Pintados Kasadyaan Festival


I’m pretty much ignorant towards the many fiestas and celebrations of Leyte, especially those near where I live. The only reason I know there’s a fiesta coming on is because of the increase of activity in haste to prepare food for the visitors. My grandmother hosts an all-day party every year, especially since my grandfather is the town Mayor.

I’ve heard of the Pintados before, but I never really knew what it was — nor did I think about it much — since I did not live in Tacloban City. Bethel International School, despite its close proximity to the city, does not acknowledge the fiesta other than letting the students who lived in Tacloban to have a free day off, so the event was pretty much ignored by me.

However, this year it’s different. That would be because my grandfather, whom I’ve mentioned was the mayor of the town, had decided to enter the Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals competition.

Kasadyaan is the Visayan term for jollity and merriment. Kasadyaan Festival is where all the festivals from various municipals of Leyte gather in the City of Tacloban for the celebration. Lively dance-drama in various colors takes place with the accompaniment of rhythmic beats of drums and bugle. This festival is very essential to the Leyteños for it strengthens their sense of pride. Every participating municipality escalates a unique storyline to portray their local folklore and legends with pride.

festivalsinthephilippines.com

the dancers taking a break from their rigorous practice

Our town’s festival is called the Tamyok Festival, celebrating the tamyok (fresh river shrimps) that are abundant in the river and thus the townspeople’s way of life.

The dancers, mostly consisting of high school students, practiced really hard to perfection. The band, I’m quite sure, practiced real hard as well. I can’t count the many times I lied in bed awake because they were still playing until past midnight. Though I’m a night owl, the band were my scapegoat when my grandparents asked why I’ve been lacking sleep last week… shh!

But moving on…

According to Wikipedia, the Pintados Festival is “a cultural-religious celebration in Tacloban based on the body-painting traditions of the ancient tattooed pintados warriors. In 1986, the Pintados Foundation, Inc. was formed by the people of Tacloban to organize this festival in honor of Sr. Santo Niño. Years later, it was merged with the Kasadyaan Festival which is always held on June 30.”

The website somewhereintheworldtoday.com further explains:

The Pintados Festival lasts for the whole of June but the festivities peak towards the end of June as over the years it has been combined with the feast day of Señor Santo Niño (June 29th) and the Kasadyaan Festival (June 30th). Highlights include the Leyte Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals, the Pintados Festival Ritual Dance Presentation and the “Pagrayhak” Grand Parade.

Yesterday on June 27th was the culmination of the Pintados festival, I suppose. I’m not quite sure since Pintados, Kasadyaan and Sangyaw (another festival happening tomorrow on the 29th) sound the same to me. I personally blame my ignorance. Anyway, I took as much pictures as I could of the parade, even though we weren’t allowed to continue into the Tacloban City proper due to some conflicts.

the dancers in their costumes, dancing in the parade

my town's designated reyna (queen)

In the competition, my town won 8th place, which is nice since the competition was tough. This was just out first try, and it’s a real blessing that the children’s hard work are being repaid with their win. 8th place might not be much to some people, but at least we placed, right? There were fifteen contenders after all. ^__^


Note: There’s been news that the judges had calculated the scores wrong. Apparently my town, originally in 8th place, is not in 5th. I’m not sure, but my grandparents are insisting that I make that clear. >.<

A Brief Handwriting Analysis by Allie M. Bradley


I don’t put much trust in Horoscope predictions and psychic readings, but I do love to waste my time on them. They’re vague on purpose so that when you, the unwitting reader, reads them, you just have to gasp and say, “How did they know that about me?” But I believe that one’s handwriting, just like the eyes, are the windows to the soul.

I guess that’s why I subscribed to Allie Bradley’s blog and ‘liked’ her page on Facebook. Allie regularly posts on her page, and you get interested tidbits and random facts about various handwriting styles.

Tuesday Trait: Printing! Recently a fan of the page asked about people who print. Here is a brief description: In general, printers have a guard up, small or large, between themselves and other people. Getting to know them well is a gradual process, because they do not open up easily. They may be described by strangers as “defensive”, “guarded” or “reserved”.

Thursday Thoughtling: I’m super klutzy. Seems like I’m constantly running into the door-frame or colliding with concrete. One of the ways clumsiness shows up in handwriting is a ‘bouncy’ baseline.

