The Interesting Reads (All In The Books Series #2)

NOTE: There are some possible spoilers in this post, specifically on the list of interesting book titles. Proceed with caution. *evil laugh*

Since buying the second-hand book Saigon by Anthony Grey in January 2007 (one of the few books that I never finished reading due to a couple of reasons), I started discovering a lot of interesting reads, from sports to fantasy, romance to historical… plus a few classics, non-fiction, and some manga books.

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I always frequent bookstores, especially second-hand bookshops, in search of some good and exciting reads. In the past twelve years, I’ve probably bought about 500-600 books excluding manga. Most of the books in my collection are children’s novels and young adult fiction, plus some books from bestselling authors. But what I’m really into these days are science fiction, fantasy, and some coming-of-age stories.

Well then, I’ll be featuring some of the interesting reads from my entire book collection. Take note that I’ll only be featuring the books that I’ve already read, and may include some non-fiction books as well. Click on the link for additional information.

  • Park’s Quest (Katherine Paterson)–The second book that I bought, and the first book that I finished reading. I was initially attracted by the book’s cover, and eventually, the plot. In the novel, Parkington Waddell Broughton V, who prefers to be called Park, wants to know more about his father, a U. S. Marines pilot who died in the Vietnam War. But other than knowing more about his father and his ancestors, he also discovered a shocking discovery–he actually had a half-sister, a Vietnamese girl named Thahn. I  find it quite interesting that I finished reading it within two weeks.
  • Can You Sue Your Parents For Malpractice (Paula Danziger)–Lauren Allen had an issue with her parents (particularly her dad), her ex-boyfriend Bobby, and her little sister Linda. And then she began having issues with the other kids for going out with Zack. Of course, she can always fight back, even if that means suing her parents for malpractice and standing up against these kids for being called a cradle robber. Yeah, the book seems kind of hilarious in some ways, but I loved it so much that I actually think of suing my dad for malpractice… okay, well, that part is a joke. But more than just suing your parents for malpractice, there are some things you can learn from the novel, some of which are family-related.
  • Tea (Stacey D’erasmo)–The story revolves around Isabelle Gold trying out various identities since her mother Cassie took her own life, and her relationship with different girls (namely Ann, Rebecca, Lottie, and Thea). But the hot drink that is used as the title of the story? It is actually the hot drink that Isabelle prepares and Cassie drinks, knowing that she’ll drink it and relieve her of sadness. It is more of a slice-of-life novel which is quite a good read, I must say.
  • To Be A Ninja*/Ninja: The Beginning (Benedict Jacka)–The Havelock siblings were escaping from their drug baron father’s clutches, but only two of them, Ignis and Allandra, managed to get away and ended up in a forest area called Rokkaku. They may have escaped from their father, but they ended up training to become ninjas. Allandra had plans to rescue their other sibling, Michael, which proved to be unsuccessful in the end. I actually picked up this book because of its cool book cover, which resembled those of a graphic novel or manga. Of course, I was also fascinated with ninjas and the book’s plot, hence my decision to buy and read it.
  • lisa33 (Dan Allen)–The novel is more of an erotic chatroom style literature with e-mail exchanges on the side. The titular character, Lisa, had problems with her husband, while Tag, a lawyer, is trapped in a loveless romance. Despite the romantically-motivated online relationship between the two, she eventually decided to put an end to this and go offline by canceling her internet subscription and selling her PC, as well as meeting real people outside the confines of a chatroom.
  • Tangerine (Edward Bloor)–Since Paul Fisher’s family moved to Tangerine County, Florida, a lot of (strange) things happened. There were some revelations all throughout the story, one of which is how and why did he have to wear those thick glasses. He got kicked off from a soccer team in Lake Windsor High due to impaired vision, yet he actually managed to play for a soccer team in Tangerine High. In addition, his brother Erik is getting more attention of the two brothers, despite the fact that he is more of a troublemaker (and a cruel psychopath) than him. I actually find that revelation (about his vision) quite mysterious and very intriguing, and since then, I always dreaded the fact that someone might do the same thing to my eyes… well, that could be worse.
  • Hangman Curse (Frank Peretti)–The Springfield family had been commissioned by the U. S. president to investigate a curse at a high school (Baker High) in which three students, who are star athletes, were placed in an incoherent coma. Believed to be a curse caused by a student who died in the 1930s, it turns out that someone else (more of a gothic cult) is responsible for the so-called Abel Frye curse, which involves reproducing a cross breed of dangerous spiders to be used for their intended victims. It is one of the few Christian fiction novels that I’ve read, and I find it quite interesting. I also watched its movie adaptation featuring Leighton Meester and Douglas Smith.
  • Make Believe Ball Player (Alfred Slote)–Henry Smith, a clumsy, near-sighted kid, is apparently caught up in his make-believe fantasies, much to the annoyance of his mother and sister. But then, it was the same make-believe fantasies that saved him and his mom’s art collection, and eventually, lead him back to real-life baseball. I was fascinated by the story because I often do that when I was a kid. Well, now that I’m older, this book reminds me of my make-believe fantasies, something that persists (albeit in my head) to this day.
  • Märchenmond/Magic Moon (Heike and Wolfgang Hohlbein)–A fantasy novel about a boy named Kim Larssen who is drawn into a land of dreams, saving the world from darkness, as well as saving his little sister Rebecca, who actually fell into a coma following an appendicectomy in the real world. Although it took me a long time to finish this book, it is actually awesome in some way.
  • Märchenmonds Kinder/Children Of The Magic Moon (Heike and Wolfgang Hohlbein)–A sequel to Magic Moon, Kim returns to the magic world to find out the reason behind the disappearing children from Magic Moon. Just like the first book, it is an awesome read.
  • Eat Your Poison Dear (James Howe)–Sebastian Barth is investigating the root cause of food poisoning at the school cafeteria, in which the victim himself (Milo Groot) is actually the one responsible for that incident. Who would have thought that a nerd like Milo would do something like that as a way of getting back at his tormentor(s)… I really loved the book so much that I finished it within a day or two, and perhaps one of the books that I actually read aloud (in a very soft voice, of course). Yeah, one of my college classmates asked if I really do that while I’m reading a book. *grins*
  • Exchange (Paul Magrs)–Simon and his grandmother Winnie loved reading books. But their love for reading and collecting second-hand books eventually lead to his grandfather Ray’s annoyance. While visiting the Exchange, a library filled with some of the world’s greatest books, Winnie had found a book written by her childhood friend, Ada Jones. It was through this book that she and the library owner Terrance got into an argument over her keeping the book and giving away three of her books to replace the book she wanted to keep, and eventually leads to her reunion with Ada. Ray, meanwhile, was jealous of Terrance for he thought the latter might take his wife away, even burning Winnie’s and Simon’s collection of books to satisfy his anger. Eventually, Ada passed away and Winnie decided not to take any books from her best friend’s collection, knowing that the books themselves aren’t that valuable and that it’s best not to hoard things. That somehow made me rethink about buying a lot of books and not reading them in the end, now I only focus on buying manga and a few remarkable titles that are worth reading.
  • Burn (Suzanne Phillips)–Cameron Grady, a high school freshman, experience a great deal of bullying from Rich Patterson and his followers. Eventually, the latter were punished for their actions, Cameron is treated nicely by the teachers, and everything is supposed to go back to normal. However, something unexpected happened–the victim killed a fellow victim, Charlie Piñon, inside the shower room. He was eventually sentenced to four years for manslaughter at the maximum security of a detention center for juvenile delinquents. I loved the book so much due to its theme, but the murder part really disturbed me right after reading it.
  • Teen Angst? Naaah… (Ned Vizzini)–This book contains various short stories of the author’s experiences, from junior high to senior year. It includes getting his first video game console (a Nintendo), studying for the Specialized Science High School Admissions Test (SSHSAT) in order to get into Stuyvesant, getting a video (a movie) aired on cable TV, jumping on the turnstiles of a Manhattan subway and getting caught, going to the prom, and committing a blunder during a college admission interview. There are side notes throughout the book, mostly comments from the author.
  • It’s Kind Of A Funny Story (Ned Vizzini)–Inspired by the author’s confinement inside a psychiatric hospital, the novel deals with Craig Gilmer confronting the source of his anxiety. Having been overwhelmed by extreme academic pressure, he has trouble eating and sleeping, and eventually checked himself into a psychiatric hospital due to his inability to fend off suicidal thoughts. He meets other patients in the hospital, some of them are friendly towards him. While recovering, he discovered his true talent–making stylized human figure maps. He eventually returns home and starts appreciating little things that make him happy. Another great compelling read from an awesome author.
  • Battle Royale (Koushun Takami)–The moment I saw it at a bookstore in Cubao, I knew I want to read it. But I have to endure a nine-month search, until one day I saw it at a book store near my place and immediately bought it. Set in fictional fascist Japan, it is a dystopian novel about a military program (run by the authoritarian Japanese government), where an entire class of third-year junior high school students (including Shuya Nanahara, Noriko Nakagawa, and Shogo Kawada) are forced to kill each other with various weapons until the ultimate survivor emerges and is declared the winner. Apparently, the three remaining students managed to disarm the collar (that serves as a sensor and will explode when taken off) and confronted the program’s supervisor Kinpatsu Sakamochi. They killed Sakamochi, Shogo died on the way to the mainland, and Shuya and Noriko escaped to America. The novel itself is controversial due to its gory and violent content, but it becomes a bestseller when it was released in Japan. I loved the book’s ending, it gives a feeling of a pair of people trying to escape from the clutches of a restrictive society and into the freedom. The intense scenes from the book are a compelling read as well.
  • Chinese Cinderella (Adeline Yen Mah)–An abridged version of the author’s story. In this book, she recounts a variety of good and bad experiences from her childhood. I find the book extremely compelling that I’m planning to buy and read her more comprehensive memoir, Falling Leaves.
  • Candyfreak (Steve Almond)–A non-fiction book that focuses on his journey to different candy companies in search of the uncovered truth about the candy business. More than that, it also features how the author grew up on candy and the ever-changing candy business. A sweet title with a bittersweet truth about the candy industry in the US.
  • Dekada ’70 (Lualhati Bautista)–The only Filipino-language novel I’ve read as of this writing. A political novel with a feminist theme set during the Martial Law era, Amanda, mother of five boys, narrates about the things that happened in her life and her sons during that time. While she is just a housewife to her husband and mother to her five boys, she takes on a challenge to fulfill a woman’s predefined role despite social, political, and familial difficulties. She is eventually proved to be worthy of acknowledgment and respect as a woman for facing a lot of hurdles and finding a way around it, something that no other woman can do due to the fact that women are seen as subordinates of men.

