Friday, May 30, 2008

Metro Post at the Community Press Awards


Metro Post wins for Best Editorial Page in the 2007 Community Press Awards, and as you might gather from the picture, my favorite editorial husband-and-wife team couldn't be happier. They already had an inkling a few weeks back, but that doesn't detract from the joy of the actual awards night.

Message from Alex and Irma:

We won one out of the five national awards. But being the only nominee for all five awards from the Visayas was enough reason to celebrate!

As it turned out, we were the only "mom-and-pop" paper to win an award! Of course, we couldn't have done it without you, our columnists, our readers and all the other members of the MetroPost family!

Cheers!

Alex and Irma


And more photos:



Watchmen the Movie


Watchmen...coming in 2009....

In case you didn't know it, The Watchmen was, along with The Dark Knight Returns, the defining comic book of the 1980s. It changed the content and storytelling in the art form forever. Watchmen, in particular, elevated comics to something akin to literature, what with its very intelligent and postmodern approach. For that it rightly won a Hugo Award.

What makes Watchmen so different? It takes superheroes and speculates how they would act in the real world. The story deals with paranoia, rejection, obsession, sex, and the spectre of nuclear war. What makes it work is the murder mystery surrounding it, which is no less gripping and startling in its conclusion.

Watchmen...watch for it!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pacquiao and Roach


Nope, I didn't do this bit of photoshopping, but I thought it was a riot. Discovered it when I was at my printer, and my layout artist (who requested anonymity) was using it as his wallpaper.

I think it's a fine example of Bisayan humor: earthy, crude, caustic, a little cruel, but funny nonetheless.

By the way, in the wallpaper, Roach's thought balloon read: "Wala dinhi Mama nimo, Dong." (Your mom's not around, boy.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Phoenix falling

HiRISE picture of Phoenix descending on its parachute

Found this through the Bad Astronomy Blog: Best. Image. Ever.

One look at it and I instinctively knew what it was. Almost made me cry. But that's because I'm a geek.

Phoenix descending to the Martian surface underneath its parachute. This incredible shot was taken by the HiRISE camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. You can easily see the ‘chute, the lander (still in its shell) and even the tether lines!


Phil Plait has a moving reflection on the picture. Go read it.

Generating Heat

In professional wrestling parlance, it's called "generating heat." Being the scripted entertainment that it is, wrestlers rely less on their physical prowess than on various gimmicks to stay in the fans' visibility. And so, if a wrestler wants to rise in popularity, the trick is simple: pick a fight. It doesn't matter with whom. Anyone will do. Just pick a fight.

That seems to be the overall stratagem of the Arroyo administration of late. In the absence of any issue of substance, it's resorted to cheap gimmicks to generate heat. Just a few weeks back, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo vowed to go after rice hoarders, and for a while, the front pages were rife with inspections and arrests. Around the same time, Gen. Angelo Reyes called for an energy summit and demanded to know why fuel prices were so high.

And so the public relations offensive continues: GSIS bigwig Winston Garcia is taking Meralco to task for high energy costs and "lack of transparency"; and over in Congress, Prospero Nograles has floated the idea of free text messaging. It's gearing up to be a big battle royale : the government in one corner and big business -- the oil companies, the telcos, and the Lopez utility-media empire -- in the other.

In a match like this, there's little doubt as to who's the face and who's the heel. The cards are lined up so that we know who it is we're supposed to be cheering for. And yet, why do the bleachers seem awfully quiet?

Answer: we're not marks. We know that, for all the amusing antics, it's fake. It's all fake.

Food prices continue to be at an all-time high. Fuel prices have been going up by P1 a week, and may soon follow a twice-weekly schedule. Whither the drive against hoarders? Whither the energy summit? For all the huffing and puffing today, tomorrow energy prices will still be high and text messaging will still cost.

It's not that these matters do not deserve attention, it's that the focus now is unwarranted, misplaced, and mistimed. There are other more serious issues that until now remain unaddressed, issues that burrow deep into our collective soul.

Government clowns now may caper about with populist posturing, but this is not entertainment.

We are not amused.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mars!

Doesn't look like much, but it's actually a picture beamed back by the Phoenix Mars Mission.

