Something for your nightmares. Link here.



To do: 1. Upgrade PC. 2. Install Left 4 Dead. 3. Find three friends to play with. 4. Blow zombies up the way you've always dreamed of blowing them up those damned motherfuckers.

Zombies have always fascinated me. Zombies also scare the shit out of me. When I was a little boy, my favorite fear was a zombie apocalypse, and every night before I drifted to sleep, I would go over in my mind ways of how to defend my house, gather and maintain supplies, and, if need be, kill my neighbors, friends and loved ones. Imagine how young I was then and the hard choices I had to make every single night. Heh.

And so I have to rave about this game that I haven't played yet, but I've read the reviews here, here and here, and they're enough to make my mouse hand start twitching. If by chance zombies are also your cup of tea but survival horror gaming isn't, I'd like to recommend to you some other recent finds: Dead Set, a British mini-series about a zombie outbreak at a Big Brother set, and Dance of the Dead, an indie movie with the dead bursting out of their graves during high school prom night. Both are awesome and feature next-gen fast-running zombies. Now step lively and start hunting.



Read this article on how video games actually teach us science—physics and the scientific method and all. So how am I going to have fun playing video games now that I know I'm learning something?



90210 is back. Lolz. Sad, because the token black dude in the group is in The Wire, which is one of the bestest shows on TV evar, so I guess this is a step down in his acting career. Or, most probably, he just wants to make out with white chicks, haha.



Google Chrome has arrived.

Here's a series of short strips (drawn by comic book guru Scott McCloud) explaining its superduperiority over current browsers. I'm using it now, and me like it a lot. Still in beta, though, but so far no problems, and it'll only improve as the beta period progresses.



My shoot finished early today, and since I was in the Ortigas area, I decided to check out if Ticketworld at Megamall was selling tickets for the Eheads reunion concert. It was only 10 AM, so the mall had just opened, but lo! there was already a hugeass line forming at National. People were in an excited, chatty mood, and were in my age demographics, so by the time I reached the counter, me, the person at my front as well as the one at my back were already halfway through recounting our teenage years growing up on Eraserheads. What a fun line. Judging by that crowd earlier, this concert will be one awesome, rockingly nostalgic trip down memory lane for everyone there. Can't wait.



Is just so damn cool. It's funny, because everyone I've shown it to so far goes "whoa!" the first time they see it in action. Piclens is an add-on for Firefox (you need to have the latest version) that's appears as a tiny icon at the corner of your browser window (mine's beside the Google search bar). Once clicked, it shows you a window where you can browse images and videos from Flickr, Google, YouTube, etc. in a fast and awesome way. Basta. Get the mini-app here.


I was wondering when it would show here, and was already starting to worry if it ever would, since it was released in the US way before The Dark Knight.

I have a feeling Urduja is to blame for WALL-E's lateness, since it was in theaters at that time, and it's easy imagine its producers pulling some strings to prevent such a strong competition for our kids' attention. Well, now that that's over and done with, it's time to enjoy Pixar's latest masterpiece. Yee-haw.



I'm not much of a science guy, but I've been hearing a lot about the Large Hadron Collider (a particle accelerator, which also goes by the way cooler monicker, atom smasher) lately and its scheduled start of operation sometime this August. Really exciting stuff, what with the possibility of the LHC accidentally creating a tiny black hole or some devastating freak quantum phenomenon during one of its experiments, which, of course, will have the downside of instantly annihilating our planet in the process. For sure, this is going to be hard-on month for physicists everywhere, hehe.

And here's some nerdcore rap that explains the LHC to us laymen and women. Just watch it, bitchez.



Wow, the MMDA actually came up with a sensible idea. After months of horrible traffic and construction delays, the elevated U-turn at the C5-Kalayaan intersection finally opened this weekend, and seeing it working in tandem with the new traffic flow scheme had me hooting in delight.

