스트레스 때문에 약해졌다.

시험 며칠 전 여러 복잡한 일들이 끝없이 계속 생겨서 미칠 정도다. 너무 심한 스트레스 때문에 몸이 완전 많이 약해져서 입원해야 될 것 같아. 머리카락이 평소보다 많이 빠지고 갑자기 어지러워서 쓰러질 뻔할 때도 종종 있다. 스트레스 때문에 그런가? 아니면 더위 때문에 그런가? 어쨌든 스트레스 받는 이유는 주로 토픽 시험 때문이 아니다. “시험 본 다음에 뭐할까”라는 질문은 요즘에 스스로에게 자꾸 물어보는 질문이다. 시험 보고 고향에 돌아가서 뭐할지는 모르겠다. 지금도 거기서 상태가 안 좋다고 들었다. 여기 떠나고 싶지 않아. 여기 있는 한국문화원에서 5월부터 8월부터까지 한국어 레슨을 받을까 했는데 갑자기 고향에 돌아가야 돼서 이제 레슨을 받을 수 없다. 에휴. 슬프다. 슬퍼. ㅠ ㅠ

Continue Reading

하이얀 생존자의 이야기

It’s Christmas morning. I woke up a couple of hours ago and just had a plate of leftover spaghetti and ice cream that my mom, my sister and I had last night for our Christmas dinner. This is the first time that we spent Christmas away from home, away from my dad and brothers. It saddens me that we didn’t get to celebrate this year’s Christmas as a family.

You see, our country has been hit by Typhoon Haiyan (more commonly known as Super Typhoon Yolanda) and our city was the most affected one. Yes, I came from the city called Tacloban. A city that no one knew of unless you live there, have been there or have someone you know who lives there. After the horrific typhoon, our city became the talk of the country and now, there’s no one who doesn’t know where Tacloban is.

The typhoon did not only destroyed homes and other structures, it also took lives. Thousands of lives. Luckily, God spared me and my family. Our house only suffered minor damages like leaks but everything is intact.

Looting started. Mall, business establishments and warehouses have been robbed empty. Looters took whatever they could take even though they have no use for it. The city was chaotic. It was like we were in a time of war. Some people were stealing food and medicine to survive; the others who came from nearby towns took advantage of the situation and came to steal to satisfy their greed.

There were no poor or rich. Everyone was hungry, everyone was thirsty. Even if you had money to buy food, there were no stores open. My family prepared ahead of time. We had food and water but our supplies were dwindling.

When the President declared that our city was under a state of emergency and there were rumors that the looters’ next target were houses and subdivions, my dad thought that it was best to send us away temporarily until things get better and my neighbors adviced my parents to take me away because of my condition and there were no hospitals or pharmacy. We were sent to a city that was a 3-hour drive away from our house. It took us 15 hours to get there because the roads weren’t entirely passable yet and the traffic was heavy. We stayed in a hotel. We were supposed to move to Manila after a week since staying at a hotel wasn’t practical. But each week, something bad happens that we had no choice but to postpone the trip. I was so glad when it finally pushed through.

Because of work and one of my brothers who was left behind to guard the house with our maids, my dad had to return the day after we moved out. Each night, I couldn’t eat properly nor think straight because I was so worried. I always waited for a text from my dad saying that he got home from work safely. There was a night when I got a text from a friend who said they could hear gunshots at night and that the house on the corner of our street got robbed, the owner got killed while trying to protect his house. The former was true. The latter was only a rumor spread to scare people.

It was so stressful. Even if we were in a safe place, we couldn’t help but worry for the ones who got left behind.

Back home, things are a little better now. I can’t wait for things to go back to the way it was before so I can finally go home and get my normal life back.

Even though there are reasons that makes my Christmas a little gloomy, I still have reasons to celebrate it and one of them is that my family and I made it through the typhoon alive. That’s all that matters.

To my friends and relatives who lost their lives from the typhoon, may you finally find peace wherever you are. I feel sorry that you had to experience such a horrifying death.

To my friends and relatives who sent help and prayed for our safety, thank you so much.

Continue Reading

A Taste of Android

I’ve been asking for a new phone from my mom for quite some time now. Ever since she got her Note 2 on contract, I was dying to have one as well. I’ve had my 4th generation iPod Touch for 2 years now. I used it everyday to do various things online since I’m too lazy to go online using my laptop but I needed to get a replacement because the battery dies faster than it charges and apps crashes frequently. It was driving me crazy.

