Wandering About: Philippines 2009

Hello again! Wow, it has been a while since I’ve done one of these. This time, I decided to leave Europe for a while, I showed you pictures of my 2006 trips to Paris and Germany, now let’s go to the Philippines in 2009.


In the summer of 2009 I had just finished the practical part of my masters degree and realized that I wouldn’t be able to write it up until the following September, so while I took a year off to write and present my thesis, my older brother arranged an internship for me at his clinical analysis laboratory, doing general stuff  just to keep moving…

My mom, on her hand, had a work-related trip to the Philippines in October and had invited my older sister to go along with her (given that I go most of the times, and it was only fair that she got to go that time…). My sis was super happy, ecstatic even, until around one week before when she informed my mom that she wouldn’t be going. Now, my mom had everything paid for her, the trips, hotels, everything, so she sent me a text (at my first day of my non-paid internship) that said something like this: “Would you want to go to Manilla with me next week?”…

HELL YES! Right? Everyone at work was super cool with it, super cool, really!!! And a week later I was on my 3 stop flights to Manila with my mom’s business partner – Oh, how I wished I had gone alone… The journey was something like this: Lisbon – Madrid – Bangkok – Manila! It was so worth it!

We spent a few days in Manila, but I have to be honest, I saw little to nothing of the city. I got to the hotel – the Sofitel Hotel in Manila is, by the way, the best hotel I’ve stayed in in my whole life – bright and early in the morning, but my mom would only arrive late at night (because she was coming directly from Angola, Africa). So I checked into our room (suite, actually, because they had made her an upgrade), showered in one of our 2 bathrooms, received complementary food that I hadn’t asked for, and waited until midnight for my mother to arrive… without her suitcase!

From Manila I only saw the hotel, the shopping mall – my mom needed to buy stuff, she had no suitcase – and the house of her contact there… yep, I saw nothing more. And if you think that those pictures look a little dark, let me tell you, 2009 was bad year there, a lot of hurricanes… really bad weather… But the plan was never Manila! Actually, we were about to spend a week in paradise, and by that I mean Boracay!

The island is pretty small, the boats don’t even dock (see those pics where guys are carrying people?! Yes, that’s how we were supposed to get out of the boats, and how they transport our luggage) – I said screw it and jumped into the water, because I wasn’t about to let two man carry me anywhere…

I loved Boracay, it’s amazingly beautiful. We did nothing all day except lying on the beach, drinking watermelon juices and sleeping… The streets aren’t even wide enough for two cars to go by, so the tuc-tucs are the main form of transportation. We could go from our hotel to the shopping area by foot through the beach. We had dinner always at the same 3 places owned by the same person. It was heaven. Whenever I think of Paradise, this is it!

The Harry Potter 30 Days Challenge #24

Welcome back for the 24th day of The Harry Potter 30 Days Challenge! As you know by now, Leannaatc @Short Story Long had this idea of a month full of Harry Potter and you can find the prompt for each day here here.

the hp 30 days challenge

– Day 24: Which scene did wish was filmed, but wasn’t –

Obviously there are a lot of scenes that I wished had made their way into the movies, because they were epic. A lot of them has to do with whole plotlines, such as SPEW or Winky or Peeves or Firenze, that never made it into the movies. So, those would actually be a lot of scenes, and I won’t mention them again.

There are a few scenes that I wished has been done differently, two in particular come to mind, and it’s the kisses scenes. The kisses in the movie always came out as awkward, especially those between Harry and Ginny, and I wished that their first kiss in Half Blood Prince had been true to the book, you know, in the middle of the common room, with everyone around…

That movie-kiss bothered me more than Ron and Hermione’s first kiss in the movies – a scene that I also wished was just like the book, because the book-scene was awesome.

Another scene that I was had been included was the one that explained the life of Albus Dumbledore, and what had happened to his sister Ariana…

But the one that I really wished had been included and wasn’t, was Dumbledore’s funeral. I cried my eyes out on that particular moment of the book, because everyone that had been in the books so far was there to pay their respects to the amazing wizard and person that was Dumbledore. Even the merpeople! And the giant squid.

