Am I a Gamer now?

Bloodlust

Before I ruffle any feathers, let me first clarify what I mean by sharing some research on what “gamer” means.

Basically it’s anyone who plays games, whether it be physical sports or video games. In recent years, the meaning has evolved to include mobile game players, especially playing stategy games.

Now the hardcore players, the OG gamers, would look down on mobile game players saying that it’s not really real-time strategy and blah blah. But well, the world changes. Once we had men who scoffed at the idea of a horseless carriage. Just sayin’.

I’m going to talk about my curious time in the mobile gaming world and what transpired in the world of Avalon.

So now that I’ve pointed that out, if you’re digusted by the idea of mobile gaming you’re free to stop right here and find something else to read, lol. But if you want to know what went on, bear with me.

So it started with my addiction to Game of Thrones and I stumbled upon GOT Conquest, a trial app on Google Play. Thinking I might get exclusive stuff later, I started playing. After 3 days I was as bored as a Nightwalker waiting for Snow and his men to move. All I was doing was upgrading buildings and alliances were unstable. So I wrote review that went like “Bored AF” and went on the search for another game.

Then I stumbled on King of Avalon, which confused me with GOT Conquest, if GOT ripped off KoA or the other way around. They were disturbingly similar but KoA was much more fun. You get to attack monsters, barbarians and even other players.

I discovered my bloodlust in this game. I enjoyed going after monsters and barbs and destroying them. Also it was one of the few times I actually talked to people online on a long period of time.

Are they a bunch of nerds? You may ask.

Yes they totally are. They live and breathe KoA. They schedule attacks. They recruit members. It’s basically an organization. The only other time I’ve met such dedication is with Red Cross volunteers. But they a positive bunch. They look out for you, support you with resources much like a fiercely loyal serfdom.

Overall I am so into the game, though I wouldn’t call myself hardcore. Sometimes I’d be annoyed when someone messages me like, “Where the hell were you when we were under attack?”

And I’ll be, “Um, I have a real job here…”

Sometimes some would go, “Buy this to get the reward faster.”

Well, I have a principle, that if it would not feed you, shelter you, clothe you or make you look pretty, don’t buy. Game monetary units won’t feed me, shelter me, clothe me nor make me pretty, so it’s not really somethinv I’d splurge on.

So am I a gamer now? In the most basic sense, yes, but it’s not turning me hardcore anytime soon. I have the real world to face.

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The Introverted Teacher

I’m an introvert. In an extrovert wooorld.

Sorry. That’s soooo bad.

I accepted the fact that I was an introvert around my last years in college. You see, in the society I grew up in, you have to be outgoing to survive. There was no place for the quiet. My people do not understand my species.

It’s always:

Hey, you alright?

Why are you so silent?

Speak up!

and the worst…

Your saliva will ferment in your mouth if you keep it shut for that long.

Most of my family are teachers, which means they are very, very, very talkative people with strong personalities. You can imagine the uproar at reunions. I have distinct memories of closing myself in my room, or running off to the beach alone.

My mom once told me I was so dry. That means I don’t jump up and down and squeal when I meet people. I formally stick out my hand to shake. I’m sure she wanted to improve my social skills, but alas, I felt so fake doing that. I’m sure others would be uncomfortable too. To see me actually jump. And squeal. No.

I could do that but my eyes would be lifeless. Like a soulless clown playing tricks, you’re just making everyone uneasy.

For years, I tried to “bring out” my extroverted side. People around me believed that it was a sort of spirit you can just awaken at the right moment. Like you can just chant a spell and suddenly be cured and jovial to strangers. Errr..

So nobody explained and I didn’t understand why I could talk for hours with my closest friends but clam up with others. Sure there’s the rare occasion there’s a click, but it’s not everyone.

I didn’t understand why I was fine staying home reading on weekends while others go out and hang. For me, you had to have a very specific reason for going out of the house. Like grocery. Or the bookstore. Or someone invited you. So I don’t go out for leisure; except when I really need to interact with other humans. Weekends are supposed to be untouchable rehab periods to face the next week. I used to loathe unholy school activities on my special days.

