Thursday, 19 December 2013

Free ebook on how to conduct research projects: theses and dissertations

Introduction to Scientific Research Projects is a concise introduction on how to conduct an undergraduate research project. It also explores different components of dissemination such as poster, oral, viva, and thesis.Thus, it makes an easy and enjoyable read for both students and teachers.

BookFace: Read my mind by Atty Mel Sta. Maria

My 6-year old niece browsing the book...
ONE OF THE FEW BOOKS I HAVE READ recently authored by a Filipino. The book contains essays and commentaries originally posted on-line ( The writer, Mel Sta. Maria is a legal adviser/lawyer, a professor and a radio/tv commentator (Relasyon at TV5).

Because of curiosity I bought the book from National Bookstore (Cubao branch). Even though, I am a regular listener of his radio program, I do not even read his regular column in 

Just a few things about the book:
1. The book has 15 sections with timeless subjects with personal and national importance. Straight forward commentaries... The first section on Sabah is perfect to be in the first few pages of the book. Atty Mel's opinions are relevant and with substance that for ordinary people could understand and encouraging us to come up with our own judgment. His criticisms are not "below the belt", but witty, especially with sensitive issues;
2. I suggested that this book is a timely and special Xmas gift to our dear President, P-NOY and his advisers to address the Sabah conflict, and other political concerns. (If someone close to our President and Cabinet members wants to give a gift);
3. I am also an educator and do feel same with Atty Mel's teaching experience on how we inspire young kids to be of service to unfortunate kababayans and inspire them to be professional on their chosen careers;
4. I do agree with Atty Mel's stand concerning Carlos Celdran's case, and VP Binay for his future candidacy as President in 2016 election...and of course the author's advice on how the government will address Sabah's territorial conflict is commendable;
5. On a lighter note, there is something lacking in the author's commentaries regarding "Inspirational Loss" and "MVP-Ateneo Misunderstanding". Finally, I did smile while reading his Jesuit's anecdote - even GOD S.J. cannot help but to get a side! And finally, the author's hilarious teaching situations with his students... they were really funny but witty;
6. Finally, Atty Mel's collection of photos with big personalities/celebs are authentic, absolutely they were "not photo shopped"; and
7. By the way, just one minor suggestion. A list of references or bibliographies should be added in the book for readers familiarize with the various laws and legal documents (including original sources) referred/cited in the text. 

OVERALL, the book is an eye opener to current events and issues facing the country... Commentaries from Atty Mel provided a better understanding of the issues presented in each of the essays and much an appreciation of the Philippine legal system.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Unusual story of Beatrice and Virgil (Yann Martel)

“To my mind, faith is like being in the sun. The shadow is doubt. And it goes wherever you go as long as you stay in the sun.” 
 Beatrice and Virgil
This is about Henry's fate when he met a professional – a taxidermist who preserves, treats, and mounts different kinds of dead animals. Beatrice and Virgil are the main characters of a play written by the taxidermist. He (taxidermist) shared their story by reading the script during Henry's regular visits to his Okami Taxidermy shop. Henry became obsessed with taxidermist's storytelling on the lives of a donkey and a monkey which also led to the former discovery of the latter strange behavior.

Yann Martel's story has a disturbing and unhappy ending with strange turns of events. At the end of the book, he included the games that Beatrice and Virgil enjoyed to play. For instance, Game #1: Your ten-year old son is speaking to you. He says he has found a way of obtaining some potatoes to feed your starving family. If he is caught, he will be killed. Do you let him go?

For Game #11: Of your community of 1,650 souls, 122 have survived. You hear that your entire extended family is dead, that your house has been taken over by strangers, that all your possessions have been stolen. You also hear that the new government wants to turn a new page and address the errors of the past. Do you return home?

And finally, Game #12: A doctor is speaking to you: "This pill will erase your memory. You will forget all your suffering and all your loss. But you will also forget your entire past." Do you swallow the pill?

This book was registered in Bookcrossing and released/received in March 2011 during a Bookcrossing-Northern Ireland meet-up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It took me more than 2 years to finally read and release it here in Manila. Click the image above for the release notes and the book journey. Hope this book will travel well and inspire others to release more books in the wild...!

Monday, 9 December 2013

My personal donation to a community public library in the Philippines

I HAVE COLLECTED A NUMBER OF MAGAZINES during my residency in Northern Ireland. For almost 3 years, I did not subscribe to any publication, but I buy every issue per month. These magazines include: Stuff (the world's best-selling gadget magazines), Digital Camera, Practical Photography, T3 (The gadget magazine), Digital Photo, and many others. More than a hundred copies were collected and sent back to the Philippine after I completed my studies.

