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Fangirl by Raibow Rowell

This make me want to read Fangirl all over again. 😍

The Kizz of all Trades

Note: This book convinced me to write again.

1. “We’re supposed to meet new people.”
“I don’t need new people.”
“That just shows how much you need new people.”

2. You can’t take back texts. If you come off all moody and melancholy in a text, it just sits there in your phone, reminding you of what a drag you are.

3. You don’t do magic. You are magic.
(Note: This sounds like Salvador Dali’s “I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.”)

4. That moment when you realize that a guy’s looking at you differently–that you’re taking up more space in his field of vision. That moment when you know he can’t see past you anymore.

5. Cath, zero. Crazy, one million.

6. I’m sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic. -Reagan

7. I love love stories. -Cath

8. …her real self was buried under eight layers of fear…

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tangle/untangle @ 1

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So, today, this blog turns 1! Yay! ✨ I’d like to thank you, reader, for sticking with me, especially those who were with me when I’m still fumbling my way through WordPress, for helping me build this blog as it is now. There’s still so much to build, so much blogs & bloggers to know, and so much experiences, stories, thoughts, and feelings to share.

I’m so thankful that I’ve found this avenue and the supportive and loving community in it. You’ve helped me grow, and become stronger, and I promise that we would continue helping each other out, no matter what.

Happy birthday, tangle/untangle! And thank you, WordPress!

PS. I’m not sure if tangle/untangle would be the blog’s final title. Its initial name was ligawnakerubin, then c’est ne pas moi, c’est toi, and then tangle/untangle. I’m sadly an inconsistent person, so forgive me if I change it again.

8 Reasons Why I Love 13 Reasons Why

“Hey, it’s Hannah.”

If you haven’t watched the series, you should really watch it now. I promise you that it would be a rollercoaster of feels experience. More importantly, you would find yourself more concerned than ever about certain issues that needs to be addressed again and again, such as bullying, rape, and suicide. I read the book, by Jay Asher, back in 2014, when I was 15, and I remember myself hating it, because it was too much. It was too sad, raw, honest, painful and beautiful. It left a novel kind of unease in my heart. Now that it is translated into a series, I was brought back again to that familiar unease that I felt before, after I finish watching the series. I still hated it for being too much, but it was for the same reason that I loved it. Here are the 8 reasons why:

1. The characters are diverse.

The characters are of different ethnicities, and sexualities. And you can really see that they fit naturally with their environment. They don’t seem to be placed there, just to prove a point. I love that it represents a society where variety is normalized.

2. The soundtrack is beautiful.

Aside from the mystery and the general beauty of the story, the music was also one of the major reasons why I was lured into series. The songs and music tie perfectly with the scenes. You would never question the placement of the pieces used, because it was just perfect. The music helped the viewers understand how Hannah and the other characters are feeling in particular moments. The absence of music was also equally beautiful, because it elevated the mystery and tension. 

Right after I finished watching it, I immediately downloaded the soundtrack, and it was one of the best decisions that I’ve made this week. It was 3 am then, and good music was plugged into my ears. It was a scary experience, but peaceful at the same time. All songs in the album are great, but my favorites are the cover of Echo & the Bunnymen’s song The Killing Moon by Roman Remains (it was the song used for the scene where Hannah is already preparing her suicide), Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division, and A 1000 Times – Hamilton Leithuster + Rostam.

“I had a dream that you are mine / I’ve had that dream / A thousand times”

Lyrics from “A 1000 Times” by Hamilton Leithuster + Rostam

3. It was loyal to the book.

Although there were some little changes, the storyline was pretty much the same as the book. I think the changes contributed greatly to the story, in a positive manner, such as how Clay took so much time in listening to the tapes. In the book, it didn’t take him days to listen. I personally loved the way Clay visits the places that Hannah narrates, and how he imagined her being there. This strategy helps the viewer to take Hannah’s experience slowly, too, and to really think about the consequences of the experiences that happened to her to her spirit.

Another change was the insertion of social media. The book was published on 2007, and back then, social media wasn’t that huge as it is now. Rumors was passed on through notes, text messages, and whispers back then. Bullying was carried out through these, in the book. Now, gossip is more likely to be passed on to so many people through social media, and the series used this to explain how rumors about Hannah and the others characters are passed around so rapidly.