While not the first probe to Mars, Phoenix is different from its predecessors because its mission is to study the history of water and habitability potential of our neighboring planet. In fact, it's the first in NASA's Scout Program series.

From the news report:

May 25, 2008 NASA's Phoenix spacecraft landed in the northern polar region of Mars today to begin three months of examining a site chosen for its likelihood of having frozen water within reach of the lander's robotic arm.

Radio signals received at 4:53:44 p.m. Pacific Time (7:53:44 p.m. Eastern Time) confirmed the Phoenix Mars Lander had survived its difficult final descent and touchdown 15 minutes earlier. The signals took that long to travel from Mars to Earth at the speed of light.

Mission team members at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver; and the University of Arizona, Tucson, cheered confirmation of the landing and eagerly awaited further information from Phoenix later tonight.

More pictures over at the program site.

DIY with Ubuntu



Wrote a small post on DIY with Ubuntu. In this case, I had to make tickets for our upcoming recital.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dagmay web site


Just finished got the Dagmay website up to a point where it looks relatively polished. Go have a look.

Dagmay is the literary journal of the Davao Writers Guild. In its third and present incarnation, it comes out as a special one-page insert of the Sunday Sun.Star Davao. The web site is an archive of the works published since August 2007 (some months still missing while we're finishing up, but soon!) So far, there are 52 pieces already posted.

From DWG president Ric de Ungria's introduction note:

DAGMAY first saw the light in 2001 as a quarterly (and then annual) literary journal of the Davao Writers Guild before it became attached to SunStar Davao as a monthly literary supplement for the entire year of 2006. We envisioned it as a much needed space for the literary expressions of the Davao community, whether these be written in Cebuano, Filipino, Davaoeno, Kiniray-a, or English. It had a successful run last year, but had to cease publication at the end of the project cycle.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" brings the famous adventurer back for one (last?) jaunt some twenty years after his last outing. Did I watch it? Absolutely! Did I laugh and cringe at all the right places? You betcha! Is it the best Indiana Jones installment ever? Well.... (warning: minor spoilers ahead)

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy "Crystal Skull" quite a bit, but towards the end, I felt that it could have been much better.

While it was great to see Indiana Jones back in action, it's also quite clear that he's gotten, well, old. Following the timeline, the story finds Indy in his 60's. It stretches credulity to see him swinging on his bullwhip, but it just doesn't seem right for even the bad guys to be beating on an old man.

What bothers me more is how Spielberg and Lucas fudged the Indy mythos to fit in with his more modern environment. The central plot device of Indiana Jones films was always the mystical -- the Ark of the Covenant, the Shankara stones, the Holy Grail. "Crystal Skull", while coated in ancient mysticism, is sci-fi at its core. And that, I feel, is a deviation from the character.

All in all, it's still an enjoyable romp, but it doesn't beat "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or "The Last Crusade" or even "Temple of Doom."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Morning moon



Went for a few rounds on the People's Park circuit very early this morning and caught this sight. The sun wasn't out in full force yet and so the moon still held some sway. Spent several moments just staring at it. Talk about mooning.

Starstruck Flashback

Sifting through my archive CDs, I came upon this old gem. This was taken around 2002-2003 at McDonald's Eastwood.

And yes, if you were so inclined to ask, that is Sandara Park.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

MetroPost sweeps regional finals

From an upcoming article in the Metro Post (not written by me). Already blogged about this earlier; this is the full story.

It’s a first for any newspaper in Dumaguete.

The MetroPost has bested 13 other weekly newspapers in the region to become the lone Visayas finalist in all five categories of the prestigious Annual Community Press Awards of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI).

An independent panel of judges from the University of the Philippines Los Banos headed by Dr. Madeline Suva, chair of the Department of Development Journalism of the College of Development Communication, gave the MetroPost top marks in the categories for Best Edited Paper, Best Editorial Page, Best in Science and Environmental Reporting, Best in Business and Economic Reporting and Best in Photojournalism.

After evaluating all the weekly newspapers in the Visayas, the UPLB professors gave the MetroPost the singular honor of representing the region’s community papers to the Annual Community Press Awards to be held next week at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.

