Friday, May 31, 2002

Finally got to update my other BLOG site. I was supposed to post it several weeks back but I only got to finish writing it down today. And I'm not exactly in the mood to write anything happy so...

Also spent some time editing the thing since all of my apostrophes turned to question marks. Grrrrr...

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Spent most of the day sleeping. That's what I usually do when I'm depressed. Well, what else am I supposed to do? I'm not exactly in the mood to read and that's the only thing I can do while I'm home. Just hope Lea will eventually forgive me.

On the brighter side of things, I've been receiving email from Steph. Too bad my ISP's going wacky lately so I might not be able to receive all my mail today.

Oh yeah and tomorrow's the cosplay. Only God knows what'll happen.

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Fate has been conspiring to keep me from updating this site from my parents, to my brother, to my ISP.

For one thing, Lea's mad at me. *sigh* For another, found a purple long sleeves at Shoppesville but it costs P700, more than my budget for anything. And well, I've been having trouble connecting to my ISP lately, especially since they're going to have a maintenance check two hours from now.

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Thursday, May 30, 2002

I'm not sleepy. Isn't it obvious? And I'm not exactly in a mood to read.

Well, maybe I could rant at how enrollment is only a week away. Or perhaps whether I'll be going to Franco's despidida (did I spell that right?) tomorrow (later) or not. And let's not forget my first foray into cosplaying (something will go wrong...). There's also the topic of my crush. But since I want to do something different (yeah right), I'll just talk about Blizzard's upcoming game, Warcraft 3.

It's not yet out but it will be by June 25. 2002. Yes, that's twenty six days away. Blizzad has a tenacity to not come out on time but with the Beta release and the single player screenshots, I think Blizzard will come through with the release date.

Blizzard's foray into PC gaming has resulted into two genres: real time strategy and adventure/RPG. I'm sure Garrick will comment me here on how Diablo and Diablo 2 aren't RPGs but that's why there's a slash and adventure before it. It has RPG elements but isn't a full fledge RPG. Anyway, why did I mention this all? Because unlike Blizzard's other real time strategy games like Warcraft and Starcraft, Warcraft 3 is a mixture of both genres.

The introduction of heroes that level up is a fun and interesting twist in Warcraft 3. Add in the fact that you face various NPCs called "creeps" that give you treasure and level you up adds to the "RPG flavor". However, I think the real proof of Blizzard's meshing of two genres will be more evident in the single player scenarios. From what I heard, each campaign has several sidequests so it's not just about who's better at building an army. Your hero meets NPCs and they give you quests such as saving the mother's son from gnolls and the like. They even give you treasures as a reward. It's clearly reminiscent of Diablo.

In Warcraft 1, you played two races, the orcs and the humans. Aside from the look, they were identical in nearly every way. It's like Ryu and Ken in the original Street Fighter 2. There were still two races in Warcraft 2 but there were subtle differences and they were less carbon copies of each other. Starcraft changed all this with three distinct and unique races. Warcraft 3 is the next step as four different races are playable: humans, orcs, night elves, and undead.

Humans and orcs are played more or less the same in the previous warcraft except humans have the ability to "speed build" which is done by repairing structures that are being constructed. Night elves are similar to the Zerg from Starcraft in the sense that their buildings can move on their own (and attack even) and that their "peasants" become the buildings. The undead are a mixture of Zerg and Protoss as they can only build on areas which are infested by the blight but can build multiple buildings at the same using only one peasant.

Perhaps the most innovative thing in the game is the addition of resource management. When you start out in the game, you don't have an upkeep but as soon as your population increases to more than forty, you're at low upkeep and there's a 30% penalty on the resources you acquire. Later, that penalty increases to 60% when you exceed seventy food. There's an additional strategy involved in this since you gain less resources by having more units. One favorite tactic of mine is to get most of the upgrades and buildings when you still don't have an upkeep and go to high upkeep when all your resources are exhausted.

