Eureka! Moment #4: Dalgona Coffee

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If you’re following me on Twitter or Instagram you would probably know that I love coffee. My day wouldn’t be complete without drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, not only does it keep me awake, it also gives me the energy to get things done.

At this time, I couldn’t get may usual Starbucks or Tim Hortons or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf fix because of obvious quarantine reasons. I intensely miss having a cup of Starbucks’ Caramel Macchiato (sometimes White Chocolate Mocha) or Tim Hortons’ infamous iced coffee with your choice of flavoring (i.e., caramel, mocha, or vanilla).

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Love in the Time of Corona

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In the past four weeks, the digital screens have taken over the world.

It was five weeks ago when the government enforced the community quarantine in my area, but to most of us, it already feels like a lifetime ago. Most of our usual activities like meetings, lunch dates, happy hours, and even play dates have been reduced through the digital screens.

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Our Common Ground: Hope

It is in situations like this that we find beauty in the things that we used to take for granted — in things that were once present and constant. The irony of it all is that we, human beings, become so used to our surroundings that we tend to fail at appreciating the beauty that behold us. This pandemic is a huge reminder that we should give importance to the little things in our life because everything could be taken away from us in one fell swoop.

This situation made me realize how much I miss Makati; its streets that are usually packed with cars, the sidewalks that are filled with people rushing to work, the coffee shops that have long lines, the malls that I was so used to roam around during lunch breaks with my boyfriend and a lot more.

But amidst this pandemic, I know that there is hope. A desperate feeling within our hearts — our hearts that are eager to do something, to go places, and to start anew. An invisible contract within our souls to start living a better life because it is never too late to start over.

Reading Shamelessly

In my country, being a bully is a thing when you’re in elementary. Back in the day, a lot of kids think that bullying gives them power and confidence which allows them to make the rules and trample on everyone who gets in their way. I wasn’t very popular, and some of my classmates made fun of me just for the sake of having someone to make fun of. I know I’m not the only person in the world who experienced this, but that doesn’t make me feel better. If anything, thinking about it and all those kids who’ve gone through the same thing saddens me even more.

Those elementary days were a tough phase for most of us. At the time, it used to make me sad, heck, I even come home crying on some days. However, I found solace in books. My books were the ones who stuck by me during those rough years of my life. I read a lot of Goosebumps, Nancy Drew, and Hardy Boys back then and they made me happy.

A couple of years later, one of those Scholastic Book Fairs was held in our school for the first time (which became an annual bookish event in our campus), and I was introduced to other genres. I stumbled upon Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and up to this day, I am so happy that I picked it up all those years ago because it not only got me into reading fantasy and dystopian books, it also gave me the opportunity to travel and enter different countries and worlds without moving my feet.

Then, one day, I stumbled upon a box of all of my mom’s and aunt’s old books which consists of those little Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club books along with some of Nicholas Sparks novels. I started reading them and was introduced to a new genre and an entirely different perspective.

At a young age, I was completely in love with chick lit. It instantly became on of my favorites. There were times when I would stay up so late reading books, bawling my eyes out because of how a Nicholas Sparks novel ended and I found myself wanting to read more and more books — I just couldn’t get enough. To this day, Nicholas Sparks is still my all-time favorite author when it comes to the contemporary romance genre.

Given that I was one of the target of bullies when I was in elementary, I didn’t have a lot of friends. Some of them even made fun of me because I liked reading books, called me a nerd, a dork, and other awful things. At some point, I stopped bringing my books in school. It was terrible but I never really let go of reading because why would I? They are my escape from this cruel world.

The few friends that I have wasn’t really that into reading so I didn’t have anyone to share my insights and feelings with. In high school, I decided to never let anyone bully me again. I did not turn into a bully myself, but I found the courage to talk back to people who say bad things about me. I managed to gain a bigger group of friends who I’m still friends with up to this day and the most important thing is most of them liked to read novels, too.

It was in the end of my high school years that I found out about John Green, Jenny Han, Paulo Coelho, and so many other authors. Then I lost track of the years. I read and devoured so many books in those years until college — until today.

To be honest, I would like to thank those bullies in my elementary years because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have found out about the comfort and joy that books bring — I wouldn’t have fallen in love with reading. How about you? What’s that one bookish story you will never forget? What made you read books? Do you still remember the first book you’ve ever read? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to engage in your bookish journey.

Also, here are some links that I enjoyed reading online in the past couple of weeks of quaratine-ing:

 

Book Review: You by Caroline Kepnes

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Title: You

Author: Caroline Kepnes

Date Published: September 25, 2014

Number of Pages: 422

Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Genre: Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery

Synopsis:

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder. Continue reading