Monday, January 25, 2016

Out Of Billions

     Out billions of people in this humongous universe, sometimes I wonder why God has given me this kind of life. 

     Each and every person's life is beyond important, and I love this life, and wouldn't want to change it, even if I was to become a princess. But despite my gratefulness, there comes a time where I weep in a corner of my bedroom, just because I don't get the new pair of shoes I see at the mall. I let my mouth tangle and scream with tears about not getting the last slice of cake in the fridge, or not getting the TV remote first. And yet, as more and more news spread across the globe about unfortunate people, I wonder why I get this kind of life, when people are out there, capable of being a better daughter, friend, and person.

     Why am I so lucky? Why? I don't know the reason of why God didn't give this kind of beautiful life to other children, who weep on the street, beg on their knees for just a little bit of food, who wear nothing but tattered clothes, who can't even afford to go to school, who haven't even laid hands on an iphone, who haven't felt the warm blanket of a parent's love, and still manage to wear smile, and be jolly inside out. Why did he give it to me, who cries over spilled milk and can't even be contented over little things? If he gave it to the other people, wouldn't things be better? Other people smile genuinely, and are thankful from the deepest corners of their hearts, just when a five peso coin is given to them. I deserve to be on the streets, begging and waiting for the sun set with an empty stomach, sitting alone with tears leaking from my eyes on a cold, windy, isolated nowhere.

     Life can suffocate you, stress you, or make you die. Life can be your long life enemy, never giving you what you want, making things go out unplanned. But life can be make you smile, it'll give you wonders, it'll make your eyes see things like never before, make the impossible possible, let each part of your body tingle with delight and curiosity, and life can be your best friend.

     God gave me this kind of life. He gave me a huge blessing, and I can't believe that I complain and whine about silly tiny things. I cannot change what he has done, and I am forever grateful, because out of billions and billions of girls, or boys, or animals, or plants, he chose me, Athena, to actually experience this. It may not be obvious, bit I am very thankful for the oppurtunity of this. I don't think that such a word will be able to describe how pleased, blessed, and blissful I am. There won't be anything in this world that will push me to trade my life. You only live once, so make the most out of it. Remember that there are billions of people, who innocently get a life they don't deserve. Try to smile, genuinely, just because of a 'thank you' from a friend. Spread happiness, be kind, be contented with tiny things, and be thankful because out of billions of people, God chose you. 🙏

Thank you, God, because out of billions, you chose me.

Friday, January 22, 2016

True Love and its Sidekick

     Once the hand traps the sidekick, and the words start messing up the spotless page, only two things are essential. The imaginary universe on the paper, and the one that makes it possible; the true love of writing.

     Isn't it incredible to face he fact that innocent, silent portions of ink called words are capable of change and power. It can make fat tears leak from your eyes, or giggles from your mouth, or even a smile as precious as a diamond.

     Words are magical. Words are powerful. Words can change the world. But where the words come from is even more amazing. Because behind every story is just a paper. But behind the paper, is a pen and passion.

     Passion, first of all, isn't just the skill. It isn't the genius behind it either though. Behind everything is a pen and a writer, with passion, the trusty sidekick and the true love of writing. The pen and passion.

Saturday, January 09, 2016


Part I - Who is Zoey Jane?

     My name is Zoey Jane. I'm fifteen years old and I live here in New York, and have parents and a baby brother. But I am not the brightest of children in this world. I don't have the best family, my grades are not very high, but most importantly, I suck at writing. I lost all my confidence, actually, when I joined the school paper. At first I thought I was the best writer ever because my teachers always give me the highest marks at class in essays and formal themes. But when I joined the school paper, I realized that my writing isn't really really good. It isn't fit for the "professional" kind of writing. My writing was just fit for class essays and papers and nothing more. But I didn't expect my whole life to change without even trying.

