Mga Sumasampalataya

Oct 5, 2021

TIK. TIK. TIK.

Tik.

Tik.

Tik.

Inangat ni Allie ang kanyang mga mata. Hinanahanap kung saan nagmula ang tunog na naririnig niya. May ilang gabi na rin siyang binabagabag ng tunog na ito. Tila siya ay sinusundan kung saan man ito magpunta.

Tik.

Tik.

Tik.

"Narinig mo yun?" tanong niya sa kanyang asawa.

"Ano yun?"

"Parang tik tik tik. Di mo naririnig?" 

Umiling lang ang asawa nito. 

"Lagi ko siya naririnig. Sa banyo. Sa kwarto. Sa kusina. Tik. Tik. Tik. Parang sinusundan ako. Pero pag hinahanap ko, wala."

"Parang tubig na tumutulo?" tanong ni Dan. Bigla siyang nangusisa. "Gusto mo ba di muna ako pumasok sa trabaho?" 

Si Dan ay isang pulis. Bagong promote sa kanyang trabaho. Ngunit kapalit ng kanyang titulo, siya ngayon ay dapat magtrabaho na sa gabi, at kailangang iwan ang kanyang asawang limang buwan nang buntis.

"No... it's okay. Baka may di lang nadrain na tubo somewhere. Medyo luma na rin kasi tong bahay na 'to."

"Sigurado ka?"

"I'm sure hon. Tatawagan ko si tatay bukas. Papacheck ko yung mga tubo."

Hinalikan ni Dan ang asawa sa noo at nagmadaling umalis papunta sa kanyang trabaho. 

Tik.

Tik.

Tik.

Lumingon si Allie. Parang kakaiba ang tunog ngayon. Mas malapit. Mas maingay.

Tik.

Tumayo si Allie sa hapag kainan upang sundan ang pinanggalingan ng tunog na ilang araw na sa kanya'y nagpapabagabag.

Tik.

Tik. 

Lumabas siya ng kusina. Wala. Pinuntahan ang sala. Katahimikan. Biglang tumaas ang mga balahibo sa katawan ni Allie. Pakiramdam niya'y siya ay pinagmamasdan. Parang may mga matang di niya nakikita, pero siya'y tinititigan. 

Dumungaw siya sa bintana. Payapa ang lahat. Walang hangin. Walang gumagalaw. Maliban sa puno ng mangga na ang mga dahon ay tila tinutulak ng mga ibon. O pusa? O isang malaking hayop?

Lumabas ng bahay si Allie para pagmasdan ang puno ng mangga. Ang punong ito na nasa kanilang bakuran bago pa siya ipinanganak. Isang malaking puno na kasing taas ng bahay na may tatlong palapag. Isang malawak na puno na minsan niyang naalala'y parang tahanan ng mga engkanto't diwata.

Muling kinilabutan si Allie.

Parang mayroon siyang nakitang mga mata. Bigla itong tumalikod at pumasok sa tahanan.

Kinuha niya ang cellphone at tinawagan ang ina. "Hi, Ma."

"Yes po, okay lang ako. Ummm... Ma. Pwede ka ba dito muna magstay sa bahay? Kahit ilang araw lang... Panggabi na kasi si Dan... I just don't feel comfortable alone... pag gabi."

Ngumiti si Allie na kaagad umoo ang ina.

Tik.

Tik.

Tik.

Tik.

Ito na naman yung tunog. Pero ngayon, parang nasa likod lang niya. Hindi na siya lumingon, at biglang tumakbo papunta sa kanyang kwarto. Agad na nilock ang pinto at nagtago sa ilalim ng kumot.

Tik.

Tik.

Tik.

Tila lumalakas at dumadalas ang tunog na kanyang naririnig. Pero ngayon, parang ito'y nasa buong bahay na niya.

Tik.

Tik.

Sa may bintana.

Tik.

Tik.

Tik.

Sa labas ng pintuan ng kwarto niya.

Tik.

Tik.

Tik.

Sa may kisame o bubungan.

Tik.

Tik.

Tik.

Buong gabing nababagabag si Dan sa tunog na naririnig ng asawa niya kaya naisipan nitong umuwi nang maaga. Tinawagan niya si Allie upang sabihin na ito'y uuwi na, pero hindi sinasagot ng asawa ang kanyang telepono. Maaaring tulog na ito, isip niya.

