Thursday, December 31, 2015

[709] 2016

It is now around 10:52pm Metro Manila time as I start to write this post. In little over one hour it will be a new year here.

Hopefully the new year brings joy, good vibes, and positivity to everyone. Also more peace and love to all - humans, animals, living creatures. We all live in one Earth and I think we all deserve to live here in harmony.

I also hope the lessons I learned in the past I can retain, and hopefully I won't repeat the mistakes I did before.

Happy New Year everyone. I do hope I can blog more next year.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

[708] I Have a Bad Feeling About This

Something isn't right. I cannot pinpoint what, but there seems to be a nagging feeling of something wrong in my gut.

Maybe I'm just paranoid, maybe I just think too much. I can't even analyze what it is that has been bugging me the past few weeks.

Is it my mortality? When I was younger I had this arrogant attitude of thinking I was ready to die anytime. It was the arrogance of youth and I'm glad that I didn't die then. However now death scares me.

Maybe because it's the unknown. You don't know what happens when you die. Does your brain shut down like when you sleep? Or do you just, I don't know, stop? What happens, what about all the dreams and goals in life you still want?

I don't want to die. Not yet. I want to achieve my dreams, I want to be able to find the inner peace I envy from so many people I meet.

I want to gain the courage to accept my mortality.


Saturday, December 05, 2015

[707] Adaptability

Everyone should be familiar with the saying "Jack of all trades, master of none." It basically means you can do a lot of things, but that you can't do any of them great. I usually hear it get used in a negative sense, meaning someone can do a lot of things but can't do them all in an exemplary way.

Well here's another perspective I just realized about jack of all trades. They are masters of something -- adaptability.

What do I mean by this? It means these do-it-alls can adjust and conform to whatever life throws at them. They can do almost anything which makes them pretty useful to have around. Specially if these "jacks" are pretty good at adapting.

Which brings me to this: I am now a VFX game artist for my current employer. I applied and was accepted as an animator, but because of my willingness to try new things I volunteered to help our relatively small VFX team.

I may not be as good as the software engineers we have on the team, but so far I can sort of hold my own with the requirements.

I never imagined I would do well, at least by my standards, with the VFX team and yet here I am doing pretty well and having quite a blast doing it. I guess because being a VFX artist involves having an artistic side to create the textures needed for the VFX as well as having a, er, "logical" (can't think of how to describe software engineers) side to implement the VFX in the game engine.

Thank God I was blessed with the ability to learn quickly. I believe I am not a hindrance to the VFX team, and I would like to think that I am helping a lot by being one of the two main guys who produces textures.

So if anyone calls you a jack-of-all-trades, try seeing it from another perspective. It might be the best compliment you can get.


Thursday, December 03, 2015

[706] My Luxury Christmas Wishlist

Last post I gave you my practical wishlist. This time it's the luxury wishlist.

1. The latest iPad or iPad mini - My iPad2 is old, and I want to keep playing the games I downloaded. I find it useless (and expensive) to buy a new one.

2. The best 15" Alienware laptop available - I have no idea what it is. I do know I want a new laptop that can handle the latest games with ease. Plus I'm a sucker for some brand names, and Alienware is one of them. I also want a slightly bigger screen for the laptop.

3. Both a new PS4 or a new XBox One - I will mostly play racing games, and I want to try both Forza 6 and whatever Gran Turismo comes out for the PS4. However either one will do. I'm guessing the newest Need for Speed will be available for both consoles, as well as whatever new Grand Theft Auto comes out.

4. A Tiny House of my own design - I'm still obsessed with them, I just don't blog about it that often.

5. White 2015 Subaru WRX A/T with Brembo GT Kit front and rear and red or black HRE rims - Because I'm a car nut, and this car and those mods are available here in the Philippines.

Anyway I'm actually pretty happy with my life right now, these so-called luxury items are things I don't really need. I wouldn't mind owning them, but I don't mind not owning them either.


Monday, November 30, 2015

[705] My 2015 Practical Christmas Wishlist

Usually around this time of the year I start writing down stuff I want for Christmas. Here's my list for 2015, all stuff I need for everyday life.

1. Belts. Plural. I'd need one leather formal belt and maybe another casual belt. Black for the formal, and any decent color for the casual.

2. Socks. Preferably twelve pairs of sports socks to replace all my socks. Maybe six black and six white. What about for formal occasions? I rarely dress for those, and no one would notice me wearing black sports socks with my leather shoes. Speaking of which...

3. Black leather shoes. It could be wingtips or whatever design. As long as I can wear them for both formal and casual occassions.

4. A new daypack / backpack. My trusty backpack is showing a lot of wear and tear. It's time I gave it away and got myself a new one.

5. Spare goggles. A back up in case I decide to do some physical activity. Goggles that are durable and can be used playing basketball, at the beach, or in any activity where my everyday glasses might fall off or break.

6. New radio and antenna for the Rav4. Something that has an auxilliary jack, USB port, and maybe an LCD screen. Hopefully something that can still connect with the CD changer.

7. Refurbish the rims of the Rav4. I'm not even asking for new rims. Just refurbish the current rims. The coat is flaking off. I'm guessing there are minor leaks since these rims are stock and about fourteen years old already. The only request I'd make is to change the color to gunmetal or something dark.

8. Leather wrap the steering wheel of the Rav4. The steering wheel is also in need of attention. The material is crumbling so wrapping it in leather would improve the feel of the wheel a lot.

That's it. Those are the practical things I'd want this year. I have no idea if I will get the things I want, but that's why I like to daydream.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

[704] A Pleasant Surpise at Teriyaki Boy Glorietta

It has literally been years since my wife and I last ate at any Teriyaki Boy branch. The reason? The one we usually frequented in Greenbelt 1 (the one fronting AIM) closed. Aside from that there was a boom of new Japanese themed restaurants that claimed (and actually pulled through) on their authenticity.