     Ever since I joined the school paper, I've felt like all my peers there have been treating me differently. One time, when I got lunch and left my bag inside the publishing office, Tim and Rey just leaned on it while they worked on their laptop. Even when I came near them, and sat real close to them 'cause my bag was there, they stilled ignored me like it was nothing. Then during another time, Amy just opened my bag and snooped while Letty, the head of the paper, lectured me about how inspired I should be while I was writing (And by the way, Letty was totally screaming at me). And while Amy inspected my bag, I felt Marie's foot slowly creep up to my skirt, as if she was trying to lift it up. She was the worst. I so wanted to quit, because I didn't want the life I had to get any more worse. But I didn't have a choice, I didn't want to chicken out and show everybody I'd back out that easily.

     But the Divisions were tomorrow, and I knew that I was going to win 10th place. 

Part II - The Divisions

     So the next day, I rode the bus at 6am with all my noisy schoolmates. I sat in the very back, all alone - like always. I opened my phone and listened to some 5SOS, but even that didn't get my mind off at how humiliated I'd be when I get that certificate with my name and 10th place on it - Wait, no, change that to 100th place. 

       We arrived at the school by 10:30 in the morning. Mrs. Thea, the school's principal toured us around. It was a big school, with white marble walls and colorful lockers. Everything was clean, and just like our school, it was buzzing with gossip and weird kids. When lunchtime came, I sat down in a quiet table by the window next to the Candy Stall. I ate my spaghetti bitterly, looking out the window where a tree sat still. Unharmed and safe. I wish I was a tree. Then I'd never have to worry about this. I'd just watch children play all day, and hear the birds singing swiftly while the wind would play with my leaves.

     After eating I head to the school's library to do some reading, as I hear my schoolmates talk about the contest.
"I heard they're going to start by 11:30 in the first classroom by those lockers," Letty said, while gulping a glass full of lemonade.
"Just wonder how many people will be cheering for ME!" Marie said while her eyes sparkled with delight.
"Marie, can't you even say 'me' without your eyes going all crazy and voice all squeaky?" Jenny said while she rolls her eyes
"Guys, shouldn't we probably talk about how we're gonna ace this thing, not how we're going to brag." Amy said. And then that was the time I left, thinking how I WAS going to ace this and still be alive.

     I arrive at the library by 10:36. It is a good thing Mrs. Thea told us all the places from head to toe. And just like our library, their school's library is empty, except for the librarians. I rarely ever see people who love books. Their library was a large wide room, and was filled with thousands of nooks and crannies. It was dusty and old since I can tell by my sneeze. I sit in a chair in the very corner of the library, grab a book without even looking what it is about, and I look, then grin to see that no one is looking. I flip the pages of the book and let the scent of its pages enter my nose. I know it's weird, but they calm me down. If you don't know, aside from writing, I love reading. They take me away from this horrid stressful world I live in, where I don't need to worry, or do homework or fight with my brother. In the company of books, I am at peace.

     I open the book on the first chapter. And what happened next actually helped, at least a little.

 "Her little fingers tiptoed on the dusty wooden shelf, as books greeted her more and more. She held on to her ruby necklace, closed her eyes, and hovered in the air, until she was nowhere to be seen. Magic."

     I'd rather be with the girl than at this school. After about twenty five minutes of traveling with the girl, I stand up and use my tingling legs to get back to the cafeteria and get this thing over with. As my palms sweat minute by minute, I see the classroom by the lockers, and Marie and my schoolmates are just packing up from their lunch. I walk towards the classroom and wait patiently, my back inclined to the window, and my isolated eyes staring into a mad mad world. I just watch the students walk around, gossip, gossip. And then when the bell rings, there is no one left but me, my schoolmates, and our competitors. Outside the classroom, a mini stage is set up with a microphone, and standing in front of us is a man wearing a blue uniform with black pants, shiny shoes, and very waxlike hair. His green eyes are so normal that they make me want to throw up. 
"Good Afternoon to everyone." the man says. His voice is weird, and sensitive, but a bit gay-like in my opinion.
"My name is Cole Leonard Renevue, but you can call me Mr. R."
"As you know, you are all here to compete for the divisions, and I am very satisfied with all of you for being here, because we all have one thing in common here, which is writing. But to be the best one of all, you'll have to prove yourself and make it to the regionals," Mr R says blankly as I hear a voice in my head that tells me that I won't make it.
"As I announce your category, approach your proctor and follow him or her to your respective classrooms.
 He strictly divides us into our categories, which are feature writing, sports writing, news writing, headline writing, copy reading, editorial, and cartooning. Each category has their own room, and it looks like the others will have to go to another classroom. Since I write feature articles, I stay next to Letty as the others go to the other rooms. Mr. T gets off the stage and says goodbye. Now I am left with Letty and three hundred more students who are all competing against me.

