Au revoir, Summer 2013!

Okay I know I have been MIA (yet again) but this time I will post as much as I can, especially after this hiatus month!

It has definitely been an uneventful summer. I wanted to make it special (I mean how do you do that really) but it turned out quite bland and it felt like we all just went through the motions. I wanted to go to the beach. That didn’t happen. I wanted a summer fling that I might possibly regret or not in the future. Negative. This is me venting, because I literally didn’t do anything but work and some occasional trips wherever this past summer and I believe I owe to myself next year to make the most of my young life and live it up! These are some of the photos that are saved on my phone for your viewing pleasure of course!

CNE 1We went for the first time to the Canadian National Exhibition or as what people call it “The CNE!”. Long ass bus ride going there. It’s like a bunch of fairs, circus attractions, games, and what have you. As much as I didn’t enjoy it, I really just wanted to go there and look at what it had to offer. I liked the feel of it though, but maybe I’m outgrowing what was once a really fun place to be when we were kids.

CNE 2CNE 3One thing that I really loved about it was the food!! The cronut controversy surfaced before we went so we’re clear for food poisoning! What are those things anyway? Oh yeah, the food! Kinda expensive by the way but good enough for a one time try. The DEEP FRIED OREOS were the bomb! I thought I was about to eat something really nasty, but boy was I wrong! I wanted another batch! The cheese fries with bacon really satisfied my hunger too. Also pictured are funnel cakes which I wanted to try too and a sculpture of Wolverine made out of butter! Yes, BUTTER! I really had fun seeing the animals they had inside the dome, there were farm buddies like pigs, chickens, goats, cows. It was my first time seeing an alpaca, which really terrified me! I seriously don’t have an idea how these animals go about their daily lives, but you know damn well they are unpredictable! I even took videos! One more thing, my dad played the games wherein we had to pay like 2 bucks everytime. While we didn’t get the big stuffed animals, my mom was happy with 4 little ones! They are a rip off! My work friends took photos on instagram when they won big animals! Jealous!

PartyThis is an oversaturated collage photo of a house party I attended a few weeks back. I enjoyed my time. I even slept over my friend’s boyfriend’s room. It was great meeting mutual friends from all over the Philippines who came to Canada later than I did. I will say this, these people know how to have fun! I’ve always thought that the party crowd will never be my clique but it’s slowly proving me wrong. Good times!

summerMe and my work friend had a little Tuesdate. We went to see The Spectacular Now (which I will review if I have time). All I have to say is that it was a really great movie. Very quiet but it’s filled with so much life lessons especially people our age.  Y’all should see it! After that, we went to U-Tea, which was along Bloor West. It’s a boardgame cafe and you can waste your time there with your friends. We played Blokus, which was really fun. Girl beat me though. Then we had dinner and bubble tea! Their bubble teas are pretty delish! Check it out!

*This is the first of many posts I will be flooding you! You’ve been warned.  Glad to be back!

The Peer Project: Youth Mentor diaries

Just last May I signed up to be youth mentor in our area. I went with an open mind to the orientation, which proved to be easy after all. Well, not all about it was piece of cake but since we’re dealing with kids here, we definitely have to be aware, firm and fully ready for the job. I waited a good two months to get started, it took a while but it was all worth it. I have been busy enough to not blog for a couple weeks because I really want to take time on my other endeavors. (That sounded as if I have tons of things to deal with, not really what’s happening in real life tbh)

As for the methodology of the said organization, the website states: “Young people experiencing behavioral  social, emotional and/or cultural difficulties can be referred. A home assessment will determine their needs. Young adults and police officers from all cultures and diverse backgrounds are recruited, screened and trained to become positive peer mentors sharing their life experiences”

I, myself have been wanting to be a mentor for so many years now. I think it’s because I grew fond of kids when I was in my late teenage years. I remember that day my friend Rachel had her 18th birthday at the orphanage, it was such a fulfilling experience that nothing could ever replace. I gave her props for that because instead of having a ball or like party at the club, she thought of other people who needed help and time. Also, I came from a country where there’s so many kids who can’t afford education and thus, resulting them to become wayward. I wish I could do something about it now that I am here overseas. I will do anything to be of help to those less fortunate youth when I get the chance. Also, after seeing the trailer for the SXSW film “Short Term 12” starring Brie Larson, I knew that was like one of the go-signals to get on board with this opportunity.

