Friday, September 12, 2003


I usually come to school as early as 10 am even though my classes start at 1:30 pm. Yesterday's incursion though involved me coming to my Theology class, only to find out that the teacher was leaving for a seminar. And then when I came to my Philosophy class right after Theology, the teacher wasn't present.

Well, at least I got to see my crush...

Dragonlance with no dragonlance

I was browsing through the Dragonlance Campaign Setting and well, there weren't any dragonlances...


I'll be having my hands full today since in the morning, I'll be going to Ateneo (which isn't an easy feat since today is the ACET) for Carlo Vergara's talk on comics.

Then I have to meet a friend and rush to Glorietta for the Level Up Games Ragnarok Event.

And I'll have to wake up early on Sunday since my sister is taking her ACET exam and I have to accompany her.

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Thursday, September 11, 2003

New Blogger

Well, the services seem to be improving... but being a "free user" can only get you so far.


Hmmm. Today's 9-11. Moving on...


My fellow creative writing blockmates tend to be emotional. Whenever they receive criticism, they always take it personally. Perhaps they're better writers than me. Being emotional probably helps their writing since they're more in touch with feelings and the senses. But please, people point out flaws so that you can remedy them, not rub it in your face.

A Valid Question

Me: So are you confident enough in your work that you think it's the next Palanca-winning fiction? That people will buy our book because of it?

Blockmate: Yes!! I mean I was part of the Dumagete workshop.

Me: So?

Blockmate: It's one of the most internationally prestigious workshop.

And then I get interrupted before I can say "so?" again. Because in the endworkshops are only tools (in addition to not being the be all and end all of writing craftsmanship). It's the writer who determines whether the workshop was fruitful or not.

To my blockmate's credit, she's probably a better writer than me.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

New Stock!

CCHQ just restocked their Japanese shipment! Lots and lots of them that the whole batch won't be in until Friday, although some of the titles were already on shelf today like Saiyuki Reload Vol. 2, DNAngel Vol. 9, Clamp's Tsubasa, Suikoden Gaiden Vol. 3, Kingdom Hearts artbook, Final Fantasy X2 artbook, and DNAngel artbook.

Mooncakes are Expensive

There was time when Chinese mooncakes would cost P20 each. Since Dean was craving for one the other day, I told him I'd buy him one, thinking they would still be affordable.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

I initially thought the price was for one pack but no, it's for one piece. Not surprising when I think about it, since the last time I actually went out to buy mooncakes were what, during Cory Aquino's time, when the dollar to peso exchange rate was merely P25.00, half of what it is now.

Outrunning the Rain

Two streets away from my house, I started to feel some raindrops. I still kept walking.

One street away, I started to hear something like a stampede. Uh oh, heavy rain was coming. I started to sprint and when I reached the gate, rushed to open it with as much alacrity I could muster in the few seconds before the storm would catch up to me.

I did not get wet. Rain poured hard for as long as one minute before moving on.


It probably would have been perfect if it didn't take five minutes for the car/train to arrive. I mean during rush hour, it also takes the MRT five minutes to get to the station (because of its heavy load, and the people who force their way in even though it's already in maximum capacity). But five minutes during off-peak hours is just too long.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2003

It's not from me!

If you know where I'm getting these links, you'll understand the title. Anyway...

Neil Gaiman interview

Laurell K. Hamilton interview

Highlander interview

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An Unconventional Conversation

Marcel: Do you know where I can get a copy of Asimov's short stories?

Me: Why, suddenly took an interest in Asimov?

Marcel: Of course not! It's for Sacha.

Me: Oh. I thought it was because your were interested in him or got influence by Mr. Bulaong.

Marcel: Sorry but Asimov is Science Fiction...

Misconceptions About Science Fiction

First off, Science Fiction is well, like fiction (the same goes with fantasy). It's about telling a good story, although it uses a specific method in doing so. It doesn't even have to be about space, the future, or some complicated contraption. Look at Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451. It's pretty much contemporary, except for the one fact that all books are banned.

