Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Case for Cases

With something as important as a smartphone nowadays, it's best to make it last in the long run. Constantly buying smartphones is unhealthy for the wallet so taking care of your cellphone is essential to constant access to communication. One of the biggest causes of a smartphone's death is accidental dropping. Just one momentary drop would cause your cellphone to have a brain hemorrhage and cease to function aside from being a well-designed brick. This is where cases come in.

Full disclosure: I work as a salesman for a cellphone company so I deal with cellphones that range from good to garbage quite a lot every day. It pains me to see a phone with a cracked screen but I'm not telling you to buy a cellphone from the company I work for.

With something as expensive as a smartphone, protection is necessary because a phone is a necessity, not just a vanity item. It's not unheard of to have no landline in a household because cellphones are much more convenient. Whether prepaid or postpaid, a cellphone is a part of daily living and losing a naked cellphone through gravity makes one get filled with the five steps of grief. And yes, I did say "naked cellphone".

The simplest way to take care of a phone is with a case because a drop could affect not just the screen but also the internals of a phone. One instance I remember while writing this, a customer brought an LG Nexus 5 phone that didn't have a working screen. The screen wasn't cracked but it wasn't working either. He said it fell on one specific corner that killed the phone's screen capabilities. Had he just bought a case for that phone, it could've have a chance in surviving.

With a pricey cellphone, you'd want to make your hard-earned money worthwhile. It goes the same for phones that are 100 dollars. It's not everyday you can spend that kind of money on a phone and that's not including the taxes and monthly bill payments that come with it unless you're rich or an idiot who breaks their phone all the time.

Usually, the more popular a phone is, the more likely are cases available for it. The cheapest option is to buy a case from a dollar store. Dollar stores usually have cases for the latest models of iPhones and Samsung phones but does it feel worth it though? The logic behind dollar store cases doesn't really seem safe in the long run. Sure, you bought a 2-dollar case but does it provide enough safety in case of a drop? Unless the case is actually pretty good, avoid dollar store cases because you did save 18 dollars on a case but it might just cost you a few hundred for a new phone after one timely drop. A case that provides nothing but to look pretty may not be the safest option.

Something that doesn't feel safe are those silicone cases that collect dust. You know those? The rubbery thin cases that feel like they're made of yogurt. These are the least protective cases unless you have those cases that look like cute bears. Those can at least withstand a minor fall.

But let's talk about my phone for a second. It's an Asus Zenfone 2 and I love it to death. I've accidentally dropped it several times and so far, it survived every one of them. Just so I don't have to deal with grieving over a cracked phone, I searched online for a case that focuses on protection instead of style.

I use this kind of case for my Zenfone 2. With a case like this, I have a phone that feels chunky and massive but that's okay because it can resist a drop more than a regular case. Plus, "chunky" and "massive" are the same adjectives I can use about the kind of hands I have. I have dropped my phone a few times but thanks to this case, the phone survived each drop with no damage whatsoever. Not even scratches.

Another phone I have that I use as a backup is the Moto E 2nd Generation that I bought on Black Friday 2015. Just to be on the safe side, I bought a 15-dollar case with it as well. Not just any cheap case though. A hybrid case that involves plastic and rubber that makes the phone feel bulletproof. Not literally but I like the security it gives my backup phone.

These cases have provided my cellphones at least a chance of survival in the case of an accidental drop and I recommend getting thick, secure cases for your smartphones. I can't stress the importance of cellphone cases enough. Don't be smug and say "I'm always careful with my phones". It never hurts to be safe because if you keep your guard down at the right moment, you'll lose your tool for communication in the world.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Ralph's Writing Collection - How I Never Met Your Mother [Part 39] – I Hope You Don't Mind

Kids, lets skip to February of 2012, just so we could end this story with Jill. Sometimes when you think you’re doing something right, you’re actually making it worse. That’s when you give up – when you’ve tried your hardest to make things right and nothing seemed to change. With something as delicate as the act of forgiveness and with an attitude like Jill’s from tourism, you’re running a fine line with disaster.


My first attempt at apologizing to Jill didn’t go as well as I had hoped. For starters, she didn’t want to see me nor did she want to hear my apology.
Ralph: Jill, I’m sorry.
Jill: Whatever. Whatever.
Ralph: I didn’t know what I did—
Jill: Whatever. Whatever.


When my friends found out what happened, they totally felt bad for me. I mean, it’s not every day that I’m nice to anyone and I get insulted like that. But that didn’t really bother me. If I wanted to stay friends with Jill, I should at least remedy whatever mistake I did. And I remember telling your Aunt Karina:

Ralph: I'm not giving up on her.

[I should've given up on her.]
Ralph: This girl could be special.
[She was the devil.]
Ralph: I’m gonna apologize and things are going to work out with Jill.
[No they're not, dumbass.]

So I thought about paying Mediartrix, a musical theatre organization in UST, for a serenade. Your Uncle Martin and your Aunt May would help me with that. I actually had everything planned. Days before February 14, I had a sign that said “I'M REALLY SORRY” written in the How I Met Your Mother font. Martin and May would sing the song and judge Jill’s reaction. If Jill liked it, they’d give her the sign and she’d know who it’s from.
Before I could do that though, I needed help once again in Jill’s schedule. I called your Aunt Camille U. for help.

Ralph: Camille! I need Jill’s schedule again.
Camille: What do you need it for?
Ralph: For Jill!
Camille: You’re gonna have her serenaded?! But she’s a glitch!
[She didn’t say “glitch” but you get the point.]
Ralph: One last apology then I’m done!
Camille: Idiot! Okay, I’ll call you later.
Ralph: Thanks, Camille~

40 minutes later, Camille got me the schedule.

Camille: 2.30pm at room 116.

Ralph: Why can’t they stay put in one room?! Sorry, not the point. Thanks again, Camille!

And you wonder why people don’t like me. Anyway, it couldn’t get any worse, right?
When we arrived at the Albertus Magnus building, I asked the guard where room 116 was. It was in a hallway but it looked more like an alley. I expected trashcans and a homeless man outside the classrooms. When we got there, I suddenly had a thought. Something I really didn’t think through.

Ralph: Wait, how do we get you guys in there? Do we just ask the professor and interrupt his class? Oh god, we are so gonna get stabbed.