"Allie." tawag ni Dan habang kinakatok ang pinto ng bahay nito.

Walang sumasagot. 

Sinusian ni Dan ang pinto at dahan dahang pumasok. Iniiwasang magising ang tila'y nahihimbing na asawa. Tumingin si Dan sa paligid. Parang nung iniwan lang niya. Nasa mesa pa rin ang pinagkainan nilang mag-asawa. Bakit kaya? tanong niya sa sarili.

Tik.

Tik.

Bigla niyang narinig. Ito yung tunog na naririnig ng kanyang asawa.

Tik.

Sinundan ni Dan kung saan nanggagaling ang tunog. Pinikit nito ang kanyang mata, para marinig ng malinaw. 

Tik.

Ang tunog ay nagdala sa kanya sa harap ng pintuan ng kwarto nilang mag-asawa.

Tik.

TIK.

Binuksan nito ang pinto. Nagulantang ito sa kanyang nakita. Isang nilalang ang nakaluhod sa harap ng kanyang asawa. Itim. Payat. Di mo alam kung buhok o balahibo ang nakabalot sa kanyang katawan. Mahahaba ang mga kuko nito. At sa kanyang paa ay may isang matalim na kuko ang pumapalo sa sahig at gumagawa ng ingay. Tik. Tik. Tik.

Ang mata ni Dan ay biglang napunta sa ulo ng nilalang. Nanlaki ang mata ng asawa nang makita ang mahabang dila nito na nakapasok sa salawal ng tila walang buhay na asawa.

Binunot ni Dan ang kanyang baril at biglang pinaputukan ang nilalang.

Isang nakakabinging sigaw ang lumabas mula sa nilalang. Agad itong tumayo at lumingon sa pulis. May halos walong talampakan ang nilalang. Malaki at bilog ang naninilaw nitong mga mata. Nagsimulang maglakad ito patungo kay Dan.

Tatlong beses pa niya ito pinaputukan. Isa sa ulo. Isa sa paa. Isa sa puso. Pero parang wala lang sa nilalang. Tumakbo ito at tinulak si Dan sa pader. Sa sobrang lakas ng pagtulak ay nawalan ng malay ang pulis.

Paggising niya, ay may ilang oras na ang nakalipas. Naalala ni Dan agad ang asawa at dagling pumasok muli sa kanilang kwarto. 

Ang kama nila'y puno ng dugo. Ang asawa, wala ng buhay. Takot ang nananalaytay sa mukha ng bangkay.

************

So... I've been thinking of making this a full blown book-length story. Tell me your thoughts. 

Sep 14, 2021

SIXTEEN YEARS

 "So?" 

"So..." hindi ko kayang dugtungan ang salitang inumpisahan ko. Ang hirap ibalik sa kanya ang nagtatanong niyang mga mata. Nagmamakaawa. Nangungulila.


*****

Ganito pala maging malaya.

Ang tagal nang huli kong maranasan ang mag-isa. Walang kasama. Malaya. Malaya akong nakakahinga. Walang mag-aalala kung saan ako pupunta. Anong oras uuwi. Malaya akong makipagkilala sa kahit sinong gusto ko.

Tang-ina, ang sarap makipagsex!!! 

"Masarap ba? Ito ba ang gusto mo?!" tanong niya habang dahan dahan niyang pinadarama ang init... ang libog niya.

"Fuck yes!" sigaw ko. "Putang ina, ang sarap mo!!!"


*****

"I'm so happy you met with me. How long has it been?" usisa sa akin ng kaibigan kong sobrang tagal ko nang hindi nakita.

"Sixteen years." sagot ko.

"Shit, it's been that long?!" 

"I know. I'm so sorry. It's all on me. I... I wasn't a good friend."

Ngumiti siya sa akin. Hindi niya ako sinagot. Tama ako. Hindi ako naging mabuting kaibigan sa kanya.

"I forgive you. Nagmahal ka. Kaya ka nakalimot."

"I was fucked up. How could I do that to you?"

