The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

The Truth About AliceThe Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished reading this short, slim and wonderful story all in one seating. I guess, I am not the only one who did this tho. I find it typical, specially that its setting was from a small town of whom residents knows each and everyone’s business. What I love from this story is that it is narrated by different voices of the characters. At first, I thought Alice, the main character would have been the one narrating from the start but what surprised me was her voice was the conclusion and somehow made the ending of the book a lot more sweeter. i can literally feel her pain and confusion from all the rejections that the whole town has given to her. Branded as slut and murderer for a teenager girl is way more than traumatic.

Usually, to be able to get to the climax of the story a long narration of how conflicts started comes first. Not this one. It gets straight to the point, presented the conflicts while carefully throwing in there flashback scenes. How I wish all teenagers will tread this book. their innocence and their hunger for attention and popularity that would result to gossip, lying, story-making and bullying can seriously harm a person’s life. This book offers so much learning and is highly recommended.

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The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd


I was watching the Oscars 2014 the night before I started reading this book. Like I usually do when I see high-rated books like this, I dont come to read its reviews because I want to see for myself why it was rated as such. I swear, I can totally picture out Lupita Nyog’o for the movie “12 Years A Slave” in the character of Hetty “Handful” Grimke’.

I’m not really a big fan of stories prior to the Civil Wars and of those telling us about Slavery in the South. For me, that was helpless and painful. However, I admire the writers of today who diligently do their homework and efficiently can tell us the stories that happened hundreds of years ago in a very delicate manner. Sue Monk Kidd has taught me more than a student can learn in American History lectures. The injustice, the ugliness of this terrifying and horrible reality of slavery.

Sarah M. Grimke’ and her sister Angelina are among history’s first female heroes. The brave siblings who devote their lives to the abolition of slavery and to the women’s rights movement in the 1800’s. Sarah’s character has made me realized that in life, a person will feel empty not unless one will find the purpose of one’s existence regardless of the cruelty and danger that is waiting along the way upon achieving such purpose.

When I was little, my mother always tell me that the best wealth that a person can have is Education. My favorite part of the book was when Sarah teaches Handful to read.

Sue Monk Kidd has written in her notes, at the end of her novel that the words of Professor Julius Lester has inspired her a lot. It said-“History is not just facts and events. History is also a pain in the heart and we repeat history until we are able to make another’s pain in the heart our own.” The stories of Sarah and Angelina Grimke, together with the courageous Handful and her mom Charlotte of which Kidd, has delivered to us readers with great full amount of respect and admiration. This novel has touched me in so many ways and more than I can imagine.
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If you can’t say something nice, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!!

Such a pity or should I say, such a shame???. Netizens keep on complaining and criticizing on how things are going on with the Typhoon Yolanda victims. What’s worse?- the very people who are so LOUD with their complains are the ones who haven’t been to the site. Some who are not even here in the country. The ones who hasn’t help with the relief goods operations and hasn’t even touch/sorted/repacked/distributed a single bag of relief goods. To donate cash or in kind really helps, but, please do not forget that the cash and in kind donations can’t make themselves reach the mouth and hands of the victims if not for the LGU/NGO and volunteers who does the dirty work of sorting,repacking and distributing. Clearing operations of road and typhoon debris is not an easy task. “Quit your yackin’ and whinin’!!!” You don’t have robots and machines as your fellow countrymen. You elected “HUMANS” as government officials and volunteers. So, expect us to be slow, or, you might as well come out and help! An additional manpower from you might speed things up!


A Nation’s Prayer

As I am writing this post, our province is under alert for Tropical Storm “Zoraida” Signal#1. Detected within the Philippines’ Area of Responsibility right behind the super typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. No words can ever express the grief and sadness that my beloved country is facing. To hear the creepy sound of the whistling wind and the loud rain that never seem to stop falling is leaving a picture in my mind that even words of comfort can never calm, except of course, -a prayer.

