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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ayala Triangle Gardens Lights and Sounds Show 2012

Before the year is over, I'm glad I was able to witness this beautiful display of lights at Ayala Triangle Gardens.  I don't know why, but even though I live in Makati, I still don't get a chance to go there. This is an annual event sponsored by Makati City, free to all! Cool right? I think it starts in December from 6 to 9pm, with 30 minutes interval.  It has a Tagalog and English version. 

All I can say is I love the Lights and Sounds!

Here's the video for the Filipino Christmas songs. 
video

Rise of the Guardians

As a fan of Jude Law, I made it a point to watch this movie, especially to hear his voice over on the character Pitch.

The plot of this movie is good. Watching it was an enjoyable experience. It's quite unique to see all of the legendary characters unite. Who could have thought they knew each other?

I even wanted to buy the figure characters in Mc Donalds, but due to the public demand, it got out of stock easily. :'(

As for Jack Frost, I really didn't know much. And so, after watching the movie, I looked up his information, and found out that in some folklore, he has been illustrated as an old man. I'm glad that they made him a teenager in this movie. I think Santa is already enough for a mature character.

One of the important things I learned in this movie has something to do with Jack's situation. He doesn't even know what's his purpose is. And so when the time came to make him a guardian, he refused.

I learned that, if we were chosen for something, even if we don't understand the reason, we just have to believe, that we were chosen because we have what it takes. We have the quality that they are looking for.

In the end, all the conflicts have been solved. Well, this story is about Jack, but there are still four more characters so I'm hoping for a sequel. :)

Book 16th: The Selection


This book is about the journey of America Singer, who, though unwillingly, happened to be included in the most prestigious thing in her country-The Selection. This event is a competition of 35 girls, to win the crown, and the prince's heart.

What can I say?
I figured the book is really for teenagers, with the colorful front, big fonts and a teenage protagonist. I think the story is romantic in its own way though I have some problems with it.

 Prince Maxon for one- a prince who doesn't know how to act in front of women. The heck, he is a prince, he is supposed to be prepared for this. I think the author made his character too much of a gentleman, to the point of not knowing what to do.

The country- a country with caste system, poverty, wars with other countries, and then a Selection?! I think those things are not a very good combination. I don't think if I would be giddy with America's (the main character) love life or if I would be concerned with their country and caste system.

Somehow the setting of the story reminds me of Hunger Games, come on, authors can surely think of a better setting right?

Still, after all my rants here, it is a good read. With enough twist and humanity to keep you reading from start to end. The love triangle between the three characters is something to look forward to, plus the big question, of who will be the lucky girl to remain. I'm actually looking forward to the second book.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wedding cake

I'm back! After a month of being a zombie working for two jobs, I'm finally done with my part time.
I must say, I feel a little bit sad that I have abandoned my blog for a month. But, now I'm here, I'm dusting it off and hopefully I'm putting in some new posts before the year ends.

To start with, I'll have this  chibi drawing I made for my brother's wedding. Yeah, this is so out of date, as their wedding was already two weeks ago. But anyway, methinks it's still a cute thing to look at.
 Medium: Paint tool Sai/ Tool: Wacom Bamboo fun

Monday, November 5, 2012

My 8-week countdown

I should've known I couldn't get away easily. Despitewhat my bosses told me that they would let me out soon, (for health reasons), I'm still here, alive and kicking, doing the part time job.

So here I am, from the original end of contract in October 31st, I have been obliged to extend until the end of December this year, much to their pleading, and then to my wavering resolve.

Just to keep me sane, and optimistic about the turn of events, I'm naming it as my 8-week countdown. It feels better to count weeks with one digit, than to count days and come up with two digits.

During the following weeks, I would expect less sleeping hours and more eyebags, in the name of addinal income. Not bad right? Well, I liked this, so I might as well pull myself together and do it until completion.

If truth be told 
If truth be told, I'm starting to enjoy it too. With the additional income and amiable students, I think this account is good.

Plus, you know, when you travel early in the morning, you get a glimpse of life, that is not there in the busy hours. As for me, I enjoy seeing the moon, the Christmas lights along Ayala Avenue, and the empty street on my way to the office.

Perks of an early bird 
This month, the full moon was so magnificent. It looked so near, so big and so bright. As I was crossing the footbridge in Guadalupe I saw it in full view, directly on top of the building. It gives that 3d atmosphere where the building is illuminated against the dark sky. Really that was one of the most beautiful things this month. (Just a pity, I wasn't able to capture it. I couldn't risk my safety taking picture in that place.)

The Christmas lights in Ayala avenue are always a delight every year. If I remember correctly, last year, they looked like icicles dangling in the trees. This year, they made some leafleas bushes and trees out of some twigs and branches, colored it white and filled it with Christmas lights. They also dress the palm trees with round body of white lights, the result: magnificent.

Of course, the near-empty street (although this could be a disadvantage too, but I focus on the positive). Why do I like it? Well, I can skip, hop, run, sing, and walk whatever way I want without a care as to what another person might be thinking of me.

So, what's the problem?
I guess the major downside is really just the time. Still, I believe than a complete 6 to 8-hour sleep is better. Our body needs to recover from the daily grind, and it just asks a basic thing-sleep.

And with my schedule of arriving home at 11:30 and being able to finally sleep at 12, and waking up at 3:20 (repeat the process every morning) I know it is definitely not a healthy lifestyle.

So, I'm looking forward to this countdown. I hope I would be able to enjoy life as I count. ^^

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles

Wanting to be more patriotic to the Philippine cinema, and to keep the local films alive, I made it a point to watch these local films in the cinemas. So this month, our family opted for the film Tiktik: The aswang chronicles by GMA films. I watched the trailer and it looks mysterious. The fact that this film is also done in front of a green screen made it a must-see(if not for the movie, then for the effects).

