In My Mailbox #2

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. It highlights all the good things to read that we’ve received recently.


Yesterday must have been an auspicious day for book hunting because I found some gems that I can’t wait to share with you:

The Runaway Princess and The Runaway Dragon from Kate Coombs, all bought from Booksale SM City Cebu Branch. I actually just saw 2 copies of The Runaway Dragon and when I moved towards the cashier to pay for my purchases, I spied a huge book on Egyptology. Anybody who knows me and my love affair with Egyptian mythology, would be sure to find me leafing through the mammoth tome. Too bad it was way expensive than I could afford. So when I moved it over to another pile, there appeared a most glorious blessing – a lone copy of The Runaway Princess. Hallelujah! πŸ™‚

Glenda Millard’s The Naming of Tishkin Silk was another Booksale find. On the other hand, Fan Girl by Marla Miniano was bought from National Bookstore SM City Cebu.

These are not actually books but rather notebooks which are perfect for travelers and doodlers. Instead of a blank canvass or ruled lines, you get a dotted grid much like a graphing paper (but you have dots instead of lines). Artist Joanne de Leon breathed new life to the beloved Filipino folk songs like Penpen Di Sarapen, Leron-Leron Sinta and Paruparong Bukid as seen in the next photo. But I have to admit though that I’m already a fan of the dotted notebooks even before I met these. πŸ™‚

Images are properties of their respective authors and publishers. All rights reserved.

Photos were taken using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-F2 camera and edited using‘s array of photo filters. πŸ™‚

FFP Read-a-Thon Fun!

While the bibliophiles are partying in Libreria, am here in my room tackling my TBR (and trying to fight off sleep..hehe).

Just so I stay connected with the rest of the mambabasa, here’s my progress if you’d care to know:

APRIL 8, 2011

9:15 PM – blogged about my booklist
9:53 PM – started reading: Mystery of the Musical Umbrella (Friedrich Feld)

10:25 PM – done reading said book – 1 down, ++ more to go πŸ™‚
10:26 PM – checked on the rest of the reading gang on FB:!/event.php?eid=162465320475568
Wheee! Seems like they’re having so much fun! πŸ™‚

11:02 PM – started on my 2nd book: Shadow Spinner (Susan Fletcher)

Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher

APRIL 9, 2011

8:52 AM – Am stuck at Chapter 8 of the 2nd book I’m reading. Sigh. Tried as I might, I just couldn’t pull an all-nighter so I did the next best thing and slept. πŸ˜€
That’s why I’ll be reading this as fast as I can so I can read the rest of my TBR. ^_^

The official read-a-thon blog posted some updates. You can read it here:

11:10 AM – Done with 2nd story (in between having breakfast and little snacks..hehe)

11:20 AM – starting on my 3rd story – More Bedtime Stories to Read Aloud which features 21 mini stories. Hoping to speed things up with my reading. Hehe

12:20 PM – Done with my 3rd book (and raring to catch some lunch..hehe)

1:30 PM – just had some lunch then on to my 4th book: Wizard at Work (Vivian Vande Velde) ^_^

2:38 PM – 4 books down. πŸ™‚

3:00 PM – cleansing my palate with The Curious Gardener’s Almanac: Centuries of Practical Garden Wisdom (Niall Edworthy).

3:18 PM – time for a snack πŸ˜€

6:10 PM – after a long break, now tackling my 5th book: Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine)

8:29 PM – 30 minutes more to go and i’m still at chapter 14 of Ella Enchanted. So crazy yet so fun! ^_^

11:51 PM – Finally finished Ella Enchanted. My hats off to Ms. Carson Levine for penning such a wonderful tale. Such is the reason why I didn’t hurry to finish it. I didn’t want to miss the story all because of the 9 PM deadline. Hehe

Well, that’s it for me, folks. Luv the readathon and the challenges that came with it. Will post my thoughts in the morning. But now I have to retire. Thanks for keeping up with my mumblings. πŸ™‚

My Read-a-Thon Booklist

booklist for ffp 24 hour read-a-thon

Am going for a magic/fantasy theme this year. Here’s my booklist, in no particular order:

