Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Cat's Out Of The Bag...

.:It Gets Worse And Worse...:.

I look at the stabs across my arm, and I can't help but reminisce about today...

You know what? You came to my house to taunt me and make me feel miserable about myself, and you have the nerve to tell me it's "making up" for yesterday?

You showed up at my house, lorded over me how horrible you thought I was, and now, I feel even worse than I did when this day started, having been treated to your exceptional callousness.

You tell me that what I've been doing has made you upset, yet you actively mine my Plurk, my blog, and everything else to find your "information", completely bereft of context, completely bereft of everything that indicates that after all this time, it was you and only you that I wanted to be with this much.

Nobody, and I mean, nobody, has made me feel this miserable, on my own birthday, no less. I've given my everything for this relationship. Ask anyone. Ask Doc Tess and Jester how bad I still want to be with you. Did you take that into consideration? Did you think, while you were going through my blogs and my Plurks, while looking to find something wrong about me there, that maybe, you should just understand that none of my friends would want to see me like this, and would rather just have me be a casanova so they wouldn't worry I'd just hang myself?

Why do you think that until now, I've been doing everything I can to keep what's happening to me under wraps? Why do you think up 'til now, I didn't want to write about what happened to us? Because I never wanted my friends to say a single bad thing about you. I let them think I was fine and dandy, a lot of them thought I'd moved on and I'd be okay, because that's what I needed to do to keep the peace.

Well, the cat's out of the bag now. I'm not okay, and I've never been hurt as much as you're hurting me now. You went to my house to taunt me, to rub it in my face that I'm a failure at this relationship and that you can do so much better. You gloat over the fact that I'm not "loyal", when all my friends want to strangle me for being so blind to you. You revel in making a mockery out of my integrity, knowing it's the easiest excuse for you to dump me, and still have people side with you for doing so.

I hate that I love you this much. I hate that every word you say has such a hold on me. I hate that you play me for a fool because you know I'd fawn all over you if you so much as asked me back. I'd eat all the ridicule from my friends, I'd take all the insults in the world, if you'd just come back to me.

But you wouldn't. Because you're too blind and too insistent on finding fault in me than in finding the good that we had.

So if you're leaving me now, know this: I've never given anyone as much love as I have given you, and I hope to God, that if I ever love again, I never will give even just half as much love as I gave you. Because this wretched feeling of failure you are leaving me with is killing me now, and I don't know if I can survive.

Two students from Ateneo have killed themselves this semester, thus far. I can't promise anyone I wouldn't be the third.

I'm sorry.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Name Is Kel, And I'm A Plurkaholic...

.:Madness? This Is Plurkantadia!!!:.

Walaaaaaaaaannnngggg Tulugan! (Image obviously courtesy of Azrael…)

It started during last Sunday’s Philippine Blog Awards, where a ton of people were ribbing me that I looked like German Moreno because of the white suit. I played it off, and rode with the jokes, because hey, I’m one of the first people to laugh at myself majority of the time.

Then, quite independently, Jher found himself incredibly hit by LSS for Sheryl Cruz’s song, “Mr. Dreamboy”.

It was two independent things coming together to produce what turned out to be one of the most hilarious, unexpected moments in my history in Plurk…

You see, since last Monday, after a long time of having “Rick Astley” as my nick in Plurk, I decided to ride the wave of the white suit of doom, and rechristen myself as “Kuya Germs”.

So last Wednesday, imagine my surprise, when I was greeted by Ana Roces (Aileen), Donita Rose (Micamyx), Abby Viduya (Poytee), Billy Coyford (Billycoy), and at least four people who decided they wanted to be Jovit Moya (Arpee, AJ, Kring, plus one other person whose name escapes me.). There were a ton more, including Smokey Manoloto (Markpoa looks like him IRL!).

The madness didn’t stop there, as it became a day of spewing trivia and acting sorta in character for everyone involved, and I’m sure I missed a few other stars as well, but let the screenshot courtesy of Doc Tess immortalize this one-day event…

That’s Entertainment!

The very next day, we were treated to a slightly less coordinated effort. We had bold stars and Ang TV stars treating us. Because of the ADMU-DLSU game, I changed to “Norman Black” and completely ignored either trend, although people were disturbed to imagine Kuya Germs becoming a bold star.

But come Friday, the insanity came to a rumbling crescendo when the Plurk users switched names and avatars with each other. It was insane! You couldn’t tell them apart without checking closely to be sure it was them by hovering your mouse pointer over their name.

What especially made this rock was that I took the identity of the one and only Mr. A, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth from my Plurk friends, some of them almost unfriending me because they thought Mr. A was suddenly on their timeline. It became even more amusing when the people started “worshipping” me for being Mr. A, and when the real one logged in on Plurk for the first time, precisely on the very day I decided to borrow his identity.

I had to take a loooooonnnggg shower after that one, but something that happened in the SMB Oktoberfest party for Bloggers put me right back into the thick of things… heh.

All in all, Plurk has been nuts the past few days, and who knows when someone would suddenly come up with another crazy theme or something, right?

Friday, September 26, 2008

On Sourgrapes And Bad Sports

.:As Ateneo Celebrates, As PBA Winners Celebrate… Look Upon The Disgruntled But Noisy Few…:.

As The Blue Eagles Soar High…

By now, everybody knows that Ateneo swept La Salle in the UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals yesterday. It was one of the few times I watched the game, and I was actually having some friendly banter with Doc Tess, who was from DLSU.

It was all good-natured laughs. Everyone knows I was never a hardcore Ateneo team fan, since I grew up as a Bosconian, more than anything else. My allegiance is mainly to DBTC, rather than ADMU. I’m not sure how seriously pro-DLSU Doc Tess was, but I knew it was all good-natured bantering.

I’m sure, in general, that’s really how it works. I have lots of friends from DLSU who were gracious enough to congratulate me personally solely because they know I’m from ADMU. When ADMU lost to DLSU in 2001, I pretty much had the same reaction, extending congratulations to my friends from DLSU. It’s a Sports rivalry, and we believe it should stay like that.

But then, I stepped into the UAAP section of PEX. What I found was just terrible… you have a few bitter DLSU users, calling every single play the way they saw it with their green-tinted glasses. You naturally had some ADMU users who rubbed it in that DLSU lost, and the bitter DLSU users fought back by insisting that the referees were in the ADMU payroll.

Ateneo had a strong season, losing only once the entire Season 71. The team played hard, and the referees were clearly very strict this game, because it didn’t matter who did the hand-check, a hand-check would be whistled. The game was played as fair as fair could be, and by the end of the night, the commanding 11-point lead cemented the game for the Blue Eagles.

Do I have to go at length to defend the Ateneo team? Quite frankly, I’m not that invested in it to want to. The game spoke for itself. The team was hungry for the win. After the embarrassing Guidon article “predicting” an Ateneo win in 2006 when DLSU was disqualified, we didn’t want to make any hasty proclamations and shoot ourselves in the foot again. The team worked hard, and they deserve their props. If DLSU won and ADMU made similar allusions to how we were “cheated”, I’d probably still be writing this post with the same message anyways.

You see, when the DLSU team no-showed the awarding ceremony, that reeked of unsportsmanly conduct to me. If ADMU did the same had they lost, I wouldn’t be happy about it, either. It was a show of bitterness: a display that gave the message to the people in attendance and to poor Boom Gonzales as he stood there, blankly waiting for the team, that the DLSU team is above the motions of graciously receiving an honor when they believe they deserve more.

