An Open Letter to the Twenty-Something Who Wants to Change the World

antoinette jadaone, filmmaker, manila, ph

An Open Letter to the Twenty-Something Who Wants to Change the World
By Antoinette Jadaone

Dear Fresh Grad,

I think I saw you yesterday along Makati Avenue, clutching a brown envelope—inside are your resumés, right?—,wearing the most smart casual attire your closet will allow, waiting for the traffic light to change to red. You looked a little flustered. Why, did your job interview not go so well? It’s your fifth interview in six weeks, I hear? Don’t worry, they always say “don’t call us, we’ll call you” to almost everybody. Hindi ka nag-iisa. Oh, your best friend nailed her interview on the first try? And your other ka-barkada too? Well. Good for them. Wag ka lang inggitera.

I know, I know. You’ve already imagined yourself in your dream job immediately after graduation, getting paid—and a lot at that—doing what you love to do, so “it doesn’t feel like work at…

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“I’ll see you soon”


So instead of studying for my college entrance exam in January, I watched the sensational movie that is Dear John. At the beginning, I had thought that Taylor Swift’s song “Dear John” was part of the soundtrack of the movie. I then realized while watching the movie that the song is in no way related to the movie. Taylor Swift’s hit just coincidentally had the same name as the movie. 

I loved almost everything about Dear John. The romance, the actors, the characters, they were all brilliant. I loved that everything in John and Savannah’s relationship was real. There were no pretensions in what either of them felt. Even though the words “I love you” weren’t spoken aloud in the movie, or at least I don’t recall any part wherein they said that, they just knew and showed it in their actions. What also made my insides melt was John’s decision to go back to Charleston, after being offered an extension trip in Paris. Even though the offer to go to the city of love was right there in front of him, he still opted to go back to Savannah. Their reunions contained the very essence of sweet as their joy, at being in each other’s arms again after weeks and months, seeped through the television.

I also loved that they wrote letters to each other. Not the email or Facebook kind, but the long, handwritten letters type. I find that really cool. Mailing someone your letters, your thoughts and feelings that you took so much care to write, makes it even more special because there’s a risk that the receiver won’t be able to get them. The vehicle carrying the letters might run into some sort of trouble along the way. What makes mailed letters even more special is that the receivers are expecting and hoping for their delivery. So much value contained in a single envelope. Messengers in the olden days must have had a pretty high salary. When I was younger, I used to write short letters to my family. Browsing through them is actually kind of hilarious, partly due to the grammar but mostly due to the topics, giving the idea that the writer was bored most of the time. I wonder if I’ll ever get to experience that, that whole Romeo and Juliet thing with the handwritten letters. With people’s impatience, technology, and the need for convenience nowadays, I sort of doubt it.

What I did not like about the movie though, was Savannah’s decision to marry Tim, her dad’s close friend, out of pity. In all honesty, I was in complete shock when she told John merely through a letter. I felt so sorry for him; I wanted to bawl my eyes out due to the sorrow that the man must be feeling. If I were in his stead, and my boyfriend would tell me in that way that he had gotten engaged with someone else, I’d probably burn those letters too. But I didn’t know the whole story. However, when I did, my anger towards Savannah remained. I know it’s probably a little late, but I’m only starting to realize that whole concept of “It’s my life, I owe it to myself” thing. So I really wished that Savannah didn’t agree to marry Tim, just because he was sick and she felt sorry for Allan, Tim’s autistic son, and even though he was most probably going to die. She could have loved both Tim and Allan by John’s side; I don’t think that would not have been possible… What also saddens me is that they didn’t see each other for 5 years. They could have gotten back together earlier. The ending doesn’t imply that, though; it might have just been a long-time-no-see-I-missed-you hug. 

Note: “I’ll see you soon” was John and Savannah’s parting words as Hazel and Augustus in The Fault in our Stars had “Okay” as theirs.