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Okay, so I may have read a lot of books, but only a few titles in my collection are deemed interesting by yours truly and are worth my reading pleasure. Well, I’m not good at giving reviews about the books I’ve read… yet, but maybe one day I’ll learn all about it. Right now, I’m either biased or I’m just a terrible reviewer.

Well then, I’ll probably list down the frustrations of a book collector, from finding rare and obscure titles, to book damage. More on this on the next post!

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Keihancarl, The Book Collector/Frustrated Bookworm (All In The Books Series #1)

Hello, and welcome to my first post in the All In The Books series, the first in The Concepts by yours truly, Keihancarl. This is where I’ll publish a series of posts relating to books, being a bookworm, and bibliophilia (lover of books).

I’ve already done this with the Timeline series, featuring my high school and college life, but the posts are not published in succession as opposed to this one. Therefore, it is more of an extensive set of posts that deal with a specific topic, idea, or interest, much like an expanded version of a two-part special post. Anyway, this is the first of the seven posts in the AITB series, focusing on my habit of buying, collecting, and reading a lot of books. All right, let’s begin!


I’m fascinated with books. Since I was a kid, I couldn’t resist the urge to pick a book (mainly school textbooks), browse through its pages, and look at the wonderful drawings in it. Later on, I become interested in reading novels and manga books, something that brings out the bibliophile in me.

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Back then, I was not a serious bookworm. In fact, I was a kid who doesn’t even bother understanding what I’ve just read and even put some unsightly scrawls and drawings on the book pages. All I did was ruining the beauty of every book I touched with a pen or a crayon… well, not all of the books, actually.

By the time I started school, the only reading materials I have are the magazines and the school textbooks. I simply find interest in magazines, because they’re colorful. Anyway, I just keep flipping through the pages, hoping to find something interesting. In the end, I get bored reading the same stuff over and over again.

In 2003, my brother bought a comic book, Pugad Baboy (Swine’s Nest or Pig’s Nest) by Pol Medina Jr., which is basically a compilation of comic strips originally published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. He first bought the series’ eleventh compilation book, and then the fifteenth compilation book, and several others. He’s aiming to complete the collection. I also bought (and owned) about six compilation books as well (the ones he hasn’t bought, of course) for the collection, totaling eighteen compilation books in our possession (as of this writing, there were thirty-three compilation books in the Pugad Baboy series, including the three compilation books featuring the Sunday comics).

In 2007, I bought a second-hand paperback (Saigon by Anthony Grey) after a school event. I was passing by Booksale when I saw the book, which I thought was an interesting read. It was incredibly long, at 750 pages, that I find it impossible to finish for a first-time reader who’s not used to reading long novels. I decided not to finish the book after some of its pages starting to fall apart, even a simple fix of taping the book’s pages simply wouldn’t work. Oh well, it was an incredibly worn out second-hand book, to begin with, and I only bought it for 45 pesos so it shouldn’t be a big deal. Thing is, this totally paved the way for this obsession of collecting books, most of them remain unread as of this time.

