The Listening Room: The Songs I Listen To Through The Years

It’s been more than a year ago since the last TLR post. Anyway, it seems like music never fails to motivate me in some ways. At times, it serves as a memory recall.


More than twelve years ago, I started tuning in to this smooth jazz and easy listening station and I always listen to that kind of music ever since. While some of these music keeps me relaxed and upbeat, there are times when you tend to get caught up in emotion while listening to some tracks. Music is such a wonderful thing to have.

So here are some playlists of songs I listened to/discovered during a specific period of time. It’s a mix of different genres, focusing primarily on jazz and easy listening music.

The Year 2006

That time, I generally rely on my pocket radio to listen to my favorite radio station (Joey 92.3/923 Joey, now Radyo 5 News FM), and later, some songs which eventually become my personal favorites. Okay, some of the songs listed are not the kind of music a typical 15-year-old [like me, during that time] would listen, but I grew to love it immediately as soon as I tune in.

  • Lee Ritenour – Is It You?
  • Ramsey Lewis & Nancy Wilson – The Two Of Us
  • Stephen Bishop – Save It For A Rainy Day
  • Paulinho Da Costa – Real Love
  • Ive Mendes – If You Leave Me Now
  • Rita Calypso – Paper Mache
  • Dionne Warwick – Deja Vu
  • The 5th Dimension – Ashes To Ashes
  • Burt Bacharach – Living Together, Growing Together
  • David Benoit – When The Winter’s Gone (feat. Jennifer Warnes)
  • Lisa Stansfield – He Touches Me
  • John Kaizan Neptune – Soft Melody

The Year 2007

Well, it sure is fun listening to the radio, but that changed when I started downloading songs on the internet. So this playlist focuses primarily on the songs I grew up listening to, mostly easy listening music from the 70’s up to the early 90’s.

  • David Batteau – Walk In Love
  • Sergio Mendes – Waiting For Love
  • The Manhattan Transfer – Smile Again
  • Shanice – Saving Forever For You
  • The Spinners – Then Came You
  • The Miracles – City Of Angels
  • Sergio Mendes – Let’s Give A Little More This Time
  • Bryan Adams – Heaven
  • Randy Goodrum – Love
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Prayer For You
  • Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder – It’s You
  • Lee Ritenour – I Can’t Let Go
  • Air Supply – Every Woman In The World

The Year 2008

Yeah, it’s a lovely year for me to listen to good music and enjoy the laidback lifestyle. And it gets even better too. Oh, and I discovered some great old songs too.

  • Rita Calypso – Believe
  • Pauline Wilson – Stay
  • The Manhattan Transfer – Birdland
  • Michael Franks – Mr. Blue
  • Dennis Lambert – Ashes To Ashes
  • Peter Allen – You And Me, We Wanted It All
  • Gloria Estefan – Anything For You
  • Karen Wyman – Somebody Waiting
  • Paul Parrish – That’s The Way Of Friends
  • Merrily Webber – It’s Time To Say I Love You
  • Dave Grusin feat. Randy Goodrum – Haunting Me
  • Gregg Karukas – Three Wishes, One Desire
  • Sadao Watanabe – Fill Up The Night With Music
  • Alphonse Mouzon – I’m Glad That You’re Here

The Year 2009

A pretty weird year… but this is the year I got my first MP3/MP4 player. Just a disposable one, I guess, but it’s still a little pricey. Anyway, I discovered some good songs and I loved listening to them on loop.

  • Basia – Drunk On Love
  • The Carpenters – Sandy
  • Peter Cincotti – Goodbye Philadelphia
  • Stacey Kent – The Ice Hotel
  • Jim Chappell – Living The Northern Summer
  • Eddie Daniels – Emily
  • Yutaka – Warm And Sunny Sunday Morning
  • Basia – Baby You’re Mine
  • The Manhattan Transfer – This Independence

The Year 2010

This is it, I discovered a lot of smooth jazz and easy listening music. Can’t hide my excitement during that time. And I can finally identify unknown songs by means of a PC program, courtesy of Tunatic.

  • David Benoit – Promise Me A Carousel
  • Sade – Hang On To Your Love
  • Jim Chappell – Saturday’s Rhapsody
  • Linda Lewis – More Than Enough
  • Lori Perry – One Chance
  • Al Jarreau – I Will Be Here For You
  • Hiroshima – Why Can’t I Love You
  • Nolen & Crossley – Nice To Have You Back
  • Akira Jimbo – Olivia
  • Paulinho Da Costa – I Believe You

The Year 2011

It sure was a breezy year. Discovered some tunes from the radio too, and certainly not the kind of music you hear in most mainstream radio stations.

  • Bill Cantos – Who Are You
  • Bob James – Friends
  • Pizzicato Five – Sweet Soul Revue
  • Eddie Daniels – Siciliano
  • Akira Jimbo – Sweet Melody
  • Gary Paxton – I’m Living In The Shadow Of Your Memory
  • Yutaka – Chuva
  • David Benoit – Remembering What You Said
  • Basia – There’s A Tear
  • Dave Grusin – Crystal Morning
  • Everything But The Girl – Driving

The Year 2012

From this point on, I never stop discovering a lot of good tunes. So there you have it!

  • The Crusaders – Spiral
  • Randy Goodrum – Flight 136
  • The Kazu Matsui Project feat. Bill Champlin – Then I Heard The Sound Of Rain
  • Sadao Watanabe – Old Photograph
  • The Rippingtons – Weekend In Monaco
  • Acoustic Alchemy – Mr. Chow
  • Weather Report – Elegant People
  • Marlene – Just Say I Love You
  • Joe Sample – Dream Of Dreams
  • The Rippingtons – Taos
  • Sadao Watanabe – Nice Shot

The Year 2013

  • Lisa Stansfield – 8-3-1
  • Michael Franks – Now I Know Why They Call It Falling
  • Acoustic Alchemy – The Velvet Swing
  • Akira Jimbo – The Silent Road
  • The Kazu Matsui Project – Castles
  • David Benoit – If I Can Believe
  • Akira Jimbo – Here We Are
  • Wilbert Longmire – Strawberry Sunset
  • The Rippingtons – Aspen
  • Seawind – Wings Of Love
  • Eliane Elias – Barefoot

