Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Tribute to a Hogwarts Professor

I made this video this afternoon out of the blue. I hope you'll like it. :) Snape is a hero.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

ALOHOMORA: A Look on How Harry Opened Doors in my Life


12:08am--7 minutes ago, the last book of Harry Potter was released: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and I'm pretty sure a number of people are already lined up now at Walmart and Borders to claim what they have long been anticipating.

Seven years ago, after I graduated elementary, I was a "kicked-out-of-the-top-ten" student who had no clue of what skill I possess, and it saddens me whenever we're asked to introduce ourselves and share what talents we have. I had nothing to share. I didn't know how to dance, sing, play an instrument, or eat live chicken (;D), I had NO interest whatsoever, so I just said that my talent is in drawing, although I know I'm really bad at it.

I felt worthless.

November 2001-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was shown. Dad heard it's phenomenal so we decided to watch it. Boy, I was mesmerized by Daniel Radcliffe. I can vividly recall that I was madly crushing on Westlife's Kian Egan and I felt "wrong" to "fall in love" with another boy. Next thing I knew, I was proclaiming Daniel's name in every corner of TSU Laboratory School, with matching scotch-tape-scar sticked on my forehead. I was so crazy about Harry Potter, or rather, DANIEL RADCLIFFE that I admit I've gone to great lengths to find money so that I can watch the film for the second time around, and see Dan again. I was so obsessed, and there's no doubt I was his biggest fan in our school at that time.

Back then, I didn't know how to use the internet. My cousin, Ate Dhang, once invited me to surf the net with her in the internet shop named "Cyberspace" (if I remember it right, this shop is no longer in existence now due to bankruptcy). I was in front of the computer, with no idea of what to do. Then, I saw the address bar, and remembered the Harry Potter website from its movie poster. So I typed: and pressed "Enter"

It was as if I was transported into another dimension-- the World Wide Web. It was then I discovered Yahoo! and learned to save pictures of Dan. I had approximately ten diskettes filled with Harry Potter pictures.

July 2002- My friend, Hiroko, gave me a Bloomsbury book of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. She knew I love Harry (or Daniel), so when her father sent her 2 copies of the book, she did not hesitate to give the other one to me. It was then I felt myself being plunged into Harry's world. It was one of the best feelings I had. My mind was wandering into the grounds of Hogwarts, seeking for the Chamber, wondering who Tom Riddle was and if he's really handsome. I finished the book, thinking about the events stated in the second book that were not in the first movie.

October 2002- Our second-year field trip, where one of our destinations is Uniwide Superstore (Science of Man and Aquatic Thingy). There, I purchased Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I HAD no idea this was the FOURTH book. While we were eating our lunch, I saw that my friend Tristan bought Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I asked him why he bought the fourth book, and he was like: "Huh? Third kaya ito". I showed him the book I bought and he said "Fourth kaya yan, tignan mo sa spine". True enough, it was the fourth book. Nevertheless, I still read it, without having a clue of who Sirius, Buckbeak, Pigwidgeon, Crookshanks, Professor Lupin, and Professor Trelawney were. I spent an almost sleepless night mourning on Cedric's death.

Jeen, another friend of mine, also knew how I love Harry (yes, it's Harry now, not Dan) and told me that she has the third book, and if I would like to borrow it. Well, who am I to say no? So there... I read the book in about a week and understood everything.

January 2003-First day of classes for the year 2003. Susan, another friend of mine, received Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as a Christmas gift. She let me borrow it and I was able to read the first book.

Finally, I have read the all the four books.

July 2003-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released, and Tristan was one of the first people in our campus who had it. I mustered all the skills I have and tried to persuade him to let me borrow the book. At first, I had to photocopy the first three chapters until he has finished reading it. After 2 readers who apparently were ahead of me in borrowing the book, I was able to read it aside the workload I had for our quarter exam. It was very devastating for me when I read the death of Sirius.

Harry Potter opened a whole new world of opportunities for me. Through it, I discovered my passion for writing. It's the reason for the VERY LARGE improvement in my English. When I was in third year high school, it gave me the courage to try out for our school newspaper, and much to my surprise when I was chosen to be one of the Editors. Harry Potter had a very significant contribution on how I wrote essays. It expanded my vocabulary and improved my grammar. I helped me find joy in writing. It inspired me to write poems-- something I thought I can never do. There was also an amount of vast joy when I saw my writings published on the school newspaper and see my name on the Editorial board. It was a dream come true. A dream I thought was nonexistent.