I thought it was going to be a shriek-enducing, heart-palpipating movie. Man, it was no near that. I didn't even feel scared. The movie turned out to be an adventure-comedy (in my opinion), similar to 'The mummy' films. Although I did feel a bit queasy with all the graphic scenes of intestines and other internal organs.

Good thing aboutTiktik: The Aswang Chronicles: 
-The special effects are quite awesome. Lighting, background, computer effects. It's cool to think it's made in the studio and turned out somewhat real.

-They got the folklore's weapon for the aswangs quite right. To keep aswangs from making a person its prey, it is essential to have the garlic bulbs and the salts. They didn't leave out the 'lana', or the special oil, and made an accurate description of it having some boiling effect when the aswangs are near; and let's not forget the wicked buntot pagi.

-Obviously there are sponsors, or whatever you call it. Companies which would like for their products to be seen on the film. I think they made a pretty good story with it. The products didn't seem out of place, and they certainly give that humor effect.

Now for the bad things about Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles: 
The Aswangs don't really look like...well... aswangs.

-Ok, they did get the weapons for aswangs quite right, but not the aswangs themselves. It seemed the movie is just in for an action, kill-it-first-before-it-kills-you theme.

My parents grew up in the province of Leyte, in Visayas. They do have their own stories about aswangs and I often hear them as a child. And they they do tell the distinctive features of these creatures. So what's the point? Here:
-Aswangs are shapeshifters, yes, but what sets them apart from other animals, is their size. In the movie, one of the aswang transformed into a pig, a small pig. Oh please, have that straight. Anecdotal evidences would tell you that in the province, when people see an oversized whatever animal, then that would probably be an aswang. But the film presents a pig that is as ordinary as the others.

-Next, why the heck the did the 2nd batch of aswangs looked like burned monsters. Really, I don't get it. They looked like bunch of dogs from Resident evil. Not to mention the pterodactyl-like transformation of the leader. Funny. Had it been a large raven, I would've believed it more.

-Here's another, the 2nd batch of aswangs were the ones who confronted and attacked the protagonists. Has history been changed? Decades of aswang films would have you in the totally opposite situation. Town people hunt aswangs, not the other way around. Really, when you analyze it, that part of the film is laughable.

-Which brings us to another point: Aswangs, try to be stealth as much as possible. They don't want to be exposed, because they know the consequence. But the aswangs in this films are quite bold in their attack. No fear for their identity. It seems like they can massacre the town and the situation is at their mercy.

Ok, so much for that stuff. I'm not here to rant about the movie. As I said, the story is fine. It touches the sensitive issue of pregnancy out of wedlock, and how important it is to stand up for what is important for us. And with the humor that the film brings, we had a share of good time while watching it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book 14th & 15th-The Bridgerton series

The Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn

If you are into romance, then this book is for you.Set in the time of royalties, the stories give glimpses of the past, and how to live in the time of dukes, counts, and earls.

The Bridgerton family has 8 children, and each one of them has a love story to tell. So far, I have finished reading the first two books, 'The Duke and I', and 'The viscount who loved me'.

This is an easy read, even though the plot is set in the past, the style of writing is in the present, so you won't have to worry about nose-bleed vocabularies. I must admit I enjoyed reading this, and was definitely hooked up with the first two books.

There's just one thing I think I didn't like much. And that is, the book being descriptive about sex. Well, not that intense, but enough to get you distracted.

I think it would've been better to leave those details in the dark. In my opinion, those part of the book really spoils the story. You would be torn between the love story and the heated romance, it's confusing to shift from one mood to another. And so, I have to skip some chapters of the books(imagine a chapter dedicated to lovemaking, lol).

In the end, I still think that this is series is a good read. Definitely romantic, and really shows progress in the stories.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

3 days and counting

It has been just three days since I started my 5am-9am part-time job as and online English teacher, yet the onset of fatigue and lack of sleep is already creeping in me. I didn't know it would feel like this.

I actually have a full time online teaching job from 2pm to 11pm, late enough to make you want to get up later the next morning. Yet, I don't know why... or maybe I wasn't thinking straight when I signed up for my company's part time offer. The heck, I think all I thought about was the non-taxable salary. I even convinced myself that I am strong and disciplined enough to do it.

If you ask me, I prefer to sleep late than wake up very early. Sleeping late is like pushing yourself to the limit. How many hours you can stay awake. But waking up before your circadian clock tells you to do so is like disrupting your body's natural recovery process. Maybe that's why it requires more effort.

Three days ago, I was happy with my routine'waking up around 8 or 9am, exercising,studying french or watching TV. But now, all of those were things in the past. As soon as my alarm hit 3, I wake up. I have to anyway, prepare, travel and work from 5 until 9.

I get back home after that. (A 20 min. ride from work, thanks to my father's kindness to pick me up in the morning, and evening) As soon as I hit the bed, I go to autosleep mode until 11:30 am. After that, I wake up again and prepare for my 2pm work. Then the cycle repeats.

So in total, I think I just have about 5 hours of sleeping time! OMG! That's even less than the recommended.
This is surely a challenge. Maybe something more than I can chew. But,it's already here. All I can do now is just do it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hi Blood

I just saw this medicine box a while ago, and I feel that I just have to write something about it, as it definitely amused me.

It's not just because of the wrong spelling of what was supposed to be "High", but I couldn't help my imaginations. Something like:

Box: Hi Blood!
Blood: Hi there Box!

