Friday, December 23, 2011


Note: I am not an ingrate. I just feel like writing about some of my regrets right now. I have no idea why this happened a day or two away from Christmas. No, I'm not emo either.

As much as I try to have little to no regrets in life, there are some undeniable regrets I do have. Most of the ones I will mention here are related more to my education, and the decisions I had regarding my education. Come to think about it, my biggest regrets in life revolve around education.

I should have taken my studies a lot more serious than I did. Don't get me wrong, I'm not stupid. In fact, I think I'm very smart. I can learn things fast and there are times I think outside the box. Unfortunately I also have a very short attention span. I get bored at school listening to the teacher, specially if the teacher is, for lack of a better term, "boring" in my eyes.

I also regret not having a direction when I was graduating from high school. Do you want to know what courses I picked when I applied for UP (University of the Philippines)? I chose, and I'm not sure if this is the correct order, Journalism, Anthropology, Biology (a quota course), and Pharmacy.  Of course, I passed and was accepted into the Pharmacy course. Something I could have used as a pre-med course had I chosen to be a doctor.

Now, Bio and Pharma are two related courses. But why Journalism and Anthropology? Well, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I graduated college. All I know was I wanted to be rich.

Which was why I chose the following courses when I applied in Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU). I can't remember them all but I believe it was Management Information Systems (MIS), Management, and some other business related courses. Of course, I passed and was top 15% of the entrance examinees. So I got MIS. But then the College sent me a letter saying since I was top 15% they felt I could handle Computer Science (CS). So I shifted to CS, thinking I could handle it.

Wrong. My attitude was not meant to survive ADMU. I got kicked out after my sophomore year because of really low grades. I didn't fail any subject (except a math subject that I passed the second time around) but my "GPA" or whatever was well below the minimum passing.

And that's one of my major regrets. Instead of challenging myself to become a doctor, I decided to go into computers. Instead of taking a relatively simple course that could open so many opportunities after graduating (like management courses) I decided to take a very specific course that could only give me one narrow career path. I believe my reasoning at the time was that since I'd be theoretically graduating by 2002, a lot of programmers would be needed to create new software after the millennium bug hit.

Wait, what?

Yup. I was stupid enough to believe that crap. And because of that I am now a 3D Artist. Because I transferred to Ateneo de Naga University (AdeNU) and it was there where I decided to take up a new course called Digital Illustration and Animation (DIA).

That's not really bad, if you were working somewhere else aside from the Philippines. My salary here is decent, I can't really complain since I am getting paid. But it wasn't what I was expecting.

You see, I never really had any plans to go abroad after graduation. I wanted to grow rich, and grow old here in the Philippines. But with the current career path I am in, that's almost an impossibility.

Do you know that some of my high school classmates are successful corporate people. They own their own houses, or nice condo units. They have their own cars. They can afford to fund any extracurricular activities they have.

And me?

I still live with my parents, even if I have a wife and a kid. I still use my mother's car. I cannot afford to buy the things I want without compromising my monthly budget, and I don't even contribute that much to the household funds.

I should have just taken a course that could have opened me to the corporate world.

This was not how I envisioned myself when I was younger. I always thought I'd have my own house by now. And my own car. And enough money to actually afford me a few luxuries.

But that's not the way it is, not yet. There is still a chance to improve my income and my way of life. There is always a chance. 
I just have to grab it, so that I won't end up regretting how my life ended up.


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Jeep Wrangler in the Philippines

I am also sharing this post in Pinoy Petrolheads.

Ever since I was in grade school I've always had a soft spot for the Jeep Wrangler. Something about it's ruggedness appealed to me. As I grew older and started getting into cars the Wrangler sort of moved into the background. But I always had a thing for rides you wouldn't mind getting dirty.

One of my biggest turn offs for the Jeep Wrangler is the fact that it uses a very thirsty V6 engine. I've always wondered why Jeep does this. Shouldn't they go for the more torque-y diesel engines? Isn't that what's better suited for off-roading Wranglers?

Imagine my surprise yesterday (yes, yesterday) when I saw on the Philippine website of the Jeep Wrangler that they were offering a diesel engine (you may have to click "Expand All" and look under "Powertrain"). Wow. Now Wranglers have a diesel engine, and I am once again "in love" with the car. Too bad it really doesn't make for a good family car. Plus I don't know how much it costs. Yet.

Don't tell me that the Wrangler Unlimited might make a good family car. I don't care if they have diesel engines too. They just don't look right. A four-door Wrangler? Looks too stretched to me.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NBA 2K12 My Player Update

My player's rating is now at 71. He's currently averaging roughly 21ppg, 7rpg, 5apg, 1spg, 1bpg with 2+ turnovers per game. Not bad numbers. Plus my team is hovering at the .500 mark and is in the 8th seed of the playoff race. I just have to improve a few more skills and hopefully we can make a run at a higher seed.

Sadly, the NBA lockout is tentatively over. Which brings me to this question:

Should I continue with this My Player?

I don't know. I'm thinking of getting NBA 2K12 for the PS3 once I buy a new one. I'm also thinking of downloading whatever roster / patch updates 2K Sports releases so I can compete against more rookies rather than going against two (Ricky Rubio and Robert Vaden) rookies. But if I do that I'd have to restart the My Player mode. And I'm not sure I can stomach the growing pains a player with a 60 rating has to go through just to get back to the level my player is at right now.