Don't get me wrong, Teriyaki Boy is a good restaurant. I just don't think it would be legit to call it authentic Japanese cuisine. The tastes have been "Filipinized" to appeal to a larger market. And Maica and I didn't mind. We liked some of their more unique offerings.

Teriyaki Boy redesigned it's logo and it's look a few years ago. From the cute pudgy character now they just have a sleek looking head. They also re-did the look of the resto. It has more of a classic Japanese resto feel to it.
The new logo. Photo taken from

The old logo. Pic from

Anyway today we decided to have lunch in Teriyaki Boy with Martina. She ordered this set meal that had a salad, the main dish (Teriyaki Boy Chicken Don or something), four pieces of California maki, and miso soup. Also iced tea. That was the set.

I got some gyoza, a Philly Cheesesteak maki (not very 'authentic'), and a spicy, crunchy tuna tartare like dish.

The food was surprisingly good! At least the ones I ate. They really won't be considered authentic Japanese food, as I keep saying, but they are surprisingly good. I just wish I took photos of the food, but honestly I wasn't planning on blogging about it.

The price was also surprisingly very worth it. I guess the bill also really wasn't that high because I just ordered three appetizers and Maica shared her lunch set with Martina. Still, we came out of the place full and happy. I could not ask for anything more than that from any restaurant, be it a very humble carinderia or the highest rated restaurant in the Metro.

So thank you, Teriyaki Boy Glorietta, for giving us a good meal. I'm so glad you're still around. Here's hoping we eat there again soon.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

[703] APEC Holidays

November 18 and 19 are APEC holidays because of the ongoing APEC Summit being held here in Metro Manila. We won't be having work for Wednesday and Thursday, and I decided to extend my leave to Friday.

Traffic going home was bad yesterday. It had something to do with some road closures and traffic re-routing schemes. I'm thankful that there are some alternate routes heading home that I could take.

Aside from this I'm thankful for the chance to take a break. Work has been good and I'm now a fledgling Unity VFX artist. I volunteered to help the VFX team with their tasks since they are lacking manpower. I really don't mind since I will be learning new skills that will supplement and complement my current set of skills.

Now that I have no work and traffic is a bitch, I'll be enjoying the chance to bum around at home and just decompress.


Monday, November 16, 2015

[702] JDM Styling

It was a very good thing I worked in the automotive industry for a little over a year. I met a lot of wonderful people, learned a lot of new things about cars, and my love of cars grew by leaps and bounds.

Even my taste in cars changed. I used to joke I was a "ricer" meaning I liked Japanese cars with fart cans and loud colors. I still sorta do, but I like them tastefully done. What I wasn't expecting was that I'd be more of a "JDM" guy.

What exactly is JDM? I think it stands for Japanese Domestic Market. It also stands for the Japanese styling of cars. I specifically like the old school JDM styling -- black fender flares with fender mounted side-mirrors and RS Watanabe rims. That's the look I like.

I'm not really a big fan of stanced cars, but I see the beauty in it. Neither am I a fan of "bosozoku", but I can understand where those fans are coming from.

I've been obsessing over that kind of design that I've tried doodling a couple of cars with that kind of styling. I tried it out on a classic VW Beetle without the fender flares since technically the fenders are flares. I tried it on a 2015 Hilux, and also on my favorite Ferrari, the 512bb.

It sort of looks good, since I designed it. I just hope that eventually I'll be able to afford to do a JDM-styled vehicle for whatever ride I might own.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Blog Post #701

Apparently my previous post about reading was my blog's 700th post. I was not expecting that, to be honest.

I started this blog way back in 2005 when I was still a relatively rookie 3D artist. I didn't have any special plans for this blog, I just needed an outlet. If you read past articles you'll see my writing style was very different from the way I write now. You will also notice that I was angrier at the time.

Times have indeed changed. My posts aren't as angry now, and I sure have learned how to censor myself a lot more than before. I don't post all my thoughts now, though there are times I will lose self-control and just blast away.

How has life been since I started? I can't complain, to be honest. I chose to have this life, and no one made me do so otherwise. So here I am, thirty-five (!) years old and a father of one hyper-energetic daughter.

I look forward to having a few hundred more blog posts in the future. And hopefully more posts will be things I want to write about instead of filler I write just for the sake of posting something on this blog.


Monday, October 26, 2015


I used to devour books when I was studying in Naga. I would bring one or two novels and read it in the boarding house to kill time. Unfortunately I'd get so locked in I would finish a book in one or two days. It was that fast because my last year of college I had one or two subjects a day and the rest of the day was free time.

I also used to buy a lot of used magazines in one of the used bookstores in Naga. If I ran out of reading materials I would go to centro and buy a few magazines. Anything that caught my interest, anything that would increase my (trivial) knowledge of cars, video games, and the occasional "gentleman's magazine" (FHM and Maxim, both local and US versions).

The reason why I was able to consume reading materials so much was because I had no TV or computer at the boarding house. So I used to read, draw, and write a lot. Before this blog I had a big notebook full of thoughts. I still have it somewhere.

Now I can't even finish reading a long article. My attention wanes easily, and I try looking for the TL;DR section. The iPad has replaced the trade paperbacks and magazines I used to read and now I usually just play games on the iPad.

Of course I miss reading. And I really want to remedy my problem. I have one solution, in fact. I want to buy "The Hobbit." I've never read it. I've seen parts of the three movies, but I wasn't able to read it because the copy we have at home is so old the pages fall off with every turn.

When The Lord of the Rings trilogies were shown I made it a point to read the books first, so I had a point of comparison. The last good book I read was Bill Simmon's The Book of Basketball. I tried reading a biography on Michael Jordan but it was too boring for me. I can't believe I got bored with a book.

