Every Friday, my sister does what she calls a photo dump – a collection of Instagram-ish photos taken during the entire week. It is what I took as inspiration when I realized I wanted to do my own version of a photo dump, but this time, a collection of the most interesting links I came to and re-posted on my Facebook timeline during the entire week (March 9-16).

One of my friends, Marcus, had unfriended me on Facebook, saying I yak a lot. I can flood my friends’ news feeds sometimes, depends on how bored I am. I say, they can always unsubscribe, or unfriend, if they feel so inclined, but just look at what they will be missing!

L: Oct 2006. R: Mar 2012

Haah! Just kidding! Seriously, here is a list of the most interesting links I shared with my network this week.

1. What happens if you fall in love with a writer?

I remember, last night as I was going inside the house, I was thinking I need to watch a film tonight. I need some intellectual stimulation. But first I got onto Facebook and saw this link one of my writer friends posted – and that was enough intellectual stimulation for me.

I reposted it because as I was reading it, I was near tears. At the end of the post, I had the urge to go out, down some beers, so I can give a toast to the ORs. Cheers to the ORs.

It’s hard to love me. Or maybe its easy to fall in love but hard to stay that way. Countless times, through the years, I struggled with understanding why. Only in recent years did I finally realize I didn’t have to. It’s just the way it is.

“These poems and novels and short stories, they will scatter into the wind. You will wonder if you’re wandering through the pages of some story you’ve never even read. There’s no way to know…”

2. Top Ten Luxury Resorts in the Philippines

I recently came from a trip to Bellarocca with a group of H’s friends and we kept talking about the list of luxury resorts in the Philippines that was featured on a show just the night before our trip. I got interested in this list and went to look for it myself. I discovered that I have, so far, checked two off the list. I also discovered that Misibis Bay is not so expensive to go to and in that, it is next on the list.

Actually, they are all not so expensive if you know the right people and the right time. After going to Bellarocca and spending only as much as what we spent on our Pearl Farm trip years ago, and actually some of our other trips too, I am now quite bent on checking off all ten, in due time. Yes, in due time.

3. Grow old with the man who reads by Carlo Andrion

Inquirer recently published an article titled, “Catch a man who reads,” that I found quite ridiculous. My response to it was, “I’ve not met such a man. Ever. The closest to one was not man enough.” My tweet was found by the author and as a response, gave me the link to the original article – which I found to be so much better than the one published.

My thoughts on this are: What happens when someone rewrites what you wrote for whatever reasons, perhaps to fit it into their idea of “readable” or “sellable”? What happens when whatever you wrote, your commas, your periods, your paragraphs thought out so as to convey your own emotions, to be as fitting a reflection of your own character, are changed? Is it still yours or merely a close imitation?

Secondly, the fact that this article was inspired by Rosemarie Urquico’s  “A Girl You Should Date“, which I can only assume was also inspired by Charles Warnke’s “You Should Date an Illiterate Girl“; and that Urquico’s article also inspired Aleah’s “Date a Girl who Travels“, makes me think as one thought incarnates another, the quality of each subsequent incarnation suffers. I happen to dislike Date a Girl Who Travels or is that actually fiction? Or an extreme idealization of what a girl who travels is? Or maybe I’m not a girl who travels; but the fact is, I am. To illustrate a few points: First, I like new shoes and clothes, for me they are as important as my trips. I am tanned and freckled but I also delight in being a fashion plate sometimes. Second, there is a need for everyone to be more and do more. In fact, you should. Third, travel is not cheap. It never will be. Even if you score the cheapest tickets to Thailand, you know you will spend a lot once you get there. The (cheap) tickets is just the first of the many (you think, cheap) things you will spend on. Ask a waiter or a tricycle driver what their idea of cheap is and you will know what I mean. For other people, travel is a luxury they will never be able to afford. Your cheap tickets is equivalent to one month’s salary, which will cover all their electricity and water bills, and their food, and their daily cost of living. Imagine how other people can live on so little. If I am to agree with the article, either I say I do not travel or SHE does not.

But I should not even be writing about Aleah’s article, I’m writing about Carlo’s. I have never met such a man. If you ever meet such a man, do tell. Or if Carlo is actually a man who reads, I cannot wait to meet him, spend an afternoon or better yet, a week with him and prove that this article is nothing more than another work of fiction. Actually, I love fiction.

By the way, I adore You Should Date an Illiterate Girl with passion. Yes, it is fucking brilliant. And yes too, love hurts, nothings lasts, but do it anyway.