The MetroPost will be pitted against five other weekly community papers from Luzon. A panel reviewing Mindanao weekly newspapers did not name any finalists for this annual contest.

This year’s national board of judges is chaired by Augusto Villanueva, editor-in-chief of the Journal Group of Publications with TV host Manolo Quezon III, Executive Director Dr. Dona Paz Reyes of the Miriam College Environmental Studies Institute, Next Mobile Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mel Velarde and Journalism Prof. Angelica Borican as members.

Ariel Sebellino, PPI officer-in-charge, said the award was launched in 1996 with the aim of raising the standards for responsible journalism in the countryside. It seeks to honor news organizations not only for excellence in reportage and editorial content but also for their roles in their respective communities as development catalysts and chroniclers of events.

The awards program has always been supported by Malaya, Journal Group of Publications, Manila Standard Today, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star and BusinessWorld which provide cash prizes and trophies to winners.

The MetroPost was founded in April 2000 by businessman Manuel “Chiquiting” Sagarbarria, who later handed the paper’s editorial and business operations to Alex and Irma Pal in November 2002.

It currently enjoys a wide following in the ABC crowd, who religiously follow the news stories and columns written by its devoted and passionate columnists who write on various fields of interest.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ateneo Writers Workshop 2008

Back from the Ateneo Writers Workshop. Lots of pictures, grab 'em while they're hot.

T'was a relaxing three days talking literature and meeting new friends. The reading lists were a little crammed owing to the abbreviated schedule, but we managed to pull through with smiling faces. Great creative energy, and everyone left the workshop wanting to write more.

Many thanks to our panelists: Lota de Pio, Mac Tiu, Don Pagusara, Margot Marfori, and Resil Mojares!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ateneo Writers Workshop

I'm off to the Ateneo de Davao Writers Workshop. I'll be away for three days, so no blog updates in the meantime.

I turned in two stories for this workshop: "Invader" and "An Unusual Treatment." Both stories have their share of strengths and problems, so I'm looking forward to the comments from the participants.

Details:

Congratulations! You have been selected as one of the fifteen (15) fellows for 2007 Ateneo SummerWriters Workshop to be held on May 19-21, at La Storta Retreat House, Shrine Hills, Davao City.

You are expected to attend the Opening Program on May 19, at 9:00AM. This will be held at 511-112 Finster Building, Ateneo de Davao Universtiy. Dr. Resil Mojares will be the keynote speaker.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Writing for the best weekly paper in the Visayas

Not many of you know it but I actually write for the best weekly community paper in the Visayas. That's right: the best.

I've been writing for Dumaguete's Metro Post since 2001 (seven years running now.) It was a delightful surprise when publishers Alex and Irma Pal broke the news: Metro Post is a finalist in all five categories of the weekly paper division of the Philippine Press Institute's Annual Community Press Awards.

Metro Post is a finalist for Best Edited Paper, Best Editorial Page, Best in Science and Environmental Reporting, Best in Business and Economic Reporting, and Best in Photojournalism. It is the only paper to be named so in all five categories. It competes in these categories with Mabuhay, Sunday Punch, Balikas, Baguio Midland Courier, and Pampanga News from Luzon. (There are no finalists from Mindanao.)

Sure, it may not have the reach and influence of, say, the Philippine Daily Star, but the Metro Post has always been, in my opinion, the best paper.

Stay tuned for the final verdict at the end of the month.

Rebirth of sketches.kom.ph

Prior to this blog, I had a proto-blog going on at www.sketches.kom.ph. That was where I kept all my drawings, Metro Post articles, and most of all, photos. Lots and lots of photos. Somehow somewhere, I neglected the site and eventually archived all the content. The URL still worked, more or less, but it went through several half-hearted incarnations.

Recently I decided to revive www.sketches.kom.ph as a photo repository. It started with pictures of our summer holiday. I got so enthused I decided to put up more photos there.

I've just added photo albums of my Samal biking trip last Christmas and of the People's Park at dawn.

More pictures to come soon!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

National Artist Bien Lumbera at Ateneo de Davao

National Artist Bien Lumbera will hold a lecture on "POETRY AND POLITICS" this Saturday, May 17, from 3 to 5PM at Ateneo de Davao. Exact venue is Roxas Room, F513-G. The lecture is open to all.

Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera is a National Artist for Literature, an honor accorded to him in 2006. He was also awarded the 1993 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Createive Communication Arts. He is an activist, a literary scholar, a social commentator, playwright, and poet.

Just us

Cyclones, earthquakes, virus outbreaks, and acts of terrorism: these are the things we have had to contend with of late. If we all lived within the garish world of a 1960s spy movie, an immaculately groomed madman on our TV screens ought to come next. With a disdainful sneer he will demand that we turn over all world governments to him. Otherwise, he will unleash his weather machine until we submit.

If only, if only....then the suave secret agent and his sexy sidekick could smash into the picture and save us all.

But the hard truth is: there are no suave secret agents and no sexy sidekicks. Immaculately groomed men and women fill our television screens but it turns out they're only news anchors reporting on our miseries. There are no supertechnological mad scientists to blame, only the random viciousness of nature and the banal pettiness of men.

Wasn't it just a few months ago in Burma that the military junta crushed the protests led by the saffron-robed monks? And now, a cyclone hits the southern coast of the country. Death toll: 1,400.

Or was it? Soon, the number climbed up to 4,000; then to 10,000; then to 25,000; and then to 200,000. Two weeks into the tragedy with no relief in sight, the number could rise up to as much as 1.5 million. For what reason? In part because the transport infrastructure to the Irawaddy Delta was badly damaged; in part because of poor weather; but for the most part, because the paranoid military junta continues to fudge around foreign aid.

Surreptitious video from Burma shows what is happening: bloated corpses littered on the banks of the receding waters and dead bodies being disposed of in the rivers. Nothing the rest of the international community says or does can change any of this, it seems.

Just when we thought we had seen enough carnage, the scene shifts to Chengdu province in China. Earthquake, magnitude 7.5, the strongest to hit the country in 30 years. As of the last estimate, over 10,000 dead, most of them buried beneath rubble. The number could hit as high as 26,000.

Wasn't this supposed to be China's breakout year with the Olympics and all? Isn't China already the industrial manufacturing capital of the world? And yet for all its machinery, we ultimately see nothing more than desperate parents digging through rubble with broken and bloodied fingers to find a sign, any sign, of their children.

Out here, we can only watch and pray.

There are no superheroes. There is only us.

Dissatisfaction with the CHR chair appointment

Human rights groups express dissatisfaction with the choice of Atty. Leila de Lima as new Commission on Human Rights chairperson. The gist is: Atty. de Lima is better known as an election lawyer and has no track record as a human rights advocate. Her appointment is viewed as a political one.

From one of the mailing lists I subscribe to:

(Bangkok and Manila, 15 May 2008) FORUM-ASIA and the Philippines Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) express deep disappointment over the selection process of the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson.

According to the news reports received today, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has appointed Ms. Leila de Lima as chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Philippines. Ms De Lima is replacing the outgoing Chairperson Purificacion Quisumbing, whose term expired last week.

The sudden news of the appointment has caused serious concerns about the appointment process of the highest officials of the Philippines’ independent human rights body. This is particularly important in the context of criticism of the Philippine human rights record in the past few years, particularly for the high number of extrajudicial executions and disappearances.




The ongoing appointment process has been characterised by a lack of transparency in terms of who the candidates for CHR chairperson and its commissioners will be. We fear that it is becoming a very politicised process, which the government has used to salvage its poor reputation and track record.

We see the appointment as a contradictory action to the Paris Principles, the international standard. Under the composition and guarantees of independence and pluralism section, it mentions that “the composition [shall involve persons] involved in the protection and promotion of human rights”.

We note that Ms De Lima is well known as an election lawyer than for practice in the human rights field. We hope that subsequent appointments would advance the independence and effectiveness of the CHR in protecting and promoting human rights in the Philippines.

We therefore would like to call on the Philippines government to:

• Ensure that the appointment of the remaining three commissioners be transparent, including to ensure that they have to possess an adequate human rights background and experiences, especially to ensure that there must be the inclusion of representatives of “non-governmental organisations responsible for human rights ... trade unions, concerned social and professional organisations”
• Reform the appointment processes of the CHR to be more transparent, particularly for an open and participatory process among relevant stakeholders.
• Ensure the needed infrastructure for the commission to conduct its activities independently from government interference and effectively including the adequate funding.

