San Diego Comic Con 2016 & Stan Lee (Friday Edition)

ComicCon colla1

Comic Con has descended upon our bustling city of San Diego.
Though I was supposed to and promised to write multiple updates on my latest trip to the Philippines, me and my company got swept up with the Comic Con #SDCC2016 fever.
My work are currently hosting several of the Fox and Comic Con HQ Panels by the convention & Hilton hotel park area, keeping us up on our toes since Monday.
I was lucky enough to be granted a preview night badge in which I was able to test the new Sony Playstation VR featuring the Batman Arkham game. Which by the way is pretty sick.

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Testing out the Batman Arkham VR via PS4

However due to work commitments, I wasnt able to enjoy most of the morning and early afternoon conventions. But today Friday the 22nd, I made a few reservations to scratch off a few things to write for my Comic Con articles. In addition I was finally granted with my sweet Press Badge – i have to thank some very very helpful friends in the old media industry for this ūüôā

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Press Badge with my hidden identity

Lets start with the Stan Lee appearance at the Chuck Jones Gallery located in the heart of Gaslamp San Diego. Stan Lee was there to present artwork from his digital work & poem “God Woke”.
Many of of the attendants RSVPed days before the event, Me included. I was lucky enough to have my very first Press Badge this year and be able to seriously participate in a lot of media panels and events.
However, Stan Lee’s people and the Marvel team were very specific on which media outlets (big named ones) were allowed to enter inside the gallery before the attendees, so me and a few other press people had to wait in line.
I barely had the chance to see Mr. Lee and after some explaining with the organizers, they allowed me in.
Only attendee who¬†bought prints from ” God Woke” and the invited media outlets were allowed to have a picture with Stan Lee by is own photographer (photos will be emailed to them individually). No autograph sessions were done. The meet and greet was quick and unfortunately due to large volume of people lined up outside the gallery added with Stan lees already packed Comic Con scheduled appearances- they had to cut the meet and greet
short under an hour.

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Stan Lee and the Chuck Jones Gallery & friends

As for me, I was content on getting a clear photo  of him with the rest of the Chuck Jones Gallery & Marvel Team.
This is my first time being in the presence of this great artist and story teller, and I have to applaud the man, given his fragile state & age (the stress of the convention was showing as it was late in the day) he was very accommodating to his fans and fellow artists, welcomed those lucky enough to shake his hand with a warm smile and encouraging words. (SOOOOOO JEALOUS)

Before my appointment at the Chuck Jones Gallery, I was given the coveted pass to the Resident Evil: Biohazard Experience located at the CAPCOM booth. I have a GREAT fear of dead things…and undead things. This would be my 2nd VR experience at SDCC and I was both excited and dreading my fight or flight…and vomit reaction.

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Resident evil booth at in SDCC2016

A short summary with minor spoilers of the Resident Evil VR experience- the game is played via Playstation 4 VR. The whole demo¬†would be around 7 minutes tops. You are ushered in a room with an oldschool box TV. The attendant will outfit you with the PS4 VR and headphones and with some minimal instructions asks you to sit. The VR experience starts with you in a room tied up…..and there begins my 5-7 minutes of hell…screaming and closing my eyes only to hear this crunching sound….
Anyway GREAT Game preview….the fact I nearly threw up afterwards speaks volumes of how the PS4 VR will immerse its player into whatever game environment the player encounters. And those lucky enough to test the game demo also get some sweet swag.

The rest of my time before the Stan Lee meet up was a quick tour of exhibition hall. I was able to take pictures of the Stan Lee Pop Up with autograph at the Stan Lee Collectibles booth as well as merchandise from various vendors including my 2 favorite Good Smile and Kotobukiya.

Tomorrow is a new and fuller day of activities. One I hope I can catch some Suicide Squad Coverage, and some great cosplay pics.

More to update in the next day or so.
So for now its a few more hours of Tweeting and instagraming hashtags for #SDCC2016 and #ComicCon2016

P.S. The San Diego Convention Center and surrounding areas are hotspots for Pokemon Go battles, pokestops w/Lures and Pokemon Hunting

Being Identity Hacked

Being a victim of Identity Theft

In my lifetime I believe I have been only seriously stolen a handful of times

First was when I was 19, my Dad did business with a ‚Äúfamily friend‚ÄĚ who ran off with our car and life savings. Make matters worse, said criminal friend created a fake id using my name but with a different picture. Philippine NBI did very little to help our cause. We never recovered our car or life savings. Continue reading

Staycation at Azumi Hotel, Alabang

Azumi Hotel

Azumi Boutique Hotel in Alabang, Muntinglupa Philippines

I am officially the Queen of Procrastination. Even with my own personal blog (and list of articles I needed to write) I have been lazying around the house, often tired from work to kick myself to write about my travelogue from the Philippines.

