Saturday, April 30, 2011

A cure for blogging block

At Cafe Firenzo in Damosa.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Playtime

My sister had a headache, so she left my Jerry with us for the evening. At three years old, my nephew has become more manageable, and his interests have more or less fallen into place. Either he's watching alphabet videos, or stomping around my room.

"Play car" is one of his favorite phrases. I have a small collection of Hot Wheels, and he's taken a shine to that whenever he's at the house. He never insists on taking any home with him, though; he knows they're for play in my room.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Gospel Journey

After years of trying and failing, I've finally gotten into the habit of reading the New Testament every day. Just like any habit, you just have to do it regularly a number of times--I'm told the effective number is 21--after which it begins to come naturally. Of course, before that happens, you have to have the will and the commitment; in other words, you have to want to do it.

Reading the Gospel had been on my bucket list for quite some time. It felt like it was a missing piece in the puzzle that is my Christian life. I'm no saint, but Faith has always seemed a reasonable option and guide for living. And after some time of waiting in vain to "feel" it, I learned that the best way to manifest Faith is through acts, and more specifically habits.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Best of Dagmay and Fractional Lives

Finally, after all the missteps and misprints, the two books I worked on for half of last year and part of this year are out. The Best of Dagmay and Fractional Lives will have a right and proper book launch. Real soon now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Am I a millionaire now?

Rats have infiltrated the house again, and so we laid out the sticky paper. Instead of rodent, though, we caught this big lizard.

Now there's all there rumors that there are these foreigners snapping up lizards for millions of pesos. Supposedly the saliva or venom or whatever is an ingredient for the cure for AIDS. Personally I think it's a scam. I'm not buying it.

Unless someone buys the lizard from me. For a million bucks. That would make a believer out of me.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: The Making of a Graphic Novel: The Resonator, Vol. 3


The Making of a Graphic Novel: The Resonator, Vol. 3The Making of a Graphic Novel: The Resonator, Vol. 3 by Prentis Rollins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Frustrated artist that I am, I used to collect books on how to draw comics. I say "used to" because, after some time, I realized that my room was starting to fill up with books and that, sigh, I was never going to be a comics artist of any regard.

The Resonator had been sitting on the shelf of the graphic novels section of our local bookstore. I'd been eying it for some time but I always found some reason or other to leave it be. "Next time it goes on sale," I said to myself. "Next time."

Finally, however, I said "what the heck! it's marked down enough from its list price." I decided to get it without waiting for the annual storewide discount. I finished reading it a couple of nights ago, and I have to say I don't regret the purchase.

The Resonator is unique among how-to-draw books in that it's split into a complete graphic novel and the writer/artist's explanation of how he produced the story. The approach makes it all the more instructive as you can see the process of creation.

The graphic novel is only a hundred pages long. Prose-wise, it probably fits better as a novella. What hooks the reader is the starting premise: in the distant future, a weary humanity has lost the ability to sleep. They have to resort to drugs to do that, or, if they can find it, use the highly illegal resonators.

The Resonator graphic novel isn't quite up there with the graphic novel classics, but it stands well enough on its own as a haunting tale. Rollins does a worthy job of crafting a world that is at once familiar and alien. The story, while simple, carries its own emotional punch.

As I said, I finished reading the graphic novel part a couple of nights ago. I'm going slow on Rollins' how-to section, enjoying what I can of his story conception and character design. From time to time, I do end up referencing the graphic novel again, just to see how he went from draft to execution. Ultimately, that's what makes this book enjoyable.



View all my reviews

Friday, April 15, 2011

Anicon Davao






At the request of my godkids (yes, I have some), I took an afternoon off work and drove them to SM City Davao to see the Anime Convention, or Anicon. While it's still not as flashy as the cons in Manila, I have to admit the cosplay scene is showing much improvement. And we even now have local comics artists hawking their self-published wares.

On the other hand, I feel too old to be doing this. It was fun to bring the godkids, but everyone else just looks so young. Still, it was good to meet some cosplaying friends again.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mass for a Murdered Student

Last Monday I read a tweet about a student who was raped and killed. I hoped it was only a rumor, and so I chose not to pass it on. As it turns out, it wasn't. Tuesday's paper reported: Coed stabbed dead by secret admirer."

(I have issues with how the paper seems to have cheapened the death because of the love angle, but that will keep for next time.)

Murdered was Michelle Aaron Lubaton, 20 years old and an honor student of Ateneo de Davao who was taking up Business Management. She was also a lumad from South Cotabato.

Ateneo de Davao will hold a Mass for her on Friday, April 15, at 12:00 noon. I hope other students can attend.

Sneakers

Turning three years, these sneakers ought to be retiring soon. But the adage about old shoes still holds true, and I can't bear to part with them. I think I'll wear them till they give up their sole.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Guess who?

Okay, so it's not a stretch. After all, her name is written right there. It's the ultimate non-anime geek fanboy favorite, Summer Glau.

But can you guess what mag she's on?

Pay What You Want


Offering to let your customers pay what they want seems to be a recipe for disaster, but counterintuitive as it sounds, it actually works.

Case in point: I purchased for the current iteration of the Humble Indie Bundle, featuring games from Frozenbyte. I also bit the first two times, paying just $5 for packs of four or five games from independent developers.

Why does this work out for the developers? Speaking from my own psychology as a (somewhat miserly) buyer, I would never have bought these games in the first place for whatever price they might have been asking. But by offering it at as a time-limited sale, the compulsion just becomes all the more irresistible.

But the real value they're getting from me isn't even in the $5 I paid. Rather, it's in my attention. If they hadn't offered this as a pay-what-you-want deal, I wouldn't have heard of them. In effect, it accounts as advertising; and while it doesn't guarantee I'll be buying from them again, it at least opens up the glimmer of a chance that I will in the future.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

I am going to get married

Church date set, reception hall booked, menu chosen, guest list drawn, invitations printed, suit and gown fitted, rings commissioned, license signed and at the ready. With a little less than a month to go, my fiancee and I have prepared for just about as much as anyone can reasonably prepare. Not counting the small remaining details, all that's left, it seems, is for us to walk down the aisle and exchange I-do's.

So it comes at last, even for me: I am going to get married.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Hidden Sign

What happens when a building gains an annex? Once-proud signs like this find themselves hidden and obscured. These letters once proclaimed high in bronze that this was the "Ateneo de Davao Canisius Hall". Now all that's left are the scars in concrete and strands of wire in a wooden stairwell that doubles as a storage room.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Flooded Davao

Quite a bad night to be out. The rain fell hard and heavy around 6pm and went on unabated till late. In fact, it's still falling now, albeit more lightly. Taxis have been scarce and jeeps have stopped plying their routes.

More food art

Dinner with Emily at Lyndon's while waiting out this mighty spell of rain. Everytime we eat here it's always an opportunity to fool around with the leftovers. Tonight we finally caught them with their baked scallops. This is the result.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Protest Action, circa 1980


More goodies from the box of old photographs. I'm guessing that these were pictures that my Dad took, sometime back in the 1980s. I'm dating it based on the prevailing hairstyles and on the placards protesting "salvaging."

"Salvaging" was the word then in vogue for murders committed by the military or the police. Apparently, it's a bastardization of the Spanish "salvaje," or wild. Nowadays, we use the term "extrajudicial killing."

Sad to see how things change so very little.


Circa 1976

Me, at six years old.

I've been rummaging through Mom's box of old photos and I came across pictures of myself when I was much, much younger. This is quite the time trip. Oh, for much simpler days!