"Sus. Bakla, everytime nagkaboyfriend ka, nakakalimutan mo ako. But, I'm proud of you. Nagawa niyong magsama for sixteen years. That's some kind of record."

"I know... kaming dalawa, we were a myth. Pero wala talagang forever."

"So... how is it for you now?" 

"What?"

"How is it being alone?"


*****

Mag-isa ako ngayong gabi. Walang dahilan, pero bigla akong naluha. Parang biglang gumuho ang mundo sa mga paa ko. Nahuhulog ako at walang sasalo sa akin.

Mag-isa ako.


*****

Pandemya. Dalawang taon matapos kong tapusin ang lahat. Ako ay mag-isa. Nakakulong sa bahay mag-isa. Kumakain mag-isa. Naglilinis ng bahay mag-isa. Nanunuod ng tv mag-isa. 

Mag-isa.

Binuksan ko ang Facebook para hanapin siya. Kumustahin.

Nakita ko ang litrato. Ang profile picture... nila.

Hindi na siya mag-isa. Mayroon na siyang iba.

Nalaman kong nagkakilala sila ilang buwan nang matapos kami. Pero yun lang. Hindi ko na makita ang ibang laman ng profile niya. Hindi na kami magkaibigan. 

At lalo akong nangulila.


*****

Nakuha ko ang sakit. Pinagdasal ko sana'y tamaan ako nang malubha. Gusto kong matapos na tong buhay ko. Tutal, ako lang naman mag-isa.

Pero tila ako'y sinumpa. 

Gumaling ako.  Maswerte daw ako at mild lang ang mga naging simtomas ko. Maaari akong umuwi at doon na magpagaling. Sa tahanan ko. Kung saan ako ay mag-isa.

Muli kong naramdaman ang pagguho ng lupa sa ilalim ng aking mga paa.

Hindi ko na kaya.


*****

"So... ganun na lang? Sixteen years. Tatapusin mo ng ganun ganun na lang?"

Pumikit ako at huminga ng malalim. 

Sixteen years.

Hindi na ako masaya.

Kaya ko ba mag-isa?

Kaya ko ba mawala siya?

Kaya ko bang tapusin kaming dalawa?

Sixteen years.

"So... I still want to try."




*************************

Work of fiction. 

I'm back today to celebrate this blog's 16th birthday.

Oct 12, 2019

ALAS KWATRO Y MEDYA

Alas kwatro y medya ng madaling araw. Sa labas ng isang bahay, maaaninag ang anino ng isang lalaki sa likod ng bintana ng kwartong may dilaw na liwanag.

Anino ng lalaking matipuno.

"Baka naman pwede mo akong pagbigyan this time. Pang-ilan na ba natin 'to?"

"Di ako nagbibilang." sambit niya. Umupo siya sa gilid ng kama. Naaninag sa dilim ang katawan niyang hubad.

"Please," boses na nagsusumamo ng kasama nito sa kwarto.

Umusog sa kabilang dulo ng kama ang binata. Kinuha ang pakete ng sigarilyo sa bulsa ng pantalon nito. "May lighter ka?" tanong ng binata.

"Wala eh. Sorry."

Binalik ng lalaki ang yosi sa pakete.

"Di ko kaya gawin ang gusto mo."

"Bakit ka nandito? Pinapaasa mo lang ako!"

"Ha? Pinapaasa? Ni minsan wala akong pinangako sa'yo? Pumupunta ako dito kasi may usapan tayo. Wala nang ibang dahilan. Nakukuha mo ang gusto mo. Nakukuha ko ang kailangan ko."

"Ganun lang yun sa'yo?"

"Seryoso ka?" tumayo ang binata. Kinuha ang panloob at nag-umpisang magbihis.

"Rhett... don't... please. I'm sorry." tumayo ang ikalawang binata, pilit pigilan ang nakaniig. "Di ko alam bakit ganito ang nararamdaman ko sa'yo. Oo may usapan tayo, pero ewan ko. Di ko mapigilan sarili ko... may nararamdaman ako sa'yo."

Kinamot ni Rhett ang kanyang ulo.

"Sorry. Di mutual ang feeling mo. Di ko alam kung may nasabi ba ako para magkaganyan ka. Pero..."

"Shit."

