Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MAJOR MAJOR mistake??

"Today is the most beautiful day in the universe" - the famous line from one of the prestigious beauty pageants in the world, Ms. Universe. Well, not specifically this date August 25th every year but you get the point.

After the horrible incident that happened yesterday in Quirino Grandstand in Manila (a great commotion not only here in the Philippines but also in the international scene) which not only brought shame to our country but also endangered our stand for tourism and alliance from neighboring countries, specifically HongKong, the Philippines was given again another time to shine, this time in a good, errr, good way.

Ms. Maria Venus Raj, the 2010 Binibining Pilipinas Universe represented the country for the 2010 Ms. Universe held in Mandalay Bay hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and may I say she did well, excellent..not until the dreaded final question. She came through as the last person to be announced as part of the Top 15, 3rd to be called upon in top 10 and again last to be called to join the Top 5. Together with her were Mexico, Australia, Jamaica and Ukraine.

All went smoothly, from the swimwear to the long gown. she was the crowd favorite, considering Las Vegas has a very large community for Filipinos. Reports also had claimed she is one of the judge's choice for the crown..and to reiterate..not until the Final question.

So what's the big deal with the final Q&A that made her land as the 4th Runner Up instead of grabbing the coveted title? Did she made a major mistake? Yes she did..

When asked if what are her life's mistakes, she excitedly but blandly answered she has none. That is sure an honest answer but she could have thought of her experiences before, like losing her crown and having them back because she fought for it. After hearing her answer, I was a bit down to be honest. She really had a good chance to get the crown but she let it slipped. And to her defense, the question was too personal rather than the other contestants who got questions like importance of internet to the youth, full body scanning in international airports, etc. These are current event questions that are very relevant to what Miss Universe is supposed to be, by taking a good example to the world. I feel sorry for her actually but still proud she made it to the Top 5. the last one was a decade ago, Miriam Quiambao grabbing the 1st Runner up title.

She said "I don't have any major major, i mean, problem in my entire life". the quote "MAJOR MAJOR" had been a trending topic all over the world, not only the net but also in real life. It had been a catch-phrase her in the office as of the moment.. Mexico got the crown, but Venus is still a trending topic all over the planet. That's a major major achievement I may say..

Peace Out

Monday, August 16, 2010

My new laptop

After 2 years of saving a little part of my salary every 15 days of work at the office, I finally decided to buy my own laptop. Well I'm gonna use it most of the time once I'm back to Masteral school for my Nursing degree..and also to play flash games in Facebook since old, crappy desktop wouldn't allow me even to open the simplest page..Internet connection is very slow due to hardware issues. Unfortunately, after 2 days that I bought the laptop, my desktop just died out. Well that is unlucky for my desktop, but lucky for me. but I'm still gonna try to go and fix it. =P

It's a Acer 4745G model, windows 7 Home premium. It has a free canon printer and smart bro broadband kit with it since I got to order this during a promo at one of our malls here in Bacolod.

Spotlight: K-Pop

After a few months of waiting for this release, I finally got my MYX Magazine Kpop Special. I have always been a fan of Kpop, not because I'm Korean and I can understand the whole song itself ( I can understand some common Korean words and the English parts of their songs, they always like to mash them up). so today, rather than featuring my mag on this blog, I had an idea of giving Kpop a spotlight on my page, on what it is, and how it has swiftly dominated the hearts of Filipino fans.

What is K-pop?

K-Pop is an abbreviation for Korean Pop Music (also called GaYo or Kayo music) especially from South Korea. The "Korean Wave" is not only a popular culture in their country but it widely spread out throughout Asia, especially here in the Philippines. Older genres of Kpop started as plainly guitar acoustic, then evolved to rock music in the 1970s. Trot, a more Japanese influenced genre also became its main pop music during those times.
The 90s was the start of the dynamic formations of music groups which incorporated dance-oriented acts to pop music, popularized by the legendary duo-group Deux. Slowly, American style rap, hiphop and R&B slowly merged itself with Korean Pop which became very appealing to Koreans as well as neighboring countries.
The 2000s marked the rice of boy and girl bands. But unlike American groups, even if Kpop groups are disbanded, bubblegum pop is still very popular (songs that are often catchy, upbeat, typically ahs sing-along choruses which main targets are teens and pre-teen audiences). 2008 started the most current style in K-pop which is Electronica.Korean artists also made its way to the US Charts, notable artists such as BoA, Rain and Wonder Girls.

