Journey through Oz part 2

The Marvelous Land of Oz is the sequel to Wonderful Wizard of Oz and second book in the Oz e-book collection I am reading.

I found the 2nd book not as innocent as the 1st but the theme of friendship is still consistently there.

I had a hard time at the start since I was not compelled by Tip, Jack the Pumpkinhead and Saw Horse as much as Dorothy and Toto.  But, the magic was relived upon the arrival of the familiar and well-loved characters Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman.  It was nice to see their growth as rulers. I loved their tidbits of wisdom here and there, which stems from the gifts they got from the Wizard of Oz.  I also loved how Glinda the Good played a crucial role in restoring balance in the Emerald City.

On to the next adventure in Oz… Ozma and Dorothy meets.

Currently reading:  Ultimate collection of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (E-book)


Transferred Post: Our First Shark Experience

Original publish date:  11 August 2013 (daredevildivers’ wordpress)

NOTE:  To date, this remains as one of my most amazing dive experiences… well not just the thresher sharks but Malapascua as a whole.  There were  sharks, mantas, octopus, turtle, frogfish, mandarin fish, etc. Though the weather was not that perfect (rainy season), somehow we got lucky.

A return trip here remains on my wishlist (maybe when my sister learns to dive?)

Journey through Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is both innocent and insightful.

It did not create complicated villains and monsters to engage the readers in a journey through Oz.  Rather, it painted a world through: colors (blue, yellow, red and green), terrains (poppy fields, rocky terrains, forest and yellow brick road) and quirky characters (Munchkins, Quadlings, Winged Monkeys and Field Mice).

Not all elements may be of pure innocence (Blame the Wicked Witch of the West!) but it is a children’s story just the same. Theme of friendship is consistent throughout.

As a slightly older reader, I still have some questions left unanswered. The book left me curious enough to continue journeying through Oz.  Looking forward to meeting again some of the characters from the first book.

Currently reading:  Ultimate collection of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (E-book)

Amazing Day

Coldplay’s “Amazing Day” was one of my motivations in creating the cyber pensieve.  I find it poetic and well-written.

We sat on a roof, named every star / shared every bruise and showed every scar
hope has its proof put your hand in mine /  Life has a beautiful crazy design

and time seemed to say /  Forget the world and its weight
And here I just want to stay /  Amazing day amazing day

We sat on a roof, named every star /  you showed me a place where you can be what you are

And the view, the whole Milky Way /  In your eyes, I drifted away
And in your arms I just want to sway /  Amazing day amazing day

It captures elements of my dream day (or days) where you share a night under the stars with someone special.

and I asked /  Can the Birds in poetry chime?/ can there be breaks in the chaos sometimes?
oh thanks God, must have heard when I prayed/ cause now I always want to feel this way
Amazing day, amazing day/  Yeah, today

To have the luxury of forgetting even for a brief moment day-to-day problems; someone to share your life with. Oh, what an amazing day indeed it would be.

Such feels from this song that I want my self years from now to remember it.  For now, I have to be content with some other version of an amazing day.

Credits for the lyrics:  Coldplay’s website (

Harry Potter Notebook

I posted in twitter my favorite quote (forced myself to choose one) from each book in the series.  But, figured might as well collect them in one post here so it would be easier to view. It might end up getting lost in my twitter timeline.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone –

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don’t you put that admirable Cloak back on and get off to bed?

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets –

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban –

The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed. .

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire –

Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix –

Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince –

Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right,

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows –

It was not, after all, so easy to die. Every second he breathed, the smell of the grass, the cool air on his face, was so precious: To think that people had years and years, time to waste, so much time it dragged, and he was clinging to each second.

Life is precious. Live each moment. Maintain an open heart. Believe in yourself. Do not fear the future.

Some takeaways to calm myself when the going gets rough.  Thank you Dumbledore (well most of it) for sharing bits of your wisdom to us Muggles.

My Hogwarts Experience

Hogwarts is a key part of my journey to adulthood.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows remains to be the only book where I had to wait for a bookstore to open.  So it is pure magic that in my 30 years of existence, I had the opportunity to visit Hogwarts twice through reading and traveling.



Universal Japan (January 2015) and Universal Orlando (October 2013)


I finished re-reading the complete series last 13 January 2016.  I learned a lot of new things about the characters’ journeys and found some hidden clues I missed before.

Hermione Granger remains my favorite character with Dobby and Severus Snape as my other choices.  My heart ached the most for Sirius Black. Happiest for Neville’s transformation.

The Prince’s Tale is my favorite chapter.  Hard choice between Prizoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix as my favorite book in the series.

Hogwarts holds a special place in my heart.  Looking forward to another trip some time in the future.

Thank you JK Rowling.

Transferred Post: This time, I knew

Original publish date:  16 July 2013 (daredevildivers’ wordpress)

Wonderful memories are made each time a person dives. It may be the first time you went deeper than 60ft, the sight of a juvenile harlequin fish or the joy in discovering a swimming turtle. It may be a feeling or it may be a sighting… Always wonderful.

For me, one of my treasured memories was the first time I wore the regulator away from the surface… That initial encounter with diving in the first confined water pool session when the instructor assisted us going down the bottom of the pool.

I can still remember how conscious and paranoid I was in trying to equalize that it took me two tries (and a persistent instructor) before I managed to set my fins at the bottom of the pool. Somehow I thought equalization is the same as sneezing so I was not getting the intended result. (Good thing a person can swallow to equalize.)

Breathe in, breathe out… Breathe in, breathe out then it was love. I already knew diving will be worth all the money, time and effort. Now, I may be near broke but am always happy.

A lot has happened since then. 50+ dives after, I have to say it is still love.  Every single dive is just as wonderful with its own story to tell.  My happy temporary escape.