Thursday, March 15, 2012

Random Ramblings (12): Man, I'm Still Alive!

Hullo, everyone! I'm taking a breather from my mountain of workloads to say that I am still very much alive. 

After about a month of not posting anything, not reading any book, not visiting any blog, I'm so closed to poking my eyes out and eating it after. I have miss my blog as much as I miss you guys. You don't know how much it's killing me not to have an internet connection at my dormitory. I can't even access my Twitter account!  

But I only have about 10 days to endure this insufferable hectic days till our vacation. Yes, we're going to have our summer break! How exciting is that? But I know it's not coming any closer, that's why I'm so glad that there is The Hunger Games movie and Lauren Oliver to look forward to. 

So you guys hang on, OK. I'm going to make up for everything this summer so watch out. I'm gonna be unstoppable! *evil laugh*  

Now I'll share my deepest secret about why I'm still alive right now: 

PS. Since you're here why don't you check these out and support our THGReadAThon event:

Discussion Questions: Part I, Part II 
Highlight Post: 1st week, Mr. Book Wonder's 

Sign ups are still open! Click here to participate. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

THGReadAThon Guest Post: The Reading Fever

We're now on the 3rd leg of our THGReadAThon! I do hope you guys are having fun! Can you believe we only have 12 days to go (9 days for us!) before the movie comes out! I can't hardly wait but for now let me present one of my best-admired bloggers in the blogoverse. I've been a fan of hers long before I even started blogging and I know how much she loves The Hunger Games so I was extremely excited that she accepted to be part of our event. Without further a do, may I now present, Penelope from The Reading Fever

Why I Love The Hunger Games
by Penelope Lolohea

I have started this post many times, only to erase everything I have typed up. How on Earth do I explain why I love The Hunger Games so much? How does one put the feelings I get when I read it, into words? 

But that’s just it--The Hunger Games makes me feel something every single time I read it. This is a series that captures the reality of things; the intense love of a sister; the brutal events of the actual games; the cold indifference of those in the capitol; the realistic look at where we could find ourselves in the future; even the sad hilarity of jokes, at times when jokes are uncalled for. This is a series that captures it all, in a way that allows me to experience it--not as a reader, but as what feels like first-hand.

No matter how you spin it, The Hunger Games is defined by three things: war, love, and survival. Everything else is open to your interpretation, but these three basic things are defined over and over again in each book. The characters and their circumstances are so easy to connect to, it allows us as readers to experience events just as they do--even if we have never experienced such things before. And with war comes tragedies, loss, humiliation, hate, and anger. With love comes peace, strength, hope, and joy. And with survival comes determination, sacrifice, and a renewed sense of self. 

So that’s why I love The Hunger Games; because of everything it allows me to experience--good and bad--and the way I feel afterward. It’s the camaraderie you feel when you’ve been through strong experiences with other people. It’s that camaraderie I feel with each character in The Hunger Games series. We’ve been through something. We are strong. 

We are the Mockingjay, and together, we took down the Capitol.

That’s why I love The Hunger Games.

Well said, very well said Penelope! And because she couldn't get anymore awesome, she's giving away something that makes me want to just corrupt you all and grab it for myself. But I'm not like the Capitol that's why I have the decency not to do that.

One winner will get a chance to win a $10 RUE giftcard from Fandango. It's open internationally and will run until March 22, 2012. Only one entry is mandatory but there are extra entries to increase your chances of winning. So good luck! May the odds be ever in your favor. :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Why the Dark Knight is my Hero?

My entry would probably be so lame. So let me tell you something first before you read it. I'm a creativity-challenged person and although some of the "suggestions" given were definitely more interesting and fun, it involves a lot of sketching, cooking, drawing, and nail-arting. I did attempt the nail art to no avail. So in the brink of the deadline for the submission of this post, I decided to stuck with my original plan: Talk about Batman and what he means to me. 


