Andrea Cervantes is Beruna Girl, designer & illustrator from Laguna, Philippines.

  • July 4, 2013
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People don’t get why I love Foucault’s Pendulum. And understandably so, because it’s a very hard book to read – with footnotes, offline blog entries, and a retelling of the history of Western esotericism (and an alternate view of Western history). But if only for quotes like these, for heartbreaking stories about the pains of creation, and for how words and symbols have lives of their own.


It’s July, and suddenly everything falls into the category of “things I haven’t done,” because I certainly haven’t done anything relatively big and structured, and it seems that way for the first half of the year too even though I made really great stuff. The 6-month mark really does get to me, especially when the only thing I can remember doing is sitting through the first seasons of Hannibal (as a person who read Thomas Harris while growing up, OH MY GOD everything is beautiful and everything hurts) and Person of Interest (so far it’s a crime-of-the-week sci-fi show/commentary on national surveillance and AI but Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson are MAGNIFICENT) after work. Haven’t even finished Game of Thrones season 3 yet (I’ve read the books so I know, OK?). Heck, even work was testing my ability to open eyelids. June was ultimately lazy, guys.

I can’t wait to have more exciting things soon. It will be hectic and crazy again, and I hope I’ll be ready to face it.

  • May 23, 2013
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Because I learned how to ship things from Amazon without incurring ridiculously expensive shipping fees, I tried starting a collection of design books. My brother, who does magical things with money, started his own with Modern Architecture books (mostly Taschen, argh). Because I can afford some things now (living in the province = budget aww yeah) I am trying to get more design books with the hope that they can help me go where I want to go, as far as design is concerned. Supplementary graphic design education, yo!

(I also bought that secondhand beanie baby deer, but not in Amazon. His name is Heisenberg.)

  •  If I didn’t read Thinking with Type, I wouldn’t have used grids on this site. Or on anything, for that matter. It’s a course in graphic design that I didn’t really have in the past! And I’m surprised at how handy this book is! This is my go-to book on design from now on.
  • Design School Confidential is not mine (hehe) but I’m gonna get mine soon. I haven’t finished it yet because I really want to make my own versions of the projects, so I can experience the whole thing.
  • Whenever I flip open Paper Cutting, I die a little inside and kick myself for not doing that paper project I’ve been planning for 2 years now.
  • Craft, Inc. and The Designer’s Guide to Marketing and Pricing has been helpful to me in understanding the design business. It has always been hard for me to put a price on my designs that I forget about replying to some inquiries (it’s rude and I AM SORRY :(((( ) just because I am horrified about computing stuff. So far these books are pushing me into the right direction.
  • HOW Magazine’s annual Self-Promotion Awards issue huhuhu so many pretty things.

OK, not so much books (I didn’t feature the non-design books I got though, so stay tuned). But it’s a start. Do you have any more book recommendations this month?

  • October 21, 2012
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So my brother got a lot of books from the MIBF and although technically they’re his, I can still borrow whatever I like! Also, I’d like you to say hello to my maneki-neko coin bank, which I found in a discount store and is uber cute (ububububububuuu).

October Books

  • I don’t know why I didn’t start on Trese early on, because I’m a fan of this Pinoy comic genre – the crime-solving/procedural with the help of supernatural beings from folklore (however, I’m not a fan of Grimm and OUAT). But it’s surprisingly good and I’m glad that I’ve started it! Also, I’m really happy that most of these writers and artists are still inspired by local folklore and myths, and I’m glad that they never tone them down. Alexandra Trese reminds me of stoic superheroines in scifi whom I love, but I’m more interested with the Kambal, her bodyguards.
  • About a year ago I tried picking up my brother’s favorite book, The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet, but I felt that the lead character is too much like him, and reading more from the book seems like an invasion of privacy. I’m trying to read it again and I hope I can get past that and focus on the story.
  • WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT LOVELY EDITION OF TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. It’s one of my favorite books growing up, and I’m just all grabby-hands at this book.

I’m proud of the fact that I get to read more this year. I hope I can go back to reading plenty of books next year – I have a long list of ebooks to read and nothing to read them with (except my laptop, but that’s too heavy to take anywhere).