If they truly feel they were cheated, DLSU’s team must file a complaint. They will take it to the proper authorities, and assuming the referees were proven to be biased, they will replay the game, or worse, revoke the ADMU title and give it to DLSU.

The team in particular has a spotty record. Everytime they lose, they blame it on something else: be it Mike Cortez throwing the game, or FEU threatening the DLSU players (HOW?!?), or whatever other cockamamie reason that comes along. All the while, we’re supposed to ignore why DLSU was barred from the UAAP for Season 69: what they did wasn’t exactly in the spirit of “fair play”, either, was it? You’d think that the team that has a spotty record would be the most tolerant of, assuming but not conceding, spotty referee decisions? This is not even considering the same allegations hurled against DLSU last season by their opponent in the finals: that the referees were on their payroll.

At this point, they have every opportunity to file a complaint if they feel they were unfairly cheated of a win. Otherwise, they will be recognized as the terrible sports that they exposed themselves to be when they no-showed the awarding ceremony.

As PBA Achieves Greater Heights…

This year, the Philippine Blog Awards was met by much fanfare, and even gained a ton of mainstream media coverage. The awards night was the culmination of months upon months of effort brought about by a collaboration of organizers, sponsors, and volunteers.

As one of the hosts of that night, I witnessed firsthand the sheer amount of effort everyone poured into the event. The actual blogs who won were very well-done, and if there were any questions, the organizers are receptive enough to suggestions and complaints. All that need be done is to take it to the right avenues.

Imagine my personal surprise then, when people started questioning the integrity of the awards night. It made no sense! People were nitpicking everything. It was especially infuriating how some very lazy people clearly ignored obvious things…

We had someone forgetting that a Sponsored award is not in the jurisdiction of the Philippine Blog Awards anymore. If you have a problem with the award, take it up with the Sponsor.

We had someone who was attacking Benj for being proud of his mom. That was one of the nicest things about Benj’s win, truth be told. I don’t understand why this is a bad thing.

We had someone claiming he doesn’t care about awards but dedicates multiple entries to emphasize the point. That is just so self-contradicting it’s pathetic.

We have some people insinuating that the Philippine Blog Awards was a “may the best friends win” affair (Hint: I wasn’t even nominated. No, it’s not.). Are you seriously suggesting that these volunteers did it for the awards? Or are you suggesting that the judges can be swayed by that? Either way, I’d like you to say it to their faces.

We have someone too lazy to send five of their own entries for judging. In case you haven’t realized it yet, there are over two hundred, positively close to five hundred, different blogs nominated. Are you seriously expecting a small team of screeners to perfectly go through every single blog nominated and ferret out what makes their blog good? Have a heart, jeez! Nobody’s paying them to do this, and the least you can do is to make the selection process more streamlined. Besides, I’m sure you’d complain your best entries must’ve been ignored if you don’t have a chance to hype them anyways…

We have someone complaining that bloggers are elitist. That’s ridiculous. When a group of people can tolerate (Emphasis on the choice of words.) a guy like Mike Abundo, who can’t the Pinoy blogosphere get along with? If you’re being anti-social, that’s not the fault of the people around you. We don’t bite.

We have someone thinking they were shifted categories so that the volunteers will get an advantage. Wrong. You were nominated in multiple categories, but became a finalist only in a special award… one that doesn’t require the five-entry rule. Learn to read more, please.

We have people who, instead of taking their complaints to the proper avenues, to Brian Gorell. With all due respect to Brian, I hoped that before you published such an allegation, you would’ve checked with the organizers first and asked for their side. This one-sided tirade is terribly lopsided and marginalizes the other side, and in the end, the people reading your blog get the wrong impression about the Philippine Blog Awards. It would’ve been fine if you would give the other side an opportunity to defend themselves, but we understand that you had to address this and we have no right to expect that from you.

Most of all, we have people who are too spineless to make a formal complaint and use a trial by publicity to sow discord in the community. We call these people trolls in forum lingo. They don’t file a formal complaint because they know all too well that their allegations don’t have a leg to stand on.

Normally, when you have a problem with something, you bring it up before the problem comes to a head. Obviously, you brought up these issues only for the sake of bringing up these issues, not to resolve anything. Whether you’re sourgraping, trolling, or being a jackass, you’re not helping one bit.

The Point Of This Exercise…

For the DLSU team, if you feel that you were cheated, I respectfully ask you to file a formal complaint. Let’s get to the bottom of this with an investigation that can really bring the truth to light.

For the haters of the Philippine Blog Awards, the organizers are an actual corporation. If you feel they are doing something sneaky or underhanded, then file a formal complaint. You can actually sue them (Just like you can be sued for libel.). Let’s get to the bottom of this with an investigation that can really bring the truth to light.

I am sick and tired of these ridiculous accusations flying around, going unchecked. You feel it’s so cool to air your side out without anyone challenging you. Consider yourself challenged. If you can’t, then obviously, you’re just rabble-rousing, and we’ve pretty much established that with your clearly myopic point of view that refuses to see anything good about the Philippine Blog Awards.

Congratulations to the winners, the organizers, the volunteers of the Philippine Blog Awards. You worked hard for all of this, and nobody has the right to insist you don’t deserve it. Eff ‘em all.

Bad Boys, Nice Guys, And Practical Jokes...

.:The Nice Guy Vs. The Bad Boy…:.

This post is made possible by YESpayments – The Payment Processing Professionals. For those organizations serious about conducting business on the Internet, they’re here for you with 24/7 support in the Philippines.

I don’t know about you, but I’m absolutely stumped why some women would, all things being equal, prefer the “bad boy” over the “nice guy”.

This isn’t another typical “nice guy” rant, mind you. I don’t think I fit that bill, what with my megaflare temper and all. And by “nice guy”, I don’t mean socially inept dork who tries to use friendship as a means to parlay some sexytime. To put it bluntly, I mean the nice guy who’s every bit as appealing as the bad guy except he doesn’t have a mean streak.

Is he perfect? Not sure. Will he never cheat on you? I dunno. But between him and the bad boy, it would appear that he’s the more logical choice, yet for some odd reason, a few women do choose the bad boy, still.

Not all run-of-the-mill nice guys are the creepy little stalkers we read about, hanging around their lady love, never asking them out, hoping that by being there for them at all times, they’d have their lady love tear their clothes off in an irresistible whorl of passion and fury.

Other nice guys know that what it takes to be loved is to be worth loving. Consider it a barrier of entry of sorts: if you don’t work enough to show you’re worthy, be it whatever criteria one’s worthiness is measured, you can’t expect to get a lasting relationship out of anyone at all. Sitting around, hoping they’d be noticed won’t work. You have to put your neck out there, and risk rejection.

The fake nice guys who think they can be loved just the way they are give the genuine nice guys in the world a bad name. Women are not vending machines that, when loaded with enough “good deeds”, will suddenly dispense “sex”. It doesn’t work that way, so if for one minute, you think you’re a nice guy, and you think this way, please, really ask yourself if you’re a genuine nice guy, or just using that as a euphemism for “creepy dork who thinks kind acts will yield physical reciprocation”.

Then again, when asked about it, women friends of mine who have chosen the bad boy actually have given some answers…

The common one is “it’s a challenge”, sorta like how some women date gay men in hopes of turning them straight (Delamar mentioned how much she liked Boy George and thought if she could go out with him, he’d turn straight for her.). There’s an innate appeal in having a bad boy become a good boy, because let’s face it, there’s probably some good quality in that bad boy to begin with, so he’d just be made of awesome if that happened.

