Kung ikaw ay sumusubaybay sa aming pakikipagsapalaran dito sa aming blog, malalaman mong isa sa mga resolusyon ko sa taong ito ay ang pagpapapayat.

Kadalasan sa mga taong nagpapapayat ang timbangin ang sarili nila para malaman kung ilang kilo ba ang dapat mabawas sa kanilang kasalukuyang timbang. Pero… di ko ginawa yan nung naisip kong magpapayat. Paano ba naman, baka naman mawalan agad ako ng loob kung makikita ko na malaki ang dapat kong ibawas. Sa madaling sabi, naduwag ba.

Kahapon ay naglakas loob na ako, naisip ko kasing parang di ako seryoso sa pagpapapayat kung di ko ito gagawin. Isa pa, anong magiging panukat ko kung ako nga ay unti-unti nang gumagaang?

At, eto na nga ang nangyari. Dahil sa ang timbangan namin ay walang pounds na karaniwan na gamit sa Pilipinas, di agad ako naapektuhan nang makita ko ang timbang ko sa stones at kilograms. Pero nung nag-compute na ako! Aba, malakas ata ang gravity dito sa Australia, di ako makapaniwala!

Sinabi ko rin kay Gabriel na timbangin nya ang sarili nya. Aba, at kahindik-hindik din ang naging resulta. Di pa nga ako nakuntento sa computation ng PDA (personal digital assistant) ko at naghanap pa ako ng calculators sa internet. Wala pa rin, pareho pa rin ang resulta.

Habang naghahanap ako ng converters at calculators sa internet, naalala kong ang sikat na paraan upang malaman kung ikaw ay nasa normal weight o overweight ay sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng BMI calculator. Ang kalulunos-lunos na resulta? Ako raw ay overweight at si asawa ay obese na. Hala!

Kaya ang gimik namin ngayon? Maglakad-lakad sa paligid ng tinitirahan namin pagkakain ng hapunan. Kaya lang ay kulang pa yata. Masubukan kaya ang mga dyeta-dyeta na yan?!?

Published in: on January 20, 2005 at 1:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Man on the street

Whenever I see people being asked for their opinions on a topic on TV, I’ve always wandered how come I’ve never heard of anyone I know who has been asked for their opinions on film. Well, I could not claim that anymore as I was witness to “someone” being taped for a survey yesterday.

I apologise for the resolution as I only had my mobile (cell phone) to take the photo with.

For those who’re curious, the topic of the survey is discount coupons/dockets. We were walking (for exercise) around our neighborhood when this group came towards us and asked hubby if he wouldn’t mind participating in a survey. He said he wouldn’t mind even before learning what the survey is all about. How’s that for easy huh?

Anyway, it only took a few minutes and they were appreciative (I’ve lost count of the thank yous). They certainly made our first attempt at exercising interesting to say the least.

Published in: on January 19, 2005 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Oz Chronicles 1

Raquel and I discussed over lunch break today that although our site is about two individuals living in Oz (that’s Australia to you new guys), we don’t really have much in terms of content relating to our experiences in the land they call Down Under.

When we started this combined blog, in the back of my head I wanted this to be a place where Filipinos planning to move to Oz can get a good idea of what to expect when they come on over. And the way I want to accomplish that is to simply relate my own experiences when I got here and hopefully from that, the reader will get an idea of what it’s like here.

To make it additionally easy for readers to find posts like this through our archives, I’ll simply give the posts a title of Oz Chronicles with a number that pertains to the number of times a similar post has been posted before.

Okay enough of that and let me make this an actual Oz Chronicle post by relating to you something that happened even before I stepped on Australian soil.

I was able to come over to Australia because there was a posting in the local (Philippine) newspaper about an Oz company seeking programmers that matched my skill set back in late 2000. I was very fortunate to get the job because as it turned out later, I was the very last Filipino hired by them.

It was an IT consulting firm and the job was that of an IT consultant. So although they will pay for all expenses in getting me to Oz, they must be able to get me a client company to work with otherwise they’d be paying me a monthly wage for nothing.

So anyway, that should be enough back story for what I really want to tell, which is related to Australian accents:
One day, my account manager rang me and asked me some questions to determine if I was suitable for one of the client companies that needed a programmer.

“G’day Gabriel. **** here,” she said. “I need to ask you if you know the following technologies.”

“Go ahead,” I replied.

“Visual Basic?” she asked.


“Microsoft Access?”