So why did I become a teacher?

Why indeed?

I wanted to be an astronaut. When it came to the final decision however, I was going for dentist or architect. Somehow the universe tripped or something and I found myself enrolled in AB English. At first it made perfect sense: if I had been locking myself up reading books my whole life, why not do it for the rest of my life?

I forgot an important detail.

I forgot English is a language, and language is used for communication and most people usually associate communication with *gasp* TALKING.

Unfortunately I did so well in school so there was no excuse to shift courses and I ended up in this profession.

I have a love-hate relationship with my job of 4 years.

There are days when I’m so hyped to educate the next generation.

Then there are days I simply hate everyone. I mean everyone. But of course I have to be professional.

As time passes though, I’ve learned to balance it out. Along the way, I had some realizations in life, and had to learn the hard way about surviving as an introverted individual, in a profession that requires you to be more people-oriented.

Everything started with self-actualization: who am I without any one telling me how to act and what to do?

I still have quite a lot to go, and I hope this blog would be some sort of catharsis as I continue to explore my being.

Are you an introvert or an introverted teacher too? Please let me know if you had the same struggles and how you coped with everything. Or if you guys are long time bloggers, lol what do you think? Please let me know your opinions how I can improve in the comments.

Thanks for taking time to read this. ❤✌

Fantasy Worlds

(First published in 2013 Fantasy Issue of ASVP)

If you decided to read this because of the title, you’re probably an escape artist. Escape is the fine art of losing your mind or the innate ability in humans to approximate reality in another dimension.Anybody can escape. Hell, you probably escape all the time in class or when listening to your iPod. But the true artists are special. Escape artists are gifted with the ability to detach themselves from reality and immerse in anotherrealm. Immersing is lot more intense than just an escape.

Each world is unique, reflecting the inner artist. The world is a zone that they create, transform or whatever they feel like doing. Visiting Fantasy worlds is fairly easy. Many portals on our tangible world exist informs of wardrobes, books, under-your-bed, the internet and your head.

There are different types of Fantasy worlds to enter in your spare time:

 

  1. Classic Fantasy

If you’re the posh, intellectual type with a hidden desire for maenads, the Classic world is your haven. Classic fantasy it the classic sense contains divine and nature-related elements. They also have the best fighting scenes. Of course, you could never leave out where your artistry probably branched out from: Fairy-tales. You had started out with those big-book stories, moved on to those Disney things, and was likely shocked to read the gory originals or Grimm versions. Here’s a teaser: Cinderella’s stepsisters cut-off parts of their feet to fit into the tiny glass slipper but were exposed when other saw the blood pooling in the shoe (surprise surprise). Snow White’s stepmother wanted to eat her literal guts.

 

Enter: Basically anywhere ancient (Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome,  Ancient India, Ancient Vikingland) and Fairy-tales (Ancient Germany?)

 

  1. Other-World Fantasy

These are parallel universes, accessible through portals with the big freaking sign PORTAL hanging on top. These are for people subconsciously drawn to weird places like golf holes, blackboards or little blocked doors in the wall. It’s a subconscious magnetism, because a small part of you is expecting that something WILL happen though the rest of you are just sort of going with the flow. And in this world, nothing is an accident.

 

Enter: Hogwarts, Narnia, Chalkzone, Coraline, Monster’s Inc, Space Jam, Inuyasha

 

  1. Normal-But-Not-So Fantasy

Personally, I think this was sort of a trend some time ago. This is a place where everything is totally ordinary EXCEPT for one or two details. For a concrete example there’s a nice city with a weird, pickle-obsessed mayor only that it’s regularly attacked by random creatures like a brain-exposed monkey or a devil drag queen (not an oxymoron) and regularly saved by nose-less, ear-less, finger-less kindergartners. I guess places where everything is normal except for the fact that objects/animals talk are also counted. And if something grants you wishes in your backyard, it’s one of those places too. And schools that don’t have actual academics and seem to exist only for love stories and musicals to happen.

