Saturday, November 28, 2009

We Play Games episode 1: MMO's part 1

Hello and well, welcome to the first episode of We Play Games.

Before we get to business, let me just explain a little what WPG is all about. See, I'm an avid gamer, and I play a whole bunch of games, from the immensely populated MMOs to the most tear jerking RPGs (Aerith, I'm looking at you... and damn to anyone who thinks that was an innuendo... it probably is...) to Sports games and Racing games (although I must say I hate racing games). So I thought one day (that was today) what if I made a games commentary? A sort of, I write what I think about certain games and to hell with it sort of commentary, but with pictures!

Yes, pictures.

But I didn't want to step into the realm of one of my friend's blogs; see, she writes game reviews. That doesn't mean WPG would be devoid of game reviews, it's just that game reviews will not be the meat (bread and butter? whatever food you dig I guess) of WPG. After all, we play games, not review them! (which did not make sense, but meh)

So alright, time for WPG's first ever episode, and for this episode, what better way to kick WPG off than by talking about...


- cue non-existent intro music -

MMOs, or Massively Multi-player Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG for the savvy ones out there), is a community driven, high population game played by thousands, nay, even millions of individuals fighting, trading, modelling, flirting, living and dieing together in an enormous make-believe world. Each player is given an avatar to mess around with and to interact with various objects in the aforementioned world: NPCs, doodads and of course other players.

World of Warcraft, easily one of the most popular MMOs of all
(picture obviously ripped from gamespy)

So what makes MMOs tick? Instead of pondering on the subject for minutes and to totally rip the fun off of that, let me just tell you why:


That's right! wanna see it again?


And who can blame them? The world can get truly boring, with cycles of activities happening over and over and over in a seemingly endless loop. And as with all endless loops, programmers should know it's bound to crash sometime. And that sometime gave birth to the MMO... Or something like that...

Anyway, the exploitability of the MMO concept derives from MMOs answering one very pertinent and significant human need: living. Yes, MMOs address easily one of the biggest human need of all, perhaps second only to watching Spongebob episodes (and don't tell me otherwise, who can resist the big yellow square... er, rectangle). No wonder it appeals so much to this generation.

In a world that kicks new comers in the butt with all the social structures and hidden caste systems, MMOs provide people a place where everyone has a chance to hit it big. Without any structures and prejudicial checks and balances, people can live as they want to live, without age, gender or any other social limitations. Barring of course the occasional power struggle with guild leaders and such, everyone is free to live as they wish.

And if their make believe world fails them, they can easily leave and search for another, living a completely new existence. Life doesn't allow you to get a completely fresh start but MMOs can and do.

No wonder it appeals so very very much to this generation. Try as we might to deny it, we are in search for a family, a group of people we can go "home" too. With the ever widening generation gap between parents and kids, it gets harder and harder to call our home "home". Coupled with the fact that this generation can't live without computers and the Internet, and won't last a day without them, it's really not that hard to imagine.

And so, after spending minutes pondering all that, let's dive in to what I'd like to talk about: MMO genres.

From my time playing MMOs, I've come to see patterns in how different MMOs operate. Of course, they all work under just basic paradigm: take a multi player concept, scale them up exponentially, add chat and trade support and viola, you've got yourself an MMO. But of course, to each MMO their own, but there are certain, let's call them stereotypes, of MMOs that appear. I, being the generous guy that I am, have generously compiled some of them here. Don't take my words as doctrine though, as I am bound to miss a few and forget a few, I just play games after all.

For the first stereotype, I'd like you to turn your attention to World of Warcraft and Perfect World. These are MMOs that have made their mark as being the most massive of the massive, featuring ever expanding content and thousands upon thousands of users on both retail and private servers. These are MMOs you won't be enjoying all on your lonesome, but will have lots of things to do nonetheless. Quests seem to be the defining attribute of these MMOs, but not just ordinary quests, a million or so of them to be precise.

These MMOs have to some extent became a universal language among all gamers, not just MMO players. These games have defined generations and even eras. These games are what I like to call Mega Massively Multi player Online RPGs, or MMMORPGs (mmmorp-guh) for short, or MMs for shorter. MMs, in my opinion, are probably the exemplars of MMOs, as they provide a completely alternate world where players can just log-in and live as they wish to live. Economy is completely defined by the players, and item values vary widely from server to server, but seem to converge if observed in the bigger picture.

As nice and balanced as these games may seem though, they are prone to the same faults as the real world, most notably "power hogging". Strong players only get stronger and the gap between strong and weak players widen over time. Newbies might find it hard to climb up the ranks, if they are the type who likes to. Fortunately not all wants to hit the top, but for competitive players, MMs might make heads explode. Steps can of course be taken to avoid this, like giving ever expanding content and adjusting player and item power levels to keep things "fair", but power imbalances will and tend to happen still.

The nice thing about MMs though is that they are very skill intensive. Say Ragnarok Online for instance, my very first dip into MMORPGs. After all has been said and done, in a vacuum, if two players have the same character builds, the same weapons, the same items and skill sets, it all boils down to who is the better player per se. There are no active chance based win formulas, no game support boosts: everything boils down to who can press the buttons faster in the best sequence possible. This appeals to a lot of hardcore gamers but it might turn away casual players, if they really do mind.

