Interesting stuff

Zach Sobiech: The Kid Who Went Down Fighting, and Didn’t Really Lose

Zach Sobiech. Have you met him?

He inspired millions of people even before he turned eighteen. He had osteosarcoma (a rare form of bone cancer that affects children), and he knew he wasn’t going to live long. Instead of languishing in the dark, he chose to live the remaining days of his life by sharing his feelings through music. Instead of waiting for people to cry for him when he dies, he chose instead to put smiles on people’s faces – because knowing he was responsible for that made him happy.

He died on May 20, and heaven just got brighter. Get to know him, and take inspiration from his life through this video. It’s 22 minutes, but definitely worth the time. I first watched it when I learned of his death and I was moved to tears. Good tears. And I felt that it’s now my responsibility to live my days endeavoring to make someone else smile. Please please watch it.

If you don’t have time though, here are two lines he uttered in the vid; I made these cards because these lines will always stick with me:


Make people happy

Learning to Knit

Since I saw their campaign on Kickstarter, I’ve thought often about the Ricefield Collective. They’re doing something that really amazes me. They are promoting their craft, teaching women, and also providing them with a means to take charge of their lives. Cool beans!

I wasn’t able to support them in Kickstarter, but I talked about them to my parents and the boyfriend, and I would have told friends about them if I wasn’t in the hospital when I learned of them. Hehe. I need their kind of passion in my life. Deep down in my soul I know I want to be a creative, and to be one while helping other people in a very concrete way, that would be the dream job for me.

Then CraftMNL posted about Ricefield Co’s KickStarter campaign, and setting up a class with them. I knew I wanted to be in that class! I would love the chance to just be in the same room as these women, AND I also really wanted to learn to knit. I almost missed the class, I signed up only two days before the May 11 class, as soon as I saw the schedule up on CraftMNL’s workshop page.

Soon as I sent in my registration, I flashed back to the Amigurumi class I attended at their workshop in December 2012 (where I learned to make this). My next thought was: I won’t be able to climb those steps to the second floor workshop without assistance! Good thing the afternoon class was held on the first floor, no risk for injury. 🙂

Alfred had work until just before lunch time Saturday, and again the next evening, so asking him to come along was out of the question. The task of taking me to and from Makati was left on my parents. I was so glad when they said yes! I really am a spoiled old baby, haha! I was joined by three young girls in my class, and our instructor Anna from the Ricefield Collective flew in from the UK just a few days prior.


We got a printed canvas bag, DK yarn enough for the project, lovely new knitting needles, and all the stuff needed to complete our finger puppets.

learn2knit kit

It seemed so simple but I made mistakes and my stitches didn’t look perfect at all, haha!


But I learned how to cast on, cast off, and on again. And enough moves to finish my Tarsier finger puppets when I got home:


Anna mentioned that as they were campaigning for Knit4Life and the Ricefield Collective they used finger puppets because they were fun, and also it can be used as you show the K sign with your fingers. Since making this one, I made another one in a smaller size, and an even smaller one for little Amir. It’s not a puppet to him though, more like cozies for tickle fingers – to use for tickling grandma and grandma! I can imagine they’re good for taking selfies sporting a peace sign too, but I haven’t got around to do that. 😉

I am looking forward to more knit and crochet projects, but right now I’m still working on my ripple blanket. Meanwhile, Ricefield Co is up on the mountains of Banaue working with women on their handmade knit products. You can follow them on their adventures via Twitter – @knit4life, and Instagram – @weknit4life

No More Hurting People

Speaking of peace, I came across this campaign on Indiegogo today:

A lot of us wept for little Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the Boston bombing last month. This group is raising funds by producing shirts printed with Martin’s peace artwork from school. 30% of the proceeds will help the Richard family, while 70% is for One Fund Boston. This is a really good way to spread Martin’s message of peace, and also help the victims stay strong.

