Farewell, Ma…

When I was younger, I never really liked my mother. I was closer to my father who would sometimes let me ride the bus he drives for work. I was often scared of my mother because she often scolded and spanked me for every little thing that I did. Sure, she taught me a lot of things such as reading and math (both of which became my favorite subjects), but it was the times when she yelled at me that I remembered more. She used to yell “punyemes!” and would spank me when I imitated her. She would also burn my Ultraman card collection whenever I quarreled with my younger brother. She rarely expressed appreciation for my achievements, even after I got the top honors at school during my early years. I saw her smoke a cigarette once, and I saw it negatively as a kid. Bad people smoke, I was often told. Or maybe she said that so we wouldn’t follow our father’s example. She was a tyrant, plain and simple.

I grew up to be afraid of her. Even in high school, I would make sure that I arrived home before she did or I will get a very long lecture about me acting like a vagrant. She stopped spanking me by then, maybe because I was already old enough for it to not affect me much. She did punch my jaw a couple of times when I snapped back at her. She was strong, I’ll give her that. I felt dizzy on both occasions and had to ask for a timeout to steady myself.

Once, during my second year of high school, we had a shouting match and she told me to pack my things and leave. An acquaintance of mine was sent to the hospital on that day for a sickness I could no longer remember. I contacted my neighbor back then so he can inform my mother that I will be coming home late. He forgot. It rained really hard too and EDSA was flooded so we arrived home at around 2 AM in the morning. When I came in through the gate, she was there – crying. She thought I really did run away from home and welcomed me back with a tight hug. The 2 weeks following that was blissful and she attended to me with so much care. It felt weird, really. We were back to normal after that.

I’m not sure exactly when or how it happened but during my College years she seemed to be a different person. She would do the laundry for us, brought me food whenever I played on the computer for long hours without standing up, comforted me whenever I felt depressed, and restrained me when I had fits of rage (I had anger management problems in College). She also lent me her support when I was trying to join a fraternity, of which she was also a member back in her College years. She still nagged me, but I guess it already grew on me and our debates didn’t last very long.

The most memorable time I had with her was when my first girlfriend broke up with me. We were together for more than 4 years but the girl left me after she got into med school and we were in a long distance relationship for 7 months. We broke up over the phone. I was devastated. I was on my way home when she told me and I felt so weak that my legs gave in, causing me to kneel in the middle of the street. I was crying. Fortunately, my mother happened to see me during that moment so she ran to me and helped get me back up on my feet. She assisted me all the way back home. She then tried to comfort me with her words. She was like the only ally I had back then when my entire world collapsed. I was really thankful. I told her, “Ma, I don’t know what I’ll do if you leave me too so please take care of yourself.” She laughed and patted my back.

It was then that I saw her kindness, not only to me, but to other people. We were not well-off but she would often find a way to help her siblings even if it means that very little will be left for us. She had trouble handling money, a quality that my father didn’t like. I will sometimes blame her why we were poor, but in hindsight I never had a shortage of the things I needed and even had extra for my expensive hobbies.

She always watched out for me. Too much, in fact, that it often irritated me. I guess that part didn’t change. She would always leave my brother alone but nothing I did ever slipped past her notice. She reasoned that I was different from my brother who was very independent. That was part of the reason why I accepted a job in Saudi Arabia – so I can prove to her that I can also stand up on my own two feet. In my point of view, she favored my brother because she leaves him alone to his own devices. On the other hand, my brother thought I was her favorite because she paid most of her attention to me.

Two years later, we discovered she had cancer. The initial results found that she had a myoma in her uterus. We were hopeful that it was benign because the doctor told us that most cases were like that. She had it surgically removed. We heard the news afterwards. She had uterine clear cell carcinoma – a rare and very aggressive type of cancer. We tried what we could to have her treated but the treatments only prolonged her suffering. I remember a conversation I had with her:

Ma, hindi pa yata ako ready mawala ka. ‘Wag kang susuko ha?” (“Ma, I don’t think I’m ready to see you go yet. Don’t give up, okay?”)

“Okay lang yan, ‘nak. Basta ibulong mo lang balang araw na, ‘Ma, okay na ako,’ masaya na ko, ‘nak.” (“It’s okay, my child. Just whisper, ‘Ma, I’m okay now,’ someday and I’ll be happy.”)

