Wil is Sick

To be honest, I hadn’t been watching Wil Dasovich‘s current vlogs lately. Some things got my attention more, plus I was thinking he was just doing clickbait with the “sick” thing (don’t get mad at me as he and friend Daniel Marsh always do that and admit to that). I was planning on checking out missed posts and binging on them one of these days, which is what I usually do in YouTube.

I did keep checking out if Wil had new posts and because they were all about sick, sick, sick, I ignored them at first although I was curious what it was about. The last time I watched him vlog about sickness was when he was abroad. He and his friends wouldn’t mention what he was sick about and were kind of joking about it, saying it was embarrassing, I assumed it was something like diarrhea or UTI.

Okay, so I checked out his channel today and the title of his newest vlog stunned me. I felt that this time, he’s serious. Admittedly, I read the comments first and indeed, wow, it is serious. This time, this is not about creating drama “para sa vlog” (for the vlog). It’s real life. I don’t think he’d be joking about something like this.

It’s cancer. I don’t know what kind. He did not say in the video. But whatever kind, cancer is a serious matter. It is something I would never wish on anybody. It is something that suddenly makes you reflect on your life more–what have you done with your life? have you done any good for anybody? do you not regret, at least, one thing in your life? These are questions we need to think about considering that even someone seemingly as healthy and obviously fit as Wil could get something like cancer.

I am sharing his video here. Don’t worry, it’s a nice and relevant video. There’s a bit of a sad part, but he’s not going to be all weepy about it. In fact, he encourages everyone to LIVE!!! I don’t really know him, of course, but I think Wil is a decent young man who just wants to enjoy his life. I wouldn’t be surprised if he beats this thing.

Okay, he says you can help out by clicking on the thumbs-up sign and subscribing. That’s how he earns from YouTube, guys. I suggest not skipping the ad as it helps vloggers more when we don’t. He also encourages people to share the vid, so I am sharing it through this post, which will be automatically posted on my Facebook page and Twitter feeds. Also, he didn’t mention it, but if you want to help him out more, he sells merchandise at Tsongandtsonggo.com. Maybe you could try and give the site a visit.

 

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UPDATE: His friends recently created #1MforWil to grant his wish and help. “1M” does not refer to an amount of money, but to his dream of reaching 1M channel subscribers. Well, he has not asked for any financial assistance exactly, but number of subscribers does affect a YouTuber’s earnings from vlogging. So if you can’t help financially, maybe subscribing to his channel won’t hurt you, rather that may help him with whatever assistance he needs.

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I’m a Writer!!! (post)-#MondayMemoirs

I wasn’t planning on posting a #MondayMemoirs especially because it’s past Monday, but I had been re-reading and reactivating blog posts. As you can see from the image, at the Blog Archive section, I had been working on my 2004-2005 posts. Then I got it in my head to see what I posted on August 22, 2005. THIS below was the result.

Granted that the date was the 21st, but in the post, it said “I am now the Editorial Assistant/Writer for a magazine! I start tomorrow!” That means that today, 12 years ago, I officially became a professional writer! Isn’t that a very good reason to reminisce, celebrate and be thankful for???

Being a writer may not be a lucrative job, but I feel so lucky that I get to do what I love 🙂

My Indieket2017 Stories: Long Time, No See

And I’m back! Correction: I was finally back. I had been meaning to be for quite a long time, I thought it would never happen again. Several missed events after the last one I went to (I can’t even remember what year that was), I was back at Bayanihan Center last August 5, attending Indieket 2017Yaaay!!!

I already made the decision to go maybe two months ago, though I was never really sure I would. Blame it on the many times I had to ditch going due to some reason or another. Valid reasons, I assure you, disappointing to me nonetheless. The ongoing disappointment kind of diminished, also due to a valid reason, so I was happy planning again. Despite several negative things happening weeks before the event, I finally really got to go to this year’s Komikon Indie Market.

In fact, here are my lovely loot:

They look like a lot, but they’re not. Don’t let this shot fool you. There are just a few comics there of different sizes and styles, a pad of stationery, a book mark, one sticker, the event catalog, and the giveaway. The rest are business cards.