I was listening to the radio one quiet Sunday night while thinking of what to post about Batman, when this really catchy, upbeat song came on the radio. It was Bonny Tyler's, I Need A Hero. 

It could very well be me who was belting out the song because I admit I need saving. I need a hero. Do you? Well, let me say it for you. You need a hero. We all need a hero. To save us from the real culprit. 


What better hero to call upon but Batman? He saved himself and in the process saved a whole city crumbling from oppression and corruption. A hero in a cape and a mask personifying a creature of the night. It was meant to frighten those with evil in their hearts but this act of righteousness also managed to bring justice to those who were browbeaten and tormented by them. 

His coming into power was fueled by vengeance, I know. But without it he would not become the vigilante that he is now. He would not be in a fight against the villains of the society. But why Batman, you still ask? Why not Superman, Spiderman, or even Captain America? Don't they all have the same agenda? 

To be honest, I'm not much of a comics fan. What I know about these superheroes were only based on movies and I bet, you could outshine me with your very own debate on how awesome Superman is, or how badass Spiderman is or how formidable Captain America is. 

But if there's one thing that characterizes Batman that others don't is he's no superhuman. His alter ego is very much him in a way that when he dawned his costume, he was still human. What he was with all the cape, mask, utility belt, Batcave, Batmobile and Batarang was all him. He's no product of insect bites, genetic enhancements, freak accidents nor did he came from another planet. He attained his "superpower" abilities because of hard work and intense training. No shortcuts for him, just pure unwavering will.

But this post is not really about who's more famous and better. What I like to point out is Batman is human yet this did not stop him from helping those who needs him in more ways than one. The very city that in a sense took his beloved parents, became a starting point for him becoming a hero. Because rather than turning on his people, (in which he was really closed to doing and which some of us would most likely do if faced with the same situation) he took this tragedy as an eyeopener and accepted that even though he could not really avenged the death of his parents, he could still save others from the same fate. 

He is not invincible, but he is, in a larger sense, a force to reckon with. He is an inspiration to step up to the challenge of becoming better. He sends out a message to delve deeper in ourselves and fight the bats that plagues us, so we can conquer the Gotham in our hearts. 

Photo courtesy of
Batman might embody a being of darkness and terror but I believe his character calls for us to find our humanity and stand by our morality. That although we are not rich enough to afford our own Batmobile, or smart enough to devised our signature weapons like Batarang nor cocky or nimble enough to wear a cape and not trip over it, nothing could or should ever get in the way of us finding our humanity and saving ourselves and others. 

This man is in a way a reminder to suit up, put on the mask and be our own version of Batman. And that are the reasons why the Dark Knight is my hero.   


This post is kind of sappy don't you think? It's just that I feel very strongly about Batman and would like to give his character a little justice through this post. So I was very happy to be part of this challenge. It was really fun thinking about what's awesome about this fave hero of mine. 

What do you think? Who is your favorite superhero? Comment down below and let me know. :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

THGReadAThon Discussion Questions: Part II "The Games"

Have you checked out our extremely awesome guest post this week? You haven’t? Oh before you go about answering this, do check it out because it’ll give you an incredibly well-needed boost to confront this made-of-win DQ. 

Done? Welcome back! I hope you followed my advice because your mind-courage and patience might just be tested here. 

Part II “The Games” was one heck of a thrilling ride. Overwhelming emotions and mind blowing twists kept us at the edge of our seats. Every tribute showed what they’re made of and because we’re tackling Part II “The Games” for this week, I decided to shake things up a bit. It’s time for us to show what we’re made of as well so instead of just answering questions I gave it a little twist. 

I’ll be giving you a GUESS WHAT challenge in which you have to fill and answer before this week ends. This GUESS WHAT somewhat pertains to the game-changing decision that changed the course of the games as well as the whole of Panem whether they realized it the day it was announced or not. 