Another point towards (against? not sure) MMs is that they encapsulate the real world the best, and is the best way to live an alternative life. There are of course many kinds of MMs depending on what the main goal of the game is. The common denominator though is that MMs provide the best alternate world experience, and things that happen in the real world tend to happen in MMs as well, including whatever you are imagining right now (oh, don't play innocent).

Games that fall under this category with the three already mentioned are Rohan, Pirates Online, Angels Online, and perhaps Granado Espada; though the first three mentioned also fall under a different category. Runescape and similar games may also fall in this category, though I have a special category for them as well. There are also sub categories in MMs, depending on the epic-ness of the world. World of Warcraft could arguably be the most epic, with Ragnarok and Perfect World not so far behind and Angels and Pirates Online a little further down in the epic-ness spectrum. Ozworld and Second Life also fall under MMs, but is also of a different category.

I'd like to say more about MMs, but I suppose that would have to be it for the launch episode of WPG. Hey, at least I didn't hold a launch party and asked everybody else to hold one in their own homes as well! Maybe in a different WPG I'd re explore MMs and provide an even more in-depth analysis (I like to do that).

See you next time for part 2, where I explore other MMO genres. Till then, may we all play massive games.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Life and Times vol. 2

Hello fans, this is fifthStitch once again giving you my very regular updates!

Not... Who am I kidding... Anyway, so where was I... Uhh, updates, right. Fans or no, welcome to volume 2 of The Life and Times; where, if you've been tuning in regularly, you'd know that I'd be giving you updates and future times about my life. Kind of like a blog post.

But cooler...

If you don't get the inside joke, I say don't bother.

Anyway, first for the updates. So I'm working now. And oh boy, did I get my dream job.


If you're wondering what, and for the benefit of those who still do not know, I got a job as assistant lecturer in De La Salle University. Hmm... Now that I remember, I think I've blogged about this already... Oh well, yay for redundancy.

So yes, you can say I'm a prof now, though I still say I do not deserve the title. But what am I to do but embrace it with outstretched hands and a (forced) warm smile. It's been (backbreaking) fun work and I (do not) look forward to it every week! YAY!

All jokes aside, yes I've been enjoying my tenure (wow, I've been waiting to use that word to describe something about myself) as a part-time lecturer. It's been really hard at times, especially since I got a really bad time slot at 11:20 AM to 12:50 PM. It's either the students are sleepy or hungry, I suppose you could say that's the lull between breakfast and lunch. Oh and for the record (if anyone out there is secretly recording my blogs ) I'm not handling INTROSE as I expected. Due to some last minute switch involving, I dunno, five minutes of extreme deliberation, I got transferred to INTROOS. Now, I don't have anything against that subject, but I really don't have anything for it either. I suppose the hours of lecturing really drains me of my energy, as can be seen by my lack of updates.

And speaking of updates, random plug (which I will return to later anyways so what's the point), I wrote the next chapter of White Wolf Riiya entitled Conflict. In this chapter we finally see the fated reunion of the three defenders of Love, Hope and Justice (I forgot if the last one was Justice... maybe it was Courage, but meh). I particularly love how I characterized Chacha in this chapter, I don't know why .

Anyway, yeah, back to teaching. So this coming week, it'd be pressure as a ten ton block with five hundred elephants with five hundred giraffes on top of them as I will be having my peer review. What is a peer review you might ask? Well...



May God bless me... This would be the greatest challenge yet of what might be the shortest teaching career in DLSU.

Anyways, apart from that, no major updates so far. Yes, I wrote a chapter of White Wolf Riiya (you could say this is the obligatory restatement). Yes, I'm now into watching Kamen Rider Kiva. Yes, I have yet to finish watching Lain and Evangelion. Yes, I still have to watch Elfen Lied. And yes, I'm still sexy and oozing with awesomeness. What's new?

Well, there you have it! I plan on making my posts shorter and easier to read. If you were a fan of the long posts, shoot me a comment (due to the 'n' key of my keyboard failing, that statement almost made it as "shoot me a commet"). I would be very very happy if you would .

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Life and Times vol. 1

Following in the footsteps of the great Drew Bagay, I decided to make a weekly gig. It's more of for updates really for those interested, giving your friendly neighborhood fifthStitch that warm fuzzy feeling inside (or maybe it's cuz of all the gas). Anyway, I shall christen this gig


Which is more of a rip really, until I think of a better name. I shall do these in volumes, like how I plan to with another series which so far has not even left the ground yet. I promise it will... Someday...

Anyway, for the updates...

I am really psyched for graduation.


All those wasted - I mean fruitful years are now coming to a close! Well, not really, since I still am taking up my Masters, so it's really not yet over. I still have to feel that proud "Hey I did it" atmosphere, but I'm getting there. Thesis is now finally over, no more beating the deadlines, sleepless nights, sleep-filled bus rides, unwatched anime, unwatched movies, unread comics, unread mangas, unrequited love (wha? just kidding, I love you!), undetermined genders of classmates, never ending stress and most of all, no more unwritten blogs.


Or maybe not.