She died only a few months later on June 7, 2013. She didn’t even reach her 60th birthday. She often joked years ago that she will never reach 60, but none of us expected it will come true. I can’t imagine how much pain she endured before she died. She was the strongest person I’ve ever known. She never showed us how much she suffered whenever she was having a terrible asthma attack or even when my father left her.

She was buried in Kidapawan near the grave of her parents.

I miss you, Ma. And I loved you so much. You shaped me into who I am now and I’m thankful for it. I hope I can make you proud one day…enough for me to utter the words you wanted to hear.

Enjoying Rift

Well, since Rift: Planes of Telara went down for some maintenance, I now have a bit of time to post. I must say I’m enjoying the game immensely and have been committing a lot of time in the game since I started playing. I play until midnight during weekdays and the whole day during weekends. I also joined a guild, the Immortal Council because they seem to be a cool and mature bunch who caters to different play styles. PVP, Dungeon Raids, Rift Raids, RP…all of ’em. They seem to be more focused on PVE Raids at them moment but they still welcome the other stuff when it comes.

Nah. I'm not trying to smash Arnold's head in. I'm recalling back to Meridian.

Anyway, what makes Rift a lot better than WoW, in my humble opinion, is the dynamic world. Rifts, especially the invasions, can be really fun. An invasion may suddenly open in the area you are questing in but the next thing you know you’re already in a raid trying to close multiple rifts then taking down the boss after the first set of objectives. Some people say it gets tiresome after a while, but after hitting level 32 (the cap is 50), I’m still enjoying them.

Yep. "Shard first." Unbelievable.

The multiple souls feature is also a good thing. Out of the 4 callings, you get to pick 3 souls from 9 different options so there’s a lot of flexibility in the character builds. Some people get their fun from min/maxing which may limit the builds to certain souls and skills, but for most players it’s pretty entertaining.

Of course, there are also downsides to the game. When Rift went commercial, Trion opened so many different shards (servers), that some of them became barely populated a month or two after launch (some players leave after the free month). I started in Firesand (EU) and found most of the towns becoming “ghost towns” because of the low population. So after a bit of a nudge from a friend, I transferred to the US RP-PVP server, Sunrest, and have been enjoying the game ever since. Trion is also allowing free server transfers starting from patch 1.3 so that should fix the population issues a bit. I hope.

Also, why do Defiants suck in PVP? There was a time we were winning 6 games straight in Codex but after that the next 15 or so matches were all losses. Kinda hard completing PVP quests when that happens. Darn.

I'm in your kitchen, stealing all your food, er, kills.

Well, that’s it for Rift. If anyone wants to try it out, here’s a link that can help me out as well.

First Post in Saudi Arabia

So after leaving the company I’ve been working with for a couple of years, I was offered a job in Saudi Arabia as the editor for one of the biggest Architectural and Engineering Consultancy Firms in the kingdom. A lot of people say I’m lucky for landing in one of the best companies in the Middle East but since it’s my first time working abroad, I don’t know if that’s true or not.

Anyway, after 4 months, I was able to get a CC and immediately assembled a high-end PC. I had to use the card since I’ve been sending money to my mother so she can catch up on her bills. Everything’s planned out, though, so I don’t think I’ll run into trouble with my budget unless something really bad happens.

Intel i7 960, X58-USB3, Radeon HD6950, 2 x 4GB DDR3 RAM

Unassembled. I can't believe I was able to fit all of these in the car. The tower case is HUGE.

As usual, I ran into a bit of a hassle when I found out that the graphics card I bought doesn’t have a D-Sub connection…and my monitor (temporary, I’m hooking this to a LED TV in a few months) requires that, nothing else. It took me a week before I was able to find a DVI-I to VGA adapter.

The first game I bought was Fallout: New Vegas. I didn’t really pay any attention to it after my experience with Fallout 3 (it’s not bad… it just… doesn’t seem like a true Fallout game). I was pleasantly surprised though. The game should have been the “numbered” Fallout game not Fallout 3. Next, I got Crysis (planning to get Crysis Warhead and 2 later on). I was able to play it with max settings. Nice.

Then I got Internet. What does it mean? Yeah, online games (not Facebook!). Which game did I test out first? Granado Espada. There’s just something about the damn game that just makes me want to login, find a nice spot in a dungeon, then auto-attack. Problem is, my connection sucks with IAHGames. 8Mbps and I get nasty lag while playing. Ah well. At least my connection is good with Aeria Games (tested on DOMO). Eden Eternal and Megaten, here I come!

Tarot Readings, Do You Believe ‘Em?

