Violet Evergarden

I started watching Violet Evergarden in February 2018, when it was just released weeks ago. I was browsing Netflix on a Sunday evening, mentally distracting myself from the fact that the next day was a Monday. And suddenly, I come across Violet Evergarden. Of course I was intrigued by the trailer! I loved historical animes with strong female leads and the trailer was so beautiful that I had to watch the anime. I didn’t expect to get so hooked on the anime.

Come Monday afternoon, I watched the rest of the available episodes, as it was still ongoing. While watching I would be seen with a Nutella jar and a spoon, eating Nutella while crying over the episodes. I didn’t expect it to be so emotional! Especially with the scene parts with Violet and Gilbert. Of course I had to get emotionally attached to a character who was MIA! (SPOILER: He’s not dead yet! According to the novel and he might make an entrance in the movie coming next month.) Honestly, I’ve shed so much tears in my Violet Evergarden journey.

I love how the anime portrays the tragedy and the aftermath of war. It just portrays the happy and sad moment in and after the war so perfectly. The anime also discussed the stages of grief (See: Episode 8-10 and other filler episodes.) so perfectly that it portrays the emotions a person goes through these stages accurately. Of course it also gave light to many other social issues like discrimination, poverty, and more.

The anime was such an eye-opener to it’s audience that it got so many people hooked on it. And if you’re looking for an anime that has action, a strong female lead, letter-writing, and emotional discussions- then this is the anime for you! I strongly recommend this anime to anyone who is interested in anime recommendations, and I hope you enjoy watching it. You won’t regret it, I promise!

Image: Kyoto Animations

5 tips on Staying Awake at Night

(Tips from a pro.)

From a “Baby Thesis” to studying for tests, I’ve pulled all-nighters lots of times in my life. Sometimes just for anime or k-drama marathons! So, here are some tips on how to stay up all night!

1.) Stretch from time-to-time!

One of the most effective ways that I’ve come across while trying to stay awake! Every after 30 minutes, I would do simple stretches for about 2-5 minutes. There are actually studies that states that stretching actually wakes up your body and improves thinking!

2.) Consume caffeine early in the night.

Studies state that a cup of coffee’s effects usually show after 10-15 minutes but the “peak” shows after 45 minutes. Not only that but even after 6 hours your body has only used about 50% of the caffeine that you’ve consumed. When I know that I’ll stay awake all night, I always consume caffeine at around 10pm. It helps me stay awake and alert!

3.) Consume sugar!

Like coffee and tea, consuming snacks that have sugar keeps me energized! After consuming it, I always seem to feel so energetic! Honestly, this is the trick that I always do every time I pull an all-nighter. I can skip caffeine or stretching, just not this.

4.) Maintain good posture.

If you’re pulling an all-nighter to do some school stuff I highly suggest that you sit up straight and maintain good posture. Honestly, this works wonders. When I do this my mind is clearer and the sleepiness goes away.


Never, I repeat, never lie down! On a couch or bed, avoid lying down at all costs. I speak from experience, I promise. Every time I would lie down anywhere, I would fall asleep in a few minutes. Be strong! Resist the call of the bed (couch)!


You can do this! Stay awake! :))

“Viajero” Summary

By F. Sionil Jose

Viajero is a story about a young man figuring out his identity as a countryman. The story begins in the 1940s with Badong, an orphan in the Philippines. He was found by Apo Tale, who soon adopted him as his grandson after their meeting. Mayang, Apo Tale’s blind daughter became his Mother. Badong would soon adopt the name Salvador dela Raza which means “savior of the Filipino Race” in Spanish.

After a while, Japanese men barged in their home in the middle of the night, causing Badong to escape, and was found by Captain James Wack. Badong was taken in by James Wack and soon adopted him: Badong’s name was changed to Buddy Wack. James Wack wife’s name was Roxanne, and they had a daughter-Jessica.

Roxanne was mugged and killed in an alley in East Oakland by a bunch of Negroes, one day. Leaving James Wack with two children to raise on his own. 

Buddy fell in love with Serena, an East Asian. Both had a passion for history. But their love was forbidden, for Serena was about to marry someone through an arranged marriage by her parents

In Viajero, after losing the love of his life, Buddy journeys to the Philippines, where he meets Jose Samson, to learn more about the culture of the Philippines and to figure out how important the history of one’s country is to a person.

The book ends with Buddy confident about his identity and knowledgeable on the history of the Philippines. It ends with Buddy reminiscing on the events that took place in the Philippines in the 1940s. It ends with Buddy feeling content with what he has learned. It ends with. Buddy and James Wack.


Isang sanaysay tungkol sa Balut.