Seeing that it's me, I will probably still have more of these (except unrequited love, I love you! Really!). In other news... YAY MOTA!!! I still tend to spell MOTA as MotA. Anyway, so we got silver for our MOTA, with the power programmer group of XT getting the gold. It's not like it's a competition or something (YES IT IS, FIFTHSTITCH SMASSSSSSSHHHHHH), all of the candidate thesis groups could get a gold theoretically (FIFTHSTITCH SMAAAAAASSSSHHHH, GRR GRR). Still, getting a silver is very unexpected, and much appreciated (NO!!! FIFHTSTITCH SMAAAASSSSSHHH!!!11!!11!!). I actually didn't even think we'd make it this far, I am content just finishing on time really. I would really like to thank my thesis mates for bearing with me all this four terms. A quick shout out is in order...


No really, thank you all. Thank you for all your hard work. Thank you for all the laughs, the tears, the fits of rage. Thank you for everything really, I'd shed a tear for all of this and for all of you, but I digress. I'll save it for graduation.

Some other updates. I have written two more chapters of Riiya, the White Wolf. The plot thickens as Riiya encounters long lost memories, figments of a past he has already forgotten now haunting him in cold blood (or something like that). Be sure to read it, it'd make fifthStitch really happy.


Okay... Anyway, also, I'm planning to write a short story derivative of LamB. Let's face it, LamB was a failure. I was really really really really really really really (repeat to infinity) excited about LamB. The concept seemed incredibly beautiful, and the universe it created is exciting beyond a shadow of a doubt. For the uninitiated, here's some condensed info on LamB: beautification panels attached to the skin which enables indefinite beautiful existence was combined with nanotech and mind control to create the ultimate punishment for criminals, forcing them to work almost butt naked for extended periods of time as LamBs under the jurisdiction of shepherds who I am led to believe are law enforcement dudes which serve as wardens for the criminals wearing the LamB suit which meanwhile are the hot topic for fashion since they grant near perpetual beauty which makes hip people wanna commit crimes for the sake of getting that Laminated suit. Uhh, well, it's actually waaaaay better than that. Click here to see the wiki page. And here to see the official site.


Seriously, LaMB (which I have carelessly misspelled as LamB [damn this DotA MotA thing, and damn this recursive parenthetical shizzle]) was a huge HUGE HUGE letdown. The proliferation of sponsor ads (for goodness sakes, they animated the band members of Simple Plan and the Click Five, what's up with that?!?) combined with over hyped publicity and rather bad voice acting (sorry Vaness) really made LaMB the disappointment of the century. I loved the concept, I loved the setting, I loved the universe it created, I loved everything about LaMB EXCEPT the show itself. It sucked. Big time. And about Vaness being involved, yeah, he was chosen as the seiyuu or voice actor of the lead male character.

I don't mind Eve (the name of all female LaMBs and in this case, the name of that lady in the poster) being a complete rip off of Rei Ayanami from the ever wonderful Evangelion or Motoko Kusanagi from the also ever wonderful Ghost in the Shell. I don't mind LaMB sucking out of the popularity of recent Sci-Fi (well, recent during the time of LaMB's release) post apocalyptic films like the Matrix trilogy. I don't mind the power-point-ish animation style of LaMB, seeing that it's the first original production of Animax. I don't mind the subtle switcharoo by Animax, turning LaMB into an animated feature from the previously advertised animation series. And I certainly didn't mind all the viral promotions Animax gave LaMB. But when they worked in the members of Simple Plan and the Click Five into the animated production (which I believe is due to sponsorship issues), when they waisted all that potential concepts, when they produced a crappy excuse for an animation fit... It's just... Damn... I don't even know what to say.


So there, I'm planning to write a short story set in the LaMB universe. I don't know, maybe for vindication, or probably just to get the satisfaction I expected to obtain from LaMB. I don't know when I'd write it, but hopefully I do before class begins again next week. Did I just say class? Oh yes, I did, which brings us to my last update for this blog (I'm getting tired of typing, and this blog is way over my word limit, not that I have any).

I am going to be a Part-Time Lecturer next term!


That's right, I'd be teaching next term. According to the teaching load distribution I got from the faculty, I will be teaching INTROSE or Introduction to Software Engineering next term. This is a really really big thing for me as I have always wanted to teach since my High School days. It was probably due to the introduction of GTO to me or something, but I really really want to teach. Pardon my naivety and idealism, but I really want to be involved in shaping the future, and I believe being a teacher is the best way to do that. You are directly in contact with the future of the nation so they say, nothing beats that.

Anyway, INTROSE shouldn't be hard to teach, since it's more of a practical thing mixed with a few concepts. It's still incredibly pressuring though, as INTROSE is a second year subject and is really not that much of a beginner's course. Still, there's no better way than to kick things off with a bang... Or something...

So there, that concludes volume one of the Life and Times. But first! A bulleted list showing the updates I'm too lazy to write about in full:

  • I still have yet to watch the last two episodes of Kamen Rider Decade
  • I'm not sure if I want to watch Kamen Rider W (Philip is gay)
  • I think I might be into SIC's (Super Imaginative Chokogin, look it up)
  • I'm planning to start a Solutions Development gig
  • I have still yet to update Chronos Division, which I hope I will do
  • I'm about to finish watching La Corda D'Oro (pretty good so far)
  • I want to play the violin
  • I just attended a FORMDEV Reco (I'd probably blog about this properly soon)
  • And so much more...

