Micael Andrei Diaz de Rivera



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The Return of the Comeback

I'm alive but my previous computer where all of my work is stored is still in repair. It has been in that state for more than a month now. The repair has paralyzed me from doing the things that I have to be doing. My parents were worried so they gave me a replacement laptop for the meantime so that I could move forward with life and Computer Science. I'm ashamed to admit that I'm now writing this blog post on my third laptop. These laptops are not supposed to just last a year or so but they unfortunately do just last a year or so with me.

Acer Aspire 4310
Intel Celeron M (1.73 GHz)
80 GB HDD (Hard Drive)

All of that for less than 30K Pesos. It's definitely not high end technology but for only thirty thousand pesos, it's a good deal. It didn't come with any Windows OS in it so I had to install Linux in it so I could use it. I was offered for a small price, an unlicensed version of Windows and I refused it because I didn't want to go hypocrite with my anti-piracy campaign with the kids. The laptop had Linpus Linux preinstalled in it but I overridden it with openSuse 10.3. Suse Linux is not as popular as Ubuntu or Red Hat in school but I think it's the prettiest to look at. I share Steve Jobs love for beauty. Even if he, like his rival Bill Gates, dropped out of college; he knew what matters (Oh so pretty Mac).

In other stuff. I got a new gadget to play with. A Sony HD Handycam (6.1 Mega Pixels)! This is only our second video camera. Our first video camera, that is still working, is a Sony Handycam that's already around 15 years old! I never knew HD looked so good. *drools*. You might see more videos in this blog this year because of this new video camera.

I was not able to do much for the past month because I really had nothing to work with but now that I'm out of my grave I got to finally update my Pokemon site.

Read about the winners of the Pokemon toys giveaway and about the second letter I got last year from Pokemon USA.

My Activities:
What: Sony Workshop
Where: Sony Philippines Head Office Training Center - West Bonifacio Global in Taguig City.
When: January 5 / January 12

What: Disney on Ice
Where: Araneta Coliseum
When: January 20 or January 29 (We haven't reserved our tickets yet so I'm still not sure of our schedule)

I've seen Disney on Ice once before. If I am not mistaken it was on 1992 and the theme was Beauty and the Beast. I was just around 5 years old back then. I can still remember the ice and the playbill of that show!

What Am I Doing Now:
1) The never ending Special Problem. Yep! I'm still working on that Java based Call Simulator even if I'm not currently enrolled for my SP subject. Work has continued with my Acer computer.
2) Finishing the book written by a talented teacher in Ateneo by the name of Ambeth R. Ocampo. The book is entitled Rizal Without the Overcoat (Expanded Edition).
3) Watching Prison Break. I currently am halfway through Season 2 and I can't wait to start on Season 3. I love it.

Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." - Luke 15:32,

Alright! (I just remembered a discussion I had with an Evangelical Christian about their Once Saved, Always Save teaching. The bible verse above is one of the many lines in the Bible that makes the said teaching sound absurd. Oh and that verse fits this comeback post as well. Hehe.)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Ang Wikang Pilipino

My PI 100 instructor, Adonis Elumbre who was taught by now columnist Ambeth Ocampo, really had a good lecture on the importance of the Filipino language today. I wish I could write this whole post in Filipino but I sadly admit that I've grown a little bit foreign to our national language when it comes to writing and reading.

Can you still write and read Filipino as well as you could write and read English? I can't. Sad.


The Culture of the Pwned

I became a moderator at the K-Zone Forums last January 2006 after more than the year of being a member, the first person to become one who doesn't work in Summit Media. What have I learned after almost 2 years of being part of the moderation team in the Philippines' biggest forum for kids? Read along.