This might be really complicated if you don’t know where to look but this challenge would be full of clues to help you.. Upon reaching the goal of unveiling the GUESS WHAT, you will earn yourself bragging rights and  have then proved yourself to everyone how much of a THGeek you are! Coolest incentive, right? 

You ready? Pack your wits and keep your book close with you! Let the 2nd leg of the month-long THGReadAThon begin!

Guess What?!

1st stop: Who said?

(A) Who said #1: “Sadly, rules are rules, and Katniss Everdeen’s time has been spent. Well, best of luck to you, Peeta Mellark, and I think I speak for all of Panem when I say all our hearts go with yours.”

(B) Who said #2: “He made you look desirable! And let’s face it, you can use all the help you can get in that department. You were about as romantic as dirt until he said he wanted you. Now they all do. You’re all they’re talking about. The star-crossed lovers from District Twelve!”

(C) Who said #3: “Only…I want to die as myself. Does that make any sense?... I don’t want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I’m not.”

(D) Who said #4: “Run, find water. The rest will follow… And remember this. I’m not allowed to bet, but if I could my money would be on you.”

(E) Who said #5: “You want me for an ally?”

2nd stop: (F) Cornucopia

Katniss wanted the bow and arrow but Haymitch’s advise specifically told her to get away from the others and look for a source of water. She was distracted though and only managed to get an orange backpack and a plastic. But Katniss did get an unexpected weapon. A knife!

Question: In what district did the tribute with the knife came from?

CLUE: It came from a specially well-aimed tribute and their district job somehow rhymes with Amazon!
CLUE! CLUE!: Your answer should be a number! ;)

3rd stop: (H) Tracker Jackers

Killer wasps have highly lethal stings. Death could pretty much be the result if one was bitten. If not, hallucinations and madness could be ones fate.

Question: What particular weapon did Katniss get from her very risky tracker jacker induced mayhem?

CLUE: A very pretty tribute died because of this.
CLUE! CLUE!: You’ll get an 11 letter answer (including the AND). Only get the first two letters!

4th stop: Karaoke: THE HUNGER GAMES edition


Ready to knock it out? Here’s the instruction, pay heed.

1. Your answer in (A) has a job of interviewing the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (8 letters). This 8-letter word completes #2’s GUESS WHAT (GW)?

2. Your answer in (B) is a mentor and has a love for slurring. His job is to let one of his tribute survive and _ _ _(3 letters). This 3-letter word completes #5’s GW and rhymes with sin.

3. Your answer in (C) came from the _ _ _ _(4 letters) district as the girl distribute who scored 11 in the private sessions with the Gamemakers. This 4 letter word completes #3’s GW and rhymes with lame.

4.  Your answer in (D) is a genius and definitely one of the reason why Katniss became the unforgettable girl on fire. The first letter of his name completes #7’s GW.

5.  Your answer in (E) saved Katniss once and her 3-letter name completes #2’s GW.

6.  Your answer in (F) completes #1’s GW.

7.  Your answer in (G) completes #6’s GW. Only the first 2 letter counts!

8. For the #4’s GW, complete the ff: 
                -(H): 1st letter
                -(I): 2nd and 3rd letter
                -(J):  1st letter
                -(K):  2nd letter
                -(L): 1st letter
                -(M): 6th letter (last letter)

9. For the #6’s GW, complete the ff:
                -(R): 1st letter
                -(S): 3rd letter
                -(T): 1st or 3rd letter
                -(U): 3rd letter

10. For the #9’s GW, complete the ff:
                -(N): 1st letter
                -(O): 3rd or 5th letter
                -(P): 4th letter
                -(Q): 3rd letter

5th stop: 4 Mosts
1. Most memorable scene
2. Most kick-ass scene
3. Most emotional scene
4. Most shocking scene

Now that you have all the clues to help you answer our Guess What challenge, you can now fill this form.

Monday, March 5, 2012

THGReadAThon Guest Post: The Hunger Games Philippines

This week is the second leg of our month-long THG Read-A-Thon. And for this week we were honored to have with us a fan organization for Hunger Games fanatics based in the Philippines. Let us all welcome, The Hunger Games Philippines!

