A "Silog" Girl To The Bone

Hi there! How is your long weekend shaping up so far? I hope it was better than mine as I had to come in Monday for work so as to lessen the load when I get back on Wednesday.  Not that my long weekend didn't kick off well. In fact, it went off to a great start with the 2nd Filipino Reader Conference. I blogged about the event as a special feature on my review blog. I do hope you can check it out.

If my memory serves me right, this is the second long weekend after Holy Week since April 9, which happens to be Araw ng Kagitingan, fell on a Monday. I love long weekends because whenever I get to enjoy one, I always find time to cook myself (and even for my family) a really good breakfast.  When I started with my new job last year, having a decent breakfast on weekdays is hard to get by. Decent in my book means full and easy. Of all the meals in a day, breakfast is my favorite. I can manage to survive through lunch when I've had a decent breakfast. I work faster and face challenges with ease.

Photo courtesy of joyosity @ Flickr.com
While I manage to get by until lunch with a cup of instant 3-in-1 coffee and a sandwich from the nearest Subway or Starbucks outlet, it doesn't satisfy me as much as my preferred breakfast fare which always includes eggs and fried rice. My relatives often describe my food preference as generally continental except for breakfast wherein it's very Filipino. My brother aptly put at one point, "kahit silog lang ang kainin niya sa umaga, masaya na siya (even if she only eats eggs and fried rice, she's happy)".  Silog, for those who may not know what it means, is a combination of the words "sinangag" (fried rice) and "itlog" (egg). Name every possible viand -- local/imported meats, dried fish/seafood, leftovers -- and I can eat them in the morning as long as "silog" is also served... Sometimes, I don't care what time of day it is, as long as I'm in the mood for "silog", I cook it. I go to my happy place every time I eat a serving.  In fact, I'm going to prepare one for myself as soon as I wake up in  a few hours. My all-time favorite silog combination: silog with Cebu danggit or Vigan longganisa, fresh tomato and onion slices in vinegar and fish sauce, and orange juice! My mouth just watered at the thought. Yummy!

How about you? How would you describe your best meal? :)

2012 Readercon Filipino Friday 5: Celebrating The Best

Wow, how time flies! I cannot believe it's Friday once again and it's the day before the 2nd Filipino Reader Conference! But before I fast forward to tomorrow, it's time for me to share my response to the final installment of...

And for this last one, it is all about Celebrating The Best...

In honor of the first Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, let’s talk about our favorites for this year. What are your favorite books in 2012 so far? Have you read any awesome Filipino books in the year? If yes, make sure to include them in your list!

Since 2012 started, I've read a lot of good books but the one that takes my number one spot so far would be The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. The book is so good, so well-written that I think that everyone should get a copy. I gave it a 5/5 rating on Goodreads and posted a review on my other blog. The book practically solidified John Green as one of those authors on my must-buy, must-read list. And yes, if by some miracle he ever visits the Philippines, I wouldn't mind camping out for days if only to get all his books signed. For real.

As to Filipino books, I've added more to my plate this year. Most of what I've read so far are written by Mina V. Esguerra (pictured right), and I love each and every one of them. An officemate gave me Trese Books 1-4 as a gift, which I hope to start reading soon. Also, I've recently finished Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan, which will be discussed soon by our book group. And after viewing all the nominees for this year's 1st Filipino Readers' Choice Awards, it looks like I'll be adding more Filipino books in my to-read pile which is a good thing. Best of luck to my wallet though. =P


And with this last post ends this year's edition of the Filipino Friday meme. I'm glad I was still able to participate and I shall now count the hours until the 2nd Filipino Reader Conference: United We Read, which is tomorrow, August 18, at the Filipinas Heritage Library, Makati City. For more details about the event, click on the badge below and it'll lead you to the Filipino ReaderCon homepage. Mabuhay ang mambabasang Pinoy! :)

2012 ReaderCon Filipino Friday 4: Books & Friends

It's Friday once again and you know what this means... especially for those who are counting the days until the 2nd Filipino Reader Conference on August 18... Today marks the 4th installment of...

