2015 Read:  Rereads and falling in love again

Time travelling has been often in 2015, mostly in time and space I’ve already been to before.


I was on my way back to Cebu from my coverage of Pope Francis’s visit in Leyte when I finished The Runner by Cynthia Voigt.  I met Bullet, an excellent cross-country runner, who doesn’t run to win. He runs because he loves it.  Bullet and this book inspired me even more and helped me conquer the Cebu City Marathon 2015.

I decided to end my five years and three months stint as an assistant editor for the Sun.Star website in February, and while I was going through this thing young people nowadays call #sepanx, I was reading The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. The book is special because Ms. IDA, one of my best mentors in Journalism, gave it to me as gift. It’s a treasure!


Leaving the comfort zone brings out the best and the worst and I’ve had my fair share of both. After leaving the mainstream media, I worked for a startup company that does events and publicity works. During the adjustment period, I kept coming back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and reread the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I bought a Bloomsbury edition of the series last Christmas as gift for my siblings who love the HP movies. I also joined Doctor Who (12 Doctors, 12 Authors) and we traveled in his different timelines and met his 11 other incarnations. I visited The Ocean at the End of the Lane after and I was joined by one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, who introduced me to the faeries. Life was tough and the ocean at the end of the lane was a relief.


Running also helped me survive the year that was, and Benjamin Gaetos’s book I Dream, I Ran, I Conquered fueled my spirit and helped me dream, run and conquer again.

Around May, I fell in love again. I didn’t know until lately that he’s a time traveler, too, and before he moved here, he used to live in the moon. He’s a reader, too.

Over the summer, my younger sister stayed with me. I bought her the latest book of his favorite author – Adultery by Paolo Coelho – as gift for doing well in school.  I borrowed the book after she was done reading it.

Around July, the first image of Pluto, the planet where I come from, was transmitted to Earth. What happened four days after was memorable – a Time Traveler from the Moon and a Time Traveler from Pluto embraced for the first time and started a new journey in time and space together.

I didn’t know what paperback to read yet, so I opted reading Holes by Louis Sacher. It was among the books that my best friend stored on my Kindle Paperwhite Nyx. Sacher is a brilliant children’s book author. He really is.

I suddenly remembered The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which I started reading in 2014. It was an unfinished business, so I devoured it like never before.  I was already seeing the Time Traveler from the Moon around this time. He chose to linger in my timeline, however, afar.

Around September, I had to stop time traveling for a while because I got sick and depressed. Everything started to feel too much – financial crisis in the family, dim career path, long distance relationship, and what not. I drowned in miserable discomfort and I told nobody.  Until one day I woke up realizing it isn’t too late to find ways to rebound, to learn the lessons of my detour, and to stay firm. I left the startup company, healed myself, and planned to go back home for a few days when I found out I got a new job offer – this time in a 5-star hotel in an island city.


Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris was the book I was reading during my first weeks in the new job. The book is an inspiring story about how the author met the love of his life and about the role of our Christian faith in building and sustaining relationships.

Cannery Row and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and Little Women by LM Montgomery were my companion during the 2-hour commute from home to work.

Around October, my Time Traveler boyfriend, who knew about my new post, sent me a lot of e-books I could use as references. Two of which I read were Web Marketing for Small Business by Kurt Lucier and Killer Web Content: Make the Sale, Deliver the Service by Gerry McGovern.

Christmas season came and I was done with The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, another reread, before my Time Traveler visited. We spent our first Christmas together in the moon, surrounded by the galaxies.

I only read a few in 2015. I hope I could read and time travel more this year.  How about you? What were the books you read last year? What are in your reading list this year?


2014 Read: Time Travels through books


I have been wanting to write about the books I read while I’m still reading them or after, however, I just couldn’t find the time. I can only manage to scribble quotable lines said by characters or paragraphs worth remembering, something I can either post as a status or something I can write on a post-it note and paste on my wall.

I love reading for the same reasons you love it. Well, most probably. I became an Invisible Time Traveler because of reading. The book is my time machine and whenever I’m inside it, I’m transported to a different space, to a different time, to a different dimension. My mother told me that since I was little, whenever I grab something I could read, I look for a space, a corner, a location where I can comfortably distance myself from the reality I was sharing with them, and hide into the new world I was in, my own world. 🙂

One of my dreams is to have a tree house library and I want it located by the beach. I’m an island girl and one of my best places to read a book is by the sea – where I can hear the songs of the waves, where I can see them kiss the white sands, and where I can relax my eyes watching the horizon at dawn and dusk.

I dream to own a book shop, too. Someday.

What I can afford as of yet are reading as many books as I can, buying myself a book as a reward for not slacking at work (and for trying to keep up with my running trainings), and borrowing as many books as I can from my friends. In 2014, I managed to read quite a few.

1. Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. My first book for the year has so much Shakespeare in it. I read it on my Nyx, a Kindle Paperwhite. Most reviews online find the book unsatisfactory, but I finished it and I couldn’t say anything not good about the book.

2. Reptile Room (Book 2 of The Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket. It’s a children’s book, alright. We never had them during our childhood though. So after reading the first book in 2013, my siblings and I were convinced to have all 12 in our shelf…soon. We only have Book 1 and 2 so far. 🙂

3. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest (Book 3 of Girl With A Dragon Tatoo) by Steig Llarson. I read it in 2012 but stopped somewhere so I decided to read it again and finish it before returning it to its owner. Book 3 was a little dragging, but still an awesome work!

4. The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. A treasure! The book was a gift to me by Sun.Star Cebu editor in chief Isolde Amante. Thank you, Ma’am Sol! Most of the books I have now are gifts and I thank Daddy God for these awesome people who know how to make the kid in me extremely happy.

5. Aleph by Paolo Coelho. I bought this book in 2012 after a major heartbreak, but I managed to read it only after two years. Haha.

6. My Daily Race by Senator Pia Cayetano. One of my favorite Filipina legislators wrote a memoir about how she juggles between being a public servant, a mom, a triathlete and an advocate of women empowerment. She gave me a signed copy when she launched the book in Cebu.

7. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I read it because I wanted to watch the movie (and I don’t usually watch the movie first.) It’s an exceptional work!

8. The Hollow City (Book 2 of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs. I am peculiar in my own ways and I love being friends with Ms. Peregrine’s peculiar children. I met and I got the chance to interview Riggs in person when he visited Cebu for the Asian book tour hosted by the National Bookstore. It was a terrific experience!

9. StyLIZed by Liz Uy. Fashion book for a change! I read it because I love her and she’s a namesake of my baby sister.

10. The Bite in the Apple by Chrisann Brennan. It is the memoir of Brennan, the mother of Steve Jobs’ daughter, Lisa. Well, what do you not know about Steve? What else do you wanna know?

11. There’s a Boy in The Girl’s Bathroom by Luis Sacher. A very good friend of mine gave me a copy of the book on Nyx Kindle. Another children’s book! Yup!

12. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. My UP Sagabay sister gave me a copy of the book in 2013. I read the book while doing core workout and preparing for a race. Another masterpiece of the awesome Murakami. 🙂

13. What I Talk About when I Talk about Running by Haruki Murakami.
14. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  I bought myself a 50-year edition copy and read it again.
15. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
16. Anne of Windy Poplars by LM Montgomery. One of my favorite summer reads. I wonder who borrowed by other Anne books (never managed to return, sadly).

17. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. An eye opener and this book inspired me to pursue my business. 🙂

18. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Luis Sacher
19. Wayside School is Falling Down by Luis Sacher
20. Wayside School Get’s A Little Stranger by Luis Sacher
21. Travel Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

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22. Twitter Effect by Eric Bieller
23. The Young Unicorn by Madeline L’Engle
24. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

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25. Colorless Tsukuro Tazaki by Haruki Murakami. One of the books I cannot let anyone borrow. It’s a book-gift from a dear friend.

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26. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Cristie

27. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I can read this book again and again.
28. Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata

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29. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
30. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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31. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente 
32. The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami. A memorable Christmas gift by a dear friend.
33. The Blood of the Dragon by Lawrence Matt Evans
34. The Hidden Reality by Brian Green. I’m reading the book when I’m stressed out and I wanted something to take my mind off things.

I should have made it 35. Maybe this year. 🙂 Happy reading, everyone!

2014: A look back

I wanted to start doing this in 2011 and make it an annual thing. I wanted to share thoughts and behind the scenes of my everyday life as an online editor and multimedia journalist. But life got in the way, I barely even visit this site.

So here I am after three years, looking back at the coverages and projects I have done and that have made an impact in my #buhayJourno in 2014. Here’s to remembering the up and down times of my job. Here’s to starting a tradition.

1. New Year webcast
I missed the new year family get together this year. I had to go to work and spend the first day of the year monitoring and producing news for sunstar.com.ph and Sun.Star Pilipinas webcast (which I anchored myself).

New year coverage
That awkward pause on a live report. 😀

In case you want to check it out, here’s a replay of the January 01, 2014 webcast. 🙂

2. Cebu City Marathon 2014
I have ways of torturing myself without me knowing I am actually doing it. I didn’t just run 42K in the Cebu City Marathon 2014 under-trained, I also produced a series of video reports – on my own with a little help from Dave Tangarorang, a technical support for the website but a cameraman most of the time. Looking back, I’m wondering how the heck did I manage to produce them and how was that strong finish possible.

How I trained for the CCM. 😀

In case you missed the CCM 2014 video series, check the playlist below. Pre and post-productions were done by yours truly. Giving myself a pat on the back for such a feat. Credits also to Joao and Aireen for the voice over and graphics, respectively.