 Quezon City Library (Philippines)Lately, I decided to donate these magazines to our local community library, Quezon City Public Library located in Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila. Instead of keeping them in the box, it is more useful if these mags will be displayed and share to other local residents who regularly visit the library.

Aside from these mags, a number of pocket books are also donated. Some of these books were also registered at BookCrossing to track down their journey. The officer-in-charge was happy enough to accept my personal collection.

I am just hoping that this contribution to the library will increase the readership and inspire others to travel and take photos while traveling.
 Quezon City Public Library
Note: I got an official letter from the librarian, thanking me of my donation. Some of the copies of the magazines will be displayed in the main library of the city. I also decide to donate copies of my postgraduate theses to the library very soon. 

Saturday, 30 November 2013

No Limits the will to succeed – Michael Phelps with Alan Abrahamson

So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can’t be done. But all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are not limits - Michael Phelps
 No Limits
Michael is considered as one of the greatest American athletes that we have known today, especially after his unprecedented eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In 2012 London Games, he continued to excel by surpassing his previous world swimming records.

This book somehow reveals Michael’s personal strategy to achieve these great successes in the pool. As sections of the book, he identifies the key attitudes and factors that influence his remarkable performance, namely: perseverance, belief, redemption, determination, confidence, courage, will and commitment.

Michael says that:
I just wanted to make sure I took every single moment in and every single swim in, every single moment with my teammates, so I would remember them. I don’t want to forget anything that happened.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

BookFace: Battle Hymn of the tiger mother

The author, Amy Chua fearlessly concludes that a Chinese mother believes:
(1) Schoolwork always comes first; (2) An A-minus is a bad grade; (3) You children must be two years ahead of their classmates in maths; (4) You must never compliment your children in public: (5)  If your child ever disagrees with a teacher or coach, you must always take side of the teacher or coach; (6) The only activities your children should be permitted to do are those in which they can eventually win a medal; and (7) The medal must be gold.
She adds up that,
there’s another huge difference between raising dog raising and Chinese parenting. Dog raising is easy. It requires patience, love, and possibly an initial investment of training time. By contrast, Chinese parenting is one of the most difficult things I can think of. You have to be hated sometimes by someone you love and who hopefully loves you, and there’s jut no letting up, no point at which it suddenly becomes easy.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

ENRICH (healthy lifestyle and living): Very enriching publication

October and November 2013
THIS IS MY FEW REVIEWS FOR MAGAZINES posted online, but it might be the first ever full review of Enrich in the Philippines. The magazine is distributed locally at Mercury Drug – a Filipino drugstore with almost a hundred 24-hour branches nationwide.   Enrich is published monthly by Mercury Media Corporation and produced by Skittles-Broke Media (Hong Kong). 

I came across with the magazine during my regular visits to Mercury to buy medicines and groceries last year. At first, I was surprised to find this at the check-out counter, just beside the cashier's machine. Not quite a common location, but I think this is something that customers could grab at the last minute of shopping, or to get the attention of customers and tempting them to browse its pages while waiting for their turn to pay. Who knows, one of them grabs a copy for only PhP65 (100 pages including cover) which is cheaper than that of other leading glossy publications available in the supermarkets and bookstores.

Lately, I decided to buy its October and November 2013 issues for personal reasons: (a) the mag featured Louvre Museum (were I spent 6 hours just to explore the entire building and meet Mona Lisa in person); (b) it featured places like Siargao (Surigao del Norte) - reminded me of my first surfing lesson in San Juan, La Union, and Dublin (Republic of Ireland) - part of my PhD thesis on urban regeneration; and (c) it offered 20% discounted rate for Mercury Suki cardholder - absolutely a big saving!

Well, because of these reasons, I was encouraged to post a comment on its Facebook account ( just to inform the publisher that I finally read the magazine! Eventually, it inspired me to write a detailed review (as you are reading now) and also to share my travel experiences for those places that have I visited in the past as featured in the magazine.  Honestly, I think this is the big factor that pushed me to buy it. But I'm sure that the magazine is different from those popular travel publications even though Enrich's front cover is showcasing travel destinations locally and abroad, its main features also focusing on health, sports and medicine which others do not cater.

My first surfing lesson at San Juan, La Union
These two issues, (Volume 6, Issues 63 and 64, October and November, respectively), contain interesting places that I had the opportunity to explore in the past.  In particular, October issue featured Siargao Island (Surigao del Norte), Dublin City (Republic of Ireland), and Louvre Museum (France), while November continued to carry-on with Louvre Museum's artwork. 

