Saturday, December 31, 2005


If you're into the whole paper craft (Origami) thing. You might want to give this a look. You also might want to try your hand in doing a little origami painting.

Friday, December 30, 2005

How about putting things in perspective?

Every year we gaze enviously at the lists of the richest people in world. Wondering what it would be like to have that sort of cash. But where would you sit on one of those lists? Here’s your chance to find out.

Travel the World and the Seven Seas

I am SO itching to travel outside the country; it's been more than eight years since I last stepped off an international flight. The list of foreign countries I've been (including stopovers) in chronological order: Hong Kong, South Korea (Seoul International), USA, and Japan (Tokyo Narita International).

2006, is the year of the fire dog, which means more travel for me. Just kidding, I don't really know if there's any truth to that. Anyway, potential places I'd like to visit next year (and likelihood rate):

Hong Kong - there's a great chance that this could happen since the family talk of going there sounds pretty realistic. And that's not just me bringing it up everytime at the dinner table. I'm a-going to Disneyland! 99% chance.

Singapore - I've been reading up on Singapore and what do you know, there's NOTHING to see there. I mean, of course there's always something; but with how expensive it is there, one would expect a little more. So it's really just mostly for shopping. 40% chance.

Thailand - They said that it's pronounced "Tai-land". Now, "Tai in a Box" doesn't sound so appealing. Anyway, the government jerks there with their SouthEast Asian Games accusations just warded away a potential tourist. How's that for national pride? 30% chance.

USA - Oh man, why oh why didn't I renew that visa in 2000? Who'da thunk 9/11 would happen? Well there's no point in crying over spilled milk (may five minutes na ba?). Anyway, I may try again this year for a visa after some doing some travelling. I really want to go back there and visit some friends and family. 5% chance depends on whether the consul likes my face or not. If he/she doesn't, there's always...

Canada - ... Hi. I'm in Canada. I see...mountains...plains...French separatists...the U.S. border. So close. 10% chance.

Europe - Ah, one of those dream trips. I've always wanted to go to Europe, especially to Salzburg, Austria. Don't ask me how many times I've seen The Sound of Music. 1% chance.

Australia - Europe and US junior, where you have summer Decembers and winter Augusts. And where the toilet flushes clockwise (I hope I got this correct). I don't really have plans to go there, but if the opportunity presents itself, why the hell not? 10% chance.

Japan - IF my memory serves me correctly, it's really expensive to go there. And besides there's bloody neo-colonialist and wartime-imperialists there. But Scarlett Johansson might be there, and maybe I can ask what Bill Murray told her. 5% chance.

[Cue R. Kelly's I believe I can Fly]

I used to think that I could not go on...

[Kinanta pa raw talaga]

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Four, and that's the magic number

[Everybody else is free to answer these]

Four jobs you’ve had in your life:
software programmer...that's about it.

Four movies you could watch over and over: Mulholland Drive (if only to figure out what the heck is going on), Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run), Top Secret!, The Big Lebowski

Four places you’ve lived: Manila, a few weeks in Virginia

Four TV shows you love to watch: The Simpsons, Lost, The Chappelle Show, The Daily Show

Four places you’ve been on vacation: Hong Kong, US, Boracay, Bohol

Four websites you visit daily: ESPN,,, most everybody else's blog

Four of your favorite foods: T-bone Steak, Pizza, Chicken Teriyaki, Gerry's Sisig

Four places you’d rather be: working at home (hotdammit!), roadtrip in the US, backpacking in Europe, touring around Asia

Monday, December 26, 2005

Lessons learned

Every once in a while, I do some computer spring cleaning. That means I back up the files, reformat the hard drive, reinstall the applications, and restore the personal files. I wish it was as easy as that. Lesson #1 for me, make sure the installers work. CDs can get scratched or just plain degrade and then there will be that one important operating system (OS) (i.e. Windows) installer file that cannot be read by your CD drive, and it basically kills your entire day of installing. Then you're left with good old MS-DOS. So that you don't have to go through the pain, I am sharing some lessons learned from experience.

