Resolutions 2014

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another year done, another list unfulfilled. We try, but it's hard. This was my list from last year:

1. Write screenplay for at least two short films
2. Publish at least 10 articles for the InTouch magazine while doing edits. 
4. Check prospects for another job. 
4. Continue the stuff above that I did not completely abandon (book, running, swimming, standup)

I missed almost everything on my 2013 list but that's okay. It's amazing how much stuff you don't never plan, but turn up anyway for the betterment of everybody. This year:

I got married. And this time it's no longer an online game marriage.

I went back to the US. I returned from the US.

I joined Inforum. I drank the free beer.

I rode all the rollercoasters I missed the last time I was in Orlando.

I drank butterbeer.

I returned to doing amateur standup comedy. I still suck at it, but hey, free beer every now and then.

I now have a baby. She drinks a lot but beer's off the menu.

I joined Toastmasters. I learned there's not much toasting beer there, but it's all good.

And the Martians have been thwarted for another year (If you think I'm making this part up, look outside and see if there are any flying saucers. No? You can thank me later.)

It's been a very good year.

Next year, I want to:

1. Finish the godawfully delayed book that I've been trying to publish for almost a presidental term's length already.

2. Host an event.

3. Join the Toastmaster's speech competitions.

3b. If possible actually win something.

4. Create that 10 minute killer set for Standup Comedy

5. Raise baby into the awesomest 1yo kid and beyond.

6. But first, baby cosplay (because she wont remember jack)

7. Go back to running/swimming. Finish Zombies Run!

Good bloody luck to everybody. Myself included. More of myself actually.


What's been up?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In case anybody asks what the hell happened to this blog and why I have not updated anything remotely original for the longest time, I'm proud to say that I have a bucket-full of excuses for you to choose from.

I am guest writing at Agila News at the moment. You can check the links out for my articles. It's still the same Public Static content, just more news-y.

I also got married. I now have a kid. Yes, I did both at the same time, in parallel. Man was meant to multitask. Specialization is for insects.

I'm also doing standup comedy regularly now. So if you want to hear old jokes from this blog rehashed for oral delivery, you can go watch during my sets in Chihuahua GB2 and Tomato Kick Katipunan (sometimes).

There's also Toastmasters, which I'm proud to say I'm almost done with the first set of speeches. You can message me if you're interested to join in the fun.

Meanwhile, my twitter @redkinoko is still active and dapper as fuck. Follow me if you like silly oneliner jokes that are 160 characters or less (because I'm mostly lazy now. Well, lazier-ER)

That said, thanks for dropping by. I'll try to resume my blog articles in a while.

Ony The Best

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's times like this when I'd like to believe in the selfless brotherhood, the camaraderie between strangers, the love that unites peoples, and the heart that gives unconditionally. I'd like to believe in the joy that can only be brought by giving, the sorrow that drives to help, the empathy of the human spirit. I'd like to believe in humanity. In hope. In that I am not alone in thinking this.

I'd like to remember this moment, not as that one moment where a storm destroyed records, communities, and lives, but that one moment we as a people were able to put aside our differences, ignore our bickerings for a moment, and ultimately find a common cause on the most basic levels of morality to help out every way we can. I'd like to remember this moment and feel pride, not simply because we did something good, but because we did something beyond what's expected of us.

Count the blessings that you have this year, then make change for the less fortunate. It's been a bountiful year for everybody. I know it has been for me. I'd take a look at the wall posts, the instragram pictures, the tweets - the past - and know how kind life has been. Unfortunately it's not the case for everybody. There's a cry from the less fortunate.  Let goodness beget more. There's always something you can give. And there's always something only you can give.  Let's share what we can. Let's do what we can. Let's be the best we can be at life's worst. That one day when we look back at this moment, we'll be able to smile and we'll be able to say

"We shined together in our darkest of times".

Toastmasters Competent Communicator Speech #5 : Videoke Culture

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The following article is a transcript of my recent Toastmasters speeches. They're not meant to be read in written form, so a lot of context may be lost in the process. Also, proofreading. LOL.