Second, a lot of people usually associate SF with jargon or scientific terms. That's not necessarily so. I mean a writer doesn't necessary put jibberish into their work. I mean look at Asimov's Foundation series. Hardly anything scientific in his writing. Or even Frank Herbert's Dune. What they do have though is concepts (which needn't be explained in a language other than English).

That's not to say there aren't writers who include terms which aren't in the dictionary. I mean in McCaffrey's Pern, she alludes to simple chemical formulas, but that's probably it. Of course in my opinion, McCaffrey didn't need to put in those terms and could have explained it in layman's terms and still be called science fiction, but those are the perks of writers.

Third, SF (and Fantasy) aren't all geek stories about robots going mad or people killing other people. Rather, it's an avenue to take off into other aspects of fiction such as romance or philosophy or adventure. The "science-fiction" aspect of it is only there to give a viable explanation for their current situation, such as why it's possible to travel long distances in space (usually, this is just a "fake" solution that only gives a theory and not the actual mechanics of it, which we readers should appreciate since it is a work of fiction and not a thesis). Ender's Game is a pre-Matrix novel about a boy who thinks he's playing a game and in the end, there are morality issues have to be faced. Heinlen's Starship Troopers (please, read the novel... while the movie is a bit good, it's vastly different from the actual book) is a rite of passage to manhood, and there's a sprinkle of romance in stories like Pern, Dune, and Ursula le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness. There's even comedy in Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

So if you're someone who actually reads, don't diss science fiction without giving it a try (but like any genre, there will, of course, be horrible writers who can possibly scar you for life). Then there's Dean who's stance on SF is NEVERRRRRRRRRRR.

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Tuesdays are Cursed

For more than four weeks, every Tuesday, it rains. Period. (At leasts it's showers rather than storms... so far.)

I Hate Tuesdays

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm trapped at school from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm. The good news is that I can have a night life since classes don't start until 1:30 pm the next day. Unfortunately, I tend to sleep early on Tuesdays.

Running Man

Well, I had an appointment with my theology teacher today at 12 pm. Unfortunately, I accompanied Elbert for most of the day, even waiting at the pscyhology department, all alone, for half an hour. Luckily, I had a book (Neverwhere , which I bought at the bookfair, since it was on sale and it was one of those "now or never" opportunities) which I used to ignore the stares of the people who were wondering what I was doing on their sofa since I did not seem to have an appointment with any of the teachers.

Eventually, I got dragged to CCHQ past 12 and if it wasn't for the text messages of a classmate who reminded me about the meeting, I would have completely missed it.

On a side note, I did get a free lunch since the appointment with the said teacher involved a "lugawan".


Since I'll probably forget the link if I don't write it here, visit Jason's blog.

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Monday, September 08, 2003

The Unspectacular Life of Charles

Nope, nothing new. Just plain 'ol me carrying my typical heavy bag with the usual load of books.

Pretty girls abound, me waving hi, them going away...

...yup, pretty much like a normal day.


It's on Cartoon Network, Mondays-Fridays, at 7:30 pm. The anime which I dub the "Collectible Card Game Anime".

Hey, if they're going to show a hobby-related anime, at least it's something I'm already into. =)

To MMORPG or to Pen & Paper RPG

Well, the Ragnarok Online convention is this Saturday, which is probably the only time I'll get to see my cute and lovely friends who are into anime.

Unfortunately, Saturday evening conflicts with my regular D&D group, and we couldn't game last weekend (but I did get to spend the time with the, uh, "Kestrel" people) because the few players I have had another game to attend the previous night (i.e. sleepover with lots of softdrinks).

Sure, the former comes only once a year (and they're selling porings!), but the latter is also a rare event as it is. I'll probably somehow do both, being at the convention in the afternoon, and gaming until early Sunday morning.

So how am I going to get any writing done with all this? (At least lately, I've found the time to read.)


