Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff In Love (Simple Ways To Nurture and Strengthen Your Relationships While Avoiding The Habits That Break Down Your Loving Connection) by Richard Carlson Ph.D. and Kristine Carlson- Book Review

Basically, this book is a guide on how people could nurture and strengthen their relationships with either their spouse and at the same time avoid the habits that could possibly break the relationship off. Dr. Richard and Kristine Carlson share a hundred strategies on how we could do so.

Strategy #1: Mostly, be pals.

Love relationships usually start from being good friends and getting-to-know each other phase. There’s nothing wrong with starting off from being good pals as this is where you get to know more of your partner (e.g. his/her likes and dislikes, imperfections, etc.). Just as how you treat your friend, should also be the way how you treat your partner in life.

Strategy #2: Learn to laugh at yourself

We all know that nobody is perfect. It’s part of being human. Don’t take yourself too seriously but instead learn to laugh at yourself whenever you happen to make some mistakes in your life.

Strategy #3: Let it go already

Don’t keep on dwelling on whatever mistakes or shortcomings your partner may have had. It’s no fun being around someone who harbors bitter feelings towards their partner, thinking that they would possibly do the same thing again. As what Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” says, let it go.

Strategy #4: Turn Up The Heat

Don’t wait for your partner to make the change before you do. Because honestly, he or she won’t. Making conditions or excuses such as “I can’t turn up the heat until certain conditions are met, until he or she begins to change.” or even “I’m sick of his laziness. All he does is sit around. He’s not even trying.” is never going to work, much less that your partner will get his or her act together. No matter how long you wait, there’s a fat chance that the change you wanted to see in your partner will come.

Strategy #5: Consider that the grass probably isn’t greener

We all have this habit of trading old things for newer ones, but we never get satisfied because we always look or wish for something better. Newer cars, newer things, better jobs or careers, and so on. We can’t always get what we want all the time. Same goes for our relationship with our future partner (for those who are single).

Strategy #6: Throw away your scorecard

Admit it, some of us also have this habit of keeping track on what we do compared to that of what our partner fails to do, vice versa. This could lead to frustrations in life if this habit of ours never goes away. Instead of being resentful and keeping a tally of our partner’s mistakes, why not let him or her know where he or she has gone wrong in a calm manner?

Strategy #7: Be Kind First

Familiar with the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? This applies to how we treat our partners or future spouse. We can’t expect our partner to treat us kindly when we ourselves don’t treat them the same way or manner we wanted them to treat us.

Strategy #8 : Don’t use your partner as a punching bag!

Don’t vent all your frustrations on your partner as if he or she is always the one responsible for all your frustrations in life. They don’t even have any idea what’s going on with your day. As much as it feels good to share your frustrations with someone you love and care for, venting all of it on them does not even seem to be fair. Don’t make your partner feel like a punching bag by doing this.

Strategy #9: Ask the question: Whose quirk is this anyway?

We usually get frustrated whenever our things disappear or even get used by other people, leaving us with nothing to use whenever we do things. Or much more, leave a mess in some areas of our house, most especially the kitchen. Before we get mad at our partner for doing so, why don’t we pause for a minute and ask ourselves this question: “Whose quirk is this anyway?”

Rather than yell out at our partner, why don’t we just do the thing ourselves in a calm manner?

Strategy #10: Talk To Him His Way

Just like in the 5th and 7th strategy, we don’t always get to be the one to be listened to. Same goes for our partner. It’s a give and take situation here. We listen to our partner just as we want our partner to listen to us in whatever we want to tell them. It’s all about effective communication.

Strategy #11: Avoid the words, “I Love You, But”

Never must we add conditions whenever we say these three words to our future partner. We don’t make it a habit to connect our loving phrase to our special someone with something that’s bothering us. Don’t make it sound like a lecture to them.

There are other different strategies that the author of this book want to impart on us. These are ways we could further strengthen and nurture relationships with our future partner and spouse. Other strategies include filling our lives with opportunities to express love, looking for gifts, sharing an insight, staying away from ultimatums (no one wants them anyway), allowing time for transitions, keeping your cool before the quarrel, knowing your own value (you don’t have to end up being a doormat) , setting a good example, being a world-class listener, letting your partner buy his or her own lunch, surprising your partner with compliments, stop wishing your partner were different, thinking before you speak … and most importantly, staying away from comparisons.

movie review

Imagine You and Me (A Movie Review)

This film narrates another love story between an OFW worker, Gara (Maine Mendoza) and Andrew (Alden Richards) who finds it hard to move on from a heartbreak after being rejected by the girl he loves.

