Book · Book Review

Book Review: Waiting

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Yes, true lovers don’t have to stay together looking at each other all the time; they look and move in the same direction.

Waiting is a story of marriage, divorce and relationship. The main character, Lin Kong is an unhappy married man to a simple country girl, Shuyu whom his parents chose for him. Lin Kong never really loved Shuyu, what he felt for her is pure obligation brought about by the wish of his parents who had high regards of Shuyu. Hua is their daughter who have grown aloof of her own father throughout the story due to the latter have repeatedly hurt and humiliate their family by asking her Mother Shuyu for a divorce, numerous times.

This divorce is all rooted to the relationship that Lin Kong have developed with a younger Nurse in the hospital he is working for, as a Doctor in the city. She is Manna Wu. Lin didn’t really wanted to get involved with Manna but it was her who made ways to get close with Lin. Their relationship can be compared to that of what friends would have; but with more love and deeper emotion. All throughout their relationship, they never sleep together, nor kissed each other, not even hug. They were bound by rules set by the institution they work for, and so “Waiting” is what they did.

For over a decade, Lin Kong would spend his summer in Goose Village where Shuyu and Hua lives and would ask Shuyu for a divorce. Every year Shuyu would agree but once inside the courthouse, she’ll start to cry or would fall into silence and they would always go home, still married, Lin feeling a bit more devastated. This devastation was shared by Manna who always hopes for a divorce each time Lin would leave for the country.

In China those years (60s), there is a law that allows married couples to have divorce (with or without the consent of the other) if proven there have been no love between the couple for 18 years. This is how Lin got away with her marriage with Shuyu. After the divorce, he married Manna who later on gave birth to twin boys. After she gave birth, Manna was diagnosed to have a heart ailment and that cure is out of the question. Once he married Manna, Lin suddenly questioned his love for Manna and the reason why they waited. He would start to question how deep his love for her and would always reassure himself that it is indeed, love they’ve waited for.

The ending is an open-ended one, which readers were left hanging and concluding their own ending. It ends with Lin, Manna and Hua preparing for the Spring Festival where Hua told his Father that Shuyu will wait for him. This was brought about by Lin  Kong’s visit the other night to Hua and Shuyu’s place (they both moved to the city after the divorce) and Lin got drunk that resulted in him saying stuffs like “Oh Shuyu, forgive me, I did this to you.  Oh forgive me. Manna is dying. You should wait for me.. ” in which Shuyu took to heart.

Hua told her Father that Shuyu will wait for him but Lin told her daughter that she should tell her Mother to NOT wait for him as he is a miserable man.

Overall, I’d rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. I love books that doesn’t use superfluous words and phrases just to get to its point. And Ha Jin is not that kind of author, reason why I liked this book. It has this power over me that got me hooked from the very first line, which is about the yearly pleading of Lin Kong for a divorce.

It got me thinking why did he want a divorce that bad that he would spend his summer vacation pleading to his wife and in court for a divorce.

This book is recommended to all married couples and un-married couples because the other one is married. Who else would enjoy the content of this book if not for them. Also, I think this is suitable to people who have high regards for marriage and the Holy Matrimony. I guess it’s high time people embrace this fact in our modern lives today and divorce is part of it. There’s just no use staying in a relationship that doesn’t grow, doesn’t nurture, doesn’t love.

If you’re (unhappily) married and is weighing your options if divorce is for you, you should read this. If your partner is married and can’t find ways to get divorced, this is for you. If your parents are divorced, getting a divorce or in the process of, this book is for you.

Waiting is about relationships and how people tend to take for granted the things that they have. It is about love and how people fight for it. How people wait for it. Works for it to work. Waiting will make you wonder if what and who you have now, is really the one you’ve waited for, your whole life.

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Book · Book Review

Book Review : The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

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It is just disappointing when someone turns out not to be the person you thought they were.

I got this book from a recent Book Sale last July and it got me hooked and finished reading it in one week. It’s just a thin, short book but is full of emotions and content. To start of, Pippa Lee is your perfect “fuck-up-turned-into-an-aristocrat-wife” heroine so she got some of the lost souls’ sympathy right here. She grew up in a conservative family with a Pastor father and a Dexedrine-addicted mother. Her relationship with her Mom started from a nurturing kind to a bitter, tragic one, all of these because of her Mom’s addiction. After getting caught of having an affair with a teacher, teen-age Pippa run away from home and went on to live in New York. It is in this place where she eventually meet new circle of friends that led her to the path of the dashing debonair that is Herb Lee. Although married, Herb couldn’t get enough of Pippa so they eventually got together leaving Herb’s former wife (who was an Italian heiress) committing suicide right in front of them (oops, spoiler).. Herb and Pippa went on to form their own family then and in their golden years of existence (Herb 80, Pippa 50) they found what it is that kept their relationship alive..

