Archive | December, 2010

Hook the book: A guide to bargain bookhunting (Part 1)

28 Dec

For many bookworms, reading is relaxing – but the search for cheap, high-quality books can be anything else but. This coming New Year, bibliophiles all over the metro (and the world!) will be wishing for more time and resources to indulge in their favorite pastime. Until then, here are some tips to glean more books for your buck:

  1. Have a mental list of books you want to own. However, don’t expect to find everything in one go, or even at all. The key – and the fun! – is in scouring the shelves thoroughly. The best bargains are often in the lowest shelves, so be ready to rough it if you’re in for a steal. You wouldn’t want to be in heels and a mini skirt when you balance on a stool or sit on the floor as you flip your way through piles of books. Book hunting wouldn’t be as rewarding if you miss out on the literary gems just waiting to be found.
  2. Keep an eye out for hole-in-the-wall booksellers. For instance, the UP Diliman campus alone houses various bargain book havens: Antas along AS Walk, the bookstall within Damitan ni Antonia fronting the Post Office, and the recently-opened Booksale at the Shopping Center (SC). The stall above Zagu, also in SC, sells classics and contemporary titles, magazines and DVDs, among others. Take an adventure in Cubao X and Bookay Ukay in Maginhawa St., and make sure to check out book stands in holiday bazaars.
  3. Frequent bookstores near your area and acquaint yourself with the sales staff. Be inquisitive, but not demanding. Ask the clerks when the expected “pullout” or delivery of new stocks will be, since the prices of old stocks are likely to decrease at that same time.
  4. Unlike their high-end counterparts, bargain bookstores do not offer membership cards or privileges for regular customers. But this is where number 3 comes in handy. Once you have established yourself as a suki, you are more likely to get first dibs on their latest stocks, events, or promos. Booksale, for instance, offers a 5% discount for single receipt purchases worth P1000, and 10% for those worth P2000 or higher.
  5. It’s very tempting to buy on impulse when everything seems so affordable. Sometimes though, what we think is a good bargain is still not the best deal. When in doubt, observe the three R’s: reserve, research and reflect.  The standard two-day reservation gives you ample time to read reviews online (try shelfari.com), and evaluate whether the book(s) in your hands are really hard to find, or can be bought for less somewhere else. If, after scrutiny, you realize the book is worth your while and cash, return for it as soon as possible.
  6. Keep your finds close at all times. This is to prevent other buyers, however good their intentions may be, from eyeing your soon-to-be possessions. If you think you have too much on your hands, leave them at the counter until you’re ready to pay. Should your spirit be willing but your wallet weak, have your potential purchase reserved. Most bookstores allow reservations renewable every two days (duration negotiable if you’re a recognized suki).
  7. If you see a coveted book in the hands of another shopper, resist the urge to claw it out of their reach. Give them time and space to reach a decision, all the while keeping the book in your peripheral vision. If he/she leaves the store without it, pounce immediately. If he/she buys the book, respect that and do not, by all means, follow him/her around.
  8. Most bargain book stores have fixed prices, so haggling is usually out of the question.
  9. Not everything you can buy in a bookstore is of value, and you won’t value everything you buy. If your collection is stuck in a rut, consider engaging in a book swap. This allows you to let go of one or more books in exchange for the title(s) you really want.  Powerbooks recently held their first Power Barter, but such trading has since been practiced in the Philippines through networking sites like bookmooch.com.
  10. A book collection is a sight to behold, but books lose their purpose if they remain untouched. It’s natural to be attached to one’s collection – after all, it grows with and grows on you – but be open to sharing them with family and friends. Not everyone is a bookworm by birth, but the right book recommendation can plant a passion for reading on even the most reluctant reader. If you’re confident in your resources and skills for storage, consider investing on books and preserving your own for your future children.
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Because you CAN buy love.

26 Dec

Love in the time of classifieds.

Or so this guy thinks.

