Not a lot of people know this, and it may not be true for the past few years, but I’m a water-baby at heart. I could spend hours upon hours just laying in the pool or playing aorund on the beach.

I used to have around 3 colors on my skin, varying degrees of sun exposure cut off by different bathing suit designs. Now, I’m all one-color, no tan line, dry as a whistle. I miss swimming. I miss the water.

So, I stumbled upon this link to the 35 waters you should swim in before you die. I hope to get to expereince swimming in those waters, even just the ones in Asia.



Sleepy Hollow and Dads: TV Review


And no, I don’t mean time to review for my Chemical Engineering Board Exams (which I really should be doing). I mean time to review some of the new shows that just aired this past week. It’s Fall TV Season and my laptop is once again laboring to function on about 8GB of space left because I just had to download about 10-15 episodes this week.

Aside from the returning shows, I also stuffed my hard drive with the first episodes of Sleepy Hollow and Dads. Here’s my take on the two new shows.

DADS (Fox, airs Tuesdays)

At first, I wasn’t sold on Dads. Basing it primarily on the written description of the show, I wasn’t planning on catching it. But, after seeing the trailer a few months back, I decided to give it a try.

The first episode was fun, funny and alright. It did make me guffaw and the jokes did land but I doubt this show will survive. For one, the premise itself isn’t interesting enough to last another season. Basically, the show is about two best friends who both have difficult dads. Cue awkward situations and racist old farts. That’s about it. For a show to last, it needs to have a twist or a little something to carry it past its opening week.

Take Cougar Town, for example. The original concept of the show was a how an older woman is trying to date younger men. OK, fun premise, enough to make you watch a few funny episodes. But then, the show transformed into something else. The “dating younger men” plot disappeared and the show became about a bunch of quirky characters hanging out, having fun and building a new family.

In short, Dads is not like Cougar Town. Watch it if you have half and hour to kill and want something light to watch. Sadly, I predict a short season and an early cancellation.

SLEEPY HOLLOW (Fox, airs Mondays)

Sleepy Hollow is a retelling of the popular tale of the headless horseman. And though no one can beat Johnny Depp, I was intrigued by this modern take. It starts off with the main character, Ichobod Crane, rising from the dead and entering 2013.

At first, I thought that this show wouldn’t make it past the first season. The story reads like a movie more than a series. But as I went through the episode, I quickly got the feeling that this could definitely branch off into other plots and story arcs. Witches, covens, demons and time travelling british dudes. I predict a fun romp into the world of Sleepy Hollow this Fall.

I do have a little issue with some of the characters. The female lead, Abbie, isn’t as interesting as I’d hoped. She’s a spunky detective who rebels against the rules to help out dear Ichobod. Sadly, I didn’t feel any sympathy for her. I wasn’t rooting for her to succeed. We’ll see if the writers have some material to make her more special. For now, I see her as a cookie-cutter character. So, yes, go watch Sleepy Hollow. It’s a great new show with a promising future.

Happy Floody Birthday to Me! (But not so for everyone, pls help)

It’s my birthday! Yay!

But, my country is definitely not in a celebrating mood. Tropical Storm Maring came into the PAR (Philippine Area of Responsibility) yesterday and has been raining down misery for most Filipinos. (Photos shown taken from yesterday up to a few hours ago).

Classes, offices and many operations have been suspended due to flood waters. Many major roads are impassable and loads of families have been displaced.

Luckily, my family and I are safe. So, for my birthday wish, I’m asking anyone and everyone to help. If you’re from the Philippines, please donate through local efforts. Donating canned goods, toilettries, blankets and alike are welcome. For people abroad, you can donate to the Philippine Red Cross.

ImageEvery little bit helps. 🙂

As for me, as soon as it’s safe to go out I’ll be looking for places to volunteer if I can. Stay safe countrymen!

Random Life Updates via Camera Uploads!

I recently looked through my photodump folder aka my Dropbox Camera Uploads and found them pretty representative of my life thus far. I take random photos of things I do sometimes, so it’s really better than my planner.

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Had dinner with my father’s side of the family for my grandfather’s birthday. This is a rare, rare, rare occasion. The last time we gathered was maybe 4 years ago? We ate at Sugi in Greenbelt 2. It’s a high-end Japanese restaurant, one I wouldn’t have stepped in if it weren’t for this special dinner. Their sashimi are to die for.

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Keeping in the spirit of birthdays, here’s a photo of my barkarda. It was Mandee’s (bottome row, rightmost) birthday and we ate at Akira in Shangrila. It’s the first time since forever that we were complete in one photo/event/dinner.

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I recently returned to boxing. I’m not sure if you can tell by my knuckles are shredded. The last time I boxed was the summer before college (I think!). It was fun to know that I still remember all the moves but got winded fairly early on. Gotta get fit!