1) Kids grow up - A given fact that I just want to put in this list. "Growing Old is mandatory. Growing Up is optional." My kind, people who can really live up to that quote, is a rare kind. Kids grow up... majority of them do.
2) TV is powerful - Have your ads on channels like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Disney Channel if you're a toy distributor. It works and I'm very confident about that. The Filipino kids today who have buying power are so easily influenced by TV commercials! This is why I cringe every time I see Pro-Choice a.k.a Anti-Life advertisements at ABS-CBN.
3) The Bullied can Downgrade to the Bully - This is what I call as the culture of the pwned. When I took a break from KHQ I returned a few months ago and saw chaos. Out of nowhere, I see the peaceful KHQ burning. Bullying for the greater glory of eradicating evil out of the forums has become a popular philosophy. The spread of this philosophy has somewhat lead to the exodus of some of the more innocent kids in the forum. The kids who survived the short lived chaos have not all returned to normal. When the moderation team took control of the chaos, some of the kids who had this philosophy deleted their accounts and went away for good. Some mellowed down a bit but I have seen some sort of resurgence these past few days. Some of the ones bullied for doing "evil" have adopted the philosophy. The bullied have now downgraded to the bully. The bullies love to throw around F word.
4) Ignorance (Forced and Unforced) on Bad words - "Why am I being reprimanded for using STFU when it just means Shut the Freakin' Up" they say. But in another post we see links like this to sites. I've talked to proud Christians about the popular word WTF. Some of them thought that it had no meaning and that it is just said on the Internet when one is excited or angry. Ignorance really is a big problem. I want to believe that it is only due to ignorance that kids act like 18+ year olds but back in my mind I know sometimes it ain't so.
5) Religion Matters - I hang out in forums because I believe I have the responsibility to defend the hope that is within me. It's not rare to see a thread about religion even in a kids forum. It's sad to see some kids promoting atheism or kids ignorant about their own and other's religion (I was once a good example for this). I'm especially disappointed with some of our Catholic youth in the country today and their lack of knowledge and love for their faith. Some religious kids are left speechless after some older member copies and pastes a long article denouncing another person's religion. Some are willing to learn while some just leave it be. "If you can memorize all the Pokémon then you can easily read on your faith and Church History." I dared them. Just planting the seeds of change ;)
6) It's Important to do Background Checks - I go nuts with some of the kids who mess things up in the forum but I have learned to listen first before I go judge someone. There was this naughty kid that really bugged as all before and all we wanted to do was ban him. I almost jumped in the bandwagon but decided to have a background check on the boy. After reading all his previous posts I discovered that he started being really mean in the forums when he posted in a personal post that his mom just left his dad. I understood.
7) Threatening works but not for long - Some young moderators threatened bad guys to keep order in place but I learned that making an environment where the kids can build their respect for you is the most effective way on keeping that order.

When all hell breaks lose within the forum, I am often seen saying "Where is the Love?" Why do I say that? Because!

Oh that reminds me... The Second Encyclical Letter of Pope Benedict XVI is live! Read it.

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Random Tuesday

Today, my class starts seven in the morning and ends seven in the evening. But look at me, I'm blogging! This post was meant to update the people who try and follow me with every post I make in any site or forum I manage.

