Category Archives: Media

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


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[Book Review] Finding Mr. Write by Adelaide Penne

Apologies first and foremost, because this post was supposed to be up last April 30. I blame all
the Justin Timberlake posts of “It’s gonna be May” on my Facebook timeline. Nah. I just plain
forgot.

Finding Mr. Write is one of the five books under the label #BuqoSteamyReads Sizzling pack. I
hope you were able to get this bundle, as well as the others, early on because now it’s P45 per
story instead of P45 for each book. No worries though, as you can check out the giveaways my
fellow book lovers are doing (link:
http://bookjunkieblogtours.blogspot.com/2014/04/blog-tour-buqosteamyreads-sizzling.html)

Finding Mr. Write by Adelaide Penne

Finding Mr. Write

Sometimes the best things come from the past…

Marcia Pelaez has it all: the curves, great friends, a successful career, and a loving boyfriend.
Or so she thought. After getting dumped by her boyfriend of three years, her best friends set her
up with blind dates from hell…until she meets Mystery Guy Number Three.

Clark has finally gotten everything he worked so hard to achieve: money and a successful
career. But he has never forgotten the woman who had stolen his heart eleven years ago. And
now that he finally has the chance to win back the feisty and independent Marcia, he’s willing to
pull out all the stops.

In a battle of wits, and between the sheets, will they both finally triumph and find a love that could
last forever?

I first thought that the main female protagonist (MFP) of this story was a writer and who was looking for her Mr. Write because, y’know, she was Miss Write. Play on words and all that. Imagine my surprise when I found that it was the guy who was a writer, and of erotica to boot. Not an unusual occurrence, but still pretty surprising.

I like that Marcia was portrayed as a strong, intelligent woman who doesn’t take any bullshit from people, both in her personal life and at work. At the same time, she’s still human and has a vulnerable side that she tries hard to cover.

Her friends rally around her, and that’s something all women can relate to. But my favorite character, if only for just one line, is Yaya Belen. I’m sure that at one point in our lives, we’ve had someone like her: One who isn’t a blood relation but cares for you like you were. Her “Stay the night!” comment had me laughing. It also reminded me of Mulan’s grandmother who said, “Would you like to stay forever?”

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[Book Review] The Best Friend Hook Up by Suzette de Borja

A few months ago, I participated in a writing class lead by Mina Esguerra and Buqo. I never got around to finishing my story, but quite a few of my classmates have and the results have been amazing. You can get the books from Buqo, a local online ebook store.

The first five books are bundled as “Sizzling: #buqosteamyreads Vol.1”, which you can get at the store for only P45! Five awesome reads for that price, it’s a bargain. But if you want to take a chance and win copies of the ebooks, you can check out the giveaways fellow book lovers have on their blogs.

The Best Friend Hook Up by Suzette de Borja

The Best Friend Hook Up

A bridesmaid in distress…

Mara is desperate to find a “hot” date for a beach wedding she has no wish to attend. The groom is her almost-boyfriend and the bride, her hated cousin. Her list of available, eligible men is virtually nonexistent. What is a girl to do?

Enter scorching hot Ian Stapleton, Mara’s best bud and go-to guy, to the rescue. Seeing his best friend in a red bikini for the first time is triggering a lot of reactions in Ian, the non-platonic kind! Does Ian dare take their friendship to a whole new level?

I’m a sucker for friends-turned-lovers stories, which is what got me reading Suzette’s story. There’s something quite satisfying about seeing people who know so much about each other stumble about falling in love and then getting it on.

I love Ian’s character. He seems like the kind of guy all girls want to have as a boyfriend and all the guys want as a buddy. On the other hand, I can relate to Mara because of my moments of insecurity and lack of self-confidence. Yet she found herself, and got the guy to boot. Let’s not forget that hot encounter by the beach and… Whoops. Spoilers.

Some parts of the story tend to run into each other, to the point where I got confused. Perhaps it was the book’s formatting, but at one point I didn’t know if what I’m reading was a flashback or an event currently happening. I guess it’s the limit of the words (10,000 or less, if I remember it right) that makes it seem that way.

That aside, the story is a fun, fast read. Personally, I couldn’t help but cheer for Ian as he pushes his way through Mara’s defenses, and it was endearing to see Mara become more confident in herself (even if she’s a bit of a drama queen). If you’re interested in a friends-to-lovers story with a lot of sweetness, this one’s for you.

Disclaimer: Story copy was received for review. No compensation was given.

 

Jars of Clay and Gungor Manila 2014

The eve of my birthday was full of fun, great music and positive vibes. Shabby and I were back in Bonifacio High Street for Jars of Clay, who the people of Church Simplified brought back for this year’s Walkway. Gungor is with them this year.

