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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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Monthly Wrap-up

Wrap-Up | April 2021

May the 4th be with you!

…and also be with me because I badly need it in these lazy days. April went as swift as it arrived and here I am with a late monthly wrap-up.

So without further ado, here goes..

Things I’ve written…

April has been a busy month for me outside blogging. I have not written much this month, despite the world celebrating National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo).

Books I’ve read…

Started The Red Tent by Anita Diamant during the Holy Week and it was satisfying read up to the end. Wrote a review — Book Review: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

As for my book haul, I received two copies of Atwood on World Book and Copyright Day from The Book Snoop. Those who know me well know that I’m impulsive when it comes to books. When I see it, I get it — so long as I find it a worthy deal. However, these two were the first ones that I waited longest. I completed the 30-day rule, a challenge I personally set (just because), before I decided to finally take them. Waiting was a roller-coaster of emotions. I was anxious. I was impatient. But in the end, all the wait was worth it!

  • The Blind Assassin (Php 249)
  • Alias Grace (Php 399)

Alias Grace, the miniseries, is also available on Netflix for those who prefer to watch the movie first before reading.

Places I’ve been…

Went on two day hikes this earlier in April. One in Liloan’s Lataban Hills, and the other along the Naga-Minglanilla loop.

Typhoon Surigae, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Bising, however, completely turned out plans around later on. We ought to visit Camotes Island but since sea voyages were suspended, we had to make a last-minute Plan B. We decided to go to San Remegio and spend the weekend at Maayo Resort, a Caribbean-inspired resort in this northwestern part of Cebu. It may not be the weekend we expected but it was definitely fun! 😁

Here are some videos from our trips.

Day Hike at Naga-Minglanilla Loop

Camotes Island Adventure Gone Wrong

Wrap-Up | March 2021

Monthly Blog Update

We marched into the month of March to celebrate the true beauty and strength of women. Yet, across the world, the number of oppressed and abused women continues to climb at a fast rate. Here in the Philippines, incest and rape soared high during the pandemic. The culture of mysogyny and sexism is an all-day meal. It’s tiring.

And who would have thought, we’d have a dejavu of last year’s trauma. While the rest of the world is trying to move forward, my country — guess what — is still in chaos. There’s too much politics, greed and miscommunication. I could rant and list how fucked we are now but that won’t change a thing.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that March has not been too great for me. Here’s a quick look back:

Things I’ve written…

Creative writing has been hard for me lately. My one and only poem this month was triggered by a recent issue about our Tatay Digs who was seen trying to touch his maid’s private part during his birthday. The palace, of course, defended the man and claimed there was “no malice.” The maid “laughed” and besides, the president’s wife was present. FTW.

Books I’ve read…

I’ve only managed to finish three books this month:

  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Famous Tales of Mystery and Horror by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav (re-read)

As for my book haul, I’ve finally got a copy of Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita (Php390 @purplephcloset)

Some bookish thoughts:

Places I’ve been…

My friends and I had another sea to summmit experience this month. We spent a weekend camping in a not-so-know mountain in Naga. Though I have nothing against sharing beautiful hiking/camping spots with others, I think it’s not ready for everyone yet. Like it or not, there will be irresponsible people who abuse nature. We need to continue reminding ourselves proper outdoor etiquette.

Respect nature and wildlife. Take your trash with you.

Now, moving onto April….

Wrap-Up | January 2021

Monthly Blog Update

How time flies! I cannot say that January was a great start for 2021, but it was definitely a good one for me. I’ve had my own share of ups and downs, and I’m glad most of us made it through the month safe and healthy.

But before I welcome the very special February, here’s a quick look back:

Things I’ve written…

When I started the year, I promised myself that I’d go back to writing poetry. And I did, though I haven’t published any of them yet. In the next few days or weeks, I will gladly share them to my little community here in WordPress. For now, here are throwback posts from last month…

Books I’ve read…

I have spent January with one book: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Volume II. For the whole month, I have been Sherlocked and have rambling about this fine detective and his adventures. YAY!

