All the Doctors at Cosmania 2014

Well, we finally did it. All the Doctors and the FemmeDoctors in one event.

All Thirteen - Homme & Femme Doctors
Photos by Cali Ynoviel & Bex P., background edited by BJ David. Yes, we are aware we made a mistake with the ordering.

I tried to recall how this all came about. My research brought me to a post in the Whovian PH group where a few ladies talked about making a group for the femme Doctors. It grew from there until we had a complete line-up. The girls were able to debut an incomplete roster last May during NexCon.

In the months that followed, everyone (and by that I mean the guys and the girls) worked together to complete all twenty six. We found people who were willing to play the Doctors, and helped them get their props and costume together. There were many sleepless nights where people stayed up to finish things, fueled by coffee and a lively Facebook chat group.

Somehow, we pulled it off.

And it wasn’t just the cosplayers. It was also friends who worked with us in shopping for materials, making accessories and the like. We had a trip to Divisoria to buy cloth and other stuff. Some braved torrential downpours just to help sew coats. Others actually learned how to sew, and even got their families onboard to finish things. And then there were the photographers.

Our companions were awesome too. We had Amy Ponds, Clara Oswalds and a Rose Tyler. We also had a Dorium Maldovar (hi Moses!). We were in the minority during the event as the crowd was mostly into anime, but we got recognized by a few people, and that was enough for us.

More photos from Day 1 can be found here. I’ll discuss the costumes and how everyone made theirs maybe in the comments. 🙂

10 Reasons Why NexCon Rocked: Part 2

Continued from 10 Reasons Why NexCon Rocked: Part 1

5. The awesome panels
Most cons here are about the merchandise, cosplay and stage events. It’s only in book or comic related cons do I get to see any panels. NexCon had three of them, and each one was something worth attending. I managed to go to the Komiks Reborn and Cinema Fantastica. I know a lot of people were hoping to see foreign guests (actors particularly), but the NexCon panels were jampacked with Filipino greats in the field of comics, movies, and literature.


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4. Geekfight
Geek trivia game amped to the higher level! Fellow Whovians made a group of six and named it “Gallifrey Stands” (represent, Torchwood Manila as well). We didn’t win, but it was a respectable finish all the same. It was also their 5th anniversary, so the game was pretty intense. Lots of laughter and shenanigans, and thankfully I don’t have to turn in my geek card.


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Continue reading 10 Reasons Why NexCon Rocked: Part 2

10 Reasons Why NexCon Rocked: Part 1

It’s been a while since there has been an event dedicated specifically to sci-fi and fantasy. There are a lot of cons happening yearly around the Metro, but anime usually dominates over other fandoms. There was New Worlds a few years back, but nothing in recent history.

That is, until NexCon. Held last Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1, it was a gathering of fans of sci-fi and fantasy, be it a TV show, books, video games, name it and they were there. The Bayanihan Center was home to these geeks for the weekend, and boy, was it ever crazy.

10. No crowds
I’ve long stopped attending local cons on a regular basis because of the crowds that overwhelm me every time. I usually go there to look for merchandise, but leave as soon as I got what I wanted. Most cons here are anime-centric, and while I was an anime geek from waaaaay back, I haven’t been keeping up with the new stuff these days.

NexCon was a refreshing change of pace. Aside from being able to recognize plenty of characters, it was a place where my favorite TV series was able to make an impact. There were a lot of people, but there’s still plenty of space to move around. The numbers may not have been the same as that of past cons, but still very respectable.

9. A place for everything
I like that the Bayanihan center has different halls and rooms. Merchandise and exhibitors were located in one hall, while panels and other events were located in their respective rooms. There was even space for cosplayers to place their baggage (a fact that was made known to us after the event haha).

8. NexCon Rocks
Did you stay til the end of day 2 and went to the concert featuring Stereodeal, Peso Movement and Paranoid City? We partied to amazing music, danced and pretty much celebrated our geekdom.

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Stereodeal

Peso Movement.
Peso Movement

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Paranoid City


Continue reading 10 Reasons Why NexCon Rocked: Part 1

Project Four Update

I’m on the third incarnation of the scarf. I began on Wednesday, using the colors that I already had. But on Thursday I found a better yarn and a better pattern, so I started all over again. I was able to reach about 10% of the scarf by Friday, which had me feeling pretty good about myself. Sure there were probably some dropped stitches, but it wasn’t bad for a beginner.