At first, reading a novel is like reading any other book. Of course, I’m in for some serious reading, and I find it really frustrating at first. I eventually managed to finish reading a book, a young adult novel (Park’s Quest by Katherine Paterson) that I’ve bought weeks after the aforementioned first one. It sure was a great achievement for a soon-to-be bookworm.

In the next few months, I’ve become more obsessed with the habit of collecting more books, which later become a source of my anxiety. I was pretty attracted to the covers as well as the book’s synopsis, so I ended up buying it without even thinking. I’m spending more and more money on these second-hand books, but I only read about a fraction of the collection and the rest are simply gathering dust in the shelves for years. I don’t know what lead me to this obsession, it’s just that I have a new hobby.

I don’t restrict myself to buying second-hand books. Every once in a while, I actually bought brand-new books like Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah, Lost Boy by Linda Newberry, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, and the first three books in the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. Just imagine how I manage to save up a lot of money just to buy such expensive books, so clean and brand new! It’s a shame that they’ll only gather dust as soon as I finish reading them…

For the next five years, I keep visiting second-hand bookshops, buying a lot of books, and reading them at home or inside the classroom. I also set aside an entire afternoon to dust the books and clean the shelves, something that I don’t do nowadays due to an extreme case of laziness. I’ve already acquired a lot of books during the five-year period that I decided to stop this compulsive habit for now, which is quite impossible for me at first. Well, I managed to do just that.

Since mid-2011, I started buying manga books and graphic novels. I had to admit, they’re easier to read than novels, and I simply loved any book filled with illustrations and drawings. I must have bought about 40+ manga books during that time, within a three year period. That’s from August/September 2011 to June 2014. It was also during that time when I bought a couple more novels: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, and It’s Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini (both brand new copies).

Having acquired a huge amount of books, I began reading some of the young adult novels, sports novels (particularly the ones featuring baseball and soccer), and the manga books, targeting about 10 to 20 books per month. Eventually, I’m starting to lose interest in reading books, thanks to smartphones, but I can’t let myself be defeated by such addictive gadgets. At times, I was even attempting to read a few pages of a book every morning, but that move is short-lived.

Since mid-2014, I stopped buying books altogether. It was a real shame that I never get to buy some of the awesome [second-hand] manga books, like Buso Renkin, Lucifer And The Biscuit Hammer, Toradora, and a bunch of interesting Tokyopop and Del Rey Manga titles that were no longer in print.

I decided to resume buying books in September 2018, focusing mostly on second-hand manga books, beginning with a tankobon volume of Gunparade March. And yes, I actually bought all three books in The Dopple Ganger Chronicles trilogy by G. P. Taylor, which is quite a fascinating read after previewing a few pages. I was also hoping to buy a second-hand copy of Adeline Yen Mah’s Falling Leaves, which is a more comprehensive version of her second book, Chinese Cinderella, as well as Samurai Shortstop by Alan Gratz.

Right now, I’m trying to revive my reading habit by reading manga books and short novels. Eventually, I’m planning to divest more than two-thirds of my book collection, mostly children’s and young adult novels. Of course, I’m still keeping the ones that I’ve already read, some of which become my personal favorites.

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In the past twelve years, I’ve already read more than a hundred books, including manga… that’s one-sixth of my entire collection. I know I was trying to read some of the books that I bought many years ago but right now they’re sitting in the shelf, gathering dust. Looks like I don’t just collect books, I was actually hoarding them. And to think that I regret buying such unnecessary books in the first place just to let it gather dust, I could’ve been wise in my decisions and bought the ones that really matter to my reading pleasure.

Well, I may be fascinated with books, but at times I just felt too lazy to read them. It will take a while before I can finally resume this reading habit. Besides, reading helps in improving my writing skills, or so I thought.

I’ll be featuring some of my interesting reads on the next post. Please look forward to it!

The Things I Really Hate The Most [E]

If you followed the Kin Keihan Times back in 2008, chances are you’ve probably read the post No, Never, And I Don’t Like. It’s a list of 25 things that I didn’t like the most.

Okay, I’m gonna be straightforward on this one. There are some things in life that I find extremely irritating and annoying that I consider these as something I don’t like. Maybe it’s okay for you, but definitely not for me.

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The following list may offend some readers. Read at your own risk. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