Micromanagement is also important here since you have less troops (a maximum of 90 food units worth). You can't waste troops as they cost you a big percentage of your army.

One of the achivements in the place I play Warcraft 3 is how they hacked the program. Normally, you would be playing Warcraft 3 in Blizzard's server called Battlenet. In the local gaming network I go to, the network is considered as Battlenet. They're not using the network command but the "connect to Battlenet" command. Well, you got to give Filipinos credit. They are good with computers.

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Nice evening, or should I say morning. It's been a few hours since rain fell and there's as cool breeze in the air. I should know since I sleep in a room where neither the fans nor the aircon are turned on.

Anyway, since I don't think my brother will be using the phone anytime soon, I'm free to narrate the cosplay-related problems that happened to me today.

For one thing, I was supposed to look for purple long sleeves. Do you know how hard it is to find one? I even called my friends to ask if they had one. Lea commented that "I wouldn't be caught dead in one". Jobert told me last night he had one but couldn't find it today and when I inquired about it in the car, he told me it was more bluish than purple. Cyril suggested using dye but it's too late for that. I assume it'll take a few days to get it right and dry. In the end, Vincent told me he had one although it wasn't tight-fit. Oh well, maybe I should make magic with rubber bands.

Second, I still don't have a wig. Aqua hair is the ideal look for my character but Ellaine couldn't find one last Wednesday despite her trip to Divisoria. I guess we'll just have to settle for hair spray. Just hope I get it off before my parents find out.

My cape was supposed to be done by Vincent but he called me today to say that he couldn't do it (or if he could, it wouldn't look good) as he needed two yards of the cloth instead of the two 1 yard black and red I gave him. Fortunately, Lea told me the other day that JM's Endymion character in last year's cosplay had a black and red cape. Tried to contact JM via cellphone but he didn't have one (mental note: erase JM's cellphone number). Tried calling up his landline at around 8 pm but it remained busy until 11. I'm glad JM answered it but at the same time ashamed that I had to disturb him. After all, I don't know him well and I'm borrowing something.

Another predicament that arose is my ride getting to the WAA con. I was supposed to tag along with Lea since I don't exactly know how to get there but Lea told me today that she might arrive late since she's doing some last minute sewing. Things are obviously far from perfect.

On a side note, my crush might be a little mad at me. Nothing serious, I hope. =)

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Finally finished Riftwar Legacy. I'm now reading the Earthsea trilogy. Well, not quite. You see I'm missing the first book, "A Wizard of Earthsea" but I have the three following it. Le Guin also released the fifth book recently but I don't exactly have the funds to purchase it.

While channel surfing an hour ago, found the movie "It Could Happen to You" on HBO. I remember how much I love it when I first saw it. I even had to put down Tombs of Atuan which I was reading. "A promise is a promise." That's what Nicholas Cage's character says in the film. Definitely worth admiring.

Oh yeah, there's been several last minute changes to my costume. Perhaps I'll tell it to you tomorrow.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2002

As I kill time waiting for my ride to arrive, maybe I should narrate at how the entire Pinoy Otaku "franchise" started.

It started with the students of my high school, Xavier. I wish it began with me but it didn't. It was the creation of two upperclassmen, Justin Kho and Ulysses Ang. I didn't really know Justin and I only saw Ulysses' name in the features section of our school paper, the Stallion. He did an anime article when I was a freshman. That's all I knew about him. Anyway, they set up a web ring back in May 4 of 1997 (source: The Pinoy Otaku Webring). It proved to be quite popular as a lot of Filipinos with internet access and had an interest in video games, anime, and manga flocked to it.

Later on, Spencer Chang and Les (I forgot her last name) asked Uly's permission (I lost track of Justin and don't know what happened to him) to set up a mailing list using the Pinoy Otaku name. He agreed and a mailing list was born in the now defunct coollist.

As it happened, I met one of Pinoy Otaku's member, Mars, during our Sophomore's Night. That was in January of 1998 and I didn't realize Pinoy Otaku existed back then. Anyway, we talked and I found out about the mailing list. I subscribed and later found out that there's a chatroom in Skyinet. It wasn't official but things were going to change.

