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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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#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.

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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.

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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?

Postscript

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.

Who Owns An Idea?

Ideas… where do they come from? And who owns them?

I have a lot of ideas in mind, and some of them just came right while I was thinking. Completely unaware that someone else may have the same idea as I do, there is a possibility of a comparison once we come up with a strikingly similar concept with some obvious differences. Really?

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Most of my ideas are generally my own… well, mostly proclaimed, but I don’t actually own them unless it’s something that I can produce out of these ideas, whether it’s an invention or a work of art. Of course, everything my mind conceives is always free and will always be. After all, everyone else may (and/or can) have the same idea as mine.

Okay, so can you really own an idea? Probably. Ideas are generally free unless it’s strapped down by a contract or a patent.^

Patents are the strongest form of legal protection for an idea. It is generally used for inventions, more of an intellectual property. While there are ways to secure protection for an idea, such as trade secrets or copyrights, there’s a possibility that these may be rendered ineffective once it is already patented.

There are some drawbacks, however. The relatively short life and limited subject matter (utilitarian) shows that there is no way you can own that certain idea in perpetuity.^ I know how your ideas can influence and inspire others and by that, you wanted to make sure that you can always take the credit, but there is no way you can always proclaim it as yours… forever. Yes, there’s no such thing as perpetual ownership of ideas, like it is permanently affixed to you and certainly requires a royalty fee in order for others to use it.

Oh well, there is really no effective way to protect a simple idea. While copyrights protect expression and patents protect inventions, neither of them actually protects ideas. In both cases, the idea is the first critical step, but without some identifiable embodiment of the idea there can be no intellectual property protection obtained and no exclusive rights will flow unto you.^ Yup, ideas alone cannot be owned and protected by an individual, so that means someone can have (and use) the same idea as yours without any [legal] trouble.

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As a writer, I knew that I might end up having the same ideas for the story as the others. Whether it’s inspired from or loosely based on a story, there’s always a possibility of comparing my work to someone else’s. We may have the same ideas for a story, but we differ when it comes to creativity… well, almost.

Yes, we all have ideas, that’s for sure. To have the same idea as someone else, that’s normal. It’s share and share alike, don’t keep such wonderful ideas to yourself. Not all ideas can be owned and proclaimed as yours or theirs just so you know.

#2017: One Remarkable Year [E]

Well, a lot of remarkable things happened this year and for that, I’m extremely pleased. Except for a few stormy moments (mostly personal), everything went well.

Come to think of it, this year is remarkable in its own way. Just imagine how impressed I was with some of the good things that happened this year, especially from March and September.

January

The year begins with a post-New Year’s celebration. Of course, we managed to finish every leftover from the New Year’s Eve feast. I bought a couple of items, such as the digital alarm clock and the black knitted vest.

It was around this time when I finally get to witness the Dragon Dance at Ongpin Street in Binondo, but it was raining that time and I was exhausted from the crowd of people in the area. I decided to make a turn midway through the Dragon Dance, and head to the nearest mall. Before that, I also get to check the historic buildings at Escolta for the second time.

February

I just keep going back to the milk tea shop in Lagro, taking a moment to check the area and enjoy a nice sip of milk tea. Of course, I started wearing the black knitted vest and started experimenting with the string ribbon tie. Nothing special, it’s just that I might want to try it out.

March

I made three purchases this month. First, I bought the black cardigan. Next, I bought the black knitted blazer, but I didn’t wear it until my 27th birthday later that year. And of course, the black fleece coat that serves as a possible replacement for the black woolen coat that I bought a few years ago.

Around this time, I’ve been downloading some anime shows and a lot of music. I’m quite fascinated with a few anime characters, and I’m feeling kind of ecstatic about going out on a mall-hopping trip.

And then there’s a little mishap on the way home from a mall-hopping trip (where I bought another Tokyo Ghoul shirt from a stall in Binondo). First, there was a little accident where a jeepney hit the door of a UV Express I was riding. Apparently, a passenger was getting off that time, but it was a little off the sidewalk. And then a jeepney was passing through, but it just passed between the UV Express and the sidewalk while the door is still open. Result? A little accident. And while waiting for another UV Express, I can’t find my phone. After a few stressful minutes trying to find it, I actually misplaced it inside my bag. And that’s how that stressful moment ends.

