Tuesday, February 28, 2006

This is part of a panel that will be appearing in Wednesday's strip. I'm doing preliminary scans of all my inked works nowadays with the pencil constructions in place to try and preserve the spontaneous line artwork that will be gone forever after I'm finished witth whole thing. And, no, I'm more of the traditional kind of artist so I don't have any plans on using blue or green pencils in the forseeable future.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Thanks to You Tube I'm now able to post music videos of artists playing in the background of this blog. First up is featured artist of the month is current favorite, Fort Minor with their second single, Believe Me. Did you know that FM's main man, Mike Shinoda is a Fine Arts Graduate who majored in illustration? He also intially worked as a graphic designer right after college before plunging headlong into the music business. He also designed some of Linkin Park's graphic album covers.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The last day of the Arts and Music Festival was both exhilirating and exhausting. With Lyndon out enjoying himself with his lurv watching "...Ze Muzikal" in CCP I was left with the task of drawing portrait caricatures of interested parties passing by our booth. While I wasn't exactly the sole artist left with the task (Lico was excellently doing some himself in between his card readings) I was bearing most of the load. That's the exhausting part, the exhilirating part is seeing these folks walk away with twinkling eyes and big smiles on their faces on seeing the result.

When doing their portarits I don't ask them to pose or anything, based on my initial impression of them I'll begin pencilling a pose before I look up (if they're standing up) and scrutinize their faces for any feature that I could highlight in the drawing. I also accomodated a few requests like the one holding a samurai sword below. I added the Japanese costume as a bonus. I myself have a few regret with some of the drawings that I did, preferring to start all over again if I could but I had to hand it over to them before the initial novelty wears away and gives in boredom.

Elsewhere it was more of the same for the performances on stage which was ok except for the rock bands which puts a lot of strain on the eardrums. We also got to meet and talk to a lot of potential clients ranging from creative groups, agencies, art schools, etc. A couple of guest celebrities also dropped by like former P.O.T. lead vocalist, Karl Roy and actress turned New Age singer, Chin Chin Gutierrez dropped by inquiring about the artworks featured on the walls of the booth (Karl particularly likes Syeri Baet's artwork which he said reminds him of Pugad Baboy. Yiheee!). We also got to make a lot of new friends from neighboring booths (like the group of painters from the Far Eastern University). Here are some pictures from today's highlight:

Das booth!

First portrait drawing of the day (click the image for a close up view of the drawing).

This is one of my favorites

Carlos Ongchangco, youngest member of the Saturday Group

I wish I could have done this one a lot better.

I made the neck too thick (click the image for a close up view of the drawing).

Click the image for a closer view of the drawing.

This is another favorite of mine.

This last drawing was the last that I did for the evening. Turns out to be one of my favorites too. She gave me a handmade bracelet that she's selling in the booth she shares with her friends. Rock bands were ruling the stage by early evening and we stayed as late as thirty minutes before closing before we have had enough and packed up. Lico was left in the booth to wait for a friend. I proceeded to my new haunt to draw next week's strip. I finished it earlier than expected but I'll just finish editing the whole thing tomorrow. Time for me to hit the sack after this one.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Today's a lot better than yesterday in terms of visitor attendance. I come in a lot earlier than before if only to experience what it's like to go in the mall ahead of the crowd (ph34r the power of the c0nvention ID) but then I realize I forgot to bring my camera so I had no souvenir shot of a deserted mall. Inside the covention hall some of our neighbors were busy adding other fixer-uppers inside their booths in expection of the weekend crowd. I arranged the tables and the merchandise we had that were left inside the booth, I had no idea who was coming after me and what time they'll be arriving so I looked around and hung a bit more at Wawi Navaroza's booth (lead vocalist of The Late Isabel and a top notch photographer). Birthday boy, Lico came in after a while and added more signages of his own before he went out in search of a good photo printer, Syeri came in about lunch after being let off work a lot early than usual. There were powerful performances from other artists like Pinikpikan and Romancing Venus made me watch in front of the stage rather than listen from our place. I went out for a while to get my files printed after seeing the results of Lico's quest (which is so good and cheap I'm now offering A4 size prints of my comic strips). By the time I got back Jon, Lyndon and Lei were there with Patrick arriving half an hour later. The other birthday boy, Sandy also passed by and hung around with us before we all went out together for pizza. Anyway most of the folks out there were watching the show on stage and besides this was the only break Lyndon got from drawing all those caricatures (we offered them for free).

