Just Hangin'

On the money

I called it. Spain wins the World Cup!

La Furia Roja clinched the cup after a very physical game which had a staggering number of yellow cards. They won it through a last gasp goal from Andres Iniesta who collected a Cesc Fabregas pass and calmly slotted home the winner in the closing minutes of extra time.

Props to Spanish ‘keeper “San Iker” Casillas. He had produced magnificent saves throughout the tournament and had another magnificent one where his boot just managed to block Arjen Robben’s breakaway goal attempt.

My heart goes out to the very talented Dutch who are still without a cup in three tries.

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Sports | 1 Comment

England vs USA

Group C’s opening match was England versus the USA. For the Americans, a rapidly improving footballing country, this was a very significant match, but the English, a perennial powerhouse, thought of it as routine.

It started of routinely for England, with a 4th minute goal by captain Steven Gerrard off an Emile Heskey pass.

However, the Americans showed grit and recovered mentally after this early setback. Wave after wave of English attacks came but keeper Tim Howard, who was blameless for the first goal, and center backs Oguchi Onyewu and Jay DeMerit snuffed out any scoring chances for England. Onyewu in particular had a fine game, proving doubters wrong by dominating in the air and making timely tackles after almost a year on the sidelines due to injury.

The US tried hard to equalize. At one point, they won three successive corner kicks but were unable to capitalize. However, they got lucky in the 40th minute when midfielder Clint Dempsey’s strike was bobbled by England keeper Robert Green, with the ball trickling in for a goal. Many were quick to blame the controversial Adidas Jabulani ball, which has consistently received complaints.

Both sides pressed forward in search of the winning goal. There were a few chances such as US forward Jozy Altidore’s attempts which were saved by Green and hit the post respectively. Three Lions coach Fabio Capello brought on towering striker Peter Crouch to try and get the winner but there were no more goals to be had and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Both teams now aim to win all of their games. With Slovenia leading Group C with three points obtained in a win against Algeria, a loss for both of these sides in their remaining games may prove disastrous.

June 14, 2010 Posted by | Sports | Leave a comment

The World Cup kicks off!

This year’s most anticipated sporting event, making an historical first appearance in Africa, has finally started! The host nation, South Africa, faced off against Mexico in the tournament’s opening game.

The Mexicans started strongly, monopolizing possession in the first half. Giovanni dos Santos was very dangerous and although he failed to score. At 55 minutes however, South African player Siphiwe Tshabalala sent the home fans into rapture with the first goal of the tournament.

Looking to equalize, dos Santos let loose with a powerful and accurate shot that Bafana Bafana keeper Itumeleng Khune did well to save. Trying to salvage the situation, Mexico coach Javier Aguirre sent on Cuauhtémoc Blanco in the 68th minute. Mexico got lucky when a corner kick resulted in a pass to an unmarked Rafael Márquez who just had to tap in the ball for the crucial equalizer.

Both sides tried to go for a winner but the match ended with the score knotted at 1-1.

The next match pitted the 2006 runners-up France against Uruguay. The first real scoring chance of the match happened early on. A Franck Ribery low cross gave Sydney Govou an opportunity but the latter wasted it with a poor effort which went wide of the mark. Aside from a 81st-minute red card for Uruguay player Nicolas Lodeiro, the rest of the match wasn’t very exciting in my opinion and ended with an unremarkable nil-nil draw.

There are more games coming tonight and I’ll be watching as the US aims to repeat the historic upset of so many years ago against powerhouse England.

As for my predictions on who will win the tournament, I believe it will be Spain taking home the trophy. With an embarassment of riches at almost every position and beautiful attacking football, they are a favorite to win the tournament.

P.S. I’ve been organizing my notes and the photos of my trip to Japan and will hopefully post them in a few days.