And there goes the IV-Chromium gang again, trying to annoy me with some kind of messages through Facebook Messenger. They were planning a reunion that time, and some of them are talking about it. Apparently, they missed me a lot, but I hate them so much (even after ten years) that I was thinking twice about going out on the day of the reunion. Well, I did go out on that day, though I’m not actually planning to meet them anyway. Whatever.

April

April Fools’ Day. So here I was, minding my own business when two of my classmates from IV-Chromium approached me. They asked if I still remember them. Of course, I acted like I didn’t know them and walked away. I checked my Facebook Messenger, and they’re acting sad about it. As if they really cared about me anyway.

So I was really having a great time for the rest of the month. While on a mall-hopping trip to SM Masinag, I actually get to see the newly built piers of the LRT-2 East Extension. The rail tracks and power supply are yet to be installed, and the stations are yet to be built. Looks like we’ll have to wait a couple of years for the extension to be operational, eh?

May

I just happened to see a poster for an upcoming otaku event at the Fairview Terraces. I suddenly become interested in attending the event and even checked the venue for two weeks and checked the mall’s Facebook page. My excitement grew at the thought of it, as this will be the first time I’ll be attending an otaku event.

And there I was, admiring the cosplayers and their amazing costumes. I even had a few pictures with some of them. They’re really awesome. The two-day event is truly a memorable experience for me. I’m looking forward to a similar event, hopefully at the same venue. The event inspired me to start a new series on TWATK-Tumblr called The Keihancarl Diaries, which documents some remarkable things that happened during my trips.

The following week, I went on a mall-hopping trip to Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and McKinley Hill, both in Taguig. But the recent news updates about a terrorist group invading Marawi City suddenly made me feel anxious and as a result, I didn’t get to enjoy the trip too much due to anxiety. Even with the tightened security in Manila and other cities, I still couldn’t help but worry about the possibility of some terrorist groups slipping past the security. We’re praying for our safety and for our beloved soldiers who are fighting to restore peace and order in the affected city.

June

We tried roasting a whole chicken on the turbo broiler… it was okay. Well, the problem is that there’s a problem with the timer dial so we had to closely guard the chicken, like, for more than an hour. It turned out dry in the end, but we managed to enjoy the meal.

I visited Manila again after a few months. While running to catch the LRT-1 to Baclaran, I had an allergy attack and I felt very uncomfortable throughout the train ride. Later that afternoon, I enjoyed walking along the streets of Ongpin, and just witnessed an incident near the LRT Carriedo Station. And since it was raining that afternoon, I skipped Baywalk and head straight to Robinsons Place Manila to have an early dinner before heading home. That time, my former blog The Kin Keihan Times had just celebrated its ninth year in the cyberspace, though the site itself is now an archive of posts from all of my old blog sites, including TWATKcox-Tumblr’s early posts.

July

I published the two-part School Days article, which tells much about my elementary and high school life, as well as the importance of education.

On my next mall-hopping trip to Ortigas Center-Kapitolyo area, I visited Estancia Mall and the newly-opened Ayala Malls The 30th for the first time. Heading to SM Megamall, I saw some cosplayers and otaku fans gather outside the mall’s Trade Hall. There was actually an otaku event, but I didn’t have time to check it out since I still need to visit a few more malls in the area, as well as Greenhills Shopping Center.

August

I visited the newly-opened Vertis North Mall, another addition to the two malls at North Avenue. Also, I checked out some interesting shops at Vertis North Mall and SM North EDSA.

The following week, I visited Eastwood and Tiendesitas for the first time in a few years, as well as SM City East Ortigas. I also bought my first pair of red socks at a Mumuso branch in Vertis North Mall before heading home.

I also published a throwback post about revisiting Lagro in 2014 for the first time in three years (seven years after the high school graduation in 2007). I celebrated that occasion at a milk tea shop near my high school and posted a note on the shop’s cork board. Later, I had a funny moment when I happened to see a scary looking doll inside a steel cabinet at HMR Fairview Terraces. All I did was picture the doll inside the steel cabinet, and even took a video of me opening the cabinet to reveal the scary looking doll inside, which I uploaded to my Instagram account.