Amusingly enough, this is rarely the case when a guy dates the “bad girl”. The girl dates the “bad boy” so he can be turned good. The guy dates the “bad girl” because she’s g-ooood. So there’s a slight disparity between the way men and women think on this count, and this doesn’t necessarily reflect well on men, either.

On the other hand, a more sensible reason I’ve heard is that the bad boy is the “devil you know”. That makes sense, when you consider that most nice guys have the label, fair or unfair, that “nasa loob ang kulo nila”. At least, with a bad boy, they’re actually predictable, to an extent. So between the predictable bad boy and the nice guy they can’t gauge properly, they’d rather go with the sure thing.

To be honest, I don’t know either way. I’m a bit miffed every now and then, though when I get told that I’m “too much of a nice guy”, especially when the people who really know me I’m quite the rascal in reality… and when I hear that whole “where have all the nice guys gone” schlock, I can’t help but just be annoyed even more.

Thoughts? Comments? Violent reactions?

.:Amusingly Enough…:.

… one of my students thought I was playing a joke on her when I talked to her online, thinking I was one of her classmates, playing an elaborate prank on her.

When I finally linked to my blog, I think she caught on that I wasn’t joking…


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The PBA Megarant: An Open Letter To The Haterz

.:On Critics And Haters: The Necessary Sidebar:.

I was supposed to bring this up in the previous post, but I decided against it so that I can save the vitriol from contaminating it. So instead, I split this section off so I can dedicate my attention to it more.

As one of the hosts that night, I worked exceptionally hard to do what I did. I’m certain I wasn’t alone in that effort, though. You had my co-hosts, you had the people in charge of the AVP's, you had the voice-over dude, you had the organizers, the other volunteers, you had a ton of different people who poured their heart and soul into this. So when I hear unfair and unfounded criticisms regarding the blogging awards, I certainly feel the need to get on my soapbox and address them.

“If they’re so insignificant, why let them affect you?”

The thing is, these accusations are not insignificant. They are attempts at undermining the integrity of the event. If enough people hear this and believe it, what is supposed to be a great night of solidarity and celebration among bloggers becomes a parody that nobody respects or cares about.

Pretty much the way I saw it during the Campus 99.5 hullabaloo, we had people piling on sheer hatred on the awards night for no other reason than to pour hatred on the awards night. If it really didn’t mean a thing to them, they wouldn’t even write about it now, would they?

We poured blood, sweat, and tears into this. To classify our efforts as a joke is an insult to us, and to our dignity as honest, decent, honorable people, and any attempt to undermine that is tantamount to calling us liars and cheaters at worst, or incompetent idiots at best.

Allow me to go over these contentions like a shopping list…

1. “We need to choose five of our entries? So you made me a judge?” – No. You are not a judge. What you are doing is helping your chances of winning by pointing out what about your blog is worth noting. I’m sorry, but if it took me two hours to find five entries for myself, expecting a small team of screeners to go over 200 or so nominees exhaustively is ridiculous. Nobody's paying these people to do it. They are doing it to the best of their capability, taking time away from their job/studies/family commitments for no other reason than a desire to help. They’re not slaves. Stop treating them as if they were.

2. “Why did so-and-so win? Aren’t they volunteers?” – They won because they were good. Their volunteer status had nothing to do with their winning. Coy, specifically, has been one of the top video bloggers in the country. Candy Magazine itself acclaims this fact, as do many other people who have already acquired Coy’s services because of his mad video skillz. So y'know, if you don't think Coy's the bestest since slice bread, well... YOU'RE WRONG!!!

3. “I was shifted categories; therefore, I was cheated.” – No, Bitter Ocampo. You weren’t shifted categories. You were not nominated in one category, but you were nominated in another. The special awards have different guidelines from the main awards. That explains why special awards in general don’t follow the “five posts of your choice” rule.

4. “The Special Awards were announced last-minute! We demand a recount!” – Yes. Because not only do we make demands of the organizers, we now make demands from the sponsors of the event, expecting them to ignore what they think is best for them just to cater to lil’ ol’ us. I’m sure if, say, RX 93.1 sponsored a blog award, we’d expect the blog that wrote how amazing Magic 89.9 was should be the deserving winner. Of course.

5. “How is this Filipino? Nobody’s speaking in Filipino!!!” – Eh kung hindi ka rin naman pala tanga’t kalahati… ano ba yung una kong sinabi nung umakyat ako ng stage? At bakit? Hindi ka ba Pinoy kung nag-Iingles ka? Baka naman gusto mong isip-isipin iyang pinagtatatalak mo.

6. “Elitism!!!” – Really? Jay Mata, my partner in magic, doesn’t even blog. In spite of that, he fits right in with the bloggers to a good extent, and still manages to take their breath away when he performs. Let’s put it this way… we’re not being elitist… you’re being anti-social. We don’t go out of our way to make you feel unwelcome. Hades, I started off not knowing who these people are! But because I reach out and talk to them, the ice is broken. Is that too hard to do?

7. “The judges are biased!” – Now you’re just making accusations. Are you seriously going to impugn the names of people like MLQ3 or JJ Disini? Would you like to make these insinuations to their face? Please. Nobody’s stopping you.

8. “Your award is a joke!” - No. You're a joke. You hide behind anonymity, then expose yourself by demanding an apology from the person you insulted? Oh. My. God. Ang kapal ng mukha mo. Nobody deserved that award more than Arpee did, and you know it.

9. “It’s just an award. I don’t need awards.” – Well, good for you. I’m glad you spent so much effort telling us exactly how much you don’t care about these awards. Nakailang entry ka na ba to drive home this point?

I won’t impede your right to rant and rave on your personal space and assail the character of people who worked hard for this event. I have no authority to do that.

However, I will wholeheartedly call you out on your misconceptions, on your erroneous presumptions, and your outright lies. Just as you are free (Within legal liabilities, mind you.) to sourgrape and act like one of the cool kids by being contrarian and counterflowing,

Seriously, what’s this bull#$%^ indie mentality for, anyways? If you genuinely don’t want recognition for your efforts, cool. We respect that. But for you to go out of your way and paint the people who vie for awards as “sell-outs” or “cliquish”? What’s up with that? How is that a bad thing?

I mean, how dare these people want to be recognized for their hard work and efforts, right? You’re like those elitist fans who think that when their favorite indie band gets signed to a major label, they’re “sellouts” and no longer deserve their support. How dare they want to feed their families and earn money, right?

So y’know what? If you think that the awards night wasn’t perfect, well and good. We acknowledge that. There’s always room for improvement.

However, once you begin to assail the integrity of the organizers, judges, and volunteers, expect that we will not only defend ourselves, but take umbrage to your accusations.

I have been, for the six years of my existence in the blogosphere, a very nonpartisan blogger, never jumping to one side or another whenever some big issue comes along. I have to put my foot down on this one, though.

It’s one thing to criticize an event for its shortcomings. It’s another to impugn the reputation of the people who made this event possible, and I will not take such allegations lightly. Not when I've seen these people myself work hard, give their all, and the least you could do is appreciate what they did as a genuine, sincere effort to give the Philippine Blogosphere a shot in the arm it certainly deserves.

The Philippine Blog Awards 2008 Megapost!

.:The Philippine Blog Awards 2008 Megapost!:.

Image courtesy of Azrael.

With the aftermath upon us, and everything else leading to the event finally behind us, now’s a good time for me to gather my thoughts, shove aside my posts on the TSC Mentalism Workshop and my last gig to the side (As well as my thesis. Again. Grumble. Can’t help it.), and write about the Philippine Blog Awards 2008.

