Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kingdom of Loathing t-shirt

I made my very own Kingdom of Loathing t-shirt.

Fruit sellers


Chickies all in a row


Mercedes Roadster

Presumably owned by one of the Gaisanos, as it sits in the top floor parking area of the mall every day.  I'm amused at how much it looks like a Hot Wheels toy from this angle.

"I'm going back to the future..."

...because this century just STINKS!

Heh. This high-tech shower they're selling at Gaisano Mall looks just like a time machine.  I want, I want.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The End of Facebook...

...for me, anyhow.  If you follow my blog, then you already know that I committed Facebook suicide long before.  The message below puts the proverbial nail on the coffin.  And am I glad.

Hi Dominique,

Your account was disabled because your behavior on the site was identified as harassing or threatening to other people on Facebook. Prohibited behavior includes, but is not limited to:

• Sending friend requests to people you don't know
• Regularly contacting strangers through unsolicited Inbox messages
• Soliciting others for dating or business purposes

After reviewing your situation, we have determined that your behavior violated Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. You will no longer be able to use Facebook. This decision is final and cannot be appealed.

Please note that for technical and security reasons, we will not provide you with any further details about this decision.

Thanks,

Marissa
User Operations
Facebook

I asked about my account a few months ago when they disabled it, not with the intent of reactivating it but so that I'd be sure I properly deleted it.

I'm less than thrilled at what they accuse me of because, well, none of it is true.  My response to them:

I have done none of the things you listed below. But I was in the process of deleting my photos when you disabled my account. Nevertheless, I had already unfriended all my contacts, so that's all right. That's the end I was looking for anyway, I just want to be sure my account is properly deleted.  

Without enmity or sarcasm, let me say that life without Facebook has been great. I felt great relief and satisfaction after you took away my access.

You will make sure my account is deleted, will you? Thanks.

"You will no longer be able to use Facebook" Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BPO questions

My response to a reporter's question about the BPO industry:

While BPOs provide both employment and income for the city, is there any way that the skills and expertise gained from working in the BPO industry can be put into the service of the city?  What I mean is: BPO workers help to improve the quality of service in the territories for which they operate, but are there corresponding improvements in the city in which they operate?  Or are we leading towards a disconnection here, cleaning somebody else's house while leaving our own in disarray?

The reason I ask is because there's limits to the growth that the BPO industry brings.  BPOs are essentially mercenary operations that bank on low cost of labor, real estate, and utilities.  If they can do it cheaper elsewhere, they will.  How long will you be able to sustain this low-cost model?  When the BPO relocates, do we have alternative industries in place?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My spammer friend 宛齊陳

...according to Google, 宛齊陳 that translates to Wan Qi Chen.

Now, I don't know Chen personally, but I take it that he (she?) is among my biggest fans. Chen visits my blog regularly and leaves comments that have nothing to do with my post. Instead, they invite me and other unsuspecting readers to visit some other blog.

I really should be annoyed with Chen, and I was for a time. It's a pain deleting spam messages (and it's for this reason that I've enabled comment moderation on past posts.) But darn it, his (her?) persistence in visiting my blog is flattering; and hey, even if Chen doesn't actually bother reading my posts, a visitor is still a visitor.

And so, 宛齊陳, from the bottom of my heart, I extend to you a hand in friendship from across the water. I will still delete your spam, but if you should ever care to leave a message as a real person, I would be much obliged.

Friday, June 18, 2010

2,000th post...

Looks like I passed a milestone some four or five posts back and didn't even know it.  So anyhow, yes:

This blog has over
2,000 posts

and I wrote every single one of them.

Lose Weight Now! Ask Me How!

Every new year, I promise to myself that this year -- this year! -- I'm going to get healthy and lose weight.  As with other resolutions, that promise gets tossed aside and forgotten, lost among the piles of cupcake doilies and empty Coke bottles.  Oh, it wasn't for any lack of trying: I enrolled in the gym, I got back to biking, I jogged in the mornings, but it all came to naught.  My weight blew up to close to 200-lbs.  I tried to chalk it up to my being, you know, big-boned, but at some point, I just had to admit when I looked in the mirror that I was...fat.

Filipino Science Fiction discussion revisited

The other day I got a comment on an old post, my attempt at literary criticism on what makes for Filipino Science Fiction.  That article generated a bit of discussion during its time -- it was part of a larger conversation involving Dean, Kyu, Bhex, and a few other folks -- but I thought the matter was long since set aside and forgotten.  Then from out of the blue, a message from someone called Paladin:

so What if your not Filipino but your story centers around Filipinos, I.E. my main characters are Filipino's does this count??? as Filipino Sci Fi ???

I wasn't sure if Paladin was spoiling for a fight, so I took the most pragmatic approach:

I'll wait for the final published product before passing judgment.

It turns out Paladin was quite a nice fellow.  American, yes, but with strong Filipino links:


hmmm well i've spent over 30 years on it i doubt i'll ever be done lol. but if your interested in seeing what i have other then what's posted on my blog let me know. the book is 95k word count over 430 pages and the graphic art is being done by rio villegas from the cebu sun times.

and

When i first thought of this book in 1979 they we're all american such as me, but after discovering the amazing people in the philipinees i switched my characters to a multi national cast. there are 9 books in the series, and i did imbue onto my characters characteristics and personality types i came across in each culture.