September

I visited Rockwell Center and Century City for the first time in nearly three years, as well as Circuit Makati. Just the usual mall-hopping trip with lots of pictures and some selfies. Later that afternoon, I head to Binondo and saw a wonderful collection of anime figures at the Manga Mania Exhibit (Asian Festival) in Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Around this time, I suddenly become fascinated with Twitter and I’m starting to get the hang of it. Even though I already had a Twitter account since 2010, I never actually used it much except for promoting my blog posts (TWATK-WP and TWATK-Tumblr) and I rarely changed my profile and cover photos. All of a sudden, my Twitter account experienced a revival of all sorts as I started following certain accounts as well as tweeting (and retweeting) posts. This is where you’ll hear me rant about various things, as I don’t feel like doing it on Facebook anymore. Also, I feel more comfortable expressing myself in here than Facebook, to be honest.

I get to visit another event, the Manila International Book Fair at the SMX Convention Center. I actually had to fall in line for about thirty minutes before I finally got inside. There were a lot of people at the event, and there are some interesting booths… though I didn’t buy anything, except for a couple of Mogu Mogu bottles which I consumed outside the premises. I then passed by S’Maison, a two-level luxury mall just below Conrad Manila, as well as SM Mall Of Asia. I get to see the mall’s expansion, though they’re partly open at the moment. The expansion is still a work in progress. After that, I head to Landmark Trinoma to buy some ingredients for a cheesecake.

The next day, I made a no-bake cheesecake, though the result was far from what I expected. It was like an ice cream cake that needs to be refrigerated in order to set. My next attempt is just the same as the first one.

Then came the unexpected sad news. My sister-in-law’s father was killed in an unexpected accident in Sangandaan. He was riding his mountain bike on the way to his destination when a ten-wheeler truck struck him. Although he encountered an accident last year involving another mountain bike and both cyclists ended up getting injured, this one took his life. He was a dedicated cyclist and a loving father to my sister-in-law’s family, as well as to his son-in-law (my brother). I met him a few times and he’s really a nice person. I immediately offer a condolence to my sister-in-law before dinner for her loss. Right now, the case against the truck driver is still ongoing as of this writing. I immediately suffered a momentary depression that I don’t feel like writing and blogging for a while. I resumed blogging and writing a few days after his burial.

October

This month, we’re having a double celebration: my brother and sister-in-law’s first wedding anniversary, and my 27th birthday.

I was planning on celebrating my 27th birthday with a mall-hopping trip in the south (Alabang-Las Piñas area). But before that, I treat myself to a blueberry cheesecake and winter melon milk tea at a dessert place in Lagro. And since my birthday coincided with my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding anniversary, the sumptuous dinner serves as a celebration for two occasions. They bought a cake and a tub of ice cream for my birthday two days later. I managed to finish most of the food in the next few days, except for a few pieces of the sushi roll which was already spoiled just as I was close to finishing them all.

And there’s the second part of the birthday celebration, a mall-hopping trip in the south. That was the time I finally got to wear the black knitted blazer that I bought six months ago. Also, I bought a couple of zipper ties, but I don’t feel like wearing any of them for some reason. I ended up wearing just the olive-yellow collared shirt with the blazer. The trip went okay, but the sudden allergic reaction after running to catch the PNR train and the traffic in Alabang (and later, Commonwealth Avenue, Fairview area) and the rainfall nearly ruined it. Also, the planned concept didn’t go well. The only consolation for this trip is the red and gray socks I bought from a Mumuso branch in Ayala Malls South Park, and the light traffic along Alabang-Zapote Road (Las Piñas section) and CAVITEx.

The month ends in yet another problem. The desktop PC’s motherboard finally gave up after more than eight years. The PC is running slower than usual and it really needs an upgrade. For a while, I’m using my sister-in-law’s laptop, but I’m pretty anxious about retrieving the list of upcoming post titles, which is saved as a sticky note courtesy of a now-defunct freeware ATNotes. I know it is saved on a file, but there’s a possibility that I might no longer retrieve the sticky notes saved on my desktop.

November

It was raining these past few days and I’m starting to feel depressed. I’m already suffering from a case of anxiety due to a lot of reasons (mostly due to the PC’s dead motherboard and the inability to retrieve the upcoming post titles and their schedules), and the gloomy stormy weather makes it even worse. I don’t know what to do, I’m starting to lose focus on my upcoming blog posts. I took a day off from blogging to lure myself out of depression.

