Saturday, December 13, 2003


Yesterday was the first part of C3, with the lines as long as ever.

Of course it occured to me that marketing wise, making a convention anime, comic, and gaming related means that not only do you have potentially more sponsors, but you have a wider audience to take advantage of.

The event was really crowded, and it's only Saturday. Today's when people really start coming in, since all the main events are held on Sunday.

Quote of the Day

Me being the stalker that I am, I ran into a lot of people. Of course their first question is "sinong kasama mo?" ("who are you with?"). As if people haven't learned by now that I'm usually alone, the loner and unpopular person that I am.

Purpose in Life

Of course most of the day was spent guarding the bags and costumes and cameras of some cosplayers. Not only does somebody have to do it, it takes a long time. I mean when they ask me if I could watch over their stuff while they go get dressed, I know that entails me waiting for an hour or two, because 1) there's makeup to think of, 2) the costumes might be difficult to get into or have several appendages, and 3) not to generalize but females tend to spend more time fixing themselves than guys (and a lot of the cosplayers are female... the guy cosplayers just come into costume usually).

Lost and Found

Had to go up on stage and announce that a friend lost a digicam (there's a first time for everything) and not exactly the "in the limelight" that I was expecting. Of course when the announcer said it, she told me it was my camera (I can only wish I have a digicam to lose), although she did say it in the most efficient and polite of ways.

Later on, had to change my quote of the day from "I'm here alone" to "It's found, and no, it's not my camera".

Of course I was also keeping track of a lot of things yesterday as an acquaintance left his L5R deck.


Everything's out. It's a good thing I'm not the type of person that buys comics (for myself).

Silly Silly Silly

It seems that the new contest rules are not conducive to participating. For example, one of the new rules says that if you win this year, you can't participate in the same event next year. And so my group of friends are hoping they win second place in the fight scene competition so that they can participate again next year (and well, there's a good chance they'll win first place considering there were only two other groups who participated, and one of them really sucked [it was two guys kicking each other's butt without style or finesse] that even the emcees made befuddles retorts).

There's No Place Like Home

Except after braving the rain, I find that there's a party at home courtesy of my dad. At least I got to eat even when it was past dinner time. And no one was thankfully smoking at the garden (which meant smoke entering my room).

But in the drunken state that my dad was, he was already making speeches on politics at how the government should be blamed, that citizens have no fault and that everything wrong in the Philippines is due to the administration. That and GMA is the most corrupt official yet.

Which I beg to differ since the government can't be the messianic figure everyone wants it to be. They're a stepping stone, but all the blame can't be placed on them. After all, it's the citizens that vote, the citizens that pay (or not pay) the taxes, the citizens that work and take up the duties and responsibilities of being a Filipino.

Other self-centered remarks by dad's friends that the one thing important in the president is that "he's my friend" as to take advantage of favoritism.

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Thursday, December 11, 2003


In the twisted way the world works, the comics my friends have produced all came out this week.

First in line is Carlo Vergara's compilation of ZsaZsa, complete with sketches and a full color spread.

Then there's Marco Dimaano's Angel Ace Next, the latest incarnation of his series.

And Jason Banico has two comics debuting, Cherry Blossom High and Maharlika.

And of course, there's Siglo, the project my friends have been working on for the past few weeks (and I've seen and held!). I'd tell you to buy them all and empty your pockets by this weekend (in fact, I'd probably buy them for you if I wasn't broke) but no one ever listens to me (until it's too late).


Perhaps what surprised me yesterday as the female members of my block all huddled together and talked about the nit and grit of sex.

I guess these are the times I'm glad that I'm invinsible (or people ignore me), as all these info would probably come in handy in crafting a story.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Words Have Power

Many emotions (such as fear, awe, and respect) can be invoked by uttering a single word.

One day, as world domination is finally in my grasp, my name will be the key to the best things in life: free food at restaurants, priority at lines, discount at shops, credit at banks, organized shelves at used bookstores, and the password to porn sites.

Members of my cabal need not carry any form of identifiaction; no more memorizing PIN codes, no more smudged hands for fingerprints, no time wasted searching your wallet for your ID or credit card... all one needs to do is just utter one word to reap the benefits: Charles.

But in the meantime, the only place this has been put to practice is at Ink & Stone, as Vin and Nikki have discovered as they availed of discounts without a discount card! All by uttering a single name which most Filipinos can't pronounce right (Char-les? Carlos? Chaous?).