The Year 2014

  • Swan Dive – Automatically Sunshine
  • Culture Club – Move Away
  • George Michael – Too Funky
  • Prince – Uptown
  • Govi – Abundance
  • Eddie Daniels – First Gymnopedie
  • Dusty Springfield – Time And Time Again
  • The Crusaders – Maputo
  • The Rippingtons – Summer Lovers
  • Fred Hersch Trio – Con Alma
  • LaVerne Butler – I Cover The Waterfront
  • Marilyn Scott – Giving Up On Love

The Year 2015

  • Stacey Kent – This Happy Madness
  • Akira Jimbo – Twilight Walk
  • Rupert Holmes – So Beautiful It Hurts
  • Elis Regina – Madalena
  • Frank Sinatra – L.A. Is My Lady
  • Johnny Mathis – How Can I Make It On My Own

The Year 2016

  • Peter Allen – Bi-Coastal
  • Diane Schuur feat. José Feliciano – By Design
  • Sadao Watanabe – Desert Ride
  • The Yellowjackets – Homecoming
  • Spyro Gyra – Autumn Of Our Love
  • Bill Evans – Waltz For Debby
  • Chick Corea – Passage
  • Nielsen-Pearson – Sentimental
  • Herb Alpert – I Get It From You
  • Perri – Someone Like You

The Year 2017

  • Tom Grant – In A Special Way
  • Diane Schuur – Touch
  • Don Grusin – Shuffle City
  • The Chick Corea Elektric Band – Ezinda
  • Dave Grusin and the N.Y.-L.A. Dream Band – Summer Sketches ’82
  • Eric Gale – Boardwalk
  • Lee Ritenour – The Captain’s Journey
  • Steps Ahead – Kyoto
  • Marilyn Scott – I’ll Be Loving You
  • Michael W. Smith – Place In This World

Mornings, Alarms, And Waking Up

I’m an occasional morning person, but most of the time I’m usually asleep until about noontime. Well, it seems like I’m kind of used to this lifestyle, something that I really enjoyed as a NEET. Oh dear, it looks like I’m gonna be like that until I can find a suitable job, which is practically close to impossible.

Anyway, the thought of waking up early is something I can really live with, but then I won’t be able to enjoy the quiet late nights since I really should be in bed around that time. Yes, I still enjoy being a morning person but only when I feel like it.


Most of the time, I woke up at around 10 to 11 in the morning since I generally stay up late every night. I generally set my alarm at 10 AM on weekdays and Saturdays and 9 AM on Sundays. At times, I set the alarm a few hours earlier whenever I feel like going out early on that day, mostly on Saturdays.

Okay, so setting up an alarm may prove to be helpful for those who struggled with waking up early, but there are certain instances wherein a person tends to fall back to sleep a few minutes after the alarm rings, or would sleep through it. Sometimes, alarm clocks have the tendency to disrupt one’s sleep, especially if it’s incredibly loud to be heard outside the room.

In my case, I tend to wake up without getting off the bed before the alarm rings. Oh well, my bed is right beside the window, and the brightness of the sun prompted me to wake up even before the alarm rings. At times, I woke up to the sounds coming from outside my room, usually my brother and sister-in-law getting ready to go to work. But then, it’s not yet time to get up so I fall back to sleep for a couple more hours.

Mornings can be a perfect time to look forward to the good things that will happen throughout the day. But while I sometimes enjoy a sunny morning, I don’t get to enjoy this every day as I always slept through it. But when I do, I always feel excited about the good things that are bound to happen that day.


Mornings, alarms, and waking up. It means that you are to get up in the morning by means of setting your alarm to a specific time, not later than 9:00 AM. In this case, there are some things you need to consider when you’re trying to become a morning person.

Having enough sleep is very crucial, especially if you’re adjusting to a new shift. So if you’re used to staying up late at night, then you might reconsider going to bed a little early. You’ll have to do this repeatedly until you get used to it. Of course, make sure you don’t make sudden changes in your sleeping habits or you might end up feeling tired throughout the day.

On setting the alarm, make sure that it is set to the time that’s suitable for you. If you set your alarm to a particular time and ended up sleeping through it or sleeping again after being awakened by the alarm, then you may reconsider setting the alarm a little later than that.

Being a morning person sure has benefits, especially when it comes to a person’s well-being. How nice it is to wake up when the sun rises and you don’t even need an alarm clock for you to get up and enjoy the morning. When will I get to enjoy this kind of life once again?


One of these days, I’m planning to reset my body clock probably as a preparation for a change in routine. For now, I can only get used to this kind of life until I really have to.

#Throwback: Battle Royale


But the moment you think you’re teaming up to get rid of someone else, this sneaky friend can suddenly betray and beat you.

Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale (Introduction)

June 2012. It was a rainy Friday afternoon when I passed by a Fully Booked branch in Gateway Mall at Araneta Center, Cubao. That time, I was really excited to ride the LRT-2 for the first time, as well as heading east to the two malls in Marikina. But then, I decided to check some of the books, and this is what I discovered… a dystopian-themed novel by Japanese writer Koushun Takami.

The moment I preview a few pages of the book, I decided I want to have it. Thing is, I don’t have enough money to buy the book (the book costs about 700 pesos… it was quite pricey for me) and I don’t have a job yet, having graduated from college roughly two months ago. But that doesn’t stop me from aiming to own a copy of that book, which I finally did 9 months later.

I spent the next few months checking every bookshelf for the book. But then, considering the controversy it garnered when it was first published, as well as the possibility of running out of stock due to limited availability, I knew I might give up trying to have a copy. Well, I didn’t.

March 2013. I passed by a bookstore in SM Fairview on my way home from Eastwood City and I was surprised to see a handful copies of the book on the shelves! And I just happened to have enough money to buy a copy (which costs about 400 pesos), though it’s different from the ones I see in Fully Booked branches and it doesn’t have the afterword from the author and some extra stuff. I believe it was the first printed English edition of the novel. Well, it’s better than not having a copy at all. Oh, what a joy!

I started reading the book a few days later and finished it in about five or six months. Considering I’m a slow reader, it took me long enough to finish it. So far, it is the longest novel I’ve ever read at 600+ pages, and it hasn’t been surpassed ever since. The book itself is a worthwhile read, quite detailed and dramatic. This adds to the list of my favorite books and I really loved it.