I head out on another mall-hopping trip, and I come up with a brilliant idea for my outfit. I finally get to incorporate the black zipper tie to my outfit, which consists of my old orange button shirt, black fleece coat, and a black sun visor. I actually looked good on it so I decided on that outfit. And it yielded a lot of good looking selfies. Anyway, I managed to squeeze a lot of malls within a 12-hour trip, and so far everything went well… until the MRT Ayala Station situation makes it difficult for me to head home. I was forced to take a detour, and it took me long enough just to get home.

The new PC arrived, and it’s running Windows 10. For a while, I’m pretty overwhelmed by its features, and it took me a few weeks in order to get used to it. The old hard drive containing the old OS (Windows 8) is connected to the new motherboard, and we tried to run the old OS. It booted successfully, albeit with a few problems, mostly with the PC’s drivers. And that’s how I eventually managed to retrieve the list of upcoming post titles, along with the rest of the sticky notes and some others. The partition containing the old OS is eventually formatted and is distributed to the remaining partitions on the old hard drive.

The only disappointment though is that the DVD-writer cannot be installed due to lack of SATA slots. So that means I’m going to use my sister-in-law’s laptop in order to retrieve some data from my backup DVDs, as well as burning some important and not-so-important junk into numerous DVDs for the time being in order to save space.

I was thinking of installing ATNotes on the new PC but decided not to and installed Keynote instead. Yup, that freeware I downloaded a long time ago finally got some use as a replacement for ATNotes, which I relied on for a few years. I wouldn’t have to worry about losing the list of upcoming post titles and their schedules again, at least I know where they are saved.

December

I’m off to another mall-hopping trip, focusing on the malls located along LRT-2, plus the mall along Katipunan Avenue. Due to the construction of the LRT-2 extension in the area (Pasig-Cainta-Masinag), I’m stuck in heavy traffic going to SM Masinag and I ended up getting stressed and anxious throughout the trip. I’m planning to skip SM Masinag on my next trip in the area until the LRT-2 extension is finished.

I was planning to relax at the milk tea and coffee place in Lagro, but I did some shopping as well. I actually chose the second Saturday of this month to go out because I was feeling kind of motivated that time, not to mention that My Awesome Classmate’s birthday celebration is taking place on that day. The chance of running into him is pretty low, but if that happens, I can always say “Hi” to him. Anyway, I had a vanilla frappe at the milk tea and coffee place, and I continued writing the story that I started months ago. I then head to the Fairview malls to continue my shopping.

And for the last mall-hopping trip for this year, I chose Manila as my itinerary with a little side trip to the newly-opened Cloverleaf Mall and, supposedly, a mall in Valenzuela. The latter was scrapped due to time constraints and the possible heavy traffic in the area. En route to my first destination, the heavy traffic in Novaliches area is stressing me out, and I spent a couple of hours getting stuck in traffic. Later on, I have to deal with a busy crowd in Divisoria and Binondo. Aside from the mall in Valenzuela, I also skipped a couple of places due to light rain. Reaching Robinsons Place Manila, I’m amazed at the Christmas display featuring a group of children singing Christmas carols. I really enjoyed taking a lot of selfies on the Christmas display, and that totally cheered me up.

For Christmas Eve, I made some cheesecake topped with cashews and crushed graham crackers and a cream cheese carbonara with ham and mushrooms. For New Year’s Eve, we only had spaghetti, French fries, and fried chicken, as well as a plain graham cheesecake. We did celebrate Christmas and New Year with my family and relatives with a simple feast.

Conclusion

The year 2017 is not much like I expected, but it’s pretty remarkable in its own way. I mean, I still had a lot of fun. I visited a couple of events, as well as a lot of malls. I bought a lot of new clothes and some accessories,  posted a lot of pictures on my Instagram account, published a lot of posts on my blog sites, and revived my Twitter account after a long inactivity and started following a lot of accounts (mainly otaku related accounts). And of course, some stormy moments too.

Well, I guess that’s the way it is, you really can’t replicate a previously good year with this one. On a brighter side, however, it was an interesting year for me and a prolific year for my blog sites. I’m looking forward to a better and a brighter 2018 ahead.