(Of course the bad thing with this is that since there's a virtual me circulating around now, who needs the real thing?)

Evasion in the 21st Century

Scientists have summarized human behavior into two modes: fight or flight. But here in the Philippines where everyone shrinks from saying "no", a number opt for the latter rather than a direct response. Take for example when one is invited to the prom and you really don't like the guy/girl in question. Here's the typical reply:

Via email: -no reply-

Via text message: -no reply-

via letter: -no reply-

via friend: Sorry, haven't seen him/her

via phone: Sorry, he/she isn't here at the moment

in person: *runs away before you can talk to the person*

when chased: I'm not sure. Will have to ask parents/depends on my schedule/I'll catch up (which is a euphemism for "I don't know how to decline so I'm giving you hope which isn't really hope since you know I'm probably not going but I'll raise your hopes up anyway in the off-chance that I win the sweepstakes").

So yes, in the Philippines, the art of saying no has been perfected and there are probably hundreds of ways of saying it without actually saying it. But one can probably take comfort in the fact that it's often said with a smile.

People Who Hate Me

Which isn't really surprising. I mean how far would you trust a person who claims to be stalker? But over the years, I've accumulated a number of people who are angry at me for the most ridiculous of reasons. For example...

Person #1: Person #1 and I are moderators of a mailing list. Person #1 breaks a rule he/she's supposed to enforce. I reprimand him/her. Debate ensues, and person #1 justifies actions by saying all rules were meant to be broken. This from one moderator to another?

Person #2: Person #2 is a member of my mailing list. Person #2 breaks a rule. I reprimand person #2 publicly by accident. Person #2 freaks out and flames me. I apologize. Person #2 replies with an email saying that he/she doesn't have to read the email I sent and is cutting off further contact with me. Person #2 unsubscribes himself/herself from the mailing list, and then bans me from the mailing lists he/she moderates.

Person #3: I inadvertedly offended person #3's friend. I apologize to person #3's friend. Person #3's friend forgives me. Person #3 does not.

Person #4: Person #4 reads from person #3's blog that I'm a jerk. Person #4 believes person #3. Person #3 has been known to be quick to anger and to be angry at a lot of people. Person #4 stil believes person #3.

Person #5: I offer person #5 a present. Person #5 starts disliking me, but doesn't say so when I'm there.

Person #6: Person #6 is insecure. Person #6 finds out person #5 dislikes me. Person #6 in turn dislikes me to gain person #5's sympathy.

Person #7: Person #7 says I was kind to his/her friend but not to her. I was a salesclerk at a shop during the time. Person #7 was with friends numbering a dozen or so. It is physically impossible for me to entertain a dozen people at any one time.

Person #8: Person #8 hears from person #7 that I'm a jerk because of said incident. Person #8 believes person #7.

Person #9: Person #9 hears secondhand account from person #8. Person #9 believes person #7.

Person #10: I give criticism to person #10's piece of work. Person #10 takes it personally.

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Ticket Pimping

Return of the King on Dec. 20, 2003 at Mega Mall, 7:30 pm. P400. I just know a lot of people (myself included) who just can't go...

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My mother, a woman in denial, is by her nature a contradiction.

Celebrated my brother's birthday at a Spanish restaurant (parents were opting for Mandarin but my brother had a lot of sense and wading through the traffic of EDSA at rush hour just doesn't appeal to him) but it was their soft opening (hence a lot of things my parents were ordering weren't available... and they still complained).

Of course of the six of us, only my mother ate half of her food and rice. Yet with her plate still semi-full, she suddenly asks for dessert.

And when all was said and done, they gave my father a survey to fill out. Father declined by my mother grabbed it and told her it was impolite to not fill up the form. So she writes down her name and gender but didn't fill in the choosing portion of the form (where you rate the food, service, etc.).

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Monday, December 08, 2003


Yesterday was one of those Catholic school holidays, and from Mega Mall to Glorietta, I did see quite a number of Ateneans (of course whether they in turn saw me is another matter altogether...).

On a side note, I did get stood up by my date yesterday, which is something I'm used to by now...

Write It!

One of the advice of my teachers is that when you have an idea or story to tell, don't tell it to anyone. Aside from the fact that they might steal it, these kind of things build up in you that once you get it out, the pressure is gone. At least when you write it down, it's immortalized (on paper or on the computer screen). Spoken words, however, are gone the moment they are uttered.

I'm Shy

Would you beleive it?