 

Enter: 5 Children and It, Neverland, Chocolate Factory, Townsville, Series of Unfortunate Events, Hawaii 2002, Jungle Book

 

  1. Entirely-Another-World Fantasy

Welcome to a wonderful place where anything goes! A pineapple house under the sea, Princess Bubblegum’s chewy hair… you’ve had saner dreams.Details from geography, language, culture, creatures involved and so on are very vivid. Sometimes it can seem like a hodge-podge of characters randomly thrown in, but artists who constructed these places are very dedicated people. For example, Legendary Escape Artist Tolkien created a whole language. And redefining elves, dwarves and characterizing a new species, the hobbit is no joke. Narnia could fit here but well, it’s a portal. This world also has the most fantastic musical numbers.

 

Enter: Bikini-bottom, Oooo, Middle-Earth, Shrek and Far Far Away

 

  1. Dream Fantasy

If fantasies were dreams, these worlds are the dream of dreams. Actually these places are a mix of Entirely-Another-World and Other-World Fantasies but the visitor can decide if the place was real. Entirely-Another-Worlds won’t let you go back and Other-Worlds leave you with no choice but to believe it happened.Someone who needs to be brought back to reality once in a while is recommended to go to this place.

Enter: Oz, Wonderland

 

  1. Sometime-Somewhere Fantasy

Ever been to a place that’s either somewhere in the future or sometime in the past? That’s basically this fantasy. This is the trend going on these days. Artists today are imagining a place far from our present world. Maybe people now are looking forward to the future (possibly dreading it) or imaging a stranger time than what we have now. Neo-fairy-tales are also in this fantasy. Those are you know, the life story of Oz’s wicked witch, documentary of the stepsister’s world and the rest of the villain BTS. This is the escape of escapes too.

Enter: Ice Age, Panem, Uglies Series, Pirates of the Caribbean, How to Train Your Dragon, Pirates of the Carribean.

 

Then there’s seven: Your-Head Fantasy. Probably not the most romantic of titles, but this Fantasy is the root of the Six Fantasies above. You can’t develop a world without your fantastic brains and you can’t enter worlds without them either. Your head is where everything begins. Legendary escape artists even had heads to start their stories with (not that I was implying otherwise)! Anyone can escape but Artists can create.

Prima Galaw Presents: The Little Mermaid

(First published in 2013 Fantasy Issue of ASVP)

Iloilo’s Prima Galaw staged a production of The Little Mermaid last September 4,5 and 6 at WVSU Cultural Center.The musical play was an adaptation of Disney’s animated feature and showcased the talents of Ilonggo theater people.

Dramatic music set the mood and began the play but what first drew me were the visuals. Each scene floated before the audience captivating them with the stunning ocean-themed set: an intricate sparkling palace occupied the stage and a bright underwater scene popped up in front. The set also included moving (and trembling) boats, King Triton’s grand throne, Ursula’s lair and Ariel’s cave. Each piece was related to the main set and just as spectacular.  Changing lights and gorgeous costumes added to the feel of the play.

The actor that caught my eye was taking on the role of Ursula. Her acting transformed her character into a villain the audience would love. The play may have lacked an element of surprise in its plot but Ursula provided the right spice needed for the audience to keep their eyes on the story. Although all the characters in the play were based on Disney, she was one of the few who made the character her own. The crowd enjoyed her presence in the scenes. Sebastian’s performance was also remarkable. The actor carried his character faithfully, even modifying his voice to match that of Disney’s Sebastian. Ariel did not disappoint us but Prince Eric and Grisby may have projected a different feel to the theatrical performance.

Some of the younger actors’ voices were not moderated well but made up for it with their fantastic song performances. The crowd was enchanted with their renditions of original Disney songs like “Part of Your World”, “Under the Sea” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls.”

My only critique is that the play was too faithful to the Disney interpretation including the characters, songs and storyline. Everyone is familiar with Ariel’s story, so it would have been nice to have an original take on the tale, rather than a re-interpretation of the 1989 animated film.