  • Being Mocked By Anyone–This is something that really ticks me off. It is really a disrespectful and insensitive way to poke fun at a person. Those who mock unsuspecting people should be bashed thoroughly until they’ve suffered an extremely heavy consequence for their actions.
  • Homophobic And Misogynistic Remarks–Is there something wrong with your head? Is spreading hate messages something you can do? Get a life, dickhead.
  • Attention Seeking Dogs–Dogs are the most annoying creatures on Earth. But at times, I feel kind of sorry for them seeing that they’re capable of expressing their feelings to people. Still, I don’t want them chasing or following me, barking unnecessarily at me, and getting too hyper when they see me or when I got home. As for the ones other than our pets, they better stray off my path or they’ll be extremely sorry.
  • The Toxic People In My Life–Hello IV-Chromium peeps, happy to be featured on this post for the nth time? You guys are the reason why I can’t attend the prom and enjoy my last year in high school. It’s a shame I already branded you as the toxic people in my life. Same thing with my dad (though not that toxic, he’s pretty much annoying), some of my relatives, some of the bullies from high school, and some of my neighbors in our street. These are the people who need to get a life and get out of my life.
  • Marriage–I’m not planning to get married and start a family. Sorry to disappoint you, but I might end up being an abusive spouse and an abusive father to my children, thanks to my abusive dad. Also, marriage marks the end of my freedom, as there’s a possibility I might no longer enjoy the things I used to do.
  • Nagging And Offending Posts/Comments–Who would have thought I’m gonna receive such unfriendly and offensive comments, particularly from my cousin and uncle who thinks of me as a homo? I would have reacted to these comments, but I have the knack for disrespecting people I really hate, so I’ll hold off. In case things go awry, I’m gonna unleash my extremely disrespectful attitude towards these people. I’ve already done this to IV-Chromium peeps and they stopped. Who knows, I might shut someone up for good.
  • Unnecessary Disruptions–As explained in a previous post, I really find it extremely annoying that it affects my concentration and creativity. Unnecessary disruptions often lead to loss of concentration or mood, procrastination, and unfinished tasks. Of course, this is something I don’t want to experience, especially right in the middle of a crucial task or a scheduled activity.
  • Inconveniences–Traffic, long lines, poor service… these are some of the inconveniences that I really hate so much that I’m not going to have it for the rest of my life. Seriously, if I have to curse the ones manning the traffic or working behind the counter for being inefficient and lazy, then I would have done it every time. Oh, don’t think of me as an inconsiderate person, it’s just that I have high expectations.
  • Last-Minute Invitations/Announcements–No offense, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to invite someone at the party or inform someone about coming over at the very last minute. I’m not fond of surprise visits and unexpected change of plans, so don’t bother. Just so you know, people who invite and/or inform a person at the very last minute doesn’t care much about a person’s plans for that particular day. And inconsiderate too.
  • Annoyingly Rude People–They’re just like the toxic people in my life, but they’re actually showing signs of abusive behavior and an incredible level of disrespect towards someone. Yeah, they’re like the toxic people on drugs, no doubt about it. Makes me want to kill them if you ask me.
  • Uncivilized Netizens–Bashers, hoaxers, trolls. They proliferate everywhere in the online world, posting hateful comments, fake news, and unnecessary remarks about various things. They’re notorious for stirring up trouble in the cyberspace, making it a not-so-peaceful place for peace-loving netizens. They’re the number one cause of anxiety among internet users, including me.
  • Gossiping Neighbors/Officemates–It is pretty common in our village to spread rumors and gossip about some interesting people living in the area, but all they can only say are the ugly stuff. Nothing good ever comes out of it, especially if you don’t know everything about their situation. Besides, who cares about a neighbor’s personal life? It’s clearly none of your business.
  • Crabs–No, I’m not referring to the shellfish that I occasionally enjoy, but it’s the people who had the tendency to drag others down, especially if they have a lot of achievements and accomplishments, and are showered with praises and recognition from great people. Well, what these crabs do is to lower their self-confidence and impede their progress out of greed, envy, resentment, or intense competition against one another. Yeah, these crabs are just bad eggs that need to be discarded (in any way possible) from a person’s life.
  • Proliferation Of Pornography Across Social Media Platforms–The internet is for porn, you say? F**k off! You’re making the cyberspace dirty! Who cares about someone’s tits? Certainly not me!
  • Bullying Of Any Kind–Yeah, IV-Chromium peeps… I’m not done with you yet. To think some of you have gotten away with your bullying and then acting nice in the end just to make me feel better about it? Absolutely not. Anyway, you guys are the cause of my anxiety, my depression, my low self-esteem, and my struggles in life. If you bully someone and ended up struggling to recover from all of this distress, then you’re solely responsible for your bad deeds. Even if you try to act nice and try to reach out to them just to compensate for the things you’ve done, there’s no guarantee that they will change their perception about you… as a bully for all seasons.
  • Unnecessary Or Cruel Jokes/Pranks–This is actually bullying, in case you didn’t know. Yeah, not all jokes and pranks are bad, but if they don’t find it funny, please stop. You’re more likely to insult them than to crack them up.
  • Body Shaming–Yeah, some people have the tendency to judge people by their appearance. Like, you’re the most perfect creature on Earth. Why don’t you take a good look in the mirror to see how ugly you are from the inside, you judgemental critic?

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Right, so these are some of the things I really hate in life. Maybe this should give you an idea about who I really am–the guy who hates annoyance, disruptions, invading in a person’s private life, and unpleasant remarks.

Well, I’m not the only person who hates everything I’ve written on this post. I’m pretty sure there are others who also hate the same thing as mine. Anyway, I’m aiming to offend people who will be affected by the things I’ve written on this post, so let’s see how this will turn out. Maybe they’ll even think twice before they start annoying me with the nasty things that I don’t like.

#Throwback: Go For Gold… Gold?! (2014)

It was five years ago when I decided to try a Magnum Gold ice cream bar out of curiosity. You know, a go-for-gold treat for myself, as I call it.

Prior to this, I’ve already had a few Magnum Classic and Magnum Almond ice cream bars. But this one is something I really want to sink my teeth in. Believe me, it was pure bliss.

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Magnum is an ice cream brand owned by Unilever. While it’s been around since the early ’90s, it only entered the Philippine market in 2012. At that time, they’re only available in Classic, Almond, and Chocolate Truffle. I’ve only tried the classic and the almond flavors prior to this one.

Magnum ice cream bars are vanilla ice cream coated with thick Belgian chocolate. They’re commonly available in supermarkets and convenience stores, and they’re a bit expensive (around 50 to 60 pesos in 2013) compared to the other (locally produced) ice cream bars sold in the country. And yes, they’re also sold as a set of 6 mini bars (around 200 pesos).

In the next few years, they also introduced other Magnum variants, including Magnum Gold (salted caramel), White Almond (white chocolate and almond), and a couple of Magnum Infinity flavors (chocolate-caramel and chocolate-raspberry, if I recall correctly). The White Almond and Infinity variants are only available for a limited time.

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It was on an Easter Sunday evening in 2014 when I had the sudden urge to try a Magnum Gold ice cream bar. So I head to a supermarket in the newly-opened Fairview Terraces mall, grab a Magnum Gold ice cream bar, took a moment to fall in line in one of the counters (it wasn’t that long anyway), paid for it, and then I start to sink my teeth into this delectable chocolate-salted caramel-vanilla ice cream goodness.

While it doesn’t actually look like gold, it is still gold… well, sort of a little yellow-orange color. Anyway, I started enjoying this luxury treat and started taking selfies with it. Never mind the people passing by, I really need to do this for the sake of making memories. Some of the shots may look pretty embarrassing, but I really wouldn’t mind at all.

That brief moment ended with finishing the ice cream bar and wiping my mouth as soon as I got outside the mall. I actually keep the ice cream stick and the wrapper, just like what I did with the Halloween Dilly Bar from more than six years back. I managed to post some pictures on my Instagram account, and sure enough, there are some reactions.

I had a couple more Magnum Gold ice cream bars since then. But right now, they’re no longer available locally as of this writing.

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The luscious salted caramel-vanilla ice cream covered with golden (yellow-orangey) colored chocolate really got me into this luxurious treat. Curiosity really urged me to try this, and believe me, they’re incredibly good. I might want to have another one again if I can find one. Unfortunately, I’ll never get to have one again, unless it’s back by popular demand.

Well, it sure was a delectable moment. Maybe I’ll have other Magnum variants for now. Perhaps I’ll try the one with hazelnut and salted caramel one of these days.

i150W: A Warm Dose Of Happiness

Happiness is like sunshine… it can really brighten up my day.

A warm and bright sunny day really makes a person (like me) happy. Along with the clear blue skies, it serves as the perfect weather for me to enjoy the things I love, like going places, sipping cappuccino frappe, or spending an entire afternoon writing. Sometimes, I pair it with some nice, relaxing music.

The great thing about sunny weather is that you’ll get to enjoy the great outdoors without any worries. The downside here is the possibility of getting hot and sweaty throughout the day.

Compared to rainy weather, you certainly don’t need an umbrella just to go out. Still, you might need to get protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays and extreme heat so always make sure to stay cool and hydrated at all times. After all, there’s no fun in getting heat stroke or sunburn.

i150W: Taking A Break

There’s always a need for breaks, especially if you’re on the verge of burning out.