I stumbled upon this ad on facebook today. Amorous or hilarious? You tell me.

 

P.S. No, I am not advertising in behalf of Mr. Whats-his-name.

A New Year’s resolution in action

22 Dec

Yes, I know January 1 isn’t for ten more days, but the only way I can stick to this New Year’s resolution is if I start early. Have you ever perused your bookshelf and saw a book you no longer recall anything about? Or has a friend ever mentioned this title that you do remember reading, only to end up in the dusty recesses of memory? I have, and it’s something I set out to change this 2011.

Gone be the days of head-scratching upon mention of forgotten reads. And so I’ll scribble my musings in a book journal as I bite, gnaw and digest each literary goodie I sink my eyes into.

"Love, fate, and the number 6 train."

Today, I’m off to a great start with Maynard and Jennica by Rudolph Delson. The price tag on the book cover (this is my one complaint against Booksale. They defile their own merchandise by sometimes writing tally marks on the text blocks, and always sticking the price tag to the front panel. But I digress) reads 05-10-10, which means I must have bought it sometime last May. Lo and behold, I only started reading it on Monday night. It is now Wednesday afternoon and I find myself on page 164 of 300, finished with 3 of its 5 chapters.

Thus far, reading the book has been a blast! It’s not your run-of-the-mill narrative, but a smorgasbord of vignettes that spin together the lives and hearts of Maynard Gogarty and Jennica Green. There are at least 35 different narrators in the book, ranging from the couple to their friends and family, strangers, animals and “one EMERGENCY BRAKE on a certain no. 6 train.”

The titular characters are among the most eccentric I’ve encountered in fiction. But I love them not only because they’re outrageous, but especially because  I see slivers of them in the people I know, and vice versa. That, and the fact that that the story is set in New York (a place that’s quite a character in itself, I have come to understand), where I hope to find myself in the near future, if only for graduate studies.

Maynard is a multi-hyphenated, highfalutin nit-picker,  learned and cultured but socially awkward. Jennica is a California girl with big-city dreams and a penchant for drama, forever hesitant but easily excitable. When these two cross paths in the New York subway, one of them is turned off and they don’t fall in love, naturally. But because a) last time I checked, this is a love story and b) their names are joined in the title (and what could be a more obvious clue than that), they meet again under better circumstances, and fall in love. Naturally.

More than being a fluffy boy-meets-girl with cheese oozing from the edges (which, I must stress, it is not), the plot weaves the stories of two peculiar people through the watchful eyes, nosy ears and wagging tongues of those who watched them grow. More than halfway through the book, I know enough about Maynard and Jennica’s pasts to understand their present, and have informed guesses of where they’re headed in the future. But like any patchwork left unfinished, I won’t rest till this is left unread. And as the threads of Maynard and Jennica get more and more intertwined, the sucker for romance in me wishes that all does not unravel in the end.

Hindi na tayo mga bata.

20 Dec

Tigilan na natin ang larong ito.

Pagod na akong maghintay, maghanap at umasa.

Naririnig mo ba ang pagtawag ko sayo, o nagbibingi-bingihan ka lang?

May muwang na ako, at sawa na sa pakikipag-tagutaguan.

Panindigan mo naman ang isinumpa mo sa harap ng Diyos.

At kahit may mga pagkukulang ka, kahit gaano pa kadami at kadalas, nananalig akong babawi ka pa rin.

ISANG PAALALA SA LAHAT NG MGA NINONG AT NINANG.

Gusto daw ni Mama magka-facebook account ngayong Pasko.

19 Dec

Eh kung yun na lang kaya i-regalo ko sa kanya? HAHA.

Dahil ang buhay ay parang Circle of Fun

18 Dec

Matapos ang Parada ng mga Parol, dinayo naming magkakaibigan ang Circle of Fun sa Kyusi Memorial Circle. At dahil hindi pa ako handang simulan ang aking requirements sa isang major, heto at pagninilayan ko muna ang mga aral na kalakip ng bawat atraksyon sa lugar na iyon.