“Remember you’re not their parent, you’re not their therapist. You’re here to help them discover who they are and all other things they struggle with”

I wondered what my junior will be like (that’s how we call them apparently), and I actually asked my case coordinator if I could have a kid who’s only 6-10 years old. I seem to be having a little of trouble when I deal with older kids. I was initially paired up with a 13-year old kid who just recently moved here to Toronto. At first I didn’t have any problem with it but after some thinking, I grew hesitant because the worst case scenario will be me butting heads with this kid and I wouldn’t want that for the both of us. I already thought that as a disadvantage before even meeting the kid. My apologies if you think I’m a terrible person.

Then I was paired up with this kid who lives a block away from our place (I know, isn’t it perfect?). When I met up with him I found myself excited to finally be sharing my time with this kid even if it’s only for 3 hours a week. Our first activity happened just 2 days after the meeting and this kid’s brother apparently has a mentor already who also showed up for our water park getaway. It was a rather awesome yet surreal experience, especially it being my first with my junior. A child’s formative years is from infantry to age 5, and what happens after that is tricky. In my kid’s case, he wants someone to spend time with other than his brother and sister, he wants to look up to someone and he wants to play with that someone. The smile on this kid’s face when he sees me makes me feel giddy and fulfilled.

I know this is going to be tough and being a youth mentor is a thankless job but I believe that I can do this to the best of my abilities. I thank God for this experience. You can check out the org’s website and see if you can be of help. I cannot wait for more experiences with this kid honestly. It’s going to be an awesome year!

You have to eat here: THE BURGER’S PRIEST

Burger“Redeeming the burger one at a time”

Food trip Fridays are awesome! Me, Krista and Lovelle went to this new burger joint downtown and boy was that an experience like no other. That sounds a little over the top but you have to know, I like my burgers because for almost a year and a half now I’ve been working at a burger place & I grew fond of them.

You will know an unusual taste once you’ve eaten too many fast food items. Their burgers are so good! Even the bun, the toppings and sides! After my burger I ordered a root bear float (which I miss oh-so-much!) and it was the best one I’ve had in years! They even have a secret menu for which we didn’t know about when we went there! It was also packed because it was a Friday plus it rained:( We stayed for almost an hour because we enjoyed the meals so much and we even had to go for seconds and thirds. Recommended for everyone!

If you want to visit their website, you can head on straight to: http://www.theburgerspriest.com/

Movie Review: Fruitvale Station (2013)

fruitvaleNow I understand why this film captured the hearts of the Sundance crowd and won the jury prize. I was prepared to be indifferent about it despite the great reviews, but oh boy it hit me deeply and I was in tears.

Plot: Follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother (Octavia Spencer), whose birthday falls on New Year’s Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), who he hasn’t been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to Tatiana (Ariana Neal), their beautiful four year-old daughter. Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, Oscar starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day. Oscar’s life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area – and the entire nation – to its very core.

You know that feeling when you just walked out of the theatre but you wanted to collect yourself first but people keep walking past you? This was EXCELLENT in all levels. A very special film that was based on a youtube video about a young man that was arrested and eventually shot by a police officer on New Year’s eve. The movie follows Oscar Grant (played by the amazing Michael B. Jordan) as he goes about his final day and the people he met. The director surely made an unforgettable debut.

I can say that the performances are better than the movie itself. The cast was a-plus-mazing. Octavia Spencer gave me everything I ever wanted in life, while Melonie Diaz served! I wouldn’t be shocked if both of them won awards come the Oscars/SAG/Golden Globes season. Did I mention Michael B. Jordan’s terrific starmaking turn? He was absolutely amazing. Some of the scenes were superbly shot, and the script was just a dream. The ending provided us with the information we needed but that last scene with the girlfriend and the kid, was just, I can’t even.