On a much shallower note, I am so watching Channing Tatum’s movies more often. He is absolutely one of the dreamiest actors ever. 

Favorite scenes from Heroes of Olympus (Books 1 to 3)

Hey y’all. Sorry that I haven’t been active in the past weeks, BUT i resurface with an awesome subject: the series Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan!! I’ve recently just bought the latest book, House of Hades; however, I thought that, before I embark on Book 4’s new adventure, it would only be proper to look back on the heroes’ previous adventures in the first three books. Here are some of my favorite scenes from each book 😉 (Note: If you haven’t read the books, you might not understand the following lines)

The Lost Hero

1. Jason’s PoV:
“Clovis!” Annabeth shook harder, then finally knocked on his forehead about six times.
“Wh-wh-what?” Clovis complained, sitting up and squinting. he yawned hugely, and both Annabeth and Jason yawned too.
“Stop that!” Annabeth said. “We need your help.”

2. Piper’s PoV:
“That photo in your pocket,” she said. “Is that someone from your past?”
Jason pulled back.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “None of my business. Forget it.”
“No–it’s okay.” His features relaxed. “Just, I’m trying to figure things out. Her name’s Thalia. She’s my sister. I don’t remember any details. I’m not even sure how I know, but–um, why are you smiling?”

3. Jason’s PoV:
“Go to sleep, cage,” Piper said. “Nice, sleepy cage. Yes, I’m talking to a bunch of earthen tendrils. This isn’t weird at all.”

The Son of Neptune

1. Percy’s PoV:
“Before you slash me to bits,” he said, “who’s this patron you mentioned?”
Euryale sneered. “The goddess Gaea, of course! The one who brought us back from oblivion! You won’t live long enough to meet her, but your friends below will soon face her wrath. Even now, her armies are marching south. At the Feast of Fortune, she’ll awaken, and the demigods will be cut down like–like–”
“Like our low prices at Bargain Mart!” Stheno suggested.
“Gah!” Euryale stormed toward her sister.

2. Percy’s PoV:
“You remind me of someone,” Percy said. “I can’t remember who.”
“Possibly my namesake, Octavian–Augustus Caesar. Everyone says I bear a remarkable resemblance.”
Percy didn’t think that was it, but he couldn’t pin down the memory. “Why did you call me ‘the Greek’?”
“I saw it in the auguries.” Octavian waved his knife at the pile of stuffing on the altar. The message said: The Greek has arrived. Or possibly: The goose has cried. I’m thinking the first interpretation is correct.”

3. Frank’s PoV:
Octavian somehow managed to bow even lower. “Um, Lord Mars, just one tiny thing. A quest requires a prophecy, a mystical poem to guide us! We used to get them from the Sibylline books, but now it’s up to the augur to glean the will of gods. So if I could just run and get about seventy stuffed animals and possibly a knife–”
“You’re the augur? the god interrupted.
“Y-yes, my lord.”
Mars pulled a scroll from his utility belt. “Anyone got a pen?”
The legionnaires stared at him.
Mars sighed. “Two hundred Romans, and no one’s got a pen? Never mind!”
He slung his M16 onto his back and pulled out a hand grenade. There were many screaming Romans. Then the grenade morphed into a ballpoint pen, and Mars began to write.
Frank looked at Percy with wide eyes. He mouthed: Can your sword do grenade form?
Percy mouthed back, No. Shut up.
“There!” Mars finished writing and threw the scroll at Octavian. “A prophecy. You can add it to your books, engrave it on your floor, whatever.”
Octavian read the scroll. “This says, ‘Go to Alaska. Find Thanatos and free him. Come back by sundown on June twenty-fourth or die.”
“Yes,” Mars said. “Is that not clear?”
“Well, my lord…usually prophecies are unclear. They’re wrapped in riddles. They rhyme, and…”
Mars casually popped another grenade off his belt. “Yes?”
“The prophecy is clear!” Octavian announced. “A quest!”
“Good answer.”