So here’s a brief summary of the book. The summary may contain spoilers, so proceed at your own risk. *laughs*

The book’s summary is taken from the Wikipedia article:^

A group of students from Shiroiwa Junior High School prepares for a field trip–among them are wannabe rock star Shuya Nanahara, whose father was killed by the regime, Noriko Nakagawa, the demure crush of Shuya’s best friend, Shogo Kadawa, a quiet, tough young transfer student, and psychopathic prodigy Kazuo Kiriyama. En route, they are gassed–the “field trip” was a ruse for the Program.

They awake in a classroom in a small, vacated island, surrounded by troops, and wearing metal collars around their necks. A teacher, psychopathic sadist Kinpatsu Sakamochi, briefs the students: the class has been chosen to participate in the Program. They have three days to kill each other until one stands as the victor, or the metal collars will detonate, killing them all (as Sakamochi gleefully demonstrates on one student). The students are issued survival packs and a random weapon/tool and sent out to the island one by one. While most of the students receive guns and knives, some acquire relatively useless items like boomerangs, dartboard darts, or a fork. Hiroki Sugimura finds a radar device that tracks nearby students, and Toshinori Oda receives a bulletproof vest.

To make sure the students obey the rules and kill each other, the metal collars around their necks track their positions, and will explode if they linger in a “Forbidden Zone”, randomly selected areas of the island that increase as the Program goes on to force Students closer to each other, or attempt to remove the collars. The Forbidden Zones are randomly chosen areas of the map that increase in number as time goes on, re-sculpting and shrinking the battlefield and forcing the students to move around. The collars secretly transmit sound back to the organizers of the game, allowing them to hear the students’ conversations, root out escape plans, and log their activities. The collars will explode if the students go a full day without anyone dying.

The students desperately fight amongst each other for survival, with mentally-ill bully Mitsuko Souma and Kiriyama killing many. Shuya takes Noriko under his wing after his best friend is killed, believing that he has a duty to honor his fallen friend by protecting his crush. Shogo–the latter of whom was in a previous Battle Royale and hopes to put an end to the Program–avoids the fighting, joining with Shuya. Shuya’s friend, athlete Shinji Mimura, attempts to hack the system running the Program and bomb the building where Sakamochi and the other personnel overseeing the Program are stationed but is killed by Kiriyama.

Eventually, halfway through the third day, only Shogo, Shuya, Noriko, and Kiriyama remain, with Kiriyama dead set on hunting down the trio. After a frantic car chase, Kiriyama is finally gunned down–but Nanahara and Nakagawa are held at gunpoint by Shogo, who taunts them over being so naive as to trust anyone in the Program. The collars record gunshots and Shuya and Noriko flatlining.

Declared the winner by Sakamochi, Shogo is escorted to his transport off the island, surrounded by soldiers. Sakamochi, however, reveals that he knows Nanahara and Nakagawa are alive and that his supposed execution of Noriko and Shuya was a ruse after he found a way to disable their collars, and attempts to kill Shogo. Shogo kills him as a hidden Nanahara and Nakagawa hijack the ship and kill the soldiers on board. As the boat sails towards the mainland, Shogo succumbs to his wounds sustained during the hijacking, and dies, but not before thanking Shuya and Noriko for being his friends.

On the advice of Shogo, Shuya and Noriko escape to the mainland and plan to escape to a democratic America, pursued by the government.

Love At First Sight… This Is Not About Romance

All right, so I’m not talking about romantic relationships here. Oh well, do I really need to explain further?

When you love something, you’ll do anything just to have it. So if it’s an item you love at first sight, then you’re in for some serious thinking… are you planning to buy it or not?


Like the title says, this is not all about romance. Okay, so what does it mean to love something at first sight? Apparently, you’re attracted to something and then got fascinated with it. In the end, you tend to get obsessed with it until you can’t hold it much longer. It may sound like I’m exaggerating, but some people would rather check some interesting and/or cool stuff like books, clothes, and stuffed animals, and immediately buy it if it’s something that caught their eye without even checking for some noticeable or hidden defects. Oh well, that’s what you call love at first sight and totally unrelated to romance.

So what makes people love something at first sight? Is there a possibility that they were simply attracted by its appearance or its wonderful features? Or maybe there’s more to it than that? Is a good offer also the reason for sudden fascination?


There are times when I was initially attracted to a particular book, clothing, or an item that I find interesting. At first, I wish I had enough money to buy that item. I just couldn’t get my mind off that item, and I’ll do anything to get my hands on it, even if it means spending your allowance intended for snacks or lunch. It’s hard to resist such items, even if it ends up gathering dust later on.

And that’s how I ended up buying some of the books that are really awesome but quite obscure and are hard to find nowadays. I can’t imagine the joy I had upon taking these books home and browse through its pages. Of course, I may be overdoing it at times, since I tend to spend more than I should. Same thing with some of the clothes that I bought last year, including the black fleece coat which is more comfortable than the black double-breasted wool coat that I bought years ago. Sometimes, I just couldn’t help myself, since I knew there won’t be another chance. Oh well…

Anyway, there are reasons why some people would rather buy a specific item the moment they laid their eyes on it. First of all, there’s a chance of it being rare or hard to find and there’s a chance you might not see the item again the moment you decided to come back for it. Second, it’s hard to fight off temptation, especially if you’re captivated by its wonderful design (mainly for clothing or household items), its contents (books, CDs and DVDs, and magazines), or its usefulness (tools, appliances, and gadgets) that you couldn’t resist the urge to buy it. Third, you simply want to have it for little to no reason at all, as with the case of compulsive buying. So a simple fascination with a certain item can lead a person to do just that.


Well, that’s how fascination works… a love at first sight approach. The moment you find something interesting, you can’t take your eyes off it. And knowing that you may never have another chance to see that item again, you decided to buy it, even though it’s outside your intended budget. That’s how it works, all right.

Love at first sight? Yeah. And it’s not just for finding your one true love, but it’s also for the item(s) you wish to have… at the first sight of it.

A Single Life

Being single is a blessing, and certainly not a curse. Take it from me.


