Saturday, 7 March 2015

Say A Little Prayer

I took a day off from work last week.

After running a few errands, I managed to finish early and decided to pop in St. Patrick's Catherdral for some much needed meditation and prayer time.

This cathedral is a marvel, and everyone knows it. Unfortunately, every single time I've visited a different part is under renovation. I do hope that one day I will have the chance to see this landmark in all it's renovated glory.

The gothic architecture in St. Patrick's always reminds me of one of my classes in university, MARKET1, where our professor held a one-off special lecture about art in advertising. We studied all kinds of art movements and how they were reflected in modern advertising. We even had quizzes and had to bring examples of which advertisments we thought was influenced by which movement (it was a nerve-wrecking exercise!). 

I bring this up because I think about it a lot when I look around, not only St. Patrick's Catherdral, but in New York city in general. It is a melting pot of art influences and artists. I love being smack-dab in the middle of it all!

Another thing I about churches (which are often gothic in design) are the stained glass windows. Take a look at these beauties!

I often stare at them during mass and just wonder about the process of making them. Who conceptualizes them and just how is glass stained and molded to fit the panels? I'd love to take a class on the principles!

But my main purpose for the visit was prayer and it's exactly what I did. I find that even if I don't consider myself a devout or religious person, being in chirch or going to mass is a meditative, reflective experience. It gives me time to think and yet not be stressed about my thoughts. I've gone to chapels and churches for ten minutes of prayer since I was in college. It really helps me think and feel comforted. Perhaps someone, God, is really listening and taken the burden away from me. 

St. Jude is the patron said of desperate causes. I cannot tell you how much I believe praying to him has helped me over the years. Anything from a lost bracelet to a midterm exam, defending my thesis to finding a job for me and my family--I have always prayed to him. It felt good to offer a prayer here through him.

Every now and then, we need some time to reconnect with ourselves and our beliefs. In my case, prayer helps. Sometimes, we forget to pray and only do so when we need something. But it is also good to visit whenever we can to just reconnect and give thanks. :)


Monday, 16 February 2015

An Outdoor Perspective (On Running)

Three weeks ago, I signed up for a 10K. Even when I think about it now, it seems farfetched and ridiculous, especially coming from me--one of the laziest, indoorsiest people I know! 

I was talked into it by a coworker and, to be honest, as much as I am freaked out by my impulse decision, I am determined to accomplish it!

And today, as I had a day off and been itching to gauge how I would do in running in the elements, I ran outside (not at the gym)!

Pictured above was my running route today. It really was a blessing in disguise. I've lived in this area for three years now and today was the first time I stepped foot in Hudson County Park. 

The track immediately surrounding the pictured frozen lake is almost exactly a mile long--so doing my 3miled was easily achievable despite my freezing fingers!

Not only was the atmosphere refreshing, but running outside gave me an oppotunity to think differently from how I would at the gym. At the gym, I'm fixated with numbers, counting down the seconds when I can dial down the speed and lower the incline. The only thing I could think of is "When will this run end?" 

For the first time since I started training for the race, I thought "I want to go farther and further." 

And the more I ran, the less I thought that I was applying those thoughts to running. I thought of all the things I have been going through lately and how I wish I could just put a halt on things and push them aside, sleep and not have to deal with them anymore. 

But today I thought: "Bring it on. I'm excited to go through and over them." To be able to say that I took a challenge head on and conquered it--that's how I choose to look at this now.

So maybe I should run outside more often. But first, I'm gonna need to pick up some gloves.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Snow Day

They're calling it Snowmageddon2015 or Blizzardof2015 on Twitter. I'm just calling it a regular ol' Snow Day. And as it turns out (at least in my area) that's kind of how it turned out to be anyway.

I'm not one to panic over weather no matter how grave the situation may seem. Living in a typhoon-infested country for most of your life will get you used to that.

And since you're given an additional day (in the middle of the week no less!) to do whatever you desire, I think it's time to catch up on some things (TV series and books!). The chilly weather outside is perfect for snuggling up in bed too!

Monday, 26 January 2015

On Finding Myself

Hullo all,

I struggle to find the words to begin this blog, probably because I haven't written in so long. I don't mean that I haven't written a blog entry in a while (which, okay, I haven't) but also in general. The past few months have found me writing, at the most, To-Do Lists for work or little notes. 

