The Giving Tree

“And the boy loved the tree…. very much.
And the tree was happy. “

Shel Silverstein

So last meeting, we had this activity in our EDR 121 class. We discussed about “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. After reading about it in class, Teacher Hazel gave us a bunch of Engagement Activities in relation to the Giving Tree.

We were asked to write something like “Echo “<3’s” ______.” A lot of jokes were thrown here and there about it being the Season of Love since it’s February and it would be best to put a name of a special someone there. But instead of doing so (not that I’m a killjoy or anything), I instead chose to put the name of my little brother.

My little brother is truly special to me. Just to give you a little bit of background, I have been an only child for 17 years until my father passed away and my mom eventually had another partner and when I was 19, she had bore a child with her partner. Thus, my little brother was born. I named him Samuel David named after two Biblical characters — David, the greatest king of Israel and Samuel, the prophet who anointed David to become king. Or you can just call him, SAMDAVE for short. Haha. 😉

The reason I gave him those names was because my brother was born with Down Syndrome and also with an imperforate anus. This was largely due to the fact that my mom did not know she could still get pregnant during that time and she didn’t know she was pregnant until the child was 3 months old. She was taking medication for Diabetes during that period and realized it very late that she was indeed bearing a child.


So enough with that very dramatic background. But truly, having another child in the family from being the only child for 19 years is a different experience. Despite challenges and troubles faced during the early years, it proved to be very fruitful for me to have him as my brother. Repeatedly, he has always been the joy of the family. Despite cognitive challenges and late development, he proved to be uniquely intelligent and irresistibly sweet in his own ways.

So instead of being so cheesy and romantic with another person during this season, I chose to dedicate this particular blog post to him.

Now, instead of taking photos of each of the pages of the activity, I chose to share photos of my little bro instead (I can just submit the paper copy anyways. Haha).

Nevertheless, going back to the Giving Tree illustration, it touched me in a way that I was able to relate to the tree relative to my brother. How I can be like the tree — giving, giving and giving. Never tiring, truly happy, always loving. It may be unreciprocated vocally and in the same manner, but those things don’t matte to me. The important thing for me is to show that I love him and will always be there for him, through whatever experiences we may have.


And of course, also, I was able to relate it to some of the relationships I’ve had growing up. I’ve encountered several friends that I thought to be lasting only to find out they have never treated me as such and only viewed me as “the-guy-you-can-always-go-to-when-you-need-something-but-never-treated-as-a-friend.” But that’s for another story. Perhaps I’ll have some chance to share it in class or in another blog post but who knows? 😉

How about you? Have you read the giving tree? How has it affected you? Would be glad to know some of your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂


Why you, as a Christian should watch #Seklusyon [WARNING: SPOILERS]


If you are a mature Christian and have been for how many years now, chances are, there were times that you refrain from watching horror films or have been discouraged from doing so because you might get a spirit of fear from watching it.

Whilst it is true (I in particular also refrain from watching horror films and discourage others from doing so especially if they are new in the faith), I do watch them from time to time, especially if it intrigues me enough to do so.

In this case, Seklusyon did it. It intrigued me enough to risk getting scared just to get the point behind the film. While, in fact it is a masterpiece in terms of cinematography, plot and other technicalities, I had more appreciation of the symbolisms behind it, the hard truths and extremely important points the film was trying to convey.

Firstly, some thoughts on the film. There are some very intriguing, disturbing things that the film tried to convey. These things are truths too hard for everyone to swallow, especially the “religious” sects. But these things are truth and we can’t ignore them. I thought to myself: “Could they have used another genre to portray such important truths?”

These truths are scary. Especially if you know what happens behind the scenes. Behind those facades you see in church, behind those fake smiles, fake priests, molesters, liars, “faith healers” and superstition and superstitious people that ironically surround the church, stand on the stage, preach at the pulpit, etc. Well, they could’ve used drama or comedy to illustrate them but I believe the “horror” genre conveyed them best.


Continue reading “Why you, as a Christian should watch #Seklusyon [WARNING: SPOILERS]”

Captain America: Civil War, A Review [SPOILER-FREE]

After a long day, me and my friends, being the true fans we are, decided to CAP (get it? HAHA.) the night off with a Midnight Premiere of Captain America: Civil War

Since I haven’t done any movie reviews lately, especially Marvel-related ones, I’ll do a quick one and some thing I’m looking forward to in the next films — especially the coming Avengers: Infinity War

This would just be a preliminary review as I don’t want to spoil the people about to watch the film. Don’t worry, I’ll try to black out as much text as possible that can pertain to any spoilers. 🙂

So here are some of my take-aways from the film:


#1 Spidey TRULY is home!