The Year 2017: TWATKcox’s Year-End Post Special

Time flies fast, and we’re close to switching to a new year. But before that, let’s have a recap of some of the posts for this year. I featured 30 articles for the year-end post special.

The Holiday Hangover

As the holiday season ends, there’s always a holiday hangover. This post tackles the struggle of switching back to normal after enjoying a lengthy holiday break, as well as some tips on how to overcome your holiday hangover.

The Year 2005: One Remarkable Year (The 150th Post Special)

A lengthy post about the remarkable things that happened in my life during that year. It includes my awesome summer vacation, my sudden interest in watching anime shows, discovering new interests, and my fascination with smooth jazz.

Why I Blog: The TWATKcox’s 4th Year Special

Blogging sure is a great way to express yourself. Anyway, this post tells much about my blogging experience, and why I started blogging. It also includes some snippets from my former blog, the Kin Keihan Times.

Alone For Comfort: A Recluse Inside The Room

I know how it feels like to be a recluse, so I wrote this. It includes my thoughts about being a recluse, as well as some reference from the anime series Welcome To The NHK since the show is basically about the main character Tatsuhiro Satou, who is a hikikomori (a Japanese term for recluse).

Fascination With Night And Darkness

I have this obsession with being surrounded by darkness. I actually discovered the term nyctophilia while I was browsing the internet and I just happened to appreciate the darkness of the night so that’s how I come up with this post.

Comfort Through Darkness (A Thought)

At the same time, I was seeking comfort through the darkness, as a result of being a loner for a very long time. This post explains the reason why I’m lured into the dark side of life.

The Dangers Of [High] Expectations [E]

Having high expectations can be pretty dangerous and disadvantageous to a person, whether in daily life, at school or at work.

The Missing Moments Of My Life

There are some things that I never get to do during high school and college. And so, I decided to recall some activities that I could have done back then, but didn’t.

Goodbye, Student Life (Timeline College Series #18)

The last post in the Timeline College Series focused solely on my college graduation. Coincidentally, it was published five years after my college graduation back in 2012.

My Quirky Ways

I know I’m different from the rest, and I can live with it. This post tells about my non-conformist lifestyle and my unusual creativity, as well as my weird rituals and habits.

Expressions, In Light And Dark: The Six Poems, Written By KCOX [L]

Initially, I was planning to write six stories for this special literary post, but I ended up writing six poems instead. It consists of three light-themed poems and three dark-themed poems.

Fantasies, In Real Life

I wrote this article as a homage to my imaginary fantasies. I admit that I’m still drawn to make-believe fantasies, even though I’m already in my mid-20’s. Well, this post covers everything about my childhood make-believe fantasies and my high level of imagination.

A Cynical Life [E]

Sometimes, I tend to have negative views on life. It’s hard to believe how I can be pessimist and cynical at times, especially when it comes to my future plans and my unfulfilled goals in life. But it isn’t at all bad.

Shyness Is A State Of Mind…

Being a shy person, it’s really difficult for me to accomplish certain tasks and activities such as applying for an OJT on my own, asking a salesman regarding the item on the shelf you’re about to buy or even going to a friend’s house without feeling anxiety. Dealing with shyness really takes a lot of courage and determination to overcome this.

Quirkiness Through Fashion

I usually find myself donning unusual outfits whenever I go out. This post is all about my obsession with unusual but cool looking outfits, as well as providing some ideas for a creative outfit that you can call your own.

Awkwardness Is…

I just couldn’t help feeling awkward in some situations, so I decided to write this post. Anyway, it’s all about socially awkward experiences and how to deal with it.

School Days: Achievements, Activities, Moments, And Experiences / My Thoughts About School And The Importance Of Education

This two-part special post tells about my elementary and high school life, as well as my thoughts and the importance of education. A very timely post for the start of a school year, which actually begins in June.

The Writer With An Attitude (175th Post Special) [E]

The 175th post special focused on my perfectionist attitude as a writer-blogger. Seriously, I always keep proclaiming myself as a perfectionist with an attitude, as if anyone cares. But that should explain who I really am, especially when I’m currently at work with a story or an article.

A Grudge Caused By A Miserable Past [E]

Inspired by a not-so-friendly encounter with my classmates in high school on April Fools’ Day (fourth-year high school classmates, to be more specific), it tells much about holding grudges against the people who made someone’s life miserable, as well as its consequences.