Siargao's article reminded me of my first attempt to surf in San Juan, La Union last year. What a surprise, I did well in my first ride on board and instantly, it made me think to consider it as a regular holiday sporting event! To find out more of my surfing adventure, CLICK HERE

One of the hostels at the Temple Bar area
"Georgian & Gorgeous Dublin" (written by Shalini Mitra) highlights city's tourism infrastructure – from historical buildings to downtown night life. I was a little bit disappointed of the article because of the limited attractions (with photos) covered in the article. I thought that, the author missed-out some of the most relevant attractions at the city center like the Irish colorful doors, statue of James Joyce, Stephen Green Park, monuments, and other prominent old buildings (aside from Trinity College). She did not mention the "special token" given to visitors upon arrival at the viewing deck of Guinness Storehouse, aside from a free sip of the Irish "black beer". Until now, this small gift is safely kept and one of my most priceless souvenirs.  If you are interested to find more about my Dublin escapades, please CLICK HERE and HERE.

I love reading pocket books, and Dan Brown's books are always in my top list, including Da Vinci Code which is featured in both issues. Interestingly, the article entitled, " Following the Da Vinci Code: Trail at the Louvre" highlights the factual truth why Dan Brown chose Louvre as one of the settings for his former book.  The two parts of the article somehow reminded me of my 6-hour stay in the museum 5 years ago. Indeed for 9Euro, my admiration to more than 35,000 pieces of decorative art, sculptures, paintings, drawings, and antiques is indescribable! I took hundreds of photographs but these images are enough to capture the richness of Louvre's collection. Indeed, another visit to the museum is something to look forward to in the future. Again, more stories of my tour to Paris, CLICK HERE and HERE. 
Other enriching and informative sections of the mag include "This Month in History" which showcase important historical events and personalities that shape our civilization;  "Physical Fitness Formulas"  that covers a simple techniques, exercises and workouts for various body parts; "Our Weird and Wonderful World  is a "quirky news" that highlights
some of the unusual and strangest things happening on Earth; and "" provides a quick review of useful Pinoy websites available on the worldwide web.
And most importantly, the sports, medical and health sections are very educational and helpful. I think Enrich is commendable on this regard! Why? These articles can help increase the level of awareness for healthy lifestyle and simple living among Filipinos. 

The glass dome -entrance to the museum
For example, October and November issues featured the following topics: indicators of stress, diabetes as so called lifestyle disease, thyroid disease, stem cell therapy, common health problems that affect call center agents, recognizing genius abilities among children, sweet addiction, and hormonal fluctuations and dominance.  It is also interesting to mention the article (November issue) that tells us the on-going health caravan project of the Philippine Department of Health which started in 2011. This "Journey to a Healthy Life" aims to increase the awareness on practices related to maternal and child health and nutrition. This is a very noble cause of the Philippine government in combating malnutrition and malpractices on family planning.

Not to be the least, Enrich has promotional offers that are available to Mercury Drug valued customers.  There are discounted coupons (detachable from the magazine) to be collected and redeemed anytime for specific products available in the drugstore in a limited promotional period.
I have only one comment for the cover story and front lay-out of Enrich. This is not really a downside of the publication, but rather to enhance the marketability of it. In order not to be mistaken as a "travel" magazine, I suggest that the cover photo/page should have bigger thumbnails of the regular health featured articles, having the same importance with the featured travel destination sections. But so far, the current lay-out of the pages (articles versus ads), quality of the images, font color/size are technically above the standards for a wide spectrum of readership, not only in the Philippines but also abroad.
FOR PROSPECTIVE READERS out there, there is a special promo for a one year subscription.  At Php624 (Metro Manila area) for 12 issues, you get a free Mercury Drug Suki card plus a copy of the 13th issue. A 20% discount (Php52) per issue is also extended to existing valued Suki card holders. The Suki card allows customers of the drugstore to accumulate points from purchases and these points will be converted into cash as payments for future purchases. Monthly newsletter is also available and it can be downloaded from its website at:

Friday, 4 October 2013

BookFace: Combating changing climate

These books are relevant nowadays. Aside from being my personal reference materials in teaching Environmental Engineering at the university, these books provide updated ideas in combating climate change.  Happy Go Local (Linsly Donnelly) features interviews and tops from professionals in the sustainable movement; Ten Technologies (Chris Goodall) provides the technologies that significantly reduce emission or extract large volumes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; Clean Tech Revolution ( Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder) also highlights eight major clean-technologies: solar energy, wind power, biofuels/biomaterials, green buildings, personal transportation, the smart grid, mobile applications, and water filtration; and finally Climate Change: The Challenge To All of Us (Sean McDonagh) explains on how the churches have responded to global warming.
It is very important to note that Ten Technologies identifies and explores in improving the planet's carbon sinks through our soils and forests, efficient homes, and fuel cells - the best available repository for excess carbon resulting from mankind's action.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Discounted books and Kobo (Philippines) Launching: Courtesy of Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) 2013

THE RAIN POURED SO HARD but it did not stop me to catch the last hours of MIBF on its final day in SMX Convention Hall Complex last week. This is a 5-day event and still I did the last-minute visit to the venue despite the heavy rain pouring the metropolis. Thanks to MRT and I reached the venue 2 hours prior to closing!
One of the highlights of my visit was a friendly chat to the product representative of Kobo e-reader. Through National Bookstore, this latest gadget is introduced to the Filipino readers and officially launched in NBS website over the weekend. Technical features and specifications for Kobo Tablet and eReader are already posted for browsing and for possible online orders/purchases. I'm already a member Kobo-Hongkong using my playbook Blackberry since last year. Once in a while, it offers discounted rates thru its regular newsletter send to members. The Hunger Games (Part 1) is my first e-book purchased from the website. For easy access to Filipino ebooks with Philippine peso tag prices, I decided to open an account in Kobo-Philippines.

Unfortunately, it is currently experiencing technical problem after I upgraded the current version of the application in my playbook gadget. However, I can access my e-books library using other computer units in the internet cafe/shop.

Only four books I managed to buy from the event. Two books (Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less; Cat O'Nine Tales) by Jeffrey Archer at PhP20 each from Goodwill Bookstore; only one book from NBS entitled The God of Small Things (A Booker Prize Winner); and two books (Alex Cross, Run of James Patterson; and Building and Managing Ebook Collections) courtesy of iFlickPhotoBook as souvenir deals for a photo shoot (as shown above).

Thursday, 19 September 2013

BookFace: Travelling - locations, events and destinations

PLANNING TO TRAVEL ELSEWHERE? These books are excellent guides to places and events for us to enjoy. Despite its thickness and weight (almost one kg for each book), these publications provide invaluable source of information for travellers and the like searching for future escapades or looking for another getaway to experience different cultures, festivals and sporting events.

"501 Must-Visit Destinations" contains 544 pages divided into 5 major sections: Africa; America & the Caribbean; Asia; Australasia & Oceania; Europe & the Middle East; and written by a team composed of our of travel writers.

With the beautiful iconic shot of the magnificent Taj Mahal (India) as the front cover, aside from a descriptive page (with a photo) for each attraction, it also provides brief description – what is it to explore, where is it located, what is there to see, when is the best time to go or visit, and how to get there. Some of them contain additional short notes of the historical importance and interesting trivia of the featured places.

Interestingly, some of the places featured in the book that I want to go are as follows:

Africa: Mount Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar (Tanzania), Victoria Falls (Zambia), The Valley of the Kings at Luxor (Egypt), El Djem (Tunisia). For Americas and the Caribbean: Blue Lagoon (Jamaica), Iguaza Falls (Argentina), Rio del Janeiro (Brazil), Easter Island (Chile), Galapagos Island (Ecuador), Quebec City Winter Carnival (Canada),  Miami South Beach (US), Grand Canyon (US), Yellowstone National Park (US),  Mt St Helens (US). 

For Asia: The Great Wall (China), Mt Fuji (Japan), Varanasi (India), Taj Mahal (India), Angkor (Cambodia), Komodo National Park (Indonesia), Palawan Island (Philippines), Phang-Nga Bay (Thailand), The Tunnels of Cu Chi (Vietnam). While for Australasia & Oceania: Uluru (Australia), The Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Blue Mountains (Australia). 

Finally, for Europe & the Middle East: Mont-St-Michel (France), Berlin (Germany), Octoberfest (Germany), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), The Van Gogh Museum (The Netherlands), Geneva (Switzerland), The Scottish Lochs (UK), Oxford (UK), Stonehenge (UK), Prague (Czech Republic),  St Petersburg (Russia), The Kremlin and Red Square (Russia), The Acropolis (Greece), Venice (Italy), Assisi (Italy), Ohrid (Macedonia), Barcelona (Spain), Cordoba (Spain), The Blue Mosque (Turkey), Jerusalem (Israel), The Dead Sea (Israel), Petra (Jordan).