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I'll be talking about the cultural impact of Videoke, which I'm sure Filipinos love on a genetic level and that this song will contain singing. The bad news is that I will be singing. That said, Good evening, Fellow toastmasters and guests.

We're the only country that uses the term Videoke. Did you know that?  Videoke, or Karaoke as it was originally called, was first popularized in Japan, which is their biggest contribution to the world next to fuel efficient cars, instant noodles, and pokemon. Karaoke in Japanese is from  is roughly translated to "Please don't sing My Way". 

There's still some debate as to who invented the Karaoke, through the best way to put it is that it was invented in parallel in Japan by Daisuke Inoue in Japan and Roberto Del Rosario in the Philippines at about the same time. That's how much we love karaoke. We know it's already going to be invented, but we'll invent our own just to make sure. The invention is largely influenced by minus-one recordings that were again, popularized by Filipino performers in Japan. So if there's any country that really really wants Videoke to come into existence it's US.

Crying the Pork Away

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's so easy to complain, isn't it? Heck, nowadays you don't even have to voice out to complain anymore. A few clicks, a few button presses and you're already complaining using the voice of some other person in the internet. In the digital age we thought we could finally have absolute freedom of opinions. What we actually got was the absolute freedom to repost other people's opinions. In that light,  it's never been easier to complain and it's now even easier to be angry, stay angry.

But is anger, complaint, and discontent all there is to fixing things?

When one of the organizers of the rally today was asked of what can be done in lieu of the pork, she couldn't say anything remotely practical and said "well, we're not the experts".

No one is.

But if you're going to be responsible enough to carry a protest you should be responsible enough to try and understand the situation as well. Not one or the other. They have to go hand in hand. How else would you know something is being done?  Solving a problem as an adult isn't just about complaining. It's about understanding the picture and pointing out where it can be fixed. There's a difference between "I WANT MY CANDY" and "You have candy, and I deserve it because." It's called maturity. Maturity in complaints means knowing what can be done and acting on it rather than just waiting for somebody else to hear you.

So here's a bigger picture.

Not THE big picture, just a bigger one.

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree, the pork needs to go. The fund disbursement roles should change hands from legislative to executive branch (which, yes, includes the office of the president). But until that role actually changes hands, removing the PDAF at once means a lot of people who have good reasons and are depending on them will be left hanging. Scholars. Sick people. True charities. Yes, they exist. Nobody ever mentions them because nothing's interesting about them, other than they are in need of assistance.

You cannot just tell these people "Tough shit, you've been sucking from a particularly corrupt, deprecated teat. Better start looking somewhere else." There is nowhere else. Believe it or not, the PDAF is one of the fastest ways one can get financial aid when you're part of the marginalized and outside Metro Manila (where there's PAGCOR, bigger charity groups). Ask anybody who was in actual need and benefitted from it. I'd like to bet half of the people in the rally today have never seen it in action. Sure it's not incorruptible (hell no). Sure, it doesn't serve a lot of people. Sure it reeks of feudalism. But I can assure you, it does work when you're tens of thousands of pesos short of getting that kidney transplant for your father.

You cannot say "Well they should itemize this in the budget!". That's the whole point of PDAF. The fund originally existed for priority issues  that fell outside the items mentioned in the budget. How can you anticipate Lolo Lando's kidney failing during budget deliberation? Storms? Dengue Outbreaks? Famines? Visits of the Lopezes?

You cannot also say "Well we're the ones paying taxes so we should be the ones benefiting, not them!" News flash. Taxation serves three purposes. Running government services, economical control, and  redistribution of wealth. While running public healthcare, charity services, and emergency response falls to the first part, when things are not running as efficiently as they should, a special avenue needs to be made available to fix where the seams aren't perfect. PDAF belongs to the third, and it aims to provide for those special exceptions that the first component cannot address.

Don't get me wrong. There is an issue at hand. The PDAF is not working as intended and this has to be addressed, yes. But will we be be able to address it now and solve the problem forever? Good bloody luck with that. Because as long as there is a need and the people see the last viable solution in PDAF, there will still be calls for its return in one form or the other. And for so long as it exists, the problem stands. A gradual transition from dependence in pork to smaller priority funds on executive bodies and working oversight is the only way this can get fixed without long term repercussions.