Pinikpinkan and friends on stage

An on-the-spot pastel painting by Saturday Group artist, Convocar.

Poetry reading by one of the members of Romancing Venus.

Lyndon doing caricatures of these two lovely ladies.

Hypnotic dance from Argon Laser

The Sandman

Me hungry for pizza

Reviewing some shots in the camera

What do you mean you forgot the anchovies?

First portrait drawing I did for the festival

Come night time it was only me and Lico who were left in the booth and right before we left a couple more folks passed by the booth who wanted their caricatures done. I rose up to the task and finished it in a matter of minutes. I refused to do some more and asked them to just come back tomorrow. I'll be the one doing the caricatures tomorrow because Lyndon and Lei will be catching the afternoon show of the Zsa Zsa Zaturnah musical in CCP. Must remember to bring a bunch of clean sheets of paper tomorrow for this.

Friday, February 24, 2006

People Power is dead and there's no reason for us to resurrect it anymore. Most of the "heroes" of the original march led by former President Cory Aquino have abused it and are now using it to further their own ends. I myself wasn't looking forward to celebrating the 20th Anniversary in EDSA. Heck I wasn't celebrating it anymore after the 6th year (the first anniversary was, of course, the best of the lot with the Japanese government bringing out three giant Taiko drums of their country for the first time and performing it on a makeshift stage where the church of Our Lady of EDSA now stands). Back then celebrating People Power involved the arts with crowds of people from all over the Metro coming over to watch various performances like singing, dancing, and the like being held onstage. Celebrating People Power used to be a delight to behold! People were one in heart and spirit dedicated to keeping the memory of why it happened in the first place.

That was then. Then politics got in the way. Over the years those so called "heroes of EDSA" began showing their true colors. They began switching sides to suit themselves whenever they didn't get their way. Thus the vernacular slang "balimbing" became the norm. The flourishing arts that enjoyed its time under the patronage of the former first Lady, Imelda Marcos were relegated to the sides as freedom of speech, the privilege to poke fun at what was wrong with the government, was taken away (those who are old enough can recall the term "sequester" as something that we quickly became familiar with as TV stations and other forms of media identified with the former regime came under the control of the PCGG [Presidential Commission on Good Government] headed by former Vice-President Doy Laurel). How quickly we forget 20 years after the event. Does anyone even remember that we were supposed to be celebrating National Arts Month? And what should have been a grand start to a three-day celebration to this wonderful month, The Arts and Music Festival which opened today at the Megatrade Hall was almost forgotten by everyone. There were hardly any people going around to browse inside the booths or watch the awesome performance on stage exactly because there were hardly anyone inside the mall nor in the streets fearful of what's been happening. Oppositionists and those who has anti-administration sentiments shouldn't pin the blame the government on this one but on their foolhardy thoughts on a stupid stunt that majority of the people never wanted in the first place.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

We used to play tag and hide and seek during lunch in high school. Do kids nowadays still play these in school? Check out the other Thursday goodies by clicking the names below.

Jonas Diego
Jerald Dorado
Reno Maniquis
Edgar Tadeo

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

This strip concludes the series for this month. I might follow this up with a showbiz news report saying those folks off-panel were "unjustly harrassed" and are planning to file a complaint with the police. This would set off an argument with Ben Sr. and his Irish-American father-in-law, Tom Flanagan (who's presently taking a vacation here in the country with his wife) to question the former's ability to properly raise his kids. I'll be training the spotlight on the two next month anyway so there might be a continuity from this one. We'll see.

* West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.