To this day, I still don’t know why I thought I was gonna get stabbed that time.]

Thankfully, your Aunt May had friends in that section and they let them enter. The professor, for some ungodly reason, allowed the serenade to take place. I didn’t want to enter the classroom yet because, again, the lingering thought of getting stabbed was running through my mind. I’ve watched the anime School Days a little too much the past few weeks, that’s why.


Your Uncle Martin was really a good singer, judging by the reaction from Jill's classmates in room 116. It was either that or those girls were trying to drown him out with their screams. I was never sure. I was just outside holding a sign. I heard the chorus of the song Uncle Martin chose to sing. Elton John’s “Your Song”. “I hope you don’t mind,I hope you don't mind that I put down in words. How wonderful life is while you're in the world.

After the song had stopped, your Aunt May called me to enter. It was the finale. When I entered the “I’m really sorry” sign, they all went “Awww”. Even their professor was smiling. I didn’t need to say anything because the message was clear. I was sorry. It was a good gesture. Or at least I thought it was.


Later that day, I checked Twitter and a friend of mine showed me a tweet from Jill. She said that I basically “ruined Valentine’s Day for her” by having a song dedicated to her. I wanted to throw my cellphone when I read that.

That’s when I gave up. No matter how hard I tried, no matter what I did, I could never reach her. I could never get her to forgive me. Oh well. My friends didn’t like how it turned out. Aunt May and Uncle Martin got mad when I told them. They knew about the effort I’m exerting to get this girl to forgive me, to just be friends again, and they hated Jill for not even giving me a simple thank you. Oh well.
I even remember what your Aunt May said.

[Except she didn't say "glitch"]

And kids, sometimes when you do something nice for someone, it could go both ways. Sometimes they appreciate it and sometimes they'll hate you for it. Jill never wanted to see my face again and that’s alright. The only reason to give up is not when something goes wrong – it’s when you know you’ve done everything you could but nothing ever changed.

And you wanna know the funny thing about this? I asked my classmate Camille about it and she told me that Jill misunderstood a tweet I posted, thinking that it was directed at her. So after all the conversations, the offering of that guest spot for the radio show, the personal delivery of that stuffed pink puppy after finding out her schedule, Jill gets mad at me for a simple misunderstanding that wasn't my fault.

Back then, she and I would talk for hours with random conversations and jokes about friends and the university in general. I'd always reply to her whenever I can and she did the same. Everything I wanted in a woman, she had it all. She was pretty. She was alluring. She was gorgeous. She was smart. She was funny. She was sarcastic. She got me.

And now it's all over. Oh well.

What I thought was there, she thought differently. That was the last time I did anything nice for a girl I like.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ralph's Writing Collection - How I Never Met Your Mother [Part 36] – Rock Bottom

Kids, when you’ve done something wrong to someone by accident, that’s alright. It can be corrected. However, that opportunity to be corrected depends on the person you’re trying to apologize to. I’ll get to that later. 

In December 15 of 2011, after finally meeting Jill from tourism, I thought everything would be golden. I thought everything would be nice and alright. Boy was I wrong. When my friends found out what I did for Jill, they were somehow impressed. Heck, just 30 minutes after meeting Jill, I already waited outside room 209 where your Aunt Angel was having classes. My friend Jasmine was there for some reason and we had a conversation.

Jasmine: Where have you been?
Ralph: I was at CTHM. I met this girl
Jasmine: Oooh, how’d you meet her?
Ralph: Twitter. After 5 months of talking to her, I started to like her so I gave her a gift.
Jasmine: Really?! How?
Ralph: Got her schedule from the CTHM dean’s office. They thought Karina was shifting.
[They actually did.]
Jasmine: Oh my god, I can’t believe you actually did that!
Ralph: What, what? Is that bad? I knew it was bad! It’s creepy!
Jasmine: Nooo! It’s a good thing. 


For a while, several of my classmates thought I was a sweet guy instead of this sarcastic villain they see. And for a while, Jill and I were tweeting with each other more constantly than ever.

However, it came to a sudden halt.

I was seeing the misery of my classmate and all of his “sophomore hardships” that he was talking about. I was just laughing at whatever he posted. He was miserable. So I posted “Laughing at other people’s misery” on Twitter. So what does this have to do with anything? I’ll tell you later.

At the same time, Jill was posted on Twitter that she wanted a guy best friend that would be mistaken for her boyfriend. I, in my everlasting weirdness, wanted to shout “I VOLUNTEER!”


But when I tried to reply to that tweet, there was a problem. I couldn’t. “You are not allowed to perform this action” or a similar error message like that. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

When I checked Facebook, it informed that I was no longer friends with Jill. I clicked her profile and it said “Page not found”. Of course I thought it was just a momentary error but then I realized that it wasn’t. A friend of mine showed me her posts on Twitter and it was basically referring to someone to shut up. That someone was me. And I felt terrible.

I asked your Aunt Miho for help.

Ralph: She blocked me on Facebook and Twitter. How else am I going to apologize.

Miho: You have to apologize in person.
Ralph: Wait, what? You wanna have me killed?
[I bet she did, really]
Miho: No, come on, it’s the only thing you need to do if you want to end up as the good guy here.
Ralph: But I am the good guy here!
Miho: Not to her! When you apologize, it’s up to her what to do. The ball’s in her court.
Ralph: Alright, alright.

So days before January 3, the resumption of classes, I already planned on what I would say to Jill. 

Ralph: I didn’t know what I said that made you mad. It may have been a misinterpretation of words or bad timing but I’m really, really sorry. 

I asked my friend Jasmine to review that. She said it was simple yet effectively meaningful.

That’s what I planned on saying. Instead, when the day arrived and I was already in the CTHM building…

Ralph: Jill, I didn’t know what I said that made you mad—
Jill: Whatever.
[She really said that.]
Ralph: I’m really sorry—
Jill: Whatever.
Ralph: Come on, whatever I said—
Jill: Whatever! Whatever!


As the door to her classroom slowly shut, I leaned back to a wall nearby. Time stopped. It felt like everyone around me disappeared. I wanted to rewind time. A second chance maybe? A second go for an apology for something I didn't do.

