Bitter Lies Dojo

student of Bitter Lies

comics for sale
Formerly Known as the Justice League - 300
I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League - 300
The OMAC Project - 200
Villains United - 300
Secret Six: Six Degrees of Devastation - 300
The Amazing Transformations of Jimmy Olsen - 200
The Order vols. 1 & 2 - 200@, 300 for both
Nova vols. 1 to 4 - 300@, 1000 for everything
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 1 - 200
OMAC Omnibus - 500
Agents of Atlas HC - 500
Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes HC - 400
Great Lakes Avengers: Misassembled - 200
All-New Atom vols. 1 to 4 - 1000
Thunderbolts (Warren Ellis run) - 400
Blue Beetle vols. 1 to 5 - 1200
JLA: New World Order - 200
Annihilation HC - 3000
Annihilation Conquest HC - 2000
Marvel Zombies 3 HC - 500
Ultimate Spider-Man (everything until Ultimatum) - 8000

adventure weekend
Simon Tam

the only plan for Saturday was supposed to be a shoot for Cha's Technika cosplay in Makati. after that, I was just supposed to go home. some time in the middle of the shoot, Bessi texted and invited us to join the Filcosplay party over at ATC. Cha couldn't go and since I didn't bring a car, it looked like I wouldn't be going, either. eventually, I decided to hell with it and asked Cha how to get to ATC via bus. after waiting around for the right bus to come along for much longer than it should have taken, I found myself on my way to Alabang.

by the time I got to Lazer Xtreme in ATC, the party was already winding down. there was still one round of laser tag left, which I was dead set on joining, and little else left. laser tag was exhausting but a hell of a lot of fun. couldn't believe a round was just for 15 minutes. closing words were said shortly after and freebies were given out to whoever was still left.

after most of the people had left, I assisted Erving in shooting Kero's Iron Man cosplay. while Don Robert's Iron Man suits look sleek and streamlined, Kero's looked tough and bulky. Erving managed to make him look like a toy.

when that was done, everyone else still there went to search for Pizza Hut. it proved futile since, apparently, there weren't any Pizza Huts in ATC. instead of sticking around, Erving and I just decided to go.

the day's final adventure took place right after getting in the car. Erving found the wheel to be oddly heavy so we got out to figure out what the problem was. the front driver's side tire was flat. we attempted to change the tire but were thwarted by the jack. it didn't seem to want to rise and, even worse, didn't fit under the car. fortunately, there was a guy that saw our predicament and offered to lend us his jack. with the wheel changed, we headed back to QC.

for Sunday, Alvin arranged a shoot for Quincel, Gwen's younger sister, at UP. the only other photog with us was fellow Power House regular Victor. it was a fun shoot, despite the crazy heat. people had been trying to talk Quincel into trying her hand at modeling since at least December, during Gwen's Christmas shoot. she's a cute girl, though I think she's a bit too skinny. given some more experience and meat on her bones, she might be able to match her big sister's appeal.

I'm still tired from these past two days.
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a month's worth of weekends
Air Jesus

ate at Ken Afford for the first time in seven years. prices and food haven't changed. Melo was hosting so Tifa, Karlo and I went. the second Master Pogi cosplayer was the best one there.

Char wanted to have a studio fashion shoot so she invited Nicole, Kiko and me along.

was supposed to have dinner with Pia and Toyang but it turned out that Toyang's friends planned a surprise party for her that night. we decided to tell her that plans were still pushing through but then cancel at the very last minute. the night would have been more fun for me if not for a bit of stomach trouble towards the end.