I would like to share with you all a prayer written by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, as a call to every Filipinos to our faith and be strong as one nation. This prayer was first recited by Ms. Kris Aquino during KrisTV.



By: Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas


Lord we are in great need. Like infants we cry to you, do not abandon us in our distress.

We kneel in disbelief! How could you, dear Lord,

have allowed this to happen to us, who call on your holy name.

Have you abandon us Lord? Are you punishing us for our sins against you?

We have been crying for days and our eyes have run dry.

But, our grief is still very deep, our wounds keep bleeding

and our hearts are confused and anxious.

Our tears are not enough to wash away our sadness.

Tama na po! Hindi na po namin kaya!

Lord, we believe in You and we trust in You in the midst all of these.

Today, we renew our faith and hope in you, Lord.

The super typhoon was strong but our faith in You is stronger.

Houses have been blown away; lives have been swallowed by raging waters;

Winds have brought us havoc leaving many orphans,- but we will stand from the rubbles,

and change this nightmare into a new day of new hopes and new dreams and new visions.

Marami mang bahay ang nawasak, buhay na nilamon ng nagngangalit na tubig..

Marami mang naulila… muli kaming babangon mula sa pagkalugmok,

At mula sa isang bangungungot ay gigising sa isang bagong araw,

Dala ay bagong pag-asa, bagong pangarap at bagong tingin sa hinaharap.

You can command the winds and the rains to cease.

Please Lord, spare us from more typhoons and storms and earthquakes!

We feel bruised from all sides, battered from top to bottom and beaten inside out!

Please consider our suffering more than we can face.

Tama na po!

But, if it is your will that we endure all these calamities so that we may be cleansed and

strengthen as a nation, we bow down to accept your holy and mysterious will.

The only grace we seek is for you to assure us – that You love the Philippines;

That you will never leave us orphans.

Your love is more than enough for us to face all storms.

With You dear Lord, we will look at the face of death and remain steadfast and unafraid,

Because, love is stronger even than death.


Pero kung kalooban mo Panginoon, na malampasan namin ang lahat ng kalamidad na dumating sa amin, para kami ay maging malinis at mas matibay bilang isang bansa….

Buong pananalig namin itong tinatanggap.

Ang tanging hinihiling namin Panginoon, naway patuloy mong mahalin ang Pilipinas,

At kailanma’y wag mo kaming pababayaan at uulilain.

Ang pag-ibig mo Panginoon, ay sapat na para makayanan naming harapin anumang bagyo.

Kasama ka Panginoon, anumang pagsubok, kami ay magiging matatag,

Hindi matitinag, dahil alam naming’ ang pagmamahal mo ay higit na mas makapangyarihan,

Kahit pa sa kamatayan.

Amen. Amen.

May Your will be done. Stay with us.


Sign the Petition Now!

This video has earned tons of reactions. Some agreed and helped by spreading the video and sharing it online, while some Filipinos felt they were being disrespected by using a Filipino girl as computer model. I, on the other hand, focused more on the goal of catching these Webcam Child Sex Tourism criminals. The end justifies the means. I am signing the petition now!

Terre des Hommes of the Netherlands with, has created an online petition to make governments to have a  proactive investigation policies in order to protect children against webcam child sex tourism. The petition starts today and can be signed through Avaaz or via




(video credits by YouTube)

KLM Airlines’ denial of Filipino WYD delegate’s flight hit

I am sharing this article published by Philippine Daily Inquirer, written by Niña P. Calleja. I have my own share of discrimination from other nationalities in the past but there is nothing that is more hurting and disrespectful as this KLM Airline staff did to Miss Arjean Marie Belco. To be an airline employee, one should be expected to have high respects to people regardless of nationality, gender, ethnicity,appearance or social status. Everyone has the right to travel. We can’t deny the fact that not everyone has the chance or opportunity to. I hope the Philippines Commision of Human Rights will eventually look at this case instead of them defending criminals/kidnappers who were shot dead, as in the recent shoot out in Davao City.