June 12, 2010 Posted by | Random ramblings, Sports | Leave a comment

New A.C.E. for PS3

Mecha fans rejoice! A new A.C.E. (Another Century’s Episode) will be coming out in this year’s third quarter for the PS3. The games in the series are 3rd person action games where you take the controls of a giant robot from various anime series. The new game, entitled A.C.E.: R (sounds like Acer lol), features a refreshing cast of mecha animes, some of which will be making their first appearance in the A.C.E series.

Among the confirmed cast are Zeta Gundam, Gundam SEED Destiny, Crossbone Gundam, Aquarion, Macross Frontier, Macross Zero, Orguss, Overman King Gainer, Full Metal Panic, and Code Geass. People are already going wild over FMP and Code Geass.

Here is the game’s PV:

When this one comes out I will obtain it THROUGH ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

May 4, 2010 Posted by | Anime and manga, Games | Leave a comment

Starcraft 2 finally has a release date

Woke up earlier today to a text message from my best friend. It simply said, “StarCraft2. July 27.” It took a few seconds to register since I was still half-asleep. But a few seconds later, a resounding, “FUCK YEAH!” reverberated throughout the house.

For more details, check out this article.

May 4, 2010 Posted by | Games | 1 Comment

Giren’s Greed is ruining my life, going to Japan, and other stuff

Giren’s Greed is ruining my life. For the uninitiated, it’s a game series based on the Gundam franchise. It’s a turn-based strategy game which combines resource management, tech research, and of course combat. I find the compulsion to play similar to what I experienced with the Civilization series of games. Just one more turn! Can’t… stop… playing…

Next, I think my PC’s video card is busted. Games start out fine then the graphics suddenly become choppy as hell after a few minutes. On the bright side, everything else seems to be working fine so I can still browse the net and downloaded videos.

Oh yeah, my family and I are going to Japan this May! My brother graduated high school and it’s been a family tradition that when one graduates, we go abroad. The only difference is that this time I’ll be paying for all of my expenses. Hence my inability to immediately buy a video card to address the above problem. But I am very excited about going to the country where some of my hobbies originated or have strong ties to.

Damn, Barcelona’s out of the Champion’s League, losing on an aggregate score of 3-2. Inter lost the second leg 1-0 but that was enough to see the Nerazzuri and The Special One through to the finals. So it will be Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, two teams I don’t like, battling at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium for the title of Kings of Europe.

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Games, Random ramblings, Sports | Leave a comment

When Showing Off Goes Wrong

Showing off is nice to watch most of the time. The problem is that it can backfire on you spectacularly, giving the audience a lot of laughs, and gives your rep, and probably your ego, a hit. Please direct your attention to my good friend’s blog, Underdog Boxing, this post in particular.

Reading his article had me remembering instances in other sports where trying to do something spectacular instead led to epic fails.

Case # 1: Cristiano Ronaldo (who I don’t like very much) spectacularly botches a trick during a football match.

Case#2: Jason Richardson goes for a breakaway slam to tie the game… aaaaand rims it out

Next time on Just Hangin’, epic fails in various sports.

April 22, 2010 Posted by | Sports | Leave a comment

Becks is down!

Ugh, David Beckham tore his achilles in a match against Chievo Verona this weekend. He’s one of my favorite players and I feel for him since he is likely to miss the World Cup which is only a few months away. It was supposed to be his fourth World Cup and he would have been the first Englishman to play four times in football’s grandest event.

He may not be in the prime of his career anymore but England has lost a very potent weapon in its quest to win it all in South Africa. Few can whip in pinpoint crosses and long passes to teammates like he can and he is absolutely lethal in dead ball situations. You can count on Becks to deliver that long ball which leads to a goal or scoring from a free kick himself. England coach Fabio Capello was set on bringing David to South Africa but with the injury, it leaves a gap on the right side of the pitch. Shaun Wright-Phillips is okay but I’m not a fan of Theo Walcott and Aaron Lennon is still injured last I heard.

Condolences to both Becks and the England squad.