- I'm registered but I'm under load. More time for the more important things that I plan to do.
- K-Zone Philippines December Issue should already be out. Enjoy a small one page review I wrote on the DS game, Heroes of Mana by Square Enix. Final Fantasy 12 for the DS is also already out and I read that it's also an RTS (Real Time Strategy) RPG (Role Playing Game) type of game. Can't wait for money to come in.
- Just finished Wikinomics. Suggest a new book.
- Still digging "The floor of hell is paved with the skills of priests, and the bottommost pit of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops." quote by St. John Chrysostom. Kudos to Sir Rex for this.
- I'll be at the Digital Media Conference 2007 at Podium with or without my family on either or both Friday and Saturday. I'm hopping to attend some seminars there if there are any but I'm pretty sure there will be. I will finalize my schedule later. Yeah, I'm a conference/seminar freak. There are a couple of good restaurants at the Podium rin. Mmmm.
- I've been writing an essay about this article I found in the Inquirer entitled "System-wide solutions needed, not band-aids." It's a series of articles about the education system in the Philippines. I might post the essay if I find it good enough to be posted online. Article two gets printed today. And no, I haven't read it yet because I haven't grabbed a newspaper yet. Makes me/you want to be a Grade School - High School teacher and be a Hero.
- Oh that reminds me... Heroes rock! Season Finale next week if I am not mistaken! Go Nathan! Go HRG! (My favorite characters hehe)
- I'll be having a Christmas contest giveaway for the many kids who read Pokémon-PH. 1000 Peso plus worth of gifts to giveaway if I am not mistaken. Many thanks to those who have constantly sent me Pokémon stuff that I cannot keep. Stay tuned for details on this one. Hint: It's a coloring contest and I'll be picking more than 10 winners. Woohoo. No more money!


Birthday Mario Party

"A new poll suggests many parents completely avoid taking part in their kids? videogame pastimes." - Next Generation

Does that hold true for Japanese families with members owning a Nintendo DS or Wii? How about Filipino families here in the Philippines? I'm not sure but my parents are at least not yet into video games.

Now this leads us to another story that I would like to share.

Last weekend we went to our uncle's house for a surprise birthday party. Our cousins and cousin's cousins were there for the event. While we were there, we had the opportunity to play with the Nintendo Wii (too bad they only had two Wiimotes). Legend of Zelda, Mario Strikers, Wii Sports, and Mario Party 8 where are choices.

There were three 20 year old and seven minors (the youngest was 5 years old). I've played Wii Sports numerous times already so I suggested Mario Party 8. The game was really designed to be played by many people. I considered us "many" so it did play very well for us the whole time. The game very much suits the casual game category. That just means that a 20 year old gamer can easily be beaten by a 5 year old in this game.

My cousin's cousins who were aged 10 and 5 were extremely adept at their use of the English language. The five year old boy (who actually gave me a good baby bite *ouch* in the face while playing) could put many Filipino students my age to shame when they battle it out in conversational English! The 10 year old girl cousin of my cousin reminded me of the contestants in the American TV Reality Show, Kid Nation. When she spoke in English she didn't sound your normal 10 year old Filipino kid at all. My 9 year old brother could converse in English better than most but no way near them.

I now conclude that Filipinos who could speak in English fluently any time makes those Filipinos look smarter, more mature, more handsome, more prettier, more macho, and more sexier. And that is why many speak highly of ADMU! The so called place for smart, rich, and pretty girls. *grin*

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Scream for Ice Cream

Ferrero Crunch Supreme (P155). "The Most Talked About Creation! Classic vanilla ice cream mixed with crunchy bits & our very own concoction of choco hazelnut filling. Definitely a must try for those who enjoy a truly amazing chocolatey experience!"

Having spent almost four years in a place like UPLB, I found it hard to believe that I said yes to a 155 peso ice cream. I'm very picky with the food I eat because I can. I don't like to eat fruits or vegetables and I have in fact just started to discover the beauty and flavor of cakes. How in the world did I end up eating a 155 peso ice cream? Read ahead to learn more.

I went out with my younger brother and my female cousins last weekend at Trinoma Mall to watch a movie and eat lunch. The last time we went out, we ended up watching an R rated (R-13) movie, my first. Guess what we watched this time? We ended up watching "30 Days of Night", a horror/suspense R-13 movie! Vampires + Alaska's 30 Days of Night = Nice Movie. I actually liked the movie. Weird.

