Wednesday, December 14, 2005

[Blog Entry] Earthsea Anime!, Christmas and Parties

Earthsea Anime!

Got the link from Lisan. It's a Earthsea anime coming in July of 2006. And while Dean is a fan of Le Guin, he's also be happy to know that Studio Ghibli (Totoro, Mononoke Hime) is making it! Official title is Gedo Senki (Ged's History): Tales from Earthsea.

Christmas and Parties

Don't mix well with me. Mainly because 1) I don't really like spending 2-3 hours doing nothing but eat, and 2) I usually don't connect with the company I'm with. For example, the past two evenings was spent with family. And when I mean family, something close to the clan on the side of my mother, as we celebrated my grandmother's death anniversary. A joke from one of my cousins to my brother is that if he could name ten people from the three other tables from us, she'd give him all her Christmas presents. And of course, they were all talking in Chinese (I don't understand Chinese!).

On a side note, we were eating and my sister-in-law asked what the XO sauce was (highly prized sauce among the Chinese). One of my cousins replied "XO sauce: chinese bagoong". (XO sauce is really some spicy stuff and scallop bits, but really tastes like salty bagoong.) Later I asked my sister what the tiny, cube-like meat was. She replied "sucking pig: chinese lechon". Which goes to show that the Filipino-Chinese really are just that... Filipino and Chinese.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

[Blog Entry] 3 Years Later...

3 Years Later...

... hindsight, of course, is still 20/20. Not so long ago, I was in a local mailing list where we were discussing the possibilities of a local SF&F anthology. We weren't really optimistic about it, but hey, it took 3 years to prove us wrong.

Well, it's not really a SF&F anthology. It's The Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology. And with the Fully Booked contest looming around the corner...

So for those interested, grab a copy now for P300.00. Currently it's only available in Comic Quest, but acquaintances who want copies can have me meet them in MRT-able locations. And people in my friend's list might want to get a copy because of the elusive, mystery author K. Mandigma.

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[Blog Entry] Stalking Manila

Stalking Manila

My life really revolves around a small hemisphere: from Cubao to Libis, Greenhills to Ortigas, Rockwell to Makati. Anywhere else, I’m a clueless tourist, appearing as dumb and helpless as I look.

Yesterday I was in Cubao, scavenging books from the mythical floor of the National Bookstore branch there. Cheap books abound, and gazing at the shelves was like staring into the depthless ocean. Unfortunately, I like my books neatly arranged. This one was simply erratic. I’d see the same authors appearing in the next shelf at a random place, and honestly, aside from their price tag, there’s no real sense of order. While I appreciate book scavenges as much as the next book worm, I don’t want to scavenge several dozen shelves in the span of an hour. I had to use my mutant powers of looking for books at a distance. And the real trick there is to have an eye for book spines. Like any other fantasy fan, I dislike the common “fantasy art” style prominent in most American-published SF&F book. The only thing worse would probably be the covers of romance books. Thankfully, this atrocity helps you sort out which are the fantasy books and which aren’t. Similarity of design aided me in my search.

Four years ago, I probably would have emptied my pockets. There were tons of Katherine Kerr, Mercedes Lackey, and David Eddings books. There was even the occasional Sean Russel and George R. R. Martin. But by now, I’ve read the good books, and the rest are just, suffice to say, guilty pleasures. National Bookstore Cubao just lost its mythical attractiveness. Unless, of course, you plan on buying books as Christmas presents.

I may not look like it (being skinny and all), but I like food. Despite urging my companions to pay a visit to Taco Bell and their mouth-watering Margarita Slush (no, it’s not alcoholic), I was ignored. Thankfully, Taco Bell will be opening its 2nd branch near the Tomas Morato area, in front of St. Luke’s hospital to be specific. It’s a strange marketing strategy though. Beside the new Taco Bell is Pizza Hut’s classifier variant, Pizza Hut Bistro, giving the impression that the place is a high-end dining area. So people who get sick go to St. Luke’s to recover, then give themselves a heart attack by dining at Taco Bell/Pizza Hut Bistro.

One of the shops in the same street as St. Luke’s sells Fruits in Ice Cream (FIC), one of the country’s best locally-made ice cream. Of course in my experience, the best place to buy FIC would be at the 3rd floor of Robinsons Galleria. For P40, you get a cone with a huge serving of ice cream. Technically the sign says it’s just one scoop, but take my word for it and go and buy from Robinsons Galleria. “One scoop” doesn’t begin to describe how big the serving really is. And the saleslady always serves it with a smile.

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

[Blog Entry] Sunday


As I write this entry, I remember the old 80's show Doogie Howser M.D., and how the main character, Doogie Howser, stares at the blue screen of his computer (was it WordStar? WordPerfect? or a Mac program?) at the end of the episode, trying to find the words to sum up what he had learned.

This is probably the first Sunday in the past few weeks where I’m actually at home at this hour, instead of playing Defense of the Ancients at Area 51. I just finished reading Siglo: Passion, the book launch of which happened yesterday at Greenhill’s Promenade area. Saw a lot of familiar faces at the book launch, in addition to people I’ve met online but never got the time to introduce myself in real life. Speaking of Siglo: Passion, it’s amazing to actually read it. Not necessarily because of the content (but it does have some great stories and art), but because it’s something I’m familiar with. Gerry, for example, has been hyping about the book for quite some time. Some stories I’ve seen as early as several months back, such as that of Vin and Jaime’s stories, but it’s a different experience to see the finished product. And then there’s seeing the work of familiar friends like Joel Chua finally get published. And as much as I’m familiar with a bulk of the people involved in Siglo, there are several who are complete strangers to me, and seeing their printed work is a new experience for me.

Of course there are also other things I should be plugging, such as The Speculative Fiction Anthology and Project: Hero comic anthology.

In the meantime, Christmas is approaching, and I’m one of the people who love giving gifts. As Vin mentioned a few Christmases ago, the ideal gift to give would be something the person wants, but doesn’t realize it. That means disregarding the wish lists of people, but giving them something as equally satisfying. Unfortunately, aside from thinking of great gift ideas for people, I’m also hampered by budget (and there’s only P2000 in my wallet as of the moment, so splitting that among everyone else I know is…). So we’ll see what I’ll manage to come up with come Christmas (alas, I hope you forgive me if you don’t get anything this December).

December is also the one of the busiest months for me, since I’m required to attend the compulsory family gatherings. And we have quite a few of them. Just celebrated my brother’s birthday, and this coming week, we’ll be celebrating my grandmother’s birthday and death. Yes, you heard that right. Since we follow the Chinese lunar calendar, the date of my grandmother’s birthday is determined by someone in the family that actually knows how to read the lunar calendar. For this year, it happens to fall on Tuesday. Thankfully, we don’t follow the same practice when it comes to celebrating death anniversaries. Which happens to be this Wednesday. So I’ll be preoccupied on those two days, and it’s like reverse Easter for my grandmother.

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