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Wattpad Beta Program

Months ago, Wattpad HQ approached me with this idea. They told me that they wanted to find a way to help writers monetize from the stories, then they introduced this Wattpad Next program that would require readers to buy coins before they can read chapters from a story.  My first reaction was, “No. Nope. Not gonna happen. Not here in the Philippines.” I told them that although the idea and the premise were good, it’s just tad too hard to attain. Here in the Philippines, people like ‘free stuff’–and that includes free reading in Wattpad. And it’s fine, really, since when they signed up in Wattpad, they signed up for free reading, hence, this backlash was understandable.

The main argument that I kept on seeing was that most of the readers are students and therefore do not have the money to pay for the coins. I understand this, really, but if the story is that good, it surely must be worth a few pesos. It wouldn’t even cost you that much. Save twenty-five pesos a week to read the story. And just think of it as a way to reward the author for a job well done. Because seriously? Writing is hard. It’s taxing. What’s a spending a few pesos to show gratitude to the author who worked hard to give you something to read?

Plus, not all stories will be monetized. It’s always up to the author. Surely the author you follow won’t monetize all of his/her stories. There will still be free stories for you to read. There’s no need to panic, really… But if the story you want to read is monetized, there are literally millions of stories in Wattpad that are free for you to read. Focus on that. Look for hidden gems. That way, you’re saving money and helping the undiscovered writers gain an audience.

But… but I seriously think that this idea would benefit both readers and writers in the long run. Writers who want to focus on writing can now do so. I know many writers who want to just write, but they can’t since they need to work for a living. Yeah. Shocking. Writers are humans, too. They need to work to survive. With this program, they can now dedicate their time to write stories that we all enjoy! It’s a win-win, right?

All these being said, I hope that we’ll give this program a chance. It’s progress. It’s improvement. Let’s not shut doors just because we got scared of the change. Let’s support the writers so that they may continue to do what they love and make a living out of it! That way, they can produce more stories! And for the readers, don’t fret. Wattpad hears your sentiments. I am sure that they’re taking every post into consideration. Let’s just enjoy this beta, and see what will happen next.

 

Birthday Jitters

I am turning a year older next, next month, and to be honest, it kinda scares me a little. I know, I know, I’m still young and I still have a full life ahead of me, but it’s still really making me freak out, you know? Being in your 20s feels like time is running out. It’s either you get your big break right now or you’ll just end up like a big disappointment. It’s just either of the two, and it’s scaring the living daylights out of me.

Currently, I am pursuing a life-long dream of becoming a lawyer, but at the same time, it kinda feels like I am wasting the best years of my life. I mean, I am 23! I should be enjoying and having fun and doing all that stupid stuff right now, but what am I actually doing? I am slaving away in books and memorizing until I literally cry. Yup, that’s my daily routine (in case you’re ever wondering). I know, it’s my dream and I should do everything to make it come true… but I just wanna be free and stupid and do crazy things…

I don’t even know if I am still making sense. I just wanna get this out of my head because I feel like I am really going crazy. I feel like I can hear this clock inside my head, and the ticking is driving me nuts! I can also hear this little voice inside my head telling me to just drop everything and do what is comfortable–writing.

Yeah… Writing has always provided me with comfort. It’s my safe haven. It’s my love. But I am just being practical. I really don’t see writing as a job. It’s just a hobby for me… And with how things are going right now, I kinda feel the burnout coming sooner rather than later. It’s starting to feel like a job, and I’m afraid that I am really starting to hate it. I feel like one day, I’m just gonna say “fuck it” and just disappear online altogether. It’s too much, you know? I am literally going insane in school and the last thing I really need in my life is people online telling me what to do.

Hate it.

Hate it so much.

And it’s not like I can just tune them out, you know? Because I have eyes? And I can read? And I have emotions? So I can feel? There’s no winning, really.

But whatever. I’m here. I’m still here… And frankly? I feel like I am just ranting, but I won’t give up. That’s just not who I am. I am not a quitter. Yeah, sure, I do rant an awful lot, but I am not a quitter. I continue to race until I see that goddarn finish line. Because that’s me. I am a freaking finisher… I’ll finish this until it consumes me.

(Bet you’re thinking what a sad person I am. Maybe I am sad sometimes, but I definitely feel lucky. And happy often times. But neurotic most of the time.)

(BTW, I really don’t hate my birthday–just the thought of getting older and closer to death. I have an awesome plan to celebrate it so can’t wait!!!!!)