     Our proctor stands on the stage, since she gets the advantage to use the mic unlike the other proctors who need to speak up for their listeners to hear them. "Good Morning to everyone of you feature writers!" she says kindly. I think I like her better than Mr T. 
"My name is Melany Locketty, but I'd prefer you calling me Teacher Mey." she says with a giggle, her wavy blonde hair almost reaching her waist and her smile as sweet as a daffodil. 
"Are you all okay, ready to start writing?" she says. Me, okay? I am more than a hundred percent okay, I think that I'm going to roll on the floor because I feel so normally okay. Everyone just smiles and answers different stuff. 
"Okay then, off to mechanics we go! Don't want to eat the time you've all got," this is the boring part, I guess.
"Remember that Winners never cheat, and cheaters never win.I'll just read this to you guys, so please pay attention," she coughs, and starts speaking.
"Rules and Mechanics for Divisions 2015. This year, the rules will be very simple, and they are as follows. Each student will be provided a pen, pencil, papers, eraser, and sharpener, and bags will be left at the respective counter." Teacher Mey pointed to a humongous counter at the back of the hallway, squeezed next to the classroom to not make it look too obvious. "No cheating, and looking at your competitors paper is not allowed. Talking to any other person other from your proctor will be considered cheating, which will disqualify you. Everyone will be given one hour and thirty minutes, and you will all start at the exact same time when your proctor gives the papers. Every time you hear a bell ring, that means twenty minutes are up. And when you hear the bell being rang multiple times, that means time is up." Teacher Mey smiles encouragingly. Probably because she sees how anxious everybody is. "Well now, let the divisions begin and good luck to everyone of you!"


     Teacher Mey divides three hundred students easily, which is a surprise. Once I sit on my chair, I see two folders stacked to prevent others from cheating. And then I think of the most random thing I can imagine, and cannot believe that I am actually hoping I'll have a chance.

"She lets the smooth wind caress her hair, as she travels far into the woods with her basket. This was happening to her, but this wasn't magic. She knew it in her heart, as her legs jumped more and more, her mouth gasping for air. Because she was Caroline Rose. She knew she could do it."

Three bells have rang, and I'm still copying my draft to get the original copy. Almost there. . .

"And then she heard a voice. A sweet, gentle peaceful one that reminded her of reading books under a tree. 'Caroline?' it said. She turns around with open arms and delightful eyes and only says one thing. 'I did it.'"

"DING, DING, DING, DING, DING!!!" Once I hear the bell, my head props up from my seat, to see the others trying to write as fast as they can and Teacher Mey, already starting to collect papers in the front row.

     Once she finishes, she says something that I will hold onto for the rest of my life. "You have all done very well. Win or lose, you are all winners because you've gone this far." And now everything is so clear, with just that. I'm still young, I've got a future I've go the courage to chase ahead of me, and who cares if I'm a bad writer now? I can control my destiny, and if others can do it, I should know I can.

Part III - Happily Ever After

     It's been a week after the divisions, and thinks are all back to normal. I   wake up, study, eat lunch at school by myself, go to the classroom, study, go home, and (sometimes) cry myself to sleep. Ms. Terry, our Math teacher is still murmuring about how these numbers become these and how numbers become that.

     The paging system goes to life, and Mr. Denny, our principal makes an announcement.

"Good afternoon to everyone, and I am sorry for this interruption. I'd like to excuse all the School Paper members and request them all to proceed to the Publishing office. Again, School Paper members, please proceed to the Publishing office. Thank you." 

My teacher allows me to go, as I once again use my tingling legs. I don't know what is going to happen next. I push the door open, and see our Instructor, Mr. Adams smiling like I've never seen before. And now he's, wait, what, he's laughing?! As I go closer, he shakes my hand, and says the best thing ever. Well, you probably know what it is, and I can't even continue writing this, because tears are literally falling down from my cheeks, which I hate because I hate other people seeing me cry, which makes me weak.

