Thursday, June 21, 2018

Walking Around Iloilo City: The Scenic Route From My House To The University of San Agustin

I had a lot of free time this afternoon, so I decided to do a little bit of an experiment. I wanted to see how long it would take to walk over from my house to the University of San Agustin. My mother works as a teacher there and I come over to drive her home (It's not safe for her to drive at night because of her eyesight) in the afternoon. However, today was a bit of an exception because she wouldn't be off until 7:30 PM.

Now usually, I take public transport in order to reach San Agustin, which usually takes about 15-20 minutes depending on the traffic situation. According to Google Maps, my house is about 6.6 km away from San Agustin -- which I can probably run in about 45-60 minutes or less, but I digress.


Anyway, I decided to take a long, scenic walk to reach the place... but while stopping by a few places along the way. Basically, a leisure stroll.

The Walk

My House

I began my journey at 3:14 PM giving myself plenty of time to take it easy. It was drizzling a bit so I took a folding umbrella along... and when I opened it, I discovered that it was broken. Still usable, but definitely broken in its metallic skeleton in some areas, which made it look crooked. There were several spots that caught my attention along the way, which I took pictures of, of course. After about five minutes, I'd already gone by the place where I had some Nagi car decals done for our new car a bit earlier this year.
These guys did an awesome job!

At about 4:00 PM, I was already at Plaza Molo. It was really early, so I took a little detour and made a left turn to Iloilo City Esplannade. I took the original Esplannade 1 walkway. This place is really quite ideal for photos. I regret not taking my wide angle lens along. I'll do it next time. In any case, I still took plenty of pics for painting reference later on.


People Fishing at Iloilo River Esplannade
I'll definitely paint this... with Nagi in it somewhere.
At the middle of the walkway, there's actually a path to the right which takes you to another place -- The Boardwalk,which leads to Smallville and The Atria Park district. I think the entire place is owned by Ayala. Anyway, I turned there because I actually intended to walk all the way to the largest mall (for now) in Iloilo City: Sm City Iloilo. I bumped into my cousin and his girlfriend at Ayala Technohub (part of Boardwalk) and after some brief greetings, I was on my way again.
This road leads straight to Ayala  Technohub Iloilo. There are also some refreshment stands in the parking area.


At 4:30 PM, I was already at The Atria. I stopped by San Jose Cafe there and had for a nice light snack of chicken sandwich and vanilla frappe. At about 250 PHP, it was pretty reasonable for me... although a bit on the expensive side. I started sketching one of the pics from my phone while waiting for my order to be served.
Slightly expensive, but I like to splurge a bit when I'm taking a leisure stroll.
After that, I walked a little bit further along and reached another commercial complex called Plazuela De Iloilo. I decided to stop by there to see if they had anything of interest at the stalls in the middle that sold all kinds of novelty items from earrings to toys, clothes and cellphone accessories... but nope, nothing worthy of note.
Plazuela De Iloilo
So right next to Plazuela is SM City Iloilo. I took the Southpoint route to get inside the mall via the third floor. It was 5:40 PM.

SM City Iloilo... speaking of malls, Robinson's Place Pavia just opened. It's apparently the biggest Robinson's Mall here in Iloilo (there are two others).
Sm City Iloilo is a pretty big place, but my mother and I visit this place practically every other day, so I pretty much know my way around. I went straight to Miniso first (a Japanese novelty store that sells authentic items from Japan) where I bought an umbrella for 299 PHP.

After that, I stopped by National Bookstore because I saw someone from Iloilo post a boatload of new Sakura Koi products on my timeline in FB... I was disappointed to see that there weren't any.

Undeterred, I decided to try looking at the Stationery section of the SM City Department store because I actually did see some unique Sakura Koi products being sold there the last time I looked -- and lo behold, there they were, indeed! And I mean the boatload of Sakura Koi products that I saw on FaceBook.


After taking around 10-15 minutes to decide, I went with a Sakura Micron Pen, Sakura Brush Pen, and the 24 color palette Sakura Koi Watercolors to supplement my 12 palette set when I exhaust it... don't get me wrong though, It's still Gansai Tambi or nothing for me for serious watercolor paintings. Sakura Koi is my "taking it easy set."