I know some of you will object, but finding your one true love isn’t meant to be rushed and does not have a deadline. So is marriage. Everything takes time, and patience is the key. And of course, there are people who would rather focus on their career than their love life. I find it amusing, to be honest. Besides, what’s the point of falling in love when you can’t even support yourself?

That aside, is there really a need to find your one true love? While some people are desperately searching for one, those who have are either happy to have one or not happy with the one they have right now. Come on, what’s the point of being in a relationship when your heart’s not in it? You know how relationships can be unpredictable, right? And you certainly knew how painful it is to break up with someone you’ve loved for a long time. Heck, even marriages don’t last and tend to end up in divorce.

I’m growing old now, and I know there are some people wondering why I am still single at this point.  Well, I was wondering why there are some people who wanted to get married so early in their lives. In the end, you can decide what to do with your own life and not let others influence you into doing the same thing, like desperately trying to start a relationship with someone who will break your heart in the end.  Well, why bother?


Does it really bother me that I’m still single until now? Of course, not. After all, relationships may prove to be difficult if you’re not prepared for it or your heart’s not really into it. Not to mention that your love life may restrict some activities you used to enjoy, such as partying at the bar and a boys’/girls’ night out. After all, having a relationship comes with a promise to remain faithful to your partner and certainly not to cheat on him/her. Of course, there’s also a promise to stay together ’til the very end. Oh well, it seems like I’m definitely not into having a relationship with someone, even if she appears to be my soul mate. Nope, I’m not that kind.

I’m not keen on getting married since I’m not capable of being a good husband to my potential wife. Not to mention that I don’t want to end up like my dad. And I certainly don’t want to be a dad. Sorry, but that’s how the way it goes. I guess you already know why I said this… it’s just that I don’t want to.

Now that I’m growing old, they would probably ask when will I get married. Well, I only have one answer, and that is… I’m not planning to. Again, that’s just the way it goes.


You know, being single isn’t really bad at all. You see, you’ve got all the freedom you need and you don’t have to stress yourself with lots of arguments and too many expenses during dates and wedding preparations. Oh well, I can’t believe I said such things, but I only speak what’s on my mind.

Anyway, there’s no need to search for your one true love out of desperation. Believe me, it will come one day… but until then, enjoy being single.

Forever… Not!

There is no such thing as forever. So why are we falling for it?

Admit it or not, we can only hope that everything will last for an extended period of time, even if it may sound impossible at times. But forever? No, that just doesn’t cut it.


The reality of continuous changes proves that nothing lasts forever. The once beautiful Earth is slowly turning into an industrial wasteland. The coolest gadgets will soon become obsolete. The beautiful body you once flaunt will eventually become unattractive due to a lot of factors, including unhealthy lifestyle. And of course, there’s no such thing as immortality–we all die in the end. So are you still convinced that there’s still forever given these disappointing facts?

Okay, so I think I may be quite a pessimist when it comes to that sort of thing, but it’s a fact. And there’s no way to change that… unless you have magical powers.


Forever Is A Promise… That Can Be Broken

Ah… yes, forever is a promise to hold on to each other ’til the end of time, or until one of you break your promise or die. Some of you tend to refer to your special someone as your forever, even though you’ve just started your relationship. Oh well, they really believed in that sort of thing and there’s no stopping them.

So here’s how a relationship works. You and your special someone were formally or informally introduced to one another, get to know each other, go out more often, meeting their respective families to ask for their approval, get engaged, preparing for a big event you’ve all been waiting for, start a family, have kids, sort out your differences, and living together until both of you are old and gray. Now, that’s what I call forever… at least a promise to stay together until you’ve breathed your last.

Anyway, relationships can go wrong and may end up unexpectedly. So are you gonna call someone your forever if he/she is gonna be the reason for the (sudden) breakup and an unexpected heartbreak? Come on, it’s too early for you to say if that so-called special someone is really right for you. Who knows, there are some plot twists to your very own (true to life) love story that either end with a happy or a sad ending.

Forever Is When You’re Using It Properly…

All material things may reach their end of the cycle, especially if it is used often. So for example, a couch may either last long or not, depending on how a person cares for it. You can repair it a lot of times once it’s broken, but it will eventually turn into something that’s beyond repair.

The same thing goes for electrical appliances. Depending on how much you use it, they should provide you with much-needed usefulness and enjoyment, as long as you take good care of it and you don’t abuse it (i.e., keep using the appliance without giving it a much-needed break). Anyway, no matter how useful these electrical appliances are to you, they will soon become outdated and it can never keep up with the newer models no matter how much you fix it.

Forever Is… Something You Wish Will Last

Like I said, the reality of continuous changes proves that nothing lasts forever. Now, take a good look at your surroundings, close your eyes, and imagine how your surroundings look like years ago. Perhaps, you will see the difference. Do the same with taking a good look at yourself in the mirror and compare it with a picture of yourself taken ten or twenty years ago.

The changes in yourself and your surroundings meant that there’s no such thing as forever. Okay, so you look handsome during your teenage years. But will it ever be the same once you reached twice or thrice that age? Probably. As for your surroundings, will it ever be the same as ten or twenty years ago? Well, depending on how people take good care of it.

It’s sad to think that we can never revert back to our better selves, and there’s no way to rollback the changes the Earth or the people had done. We can always move forward, but not backward.

Forever Young

Ugh! That’s one thing I really hate to discuss since I’m growing old. And now that I think of it, I can still look young while trying… but trying to achieve your younger look as if you’re in the early teens? That’s practically next to impossible.

All of us humans are undergoing a life cycle. From the moment we were born, there will be a lot of changes… in our bodies, our minds, and the way we do things. As we all grow up, we were gradually transitioning from one cycle to another, then we eventually slow down as we age, and then we cease to function. Oh God, I really hate thinking about this. Reality sure is pretty harsh, but we have to face it.

Going back, how can we achieve looking young without having to deal with our age? Simple. Just stop thinking and keep trying. Who knows, you might get stuck with the perception of looking young while your age stealthily increases. But then again, you can never be like that forever. So enjoy being young while you still can.


There is no such thing as forever. So why are you falling for it?

Honestly, it’s nice to think that we still have a positive outlook on life despite such disappointments, and that is something we hope would last forever.

