Saturday, August 9, 2014

We, the Visitors

I don't live in this world. I only visit here. And I'm sure many of you are the same. Our lands are Narnia, Hogwarts, The Enterprise, and even a castle in Scotland owned by a 16th century laird. But we all live in that other world called Story, that other world people of this world refer to as fiction. But to us, that other world is home. And here, we are only visiting. This is not where we live.

People of this world don't understand why we keep coming back to that world. Some of them scoff when they see us going around with our little portals. Some of them think highly of us and think we're educated when we go around with our portals. Books, they call them. But others think we're being reclusive and anti-social, when these tools, made from the trunks of trees and enchanted by words and ink, are really just keys back to our world, our home, where we take refuge. We may live in different lands. Some of us live with witches and wizards in a world full of magic. Others live in kingdoms where they serve a hero, a king they are loyal to. And others live in ranches in the new world with a kind man they take care of. But we all live in that world that is just and honorable, where the lines of good and evil are clearer. It is a world that is fair, where dreams come true and each character matters, where friendship lasts and adventure is present and chivalry is alive and love conquers all. It is a world that is, at heart, true. And that is why we call it home. That is why we keep coming back.

Bear with us, people of this world, when it seems like this world overwhelms us. During those times, you may find us frequently poring through our bookly portals in an attempt to escape, to go home. We cannot help but compare. And we know it's unfair of us to compare your world to ours when your world brings its own good things, like how emotions seem to be stronger here. Forgive us when we compare your men to ours. We are still learning to understand how much more painful the breaking of a heart is here in your world than it is in ours. We are only beginning to understand how betrayals and broken hearts in your world call demons you have to fight on your own, all the while nursing that broken heart of yours. Forgive us when we compare your women to ours, how your women are too strong, they're no longer sweet, and how they seem to have become socially male. We're only beginning to understand how much more complex these human relationships you have to decipher and deal with are. And deal with them, you do, all the while worrying about bills and payroll and rents, which we don't really think about much in our world.

Forgive us for being slow to understand, but also bear with us when we cry and retreat into our world, our just and honorable world, where we are so much more protected than you are in yours. Forgive us and know that we will always come back. For we are duty-bound to bring the true heart of our world into this, into this world that sorely lacks it. We are duty-bound to use the power of our world, stories, to show people that friendship can last, and that adventure can be found, and that true love does exist. We are here to be what our world is: just, honorable, and true. But bear with us for we, too, are mortals. We, too, are corruptible. We, too, falter. We, too, get disheartened. Just like you, we, too, can forget who we are. But we are here, among you, to love and be loved, and to make this world of yours, this world we visit, a good place to be in for all of us.

Yours in love and story,

The Visitors

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gender Roles, Role Gaps, and the "De-fanging" of a Generation of Men

My brother and I had a discussion this evening about men and women today versus how they were before. This discussion was brought about by another discussion I had with two other guys a few days prior regarding gender roles, and this time from the side of the men.

To summarize, here was what came up from the discussions.

On Gender Roles
Women empowerment today would see women succeed in male-dominated industries. It's all about equality. It's not a bad thing. But my guy friends' argument is, if women are celebrated for doing something that's previously a guy thing, why is it frowned upon if men choose to stay home and do the housework? Women today are given so much support by media and non-profit organizations. The Filipina has always been strong. And women empowerment have made them even stronger. But who's supporting the men?

Another thing one of my friends brought up is that women in his circle tend to impose on him their idea of how a man should be. My friends ask, who is to say how a man should or shouldn't be? If he chooses to be sensitive and non-confrontational, why is that deemed "not how a man should be?" If a girl takes control, and he chooses not to wrench that control from her, why does that make him less of a man? Somehow it seems that the scale is not a balanced one, but one that favors the women.

Is this what we want in our society? What exactly do we want?

The Role Gap
Women have taken on male roles. They are now in the workplace. They are now independent. But another thing that was raised was this: who's taking on the women's roles? My brother argues that somehow there is a role gap happening now that a lot of women have vacated their role in the home. Yayas and iPads have replaced what mothers used to do. What are the implications of this? Are we okay with this?

The "De-fanging" of Men
The third point raised is this (and I think a lot of girls will agree with this): The men haven't been as aggressive as they used to be.