She has this thing called the Friday Freebie, too. If you’re the first to comment on that particular post, then you get your handwriting analysed for free. Well, I was just surfing randomly one night (though it was more like early morning) when I saw it. I was the first to comment — the only one to comment, actually — and lo and behold, Allie analysed my handwriting!

My Chicken Scrawl of a Penmanship ;D

this is an excerpt from Jane Austen's "Emma"

This is what she said about me:

You are attracted to culture and beauty.  You enjoy the arts, fine food, good music, and travel.  You likely have a refined taste when it comes to these things. [I know, right? ^__^]

When you feel an emotion, you will sometimes express it and sometimes withhold it.  Normally you feel the need to show affection, talk to others about your feelings, and generally express your thoughts.  This does not mean you’ll confide in just anyone, however; it merely means that you’d rather express your emotions than bottle them up inside. You connect well with other people and sympathize easily with those around you.  You are heart-driven and considerate.

There are some things that you prefer to keep to yourself; you are rather secretive.  You are able to keep your own secrets, and others can usually trust you to keep their secrets as well.  You may not give an opinion until asked for it [though that won't stop me from commenting about things in my head].

On the other hand, you enjoy speaking.  You are likely talkative, especially when conversing on a topic of interest to you.  Sometimes your secrets may slip out on accident when you’re caught up in talking!

You do not like being wrong.  Even when the facts are stacked against you, you will often stand your ground and refuse to budge.  In other words…you have a bit of a stubborn streak. [This is so true.... ]

You have a sharp mind that is both quick and analytical.  You’re curious about many different things and enjoy investigating new ideas.  Before taking action, however, you analyze everything, from ideas to situations to people.  You want to know how things work and why; you have good reasoning abilities. [Yeah, this annoys my teachers to much when I just up and ask them, "why?" Especially during Chemistry class and I just wonder what the point of it is.]

You have a trait common to writers, speakers and even dancers; that is, fluidity.  This trait manifests itself in either mental fluidity or physical fluidity – sometimes both!  When speaking or writing, you have a way of being able to move easily from topic to topic without losing track of where you came from and where you’re heading with a thought.

Your level of self-esteem is average and healthy. [Whew, that's good to know!] You have a good sense of self-respect and personal boundaries.  The goals you set for yourself are thought-out and practical.  You’re not afraid to try new things, though you will be hesitant to take huge risks when it comes to your goals.  You value security, and your goals will reflect this.  You usually achieve what you set out to accomplish.

Most of what Allie said I can’t help but agree with. I say they’re true, though a skeptic might just click their tongue and say that they were vague. They are pretty vague, but I’d like to think that they’re written just for me. I won’t go and say that it’s only for me, since I’m sure with the billions of people in the world, there’s bound to be someone just like me. You know what they say… EVERYONE IS UNIQUE, JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE.

If you’re interested to get your own handwriting analysed, you can catch the Friday Freebie on Allie’s Facebook page. It’s just for a brief overview of your handwriting, but if you can’t catch that or if you want something more in-depth, you can contact Allie and set up a time to talk to each other. It’ll cost you $67, but I’m sure it’s worth it!

Over and out.

Trailers for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2


This would be my 100th post ever since I started here on WordPress. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it, but I can’t just let this go without any sort of fanfare. So… here I am. Anyway, I figured that this is the only time I’d be able to visit YouTube (I’m in an internet café with fast as fast connection), and I’ve used my time wisely searching for the new Harry Potter Trailer. This is what I found:

In case you’ve missed the first one — where do you live, under a rock? — here it is as well:

Oh, and as for POTTERMORE.COM, I couldn’t access it until now. There’s a video in there of J.K. Rowling herself, explaining what the site is all about. I was right. It’s gonna be like an RPG/social networking website, only it’s going to be ‘safe’. I’m guessing everything there would be at least PG. I can’t wait!

 

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen


So it only took me approximately two and a half months to finish reading the book. I began reading on the 9th of April, immediately after I finished reading Emma while on a flight to Manila. That book I began reading near the beginning of this year, and between school and my ‘busy’ virtual life, it took me four months to read.