After that, It was getting a bit late, so it was time to make the long walk to San Agustin. I actually added about 2 KM more to the trip by making this long detour to SM City... but fortunately, I knew a shortcut that I often took by car.
SM City Iloilo At Night
It was 6:32 PM when I ascended the Overpass to the other side of the road from Sm City Iloilo. It was already pretty dark at this point. Fortunately, there's a nice little walkway for people right by the road. I passed by a smaller newly-opened mall called Gaisano City ICC Mall along the way. I also stopped by a convenience store to grab a bottle of water for 14 pesos.

It took about 20 minutes to get to this shortcut to San Agustin that I was talking about earlier. The place isn't well-lighted though, but I always bring a tactical flashlight along for such a situation (as well as for some degree of self-defense... dun worry, I know enough martial arts to make some use of it barring someone holding me up at gunpoint.)

Anyway, I have to admit that taking the shortcut probably wasn't a very good idea. The road was pretty dark except for the constant two-way traffic from some fast moving vehicles. It probably saved me about 30 minutes of walking time however. I stayed to the side of the road wherein I was directly facing oncoming traffic. It's a pretty simple logic -- no one on a motorcycle or other vehicle can jump me from behind this way since the traffic is facing me.

I kept my flashlight on for the entire trip, which was fortunately uneventful. If you're scared of the dark or don't want to risk getting mugged in general, I'd suggest not taking this route at night on foot -- or even on a bike. It wasn't the best decision in my case, in hindsight. 

I was pretty relieved to arrive here safe and sound and with no random encounters :P 
Finally, I arrived at the Gates of San Agustin by around 7:00. I was already inside by 7:07.
Hey there, bruh! Glad to see ya too. Gimme five~
Over-all, it was a pretty enlightening and really enjoyable walk. Total transport cost = 0. It wasn't very tiring either. If you count the stuff I bought out of impulse along the way though, the entire trip cost about 1724.25 PHP or 32.33 USD.

These are obviously just vanities. The Sakura Brush pen is amazing though.
It just got me to thinking that if you're still young and able and you don't need to get to a lot of places in a hurry here, you really don't need a vehicle nor even use public transport if you live in Iloilo. If you plan it right, you can actually just walk to and from work everyday (assuming you don't get tired easily and you don't have other obligations/quality time to spend at home). Also, it'd probably be pretty easy to get along with just a bicycle or even go on roller blades if not for all the road construction projects and the general recklessness of drivers here. I'd actually contemplated going on roller blades all the way, but I decided not to risk it given just how incompetent and reckless our drivers are in general.

More importantly however, it really did open my eyes to just how much we rely on our personal vehicles and public transport so much in what is basically a one-strip city (a very developed one-strip city, but that doesn't change the fact that Iloilo is actually pretty small.) I wouldn't be surprised if the entire city is actually just within a 40 KM radius.

Anyway, do you live in a Iloilo City or some other small city? Have you ever considered walking to your usual destinations instead of taking your car/motorcycle or public transport? If not, why not give it a try? You might find it just as enjoyable as I did. This is lordcloudx and I'll see you in future travel posts to come.

Oil Pastels on Paper. Found time to do this while waiting for my mother.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hayate Reflections: Romantic Compatibility


When talking about Hayate or any romantic comedy with a harem for that matter, people always have this tendency to talk about compatibility. Basically, how compatible is X character with Y character?

Now personally, I feel this type of shipping talk is just fine… the problem is a lot of people take this type of argument much more seriously than they should. Taking Hayate as an example, many people dismiss Nagi and leave her out of the harem race completely because all they’re thinking about is that she and Hayate are not romantically compatible because Hayate has never shown any romantic feelings for her – at least not until the very end of the manga, and only through implication – a very strong and definite implication that has been confirmed and re-confirmed by the author time and time again, mind you – but yes, still an implication.

In any case, let’s talk about compatibility then.
Let’s start with Nagi. As far as Nagi is concerned, let’s not even bother with Ayumu’s brother, Kazuki, who was obviously a one-shot side character only meant to confirm Nagi’s strong feelings for Hayate.