The roles of women have changed over the years. Now, they can lead a company, make their own money, go virtually wherever they want. Many of them have become more successful than their male counterparts. And yet many of them still want to marry men who are more powerful than them in terms of finances and stature. And it seems so hard to find them nowadays. Just to try to verify, I checked out my own friends list and put in two lists my single girl friends and single guy friends. And I can't match them if I take into consideration career and position. Most of the girls on my list had higher positions than the guys on my list.

This, according to some guy friends, was because the women wanted to lead. And the guys, being gentlemen, wouldn't wrestle that power from the girls. And the women argue it's because the men don't take the lead when there's a situation, and so she takes the control because he doesn't. And the men argue the situation isn't even critical yet and the women worry too much and too soon. Guys, they told me, had a higher tolerance level for problems that girls. It hasn't even reached that threshold, the girls already panic and nag and take control. But in the guys' view, there's no problem yet. (Can you verify, guys?)

Others attribute the lack of drive to the lack of something to fight for. Women, when they think they're still treated less than the men, will strive for empowerment and equality. The gay, since a big part of society still hasn't accepted them, will strive for rights. But what of the men? What will they fight for? In the past, they fought to protect the family. But in this modern day and age, what is there to fight for?

I'd also like to know what men are fighting for these days. And what do you think it would take for men to grow their fangs back? Or would they even want to?

The above discussion is not meant to offend or put down any one gender. It is only a compilation of thoughts and opinions meant to discuss the topic of gender and roles of today, and I would appreciate your own thoughts on the matter. Feel free to post non-violent comments below. But discuss, don't fight.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Unlocking my Way to New Things

Who would have thought 2014 would be such an eventful year for me? It's not yet even half of the year  and I've already given five talks, one on compassion, can you believe it? I've been to Tarlac, Ozamis, and Ilocos. And tomorrow, I'm flying to Vietnam. I've done huge changes in Komikasi. And this year, I started a new business with a partner I wouldn't normally think of getting. Heck, normally, I wouldn't get a partner. For that, I joined an incubation program. And suddenly I am introduced to the wonderful world of startups. I didn't have this kind of support when I started Komikasi. But for Unlock & Load, Ideaspace opened my world to mentors, co-incubatees, and a partner. It's just so... different, and I love it! Oh there are struggles. What decent enterprise doesn't? But suddenly there are just so many personalities in the picture. 

I said I would do this right this time. My life lesson these past few years is in rejoicing in every circumstance. My problem was that even though blessings flowed and there was so much to be thankful for, I wasn't happy. But I will do it right this time. I will enjoy every step of the way of this.

Unlock & Load will be going into Beta soon. Like our page! We'll announce the start of the Beta there. :)

Life as a Video Game: The Princess and One True Love

As people who are always so busy with work, my friends and I often find our topic of conversation in the realms of love and relationship when we want to unwind. I guess it's because of the influence of Disney movies, but some of us tend to see finding "the one" as the end. For most women, it's a good end. I find my prince and we live happily ever after, the end. For some guys, they verbalize it as a bad end. Game over, pare, you've been caught. But either way, I don't think it's a good way to think of marriage and relationship. Marriage is the beginning of a partnership. Not the end of a quest. If we see marriage as the end all, then after the marriage, what else is there? The objective has been met, but the game isn't done yet. 

If we think about life as a level of a game, our one true love isn't the princess we need to save. It's the rare item we pick up along the way. The princess we need to save is actually the representation of our life mission. Our one true love is the power up that gives us an advantage as we go on our quest to save the princess.

Friday, February 14, 2014

To the Next Stage

It's Valentine's day, and these past few weeks have been... heartbreaking. Changes in the company's structure have been difficult for me. But while a part is sad, I am still grateful for a lot of things. I looked up the name Valentine when I was younger. And I found out that it meant "strong one." How apt. This is a day for the strong. So for the ones who kept strong to keep their relationships alive, for the ones who took heart and was strong enough to make known their feelings, for the ones who are strong in waiting, for the ones who are strong in their loneliness, this day is for you.

