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Recent posts

Meeting Rick Astley: Words can barely describe

I’d been ignoring my phone for the better part of the day as I was preoccupied over finalizing the venue for the blog awards and making my way through press conference after press conference. It was only a few seconds – but when Alora asked me if I had gotten her plurk, I had to reply saying no I haven’t, please text me instead since I’m out.

“You can go to Alchemy later at 10PM. Rick Astley launch party will be there.”

OHGOD. Couldn’t bring anyone. Guest list only. So I had to make some change of plans for the evening because, well, I learned in school that urgency takes precedence over importance (“in matters of prioritizing, what needs to be done immediately always supercedes what is seemingly important.”) Rick Astley was only here for 2 nights and this was probably the only night I would be able to meet him in the flesh.

The first thing I did upon arriving at Alchemy was to text Marcelle as I knew he really wanted to meet him and a few texts later, Marcelle popped into Alchemy (he’s famous – he got in despite the tight security … so girls ….. *ahem* …..). Turns out there were so many other closet Rick Astley fans – a friend from grade school and even Vespinoy was there with his wife.

A video of Rick Astley doing his 80’s magic

Rick Astley at Alchemy from jayvee Fernandez on Vimeo.

So not only was I able to shake Rick Astley’s hand once. I was able to shake his hand three times (!!!) and I remember clearly on the 3rd time I just had to scream “I’M A HUGE FAN!!!!!!” And there it goes. Manhood Fail.

OK now came the part where the host starts playing parlor games. Kel, myself and two other guys are pulled “on stage” for a Rick Astley lookalike contest. Yes dear friends, before you laugh, it apparently seems that aside from Mr. Bean, I also have a vague resemblance to Rick Astley – move over Roderick Paulate!!. So then comes the question and answer slash talent portion – Kel did some magic in front of the audience (it wow’ed as usual) and when the host asked me what my talent was, I just had to blurt out …

“I’m never gonna give you up.”

Philippine Blog Awards 2008 at 1 Esplanade September 21 2008

We have a venue!

This afternoon I accompanied Noemi (2008 Blog Awards head) and Juned (“Vice Head”) to finalize the venue for the blog awards this 2008. We signed the contract as sunset approached 1 Esplanade, laying fame to a glistening bay view.

To those who see us often at events we ran across several bumps along the way especially when it came to finalizing sponsorships, incorporation, and finding a decent venue. But yes, there is a God and we were fortunate enough – almost by accident really, which is usually the case when commitment is being tested – to find 1 Esplanade just waiting for us even though it has been booked to the max this September ’08. So we were able to book the better part of the sunset of Sept 21 (that’s a Sunday – a weekday would have been harder for volunteers and Friday / Saturday was wishful thinking as events have been lined up months in advance).

Stay tuned to the Philippine Blog Awards website for additional details on finalizing nominees, and call for volunteers.

I’d like to extend a special shout-out to the SM Group, especially to Mrs. Riqui, Mr. Noel Sanchez and the Sy family for helping us get this really beautiful venue. The SM business units have been very helpful with blogger efforts – case in point the famed Taste Asia parteh series. I mean, just take a look at these shots:

And when you look towards the horizon, you see this:


Thank you so much, especially to everyone who’s been patient with us in planning this event. We really cannot do this without you! We have roughly a month and a half to iron out a number of logistics for the event and we are asking the help of the community’s different expertise (lights, sounds, entertainment, making pa-cute, etc).

All details for this will be posted in the official PBA blog. :)

Paging, Super Joe!

I’m loving the fact that I grew up at a time where I got to experience the dawn of electronic gaming back in the Atari and 8 bit era. And I’m just as glad that in my “late twenties” I’m still able to become particularly excited when the oldies become new once more.

For instance, take this:

And 20 years later, turned to this:

I get to play all my favorite 8-bit Nintendo games (including Bionic Commando) on my Firefox browser with FireNES (it’s actually Virtual NES but compressed to a browser plugin) while enjoying the “new” stuff on the next generation consoles and the PC. I guess half the fun is seeing how the old school veterans like Capcom and Konami remake their most memorable titles for next gen console gaming.

What I do appreciate now is how relatively easier the next generation games are compared to their 8-bit counterparts. Weren’t the old games (have you played Silver Surfer, Ninja Gaiden I, Adventure Island or Ghostbusters for the NES??) just too insanely difficult to finish??

Toshiba Warehouse Sale July 31 – Aug 1 2008

Date: July 31 to August 1 2008
Time: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Venue: 2F Metro House Building, 345 Sen. Gil Puyat

Toshiba is having a grand warehouse sale on all their models and according to Juno Limjap, Marketing Manager for Toshiba (and my really kick ass vocalist friend), they will have a lot of stuff at low, low, low prices!

