Saturday, February 11, 2017

Thoughts on Love and Gravity

The long wait is over. After almost six years, Samantha Sotto ushered in her latest work early this month. While I am no literary critic, let me share with you my thoughts on Love and Gravity.

1. "Let your words excite the senses of your reader. Take them to that place, that time, that feeling, that moment in your story." A lesson I picked up from an elective class I took many moons ago. And like Before Ever After, the author managed to take me this time to the worlds of Andrea, Isaac and Nate.

The moment I flipped open the book (Don't you just love the smell of the crisp pages?), I was glued. Every page turned was a vignette on my mind. The vivid descriptions of the characters and their emotions, the setting and even the minute details, ignited my imagination as I joined the journey across time and continents. 

2. To have Isaac Newton as a principal character is a bold move. It would probably have been easier to develop a story around a certain historical event but to build a plot on a popular figure without distorting what has been written about him is indeed a challenge. And the author pulled it off, creating a slew of possibilities and at the same time, humanizing an otherwise stoic scientist.

3. I can just imagine the immense research the author undertook, the herculean task of weaving various timelines as well as several disciplines from math and science to music and literature (narrating the basics, enough for the readers to understand) into one coherent whole. My respect and salute!

4. If Before Ever After took us to Boracay, hints of something remotely related to the Philippines can be found in Love and Gravity. From the name of a minor character to the knock knock jokes (it may not have its origin in the Philippines but is very much part of our popular culture). However, I am not much into knock knock jokes so I somehow got lost in the banter.

5. Just when you thought you are about to reach the denouement, the author has another surprise which makes the reading interesting till the end.

It was suggested by the author that Love and Gravity be read accompanied by its Spotify playlist, which I will do on my second reading. And I will attempt to plot the timelines of both Andrea and Isaac, too.

While both her works have romance as central theme, what has drawn me to her writing was how she challenges the time element and come up with myriad scenarios to many what-ifs.

A final note. I do not know the author personally nor have we met. But I am happy for her. From her Starbucks nook and The Slight Detour corner, she now has literary babies of her own that are internationally recognized. Definitely a pride of our country.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Easy on a Sunday in Maginhawa

There's no denying that the long stretch of Maginhawa Street has now become a foodie haven, a far cry from the quiet residential area that it was decades ago.


It was a Sunday, what better way to satisfy a hungry tummy by trying out the many restaurants that have mushroomed in this side of Quezon City.

We lined up at Gerry's Jeepney but it was taking forever so we decided to move to Artsy Cafe as recommended by my friend Worldy, a Maginhawa local. 

We had nori fries, steak with mashed potatoes and vegetables, and lemon basil drink. 


The food was good and reasonably priced. The cafe itself is a feast for the eyes with catchy quotes, neat sketches on the wall, colorful lamps and glasses, and an array of different tiles put together into one beautiful ensemble.


It's dainty but at the same time artsy with a homey feel. No wonder the place gets packed.

From Artsy Cafe, we crossed the street towards When Uan Met Sally where we had coffee and tea.


Varied knick-knacks will greet you upon entering the cafe. Another door leads to a cozy nook where paintings and glass bottles adorned the wall. The place makes you want to just sit back and have great conservation with friends or read your book while sipping a cup of coffee or tea.

Artsy Cafe
36 Maginhawa Street
UP Village, Diliman, Quezon City

When Uan Met Sally
39-B Maginhawa Street
UP Village, Diliman, Quezon City

Sunday, May 1, 2016

There's Something About Sunday

What is it about Sunday? Is it that easy, laidback feeling when the sunlight hits your face as you wake up in the morning? Or the feel of the cool breeze on your slightly sweaty skin as you jog around? That carefree morning sipping a cup of your choice of hot beverage while reading the day's paper with strains of old favourite music in the background? Is it the meals and fun times shared by family and friends? Or just some time alone for introspection before the start of a long week?

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Big Bells of Pan-ay

A good fifteen to twenty minutes ride from Roxas City is the town of Pan-ay, formerly known as Bamban, which is famous for having the biggest church bell in the country. 

The biggest church bell in the country.

Friday, March 11, 2016

When in Roxas City, EAT!

In my last visit to Roxas City, my companions and I were on a roll for sumptuous meals in the place dubbed as the seafood capital of the country.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Let's Explore Dumalag

Dumalag is a fourth class municipality in the province of Capiz. It surely doesn't rank high in the must-visit places for tourists. If I didn't have a friend who has now made this place her home, I wouldn't have discovered the beauty of this laidback town.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Iloilo, A Journey to the Past

The past five to ten years saw the changing of Iloilo's landscape with malls, restaurants, buildings and gated villages mushrooming over idle lands. But a part of it has remained rooted to its past, with structures giving the present generation a glimpse of Iloilo's glorious and rich history. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Visita Iglesia in Iloilo

One of the things to do when in Iloilo is to visit its historic, centuries-old churches. So here are some of the churches you might include in your itinerary when you visit Iloilo.

La Paz Church

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Namit Gid, Iloilo!

For the past five years, I found myself in and out of Iloilo, visiting friends, getting acquainted with the city's history and culture, and savouring their dishes. In my last trip, I was on gastronomic mode again as I had my filling from the dining institutions and old favourites to the new kids on the block.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Because Happiness is Cafe Georg's Banana Cake with Chocolate Chips

It was only during a recent trip to Cebu that I discovered my box of happiness and chocolate goodness. How come I didn't get to taste or even know about its existence the whole decade I was in Cebu? 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Premium P2P Bus Service from Makati to Quezon City and Vice Versa

So I took the P2P bus from Glorietta 5 to SM North one Sunday afternoon. We left at 5:00 PM, arrived in Trinoma at 5:30 PM and SM North at 5:35 PM.

Total travel time: 30-35minutes

Sunday, January 31, 2016

BisDak Meals in the Metro

For many of us born and raised in the south of the Philippines but are braving the urban jungle that is Metro Manila, one of the things that we truly miss back home are the dishes we grew up with, either prepared in the comforts of our homes or served in eateries or pungko-pungko.

To my delight, there is a dining place in Quezon City, along Sgt. Esguerra Street (just in front of ABS-CBN) that serves well-loved, all-too-familiar Visayan dishes. Tadaa! Presenting AHOS - a restaurant showcasing Visayan recipes.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Bugis Singapore Street Food- Your Singapore in Quezon City

One Monday night, I joined my friend and her husband for dinner. They have been wanting me to try one of their favourite dining places and I finally got the chance to join them.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Dessert Factory: Inquirer Lifestyle's Best Desserts 2 Book Launch

I got to attend the launching of Inquirer Lifestyle's Best Desserts 2 by Vangie Baga-Reyes last Monday at the SM Aura Premier. This is a follow up to the first Best Desserts book which was a success.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Cozy Corner Called K Patisserie

On a recent trip home, I had the chance to dine at one of the newer establishments in Tacloban City. At the corner of Paterno and P. Gomez Streets is K Patisserie, a cozy nook owned and managed by a very young entrepreneur Kristine Gaspay. 

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