  • October 17, 2012
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I’m back! Again! Haha, I miss this blog so much, it pains me not to have so many updates that I planned. 🙁

I’ve been admitted to a hospital during the last week of September and went home during the first week of October. Initially, people thought I was having appendicitis; the pain turned out to be really bad gastritis. It had been painful for some days but I’m just happy that no surgery was involved, I recovered quickly, and very thankful that I didn’t have to pay so much.

I was never afraid of hospitals, and although the thought of having surgery made me nervous I was relatively OK with the experience. I got to try a lot of tests – MRI, ultrasounds, the works! – which would make other people run to the hills at the thought of it, but it had been all very interesting to me. I guess that was just the inner geek talking. I was aware that I’m missing the final season premiere of Fringe, so those tests reminds me so much of Massive Dynamic (although third world hospitals are the last things that would remind you of Massive Dynamic) and Walter’s crazy experiments.

Staying in the hospital made me read my September reading list faster. These are the things my brother picked up at the last Manila International Book Fair (Doraemon appears because these are his books, hahaha):

September Books

  • I fell in love with Roberto Bolano’s Amulet that I’ve read it thrice (while waiting for checkups and test results) last month. I fell in love with the premise – the non-linear story of a woman trapped in a bathroom in a university under military occupation for weeks – and upon reading it, realize that it’s basically who I wanted to be in college before I went full-nerd again.
  • Mom and I read all the Ocampo books while I was in the hospital. I’m happy that my mom still had a thing or two to learn from history, and I’m glad to see that she got to enjoy some books again. I’m relieved that Ambeth’s recent columns are published in book form, because it’s a pain to look them up in the Inquirer Opinions archives online.
  • It should be stated that I haven’t seen a Manuel Conde movie in its entirety (mainly because obtaining copies is next to impossible), but the clips and archival pictures shows how gorgeous his movies are. I’ve read The Cinema of Manual Conde in my uncle’s house Baguio years ago and I’m glad that we have our own copy too.

Health issues. Sigh. I guess this year wasn’t so good to my health, despite of me living in better conditions and having better meals and HMO – but then again, maybe they’re the accumulated stress and problems of the years I lived in the city. They do take a toll on me emotionally, but I always remind myself that I have lots of things to be thankful for. I’m more productive and active, and I learned to let myself get over some disappointments and worries. I guess my body is still adjusting, but I am still liking the change, and I hope everything syncs together harmoniously.

  • August 12, 2012
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Hi guys! Wow I skipped almost all weeks of July! But let’s restart all things with books.

  • I just finished Miguel Syjuco’s Ilustrado. By far one of the most unique things in Filipino literature I’ve read in a long time. (But not without my qualms: I figured that this book is more for the foreign market, but in a showbiz industry where names like Fernando Poe and Cherie Gil make sense, what Pinoy talent agent names their star Wigberto Lakandula? I mean seriously, those names are outrageous.) It eloquently tells its story of the literary ironies in the third world (i.e., writing stories of oppressed farmers in a cafe in Paris), hilarious and sometimes scathing reflections of the excess of the upper class from one generation to another, and the diaspora that destroys families, with a twist that you wouldn’t expect.
  • Because the boyfriend stopped me from splurging while Powerbooks was on sale this weekend, I just picked St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell, a book I saw in one of John Gall’s design sites. By far it reminds me of Salinger’s Nine Stories but is mixed with some magic realism – the kind you outgrow when you hit teenage years – and I’m liking it.
  • I saw The Children of Hurin and A Clockwork Orange in Booksale and I had to get them ASAP. Would I find Clockwork as riveting as I did six years ago in my reread? I hope so. I am also planning to read all my Tolkien books before The Hobbit hits the screen, and Children is a new addition.

Turning out to be a good year for books! Crossing fingers for new ones next month.

  • June 25, 2012
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June Books

Got some new books and reviewing old acquisitions!

  • I got The October Country in a bargain bin. Bought it because it’s a sad sight after Ray Bradbury passed away last week. I am not really a fan of his prose (like George R. R. Martin) but his storytelling is excellent.
  • I always read The Silver Chair (yes, it’s a kid’s book!) when I am bothered by how inept I am sometimes. I always see myself in Jill Pole because she’s wrong most of the time but she always makes up for it, and that comforts me.
  • We finally completed our Adventures of Tintin collection! I just read the e-copies of these but now reading them in the flesh, finally!
  • I completely forgot I bought this copy of Anthology magazine from Heima! Will be reading.

How about you? Any interesting reads there to recommend?

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