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Showing posts from January, 2004
I've pretty much exhausted myself some this past week, getting the new place ready, working, and doing a few things on the side, which are mostly the reasons I haven't been able to check in here.

My attic room at the townhouse still has a ways to go, furnishing-wise, and I've been making little purchases everyday. The bathroom is nearly done save for a shower curtain, a mirror, and other bitsy things. The sleeping area's got my lamp and radio-alarm clock, and the mattress and linen are ready for use. I'm planning to frame a whole lot of artwork for the white walls. The ceiling is a bit high so there's a lot of vertical real estate.

I have yet to spend the night there. After that way freaky feeling I had on the first night, I figured that my system wasn't still used to the place, so I've just been visiting after work. Over this weekend, I'll be staying the night.

- - - - - - - - -

Went to Enchanted Kingdom with the gang last weekend. It was the firs…
As of Today...

I've been informed by my publisher that the Zsazsa Zaturnnah compilation is on the shelves of the following:

National Book Store (Glorietta, Greenbelt)
PowerBooks (Glorietta, Greenbelt)


It's also in:

Tutuban Shopping Center
Metropoint Mall - Pasay
Robinson's - Imus
(Though I have to clarify which stores)


By next week, it'll be in:

Powerbooks (Megamall)
National Book Store (Avenida, Harrison Plaza, Robinsons Galleria, Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall)
Fully Booked


Wow!!! My publisher also tells me, and I quote, "Oh, and I already have a re-order from NBS glorietta."

Special thanks to Ruey de Vera.
Extreme Measures

Had a very long talk with a friend of mine awhile ago. She was on the verge of hopelessness over her circumstances, and carrying years of grief and anxiety brought about by wrong decisions and regrets. Listening to her was a very painful experience for me, since I've known her for so long. We've had our own difficult times and yet we managed to rise above it all and strengthen our bond. But in our long talk, she reeked of desparation despite her soft careful tones, and I had to play the objective listener to help her through.

What struck me during the middle of our conversation was her admittance to resorting to unorthodox means to "solve" her problems. Call it the Supernatural, or Witchcraft, or Coptic Magic. These, to me, are the most extreme -- short of insane -- of measures in dealing with supposedly insurmountable challenges. And we're not talking Gandalf's ROTK flashlight here. This is the real stew.

Now I've considered using them be…
Gawd, sometimes I feel like the most boring person on the planet. Boring, even to myself.
Out of this World

Here’s my personal list of highlights from this weekend’s New Worlds Science Fiction/Fantasy Convention, held at the Powerplant Mall grounds, Rockwell Center.

1) Getting pictures taken with 6+ foot tall Sauron in full battle armor. (I heard the cosplayer was an Amercan.) Most thought he’d bag the top cosplay prize, but the judges ultimately gave the plum to Mya (?), the female character in the Pinoy RPG computer game Anito. She made some onlookers wonder if she was wearing any undies.

2) Witnessing the mock showdown between LOTR’s The Witch King and Kill Bill’s Gogo Yubari. It was surreal. I wasn’t able to get a pic because I was the only soul in the booth.

3) Seeing the baffled looks of the mall visitors as the cosplayers paraded single-file inside the Powerplant. The APU couldn’t go along because of the crowds. (Incidentally, that costume was sold by creator Robert Wong to The Matrix Philippines.)

4) Pitying the Trekkie contingent (Via Astris), who had to conte…
Quentin Tarantino's fourth feature film KILL BILL...

IT ROCKS!! THE COOLEST FUCKIN' FILM OF 2003!! CAN'T WAIT FOR VOLUME TWO!! I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT!! WAHOOO!!
Fantasy Land

This Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be attending the second Science Fiction / Fantasy Convention at the Rockwell Center in Makati City. Sponsored by The Philippine Tolkien Society (yes, folks, there is such a group), the event brings together enthusiasts of… well, scifi and fantasy. You’ll find most everything there, from Star Wars to Star Trek, Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter. Budjette Tan and Gerry Alanguilan will be joining me at the booth.

