January 13, 2016 § 14 Comments
People Center and Library is a public library located in Tacloban City. It encompasses the whole second floor of a two-storey building. It’s like time stood still in this library. It was built during the Marcos’ regime and never saw glory again. It contains a lot of great books, covered in dust, but still in good condition.
After Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit Leyte, the building was used as an evacuation center for the victims. Sad to say, a lot of them were used for more “practical” uses. No judgment. It was a time of chaos and uncertainty. However, it has remained intact and still contains a lot of treasures which badly need love and affection. Something can still be done.
My friend Cookee and I decided to volunteer. We have no idea about book organisation or classification, but we do know how to dust and pile them. We start where we can.
This is what I will be busy with this year, and, perhaps, in the years to come.
December 31, 2015 § 4 Comments
This is my very ambitious to-read pile for 2016. But I’m shooting for big things this year. This isn’t an impossible task considering that I’ve finished 16 books this year. I just need to take it out on Plants v. Zombies time. I think I have more chances of accomplishing this anyway than doing the daily 15-minute planking I said I’ll do this year.
I got some big titles here: books I’ve always wanted to read and searched for years, but sadly remained in my unread pile for so long. This is hopefully the year I try to match my buying with my reading.
1. The Metamorphosis ~ Franz Kafka
2. The Brothers Karamazov ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
3. Far From the Madding Crown ~ Thomas Hardy
4. The Phantom of the Opera ~ Gaston Leroux
5. Begin to Exit Here ~ John Welter
6. In Cold Blood ~ Truman Capote
7. Can You Forgive Her? ~ Trollope
8. Night Train ~ Martin Amis
9. The Vagina Monologues ~ Eve Ensler
10. The Dolce Vita Diaries ~ Cathy Rogers and Jason Gibb
11. The Rare and the Beautiful ~ Cressida Connolly
12. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao ~ Junot Diaz
13. Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship ~ Goethe
14. The Tin Drum ~ Gunter Grass
15. Sister Carrie ~ Theodore Dreiser
16. Washington Square ~ Henry James
17. Catch-22 ~ Joseph Heller
18. The Professor ~ Charlotte Bronte
19. The Bhagavad Gita
20. The Jungle Books ~ Rudyard Kipling
21. On the Road ~ Jack Kerouac
22. Blink ~ Malcolm Gladwell
23. Thinking, Fast and Slow ~ Daniel Kahneman
24. Cloud Atlas ~ David Mitchell
Oh yeah, Happy New Year! Cheers.
November 19, 2015 § Leave a comment
“Using money as a direct expression of one’s deepest sense of self is a powerful, miraculous thing. It is a practice, however, and I’m still working on it. I waste money. I buy products that are part of the problem rather than part of the solution. I get excited about money and disappointed about money and frustrated and conflicted over money issues. But I am also on a path in a practice, that I’m sharing with you because I believe it is useful and important in our time. I’m seeing that more and more of us are awake to our higher commitments, concerned about how we’re living, and this book is an offering to contribute to that process that is taking place all around us now.”
” I also invite you to live a larger life – to see that when we really look at what we’ve got and let go of trying to accumulate more, we have the capacity for much greater lives than just “getting” and “having”. Everyone wants more than the good life for just themselves. They want a good life for all, and when you realize there is enough, you get in touch with that possibility. It becomes the natural outcome of shifting your context. It worked that way for me, and I’ve seen it work that way for many others around the world.”
“I challenge you to imbue your money with soul – your soul – and let it stand for who you are, your love, your heart, your word, and your humanity.”
~ The Soul of Money, by Lynne Twist
I love this book. This is one of the most important books I have read in my life. Its message completely resounded in my soul. I am looking for copies and buying every single one of my best girl friends one.
November 1, 2015 § Leave a comment
One could not be in Thailand and not wonder…
We visited a lot of temples and saw a lot of huge Buddhas. It was all so beautiful and surreal.
I believe in God. God is bigger than any religion, definitely much more than mine. I don’t think Christianity is the answer for me. There’s no answer, really. It’s just good to see God through different eyes and different cultures and religion.
My visit to Thailand has marked the beginning of my search, not for answers, but a search for all that is good in life, in people, in the world. Travel from now on will always be a religious experience for me.
I picked the book up in Chiang Mai. I have a vague recollection of my high school introduction to religions of the world and know very little about Buddhism. Through this book I have learned much, much more. And because I have seen it practiced, it’s not just plain study, devoid of any practical use for me. Because I have seen Buddhas so immense it makes your soul tremble, it added a certain credibility; it makes one believe. My visits of the temple and sights of the Buddhas have been a solemn experience for me. Buddhism has a certain pull for me. I already agree with many of its tenets, except for the main that about reincarnation. I can’t make my brain stretch towards the idea of rebirth. But then just because my mind is closed to an idea does not make me right.
At least I’m reading up, true to my religion called Learning. After all, wisdom is the cornerstone of every major belief, at least I think it is. I am always wary of every sect that requires blind obedience.
This is why I love traveling. It moves the soul like no other. I will always make it a point to remove myself every once in a while from the monotony of life. A bit of change is always good for me. Uncertainty is a vitamin.