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Showing posts from July, 2004
Two-Child Policy

I’m all for this, if only to curb the staggering population growth. The Catholic Church is against the proposal, though I don’t think the policy is entirely anti-family.

One of the criteria for annulment as far as the Church goes is if the marriage affects the couple in their practice of the faith, if continuing the relations makes them as I interpret it, less Catholic. Why can’t this principle be applied to building families?

During the years of our elders, there are couples who have been successful in raising as many as seven to ten children, but the present economic climate makes this endeavor highly stressful. Building a strong relationship with a lot of kids is difficult enough, but providing for their material needs, even the most basic ones, has become an x-variable. We’ve heard enough stories of parents resorting to illegal ventures with the “feeding the children” excuse, thereby making them “less Catholic.” The Church has to realize that the two-child policy …
Muscle Talk

I almost tore my lateral deltoid, the left one, during yesterday’s workout. Nothing serious, not like the last time three years ago. While it was the lateral dumbell raise that did it last, it was 75 pounds on the shoulder press machine this time.

I could still move my left arm around, thank goodness, though I had to immediately re-tailor my remaining exercises so as not to hit that part of the shoulder. Hopefully that area will heal once I tackle the shoulder exercises again next Saturday.

My shoulder has always been a problem. The area that holds my humerus, or the bone of the upper arm is, well, incomplete, which causes a clicking sensation whenever I lower my arm from a certain raised position. It’s not painful, just annoying. I’ve read about this condition and it’s quite common; the reference includes an exercise that corrects this.

It doesn’t help my arms are on the long and slender side. The longer range of motion prevents me from loading too much on a lot of free-w…
Numbers Numbers Numbers

I've been scouring the Web for hard numbers on graphic novel sales in US bookstores (as opposed to those through the direct market), but none have come up. Just a few articles on Publishers' Weekly. The marketing research firm Nielsen has their Bookscan service which provides a good sampling of bookstore sales figures, but you have to sell your soul to get the data. The closest I ever got was this list from Amazon, featuring the top 25 "graphic novels" of 2003 based on Bookscan, sans the numbers. It should come as no surprise that manga  (particularly Chobits) dominates the list. Volume one of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Sandman: Endless Nights are in there.

The New York Times' lengthy early-July feature on graphic novels stated that Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, the autobiographical tale set in war-torn Iran, has sold 450,000 units so far, while Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan hardback has drawn in 100,000. This suggests …
Drama

Bouts of loneliness have been pinching quite often recently. And while friends have been very helpful in distracting me, there has been a growing, well, need for someone special. It's a fact that I've been struggling to deny, if only to save whatever sanity I have left.

It doesn't help that I've not completely rested. Because inactivity has become a personal prescription, the ill feelings have a crack to creep through, and staring out into space transforms from an exercise of inertia to a battle for rational thought.

At least doing the Siglo: Passion pages helps. I have currently five completely colored and lettered pages, and I'm proud of them in general. Some of my best work to date, at least to me. So that gives me a sense of fulfillment.

Still, it's beginning to feel like 2002 all over again, though conceivably not as bad. I don't have a job, and I don't know how soon I'll be ready to take on another one. Finances are depleting, though I ca…
So I'm here at Coffee California along Pearl Drive, dumbing down at the Internet terminal. The establishment has its television tuned in to Star In A Million. I waited for the turn of Michael Cruz, the openly homosexual contestant. He was very good.So much so that Fritz Ynfante couldn't countain himself, and I quote, "Maldita ka! Ang galing mong mag-connect sa audience! Putang ina!!"Yessiree, he just had to say that.
American Ju-on

Hideo Nakata's 1998 horror flick Ringu gave fright films enough of a fresh face that Hollywood  put together the US version in 2002, directed by Gore Verbinski. I liked the Japanese version better; to me, the slow suspended pacing was more disturbing.

But I wasn't able to Ju-on, Takashi Shimizu's "haunted house" film, but I think it's time to turn the tables around. Hollywood's version, The Grudge, opens in theaters late-October, and I plan to watch that first before the Jap version. What makes this Sarah Michelle Gellar-starrer intriguing is that it's Shimizu himself who's directing. So it's no longer a matter of which version is better, but more of how Shimizu handles his original 2000 material with a higher budget in hand and the Western market in mind.

Needless to say, the trailer is creepo. 


Bored bored bored....

I don't want to work out at 4:17 in the afternoon. The crowds are sure to be huge. I'll catch a film or two (maybe) and grab dinner before heading to Gold's. I wonder what's showing here at Galeria...

