#Throwback: The Happy Lemon Experience

Back in 2012, milk tea shops are sprouting everywhere in the Metro, and in some provincial areas too. It was also around that time when I started having a milk tea fix almost every week (courtesy of the budget-friendly Bubbatealicious).

Eventually, I decided to level up and had a cup of lemon-orange fruit tea at a Happy Lemon branch in SM City North EDSA on my 22nd birthday (exactly six years ago at the time of this post), right after an exhausting mall-hopping trip in Ayala Center. Prior to this, I’ve never tried any milk tea and fruit tea drinks from any milk tea shops aside from Bubbatealicious so this really paved the way for me to try out other milk tea shops, particularly Gong Cha and Chatime.

Happy Lemon is a chain of tea shops that serve milk tea, fruit tea, and smoothies. It is known for their green tea with rock salt and cheese drinks, which doesn’t need a straw for you to enjoy drinking it. They also have bubble waffles too, though I haven’t tried it yet. In the Philippines, most of its branches are located inside malls.

Well, as mentioned earlier, I ordered a cup of lemon-orange fruit tea. Basically, almost all drinks have sinkers, like pearls or nata de coco (I can’t exactly recall the sinkers used in my drink, but I’m pretty sure it’s the latter). Anyway, I sat down and enjoy the drink. I also took a few selfies, with the Uniqlo tarp as the background. It sure was a pleasurable moment that leads me to this kind of obsession. And yes, I got a stamp card too, only I didn’t get to fill it up.

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Ten months later, in August 2013, I find myself enjoying a drink at a Happy Lemon branch in SM Aura Premier’s Skypark on a stormy Saturday afternoon. This time, I had green tea with rock salt and cheese, which was then a (cheesy) craze. I was then hoping for the said tea shop to open a branch in SM Fairview. Much to my surprise, they finally opened a branch there in mid-2014, first in front of Forever 21 in the Main Building and later transferred to the Annex 2 building, in front of the entrance.

It’s been a long time since I had a drink from Happy Lemon. Maybe I’ll probably have another cup of green tea with rock salt and cheese very soon.

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i150W: Red And Black, Revisited

Red and black are two of my favorite colors, and they go well together. It didn’t take some discovery to find out that these two colors do match in some aspects.

Basically, black can be paired with any color. But since I love red, I decided to pair it with black and it becomes a powerful color combination.

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In my previous post, I already featured my fascination with these two colors. Anyway, it all started when I decided to wear a red shirt and black slacks, and that’s how I become fascinated with this color combination.

Black represents formality, mystery, and sophistication, while red represents courage, love, and energy. Mysteriously energizing, indeed. And while these two colors look nice on my outfits and creative design projects, it may not be pleasing to the eyes.

Red and black. It’s more than just a powerful color combination, but also a colorful fascination.

I Have My Own Personal Issues, So What? [E]

The writer with an attitude, that’s what I often describe myself. But of course, some of you simply wouldn’t buy it because I don’t actually look like it. Oh well, whatever.

In case you’re not aware, I tend to get pretty temperamental depending on the situation. I always try my best to be friendly at all times and avoid anything that will tarnish my reputation as a writer. Okay, I may not be that popular, but I’m pretty much concerned with the fact that there are some nosy people who are snooping in other people’s business. What’s worse, they have this nasty habit of digging up something unpleasant from a person’s private life and spreading it around like a news item. Yes, a person’s life is like a book, but not everything in that book is meant to be read by anybody. In other words, anything private should be kept private at all times.

All right, so I’ll just let you in on some of my possible personal issues that I’m currently dealing with right now. Just don’t you dare fabricate everything you read on this post, or else I’ll do anything to shut you up. I’m pretty serious here.

The Writer With A [Bad] Attitude

I’m pretty much a temperamental person in some ways, courtesy of my perfectionism and my inherited bad attitude from my dad. First of all, I do have a tendency to talk back to elders (especially to my dad), something that can raise a red flag for disrespect. So yeah, I’m pretty much like that at times, but not to the ones I truly care about.