After the movie, we roamed around the mall and bought some stuff. After around seven hours of being in Trinoma, we finally decided to leave the mall. Before we left, we decided to take our miryenda at the mall and we were left with three stores to choose from. Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, or Five Cows. As sophisticated as I may look to some people here in my school, I have not ever had a Starbucks coffee or have I even stayed in a Starbucks store. I don't drink (any) coffee to feel elite but I instead drink (cheap) coffee to feel refreshed. I was willing to pay for a coffee that expensive that time but most of us were not in the mood for coffee or tea. We scraped that Starbucks idea and went to the famous Krispy Kreme Doughnuts store. *gasp* How can a doughnut store produce such a long line? As much as I wanted to try their food I didn't because we were in a hurry. To Five Cows we went!

OMG! They had Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms, Skittles, Nerds, and many more sweet stuff at their open kitchen. It was mind boggling! We just had to try out this store. And that is how I ended up eating a 155 Peso Ice Cream. Ferrero Crunch Supreme! Did I regret paying that much money for just glass ice cream? Nope. I'd visit Five Cows again the next time I go to Trinoma with money in my wallet. I would love to try out some of their other ice cream and cakes next time. I won't forget to ask the cook to have them add some nerds and skittles in my ice cream next time.

Pictures taken from ourawesomeplanet.com
(I can't upload my pictures from my phone yet.)
Someone took a video of Five Cow's Flaming Alaska dish and you can view it HERE. Ice Cream/Cake on fire? I was not that daring to try that dish out yet.

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On Games and Kids

I wanted to know what was behind the Sonic game I played when I was still in Grade 4 that catapulted me to where I am today. That's why I bought the latest game from the Sonic Team in Sega using the paycheck that was recently given to me by K-Zone (thank you).

After beating the game, Sonic Rush Adventure, for the first time (took me just an afternoon) , the game winning experience was not really that different from other games I've beaten. The Sonic game I played 10 years ago was pivotal and monumental to me but this one felt as if it will just join my "beaten" games list. This new game for the Nintendo DS is better than the one I played years ago but I don't know why it's not moving me.

After I defeated the game I allowed my youngest brother, 9 years old, to play the game. This is an E for Everyone game so it was OK for him to play. He has beaten at least a dozen of games now and can beat your average adult gamer in some of his favorite games. He's good in games and good in school. My 17 year old younger brother who is now taking up Electrical Engineering in UP Diliman considers my youngest brother's 2nd Honors as below average but I think it's good because I personally did worse than that when I was his age (he he).

To cut a long story short... I just realized what was behind the dream of making games one day. I love being part of the happy experience of kids in any of media.

This revelation explains the following things:
  • Why I'm into buying E for Everyone games rather than the more popular M for Mature games.
  • Why I love Nintendo Games - Majority of their games are rated E for Everyone.
  • Why I enjoy Pokémon - It was basically made for kids and to be part of a community of kids which are all happily engaged in the franchise is bliss.
  • Why I find writing in K-Zone cool - Thousands of kids from all over the Philippines become your audience.
  • Why I actively belong as member and moderator to forums with a young population - Need I say more?
    Why my library includes titles such as the effect of marketing to kids.
  • Why I find time to read magazines like Smart Parenting even if I'm too young to have kids yet.
  • Why I constantly bug Gym Leaders to push for a Kid Friendly Pokemon League atmosphere at leagues.
  • Why I am a frequent visitor in toy stores to look for what's "in" in today's kids. (Incidentally, Yoyos are what's cool today)
  • Why my Feed Reader includes blogs that talk about child safety, family news, etc.
  • Why I think shows like Kid Nation is "risky to kids (in the show)" but very very interesting! I think I've watched more Kid Nation than Heroes Season 2 lately.

After all the failures... I realized that I may actually be living my dream already. The thing that makes me happy... I don't have to wait or hope in the future because I've been already doing it for a long time now. Wow I guess that Sonic game did something to me after all.

I better return to writing my Call Simulator/Generator proposal now.

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A Sad Ending

I present to you a very long write up (rant) that I wrote last week while studying for my finals and doing my projects. I don't want this document to rot in my hard drive without being read or being remembered by the world and me. That week was a turning point. I was unable to finish the essay but I do believe it has enough content to make you think.