I miss reading great books, reading books that stimulate my imagination. Books that make me escape this reality for a few moments as I immerse myself in the world I am reading.

So what's my wishlist for books? Aside from The Hobbit, I've been thinking if I should read the Narnia series and the Game of Thrones series. And no, I've never seen any of the movies or episodes of the two books I mentioned.

I just hope I can push myself to start reading again.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Thoughts on Lamar Odom

I've been a Lamar Odom fan since he was drafted by the Clippers in 1999. The reason I became a fan was because of his cover story in SLAM magazine.
Pic taken from SLAM magazine's website.
I was a relatively tall, left-handed Filipino youth entering my 20s and I still loved to play. Chris Webber was still my number one favorite player (and to this day he still is) and while I tried to emulate his post up and rebounding game, I knew I hated contact too much and I wanted to handle the ball too much.

Lamar Odom changed all of that. I had never seen anyone that tall handle the ball from back court and make it seem easy. And no, I actually can't count Magic Johnson since I was too young to appreciate his game.

Watching him grow as a player in Miami, then move to the Lakers, I could not help but be happy for him. He deserved his successes, specially since he was such a team-first character.

Odom was amazing, and as he fights for his life now I would just like to say that I still am a fan. I still believe in Lamar, and I hope for the best.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

The New Ford Everest

I've been reading a lot about the new Ford Everest. I am still quite impressed about the specs until I compared it with the Toyota Super Grandia.

The Everest was longer.

Jesus Christ, the Grandia is already a tight squeeze in our garage. I cannot imagine if an Everest decided to park beside it. I'm not saying we're getting one, but the Everest has been one of my current dream rides.

The Toyota Innova has actually been replaced as my ideal family vehicle by the Ford Everest. Matching up the diesels, Ford just seems to have a more efficient engine along with a more efficient automatic transmission. The Innova is basically showing its age.

I do know that the price ranges are different, and so are the target markets. Honestly though I'd rather choose the Kia Carens over the Innova.

Back to the Everest, it just is an impressive vehicle. I wish I would be able to test drive one, and maybe own one. Unless I win the lottery, I doubt that will be happening.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Slow September

I am blogging for the sake of blogging. My creative writing juices are dry, and I have nothing to write about so far. I wish I had, though. I had already gotten the ball rolling last August only to slow down this month.

Still, I'm glad I am actually able to write this. Just ramble for a few minutes about not writing anything. Maybe this will get my writing flowing again these next few days.

Also, I'm listening to Baauer's Harlem Shake as I write. I have no idea why. Don't ask.


Saturday, September 05, 2015

Gani's Restaurant Review: Maisen Katsu @ Greenbelt 5

Preface: So Maisen Katsu just recently opened in Greenbelt 5, and Maica spotted it a few weeks ago. She suggested we try it today, and I was willing to give it a shot. Maica had a work-related activity near Greenbelt so she took Martina there while I waited for them to finish. During this time I used the free wifi in the mall to read up on Maisen Katsu. Our Awesome Planet's article was the very informative and prepped me for our upcoming lunch.
2015 Sept 5 - Lunch at Maisen Katsu @ Greenbelt 5
Waiting for our food.

Background: After a few seconds of googling, apparently Maisen Katsu is one of, if not, the best tonkatsu restaurants in Japan. I'm not going to try and do hardcore research about why they decided to bring it here or what. You can read Our Awesome Planet's entry (link above) for background information.

Ambiance: I'll be honest, the location was outside the mall and it was small. When we got there it was full inside so we ate outside. I didn't mind, since there was a roof. Then again, ambiance isn't something I look out for too much. The design of the place was simple. Typical Manila katsu place full of wood and Japanese themed designs. I even heard a passerby wonder out loud if Yabu had opened a new branch. Yes, Maisen Katsu looks just like Yabu at first glance.
2015 Sept 5 - Lunch at Maisen Katsu @ Greenbelt 5
Looks like every other katsu place in Metro Manila.

Service: It just opened I think last month. Service is still good, the waitstaff were very friendly and helpful. Our server, Ms. Anne if I remember right, even taught me the different ways to enjoy my Katsumabushi Set lunch. They were very pleasing and helpful.

They were also very quick to refill the free cold tea and were always attentive. They were also very quick cleaning up! Once I was done with my lunch they got my tray (with my consent, of course) which was also good because I was slowly scavenging food from Maica and Martina.

Food presentation and taste: Typical katsu restaurant presentation. Once you've seen one style of presentation you've seen them all.

But the taste, oh man. It was good! My katsumabushi set was very delicious. I tried different ways of eating it. With and without the dashi broth. It was excellent. The meet was tender, and I never realized that wasabi tasted good with katsu until this afternoon. My meal was very delicious, and according to Maica her dish was also great.
2015 Sept 5 - Lunch at Maisen Katsu @ Greenbelt 5
My Katsumabushi Set
2015 Sept 5 - Lunch at Maisen Katsu @ Greenbelt 5
A close up of the rice with cubed katsu pieces
I was also able to sample some of Martina's kiddie meal since she didn't eat everything. I tried the tonkatsu sandwich, but it was a bit meh for me. The chicken karaage was great. It was very tender and tasty. I've never had a karaage like that here in Metro Manila. Though I have to end this paragraph with a footnote that I was sampling kiddie meal fare so they might have changed the recipe to account for a kid's taste buds.

Value for money: It's priced like your typical Metro Manila katsu place. Though it might seem a bit more expensive since they may charge the same but the quantity might be different. If I recall Yabu's similar priced katsu set offered more katsu in terms of grams than Maisen's. HOWEVER, the taste of Maisen is really better than Yabu's. It cost us a little over Php1200 for the three of us, but I honestly felt it was worth it.