I almost didn't want to watch Munich after reading some detailed accounts of what happened that early September morn 1972 internet articles posted in the archives of Time Magazine. I would have had the same sentiments if we had internet access before Schindler's List was shown (nudity and breast exposures notwithstanding, I was more interested in the historical aspects of the story). There were some elements in the former that's also present in this one: guts and brain matter fly here and there, exit wounds shown and some delicate scenes between a husband and a wife were shown without cuts. But instead of a reluctant savior sent to save as many Jews as he can this one tells the story of the aftermath of the Munich Olympics murders, about the secret team assembled by Avner (Eric Bana) with the blessings of the government of Israel to go after the Palestinian masterminds in retaliation for the murders of the 9 Jewish athletes.

There's feeling of dread at the start as they went around Europe chasing after leads killing their targets (with the exception of the second target the others were mercifully done with quickly and painlessly) and a pervading sense of depression as the consequences of their actions started to weigh in on their consciences. Unfortunately for them the organization whose leaders they were bumping off one by one was akin to the Hydra monster of Greek mythology, as soon as they cut off one head two new ones sprung out in its place. They also got word from their source that not only were the terrorist acts were being stepped up in Israel in retaliation to their actions but they themselves were also being hunted. They almost succeeded in bumping off almost all the members of Avner's group during the times when they let their guard down. In deference to his family's safety and for his own conscience's sake Avner walked away from his mission with just one target left alive. He's had enough and a lot of questions were going through his mind about right and wrong and it seems the ends don't justifying the means. Despite his Israeli government contact's protestations to reveal everything he knows of the mission so they could go in and continue where he'd left off Avner kept his mouth shut until then. There are questions as to the historical accuracies of the events shown in the movie with regards to the mission but one has to keep in mind that this was a top secret mission and you'd scarcely find any surviving witness willing to talk about what he or she knows about the whole thing. It's a good movie, not really that great-great as Spielberg is capable and could have done much more with it, it's still worthy enough to get an Oscar nod.

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Click the pause button and give it time to finish loading before playing to get the full effect.

This is the first video of "Panic Train" from the adorably cute J-pop girl group, Morning Musume that had me grinning ear to ear like an idiot. Why not? It's got a catchy tune and 15 extremely cute Japanese girls dancing around with kooky snaps. I first saw it from the laptop of a friend a couple of years ago and I still can't get enough of it. So imagine my surprise when I saw another video of the same song:

You know the drill! Hop to it!

The first one's got the lively dance moves, playing around with diabetes-inducing cute expressions on their faces. This second one shows them in school uniforms and using seamless editing to change themselves looks into somebody else. So... which one do you think is better? I think so too. They're really so kawaii!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Another ad for Arnold Arre's "Ang Mundo ni Andong Agimat." Coming out April 2006.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

We just came back from watched the last full show of Pink Panther at the mall and being familiar with the original series with Peter Sellers to tell you the truth I wasn't expecting much (blame the lone trailer for showing the same jokes over and over again). But I still had a grand time laughing at the many scenes particularly in the second half of the movie. Here are but some of those memorable lines from the movie:

Agent 006: Boswell. Nigel Boswell. 006. You know what that means?
Inspector Clouseau: Yes! You are just one shot away from the big time.

Ponton: He was found dead.
Inspector Clouseau: Was it fatal?
Ponton: Yes.
Inspector Clouseau: How fatal?
Ponton: Um, completely.
Inspector Clouseau: I want to talk to him now!

[trying to teach Clouseau an English accent]
Accent Expert: I would like to buy a hamburger.
Inspector Clouseau: I would like to buy a "damburgen."
Accent Expert: I would like to buy a ham-bur-ger.
Inspector Clouseau: I would like to buy a "damburgert!"
Accent Expert: I would like to buy a hamburger!
Inspector Clouseau: I would like to buy a "derberger!!"

Nicole: Do you live alone, Inspector?
Inspector Clouseau: Yes, I do.
Nicole: Do you ever get lonely?
Inspector Clouseau: No. Not since the Internet.

