Friday, September 02, 2005

[Blog Entry] I Yearn for Hong Kong, The Price of a Book

I Yearn for Hong Kong

Sitting here in the air-conditioned office, the smell of the place brings me back to my childhood, when me and my parents were in Hong Kong. I’d visit the Toys R Us branch, an entire warehouse full of toys and video games. I’d recall staying in the hotel, with its comfy blankets, and the gentle carpet. I smiled a lot back then, not a care in the world. It was summer, after all, and last month’s school lessons were soon forgotten.

As those memories hit me, I suddenly yearn to go back to Hong Kong. Yet I know Hong Kong has changed. The shops and restaurants I went to won’t be there anymore, and I’m sure the people and atmosphere have changed. A lot can happen in a decade.

Perhaps when people start saying I want to visit this place and that again, they don’t really mean it. It’s not always the area that matters, but the memories we associate with it. It’s as if by going there, we’re not just leaving our old location, but we travel back in time, to the past, away from the present.

The Price of a Book

Perhaps any bibliophile’s gripe is how much a book costs. If it weren’t so much a problem, we wouldn’t be obsessed with finding good libraries, rummaging through used bookstores, or hoping desperately for sales and bargains.

As a book buyer though, I’m matured. Four years ago, I would have complained about purchasing a book that’s only 200 pages long for something as expensive as a music CD. Let’s face it, a number of people have this illusion that more is better. More words, thicker pages, larger books.

I’ve come to realize in fiction though that that’s not always the case. I’ve read through thinner books that give me more pleasure than breezing through a 1000-page novel. A single line, a single sentence, is often more worth it than a hundred words explaining the same thing. It’s a matter of execution, of flavor, of beauty.

I just finished reading Murakami’s Sputnik Sweetheart and in the process of reading Palahniuk’s Survivor. Both are notably thin novels with a hefty price tag, yet I don’t regret buying them. I probably would have a few years ago, as I remember myself at the shelves of Fully Booked, hesitating to purchase A Wizard of Earthsea because of its P450 price tag.

It’s too easy to forget that sometimes, it’s not the quantity that matters, but the quality.

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[Blog Entry] Bookfair 2005 Report

Bookfair 2005 Report

Despite the rains and the rallies, I managed to make it all the way to the World Trade Center to attend this year’s International Bookfair.

Every year, I subconsciously know that the book fair isn’t worth it. I still attend though, hoping against hope that it’ll be better.

So what’s new this year? Actually not much. The same stalls are there with little variation. Notable though is the book setup, as the big three bookstores are right in front (although I suspect that in a year or two, Goodwill Bookstore will drop out of the list). Fully Booked has its usual selection, although nothing you won’t find in their other branches. Books can have as much as a 20% discount. Powerbooks/National Bookstore, on the other hand, has probably the second largest collection of books, with even higher discounts. The selection’s not as varied as Fully Booked, but if it’s just fiction you’re looking for, this is the second place you should drop by. Goodwill, disappointingly, dropped out of the race. They seemed to have focused on text books, and one tiny shelf for each of the other genres, plus a bargain bin. Looks like there won’t be any Harry Potter price wars this year.

A little farther off would be A Different Bookstore, and honestly, if there’s one reason why you should drop by, it’s because of them. New arrivals are 25% off, while everything else is pretty much on bargain prices. I mean there’s a bin that sells P99 mass market paperbacks, or 3 for P250. And there are several gems in there, such as George R.R. Martin’s A Clash of Kings and some Robert Bloch novels. There’s a similar promo for softcovers and hardcovers, with P250 and P599 price range.

Lastly, let’s not forget CCHQ, the bastion of manga and indie comics, with everything slashed at 50% off. Even when the book fair’s over, you can reach them at to inquire about stocks, make purchases, and set up meeting points.

Was the whole event worth it? Well, I walked out spending nothing. But that’s just me. There are various local publishers and university publishers there, so you might want to check them out. As for the rest though, you go there for the bargains rather than the variety of selections. My new mecca is Fully Booked, while quarterly book orders for everything else goes to A Different Bookstore.

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

[Blog Entry] Food and People

Food and People

I was at a meeting yesterday, having lunch at the restaurant Pepato in Greenbelt. The woman I was having lunch with talked about her two loves in life: food and people.

The voice inside my head wanted to laugh. My companion’s greatest loves were the things I despised, or rather feared, the most.