  • Mystery of the Musical Umbrella (Friedrich Feld)
  • The Bookstore Mouse (Peggy Christian)
  • The Kingfisher Treasury of Spooky Stories (Chosen by Jane Olliver)
  • Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine)
  • The Wizard’s Map (Jane Yolen)
  • Wizard at Work (Vivian Vande Velde)
  • May Bird Among the Stars (Jodi Lynn Anderson)
  • Shadow Spinner (Susan Fletcher)
  • Emma and the Ruby Ring (Yvonne MacGrory)
  • More Bedtime Stories to Read Aloud
  • The Sisters Grimm (Michael Buckley)
  • Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen (Serena Valentino)
  • Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand (Gail Carson Levine)

Just short books yet really yummy (well, will have to know that when I got to read them.)

And just to cleanse the palate, I’m gonna read “The Curious Gardener’s Almanac: Centuries of Practical Garden Wisdom” by Niall Edworthy.

Hoping to get through the 24 hours straight. Wish me luck! πŸ˜‰

The First FFP 24-Hour Read-A-Thon

If you’re raring to kick-off your summer reading, then join the first ever read-a-thon to be organized by Flips Flipping Pages.

But what if you’re not anywhere near the venue as the Read-A-Thon happens?

No worries. You can still join in on the fun online; a moderator will post updates of the event as it unfolds. You can comment or even post pictures of yourself reading on your blog, on facebook or twitter. Just sign up here.

In my case, I already did. See #17! πŸ˜€

24-hour read-a-thon sign up

Visit Blooey’s website ( or the official FFP Read-A-Thon blog ( for more details.


Image courtesy of Flips Flipping Pages 24-Hour Read-A-Thon.
Get event buttons and other goodies here.

The Flips Flipping Pages is a community of Filipinos who love to read, collect, swap, mooch, talk about, sell, touch, smell, look at, give away books.
Been a member for quite some time now although I have yet to join any meet-ups.

If you want to know more about this engaging book club, join us onΒ

We Were All Bloodthirsty

And we were all calling for Margarito’s blood.

By now, everyone should know that the Philippines is not only a basketball country but is hooked on boxing not without great deference to probably the World’s Greatest Fighter and the Pound for Pound King, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.

And we were all shouting for his name egging for him to win (well, not literally speaking as our voices wouldn’t carry over to the TV set but you get my drift ;)).

Sunday afternoon and most of the neighborhood gathered around our neighbor’s yard with a 34″ TV set up under the oppressive heat of the sun. Lucky for us, they gathered enough sacks as makeshift tents so we wouldn’t baked under all that heat. But with Pacquiao fighting, heat is downright inevitable.

Rounds 1 and 2 were easily the “dance with me part” where both fighters were still sizing each other up and exchanging some jabs but nothing serious. But in round 4 when Margarito sustained that first gash, it was evident that Pacquiao is gonna win. And I’m not saying this with conceit because I’m Filipino but because Manny Pacquiao is really just one terrific fighter surprising you all the way through 12 rounds (that actually makes his every fight something to watch out for because you just don’t know what exactly’s gonna happen).

Pacquiao vs. Margarito

However, in all fairness, I’d like to applaud the Tijuana Tornado for not giving up despite the severe mash up he received from the Pinoy boxer. For me, Round 5 was his as his punches made more than several contacts with Manny’s face, shoulders and head. He did his country proud for not backing down that easily.

Pacquiao vs. Margarito

Pacquiao vs. Margarito

But my hats off to my countryman Pacquiao for not losing his head in the game, for giving it his all and more and more importantly, for remaining to be a true sportsman despite several opportunities of knocking down Margarito. In an after-game interview, he was quoted saying: “I told the referee get a doctor. Boxing is not for killing each other. I sacrificed a lot. Trained hard. That’s why I’m only 145 lbs.” (from And people from the world over are just overwhelmed from this great victory. Even the 2001 World Nine-Ball Champion and honorary Filipino, Mika “The Iceman” Immonen, is quoted saying on his fb: “Manny Pacquiao wins his 8th World title! Too amazing. PAC-MAN re-writes history.” (and yes, he and I are friends on fb..hehehe)