The Comicolor covers from Meganon Comics–I got the red one…Image from Meganon’s Facebook page

loooove the giveaway! Upon presenting my ticket, I was surprised to receive, along with the catalog, a thick coloring book that I later found out to be made by the MEGANON COMICS Team. I remember seeing some free-for-first-50-goers or free-while-supply-lasts announcement online, I honestly just didn’t mind it enough. Therefore, I’m so glad I got the freebie!

They call it the Comicolor and based on the image at right, there are two covers. It features works from their different artists such as Puso Negro creator JP Palabon, Strange Natives and Tanod illustrator Jerico Marte, and comic illustrator and digital artist Redge Vicente. What makes it better is that I get to color the pages any way I want! Should I let the kids do some coloring on it, too? Uh…I’ll think about it. They haven’t graduated yet from kids’ coloring books.

Anyway, I really assumed it was a comic book and shoved it in my bag to check later at home. Only on the bus did I find out how wrong I was. Well…technically, it’s still a comic book, I guess.

Maktan 1521 (by Tepai Pascual) is included in Comicolor

Recognize the cover? I was not able to write down what and from whose work this is. Will update

It was still early that there weren’t a lot of comic geeks yet, save from the artists, some of whom were still setting up. I honestly avoided the tables near the entrance, wanting to see works I was more familiar with first. So my real first stop was at the posted set of the same image in various color renditions. It’s a digital coloring contest for Joanah Tinio Calingo‘s Cresci Prophecies.

These were my bets, in random order (Click HERE to see all entries clearly):

The winners were the following: 1st place: Entry 3 – Von Daren Milano, 2nd place: Entry 16 – Rowell Cruz, 3rd place: Entry 2 – Margie Rose SagadracaI’m so surprised that I actually got two guesses right…Congratulations to the winners!

Next that I did was to look for the artists I’m a suki (regular patron) of. Unfortunately, there were only a few of them in attendance. Meanwhile, the Indieket introduces new artists and their works that should help them gain followers as well.

Comic geeks all over

It wasn’t hard to find the Alphario: The World Connection Team. You could see their sign from afar. Too bad the light would not turn on…

I had to think hard about which book to get as I forgot which issues I had already; I did guess right. Also, there were no other Alphario cosplayers unlike before *sad* Creator SPLGum‘s partner, artist Stryler, tried his hand on something else, coming up with his own comics titled Burning Love. Thought I’d buy one and see how I would like it.

Alphario? Hard to miss!

(CLOCKWISE FR. TOP LEFT): Stryler‘s Burning Love, various Alphario wares, Alphario creator SPLGum signs my copy as “SPOT” looks on,  and SPLGum in his Team Skull outfit striking a pose with Pikachu 😉

My Alphario acquisitions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nearby were the booths allotted for comic book and merchandise stores. If I were an American comics and/or manga collector, I would’ve gone through the many titles (and stuff) they offered. But I’m not, I wouldn’t know what to look for exactly. Moreover, knowing myself, I would be going through everything–I didn’t have time for that. On some other regular day, maybe I would.

I forgot to get the name of this sponsor…Help?

It was announced onstage where to purchase Manix Abrera shirts, so I found the table and finally decided to buy myself a shirt, something I wouldn’t normally do for budgeting reasons. I just could not pass this up. It had been too long since my last Komikon and I wanted to be nicer to and treat myself.

It seemed like it was selling like hotcakes as the woman at the table told her companion they were running out of supplies already. In fact, I think she gave me one of the last–if not the last–shirt of the size I got. The title on the shirt says “Ilang Maaaring Matagpuan sa Komikon” (loosely translated based on content: The People You See at Komikons)

The Manix Abrera shirt . Oh, and that green and round thingy is a sticker that came with the shirt

(LEFT) All the Sulyap Komiks anthologies; (RIGHT) The feature page for Ang Sumpa creator Andoyman in Sulyap 3 (a.k.a. “Ikatlong Sulyap” / Third Glance)

Oh, look, the Sulyap anthologies! Well, I passed those up for now. Besides, Andoyman already gave me a copy of Sulyap 3 and while Ang Sumpa isn’t mine at all, it still gives me pleasure to see it included in the third edition. I feel like a part of it. Well, my name’s there, so yeah, right? Credit by association, ha ha!…I might be actually trying out some things. We’ll see.