Glorious Blend

If you know me personally, you know that I am trying to live a healthier lifestyle. I just realized lately that I am not getting any younger, and the back pains I am feeling certainly do not make things any easier for me. Because of this, I vowed that I will slowly try to change my eating habits. For many times now, I have already tried different kinds of diet, but none of them really ever worked for me. Maybe because the diets I tried before required drastic change over my lifestyle. So, now, I am just trying to do baby steps by simply cutting sugar and carbs from my everyday diet.

I know that this seems easy for some people, but this is certainly hard for me. As a law student, coffee is a big part of my life. I drink coffee on a daily basis, so just to imagine cutting sugar from my diet would already require a big sacrifice on my part.

Thankfully, I discovered Glorious Blend Coffee! And they sent me this cute box full of their different products! At first, I was hesitant because I was never a huge fan of instant coffee mixes because I do not know what exactly goes into my coffee. I like making my own coffee because by that, I get control of what I put in my coffee. But still, I decided to give it a try, and I really liked it.

The first one that I tried was the 7 in 1 Coffee Mix. This is my favorite of the three coffee given to me. It’s creamy and sweet, but guilt-free because it doesn’t have sugar in its ingredients! And I really like my coffee guilt-free. It’s also low in calories because it only contains 90 calories per cup, so you can most definitely indulge yourself with this! My sister really likes this coffee, and she said she’d definitely have more of this.

The next one that I tried was the 5 in 1 Brown Coffee Mix with Brown Rice. This was definitely something that I wanted to try because how often would you get a coffee mixed with brown rice? So, I tried this, and I was a little bit surprised with the taste. Truth be told, I was expecting real brown rice mixed with my coffee because that was in the name of the coffee… But I didn’t get any actual rice in my coffee. The taste was not as sweet as the 7 in 1 Coffee Mix, although it was also a good combination. It was a good change because I would admit that I like my coffee a little sweet. But this one? It wasn’t sweet, but it wasn’t bitter. It was just in the middle. And I finished my cup! And that was saying something because I really couldn’t stand coffee if it’s not sweet! So, kudos to this 5 in 1 Brown Coffee. 

This was the coffee that my Dad liked the most, me? Not so much because as mentioned previously, I am not much fan of bitter coffee. But this one’s okay because it’s bitter, but not too much that I wouldn’t be able to handle a sip or two. It’s the kind of coffee that I’d get when I know that I’m up for a long night. Or the kind that I’d get when I’m growing tired of sweet coffee. It’s bitter but not overpowering that you won’t get to enjoy the taste of coffee. Truth be told, I drank this one when I was preparing for a quiz in one of the subjects I was struggling in law school. I was kept awake until dawn, and I was thankful for it.

And lastly, my absolute favorite! I am a sucker for chocolate drinks! And I swear I love this 7 in 1 Choco Mix because it’s creamy and chocolatey, but not too sweet that it’s causing me headache. The first time I tried it, I had to go for another cup because it’s that good! And when I read the ingredients, I discovered that it’s also sugar-free, so hurray for that! I’ll definitely recommend this one because it’s really good! And since it’s kinda raining a lot lately, this one’s perfect for the mood. Imagine having a cup of hot chocolate while rain’s pouring outside? Perfect, right?

These coffee and chocolate products of Glorious Blend are all sugar-free, so it’s really good for our health. I only lately realize how important taking care of our health is–or I already knew that before, but I never really put much effort in making sure that I am eating healthy. But that changes now. I am all for eating healthy and staying healthy without having to change my lifestyle drastically. So, if you’re like me and you want to be healthy but also don’t want to give up your daily cup of coffee, this one’s definitely for you!

Check out their Instagram and Facebook Accounts to know more about their products!

Why Do People Hate Me?

I love writing. Really. But sometimes, I just want to delete my account and leave everything behind. I just couldn’t reconcile with the idea of strangers hating me for no apparent reason. It just bothers me a lot. I always ask myself why do people hate me? Have they even met me yet? Talked to me? But often times, those people who have the audacity to throw harsh words towards me were the ones whom I haven’t even seen personally yet.

Sometimes, I get tempted to just message them and ask them what was so wrong with me that they would go the length of sending me very hateful messages? I don’t always respond to hate, but I get affected. I get sad. I get depressed. There were days when I feel so down that I don’t even get out of bed. Those were the days when I start to question everything that I ever did in my life… Like why did this happen? Where did I go wrong? Is there anything I could do to change it?

It’s just making me crazy.

Internet is a good place to make friends… but it is also a place to get strangers to gang up on you. And I still am not strong enough to handle that. That’s why I try to build a wall around me. I just talk to people, but I don’t really let them in my life anymore. I got burned so many times before that I get scared by the mere idea of another friend turning their back against me… I get so scared, so worried… I don’t make friends anymore because the fear of being betrayed. I just content myself with the few good people that I already have in my life.