A Sad Ending
by: Micael Andrei Diaz de Rivera

As I come nearer and nearer to the end of my undergrad years, I now find myself uninterested and uninspired with everything that is happening in school. It makes me sad whenever I look back and remember the things I have learned in my classes here in the University. I really, honestly, cannot see the edge that was promised to me by the people who convinced me to study in the country's, so called, best University. I admit, based from my experience in the field, that saying you study from a University of the Philippines still leave people in awe. But is that really the edge that was promised to me and to many other students who are now studying here? The edge of a UP student from a non-UP student is simply just the name of the school and the prestige that comes with it? I still hope not.

I feel like ranting because I've been wondering for years now if all this sacrifice and suffering of studying in UPLB is worth it. This misery has led me to remember and examine my precollege days. I miss religion classes. I miss praying with everyone in the begging and at the end of every class. I miss the time of being with my family every night. I miss the luxury of my air conditioned room with my own bed, television, and computer. I had to leave all that behind to study and suffer difficult times in this University. The difficult problems and suffering that I have encountered that was supposed to make me stronger left me weaker instead. Me writing this just proves how weak I still am! Was my choice worth it? It's a sad ending because after almost four years I don't think so.

I may have just already pressed my self destruct button. Uninspired and uninterested, I no longer see a good reason for my academics. It is as if it suddenly didn't matter anymore. I have become worse and worse with most of my subjects every passing year. I don't even pass my standard of being good anymore. Everyday I hear stories of teens and adults from around the world younger than I am doing great things in the world of computers and information technology. Some would argue that I should focus and try to just edge the competition which are fellow Filipinos here in the Philippines. That thinking just won't do for me anymore. Graduates, whether you graduated with honors or as a marginal student, from any UP school will surely be able to land a job here in the country just because you are from a UP school. If you want a higher paying job then you need to do well with your academics. If ever I go look for an office job, I don't want to be accepted just because I'm from UP but I would rather be accepted because they see something different from me.

The story of the executives of today's hottest IT companies, Apple and Microsoft, inspires me as well as irritate me. Why weren't college graduates able to trump Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, both college drop outs? We would all eventually graduate from college but could we the ?better? ones do what they have done? We should actually be able to do better. I envy the passionate.

May I look back and remember this when I grow up. All of my time in college is a cross that I will offer to the Lord. Thank you Jesus for the opportunity to suffer and carry a cross. Life is good! Time to work on my Call Simulator...


One Week in One Post

Tis the week we all go crazy tralala lala lala la la!

Hello! Yes, I'm still alive but I'll be zombie by the end of this week. Did you know I have several deadlines to meet this week?

CMSC 141 3rd Exam
SP Proposal
Research Proposal (Eng 10)
Network Floor Plan (CMSC 137)
Presentation and Hand Outs (Hum 2)
Video Documentary (Econ 10)

All due tomorrow or on Friday. Life is good. God is good. After my "heart complication" when I was still a sophomore I never have stressed myself so much about anything as much as before ever again (even in my academics). Man, I can still remember the pain in my chest and my difficulty to breath back then. I had to lay down at the infirmary because of that haha. It's important to worry and do lots of crazy things just to have your work done but I've learned to respect my body after that experience.


"According to our records, your membership to the Professor Program will expire on November 3, 2007. If you would like to remain in the Professor Program, please complete the following steps:" Pokémon USA to Me

Bah! That's one wasted year of being a Pokémon TCG Professor. I'll be retaking up the Professor exam after I finish all my school work.


Many thanks to Sir David Cruz III and Miss Eleni Guieb of OneTouch International for that wonderful dinner and tour at their offices last friday. Raw fish!

Animo La Salle nga pala Sir David he he he >:)


Start Watching

(Warning) : Geek and Nerdy post by a marginal Computer Science student ahead.