Gara keeps herself busy in Italy as a pet sitter to Molly (Isay’s dog) , caregiver to an elderly man and a household helper to Terry (Irma Adlawan) as well , who turns out to be Andrew’s stepmom. Gara and Andrew seem to be at each other’s throats in the first place since Andrew accused Gara for conniving with the thief who stole his bag at the park, not knowing that Gara chased after the thief to retrieve the bag and return it to Andrew only to find that he was no longer in the park. Gara, in turn, despises Andrew for being such a douchebag and an ingrate.

Upon learning from Terry about Andrew’s situation , Gara’s heart softens and decides to help Andrew get over his heartbreak from being rejected by the girl he loves, which then starts their budding romance. However, things turn upside down as Gara finds out who Isay (Jasmine Curtis-Smith) really is by following and picking up the pieces of the broken heart-shaped glass and learns that Clarissa and Isay are the same person. Gara confronts Isay one time about not telling the truth about her condition to Andrew thinks that Isay is being selfish about leaving Andrew without any particular reason, deciding it’s about time that Isay and Andrew meet up  and arranges it for them so that they can finally talk and clear things out .

My favorite parts in this movie are: the scene where Andrew makes it up to Gar a for being rude and yelling at her for interfering with his life, the part when Andrew and Gara started to date and the scene where Isay lets go of Andrew and tells him he deserves to be with someone who makes him smile the way he used to.

Least favorite part was the confrontational scene between Gara and Isay where they got in a heated argument when Gara sees Isay writing her goodbye letters as she is terminally ill , as well as the part where Andrew confronts Isay about not informing him of her whereabouts and her health condition.

Some of the quotes/lines that struck me while watching this movie were:
“Kaya nga na-imbento ang glue para kahit gaano kawasak ang isang bagay, pwede pa ring mabuo.” – Gara

“Mas tragic yung hindi mo man lang naranasang magmahal. Mas malungkot yung mamatay na hindi mo man lang nakilala yung taong laan para sa ‘yo.” – Gara

“Hindi ka pa nagkakaroon ng totoong heartbreak kasi hindi ka pa nai-inlove.” – Andrew

“You were meant to be with someone who makes you smile like that.”- Isay

Reflections/Insights/Critique on this movie:
* We deserve to be with someone who makes us feel happy and smile.  We just have to wait in God’s perfect time.

* It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. This was what I learned and realized from Gara as she tells Andrew that it is more tragic when a person doesn’t experience love at all and dying without even meeting the other person that was destined for them.

“No matter how it hurts, we still have to be honest with the person we love. Another realization where Gara confronted Isay about not telling Andrew regarding her condition. Gara tells Isay to be honest with Andrew, no matter how it hurts.

book review

A Walk To Remember – Nicholas Sparks (Chapter Summary)

Chapter 1:

Landon Carter narrates his teenage life in Beaufort, California and describes the kind of life people live in that place.

He also describes Hegbert Sullivan as an old man through his physical features —clammy, translucent that kids could see the blood flowing through his veins and hair as white as the bunnies that could be seen in the pet stores during Easter.

Landon Carter was a naughty boy way back when he and his friends were younger, making fun of Hegbert and calling him bad names. He also narrates about the play that Hegbert Sullivan wrote.

Another thing wrong about Landon is that he resents his father for not being there when he grew up. He bore this ill-feeling against him (Landon’s father) for a very long time.

Until then , he meets Jamie Sullivan, Hegbert’s daughter and a senior high school student just like him. Landon didn’t take a liking to Jamie  at first, nor did he consider the thought of hanging out with her for fear of losing or destroying his reputation to his friends.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) clammy: cold and damp (page 3)

2) scribes: teachers of the Jewish law (page 4)

3) retribution: a deserved punishment (page 15)

4) muumuu: a long, loose-fitting cotton dress (page 18)

Chapter 2:

Landon goes to his father’s alarm mater, University of North Carolina, right after school. He didn’t want to go to Harvard or Princeton like his dad pressures him to, as he thinks his grades are not enough for him to pass into those kinds of universities.

He hated the idea of having to spend time with his father as well, as he (Landon’s dad) would always pressure him to do something worthwhile like running for student body president and when it comes to his dad, he doesn’t have any choice but to follow whether he likes it or not.

Landon narrates his story when he was in junior high school, where he had a steady relationship with a  girl named Angela Clark who happened to be his first real girlfriend. However, he got dumped by her during the summer for a guy named Lew. He also tells about the homecoming dance he’s been dreading about since he still doesn’t have any date and been having difficulty in asking a few girls out since either of them already have dates or are unattractive. There were even some who are busy with college.