I frequented the anime chatrooms in Dalnet since Skyinet didn't prove as interesting. However, Filipino anime fans were chatting at Skyinet and they were trying to approve the Pinoy Otaku channel. Chev and company was trying to get the support of ten or more people. At first I suggested trying to set it up at Dalnet since making a channel official is a command away but some people were having difficulty connecting. Anyway, I gave them my support and along with Mars and her friends, #Pinoy Otaku became a mainstay in Skyinet.

A year or so later, Egroups would come into the picture and the mailing list was relocated. Soon, anyone familiar with the webring would know about the mailing list and anyone in the mailing list would know about the chatroom. The chatroom had around a dozen regular members, a mixed influx of old and new chatters.

A few months later, the original creators found themselves busy with reality. Ulysses, Spencer and Les would find themselves busy with college at the very least. Since I was quite an active member in the mailing list, I (stupidly) volunteered to be moderator. Spencer gave the reins to me and soon disappeared into the mist.

Some time later, Mia came up with an idea to make a fanfiction mailing list. It was to be part of PO but independent from the mailing list as to not flood it. It was named fildoujin and was one of the first spinoffs from Pinoy Otaku.

Sometime in between, another Filipino anime-related mailing list was born: mechapinoy. It originated from the Gundam ML and some of its members realized that there were several Filipinos on the list. They also reverted to using Filipino from time to time and earned the ire of some. Thus, Richie Ramos decided to create his own mailing list. Pinoy Otaku and Mechapinoy revealed each other's presence and both mailing list expanded its roster. Pinoy Otaku was blessed with the likes of Richie, Garr, and Fed, who contributed to the discussions in the mailing list and similarly, Mechapinoy gained notable members, especially some of the female gender.

After a while, Pinoy Otaku was having discussions from various topics such as J-rock and Yaoi. AD (whose real name I cannot reveal) set up Pinoy Yaoi to counter some anti-yaoi sentiments from the mailing list and Michelle Gacusan followed suit with Pinoy J-rock. On a slightly related note, Pinoy Comic Art popped up at around this point, although its origins are not explicitly linked with Pinoy Otaku.

Uly would pass on the mantle of the Pinoy Otaku webring only to regain it a year later. Also, in light of Yu Yu Hakusho getting the primetime slot on GMA 7, a "successful" anime convention was held in November of 2000. An anime convention was attempted back in '98 or '99 by Sterling Animation and named it an "Otaku Rave Party". While some people attended, it pales in comparison to the attention Anime Explosion 2000 garnered. A number of people cosplayed during the event (and Yu Watase judged the event) and these cosplayers banded together and called themselves OAV (I forgot what the acronym stands for). They again set up a mailing list and later on, one of its members, Noelle de Guzman, set up a cosplay-related mailing list that was less exclusive: Pinoy Cosplay.

So far, the Philippines has had five anime conventions ever since and a lot of other mailing lists have popped up such as Anime PH, Anime-Club (which is tied to Telesuccess), AEC, and the like. Pinoy Otaku's mailing list dicussion has dropped ever since but smaller anime cliques are beginning to spring up. Spencer has resurfaced and started an anime trading chatroom last I heard. As for me, I'm content writing in this BLOG.

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Here again, I find myself reading myself to death.

I'm supposed to go out with Jobert and Cyril today to play Warcraft but obviously, they're late as usual in picking me up. But who am I to complain since I'm the one hitching a ride?

That aside, I never realized how short The Riftwar Legacy is. I mean I only started reading last Tuesday afternoon and now I'm in the last book, Tears of the Gods, halfway through. Or maybe I'm just in the reading mood instead of dallying with Pinball and the like.

On a side note, I've been posting more than usual. Maybe it's the boredom, and maybe it's the new computer, but either way, it's better for everyone. Then again, I honestly don't think anyone reads this stuff aside from Benj and Garr.