One of the things that I enjoy doing is listening to speakers do their talk. When I was a college Freshman I used to go to the senior's seminar classes just to see people do their seminars. From classmates to personalities like Jerry Liao (former IT columnist of Manila Bulletin and now IT columnist of Inquirer), religious leaders to IT guys from across the globe, Catholic priests to Protestant pastors! I'd listen to almost anyone. I have always admired people who can do talks and seminars very well. I may be one of the most quiet person in our batch but I believe I'm not that bad of a speaker myself. I'm still very far from that ideal speaker in mind but I wish to get there before I die.

Mozilla 24 have gone and past (I barely slept that day because of that) but there are definitely more international talks coming our way! If you're still reading up to this point then you might be interested in next month's FSOSS (Free Software and Open Source) event. I still remember last year's good FSOSS talks. Last year's talks that I'm sure anyone would understand includes "One Laptop Per Child Project", "Let's Moodle Some More" (the first talk on Moodle [created 5 years ago] at FSOSS was discussed there two years ago... and I'm glad after five years of existence we might actually be making use of it in UP's Open University), "Web 2.0 eLearning, and Open Source", and "Monkeys, Desktops, and Dictionaries: The Mechanics of the Revolution". One of my favorite talk series that is IT (Information Technology) related have been the Red Hat Summit ever since it started. If you like watching seminars or is just intrigued with what I'm talking about then do check it out. (LOL) I was supposed to write about E-Learning for today but I guess I got sidetracked (again) to generally seminars and talks.

Never let school be a limitation on which it becomes something that dictate what you can only learn. Never let your age or year level in school be a hindrance to you in learning more than what you "should" just be learning at your age. Good day to everyone!

P.S. Alright! Top of the search for Micael and Diaz de Rivera at Google! Phase one for world domination is completed!

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Willful Ignorance

There's a saying that "Ignorance is bliss" and believers of this quote should be very careful.

I have a psychological sickness that have had cause me problems since my first year in College.

Willful ignorance (or vincible ignorance) is a bad faith decision to avoid becoming informed about something so as to avoid having to make undesirable decisions that such information might prompt.

I hate problems... even small problems. I hate assignments... even small assignments. Sometimes I force myself to be ignorant that I think it does not even exist. Ignorance is indeed bliss in this circumstance but small work grows large when not worked upon as soon as possible.

Willful ignorance + cramming = deadly experience that will turn you undead.

Pray that I may have the courage to face the harsh realities of life head on that I may not suffer great because I fail to confront it when it was small. I have loads of things to do now. What a bad week.


A Musical Weekend

I can't sleep and what better to do but blog about my weekend.

  • Laptop still unusable
  • Humanities 2 Field Trip to Manila museums and art centers was nice but it really drained drained my whole Saturday.
  • Finished reading K-Zone Philippines' September issue.
  • Bought the High School Musical 2 Soundtrack
  • Renovation of Pokemon-PH delayed one more week.
I really miss my laptop. I feel so unproductive lately without it.


It Begins

I'm stressed. I have been reading a lot of things related to VoIP in preparation for my Special Problem.

I'm very glad that I'd be working on a topic related to something as "cool" as VoIP but programming in general has been frankly very tiering for me lately. I'm seriously scared and dismayed when I imagine myself after graduation working day and night on a company's revenue software.

I realized that I'm more of an IT guy. I miss the days when I need not work on simply computer code but rather on computer/electronic solutions for everyday life. I cannot stand talking about computer codes anymore. I feel alienated when the topic being discussed in school or in some nerdy online forums is code.

I'm really weird and I want a weird/uncommon job when I graduate. To be just a mere computer programmer is a no no. Now I should stop blogging and get back to me code. Oh I should also now close my feed reader (has hundreds of feeds in it), podcast player (has a dozen of missed podcasts in it), and browser (has dozens of tabs opened in it) so that I may be able to focus on the [school] work that has to be done.