#Throwback: A Moment In Binondo

Binondo. The first time I see you, I suddenly had an interest in you… and that’s what makes me come back more often just to visit you.


It was June 2012 when I first visited Binondo, more popularly known as the Manila Chinatown. Having ridden the LRT-2 eastbound, maybe I’d like to try going west and visit a newly-opened mall in the area, the Lucky Chinatown Mall.

After dropping by my university to get the transcript of records, I thought of going somewhere else and I ended up going to Binondo just to check out the newly-opened mall. Going there, I think I took a UV Express to Cubao from Novaliches (if my memory serves me right), and then took the LRT-2 to Recto Station, currently the western terminus for the line. Getting off the station, I decided to walk along Soler until I reached my destination.

Since the mall is newly-opened, most of the shops are not yet open. Anyway, the mall itself is pretty nice, and it has an upscale feel to it. Being a lifestyle mall, it stood out from the rest of the malls in the area. Also, some of the store signages had Chinese characters on it, probably translations of store names.

The mall’s exterior was done in a mix of modern and neoclassical style. The strip of open space between the two buildings (the City Walk) serves as the alfresco area for some restaurants located on the eastern side of the main mall. The area is decorated with either red or multiple colored lanterns and an arch in the front entrance. The area looks beautiful and vibrant at night once the lanterns are lighted.

While I visited the newly-opened mall in the area, I didn’t bother checking the rest of the malls in the area (which is already part of Divisoria) since I’m not yet familiar with the place and I might get lost. I somehow managed to familiarize myself with getting around the place later on, so I always keep coming back.


All right, so there are some reasons why I keep coming back to the place. Of course, I always feel like checking out some of the stalls and buying cool items, especially anime merch like posters and shirts. Also, I simply love the idea of going there just to soak up the multicultural atmosphere and to try out some authentic Chinese cuisine… which I never did as of now, but will certainly do the next time I got back.

Walking the streets of Binondo is more than just shopping and sightseeing… it’s also understanding the culture as if you’re visiting another country. But then again, I can’t be a foreigner in my own town, right? Anyway, I’m looking forward to another visit.

i150W: Looking Forward To The Good Things In Life

We all look forward to the good things in life. Well, who wouldn’t?

We look forward to weekend getaways, events, upcoming new shows, store openings, family reunions, and a lot more with a smile on our faces, knowing that something good is bound to happen. Sometimes, we all let our hopes up since we always knew that it is always worth the wait. And perhaps, the result of anticipating something good on the much awaited day adds up to the excitement we’re having.

The moment I look forward to something good, I couldn’t help thinking about what will happen on that much awaited day. As my excitement grew, my expectations become more evident as I always make sure that it will happen the way I want it.

Oh well, there’s always a good reason why we look forward to the good things in life. Maybe it’s the happiness that counts.


#TWATKcox5th: The Fifth Anniversary Special Post

January 26, 2018… the day TWATKcox reached its fifth year in the cyberspace. It’s amazing how I managed to get this far, despite the struggles of having writer’s block and the tendency to procrastinate while I’m striving to finish what I’m writing. Oh boy, this is what I call an achievement!

All right, so let’s have a review of the first five years of TWATKcox, and how I managed to get this far. Also included in this special post are the snippets from some of my posts.

The Kin Keihan Times 2.0

Some of the posts are written in a similar fashion to my former blog The Kin Keihan Times. Back then, my posts always tell something about me and my miserable past. Though it is really a good thing at first to write something about myself and revisit your past, it just gets embarrassing to revisit years later. Anyway, I’m still drawn to writing about my [miserable] past from time to time, but I don’t just deal with my elementary and high school life, but also some parts of my personal life in general.

Of course, I also wrote some meaningful posts on the blog as well, such as No, Never, And I Don’t Like, My World Online, and the first 11 posts in the Timeline Series. These were eventually re-posted on TWATKcox.

The Lighter Side Of Life

Some of the lighter posts deal primarily with my interests and obsessions. I always love blogging about my interests, especially if it’s all about the things I love, such as food, music, fashion, and travel.

The Darker Side Of Life

Of course, there are times when I really need to express the emotional side of me. You know, stuff like missed chances, bad experiences, and depressing moments. Aside from that, I also tackled some sensitive topics such as depression, bullying, and suicide, which is more of raising awareness while sharing some of my experiences regarding the ones mentioned.

The Story Of My Life

The Timeline Series, which generally focuses on my high school and college life, makes up most of the posts that tell the story of my life. Other than that, there are some posts that focus on the dark side of my life, as well as the misery I experienced at school… and probably hatred towards a certain group of people.

A Series Of Posts

Aside from the Timeline Series, there’s the Obsessions (general interest), The Listening Room (music and radio), In 150 Words (short but somewhat informative posts), and the #Throwback Series (the story behind a particular remarkable memory). Some of the shorter series that end their run after a handful of posts belong to TWATKcox Specials. So far, it’s The Summer Series that had its posts included in the category.

On The Tumblr Side Of The Story

In addition to the main WordPress site, there’s the Tumblr site which serves as a mirror site for TWATKcox-WP, as well as a hub for extras, updates, opinions, and personal posts. It also serves as the home to The Keihancarl Diaries, which primarily features my city travels, notable experiences, and some sightings, and TWATKRant, which deals with my pessimistic, emotional, and not-so-friendly outbursts in writing.

Right now, I’m planning to expand the Tumblr site with a couple of segments, one of them is The Anime Diaries, which is set to premiere (tentatively) this May. Anyway, TWATK-Tumblr serves as the more explicit version of the main blog, at least due to the TWATKRant posts.

A Wide Range Of Topics… Except For A Few

This blog features a lot of informative posts, ranging from common interests, hobbies, online, travel, fashion, and a person’s well-being, among others. While I cover some sensitive topics like the ones mentioned on the Darker Side Of Life segment of this post, I don’t generally feature political, religious, and sexual related topics on this blog as I find them too taboo to write about. Well, that may change, as soon as I’m confident enough to deal with it.