– Day 1: Favorite Book? – 

– Day 2: Favorite Movie? –

– Day 3: Is there anything in the film adaptations that annoyed you? – 

– Day 4: Who’s your least favourite female character and why? – 

– Day 5: Who is your favourite male character and why? –

– Day 6: Which house would you want to be in? –

– Day 7: Who’s your favourite female character and why? – 

– Day 8: What’s your favourite lesson from the series? – 

– Day 9: Who’s your least favourite male character and why? – 

– Day 10: Horcruxes or Hallows? – 

– Day 11: Which character would you say you are most like? – 

– Day 12: Favourite ship? –

– Day 13: Least favourite movie? – 

– Day 14: Team Voldemort or Team Harry? –

– Day 15: Pick three characters to be your best friends at Hogwarts? –

– Day 16: Expecto Patronum! What form does your Patronus take and why? –

– Day 17: Favourite Harry Potter Fan adaptation?

– Day 18: Least favourite book? –

– Day 19: Do you prefer the books or films? –

– Day 20: If you got to meet one member of the cast, who would it be? –

 Day 21: Pick one character to bring back from the dead –

– Day 22: Would you rather read only Harry Potter for the rest of your life, or never know it existed? –

– Day 23: Which scene (book or movie) made you cry the hardest 

Bout of Books 14: What to Read Next Challenge

Here we are, for the last day of the Bout of Books 14 Read-a-thon.


Today’s challenge is hosted by Sarah Reads too Much and this is the challenge:

For this Challenge, you need to recommend 3 books (and only 3 books) that you have read this year that you think should be recognized as something great – something everyone should have on their TBR list for this fall.  If you can, say a short little something about why you recommend these books.

I’m going for 3 books that not only did I read this year, but that also came out this year, from 3 different genres.

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I can’t praise this book enough. Everyone should read it, because not only does it has diverse characters and deals with issues of homosexuality and acceptance, but does it in a fun and light way, so that’s impossible not to have a smile on your face and fall in love with the characters.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

77493_originalThis New Adult Fantasy novel is just amazing. It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast done in a most wonderful way. Sarah J. Maas is a master with her words and world building, and this book will leave you wanting for more. More story, more of the characters, more everything.


This book, wow, all the love for this book. Felicia Day, the “Queen of the Geeks” pours her story, hard work and soul into this book, and the result is amazing. I loved to get to know her, I have a newfound respect for her and this is such an inspiring and acceptance driven book… you should read it.

Creative Blogger Award #2

Hello people!!! As you might know (or not), I have done this award before – you can read it here – but given that I was nominated multiple times again, I decided to to a second edition. This time the lovely bloggers Summer @Xingsings, Lia @BookLand and Kira @FieittyReads nominated me and I’m super touched, all of them run amazing blogs that you should definitely check out.

the creative blogger award_


The Creative Blogger Award

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • Share 5 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15-20 bloggers and add their links
  • Notify the bloggers you included
  • Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do!

5 Random Facts about me (more live facts… very up to date)

  • I procrastinate… a LOT, this month in general has been terrible… I know I have a lot of work, but the more I think about it, the more I don’t want to do it… it’s bad 😦

  • I hate living with people. Not even kidding! Roommates that aren’t your friends are the worst. I live with 2 guys and a girl that I’ve never seen, but man, one of those guys is messy and always puts things the wrong way in the kitchen and it drives me mad!

  • I look just like my dad! The only physical think I inherited from my mom is the curly hair (the crying at all movies and the same predisposition for diseases – it sucks!). I could have her blue eyes, but nop!!!

  • I have a degree in Biology (microbiology and genetics) and a Masters in Human Evolution. I’m currently in my last year of my PhD in Biodiversity and Anthropology. Working in Academia and doing research was always my dream!

  • My favorite movie when I was little was Gone With the Wind. I remember it was so large, that it was usually divided into 2 screenings on sequencial days, and it would generally air after midnight. So I, with 9 years old, would go into the living room, curl up in a blanket and stay until 3 a.m. watching it, a lot – it aired a lot when I was younger, now not so much. I haven’t seen it in ages, but that movie always made me fell good! I was not a normal child, I had watched Gone With the Wind more times than I could count, and it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I finally saw The Sound of Music!

Nominations (let’s go for 5)

If you’ve done this, like it’s probable, or you simply don’t want to do it, feel totally free to ignore this 😉