Don’t get me wrong; I know that there are a lot of good people in the world… I know that… But the fear that I am feeling inside me isn’t something that I got overnight. This fear is something that was slowly building up for years. Friends after friends turning against me, strangers hating my gut without even trying to get to know me… I just get so scared.

Sometimes, I think maybe I am the problem. Maybe I am. But I am always trying to be better. I just want people to talk to me, tell me what the problem is because I am open to changes. I just don’t want people talking behind my back. I hate it. It makes me want to curl up and hide from the world. It makes me wonder how inadequate I am… How unlovable I am… How hateful I actually am…

Maybe those people hate me because of the things that I have done in the past… Admittedly, I did some stupid and immature things before. But I have grown since then. I have matured. Can’t I get the benefit of the doubt? Can’t you even try to see that I changed? That I am not the same immature kid back then?

But of course people will not always listen. First impressions do last. For them, I will always be that immature and stupid girl. I will always carry that around me, dragging me down. And it sucks. But I guess I just have to live with it. Live with the hate. Live with the fear. And maybe… maybe eventually numb myself from all the judgment I receive daily.

Maybe one day it wouldn’t hurt as much.

Life in Law School

A lot of my readers are curious about law school life. I think some are even considering going to law school, and that’s really good! Although I sometimes complain about law school in twitter and instagram, I won’t deny how awesome it is to be able to go to law school. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s the kind of difficulty that will make you want to trudge on. It’s a welcomed challenge. I liked being challenged because it pushes me to do better. I admit that if I am not challenged, I tend to just relax. I’m not saying that being relaxed is a bad thing, but I just like to see what more I can do, what my limits are.

Since I’m studying in San Beda, I’ll give you an overview of what happens in my day as a law student. I think this will be better as a vlog, but I am really hopeless when it comes to editing videos. But maybe in the future, who knows?

In the first year, first semester in San Beda, the subjects are Statutory Construction, Constitutional Law I, Persons and Family Relations, Legal Research and Writing, Criminal Law I, and Sem. Classes usually start at 4:30pm and can last up until 9:30pm. It really depends on your subjects for the day. When I was in my first sem, my load was pretty light because I usually have only 1 subject a day, so that was really nice. The sad thing was that I had classes on Saturdays, so I barely went home because I’d seriously rather sleep on a Sunday than to travel to Bulacan.

My day usually goes like this:

6:15 am – wake up

6:30 am -eat light breakfast (just so I have something in my stomach because I can’t study when I’m hungry)

7:00 am – do my writing duties (if I’m on the mood, otherwise I just watch whatever series I want)

9:00 am – start reading the assigned chapters (usually, they’re like 50 pages and up. Good thing I’m a fast reader, so this wasn’t a big problem for me. But I do read the topics twice because I don’t like taking chances. I don’t like the feeling of not knowing the answer when the professor asks me)

12:00 noon – lunch (and do stuff other than studying. My mind can’t study for more than 3 hours. I get dizzy)

1:30 pm – start reading cases if there are any (I’ll check beforehand if the cases are long. If they are only like 5-10 pages, I’ll read them a few hours before class. If they’re long, I’ll read them the night before)

3:30 pm – start preparing for class

4:00 pm -eat something because sometimes, class ends up until 9 pm, and I don’t want to be hungry during recitations

4:30 pm – prepare for death

9:30 pm – go home and sleep (I don’t try to study after class because my mind’s still traumatized from the recitation) 

This is my usual schedule. Although I try to follow this every day, it really depends on the kind of subject I’m supposed to study. For example, Criminal Law I is a very demanding subject. Back during my first sem in first year, my CrimLaw I was on Friday and Saturday, but I’d start studying on Monday because it’s that demanding! It was so stressful because my professor was notorious for failing a lot of students, and I didn’t want to be a part of that statistic. So I try to study as early as possible because if I get asked about a case, I wanted to be able to recite the facts, issues, and ruling. Sometimes, a professor will ask you what is the color of the perpetrator’s t-shirt, what kind of weapon was used, what kind of vehicle was used, was the victim stabbed on the right or left palm, were there any justifying circumstances, were there any accomplices—you know, fun things. You can never be too prepared because you’ll never know what you’re going to be asked. One time, when I was reciting, I forgot the names of the people involved in a case that when I was reciting, I was like, “Someone stabbed someone with a weapon.” Fun times, you know? My professor mocked me because I couldn’t produce a single name.