I think everyone realizes it by now that Wataru Tachibana, Nagi’s fiancé for almost the entirety of the series is the only other guy who could have ended up with Nagi… and to tell the truth, they have very good compatibility with each other. Sure, at first they were shown to be often at odds with each other almost like cat and mouse and Wataru is introduced to be just as much of a spoiled brat as Nagi was, but in time, his character changed a lot. Unlike Nagi, 13 year-old Wataru is a struggling business owner who only had his 21-year old maid to support him (who was pretty naïve and let Wataru make all the business decisions).

Eventually, as Wataru’s business picks up, he also mans up – much more than Hayate ever did… but I’m not here to talk about Wataru’s path to maturity. Let’s just say that he was a real man before the end of the series and that his compatibility with Nagi grew because of this.

This is best illustrated in chapters 542-543 when Wataru and Nagi indulge in some Godzilla otaku talk. They share the same interests and are obviously quite comfortable with one another – being childhood friends and all. There is a strong sense of “chemistry” between them to the point that no one could doubt that they are romantically compatible – and this is actually mentioned directly by Saki, Wataru’s maid and at this point, his strongly implied love interest (yes, implications are what Hayate the Combat Butler is all about. If you do not want to recognize implications, then don’t ever read this manga because you’re just setting yourself up for a bitter disappointment.)

Saki is feeling insecure because she can’t indulge in the Godzilla otaku talk having understood nothing of the recent movie and she thinks that a girl like Nagi would be much better for Wataru (What a familiar line of thinking… does it ring a bell? Does it sound a bit like YOU, perhaps?) Of course, Wataru mans up and tells Saki via implication that even if you don’t fully understand something, what is important is wanting to understand more about that something because truly understanding  may take a lifetime and even until death… yes, you Gen-Z or Late-Born Millennial, this is actually an implied proposal from Wataru to Saki – and it is very important to understand this scene in the context of Hayate no Gotoku’s primary love story between Hayate and Nagi.

So having established the basic compatibility between Nagi and Wataru, let’s talk about Hayate and the other girls. Don’t worry, I’ll keep this one shorter since I’ll presume that most of you are already fully-aware of his relationships with the other girls at this point.

First off, Hayate and Ruka: Well of course they’re compatible. Ruka is a lot like Hayate with a similar past of being abandoned by her parents. She has a quirky and playful personality but is also a hard worker as far as her job as an idol is concerned.  Most of all, they have the same debt of around 150 million yen. Ruka is also super aggressive about her feelings towards Hayate and even steals a kiss and tries to get Hayate to Marry her as a prize if she wins in a doujin-writing competition against Nagi. Furthermore, she has a cute appearance that Hayate does not seem to dislike and takes her responsibilities  seriously, unlike Nagi. I doubt Hayate would feel incompatible with her.

Secondly, there’s Hayate and Athena: Well duh? They were childhood lovers and they still had strong feelings for each other when they met again as teenagers. Athena is the cool and smart type, but also has her naïve childish moments. Most importantly, while not being actually older than Hayate, she gives off those oneesama vibes with her wisdom and big-breasted appearance. After all, Hayate has declared once that older ladies are relationship material while younger girls are just cute. Obviously, he has no interest in much younger women (coz apparently, three years is a HUUGE age gap). Anyway, you probably agree, they’re compatible, right?

Third, there’s Hayate and Hinagiku: Well why not? Hina is cute, popular, smart, athletic, strong, and everything else in-between and her only weakness is that she’s too tsundere (she has a fear of heights, but that doesn’t count as a weakness to me. It’s more of a moe moe quirk of her personality) to confess to Hayate until the very end. In fact, perhaps if she had successfully confessed earlier at around the point when Hayate had finally paid off his debt, then perhaps things would have gone positively for her. Of course, she didn’t. Of course, as far as appearances go, Hata has mentioned that Nagi’s breasts will actually overtake hers in the future, so there’s that. This is assuming that Hayate likes girls with big breasts exclusively, but of course, that’s not true. After all, Hayate has once mentioned that it would be a dream come true for someone like Hina to confess to him. No question of compatibility here.

