Thursday, November 24, 2005


I’m back home again.

I missed my friends a lot. My family the most. I had a great time with Maik last weekend. I didn’t want to go to clubs anymore but I missed my friends company so no choice but to check out Bed again. I always tell myself that I’ve passed this phase already. That clubbing isn’t me anymore. But I was wrong. Once I heard the familiar tracks I was hooked. Travis played a magnificent set. The kind that would give you a hit without even dropping anything. Natural f*cking high at it’s best.

I danced three hours straight. I made up for the catatonic nights in Singapore. I was so tired, that when I hit the sack I was a goner.

I can’t believe that I was out for 1 week. I have so many things to do these coming weeks. I still have to finalize the stories for the Singapore special. Ahhhhhhhrg.
Parang walang katapusan. I was out for work then when I returned, work was waiting for me again.

I can’t wait for my sabbatical… which I still have to schedule.

That’s just so pathetic.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


We had all our hopes but maybe our best just wasn’t as good enough, yet.

Team Philippines bowed to their worthy opponents. We gave them a good fight though. Who would have ever thought that a bunch of sophomoric kids would beat up professional gamers in the World Cyber Games? And they did, they were able to moved to the finals beating Finland which was a big team to beat. The Pinoy kids were having the time of their life playing not just for themselves but for the country as well. And for that alone, we were really proud of our boys. Kudos to all of you, I’m sure we will fare better next year.

Talking about next year’s event, I just hope somebody would still sponsor my trip though… the next one will be held in Italy. Amore… that, I can’t wait.

We didn’t want to leave Sim City without checking out the Art of Star Wars Exhibit in the Science Museum. It was a welcome treat to all Star Wars fans. Memorabilia from all of the six episodes were there.

I saw two iconic props, Padme’s birthing table and Darth Vader’s operating table.

I was so thrilled. DV’s the most iconic character when I was growing up, and no other cinematic character comes close, not even Superman I think. And seeing the very same costume that he wore during the actual filming in person was definitely an experience of a lifetime.

And for this alone, the trip to Sim City was definitely well worth it.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Interesting players abound this year’s WCG.

For instance, the U.S. team for counterstrike fielded in twin players as part of their roster. Then there’s this head turner Valerie from Germany who’s the sole female player among the 700 hopefuls. Talk about girl power, she seemed like she just came out of an FHM mag or something.

Then there’s this hot player from Russia named Alex who dyed his hair white, red and blue to show support to his country.

And the cutest player that stole everyone’s heart was the three year old boy Amir from Iran who can barely talk but his hands were damn unbelievable when it came to the Fifa Football game.

These interesting sorts made the games more colorful and an interesting watch.

It’s Friday night and Camille introduced to us her Danish boyfriend Tako. We first met for a good dinner at Emerald Hill, another chi-chi place to spend your hard earned moolah – 1750 Pesos just for a fairly decent meal and a drink (I can’t help it but I turned into a walking calculator since I got here).

Then off we went to Zouk. I was hearing a lot of things about the bar. Esquire voted it as one of the top ten best clubs in the world in a poll. So I was really expecting a lot. The queue was just unbelievable. And for $30 entrance, it’s really no joke. Clubbing here is indeed a serious business. Zouk is a superclub. It’s like Embassy but in a way much more grander scale. It has three humungous bars in its compound. First is Velvet Underground (I just so love the name), true to it’s name it emits a Warhol-esque vibe. It was like Andy-and-Nico-will-show-up-any-moment feel. The interior designer must have been in acid when he designed it cause it’s really psychedelic. The music gets my nod- Stephane Pompougnac of Hotel Costes fame was their anthem.

Then off we went to Phuture, the second part of the superclub. It’s all Hip-hop here and the crowd was just amazing. I’m really no fan of the genre but Tako and Camille wanted to stay for a bit so San and I had no choice but to dance a bit. Then we went to Zouk. This made my night really. I’m such a fan of “House” I can’t help but to feel orgasmic whenever great tracks came my way. Then there’s this huge banner saying “FOR THE LOVE OF THE HOUSE” which greeted everyone who enters. It was like going to Church or something.

Everyone was all prepared and everyone knows their music. House is their religion. There was a lot of Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren and Nick Warren mix playing. Last time I enjoyed good house music was Cream last Holloween. Too bad that we were in Singapore early. Apparently, in two weeks time,Van Buuren and Nick Warren will play in their yearly Zoukout (similar to a Big Fish event in Manila) where apparently 50,000 House and music aficionados are expected to attend.