For more information, head on over to the Facebook invite page.


Coraline: The Graphic Novel

There are some books that aremeant to be turned into graphic novels and Coraline fits the bar. I bought this over the weekend at Fully Booked in Rustan’s Makati for P640.00. The imagery – especially that of the “button eyed other mother” is disturbing. The graphic novel is illustrated by the award winning P. Craig Russell, who also did Ring of the Nibelung and The Dream Hunters.

A Bugged Life Island Paradise


I’ve been toying around with Google Lively – an ultra underrated virtual world simulator similar to Second Life but different in many aspects. What it is: the Google engineers have made a proof of concept part social network, part Second Life, part game and it runs pretty well on just your browser. No need to download an external application to run this, and heck is really easy to use!

Let’s start creating our Philippine blogosphere rooms!
As of now it only works on Windows Vista and Windows XP. My character ID is a little piggy named “jayvsterrific.”

Alternate Page Link to my Island Paradise here.

Pampers World (!!!) at Glorietta this July 26 and 27

Exciting! Exciting! Exciting! So I tried to introduce the Pampers World event to some friends and the first reaction I got was … “well I’m not a parent yet” and I said … well that’s precisely the point!

Pampers World is launching this July 26 and 27 2008 (full schedule here) at the Glorietta activity center. Without trying to give out any spoilers I just have to point you to the teaser media on this post and on the Facebook event page to give you an idea of what you can expect. All I have to say is, I highly recommend bringing your cameras and video when you and your friends come to the Glorietta this coming weekend! (I smell a blogger meet up, anyone?).

When you see the world through a baby’s eyes, you know how to make it better.


“The Fracking Road” – A breather and some light updates

I remember making this comic three years ago and posting it on July 28 2005. Back then I was blogging severely on Multiply and my account (sad, I have forgotten the password to access these old entries).

With the weekend in, I can, at the very least breathe a little from all the work that’s been thrown here and there. I’ve always been an out and about kind of guy. Dare you to confine me to a desk – I learned this the hard way by thinking this is what I wanted working in the real estate industry 3 years ago. Some updates to my readers about what’s been going on:

## When we established Blog and Soul last year, the goal was to help make blogging a meaningful arm of mainstream media. We (Blog and Soul never really had official membership) established ourselves as a volunteer group that is now leaning towards organizing enrichment seminars for bloggers. No money involved. Very little sponsorship. It’s really a community thing. This second half of 2008, at least from my knowledge (I just helped put this up – it’s a community endeavor and the wisdom of the crowd dictates what direction we take) is to help with a healthy blogger experience (Yoga Jane held a blogger yoga event). We’re looking for more venues to do “outdoor” activities (i.e. Lazertag!!!)

## The BlogBank. Ah, we’re almost at 5 months since our official launch. We’re currently doing more than 100k pages in daily views with over 300+ blogs in the network. We’ve presented (and evangelized) across more than a dozen agencies, SME’s, BPO’s, publishers and big corporations. Our learning is that it takes time for people to internalize new media – and now we’re reaping the benefits with corporations wanting to get a piece of Internet advertising. The BlogBank is being talked about in the advertising industry with our success stories with Delifrance, Collezione C2, the eLBC group to name a few (note that the first two are not Internet savvy advertisers but have produced successes which I’ll post up the BlogBank blog soon along with a detailed FAQ on the organization). Couldn’t have done it without our publishers – we’re preparing a big treat for ya in the next few :)

## Interestingly enough, my post-graduate degree (Education) has caught up with me and I’ll be most likely teaching this September 2008. I’ve been helping a renowned educational institution come up with a 10 session elective which I loosely call “Marketing 2.0.” What makes this even more interesting is that the professors I am working with were the former classmates of my dad in his graduate school.

A funny realization — As Donald Lim of Yehey! once put it, the Internet medium is usually the place where companies have the least budget for – but have the highest expectations! So true. So very true! And this is because we have the metrics to calculate everything.

I think the best learning in an emerging industry that I try to internalize is the notion that we can’t be dollar bills – we can’t please everybody. So there. Between events, my contributions to MANUAL and Playground, some traveling here and there and the above-mentioned items, I’m a chicken that’s glad to be on the road.

I’ll be speaking this week for the Institute of Transformative Marketing and Communications workshop on Viral Marketing together with Brad Geiser and Amor Maclang. More details over here. Oh, and there’s Wordcamp 2008 too! Eggciting! Hope to see you there!


Coffee Bean’s African Sunrise tea offering and the Wisdom of Crowds

Have you ever wondered how the “hive mind” works? Science fiction writers have brought forth the concept of a certain intelligence that exist within crowds into such forms as The Borg from Star Trek, The Zerg from Starcraft, and The Reavers from Mass Effect.