When I was in my senior year, I tried again for the school newspaper--and thank God I got the position I have always wanted. I wrote articles both inspired by the Holy Bible and Harry Potter.

I never saw Harry Potter as an invitation to an occult, and it never became a reason to doubt my faith. I saw Christian values embedded in the book--the value of unity, sacrifice, courage and friendship, and the power of LOVE--the foundation of all Christianity. Remember? It was LOVE that defeated the most powerful Dark wizard Voldemort.

I joined the Press Conference and fortunately, I won. My entries were all influenced by the Holy Bible and Harry Potter, except for the last one (which was based on my personal life). The choice between what is right and what is easy had been the core of most of my analysis. That was the main message of Dumbledore's speech on Cedric's death.

All of these, I owe to Harry Potter and of course, to God.

July 2005-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released. This time, I was already in college, and it was my classmate Charm who lent it to me. It was a huge burden to carry around the stairs of Saint Louis University, to tell you the truth, but it was worth it. I love the story, and again, grieved upon someone's death--this time, it was Dumbledore's.

I also tried for the University newspaper, not having a shred of expectation that I would be accepted, since it is a Nationally Acclaimed publication (it won the first place for the best University newspaper in the Philippines that year)and I just tried out for fun, and because Jay-R encouraged me to do so. "Wala namang mawawala sa'yo eh." My jaw just practically dropped when I saw my name posted on the lobby's blackboard and Tristan texted me, saying I got accepted (Tristan's layout Editor. Yoohoo!). Unfortunately, a week after our oathtaking, I received my Chemistry grade and it was not good-- that's why I decided to resign.

Six years after I got to know Harry Potter, I now face the last book of his life (darn, the song "It Only Reminds Me of You" suddenly began playing). I have pre-ordered the book at WalMart and I hope it will arrive soon. I have read the spoilers, and heard JK Rowling read a part of the first chapter. It suddenly occured to me that this is the end--the end of Voldemort, the end of Hogwarts, the end of the story. I completely understand why Rowling cried upon finishing the book. She treated Harry like an imaginary son, and finishing the last book of the series may seem as if she bade goodbye to a son who will never come back, and what's painful is that it was her who ended everything.

It hurts to imagine myself finishing the seventh book, and after reading the last page, I will close the book and heave a deep sigh. I know a lot of characters will be killed. I know a lot will be sacrificed, and I know that this closes the doors of Hogwarts--this will close the door of Harry Potter's life. We would not expect anything now. Reading the first six books will only deliver a flashback. It's sad to think that I will no longer have something to look forward to in the magical world of the boy wizard.

Goodbye Harry Potter; until we meet again.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Heart, Harry Potter and Havaianas


Simple things, a million thanks (to God)

Have you ever thanked God in prayer?

Most of us know how to thank Him--for our lives, for our loved ones, even for the pair of jeans mom gave. But have you ever tried praying without asking anything?

I myself have never done such thing. I pray, thanking God first, because I'm alive, my family's safe, etc..etc..then, I would ask Him for this, and this, and this. In fact, the time I spend saying my intentions are far longer than my acknowledgement. One of the reasons I do not pray without asking for something is because I'm afraid God won't give me something if I have stopped praying--and the safety of my family is the very first thing I ask of Him, and I don't want Him to stop providing that.

What a stupid reason.

I'm not saying that we should not ask Him for anything. What I'm trying to say is that we should at least banish the belief that God will kill us if we don't ask Him to keep us alive. Most people reason out that the misfortunes in their lives occur because they lacked, or failed in prayer. While those who feel have fulfilled the requirements of prayer, and deed, blame God.

Why do we measure God by how He answers our prayers? Why do we even measure His Godliness?

Sometimes, the occurrence of events I did not even ask for, and the absence of opportunities where I devoted a time of prayer seemed to point out a conclusion that God actually does not exist. But then again, I wake up to the realization that if a child can surprise her parents, what more pleasant shock can the Most Supreme give? Also, if we could say no, what might be the reason for God to not do the same thing? Besides, God's "no" usually meant better things than what we've asked for, and I know most of us have experienced this too.