Happy Day of the Strong! And this song is for you, who like me, find themselves at the end of something and at the beginning of something else. 321!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Take Flight

A week left before the end of January. Things have been going so fast recently I haven't had a lot of time to just think. And imagine. And wish. I used to dream a lot before. I used to dream constantly. But the cares of the world tend to rob you of that. And you end up using your free time making business proposals, and your free brain power to find ways to make enough money before payroll. And at the end of the day... Sigh.

I have forgotten the pleasures of my field. It is a sad sad thing. It's not an age thing. My forty-plus-year-old friend has band practice tonight and what am I doing? Staring at my laptop, thinking if I should go finish on a Friday night that quotation for a bid that's due on Monday. It's a heart thing. And I'm just so glad our Pastor, Joey Bonifacio, had me called for a meeting yesterday, to basically just chat. And he told me then about how we live in a value-based world, and how the things you value in your life has to be in good order.

I think I wrote about this in an earlier entry, but I loved his insights on values and how to move people. But this also made me realize that one of the values in my life that has suffered a lot, especially in relation to my work, was pleasure. Enjoyment. Fun. How ironic when I'm in the game industry. I haven't played any hardcore games in a while. I haven't read any romance or fantasy novels in a while. But I know I need to stop and find the enjoyment again.

So tonight I won't make the quote. I'll do that on Monday. Tonight, I will dream. I will imagine like I don't need money, like I have all the time in the world, like I have the courage to do all of these.
  • I'd like to pursue God more. I'm attracted to the whole concept of God. More so after I really started following him 3 or 4 years ago. It's hard, mind you. How can you say, "Your will be done," and whine at the circumstance you are faced, right? But such is the story of my life. I whine. I fear. But I have encountered Him before. And I've felt him wash over my heart like flowing water. It's hard to describe. But my loyalty is with him. And I'd like to get my life in order in pursuit of Him.
  • I'd like to fall in love with someone. The story of my life is overthought and underfelt. I wish my heart would start beating again. I wish a man would go out of his way to make my heart beat again. I wish I would see something in someone that I would find impressive. I wish my heart would wake up already.
  • I'd like to fall in love with something. When I was younger, I liked certain things to the point of obsession. Now, I hardly feel. I feel a little, then it fades quickly, like as if my heart were a bucket with holes. I haven't been drawn to a story lately. I haven't had that infusion of adrenaline lately that would cause me to create an 87-piece illustrated card deck in two weeks, and that while I had work everyday! I want that kind of drive back. I wish my heart would wake up already.
  • I wish to travel to another country and live there for a month. It's been a while since I traveled. I wish I can go to Europe. Maybe on a scholarship or an internship. I don't like going to a place for vacation for so long. It bores me. But if I were to go somewhere on a project, that would be so much fun. Then after Europe, maybe I'll go back to Japan for another month. I need to see things and experience new culture. I feel so stagnant lately. I need novelty and new insights.
  • I'd like to apprentice myself under Richard Branson. I think over his business skills, what I found appealing was how he enjoyed his business.
  • I'd like to go to Il Ballo del Doge in Venice during Carnivale season. The Ball of the Duke is probably one of the most expensive and pretentious gatherings I know. But for one night, I'd like to be pretentious and extravagant, complete with brocade gown and fake hair. After that, I wouldn't be able to help myself, and I'd probably make one similar to that in Vigan or something.
  • I'd like to go an a cruise. Disney cruise is what I really want to try. Actually, I imagined it might be fun working on a cruise ship. But I don't think I have any skills a cruise ship can actually use. But yes, a cruise.
  • I'd like to take maybe half a year off and go all over the Philippines gathering stories from oral tradition... Does NCCA have a grant like that? I can make a book or a game or digital repository in exchange.
  • I'd like to buy a property on Talicud and make it into a wellness and longevity spa. I'm thinking around 3 ha. would be enough. And the cool thing about it is a big part of its electricity will be off-grid.
  • I'd like to open a cafe. I'll source the coffee locally. And there will be games.
  • I'd like to explore working on projects that deal with human interaction and relationships in relation to social media. Yes, that fascinates me at the moment.
  • I'd like to design clothes again.
  • I'd like to finally have that oven fixed and start experimenting again on cakes, pastries and candies. Not as a business but just as a hobby.
  • And last but not the least, I'd like to finish writing those books already!