The art of eating, for me, is to get over it quickly as soon as possible. The greatest pleasure I derive is perhaps when I’m doing something else while having lunch, whether it’s bonding with a group of friends, reading blogs on the computer, or reading a novel or two. But eating for the sake of eating, reveling in each and every dish, is not a philosophy I subscribe to.

This could be attributed to my practicality. I want to do lots of things in life, encounter an entire gamut of experiences. But there are only twenty four hours in a day, and the phases which I think are essential but don’t contribute to experiences are three things: hygiene (whether it’s taking a bath or pissing in your toilet), sleep (you’re unconscious!), and yes, eating.

A psychologist might claim my dislike for eating can be rooted to my childhood. In a world where adults never believe their children, I told my nannies and parents that I was already full after eating a portion of the food on the table, yet they threatened punishment if I didn’t continue eating. What’s a child to do but eat even if he’s ready to throw up. And throw up I did.

A number of people would tell me whenever I have leftovers on my plate that I should be grateful that there’s food on the table, that a lot of children are growing hungry. Of course I’d like to point out that in such scenarios, I wasn’t the one who picked out what I would eat, or how much servings it would contain. When Filipinos see a bony little kid, they tend to compensate as if by feeding me much in one day, I’d suddenly grow large.

When I personally pick out the food that I eat, it’s usually in small servings. Because I know I have a small stomach. Rather than believing that food could go to waste, I believe that one should only get what one is able to consume.

As for people, alas, I’ve constantly been telling others than I’m anti-social (or as a friend put it, asocial, as to not mistake the term for a homicidal maniac). And to be honest, I’m not exactly the greatest conversationalist in the world. I’m stuck in one or two extremes: either that of the silent listener, or the guy who blurts out inappropriate things too loudly.

Some writers are great public speakers and charismatic hosts. Their way with words carry over from ink to voice. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people. If I had my way, I’d be isolated from the world with nothing to do but to read and write. Well, that and the occasional night out.

More often than not, when I’m faced with someone I should talk to, I’m just there, staring at them. I let them begin the conversation, and I reply to their answers. From time to time, I’d ask questions of my own, but I don’t really elaborate or tell them stories. Common dilemmas pop up when I’m taking the cab, for example, where it’s customary to talk to the driver and appear to be interested in the driver’s life.

People are a pool of stories, I know. But short of a direct interview, I don’t seem to draw it out from them. It’s when they begin to talk about themselves that I find interesting tidbits and then when it ends, well, I’d hate to disrupt their flow.

Of course the irony of this all is that I’m in an industry where meetings and talking to people are a common occurrence. Lever let it be said that I didn’t go out of my comfort zone.

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[Essay] Confessions of a Bibliophile

Confessions of a Bibliophile

One might think that a bibliophile is merely concerned with books. And to a certain extent, a good number of bibliophiles are only concerned with their one true love. For my part though, I remember that it’s not the book that I’m in love with, but in the art of reading. And there actually many factors involved in reading.

Take for example furniture. Some of you might be surprised that someone such as I, out of touch with the world, would be concerned with something so practical. But I do think furniture should be every bibliophile’s concern, unless they love to read books while standing up.

What’s your reading habit? Personally, I love to slouch in a couch or in a bed. Not just any bed though, it should have a headrest of some sort. Pillows would be nice as well. They’re ideal and comfortable places for me, despite what some psychologists might claim (that is, such places will make you feel drowsy because it’s where you sleep). Failing that, a sturdy, wide chair would do. Obviously, chairs come in all sizes and shapes, which is why furniture becomes a concern for me.

Not everyone’s a couch or chair addict though. Some prefer to read on a table. And that’s fine, especially if you’re the type that highlights passages or jots down quotes from their favorite books. I’m sure a lot of bibliophiles rely on different kinds of tables, whether it’s the roughness of it, the size (the perfect height for example), or simply the design (should it be slanted or flat?).

Aside from furniture, there’s room design. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of that would be lighting. Where is the light centered? Personally, I don’t like reading by lamp stands. They cast shadows which obscure my reading. Color also plays an important role. I love fluorescent white. Anything else is a hindrance. One of my professors though said that a certain yellowish paper looks good on yellow light. So reading with a certain ambience also plays a significant factor.

How about the amount of noise? Some people love “background” music, whether it’s mellow tones to ear-splitting vocals. Or perhaps it’s the chirping of crickets, the tweeting of birds. Or the sounds of morning traffic, the trademarks of every metropolis. I love the silence, where there’s nothing to distract me and I can be alone with my thoughts.