Right... Goodbye! See ya next time or something...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A pre twentieth post celebration

Twenty is such a momentous number. It caries with it the same momentousness as any other multiple of ten, save perhaps powers of ten. Yeah, I know the nerdiness level of the previous sentence must have probably rocketed past the Earth's atmosphere, but let's face it, it's worth the epicness right? Right?

Moving on, so this is my nineteenth blogger post since I made this blogger account, and so far, it's been great. Not as much fans as my Multiply account, but I don't regret the transfer. It's been pretty peaceful, and far more manageable than unwieldy Multiply.

So what do I talk about in my twentieth blog post?

Why, my impending twentieth birthday of course! Your dear fifthStitch would be commemorating twenty years of walking this planet of ours in a month or so. September 19 (which interestingly coincides with the number of this blog post) marks the day I become two decades (how do you pronounce this, de-kayd or di-kayd?) old. I'm actually pretty excited, and pretty unsure at the same time, it's my first time being twenty after all (duh).

So what changes would you expect from your dear fifthStitch? Nothing! Nothing at all! I dunno what's so special about growing and becoming an adult, the adult world is incredibly boring. You have to abide by a lot of rules, the space for goofing off lessens, ugh, boring.


So there, nothing would change perhaps for me. I would still remain the same old fifthStitch you know and love. Of course there would be tiny changes, but I'd stay as fun and as un-adult as I can be.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Some updates

Life updates, literary updates and more...

First off, some updates on your dear blogger fifthStitch. We passed thesis! On the first defense! I take no responsibility for this success though, I attribute them all to God and to my hardworking thesis mates.

Yay thesismates!

This naturally leaves me bored though, not that I haven't been bored during thesis at all. I'm killing the boredom by doing a little bit more thesis (even if we passed, we're not yet off the hook, since the adviser and the panel wanted some more revisions done... yay...), watching Kamen Rider Decade and playing Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection. And speaking of Dark Resurrection, I beat Drew at least five times already, which is an achievement I think more valuable than thesis itself!

Lili is my favorite character

I also made a tumblr account, for some blogs too long for plurk but too short for blogger. Click here to visit. Don't forget to follow me if you still care :(

Anyway, for some literary updates, I really apologize for not working on any new updates for both White Wolf Riiya and Chronos Division. Said thesis is really sapping me of writing creativity. Rest assured though that those series are not yet dead. Actually, I plan on doing regular updates from now on, Thursdays for White Wolf Riiya and Fridays for Chronos Division. Not sure if I can pull off such discipline, but who knows really. Also, I intend to start a new literary project. It's more of a game really. I'd call it...


What I'd do is I'd write a well-known or popular story (relatively) from the point of view of another character if it was told in first person or from the point of view of any of the characters if it was told in the third. What I plan to do is emulate and see the world from the eyes of that character. Episode 1 (yeah, I decided to call them episodes) would be about a very popular story, so much so that it had, has and continue to have a strong cult following all around the world.

Hopefully no one sues me for trying.

Anyway, that's all there is to it with this update. Gotta go back to working again... Boring...

Due Respects

Today marks the day of former president Cory Aquino's burial. While I know the entire Philippine nation is mourning for her loss, I cannot help but feel apathetic. It's not because I don't appreciate what she did for our country, or how she fought for independence from tyrannical rule. It's not because I don't appreciate how she lead the Filipino people into an unforgettable peaceful revolt resulting into the expulsion of a dictator.

No. It's not that. I appreciate all that. I idolize all that.

But to be honest, I cannot really feel the sadness that as much. It's probably because I was born only during her presidency, that's why I cannot feel the sadness other Filipinos feel with regards to her death. Don't get me wrong though, I do understand the gravity of the situation. Still, I pay my respects to the mother of our country, the ever enduring symbol of Filipino democracy.

For the powerful light of the nation, for the irreplaceable beacon of the strength of the Philippine masses, may your legacy live forever for as long as democracy is still alive in our nation

It's not history that defines a person, it's the person that defines his or her story

Sunday, August 2, 2009

To be truly one

Yesterday, the first of August, marked what would be one of the most historical events of this year, and one of the saddest; one that would be remembered certainly for a very long time.

Yesterday marked the death of one of the most loved presidents of the Philippines, none other than the mother of this country, Mrs. Corazon Aquino.

I would be annoyed to ends of my wits when I hear the most hated president of the Philippines capitalizing on her death by messages of unity and the like. The hypocrite would most certainly do so anyway, knowing her insatiable desire for a publicity op. Knowing her, she would deliver a very "heart-warming" and "reconciliatory" message to each and every Filipino, advocating "unity" and "peace" both politically and otherwise. She has already taken the first steps; she declared August 5 a non-working holiday to honor the burial of Cory. On that day, I hope I would never turn on the TV to see our dear president delivering her laughable message. The TV better be equipped with 5 inches of protective lead and fiberglass for it's own good.