Tifa's friends Andrea and Angela were visiting from Canada and she wanted us to meet them. Ada and Cleo were busy and Audrey was still out of town so Char, Karlo and I were the only ones able to go. we were supposed to watch Thor but plans got derailed.

since Andrea was leaving on Saturday and she had never experienced a cosplay shoot, Tifa decided to organize a mini-shoot for them. Andrea didn't have an Izaya costume but Tifa's mom had a coat that looked close enough so she used that instead.

went to the first day of MCC 2011 with Nicole and Tifa. later on, we met with Char at Wham and Karlo and Patty at Crepes and Cream. talked to Lorra and Elbert for a while. was able to see Sese and Jessica's latest Panty and Stocking costumes and almost didn't recognize Ian as Brief. Monique was in full geisha mode for the first time in months. got to see Erving's new cleanly shaved look. saw Marko out of costume for the first time. the most hilarious thing was seeing Adriel and Abu crossplay. all Tux Team members in attendance were in casual and more importantly, Melo actually looked respectable!

Ozine 2011
Air Jesus

my second time to attend all three days of Ozine. spent most of it with the Chill Group, Nicole and Char with some stretches hanging out with the Annoying People and Tux Team. I got to see just about everyone I was looking for. the only exceptions were Marko and Marky. it was a real shame since I was looking forward to seeing Marko's Whiplash and Marky's Taylor Swift. I lucked into finding Kyn (or rather she found me) not long before I had to leave on day 2. was supposed to look for Kris on day 3 but, again, she found me instead. running into Jayjay on day 1 and then again on day 3 with the rest of her family was unexpected.

it's funny how I seem to spend less time in the actual con areas as the number of people I know increases. it's gotten to the point that it's impossible to hang out with all of them. even as late as September last year, the con goers I knew were practically limited to Vic, Nicole, Char and Bessi. Pia and Toyang would count, too, but they aren't able to go nearly as often.

now, there are dozens. with a few exceptions (mainly in the group shots), I know all the people in the above pictures. that's not even everyone. and the amazing thing about it is that among those dozens are cosplayers and photogs that would be considered famous or high profile, people that just last year I thought I'd never get to talk to, much less be friends with. I mean, come on. I can talk to just about anyone from Tux Team like it was no big deal. I doubt I'd get invited to join one of their shoots any time soon but it's still something.

like I told Nicole: the only way our con experience can change now is if we get introduced to international types like Jesuke or Rainer Tachibana.

yeah, I'm putting way too much thought into this. :))
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niece, workshop, music
Jack Jack

Cadence, the latest addition to my mom's side of the family, was born on Thursday, just four minutes shy of April 1st. she's the first daughter of my cousin Kiddo and his wife Amy and the second child of her generation. knowing her parents, she's most likely gonna grow up on the beach.

I visited her and her parents on Saturday morning along with my mom, tita and lola. I found out that her birth was almost problematic since she was positioned in such a way that pushing her out meant that she'd be strangled by her umbilical cord. in fact, one of her hands was slightly blue because of the cord. thankfully, after detecting that, the doctors were able to deliver her without incident. not five minutes after being born and she was already ready to rock.

later that afternoon, I went over to Shutterspace Studios for a lighting workshop by fellow HGT member, Jason. it was mostly an introductory class and majority of the concepts covered were things that I'd already learned and practiced after strobing for a year. the new things I learned involved light setups and light modifiers. the techniques were for studio lights but the principles are easily adapted for speedlights, though the effects aren't always as easy to duplicate.

I wasn't supposed to go to the Ongaku Society gig since the workshop ended at 8pm but since it was near my house, I decided to go anyway. I'm not fond of noise and the close confines didn't do me any favors. still, I enjoyed the music. I couldn't make out the vocals most of the time due to them being drowned out by the instruments, though.

I spent my time there with Sese, Arianne, Ian and, later on, Erving. Cat was busy acting as a bouncer, which was pretty funny considering how tiny she is. I got to meet fellow Mafia Gang members Chase and Juju, who I've sort of interacted with online for the past four years but never met in person.
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graduation and Baccano!
Iron Fist

I dropped by Ateneo last Saturday for Tifa's graduation, though I didn't get to see her until the ceremony ended and I couldn't stay long after that. also saw her Omunoms groupmates Brad and Pau, Jess (who was very surprised to see me) and Doc Rodrigo.