4. The characters are gray.

I love how they aren’t caged in the black and white, good and bad, dichotomy. They were portrayed as real human beings, capable of doing both good and evil things, capable of growing, and capable of changing. The people on the tapes aren’t portrayed as purely evil people, but people who made mistakes and recognizes these mistakes by exuding feelings of guilt and unease.

5. The script is brilliant.

It was not too melancholic, nor too angsty. It has just the right amount of humour, drama and mystery. It was very natural, and realistic.

6. The actors are brilliant.

Dylan Minnette did an excellent job as the quiet, introspective Clay. Watching Hannah’s experiences unfold partly became more intense for me, because of the quiet intensity that Dylan gives his character in following Hannah’s narration. Katherine Langfold is stellar as upbeat, and quick-witted Hannah. It’s amazing how she smoothly shifted this upbeat character into this hopeless and troubled girl, in the end. I cry every time Hannah cries, and I cringe every time she feels that she’s taken for granted. I stuck with Hannah throughout her rollercoaster, up until she cuts her wrists. I was a mess, and Katherine Langfold is responsible for this, because she made me stick with Hannah.

The other actors too are so naturally good, and subtle, and amazing. 

7. Bullying, rape, and suicide are portrayed explicitly.

It was all so real. Bullying was present in bathroom doors, walls, notes, stalking, hot-or-not lists, whispers, pictures, Facebook posts, and physical & verbal abuse. The series showed how Hannah was bullied through some of these things. It also showed how the other kids at school were also bullied and how they tend to lean on the Bystander Effect, and Peer Pressure.

Jessica and Hannah’s rape scenes were shown explicitly. I cried at both scenes, because they were so hard to watch, especially Hannah’s in particular, because the camera was so close to Hannah’s face while Bryce was raping her. The scene was very painful, but it was real and necessary. The series showed how the rape affected Jessica and Hannah severely. Jessica started drinking too much alcohol, while Hannah’s soul is broken by the rape, because by this time, Hannah’s problem are already piling heavily on top of another, and most important parts of her are already so broken. Both of them are reluctant to talk and share their experience to other people, because it was too traumatizing for them. 

It shocked me at first that they showed Hannah slitting her wrists, because I think that it was unnecessary, but I later realized that that particular scene was important for the viewers to understand the consequences of all the pain that Hannah has been through.

8. It stirs up the conversation on issues that matter.

 On bullying: Many people experience bullying every day especially students, and it manifests not just in physical but in verbal forms as well. It manifests in stalking, popularity polls, hot-or-not lists, etc. Every bullying experience is nasty for everybody. Bullying makes us feel less of what we are actually worth. It makes us lose self-esteem and self-confidence. It makes us question our value. It makes us fear people that we shouldn’t be afraid of. It jeopardizes how we interact with people.

On rape: We always tend to blame the victim — how his/her clothes attracted so much attention, how s/he should’ve dressed “decently” to not get raped, how s/he should’ve shouted and cried for help, or how s/he should’ve said “no,” how s/he should’ve clarified that s/he’s not giving a consent. Instead of helping him/her, we always point our fingers to the victim, without understanding that it took so much courage for him/her to speak out, and talk about such a traumatic experience. It would be hard for him/her to speak, because of the constant fear of being judged, ignored, shamed, and dismissed as “slut/weak/attention-seeker”. Instead of encouraging him/her to explain or talk, and stand on his two feet, we tend to encourage them to “move on” from the experience. This just make them belittle themselves and their value as a human being.

On suicide: We usually don’t notice people who are in the verge of doing this, until they do it. There are no definite signs, because every suicide is unique to every individual, but it is not unknowable.

