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My Ultimate New Year Wish #WhatsupWednesday

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

No, sir, my greeting is not late because it is still the new year, and it will continue to be so maybe until February (the usual month for the Chinese New Year), maybe even March. So you know, there’s been a bunch of stuff that actually either made me busy or hindered me from posting here. But I’m back, nevertheless (do people still say “nevertheless” or just me…?), and I’m wishing you all the great things 2018 may bring.

Obviously, the world is not right these days. It is ill, sick with all the negative forces surrounding it. There are the environmental problems and degradation. Endangered animals are being slaughtered to very near extinction. Politics are rife with graft and corruption. There are wars between nations, races, religions, factions, individuals. There are biases against genders, age, disabilities, economic status, educational background. There are…too many negative things that we spread, leading to our decay…

Tell me I’m wrong. Please do, I need to hear it. Then tell me why…

We have been so sick for the longest time, it’s time to heal. This year, why don’t we start to heal the world even through baby steps?  Let’s start with ourselves. I am not being all-righteous here. This, too, is something I need to do. Let’s all do it together!

Heal the world. For the world to heal its wounds, that is my ultimate wish for 2018.

What’s YOUR new year wish?

 

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Thanks to Maati Baani for creating the video, all the talented child prodigies featured in it (I only recognize Angelica Hale from the most recent AGT and because she’s half-Filipino), and especially the late Michael Jackson for this beautiful song 🙂

Next post is about 8 new things about me!

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The Hunchback of Rural High #MondayMemoirs #KwentongUPRural

I was never popular in high school. If I ever was, that could be because I was considered weird, which never offended me. I welcomed being voted as Weirdest Girl in Class two years in a row. For me, that meant I was not one to conform just to be called cool. Besides, when you’re a writer, people just tag you as weird. Hollywood fed us that idea.

Most probably, though, if I ever was popular, it was because I was the Hunchback of Rural High. I was the short girl looking like Quasimodo.

I didn’t use to be like that. I did not have a humped back prior to high school. I was a shy kid in grade school who only started coming out of her shell in fourth grade. By sixth grade, I was jumping from tables, singing the oldie La Bamba shamelessly…Then a teacher sent me back into my shell, accusing me in front of the other kids because she supposedly didn’t like something I said about her favorite student.

I was dumbfounded and confused. I did not even understand what she meant until days later! Worse was, she thought wrong as I was not referring to him. Unfortunately, my self-esteem already suffered because of it. Why a teacher should even get offended by a student practicing the right to choose who to like or not is beyond me. By the time I reached high school, I was starting to develop the humped back.

Well, that was my backstory, no pun intended. High school started and soon, boys from my batch would sing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) theme song whenever I passed by. But I never hid or ran away; I just passed by poker-faced. I knew they’d get tired of it one day. Thankfully, the bullying didn’t go further than that. But of course, I resented what they did; I had feelings, too. Some years ago, an old teacher reminded me of the time I had the guts to tell him to tell those boys, whom he was friends with, to get off my back (again, no pun intended).

The funny thing was, to be honest, I resented them because I thought they were referring to the “mutant” part, which, for me, translated to “uber-ugly girl”.  It was months after that I realized they didn’t exactly mean it that way. They meant something else. Surprisingly, that lifted my self-esteem a bit. I was glad they were referring to something else that I could do something about.

So, I did do something about it. I started trying to fix my Quasimodo posture. If you think it was easy, it wasn’t.

It took a lot of effort and self-awareness to prevent the slumping whenever I walked. I could actually feel the physical pressure every time I tried to keep my back straight. If you were near me enough, you’d probably hear me groaning a bit. It worked, though. I may not walk straight as a model, but I got my intended result. I didn’t know the reason for the humped back until Home Economics in the fourth year: a book explained that slumping was a sign of insecurity. I thought, Well, that figures.

The teasing stopped. A boy in senior year attempted to revive it by singing the TMNT song as I walked nearer. It was the classic case of someone bullying somebody else to compensate for his own low self-esteem. Instead of feeling hurt or getting mad, I was amused and tempted to say, “What, you’re still not over that?“ He never tried again.

 

My whole high school life was like everyone else’s. I had to struggle with different issues (body changes, grades, crushes, friendships, lack of confidence). However, if there’s one thing that made me different, it was this early experience.  It hurt emotionally and physically, but that was part of what made me, me.

I don’t resent those boys anymore. I forgave them a long time ago. I’m thankful they somehow taught me to stand up straight. Take it figuratively, take it literally, it’s up to you. Besides, I kind of liked the ninja turtles 😊

 

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Usually, I don’t follow the Philippine time when I post stuff. But I wanted this posted already before I forget or lose interest again. While it’s still Sunday in most readers’ part of the world, it’s already Monday here, so this counts as a #MondayMemoirs post.

I’ve already mentioned about my turtle “background” before, but this is a bit more revealing and personal. I wrote about it because our high school reunion is coming and I’ve been asked to write my HS experience for our unique souvenir programme. I was able to submit three write-ups (Rattling Cages and two trivia pieces). Unfortunately, this one did not meet the deadline. I was supposed to share this after the reunion, but since it’s not going to be part of the programme anyway, I went ahead and shared it. (By the way, my school was the U.P. Rural High School, ergo, the use of the “Rural” word.)

I do have a DISCLAIMER: I don’t, in anyway, hate my old school. This is not to speak ill of it. I shared this because (1) my growth was important to me, and (2) to show that things like this happen anywhere. Ultimately, it is up to us to choose which life lessons we’re going to keep and how we will use them to our advantage.

Any comments or thoughts? I won’t mind. Let me know below! Or maybe share your own experiences? 😉

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Science, Space, Elementary, my dear Lizzie #WhatsupWednesday

These last few months, I’ve been doing lots of watching, particularly, but not exclusively, on Netflix. Seen just a few flicks, followed/following a few series–old, new, and new-to-me. The thing is, they don’t have a lot of other stuff I want to see, so I actually checked out iFlix last night and saw several of those other stuff. Maybe I’ll keep both accounts, considering that the latter is so much cheaper, actually. I’ll be trying out their month-long free trial.

Anyway, I am sharing my quick reviews again. Read on, friends, but check out the guide below. 

RATING GUIDE:

  • Excellent – No doubt that I super love this and would love to continue watching!
  • Good – Very interesting that I wouldn’t want to miss an episode
  • Promising – Interesting that it can keep me glued to my seat and ask for more, but there’s still a chance my interest in it may wane
  • Fair – Entertaining enough to watch to pass the time
  • Undecided – Not consistently interesting that my feelings for it seesaws from almost-LIKE to meh.
  • Bad – NOT recommended WHATSOEVER, for valid reasons

PREVIOUS REVIEWS

Okay, first we discuss some shows mentioned in the last review post. Oh, and another fair warning…

SPOILERS ALERT!!!

IF you have not seen a show mentioned here, feel free to ignore this post if it suits you. Better if you’ll just skip parts instead to avoid the “spoilage”, so to speak…Here goes…

Game of Thrones (GoT)

I finally got to continue with Game of Thrones. So far, I’m done with Season 3. GoT is one big and compelling web of interwoven stories. It is very interesting, if not sometimes gruesome and scandalously unapologetic about the sex, the nudity, and the annoying habit of killing off beloved characters just when the audiences are warming up to them.