4. Hazel’s PoV:
“You’ll learn respect,” Kinzie said. “It’s males like you who have ruined the mortal world. The only harmonious society is one run by women. We are stronger, wiser–”
“More humble”, Percy said.

5. Hazel’s PoV:
“Um…is that thing tame?” Frank said.
The horse whinnied angrily.
“I don’t think so,” Percy guessed. “He just said, ‘I will trample you to death, silly Chinese Canadian baby man.'”

6. Percy’s PoV:
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Tyson pounding the Earthborn into the ground like a game of whack-a-mole. Ella was fluttering above him, dodging missiles and calling out advice: “The groin. The Earthborn’s groin is sensitive.”
“Good. Yes. Tyson found its groin.”

The Mark of Athena

1. Leo’s PoV:
“So,” Frank said. “Your name isn’t Sammy?
Leo scowled. “What kind of question is that?”
“Nothing,” Frank said quickly.

2. Leo’s PoV:
“So… you have to repeat everything?” he asked.
Leo couldn’t help smiling. “That could be fun.”
“Fun,” she said unhappily.
“Blue elephants.”
“Blue elephants.”
“Kiss me, you fool.”
“You fool.”
“Leo,” Hazel pleaded, “don’t tease her.”

3. Percy’s PoV:
“What…?” Percy rubbed his eyes. “Oh, we just fell asleep.”
Frank swallowed. “Everyone thinks you’ve been kidnapped,” he said. ‘We’ve been scouring the ship. When Coach Hedge finds out–oh gods, you’ve been here all night?”
“Frank!” Annabeth’s ears were as red as strawberries. “We just came down here to talk. We fell asleep. Accidentally. That’s it.
“Kissed a couple of times,” Percy said.
Annabeth glared at him. “Not helping!”
“We’d better…” Frank pointed to the stable doors. “Uh, we’re supposed to meet for breakfast. Would you explain what you did–I mean didn’t do? I mean… I really don’t want that faun–I mean satyr–to kill me.”

4. Annabeth’s PoV:
She needed help…some kind of distress signal to Coach Hedge, or even better–Percy.
“Well?” Octavian demanded. His two friends brandished their swords.
Very slowly, using only two fingers, Annabeth drew her dagger. Instead of dropping it, she tossed it as far as she could into the water.
Octavian made a squeaking sound. “What was that for?I didn’t say toss it! That could’ve been evidence. Or spoils of war!”
Annabeth tried for a dumb-blonde smile, like: Oh, silly me.
Nobody who knew her would have been fooled. But Octavian seemed to buy it. He huffed in exasperation.
“You other two…” He pointed his blade at Hazel and Piper. “Put your weapons on the dock. No funny bus-”
All around the Romans, Charleston Harbor erupted like a Las Vegas fountain putting on a show. When the wall of seawater subsided, the three Romans were in the bay, spluttering and frantically trying to stay afloat in their armor. Percy stood on the dock, holding Annabeth’s dagger.
“You dropped this,” he said, totally poker-faced.
Annabeth threw her arms around him. “I love you!”

5. Leo’s PoV:
“Indeed!” Aphros pounded his chest. “I trained Bill myself. A great merman.”
“You teach combat, I guess.”
Aphros threw his hands up in exasperation. “Why does everyone assume that?”
Leo glanced at the massive sword on the fish-guy’s back. “Uh, I don’t know.”
“I teach music and poetry!” Aphros said. “Life skills! Homemaking! These are important for heroes.”
“Absolutely.” Leo tried to keep a straight face. “Sewing? Cookie baking?”
“Yes. I’m glad you understand. Perhaps later, if I don’t have to kill you, I will share my brownie recipe.”

And… the epic finale of The Mark of Athena!