Let me take a break from the usual gaming related post and allow me to show you something that caught my interest just recently. Yes, I’m pretty sure Persona was the cause for this one but I visited one of those free tarot reading websites that you’ve probably encountered through several ads. Now before I continue, let me tell you guys that I never believed in astrology, fortune telling, or anything related to the occult. I find them interesting but I’ve never believed in them. Not once. Not even if it’s surprisingly accurate such as this one:

Click for Details The significator, not shown is the card you have chosen to embody your presence and the focus of the reading. Knight of Cups: The essence of water behaving as fire, such as a rushing river: A passionate romantic, full of charm and beauty, but prone to extremes. Forceful idealism blended with gentle kindness. An eager and intense person, forward with their emotions and tender in their support of others.
Click for Details The card at the top left represents how you see yourself. Nine of Pentacles (Gain): Good luck attending material affairs. Attaining refinement and embracing elegance. Discipline and nobility applied to the maintenance of security and stability. The wise use of resources and foresight. The fulfillment that comes with accomplishment, and the turning of attention to higher things.
Click for Details The card at the top right represents how you see your partner. The Devil: Being seduced by the material world and physical pleasures. Lust for and obsession with money and power. Living in fear, domination and bondage. Being caged by an overabundance of luxury. Discretion should be used in personal and business matters.
Click for Details The card in the center left represents how you feel about your partner. Ace of Wands: The seed of a new venture – perhaps as yet unseen. An opportunity to be met with boldness, vigor, and enthusiasm. The herald of birth, invention, or entrepreneurship. An innate and primal force released. May suggest a surge of vitality, creativity, or fertility that can set things in motion.
Click for Details The card in the center right represents what stands between you and your partner. Page of Pentacles: The essence of earth, such as a mountain: The surprising appearance of new prosperity and opportunities for advance in the physical world. One who delights in the pleasures of the body, material things, and nature. The embrace of hard work, realistic goals, and scholarly perseverance as a means to create solid achievement. Dependability, trust, and a studious nature. May portend a new job or promotion.
Click for Details The card in the lower left represents how your partner sees you. The Moon: Cyclic transformation covering the mysterious forces of the night. Feminine beauty and the intoxicating vitality of youth. The metamorphosis from beauty to beast and vice versa. Occult forces, sensitivities and intense dreams. Dangerous situations and perilous times.
Click for Details The card in the lower right represents what your partner feels about you. Ten of Cups (Satiety): Fulfillment and joy in life and love. Feeling peace, tranquility, and contentment in friends and family. Taking delight in one’s good fortune.
Click for Details The card in the center represents the present status or challenge of the relationship. Six of Pentacles (Success): A time of prosperity and profit. Success and generosity in material things. Power and influence turned to noble pursuits. Philanthropy, and the balancing of physical and spiritual life. May suggest gifts or aid to one in need.

The above actually shows how I currently see my current situation at this moment of posting. I still don’t believe it though since it’s pretty random. If I repeat the whole thing, it should give me a different result (and don’t give me that “the first one is always the truth” line). Anyway, this was taken from http://www.facade.com/tarot

Back to playing Megaten Online…

Runes of Magic

Busty babes really do work well in advertising...

Sheesh… I know I promised to update from time to time but I’ve been really busy with work and other stuff that I almost forgot about the existence of this blog. Aaaanyway, I’m still waiting for Runes of Magic PH to go live so I’ve been playing other games to pass the time. What games, you ask? Well, for the PSP there’s Persona 3 Portable and Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2. Both are in Japanese so it can be quite frustrating especially with all the kanji. I’m thinking of buying Dragon Age Origins for the PC but I’ll do that after I upgrade my hardware this month (hopefully).

Speaking of P3P, I’m not sure if most people know this but I’m pretty OC (look it up if you don’t know what that means) with games, especially in RPGs. It’s not really required but I reaaaaally wanted to max out all social links on the first round (I mean without new game+). Since they adjusted the event dates for the PSP version, I also have to plan out my actions to keep up with it. And with the game in Japanese, well, you get the picture. Frustrating, really. I was left looking for my Persona fix. Which leads us to…

Shin Megami Tensei: IMAGINE

Me, my Lilim, and some Lawful Demon Buster...

Shin Megami Tensei – IMAGINE. It has been months since I last played the game and man, was I pleased with the updated content (though it’s not much). I last played the game after grinding skills to get around Class 4 Enhancement and that left me with almost maxed skill points and a really low level (level 9). Bad idea. I was in the game without friends and only a support character at hand. So what did I do? I deleted the character. Yes. After so many hours, no…DAYS of grinding, I clicked the delete button without thinking twice. I created a new one instead with Magic Bullet and Sharpshooter in mind so I can get off to a quick start.