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What takes up most of my time is review class. I’m reviewing for the Chemical Engineering Board Exams this November. Wish me luck!

Summer TV: Shows to Watch While Waiting for Fall P1

I think I’ve mentioned on this blog my great great dislike for the Summer TV Season. Though, admittedly, there are some good shows airing now, I get really bummed about shows that just ended and the wait for new shows to begin.

I usually take this time to catch up on some shows I overlooked in the last season. It’s the season for marathons and I’d like to share with you all my pics for shows to binge-watch while you (we) wait for fall.

Orphan Black

I was a bit hesitant to watch this show in the beginning. Reading the synopsis did not excite any neurons. I thought it was going to be some campy show about clones. Boy.Was.I.Wrong.

Because the other official posters were scary >.< Tatiana Maslany as Sarah/Alison/Cosima/Helena etc.

How to explain this show? Hmm…At the beginning we meet Sarah (and her fabulous gay bff Felix) as she watches a woman who looks exactly like her commit suicide. Before you jump to the conclusion that Ringer has just been renewed, we quickly find out that Sarah has not one, but two, three, four, seven “twins”/clones. I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll stop there. Just trust me about this show, the premise might sound campy but the storylines are addicting. AND! Tatiana Maslany is sooo great at portraying multiple characters. She even gets away with playing a clone pretending to be another clone. Amazing amazing amazing. Go. Just go and watch it.

In the Flesh

From clones to zombies. Here’s another trope-defying show that is a must-watch for all zombie fans. It stars the adorable Luke Newberry as Kieren an ex-zombie who just wants to fit in.

In this series adaptation of the popular supernatural trope, zombies are slowly being cured. They are now called Partially Deceased Syndrome (PDS) sufferers and are being incorporated into society once again. It’s a gripping show about how society deals with discrimination (and a wee bit about how a community deals with ex-convicts, using zombies as a symbolism for people being rehabilitated into society after being incarcerated — at least that’s how I saw it.) Wow, things just got deep. XD Anyway, it’s a great show to watch but it tends to get heavy. Pack some tissues and make sure no one can see you ugly-cry. With only three episodes in the entire first season, you’ll surely devour it quickly. Fair warning though, season two doesn’t come out for awhile. If you’re the type of person who won’t be able to stand a long wait until the next season, better hold off until the series 2 premiere date gets closer.

More calendars!

Just a calendar from TVLine about Fall Premier Dates.

Camp Nanowrimo, trying to publish and more!

Hi there! It’s me, your friendly neighborhood lazy blogger. (Though I hesitate to call myself a blogger for superficial reasons. I would like to label myself as an online journal-er. Journal writer? Diarist?)

Today, I wanted to share with everyone my journey as a writer. I find it silly to call myself a writer, having not published anything “officially” yet at the same time I don’t have anything else to call myself. Writing has always been in my life as far back as I can remember. I don’t think there was one defining moment where I told myself, “Self, you are a writer.” I just was.

I remember my very first story. It was about a curse and a witch. Yes, my genre is fantasy and sci-fi even then. I wrote it back when computers were running on Windows ’93. I also vaguely remember trying to write a newsletter about the death of Princess Diana. (Please stop guessing my age).

All throughout gradeschool, I recall writing stories, acting in plays and reading tons of books. Highschool was pretty much the same except with more homework and an anxious feeling about college. No, I did not get a degree in Creative Writing or Literature. I guess I was in denial. Instead, I worked hard for 6 years to earn a degree in Chemical Engineering. I had a brief moment with a student organization where I wrote a couple of stories and was the EIC of the my college’s paper but for the most part, I stopped writing (for fun) during those six years.

I did, however, discover the world of freelance writing! I began to earn money from writing about security cameras, exercise routines, health and wellness, and more. I felt that this time honed my professional writing yet not my creative writing.

Let’s break up this wall of text with images of coffee (another thing I discovered in college):


Now that I‘m done learning about heat exchangers and transport phenomena, I’m back to my first love: writing. Here’s a lowdown on my creative and not-so-creative endeavors.

1. Camp Nanowrimo

I’ve tried desperately to win at Nanowrimo in the past. 50,000 words were never reached. I was way too busy with school to immerse myself in the frenzy that is National Novel Writing Month. This July, however, there is Camp Nanowrimo! Sort of a practice run for first-timers and a training program for veterans of Nanowrimo. This July, I’m pledging to write 25,000 words. My novel is in the sci-fi genre this time around. Hoping to finish and share it with you all 🙂

2. Freelancing

Yes, I’m still working as a freelance writer. Bb girl’s got to eat (and shop and watch movies). For those who want to start a career being a freelance writer, feel free to ask me about getting started 🙂

3. HI!

I’m also now working with my boyfriend on a new endeavor which hopes to give advice on real estate to those looking for help. I’ll be posting links as soon as it’s up 🙂

4. Starting out the road to publishing

As of now, I DO NOT have a novel ready to be shown to potential publishers. I am, however, looking at calls for submission for short story anthologies. There’s surprisingly a lot of those. Hoping to submit something by this October and another one next January. Interested in submitting too? Sound off in the comments 🙂

I do tend to rattle off, don’t I. I think I’ll end this post here and try to update everyone on the many many writing challenges I’ve set for myself. Hopefully, I get to do all four things on my list. Oh yeah! I’m also reviewing for my Chemical Engineering board exams this November. Wish me luck!