The Philippines government in 2007 pledged “to strengthen the Commission on Human Rights [as] an independent constitutional body responsible of […] monitoring of the human rights situation in the country and investigation of cases of human rights violations”. As an elected member of the UN Human Rights Council, the Philippines must fulfil this pledge by making sure that the CHR will be fully independent and can function, and should not instead weaken the body by installing a person without adequate human rights experience.

It is most important for the CHR to be headed by efficient chairpersons and commissioners with human rights experience given that the CHR as one of the four existing National Human Rights Institutions will have to play a key role in pushing for the establishment of an efficient ASEAN human rights body, under the ASEAN Charter.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ripped page effect

Been trying to do a "ripped page" effect using GIMP and Inkscape. With a bit more time on my hands today (as acting secretary and receptionist for Notespell), I finally managed to get it done. Not as good as I imagined it would be, but I did manage it.

For this effect, I scanned in an actual ripped page. Not the entire thing, just the edge. Then I used it as a layer mask for the picture underneath. I had to play around with multiple layers to get the effect I wanted. Lots of tweaking with the fuzzy select tool and transparencies. Final assembly in Inkscape.

Go Speed Racer go!

Went to watch Speed Racer last night. It was an excellent time to shut off the brain, sit back, and just enjoy the visuals. I'll admit I'm not that much of a Speed Racer fanatic but I have seen the old cartoons and read some of the comics: the movie is pretty faithful to what I remember. And not only that: it really is a cartoon come to life. I'd watch it again just for the design sensibilities.

For those who haven't seen the cartoon, here's a montage of characters. Note the similarities with the actors in the movie.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Holiday 2008


Pictures of our Samal island hopping excursion two Sundays back. This was part of the annual outing of Holiday Gym and Spa. Several destinations in the itinerary, including Wishing Island, Vanishing Island, and Kaputian Beach. Talk about summer fun!








More pics over at my photo album site.

Mad Scientist

Earthquake in China, cyclone in Burma, hurricanes in the United States, prices of food and oil spiraling...wouldn't it be just dandy if some mad scientist comes out, claims responsibility, and demands that we turn over all world governments to him? Then maybe we could send some super secret agent (and sexy sidekick) after him....

Alas, evil isn't nearly as glamorous as it was in the 1960s. It's far too mundane and far too real.

Haven't drawn anything in a while, and thought I'd get started again. I'm teaching an art class at Notespell this summer. Only two students, one 12, the other 7, but we're having fun.

Times like these, we have to hold on to whatever good we can.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Transport strike

Nationwide transport strike today. I wouldn't exactly say the jeepney routes were paralyzed in Davao, but there were noticeably fewer plying the streets. Being at CM Recto, we were at the hub of the activities: the organizers set up speakers at the intersection and egged those still travelling the streets to join them. Noisy and fun.






Thursday, May 08, 2008

Virtualization on Ubuntu 8.04


I have virtualization running on my computer now. More details on my Ubuntu Living blog.

If you're not quite sure what I'm babbling about, what it means is: I can have an operating system running on top of my operating system. Right now, I'm showing Ubuntu on Ubuntu, but I could just as easily have Windows on Ubuntu. Not just one, but several, too.

Why would I want to do this? Personally, it means I can muck around with software without affecting my main computer. Each guest operating system runs in its own sandbox. It doesn't affect anything else (except over the network.) I can build and destroy additional operating systems as needed.

To think that I used to do this on an IBM xSeries 360 server (costing upwards of P1-M) and needing VMWare Server software (costing upwards of P500-K).

Now I can do it on a clone box that costs under P22,000 and using free software.

Yeah, baby!


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

New computer and Ubuntu 8.04

If I've been quiet the past few days, it's because I've been wrestling with a new computer and the new version of Ubuntu. Yes, after six years of working with an aging AMD Duron, I finally decided to spend (and what a difficult decision that was, to part with my hard-earned cash) on a new computer. I am now the proud owner of an Intel quad core CPU computer.

I got the machine on Friday afternoon. Not a very good time as Saturday was going to be my Shutdown Day. Then again, a little denial and mortification is good for the soul.