I also tend to show my rebellious side at times, since I always felt that I’m clearly at a disadvantage due to my inability to assert my authority. I grudgingly follow orders and I show my disdain for the people who order me around like a slave. The last thing I need is getting yelled at by some annoying elder with a bad attitude, especially for no reason at all.

And while I’m at it, I can be pretty straightforward with my statements and decisions. If I hate you so much, then I can say it straight to your face and walk off. If I don’t like something, I can probably tell them outright. And if I refuse their requests and invitations, then you can’t convince me to change my mind that easily.

Tendency To Rant

If a pen is mightier than a sword, then words are more powerful than actions. Anyway, I’m more inclined to write a bunch of emotional and offensive stuff in writing rather than saying it out loud. Well, I may have written some potentially offensive posts like my recent TWATKRant post (on my blog’s Tumblr counterpart), but I think I can do something better than that… I mean, more offending than that.

Writing about my personal angst is, well, okay, but writing pretty offensive stuff is something else. Regarding the latter, I just couldn’t help ranting about the terrible things people did to me in the past and so, this is my way of getting back at them. These offensive posts are generally directed towards the people I hate the most. And…

A Great Deal Of Animosity

…I’m also good at holding grudges, which is something that I’m not really proud of. In fact, it is actually one of the reasons for having this feeling of insecurity towards my enemies and an inevitable case of depression. And since there are some people who did this on purpose just to make my life miserable, I deserve the right to shun them out of my life for good.

A perfect example of this is the expression of hatred towards my annoying fourth-year high school classmates (IV-Chromium) who made my life extremely miserable during that time. While I usually play along with them at first, they eventually did a lot of mean things to me. They never even apologized for their actions, hence I decided that I’ll get back at them someday, which I did. I know that I’m gonna have an issue with these people in the end, so I was wondering if they’re saying something bad about me behind my back. Knowing them, they’ll probably hesitate to make up with me, which is great.

Well, aside from my annoying fourth-year high school classmates, there are other people that I really hate so much that I might call them a bunch of names, as well as making sure that I avoid running into them. If ever I’m gonna have an issue with these people, then they don’t have the right to criticize me for my unjust actions. Besides, they’re the ones who started this so they deserve to experience a great deal of damage for their actions.

Online Annoyances

The online world is getting really dangerous due to the proliferation of trolls and bashers. Luckily, I’ve not yet experienced this harsh online treatment by some netizens, but I decided to refrain from engaging in some heated online debates and sensitive topics such as religion and politics. Also, I already set some of my social media accounts to private so you won’t be able to gain access to my profile.

I have no problems with social media influencers, online marketers, weeaboos, and K-pop fans on the internet. What’s actually getting on my nerves these days are the social media posts asking for likes and shares, attention seeking posts, and chain letters. And of course, people who keep adding me to some Facebook groups and chat groups without my prior approval. I’ve already unfriended a couple of friends because of that.

As a blogger, I’m aware of those who followed me on my blog sites. It’s just that I’m not fond of some indecent followers who are targeting single men and showing nude pics on their Tumblr accounts. The same thing goes for my Twitter account. I just don’t want them infiltrating my online space, so I simply block them. And of course, I have to deal with a lot of spam comments on my blog posts, which are obviously sent by a bot. Thanks to the anti-spam plug-in called Akismet, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting spam comments on my blog posts.

And one more thing, I don’t like arrogant bloggers who handled guest comments in an unprofessional manner. If you’re that kind, then I suggest that you just remove the comments unrelated to the topic at your discretion and post guidelines on how they should comment on your posts. It’s understandable that there are some bloggers who don’t like being spammed with unnecessary remarks or hoaxes, but in such cases, it’s best to be nice to your followers at all times.

Annoyed By Slow, Terrible Service

It’s not easy working as a customer service representative, I tell you. In my two months of experience as a call center employee in training, I’ve already dealt with some rude and demanding customers and their problems that need complicated solutions. Of course, we’re not allowed to be rude towards them. Otherwise, we’ll lose our job.

It’s easy to vent our frustrations at customer service agents, cashiers, and people working at government agencies for their slow, inefficient service. After all, we deserve something better. But in my case, I don’t often see why would they have to remain committed to their inefficient way of providing service to the people. I mean, it’s bad enough that the long lines in some counters are a bad sign that they’re going to waste your time falling in line and wait for your turn. For me, that’s just plain unacceptable.

