2009

Revived, Inspired and Genesis Trees?!

A few days ago, I kicked back and finished my Kingdom Hearts II game. It’s about the second time that I did. First time I did was back in the Philippines. I moved and left my PS2 and all my video games with my relatives on the other side of the world. Anyway, I didn’t really intend to finish KH2 this winter. I guess it just happened.

I left my new PlayStation 2 untouched after summer break had ended since fall semester began. So much for summer, ey? It was barely two weeks, but that’s a whole different story. Anyway, I was back to adventuring with my beloved Sora, Donald and Goofy. Defeated Xemnas. Hooray. Ahh yes, I quivered with fear~ Silly Nobody. But indeed, Kingdom Hearts’ villainous motives always seem to amuse me.

The ending wasn’t as satisfying as the first time. Maybe because I was rushed into it. Yes, you read that right. I was rushed into it. I didn’t say I rushed myself into it, but rather I was rushed into it by a specific someone. That someone was my sister.

While I was pouring my brains out on Calculus and the like during the fall, she began her own Kingdom Hearts game of her own–to the point where she passed where I was in game. Not that I minded or anything. It’s just fortunate to be younger and have time to play video games without worrying about failing a midterm. And no, I didn’t fail my midterms. Gladly.

I continued my game for the heck of it. I came to this point where I was almost finished with the game yet was particularly lazy. She was stuck in the battle with Luxord so she made me pass that part to show her how I could beat him. So I did. Yay? I guess. At that point, she just made me finish the game. It was three in the morning after defeating Xemnas’ last stage for like 371892 times. Stupid flying light sabers.

Point is, I finished the game. I enjoyed the ending yet I still felt incomplete. Like I needed more out of playing with my game console. It wasn’t as fun as before. I think part of that had to do with the idea of being rushed into it. Maybe it has to do with age? Oh my, I hope I didn’t just grow out of my love for RPGs!

But then, it hit me today. How I just want to relive that moment of being fascinated with a game because it was particularly intriguing. Not because everyone was playing it, and they told you it was pretty awesome, so you had to play it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love my Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy. But when it comes down to it, my love for RPGs will forever be rooted in Legend of Legaia.

Unlike almost everyone else who grew up having their own Gameboy or Nintendo 64, I was unfortunate to not have one. In fact, I didn’t discover the real beauty of video games until I spent most of my summer days at my Ate Marvi’s house (A-te is a term that sorta means elder sister in Tagalog. Related or not, it means a girl who’s older than you). She had gotten a PlayStation that time and a bunch of us would play Streetfighter and Mortal Kombat. But there was this one game which she had that we didn’t really play. In fact, we couldn’t get past a certain part. That was Legend of Legaia.

Kuya Mars (Ku-ya is elder brother) started playing the game but eventually just got stuck at the point where Vahn and Noa fought Caruban atop Mount Rikuroa. I had no idea what to do since I would just watch him play. I didn’t know anything about RPGs. I was just a button masher. In fact, seeing my kuya struggle in this made me uninterested in playing RPGs for the most part. He was like the king; I looked up to him ’cause he can totally pwn on video games. So then, I just lost hope. That is, until one fateful day.

My parents bought me my very first game console. My own PlayStation! I believe I was 9 years old. The first few games I remember purchasing were Mortal Kombat, Legend of Legaia and DDR (with the dance mat to boot). There was a limited selection of CDs where I purchased my PlayStation. But I had to make do.

What was it with Legend of Legaia? I didn’t know anything about it. Neither did anyone else since it was an unpopular game. Since I had prior experience with it already–by that, I mean just staring at the blocky people do Kung Fu on screen–I told myself I’d give it a go. I’d give this RPG a chance.

So eventually I got to the point where my kuya got stuck. At 9 years old, I was pretty much bland about the situation. “Oh great, now what?” It seemed that I didn’t even want to bother or try. But for some reason, I beat him. I beat that beastly Caruban. I beat that dang monster my kuya couldn’t even defeat. With this, it felt so rewarding having somewhat surpassed my kuya. I smashed that monster and revived the brilliant Genesis tree, thus freeing Drake Kingdom of ze evil mist! Har har!

And this is all where it began. Eventually, I conquered the game (more than five times LOL). I felt this attachment to the characters more than ever. There was more to a video game than just pretty graphics (though, might I add, Legend of Legaia had pretty sweet specs for a game made in 1998). There was a story. There was music. Emotion?! This was also the reason why I wanted to be a lefty; Noa was left-handed. Shallow, I know. But c’mon, she can seriously kick butt!

My numerous creative ideas stemmed from the influence of RPGs. They said video games are bad for you. I think not. It’s what broadened my mind and inspired me to do the things I do right now. From video editing to writing stories. From drawing to playing the guitar. Every little thing.

I still retain that ultimate goal of working at Square Enix someday. Hah, sounds impossible, I know. I’ll keep dreaming. But for now, how about someone give me a copy of Legend of Legaia? I’d love to revisit my roots.