Football player: It's an idiom.
Inspector Clouseau: No, you sir, are the idiom!

Inspector Clouseau: I find it a coincidence, that his body fell precisely within the chalk lines.

There are funny scenes too numerous to mention and the only times the movie actually slows down are those scenes that have singer Beyoncé Knowles showcasing her so-so acting chops. While I agree that Steve Martin made most of the things in this movie work it was the deadpan reactions of Jean Reno who held the jokes that made the movie. This won't rank along with the old Pink Panther movies that Mr. Sellers did awhile back it can stand on its own with its charm and great humor. I just wish the ending weren't as obvious and predictable as an episode of Scooby Doo.

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

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Click the image to open another window.

I just discovered that Berke Breathed's work Opus is now online. I've been looking for it for the longest time all over the net since it's not available locally. Looking all over the usual comic strips sites that is. It's a good thing I stumbled on this site which led me to the only paper that holds the syndication rights to this strip.

If you're wondering why I'm making such a big deal over this, Mr. Breathed's original work, Bloom County was THE main influence in my present work (along with Rumiko Takkahashi but I'll touch on that in future posts). This started way back around 1988 while I was browsing through some old newspapers that I my older brother brought home with him. It was love at first read when I bought the first treasury book back in 1989 and that's when I seriously decided to become a comic strip artist. He's come out with a Christmas animation short almost a decade back featuring this character titled "A Wish for Wings that Work" based on a children's book that he did and I'm looking forward to seeing the Opus movie they're planning to do. Which I hope is still being seriously considered by one of the biggie animation studios.

* Image copied from this site; you can read some of the old Bloom County strips here to know what it's all about; And I'm including these in my early birthday and Christmas wishlist just in case there's a generous soul out there.

Friday, February 17, 2006

This is a post-Valentine video entry with a love song from The Cure called Catch (1987). Play it, you might like it.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

This is the sequel to last week's strip. This was the last time the character of Jonee saw print although he lasted for two more strips before I dropped him completely from the series. Check out the other Thursday goodies by clicking the links below.

Jonas Diego
Jerald Dorado
Reno Maniquis
Edgar Tadeo

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Irish poem BJ's referring to is called a limerick. It was highly popularized by artist, illustrator and writer, Edward Lear (1812 - 1888) known for his nonsensical poetry. What its connection to the town of Limerick is not known. I actually did a couple of poems of this sort back in the early 90s when the thought of composing one became an obsession but these samples were lost and methinks so did the ability to do one. But if you do like to read more of these then you can start with this, this, and most especially the one that starts with "There once was a man from Nantucket..."

Click this link in case you didn't know why referred to his other heritage as being Irish.

* West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.
We held a short seminar for the alternative class on basic comic strip making and caricatures at the College of Science in UST (my college alma mater). I was informed about this some two weeks before and I had to beg off initially since the thought of public speaking churns my stomach. But I still went ahead with it after mulling over the idea and getting Lyndon to help with the lecture. We had a lively audience who lapped up the lecture and asked a lot of good questions. It's also great seeing the old campus grounds and I was a bit annoyed that they tore down some of the familiar structures dotting the landscape. Instead of being treated to wide open spaces the whole lot were now obscured by tall grey buildings with commercial establishments situated at the ground floor. Here are some of the pictures I took earlier:

The main building during the early hours of the morning

The alternative class people

The first caricature I did before doing the lecture (pencils)

Avelyn (ballpoint pen)

Ave (ballpoint pen)

Good thing the old eateries in the periphery of the school where we used to hang out in during college were there and still going strong. Thanks to Kit for facilitating the lecture. We hope to do more lectures and workshops in that school in the coming weeks and months ahead.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Wanna cracker?

Being a big Harrison Ford fan I chose the movie me, my mom and sister watched just now over all the others, Firewall. With its promise of non-stop slam bang action scenes coupled with detective investigations like in his previous movies (The Fugitive, Clear and Present Danger, The Patriot, etc.) my expectations were all set to be met. And indeed they were met as everything was right on target. Unfortunately this bred a bit of familiarity with what should be expected from Mr. Ford. Blame it on the Hollywood producers and moguls for typecasting him in action plus sleuth movies when we all could be on the look out for the next project that could be compared to his roles in his previous movies like Regarding Henry, Six Days Seven Nights, Sabrina, or even Random Hearts.