Rise of K-Pop in the Philippines

K-pop phenomenon in the Philippines started indirectly way back 2003, with the first Koreanovela (Korean novel) Autumn in my Heart (GMA 7) to compete with Meteor Garden, a Chinovela (Chinese Novel - ABS-CBN). During the same year, the first Kpop music video aired on MYX (local music channel). This song was from the group Kiss and the song is "Because I'm A Girl" which was remade into a Tagalog song by Roxanne Barcelo in 2004 titled "Kung Alam mo Lang". "Answer the Phone" by Mina was remade into English translations and most of the Korean novela theme songs are performed by Faith Cuneta, which gave her the title 'Diva of Koreanovela'.

Korean fandoms (groups) had also been popular due to cable TV offering of Korean channels subbed in English. this is the reason why most Korean artists not well known before in the Philippines made its way to the charts, even topping them, here in the Philippines. Some of the well know Korean artists to made it on both the TV and radio charts were Super Junior, Wonder Girls, 2NE1 (which Sandara Park, a local celebrity before here in the Philippines which is a pure Korean, is a part of), TVXQ, UKiss, Girls' Generation, Rain and many more. As of today, "No Other" by Super Junior is unbeatable in the MYX Hitchart, battling the top spot with the Canadian pop star, Justin Bieber.

I started to like K-pop since I played Pump It Up, a dance simulation game produced by Andamiro, which was mirrored from the popular Japanese game, DanceDanceRevolution. This is where I was introduced with some of the songs which I liked until now mainly "Don't Bother Me" by Tashannie, "Fly" by Epik High, "Hold the Line" by B.E.P. and some others which I usually play in the arcade. 2NE1, Girls' Generation, BoA and Super Junior are some of the artists that I also feel in love with. 2NE1 especially since Sandara is a part of the group (I always like her since her SCQ days). Super Junior's two songs "Sorry Sorry" and "Bonamana" are also one of my top favorite Kpop songs to date.

People may not understand why we love Kpop that much since we barely understand their language or some may find their fashion trends awkward. But everyone has their own right to like whatever they want. and having Kpop swarm the Philippine music charts, it is really evident that Kpop has already became a part of our modern Filipino music culture.

Sources: Wikipedia, Wikipilipinas

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Wonders of Photoshop

I've been on training for two weeks of Digital Imaging at work. The t
raining turned out great since we are being trained to work with images in Photoshop. Photoshop Elements as well as Lightroom. Everyday we were given by our trainer Brett Nemecek from Adobe some projects to work with and these are the few things I have done so far with Photoshop.

This is the first project we created. Our name tags. Well, it about how we use utilize the tools that we are familiar without the actual training yet

Aliens. Creating our own aliens from images using Filter options with Photoshop. This was created using distortion and liquify features.

Creating a movie poster incorporating the following things: ICE, CAVE, COLD, GIRAFFE, FLY, BEER, PURPLE, ROMANCE, SQUEEZE, MARK (I used Mark Gemal's picture, one of my colleague as the protagonist), and ANDREW (Andrew Alova, a colleague also, as antagonist). It was a fun (actually funny) project to work with, utilizing magic wand tool, smart brush, quick select tool, text design, etc.

Focuses more on healing brush, clone stamp tool and spot healing tool, this project will make old people turn young and young people turn old. I used Robin Williams, he's on of my idols.

I call this piece "RENAISSANCE GOES GAGA". The objective of this project is to use the brush tool to blur, smudge and combine photos with the background layer to make the second layer as realistic as possible, which in this case will look like a part of a painting. I used DaVinci's "Leda and the Swan" painting and made it dress Lady Gaga's Grammy dress. I was also able to remove the small kids on the lower left using Content Aware, not destroying the portrait itself.