Ang tao ay may “5 senses”: ang pang-amoy, pang-lasa, pang-hawak, pang-kinig at ang pang-tingin. Sa sanaysay na ito ay tatalakayin ko kung anu-ano ang mga naaalala ko sa “Balut” kapag ito ay ginamitan ko ng aking “5 senses”.

Ano nga ba ang Balut? Ang Balut ay isang pagkaing Filipino, ito ay ang  nilagang itlog ng itik na pinaniniwalaan na pampalakas ng katawan. Ito ay karaniwang kinakain sa mga inuman at maari rin iterno sa sitsaron.

Kapag ako ay nakakatikim ng Balut, aking naaalala ay ang masarap na sabaw na niluluto ng aking lola, isang sabaw na siya lang ang marunong gumawa. Ang lasa, masarap kapag may kahalong suka, ngunit maari rin itong kainin kahit walang suka. Isa pang kagat, aking naaalala ang mga araw ng aking kabataan kung saan nakikipaglaro ako sa aking mga pinsan, at kakain ng Balut para sa merienda. Ang mga tawa namin at ang kakaibang lasa ng sisiw ng Balut. 

Ang aking mga mata, kapag aking nakikita ang Balut, napapaluha. Naaalala ko ang aking lolo na pumanaw na, ang Balut ay isa sa kanyang paboritong pagkain. Maaalala ko ang kanyang tawa kapag kumakain siya na Balut, ang kanyang mg hirit, “Balut, balut! Tara, kainan na!” Ako’y talagang napapaluha kapag nakakakita ng isang Balut.

Kapag ako’y naka amoy ng isang Balut, ako’y napapalaway, dahil sa “aroma” nito. Ako’y nagugutom kapag nakakaamoy ng Balut, kahit kakakain ko lang. Anuman mangyari, ako’y laging magugutom kapag ako’y naka amoy ng Balut.

Para sa akin, ang Balut ay isang bagay na malapit sa aking puso. Pagkain lamang ito, ngunit maraming alaala ang dala nito. Sa amoy, sa lasa, sa itsura, marami ang aking maaalala. Hinding-hindi ako magsasawa  sa Balut sapagkat masyado malaki ang halaga nito para sa akin. Muli, ang Balut ay masarap, wag mong kakalimutan ‘yon.

“My Motherland”

(A poem I wrote for English 2 when I was still in Pisay)

Philippines, my motherland

I’ve always loved you,

The sweet melodies that speak for you,

Singing of bravery and love

Yet, the unsung songs of war and suffering are beginning to unravel,

Showing the true nature of the apple of you tree


Once a land of freedom and chivalry,

Lost when the people of the west came one by one

Datus, taken down by the bite of the sword and the cross,

The cries of the lost children echoing in the silent night


Philippines, cries were as loud as the booming thunder,

Which became louder as the mighty knight who represents you was exiled,

A man whom I idolized, shot by his countrymen,

But your saddened cries were replaced with hopeful cheers

As you saw Bonifacio uniting your people under multiple flags,

Flags that soon become one


It seemed like the Lady of Justice was finally upon us,

But people of the west and east kept coming,

But my mother, my dear mother,

Do not worry, for we won in the end


Philippines, thy mother,

Are you pleased with your children?

Whom, over time have become so full of hate and vengeance?

Answer me, please thy mother,

Are you succumbing to the pressure?


Mother, please forgive us,

For we have sinned.

(Featured Picture taken in Bangkong Kahoy in 2019.)

Online Schooling

So recently, after being pulled out of Pisay, I’ve been enrolled in an online schooling program by Learning Links Academy. At least until the school year ends, that is.

“How’s online schooling,” a person might ask and I would say the usual. “It’s great,” or “It’s fun,” and other similar phrases. But what people don’t know is that it is really hard to follow your personal schedule or staying productive! (Especially when you have Netflix.) So you really have to be disciplined to be enrolled in online schooling or you won’t get much done.

Okay, so I have 3 classes taught by my online teachers: English, Math, and Science. These 3 classes I take in the same day, which is Tuesday. And I have 2 classes which are self-taught: Filipino and Social Studies, but don’t worry! LLA gives me a curriculum guide and some online books. The classes that I take are fun and informative, and I really like the approach of my online teachers.

In my online classes, I have classmates. For the classes, we use an app called “Zoom”. I love my discussions with my online classmates, they are really open-minded people and they have lots of good ideas. I really learn a lot of new information from them.

Online Schooling is a whole new experience for me. Yes, sometimes it’s scary when you’re facing something new (like online schooling). But from what I’ve learned from this new arrangement, trying something new has so many perks. Like meeting new people, having fun while learning, and it might even open new doors that lead to endless opportunities!

I’m really thankful that God gave me this new opportunity.

Dear Me, Do What You Love!

When I was a small child, I picked up negative mannerisms and mindsets from other people. Like how a child should follow their elders and do everything to please them, or at least that’s what my classmates and I believed. But, as the years went by, I realized that one should not act to please another but to please oneself and the Lord.

When I was a fourth-grader, I joined the swimming team to make my parents proud. I didn’t love the sport, but I also didn’t hate it. I constantly compared myself to other swimmers, thinking, “Why can’t I be like them?” And that mindset was my downfall; I never improved greatly in that sport. I got faster but I didn’t grow as much as my teammates did. As I got older, I realized that the swimming really wasn’t for me and that I shouldn’t choose a sport that I don’t love. For the remaining months of my sixth grade, I was introduced to volleyball.

I liked volleyball enough to practice almost every afternoon with my friends, for me it was a stress-reliever. The way that my arm would turn red after successfully receiving many spikes, I loved that feeling. The sport made me happy, I truly liked the sport.

But I didn’t love it that much to dedicate myself to it.

Summer of 2018; I familiarized myself with figure skating.

Ah, I remember the first time I watched Yuna Kim skating on Youtube, I was enthralled by the different movements that she would execute on ice. After watching that, it was like a chain-reaction was triggered. I started watching different figure skating videos: How to start, Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernandez, Figure skating Physics, etc. I was really intrigued by the sport.

I started daydreaming about me practicing figure skating.

Unfortunately, I had to shatter those dreams. I was about to start in a really prestigious and strict school: Philippine Science High School CBZRC Campus. Back then, I thought, “If I started figure skating right now, I would have to do it on weekends”. But I couldn’t do that, I stayed at dorms and I was only home for the weekends. I really wanted to try the sport, but I couldn’t sacrifice my time with my family just for the sport. So I focused my mind on volleyball.

For someone who has never been on the ice, I was really obsessed with ice skating.

I tried to forget about it, but while I was staying at the dorms, a friend of mine introduced me to Yuri!! On Ice. And I was so amazed with the animation, it was as if someone was really skating. While watching YOI, I kept on saying, “I want to do this”.

In the middle of Eighth Grade, my parents pulled me out of school.

I’ll miss everyone in Pisay, but I can’t help being happy that I have to take STEM when I grew up. It’s not that I don’t like STEM courses, I do! I mean, I like Chemistry and Astronomy, but I’m more drawn to the Arts.

Now that I have a lot of free time and I don’t have to focus on my Academics that much anymore, I realized this is the time to try out figure skating. I realized that it was a sport that I have come to love and that I was willing to work really hard just to be able to skate. And it’s not a sport that I have to do to please others, instead I would be pleasing myself. Although this is for me, I hope that I would make the people around me proud for choosing to do what I love.

Wish me luck!


Love what you do; Do what you love.”

Wayne W. Dyer


(Feature Picture taken in Bangkok, Thailang in 2019.)

My Music Journey

My music teacher once told my class, “music will always be at one’s side when one needs it.” I have always believed that saying, maybe because music has always been at my side since day one of my journey.

With trembling legs I walked to the stage. It was finally happening, I had done it. I graduated from prep. As soon as I received my certificates and sat down, I skimmed through the certificates I received. “Music Award?” I wondered aloud as I held up the certificate. I didn’t know I had potential in music, so I was genuinely suprised by that certificate. I was seven.

With blood rushing to my face, I stood at the stage, holding my recorder flute. I was finally there, my first music recital. As the first notes began to play, I suddenly felt confident on playing. It was absolutely wonderful; my fingers dancing, bouncing playfully. I could never forget that moment. I was seven.

Sweat trickling down my neck, I stood yet again on another stage- the GSIS theatre stage. This time, I performed as a main character in the musical play “The Sound of Music”. I was so pressured, I could have ruined the whole play by missing the high notes. But, I didn’t. The spotlight was on me, and I didn’t mess up. “So this is what it feels like to perform in a theatre,” I thought. I was already thirteen.

With tears streaming down my face, we presented our graduation song, dedicated to everyone there. I had made a fool out of myself by crying but I didn’t care. This was it, we’ve done it. We’ve graduated, and music is still at my side. “My goodness, music is amazing,” I thought.

With trembling legs I walked to the stage and sat on my seat. In the moment, I felt like I was seven years old again, confidence gone. We were in Thailand, having a concert in SJMIS, and I was in the middle seat. I was the second youngest there in our group, Synedèvon Mousikós. As the percussion started, I felt all my worries vanish. I started to play the Sop Sax. There I was again, fingers bouncing on the keys, dancing along the notes. I was ecstatic. “Music is still at my side, even now.” I thought. It was March 28, 2019, and I was at the top of my game.

I’m thankful that I was introduced to music at such a young age. Music was my friend that was always there when others were not. Throughout this journey, I learned that one will face challenges just to continue doing what they love. One should continue to fight for their dreams, even if it seems that you have no hope, just like when I was seven.

There is always hope.