Taking breaks help in combating boredom and lack of motivation in our daily activity or work. It also gives us time to recharge and relax, and it helps in retaining information and reevaluating our goals.^ While there are many different types of breaks, they actually share the same purpose: to ease your mind of the burden you’re experiencing and help you focus on your activities.

Your mind is capable of producing ideas and thinking of solutions to problems. But just like a machine, your mind needs to rest from time to time or it will not function properly. That means, if you don’t take a break, there’ll be a possibility of burning out and losing your ability to work efficiently.

It’s important to take a break every once in a while. Don’t skimp on it.

Living The Otaku Life

The word otaku sounds incredibly cool to me. Anime and manga make the term way cooler than ever.

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I was exposed to anime and video games back when I was a kid, something that leads me to this wonderful, fascinating obsession during my teenage years. Later on, I started reading and collecting manga, bought some anime merch, putting up anime posters in my room, and attending a couple of otaku events. And of course, I’m planning to write some anime-related content on this blog. So does that make me an otaku?

But before that, let’s define the word otaku. The word otaku is a Japanese term for people with obsessive interests, making it similar to the words geek and nerd. While it is commonly associated with anime and manga fans, it can be also used to describe a person who is a big fan of any particular theme, topic, hobby, or form of entertainment.^ As cool as it sounds, however, the term is somewhat used in a derogatory manner in Japan (and probably in other countries), though it eventually becomes less negative in recent years.^

Going back to the question, can I call myself an otaku by simply being a fan of anime and manga? Well, it depends on how devoted you are. Normally, if you’re into watching a lot of anime and reading a lot of manga, collecting various anime merchandises and attending anime conventions and otaku events, then it’s safe to say that you’re an otaku. And it’s not just limited to anime and manga too.

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Ever since I started watching anime shows on TV, I knew I’m about to head to this kind of obsession. At times, it gets even more interesting as more anime shows started airing on TV. Well, I just couldn’t get my eyes off the tube if my favorite anime comes up, and I don’t feel like doing anything else other than watching the show.

And since I become a fan of certain anime characters from different anime shows, I always tend to live up the craze by doing some research and downloading tons of images and wallpapers featuring my anime characters for my PC and my phone. Anyway, if I’m lured to that anime character, then it’s likely that I’m gonna enjoy the anime series/manga that he/she appears in. Back then, I always thought that some anime shows like D. N. Angel, Tokyo Underground, and Love Hina were interesting because I’m fascinated with some of these shows’ characters. And here I was, enjoying watching some episodes of my instant favorite anime shows on TV, though I never get to complete them until I start re-watching them online.

Later on, I started ditching drama shows (local and foreign) in favor of anime, and I’m slowly being lured to an otaku lifestyle. By the time I finished college, I started buying manga books which are part of being a book collector/bookworm. Later on, I start craving for more anime, and that’s how I ended up watching a few anime series that were never aired on free-to-air television such as Loveless, Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, and xxxHolic. It was also around this time when I started buying some anime merch, particularly keychains, posters, and T-shirts.

Since 2017, I started attending a couple of otaku events, and this year would be my third time. Even though it felt kind of awkward for me to attend such events on my own, not to mention that I’m not familiar with some of the anime theme songs/J-pop songs and I still have limited knowledge on most of the seiyuus (Japanese voice actors), I still managed to have fun checking the booths, watching some parts of the event, and having selfies with the cosplayers. Right now, I’m getting used to this kind of life, though it’s uncertain if I’ll ever continue to be like that in the foreseeable future.

With my revived Twitter account @kcox105, I started following anitwitter accounts and retweeting a lot of anime and manga related posts. Of course, this is where I channel out my thoughts, anime-related or not. One of these days, I might revive my dying drawing skills and post some fan art on my account, or through my DeviantArt account (I’ve yet to create one, though).

There are some things I wanted to do, like cosplaying my favorite anime characters and writing fan fiction. Right now, I’m more focused on blogging and writing stories, and I need to have a job first in order to save up and fulfill my dream of becoming a cosplayer one of these days. Never mind if I’m too old for this, besides I still look young… even at 28 (at the time of this writing).

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Living the otaku life sounds like an easy going life at first. But it takes more than watching anime shows and attending anime conventions in order to live this kind of life.

If I’m fond of watching a lot of anime shows, then at least I should write about it too. Since I’m not good at writing reviews, I’ll just write about my thoughts on the anime I’ve watched, as well as the manga I’ve read. Right now, there’s The Anime Diaries on this blog’s Tumblr counterpart, but writer’s block and lack of research skills hindered the series’ development so I ended up publishing one TAD post every three months. Despite this, I still want to pursue this plan in hopes of getting recognized by the otaku community, and start writing reviews and some anime-related stuff.

It’s great that I discovered a lot of anime (thanks to Twitter), but I’m having a hard time catching up due to a lot of anime releases every season. While I do enjoy some of the newer titles, I’m also into older anime series as well, particularly the ones that premiered in the 90s and the early to mid-2000s. I know that it’s slowly turning into an obsession, but I need to catch up on the great things I missed or else it’s all over for me.

Maybe it’s time to attend other anime conventions and some cosplay events while I still have the chance. Some of my followers, mostly from America and some parts of Asia (including the Philippines) and Europe, have already attended numerous anime conventions and otaku events. Right now, I’ve already attended a couple of otaku events which are held at a mall near my place. If ever I’m planning to attend an otaku event outside Quezon City-Fairview area, then there’s a chance that I’ll only attend the first or second day of the event, as long as it falls on a Saturday. And of course, I might need to save up for the tickets in order to get inside the venue, as well as for the souvenirs and some great anime merchandise like stuffed plushies, art books, shirts, posters, and other items.

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Fascination leads me to this, and that’s how I ended up being an occasional otaku… well sort of.

Anime and manga are some of the things I really can’t part with, even when I reached 40. While I still can, I’ll probably dedicate my life to watching anime, reading manga books, listening to anime soundtracks and some J-pop music, attending anime conventions and otaku events, and probably doing some reviews on the anime I’ve watched over the years. After all, I still don’t consider myself too old for the otaku lifestyle.

6×6: The Six Set Of Lists About My Life And My Interests

Six years in the cyberspace… what a milestone, indeed!

For TWATKcox’s sixth year anniversary, I’m presenting you the six set of lists that tells everything about me and my interests.

