Travel Fund: All about planning and budgeting

“Stick to your souvenir and pasalubong budget. Just walk away (Ouch at just walk away) no matter how cute the item is if you’re beyond your budget.”

But very true, proven enough. I haven’t overspent in any of my trips though when it comes to souvenirs, as for me they’re not souvenirs but merchandise.

First time hearing about Dreamtrips but them giving a refund of 150% if you find a better deal than what they offer sounds really inviting. And with, this is a really good catch too but for group travelers, though this won’t be that useful to me as I often go to trips alone.

Then again, it’s all about planning and budgeting unless you’ve got a lot to spare that budgeting and planning are out of your concerns (Mapera).


Dream: Highly compelling with enrapturing performances

Joe Odagiri as Jin and Lee Na-young as Ran

Brief review of Dream starring Joe Odagiri and Lee Na-young.

Highly interesting plot. I was totally drawn to the idea of how 2 different persons who don’t know each other are connected by dreams and their own feelings for other people: Jin for his ex-gf who left him for another guy and Ran for the ex-bf she left because he’s cheating on her.

Jin’s dreams of his ex-gf started the same time when Ran started sleepwalking. According to the dream specialist, when the other one is happy, the other is miserable. Jin is happy to see his ex-gf just in dreams but Ran despises her ex-bf. So when Jin dreams about going to see his ex-gf, Ran’s does the action but instead goes to see her ex-bf. The specialist suggested for them to fall in love so the dreams and sleepwalking would go away.

For me, I guess what binds them are their feelings of not being able to let go of the past despite how painful it was. Jin couldn’t get over and continues to pine over the ex-gf who cheated on him and Ran conitnue to despise and not forgive her ex-bf. If they both learned to let the memories go and move on, the dreams and sleepwalking will be gone.

At some point, some of Jin’s dreams actually served a purpose for Ran. So I was really heartbroken at seeing Jin inflicting pain to himself just so he wouldn’t cause anymore problem to Ran even inside the mental institution (she’s not crazy though). That particular part I really couldn’t take, I had to close my eyes and see the scene/s by a fraction as I couldn’t bear to see it.

As compared to Love for Sale that starred Kang Dongwon and Song Hyekyo, though both dealth with sad memories but LFS was futuristic while Dream is more emotional and psychological in nature.

Joe Odagiri is a pure genius . I think an 8/10 for this.

A Korean novel,Naruto and other manga


I’ve read quite a lot recently. Finally, I’m done with Please Look After Mother just yesterday cause I can’t read everyday and just got the time to finish off the remaining few pages when I went to see Mr. Go.

I finished Naruto Vol. 61 pretty quick. I was so engrossed reading my first manga and first Naruto manga. When I bought this last month at an anime convention, I didn’t know it was a latest volume, that I found no anime episodes for it. The episodes only came out like some weeks ago.

I tried two local manga called Black Ink Shortcuts and enjoyed it despite how short the (3) stories are. Would have been better if they could make something as long as a regular manga volume.

Harry Potter: Filipino Edition – The Reaction


I admit, I’m one of those who cringe at the thought of reading Harry Potter in Tagalog. It’s just a bit unfortunate; I forgot to ask the publisher during the Lampara writing workshop the reason why they had to translate the book. But I guess one of the reasons is to get children or Pinoys to read publications, especially fictions in their own language.

Seeing HP translated in Tagalog is no different from seeing foreign films dubbed in Tagalog, especially the English ones where there is no need for subtitles. One comment said from a news article about the Filipino version, “The thought of it in a language that isn’t English will make you cringe.” Sa tingin ko ito yung gist ng pagkaayaw  dun sa translation. Naging bakya. Tipikal na mentalidad ng mga “cultured,” said the publishing house’ president. [ I think, this is the gist of dislike on the translation. It became cheap. Typical mentaliity of the cultured. ]

As for me, cringing at the thought of HP in Tagalog is not based alone on the typical mentality of the “cultured.” It’s about suitability, tone and composition. Since HP is heavy on British sensibilities as the article said, you really can’t find the right words to maintain the tone and composition, it will inevitably change no matter what you do.  They did retain some words such as wizard, expressions like “blimey,” the names of creatures and spells but still one changed word in it affects everything.