As is the case with all my mega-posts, this will be as detailed as humanly possible, and will be written from a very biased POV: mine. So pretty much, while I will be more than happy to refer you to other posts when necessary, but for the most part, since my POV is limited to what goes around my immediate vicinity, you can’t expect me to cover any “internal dialogue” outside of my own. =P

Without any further ado, here… we… go!

The Year That Was (Last Year): Philippine Blog Awards 2007

The infamous prayer controversy was probably the most heated topic of those awards, almost (Emphasis on almost) overshadowing the fact that stellar bloggers such as Shari Cruz were among the first winners of the Philippine Blog Awards. There was controversy (Just like any awards show! Was this even a surprise?) that year, and I missed out on most of it, because I was completely out of the loop during the awarding month.

Last year was of note to me, because I was supposedly going to host the event, but then, they couldn’t reach me at all, since my phone was stolen, so nobody could get to my Globe phone. Nonetheless, I made certain that this year wouldn’t yield the same result.

For those keeping track, yes, that’s Benj, this year’s winner of Best Personal Blog, who was up in arms over the prayer. It’s easy to see he wasn’t the event’s biggest fan because of the prayer, so that alone should give you a hint about the judging process by the time we get to a specific sidebar I have to breach on in this post.

This Year’s Changes: Bigger And Better

After taking in suggestions from various bloggers, the Philippine Blog Awards 2008 increased their awarding divisions not only to accommodate more blog niches, but even individual posts. As early as around March or April, I was already asked by one of the organizers to host the event, and I was all too happy to agree. The event was initially scheduled on July, then moved to August, then finally to September.

Aside from having more categories (Again, see the main Philippine Blog Awards site for the detailed list.) and individual posts on the lineup, several special awards were likewise given, and were obviously subject to different rules given they were, after all, sponsored awards.

From the RCBC auditorium, the venue was instead going to be in One Esplanade near Manila Bay. The event was going to be hosted not by one, not by two, but by four excellent hosts, working in tandems…

Image courtesy of Let’s Go Sago.

There were a lot of changes from the first Philippine Blog Awards, and most of them were certainly for the better.

The Road To September 21: Arduous

Normally, when you go hang out with bloggers, it’s a generally light-hearted affair. But as the event drew nearer and nearer, you could almost literally see the organizers sweating blood. The logistics, the planning, the judging, everything had to be done right. If you can’t have perfection, aim for it, still, after all, and so I would run into an exceptionally harried Juned, a very concerned Tita Noemi, and an epitome of grace under pressure in Gail. Jayvee was pretty much the only guy who looked completely unaffected, but then, I hardly saw him.

Planning was steady. The volunteers for the event would meet regularly and talk about various aspects of the program that needed to be addressed with. There was nothing half-baked about this effort. The screening committee had to filter through countless entries and nominees, and cut the list down to ten for the judges to go over. Needless to say, it was a long process that took many sleepless nights, considering how much time it would take to go over hundreds of nominees from all walks of life and all kinds of temperaments.

Obviously, you can’t please everybody. At the end of the day, though, this was a very transparent, democratic process, and all anyone had to do was to actually read and they’d understand how the system worked. It wasn’t perfect, but imperfection does not equal carelessness or petiks. There will always be snags here and there.

During the press launch at Red Box Greenbelt, I hosted it and took the time out to hang out and talk with a few of the organizers. The lack of sleep was taking a toll on them, but they were doing this labor of love to the best of their abilities, no matter how difficult it was.

Not to mention they tolerated my dubious videoke skillz, which is an even bigger plus for them, as I went ahead and sang Rick Astley, High School Musical, and yes, Salbakuta, after the press launch.

So after the Monday press launch last September 8, the stage was set for the event. With many last-minute changes meant to improve the program, it was admittedly difficult to make everything fall into place at an earlier point, but it was inevitable.

Glitches: Such Is The Nature Of The Beast

A mild tempest occurred when Benj noted that he was nominated for “Best Commentary Blog” despite having what he mainly considers a personal blog. Upon closer investigation, it turns out that a glitch in the system made it so that anyone whose blog was already nominated in one category did not become nominated in another, and since Personal Blogs were the last ones to have nominees, a lot of eligible nominees were eliminated from consideration.

A quick overhaul was made, and in true buzzer-beater fashion, the official nominees for this particular category were handed out about 24 hours before awarding.

At this point, it becomes clear that no “moving” of categories actually occurred. Blogs are eligible for more than one category, after all, if their blog warrants it. That much should be clear, and any ignorant comments contrary to that should be taken with a proverbial grain of salt. Again, all it takes is to read. Something that, under normal circumstances, we are supposed to assume bloggers are capable of doing.

A Note On My Co-Host: Why Tiffany Chua Rocks

Image courtesy of Nina.

Tiffy is not only one of the Manila Foodistas (That is, one of the Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs Of 2008.), but she is a speed cuber: she can solve a rubik’s cube in under one minute, a feat I can manage in thirty seconds… and five minutes. =P

So we know she’s smart, we know she’s witty, and we know she’s a sight for sore eyes. What I felt was there that most other people may not have realized is that she’s a natural as a host, so I pushed for her as my co-host, knowing full well that she would definitely acquit herself splendidly.

Of course, our fellow co-hosts AJ and Kring were equally (If not more so) sensational, and if you don’t believe me, why don’t you sample our mad hosting skillz here, courtesy of Azrael?

Check out more videos in Azrael’s video coverage of the Philippine Blog Awards!

Needless to say, for a first-time host for a big-time event, she did marvelously. Was there ever any doubt? I’m sure Arpee would agree that Tiffy was a great choice to host that night…

The Main Event: Unstoppable!

On that day, I was going to be exceptionally worn out, as I actually came from a magic show in Taguig, as Jay Mata and I performed for Balloon Creations before heading out to the Philippine Blog Awards. The initial plan was that we were going to be part of the ceremony as a short intermission, but clearly, with 36 awards or so to give out, any Kel and Jay performance would have to be set aside for the after-party, and given three hours of non-stop magic in Taguig, we were all too happy to oblige.

I got there and found out that I was partially written out of the script in anticipation of the fact they knew I would arrive late, but surprisingly, I arrived about ten or so minutes before showtime. Despite that, I still wasn’t in the opening spiel, which was fine and dandy. I was going to stand out like a sore thumb since all other three hosts were in black, and I, being one half of Kel and Jay, chose to have suits only in bright and light colors, as you must’ve noticed by now.

I was ribbed about my suit, but let’s face it: I knew I could get away with it. Call me Colonel Sanders or Brother Mike or John Travolta or Kuya Germs, but I like the effing suit, so sue me.

Keynote Speaker: Senator Mar Roxas

Image courtesy of Phoebe.

While I won’t go right into the meat of Senator Roxas’ speech, I just wanted to point out that it was good of him to remind the people that last September 21 was the anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. Whether or not you agree with the Senator’s points, it’s imperative for us to never forget that day, and to always be vigilant.

I was born Marcelle Michael Bertrand Fabie y Timbol, two of my three names given to me in honor of Ninoy Aquino, who arrived here in the Philippines after exile as “Marcial Bonifacio”. He was shot dead at the Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983, about a month and eight days before I was born. Though I never went through the hardships of Martial Law, I’ll be damned if I stood by and let it happen to this country again. I believe very strongly in the freedom of expression, and I may not agree with what a lot of people around me have to say, but by God, I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

And that’s my political sidetrack for the day. Heh.

And, oh… this: a freedom wall, that represents what blogging is all about, and how as long as the bloggers exercise their right to be heard, we would hope to never again have to face the horrors of Martial Law and the suppression of Truth…

Image courtesy of Phoebe.