Saturday afternoon after class, I passed by an ukay-ukay shop that I frequent. On the way out of the store, I spotted a plastic bag full of yarn! Digging through it netted me unused skeins in the shades that were very close to what I need for the project. I asked how much it was and when I was told it was P10 each, I grabbed what I can. My friend Ivy said I should grab everything and she was willing to lend me money to pay for it. I regret now that I didn’t take her up on that, but then again, what would I need the others for?

*whispers* Future project, ano ka ba?

Yarns

Here be the yarns. The purple ones are made of wool, and the brand is Paton’s. The maroon-ish one is a Chinese brand called Si Wang. The Lego Minifig is for size comparison purposes, since I don’t now what is the size of this skein.

Comparing colors

The two yarns have a more muted color than the ones that I’m currently using and seems more appropriate for the project. This resulted in my dilemma on whether or not I should unravel what I have done.

After a day or so of thinking, asking other people’s opinions and asking other crocheters what they think, I ended up unraveling it and starting over. I like the colors better now… but I’m re-thinking of undoing it all again because I dropped a few stitches and it’s looking very uneven. But I’m controlling myself from doing that.

Here’s a pretty neat tool that shows my progress. I’ve done this much since I started over yesterday morning. I think that so long as I don’t run out of yarn, I should be able to finish this in two weeks. Not bad.

P.S. It’s also kinda addicting to go around looking for yarn and buying them even though I have more than enough… danger!

The great crochet project

Sometime during 6th or 7th grade, the girls in our class had to learn how to crochet (the boys learned how to hook rugs). My mom taught me the basics of how to do it, and she also gave me the tools I needed. While it was fascinating, I never really used this skill after that.

Fast forward to now. I am getting back to crochet for one thing: the Fourth Doctor’s scarf. My first attempt at making a Doctor Who related costume re-sparked the desire to create. As much as I’d like to have the official merchandise, it’s far too expensive for my current budget. Plus, it would be subjected to the wear and tear of actual use, so a handmade one would be a little less taxing on the pocket. The biggest investment would be the time and effort to make it.

Preparation
I had gone through many sites and blogs to look for tips and patterns on making the Fourth Doctor’s scarf. Most of the information was about knitting, but there were also those who adapted the patterns to crochet. Thank you very much to you guys.

Next thing I did was search for places to get the materials I needed. I know yarn can be bought in many places around the metro, but the problem was that if the stores would have the color I needed. Divisoria was the best place to go to (Tabora St., specifically), but it was too far and I was on limited time.

Blogs like gantsilyoguru (post is gone now, unfortunately), Digital Brew and Crafty Neko recommended VC Trading and Maning’s in Farmer’s Plaza Cubao, which was a much better option for me. But first, I thought, why not look around in my own backyard first?

Continue reading The great crochet project

How I made the Clockwork Droid mask

When Joiz and I decided to attend the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary party set by fellow Whovians, we thought it would be cool to come in costume, as we were sure many attendees will be doing. However, we had little time to decide which to go as and get it set up. We decided in doing some villains because for sure there would be a lot of Doctors already, and villains are a bit of a challenge.

I picked the Clockwork Droid from the episode “The Girl in the Fireplace”. I figured it would be easy to find the clothes as it was more or less standard for 18th century France. The mask was going to be the bigger challenge.

In the end, it was actually the other way around.

Materials
Basic materials (scraps and tools not included here)

Continue reading How I made the Clockwork Droid mask

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Party, Pinoy Style

The longest running British sci-fi/fantasy television show, Doctor Who, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Pinoy fans of the show got together to celebrate it, and even if we couldn’t watch the show as it aired, there was enough activities to keep everyone entertained.

Joiz and I initially planned to have a small get-together with the usual suspects, as it was also her birthday week. The plans were hatched as we finished watching “The Name of the Doctor” last May, after learning when the anniversary special would be released. But we found out about this party and thought, “Why not?”

The plans to wear something for the event was hatched later on… like, a week or two before the event itself. We wanted it to be simple, but hopefully with an impact. My dress of choice: a Clockwork Droid from the episode “The Girl in the Fireplace”. Her’s was an Empty Child from the episode with the same name.

The party was a blast! We met fellow Whovians (a few of whom I’ve met before through Fiipino ReaderCon pre-event activities) and saw how big the fandom is. There were a lot of people who came in costume: three Cybermen, Miss Hartigan, Tenth Doctor, several Elevens, First Doctor, Fourth Doctor, another Empty Child, a Calvierri girl from Venice, two Weeping Angels, several companions (Sarah Jane Smith and Jamie McKrimmon), K9, the Dalek and a legion of Masters. In an odd twist, the waiters at the venue wore costumes that looked like the Oods’.