Not wanting to waste time, Landon thought about going to Jamie Sullivan’s house and ask her out for the homecoming dance before his opponent, Carey Dennison, could.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) tines: a prong or sharp point, such as that of a fork or antler (page 29)

2) asphalt: a mixture of dark bituminous pitch with sand or gravel, used for surfacing, flooring, roofing, etc. (page 30)

3) deranged : mad or insane (page 35)

4) gawky: nervously awkward or ungainly (page 37)

5) wheezing: breathing with a whistling or rattling sound in the chest, as a result of obstruction in the air passages (page 38)

Chapter 3:

Before the homecoming dance, Landon was already having concerns about what Jamie would wear and whether Jamie knew how to dance. He didn’t want Jamie to be wearing the same thing she’d been wearing to school as he didn’t want Jamie to be made fun of, especially by his friends. This is one of Landon’s good side.

Landon even turned down Eric’s offer to double date with him and his partner so as to avoid any chances of Jamie being teased or made fun of. He knew how Eric could be a jerk sometimes.

When the day of the dance came, Landon kept himself busy by helping in decorating the gym and went to the Sullivan’s house to pick up Jamie about half an hour as her dad would want to have a word with him (Landon) without him having any clue why.

By the time Landon had arrived, he and Hegbert had a good talk before picking up Jamie for the dance. At first, Hegbert hesitated to let Landon take his daughter to the dance, thinking that he might, or would, embarrass Jamie in front of the crowd as he knew what kind of people Landon and his friends are.  Upon their arrival at the homecoming dance, most of Landon’s friends kept their distance from him, seeing that he was with Jamie.

Landon had a bad feeling upon seeing Lew and his ex-girlfriend coming to the dance. He didn’t trust Lew right away and got his instincts right when he saw Lew spiking the drinks and leaving Angela when he heard her throwing up in the bathroom.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) lax: not sufficiently strict, severe or careful (page 45)

2) bourbon: a straight whiskey distilled from a mash, having at least 51 percent corn in addition to malt and rye (page 47)

3) dimwit: a stupid or silly person (page 52)

4) glop: a sticky and amorphous substance, typically something unpleasant (page 54)

5) sneered: smiled or spoke in a contemptuous and mocking manner (page 56)

6) retching: made the sound and movement of vomiting (page 59)

Chapter 4:

Two weeks after the homecoming dance, Landon was back to his old ways now that his father was back to Washington D.C. He was back to sneaking out the window and heading to the graveyard, eating boiled peanuts with his friends.

Eric teased Landon about his date with Jamie Sullivan in the middle of their conversation.  He (Landon) didn’t like the way his friends, especially Eric, talked about Jamie. The only thing wrong about Landon here is that he was only using Jamie to impress another girl.

Landon spent his Sunday in his room preparing for his college application to University of North Carolina, most especially on essays. In the middle of his essay writing, Landon receives a phone call from Jamie , asking if he could come over to their house in the afternoon. Hesitant at first, Landon agrees to meet Jamie at her house by five o clock.

Jamie asked Landon for a favor, which was to play the role of Tom Thornton in the school play her father had written. He couldn’t agree or say yes  at the first place just yet, but remembering how Jamie had been there to help him in the homecoming dance, he finally conceded.

Jamie had wanted the play to be special, for her father, especially when she is playing the role of the angel. Not wanting to hurt Jamie’s feelings, Landon agrees to play as Tom Thornton.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) foray: a raid or plunder;  any incursion into another’s domain (page 63)

2) highbrow: a person who cares, or claims to care, a great deal about knowledge and culture (page 64)

3) smitten: to be suddenly impressed, as with a strong feeling or sentiment (page 66)

4) penance: a punishment borne to show sorrow for sin (page 67)

5) hushpuppies: small balls of corn meal fried in deep fat (page 69)

6) squinch: to screw or distort–as the face or eyes (page 73)

Chapter 5:

Landon auditioned for the role of Tom Thornton and got the part, replacing Eddie Jones, who was then relieved. Their rehearsal for the play started the next week in their classroom.

Their teacher, Miss Garber, was in charge of the play’s actual production instead of Hegbert Sullivan who was busy with all his ministering duties. She kept reminding Landon and the rest of the senior students involved in the play to memorize their lines as they only have three weeks to polish it and that they don’t have much time for more rehearsals.

Jamie and Landon rehearse their parts. Landon had a hard time memorizing his lines and had to go over the pages whereas Jamie knew all her lines by heart, as well as Landon’s and everyone else’s lines in the play. Landon’s friends didn’t like the idea of him (Landon) doing the play with Jamie Sullivan , especially Eric.

Due to the teasing and gossip, Landon started to avoid Jamie again, even though he knew it wasn’t any of her fault. He refuses to learn his lines and messes up with it, making everyone in the class except for Jamie and Miss Garber, laugh.

