I drew this non-existant waterfall for the latest page update of my weekly serial webcomics – Lovarian Adventures. Click on the thumbnail to zoom in.

It took me a while to get this done. But not because actually drawing it was hard. What really took time was the research I had to do. I wanted to know what actual waterfalls look like and I wanted to base my waterfall off of those. In the end though, none of the waterfall photos I’ve seen match the type of waterfall I wanted for the scene. Either they were too big (like the Niagra Falls) or too small. So, I just put combined aspects I needed from the different waterfall photos I’ve seen into this one.

The other thing that slowed me down was figuring out how to render a waterfall in line art form. Thankfully, I own the book titled Drawing Scenery: Landscapes and Seascapes by Jack Hamm. That book helped me immensely in figuring out how to render real life scenery stuff for my webcomics.

Anyway, I hope it turned out okay. I drew this using mechanical pencils (a 0.5 and a 0.9). I then scanned it on to my PC and added the shading and mist in Painter later.

Published in: on September 12, 2006 at 11:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Banana Alternative?

Bananas here in Oz are still quite expensive at $11.98 per kilogram last time we looked. All because of a cyclone that devastated Queensland earlier this year where most bananas are grown. Meanwhile, the Australian government still refuses to lift the prohibition on importing bananas from countries such as the Philippines. Supposedly, it is to protect the bananas grown here from possible pests that could be hiding in imported bananas, which might hurt the local banana production. I wouldn’t be surprised though if the actual reason for the ban is really to protect the financial interests of the local banana farmers.

Anyway, the law is the law. If I really want to eat bananas, I guess I just have to bear the price on these bananas for now. My main complaint about these dear bananas is that they aren’t the best quality bananas. Most of those on sale have a lot of dark and soft spots already (I can’t think of a better translation for lamog at the moment). Not very appetising.

There is a cheaper option though. Banana chips. Sure, they’re not the same as the real deal but at least they still taste good and are cheaper, too. One 400g bag costs $2.98 at Coles. That’s like $7.45 per kilogram. Oh, and by the way, the chips were made from Philippine bananas. I guess sugar coating them makes them safer for importation.

So, if you don’t mind eating banana chips as opposed to the real thing, you can probably save some money by buying them instead until the price of bananas come down again.

Published in: on September 8, 2006 at 12:20 pm  Comments (2)  


Last weekend, Raquel and I went all the way to Chadstone (we consider this far despite the car travel time of only 40 minutes) to catch a movie. Not just any movie though. It’s a Philippine-produced horror film titled Sukob (translated as “The Wedding Curse”) by Chito Rono and starred by Kris Aquino and Claudine Barretto.

I only discovered that this film is currently being shown here in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago entirely by accident. I was looking at the Hoyts website for films coming out this year. I was then surprised to see a film titled “Sukob” on the coming soon list. Sukob is a decidedly Tagalog sounding word so I drilled down further to find out that it was in fact a Filipino film.

The film was only going to be shown at the Hoyts Cinema in Chadstone for one week which started last Thursday (August 31) up till this coming Wednesday (September 6). So, we had to watch it last weekend or end up not watching it at all.

I’m not that much of a fan of Philippine cinema when I was still living in the Philippines. But now that I’m living abroad, I’m more appreciative of anything that reminds me of my country of birth. That meant, I couldn’t pass up the chance to see a film in Tagalog shown in a cinema that’s here in Melbourne, whatever the quality of the movie may be.

Fortunately, it was a relatively good film. Certainly scary. I must admit that I haven’t been that scared after watching a movie for a long time. I found it better than Chito Rono’s other recent horror film, Fung Shui. It reminded me of other Asian horror flicks such as The Ring, Gu-on and the Eye. Well, the horror-feel was similar, at least. As for the story, it revolves around the Filipino superstition that it is extremely bad luck (as well as bad form) to get married in the same year a family member died or to get married in the same year as another sibling got married. In the film, the offenders weren’t just unlucky, but were pursued by a supernatural entity that exacted punishment upon those who break the Sukob rule.