On the other hand, "501 Must-Be-There Events" features an amazing array of events being celebrated all year round in different parts of the world. The book is divided into 8 sections highlighting the selection of celebrations, festivities and sporting events from North America to Africa, and from Europe to Asia

Of course, there are interesting events that I want to attend in the future such as: Celebration of Light Festival (Canada), Sundance Film Festival (US), The Super Bowl (US), The New York Marathon (US), Rio Carnival (Brazil) – as the front cover of the book, Nobel Peace Prize Concert (Norway), Gothenburg Book Festival (Sweden), The Boat Race (UK), Edinburgh Festival (UK), St Patrick;s Day (Ireland), International San Sculpture Festival (Netherlands), Cannes Film Festival (France), San Isidro Bullfighting Festival (Spain), Easter Mass in St Peter's Square (Italy), Dubai World Cup (UAE), Dubai Shopping Festival (UAE), Dragon Boat Festival (China), Singapore Lantern Festival (Sngapore), Sinulog and Ati-atihan Festivals (Philippines), Gold Coast Indy 300 (Australia)

After reading these books, I feel that there are so many places to discover in this amazing world and more years to discover them. I understand that the collections included in the books are only selection of the writers. Yes, there are more desired and interesting places and events to be added in the list that each one of us wants to visit and experience in the future.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

BookFace: (Filipino) Ebooks for download...

ONE OF THE POPULAR POSTS I shared in my blogsite was posted two years ago about free e-books in Filipino. How did I know it? Well, I have this icon in my sidebar that reflects the readers or visitors of the post: Filipino E-books for Free. This is a live traffic feed (Feedjit) in real time which shows the location who clicked/viewed and the title of the posts in my blogsite. This is an easy way to determine which posts I have popular or got more attention in the cyberspace.

Recently, I  received a comment from a reader: "Hello Reymos, I was hoping that you could help me.I have 7yrs old daughter. I want her to learn how to read Filipino books. Is there any books for kids that i can download from your books...Thanks."  My straightforward response is: "I do not have links for Filipino books online dedicated for young readers." However, I can help it out...this is the reason why I posted this journal to help the parent of this 7-yr old girl and hopefully other guardians to find time in telling stories to their children!

Few weeks ago, I visited a local library near my residence for personal reasons. This is a branch library being managed by a local government in one of the cities in Metro Manila. You might be asking me: why I visited this particular library?

Well, for good reasons... Firstly, this is part of my future feature in my blog - to introduce local libraries in the metropolis...Secondly, I want to donate some of my old magazines in photography and travel to the library as part of its collection. These mags are just stored inside the balikbayan boxes for years now! These are old issues but I believe the information written in the publications are still relevant nowadays. Thirdly, I want to offer my knowledge in blogging and photography thru the library. I can volunteer myself in the library's regular outreach programs such as computer literacy tutorials.

The librarian was so enthusiastic to listen to my suggestions and proposals...She even introduced the library's website. This was the reason why I can help it out to find free e-books for children! Why? The librarian informed me that the library has a collection of e-books for Filipino young readers and old ones who can still read stories to kids. So now, I am sharing this to you!

The International Children's Digital Library (ICDL) contains a collection of books from around the world, including from the Philippines. Aside from ICDL, there are additional e-books for international readers. Check it out by clicking the logo below.

NOTE: For other Filipino e-books for free reading, CLICK HERE...

Thursday, 12 September 2013

BookFace: Religion and Globalization

Another set of discounted books from BestSellers (sister company of National Bookstore) which will be added to my collection. This is different from the majority of my books considering that these two book faces tackle religion. In particular, Reconciliation is a personal account of Bhutto during her final months in Pakistan after her historic return to Karachi on October 18, 2007, consequently to her assassination on December 27, 2007. She argues that "the UK and US supported some groups that have only short-term interest..." She implies that dictatorship leads to terrorism...

The second book is very enlightening one...written by His Holiness The Dalai Lama.He explains that " foster the beneficial potential of religion in the world, the faith traditions must find a way of relating to each other with mutual acceptance and genuine respect." The Dalai Lama adds up that "the highest form of compassion, as a practice in daily life is selfless service to others..."

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

BookFace: Stories about Japan


For curiosity sake, I grabbed a copy of Rashomon after reading its review in a travel magazine. I was convinced to read the book considering that it only contains 123 pages of short stories which some of them have sense of humor. I found it in National Bookstore (Philippines) for a regular price (bit expensive for few pages). I was truly convinced by the review that the author is one of the best writers in Japan and Rashomon was also adapted for film production. But honestly after reading it, I was a bit disappointed because I could not see any connection from the stories and characters to my own interest in storytelling. .