You’ve probably come across the concept of public opinion, viral marketing, or really, the jist of an “overall consensus.” There is a certain wisdom that’s inherent in large groups. Given that certain conditions of diversity are met (read here for those conditions) the crowd can be more intelligent than the few geniuses. In other words, Wikipedia can actually be more authoritative and efficient compared to the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

So when we take that concept of popular opinion (in Latin the phrase is Vox Populi, vox Dei – the Voice of the People is the Voice of God) and apply it on a micro level one example could be Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s African Sunrise and how the tribe has spoken, wanting this product to be retained as a permanent offering in CBTL’s menu. Members of the Internet community, mainstream media and friends of CBTL were offered African Sunrise tea several weeks ago and the feedback on its taste (“it’s sweet and creamy without cream and sugar”) is pushing their management to make this a permanent offering.

So a small informal event was launched for tea lovers to announce the coming of the African Sunrise, being pushed as a regular product offering due to the wisdom of a sampling of consumers.

And thus ends my pathetic attempt at linking media events with a social phenomenon. LOL.

Eraserheads Reunion Concert Confirmed for August 30 2008

Unconfirmed Update: Entrance is supposedly free as long as you present 20 packs of cigs. The sponsor is Philip Morris.

What else is there to be said, but it has definitely been confirmed! The buzz has blossomed throughout the blogosphere, radio stations and the news – everyone is excited to see the Eraserheads back for a one night only concert at the CCP grounds.

Over the weekend, the buzz was finally confirmed, thanks to one of The Philippine STAR entertainment editor and writer Ricky Lo’s moles: the Eraserheads are going to reunite for a one night only show on August 30, 2008! The venue is supposed to be the Cultural Center of the Philippines open grounds. The other details are still sketchy, but from what I gathered during my own online sleuthing—made easy because the blog posts were careful to cite references—a corporate sponsor convinced the foursome to perform for a big event that’s supposedly free to some 35,000 expected fans.[PhilStar author’s blog]

I heard over one radio station that the concert would be free admission but I sincerely hope they charge -imagine a free Eheads concert – folks are going to be camped outside CCP. I’m probably the last to be updated on concert news anyway so don’t take my word for it.

But yeah, I’d really want to be there. Learned a lot of guitar from their hits back in high school.

Hyborian Adventures … the story thus far in Age of Conan

Perhaps the main competition is real life commitments which is why after almost a month of playing, I’m still barely midway into the game at level 34 35 (ding!).

I rolled a Conqueror, a soldier archetype and one of the 12 classes in Age of Conan. At 34, I’m still guildless (this is the fault of Kiven and Rico hrmp!) and although finding pick up groups for mid level quests are not as hard as I thought, knowing how MMO’s work, guilds are needed for end-game content especially for AoC’s PVP system which looks a lot like Age of Empires! I’m running on the Oceanic Bloodspire PVP server, so if there are any other Filipinos who are recruiting, I’m here! :D

Here’s what I’ve been missing out:

Grand Theft Childhood: What legislation SHOULD know about violence in gaming

Maila recently published a story on a house bill being passed for video game violence – and how it finally crept into Philippine congress.

House Bill 4095, initiated by ARC party-list Representative Narciso Santiago, proposes imprisonment of not more than one year or a fine not exceeding P100,000, or both, for violators.

In filing the bill, Santiago cited recent studies that revealed minors who play violent video games “are more likely to exhibit violent, asocial or aggressive behavior toward others, including other minors.”

A violent video game, he said, also depicts “human-on-human violence” in which the player “kills, seriously injures, or otherwise causes serious physical harm to a human or character with substantially human characteristics.”

My personal stand on the proposed bill? This is an outdated stigma. Do you want to know the surprising truth? The most recent study that has been conducted for video game violence is documented in Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do. Let me quote:

The surveys also found correlations (statistically significant relationships) between violent game play and some common childhood problems. Boys who played any Mature-rated game a lot had twice the risk of certain aggressive behaviors (e.g., getting into fights, beating up someone, damaging property for fun) or school problems (e.g., getting in trouble with a teacher, getting poor grades), at least once during the past year, compared to boys who played games with lower age ratings. Among girls, the risk of problems was three to four times higher for those who played violent games vs. those who played other games.

Interestingly, boys who didn’t play any video games during a typical week also had a higher risk for problems; however, there were not enough boys in this group to find statistically significant differences. Kutner and Olson stress that a one-time survey can’t show cause-and-effect (it could be that already-aggressive teens prefer violent games, for example) and that most children who play violent games do not have problems.

They also document many creative, social and emotional benefits from video game play, even games with violent content, which were used by many children to relieve stress and get out anger.