I Choose to Save

When I was in my last year at High School I was faced with several hard questions.

Study at my target school DLSU-Taft or study at a prestigious UP? A 700k peso tuition or a 28k peso tuition? Both are very good schools and both are in my list of notable schools. We choose to save. I was again faced with several hard questions (relatively easier ones though) lately because of my laptop.

I posted a notice that I had troubles with my laptop several days ago and I said that I was considering buying a new one. Well today I decided to again save money and just bring my laptop to a notable repair shop.

"Why buy a new high-end laptop when you know you'd surely be ridiculed at UPLB Micael" I told myself. Actually it was my batchmate Gail who first gave me that idea. I'm not much of an Apple fan but I understand Gail's desire for an Apple Mac Book Pro. He's looking for a new laptop but he won't get the Mac Book because he's getting an HP notebook instead. Get a flashy Apple Mac Book Pro and you get automatically branded as a show off even if you don't intend to . It's a sad place for techies sometimes.

I've told myself that I don't need a new one and that I can wait until next year for a really good laptop. I will be just like that Pidgeotto in the picture I took a while ago; Waiting patiently for the right time to go out.

Happy rainy days to everyone!

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Goodbye Teen Years

I turned 20 years old last Friday and it turned out to become a super busy day.

The day (12:00 AM) started out with a healthy amount of text messages of "Happy Birthday". I then decided to treat my org-mates at YSES (Young Software Engineers' Society) with pizza in the afternoon. I of course went home to my family here in Antipolo City for my "birthday party". We decided to eat out at Max's Restaurant than do our usual dinner birthday party at home. The day ended with me reading tons of e-mails, messages, and posts from my friends online.
It was a good first 20 years :)

After rereading what I wrote here it clearly dawned on me that I am very poor when it comes to sentence construction. The whole post feels like a patched up Twitter posts! Oh well.

Special thanks to my friends at PKMN-ph.com for that very flattering news post about me turning 20. I've not seen a page with so many solo Micael pictures in it really.


To Go Against Gaming Piracy

My name has, for a time, became synonymous with the phrase Gaming Piracy because of the shocking picture I sent to the popular Nintendo Fan Site, GoNintendo.

I wanted to bring our local piracy problem to the world because I thought that maybe international pressure could heal our problem. The picture mentioned above inspired several groups of people to actually continue exposing our gaming piracy problem here in the country to the world. I cannot actively fight against this problem anymore as much as I want to because my parents don't want me killed. It's not that safe for do-gooders here in the Philippines really. (They may be over reacting but we'll never know.)

I still want to work on the video gaming industry before I die though and the best thing I could do for now that won't get me "killed" is to buy original games myself. Am I a fool to be cashing out on original games while everyone else gets it for cheap illegally? A lot of people say I am and I'm glad to take the road not taken once again!

This Friday... we're going to spend another 2000 Pesos for a Nintendo DS game (our 12th?). I decided to get the underrated Disney/Jupiter game known as "Spectrobes". Stay tuned for my personal review.

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Ebay in Firefox

I'm currently I was in a bidding war right now awhile ago and the lots that I am fighting fought for at eBay Philippines has had more than 20 bids in the last hour of the auction. The picture with the Pikachu in it was the lot that I lost while the picture with the Snorlax was the lot that I won. I wanted the Pikachu set more than the Snorlax set but unfortunately I was only fast enough to snatch the Snorlax set at the last second.

I have only won three items in Ebay Philippines before this bidding war but I am pretty impressed with my bidding so far. The Firefox-eBay Companion add-on really gave me a fighting chance against a better bidder. I now officially have 1 lost in my eBay record! Not to worry... there is always next time! I at least won myself some very cheap high quality dolls.

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"Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?" - God in the movie Evan Almighty.

I posted this so I could always remember this lovely quote.