The song “Hero” by Regina Spektor played in my head in a constant loop. “I’m the hero of this story, don’t need to be saved. I’m the hero of this story, don’t need to be saved.” I didn’t know what else to do. I didn't know anyone in the building to talk to. I felt alone. I didn't need to stay there. Why was I still in that hallway? Staring at a door that I know will never open for me again. Time resumed. I realized I was back in reality. I walked through a crowd of tourism students, some had already seen what happened, most likely thinking "He deserved that". I just wanted to go back to my building and regret everything.

Obviously not the best outcome but it wasn’t the worst. The worst would be Jill suddenly stabbing me School Days-style in front of cheering girls from CTHM who thought I was a stalker. That was the first of many times she would call me that but I’ll get to that later.

I went back to room 209 to talk to your aunts Angel and Inah. They looked at me from inside the classroom and smiled, silently asking me how it went. I just shook my head slowly, silently delivering the bad news. They both ran out of the room and ask what happened.

Angel: What happened?!
Ralph: She… didn’t listen to me.
Inah: What do you mean?
Ralph: I go there to apologize, and she was having none of it...

To this day, your Aunt Inah says that it was the first time she actually saw I was hurt. She saw the pain in my eyes somehow and it was new for her because I wasn’t this bully that I usually was. I was a guy who lost a friend or something more.

The story with Jill is not over though. I’ll get to that.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"How soon is enough?"

You know me, I hate getting crushes nowadays because, like a greasy boulder on stilts at the edge of a cliff, I fall easily. I don't have perfect vision but hindsight is always 20/20 so I can admit that I have a rough time trying to cope with liking a girl. Just like how the friendship with a certain Sociology girl worked out. Just like how a failed romantic gesture with a Tourism girl worked out. That's why I always try to stay away from girls whenever I can (not gay). But the thing about me is that I'm a love addict - I fully admit it.  I like the idea of having a crush because the feeling of liking someone is great but I loathe the feeling of "This is bound to end badly". You can't spell "crush" without "rush" and that's why I'm a love addict. A love junkie. Infatuated with infatuation. I could go on with this.

That's why I haven't had a successful relationship in a while. I just love the highs and hate the lows, like a real druggie on welfare. And for the meantime, I don't think I'll be ready for one even if a relationship knocks in my door and offers me cake and video games.

But recently, I've started to like this girl near the place I work for about a month now. Oh god, her accent is pretty awesome. And she looks amazing! Surprisingly (or pathetically), I got the nerve to ask for her name but not her number so at 23, I still need to work on this socializing skill that everyone keeps talking about. She and I have been talking for about a month and a half and it's been alright. Having enough inside jokes is worth it because we actually have something to talk about.

Recently, this girl passed by where I work and talked to me for a short while as I started helping a customer.

When she left, not realizing the customer was still in front of me, I instinctively said "She's so pretty..."

"She really is!" the customer said.

"I'm sorry I accidentally told you that. Haha! I've been trying to get her number, that's why. I've only been talking to her for like a month and a half. It's just too soon."

The customer asked me "How soon is enough?"

That's when it hit me. In those three seconds, I realized how my overthinking will be the death of me. I already was overthinking 4 years ago back in university with the two girls who broke my heart and I don't blame them for doing so anymore. I can admit it's partly my fault. And I'm sure this'll how it ends, of course.

And I know for a fact that nothing will change no matter how hard I try. Ha! It's just the way it is.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Post 2 - July 3, 2012

Hey! This story isn't dead! Sorry for not updating it in this blog sooner.


July 3, 2012
Posted by Jason at 3:21pm

Another post? Awesome! It’s after school so I have time to write on this blog.

Have I told you about my friend Joey? I think I did in the last post but lemme tell you how awesome the guy is. I’ve known him since high school and he’s been a blast to be with. Like, one time, we were stuck in a boring talk about god-knows-what at the lecture hall. He and I did nothing but text each other. Thank god teachers don’t check for cellphones inside coat pockets. Well, coat pockets of a coat that’s technically hidden inside a bag full of textbooks. Thank god for unlimited texting as well because god knows where we’ll be without unlimited texting.

Joey’s one of the few guys that I’d actually hang out with and I won’t feel like a burden. I used to think that I’d hinder him and his habits of picking up women. I remember one time on Valentine’s Day he told me he got the numbers of 15 girls at campus in 2 hours. I can vouch for this because he showed me all of their numbers. That’s some Glengarry Glen Ross stuff right there. I’m so sorry for the old movie reference as well as comparing women to real estate sales.

Joey never called them all, strangely (because I would’ve called each and every one of them without a doubt) but that’s how he met Celine. She’s an architecture student who’s in the same year as us and she basically told Joey off after he asked for her number. I’m surprised she became a friend of ours even after Joey’s attempts to flirt with her.

I sit beside Joey in every class because I don’t feel comfortable sitting with my other classmates that I don’t know. Joey is like the only person in class that talks to me, as sad as it sounds. We’re in a class of 28 people and half of them are guys. 12 of those guys sit in the other side of the room while Joey and I sit in the back corner of the class. He thinks it’s great because we’re “surrounded by girls”. Whatever makes him happy, I guess. I’m just thankful I have a friend to talk to in class this semester.

Oh god, if he ever reads this, he might think I have a man-crush on him. I don’t, Joey! I don’t! We’re like brothers and that’d be incest!

Anyway, thanks for reading this again, guys.

Till next time!
- Jason

Friday, October 16, 2015

Post 1 - June 29, 2012

Hey guys! I have a story that I'm posting on Wattpad but because that website is being forceful, requiring people to register a Wattpad account to read a story, I'm posting it here on my website! Surely, that's a good idea. Here you go. It's called "Posts About Her".

I hope you guys enjoy!

June 29, 2012
Posted by Jason at 3:19pm

Hey guys! Welcome to my blog. My name’s Jason. I hope you – any of you – find my thoughts interesting. I’ll keep you posted on whatever I have in mind and hopefully, I don’t bore you to death. Haha! Sorry, I just got home from school and I don’t know what to write right now.

Let me tell you a bit about myself though, if that’s all right.

