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16th November, 2009. 8:08 am. So what's up?

Back for a bit... lots of things to blog about... no time to say anything.  Hey, this should be in plurk!  XD

So, how're people here in LJ/Multiply land?

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7th June, 2009. 8:59 pm. Moving to Multiply...

Hi all!

I'm using LJ less and less nowadays. My main blog posts are moved to Multiply. Check out poamark.multiply.com for my more recent musings.

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8th April, 2009. 12:42 am. Some thoughts on Cosplay Judging...

This post was made by Pablo Bairan from Cosplay.ph in response to allegations of unfair judging systems for cosplay. I'm reposting it in its entirety:


Ever since Cosplay.ph has managed cosplay events, we've been tweaking the judging system to try to find the right mix of aspects to ensure a system that is the most efficient, leads to the least errors, and allows the judges to focus on aspects that really matter.

With this in mind, we have been implementing a system where each judge is assigned a criteria instead of all the criteria for various reasons:

1) It allows the judge to focus on their expertise. They can ignore other aspects and really focus on their criteria. It allows them to consider their score at length given the only 1-2 minutes he or she has to observe the cosplayer.

2) It addresses the concern that a person might be judging something that is not necessarily their field. For instance, a judge might be more into making costumes for other people and simply allows someone else to perform in his costumes or another judge who is good at performances might simply be commissioning his or her costumes.

3) It reduces the chance of "score copying" that occurs when a judge starts to get behind and simply copies the scores of the judge beside him or her to catch up (the judge can't really stop the cosplay just to catch up.)

4) Each criteria really makes an impact. For instance, if there were four criteria and one was 10%, most judges would just score a 5 in almost all contestants thinking that it's insignificant. This undermines that criteria and renders it useless. By making it their sole concern, they can award a 0 or 5 or 10 or anything in between if they feel they really deserve it.

5) It reduces errors simply because you are reducing the numbers that are being tracked and the considerations being made by 1/3 (for 3 criteria) or 1/4 (for 4 criteria). So, in a cosplay with 100 contestants, instead of 300 or 400 numbers, you just need to keep track of 100 numbers. In addition, this gives judges time to double-check their scores and keep track of their results and even reconsider some of their scores.

Yes, indeed cosplay is "the whole package", but their weight should not be treated equally. In the case of E-Games, it was mostly Craftsmanship/Accuracy > Performance > Audience Impact. Does this mean that Audience Impact is useless? Perhaps in the old system where most judges would've just scored all the contestants a 5 it would be, but in a system where the judge gets to study the impact of the cosplayer and his or her projection carefully, it becomes pivotal.

Just to prove how pivotal it was, the top 3 winners were decided on point differences of 1-2 points with the Best Female winner being decided by a single point! The Audience Impact score could have, in fact, DECIDED the outcome of the winners. You're talking about 10 points: something that could have put the 6th placer in 1st place.

About the fact that newbies aren't being represented and that scoring was manipulated, let's take a look at the results:

Best Male: 1st Time Cosplayer
Best Female: 1st Time Cosplayer

1st Placer: Cosplayer Since November 2008 (Kid Robocop)
2nd Placer: Brand New Costume. Last time he cosplayed was last year (Spongebob Squarepants)
3rd Placer: Cosplaying Since this year (Kid Terminator)

Where is the manipulation and prejudice against newbie cosplayers? In fact, Hitman and Katsune (both multi-award winning, veteran cosplayers) participated and did not even get 3rd place simply because we let the scores stand for themselves. We adhered to the rules that were set and did not "tweak" or "manipulate" them in any way.

To be honest, I had concerns because the 1st and 3rd placers were both siblings, but despite this we allowed the scores to stand BECAUSE we respected the judges and the rules and made their decisions final. Integrity in the cosplay contest and the adherence to the rules was our main concern. We may not have entirely agreed with the decision of the judges, but we trusted their judgment and felt that the winners were indeed deserving.

With the choice of judges and their expertise, how would you have ranked the following in the different criteria (Craftsmanship/Accuracy, Performance, Audience Impact):

JM Chua
Robert Wong

With the criteria having to be equal, let's be honest. Who would want Audience Impact to have the same percentage as Craftsmanship/Accuracy and Performance? Does this represent cosplay properly that a cosplayer having a great costume and poor projection is scored the same as a cosplayer with great projection and a poor costume?

In fact, if there was a problem with the judging system, it could have been brought up when Alodia herself was a judge during Tagcom 3. In the end, you can't argue with results. Using this system, score tabulation has been FASTER and MORE ACCURATE. Errors have been minimized (if not completely eradicated) and all the criteria emphasized. In the end, the result is a smoother cosplay contest that has resulted in deserving winners.