Tinuloy ni Rhett ang pagbibihis nito.

"Isang halik lang... kung huli na 'to."

Tiningnan ni Rhett ang kausap. Umiling iling ito.

"Please,"  nag-umpisang tumayo ang lalaki, pilit nilalapit ang labi sa mukha ng binatang kasama.

Tinulak ni Rhett pabalik sa kama ang kasama.

"Di pwede. Sorry."

Nanatiling nakatayo si Rhett sa harap ng binatang nag-umpisang mangilid ang luha.

"Mag-isip ka. Piliin mo ako, bubuhayin kita. Mahalin mo lang ako, ibibigay ko ang lahat para sa'yo. Kahit anong gusto mo."

"Di ko alam pano papaintindi sa'yo. Hindi ikaw ang gusto ko. Ito- itong nangyari sa'tin ngayon... Ikaw lang ang may gusto nito. Alam mo kung bakit ako nandito. Hindi para sa'yo. Sorry."

"Rhett!" pangangawang sabi ng isang binata.

Sinuot ni Rhett ang medyas at sapatos. "Aalis na ako."

Tumayo ang binata at pumunta kung nasaan nakapatong ang kanyang pantalon. Nilabas ang pitaka at kumuha ng limang isang libong piso.

Iniabot ang pera kay Rhett.

"Salamat dito. Mauna na ako." at tuluyan nang lumabas ng kwarto.

Iniwan ang lalaki mag-isa sa kanyang kwarto.








Nov 7, 2017

ASSASSIN'S CREED ORIGINS REVIEW



Towards the end of one of the missions I was playing, I found out that my assassination target got hold of one of his enemy’s family. The wife and the daughter. My mission is to find and save them before something bad happens to them, so I immediately dropped everything and immediately ran towards the destination point. As soon as I arrived, I knew I was too late. I hear a woman crying. At the dock, I find the mother, looking by the sea. She asked me to find her daughter, so I swam towards the sea and dived til I find the kid. And then I found one of the most horrible sights I’ve seen in video games ever. Bodies, their feet tied to a rock that kept them underwater. The child was one of them. Even if she’s lifeless, she was still clutching a doll her father gave her. The doll meant to be a protector of her and their village. That’s when I knew, I’m in love with Assassin’s Creed Origins.

After a year away, Ubisoft has come back and presented us with an Assassin’s Creed game that is totally different from the games that came before. Origins has learned from its mistakes and from other open world games that made similar games.  While mature themes have been always been present in this series, Assassin’s Creed Origins has this air of maturity only seen in games like The Witcher 3.

Bayek is the main protagonist of Origin, he is a father fueled with revenge and caught in the middle of feuding rulers Cleopatra and Ptolemy. Aya, his wife is another very likable protagonist that you get to play as in the game. They have a very mature relationship rarely seen in video games. It’s so refreshing.

The game is gorgeous. Egypt is beautiful. Standing atop one of the Great Pyramids, I just imagined I was there for real. I’m playing the game on a PS4 Pro on a 1080p tv, and damn was it amazing. I could just imagine it running on a 4k screen, it must look more beautiful! Ubisoft is no slouch in terms of graphics, but past games for me did not really feel current gen. This game though, I felt like I’m looking at a next gen title. The landscape. The underwater areas. They all look fully detailed and every bush, house, fort and even inside the tombs, it’s like they’re all carefully placed and possibly looks like their real life counterparts back in their glory days.

Assassin’s Creed Origins overhauled the series in a good way. Yes, there are still the tropes of an AC game, but most of the features that stayed are now more meaningful. One of the biggest change to the game is the combat. R1 and R2 (for PS4) are now the buttons to mash to attack enemies. There’s no longer a button to run, which I felt made running a bit slow. I don’t remember if there’s a block button or parry button in previous titles from this series, but they’re here now, which makes fighting more tactical.

It is also now a looting game. In the past, killing enemies earn you money, trinkets, ammunition and generally useless things, now defeating them earn you weapons, shields and crafting materials. Everything you get has a purpose, has meaning. Every kill you make, either provides you with your most needed materials or a more powerful melee weapon or bow. If not, you can either sell the items or dismantle the weapon for crafting parts.