Finally, there’s Ayumu and Hayate. Yes, Hayate did reject her early and she has been naively struggling to gain Hayate’s attention in all the wrong ways – but the reality is that she is the type of “normal girl’ that Hayate would have definitely fallen for. She is also cute, not-too-smart, but has a heart of gold that often turns her into a doormat  (or a hamster in Nagi’s words), but which doesn’t make her in any way incompatible with Hayate. After all, in the shared dream sequence with Hayate in the Royal Garden, she and Hayate actually do almost end up together in a hypothetical scenario wherein Hayate had never met Nagi.
Oh and lastly, let’s talk about Hayate and Maria… actually, let’s not. This is incest territory. She is his half-sister after all. Sorry, shippers… but I’m really not sorry. Also, let’s not talk about Izumi since she’s too much of a side-character to be relevant.
So yes, Hayate was definitely compatible with any of the many girls who showed interest in him throughout the series and I’m pretty sure he would have been happy with any of them.

The same is true for Nagi. She was definitely compatible with Wataru, and she probably wouldn’t have been too sad about having him as a romantic partner… BUT
And this is quite a thing, this BUT, thinking about Hayate the combat butlers romantic relationships in terms of compatibility would be completely missing the point of the romance in this series.

This is why I mentioned Wataru and Saki earlier. Wataru made the choice to be together with Saki. Now look at Hayate and Nagi. Nagi didn’t force Hayate to choose her. Not at all. In fact, she totally set him free in chapter 567. It took two years for him to come out in the open and finally make the choice to be with her – and this time, to be with her without any misunderstandings or ties of debt whether it’s a financial debt or a debt of gratitude.

Of course, in Nagi’s case. She had chosen Hayate from the very start. Her feelings were tested and she wavered quite a few times, especially in the finale, but her love had been nurtured throughout the series and matured as gracefully as the lady did herself.

So yes, in a nutshell, love in Hayate The Combat Butler is not about compatibility. It’s about making the choice to love someone and to forge a relationship with that someone towards the future… wouldn’t you say that’s a more ideal, and more beautiful conception of love? I certainly do.

With that said, see you next week for sure!

Fanart Corner

I usually get my inspirations for my fanart from looking at store window mannequins, posters of models, and similar stuff... this week's digital fanart is no exception.

Huggable Nagi~




Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My 7-Day Trip To Kabankalan: Day 5

Day 5 of the trip and the 4th day of training was a bit of a “taking it easy” day. Unfortunately, from all the excitement at Mag-Aso falls, my mother and I took it a little bit too easy and woke up a bit late. We went down for breakfast at about 7:30 and leisurely ordered the bacon, eggs, and rice… but we only got halfway through our meal when someone pointed our attention to the CPSU transport vehicle which had been waiting for us for awhile. Thus, breakfast was cut abruptly.

A Rough Start

Pretty awful way to start the day, but that was just about the only setback anyway. After the usual 30-minute ride, we got off at the Arts and Sciences building and by 8:00, the students came filing in. Again, things started off with a Zumba session per my mother’s request. After that, it was time for a lecture on communication processes from my mother. Fortunately, she can actually manage to keep a lecture interesting and keep the class actively participating even if it took the entire morning session.

Finishing Up Some Tasks

After lunch, Ms. C called in from her house and requested that the class be moved to her residence in Kabankalan City because they still needed to dub in the voices for the video. Thus, after asking for permission from the people in charge of the seminars, we were off to another trip to Ms. C’s house.

However, when we got there in the afternoon,  there were some technical difficulties and the video hadn’t been compiled by the videographer yet. We talked over how it could be done and Ms. C had quite a few ideas and I actually approved of them. I was just a bit wary since she planned to shoot more footage in the plaza afterwards and there were two days left before the final presentation. The video advocacy would not only form part of their finals grade, but it would also be the presentation of the Purposive Communication class for the culminating activity on Saturday. Having had some experience with working on a tight timetable, I knew that grandiose plans had ways of falling apart… with that said, I’d already made up my mind at this point to install VSDC on my laptop later in the afternoon.
Naturally, Nagi gets her Outfit of the Day shot.