Annabeth’s PoV:
“Percy, let me go,” she croaked. “You can’t pull me up.”
His face was white with effort. She could see in his eyes that he knew it was hopeless.
“Never,” he said. He looked up at Nico, fifteen feet above. “The other side, Nico! We’ll see you there. Understand?”
Nico’s eyes widened. “But–”
“Lead them there!” Percy shouted. “Promise me!”
“I–I will.”
Below them, the voice laughed in the darkness. Sacrifices. Beautiful sacrifices to wake the goddess.
Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth’s wrist. His face was gaunt, scraped and bloody, his hair dusted with cobwebs, but when he locked eyes with here, she thought he had never looked more handsome.
“We’re staying together,” he promised. “You’re not getting away from me. Never again.”
Only then did she understand what would happen. A one-way trip. A very hard fall.
As long as we’re together,” she said.
She heard Nico and Hazel still screaming for help. She saw the sunlight far, far above–maybe the last sunlight she would ever see.
Then Percy let go of his tiny ledge, and together, holding hands, he and Annabeth fell into the endless darkness.

So. After that heart-wrenching cliff-hanger, I am so glad to be able to finally read The House of Hades. Hope you enjoyed, folks!

Where are you?

Sigh… I guess I’m at that point of my life when I start longing for someone. Not just a someone, but a special someone. And yes, we’ve got a NBSB here.  All these feelings of loneliness and occasional waves of sadness that I can’t explain? Feeling bitter when I see couples holding hands or resting in each other’s arms and wondering if there were someone for me out there? I think these qualify for having relationship envy.

When I was in high school (I come from an all-girls school), however, I didn’t even bother with that kind of stuff. Whenever I overheard gossip about who’s dating someone, who was dumped, who got broken up with, who’s crushing on this guy, I would roll my eyes and think that having a relationship, or having an interest in boys for that matter, was all drama. Now I’m not so sure… especially when there’s this guy I’ve been mooning over for the past week. 

Unfortunately, and to my ultimate regret, he’s taken. I think he and his girlfriend just hooked up this year. I’ve only seen them together once, thank goodness, but that one time carried enough disappointment for me. He’s in the same org as I am, and I really cherish those times (and without a doubt feel triumphant) whenever I find myself getting a few words out of him, even if it’s just small talk. Talking to him can actually make my day. I would smile unconsciously whenever I remember what we talked about. And yes, I must admit I have looked at his Facebook pictures, have scanned every photo of him and visited his profile more than once. I like that he’s hardworking, charismatic, fun, smart and outgoing. I even like that he teases me a lot.

It must seem immature of me, to let myself give in to these very girly urges, all for the sake of a huge crush. I don’t think it’s love (yet), but I’ve been looking forward to the next times we meet. I just talked about him with one of my close friends recently and we both couldn’t help but squeal and giggle. Plus, we didn’t know that he was just in the next classroom!! In my case, it’s understandable that I would do that, but what about my friend? I guess my giddiness was that contagious…

Having listed down all the reasons for my infatuation, I will mention another reason why I’m not quite satisfied with my nonexistent love life yet. The guy I just talked about, no matter how often he runs around in my head, is just a crush. A huge one, but nonetheless merely a crush. Unless I get to know him more personally, unless we become very close, and unless I fall for his personality, his soul, I can never find out if he’s really the one I want. He’s also actually not the only guy I’m shy around, there are others too, but mostly I’m just uncomfortable around them because I’m drawn to their good looks. 

So if I’m not really into guys for their good looks, what am into them for? What do we look for in someone who we can spend the rest of our lives with? That’s the million dollar question isn’t it? For those who also haven’t found ‘the one’ yet, don’t we all agree that we’re looking for someone who would understand us most of the time? (For no one can really understand anyone, can really know their whole soul; That’s God’s job.) But who can love us here on earth even when we’re at our worst? It’s so hard not to long for your other half, like come on, what’s taking you so long?! 