Nothing prepared me for the betrayal and murder of Robb Stark! I mean, I knew he would die sometime, but it was all so sudden, quick and a really undeserved and meaningless death of a strong character. I also did not expect Lady Catelyn Stark‘s death–I had thought she’d outlive Robb and, at least, get to see her smaller kids first–so cruel!

Characters I love and would love to see till the end:

  1. Arya Stark- smart, brave and loyal (so far? we’ll see), and she kicks butts…It would be terrible if the character gets killed off.
  2. Tyrion Lannister I give him the Best Lannister award! His past before the war aside, he’s proven to be intelligent and rather kind-hearted.
  3. Daenerys Stormborn easily almost everyone’s favorite. While the Lannisters, Starks, and Baratheons were battling it out and busy tricking one another, she successful gathered thousands of armies to her side. My fearless forecast is she stays until the end.

More comments:

  • I know when sex/nudity is a work of art, and I know when it’s just meant to lure the audience. So save me the for-the-sake-of-art BS. And with the whole Weinstein controversy going on, it’s hard not to be concerned about the actors in such shows, whether they are big stars, bit players or extras.
  • Finally, the fantasy factor! The dragons are bigger, there were white walker sightings, and Melisandre is one intriguing magical character.
  • I’m not spared from spoilers even if I try to avoid them, so I do know about Jon Snow and Daenerys being related (don’t know how yet) and I have this to say: When has incest become accepted as cool??? GoT crossed the line. Nevermind if they end up not related after all. The point is, they think they are, yet they do it, anyway. Protagonists need not be saints, but they don’t have to be that morally questionable either.

RATING: GOOD (It would’ve been EXCELLENT, but I can never truly love a show that troubles me a lot. Still, I’m watching it. Hopefully, it doesn’t completely turn me off.)

Once Upon a Time (OUAT)

It’s been a slow progress that I have only finished the first season of Once Upon a Time. I haven’t even started with any episode from season 2 mainly because I’m busy with GoT and another series. Also, I want to watch most of it with the kids during weekends when I’m not busy.

Thankfully, the storylines were building up, keeping me interested, so I expect to be more entertained by the next season, at least. I do wish that Emma Swan did not finally learn the truth. I feel like the show could have delayed the revelation longer, maybe kept it until the first few season 2 episodes, at least. Maybe the producers were not sure whether they should continue it so they made a sort of open-ended ending, but it would still be an ending of sorts.

I am somehow glad that the antagonists aren’t really such bad people. I do want a better background story for Maleficent in the next seasons. Meanwhile, I have a pretty good idea who the Queen of Hearts actually is.

RATING: GOOD (It’s something the kids and I bond over. Now the youngest wants a Pinocchio costume for Reading Week.)

Dexter

Dexter has ended and, to be honest, it kind of left a hole in my heart. I DIDN’T like the series finale at all! Practically everything was wrong! Practically the whole final season was wrong! As it has ended and I have a lot to say about it, this deserves a whole write-up, so whatever I need to say, I’ll save it.

RATING: Went up to EXCELLENT (I am tempted to change it to GOOD because the ending was AWFUL.)

iZombie

The last time, I said I was willing to try iZombie until its third season. That was before I found out it has only two seasons so far. I also said it needed more oomph. Fortunately, the zombie show did step up the game especially in the season finale. I can’t wait till I get to see the next episodes! It’s light, entertaining, I’m not scared to show it to kids (with my supervision, of course). Needless to say, the rating went up as well. No complaints for now. Long live the zombie!

RATING: Brain-licking GOOD (Also another bonding-worthy series to watch with kids–of course, I make sure to spare them from the very few a-bit-too-steamy-for-kids scenes.)

YouTube channels

As I have mentioned in my previous post, my enthusiasm for watching YouTube channels has started to wane. So what I’m doing is I just take my time.

NEW REVIEWS

Elementary

I am always into mysteries, so I decided I’d try this series out, after all, it’s about the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in the 21st century. It didn’t disappoint, coming on strong in the first seasons, though I have to say it’s getting a bit less interesting as time goes by. I hope it picks up again.

My comments:

  • Sherlock is incredibly good at what he does. He has great deductive reasoning skills and a big wealth of information in his head. I like hearing bits of trivia when he talks. It does seem too impossible already at times the way he knows almost everything.
  • First woman Watson! And it’s Lucy Liu playing Joan Watson at that. I had to choose which to view first between Elementary and the other series, Sherlock–Lucy won my vote for the show, hands down. She’s natural as Watson, there isn’t time to wonder why Watson is Asian and not a man. It is not really relevant, anyway.
  • First woman Moriarty! That was brilliant as well. I also didn’t realize Moriarty was/is a woman and that she’s both Sherlock’s biggest nemesis and the love of his life. I suspected she was involved somewhat with Moriarty’s group, but not like that.
  • There doesn’t seem to be a possibility for a Holmes-Watson romantic angle. That’s refreshing. Also understandable as that would be too much veering away from the original fictional characters they’re based on.
  • It’s good that they tackled the addiction issue, which is a great flaw on Sherlock’s character. However, I’m in season 4 now and it still plays a big part in his storyline. It’s kind of getting old, to be honest. The writers should lay off it for a while. Sherlock using again at last season’s finale was just very disappointing, rather unnecessary and, really, just a betrayal of the audience that have come to accept him.

RATING: EXCELLENT

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles

Apparently, this series was based on the TV movie Lizzie Borden Took an Axwhich was based on actual cases of murder supposedly committed by the real Lizzie Andrew Borden. I haven’t seen the movie, but the series took from where the movie left off. Christina Ricci did so well as Lizzie that the network/producers decided to create The Lizzie Borden Chronicles (let’s call this LBC).

I must say that Christina sure showed how much she’s mastered the art of portraying dark and sinister characters (well, she’s had years of practice). She slayed it, pun intended. Character-wise, I never liked Lizzie. She’s evil and the only person she cared about, in a way, was her sister, mainly because she had a need for the sister. I told myself I would just watch the first season because Lizzie was not a main character anyone could root for. Surprisingly, I didn’t have to as the show was only meant to be for one season…Whew!

More comments:

  • The actual Lizzie was said to have only killed two. Supposedly, as she was acquitted of the crime. LBC took a lot of liberties with their story and took a lot of the lives (some names were actual people back then) than necessary. Now, while things are often open to artistic interpretation, I believe that making Lizzie seem like some kind of sociopath/psychopath was going overboard. Maybe the real Lizzie was a killer, but it didn’t mean she killed many others. If you ask me, it’s a case of character assassination. If they wanted to drastically change things, they could’ve just created a whole new story that would not have Lizzie in it.
  • It is not clear if the Lizzie here was a sociopath or psychopath. Yes, there’s a difference, look it up. She’s cold-hearted and calculating, but she didn’t have a psychopath’s M.O. She just killed those who either stood in her way or those she could use to her advantage. Everybody knew she was some kind of bad; she never really pretended to be normal and likable, which is characteristic of a psychopath.
  • I am not sure whether to love or hate the modern approach the show took in terms of background music. It really seemed out of place. We’re not watching steampunk, after all.

RATING: FAIR

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (a.k.a. CSI: Las Vegas)

I was so glad to have the chance to finish the whole CSI show. It’s one of my fave shows ever. My only problem was Netflix’s offer started with season 13 when I have never seen season 12! So while I expected Dr. Ray Langston leaving (after all, I already knew somebody was going to be the next lead actor), I wanted to experience that “closure”. Plus, I suddenly found some old faces missing and found new faces whose backgrounds I didn’t have an iota of an idea of.