Since recording couldn’t be done, my mother instructed everyone to use the idle time to finish up on their literary analyses – which was what the rest of the afternoon was spent on. I also helped everyone finish setting up their blogs on blogger. We dismissed earlier than usual at about 5:30 PM since the students wanted to do additional shoots and work on the video a bit more. We viewed the raw footage and they looked quite stunning, actually. The problem is that the speaking parts were muffled by the sound of the waterfall. Obviously, they had to be redubbed. Also, this was pure raw footage and the videos were shot in separate files/clips. They had to be compiled – which I really stressed upon everyone. Compiling the video should take priority with such a short amount of time left.
Anyway, Ms. C drove us back to our hotel after class was dismissed. Most of the students left behind had finally set up their blogs at this time, although they still needed to finish writing the 500-word blog post on the Mag-Aso falls trip. 

Some Time To Paint

Since we arrived earlier than usual at the hotel, we took the time to freshen up and take a nice shower before coming down for dinner at the restaurant. The Art Appreciation trainer was having dinner there as well, so we joined her and had a friendly chat. My mother recommended the Asian Salad, which she’d had the day before. 

Gansai Tambi Watercolors on Canson Watercolor Paper
Sakura Koi Colors on Berkeley Watercolor Pad

After a nice dinner, we went straight back to our hotel room wherein I finished up my work for the day (I was actually sneaking in some work here and there during the seminar) and then I installed VSDC into my laptop because I expected quite a bit of trouble having assessed the situation earlier. It was still only about 9:00 PM when I’d finished all the tasks for the day, so I had some time to re-paint one of my Sakura Koi paintings into a larger 9x12 watercolor pad using Gansai Tambi colors.  It also gave me a chance to make use of the new brushes I got at Expressions. I think the new image turned out pretty well. I’m not too sure I like the placement of the umbrella though.


In any case, that wraps up Day 5 of the trip. See you for day 6.
 


Monday, June 18, 2018

My 7-Day Trip To Kabankalan: Day 4


To Mag-Aso Falls

Day 4 of the trip was a bit less hectic than usual. The class agreed that this would be a field trip day, so we didn’t have to wake up so early. The class would meet us over at our hotel in Zaycoland and the CPSU transport vehicle would be taking us to Mag-Aso falls where the students would be recording their raw footage for their final project by Friday: an environmental advocacy video.
Also, we were informed that we would be transferring hotels because our booking for Zaycoland was made on the fly and there were guests who had booked our rooms for the next day. Fortunately, we had already packed up our luggage the night before and we just had to leave them at the hotel lobby and the CPSU transport team would pick them up for us and transfer them to our new hotel later. This meant that we could go straight to the new hotel after classes for the day were done.

Midterms Comes First

Of course, for the students, this wasn’t just a fun little field trip. After all, the midterms was also scheduled for this day and my mother planned to get it out of the way first. Midterm exams consisted of an impromptu speaking exercise wherein the students would individually answer different questions based on general interest topics such as current events, politics, and things related to the educational field (they were all teachers after all).

After a nicer breakfast (than ugh, continental breakfast consisting of  one entire loaf of bread cut into large slices and a banana), the students took the liberty of ordering lunch for us from the hotel restaurant in advance. We would be dining at Mag-Aso falls. It was actually starting to drizzle a bit, but it wasn’t raining too hard.

We left by around 9:00 and arrived at the place at about 9:30. There was a bit of a steep climb to get to the parking area, but the L300 transport vehicle seemed to have a pretty game engine. The security guard informed us that swimming was off-limits for now because there was no lifeguard on-duty… not that anyone planned to do any swimming anyway. (I can’t swim. I can float on my back, dog paddle, and survival swim, but I can’t breathe when doing a basic freestyle stroke – any tips?)


Mag-Aso Falls is quite a sight to behold.
The view from Mag-Aso falls was simply breathtaking. I like how ingenuous the architects were in constructing the man-made pool and the small structures like comfort rooms and rest areas that integrated seamlessly into the waterfalls. The pool itself was at the higher point of the falls and used water directly from the waterfalls. No chlorine used (it was easy to tell from just the smell) and the water from the falls was crystal clear – barring a few leaves from the trees and just a little bit of moss from all the lush vegetation that surrounded the place. Over-all, while the ground at Mag-Aso falls has a tendency to feel damp on the feet, the air feels fresh and clean and very cool.