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Sports | Leave a comment

Good drinking place for beer guys

I love beer. I especially love imported beers. If I could, I’d drink Belgian beers every day. Problem is, them imported beers are kinda expensive. To my delight I found a place which isn’t so far from where I live which serves a variety of beers from all over the world.

The Reserve, located at City Golf Plaza, Julia Vargas St. Ortigas Pasig City was a pleasant surprise for me. My best friend and I went there for the second time last weekend and boy, I’m sure I’ll be going back a lot.

They have a great selection of beers, making this beer lover very happy. Among The Reserve’s selections are some of my favorite Belgian beers Kwak, Chimay Blue, and Duvel. German Warsteiner, Czech Pilsner Urquel, the ubiquitous Guinness Irish stout, and many other European beers are also available.

They also carry the brews of the American microbreweries such as Rogue (their Dead Guy Ale is just awesome), Ballast Point, and Flying Dog. Budweiser isn’t the only Beer which comes out of the States and it doesn’t hold a candle to these very good American beers.

Their pulutan is also pretty good. One of the items we ordered there was their salpicao which we dubbed “salpi-crack” since we just couldn’t stop eating the stuff.

However, what clinched The Reserve’s place as my new favorite drinking spot was the price. Their prices are VERY reasonable. My favorite beers are priced between P150 and P200, half the price of brews in Beers Paradise in Makati though I don’t know if they brought down prices (or if it’s still even in business) since I haven’t been there for so long.

Great beers, great prices. It can’t get any better than that for the beer loving me.

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Random ramblings | 1 Comment

Final Fantasy XIII first impressions

Okay! Got the game last night and played about three hours before I got too sleepy.

I was advised to keep expectations low, which was no problem for me since I usually avoid looking at previews and promo videos so I started the game with a blank slate so to speak.

The story starts off with a so-called “Purge” which is supposed to be a mass exile which the government turns into a massacre. We get introduced to the protagonists who are involved or are caught up in this conflict. Lightning is angsty. Snow is kind of a bonehead. Hope is a wussy boy with a wussy name. Vanille has this strange accent. Sazh has a chocobo chick living in his afro.

Graphics are very nice, especially the cutscences. The characters look very nice, you can even see Snow’s very detailed stubble/short beard in close-up shots. I also noticed that they use a lot of folding weapons. Lightning has a folding sword, Vanille has a folding staff, and Hope has a folding boomerang.

So after about three hours of play, I’m pretty satisfied although the game seems a bit too linear for me. I forsee myself hating Hope though. Can’t wait to get home and play it again.

March 11, 2010 Posted by | Games | Leave a comment

It’s so hard to throw things away…

Operation Room Reorganization continues.

The moving around furniture, putting in new ones and removing old ones I don’t like anymore is done so my room looks a lot different from before.

Now I’m concentrating on cleaning out my loft (I have a sort of mini-attic in my room) which contains, among other things, all sorts of stuff from high school and college life. I’ve started to sort out which ones are still useful and those I want to keep and those destined for the trash bag.

While going thorugh all of them the memories associated with each of the items flood back. There are the good ones like the my composition for creative writing class where I cooked up my lola‘s/grandma’s spaghetti recipe. We were supposed to cook something and then write about the process. I’m not too good at cooking but it turned out pretty delicious plus I got an A, and the teacher’s single worded comment of “Excellent” while I was at it.

Then there was my stuff from Japanese class like my certificate for passing the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) level 4. That reminded me that I should try for level 3 soon before everything I learned starts fading.

Lastly there were the epic fails from, you guessed it, MATH!!! A particularly horrible one was a 4/20 score I saw on one test. I plan to burn it and other failing mark papers and tests I’m bound to see.

I know the point of the cleaning is to throw away unneeded stuff but I find it so hard to throw them away. Notebooks, papers, quizzes, and the like all have memories associated with them. Maybe I’m reluctant to part with them because I fear that these memories will disappear after sometime. But as life goes on I guess I just have to move forward, making space in my room for new memories to fit.

February 15, 2009 Posted by | Random ramblings | 2 Comments

Did I have this much stuff?