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DW50PH

More photos here.

Just goes to show how loved this series is here in the Philippines. Note that this is only a few of the fans from Manila. Doesn’t take into account the fans from around the country. 😀

Doctor Who: The Night of the Doctor ramblings

Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a review. It’s just me, rambling.

I haven’t really seen Classic Who, so I am not familiar with some elements of this prequel. I was, however, able to catch the 1996 movie (rather cheesy, but still pretty awesome in its own way), so seeing McGann pop up as the Doctor was a pretty mind boggling moment.

Continue reading Doctor Who: The Night of the Doctor ramblings

Idiot box disconnect

A lot of people are surprised when I say I don’t watch TV anymore. When someone makes a comment on a soap opera or the latest Pinoy-adaptation of a reality show, I go, “What? Who’s that? Ano yun?” I can’t even relate when someone talks about that girl who keeps saying “Congratulations” on Wowowee.

Let me clarify some things though. I am not 100% not watching TV. I tune in on occasion to the crime shows on CS9, and if I manage to catch something interesting on QTV, I’d watch it. I love series like Chuck, Fringe, Bones, The Mentalist, Eureka and Psych, as well as watching Mythbusters or shows in Travel and Living, among others. Otherwise, I’m pretty much a non-TV person, with the exception of the occasional news when I’m at work or catching up on my old favorites when I’m visiting people with cable.

If asked, I could probably say that I haven’t been watching much TV since our cable service got disconnected about four or five months now. Then again, I could even pinpoint this back to 2006, when my aunt, uncle and I moved to separate houses and I didn’t have a proper television til a year later.

Like any kid my age, even kids nowadays, I grew up enthralled by the television. I faithfully watched Saturday morning cartoons and cartoons after school. I thank Sesame Street for the part they played in helping me with the English language. I love TV. That didn’t change as I grew older, adding more cartoons to the mix and discovering more interesting shows along the way.

But somewhere in that journey, despite the wide array of shows to watch, I lost some interest in TV. First off, given my oddly erratic schedule in school then at work, I didn’t have the luxury to watch the shows that I wanted when they were airing. Second, TV signal (especially when I was still studying) was so bad, I would rather be reading (well, that’s always my first choice). Third, having several people want to watch different shows at the same time is hard, especially when you all have but one TV between you all. Plus the proliferation of telenovela remakes and copies turned me off all the more. No matter what some say that this actor/actress is good and this series has some redeeming factors, sorry.

I guess that’s why I can easily go to place where there’s no television and still be ok. Now for the Internet… ah, that’s another matter.

Being Pinoy through food

For a while now, I’ve been wondering what’s the best way to describe the Filipinos. When you watch travel shows, most countries can be easily identified by their food, their costumes, their speech.

When you say Filipino… well, I can say that a Pinoy will have his or her own definition depending on where they came from. The old debate of what should be the national language is still up in the air and possibly no closer to being resolved than say, getting a cure for the common cold.

Be that as it may, it’s always interesting to see foreigners react to the Philippines: either through a travel show such as Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” or Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods” (we’ll also be seeing Bobby Chin visit the country soon); or through various blogs and comments online. I once talked to a lady from one of the middle American states (Arkansas, I think) who asked me about the country and was apologizing because she thought we still lived very primitively.

I was amused yet somewhat insulted too, but readily answered “Ma’am, had we lived in trees, you wouldn’t be talking to me right now.” I proceeded to tell her about how we live in the city, how I’m updated about the series Lost, that I just had a Big Mac the other day and gave her some websites she could visit to learn more about us. She was also surprised to learn that I have never been out of the country and credited Sesame Street as a huge part of my English language education.

Granted there’s still a lot of not-so-good stuff about the Philippines (specifically politics, but then again, when is that a good thing anywhere?) but the good stuff is more than all worth it.


What is Filipino?

Anthony Bourdain asked this question to just about every person he met during the show, and more or less didn’t get a satisfactory answer until the end.

“Geography plays a prominent role in what you eat in the Philippines, maybe more so than in other places.”

I have to agree on this. Each region boasts of something that is way better than any other region’s even if you can find it there. For example, I’m a big fan of the Zambales mangoes, and am not ashamed to say that I don’t think Cebu mangoes outclass them. I’m not being rude, but basing it on my experience, especially since I grew up eating Zambales mangoes and not Cebu’s. I’m sure if it were the other way around, I’d be raving about Cebu’s mangoes right now.