(Oh, it's best to have a reliable copy of the OS installer somewhere, so spend for that CD-R/W)

First of all, it helps to create a boot disk so that you won't get stuck with a hi-tech system that cannot boot. I recommend the Windows 98 SE bootdisk, which also allows you to boot with CD-ROM support.

Here are some spring cleaning tips:

Some things to backup:
  1. Personal/Work files
  2. Device Drivers
  3. Internet connection settings (phone number, username, password)
  4. E-mail (if stored locally)
  5. MP3s
  6. Pictures
  7. Downloaded applications
  8. Serial Numbers
  9. Instant messenger contacts or messages
  10. Browser bookmarks
  11. List of some things to backup
The essential installers:
  1. Operating System (Windows, Linux (yeah, right))
  2. Office Applications (MS Office)
  3. Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox)
  4. Antivirus software (McAfee, Norton)
  5. Multimedia applications (Media Player, WinAmp, Quicktime)
  6. File compression software (Winzip,WinRAR)
  7. Device Drivers
  8. Games, games, games (of course they're essential!)
And of course, the basic steps to a clean install:
  1. Boot from your favorite bootdisk
  2. Run FDISK and destroy all hard drive partitions,
  3. Then create a new one (or create many, it's all up to you)
  4. Maybe a restart is needed after this
  5. Format the newly partitioned space
  6. Copy the OS installer files to the hard drive or boot using the bootable OS installer CD
  7. Install the OS
  8. Install the applications
  9. Restore files
That should do it. Happy spring cleaning!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

South for the winter

Originally uploaded by ton2fig.
One of the good things about living in the tropics is seeing various of migratory birds everywhere during December to January. I have no idea what bird this is, much less the scientific name. It's some sort of hawk or eagle. Anyway, they caught this one (Not to sell it, I hope, but to protect it) in Greenhills. Watch out for migratory Bird Flu.

Yet even more Christmas parties...

Originally uploaded by ton2fig.
We got great lechon for our office party. It's Leonardo's Lechon in San Juan (shameless plug). We also got lechon paksiw, pancit palabok, lumpiang sariwa, buko pandan, and various desserts. My gift to the office is a bottle of Absolut Vodka. There is about 1/4 of the bottle left. I'm thinking of buying another for New Year's party next week. But I'm leaning towards buying Shakers this time or maybe Bailey's. More pictures in flickr.

Grease me up!

Originally uploaded by ton2fig.
Our group presentation for our office IS Christmas party, which has a theme of hollywood movies, is an entire routine based on the movie Grease. The presentations were supposed to be for a contest before the organizers decided that it WON'T be a "competition", but they'll still give a cash prize (of P1500.00) to the winner (who WON'T be a "winner"). Huh?!

Anyway, along with Austin Powers, Footloose and Rent, our Grease number emerged as the winner. We spent the prize money for a group Jollibee breakfast. More pictures in flickr.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Yes, you've finally made a monkey out of me

You may remember him from such December hits as The Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson (who I think may have gone under gastric bypass surgery, I can't be sure), has did it again with his new (yet old) creation, King Kong. The movie is admittedly long, clocking at a little over three hours, but you're hardly wasting any precious movie viewing time. King Kong may be the most lovable fictional monkey since Homer Simpson, and Naomi Watts is always a delight to watch. Ditto with Jack Black and Adrien Brody. Of course there's WETA providing the special effects fresh off from the success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It's almost always a marvel to behold and you'd believe that they were as real as you can imagine them to be. Amazing, amazing, go watch before the Metro Manila Filmfest starts.


I also got a chance to watch the not-so-new talk of the town, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros before the theatres shelved it (which will probably happen next week, judging from the amount of people who watched in the theatre we were in). Negatives first, I just wish they shot that movie with a better camera and a really good boom mic. Of course, we can't really blame the creator's of the indie film, because success in that genre can rarely be predicted. If it IS going to Sundance, maybe they can make it more presentable. Orrr, maybe the crudeness of it adds to the greatness of the achievement it has attained. What do you think?

Anyway, the movie alternates between childlike innocence, and harsh brutal reality. Quite a funny movie. The homosexual factor is really more of a circumstance rather than the main focus of the film. I think the film is about sometimes having choices and other times having none at all. Hah! How's that last one for an anti-spoiler? You could say that about any film. (Sigh). I guess the point is, don't take my word for it, go watch the film. Huwag antaying lumamig ang pancit.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas is for the kids?