Many times, I feel like calling out to a person working behind a counter for being slow and inefficient in their job. Yeah, I’m being inconsiderate at times but I just can’t help it. After all, patience is no longer a virtue… it’s a disappointment.

Proceeding With My Own Plans

Whenever I go out, I always plan everything in advance so everything goes smoothly in the end. But there are some things that can ruin your plans, such as traffic, bad weather, service interruptions, and a long line of people in counters, terminals, and train stations. Of course, unexpected last-minute invitations or friend visits can disrupt your planned trip, which is kind of annoying.

If things didn’t go as planned, then expect me to rant about various things such as how worse the traffic is, how terrible the service is, how frustrating it is to wait for a PUV (public utility vehicle) just to get a ride to my destination, and so on. I don’t care what people around me will say about blurting out such an angry message, it’s just that I couldn’t stand poor management and bad service.

I’m pretty much obsessed with scheduling everything according to my preference and I always make sure to stick with it at all times. If anyone tries to ruin my plans with your last-minute invites, then prepare to receive a rude response from me along with a resounding no for an answer. Okay, so this only applies to my friends and acquaintances, otherwise I’ll just think of a better excuse to accept or not to accept the invite, and so on.

Postscript

Well, here are some of my personal issues that deal with my annoyances and bad attitude. Think you can make it worse with your rude reactions?

It’s bad enough that I’m suffering a great deal of anxiety because of these annoying people in my life, please don’t make it worse. Besides, I can do fine without you calling me out for my [bad] attitude, so just leave it at that and focus on the good side of me. You see, I’m not that bad after all.

What It Means To Be A Loner?

Some people will never understand what being a loner is like until they experience it themselves.

Well, it takes strength and courage to endure being a loner. Sometimes, there are breaking moments. But in the end, it’ll just be the same.

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Being a loner is either a matter of choice or as a result of being ostracized from a group. Choosing the option to be alone can be helpful for those who need a break from the pressures of social life, especially if you don’t feel like hanging out with your classmates, friends, or co-workers. But being forced to be a loner due to the fact that they’re being ostracized by your peers is something to be concerned about. In fact, loneliness can be deadly if you end up feeling depressed and hopeless.

If being a loner is a choice, then you enjoy the comfortable feeling of solitude, away from the pressures of your social life. While it’s not a bad idea to spend time with your friends, it’s better to set aside some time for yourself in order to relax and to give yourself a chance to enjoy a variety of things and activities all by yourself.

If being a loner is a result of being rejected and ostracized by your peers, then there’s something wrong with the people who exclude you from the group. What they don’t realize is that ostracism can have a damaging effect on a person’s emotional and psychological well-being, and there’s a possibility that they can never fully recover from it.

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The moment you are being ostracized by your peers, you’d probably be wondering why are they doing this to you even though you did nothing wrong. Then all of a sudden, you feel all alone now, without someone to help you cope with this emotional rejection. At times, your loneliness can turn your world upside down, like a ship passing through a treacherous ocean on a stormy night.

At first, it was heartbreaking. Just imagine a group of friends leaving you behind like a trash for no particular reason at all, after all these years of friendship. You started experiencing a great deal of anguish just because you’re no longer a part of the circle. If you try to approach them, they’ll end up ignoring you or pushing you away since you’re no longer their friend. Worse, you’ll end up getting bullied and struggling to endure the pain of being humiliated and insulted by others.

As time passes by, you started developing a fear of being rejected and would rather think twice before you start approaching anyone. You’ll probably meet some nice people later on, but the bad experiences you’ve experienced in the past may serve as a barrier to making new friends. And even if you did, you’ll end up being the quiet, shy type who seldom joins conversations and may end up being forgotten by your so-called new friends. They won’t even bother asking how are you feeling up to these days. In other words, you’re now a misfit.

So what now? You’ve experienced getting rejected and ostracized by your peers in the past, and now you’re struggling to make (and keep) new friends. What luck you’re having right now. And now that your new friends didn’t really care much about you, then it’s time to accept the fact that you’ll be a loner for the rest of your life. Just the thought of it can really make you feel hopeless and depressed, and there’s no way to get yourself out of this loneliness. Either you’ll live with it or you’ll plan your own death.