* * *

For now, I want to thank Him for a number of simple things. One, for "telling" me how to operate this thing. Two, for helping me answer my assignment (2/3 down, 2 and 1/3 more to go! Procrastinate! Procrastinate! LOL). Three, for helping me recover that 2/3 of assignment I made in the last 2 hours (just when I thought I lost it and have to start over again). Four, for that ice cream bar I found "abandoned" in our freezer. Fifth, for this grape juice which I grabbed instead of a soda (diet daw) and lastly, for the resistance against sleep(ing again) which I just developed in the last few hours.

* * *


Composition 101

I promised myself to write (or type) ALL my blog entries (excluding those which would convey extreme anger ;D) in ENGLISH. This is to practice my English skills which, I think, is currently nonexistent.

I read my old blog entries (those I made when I was still studying in SLU) which mainly contained different forms of rants about Chemistry, Ana-Physio, and (the ultimate) Microbiology. I must admit that I'm not that good when it comes to writing, but I felt there's something considerably wrong about my current style of writing. Back in high school, I can construct an essay in less than an hour with only less than ten corrections. Now, it takes me about two and a half hours to write a simple essay--and with corrections NOT less than twenty. Also, my grammar is becoming worse (if you happen to find a sentence in this entry that's grammatically wrong,please tell me).

* * *

I bought this thing for two reasons:

First, to minimize the the time I'm spending in front of the computer, and spend more time on my studies. I admit that once, or twice, I found myself Googling modem cards and ways on how I can connect to the internet with this gadget. Then I shook the thought off. Besides, I wouldn't want to surf the net in the speed of Dial-up (not that I'm being sarcastic, but hey, we must admit that it is slow) which may take me an hour of just browsing around Friendster.

And second, to write (or type) my thoughts. I have been imagining myself sitting on the car's backseat, writing thoughts while on our way to downtown Rapid City. I'm glad I can finally do that now.

* * *

We're going to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix tomorrow. We're supposed to watch this movie Friday night, but thanks to my Speech Criticism assignment, I had to postpone the event. This is the first time I'm going to watch a movie in this country, and I hope we won't "get lost".

I surfed the internet, looking for some pictures which may give me an idea of how the moviehouse looks like, because it puzzles me on how seven cinemas can fit into a small theater. If you have watched some episodes of Disney Channel original shows (That's So Raven, Hannah Montana) you would see that their theater seemed tad too small. But of course, the staff's not stupid enough to fit a hundred chairs inside their studio; what on earth am I thinking?

I'm certainly not looking forward for Cho and Harry's kiss. I just hope I won't see people kissing personally while watching the film. :)

* * *

This is the only "free night" I have for this week, and I found it productive to spend it creating a blog entry. Ate Tina, my cousin went online a while ago and told us that Inang's in our--i mean their :D--house, so we talked with them via Y!M, with both our webcams on. Darn, I miss them so much. I just Photoshopped a picture of me and my cousins (on my fifth birthday) this afternoon. It's nice to look back at the time when they were in my age. Kuya Joseph was thinner, Ate Jessel had no fashion sense, Kuya Vannie did not know hair gel exists, Kuya Ryan did not know how to pose for the camera, Ate Thea's the master of the toy "Magic Spring" and Ate Edang's hair was straight-er (and I am still as cute as evah. LOL).

* * *

I am mortally afraid of insects that can fly (with the exception of butterflies), and when I came out of the shower a while ago, I saw this black grasshopper-like-but-much-much-smaller thing on the bathroom counter. I froze while its antenna were moving up and down, as if saying "Alert! Alert! Don't even dare come near and kill me." Well, I didn't get near it, nor even thought of slamming it with my slippers. I just let it go on with its business. I brushed my teeth and when I glanced at the countertop again, it was gone. I hurriedly ran my fingers through my hair. Who knows, it might be on me and planned to sleep on my pillow *shudders*.

* * *

Well, I guess that's it for now. It's 12.33am and I have to sleep.