The movie was good overall, but there were a few holes here and there that could have been patched up. There wasn't much of high sense of urgency overall the movie especially after the part where the villains' plans crumbled to pieces halfway through the movie. Given the impression you'd know that Mr. Ford's character will soon catch up with them and turn the tables around. That's my beef with this movie, if the main villain had it all planned out as he once gloated to his captives why do we get a sense of panic from them after a blunder? They weren't at all like the bad guys of "Die Hard" who had the right amount of nastiness to make the hero's exploits really shine. The acting from most of the lead actors were top notch (kudos to the actress who played his wife, Virginia Madsen) but it was ok for some. It's still worth checking out if you do happen to pass by the theaters while it's still on.

* Check out also the review in Hollywood Jesus for more insightful reactions to this good movie.
Today's Valentine's Day and of course we're not a killjoy when it comes to celebrating romantic love. So in order to celebrate this day I do present all you single men out there with a list for the Top 10 "Biblical Ways" To Find A Mate along with the names of the romeos involved and a link providing the related verses:
10. Find a prostitute and marry her (Hosea)

9. Play Peeping Tom with the neighbor's bathing wife. Order her and have her delivered like pizza. (David)

8. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one you like and carry her off to be your wife (Benjamites)

7. Find a man with 7 daughters, impress him by watering his flock. You will get his daughter's hand in marriage for your trouble. (Moses)

6. Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you'll definitely find someone. It's all relative of course. (Cain)

5. Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. The winner is your wife. (Xerxes)

4. Agree to work for 7 years in exchange for a woman's hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another 7 years for your bride. That's right, 14 years of toil for your wife. (Jacob)

3. Purchase a piece of property and get a woman as part of the deal. Price includes tax, title, and license. (Boaz)

2. Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you. (Adam)
And last but not least...
1. When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, "I have seen a woman; now get her for me." If your parents question your decision, simply say, "Get her; she's the one for me." (Samson)
* List was copied from, The One: A Realistic Guide To Choosing Your Soul Mate by Ben Young and Samuel Adams.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, the peak of a whole month's celebration I prefer calling "Single Awareness Month." Blame it on the advertisers to magnify the mushiness and literally painting the town red with cut-out hearts, red roses, and all sorts of Valentine's Day related promotion guaranteed to leave who aren't joined at the hip veging at home. Which brings me to the point of this post.

Will it surprise you to know that the personification of this whole overly romanticized celebration isn't who he appears to be? I'm talking about the Roman god of "love": Cupid. He who has been originally portrayed as a robust young man with wings and alternately presented in the last century as a beautiful androgynous youth and nowadays as a toddler with wings. If you remember your literature class in school you would remember that it was the Greek's Aphrodite later turned into the Roman Venus who was the one in charge of romantic love. While her son, the Roman Cupid or more appropriately, the Greek Eros was originally the god of lust. Where do you think we got the word "erotic"? Classical literature relates his mother as Venus with a varied paternal lineage: Hermes (the messenger of Olympus and the patron of thieves), Zeus (leader of the gods of Olympus who's also a big flirt), or Ares (the blood thirsty god of war, as opposed to his sister Athena who's the patroness of the art of fighting), which makes sense given his role as a symbol not of happy achievement but of suffering from a perpetual search. In other words he's not only the the god of lust but also love that borders on obssession. Cupid was the name given by the Romans to the Greek god Eros. In India, Cupid was also adopted and was widely known by Hindus as Kama, the inspiration for the Kama Sutra sex manual. Well, with this guy in charge of the celebration it's hardly surprising seduction is the name of the real game behind this celebration.

* You can read more about the history of this "love god" here at The Classics Pages.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Eww... That gotta hurt.