wish I could have been there for Brian's (long delayed) grad, too, but it was on a Friday and work got in the way.

the Baccano! group Tifa put together had a photoshoot at Intramuros last Sunday. we were able to gather a significant amount of the cast but unfortunate circumstances prevented our Szilard, Lua, Ladd and Graham from attending. still, we had Tifa as Ennis, Audrey as Miria, Bessi as Firo, Ada as Nice, Cleo as Jacuzzi, Deus as Maiza, Katkat as Czeslaw, Aruki as Luck and Mico as Isaac. it was a lot of fun, though it would have been better if we had more indoor shots since most of the anime took place in buildings and trains.

afterwards, we went to SM Manila to have lunch at TOSH and then killed some time at the arcade, where Audrey, Bessi, Ada and Cleo showed off their DDR skills.

Tamashii Con
Mic Sounders the 13th

with nothing else planned last Saturday, the Chill Group went to Tamashii Con at Mega Mall. the con was rather small. not many people were in attendance, probably because most of the cosplayers are preparing for Ozine in three weeks' time. that didn't matter since our primary goal was to watch Ada and Cleo's band, Sagashimono, perform.

I didn't run into many people I knew. from the cosplayers, only Marky was in costume. Kyn, Arianne and MJ weren't cosplaying and I don't think they even went in. Kristell was in casual but was present as a judge. Vic and the rest of CNPH were taking pictures. Erving was lugging around more gear than my mini studio and looked like he hadn't slept in a week.

before Ada and Cleo had to report to the stage, we had dinner at Jipan. good food and decent prices. their menu contained a rather lulzy item. also, their receipt was the most descriptive thing, ever. after that, it was time to get ready for Sagashimono's performance.

their performance was rather good, though the only song they played that I recognized was Guns and Roses from Baccano!. their second song was familiar but I couldn't place it. shortly after their set ended, we left Mega Mall with the five of us squished into the back seat of Tifa's car.
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chill Saturday and first time FAB
last Saturday was one of the few Saturdays so far this year that I didn't have anything planned in advance. plans for dinner with the Chill Group weren't finalized until the night before. Tifa, Cleo, Ada and I had dinner at Happy Baboy in Greenhills. afterwards, we hung out at Ada and Cleo's where I finally got to try out BlazBlue and was able to check out Marvel vs. Capcom 3. crack videos and manga scans were shared. the iPod need not be mentioned.

a contact of mine, Yvette, has a studio near the Fort. I'd been meaning to join in on one of her shoots ever since it opened last year but something would always keep me from going. fortune smiled a few weeks ago when she announced that she would be having a shoot featuring Paulene So on the 13th. I had nothing planned for that day so I'd be able to kill two birds with one stone: I'd finally be able to visit FAB Photography and have a shoot with Paulene.

technically, FAB was the largest studio I'd ever been to. while the actual studio area was maybe just a bit more than double the size of my room, the entire studio grounds could be used for shooting. yesterday's shoot was purely outdoors, which was fine by me. while studio lighting is amazing, taking pictures against a single color background is really frakking boring.

it was a great experience. aside from the amazing spots used, there were only ten photographers present. considering the shoots with Power House reach nearly 40 participants at a time, this felt practically like being in an empty room.

with this done, the only model left that I want to have a shoot with is Abby Poblador. I highly doubt it'll happen since she's highly selective of the shoots she accepts and she prefers one on one. that means it'll be next to impossible for Jerby to get her for a Power House shoot. I'm hoping Yvette manages to pull off a miracle and hire her for FAB Photography.
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heavy cosplay weekend
I must have spent a total of nearly 24 hours over the weekend covering cosplay-related stuff. my shoulders, arms, back, legs and feet are aching because from carrying all that gear and doing so much walking.

met with Char on Saturday morning for a small shoot with her cosplaying Saya Otonashi from Blood+. Nicole skipped work to meet us and go to the 4th PCC at Robinson's Ermita.