A lot of people (me included) were skeptical as to why such a spacious U-turn slot was being built there in the first place, when few motorists needed it, and the ones that did were able to turn around at Market! Market! with no problems at all. Well, little did we know that the authorities involved planned to seal off the Kalayaan crossing at C5, so now vehicles that want to get to the other side need to take the elevated U-turn. Kind of like the U-turn route underneath the EDSA-Quezon Ave. flyover, but with the U-turners at C5 having to do the climbing instead. An added discomfort for these drivers, for sure, but the trade-off is that vehicles along C5 can now zoom straight across, since there's no longer an intersection to wait at, translating to less traffic and more gas savings. Hooray!



Now that Starbucks Corp. has disclosed the 600 locations it wants to shutter, a phenomenon is taking hold: the Save Our Starbucks campaign.

Here for the full article.

Oh why didn't we see this coming? That sly, devious motherfucker. I can easily imagine maniacal laughter escaping from the walls of its marketing department right now, that reddish glow creeping out of its slightly opened door.



Some photos from my Batanes trip last February. A few more in my Multiply page. Thanks for looking!



One of the things I love about my job is that my photoshoots can vary wildly from one another. This morning I might be doing a simple product shoot, while at night I might be going to a morgue to photograph dead bodies. Not that I'm belittling product shoots—in fact, they have a meditative, in-the-zone effect on me that I really look forward to when I get them. But this is for another post.

Anyway, about two months ago, FHM editorial asst. BA and their mascot, Bong (a.k.a. Superbong!), joined a cosplay competition for a feature. BA was decked out as Hellboy and Bong as Street Fighter's Dhalsim. While they were having their makeup and body paint done, I, comic book fanboy that I am, snatched up the Hellboy props and handed Mae my camera for a quick pitik. Well, BA, who weighs three times more than me, filled out the costume better and even won an award in the competition. For the whole low-down, the feature appears in this month's FHM.



is the new X-Files!

Just finished watching the first ep, and it's great! Being a brainchild of JJ Abrams, Fringe definitely has a Lost feel to it, which is awesome when you think about it—shock twists, grand conspiracies, smart storytelling—now place these in an X-Files setting, and it makes so much sense. Oh, if you haven't seen it, be warned that the first scene is as gruesome as it gets, but I'm thinking a chunk of it might be cut out when the show officially airs.


U2 3D

Simply put, the best audio-visual experience I've had in a cinema to date. It's been showing at the IMAX theater for over a month now I think, and the play dates are getting scarcer (lately, only twice a week), so do catch it before it vanishes altogether.

Was able to round up some family members about a week ago to watch it, and we had our senses flooded by the sheer bitchassness of the whole thing. Well, for me at least, the first two songs alone were worth the price of admission. Now, I'm not a diehard fan of U2 and neither is Cel, but these guys do know how to perform, and by the end of it we were both resolved to catch the real thing when they get here (November nga ba?). Hell, even Leelee, whose songs are mostly limited to Disney and High School Musical, we've caught humming "Sunday Bloody Sunday" while playing with her toys. How cool is that?



Hey, anyone remember that rundown-but-spicy-yummy Thai canteen at the end of Katipunan? I can't remember where it was located coming from UP—uhm, at the back of the International Center, maybe? Anyway, it's been gone for nearly a decade now.

A few years ago I heard rumors that the old lady who ran the canteen moved to Singapore and had a shop near an airport terminal, or maybe it's runway. Well, now, Cel's friend informed her a week ago that the lady was seen working at a restaurant in the Ortigas Home Depot area. Cel and I checked it out the next day and, lo, there she was! The shop's called Khao Pad, near the car shops at the OHD, still specializing in Thai delicacies, but of course with a more expanded menu than what we were used to. We just wanted the old beef/pork/chicken/squid with mixed vegetables that was the only thing most people ordered at UP, but she had a large bulk order that day, so we had to settle on the ulams behind the glass partition and not on the menu.

She was quite happy-surprised when I told her we were her old customers at UP, though I still couldn't understand what she was saying, haha. For sure, Cel and I will be coming back some other time to dig into that combo we've been craving for for ten years now. Heh.



Had our laundry done a week ago when our maid went on vacation. Welcome to the club, my love!

Perhaps some of my family find it frustrating when, 99 percent of the time, people spell or pronounce our name wrong. Me, I'm sometimes astounded at how someone can't seem to write a word down even when it's spelled out very slowly for them, or even copy it, or repeat it right after it's been pronounced the right way. But most of the time I just find this endlessly amusing.