"Congratulations, Zoe!" Mr. Adams just called me Zoe, which no one even calls me!
"Er, thank you sir, the divisions were quite hard, but I promise I'll do my best next time." I say.
"Zoey Jane, you just bought yourself a golden medal with 1st place and your name engraved in it." he says.
The others have just came in, while my heart continues to skip and jump inside of me. And now suddenly everyone is congratulating me and talking to me. And now, I cannot even believe that me and my family have became closer, all because I expanded Teacher Mey's saying. I believe in myself, and I get higher grades. Because I was always a winner. Just getting to study here in this place, getting to join the school paper, and getting a family just makes me feel like a winner already.

     "Come on, Zoe, Can't you just tell your parents to reschedule? Attending the 5SOS concert is just pure happiness!" Letty says excitedly.
     "We've been planning for this trip for a long time, and it'd break their hearts if we reschedule it, because we got a good deal on it." I say, laughing.
     "Alright then," she sighs. "Hope you have fun! Anyways, I've gotta go, Mr. Adams does have a lot of paperwork for me to finish." Letty says.
     "Kk. See ya later." Then I head to Ms. Terry's room.

     "Ahh, Ms. Jane, you're early." Ms. Terry says.
     "Of course, I wouldn't wanna miss those extra lessons," I reply.
     "My oh my, Zoe. Well let's get started," Ms. Terry says, and I can see her holding back a smile, which later turns into a laugh she can't resist.

After English class, I ride the bus and go home. 

     "Zoey Jane. Good to see you. I can see that my monster haunting experiments still haven't worked on you." Nico, my brother says while holding a Nerf gun.
     "You'll just have to try harder next time, kiddo," I say, lowering myself for a hug.

And after minutes of doing my homework and going online, I go down to have dinner.

     "Heard the test was a piece of cake," my mom says while pouring me some orange juice.
     "Not really, but I did my best." I say.
     "Well you won't have to worry about tests, we're about to go to Hawaii!" my dad says while showing me a necklace made of flowers.
     "Which reminds, me, I haven't packed!" I say.
     "I'm going to bring all my Nerf guns," whispers Nico to me, but fails as mom says no.

And then I creep up to my room and close my eyes, praying for another wonderful day, and thanking God for this wonderful life I've got.


    *Short Story

Monday, January 04, 2016

Happy 2016! How to Write your New Year's Resolutions

    Happy New Year!!! As 2015 has come to an end, and 2016 has finally landed, this is quite bad news for me. . . because I've got to go to school today!!! 

      Because this is a new year, this also means a new life. We all have to get rid of the bad habits inside of us, since this is another year for all of us. This is another chance to start anew and fresh. I have created a list of my new year's resolutions, and I have to say that it isn't very easy, especially the thought of having to get rid of your habits, and adjusting to new ones. So here is a post on how to create your new year's resolution list.

1. Get a piece of paper and a pen or any other writing material. 
2. Think of the amiss things you mostly do. It can be eating beyond your diet, coming late to school/work, or maybe spending more time with your family. 


3. Be specific. While writing your list, make sure that you'll be specific. This will give you encouragement and will really push you to start anew. It will also remind you of what you really need to change about yourself. If one of your resolutions is to manage your time better, use bullets. It can be something like this:

     A.Time Management
          -Do paperwork earlier
          -Make sure to choose clothes a day before an event so you won't be late.

Despite how hard your resolution may be, write it. Every new year is about change, and becoming better. Change can be good, so let difficulty get ahead of your determination.

4. After writing your list, make sure that you've got the determination to do it. When you find yourself in the middle of eating another bottle of coke, look at your list and force yourself to stop.  Remember that if you never stop something, it could go on and on until it slowly becomes forgotten, and worth nothing. You are responsible of all your actions, so remember your resolutions and have a happy fruitful 2016 :)

Some tips are...
-While writing your resolutions, be realistic. If your one of your resolutions is to create the newest inventions of all time, think again. Perhaps you should start with baby steps like, 'To finish a part of my new invention'. But if you really really think you can do it, go ahead!
-Don't give up when you don't do your resolution right away. You're in a new life, so don't get stressed out if you fail. Things aren't always perfect during the earliest times.
-Don't let other people destroy your resolutions. If temptation's defeating you, fight it. When a friend tells you to spend overtime at school just to goof off, but your resolution is to come home early, don't get tempted. Remember that this is a new year, and change is now or never.