The Literary Side Of The Story

Unlike its predecessor The Kin Keihan Times, TWATKcox rarely features any of my own literary works. The only ones featured as of this writing are the eight poems (the first one, (For Mom) is a repost from KKT, the second one (This Silent Darkness) is the only original standalone poem for TWATKcox, and the six others were compiled and featured in a special literary post Expressions, In Light And Dark), a limerick (which is actually a test post that I forgot to delete after publishing TWATKcox’s debut/3rd post) and a couple of stories (an excerpt from my first novella Season Of Darkness and a short story featured in my first Literary+Article post). I was more focused on writing about my personal experiences and informative posts rather than writing short stories and poems.

The Year-End And Anniversary Posts

Yup, I always make sure that I feature a special post for every kind of achievement. Like, when TWATKcox reached 25th post, first year anniversary, 50th post, third year anniversary, 100th post, fifth year anniversary, 250th post, and so on. Also, it’s a yearly tradition for this blog to feature a list of some of the notable articles published within a certain period for the year-end post, as a way of looking back at what I’ve posted during that time.

The Gallery Of Edited Pictures

I actually come up with a visual art gallery concept called The Quirk Concept back in 2014, though it initially featured some of my selfies and edited pics taken using a digital camera and a variety of mobile phones (from Nokia 2680-s to LG Optimus L3 II). Eventually, it includes some artistically edited photos (not the selfie ones) taken in various locations. Though it remained dormant for quite some time, it was then revived last October and is still featuring a mix of unedited and edited photos.

All right, so I’ve written nearly 200 posts and right now there are a lot more waiting to be written and published. Sounds like I’m gonna get busy this year, huh?

As mentioned earlier, my blog posts generally consist of informative posts as well as some of my past experiences. I may have lots of ideas in mind, but then there are some challenges that make me lose focus on my intended work. It certainly takes a great amount of time to finish a simple post, but there are times when I can actually finish a post within a few hours. In other words, I can only write when I feel like it.

Five years and I somehow managed to get this far despite the difficulties. I guess it’s my undying determination and perseverance that keeps this blog going. There are times when I feel like giving up writing a lot of posts for this blog, but that actually means abandoning it altogether. Yes, writing is my passion, and I’m polishing my craft by means of blogging in order to be a better writer someday.

Anyway, here are some meaningful snippets from some of my posts.