Oh there, sometimes I really find humor in the simplest things. But I guess that's just fine. ;]

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Breadtalk: Spring in the city

Let me just introduce you to this yummy bread: Spring in the city.

Honestly, I think Breadtalk breads are a bit expensive. So I just go there when I fancy trying something new.

And I think I found it. This P40 bread looked enticing, so I decided to give it a try.

It doesn't taste like an ordinary bread. The think I like about it is that, strangely it tastes like a viand, such as a saucy meat. It really does taste different on the onset, but you will definitely enjoy its unique taste.

And right now, I think I'm craving for another. :P

Image from here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

13th Book: Edgar & Ellen- Nod's Limbs

This is the six installment of the Edgar and Ellen books. Having not read any of the preceding books, it was a bit confusing at the start. But once you have established the facts related to their adventures before, you'll be able to follow the plot better.

Unlike my first impression of kids with only mischief in mind, this book actually presented the twins as having wits. They use it to fight for their house and save their beloved pet. In hopes of saving their house from being torn down, they joined a hunt- the hunt for Nod's golden limbs. In solving the riddles, they also figured a way that would somehow help them save pet just in time.

The riddles presented in this book are clever. I like riddles, so, I enjoyed finding the answers as much as Edgar and Ellen do. This book also presented Edgar and Ellen's unusual, love (if you may call it) for each others as siblings. It's like, they are born to annoy each other, yet they are one mind when it comes to mischief.

Have I told that the book is also musical. Well, Edgar and Ellen that is. They sing their hearts out during some parts of their adventure. For children, that is fairly common. (You know, the song that you use to sing whenever the school bell rings and it's time to go home.)

The twist of events were unexpectable too. The plot was well thought of, and told in the book. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

ParaNorman

I don't really have the thing for things related to horror. However, this time, I was as much expectant as my sister for the movie ParaNorman. If you think about it, there are lots of animation, and mostly like the evil vs. good,family,friends, but you would rarely see an animation movie related to horror( or zombies for that matter)and at the same time comical. The movie was done with the stop-motion animation so I was equally curious to that.

Norman not so normal
Our protagonist, Norman looks just like any children his age, except, for the fact that he sees dead people. Nobody believes him of course, people would look at him strangely and in school he is called a freak. But hey, who would've thought that the pass-down history about the witch's curse would change the town, and this boy, whom they call a freak, would be part of it.

How it's made
This animation reflects a typical American family. It's almost as if you're getting a glimpse of their culture, no one believes Norman, his older sister hates her, people think he's weird, too bad for him.

I like how the point was made. At the start you would have thought he was just talking to his grandmother, until his father told him (for the nth time) that she was dead. Going to school, you can see him talking alone, and moving as if he is avoiding bumping into an empty space, you would definitely think he's nuts, but flip the camera to Norman's point of view, and you'll see them: the friendly ghosts he's been seeing and talking with.

The writers also took advantage of witches curse and history, mixed it up and came up with a good story.

The characters are also nicely made. By that I mean that each of them are unique.
Photo from here

 Now that's what you call details.
Photos from here.

In the end
In the end, I think the conflicts were solved. Norman, the strange boy who talks to the dead, did something that no one in the town was willing to do, and thanks to him all's well again.

Somehow, it just made a bit sad that the cinema was not full when this was shown, this even have a more solid plot than Brave, in my opinion. (ah, the power of marketing!) Anyhow, this film was surely a treat, glad I watched it.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cupcakes by Sonja

Going to Serendra is like going to a toyland where you will be welcomed by the fancy facade of different establishments. For sure, there are lots of nice places here where you can spend your lunch or dinner, but if you just want to spend time with a light snack, there are places to visit too. If you have a sweet tooth, Cupcakes by Sonja is a place to check.


This nook is like a fancy bakery. With its mirror walls, one can covet the lovely looking cupcakes inside.  

 Now, you must be aware though, that the prices here seems outrageous for the size. They cupcakes ranging from P60-100.

If not for a friend who wanted to try this, I think I wouldn't have visited. But anyway, it's a new experience. So I did a little research and according here one of the best sellers must be the Red velvet vixen as it has a high vote compared with the other cupcakes. And so I ordered that out of curiousity. I got another, the Smores tart.. My friend got the choco cream pie and the banana monkey cream pie.
Smores tart and Red velvet vixen
The red velvet vixen
The bread is not dry, the softness is enough, as well as the taste. It's not very sweet, just right, and it has this unique after taste, it must have something to do with the cream.

Smores tart
Now this one tasted too sweet for my taste. The chocolate tasted like melted milo plus three spoons of sugar. The mallows inside are ok, and just right.

My friends picks:
She got two cream refregirated cupcakes. Both of them tastes good, though she said she feels like she's eating some crushed cookies, and not cupcakes.
 I can say that we were satisfied with the taste, with the exception of my oversweet smores. Overall, the cute place, the cute, yummy cupcakes, were a nice experience.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

It pays to be persistent

Today, I'm supposed to finish coloring a different drawing, but my little sis was very persistent in asking me to make a cover for her computer program. So I ended up doing her bidding for the last couple of hours. 
Now this is a good example of how persistence pays. (Luke 11:5-10)

Anyway's there's what she asked me to do. Hope I'll finish up her other drawings in no time.
"Hi!" says the bear.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Haiku-Juu San

Ber months
Cold breeze welcome us
Days fly fast 'cause ber is here
Soon Christmas will come.

Friday, August 31, 2012

How do you view mistakes?

In life there will be a lot of times when we make bad decisions, stupid mistakes, and wrong moves. More often we get knocked down by the consequences of our actions. 