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Well, being a loner sure has benefits.

Looking on the bright side, at least you wouldn’t have to worry about peer pressure. As you can see, the ones who rejected and ostracized you are eventually lured into the life of gaming, drinking, promiscuity, and other bad habits that you’ll otherwise pick up had they not abandoned you. Also, there’ll be no one to visit you in an unexpected manner, and they’ll never ask you to treat them even if you don’t want to. You’ll never have to worry about spending a lot of money on your friends’ food and drinks, and even gifts. Some people might think that you’re pretty selfish about this kind of thinking, but that’s the way it goes.

And since you’re no longer comfortable being with (a lot of) people owing to years of being a loner, you’ve finally embraced introversion. That means you’re no longer comfortable with having friends (if you have one) come over your place and would rather be hiding in the attic or your room than entertaining them.

As a loner, you get to enjoy a lot of things by yourself rather than with a group of friends. But of course, it feels awkward in certain situations, such as attending events or having a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant… all by yourself.

There are a lot of good things waiting for a loner, except falling in love and starting a family. But if ever someone managed to lure you out of this loneliness, then it’s definitely a life-changing experience for you and there’ll be a lot of things for you to catch up on, like hanging out with your new friends and doing a lot of group activities… with your participation, of course.

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It’s funny how I managed to live this lonely life without interacting with my friends for so long. Well, it is the result of being ostracized by my classmates back in elementary, and it carried over to high school and college. And since I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll become a loner for the rest of my life, I completely lost my ability to make new friends and I’m no longer fond of approaching people (like salespersons or friends) just to ask for help or to gain their attention.

I may be happy with my life now as a loner, but I started feeling depressed due to the fact that there’s no one else I can talk to aside from my family and relatives. Sometimes, I was wondering if I was really looking down at myself just because my response to these rejections are mostly negative.

Some of you might think that I’m making this up. Apparently, you don’t have a clue what being a loner is like, since you’d probably spent your entire life hanging out with your friends that you think loners like me don’t actually exist. Well, I envy you for having such an active social life, while I’m spending my time in front of a computer feeling insecure and lonely while checking out my social media accounts and surfing the internet. Now, what will you do to encourage loners like me to go out and socialize with others? Nothing, because some of you don’t even care.

So what does being a loner mean to me? It can only mean one thing: freedom. Freedom from the unwanted people in your life, freedom from big expenses (particularly on treats for your friends), freedom from the trouble they’ve caused you, and freedom from peer pressure. Conformity is bullshit, just be yourself and stop forcing others to like you. That’s all that matters if you’re still struggling to come out of this lonely life and start socializing with others off the internet.

Again, it takes strength and courage to endure being a loner, but not everyone can survive this loneliness. After all, no man is an island.

i150W: Weekends Are More Fun

I love weekends, especially Saturdays. Well, I’m pretty sure some of you love weekends too.

We often look forward to great weekends because it is the only time we can take a break from the usual busy life. It could be a weekend getaway or strolling in the park… maybe sitting in a café and having a cup of coffee while reading your favorite book. The possibilities are endless.

So what makes weekends more fun? Is it the activities? Or maybe the weather?

There are a lot of things to do on a weekend. But of course, the most common way to enjoy the weekend is to spend some quality time with your family. Aside from that, you can have a nice cup of coffee, go somewhere, watch a lot of shows and read a lot of books… and it doesn’t stop there.

You deserve a break. Enjoy the weekend.

The Wonders And Dangers Of Escapism

Reality is harsh. I know it is. At times, I really need a break from reality and let my mind slip into the world of fantasy just to lure myself out of this unpleasant situation.

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The moment you step out of that fantasy world, the anxiety of real life comes into view. Sometimes, you wish you’d never wake up from a strange, fantastic dream. But of course, there’s always a need to go back to your ordinary, boring life. So there comes the daydreaming, wishing you were still trapped in your own fantasies and never let reality pull you back to your senses.