Unbelievable. It's getting harder and harder to "feel Christmas" every year. It's only about a week away and yet, the feeling these days is just like any other ordinary day. Sure there are decorations everywhere and Christmas songs being played over the radio stations, and inside malls. You buy gifts to give, and make wishlists of gifts you want to get (hoping to get them is part of the fun, I guess). Christmas is certainly commercialized but I don't think that's what took the fun out of it. Real life is catching up on the occasion. Christmas season or not, we still have to worry about the adult stuff.

Nonetheless, we should make it easier for others to forget about it, even for a while.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Stroke of Rock

We had our annual company Christmas party last night, the general theme being "Rock" as in the music and the lifestyle. So we have a choice of dressing as rock stars, rock fans or just be sticks in the mud all night. I went and tried (emphasis on tried) to go Billie Joe, as in Green Day: all-black, red tie, and having someone put eyeliner on me. I'd have gone Chris Cornell or Dave Grohl if only I could grow at least a goatee. Anyway, this picture is about all you can get (the rest are viewable only to flickr friends). Thanks for the shot, Shelley! By the way, old buddy Lester says you can't do that two-finger thing in Australia. It's equivalent to the ubiquitous one-finger salute.

I know people from the office are reading this, and I just want to let them know that I was quite disappointed by the effort that people put in making their look. A lot took the easy way out. I mean, not even a hint of Steven Tyler and the Spandex, much less KISS. A general feeling of hesitation? Ah, but our company is going into a transitional phase, I believe more and more people will embrace the culture (of partying harder!).

Nonetheless, it was still a great party, that was held in Phi Bar and Restaurant in Metrowalk. I'd have said good things about the food if only they didn't let us wait 20 mins for the next refill. But I'm kidding, the consensus was, there wasn't really anything good to say about the food except that it provides the body with some amount of nutrients and amino acids or whatever.


Like every year, the company raffles off various prizes from gift certificates, small appliances cash prizes, and international trips. Last year's grand prize was a trip to Thailand. This year, it was a trip to Boracay, and the grand prize, P20,000.00. To make the long story short, I went home twenty thousand smackeroons richer (at least on paper, I have to claim the prize from the head office). So what will I do with the money? I'll think about it when I have it in the bank. Our family's thinking of going to Hong Kong. Let's just say that the idea became more real after last night.

Between now and the trip, bills, bills, bills, first. Still...I'm rich, bitch! At least for a while.


It's not the first time I've experienced some luck in these random drawings, games or promos. The first I remember winning was this little keyboard synthesizer that I still don't know how I won. Maybe I was the Nth customer of that store (I better check with my parents). I also won a karaoke system by playing BINGO. I've also gotten 4 out of 6 numbers in the local lotto (I won something like P800.00). And now, this. I don't know, right place at the right time, the chaos and the order of zeroes and ones. It's best not to dwell on it. The pattern is that there is no pattern.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Back to school

Originally uploaded by ton2fig.
Not exactly. But I participated in our company's Quality Service to Clients course, a day and a half session in Meralco Management and Leadership Development Center (MMLDC), in Antipolo. It's always a welcome break from work. Go check the flickr pics. I took 300 pictures, and some of them are blurry because I prefer not using the flash to preserve the natural colors. Of course, valuable flickr spaces are pictures of interests only (which means, mostly with me on the picture).

Hey my camera has this cool feature that can isolate a shade of color called Color Accent. You point the camera to a particular shade and then the other colors become unsaturated (black and white). Check out this photo.

Advice for camera owners like me: You will enjoy taking pictures by buying/bringing a tripod. It's mostly because you can be in the pictures.


