19 April 2019

Book Review: Big Little Man by Alex Tizon

This is an interesting and complex book. I think I picked it up and put it on my reading list after stumbling upon the final article of the author, published in The Atlantic, which is appended in this book as a coda. It was a story about a slave that his family had all along. Somehow that resonated with me, since after all, I am also Filipino, and there were times when we also employed helpers in the house. So I put this on my list to read.

When I picked this book up, it dawned on me that I am reading the written impressions of an Asian American who is a generation removed from me. The general topic of the book is essentially shame, and for the author, it is shame about his skin colour and race. An Asian male isn't the hottest being on the planet, at least during his time. So the author had plenty of mental demons to deal with, like how women find him and other Asian males to be the least desirable sexual partner, like how he and other Asian males aren't masculine enough for the Western world, and like how he and other Asian males are thought to have smaller than average penises.

17 April 2019

A Voyage to Vietnam: Hạ Long Bay

After spending two nights in Hanoi, it was time to move on. We took a bus to Cát Bà Island, which would be where we were to stay for the next three nights. It was our base when exploring the Hạ Long Bay area.

15 April 2019

La Plaza

For my fourth visit to Hebbel am Ufer, I watched La Plaza by El Conde de Torrefiel, the Barcelona-based project by Tanya Beyeler and Pablo Gisbert. However, I must say that I am not sure I liked this one. I think it was too conceptual, too post-theatre, and too intelligent for its own good. Quite a few people walked out, and if not for the fact that I was seated in the middle of my row, I probably would have done the same.

13 April 2019

A Voyage to Vietnam: Hoàn Kiếm Lake and Ngọc Sơn Temple

Many centuries ago, there was a Vietnamese Emperor, who was given a magical sword from Heaven, and he used it to drive the Chinese away from Vietnam. After the war, there appeared a giant turtle who then grabbed the sword and with it, disappeared into the depths of a lake in the middle of Hanoi, in order to return the sword to its owners. Hence, the name of this lake is Hoàn Kiếm Lake, or Lake of the Restored Sword. It's a prominent landmark in Hanoi, and together with its abandoned Turtle Tower, functions as an unofficial symbol of the city of Hanoi.

11 April 2019

Book Review: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Ok, I belong to the camp that hates this book. This book was recommended to me, so I put it in my reading list, but after reading this, I realise that science fiction is definitely not my thing, and absolutely not when the military is also involved. Let me try to break it down one by one why I think this book is not worth the paper it is printed on, but first, a short synopsis.

See, in the future, humans were attacked by aliens that looked like bugs. Adults couldn't find a way to defeat them, so somehow evolution and eugenics cooperated into allowing humans to breed geniuses. So there are these children who act and think like adults. There are some weird laws in earth, like the prohibition to have more than two children. But anyway, there is this child, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, who seems to be the best genius around there. And humans have him as the only hope to defeat the bugs.