He and his friends would often tease Jamie behind her back, unaware that her feelings get hurt too, even though she doesn’t show it. Despite their teasing, Jamie still remains friendly to Landon and his companions. She also willingly helps Landon go over his lines for the play.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) downtrodden: tyrannized over; oppressed (page 79)

2) rickety: liable to fall or break down (page 79)

3) tacky: unpleasant; disagreeable (page 83)

4) fibs: lies about some small matter (page 83)

5) scorn: mockery or derision; a feeling that a person, animal or act is mean or low; contempt (page 85)

6) furrowing:  tightening and lowering the eyebrows in anxiety, concentration or disapproval, so wrinkling the forehead (page 88)

Chapter 6:

Jamie and Landon approached Miss Garber the next day regarding their plans for the orphans—which was to perform the play in front of them as well. Miss Garber thought this to be a wonderful idea and asked the other senior students involved in the play if they would also be willing to do their parts.

Then after, Jamie and Landon headed off to Morehead City , where the orphanage house was located, to talk to Mr. Jenkins regarding the same thing. Landon wasn’t excited as Jamie was , but he didn’t want to be regarded as the Grinch who spoils Christmas either.

While waiting for the director of the orphanage , Jamie and Landon had a conversation once more, with Jamie praising Landon for doing well in learning or rehearsing his lines for the play, then changed the subject by talking about the future this time. Jamie asks Landon what he plans to do for the future or after he finishes college and suggests that he should become a minister, seeing how good he is with people. Landon laughs at this idea, thinking that becoming a minister is a ridiculous thing to do. Jamie shares her plans for the future as well, which was to get married in the same church where her parents did. To be fair, Landon was getting used to spending time with Jamie and having conversation with her, though there’s still a part of him that hesitates.

Landon describes the orphanage house office they have visited to be almost like a hospital room for its black-and-white tiled floors, white walls and ceilings and a metal cabinet against the wall. Mr. Jenkins, upon Jamie’s requests that they perform the play, opposes to the idea that they do so since it would remind the kids what they’re missing during Christmas season. However, he offered another activity for them that they would enjoy such as sharing or exchanging of gifts and that they could come to visit the orphanage on Christmas Eve.

Landon, seeing Jamie feeling dejected, realized that she wasn’t always the happy and cheerful type and that she also has different emotions like any normal person does. They visited the kids for a short while before leaving the orphanage and going back to their respective homes, as Landon offered just to make Jamie feel better.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) pandemonium: a place of wild disorder or lawless confusion; wild uproar or lawlessness (page 92)

2) conspiratorially: of or having to do with conspiracy or conspirators (page 92)

3) julep: a drink made of whiskey or brandy, sugar, crushed ice and fresh mint (page 95)

4) inquisitive: asking many questions; curious (page 96)

5) dejected: in low spirits; sad; discouraged (page 97)

6) perplexed: bewildered; puzzled (page 102)

7) sparseness: occurring, growing, or settling at widely spaced intervals (page 105)

Chapter 7:

Just over the two weeks of their rehearsals, Landon had to walk Jamie home for her security, though he was against the idea of doing so. But then again, he couldn’t refuse without hurting her feelings or making the next day miserable for either the two of them.

The play was fast approaching and a lot of people were already talking about it. Miss Garber was impressed or delighted with Jamie and Landon that she kept telling everyone how the play was going to be a great success and that she even asked the school newspaper to write an article about the play. Landon doesn’t seem to be excited as everyone in the drama class was and wanted to be out of it as soon as the play was over, as his friends kept on teasing him about the whole Jamie situation, though he felt good about doing the right thing.

Jamie heard about Landon and his friends sneaking out to the graveyard at night and eating boiled peanuts, to Landon’s surprise, when she asked him about it. They had another conversation while walking home from school , which included their usual activities when not in school and their plans for college. Jamie admits that she has doubts about going to college, much to Landon’s dismay.

Throughout their conversation, Landon realized that he and Jamie have something in common –their parent—him without a dad and Jamie without a mom. Landon admits to Jamie he misses his dad somehow as he wasn’t around when Landon grew up whereas Jamie misses her mom, even though she never heard of her that much.

Just before reaching their house, Landon’s friends—Eric and Margaret, caught up with them and teased Landon about walking Jamie from school right after rehearsals even until the next day in school. Landon hurries back to his house after dropping Jamie off at hers.