Walked some more and spotted Niño Balita, Espiritista creator, together with the wifey and the cutie baby. I was disappointed, though, not to see a single Espiritista issue laid out anywhere. I did purchase his new work Ang Walang Kasing Bangis na Paglipad ni Cotton! (The Most Awesome Flight of Cotton!…sorry for the not-so-good translation). It probably was not new to others, just to me.

There were nice stationery there, too, for only P20 per pad. I picked a pad that focused on Espiritista characters alone and had the artist sign the first sheet (I honestly think he forgot my name, LOL!!! He didn’t ask, I didn’t give it). I’m not sure if I’m ever going to use any sheet from it as I want to preserve everything, heh.

Also got an artist-drawn bookmark with a nice quote on it. I chose the dragon design, by the way. It says:

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” – G.K. Chesterton

Love the dragon, love the quote–win-win!

A closer look at the merchandise on the Espiritista table

MY loot

Beside his table was that of a young artist, Carl Cervantes. I actually noticed him first before Niño because he was smiling and seemed waiting for me to approach, which I fought the urge to do. As said, my priority were artists I was familiar with. After Niño, though, it didn’t feel right not to talk to the kid as I somehow sensed he was a newbie going through the awkward stage (of being new and learning the ropes…At least, that’s what I thought).

Getting philosophical and even philoso(po)cal with Komikon newbie Carl Cervantes

What’s on Carl’s table?

There were still a few people anyway so I thought of talking to him instead of going back when the place would already be crowded. Besides, aside from looking friendly, he really looked familiar. I told him that and he said if I watched television, he’s an actor in one of the series. He added that he’s in this certain commercial, which I could not remember at that moment until I was on the bus on the way to Makati.

It turned out that I was right. The actor/singer/host (I Googled, okay?) has now added “comics artist” in his resumé. Needless to say, I had him explain his work. His philosophical approach interested me, which made me give his work a shot, after all, I was also there to discover new artists.

Then I went to another new (to me) artist. From the philosophical, I moved to the poetic. I met Brian Vee. From the get-go, he had me at Kung Alam Ko Lang (If I Only Knew). Well, that’s the title of his work. I honestly was attracted to the whole cover design–love the color, the material, the whole aesthetics. It’s what caught my eyes.

Brian Vee with his masterpieces (sorry, the books aren’t shot whole here). Had an interesting conversation with him about them, especially about Kung Alam Ko Lamg

I asked him what it’s about and when he said it’s his message to his mother, I actually asked, “Oh no, is this going to make me cry?” I mean, a message to mom, an if-only title, stars on the cover…I knew already the why. Knowing the pain of losing a parent, I already felt overwhelmed without browsing through the thing. He sheepishly admitted that it could (not that he promised it would). I think he gave me a little background (I say “think” because I’m not sure if he did or if what I remember, I only initially got from reading). All the while, I kept remembering my own mother and tried to gauge my own if-onlys.

Brian said that people found it sad, he had been getting such feedback from others. I could relate to this because back when I was working for a publication, I wrote a poem/ode and a little vignette. I got a similar feedback. Side-story aside, I was really curious, especially when he mentioned being a spoken word artist and having performed Kung Alam Mo Lang onstage. I bought his book mainly because I could relate to him in more ways than one.

Here’s a link to his spoken poetry performance (you can find more from his YouTube channel):

I decided to finally approach a table that was near the entrance. I naturally was drawn to the Pockets Fulla Pillz (PFP) table because of the guy sitting behind it and calling out to people. I decided to try out an issue of Rocketgirl because (1) though it’s an American comic book, it has a Filipina heroine, and (2) PFP CEO Fred “That Guy” Corder was quite the convincing salesman. I could sense the passion he has for what he does.

PFP also produced the really nice art series Don’t Trust the Kitten where you have to find the kitten in the picture that causes the problem. I really liked the copies I saw at the Indieket, but the thing was, I wouldn’t know where to put one at home even if budget allowed it. Next time, maybe. Meanwhile, the girl there was the very talented Alexie Laggui of Laguillotine. Research tells me she did some, if not all, of the images.