The Winners: Congratulations To All Of You!

Most bloggers have already given a comprehensive list of winners, and one of the first was of course, Jester, who won two awards himself, and was with a “trophy” that night, as well (Ask him about it, I’m not at liberty to tell.).

But then, aside from sneaking in a Rick Astley reference, there were some winners who really jumped out to me, and I was exceptionally happy for them, to say the least. While I still don’t know if it’s “cate-gory” or “ca-tegory”, I was happy to see some of the people I was rooting for get the nods, such as Sir Martz and Doc Tess. Of course, I was especially pleased for “Boy Blogger of the Year” Cokskiblue for winning as well. Tiffy and I were bantering and I was on the receiving end of her ribbing, but she was funny, nonetheless.

Of course, I was exceptionally happy because Arpee won a special award from Blogbank: “The Blogger, not the Blog” award, which really just underscored why everybody loves Arpee…

Image courtesy of Phoebe.

And yeah, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t deserve the award, Arpee! It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

It was also amusing to note that there was a divided audience when I mentioned how ADMU was beating DLSU in the Game 1 UAAP finals during that night…

Of course, when we were finally getting to one of the hotly contested categories (And the only one I was hoping to get a nomination in but didn’t.), there was much anticipation who the winner of “Best Personal Blog” would be. Tiffany and I were rather clueless, since Arbet was handing the results to us only a second or two before we read them off, and we were mostly too bedazzled by Fritz’s special-effects and the intro videos featuring people such as yours truly, AJ, and Byahilo.

I looked at the sheet of paper, and I was stunned… is this even possible? The most vociferous critic of last year’s awards was now the winner of the Personal Blog division?!?

“The winner… you just have to thank God for this… Atheista.net!!!”

And with raucous applause, people gave their approval to Benj, one of the most controversial but deserving winners that night: the very same guy who was almost not even nominated in the category because of a system glitch. It was an act of God, no less (I’m sure Benj would disagree, though. Hehe.).

And with a very affectionate, “I love you mom!” Benj graciously accepted the award.

Other special awards were likewise given out by AJ and Kring, but I especially took note of the stuff that transpired when Arpee and Benj won. I ribbed Doc Tess that I was more doctor-looking than her that night…

All in all, well-deserved awards. If you seriously question if a winner deserved their award, I dare you to take it up with the organizers. If not, then obviously, you’re just speculating on empty.

The After-Party And The After-After Party…

After the whole thing, the whole night was simply a night filled with even more celebration. Latecomer Mr. A showed up and found out that I ribbed him during the opening of the show, and discovered that we were intending to make him a host, since we anticipated he’d gatecrash anyways.

Some TV networks even covered the Blog Awards, and we are treated to a nice little feature in the news programs…

Also as expected, Jay Mata freaked people out with his performance during the after-party, and I gave them a bit of a teaser with the Shanghai Shackles, all the same.

I’m a tad saddened I got there late, so I missed out on a Cliquebooth session with my three co-hosts… aww…

Having said all that, it would be an injustice if I tried rattling off the bloggers whom I remembered that night one by one, so I’ll just let Jehzlau do a nice little roundup of the different people present and had something to say about the Philippine Blog Awards. It was a great event, overall, and I must say that despite some disturbing pictures, it was a really great event, and a job well done for all the organizers, volunteers, and sponsors who made things possible.

After giving out a pair of Nokia phones, some people then decided, in the tradition of the classic MLQ Plurkfiesta tradition, to head on to President’s (Oooohhh…) in Manila Bay, and have a celebratory dinner. After being likened to Colonel Sanders, Bro. Mike, and German Moreno, somebody pointed out that I’m wearing either a mafia getup when I don’t have the coat, or I’m actually auditioning for Saturday Night Fever. Much fun to be had for everyone, neh? :P

Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing, amazing event! Here’s hoping for an even bigger and better Philippine Blog Awards 2009!

In the meantime…

Walaaaaaaaaannnngggg Tulugan!

Posting Tomorrow...

I am such a lazy lout, and I'm only half-done with my PBA 2008 Megapost. Oh, well. All the better this way, I guess...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's On!

.:Blog Awards. Tomorrow. Get Ready.:.

Tomorrow, from 5:30 PM onwards at One Esplanade in the Mall Of Asia area, it's going to be the Philippine Blog Awards!

Yours truly will be hosting the festivities, along with Tiffy, and other co-hosts are AJ and Kring. Be there or be square!

Aside from the awardees in 36 different categories, you can also expect some special guests, and even a performance from Kel and Jay, magicians and mentalists extraordinaire, for the after-party!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Debuts And Magic Shows... They Actually Mix!

.:I Have To Admit...:.

... that performing magic in a debut was one of the most unique experiences I've ever had.

I've hosted a lot of debuts in the past, but being asked to perform magic and mentalism in a debut is nothing short of a rarity, a curious animal that makes no sense on the surface, but in this particular case, a perfect fit.

On a personal note, I'm very happy that this debut, staged for the benefit of Habitat for Humanity, actually raised over two million pesos for the foundation. I commend the debutante, Alex, for being one of the most amazing human beings ever, and all the people in the celebration who really made it happen. My heart really goes out to Alex for the sheer success her debut turned out to be, knowing she dedicated it to Habitat. Fewer people could be so selfless.

It was interesting, to say the least. I was going to do magic and mentalism, and I was going to have Nomer, Marco, and Jay Mata in tow as an Aura Reader, a Tarot Card Reader, and a Palm Reader, respectively. Needless to say, this was going to be a really engaging night, and I'm glad Alex, the debutante, appreciated the contributions of our merry bunch... heh.

Nomer Lasala with Jay Mata.

So when the four of us got to the venue, it was quite obvious that we were going to make waves. While last Saturday was slightly marred by some grandstanding from a person I shall not name, was marked as quite a successful effort. Admittedly, my performance was, as the host of the night put it, "a tad adult" for an audience of 17/18 year old people in fourth year high school, but despite that, I got great reactions from the people all around.

Yours truly with Marco Tolentino.

Needless to say, it was a great night, from the walkaround to the staggering lines that queued up for Nomer, Marco, and Jay Mata, as well as the table-hopping, the fact that the kids reminded me of my Reedley students (The kids were from I.S.M., after all...), and all the funny stuff we did, and the fact that I pulled off the Lady and the Rope that night. Yes. I was that shameless, and the person I performed it to was very sporting about it. Thanks, Bowon!

Yours truly with my volunteer for the night, Bowon.

It was incredibly funny how I got to Lady and the Rope, because I was supposed to do a Card Story first, when I accidentally dropped my cards, and made a mess, so I called on Bowon and asked her if she liked card tricks. She responded with "yes", and I proceeded to do a rope trick instead. The audience were a pleasure to work with because they were laughing, applauding, even side commenting exactly when I wanted them to, and this was especially true when I did Shanghai Shackles and my volunteer was a guy who I really ribbed pretty hard...

"Secure padlock?"

"How about this one? Is this padlock secure?"

"Is your masculinity secure?"

Heh. Given all that, we were asked to perform for Mr. Freddie Garcia of ABS-CBN after the party, and we definitely ran with it, albeit Jay was the luckiest of the bunch as he walked off with a hefty tip for his efforts, while Nomer made one of the people he performed for cry...

After a brief rejoinder on professionalism over dinner, the four of us went off, and it would appear that we have an opportunity to reunite as a quartet again, because some people are interested in the magician + mentalist + readers package, and I'm going to be sure to make it work to the best of my ability...