As a big fan of Spidey since… forever, I can truly say that Spidey is truly back where he belongs. The crowd in the cinema were all shouting and cheering when they saw Spidey (Peter Parker) on screen. If you listen very closely, you can even hear man-tears flowing from people’s cheeks. 😉

His action sequences were great and I can assure you that he wasn’t just a glorified cameo. He was as much a part of the film as anybody else.

Oh and yes, it was roughly 15 to 20 mins of Spiderman screen time, apart from the Peter Parker scenes, I think.


#2 It’s 6v6 Superhero Showdown to the MAX!

Yes, you all saw the trailers. You have seen the money shot the trailers and teasers were all featuring but I can assure you, you haven’t seen it all.

And when I thought the movie was gonna be too crowded to give each and everyone enough screen time? I was wrong. They were all truly a part of the film. They weren’t just there for the action shots, they were all incorporated properly into the movie. Well done, Russo brothers! Makes me look forward to your take on Avengers: Infinity War then!


#3 It was a Captain America film, not an Avengers movie.

People were going on and on how Civil War is just an “Avengers 2.5”.

Well, they’re wrong. It was definitely not an Avengers movie. It is indeed a Cap movie. It was truly a story about Cap and his principles, his beliefs and emotions. You have always seen a “perfect and ideal” Cap. But you haven’t seen him like this before.


#4 That Airport Sequence

… is the best bit of Superhero action I’ve seen so far! Maybe it’s the sheer amount of heroes brawling? But apart from that, it’s a cinematic marvel. It’s great camera work, great choreography, great cinematography. Everything that you have always wanted in a superhero fight.


#5 #TeamCap? #TeamIronMan? Really? 

Honestly, after watching the film, a lot of people may even want to reconsider their sides. Are they still #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan? Is anybody really “more right” than the other?

This movie deals with these heroes as human as possible. Yes. They are humans too. They have their own motivations, they make mistakes, they make good and bad decisions, they become emotional too.

The reason Marvel had so much success especially back during the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s? They strayed from the flat, heroic characters and moved on to the “daily” or “average” man kind of hero. That heroes can make bad decisions too. That in the end, they are just men and women trying to do the right thing. They can be just one bad day away from making decisions they might. just. regret.


Heneral Luna: Ang Tinig na Kailangang Marinig Nating Mga Pilipino

At napanood kong muli sa ikalawang pagkakataon ang Obra Maestrang pinamagatang “Heneral Luna” at nais kong gawan ito ng isang artikulo upang maipahayag ko ang aking saloobin para dito.

Ano nga ba ang kadahilanan kung bakit ito ang napili kong pamagat?
Hanggang ngayon ay iniisip ko pa rin talaga kung bakit subalit may ilang kataga na sadyang nananatili sa aking puso’t isipan — Pagkamulat, Pag-bangon, Pag-gising.

Hindi ko alam kung talagang nasa plano ito ng mga nagbigay-buhay sa pelikulang ito, ngunit para sa akin, dumating ito sa tamang panahon.

Alam nating lahat na nalalapit na ang halalan at tayo’y muling mamimili ng mga pinuno ng ating lipunan. Bago pa man tayo makapamili, kung maaari’y masaksihan muna natin ito upang tulungang mamulat ang ating mga mata.

Tayo ba ay pipili na naman ng mga pinuno na traydor, duwag at mamamatay-tao?
Hindi pa ba sapat ang ilang taon ng pamamahala ng mga walang kwentang lider sa ating lipunan? Nawa’y matulungan ka nitong makapag-isip at makapag-nilay-nilay bago tayo gumawa ng mga desisyon na magdidikta ng mga pangyayari sa susunod na anim na taon.

Marami sa mga linyang binitiwan sa pelikulang ito ang sadyang nakapang-gi-gising ng damdaming makabayan, nakapag-aalab ng damdamin at sadyang may pinanghuhugutan. Narito ang ilan sa mga ito:

1.“Negosyo o kalayaan?! Bayan o sarili?! Pumili ka!!”

12019787_1651213118426751_4355003075324650219_nIsa ito sa mga linyang sadyang nagpalundag sa aking puso. Nawa’y makita natin na ang kailangan ng Pilipinas ay mga taong sadyang kayang isantabi ang kanilang personal na interes para sa kapakanan ng nakararami.

Hindi lamang ito para sa ating mga pinuno ngunit para rin sa ating mga sarili. Madaling sabihing may problema ang Pilipinas ngunit mahirap sabihin at aminin na tayo ang problema nito.

2. “Mga kapatid, mayroon tayong mas malaking kaaway kaysa mga Amerikano. Ang ating sarili.”


Mahirap man itong tanggapin, ito ang tunay na problema natin. Masyado nating ibina-baling ang pansin natin sa mga bagay na hindi natin kayang baguhin kung hindi natin babaguhin ang ating mga sarili. Mas sa atin ang sadyang mga Paterno at Buencamino. Ang tunay na sakit nating mga Pilipino — madalas ay masyado tayong magaling sa salita ngunit walang aksyon na ginagawa.