And Egypt is massive. The open world is so big, that 40 plus hours in, and I haven’t cleared all the fog in the entire map. Yes, it is littered with question marks and sidequests and synchronization points, all staples of the AC series, but fortunately, I didn’t feel like it’s all repetitive. Yes side quests may sometimes be fetch quests or escort quests, but they mostly have interesting fully fleshed out back stories to it. If there are grindy quests, it’s mostly the capture forts quests which require you to loot the gold and kill the Captain of the multiple forts/hideouts littered in the game.
The tweaks in the combat has its own pros and cons. I love that you can basically use any and all weapons in the game. They have their own animations, and you can really feel the crunch when metal hits bone. That is so satisfying. However, I never used the parry button in my entire gameplay. I would rather use the roll and hit style when fighting my enemies. It is pretty much effective rather than timing when to hit the parry. Either way, I don’t really get into much brawling as I played the game stealthily.

If there’s one thing I adored playing Assassin’s Creed Origins, is its attention to detail. While I was walking around the desert trying to figure out one of the papyrus puzzle, I saw a fish flopping around the sand. Shit, I thought this game was buggy as hell. Then I started hearing voices. Apparently, being in the heat for that long period, I actually started hallucinating. Brilliant!  When you crouch when cats come to you, you will be able to pet them. And I loved that if by accident you complete a sidequest before you trigger the story, by the time you get to the NPC, Bayek will tell them that he finished the quest already. It’s those little things that I remember and appreciate in my time in Egypt.

Oh, and I also loved the photo mode of this game. It’s not as robust as let’s say Horizon Zero Dawn, but it gets the job done. The photo on this post is a screenshot I made from the photo mode. Games as gorgeous as this, deserve to have this mode on. Also, sometimes, your screenshots get to be shared in other people’s world map, meaning people from across the globe can potentially see your creation. They are able to like it too.

Of course, as it is a Ubisoft game, it’s not necessarily perfect. I had to restart my game twice because I fell off the world or I got stuck trying to enter a narrow hole. Like other AC games, the enemies lack variety. I feel apart from the named villains, there are only about ten kinds of enemies. I also did not like, that the moment I get into a fight, the number of enemies that will surround me doubles or sometimes triple in number. I mean, where did they come from?! There was this one time, it took me twenty minutes to just intercept a supply convoy because there were maybe more than 10 soldiers fighting me at the same time. And then there’s the case of the microtransactions. Helix coins can be bought with real world money, which in turn lets you buy costumes, weapons and steed. Good thing is, you can get them all in the game without ever spending real money. Heck, I’ve been playing a lot of Ubisoft games, I have several coins/points I can use to buy other weapons and accessories.

The game is grindy though. Main quests are locked until you reached it’s minimum required level. That means, you can’t just blow through the main campaign. You have to do the menial tasks as a Medjay, fetch this, protect that, kill it, collect that. And that’s fine. Ubisoft wants you to experience the game, the setting, just as they intended. I wouldn’t have experienced that dessert hallucination had I not tried to decipher those papyrus puzzles. But I can understand if some will feel overwhelmed with everything the player can do in such a huge open world game. That’s how I felt with the previous titles (*cough*ACUnity*cough*)


Overall, the positives outweigh my criticism of the game. This is a great title, worthy  of putting the Assassin’s Creed franchise back in its place at the top with the other Cream of the Crops games. 2017 is a great year for video games, what with Zelda, Mario, Horizon, Persona all turning out some masterfully crafted games, Assassin’s Creed Origins feels like a game that can stand among these great titles this year. 

9/10

Oct 12, 2017

LATE TO THE PARTY: XCOM 2


Mikko was one of my best friends from Grade School. It was a fairly easy mission, I thought. So I chose to add him on my roster to rescue civilians during a simple retaliation mission from the Advent.

Mikko was a Specialist. He was a soldier with tech abilities, capable of healing his allies as well as provide protection in case of the alien’s attack.

I was ill-prepared for this mission. I brought him, a couple of rookie soldiers and only one experienced Sharpshooter for this fight. Because of a miscalculation of Mikko’s placement in the battlefield, he became the victim of a well placed plasma grenade.

Just like that I lost my childhood best friend.