Plus there's a new feature in NBA 2K12. Create a Legend mode. It's similar to My Player except you get to use existing NBA players. I'm thinking of turning DeMarcus Cousins into a legend. I'm not thinking of using Odom, though. I'd like to go with a young guy and turn him into a dominant force, and it seems to me like Cousins will be the next main NBA guy I'll be rooting for after Odom.

So there.


Friday, November 18, 2011

NBA 2K12 My Player

So I do play NBA 2K12 My Player mode. I must say in some aspects it is way better than NBA 2K11's My Player mode. But there are some lacking aspects also.

My current My Player is a 6' 9" 215lbs small forward with a point forward play style. Why point forward? Well, getting a point forward gave me better ball handling. Something I rely on in My Player. The scoring aspects I could get through the skill points, but to save enough skill points to increase the ball handling abilities? That's a bit too hard.

Not totally, I guess. I have saved and used around 20k skill points to buy two abilities - post up spin move and pull-up jumpers. But as of now I've decided to focus on my attributes. I'm currently increasing inside scoring, close range scoring, and layups. I don't want to create a dunker (yet - maybe next season). I want to create a silky-smooth, all-around small forward. A la Lamar Odom.

In fact, my current My Player is loosely based on Odom. They're both tall (he's taller by an inch), both left-handed, both possessing an all-around game that you rarely see for someone their size.

Do I enjoying playing? Yes. More often than not I enjoy playing the game. The rest of the time I get too pissed off because of the AI. Oh Well.

You know what's the problem? I'm playing for the Wolves now. I asked to be traded there from the Sixers (long story). We have a hard time winning. I have no idea if it's because of the AI, or if it's because of my teammates.

My officemate gave me the officemate theory. Which sounds sort of true. We have no go-to clutch guy, and I end up filling that role. I don't like it since even in real life when I play basketball I enjoy being more of a facilitator than a scorer.

My officemate got lucky. He got drafted by the Mavs, who has Dirk Nowitzki. So they have no problem winning.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

So I Got These New Running Shoes...

... and I'm planning on using them for their intended purpose. I got me some black and white Puma Ikonis 2 shoes on sale.

Why am I doing this? Partly for motivation. I haven't done my usual brisk walk / jog routine for the past two or three weeks. Sure I have tried doing barbell complexes at home, but I feel that I need to do more cardio than weights.

And that's where the new pair of shoes comes in. Before I used to do my cardio using either my really old tennis shoes (falling apart already) or my really expensive basketball shoes. The basketball shoe has a small tear on the left shoe, and I have no desire to make it bigger because of my jogging.

I also feel that getting shoes intended for the exercise will be better for my feet. The basketball shoes aren't really for jogging, neither are the tennis shoes. They weren't, in my opinion, intended for non-stop pitter-patter of feet on the ground. They were intended for sudden bursts of quick movement.

Hopefully I can use these new shoes to improve my motivation for not only losing weight, but more importantly, becoming a healthier person.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Weight Loss Update

I'm pretty sure little to none of you are interested in the results of my weight loss target.

I failed.

I'm still fluctuating between 101 - 102kg. And to make things worse, I haven't done any exercise for the past two weeks or so.


I do not plan on stopping my exercise. I just had to rest my knees. And I need new shoes. My Kobe V's are showing wear and tear, literally. It has a small tear in the inner ball joint part of the left foot. Sheesh. I spent a lot of money on my Kobe's and I plan to make it last me at least two years. So I'm looking for a new pair of running shoes.

I saw a decent, well-priced pair in Asics. I'm thinking of getting that. I've heard New Balance is also a good brand. I saw a nice pair in Puma but they were way over-budget.

Oh, and the reason I plan on getting back to my exercising ways? My waistline is relatively smaller now than when I started with my October goal.



Tuesday, November 01, 2011

How's This for Perspective?

Every week I always worry about my budget until the next payday. A good chunk of my income is spent on two things: my office parking space, and petrol for my car.

Don't get me wrong, I make sure to set aside a certain amount of money every payday for my family's savings account. Whatever is left I use for whatever expenses I need. And there are times, many times, that I feel sorry for myself.

That has to stop. There are people out there who make considerably less than I do, yet they still manage to go on with their lives with little to no complaint. They can even go about it in a very cheerful fashion.

So what does that mean? It just means having a positive attitude is very, very crucial in this world we live in now. No matter how bad things are, other people might have it worse yet they can go on with a smile on their faces and a spring to their step.

It's all a matter of perspective.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

My 2011 Christmas Wishlist v1.0

Christmas is still a little over two months away. But in the Philippines, ones the months start ending in "-ber" (for example, September) Christmas season more or less begins. I'm not here to discuss why that is, I'm here to discuss my wishlist for now. The items I will be listing are either realistic to get or highly improbable. So here we go.
  • A good quality acoustic guitar. An officemate of mine has an acoustic guitar at work and I've been playing it, making me wish I had my own. I've managed to remember how to play Dream Theater's The Silent Man with the guitar solo. And my desire to start playing again is rekindled.
  • Jordan Trunner LX 11. Great pair of cross-trainers I'll need for my brisk walk / jogging sessions. I'm not too happy that I'm using my Kobe V's to jog, since those are basketball shoes. My old adidas tennis shoes are too beat up and could break down anytime I use them intensely.
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Active android phone. My phone's LCD is damaged. Plus this new phone is for people with "active" lifestyles, and I want to be more active. Plus I'm guessing this phone would be more useful when I do my cardio workouts since it comes with an armband holder so I don't have to keep holding on to my phone when I jog.
  • Sony Playstation 3. I think I mentioned before that my PS3 suffered a YLOD (yellow light of death) so I need a new one. I don't want to spend to fix my PS3 since I had it repaired before and I dont' want to spend on it anymore.
  • A new DSLR body. The CMOS sensor of my DSLR has molds growing on it. I haven't been able to bring it to the service center yet, and if it can still be salvaged scratch this off my wishlist. What I want? If not a Canon 7D, a Canon 5D.
  • A fully set-up desktop computer. This includes LCD monitor, keyboard, mouse, WACOM tablet, and a super CPU.
  • A 1969 German Volkswagen Beetle in reliable running condition. Then I'd save up and turn it into a Baja Bug.
  • A 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STi hatchback. If not the Beetle, then this. One of my dream cars and this would be a fun daily driver, except when its time to fill up the gas tank.
  • A decent sized house and lot in one of my ideal locations (that I won't mention) preferably 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms, maids' quarters with bathroom, four car garage (so there's two or three slots available for guests to park) and a decent sized garden. I don't mind losing the garden to make room for the parking.
  • A decent two or three bedroom condo unit in Makati with at least one free parking slot. So that I can either rent this out or the decent sized house and lot. Extra income.
That's it so far. I'll probably be updating this sometime I'm "bored" again. Oh, and just because I have a wishlist doesn't mean all I'm thinking about is receiving. It's still better to give than to receive.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Comfort Food

I have one simple philosophy regarding comfort food. Whatever is served in front of me at the time I need comforting is my comfort food.

Kidding aside (although let's just say my previous statement is half-true) I don't really have a clue as to what comfort food is. Is it something to warm you inside? Because soup does that. Is it something you eat that fills you up? Salads can do that. Is it something you eat on cold, rainy days? Again, something hot can do that.

Let's just say that my definition of comfort food is something that makes me feel better when I'm down. And not the, I eat anything because I'm depressed sort. I mean the perk me uppers. The food that I don't have to stuff myself with, but just to eat a decent amount and it instantly picks me up.

So what are my comfort foods? Soups, for one. Specially chicken mami, and chicken noodle soup. Asado congee also perks me up and always makes me feel good when I have a bowl.

Potato chips, sadly, are comfort foods for me. Specially french onion and barbecue flavors. Just snacking on them takes away my sadness, even for a few minutes.

Burgers and other sandwiches aren't something I'd consider comfort food. Neither desserts, surprisingly. I find them too heavy and messy to eat in times of "sadness."

The list would probably get longer, but unfortunately I'll just leave it at that. I guess the statement I said above regarding any food is my comfort food might be a lot more than a half-truth. Maybe 80% true.


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

End of October Goal

I've got a realistic goal by the end of October. I plan on breaking the 100kg barrier, to have my weight at less than 100kg.

Why kilograms? Why not pounds? I find that it's easier to lose weight if I count kilos. Plus the results are better. Right now I'm at around 102kg. If I make it to 99kg at the end of the month, then I'll have lost 3kg. In pounds that's 217.8 from 224.4lbs and a loss of 6.6lbs.

From my perspective, it's easier to lose 3kg than 6.6lbs. Yes, I'll still be over 200lbs but it's a start.

How do I plan on losing weight? Well, I've got to force myself to do the barbell complex exercises I saw online. Then there's my weekly brisk walk/jog, which I plan to increase to at least twice a week.

My biggest impediment is myself. Changing my eating habits and forcing myself to actually do the exercises is very crucial. So far it's hard for me to do them, but I hope I can force myself. Or at least convince myself.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some Thoughts from the Singapore F1 Grand Prix 2011

Thanks to my mom, my dad and I were lucky (and very, very thankful) to be able to watch this year's Singapore F1 Grand Prix live and in person. It was a great three day event, and there were other support races aside from the actual F1 race cars. There was the 911 Cup and the JK Formula cars - but I'm not sure those are the proper names. I wasn't paying attention too much on the names.

My dad and I were seated at the Bay Grandstand, Zone 3. Light blue section, row 9 seats 15 and 16. Great views.

I'll try and post pictures eventually, but first I have to pic the best ones out of hundreds I took. So for now, I'll just share some of my thoughts about my experiences in watching this amazing event live.
  • Watching on TV does not give the sound of the F1 cars justice. To hear it live is just amazing. After a few practice laps on Friday I was already wearing the ear plugs you can buy at the event. Trust me, you need the ear plugs.
  • Sebastian Vettel is just that damn good. Period. An amazing driver with an amazing car equals an almost guaranteed win every race.
  • Trying to follow the F1 cars speeding all out on the (relatively) short straight made me dizzy.
  • The smell was also something else. A mixture of burnt rubber, burnt clutch, fuel, and, sadly, sweaty people.
  • The F1's safety car also has an amazing engine sound. Like a very angry rumble.
  • The McLarens are really shiny silver. It's not the common silver you see on normal road cars, but a mirror-like finish. Shiny under all the lights.
  • The Ferraris were also great to hear. Whether on a high RPM sound or a low RPM sound, it was just fantastic.
  • The audience was a bit tame, not as wild as other grand prix where people react more lively. There were some groans and sporadic clapping, but the crowd could definitely liven up. The decibel level of the crowd during the race was too quiet, if you ask me. Even when Vettel passed by doing his victory lap the crowd still didn't go as nuts as I thought they would.
So far that's all I can write about. I will try to write another post related to my F1 experiences, and hopefully I'll also be able to put a link for some photos.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Getting in Shape

I've posted something about this before, but I just want to post about it again.

I'm doing my best to brisk walk/jog at least once a week. Once. How the hell can I improve my stamina if I only do my brisk walking/jogging once a week?


Last week my two "cardio workouts" were going brisk walk/jogging and playing basketball. Both are cardio workouts, both have different intensities. It felt good to get a (relatively) good workout.

This week I started trying out doing barbell complexes (or whatever it is they're called). Instead of going at it straight with a barbell I'm doing it "a capella" for now. No barbell yet, I want to make sure my posture and form is right so I don't wreck any body part. And I don't plan on using heavy weights when I start. After all, the barbell we have at home has only two ONE POINT TWENTY FIVE KILOGRAM weights on it.

I do plan on getting more weights eventually. First I have to force myself to incorporate this barbell complex exercise into my daily routine. And I have to make this into a habit. I can't just go all out for a week or so and get bored.

All in the name of losing weight and becoming more healthy. I'm just glad (and blessed) to have officemates who share the same goals of getting healthy and losing weight. Although from the looks of it, I'm the one who needs the most work out of all the "serious" ones in the office.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

What's Up With the Weather?

The title says it all.

It still feels like summer. It is super-freaking hot. And humid. The weather isn't even cool. It's beach weather.

No, I don't want the super strong typhoons to hit the country non-stop, but I was also expecting it wouldn't be this hot at this time of the year. And the weird thing is at night there are times when it starts raining like a storm is here. Strange.

I hope this has nothing to do with a) climate change, b) a vengeful god who wants to punish us, or c) the 2012 end of the world predictions.

Oh crap, Tropical Banter's about to start.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Ideal Computer Setup

(Quick note: I am not a tech expert. I'm not up-to-date on the latest processors and what-not. So this post will be very generic. If you need help setting up a computer, don't ask me.)

I'm a 3D artist. I have a relatively powerful desktop at work, and right now I own a laptop computer. I haven't done any freelance work - yet. I hope to be able to do some eventually. But I have come to one important realization: I have found the ideal computer setup for myself.

What do I mean by this? I mean what gear I would ideally own that would be a perfect mix of practicality, power, and easiness-to-carry. The answer is simple: own a netbook and one desktop.

The netbook would be my travel computer. I would use it to store my demoreel, other work files, and other miscellaneous files. It would not contain any work related software and would be used exclusively for surfing the net and file storage. And maybe the occasional game or two.

Why not a tablet? I've got one simple answer why not a tablet. Connectivity. Sure, you can connect via wifi or bluetooth (do tablets have bluetooth?) but I'm not sure about it's USB connectivity. How easily can you connect your tablet to a digital camera? An external hard drive? A card-reader? Exactly. The netbook can still handle those things and it's still small enough and portable enough that it won't be that much of a hassle.

The desktop would be the powerful computer. I would use it for the more hardcore games and hardcore gadgets, er, and of course I'd try to put work-related software into it. It would be powerful enough to run the latest games, and still handle the latest 3D artist related software (if I have to put any into it.)

As for synching files between the two computers, it would be easily done using my home wifi network.

So there. One netbook for portable stuff, one powerful desktop for doing freelance work (and games, of course, and games). Plus I'd be able to save on the electric bill because if I just need to surf then I can just use the low energy netbook.


Thursday, August 18, 2011


So many thoughts, so little time to write.

I've been working overtime at work since Monday. No, I'm not complaining. I've done overtimes before. This is nothing new to me. So now I really want to blog, but usually when I get home I'm too tired to write.

Not tonight. First, I took a power nap during the afternoon break at work. Second, I don't plan on doing overtime tomorrow (to rest and recharge because in all likelihood I will be doing overtime this Saturday and Sunday - again, something I've done before). And finally, my wife and I will be hitching a ride with my mom tomorrow so I don't have to wake up early to drive to work.

Yes, I'm tired. I rarely do overtime in the game industry. I used to do a lot of overtime in the advertising / post-prod industry. But now? Rarely. Plus my body clock is adjusted to sleeping early and waking up early. So I'm sort of adjusting.

Anyway, I'm sort of surprised at my new mindset at work. I now make a conscious effort to not be a source of negative energies. I try to get along with all my teammates, and I try to be a positive influence around them.

I have no idea if it's because I'm becoming better as a lead, or if I'm just getting older, wiser, and more mature. Maybe it's all of the above. Maybe that seminar on positive attitude worked even better than I expected. I have no idea.

* * *

I also regret this week that I have had no chance to go jogging. It's frustrating because last week I was able to go 500m non-stop on a slow jog. This is a big deal for a fat-ass like myself. I've been pushing myself every week to increase the distance of my jog and this was a major improvement. I used to be able to do 1.5 laps around the park my officemates and I jog at. That's about 250m per lap.

* * *

I can't believe that I learn more from "bad influences" than from good ones. If I see examples of bad attitudes or whatever from people, I tend to remember those more than the good examples. And I do my best to avoid doing those bad things.

* * *

That's all I can write tonight. I had no plans of writing so basically I just wrote what my mind rambled.


Thursday, August 11, 2011


Here is a clip of "revertigo" as explained on that wonderful TV show, How I Met Your Mother.

For those who didn't click on the link,revertigo is "when you're around someone from your past you kinda revert back to who you were when you knew them." Or, as is also mentioned in the clip, you can call it "associative regression."Meaning if you started hanging out with friends from high school you start acting like you were back in high school.

I totally subscribe to this theory. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that you don't even need to be around someone from the past to revert back to a certain behavior.

For example, recently I attended this brilliant seminar on positive attitude in the workplace. After that seminar I was on a positivity high. That soon came crashing down as I reverted to my old, negative ways.

Why am I saying this? Because I don't like it. Up to now I am making a conscious effort to try and be more positive, despite the fact that I'm basically back to almost 100% of who I was before the seminar.

But, I have retained some small bit of positivity. I have changed in some small way. Now all I have to do is to fan that small ember of positive attitude so it can burn and help me improve myself as a person.

I just hope I can push myself to actually do it.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Fighting the Fat

I am obese. I have no idea if I am morbidly obese, but according to science, I am obese.

This of course is not good news. Most of my life I had led a dominantly sedentary lifestyle. My work involves me sitting in front of a computer to create 3D assets and animate them when needed. When I get home my usual pastime (pastime is spelled with one 't' huh?) is to sit in front of a television or computer and either watch shows or play video games.

Sure I was active when I was young, but had I known what I know now, I would have been concerned. I had the least stamina in my then group of friends. I was the least athletic. I played basketball casually, and biked once in a while but I never forced myself to make it a habit to be physically active.

I am just glad that I am now mature enough to force myself to be active. I aim to go brisk walking (with a little slow jog added in) at least twice a week with a minimum of 30 minutes active time. I can now push myself to exceed my comfort zone, and in fact I am quite proud today that I managed two laps of slow jogging around the jogging path my officemates and I go to. That's about 500m straight jog. Then after three cooldown walking laps, I managed one-and-a-half laps of slow jog. Not bad, not bad.

I just regret that I did not start this healthy habit early on. Now the "battle" I wage for my health is already lopsided, and not in my favor. But at least I am man enough to admit that it's time for a change, and man enough to actually do something about it.

Keep on fighting.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

When Being Negative is a Good Thing

Being negative can sometimes be viewed as a positive.

There, I wrote it. Now, allow me to explain with the most basic example I can think of.

As a Lead 3D Game Artist in the company I work for, I am responsible for scheduling when assets created by my team are due. So naturally I have to make sure I give my team enough time to create quality outputs, while also making sure that we deliver it soon enough for  approval.

When it comes to scheduling I don't usually over-commit. In fact, I usually give a buffer of plus 50% the usual time for output. The reason for this is because I'm already including the possible internal revisions from the higher ups. Plus the fact that I'm already anticipating every possible negative scenario to happen (hardware failure, sick leaves, total revision of concept art).

You could say I'm being negative when I start factoring all the bad stuff, but for me it works. We usually pass our assets either on time or ahead of schedule. Usually there are no more revisions needed unless there are drastic changes requested by the client. And if ever we do submit it all my expectations have either been met or been exceeded.

Quality wise I always make sure we create better-than-acceptable assets. Duration wise I feel that the schedules I give are fast enough for the higher ups, yet long enough for the artist to complete the task without rendering overtime.

So there's one example of my being negative ending up as a positive. I usually set low expectations on certain things. So when the expectations are met, they are usually greater than what I originally expected.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Just A Quick Plug

Right now I am streaming the podcast "Tropical Banter." You can also find them on iTunes, and you can download either their audio only podcast or the one with video. As of now I'm only downloading the audio only.

How did I chance upon this podcast? It started with me and my officemates subscribing to DJ Mo Twister's own podcast, Good Times With Mo. There was this one podcast where DJ Mo had Basti Artadi and Tirso Ripoll as guests, and soon they had their own podcast.

I personally am leaning more towards Tropical Banter than Good Times With Mo (sorry, DJ Mo). I guess it has to do with the fact that since high school I've been a "rocker" when it came to musical preferences. Basti Artadi is the vocalist of the Philippine band Wolfgang, and Tirso Ripoll is one of the guitarists of the Philippine band Razorback. I was a fan of both (but more of a Wolfgang fan) in high school.

It's great to listen to Tropical Banter because they have musical interludes where they play different cover songs on acoustic guitar. I've started listening to different kinds of music again because of those interludes. Basically I've started listening to the original versions of their covers and that has once again broadened my musical tastes. Most excellent.

So that's it, please try to listen to this podcast and enjoy. One quick warning though, it does feature a lot of explicit language, and they occasionally speak in Filipino. But overall, a most excellent podcast.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Looking at the Good Things in Life

One of the biggest reasons NOT to compare yourself with other people is because you almost always end up on the losing end of the comparison. At least for me that's true.

The reason is because I usually compare myself to others who have something I don't. Obviously it's a no-win situation. But every once in a while I have to remind myself that while I may not have the things that I want (not NEED, but just want) there are other people out there who, if compared to me, don't have the things I currently HAVE.

And there lies the trick. I always have to remind myself that while I may not have all the things I want, be it physical, mental, or spiritual, I do have a lot of things that others don't have.

It may not sound good on paper, but basically what I'm trying to say is that there's always something good I have, I just am not looking for it. Or I'm taking it for granted. Either way, I really really have to force myself to keep on looking at the things I have, rather than the things I want.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Post-Seminar Thoughts

I have no idea how long this post will be.

So I got home this evening after spending the night somewhere where my officemates and I attended a seminar on positive work attitude. I learned a lot, and most likely will forget about most of the things talked about on the seminar. But I am pretty sure that the seminar was still effective.

I got a lot of new ideas and ways to make sure that I can maintain my positive attitude, not just at work but also in life. And I plan on using this to improve myself.