Abolishing pork is a goal, not a solution. The solution is actually a longer and gruelling process of reform that requires gargantuan political will and ever present vigilance from the populace. But of course that's too daunting and far too complex to place in a banner and gain traction in this age where the average attention span is often no longer than two clicks or 140 characters.

It's hard. And the first thing you can do to actually make it work is to get over the idea of simplicity. It never is. It's called daang matuwid, not daang madali.

Because complaining is easy.

Understanding, understandably, never is.  

Plot Fridays : Dambana

Friday, July 19, 2013

2015 - The Philippine envoy to China is assassinated en route to a three-party talk. 24 hours later, an anoymous warning is plastered online via various hacked government websites of nuclear counterstrike. Three days later, a major Chinese city is devastated by a dirty bomb explosion. China demands justice and reparation for the action by presenting a five point unconditional ultimatum. The Philippines clears itself of any links to the terrorist act and refuses all but one demand.

Citing its defense doctrine, China declares war and moves in to execute their Battle Plan Orange, beginning a successful invasion and proxy occupation of Manila and outlying regions. Against all expectations, no UN coalition is formed to intervene. Abandoned and abruptly pushed back to the far hinterlands, resistances form amongst the displaced Filipinos.

One group of resistance gain notoriety among the invading forces calling themselves the Los Bravos. They get a mission from contacts of Americans covert operatives to rescue the imprisoned Vice President. Things get awry, and they end up running away from a dedicated group of elite forces with a dying Vice President in tow. Along the way they learn the uncomfortable truth behind the assassination and the terrorist act that began it all. Eventually, they realize that they have with them the one key piece of information to turn the tides of liberation.

That is, of course, provided they survive to tell the tale.

Twitter One-liner Roundup (Sept 2012 - July 2013) @redkinoko

Friday, July 12, 2013

There's something special about assknobs who've never worked a day in their lives rant about squatters being lazy and self-entitled.

1. Legalize porn 2. Set unrealistic expectations for an entire generation of boys 3. Population ↓ 4. Tissue and lotion industry ↑

My concept of a low cost 3D printer involves a wad of clay, a schematic printout, and copious amounts of whiskey.

Casper was a 2-hour long movie about what it feels like to be dead and still friendzoned.

Something's wrong with our generation if we have to go online before we can learn if somebody is a person of prayer.

Word of the day: Gallivanting. In Tagalog, "nangangahoy".

Drunk playing billiards sans a shirt at 9 in the morning. It's amazing how my ideas of being successful and being a failure are the same.

Why does Team Bon Chon Of The Game sound more of an affront than a corporate award?

New term of the day: #kiligtae as in "sa sobrang kilig... " Usage: "Dumaan si Dong kanina, walang Tshirt. Ayun, kiligtae naman si Maria."

Remember before the 2008 financial crisis, the biggest problem that we had deal with as a country was Hale's music? #wehaditgood

I wish I could rename my city Mon. Then I can skip the first day of the week on the grounds that it's Mon Day. #okaythatmadesenseinmydream

Release a bunch of plastic toys and nobody cares. Tell them it's collectible and everybody starts losing their minds.

People complaining about pictures of two hot chicks kissing in support of basic rights proves people will complain about just about anything

Massive Facebook Oneliner Roundup (Sept 2012 - July 2013)

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Let's take a moment to thank the fact that Facebook did not exist before we got our act together and started behaving like perfectly normal human adults. For the most part, anyway.

Last of Us is awesome, not just because you get to play old Gerard Butler with a young Ellen Page sidekick but because of the attention spent in the details. If some dude from the game dev team spent time making sure the direction of flowing tears shifts when a person changes the angle of his/her head, you know damn well they're pulling no stops.

Fast and the Furious IS Twilight for men. There's them cheesy lines that would pass easily as highschool pulp and instead of vampires and werewolves, there's cars and unbelievably sexy race chicks. At the middle of it all is a heavily built up guy with black hair and a sparkly white dude blasting through one ridiculous plot device after another.