Kel And Jay On This Issue Of Mangaholix!

.:As Promised... Kel And Jay On Mangaholix!:.

For the benefit of those people who will obviously have a hard time seeing the text on the picture, I encoded the write-up here! If you wanna see how it looks like in the magazine, though, you can click here!

Much thanks to Ian, Marthy, Harvey, and the rest of the people at Mangaholix for featuring us! This was definitely great!

To everyone else, who wants to see it for yourselves and get treated to an awesome magazine at the same time, grab the latest copy of Mangaholix (Issue 6!) from your favorite newsstands and bookstores.

The Cosplay Community's Official Magical Tandem: Kel&Jay
written by Marthy Angue
photos by Harvey Lavina

When somebody tells you that you have a pair of magicians to interview in ten minutes, there's not a lot you can anticipate. Will they be magically appearing in front of our doorstep in a dust cloud? Will they be wearing cheap, ratty tuxes and cardboard top hats? Will first-aid treatment for dismembered showgirls be in order? Miles away from such magic performance hotspots like Las Vegas or Hogwarts, the easiest mental image to conjure up when you're talking "local magic" would be the dumpy-looking clown with the vanishing handkerchief trick at your little cousin's birthday party.

They arrived via car, entered through the door, and sat down for the interview with all the velvety prestige of a sack of potatoes. Kel Fabie, the chipper one, wore a plain white, long-sleeved shirt that wouldn't be out of place in a government office. Jay Mata, his surlier partner, wore a markedly unremarkable black shirt. Together, they make up the performance tandem "Kel and Jay", and their entrance was definitely a curious opener to the most fun I've had over a magic act in a long while.

Apart from the standard "things-pop-out-of-nowhere" schtick, the duo puts on a diverse show, performing everything from escapism (Actually, it's called escapology. :P - Kel), card tricks, hypnosis, mind-reading, and a good few things children should really not be trying at home (Driving a card blindfolded, anyone?)/ Their "don't try this at home" antics and death-defying stunts aren't the only parts of their act to merit a PG rating. This is not your little cousin's birthday magic act.

While the duo has had their share of children's parties, a Kel and Jay show with all the toppings often takes on a very mature flavor. Indeed, half the fun is watching the humorous dynamic between the two- Kel being the smiling, roguish jokester with a penchant for the mildly salacious, and Jay being the perpetually dour pragmatist with a bare-faced enthusiasm for scaring his audience witless. Together, they present a curious and entertaining contrast between the theatrically mystifying and the outright mind-boggling: since they don't claim to have supernatural powers, you're either left busting a lobe trying to figure the trick out or suspecting that they were lying and that there were actually supernatural forces afoot.

The two take great pride in the showmanship they developed for their sets. Believing that the techniques of the performance is just as important as the tricks themselves, their routines certainly make for a very entertaining show. As for their vision of elevating magic as a legitimate art form in the Philippines? One can certainly hope they'll bring a little magic back to our mundane lives.

Kel and Jay can be seen hosting events and parties as well as performing street magic for confounded cosplayers at fan conventions. For bookings, Kel and Jay can be reached through mistervader@gmail.com or shugenjavfx@yahoo.com.

"You have to be working to elevate Magic as an art form."

Day Job: Radio DJ (Not at the moment, but who'm I to complain? - Kel)
Professional Profile: Performed for celebs at birthday parties.
Infamous for: a rope trick with very naughty undertones.

"It's not enough to know the trick. You have to make it a performance."

Day Job:
High School Teacher
Professional Profile: Plays the underground circuit performing for corporate functions.
Infamous for: tricks involving gambling cheats.

Tandem Origin:
Met up for a surprise birthday party thrown for Filipino comics mainstay Elbert Or.
No Longer Admitted in: Casinos.
Thumbs Up: The cosplay and anime community for being such great sports during performances.
Thumbs Down: Starlets who take tricks too seriously.

Q: Where do things go after you make them disappear?
A: ANYWHERE we want.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Return To Radio? Not Quite, But...

.:It's Still In The Works...:.

Last week, I actually went on air at 99.5 RT, using my real name, Marcelle. It was particularly unremarkable, in that it was really just a segment that needed to be done for an advertiser, and they needed students, which I still technically am.

Having said that, it was during Joe Spi... err... Koji Morales' timeslot, which made for lots of cool interaction with the man, whom I haven't been able to speak to or hang out with much since that fateful August day.

While they're still trying to settle into the new groove of things for the station, it's perfectly understandable that hiring a jock at their graveyard slot is not at the top of their priorities, but it's quite interesting to note that the segment I went on air for involves a program that, on-air staff or not, I might very well find myself involved in, one way or another.

.:The School Of Jock:.

A few years ago, when Robi and I were still both part of WAVE 891, we came up with the idea of relaunching their student DJ program as "School Of J.O.C.K.", which of course conjures memories of the Jack Black film "School Of Rock". That kinda was the idea, and we had some really cool bits for promotion, ads, and whatnot in mind as we tried to make it happen.

Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be, as WAVE 891 has yet to come up with any student DJ program at all since the demise of the "Hip Circle", which my longtime partner from WAVE while I was there, Gia, was an alumna of. This meant that since both Robi and myself were no longer in WAVE, the "School Of Jock" idea was fair game anywhere we could take it.

Fast forward to now, and it looks like School Of Jock will find a home in 99.5 RT.

As I told Robi, it doesn't matter whether or not I end up part of the on-air staff, so long as I have a part in making it happen. I want to be a trainer for School Of Jock, as the idea is very close to my heart and I gave so much time and effort in drafting everything from the mission-vision, to even what we could do to make the program CHED-certified, including the hoops we'd need to jump through.

Couple this with the open invite for me to try out for MAX 103.5, and you can tell that this point of transition is actually a rather exciting time for me in radio land...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

CPK, Diablo II... Oh, My!

.:In The Middle Of Chaos...:.

So while I am admittedly incredibly delinquent with a lot of my blog posts, I have to say that one of the recent things that happened to me that stands out quite a bit would have to be the California Pizza Kitchen event for bloggers last September 10.

Of course, most of the usual suspects such as Juned and Byahilo were accounted for, but the host for that night, RJ Ledesma, was really cool, and I can't believe this was the first time I met him. I even ran into Mr. Brad Geiser himself, and after meeting and greeting the awesome bloggers in CPK, we were then treated to a "Make Your Own Pizza" challenge, as the bloggers were given a quick history lesson about CPK.

It's amazing, really. When you think about the history of a restaurant like CPK, you'd never think that they really clawed their way up the ladder, having been started as a business venture by lawyers Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax, and they've been rather famous for making non-traditional pizzas, such as Thai Chicken, Jamaican Jerk, and other similar pizzas. This is the place for those who are adventurous with their pizzas.

While we were drinking in the short history lesson, we took a gander at the pizzas: they were definitely tasty-looking, to say the least. The pizzas score points for presentation, and while we were all anticipating the chance to make our pizzas, the other bloggers who managed to have their turn first were generous enough to share their own creations with everyone else who was there.

Admittedly, I'm notorious for being very photo-scarce when it comes to these events, but I'm sure the other bloggers have great pictures of this event as is, to say the least. At the same time, I wanted to talk about how great the food was, and really just recommend it to everyone. I know I'm not a food blogger, but I love to eat, and I'm the kind of guy who loves to try anything new. CPK did not fail to deliver.