Closing: It was my first time to eat at Maisen Katsu, but it has already jumped to the top of my favorite, er, commercial (meaning multiple branches usually located in malls) katsu places. Right now my ranking would be: 1. Maisen Katsu, 2. Saboten, 3. Ginza Bairin, and last but not least 4. Yabu.

That's how good Maisen Katsu is right now for me. Great taste, good presentation, good service. I only hope they can maintain this sort of quality as time goes by. I will definitely be eating there again, and I do hope you decide to try them to.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Movie Time

Last Saturday, August 29, 2015, Maica and I finally watched a movie again after almost five years. Ever since Martina was born we stopped watching, due to whatever reason we had.

It was also the first time Martina got to watch a movie inside a theater. Funny that I was so worried of her freaking out in a theater that I actually waited until she was almost five before finally deciding to bring her out to watch a movie. So here's how it went.

We decided to watch Disney Pixar's Inside Out because this was the most kid-friendly movie out there. I decided we would watch the movie at BGC, since this was hopefully less full of people than the theaters in the bigger malls. This was my back-up plan in case Martina freaked out or something.

Little did I know that tickets to movies now cost a lot more than what we used to pay. Still, considering the location, and the quality of the facilities at BGC I guess it's worth it to pay a bit of a premium.
Movie Tickets
Since we still had time to kill before the movie started we decided to have lunch. Martina wanted ramen, again. I was more than happy to eat at Kichitora Ramen. I ordered their "Jajamen" and was very pleasantly surprised with the taste. I guess I'll be re-ordering this again when we eat here.
Jajamen by Kitchitora Ramen @ BGC
Jajamen. Sounds like Jejemon, sadly.
Finally it was time to watch the movie. We went in the movie house, and it was already dark. Martina was sort of anxious, but was calm. We found our seats and waited for the movie to start.
Inside The Theater
Martina and Maica waiting for the movie to start.

Martina was great throughout the movie, and before the movie started. She did get a bit bored waiting for the movie to start, but what do you expect with kids.

It was also a pleasant surprise that I one of my current colleagues at work brought his wife and kid to see the movie too. It was also his kid's first time to watch a movie, though she was much, much younger than Martina.

So how was the movie? Awesome. The animated short, Lava, that came before the movie was a great warm-up for the movie. Pixar told a great story, and it was very heartwarming and touching. Amazing.

It was worth the money we spent to watch the movie. I cannot wait to watch our next movie.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Gen 2 Rav4

I keep posting about my "dream car," and I rarely post about the current car I use. It's a 2001 Toyota Rav4, and to be honest it would take an offer I couldn't resist to stop using it.

It's the perfect city car. It has decent consumption for a fourteen year old car. It has good ride height to navigate shallow floods and deep potholes. It has decent space inside for my family. And it is just the right size for driving around Metro Manila, not that I drive around a lot.

I just wish I could afford to have it restored, for lack of a better word. It needs new rubber seals. The mags need to be refurbished. Not all strips of the rear window defogger work.

Notice I never mentioned any mechanical issues. That's because my folks and I had the mechanicals fixed last year. We gave the Rav a check up and had major issues fixed, but those were mostly mechanical. It needs a lot of aesthetic work, tint to help beat the heat, and a new head unit. That's it. And if I do get the funds to have to t fixed, I will. This car is something I wouldn't mind driving for the rest of my life, as long as I can take good care of it, as good as how it has served me.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Blogging from an iPad

This post is being written using the blogger app on iOS. The previous post was also written using the same app.

It's a bit simpler to blog here. I don't get the same amount of control I'm used to when blogging from my laptop. I can't attach photos from flickr, use clean hyperlinks, and all those other things. But I really don't mind.

Right now I cannot force myself to blog as often as I used to. I think if my creativity in art is peaking, my creativity in writing wanes. Probably because I have another outlet.

I have been drawing a lot. I also have been familiarizing myself with the pen tablet used in computers. I have work to thank.

I am rediscovering my love for art, and the technical aspect of it. It's great. Once again my skill level is rising by leaps and bounds.

And I'm rambling.


Sunday, August 09, 2015

Fun Times with Grandma

Earlier today Maica, Martina, and I paid a visit to my 94-year old paternal grandmother -- Lola Jinny. "Lola" is Filipino for grandmother.

It was great that we were able to spend a short time with her. I am also extremely happy that Martina was able to meet at least one of her great-grandparents.

This is the reason why I try to see Lola Jinny whenever I can. I was fortunate enough to have met both of my dad's grandmothers. I want Martina to be able to say she met her elders too. Knowing your past can help you move forward. Be proud of your roots, so to speak.

Anyway, that's all I have to say in that matter. It was great seeing my Lola, and I do enjoy the moments we have.


Monday, July 20, 2015

The Really Long Weekend

For almost everyone, it was a long weekend. There was no work last Friday, and almost everyone resumed work today. Notice I wrote "almost everyone."

We did not have work today on account of the 8th anniversary of my current employer. Instead of acting like the usual lazy slob I am, I decided to do some productive things today.

Basically I did accomplished some paperwork with the local Social Security, I went to the bank to fix some things, and I had my head shaved. And it did not take the whole day to accomplish these things.

I was done with the major stuff by 10:30am. The haircut was just a bonus, since I found out my dad would be going somewhere near my suki barber. The same barber I've been going to since around 1992.

I technically did switch barbers for a few years, but ended up returning to them. I digress, though, and I feel that talking about my barbers should be for a separate article.

By the way, I'm blogging this using the blogger app on my iPad2.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Post Birthday Musings

Just as times change, so do my dream cars. So yes, while I still want to own a Baja Bug, I realize it will be expensive and difficult to build one. Not that any dream car I want will be easy to obtain. Take for example the latest iteration of Beetle that I want.