Crack Nancy Binay jokes one day, defend Jessica Soho the next.

PSA: Dear froshies, avoid clumping together and blocking entrances/tight hallways/entire road lanes whenever you feel the urge to convene on where to eat. The answer is nowhere because the new school motto is Religio/Mores/Kayo Bahala. Carrion of froshies that get stuck and starve to death is a major cause of human traffic and late book returns. Upper classmen in a hurry to fail their next class do not like to get delayed. Thank you.

House Parati-yon-absent , House Lannis-terrible-job, House Targarabekaramiwork, House Greyjoybeenanamankinakinkokanina George R R Anting. #earlycornfridays

"Started from the bottom now we here." - Tetris.

Laws of the Game of Thrones Universe

Monday, July 08, 2013

Law of Episodic Folicular Entropy : Sansa's hairstyle is not allowed to repeat more than once per episode

Stark's First Law of Colocation - Starks are not allowed to stay in Winterfell.

Stark's Second Law of Colocation - If more than two Starks are in one place, one or more of them will be unnecessarily displaced.

Stark's Third Law of Colocation - If you're a Stark and Arya is nearby, bad things will happen to you.

Law of Cosmic Pyrochromosomal Order - If you have dragon blood, the universe will let you get what you want. Eventually.

Pyrochromosomal disorder corollary - Bitching about it really helps.

Stock Market Terms for Filipinos

Friday, July 05, 2013

Streetsmarts - Yung klase ng talino na magagamit mo para mabuhay sa kalye pag nalugi na lahat ng pera mo sa PSE.

McArthur Stock - Mga stock na bumabagsak bago tumatalbog sa mas mataas na presyo. "I shall return"

Sharon Stock - Mga stock na sobrang bigat hindi na makagalaw sa charts.

Delata - Stock na kahit ibaon mo ng 3 taon e hindi nagbabago ang estado.

Bull Market - cycle ng stock market kung saan lahat ng hulanalysis e tama.

Bear Market - cycle ng stock market kung saan lahat ng hulanalysis e tama daw.

Annual Stock Holder meeting - Libreng doughnuts at aircon in exchange for depreciating investments.

Long term investment - Term na ginagamit ng mga tsupitero pag sobrang baba na ng value ng stocks nila, pwede nang ipaconvert sa certificates at ipamunas ng pwet para lang magkaron ng silbi.

Keep it real, Enrile.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Enrile's about to deliver his speech in the Senate in a few. Everybody's asking what its going to be about. Here are a few possible topics:

5. He's going to tell his 1st person account on who killed ninoy

4. He's going to tell his 1st person account on who killed Lapulapu

3. He'll start selling youth pills

2. He'll be delivering a lecture on the evils of garlic and why stakes to the heart are dangerous things

1. He's going to come out as a lesbian to Tito Boy


Quick 10. Reasons why Senator Binay couldn't attend her proclamation:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

She was cooking dinner for her family, nanay-de-pamilya and all. 

She'll have her own coronation ceremony in the Kingdom of Makati.

She's holding out for Dick.. Gordon. 

She's still out doing motorcades.

Risa kidnapped Nancy and is now debating the new senator inside a mock senate she's created in an abandoned warehouse while eating gobs of chocolate.

Moonlighting. She's still doing OJT, remember?

Struggling to crawl her way out after being buried by tons of stupid online internet memes.

Still trying to get the indelible ink off her finger.

She doesn't want to stand next to Grace Poe's ridiculously pasty white complexion.

She was there. The lighting was just bad.

President Marcos And Sabah

Friday, March 08, 2013

Disclaimer: I write historical fiction. I am not a historian. What you read here are products of years of playing around with historical fact to create stories.