As I said, the name’s Jason. I currently study in University of Sylvester Thomas. Freshman in Media Studies. Hopefully I graduate in 4 years. I love taking photos around the campus and posting them online. I wish I could be a photographer someday (fingers crossed!) but my camera recently broke thanks to my slippery hands and a puddle. So don’t expect any photos from me as of the moment.

My school guidance counselor told me that I need to somehow express myself in one way or another. Breaking my camera was a kick in the head but writing seems to be the alternative for me. I admit that I avoid (see: dislike, loathe, or fear) talking to a lot of people. It’s like I can’t strike up a conversation with anyone spontaneously. I don’t even know how people do that. “Hey, I see you’re breathing air. I breathe air too. Let’s chat.”

I do hang out with my friends after class though. My best friend Joey is the best in the world at being a friend and I think I don’t deserve him as a friend. We’re opposites in the social spectrum. As freakin’ amazing as they are, life happens. I mean, of course I can’t go out and party like they do but I regret not doing so, you know? My friend Celine told me that it’s no big deal. I know it’s not a big deal to her but it is to me. Like, I do wanna have fun and share great moments with my friends. I just can’t bite the bullet and have a fun night out without being an awkward weirdo. “Hi! Me Jason. Me friend of Celine and Joey! You like weather? Happy! Haha! Happy!”

I just feel like I’ll be a burden to them sometimes. I hate talking to them about my problems but this blog seems like the perfect place for my various thoughts. At least, I think so. The guidance counselor suggested I get a journal but my handwriting sucks. I’m more comfortable with a keyboard. So of course I’m going to use this blog.

But hey, if you made it this far, thanks for reading!

Till next time!
- Jason

Friday, October 9, 2015

Save Me From Myself and From Crap

I got a Wattpad account recently and I don't know why exactly. If I recall correctly, I wrote a blog post about how Wattpad stories that get published and sold are garbage (which you can find here).

What do I exactly plan on accomplishing with my new Wattpad account? I don't know but I'd like to at least give it a shot before I'll leave it to rust.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

An email from FB-USER277

I love checking out my spam folder and seeing all this garbage emails that only a dope would believe. As if I'm THAT desperate for female attraction that I'd think some random girl on the internet would actually email me. But this isn't as lengthy as the other one I received but I haven't done these in a while so why not check the ol' spam folder and see if I got any goodies.

HEY! Noticed you on FB and was hoping maybe we could hook up.
Really? Are you that desperate? How'd you find out my Facebook? And why is the first reaction you have to seeing someone's Facebook profile is "I WANT THAT MAN'S COCK IN ME"?
Can you text me if your interested in at least talking a bit and seeing where things go
First of all, *YOU'RE. Y-O-U-apostrophe-R-E is "you are". Y-O-U-R means "your"! Also, you don't even know me so why would you let your thirst consume you? You thirsty whore.
I just really need to have some fun in my life again and thought you were cute
Thank you, I know I'm cute (my mother says so). And you need more fun? Have you never heard of a PS3? There's always Skyrim to consume your life!
you can text me at 646-396-6367 ? PLS!talk soon! HSF (hot single female) :p
I really don't wanna know where that number is from, to be honest. Could it be a real phone number? Could it be a telemarketing company's? Could it be a middle aged housewife who's thirsty and wants some fun from men online? Who knows!

Also, I like how the bot has to put "hot single female" in the end as if it really is tempting me. What if a gay man received this, huh? You insensitive bot! MYSOGYNY!

I'm kidding, I'm not a social justice warrior who complains about everything.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Video Game Thoughts – Fus Ralph Dah!

Okay, don’t judge me, I’m only human. It took me 2 years before I started playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I already bought the game twice in 2013. I first bought the game for 5 dollars at a pawn shop out of curiosity but then I’d rather play Red Dead Redemption.  I then sold it for 9 dollars at an EB Games store for a copy of Yakuza 4 – which I haven’t played yet as well, oh my god, what is wrong with you, Ralphy?

After several months, that particular pawn shop had another copy of Skyrim at the same price of 5 dollars. I bought it but then I got distracted by playing Grand Theft Auto V, a wonderfully massive game in its own right. After a year of playing GTA V, I’ve kept making excuse after excuse to not play Skyrim. Assassin’s Creed: Ezio Trilogy, which is one of my favorite PS3 compilations ever, took a lot of my time until I got to the mediocre Revelations part. After AssCreed, I played Deadpool, Bioshock Infinite, Minecraft, and a lot of others that I can’t mention at the top of my head. Basically, I put Skyrim at my game shelf as it collected dust in two years.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Of course I haven't been posting a lot recently aside from Video Game Thoughts. I have been writing a lot more though, just not for my own blog for some reason. I've written like 6 video game reviews on games that I have an opinion on, whether good or bad.

See, there's this website called BasedGamer which is apparently going to be like Rotten Tomatoes for video games. They do have that but it's called Metacritic. So basically, BasedGamer is an alternative for those two sites. A smaller, lesser-known alternative that hasn't launched at the time of this writing.

Personally, I like writing about video games - I already write about them in this blog - but I love it even more if I could help out a new website and interact with this new community.

You can visit BasedGamer by clicking this link.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Video Game Thoughts – Call Of Duty's Appeal

Let’s talk about Call of Duty. Specifically, the Modern Warfare series – America The Video Game. Basically, evil people from Russia want to start World War 3 and change the world. I could be wrong, and I most likely am, but no one plays Call of Duty for the story. They play it for the killing!

The thing about the Modern Warfare series is that you have to have some patriotic love for America. Call of Duty most likely makes people feel like big damn heroes when finishing the game. “FUCK YEAH!” players seem to say, “WE STOPPED TERRORISM BY BLOWING SHIT UP! FUCK YOU, TERRORISTS!” Finishing the campaign of the Modern Warfare series gives you a sense of patriotism for either the US or the UK.  Yeah, about that… I lived in The Philippines for 20 years and that country doesn’t even make me feel a bit patriotic. Now I live in Canada for 2 years now and I still don’t feel patriotic. Perhaps that’s just me though. 

This is what deconstruction games like Spec Ops: The Line teach us about – that there are two sides to every conflict, that you – the hero – might actually be causing more damage than good. Sure you killed those Russian bad guys, Modern Warfare player, but did you consider the kind of damage you did to the surroundings like that small business? The owners invested their savings on that and you just shot 67 rounds of AK-47 bullets onto their walls. They were saving up for their daughter’s college tuition!