I know this post comes two weeks too late, but, haha, I just have to say that I couldn't contain my fanboy joy when I heard SLJ's voice in the scene after the end credits of Iron Man. Here's why (click to enlarge):

This from a comic book that came out more than three years ago. So I couldn't help but laugh and whoop when Samuel L. Jackson appeared on screen. Who'd've thunk it would actually happen?

In searching for the above page, I also came across a funny coincidence, now with Nick Fury/SLJ referencing Robert Downey Junior.

Lolz. Thanks to the people who told me to wait till after the end credits, and more thanks for not spoiling it.



Had about a month-long hiatus, and had been unable to post due to various reasons, mostly work (editing and photography-related), out-of-town trips, weekend visits to the in-laws and the puyat at playing video games.

Puyat has always been something I've been good at, me often needing to making a conscious effort to go to sleep (sometimes because of morning photoshoots or errands; otherwise, a glance at the clock or dawn light at the window would have me saying, "Oh shit," before scampering to bed).

Lately, I've discovered that pairing up fatigue and lack of sleep results in me nodding off uncontrollably. Working late at the computer, and once, in an early morning interview with Shine two weeks ago at Bohol, I found myself dozing in front of a group of DTI officials. The thing that jolted me awake was probably my anger at the realization of my body betraying me this way, but, oh well, tumatanda na talaga.

Randall and I often talk about this, how our tolerances to certain stuff are lower now than when we were in high school, in stuff like hard liquor and, you know, stuff. I remember once, some months ago, we scheduled our D&D game for an overnighter, but after Dong, Cupkeyk, Carding and I were nodding off in turns, we decided that overnighters weren't fun anymore.

Anyway, on a sunnier note, guess who graduated last month?

Kumander na, master pa!

At least somebody wanted to pose for me.

More photos at my Multiply account. Oh, another Quill alumni graduated this year. Clue: she's the daughter of UP Mindanao Chancellor Dr. Gilda C. Rivero. And oh, Daryll, if you get to read this, I'll burn you the photos.


FOR SALE: CANON 30d & CANON 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM LENS

Update: Item sold!

I'm posting this for my older brother. I'd vouch for the items because my brother's really OC and takes excellent care of all his stuff. Please contact him directly because the items are with him and he'd be able to answer your questions quicker and more definitively than me.

FS: Canon 30d & Canon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM lens
Condition: Excellent
Warranty: 30d (none, bought Dec 2006 at Mayer), 28-105mm (around 9 months, bought Jan 2008 at Canon D-Zone)
Price: P43,000
Comes with the following:
Tamrac shoulder sling bag
Tamrac Neoprene neckstrap
Ridata 1gb CF card (150x speed)
30d box and everything that comes with it (battery, charger, manual, neckstrap, etc.)
Canon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM box and manual
Sunpack UV filter for lens (on since day one)
LCD protector for 30d (on since day one)

Contact: call 5333813 (look for beng) or email raubenscoscolluela@yahoo.com
Location: Boni Mandaluyong (near EDSA)

Actual Pics of the Items:

Canon 30d & Canon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM lens

Canon 30d

Canon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM lens




W00t! Time-traveling Brit show Doctor Who started its season premiere just yesterday, while Battlestar Galactica had its the day before. This fourth season of BSG has been particularly anticipated since it's also the final season of the show, with its creators (or rather, RE-creators) having decided to end it on their terms, and at the height of its popularity. There was also the news a few months ago during the WGA strike that the show might never be completed (the crew having only finished filming a few eps of the fourth season when the strike, uhm, struck), which I'm sure had sent many a geek convulsing on the floor.

But, really, BSG is teh bomb. As I've said before in this blog, what makes this show great is also what initially turns some people off—that it's sci-fi. But because of its genre, BSG is able to take on topics difficult for primetime TV, topics such as rape, suicide bombings, genocide—you name it. Some are presented as allegory, while some as hard truths—the consequences of war on the losing end. And it also doesn't hurt that the writing is intelligent as hell and entertaining to boot. Here's an article I found that can serve as a primer to the show, and here's a short video that wittily summarizes the first three seasons.