VBI? What’s VBI, I thought. Never heard of it before. Could it be a Visual Basic technology I’m not aware of? So I clarified, “VBI?”

“Yes. VBI.”

I paused for a while. She seemed to have realised that I was probably puzzled so she added, “VBI. Visual Basic for Applications?”

OOHHH! VBA! It sure sounded like she said I rather than A.
And that was my first ever real encounter with the Australian accent which would become a sort of obstacle for me in my first few months in Oz.

Published in: on January 18, 2005 at 5:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Japanese Nadine?

To those who’ve been following my webcomic, you’d know that I favour the use of OpenCanvas 3 when I draw digital art. So, today, I wanted to check OpenCanvas’s website for updates and entered their Japanese site instead at

While there, I found out that in Japan, OpenCanvas 4 is already out. Not only that. There is also a totally new software from them called FrameToon which creates animation and saves it in shockwave/flash format. There are two short sample animations created using this tool on their site here by clicking on the first big pink button (for animation 1) and the first big green button (for animation 2).

I thought the sample animations were cool so I went and browsed through the amateur FrameToon user submissions. Then, I came upon this one:

Click here to see the actual page

The image of the female this person drew looks suspiciously like Nadine, a female warrior character on my Lovarian Adventures webcomic. Here is an image I drew before that shows Nadine (the left most character) and the rest of the cast of the comic.

Notice that both characters have blonde pulled back hair with bangs (though not exactly the same blonde colour but blonde still), blue shirt with yellow lining and metallic shoulder armour. Interesting.

I guess I don’t really mind if it is intended as a future piece of fanart but if the person is going to claim the design as his/her own, then I would probably take offence. The other possibility of course is that it is merely coincidental that the person created a female blonde character with a blue and yellow shirt with a metallic shoulder armour. I think that highly unlikely though.

I’m just surprised to encounter Nadine’s visage somewhere out in the web.

Published in: on January 18, 2005 at 1:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Nadine Against a Gargoyle Finished

It’s finally finished! I’ve been working on this image of Nadine fighting off a gargoyle based on the what’s currently happening in my webcomic Lovarian Adventures.

It took some time to complete but I finally did. A lot of the delays involved having to relearn how to do a poster type image like this. It’s been a while since I’ve really done any digital art work. Although I think it could be better, I’m already satisfied with how it worked out.

To view the full version, click on the image above.

Published in: on January 17, 2005 at 1:44 am  Leave a Comment  


Guess what we did today?

We went to the Immigration museum and visited the sand sculpting in Docklands. We’ve been planning to visit these places for quite some time now but are either too lazy or don’t have the time to do it. Well, today we finally made time and went.

First off, we went to the Book Market at Federation square. As there were just a handful of book sellers, it was mostly a disappointment and we quickly left without buying anything.

Next, we went to the Immigration museum along Flinders street. We only stayed 1.5 hours because we arrived quite late into the day and the museum closes at exactly 5pm. Although we were just there for a short time, we thought that the museum was a good place to visit to learn about the history of migration in Australia. As with most museums, you’d get more out of your $6.00 entrance fee if you don’t mind reading the captions that come with the exhibit. That, and arrive earlier so you could spend more time with each display. Taking photos is allowed, unless specified otherwise. Unfortunately, we took heaps of photos without noticing that the camera was set to macro mode and the photos came out out of focus.

Anyway, after being thrown out of the Immigration Museum, we drove to the Docklands where the sand sculptures are. The cost of the entrance at $8.50 was a little bit steep but the proceeds (dunno if it’s full or partial) would go to Vision Australia to help those who are blind or vision impaired.

The sand sculptures were wonderful! I’d highly recommend people, especially those with kids, to visit. The sculptures were huge and the details are just awesome. When you visit, don’t miss the “How to” video presentation where they interview the people who has sculpted these magnificent creations and maybe you’d also like to try your hand at creating your own sculptures.

Make sure you find a good place to park though because the parking lot we went into charges $2 for the first hour, $7 for 2 hours and increments from there. We’re not familiar with the area so we don’t know if that’s the normal parking rate or it’s just the most expensive one because it’s just a stone’s throw away from the shops.

It definitely has been a fun day and I’m glad we went out despite the threatening sky (it still hasn’t rained but it sure looked like it would for most of the day).

Published in: on January 15, 2005 at 10:07 pm  Comments (2)  

Old Illustrated Journal Entry

Tonight, while drawing the Nadine vs the Gargoyle work-in-progress piece, I flipped through my old sketch books looking for the gargoyle studies I made when I originally drew the gargoyles in the Lovarian Adventures webcomic a few months back.