But, I realize, I'm probably grasping for words because I don't really know what I want to say. That's something I realized about myself recently. I've felt a little bit lost, restless and not totally myself. I've experienced a lot of new things in these past six months that I feel have been a bit overwhelming (mostly positive, some negative, but nevertheless overwhelming). And along the way, I set aside some hobbies that I've told myself now I need to get back to. 

What I ask myself now though is, am I still passionate about the things I like? Loved? I still love the thought of books, of drawing and of writing--making video blogs and coming up with creative projects, but I just haven't done anything as of late and it makes me wonder--what now?

I feel really torn. I don't know what to pursue or what to prioritize. Sometimes I wish someone would just tell me what to do in my life, what goal to set and gun for first. Maybe that way I would get a lot more done. But no, all I have are scrambled thoughts that I sometimes don't even want to face because I'm afraid of becoming even more confused. Most days, all I want to do is to workout, go out and socialize, spend my time with other people and less with myself. 

But maybe that is exactly where I need to start: myself. I need to stop being scared of looking at myself and asking "Who are you, Mishie?"

I grimace at the thought of my Life Cliche. Finding myself? That is just about the lamest thing I've told myself I would do this year--and it's only January! 

There is just no more room for confusion, restlessness and uncertainty in my life now. If I want anything to really happen to me, I have to do something. I have to start putting my life back in order, and maybe once I've done that good things will fall into place. 

Did that sound vague? I will learn to use my words more again. I must. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

CTNx 2014: Day One

Hullo all!

Finally, after a year and a half of planning, and an even longer time dreaming about it, I was headed to CTNx!

I had bought our tickets back in February for the convention that was happening in November--talk about being early birds! I also decided to bring my brother along for this trip so that we could both be inspired and motivated to be involved in something creative, a field that we both like to dabble in. He's actually more of a photographer but this was in his wheelhouse all the same.

Obligatory airplane wing photo!

My brother and I decided to tag-team the taking of photos and videos. He just recently started vlogging himself so I was happy for any chance to be on camera as the subject instead of the cameraman.

We landed safely in Burbank after a short layover in San Francisco.

We arrived a day before the actual expo so we decided to just take it easy and explore our hotel--which had a mini arcade!

I found Galaga (I loved Space Invaders on the PlayStation 1 as a kid) and did the geeky thing of spending five dollars in change to get the high score!

This is my failed attempt at a badass face.

We had dinner at BJ's which was right across our hotel. It was a very fulfilling deep dish pizza and alfredo, but the best part was this sampler of their famous Pizookie ala mode (pizza cookie)!


The excellent view outside our window at the Holiday Inn Burbank Media Center!

Eggs Benedict is my all-time favorite breakfast food (alongside bacon and Pampanga's Best longganisa hamonado). I am constantly searching for the best Eggs Benedict in the world. True story.

My brother and his corned beef! It was a very nice sibling breakfast date. :)

Gonna fast forward a bit here. We had no clue on how we were going to get to the Marriott Convention Center. It was no walking trip so we were going to Uber it. Fortunately, a very nice Shuttle Driver at our hotel said he would take us there. His name is Jorge and he was our savior for the day! 

We got there as people were registering. I suppose a lot of people pre-registered online because the line at the registration wasn't as crazy as I expected it to be. Of course, registration also started 2 hours before my brother and I got there so we probably (fortunately) missed the rush hour. 

Some confusion over the registration process. I think overall, CTNx has to improve on their system. I had bought and registered for both my brother and myself. They couldn't find my brother's name in their system which made it difficult for him to be found in the roster/registration for workshops. I had to make sure I sorted it out with the organizers so that day 2 and 3 would be smoother sailing. 

But with that settled, CTNx officially began with a Kickoff Keynote from *drumroll*

Legendary Animator and Disney Legend, Glen Keane! For those that don't know, this man is responsible for every film in the late 80's and 90's (known as the Disney Renaissance). He was the lead animator for The Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, Tarzan, Aladdin well, you get the idea.

He talked about his wonderful short film called Duet. Watching this made me cry, I swear! And this film is my bet to win the Oscar for Animated Short Film! 

We had time to kill after the opening keynote so my brother and I took a look around the front of the convention center.

Hands in your pockets and away from your wallets!