I’m such a House Junkie. I just love the music really. And everyone did. One thing I liked about the people here is they go clubbing to appreciate and to dance to good house music. I, for any moment didn’t feel or saw the pretentious crowd who went to clubs just to be seen. Singaporeans, I give them a nod because they really know how to party.

San and I had to be responsible though, we had our curfew. So at 2.30am, when the crowd was just at its peak, we went home to prepare for the big event tomorrow – Philippines Vs. Germany for Counter Strike: Source.

It’s ok. I had my fair share of good House music.

I know that I’ll get my good night sleep.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Woke up late.

San and I had to rush, we only had 10 minutes for breakfast because the buffet closes a bit earlier than your usual hotel breakfast buffet. The food here too was kinda bland. I usually am not very particular with food but for some reason, the breakfast (chicken sausage, hash browns, baked beans and scrambled eggs)… was boring.

Then off we went to Suntech. There we met up with the boys. Two of them actually just arrived, and less than two hours before the match, they went straight to Suntech from the airport to fight with one of the toughest teams to beat. The WCG qualifying rounds for Counter Strike more than made up for the disappointing breakfast. It was exhilarating. I was doing the camera and my hands were shaking when the Philippine Team was battling it out with the Finnish team. The boys from Finland were apparently one of the bests in the tournament and they were actually eyeing for a bronze at the very least.

But the Pinoy boys wouldn’t throw the towel in just yet. It was a close match and after a lot of swearing and a lot of testosterone spilling, we got into the second round. The boys couldn’t believe it themselves. They were actually here just for the exposure and they didn’t even think that they’d be able to play in the semis. Then again, good things happen when you least expect it. Everyone was ecstatic. I too felt the sense of pride.

Come dinnertime, Camille, San’s best friend met us for a few beers. I haven’t seen Cam’s in years. Here she is, a permanent resident of Singapore already, producing for one of the biggest studios in Sim City. After studying in Singapore for three years she was able to get a good offer and she decided to stay. For a moment, I kinda reminisced about my stint in London as well. After finishing my studies in U.K. I had some offers to work with small companies there. Eventually I did, but after working for less than a year I opted to go back home. I have no regrets though. My five years of working in Manila was all worth it. But sometimes I can’t help but think about the “What ifs”.

We ended up with a big group- San, Camille and I with some Asian gaming journalists. After getting some beer at the bar infront Suntech, Cam brought us to this cool bar up north. Little Asia is the highest bar that I’ve been to I think. The bar is situated at the 70th floor of one of the hotels there. It offers a good view of the Singaporean Skyline. I’m impressed. Such a small city but the progress here is just amazing.

I wanted to get tipsy but the drinks were just damn too expensive (700 Pesos a mix). So after a cocktail we all decided to hit the dance floor. We met these two cool guys - Dennis and Chester. Dennis, a Singaporean who has his own company, which specializes on in-flight entertainment and Chester, a Chinese-Filipino, based in Japan and working for an I.T. firm. It was a “POP” night and the crowd was a bit older. I didn’t mind.

The past two days were so boring that I didn’t care what music was playing, I just really have to dance and go to a club. I haven’t been dancing to pop for the longest time so it was such a welcome break for me. And when GNR’s anthem track played… I banged my head to the music and sang at the top of my lungs with everyone…

“She's got a smile that it seems to me. Reminds me of childhood memories. Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky. Now and then when I see her face ... Woh, Sweet child o' mine.”

Singapore’s not that bad after all…

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Day two in Sim City.

We woke up early to check around. Took the bus and we all decided to take a peek at the famous Merlion that spits water from its mouth.

It was a long way from the bus stop so we had time to walk around check out the architecture of the city, the buildings and the streets. Again... it's all in order. The people, the traffic, everyone is following the strict rules, who wouldn't, a fine of $1000 will be imposed to anyone who's caught littering, jaywalking... disposing chewing gum on the street... I'm kinda liking the way things are here.

Then we arrived at Suntech. It's a titanic mall, Megamall times three or four I think. The event will take place at a gigantic hall at the top of mall. It's the biggest event I've covered so far. They flew in around 1500 people- the gamers, referees, the press. I can't imagine the logistics that took place.The opening though was a disappointment, I mean I was looking forward to a much more grander scale in terms of the production number, but we only saw cheerleaders and an anti-climatic fireworks at the end. Heck the Enchanted Kingdom closing production number spells more grandeur.