Or would it be better to wait 3 hours to come up with the winners and to ask cosplayers to come back on stage because a judge didn't catch their performance or wasn't able to look at their costume properly?


SOURCE: http://cosplay.ph/forums/showpost.php?p=56967&postcount=21

My support for this is in the next post.

As someone who has tried judging both using the old system (where the judge gives scores for all categories) for a battle of the bands and the one Kero mentioned during a cosplay contest, I'd actually say I prefer the new one. He's outlined the reasons above, and I could attest to it. I disliked having to think of all the criteria and used "shortcuts" such as just using 1, 5 and 10 for audience impact. And this was for a battle of the bands when time was longer than a cosplay catwalk. I can't imagine judging all categories for a cosplay catwalk. When I judged the cosplay contest, I had to catch up at times even for just one category, especially when I was considering it carefully.

In addition, I would gladly give craftsmanship to someone more qualified to judge it (say, katsune, hitman, or evaguy_01) than have to think about it while judging. It frees me up to concentrate and enjoy myself a bit in the judges' table.

And I just have to say it out... no one sought to demean anyone by giving them "just" 10%. The hosts introduced all judges as equals and didn't announce what category they were judging. It was only when someone blogged about it that it became public.

To summarize the benefits: focus of judges, ease of tabulation, and a way to match expertise to category.

I'm not a cosplayer to be involved in drama, but as one of the people backstage at EGames, the allegations really irritated me.

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25th March, 2009. 11:58 pm. Back from Hong Kong...

I didn't mention it, but last weekend, I was in Hong Kong again. That marked the sixth time I've been there, but the first time I paid my way. If there was something I missed about working for my old firm, it was that I got to travel a lot on the company budget. :P

This time, I was convinced to buy a ticket by two of my high school classmates. We planned to meet up with one of our friends in HK as a sort of mini-reunion. At the last minute, my friend bought tickets for her three siblings, so it was a mixed group of their family and our HS friends.

My friends arrived in HK on Friday and proceeded to Ocean Park for the next day. I arrived Saturday evening and caught up with them at the Avenue of Stars. It was the first time I rode the bus from the airport (previously I had airport transfers to my hotel or the Airport Express) and it was a good ride. The double decker bus was a good start for sightseeing and I'd probably recommend it for repeat visitors or budget travelers. It's certainly cheaper.

I managed to find my friends easily enough and we headed to the USA Hostel for me to leave my bags before we go to the night market. I was surprised to find out that the USA Hostel is basically another name for the New Kowloon Hostel I stayed in a few years ago. Not that I'm complaining... the hostel room was small, but pretty clean. There was a private bath with hot water in the morning and evenings. And it's airconditioned. Basic, but everything you'd need.

We headed to the Ladies' Market at the wee hours of the morning for the girls to go shopping. Since I didn't have dinner at the airport, I had a few street food to tidy me over. Large takoyaki and meatballs filled me up and a fruity drink hit the spot.

The next day, we hoped a ferry to go to Macau. Personally, I'm not much for Macau, since last time I've been there, I've only noticed its superficial beauty. Everything seemed made to cater to casino-loving and moneyed tourists. But hey, I figured I'd go and at least visit the Venetian. The free shuttle from the ferry terminal to the Venetian Casino was a plus and the inside of the hotel was indeed astounding. But after a couple of hours, the fake sky was less than enticing. But of course, we wouldn't be able to leave without trying out the casino. I limited myself to slot machines and managed to win some and lose them all at the same time. No biggie. Zero net profit, but at least it was a fun hour.

The challenge of Macau Tower loomed in front of me again, however, the stiff price not only turned me off from performing a Sky Jump, the tower entrance fees also turned off my friends from going up. We stayed a while to watch bungee jumpers outside, but headed back to the ferry immediately afterwards.

Upon returning to Hong Kong, we had a very good Chinese dinner at a local restaurant, followed by more shopping for my friends at Causeway Bay. I bought some dried pork for my brothers and parents (We love those!) but otherwise I just walked around and reminisced about my previous stay at a nearby hotel.

As we made our way back to the hostel, my friend and I decided to at least try going to Lan Kwai Fong, which was a street with bars and pubs. I've been there years back and was curious if it was active, even for a Sunday night. We made our way there and gawked at the open bars like a couple of tourists (which we were, actually). We even made our way inside one bar with a Reggae Night theme. Lots of dancing and drunk foreign looking people there. It was more crowded than I expected for a Sunday night, but we made our way home before the trains closed.