Lastly, there’s food and drink. Some people mix eating with reading. I tend to do that, although I prefer finger food that’s not messy: reading with your right, eating with your left. Anything that requires a spoon is out of the question. But I’ve heard of people who have a glass of wine to begin their reading rituals, and I wouldn’t be surprised if others have a certain food fetish.

A bibliophile is not just a connoisseur of books. He or she must balance out all these other factors, for the ideal reading experience is seldom an isolated incident. Not only do I want a good book to read, I want the finer things in life as well that will augment my reading experience.

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[Book Reviews] September Book Reviews (Memoranda, Extinction, Annihilation, The Binding Stone, The Robots of Dawn)

September Book Reviews

It’s a new, briefer format! Instead of giving a comprehensive review like I used to, I’ll probably settle for these shorter once a month mini-reviews of books that get thrown my way.

The Rating System:

1 – There are better ways to spend your time. Examples: Damphir
2 – Ho hum novels, typical of its genre. Examples: most Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms novels.
3 – A cut above the rest, these are usually standard fare stories with either an interesting twist, gorgeous visualizations, or simply make a very interesting read. Examples: Anita Blake series, Dragonlance Chronicles.
4 – Highly recommended books! An interesting read, and pioneers the genre it’s in. Examples: Kushiel’s Dart, Perdido Street Station, Good Omens.
5 – A classic. Must get at all cost. Examples: A Game of Thrones, The Fantasy Writer’s Assistant, Dune.

Memoranda by Jeffrey Ford

The second book in a trilogy, the book’s only weakness is perhaps that it whets your appetite for more. It’s brief but interesting, and Ford invokes a lot of imagery more than the usual. The book doesn’t get bogged down unlike its predecessor, The Physiognomy, and is actually one of the better “middle-child” books I’ve read in a long time. It stands well on its own, and is a delightful read irregardless if you’re a fan of fantasy or not.

Rating: 4/5.

Extinction by Lisa Smedman

Another middle-child book, this time in a six-part series. Story flow remains interesting, as usual, and Smedman succeeds in not only pushing the plot forward, but showing us what an evil party is like, and how they interact together. Perhaps notable from this author is her descriptions, as Smedman’s style stands out differently from the other author’s writing in the series, in a good way that is. If you’re a fan of the War of the Spider Queen series, Extinction won’t fail you. If not, you might want to grab the first book in the series.

Rating: 3/5.

Annihilation by Philip Athans

If you’ve read it this far, then there’s really no reason why you should put down this book. The fifth book in the War of the Spider Queen series, Athans shows us perhaps the highest point in the story short of the climax. While not as skillful as Smedman, Athans has other strengths. Notable perhaps in this novel are several mage battles. And honestly, you’re nearly at the end, so it’ll be difficult to screw up the series’s interesting premise. Again, best avoided by the uninitiated.

Rating: 3/5.

The Binding Stone by Don Bassingthwaite

Another Eberron novel, it disappoints with its slow start and generic narrative. There’s an interesting plot element in the middle, but only hardcore psionic D&D fans would appreciate it. The next highest point would probably be near the end where all the necessary action takes place, but it all stinks of deus ex machina. If you’re a fan of Eberron, you should probably just try out the other books instead of this. The good points aren’t enough to salvage a generic and bad book.

Rating: 1.5/5.

The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov

The last novel in his Robot series, this book only proves that Asimov’s true strength lies in his short stories. Long and winding, Asimov takes us to another mystery with a surprising twist at the end. It doesn’t pack as much oomph as his earlier work though, such as the Foundation or the I, Robot short stories, and the previous, shorter novels in the series are probably better. Still, it’s perhaps one of Asimov’s better attempts at writing a really long novel. Simple narratives and interesting concepts are tools which Asimov works with, and this book is no exception.

Rating: 3.5/5.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

[Blog Entry] 3 Tips to Homophobic Anime/Manga Fans, Early Birthday Present, The Fully Booked Experience, SF&F Masterwork Series

3 Tips to Homophobic Anime/Manga Fans

1) Beware of angels. Dispel your beliefs in the sanctity of Christian faith. If there’s anything in canon that gets slashed or paired up often, it’s angels. These are the Japanese after all. Just because angels are celestial beings doesn’t mean they can’t have sex… they either choose which organs to have, or worse, have both.

2) Beware of boys. Just because a particular series has lots of protagonists of the male gender doesn’t mean it’s a guy flick. It’s as much a guy flick as a sex video full of girls is supposed to be a chick flick.