If you’re curious about what happens in a typical law school class, it’s usually just students praying for their lives. Seriously. I always, always pray that if I ever get called, I hope it’s something I studied for. Trust me, it’s not a pleasant feeling when you know you studied so hard but somehow, ended up not being able to recite. It’s just so horrible. Anyway, professors have index cards and sometimes, they shuffle, sometimes they do not. If you’re lucky enough to get called, you have to stand up and answer the question. A useful tip I can give is that never answer more than what you’re being asked. Seriously. Just give the answer to the question because if you try to be a smartass and give an answer to a question that wasn’t asked, it might open a black hole. The professor will ask you questions about subjects you haven’t even taken yet! And if you can’t answer the question, the person called next has to suffer. So, just don’t, okay? Stick to the question.

If you’re curious about the type of exam, it’s usually the essay type. The usual number of questions is 10, but some professors will give 17 (I almost cried when I saw that there were 17 questions with sub-questions! I mean, how would I even finish that in an hour and a half?! Crazy, but I did finish! I guess fear is a very compelling factor.) Per number, there will be a situation and your task is to determine the violation (if there is any) and the applicable law. I put a sample question below:

Tonito, an 8-year-old boy, was watching a free concert at the Luneta Park with his father Tony. The child stood on a chair to be able to see the performers on the stage. Juanito, a 10-year-old boy, who was also watching the concert, could not see much of the performance on the stage because Tonito was blocking his line of sight by standing on the chair. Using his elbow, Juanito strongly shoved Tonito to get a good view of the stage. The shove caused Tonito to fall to the ground. Seeing this, Tony struck Juanito on the head with his hand and caused the boy to fall and to hit his head on a chair. Tony also wanted to strangle Juanito but the latter’s aunt prevented him from doing so. Juanito sustained a lacerated wound on the head that required medical attention for 10 days.

Tony was charged with child abuse in violation of Sec. 10(a), in relation to Sec. 3(b)(2), of R.A. No. 7610 (Child Abuse Law) for allegedly doing an “act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being.” In his defense, Tony contended that he had no intention to maltreat Juanito, much less to degrade his intrinsic worth and dignity as a human being.

(a) Distinguish crimes mala in se from crimes mala prohibita. (3%)

(b) Was Tony criminally liable for child abuse under R.A. No. 7610? Explain your answer. (3%)

I tried to look for my midterm booklet in CrimLaw, but I couldn’t find it (maybe because I buried it already? My grade was so devastating, but I pulled through haha lol). Anyhow, the question above was the same type of question you’ll encounter if you ever try to go to law school. You have to analyze the problem, and give your legal basis. You really have to know the law because without legal basis, you won’t get a point.

In connection with this, you have to have a good command of the English language. Every recitation is conducted using the English language, so you better be comfortable to recite in English. Don’t worry if you’re stuttering because trust me, it gets better in time. Personally, you won’t hear me talking in English during my day to day conversations because it’s just not who I am as a person (lol), but during recitations, I believe that I can handle myself well (because I don’t have much choice, really). You also have to master writing in English well because if you can’t communicate your thoughts well, you won’t get points in your exams. You don’t have to use big words; just write enough to explain your answer. Professors don’t like reading long answers if it’s obvious that you don’t know what you’re talking about; short and sweet, that’s the technique to get full points in your exam.

So, that’s basically it. Recitations and exams are the biggest challenges you’ll face if you’re in law school. There’s really no secret but to study hard and study smart. Treat yourself once in a while because it really gets the best of you sometimes. Also, learn to forgive yourself if you get a bad recitation because you can’t really know everything. Just promise you’ll do better next time…

And most importantly, enjoy the journey. Not everyone’s privileged enough to be able to go to law school, so if you’re in one, enjoy every second and learn as much as you can.

I hope I was of help to those who are interested! If you have questions, just drop a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Twenty Facts About Me

I asked the twitter universe for a topic, and someone asked me to write ‘Twenty Facts About Myself.’ I think I already did this before, but I’d like to think that I had grown up since then… Probably some things changed about me… and I’m hoping that it’s for the best.

So, here are twenty facts about me!