Call me stingy or whatever, but we should all face the truth. I read a newspaper article today claiming that the death of Cory brought the Philippines together. It claimed that due to her death, the Philippines became united. But the fact of the matter is, this unity is only very temporary. This unity would only last for until the death of Mrs. Aquino still has an effect; very soon it would fade away and we would all be back in disarray.

It's painful to admit, but the so called unity of the Philippines depend so much on temporary and passing things. Remember when Manny Pacquiao defeated Ricky Hatton? A lot of people also claimed that during that one day, rebels and soldiers alike took a break from fighting to watch his match and celebrate his victory. We saw a lot of enemy politicians congratulating the triumph of our "hero". The Philippines was united, but only for so long. The following day (figuratively and literally), the trapos, soldiers and rebels were back to their old routines. The "unity" we enjoyed was really short and temporary.

Our country needs to find and hold on to a lasting source or inspiration of unity. If there's one thing Cory Aquino taught us, it's the fact that no matter how small we are individually, united we can stand against any form of tyranny or oppression. We are weak, sure, but together, no tank or soldier or ill-meaning politician or leader can stand in our way. I'm not advocating for another people power or another massive rally in Mendiola or EDSA, but we should really learn to be united and cling to a relatively more permanent inspiration.

After a month or so, once the uniting effect of the death of Cory wears off, we would be back to our old routines. Trapos would be once again trapos and our dear president would once again be our dear president. But if we would all learn to be united not for the sake of a Pacquiao victory or a death of a noble leader, how much more beautiful would the Philippines be?

Do we really need Pacquiao to win 365 matches a year or to kill 365 noble leaders just to ensure a year of peace and unity?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My journey through the Decade

So I guess I'm addicted to the newest installment to the long running tokusatsu drama "Kamen Rider", the new installment being "Kamen Rider Decade".

Now, I'm not normally into metal heroes; well, not since Power Rangers (which I vehemently despise right now when I found out it was basterda- I mean Americanized) and Kamen Rider Black. It's probably not due to the rider that shares the name of the series, nor is it because of Kanna Mori (but darn isn't she pretty?).

Kanna Mori as Natsumi

Nor is it because of the theme song sung by Gackt (which was surprisingly good, not because of Gackt but because of the fact that it's a Kamen Rider theme song). No.

I fell in love with the series because of the bad ass epic-ness.

I told a few close friends about this little factoid about me, and now you would know as well. fifthStitch likes alternate versions of things. In songs, movies and television shows, I really like covers, cross-overs or alternate realities. So what's this got to do with Decade you ask?

Simple. Kamen Rider Decade is an epic cross-over of all the Heisei era Kamen Riders, from (in the tone of the DecaDriver) Kuuga, Agito, Ryuuki, Faiz, Blade, Hibiki, Kabuto, Den-O and Kiva. Decade is the tenth of the Heisei era Kamen Riders, and as part of his growing retinue of abilities, he can transform into any of the nine riders before him. Now, I have just begun to watch this series, and even though I already know more about Decade, I dare not spoil you my dear beloved reader or myself by rudely exposing all of Decade's other abilities. Suffice to say though, due to these other abilities, Decade received it's own tvtrope page.

Decade Final Form whooping those bad asses

Well, there you go. I wish to say more about Decade but I'd watch the series first before I make a review. So far I think 27 out of 30 episodes have been completed and I'm at around the 4th. Tomorrow I continue watching the series, as they dive into the vampire music world of Kiva.

Till then, may you have your own journey through the decade.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Up on the fourth floor

Is where I am right now.

I should be doing something for thesis, but my fingers feel frozen due to the cold. I'm typing this with my frigid fingers, warming them up for a day of typing ahead.

Yes, I did mean a day of typing. Looks like I'm going home at ten again.

Anyways, today had been a fun day thus far. I beat my old Plants vs. Zombies I, Zombie record of 7 with a whopping 9. Yay.

It's not without help though, I got some small tips from my thesis mates. And yes, right now I just confirmed all of my thesis mates play or had once played Plants vs. Zombies. Can't blame them, it's a really fun game. To quote a review site I visited which I already forgot, the game keeps on giving and giving. And yes, it does. I suppose a hardcore player can breeze through the game in perhaps 15 to 20 hours, but realistically, it takes a little longer. And with the Zen Garden game mode, Plants vs. Zombies can keep you entertained, well, indefinitely I suppose.

As my previous post mentioned (indirectly though), I've been watching this mindfucking anime entitled Serial Experiments Lain, or Lain for short. Lain is a really complex complex anime, interpretable in more than one layer. Incidentally the episodes are called Layers, but I think that's more of due to the fact that it discusses lots of computer network concepts, and computer networks topics really like to use the term layer. Back to Lain, Lain is a truly difficult anime to watch, each short moment might bear some significance that takes a while to process. It's really just that mindfucking.

It's very nice though, shows like those really stimulate the way I think and challenges my thought process and my concepts of what is standard or real. Suppose it's just fantasy, yes it is, but it still does not take away the fact that it has some more than real issues being tackled. And those issues are sometimes so compelling that no matter how fictional the work is, it still is worth some second thought.

There, my fingers feel quite nimble again. Guess it's time for more thesis, up in the fourth floor.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


The Internet is beautiful isn't it?