In that case, what will you do? How will you respond? Will you just lie there and make a monument of that moment or will you get up, brush yourself up and continue forward? It can be disheartening to see the grave consequences of our mistakes,of our wrong decisions.

 I believe though, that it's part of life, part of the learning process to make us stronger and wiser.We may make a lot of mistakes in our lifetime, but if we look closely, these bad things can turn out for the good. We just have to find it.We have to find the lesson behind our bad decisions and mistakes, learn and remember them, so that the experience will not be wasted.

They said that experience is a hard teacher. True enough, aside from giving the test first before teaching the lesson; experience gives the same test over and over until you learn.

 No wonder sometimes we end up in a similar situation in the past, or repeat a history, it's because we refuse to learn the lesson mistakes offer.

 I believe that we don't always have to experience things first-hand. Other people can serve as guide to us. Look at their lives, how they handle mistakes or bad decisions and see what you can learn. We could face the same tests as they did, and it would be much wiser to learn from others than be a fool to go through the same ordeal yourself.

We cannot shun mistakes, it will pop out once in a while, to teach us lessons, to make us think. Yes, it's okay to blame ourselves for a while, but never let it paralyze you. Instead of cursing it, loosen up a bit, learn to laugh and make sure to learn from it.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Bourne Legacy

Jeremy Renner is one of the actors I look forward seeing on the big screen, add to that the fact that part of this movie was shot in the Philippines; The Bourne Legacy is automatically on my movie-to-see list.

So what can I say?
The plot is okay. I can say that it has a story and not just some random action. It was quite lengthy though. It took some time before the interesting things started to happen. The shooting in the lab started my adrenaline, of course that's a life-and-death situation. I also liked the confrontation at the doctor's house and how Cross came on her rescue.

Now in the Philippines
What I like the most is how the chase scene was edited and put together. There is a good continuity, and you wouldn't think that they were shot in different cities unless you're familiar with the place.

Somehow, I just found it lacking. I mean, the characters were clever and strong, but there wasn't enough action. And by that I mean, hand to hand combat or fight scene. The character's wit and strength is incomparable, but it wasn't put to full capacity There can be a more creative way to defeat an enemy than by just crashing him on a pillar.

If ever the legacy continues, I hope to see more actual fights. :]

Sunday, August 26, 2012

12th Book: The Heavenly Man

This book was a recommendation from my sister. Upon seeing it, I first turned it down, as I'm not sure what sort of story I would find there. The book says 'the remarkable true story of Chinese Brother Yun'. I thought I wasn't prepared yet to meet Brother Yun at that time.

But now, I have finished the book. I'm glad I read it. This book is indeed a remarkable story. Brother Yun endured many trials for the gospel and for his love of Jesus. This book gave me an idea of how Christian life was like in China. I can say I am lucky to be born in an era and in a country where one can worship God freely.

Brother Yun shared how his journey with Christ started. Not only his but fellow Chinese who are also believers.

This book is about miracles. I really enjoyed reading Brother Yun and his wife Deling's testimony of miracles and visions. I guess it's just amazing. It made me think visions, perhaps were more frequent before than now, when Christians had time to really listen. And miracles do happen, when you put your focus on God, when you learn to wait, trust and obey Him.

This book is a good read and helps revive the spirit and faith. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Brave

The movie Brave was one of the films I anticipated this year. I'd been watching the trailers since the start of the year. You know I have the thing for archers, so this movie was surely be on my list. Plus, I'm curious to know more about the bear, and it's relation to the
movie.

The rich history and legend of Scotland has helped the creators to set the atmosphere of the movie.

I like how they set up the kingdom. No fancy thrones,or halls. The dining table was made of food, without that fancy carvings. Everything is in place.

Merida's triplet brothers are cute, though I think it might've been better to let them talk. You know they are too clever for their age, but they don't talk. Isn't it weird?

One of the things notable in this movie, is the posture of archery contestants. According here, the animators got the good and bad postures as accurate as possible. I think it just earned 'Brave's animators, extra bragging rights.  

Now about the plot, finally there's a story of about mother-daughter relationship. The movie makes sure impart the importance of listening.

With her untimely bethrotal, Merida couldn't help but rebel against her mother's decision. 
In her rage she slashed their family tapestry. Not only that, she took the chance to change her fate, with the help of the old witch.

And so it happened, her mother fell under the spell and it can only be undone if she 'mend the bond torn by pride' or else her mother would permanently be a bear.

When this happened, you might initially think that Merida realizes her grave mistake and accepted her part in this. But no, she was defensive.And she just thought, oh sewing up the tapestry would do the trick.

The story played out well, that her pride continued to blind her, but at the very last moment, she finally apologized, and more than mending the tapestry, she was able to mend a much important bond- her bond with her mother.

So much on the positive, now let me just tell the part which I don't like so much.
It's about Mourdu, a prince from the ruined kingdom who asked for a spell for him to have the strength of 10 warriors. So it turned out he got stuck with the spell and became a bear, permanently.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't have any problem with that, nor I had a problem when he attacked the family in the beginning or when he attacked Merida in the ruins.
But come one, on the last part, when they were in the menhirs he started attacking,and the poor warriors who charged were nothing against him, then Mor'du, as if holding a certain grudge, happens to single Merida out. Why would he do that? What prompted him? Why would he like Merida killed.

I'm thinking it's just so to have a fight scene, but it looks that the intention/motivation of the villain was weak.  
It seems like from the beginning he wanted to hurt her, but the question is why? My questions wasn't anywhere near answered by the end of the film. Anyway, children could easily just ignore it, so it's fine, at least the beast was gone now.

And the other clans warriors, if they act like one, were not given much depth of character in the movie. All the clans just kept fighting when they get the chance, no other deeper stories about them. 