More books have been added to my growing “shelfish” family too. My December order (a treat from my 13th month pay) arrived this month and I couldn’t be happier. I got these some awesome novels from Book Duke:

  • The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (Php180)
  • Bend Sinister by Vladimir Nabokov (Php340)
  • Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad (Php100)
  • Vintage Classic Box Set (Secret Garden, Little Women, Alice in Wonderland) Php660

Meanwhile, my official book haul for January are:

  • The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood (Php80 @workingmoms22)
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (Php120 @workingmoms22)

Here are some bookish thoughts from last month, too:

Places I’ve been…

My hiking friends and I were finally able to spend the weekend in the mountains of Toledo. We camped at Tagaytay Hills, the very first mountain I’ve visited in Cebu. It was very foggy with light rain, but still we enjoyed our quick escape. Here’s a short video from CJ Estrada to give you an idea:

An that’s it for the recap! See you again after a month. May February be in our favor. 😁

Wrap-Up | December 2020

Monthly Blog Update

Happy new year, everyone! The year 2020 had us all beaten blue. Hopefully, this 2021 we’d be able to turn those frowns to sunny smiles.

But before I flip a new page in this book called life, here’s my final wrap up for the year that was.

Things I’ve written…

Writing has been quite challenging for me throughout COVID-19 days. I hope and pray I get to find my muse again. Even with just a few lines, I’d take it.

Books I’ve read…

I believe my recent post, Book Talk: Stuck in the mood, explains how my reading life was during the month of December. Again, thanks to LibriVox for their free public domain audiobooks. I was able to quench my thirst for a good ol’ Sherlock Holmes adventure. For those who would like to give it a listen, here are the links:

Places I’ve been…

For the first time in my lifetime, I have spent Christmas day away from my family and the comfort of our home. Thankfully I have James to rely on. Since both our vacation leaves at work were practically useless with the strict travel restrictions and requirements, we decided to just spend a few days on a nearby mountain resort here in Cebu. And it was indeed a well-deserved break.

You can read our experience here, Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort: A retreat for escapists

Posts I loved…

I haven’t been around virtually ─ sad, really. I didn’t get a chance to read other people’s posts or interact with the friends I met here. I promise to be back… soon.

May the year 2021 be a lot easier for all of us. Sending virtual hugs to all. ❤

Wrap-Up | November 2020

Monthly Blog Update

So, we are down to final month of this challenging year. I know it has been hard all of us but I hope everyone is safe, sound and thriving.

November — the month that was. It’s when half of the world transitions from autumn to winter. It’s when dead souls are honored and bounties are celebrated. It’s when creatives around the world try their hands at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

I guess for me it would be “Nah, no writing November.” Anyhow, here’s a quick wrap-up.

Things I’ve written…

Continuing my #throwbackpoems, I have shared two from IG this month: Two Ghosts and Her name spells resilience. November 11 also marks Fyodor Dostoevsky’s birthday who would be 199 years old had he lived today. To commemorate, I shared Writer’s Quote Wednesday – On knowing, thinking and doing.

Books I’ve read…

My book collection is still continuously growing — all thanks to online resellers and Booksale. And despite the rise of scammers online, I was lucky enough to transact with kind and honest people who helped me find the books in my TLF (to look for) list. For this month, these are the gems that I got:

  • The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe (Php180 @a_bookworms_closet)
  • Famous Tales of Mystery and Horror by Edgar Allan Poe (Php150 @a_bookworms_closet)
  • Isle of Dogs by Patricia Cornwell (Php25 @Robinsons)
  • Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (Php44 @Robinsons)
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (Php125 @Robinsons)
  • After Nature by Purdy (Php39 @Robinsons)
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau (Php100 @mgaaklatnitanna)
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Php125 @mgaaklatnianna)
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (Php85 @mimilybluebooks)
  • Politically Correct Guide to the Bible (Php75 @mimilybluebooks)

For some bookish thoughts, I have written Book Talk: Books or movies? A reader’s dilemma. and
Quick Notes: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Meanwhile, I kept getting sidetracked in between reading with all the chaos brought by typhoons, work and politics. I was able to finish two books though: Letters To My Son by Kent Werburn and Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

A big shoutout as well to LibriVox for their free public domain audiobooks. I was able to revisit once again the good ol’ favorite, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes this month.

Places I’ve been…

My SMS friends and I got a chance to catch up and hike the Spartan Trail for the first time after lockdown. The heavy rains weeks before brought the trail to life. The riverbed was filled with water, the leaves were greener, the wind was cooler — it was the lovely day indeed to convene with nature. I went back to Spartan Trail on the third week of November, this time with James and his colleagues.