we met up with Tifa, Audrey, Abby, Tin and Bernard after having lunch. we proceeded to wander around the con area for a bit before retreating back upstairs because of the crowd. while they at Kido Manga, I went back down to look for Sese and Jessica and stayed with them for a while. others there were Yuu, Zell, Alfred, Erving, Bessi, Marko, Katz, Arianne and several other people I didn't know. Tifa et al joined us later on but by then Nicole had already gone home.

having rested up, we started going around again. Char said that Kyn was at the con so we set off to look for her. it took a while but with Marko's help, I was able to find her. I tried to convince her to do a Namie Amuro pose but she refused, even though I found a whip she could use. XD

even though the place was ridiculously crowded, there didn't seem to be that many cosplayers. regular con-goers seemed to take up a higher percentage of attendees than usual. there didn't seem to be that many Bleach or Naruto cosplayers. someone cosplayed Mazinkaiser, which was a huge surprise.

another unexpected turnout was the number of Panty and Stocking cosplayers. I knew beforehand that Sese and Jessica would be cosplaying the angel versions of Panty and Stocking. what I didn't expect was the number of people cosplaying the duo. there were at least three pairs — two angel versions (the other pair were Taiwanese that we initially mistook to be Sese and Jessica since we were four floors up when we saw them) and one standard version — and one Stocking who came alone because her partner was unavailable.

my favorite find of the day was the other Char cosplaying Misty. not because I'm a huge fan of Pokemon or because the costume was amazing. it was because she was outside and smoking. it was so out of character for Misty that I just had to take a picture of her.

I was only supposed to stay until about 6pm but ended up leaving at 8pm. by the time I got home, I was nearly dead on my feet.

all of yesterday was spent over in Alabang to help oversee the charity shoot by CNPH and AAP. several notable cosplayers and photographers were invited to take part in the project primarily for the benefit of Selina Romero's family. as a CNPH member, my responsibility for the day was to look after the cosplayers rather than take pictures but that didn't mean I couldn't do both.

the people I already knew beforehand were Sese, Yuu, Alfred, Zell, Jin, Erving and Sarah. the new people I met were Ayumi, Nicola, Kris, Cat and Ella. I knew Donrobert and Izabel but I was never actually introduced to them nor was I able to shoot either of them. there were other people I got introduced to but their names escape me at the moment.

Fernbrook was a great location and a joy to shoot in. it was elegant and beautiful, even if there were parts that weren't complete yet. the only drawback was how out of the way it was but that didn't make the shoot any less worth it.

again, I was only supposed to stay until 6pm but I was having so much fun that I ended up leaving at 10pm along with everyone else. as a result, the previous day's exhaustion was compounded with that day's exhaustion. now, I'm pretty much sore all over.

Little Tokyo and Wako
Mic Sounders the 13th

Tifa invited me, Char, Audrey and two other college friends with her to Little Tokyo for a food trip with her Japanese food class last Friday. it was my first time there. the location was rather inconvenient to get to and parking was lousy but the food was great. the okonomiyaki was only about maybe 12 or 14 inches in diameter but surprisingly filling.

after dinner, we headed off to Wako for some videoke. seriously, that place was amazing. their song selection was kind of strange (one song from Meat Loaf but six from Slipknot? no Wallflowers but Slayer and Pantera are there? wtf?) but the important thing was this:

they had a hell of a lot of anime music.

I could overlook the absence of songs like Princes of the Universe, Heroes and Thunderstruck because their playlist had dozens of JAM Project songs and the opening themes of some of my favorite series, like GaoGaiGar, G Gundam and Shaider.

we stayed for three and a half hours and didn't even feel it. three and a half hours was not nearly enough.

when I told Nicole about it last night, she was envious so she suggested we go today. unfortunately, Tifa, Char and Audrey couldn't make it so it was just the two of us and her mom. we were there for only two hours. Nicole did most of the singing but again, there just wasn't enough time. she didn't even get a chance to start on the anime themes.

the Chill Group needs to go back there eventually. possibly even make a whole day out of it. :p
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