Oh, by the way, I came back a few days later with My Beloved in tow, as we ate there again in Glorietta last Friday. We ordered the 5-cheese pizza and the Wild Mushroom pizza. While CPK is well-known for their non-traditional pizzas, let me tell you right now that their traditional pizzas are excellent works of art all the same. :)

So next time you have a pizza craving, make it CPK! You won't regret it.

.:Revisiting Diablo II... Yet Again!:.

Unbelievable, I know, but here I am, still playing Diablo II after all these years. After finally finding people to multiplayer with, I must say that it's an excellent chance for me to really just cut loose and abuse my Level 77 Sorceress, since she's pretty much tanking for the entire party behind me, who are at Level 40 at best.

This game is sooo addicting, and Diablo III coming out by next year is just making me drool for more. Item-hunting is so much fun!

Still Nothing...

... Yep. I'm haggard.

Sooo Overloaded!

I can't post most likely for this entire week.

Preparations galore for the Philippine Blog Awards, as was clearly shown when after I hosted for the press launch, I ended up being part of a few other meetings for the day...

This is gonna be a loooooonnnnggg week. But I like it this way.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

With A Friend Like You, Who Needs Enemies?

.:Gee, Thanks...:.

Maybe if you kept your big mouth shut, things would've turned out okay instead.

But n-oooo... just because your lovelife's making a turn for the better, you throw propriety and discretion out the window.

Well, screw this. I've been dealing with my own tempests without your help for long enough, and the last thing I needed was you adding to my troubles.

Amazing how I'm just a big ball of hatred at this point...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Quick Rundown...

.:Nerdy Fanboying...:.

Last schoolyear, Mr. Calasanz introduced us to a certain man named Jean-Luc Marion. He seemed to be a student of Emmanuel Levinas, so it was natural for us to assume that Professor Marion, the Philosopher, would be very old and most likely no longer alive.

At this year's COMIUCAP in Manila, we just discovered that not only was Professor Marion still alive, but he was also the keynote speaker for the first day!

Needless to say, I just had to be there. Not only is his expertise on Levinas essential for my thesis, I actually found myself fanboying over him ever since I encountered his writing in class.

Fanboy that I am, over lunch, I bravely approached him...

"Professor Marion? I know this is very embarrassing of us to ask, but may we have a picture taken with you?"

He scratched his head in bewilderment, but was kind enough to oblige us.

I am hopeless, hopeless, hopeless. Heh.

.:Still To Come...:.

- The awesome CPK event.
- Hanging out at Bo's Coffee.
- A picture or two from the gig last weekend.
- Being on air on RT the other day, and another radio station comes a-callin'...
- Hosting the PBA Press Launch last Monday.
- Spending time with Mark and Diane throughout the weekend.
- Weird hot flashes involving MB.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Random Sampling Of The Past Few Days...

.:Thanks, Poyt!:.

Because there's nothing more hardcore than chugging down one liter of Chocolait!

.:I Have To Admit...:.

... that performing magic in a debut was one of the most unique experiences I've ever had.

I've hosted a lot of debuts in the past, but being asked to perform magic and mentalism in a debut is nothing short of a rarity, a curious animal that makes no sense on the surface, but in this particular case, a perfect fit.

It was interesting, to say the least. I was going to do magic and mentalism, and I was going to have Nomer, Marco, and Jay Mata in tow as an Aura Reader, a Tarot Card Reader, and a Palm Reader, respectively. Needless to say, this was going to be a really engaging night, and I'm glad Alex, the debutante, appreciated the contributions of our merry bunch... heh.

So when the four of us got to the venue, it was quite obvious that we were going to make waves. While last Saturday was slightly marred by some grandstanding from a person I shall not name, was marked as quite a successful effort. Admittedly, my performance was, as the host of the night put it, "a tad adult" for an audience of 17/18 year old people in fourth year high school, but despite that, I got great reactions from the people all around.

I'll follow with a picture or two from that night, but for now, lemme just say that it was a great night, from the walkaround to the staggering lines that queued up for Nomer, Marco, and Jay Mata, as well as the table-hopping, the fact that the kids reminded me of my Reedley students (The kids were from I.S.M., after all...), and all the funny stuff we did, and the fact that I pulled off the Lady and the Rope that night. Yes. I was that shameless, and the person I performed it to was very sporting about it. Thanks, Bowon!

It was incredibly funny how I got to Lady and the Rope, because I was supposed to do a Card Story first, when I accidentally dropped my cards, and made a mess, so I called on Bowon and asked her if she liked card tricks. She responded with "yes", and I proceeded to do a rope trick instead. The audience were a pleasure to work with because they were laughing, applauding, even side commenting exactly when I wanted them to, and this was especially true when I did Shanghai Shackles and my volunteer was a guy who I really ribbed pretty hard...

"Secure padlock?"

"How about this one? Is this padlock secure?"

"Is your masculinity secure?"

Heh. Given all that, we were asked to perform for Mr. Freddie Garcia of ABS-CBN after the party, and we definitely ran with it, albeit Jay was the luckiest of the bunch as he walked off with a hefty tip for his efforts, while Nomer made one of the people he performed for cry...

After a brief rejoinder on professionalism over dinner, the four of us went off, and it would appear that we have an opportunity to reunite as a quartet again, because some people are interested in the magician + mentalist + readers package, and I'm going to be sure to make it work to the best of my ability...

.:A Celebration At Cafe Rallos...:.

Yes, it was the Triggerman's birthday party last night, and yes, I did show up.

As usual, I performed some magic in the presence of Fuse, and the people all around were mighty amused with the mini-show. It was a rainy Monday night, but despite all of that, it was great seeing John Hendrix and Koji Morales, aka Joe Spinner again, and making some new contacts here and there as well...

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Interview Meme...

Yep, I'm doing this again, questions by Joy...

.:The Question Meme!

The rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying you want to do the meme.
2. I'll respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. You should update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You should include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be asked, you will ask them five question

1) If you had to pick just one, which among your mentalist and magick tricks would be the only one you would love to perform over and over again until you die?

There was a time I'd have probably done fork bending or the Derren finale over and over again, but after shifting more into magic than mentalism, I think my affection now goes out to the infamous Lady And The Rope:

2) How many beers does it take to get you piss drunk?

We may never know, because I've had two Red Horses in the past, with no effect at all. Since I'm a straight-edger at this point, I have absolutely no idea, and I've never been drunk in my life.

3) Always been meaning to ask this one... why Philosophy? (As much as I love ruminating on life, I'm not usually comfortable with my own thoughts.)

Why not? =D

Seriously though, I loved Philosophy when I was taking it in college. When I graduated, my teachers were all egging me on to teach Philosophy, so I went and took an M.A.

If luck is on my side, I should be done by March, and I should be doing my Doctorate in a year's time afterwards.

4) When and who do you plan to cosplay? :P

I have a white suit now. I think I can do Onizuka. Just need to dye my hair blonde or something. I have some of the mannerisms down to pat, all the same. Hehe.

Maybe I'll do it if an event books me for stage magic, and I'll cosplay along the way. Jay could be Hard Jay or something. =P

If I were more comfortable with my body, I'd cosplay as a pro wrestler. But I'm not, so....

5) How does it feel to be in between the warring camps of pro-Alodia versus anti-Alodia?

Edjie is a friend of mine, but I don't feel the need to defend her from people antagonizing her. She's a great person, she's used to it, and ultimately, it's nothing to get worked up over, but that's just me.

I always give both sides of the story when asked for my opinion, and for the most part, I believe that most of this hoopla has been a matter of making mountains out of molehills.

Then again, I say this with ease because I'm not a career cosplayer. I'm sure people wouldn't get worked up over magic exposure on free TV, but I know I would.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

First Time In A Long While...