#Throwback: Lagro Revisited

A throwback post about revisiting the place (where my high school is) back in 2014. I was actually heading to a shawarma place but I also decided to pass by my high school, and possibly the street where My Awesome Classmate lives. To be honest, there’s nothing special about this revisit, but I did it anyway.

The Dangers Of Wearing All-Black

Since I started wearing all-black, I tend to become emo at times and I feel kind of strange too. Anyway, this should give you the idea why wearing all-black can be harmful to your emotional well-being.

Keihancarl’s Guide To Budget City Travel

I tend to go out and visit every mall in the metropolis, as well as some places of interest. So here’s a post that will help you manage your time and expenses on every trip, in and out of town.

A Prank Goes Overboard

Not all pranks are funny, that’s why I decided to write this post in order to spread awareness on the consequences of committing unnecessary pranks against an individual or a group of people. Sounds like a killjoy advice coming from a prank victim, but I don’t care.

What It Means To Be Cool (And Look Cool)

The definition of cool can be either good or bad. Being cool is something to be desired, but it can also be a life-changing experience, especially in your lifestyle.

Night Shift

This special post deals with the pros and cons of working the night shift (also known as the graveyard shift), as well as my brief experience as a call center agent in a BPO company in Makati.

The Dangers Of Anxiety [E]

Too much anxiety can be harmful to your well-being. So I wrote this to inform the people about the dangers of extreme anxiety and its negative effects on your physical and emotional well-being.

The Thoughts Of A Person

Sometimes, my thoughts are motivating me to do something. But then, there are times when I was thinking about weird and/or negative thoughts, and that’s something to write about.

Pretty Normal… Not!

I’m not a normal person, that’s for sure. It’s actually similar to My Quirky Ways, but I’m mostly focusing on my mannerisms and strange behavior, which are generally a cause of concern for some.

The Disadvantage Of Spending…

These days, I find myself spending a lot on my mall-hopping trips and some useful and not-so-useful stuff. Well, this post explains the downside of spending money on some expensive or useless stuff, as well as overspending.

A Feast For The Eyes

What good is a feast if the food presentation’s not pleasing enough to the hungry eye? Oh well, this should serve as a guide to those who are planning a sumptuous feast but worried about how it would look like on the table. Just the basics though, since I’m no expert at food preparation.

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It sure was a prolific year for TWATKcox-WP, having published 49 posts (50 including this one), and that’s what I called a great achievement. Anyway, may the next year be as prolific as this one.

From Keihancarl in Manila, we all wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hooray for 2018!

A Holiday To Remember

‘Tis the season to be jolly… fa la la la la, la la la la!

All right, so Christmas is just a few days away and we’re looking forward to another holiday celebration. Oh, the joy of spending Christmas with your family and relatives… having a feast, having fun, and exchanging gifts. But there’s more to it than just celebrating the holidays.

Now come to think of it, we seldom have Christmas parties and we no longer celebrate the holidays as a complete family. But we do have a special feast on New Year’s Day as a compromise. Still, nothing beats the fun and joy of having a Christmas party.

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The holiday season is the season of love, peace, and joy to every mankind. It is the time when families and relatives gather for a heartwarming sumptuous feast and exchanging gifts with one another. Even friends also celebrate the holidays together like a family.

So what makes the holiday season truly memorable? Perhaps it’s all about spending quality time with your relatives and loved ones… something that truly matters since it’s not often that they gather around for a simple occasion such as birthdays or weddings. Plus it gives them the chance to show their love for each other by means of gift-giving and enjoying a sumptuous feast. Of course, there’s the usual chatter, laughter, and having fun.

Looking back, I always look forward to a Christmas party since I love the cheerful and joyful atmosphere of a family gathering. But times have changed, and we no longer gather for a Christmas feast. So it’s just a family thing for us, at least on that day. Of course, we still gather on New Year’s Day, but it feels different from the ones we used to have.

Again, there’s more to it than just a simple family gathering or a sumptuous feast and exchanging gifts. Perhaps by listening to Christmas carols, you now have the idea why we celebrate Christmas.