And for this week's meme, the focus is about Books and Friends...

We will have book discussions hosted by several book clubs during the ReaderCon, so to prepare us for that, let’s talk about books and friendships and book clubs. Are you a part of a book club? If yes, what made you join one? What’s your favorite activity that you have with them? If you’re not a part of one, will you consider joining one? Why or why not?

I think I've been somewhat part of book clubs since I first created my online virtual library account a few years ago but I'm not as active. While it was fun getting to know strangers who liked the same books I did, I preferred to keep my interactions with them online. Perhaps it was largely because I wanted to keep my cyber life and real life separate. Not that they're different really but I often find it hard to explain to my non-bookworm friends how I meet other people, and sometimes I get really puzzled reactions on their faces, like "Are they for real?" or something to that effect. I'm a person who doesn't really like complications so drawing that line helps.

That is, until late last year, when me and a few friends decided to form a book club. It made sense and felt like a natural thing to do since all of us became friends through fandom groups based on a few popular book series. Now with eight books discussed and more coming our plate, our little book club -- if anything -- strengthened our ties and our love for books further. Since we're relatively new and currently private, our discussions -- often held either over several cups of coffee or frozen yogurt with print books, laptops, tabs and eReaders in tow -- are quite healthy; thoughts and opinions are exchanged without censorship but still with due respect. In every discussion, the book is the star of the show. Since our first discussion, our book group has grown from reading books of a particular genre to sampling what the other members liked (or do not like). It allowed for each of us to expand our reading horizons and in a way, made us love reading even more. I couldn't ask for anything else in a book group and I'm sure my co-members, if and when they do read this, would agree.

While our current day jobs provide challenges to our monthly meet-ups, I look forward to every single one of them because, not only does it afford an opportunity to discuss a new book, but also it is an avenue for all to us to catch up with each other. Although I think I will always be a reader, being part of a book club with these great friends elevates that experience.


And that's it for this week's Filipino Friday meme. Do check out the last installment next week and if you're available, be part of the 2nd Filipino Reader Conference on August 18, 2012 at the Filipinas Heritage Library, Makati City.

2012 ReaderCon: Filipino Friday 1-3

I guess it's safe to say that I've been living under a big rock (that is my work) for quite sometime that this nearly passed my radar. I did say at one point that I hardly do meme posts but I loved Filipino Friday last year that I wouldn't miss a chance to do it again. So apologies for my three-peat post but I'd rather do it than never.

Just to refresh you about Filipino Friday, it started as a meme series aimed to promote the 1st Filipino Reader Conference last year at the Manila International Book Fair. However, this initiative was successful in the sense that it connected book bloggers and enthusiasts both here and abroad. It's no surprise that a 2012 edition is up and without further ado, here are my answers to its first three memes...


Filipino Friday 1: Introductions
As with every start of a weekly meme, we need to know a bit about you! Talk about your top 3-5 (or more!) favorite books of all time, the genres you read and would never read, the books that surprised you this year. You can also talk about how you became a reader and why you love it so much! And finally, if you were in the ReaderCon last year, talk about your experience too! If you weren’t there, but you’re planning to go this year, then what do you expect for the upcoming ReaderCon?

As this is not my first time to do this Filipino Friday meme, I'll probably just answer questions in this meme that I haven't answered last year. You can click on this link to see all my 2011 Filipino Friday posts.

Top 3-5 favorite books of all time...

If my books were my kids, they'd probably hate me for choosing a favorite as even those that I enjoyed the most only gets read twice. But I secretly have three books that I never get tired of reading, if you were to gauge by their current state, dog ears and all.