You can be who you want to be in the Internet. You can be a girl if you're a boy, or a boy if you're a girl. You can be a legendary hero, or a devious villain. You can be a magician, a swordsman, a warrior, even a dark lord. You can be who you want to be.

You can be wild and outgoing. You can be meek as a sheep. You can be sassy, aloof, conceited.

You can be anonymous.

The Internet makes this duality very possible. In the Internet, you can be who you want to be, even be the complete opposite of who you truly are. If you're shy in the real world, in the Internet you can be wild and outgoing. If you're ugly in the real world, you can be as sexy and alluring in the Internet. If you're a loser in the real world, you can change that in the Internet.

The Internet is beautiful isn't it?

The anonymity associated with the Internet makes all these possible. In the real world, you can only be born once, and once you become a physical entity in the real world, you assume a set of traits, and other people begin associating those traits to you. You gain an identity, and that identity will stick with you. It's not to say you cannot begin anew; the physical world permits this. It's just that, you cannot really begin anew, the old you would continue to haunt you.

This is not true in the Internet.

In the Internet, you can create as many identities as you want. You can assume any characteristic, any trait, any personality. And you can do it as many times as you want. You can assume any number of virtual entities, any number of virtual identities.

In short, you can be anybody.

A friend of mine wrote about freedom and reality. For him, reality is a "concentric", with multiple "realities" existing inside each other. It need not be a complete reality, sometimes sub-realities exist. For instance, a slave lives in his or her own reality, in which he or she is limited by his or her master. Slavery then is a sub-reality of the "real" physical reality. The difference between full realities and sub-realities is also ill-defined, what could be held as a sub-reality can be a reality all on it's own. In this light, freedom then is defined as being in the most external of reality, and questing for freedom is defined as finding your way out of your inner reality and embracing an outer reality.

How do you find out if you are still in an inner reality?

For him, an indicator would be repressive force. If something represses you in your reality, then you are not truly free. There exists a more external reality than where you believe you are in, and it's up to you if you want to pursue this more external reality. A slave would feel repressed by the limits set upon him or her by his or her master. This would indicate that there is a more external reality to the reality the slave is accustomed to, since he is not totally free yet due to the repressive force.

What then is the most external reality?

Is it the physical world? Then why do people escape to the Internet? In the physical world, you cannot assume more than who you are. It's difficult to be more than who you are already; unlike in the virtual world.

Is this repressive force? Is this then enough to say that the physical world is not the most external reality, but is an inner reality to something else? Say, the virtual world?

So which is it? Which is more real? The seventeen year-old boy sitting in front of his computer, or KittyMaster<3<3 his laser saber of kitty-cuteness, cutting a swath across the magic flower field? Isn't he more free as KittyMaster<3<3 than as a boring seventeen year-old bound by the rules of society?

Who then is who?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tiring tiring tiring

This is one of the most tiring days ever.

I don't know what set it apart from most days though, it seems pretty ordinary. I went to school for a morning class (I actually made it earlier than I usually do, still not enough to make it on time, but way earlier than usual). Then did some thesis work right after, then went home.

Seems ordinary enough.

But by about three PM, I was already wasted. At about that time we were trying to work things out for thesis. I thought after I ate (some decent chicken fillet carbonara from pizza place, yum!) I would be able to think a little more properly and clearly. While it had that effect for, I dunno, thirty minutes, it wasn't long till I felt really really sleepy and tired. We were in the game lab at that time, so it was probably the relevant silence and coldness of the room that made me all sleepy.

Anyway, so there, it was a really tiring day. It was great to cap it off with an Imperial Chinese Supreme Bowl from KFC. KFC should thank me for the free plug, but that dish (I dunno if I should call it a dish, since it's more of an order than a dish) is one of the best! The sumptuous sauce, the crispy chicken, the tangy eggplants... It's really really good! Too bad it's probably full of MSG, which probably is the ingredient responsible for all the flavor. Oh well, at 100 pesos a meal, its definitely a steal.

So there, that's just about it for today.

Oh, hold on, speaking of my morning class, it got so boring everyone began to plurk songs. Plurk turned into a spontaneous singing bee! Hehe, oh well, maybe next week we'd have another round.

Monday, July 6, 2009

God's Chisel - The Skit Guys

Click here to watch this video.

Control or chisel?

It's gonna be painful, but I say chisel.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

First day of driving school

was really fun.

Well, the instructor wasn't as friendly as when I enrolled for the manual a year ago, but he's OK, just a little intimidating but after living through two terms under a certain professor, nothing quite intimidates me too much anymore :p

I kindof had to get used to driving again though; it's been a year since I last drove a car. I had to relearn and reacquire a feel for the gas and brake pedals (since I'm driving automatic now) and proper timing for steering. I also had to relearn some of the terms like two point and three point turning and stuff along that vein. Otherwise though, I think I did OK for a pseudo-first time driver.

I wish though that this time my folks are actually going to allow me to use one of our cars. The last time, after I studied manual, my parents never actually let me drive. My mom in particular was afraid I was going to treat it like a toy or something, which was kindof annoying. Why would you make me take up a driving course if you won't let me drive anyway? And up until today she keeps on blaming me for not practicing how to drive all this time!