3) Just because it looks like a girl doesn’t mean it’s a girl. Androgyny is in! Or maybe it’s simply bad art. When in doubt whether it’s a girl or a guy, assume the worst.

Early Birthday Present

Just visited the Fully Booked branch in Greenhills for the first time, despite the fact that it’s the nearest bookstore in my vicinity. Revel in the irony.

I was going to purchase a bunch of fantasy books, but budget constraints (I just survived a day and a half living with only P7 in my wallet) made me return books like Terry Pratchett’s A Hat Full of Sky and Clive Barker’s Imajica. I actually opted for books that I don’t normally read or purchase. Judge for yourself my selection:

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk. P489.00. Lovely book design. An even better conceit is that the pages are numbered in reverse order. (DC fans might remember the horrible Zero Hour miniseries.)

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.P700.00. Highly recommended by a lot of people. And one of the best-selling books in

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami. P559.00 One of Elbert’s favorite authors, second only to Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Also a fave of CCHQ’s Khristine, along with some other friends of mine.

The Complete Dictionary of Symbols edited by Jack Tresidder. P1262.00 (Ouch!). Perhaps one of the most expensive books I’ve bought recently. It’ll come in handy either for my writing or for research.

The History of the Runestaff by Michael Moorcock. P539.00. Okay, so it’s fantasy. But I dare you to find me another copy. It’s a rare book! Actually, I don’t even know why I bothered putting up the price. It’s not like you’ll find another copy of it in the Philippines anytime soon. Ha!

The Fully Booked Experience

There are three official Fully Booked stores in Metro Manila and for a huge bookstore retailer, strangely enough, each bookstore has a different feel to it, unlike Powerbooks and National Bookstore which has the “once-you’ve-seen-one, you’ve-seen-them-all” type of atmosphere. Even the independent bookstore A Different Bookstore is starting to lose its luster on my part, and as for Booktopia, I’ve only visited one shop so there will always be one Booktopia in my heart (until they open their Greenhills branch that is).

Ever since its revamp from being Page One (and the reason books were expensive was because of the licensing fee) and then the nameless bookstore for some period of time, Fully Booked has been inching slowly by slowly to be the number one bookstore around.

The Cubao branch, while perhaps the smallest branch around, is also perhaps the most manageable. Books are more or less where they’re supposed to be, with only minor deviations (such as the table near the front desk which features the new arrivals and the best-sellers). Because the place is small and Fully Booked has a wide selection, they do their best to stack as much variety into their shelves.

The Greenhills branch, and also the youngest, is actually the middle-child. Not too big, but not too small either. There are currently three floors, and each one is neatly categorized. The first floor is simply full of comics and related paraphernalia. The second floor is where all the books are. There’s some slight hopping you need to do (for example, I found fantasy in the fantasy section, in the fiction section, in the children’s section, and in new arrivals) but at least everything’s in the same vicinity. The third floor houses the design books, the art books, and some business books (or simply put, think of the third floor as the coffee table book area).

The Rockwell branch is perhaps the best in terms of selection, but if there’s anything to complain about, it’s with regards to book organization. I mean the shelving scheme seems almost random and doesn’t follow a logical pattern. Not to mention that fantasy/sci-fi fans are plagued by “I’m in several categories” books. If you’re the type that likes to scavenge books in the likes of Book Sale, you’ll probably enjoy the Rockwell branch. Because you’ll probably have to do as much digging as you do in used bookstores. But that aside, it’s probably the bookstore in the country that has the widest selection of books, and not just in the fantasy/science-fiction genre. Also remember that Fully Booked’s predecessor, Bibliarch, was the pioneer in design books, and Fully Booked doesn’t lack that either.

SF&F Masterwork Series

Erwin Romulo was constantly raving to me about Fully Booked’s comic and SF&F selection. A part of me doubted, thinking he was being biased since they brought in Neil Gaiman (and gave Erwin a chance to interview Neil as well) recently. The US comics are okay. It’s about as well-stocked as regular comic shops, although it has the definite advantage of having more shelf space (and a cheaper price). It also has lots of indies, which CCHQ actually beats, but you know, I mourn their passing. What makes my mouth water is their manga selection, which also happens to import Shonen Jump titles, a series which isn’t supposed to be shipped here in the Philippines (since their license is limited to North America). So if you want original titles of Ruroni Kenshin, Prince of Tennis, Naruto, and Bleach, this is the place to be. Oh, yaoi fans might be interested in Angel Sanctuary as well.