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This year, I’ll finally get to spend Christmas at home for the first time in six years. The previous Christmas I’m out of the house, either I’m in the province celebrating my grandmother’s birthday (2012, 2014-2016), or I’m at work as a call center agent in training during that time (2013). Anyway, looks like I’m gonna try my hand at cooking something special for the holidays.

Nowadays, celebrating the holidays feels kind of different at the time of social media. Of course, there’ll be online greetings and live video chat with loved ones and relatives… but still, it feels more special to greet someone a Merry Christmas in person.

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All right, so let me recount some of my memorable holiday celebrations:

Twenty years ago, in 1997, we get to celebrate a Christmas party with our relatives (at my uncle’s house). We had a sumptuous feast, parlor games, exchange gifts, and a videoke session (on VHS). I recall some moments where we cousins danced to the music and getting really excited about the gift that I’ll receive. Of course, there’s a part two of the celebration, which is the New Year’s Eve party (media noche).

Twelve years ago, in 2005, we celebrate Christmas Eve at my cousin’s apartment. We only had a feast and some music, but it’s still a memorable experience and we cousins have fun.

Since 2008, we only celebrate New Year’s day at my uncle’s house with a feast. Of course, we celebrate Christmas at my grandmother’s place in Pangasinan (her birthday falls on the day before Christmas, I think), though it’s every two years. At times, we only celebrate Christmas at home with a simple feast and some music.

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Change is constant, yes. And that includes the way we celebrate the holidays.

Looking back, I always recall the joy and excitement of celebrating Christmas as a kid. I guess things will never be the same again, even if we decided to revive the tradition of celebrating a Christmas party with family and relatives. But then, the spirit of the holidays is and will always be present, with or without a feast.

A Feast For The Eyes

A good feast calls for a good presentation.

So it’s holiday season once again, and some of us are already planning a great holiday feast that involves a variety of dishes that are commonly served at parties and events. It is the perfect time for a family gathering, feasting on mouth-watering dishes that makes it truly heartwarming.

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So much food, so much fun. It’s really hard to resist such mouth-watering foods, especially if they’re attractively delicious. Just looking at them makes you feel full.

It’s no secret why some people are attracted to some of the food served on the table. The colors, the arrangement, and the way how it’s done… just looking at them can really make my mouth water, not to mention the delicious smell that wafts my nose. Somehow, the aesthetic appeal of the food served on the table can really help in upping someone’s appetite and enjoy a sumptuous feast.

So here are some tips and ideas for making your dishes look good and picture-worthy:

A Variety Of Colors

Some dishes are made with various ingredients including meat and vegetables. A colorful stew can be made with meat or seafood, an assortment of vegetables such as red and green bell peppers,  carrots and/or potatoes, and other great additions to the stew. A simple roast can be decorated with sides, such as mashed potatoes, carrot or potato sticks, and slices of cucumber. If you’re creative enough to come up with a colorful dish, then you can actually make one. Of course, it’s important to make sure that each of the ingredients compliments each other.

Arrangement

Finger foods and some fried foods can look great if they’re arranged properly.  You can even place the sauce at the center or at the side, depending on your preference. For garden salads, the assorted greens, vegetables, some fruits, and other ingredients can be arranged for a more artistic appeal.

Garnishes And Sauces

Garnishes and sauces do wonders for any dish. Pasta dishes can be sprinkled with cheese, parsley, or basil. For fillets and steaks, a drizzle of the sauce can make the otherwise boring dish look (and taste) delicious.

Toppings

It may sound like decorating a pizza, but it really does wonders in bringing out the beauty of a dish. A rice dish called paella can be topped with some seafood, meat, vegetables, and sliced egg. Some desserts, especially cakes, can be topped with a choice of fruit or nuts.

Decorations

Food carving is a culinary work of art, usually done by artists or chefs. You can always see such works of art in hotels and restaurants, and at times, catering services. It doesn’t have to be extravagant for a typical holiday feast, just a simple rosette of flowers made from vegetable peelings will do. All you need is a proper tool (such as a paring knife) to achieve this.

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The sight of mouth-watering foods can really make you hungry, but the sight of the dishes served on the table can really tempt you into trying every dish. Maybe the color of the ingredients, garnishes, and some toppings really helped in making some dishes (and maybe the entire feast) more appetizing, and picture-friendly too.

Yup, a good feast calls for a good presentation… and a good presentation makes a livelier, heartier feast.