It's based off of the Salzburg Rallye Beetle that I read about a few years ago. I just recently remembered this car, and it is quite interesting why my taste changed from a Baja Bug to this car.

A colleague of mine at my former job told me it would be better to buy a reliable Beetle that costs a bit more than buying a really cheap Bug that needs a lot of fixing. You'll be getting a reliable car that hopefully has little to no problems, be it mechanical, electrical, or, um, physical (rust in any part of the body). And I do realize that it will be cheaper in the long run to modify a car that needs little to no repairs.

So back to the new dream bug. Why that? I was doing research and I discovered that Porsche 944 front and rear brake calipers and rotors can be fitted to a Super Beetle with little to no modifications. Great right? And what better Bug to do it to than a Super Beetle that I'd try to paint like the Salzburg Rallye Beetle.

I'd also like to add a very reliable A/C unit and some relatively modern components. Maybe even Bilstein shocks to make it as close to the Rallye Beetle as possible. Hell, if I could afford it I'd even do the engine modifications they did to the car.

The biggest difference I'd do would be with the rims. I really, really want to use RS Watanabe or Mini-lite style rims, colored red. It's just a phase I'm in right now where I want to have red rims on my ride.

Other mods I'd do would be replacing the front and rear bumpers with bent-pipe bumpers, a homage to the Baja Bug dream car of mine. I'd also "only" put two fog lamps on the front bumper. I'd also install a third brake light somewhere in the back, if not on the rear bumper maybe just above the rear windshield. And I'd also mount a rear windshield wiper. For better visibility in the rain.

That's it. I'm rambling again, and I honestly don't know how feasible this new car is for me. But a guy can dream, and that's what I'm doing right now.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pre-Birthday Musings

Tomorrow's my thirty-fifth birthday.

There are so many things I have learned throughout my life that I wish I had known earlier. So many things I wish I could go back in time to tell myself.

Not that my younger self would listen. You see, I learn best from experience. There are times when this is good, there are times when this is bad. And I do remember when I was younger feeling so arrogant I pretended to listen but I'd still go do things my way.

I still do, except now I do know I should be very careful with what I do.

I'm rambling. Anyway, happy birthday to me.

I just realized I just posted one blog for June. Sigh.


Sunday, July 05, 2015


Permit me some bragging time and space.

It's been a little over one and a half calendar months since I started working in my new job. I was saying how good it was to be pushed to be better and to do well. The environment is great and conducive to learning.

Anyway I've passed three exams I've taken. Two I did pretty well, but the latest I did great. It gave me a very nice feeling inside me.

Even though I had been away from 3D for over a year and a half, I still have it. I'm just glad I had this opportunity to get back in the game, so to speak.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Weekly Musings

So it seems my blogging juices are running dry... again.

I'm only left to blog every start of the new week. Points to ponder, thoughts to analyze. The past week was pretty good.

I passed the beginner's animation exam, it wasn't perfect but I got the job done. I still need to remember some terminologies with the "new" software I'm using. I'm still re-learning a lot of things and thanks to all the training and practice I am once again getting better at animating.

However, my confidence is getting shakier by the day. Maybe it's frustration with a training task I cannot accomplish as of yet. I want to be able to perform to expectations but I should not let my impatience get the better of me. That plus the fact that I'm feeling pressure to succeed in this job.

I just have to keep my chin up and keep moving forward.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

End of May Report

It's the end of May. I've been working in my new job for a week. How has it been?

It's been good, to be honest. Personally I'm feeling really challenged to succeed, which isn't a bad thing. I'm undergoing training as a 3D Animator, and that alone is good. What concerns me is the upcoming exams during training. But I won't discuss my new job yet. I'll be as vague as I can for now.

Aside from this, things have been okay. I finally have my Saturdays back, and I'm still adjusting to that extra day of rest.

On the physical standpoint, I've decided to try to build my stamina via biking. I will be trying to bike every Saturday and Sunday early morning, taking the walking route I take inside the village. I'm starting out doing two kilometers every trip, and every month I'll add one more kilometer. So this whole June I have to do 2km. This morning I started and did it in 11 minutes and 45 seconds.

I'm not going to focus on improving my time to complete the trip. I'm going after stamina. Right now my @ss is sore because I haven't ridden a bike in a while. Plus my arms are sore because I'm so damn fat I have a hard time supporting my upper body weight while biking.

Speaking of weight, I'm hoping I can drop a few pounds because of one of the perks in my new job: Free breakfast and lunch. What does this have to do with losing weight? Well, the meals are pre-packed so I can only eat that. Hopefully I can control my appetite and not have to buy more food outside of work, because I really need to lose weight.

Anyway, that's it for now. Life's been generally good and happy, and I'm still adjusting to my weekends. I need a hobby, and I need to practice my animation skills.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Thanks for Everything, BB King

Yesterday night, local time, I was browsing Facebook when I saw a post mentioning BB King's passing. As I usually do when I read about something big on Facebook, I quickly search the internet to confirm if it is true or not.

Sadly it was true.

Now, I'm not a hardcore blues fan. I do know some blues artist, mostly because of stuff I used to read in Guitar World. I did keep reading about this amazing blues guitarist who had an iconic guitar. His name was BB King. I was fascinated enough about his music I actually bought a "best of" CD when I was in high school.

Believe it or not, I actually listened to that CD. Quite a number of times, to be honest. I did enjoy his music, and I found my share of personal favorite songs on that CD. My top three BB King favorites were "Caldonia," "The Thrill is Gone," and "Lucille."

Thanks for the music, Mr. Riley B. King. Thank you for all the contributions you gave this world, and thank you for opening my mind to another type of music. May you keep on jamming up there in heaven.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

On Road Trips, A Big Announcement, and Reminiscing

It's that time of the year again for my parents' (not-quite) annual Northern Road Trip. This time though I was a bit concerned since their route will make them chase after Typhoon Dodong (internation name: Noul).