 As one of the goodreads' members commented that he was "not overwhelmed with pleasure at reading these stories." ... He continues,  "I don't have the required knowledge or appreciation of the place and time they were written but I just didn't find myself caring one way or another about the outcome of the stories."

The other book, Kuhaku was also from the National Bookstore's  discounted corner (70%). It was really a bargain grab! I enjoyed the essays based from the experiences of selected Japanese people and foreigners who decided to live in Japan for work and family. I do like the packaging of the book - from the cloth-type cover to the lay-out, including a glossary of Japanese terms at the end of the book! By the way, the word, "kuhaku" means blank, void empty space...A blank  in one's memory.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Candy Gourlay's second novel launches on 5 September

Candy's first novel, The Tall Story received numerous good reviews, including various awards and nominations around the world. Her second book will be launched on 5 Sept 2013, 
but its e-book format is already available at Amazon for downloand. 
For additional information, visit Candy's website Candy Gourlay.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

BookFace: Cut-price at National Bookstore (Philippines) - Part 1

Another set of books written by my favorite British writer, JEFFREY ARCHER. Only Time Will Tell is the first book in the Clifton Chronicles - a new series about the story of a family across generations and oceans, from heartbreak to triumph...I haven't read this book but hopefully, I need to grab the rest of the copies of the series before I could embark myself in the epic tale of Harry Clifton. 

And Thereby Hangs a Tale and The New Collected Short Stories are all excellent collection of short stories of Archer. I enjoyed the latter, while the former were extracted from his three previous published collection of stories...

All of these books were 70% discounted, courtesy of National Book Store! 
Book sale ends on 8 September 2013.  

Sunday, 1 September 2013

I face books with fascination...

MY FASCINATION WITH BOOKS started when I took a two-year postgraduate program in Australia. That was eleven years ago! Then, after my five years residency in the UK, I already accumulated quite a number of reading materials, including travel books and magazines that added to my previous collections. I should admit that I am now a book addict - hoarding all the books of my favorite storytellers! This is part of my plan to set-up my own mini-library in my hometown in the Philippines.

My book collection will be part of a reading centre where everyone, young and old can share these books and be inspired to read more and learn new stories and new places. I did several appearances to book launching/signing both locally and abroad. I had the chance to met some of these writers like Candy Gourlay (Tall Story), Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo (Trese Comic Book series), Samantha Sotto ( Before Ever After ), and Jennifer Hillier (Creep); even on-line interviews with Phillip Thomas Duck (Excuse Me, Miss), Stuart Neild (Giant Killer Eels), and Emma Donoghue (Room). I am a fan of Jeffrey Archer stories but Kane and Abel and Sons of Fortune are my best reads.

I also like James Patterson's story of Alex Cross, including his Max (Angel Experiment) series, including novels written by Harlan Coben, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Jodi Picoult and Mary Higgins Clark. Some of the short stories that I really like are Different Seasons by Stephen King, including A Twist in Tale, and Twelve Red Herrings by Jeffrey Archer. These authors allow me to love their characters, inspire me on their style of writing, and building up my interest in the category of their stories mostly in suspense and thriller genre, including stories about family values, relationships, friendships and sexuality.

One of the highlights of being a book addict, I was chosen as a bookgiver during the World Book Night 2011 held in the UK. I was one of the lucky volunteers to distribute 48 copies of Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. This book is one of 40,000 copies printed of each of the 25 brilliant titles selected by the organizer. That's 1,000,000 books to be read and enjoyed and then shared. The World Book Night is a celebration of great writing and the power of books and the pleasures of reading.

Some of my interactions with these authors are as follows: I met Stuart Neild on-line thru his e-books published in Amazon and Smashwords websites. He loves to write stories that go behind our wildest dreams which for sure it entice our appetite for horror, suspense and thriller plots. Stuart says:"A good story is something that's interesting. I think for the past two decades we've been bogged down in books full of wordy prose and padding that was only there to make the page count bigger...snappy, interesting story telling that kept you entertained and hooked got a little lost..."

Phillip Thomas Duck writes sexy short stories like One Quick Kiss and the first offering of his romantic suspense series, Excuse Me, Miss. Any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? He responds: "Read a lot. Write everyday. Follow their heart and not the trends of the moment. Make the writing sensual. I have a note above my keyboard reminding me to include all of the senses in my writing."