Just like “You Know Who” translated into “Alam Mo Na Kung Sino Yun,” it feels so much different. And so is with lightning shaped scar into “pilat na korteng kidlat.” That scar is one of Harry’s most distinguished features so seeing it being referred to pilat na korteng kidlat feels like losing the meaning.

Let’s face it, people here are not used to reading pieces of literature in our own language. Even some local authors use English in their works. It’s because the first time one enters schooling, he’s already using English and for some, even at home before even getting into the schooling phase.

One comment said, “Hindi totoong hindi nagbabasa ang mga Pilipino. May malaking yearning para magbasa, kaso ang mga binebenta at pina-publish tina-target palagi ay middle class.” [ It’s not true that Filipinos do not read. There is a big yearning to read, but the books being published and sold are always targetting the middle class.] Of course, Pinoys read a lot I think. However, with books and publishers targetting middle class, this is common business mindset. It is common sense that they target the middle class because these people buy books, after all this is still a business.

As for another comment on the article about English books translated in French, Spanish, Japanese and others; we really can’t speak for that. We don’t know the structure of their language when it comes to translating English books. So you really can’t compare that to translating English books intp Tagalog unless you really know that language.

I read Haruki Murakami books and they’re originally Japanese. The one I’m about to finish is a Korean book by Shin Kyung-sook and also Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ books. These and all others are translated into English from their original languages, so that it can be read worldwide. Translating foreign-language books into English and translating HP into Tagalog differ in terms of purpose. I can say that translating foreign books is really important, because getting to read books from other countries is like a free culture trip or an international exposure.

Philippine literature can probably be enriched through our very own publications using our language, and not through translating English books into Tagalog. And like Murakami and Marquez’ books having worldwide following by being translated to other languages, we can do the same for our local publications for them to have worldwide exposure. But of course, this is easier said than done since as we all know, the government doesn’t really have some kind of support for literature. Local authors will need to find a foreign publication themselves such as Samantha Sotto’s “Before Ever After,” published by Random House. You need to have funds to do so and connections, lots of it.

On another note, this could still be useful if they use it for communities especially those with limited access to books and education.

The anime convention experience

It was a pretty busy September 2nd weekend as I attended both for the first time the Manila International Book Fair and Best of Anime at the SMX Convention on the 14th and 15th  despite the rains. And like I usually do, I went alone. I was supposed to have Anna and Kat with me during the writing workshop on the 14th but both backed out days before due to other commitments. As for the anime convention, I was inviting my high school friend Salia but her schedule couldn’t make it.

I got more interested in attending the anime convention as I found out Joe Inoue who sang Closer, one of the many many Naruto Shippuden opening songs is going to be there to perform. I don’t know anything about him though except the fact that he sang Closer. Just the mention of Naruto was enough to make me go although the ticket was quite expensive.

I didn’t go as early as I planned cause I got worried about the tickets but good thing there still are tickets when I arrived at around 3PM. As I got in, I was surprised that the first thing I saw was a Harry Potter booth. Isn’t this supposed to be an anime convention? Why is there a Harry Potter booth then? But anyway, I quickly got over the thought and went to check out the items. As expected, expensive replica of wands and other memorabilia were displayed and some fan made shirts. I initially wanted the mini poster the one that says, “Undesirable No. 1” and with Harry’s photo but I find it too expensive to be 100. Then I saw another booth selling Harry Potter shirts, I really wanted to get the Gryffindor maroon shirt and Hogwarts sweat shirt but had to think twice.

Hodge Podge, I discovered this here. They sell accessories made of bottle caps. That’s really creative and very environment friendly too. I bought an orange bookmark and orange bracelet. Of course, it had to be orange that even the girl told me, “Favorite color mo orange?” I just smiled.

Cute anime action figures. Minato’s kunai is also here at 160 but it doesn’t seem to look much like his special kunai because his is somewhat curve not triangle shape.