The wait can be torture. Fate can be cruel. How would you know that your soulmate just lives next door, or in the next country?? The endless possibilities can be so nerve-wracking. So nerve-wracking that sometimes you think that you get tired of waiting. But deep down, unconsciously, your heart is still looking for that special someone.



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Movie Review on The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

I’ve been reading the Mortal Instruments series again!! Having watched the movie adaptation of the first book twice made me want to, for the umpteenth time, delve into the awesome written world of the Shadowhunters. 

I am on City of Ashes at the moment. Now that I’ve seen the movie of the first book, and obviously the chosen cast, every time I read the story, I try to imagine the actors reenacting Cassandra Clare’s words. In my mind, I see Jamie Bower as Jace, the brave and arrogant Shadowhunter boy who acts like nothing ever hurts him. I see Lily Collins as Clary, the girl in conflict with her feelings for Jace and Simon as she tries to save her mother’s life. I picture Robert Sheehan as Simon, Clary’s best friend who is unconditionally in love with her. But through all my imaginations in using the movie cast as the characters in the book, I find myself struggling to even picture them saying the lines that Clare wrote out for them.

In the movie, the cast was relatively okay at acting, but when I went back to the series for basis, I realized that the actors sort of downplayed their characters quite a bit. Lily Collins did a fantastic job as the ginger-head female lead, and so did Jamie Bower and Robert Sheehan. But the movie crew may have done better in choosing actors for Isabelle and Magnus. I imagined Isabelle in the book as girlier, and maybe a bit more hyper, somewhat. The Isabelle that they chose for the movie was too tough-girl for me. Magnus, meanwhile, was funnier in my mind. When I picture Godfrey Gao as Magnus and saying all his lines in City of Ashes, all I can think of is… eh. He acts too straight-faced most of the time for me, and it’s not because he’s Asian. 

On the brighter side, in terms of looks, I think the movie crew did their job on that department pretty well. The cast was more or less what I imagined the characters would be like, and that adds to my appeal of the movie. I also love the venues the scenes were played in. I loved how they set up the library of the Institute, Clary and her mother’s small but pretty apartment. The special effects too, are also to be appreciated.

Another thing I’d like to comment on: the accents of most of the Shadowhunters (in the movie). When I first read the series, I did not think of them as having British accents. *laughs* But after having seen the movie and replaying lines of Jace in City of Ashes, it fits out pretty well. But he’s the only one who I can imagine being a Shadowhunter and having a British accent. Luke, Clary’s uncle, on the other hand, had a hint of an Irish accent, I think? It actually suits his fatherly character.

All in all, the first movie adaptation had more ups than downs, a good hit for such an eagerly expected and well-loved story. 


The Plight of Fashion

Have any of you ever wondered what the point of fashion is? I had an incident that happened a week ago with my friend, who is a sort of fashionista, that made me wonder why some people would place fashion at the top of their priority list.

A fashionista, according to Google’s dictionary, is a devoted follower of fashion or a designer of haute couture. Now I never bothered to know what those last two words meant until now, so for those who are wondering as well, here is the definition, also from Google: the designing and making of high-quality fashionable clothes by leading fashion houses, or the fashion houses themselves that do such work.

What happened that day was quite trivial actually. My friends and I had been browsing through a European-branded store when my fashionista friend suddenly whispered to me, teasingly, “That girl over there has a better fashion sense than you do.” Jokes are half meant, but this one particularly stung a bit. I admit I didn’t really pick the clothes I wore that day with great caution and consideration to the reverent rules of fashion, as you could have inferred from my black tee and skinny jeans and minimal accessories, but I was going mostly going for comfort. That instance might have led to feelings of hurt which might be the sole reason for this blog entry, but these thoughts that have crossed my mind cannot be ignored.