  1. I was really supposed to be named Ariella, which was after my Dad’s name, Ariel. It would’ve been cooler!
  2. I’m so hopeless at Science! I remember when I was in my second year in college, I was taking notes when the professor mentioned the word phloem. I had to stop writing because I didn’t know what the spelling was! I was so embarrassed of myself!
  3. I was supposed to take up Accountancy in college, but I had to fight my mom because I didn’t want that. She couldn’t force me to study what I didn’t like. Thankfully, that worked in my favor.
  4. Took a gap year after college before law school… and that was seriously the most productive year of my life!
  5. I have trust issues. So bad.
  6. Had my first heartbreak when I was in high school. It was so traumatic. Hated people for a while because of that lol
  7. I cried so bad when I got my first failed exam in law school. Not to be braggy, but I never failed in any exam in my life… until law school.
  8. I pay for my own tuition from college up to law school. I like to help my parents because why not?
  9. Got my own car at the age of 21, but until now I can’t drive! Am planning to, but it’s so scary lol
  10. live for spaghetti! I don’t care what people say, but I’ll seriously eat spaghetti. I don’t care what it looks like or what it tastes like. I’ll eat it.
  11. I don’t eat apples, and my friends think it’s weird… but apple tastes so bland for me.
  12. I like buying books, but I don’t always read them. I just like displaying them because books!!
  13. I bring alcohol everywhere. I don’t like the thought of my hands being dirty.
  14. I definitely don’t like keeping my nails long. It bothers me so much. If I feel like my nails are already long, it will bug the hell out of me until I cut them.
  15. I once cut my hair so short, and I’ll never do that again. Worst decision ever!
  16. I have my own house! But it’s actually for my family, a gift for my parents. I’ll save up for mine.
  17. I don’t like taking pictures of myself because it’s really weird for me. I’d rather take photos of what’s in front of me.
  18. I wanna be a prosecutor someday, but I’m really worried about my family. I don’t want them getting involved in my mess.
  19. I don’t like being cold. I’d seriously rather sweat than be cold.
  20. And lastly, I am a nice person. In person. Sometimes, people probably don’t like my internet persona, but I seriously think that I’m a cool person to hangout with (lol)

So, that’s it for now. If you have any more question, please comment, and I’ll reply as soon as I can! Thanks x

When It All Ends

Synopsis

Belinda Ophelia Estrella was just a normal student… or so she thought. Kahit hindi niya alam kung bakit, pumayag siya sa kahilingan ng mga magulang niya na mag-aral sa Academia de Mondragon. And when she was finally inside the school, things just got even more confusing. There was hierarchy and people were just supposed to blindly follow. She didn’t want to cause trouble, so she just minded her own business… until she caught the eye of Augustus Voltaire Ostenhaimer.

She thought she found love, until she realized she didn’t. And when she got her hurt broken and her trust shattered, there’s nothing that could stop her from taking what’s rightfully hers.

Just The Strings 2

Synopsis

After all the trials in their relationship, she was finally Mrs. Mary Imogen Gomez de Liaño. She finally married the man she prayed for every day. Living with Saint was a dream come true for Mary. He’s her best friend, confidante, and her better half. Things were going their way—until they weren’t.

Saint was always busy with his basketball career, while Mary was having a hard time coping up with her new life. At times, she was tempted to go home, but she never did because she knew how badly Saint wanted to reach his dreams—at ayaw niyang maging dahilan para hindi matupad iyon. Alam niya kasi na kapag sinabi niya kay Saint ang problema, he’d quickly drop everything for her. So instead, Mary made new freinds—little did she know, she just made new problems for the two of them.

When things were never going your way, how long would it take before you give up? Or was ’til death do us part jus a hopeful promise?

Just The Strings

Synopsis

All her life, Mary Imogen Suarez was led to believe that she should end up with Parker Adrian Palma. Na dapat, kay Parker lang siya. Na si Imogen ay para lang kay Parker. But the problem was, Parker never looked her way, at least, not the way she wanted him to.

For him, she’s just the best friend—and a reminder of something he badly wanted to forget. For years, she lived with the knowledge that Parker would never like her back. Akala ni Imo, hindi na siya makakaahon sa naraaramdaman niya para kay Parker—until she met Saint Iverson Gomez de Lianño.

Saint was a breath of fresh air. He’s attentive, and he made Imo feel loved and appreciated—something she never felt during all the years she loved Parker. But when things started to fall in their right places, Parker decided to finally look her way.

What would Imogen do? Would she brave the storm to be with Saint? Or would she tread the strings that connect her with Parker?

I Watched Her Fall For Someone Else

Synopsis

Twenty-one and just out of college, Blaine Preston Suarez did not think that his life was about to change. He was still uncertain about almost everything in his life, still unsure about what he really wanted. It was all right, though, since he believed that he still had his whole life ahead of him. But things were quick to change when he met Nari.

Nari Francesca Miranda was never the person Preston envisioned he would end up with. She’s violent, uptight, and insensitive. She’s everything he did not want in someone. But the universe has other plans for them when he learned that one drunken night years ago bound them together for life.

Will having a child make them or break them?

Will they fall and stay together?

Or will they watch each other fall for someone else?