Posts I loved…

My virtual presence during this month was faint. I didn’t get a chance to read other people’s posts or interesting reads from the likes of Brainpickings/Medium. Let’s strive to do better this December, shall we? 😀

Wrap-Up | October 2020

Monthly Blog Update

After three days of undisturbed rest, I am back to the “real” world again. With this comes my late wrap up for the month of October.

I have already mentioned most of them in my last blog update but here’s a quick overview of what I’ve been up to.

Things I’ve written…

This month, I’ve decided to revisit the old poems from my Instagram account and start sharing them here in WordPress while I am taking a writing break. But, apparently, I’ve only reposted two: we molded this valley of memories with love and Vignette: Stolen gazes, knowing smiles, paperbacks. The rest were just mishmash of random things.

Books I’ve read…

If there’s one area in my life that is doing really great, that would be my reading life. My bookish heart was filled with joy this when James and I started the month with a book hunting day. We hopped to all three branches of Booksale in metro Cebu (Robinson’s Fuente/Emall/SM City) and took a few gems with us at a very cheap price! Here’s my October book hoard:

  • The Choir Boys by Sophie Hannah (Php20 @Robinsons)
  • Lost Girls by Andrew Piper (Php83 @Robinsons)
  • The Bookseller of Kabul by John Krakauer (Php154 @Robinsons)
  • The Poet by Michael Connelly (Php83 @Emall)
  • Grendel by John Gardiner (Php10 @Emall)
  • Blowfly by Patricia Cornwell (Php83 @SM City)
  • The Abortionist’s Daughter by Elizabeth Hyde (Php50 @SM City)
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns (ordered online for Php250 @bookprojectph)
  • The Swallows of Kabul (ordered online for Php175 @bookprojectph)
Continue reading “Wrap-Up | October 2020”

Wrap-Up | September 2020

Monthly Blog Update

“Wake me up when September ends,” so the song says.

The world felt like it fell into a slumber for the past months. Everything came to halt, a state of inactivity where plans were suspended. Each of us developed our own ways of getting by these COVID days. Some turned to binge-watching, others turned to gardening. Some read, others wrote. Some took the time to clean the dusty corners of their homes, others took the time to cleanse the dusty corners of their minds.

September finally ended. And here we are… awake.

For me, it has been a rollercoaster ride. I’ve had equal parts of ups and downs in life but, overall, I could say that I have slowly learned to adapt and manage my emotions. Work is still work, life is still life. As for my virtual presence here in WordPress, I am guilty of missing out a lot.

Things I’ve written…

Last August, most of my posts were musings about life, writing and my journey as a writer. This month, I wrote pieces that remain incoherent in my drafts. I did manage to share one musing about life and mountains in Monday Musings: Extra Baggage.

Some Mishmash of Random Things:

Books I’ve read…

Remember Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls that I did not finished in July and I skipped in August to read Albom’s Human Touch? Ta da! It remained unopened this September. It did not bore me, it was in fact getting interesting along the way. It’s just that I am having a reading slump, which leads me to another problem (or is it?): BOOK HOARDING.

Book Talk: Forgive me book-god for I have sinned

I did however listed to audiobooks in LibriVox and treat myself to some good ol’ fairytales such as Andersen’s Fairy Tales and Grimms’ Fairy Tales. I’ve also listened to poetry readings in PoemHunter and fell in love with these poems once again:

Places I’ve been…

Early in September, I shared about the most memorable trees I’ve encountered along the trails in When Life Gives You Quarantine, Think Green.

Last week, my friends and I — for the first time — got back on one of those trails after 6 months of hiatus. At last!

Posts I loved…

I’ve been mostly out of WordPress these days but I was able to read some remarkable posts in my feed. Go check these links out.

  • A Reading Writer’s top 10 book covers i love (with quotes!) – a treat for book lovers and hoarders alike! Rosema’s Top Ten Tuesdays are always insightful and she shares a lot of interesting books that you could add on your TBR list.
  • Jade M. Wong’s [Poetry] Bridge – a beautiful poem by a poet who writes from the heart. This piece speaks of hope in the midst of uncertainty. A must-read.
  • Mich’s Who Murders Halloween? – a timely piece for the coming Halloween. This pandemic has completely changed how we view and live life. Mich reminisces the little things that make this occasion fun and the reaper that came to take it all away.