The concert started off with the talented Church Simplied band, whetting the crowd’s musical appetites with upbeat and positive tunes.

Gungor was a revelation. I’ve been living under a rock so I haven’t really heard their music, but I was blown away by their performance. Michael Gungor, lead vocalist and for whom the band was named, said that they don’t believe in genres, and it shows. In their hour-long performance I’ve heard them do rock, country, blues, jazz and even some sort of dubstep mix.

Shabby and I were trying to figure out who he sounded like. I thought Chris Martin of Coldplay, but in most songs he sounded like Dave Matthews.

I enjoyed all their songs, and according to Michael it was a different sort because Lisa, his wife and music partner was back home (pregnant and ready to give birth soon. Wishing you the best!).

Favorite songs: I Am Mountain, Let It Go

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International Tabletop Day 2014 at the Appraisery

My mom and her siblings love playing board games and they had a collection of the classic games when they were growing up. Clue, Sorry, Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle, Snakes and Ladders, and even the local titles like Millionaire’s Game. This love was transferred to me, my siblings and cousins, and we try to play whenever we get together (a rare opportunity these days, sadly).

Games like these are referred to as tabletop games, because, well, you need a table to play them (with a few exceptions). These include the pen and paper RPGs my friends loved to play back in college, as well as the card games like Magic and L5R.

Last Saturday, April 5, was the International Tabletop Day. What’s it about? As seen on the site the link above leads to:

On April 5th, 2014, we ask you to go to your favorite local game store, coffee shop, library, community center, or host a game day at your home and play more games.

My classmate Joscar is one of the proprietors of Meeple Power Games which has its HQ at the Appraisery in Cubao X. They were hosting a day long event for Tabletop Day, and he invited the rest of the class along. I invited some friends too, but only Drew was able to come.

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From 2 PM til midnight, we played as many games as we could. Points were given to winners, people who brought games, people who taught others how to play games and people who were voted “favorite player” by the people they played with. It was wild. Everyone was more than enthusiastic about the games they played, and I don’t think anyone was bored. New games were learned, new friends made and a festive mood prevailed.

Spartacus!

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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?

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Everything is awesome with Lego

Last Monday my sister and I went to the premiere of The Lego Movie. The tickets were a prize that I won from 99.5 Play FM the week before. Inka, the DJ of the program I was listening to at the time, asked a question about what were our hidden talents. This was my answer that won me the tickets.

TwitterWin

Because I really am quite good at looking for things.

There are so many reasons why The Lego Movie is a must watch for me. It’s not just a brand or a toy. It’s a big representation of my childhood, and it being on the big screen now is a huge deal. Many fans around the world have made movies using Lego Minifigures and sets. Lego has crossed so many different borders, with games, apparel, home supplies, other kinds of toys, video games and more. When anything or anyone has been depicted as an official Lego figure or set, consider that as immortality. Still hoping for an official Doctor Who set though.

The story is pretty simple enough. Emmett is your average, everyday guy trying his best to fit in among his colleagues and peers. He knows everyone, but apparently, no one really knows him because he fits in so well. One day, he stumbles upon an ancient relic, starting the beginning of the prophecy foretold in the beginning of the movie, making him Special in no way that anyone could’ve imagined.

The rest is just pure shenanigans. Personally, I found the story simple and pretty much predictable. What didn’t count on was… wait, spoilers.
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Digitizing Filipiniana

The Filipinas Heritage Library recently launched their newest endeavour, the Filipiniana Online, last January 22, 2014. It is the digitized version of FHL’s rare Filipiniana collection. They have over 2,000 rare books, many of which are too fragile to be handled and lent out to their users. The idea of digitizing the books was born a few years ago and to date, they have around 500 books digitized and uploaded as flipbooks to the website, with many more in the works.

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Our class was able to attend through the invitation of our professor, and was considered to be part of our collection management and development curriculum. Prior to the launch, we took a tour of the Ayala Musuem and the Filipinas Heritage Library.

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The FHL was previously located at the Nielssen Tower along Makati Avenue. Personally, I found it a very picturesque location, and quite unique too. But times change, so the library was moved to its present location at the 6th floor of the Ayala Museum.

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Here we saw their collection, and in line with our studies, talked to the librarians who were in charge of developing the collection as well as digitizing it. As libraries in the Philippines go, FHL is one of the better ones, support and budget-wise, but that doesn’t mean they are without challenges. Still, it was very interesting to see their process of how they gathered the resources to purchase the equipment they needed to digitize the books.

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The Filipiniana Online is open to the public. However, only the preliminary pages are available for viewing and full access to the books requires a paid membership.

Congratulations to the team of the Filipinas Heritage Library for the successful launch.

Related links:
FHL launches Filipiniana Online
What is Filipiniana?

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)

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