Anyway I still think this movie has some worth, think deeper and learn the lessons this movie gives.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Healing

I've never liked a horror or slasher film, but I did my sister a favor, and so I ended up with her at the last-full  show of this movie on a Saturday night. And yes, I didn't see at least 1/4 of the film because of the horror and gore factor. I watched them with my hands over my eyes. :P

Based on a deep-rooted supersitions and belief on faith healing, and how they turned it into a horror one, I can say that the movie's plot was well thought. though there are some weak points, I actually think this movie is disturbing and scary.

!Spoiler!
Just don't look at me with that chameleon eye!
In the movie, when the victims get possesed by their Doppelgänger they get that chameleon looking eyes that can rotate 360 degrees. It really creeps me out.

The the craziest part was when Greta's Doppelgänger crying was seen by her husband. The husband can only see her back, but lo and behold, switch camera angle, and you can see the black creepy eyes. The feigned cry + the crazy eyes =a real horror.
Just don't bend like that, okay?!
Imagine this scene, There was an outage, Seth, the main character was inside the dark house, Greta's doppelgänger appear, of course Seth doesn't know it, so she called her, and you know, it bends backward in an awkward position and stared for the longest 3 seconds. The heck. Real creepy.

Of course, all films has their good and bad.
For starters, I wonder, is it necessary to have a comedy in a horror film? I think no. It makes the atmosphere weak, and breaks the building tension. But for the benefit of the doubt I think it's just ok, at least the viewers would have time to breath.

Also, I think the ending is quite weak. It kind of leaves you wondering what happened to Cookie in the end.
Anyway, overall, if you're finding some horror/ slasher film, you can go see this one. I can say it's worth the money.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift

Having just watched the 3rd movie of Ice Age, I know I have a lot of catching up to do. So when my friend offered a free movie as her birthday treat, I opted for Ice Age's latest one.


On the third movie, I met the saber-toothed squirrel, Scrat, and his adventure with his beloved acorn. The story seems to be almost incongrous with the rest of the plot and I really found him a peeve.

In this 4th movie though, I think the scriptwriters were able to make good use of his character. They were able to bring a message too. Scrat is just a simple squirrel who is just trying to find a place for his acorn, and by doing so accidentally caused the continental drift, unbeknownst to him. This is a message that says your actions have an effect on others, directly or indirectly, and whether you know it or not.

Different types of relationships were handled in this movie too. To name a few we have Manny's daughter Peaches. She is already a budding teenager and would surely like to hang out with cool friends. Him, being overprotective causes a friction between them. Sid's Granny was abandoned by their family, leaving her in his care. And Peaches in pursuit of cooler friends broke her bestfriend, Louis' heart.   

 Let's not forget Diego. He was the thing I'd been wanting to see since the start of the movie. Denis Leary's voice adds up to his charm. This sabertooth tiger sure is a loyal friend of Manny and Sid, imagine his patience for Sid and Granny. 
And no matter how he denies, you can confirm his soft side when you see those bunch of hyraxes all over him because of their gratitude. It makes him more adorable. I'm glad that they finally made him a pair in this movie.
This ice age is surely a treat.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blonde girl


With the rain, there's not much to do today so might as well be productive. Thank God I was finally able coloring this drawing. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

11th Book: Erec Rex (Dragon's Eye)

It's hard to find the words so I will start with the summary.

Plot
Erec Rex is a boy with a glass eye. He grew up with enchanted objects, a strange mom, and other adopted siblings. His upbringing is as strange as the reason he doesn't know why his other eye was like that.

He's no ordinary kid. There are times when he gets this strange sensation, almost like mind control that commands him to do things he wouldn't normally do,good thing, so far they are only commands to help save people.

Erec's magical adventure began when his mother was kidnapped, and together with a girl named Bethany, the two explored the lower Earth, a world where magic is not an imagination, but a reality.

The Good: Creative
Okay, there are already tons of books concerning magic, ever since advent of the Potter series, and this book is no exception.

The good thing though, is that the author is creative enough to come up with a different story.

There are some chronicles about the game which Erec joined, and I think those are entertaining for kids, I personally like the game under the sea.

The Bad: Who is that again?
Ok, for a children's book, I think the character's names should have been reconsidered. Sure Erec Rex Bethany, Jack and Oscar are easy to remember. But then you would ask yourself twice,who that Claudius... Bartimius is, as well as other ancient names listed there.

The name might be long for some reason, like it should sound as scary and lethal, but if you are a kid, seriously, are you going remember that?

There were also some instances where the story becomes just plain confusing.

Some characters were just like bombs that comes out of nowhere, explodes, and would leave you asking, who the heck was that?

Some were underdeveloped, that would leave you little clue as to why on Earth they were even there in the first place.

What's next? That's it?!
As likely as the characters, some points of the stories didn't evolved too.

There are a number of loose ends or loose beginnings, somehow I don't feel that I would see the answer in the part 2 of the book.

Don't get me wrong, those are just some observations of a reader. This book is not that bad, as I said the ideas were quite creative, maybe it's just the way it was written.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ran Mouri



Ran Mouri of Detective Conan is one of my favorite characters. I found this very beautiful picture of her, but the size was very small, look at how pixelated it is when resized.

I really wanted to re-draw this one, so I tried it, and with the use of my Wacom tablet I retraced the drawing. I think result is close enough. :P
Ran waiting for Conan

Friday, June 29, 2012

My first finished drawing in SAI


Finally, after days of tracing and coloring, I've finished a drawing using my Wacom tablet and the application SAI. I'm pretty proud of the result, considering I'm new to this thing.

