How DC Comics got me to run

DC Comics got me to run my first race. Not personal health and fitness, not Adrian, not my friends. It took DC Comics, a Wonder Woman race singlet, and a finisher’s medal with “Justice League” on it to get me to run.

Back story: DC Comics is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year and the company is pulling out all the stops for the celebration. In the Philippines, one of the events was the World of DC Comics All-Star Fun Run. Race distances were 3 kilometers, 5 kilometers, and 10 kilometers. Now, running is NOT my idea of fun but this run came with special incentives: an official DC Comics singlet, a character accessory, a slingbag, and a finisher’s medal embossed with the “Justice League” design.

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Look at the shiny!

World-Of-DC-All-Star-Fun-Run-Medal

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2014 in review

The year 2014 was a particularly big year for me – even bigger than 2013 and so big that I barely got to write about it! The irony pains me because I absolutely love writing but writing for fun (AKA this blog) takes up time and effort that I could be using to write for my job. Anyway, this just means that I need better time management skills.

What went down in 2014:

I learned how to surf! Well, maybe learned is too strong a word. Maybe tried out is more appropriate. Haha. My friends and I went to San Juan, La Union and I climbed onto a surfboard for the first time. I finally caught my first wave by the morning of the second day and limited my falls by the morning of the third. Thank you so much Lea and team for your energy and patience! This 2015 means more regular trips to legitimately learn how to surf.

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Airbnb and Nuffnang: my travel angels!

This post is two weeks late – blame work and long commutes – but here goes: I won first place in Airbnb and Nuffnang’s #MyAirbnbTravelBucketList contest!

*cue screaming and jumping*

My original blog post is here.

Thank you so much to everyone who read my blog post and signed up for Airbnb, Nuffnang, and of course, Airbnb!

Confession time: I had a mini panic attack during Airbnb’s call to confirm that I won when their representative asked me point-blank as to where I was planning on going. The truth is that I have no idea! Hahaha! I’m thinking maybe Thailand or Malaysia since I’ve never been (and no visa requirements!), or go local with Cebu and Bohol. Luckily, I still have a few months to figure it out 😀

The prize money disappeared quickly but for a good cause. I headed to Nautilus and bought a neoprene vest, pants, and a long-sleeved rashguard. I’m leaving in a few days for fieldwork in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay and these will definitely come in handy.

Here’s to more travel and adventures in the months to come!

NexCon Manila – the ultimate science fiction and fantasy party!

The thing that I’ve been helping out with since graduation is finally happening this weekend! Welcome NexCon Manila, the biggest science fiction and fantasy event of the year! It’s on May 31-June 1, 2014 at the Bayanihan Center in Ortigas. What a way to cap off your summer 😀
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What makes NexCon different from other local conventions is that we focus on science fiction and fantasy content from the Philippines and the West. The biggest activities are the film, comics, and literature panels featuring genre entertainment leaders – groundbreakers here in the Philippines and abroad. Where else can you sit down and discuss film with Erik Matti (Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles, On the Job) and Louie Suarez (RPG: Metanoia),
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comics with Leinil Yu (Superman: Birthright, Avengers), Danny Acuna (veteran komiks artist), and Carlo Vergara (Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah),
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and horror literature with Karl de Mesa (Damaged People: Tales of the Gothic Punk) and Yvette Tan (Walking the Dead and Other Horror Stories)?
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And the fun doesn’t stop there! GeekFight Trivia Night is celebrating it’s 5th anniversary at NexCon Manila with GeekFight Battle Royale! They’ve planned eight kick-ass rounds of all things sci-fi and fantasy, including rounds that are freaking genius. One of the rounds started out as a joke but they ran with it anyway, so be prepared! I would so join if I weren’t a co-organizer 😛
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And last but not least, we have the contests! There are three contests for the event: Cosplay Masquerade, Cosplay Rumble, and Take Cover. What’s the difference between Masquerade and Rumble? Check out the infographic below:
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For hardcore competitive cosplay, I recommend joining the Rumble. Best in Show receives a 7″ tablet from our sponsors!
Take Cover is a photo competition, where you edit your awesomesauce cosplay photos into even more awesomesauce NexCon Manila comic book covers!
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Did I mention that we’re ending NexCon with a (Big) bang? Because we are! Indie bands Peso Movement, Stereodeal, and Paranoid City – all fantastic bands and Converse endorsers – will get you dancing, singing, head-bobbing, and geeking out, all at once 😀
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Interested in going? Buy your tickets now! There are different ticket tiers to suit everyone’s interest level and budget. I highly recommend that you get the Gold ticket for maximum enjoyment, as it includes access to all the panels and contests for two days, access to NexCon Rocks (the closing concert), AND a free limited edition NexCon shirt if you’re among the first 200 ticket buyers 😀
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It is done.

After 5.5 years in graduate school – three years of full-time study (attending classes, writing papers, and doing the initial research and fieldwork for my thesis), two years in El Nido (some catch-up fieldwork, going back to full-time work because I ran out of scholarship money, writing my thesis in the evenings, and taking two months off work to hammer out the first complete draft of the thesis), and half a year back in MSI to finalize everything and actually defend my thesis – I finally earned my MS Marine Science, major in Marine Biology degree from the Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines-Diliman last April 26, 2014. It’s the biggest accomplishment of my life to date.

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Eight graduates from MSI! The awesomest professors on the right are Dr. Malou McGlone and Dr. Gil Jacinto (chemical oceanography)

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All graduate students get the College of Science medal. One of my mother’s gripes about my undergraduate graduation was that she didn’t get to go up on stage because I didn’t have any honors. So there Mom! You happy now? 😛 #AsianMoms

So… what happens next? Well, I’m hoping to work again in corporate social responsibility because I enjoyed it so much the first time around. Another option is diving headfirst into research. I was offered a spot on the Benham Rise survey team but had to turn it down because it would coincide with a previously planned trip to Japan (*sob*). In the meantime, I’m thoroughly enjoying being a science writer for GMA News Online. I love science and I love sharing science with people (YouTube videos anyone?), so what better way than to get involved in science media? But whatever happens next, bring it on!

The famous sunflowers of the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
The famous sunflowers of the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

My greatest career achievement to date

Last November 2013, I accomplished my greatest career achievement to date: a “Highly Commended” citation for my photo at the 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards. The photo was taken on Earth Day 2013 while the staff and a guest from El Nido Resorts were cleaning up Dilumacad Beach in El Nido. It’s one of my favorite photos and I’m grateful to ResponsibleTravel.com, World Travel Market, and the International Centre for Responsible Tourism for recognizing my work.

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The awards organizers encouraged me to attend the awarding ceremony during World Travel Market in London but since they weren’t sponsoring the trip, I chose not to go. Too expensive and I wasn’t even sure I was going to win. Ah well. The live stream of the awards ceremony wasn’t working for me so I found out about the “Highly Commended” citation via the live tweets. Because of the time difference, this meant staying up until 4am to wait for the announcements.

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The certificate arrived in the mail yesterday and it is glorious. I’m going to frame it.

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I’ve had my photographs published before but this was my first time to win (of sorts) in an international photo competition. The fact that it was during the World Responsible Tourism Awards made it even sweeter, as responsible tourism is a cause very near and dear to my heart. I hope my photo gives a glimpse of what tourism could look like if all the stakeholders involved commit to responsible tourism. Responsible tourism is not about today, but tomorrow.

 

Note: This is a Back Blog AKA something I wrote way after the fact then backdated to place it in its proper spot in the calendar. This post was actually written in April 2014.