Dahil madaling ma-carried away, lalo na sa Sea Dragon. Photo by CJ Sarmiento.

Sea Dragon (a.k.a. Giant Swinging Boat, haha): May mga bagay na mukhang madali at masaya. Pero malalaman mo na lang na hindi laging ganun kapag pinagdaraanan mo na.

Wild Wind: Dalawang ikot lang ito pero nakayayanig-utak, ayon sa isang kaibigan (hindi kasi ako nangahas sumubok). May mga karanasan na parang nakakabitin. Pero mabuti nang ganun kaysa pagsisihan pa sa kalaunan.

 

Buhay Bump Car. Isang larawan ni Jenee Ocampo.

Bump car: May oras ang lahat ng bagay. May oras para magpahabol, manghabol, at mag-preno pag malapit nang masaktan.

The Lost Pharaoh: Minsan kailangan harapin ang kinakatakutan. Dahil may mga bagay na hindi dapat tinatakbuhan.

Keritnxbye. Makaalis na nga nang maka-gawa ng article :))

At the Jollibee Drive-thru

12 Dec

Mama: Hi! Pa-order naman ng cheeseburger at dalawang Jolly hotdog. Tsaka Twister Fries, yung bagong luto.

Clerk: Naku Ma’am, out of stock na po tayo sa Twister Fries. Pero baka gusto po nila ng Apple, este, Peach Mango Pie.

Senate OKs 2011 budget for SUCs amid student protests

3 Dec

Students and faculty members opposing budget cuts for state universities and colleges (SUCs) took their protests from the streets to the Senate grounds Wednesday.

An estimated 5,000 dissenters rallied for higher subsidies for the 112 SUCs in the 2011 budget, slated for final deliberation in the upper house that day.

Senators called for a closed-door caucus at 4:30 p.m. The P1,000,387,764,000 budget was passed more than two hours later, with only half the Senate present. The approved budget is scheduled for final bicameral reading on December 6.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III maintained that the supposed budget slash for SUCs was a misunderstanding. He claimed that the overall allocation for SUCs was actually increased, save for the P146-million cut from the budget for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE).

However, Sotto said that the 146-million was already reinstated during the caucus. He added that the upper house was also lobbying for an additional 110-million for MOOEs, subject to the approval of the bicameral assembly.

This 110-million supplement is expected to come from the inflated 800-million budget for “leveraging services and logistics” of the Department of Health’s proposed 2011 family health service program.

Sotto also appealed to students not to pin all the blame on the government. He called on the administrations of SUCs to appropriate their funds efficiently and to safeguard against misinformation.

Meanwhile, Minority Leader Allan Peter Cayetano lauded students for calling the attention of lawmakers. “I don’t think that this solution, kahit first step pa lang ito, would have happened if the students weren’t active,” he said.

“I felt it very much, na nung nag-uusap kami dito naririnig yung boses ng mga estudyante sa labas. Napapanood sa telebisyon, naririnig sa radyo, over the past few weeks. Maraming ibang sektor sa lipunan na nabawasan ng budget. Pero hindi sila nagreklamo,” Cayetano added.

Aquino and the self-sufficiency of SUCs

Earlier, some 150 students from the University of the Philippines Diliman rallied outside the UP AyalaLand Technohub along Commonwealth Avenue, where President Benigno Aquino III had a speaking engagement.

Aquino drew flak from the public higher education sector for his budget message to Congress last August, when he announced the gradual reduction of subsidy for SUCs “to push them toward becoming self-sufficient and financially independent, given their ability to raise their [own] income.”

The allocation for SUCs was set to decrease by 1.7 percent, from P23.8-billion in 2010 to P23.4-billion in 2011. Aquino justified the cut by citing alternative income-generating measures, such as partnerships with private corporations, as in the UP AyalaLand Technohub, and tuition fee increases.