Now take a good look at the characters, Do they look familiar? These characters are my chibi version of Peeta and Katniss in a happier lifetime.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

10th Book: Howliday Inn

Well, here's another animal story. A children's book, with good wit and humor to keep me going page after page, and after a couple of hours I've finished reading it. Since I've been reading children's books for a while, I'm starting to get more convinced that these books aren't just plain.

If you read it in an adult's point of view, you would see that these genre has more to offer. They have their own metaphor and meanings, often hidden in the unassuming characters. 

Anyway, here's a peek to the story:
Howliday inn is set in the viewpoint of Harold, the family dog.

The adventure starts when his persons, the Monroe family, took a vacation and couldn't bring the pets with them. So together with the family's brainy cat, Chester, the two were boarded in the Chateau bow-wow for a week. It's supposed to give them their own smooth holiday for a week.

'Abandon all hope ye who enters here' as Chester said. Harold wouldn't have taken it seriously if it hadn't been for the creepy howling they heard in their first night there, coupled with strange disappearance and a hint of crime. Now, it's up to Harold and Chester to uncover the truth about the strange happenings in Howliday inn before it's too late for both of them.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kimchi

If there is a competition of food with the strongest (or foulest smell), Korea's kimchi will surely be in.

If you have yet to encounter kimchi, then you have to be well warned, so as to brace yourself for what's coming.

Kimchi is one of Korea's staple foods. It is made of fermented Chinese cabbage,drenched in pepper paste. It is mostly present in every Korean meal.

But be warned, this spicy vegetable dish has a deadly weapon- it's smell.
Bad odor is an understatement. It reeks of a decaying vegetable. [Well, at least that's my first reaction.]The more fermented it is, the stronger the odor, I guess. With the reek,it's really going to be hard to eat, especially if you are squeamish.

But rest assured that if you are a vegetable lover, if have a passion for spicy food or if you simply like discovering new dishes,this will be worth a try. And the more you get used to eating it the more the reek becomes more tolerable.

As for me, being fond of vegetables, I easily liked it. The spice, the Chinese cabbage, added with hot rice and some meat, really makes a hearty meal. As for the smell, well, you just have to accept it as it is. : P

Anyway, the company I work for offer kimchi pinoy style, with four flavors: beef, pork, chicken and tuna. Cool!
[Theold Interprise: 02-817-8485 to 6]

Sunday, June 17, 2012

7th, 8th, 9th Book: The Hunger Games Trilogy


First off, let me express my regret not to buy the real copy, and just be contented reading the e-book version.

Believe me, it wasn't my intention. I was just testing the first few pages of the e-book version, to see if it's worth to buy the real thing.(Yes, I know it's worth the bucks, but I just want to be sure.)

I shouldn't have done it. As soon as I reached the 10th page, I couldn't take my mind of it, and the movie also keeps flashing back.

I couldn't wait to go to the mall and buy, imagine my addiction, staying up in the middle of the night, until dawn, to finish pages by pages, chapter by chapter of this Hunger games. I was totally hooked! In 5 days I was able to finish the whole thing. I spend about 3 more days with the aftermath of everything in my mind- reminiscing moments in the book, remembering the movie. This book is so addicting!

I will definitely buy myself the real deal. My officemate said, why buy it if I have already read it. Couple of reasons actually:

1st - it's going to be a collection
2nd - I'm sure I'll read it again.
3rd - Because I'm sure I'll read it again, I want to save myself from another butt-pain. It's serious. Imagine those 5 days sitting  for a long time, staring at the computer monitor.My poor butt. I can't even lie on bed while reading; and so, I need a physical copy.

What I like:
Since, this book is widely popular, I don't think I need to introduce it, so I'm just going to say my take about it.
Of all the books, my most favorite is the first part. I think beginnings are the sweetest parts in books.
I like Peeta, and how he shows his interest/love for Katniss in the little things. He has a sense of humor too. I think, for every girl, he has the trait of an ideal man. Protective, respectful, funny, reliable.

Katniss has a strong character. She's actually a good embodiment of an independent woman, with outstanding archery skills. The way Collins write her emotional struggle throughout the book, made me think, if I had been like that, at a point in my life. I think yes, every woman goes through confusion, self-confinement and depression. Collins actually told it very well.

This book is more wholesome than Twilight, I think. It's written in both female point of view, but you can see the difference between Bella and Katniss' thoughts when it comes to their relationships and how they handle them. Or perhaps it's just the way how the writers wrote it-explicit or not.

What I don't like:
You know one of the things that really kept me going night after night, is Peeta's love for Katniss. The second  book's adventure is excellent, and their time with at the penthouse and arena are also sweet. But the book seems to lack something, sort of not enough. Well, with Peeta, dejected by Katniss in the first book, I think it's understandable how they came to that. Although, I kept on hoping to find the little things, those little sweet things between Peeta and Katniss. Oh moments, they just have a few.

Finally when the third book unveiled, they have less to share. With Peeta hijacked and all, that little connection seemed to be lost. . I just hope there were more sweet moments by the end of the book, to make up for the lost time... you know,but well, it's ok.

Conclusion:
No matter how it ended, or even if this book has some lose ends, it all comes down to one thing: this book is addicting.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wacom pen and touch CTH-470

I finally got a drawing tablet! Yey!

After a long battle with my mind as to what brand to choose and what model to buy, I finally settled with a Wacom Bamboo.
Why I chose this tablet:
First off, it's established. Wacom, by far is the most reliable brand when it comes to graphic tablets.
I actually wanted to give Genius a try, given that its price is more affordable. Imagine you can buy two genius worth of tablets, with the price of one wacom. (The level entry, that is.)