It was too bad that there weren’t any English subtitles. Otherwise, I would’ve recommended my Aussie friends to give it a fair go. But then, I’m not sure they’d understand the superstition behind the story. I’m also unsure how to explain to a non-Asian how easily we believe someone claiming to have psychic powers of some sort. In the film, the protagonists sought the help of a niece who is tuned in with the pretenatural world and an albularyo (a shaman). I just thought that it might ruin the suspension of disbelief of a Westerner. I guess that’s why in the American remake of The Ring, they didn’t make the kid’s father a psychic unlike in the Japanese original.

Anyway, if you are interested in watching a scary horror flick, can understand Tagalog and live in Melbourne, you have until Wednesday to watch it at Chadstone. So, you better hurry.

Published in: on September 4, 2006 at 11:13 pm  Comments (3)  

Farewell, Crocodile Hunter

I was busy programming away at my computer this afternoon with my mp3 headphones in my ears when I noticed a sort of commotion behind me. I looked behind me and removed my headphones. I heard somebody say that Steve Irwin, the world-renowned Crocodile Hunter and Australian icon, had just died from a stingray barb through the chest! I couldn’t believe it. Surely there was some kind of mistake, I thought.

There was no mistake. My officemate showed me the news article online that reported on Steve Irwin’s death. The others in the room were still kidding around. Saying that maybe his last words before dying was “Crikey!” But then again, I don’t think Steve Irwin got a lot of respect from a lot of the Aussies I know. As for me, I couldn’t help but feel sad for the bloke.

I remember when I was still in the Philippines in 2000 and I got accepted for a job in Australia. I didn’t know a lot about Australia back then except maybe Steve Irwin because of his Crocodile Hunter show on the Discovery Channel. He provided me one of my first glimpses of what being an Australian must be like. Of course, I now know that not all Aussies live in the bush or the outback and yells Crikey all the time. Still, I love the larrikin in him. I liked the fearless but laid-back and fun-loving attitude he projected on TV.

And now, he is gone. But I’m sure his memory will live on in the hearts of not only Australians but in the hearts of everybody around the world who has come to know him through his show.

Published in: on September 4, 2006 at 10:01 pm  Comments (3)  

More Sketching in the Train

I’ve been doing some more quick sketching while on the train to work. I’m not sure if these are any better than the ones I previously posted but here they are anyway. The first three were sketches of actual people on board the train.

Meanwhile, the violinist sketch isn’t a sketch of an actual person. Although, I still sketched that whilst in the train. She is Faith, the lead character in a short comic story I’m developing for an anthology (I know I kept on mentioning this in past posts already). I should draw more of this character as the second deadline for the comics is already drawing near (no pun intended).

As for this last one, well, it’s not exactly a sketch nor is it drawn inside the train. But, I don’t want to add a whole new blog post just for it so I just included it below. It’s a cave scene I used for the first panel of the latest page in my fantasy webcomics serial – Lovarian Adventures. The heroes are trapped in the cave and this narrow cavernous passage way may be their only way out.

Published in: on September 1, 2006 at 12:31 pm  Comments (4)  

Migrating to Oz?

Some of you may already be old readers of our blog and some of you may have never heard of our blog before now. Well, we’re a couple living in Australia (in Melbourne to be exact) and we basically chronicle our lives here as migrants. We also have some posts on tips for would-be migrants. Although our posts may be a little Melbourne-centric, the posts should still be of interest to anybody wanting to know about life in Australia in general.

The problem was that the older posts are well buried in our blog’s archives and a bit inaccessible. I fixed the problem by having a page with a list of posts we wrote that may be of some interest to migrant and would-be migrant Pinoys.

And so, without further ado, you can go to the said page by clicking the link at the top of every page here at Palabok.com or by clicking this link: Migrating to Oz?

Too all of you bound for Oz, good luck!

Published in: on September 1, 2006 at 7:30 am  Comments (2)