While having my tender torikatsu at Suqui's last Saturday morning, I asked the waiter for some pepper. He replied, "Sir, pey-per?" My brain drew a split-second blank before nodding. As he retreated to fulfill my request, I was imagining sprinkling my mushroom soup with freshly-ground paper scraps.

Bored bored bored...

Four minutes left on this Compass Internet station. Make it three. This seems like a better deal than Netopia. You pay for a specific amount of time (P30 for an hour) so you'd be less tempted to surf aimlessly. Two minutes left.

Bored bored bored...

I need this.


The scheduled videoke last last Saturday was put on hold, and the one scheduled last Friday had a raincheck, semi-literally. I was bored to the depths while doodling at Cafe Breton - Podium and thought, "Oh, fuck it. I'm going singing." Nothing new to me, really, singing by my lonesome. Just like the good old days.

For those who haven't been to Music21 - Timog for a while, the far end of the small waiting lounge had been converted to an itty-bitty stage. The large television now stands beside the stage where you'll find a standard-sized monitor and a microphone stand. Needless to say, those waiting in line for a room can opt to do some vocal warm-ups. Music21 has three resident singers on stand-by in case the patrons were too shy to show off.

So I got a room and spent about an hour and a half practicing new songs to be added to the repertoire. The lung-busters, of course. And sure enough, these lungs got busted big time. Haven't done this in a long time and …
I've been told that an article about Darna and Zsazsa Zaturnnah was released in the Manila Bulletin last weekend. If anyone was able to spot it or, better yet, clip it out, please please let me know what it's about.

Nice Zaturnnah review by Claire Villacorta on the website Own!. I don't know how long it's going to stay up there, though.
Wow. I haven't blogged in a week. No surprise, since there hasn't been anything exciting going on.

So one glorious page (out of 14) of my Siglo:Passion story is done. Hurrah, hurrah. Fully colored and lettered. I've tweaked my art style a bit because of the nature of the story, set in Palawan during the war years. Though it's a fictional piece, I managed to incorporate some true-to-life bits, thanks to the book on the subject edited by my grandmother.

Speaking of Siglo, I've to ask Elbert and Jaime if I could join the Nautilus workshops in Festival Mall and ATC. The last time I was in ATC was... hell, I don't remember. A change of atmosphere would be nice. Then again, it would all depend of my state of mind by the time.

Because of these days of relative inactivity, my sleep hours have shifted. I now retire at about five in the morning, and wake up after lunch. Not good. If I'm going to get a job again, I have to readjust my body clock. (Cousin tells me it&#…
My Friday started out pretty well. The plan was to go to the Kestrel office during the lunch hour for official business, then have lunch with my cousin in Greenhills. Little did I know that taxis were taken around that time, leaving my cousin and I standing along San Miguel Avenue in the sweltering heat. My sweat glands were working overtime, and the ickiness was too much to handle. Cousin and I opted for lunch first, hopping onto an FX for Megamall and having bento boxes at Sushi-Ya.

After business at Kestrel, I had my first cup of coffee for the day at the renovated Country Waffles along Annapolis. Then it was off to Don Henrico's Makati to meet up with my former Islacom co-workers. As usual, topics of conversation went from the sensitive to the insane, of two-timing husbands and queens of crime, to thieving relatives and porn-feasting high schoolers. The overdose of humor was gratifying.

(By that time, my celphone went dead on me. Apologies, Vin, for not being able to respond t…
Kakatuwa talaga ang buhay. Isang linggo pa lang ang nakalipas mula nang umalis ako sa pinagtatrabahuan ko, dalawang job offer na ang natatanggap ko. Dati, kung maghahanap ako ng trabaho, halos umiyak ako sa pagiging professional job applicant.

Sinabi ko na doon sa mga naginterbyu sa akin na hindi pa okey ang kalagayan ko, at naiintindihan daw nila ang sitwasyon ko, pero offer pa rin sila. Nakakapanghinayang tuloy. Eto na't binibigyan ako ng trabaho, nagdadalawang-isip pa ako. Hindi ko pa kaya. Hindi ko alam.

Diyos ko, ano po ba ang gusto Ninyong sabihin sa akin?
Film Academy of the Philippines: Top 11 Films of 2003

In no particular order...

MALIKMATA (Canary Films)
Starring: Rica Paralejo, Marvin Agustin, Dingdong Dantes
Direction: Jose Javier Reyes

KUNG AKO NA LANG SANA (Star Cinema)
Starring: Aga Muhlach, Sharon Cuneta
Direction: Jose Javier Reyes.