3. “Para kayong mga birheng naniniwala sa pag-ibig ng isang p*ta!”

12027706_1650948598453203_4968562616477353782_nOo. Sadyang matalim. Ngunit kailangan natin itong marining. Sa totoo lang, ganito tayong mga Pilipino sa ngayon. Malapit na naman ang panahon kung kailan tayo’y pipili muli ng mga mamumuno ng ating bansa. Mag-isip ng mabuti bago pumili. Wag umasa sa mga salitang walang kahulugan. Huwag maging birhen.

Huwag nang umasa sa mga mabulaklak na pangako.

4. “Kaya nating magbuwis ng buhay para sa pamilya pero para sa isang prinsipyong makabayan?”


Isang mentalidad na bunga ng pagiging makasarili. Na uunahin natin ang ating pansariling interes. Walang masama sa pamilya. Ngunit kung ito na lang ang limitasyon ng ating pangitain, hindi tayo uunlad bilang isang kabuuan — isang Pilipinas.

5. “Ganito ba talaga ang kapalaran natin, Paco? Kalaban ang kalaban. Kalaban ang kakampi, nakakapagod.”

71Maraming mga katanungan ang sadyang umikot sa aking isipan. Sadyang ganito na lang ba tayo? Pilipino laban sa Pilipino? Na ang dahilan kung bakit hindi tayo tunay na malaya ay ang sarili din natin? Maaari bang tapusin na natin ang ganitong mentalidad? Maaari bang wakasan na ito ng lubusan?

Maaari, kapatid, maaari.

6. “Isang malaking karangalan ang ipaglaban ang ating Inang Bayan, huwag tayong magdadalawang-isip. Adelante, compatriotas. Ang magtagumpay o mamatay.” 


Sa panahon ngayon, hindi lang kamatayan ang kasagutan para ipaglaban ang bayan. Ang kailangan natin ay mga taong may paninindigan. Paninindigang kayang ipaglaban, kapalit may ay kamatayan.

7. “Isinusuka ko ang digmaan, Joven, pero ang kompromiso…”


Ang taong walang paninindigan ay mahahatak sa kung anu-ano man. Ang kompromiso ang kaaway nating lahat. Hindi pa ba sapat ang lahat ng mga dignidad na itinapon natin sa kawalan? Maaari bang muli natin ibalik pagkaka-kilanlan natin mga Pilipino bilang mga taong punong-puno ng integridad at pakikipaglaban sa paniniwala.

8. “Wala na tayong panahon para sa mga bagay na hindi natin kayang panindigan.”

Kung maririnig lang nila ang ating tinig.
Ito ang ating sigaw. Dinggin ang aming panalangin.

9. “Kung magiging bansa man tayo, kailangan natin ng isang radikal na pagbabago.”


Sapat na ang walang ginagawa. Panahon na para kumilos. Maaaring mga Pilipino nga tayo ngunit sinasakop pa rin ng pusong hindi maka-Diyos at makabayan ang ating isipan. Kailan sisimulan ang radikal na pagbabago? Ngayon na.

10. “Mas masahol pa sa mga Amerikano ang sinumang inilalagay ang kanilang pansariling interes… ang sinumang nanunumpa ng katapatan para lamang sa kanilang rehiyon at tribo. Sila ang patunay na hindi pa tayo handang pamunuan ang ating mga sarili.”


Ipina-paliwanag na nito ang kanyang sarili.

Two Marvel Superhero Teams That Should Be Made Into Movies

I know it has really been quite a while since I last posted but I have no intention of just abandoning this blog. So here we go with another one. 🙂

We’ve seen The Avengers and The Guardians of the Galaxy. Now, what other Marvel Superhero Teams can they bring to the big screen to continue Marvel’s Legacy?

1. The Runaways

Never heard of them? Well, shame on you! Haha. Just kidding.

No, seriously? You haven’t? Well they’re AWESOME.

A little back story. They’re mostly children of Marvel Villains that are so fed up with their parents’ … well, villainy.


Composed of members that use their real names as their superhero names and not just some other code name or anything like that. They can also add more realism to the MCU since the members are teens that are also struggling with personal life and puberty.


  • Nico Minoru – the de facto leader of the Runaways in most of their run. The daughter of one of the biggest crime families in Los Angeles — The Pride, she is a witch. Primarily inheriting her parents magical aptitude.


She is also extremely powerful. In possession of the powerful artifact, the Staff of One. She can cast any spell imaginable with only two limitations. Firstly, she cannot cast the same spell twice. If she tries to do so, it may produce different and could possibly be catastrophic results. Secondly, she cannot resurrect the dead. Other than that, her staff’s power can make one of the most powerful magical beings in the whole Marvel Universe, Dormammu, tremble with fear.