Okay, maybe that’s not the kind of specific thoughts that Spec Ops: The Line wanted to convey. Sure, you’re being a hero in the country you work for but what about all the lives you killed, you monster?! How dare you find fun in this battlefield!

The best way to play Modern Warfare is to turn your brain off and I don’t mean that as a derogatory way. I treat it as a mindless shooter. Enjoy the ride and don’t bother questioning anything because, god forbid, you want to have fun in a video game!

Though Modern Warfare does try to grip you emotionally. In the first Modern Warfare game, you have a player character die, struggling to walk in the middle of a cauterized city after his helicopter crashed from a nuclear blast. His comrades and a ton of civilians are killed in that blast and all his efforts are for nothing as he dies alone in scorched earth.  In Modern Warfare 2, after your character goes through a super difficult mission of getting information from the bad guy’s computer, he gets shot by his general and burned alive. We know he’s alive because we still get to play as him as he’s being burned alive. In Modern Warfare 3, Soap – a character that you played as in previous iterations of the game – dies after falling from a clock tower. Okay, maybe the emotional factor does try too much. You can’t have an emotional moment when it’s expected in every game and when you’re kicking so much ass.

I finished Modern Warfare 2 and 3 recently and I still consider those as my favorites because they’re basically summer blockbuster action movies.  One mission in the second game has you driving high speed in snowmobiles while going down a mountain and dodging damn trees who try to give you a hug. To finish off said mission, you get to jump across a huge gap in the mountain and land on the other side like a badass doing parkour.

Spoiler alert, I even enjoyed the final mission of Modern Warfare 3. I loved taking the role of a character in a Juggernaut armor and destroying the lives and faces of a few hundred armed guards. And you know what? I didn’t care about who I killed. I was in armor, shooting a Rambo-like machinegun, with dozens of dead people who were in my way. This wasn’t the message that Spec Ops: The Line gave me that I should feel ashamed about all the killing and I should feel guilty about the harm I’m causing. However, Call of Duty made me realize that blowing shit up and killing people IS FUN.

Maybe that’s the message people should just take from the Call of Duty series – that it’s just fun. It’s not about telling a story. It’s about shooting people who want to shoot you as well. Forget the politics and the message that it’s trying to give. Whenever you die in the game, you are greeted with an anti-war quote that basically tells you “there are no winners in war and it only ends when you’re dead”. It’s ironic to get an anti-war quote when you’re having so much fun giving people a few more eye sockets using bullets from Mr. Assault Rifle.

Maybe we gamers should stop complaining about how Call of Duty is dull and shallow. Perhaps it’s best to see it as the McDonalds of video games – no nutritional value but we still devour what they deliver because what they deliver is great! Modern Warfare does not have a deep and engaging story unlike Spec Ops: The Line, Suikoden V, or Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII but that doesn’t mean we should dispose of Call of Duty entirely. It’s fun, it’s shallow, and why bother changing the formula?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Video Game Thoughts – Mobile Gaming Confession

Forgive me, father, for I have sinned. It’s been… five years since my last confession, I think. I don’t wanna talk about what I did back then but let’s just say I’ve downloaded a few dozen videos of the “hot Japanese girls” kind and I’ve always had a good night’s sleep. Anyway, where were we? Oh right, confession.

I’ve always considered myself an average gamer. I’m not good at any particular game as I’ve always been the load of any team in a first person shooter like Call of Duty or Counter-Strike. Yes, I try my best when I play multiplayer but my best is apparently using my head as a bullet magnet.

I’ve never gotten past the Taurus Demon, an early non-required (I think) boss in Dark Souls and never bothered again after the first half dozen attempts. It’s like I said “Okay, you win, I won’t bug you again, Mister Demon. May I please have my spine back?”

But I’m not THAT much of a beginner that I won’t play huge games like GTA V or Just Cause 2 and lose interest because I don’t know how to use the controller or one of the new features like the character-specific skills in GTA V or the grappling hook in Just Cause 2.

What’s that father? Well, yeah, I’m also aware - not an expert, mind you - of which games go into which systems. It’s not like I’ll ever say that a Halo game would ever be playable on a Nintendo Wii or think that I can use an Xbox Kinect on a PS3. True story: on my vacation in the Philippines, I heard two women talk about how they were going to buy a PS3 just so they can play Just Dance 4 with a Kinect. A freakin’ Kinect.

Lastly, I’ve also spent hundreds of hours playing Dynasty Warriors games to the point where I start to think that if I hadn’t ever played Dynasty Warriors 4, I wouldn’t be playing video games to this day and I probably would be happy with life, have a lovely girlfriend (probably of the “hot Japanese girl” kind), and wouldn’t be posting this right now but we can’t all have what we want, now can we?!

But I need to confess that I’m actually enjoying those free-to-play games on my Android tablet and phone. You know, those games that expect you to pay for in-game money with real money. The main difference with spending 15 dollars on a copy of Arkham Asylum: Game of the Year Edition and buying in-game money for something like Gangstar City or High School Story is that Arkham Asylum never asks you to pay for anything again.

The only downside to playing these free-to-play games is that they ask for an infinite amount of money, which is not alright when you compare it to most console games.

The thing about these microtransactions is that they’re used to make everything quicker. I’m not saying that console games that I love don’t offer them – GTA V offers “Shark Cards” which is instant money – but console games don’t usually require the microtransactions out of the gate.

A $20 game such as Batman: Arkham City – Game of the Year Edition, will still cost you $20 (without taxes, of course). The Game of the Year Edition comes with all the DLC of course so that’s not really fair. Let’s say, Dynasty Warriors 7. There is no Game of the Year Edition for Dynasty Warriors 7 and there is a ton of DLC for this game. The big difference is that the company still makes money off of a new copy, digital or physical. Dynasty Warriors 7 DLC is of course not required to make the game flow faster. It’s more of the mashed potatoes to your 20-piece chicken meal, you fat bastard.