Well, escapism is intentional detachment and distraction from the real world.^ It gives us a chance to escape from the harsh reality of life. It’s more of letting your mind wander off the [usual] stressful environment and jump into a dreamy, more relaxing environment, even for just a short while. It gives you a moment to recharge your batteries before stepping back into the real world. Escapism can be achieved through reading books, playing games, watching TV shows and movies, listening to music, and even daydreaming. And perhaps, even a trip to the cafe and enjoy a slice of cake while enjoying a sunny afternoon and getting lost in your thoughts is also a form of escapism.

Everyday life can be stressful, upsetting, and at times depressing, hence there’s always a need for us to drift into the comfort of escapism and clear our mind of our emotions and unwanted thoughts. After a momentary period of escapism, you return to the real world (and your problems) with a fresh mind, enabling you to concentrate on your work without any worries.

While escapism may be good for the brain, too much of it is bad. First of all, it makes it harder for you to switch back to your usual routine, especially if you’re caught up in la-la-land, and may often lead to laziness and procrastination. Second, you tend to lose touch with reality, preferring the wonders of your imaginative, pretentious (sometimes make-believe) fantasy to a boring, ordinary life. And lastly, it can only make things worse if you keep spending a lot of time escaping your problems instead of finding solutions to it.

It’s not bad for a person to escape from the harsh realities of life every once in a while, but there’s no escaping your problems. Escapism is simply a break from the stressful and depressing life in order for you to clear your mind of any unnecessary thoughts, and giving your brain a chance to rest so it can function well the moment you start working on something again.

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Reality is harsh. I know it is. Every one of us needs to undergo a lot of challenges in life so we can test our ability to pinpoint our problems and overcome life’s struggles. But when things got too intense, remember that there’s always a need for us to drift off to a relaxing world of escapism and clear your mind of unnecessary thoughts that prevent you from thinking clearly.

Remember, a little dose of escapism is fine, but having large doses of it isn’t.

i150W: The Last Four Months Of The Year

It’s September already, marking the start of the Christmas season in the Philippines.

We have the longest Christmas celebration in the world. As early as September, most homes and establishments are getting decorated for the holidays, and Christmas songs are being played almost everywhere, especially in malls.

Around this time, the weather starts to get better and colder, with occasional rains and a few thunderstorms throughout the last few months of the year. It is the best time to bring out your jackets and scarves, as well as taking a sip of hot drinks and hot soups to get through this cold weather.

Aside from the Christmas season, there’s the Halloween by the end of October. For a while, some establishments are setting up creepy decors, but after that, it’s back to Christmas decors once again.

Well, it sure keeps getting cheerful for the most wonderful time of the year.

Anime Shows Are More Interesting Than Other TV Shows, Period

First row: Daisuke Niwa of D.N.Angel | Eren Yeager of Attack On Titan | Kirito and Asuna of Sword Art Online | Kaneki and Hide of Tokyo Ghoul
Second row: Sakura Kinomoto of Cardcaptor Sakura | Sakura, Naruto and Sasuke of Naruto | Izuku Midoriya a.k.a. Deku of My Hero Academia | Kei Nagai of Ajin: Demi-Human

Am I the only one who finds anime more interesting than other TV shows? Perhaps not. Anyway, let’s get on with this post.

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For many years, anime is (and will always be) a part of my happy childhood. Some of you may not admit this, but I’m pretty sure you also feel the same way.

Nowadays, there aren’t much anime shows aired on FTA (free-to-air) TV channels (excluding the digital subchannels). If there is one, then I’m pretty sure they’re more likely to air re-runs of popular anime like Detective Conan, One Piece, or Bleach. As for the digital sub-channel that airs some anime (along with cartoons and kid-oriented shows), they’re only exclusive to a specific brand of set-up top black box.

While there are some dedicated anime channels on cable and satellite TV, you need to subscribe in order to watch them. There used to be a Filipino-dubbed anime channel on cable TV, but unfortunately, it ceased airing early this year due to lack of advertiser support, with some of the ongoing anime shows on the now defunct channel will be aired soon on a digital subchannel of a major TV network. Online, there are some sites that let you watch anime shows, but is often restricted to certain regions and may require a subscription and/or registration. Anime channels on cable and satellite TV and some legit streaming sites offer a choice of original Japanese dub with English subs or an English dub, so these should suffice.

Now, why the lack of anime programming on FTA TV channels? First, acquiring broadcast rights to anime shows can be pretty expensive, and second, there are certain elements such as excessive violence, nudity, and a few others that can’t be shown on TV.

Anyway, with the lack of anime programming on FTA TV channels, there are some people wishing to bring back anime on afternoons. But the thing is, teledramas (television drama shows) and some Asian drama shows are already dominating the afternoon block, and talk shows and fantasy series are dominating the morning block, meaning that the only way to watch anime shows on free TV is on weekends, particularly Saturdays.

I don’t watch TV nowadays except for news and some public affairs programs so I don’t have any idea about the anime shows airing on these major TV networks. All I know is that anime is already a dying breed on TV owing to the rise of online streaming sites.

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So what makes anime shows more interesting than any other TV programs?

First of all, the cool-looking animation, the story (whether adapted from its manga counterpart or not), and the characters can really entice some of the viewers into watching these shows. Since some anime shows generally feature adolescents and teenagers as characters, they actually make it more appealing for the younger (and older) audiences to watch. It doesn’t matter whether it’s action, sports, romance, supernatural, or slice of life anime series, as long as the plot is good enough for them to keep tuning in.

Second, anime shows are getting more diverse than before. And with a lot of anime shows being produced in the recent years, there’s no shortage of interesting anime shows to watch. So it’s not all about the superpowers, high school romance, and giant (mecha) robots or machines that you’re watching nowadays, but almost everything.

And finally, the emotions in some anime shows are far more relatable and realistic than the ones in TV dramas. Also, some anime soundtracks (particularly the ones used as the opening and ending theme songs) are generally upbeat, and at times, emotional, and are far more enjoyable to listen to (though not much in my case). And don’t forget the anime scores, especially the ones that are played during some memorable scenes.

Nothing against TV dramas, but while they are popular with some of the viewers, there’s always the possibility of recycling some parts of the show’s script for another (similar) drama series. Major TV networks air drama series that feature the usual rivalry of the protagonist and the antagonist, intense scenes such as on-screen confrontations and fights, sensuality, third-party relationships, infidelity, and revenge, enough to burn out some of the viewers. I simply find them too boring to watch, no matter how great these kinds of shows are produced.

As for the rest… well, other than the afternoon and primetime teledramas, I can’t say much about comedy shows, game shows, and lifestyle shows, as these are what I typically watch aside from news and anime.

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Well, am I the only one who’s more interested in watching anime than any other TV shows? Of course, not.

There are others who binge-watch anime for hours, and some of them take their fascination with anime to a whole new level—including writing fan fiction, drawing fan art, buying anime-related merchandise, as well as accumulating an insane collection of anime figures, manga, and DVDs/Blu-ray discs of their favorite anime series and attending anime conventions and otaku events. For me, anime is not just a simple fascination or obsession, but it’s also a part of our lives.

But the lack of anime programming on FTA TV channels (excluding digital subchannels) will surely disappoint some of the anime fans and otakus who don’t have access to cable/satellite TV and some legitimate online streaming sites just to watch some cool anime shows. There’s Crunchyroll at least, but with limited availability of anime shows outside of North America (mainly due to geographical restrictions), and you’ll need premium membership for ad-free and high definition versions of anime, as well as simulcasts of newly aired anime one hour after its original Japanese broadcast. Completely deprived of such anime cravings, they might resort to illegal streaming sites or torrent downloads just to watch their favorite anime. Others would content themselves with replays of “classic” anime shows, even though some of them are getting tired of it and are wishing for some new anime shows to air on free TV. Right now, for those who don’t have access to cable or satellite TV, online streaming sites are the only way to watch these cool anime shows.

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Call me a weeb, but I love watching anime shows and I really can’t part with it. Besides, I tend to discover a lot of great anime since three years ago, and I ended up with a long list of anime to watch. It’s so hard to keep up, to be honest.

And by the way, if you think anime is for kids, then think again. Maybe you haven’t heard of hentai or yaoi anime, and these are strictly for mature audiences just so you know. Not to mention that there are certain elements which are not suitable for young audiences, such as nudity and violence. Of course, anime is generally targeted towards adolescents and teenagers, but it is actually meant to be enjoyed by everyone.