Oooookay…

Operation Room Reorganization has hit a roadblock. After sorting and categorizing all the my CDs and books, I saw that I am nowhere close to finishing yet.

There are still all sorts of stuff I have to sort like all the school related things I never got around to throwing out (I even found my thesis), some old toys, freebies I’ve gotten from work, and a lot more.

I hope to be done with sorting this week so I can finally move the furniture around.

February 9, 2009 Posted by | Random ramblings | Leave a comment

Duty Conflicts

An incident today at the office has highlighted the problems which can
hit our department which is kind of a combination of other departments.

I work for a newspaper and I belong to its Special Features department. We may produce editorial content but we’re officially part of the Marketing department, not the Editorial. Special Features is fully advertising supported.

The setup is that the ad account managers from marketing think up of a topic, Custom Cars for example, and try to solicit ads for it. If enough advertisers commit, then the special feature pushes through and that’s the time us writers spring into action, doing research, interviews, and other fact finding tasks. What makes a special supplement so attractive is if you advertise with SF, our paper gives you free space in which to put a PR article or an article made through an interview with them. This is called the advertorial.

So moving on to the incident today. One client was so late submitting their advertorial material so my editor, obviously pretty pissed off, decided not to include it because we’d have to redesign the layout for the Nth time and that can take a while and we were already way past the deadline. Of course the people from marketing were not pleased.

I understand our side and the marketing people’s side. As content generators we have deadlines. If editorial materials are submitted late to the printing presses, we pay a penalty and eyebrows are raised at the Editorial department. On the other hand, if you slight the advertisers by not including their advertorials, this might affect future deals with them. They’d be reluctant to place more ads, hence the company loses a valuable revenue source.

I don’t profess to know a solution. This isn’t the first time this sort of incident happened. Different types of accidents due to the same conflict have already happened. It’s just difficult sometimes because our group, and sometimes me specifically, get blamed unjustly for some of these fiascos.

February 5, 2009 Posted by | work stuff | Leave a comment

Sigh of relief

A great big *whew* for me as the Kaka to Manchester City deal didn’t go through. Thanks Ricky, for proving that it’s not always about salary in professional sports. Plus, Beckham is doing pretty well in Milan, and they’re just a few points behind Inter and very much in the title race.

Elsewhere in my life, I started reading R.A. Salvatore’s the Legend of Drizzt series and it got me playing Neverwinter Nights 2 again. I was only able to play the original campaign before. The first expansion, Mask of the Betrayer, continues the story of the original campaign and adds a few character classes. The second one, Storm of Zehir, changes the gameplay quite a bit. Aside from hacking enemies to pieces or pounding them with Meteor Storms, you’re part of a merchant company doing trading and caravans and stuff. Now you move through the world map instead of just fast-travelling to towns or dungeons so there’s an exploring part too.

In my schedule this week is a full-blown room rearranging. I’m currently organizing my books and other stuff before I rearrange the furniture. I realized because of this, how many CDs I’ve bought and burned throughout the years. Seeing my old PC (StarCraft!), PlayStation (Tales of Destiny!) and Dreamcast (Shenmue!) games took me on a nostalgia trip, interrupting my cleaning. With luck, I hope to be done with it this weekend.

February 3, 2009 Posted by | Games, Random ramblings | Leave a comment

Well, that was a long while…

For those who don’t know me very well, I have a short attention span when it comes to stuff on the Internet. And as such, I’ve been putting off writing entries again. And on a whim, I’m here writing another entry.

There hasn’t been a lot of action yet but things are bound to pick up as we move to February.

Updates (AKA what Ive been up to recently):

Warhammer Online – Levelled my Witch Hunter named Excellen Browning to 40. Still can’t get any decent equipment. Oh why do the item gods hate me so?

Persona 4 – Very fun game. Combines school life, dating sim, dungeon crawling, and world saving into one fun package. Gameplay is great and the story is good although Persona 3’s was more epic. The humor is way better in this one and the English voice acting levelled up a notch too (If you played .hack G.U you’ll hear familiar voices).