I need to remove, or at least lessen, a lot of negatives about myself. That's the bottom line.

I also learned a lot about my officemates. Most, if not all of them, really want to be better people, just like me. And I guess I have to get rid of a lot of my attitudes and hang-ups in order for me to become a better person.

I'm rambling. Because I fell asleep last night, actually this morning, at 12:30am. And I woke up at 5:45am and I have not had a wink of sleep since.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

This Will Be Interesting

I'm going off tomorrow for an overnight stay somewhere with the other leads and directors from my office. It's supposed to be a leads team-building thing, with maybe other stuff included. No, I'm not a director (yet - but I want to be one) I am a lead.

I'm sort of looking forward to this, even if it means I won't be spending time with my wife and our baby girl. The reason I'm looking forward to this is its a chance to learn some more techniques that will help me become a better person, hopefully not just at work but for everything.

Plus hopefully after this quick sabbatical I'll be able to write a few introspective blog posts. We shall see.

Oh, and I am now officially a contributor at another blog. I have yet to post anything because I want my posts there to be of a better quality than the ones I post here. The reason for this is because that other blog will be a pet project of my best friend and I. I will post the link here soon enough.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Letting Go

No, this won't be a post about love or a lost loved one, or about any (relatively) mushy stuff.

It's about letting go of small things. Something I've been forcing myself to do, and I have been constantly fighting internally with myself to just let things go.

It's about the small, insignificant little peeves, or anxieties I have. Things that (I'm guessing) normal people don't think about too much. I have to make sure to just stop thinking about some things that I know will only lead to bigger problems if I put too much thought in them.

Some examples of this are the things that happen on the road. I have been constantly reminding myself to just let go of the things that piss me off on the road. I don't need to bitch too much about those things, and I certainly don't need to add stress to whoever is my passenger (usually my lovely wife) if they start hearing me complain about things that shouldn't even piss me off.

It's hard. Really hard.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Let Me Re-Phrase That

When I said I wanted a Baja Bug, I guess that statement was sort of false. Let me write down some of the things that I'd want in a VW Classic Beetle.

I'd like to have a Baja Bug-like VW Classic Beetle with bigger and wider tires, and a higher ground clearance. The tires would be slightly low profile, at most having 50% of the wheel's section width, and at least having 30% of the section width.

I want the engine to still be covered, but inside would lurk a modified engine that produces more power and torque. I'd like it if there was also a cooling system in place to help fight the tropical heat of the Philippines. And maybe if the engine can handle the heat and power requirement, an A/C unit.

I'd like to have steel pipe bumpers with a pair of circle fog lamps on the front bumper, and steel pipe bumpers on the rear also. I'd also want to have the front part chopped to look like a Baja Bug, meaning the spare tire would either be stowed somewhere else, or I'd have to go with run-flats.

Inside I'd like to have four bucket seats or four ergonomic semi-racing seats. As long as you can still put child-seats on them it won't be a hassle for me. I'd also replace the windows with a full-window instead of the window having the small folding window - for security reasons. And I'd also like the car to have a functional, sturdy looking roof rack.

What does this all mean?

Basically I want a Beetle that looks like a Baja Bug, but isn't a true Baja Bug. Think of it as a crossover vehicle. It's comfortable enough to be used as a daily driver, but sturdy enough to tackle some off-road scenarios - like deep potholes and gravel roads.

I haven't even gone into all the insane details I'd like the car to have, like the suspension settings and the brakes, interior, engine mods, etc.


Friday, July 15, 2011

I *REALLY* Want A Baja Bug

Yes, it's another car-related rant!

And yes, it's about the Beetle Baja yet again!

Yes I have other cars I like. Cars like the Ford GT40, Ford GT, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Ferrari 512bb, and of course the Volkswagen "Samba Bus / Kombi", the Kharmann Ghia, and the Kubelwagen / Thing.

But right now my main focus is on the Baja Bug. Why?

  • It's the most realistic thing I can afford right now. Well, not exactly the Baja Bug, but I can find myself a decent priced Volkswagen Beetle for sale. Let's say I manage to buy a Beetle that runs and is reliable, that gives me a car already. I can use it as a daily driver while I save up for the parts I need to convert it.
  • I can work on it with my dad. Well, maybe not everything. My father and I can tinker with it during the weekends. It's not so high tech that we have to send it to specialized shops just to modify it. With the classic Beetle we can have more bonding times if we were to work on whatever we can work on. Just not maybe modifying the bodywork.
  • It's the perfect daily driver for Metro Manila's streets. Like I wrote before, a Baja Bug is high enough to clear the deep potholes, it can ford most flash floods, and it's small enough that I can wiggle around traffic with it.
Well those are the only reasons I can think of now. I have no idea what re-awakened my desire to own a Baja Bug, but it's better and more realistic than say, a BMW E46 320i, or an E30 320i.

And besides, there's nothing wrong with dreaming right?


Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm Thirty-One Years Old...

... And I still complain a lot. Its probably getting annoying to the people who hear me complain. I guess I have to learn to curb my grievances.

That would be the mature thing to do. Just let things go. Let it slide, smile, look for the bright side of things. It's just so damn hard to do.

I am seriously considering getting professional help for my attitude.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

These Things Like To Try My Patience

Here we go. Things that try my patience. A quick rant, just to vent. I am doing my best to not be so negative, so I guess these things that are happening right now are just ways to make sure I keep positive. I just have to quickly let go of the negativity and just focus on finding a more positive point-of-view.