The Six Things I Can’t Live Without

  • My desktop PC—As the person who spends a considerable amount of time in front of a computer (at most, about 10 hours a day), it’s no surprise that I can’t live without it. That’s where I did most of the writing/blogging stuff, as well as downloading tons of stuff, watching videos and listening to great music, playing video games, and anything you can imagine. Come to think of it, I’ve even gone for days without using it, though there’s always an alternative, which is my smartphone.
  • My smartphone—Just like my desktop PC, I also can’t live without my smartphone. Like any other millennials who are quite attached to their favorite gadget, you’ll probably see me with a smartphone in hand, especially when going out or at social functions. I just can’t help checking my social media accounts and doing some writing/blogging stuff on the go, plus selfies, mobile games, and music and videos. I don’t do some chat, though.
  • My bed—Ah, the comfort of sleeping in a nice bed, that’s one of the things I dreamed about. Well, my bed may not be that comfortable, but this is where I rest up for another day, complete with a lot of pillows and a thick blanket. Without it, I won’t be able to sleep.
  • Internet—I simply can’t imagine myself living in a world without the internet. I mean, I’m always online all the time, so my life really depends on it… well, certainly not to the point that I’ll die without it. But still, life without internet is like an egg sandwich without mayonnaise. In other words, my life wouldn’t be complete without it.
  • Money—Well, the best things in life aren’t really that free at all… at times, it needs silvery or golden coins and crisp paper bills. I’ll definitely need money to survive this tough world. Otherwise, it’s poverty for me. It does have to be just enough, though, too much of it isn’t really that good anyway.
  • Love—Just imagine feeling unloved by anyone… see if you’ll survive without it. Well, I can’t imagine being unloved by anyone too, especially by my loved ones.

The Six Things I Loved Doing

  • Writing—One of my earlier hobbies, though what I wrote during that time are nothing but pure nonsense, just short stories, and some stuff. Since finishing high school, I spend at least an hour or two a day writing stories, and later, blog posts.
  • Drawing—Aside from writing, I also loved drawing any kind of stuff, but it’s mostly sketches of people. I’ve started creating sketches of various fictional and imaginary characters, especially a spiky-haired dude named after my alternate name, Keihancarl X.
  • Cooking—It’s pretty much a typical house chore that I always do almost every day, but I can be creative with some recipes too. Of course, I’m also good at adding some twists to everyday dishes, but I’m not good at measuring ingredients so the results do vary. It’s basically a trial and error process, but at most, I usually get it right.
  • Listening to my favorite music—From time to time, I just keep on discovering some great tunes, which is mostly jazz and R&B music. While I’m also into classical music, they’re mostly limited to well-known composers such as Mozart, Bach, Chopin, and a few others.
  • Reading books—A book collector/bookworm since 2007, I’ve read a lot of books of different genres, including manga books. I often check bookstores for some good reads, bought some of them, and read some of the books I bought. Right now, I’m trying to revive this habit, which, unfortunately, was killed by a smartphone five years ago. And even if I struggled to read some of the pages within a limited time period, at least I’m still trying.
  • Watching anime—Anime is already part of my childhood (and young adulthood as well) so I always keep discovering and watching new and classic anime. Of course, I also rewatched the ones I’ve already watched on TV.

The Six Things I’m Fascinated With

  • Anime and manga—Anime and manga are some of my biggest fascinations in life, up to the point that I ditched watching TV dramas and reality shows in lieu of anime shows and stopped reading novels in favor of reading manga books.
  • Jazz music—Jazz music really makes my day wonderful. Just think of listening to some of the upbeat and lively jazz music on a weekly stroll makes it a perfect relaxation through a sunny Saturday afternoon.
  • Books—One of my obsessions is reading and collecting books, and this is how I end up with so many books on the shelves, and in my room. Right now, I’m focusing on collecting manga books and fantasy novels, but who knows what kind of books I’ll probably be collecting in the end… maybe I’ll start reading those adult novels again after so many years.
  • Fashion—I always have a knack for the unusual choice of clothing, like wearing a baseball jersey shirt on top of my anime shirt, or wearing a western style string bow tie with my collared shirt and a blazer. I’m also obsessed with wearing layered outfits, so jackets, coats, blazers, and knitted vests make up a significant portion of my wardrobe, as well as my a few colored polo shirts and some short-sleeved buttoned shirts. Of course, don’t forget my collection of plain red and striped black-yellow-white socks, as well as my sun visors and black fingerless gloves.
  • Beautiful scenery—There are places in this world that you certainly want to visit. But sometimes, the view of the trees by the hillside on a sunny day or the trees on the roadside really makes it a sight to behold.
  • The online world—A lot of great things can be found online. And of course, a lot of good stuff is up for grabs… albeit, digitally. It sure is a great way to reconnect with a long-lost friend, watch various stuff online, post a lot of blog entries, do online shopping, and research about the things you’re interested in like anime and music. And even when I go out (thanks to my smartphone and a great data offer), I can still keep tabs on my social media accounts and search for something online in case of emergency or sudden curiosity.

The Six Things That Make Me Smile

  • A cold, sunny morning—If I somehow get up on a cold, sunny morning, chances are I’ll probably go somewhere. Of course, it’s a clear sign that the weather will be fair and sunny all throughout the day.
  • A rare find—Whether it’s a book, a collectible item, or even a downloadable file… if it’s rare, it’s worth having.
  • Delicious food—Food really makes people smile, especially if it’s delicious. In my case, if it’s delicious and affordable, then I’ll definitely have it.
  • Amazing people—I may have met a lot of people in my life (mostly classmates or co-workers), but there are some people who never fails to amaze me… even if we don’t get to see each other for a long time. But among the amazing people, My Awesome Classmate sure is a really awesome fellow I’ve ever met, and certainly the person whom I hope to meet again.
  • Discoveries—It may come up all of a sudden, or probably I’m meant to. Anyway, if I discover something, my curiosity will surely keep up and whatever it is, I’ll be glad I did.
  • Weird thoughts—Sure, I’m a weird fellow. But being weird is something I really liked about myself. And of course, I certainly loved the ability to think of weird thoughts, which can totally make me feel warm and fuzzy all over.

The Six Unusual Things About Me

  • The way I dress—I dress differently from the rest of the crowd, but certainly not to the point that I’m completely out of this world. Well, if I can go out wearing an androgynous outfit, I bet some people couldn’t bear being seen in that ridiculously weird outfit. Well, at least that makes me a unique individual when it comes to fashion… or so I thought. I just don’t like anything too mainstream and too simple.
  • My daily rituals—My day is composed of checking a few sites related to infrastructure projects and development updates (especially malls) before surfing other sites, downloading tons of stuff, or writing articles and stories. I usually wash my hands and feet before eating and going to bed, as well as making sure that I double check everything before going out or turning in.
  • My weekends—I generally go out on weekends almost every week, either hanging out at a café or dessert place or going out on a mall-hopping trip. Staying at home on weekends is always a rare occurrence, but it’s mostly due to bad weather or when I feel like it.
  • Fascination with darkness—Well, what does fascination with darkness mean? An obsession with a dark room, or an obsession to negativity? To be honest, it’s kind of like both. I love staying in a dark room while thinking of dark thoughts, and it’s really scaring me at times. But of course, I certainly wouldn’t let it affect me that much like it’s a cause of concern for anyone closest to me.
  • I think about someone (and that someone is a guy)—I don’t know why, but My Awesome Classmate is really awesome, cute, and friendly. While we don’t see each other since high school graduation, I still think of him at times… especially by looking at his pictures on Friendster, and later, Facebook. It makes me kind of wish that we’re best friends, but I don’t think I’ll be able to establish that kind of friendship since he’s pretty much in a different league than mine. Still, that shouldn’t stop me from thinking of him at times.
  • Being a weeb… in an unusually weird way—I always love everything Japanese—anime, ramen, tonkatsu, matcha, manga, cherry blossoms, video games (especially RPGs), trains (especially bullet trains and subways)… anything for as long as it’s Japanese. But of course, I’ve yet to listen to a lot of J-pop and anime theme songs, watch anime in its original Japanese audio (I always prefer English dubbed versions because I don’t like subtitles very much), and enjoying an otaku event without feeling awkward (I’ve already attended a couple of otaku events on my own). Well, maybe I’m part-otaku, part-weeaboo, but most of the time it’s just the latter.