I just returned from watching Fun with Dick and Jane because first I didn't have anything better to do, I'm still trying to find my groove before diving headlong into editing the comic strip for next week's paper, and second of all it had Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni (who had a memorable turn as a famous newscaster who was given one last chance by Providence to make things right with her estranged dad in "Deep Impact"). Expectations were higher this time eversince I saw a preview of the movie online, the aforementioned actors with the addition of Alec Baldwin returning to comedy after a while was a strong indication that I was in for a rockin' good time. But, alas, that wasn't exactly what happened. Don't get me wrong, the whole movie was great, the actors were great, and there were a lot of funny moments but I couldn't get myself to laugh at the face of tragedy.

It's actually more of a compliment to Jim and Téa's acting skills that made them look so pitiful. Their characters were typical of the good neighbors who just wanted to live a comfortable life in the suburbs with their son and immigrant nanny. But all that disappeared when their world came crashing down when the head honcho of a big corporation where Dick was working ran away with the money that was supposed to be the employees' retirement fund. It turned out to be bigger tragedy because Jim's character, Dick was duped into thinking he received a promotion so he convinces his wife, Jane to resign from her job because they'll be getting living the good life fom thereon in. They tried looking for jobs, even the odd ones but they just couldn't make it for various reasons. Dick was even mistakenly deported to Mexico while Jane suffered allergic reactions to make up in a paid group experiment. Their electricity and water supply were cut off when they ran out of furnitures and appliances to sell. They finally resorted to armed robbery in desperation but even though they initially bungled it they eventually managed to get the hang of it. They got some of their old life back but when they met up with an old repentant boss who was previously in cahoots with the big boss in sucking the company dry, they jumped at the opportunity to try and right a wrong.

Now here's my problem with the premise: while I can commiserate with the Harpers for their misfortune and was looking forward to a happy ending, the solution was too simplistic. Too humanistic. In contrast to the character of Job in the Bible (who suffered the same fate as they although through different circumstances) they weren't as innocent as they once were by the time the credits rolled. They resorted to robbery, destroyed property and probably ruined a good number of business in the process of chasing money so they could enjoy their old life. And while they got the upper hand of the situation in the end, there was no indication that they were sorry for what they did and paid back whatever they stole. Not even anonymously. They also stooped to the same level as Dick's former boss and even played the same game of deception to get the money. Happy? Fun? Hmmm... maybe the first two thirds of the movie but it certainly wasn't so when it got to the ending.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Hey! Lookit what I found: the second but not much seen video of the Pet Shop Boys' "Opportunities." This is the better version as opposed to the other video where vocalist Neil Tennant is shown dressed in either Amish or Jewish garb singing with his body halfway through the floor in front of a car with its headlights on. This of course was one of their first hit singles back in 1985 or '86. It may mean squat to non-new wavers out there but this definitely brings back a lot of memories from those times of hair spray, loud flashy clothes, and more genial music with gibberish poetry for lyrics.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Coincidence? Yuh think?! Dun-dun-duuuuun!!!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Colorized classics. Don't you just love 'em to bits and pieces? This one marks the first appearance of my friend Jorge in the strip. Now go hop to the other Thursday goodies in the links neatly outlined below.

Jonas Diego
Jerald Dorado
Reno Maniquis
Edgar Tadeo

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Click the image to open another window if you can't read the text.

In celebration of "Singles Awareness" month I'm focusing this part of the series on these two. I'm experimenting a bit on this one and the next two strips that are yet to come. There wouldn't be as much mush you'd think in here as couples don't really need to broadcast to the whole world how much love they've got for each other, just a little PDA here and there. In case you're curious, the book she's reading is Frank Peretti's "Piercing the Darkness," a great follow up to his classic first novel.

* West Side is published weekly in Philippine News.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Allow an hour or so to load the toon before you click the play button.

