The Fault In Our Stars.

I’ve heard about this book many times before, how it will make you cry like nothing else you’ve ever read. I, of course, doubted that. I didn’t doubt John Green though (I’ve read Looking For Alaska and it will forever be one of my many favorites) and so I thought even if it didn’t make me cry like sappy Tumblr bloggers told me it would, I wouldn’t have completely wasted my time with another teenage hit. (I’ve learned my lesson after I got sucked into trash that we call Twilight — something that I will forever regret, and so I’ve been a bit more weary about the stuff that I read now.)

Last night, I came across another blog post that told of the buckets of tears she (the blogger) shed while reading the book. So I got a Kindle version of the book, played some Death Cab For Cutie and started reading. I finished it last night and I am here to tell you (that in my case) those bloggers were right, I was crying buckets upon buckets upon buckets of tears while reading this book. The story itself is quite moving, how two cancer-stricken teenagers find each other and have that opportunity to fall in love before one looses the other. But, that’s oversimplifying it, and you should probably read it yourself to understand the complexity of the character’s situation.

I had a grandmother who died of cancer when I was in the 5th grade, and I could see that she was fighting. She was one of those people who just wasn’t ready to leave yet, but she did anyway, because her body wouldn’t let her anymore and I guess she just got really tired in the end. But before she went, she tried to live as normally as the frequent hospital visits, extreme weight loss and slow loss of control her own body would let her. Cancer is a terrible disease that robs families of loved ones and people of their lives, and I suppose we can only hope that in the future some miracle man finds a way to get rid of this stupid disease. But, you have to find ways to live with your disease not live as if all you ever did in life was have cancer. I know what you’re thinking, it’s a lot easier said than done. But I’ve seen my grandma do it, and somehow it’s been reinforced by this fictional character I had just read about last night.

Just as the book ends there’s this line Augustus wrote in his letter to Van Houten, I thought it was wonderful so I wanted to share it with whoever reads this blog post.

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you.”

I can’t decide why I like this book so much, maybe it’s because it reminds me of my grandmother or maybe because John Green’s writing is just great (and can hold it’s own even without my sentimental thoughts towards my grandmother.) Well, whatever the reason is, it was well worth my entire evening of tears.


ps. About the crying part. I suppose this all depends on the person reading the book. I will not tell you, that you will cry as much as I did or as much as any other person did because it’s all subjective. To add to the melancholic vibe of the book I was listening to What Sarah Said by Death Cab For Cutie so that might have added a few more buckets, but that’s just me.


Winter’s Grave.

Lately I’ve been posting stuff about music and bands people probably haven’t heard before. A few blog posts back a band called Vows started following my blog, and had liked a two posts I made about music. I decided to give them a listen a few days after, and I haven’t been disappointed.

I’m particularly fond of Born A Wolf. The whole album, which was released in April of 2011, just has this dreamy and strikingly melancholic vibe to it and I wouldn’t mind listening to this on a lazy but cozy night.

You can stream their album here, find out more about the band here.

They have a few tour dates lined up, here are the upcoming ones:

4/20 @ Rowan University Glassboro, NJ

4/21 @ Village Basement Session

5/19 @ Everything Jersey City Festival, Jersey City, NJ

You can download their music from bandcamp and Amazon. I must say I love the little jacket their CD comes in, it’s very rustic and original (you can take a peek at what it looks like, and even order it here.)

Happy listening 🙂

Computer Magic.

After a failed attempt at looking for a job online, I have once again found myself on Soundcloud looking for new tunes to listen to.

I came across this band called Computer Magic. I couldn’t find out much else about them other than they have 24 tracks posted on their Soundcloud account and 5 EPs listed in their Myspace account. From what I can tell they’re from the United States and are still unsigned. (You can purchase their album on Amazon.)

I love that they have such a chill vibe to their songs. I always thought that electronica was more of a dance club thing, but lately these indie musicians have been proving me wrong, and I have no qualms about that.

My CD Collection.

I’ve always had a special place in my heart for CDs and I’ve collected a few over the years. I went through them recently and realized that (as cheezy as it sounds) some had little stories/memories attached to them. Just thought it would be fun to share some with you guys.


This is probably the most special one that I have. I absolutely love this band and my friend got it for me as a birthday gift. Since I couldn’t go to the CD signing event I asked her to get me one and I’d pay her for it. She came back to me the next day with this little baby and told me that since my birthday would be next week that she would just give it as an early present. Truth be told I’m perfectly fine if they never come back to the Philippines of if I never get to meet any of them in person because I had an amazing friend who went through a throng of teenage girls to get this for me. (Thanks Roni!)


I don’t really remember when I got this one, but I do recall that it was nearing Christmas and it was before FOB went on hiatus. I begged my mom to let me buy it because I had a strange feeling that it might be the last CD they come up with. EVER. (When a band/artist puts “Greatest Hits” on an album, it always spells trouble in my book.) It took maybe a month more before they announced that they would be on an indefinite hiatus. I still miss them.