Anyway, it's all cool. This time though I'm more determined to learn and have my own driver's license made. Driving is a pretty important skill, seeing as to how society nowadays rely heavily on automobiles for transport. I'm just worried it'd turn me into a lazy sloth.

Recently I've been undergoing some form of holistic betterment, basically doing stuff that makes me feel good about myself physically, emotionally, mentally and most of all spiritually. Think of it like a tune-up for a car, since I've been talking about cars anyway. I'm trying to cut down on unhealthy foods, watching my diet, aiming for 10,000 steps per day, doing at least 10 proper push-ups a day (incrementally increasing), praying each night and daily bible reading; all this to make me feel better about myself. My worry is that when I learn how to drive, I might cut down on walking. I might feel tempted to use the car to get to a very nearby location, wasting a good opportunity to use my legs. Nah, but that's still sometime from now, I would just have to practice a little more discipline.

Anyways, that's just about it for today. Day isn't over yet so I'd see what else I can accomplish before it ends. Tomorrow is another school day, which is good for me since being with my family seriously makes it harder for me to keep up my diet vigilance, hehe.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Guys, don't put your hands in your pockets

It doesn't make you look cool.

At all.

Especially on a date.

Seriously, I know. I've been there and I've done that.

Going home from school today, I spotted a couple which from how I deduce it are in the mushy bashful stage of their relationship. It was kindof annoying since they were in front of me in the tricycle stand line (in case you don't know what a tricycle is, it's a motorcycle bolted to a sidecar used in public transport, probably exclusively in third world countries). I got there and they were at the end of the line already; which means I'm next in line to get a trike (contracted version of tricycle) home. But for some reason they were so bashful and shy they were arguing who gets to ride the trike first! This would have mattered if they were riding separate trikes but they were going to ride just one! Took them a good part of forever before finally deciding who gets to go inside the trike first. As if it matters.

The worst part in this silly anecdote? The guy, trying to look cool the entire time, kept one if his hands inside his pocket! Even when he sat down inside the friggin trike! Which made him look really stupid by the way, imagine curling your arm inside a small sidecar just so it would remain inside your pocket (trike's have notoriously small passenger accommodation, usually each trike is good for three or four: two inside the sidecar and one or two hitching a back ride on the motorcycle).

I dunno if it's a natural tendency of men to place their hands in their pockets when they're idle. I guess it's the effect of mass media or something, that sometime ago it was cool to place your hands in your pockets. Not that I'm not a victim to this too, but at least I know when to shove them in and when not to! I don't know if people would agree when I say that yeah, sometimes hands-in-pockets makes a guy (or a girl) look cool, but it's a volatile thing that while it might work for some, it definitely won't work for all, and not at all times too.

Mass media has that much of an insane effect in people don't you think? Take the hand-in-pocket mannerism for example. What about cramming a person's hand inside a tight pocket? What's so special about that? So does it mean that back in the day when there were no pockets, people have one less mannerism to make them look cool? And what about placing hands in pockets make it cool anyway? I mean, it's a friggin hand in a friggin pocket!

Anyways, sometimes things like these puzzle me to no end. It's like an unwritten rulebook of cool. Certain mannerisms make a person look cool and attractive to the opposite sex; mastering these mannerisms becomes more than a necessity if one intends to impress. And yet it's also very fickle, as the hands-in-pockets mannerism is a definite no no during corporate occasions, and yet is perfectly OK in formal occasions, provided you can pull it off.

I don't know really. I'm naturally cool so I don't really need to impress.

Do you know of any mannerisms that fall in the same vein?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thesis thesis

I think everybody I know would agree to me when I say "We hate thesis!"


Eh, I dunno, most of the time I don't really hate thesis, nor do I like it. I'm sort of neutral, if that's even possible. If I have to do it, then I'd do it; that's how I used to treat thesis. But right now, I dunno, I'm beginning to grow a heavy distaste for thesis. And at the worst time as well, I've only got one month. Can't it be any more cruel than that?

How I wish thesis could just disappear. It's been one of my prime source of stress in the recent months, and is the prime source of stress for most of my friends as well. But I guess there's really nothing that could be done. If it has to be done, it has to be done perhaps.

Which brings us to my day so far. I woke up a teensy bit late for my first class (yes, it's a Saturday but I have a morning class, my close friend was right, not a very good idea). I got to school probably an hour after the class started, but I might as well have skipped the subject altogether.

The instructor was teaching us how to code in C#, but it was kinda confusing. I think he was trying to teach us the procedural way of coding; the basics. But because he had been using C#, or because the slides were saying so, he taught us the object-oriented style of coding in C#. It's all ok and good, but it was really boring. He seemed a to be in the lower end of the confident strata, maybe bordering a little to incompetence - but that's way too harsh. He did not build any sense of rapport with the students, and some of those present were even manipulating him subtly. While I know teaching is a difficult job, he seemed to be letting it get the most of him.

So while he was trying to teach us the basics of C#, a lot of us were doing other stuff instead of listening. The class literally became plurk class; there were open plurks everywhere! I admit I was pretty much guilty as well of plurking in class; I was trying to listen but it was quite difficult when the instructor wasn't speaking so much. It was good the class ended even before we realized it.