Our last day on Monday, we decided to take the train to Tung Chung, ride the Ngong Ping 360 cable car, and go see the giant Buddha. The last time I was there, it was sunny. This time, the fog around the mountains was deep and dark. It was so dark that the Buddha statue that was normally visible during the cable car ride could not be seen. It was a surreal and cool experience, I thought, like stepping into a movie. It was a long trek up the stairs but each step made the Buddha more and more visible. Once on top, you can experience the chill and the cool mountain air. I'm glad it was different from when I first went there.

We returned to Tung Chung and my friends fell in love with the Citigate Outlet mall. From past experience, I think this is a common occurrence. :P We spent the next two and a half hours there and forgot about going to Disneyland. That's perfectly fine with me since I was planning to separate from them at that point anyway. I've been to Disneyland before and I think it's not worth going unless I go with my siblings next time. I eventually got a pair of Super Mario gashapons in the supermarket at the mall and some dimsum to take home.

After returning to the Tsim Sha Tsui area, my friend and I separated from the siblings and I took him to the HK Science Museum, still one of my favorite and most recommended places to bring kids and kids-at-heart in HK. We had fun looking around, particularly in the new Mirrors exhibit.

We eventually headed to Mongkok for dinner at this weird restaurant called Modern Toilet. Yes, the motif of the restaurant had to do with bathrooms. Food were served in plates shaped like toilets and bathtubs while drinks were served in urinal-shaped mugs. It was pretty pricey though and I think it'd wear off its novelty without a steady rotation of tourists.

We walked around Mongkok. Among our building sojourns, we stumbled into a video game arcade. They had Gundam Pods! Basically the same as airplane riding simulators, these beautiful machines made you feel like you're inside a Gundam itself. I wished I could have played a game, but the lines were long and the hour was late. We had to make it to the airport early the next day.

And so ended the events of my latest Hong Kong trip. The airport was a weird sight early in the morning, but it's another new experience, I guess.

Current mood: amused.

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18th March, 2009. 1:06 pm. Sharing a secret...

I have several Spice Girls songs memorized.

This was the result of several years carpooling to schools with my cousins, who were all teenaged girls and Spice Girl fans. Guess falling asleep in the car every day listening to their tracks in constant rotation on the CD can have that effect.

That's why you shouldn't let me sing any Spice Girls song at karaoke. Case in point: Rockeoke Night at Mag:Net Bonifacio High Street last Monday night: http://slvrdlphn.multiply.com/video/item/77

(We totally rocked that song. :P)

Current mood: bouncy.

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13th March, 2009. 11:18 pm. I never thought I'd see the day...

Hey, I reviewed a fashion show event:


And now I slip on my t-shirt and shorts to head for bed...

Current mood: amused.

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12th March, 2009. 4:05 am. Some writing stuff...

These are some writing contests and workshops I gathered around. It may interest those writers in my friendslist. I'm pretty sure I want to check out some of these myself. (Credit should go to Kenneth http://pgenstories.multiply.com and New Worlds http://www.newworlds.ph for linking)

The Farthest Shore: Fantasy from the Philippines
Deadline: April 15, 2009
Rules and guidelines: http://www.newworlds.ph/?p=1412

Gig Book Contest:
Deadline: April 9, 2009
Rules and guidelines: http://gigbookcontest.blogspot.com/

Fully Booked Sci fi and Fantasy Workshop
Date: May 20, 22, 27, 29
Fee: P1500

Fully Booked Graphic Novel Workshop for Adults
Date: May 19, 21, 26, 28
Fee: P1500

Other Fully Booked workshops: http://philippinegenrestories.blogspot.com/2009/03/fully-booked-summer-workshops-09.html

Current mood: busy.

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7th March, 2009. 2:08 am. RIP Francis M

I haven't been much of a fan of Francis M. But his recent death made me realize he still had a large impact on my life, if only for one song:

Mga kababayan ko
Dapat lang malaman nyo
Bilib ako sa kulay ko
Ako ay Pilipino
Kung may itim o may puti
Mayron naman kayumangi
Isipin mo na kaya mong
Abutin ang iyong minimithi

Dapat magsumikap para tayo'y di maghirap
Ang trabaho mo pagbutihin mo
Dahil pag gusto mo ay kaya mo
Kung kaya mo ay kaya nya
At kaya nating dalawa