 I also asked RJ Silver regarding his work schedule when he is writing. He answers: "Every day I get up early (I'm answering these questions at 4:00 a.m.) and spend my first three or four hours on writing (i.e. my best energy of the day). If you add those up, it comes to about 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, which is a lot, but I'm not alone." He adds that he wrote the first draft of stories like The Princess & the Penis or The Ballerina, the Gymnast, and the Yoga Master typically for about a month.

Finally, one of the memorable interactions with writers was when Emma Donoghue was featured on GoodReads where she answered questions and comments from the members online. I posted my question about the settings of her novel, Room.

My comment was: " I have read your brief interview's responses featured by British Channel 4 - The TV Book Club 2011. You mentioned that you somehow based Room's setting from Fritzl case in Austria. Personally, I thought you based it from the American girl, Jaycee Lee Dugard being captive for 18 years. After her disappearance at age 11, her story became a world-wide sensation in August 2009. Im sure you're aware of her story. Did you try to get some settings from her story?"

Then Emma replies: "I know ROOM might sound more like the Dugard case, but she was only discovered after the novel was written and with my agent. One main difference between the storyline of ROOM and almost all the well-known kidnapping cases is that, at 19, Ma is an adult when she is captured." She also revealed that she got numerous offers for a film adaptation of Room but to date, nothing formalized yet. Personally, this is something to look forward to especially the on-screen characterization of Jack.

There you have it folks! My passion for books does not fade as the time flies. With advanced technology, I can read my books anywhere, anytime using my e-book gadget - Amazon Kindle! Or I can also share these books thru this personal blogsite. 

"Learning is a continuous process and reading is a lifelong learning experience...and books are our best companion to make it happen, ultimately to be treasured forever!" 

3 Main Reasons why you have to visit Manila International Book Fair 2013

There are good reasons why you should attend or visit this annual event at SMX Convention Center, near Mall of Asia (MOA), Pasay City (Philippines) from 11 - 15 September.

1. This is the  biggest bookselling event of the year in the country. More distributors, publishers, bookstores participate, including popular writers for book signing.

2. Thousands of books at one place. It is showcasing the largest and varied  collection of books - from academic to reference materials, from magazines to graphic novels, and even e-books to multimedia products and services.

3. This also offering special events for book fanatics - from quiz bee competitions to storytelling, and poetry reading to book launches, including conferences for academic, professional and personal interests on social media, and math and science competency, and classroom management. Several activities to increase the awareness of the Filipinos towards a different level of reading experience.

To get free passes for the book fair, visit the nearest National BookStore branch at your locality. As one of the major exhibitors of the event, National Bookstore (NBS) also organized a book signing for three popular female writers: Melissa de la Cruz, Alyson Noel and Margaret Stohl on 15 September at 2pm. They will also visiting other NBS branches on  13 September, 6pm - Activity Center, Ayala Center, Cebu City, 14 September, 4pm -The Podium Atrium, Mandaluyong City.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Discounted offers at National Bookstore (Philippines)

This is a tradition of one of the biggest bookstores in the Philippines to offer discounted rates of books - up to 70%. National Bookstore (NBS) is generous to cut down its price every year to book addicts like me. It is almost a two-week promotional event to grab copies of my favorite writers, including reference materials. 

Personally, I already bought 11 books: The Complete Guide to Flags of the World, Just Take My Heart (Mary Higgins Clark), The Almost Moon (Alice Sebold), Her Fearful Symmetry (Audrey Niffenegger), and Before Ever After (Samantha Sotto).

I got another hardcover copy of  The Prisoner of Heaven (Carlos Ruiz Zafon), including his teens' novel entitled, The Midnight Palace. I also grabbed copies of James Patterson's novels: Guilty Wives and Now You See Her...I was stunned to pick the first novel of Tim Kring, SHIFT. Did you know that Tim Kring is the creator and producer of the popular US tv series, HEROES!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Bookface:Free ebooks by Richard Templar

Click the images to view the free e-books in pdf format.
You are also free to download the files 
(at the time of the posting). But you need to be a 
member of the site which requires credit card
details for account verification.
The website assures that no charges 
will be incurred upon registration.

Getting in touch with an author...

SOMETIMES WHEN I really like the book, I take the courage to communicate with the author. My first attempt was seven years ago. I did it again in March of this year. I emailed this British author after I read his second book.