Final Rating: 10/10

Notes/Side Comments

× I’ve read an article online that says that 13 Reasons Why simplifies suicide and perpetuates the idea that suicide has someone to blame. This comment really bothers me, because really, “simplify suicide”? How can suicide be simple to anyone? And how does this show simplify suicide? Hannah was betrayed by her friends a lot of times, bullied, and raped. She tried to reach out to people but every time she does, they let her down. And then her issues start to pile up, one on top of another, that it was all too much to bear. And at last, she felt so empty already. People have different degrees of sensitivity. Some people aren’t as emotionally strong as some people are, and it saddens me that some people accuse her of being an “overacting bitch.”  This is Hannah’s experience. She’s so young. And she’s also already mentally unstable, because of the abuses that she have experienced. Hannah’s story is just one of the many suicide cases/ stories in the world. Everybody has their own ‘reason’ of ending their life. There are so many other reasons. Sometimes it has no one to blame. Sometimes there is no reason at all. The show merely presented a small, but important fragment of a bigger issue, and I believe that they do not intend to perpetuate anything, rather than the idea that everything and everyone is connected and that we should be responsible and mindful on how our actions affect the lives of the people we interact with every day.

× If you have finished watching the series, and found yourself unconvinced with Hannah, her actions, and the show, in general, I suggest that you watch “Beyond the Reasons.” It is an episode where the producers, writers, creators, actors, and all the people behind the show explain the key points of the story.

To you ✨

Hey! 🙂

I know that it’s been tough for you these days, but I believe that you can get through these. Don’t quit! There’s more to life than quitting everything. There’s more to life than what is happening in the moment. If you end this, you lose the opportunity of experiencing many happy and positive things that would surely happen in the future. Good things would happen soon, I promise you. And these good things would happen sooner if you would talk. Talk to anyone whom you feel you can trust. You can talk to me. Just talk and let it all out to someone. It’s much better than bottling everything up. It’s much better than binge-eating or quitting. I’m sure that you are not the only one who’s experiencing the nasty things that you’re experiencing right now. Trust me when I say that you would find comfort soon through the telling of shared experiences. Find help, and never, ever, give up life, because it tends to be really bad sometimes, but most of the time, it’s beautiful. Know that I’m always here, and the people that care about you is always with you. It would be hard at first to reach out to someone, even to people close to you, but hey, at least you tried. And never, ever give up in reaching out until  you find someone who will willingly help you and understand you. Do not limit yourself. Help is everywhere. Help is here. And you are loved.

Who am I?

Whenever I look at the mirror, a body made up of flesh and eyes stares right back at me. Is this what I really am? Am I really merely a flesh that is placed randomly on the universe for no particular reason at all? If I am just flesh, then what makes me so different from animals? I might argue: I have a consciousness. Feelings. Thoughts. A sense of the past and the future. A soul. Animals can’t possibly have these things in their system. But, am I sure? Am I sure that they don’t have these things, even tiny bits of what we have?

Because scientific experimentations have limits, we tend to assume the rest until we discover new ways to solve particular problems. If the case is to make assumptions, are we just assuming that only us humans, have the aforementioned things to justify the significance of our existence? But to think about it, should having consciousness, feelings, thoughts, a sense of the past and the future, and a soul, among others, make me justifiably significant? And also, what is the indication of being? Should being significant, consequently make me, me?

Overheard #9

“Ate, ‘eto pala yung ex ko.”

“Ay, siya ba ‘yun? Ang ganda naman, pang-Miss Universe yung ngiti.”

“Oo nga ee. Nagsisisi nga ako kung bakit ko pa siya binitiwan.”

“Kailan ba naging kayo?”

“Nung high school pa po. Pangit pa siya noon.”

“O, ba’t naman kasi kayo naghiwalay? Ba’t di na lang kayo ulit?”

“Ay ‘di pwede ate. May boyfriend na ‘yan ee. Abangers ako. Inaantay ko lang sila mag-break tapos liligawan ko siya ulit. Joke.”