Fast forward to a few minutes after class. My friends decided to visit one of their previous professors they have grown a liking towards, so I tagged along with them. I never got a chance to be the student of this professor, but she seemed fun when she talks with them. Once we got to their classroom, we found out their class weren't over yet. So we waited outside and things started becoming crazy.

One of us started singing Michael Jackson songs (RIP Michael, your music would be sorely missed). He started dancing too, first to Thriller then to Heal the World. We were all trying to contain our laughter since we would be making too much noise! It was really really crazy. We dispersed soon when we realized the class we were waiting on is gonna take longer than we thought, and my friends had to go to Greenhills. I went my way and that's just about it. Right now I'm just waiting for us to leave for SM Mall of Asia, maybe play a couple of bowling rounds and if possible maybe grab a Gundam along the way. I badly want a Gundam right now, it's been more than a month since I assembled one.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We will miss you

This morning I attended the wake of one of the most dear persons to FORMDEV, Brother Ceci. I cannot say anything much about Brother Ceci. He was a very simple man. He seems to be always smiling, always laughing; he was a very happy person. Brother Ceci was also a very good storyteller, and his stories continue to resonate upon those who heard them. His stories inspire and touch the heart; some will make you laugh, some will make you sad, all would strike a chord in you. These are often stories of students ranging from the little kids to La Salle sports team memebers; all of them he had befriended and loved.

But if there was something that would describe Brother Ceci, from how I knew him, it would have to be love.

Many people quest for happiness. Many people pay big bucks to buy things that they think would make them happy. Others find happiness in hobbies, games, friends. But it's always never easy, as what may make you happy now may not make you happy tomorrow. But for Brother Ceci, it never seemed to be the case. He may have his ups and downs, but he seemed to be always really happy. People like him are a mystery to me, until today.

If there would be one thing I would remember Brother Ceci for, it would be his capacity to love.

His was a simple love. He would love you and that's it. Maybe I am exaggerating things, but from his stories and the sharings of his life, this seemed to be the case. And he never seemed to run out of love. He always seemed to have space to love another person; his was a big heart.

And he allowed his heart to be drowned in God's love.

How I wish I can love like him. How I wish I could flood my heart with God's love and love unconditionally as he did. He made it look so easy; I guess it really shouldn't be that hard.

Brother Ceci, thank you. Thank you for the stories you shared, the lives you touched. Thank you that you became part of my life. It may not have been as big as I wanted, I really wished I could have talked to you more, but the inspiration you gave me I would try to treasure and remember for the rest of my life. You showed me that it is possible for man to flood himself or herself with God's love and love unconditionally. You showed me how love need not be complicated. You showed me how to truly love.

Thank you Brother Ceci.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy endings are real

I have already given up on happy endings.

Oh yeah, before anything else, this is my first blog post in blogger/blogspot. Hello. I originally came from multiply, but after their layout update, I dunno, I find the changes a little too obstrusive for me. Yes, it does what it claims to do, but it's a little too clunky, and the entire thing takes longer to load. Who knows, maybe I would find a reason compelling enough to return to multiply, but until then, I'm migrating all my stuff here in blogger. This blog would be for my personal life, rants and raves, while this would be for my short stories and other literary work. Yeah, I'm also a writer so deal with it.

Anyway, about happy endings. Movies often end in happy endings; at least in the movies I watch. Yeah, there are a lot of movies out there that do not have happy endings (I'm looking at you Skeleton Key) but I dunno, I rarely get to see any of those; not that I really want to. I don't normally watch movies, for a reason worth another blog. When the good guy hero kisses the leading lady, or when a band of warriors or soldiers finally achieve victory; happy endings are always too good to be true most of the time. They are often too amped up, and for good reason. Movies aren't movies without flair; or at least they aren't movies that sell.

Wouldn't it be nice if lives also had happy endings? I mean, it doesn't necessarily entail the "end" like death or anything, just happy moments. Like after finally being able to finish preparing and waiting a full three minutes for your cup noodles, it becomes a delectable aldente treat, not an overcooked or undercooked cup of turd (I get this quite a lot). The world would be a lot better if there were happy endings, and if everything ends the way we want them to be or better.


Wrong answer, no one thousand points for you.

Of course life has happy endings, we're just too busy picturing out the ideal happy ending in our heads we forget to see the real happy ending. We're just too prone to imagining how good the end will be that we overlook how good the end had been.

I dunno, people won't agree for sure, but while experts say the secret of successful people is that they see the end from the very beginning, I say the secret of happy people is that they see the good in every ending. I know a lot would throw tomatoes at me for claiming such a naive thing, but truly, I think one of the secrets of a happy life is seeing the blessing in adversity - seeing the positive in the negative.

I think people gifted with this ability are those who become truly happy with their lives. How I wish I could become better at doing that, seeing the good in the bad. Sometimes, life just kicks me so hard in the ass it's really difficult to find the treasure in the trash, the diamond in the rough, the banana in the monkey, the golden needle in the filthy haystack (ok, ok I'd stop now). And life has a knack of kicking me in the ass too, so it really gets kinda rough at times.

Meh, at least now I'm more aware of this fact. Now I can be more proactive at seeking the happy in the endings. See? Told you happy endings are real.