Roots? Get it? Legend of Legaia, Genesis trees? Trees have roots? Hahaha. Okay, I’ll shut up now.

For A Moment

Being the lazy girl that I am, I don’t bother with changing my home page at all. In fact, I wouldn’t even know what to change it to. I’ve had my MacBook for about three years now and the Apple website appears every time I open Safari.

I rarely scan through the Apple website even though I’m an avid fan of Mac. Whenever there would be major updates from the company itself, only then would I be interested. Although it wasn’t that long ago–that being yesterday–when something actually caught my attention.

There was an article on the main page of it’s website that had to do with photography and the iPhone. Obviously, that sparked my interest. One, because photography is just downright brilliant. And two, I have an iPhone.

So I spent my time reading and watching this video about how this professional photographer takes the iPhone to a whole new level. How you can get awesome photos with just that 3.0 megapixel (I think?) device. And I’d have to say, I only resort to using my iPhone whenever I don’t have my own digital camera along.

Speaking of digital camera, I got myself my own cam for Christmas! At least I don’t have to share with my sister anymore. |: (She broke our family’s other camera so we only have one around). It’s not anything too special though. I wanted a DSLR for the heck of it, but I got something close enough. A Nikon P90. (:

These are just two of the shots I took while I was playing with my Nikon. Nothing much, really. These are just some of those in the moment shots when I was lucky to bring my Nikon around.

Autumn

This was right outside my house. Talk about in the moment. Those leaves were bound to fall sooner or later. In fact, the tree is practically leafless right now. Good thing I snapped a photo before they all fell.

Button Crazy

My friend, Bryan, has one of the most epic bags I’ve ever seen. He sew all those buttons onto his bag and made it his own. I’m astounded by the color and simplicity. I mean, buttons, really? So practical yet so beautifully arranged!

Back to that video and article from Apple~ it basically summed itself up with the photographer saying that it’s the moment that counts. It doesn’t matter whether you have an epically awesome DSLR or a camera phone. It’s what you make do with what you have and bring the best out of it. It’s those special moments that truly count.

The fine line between sea and sky

Around September, I drove to this beautiful park in Palos Verdes, which isn’t too far from where I live. I’d like to think of it as my escape from the world. Quite pleasing to play the guitar whilst overlooking the magnificent scenery. To my dismay, I forgot to bring my digital camera along so I asked my friend, Mark, to take pictures with my iPhone. It may not be the best photo taken, but I believe the emotions that are evoked from it make it all worthwhile.

White Christmas

A blanket of white covers the wonderful city of Los Angeles. So maybe I didn’t get that white Christmas; the exceptional chill makes up for that. I look around me and Christmas hasn’t been the same ever since I’ve moved to SoCal. None of them Noche Buenas or opening presents at midnight. It certainly isn’t the same. It’s almost been three years since I’ve lived here. And I’ve got to say that despite the difficulties and the difference in celebration, the true meaning of Christmas still stands.

They say Thanksgiving was the biggest holiday around here. I can’t say that for myself since we didn’t have Thanksgiving back in the Philippines. I still find that Christmas is the most meaningful to me. Digging deeper to its definition, it means more to me than just the birth of Christ.

I’m so thankful that God has brought me this far in life. For so long, I’ve struggled to be perfect in all aspects. Without knowing, I turned away from Him just to push myself forward. How wrong was I? It was true when they said you wouldn’t have realized how far you’ve drifted until all you can see is water around you. Surely, I’m still afloat. Then again, how long can I keep floating? It’s time to return to shore.

Asian Picture FAIL

2009’s coming to a close and I can look back to see its many ups and downs. Some of which I’d love to block out of my mind, but you can’t have a high without a low. Falling in and falling out of love for the first time. Making friendships that I know are bound to last for a lifetime. The news of a very close friend giving birth. So much has happened in one year. Unbelievable how another one is about to start.

That One Friday

All I can do now is look back and wish for the best. I try hard to be optimistic. It’s a lot easier to be positive for someone else. When it comes to me, pessimism bites me in the butt. Time to change that. There’s a lot more moments that I look forward to. There’s no doubt that I’m scared or terrified. There’s no doubt that it’s easier said than done. It’s about time I really get a move on and do something about it, you know? Despite all the previous hardships and heartaches, I believe I can pass this year off as a stronger person. More memories to look forward to, I can surely say that.

I’ve been blogging on the same blog since I was 11 years old. Maybe it’s time for a change, but never will I forget the utter annoyances I had to endure as an early teen or the endless ramblings of school everyday. Hah, I’m pretty sure that might not be any different as to what I’ll be writing here. Anyway, time to start fresh, right? This has been my white Christmas. In all its purity, the memories and love I’ve received makes it up.

