July 2018 Articles

Thank you to Joey of Thoughts and Afterthoughts  for subtly reminding me that I have a huge responsibility to update my blog. Although, to be honest, he was only reflecting on his own blogging schedule and I just felt quite guilty.

I want to give an extra pat on my own shoulder as I have written a couple of really long articles in July not for any other blogging site but my own. If you do have the time, please read my articles (Something smells Kimchi and The Gods of VIBAL’s CPD Program). Also, finishing five books this month does not sound so bad either–I ought to give myself a reward.

The Age You Feel Means More Than Your Actual Birthdate

Believe it or not, a number of people I meet and even my acquaintances often compliment my youthful appearance (okay, that sounded over the top). Seriously though, they gush at how my appearance does not show my age. This article sums it up for me.

Btw, you can follow my favorite BBC writer in Twitter (@d_a_robson)

Open Offices Make People Talk Less and Email More

The struggle is real particularly when coworkers try to shatter the wall you have built around yourself. Collaboration is indeed necessary but true to what I usually say, true collaboration only happens when each member is willing to bear his own weight, with or without walls.

10 Innovative Learning Strategies For Modern Pedagogy

My immediate supervisor shared this link and I found it enlightening. However, I cannot make heads or tails of why items 8 and 10 are included in the list of ‘learning’ strategies.

Japan’s Iga city ‘does not need ninjas’ after reports it was hiring

Trust the Japanese to always defend and preserve their culture and tradition- they even posted the announcement in Nihonggo.

Why Jack Ma Doesn’t Hire the Best Candidate for the Job 

Just a thought, maybe it’s about time we re-evaluate our screening process. Then again, experience and wisdom cannot be measured objectively.

Finally, I would like to give a great shout-out to my friend, Von, who has noticed the list of articles getting shorter each month that passed by. It takes great friendship to notice that and to tell me the truth.




How did 2017 go for me?

I am not here to bore you to death with how it went –you’ve got enough on your plate without me ruining your digestion anyway. Let me just break it down to three categories:
a) Reading Updates
b) Writing Updates
c) Personal Goals

So without further ado, here’ s the list:

Reading Updates
I managed to read 150  books in 2017.

reading challenge

Don’t let the number fool you though. More than half of the number are volumes and volumes of Manga- Japanese comic books. Before you say I cheated, and admittedly I know it looks cheating to anybody, Goodreads counts it just like that. Besides, finishing one entire series of manga is a difficult feat in itself.

Image result for luffy lying gif


Writing Updates

Articles and more Articles. I poured my heart, soul, and time into these babies and seeing them published gives me great joy. Who would have thought that a childish dream of seeing one’s name in Google with great merit was actually achievable?

Bloggingwise, I think I did better last year and my somehow I’m pretty much consistent with my content. The unplanned series was Monthly Articles where I kept a list of the notable articles I had read in a month and a short review. This was introduced in March of 2017 and I didn’t miss posting a list until December! I intend to keep at it not because it gets readership but also I sincerely learn tons from the articles that I read.

Image result for writing gif

My manuscript, on the other hand, is there somewhere. I can’t spill the deets yet as there isn’t anything substantial to spill.

Personal Goals

My only personal goal for this year was to chill. After going through a successful operation in 2016, I promised that I would detach myself from things that were irrelevant to me as a person and as a writer. I managed to focus more on things that actually mattered like saving money and keeping my body healthy. Connecting to my family members and establishing a closer relationship with them became my strength.

2017 was a great year for me and it opened a lot of doors. 2018 is the time for me to go through each one of them and grow. Yes, I suck at endings. Happy New Year.


2017 Planner, National Bookstore, Review

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored review.

This 2017, I’m going all out to using an affordable planner I purchased from National Bookstore.

As a fan of planners, I go for utility rather than design – a poor excuse for me being monochromatic and boring – so I’d go for less expensive ones than those that cost about 3000 Php *coughs* Starbucks *coughs* 

Don’t get me wrong. I do love Starbucks and there was a time I completed the sticker-requirement to get myself a planner which I completely used.

And I have a thing for 2017 CBTL’s and Scribbles for their amazing designs. 


Image courtesy of Filed


Image from Rappler

The thing is … I’m not sure I’d be able to write on all of their pages. So utility it is–yep, I’m boring. 


I got this grey NBS 2017 planner for Php 299.75 which means I will be spending only 0.82 cents everyday I use it–talk about being a cheapskate. It is a thick Daily planner bound by faux leather, kept secured by a darker grey elastic. If you’d ask me, I’d rather have a flat band to keep the pages together than a rounded one because it damages the cover. As regards the front cover, you can see 2017 lightly engraved at the bottom right. 


This planner by the way comes in other colors like red, cyan and lime green.

For this year’s name, my friends Tanya and Zen picked Katsudon Fatale for me — a combination of words they got from Yuri on Ice — with the hopes of giving me a year of laughter and food.

The first page shows contact information that I by no means would want to fill in. Also, I don’t see the need to do so since it’s going to reside on my office table for the whole year anyway. 

For the next page we have the mandatory yearly calendar featuring 2016-2017. I use this page mainly to track my period. Yep, I know there’s an app for that and most probably it is more reliable than this one but at least I can use this page for something other than checking my birthday in different years.
The next page gives a table of months with boxes large enough for quick notes and appointments. I read from some online magazines that it’ll be better to use a Washi tape for this part in case I need to reschedule appointments.
Let’s go to my favorite part. As this is a daily journal, each day has an allotted page with by-hour markers from 8 am to 8pm. As I am asleep from 3 am to 12 noon, I guess it hardly matters but I just love the idea that I don’t have to write the time as opposed to my previous weekly planners.