I did just manage to squeeze in an installation of Ubuntu 8.04 on Friday afternoon. It was quite a feat as I was missing a keyboard. You see, the new motherboard does not have any more PS/2 ports; it's all USB. They keyboard I had on hand was of the wrong sort.

How did I manage the installation? With a mouse, of course. And some creative cut-and-paste.

That was a bit of a waste, though, as I had to go through several reinstalls. Nothing to do with the OS, just me being anal. I was working with KVM virtualization, not the easiest thing to work with just yet, and had a couple of false starts. I wasn't too keen on some choices the Ubuntu team made with Hardy, too. Then I had to decide whether I wanted to stick with 64-bit Ubuntu or downgrade to the 32-bit version. Ultimately, I decided to go with a dual-boot system.

And then I blundered in the partitioning of the system. Anyway, I finally fixed the problem, and so here I am.

I'm back.

Monday, May 05, 2008

My Shutdown Day


See? I told you I was going to the beach.

Oh, all right. It wasn't nearly as simple as that. It rained on Friday evening so Saturday wasn't any good for the beach. I also had to drive my mother around for medical-related errands. On the other hand, I did make good on my promise to keep the computers shut down.

Sunday was when the family went on an island hopping outing with the folks from Holiday Gym and Spa. It's a yearly event and my sister, a regular, always joins them. Our trip took us to Samal Island (where I had previously biked) and some of the smaller outlying islands. Lots of interesting sights (more pictures to follow).

All in all, a good time to be away from the computer.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Iron Man

Just came from a screening of "Iron Man," and I must say, the movie was a hoot. There were some slow and awkward moments, but on the whole it managed to capture the spirit of the character and the comic book.

I initially had mixed feelings about the Afghan terrorists retcon. My first thought: "Oh, no! More moralizing." Ultimately, though, the angle mostly worked, primarily because things were not really as they appeared.

What I really appreciated, though, were the nods to War Machine and the Civil War storyline. I don't want to spoil anything so I won't say anymore. If you know what I'm talking about, it should be easy to spot; otherwise, it doesn't detract from the fun factor of the movie.

Robert Downey really captured the spiritually tormented Tony Stark. It was a great casting choice. Gwyneth Paltrow looks refreshing as ever. Jeff Bridges I've never seen more menacing. I wasn't sure about Terrence Howard, who played Rhodey (War Machine in a future installment), but I'll admit the character grew on me.

The real stars of the film, though, were the armor. Everything just felt right, from the clumsy Mark 1, to the sleek Mark 2, to the heavy duty Iron Monger. Iron Man is about the armor, after all.

A great sequel would be the "Armor Wars" storyline. Now that would be just dandy.

Shutdown Day 2008


Yes, I'm participating. It's a silly thing, I know, but what the heck.

And I'll be on a remote island. That'll make things easy.

Shutdown Day is a Global Internet Experiment whose purpose is to get people to think about how their lives have changed with the increasing use of the home computer, and whether or not any good things are being lost because of this.

The idea of Shutdown Day project is simple - just shutdown your computer for one whole day of the year and involve yourself in some other activities: outdoors, nature, sports, fun stuff with friends and family - whatever, just to remind yourself that there still exists a world outside your monitor screen.


Yeah, yeah, your downloads will be so much faster on May 3. But I'll be on the beach.

Writing Life

I have about a snowball's chance in hell of winning, but what they heck, I turned in a couple of entries into this year's Palanca contests anyway: two short stories, both previously published. I was writing an essay but I felt it wasn't me. And even though they've extended the deadlines, I've closed that chapter two days ago. That's that.

Funny thing about the Palanca Awards web site, though. It's got to be one of the most atrociously designed sites in the country. However, even the design would be forgivable compared to this:

Man, that's just terrible.

On the other hand, I finished a 3,000-word short story last night (or to be precise, early this morning). Not a winner, not by any means, but it's something I rushed for the Ateneo de Davao Writers Workshop. It's a comic take on a Filipino fantasy/horror trope based on a joke afriend told me many, many years ago. It's a little disgusting but I hope it's good for a few laughs.

What the hey, maybe I can sell it to one of the new horror publications.