A happy 2016 to everyone!

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

     This December 2015, Cinemas are giving the best Christmas gift evah to geeks all over the world. Know why? 'Cause Star Wars has returned!

     Last December 17, 2015 me and my family went to Ayalala and watched Star Wars Episode VII, directed by J.J Abrams, produced by  Lucasfilm and Abrams' Bad Robot productions, and now distributed worldwide by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. According to my source, Star Wars The Force Awakens is set approximately 30 years after  Return of the Jedi in 1983. 

     Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) meet each other because of an orange and white droid, as you know, BB-8. And BB-8 is the one droid everyone's looking for. . . because he has the map to find long lost Luke Skywalker. Kylo Ren, the new Sith Lord addicted to Darth Vader, is determined to find that droid, and kill Rey.

     Star Wars Episode VII is just grand, but I have to say that during late November and December, I've just seen hundreds of bandwagoners, especially Holly who didn't know a thing about Star Wars back then. But when a marathon showed up at Star Movies, she suddenly became a "Star Wars Fan".

     So episode VII for me, is one of my fave movies of 2015. But I do have some stuff to say about it, so let me start with the not-so-good points.

1. When the Star Wars facebook page posted a photo of the new stormtroopers, I was just like "WUT?!". I have to say that this generation's stormtroopers are really awesome and cool, but in my opinion,  just prefer seeing the classic stormtroopers.
2. I'm quite confused, because I totally thought that Luke wouldn't be shown in this episode. The story is kind of all about Rey discovering her past, and I'm confused because Rey couldn't have found Luke that easily. I know that there are more episodes in the future, but I thought those episodes would be allotted for Rey facing lots of ups and downs in finding Luke, not finding him all easily. But on the other hand, I think that the future episodes could be all about adventures with Luke and Rey (Like Luke teaching Rey Jedi stuff, battling the dark side, blah blah blah).
3. I just want to suggest, that maybe the other actors like Padme, Anakin, Obi-Wan and the other characters could be casted in some way, like they'd show their force ghost, or a flashback perhaps.

And now for the good points . . .

1. Making Kylo Ren reveal his face is just so, so good. At first I was so shocked because he wouldn't be terrifying at all, but I realized that no one will ever be able to immitate Darth Vader, no matter what. This just symbolizes that even though Darth Vader may be dead, Kylo Ren will never be able to steal his place in the dark side.
2. I just want to a great thumbs up to Daisy Ridley, aka Rey, since I just adored her! She looked so beautiful and stunning, and I have to admit that in the movie she almost looked like Emma Watson. I was even surprised when she was british.
3. Despite the fact that after many years Star Wars just suddenly released its seventh episode, the signature, adventure, and vibe of your classic Star Wars is still there. Yoda may be gone, Vader may be dead, but all the lightsabers, "The force is with you" stuff, and adventure is all present, which just makes me love Star Wars even more.

     When lights went out in the cinema, and the screen started showing a black background with stars, and then a series of words, with the classic music playing, and everyone being so loyal to it, even after lots of years, just makes me cringe and have goosebumps. Disney truly has invaded Star Wars, but still making the signature be present, which I love, love, love.

BTW, I have been a Star Wars fan since 2014.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

All the Answers by Kate Messner

     Ava Anderson is a normal girl. She has an extremely smart brother, a sister who adores name tags, a grandma who loves praying, a dad that's always thinking of world-famous stuff, and a mom.

     Ava is good in math. She studies, and prepares, and remembers all the formulas. But when she brings a stubby blue pencil to school to answer her math test, she hears a voice that no one else hears. And the voice. . . tells her all the answers she needs!