Also, since the page is spacious enough, I could change the time, add boxes here and there for more schedule and I can also use it as a diary–in case my private one has run out of pages.

At the other end of the planner is an inner pocket I usually keep my pay slips in.

One amazing thing to note is that the paper used for the planner is acid free which means it can last for a long period of time. Since I tend to collect my planners and journals, this is a huge plus. And oh, have I mentioned that the paper is incredibly smooth that my Pilot G Tech C3 0.3 glides on it quite well.
As for the incredible designs that this planner obviously lacks, there are about a gazillion of DIY in Youtube and Pinterest that I can use as my inspiration.
What planner did you get yourself this year?

Blog Feature: Sushi and Adobo

Today’s Blog Feature highlights two of my favorites, Japan and my Yeobo-my ever-patient mentor in 日本語、a superb friend of mine. Sushi and Adobo is not your typical travel/personal blog.

sushi and adobo – Hello. Join me as I get a taste of Japan

What does your blog offer?

My blog offers random topics about Japan. The 3 categories I set are:

1. Did you know? – This covers my observations and obscure trivia about Japan.
2. Diary – This covers my personal experiences since I moved to Japan.
3. Study Japanese – This is for my fellow language learners.

What inspired you to put up a blog?

It was another out-of-the-blue suggestion from my husband as we were having breakfast at Denny’s. He frequents this family resto and likes to spend a good 3 hours writing movie scripts. He simply wants me to be there (a control freak’s way to maintain order). Blogging was the answer. I am inexperienced in this field so if my reader could finish reading without giving a big yawn, I’ll be the happiest.

Do you accept author contributions in your blog?
My pleasure. Japan-related articles are highly desired.

Maiden posts articles every month, a wrap up of  her activities in Japan and things she misses in the Philippines. She also posts Nihonggo-learning articles and Japanese culture related stuff. From time to time she blesses the world with her photos.



Blog Feature: Now Brewing

We’re back with another Blog Feature! Love Esios of NowBrewing2013.blogspot.com has granted us a chance to see what’s going on behind the scenes. Considering its official badge and To Be Continued‘s book jacket, you’ll know why this blog is special to me. Read on.



Love Esios
ESL instructor. Frustrated writer. Trying hard to be a blogger but still “confidently beautiful with a heart”.



1. Who are the writers? Contributors?
>>> Now Brewing was actually the brainchild of not just one person but a circle of four friends who love to talk about movies and books over cups of coffee.

2. What does your blog offer?
>>> We actually offer our own take on movies and books that we have already watched and read. The movie or book doesn’t have to be newly released. When we feel strongly about a book or a movie, we blog about it.

Now Brewing

3. What inspired you to put up a blog?
It was actually an idea that just popped out while we were talking about a movie that I couldn’t remember anymore. (Hehe 🙂 ) We thought of sharing what we think in the internet world and let others speak out what they think about what we think. 😉

4. How often do you post updates?
>>> Since all of us are working professionals, we haven’t updated the blog for months now. But we are brewing something good for our followers… more of an in-depth feature about the contributors of Now Brewing 🙂 so watch out for that 🙂

5. Do you accept author contributions in your blog?
>>> We were actually thinking about it but we don’t have any concrete plans as of yet.

Love Esios

Now Brewing covers a wide selection of books and movies, from famous Hollywood ones to local movies in the Philippines, the award-winning and even the indies. The contributors initiated the blog in 2013 hence the blog address.

You can visit their Facebook Page HERE

Blog Feature: The Backpack Adventures

Our first Blog Feature highlights a travel blog, The Backpack Adventures hosted by a former classmate, Neil Alvin Nicerio. Through a series of chats in Facebook, I finally managed to convince him to answer questions about how he started blogging and what tips he could give to those who enjoy traveling and want to share their experiences.


Howdy, I’m Neil Nicerio. I’m a teacher, photographer, and a travel blogger.

You can check out my blog at nicerioadventures.blogspot.com (The Backpack Adventures)
  1. What does your blog offer?
My blog used to be a variation of a personal travel diary. However, through time it evolved into an educational type of travel blog where one can find out about the history of a place and the rates and itineraries too.

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2.What inspired you to put up a blog?
I love travelling and taking photos of landscapes and architecture. From that passion and my “acquired” love of words… my blog was “conceived”.
3. How often do you post updates?
During my first year, I “require” myself to post at least 10-15 articles but now I limit it to once a week.
4. Do you accept author contributions in your blog?
I don’t accept author contributions in my blog but I have a corner where I promote my peers blogs and websites
5. What awards/ recognition have you received through the blog?
So far, I haven’t received any awards and recognition for my blog but I have been invited to some media tours and promotional tours. I also got to write for travel mags.
6. Do you have any tips for those who want to put up a travel blog?
Travel, take plenty of photos, then write.


Neil Alvin E. Nicerio

Travel Blogger – Educator

Neil has already covered quite a number of places in the Philippines and Japan.
You can find Neil’s articles featured in TravelPlus.Ph here:
Kansai in a Week [http://travelplus.ph/2016/07/06/kansai-in-a-week/]
The Raw Beauty of Palui Island [http://travelplus.ph/2016/06/25/the-raw-beauty-of-palaui-island/]
Visit his blog or tweet him @NeilNicerio