Nevertheless, everyone's all excited. We got to meet the Russian, German and a number of the European teams. They're actually very intimidating, I mean they are cyber athletes in the first place. They are paid to play gaming consoles and the corresponding p.c. games, and they all have big companies backing them up as to compared to our boys, they are all still studying and they can't play as much as they want to.

The boys said that they will give a good fight. They're all excited just by participating.

I'm still dead tired. So I told San if we can just go for a rest. But I needed a cold beer to end the day. We religiously went to the net cafe to check our bilins from back home. I was trying to get the number of my friend Kai who's Singaporean, wanted to ask him what's the best thing here that's worth our while. I got an email from him, and too bad he's in Malaysia for his friend's wedding and he'll not be back till Monday, he recommended a place called Tanjong Pangar. So after checking out our emails, we hailed a cab to check the place out.

It must have been my luckiest day because our driver turned out to be a born again Christian. I told him "Uncle, we're new here and we'd want to go to Tanjong Pangar, we heard that it's a good place to hang out..."

And he responded back "Oh... no... no... I'm Christian you see, and that place is no good place for tourists (sporting a very difficult to understand Sing-glish accent). You try the night market instead la?"

"But..." Before I can finish my sentence he tried to cut me and said... "It's my moral duty to protect you and tell you not to go there... It's bad... there are lot of boys kissing each other there..."

I can't believe what I was hearing actually, a taxi driver trying to argue and win his way so that he can save us from an "apparent" danger. I wanted to reason my way out but I just didn't have the energy so we decided to check out the night market instead.

Much to our disappointment, there's really nothing new there. Greenhills offers a much better find.So after a spicy curry dinner, we got ourselves a Tiger. It's their local beer. It's a big beer so San and I decided to share one bottle. It's the closest thing that we got to that elusive local color that we were craving for since we got here. We're crossing our hands that we'll get to see some action and some color in this rather bland city.

Second day in this dry city is uneventful. Damn that Taxi Driver.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


The group arrived a day early. I was expecting to see some action with the boys but the opening ceremony will not be until tomorrow... I was so tired, haven't really had enough sleep because we had to be in the airport at 6:00am in the morning. Nothing much to do, San and I found ourselves killing our time in the net cafe... trying to check out and learn a local slang or two. Singapore's too clinical for me... It's so perfect... It's like Sim City come to life. It's too good that it's predictable and kinda dry. I miss the dirt, I miss the spontaneity... miss the old rustic charm of Manila.

It's Tuesday and there was nothing happening in town. We went to Zouk and it was close so we ended up in this quaint bar called... uhumm... Rest Room. Nothing exceptional really, it was just that it was the first bar that looked cozy and that looked like it had history. The bad thing was there was no bar list so you have to tell the waiter what drinks to mix. For goodness, they didn't know how to mix Singaporean sling so I ordered a Screwdriver instead... damn it cost me $17 or roughly 550 Pesos.

San wanted to check out other bars but I had to beg off cause I was really tired.

Six more days to go... I don't know how I'll last...

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I just got the confirmation.

I'm leaving Tuesday morning to cover this cool event called World Cyber Games. WCG is like the olympics of computer gaming, last year they held the finals in San Francisco, this year they're doing it in Singapore. We pinoys got good exposure last year and hopefully we'll bag some trophies this year. Cool thing is I'm leaving with the Philippine team. For one week I'll be documenting them tough teenage gaming machines as they battle it out with the best gamers around the globe. I gotta make myself a small Philippine flag and wave it if ever there's an opening procession of some sorts, parang Olympics. Haha...

Way to go Pinoys... ipakita saa muundohh... Pinoy akoh... Pinooy... (Damn the Pinoy Big Brother last song syndrome...)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I haven't been doing one of my most favorite things to do for quite some time now.

I love writing narrative screenplays. I used to spend a lot of time when I was still studying writing short screenplays for short movies. I was lucky enough to make three short movies out of some of my short screenplays - Popsongs and Wonderwoman, Games that Children Play, and Bang Bang Cults. They're mostly character studies of troubled but interesting individuals.