To date, he has written six inspirational rules books that tackle about life, love, work, wealth and parenting. His book, The Rules of Life was instrumental for me to have my own personal rules and I proudly shared them with the author. I am referring to Richard Templar. With his rules books, Richard used his and other people's experiences to extract the lessons and turned into rules that matter in life.

As I recalled, I mentioned in my email that I wrote my own rules of living - reflecting my simple ways for the past 40 years. A list of 40 rules inspired by Richard's 100 rules. I even said proudly that I will come up with discussion for each rule and will add one rule every year. Sad to say, I failed to do this! But, I will write very catch up with that.

Back to Richard's first reply as quoted below:
Thank you for your kind words and I did enjoy your 40 rules - and I thought I was running out! Well done. I'm sure there are many there that could be incorporated into a Rules of Life II if we ever get round to doing it. Many many thanks indeed and I'm glad you enjoyed the book 
And then after reading The Rules of Work, I sent him another email. This time, I told him about my personal reflection on the rules that some of them were not applicable in Asian culture. Some of the strategies introduced by Richard were not practical in the Asian office environment. I took some of these rules as I explained below:

In Rule 1.10 - Never let anyone know how hard you work. Richard mentioned few rules under this which I personally disagree such as: " never ask for an extension of a deadline" and "never ask for help". We are not super humans that we do not need assistance from colleagues/officemates. We must seek help from the project team members to ensure that deadlines will be met. In most cases, extension of deadline is excusable even working with big  funding agencies. Deadlines were set without really looking the bulk of work to be accomplished. Therefore, request for extension is ok than committing to complete the task and at the end you could not finished it or maybe you did but the quality of the output is jeopardize.

Another is Rule 2.5 - Develop a style that gets you noticed. Again, this only applicable to people who are getting high compensation. In case you are a thriving worker, you can not pretend to have your own style by having expensive clothes and accessories and at the end nothing left from your bank account.  It really depends on the nature of business that your firm is engaged with. If you are doing marketing task, then it is necessary to dress in style to have better impression from the clients.

Finally, Rule 7.8 - Spend more time with senior staff. Yes, but with moderation. Your colleagues will accuse you of getting favors from the bosses! In Asian workplace, seeing you with the senior officials has a bad impression, unless you are part of a project team that these bosses are handling. Officemates will think that you are one of the "favorites" staff. Being a favorite is not good at all!

I had this thought that Richard will not bother to reply to my email. I was also thinking that he is busy with his latest book, Rules to Break and just ignore my email. Surprisingly, Richard replied as quoted below:
Many thanks for your email. It’s always interesting to hear about cultural differences I haven’t encountered, and I’ll bear your comments in mind in future editions etc. The fact you’ve been so specific is especially helpful. I would say – and perhaps I should make sure this is clearer if/when we reprint – that by ‘never ask for help’ I didn’t mean that we shouldn’t work co-operatively. Only that we shouldn’t ask for help because we’re struggling.
Nevertheless, I thanked him for sharing relevant discussions on how to be successful managers.

This is one of the best things for being a book addict... some authors will respond to their readers positively. As avid fans, we should acknowledge their work that inspire people around the world - to get better and better in dealing with other human beings!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Shine - the second book of Candy Gourlay (Tall Story's author)

 He lives his life on the front page; hers is one big secret. They both want one thing. To escape.

Rosa has lived her entire life on Mirasol, an island where the rain never stops falling. She is suddenly plunged into a new world on the dark streets of London and must find a way to survive…

Nick's mother has become a celebrity overnight. Nick is thrown into the public spotlight when he really wants nothing more than to turn back the clock…As the two teenagers' lives collide, they are given the chance to choose their own destiny for the first time. But choices are never that easy.

... it is an action-packed tale of friendship, family, bravery and betrayal...

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Australian Education Fair 2013 sets in Manila (Philippines)

Your quest for a better future begins here! 
Have the opportunity to meet and talk to various Australian university representatives. 
Learn about the study opportunities Australia has to offer.
Admission, Consultation and Visa processing are FREE!
August 10, 2013 (Saturday) 1PM - 5PM
Ballroom B, Dusit Thani Hotel Makati City
Register at or call 816 0755 local 116
or click the image above

Sunday, 12 May 2013

BookTrailer 201: Inferno by Dan Brown

In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered. For more information, click HERE.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

BookTrailer 101: The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Prisoner of Heaven is the third novel written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon after the released of the previous books: The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game.Zafon brings us again to the Sempere & Sons bookshop and the world of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. This novel also takes us into a dark, gothic Barcelona and creates a rich, labyrinthine tale of love, literature, passion, secrets and revenge.