Overall, the play was a fun watch. It was memorable and would be enjoyable for younger (and young at heart) audiences who will love the songs and characters all over again.

Being a Foreign Student in JNU

FB_IMG_1490022165415.jpg(Potato in Summer 2012) – First Published in The Island, Jeju National University’s school paper

Foreign students most likely come to South Korea for one out of three reasons: a favorite celebrity, the famous places, or for studies. For whatever reason to come here, South Korea is a beautiful place to be and I feel especially lucky to be in Jeju Island. In the past months of living here, I have learned so much and grew to love a lot of things here in South Korea.

Jeju is the first place I’ve been to abroad and lived in. Honestly, I didn’t do much research about the area before I came here so everything came as a surprise. There were many things new to me as the days went by. I’ve often wondered how foreign students feel like whenever I met them back home. I’ve made friends with exchange students visiting the Philippines but I had no idea how interesting or wonderful it was until I was given this opportunity.

The first thing I like about Jeju are the warm, friendly people. I have never been made to feel foreign during my stay here. I was also happy that we were introduced to Korean friends who helped us in many ways here. My friends helped me get around the city, visit some memorable places and even helped me in my studies. Though we’ve met only for the first time, we could converse as if we’ve been friends for years. And because we know we would see each other for only a while, they make an effort to connect from a distance. I admire this aspect of Korean culture that they showed us.

I also like the language program because it was very holistic. Not only did we learn the language, but we actually got to see  and experience Korea.  Every month, we were all pleasantly surprised at every place that we’ve been too. Each place was always different. Us students saw the traditional Korean life, played traditional Korean games and, of course, ate Korean food. It was amazing to know the lifestyle of the women divers, that they can endure depths of water for their families. There were also small surprises, like how similar some games were to games at home or in other countries. The language and  the culture may differ in so many ways, but there small similar things within.  Though our class had different nationalities, learning about Korea had brought us together.

The school system here is not so much different from my university back home, but I liked a lot of things in this school. Though the system is the same, the facilities are updated and make the most of present-day technology. The buildings are well-kept and the classrooms comfortable. Korean school culture is also a little different. I noticed a certain efficiency in the Korean culture. You can seldom see yellow lights as they go on their way. Also, the college students here are very diligent and focused on their studies. Maybe because of the habits formed before college, they maintained it to become good students. I will also always be ever thankful to my teachers in this university. They were very diligent in teaching us and our classes were always a lot of fun. They were teachers, but our class had become closer like a family.

Living here has really opened up a whole new world for me. Everyday there is always something to discover and to remember. Though I can’t help but miss my home sometimes, my homesickness vanishes for a while whenever life happens in Jeju.  Being an exchange student is really a big opportunity to expose yourself to new cultures. I will always cherish every moment spent here in Korea. I hope every student  will also find the same joy in whatever they pursue.

Undergraduate Research Paper (ABSTRACT )

(First Published March 2014)

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN READING HABITS AND GRAMMAR SKILLS  OF THIRD YEAR AND FOURTH YEAR ENGLISH MAJORS  OF CENTRAL PHILIPPINE UNIVERSITY

This descriptive-relational study investigated the reading habits as related to the grammar skills of English Majors of Central Philippine University.  Variables such as reading habits in terms of hours spent in reading and volume read by respondents on printed, digital and online materials were considered. Their grammar skills were also tested to find out whether these variables are as related. A one-shot survey design using a self- questionnaire was used to gather data to forty (40) respondents as total enumeration.  Frequency count, percentages and mean were used to describe the data, while Gamma was used to test significant relationship between two ordinal data, set at 5% level of significance. Results revealed that respondents have average grammar skills. The time spent in reading online materials in a week (G=0.519, p=.000), volume of printed books and digital books read per month (Gamma=.644,  p=.000), (Gamma=.521, p=.000) and the volume of online materials read (Gamma=0.372, p=0.014) by the English majors in a week are significantly related to their grammar skills. However, time spent in reading printed and digital books have no bearing with their grammar skills.