Jobert and The Doctor
Jobert has informed me that there's an animated Dr. Who series featuring the last doctor at the BBC site. Just check out this link.

I do like the Doctor's stories; they remind me of the pulp novels of Lester Dent / Kenneth Robeson... and I used to watch the series on KQED / KTEH public television in the U.S.

"That's why they sent me here... I know about monsters. I'm The Doctor." - The Doctor, Scream of the Shalka
Flaming Sickle
Brimstone and Treacle
Purple Pickle

POE? Nevermore...
From the Philippine Inquirer:
THE PESO dropped to its lowest levels against the dollar on Thursday as the market scrambled for dollars on worries over the candidacy of movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. for president and a possible downgrade of the country's debt ratings from Moody's Investor Services, analysts said.

"FPJ has created further risk and this is how the market reacted," Astro del Castillo, director of the Association of Securities Analysts of the Philippines (ASAP) told

"The market is very concerned right now," technical analyst Fitzgerald Aclan said in a separate interview.

"It's a speculative trade, with the market focused largely on the bad news. And in a jittery market, the focus on the bad news is exaggerated," a commercial bank dealer told AFX Asia.

The peso slid to 55.85 to the dollar shortly after it opened at 55.80. It closed at 55.69 on volume of 168 million dollars.

But I guess it COULD just be propaganda. Take a look at this opposing view from... the opposition:

MALACANANG is behind the manipulation of the Philippine peso that has fallen to its lowest, a day after popular movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. announced his candidacy for president, a staunch supporter of Poe in the Senate said Thursday.

"That's a manipulation of Malacanang, that's the angle they will try to project to blame FPJ (the actor's initials) for the depreciation of the peso," Minority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III said in a telephone interview.

Sotto said they expected negative reports to hound Poe in the coming days.

Meanwhile, we suffer the effects of their shenanigans.

she·nan·i·gan ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sh-nn-gn)
n. Informal

1. A deceitful trick; an underhanded act.
Remarks intended to deceive; deceit. Often used in the plural.

2. A playful or mischievous act; a prank.
Mischief; prankishness. Often used in the plural.
Hinirang RPG: Setting
Now that we're wrapping up the initial version of the Game System, we're turning our eyes to the Setting and a campaign. Given that this will not be your standard D&D campaign... the medieval-ish campaign with elves and dwarves and dungeons... the initial campaign should reflect the potential of Hinirang, though it may not delve into it as deeply at the start.

Basics - I want the springboard for the campaign setting to be a bit of a ways from Ciudad Meijora. It has to be far enough away from the Ciudad so that there isn't a lot of military and magical firepower that the Ispancialo side can draw from, so that a fairly strong Katao presence can be felt. It can't be too far away... the Katao shouldn't be able to easily kick out the Ispancialo presence either, or they risk the wrath of Ispancio upon their way of life.

An uneasy peace.

I'd like it to be a springboard to adventures in the countryside as well. A waypoint for adventurers, travellers, and traders. A listening post for the Ispancialo, planning further annexations of the land. A nexus of trade for the Tsino. Further north, perhaps separated by water, mountains, or powerful magic lie the Higantes and Great Monsters of Hinirang. Stories of wealth and lost Ispancialo expeditions find their way to this place. Joint Katao and Ispancialo hunts in the surrounding countryside during the times of the month that the manananggal and Asuang and other creatures begin terrorizing nearby villages.

Perhaps it can most easily be reached by riverway, limiting the chance of a mounted host of Ispancialo soldiers charging into the place?
Who's Richard Dragon?
From Comic Book Resources:

by Arune Singh, Staff Writer
Posted: November 26, 2003

Color and B&W versions of the first issue cover.
Chuck Dixon. Scott McDaniel.

Combining those two names alone will cause many fans of DC Comics to salivate and sweetening the deal is the focus on martial arts guru Richard Dragon, the cult favorite hero who's ready to make his return to the big time. With the official announcement of the hero's new titular series at Wizard World Texas, CBR News caught up with Scott McDaniel to find out more about the mysterious Dragon.

"This series promises to reestablish Richard Dragon as the undisputed, premier martial artist in the DCU. No longer can you debate who is the master of this type of combat," says the artist.

"Despite what you think you know about him, you don't. This series promises a fresh look at the man, his origin, and the terrible trials he has, and will, face."

I first read about Richard Dragon, Lady Shiva, and Ben Turner in the Green Rose barber shop in Greenhills. I was hooked by the martial arts action (though the art style had an unusual way of depicting motion lines and impacts), and was more than a little amused at the similarity to Marvel's Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu.