Anyway, Northanger Abbey is just a nice read. It’s quite funny, quite like Emma was, though I doubt Northanger Abbey was meant to be humorous. It was funny for me, anyhow. It was easy for me to laugh at Catherine’s antics, especially during her first night at the Abbey. She craves so much for drama in her life, and I can kind of relate to her in that sense. With my overactive imagination, I sometimes imagine what my life would be like if it were just like a novel. Of course, unlike Catherine, I know the difference between fact and fiction…

…I think. ;D

Near the beginning of this story, before Catherine stays at the Abbey with her friends the Tilneys, she mostly hung around with this girl she met in Bath named Isabella. My first reaction to reading that name was: “Wow, that’s the same as Emma Woodhouse‘s sister in Emma.” My second was: “Huh, I wonder if there’s an Edward character around.”

I do apologize for the Twilight reference. It’s the Twi-hard in me.

Isabella Thorpe is a very loquacious girl and she’s my least favorite characters. She has lots of lines in the books, and I found that trying to read them just made my head ache. She’s a piece of work — you can easily tell her fake attitude when she speaks, which I suppose was kind of indirect characterization. When the engagement broke up between her and Catherine’s brother, James, I sided with James. Just like Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, I don’t like Isabella Thorpe.

Well, actually… Here’s another Twilight reference. Isabella Thorpe reminds me of Jessica Stanley. She’s like a Jessica and a Lauren Mallory combined.

As for Catherine, her naïvety just irked me a little bit. I get that she’s the main character and everything, but still. (It’s been mentioned more than once in the story that she’s the “heroine”, though frankly I don’t understand this.) I just had to roll my eyes at some passages of the book when describing her theories and wishes to compare the Abbey and the people residing there to her mystery novels.

The romance in the story comes in the form of Mr. Tilney, and I find it very refreshing that he only liked Catherine because she liked him first. At least, that is how I understood it in this passage:

…his affection originated in nothing better than gratitude, or, in other words, that a persuasion of her partiality for him had been the only cause of giving her [Catherine] a serious thought.

Northanger Abbey is a worthwhile read. Or if you’re too lazy to read its intricate English, just watch the 1986 film. There’s the more recent 2007 TV drama. Fair warning though: I haven’t seen either of those adaptations, so I can’t guarantee that they’d be loyal to the book.

Have fun reading!

What’s Up With Pottermore?


With all the hype going around this new website, I decided to jump in the bandwagon, so to speak. I’m not really that excited with whatever news Rowling’s got (I’m quite content with the seven books, eight movies and countless admirable people surrounding the franchise), but that’s not me saying I don’t care.

The owls are gathering... Find out why soon

Because I care, really. It’s just my crappy internet connection working against me. The highest it can go is 33 kbps — 50 on a good day, 10 on a bad — so that means I can’t open up YouTube. However, diligently scouring through the many articles on the internet, this is what I got:

  • J.K Rowling’s announcing something on the 23rd of June; the YouTube link is for the countdown
  • It has nothing to do with the upcoming movie
  • No matter how much the fans pray, the announcement has nothing to do with a new set of Potter books, either… *insert sad face*
  • On the brighter side, it could either be…
    1. A virtual encyclopedia — I read somewhere that Rowling was planning to do this years ago. I wonder what’s going to happen to Harry Potter Lexicon if this is true.
    2. A social networking community — this would be my favorite, since I’m an avid social networking geek. I would love to connect with other Harry Potter fans.
    3. Last but not the least, a multi-player online role-playing game.

I’ve had my fair share of RPGs — Hogwarts New Zealand comes to mind at the moment — and I have a strong feeling that this might be answer. I mean, it’s PotterMORE. Potter Multiplayer Online Role-playing Experience. Need I say more?

I can’t take credit for the idea, seeing as it’s not mine. I got that from this link. Still, I think the idea has credit. While I’m still rooting for the social networking community, I’m not saying no to an RPG.

POTTERMORE!!

Over and out.

Harry Potter Movie Re-View: Part 3 and 4 of 7


But mostly Part 4. I didn’t post anything for Prisoner of Azkaban, so I’m pretty much making up for it here. There was nothing special about it apart from, I dunno… the SUPER DUPER AWESOME snacks we had!!