Anyway, I am both sad and happy about the show. I am sad it’s ended, but I’m happy it ended well. After Warrick Brown‘s death in…whatever season that was, no main character died anymore, as far as I know, so yay! They brought the main characters back in the last episodes and gave everyone a happy finale.

I love that they brought Gil Grissom and Catherine Willows back for it, especially for Grissom and Sara Sidle to mend things and sail off to sea together. Nick Stokes finally got the promotion he’d been hankering for. I was confused whether the show was considering a David Hodges-Morgan Brody-Greg Sanders love triangle thing or not, although, in the end, it seemed to be Greg for the win.

No complaints here, except I won’t be able to see the show anymore. However, I am currently trying to see where I might be able to view CSI: Cyber. It’s been canceled, I’ve read, but I’m very much interested to see if I would like it or not.

RATING: EXCELLENT (My interest never wavered!!! I don’t know why I even delayed watching it before.)

Star Trek: Discovery

Yes! About time that I watch me some Star Trek again! It’s very new so I have decided to try and follow on a weekly basis. Certainly, it hasn’t disappointed me yet after four episodes. Great effects! And they definitely upped the ante on the creepy factors (twisted corpses in spaceships, anyone?) Plotlines aren’t bad at all either.

Love that after kicking zombie butts in Walking Dead as Sasha, Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham is now kicking Klingon butts (no offense to Worf as I loved him). She’s brought the tough persona with her, minus the too-much angst, yet still kind of brooding with the tendency to be anti-social. She’s perfect for the role! It’s nice that this show now gives more power to more women (I do want Deanna Troi here somehow, which is probably impossible, given the time setting). Now, for my fearless forecast: Michael will sooner or later replace Capt. Gabriel Lorca as captain, mark my words.

More comments:

  • Why did Michelle Yeoh have to die so soon? She could have given more to the show. And why the H did the show not give Capt. Philippa Georgiou a proper and dignified burial rather than have the Klingons eat her??!!!
  • The Klingons. Their look. No. I prefer the Worf-look. These Klingons do not look like Klingons. Just sayin’.
  • Some have taken issue with it, but I don’t mind the Michael name. Women are now named Joey, Jesse, Alex…so what’s wrong with Michael? My only qualm is, really, “Michael Burnham” doesn’t sound anything near special. And one funny thing: “Georgiou Michael”…Coincidence, for sure.

That’s what I can say about it for now. It’s cool that they have After Trek right after every episode. I watch that as well.

RATING: EXCELLENT

I actually watched the first episode of the series version of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Just one. Suffice it to say, I was not that impressed yet. I’m avoiding it for now, but I promise to go back to it sometime. Also began watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Everyone knows the show and the things that happened, so I will spare you and me by not doing a review of it anymore. My plan is to catch up on shows and/or their episodes that I missed.

Well, I’ve shared my thoughts. Yours?

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Love is…

It’s about time for me to do this. Many months ago, C. E. Robinson (thanks, C.E.!!!) over at Before Sundown nominated me for…

The Spread the Love Challenge (Award)

The first and main instruction was/is to “Write ten four-word sentences about what love means to me.” Honestly, I thought it would be easy, but believe me, I tried and tried to come up with my ten items, but I could never finish the list until I stopped. I mean, it’s so easy to just come up with one, but would it really reflect how I felt/feel? Sometimes, I take things very seriously, even something like this. After all, I want this blog to be a reflection of my journey.

The matter remained unresolved, then one day, maybe sometime in June or July, I was suddenly inspired. Not having pen and paper at the time, I typed them down on my phone and saved my list as a draft. The list had been there since. Well, until now.

I decided to post this. So much has been going on in this world that has been letting me down lately that I thought I’d like to brighten up the day a li’l bit. Here goes…

  1. “Write ten four-word sentences about what love means to me.”

LOVE…

…comes from God

…must be half-blind

…is sincerely kind

…binds the family

…strengthens a country

…should beget peace

…is never selfish

…fights for freedom

…signifies true humanity

…is noble sacrifice

2. “Share your favorite quote/poem on love.”

There are so many quotes about love that I have seen/read in my life. I don’t particularly have a favorite. If it resonates with me, then I’m good. However, I think this famous quote from the most famous book sums it all up:

3. “Nominate a few bloggers for the same.”

I nominate everyone who gets to read this. It’s your call if you’d like to accept it. As I said, “Love fights for freedom.” The decision is all yours, not mine 🙂

 

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What is love to you, though? Give us an idea and comment down below. Let’s talk about it. Maybe we can learn a thing or two from you still 😉

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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 happily 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 bookmark, one sticker, the event catalog, and the giveaway. The rest are business cards.

No automatic alt text available.

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 papers 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 Lang

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 artworks 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 love 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 sign 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 on 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 with 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.

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Wishes and Songs Part 1 #TuesdayTunes

Welcome back to #TuesdayTunes! Woo-hoo!!! Been a long while since the last one, methinks. For today, I am sharing a very good set of songs and singers. While on hiatus from The Walking Dead vids, I discovered many reaction videos that are particularly about performances done while on the Wish bus. Yep, that’s right, the wish bus! And I’ve become obsessed!

What am I talking about? I’ve heard about this bus before, but it is only now that I’m discovering these videos. It’s really rather simple. There’s this bus that on given days, goes around the metro or parks in one place. What’s so special? This bus serves as the station for Wish 107.5 FM where various singing artists perform live, for real, in real time, like a mini-concert, and everyone around the bus can hear them! Guess what? Too many of their vids have gone really viral, like full-blown viral.

Can I just say “Really nice concept, Wish peeps”?

Of course, it features local artists, although I won’t discount the possibility that should foreign acts visit here, maybe some wouldn’t be too unavailable for such a thing. (UPDATE: They have been featuring foreign artists.)

Alright, guys, though these are all local artists, I encourage you to at least check them all out. I’ve put together a great collection of awesome performances with different flavors. A lot of them have more than one great performance, but I chose either my faves or what YouTube viewers and reactors loved most. You’re free to click stop and move on to the next ones, but before you do, please give each performance a chance first. You’re bound to be surprised.

BTW, this is the first of a two-parter and I promise to explain more about Filipino music next time (and links to be added while you read/watch, sorry…)

ENJOY!!!

Let’s start with the youngest — 14-year-old Darren Espanto with Chandelier, so yeah, you know what you’re in for. His I Believe rendition won for him the Best Wishclusive Performance by a Young Artist award in the recent Wish Awards, but the first is somehow his staple song (my opinion), so I’m sharing that one. If you don’t like this style, at least lend him an ear. He’s a Filipino who grew up in Canada and was already doing front acts in concerts before he joined The Voice Philippines – Kids Edition and won second place (he should have been first, but I’ll keep my mouth shut).

Alright, has he got your heart pounding? Let’s slow things down a bit with Bugoy Drilon, a former canteen janitor. A lot of our artists nowadays are products of singing competitions on TV. This guy won second place in the second season of Pinoy Dream Academy (PDA). Why second-placers often make it bigger than the first-placers, I have no idea. Anyway, he’s supposed to be a balladeer (he’s got a few hits), but when he joined the We Love OPM contest last year, I think that’s when they discovered his other hidden talent in singing. He showcases that here.