Work – Slated to do a story on Chinese New Year. It’s gonna be kinda problematic due to the fact that I know absolutely nothing about Feng Shui.

Football – AC MILAN PLEASE DON’T SELL KAKA TO MANCHESTER CITY!!!

January 18, 2009 Posted by | Games, Random ramblings, work stuff | 2 Comments

WAAAAAAAAAAGH!

*Ahem* Sorry about that.

If you’re familiar with that warcry then good for you!

I recently started playing Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning or WAR for short (very apt don’t you think?), an MMORPG set in the Warhammer universe. Here are my impressions of the game.

Graphics

From what I’ve heard, since I never played WoW, the graphics would remind you of that other game. I myself like the graphics. I like the various player equipped armor and outfits I’ve seen so far. Overall, I like the art style of the Warhammer universe and it’s fun looking around and being in that world.

P.S. Female dark elves are eye candy. Whoever in their race who came up with the idea thought that bras and panties make good armor deserves the favor of Khaine.

Gameplay

This is no different from other MMORPGS since it has your regular leveling grind. But what sets it apart from the other MMOs out there is the PvP and RvR focus. Unlike, say WoW where it’s a neverending cycle of item hunting and instancing (that’s how I see it anyway), WAR focuses on PvP and Realm Vs. Realm. By RvR i mean the forces of Order, consisting of the High Elves, the Human Empire, and the Dwarves, versus the forces of Destruction, Dark Elves, Chaos, and Greenskins. Territories are divided into four tiers, one to four respectively. All tiers have objectives/landmarks which are fought over and all except tier one have forts. Capturing these can give you bonuses and you can even lay siege to and capture the enemy’s capital city. It really gives you a feel of “us versus them.” Participating in these battles also gives you renown points which you can use to purchase other which are different from your core skills.

Other comments

The players I’ve interacted with are generally very friendly. It’s not hard getting a party invite when a lot of people are online. The current problem is the server population. In my main character’s server, the population is still pretty sparse but I hope people start coming in quickly. It’s only a weeks-old game so the lack of populaton is easy to understand but that doesn’t make it easier to stomach though. For those interested, my character’s name is Iassant, a level 17 (at the moment) High Elf White Lion on the Lustria server.

Lastly…

ORDER SHALL TRIUMPH!!!

September 27, 2008 Posted by | Games | 1 Comment

Small hitch with the pics

I was planning to post the rest of the pictures from the BMW event. The thing is, the CD I got from them seems to be not working so I think I’ll have to request another copy from BMW. I’ll put them up as soon as I receive them.

September 21, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sheer Driving Pleasure

This is the motto of a company which needs no introduction. BMW. And boy did I experience sheer driving pleasure that day, September 15,2008.

One if the perks of being in the media is that companies have events and they invite us media people to participate in them so they could write about it afterward. To my utter joy last week, the boss of our newspaper’s (I’m with BusinessWorld for those who are curious) editorial department tapped me for this event which was to showcase BMW’s Navigation Plus, a GPS nav system, the first commercially viable one in the Philippines.

The day started at Autohaus Libis. I was a bit early so I was able to socialize with some of the other writers such as Buddy Cunanan, Lito Cinco, and Tim Tayag. Of course, the question on everyone’s minds was, “Which one do we get to play with today?” After a short briefing, they brought us to our cars for the day, the BMW X3 SUV. I got a silver one by the way.

My ride for the day

I’ve driven Mazdas, Toyotas, and Isuzus before but this was my first time in a European car’s driver seat. Needless to say I was really, really pumped. We were arranged by pairs or threes per car, with a total of six X3s. And then we were off.

The destinations were kept secret and all we had to do was follow the Navi’s directions. Turns out the first stop was breakfast at the Eugenio Lopez Foundation in Antipolo. There we met our tour guide for the day, Gabe Mercado (some of you may know him as the Yakult dude).