As the years went on, I was surprised by how often they would refer to characters in the series. Ben Turner (despite having been turned into an assassin and the redeeming himself) seemed to enjoy the greatest prominence with his presence in the Ostrander-penned series "Suicide Squad". Even became the beau of The Vixen for a while. Lady Shiva played a prominent role in "The Question" series, as did Richard Dragon. Lady Shiva however has become more of a villain-for-hire and possibly the best martial artist in the DC Universe as shown in her appearances in the "Green Arrow" series with Connor Hawke and the Tim Drake "Robin" mini-series. Poor Richard, white male icon that he was, never seemed to prosper.

Except for that whole time in "The Question" when he pretended to be crippled. That sneaky $(#*&%!

And now he's back with the creative team that made Nightwing a hit. Can't wait!
Bloggers, Unite!
Just went to the Philippine Blog Awards website. There are apparently quite a number of outstanding bloggers in the country. I probably won't be able to check them all... but I did find someone's blog quite interesting. In fact, I found the Blog Awards site through Jobert's blog.

He's got a lot of cool links to Philippine-related sites, which will become important in my Hinirang research.

He's also probably the psychic dude who managed to:
1) guess / hear my sister's name;
2) tell me that our relatives "on the other side" wanted to say hi to her;
3) freak me out.

All in G4 Starbucks with my friend Aye, and other folks, over a cuppa joe. If it's not him, apologies.
My cellphone died
I weep.

Brand new... barely 2 months old... screen went black. Cannot recharge or reset!

Why? Why? WHY? Haven't even fully paid it off yet. Gah... will lose some cell numbers I think...
Hinirang RPG:An Update
We playtested the fledgling Hinirang RPG ruleset with a fairly flexible setting: the setting of Fading Suns. I played rather well, despite having to refer to the various Fading Suns rulebooks and converting stats on the spot. The core mechanic of Attempts and Difficulties, and Margins of Success and Failure all worked out nicely.

A revelation was the multiple initiatives: having Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Aspects each with their own initiative could have been too clunky... but it played out rather well. Psychic abilities and Theurgy / Magick were still closely tied to the FS paradigm however... but they worked out fine as well.

I'll have to define when to use Skill Rolls and Attribute Rolls a bit better though. I'd like to reserve Attribute Rolls to be the equivalent of "Saving Throws", rather than a more cost-effective substitute for skills. No more intellect-based perception rolls... it'll be Intellect + Awareness or nothing.

One comment I received was how effective someone could really be if they poured points into a particular aspect. And this was true... J's character really shone in the Physical Aspect (with a touch of the Jury-Rigging Han Solo), while KnightJinx's character dominated the Spiritual Arena. K8's character surprised everyone with her psychic abilities... tied to the Physical and Emotional Aspects.

Can't wait for the next session - but I have to prepare...
Point and Counter
Too often scholars arguing based on ancient evidence that we are all descended from space aliens are dismissed as crackpots. In this intriguing link, an individual has seen fit to answer and refute claims by one such crackpot... er... scholar.

That scholar is some dude named Sitchin...
From AEGIS to Hinirang
Here's a little tidbit that may interest us Hinrang-oriented folk:

If you are interested in the origins of the Abu Sayyaf and the tradition of maritime raiding and kidnapping in the Southern Philippines, a great book to read would be "Iranun and Balangingi: Globalization, Maritime Raiding & the Birth of Ethnicity" by James Francis Warren. It traces the origins and activities of these feared raiders. Have you ever wondered why the Spaniards built medieval style watch-towers along our coasts all the way up to Northern Luzon? It was because of these guys. The Iranun, Ilanoon or I-Lanawen (people of Lanao) and the Samal-Balangingi conducted their slaving raids and were funded and organized by the Tausog datus of Sulu, and armed by the British (who wanted them to disrupt colonies of their business rivals, the Dutch and Spanish, and who depended on products gathered by the raiders' victims for trade with China), and Americans, who had nothing else to trade in the area. The Cagayan connection? The Balangingi were scattered after a ferocious assault by the Spaniards on their island stronghold in the 1850s. The survivors were deported to Cagayan to work in Spanish plantations, but many held on to their old traditions.

The book is available in National bookstore (about P700) in the Filipiniana section. The Singaporean edition has a drawing of a 19th century Iranun warrior with a banca and Abu Sayyaf-types with M-16s in the foreground.

Damn - now I'm gonna be tempted to buy this book. Hopefully, it is hardcover and too heavy to carry.