My Hiatus Is Over

The untold reason why I have not been able to update my blog is because of my personal project to expand the number of Filipino made Pokémon fan sites. The project, located at pokemon-ph.com, had been getting 700-800 unique hits per week (very good for a new site) but it wasn't doing what I wanted it to be doing which was to generate more young webmasters. I don't want it to become my second PKMNph. *PKMN-ph, the new premier community for Pokémon fans in the Philippines, is doing a good job of maintaining the community as one but I'm quite disappointed with their lack of relevant news lately.

I've been trying hard not to post any local Pokémon news on *Pokémon-PH.com because I want PKMN-ph.com to do it but sometimes I just cannot stop myself from doing just that because I love sharing information. This has been in my phone since last week and I wasn't able to share it to everyone so I'm doing it now.

  • New Japanese Pokémon toys available at Toy Kingdom (Megamall) for below 300 pesos. The new notable items are the pink and blue Pokétch from Takara Tomy and the Sinnoh (small toy) Pokédex which is also from Takara Tomy.
  • August 22, 2007 is the International Release date of the Diamond and Pearl TCG set. I asked the staff of PKMN-ph.com to post this at their front page last week after I received the e-mail from Neutral Grounds. Thank you Ms. Des Tan for trusting me with that information.
  • K-Zone Philippines' June Issue is out and they have Pokémon in it. I wrote the Pokémon article in it! Will we be seeing another Pokémon article this August? Only time will tell *cackle*. Many thanks for Mr. Lio Magnubat and everyone at Summit Media for the opportunity and the you-know-what.
  • The K-Zone Team will be having a photo shoot in a top secret studio *wink* this coming Wednesday and if you want to get your name in the magazine and maybe get to talk to them (they're like superstars to many kids you know so I'm not sure about this one) please e-mail me [madiazderivera at gmail] as soon as possible. They need someone who has a Pokémon deck. I can go to their office this Wednesday but there might be some of you who want to do this so I'm putting this one up.
  • Wee ????? (Katou Rosa), the voice actress of a very important character in Pokémon's 10th movie, will be having her birthday in 10 days time. She's connected to Pokémon and she's pretty so I'll post about her here *grin*. I've seen her on the Japanese DS Commercials but just noticed her after seeing she's part of a Pokémon movie.
I'll be writing about my time in Baguio City and my school's-coming blues later. You don't want to miss the pictures that I took when we played tennis at the Baguio Country Club!

Happy Birthday to my two sis at YSES, Joyce and Sarah! Congratulations to both of you for you two are now officially old. *cackle* (If it wasn't for the text brigade I would have forgotten your birthdays! No wonder I'm still single haha).

*PKMN-ph : PKMNph with the dash "-" is currently being handled by the whole PKMNph staff minus Micael (me). Read older posts to know why.
*Pokémon-PH: Is my personal Pokémon site that promotes and hosts Filipino made Pokémon fan sites. This is my next contribution to the fandom after PKMNph.

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The Ultimate Challenge

Yesterday I went to the K-Zone Ultimate challenge at Mall of Asia. I only stayed there for about 4 hours because I felt out of place without my younger brother and parents with me. Imagine a 20 year old, without anyone with him, playing against kids 14 years younger than him in the kid's boxing arena with a huge soft glove! No. I didn't do that. I still have a bit of decency you know.

The kids there enjoyed the event more than I did because they participated actively with their fellow kids. I wish I had brought my family to the event so I too could have enjoyed the event immensely. I'm turning 20 in a few months and I still have that kid part of me intact.

Event Pictures

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To Makati

I found a good place to work at Makati for my OJT this summer. I was happy because the place were I work in is in Ayala Avenue. Walking distance from one of my favorite malls. Walking distance from beautiful Greenbelt.

Today was my first day at the office and I'm surprised to have not found the time to go to Glorietta, SM, or Greenbelt a while ago. Why? I just had no time! Thank goodness I have awesome officemates or else I would just be miserable everyday.