Saturday, September 24, 2016

Book Fair Find: 13th Prayer

Most of us fear if not abhor the number 13. To a lot of people, this number is often associated with one thing: bad luck. But in this book by Kim Derla (who goes by the name Lee Miyaki on Wattpad), she used this often feared number to count and give optimistic light to a word: PRAYER.

When sutil girl meets the seminarista. 13th Prayer tells the story of a girl named Eiffel, who despite being born to religious parents, is cynical about God and the power of Divine Intervention through prayers and how an accidental meeting with a seminarian named Jem and a seemingly simple writing activity in the catechism class would transform her once skeptical life into a meaningful journey of faith. 

While this may seem to be a big shift, given a change in genre (from the love stories in Wattpad going to inspirational light reading), but Ms. Derla's book was able to give a lighthearted approach for readers to understand a meaningful aspect of Catholic faith: Prayer. While the story ended with a different twist, she was able to discuss the topic of religion in a way that it was worth-reading and could still be easily understood by using common scenarios in the story as well as the inclusions of Bible verses and a prayer at the end of every chapter -- prayers which were also written by the author herself .

Given the personality of the characters in the story, I would recommend this book to those in search of a light reading material on the subject of faith and to the youth as the book also teaches a thing about patience, obedience, gratitude and compassion. Who knows, you might just be inspired to write your own 13 Prayers just like I did.

Solo Trip to MIBF 2016


Exactly a week ago today, I went on another solo trip, this time to SMX Convention Center for this year's Manila International Book Fair.

I was eyeing to go even the day before. Call me shallow but I was looking forward to going to the event for two reasons: The first and only attendance that I had for the MIBF was back in 2003 (oo, pangalawang beses ko palang ito); and this is the first time I am going to Mall of Asia, commuting on my own. 

Originally, I scheduled to leave the house early to arrive at the area around 8 or 9 am but instead, left a bit late and after braving the traffic and the experience of riding public transportation, I arrived at SMX 30 minutes before lunchtime. I immediately went to the booth of Summit Media after paying the entrance fee and scouted for not magazines but surprise, surprise: cookbooks.

If you are to ask me about the experience, it was kind of worth it. If you're a bookworm just like I am, going to events such as the Manila International Book Fair has its advantages. You get to personally meet authors of your favorite titles (and if you get too lucky, get them to sign your copy), choose the books you want and buy lots and lots of books at cheaper prices (either on sale or sold at a discounted price). Book fairs are really a bibliophile's wasteland! In my case, I only allotted 1,000 pesos but it covered the expenses -- yes including the books that I purchased. Just a friendly warning though, if you plan to attend the MIBF next year, be prepared at magbaon ng napakahabang pasensya because going through a beeline choosing the books and paying them is a bit time-consuming. In my case, while I really wanted to buy those cookbooks, it took time for me to pay because I was in line with teenagers who seemed to take eternity in choosing the book they want to buy.

Before leaving Pasay City, I also made a side trip to this church. I have always been intrigued about the place when I first spotted it from the parking lot of MOA two years ago but never had the chance to go near. Last week, I took the chance and paid this church, The Shrine of Jesus The Way, The Truth and The Life a visit even for a few minutes.

I will surely return for next year's MIBF though I'll try to make it early in the venue so that I can really check out and scout for books from the exhibitors :-)