This gadget is the best one I have ever purchased online. I'm happy I thought twice first before buying an iPod. This thing works like a laptop, organizer, calculator, video and music player all rolled into one!


Harry Potter 5

On our way to Carmike 7, the local theater downtown.

I don't know if it's just me, but it seemed that watching Harry Potter is a curse for me. I most certainly hope the "curse" won't affect my speech grade. NoOoOoO!!! It can't.

As much as I would like to write this blog while watching Harry Potter, the reminder before the trailer to turn off cellphones made me desist. Also, I don't want to annoy my seatmate and all the other moviegoers.

Before sharing my thoughts about the movie, I would like to share this line I heard from one of those movie trailers:

"Even the smallest light shines in the dark".

Those were not the exact words. But I think it still conveyed the same meaning.

Okay, we now move on to the movie: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I have to warn you that this may contain spoilers.

The movie went "too fast". One second, Harry's in Privet Drive, the next one, he's already in Grimmauld Place. There seemed NO explanation whatsoever of what was happening, which will definitely disappoint people who haven't read the book. I mean, hello! Some people watch the film adaptation so that they don't have to read the books. What's the use of the film if you have to read the novel to understand it? Mom's one of those people. While we were watching, she was always asking me who were the characters and what earth they doing there. I just gave her a "Mamaya, Ma. Kailangan kong magconcentrate. :D" Second, there was no proper introduction of the characters. While I absolutely adore Tonks, there was no explanation of who she is. And why was Lupin not in the scene when they rescued Harry in Privet Drive? And where is Mundungus Fletcher?! Third, Quidditch, one of the most anticipated parts of the story was NOWHERE in the movie, and there was no "Weasley is our King", and Ginny becoming the new seeker. Fourth, I certainly think they MUST replace Mr. Michael Gambon as Dumbledore. HE CANNOT PLAY THE PART, and he seemed proud to say that he hasn't been reading the books to help him in his portrayal. MR. GAMBON, I SUGGEST YOU RECONSIDER THAT STATEMENT AND READ! You do not justify Dumbledore's role! Well, the upside of that is that I won't feel sad when I see him die in the 6th installation. Fifth, I also adore Grawp. Sixth, I so looooooove Luna Lovegood a.k.a Evanna Lynch! She is perfect for the role! Seventh, I am totally disappointed with Sirius Black's death scene. Why the heck did they remove the sound of Harry's scream and replaced it with music? It should have been more dramatic. It should have made me cry. It didn't. Eighth, I am totally mesmerized with the Ministry of Magic scene in the end, especially in the scene where Voldy & Dumby were dueling. Ninth, I am rooting for the Ron-Hermione love team and I'm glad this movie showed development with regards to their relationship. Lastly, I would like to comment on Cho and Harry's kissing scene. WHY ON EARTH DID IT TAKE THAT LONG?! I THOUGHT IT WOULD ONLY BE LIKE A SMACK OR SOMETHING?! DARN YOU DAVID! AND IT TOOK THEM WHAT? 30 TAKES! Pssssshhhhhhhh..

All-in-all, I give this movie 8/10. The best movie for me in the series is still the second movie: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Then, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, followed by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, then this film, and obviously, the film I like the least is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Five down, two to go! (Geez, I don't want these to end. :( )

Anyway, we're here now at Scheel's and I could not believe that mom is actually considering buying a pair of Havaianas (because her home slippers are already causing her feet to ache).. Wait. She's buying a pair of Havaianas. She offered me to buy myself a pair too, but I hesitated because I promised myself not to buy such expensive stuff.

"Bumili ka na kasi, diba sabi mo,matibay naman 'to".

"Ay naku, Ma. Kahit po kasingtibay yan ng bato, tsinelas at tsinelas pa rin yan. Ang mahal mahal! Ok na po yung tsinelas ko sa bahay."

"Hay, bahala ka ngang bata ka". :D

* * *

I still have to think of an indictment/persuasive speech topic. Do you have any suggestions?

* * *

I recently bought Bob Ong's ABNKKBSNPLAKO for inspiration. Wey quoted a few lines from the book and it helped me realize some things. I'm planning to purchase his other book, Stainless Longganisa, after Summer Semester.

* * *

I'm off to do my Composition101 assignment. I hope I'd be okay with my English now.