Unfortunately, I lost my BPI golf umbrella there. Some idiot got it from the "honor-system" umbrella rack. He will soon suffer the consequences. I'm still choosing between voodoo or plain old witchcraft.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

New Toy

As you may have figured out by now (or not), I got myself a new camera for my birthday. It's the Canon PowerShot S80. It started when the family teased my mom about her jurassic film-based camera. I jokingly suggested that she buy my camera, an IXUS 330, all in, then i'll just buy a new one for myself. Turns out, my dad took the offer seriously and brought me a Canon leaflet a few days later containing the specs and prices of the latest Canon cameras. He told me the terms of the payment and I told him I'd research it first.

Canon for me is a trusted name in digital cameras. It produces good quality pictures and has great add-on accessories. Plus, the camera designs always looks spiffy.

At first, I was looking to choose the IXUS 750 (SD550), which costs P32,950 Suggested Retail Price. It's quite similar to my old one, power and portability. It easily fits my pocket which makes it easier to carry around. I read the review and it says out that it's a great compact camera. On the other side of the leaflet are the Powershot S2 IS, the A-series, and the camera I eventually chose, the Powershot S80. I figured out that as long as I am spending for a camera, I might as well go the distance. The Powershot S80 is indeed bulkier, and very hard to fit into the pockets, but then again the features won me over. It has more features, it has wide-angled lenses, the controls are a lot more customizable, the response time is excellent, and it has settings for various situations (like fireworks, underwater, snow(?), foliage, kids and pets for action shots). Best of all, I can use my 512MB Multimedia Card (MMC) that I got from Singapore (for my Nokia 6230) as memory for the camera. So adding P3000.00 more, I get an excellent camera that I hope will last me 5 years.

Check out if I have something new in my flickr page.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Originally uploaded by ton2fig.
Here's my inaanak (goddaughter), Kathryn, who absolutely hates me. The people around think it's because my glasses scare her. Anyway, her mom, my cousin Karla was around to distract her while I took this picture and after a few tries, I got a decent one right here.

She's as cute as a bug's ear.

Greenhills night show

Originally uploaded by ton2fig.
If you happen to drop by Greenhills for some cheap gifts and bargain buys, you can check out their annual Christmas presentation on the side facing Ortigas Avenue.

It's a modest presentation that happens every 30 minutes, and really nothing to call home about. If you're feeling nostalgic about the COD christmas shows a few years before, this essentially replaces it.

Family Dinner

Originally uploaded by ton2fig.
While this photo doesn't have the best of foregrounds (an empty mineral water bottle, 3 pcs of tempura tails, clutter everywhere), it been a long time since the four of us in the family have gotten a decent family picture.

This was taken in Kimpura in Greenhills. My sister and her husband Mike is in the middle, and for those who haven't seen me in a while, that's me on the top right, and that's my hair.


My driver's license was due to expire on December 1, 2005 so I had planned to have it renewed a few days before.

I took a leave from the office to go to Farmer's Market (which neither is a market nor does ithave anything to do with farmers) because I remember the Land Transportation Office (LTO) branch inside. It was where I last renewed my license and it took only two hours.

As much as I love driving my car (since I am still paying for it every month), I decided to try out taking the LRT2, which runs along the Ramon Magsaysay/Aurora Boulevard stretch (from Recto to Santolan in Pasig). The commute route was that I park in SM City Sta. Mesa (formerly SM Centerpoint) walk to the V. Mapa station, take the LRT2 to Cubao Station and walk to Farmer's Market.

It was a great commuting experience for me because I used to remember taking the jeep (to and from school, sometimes) along Aurora, and it took hours to get anywhere. The LRT2 took about 10 mins, a little bit more if you just missed it and had to wait for the next one. There weren't a lot of people at the time, but I didn't get to sit until around one station before Cubao, which is the Boston/Betty Go Belmonte Station.

The stations between V. Mapa and Cubao are generally uninteresting, except for the Gilmore Station, which is smack in the middle of the computer hub. It's fairly hard to park there which gives you more reason to commute.

The Cubao station leads you directly to Gateway Mall. From V. Mapa station, that costs P13.00 one-way, it is the cheapest and most comfortable way to get to Araneta Center.

Replacementdocs: The original web archive of game manuals

Well as long as you're intent on buying pirated games, why not get the game manuals too?

Let's just say that you "lost" your game manual, and you don't really remember the controls and you don't like experimenting. Get your replacement manuals right here, on this really helpful site!