IF you read my birthday column last year (, which I actually did before writing this—you’d probably get the impression that I was quite miserable and confused back then—and you were right.

Stupid as it might sound, I seemed to have lost track of time—and I was getting older but none the wiser. I had wasted a lot of years wandering aimlessly, accepting any kind of job just for the sake of having something to do. And while all my friends were working on realizing their dreams, I was still busy looking for a sense of direction.

It’s funny how a lot can change once you write about your disappointments, because shortly after writing that article, things started to turn around and get better. Nope, I haven’t gotten rich (yet!) nor have I discovered the path I have been searching for—instead I stumbled upon something much, much better—I finally found enjoyment and fulfillment in my work, and have met a lot of nice people during this part of my journey.

I guess I have to thank the heavens for sending my editor Tessa Mauricio-Arriola back to The Manila Times. She not only gave me the chance to broaden my writing horizons, but more importantly, she believed in me and gave me back my confidence.

It was actually the trip to Boracay last November that gave me the feeling that I was finally doing something right. Seeing the pristine beaches was inspiring but meeting Dinah Ventura, Dinna and Maxine Chan Vasquez, Gianna Maniego and Malou Rosal, made it all the more memorable—and for that I have to thank Ms. Jingjing Romero of Stratos, SEAIR, and Boracay Garden Resort.

A trip to Baguio for the Panagbenga Festival in February brought back a lot of childhood memories—a time when I thought I knew what I wanted to do and when everything seemed possible. With my flaming red hair surrounded by all those beautiful flowers in bloom and those dancing children I somehow felt my youthful determination return. Thank you Ms. Yka and Rosary Ysmael and The Mansion at Camp John Hay for taking me back to Baguio and giving me back my drive to succeed.

When you’ve been stuck in a rut for quite a while like I was, you just don’t get depressed, you also tend to forget you ever had a dream, feeling it would be impossible to attain anyway. But when I saw those gigantic balloons during the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark, I forgot all about the impossibilities and just let my dreams fly up high together with those balloons. Thank you to Caltex’ Cherry Pinga Ramos, as well as Ana Altamarino and Bernice Angeles for taking me there and made me believe in dreams again.

My sincere thanks also goes to Jay Gonzales (Columbia, Warner and Walt Disney) whom I first met during the premiere screening of The Prince of Egypt (at Louies’ THX!), and Mae Vecina (20th Century Fox) for keeping me updated and sharing with me their beautiful movies. To Gayace Domingo and Director Jerrold Tarog for inviting me to watch Senior Year—a movie that made me appreciate myself and realize that life isn’t always about expectations and success but finding happiness in what you have become.

Finally, to my brother-in-abs Relly de Guzman Carpio who is still recovering—thank you for all your bits of advice, without you I would have never had the confidence to mingle with other people during events. See you soon Brotha!

The past year has been sort of a rebirth for me and I would like to express my gratitude to all those people I’ve met, the publicists, and the PR firms who’ve invited me to their events. Thank you for making number 35 something to look forward to.

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Of the estimated 97 million Filipinos only around 30,000—or even less have been able to experience scuba diving to see the wonders beneath our Philippine waters—and up until a few days ago, I was among those who were blissfully ignorant of what an awesome experience it could be.
As soon as I received a message from our Tech Editor Jing Garcia, asking me if I could attend an event on his behalf, I immediately said “yes” without even asking where, when or what the event was going to be. So when I got the formal invitation for a scuba diving adventure, I wanted to back out—since my swimming skills could only handle a depth of five feet (with “salbabida”). Still, it was an opportunity to go out of town, meet new people, and ogle at some babes without looking like a pervert on the prowl.

The event was the second Epson Fusion Media Adventure held at the Acacia Resort and Dive Center in Mabini, Batangas. Acacia is one of the best and newest luxury resorts in Batangas.
Images of Epson launching a product that would allow you to print underwater—floodwater or otherwise immediately came to mind, and though no such device was announced, the company did reveal some pretty interesting milestones and plans for fiscal year 2011.