Here's a full episode of "Wacky Deli," one of the funniest episodes from my all-time favorite Nicktoon, Rocko's Modern Life. In this one celebrity cartoonist, Ed Bighead, Jr. commisions his neighbors, Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt to do a crude and hurriedly done cartoon pilot based on deli meats in an effort to sabotage his own career so he could get out of his studio contract and focus doing his own art. Despite his best efforts to sabotage everything the public goes gaga over everything the show has to offer.

* Tom Kenny, the actor who provided the voice for Spongebob also did the voice of Heffer Wolfe in this series.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Senseless. The whole thing was senseless. There are various reports as to how the stampede started, some said that someone in the back of the crowd gave a shout about a bomb. The only problem with this premise was that if there indeed was a bomb there you would have thought that the people would scattered in different directions instead of pushing themselves inside the gate. The most plausible report was that those in charge of the activities either started handing out tickets or they started opening the gates to the venue causing those in the back to start pushing in hopes of getting the limited number of tickets or a good seat in front.

In the immediate aftermath of the stampede those who were responsible for the tragedy had only apologies to offer but they were nowhere near acknowledging their faults to the authorities much less to the families of victims. Game show host Willie Revillame even offered to go on with the show in the face of tragedy. That's what I don't understand. People died and lots others were injured and you'd offer to continue with the show? How dare you? This isn't some kind of piddling incident where people got scared and came out with only bruises on their arms and legs. How dare the others in the crowd echoing the same sentiment? It would have been better if you have kept your mouth shut in the meantime and let the gravity of the situation sink in. People are dead and don't you dare blame the situation of the government, the President, or the poverty of the folks who lined up for your show. You failed to beef up security, you failed to deploy ushers and guards to help the folks line up in an orderly fashion, you fed their mendicant mentality by raising their hopes of a better life by giving away money. The status of the show is in limbo and as usual fingers from the organizers are pointing in directions other than themselves. I do hope those involved still have their consciences and I hope against hope that they would heed them and do whatever they can to not only financially compensate the victims, the survivors and their families but also do whatever they can to prevent another huge tragedy from ever happening again.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I knew I had to have this the first time I saw this book on the shelf near the entrance of the bookstore I frequently go to. The blurbs written at the back of the book jacket looked enticing as Henri Matisse is one of my favorite artists along with Michelangelo Buonarotti as well as Vincent Van Gogh. There's something about their being reclusive that I can totally relate to. Their art, of course, speaks volumes as countless of existing books testify but what about their personal lives? I've known about bits and pieces of what has been referred to as "dark night of the soul" that constantly haunt them during those times when they're alone. Those decisions that plagued them. After a few days deliberation I finally snatched the book from its place in the shelf and bought it. Good thing too since it was the only copy left and I also got a 20% discount off the cover price.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

We finally got to visit the oft-heard-but-not-much-seen Chunky Far Flung Gallery in Cubao when me, Lyndon and Lei hied off in search of Jomike's newly book compilation of his strips, Mikrokosmos. Cozy store with truckloads of rare memorabilias along with cartoon and movie merchandise that would have geeks salivating in no time. Everything in the store is reasonably priced and pretty much affordable though most of them were one of a kind. Here are the pictures from inside the store:

This last one's the outside of the place. There's no signage or billboard to tell you that this is it, well except for a small sign hanging from the glass window with scrabble tiles spelling out the name of the store. A cafe cum gallery is located on the second floor. Indie artists are invited to consign their wares or exhibit their works there too.

After this we had our dinner at the dampa inside the newly refurbished Cubao wet market. Prices for most of the food there were a bit prohibitive and you'd only enjoy the whole thing if you a.) planned on eating there way beforehand (i.e. you had a budget set for this), and b.) you got to use the function rooms where you could sing your heart out with the available videoke machines. After dinner we went our separate ways with them buying some supplies in the grocery and me dropping by Fully Booked for a while then proceeding to my old haunt to draw the strips. I also got to meet an old friend and classmate from college before I got to my seat and a good thing too since I've been looking for him the longest time. He and his girlfriend were on their way to watch a movie and we got to catch up with each other before exchanging cellphone numbers with each other. I finished the strip some two and a half hours later but I'll finish the whole editing thing tomorrow.

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