A game like Simpsons: Tapped Out involves waiting for hours but could even reach up to, and this is true, 90 days. The same could be said for Family Guy: The Quest For Stuff and Japan Life. You tap and wait. Tap and wait. Tap and wait! Once you finish waiting, you tap again and you wait some more. It gets to the point where you think “Jesus Christ, I know the endgame is making a city but at what limit?!”

Mobile games never end. That’s why they’re free. They give you momentary satisfaction in something that lasts a lot longer than it should have. The difference between mobile tap-and-wait games to a game that never ends like, say, Minecraft is that mobile games are free and would give you something to pay money for. Minecraft, on the other hand, asks for money upfront to something that never ends and you can create that city however you want it with little blocks. The only similarity is that these kinds of games never end. Minecraft however will always continue to exist outside of micropayments you make.

Now you know where I’m getting at, right? There is no end to mobile games and majority of them will always try to needle you for money somehow whether it’d be energy or waiting time. Then why do I play them then if I say they’re terrible? I like testing them out and giving me a momentary high that doesn’t make me keep coming back. Of course I can’t play GTA V or Just Cause 2 while I’m on the bus to work unless I feel like a dick and bring my own TV to the bus. That’s what mobile games are for. Pop out your phone and launch the free game. Use up all your in-game energy for 10 minutes and stop because you have to go to work. Not much of an addicting high but enough to keep you going for a part of the day. Maybe I just like the short bursts of highs instead of the commitment high that GTA V gives you. You don’t have to invest large amounts of time in mobile games, perhaps that’s why I like them nowadays. WWE Supercard always gets me 20 minutes through the day even though. Maybe I just need to admit it.

I like mobile games!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Video Game Thoughts - 3DS Love

In February 2014, I remember buying my first 3DS because I needed a handheld console. Not wanted; needed. Even though I already had a PS2, a PS3, and an average laptop that could play 2D games at best (because my knowledge of PC purchasing consists of the answer "I'd like a black computer that goes fast please!"), I still needed a handheld console to play some games that aren't on the consoles like Pokemon or Animal Crossing.

The PSP I had that was jailbroken which allowed me to play illegally downloaded--I MEAN--purchased games was starting to fall apart. The battery case got lost, the plastic case it was in was collapsing like bread in a bowl of milk, and the analog button was as defiant. I wanted to go right; it refused and wanted the character to stay put. I wanted to move straight forward, then it decided it wanted to go right. It was like a whiny girlfriend who didn't want you to do anything when she's around.

The DS Lite I had is still wonderfully working though. Have I told you about my DS Lite? It's a pink DS Lite that has a glittery plastic case on it. I bought it last 2013 before I left for Canada and to be honest, it's my 2nd DS Lite. My siblings broke my first DS Lite which had a manlier color of blue and black. Surprisingly, the pink DS Lite is the best DS I had since it's reliable and doesn't have battery problems so far. Plus, it's pink! I love the color pink! The bad thing about the DS Lite now is the lack of new games for it. I could get nearly any game I want for it because I own an R4 cartridge which lets you play DS roms on your DS. The problem with that is more interesting games are on the 3DS nowadays.

When I got my 3DS, it was a spur of the moment purchase that I don't regret up to this day. I bought it at a pawn shop for 90 bucks. The 3DS came with a box and a charger. It felt brand new but there were pictures of the previous owner in it. I thought "Wow, this must have been loved by the previous owner... TIME TO DELETE ALL THIS SHIT!" I didn't know the girl nor do I care enough to send her the pictures she left behind. If she didn't care enough to save those pictures before selling her 3DS to a pawn shop, why should I care to save her pictures, right?

Anyway, the first game I bought for the 3DS was Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Basically, a cute debt simulator. It was fun for the 3 months I've played it but when I accrued half a million worth of debt in the city's real estate agent. Before he could break my legs as collateral, I stopped playing the game. Gotta run away before the bats come in play.

The next game I bought was Pokemon Y. The good thing about this was that I bought it for one third of the price at a thrift store. Thankfully, no one likes video games there so I bought it at a reasonable price. 10 dollars for a game that's been out for 3 months is a great deal, right? Booting up the game led me to the old owner's save file and his batch of Pokemon. I thought "Wow, this must have been loved by the previous owner... TIME TO DELETE ALL THIS SHIT!" His Pokemon were alright but I barely remember them at this point. I tried to enjoy Pokemon Y as I usually do but the occasional flickering of the bottom screen whenever I use the roller skates and the new camera angles in certain areas turned me off the game. Fuck you, Lumiose City, I hope a Call of Duty villain sends a nuclear bomb on your face.

The Streetpass feature of the 3DS was interesting for me at first. Every morning, I ride the train to school and usually I get at least 2 Streetpass hits from people, 10 at most. It's fun as it made collecting them and seeing what kind of caricatures of themselves other people were making. It became a chore eventually, seeing that green light on the corner of my 3DS and some chucklehead making a "randum" mii to send.

As much as I get tired of the 3DS and its games, I still love it. It's not its fault I'm an old man who hates making games feel like a chore to play. To make my 3DS stop gathering dust, I recently bought Puzzle and Dragons Z and it's somehow addicting because it's a matching game mixed with attacking the living hell out of monsters. It's Pokemon mixed with Candy Crush, basically. Perhaps this is why I got tired of my games now. I got used to mobile games that are just simple and ready for a quick play while I'm waiting for the bus that games like Pokemon and Animal Crossing don't interest me that much as they require constant investment in time. Perhaps this is just a side effect of getting older.

Maybe at 90, I'll still play with my 3DS and finally finish Pokemon Y.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

How I Never Met Your Mother [Part 38] – Planning The Comeback

What's that? A year after the updated version of the Pink Puppy arc of my old How I Never Met Your Mother series?

Kids, you know I’m a nice guy. Now my friends won’t tell you that unless they have a gun pointed to their head though. I show my friendship through my meanness and for some reason, people like me for it. My friends know for a fact that when I do something nice for someone, I really mean it. When I apologized to Jill in person, it really didn’t go well.

Ralph: Jill, I’m sorry.

Jill: Whatever. Whatever.
Ralph: I didn’t know what I said—
Jill: Whatever. Whatever. 

Okay, “didn’t go well” is sort of an understatement. My apology was crashed and burned like a race car out of control.