That late night of their last rehearsal, Landon was in a foul mood that he messed up with his lines once again, refused to walk Jamie home and even raised his voice at her for the first time, to which he felt guilty after, and hating himself for being such a jerk  towards Jamie.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) hotbed: a place or atmosphere that favors the rapid growth or development of any condition, especially something evil (page 108)

2) welshed: cheated by failing to pay a bet ; evaded the fulfillment of an obligation (page 109)

3) flair: natural talent; keen perception (page 110)

4) cider: the juice pressed out of apples, used as a drink and in making vinegar and applejack (page 120)

5) speculation: careful thought, reflection (page 121)

6) suffice: to meet the desires, needs or requirement; to be enough; let it suffice or be sufficient (page 123)

7) kinks: mental twists or queer ideas (page 123)

8) spiteful: full of spite; eager to annoy or behaving with ill will or malice (page 126)

Chapter 8:

The night of the play came for Jamie and Landon, and he had been feeling bad all day for being such a jerk to Jamie and saying mean things to her. He hates himself for being so mean to a girl who’s been nothing but nice to him.

Jamie, thinking that Landon meant those words he have said to her that night before their play, starts avoiding him. Just before their play, Landon mustered up the courage to approach Jamie and apologized to her, which Jamie accepts.

As they begin to perform, Landon was still going  over his lines until it was his turn or part. He was even struck by Jamie’s beauty as she emerges from her dressing room. To be fair, Landon got his lines right, making the first night of their play turn out to be a success.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) lethargic: un-naturally drowsy; sluggish or dull (page 128)

2) trepidation: nervousness; dread (page 128)

3) flub: to do something very clumsily; spoil (page 130)

4) pivotal: very important (page 131)

5) eerie: causing fear; strange or weird (page 133)

6) unscathed: not harmed; un-injured (page 133)

Chapter 9:

The second night of the play was even more successful as the first night as more people came to watch the performance, including Landon’s friend Eric who even congratulated him for the job well done.

When Landon was about to approach Jamie, he saw her off to the side talking to her father. Jamie approached Landon right after talking with the rest of the cast involved in the play, thanking him for doing the play with her. Landon began to like Jamie and was worried about her that people might treat her even worse,  now that she’s back to her usual self after the play. He was still feeling guilty for the things he had said to her that previous night before their play and wished he had the opportunity to walk her home after the night of their last performance. He even came to this realization that he’d been wrong in treating Jamie very badly.

Right after school, Jamie approached Landon , reminding him of his promise that he’d make it up to her and suggested what he could do—gather the pickle jars and coffee cans she’d set out in business all over the towns as the collected money goes for the orphanage. At first, Landon was hesitant , remembering how he and his friends would trick Jamie by putting paper clips and slugs, making Jamie think that they had put money in it. But then, he kept reminding himself that he was the one who made a promise that he’s make it up to her and how Jamie had helped him when he’s in need. He then agreed to do it, as there’s nothing much for him to do.

Landon was disheartened when he counted the amount of money collected in the first day and was about to give up the next day as it got worse but then again, he had to continue picking up the jars in Jamie’s favor and brought them over to her house so that they could count the total amount of money , to which Jamie was overjoyed as she counted them, totaling to $247.

The next day, which was Christmas Eve, Jamie and Landon came to visit the orphanage, bringing along with them the presents for the kids. Little did Jamie know that Landon had something for her as well, from which he’d spent his last dollar just to get her a nice new sweater. Much to Landon’s surprise when he visited the orphanage, the rec room looked so much better than it did during his first visit with Jamie. He was even more surprised to see Jamie with her  hair hung loosely and wearing a red V-neck sweater instead of the old brown cardigan she use to wear in school.

Right after the story-telling, Jamie and Landon handed out the gifts, which the kids excitedly opened. Landon admitted to himself that it was the best Christmas Eve he has ever spent. With the kids off to bed, Jamie and Landon exchanged gifts with each other. Jamie gave her Bible to Landon as a present, thanking him for giving her the best Christmas. Landon then suddenly realizes he has fallen in love with Jamie Sullivan.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) forged: moved forward slowly but steadily (page 139)

2) wince: to draw back suddenly or flinch slightly (page 141)

3) proprietor: a person who owns something as his possession or property (page 143)

4) hounds-tooth: having a broken check pattern (page 146)

5) tinsel: a glittering copper, brass or some other metal in thin sheets, strips or threads (page 147)

6) rapt: lost in delight; enraptured or ecstatic (page 148)

7) frenzy: near madness; frantic condition or very great excitement (page 150)

8) squeals: long, sharp and shrill cries (page 150)

9) ethereal: light, airy or heavenly (page 150)

10) mesmerized: hypnotized (page 153)

Chapter 10:

Landon and Jamie started dating, even though Hegbert was still hesitant in letting his daughter go with guys like him (Landon). He had also noticed that Hegbert s sermons were shorter than usual, like he’s always tired and sad, which makes Landon feel that something’s odd about Jamie’s father.