Nice, eh?

How about a little surprise? Nah, I’m kidding…It’s a BIG surprise! Just let Marcelito Pomoy show you the surprise 😉

Marcelito won in the 2011 Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT) contest. I think it’s not hard to guess why. Like many of our artists, he was also dirt-poor with a colorful background before finding fame.

Now we go to a real girl. By now, you can guess she was part of a singing competition also, he he. Well, not my intention. It just happens these vids feature them. Anyway, this is Morissette Amon, or simply Morissette, and if you check this vid out, you’ll understand why she won most of the awards in the Wish Awards.

We have her here singing solo a song originally sang by a group and, my goodness, she’s awesome! I mean I knew that when I saw her in The Voice Philippines (TVoP) in 2013, in fact, I was rooting for her, but she didn’t make it all the way to the top. So when I saw this the other day, can I just say I fell for her? And she looks so pretty here, too. Anyway, listen and find out why many YouTube reactors from around the world found her awesome, too…

Squeezed in BONUS –> Here’s a “duet” from the Wish Awards:

Up next is Klarisse De Guzman (sadly, I can’t find a good enough bio of hers for now) singing a classic with a lot of class. Her vids didn’t get that many hits/votes, but I think she earned a place here. She won second-place in the same TVoP season where Morissette was in and they had the same coach.

Alright, enough of the high-note divas and divos! We have here another artist, a diva in her own right. Oh, she’s very special! She won first place in The X Factor Philippines in 2012 (Note: Filipinos really love music! Singers tend to win this contest when it’s supposed to be for every kind of talent…Well, singers and dancers, actually, ’cause we love to dance, too!).

This is Soul Supreme KZ Tandingan.

Anyway, I decided to post two vids here of her ’cause I couldn’t help it. I don’t know which one’s better! There’s a third with her, R’n’B Princess Kyla and songwriter Pop Rock Princess Yeng Constantino (she won first place in the first of the only two seasons of PDA).

Kyla’s the one with the sweet voice and she rapped, too, to my surprise. Yeng is more into alternative, so don’t expect her to go all-diva like the others. She writes wonderful songs, one of which is my favorite that I have shared here before called Hawak-Kamay. They sang another song but it’s been taken down. I’ll be sharing it in Part 2 of this post.

And now, last in this first list and definitely not the least, is music icon Gary Valenciano. Some foreigners will most probably get bored with his style because it is the Filipino style of writing and singing sentimental songs. But he actually sings dance songs also and is not called Mr. Pure Energy for nothing. A lot of us grew up listening to and idolizing him. With this vid, however, you won’t get bored AT ALL, as some reactors found out later and what made them apologize for some negative comments on his other videos that they first saw.

Oh, you will love this, I promise!

 

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Did you enjoy these? You did?!!! Good, ’cause I’ve got more next time.Which did you enjoy most, though? Who did you like best?

Stay tuned for next time!!!

Featured

My Happy List

As promised, I am listing my Not-Really-Bucket List. Will add more pics and links soon. Remember, crossed out and in red means done. Here we go…

MY HAPPY LIST

1. Smile at people all day and see what happens.

I was 13. Heard a smile could make others smile, too, so I experimented with trying to spread joy. It was going well until a lady looked at me like I was crazy…

2. Do something really amazing and meaningful

3. Ride the roller-coaster

4. Try a scary sport or adventure

5. Learn to swim

6. Learn a third language fluently

I’m partial to Spanish, which won’t be so hard to learn given our country’s history, plus I can find people to converse with. Just partial, not sure. We’ll see…

7. Learn Baybayin

baybayin-example

This is just to show my handwriting. Baybayin/alibata should be written vertically actually

Baybayin is the ancient script of our ancestors. Why it’s more commonly called as alibata is a bit of an issue, but that’s become the better-known, more commonly used term. We forgot about it while under the rule of Spain. We just began re-learning it in the recent decades, but people have just really started appreciating it this past decade (sadly, mainly because they think its characters look cool when used in visual arts).

I don’t claim to be an expert in it as I’m not that quick yet in reading words in baybayin/alibata. I do claim to be a baybayin/alibata advocate, though. I think we should start really including it in the curriculum instead of simply teaching it under the Filipino subject in passing. Anyway, I tend to follow the Spanish-influenced baybayin/alibata because the use of the cross makes reading words easier, for me, at least.

Related post: How to Spell the Ancient Filipino Way

8. Learn a martial art

learn-muay-thai

Learned the martial art Muay Thai. Forgive the sort of leggings here. MT shorts are too short for better movement and I couldn’t find my cycling shorts that time

 

9. Learn to paint on canvass

10. Travel around the Philippines

11. Visit Disneyland with my family

Japan, Hong Kong or the US, whichever opportunity presents itself

12. Travel around Europe

13. Visit New Zealand

14. Visit The Louvre Museum

15. Experience the West End

16. Experience Broadway

17. See ‘WICKED The Musical’ live

18. See ‘CATS The Musical’ live

musical playbills

I was lucky to have watched both CATS and WICKED (and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) with the help of my dearest mother and of one of my friends…Thank you!!!!

19. See ‘Les Miserables’ live

20. See ‘Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ (JATD) live

21. Act in a real stage play/musical (school skits do not count)

That almost came true. I was to be 1/3 of The Narrator in JATD. There’s only 1 Narrator but the Director wanted three for various reasons I won’t enumerate…*sigh* I’m not giving up yet, though. Who knows?

22. Go to the Netherlands, watch Veerle Casteleyn perform live onstage, get her autograph, and have a twofie with her

23. Watch a Lea Salonga stage musical, get her autograph, and have a twofie with her

How I got the twofie deserves another post. I was not able to get Lea‘s autograph, but this is okay already, right? The main purpose was to meet and talk to her face to face 🙂 Meanwhile, I have seen her perform live onstage in some of her musicals.

lea-salonga-twofie

Miss Lea and I. Standing beside her only emphasized my plainness, but who cared???

IMG_20160605_141829

I never heard about BABY The Musical till then, but I loved it!

The very-first Lea musical that I actually saw live was MISS SAIGON, but we were seated so far away and I was not able to buy a playbill *sniff*...See this faded ticket

The very-first Lea musical that I actually saw live was MISS SAIGON, but we were seated so far away and I was not able to buy a playbill *sniff*…See this faded ticket

24. Attend a live music concert that I paid for

lea-salonga-concert

This concert, I enjoyed. Isn’t it obvious who I’m a fan of???

Back in college, I was able to attend three live concerts, all for free. One was because I interviewed a band for the school paper. The other two were care of the college radio station I worked for. I wasn’t even really a fan yet of all three. I watched because I got in for free. So I decided I wanted to be able to attend a concert I was really interested in and I would pay for my ticket. I did. Watched Mariah Carey’s live Manila concert. It wasn’t so nice an experience, actually.

25. Sing solo on stage in front of everyone

I’ve got stage fright. Easier to conquer if with others, not so alone. I wasn’t even too crazy about the idea, but one of my best friends asked me to sing a song at her wedding. I thought better that than be a bridesmaid. Also, I wanted to be able to say I did that even just once in my life. Turned out I’d do it several times, but not without me trembling inside everytime. At an office Christmas party, I actually messed everything up! Yikes! Epic fail! *hides* (No pics to show)

26. Win an award or medal

They’re not like some big awards or anything, but I guess I earned them. I did not know how I could get any, but I ended up getting some anyway. *Speech alert!* “I would like to thank the school paper and the radio station for those awards….” If they’d be interested to know, yes, I still have those certificates.