Definitely one of the films you shouldn’t dare miss this year.

Movie Review: Only God Forgives (2013)

Only God ForgivesThis was quite the cinematic experience. And to think people walked out of the theatres because they couldn’t take whatever they were seeing, I have to say that this movie was pretty darn brilliant. I liked it.

Plot: Julian, who runs a Thai boxing club as a front organization for his family’s drug smuggling operation, is forced by his mother Jenna to find and kill the individual responsible for his brother’s recent death.

If you can look past the violence & the distasteful nature of this film, I’m sure you will consider it a masterpiece. Then again, it’s a slice of the pie, so you’re going to have to take it in no matter how disgusting and immoral you feel. THIS MOVIE IS CLEARLY NOT FOR EVERYBODY.

Purely falling under the style over substance category, it’s that type of film where you don’t care for the characters let alone for the thin story it tries to tell us. Disengaging yet I can’t say that’s a bad thing. I gotta say that I loved the location though, it was perfect. I want to go to Bangkok now! The lights and the hue of this film are just so stunning. Also the soundtrack, it was like I’m in a dream. I jumped a little in some scenes because I knew there was blood waiting to be shed, I had to cover my eyes, because I myself, couldn’t tolerate that much violence.

One more thing, Ryan Gosling’s eerie machismo creeped me out a little and Kristin Scott Thomas (this is the first time I’ve seen her in a film), oh boy have I become an instant fan. She played it perfectly! Vithaya Pansringarm, the Thai actor, was brooding and excellent. I admit, it was a little tough to watch but I’m glad that this film proved me wrong about the jeers it received at Cannes last May.

Beat the heat!

summerIt’s that time of the year again! Well, a season that many of us are excited about but some of us dread! Anyway, everyone should be ready to beat the heat especially this week, temperatures rise to all-time highs. The humidity is out of this world! We all better be prepared, or we’ll melt in this scorching summertime.

  • For stuff to wear, all of us know that a pair of sunglasses gets us a long way! The brightness of the sun as we either walk or commute could definitely affect our vision. While I don’t personally always use sunnies, I tend to squint my eyes whenever I wait for the bus or when I’m walking. I know that’s not healthy, but I should buy me a pair now!
  • Flip flops originate way way back to 4000 B.C (can you believe that), I bet they weren’t called flip flops then! But as time and civilizations went on, a lot of varieties have been created to suit people’s likings. The simpler the style the better, if you ask me.
  • Staples like umbrellas, straw hats and caps are also needed to shade ourselves from the heat. A small and foldable umbrella that could fit in our bags are very convenient while for hats and caps, we could always opt for something light on our heads.
  • Liquids! Oh boy, can you imagine the lineups at Starbucks and McDonalds whenever they have those cheap beverage promos? I bet you’ve been in one of those lines just waiting to quench your thirsts! I love me a good ol’ iced coffee, and a lot of people choose fountain drinks, I can’t say for certain that it’s necessarily healthy but it definitely gets us through! Most importantly, we should keep ourselves hydrated by taking in enough water! Nothing beats H20! Wait, I forget to put ice cream!!!
  • Let’s talk about sunscreens! In choosing the best ones, we always rummage around the shelves in the supermarket and pharmacies, trying to understand what these numbers mean but I’ll tell you this, for more than 75% of people, the best thing out there is SPF 15. While personal preference is also a factor we consider, it’s better to be aware than to just buy a brand we have grown to love.
  • Fans and air conditioners! I can’t stress enough how important these things are, because for about 3/4 of the year we don’t necessarily use them since the other seasons give us temperatures cold enough to not turn these appliances on but in the summertime, we tend to realize the importance of fans and air cons. For countries that don’t experience weather, these hardware are being used everyday and people are thankful for them.
  • When you find yourself bored and don’t feel like going out as you predict sweat is going to instantly come out of your body, you can always rely on a good book to get you through the day. I don’t always read books, but I consume my free time watching movies and writing, same should go for everybody, you need to waste your time creatively, doing what you love.

So there you have it! Anything else you feel that could be added to this list, let me know! Have a fun summer everybody!