Now, I've started to move away from fantasy and science fiction, but I think the output from Paladin and Rio Villegas, Little Flower Chronicles, is still worth a look.  From what I gather, its in the vein of military SF

But the best answer to Paladin's original question, I think, comes from another commenter, Miyako:

What makes a fiction filipino?

authorship? no
character's ethnicity? no
philippine issues? no
local plot? no
filipino theme? no

An american author who has lived in the philippines for awhile can employ all of the above. His work could be either american or filipino. It all depends on the truthfulness and sensibilities depicted in his writing.

There are truthfulness and sensibilities unique to us Filipinos. We can sense it through settings/scenes, characters' interaction, dialogue, and the way the characters think. We see the filipino-ness of a literature along its margins such as the kind of soap a character uses or a bowl of soup another character sips. The way she takes a bath or the loud noise he makes when he sips his soup also scream filipino-ness.

What makes arundathi roy's work indian are the scent of marigold, the stench of the gutter, the vedic chants, the amber of safron, and other little things we don't consider important in her novel.

Filipino-ness can be read along the margins.
That said, I'm quite happy this old blog still manages to turn up friends from unexpected places. Happy to meet you, Paladin.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Doodles

Product of the Ateneo de Davao Writers Workshop.

Unicycle

Yes. I bought it. Yes, I did.

Street Kids

A gang of watch-your-car boys along Chimes Department store.  I usually find them quite annoying -- I'd rather not have any help parking, especially not from someone I can hardly see in the rear view mirror -- but on a quiet Sunday, I decided to take photos instead.

Giant Durian

Our neighborhood durian seller had a whopper of a fruit just a few weeks ago.  This one tipped the scales at 5kg or so.

Head on a Cup

At the Ateneo de Davao Writers Workshop.  In a moment of weakness, I succumbed to boredom.  Oops, I shouldn't say that as I was a panelist.

Colors

Look how dark VP Binay really is.

Gasa Strip

Heh.

Don't spit...

Sign found at Royal Mandaya Hotel, a 4-star establishment here in Davao City.

Blue and Gold

For the longest time I've been tempted to buy this pair.  They brought me so many memories of Justice League comic book goodness.  But at P1,200 each, well, it's all a bit too much.

Finding Nemo

Taken at the Silliman University Marine Lab.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The best thanks a teacher can get...

...comes from notes like this:

How are you? I am so thankful coz ive learned a lot from your subjects before especially in our Ubuntu class. though i might not be so attentive all the time. :p Now i see the importance of what you've taught us. Linux commands are so useful.:) Im currently working now in Singapore as a web-developer, we are using the MVC Framework. thanks to you because you were the one that introduced it. 

This message was from a recent graduate who I handled just last semester.

It's a great counterpoint to the whining in the evaluation that I got from some students in my CS3 class last year about my zero-base grading system.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cosplay Photo Shoot Set 3

Last set for this week.  I still need to sift through my album to review the good shots.

In the picture are Isabelle (Julia in an earlier set) and Moi.  Isa was certainly very popular among the photographers.  I think you know why.

Again, I don't know who these characters are.  Any help with ID greatly appreciated.

Cosplay Photo Shoot Interlude

We had our photo shoot at the Tribu K'Mindanaw.  These beautiful young ladies were cultural dancers preparing for their show at Crocodile Park.  I don't know if the other photographers took their pics, but I just couldn't let the opportunity pass up.  Not too much time to shoot them, though.

Cosplay Photo Shoot Set 2

More shots from yesterday's cosplay photo shoot.  Again, I cannot identify the characters so any help would be much appreciated.

Cosplay Photo Shoot Set 2

More shots from yesterday's cosplay photo shoot.  Again, I cannot identify the characters so any help would be much appreciated.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cosplay Photo Shoot Set 1

Armed with my Dad's DSLR, I tagged along with my sister to a fun shoot with some of Davao's cosplayers.  If it isn't already obvious, I stuck mostly to Auto.  My shooting style is "American", paraphrasing Allan Quatermain pointed out in "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen": take enough shots and hope to get a good picture.

That said, I did have fun. I now see the appeal of a long lens camera, that it isn't all Freudian in nature.

Cosplayers below are Jen and Isa.  I recognize Isa's character as Julia from Tekken, but I quite forgot who Jen is playing.




Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Curse of Fanfic

Excerpt from an article I wrote for publication elsewhere:

In what must have been a first for any writers workshop in the country, last summer's Ateneo de Davao Writers Workshop featured stories from the genre of fanfic. As the screener for the applications, I take responsibility for the ensuing misadventures; but I confess I also found much amusement in the resulting collision of cultures between the panel and the fellows.

Fanfic, if you're not aware of the term, is short for fan fiction. Its writers take characters from juvenile books, TV series, video games, and anime and cobble together new stories around them. Because of this lack of originality, the genre doesn't get much respect. But because of the popularity of the source material, many young people gravitate to the genre, either as readers or writers.

For our panel of award-winning Davao writers, fanfic was a new and confusing – and perhaps also mildly unpleasant – experience. The fanfic stories in the workshop drew heavily from Final Fantasy, a Japanese video game, and Gossip Girl, a scandalous American teen television drama. While the language was competent, the final product came out awkward, stilted, and inauthentic. Quoting one panelist, the poet Don Pagusara: "Why are you writing this?"