I did win with my village friends (twice, I think) when we played volleyball in the local summer league when I was a teener. Then when I was already working, I also won second place (or was it third?) with the School Administration Team (playing volleyball also) when the tertiary school we worked for let us join the Intramurals.

I played for the Administration team during the Intramurals back when I worked for a tertiary school. I’m third from right here. At my left (facing camera) is/was the Girl with the Smiley Heart

27. Choreograph a dance number

Did that thrice in college for three different groups on different occasions. Won for me a Star of the Night Award, too, among other things 😉

28. Learn to play a musical instrument

I think these count even though it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how they work

jaw-harp

The kubing (jaw harp)

bamboo-buzzer

The bungkaka (bamboo buzzer)

29. Be in a respectable indie film playing a bit role

30. Start a good family business

31. Build a reading and hobby room

32. Buy a vehicle for the family

33. Live in a beautiful house where it’s peaceful with our family

34. Enjoy our future grandkids

35. Get a master’s degree

36. Become a teacher

home-made-tests

These are just some of the tests I gave the little boy

I somehow have some illusions of becoming a teacher. My kids are here, though, so I think I can cross this out. I’m a proud teacher, too — our incoming first-grader actually passed his exam with flying colors! Someday, I might teach students in a real school environment, maybe about writing…

37. Become a radio DJ

I always wanted to be one. Then when I was 13, one of my friends became one of what were called as Junior DJs and I would tune in to the city’s local station so I could listen to her and several other kids. Not without envy even though I knew that envy wasn’t good. The opportunity to become an actual DJ knocked when I was in college so I did not let it pass. I was even surprised I had the guts to try. It paid off, fortunately.

dzlb-memorabilia

These were taken just a few years ago, just to show my radio colleagues I kept souvenirs all these years

38. Become a writer

I wasn’t planning on making this my career because of the starving artist “syndrome”, but I am here because I think I sought this fate anyway. Fate is still part-effort.

39. Finish my novel

40. Write/create a comic book

41. Fall in love

My real name’s hyphenated now, so, yeah 🙂

42. Tell someone my innermost secret and hope not to be or feel judged

43. Give birth to a live, healthy baby…

God has yet to grant this wish. We are not giving up yet so we hope he lets us have the baby the next time. We’ll try to be ready.

44. See both/all our kids graduate from college

45. Build a home for the aged whose own families have abandoned them

46. Buy a land and build a large animal shelter, for abused/neglected/abandoned animals

47. Grant scholarships anonymously

48. Build my Dream Museum

49. Attain peace of mind

50. Die happy

51. Do my best jump for a jump shot

This is My Happy List Item #51. What about it? CLICK HERE.

eversun-makati

With the permission of all the peeps here, I shared this to JUMP FOR JOY! Photo Project‘s Eyoälha Baker and she posted it on her project’s Facebook page

52. Finally watch Patti Austin in concert, live

Okay, that’s My Happy List. I’ll add more to it if I think of more. Care to share your own happy list, though? Feel free to do so and put the link in the comments! 🙂

Featured

Komikon for Dummies

komikon-official-event-cover-photo Last Saturday, August 2, was 2014’s Indieket Day or the Independent Komiks Market event of the local Komikon, the Philippines’ own comics convention. Indieket is the second of three bigger Komikon events held annually, the other two being the Summer Komikon (keyword: summer) and the regular one usually held November or December (my friend Sherwin The Kraken tries to call it the Winter Komikon, nevermind that we have no winter). Other often smaller but equally special conventions happen in provinces once in a while, too, like in Cebu, Baguio and, recently, Iloilo.

I’ve been attending these three Komikons a few years now and *BIG SIGH* last Saturday, I was absent. For the first time since I began patronizing the once-again blooming comics industry, I missed an event. *MORE SIGHS* For more personal reasons that can actually be elaborated some other time, I stayed home instead and got busy.

Well, comics-related events have been around for quite a while before I discovered one, but I do believe I can say that I am now credible enough to share what I know. So since I have not been sharing my experiences in the more recent events, I thought I’d come up with this post. If you’re a Komikon dummy like I was, read on. This can help you on your first–or your next–Komikon experience.

The Dos-and-Don’ts Guide for Komikon Dummies

To the uninitiated, lemme explain. The occasion is for comics artists to showcase their works and for enthusiasts to take advantage of this. Rarely do you encounter dozens of artists and creators crammed in one place, so good for you. Here, you will find both newbie creators and more seasoned ones — take your pick. Okay, let’s start…

The Bayanihan Center facade. Credits belong to Ateneo.edu

1. KNOW the venue. Sounds duh, but it’s great advice coming from experience. Around two years ago, my officemates and I were to attend a Gaming, Toys, Manga/Anime and Cosplay Convention or GTMACCON (this is not Komikon, but just to drive a point…). We were a big enough bunch who came from Makati and went somewhere in UP Diliman to attend. We waited on university grounds until it was way beyond schedule and it seemed the place wasn’t even going to open. Finally, I texted comics guy Andoyman, asking where the exact venue was as someone got stuck with the wrong info that got disseminated to us.

Lo and behold! We were not even close! To add insult to injury, the venue was just in Makati, WHERE WE CAME FROM…Wow, mali (wrong). GTMACCON: Go To MAling Comics CONvention. The usual venue for the Komikon, by the way, is the Bayanihan Center located at the Unilab Compound in Pasig. 

2. Come early. It’s not like you’re going to be thrown out of the event or anything if you come in the afternoon. But it has been observed that the Summer Komikon and the “Winter” one tend to draw a big crowd. You’ll want to be one of the first to see the various merchandise, talk to the artists and ask for autographs and/or photographs. If you’re lucky, some artists give away their own simple freebies like little snacks, stickers, etcetera, as a form of appreciation. Better be there before supplies end.

It’s one, big geeky event, can’t you tell? This is the main hall where Komikon is always held, but you can imagine how it must have looked like at the entrance.

The organizers do give away freebies also right at the event entrance (not the building entrance, but where you are allowed entry after paying P100 for your ticket). Don’t expect too much, though. This is not Oprah or Ellen. Sometimes, sponsors put up booths/tables like 711 that once gave away free Slurpee and commemorative Lord of the Rings tumblers.

indieket-2013-catalog

There’s Tico Limosinero’s boy robot Neox together with Elbert Or‘s Chuck the Bakemono High werecub (extreme right), Ikos Komiks’ Ronzkie Pacho-Vidal‘s Asul from her work Sulsi at 6 o’clock and Michael David’s own ‘kikiam’ renditions of Chuck and Asul

Oh, and at times, they give away catalogs with lots of free space on them where you can ask artists to draw something for you for free (do buy something first, please!). You can do that throughout the day, but being early means you’ll have more time to approach more artists for it, plus they won’t be too tired already to draw anything. 

3. Don’t be a snob. If you look down on local comics based on them being, well, local, this is not the event for you. Either you beat it, pal, or give local comics a chance. There are ways, though, to get your fix of foreign ones by visiting booths of edition sellers like Comic Odyssey that has somehow become a sort of fixture, so to speak, in Komikon events because I see them there every time.