Magaling ang atin
Yan ang laging iisipin
Pag asenso'y mararating
Kung handa kang tiisin
Ang hirap at pagod sa problema
Wag kang malunod
Umaahon ka wag lumubog
Pagka't ginhawa naman ang susunod
Iwasan mo ang inggit
Ang sa iba'y ibig mong makamit
Dapat nga ikaw matuwa sa napala ng iyong kapatid
Ibig kong ipabatid
Na lahat tayo'y kabig bisig

Respetuhin natin ang ating ina
Ilaw siya ng tahanan
Bigyang galang ang ama
At ang payo niya ang susundan
At sa magkakapatid
Kailangan ay magmahalan
Dapat lang ay pag-usapan ang hindi nauuwaan

Wag takasan ang pagkukulang
Kasalan ay panagutan
Magmalinis ay iwasan
Nakakainis marumi naman
Ang magkaaway ipagbati
Gumitna ka at wag kumampi

Lahat tayo'y magkakapatid
Anong mang mali ay ituwid
Magdasal sa diyos maykapal
Maging banal at wag hangal
Itong tula ay alay ko
Sa inyo at sa buong mundo.

Rest in peace, Francis M.

Current mood: sad.

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3rd March, 2009. 10:23 am. Graphic novels targeted...

I wasn't expecting to buy anything last Sunday at TAGCOM, since I knew it was mostly toy-centric and I was there to help out in the Cosplay.ph booth. However, when I saw the big sign of 50% off at Comic Odyssey's booth for graphic novels, I just had to give it a shot.

And then, I saw it: Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War vol. 1 in hardcover.

Awesome and extremely lucky find! It had a slight damage on its lower spine, but I didn't care. It was 50% off! I had been eyeing it in Fully Booked for months now, but resolved to wait for the softcover version coming out this summer.

Unfortunately, this means I'll be getting the second volume in hardcover as well to make a matching set. :P Ah, well... I can wait for a sale at Fully Booked or Toycon for that. :D

My other graphic novels targeted this year include the hardcover of Final Crisis and the Batman stories collection of Neil Gaiman. Those'll be out around June. Others that are "wants" but can be deferred indefinitely include the Tales of Sinestro Corps softcover, All Star Superman vols. 1 and 2 in softcover, Darwyn Cooke's Batman Ego collection in softcover, and Morrison's Batman TPB (specifically The Black Glove and RIP) when they're released in softcover.

Oh, Fully Booked, when are you going to have another sale? Free Comic Book Day, perhaps?


As for events:

* Watchmen is going to be showing this March 6, but I'm not likely to see it on opening weekend. My friends are planning to do so, though. In the meantime, those who want Watchmen stuff can join this easy contest at New Worlds Alliance: http://www.newworlds.ph/?p=1435

* The MV Doulos shipped will be docked in Manila from March 6 to the end of the month. I might drop by one of these days.

* Reason why I can't go on Friday to watch the Watchmen is that I'll most likely be at PERYA in A.Venue, Makati. Check out http://www.peryagala.com/ for details on this event.

* Saturday has Zzone's Oversoul Launch slash cosplay event in Mall of Asia, which I'll try to cover for Cosplay.ph. The other Cosplay.ph peeps will be at PUP Sta. Mesa for the Pinoy A!ko event. Read more about them here: http://www.cosplay.ph/infusions/event_cal/index.php?op=view&id=176 and http://cosplay.ph/news.php?readmore=896

* After that, I'll try to make it to the March Open Gaming Meet. Those who are interested in board games and tabletop RPGs, check it out! It'll be the last time the meet will be held at Residencia 8888. Check out tobie abad's Multiply for the details: http://tobieabad.multiply.com/calendar/item/10039/Open_Gaming_Meet_-_March_7_2009

* Philippine Cosplay Convention is on March 28, 2009 at the Robinson's Manila Midtown Atrium. The official website is good to go. Check out: http://pcc.cosplay.ph/

Current mood: awake.

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25th February, 2009. 7:15 pm. Just popping in with a random thought...

What is it with comic books and redheads?

Photo linkage from Popculture Shock


In other news, there are a lot of events lined up:

TAGCOM is this weekend, February 28-March 1, at the Robinson's Ermita mall Atrium. Be sure to check out the New Worlds Alliance booth and say hi to the people in your geekdom. :) There'll be cosplay on Sunday.

The 2nd Philippine Cosplay Convention will be next month as well, on March 28, at the same place. I'll most likely be there as a volunteer. Watch out for the website launch.

There are two more big events I'm excited about this year. One is Cosplay Mania 2009, the other is still being planned. Wish us luck on those two.

Current mood: bouncy.

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