Fred “That Guy” Corder, CEO of American publisher Pockets Fulla Pillz that publishes Rocketgirl, which features a Filipina heroine

As suggested by That Guy who’s the Rocketgirl creator, I am starting with this issue so I’ll know the whole background

Next up was the Codename: Bathala and Digmaang Salinlahi (War of Generations) creator Jon Zamar. I admit, I’m not good with faces especially if I don’t get to see a person face-to-face at least twice, even if it’s one of the most popular names in the industry. I assumed it was him in front of me, yet I wasn’t sure. There was no one else with him at the time whom I could silently ask, so without pretense, I asked his name. He said, “I’m Jon,” and I apologized. At least I was honest. And I finally got his autograph, yay!

Looking at the merchandise, I was in a dilemma. I already had the first issue of Bathala. Getting the second issue would  be the next sensible thing to do, right? Wrong. The other set was calling out to me, “Get me! Get me!” Then I left that table carrying a copy of Digmaang Salinlahi instead. In life, you will always have to make tough decisions 😉

Jon Zamar and his works. (BELOW) At left are Codename: Bathala stuff, and then some; at right are the Digmaang Salinlahi books

I walked around again, trying to see what to get next. There were many comics that I couldn’t get them all. I also wanted to meet new female artists, unfortunately, not many caught my attention, while some art were kind of expensive for me. I was then glad to find a table–well, two–that seemed to feature all-female artists. I was under the impression that they were all under the same group, but looking at the venue layout now from the Indieket Facebook page told me that I may be wrong. I will not hazard a guess.

While I only saw female artists here, ComicDojo is NOT an all-girl artists group. What is ComicDojo? It is “a bunch of people who loves comics and would want to help kids and frustrated artists to finally publish their work,” according to artist Gabi Mara

I certainly will check them out again next time!

Gabi Mara holding out my signed copy of her work, Lore

I chose to inquire deeper about the work that got my attention. The title was Lore, and that interested me alright, already setting my expectations high. I liked the drawing as well. Of course, I had creator Gabi Mara  explain the story to me. It was short, still the premise already piqued my interest, I had her signing my copy in no time.

I did feel like she was kind of busy or her mind was preoccupied, that’s why I didn’t press for a longer conversation. She was able to answer me about the group being all-girls and explain a bit, though, except new patrons arrived and needed her attention. I was already happy with my purchase, anyway.

[Ed. This part may have confused you more than it did me. Fortunately, Miss Mara explained it in the comments. She is a new member of an all-girl team called Tequila Tea Party.]

I was ready to go home. Onstage, an artist was being interviewed. I was not listening (sorry) because my mind was on the comics and the time (still had to go back to Makati then head home). However, I noticed two lone tables at one side near the stage and that got me curious. I was especially curious because on one, a textbook-sized comic novel with a glossy, fully-colored cover was on display, being sold at just P100 (just found out it’s already 10-years-old, that’s why maybe). That was a huge come-on to me.

I dared get close and talk to the guy manning the store. He explained the story to me and acknowledged that it’s for mature readers only (read: adult readers). I agreed, just judging from the title: Lexy, Nance & Argus: Sex, Gods, Rock & Roll. Now, normally, I would buy more wholesome stuff to share to my kids, except I couldn’t pass this up as well. Now came the signing part and I awkwardly asked. “Are you the artist?” The guy smiled, amused, and said, “No! He’s that guy onstage!” I think I wanted the ground to swallow me whole then. Note to self: At least, check the name first!

Onstage was Oliver Pulumbarit, writer-editor and occasional comic book artist, one of the three special guests for the Indieket that day. Well, given that it was not the first time I embarrassed myself that day, I just played it cool and chatted with the guy there whose name I was afraid to ask by then, he he. Fortunately, the interview ended soon after and I got my copy signed, then I zoomed out of there 😉

(CLOCKWISE FR. TOP LEFT) The tarpaulin at the lobby clearly shows artist Oliver Pulumbarit as one of the events’ special guests; the interview proper; Lexy, Nance & Argus: Sex, Gods, Rock & Roll; other works and shorter versions; the artist and his work

And THAT was how my Indieket went. Overall, I think it went really well, anecdotes included. I can’t wait for November’s Komikon! By then, I’ll be more ready. Go, Komikon!