  • Sometimes, being yourself is just plain boring. At times you wanted to look like somebody else, only that would make you feel ambitious about yourself. [Your Virtual Alter Ego, March 2013]
  • Why would I consider going places like a maze? It is actually more of discovering places and paths, but there are times that in order to go there, you should walk along the streets, trying to guess which way is the right way. Lots of directions and more twists and turns… it’s getting confusing sometimes. [Like A Maze, (On Directions And Road Maps), May 2013]
  • A lot of memories created, a lot of fun posted… they may be here now but not tomorrow. [It’s Me Before Facebook: Great Sites Missed, August 2013]
  • Grown-ups constantly argue with their parents over the choice of clothes, whether it’s comfy or not, revealing, layered (meaning wearing one garment over the other), monotone (wearing everything of the same color)… it’s like violating their right to express themselves through fashion. [The Art Of Looking Good, KCOX Style, August 2013]
  • As the story progresses, so does the writer’s block. I could think of a better idea for the story, but then it would get off my mind and I’m back to thinking wonderful, forgotten ideas to incorporate into the story. It took me quite a long time… [The Downsides In Threes, August 2013]
  • Looking back, it was extremely painful to experience being excluded from the group. I only rely on myself, and I find happiness in what I have. [The Story Of My Life: How It Begin And How It Affects Me, September 2013]
  • Just as you strive for the best, being a perfectionist would mean that you are truly ambitious and would always make sure that you get to appreciate the finest of your creation. [Perfectionist Ideals, September 2013]
  • But then, am I really lost in this colorful world? Absolutely not 100%. I’m still trying to get over it, and I’m still working on it. [In Black And Gray… Uncertainties And Anxieties, December 2013]
  • So when does drinking tea becomes an obsession? Well, I’m no coffee drinker, and I don’t like the taste of coffee especially without cream or milk. Tea is milder in taste, and it was soothing so it’s a perfect alternative if I need caffeine. [Obsessions: Tea, May 2014]
  • There are lots of memories. But not all of them exists in mind anymore… [A Long Forgotten Nostalgia, June 2014]
  • I learned to appreciate darkness and escapism. It’s hard to snap out of it, by the way. [About My Life, How Do I Look At It?, June 2014]
  • I have lots of ideas in mind, yet I tend to forget some of it. [Ideas Coming From Me, Keihancarl, June 2014]
  • Now I’m beginning to understand why it’s hard to be self-reliant. I failed to see the better benefits of a friendship. [A Certified Commoner, July 2014]
  • Maybe they thought it’s uncommon for them to see someone wearing a khaki coat with matching red scarf, which by the way is one of my signature outfits, and they have certain misconceptions about that person whether he is really weird or he is from another country. For me, it’s called preference. [Obsessions: Weird Fashion, August 2014]
  • Just hearing the word suicide haunts me up to this day, coupled with palpitations. In fact, I tried to avoid using that word especially in the stories I’m writing (despite the fact that the stories I wrote are dark-themed and explicit). In the end, it’s important to at least remind the people how valuable life is. [Dying To End It All, August 2014]
  • All these bad memories of my past will soon be forgotten… but then, am I really forgetting anything? [Friendship And Memories: The Story Of A Transferee, October 2014]
  • Identity. It’s something that we all have, and we always have. Without it, we are nothing. [You, As Yourself (A Matter Of Identity), December 2014]
  • For me, drawing isn’t just a hobby or an activity, but it’s an expression of your own visual interpretation. [Obsessions: Drawing, January 2015]
  • Also, they would ask why I was quiet most of the time. It’s not like I’m avoiding conversations, but this is getting on my nerves just being asked that. [When Silence Isn’t Golden, March 2015]
  • Sometimes, the only way for people to take you seriously is to be above them at all times. You act as if you’re the boss, somewhat cranky and imposing. [What It Means To Be Superior?, March 2015]
  • Technically, we only have the rainy season and the dry season as I’m living in a tropical country. Summer, so they say, is only for countries with four seasons. But then, I’m using it just the same. [Once Upon A Dreamy Summer, April 2015]
  • The colors red and black suggests courage and formality, respectively. Other than these characteristics, I simply decided that these two colors always match one another, a very strong combination indeed. [Obsessions: Red And Black, April 2015]
  • Every person is creative. And when we say creative, we got more than just ideas and concepts… it’s something we actually do in the process. [When Creativity Strikes, April 2015]
  • You are what you listen to. For music lovers, their choice of music defines their lifestyle. [The Listening Room: Choice Of Music, April 2015]
  • I don’t limit myself to writing unusually dark and depressing stories. In fact, I can write stories involving comedy and romance. But then, I’m more into writing stories featuring serious and dramatic content, at times incorporating dark elements in these stories just because they seem more realistic. I mean, I’m not that cheesy enough to write romantic stories, and I can’t make people laugh hard enough to write funny stories. [The 100th Post: The Darker Side Of The Story–With A Depressing Plot, May 2015]
  • It may sound a bit too dark, but an all-black outfit can be really nice too. [The Ideal All-Black Fashion / What’s Inside The Bag?, June 2015]
  • Honestly, some people don’t care much about what I’m missing, for as long as they enjoy what they gained–friendships, relationships, a brief moment of popularity and all the fun they can have. [What I’m Missing Out…, June 2015]
  • Fast [and reliable] service? Sure, everybody would love that. But when fast isn’t really fast enough, you might say that they’re misleading a lot of people into expecting a better and faster service… [When Patience Is No Longer A Virtue, July 2015]
  • Ever wonder what makes cooking a messy business? It’s probably stress. Or maybe the lack of space on the kitchen countertop. Maybe the ingredients? [Cooking Is A Messy But Rewarding Business, October 2015]
  • Your mind is good at convincing you that every food served on the table is delicious, and this will prompt you to get more than what you can eat. [The Unhealthy Holiday Feast, January 2016]
  • You get pushed down for no reason. That’s not good. They had a handful of ugly names to call you. That’s not funny. And they plotted something against you… That’s not right. All of this came with a compromise… you can’t fight back. That’s not fair. [Of Force, Threat, And Coercion, January 2016]
  • Video games may be the best way to kill some time off, especially when you need to take a break from childhood stress. [Obsessions: Video Games (Except RPGs), February 2016]
  • Well, there are times you get carried away by stuffing your mouth… bite, after bite, after bite. [Everything On A Plate, But…, March 2016]
  • Something urged me to express myself through writing and I started blogging. [Remembering The Kin Keihan Times (The 125th Post), June 2016]
  • You don’t have to go full blast with the change, especially if you’re not fond of a major disruption in your daily routine/your weekly plans. [Adapting To Changes, September 2016]
  • Some people would tell me how unusual I was for not having a crush, but do I really care about that? [High School: A Memory Recall, September 2016]
  • My fascination with all-black really means something to me, and I know some of you are feeling the same way. [#Throwback: The Noir Project, October 2016]
  • A wardrobe defines a person’s personality. It depends on what clothes you have or what clothes you wear. [My Ideal Wardrobe, October 2016]
  • Happiness is like sunshine, it brightens up your day. Sadness is like rainfall, it makes your day gloomy. More of comparing life to a weather. It can be unpredictable, more of unavoidable. [The Extremely Pessimistic Self / The Sad State Of Life, October 2016]
  • I sure know how to deal with old, broken and unused stuff. For the past few years, these items took up a significant amount of space in my room. Well, having discarded such items, there’s a sense of relief that I can breathe comfortably. [What I Keep Is What I Cherish (Valuable Collections And Anything Worth Keeping), November 2016]
  • Yes, the world is full of harsh realities, and people are not the same as before. The word “sorry” is not in the vocabulary, and that’s an issue I’d like to address. [#Unapologetic, November 2016]
  • Memories are meant to be cherished, not forgotten. It’s a personal story, a part of your personal history that you can always look back to. [Memories… Moments, December 2016]
  • Okay, so I’m obsessed with the color black that I feel like wearing all-black at times. It just shows how dull can I be, but who cares if I look dull in that monotonous outfit? [Obsessions: Everything All-Black, December 2016]
  • Yes, my future is a real life struggle and I couldn’t do anything about it, blame it on my lack of motivation. [The Ongoing Internship And More… Timeline College Series #16, January 2017]
  • When you blog, you contribute a piece of your own history as well as your views about anything in general. [Why I Blog: The TWATKcox’s 4th Year Special, January 2017]
  • Sometimes, light does not provide the necessary comfort a person needs, and a person doesn’t need light in order to feel comfortable in whatever situation they’re in. [Fascination With Night And Darkness, February 2017]
  • Right now, I’m hiding in the shadows and live the unsocial life of an uncommunicative loner. I’m comfortable with it… but at times I feel a little awkward too… [Comfort Through Darkness (A Thought), March 2017]
  • We all have our expectations. There’s nothing wrong with it… unless we expect too much for an impossible thing to happen. [i150W: Expectations, March 2017]
  • I feel like I’m different from the rest of the bunch, not that I refuse to be one of them. It’s just that I want to follow my own trend. [My Quirky Ways, May 2017]
  • Fantasies, dreams, and anything make-believe… these are common to children with a high level of imagination. Of course, they tend to overdo it at times… [Fantasies, In Real Life, May 2017]
  • We all have our awkward experiences, and some of them are really embarrassing that we don’t want any part of it to be brought up. [Awkwardness Is…, June 2017]
  • Just imagine getting stuck in a so-called parking lot in the middle of the road, complete with the sight of red lights and the sound of vehicle horns… enough to keep you frustrated on the road. [i150W: Traffic, July 2017]
  • To be honest, school is actually a great place to learn and make friends. Yeah, why am I even thinking of ditching the thought of going to school when there is fun in learning? [School Days: My Thoughts About School And The Importance Of Education, July 2017]
  • Yes, I’m being nice. But I can be critical and straightforward. depending on the situation. [The Writer With An Attitude (The 175th Post Special), August 2017]
  • There are some things to be ungrateful about, and some things to despise about. It’s a cruel life, after all. [A Grudge Caused By A Miserable Past, August 2017]
  • That moment… it was kind of exciting and awkward at the same time. But then, I feel attached to the place where my high school is, so why should I feel awkward about it? [#Throwback: Lagro Revisited, August 2017]
  • All right, so I think there are some cases wherein I don’t feel good when I’m wearing an all-black outfit. [The Dangers Of Wearing All-Black, September 2017]
  • There are times when you’re too much focused on your work that you tend to forget your physical and emotional needs. [A Balanced Life, October 2017]
  • The struggle of having to work at night is real. It’s more than just trying to keep yourself awake and drinking coffee to combat sleepiness, as well as dealing with a lot of stress and some dangers. [Night Shift, October 2017]
  • Just thinking about my problems in life make me feel nervous and demotivated, at times depressed. It’s as if something’s torturing my mind with some kind of emotional stress that would make my life miserable. [The Dangers Of Anxiety, November 2017]
  • We tend to interpret a lot of things that come to our mind, and some of them proved to be crucial in producing ideas and making decisions. [The Thoughts Of A Person, November 2017]
  • Well, as you can see, I was trying to be a normal person, but I’m struggling to lure myself out of this situation. [Pretty Normal… Not!, December 2017]
  • There’s always a good reason to spend a lot of money on something you love or desire, but then you might go broke if you don’t know how to control your spending habits. [The Disadvantages Of Spending…, December 2017]
  • The real world is pretty boring in general. No strange looking scenery, no lush greenery, no dreamy feeling… and worst of all, absolutely no weird feelings about the places you’ve been. [The Alternate (Virtual/Imaginary) Universe, January 2018]

