A few months ago I watched with amusement at the resulting celebrations rising from the announcement that the Philippines had yet again won Miss Universe. Putting my book down for a few moments – a struggle such as that was – I joined the party because it meant a chance of free food!
A couple of things of late have reminded me about Catriona Gray, firstly Ren’s post on Filipino films, especially Buy Bust which is set in Tondo, and secondly, the below music video, again set in Tondo, where Miss U does a lot of charity work. It gives an insight into one of the areas so often glossed over when people talk about the Philippines.
The last question posed on finals night was, What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life and how will you apply it to your time as Miss Universe? Her answer:
I work a lot in the slums of Tondo, Manila and the life there is very… it’s poor and it’s very sad. And I’ve always taught myself to look for the beauty in it; to look in the beauty in the faces of the children, and to be grateful. And I would bring this aspect as a Miss Universe to see situations with a silver lining, and to assess where I could give something, where I could provide something as a spokesperson. And this I think if I could also teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity could not grow and foster, and children will have a smile on their faces.
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
Admittedly, it’s not much of a synopsis for the book but what it does do is set the scene of long ages past, an established world, and a cyclical recurring of Shadow. The beginning of the story does have a similarity to Tolkien’s, The Lord of the Rings, to give you some idea of the direction of the book, but soon opens out into something pleasingly different, once it gets going.
I savoured the beginning much more this second time around, knowing all that would happen in the next 13 instalments, it was good to appreciate the build up. Straight from the off there are plenty of details fleshing out the land and its peoples, and a compelling legend of the local area. The world building was one of the main reasons I came back to this series.
The burgeoning foundations are very solid, and also puts many important pieces in play for later books, something the reader won’t appreciate without the hindsight of latter entries, and a reread. There is plenty of peril coming from all angles which keeps the story moving, and the atmosphere is heavy on the hunted feel, where anyone or anything could be masking its own hidden purposes. Continue reading “The Eye of the World – Robert Jordan”
An extinction-level asteroid is cannonballing toward Earth. In humanity’s final hours, a lucky few earn a one-way ticket to the brand-new, ultra-immersive, fantasy-based VRMMORPG, Viridian Gate Online. Making that leap of faith might mean survival, but it comes with a steep price tag: “Travelers” will forever be stranded as digital avatars inside a fantastical world filled with vicious monsters, all-powerful AIs, and cutthroat players. Let the games begin…
Recently I have been dipping my toes in something a bit different from my usual literary tastes. As someone with little enough time for gaming, it is perhaps best that I live that life vicariously through the means of a humble book.
Having got my hands on two of the nine books in the Viridian Gate Online series, so far, I am looking forward to immersing myself in this virtual world, whilst sagely nodding along to references that I may or may not quite get.
As the ever long, and still growing list of books continues to weigh heavy on my time, and my shelves, never let it be said that I don’t keep stretching my boundaries, in new and interesting directions.
Thanks to James. A. Hunter, and J. D. Harpley for securing me these copies, reviews will be coming just as soon.
As we all know, odd little facts about a story can stay with the reader for years, so after last week’s team success in finding a book I had sought for years, I thought I would throw another wider ranging mystery your way to capture your imaginations.
I touched on this a few years ago in another aged post, along with some other various things. It comes from the book Inca Gold, a book of action, adventure, and a lost treasure, which always adds something thrilling to a story.
Towards the end of the book, protagonist Dirk Pitt comes across the grave of 10-year-old girl, Patty Lou Cutting, in the Sonoran Desert, Mexico, upon which the are the words:
The dark night some stars shine through.
The dullest morn a radiant brew.
And where dusk comes, God’s hand to you.
The significance of which is never expanded upon, it just hangs there cryptically, tantalisingly challenging the reader with its nebulous presence. Continue reading “Patty Lou Cutting: The Clive Cussler Conundrum”
This weekend saw us go on an adventure to one of our favourite places, Bag of Beans, in Tagaytay. Battling the usual heat, and a cold – which rendered my voice incapable of anything above a croak – it was a relief to clear away the cobwebs and stretch the legs.
The view is always going to be the major pull, inspiring as it is, and has the added bonus of effortlessly making my photography skills seem like talent, despite being a bit ropey in reality. Relaxing here is always the perfect pay off after yet another crazy week.
Despite the beautiful and distracting vista, there was also plenty of reading and writing successfully done, accompanied by a pleasant, cool breeze. An iced mocha at my elbow further stimulated the brain cells into action.
Breakfast was an absolutely treat as well. Sweet and savoury combined to complete my satisfaction, and a creative day was off to a great start.