Coolness! And just less than four months to go.



And look, he's just casually waving, with that ginormous Jesus Attacks sculpture behind him. So badass.



Bono, lead singer of the rock band U2, is famous throughout the entertainment industry for being more than just a little self-righteous.

At a recent U2 concert in Glasgow, Scotland, he asked the audience for total quiet.

Then, in the silence, he started to slowly clap his hands, once every few seconds. Holding the audience in total silence, he said into the microphone, "Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies."

From the front of the crowd a voice with a broad Scottish accent pierced the quiet ...

"Well, fuckin stop doin it then, ya evil bastard!"

Found this floating around the Net. Apparently it didn't really happen, but I still think it makes for a good joke.


Neal Saveron:



Excerpt from that hilarious comedy Extras.



I was a thousand kilometers or so from Manila when Dong texted me: "Gary's rolling dice with God and Buddha now." At first it didn't connect. The guy's practically a brand name among gamers, and used to be said in the same breath as D&D, one might think that he never actually existed in the real world. In a way, he did live several planes above us, and created some new ones as well.

It's no mean feat getting other people to live in your imagination, but in Gary's case, thousands live in his every day, and in my case, I'm there once a week. Cheers, Mr. Gygax. If it weren't for you, I would probably be playing badminton or poker or some other dumb thing, instead of a game that is so complex and rich and social, one lifetime spent isn't enough to get tired of it.

And so the dice rolleth.

From Order of the Stick.



The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a short and fun animé (only 14 eps. long) that caught my attention a while back. It is a bit shojo, with a loud, bossy, but very kawaii heroine and a passive, funny guy as its narrator, but then it manages to cram in aliens, time-travelers and espers into the plot, and goes on to tackle existential issues ala Matrix (but not the treatment), so it's pretty cool to me. I also like the fact that the episodes aren't arranged in chronological order, so there's a Memento-like feel of figuring out things as you watch, and everything suddenly makes sense and fits together in the end.

Haruhi has something of a cult following in Japan (with fans calling themselves Haruhites), and the show can be found at the top of a lot of best animé lists. The manga and animé is actually based on a series of novels, and rumors are that a second season for the animé version is in the works. Here's a cute dance sequence shown at the end credits of each episode:

And here, I was surprised to find out, is a version of that dance done by our very own Cebu inmates. Hrmm.



I normally dislike blogging personal happenings, but this one's too rich for me not to post.

Okay, so early this week I went on a trip to Batanes with fellow journalists, photographers and photo bloggers. This three-day stay was sponsored by Epson Philippines in a bid to promote printing among photographers (especially among digital photographers), which is to me a good and jolly cause, and what better way to do this than to bring trigger-happy shutterbugs to a place where the photos we take would definitely be worth printing.

Now the tour was wonderful and on the first day we were able to cover most of Batan island where our hotel and the airport were also located. The second day had in store for us an island hop to neighboring Sabtang, where communities with picturesque stone houses still thrived. Our ride on the way there was a 10-meter long bangka, which carried thirty or so of us. I sat at the front part of the boat, with my two cams wrapped in plastic and strapped around my neck (we weren't told to waterproof our stuff beforehand, so I did the best I could when I saw the situation). Aside from a girl who shouted at the back when we skipped over a large wave right after we set sail, and some initial nervous laughter, our first trip was pretty uneventful.

The trip back was decidedly different, as from the shore before setting out we noticed that the waves were rougher and the wind harsher than on our morning ride to the island. Still, our manong pilots persisted, and we set out despite the change of weather. The next sign that things would not go well was that, before leaving the port, the rear rope on the boat was cut, making it hard for it to turn around and leave. So for around thirty minutes we sat there while our boatmen shouted and cursed at each other in native Ivatan, telling each other to push a pole this way or pull a rope that way.

Well, finally, we were able to face the sea, and trouble began as soon as the pilot started the engine. The first wave that hit us was taller than the boat, but we were able to ride over it. Problem was, when we came down from that wave, the boat's front was dipping downwards, and so we dove right into the second wave. Siyempre, I had front row seats and could hear the screams of the people behind me when we all simultaneously realized that we wouldn't be able to ride this one.

