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Showing posts from March, 2003
Sinigang Shampoo

I like the taste of tamarind. Sinigang is by far one of my fave dishes, that trademark Filipino stew whose distinct sour tang could only be had by tamarind. Mom used to cook it the old way, by boiling the fruit and mashing it through a strainer. But food manufacturers saw the marketing opportunity and came up with the powdered form. An okay development, but it's come to the point when I forget what the original tastes like. (Mom would sometimes use kamias, but that taste creates a different sour delight altogether.)

As a kid, I'd go to the cornerstore with one peso in hand to buy four pieces of processed tamarind dipped in iodized salt. There would also be times when I'd get those in 'sets' wrapped in cellophane. Once home, I'd dip that in rock salt. Such simple gastronomic pleasures are hard to find today.

To me, tamarind is ingested, flavor or pulp, period. So you can imagine my hesitation at finding a bottle of tamarind shampoo in the bathroo…
Thought stream on exercise and true love

One of the worst parts about hanging around my gay friends in the gay enclaves of Malate is seeing all the dressed-to-the-nines gay men strutting their stuff. Tight tees, tight pants, buffed bodies... some of them might as well put a "Shag Me" sign across their bulging pectorals (or gluteals). While the sight of well-developed bodies (male or female) is quite pleasing, especially for an illustrator like me who strives for a bit of anatomical accuracy in his works, I can't help but ask for reasons. Why exactly do people work out?

There's the most popular reasoning connected to health. It is said that if you strengthen your abdominals, back problems borne from old age are minimized. Regular aerobic activity is good for the heart, and sweating purges one of most accumulated toxins. This is all good. But one doesn't have to stuff in all that muscle to achieve improved health, right?

I will say here that I work out to look good.…
2nd Update

Here's another update on Zsazsa Part 2.

The draft is with my sooper-editor Reby, who's done a great job doing the little fixes on my Filipino. While I have a bit of confidence scribbling in the vernacular, I get all mixed up sometimes on the verb forms. In Part 1, no more than 15% was approximately edited, which is a good thing in my book.

So when I get that draft on Wednesday, I hope to do the corrections and package the whole thingie for presswork on Saturday. Whoopee!!

Zsazsa Part 1 is still selling, thanks to you guys, and quite rapidly. My first book One Night In Purgatory has been hitching on Zsazsa's T-back. That's been moving, too, albeit slowly.

If you've read Dean's blog, you already know that I have a concept for a new book, a one-shot modern fantasy story that'll be around 64-pages. This is different from the ones I've blogged about earlier. Them ideas just keep a-comin'; that's what I get from watching The Hours. (Nicole K…
Update

For those who've been wondering what's up with Zsazsa #2, here's a status report.

Lettering is almost done. Less than 10 pages to go. Mostly sound effects. Afterwhich the whole kaboodle goes to my editor. It should make it to press by late next week. When that happens, I'll be posting the ispeysyal preview for y'all to see.

Thank you for your patience.
Everyone's been commenting about the war in their blogs. I'm not going there. Anxiety levels are high enough as they are. I believe in the Collective Intelligence, and I don't want to add to its burden. It's tough.
Feeling Stoopid

Last night, I dropped by Comic Quest - Megamall to deliver more copies of Zsazsa #1 (something that has become a bi-weekly habit) and, surprisingly, more copies of One NIght In Purgatory. Thanks to Zsazsa, interest in my first book has upped a bit.

So there I was with Vinnie, Dean, and Jason. Alex arrived later. Vinnie had this book called "What Do You Know" or something like that, one of 'em brain-mashing quiz books that only seeks to make you realize 1) how much useless information you know; or 2) how stupid you are compared to your friends who know a lot of useless information. I use the term 'useless' loosely, of course. For some folks, knowing who wrote Pinocchio or that Zambia and Zimbabwe were once known as Abyssinia could actually spell the difference between life and death.

Dean and Alex, being the bibliophiles that they are, knew a lot.. They answered a whole bunch'a obscure questions which made me think, "Boy, you must have been…
The Diva Drug

Caught the opening performance of Dreamgirls last night with Dean and Gig at Onstage Greenbelt, one of the premiere concert venues in the metropolis.

I was told that the musical was a Diana Ross semi-autobiography, relating to her experience while still in the Supremes. In Dreamgirls, Ross is represented by Effie White (played by Bituin Escalante), and the Supremes are, well, the Dreamgirls.

Every single cast member had the talent. Bituin and Tex OrdoƱez were certainly standouts, though Jett Pangan looked like he was having a tough time with the highest-of-high notes. This musical seems to have been written for women actors, as the songs for men lacked a lot of the vocal acrobatics dished out by the diva-esque ditties.

I went in not knowing spit about the Tony award-winning musical. It was in the middle of the first act where I realized "Oh! They're supposed to be black!" The accents were more Southern than black, IMHO. But Bituin's star really shone in…
Just Playing...

Setting: Starbucks-type Coffee Shop. Ada enters.

Ada: (thinking) Ang gara naman ng restawran na 'to. Mukhang mamahalin ang pagkain dito, a. Dapat hindi mahalata ng mga tao na hindi ako sanay sa ganitong klaseng lugar. Taas-kilay, Ada...