#Throwback: Weird Fifth Grade

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I don’t know why I call my fifth-grade weird, but I’m pretty sure it is. At least, it’s not as depressing as fourth-grade, but I still have bad luck when it comes to making friends.

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It happened seventeen years ago, in 2001. That was the time when Detective Conan (Case Closed) and After War Gundam X started airing on Philippine TV every weekday afternoons. It is also the time when my mom just had her very first cell phone, a Nokia 3210, where I often play Snake, compose a ringtone, or compose a text message and saved it in the phone’s outbox. Well, regarding my fifth-grade memories, I always had this weird feeling whenever I explore the school, especially during a light to heavy rainfall. This weird feeling would soon become a weird make-believe fantasy, and it gives me an awkward feeling every time I think about it.

Now, what is that weird feeling I’m experiencing? It’s kind of unexplainable at the moment, but I believe it has anything to do with the area near the restrooms, as well as the view of the houses from the school grounds. I always tend to imagine a make-believe character getting sick or waking up from a nightmare and playing these scenes over and over in my mind. These weird feelings I’m experiencing are partly due to these anime shows I’ve watched at the moment. It really triggers my ability to create characters and scenes in my head, and that might serve as a basis for a planned story I’ve been trying to write about. Some sort of imagination I had back then…

September 2001. I participated at the Palarong Pinoy as a sungka player during that time, and these weird thoughts keep coming to my head. Somehow, the thought of waking up on a Saturday morning and meeting up with the rest of the participants at the school grounds before daybreak seems kind of weird. Oh well, it’s just me as a first-timer to join inter-school events (and the only time I did). It happened during the first and second day of the event (the three-day event is only held every Saturdays). And for the next two Sundays, I always request for a sumptuous feast of scrambled egg, fried rice, and [instant] chicken noodles for breakfast. Since I got eliminated on the second day of the event, everything goes back to normal… at least for a moment.

On the day of the school intramurals, everything gets a little boring since I’m not involved in any of the sports events, probably except for cheering on my schoolmates. Anyway, my boredom sure does get intense midway through the event so I tend to roam around the school campus, check some of the classrooms and books lying around, and think of weird thoughts about the classrooms near the covered court/stage and the storage area behind the classrooms.

Of course, there were some scary (supernatural) threats from some of my classmates, and I think it’s considered a form of bullying rather than a case of simple weirdness, as it involves intimidation from fellow students. I guess this is where my anxiety intensified, and that’s how my academic performance suffered and I was already off the list of top students. I don’t know if I should panic about the threats, my poor academic performance, or both. To be honest, there’s nothing weird about this part, just some supernatural-influenced scare tactics.

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I still have mixed feelings about that school year. Yes, I may have met a lot of new classmates in that combined class, but it’s basically the same as fourth-grade… sort of. But this is where my weird thoughts blossomed (and later incorporated) into my not-so-normal life.

The main campus of that school looked like an appropriate setting for a young adult novel, the one where the main character experienced the horrors of dealing with bullies and terror school teachers. But then, I don’t always look at it the same way as what I’ve just mentioned. Besides, that’s where I graduated from elementary and it’s already a part of my school life. Of course, the weird thoughts from that time will always remain in my mind.

Well, fifth-grade is much better than fourth-grade for as long as my emotional well-being is concerned.

i150W: Anime, In General

When you say anime, the first thing that comes to your mind is Japanese animation. Yup, you’re absolutely right about that.

Anime is a style of hand-drawn and computer animation originating in Japan.^ Basically, most anime shows are adapted from manga, though some of them are originally produced by animation production studios. Seiyuus (Japanese voice actors) provide voices for anime characters. Outside Japan, it may be dubbed by English or other foreign voice talents.

Anime has a wide range of genres that cater to certain demographic groups, and it can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of age and gender. Most anime shows are aired on TV (and at times, online), though some OVAs are only released in home video formats and are sometimes bundled with certain manga releases. And of course, anime films are also hitting the cinemas worldwide.

There’s always a good reason to watch anime. I always do.