Freedom!

Ordinarily, unemployment is not something to rejoice about – yet in my case it’s certainly a cause for celebration. After three years of servile white-collar labour I can finally look forward to a few precious months of rest from the rat race. I’ll have to hit the racecourse again at some point in the future (probably when my cash reserves run out), but for now I am free to savour each minute and claim it as entirely my own.

A major change in my publishing programme is in the works, so check back for an announcement on that matter within the next few days (along with a brief write-up on what I plan to do now that I’ve shaken off the chains of gainful employment). By the middle of the week after next, activity levels on this blog should return to normal.

I’ll be back soon

This blog is going on a brief hiatus as I attend to some urgent matters related to my imminent resignation. (Though strictly speaking, we’ve been on hiatus since the 10th, the date of my last post.)

Regular blogging resumes after QuitDay (i.e.: next Friday – woohoo!) or perhaps sooner, depending on how packed my schedule is.

Cheerio.

I left my heart in Neo Venezia

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For much of the past week, I felt as if I were sitting alone in a boat without oars, left to the mercy of a storm-tossed sea. The next week, and possibly the one after that, might be just as difficult. It’s in times like these that I find myself in the greatest need of a little solace from the trials of life: an opportunity, however brief, to retire from struggling against the current, and to simply drift along with nothing but pleasant vistas before my eyes and healing notes in my ears.

Luckily, I know a few lovely ladies who were only too happy to take me for a relaxing afternoon row through some much calmer waters.

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A new manga mine opens in Makati

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I’m bogged down with work so there won’t be a lot of updates this week. I wasn’t even planning on putting up a new post tonight, but I found something nice on my usual lunchtime walk and I figured it might be of some interest to readers in my corner of the world.

I was ambling through Glorietta in Makati when I came across a banner trumpeting the recent arrival of a new store called Planet X Comics. Not being a comic person, I glanced away almost immediately and only realised a few steps on that where there’s comic books, there’s bound to be manga. I veered off my fixed walking course and headed for the location advertised in the banner, somewhere on the third floor. Sure enough, they had a whole row of glass-fronted bookcases lined with manga (just make a hard right at the entrance and head for the far wall). It wasn’t the biggest selection I’d seen – the Bonifacio High Street branch of Fully Booked has a firm hold on that distinction – but it was clearly the best in the area, and even though they didn’t have anything I wanted at the time I marked down the store for future reference. The “new arrivals” list (updated weekly) was rich in manga that had just been released in the U.S., so I’m optimistic that their collection will be kept up to date.

After I got home, a quick Google search revealed that the store’s opening was already old news to the comic book collecting community: the ribbon was cut on 27 September, and they even had a few (Filipino) Marvel artists on hand for book signings.

So if you’re in Makati and desperate for a manga fix, I’d recommend paying this store a visit. (Details from AyalaMalls.com.ph: Glorietta 4, Third Floor; 7283347/7283348.)

Saimoe 2008: The triumph of the avenger

All I can say is: Brilliant. Bloody brilliant.

In the epic Duel of the Twins that marked the end of Saimoe 2008, Lucky Star‘s Kagami emerged triumphant over her younger sister Tsukasa to take the crown of victory 1037-976. Unlike most of the previous battles, the outcome of the final match was far from certain for much of the day, with the hourly results showing frequent overlaps and the slimmest possible margins. A clear advantage in Kagami’s favour only began to emerge sometime after 7 PM, and Tsukasa’s supporters virtually closed that gap as voting entered its final agonising hour – but in the end, the elder sister’s minions came through for her and propelled her to victory on a 61-point margin.

I wish I could turn out something more substantial to top off this year’s Saimoe coverage, but I’m pressed for time at the moment so this brief write-up is all I can give for now. Though I’m really itching to compose something similar to the “epic” that reported the results of the Battle of the 30th.

Cheerio.

Saimoe 2008: The Duel of the Twins is nigh

It appears that Nagisa’s final curse has come to pass.

In the Battle of the 31st, Lucky Star‘s Tsukasa sustained an early lead against Hayate no Gotoku‘s Hinagiku to win a spot in the finals of Saimoe 2008, 1137-1096 – a margin of just 41 votes. The hourly chart shows that the gap between the two contenders narrowed to virtually nothing just before midnight, yet even that late surge in Hinagiku votes failed to thwart her opponent.

Which means that come 2nd November, we will have an epic Duel of the Twins between the Hiiragi sisters.

I can’t wait.