By Niegel Simon of Hunger Games Philippines

As the premiere date of the long-awaited movie, The Hunger Games, draws near, fans of the franchise are becoming more and more insatiable. On the other hand, bystanders can’t help but be swept away by the mania spanning the world. It’s hard to believe that a book trilogy could have such a profound effect on everyone. Then again, this is THE HUNGER GAMES.  Anything is possible. 

What sets the Hunger Games apart from other books on the shelves is the amount of thought, emotion and effort Collins had woven into the story. Right off the bat, we are hooked in by the premise of the book. True enough, it is hard to ignore a book wherein children are selected by lottery to participate in a televised death match. 

To make matters worse, (or better, depends on how you view it) readers are able to experience this “firsthand” through the eyes of a poor, emotionally scarred, sixteen year-old, Katniss Everdeen. It is through this journey with Katniss that we experience the depth of true pain and grief. In the same way, it is through Katniss’ eyes that we see how hope strives to exist in such dire situations; how hope, as well as courage and strength, can be gained from the people around us. 

Furthermore, it is through Katniss’ story that Collins so artfully shows us the reality of our current situation; how we may eventually take the same path that lead to the world of The Hunger Games. If we continue to advocate war; if we continue to exercise injustice and discrimination in our society; if we allow ourselves to be indifferent to the plight of our brethren; if we cannot be passionate about anything anymore, then how are we different from the opressors- the Capitol? 

With this, we are given many reasons to love The Hunger Games. For some, it is the pure adrenaline and suspense. Others are into it for the romance. Others still enjoy its dark themes.  Then there are the people who are simply looking for the companionship these characters provide that allows them to come alive. All these reasons are valid, of course. In fact, I fell in love with the trilogy for all these reasons. But what I love most about THG is how it empowers the youth. Just like it empowers Katniss Everdeen.

By classifying this as YA literature, Collins expresses her belief that we are worth reaching out to. While other adults believe that the youth should not be exposed to such atrocities Suzanne Collins laid out the cold hard facts about war and life. Not because she wants to scare us, but because she believes the youth of today could make a significant difference. In other words, she gives us the same amount of respect she would to adults (if not more). We are not merely readers. We are the catalysts for change. And we are worth giving that responsibility. 

Reading The Hunger Games is a personal journey for everyone: teenagers and adults alike. Consequently, we each have our own reasons to love the book. Your opinion may be different from another but one thing is certain. Once you pick it up, there is no turning back.  

Find more about the The Hunger Games Philippines here:  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

THGReadAThon DQ Part 1 "The Tributes": My Answers + Highlight Post

Hi everyone! I know many of you today are waiting for the Highlight post, but hold on a little longer. I've seen many of your awesome answers and I felt inclined as one of the host of this read-a-thon to share my piece as well. After my post, I'll announced the post that shined this week.

1. Imagine one day waking up and finding yourself in Panem. What district would you be in and why? To give you an idea, here’s the list of the 12 districts and their designated jobs.
  • District 1: Luxury
  • District 2: Masonry
  • District 3: Technology
  • District 4: Fishing
  • District 5: Power
  • District 6: Transportation
  • District 7: Lumber
  • District 8: Textiles
  • District 9: Grain
  • District 10: Livestock
  • District 11: Agriculture
  • District 12: Mining

Based on The Capitol network, I’m on District 6, which is Transportation. Not really sure about that. But if there’s one thing I’m sure about I’ll never be on District 7. People from district 7 were described to be hardworking and down-to-earth. Well, I’m the great procrastinator, so I think I’ll be persecuted in there because of my laziness. :)

2. The Reaping Day was one of the dreaded days by District 12. If you were picked that day as one of the tributes, what would be your initial reaction?

Because I am neurotic, I think I'd see my life flash before my eyes. I’d think of how gory my death would be or how long will I last on the arena. So I’d probably have peed in my pants or faint right there on the spot or probably both. 