This one is my “lucky CD.” I rarely ever win online contests or any contests for that matter, so when I got a call from MYX (a local music channel) one night I thought my brother was playing a prank on me. Turns out I actually did win, and it might have been before Fall Out Boy came to Manila the first time.

I had to shoot a promo commercial with some of the other winners when I got this and that stirred up a bit of trouble in my highschool because I was wearing my uniform. Everything turned out fine in the end because I got my mom to talk to the teachers before anything else happened.


Before I got my hands on this, my friends already had a copy. There weren’t a lot sold in the Philippines and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to get one anymore. Surprisingly my parents and I were mindlessly browsing through a record store when I saw this on the self. It was one of those moments where you think, “THIS WAS MEANT TO BE MINE.” and it still had the pin so I bought it right away.


This was probably one of the first albums I ever owned. I found this in the Music One section of National Bookstore. I didn’t think they would have it since, not a lot of people really know TAI in the Philippines. So when I asked a saleslady if she had it I was so surprised when she said yes.

This one has been through a lot, most of my CDs are in pretty okay conditions except for this one. The casing is pretty battered after many months of it being stuck in my bag. At some point I had forgotten that I put it in my school bag, and one day I just heard a crack and I checked the contents of my bag and saw this really long line on the casing. At least it was just the casing and not the disc itself.


This band has been one of my favorites since 2005. The only reason this CD is special is because it came from the US. My friend’s uncle went there on holiday and came back with this baby. My friend already had a copy and didn’t want to keep it, so she sold it to me for half the retail price here in Manila. I love the paper it’s printed on, it wasn’t the super glossy one they have here. It’s more like tracing paper except thicker, and the colors are more vibrant too.


I remember this one the best because Cobra Starship was the first band that  I got to meet. I remember going to their concert even though I had exams the next day. I went with my friend and we hung out at a Starbucks to study. We went by the stalls and found out you could get a CD signed if you bought one. Thank goodness she had money otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get this one. I borrowed some cash from her and we both got to hug the lead singer, which was AWESOME. (Edit: WOW I sound like such a fan-girl)

This isn’t really the whole lot of my CDs (not that there are a lot to begin with.) But this are some of the special ones, with little stories behind them. One day I hope to collect CDs of all the bands that I have ever liked. I mean digital downloads are awesome, but nothing compares to having the a physical disc in your hands. Don’t you agree?

Away We Go.

Yesterday, I got a little email that told me Sail by the Stars started following me on Twitter. I’ve never really heard of this guy before but I decided to give him a listen anyway. I must say it wasn’t a waste of time, he’s pretty good.

Sail by the Stars is actually a Florida based one-man power punk band, headed by a guy named Josh. He writes all the music and records everything by himself. He sounds really passionate about his music on his PureVolume page, so you should check him out.



Oh and his albums and EPs are available on iTunes.


This album was released in January of this year by Observer Drift. The songs sound quite calming to me. It seems like something I would listen to on those sleepless nights when I would stay awake until the wee hours of the dawn. Sometimes reading a book, cleaning my room or just staring at the ceiling trying to keep my exhaustion from coming over me.

This is actually up for a download here, you can choose to download it for free or you can pay any amount you wish for it. There’s also a message from the artist that reads:

This is my first full length album. I wrote all these songs in a period of about 8 months. I recorded/produced all these songs on my own at home. So while you listen to it, pretend like you’re hanging out with a punk friend of yours from high school, listening to the album in his messy room, because thats exactly where the album was created. I like to think that each song is unique and displays a different side of my personality. I hope that when anyone listens to this album they experience a sense of adventure and nostalgia, or something like that. The lyrics in this album are heavily based on 3 main things: Dreams that i’ve had, Important people, and memories of my very young childhood (more specifically, memories that I am able to relive through watching home videos and flipping through old photo books) If you are able to connect with even just one song from this project, that would be just swell, my friend. 

-Collin Ward

I must say, I’m enjoying this album quite a bit and am planning on adding Warm Waves to my “Midnight Cleaning Spree” playlist.

A Minor Bird.

Today is officially my first day as a free student. It’s not really the official start of my summer vacation but I don’t have any final exams for next week so it looks like only lazy days are ahead of me now.

While visiting one of my favorite craft blogs today (It’s called abeautifulmess, go check it out.) and I saw a SoundCloud link for this band Sucré. Listening to the entire album is just plainly a beautiful experience. The lead singer’s voice is just so calming and the arrangement is so smooth and wonderful. If I had to pick favorites from the songs in this album I think Hiding Out and Chemical Reaction would be my top picks.

I think their album (A Minor Bird) is out on iTunes now, it’s definitely well worth a listen and a purchase. (I know I would buy it. Unfortunately, iTunes Philippines won’t let me download music so I’ll have to settle for listening to it via SoundCloud.)