But that aside, Erwin constantly mentioned Fully Booked importing the Fantasy Masterwork and Science-Fiction Masterwork series. And you know, they’re a great series. I would order them more often, if it weren’t for the fact that they’re published by UK-based publishers, and most bookstores only order from the US. The only place I saw the Masterwork series was in Booktopia and that’s only the occasional title or two. And then I entered Fully Booked, and saw dozens and dozens of copies of it. It’s actually the definitive collection for any SF&F fan.

If you had the budget, grab a copy of the Masterwork series. Not only because they’re rare, but because they’re affordable as well (an omnibus would cost you less than P500). There’s two real reasons to get them though. A piece of fiction gets included into the Masterwork series for one of two reasons: either you’re a classic (think Tolkien, but Tolkien’s not the only pioneer in either genre), or because your writing is that good. Of course the former reason might not appeal to everyone. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Tolkien, but I can’t stand his writing. You’ll probably feel the same way about some of the “classics”, although because they’re classics, they’re worth reading even if it pains you to do so (hey, I read through Lord of the Rings, and Fellowship of the Ring twice because the copy in the library had the last few pages torn out, so I can be smug about this). I grabbed a copy of elusive titles like Robert Howard’s Conan, and Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion series (both of which are out of print, although Del Rey I think will be reprinting some Conan series soon). My friend Vin, dracophile that he is, even managed to cull my copy of The Iron Dragon’s Daughter by Michael Swanwick. And he’ll probably love it not because it’s a classic, but because of the quality of the writing.

If you must entertain a blind buy, the Fantasy Masterwork series or the Science-Fiction Masterwork series is probably it, especially if you’re a fan of the genre.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

[Essay] Bibliophile’s Haven

Bibliophile's Haven

When I first became a bibliophile, one of the things I discovered was the myth called libraries. Parents, teachers, and the media seem to perpetuate this fallacy that libraries housed all these books. When I first entered our school library, I tried looking for the book I wanted to read. It was a futile attempt. Later on in life, I’d continue my desperate attempts at searching for books I didn’t find on the card catalog. When the Dewey Decimal System failed me, I tried looking for books manually, shelf by shelf, cranny by cranny. Common sense would dictate that if it wasn’t listed in the library’s archaic filing system, it’s not there. But the strangest thing is that sometimes, they do turn up, and in places you didn’t expect them.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of libraries. In fact, second to bookstores, libraries are one of my fondest places to be in. And they are good sources of free, reference books, as well as the occasional fiction novel or two. But aside from that, the literature-loving, fiction-hungry part of me was starving. Sure, most of the canon books were there, provided that they weren’t on loan. But what about the rest? Where are my Agatha Christie, Stephen King, Nick Hornby, or Jasper Fforde? Whenever someone would recommend a book to read, our teachers and parents would say “visit the library”. But as anyone who’d actually visited the library would know, libraries don’t contain each and every book (and I can’t blame theme... to house every book published would probably take up as much space as a small country). Yet everyone else seems to think so!

Libraries are pretty much like personal collections. I don’t think any person has the exact same set of CDs, the exact same stack of books, or the exact same album of coins and stamps. The same goes for libraries. Each one is an individual, some having a larger collection than others, but their selections are definitely unique. Of course libraries have a certain preference: school libraries and public libraries, in my experience, are general and try to have books on various topics, be it fiction or non-fiction. Others, on the other hand, are more specific. I mean don’t expect finding J.R.R. Tolkien on the shelves of the National Library of the Philippines, but it is a great place for those doing research.

Personally, if I’m really looking for a particular book, especially one that’s been published recently, I go to one of two places. The first are bookstores. The big ones have a wide selection of books to choose from, while the smaller, independent ones focus more on certain selections. For example, if you’re looking for locally published books, La Solidaridad Bookstore has a good selection, especially if you’re looking for books that were published by Solidaridad publishing. The likes of Aeon Books and A Different Bookstore, on the other hand, have been known for their terrific selection of fiction and philosophy. Bookstores are like tools: know which is the best one to use for a particular situation.

The other isn’t a place so much as it is a community. What I’m talking about is the Internet. Online bookstores like, while not possessing each and every book published, does contain an extensive selection. Of course this can only be achieved because of virtual real estate: unlike retail stores which take up shelf space for their books, online bookstores can just store them in a warehouse or order them on demand. Today’s current technology also introduces the concept of ebooks, documents that are presented in digital format. Ebooks give out-of-print books or unpopular authors a chance to be seen because of its format (i.e. little storage costs, low overhead), and in most cases, easily affordable as well.