Fortunately they've arrived at their first stop-off point and will spend the night there, as they usually do. Tomorrow they continue their northern road trip and hopefully by the time they head off tomorrow the typhoon will have left the islands of the Philippines.

I must admit that I am quite jealous I was not able to go with them this year. Recent events caused me to miss my chance. What event? I accepted a job offer from a multinational game development company and I filed my resignation.

What this means is I'm basically finishing my tasks at my current employer and training my replacement. So I can't really take a week off to go with my folks, as much as I would like to. I'll be finishing my term with AutoPerformance Ph near the end of May, so I have little time to finish everything.

The impending career change is basically what I was getting at in my previous blog but at the time I felt I should not announce it publicly.

Now, however, the die hast been cast. The deed (resignation) has been done.

I had a blast with my current company, AutoPerformance Ph Inc. I still am having a blast, actually. My passion and knowledge for cars grew by leaps and bounds, as well as my attitude and maturity. I learned a lot about life aside from new skills I learned as a sales coordinator then supply chain officer.

Unfortunately I am a 3D artist, and the call of going back to creatives was too great to ignore. I had an opportunity to return and had to take it, for reasons greater than just quenching my creative thirst.


Sunday, April 26, 2015


A lot can change in the span of one week.

Some things that I was expecting but not trying to expect (wrap your head around that) have happened. This is leading to a chain of events that are inevitable. This does not mean, however, that I can just lose focus of what is currently going on.

I am both happy and sad at what happened, and what it will lead to. Along the way I have experienced plenty of great experiences that have made me better as a person. That I am sure of.

Hopefully I can ride this great wave to better and greater heights.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Refurbished Pallets

Since I started watching Tiny House Nation I've gotten a lot of ideas about refurbishing used items, specifically pallets.

We have lots of used pallets at work, and originally I was planning on buying some of them so I could refurbish them at home with my dad into various different useful stuff. 

We're expecting a shipment of items at work, and our stock area was a total mess. My boss wanted to create some shelves from our old pallets so we had vertical space to stack stuff instead of everything on the floor.

With his approval I proposed a design for a three-tier rack based on used pallets. Yesterday with the help of my boss' all-around driver we managed to create two racks. Here's some photos from our projects.

The first thing we did was remove the three legs of the pallets, and I decided to keep the base intact. We also reused the nails that were holding the pallets together.
Refurbishing Pallets
Starting our rack
Making the legs stand up gave us three levels instantly. Plus another good thing is all levels are raised off the floor, to avoid having our stock get wet.
Refurbishing Pallets
Pallets fit on legs so no need to cut anything
We needed to modify my initial design. In the first rack we used four legs only. The second rack we added a fifth support leg along the middle of the length of the shelf. This added stability to the rack and I'm guessing increased the load capacity per shelf. We also changed the orientation of how we placed the legs on the racks.
Refurbishing Pallets
First rack, note the lack of fifth leg
And there you have it, two refurbished racks we now have in our storage area. Our floor space got a lot less cluttered because we are now using vertical space, plus we were able to save some money because we didn't have to buy racks for storing. Oh, and we decided to add a fifth leg to the first rack for added stability.
Refurbishing Pallets
Notice we changed how the legs were oriented on the second rack
I also learned a lot of "carpentry" stuff building the racks.

The only downside I can see is now my body is very, very sore because aside from building racks, we had to move all the stuff around. As you can see from some photos we did not finish moving the stuff. We were too tired after all.


Friday, April 10, 2015

My Current Dream (Tiny) House

Ever since I became aware of them around 2012 or 2013, my fascination with tiny houses has grown.

Something about being able to live in such a small, economical, practical, and energy-efficient abode attracted me, the same way I am attracted to small, economical, practical cars.

The show "Tiny House Nation" shown on FYI helped fan the flames of curiosity I have, to the point that my current dream house is now a tiny house.

I know it will be a big challenge to live in such a small place. The bedroom where my wife, my daughter, and I currently stay at is about the size of a (really) tiny house. For my dream house, I was thinking of a floor area of around 30 square meters, or around 322 square feet.

Based on what I have seen on television and the internet, that would be a pretty big tiny house. The difference with this dream house I want is that I don't want it to be mobile. If this dream was achieved in the Philippines I'd rather have it built on the ground with a solid foundation.

So what would my tiny dream house have?

  1. Two sleeping lofts. One for my wife and I, and another for my daughter and any future children. My biggest concern here is how to climb both. Do I go with one "full-size" staircase and a ladder? Or should there be two ladders? The problem with ladders is when my wife and I get older we could have problems going up to sleep.
  2. A sloped roof, where solar panels would be placed. This would provide additional power for the house, and maybe heat our water. Also, I never was a fan of the gabled roofs commonly seen in Tiny House Nation.
  3. The kitchen would have at least two burners or induction stoves, an oven, a good sink, a decent sized counter for prep, and a big refrigerator. Maica and I love to cook, and so we need a place where we can relax. The kitchen is that place.
  4. The bathroom would have a faucet-shower combo, a toilet (I don't think I can handle a composting toilet yet), and a slightly deep sink where we can wash clothes. It doesn't have to be big. I was imagining it to be around 2 meters long by 1.4 meters wide. Oh, and it should have a tabo, or dipper.
  5. A sofa bed. This would be in the common area, and the purpose is for guests or for Maica and I when we get older.
  6. A self-cleaning fish tank. The link at the previous sentence was a Kickstarter project I became aware of a few years ago, and I was impressed. We'd get a small herb garden, and we would be able to care for a pet fish as well. I wouldn't mind having a dog in the house but he/she might not fit.
These are some of the things I've thought about having for my tiny dream house. I admit I currently have no idea how to achieve this dream, but I will still keep this dream alive. And update it to whatever taste I have as of that moment.