3. Sinulog 2014
We’re still in January 2014, the busiest month in the first quarter of the year. Aside from our usual multimedia reports and livestreaming of the Sinulog events, we tried something beyond routine this year. I joined Joao, Jai and Phoebe in hosting the Sinulog Grand Parade live streaming.

Sinulog 2014
That silly smile of a happy Armie kiddo.
Sinulog 2014
On stream with Joao of Third World Linux

Yes, you can find us on YouTube. In case you want to watch the entire replay, feel free to visit Sun.Star Philippine-news on YouTube. 🙂

Make me happier. Send me out to the field.
Make me happier. Send me out to the field.

4. Chinese New Year
I welcome the year of the Wooden Horse at the Chu Un Temple. I did a multimedia report on some of the Chinese New Year traditions and activities held at the temple.

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Chu Un Temple in Cebu City, Philippines

Here’s a playlist of the videos I managed to produce with Kyu, Jhover and Phoebe. My Chinese New Year Eve Celebration video report got 14,392 views. Watch to find out why.

5. Ironman 70.3 Philippines
Unlike last year’s coverage when I had the chance to interview Belinda Granger, Pete Jacobs, among other pros and athletes, for an exclusive video series, my Ironman 70.3 involvement this year was limited to annotating the event live. Well, I created infographics for the livestreaming, too. Thanks to canva.com, life was easier.

However, I don’t really feel proud about it. If only I had more time and if not for my schedule, I could have done more. Also, I am not very good at live hosting, although I know it’s a skill that I can learn easily. Anyhoo, I didn’t embed the video here but you can search on Sun.Star’s YouTube channel.

Live and sun-toasted.

6. Sun.Star Weekly Podcast
One of the best things in 2014 was partnering with one of the founders of Third World Linux, Joao, for Sun.Star Weekly Podcast. The podcast aims to provide context to the news and to reach out to the younger audience of Sun.Star.

It’s my first podcasting stint and I feel more comfortable doing it than hosting a livestreaming. I don’t mean to brag but I have a lovely podcasting voice. Haha. Sadly, doing a podcast isn’t just about the voice. It about time, research, commitment and passion. I may not be allowed to talk about the specifics, but for some reasons we will no longer be doing the Sun.Star Weekly Podcast next year.

I’m grateful for that almost one year podcast experience and I realized podcasting is a skill I can continue to develop. I’m even planning of producing my own Passion Project podcast next year. We’ll see. 🙂

Look what’s new and newsworthy!

7.  Cebu Journalism and Journalists
Aside from my regular online journalism routine, I also write articles for the newspaper, yearbook, among others. I got the chance to write for Cebu Journalism and Journalists magazine this year. My story on “News on social media: Who gets the scoop?” is one of the main stories for this particular issue.


I was also featured in the story about journalists who are into sports. It’s amazing to be in one magazine issue both as a writer and someone written about. I also have that silly photo of me at the back of the cover page and my father immediately saw it the moment he opened the magazine. I jokingly said it wasn’t me and he said, “you can’t trick me, you’re my daughter.” Haha.

She who runs when she’s not running after stories.

8. Climate Change Media Workshop 
One of the niches I wanted to explore is Environmental Journalism. I used to write stories about environment issues in the urban setting, produced video reports on waste management, among others.

In October, I attended a Climate Change seminar organized by the Climate Change Commission of the Philippines and the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists. Some of the topics discussed during the seminar are included in my 2015 multimedia production plans. I look forward to finally doing them. 🙂


climate change
Our friends and fellow journalists from Tacloban City, sharing about how Typhoon Yolanda changed their lives.

9. Multimedia Wednesday
It’s now a tradition, I’d like to think. Every Wednesday, we meet to listen to colleagues talk about topics they find interesting and passionate about. We brainstorm about how we can improve our multimedia initiatives and we take an obligatory #groupie for documentation purposes.


10.  Top 10 Facebook Posts
In June, I started tracking the viral stories of Sun.Star that are posted on its Facebook page and I report about them in every QC Meeting. Again, thanks to Canva for making life easy. It’s one interesting task because I got to analyze not only the figures but the behavior of online consumers, as well.

11. World Young Reader Summit 2014
In the gathering of journalists from around the world who advocate readership among the youths, I stumbled upon ideas and projects I am allowed to steal and apply in my country. Watch for them unfold in Cebu in 2015. The summit was held in Bali, Indonesia and i chronicled my off-summit related jiffies here.  I’m going to be publishing a series of articles about it here.

These are just some of those I remember at the moment. To avoid forgetting, I’m making it a 2015 Passion Project #1 to update this blog. It was a productive and I must say blessed 2014. I look forward to 2015 with a strong belief that more awesome adventures await. 🙂