The Six Things I Wanted To Do And Achieve

  • Writing and publishing a novel—I’m a frustrated writer, but that shouldn’t stop me from achieving this literary goal. Even though I’ve already finished a couple of novellas and some poems and short stories, it’s still not enough. Maybe I could publish a novel on either Wattpad or Webnovel one of these days.
  • Traveling to my favorite destinations, in and out of the country—Right now, I just couldn’t do it since I’ll definitely need a lot of money to visit various tourist spots in and out of the country, try out various international cuisines, and shop for some collectibles. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to fly to my favorite destinations around the world and even write about it.
  • Covering notable events, especially otaku events—Well, I’ve already done this on The Keihancarl Diaries, but it’s pretty much a write-up done by an amateur writer and I tend to feature myself in some parts of these posts. Maybe I’ll try to do a much better job on it on the next POF (Pinoy Otaku Festival) event, the POF: Asobu 2019.
  • Creating a one-of-a-kind artwork, in either watercolor or oil—I’ve already done a few notable artworks, particularly the one wearing a military-style outfit (the one featured on this blog’s one of the previous headers), so maybe it’s time to polish my skills in painting. My mom did a few watercolor paintings, and I had to admit, it’s pretty nice… not to mention that she’s a fine arts student.
  • Doing a cosplay of my favorite anime character—Maybe I should try doing this at least once. Well, it’s not a bad idea to dress up as my favorite anime character(s), right?
  • Stay single—Nothing against marriage, but there are some people who would rather focus on their own careers than finding their one true love. But then, if it comes and I’m ready, then why not? Otherwise, I’ll just ditch romance for a stress-free life.

Postscript

Well, these set of lists basically tells what I’m into these days, but of course, some of you already knew and read about those.


Six years came by pretty quickly. I never thought that I’ll actually make this far, but I knew that this is something I really love to do—blogging.

No case of procrastination, sickness, and lethargy can stop me from finishing this rushed post. It really sucks that I’ll actually have to deal with this feverish feeling, persistent cough, and headache in order to finish writing this, but I do hope you’ll enjoy reading this post (about me) all the same.

All right, I’m aiming for TWATKcox’s another year in the blogging world. I hope you’ll continue to visit this site often! Onward, TWATKcox!

It’s Kind Of Unusual… For Me

Sometimes, it’s best to stick to the same routine, habit, and schedule every single day. It’s an obsession.

But there are times when I really need to stray from the usual schedule or routine for various reasons, which is kind of unorthodox in some cases. So if I’m used to going out on weekends, then it’s kind of unusual for me to go out on weekdays just to relax or do important errands. The same thing goes for staying at home on weekends, waking up earlier/later than usual, or going home earlier than usual (especially before dark). I just have to deal with it.

As for my habits, it could be that I need a break from doing it or I don’t feel like doing it at times. Well, it’s not a bad idea to try something different from time to time, right?

Anyway, here are some of the things and habits that I find unusual… for me.

Not Going Out On Weekends

I usually go out on weekends, since it serves as a break from the usual activities at home. Well, since I don’t have a job at the moment, I always spend weekdays at home surfing the net, doing house chores, and writing stories and articles. Most Saturdays, I go out on mall-hopping trips, checking the shops (particularly bookstores, supermarkets, and specialty shops) and having a nice sip of cappuccino frappe at a small café while writing a story on my smartphone. I generally spent my Sundays visiting my mom and my little sister if they’re at home or going on a mall-hopping trip by myself if they’re not at home.

Of course, there are times when I feel like staying at home on a certain Saturday, but it will be like spending another boring afternoon surfing the net or trying to finish an article… especially if it happens to be sunny all afternoon. It makes me wish I’d just go out instead.

Going Out On Weekdays

Just like not going out on weekends, going out on weekdays is pretty unusual for me. I don’t know, but it feels kind of weird going out on a weekday afternoon as this is where I’ll do most of the writing stuff as well as doing house chores, particularly going to the market, buying food, and cooking dinner. Besides, if I go out on a weekday, there’s a possibility I’m not going to enjoy it that much since I need to get home earlier than usual, which isn’t so like me at all.

There are exceptions to the rule, though. Christmas and New Year celebrations, doing important errands, and a rare urge to go on a mall-hopping trip (usually on Fridays) are some of the reasons for going out on a weekday. Anything else, these are best enjoyed on weekends.

Going Out On An Outing With Anyone Other Than My Family Or Relatives

I’ve been on an outing with my friends twice: one with my classmates from college, and another with my call center co-trainees. I have to admit, I feel like I’m completely out of place in these outings, at least on the latter. I don’t know, it’s just that I’m not comfortable being with anyone other than my family or relatives owing to my extreme case of shyness and introversion.

Waking Up Earlier Than Usual

Since I’m a NEET, I always enjoy the fact that I have a lot of time in my hands, and I get to stay up at night without having to worry about getting up early. As simple as that. So if I get up early, then that means I’m either preparing for a mall-hopping trip, a family outing, a visit to a relative, or an important appointment. Anything else would be kind of weird, knowing that I always go to bed at around 2:00 to 3:00 AM every day.

Going Home Before Dark

Since I always go out on weekends, I make sure to maximize every second of it by visiting shops (particularly bookstores, supermarkets, department stores, and specialty shops) and sitting at a café with a cappuccino in hand. On Sunday afternoons, I spend time with my mom and little sister. Well, I really enjoyed it so much that I had the tendency to go home late, usually on or before 10:00 PM.

Well, going home before dark is like cutting a trip short for some strange reason. While I wouldn’t mind going home early if it’s on a weekday, don’t expect me to do the same on weekends.

Not Wearing Layered Outfits

Wearing layered outfits seemed pretty cool to me, though it feels kind of hot at times.

Most of the time, I wear layered outfits whenever I go out. Every once in a while, I only wear a shirt without any jacket or blazer. As much as possible, I always make sure that I have something to wear on top of my shirt so I can still look cool and stylish. Never mind if the weather is hot or not, I’ll always stick to wearing layered outfits at all times.