Please take time to read the article below and tell me what you think.


KLM Airlines’ denial of Filipino WYD delegate’s flight hit

By Niña P. Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—An 18-year-old indigenous Filipino woman who was en route to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for World Youth Day was denied boarding on her onward flight on July 20 at the Kuala Lumpur airport, because personnel of KLM Airlines said she appeared “not ready to travel” even if she had a folder with full documentation supporting her trip to Brazil.

The incident involving Arjean Marie Belco of Bukidnon’s Talaandig tribe was posted on the social networking site Facebook in a letter of complaint from Goodxorg, the sponsor of her Brazil trip.

According to the Facebook post, Belco went through immigration in Malaysia without incident but was not allowed to board her connecting flight to Rio de Janeiro by a KLM employee identified as Mr. Shawa who said that Belco appeared “not ready to travel” and “that he was doubtful” about her trip, “even if she had a folder full of documentation.”

“Arjean was denied her right to travel. This could also be perceived as a possible case of discrimination based on appearance, gender, ethnicity, nationality, age or social status,” Goodxorg said in its post.

Belco’s Brazil trip was shouldered by Goodxorg and its partner Cartwheel, which pooled donations from all over the world to send the BS Education student to the Catholic event.

The airline employee allegedly barraged Belco with questions casting doubts on the legitimacy of her trip. She was asked, “Why is your passport so new?” “Your ticket is too cheap and purchased yesterday.” “Why (are you) flying through Malaysia if there are flights from the Philippines?” and “How much money (do) you have?”

The Brazil trip is Belco’s first outside the country, according to her sponsors, which explains her new passport. They also explained that the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Rio de Janeiro was approximately $1,000 cheaper than KLM’s Manila to Rio flight.

Belco showed airline personnel a bank statement from Cartwheel Foundation showing sufficient funds. She had $100 and P3,370 on her for emergencies and meals before her connecting flights to Brazil. She was also carrying clippings of media stories published in the Philippines about her trip.

But Goodxorg lamented that the papers and calls from the group were not enough for KLM.

The airline employee, Mr. Shawa, told the staff of Goodxorg over the phone that there was nothing he could do and that another ticket had to be bought. The group was required to get in touch with the Dutch Embassy in Malaysia, the Facebook post said.

“He was even laughing while listening to our side. We believe this is unacceptable,” the group said.

The nonprofit group Goodxorg (Good X or Good Exchanges) is led by Luis Petzhold, a Brazilian filmmaker and youth advocate, and Risa Halaguena, a Filipina lawyer and writer. Sending Belco to Brazil to attend World Youth Day, an international Catholic event to be held from July 23 to 28, is a pilot project of the group.

According to its Facebook page, Good X is “all about experiential learning. We believe that travel, culture and creativity should be appreciated and nurtured at a young age.”

In its letter posted on Facebook, Goodxorg said Belco showed the KLM staff the address and contact info of her host family in Brazil, and that she requested the airline staff to contact her sponsors in the Philippines to verify the information she gave. But the KLM staff denied the request.

The student also showed her folder of documents, which included her proof of enrollment in Pamulaan College and the University of South Eastern Philippines, and certification that she is a Cartwheel Foundation scholar being sponsored by Goodxorg and Cartwheel for the trip.

The Facebook post also said that Goodxorg contacted KLM reservations for pertinent information on the trip to Brazil before purchasing the ticket.

Read more:

More Stories for Arjean Marie Belco:


Book Review: ELEANOR and PARK

Calling you all YA literature lovers and die-hard fanatics! Here’s another book that would simply steal your heart and take your breath away!