Jamie had asked Landon if he ever thought about God and His plan, like why things always turn out the way they do, to which Landon gave a very good answer—they just have to have faith. Landon once again asks Jamie out on a dinner date with his family. Jamie was beginning to enjoy Landon’s company as well at that time.

During the dinner, Jamie had noticed that Landon’s parents were not as bad as they were. She praised Landon for having such a nice family. Landon asks Jamie out of curiosity if her dad likes her, wondering if Hegbert would allow Jamie to see him again, to which Jamie honestly responds that Hegbert worries both about her and Landon.

Landon drops by Jamie’s place the next day. Instead of walking towards the side of the porch, he sits next to Jamie and reaches for her hand, taking it in his which surprises Jamie for a bit. They kissed for the first time.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) bluff: try to deceive someone as to one’s abilities or intentions (page 158)

2) volition: the faculty or power of using one’s own will (page 160)

3) sallow: of an unhealthy yellow or pale brown color (page 161)

4) gnarled: knobbly, rough and twisted, especially with age (page 166)

Chapter 11:

While on their date, Jamie asks Landon if he had ever been in love, to which Landon didn’t know what answer to give, as he was unsure on how he would answer to her question. However, he  then finally admits that he had which makes Jamie asks another question –how does he know that it’s love. Landon gives a simple answer—he knows that it’s love when all he wants to do is spend time with the other person and that he sort of knows that the other person feels the same way, that of which Jamie thinks about deeply and considers.

Landon takes Jamie out to a real dinner date at Flauvin’s, as suggested by his mom. He asks permission from Hegbert first, who was hesitant for the mean time, but then allows it only for one condition that he doesn’t see Jamie hurt and that he brings her back home by ten. Landon seizes the opportunity to apologize to Hegbert for the things he and his friends have done when they were younger and for not treating Jamie nicely as how she should be treated.

During their dinner date and the succeeding other dates, Landon had noticed that Jamie seemed tired and listless. There were times when she’d sleep in the car before they reach home. At this point, Jamie’s condition was showing signs and symptoms –slight fever, fatigue, feeling sick, loss of appetite, weight loss and bruises. Despite this and unaware of Jamie’s illness , Landon finally confesses his true feelings to Jamie , that he loves her and that she’s the best thing that ever happened to him. Jamie, upon hearing these three words, tears up and tells Landon that he can’t fall in love with her as she’s very sick and that she’s dying.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) dunes: a mound or ridge of sand or other loose sediment formed by the wind, especially on the sea cost or in the desert (page 172)

2) slick: done or operating in an impressively smooth, efficient and apparently effortless way (page 173)

3) listless: lacking energy or enthusiasm (page 184)

4) blustery: characterized by strong winds (page 185)

5) bruise: an injury appearing as an area of discolored skin on the body, caused by a blow or impact rupturing underlying blood vessels (page 187)

6) despondent: in low spirits from loss of hope or courageous (page 187)

7) queasy: nauseated; feeling sick (page 187)

Chapter 12:

Landon finally learns about Jamie’s condition and everything starts to make sense to him –why she wanted him to do the play, why Hegbert had called Jamie his angel, why he looked so tired all the time and why he was worried every time Landon drops by their place. It also became clearer to him why Jamie wanted Christmas at the orphanage to be special, why she had given him her Bible and why she didn’t think she’ll be going to college. Jamie Sullivan is sick and dying.

Landon finds it hard at first to accept what was happening between him and Jamie, angered and hurt she didn’t tell him in the first place about her condition. Jamie admitted being diagnosed with leukemia seven months ago and that’d been the one who decided not to tell anyone and requested her father to do the same.

On Monday , during school, Landon never saw Jamie in school, making him realize that he’d never see her again walking in the hallways, reading her Bible and even wearing her brown cardigan. It all sinks in to him that she’s finished with school and will never receive her diploma.  When Landon dropped by their place, they talk about her illness again and Jamie admits that she’s not going back to school as she needs to spend more time with her father as much as she can before she dies. She admits as well for the first time that she’s afraid but doesn’t show it in public as she doesn’t want Landon to worry that much.

The following day that came, Jamie’s condition worsens, with no chances of recovery. Visible signs like weight loss, skin turning grayish, bones starting to show through her skin, bruises and intolerance to cold weather were starting to show once more.