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My back's been aching for the past hour or so, mainly because I've been doing nothing but reading the entire day. On the bright side, I'm finished with Krondor the Betrayal with hours to spare.

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Aaaagh!!! Blogger won't publish my posts...

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Apparently, I misinterpreted Garr's email to me. Oh well. And Blogger was down so it took me some time to rectify the mistake.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2002

It's raining again... Guess I won't be going out anytime soon.

After looking at my current posts, I've probably written more this week than I have in the past two months (which isn't saying much since I haven't exactly been updating until recently). Oh well, some food for thought.

*rain suddenly starts pouring*

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Oh yeah, got an email from Garrick asking me to censor one of my posts. I did but suddenly Blogger came up with a Visual Basic code error sign. Hmmmm...

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B: I know where Cyclone Arts and Technologies Campus is. It's two blocks away from my house.
C: Great! Like I know where you live.
B: It's in Mayon St., near the Rotonda.
C: Still don't know where that is. I don't go out much.
B: It's near the end of Quezon Ave.
C: *yawn* ?!?!?!

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Finally got to finish Amber Spyglass, the third book in the His Dark Matters trilogy. I wasn't disappointed at the ending, although some things were a bit confusing for me. Still, it's a great trilogy and I'm glad I took the time to read it.

Aside from finishing Philip Pullman's book and playing Pinball on Windows, I got to play Warcraft 3 for two hours before meeting Vincent to give him the cloth for my costume. Hopefully, I can start finishing The Riftwar Legacy so that I can move on to the next author on my bookshelf. =)

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Another day passes by and people's stupidity never ceases to amaze me.

AEGIS, the RPG mailing list I'm in, is so awed by Anime Quest that they're suggesting being Telesuccess' lapdog. For one thing, they want to be associated with the company since they expect that they'll be a constant presence in upcoming cons. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In all four anime conventions last year, they were only present in one: namely the one they're sponsoring. This year, the tentative cons are the ones going to be held by We Are Anime (which is this Saturday), AXN, probably FEATA, and hopefully one by Cosplayers World (and probably one more by DOC). In all probability, I don't think Telesuccess will be present in any of those other cons.

Dariel from AEGIS is also enamored at Angeli from Telesuccess so much so that be believed her when she said that the We Are Anime con is nothing more than a "party". Shows you how naive and gullible (or stupid) some people are. First and foremost, it is an event and while there will be partying, it's still an interactive occassion. I told them so but did they listen to me? Oh well. Their loss, not mine.

In the brighter side of things, looks like I'll be going to the We Are Anime con after all. Lea's trip got cancelled so she can accompany me to Quezon City. Now if only we knew where the Cyclone Arts and Technologies Asia Campus is...

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Monday, May 27, 2002

Just as Benj is about to obtain money, I'm already starting to lose it.

For starters, my summer budget all went down the drain with Warcraft 3 at least three times a week, the Dungeon Builders Guie book I bought, Anime: from Akira to Princess Mononoke book I found at Goodwill, and the costs for my rushed costume for the upcoming con. That doesn't include my CD orders from Bart as well as my manga orders from Nani Nani . What's a guy to do? No wonder I usually have summer jobs.

I was also supposed to go out with Lea today (*looks at the time* I mean yesterday) but as usual, something came up so she had to cancel. I'm not surprised. Guess it's fate. In the meantime, I went to Fabric Warehouse to buy some cloth. It's only went I went home that I realized I bought the wrong color. >.<

Last but not least, I'll be finished with His Dark Matters by tomorrow. The book strangely reminds me of Harry Potter, yet I like it better than Harry Potter. Perhaps it's because Harry Potter is more of a mystery novel at heart than anything else. And oh yeah, I managed to chat with the people at CCHQ today.

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Strange. I always need time to reflect and since more than a day has passed since Anime Quest, I start to remember all the things I missed out in my previous post.