Today (hopefully) I end that streak.

Last year I made several articles on how Philippine travelers can book affordable and luxurious hotel stays in Manila via Agoda and AirBnB.  This year I decided to make several reservations on a few hotels, booking them via Agoda or directly to their website.  On this article I will be featuring Azumi Boutique Hotel located in Alabang, Muntinglupa.  Agoda gave me a really good deal to be able to book my stay at $55.00/night + tax (roughly around $62/night)  plus I paid only $6-8  for my room service.   There is a quick video tour of my standard room in Azumi. Continue reading

Road to E3: Final day and review

E3 2014 Exhibit hall

E3 2014 Exhibit hall

We got home after day 3 of E3 expo at 2AM Friday morning in San Diego. Me and my friends and colleagues crashed at my small 2 bedroom apartment. I had no time to do my day 3 post since I had work 6 hours later so we all slept.

Fast forward now, we only spent 5 hours on the last day of E3. My sponsors tried to get as much swag they can get from booths and tried out the Disney Infinity line that was giving away the free figurines.

I was able to walk more of the South Exhibit¬†Hall and take pictures of areas I didn’t get to do the day before.¬† And after a long day me and my colleagues decided to do a recap of our 3 day adventure. Continue reading

Road to E3: The Bad

Badges must be scanned before entering

Badges must be scanned before entering

Fifteen minutes into what would be my 2 hour commute to LA I got the text from my E3 Sponsor ” Something happened.” which is ALWAYS never a good thing.
During the duration of my train ride I got minute to minute updates about the security lockdown at the expo.¬† He reported that during doors opening, several “Assuies” tried to “bum rush” into E3.¬† And people working for Game Stop that bought their badges via craigslist or carried forged ones were caught.
By the time I arrived into the Los Angeles Convention center, there was a line on each of the exhibit hall entrances and the whole floor swarmed with security dressed in “Men in Black” get up scanning one by one badges and questioning people, creating a massive backup. Continue reading

Sending out a Balikbayan Box to the Philippines

Since its Bakasyon season, time to do a reblog.

May 31st update:

I received a coment from a reader who used one of the vendors I mentioned. I decided to add my insight on my reblog.

When I send BB boxes to the Philippines especially before my travel back home, I sometimes count 40 days max just in case there are “delays”
Some of the causes of the delays are either the date they pick up the box¬† at you place or when you dropped it off at the BB vendor – is past the company’s cut off date. One company ships out their BB boxes on a Saturday and leaves San Diego Friday. Their cut off can be 2-3 days before shipment.

Reference for box sizes. Small Tipid Box 20x17x10   Regular Box 23 x 20 x17   Jumbo Boxes up to 23x23x23

Balikbayan couriers outside California may take longer to send BB Boxes to the Philippines and more expensive. Example if you live in New York or Florida, the boxes needs to travel to a shipping dock and most likely those docks are in Los Angeles CA.
Another major issue is customs, when a particular shipment is chosen for audit, it delays delivery of the boxes to their recipients. Holidays like Christmas should be given consideration since there’s a surge of BB box deliveries to the Philippines. If there is something small I would like to send on a certain date then I would use a balikbayan courier with air package cargo like LBC. I pay more but they get it with in 2 weeks.

The Adventures Of Ms. Circumstance

A balikbayan box container from Alas Cargo A balikbayan box container from Alas Cargo

The Balikbayan Box is forever associated with Filipino Overseas Workers (OFWs) and Immigrants that work hard for their family and friends abroad.
Balikbayan Boxes are care packages/pasalubongs sent by Filipino’s living or working overseas which are packed with various request and gifts for loved ones. Most commonly sent items are stuff toys, canned goods, chocolates, new and hand me down clothes, rubber shoes, DVD and games and other electronic knick knacks. When a vacationing Filipino visits the Philippines, she uses the same box as a luggage alternative packed with native souvenirs and presents they have bought for themselves.
Even with the advent of online shopping in which family members can now send gifts through local stores in the metro, other relatives that live far in the rural provinces often rely on getting these care packages-sometimes with some cash through Philippine forwarding cargo companies. Vacationers back to the Philippines use…

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