Landon’s friends—Eric and Margaret—had also learned about Jamie’s illness. They came to apologize for their mean demeanor towards her. By early February, Jamie felt even worse as the effects of the medicine didn’t seem to help and her visit to the hospital became more regular, though she insisted she didn’t want to stay overnight and that she wanted to die at home.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) fretted: constantly or visibly worried or anxious (page 192)

2) anguish: severe mental or physical pain or suffering (page 193)

3) compulsion: an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one’s conscious wishes (page 202)

4) petition: a formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority with respect to a particular cause (page 203)

5) valiantly: boldly courageous; stout-hearted (page 205)

6) fluke: unlikely chance of occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck (page 215)

7) gleam: a faint or brief light, especially one reflected from something (page 218)

8) euphoric: characterized by feeling intense excitement or happiness (page 229)

9) disheveled: untidy; disordered (page 229)

Chapter 13:

Jamie and Landon got married on March 12, 1959 at the same church where her parents wedded, with the permission of Hegbert and Landon’s parents.

Landon knew Jamie had changed his life and the kind of man he is. She changed him from a naughty and irresponsible boy to a grown up and God fearing man. With Jamie’s help, Landon and his father reconciled and built a stronger relationship with him. He also learned the value of forgiveness the way she did when Eric and Margaret came by her house to apologize to her, as well as not to hold any grudges against anyone.

Jamie slowly walks the aisle with her father as she makes her way to Landon—her groom and husband-to-be. Hegbert finally gave his blessings to both Jamie and Landon.

Days later after their wedding, Jamie dies. Landon narrates himself once again, this time as a fifty-seven year old man, sharing his memories of Jamie Sullivan.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) cynical: believing that people are motivated by self-interests; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity. (page 234)

2) surge: to move very quickly and in a particular direction; to suddenly increase to an unusually high level (page 237)

3) perched: to sit somewhere, especially on something high or narrow (page 238)



Quote Analysis: “To love another person is to see the face of God” by Victor Hugo

“To love another person is to see the face of God” – Victor Hugo

A. Analysis of Quote Through Literary Context (“Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo)

This quote speaks to me a lot and has been my favorite from Victor Hugo’s novel ‘Les Miserables’ ever since I have read it and watched the movie. Valjean and Eponine’s character are good examples who have demonstrated this kind of love wherein they both sacrificed their own happiness for the sake of their loved ones. We could see that from the start, Valjean sought to hate the world who were unjust , refusing him any shelter and food to keep him warm. But through the kindness of Bishop Myriel who have seem to forgiven Valjean of the sins he have committed and raised him out of darkness, he was able to start a new life and reinvented himself as Monsieur Madeleine , Monsieur Fauchelevent and Urbaine Fabre.  While running the town of Montfermeil as a Mayor, Jean Valjean meets Fantine, a factory worker who, then , loses her job after her co-workers find out about her illegitimate child , leading her to turn to prostitution. After learning upon this, Valjean makes a promise to Fantine that he will look after  her daughter and raise her as his own.  From here, Valjean turned  from hating and learned to love while he was taking care of Cosette. He sacrificed his own happiness for the sake of Cosette’s , leaving her with Marius as he returns to the place where he told Javert to meet him as soon as he (Valjean) fulfills his duty, without saying a word to Cosette as he doesn’t want her to be disgraced when he is caught.

Eponine, on the other hand, shows her self-less love to Marius by sacrificing herself during the battle. She chooses to set aside her feelings for Marius, no matter how smitten she is by her love for her best friend. Seeing that Marius was about to be shot by one of the National Guards while fighting, she blocks the musket with her hand and takes the shot instead. Before she dies, Eponine hands over to Marius the letter given by Cosette.

B. Analysis of quote through Biblical context

This quote is somehow similar to a Biblical passage found in the book of 1 John Chapter 4 v. 12 , saying “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us.”

Simply putting this in phrase or in other words, God wanted us to love one another and this kind of love that God wants us to show is a self-less kind of love. Another Biblical passage defines the kind of love God wants to see in us or to show towards others:  1 Corinthians chapter 13 v. 4 to 13. Verses  4 to 8 describes the perfect kind of love God possesses and wants us to demonstrate towards one another.

v. 4 – Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
v. 5 –  It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of

v. 6 – Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with  the truth.
v. 7 – It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
v. 8- Love never fails.

To sum it up, love is not about finding a perfect person, but rather seeing an imperfect person perfectly . When we love, we do not give up right away just because that person is very unpredictable or very difficult to handle but instead , we become patient and understanding towards that person, no matter how he or she is. Moreover, we must never keep record of how many times that person or our partner have done us wrong. We are NOT perfect , only God is. Love is not self-seeking . When we love, we always put that person’s happiness above our own. We never seek our own happiness before others’ .

God wanted this kind of love to be shown by us to others, whether it be our friends, our partners, or even those we do not know. And yes, even the unlovable can also be shown love, because that’s how His Son demonstrated it. He paid for our sins by dying on the cross, even though we do not deserve and that we are unworthy of His love.

