In Time movie, starring Justin Timberlake, in a sense that the characters have a strong proof on the remaining hours that they have left to live. The plot, however has a lot of sturdy points and details in covering the things a lot of people would do on their last day. That would also include telling (or not) your friends and family that you are about to sleep for eternity. The book also briefly tackled the mindset and beliefs of the afterlife. As the characters journey to do the things that they wanted to try before they die, they mostly uncover things about each other’s lives.

While reading the book, it had me deeply thinking about the things that I would do if I learned that it would be my last day. I guess, given the opportunity, I could visit the places that I’ve always wanted to visit. I would express my gratitude and love to everyone that made an impact in my life. I would thank everyone for being a part of me as I was alive. One realization, though, is that most of the things I listed and thought of are considered “good” things. I think, having brought up in the idea of heaven and hell makes people do good deeds on their last days in hope of going to the paradise once their bodies rot six feet below the ground.

One of the main theme of this story for me, however, is not about how you would live your last day alive. It is about how you would live the ordinary days in your life knowing that your life can be taken away in an instant. As quoted above and as cliché as it may sound, the moral lesson that can be learned in this book is to live our lives to the fullest. It doesn’t have to be our last day for us to be kind or to have the courage to do the things that we want but afraid to do so. We should keep in mind that it is better to regret the things that we did than to regret the things we didn’t do. Because in the end, doing it even if we fail will serve as a lesson and help us learn than to constantly live in a world full of what-ifs.

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Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Philippines

Earlier today, I went to one of the biggest book fair to be held in the Philippines. I have been looking forward to going to this one because the books are such great deals, considering that it would be 60%-80% less than its original price. If it doesn’t make any bibliophile drool, then I don’t know what is.

The fair is situated in World Trade Center, Pasay City and I went there around 4 o’clock in the afternoon. There were a lot of people, I tell you! It is already the third day of the book sale and I thought it would be less crowded, but boy, I was wrong. I came with a buddy and basically, our strategy is to divide and conquer. The venue, however, is really big and it can be too overwhelming.

Before going there, I already prepared a list of titles and authors of the books that I want to buy but since there is a huge volume of books, I absent-mindedly just get books, read the blurb or synopsis, throw it to the cart if I find it interesting, then repeat. Personally, I found it hard to look for a particular title that I have in mind because the books were not arranged by author. It was, however, arranged by genre but considering that I went there in the afternoon, some books were not in its original place and some are already out of stock. I didn’t mind, though. It was fun and it made me feel like I was on a treasure hunt or something. Also, it is very amusing to stumble upon authors and compelling books that you haven’t heard before.

Apart from that, I found the fair very neat and organized. They provide trolleys and carts and they even have a customer storage area where you can leave or deposit some of the books when your cart is already full so you can make space for some more. I never get to use that, though, since I only bring cash for a few books and the cart that I have is more than enough. Since the prices are cheap, I bagged 9 books for only 1,510php (which is equivalent to about 29 USD)

All in all, I was very pleased and delighted with the experience. A small tip: one day is not enough. That being said, I will come back on the 24th, the second to the last day of the fair, and I hope the experience is a great as what I had today.

 

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What Makes a Hero?

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Justice League and even The Incredibles, they are considered heroes. Creatures that can fly, have super strength, laser beams, invisibility powers, ability to climb walls and all other special stuff that a normal human being did not possess. But what defines them as heroes? Is it their super cool costumes and capes? High-tech gadgets? Superpowers? Are they the only ones to be labeled as heroes?

Simple people can be considered heroes. They might not have superpowers but they do things extraordinarily. I take my mom, for example. She manages to raise four kids, even she is completely, legally separated from our real father. She was able to teach us all the things we need to learn in life. Still teaching us a couple of life tricks here and there, and she is pretty damn good at it.

I remembered when we were kids, she used to work three different jobs just to make money for raising us, for feeding us and for all the expenses we need. She always put our needs in priority before herself. A woman who does everything for the love of her children. She was not able to pursue university and only finished high school because she became pregnant at the very young age of nineteen but that did not stop her from getting a decent job.

I actually once asked her if she regretted anything. I mean, yes, we were not living in the status as we have before and all her hard work, as well as my stepfather’s, are fruitful enough, but that won’t change the fact that my mom has been through a lot of struggles. She simply answered my question with this, “No. I did not regret anything and if ever I would be given the chance to go back, I would not change anything because I have been rewarded with the most precious gift I could ever have, you and your siblings.”

So back to the previous question, what makes a hero? Clearly not the awesome costumes and capes, neither the high-tech gadgets nor superpowers. I think, being able to care for someone other than yourself and doing things for the good of other people is what defines a hero. As what Superman, Christopher Reeve, said so himself, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” Sacrificing your own happiness and even your dreams for other people’s sake and learning to surpass any challenges in life is a heroic deed that even just a simple person could do.

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An Open Letter To That Person Who Promised To Stay But Didn’t

How many times people have already promised you something? From a small thing like a gift or promising to accompany you to a movie or a party, to something big like promising to always be there and stay by your side whatever happens. News flash: No one really stay. They will still go at one point or another. There’s this saying that promises are meant to be broken but here’s the thing, why promise something if you’re not really intended to keep it?

Here’s to that one person who promised to be by my side even I’ve caused too much trouble, to that person who promised to always cheer me up when I’m having the worst day ever, to that person who promised to share with me all the laughter and pain, to that person who stayed but gone the next day, to that person who promised but never kept it.

I miss you even though you left me hanging. I miss how you comfort me whenever I get into a fight but I’m the one who end up crying. I miss how you always try to make me laugh when something goes wrong. I miss the way you brighten up my day through a song. I miss the time when you’re always there and telling me that everything is going to be okay. I miss the way we used to be.

I hate you for making me believe that you’ll always stay. I hate you for making me feel this way. I hate you for not considering the fact that I’ll never be the same when you go. I hate you for leaving when you know that I’ll be missing you so. I hate you because I cared and it scares me because I’m still hoping you’ll come back when I know that you never will.