Girl: (approaching Ada) Umm, excuse me... Ikaw ba si Ada?

Ada: (thinking) Ganda naman ng suot ng mujeres na 'to. Alta ang dating.

Ada: Ako nga. Ikaw ba 'yung nakipag-appointment sa 'kin?

Girl: Yah. Halika, doon tayo sa table. You want anything? Capuccino? Latte?

Ada: Ano'ng latey?

Girl: It's coffee with skimmed milk. Umiinom ka ba ng coffee?

Ada: May kape naman sa bundok namin.

Girl: Hahahahah. Sige, I'll get you your latte. Let's sit outside para makapag-yosi ako.

Ada: Sige...

(Ada steps out of the cafe and sits under one of 'em big umbrella thingies. He takes quick glances at the people passing by, noting an occasional cute guy. Girl approaches holding two cups in her hands.)

Girl: (sitting) Careful, m…
Darna

Now I've been holding back my Darna comments for a while. Only fit and proper that I give my opinions about it.

When I first read the issue, I said to myself. "I don't like it."

After thinking about the contents of Darna #1 for a while, I still don't like it. But more importantly, I can say that it's not 'meant for me.'

As a comic book reader, I've reached that age wherein New X-Men and Ultimates are more to my liking, more offbeat takes on superheroics where the protagonists have their share of flaws. Where the stories have that indescribable 'it.' Given my very limited budget, I can only afford to spend on comics that interest me, story-wise and art-wise. If I had oodles of dough, I'd buy every single new Pinoy comic book on Comic Quest's shelves. But I can't.

Darna#1 has its merits, but those merits don't cater to me. I believe that there is an audience out there that will embrace the entirety of this comic, the sa…
It's Letters Like These...

...that make all the hard work worth it.

----------unedited email----------

Dear Carlo Vergara,

Greetings! I have just bought a copy of your comic book Ang Kagila-gilalas na pkikipagsapalaran ni ZsaZsa Zaturnnah and I was overwhelmed by its story and comic antics. Not only did the drawings, and the lines made me laugh, it also made me learn things that gave me hope in this world.

I just want to say that I hope this comic book will continue to grow. I kind of planning on collecting this comic book. I just hope part 2 will not be the end of Ada’s adventure. I’ll be looking forward on other issues. Thank you very much!

Ang galing talaga ni Ada!

Respectfully,

Christian Valenzuela
College Student
Can I just say that I'm soooooo exhaauuusssted?!?!

The 1st Philippine Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention will be happening on the 12th of March and I'll be part of the Alamat booth. With me will be some of the great Alamat peeps. I plan to post preview pages of Zaturnnah Part Two, mini-exhibit style. Hopefully, some of the visitors would get a copy of Part One.

So two of the sample copies at Megamall were bought. Felt bad about that. Had no idea that the book would fly off the shelves that fast. A couple of weeks after I delivered 15 copies to CCHQ in Katipunan, I got a text reporting that 2 copies were left and I needed to replenish. Might drop by the place tomorrow.

The Manila Standard contacted me for a full-page feature; really nice of them to give me that much space. Was also contacted by RJ Ledesma ("Joey" of those old Royal Tru-Orange ads) who now works for ABS-CBN, telling me of the station's interest in featuring Zaturnnah in Magandang Umaga, Bayan.…
Sing-Along Savagery

I wasn’t supposed to go out the following night, but the high school gang demanded that I catch up with them at 22nd Street, the comedy club/sing-along joint along Marcos Highway. I gave in, knowing that Pong would be leaving for Canada weeks from now.

It was the first time I’d set foot in the club’s new location -- they were originally closer to Imelda Avenue. The first incarnation of the club was this dismally dark place. This new upgraded version sported more pleasant interiors, with ample lighting and space to move around.

Now for those who’ve never been to a comedy club/sing-along joint, this is what to expect. The mostly homosexual hosts hurl political correctness out the window and crack the meanest jokes. Victims include everyone – themselves, each other, the audience in general. There’s an unending stream of invectives of all shapes and forms. The acidity levels vary per club.

Despite this threatening set-up, comedy clubs are usually packed on weekends. And…
Sad Friday

Didn’t sleep last night so’s I could get to work early – prepare stuff for a client presentation. It’s been a no-sleep, less-sleep lifestyle these past weeks. Thanks goodness the vitamins have been doing their thing. And if you’re curious to know what I take, it’s MegaMen by GNC. No reactions, please…

Last Friday, I was soooo exhausted, I wasn’t able to join the company trip to the National Museum and the Metropolitan Museum. I woke up at 6:30 am but had hollow reeds for legs. Fell back to bed and woke up at 11:35 am. After swearing a bit, I texted Dean an apology, and felt sad for the rest of the day. The kind of sad that immobilized me. Couldn’t work.

I needed a pick-me-up real bad, and thankfully dear pal Angelo texted me, pleading me to transport myself to Makati for a widdle gathering. It was at Tiananmen Bar-Makati Avenue, a classy-looking place that served North Park food. Across the street was the real North Park Chinese restaurant. The eatery below Tiananmen was Ne…