Claude Tayag said, “You cannot be a Filipino first until you become Kapampangan first. Become yourself first.”

A lot of this is being taken out of context. Watching this particular part, I feel no offense when Claude Tayag said this. In fact, I can clearly understand what he meant. Many Pinoys belong to a specific region, with their parents and grandparents coming from the province. Myself is a product of the North with a bit of the South thrown in, so I’m more partial to places like Zambales, Pampanga, Baguio and… Bicol than anywhere else. Feed me something from other places and I’d say “Oh, that’s better in *insert place I love here*” This is were regionalism, a trait that is very much ingrained in every Pinoy. Wag na mag deny, dahil totoo naman ito di ba? We feel pride in where we come from, and we staunchly defend it.

What I feel that Claude is trying to say is the mere fact of embracing your roots — be you Kapampangan, Sambali, Cebuano, Bicolano, Davaeno — is the key to being Filipino. I don’t think it would be easy to define who we are if we don’t embrace who our ancestors are.

Face it, our country is one big melting pot, hugely influenced by Spanish and American culture. I always thought that if we weren’t heavily colonized by them, we’d be something like Malaysia or Thailand, given that we have similar roots, but since we were, well, this is who we are.

In fact, the way I see it, it’s a pretty much universal attitude. Anthony Bourdain said it, “I’m a New Yorker first, American second.” If you’ve watched so many travel and cooking shows like No Reservations, you’ll notice it. People, no matter where they live, are quick to say that their version of this food is better than any version you’ll find in their country… or anywhere else.

If anything, this episode of No Reservations would make you ask, “Who are the Pinoys, really?” I have long wondered why we didn’t have a culture where old traditions are very well preserved alongside the modern world. Look at the Japanese, the Chinese and the Koreans. Look at the Malaysians, the Thais and the Indonesians. Their past co-exists harmoniously with the present and when you ask their people who they are, they can tell you.

Perhaps I am not as lost as Augusto is, having grown up being aware of my roots, but there’s still the slight confusion of who my country is in the bigger scale of things.

Maybe, that’s what makes us who we are.

I say…
There’s so much I want to say about this episode of No Reservations. I mean, it’s about the Philippines! How can I not comment on just about every aspect of the program?

But I must practice restraint. I don’t want to end up babbling all over the place (which I am wont to do in many cases). I love, love, love this episode, not just because it’s about the Philippines, but also because Bourdain touched a chord in me about our country and its people. One thing I learned about watching No Reservations is that if it’s good, Tony will say so. If it isn’t, he’ll say it too.

Granted, many people have commented that Augusto feels so restrained and isn’t as enthusiastic as he was in his video — and that they could’ve done better. Yeah, we all have that thinking, but hey, Augusto sent his entry, he got picked. You didn’t. We are all critics, but it has it’s time and place. Bottomline, the crew got what the needed, Augusto got to go home and the Philippines is once again brought to the world’s attention but this time in a very good light.

I think that says a lot.

Snippets
Tony Bourdain loves sisig. Heck, he just about loved everything he had, including the pinapaitan, which personally took me a long time to even partially like.

Yehey, no balut. Not all Filipinos eat balut *waves hand* but I do love the fried day old. Yay for chicken balls! Yay for dampa!

Calamansi FTW! Neil Gaiman mentioned it in his blog when he visited back in 2005.

He referred to Binondo as “the oldest Chinatown in the world”, which I’m sure got the nod of many Chinese-Filipinos. I’ve always wondered why it’s never been featured in any of the travel sites I’ve been to, especially since Ivan said it’s as old as the city, which makes it some hundreds of years old. I love Binondo. I often went there with my grandparents, where my grandfather is often mistaken for another Chinoy (even though he doesn’t speak a word of Chinese).

I had a great time watching the Cebu segment. I remember my first time going to Tabo-an. We went there hours before our flight back to Manila to buy some danggit. We didn’t know that the smell of the dried fish would stick to us. Needless to say, we sat in the plane hoping that we wouldn’t be kicked out by the pilot halfway over the ocean.

You can never go wrong with lechon. I think it’s safe to say that even vegetarians break a bit when they are faced with lechon (and if they don’t, I marvel at their self-control).

Photo from: No Reservations Facebook

Lastly…
Once again, I say, I want Anthony Bourdain’s job.

Interesting reads:
Anthony Bourdain’s Hierarchy of Pork
Colin on No Reservations Philippines He’s from Pennsylvania and reading his entry makes me want to find a way to send him some sisig.