     When Ava shares this with Sophie, Ava's best friend, they start answering their classmates' answers, tell other people when the shoes they love will go on sale, and who has a crush on who. But little does Ava know that this stubby blue pencil can bring about great danger, in knowing the future. And because of that, Ava will have to face the fact that one of her family members has cancer, and another will die.

     At first, I thought that All The Answers by Kate Messner wasn't a very good read since I think that Messner just thought of the sentence, "What if your pencil had all the answers?". I'm just saying that she could have gone deeper into that, like "What if a bunny had a magic pencil that was as big as a car?". I do have to say that the story has a "Fairly-Odd Parents" kind of vibe, but even if the story's like that, middle schoolers will love this because of the highs and lows in Ava's life, which will they be able to relate to. It also tells middle schoolers that they aren't alone in what they go through, so there isn't any reason to be too stressed out. Studying can be hard, parents can fight, friends can get mad, but that doesn't mean that there isn't anything good about it. 

      If you always always read books that include adventures in other dimensions, or wizards, princesses, and kids with super powers, and want to take a break from all that thrill and danger, I can say that All the Answers by Kate Messner will be the perfect fit, especially if you're in middle school. 

Rating: O  O  O  O  O
Suggested Age of Readers: 8+
Genre/s: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Fiction, Family

*Book Review


About the Author

Kate Messner
     Kate Messner is an award-winning author, TED 2012 speaker, and former middle school English teacher. Her books for kids include THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z.,SUGAR AND ICE, and EYE OF THE STORM (Walker/Bloomsbury Dec. 2010) the MARTY MCGUIRE series (Scholastic), SEA MONSTER'S FIRST DAY, and OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW (Chronicle, Books). Kate also wrote SPITFIRE and CHAMPLAIN AND THE SILENT ONE, both Lake Champlain historical novels published by North Country Books.
     Kate lives with her family on Lake Champlain, where she loves to read, write, hike, swing on birch trees, and eat chocolate. She also hangs out in various places online. 

Description of Author text Credits:
Kate Messner photo from Google Images
All The Answers book cover photo from

Saturday, January 02, 2016

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

      Ebenezer Scrooge treats Christmas as nothing. He is an old, cold-hearted man. "Bah, Humbug!" he'd say. What good is making other people smile and be happy for no reason? What good is helping the poor and homeless just because of a Christmas day?

     But one night, when Scrooge gets home from work, he hears a mysterious sound. And it's no other than Jacob Marley, his business partner who has been dead for seen years. He talks to Scrooge, and says that he will be haunted by three ghosts (The Ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Yet to Come), because of not believing in Christmas. 

     With A Christmas Carol, you'll definitely feel the true meaning of Christmas all around you, even if your only sitting in the couch under the winter snow. Here are some things you should take note of. 

-Though A Christmas Carol is a very good read, you should also know that the language and spelling is a bit old, and though it is also wonderfully written, I don't think that children will understand the context very much because according to my friend's twelve year old daughter, she fell asleep during some parts since she couldn't understand the words much, but she still loved it. 
-If you've got a child who doesn't want to read this because of the three Christmas ghosts, know that the three ghosts of Christmas aren't very scary. The two Christmas ghosts seem friendly, but the ghost of Christmas yet to come is quite grim and dark, but I think with a little guidance or so, a nine year old wouldn't be very afraid.
-If you're like Scrooge, be off! Kiddding! So, one more thing you should know that if you are like Scrooge or if you know someone like him, A Christmas Carol will be a good read because of its multiple messages and lessons about Christmas Spirit.

Rating: O  O  O  O  O
Suggested Age of Readers: 8+
Genre/s: Classics, Fiction, Holiday (Christmas), Literature, Fantasy

*Book Review


About the Author
Charles Dickens
     A prolific 19th Century author of short stories, plays, novellas, novels, fiction and non-fiction; during his lifetime Dickens became known the world over for his remarkable characters, his mastery of prose in the telling of their lives, and his depictions of the social classes, morals and values of his times. Some considered him the spokesman for the poor, for he definitely brought much awareness to their plight, the downtrodden and the have-nots. He had his share of critics, like Virginia Woolf and Henry James, but also many admirers, even into the 21st Century.

Description of Author text Credits: