Friday, July 29, 2005

I've done it! Saw this list in Az's blog, saw my name in the last list below so here it is. Hope you all enjoy this. Toodles!

Seven things that scare you:
1. Loss of all hope
2. ***
3. ***
4. ***
5. ***
6. ***
7. ***

Seven things you like the most:
1. Great punchlines and hilarious cartoon illustrations that complement each other.
2. Animals playing.
3. Non-stop infectious laughter.
4. The spontaneous exchange of ideas from minds that think alike.
5. Norman Rockwell's paintings.
6. Rainy days.
7. Hayao Miyazaki's "My Neighbor Totoro"

Seven important things in your room:
1. Books. Books. Books.
2. Bed - where I do my reading
3. Fluorescent lamps - without which I couldn't do my reading on the bed.
4. Light switch - without which I couldn't turn on the lights to do my reading on the bed.
5. The old boxy Sony radio dating back to 1986 that I still use for ambient music.
6. Old artworks dating back to high school.
7.An original full costume Hollywood actor, John Goodman wore in the TV movie, A Streetcar Named Desire (1995) which I got from ebay.

Seven random facts about you:
1. I don't eat liver, balut, dinuguan, and poultry I saw alive prior to being cooked. My gag reflex would kick in automatically.
2. My first name was taken from a local actor who was made to bike around Camp Aguinaldo by then Pres. Marcos during Marshal Law and my second name came about because my dad just came from a business trip to Rome, Italy.
3. I loved collecting toads and snails when I was a kid. I would take everything I can from my Lola's backyard and release them in our garden. That resulted in their eventual extinction from her yard.
4. I love reading about and finding things about Philippine history. Especially around the late 19th and early 20th century.
5. I consider my time in high school during the 80s to be the most memorable ever.
6. I'd like to focus more on black and white portrait photography because I like capturing the real essence of a person on film.
7. I haven't got the hang of driving.

Seven things you plan to do before you die:
1.Travel around Ireland, Scotland, England and Japan. Also paying a visit to famous old interment sites like Père-Lachaise and Glasnevin Cemetery.
2. Get to meet and at least shake the hands of any of the following celebrities: actors John Goodman and/or Kevin James, artist Dave McKean, members of the band Madness, Fox News Analyst, Bill O'Reilly, and Director Peter Jackson.
3. Have a vacation cum retirement house in Malolos, Bulacan in the form of a "Bahay Na Bato" with a big yard out back.
4. Get to own at least a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser or a BMW X Series
5. See either my comic strips, CLASS or West Side faithfully adapted to the big screen
6. See all my friends accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and grow in their newfound faith.
7. Get married and have über wonderful kids.

Seven things you can do:
1. I can cook.
2. I can take artsy photographs.
3. I can (and already did) breed a total of 110 white and pinto mice at the same time.
4. I can still ride a bicycle even after almost 20 years of not riding one.
5. I can see the extraordinary in the mundane.
6. I can walk for miles if need be.
7. I can write stories.

Seven things you can't do:
1. I cant initiate a conversation with a stranger.
2. I don't know how to keep my speech interesting in front of an audience.
3. I can't do higher math hence I hate it.
4. I can't do a decent job of iron clothes.
5. I can't ride a rollercoaster without hurling.
6. I can't dance.
7. I can't figure out how to work a computer program from a book.

Seven things that attract you to the opposite sex:
1. Independence
2. Sense of humor
3. Sincerity
4. Grace under pressure
5. Long hair
6. Nice eyes
7. Average to above average height

Seven celeb crushes (whether local or foreign)
1. Angelina Jolie
2. Alicia Silverstone
3. Jennifer Aniston
4. Hillary Duff
5. Julia Stiles
6. Drew Barrymore
7. Nigella Lawson

Seven people you want to see to take this quiz:
1. Reno
2. Lyndon
3. Syeri
4. JP
5. Jorge
6. Bryan
7. Joanne

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I've heard of Reverend Fun before and I did catch a glimpse of the comic way before but I never thought much of anything of it. Until now. I'm going through the archives right now and I think the guys behind this strip is a genius. How can you resist humor like this?


Check out more holy humor right here.

* Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc - www.reverendfun.com

This is the very first Sunday format that I did for the strip, dating about five to six years ago. Back in those we were still hardy enough to use handwritten dialogue if you noticed. Ride along now and start exercising those digits by clicking the other names in the list down below.

Jonas Diego
Jerald Dorado
Reno Maniquis
Edgar Tadeo
I was copying the MSN article, 10 Tired TV Clichés for posterity and in the process of "Googling" the word 'clichés' to get the exact stroke above the "e" I stumbled on a couple of sites expanding on the same subject. Both contain a list of overused, well, clichés used in films from the 50's till the present. The first site, Film Sound Cliches: Film Sound Stereotypes and Common Logic Flaws, lists almost all sound effects used in movies and TV programs from the 50s up to the present and I've taken the liberty of copying a great deal of those for your entertainment:

Dolphins always make that same "dolphin chatter" sound when spinning, jumping, etc.

Red-tailed hawk screeching - [Listen to and read about Red-tailed hawks!]

o Whenever we see a hawk or a bald eagle, the sound is always that same red-tailed hawk screeching sound that's been around since the 50's!

o Always just before/or after some dramatic part of an adventure flick, you will here the screeching of a red-tailed hawk.

o Whenever a cliff or mountain is shown, especially if it's high, the Red-tailed hawk will screech.

o The Red-Tailed Hawk scree signifies outdoors and a big, lonely place
Owls sound like Great Horned Owl. (a bird, that for the most part seems invisible) [Listen to and read about Great Horned Owls!]

In a horror film when there is a full moon there is either an owl or a wolf howling in the distance. [Listen to Wolves!]

The Loon is mostly found in lakes in North America. In the movies it seems to be just about anywhere in the world. [Listen to Loons]

Kookaburras (a type of large Australian kingfisher) are inhabitants of African/South American jungles, not Australian open forest. (laughing bird sound, see most Tarzan films). [read about and listen to Laughing Kookaburra!]

It's the same Cat scream over & over.

Bombs always have big, blinking, beeping timer displays.

If something explodes, it takes about a minute for the explosions to stop

Explosions always happen in slow motion. When an explosion occurs, make certain you are running away from the point of detonation so the blast can send you flying, in slow motion, toward the camera.

Text being spelled out on screen (whether computer or lower third) MUST make some sort of typing and/or dot-matrix-printer type of sound.

Until around the late '80s, whenever you heard a thunderclap in a movie, it was probably "Castle Thunder". [Listen to and read about "Castle Thunder"]

Storms start instantaneously: there's a crack of thunder and lightning, then heavy rain starts falling.

Thunder is always in sync with the lightning, and the explosion sounds are always in sync with the stuff blowing up, no matter how far away. Same for fireworks

Non-stop bubbles underwater

Doors always squeek

Enviromental sound to a shoot with the window open, are always next to a schoolyard or a construction-site.

Endlessly used on television (especially in TV shows produced at Universal Studios during the '70s and '80s) and in many films as well - is the sound of a telephone ringing. [Read about and listen to "The Universal Telephone Ring"]

Exterior Ambiences: No matter where you are outside, if it's not in the city, you hear a lonely cricket chirping

Whenever there is a fight or commotion going on in the upstairs of a house, the person downstairs won't hear a thing because the noise of gunshots, chairs falling over, screams etc will be totally masked by the following sounds; the phone ringing, the washing machine beginning its spin cycle, the dog barking, a drink is being whizzed up in the liquidiser or the maid beginning the vacuum cleaning.

An approaching airplane or helicopter will make no noise until it is directly over the characters, at which point it will suddenly become thunderingly loud.

Characters will never hear an approaching airplane or helicopter, even though in real life you would hear them approaching for at least a minute before they were close enough to see. This also holds true for approaching armies on horseback and tank battallions.

The WILHELM Scream
A series of short painful screams performed by an actor were recorded in 1951 for the Warner Brother's film "Distant Drums." They were used for a scene where a man is bitten and dragged underwater by an alligator. The recording was archived into the studio's sound effects library -- and it was used in many of their films since. "Star Wars" Sound Designer Ben Burtt tracked down the scream recording - which he named "Wilhelm" from a character who let out the same scream in "Charge at Feather River (1953)." Ben has adopted the scream as sort of a personal sound signature, and has worked it into as many films as he can.
Steve Lee's list of films using the Wilhelm scream
Free Dictionary's list of films using the Wilhelm scream
L. Mangue's Wilhelm Scream List (at Nerf-Herders Anonymous.net)
NPR Wilhelm Scream feature tells much of the story of the Wilhelm Scream. (includes link to RealAudio file)
The scream de la scream (Guardian Unlimited)
The Wilhelm Scream - in WAV format, 170 KB
Video compilation of The Wilhelm Scream Clips - in MOV format, 48 MB
Even when depicted as foreigners (including aliens from outer space) all actors speak and understand a common language (usually English) unless the film's plot depends on a language barrier.

The same women's recorded voice is heard in every spaceship, space-station, government building, etc. announcing something to the effect of the main computer has been shut down, this ship will self destruct in one minute.

Baby crying and bad news
o The Godfather: when Don Corleone is shot, Sonny barges in to his house and announces this. Followed by baby crying.

o Snow Falling on Cedars: the sheriff announces to a woman that her fisherman husband is dead. Followed by baby crying
Kids can always whisper even if they're two inchs away from a villian - he won't hear. If they step on a branch however, the villians will immediatly know its not some animal, and catch them.


o Whenever someone falls off of a cliff or building, no matter how much damage they take beforehand, they scream, even if they were shot through the lungs twenty or thirty times, or were apparently unconscious.

o When villains fall to their deaths, you can hear their screams gradually fade out, even if they only fall ten feet or so.
People's voices on telephones (and answering machines) always sound just like their normal voice, except a little bit more nasal. Their voices are never distorted by things like holding the mouthpiece too close to their face or breathing through their mouth.

Martial Arts: Arm and legs of karate-actors always make a funny "swish" sound when they kick,hit or jump, they also tend to scream in a funny way prior to any fighting-action.

Anytime a person speaks into a microphone, their first words will cause the mic to feed back.

When the star travels to...
o London, we see a shot of Big Ben and hear Rule,Britainia.
o Hong Kong: a Chinese junk and wooden xylophone music (or a deep gong).
o New York: a traffic jam on Broadway and frenetic xylophone music.
o Paris: the Eiffel Tower and accordion music.

o When listening to music on the radio in the car, the song on the radio never changes during a single scene. The scene rarely outlasts the song...if it does, one of the characters will turn the radio off before the end of the song.
o There are never any commercials on the radio.
o It's always easy to find romantic makeout music on the radio right when you need it.
The DJ always turn the music down when actors talk in disco and club-scenes

People in a wide open field or dense forest can make their voice echo if they yell loud enough.

When you get punched in the face, it sounds like you broke a salami over the back of a chair

Dreams are always drenched in a lot of reverb.

People never answer the door until the doorbell or knocking has sounded at least three times

Explosions in space make noise

There's a deep humming in space, no doubt about it

Applies to absolutely every movie: Some noisy event (crash, shot, explosion) occurs at quite a distance from the camera. Nevertheless, the sound is heard at the same instant. The speed of sound - usually 300 meters per second - here always is the same as the speed of light. (But not everyone - Titanic has a long shot as the boat starts sinking where a signal flare is set off. The sound follows a good 2 seconds behind)

Guns (handguns, rifles, machineguns etc) have a really deep "BOOOMMM!!" sound not a "CRACK!". Also, the there's old cliche about the number of rounds the average magazine holds, the good guys almost never run out of ammo, and they seem to be able to use a handgun accurately to over a 100 meter range (accuracy of weapons over distance is pretty much a factor of barrel length - handguns are for CLOSE distances).

Handguns: All handguns make a frightening clicking sound when handled as though to suggest that the parts are loose. The more advanced the gun (Men in Black) the louder, and more varried, the clicking. In real life any gun making noises like that would probably explode in your hand with the first discharge. Note: All energy type weapons will power up with a loud hum.

Approaching Sherman tanks at a range of fifty yards, roaring at a level that loosens teeth and sphincters alike, are never so loud as to obscure that "Foleyed" woollen sweater the officer is moving as he raises his binoculars. [Read about Foley]

The second site contains a great wealth of information that is guaranteed to get you laughing. The clichés, both visual and sounds, are listed alphabetically and according to category. Just click the logo down below to open another window.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It's been a long time since I answered online quizzes like this on the blog, think it would be nice to try my hand on one again. Got this from Daniel:

Total Number of Films I Own on DVD And Video
I currently own 66 titles on DVD. I'm ashamed to say this but around five of them are not originals. The movies range from toons to comedy to drama and a few feel good movies thrown in to boot. Six of those are Filipino movies that I deemed were good enough to keep (these ones are part of the original DVDs. Yehey!).

The Last Film I Bought
Death Becomes Her. We just couldn't get enough of this movie with all its quotable quotes:

Emergency Room Doctor: I tell you what, kids, it's, uh, odd thing here. Your wrist, uh, far as I can tell, is, uh, fractured in three places. Uh, and you've shattered, uh, two vertebrae, though I can't be certain without an X-ray... The bone protrusion through the skin - that's not a good sign. You're body temperature is below 80, and your, your, your heart's stopped beating.
Ernest Menville: What the hell does that mean?
Emergency Room Doctor: Exactly! What... what... I'm going to get a second opinion.
[the doctor leaves in a hurry]
Madeline Ashton: Well, it could be worse.
Five Films Which I Watch a Lot / Mean a Lot to Me
This is really going to be hard. Okay among those that I now have on hand, but not necessarily in order:
Schindler's List - One of the best Spielberg films in book next to E.T.
Raising Helen - Two words: Kate Hudson. That and the "coming of age" story for a single carefree woman learning to become a responsible mom.
Back To The Future 1 & 2 - I can't get tired of this two no matter who many times I watch it.
The Notebook - One of the best love stories I've ever watched. Teaches a nice lesson what it is and what it's not.
Amadeus - One of the earlier influences of my eldest brother (who's into classical music) on us younger sibs. Lavish costumes, awesome dramedy performances from lead actor Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham.

(Three) People I’m Passing the Baton to
I wanna see how Gerry A., JP, and Patrick answer theirs.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

As far as car designs go I've always had a preference for the long and curvy cars like the classic 1938 Dodge D9 4-Door, 1939 Chrysler DeSoto, 1939 Dodge D12 3-window coupe, 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe, 1941 Oldsmobile, 1947 Buick, 1947 Dodge D25, 1947 Dodge D25, 1948 Buick Roadmaster, 1957 Bentley S-1 and S-2, or even a 1965 Bentley S3 Convertible. The sight of these cars leave me staring and drooling like a fool.

These days however recent outputs by three car giants have gotten my attention on the road and I've taken the task of arranging them according to preference starting with the least to the top favorite:

Click picture for more details
The 2005 Toyota Matrix

Click picture for more details
The BMW 120i (purportedly the cheapest Beemer model around).

Click picture for more details (this is the X3 2.5i SAV)
The BMW X Sports Activity Series is nice but it comes in only a close second to My all-time favorite model...

Click picture for more details
The Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Somebody get me mop.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Having nothing better to do on the afternoon after the service in Galleria, I went and watched Fantastic Four twice in a row. It was an enjoyable experience but the reason for the second viewing was that I didn't feel like going home yet and I had to catch some lines in the movie to make sure I wasn't hearing things.

How was it, those of you who-shied-away-because-the-critics-say-it-sucks-to-high-heavens ask? It was better than was I expected it to be. Remember how we laughed in mockery and threw our pre-conceived judgments at this prior a year ago and right after we watched, The Incredibles? Consider that a lifesaver. I may still get this on DVD. I won't bother much with detailed reactions to each scene and how the characters were fleshed out by the actors except for a shout out to Director Tim Story for getting Michael Chiklis to play Ben Grimm. Mr. Chiklis is a brilliant actor often overlooked by the major award giving bodies and studios alike. Those of you who watched the Icon Productions produced TV-movie, The Three Stooges (2000) would be familar with the way he essayed the role of Curly Howard with almost the same intensity and sensitivity in that flick. Simpy awesome.

Aside from a positive response to the movie, I also noticed the following that may have escaped the eyes and ears of those people who have watched this movie:

1. Did anyone notice how they used the same opening soundtrack for Spider-man for the opening of this movie? Is this going to be a norm for all upcoming Marvel movies?

2. Remember that scene where Sue Storm was unpacking in her room in the Baxter Building right after the Brooklyn Bridge incident? When Victor Von Doom barged into the room catching her by surpriseright before Reed came into the room catching everyone by surprise? Remember what she said? It goes something like, "We're staying with your brother for the meantime. I apologize I wasn't able to inform you..." something-something-something. Now I watched this movie twice in a row but did she imply that Reed and Victor were brothers? I distinctly heard the words "your brother" but I could be wrong.

Then I read this review after watching the movie how, "In fact, an early script draft of the Fantastic Four portrayed the members as a family, to the cries of protests from the purists. Instead, what we get is an ersatz family, that puts the ‘F’ in dysfunction."

3. Reed Richards a fan of Devo? It's true! There was a signed of group picture of the 80s band on the dresser in Sue's room while she was unpacking.

4. This is a minor quibble but when Alicia referred to God she referred to Him as a "She." Wiccan or just a plain feminist?

For all its worth, this is a fun movie and anybody who says otherwise ought to get out and watch this again and again till they finally get it.

* Check out also the review in Hollywood Jesus for more insightful reactions to this great movie.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Saturday, July 23, 2005

I'm in great pain right now. Well not as great as it was two days ago when our family dog bit me on the leg. It was an accident really. He was aiming for the other dog during one of their big fights when in the process of separating them he grabbed the nearest thing he could see and started biting it. Real hard.

They don't usually fight when they're together by themselves. In fact by force of circumstance they're the best friends and nothing really gets in the way of their friendship except for two things: food and my attention. Being a big dog lover that I am (I shifted from being a huge cat lover) I can't help but pat them on the head while saying "good dog" whenever I can (which amounts to almost every waking minute they have). Aside from that fact, the social alpha dog (being a dalmatian and all) enjoys the privilege of coming and going from our house in contrast with the much smaller mongrel who just stays outside to guard the house.

It's a huge mistake to show preferential treatment for one over the other. I guess I forgot about that cardinal rule when I petted the smaller dog in full view of the bigger dog. I mean I wasn't carrying him or something so I thought it didn't count.

Then they stared at each other's eyes. Unmoving for a good minute or so.

Then it started. They started snarling at each other and the smaller dog suddenly lunged at the bigger one. Sometime in the middle of that brawl I got bit. The wound looked a lot more surreal than icky at the start. There wasn't any blood but the gash looked more like a hole made when the skin covering it was shoved aside unceremoniously by a tooth. Nothing red, just a black hole preview of muscle. The skin surrounding it was bruised black along with the small to medium scratches around the area.

I couldn't walk around much the first day and a half. It even hurts to just stand. I never told anyone about it till late at night when the thought of the possibility that my leg would be cut off because of the swelling started to scare me. Good thing the pain subsided somewhat last night enough for me to attend the Den meeting in Cubao. And later to another meeting at Lico's house.

Friday, July 22, 2005

I just realized that for the past few weeks I've been posting reruns of old strips from this same title (those fastidious enough to go through the archives will know what I'm saying).

Anyway, on to new strips for hereon in.

Main character study

Obviously inspired by my current fave-rave artist, Dave McKean, this experimental style will be the one I'm incorporating for my assigned chapter in the still-in production graphic novel, MONDOMANILA: Kung Paano Ko Inayos Ang Buhok Ko Matapos Ang Mahaba-haba Ring Paglalakbay. Other influences I incorporated for the creation of the pages also include artists, Glenn Barr and Sam Keith.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hehehe... That's what you get for keeping him waiting. Now y'all hurry and exunt to the links down below.

Jonas Diego
Jerald Dorado
Reno Maniquis
Edgar Tadeo

The dynamic duo that makes graphic novels and children's books for adults an instant classic. I'm now looking beyond Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys to his new children's book (currently in its first draft). I hope he hands it over to Dave McKean for a totally awesome visual interpretation.

I'm trying to catch up with the movie-going crowd (read: my friends and everybody who's anybody in my blogging circle) and went out to finally watch, War of the Worlds. I like the movie contrary to what everyone's reaction is or was to the ending.

Alien silently watches humans throughout our long history like a scientist watches microbes through a microscope and when everything in the world seems to be falling apart through war, political correctness, and terrorism they decide it's time to put us out of our misery in the worst possible manner. But before they could go on with their killing they make the big mistake of opening their ships' hatches exposing them to all kinds of germs and bacteria.

The best acting accolade in this film belongs to child actress, Dakota Fanning who continues to creep us out with her maturity in handling her roles. You look into her eyes and you see an old soul peering back at you. She's a natural. I love it! In contrast I hated Tom Cruise's character who never did anything beyond standing around trying to get a clear view of those tripod death machines disintegrating his neighbors. Oh yeah, my brother pointed out an inconsistency in the story. Like why would Tom Cruise pick up a fragment of the road where lightning struck and then forget about it? Did he just remembered to take a souvenir in case it was nothing at all? And the people standing around gawking at the alien ships. Why would they stand around looking at something they know could possibly deal them with great harm? It makes no sense at all.

But aside from those quibbles, I like the way the whole thing was executed. Hehe... This definitely wasn't E.T.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Now that's creepy.

* West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.

Monday, July 18, 2005

There's also a back story to this one but I guess to late to dwell on that. Will their ruse and deception fool die-hard Gaiman fans? Or will they Mr. Punch them to Neverwhere?

Tune in next Monday to see what happens, true believers!
I had my share of watching "chick flicks" over the weekend mostly because I had no say in the matter due to unavoidable circumstances. It was a fun ride and most expectations regarding these movies were turned inside out:

The first was Jennifer Love Hewitt's movie, If Only, which based on the trailers I inevitably watched before looked a lot like your typical B-movie with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I was dragged into watching this because my sister decided that this was a better choice than watching The Fantastic Four.

I've set all expectations to negative after reading about the plot in a newspaper review which compared it to Groundhog Day but without the plus factor. By the end of the we were both proved wrong. Big time wrong. the story was predictable yes but it had the right charm to it you couldn't help but still fall in love with it. It's also a big factor that he two lead actors (Hewitt and Paul Nicholls) had a great chemistry going between them. And Jennifer Love Hewitt. Wow. I'm not a fan but she's just lovable in this movie you also couldn't help but love her to pieces. Her sparkly and bubbly personality opened the door for me to start loving the whole thing.

I had higher expectations for Monster-In-Law but it let me down. What promises to be a great comedy flick with Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez battling it out for the same man ran out of gas before it even reached the finish line. All it seems to do was try to replicate some formulas that made an earlier wedding movie classic, My Best Friend's Wedding a box office hit.

There were a couple of funnies in this film like actress Wanda Sykes' ability to be funny just by standing around, morning talk show hostess (Jane Fonda) jumping on a Britney Spears clone in rage for being a dunder-head, and uh... well, Jane Fonda herself for coming up with a spirited performance that completely leaves J-Lo's character in the dust. But sadly these weren't enough to save the film. My conclusion? It was a case of too little, too late.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

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Government corruption. Military unrest. Power grabbing. Civil disobedience. Strife. Falling economy. We got what we wanted. Plain and simple.

Unless we unite and humble ourselves and sincerely apologize before the real King of this land every candidate vying for the position as Philippine President will pretty much run this country like how Penguin did with Gotham when he gloated, "You got to admit I've played this stinking city like a harp from hell!"
We've been with the Philippine Daily Inquirer ever since they started back in 1986 and the most part they did live up to their tag-line "Balanced News and Fearless Views." They're unarguably the number one newspaper in the country having tasked themselves to hound every administration if there are issues needed to be addressed. Then something came out.

The problems currently plaguing the incumbent president have hit the headlines of local newspapers and as everyone knows both the opposition members and those siding with the administration and those calling for Constitutional means of investigation have held massive rallies of their own (the latter held theirs yesterday by the Luneta Park). We have observed a less than balanced reporting of the paper has never been more apparent in the past week as the overall tone of their articles called out not for sobriety but for another people power despite the fact the majority of the country has had enough of extra-Constitutional means of changing the government.

And this sub-heading appeared in the paper reporting yesterday's prayer rally at the Quirino Grandstand near Luneta Park:

Click to read the story

While another newspaper, the Philippine Star reports:

Click to read the story

Why would the Inquirer say that crowd matches the one the opposition held when they themselves placed the estimated number of attendees in their article from 100,000 to 125,000? This is a very far cry from the 40,000 Makati rally attendees their headlines were screaming last July 14th. The Phil. Star goes for the exact 125,000, while the Manila Times go for the more exaggerated 250,000 (as I found out later this was estimated by Sec. Bayani Fernando).

In their article, the Inquirer avoided comparing the number of attendees of both rallies , while the Phil. Star did. The tone the Inquirer used in their article made it appear that this was only a pro-Government political rally, the Phil. Star reports that it was a prayer rally held for peace (Manila Bulletin agrees with this assessment, the Manila Times reports it was half and half).

One last thing, the Inquirer placed these articles on each side of their logo:

Click to read individual stories

Granted there were a number of "hakot" (people transported to the place in exchange for money or goods) and "hangers on" in yesterday's rally, then I have to ask why would they write glowing reports about the opposition rally in Makati but fail to mention the possibility of any in the other rally? And what about this curious thing:

It seems like they've been resorting to bullying tactics, drumming the people to resort to mob rule in the past few weeks (or months as some would argue). Fearless views, yes. Balanced news? Think again.

* Thanks to Tobie Abad for giving me permission to post the coupon in this blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Who thought that Christian faith and popular comics don't mix? These books oughta change everything. Granted that there are Christians working in the comic book business and there are those who are into collecting comic books, you have to admit you don't see all of them bobbing on the surface of pop culture. It maybe asking too much but the way the occult became the pretty much of a norm in the books these days you'd think that at least Christian artists and writers would come out with something that tips the balance towards the light.

There's an interesting article I came across with, "Christian comic summit drawn into debate on faith" published by the Chicago Sun Times while researching on the subject. An excerpt reads:
"People talk about Christian comics. I'd like to see more Christians in comics. You say, 'There aren't enough good comics out there.' You know why? Christians refuse to get involved in their industry. Everyone wants to work from an outside position," he said, pantomiming water swirling while making flushing noises. "Let it go. Put on a new mind. Get involved in your culture. Get involved in your people, face first. Make it happen. Earn the right to be heard."

"I don't believe in separating the sacred from the secular. I think that breeds schizophrenic behavior," he said.

Jesus, after all, was a carpenter for the better part of 30 years before he got around to turning water into wine.

Amen, brother.

D.R. Perry, 32, is a Chicago cop who writes and draws a new up-market comic called War in Paradise, about the fall of Lucifer. It looks a lot like something you might find in Marvel or DC comics rather than on the racks of a Christian bookstore.

"Most Christian books are by Christians for Christians," said Perry, 32, who is shopping his comic to several publishers. "What I'm doing is creating books by Christians for everybody that have the look that the secular community demands but the content to please the Christian community."

He wants to jump-start a Christian comics industry that can truly compete with the secular market.

"There are a lot of Christians in the secular market who work for Marvel and DC who are friends of mine. Yet, they can't afford to pursue Christian comics because they don't pay the bills. I'm trying to start a house that has the same quality, the same financial backing, so that this popular Christian talent in the secular market can come over and do Christian comics that aren't boring," he said.
Although the matter of using stories as an aid in ministering and spreading the Gospel is not entirely a lost art (as evidenced by the works of authors, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis) it hasn't caught on for decades. Every missionary knows that before they can effectively share their message is that they to learn their subject group's culture and language before anything else. Thank God the Church has finally caught on to reaching this much maligned part of society.

Friday, July 15, 2005

More comic weirdness from this weird (and as yet unidentified) species.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Now go spread joy by clicking the names listed below.

Jonas Diego
Jerald Dorado
Reno Maniquis
Edgar Tadeo

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

There were some last minute changes from the original idea which had BJ making a critique on the album review being too nice despite the fact that it trampled and thrashed the artist mercilessly. The trouble was I didn't have any ideas for that "review" nor did I have any artist in mind. One other thing, while he still can't speak fluent Filipino he does understand a lot of vernacular words.

* West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Here's another interesting piece I got from the Department of Forwarded Mails regarding last Friday's close call. Well it wasn't exactly forwarded as I think it was the poster's own sentiment:
The Call for Sacrifice

One call we often hear today, when people ask President Arroyo to resign, is the call to make the ultimate sacrifice for the good of the country.

Now that is a call that we can endorse. No, not the call for the President to resign, but the call for everyone, not just her, to make sacrifices for the good of the nation.

* Loren Legarda: you are challenging the legitimacy of Vice President de Castro. If and when the President does resign, de Castro will ascend to the Presidency. That is the constitutional process. Your continuing proclamation of his illegitimacy can become destabilizing. Can you make the sacrifice of withdrawing your suit and just allowing him to sit as President?

* The 10 Cabinet members who resigned: many of you are known for integrity. Let your record speak for itself. Can you make the sacrifice of just shutting up now and not defending yourselves, for this contributes to further instability?

* Frank Drilon: your salivating for the Vice Presidency leaves a bad taste in the mouth. You manifested extreme hypocrisy and political opportunism in extolling GMA to high heavens and then stabbing her in the back, within the space of one week. Can you make the sacrifice of stopping all moves, including those of your Liberal Party cohorts, of political maneuvering?

* All traditional politicians: kayo ang tunay na salot ng bayan. Can you make the sacrifice of resigning your posts and fading into complete oblivion?

* Activist bishops and clergy of the Catholic Church: we appreciate your concern for the good of our people, but we do not appreciate your being at the forefront of political activism. Can you make the sacrifice of sticking to your pastoral duties of ministering to the spiritual needs of the flock and leave the political posturing to the lay people?

* Brother Eddie Villanueva: God has blessed you by giving you a big flock to take care of. That is your calling. While many disagree with your entry into politics, we leave that between you and God. But what is difficult to take is your insistence, and that of your apologists, that you won the Presidential elections. For goodness sake, you were number five! If you were cheated, it was not only GMA who did so but Fernando Poe and the others as well. Can you make the sacrifice of leaving partisan politics entirely and focusing on the Father's business?

* Imee Marcos, Jinggoy Estrada, JV Ejercito: is it not enough that your parents plundered the nation and you were part of that, and now you have not only kept all your loot but are also back in power? Can you make the sacrifice of removing yourselves from the limelight? In reality, you are a major reason why the middle forces are not responding positively to the call to a change in government.

* Nene Pimentel: Make the ultimate sacrifice to SHUT UP! old man. You have ruined your integrity. You have shown the real you, a bitter old man of politics who never achieved what you have always dreamed of.

* Activists: Isn't it enough that you are being tolerated despite the fact that you have never contributed any tax for this country? despite the fact that your existence is based on fault-finding? despite the fact that the "bourgoise" that you are so against of are the very people who support your existence?

* Big business: many of you really just care about having a positive environment where your businesses will thrive. Can you make the sacrifice of some of your profits to give more to the poor?

* The poor: we understand that, sapagkat kayo ay kapit sa patalim, you allow yourselves to be exploited and brought to rallies of unscrupulous politicians. Can you make the sacrifice of a few pesos, of bearing with your hunger, and not allow yourselves to be exploited, so that you maintain your dignity and you help sow the seed for true liberation and well-being, in God's time?

* Cory Aquino: Isn't it enough that you have become President of this country and you will go down in history as the one who gave the Filipinos hope after the Marcos dictatorship? Isn't Kris, your daughter, enough for you to handle? How can you have the heart to call for supreme sacrifice when you cannot even manage to call for the same sacrifice from your daughter who has never given this country something to be proud of?.

The call to sacrifice is a wonderful call. God himself showed us the way. Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross in order to win our salvation. Such a call is pure, noble, worthy of emulation. Let us not use it for selfish motives. Let us not prostitute its purity by polluting it with the filth in our hearts.
I edited the part where the poster took shots at Cory Aquino for her daughter's actions.

This is something I picked up in one of the sites I was browsing earlier. Hehe.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I'm back. Exhausted but extremely happy to have gone through a booksigning experience I'll never forget. As promised I woke up at 4 a.m. but got up from bed seven minutes later after Mark "threatened" to call me using the landline. We worked out the details on where to meet before going to Gateway Mall. It was 4:13 a.m. and we agreed to meet at Chowking at the Crossing area at 4:40.

Come 4:40 I was still the at the gate taking pictures of our quiet street and Mark sends me a text message apologizing that he was just departing from their house at the same time. I made a beeline to our meeting place, a semi-Chinese resto open 24 hours a day and ordered breakfast. I finished breakfast a little past 5 and Mark was still nowhere to be seen. And just as I was about to send a message asking where he was he came knocking on the glass window near where I was. We walked fast to the MRT station as we were 20 minutes late on our self-imposed schedule of being at the place at 5:00. We scared ourselves silly with the thought that they could be 5o people waiting in line at the place. The station opened and started selling tickets 5 minutes later.

We walked fast again upon disembarking from the train, talking about yesterday's booksigning events at the Promenade. We heaved a sigh of relief when we discovered there were only 4 people waiting in line ahead of us. Good thing the exit door next to the bookstore was located beisde the exit door leading to the Metro Rail Transit system giving us a convenient excuse to stay put. A lady guard tried to shoo us away, giving us some details about other people lining up downstairs near the activity area where the signing was originally slated to be held. We stood our ground explaining that priority numbers were usually given by the bookstore staff at the store itself. We continued talking among ourselves and started listening to those others in the line as time went on. Nelz arrived around 6:30 am and parks himself beside our place in the line. There weren't that much people yet at the line so those immediately behind us (like our new friends brothers, Ryan and Mark) didn't mind it at all. But Ryan had to speak up when peeps started piling behind us when Camy also parked beside when she arrived around an hour later (I promised her a spot). They had the right to raise a howl saying it was OK for them but what about the other people behind them? Camy pacified them by asking if it's possible to let one more person in the line and promising that that would be the last one. That last one also turned out to be a common friend of the girl behind Ryan.

At 9:20 am, good 'ol Az-meister sent a text message (after a couple of messages asking how were we holding up) bearing good news saying, "The gateway signing will be moved from the activity area level 1 to the Fully Booked store area, level 2 for security purposes." This message finally calmed our fears and confirmed our decision that we were at the right place. The mall opened at 10 and a staff of the bookstore came out and told us the priority numbers would be limited to only 150 and warned us not to let anybody in ahead or behind us in the line. That's good enough for us. Later she asked that we form two lines (in a "buddy system" sort of way) and start counting off. The count stopped at 120 and a lot of hopefuls were coming in from the mall doors, some of them weren't aware of the line forming outside as they inquired with the staff. Numbers were distributed at exactly 12 noon (Mark, Camy, Nelz and me got numbers 5, 6, 7, and 8 respectively) enabling some of us to take our lunch and run to the Writers' Forum in Greenhills before convening at the same spot around 3 p.m.

Fast forward to 2:35 p.m. Patrick came by to hang out with us (we like to call him the "Second Critic" after Lyndon), then the atmosphere outside the bookstore suddenly buzzed with activity as the staff and volunteers (as well as the bouncers) were running in and out of the doors telling us to fix the line. A little while later they started checking tickets to count the number of books that could be signed (if you do have a ticket you could have the maximum of two books signed, if not then you can only have one). Az was a lifesaver for giving me an extra stub when he arrived a couple of minutes later with Camy saving me from a potential disappointment. Mr. Gaiman arrived sometime after 3 pm amidst more howlings and screaming and flashing of cameras. Security went into overtime. After some consultation with the staff inside the bookstore he went out and announced "some good news and not so good news" (as he politely put it). The good news was that the signing would be able to start around 30 minutes early and the not so good news was that he had to forgo the book readings in lieu of answering four questions from the crowd. I forgot some of the questions but he was asked why he wore black ("I like to reserve my imagination for my stories rather on what I want to wear"), why does he include a lot of mythical elements in his stories ("I've always been fascinated with myths, having grown up reading Norse and Greek myths... I'm currently reading Philippine mythology and it's a fascinating read. I didn't know these things exist... Someone gave them to me yesterday, eight books in all. I'll probably incorporate some of them in later works.") Cue in more screaming and cameras flashing. He was very gracious and patient through it all, you wouldn't hear neither a sigh of frustration. And another thing I noticed was that he sounds a lot like actor Alan Rickman which I found really, really amusing and great. Haha! Then suddenly a dark cloud appeared. They're letting in around 50 people left over from Saturday's book signing ahead of us. To think that they arrived only around this time. But no matter how much we grumbled and complained about this new policy (which they keep changing whenever it suits them, after telling everyone yesterday that today was a "free for all" thing) we had no choice nor say in the matter and had to give in.

Booksigning line at the Gateway Mall, 7 am

The first twelve in line

Camy and her art

Answering questions from the crowd

The line started moving sometime later and before I knew it a couple of bookstore volunteers were briefing us on the signing: Mr. Gaiman can only write a dedication on one book and sign the other to accomodate as much people as he can. And we had to write on a piece of paper what we wanted him to write. Fine by us. Nelz and I got to laughing on the ideas for the dedication part. Nelz wanted to go with "I hope to one day work with you on one of my books" or something like that. I originally wanted to go with "Watch out for the wolves!" but I thought it too tame and copied Nelz's idea.

Camy getting her books signed

Nelz getting his books signed

Deliberating whether he would copy the dedication I asked for.

He still accomodated my request in a way. Hehe.

Here's the part where he said that liked his work of creating stories

First to go was Camy and Mr. Gaiman was so blown away by her artwork he held it for a while staring at it while talking to her about it. Then he later handed it to the owner of the bookstore and remarking that he'll have it framed. The dedication was a lame attempt at humor on my part (though the volunteers thought ours was quite amusing). He did comply with Nelz's request after finding out that his was one of the runners up in the art contest ("It was hard and I wish they didn't ask me to judge. I could have picked the top 25...") but when he was at a loss when he read mine. He started writing the words "One day..." then he asked me if I was an artist and when I said that I'm a cartoonist he said, "Let me see, I'll do this..." while drawing a huge word balloon over the words and then a profile of a wolf (which I really, really wanted when I saw him do one on the book of Liz, the girl ahead of us). Feeling I had to say something, I just thanked him for the stories and he thanked me back saying that he also liked doing them. Then smiling I took his hand and shook it. Such a really, really, really, really nice guy.

Lico, Az and Camy were already waiting outside and we were all dumbfounded by the magnitude of it all. Later Camy was shouting and jumping up and down how happy she felt that Mr. Gaiman more than appreciated her work. A couple of seconds later she started breaking down when she recalled his words that he'll have her work framed. She couldn't believe it and in between small sobs she choked the words, "He'll frame my work! Nobody freakin' frames my work before." We were touched at the sight and were genuinely happy for her. Then we went upstairs to the mall's foodcourt to get some grub while recounting the events. We were all talking non-stop and doing some fan art to be given to Mr. Gaiman (which will be slipped in later into the box of souvenirs by Az) when he spotted Arnold and Cynthia Arre and called them. They were with a friend took their seat on the table next to ours. In the course of our conversations Az asked Arnold to do one too. While doing his drawing he showed to us a phone camera shot of him with Mr. Gaiman and recounted the funny story of being inside the washroom at the third floor (where the bookstore was) when he realized that the person splashing his face beside him was the famous author himself. Not wasting his opportunity he called his name first and asked if it's possible to to take a picture with him. Mr. Gaiman nicely obliged and just in time too before the bookstore owner came in and forbade him from making any more pictures before ushering the author away. That incident was so strongly imprinted into his mind he set onto paper that one unforgettable encounter with a thank you note inscribed below.

A fan art I did in gratitude

Arnold and Cynthia with their friend

Arnold holding up his drawing

Arnold's fan art of Neil Gaiman

Crowds of curious folks refusing to go away

We went down afterwards to wait for Syeri, Jon and their friend, Hanzel to get their books signed (fellow Denner, Joanah was also there but we never got to talk to her). We talked about the experience for a while before going upstairs to eat. Mark, Patrick and me remained downstairs to watch the whole thing while Az went inside to slip our works into the box and take more pictures. We headed home sometime after 8:30, 15 hours after we first lined up. Exhausted but satisfied and very happy. Here are scans of the loot:



I'm going to bed now. Good night.

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