We all know that some time in the late 60s, Marcos planned to invade Sabah by training commandos who would slip into Sabah, sow chaos, and ultimately lobby politically to break the claimed territory out of Malaysia and into Philippine custody.  And we all know that during the training, the commandos mutinied and were culled in what would be known as the Jabidah Massacre, with only one survivor escaping the prison island of corregidor and living to tell the tale. The account was then made public by the then-opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. in the Philippine Senate, which then concentrated the dissenting clans of Mindanao into full-on rebellion that lasted for almost 40 years with the succession of the MNLF, MILF, and the more recent BIFF. We also know that Malaysia, in seeking to prevent another attempt by the Philippines to plan out another retake of Sabah, secretly helped the MNLF with their struggle by providing Libyan arms and funding in the Philippine backdoor. And finally, we know that first quarter of 2013, the Sultan's Royal Army, with the backing of MNLF, finally went to Sabah.

Those are the things that we do know.

But there are still some things that never really got clarified.

Most of what the public knows of Operation Merdeka came from Benigno Aquino Jr. who, the Bangkok Post cautioned at the time as, at the baseline, a politician with great rhetorical skill, and may have formatted the information in such a way that it would stir up greater emotions among the populace and the spotty Senate hearing that led to nothing but dead ends.

Wedding Expos 101

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Every once in a blue moon, a strange phenomenon happens in convention centers, activity centers, and event tents all over the country. People from different walks of life gather together and discuss topics and prepare for activities such as feeding the masses, clothing the naked, and sheltering strangers. No, I'm not talking about charity events. They're called Wedding Expos, which is what happens when clumps of clueless couples-to-be have a head on collision with people out to milk as much money from them as possible. If you're going to get married and you're into mainstream marriages, chances are at some point in your preparation, you will have to go to these strange occasions that seem to have its own traditions. If you've never been into one, or went to one and had such a traumatizing experience that your mind completely wiped out all the horrible memories out, let this article serve as your guide towards a healthy and hopefully, violence-free experience.

Just like most conventions, with the exception of the annual nationwide jueteng get-together, Wedding expos require you to register upon arrival. Pertinent information such as marriage date, religious affiliation, annual salary, and DNA swabs (sometimes) are collected, quite possibly for the benefit of getting a genetic footprint for gullibility. Grooms and brides-to-be are required to declare that they are soon to be married and are given special "badges" so that they are easily recognizable, herded, and sent to concentration camps treated with extra care by the exhibitors. These badges are required to be worn throughout the affair, even though wearing one will cause you to get constantly mauled by booth reps desperately trying to hit quota. NFL-style pile-ups are not unheard of. In some expos, and I kid you not, there are bouncers roving around for the sole purpose of ensuring you are wearing your star of David /s> badge, by force if necessary.  

Resolutions 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

First, a result of my last year's resolutions:

Things to do for next year:
- Publish "the" book
- Give car a serious maintenance run  , Brakes, wheels, suspension
- Give standup comedy another go
- Read at least one Elliot Wave theory book
- Cook the perfect steak

My steak's vastly improved. With the introduction of tenderizing, the right amount of oyster sauce and pepper, and the better timing of cooking, I'm now less susceptible to serve half-raw, half-burnt steaks with a taste that treads between roadkill carcass and burnt rubber. When you're coming from that direction, any improvement is a vast improvement.

The car's gotten an oil change, new brakes, wheels. The suspension turned out to be still good. I also replaced the lights, wiper fluid, and cleaned up the windshield from old stickers.

Standup comedy didn't materialize. I'd like to say I've been busy but the truth is, I've been out of the game for so long it kind of scares me to go back. Watching my old vids kind of tell me that my jokes suck. But hey, there's still this year.

Read an Elliot Wave Theory Book. Two, even. Realized that in the wrong hands,it's more prone to give you bullshit predictions than other techniques. I picked off what I could, however, which I am now using for my week to week trading.

Publishing the book's been tricky. I've been editing the book for the better part of last year. I'm working with an old friend to do the artwork for me and it looks like the publishing's going to take more than just early this year. Good things don't need to be hurried anyway.

Others (aka shit that may or may not happen, kinda like sex on the first date):
- Android programming
- 10 lap regular swim
- At least one marathon

No android programming. I swapped it with other technologies I could use better at work, which I still suck at as well. But hey, sucking at something means you're actually trying, right? RIGHT?

No swimming either. My regular hangout's a bit too crowded these days. Maybe I'll try again. Maybe.