Breakfast briefing at the Eugenio Lopez Foundation

After a sumptuous Filipino-style breakfast, We were off to the next destination. At this point however, my partner had to go to a photo shoot or something so they got someone else to pair up with me. And boy was I lucky, my new partner (a writer from Philippine Star), didn’t drive at all and so I’d have the driver’s seat all to myself for the entire trip. Oh, the joy!

The next stop was the Pinto art gallery. It was a sprawling complex of more than a few hectares. At present, there are plans to build a museum, a cafe, and a bed and breakfast. Near the end of the tour we were serenaded by the Pansol Choir, and I thought they were pretty good. The place was very beautiful and I’d want to go back there sometime.

Gabe Mercado telling the group all about the Pinto gallery

The next two legs are undoubtedly my favorite and we really put the cars through their paces here. The next destination (although we didn’t know at the time) was a resort/hotel in the Tanay part of the Sierra Madre mountain range named, well, The Sierra Madre. *sweatdrops*

To get there however, we had to navigate zig-zagging mountain roads. Doing this on a BMW was a totally different experience for me. We were doing about 80-120kph on average and I entered some turns going as fast as 100kph. Of course, I was confident about doing this because my ride was a BMW after all. The rush it gave me was just fantastic.

We arrived at the resort and had a late lunch while basking in the cool mountain breeze (apparently the part we were in has an elevation higher than that of Tagaytay) and taking in the beautiful scenery.

The view from the Sierra Madre

Me and my ride (for one day only, sadly)

The trip towards the next stop was the same route as the previous one, only going down this time. I tried keeping up with the first two cars but I wasn’t able to. The lead car’s driver was from Top Gear so go figure. Still, it was a great learning experience for me in terms of driving. I felt bummed out as we reached the city though. Why? Because of the traffic of course.

Around this time, the adrenaline was starting to wear off and I was feeling the strain of driving approximately 100 kilometers that day. Wouldn’t you know it, the next stop was a spa! This one was called Suriya, an Indian (I think) type spa near Tiendesitas. They gave us the works like a full body massage and a body scrub. We departed from there feeling fresh and smelling like VCO (virgin coconut oil) since they used that in the massage.

Last but not least on the itinerary was Autohaus’ own restaurant, Zeno. Dinner was served and I found that their Osso Bucco was particularly good. Most of the media entourage left after dinner but a few of us namely me, Buddy Cunanan,  and Lito German and Lia Guerrero of BMW swapped stories over a couple… Okay a lot, of drinks. Hey, when I get to eat and drink for free, I make the most out of it.

What a day! I hope BMW invites me again the next time they have an event like this.

September 17, 2008 Posted by | work stuff | 1 Comment

Anime song typing game!

My best friend messaged me out of nowhere saying, “Try this, it’s fun,” giving me the website http://somoe.org/typing/. True enough, I was hooked immediately.

The game involves you, the player, typing up the lyrics as the song goes along. Of course there’s only a certain window for you to do so and this makes the really fast paced ones VERY difficult. The interface has some nice touches such as the background changing to a picture of the anime from which the song came from.

Knowing Japanese and the songs themselves help since most are in Japanese. There are a few English ones though, such as Final Fantasy VIII’s Eyes on Me, and Utada Hikaru’s version of Fly Me to the Moon. If you love anime songs and have a bit of time to burn, I recommend checking this out.

September 16, 2008 Posted by | Anime and manga | | Leave a comment

Finally got around to doing this

I’ve been planning to get my own blog for God knows how long. I always had a reason for putting it off, which is consistent with my personality. But yay! I finally got around to doing it. Moving along…

I’ll be writing about topics ranging from anime related stuff, to work-related events and happenings, and anything I find interesting.

So to you, dearest readers who stumble across this blog for whatever reason, I hope you’ll enjoy reading through what I put in here in the future.

September 15, 2008 Posted by | Random ramblings | 1 Comment