So the boat and everyone was submerged for a few moments, and when we came up I saw that the inside of the boat had took on around three feet of water with a fountain spurting violently in the middle (which I mistook for a "leak", and after a few seconds of pure panic realized that it came from the engine at the bottom, rejecting the water). I remember one girl begging to be taken to shore right that instant, and one manong putting on a life vest, which caused further panic (of course this was fucking scary at that moment. We had a good laugh about it only way later after dinner, and when someone wanted to play a game I couldn't help but suggest "The Boat is Sinking." Anyway). Knowing that I couldn't swim, and that rescue was probably my only possible way to survive, I got on top of my seat, held on to the roof of the boat and waved my arms frantically to the people on the dock. We were still about fifty or maybe a hundred meters from shore, I don't know, but from where we were, they were as small as fingernails. I went down from my seat when I realized with disgust that the people on the docks weren't moving and had decided to be merely curious onlookers, and coming down I saw that the manongs had developed a bucket-passing system for ridding the water.

I was stupified to find out we were still heading out despite water buildup in the boat and blurted out, "Tutuloy pa tayo?" but then noticed that the waves in the open water weren't as bad as the ones near the shore. After a while most of the water in the boat was taken out, and we were just freezing our asses off in our drenched clothes the rest of the way. And the guy beside me puked out a generous amount of orange rice, crab and whatever else we had for lunch at his feet.

So there goes. I'm just happy that I'm alive. One of my cameras, though, didn't make it. My old friend and now backup 20d stopped working, though the wide-angle lens attached to it is fine, as are my main cam and its standard zoomer. My phone, also drenched, now has its infrared permanently on, but is otherwise okay. My companions had their own share of damages. Oh, and it's worth noting that the impact of the second wave was such that it knocked off the sunglasses from the heads of five people. I don't know if they were able to recover them.

Anyway, photos of Batanes to follow when I get the time.

My only shot of Deathboat (left) at the Sabtang dock.



TV and movie fans, start crossing your fingers. After three months of being on strike (has it only been that long?), the Writers Guild of America might finally be reaching an agreement with the big network companies. So far, things seem to be positive and, best case scenario, the writers get to work as early as Wednesday.

Links can be found here, here, here and here.



This week ended one of the most beloved comic book titles of the decade. On its sixtieth issue, the last man on earth and his pet monkey sign off on a sad and tender note. I'm sure it isn't the ending most people expected, but I'm also sure that all of them will agree that it's perfect. I'd like to think that, years from now, Y: The Last Man will be studied for its speculative analysis of gender, politics and the ethics of science of the current mainstream consciousness. But, most importantly, I'd like it to be remembered as a piece of great science fiction, speaking of man's (and women's!) spirit and drive to survive the worst of times.

If you haven't encountered the title, here's something written on the last page of the first issue, to give you the premise of the series—but certainly not what it's about, which is really the characters who have to wade through their suddenly and drastically different world.

In the summer of 2002, a plague of unknown origin destroyed every last sperm, fetus, and fully developed mammal with a Y chromosome (with the apparent exception of one young man and his male pet).

This "gendercide" instantaneously exterminated 48% of the global population, or approximately 2.9 billion men. 495 of the Fortune 500 CEOs are now dead, as are 99% of the world's landowners.

In the United States alone, more than 95% of all commercial pilots, truck drivers, and ship captains died... as did 92% of violent felons.

Internationally, 99% of all mechanics, electricians, and construction workers are now deceased... though 51% of the planet's agricultural labor force is still alive.

14 nations, including Spain and Germany, have women soldiers who have served in ground combat units. None of the United States' nearly 200,000 female troops have ever participated in ground combat. Australia, Norway and Sweden are the only countries that have women serving on board submarines.

In Israel, all women between the ages of 18 and 26 have performed compulsory military service in the IDF for at least one year and nine months. Before the Plague, at least three Palestinian suicide bombers had been women.

Worldwide, 85% of all goverment representatives are now dead... as are 100% of all Catholic priests, Muslim imams and Orthodox Jewish rabbis.