Saturday, September 18, 2004

Light as a Feather

I occassionally walk to church when the driver isn't around and today was one of those days. Of course for the past week, I've been carrying my big bag and yesterday I was lifting twice the amount of weight I usually carry because I usually tend to help the other cosplayers, whether it's taking a snapshot of them, carrying and watching their bags, or helping them out with their props (some of which can be quite heavy). So today is one of those days when I get to travel without the burden of a bag.

And yes, moving was easier than expected. Skip-hopping was so natural I didn't even have to exert effort. Even got home in record time.


In the bigger picture, every Christian church community is looking to expand its members. And this means witnessing to other people in the hopes of converting them. Not that I expect to change other people's faith via coercion, but I do want to give them a nudge in the direction they want to go (even if this means following a religion other than Christianity), and in that sense, I do believe that witnessing or sharing one's experiences is an effective method.

Of course me being a shy person (I can sense several people unwilling to believe that), approaching strangers and asking them to spare a moment of their time so that I can share my experience with God is a big strain for me (i.e. I won't be doing it unless coerced). I'd rather be a salesman selling some product; at least that way, I have some tangible item which I can sell. When it comes to religion, peddling your faith takes not only sincerity but a certain charm as well. And in the end, the only constant results you have are the variety of reactions people will have; consistency is not something associated with people's reactions.

And then it dawned on me that if I really want to be effective, I shouldn't go to other people but let them come to me. Easier said that done right? But aren't blogs like that? Blogs aren't spam, we go to them, not them to us. If you want to know about me and my faith, read my blog. If I want to share, I'll blog about it.

Suddenly, witnessing became much easier in the 21st century (but of course, missionaries will still be key players in propagating one's faith).


The fantasy genre has often been seen as anti-Christianity. And me being a fantasy fan, that's hard to reconcile. It's like the Catholic church's stand on homosexuality: sexual intercourse isn't a big issue when it comes to showing your love for others (since there are other modes of expression), but as a homosexual couple, you still can't perform it together (because it's not a "big issue" but we're making it a big issue nonetheless). With the exception of some blatantly pro-Christian novels (i.e. Chronicles of Narnia, Left Behind series), everything else is in the devil's sphere of influence.

Of course for me, that's ironic, since most of the epic fantasy genre deals with Christian virtues. I mean you have a powerful being who chooses someone to save the world, a person with his/her own destiny. I mean isn't that the same way our Christian God is portrayed in the bible? God chose insignificant people, people like Abram, Jacob, Moses, Jonah, etc. And in fantasy, it's not the princes or the great warriors but rather the common folk, the underdog, the peasant, the farmer, the commoner. The fact that you have a deity-like being choosing people to save the world is already a big step in promoting the Christian mythos. Personally, I don't like those kinds of plots but hey, the popular writers like Weis & Hickman, Terry Brooks, and Patricia McKillip uses them. And our priests and pastors asks that from us: that we can make a difference in other people's lives (it might not seem huge at first but it does make an impact) if we take steps to help and preach to them.

Second is the purpose characters are given in fantasy novels. Everyone has a purpose, even the villains. I don't think I need to quote from the bible that everyone (especially us Christian) has a purpose, even our enemies. I think a good example of this is Gollum from The Lord of the Rings novels; it's not stated as much in the movie but in the novel, several people want to kill Gollum. Even Frodo was tempted but he eventually took the path that Gandalf took, stating that Gollum probably has a purpose and didn't allow others to kill him even if it was in their power to do so. And of course, at the end of the book, we did see how Gollum was pivotal in saving Middle-Earth (Ha! And you thought George Lucas was great for creating Darth Vader!). A number of high fantasy books take the moral high ground when it comes to protagonists. And again, I'm not exactly so much a fan of these types of characters but hey, as I said before, they do make up a significant chunk (but not the only one) of the fantasy genre. Even Raistlin of Dragonlance fame, a classic example of the anti-hero, falls under this bracket.

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Unattractive by Choice

I know that I'm not exactly the most handsome of men, but I'm not at the bottom of the ladder either. I'm somewhere in the middle, although I do have a geeky looks thanks to my dishreveled hair, glasses, and skinny frame.