Like I said, I was pretty pleased with how the game turned out. There were chained tutorial quests that gave a decent amount of experience and found several repeatable ones I could do while walking around the field. Great. I was having trouble trying to recall how the gameplay works but I’m now back to being able to control both my character and send commands to my demon to ensure I don’t get hit at all. Nice. Now I’m level 25, soloing Silver runs in Suginami Tunnels, and still working on several skills like Talk and Demonology. What I do need right now are suggestions on which demons to take with me. I guess that’ll be something I could think about for the next few days.


It really feels good watching this scene...especially after dying so many times from accidentally pulling all the Cait Sith to your respawn point...


I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting quite a few visitors daily since I started the blog (mostly from Granado Espada searches on Google). Aaaanyway, I still play GE. Though not as much as before since I’m busy with work and other stuff. I’m being moved to an SEO consultant role recently so I’m going to be quite busy for the next couple of weeks. I do log in from time to time, only to AFK level some of my lower leveled characters (like Claude and Catherine; sorry Cath, I’ve been neglecting you since like…forever from the day I got your card).

I haven’t been playing WoW, too. I actually lost my wallet a couple of months ago and haven’t been able to get a replacement for my card. I blame office hours and banking hours being on the same schedule. So yeah, no online subscriptions or purchases for me in the meantime.

What I’ve actually been doing recently is playing on my PSP. I’m playing older games like Valhalla Knights 2, Brave Story, and *gasp* Dungeon Maker 2. Zynga games on Facebook, too! Farmville, Barn Buddy, Mafia Wars, Yoville, Texas Hold ’em, and so on and so forth. Quite addictive really. Especially if they’re the only games you can play in the office. *groan*

Hrm…what else…oh yeah. I’m back to good terms with my “girlfriend” (don’t mind the quotation marks). I only recently saw her birthday greeting and I was really touched. We never spoke to each other during that period and she still posted a greeting on my birthday (she was actually the first, judging from the timestamp). She’s also trying to get me to try playing Aion. I haven’t tried it out though. Yeah, things have been going quite well recently.

So updates, updates. I added a meebo chatbox on the right so if there are any questions regarding my posts, you can remain anonymous and ask there (don’t be shy). Comments are welcome too. Hell, spam it if you want (no, I take that back). Anyway, enjoy your visit as usual and I’ll try to keep this updated from time to time (yeah, right).

EDIT: Okay, okay. I really don’t like meebo much so I just had Chatroll embedded.

So what have I been up to…

Well, since my peers can’t take the server trouble in Granado Espada around the start of 2009, we took time off from the game and haven’t been back ever since (except one…Vledlin is still around apparently). I’ve been trying out different games, not only for the PC but also for the PSP. There’s too many of ’em to mention and I didn’t stick to playing anything for months except Monster Hunter 2 Freedom (now playing Monster Hunter Freedom Unite) and World of Warcraft so I don’t think I should make a list or something.

Yes, WoW. I’m not sure what came over me but I renewed my subscription back in March and have been playing since then. I was choosing between Final Fantasy XI or WoW on which subscription to renew, but I figured I might as well go with the latter since Final Fantasy XIV is going to be another online game (and most probably play that one instead when it arrives).

So, what’s up with WoW? Well, since I stopped playing around patch 2.3 and came back only after patch 3.0.9, I was pleasantly surprised with the new content from Wrath of the Lich King and additions such as dual talent specialization, glyphs, and Inscription. I made a new character, a human mage, in Dreadmaul (US, Oceanic) so I can be with an old friend. After a month of playing, I lured invited another friend, Bry, to play so I could have someone to exploit level with. He’s now raiding with his guildies in Naxx while I’m still stuck with Heroic stuff (I’ll be raiding soon though).

I’m not really sure whether to insert non-gaming stuff here or not but what the hell…I’m currently busy with a client’s website (dental) so I haven’t been playing much for the past 2 weeks. I’m finally over my ex so maybe those “Oh God, let go…” requests from various female friends would stop coming. I’m also in a temporary financial bind (until I catch up on my bills) so having a new girlfriend is probably out of the question…not that I care or anything, really.

"Yep. That's right. One last rape."

"Yep. That's right. One last rape."