What's inside?
This is it! The tablet, pen with eraser,the drivers, and usb cable 4 extra nibs and a nib remover.


The Tablet and Pen
This is a pen and touch tablet, so basically, you can also use this as an alternative to mouse, while you are drawing.

See those white marks? That's the margin for the active area. You can only draw within those marks. The space within these marks represent exactly your monitor. When I first used it, it was confusing, but you'll get used to it.

This tablet has four hot keys. You can also adjust them. How I love the brilliant idea of the creases in those hot keys!

The pen has a built-in eraser, and also has two shortcut keys within the pen's body. You can adjust them too. Here's what I just noticed though, the luster of the eraser's body gets scratched as you erase it. So for me, I actually opted not to use it. Instead, I assigned the eraser to one of the shortcut keys. [I just don't want my pen to look old and scratched. :P  ]

Did I mention that this tablet is wifi ready? There's an allotted compartment for wifi and battery, it's sold separately though.

Oh la la!
Wacom bamboo eraser and pressure sensitivity doesn't work
The first time I used the eraser, it was a horror that the eraser not working. I thought it was supposed to be by default, but it doesn't work in SAI or Adobe photoshop.

Wacom pen and touch is made to be pressure sensitive. It's the function that makes a line thicker or thinner depending on how much pressure you apply to the tablet using the pen. It should function by default.

The first time I tried my pen, I totally forgot about the pressure thing. The next time I tried it, again, it's not working, and I was in panicky mode again.

The solution for the drawing tablet's pressure sensitivity  and eraser to work: pressing the CTRL,ALT,SHIFT altogether while the application is starting. It will reset your application's settings. It should make the eraser and pressure sensitivity work. If not, then you have another problem.

FREE SAI DOWNLOAD
Easy paint tool SAI is just like Adobe Photoshop, but as the name says, it's easy. With layman's terms and uncluttered interface, it's a very helpful tools for novice, and professionals too.

Now, most of the people who use graphic tablets use this program. So, my dilemma was where to download SAI free? (Sorry I don't have lots of bucks to shell out for the original:[ ) Anyway, I found it at last. If you just keep on looking, you'll eventually find something.

So I'm sharing this very helpful site I found.
Be sure to check the 'description'. ;)

I have tried it and it worked for me. I hope it will for you too.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Law of Diminishing Intent

I read this in a newsletter from a bookshop. I think I just ought to share it. This article is a wake up call for us. Act now, or else, you'll fall prey to the law of diminishing intent. Here's the whole bit of it:

The Time to Act by Jim Rohn
Engaging in genuine discipline requires that you develop the ability to take action. You don’t need to be hasty if it isn’t required, but you don’t want to lose much time either. Here’s the time to act: when the idea is hot and the emotion is strong.

Let’s say you would like to build your library. If that is a strong desire for you, what you’ve got to do is get the first book. Then get the second book. Take action as soon as possible, before the feeling passes and before the idea dims. If you don’t, here’s what happens…


You fall prey to the law of diminishing intent.

We intend to take action when the idea strikes us. We intend to do something when the emotion is high. But if we don’t translate that intention into action fairly soon, the urgency starts to diminish. A month from now the passion is cold. A year from now it can’t be found.

So take action. Set up a discipline when the emotions are high and the idea is strong, clear, and powerful. If somebody talks about good health and you’re motivated by it, you need to get a book on nutrition. Get the book before the idea passes, before the emotion gets cold. Begin the process. Fall on the floor and do some push-ups. You’ve got to take action; otherwise the wisdom is wasted. The emotion soon passes unless you apply it to a disciplined activity. Discipline enables you to capture the emotion and the wisdom and translate them into action. The key is to increase your motivation by quickly setting up the disciplines. By doing so, you’ve started a whole new life process.

Here is the greatest value of discipline: self-worth, also known as self-esteem. Many people who are teaching self-esteem these days don’t connect it to discipline. But once we sense the least lack of discipline within ourselves, it starts to erode our psyche. One of the greatest temptations is to just ease up a little bit. Instead of doing your best, you allow yourself to do just a little less than your best. Sure enough, you’ve started in the slightest way to decrease your sense of self-worth.

There is a problem with even a little bit of neglect. Neglect starts as an infection. If you don’t take care of it, it becomes a disease. And one neglect leads to another. Worst of all, when neglect starts, it diminishes our self-worth.

Once this has happened, how can you regain your self-respect? All you have to do is act now! Start with the smallest discipline that corresponds to your own philosophy. Make the commitment: “I will discipline myself to achieve my goals so that in the years ahead I can celebrate my successes.”

Saturday, May 19, 2012

6th Book: The Egypt Game

When I saw this book on sale in a bookstore, I didn't miss the opportunity to buy it. After all, it's a must-read according to the 2008 almanac. I have actually imagined a Jumanji like theme, where the players would be transported into the game, and would face the dangers of hidden traps and mummies in the pyramids of Egypt.

Boy, I was wrong. I should have read the blurb before anything else. It's nothing like that. But, I'm not disappointed either.

The Egypt game is not a story of magic, in fact it offers a normal story of kids who play with that 'role-play' type of thing.The ones we used to do when we were young - dress up and pretend to be the mother, cook, princess, or anything that our imagination requires of us; use scrap materials from the house, from the neighborhood, from the plants, anything that can be props for our story.  As for this story, it started when the kids saw Nefertiti inviting them into the land of Egpyt, and so they let their imagination run, do as Egyptians do, make props for their costumes, perform rituals and all.