Of course, anime mini action figures are not to be missed. I didn’t buy though as I know these are expensive and they don’t have a Minato action figure. And then there are also large action figures of Goku and Doraemon and even the likes of Iron Man joined in the massive anime world.

I expected more booths though. I was particularly looking for someone selling a Naruto OST but found none. There’s this booth with CDs but I didn’t look further and they seem to be non-anime CDs. Then I saw this manga shop the moment I turned to the other side. I feel my eyes smiling as I saw a very thick Rurouni Kenshin and Death Note mangas. When I asked, the girl told me they’re 7 in 1 that’s why a lot more expensive at 700 each. I also wanted to get Yamato Nadeshiko, I love this one too and it’s the cheapest at 300. But, but Naruto showed its face to me so I got distracted instantly. I’ve long wanted to buy manga but just can’t since it’s expensive, though thinking about it; it’s just like a regular fiction book just that you can’t buy any less than 300. I didn’t get Naruto Vol. 61 right away but I really wanted it. And then when I saw Joe Inoue signing for some fans onstage and the MC said that those with Naruto merchandise should line up now to get them signed. So I thought, I should really get Vol. 61 and went back but when I asked the staff if I can still line up, he said no.

On a quite sad note, I did see quite a lot of Naruto cosplayers but didn’t get to take a photo of them as they keep running around from here to there. I wasn’t sure if this one guy I saw was cosplaying Naruto or Minato, I got confused but since he had the coat so I thought it was Minato. I didn’t see her but I saw from photos posted on BOA’s official page, a girl cosplayed Sasuke and there was also Tobi and other Akatsuki members.Since, there aren’t any more booths to see I decided to check the Japan Foundation manga library. I wonder if I go to their office if it’s free to read there too. I had my name written in Japanese too from the Japan Foundation staff, I don’t know how to read it though but I like it! I remember getting something like this in Singapore but in Chinese of course. I was reading Naruto Vol. 4 while waiting for Joe’s finale performance. I managed to finish the volume before Joe started singing a Naruto song. I couldn’t capture completely the other two Naruto songs namely Haruka Kanata by Asian Kungfu Generation and Fighting Dreams by Flow. Even Closer, his own song, I only managed to record about half I guess. My fault, it wasn’t initially in my plan to do fancam since I said I’m just going to watch but ended up doing fancam when he was performing Naruto songs. It was so much like I was in his own mini concert, Japanese for a first for me.

I had my name written in Japanese by one of the staff from Japanese Foundation. I don’t know how to read it though. :))) I remember getting my name written in Chinese too in Singapore.

Japan Foundation’s manga library. Read manga for free, I finished Naruto Vol. 4 here while waiting for Joe Inoue’s performance.

The Mogu-Mogu cosplayer, should I call him cosplayer? Yeah I think I can call him that. He’s the star of the night; everyone likes to be take photos with him. I would have wanted too but since I was alone, I just took a photo when some other cosplayers posed with him. He’s so cute!

Oh and when I went out of the hall, I saw Shikamaru and Temari who seem to be waiting for a taxi. I wanted to approach them like in all seriousness to take a photo of them but I got shy. I didn’t want to be obviously taking a photo of them. When I started walking, they started walking behind me so I kept looking behind if they went the other way. So I had them walk ahead so I could take a photo while they’re walking but I couldn’t take a decent one until I lost sight of them. Seeing the cosplayers Shikamaru and Temari remind me of Naruto Shippuden Ep. 1 when Naruto saw them together and he asked if they’re dating. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Si Shikamaru at si Temari naglalakad sa Mall of Asia after Best of Anime. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ Ganda ng malaking fan ni Temari, galing!
I actually wanted to take a photo of them kaso nahiya ako kaya hinayaan ko sila mauna so I could take a photo of them walking.

Anime and manga magazines from Psicom.

Being a big Naruto fangirl, I had to take a photo of this banner from Naruto Cosplayers.

Joe Inoue during meet and greet

Don’t know his name since I’m not so familiar with the cosplayers but he’s foreign and one of the judges of the Cosplay Show.

My fancams of Joe Inoue’s performances of Fighting Dreames, Haruka Kanata and his own song Closer