Can possibly tie in or appear in Doctor Strange or Daredevil.

  • Alex Wilde – was actually the first leader of the Runaways. Also a member of The Pride, he became fed up with his family when they murdered an innocent girl.


Also, he doesn’t have super-powers. He is just really really smart. He is a really effective tactician and strategist.  He would be a great addition to the MCU as another African-American super-hero.

Oh and, did I forget to mention? He was Nico Minoru’s boyfriend.


Can possibly tie-up in Daredevil.

  • Karolina Dean – is the daughter of renowned Hollywood actors who turned out to be villains as well. She is an alien — a Majesdanian. She can absorb solar energy and produce it as concussive blasts, force fields and lasers.


Isn’t she awesome?! I mean, a rainbow colored body? C’mon.

Can possibly tie-in or appear in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

  • Molly Hayes – Now, this is a bit tricky. She is actually a mutant which means that she might not appear in the MCU. But back-stories can be remade right? Ha! In your face, FOX!

Molly_Hayes_(Earth-616)_001 (1)

Although she has a fairly basic power set namely superhuman strength, she can only use it for a limited time. Most probably because of her small physique. But she is one of the female powerhouses of the Marvel universe.

Can tie-in with Captain Marvel, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D or X-Men (LOL).

  • Victor Mancha – This is going to be an interesting one. I mentioned how all of the Runaways were children of villains right? Victor Mancha is “technically” Ultron’s son.


As a cyborg, he has various superhuman abilities such as superhuman strength, superhuman speed, photographic memory, automatic self-repair, projecting electricity and flight.

One of the most interesting addition in the MCU if ever, he can definitely be tied-in with Vision or the Avengers.

  • Chase Stein – is the child of two mad scientist. He stole his parents’ technology that gave him his abilities. One of the most awesome members of the team. You know why?


He has a freaking dinosaur. That’s why.

He also has the Fistigons, gauntlets that can produce and manipulate fire, fire missiles, etc. and the X-Ray goggles that can see through almost everything.

He can possibly cameo or be tied-in with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D or maybe with an Iron Man reference. 🙂

2. Young Avengers

Most likely the path that the MCU might take. If you are seeing the references and the foreshadowing of the future of the MCU, you will most likely think that this is the path they might take.



  • Iron Lad – the young analogue to Iron Man. He is actually Nathaniel Richards a.k.a Kang the Conqueror but this is in his adolescent days before he even became Kang.

tumblr_m16zjr8vjf1qjgjn3o1_1280 (1)

Most likely, Marvel doesn’t have the rights to this character since FOX has the license to Kang. But he is one of those characters that can take up the Mantle of Iron Man in the MCU.


His powers are mostly like Iron Man with nano-tech that can transform into anything.

  • Hulkling – this is a little bit tricky. Hulkling is a Kree-Skrull hybrid that is the Hulk’s analogue.


Due to his Kree background, he has superhuman strength which is further increased by his Skrull heritage. His shape-shifting ability is primarily Skrull in nature.


  • Patriot – is the grandson of the black Captain AmericaIsaiah Bradley. He also earned his powers through the super-soldier serum.


Instead of using a circular shield, he uses a triangular shield and throwing stars (literally).


I don’t need to tell you who is he an Analogue to right?

  • Wiccan – the Scarlet Witch analogue.  Is also one of the Marvel Universe’s openly gay superheroes.


Reality warping powers + Chaos Magic makes him one of the more powerful magicians of the Marvel Universe.


  • Kate Bishop (Hawkeye– Now, who would she be an analog of? I wonder? Haha.


Kate Bishop has more than earned the Hawkeye mantle. Well versed in martial arts, swordsmanship, archery, fencing, etc. She is a welcome addition to the MCU’s roster if given the chance.

  • Stature – Ant-Man’s daughter Cassie Lang and is a worthy successor to Ant-Man/Giant Man.


Now, we know that Cassie Lang would appear in Ant-Man but she would still be a child by then.

  • Speed – if the name doesn’t say it all, I don’t know what would. 🙂


The Quicksilver analogue. I believe somebody should take up the Quicksilver mantle after the MCU killed him in Age of Ultron.

How about you? What other Superhero Teams would you like to see in the MCU?
I’ll be posting about other superhero teams as well if I have the time.

Tell me what you think in the comments below. 🙂

About the Author

Hello there.

The name’s Echo. An enthusiast in a lot of things.
Mostly Movies, TV Shows, Comic Books, Manga, Games, Tech and really, anything under the sun that interests me.

I decided to create this blog to express my thoughts and views into the world.
Feel free to connect, comment and voice out your thoughts as well.

So here’s to something… maybe? 🙂