Me being the pusher that I am, I'll probably introduce (i.e. corrupt) Vin with these newly "discovered" bookstores which I've never been to:

Booktopia: Eastwood, 634-6544

National P.O.B. (Previously Owned Books) - Quezon Ave., inside Crossings dept. store

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Sunday, September 07, 2003

Itching for Short Stories

Suddenly, I'm craving for SF&F short stories. But I'm broke so I can't go out and buy the Fantasy and Horror anthology at Ink & Stone/A Different Bookstore.

And I have 21 days to come out with a final output for the "book" that my block is supposed to publish.

Maybe once I graduate, I'll be like the stalker that I am and vanish from the face of the earth.

Except I have a blog.

Reeking of Geeking

Coined by Elbert, used by many. If he got a penny for every time it was used, well, that would be a lot of pennies (from penniless people, unfortunately).

So what does that have to do with me? Well, when I was a kid, I was a comics fan. But I decided to save up on money so I quit. But I got into video games. But there were power failures so I quit. Then I got into Magic: The Gathering. But there were cute girls into anime and my funds could only handle one hobby. So anime it was. But my crush didn't like me so I got depressed over anime. So there was a resurgence into my SF&F tendencies. And then came RPGs. But my reading material is still priority. But it's amazing how much I've picked up over the years.

No More Money

When it comes to treating out people, I have no will power. And well, the next six months will probably the last time I'll be treating anyone out since I'll be joining the ranks of the unemployed soon and I can say good bye to my allowance.

I'll literally be a starving writer, and maybe that's enough pressure for me to continue writing (except writing in the Philippines doesn't really pay, unless you work for advertising, or you work for government propaganda).


Dean asked me if I resented being Chinese. I used to, several years ago. But whatever your culture, your ethnicity, your nationality, you'll always be facing problems. Whether I'm a Filipino or a Chinese or a Muslim or an American or a Japanese or a Korean or a Palestinian or whatnot, there'll always be something for me to face up to.

So no, I don't resent me being Chinese. I could be in worse situations, perhaps starving. I wish though that I knew how to speak Chinese, whether it's mandarin, fookien, or even cantonese.

There's always prejudice everywhere, no matter where you are. Me living in the Philippines where Filipino-Chinese deny their Filipino heritage is just the tip of the ice berg, especially when they're more Filipino than Filipinos.

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I actualy have a pair at home (although one seems to be missing), not that I actually use it. Dean though was inquiring early (i.e. 1 am) this morning on how to use one and I do know the rudimentary rules of using it as an arithmetic calculator.

But just in case, I started surfing the Internet to brush up. Apparently, there's a Japanese and Russian abacus, as well as a computer program.

I think I'll just stick with the basics.

Bye Bye Bookfair

Had one last visit today and lo and behold, there were still a lot of comics.

I guess Harry Potter also stabilized at P780 and new stocks did arrive at the last minute for the National Bookstore/Powerbooks branch.

7 Hours of my Life

It took me fifteen minutes to run to Mega Mall from my house last night to meet up with my "friends into comics" (who can also be classified as "friends into porn"). And well, what was supposed to be a few hours turned into seven, and something like nine of us were cramped into a van... which wouldn't be so bad if the van in question didn't have only two rows of seats.

Since I was with older people, smoking and drinking (coffee) couldn't be avoided, but I don't do either (as well as eating). Still, it was nice seeing them. And it's strange admitting to people that I don't have a plan once I graduate, where under other circumstances, I should have a six digit bank account by now.

Vampire Orchid

That's my new name. The former because I only pop up at night, the latter since I don't seem to thrive on anything but air.

School for Gifted... Chinese

Xaverians have an innate sense that they can tell apart a Xaverian from a non-Xaverian (or an ICAn from a non-ICAn for that matter). It just surprised Vin at how accurate that sense is.

Maybe it's just because we've heard so much bullshit from school that we can identify it coming from each other.

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