I had to stop playing Xcom 2 for a bit because this loss, hit me hard. While yes, Mikko is only an avatar for the game I played, somehow I still have attachment to his character because he’s based on a real life person that I know in my life.

It is this simple reason why Firaxis’ strategic RPG right now is my favorite game of the generation.

Xcom 2 sticks with you long after you finish the game. It is a great turn based strategic RPG where you play the role of the Commander. You direct a squad of up to 6 soldiers per mission to complete several objectives to defeat and repel an alien invasion.

Being that this game does not have a truly structured story and characters, you are free to customize all of your soldiers. Change their names. Appearance. Personality. Their abilities. Even their backstories. You have free reign to tell a story arc independent of the main campaign. And that’s what kept me coming back to play this game.

As of writing I have gone through 4 playthroughs of Xcom 2, but only finished one campaign. The first 2 times, really got me distraught whenever I or my significant other died on one of the missions.  I made up  an intricate story for myself and my squad that’s fully independent of the campaign. I got so invested in each and everyone of my soldiers that merely getting them injured  depressed me.

That’s the magic of this game, I guess. They let you own your characters to hone, to improve, to create their own backstory, then they will emotionally devastate you by killing the character you loved!

I hated that so much. This game is very difficult. You will never be able to move forward until you accept the fact that someone will always die when you play the game. Just like in Game of Thrones, do not get attached to any of the characters because they’ll all eventually die.

Visually, this game is gorgeous. Every stage, although procedurally generated is fully detailed. Forests are lush, the cities look believable, and all of the cut scenes are truly pretty to look at.

However, the gorgeous graphics maybe a deterrent to a smooth gameplay experience. I have played this game over 50 hours in all 4 playthroughs, and I always experienced a drop in framerate and some lag. There were even times the game froze for me. And I was playing on the PS4 Pro. It was much worse when I was playing on  my original launch PS4.

And the load times are very long, even on the Pro. The time it loads from when you choose to start mission until the beginning takes at most over one minute.

Fortunately, those are my only gripes about the game. Everything else has been spectacular.  My preference in video games tend to sway towards this genre, and I have a lot of these kinds of games in my library. But Xcom 2 is the only one that got me really invested until the end. Yes, even in Easy Mode the spike in difficulty increases exponentially, but not too punishing that it will make you want to rage quit.

While the mission structure can become a bit repetitive, there's enough variety of enemies that will always keep you on the edge of your seat. This is not a game you can just play with your brain turned off. You always have to be on your feet. You have to strategize. Will this enemy be able to shoot at me even if I'm under cover? One of those citizens you're tasked to save is definitely a Faceless, which one of them will it be? Should I run the risk of losing a loot by blowing up with a grenade that effing robot that critically wounded half my squad? 

There's not one decision that is fully black or white. This is what  makes me think of this game even if I'm no longer playing it.


Yes, it gets depressing if you lose one of your soldiers, but eventually you will be OP’d enough that towards the endgame, you’re never going to worry about memorializing another Mikko again.

This is the reason why, even if 2017 flooded us gamers with truly amazing games, I still keep coming back to Xcom 2. Now I can't wait to have enough budget to play it's expansion: War of the Chosen!

9.5 / 10

***********************************

Late to the party will be my ongoing series of reviews of old games or tv shows or anything pop culture related that I really loved (or hated). Hopefully, I'll have the time to post more of these series moving forward.

(image grabbed from google)

Sep 8, 2017

HELLO YOUTUBE

Video Upload Date: August 25, 2017

"Hellooooooo Youtube!!!

"Did you miss me?

"You must be worried sick right? It's been what 6 weeks since I last posted a vlog.

"As you can see, my situation has gotten... worse. The doctors said I have to wear this mask now. Honestly, I don't even remember the reason anymore. My mind wanders everytime I'm in the hospital.

"I'm also bald now too. What do you think? I still look dapper, no?

"Man, this whole Big C thing is a downer. The last 6 weeks I've only been in this room. The hospital and the cancer group I joined a couple of months ago.

"I miss travelling. I miss my 'TubeDudes'! They've been off to their Eurotrip the last couple of months. I was supposed to go with you! Ang daya niyo! I watch y'all's videos and inggit na inggit ako sa inyo!!!