Of course I also suffer from the Clark Kent/Superman complex. I look quite different when my glasses are off. I can even look prettier if I fix my hair, start wearing contacts, and shave off my eyebrows according to Dean.

On a side note, today one of my friends plucked my eyebrows because she thinks it'll make me look pretty. And me being me, I can't decline a pretty girl.

Anyway, one of the reasons I stay the way that I am is that it's easier to maintain, and the fact that when I look like a geek, people tend to underestimate and/or pity me. Just got off from the middle of nowhere today and hailing a taxi in that area was difficult to say the least. One of them stopped because he was worried for me and dropped me off near my house even if he was supposed to be going home already.

U Got Game Convention

Anyway, so that does who'll do Google search results won't be disappointed, the cosplay winners are the ff: Robert Wong 1st place for Starcraft's Hydralisk, Jerry 2nd place for Starcraft's Kerrigan, and Paul Mendoza 3rd plaze for Final Fantasy's Auron.

The convention was held at a small area (probably only as huge as one of the Megatrade Halls) and is situated in the middle of nowhere (i.e. away from EDSA). My only consolation was the fact that it was beside the World Trade Center, and I've been there the other month because of the book fair. I texted one of my friends who's an organizer and he told me that the instructions for going there was at the Level Up website but not at their own website.

Also, signs could have helped since there were a lot of lines but people weren't lining up in the appropriate lines (i.e. there's a line for cosplay registration, art contest registration, and the freebie registration). It was also confusing for some of the cosplayers since there were two cosplays at the event, one for Level Up Games, and the other for U Got Game itself.

As for the cosplay itself, since it's a "gaming cosplay", with the exception of some Ragnarok costumes, most of the ones presented during the event were totally new (or at least old costumes worn by new people). One of the best costumes out there though didn't get to join the cosplay since he arrived late. It's also interesting to note that Morgul King, the guy who dressed up as the Witch King in the recent cosplay events this year (and won), is still known by his alias and not by his real name. He wore a cool mecha outfit, but alas, came too late to register (but it nonetheless impressed the crowd).

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Friday, September 17, 2004

Morning Walks

For the past week, I've been seeing a number of nuns (I don't know what order though) walking around our village on my way to work. One of them greets me good morning and I greet her back. I honestly didn't know there were nuns in our village (although there are priests, thanks to a certain Catholic school and church).

Anyway, I don't think I'll be seeing them anymore next week, thanks to my schedule change, unless they're also prone to evening walks.

Busy Day

My schedule for day is a long one: first there's my dentist appointment, then I'll drop by a certain bookstore to check up on their new stocks, and finally go all the way to the Philippine Trade Training Center and attend the U Got Game con. Of course how I'll get back home, I honestly don't know...

Dwindling Resources

Sure, it's my windfall month, but it's also month of treating everyone else out. And I already abstained from all my hobbies, whether it's buying books or RPG products.

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Wind Water Earth

I used to sleep at the guest room, which was located at the ground floor of our house. Since I'm a light sleeper, I'd usually feel the earth shake. Of course yesterday, I was in my room, and didn't feel a thing. Of course I awoke an hour later, but that's only because my line of work demands waking early in the morning. The only sign of the earthquake's passing was one pile where the sheets of paper are scattered on the ground. But other than that, everything seems intact, including my books, my computer, and the "mess" in my room.

Of course having said that, it's really difficult to go to work and go home when you're facing strong winds and heavy rain.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

First Paycheck

Got my first "real" paycheck yesterday (real because all previous jobs were informal jobs and it's only now that I actually get to pay taxes and all). While I've received higher pay before, this one seems more stable.

Social Outcast

I've suspected it before but my weird habits, such as not eating, is finally disturbing my workmates and trainer. I guess only time will tell how everyone will cope up with this. Not that this is the first time I've been sort of a social outcast...

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Monday, September 13, 2004

Goodbye Reading

Ever since work started, I haven't really had the chance to read a good book. Which only goes to show that while reading is definitely easier than writing, it still needs to be nurtured (TV and video games doesn't help either).

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Sunday, September 12, 2004

Weekend Therapy

I usually reserve the weekends for recuperating, but it always feels as if I don't have enoguh time to do all the things I want and get enough rest. I feel a bit sick today but duty calls.

Duel Masters

On a side note, that's one new CCG I learned over the weekend.

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