Be Kind to Yourself

I was doing some research for a new post for Between the Covers when this ad was played in YouTube:

How do we really see ourselves? I used to think I had a pretty healthy self image, but then I got more and more into photography and more and more people also got to toting cameras everywhere and I realized that I didn’t want photos of me taken.

Do you remember that shampoo commercial where the girl would hide behind her friends because her hair was less than lustrous? Or those series of commercials for Lesofat, tinatago ang taba?  That’s exactly what I do. I don’t hide behind people though, I normally just take myself out of the photo. I refuse to have any taken. Most of the time.

But I’ve tried to do that less and less. I’ve allowed others to take my photo. I’ve even started taking selfies. And my profile photo on social networking sites is already an actual photo of myself. I am beautiful in whatever shape or size, I know that. I may be trying to lose weight these days, but that is because I have become too heavy for my bones (being bionic now doesn’t guarantee that another slip disc won’t happen). Let that not overshadow the truth that I am beautiful. \

Thanks Dove for reminding women of all shapes and sizes, that we need to be kinder to ourselves.

Potable Water from Air

The social media is all about sharing stories. A lot of times, there’s crap out there, but there are rare gems. There are stories that inspire, and give hope. There are stories that, when told properly, spark a revolution. We choose which stories to share and read. We choose which stories survive.

One story I found on my Facebook timeline today is about this collaboration between a Peru University and an advertising company. They setup a billboard that actually generates potable water out of air. Details are found in this linked article, but I am also embedding a Youtube video of this project below.



We probably thought that water was  an unlimited resource. After all, about 70% of the Earth’s surface is made up of water right?

But not all water is readily usable, much less drinkable. There are areas all over the world where clean, potable water is a life-or-death issue.

The technology they used in this billboard project is something that can be replicated in many parts of the world. Granted, currently the cost of maintaining the setup might be too expensive, but harnessing the power of the sun (solar energy) could make it more affordable, and sustainable.

This is the kind of innovation and innovative-thinking we need to solve the country’s problems.


What do you think?

Nokia Lumia 920

I love my iOS devices. I suffer from serious Mac-envy. But I am definitely a Windows person. Perhaps I developed a loyalty to the brand due to working for them for over five years, but maybe it’s also because it’s just that easy to use and it’s available. I love Windows 7, and am interested in trying out Windows 8. (Oh, and did I mention that I blog with Windows Live Writer on my PC?)

As for mobile devices, I can no longer imagine a life before Smart phones. Can you? Yet in the early years of the mobile invasion, we were all content with the green screens and brick phones. My first few phones were all Nokias. The sturdiest phone I ever owned was the first one I ever got – the Nokia 3210. I remember dropping that phone on the bleachers outside the UP Gym and the resulting scratch was barely noticeable. My last Nokia was from the 82 series, not sure if it was an 8210 or an 8250. I bought it second hand, and with a camera attachment.

nokia 8210

(image source)

But I’ve since moved on from Nokia. Moved on, and never looked back.

The Lumia line, boasting its PureView camera technology, is something worth checking out.

Nokia-Abenson 01

A smart phone with a great camera, Windows 8, and full version of Microsoft Office? This really sounds good. Send me a red one will you?

Read up on its features on the Lumia 920 product page. I got the iPhone initially because of it’s camera, and Instagram. Had I learned of PureView before falling into the iOS trap, I really probably would have considered getting a Lumia.

If you like what you’re reading so far, you can also head out to an Abenson store near you, and experience the Nokia Lumia 920 for yourself. I hear the Trinoma branch (so does Shangri-la Plaza and The New Glorietta) let’s you test the phone, so I might swing by one of these days and check it out. Shopping for this and other gadgets at Abenson comes with perks too – the store frequently has promotions that give freebies for your purchase, plus all major credit cards have 0% interest installment deals!

Nokia-Abenson 02

So there you have it. If you’re in the market for a new phone, don’t leave Nokia out of the running. The Lumia 920 might just be the phone for you. Smile

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