This is what or how the quote speaks to me, both literal and Biblical and this is why this quote of Victor Hugo means a lot to me. Truly a beautiful quote I must say.

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Valentine’s Day: No Date? No Worries!

Whether you’re single or taken , your  relationship status doesn’t have to be an excuse or reason for you not to celebrate this special day or occasion. Why dread being alone on Valentine’s Day when you can celebrate it with your family, friends, or even office mates? Forget about not receiving any flowers or chocolates from your special someone or from other guys because what matters most is you are with your loved ones (yes, I am referring once again to your family and friends) who have been there for you through thick and thin. So, don’t sulk just because you haven’t received a bouquet of flowers, a handful of love letters or a box of chocolates you’ve been expecting from your significant other or that no one asked you out for a date.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just all about going on romantic dates (with candle-lit tables and classy dinner for two people accompanied by romantic music) or watching movies, but also about having that special bonding moment with those you considered important in your life.

Who says that all the single ladies and gentleman can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day? He/she can! Everyone can! Why make a fuss about being single when you can just invite a friend over with you and spend time munching on those popcorns while watching DVD movies? Or you can even bond with your old school friends that you haven’t seen for a long time? Going out on an outing with your colleagues will do as well as this will help you enhance your socialization skills and getting to know them even more (not to mention getting that well-deserved break for you and your team’s effort and hard work). You can already consider these people as your date for this special month.

Again, Valentine’s Day is not  only just for couples but for single people as well.

dance, performing arts


Hating your body? Think that it is imperfect? We all go through that phase wherein we aspire of having a physically perfect body.

Dysmorphilia, a debut full length production by Daloy Dance Company choreographed and directed by Ms. EA Torrado, consists of 13 scenes performed by each Daloy DC artists, either solo, duet, trio or group. Throughout this performance, one could see or learn the importance of loving his or her body and accepting its physical flaws. Let nothing, not even your body’s imperfections, hinder you from becoming a performer and shining out.

For this kind of production done, I could say that it took a lot of effort, rehearsing, and determination from the whole team to make this performance a successful one. Dancing is not merely just an art, but it is one’s way of expressing his or herself (even the emotions) as well.

There are no regrets whatsoever in going to PETA Theater Center just to see this performance done by the Daloy Dance Company members cause everything in it was worth watching for. Looking forward to watch more of their performance for the following days to come.

*Dysmorphilia came from two words, dysmorphia which means ‘disorder’ and philo which means strong affinity or love. Basically, it is to love our body no matter how imperfect we perceive it to be.

Photos taken:


Movie Review: She’s Dating The Gangster

She’s Dating The Gangster is based on a wattpad story about a 17 year old girl named Athena Dizon (Kathryn Bernardo) who has to go with the deal of pretending to be in a relationship with one of the gangster Kenji Delos Reyes (Daniel Padilla) just to get his ex-girlfriend feel jealous and win her back again. Throughout their pretend relationship, Athena suddenly finds herself falling in love with Kenji and wants to back out of the deal. In the end, despite her serious health condition, Athena learns to fight for love, knowing or believing that it will let her live longer.

Watching this movie made me realize that love isn’t all about finding the right or perfect person but rather seeing an imperfect person perfectly. Love knows no bounds. Loving a person is seeing how God intends him or her to be. Love is accepting a person for who he or she is, not trying to change him or her. This movie is a must-watch for everyone, not just for teenagers but also for the whole family.

Quoting from the Bible, I Cor. 14:4-7, it states the qualities of love:

1) Love is patient and kind (v.4) – Love is all about being patient. No matter how long it takes, a person who loves perseveres and waits patiently for the right time to come. It is kind. It never seeks to harm other people. It does not envy, does not boast, nor is it proud – a person who loves knows how to be contented with what he or she has, but keeps himself or herself humble.

2) Love does not dishonor others, nor is it self-seeking (v.5 ) Love never finds a way to cause others shame or disgrace nor does it seek pleasure for itself. A person who loves respects other people’s feelings and seeks that other people are happy. It is not easily angered nor does it keep record of wrongs – a person who loves never loses his or her temper easily and learns to forgive and forget others for their wrongdoings, no matter how big his or her transgressions are.

3) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (v.6) – Love does not seek out to enjoy seeing people do wrong things or sin, nor does it lie. A person who loves would do the right thing and be honest all the time with the people they love, no matter how the truth hurts.

4) Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (v.7) A person who loves would always protect other people. Love never doubts. It always hopes for the best and perseveres no matter how hard it is. A person who loves is one who never gives up easily.

Love is not about trying to change the person’s behavior or attitude. A person who loves would accept his or her significant other, despite his or her imperfections. A person who truly loves would love another person whole-heartedly and unconditionally.