Here’s a video from the event, as posted on the Indieket Facebook page. ENJOY!!!

 

All images Copyright © J.Gi Federizo unless otherwise indicated

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I will link to a photo album soon, I’m just trying to decide on something.

For more Komikon-related posts, please go to COMICS TRIPS.

The Art of Komikonation #atozchallenge2015

Since the Indieket is coming, I am reblogging this. It’s missing a pic, I just found out, but will fix soon…

The End Justifies the Journey

If there is one thing that I have come to realize in my adult life, it’s that I’m a late-bloomer in a lot of things. I need not go into more (read: boring) details about it, but in relation to my topic of the day, it is only now, in my later years, did I realize that I really, actually love comics.

K of A to ZI don’t have hundreds in my collection, not yet anyway, nor do I have any of those cherished and expensive first editions of famous American comics or Japanese manga. I didn’t start collecting until several years ago when I learned from artist Jonas Diego that we actually hold local conventions now. Komikons, they have called these local gatherings, and they have successfully put “komikon” in the modern Filipino dictionary.

By that time, I was already aware that I could draw a little. Well, sketch, really. Learning about…

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Kita Kita (I See You) (post-)#MondayReviews

***NOTE: Finally, a totally new review, woohoo!!! And of a really new movie, too 🙂 It’s a review, but I did add a few trivial bits.

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KITA KITA

The first time I saw its trailer, I decided that I wanted to watch Kita Kita. For one thing, it had been a while since I last watched an actual indie film and I am an indie supporter. I’m not really sure it should be called an independent, though, considering that it’s produced by a mainstream film outfit (that does seem past its heyday) and especially by one owned by a very famous, still very-”now” actor. But okay, they say it was made with a low budget, so why not?

Indie or not, the story had me curious so last Sunday, I brought the free ticket I’ve had for months and had a romantic date with myself. (There are perfectly good reasons why I was alone, but they’re not worth discussing, really.) My curiosity over the chosen stars did add much to that decision.

Alessandra de Rossi (a.k.a. Alex) has never headlined a mainstream movie or a regular TV series. However, when it comes to indies, she’s a legit superstar and has been legit since she was in her early teens. Just count the awards she has gotten over the years. I have seen enough of her movies (even wrote a review for one, and this reminds me to post it soon) to know how good she could be.

She has been one of a few stars I admire when it comes to serious acting that when I hear her being part of this or that, I often try to see her when I can. To see her take the lead in a romantic-comedy film kind of intrigued me.

Meanwhile, leading man Empoy Marquez, who usually goes with no last name, is the bigger surprise. He’s a comedian who has been active on both the small and big screens almost always as a supporting character. He probably has had lead roles before, but in single episodes of comedy or fantasy-comedy shows, nothing memorable.

Until this movie, he was never that comedian to watch out for. So imagine my (and other people’s) surprise to find out that of all the comedians to choose from, Empoy got the part. I wondered how he would pull it off given his brand of comedy. However, I think that was really it that made me think I wanted to see him in this movie.

The best reason that made me want to see Kita Kita was the premise of the love story. What is the premise of the story? Well, to start with, the title is short for “Nakikita kita”, in English, “I See You”. It is both a literal and figurative name to give the movie.

Lea is a Filipina working as a tourist guide in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. She experiences heartache while there. In a much bitter fate, she suffers a potentially permanent blindness and loses interest in life, living day-to-day like nothing matters anymore.

Then comes Tonyo, another Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). He begins invading her life by persistently attempting to converse with her daily and bringing her food he’s cooked everyday, even though she snubs him and ignores the food he brings.

They eventually become friends. He asks her to accompany him and be his tourist guide, telling her “I’ll be your eyes.” In the process, he brings back the colors into her life by making her laugh and see the world again through him. Lea starts to go back to being happy and becomes more accepting of her situation without losing hope of ever seeing again, a hope that Tonyo helps bring back. They become so close that it somehow becomes obvious he has feelings for her. On the other hand, she starts “seeing” him in that newer light as well. They become almost-lovers.

Unfortunately, before everything turns out well for them, something happens that neither of them expects.