Well, would you look at that? The sun’s finally shining through the blank winter sky. It must be a sign. (:

Buried So Deep

i want to scream into a pillow. either that, or i’d just want to keep running, wishing the path never ended. i thought i threw my feelings away. i thought i was getting over it. turns out, i wasn’t. i just buried it so deep thinking that i wouldn’t be able to dig it up again. the irony is that he was the one who unearthed it for me. funny, though, i’m not going through a huge emotional breakdown. this is just one of those moments where you’d consider headdesking yourself for a certain amount of times…hard. in the end, all you can really say is, “well, that sucks. let’s move on.” that is exactly what i’m trying to do. it’s going to take a pretty long time until this happens.

on to the more positive things in life. Aced my Cultural Anthropology class! that’s one class down and one more to go. i had no idea how bored i’d be when one of my classes just ended. two more weeks until Calculus ends. until then, i’ll be drowning myself integrals and infinite series. there’s still hope for me to pass the class. and also, there’s still hope that i can even ace the class. i never thought i’d see the light!

a very special friend of mine just received one, if not, the best gifts in her life yesterday. she gave birth to a little baby boy! i haven’t seen pictures of him yet, but sooner or later, when she’s available, i’ll be able to. i just had this gut feeling she was going to give birth yesterday; she was MIA on my messenger list.

my friend gave birth, two weeks until Calculus ends and a broken heart to boot. i’m feeling like i’m at the crossroads with nowhere to go. i feel like i’m in a dream just hoping to wake up. what i’d love to do is just see the city lights and have time to think and breathe. i’m not making sense anymore.
i’m picking up a book to read and going to sleep. one of these days, i’ll pick up the pieces and my writings will appear quite sensical; only then you’ll know i’ve moved on.

Nothing But Noise

my writing streak has been growing colder than usual. the gaps tend to be larger than what they had been before. and it’s summer for crying out loud! then again, my summers have changed long before i could remember. there isn’t time to breathe anymore. if there is, i’d be doing so subconsciously, meaning in my sleep.

July has been rolling quickly with ever busy schedules. on the weekdays, i manage to fill my days and nights with mathematics. Calculus has been devouring me inside and out. after the outcome of the second exam, i knew i should have been pushing harder than before. on the weekends, i’ve got the usual at church. i also managed to squeeze time for people i haven’t seen in a while.

Mark brought Evan, Siyaada and me all over Downtown Los Angeles two weeks ago. even though i’ve lived here for two years, i haven’t exactly seen all the landmarks around here. i don’t know how we did so in one day, but we hit Hollywood, three malls and the Griffith Observatory all in Friday. by the time i got home, i was crazy exhausted.

it’s been so long since i’ve seen the city lights. Griffith Park was just icing on the cake. as i saw the view from the top and looked into the distance, everything was just nostalgic. i wish it was quiet though. it would’ve been the perfect place to sit and think, which i haven’t done so in a long while. there isn’t a place to be silent anymore. all i hear is noise.

last Friday, i had my first gig, which i was set up for last minute. thank you very much, Alden. |: i was intensely terrified but i managed to pull it off. my set was Wine Red by The Hush Sound, Reaching by Jason Reeves and my original called Captivated. i was shaking to the core. i didn’t realize that people started getting into it by the time i sang my second song; they clapped to the chorus. awesome yet scary.

i didn’t know how the day was going end up being. one thing was sure though; i made new friends and listened to new music. The Streetlight Kids and These Autumn Nights, i’m digging your style. (:

with Alden, Clark and Stephanie, we had dinner in Mitsuwa and got lost in Palos Verdes all the way until midnight. saw the stars and city lights on the hill. a time of talk and chilling. (: by the time i got home, it was two in the morning. i haven’t been out that late since prom. i yearn for more nights like that.

and now, i bid you adieu. back to the noise, back to the homework and back to reality. i need my escape.

Planetarium

i woke up in the middle of the night and signed onto Facebook. crazy, it may seem. i left my computer on again when i fell asleep a few hours ago. i was reading old messages from people. just as Daryl had mentioned earlier, when you look back at the past, it makes you wonder how you were that kind of person.

my friends are graduating in an estimated twelve hours. i can’t believe time flies so fast. one year ago, i graduated. finally, it’s them going up on that stage. though things look like they’re turning for the better, i can’t help but feel like some of things will begin to fall away. Mark’s going to end up going to the same college as me. while that’s true, Kimberly’s moving to San Diego. things do change but i wish they didn’t have to.

BUMP OF CHICKEN’s プラネタリウム suddenly enters my mind. when it did, all those memories surfaced once again and felt like it became concrete. i wish i could stop time and just relax without a care. events like this make me want to just stay put and relive the days where everything felt free. reality sure is difficult, isn’t it?

one of these days, i’d like to lay under the stars just like when i was only fifteen. just when i thought time should go by faster so that i’d have more freedom, i realized that i was able to spread my wings farther before than now. i don’t know when i’ll be able to do that again. in due time, i guess. but for now, it’s best to hang on to those moments that have passed.

summer just began and school’s starting next week. it may seem that i’m trapped but i’m hoping to have a summer that i won’t regret. maybe, sooner or later, i can gaze at the stars again.