Sunday, November 07, 2010

Where have all the rockers gone? NU 107.5, home of nu rock, signs off

In the next 55 minutes, NU 107.5, The Home Of Nu Rock, signs off.

While I can't completely say I'm a full-fledged Filipino rocker, I was weaned on the legendary 1990s bands Eraserheads, Rivermaya and True Faith. Then there were other bands and groups like Parokya ni Edgar, Color It Red, Slapshock, Itchyworms, Dicta License, Stonefree and Sugarfree. As I grew older, and especially from between high school and college, I began my bit of band chasing in. I attended at least 1 day of UP Fair (where I got to see Spongecola, Kjwan, Sugarfree, Chico Sci, Narda, Ang Bandang Shirley, Up Dharma Down and Sandwich live among so many others) without fail, never mind if I had thesis/production the next day and I took the daily trip of Makati-Diliman-Makati which consisted of at least 2 jeepney rides and 1 train ride, or 1 bus ride if I was lucky to find myself on EDSA after 2:00 am which was the time I normally left the UP Fair. (At around the same time, my cousin from the Cortez side founded the UP Los Banos band Valley Of Chrome. Later on my sister dated one of the guitarists from Chico Sci and someone else from Sandwich while appearing on their Sunscreen video, but that's another story.) I got to know the Grounders for a bit, then sided with the Sugarfree bandchasers thanks to mai gar waifu Ceejay. Being in UP College of Mass Comm, I discovered Asin and Sampaguita and Pepe Smith and The Dawn and all these great rock bands I didn't even know existed. In between transcribing interviews and dissecting teleserye (Filipino soap opera) music, NU 107 gave me the necessary kick to keep plodding through my thesis when coffee threatened to land me in the hospital. As a working girl, NU107 got me through the day and from watching them shyly back when I was in MME slaving for the Red Horse Muziklaban account (which would've been fun if not for the SMC people not taking proper care of their agencies - but that's another story for another day), I finally graduated to now working with them through my current agency to promote True Blood, The Pacific and most recently Spartacus: Blood And Sand for HBO Asia, and even helped get one of our electronics clients to sponsor the 2009 NU Rock Awards. And finally, during the most trying of times - meaning, moments of extremely back-breaking work and terrible personal circumstances - what other station would be on my side than the one with the rocking guitars and rolling drums which "rocked the nation"?

Who's to say that NU 107 and its legacy are not a part of my life? And so I feel I must thank NU, as it makes its exit with a bang and with grace. Allow me to swear a bit - isang malutong na putang ina dahil hindi ako nakatulong, at dahil na rin walang nagawa (walang ginawa?) yung mga institusyong itinaguyod ng NU noong malakas pa sila sa panahong ito. While Urbandub (admittedly not one of my favourites) and Sugarfree (bless their souls ♥ ) were on board and legendary The Dawn bassist/NU DJ Francis Brew Reyes made his very epic parting speech, I can't wrap my head over the fact that many of the 1990s and 2000s bands I knew and love that are still alive and kicking seem to be not part of the vigil, as far as I've heard from the grapevine and seen from the Tweetvine.

But like that epic saying goes, "Rock's not dead." Especially Pinoy Rock, which NU had a heavy hand in shaping and promoting. It's really sad that advertising just pulled out of the station and even sadder that many bands that found their audience and home in NU aren't even there. I will feel endless guilt that I was unable to help keep them alive, the station whom I owe a significant part of my unusual music taste and even my very motivation for living to (at one point in time), but I hope I can help commit their memory to mind and heart in this small way.

As I finish, livestreaming is up on Sir Cris Hermosisima - DJ Cris Cruise - is on board with Quark Henares, soon-to-be-former-owner. Major Tom's voice has just left the airwaves, and my favourite NU DJ Jay "the gay best friend" Santiago is speaking. Maraming salamat, NU 107.5, at hanggang sa muli. ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥

Live simultaneous streaming of the 2009 Rock Awards. I hope we can see NU broadcast or podcast online! ♥♥♥♥

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Oplan Kaligayahan: Costume Play Mania (part 1 of ?)

Hi all,

Partly inspired by this post by Shmuberry, and because in a few hours one of the events I helped pioneer is about to begin, please allow me to indulge myself.

Today is the first of two days of Cosplay Mania X. This year is extra special not only because of the two-day event, but moreover because it commemorates ten years of cosplay in the Philippines.

Now why is it so important to me? And how does it play into Oplan Kaligayahan?

Well, back in the year 2000, I was one of the first cosplayers in the Philippines. Let me digress for a bit: I was originally slated to cosplay in the 1999 San Diego Comic Con, but I had to return to my country the day right before, so I consider my debut in the year 2000. Of course your mileage may vary - those from the defunct gang Anime@Arki would profess they began cosplaying back in 2009, but then it's admittedly true that only the group's members know about the Animersion event at all because it was essentially a meet-up/get-together where everyone happened to be in costume. What happened during AnimeXplosion 2000 was definitely on a more massive scale, and thus the year 2000 is the one more widely acknowledged as the start of costume play in the Philippines.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oplan Kaligayahan: Pag-asa

First things first: How's the new look of my blog? v^.~v I finally got tired of my old layout and I chose to fix it myself. I hope y'all like it! :>

As I've already shared in one of my pages above, I'm taking part in The Happiness Project. It looks very interesting and fun, and I'm actually excited to take part. ^~^

One of the things that makes me extremely happy are learning about the random, everyday events in life that cause joy for other people. I don't mind that they don't happen to me, but I also enjoy sharing events I've had a hand in which have made other people happy.

Allow me to share with you one of my favourite sites ever - Gives Me Hope. What's better is that for bloggers in the Google family like me, there is a widget available for embedding GMH posts in our blogs for as long as Google will support them, whee! d^_~b Enjoy! ♥

Gives Me Hope - Life Is Beautiful Today!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

PORTED FROM Vox Hunt: Show and Tell

Show us a picture of where you'd like to live and tell us why you want to live there. 
Submitted by Warhead.  

Philippine beachfronts are the best. They are (somewhat) clean and untouched, being hard to reach from the big city. With the existence of USB dongles with which to connect to the internet, I think this is becoming my residence of choice. The fact that Mahal loves the idea definitely helps. ;3 ♥

Monday, June 21, 2010

Swagger with Swag! Gyaru Giveaways [*constantly updated for as long as I can get online]

If you are reading my blog, you would find that I am currently aspiring to be a gyaru. The best places to start research on it include Wikipedia, Ricoche, and the ever-expansive Gyaru Wiki (yay it's about time!), but you're better off lurking around Livejournal and blogs like the venerable ladies Cherrypop (sorry French only!) and Gal Factory, Gyaru-Raba, Chaigyaru, and Universal Doll off the top of my head. Of course, Google is your friend. Simply put, it's about being a sexy, stylish (post-)modern woman.

Of course, if gyaru fits your interests, you'd also know that it entails expenses. XD;;;

But fret not! There are many gyaru out there who are generous in spreading the love of sexy, stylish (post-)modern life. While sadly I'm not one of them yet, I think I can definitely point you in the right direction. ;P

Here are some blog sites which feature giveaways of make-up and jewelry to help kick-start your gyaru life. Note that the most recent promos are the ones on the top!

I have to admit, fairies were never my cup of tea. Not even fairy princesses could distract me from my fascination with angels, witches (!) and princesses, which set in much earlier. However, this stylish, make-up savvy Viennese blogger is starting to make me reconsider. With a touch of whimsy and a spirit of wonder, Frau Pixie Dust makes me want to sprinkle a little magic into my life, from my make-up and my wardrobe to the mundane everydayness of my work. ♥

And with her awesome first-ever make-up and accessories giveaway (fairy-themed of course!), Frau Pixie Dust shares a few items that she swears grants elven charms to her to everyone on an international level! But to do this, there are a few conditions, but I won't go into them - you can read them all in the post. The giveaway began on 10th May and ends 25th June, with 25 being her lucky number. Sorry I shared this late Frau Pixie Dust!

Mika Chan ♥ Sparkles by 美華ちゃん
Mika-chan looks American but has Japanese blood and shuttles her life between Japan and North America. She also has an enviable marriage to a wonderful man and an adorable son, both of which she blogs about as frequently as her make-up and beauty adventures. Oh, and there are many make-up and beauty adventures - mostly of the trial and review kind, but her few-and-far-between tutorials are also awesome (and I wish she'd make more of those). She faces her problems - most recently, her son's problematic vision and health - fearlessly with style and panache. Though not a full gyaru, she is an awesome woman in my book and I wish her well.

Her first-ever blog giveaway is notable because she's not giving away just one (1) prize, but THREE (3) prizes! Yes, that means there's a first, second, and third place! However, there is one serious condition for eligibility in the contest: all blog followers (via Google Friend Connect) must add to their comment, in addition to their names, email addresses and reposts in their blogs/Twitter accounts, their thoughts on her blog plus their suggestions for improvement. You'd better start following her on Google because this contest ends on May 12th!

FINDING TOKYO: fashion food foto by Hana
I meant to do this sooner, but I jetted off to India with the fam for a week (more on that at my next post), so this kinda took a backseat, eheh. XD;;;
This blog is very straightforward, promising nothing but fashion, food and photography in, around and about Tokyo. I personally only really followed it because it had three of my favourite things ever: a solid focus on Tokyo, an end-of-week blog round-up that's done religiously every week, and the cutest yellow layout in the history of EVER. ♥♥♥ (Seriously, yellow is such a bright colour that a layout based on it, no matter if it's on its palest or most burnt shades, is RARE to find online. Hell, I'm trying to make one but I haven't had the time... I digress...). Its owner Hana lives in Tokyo with her Japanese boyfriend.

UPDATE: The winner has been announced. Congratulations to AIN PARFAIT of Dollbot! \^0^/

StyleWalker by StyleGanji/Phi
This unique girl, Phi, is as awesome a gal as they come. She reads manga and is unashamed to admit she's obsessed with bloody Twilight, of all things! While I originally followed her for her awesome hair and make-up and deco tips, I'm definitely still on because of her frankness. She's refreshing and I like her. X3

UPDATE: No announcement yet on the winner, either... or maybe I missed it? LOL! Good news - the contest is still ONGOING, see update here! Thank you SO much for clearing this up Phi! v^_^v

Lizz I draw for a living!
I found this through Health & Beauty Geek, who is made of awesome and who I've been following for quite a while now. ♥ Lizz Buenaventura is a consummate artist - in her own words she's "a designer by day and a painter by night" - although lately she's been going bonkers over the items which draw the human face so well: make-up! ;P

UPDATE: The winner has been announced. Congratulations to DEMENTIA of! \^0^/

This Was Forever by Emily Chan
I just discovered this gal (who is enamoured with the wares at Hongkong, a great thing in my book if you ask me ;3) by hopping and skipping through some fashion and beauty blogs here in Blogger. I love her style of mixing old with new and matching run-of-the-mill items with one-of-a-kind finds. She's got great taste in products as well. Plus, I love her wit and honesty as well, which shows in her entries. (Of course, it helps she's also Asian, ehehe, though seriously I swear I don't mean to just limit myself to Asian bloggers... ^^0)

UPDATE: The winner has been announced. Congratulations to FIONA WONG of The Blog World of Fiona! \^0^/

Maintained by the lovely Singaporean twins Anne (older) and Michelle (younger), they have giveaways combining authentic Japan goods with their own personal creations almost every month. I love them not because they have tons of giveaways, but because their blogs are entertaining, they are creatively inclined (Michelle runs an Etsy shop featuring handmade jewelry, while Anne's shop showcases handsewn crafts), and they are genuinely interested in the fashion and beauty.

UPDATE: Sadly, still no news on their November-December getaway. Or maybe I didn't win, haha. XD

With these I wish you the best of luck in pursuing your gyaru aspirations! ^0^/

Monday, May 24, 2010

[AD] Okay, I KNOW I'm somewhat geeky and nerdy but WHAT is this for again? O_o

My mum's sister and her husband arrived yesterday (Sunday,23rd May, Philippine time) and brought home goodies from the USA in behalf of my Ate (older sister), who is currently based there indefinitely. She gave me a lot of cool swag, like a cute (and THICK!) hoodie jacket with a vaguely cowgirl-ish pattern, my favourite 24-hour root boosting hair spray from TRESemme, some gold and silver hair ties, Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer, and even a Nine West Neves Large Clutch in Ultra Pink.

... Okay, I promise pictures once I get my spankin' new camera from the Sony Philippines 3-Day Big Sale happening this weekend! I know, the pics would really help a lot. X3

But anyway that's not the point of this post.

The point is, I suddenly found this tiny thing among the contents of the tightly-wrapped plastic bag that my aunt and uncle handed over to me.

Now as you can tell, the Belkin F8V366 Mobile Cassette Adapter for MP3/CD/MD is adorable, in that it appeals to my closeted geek/nerd self, who used to collect cassette tapes of virtually anything (that was wholesome, mind) that could be listened to. My version of this baby is white, although there's a stray black ink ballpen mark, hurr. It reminds me of the times I used to listen to nursery rhymes over and over until either the cassette tape, or the radio did, or (as was unfortunately the case) both tape and radio gave out. It also reminds me of my broadcasting classes and my days as a student DJ in the university radio station, which was one of my favourite places to be; we were required to record our hours not just through 200 hours of logs but through cassette tapes to make sure that we were, indeed, manning the booth from sign on at 12:00 noon to sign off at 5:00 pm.

But to be very honest, what bothers me is that I have NO idea how to use it. I mean, do I plug my MP3 player to it? What happens when I plug it to my dad's 19-year-old gray Honda Civic, which is the only item owned by this family owns that doesn't yet have a built-in CD player to match? Heck, no one even wants this! I mean, seriously, my technophobic Dad already owns a transistor-type radio with a built-in CD player - which is, quite ironically, something my Ate used to own before she moved to the USA - that he is absolutely loathe to part with.

So this cute and geeky but... since it doesn't come with a manual, I don't think I'll be able to use it at all. Sorry Ate! ;0;

I wonder, would anyone help me figure this out if I put one of my things up as a prize? Then again, WHAT do I own that would be valuable...? Hrrm... 6=_=000

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Life & Style

I visited Littlekobaby's blog Koko In Wonderland this weekend and as always, she did not disappoint. She doesn't just recommend which items match or which style should be followed, but she asks questions that few fringe style fashionistas would dare tackle. She's very brave for professing her love for both gyaru and lolita, which is no mean feat because girls from both Japanese street fashion tribes have been at loggerheads since day one. This isn't a unique phenomenon though, as such tribalistic tendencies in fashion can be seen from haute couture to counterfeit culture. The type of mutual disgust that the gyaru and lolita  communities have for each other would make the Cold War look like a campfire where people are singing "Kumbayah." Yes folks, fashion equals serious business.

Gyaru (more likely agejo or hostesses) modelling Gothic Lolita brand dresses in their own style, taken from Vanilla Girl August 2008 issue, through CherryPop.

Thanks to this post and this post, I couldn't resist writing this reply of sorts.

Why I will roll out for "The Transformers"

Here are my reasons why I am voting for Richard "Dick" Gordon and Bayani Fernando as president and vice president respectively in the upcoming elections:

  1. Both of them made their fortunes and took on their jobs well without the good (and not-so-good) name of relatives to back them up.
  2. Gordon's Subic Bay and Olongapo City plus Bayani's Marikina City are all cities built on discipline where people work stable jobs with stable income, follow traffic rules, and enjoy clean surroundings. (I think that Subic Bay's "working girls" earn more in a working day than the girls here at P. Burgos Street in Makati -- where Jejomar Binay is said to part-own 3 girlie bars -- ever will in a week.) And everyone, EVERYONE I know who lives there will attest to their love for their representatives.
  3. Dick Gordon is with the Philippine National Red Cross. They were the first large organisation to take concrete action during the twin typhoon disasters of 2009, and not the government. Hell, Gordon's been doing it since Mount Pinatubo erupted waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy back in 1991! 
  4. Gordon's WOW Philippines program for the Department of Tourism was one of the most highly-applauded, ever. Hell, it even convinced Mahal to want to move here. ;P It's too bad his successor couldn't maintain the program's momentum.
  5. Like some other candidates, Bayani rose from the ranks of poverty. His mum sold fish at the market. He was literally freakin' BORN in the market. The only difference is that unlike other candidates, he tries to come up with concrete solutions to get the poor to have a heightened sense of self-esteem and also improve their lives, all WITHOUT rubbing it in your face. 
  6. Bayani Fernando is an engineer by profession. My dad, my aunt and many other friends and relatives of mine are engineers. I have not known a single engineer in my life to lie.
  7. The Transformers camp is extremely clean and green. The fact that they don't have budget for ginormous tarpaulins and posters means that they are not contributing to the pollution that is caused by so many other campaigns. 
  8. Related to the above, Bayani's work in the Metro Manila Development Authority has improved it significantly while making it a source of humour. There have been less cases of extortion by MMDA personnel reported in the news. And those ridiculously neon pink fences? Well, Bayani likes the expression "in the pink of health" originally coined to show that people with blushes in their faces are physically fit. In that case, wouldn't we want a clean and healthy and financially fit country? Think pink! :P  (I prolly should change my blog colours now because orange and yellow are for other candidates that I'm personally not keen on...) 
  9. You may say, "But all of the candidates for the national positions are corrupt anyway, so why vote for Gordon-Bayani?" My answer: Because unlike the other candidates, there are very, VERY FEW issues you can throw at them, and very, VERY MANY achievements of theirs that you simply cannot do anything else but highlight. Do you hear people associate them with drug dealers and girlie bars? Do you hear them say that they offer so-and-so benefit to their constituents and make it sound like it's their own money when really it's money that comes from the dutiful taxpayers? 
  10. Gordon and Bayani have seen how Filipinos work and live abroad -- many are law-abiding citizens with stable jobs, stable incomes, stable resources and big dreams which they know they can achieve. It is that kind of mentality and that kind of sensibility that is strangely and sorely lacking here in the Philippines.  
Granted, they are all human with foibles and faults. But to me, their track records -- and I'm just glossing over them here -- far outshine any faults they have, because the good they have done is the kind of good that is needed and can be seen by my country. Dogged discipline and dogged determination are sadly seen by my countrymen as forms of dictatorship, especially with the botched progress that happened during the Marcos era -- but in my many travels, and through what I am learning of the Gordon-Bayani tandem, I have realised that that cannot be further from the truth. What use is it if you have your freedom but you have no money to buy food or a house with? What kind of freedom is it if for every little thing you say, you need to watch your back because either the military or the left will hurt or even kill you? 

I know this will probably not convince a lot of people, but I believe that if you, as a Filipino who has stumbled into my blog reads this and decide to vote for my candidates too, we will all be forever grateful as a nation. ♥

Don't forget kids, vote tomorrow! And if you can, vote for true change, vote for the Transformers! \^0^/

Friday, May 07, 2010

Ligaya's State of The Nation Address regarding the May 10 Philippine national elections

I know this post probably won't matter since I'm not even running for the lowly position of councilor/konsehal, but I have friends from ALL political backgrounds, from all ends of the spectrum. You know who you are and I shouldn't need to tag/shoutout you people (comment na lang kayo). ;P

As is becoming apparent now, the upcoming elections have become an unusually serious make-or-break affair. So, know only this: Please respect my vote, and I'll respect yours. Whether you ask me to share or discuss my vote or not is fine and you'll be getting a straight answer out of me, but I am not going out of my way to ask you to do the same. I will not whine about your choice not to vote if you so decide, so please don't whine if you hate the country because you chose not to exercise your vote. And please, for the love of God and all that is good, don't hurt or kill anyone just because the other person will not vote for your candidate(s)! (For the record I've been quietly supporting the Gordon-Bayani/Transformers tandem since March of this year, but - partly helped by my sister's active moonlighting as Bayani Babe - I've been more vocal about this recently. Say what you want but I hope you follow suit with my example of not openly attacking your candidates with mine.)

But ultimately, please safeguard your country through safeguarding your vote, and do not sell out or allow it to be sold. Huwag maging talunang mamamayan! Huwag bumoto nang hindi kinikilala at kinikilatis ang kandidato! Huwag bumenta at magpabenta ng boto, at huwag hayaang mabenta ang boto! Huwag hayaang may papatay sa iba o sa inyo para lang manalo ang kandidato nila! Again, unless you've been living under a rock, you can tell that these elctions are so important.

That said, I'm part of both PPCRV (by association through BCBP) and NAMFREL (ever since 2007), but NAMFREL in particular needs help, and it's not too late to volunteer! Please call the NAMFREL Secretariat at 632-484-7590, 632-470-4151, 63927-9611524 and 63919-3389344, or email them at, or visit their website at For Makati peeps, you may inquire with Janet and Peter of NAMFREL Makati at these numbers: 632-703-0026 and 63916-2322361. For my fellow BCBP members and associates who would like to assist PPCRV, kindly get in touch with your local chapter head, otherwise contact PPCRV at 632-521-5005, 632-524-2855 and or visit their website at

Bantayan natin ang boto at ang bayan! Safeguard your country and your vote! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas (long live the Philippines), I thank you.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Swagger With Swag!: Korean Beauty Products Giveaway from Lizz Buenaventura

* I don't claim to be a beauty product expert, I just share personal recommendations of products which work best for me. :P What works for me may not work for you, so please proceed with caution, thanks for understanding! ;3

While I understand that Korean beauty is ulzzang/best face style and notably different from gyaru, I have steadily realised that the styles share notable similarities, including the following:
  1. Prominent eye make-up - this is one of the biggest things they have in common, because fans of both styles often wear much eyeliner, mascara and eyelash extensions. They also practise face contouring, which aims to make the eyes look bigger. I'm not sure which style promotes the use of contact lenses more, but I am sure glad that eyeglasses have been incorporated into the gyaru wardrobe now! As many of you already know, while I like contact lenses for their high style quotient, I am loathe to use them because my eye area is extremely dry and sensitive, and I'm deathly afraid of going blind. 
  2. A certain way of hair styling and colouring - both styles promote coloured hair and the use of bangs, although they rotate between straight, curly and wavy styles in different times. 
  3. Face contouring - both styles aim to make the face look really good, with the nose looking less flat and the cheeks looking more prominent. However, gyaru goes for a more natural over-all face look since the eyes are already the star of the make-up style, and ulzzang goes for a polished face look with the works. 
  4. Focus on optimum face care - you cannot fake good skin, so every Japanese and Korean magazine I own have skin care product features and demos to ensure you look fresh and flawless every time. But because I have more Japanese magazines (granted, one is a Chinese edition, but still!) and only 2 from Korea, I am not sure which country/fashion style puts more steps into its beauty routine.
This is why I make use of Japanese and Korean (and Chinese - from Hongkong and Taiwain) make-up and beauty goods extensively in my daily (meaning 24/7) wardrobe. In fact, there are four(count 'em!) products which I cannot live without:

[AD] Neverwinter Nights!

Many people don't know this, but Mahal was once a die-hard player of Neverwinter Nights. I'm not sure which version it is, but it would most likely have been the AOL one, since he was talking about it when we first met, which was a few years after the AOL version closed and before the BioWare version opened. (Hahaha our age is showing! XD)

At the time I met him, there were no MMORPGs available online yet. Ragnarok Online wouldn't be available for another 3 years in the Philippines, and as everyone here knows it's the very first one we got. And to be honest, all I knew was pen-and-paper (or, in my case especially, keyboard-and-screen) RPG playing. I know my geek creds are gonna fly out the window when I admit this, but I still haven't quite mastered the art of hardcore pen-and-paper dice-rolling RPGs.

So I did my research online, and here's what I've learned about the game (thanks to Wikipedia :P):

Neverwinter Nights (NWN), produced by BioWare and published by Infogrames (now Atari), is a third-person perspective computer role-playing game that is based on third edition Dungeons & Dragons and Forgotten Realms rules. It was originally to be published by Interplay Entertainment, but the publisher's financial difficulties forced the change. Infogrames released Neverwinter Nights for Windows on June 18, 2002. BioWare released the freely downloadable Linux Client in June 2003 (purchase of game still required). MacSoft released a Mac OS X port in August 2003. Two expansion packs were released in mid and late 2003, and a third in 2005. On October 31, 2006, the sequel Neverwinter Nights 2 was released followed by its first expansion in late 2007 and its second one at the end of 2008. The game was based on the concept of building an internet-like model for a massively multiplayer game, allowing the end users to host the server. The belief was this model would create a potentially infinite massively multiplayer game framework. The game was named after the original Neverwinter Nights online game, the first graphical MMORPG, which ran from 1991 to 1997 on AOL.

More history here and here.

So apparently this was the very first graphical MMORPG in the history of EVER. It's also one of the very first multiserver MMORPGs. PLUS, apparently,

NWN game modules run as a variety of separate genres and themes, including persistent worlds (which are similar to MUDs), combat arenas (player versus player modules), whole servers dedicated to sexually oriented roleplay, and simple social gatherings similar to a chat room. The campaign included with the game can be played with friends, for example, or a team of builders can build a virtual world similar in scope and size to commercial MMORPGs. BioWare insists that these persistent worlds be free of charge, primarily for reasons of copyright law.
Because Neverwinter Nights lacks a global chat function aside from the supported Gamespy, players typically join "pickup" games through the game's multiplayer interface, or schedule games in advance with friends. Matchmaking sites, such as Neverwinter Connections, facilitate scheduling of games, and the experience is much like traditional Pen-and-Paper roleplaying games. Persistent worlds do this work for them by inviting players to visit their website and continue to roleplay there.
Neverwinter Nights ships with the Aurora toolset, which allows players to create custom modules for Neverwinter Nights. These modules may take the form of online multiplayer worlds, single player adventures, character trainers or technology demos. Additionally, several third party utilities have further expanded the community's ability to create custom content for the game. Custom content creators are known as builders in the Neverwinter Nights community.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, a role-playing game based in the Star Wars universe, was also released by BioWare using a heavily modified version of the Aurora engine of Neverwinter Nights. The sequel, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, also used this modified engine. Because of this, modders have been able to modify these games using some Neverwinter Nights modding tools.
BioWare used Neverwinter Nights and its toolset to develop prototypes and mock-ups of various areas and scenarios for Dragon Age: Origins.

So why have I not been playing this??? DDDDDDDDDDD:

... Oh yeah, at least 2/3 of the MMORPG players in my country have not heard of this at all. XP This is a serious disadvantage when you're dependent on Japanese and Korean game developers, yes. I wanna make my own maps and not rely on one linear path to enjoy my game, dammit! (As much as I have loved Granado Espada, I've noticed that all the quests you can finish get you to a certain stage and a certain level in the game, and that if you don't do any of them you are guaranteed not to be able to enjoy any "advancement". That, to me, kinda takes the fun out of role-playing ... I'm the type who just goes along for the ride, and doesn't really care about having the best weapons/armour/characters in her stable. Well that, and I just really enjoy killing and looting monsters, tedious as that may be. XD)
Waaaaaah, I can actually be married to Mahal in NWN! I SHOULD be playing this!

Right now, I've finally found a great place to buy latest version from - GameTap! Not only does GameTap have the most current version of the game, their version also includes the expansion packs Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark! That's SO much more convenient than having to get both expansion packs separately. (It does make me sad though that GameTap no longer mentions the Kingmaker expansion pack, which was released in November 2004 and features three premium modules: the titular award-winning Kingmaker, plus Shadowguard and Witch's Wake. Does this mean there was no resolution with Atari, one of the original developers of NWN until very recently?) True to the custom content building tradition that made NWN so popular, there are also community-created expansion packs available, but again you apparently need to get them from BioWare NWN website.

It seems like NWN is closing too, which is a shame because right now I can finally, FINALLY afford it. T.T It must be all the legal problems as well as the terrible economy. But I still truly want to play, if only to get to know, through the game, my Mahal more...

Excuse me, I need to go get me a credit card now...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I wish I did this before you left...


Yes, still feeling a bit of separation anxiety. We're like the Weaver Princess and Cowherd personified ... and hey, the even worse part is, the analogy fits too.

I miss you so much Mahal.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Discuss: Tokyo youth fashion invades Paris! [Updated]

So I am currently online checking out articles for work today, when I stumbled upon this from The Philippine Star's website, PhilStar. I know that Japan has belatedly realised that its fashion is very marketable worldwide, and that its brands have trouble finding a larger, more lucrative (read: international) market especially in the face of the global recession (which, strangely, hasn't been felt within and around the Philippines... yet). With all these things happening at the same time, it's nice to see that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is trying helping its fashion designers gain a foothold abroad. Called Tokyoeye, this ambitious pilot project by METI toured the world, starting at Shanghai and finishing in Paris, just after Fashion Week no less. This endeavour follows other similar moves that aim to promote, quite aggressively, Japanese culture to the world, notably the establishment of the Kansei Value Creation Initiative and the opening of the Kansei Value Creation Museum in Kobe and the launch of “NIPPON MONO ICHI – Spirit of Creation” in cooperation with the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, Japan (SMRJ) which aims to help SMEs - fashion brands included (they still aren't as big as car companies, banks and electronics corporations, after all) - use consumer-oriented products as mediums for their messages they wish to send to consumers (spirit of creation), by guiding them through the planning and development, distribution and marketing phases.

To quote from the Tokyoeye article on PhilStar:
The closing event in Paris was the highlight of Tokyoeye. From February to March, young Japanese brands like Aula Aila, Valentine’s High, Galaxxxy in Hi-Fi, Sachio Kawasaki, DRESSCAMP, Liz Lisa, Phenomenon, Duck Digger displayed their works at Colette — a boutique known as a bastion of cool.

Also according to the article, the Tranoï Showroom on rue Saint-Honoré opened young designers to deals with fashion buyers and merchandisers. If the designers play their cards right, we can will see some of our favourites in Harvey Nichols, Bloomingdales and Club 21, among others.

I believe that this effort is also related to Tokyoeye:
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will set up a Japan Booth at "MICAM SHOEVENT", the world’s largest-scale international footwear exhibition, and help Japanese companies exhibit their products. The event, taking place in Milan, Italy, is expected to attract about 40,000 buyers.

While Liz Lisa and even Cocolulu (strangely not a part of this line-up ... maybe because it's not highbrow enough?) are already making in-roads in Asia (I really wish I'd been able to go to the Liz Lisa Taipei store while I was in Taiwan last year), I definitely agree that the other brands need more buzz. Outside of the few people I know who have an idea of

However, the more I learn about the METI's past and present efforts, I'm getting the impression that METI is creating and promoting Tokyoeye as a high-end affair. What would happen to the Japanese street fashion brands and the youth subcultures that they inspired then, like Liz Lisa and Galaxxxy in Hi-Fi? Would it be the end of fukubukuro (loot bags) from our favourite stores? Will this turn our beloved "raw" tribe followings into haute couture exhibitions?

UPDATE: Strangely, there seems to be little news about Tokyoeye available online. Hmm. Here are some of the links that I was able to find (I didn't include those already posted earlier):

Article on Modem Mag
Article on the Mainichi Shimbun's English-language website
Thailand-Japan fabric and textile collaboration article on FashionWindows

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sony PlayStation® Philippines Official Launch

Sony Philippines, Inc. invites you to the first PlayStation® Event on March 27 and 28 at the Glorietta Activity Center. Enjoy the extensive display of the full PlayStation® line-up, try out the newest game offerings and watch the hottest bands perform onstage.

Up for grabs are brand new PlayStation®3, (PSP®) PlayStation®Portable and limited edition PlayStation® premium items by simply joining any of the following activities:
I. COSPLAY Fashion: Visit and register online via
II. COSPLAY Battlefield: Visit and register online via
III. PlayStation® Amazing Race
IV. PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) Tekken Network Battle
V. PlayStation 3® Ridge Racer 7 Competition
VI. I Want A PlayStation®3 Raffle Onsite Draw (2 brand new PlayStation®3 units to be raffled out)

For more information log on to, call our Customer Contact Center at (02) 878-7600, or kindly visit the PlayStation Philippines Official Facebook Page:!/group.php?gid=377990327690&ref=nf.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Yes I live!

Hello from the tadpole-shaped island of Corregidor ... which is where I'll be spending my 26th birthday! d^_~b It'll be crazy interesting as we have an event at work today. I also heard that a certain fiction writer's coming to town. v^.~v

(I just realised I look like Medusa in this photo. XD;;; Sorry if I scared anyone.)

The past three months have been nothing short of stressful and tiring, but they have also been great learning experiences for me. Now I would like the universe to give me a dozen quid more of the existing pesos on my bank account, so that my birth day would be just this short of perfection. X3

Also, some of you know this already, but I'm going to be spending time with my Mahal during my (terribly short) vacation in the next two weeks! ^________________^ ♥ That is, bar none, the best birthday gift ever. Ah, all this running around is gonna be worth it, I can tell. I am hoping I'll be able to blog more and even get to fix this, but we'll see, eh?

Anyways, until then, see you around! :P

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hangad/Intent Part 1 of 2

Whoa, it's been a while since I was last here, hasn't it?

Long story short, I have been crazy-busy working hard.

While trying to return to my gyaru following (it's never really gone, don't worry) and also trying to ruminate on what happens now that my 26th birthday is finally upon me, I found this translation of a blog entry by former Ageha model Sakurina. I don't find her very beautiful by gyaru or even ageha standards and her obsession with nail art can be terrifying on so many levels, but underneath it all it seems she's got a great head on her shoulders and great taste besides, as evidenced by her working on the Sailormoon-themed photoshoot that I reposted around a while back. (I'm sorry, but it also helps that she is one of the few models I know who's actually older than me! XD I SO need an oneesama to help me out... X_x) This blog entry is no exception. It's too good to quote in snippets, so I will repost in its entirety:

Honne (Real Intention)

Good evening.

This is Sakurina.

Today I will tell you what I am thinking.

How do I say this. I’m turning 27 this April…so you think about a lot of things.

Honestly, I don’t think I can continue being a model like this, a lot of young cute girls come out in this world, I feel uneasy and impatient and at times I think “What am I?”

Even so, when I write in my blog there are fans who look at it and when I have events people come…am I someone who is burdened with those people’s expectations.

But, it’s been my dream for a while now, I finally feel like I have something that I want to proceed with, it is singing.

It’s difficult and I was giving up, but you only have one life, if I’m going to live for however many years I should do what I want at the time or I’ll miss out.

I hear that you shouldn’t use the phrase “Someone like me…” anyway.

In the past I hated my face so much that I broke a mirror twice.

How come that girl’s eyes are so big but mine are like this?

How come that girl’s eyelashes are so long but mine are…

How come that girl’s nose is tall but mine is…

How come that girl’s teeth are so nice but mine are…

How come that girl…I hated everything about myself, I got angry, I cried, every day I was irritated.

Right now the reason why my makeup is dark is to deceive everything.

It’s one of the things I thank the world for.

If I was already cute before then I wouldn’t mind wearing lighter makeup.

That’s why if I have a boyfriend I don’t like him seeing other cute girls.

Because they’re all originally cute.

It’s not fair.

When I saw a gravure idol she said “Why don’t you try making your makeup lighter?” I thought be quiet.

Once I was in Ageha, my skin was rough, I hated events, TV, photography. I don’t even like going outside to shop.

“Wouldn’t it be hard to find someone with dirtier skin than me?”

On the train, the grandma next to me or the salary man sleeping in front of me, my skin was the dirtiest…

I don’t want to see anyone I don’t want to be seen…

I took it out on my parents.

My mom told my father that if she could change she would.

If I don’t have room for myself then I can’t be nice to people.

I hate myself for that and it leads to a vicious circle.

Right now my skin has gotten better, I’ve gotten used to the environment and right when I thought I had calmed down all of a sudden I had reached this age…

There are things on here that I can’t write, things I hate, a lot of horrible things.

Even so, I have to live.

Right now, for all those people who have been filled with anger…

Rather than having regret of not doing it, regret after doing it will help you grow.

I’m going to try harder.

Everyone let’s get stronger together.

The anger right now, when you turn 80 years old, it’ll just be a funny story.

You’ll be telling someone, “Something like that happened.”

As long as you get over it right now, more enjoyable things will be waiting for you.

Starting something new, even though it’s scary, when it’s a success you’ll feel more happiness.

You won’t know till you try anything.

I’m small, my style isn’t that great, I wasn’t really beautiful to begin with, but even someone like me can work as a model and have lots of people laugh, it’s a mysterious world, as long as you don’t give up then your dreams can come true.

Those who become happy are the winners.

I feel like I won’t lose to those girls who are originally cute, originally smart, or originally athletic.

I would be happy if at least one out of many reading this blog thought “I’m going to try hard!”

A lot of people are reading this blog so I felt the need to tell you guys more things. Please continue to watch over me.

Thank you so much.

*Translation by Kelly and Tiffany of Himestyle.

On one hand, I feel glad that a model who many girls look up to is so willing to be vulnerable online. I lived through the supermodel era, with Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Kate Moss and others like them strutting their 5-inch heels all over people's faces. You could NEVER tell these models that they were ugly - they would bash your mug and often got away with it! To have a someone of Sakurina's stature, although nowhere near the supermodels of the 1990s, admit so candidly that she was so violently hateful of herself to break two mirrors in her hatred, was unheard of once upon a time. This makes Sakurina so refreshingly human and real, and to me even more worthy of emulation.

I can't help but feel bad though. She's sacrificed so much to become a supercute model, and yet what she's always really wanted is to sing. But so many things happened that got in the way of reaching her original dream. And it's sad that, judging from this entry, she's half-wishing it all happened differently. But then again, if she weren't famous as a model, would she even have had a chance? After all, she says she is plain-looking, with less than stellar facial features for starters. Most singers these days, and particularly more so in Japan, go through a major style overhaul when they want to break into the highly competitive music scene. And I hate to say this, but very few models like her would ever be successful singers because many of them simply don't have great voices. (My younger sister was as a model until very recently, and she just lucked out having her big, heavy, soul singer voice. The story of her short singing career would have to be told another time, however.)

Her blog entry is making me think a lot. But it's getting late and I have a place to be,

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

So, I am DYING for a new layout.

I am badly in need of a new layout for this blog of mine.

My only conditions are:
1) I get to keep the template - meaning, the links stay where they are, the posts stay in the same arrangement.
2) I get to change the image on the header.
3) I will have oranges and yellows in this blog. I know they are bright colours and terrible on the eyes on average, but I am planning to use burnt orange and terracotta shades along with sand yellow shades so all should be well. I'm actually a gold and bronze person as well, but metals are dull and blue-ish on the internet.

Sadly, I have had no time to fix it and I am already woefully behind in HTML skills. Let's not even get started on CSS coding please. X_x

I would really love to get pinksugarichigo to do my blog, but I can tell she's more into the slightly punk and rock styles, and I prefer would mine to be a bit more glamourous. Then again, I dunno if that would work considering my third condition, haha. XD

Monday, February 01, 2010

Conflicted/Word Vomit 3/? [To be transliterated in Tagalog]

There have been many days that I just wish we could write history differently. Or, like in the Choose Your Own Adventure paperbacks that Bantam Publishing put out for mid-teens in the 1980s and 1990s, you could make a more informed choice and arrive at a more definite conclusion. What if we could have known that the Americans of 1898 would betray us by buying our country from Spain for US$2 million (according to the currency exchange rate at the time)? What if we could have just fought the Spanish on our own and persevered in a war of more than a decade, instead of relying on the superior military strength and firepower of the Americans to have cut the war by 2 years? What if the British, instead of staying only four years, won the war versus Spain and took over Las Islas Filipinas - would our have been named differently, like St. George's Islands* or something? How I wonder.

I was in historic Corregidor two weeks ago, touring the tadpole-shaped island. Corregidor (formerly under the province of Bataan, now under the province of Cavite) is one of five in an island group. The Spanish called it "Corregidor" because it was the first entry point by boat into the Manila Bay area, thus being the island where papers were checked and corrected (Corregidor's name comes from the Spanish verb "corregir," or "to correct"). Meanwhile the other islands - or, in reality, islets - were La Monja (the only island that was not fortified), El Fraile, Caballo and Carabao. The Americans, once they bought the Philippines from Spain, changed it into "Fort Mills." Three of the smaller islets were fortified; El Fraile was renamed "Fort Drum," Caballo became "Fort Hughes" and Carabao was "Fort Frank." Even now, veterans from the USA and Japan are said to quickly recognise the American-era names, but not the older Spanish ones.

The island was pivotal in its role during World War II, because it was where the Allied forces - namely the USAFFE and the Philippine Commonwealth - took their last stand against the Japanese forces from late 1941 till 6th May 1942. A monument on Corregidor island, the Pacific War Memorial, was built to honor the Filipino and American servicemen who participated in the Pacific War. The structure is large rotunda in which a circular altar falls directly under the dome's open center through which light falls on the altar during daylight hours; on 6th May of every year, at exactly 12:00 noon, the sunlight falls right at the center to illuminate the entire dome.

If you discuss the Pacific theatre of World War II, you'd be hardpressed not to find my country, the Philippines, front and center in this historical era. However, it took around 55 to 60 years for the Philippine veterans, already long dwindled in number, to receive just compensation. They fought for love of the Philippines and for her freedom, as well as for fealty to the United States of America which was expected to grant the Philippines its freedom. But a quick Google search shows that after too long, Filipinos who fought in the Pacific theatre of World War II receive no more than US$15,000.00 - and that's if they are alive and breathing as US citizens. Filipinos who have retained citizenship get around US$10,000.00 if I am not mistaken, but they are still lucky, because families of deceased veterans on both sides of the Pacific Ocean don't get a single cent. This is, to me, a Pyhrric victory, not unlike the rape of Manila in 1945 towards the end of World War II; Filipinos have won, yes, but at an exceedingly painful cost.

I've seen these veterans, many of them on wheelchairs, feeble with lines drawn taut on their skins due to age. Their minds may be sharp - their eyes flash at the slightest sound to prove this keenness still inside - but their bodies, fatigued by war and years of waiting, no longer follow. They are pretty much the same age as my grandparents, and even now it is my greatest regret that they did not live to gather this pittance. My mother's father in particular would have benefited greatly from this - it would have made his diabetes treatment much easier on everyone's pockets, for starters; but then again it may have been for the best as well, because there was no psychiatric treatment available at the time of his death to veterans like him, who were never the same after having been in the battlefield. But that's another story for another day.

And as for the Spanish government and private firms? Well, except for scant philanthropic projects and cultural affairs, they keep an excessively low profile and just continue to market their wares. It makes me sad because Mango and Zara - both world-renowned Spanish fashion brands - have great collections, and are said to be made here in the country with super-cheap labour. As far as I can tell (and you are more than free to correct me on this one), neither funding nor curatorial connections helped the Corregidor Foundation in restoring the island.

And so I wonder - what could have been done differently? In the dim hope that history could be rewritten, would we as a people choose to take it? But more importantly, even with the chance of a rewrite or a choice, can we guarantee that the currently-known outcome will still not be the same experience of today? Real life truly is stranger than fiction.

*Hypothetical name only. I do know how important St. George is to the English, though.