Ultimately, the authors express concern that “focusing on such easy but minor targets as violent video games causes parents, social activists and public-policy makers to ignore the much more powerful and significant causes of youth violence that have already been well established, including a range of social, behavioral, economic, biological and mental-health factors” (page 190).

Watch the video interview (Adam Sessler also did an interview with the authors at X-Play but I can’t find that particular episode on the web stream – it’s available though for download at iTunes):

I’m not a political or legislation blogger – but I AM a gamer and I’ve always found gaming – even “violent games” to be a huge source of relief when all other forms of stress relievers have failed. Studies like the aforementioned always fail to see the other end of the valley – on the number of gamers who play violent games and HAVE NOT resorted to violence to resolve an issue.

Okay let’s put this in check. The proposed bill only says that this shouldn’t be available to minors. All I’m saying is that although there are some connections to video games and violence, these are very loose ones. The correlation isn’t 1 is to 1. The book is a very good read and I highly recommend it to you if you can get your hands on a copy.

iPhone 3G unlocked and more coverage

Happy weekend folks! I have a few news items from Cellphone9, most of which are YouTube videos sent by the official AT&T video production unit on the launch and demo of the iPhone 3G:

## iPhone 3G isdelivered by mail guy and secured inside the AT&T store

## iPhone 3G unboxing by the AT&T guy, Duncan Riley and Wirelessinfo. More unboxing videos here.

## iPhone 3G is unlocked on the same day of launch by Furiousim

## iPhone 3G GPS and Maps navigation demo

## Walt Mossberg is not so amazed with the iPhone 3G

ACER launches Aspire One Ultraportable in the Philippines SRP 18,800.00

Today, ACER launched their new mid year desktops and portables with the Aspire One leading the pack. So ACER finally releases their first ultraportable and there are a lot of things to like about it. First off, a sweet Intel Atom processor under this ultraportable’s hood and a 8GB solid state drive.

One peculiar item of note is the RAM – 1GB RAM with 512MB soldered into the device and the other 512MB is expandable to 1GB giving you an odd total RAM expansion of 1.5GB. It’s odd that ACER would put a small cap to the RAM expansion capabilities as 512MB doesn’t really matter as much in cases of ultra light devices.

So we played around with it today and yeah, it’s everything an ultraportable should be (I obviously can’t give feedback on the battery life). I noticed that the Aspire One didn’t mention Bluetooth in the specs. So there you have it – three, wait, three big brand ultra portables in the Philippine market with the ASUS eee, HP Mini Note (review here!) and the ACER Aspire One. We’re waiting for the MSI Wind to come among the big players.

There are other ultra light devices out there such as the Red Fox but I honestly don’t know how these fare. Any feedback on these?

The Aspire One comes in Sapphire Blue and Seashell White.

Technical Specs
AO 110-L08b (blue)
AO 110-L08w (blue)

Intel Atom Processor N270
1.6GHz 512kb L2 Cache 533 MHz Front Side Bus
Linpus Linux Lite OS
1GB Memory (512MB on board)
8GB Solid State Drive
8.9 inch WSVGA TFT
Multi-card reader
Comes with notebook sleeve
89% full sized keyboard
1 Year Warranty on Parts and Labor
1 Year International Travelers Warranty


LAGALAG: The Traveling Journal of Filipinos Project 14 months later

In May of 2007, the LAGALAG moleskine notebooks looked like this:

LAGALAG before the trip

14 months later, the notebook is FAT with stories to share from 20 Filipinos around the world.

14 months later, it landed on my doorstep via express mail and duty bound, I had to fill up two spreads. So here they are:

LAGALAG Spread 2

LAGALAG Spread 1

A tattoed military man in Japan rescues a dying man inside a car.
A writer in Cambodia loses himself in a foreign land through a painful ritual.
A former recording artist discovers new wells of creativity in Canada.
A man in the gaming industry prowls the streets of Manila in search of lost messages.

They have never met each other but they are bound to share one amazing journey around the world. They are just four of the twenty Filipinos in Lagalag, sharing one thing in common – they all take pictures.

Twenty different ways on how Filiipinos see the world.
Twenty photos. Twenty stories.
One destination. Your doorstep.

Dadaan ba sa iyo ang biyaheng Pinoy?

LAGALAG: The Traveling Journal of Filipinos Project

I interviewed Wil about Project LAGALAG back in May of 2007. This was as memories served me right, the first podcast interview I’ve ever recorded.

After finishing my two spreads I had wanted to deliver the moleskine personally to the next guy as he was based in Makati. I held back.

The novelty – the mystery of reading about the personal accounts of many other Filipinos I’ve never met seemed to be even more charming than reading it from a blog – which practically is the same thing. There really is some charm to it. The personality of the author’s penmanship, the awkward strokes on the edges of the paper, the glue and felt marker stains …

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