I forgot to mention that one of the winners in the cosplay was Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Some might argue it's not an anime character. The fact is though that what is considered anime is blurred. For example, Transformers was a show which was based on a Japanese toyline but created for Americans. However, it was animated in Japan. So is this considered anime or not? Perhaps the same could be said with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, especially since it was animated by Toei if I'm not mistaken.

The art contest was also a treat as I was able to catch a glimpse of the talent and creativeness of Filipinos. One entry was made out of resin, which isn't exactly a feat easily done. Too bad I didn't see it up close and personal. Sitting at the top seats doesn't exaclty give you the best close-up view.

Another thing that happened during the event that's worth being told as an anecdote is when one of my friends, Franco, sent me a text message that went something like this: "May entrance fee pala. Could you come out and loan me some money?" It was annoying since I was in one of the top rows and I was surrounded by a crowd. And the nerve to ask me to come all the way out so that he could borrow money. Still, it's better than Elvin who was also outside and who isn't exactly a person that pays debts.

And of course there's the mechapinoy people who were present like Benj, Richie, and Eman. Anyway, he had the audacity to speak for mechapinoy, insulting the organizers of the con via email. He was exclaiming that they called it a con when they weren't featuring model kits, especially without the authority of mechapinoy. Perhaps the email would have been forgivable if he hadn't been insulting and cursing them in his initial email. I mean how could you take an email seriously and maturely if the person writing the letter is bereft of these qualities? And he wonders why the insult to him. Fortunately, Garrick sent an email to mechapinoy stating that mechapinoy as an entity can only be used with consent of the group, not at the whim of a member.

Perhaps the biggest hype right now is the upcoming con four days from now which is being hosted by We Are Anime. OAV even managed to coerce me into cosplaying.

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Sunday, May 26, 2002

*yawn* Actually went to Telesuccess' Anime Quest 2002 today. Saw lots of old acquaintances, exchanged cellphone numbers with some, and basically had fun, not neccesarily due to Telesuccess.

I woke up at around 9 am but I just needed to listen to some of my CDs for an hour so I was actually doing something productive at around 10 am. Then I had an early lunch and went to church. Of course when I got there, the door had a sign saying "11 am Sunday School, no class". I called back the driver and had him bring me to Glorietta.

By the time I got there, the Angel Sanctuary group was outside preparing for their cosplay. There weren't too many people around and I hung out at the AEGIS booth which was supposed to be demoing RPGs. Only Vic was there and a few people passed by. I hung around the booth for awhile and then I saw the Robotech Cyclones come in...

It was actually a threesome by Robert, Toby, and Riasa. Talked to Robert about his article for my fanzine and I returned the pic I borrowed from Riasa. Later, I saw Ais and I sold him the Animerica Extra issues which I bought from Johann. Then, deciding that it was probably worth it, I paid the P150 entrance fee to watch the cosplay.

The band inside was performing L`arc songs and we were forced to endure it until the second batch of cosplayers were ready. Starting with #52, the batch ended with #99. Notable appearances aside from the Robotech Cyclones were the Hunter x Hunter cast (with accompanying dialogue) and of course, the Angel Sanctuary cast. There was a break and a karaoke contest was being held as an intermission. Then, the finalalist for the cosplay competition was announced and I had to call Riasa since she and Robert haven't returned from their break.

The finalists included the Robotech Cyclones, Lucifer from Angel Sanctuary, Battle Angel Alita (who's being cosplayed by Krizelle), Kiririn (a toddler being carried), Hanamichi Sakuragi, and the villain from Hunter x Hunter (I keep forgetting his name...). Robert, Tobie and Ria were in a fuss to get back into their costumes and they even lost a lightsaber which was supposed to be part of their skit. Oh well.

After performing cute skits in front and another intermission, the winner of the cosplay was Krizelle. Hopefully, she won't lose the cash prize of P5,000, which happened the year before. Incidentally, Krizelle did lose her wallet during the competition but luckily I found it and gave it back to her. The other winners were Kiririn, Hanamichi Sakuragi, and the villain from Hunter x Hunter.

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