Judging from the way their voices were trembling and their relieved faces afterwards, I would say that my mother’s midterms was probably quite a harrowing ordeal for the students – nevertheless, with that out of the way, they could now have fun touring the public areas of Mag-Aso falls while shooting video clips for their video advocacy project.

Personally, I just spent most of the day chillaxing and taking some very awesome pictures of Nagi.

In the afternoon, instead of taking the long trip back to CPSU, we got permission to host the rest of the class over at the residence of one of the students in Kabankalan City. It was pretty convenient for us because it was nearer to the hotel. Fortunately, the residence also doubled as a church, so it had ample seating capacity (for only less than 12 people) and a projector and large speakers for my laptop. 

Blogging 101

Part of the requirements for the finals was for everyone to create a blog and to blog about their experiences about Mag-Aso falls. Therefore, I gave a step-by-step lecture on how to create a blog using blogger. After that, I talked about my specific style of blogging and how I am able to write things down very quickly using a particular technique that I’ve developed. Do remind me to talk about it in more detail next time, but basically, the lecture consisted of having everyone pitch me ideas and helping me write one coherent blog post about Mag-Aso falls using their collective experiences. This is the blog and the actual post that I made during the lecture: http://christalone2018.blogspot.com/2018/06/our-first-advocacy-video-magaso-falls.html

After that, it was time for another activity, literary analysis. The subjects were my own Hikari’s Ribbon Remake 2013 version and an anime, Episode 5 of Kino’s Journey : The Beautiful World 2017 (Country of Liars).


I was really quite happy when a few people came up to me and told me that they really preferred the story of Hikari’s Ribbon. Really, it’s not that I’m that starved for attention for my works, but it’s really very rare for random strangers to openly praise me without offering some high-handed advice on “how I can improve.”

Anyway, it was an emotional moment for me, for sure. The literary analysis would be a take-home written output, so at about 6:30, class was adjourned and we’d see each other the next day, hopefully, with the finalized version of the video. We reviewed the raw footage and they were definitely amazing. I was a bit concerned that there were so many long skits and people talking to the camera though. That would mean extensive redubbing and a bit of work in compiling the video. As far as I knew, no one in the class had any in-depth knowledge of video editing.

So we got to the hotel, Southland Inn early, but one piece of luggage got left behind at Zaycoland. Fortunately, the CPSU driver went back to get it for us and all was well… except my mother also took the keys to our Zaycoland room with her – as per a phone call to our hotel room. Of course, it wasn’t much of a hassle and after a short chat, she and the person on the other side of the phone both agreed that she’d just take the keys over to Zaycoland first thing in the morning.  One of the students drove us over. It was quite a nice place and most importantly, it had 4G internet connection and actual working wifi! It was also a building within the city and not a walled-in resort like Zaycoland. We decided to have dinner inside of the hotel’s restaurant – which closed at 8:00 PM as well. The food was really nice – especially the asian salad which consisted of some kind of crunchy, transparent noodles, tomatoes, cucumbers, pork chunks and some lettuce. I also had ribs for dinner, which was quite delicious as well.

Anyway, I was glad to settled down in the new hotel room after that. The room was a bit smaller, but it felt a lot more comfy with a larger TV set and nicer lighting. Also, finally! Real Wifi. Now I could work without worries.  We’d have an early start and free breakfast at the hotel again the next day, so as usual, I had to turn in earlier than I’m used to.

Stay tuned for Day 5 of the trip. We're getting closer to the end.



Sunday, June 17, 2018

My 7-Day Trip To Kabankalan: Day 3


Continental Breakfast

For day 3 of the trip, we had to get an earlier start than usual. Also, Zaycoland didn’t serve any real breakfast until 7 AM for some reason, so all they could serve us was their version of a “continental breakfast” which consisted of a large banana and a whole loaf of bread (I swear) cut into about 4-6 large-slices along with some butter and jam. Needless to say, I didn’t care much for the meal. Fortunately, we did have some yogurt which we’d bought at a 7-11 the day before. It’d have to do temporarily since we’d be leaving at 7.