3. You are a tribute and your mentor is planning the best strategy for you to win. What do you think will be your best selling attribute and/or skill?

I’m not sure if my lack of need of water is much of a skill. I’m not a big water drinker and I think I would likely last a day with only small sips of water. Although, I could not bet much on the climate of the arena I would be in.  I could also be a little neurotic so I think that could help me if I could work my brain in the right direction. I’m a quick study as well so I guess I could pick a sword and luckily not impale myself with it.

4. You were not picked but your sister/father/mother was, would you sacrifice yourself for them a la Katniss or would you keep your ground a la Peeta’s brothers?

Katniss lived all her life protecting and providing for her sister because her mother couldn’t. I’m an only child and I was never really been into a situation where a great sacrifice is needed. As much as I like to be as noble as her, I don't think I will do it and would likely save my own skin first.

5. Time for the first impression segment. What is the first thing that came into mind when you think of:
    1. Katniss Everdeen = practical, smart
    2. Peeta Mellark = soft, blonde?
    3. Gale Hawthorne = rebellious, hot
    4. Cinna = ingenious, has a big heart
    5. Haymitch Abernathy = tactical, not what he seems
    6. Effie Trinket = flighty, curious
    7. Primrose Everdeen = cute, gentle
    8. Caesar Flickerman = affable, jovial
    9. Rue = temperate, Prim's counterpart
6. Look up. Who is the character that leaps out to you the most?  Why?

I could easily say Cinna if I was asked this question the first time I read the book. But reading it the second time somehow made me see Caesar Flickerman in a new perspective. He was definitely really helpful to the  tributes. It wasn’t much, I know and it's on his job description but it did help me warm up to him.

7. Do you think Peeta ever thought of winning The Hunger Games even if it means killing Katniss in the process? Why or why not?

I think so. Because if he wins, he’ll be able to get back to his family. Though, I think he would hesitate to kill Katniss because he has this soft, naïve part in him. I also think every human especially in these times have a self-preservation mode innate within them, and Peeta no matter how big his heart is, was never an exception to this.

8. (Refer to p. 40)  Fill in the blanks: The Peacekeepers are back too soon and Gale asks for more time, but they’re taking him away and I start to panic. “Don’t let them starve!” I cry out, clinging to his hand.

“I won’t! You know I won’t! Katniss, remember I ______” he say, and they yank us apart and slam the door and I’ll never know what it was he wanted me to remember.

Now let me tell you something, I’m on Team Gale. Ever since he was introduced in the first book, I liked his character a lot. Not because he was hot and manlier than Peeta (although, I would not deny that it did help established my position), but because I found him really mysterious. He has little exposure throughout the book but he manages to leap out to me more than Peeta. Did I already say he was attractive? Oh yeah, I did. Sorry.

So if I was to fill that up, it would be “I’m always there for you”. Not I love you, because that’s not like Gale at all. I believe Gale is not someone who’d just speak those 3 words. He’d more likely show what he feels for Katniss through his actions.

9. Most memorable/favorite scene in Part I “The Tribute”?

“At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love."

This part never fails to give me the chills. The gesture really stood out to me even after I read this the second time. 

10. I know it’s too early to say, but if there was something you want to know more about or you would want to be more elaborated, what would it be and why?

The Avox and Cinna. I want to know more about them and whether they would play a big part in the book. 

So now's the time to announce our Highlight Post of the week. Hmmm... Who is it from?! 

*drum rolls* 

(I'm quite enjoying this)

*still drum-rolling then... a moment of silence*

It's no other than, Mr. Book Wonder's post! The Master of Hairography really had me guffawing! Check out his answers guys! :D

PS Have you stop by on our kick-off guest post? I'm telling you it's really awesome, so do drop by. For those who still want to join, sign-ups are still open! :D

PPS There's another guest post again tomorrow, so come stop and read.
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