Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fun with 3D Puzzles

Between my brother JR and I, I would say that it is he who has patience as long as EDSA when it comes to some stuff including  toys that has to deal with problem solving. But a couple of months or so, I came across 3D puzzles of famous landmarks from Cubic Fun during my usual visit to the bookstore. I got intrigued and fascinated by it so after weeks of eyeing on it, I bought one and tried assembling one myself.

My first project was the Eiffel Tower. The kit which contained 20 pieces takes 50-60 minutes to complete. In my case, the Eiffel Tower took 45 minutes.

I purchase the puzzles at Toy Kingdom and I am working on the S-Series. Depending on the landmark you want to assemble, each kit contains less than 70 pieces of parts made of styrofoam and cardboard.

Easy to assemble pieces with instruction. No need for glue or scissors.

And while the product is made in China, it's good to see that they have some safety precautions like this on their product too.

Paris, New York, London

Finishing one is interesting and well, addictive so from an Eiffel Tower, I now have Big Ben and this morning, I finished the Empire State Building. While my reason for trying out assembling a 3D puzzle was just to test my patience (if I'll be able to finish one) I ended up adding and constructing more. My ultimate 3D puzzle project? St. Peter's Basilica and Neuschwanstein Castle.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Is Reality TV Really a Necessity?

These days, given the workload that I have in my current profession, one of the "social activities" that I rarely get to do is watching TV. Save for news on weeknights and The Voice Kids on weekend nights, I really don't get to immerse much on what to watch -- not even Pinoy Big Brother.

When it first hit the prime time block back in 2005, I was just inquisitive about the show's format. You see, living in a house filled with CCTVs 24/7  together with strangers and without access to outside world can drive one nuts, so being able to survive the ordeal is really a huge accomplishment. I don't know if it's just me but I no longer found the succeeding batch of housemates interesting (those that followed the "pioneer" housemates).

It caught me by surprise when a friend confessed that becoming a housemate is also one of his dreams. At one point, I had that item on my bucket list too. On a certain level, the thought of what if he made it as a housemate made me worry -- and I am not after the competition for that thought.

When I think of it, there is always a question forming in my head. Is reality TV really necessary? That thought bubble of becoming a housemate had to burst after I finally contemplated the risks are rather many than the advantages -- and it involves not just me but my family and people around me as well. To me, CCTVs in a house shared with strangers isn't enough to reason out what is real.

Yes, it may validate actions but only at a certain extent. To me, reality is what happens to a person every single day with or without the camera. Reality is how a person conducts herself with every circumstance she gets to run into even in the absence of cameras. It's really what you do (both consciously and unconsciously) but more particularly when no one is looking.

It's that plain and simple.

In the end, my friend did not make the cut. And I will be a liar if I said I was sad about it. I actually got to breathe a sigh of relief. After all, I would be among the ones who'd get affected if he did become a housemate. For I know I could not bear reading, much more hearing him being the subject of ridicule of other people who does not even know the real him.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Payatas and the Perception of Life

Since becoming part of the company's volunteer group, I have been to Payatas twice. Prior to joining the team, my perception of Payatas was provided by what I see and hear on TV. So when our crew made an announcement that an activity was scheduled for the students in that area last year, I did not think twice of joining -- mostly because I have never been there and I was hoping for that "first hand experience".

Sweaty me with the Grade 9 students.
A few weeks ago, we again visited 250 kids sponsored by our company through Payatas Orione Foundation bringing with us boxes filled with rubber shoes, raincoats and lunch boxes to prepare them for the new school year. Upon returning home that Saturday night, I remember my mom asking me "how does Payatas look like?". Sadly, minus the usual view of the usual dump site, the way media showed me what Payatas is is just the same. The place may show the comparison between the less fortunate and those blessed with wealth but in two instances that I visited Payatas, it never failed to make me realize that despite not having much of the material things, I am among the lucky ones in so many ways -- and regardless of being sweaty and that smell of the sun on my skin, I am happy to be able to give back to these kids.