4. I suck at logo design. So I, of course, was interested in the “Hidden Meanings in Unilever Logo Finally Explained – Mystery Solved“; but the truth is, I am fascinated by anything that reveals anything.

5. I have a secret. I have never been to Donsol. I am surrounded left, right, back, front, and even the in betweens of all those four, by people who have been, but I myself have not. I keep making plans and my plans just keep getting thwarted. Because of this, I cannot form an opinion on “Hand Feeding Whale Sharks“. Even if I am able to go there once, I will still not be able to form an opinion, not even if I wanted to desperately do so. But give me a month of living there, maybe I will.

6. For the record, I have not seen Battalia Royale; but the fact that such a cyber discourse is ongoing, I am quite entertained already. Always, my take on the matter is, a reaction is a reaction. You cannot expect people to know everything or be good at everything, or even know anything, other than what they already do or have access to; but a reaction is always good. It is the point. They can like it or hate it, say all kinds of good or bad things about it, but the fact that they took the time to actually say or write anything is already merit in itself. They already got the point. And the point is, it has made them think. And if people talk about it, all the better! To put it quite simply and unappealingly, “Bad publicity is still publicity.”

BUT that is not my point, after going through what I can only say as a similar experience when I wrote a blog, that was misread as a review, the point of theater is not to please or displease, or to elevate anything, but to create a reaction, even if its just a ripple; because when there are enough ripples, there might actually be a chance at creating a wave.

7. The New York Times recently published an article that put the Philippines in the spotlight again, “Out at Sea, Relaxing in the Philippines” – an article longer than I expected it to be, as I found myself hitting the down button more times than I usually do, and managed to include more details than the usual. Let me tell you something, before I got to call Manila as an actual “home” and before I finally realized that “Bicol” was also actually my home, the first place I ever called home, because deep inside it felt right to do so, was El Nido.

“Gabie Vervoort, 37, a successful printer salesman in the Netherlands, said he was toying with giving that up. “Back home I want the nicest car and biggest TV, but out here it’s all meaningless,” he said. “I think I was born in the wrong country.””

That is exactly how I felt when I lived in El Nido. Everything was just simple. There were days when the only money I had in my wallet was twenty pesos. I remember sitting in a beachfront cafe, staring into the sea, my feet up on the chair, and crying because I only had twenty pesos and I was wondering how I was gonna live on twenty pesos. I have never had that little money! I could not ask my parents to send me any because there were no ATMs or banks or even any means of “pera-padala,” but after a few weeks, I did not even bother anymore to check how much money I still had. I realized money did not really matter so much in the island.
“Yet island life is not always paradise..”

8. But I will take that life any day.

My friends, Judith and Tani Distal, owners of El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe, recently posted an album of a trip they did to NoaNoa Island in Taytay, Palawan.

Right now Noa Noa island is still a private island but, judging from the existence of a website, I believe it will soon be available for rent as a private retreat. My interest was tickled (pink) by these photos:

This is my dream house – a fusion of the bahay kubo and the camalig of the Spanish-era house.

And this is how I always imagine my bedroom is every time I wake in the morning. This is how I drew the bedroom in the tropical dream house on a paper I have tucked away somewhere in a drawer.

9. In other news, a friend of a friend was found to have tragically died in a wind surfing accident in California. Prior to this, I was wondering why you needed to be licensed in order to do kite surfing. We were in Boracay and I was watching kite surfers outside and was wondering why you needed something close to Php20,000 to get a license to kite surf, when anybody can wake board. I am wondering no more.

The way the news was written was also of interest to me. A very curious piece of news indeed. They kept wondering who the person is, trying to piece together a story of person no one knew, all according to what is available on the internet. It made me wonder, if I, say for example, died while surfing in Australia’s Gold Coast, what would the news say?

10. In a span of a year, there had been too many earthquakes in the Philippines, not to mention, Japan. There were earthquakes in Manila, in Negros and more recently, in Mindoro. Yes, the fault lines are moving. Yes, we are in the Pacific Ring of Fire; but the news that three fault lines and a crater have recently been found in Mt. Asog is not good, not good at all. There are four volcanoes in the Bicol Region: Mt. Isarog and Mt. Asog in Camarines Sur, Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon, and Mt. Mayon in Albay. The volcanoes in Camarines Sur are dormant, having last erupted in the 16th century as opposed to the volcanoes in Sorsogon and Albay that have always been active. I am actually quite scared. Have they explored Mt. Isarog just yet? They all share volcanic magma chambers.

11. Ah! The element of surprise. ‘Nuff said.