The first convention was held last year in a small alleyway in Mile Long Center, right beside the THX theater, to coincide with a premiere showing of Star Trek: Nemesis. During that event, Gary Mayoralgo (of Taleweaver) gave me the unenviable task of sifting through and judging the entries of the “create your own Jedi” art contest. The irrepressible cosplayers were also present; the Borg and the Alien looked really impressive, but Queen Amidala lacked the jawdropping oomph befitting Naboo royalty. I also remember one of the Nazgul flirt…
On the Move

Later this month, I’ll be hauling my ass and 90% of my personal belongings to my new home in the Shaw Boulevard – Pasig area. A bit steep on the rent, but it’s highly accessible, a mere jeep ride away from the Shangri-La mall. It’s a decent offset – whatever I save from taxi fares will help lots for the monthly dues. If I run short on cash, or if in the fortuitous event public transportation ceases operations, I can walk all the way home; it’s a concept I’m very much familiar with.

I’ve tasted the life of semi-independence in the late 90s, when I lived for over three years in Makati. The situation now is different, though, because unlike my other friends who conveniently have the home of their childhood as a last resort, there will technically be no Marikina home to get back to when things get rough. (The reason constitutes a long story which has yet to end; I can only hope that it’ll end happily, or else it’s off to Palawan when worse comes to worst.) So apart from the ren…
Writing Practice

Olishier raised her sword and caught the eye of the storm. As her blade struck the ebon iris, incantations spewed from her mouth in the thousand voices of her ancestors. The voices slid into lethal forms, writhing in their ascent before piercing the roiling dark. Clouds cried blood and screamed curses in violent painful thunder, while the heavy air trembled and prayed. Beneath Olishier's torn feet, stones cracked and crumbled, releasing their histories in shadowlight runes. Olishier held her breath, her veins pulsing and swimming under her liquid skin.

“Send me home, daughter,” the inner universe cried, its warm ether tendrils entwining around Olishier’s heart. “You must let me go.”

From the mountaintop citadel Barithe vi Addum, Fiedhar cast his mind’s eye westward, over the whisper plains and woodlands of Vondlunde, beyond the snakeskin river Sair and its hundred impossible veins, and affixed itself upon the carnage-strewn plains of Othrur, below skies awashed wit…
A Comics Library?

I've stopped buying comics. They're way too expensive. If the fates were kinder, I'd gladly spend a couple of thousand pesos every two weeks for trades and graphic novels. But the fates can be practical, too, and I've to worry about my moving-out budget.

I wish someone would consider setting up a comics library, where people could sign up for membership (Php 500 is good enough for a year) and just borrow stuff. Rates will be on a per-day basis (say, Php50).

One hundred fifty members translates to Php75,000 in membership fees. If each member borrows 10-days worth of comics in a month, that generates Php75,000 a month. Every quarter, Php20,000 can be used to purchase new selections or replace mutilated ones.

One of the first major challenges, of course, is coming up with the money to acquire selections. And we're not just talking 100 or 200 titles here. The appeal of any library rests in volume and variety -- superheroes, manga, alternative, European…
Can't Find the Words

Darnit! I can't write.

The moment my pen touches my ruled pad, or my fingers rest on the keyboard, my mind goes blank. The words can't seem to find their way home. Even as I write this, I struggle.

There's a two-fold meaning to this as I look back through all those times this would happen, comparing days when strings of thoughts would pour out and flourish, to those paralyzed by dead air and deserts.

I've discovered that I am more able to write creatively when I am, well, sad or angsty. And this inability to churn out even the most meager prose must translate to my being free of negativity, at least for now. And that's a good thing, right? I'm tasting a sort of emotional stability after over a year, and it's a refreshing change.

But I can't write.