My Fall TV Schedule

As always, I’m extremely excited for fall. I live in the Philippines, so it’s not the weather that excites me…it’s the TV Shows! Most of the shows I follow are from the US so I am a slave to their TV schedules.

Here’s how my September-February will look like in terms of shows I’ll be downloading. Now, time slots don’t really affect me but I wanted to have some semblance of order in my TV table.

Shows in bold are new shows premiering in Fall 2013. As for the others, they’re returning shows in their latest seasons. This table may evolve as changes in schedules come out over the next few months. Feel free to come back and see any changes. I’ll be keeping this post as updated as possible.

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Sunday
8:00 Bones, How I Met Your Mother, Almost Human Dads, The Orignals, S.H.I.E.L.D. Revolution The Big Bang Theory, The Vampire Diaries The Carrie Diaries Once Upon a Time
8:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9:00 2 Broke Girls, The Following, Sleepy Hollow New Girl, Supernatural Modern Family Grey’s Anatomy, The Crazy Ones ANTM, Enlisted
9:30 The Mindy Project Super Fun Night The Michael J. Fox Show
10:00 CSI Scandal, Elementary Crossbones

I’ll be posting summaries and trailers of the new shows I’m looking forward to watching. 🙂

Hit the comments on which shows YOU’RE excited to see this Fall.

Frugality Tips: Coins are important too!

I have found that coins are a frugal person’s best friend. For someone on a small budget, 10php can mean the difference between a tall frappuccino and a grande frappuccino. Well, what are you doing in Stabucks if you’re penny pinching, missy? I admit I am a victim of overpriced coffee. I like to feel moneyed every once in a while. An occasional treat is not only acceptable, it’s a must!

But let me get back to my point. Coins. Here in the Philippines, we have coins in the following denominations: 25 centavos, 1 piso, 5 pesos, and 10 pesos. And like I said, 10 php can get you a long way. Literally. 8 php is the common base fare for a jeepney ride roughly 2-5km. 

Some people treat coins as a nuisance to be free of. They tend to lose them, throw them around or disregard them all-together. Sayang! 

Here’s two things you should be doing with your coins: keeping them in your wallet and saving them for a rainy day.

Wallet fillers. Alright, coins are heavy to tote around. And they make a lot of noise. But believe me when I say, having spare change can curb spending. Let’s say you have a 20-peso bill and a 100-peso bill in your wallet. It’s a hot say so a sundae sounds great. Normally worth around 25 pesos, you just give your 100-peso bill and get the change. Now, you have 95php in mostly loose bills. The next time you want to buy something, it’s just too easy to spend the loose bills. But! If you had a 20-peso bill, a 100-peso bill and a 5 peso coin, you could have spent your 25 pesos without touching your 100-peso bill. The next time you want to buy something, experience dictates that a larger bill will discourage you from buying frivolous things.

Coin banks. It’s popular opinion that you SHOULDN’T do coin banks since it costs your country more to make more coins instead of recycling them in the system. Well, I say let the government pay! I kid. Having a coin bank for a month or two, in my opinion, is alright. When you get home, fish around for some loose change, 1 peso, 2 pesos, 25 cents and drop it in a coin bank. If you’re prone to misplacing loose change in your pocket or bag, just drop them in the coin bank. After a month or two, gather them up and buy some essentials like pens, napkins, some instant coffee, etc. Though your savings may not amount to a car or new phone, you’ll be surprised at how much you actually save hoarding some coins.

Iska No Longer

Being a notorious late-poster, it’s no surprise that I post this almost 2 months after the fact.

Yes, world, I have graduated! It feels so good to finally be done with studying (though learning is a lifetime thing). Though it took a little longer than I expected, I still finished college.

One of the reasons I wanted to post this is to (sort of) explain why I’ll be changing the name of my blog. Or is it the subtitle of my blog? In any case, though I will forever be an Iska at heart, I think it’s time to let go of that title and move into a new chapter in my life.

Where life takes me now is a mystery, especially from myself. I’m now an active freelance writer again and am taking things slow. I have my board exams coming up, so that’s my immediate goal for now. After that, who knows?

For now, I’m enjoying life and rediscovering my passions.