In the first five years of TWATKcox, I already tackled a lot of topics and featured most of my life stories and experiences. It’s amazing how I managed to get this far, but I’m sure this is only just the beginning. The blogging journey continues with lots of informative posts and literary works waiting to be written and published on this site. Yup, it is a never-ending journey for me, Keihancarl, and I enjoy every bit of it, despite some difficulties.

To all the followers and visitors of this blog, thank you for the support! Thank you for taking time to read everything I’ve written on this blog and for showing appreciation to my not-so-perfect posts. I hope you’ll keep coming back to this blog more often!

Happy fifth anniversary, TWATKcox! May this be a remarkable year for me and my blog. And I’m about to celebrate my tenth year as a blogger in a few months. Please look forward to it!

The Alternate (Virtual/Imaginary) Universe

Sometimes, the imaginary and virtual worlds are much more interesting than the real world, especially if you’re a big fan of RPG games, weird thoughts, and pleasant dreams. Oh, and how I love the scenery!

Well, the real world is pretty boring in general. No strange looking scenery, no lush greenery, no dreamy feeling… and worst of all, absolutely no weird feelings about the places you’ve been. Or maybe because the ones I’ve mentioned is located somewhere else, far from where I am now. Maybe it’s about time I should experience this, just looking at the pictures won’t help.

The Scenic Places Found In RPG Games

And so, I turn to video games, particularly RPG games, in order to experience a nice, refreshing view of a beautiful scenery. Basically, some RPG games took place in a forest, making the players feel a little adventurous about what lies beyond the path you’re taking. Sure, that sounds exciting the first time you play that RPG game, but it gets less exciting the more you play it over and over.

But regardless of how I feel about the gameplay, I just couldn’t take my eyes off the scenery. The more realistic the scenery is, the better. Makes me wish I wanna go there and see the sights for myself, no matter how dangerous and creepy it is.

A Surrealistic Paradise

Well, how about a tour of a creepy-looking but absolutely enchanting forest? You know, like the Forest Pier area in Yume 2kki. The dark forest area makes it an ideal setting for a thriller-suspense story, don’t you think? It certainly requires a certain amount of courage just to explore the place on your own.

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I loved that Yume Nikki fan game. It was pretty extensive, a lot of areas for Urotsuki to explore. Aside from the Forest Pier, there’s the Apartments, Japan Town, the Hospital, and many others. Some of the game’s background music can give me the chills, though.

No matter how weird some of the scenery is, I still loved it. That shows how weirder can I get.

A Nice Refreshing Scenery… And A Mission To Save The World From Evil

Golden Sun (the first two games) and Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2 proved to be the coolest RPGs I’ve ever played, not only because of the characters themselves. The nice looking scenery makes me wish I’m living in that place. And don’t forget the interesting cutscenes and the mission to save the world!

A Dreamy-Looking Place… That Makes You Fall In Love With And Fall Asleep

I imagine a scenic place up in the hills, with a great view of the sky especially at night. On certain days, you can even go stargazing and sleep on the fluffy green grass all night until the break of dawn.

A field of lavenders and/or fireweeds makes it even more awesome, complete with a nice cold weather and some nice music to go along with. So much for that dreamy feeling…

Imagination At Work? Or Just A Strange Dream?

Outside of the RPG games and some imaginary thoughts, there’s something else that I wanted to share. Well, it’s actually based off Yume 2kki, which is the identical room in Urotsuki’s Dream Apartments (the one without the computer) that’s either accessible through the nexus or the effects hall (at least, on some older versions of the fan game).

Anyway, it is in that strange dream of mine that I have my very own apartment (a very old apartment just like the ones inside a tenement) that either serves as a storage area for my collections or a sleeping area far from my house. Inside, it looks kind of dark and it certainly needs a little improvement. Seems like an unusual alternate dwelling, eh?

The Virtual World

And now, there’s the computer-based simulated environment, where you get to create your own avatar and explore the virtual world and communicate with people. MMORPGs generally have that feature.

Well, that reminds me of the anime series Sword Art Online, where Kirito (along with Asuna and some of their friends) were unable to log out of an MMORPG game via a Nerve Gear, and they’ll have to stay inside the game for the time being. During that time, he and Asuna were spending some time together like a couple, albeit in a virtual world. Of course, they only get to meet each other in real life later in the series.

Anyway, I find the virtual world quite interesting, but I don’t know if I’ll ever gonna try it. Come to think of it, wouldn’t that be fun to live in a virtual world and create your very own avatar that really suits your personality? That would be the coolest thing ever, don’t you agree?


Okay, so there I was thinking of crossing back and forth to another dimension. As I mentioned earlier, the imaginary and virtual worlds are much more interesting than the real world. Sounds interesting, but it’s impossible to reach right now.

Oh well, I’ll just have to deal with the real world and be content with it… until they can finally introduce the Nerve Gear, just like the one in SAO, and start exploring some kind of virtual world and meet new people. As long as I don’t get trapped in the virtual world, that is.