I then accidentally came upon a page where I apparently recorded what happened during our flight to Queensland last December. I just wanted to share it with you guys. Oh, and forgive the poor handwriting.

I’ve always wanted to keep a sort of illustrated diary/journal and I’ve tried starting one a few times but I always end up just forgetting about it after writing and drawing one entry. This is one of those entries.

Meanwhile, I’m still finishing that unfinished Nadine vs Gargoyle image and I still haven’t found those gargoyle studies. Ugh.

Published in: on January 15, 2005 at 1:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Drawing Again

I picked up the pen (well, actually the tablet’s stylus) and started drawing another piece but instead of Photoshop, this time on OpenCanvas 3.

The girl character is Nadine, one of the heroines in my webcomic Lovarian Adventures fighting off a gargoyle. This scene was inspired by the current situation the characters are in in the comic (Chapter 7).

Anyway, after finishing drawing the avatars and the banner, I felt good about drawing again. I missed it. I feel this familiar feeling I used to get after drawing something. I just thought of doing this too in preparation for the continuation of the webcomic. I think I still have it, thank the Lord.

Click here or on the image to view the slightly bigger version.

Published in: on January 14, 2005 at 1:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Photo Friday

With a renewed interest in photography because of our new camera, I was thinking of a daily photo blog when the year started. I quickly discovered though that without any particular aim in mind and what I’ll call too much freedom to choose a subject, I just got lazy.

Which is why I was stoked to find the Photo Friday site the other day. It’s a site where photographers (both professional and wannabes) could join up and get a weekly photo assignment. It’s not a competition so there are no prizes to be had but it’s a good source of subjects to keep the creative juices flowing or in my case, force it into action.

This week’s theme is Silhouette and here are both our submissions.

Taken by me in our kitchen at 8:30 pm. It’s summer here so that means longer days and the sun is just about to set at that time.

Taken by Gabriel

Published in: on January 14, 2005 at 10:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Bad back remedy

Yep, I decided to take a sick day off today after waking up at the usual time, testing my back when sitting up and standing then imagining myself almost confined to a chair all day. No way I’m going to go through that again, at the very least I want to have a day of rest before marching off to work again tomorrow.

After having breakfast and doing my usual morning business, I sent an email to my boss that I wouldn’t be reporting for work and lied down on the bed with a magazine. I fell asleep at around 11 and woke up at 12:45! I didn’t have a lot of time to savour the feeling of having a good nap as I have to still cook rice and re-heat last night’s ulam for lunch.

One lunch and TV documentary later, I had this fantastic idea of venturing outside to buy some groceries. I’ve been thinking of trying out a muffin recipe I’ve found on for several weeks now but never had the time. What better time than now when I don’t have anything specific planned? Besides, I don’t want to lie down again and the next best position for my back is to stand (which I’d be doing during the preparation of the muffin).

I made up a list of ingredients, took the environment friendly grocery bag and headed out. While in the groceries I got 3 bananas, 1 kg of flour, 1 kg of sugar, 2 liters Diet Coke, 1 liter fresh milk and some other small items. All these were deposited to the one grocery bag I had with me and after paying for my purchases, I swung the bag without thinking to my left shoulder. That’s when it happened, I thought I felt a slight pain and something giving in my lower back. I remembered thinking, “Uh oh, it could be very good or very bad for me indeed.” Either whatever it is that’s been misaligned has now gone back to where it belonged or I’ve just made it worse.

I gingerly took a step forward… Ok, looks like there’s no pain in walking so at least that part’s still good. I slowly walked back home with all my purchases, climbed up to the second floor to our unit and deposited the heavy bag to the counter. I then sat down on the sofa to see if I would still have difficulty standing straight after a few moments on it. A few moments later, I stood up and there’s no more pain! Woohoo! A bag of groceries cured me! Could you just believe it? If I’ve known I would have lifted a heavy bag sooner!

Anyway, to make a long story short, my back’s pretty ok now. It’s still a bit sore and it has this tingling sensation but I could stand and sit as I please. Knock on wood or touch wood as the Aussies would say.

In addition, I did my baking experiment and although the muffins don’t look like much, they do taste better than most of the muffins I’ve paid good money for in the shops. Hubby have had two already! Hehehe…

Published in: on January 13, 2005 at 11:18 pm  Leave a Comment