I bought three packs of V-cut crisps, ate one of it before Sunday, and dumped the entire contests of the other two in a bog glass bowl. I nicked a bag of bread from the table and two bottles of water from the fridge (because I don’t do carbonated beverages). Overall between my brother and I, we finished everything before the the hilarious Boggart scene…

…yeah.

Here’s a close up of the V-cut. It’s my ultimate favorite junk food.

Anyway, I want to talk about how great Goblet of Fire went. It’s not one of my most-watched Harry Potter movies, seeing as I cringe every time I see the long hair Harry, Ron, Fred and George sport throughout it all. But watching it again last Sunday, I was surprised. It’s really, really awesome. It had plenty of laugh out loud moments, especially with my brother by my side running a constant commentary.

On the entrance of the Beauxbatons girls: “Do they only accept really beautiful girls?”

On Krum when he was entering his name in the Goblet: “He looks like he’s got the entire world on his shoulders.” Of course, lil bro, he’s Krum!

I totally snorted my water just then. Hahaha!

He got annoying after a while, but all things were forgiven when that scene with Snape, Ron and Harry came up. They were in the Great Hall, I suppose during one of their Study Hall sessions. The two best friends were worried about finding dates for the Yule Ball and with Snape — Severus greasy haired Snape — hovering near them…

…it was a recipe for hilariousness! We missed the entire scene and had to play it again because we were laughing so loud!

*wipes tears from eyes* Ohh, that was a wonderful night. Order of the Phoenix is up next Sunday and with its serious theme, I suppose there won’t be as much LOL moments. However, I am looking forward to the musical score. They did wonderfully in that movie.

Over and out.

Dang Those Fainting Fancies


All right, the public story is that I felt dizzy and decided to face-plant the floor. It was early morning (well, for me anyway… apparently it was near noon) on June 20th when my brother woke me up declaring that we, the family, are going to the mall as one to watch The Green Lantern.

To say that I was surprised — groggy, yes, since I just woke up — was a gross understatement. I had idly mentioned watching the movie for fun, and it had never occurred to me that my busybody grandmother was actually listening to my random rambles. Anyway, I got my lazy self out of bed and trudged to the breakfast –er, lunch? — table.

Breakfast consisted of pork and rice, and on any other day I would’ve scoffed it down with my Filipino appetite. But that day was different. The pork was hard to chew and the seasonings were too rich. My stomach had been bothering me the night before, which was one of the reasons why I did not sleep at all. I might have went to  bed at around ten, but not once did I get a wink of sleep.

I know, sad. I refuse to acknowledge that I have insomnia.

Moving on, after saying that perhaps I should stay in and decline the family outing, I went back to my room. I stood up, spat the unpalatable food in my mouth in the sink, dragged my feet one after the other until I reached my bedroom door only, for some reason, I found myself hugging the floor.

It was a total  Bella moment, I’m sad to say.

“Hello, floor. Nice to meet you. Apparently, I’m channeling my clumsy Bella side. Oh no, it’s no longer called the Princess Mia moment. Get with the times, man!”

*ahem*

Like I mentioned before, the public story is that I felt dizzy and lost balance. That’s what I told my grandparents. I really do feel sorry for worrying them, and I’m a total wreck even a day after the ordeal. My sleep schedule is out of whack, and I feel tired and weak all the time. I’m even distancing myself from the internet and my laptop and in the process getting myself more sleep.

Anyway, here’s the real story:

Sometime between Point A (the breakfast/lunch table) and Point B (my bedroom), I fell asleep for about a second and woke up after my face his the floor. Either that or I blacked out from sheer exhaustion. I went to bed at around ten, didn’t manage to fall asleep until the household started stirring at around five or six, and then my brother woke me up at twelve.

Yeah, story of my life. I have a nasty bruised bump above my right eyebrow. What’s worse, my brand new glasses broke and is now wonky. It’s my fourth pair in two years….

…Wait, you don’t know the story behind my glasses? I’ll tell you another time. Meanwhile, entertain yourself with these hilarious inboxes that I found. I personally like the Harry Potter ones.

Harry's inbox

Snape's inbox

Hanna (2011)


image courtesy of Wikipedia

Sometimes my uncle sleeps all day and work all night, so I managed to sneak this movie into the DVD player and watch it without his knowledge. Though I’m sure he would have allowed me to if I asked, the fact that I did so without his permission is kinda thrilling. Meh, I suppose it’s the teen in me.