Friday, April 03, 2015


I actually rode a bike for the first time in a long time last August 23, 2014 at Panglao Island in Bohol. We were staying at Amorita Resort and they had four mountain bikes you could borrow (for free) and take out to the island for bike rides.

I convinced myself to go with my dad, and off we went. It was very tiring, for me at least, because the last time I went on a bike was in high school, around 1994. I specifically remember because I had a bad wipe out during a bike ride and after that I only rode one more time.

How bad was the wipe out? A friend cut me off and his rear tire hit my front tire, locking it at a 90° angle and sending me flying off my bike. Not knowing how to fall properly, I land on the right side of my face. Fortunately the accident happened just one house away from where I lived. Unfortunately after that I became afraid of biking.

Fast forward to this year. Maica's been asking me to go biking with her once in a while, and a few weeks ago I gave in. I couldn't last too long, my knees got sore and I was severely winded.

Now that it's the Holy Week holidays, Maica and I went biking yesterday in the village. I managed to bike longer because I wasn't forcing myself to go 15kph. This morning I again went for a quick bike ride. I'm not going past 2 - 3km for now, since I want to get my legs and stamina up first.

My legs are killing me. The good thing is I'm not as winded as when I went biking with Maica a few weeks ago. Moderation is probably the key thing, since I now don't try to push fast speeds. I'm perfectly happy going 9 - 12kph depending on road conditions.

I need to learn to balance better since I can't bike straight. Practice will handle that. I also want to be able to bike with no hands, something I used to do a lot when I was younger.

Who would have thought I'd be going biking again? I certainly didn't, but the itch is back. I want to get myself a proper helmet, since I now know how important safety is. I also want to get some glow in the dark stickers for my bike rims, so I can still do a quick circuit when I get home from work.

To be honest, I just hope I can maintain biking long enough to make this a healthy habit. My current short term goal is to keep biking. My mid term goal is to be able to go maybe 5 or 6 kilometers per circuit. And my long term goal is to be able to join my former officemates from Anino Games, who have their small bike group where they go biking to different places.

One step at a time.


Monday, March 30, 2015

A Much Needed Break

I cannot wait for the Holy Week vacation to start.

The reason is very simple, it's basically a four-day weekend. And Maica, Martina, and I are planning to make the most of that very long weekend.

Don't get me wrong, nothing's wrong right now. Work is going along smoothly, and things are all fine. It's all just a matter of perspective, and lately I've been doing a conscious effort of catching myself whenever I start feeling down, worried, angry, or negative.

But I am tired. My biggest gripe about my current job is the six-day work week. It's tiring, and one day of "rest" isn't enough. The funny thing is, while I do miss Saturdays and Sundays off, I bet I won't know what to do should I get the opportunity to find another employer that has five-day work weeks.

I have adjusted to six-day work weeks. It doesn't mean I like them, but I'm used to them already. I'd probably feel lost for a few weeks or months with a five-day work week.

As always, long weekends are a great way to recharge your body, your mind, and your spirit. It is a chance to bond with family and make sure you are ready to report to work the next week with a clear head and a desire to hit the ground running again.

So here I am, sort of excited to tackle Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I want to get those days over with so I can finally take four days off.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Spontaneous Brunch In Legazpi Market

Since we weren't having lunch with my in-laws like we usually do on Sundays, we had a lot of free time on our hands. Maica wanted to go out for brunch and I begrudgingly said yes.

We wanted to avoid our previous brunch at McDonald's Greenbelt, not because we don't want to eat there, but because we'd done it before and we wanted to do something different.

So I drove sort of aimlessly, first going to Salcedo Park to try to go to the Art in the Park event, but the parking was full for my taste. So I tell Martina we're having breakfast in McDonald's, but we're taking the long way, around HV de la Costa, past Makati Med, because I really wanted to cruise around today.

We see Legazpi Market (at the Legazpi Parking area every Sunday) and I guess Maica and I wanted to eat there, so I find a parking spot a few blocks down and park. Good thing we did.

While I did bring my camera, I totally wasn't in the mood to shoot. I have no idea why, maybe it's because it was crowded. Or I was shy to shoot people without purchasing anything from them. I have no idea.

We buy our food and find an empty table to eat. That's when I take the only two snaps of today I took -- one of my food, and another of Martina. Here they are:

20150322 - Legazpi Market
(L-R) Mushroom fries, chocolate milk, gyoza, and rice.
20150322 - Legazpi Market
Martina eating her mushroom fries.
We ordered mushroom fries and churros with chocolate dip to share. Maica got liempo barbecue with rice and buko juice, and I got gyoza with rice and fourteen pieces of takoyaki to bring home.

By the end of our meal I was too full and feeling a bit nauseous, probably because most of what I ate was very oily. Fortunately the food was at the least good, and at best great. So I guess I didn't mind splurging a bit this weekend.

I'm thinking we should try a few more spontaneous road trips once in a while, who knows what we end up discovering on our adventures.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

The State of Ganations

It's March 15th and I've noticed nothing new is up on the blog. To be honest, I'm not that alarmed.

Has it been a quiet few weeks? Not really. Just nothing to post. At least, nothing that no one will ignore. I've learned to self-censor myself even more than usual. I have no idea why, maybe it's because when someone tells me I shouldn't have posted that I usually have an urge to claw my eyes out.

I kid.

But seriously, I'm 50% decided on looking for my old journal and just writing there. At least I can write whatever I want there without fear or whatever repercussions there may be.

I can bitch and whine all I want without scaring off potential employers who might do background checks. Or I can write down my secret recipes I've learned from my mother-in-law. Whatever, yes? A personal, hand-written journal is as private as it gets.

Actually things have been pretty good, and I've not really been that introspective lately. I wish I could do more creative things, like take photographs and put interesting blogs, but the spirit isn't willing.

So the blog stays quiet.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Thoughts on my Dad's New (Old) 1995 Suzuki Samurai

My dad recently purchased a used 1995 Suzuki Samurai. He's planning to replace our 1993 Toyota Lite Ace with it, since the Lite Ace can't really be used to travel to my folks' small farm.
New (Old) Suzuki Samurai
So I come home and this is what welcomes me.
So what is the Suzuki Samurai? According to Wikipedia, the Samurai is actually a second generation Suzuki Jimny. It also says that the Samurai was involved in a controversy about it being prone to rollovers. I do remember hearing about that in high school. Since the internet wasn't that common during that time, I had no way to verify how true this was.

I haven't gotten around to driving it, so I'll just give you a quick review of my initial thoughts on this 1995 Suzuki Samurai.

Let's start off with the good points. First of all, it's a very analog car. It's not as high tech as my Rav4. Why is this good? Well, I'm guessing it means it isn't that hard to find problems with the car. Also, I'm hoping a simple car means less minor things to eventually break down. No power windows means no chance of needing to replace the power window motor.

New (Old) Suzuki Samurai
It's taller than my Rav4, but narrower too. Also, more pronounced fender flares.
Next, let us look at the size. From the photo above you can see it is taller than the Rav4, but it is considerably narrower. It has (according to Wikipedia) a length of about 4,010mm, width of around 1,535mm, and a height of roughly 1,840mm. Compare the width of 1,525mm versus my Rav's 1,735mm and you can see how this Samurai will fit a lot better in today's parking spaces.

New (Old) Suzuki Samurai
You switch it from the front wheels.
Then there's also the four-wheel drive. You can switch the car to four-wheel drive when needed, though I still don't know yet how to do this. This feature is very handy when dad does bring this to their farm, specially when the rainy season hits.

Finally there's the Samurai's looks and practicality. It's so simple, so analog, that I cannot help but like it. Also, my dad tell me you can remove the white roof and convert it to a pick-up. The front windshield can fold down. It's a very practical ride. I just don't know yet if you can remove the roof and fold the window, but the feature is there.

Not everything is great about the Samurai. There are some issues my Dad and I have seen. For example, the reverse light turns on when you step on the brakes, but it doesn't when you put it in reverse. There's also a small issue of the low-beam / high-beam not functioning as indicated. According to my dad it's on high-beam when the switch is on low, and low beam when switched to high.

There's also an issue with the engine or the alternator. Whenever I turned on the headlights or the fog lamps, the engine would sound strained. I'm hoping if you upgrade the alternator this issue would be fixed.

Another possible concern for me is spare parts. While it isn't as high tech as today's cars, I have no idea how available spare parts are for this car. I also don't know if you can still get OEM parts or replacement parts, plus how reliable those spare parts are.

The Samurai has manual transmission and no power steering. Yes, this is a con for me. I've gotten babied by the Rav4, who has power steering and an automatic transmission. While this may not be an issue on paved roads, I don't know how hard it will be to steer the Samurai in rough, muddy roads.

Now that I've said my pros and cons, it's time for me to discuss what mods I would do to this Samurai if I had the funds and if this was mine. Let's start with the interior.

New (Old) Suzuki Samurai
This is the interior.
I'd probably have the front seats either replaced or re-upholstered. I do know that this is a utilitarian vehicle, but I'd still want to try and make the passengers comfortable. The rear bench seats I would probably replace with a more modern, 60:40 rear folding seats that can fit inside the Samurai.
New (Old) Suzuki Samurai
The cockpit.
As for the cockpit, I'd replace the steering wheel with an aftermarket steering wheel. The pedals would be replaced with newer pedals, and I'd probably have a professional remove the dashboard to clean the inside and replace the bulbs. Maybe even put in new gauges if possible. I'd also put in new floor mats.

I'd also try to upgrade the sound system. I'd upgrade the head unit, the speakers, and maybe add some tweeters. Just because it's a utilitarian car, it doesn't mean you can't have good sounds. Actually the Samurai's current stereo is already pretty modern, so I'd probably just upgrade the speakers.
New (Old) Suzuki Samurai
The wipers seem too short for me.
I'd replace the front and rear windshield wipers with Bosch Aero Twins. Yes, I am very specific with the brand and model of wiper. I have the same wipers on my Rav4 and I am very happy with their performance in the rain.

As for rims, I'd replace them if it the four-wheel drive switch will fit through the center hole. I'd go for something a bit more unique to make the Samurai a bit more personal.

I'd replace the brake lines, brake rotors, brake pads, drum brakes, and drum shoes. It is very important to be able to stop a vehicle, so I'd make sure my brakes are 100% okay.

Finally, I'd make sure all the mechanical and electrical components are in good condition. I'd replace all fluids with new fluids, and maybe even try to clean the engine with an engine flush. Basically I'd make sure everything is as reliable as possible.
New (Old) Suzuki Samurai
Would I trade my Rav4 for this Suzuki Samurai?
Funny story, when I was in high school my folks were considering getting a Suzuki Samurai as our secondary car that would eventually be passed on to me. They decided to get a Mazda 323 Familia (that turned out to be a lemon, but that's another story) because of the rollover rumors. And now, nearly twenty years later, we finally get a Suzuki Samurai. The circle is complete.

So there you have it. My thoughts on the Suzuki Samurai. It's so simple that I like it. It's so practical that I seem impressed. And it's so ready for mods I wish I had one myself. However, would I trade my Rav4 for a similar Suzuki Samurai and cash to modify it? No. Would I get a Suzuki Samurai as a secondary car to the Rav4? If I had the money, yes.