Meanwhile, we know you most probably know the creators of Kiko Machine, Pugad Baboy, Kubori Kikiam and the likes. These guys get the longest lines of people wanting to buy their products for some great photo-ops and autograph-signing with their idols. BUT the Komikon is mainly one giant showcase of newer talents. It won’t hurt to get to know them and their works. It’s actually fun to be “there” when a comic book is just starting and to gradually see it grow, so to speak.

By the way, while the Indieket gives much more chance for new creators by giving them the spotlight, on other Komikons, they are provided a separate area called the Indie Tiangge. It’s a sort of rite of passage before they are finally allowed to make it big…Er, well, before they are allowed to take space in the main activity area, that is. Some not-so-new ones are there as well simply because they are new participants of the event.  There are various factors considered but I’m not an authority on that, ergo, I leave it to you to interview anyone there. Make sure, though, to pay the Tiangge a visit. Not because they’re there, they are not worth a look. That’s not how it works. You’ll never know what treasure lies undiscovered in that room.

espiritista-comics

I encountered the Espiritista, its first-ever of the series by Niño Balita, at the Summer Komikon 2013 Indie Tiangge and I have been happily following his creation…Congrats to him and the Mrs. Espiritista–I mean–Mrs. Irene Balita, by the way!!!  They just exchanged I-Dos a few months ago 🙂

drop-dead-dangerous

I also first found Drop Dead Dangerous at the Indie Tiangge and I have been hooked ever since. Story by Chad Cabrera, art by Mike Banting

4. Have ka-ching, will buy. Sure, no one will send you away for “window shopping”. But the point of being there is to purchase, at the least, one or two comics. You don’t have to have a lot of moolah, believe me, I know. It’s one big decision-making exercise. A limited budget can still buy you more or less a dozen titles. A lot of them are priced from as low as P30, even P20. That’s already a steal, considering it’s art and the labor of one’s love. Of course, for such a price, do not expect a thick, glossy, full-colored edition. Generally, you’ll get photocopied versions, or limitedly colored ones, at least. But if you’re any good at choosing your comics, you can get clear, respectable-looking ones. Inexpensive doesn’t necessarily have to mean cheap.

ang-sumpa-komiks

Andoyman’s Ang Sumpa is one of those inexpensive comics that do not disappoint visually. And, no, I am not just saying that because I know him nor does it have to do with me being somehow a part of it. Shameless plug, though: DO GET YOUR COPIES!!!

macoy-school-run

Finally got to buy from the artist who likes to be simply called Macoy my own copies of School Run! He’s got various titles for you to choose from and the prices do vary based on thickness. The illustrations are fun and I like his storytelling

ikos-komiks

The Ikos Komiks table is one stop I never forget to do. They are a group of three artists with different styles in drawing and storytelling. In this pic are the aforementioned Ronzkie Pacho-Vidal (left) and Anino Karimlan (right). In-between is (the missing) Ray Vidal‘s Lola Lourdes whose stories and poems I get to read every time as they give away copies of her own brand of art — Thanks po for the autograph!!!

freely-abrigo-kulas

This one from Freely Abrigo, his Kulas, could be bought at just P30 with a fully-colored, little glossy cover

Also, I have stumbled upon inexpensive comics that have much better stories and illustrations than some pricier, glossier ones. It’s not just about getting your money’s worth when obviously, you can get much more satisfaction with still the least possible expense. If you do have more money to spare, then by all means, go for more gold! Maybe you’d like to purchase other comics-inspired merchandise, too, such as posters, stickers, plushies, beanie hats, keychains…You can even have works commissioned.

5.  Choose wisely. It’s another decision-making exercise. If you don’t know the artist/creator in front of you and can’t tell by just looking that you’d like to purchase, browse through a copy. If the premise does not interest you whatsoever, or the storytelling is bad, or the supposed humor is lacking, or the drawings either leave much to be desired or are totally horrendous (that totally happens), put the copy down and walk away.

FUM-manga

Sherwin The Kraken (the guy in middle) has really gotten to be a FUM fan so he never misses to visit their table. These are your FUM peeps, folks! He’s got all their comic mag editions, I think, not much encouraging needed

Try not to engage or be pulled to engage in a conversation with the artist unless you sincerely would really like to learn more about the comic book. Just saying, because that would be the more humane thing to do than to put his hopes up and have him waste time and energy trying to convince you when you’re not even buying.

On a more positive note, it’s a win-win situation, whether you buy or not. If you don’t, you don’t end up with something you don’t want. If you do, at least you’ve helped someone and maybe given him the inspiration to do better next time. 

6. Pay more attention. Enthusiasts are expected to walk around the area sizing up comics and getting to know the people behind the comics. By all means, do that. But you might also want to pay attention to the stage and what they announce over the microphone once in a while. Why? The organizers have prepared more stuff and surprises for you: Contests. Interviews with well-known international Pinoy artists like Whilce Portacio of X-Men fame. Featured guests, like those from the Macoy comics-based indie film ANG MASKOT. Even surprise wedding proposals!!! Also, talks and film showings are sometimes held in other rooms.

international-Filipino-artists

International Guests!!!

film-showings

Self-explanatory.

I also say pay attention because being a much-attended event, it has gotten the attention of bad elements as well and there have been unfortunate cases of loss of valuables. Take care of your things and, as signs always say, “Please do not leave your valuables unattended.” 

7. Don’t expect a food fair. Don’t go around complaining where the food stalls are–it’s not a food fair. There is a designated area for a limited bunch of food to buy, so find out where it is. There may be a hotdog-eating game happening onstage so if you’re also up to it, why not??? (hint: it normally happens pre-lunch period). Some participants actually give away little snacks so it pays to be early before they run out. Some do get to sell munchies at stalls outside the main Komikon area. However, if you really want fuller meals, just have your wrist stamped for re-entry later and get out of the venue. There are fast-food and regular restos around.

cupcakes-for-sale

Once in a while, there are little snacks you can get your hands on. For a price, though. But, boy, do they look yummy….(DISCLAIMER: I’m not endorsing anything)

8. Expect cosplayers. Encounters with comic characters in the flesh are quite possible so get your cameras ready. The Komikon is often attended by cosplayers who are either there for fun or are representing artists’ creations, like the famous Amber from Ambush and Dennis and his pal from Alphario: The World Connection. Do not expect many of them, though. It’s not a cosplay event after all.    

alphario-characters

Creator SPLGum as Dennis Blake (sitting) and friend Wilhansen Li as the character Senjo Tamura. Photo credits to SPLGum and whoever took this pic

9. Join contests. It can be as simple as the aforementioned eating contest, or raffles the organizers or artists themselves are holding, or a meet-and-greet with well-known international artists, or an actual video game at someone’s booth. Whatever the organizers and its participants’ clever minds can think of! My Komikon buddy Sherwin actually joined a create-your-character thing sponsored by Filbar’s. His and the other competitors’ works were simply amazing!