Seventeen year old Saoirse Ronan plays the titular role. You might know her from her the dramas Atonement (with Keira Knightley) and The Lovely Bones. She’s the reason I decided to watch the movie in the first place, and it was a pleasant surprise when I found out that the handsome Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett, one of my favorite actresses, were in the movie as well.

Hanna is an action-packed movie. I may not be a connoisseur of action movies but this particular film, in my opinion, is one of the top movies out there. It’s about a young girl fulfilling her purpose in life (sound familiar, anyone?), that being a skilled, top-notch assassin. Ronan’s portrayal of Hanna has a mix of devil-may-care naïvety. She’s innocent of the ways of the world, having been raised in the solitude of that is the Finland wilderness. Yet, she also doesn’t show remorse in hurting — even killing — other people.

Yes, I am aware that she’s a trained assassin. But honestly, she’s supposed to be sixteen! I admire the character and everything, but that just kinda freaks me out since I’m sixteen and I can’t even kill a mosquito even if it bit me.

The fight scenes are awesome. Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth, Robin Hood) looked strange with a bob haircut, but her acting was wonderful. Eric Bana was some good eye-candy. Ronan’s *slight* lesbian kiss with her newfound friend threw me out of the loop, but it was cool nonetheless.

Watch the movie. You won’t regret it. Oh, and “I just missed your heart.” ^__^

June 16, 2011′s Lunar Eclipse


It was announced on the news last night that there’d be a lunar eclipse and that it’d be visible to the Philippines. I’ve never seen a lunar eclipse before and I’ve never really wanted to. What it is really, is just darkness. Yeah, the Earth blocks the sun’s rays and therefore you won’t see the moon… so what’s so cool about it? I still think a solar eclipse if much more fun.

And before you ask: no, I haven’t seen a solar eclipse either. Not in real life, at least. Movies and previews on the news, sure.

Anyway, I decided to stay up and catch the eclipse last night (not that it was much trouble, being the nocturnal owl that I am). Either there were some clouds last night or my astronomical skills are very lacking. I mean, all I did was look up at the sky and search for that celestial orb. There’s nothing else to it, right?

I didn’t see the lunar eclipse, sadly. I went out periodically to study the night sky but no, I did not see it. I got caught twice by my uncle (which is where I think I got my sleeping habits from), and once my I heard my brother’s alarm for school, I gave up on the effort and pretended to go to sleep. (I didn’t really fall asleep until about an hour later, people are so noisy during the morning… ^_^)

So my nighttime ‘adventure’ was a bust, though I suppose I had fun. I searched up the phenomenon on the Internet as soon as I could, and the pictures that I found were mind boggling. And woah, that Big Man In The Sky sure is amazing for creating something as wonderful as the moon.

image from Huffington Post

I Have The Best Aunt Ever!


It’s the truth. I’m telling you no lies. My mother’s older sister (not to mention my only aunt who isn’t related by marriage) is the best aunt you could ask for. Well, she’s the best I could ask for anyhow. ^_^

So why is she the best aunt ever, you may ask? It all began a couple of days ago when my mom told me I have to make a Curriculum Vitae and send it to the school I plan on enrolling in the UK. It’s the same school that a friend and ex-classmate of mine is currently going to, so she’s been a big help with the support, even going as far emailing me a copy of her CV herself.

I was going crazy, to tell you the truth. I had no idea what a CV was until that night — I had to Google it and you know how confusing internet explanations can be. But I pressed on. I opened Microsoft Word and typed up my name and contact information. Then I just begged off and procrastinated for a few days. Then just last night, I got off my lazy backside and finally finished the document.

I sent a copy to my mom for a review, but she told me that she didn’t know what else to add to it to make it better, so she referred me to her sister and my aunt. She lives in the US with three of my adorable cousins — gosh, I miss them. Anyway, my aunt had a lot of things to say about my CV, and she pointed out some things that I needed to change. She even sent me a link, which was very helpful.

Here’s my conclusion:

  1. CVs are tough things to write because you don’t want to come off as bragging.
  2. I’m blessed to have such a supportive family because without them I don’t know where I’ll be.
  3. I’m excited to move to England, despite knowing that I’d miss my friends and family.
Whew. Over and out.