"Stage 4 man. It's a constant struggle to stay positive. I don't really want to think of the "D" word. But there are nights it's just there screaming at you and trying to get your attention.

"A couple of days ago, there was this lady from my group who... how should I say this? She lost the fight. I was not close to her. But it still hit me hard... her passing. One day it's going to be me.

"It's scary.

"I'm fucking terrified.

"Sorry guys. This video's not about that. I just wanted to say Thank you! I know I haven't been active in any of my social media accounts, but everyday you're still messaging me with your well wishes and support. I appreciate it so much. Reading your comments, your tweets and your messages really keep me strong this last few weeks.

"It makes me want to fight and not give up. It's like I have these super powers. Knowing I inspire you, in a way it makes me feel more powerful than my cancer.

"So thank you!

"Although I think it's weird and kinda morbid that you still follow my channel. I mean I've been re-watching the videos I uploaded since I learned about my disease.

"I'm watching me die.

"It's weird you know.

"Hey. This might be my last video in awhile. Honestly, I'm getting weaker. I'm okay. I'm mostly in pain. And I can't really carry this heavy camera anymore.

"I just wanted to make this video to let you guys know I appreciate all of you.

"I'm grateful for your support.

"And goodbye for now."




















Video Upload Date: February 17, 2018

"Helllllooooooo Youtube!!!

"Let me tell you an incredible story.

"About a miracle..."

*************************************************************

I've been watching Youtube lately, and this story was inspired by what happened to this vlogger named Wil Dasovich.




Feb 10, 2017

JOLLIBEE

Kinuha ko ang cellphone niya. Mukha siyang tangang umiiyak sa harap nito.

"Ano drama mo?" tanong ko sa kanya.

Pilit niyang binawi sakin ang kanyang telepono. "It's nothing, watch mo 'to. I can relate. Hahaha." Kinalikot niya ang telepono at binalik sakin.

Pinanuod ko ang video. Tungkol sa isang lalaking na-friendzone. Para daw sa mga taong patuloy na umiibig nang walang hinihintay na kapalit.

"Nakakarelate ka dito? Tayo ba yan?" biro ko.

 "Nah. Nakamove on nako sa'yo. I mean, right now I can genuinely say I am really happy for you."

"Di ko feel. Hahaha!"

Ngumiti lang siya. Pero parang may kakaiba.

"Change topic?" tanong ko.

"Treat mo ako ng chickenjoy, para naman may silbi kang friend."

Umoo na lang ako.

Malapit lang ang kainan. Pero parang ang haba ng naging lakad namin. Tahimik. Walang imik. Sobrang apektado ata talaga siya sa video.

I made a funny face. Sana mabasag ang tensyon. Dumila siya sakin. Gumanti ako. Nagtawanan kami. Parang gaya ng dati...

Namatay ang tawanan. Bumalik sa katahimikan.

"Are you okay? Are we good?" usisa ko.

Tumango lang ito.

Habang kumakain kami, binigay niya sa akin ang balat ng manok. Di na daw niya kayang ubusin. Alam din niyang yun ang paborito kong kainin.

"Hey, alam mo naman na you can tell me anything, right?" ang tanging nasabi ko.

"Yeah, I'm okay. Ang funny noh, how relatable that video was. Parang tayo, I mean, yeah the circumstance is very different, but yung kwento namin is really the same if you think about it."

"I'm sor -"

"No no no... Don't say sorry! You have done me no wrong. I am so grateful to you kasi despite what happened, you still stuck with me. And I am really fine that we're the best of friends. I'd rather you be that more than anything else."

Nagsisimula nang mangilid ang luha niya.

"I'm so sorry that fucking video made me so emotional today."

Niyakap ko siya. Para malaman niyang naiintindihan ko sya.

Tinulak niya ako.

"Hahaha. I'm okay. Pero fuck you bro, ginawa mo pa rin akong best man sa kasal mo. Still can't believe I said yes. So I guess fuck me too."

"Alam mo pwede ako pumili ng kahit sinong pamilya o kaibigan ko para maging best man ko. But it's not going to feel right kung hindi ikaw ang nasa likod ko. Ikaw lang ang naniwalang karapatdapat akong mahalin. Kaya kahit na ano... medyo lalambot lambot ka... alam mong di ako mawawala sa buhay mo."