But I must admit, I admire how Synger was able to organize the thoughts and come up with a detailed story. You know, it's not always easy to describe an ordinary thing in an extraordinary way. But she was able to pull it of, "Neat!" like one of the characters say. The story also just doesn't offer you an ordinary one, it has enough twist to keep you wondering. But the part I like the most if the totality of the story. It is told from a child/ and pre-teen's point of view, and looking at things from their perspective is something that reminds me of my own childhood. Reading this story has somehow made me remember how I looked at things, and what priorities, worries or dreams I had when I was a child. Now I think I know why it became a must- read.

I really think it's quite interesting to read a children's book when you are an adult. It takes the story into a new light. You'd see it differently as an adult, than the way you would see it if you are young.

Next in Line: The Howliday Inn  [I guess it's time to finally open this book, 3 years after I bought it.]

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I have a thing about archers


I don't know when it started. This may be an influence from my childhood immersion in anime, but it can't be helped. I'm really into archers.

Swordsman and strong and courageous, but they fight on the frontline, and I think it's more dangerous. Using bow and arrow on the other hand allows you to hide, shoot from afar, and hit (if you have a good aim). And I just think it's a really kick-ass thing, to hit the target from a distance. So, I can't help but be amazed whenever I see archers, in animation or movies.


Magic knight rayearth - Animone (Fuu)
She's that silent-type, of all the three protagonists in this anime. But she's the first earliest archer I have followed. ( I really can't recall my earliest memory of Robin Hood animation well enough.)

Before they had their magical weapons, they were given ordinary ones, and Fuu took the bow and arrow. The thing I remember most about her character was the time when, they need to defeat something, and they can't get near it. Only she has the chance to hit it with her arrow, but she was too reluctant of her ability. But, good thing, she was able to gather her confidence and do it.


























Inuyasha - Kagome
If it hadn't been for Kagome, unwittingly hitting and shattering the magic crystal, they wouldn't go through all those hard time gathering it again. But there would be no story either.

Anyway, Kagome is fearless in most circumstances. Not only she's an archer, she is also an adept swimmer.
















The Lord of the Rings - Legolas
Orlando Bloom as Legolas, is my first ever absolute archer crush. I wouldn't even watch this movie, if it weren't for him. I consciously avoid movies with the hint of violence, because I avoid the nightmare that follows me at night. But because of him, playing Legolas, I was able to stand it. He's a definition of awesome.


The hunger games - Katniss
I have yet to read the book, but I have already watched the movie. A female protagonist. A female acher protagonist. Cool! Her character is strong, she has the survivor aura. I think Jennifer Lawrence portrayed  her character very well.


The Avengers - Hawkeye
And of course, the latest movie 'The Avengers'. Jeremy Renner's portrayal of Hawkeye is another awesome thing that really made me write this entry. He was really convincing. There were lots of super heroes in the movie, and Chris Evans is a really handsome Captain America, but it was hawkeye's move who I was wishing to see on the screen- why? Because he is one heck of an archer. :P

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

5th Book: Lumayo Ka Nga Sa Akin

Sa librong 'to ni Bob Ong, para kang nagbasa ng movie script.

1st: Bala sa bala, kamao sa kamao, satsat sa satsat!
*Tungkol sa tipikal na action movie, kung saan mayroon action star, kasalan, barilan sa kasalan, goons, at kung anu-ano pang makikita sa pinoy action movie.

2nd: Shake, shaker, shakest
*Tungkol sa kwento ng pamilya na na-trap sa haunted house. Over the course of conversations, mapapag-usapan din ang mga libro at kung paano pinapaikot ng mga bookstores ang pagdedesisyon kung alin ang bestsellers, at kung paano nila naiimpluwensyahan ang mga tao. Nabanggit din ang impluwensya ng telebisyon sa buhay ng mga ordinaryong mamayan.

3rd: Asawa ni Marie
*Tungkol naman sa drama movie, at mga  cliches sa pinoy teleserye. Mapag-uusapan dito ang impluwensya ng hollywood sa paggawa ng pinoy movies, kung saan sa halos lahat ng pelikula ay kasama ang mga bed scenes, pero basura naman ang plot.

Actually, medyo natagalan akong tapusin ang librong 'to. Ewan ko lang para sa iba, pero sa'kin medyo na boring-an ako sa takbo ng story eh.

The book was meant to be satirical sa movie and book industry sa Pilipinas, pero meron lang talagang mga parts na dull, or dragging. Siguro ako lang yun, kaya rin siguro di ako naging script writer.. :P

So, ito yung mga feeling ko, may sense na sinabi ng mga characters sa book:

[Diego:
Pero hindi lahat ng inaakala mong korni, e korni. Minsan ikaw lang din talaga ang walang sense of humor at may diperensya, siguro dahil sa pagpipilit mong maging iba.
Ako, ang hinahangaan kong tao na mahilig sa libro eh yung may matutunan ka pag kausap mo,yung makikita mong naging marunong at mabuti syang tao, dahil sa pagbabasa nya ng mga libro.]


[Mar:
Majority ng mga viewers ang hindi nakakaalam na may laging itinuturo sa atin ang TV. Ang tanong ay kung anu-ano ang mga 'yon?
Kinokondisyon tayo ng mga patalastas na hindi tayo masaya. Na laging may kulang sa buhay natin.]

[Samuel: Sige nga magdebate tayo! Patunayan mo sa'kin na may Diyos!
Pundit: Bata, kanya-kanya tayo ng paglalakbay. Huwag kang magpakarga. Katamaran yan.]

[ Samuel na possessed:
Itinda nyo... Pero wag nyong gagamitan ng salitang best seller kung di naman totoo.
Pinapakita nyong mga dayuhang libro pa rin at mga dayuhang libro lang ang tinatangkilik ng mga tao.]

Next in Line: The Egypt Game

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