Rainbow Rowell

Released Date: February 26,2013

The Book

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under. (from Amazon)

The Characters

Eleanor – New girl in school. Overweight(she thinks she is), with fiery red and frizzy curly hair. Wears extremely mismatched hand-me-down clothes from Goodwill. Sleeps in the top bunk with the cat in a room she shares with her four younger siblings and lives in a tiny house with a door-less bathroom with her mom and an alcoholic-punk stepdad. She is the favorite subject of the bitchy-bullies in school who called her ugly names. That first day on the bus, everyone else looked at her with disgust, made unsolicited ugly remarks and no one would offer her a seat. Except Park.

Park- He offered the strange, new girl the seat beside his at the bus. Not out of full will but he did it anyway. Park is half-Korean in a mostly-white part of town, and is into alternative music and comic books, unlike his brother and dad who are into sports. He took taekwondo classes since he was young and is currently mastering his driving skills. They have an ideal loving family who lives next door to his cool and loving grandparents who always left their doors unlocked.


According to John Green, “Eleanor & Park  reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.” This statement made me search for this book and took interest with it. I agree with him but not on the part of being young and in love with a girl but more on being in love with a book. Rainbow Rowell has cleverly created funny, relatable(and imperfect) characters. I didn’t grow up in a rich and abundant upbringing but not as difficult as Eleanor’s family is. Broke and penniless not even for a toothbrush, but, the author successfully shifted my mind to feel what it is like to be in Eleanor’s shoes. Normally, I like the bad-ass, effortlessly-fit heroines and heroes. Eleanor and Park on the other hand were none of those except when Park got suspended by getting into fight using his taekwondo skills defending Eleanor from the bad kids on the bus and declared to the rest of the world that she is his girlfriend. It is so sweet, cute and very heroic-knight-in-shining-armor kind of thing. Since this is supposed to be in a setting of year 1986, (very uncommon for a YA novel), XMEN were still the “in” thing and not anime or avengers. Through Park’s XMEN comic books which they share-reading in silence at the bus ride, slowly, these two individuals develop a relationship that is formed around stuff like reading comics together and exchanging mix tapes. And other totally cool nerdy things like music groups, Walkman batteries, Star Wars and Shakespeare. Could it get any cuter than that? The progression from awkward bus partners/seatmates to friendship was so natural in the story. As a reader, I totally connected with the characters on  how they look forward to sitting with each other at the bus ride. I have the widest-ten-inches smile when Park dared to hold Eleanor’s hand.

According to Park;

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”

According to Me;

To touch someone you are not related to and feel that way is not only being born to love but also born live for that particular someone(wink-wink).

I can’t summarize the book in one word. I think its adorable. I like the fresh and subtle attack on first-love romance. I like the description of Eleanor’s look as it takes my imagination to a higher lever so I can picture her in my mind. I can laugh with the emphasis on Park’s Korean Mom’s pronunciations with her Korean accent. I like how the story’s complications are inserted and collaborated. I like the book’s cover, because it gives a little yet makes the reader wanting for more. I like that it is an easy and enjoyable reading and most of all I like how the author created rainbows from the beginning to end, just like her name. Rainbow Rowell- I would definitely look forward to more of your books.


There are some heavy issues and topics I can get concerned with specially for a romance-centered YA novel. Sadly, not all of it really works. I felt that subplots are short-handed and was left hanging when all is said and done. The contradicting problems of Eleanor with her Dad, her mom and her stepdad, or the bullies at school – never felt fully realized or resolved by the end of the book. A lot of complications and complexity were added to the lives of these two teenagers, but weren’t explored for a deeper impact. It’s all too neatly and smoothly solved and reconciled. I was disappointed with the quick fix in the end. I think it was rushed and hurried event. The postcard ending was cute but I would have opted to add a phone call with it, since, the part of Eleanor memorizing Park’s home phone number was given a lot of focus before hand. It would have justified on how she promised to keep the number by heart. I like that Eleanor sent Park a three-word message, because it could give the readers a wild guess of what could those three words be. For me, it would be “I LOVE YOU” –because she wasn’t able to say it back to him.