Donna Ferro, EPSON’s general manager and division head for marketing, recounted some of the company’s highlights during past year including the launch of the Epson Stylus Pro GS6000 and WT7900—the world’s first Water-based printer with white ink for package Revolutionary Eco-solvent Ultrachrome GS ink technology, as well as “SurePress” the first commercial Label Printer.
This year, Ferro said Epson will be focusing on the needs of both their retail and corporate clients
“We used to concentrate mostly on retail, but with the growing demands of our corporate clients we are now trying to address their needs as well.” Besides point-of-sale systems, Ferro says they will also be launching several new products that will offer greater choices and flexibility with the focus on better printing output while continuing to decrease printing costs.”

After a day of fun and games, which I would probably suggest at our next office party (if we ever have one) it was finally time to “wet-suit” up and take the plunge at Twin Rocks—one of the famous dive spots in Batangas.

If you ever plan on trying scuba diving, I suggest you try snorkeling first for a few minutes just to get accustomed to breathing through your mouth.

As soon as I went underwater, panic immediately set in as I realized my goggles were a bit loose and slowly filled up with water—I wanted to tell my instructor to bring me up, but I wasn’t about to quit that easy—so after swallowing a couple of glasses of sea water I eventually got accustomed to my diving gear.

After a few minutes we finally reached the sea bottom—and there I was 220 feet (give or take a couple of hundred) below sea level. And as clichéd as it may seem it truly was a totally new world down there.

Schools of fish immediately approached as soon as I took out a piece of bread to feed them, and it was quite scary at first (having watched Piranhas a couple of days earlier). As my instructor toured me around the area I began to realize just how important protecting our resources have become. Because no matter how advanced technology has become in replicating the natural wonders or the world—nothing will ever come close to seeing the real thing.
It was definitely one of the most unforgettable experiences I’ve ever had. Now I could cross “Scuba Diving with Nemo” on my bucket list.

Thanks to EPSON’s Jay Lavarias and Roe Dillera, as well as Evan Cariaga and Kat Javellana of Extant PR for the invitation.
* * *
The quest for victory has begun!
The journey to the grandest stage in online gaming officially began yesterday at the Level Up! Live 2011 Regionals.
The Road to Level Up! Live 2011 kicks off in Cebu, where Allods Online, RF Online, Rohan, Perfect World, Grand Chase and K.O.S. will be searching for the best online warriors to represent their games and their regions. This historic battle marks the first time the Regionals is launched outside of Metro Manila. Check out the list of cafés below where the tournaments are scheduled to happen:
RF NEST – Micasam, Country Mall, Banilad, Cebu City
GC Digmaan – Ermzone, V. Gullas Street, Manalili, Cebu City
Rohan Bloodwars – Gols Café, Junquera Street, Cebu City
Allods Warlords – GE Cube, Mayflower Bldg., P. Del Rosario Street, Cebu City
PW Phoenix Council Wars – Game City, Colon Street, Cebu City
KOS ProTour – Josh 101, Country Mall, Banilad, Cebu City
GM Xairam, GM Zeta, GM SamHok, GM Geheimnis, GM Varhanite and GM Bisdak will be on hand to meet and greet players and to witness
history unfold in Cebu.
The LU! Live tournament season will also see exciting activities, including Flyff’s Grand EBs happening in key cities in the Philippines.
The Road to Level Up! Live 2011 will then head to Batangas, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Baguio, Cavite, Pampanga, Laguna, Zamboanga, Davao and Metro Manila, where the best online gaming warriors will fight tooth and nail for a chance to represent their regions. This year, over 40 cafes will participate in the biggest tournament season to hit the Philippines, with over 1 million in cash prizes to be won. At the end of the tournament season, only the best of the best will earn a spot at the finals at Level Up! Live 2011.
The Ragnarok World Championships Philippine Leg finals will also be happening soon, followed by Ragnarok’s LU! Live tournament (the Ragnarok Philippine Championships) soon after.
Troop to participating cafes and prepare to fulfill your destiny headlining Level Up! Live 2011! For the latest news in all things Level Up!, check out today.
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For all your gaming needs drop by Datablitz’ branches at SM, Robinsons, and Ayala Malls. For game inquiries or orders call (632) 621-5096 to 99 or check out their website at Send your questions and comments on anything gaming to or Check out for the latest gaming, pop, tech, and movie news, and follow me on


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  1. Amazing. The picture under water is really fantastic. The idea of being under the sea water with the sea creatures is not just awesome, it’s remarkable. Never been into diving but I had tried snorkeling. Just by it, I am already contented with aquatic beauty.


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