******************************

Tagal ko ring di nagsulat ng short story.
 

Jan 6, 2017

MY FAVORITE GAMES OF 2016

2016 was a great year for video games. There were tons of really high quality titles that went out for gamers to spend their precious time on. Below are some of my favorites that came out in 2016.
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Final Fantasy XV
I had a huge backlog of games for this year. A list of games that I have not finished since the start of this console generation. However, when I got hold of Final Fantasy XV, I made sure this game is not going on that list of titles that I put on hold, unfinished or unplayed. I powered through the story and completed Final Fantasy XV. And I was happy. I have been a fan of this JRPG ever since I got hold of the PS1 Classic FFVII. Although this game looks far different and plays different, it never dawned on me that this was not a Final Fantasy game. FFXV is littered with all the tropes of a Final Fantasy title: Cid, Shiva, Ifrit, Ramuh,Chocobos, Moogles, huge bosses and even down to a confusing storyline. I have not played any other game religiously after I finished the main campaign and as of writing, I'm only 7 goals short of a platinum trophy.
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Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Nathan Drake's last (?) outing proves us why Naughty Dog is the BEST video game developer in the world. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is a master class in storytelling, voice acting, gameplay and graphics. A rare feat only achieved by a handful of developers can achieve. This game, as long as it was, was never boring for me. I loved Nate's interactions with his supporting cast. They're funny, heartfelt and genuine. This is the reason why Nolan North, Laura Bailey and Troy Baker never ran out of voice acting work. They are outstanding in their jobs. Storywise, I am glad this game is grounded. No supernatural forces to fight, only human beings, it kept the whole game believable. I was fully immersed in this world and it was especially hard to put down the controller finally when the game ended.
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Rise of the Tomb Raider
Yes I know technically this game came out in 2015 on the XBox One but I am considering Rise of the Tomb Raider a 2016 game because it was only this year that us Playstation owners got to play Lara Croft's 2nd adventure after the 2013 reboot. This game I liked. It's not as great as Uncharted, but Tomb Raider has it's moments. I preferred the exploration on this game. I loved that you can upgrade Lara and her weapons and the action on this title is just awesome. I honestly didn't care too much about the story, but tomb raiding in this game is my favorite activity. Everytime I complete a tomb, I feel a tad smarter.
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The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
I know this is just an expansion, but dammit Blood and Wine is way more addicting than any of  the big game releases of this year! This expansion's main campaign is way longer than all of the shooters that came out this year combined. If it isn't obvious yet, I really fell in love with this expansion. The Witcher 3 in itself was a masterpiece and Blood and Wine is the cherry on top of a beautifully crafted cake. The map is huge. The story is engaging and it's a  very challenging game. I had a hard time finishing this chapter more than the main campaign and Hearts of Stone.
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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
This is a game that's meant to be replayed. I only played through the story of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided once, but I know there are tons of side quests and collectibles that I have missed. The freedom to go through any mission the way you want to is incredible. I had fun attempting to go stealthy on my playthrough only to go on an all out killing spree whenever I get detected by my enemies. It is not the fault of the game, it is mine. In any case, the story of Deus Ex, is a little bit lacking, but I have to put it here because I really loved the gameplay. I enjoyed leveling up Adam Jensen into a character that suits my play style. The world I played in was small, but there is a lot to discover. Like I said, one playthrough is not enough when playing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
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XCOM 2
I don't really know why I keep buying strategy games. I'm not that good at them. They're just games that add up to my backlog. But there's something about XCOM 2 that I can't stop thinking about this game. I get attached to the soldiers on my roster. 2 people already died from my team and I'm really devastated. They were two people I have invested experience to and they're gone. And it hurts. I do not know why I was so affected like this by a video game. Maybe because I can alter their looks the way I want them to look. And name them. And give them their equipments. This is such a great game and I can't wait to play more!
QUICKIES:
DARK SOULS 3 - This game is pretty... pretty hard... I just played the first hour though.
MAFIA 3 - Great story. Too repetitive to complete.
DISHONORED 2 - Haven't started the game so no impressions yet.
(all images courtesy of Google)