.:Thanks, My Beloved!:.

She showed up yesterday, and there were many pictures I got from her.

Of course, since she's paranoid and ish, I can't really display her pictures in my blog at the moment... still, there were lots of great pictures!

.:The Joys Of The Rootbeer Float...:.

Since my Beloved was here yesterday, and since Mug is now available in 1.5, she suggested over lunch that we should have a rootbeer float. I promptly ran like the wind to 7-11 for vanilla ice cream, and a few minutes later, we were enjoying heaven in a frosted glass.

.:Breaking The Trauma...:.

It's been a while since I accepted a stage magic show for a children's party, so admittedly, I was a tad worried about how it would turn out for me last Wednesday as I had a show in Diamond Hotel all the way in Roxas Boulevard.

Most people know that I've been avoiding stage shows for children's parties thanks to a bad experience I had a few months back, not to mention that until recently, my predilection for performances has never been of the traditional stage magic genre. I don't work with illusions, nor do I use animals for my shows.

Despite that, this was a show where I was specifically asked to do stage magic, and they said that stage illusions and animals wouldn't be necessary. I ran with the idea and figured that the kids, while definitely not capable of understanding the full realm of a mentalism show, were more than ready to be treated to a predominantly mentalism-heavy show, which broke a lot of expectations from the people who watched.

Naturally though, I wasn't the only performer in that show, as veteran ventriloquist Ony Carcamo and one-of-a-kind Yoyo Master Glenn Angeles also wowed the children and adults alike in their own unique way, although the astounding revelation to me was that sir Ony himself was also a mentalist. He was even carrying the Osterlind Metal Blindfold with him during that day!

In any case, this was the first time I had a pure stage show this year (I believe...), and even more amazingly, it was a children's party show at that. Admittedly, I will always defer to the likes of Lou Hilario or Wanlu or Darwin when it comes to stage magic for kids, but this was one of those times where I was exceptionally happy about how I managed to get rapport and interaction with the kids and it really worked out as well as it possibly could.

It was a nice mash-up, really. Taking a cue from my performance for Chesca's birthday (That's Elbert's niece, of course.), I opened with a closeup effect elevated to a stage setting, and got the crowd going easy as I established a very lighthearted rapport. It was a kid's party, after all. I then followed it up with Fiber Optics (I didn't have the heart to do Lady And The Rope that day. Hah.), and went straight to Shanghai Shackles and even a snippet of an Appearing Cane.

After this set, I jumped into my mentalism... opened with the Cube, went to the Lift, went to some good ol' PK, and finished with the Manual. While a mishap happened to one of my items at the end of the show, I was too happy to care anyways. All in all, the kids were happy, the mentalism didn't fly over their heads (They especially loved the lift, even if it took them several tries to pull it off.), and the parents were dumbstruck over the Manual at the end of my show.

It wasn't a particularly long set, but it was definitely good enough to stand on its own because I managed to not have to do table-hopping that night, and just talked shop with sir Ony, who was really fun to speak to when it comes to his knowledge base on mentalism.

Amusingly enough, he asked me why I didn't use Fernando The Ferret during my set. I politely noted that I didn't want to overlap with his performance since he already had an animal vent show, and it would be disrespectful to him if I included that one in my routine.

Afterwards, the event organizer congratulated all of us for the great party. I was personally gratified to know that I got incredibly good feedback about my stage show, because seeing how much mentalism there was in that particular set, it does look like there's hope to doing a kiddified mentalism show just yet.

Be as it may that being one half of Kel and Jay would mean that my mentalism has taken a backseat when part of the tandem, I would be remiss to ignore that having mentalism as a base skill has allowed me several advantages that I had over my previous self when I was purely into magic:

1. I was no longer bogged down by magician's guilt.
2. I learned to pay attention to proper mastery of the basics over flashiness.
3. I learned to ad lib better and better not just in magic/mentalism, but even in radio.

All in all, I do believe that with this show, I have managed to establish the potential for a market for mentalism with kids as the main audience. Given the number of effects I used, I think that this remains to be a good prospect, albeit a lot of rethinking and reimagining is necessary in order to still remain entertaining to an audience with an admittedly short attention span. I had to go full speed to solve the Rubik's cube blindfolded because I knew five minutes was too long to hold the kids' interest, for example.

If last night's discussion with some of the TSC members were any indication, I think it's mostly a matter of being able to think on your feet. Kids like humor, and there needs to be a balance struck between the "seriousness" of mentalism, and one's chipper personality. To be honest, in that regard, I feel I leaned more onto the lighthearted, and didn't act as seriously as is normally expected of mentalists.

Nonetheless, these are all notes for improvement, as every performer in the world, and every person, even, will always have room for improvement.

In the meantime, my thanks to Ms. Ayn Monserrate for the confidence in putting me on a stage show despite my initial misgivings. I'm happy to say that given the right circumstances, I've now overcome the trauma of performing children's stage magic.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My Progress Is Slow...

.:Thesis Crawl!:.

In line with my desire to be well-paid for my magic shows, I think it's good to know that Ned and Ardy Roberto releases marketing business solutions book. Jay and I have been considering an agent as of late, and I think there's room for that.

Unfortunately, this means that I've been focusing a lot on an upcoming mall tour, some shows here and there, and my thesis has been left to the wayside.

Well, I want to change that. I'm going to have to do a lot of research this month, but the goal is to have fifteen serviceable pages by the end of the month for my thesis, and proceed to writing another thirty pages by the end of October.

With any luck, I'd be finished writing come December, which would mean I'd be in time for my thesis defense, and I'll be graduating in 2009.

It's crunch time, and admittedly, Monster Hunter has been taking way too much of my time lately, further keeping me from making much progress. I must be one of the most horrible examples of time management ever... yarr.

.:On The Employment End...:.

Well, there's still no word from RT regarding getting me, truth be told. Having said that though, I've applied in a few stations already, including Magic 89.9 for the very first time. While this by no means guarantees me anything, the mere fact that I finally dared to apply in Magic seems to be a sign to me... of what, well, I can't tell just yet...

Commentary Next Time, But...

.:Anyone Who Knows Me Knows That I'm Terribly Intolerant Of Intolerance...:.

Oh, look! It's the infamous Dick Hafer comic where he affectionately calls homosexuals "Sodomites" and proceeds to talk about non-conventional sexual acts as if they're exclusively homosexual (Hint: they're not.). It's a mind-numbingly shallow, biased, and patently untrue depiction of the gay lifestyle.

Sometimes, it makes you wish you can kill people for being intolerant, but then that pretty much makes you as bad as they are...

Well, lemme know what you think about this comic, then.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Posting Tomorrow...

I'm so excited with the recent developments for Kel and Jay... you have no idea!

The Oktoberfest Launch Is Gonna Be Big, I Know It!

.:Have I Told You Yet That I'm Actually Straight Edge?:.

Maybe not in the uber-hardcore sense, and definitely not with the music inclinations per se, but I'm as close to straight edge as can be without people clearly identifying me as one.

Having said that, I guess that explains all too well why I've never been drunk in my entire life...

Despite that, though, I still enjoyed the Oktoberfest launch, and even had a toast with my fellow bloggers who were there... with Chocolait!

The launch is happening simultaneously in multiple venues, and THIRD EYE BLIND will be the act to watch out for, no doubt!

Having said that, things are quiet lately, but there will be a picture, once I get to gank it from Poyt.

In the meantime, my blogging is gonna be real erratic. I'm still undergoing transition.