I love writing. It's a totally whole new world for me. It's where I am free to imagine and create interesting characters that would arouse my interest. It was hot yesterday afternoon and I wasn't doing anything much. Finally after months of working with no break I had some free time for myself. I went to my computer and started typing in some conversations between two characters - a carefree fifteen year old boy and his lola, fifteen days before the boy leaves for abroad for good after being petitioned by his American father, set in one of the hottest summers ever to be recorded in Philippine soil ...

The result is an interesting character study between two individuals and a screenplay that I can't wait to finish...

*Excerpt from the screenplay that I am writing: With the title "Pasintabi ng Araw sa Init ng Tanghaling Tapat"

Mako Voice-over:
Putang ina ang init… mapapamura na lang ako sa sobrang init ngayong araw na to. Actually… sa mga nagdaang araw… Walang exag pero talagang kumukulo lahat ng kaloob-looban ko… Eto na siguro yung pinakamainit na summer na na-experience ko. Gusto ko mang magmall pero –olats akong panggastos. Puta... problema pa tong long hair ko... Kaya eto, ligo na lang ako ng ligo. Puta…lulunurin ko na lang ang sarili ko sa malamig na tubig… di bale bago ko umalis papuntang "tate"... goodbye longhair...

Lola Aying:
Mako… mako…


Lola Aying:
At bakit walang yelo sa ref? Nasaan na yung mga ginawa ko dito kagabi?

Napatingin si Mako sa loob ng drum, nagkandalusaw-lusaw na ang mga yelong linagay nya sa loob nito. Pasimple nyang hinango ang mga plastic na balat ng yelo at dahang dahang tinapon nya ito sa may paso sa likod niya. At patay malisya syang nagpatuloy sa pagligo.

Lola Aying:
Mako, nasaan sabi yung mga yelo rito sa ref?

Napalabas si Lola Aying upang usisain ng lalo si Mako na abala sa pagligo. At sa nakita nyang nanginginig na katawan ni mako ay alam na nya kung anong nangyari sa ginawa nyang yelo.

Lola Aying:
Lintek kang bata ka… Alam mong gagamitin ko yung mga yun sa gulaman ha?

Ang init lola eh... Its d sans folt nat me…

Lola Aying:
Anong gagamitin ko ngayon ha? Sinong bibili ng gulamang hindi malamig? Inubos mo yung yelong ginawa ko…

Sinagot naman ito ni Mako ng kanyang karabaw English na isang lingo na rin niyang prinapraktis upang pagnagkita na sila ng kanyang Amerikanong ama ay hindi siya gaanong mapapasubo.

Ofcorz nat… I left sam der.

Lola Aying:
Iisa… iisang supot ng yelo sa isang galong sago’t gulaman… ha? Eh hindi na samalamig yon…

Opo… Eh di samaligamgam na lang sya….

Lola Aying:
Aba’t nakuha mo pang magbiro loko ka ha…

Kinuha ni Lola Aying ang suot nyang bakya at nasaakto na nyang babatuhin ang pilosopong apo.

La… masakit yan… isusumbong ko kayo, baka gusto nyong makasuhan ng DSWD… child battery yan…

Walang sabi-sabing binato ni Lola Aying si Mako subalit nakailag ang apo. Bigla namang sumalok ng tubig si Mako at pilit na binasa ang matanda. Patuloy siyang naglaro na parang bata… sa napaka-init na araw ng tanghaling tapat.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Apparently there's a big group of music aficionados who are returning to vinyl records.

That's way cool I think, I remember when I was young, I'd usually check out the turntable of my relatives and would ask them to play me an album or two. Even at a young age I love hearing and checking out cool music. I'm no Ipod fan really, I think they're covenient but I miss the novelty in listening to cassette tapes and stocking them neatly as collections. I used to save money when I was in elementary to buy 45Pesos cassette tapes of my fave artists. So I was thrilled when I heard that there'll be this cool exhibit in Makati of analog music technology.

So I went there, one sunday afternoon, and to my surprise not only was there an exhibit but there were some artists who'll perform to a live recording. The recorded gig will then be pressed into a limited vynil record. The line up was pretty impressive. Nyco Maca was captivating, Mishka Adams and Up Dharma Down were just amazing. It was an afternoon well spent. I got the music fix that I was craving for that day and I couldn't wait to get the vynil record. I got to check out cool turntables and antique amplifiers too. The entry level price wasn't cheap, reasonable though... I promise myself that I'll save for it and start collecting vynil. They just sound so much better... and a dozen or two stocked neatly look way much cooler than any nano there is...

Well then again, maybe that's just me really..