I’ve been going around Youtube watching ‘What’s on my Android’ videos and reviews of Android phones and it kinda led me to wanting an Android phone. I was fully aware of the neat things that I could do with it which I can’t do on an iPod or an iPhone such as customizing the look of my phone by installing cute themes. I decided that if I ever get a new phone, it’d be an Android. iOS is nice but it’s not for me. I needed something more and iOS wasn’t the answer.

I had only expected to get a Note 2 or at least an S3. I still am on contract and I still have about 5 months before it ends so getting a phone on contract was out of the question and the prices of Note 2 and S3 were pretty much reasonable. I wanted an S4 because the screen is better and it’s a much faster phone than the S3 but it came with a price tag that my parents wouldn’t approve of. I also wanted the Note 3 but the S4 already seemed impossible to own so I didn’t count on it. I have waited for months and I almost gave up. I thought I was never going to have a new phone until my birthday next year. But then I saw a flyer of Globe’s latest plan offers and it just so happened that one of their offers included a Note 3 phone.

I went to the mall with my mom to inquire about the contract on Friday afternoon. My mom talked about it with dad and she was able to convince him. Don’t ask me how she got to convince him. It’s kinda funny. Anyway, he approved which was quite surprising to me so on Sunday morning, I went back with my mom to apply for the plan. My dad gave me cash to pay for the phone’s down-payment. I went home with a brand new 32gb Note 3 phone. I got the white one and it’s the LTE version. There are three versions of the Note 3: SM-N9000 (3G version), SM-N9002 (dual sim version) and SM-N9005 (LTE version).

About my previous contract, I’ve decided not to terminate it just yet. I’m gonna wait for the contract to be over before I ask for termination.

It is big. I’m not gonna lie. A small part of me regrets choosing Note 3 over S4 but I still love it to bits despite being too big for my small hands. :3 But I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Samsung has this Multi-Window feature where you can use two apps simultaneously so this is where the big screen comes in handy. I tried reading a Korean webtoon with the Naver dictionary app on the bottom part of the screen. It was a sweet experience. Now I don’t have to jump from one app to the other just to get things done. I activated the Korean language keyboard since I plan on using this to study Korean. Thank God I have unlimited data plan. I can now use Naver dictionary even if I’m out. But the thing is I rarely go out. XD

Here’s a screenshot of the Multi Window feature using the Naver Webtoon app and Naver dictionary app:

I am not a fan of Samsung’s UI called the TouchWiz so the first thing I did when I got home was to download Dodol Launcher and changed the theme to something cuter. Since it’s hasn’t been that long after Note 3 has been released, I couldn’t find a case or a screen protector for it which kinda sucks and I’m impatient so I ordered online instead. I’m expecting the package will hopefully arrive next week.

One of the things to look forward to about the Note 3 is its 13MP camera. It’s so good. I have no complaints about it. It’s not DSLR quality of course but it takes pictures that are decent enough for Instagram or Facebook. At first glance, the back cover really does look like leather but it’s not. It’s plastic that’s made to look like leather. It doesn’t even feel like leather. However, I’m still scared that it might turn yellowish in time so I’m gonna use a case for it to keep it clean and white. When I got to feel it in my hands, the first thing I’ve noticed is that it was much lighter than Note 2. It felt like Note 2 minus the battery. I’m impressed that even though the screen and the battery has gotten bigger, Samsung still managed to make it lighter and thinner than the previous one.

Note 3 uses a USB 3.0 cable which some people said it’s good for faster charging and transferring of files. But you can still use a micro USB cable. I haven’t used the S Pen that much yet since I was too busy customizing my phone’s look. XD The speaker is now at the bottom instead of the back like in Note 2 and S4. The sound quality is good but I don’t have much to say about it since I prefer to use the earphones more. Watching videos on this device is a joy with its huge 5.7″ 1080p screen. I like watching videos on it so much that my battery drains fast. Haha! But I don’t mind at all. It lasts me about 12 hours and that is already impressive for me considering that I’m a heavy user. I cannot wait to transfer some of my movies from my computer. And my Korean ebooks!

Note 3 has the same Smart features that S4 has but I turned it all off because I just didn’t find it that useful and it doesn’t even work all the time. It was fun at first but at the end of the day, you get tired of it. I’ll probably find a use for it someday but for now, I’m keeping it disabled.

Anyway.. I need some app suggestions since my phone is kinda empty right now. I don’t even have my songs loaded on it yet. If you have any apps that are worth downloading, please tell me. Whether it’s a game app or photography app or Korean related app, leave a comment below and I’d love to check it out.

Photos were taken using a Sony HX30v camera.

Continue Reading