1. I accidentally dropped my android phone, and the LCD got damaged. It was my fault so I was quick to let go of the negativity and acknowledge that it was my fault. But the screen is damaged and I'm guessing it's going kaput soon, so I have to save up for a new phone.

2. While playing PS3 early this morning, it just suddenly died. When I tried turning it on, YLOD. I had just turned it on so it wasn't an overheating problem, but I have no idea what the problem could be. Since I'd spent to fix up the blu-ray lens before, I have no idea if I want to have it fixed yet again. If I'm feeling up to it I may check the net and see if I can fix it myself. (Actually I'm doing that right now as I blog.)

3. Driving on Philippine streets. Actually no, I just like to complain. I'm a "reklamador" in Tagalog. I complain. A lot. I think I should cut back on complaining.

Oh, a quick update of my birthday wishlist!

1. A new android phone. Maybe the newest Samsung Galaxy.
2. A new PS3. I'd rather get a new one and keep the old one as a paperweight.
3. A fully functioning, very reliable Volkswagen Classic Beetle.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Items for my Birthday Wishlist

Here we go! More items I thought of (and more filler material for my blog). So without further ado...

1. 64GB iPod Touch or 64GB iPhone 4G. I'll be honest, my android phone is decent. But Apple just nailed it with their devices. More (free) apps, better (free) apps, built-in memory. My android is frustrating because the apps only install into the phone memory and that isn't very big. Oh, and why 64GB? So I can back-up my photos too.

2. A new wrist watch. Something like this Timex Chronograph. Or the Blue in Dark Swatch Irony. I miss having a chronometer. I also wouldn't mind getting a heart-rate monitor wristwatch, as long as it's durable. Something like a Timex IRONMAN Road Trainer.

3. A new steel-string acoustic guitar. With a sturdy bridge, no pegs. Just holes to put the string through. I've noticed the pegs eventually loosen and you have to jam paper in it just to make sure they don't pop off.

4. A home suspension training set. Might help me get motivated to work out. TRX has this Pro Pack + Door Anchor kit that's really expensive. But if I had it at home the only excuses I'd have for not using it is because I'm lazy.

That's all I can think of for now.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Birthday Wishlist

Right, my birthday is just around the corner. Time for me to whip up another wishlist. I'll be mixing what I want, realistic and the other totally improbable (unless I end up winning big time in the lottery). It's up to you to decide if what I want is improbable or realistic. So here we go...

1. A Place to Call My Own

  • I'd really love to own a house and lot with a two-car garage somewhere in the Metro. Flood free area and easily accessible to all major areas, of course. Just so my wife, my child, and I have our own place to stay.
  • Or a two or three-bedroom condo unit in the heart of Makati would be nice. With one or two parking slots. As long as the place is, again, easily accessible, and safe. And the streets to get there should be flood free. And the neighbors should at least know common decency and be considerate to others. Nah, I'd rather have a house and lot.
2. My Own Mode of Transportation
  • The first car I'd want is of course a family car. The Toyota Innova is the best choice available in the market right now. Specifically an automatic transmission diesel engined Innova.
  • Or if I can get a second car, a toy car I can use as a daily driver. The Volkswagen Beetle conversion I'd always wanted would do just right. I'm talking Baja Bug sized wheels, improved engine performance, all-wheel disc brakes, extra fog lamps, etc.
  • Or it could be a Kubelwagen. This would also be a pretty decent daily-driver / family car. Just take a look at it.
3. An Electric Guitar Rig
  • A Dean from Hell CFH Dimebag Darrell signature guitar, a Marshall amp, Korg G3 effects pad, and a wah-wah pedal. No, I'm not a kick ass guitar player. But this might get me inspired enough to practice at least 30 minutes a day.
4. A "Super" Computer
  • Core i7 processor with 16GB RAM, dual videocards (one for work, one for play) and 1 terrabyte of hard drive space. Plus solid state hard drive for the programs.
5. 4 - 5 pairs of Nike Basketball Shorts with Pockets
  • I love Nike shorts. With pockets. So versatile, I can wear them when I sleep, play basketball, go walking / jogging, or I can wear them at home. Getting 4 - 5 pairs gives me a total of 7 - 8 pairs, meaning I can get rid of my other older shorts.
6. Dry Fit T-shirts
  • The same reason why I love Nike shorts is the same reason I love dry fit t-shirts. They're comfortable to wear, and they dry quickly. Enough said.
And that's all I can think of so far. Those are the things I want for my upcoming birthday. I don't need to get them for my birthday to be happy, but they will add to my joy if I do get them.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

When It Rains It Floods

I've noticed that Metro Manila is not ready or capable of handling typhoons anymore.

Flash floods happen. Most likely the result of years of throwing garbage in creeks, also of poor sewage systems and bad city planning. It happened a few nights ago.

I was fortunate to go home on time with my wife. We made it home in forty minutes or so. Around ten that evening while browsing through facebook I saw posts by officemates of mine saying the street in front of our office had waist deep flood waters. Sadly this wasn't the "normal" type of flood waters.

It was dirty sewer water. From a creek that no one seems to remember was there because they covered it up and put streets on top of it. I don't even want to call it a creek because the water is stagnant. It isn't flowing. There is a portion of it open beside Don Bosco Church and passing by the bridge on foot you can smell the damn thing.

And it's not only there where flooding occurs. My grandmother's house got flooded. Again. The first time I recall that happening it was because of Ondoy, or Typhoon Ketsana (I think that's her international name, but I can't remember), and the first floor of her house had waters 5 or 6 feet deep. Only this time her house got flooded but the storm was some 300km away... from Tuguegarao. Tuguegarao is a couple of hundred kilometers away from Metro Manila.