This was just created last night. Our topic was about layers and layer properties. The original picture is in the lower right side of the photo. I used Overlay, Soft Light and vivid light options to create an effect as if it was already the end of the world..Scary!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spotlight: DanceDanceRevolution X2

**Late post - i just had time to recover my computer..created this blog July 24, 2010

July 7, 2010 is a historical event for all DDR Players around the world. The most anticipated sequel to the 10th Anniversary DDR X was released for arcade during this day which gave both players and enthusiasts for DDR a hype to get their hands (and of course, feet) with the game. Today I will feature this on my blog since I am also not only excited but hyperexcited with the said game. Timezone in Glorietta 4 in Makati City already confirmed they ordered for one machine..and hopefully I can go to Manila by that time to experience it first hand. This blog will give as an idea of what's new and what's hot with the new DanceDance Revolution X2

DanceDanceRevolution X2

What's New?

After several test locations in Tokyo since November 2009, DDR X has finally been released for arcade the 7th of July this year. So what has this game has to offer? Well there are a lot to mention.

DDR started its song selection interface as CD just like in a jukebox machine (DDR 1st to 3rd mix), later developed to banner selections (DDR 4th and 5th). From DDR Max to DDR X, the song wheel selection, which became the standard song selection interface for all arcades and console version. DDR X2 however, broke this tradition and gave us a new way to select songs. The new interface shows songs selected via its CD covers. Prior to this however, DDR Universe 3 in Xbox 360 already used this interface, but this is the first time it will be introduced in the arcade version.

There are a few (but important) things that have changed with the modifiers/modes for gameplay. There are new adjustable versions of the Sudden and Hidden modifiers, and the ability to adjust these settings and the speed of the arrows in-game using the control buttons on the cabinet.

The cabinet for the first time had four selection arrows in all four directions for each player in contrast to the previous machines which only has two (left and right arrows only). The up and down arrows are for Sudden+ and Hidden+ modifiers while the left and right arrows can be used to modify speed a few seconds before the actual gameplay/song begins. Input lag is reduced as a part of the improvement as well as higher quality pads more similar to arcade pads in the Japanese version. Machines can be upgraded from DDR X but not from pre-DDR X version due to compatibilities issues.

Over 70 new songs had been released for DDR X2 arcade and may still be subject for additional releases in the future. All licenses in DDR Supernova and Supernova 2 were removed X2 due to licensing expiration (with the exception of "Angelus" and "Golden Sky". The good news is that four "oldies but goldies" DDR tracks from the first few series made its way to X2, with one of them having a special remix. Licenses included are from well known Japanese and Western artists. There are a total of 8 Bemani Crossovers..all coming from Beatmania IIDX series. This is the first time music form Cyber TRANCE has been included, as well as from the Super Eurobeat album since Disney's Rave. The partial list can be viewed in Wikipedia (link directs to DDR X2 page)

The new extra stage system called Replicant D-Action allows players to select from 6 boss songs. When a player gets an AA or higher score with one of these songs, which is only available in Expert Mode, Encore Extra Stage is unlocked (song: Valkyrie Dimension by Spriggan).

The game is still fresh for players and for sure, updates will be coming soon for this game. May it be unlocks, new modes or other additional features, I'm pretty sure this game will surpass its predecessor game for a number of miles.

www. wikipedia.org

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pokemon is back on track..

Today I was going over articles in Yahoo! news when I saw this news about my favorite game (may not be a big deal to anyone but me). Yahoo! Games had named the top 10 best selling video games as to date and Pokemon made it on the list, not once but twice.

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the remake of, What I shall call the best Pokemon generation game ever (Gold and Silver in GB Color) made it on its top 10 list. This would suffice the fact that Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire (Generation III games for GB Advance) did not make that much of an impression for players and fanatic, including me. HeartGold and SoulSilver ranked 7th and 2nd, respectively. The Number 1 spot goes to the classic Super Mario..but this time a remake for the Wii console.

Now after this success, Pokemon Company will be releasing its new game for DS, Pokemon Black & White. It's a totally new world with new Pokemon, not a remake, but will it surpass the glory that Pokemon HeartGold and Soulsilver (also its original forms Gold and Silver)?

Here's the complete list of the Top 10 Sellers (So Far) for 2010.

1. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)
2. Pokemon SoulSilver (DS)
3. Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)
4. God of War III (PlayStation 3)
5. Wii Fit Plus (Wii)
6. Wii Sports Resort (Wii)
7. Pokemon HeartGold (DS)
8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)
9. Just Dance (Wii)
10.Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)