After the 30-minute trip to CPSU, we got off at the Arts and Sciences building directly this time. My  mother used the entirety of the morning to give a lecture on the different communication processes. Also, as a picker-upper, she had her favorite Zumba session thanks to one of the students whom I’ll call “F” who brought her subscription-based LTE router along. Sometime during snack break, everyone wanted to see what kind of stuff I wrote so we streamed one of my works, Unpolished (I’ll put the video into this post).

I was really overwhelmed by the positive response. Everyone loved it despite it being a short, text-only piece. I think it helped out that my mother gave them a primer that this was a real-life story that I’d dramatized into fiction and that it was about my older sister’s actual experience. Anyway, many of them admitted to being nearly brought to tears by my piece – which made me misty-eyed as well.  Seriously, this was the first time in my life that one of my writings, one that I’d really put my heart and soul into, was praised so positively by so many people at once. The feeling of euphoria was overwhelming and because of this one single moment, Kabankalan and CPSU will always have a special place in my heart.

Lunch was served at Mt. Balio Hall as usual and we had them with the students and the other trainers and their respective classes.
In the afternoon, after another quick Zumba session with my mother (I never join those, but I can dance… I assure you.) It was time to do the near-impossible: cram one whole course’s worth of Oxford-Oregon Debate into one afternoon. 

Debate 101 -- In One Afternoon

So I went with a pretty dynamic approach. I used my laptop as a whiteboard and using notepad, I typed in some key points every now and then. I went over the basic flow of an Oxford-Oregeon Debate, which includes how to construct arguments for necessity, beneficiality, and practicability and what each side needs in order to win. Also, by the end of the lecture, we’d have a short, actual debate in the class by dividing them into two groups. I also went over the actual conditions needed for the negative and affirmative side to win – really, judges of oxford-oregon style debates should know these things, but in many cases as I’ve experienced myself, they usually don’t… but whatever!

Finally, to top off the lecture, I went over how to write a constructive speech, a rebuttal speech, and the secrets of winning the interpellation – which I won’t reveal here. I will say this though: It’s all about flowchart questioning.

So by around 4:00, everyone was more or less oriented on debate, but it was admittedly quite a bit of information overload. I acted as the moderator for the mock debate, which started at about 6:00 PM. I have to say, with a little bit of coaching from me and my mother in-between, everyone performed quite admirably and the last two speakers especially, actually had what I would consider a high-level exchange during interpellation. We didn’t have time for a rebuttal, but I was happy to see that everyone had really learned something in that one afternoon. I would say they were still a bit rough around the edges and could have used a bit more aggression, but it was actually the opposite of what I’d expected. Usually, when I coach people in Oxford-Oregon debate for the first time, they start losing control during an actual mock debate and go into panic mode just shouting out and being as aggressive as possible in an attempt not to let the opponent get a word in. Long story short: everyone’s performance exceeded my expectations.

After that, it was dismissal time and me and my mother had dinner at Mt. Balio Hall together with the other faculty. Truth be told, I didn’t like the food there… which didn’t matter much since the group was planning to once again take a trip to City Mall.

After the 30-minute ride back to Kabankalan City, we arrived at City Mall. We bought some more provisions in the form of some snacks from the grocery and some take-out food from Jollibee (our version of McDonald’s and yes, we also do have McDonald’s here) and Chowking. I also took the opportunity to buy one more set of artist brushes from Expressions.
Nagi's journey episode 3: A Land WIthout WiFI!

After that, it was back to Zaycoland, wherein I had to do some work downstairs at the lobby since as mentioned before, my 4G connection only works at the lobby area for some reason and getting a connection in Zaycoland’s faulty wifi system is like winning a lottery, they even give you several “raffle tickets” in the form of their vouchers to see if you can connect to a single one of them.
Anyway, with work done, I went ahead and formulated some questions for the impromptu speaking (we call it Extemporaneous locally for some reason. Extempo and Impromptu are interchangeable in the Philippine context. Basically, it means a speech wherein you are given a question and then given around 3 minutes to prepare your answer.)