Ralph: What do I do with Jill?
Classmate: You apologized and she didn’t want it.
Friend: Obviously, she doesn’t like you.
Ralph: I'm not giving up on her.
[I should've given up on her.]
Ralph: This girl could be special.
[She was the devil.]
Ralph: I’m gonna apologize and things are gonna work out with Jill.
[No they're not, dumbass!] 

Then I remembered something. Mediartrix, a musical theatre organization in UST, had a serenade service during Valentine’s Day. With 150 pesos, you can get a guitarist and a singer to give a rose to someone along with a serenade. That's like 3 to 5 dollars Canadian.

Ralph: That’s it. The harana services of Mediartrix.

Friend: Oh god no.
Classmate: Yeah, she hates you now and with a harana, she can hate you more in a more festive way.
Ralph: Come on, Jill’s probably nice enough to accept that. I mean, she liked the pink puppy.
Friend: Right after you stalked her.
Ralph: I did not! I didn't do anything like that!
Friend: You made me pretend that I was going to shift to tourism!
Ralph: At least we got the schedule, right? It was a tactic!

Anyway, I asked your Uncle Martin who was a member of the organization at the time how to reserve a slot. He told me to just call the project manager of the serenade services and pay on the day itself. Also, I gave him several specifications on the serenade.

Ralph: Martin, I need you and May to sing. And I want the song “Addicted” by Simple Plan.

I chose that song because of the lyrics. “I'm trying to forget that I'm addicted to you. But I want it and I need it, I'm addicted to you. Now it's over, can't forget what you said. And I never want to do this again. Heartbreaker.” Okay, that song may be a little exaggerated but if I wanted to pick a song that would be sung to a girl that started to hate me then I should have at least a little fun. Right?

I know I’m a horrible person but at least I’m trying to be nice and save face. As far as I know, some tourism girls became aware of me at the time and I tried to keep a low profile. I tried keeping a low profile but a serenade in public wasn’t the best way to keep it. Genius, Ralph. Genius.  What could go wrong?


Oh, right. School Days.
So yeah, that’s how I planned my apology to Jill. Was it good? I’ll get to that later.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sprott Shaw College

If you had told me three years ago that I would be graduating college in Canada, I would’ve laughed at you and said you were genuinely insane. Three years ago, I thought I’d graduate with a degree in literature. I thought I’d be writing the next series of novels that will be turned into big movies. “Take that, The Hunger Games,” I would’ve said mockingly.

Now, I’ve never actually planned on enrolling in Sprott Shaw College but I did see the ads on transit. Every time I saw those ads, I had two thoughts running in my mind:
1) “I’m never going there because I don’t know where their campuses are.”
 2) “Why the heck do they have ads everywhere? I keep seeing purple and blue on buses now.”

That didn’t stop me from enrolling anyway.

On August 27, 2013, I was browsing online through several colleges that offered hospitality management courses, curious as to what my options were. Among those choices was Sprott Shaw College or “SPROUT Shaw College” as I called it before actually reading the name clearly. I asked a question on their website, expecting to receive a generic machine-generated response in my spam folder. The next day, I got a phone call from Sprott Shaw College telling me that they booked me for an appointment.

“Hi Ralph, this is from Sprott Shaw College. We booked you for an informational interview at the Vancouver campus this Friday.”

My initial reaction was “WHAT?!” followed by “I was planning on eating pizza and Chinese food that day but I guess that’s out of the window now, eh?” I didn’t want to be rude so I just agreed to it. I had to go to a campus where I have never seen before in Vancouver, a city that I could easily get lost in. However, instead of not showing up for an informational interview, I thought it could be nice to at least be aware of what I could be missing out on. It wasn’t like I was going to actually enroll there. Haha. Ha. Ha....

Now, I wasn’t really sure at first on whether or not it was a good idea to enroll in a college that I had little to no knowledge about so I wanted to see what it was like. It was a different atmosphere from what I was used to. I was used to big, open universities with hundreds of classrooms in a dozen buildings. Sprott Shaw College Vancouver had a dozen rooms in an office building. I felt claustrophobic at first because I missed seeing shades of greenery out the window instead of disheartening gray buildings. I wanted to back out as soon as I entered the building.

However, I was told what possible jobs I could get hired for if I took a course with Sprott Shaw. I wanted to do something in my life and a literature degree was not the door to open for that path. I wanted the path to hospitality management and Sprott Shaw College was going to show me the door.

My patience is tested every day. I was promised that everyone spoke English but on my first day, the first thing I hear was everyone else in the classroom not speaking English at all. At first, I was absolutely annoyed that no one wanted to speak English. It had come to a point where the entire room was speaking in languages other than English despite the school having an English-only policy. “If none of you want to speak English,” I thought, “I’m going play loud videos of someone speaking English really fast.” And I did. I played Zero Punctuation, a series of videos from the internet where the critic speaks in a disturbingly fast voice just to annoy people who didn’t want to speak English in class.

I’ve also had rough encounters with poorly chosen group mates for presentations.

One particular group mate drove me off the wall for a presentation due for Technologies class. The project was due in ten days but the first five days were spent faffing about and going in circles. The particular classmate wanted something specifically done in what she wants but what she wants was unreasonable, insane, and utterly pointless in the end.

So what I did was basically go behind this faux leader’s back and make a presentation of my own for everyone else to present, just so it can be done and we can move on. I had to spend 5 hours editing and recording videos followed by 2 hours editing the presentation while doing laundry at night. When I showed it to everyone, the particular classmate basically said that it was wrong according to her vision and it was at that point where I had to scream in the hallways just to get the hate out of my system. Eventually, I was so fed up that the people at the front desk and the director saw me screaming in the hallways.

Despite this extremely negative experience, it never occurred again. I never had that particular useless classmate ever again and she never got honors for her bossiness. I did my best to be the best and it worked well for me without screaming.

I never wanted to give up. I didn’t want to cut my study of hospitality management just because I lost faith in it. I didn’t want to quit two courses in one lifetime. I’m not that big of a quitter. As the months went by, I was finally going to attend my college graduation. All my hard work had led to a graduation ceremony that I thought I was going to miss because the poster said May 22 and I misread it as March 22. I thought “Oh, I missed it. Oh well. Maybe next year.” However, after noticing that no one was removing the posters, it had come to my attention that it was actually May 22 and I thought “OH MY GOD! GRADUATION!” It was a graduation that I thought I would never have since I never finished my college degree in the Philippines. I thought I would never experience a college graduation in my entire life.