That’s as far as I will go. I’m not telling any more and giving the story away.

In some ways, you’d think, nah, it’s been done before: blind person meets the love of her life who turns out to be not what she expected. Or maybe she sees again, then in a twisted turn of fate, she dies from something else anyway…

Well, hold your horses. Something bad does happen (conflict is necessary in stories), and maybe a theory in your head does turn out to be correct (mine was), but it’s what you’ll get to find out next that’s going to make a lot more difference in how you see the story.

I love the story. It’s so simple that it’s so beautiful. It’s really got the magic of Filipino indies sans the poverty, sex and even violence common in a lot of them, sometimes exploited in a lot of them, too. It’s an indie that’s a sight for sore eyes–it’s actually aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. None of those slum shots that’s the staple of many Pinoy independent flicks. Not all realities need to be about those because that’s not the only reality we live in. I do feel like the setting could have been here, no need to go anywhere out of the country.

Anyway, another plus is the viewer gets to concentrate on them since save from a few bit players, Alex and Empoy are the only real cast of the film.

I admit, the first few minutes of the movie kind of bored me, but I knew they were necessary. It’s an SOP now in the screenwriting world, at least in the indie films, that I learned before. They had to show shots of how the protagonist functioned in her everyday life, her routines, what she did, etc. It established the scenario, the changes that were about to happen, the disruption in her life. Why only show Lea and not Tonyo was because Tonyo would appear later, just like how new people appear in our lives, no warning.

Good script from Sigrid Bernardo, funny ad libs (usually care of Empoy, you can just tell), nice twist that you don’t completely see coming, and a great way to emphasize that love can both be blind and enlightening at the same time.

Despite Tonyo being stalker-ish and you getting the feeling he knew her long before he approached her, you’d actually root for the guy to get his girl and not feel scared for her. He saw her at her lowest and brought her back. Somehow, she saw him at his lowest, too, and brought him back without knowing it. They saw the real them. Did I just give you a riddle? You’ll find out once you see it.

The acting was so natural and that’s what made viewers love the two actors. It’s underacting, so to speak. It seemed like there was 20% acting and 80% just being Alex and Empoy. So, no disrespect to directors Sigfrid Bernardo and Bb. Joyce Bernal, but I feel the most credit for the acting should go to the film’s stars.

Well, in a way, Alex was acting because she was much tamer here than in real life where she is funnier and rowdier, you’d wonder why drama is her forte. She is no stranger to comedy, but drama brings out the best actress in her. Empoy, on the other hand, was just being Empoy and it worked for him. He’s like the normal guys in our lives who could be funny, caring and lovable regardless of looks and background. His character might not have worked if they had chosen a more handsome (less realistic) and/or non-comedic (awkward) actor. Empoy is definitely the better option.

Alex gives a lot of credit to Empoy. She says her character could have been played by anyone and it would still be the same, unlike Empoy’s. I disagree. Yes, it could have been acted out by anyone well enough, but the chemistry between Lea and Tonyo would probably not have been the same. I’m saying that the Alex-Empoy tandem (now tagged as AlEmpoy, though I’d rather “ship” them as EmLex) fortunately had that obviously perfect on-screen chemistry that made the story work.

I am not entirely sure if it’s suitable to call this love story a romantic comedy. What confuses me more is how Empoy actually succeeded in making women feel those kilig moments. Everyone’s surprised! Now single girls and gays want their Banana, too, ha! #HowtoBeEmpoy . (As for the banana reference, find out for yourself.)

If you haven’t seen Kita Kita yet, catch it now before they stop showing it. I did not waste much time because of that as I did not assume that many would actually go and see it. If you’re living abroad, they will bring this to you (in the US, that I’m sure, at least), so watch out. Don’t speak Filipino? No sweat. They have subtitles. You won’t be disappointed, definitely.

However you will see the ending, I guarantee that you will not leave feeling like you’ve just wasted time and money. In fact, you just might want to see it again. I know I do.

(fr. left) Director Bb. Joyce Bernal, Writer-Director Sigfrid Bernardo, Producer Piolo Pascual (Spring Films), Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy

 

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Have you seen it? What can you say? Share your comments below. You know we love comments 😉