The book is about how a woman struggle to find meaning in her life as she looks back in her past as a daughter, a mother and a wife. Pippa realizes how her relationship with her daughter mirrors that of what she has with her Mom. One that couldn’t quite get it right; the young daughter trying so hard to please her Mom that eventually turns the former to despise the same Mother she adored in her growing up years. Among the many aspects that this book had tackled, I am most affected by the relationship between Mother and Daughter that have been depicted between Pippa’s Mom and Grandmom, Pippa and her Mom, and Pippa and Grace, her daughter. It’s this thing that I know most women could relate to as our Moms play a big role in our lives, whether we admit it or not.

This book is highly recommended to those teen-age girls that are in that stage in their lives where running away (from home) tops their priority list. I’ve been there you know, and believe me, it’s just a phase.. No matter how desperate you are, you will definitely miss home when you’ve found a way to run from it.

It’s also ideal for every middle-aged women who are constantly feeling inadequate in life. To every married couples that have been together for years and feel like love and passion is slowly slipping out of their relationship.

I’d give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars as it captures in me that raw emotion I get when Moms are brought up, when marriages are tested, when old-age is taboo-ed, when rebellion is considered a side effect of puberty. Rebecca Miller is a straightforward author that doesn’t linger too long in a subject. Once the message is delivered in a chapter, she’ll move on to another subject that made this book filled with stories yet so thin in overall packaging.

Every once in a while, I appreciate these kinds of short books (yet complete in meaning) as it is a fresh break from all those thick-paged books I often bury my nose in. If you’re looking for that “fresh break” too, you better try this book.

#FanGirlMode · Personal

#FangirlMode : ON (Bianca Gonzalez)

The fundamental structure and idea of greatness, cool-ness and awesome-ness in me formed when I was in Junior High School. It is in that time when I started reading Teen Magazines (Candy, Chalk, Seventeen and Meg) from where I get the notion that if you know a lot of things, you are cool. From there on, I started hoarding information from Hollywood, to Literature, to Current Events, Politics, Cosmetics, Sports what-have-you. I strive to know the difference between “compliment” and “complement”, I learned about the genius works of Haruki Murakami, I was introduced to the wonderful art of reading and a desperate voice in me woke up and wanted to be a WRITER. Ofcourse it’s never easy to learn everything from A-Z given the limited source of information I had then. Yes, internet was around but No, we didn’t have a desktop (yes, people. DESKTOP!) so I had to save up my allowance monthly just to buy the latest issue of Candy and fill up my mind with all the latest and useful knowledge I could get from the Magazine.

It is in these Magazines that I found a girl that inspired me to be better in all aspect of life. She is Bianca Gonzalez. She is just a College Girl back then, doing Modeling, Court-side Reporting, occasional Writing and eventually Hosting on TV (Y-Speak). I found in her the “ME” that I’ve always wanted to be. She is smart, fashionable, pretty, sporty and all. As time goes by, my admiration for her grew to the point that I pegged my life on hers.

Last month, out of pure impulse, I sent her an email, a fanmail you may call. I just told her how I look up to her and how she is my Life Peg. How I’ve always wanted to write and asked for some tips on how she maintains her white wardrobe, WHITE. Haha. I didn’t expect her to reply, but surprise, surprise! She replied a week later and I am just so ecstatic!

As this is a major #fangirl moment for me, I must show her full email to me. Oh, nothing. I just wanna brag about it. Ha.

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I’ve always followed her life thru twitter and instagram and from her posts, I can honestly say that I wanna be like her. Even until now that I am 25 and people thinks I already got my shit together, I still feel that I want to be like her.

To people who doesn’t really know Bianca, here are some of the many things I like about her.

1.) She is intelligent and she uses it in good way. She is smart and she encourage others to find ways to be smart, too. Recently, she took up a 5-day intensive course in London where she regularly posts updates on instagram. I like how she impose to everybody that we are never too old to learn new things.

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2. She maintains a balanced professional and personal life -and she still has time to work out. I only have one job, no Boyfriend and I still can’t have time to find a sport/work-out where I can regularly be active in. She, on the other hand, has hosting, writing and other stuffs, she still do her Pilates & swimming regularly, and have quality time for her Boyfriend, now fiance.

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3. She raise awareness when calamity strikes the Philippines, is a patriot, and an advocate of Earth Faces.

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4. She continually empowers the youth and let everybody know the importance of education.

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5. She is such a supportive girlfriend. I always see her posts about her fiance’s (JC Intal) performance on his game and my heart always melt when she puts the hashtag #fangirlfriend. I know every girl are their boyfriend’s no.1 fan but there is something about Bianca and how proud she is of JC that moves me every time.

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In general, what I like about Bianca is her passion for knowledge and youth empowerment. The fact that she is an all-around modern day Filipina adds up to all those things and more. Of course there are some stuffs she supports that I don’t, but that doesn’t make me love her any less. I just acknowledge the fact that we are two different people with different beliefs and that in spite of it all, I still think she is awesome.

I hope she continues to inspire the youth (and everybody else) about the importance of education and knowledge. As for me, I will always be her #fangirl, always following her (instagram & twitter) every step of the way.

P.S. I wish one day I get to meet her in person and have some snapshots together.

P.P.S. She advised me to write more, write about anything I like and so here I am.

P.P.P.S. All photos are all courtesy of her instagram account —> iamsuperbianca