The one problem I came across was that the blue graduation gown couldn’t fit me. I looked like a potato wrapped in adhesive tape. Somehow, I’ve built up enough goodwill from the staff that they ordered a new graduation gown for me free of charge. I told them that they must’ve stolen bed sheets from a children’s hospital just to make the graduation gown fit me.

Sprott Shaw College has given me opportunities that I never would’ve gotten in my old university. I could never say that I had the opportunity to be a contender to be the valedictorian for batch 2014 yet Sprott Shaw College proved me otherwise. Sure, I wasn’t able to get it for some reason but to be able to say I was very close to being valedictorian is still a great achievement. The first paragraph of this was actually part of my graduation speech that was rejected.

I would never have had that opportunity in my old university, in my old life. Never could I have said the words “My graduation speech” in a sentence without the phrase “Does not exist” if I were still in my old university. I consider my experience at Sprott Shaw College to be the right path that will lead me to something even greater in life. For that, I’m thankful for every second that I have spent there. I never regretted a single moment in that college and I would always be grateful.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I was at a bookstore in the Philippines the other night and I came across the funniest pile of bad literature ever. It could be classified as piles and piles and piles of the Twilight and Fifty Shades series. It was the first time I ever laughed so hard in a bookstore and I wasn’t even reading anything.

Judging from the titles alone, you don’t even have to read any of these books to know what they’re about.

Lemme give you the recurring themes of what these Wattpad stories are about:
- Guy is from a private school; girl is from a public school; can they solve their differences and bone each other by the end of the story?
- Guy is authority figure like a teacher or a boss; girl is being ordered around by guy; can they solve their differences and bone each other by the end of the story?
- Guy is a gangster/playboy/miscreant; girl is goody two-shoes; can they solve their differences and bone each other by the end of the story?
- Guy or girl got friendzoned; nothing is forever (apparently); everyone’s bitter

Not that I don’t find clichés offensive – I do fancy some cheap thrills like Filipino action movies and pop music – but I’d like to ask though: who are these for? Teens who’ve never seen the films 500 Days of Summer and Definitely, Maybe? Teens who’ve never experienced a good romantic relationship? Teens who don’t have access to good dramatic media?

I can understand catering to teens but that’s what the young adult section in your local bookstore is for. Don’t you fucking tell me that a book like The Fault in Our Stars is on the same level as a WattPad story like She’s Dating The Gangster. That’s like saying a PlayStation 3 is just as good as a McDonald’s happy meal toy. Sure, they’re both fun but who are you fucking kidding? I would rather play Grand Theft Auto V than a cheap Shrek figure. Yes, Wattpad fans, I compared your romantic bullshit stories to a cheap Happy Meal except the Happy Meal is actually better because I get momentary satisfaction from the food.

It feels like the equivalent of cheap romance novels sold in places where you least expect them to be sold. When was the last time you heard any one of your friends say “Hey, I’m going to buy some romance novels at the drug store”? No, really, when was the last time anyone bought those cheap romance novels?

Cheap drug store romance novels and cheap WattPad romance novels are similar yet they’re so different. Cheap romance novels tend to remind you of soap operas whether they’re The Bold and The Beautiful, Passions, or The Young and The Restless. The cheap Wattpad novels remind you of Korean romance TV shows. Hell, one of those books even had “The first Korean anime novel in the Philippines”, whatever the fuck that overly narrow superlative means. That’s like when your friend Billy says “I’m Dad’s favorite son” when, really, you’re Dad’s only son. Fuck you, Billy! Your dad hates you and wishes you would run away.

Anyway, the point is: it’s possible that the authors of said novels watched a few Korean dramas like Meteor Garden or Memories of Bali (all dubbed in Filipino, of course) and thought “Hey, I wish I could experience that! I should write something like that!”

At what point could all these Wattpad stories be considered as wank material?

Think about it: it’s all romance and it’s basically wish fulfillment. It’s what Vince McMahon calls mental masturbation. You’re thinking about something you have no control over; you’re just mentally jacking yourself off. You’re writing the same shallow tripe with little to no substance whatsoever and you’re not a better person out of it. You just want to be the person of interest. You just want to have that bad boy authority figure fall for you. You just want to be picked special by a playboy because he sees you as something different from the dozen girls he likes.

Instead of letting these Wattpad authors continue what they do and spread the cynicism that “nothing is forever”, I’d like to introduce them and their fans (who don’t know any better) to the concept of video games.


Hi, Wattpad dramatics! Have you heard of “video games”? 

“Video games, Ralphy? What are those?”

Let me tell you about them, reader. They are absolute fun! They are more fun than putting salt in your melodramatic emotional wounds and spraying that blood around like a girl who went swimming while having her period.

“That sounds interesting, Ralphy.”

No, that period blood would most likely make the pool disgusting to swim in, chlorine or not.

“No, I meant the video games part!”

Oh, good. That’s good of you to know, reader. Now let me tell how you video games can help you so you can stop winging and moaning about your love life at 16.

Are you heartbroken? Play some Dynasty Warriors 7 and Dynasty Warriors 8 for the PS3! What could be more fun than mowing down at least a thousand enemies in one stage? Certainly not writing about how you’re lonely like the miserable fucks that you are, and you know you’re miserable because you’re writing in Wattpad. Jesus Christ, writers have more dignity than you weirdos--Sorry, that got lost on me. Where was I again? Right, video games!

Do you have the need to date cute girls? How about some Persona 3 and Persona 4! If you want to play as a female and date some hunky boys, grab a copy of Persona 3 Portable for the PSP. It’s much better than crying about being lonely and how “nothing is forever”. Thank you for the insight on nothing being forever, Wattpad Nietzsche!

See? Was that so hard? Look at all the alternatives to writing bullshit for Wattpad.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to continue writing my story about a hunky gangster being fawned over by high school girls who think they’ve been friendzoned by him and other guys. But this is different since this’ll take place in space~!

I’m Ralph Corleone and that’s my opinion.