Marathon? I run 5k every now and then. My android app called ZOmbies Run make it more festive, but lately I haven't done so again. I'll give it another go this month.

This year:
1. Write screenplay for at least two short films
2. Publish at least 10 articles for the InTouch magazine while doing edits.
4. Check prospects for another job.
4. Continue the stuff above that I did not completely abandon (book, running, swimming, standup)

Here's to another year of dicking around and pretending that partial progress is actual progress.


p.s. Oh yeah, updating this blog once in a while sounds good too.

When Did Video Games Hit Mainstream?

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Earlier today I came across a short article asking the absolute moment that videogames hit mainstream. The answer's probably not the same for everyplace, and the answer's probably not even the same for every person but as somebody who started gaming in the Philippines as early as 1986, I can at least shed some light (from my direction) on the subject.

The first probable time you can say gaming hit the mainstream is with the release, and the subsequent popularity of the Nintendo Family computer (Famicom), peaking sometime in the early to mid 90s. Before this, gaming was restricted to godawful personal computers that required multiple floppies and amazingly confusing jargon to install. For those who bitch about having to copy paste cracks, update software and the like, try having to update your bios and experiment with IRQ/DMA/IO just to get your game to work on DOS with sounds.

No, with the Family computer, anybody with a TV, a system unit, and a game cartridge could operate it. Hell, even my mom played it. Rental gaming centers popped up for the first time too, which was the reason my parents were called by our principal when i was in first grade for cutting classes. For the first time, video games were accessible to those who have the money but don't have the techie knowledge.

The one thing that the NES fever lacked is the idea that it could be for everybody. It was a toy, pure and simple. Adults would have none of it and those few that do, are afraid of talking about it in public, as though it were some sort of weird bedside fetish.

This changed sometime in 1995, when the playstation was released. The PS1 was radically expensive initially, but it was introduced not as a kid's toy, but as an entertainment appliance. Michael Jackson endorsed it. Michael Jordan endorsed it. Superstars endorsed it and not the prepubescent models of Nintendo. The games that came out were not only sophisticated. They were mature. They had blood. Violence was more graphic. The only thing that held back its popularity was its price. At 30,000 pesos a unit, it was not for everybody.

And then something else happened. Sometime when the PS1 units finally started depreciating, piracy came in. Don't get me wrong. Piracy has existed far longer than I have as a gamer, but with the age of CDs, piracy no longer meant having to shell 200 pesos for a 300 peso discount on a cartridge. It meant, in the year 1998, you can buy an entire game for the price of 30 pesos in the middle of a video store (Astrovision, from my experience) inside a mall. At 12k a system unit and 30 pesos a game, adoption exploded. Rental shops were everywhere. Every other classmate had a system unit. Games were swapped with abandon, both old and young.

Videogames was now accessible, and for all ages. At this point I can say that VGs have already hit the mainstream, but there's one more step.

Sometime in the year 2000, in parallel with the playstation's popularity, the PC once again became a popular gaming device of sorts. Game cafes started growing around the country for one big reason: Counterstrike, a first person shooting game. Whereas as recent as 1998 people had to go to Greenhills just to be able to play a decent 30 player game, by 2000, every other mall or college hangout had a cafe that could host a game twice the number of players.  Counterstrike, at its very heart, is really the first popular multiplayer game that doesn't just have players alternating in two controllers in front of the TV. It didn't need taking turns. Counterstrike was a game that involved people and in turn, socialized gaming itself.

It did not need investment in buying a console either. Anybody of any age with 40 pesos (it was still expensive at the time) could buy an hour, sit down, learn the game, and play with friends. It became an acceptable alternative to other social activities. Even girls finally got involved (a very rare sight prior to year 2000, to be honest). Tournaments were setup, cliques formed within and outside the game cafes, and people were no longer as afraid of telling other people what they like to do. People recognized videogames, albeit still with some apprehension, but accepted that yes, some people, adults even, consider it as an entertainment. A sport.

That year, I walked into a game cafe one of five in the same mall with my friends, saw college girls playing with guys who looked anything but geeks and spent two hours in Counterstrike playing against them.

It was at that moment that I realized, videogames have finally hit mainstream.


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