My Superhero Action Figure

Majority of the present male human specie – young and old – grew up playing with superhero action figures.  Every one of these dudes can gleefully recall which among these animated crusaders was their favorite.  I am part of the unfortunate, luckless and deprived minority.  I never got the chance to play with a mini-Superman, Batman or the Green Lantern.

that’s me! hahaha! had a pretty twisted set of toys yet with awesome childhood

Instead, I can clearly recall that I and my siblings would play with canned goods and variety of grocery items of Nengkoy (my mother) from her pantry storage at the second floor of our house.  We enjoyed rolling cans of Hunts pork & beans on the floor with the aim of hitting unopened plastic bottles of Jergens body lotions and Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoos.  We find excitement in stacking weighty tins of Spam luncheon meats. And we adored imagining fragrant boxes of Dove and Ivory bath soaps as mini cars. 

Miniature sports figures (not the Hulk, Captain America nor other superheroes) would be so infrequent to come by because we would have to wait for the next can of Milo or Ovaltine to finish because the free promotional mini-sports figures are buried somewhere within the cans of these powdered choco drinks.

Don’t get me wrong.  I actually had a balanced and awesome childhood.  But unfortunately, I could not contribute or share a fun childhood experience when asked which among the superheroes did I grew up having as an action figure. 

But now that I am old, people would seem to start contemplating whether they had a cool childhood as I did when I dare answer such question because my reply now would no longer be a boring “none”.  It is only lately that I figured out that I actually grew up having a superhero action figure! It’s the supreme crusader in bright red imperial regalia that would beat even the chief, topnotch and paramount superhero a human animator has created.  Nowadays – though I did not played with it, I actually prayed to it – my simple answer to this question is the little Santo Niño (translation: the image of The Child Jesus).

My very own Santo Niño in green imperial regalia was gifted to me by my mom more than 25 years ago when I decided to live on my own and be independent.

The Dismantling of a Building is Making Me Sad

There is one old building here in Manila that is being dismantled and pulled into pieces.  I am quite affected by this demolition simply because this structure has been part of my young college years.  Being just across our campus, I have always tagged this marvel as the extension of our college grounds. 

Me and my collegemates then has considered its spacious airconditioned lobby as our place of solace, our relaxation spot and our undisturbed hideaway.  We truly adore the clean and spotless toilets which were way better, fresher and tidier than the lavatories in our campus.  During cram periods, instead of going to the library, a quiet corner within the building has been our retreat to focus on reviewing prior to an intense exam.

iconic piece of architecture (photo not mine)

hey! that’s our usual spot!

The building’s large cafeteria was our go-to dining hall every time our school’s canteen serves super oily, flavorless and unsavory dishes. The only thing that we seem to have failed to do was to hold the actual class inside that building!

The long airconditioned hallway of the ground floor from the main entrance leading to its side door has been me and my classmates’ short-cut route when we want to go to the nearby mall.  My college mates may not know this but I personally admire the huge old trees outdoor that surrounds the building and I gape and ogle towards the gorgeous art pieces (sculptures & mural paintings) that lies and hanged around the main lobby.

the facade of the main entrance… (photo not mine)

miss those quiet spots

This building has been so part of my college life.  Me and my classmates even celebrated a milestone with this building because its marvelous auditorium was in fact the venue of our baccalaureate mass and graduation rites when we finished our college degree in the old Manila Doctors College. 

And lately have I only known that the stunning auditorium was renowned for its excellent acoustics.  I never knew that this auditorium was done by the same engineers who did the Sydney Opera House.  If I only knew then, I should have instead sung an enchanting song when I was tasked to deliver the graduation speech during our college graduation rites.

with those acoustics, i should have sung a song!

philamlife building u.n. ave.

With all these memories and recollections, the ongoing ripping into pieces of the iconic and magnificent Philam Life building along United Nations Avenue in Manila is truly making me sad.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I enjoyed it sooo much!  It is beautifully written. It’s as joyful as it is heartbreaking.  All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is a book that knocked me off my ass!

captivating!

captivating!

I loved how the author painted the characters Theodore and Violet.  Their characters worked so well together.  They were so opposite yet so the same.  Their characters were presented in a beautiful interwoven style just the way I liked it. You get to see, hear and feel both of their perspectives.

You will get so invested in the characters of both Theodore and Violet.  It is a book that will make you fall in love with these two and – without giving away anything – will later reduce you to tears and will make you badly miss them.

I particularly got so captivated by the character of Finch.  I love the way he adopts a persona.  Though perceived by others as someone who is weird, he can become somebody that is either a slightly different version if not a better version of himself.  Add to that is his adoring wit.  He could be very funny and quirky yet so deep, romantic and definitely full of sense and essence.  He is such a unique character every reader I guess would be snuck up and drawn in by his passionate persona.

such beautiful words...

such beautiful words…

All The Bright Places is one of those few stories that would slowly and gently grab your heart as in like you have fallen so much deeply in love.  And yet after sometime it will crush you into emotional bits and pieces.  I was not happy with the ending but it is one ending that is a must to make this book a remarkable book.  The heartbreaking twists at the end parts of the story would make you get to love it.

Somehow, I think 5 stars aren’t enough for such a remarkable book.  I will definitely give it as many stars as those shining in the entire universe because All The Bright Places truly deserves them.

Nakaka…!