Surviving Travel Expo

Travel Expo 2013

This is one of the events Filipino jet setters have been waiting and bracing themselves for: The Travel Madness Expo 2013. With the European Union lifting the ban on Philippine aircraft, this expo just got bigger, madder and crazier!

Going to a travel expo is like going to war. No, more like going to the Hunger Games, and great flights are the cornucopia. You have to be fast, decided, and patient. You must have a good eye for finding great bargains and packages as well as patience for long queues. The good flights dwindle as the hours progress so it’s better if you have someone with you so that you could check out several packages and flights at once (then just communicate via phone to discuss which deals you should get). For faster transactions, it’s better if you already have a plan readied beforehand (you should list down your free dates, holidays, planned destinations, etc), because if you don’t you just might get buried underneath all of those travel brochures. By the time you’ve made up your mind, the good flights and prices will be long gone.

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Cocina Juan

Cocina Juan

We’re blessed to live within walking proximity from the Maginhawa “Foodie” Street, and although we live so close to it, we rarely actually go there to eat. Tonight, our hunger spasm pulled us to one of the street’s original establishments: Cocina Juan. On our way there, we were surprised to see so many new cafes and restaurants scattered across the long strip. Seriously, they keep on sprouting out of nowhere like mushrooms!

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Walking Disaster by Jamie Mcguire

4 Stars

I’m love with Travis fucking Maddox. There, I said it.

Yes, I just finished Beautiful Disaster yesterday in one sitting, and today I devoured Walking Disaster in three effing hours. I couldn’t help it. I needed to. I loved this fictional tortured bad boy that much.

Sometime between the moment I turned the first page of Beautiful and the last page of Walking, I fell in love with him.

“One of these days you’re going to fall in love, son. Don’t settle for just anyone. Choose the girl that doesn’t come easy, the one you have to fight for, and then never stop fighting. Never.”

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Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire

4 Stars

I need my own Travis Maddox right now. Dammit, where’s my own Travis Maddox?!

Kidding. Well, okay, not really.

I was such a girl while reading this. My emotions see-sawed from annoyed, excited, angry, really annoyed to giddy butterflies. Beautiful Disaster was like Pride and Prejudice mixed with the passion and intensity of Crossfire, sprinkled with a little Sarah Dessen.

“It’s dangerous to need someone that much. You’re trying to save him and he’s hoping you can. You two are a disaster.” I smiled at the ceiling. “It doesn’t matter what or why it is. When it’s good, Kara… it’s beautiful.”

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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

4 Stars

The relationship between book and reader is private.

When Mr. Penumbra asked Rosemary the question, “Why do you love books so much?“, I felt as if he was asking me, because it was something I’ve been asked countless times. This book was like an adventure, a silent tribute, for book lovers like me. It’s hard to describe. While reading this, I felt so at home, so in my element. This book was written for people like me who simply love to read.

It’s an easy read, no stress, no too elaborate complexities. Reading it was a breeze, a fun breeze. I put off reading this book, but this morning I finally decided to scrap it off my reading list and be done with it and it’s a good thing I did. This book was a happy mystery that kept me guessing. It kept me reading because I just wanted to know what the bloody hell was the secret behind Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. The way the mystery was built up was great. It really made me ask the same questions Clay did: What the hell is happening here?

Although the big reveal was not what I expected or hoped for, I wasn’t disappointed by it. I was satisfied and the epilogue was probably one of my favorite bits of the novel. This is a great and simple story I’m sure all bookworms would enjoy. Now here I am wishing there’s a real store like Mr. Penumbra’s Bookstore somewhere here on Earth… oh how I’d love to visit that.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

5 Stars

There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.

Gone Girl won a Goodreads Choice award last year so I had very high expectations when I started this book. I admit, I found the first part a little dragging but everything changed when I got to the second part.

To me, this book was able to tread the line between crime fiction and literary fiction, and did so brilliantly. I admire Gillian Flynn for being bold enough to use this style of writing to tell her story. The cliff-hangers were perfectly positioned, each chapter made me want to read more. You think you know, but you don’t. Not even close. I often second-guessed myself and whenever I started to form my theories, another chapter just completely trashes it out the window. I was so deceived I almost felt cheated by the author! But that’s what’s so good about it.

Gone Girl makes you think, it makes you read between the lines, it makes you ask questions, it gives enough lead you on but still deprives enough to be able to totally surprise you. And that is what makes this good fiction.