Pacquiao vs. Margarito

Pacquiao vs. Margarito

But perhaps one of the characteristics I like about Manny Pacquiao is his asking for God’s grace before and after every fight, surrendering everything to the Almighty while doing the best that he can. Despite winning all those titles, he is still humble enough to ask for guidance. One of the commentators was even saying “Well, what do you know? A couple of Catholics in this game” when Pacquiao and Margarito were caught on film making the sign of the cross upon entering the Cowboys Stadium in Dallax Texas. As that scene was playing, I asked my sister this: “Who prayed the hardest? And whose prayer is gonna be answered tonight?” Even before the 12th bell sounded, everyone knew already who was taking the crown home.

Pacquiao vs. Margarito

Pacquiao vs. Margarito

Well, dear readers, there you have it. My comments about one hell of a game that just rocked the entire world. Hope Mayweather will respond to the challenge soon (or throw in the towel early..hehe) so we can all witness one of the most anticipated fights of the century.

Pacquiao vs. Margarito

Pacquiao vs. Margarito

Would love to hear about how the game was for you, too. Don’t hesitate to post your comments. πŸ˜‰
These crisp images of the fight are courtesy of Jigz Godinez. Thank you so much, Jigz. As in ultimate pabaga jud because we don’t know each other but I asked him if I could upload the pics. Hehehe Salamat kaayo! πŸ™‚

Vote for the Philippines in the 2010 BBC World Challenge

People who live in the mountain barangays have a lot of challenges going for them. First and foremost, there is the great distance from where they are located to the nearest center of commerce and trade which is usually in or the city. And that distance is one of the contributing factors why they have difficulty in attaining even their basic needs. One of those needs is water.

The Philippines, being an archipelago with islands of varied topography and geographical make-up, features a lot of scenic landscapes that sometimes can only be found in the mountains. If you have travelled enough to these places, you will notice that not only is the trek difficult, it is also barraged with wild vegetation, rocky cliffs or slippery slopes making the journey x-times more arduous. In some areas, the ascent and descent are even hazardous. How then do these people get the water they need?

Enter the ram pump.

Ramp Pump from the Philippines

It’s a hydraulic pump which uses the force of the water, in this case the force of the river current, to push water up into the mountains (a more technical description here). Now people who live in the mountain barangays need not break their backs or endanger themselves looking for water as water is readily available with the ram pump. It has certainly made lives easier. Notably, this technology has been around for a long time. Too bad though, like some other ingenious inventions, the ram pump has never been given enough credit for making a difference in the everyday lives of people.

It’s baffling how some inventions fail to achieve a tipping point. The hydraulic ram pump – which has been around for a couple of centuries. falls into this category. The Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc. (AIDFI) is determined to see the ram pump finally come into its own. Using the power of a river’s flow to literally push water uphill without any other energy input, it’s proving to be a boon for poor villagers living in mountainous regions.

The ram pump can save both hours of back-breaking work carrying water and cash where expensive water pumps are replaced. AIDFI has introduced the ram pump to over 170 upland villages, and has plans to spread the benefits far and wide among poor communities.
World Challenge 2010

Now we can make a difference.

We can vote for the Philippine entry for the World Challenge.

[The] World Challenge 2010 is a competition organised by BBC World News Limited (“BBC World News”) aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level. [BBC is looking for] social entrepreneurs who are making a difference without costing the earth.
From the World Challenge Website.

This year, the ram pump from the Philippines was selected as one of the 12 finalists of BBC’s World Challenge along with the various projects and inventions from the following countries: Denmark, Tanzania, Peru, Kenya, Zambia, Guatemala, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Rwanda and Malawi.

Just click here to cast your votes. We can also invite our friends to vote for our country’s entry on or before the deadline: November 12, 2010.
While we are not discounting the various efforts of other countries, it is but proper to show our Pinoy pride. Vote now! πŸ˜€
Image courtesy of

For more stories about the ram pump as World Challenge finalist, please click here and here.