Now, I imagine myself feeling naked without wearing a jacket… actually, not really. But of course, not wearing something on top of a T-shirt may reveal some unsightly flabs on my waist, and that’s not something I want others to notice. Also, if you don’t see me in my layered outfit(s), then it’s really wasn’t me… at all.

Wearing Shorts When Going Out

Back then, it’s not that unusual for me to wear shorts when going out. Right now, I don’t feel like wearing shorts anymore since I don’t want to expose my hairy legs. Aside from that, I also don’t want my legs getting exposed to dust and insects, which can lead to skin allergies and excessive itching.

Actually, I’m trying to look a few years younger in a cool-looking outfit, so it makes sense that I ditch shorts in favor of pants, preferably black slacks so I can hide the unsightly hair on my legs. In case you didn’t know, having unsightly hair on your legs gives an impression that you’re an adult.

Anyway, I still wear shorts while going to the market or the resort, but that was that. I can’t imagine myself wearing shorts while enjoying an afternoon shopping at a mall or attending an event, and I don’t want to risk my hairy legs get exposed to elements… and in public.

Postscript

Sometimes, it’s best to stick to the same routine, habit, and schedule every single day. It’s an obsession.

Whether it’s unusual or not, it depends on the person. But if it’s something you don’t normally do and you’ve just done, then this is what you call unusual. Even others will notice that too.

#Throwback: Online (And Downloadable) Entertainment (2006-2008)

I was relatively new to the internet back when I created my first Friendster account in June 2006 (I created a second one in January 2007). Though I was a few months short of the required age of 16 in order to create a Friendster account, I somehow managed to get around it until I actually turned 16 in October that year. And then I started downloading stuff like anime wallpapers and computer games, and eventually music files and video clips.

Back then, all I did on the internet was checking my friends’ Friendster accounts and surfed some websites. Well, that’s how I spent most of the time online and nothing else. Of course, we don’t have an internet connection at home during that time, so I did all the browsing in an internet café near my high school, in the mall, or near my house. Anyway, it was also during that time when I was also introduced to a few websites that somehow changed my (online) life. And to think I’m lucky enough to discover and visit such websites that are otherwise unavailable today, these actually served as the predecessors to the ones we have today.

All right, so this throwback post will feature sites that let you listen to your favorite music or watch video clips online.

YouTube

YouTube is one of websites that still exists on the cyberspace since 2006, thanks to an overwhelming number of users and subscribers. And yes, I still go there to watch various video clips, usually entertaining and informative videos, and at times, some music videos.

Back when I just discovered the site back in 2006/2007, the first thing that comes to mind is to watch various anime and Asian drama clips, as well as a few others. Once I started watching video clips on that site, I just can’t stop. I even embedded some of the videos to my Friendster profile.

Among the videos I watched on the site are bloopers from the Taiwanese drama series Meteor Garden, clips from anime shows like Striker Hungry Heart, Digimon, D.N.Angel and Love Hina, clips from Korean dramas like Stairway To Heaven and Miss Mermaid (known in the Philippines as Irene), and a couple of episodes from Chinese Paladin. There were a few others too, such as various TV commercials (local and foreign) and some music videos.

I actually recall that time when I get to watch full episodes of some anime series, though it is divided into three parts per episode (about 7 to 8 minutes each part) since there’s a limitation on the length of videos to be uploaded on that site. Of course, it has since changed and the site allows longer content to be uploaded.

YouTube has certainly changed over the years. Nowadays, you can share videos to various social media sites and blogs with ease, and some of the videos can be downloaded thanks to some online YouTube video downloader sites. But back then, there’s no way I can easily get the videos off that site.

Imeem

Back before Spotify become the go-to site for music streaming aside from iTunes, Amazon Prime, Tidal, and a few others, there are actually a few sites that let you stream music for free.

Imeem is a social media site that lets users upload, share, and stream music and videos. You can even create a playlist of your favorite songs and share it with other users, or embed it on an external website.^

In 2007, I discovered the site by accident. And seeing that one of my friends had some music embedded in her Friendster account, I thought I might want to try doing it as well.

I then started creating a playlist of my favorite songs and embed it to my Friendster account, which contains mostly easy listening songs. So, the moment my friends came to check my Friendster profile, they’ll be greeted with a cheesy 70s song (like That’s The Way Of Friends by Paul Parrish) or a jazz fusion track (like Is It You by Lee Ritenour).

I discovered a few great songs on the site too. Well, it was quite an early music streaming experience for me at that time, since I tend to spend about an hour browsing through some of the songs and listening to a lot of tracks. Of course, I always make sure to add some of the recently discovered songs to my playlist so I can go back to it in case I need to get the song title and the artist.

I haven’t logged in to that site for quite some time, though I managed to visit the site for a couple more times until its demise in late 2009. By then, I already have a growing library of songs on my PC, and I have the phone’s radio to listen to when going out… and eventually, an MP3 player that also plays video files as well. And of course, there’s Multiply…

Multiply

It was on this social media site called Multiply where I actually go crazy downloading tons of music from various users. I always thought this is the hub for (free) music downloads, but it turns out I can also do other things on the site too, such as blogging and uploading photos. Well, I was quite focused on searching for music on that site.

Well, Multiply actually lets users upload and share content (like music and pictures), in addition to the blog posts.^ While I uploaded some music and pictures on my account, I never cared much about the rest of the sites’ features, including blogging. Somehow, I managed to enjoy this kind of experience, even designing my Multiply account to serve as an alternate site for my blog, which never materialized in the end.

Initially, I could just download individual tracks in MP3 format, something that I do most of the time while logging to my account. Eventually, the ability to download and save music files was removed, only to be replaced with the M3U (playlist) format. I can just download the M3U playlist file and either save the music on the playlist being played as an MP3 file via Windows Media Player, or just open the playlist file in a text editor, cut/copy and paste individual links, and save the MP3 files.^ And then they replaced it with an embedded music player, but I still managed to obtain the MP3 files using a third party browser plug-in such as Orbit.

In the end, the site’s social networking portion is discontinued to focus solely on e-commerce, and eventually, the site was shut down in 2013.^ Prior to discontinuing its social media feature, Multiply’s user base had been affected by such changes to the site’s interface such as the ability to download music files, as well as some users forcibly removed from the site due to copyright violations. Well, that’s the end of a fun era… at least for me.

Postscript

What I then thought was impossible to do online, becomes possible. It was through these sites that I get a taste of online entertainment. The more I get exposed to these, the more I want to have them.

They’re actually part of my early online experiences. I had to admit, an hour or two of watching online videos and listening and downloading music just isn’t enough, considering that I only get to do these at an internet café. Well, these should give you an idea what online entertainment is like, twelve years ago. Sigh… I really missed those times.