10. ENJOY!!! Totally self-explanatory, right? I just saved the best for last 🙂

Well, I hope I’ve given you ideas, you Komikon newbies. There could be lots more I have not covered, but I’ll let you discover those for yourselves. That’s part of enjoying the whole Komikon experience. Meanwhile, here are some more random but nice pics I haven’t shared before. Forgive the layout, I am editing it (there are still stuff that I don’t understand in WordPress…), and will add links soon.

planeswalker-cards

Very cool Planeswalker cards that were actually just giveaways. I got Ajani, Chandra, Jace, Liliana, and Tezzeret. You can’t really play them (like I’d even know how), but they’re nice souvenirs and the art is whoah!!! Digital art by Allen Geneta

elbert-or-manosaur

Cute Manosaur cartoon by Elbert Or on my catalog

alphario-character

Just had to post ’cause I really like this shot. Photo credits to SPLGum and whoever took this pic

pose-with-spot

Sherwin’s winning pose for Alphario’s Pose with Spot contest (well, I forgot the name of the contest, too, hee…)

pose-with-spot2

I won for the most number of Facebook Likes category mainly because I begged and forced people–I mean, I looked so convincing…uhm, yeah…

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles

I wasn’t EVER going to buy posters as my main goal was to buy comics, but when I saw this at Allen Geneta’s table, I knew I just HAD to have a copy. Recognize these ninjutsu-trained amphibians? Click HERE for a closer look

me-as-stitch

First time to wear one of those beanie hats at an event. My Komikon buddy was right, it was liberating, he he…That was the nearest to cosplaying in public that I could get, if that’s even cosplaying. But hey, notice my colors? 😉

plushies-for-sale

So…plushies…!!!!

crochet-jake-adventurer

So cuuuuteee!!!!

rodski-patotski

The new Gerry Alanguilan book…I honestly have not bought a copy yet and have not read any part of it. I hope it’s just as good as his Elmer and Wasted

sulsi-paper-dolls

The Sulsi main characters. Got my complete set already, woohoo!!!

me-pose-mb

“Yes, I’m shameless. So sue me.”

mb pose4               See you next Komikon…I PROMISE!!!!!

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Thanks so much just for dropping by and I hope you got even the tiniest bit of new info. For more Komikon-related posts, please go to COMICS TRIPS.

“I miss Perspective” (post-)#MondayMemoirs

One of the things that has kept me busy these days is collating all of my written articles that I can collect in one place. No, not here. I have made a new blog that will serve as my online portfolio. It has become necessary since I have been asked to share previous works done long before my current job. So I thought I’d create it.

So far, I have not really posted anything yet, but I have been busy creating the pages (which I can’t seem to make publicly visible for now, for some reason) and finding links. You see, many published articles are either missing now or not archived online. Thankfully, I have soft copies of many. What bothers and annoys me is the idea of retyping the many more articles that only have hard copies. I am trying as much as possible to find archived copies.

To make this story short, my search for possibly archived UPLB Perspective articles brought me to this old post that can be found in TonyoCruz.com. My fellow-Perspective writer Anthony Ian “Tonyo” Cruz (blogger/columnist/strategist) and his commenters — anonymous or otherwise, like political humor blogger The Professional Heckler — described a wonderful part of my college life back then. It was a time when the world was already getting much more modern and we were still stuck in early 19th century technology. Okay, exaggerated, but really, floppy discs, no laptops,…?

So I’m sharing 🙂 Just click on the image, guys.

missing-uplb-perspective

The blog post that made me reminisce my days as student journalist

 

*********************************************************

I just realized something…it wasn’t Monday yesterday! I forgot that we were on holiday last Monday! And here I was trying to post just minutes before it was supposed to turn Tuesday in other parts of the world.

Sorry about that. Mea culpa..Ha ha haaa!!!

Let Us All Rise! #WhatsupWednesday

Let today’s post be a celebration of the wonderful poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist Dr Maya Angelou. This is one my most favorite poems of all time (thanks, Google Doodle!). It reminds me of hope, courage, triumph over adversities, equality and the importance of self-acceptance. Maybe it’s timely, too, that I am reminded of it.

(NOTE: You might want to skip to 0:41)

Still I Rise

Happy 90th Birthday, Dr. Maya Angelou!

 

Woe is Me

So it’s Good Friday. Time to reflect on our lives, as is believed. And I’ve been doing that a lot, and I’m not particularly happy.

I’m not anywhere near the best person I want to be. Of course, I could try, but I don’t really need to hear any sugar-coating right now from anyone. I don’t want to hide the ugly — that would be like lying to myself. It’s not going to change anything for the better.

Let me just babble on. Because I don’t know what to talk about right now except to grumble. I have been so busy these past weeks, the stress has been enormous. It’s stress coming from everywhere! Really quite frustrating because I have much stuff I want to work on, like blog or do videos or have time to study and pass specific tests. Always, always, always, something comes up.

And then there are relationships that need mending and yet I wouldn’t really know how even if I could change the past. There are relationships that have been strained long before I was born. How can I change those when there is a lifetime of history of bad blood among kins? Generations of us. I have tried and things just blew up on my face. I tried to get close, I was betrayed. I tried to isolate myself. They still come back with intentions which sincerity I’m not really sure of. History keeps repeating itself.

Yes, limbo is real. We’re all living it.

I am living my biggest, very personal limbo. It comes in the form of a person I am supposed to understand but can’t, because the person just won’t listen and change what needs changing. This limbo has brought out the worst in me — the things I didn’t know I could be capable of — and it manifests quite noticeably through my words and actions. It’s a combination of anger, frustration and desperation —  not exactly a nice cocktail. I could give the “I’m just human” line as an excuse. But that’s exactly what I hate! I hate the human side of this! There may come a time that both of us won’t be able to forgive me.

Of all the great challenges I have encountered in my life, this seems to be the greatest. I have to admit I have no clue of what really needs to be done. What frustrates me is it is inherent in me to keep trying, so I do keep trying. It makes me mad that I can’t just quit! The thing is, maybe that’s what’s needed to be done. Maybe I need to just let go and accept I cannot defeat this…

Talk about doing reflections! Well, Easter Sunday is near. So maybe I’ll have a clearer head by then.

 

Versatile Blogger

Kumusta? I’m back for another post 🙂 Today, I have decided to hit two birds with one stone. I promise, no actual birds will be harmed in the making of this post 😉

In my non-Chinese New Year post, I mentioned that I was going to make a list on the next post (I didn’t, sorry). That’s the first bird then. The second bird is my proper acceptance of the VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD given by Tobe Damit of Loud Alien NoizeThanks, Tobe. Took me a while, though.

versatile-blogger-awardTo start, the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

“If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.”

Number 1, I’ve done a long time ago. Number 2, I just did above. Numbers 3 and 4, I’m skipping. I have decided long ago not to nominate for valid reasons. So let’s jump to Number 5. This is where the first bird flies in. I have decided to share 7 new things about myself. Let me do you one better: since it’s 2018, I’m sharing…

8 New Things About Me

Reading glasses

Well, you knew that already from a previous post. Since I’m covering 2017 to present time, thought I’d include that.

I did have a bit of a “scare” a few Sundays back. I went to buy groceries. I kept wearing it to check out product details (I’m that kind of shopper) then taking it off. Finally, I realized I lost it! My son and I had a frantic search. I told the grocers and a guard. The good news was some Good Samaritan took it to the customer service area where lost and found stuff could be retrieved. *Whew!*

Online reselling business!

I have been busy taking care of my footwear online reselling businesses. I handle two branches of LiliwTsinelas.com, the Liliw Tsinelas in Makati (@LTMakatiCity) and the Liliw Tsinelas in San Pablo, Laguna (@LTSanPabloCity) branches. Liliw is a town in Laguna and known as the province’s shoe capital. We are trying to reach out to more clients around the country.