Surely, I should be able to. Nothing a little reorientation can't fix. A little bit more reading, a few simple exercises, and some patience ought to jumpstart my system back to for…
Being Vocal

A couple of nights ago, I was in a recording studio to do the voice-over (VO) for the audio-video presentation (AVP) of a charity foundation. For a while, it took some effort to get the vocal chords in proper modulated mode, but it turned out quite well with a few retakes.

Now the label "vocal talent" isn't exactly one I take seriously, since my speaking voice isn't up to par compared to the seasoned. On separate occasions, I submitted a demo tape to an ad agency and did a voice demo for a production house, but never managed to bag anything out of it. Before this AVP, I did only two "professional" VO's: one was for InfoExpress' interactive voice response system ("Press one for movie schedules, press two for screening times..."), and the other one was a radio ad for Cinnabon.

Doing VO's is fun, even if I struggle a few times to keep my voice consistent. Still, I'd rather use my voice for singing, one of my delusions of gr…
Making the List and Checking It Twice

What I really liked about this recent filmfest is that, unlike previous years, there appears to be not one film that's expected to rake in majority of the awards. The decision to up the number of entries to nine is a good move. Sure, producers may complain about lesser earnings, but it should encourage them to produce better films, as that's what the Filipino audience will settle for in that crucial Christmas week.

My peeve, albeit a very minor one, concerns how some talents appear in more than one film. Alessandra de Rossi is in Homecoming and Mano Po 2. Raymond Bagatsing is in Filipinas and Crying Ladies. Erik Matti directs both Gagamboy and Mano Po 2.

For those who don't already know, here are the recent winners of the 29th Metro Manila Filmfest:

Best Picture: Crying Ladies
Second Best Picture: Mano Po 2
Third Best Picture: Filipinas

Crying Ladies very much deserved this award. If you haven't see it, please do so. It'll give you…
Can I Just Say...

From December 13 till today, which is a little over three weeks, the Zsazsa Zaturnnah Collected Edition has sold 100 copies in Comic Quest - Megamall alone.

The book is also available at Comic Quest - Festival Mall and SM North Edsa branches, as well as Comics Central Headquaters. I'll be announcing more distribution updates in the weeks to come.

Maraming salamat sa mga bumili. At bumili ulit.
Managing Resources

Tomorrow begins another work day at Kestrel IMC where I once again don the hat of graphic designer. There's a project that's waiting to be dealt with, for rounds of mad-rush edits and clean-ups before final transmission to the US-based printing press in less than a couple of weeks.

Same old, same old.

The discipline of graphic design differs greatly from comics creation, though certain guiding principles are shared. Despite these similarities, comics creators don't necessarily make good graphic designers. I consider myself one of the few lucky ones who can make the shift.

But as I've mentioned in previous entries, dividing mental resources across different disciplines is a schizophrenic process, especially if these disciplines comprise one's profession. And because graphic design and comics creation are visual-based endeavors, there's that part of the brain that gets a greater beating. It was easier in my previous job, wherein a good chunk of …
First Things First

Yes, I know. It's been over a month. Had that urge to sneak this in, so I might as well make the most of it.

First off, I'd like to express deepest gratitude to the following:

1) Those who've been repeatedly coming back here to check for new entries. (I must warn you again: I may be blogging less frequently from here on.)

2) Those who've been posting on the tag board. I hope you guys had a great Christmas, and I wish you all the best this 2004. Thanks for the greets.

3) To the nice folks who dropped by the C3Con last month. It was a blast seeing you all. Thanks for all your support.

4) To Gerry Alanguilan and the Komikeros for organizing, and inviting me to the San Pablo Comics Arts Festival. A wonderful experience it was.

5) To those who parted ways with precious cash to purchase the Zsazsa Zaturnnah Collected Edition and the Siglo anthology. (Though, you must admit, they made really nice Christmas gifts.)

2004: Busy Still

Got a text message from Budj…