Odds & Ends

After that, it was time to turn in for the day. I actually watched some old movie starring Van Damme on TV. The good news is that tomorrow would be the scheduled filed trip to Mag-Aso falls where the midterms would take place as well. This meant I wouldn’t have to turn in so early and could have a proper breakfast because yech, “continental breakfast :P”

Stay tuned for Day 4. I'll have it up by tomorrow because I've actually already written it down.
This cup of yogurt didn't come with a spoon, so I made my own spoon using the tinfoil cover.

My Philosophy of Art (Video)

Got inspired by Jimmie from My Art Life to make this video.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Hayate Reflections: Doujin Review "名前呼んで”

I've been looking for some way to obtain this doujin online for quite some time now and thanks to Otaku Republic, I finally have it. Anyway, this doujin was short and sweet. Here's the synopsis (pardon any inaccuracies. I got the gist of the story, though. If you must have accuracy, go ask your lord and savior Japanese translator to do it for you and not some JLPT level nothing scrub like lordcloudx.):

Hayate and Nagi are walking together hand in hand
Nagi sees two of her male classmates (who seem to have a crush on her)
they greet Hayate and think he's her big bro
Hayate is about to say something
when Nagi stops them both and declares that Hayate is her boyfriend
Hayate grabs her by the hand.
Hayate: Excuse us for a minute.
Nagi: Hayate... what's wrong, are you mad?
Hayate: I'm not mad
Nagi: Then are you sulking?
Hayate: I'm not
Nagi: I see... I just thought our feelings were mutual this time. I guess I was wrong.
Hayate: You're not wrong! (hugs Nagi from out of nowhere)
Hayate: I'm sorry for not saying it sooner. I just wanted to make it look cool.
Nagi: Cool?
Hayate: Of course, in front of the girl I like
Nagi: You're really cute aren't you, Hayate! (Hugs Hayate happily)
Hayate: Will you listen to what I have to say?
Nagi: Sure, what cute thing do you want to talk about?
Hayate: It's a long story but...
Hayate suddenly kisses Nagi
Hayate: What is cute... is you!
Hayate: (I think that was cool)
Nagi: ... one more time...
Hayate: Well... she really is cute after all
Hayate: Can we do it one more time?
Nagi: (kinda embarrassed) go ahead
one more kiss
Nagi: Say... Hayate
Nagi: When are you going to stop talking in honorifics?
Nagi: Like you keep calling me "you"
Hayate: Well, the last time we met I was still calling you ojou-sama, it's a bit awkward
Nagi: Well then Hayate, what is my surname?
Hayate: Sanzenin?
Nagi: And... what is my name?
Hayate: Na.... Nagi?
Hayate: Ugh... I get embarrassed from just calling you by name.
Nagi: That's fine, isn't it?
Hayate: Nagi!
Nagi: Hayate! ??
Hayate: eventually, someday for sure... I will also become familiar with calling you by your name.

THE END~

Thoughts On The Doujin

The art is a bit subpar, especially the artwork, but the faces are well-done and aside from the cover art, the artwork does enough justice to both of the main characters (Hayate and Nagi).

I really love this story. I like how shy Hayate is being and those sweet, lovey-dovey moments between the two of them. The way they act all shy and awkward around each other while both acknowledging that they really do like each other a lot. The characterization is spot-on. They behave exactly like how I would expect Hayate and Nagi to behave as a couple based on the end of the series.

While many HayaNagi shippers would probably have preferred if this was the canon ending of the series, I am not one of them. In fact, I actually like the fact that 568 ended the way it did. That was the perfect time and the perfect way to end the story of Hayate and Nagi, in my opinion. 


Of course, that is only as far as canon is concerned.  What happens beyond the ending is left up to the imagination -- which is the raison d'etre for this doujin -- and many others to come just like it. This is why I think 568 was the perfect ending. It left a lot to the imagination, while at least confirming that Hayate and Nagi are now romantically interested in each other.

In any case, I liked seeing 16 year-old Nagi once again. She really is beautiful, even if this isn't official art of her (it is based on official art of her, though).

With that said, see you next week for sure. This is lordcloudx out.

Fanart Corner

Been on a watercolor painting binge lately. Also, I still need to upload some colored pencil sketches (kinda ecchi) of Nagi that I've been neglecting to capture.