The first is The Feng Shui Junkie by Brian Gallagher. It's perhaps the book that I always lobby to my friends who are also book enthusiasts. It tells of a lawyer named Julie who finds her husband cheating on a girl who happens to be a Feng Shui junkie. The book narrates of her scheming plot to wreak havoc on her husband's mistress only to learn that there's something more than meets the eye. I think I've read this book about... uh... more times that I can count. I lost my original copy through the lending route which frustrated me since it's already out of print. Good thing I found another copy in a book sale pile and I never lent it since.

My second favorite book is Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. I've read it several times and with each time, it never fails to make me cry. It's like watching all the Carl & Ellie moments in Up; the book pinches you in the right places and it made me love/honor my profession more.

My third favorite would be A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. For me, it's romance/comedy at its best. Even with the aspect of fairies and witches, I loved the dynamics of the protagonists, especially Hermia, Helena, Lysander and Demetrius.

The book that surprised me this year...

Perhaps the book that takes this award would be The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I haven't really read a book that talks about the Big C but this one was gut-wrenching yet heart-warming. So far, it's the only book this year that made me cry buckets. The runner-up would probably be Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, only because I found myself still hoping for a different ending until its last few pages despite knowing otherwise.

The Filipino Reader Conference, before and after...

I was there last year along with a couple of friends, and I had fun! It was great to see people who were as equally invested in reading as I was and I enjoyed the panels. Since then, I've expanded my reading plate to include more fiction written by Filipino authors, put up another blog that partly features book news and reviews, and have formed a book club with a few friends. I liked my first ReaderCon experience a lot that I'm looking forward to it this year. And gauging by this year's program line-up, it looks great and definitely worthwhile. However, what makes this year's ReaderCon more interesting (and a bit nerve-wracking) for me is that our book club was invited to host a live discussion. Gulp! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that.


Filipino Friday 2: School of Reading
We all started reading somewhere, and more often than not, we were influenced by someone. Who got you into reading? Your parents? A friend? A librarian? One teacher who always lends out his/her books? How helpful was your school in helping your reading habit / fueling your book addiction?

I think my parents in some ways got me into reading because I would always see them reading a book or two when I was younger. I remember being surrounded with all sorts of story books and my mother, whenever she could, would read them to me. It only became a habit though during first grade after I was ostracized by my classmates for not being able to speaking Filipino/Tagalog well that in my haste to get away from them, I stumbled into our school library. Since then, I became one of its frequent patrons. I really didn't have money for books then thus the school library was my only source. When my parents saw that I was bringing home books to read on top of what was required in school, they encouraged that habit by allowing me to buy one book per month. However, I wonder if my parents somewhat regret supporting that habit given the number of books I have in my room, both read and unread.


Filipino Friday 3: Reading Habits and Book Formats
Where and how do you read? Can you read anywhere and everywhere, or do you need a certain place/mood/state of mind to get reading? Do you read more in the morning or at night or any minute that you can? Where and how do you usually read? Are you exclusively for print, or do you go for ebooks more than print? Have you ever tried audiobooks?

I'm the kind of person that can read anytime, anywhere as long as I feel like it. Lately, most of my reading is done during my morning commute because it takes an average of 1.5 hours to get to my office from where I live. On long weekends or holidays, I can finish around 2-3 books. I usually read in my room, and sometimes, a pint of semi-soft ice cream and a bag of chips will be nearby. I've always considered myself to be traditional reader, mostly going for print books because I like the feel of holding one. However, with the decreasing space for books in my room and the installation of Kindle for PC in my laptop, ebooks have become part of my reading pile. My goal before this year ends is to buy myself a Kindle Fire since I couldn't really bring my laptop during my daily commute. I tried audiobooks before but unfortunately, I don't have enough time or luxury to get through or even finish one. I wish I could though since there are a lot of really good audiobooks out there that I'd like to listen to.


And I've made it! Goodness, I did a three-peat meme post last year and this year too. Hahaha. Hope enjoyed reading this post and if you can, do join the 2nd Filipino Reader Conference: United We Read on August 18, 2012 at the Filipinas Heritage Library, Makati City. I know I will. :)

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