Anyway, the next anime convention is a few days away (ticket prices have gone down from P150 to P100) and this is usually the only time I actually socialize in my asocial life.

I mean here I get to meet and see fellow anime fans (and some of them are awfully pretty, hehehe) but I guess the biggest challenge is the fact that a chunk of my friends are into cosplaying and I don't cosplay (it's expensive and I'm not driven to go as a certain character... and I'm lazy).

I usually feel I need to prove myself or I feel left out of some of the conversations. I end up helping the cosplayers with their costumes since something always goes wrong (either it's a prop that needs fixing or just handing tissue to wipe off that excess makeup). I guess I'll always be the "extra", the lackey to everyone else. I mean looking at my past it's always been like that: the editorial assistant at Pulp/MTV Ink, the "assistant" (not secratary) at Elbe-, errr, Comic Collective, the proxy at a certain someone's book launch...

Now I don't mind being second to someone. I don't need to be the president of the company or the leader of a certain group. service is something I'm capable of. As long as it pays well. Or at least I get recognition for it.

Chinese Careers

To me, it seems the life of a Chinese is all about order and structure, as can be seen in Chinese history (but of course, there always will be exceptions). In contrast to the US where everything is informal, and while they do have "freedom", things are also a bit way too chaotic (in my opinion).

Many Filipino-Chinese parents carry on this philosophy about order and structure in the vocation of their children. It begins with sending their children to exclusive Filipino-Chinese schools, not only to teach them Chinese language and culture but to nurture camaraderie among fellow Chinese (and I have known a number of people who think they're better than the rest simply for the fact that they're Chinese).

This carries on to a person's social life. Having Chinese friends is good. Having non-Chinese friends raises your parents's eyebrows. After all, it is their belief (in Chinese pride, claiming that the Chinese are better and China is a better place) that everyone else (or maybe just Filipinos) are inferior. Perhaps the only time non-Chinese friends are really accepted is if they're rich. But all this happens behind the scenes, for the Chinese are too polite to say it in front of you. At least not in a language others can understand.

As an example of this Chinese pride, one merely has to find any Chinese merchant. Ask for a discount and he'll probably give you 5% off. Ask it in Chinese and he'll probably give you a better price. But the latter only works if you have Chinese blood in you. And the preference goes to Chinese when hiring employees (sometimes not even of the same level).

Of course by now, you might notice that a lot of Chinese are into business. Sure, there are some who are into the arts, but these are the exceptions (or either they simply can afford to do so or they've breaken away from "Chinese culture" too much). Which isn't surprising because the default career of the son (yes, it's a patriarchy) of a Chinese family is to go into business.

Why business? Well, because it's stable (as in you have a monthly income) and it pays. Painting, for example, doesn't pay (not unless you become such a huge success, which your parents aren't really counting on). Writing isn't stable (at least for those who go freelance). To find further proof of this, one just needs to go to the (*cough* *cough*) "top universities" of the country and look who are enrolled in the Management and Management Engineering courses. A bulk of them are Chinese, and if you notice too, they tend to group together.

That's not to say that career is equated with business. As long as you have a stable income and it pays well, it's a career. For example, what has never changed among Chinese for the past century is the approval in being a doctor (for either gender too). I mean Chinese acknowledge that being a doctor is good, more so for the fact that you could have a high income rather than the fact that you're helping people. And because of "Chinese camaraderie", Chinese would choose a Chinese doctor over a Filipino one, which means you automatically have a high-paying, niche market in the event that you do practice here.

Of course contrary to the stability many Chinese are espousing, the Chinese are into fads as well. I mean back when brick games (Tetris) were at an all time high in the Philippines, many vendors were Chinese. The same could be said for the more recent Zagu craze. And selling mobile phones are something many Chinese continue to pursue. But when you take a closer look, there is something stable about this. As long as it's a fad, it'll surely sell. The only question is until when, and perhaps that's classified as a business risk.

Other jobs not frowned upon by Chinese parents are engineering and IT, the former belonging to the previous generation since during their time, engineers were the latest thing and in demand, the latter the parents of the present generation, since out of their ignorance they think that IT pays well and will be the latest thing until the 22nd century (well, IT does pay well, but IT also tends to be contractual, and there's a lot of comeptition too).

If I were to make a heirarchy of careers, being a businessman is on top of the list (and other business-related careers, business-related in the sense that you're running the show), followed by being a doctor, and engineering/IT-related (which parents think is their foresight in their child's future). Well, it's either that or marrying a rich girl.

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