Of course bookstores, unlike libraries, do charge fees for the books. In that, libraries are no replacement, unless you happen to have a friend (or group of friends) who has an extensive collection. Still, you only get what you pay for, and for some people, investing money is well worth the time you would have lost scavenging through book bins and libraries.

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MTV Hanging Out Neil Gaiman Interview part 1 (of 10)

A bit busy as of late so haven't getting much transcribe, but I thought instead of delivering it in one big package, I'll just release the interview in installments. The MTV Neil Gaiman interview is around twenty minutes long, and this is the first two minutes. Hopefully I'll update this every Sunday and Wednesday, if time permits.

Colby: Welcome to the coolest place to be on TV, this is Hanging Out on MTV. My name is Colby.

Clair: I’m Clair and it’s Friday today and we have a very very special guest on our show, Mr. Neil Gaiman.

Crowd: -cheers-

Clair: So how are you? How do you find the ring?

Neil: The most wonderful. It’s quite possibly the most enthusiastic place on the Earth. Turned up yesterday, suddenly like this, suddenly in a tent and three thousand people turned up. And would you believe the noise that three thousand enthusiastic Filipinos can make, that you might like.

Colby: That was actually my next question. You had quite a turnout yesterday, but what about some of the other things you’ll be doing here?

Neil: Well, most of all I seem to be doing here is interviews and signing things for people and meeting people. And I’ve been fascinated by the Philippines for awhile, most of it is I get to go backstage in my website. This website of, and I was going backstage and noticing that everyday we’d get four or five, six thousand people from the Philippines coming in here. And I thought this is really cool! They’re outnumbering the Germans. What’s happening in the Philippines? So that was why I decided to come out.

Colby: You have a very good following here. As a matter of fact, we have a studio full of fans and we have Dawn over there and he’s going to be asking questions pretty much all day long. So Dawn, what do we have?

Don: Yes, yes we are, we are. We’re here with a bunch of fans, all right. Show your appreciation everybody.

Crowd: -cheers-

Don: All right. And then we’re going to be asking Mr. Neil Gaiman some questions throughout the show but we’re going to start things off with a video. Here’s So Here We Are by Bloc Party. And party like the Bloc Party people!

Crowd: -cheers-


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Monday, August 29, 2005

[Blog Entry] Neo-Spam

Neo Spam

As much as I love the Internet, people have managed to abuse it. When personal computers became available to the public, computer viruses soon appeared. When Windows XP was shipped, we had the Blaster and Sasser Worm. When people started using email, we had SPAM.

Of course nowadays, I don’t just get SPAM in my inbox. I get it on my blog, on my comments section, and if I had a tag-board, probably there too. It’s bad enough I get telemarketing calls in the office, but honestly, a blog is a private thing (i.e. more often than not, if you don’t know the person in the first place, you probably won’t be reading his/her blog).

Honestly, SPAM is something I’ll only wish on my worst enemy. Or those who have problems with erections.

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

[Blog Entry] Brief Respite, Thorn in the Eye, Freedom, Rescind

Brief Respite

Taking a brief respite from my writing, it’s surprising how much you can accomplish if you discipline yourself. On a side note, the week’s been more or less pleasant despite the impromptu photo shoots and events. I’ll keep this short for you impatient folk.

Thorn in the Eye

Yesterday and for most of today, my left eye felt like there was a thorn in it, causing me to squint often. I checked the mirror but could find nothing. I even washed my face several times and still the pain lingered. Visine didn’t help either. For those of you who’ve worn hard contact lenses, that’s how it feels like. Fortunately, I’ve managed to stave the pain by not blinking and keeping my eye steady. The pain’s gone now, although I suspect the entire incident was the result of a stye developing in my inner eyelids.


My braces finally came off, after something like seven years. I can actually see my teeth! My first instinct was they were off though was to brush my teeth. Unfortunately, I had to head straight for work.


Our president has a tendency to rescind her proclamations. Earlier in the week, Monday was supposed to be a non-holiday. Yesterday evening, the president announced that Monday would be a holiday for everyone. A few hours later, she proclaimed that regular businesses will be open, while government offices and schools will not be having work (or so my aunt says).

So I’m really curious who’ll show up at work tomorrow, and who won’t. With all these proclamations and counter-proclamations, Manila is living up to its reputation of being a chaotic place.

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