HOMECOMING (Teamwork Productions)
Starring: Alessandra de Rossi, Elizabeth Oropesa
Direction: Gil Portes

CRYING LADIES (Unitel Productions)
Starring: Sharon Cuneta, Eric Quizon)
Direction: Mark Meily

MANO PO 2 (Regal Entertainment)
Starring: Lorna Tolentino, Kris Aquino, Zsazsa Padilla, Christopher de Leon
Direction: Erik Matti

NOON AT NGAYON (Star Cinema)
Starring: Cherry Pie Picache, Dina Bonnevie, Jean Garcia, Laurice Guillen
Direction: Marilou DIaz-Abaya

ANG HULING BIRHEN SA LUPA (Neo Films)
Starring: Jay Manalo, Ara Mina, Maui Taylor
Direction: Joel Lamangan

WALANG KAPALIT (Viva Films)
Starring: Richard Gomez, Sharon Cuneta
Direction: Joel Lamangan

FILIPINAS (Viva Films)
Starring: Richard…
Film Academy of the Philippines Winners

It was supposed to be a historic event, last weekend's FAP awards night. Apart from the new 'payola-free' system of determining awardees, the FAP emulated the glitz of Oscar night by having the red carpet walk and the goodie-bag for attendees. Reports say that the proceedings were far from perfect, but it's a start. To its credit, the ceremonies only lasted a little over three hours, compared to other shows that shoot above four.

The major winners:

BEST PICTURE - MAGNIFICO
BEST DIRECTION - MARYO J. DELOS REYES (Magnifico)
BEST ACTRESS - MARICEL SORIANO (Filipinas)
BEST ACTOR - JIRO MANIO (Magnifico)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS - GLORIA ROMERO (Magnifico)
SUPPORTING ACTOR - ERIC QUIZON (Crying Ladies)
Warning: Feeling-Gym Bunny

This is my third month of working out in a real gym, and so far so good. The fear factor over the amount of weight I can handle is more or less over, and the results of my masochistic efforts are becoming more evident as the weeks go by.

Since I'm going for strength and bulk (as opposed to definition and endurance), the low-rep, high-poundage program is recommended, with less emphasis on cardio, moreso that my physique is ectomorphic. That is, I'm a slow muscle-gainer compared to the wide-bodied mesomorphs. During my first month, I was too scared to go for the really heavy weights, and played it safe with manageable poundage at 12-reps over four sets.

I've recently reworked my program. Same four sets, yet packing in the weight for a plateau of five reps on the second set, then eight on the third, and twelve on the fourth. If I've the time, I go for an extra set to exhaust. It's a bizarre feeling, realizing how much I could actually carry. …
I Discovered My Super Power

Someone tried to pick me up the other night. It was bizarre. It happened in an unlit corner of Ortigas Center while waiting for the chance to cross the street as vehicles passed by.

So what does this tell me? I was twice mistaken for a kulbah while walking through an unlit section of road, and I was pick-up material in an unlit corner.

Alam ko na. I have the power to appear sexually attractive in the absence of light.

*sigh*
Bunch'a Comics

Vin gave us a whole bunch'a comics. It was Free Comic Book Day yesterday, where American comics publishers, both major and independent, produce pamphlets of their works to be given out to the general audience. This move is supposed to reorient the market's perception that comics are primarily for kids, and subsequently get more people interested to try out the new stuff.

So in our goodie bags we had a pile of stuff of mostly the independent sort, and it's going to take some time for me to get through all of them. From the few I've leafed through, Paulo Siqueira's art for Avatar Press' Gypsy made me an instant fan. I suspect his influences include Terry Dodson and P. Craig Russell, though I'm not sure if the inker had something to do with it. HIs style is clean and simple, paying close attention to anatomy, and he does good backgrounds too.

There were a number of comics from keenspace.com, the online comics reservoir, and some of the lot we…
Nautilus Comics Seminar

It was a semi-long day yesterday, beginning at noon with the first installment of Nautilus Comics' comics creation seminar, held at Powerbooks Greenbelt. With me were the gorgeous editrix supreme Nikki and the omnitalented prodigy Andrew, unleashing whatever knowledge we could impart to 30+ participants. To say the least, it went quite well.

By the end of the seminar, I had to do about a dozen caricatures of those participants who pre-registered. Not an easy task, mind you, since caricaturing isn't my strongest suit. But a deal's a deal between the organizers and the participants, so it shouldn't be an issue for me. It was really nice getting to talk to some of them.

As always, seminars like these are exhausting for me, since I insist on myself on having some formal material prepared, something I picked up from working in the corporate world. I reused the Powerpoint presentation I made for last year's Ateneo seminar and added some more bits t…
Spiderman 2 double-kicks fawkin' major twitchy arses!! It's THE superhero film to beat! Wooohoooo!!!!!

(That short elevator scene was very.... um... interesting. Hee hee hee)