I usually pick my clothes with great care; I spend at least 20 minutes deciding, if I’m not in a hurry. But yesterday was a long one, and honestly I didn’t really care about anything else but to go to bed, so I just packed what I thought would be decent enough to wear in public. On the other hand, clothing lines these days, or should i say the real culprit, the media, put a lot of priority on not just appearance, but on shaping the public’s idea of fitting in. We see advertisements displaying “what’s hot, what’s fab and what’s not”. There are pictures in social networking sites showing sets of clothes that people think would look gorgeous coupled with the right accessories and make-up. People would then like the pictures and comment things like, “Oh that’s so adorbs” and other statements that utilize the flexibility of our language today through shortcuts and confusing terms. I know because I myself am one of those people.

I also get caught up in the fantastical world of fashion whenever I browse through a magazine or a fashion line’s website and see all the beautiful dresses and shirts and shorts and shoes that I wish I could have if only I had all the money in the world. I get smitten with the thought of wearing pretty form-fitting clothes and therefore torture myself when I look through racks of clothes at stores and find out that my wallet would cry if I opened it any more.

They say “Dress to impress” but really, what’s the point? If the world we live in, the real world, only considers what we can give, not what we can show, then “fashion” is one of those things that are considered as trivial. Unessential even, when compared to third-world problems that endanger and restrict millions of lives. Poverty, corruption, pollution: can you see these things as where fashion, as how society deems it nowadays , plays a major role in?

I think we sometimes forget that fashion is not about showing how rich or cool we are to show off the expensive brands we can afford, not about fitting in and getting in the bandwagon so as not to get left behind, but about expressing ourselves in what we find we are most comfortable in. What is so admirable about fashion is expression, in showing people your true personality and telling the world that you are confident in your own skin.

So if you’re going for that look just to seek acceptance from others, just to mask your insecurities, then forget it, because you’re not helping yourself. But when you use fashion as a means of gaining confidence all the while being the you that you are for yourself and not for others, then I salute you, brave soul, for the world needs more you’s than you think.

“I’m Hungry”

Over-eating is a pain in the neck. Nothing has ever been more annoying. I have been experiencing this dilemma for about 2 weeks now… 

I think it all started when I dropped my major subjects. Now that I don’t have morning classes anymore, and have more free time to do whatever, I usually end up eating… It’s almost always snack time for me.

On free days, like the past few days, I wake up at around 8am, eat breakfast that could sometimes last for about 45 minutes or more due to my reading books while eating. And then at lunch I wouldn’t feel like eating much, because my appetite still hasn’t recovered from breakfast. Then later, due to my meager lunch, I would pig out at merienda, or afternoon snack, at around 4-5pm. During dinner I wouldn’t feel like eating anything, or even looking at anything edible . Last night was the worst. I felt kind of woozy, but I didn’t really want to skip dinner, so I just drank soup. With 2 or 3 servings. When that didn’t help, my brother told me about an incident wherein his friend drank 4 bottles of gatorade to alleviate his feeling of nausea. His friend felt much better afterward. So I got a bottle of gatorade and gulped it down. And yes, I did feel better.

Know what’s also to blame? Those darned good Speculoos cookie butter and Biscoff and Cadbury spreads that’re sooo irresistable. I eat them with toast for breakfast or for merienda or after dinner almost everyday. I hate this feeling of not being able to control the desires of my taste buds, when my stomach helplessly begs me to stop consuming any more. Ending with my ultimate demise, I don’t listen. 

I try not to think about food too much, which might be a good thing because it brings back the feeling of bloated-ness. I do feel bloated a lot now, unsurprisingly, but my self-control has never been this out of reach. Discipline has always been an issue for me, whether it’s about eating, studying or watching my TV shows. I find it hard to say no to myself, which is afterwards infuriating when I catch myself with a full stomach at merienda, or when I look at the clock and it’s already 11:30pm and I’m still playing Sims. How in the world am I going to achieve my goals in this state?!

I want to improve. I want to have more self-discipline over my wants. But how to do that?!

I guess I could try reflecting really hard whenever I make a decision. Any decision. Maybe that way I can slowly gain control of my life and not let my body’s desires get the best of me.