Been busy learning the ropes, trying to find out how to find more customers. I only invest time and effort here, no money. So while it is not lucrative (for now, hopefully, things will get better in the coming year), I do believe it is a perfectly productive way to use my time and resources.

Netbook

What mine looks like..It’s so cute! Well, was *sniff*

If you’ve been my blogger-friend for years, you’d know I had been holding on to my old and defective Samsung N150 Plus netbook for practically 7 years. It was somewhat pitiful, I know.

I finally bought a new one, on credit, in April 2017. We were still using the old one but it finally somewhat died sometime in November, if memory serves me right. Not exactly sure if that’s over, but it seemed like it. It actually sounded like a machine suffering a heart attack when we tried to turn it on! I kid you not. Laptop in a coma.

Laptop accessories

The A4Tech PK-635G Flexible, Anti-glare Web Camera. Sorry, no pic to show headset

I waited till Christmas to buy a webcam and a headset. They weren’t the priority.

The new webcam is because my new laptop’s cam is not really good. I use the new one to take pics of things sometimes. Plus, I am hatching a kind of plan that will require the camera if it pushes through.

The headset is more for the purpose of using the mic rather than for listening. My old headset is already malfunctioning while my earphones don’t really have proper mics. I thought of this so that we can use it when Skype-ing with relatives and when a video/voice chat is required on days that I have to work at home.

WiFi connection at home

Just like with the stuff above, I delayed doing this. I finally decided I would do it because my pocket WiFi has become very unreliable. I couldn’t have that on days I’m supposed to work at home. The pocket Wifi connection only works well now from midnight till early morning. Imagine that!

New Puppy!

After Augie, we didn’t want a new dog for a while. We were thinking of the pros and cons. Even when an opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t get an already big dog. I felt it would be hard to keep it. But two Sundays ago, I saw Augie’s mom being tailed by his cute, li’l siblings. We decided to bring one home.

Our newest baby, PauPau!!!

We named him PauPau, after a character in one of the kids’ favorite local series. His breed? Aspin, short for Asong Pinoy or Filipino dog. It usually refers to a dog of mixed breed, often of an unknown origin. Although there can be distinct features in some, you can’t always pinpoint what breed or breeds they are.

Next, will find a kitten.

Digital Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor

I’m not proud of it, but it’s a must. I had to purchase a BP monitor because — *sigh* — I’ve finally been diagnosed with hypertension. Ugh! One of the family curses! Diabetes is one, too, but I am, so far, not diabetic. I’ve been warned nonetheless.

It’s cute and it comes in a cute box as well

I got an inexpensive monitor and it seems to be accurate enough. I’ve been testing it against a known brand of digital arm monitor. The results are always close and, I’m happy to inform, always normal 🙂 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Phone

I’ve got a new phone!!! So what, you say? I say you don’t know me enough,

Of course, I love technology, but I’m known to not spend a lot on them. A few years back, I did buy a not-so-expensive tablet for valid reasons. Unfortunately, it died more than a year ago (one of the reasons I finally decided on a new netbook I could use).

I am not big on buying the latest gadgets. Money, you know. When you’ve got your own family, you tend to not spend on extra things. I am always using the low-tech phones because, my point is, I only really need a phone just for calling and texting. In fact, this is the one I am still using:

This below is the new one (excuse my face!). Nope, I didn’t buy it. I won it in a raffle!

 

 There you go — 8 new Things About Me! Or rather, 8 New Things I Have. Well, a rose by any other name…

What about you guys? Anything new about you?

Thanks again, Tobe!!!

Busy is the Word #WhatsupWednesday

KUNG HEI FAT CHOI!!! or GONG XI FA CAI!!!

Welcome, Earth Dog!!!

How have things been, guys? It’s been almost a week since the Chinese New Year (others call it the Lunar New Year). If you celebrate this, then my greeting goes out to you 🙂

I had been busy writing work-related stuff these past three weeks. I often had no more energy to blog or do much more socializing on social media. I would try to start but end up falling asleep just watching Netflix.

I have been learning new things that I hope I can use, though. Maybe they’ll work. We’ll see. Meanwhile, I sign out for now.

Have a great day or evening, friends!

Write! Write! #TuesdayToons

Yes, it’s a new hash potato day! #TuesdayToons! And this one says A LOT about me:

How appropriate

Copyright goes to Jorge Cham. Check out his site PHDComics.com! (“PHD” means “Piled Higher and Deeper”)

Revisiting Discarded Post-it Poetry: An Idea That Sticks [REBLOG]

Reblogging because (1) I like his idea, (2) it’s a nice interview, and (3) It’s Mr. Pinkoe for real! (except he loves yellow, it seems)

little word studio

My friend, sob, and I recently reconnected over Instagram (hey, find me @melissakandel!) and it made me want to repost this interview I did with him several months ago. I publish this not only to celebrate our Insta-friendship but also in commemoration of his most recent milestone, hitting 20k followers! Enjoy!

We met in the most unexpected way. And while I guess great love affairs do often spring from the auspiciously unusual, I’d suspect none involve quite so much dog poop as this.

In the thick of Sunset Boulevard, just a hint from The Standard hotel, there’s a little dog park chiseled into a hill, accessible by two sets of stairs guarded at their very top by a blue-painted guitar standing sentinel at the entrance. Egyptian mummies are painted all along this guitar and on a warm, early morning in June I imagined that looking at the guitar was about as creatively inspired as…

View original post 2,581 more words

#AskGi No. 2: “Should I forgive my wife of one month; she hit me with a bhangra stick,…” #AskWednesday

On a whim, I decided to check on my Twitter again a few days back and somehow, Damyanti Biswas (@damyantig) reminded me of Quora. So for today, I decided to add another Ask Gi post. I wasn’t really asked this one, but it honestly annoyed me so I decided to give the OP (meaning Original Poster in Quora world) a piece of what I thought. My written answer was honestly the cleaner version of what I was really saying to him in my mind. Seems like others felt the same way.

Here it is. Read on then share your thoughts in the comments, if you will. Click on the image if you want to see what everybody else was saying.

HEY, HEY, HEY! HO HO HO!

HO HO HO!!!
However, though Christmas is for anyone who wants to celebrate, let us never forget the real reason why we celebrate, okay? It’s CHRISTmas! I’m not against any Christmas figure, but there’s a reason it’s not called “Clausemas”, or any other “-mas”.

Why we celebrate CHRISTmas

If you’re not Christian, that’s okay. No real religion is bad religion. Practice the good that yours preach. If it doesn’t teach you any good, then what are you doing in it?

If you have no religion, then celebrate humanity. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be human, but it does require effort from you.

Please, always stay positive and keep smiling. Never let depression rule you. It’s a debilitating disease — the longer you nurture depression, the more it will debilitate you. It could be clinical, yet it doesn’t mean you should let it rule your life. It’s hard, we know and we understand, but ultimately, it’s all up to you. Many have succumbed to this deadly affliction; don’t be part of the statistics. We love you. You are important to us. Maybe we are just not good at showing it.

This world is not an easy world to live in. It is up to us to make things work the way we want them to work. Just be happy for the world even if the world seems to smile downwards. Give and expect nothing in return. Spread love and joy and you will feed the hungriest of hearts.

Remember, we’re all in this together.