Pretty graphic novels and artbooks everywhere.

Art books from my favorite people at Imaginism Studios! I ended up getting MUSE from Ronnie Del Carmen.

When it was time to head into the workshops, my brother and I had to scramble, occasionally separating. We had chosen various workshops, demos and panels. Most of them were held in conference halls such as this called Vine AB.

My favorite venue, however is Hall C which was specially built for CTNx! It had a very unconventional theater-in-the-round setup which made the speakers interact with their audience more. 

I wish I could go through all our workshops one by one. But honestly, that would be a lot of commentary! Instead, I will highlight my favorite ones in the upcoming entries!

Talk soon!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Final Fantasy VII on PlayStation 4

Hullo all!

Something people must know about me, I grew up on video games and am especially attached to those with great storytelling. The Final Fantasy Franchise, Kingdom Hearts, Fatal Frame, The Walking Dead, etc. are all games that I loved playing because, while most of them involved frustrating level-grinding (and nightmare-inducing concepts), at the heart are some amazing stories that I dream of being able to tell someday. 

A couple of days ago, SquareEnix announced that it was bringing Final Fantasy VII to the PlayStation 4. 

As you may have surmised, I am one of the legions of Final Fantasy VII fans that absolutely need this franchise to be remade before we die or grow too old to use the controllers with our hands. But, to many, this announcement was a let-down because they were not remaking the game--just rereleasing it.

It is NOT the same, people. Let's roll back the tape to the remake of the opening FFVII sequence (Technical Demo for the PS3), shall we?

May I have more plz?

The disappointment of a rerelease versus a remake is a feeling that I can only liken to that of when (SPOILER ALERT), Aerith is killed in a cut-scene and you hoped and prayed and wished that at some point in the game someone could just Phoenix Down her and she would be revived and all will be well---but it never happened. 

On that note, I made a quick, mouse-made little something to express my disappointment. :(

Still hoping for a remake,

Monday, 17 November 2014

CTNx 2014: The Pre-game

Hullo all!

Has it really been over two months since I last updated? Golly!

Before I get to my main post, I just want to greet everyone a super belated Halloween! I dressed up as Hipster Ariel. Who did you go as?

November is upon me and that means the most eventful month of my year begins! Seriously, since high school, November has happened to be the month where a number of events and memorable experiences have occurred--some planed, some totally by coincidence.

Anyway, off tangent--this month is finally the time I attend the Creative Talent Network Expo 2014 (CTNx 2014 for short)! I've been itching to be part of this expo for a couple of years now, since finding out about it the year before arriving here in the U.S. For those hearing about it for the first time, CTNx is a gathering of artists from the different branches of visual entertainment: animated films, illustrators, video game designers, visual effects artists, photographers, etcetera in California. CTNx hosts panels, discussions, workshops, demos and other special events for people in the industry and for those interested in making this industry their career (like me) to come together and share in their love of visual storytelling.

Right in my wheelhouse, ammirite???

But now comes the tasking--er, well, task--of preparing for the expo. Doesn't seem like I would need to prepare much since I'm going as an attendee, not as an exhibitor or a panelist, but one should not forget that CTNx is also a networking event. I may not have a portfolio to show (which I am kicking myself for), but I do have a chance to still make an impression. Many artists that I stalk follow and sometimes talk with on Twitter are going, and I wish to meet them all. But in the hubbub of a bajillion artists that are going to this event, you want to make sure you are remembered.

What better way to do that than with a business card? I heard that business cards are traded like Pokemon cards out there--gotta catch 'em all. So, gotta make myself catch-worthy. OTL

Now, you'd think it's easy, but the screenshots of the several versions of drafts I've been working on ought to show you how difficult it's been for me OTL



Until finally I thought of a concept--how it came to me, I've already forgotten, but I got very psyched about it. Process is below! :D

I suppose all it takes is a kick in the butt and a tight deadline to get me to finish this. The truth is, I ran the risk of hating it after I ordered it because I rushed something just to have cards to hand out. But I actually really like the final result!

I ordered through MOO, as I've seen many artists do for CTNx and their prints. And I'm glad I did! The cards also arrived earlier than scheduled (even if it was through UPS, which I do not like) which may be the one time I was impressed with UPS (whoops!)

Now I just can't wait for CTNx! Time to charge my camera and get ready for a blog!