October… will this month be any better? I guess we’ll find that out, one day at a time.

Wrap-Up | August 2020

Monthly Blog Update

Hello, everyone! A month has passed since my first wrap-up post and finally, we’ve reached the onset of “BER” months. Have you seen early signs of Christmas on your end? 

In the Philippines, we do not only have a Christmas Day. The country celebrates the world’s longest Christmas season, starting as early as September 1. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been counting down the days when we can “legally” great each other Merry Christmas.

As for me, I have been contently taking things slow. August was a time for communing with myself and looking inwardly. 🙂

But even with my absence, I can say that it has been a productive month for two main reasons. First, I have mentioned in my last Blog Update: Optimizing absence that I have been working on cleaning up my storage space. It is still ongoing and I have been reading and learning more about optimization too. Second, I find my #WriteMyOwnHeadline project kind of actually fun. 😀 Now, for the recap…

Things I’ve written…

In the early days of August, I found myself writing Three days later, a short story inspired by an old Haibun I wrote about the tragedies of love and war.

But, as this is not a creative month for me, most of my posts were musings and reflections about life, writing and my journey as a writer.

Books I’ve read…

In my previous wrap-up, I shared that my work life has overtaken my reading life. Until now, I have not reopened Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls.

However, I am happy to share that my bookish heart was healed by Mitch Albom’s Human Touch. It is a unique serialized story of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic, set in the present time. Every weekly chapter left me with a much-needed food for the soul. If you have not read it, I highly recommend you give it a try and let me know your thoughts. 😀

August 9 was also a Book Lover’s Day and I wrote about my bookish pet peeves and fetish here: Book Talk: Bookish Pet Peeves and Fetishes.

Despite my reading slump, another book was added to my haul. James gave me Paulo Coelho’s By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept which I am looking forward to read this September. I also bought two pre-loved books online — Thoreau’s Walden & Civil Disobedience and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe — which are scheduled to arrive this month.

Places I’ve been…

In my inability to travel, I was able to reflect on my previous outdoor experiences. I have taken note on the little things, little moments that truly matter in life. Mt. Kalatkat: The things we give and take is one of the results of this introspection.

Posts I loved…

Truth is I’ve been reading more from Brainpickings and ThoughtCatalog than my Reader tab. I most probably missed a lot of great content from my friends here in WP during the month of August. Apologies. I will be a better virtual neighbor next time.

Still, I’d like to share these great reads that you might like.

Looking back, it’s been productive (and peaceful) month. Here’s to hoping for better days this September! 🌻

Wrap-Up | July 2020

Monthly Blog Update

Hey, everyone! Welcome to my first wrap-up post. I don’t normally do this kind of stuff but I’ve been trying a lot of things out these COVID days.

One way that “Dr. Google” suggested to keep my mental health in check is to focus on those that I can control. Trouble is, focus isn’t on my strongest traits. I have a natural tendency  to jump from one task to another and get back on them in a minute, day or never at all. So, I heeded a friend’s advice and started working on a structure/schedule — especially in writing.

A milestone for July is having successfully re-categorized my blog posts. 🎉  Since I still find it hard to write, I focused on improving my blog identity. It’s still a work in progress but we’ll get there. As for the rest…

Things I’ve written…

I’ve written two poems inspired by two opposing feelings. The first one was taken out of a late night conversation I had with James and the other was kind of a rant.

My mishmash of random things, on the other hand, reflected the roller-coaster of emotions I’ve had this month.

Books I’ve read…

Or still reading. Unfortunately, life did not allow me to finish even a single book this month. I have only got past page 63 of Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and reality sucked me back to its chaotic void again. With reduced workforce, to-dos and to-writes are piling up. When will this end? 😟

Places I’ve been…

Funny that I am including this in my recap. Aside from my everyday WFH  (Walk From Home) route to the office, I haven’t been anywhere. Cebu City has just transitioned to general community quarantine (GCQ) but I doubt if we’d have the opportunity to see the mountains soon. My friends and I just canceled a major climb in Luzon and would most probably be canceling another one in Mindanao come November. Sigh.

Posts I loved…

I’ve been mostly out of blogosphere these days but I still managed to read some remarkable posts in my feed. Go check these links out.

Looking back, it’s been productive month despite life’s mess. As July finally bid its goodbye, here’s to hoping for better days. May our August be filled with happiness and peace. 🌻

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