So what's my point in this post? I think something ought to be done to make sure that Metro Manila should be better able to handle typhoons. Citizens deserve to be taken care of, and people should not have to worry about their safety when travelling because of any storm.


Friday, June 24, 2011

NBA Draft Live Blog

I'm listening to a live broadcast of the 2011 NBA Draft via ESPN at work. And I'll be blogging my thoughts as this happens, when I have the free time since I am at work. Cleveland Cavaliers with the first pick and five minutes left. I guess they're doing the draft in New Jersey because Madison Square Garden's under renovation? I'll try and add the local time as I type my thoughts.

Oh and I'll only cover the lottery picks. Then I'm logging out.

7:46am - Wilt Perdue is on at ESPN with a few other ESPN broadcasters and they're doing a lot of talking to fill the time while Cleveland decides who to pick. Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams?

7:49am - Cleveland selects Kyrie Irving with the first pick. Nice. I heard a quick promo of Irving saying he's not in John Wall's league or something.

7:55am - Minnesota selects Derrick Williams second. As expected. I heard earlier the Lakers had offered Odom for this pick. Damn you, Lakers. Where Odom goes, so does my loyalty. Now that the Wolves have Williams, what happens to Beasley, Martell Webster, and even Anthony Randolph? Minnesota could stand to make a few trades to give Williams a chance to develop.

8:00am - Utah gets Enes Kanter. What the fuck?!? I thought Brandon Knight was going to be drafted by the Jazz. Utah now has five bigs (Millsap, Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors, and maybe Memo Okur?) with Kanter on board. I sense a trade will happen. Maybe Utah will get  "The Jimmer" with the 12th pick?

8:06am - Cleveland next picks Tristan Thompson. Say what? Wow, I did not see this coming. Thompson basically plays the same position as JJ Hickson and Antawn Jamison. I guess this was their next choice since the Jazz got Kanter. I always thought the Cavs would get a big man to help Varejao. Interesting.

8:12am - Toronto gets the fifth pick and they get Jonas Valanciunas. What? I thought Colangelo was going for a more American flavor for the Raptors and they get another Euro big? I hope this guy can rebound. I don't get this pick.

8:14am - An ESPN announcer said Tristan Thompson reminds him of Durant. Seeing as how I don't get to watch NCAA games, I'll have to take his word for it. With a grain of salt.

8:16am - Washington gets Jan Vessely with the sixth pick. This guy was supposedly the "Blake Griffin of Europe." I have no idea at all.

8:20am - Sacramento gets Bismack Biyombo. This guy could help the frontcourt. DeMarcus Cousins could handle the offense, and Biyombo could take care of the defense. I'm not sure if this is true, but aren't the Kings trading this pick to the Bobcats? Does this mean Bismack Biyombo is going to Charlotte?

Biyombo sounds funny. Just saying.

8:26am - Detroit gets Brandon Knight. Nice. Now they can move Stuckey to the shooting guard position. Knight and Greg Monroe seem like good building blocks for Detroit.

Could Kentucky get 7 players drafted in the first round this year? We shall see.

8:32am - Charlotte gets Kemba Walker with the 9th pick. Bye-bye DJ Augustin?

So the Milwaukee-Charlotte-Sacramento trade sounds like it's going through. Why do I get the feeling that after the lockout there will be tons of trade activities for teams? Why did the Bobcats get Walker when they had a point guard already. God, I'm so excited for the up-coming season. I just hope there is a season.

8:37am - Jimmer Fredette goes to Milwaukee. I think this pick is included in the trade so maybe Fredette goes to Sacramento? Yep, his rights are going to Sacramento.

8:43am - Golden State gets Klay Thompson from Washington State University. Finally, a tall shooting guard for Golden State.

8:50am - Utah gets Alec Burks from Colorado with the 12th pick. I'm starting to like Utah's young guys, Favors, Kanter, Hayward, and now Burks. I hope they've got a plan.

So the Morris twins are still on the board. I thought Marcus was going top ten. Guess I was wrong. Maybe both end up top twenty. I hope so.

8:57am - Speaking of Morris. The Suns get Markieff Morris. Wait, isn't this the defensive Morris? Good pick by the Suns. They've got enough offense already, now it's time to get defensive. I'm just suprised Marcus wasn't picked first. Unless the Suns thought this was the "better" Morris. Yeah as if that would happen.

I just realized the Suns have two halves of twins in the NBA. And they've got the "lesser" of the twins. They got Robin Lopez, and now Markieff Morris. Both supposedly not as good as their twin, both supposedly the better defensive player.

Apparently Markieff has a jump shot. I hope it helps get him playing time. But he has to fight with Channing Frye and Warrick for PF minutes, and Gortat and Lopez for C minutes.

9:04am - And Marcus Morris goes next to the Rockets. Huh. Scola. Patterson. Now Morris? Stocking up on PFs I see. Again, trades I foresee.

And that's the lottery. I'm ending it here because I really need to use the bathroom.


Monday, June 20, 2011


Has it ever occured to you that all the things you experience in life could disappear? All the sights, sounds, people, places, friends, loved ones, enemies, and everything all could be gone in the blink of an eye?

That's why it's very important that we always appreciate what we have at this moment in time. It's okay to want more, let's just not get too greedy.

So to all the things in life that I hold dear, thank you for being there for me.