Kalimot

Paano nga ba makalimot? ‘Yung malupit na kalimot ah. ‘Yung ‘di mo na maaalala ‘yung lahat ng sinabi niya, kahit na ‘yung mga matatamis na katagang lumabas sa bibig niya. ‘Yung tamis kasi na ‘yun, hindi lang pala para sa akin. ‘Yung tamis kasi na ‘yun, ‘di pala espesyal, kasi marami na pala’ng nakarinig, marami na’ng nakatanggap. Hindi lang ako. Kasi hindi naman pala ako espesyal para sa iyo. Naaawa na lang ako sa sarili ko kapag naaala ko yung mga sinabi mo, tapos mapapangiti ako. Maaalala ko bigla, na, oo nga pala, kupal ka nga pala. Pinaasa mo kasi ako at pinaniwala na ako lang, na may gintong lugar ako sa daigdig mong napakalawak, na puno ng nilalang na pwedeng pwede mong pag-pilian. Sino nga ba kasi talaga ako, ‘di ba? Isa lang naman akong tanga na nagpaniwala sa isang tulad mo. Sino ka ba? Pinaniwala ko yung sarili ko na iba ka. Ganun naman parati, ‘di ba? Gusto nating maniwala. Pero natuklasan kong mali ako. Katulad ka rin ng maraming taong nakilala ko. Sino ka nga? Oo nga pala, ikaw yung nagpaikot sa ‘kin. Kung ganon, anong tawag sa ‘yo? Isipin mo. Uulitin ko pa ba? ‘Di rin naman kita masisisi, kasi siguro nga bata ka pa nga. Hindi mo rin mahanap sarili mo. Dahil ‘di mo mahanap sarili mo, ‘di mo namamalayang niloloko mo na pala ako? O sige. Kaya kakalimutan na kita ah? Pero hindi ko kakalimutan ‘yung napulot ko mula dito. Magiging maingat na ‘ko sa pagbubukas ng puso ko, dahil mahirap ng mahulog ulit.

Maybe

If you just knew how much I wanted to tell you that I still needed you, that I miss talking to you, then maybe, just maybe, things would be better. I kept on looping all the possibilities that may happen if I am just brave enough to tell you that I still care about you, and that I still want you. Maybe you would come chasing after me again. Maybe we would begin talking again. Maybe… Maybe I’ll fall in love with you over again.

And I also wanted to tell you that I’m truly sorry for building up a wall. You don’t deserve it. But I want it. I need it to know myself better. We’re both not ready for this. But… I miss you nonetheless. 

On reality

Morpheus says, “How do you define real? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”

When we talk about real, we usually talk about the present physical world — the world that our senses can reach. But often, this very exclusive and limited notion on reality is problematic, because we tend to dismiss worlds beyond the physical realm as not real, and merely imaginary. For instance, we consider dreams, thoughts, feelings and emotions as mere fragments of imagination and products of cognition. We often think that just because these are only happening inside our heads, it is therefore not real. But to think about it, are we even sure that this present, physical world is the reality? If so, what makes us so sure? What are the conditions necessary to make something real? What does it mean to be real?

Going back to Morpheus’ question, how do we really define real? Linguistically, real refers to something that is a) actually existing or happening and b) not imaginary. If we refer to these two meanings, should we consider dreams as real? If we refer to definition a, should we agree that dreams as real? They are existing, and happening, but only inside our heads. Our senses cannot reach those, because dreams are things beyond the physical realm. The only problematic term in definition a is actually. Actual refers to things that are real and not merely possible or imagined. If this is the case, then what does it mean to actually exist? If we refer to the definition b, we can easily dismiss dreams as unreal. After all, dreams are only happening inside our heads. They are imaginary. But, what makes something imaginary? Are we sure that this present, physical reality, real? What if it is only imaginary, and our minds are only making things up?

In another scene, Spoon boy tells Neo, “Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.” Then Neo asks, “What truth?” Spoon boy answers that there is no spoon, that it is not the spoon the bends, “it is only yourself.” This scene might be suggesting that we might just be constructing our own version of reality, and that the truth is that we are just making ourselves believe that some things are real and some things are not, to delineate our understanding of the world better. Furthermore, this scene might even be suggesting that we are so far away from the truth, and we often cannot see it, because our senses tend to deceive us, and our conception of reality, is in fact, distorted. This is also suggesting that our senses are unreliable and they do not hold the complete truth, and that often the truth is beyond what our senses can reach. Most essentially, this suggests that the truth is within us, on how we perceive reality. 

Another quotation from Morpheus ties well with these. He asks, “Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you are unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?” We cannot, because even if the dream world and the real world seemed to be completely contrasting concepts, in reality, they are so closely related that we might just as well be using the concepts interchangeably. 

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