(Featured Picture taken in Thailand on March 29, 2019.)

Leaving Pisay

When one passes the NCE (National Competitive Exam), there is joy. It’s just right that you enroll in Pisay (Philippine Science High School), right?

 When I was 13 years old, I passed the NCE.

My parents and I were ecstatic. We were so happy that we didn’t think of the long-term effects of Pisay on us. After a while, my parents doubted sending me off to Pisay.

I still enrolled in Pisay.

On the first day, I got to know my classmates and dorm mates. I was bursting with joy because I had new friends! I couldn’t believe it, I was having a good time despite being away from home!

Then, realization and sadness kicks in.

“Is this how I’m gonna spend my weekdays for 6 years? Studying away from my family?”

I loved Pisay so much. I met a lot of friends that I am sure I will keep on meeting in the future. The education was fun, and I really learned a lot!

But I missed my family and friends at home, and I was constantly tired. I had no more energy to do the things that I loved. And I have come to despise Mondays so much.

When I was about to move up to 8th grade, our adviser spoke to us. He told us, “Do what you love, no matter what you have to sacrifice for it. If you do what you love, you will truly prosper. And whatever you guys decide to do, I’ll support you”.

We were all really moved by what he said, and it always stuck with us.

8th grade was difficult. Our time schedules were changes and the number of subjects a day increased. I was always at school from 6am to 4pm, and it was tiring. My classmates and I would be so tired at the end of the day, but we still had lots of requirements to complete.

I didn’t want to spend my remaining high school years like this.

And I was not sure I would pick a STEM course for college.

I really wanted to move schools, but I was worried about the payment we’ll have to pay when I move.

And how others will think of me.

I really thought that this was final. I thought, “I’ll never be able to move thanks to my pride”.

In the middle of 8th grade, my parents offered to move me to another school, and they gave me time to think about it.

I desperately wanted to move school! But I was bombarded with “what ifs”. I was conflicted.

But, thanks to the encouraging words of my batch mates, I was able to decide.

“I will move to another school at the end of the school year,” I said with finality.

With that, I was ready to make my 2nd year in Pisay one of my best years. I studied hard so that I would be able to make the Director’s List one last time.

But of course, things never go how we plan it’ll go.

On January 12, 2020, Taal Volcano exploded. Because of this, class was suspended for 2 weeks. And in that 2 weeks, my parents and I decided to pull me out of class.

I said my goodbyes to my Pisay friends and teachers.

“I’m sad that I have to leave everyone behind, but I’m also relieved that I’m free from Pisay now.”

 Right now, I’m still adjusting to leaving Pisay. But I’m really happy that I get to do the stuff that I love and that I have more time for my family and friends.

Thank you, Lord, for guiding me to making this decision.

Wish me luck, guys!

Yay! More sleep!

(By Ate Bubut)

(Featured Picture taken in PSHS CBZRC Cafeteria on February 2, 2020.)

How to Survive Your First Week in PISAY (Philippine Science High School/PSHS)

So, you got in the Philippine Science High School or more commonly known as “Pisay.” Congrats! Getting in Pisay is no easy feat as thousands of students apply each year and give it their best. But, no matter how prepared you think you are, the first week will hit you hard—I speak from experience. Especially if you are an intern, the first week would be really difficult.

During the first day, a few hours after my family left and I was left with my new roommates, I felt very lonely. I diagnosed myself as homesick. I became so cranky and sulky at around 8pm on the first day that I just lied down on the bed and scrolled through my phone. Here’s advice for future interns: call your family before you sleep everyday. It would help you cope with homesickness. And don’t let homesickness get to you that much! Socialize with you new roommates or explore your new dorm—just don’t go to restricted areas and bring one person with you.

On the second day, we got to know each other more. We had team-building activities the whole day. Academic subjects or “acads” usually start on the third day. During the second day, I suggest that you get to know your batch mates. They will be your family away from home for 6 years. Try to talk to everyone you see on this day.

On the third day, Wednesday, the acads start. You will be meeting your grade 7 teachers on this day, and they will give out brochures that state what you will need in their class for this school year. Not only will you be meeting your teachers, but some of you teachers will start discussions already. This will give you the chance to adjust to their classes.

On the fourth and fifth day, it will be full out discussions. There you go! It’s officially the start of the school year!

I know you feel pressured right now, but have fun! I mean, you are going to a school that has high standards and expectation, but always remember to have fun. Be serious about your studies but don’t be too serious. Unwind! Play volleyball with your new friends, or just chat with them. It’s also alright to spend some time alone if you want to. Have a little “me time.”

Good luck on your Pisay journey!

Set a goal and work hard to achieve it.

And always remember to have fun!

*Credit: The photo on top was taken from Pisay CALABARZON’s website.

(Written by: Ate Bubut)