the babel machine


Friday, November 04, 2005

the three microsofteers

Took this picture with my K700i during the 2nd Innovative Teachers Leadership Awards (ITLA) held Oct. 27 at the Grand Ballroom of Crowne Plaza Hotel.

The three Microsoft Philippines execs in the photo are (l-r) Mark Yambot, Sam Jacoba and Mae Rivera-Moreno. I've known Sam for years -- he's the founding president of the IT Journalists Association of the Philippines, which is better known as CyberPress.

Sam was the one who recruited me to become a member of CyberPress, back when I was still starting out as an IT journalist as a staff writer of Metropolitan Computer Times, and he was still the editor of Tech Advisor. Heck, we were among the "Vietnam stragglers" who were stranded in Ho Chi Minh City because of a Philippine Airlines strike when we covered the Sun Microsystems Asia South press symposium.

ITLA is a Microsoft Partners in Learning program, and the five winners who were announced that night -- Cecilia Estoque (Agusan National High School), Maria Cecilia Correa (Manila Science High School), Christie Anne Dagamac (Ipil National High School), Francisco Garcia (Manila Science High School) and Evelyn Manahan (Iligan City East High School) -- will represent the Philippines in the upcoming 2nd Asian Regional Innovative Teachers' Conference in South Korea.

Read Erwin Oliva's INQ7 Infotech story for more on the awards night.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 5:02 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

dean's non-speculative cover

Now isn't that a sight to behold? Check out the cover of the "Philippine Speculative Fiction" anthology edited by multi-Palanca-award-winning author Dean Francis Alfar.

Dean is the winner of this year's Palanca grand prize in the novel category, for his work "Salamanca," which began life as a blog novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) last year. Seems like Dean, Pauline and banzai cat, among others, have joined NaNoWriMo this year.

The goal of this masochistic, er, creative exercise is to produce a 50, 000-word novel in 30 days, starting Nov. 1 and ending midnight, Nov. 30. I participated last year but was unable to finish the novel. I actually forgot about NaNoWriMo (maybe the memory was too painful, hehe) until banzai cat reminded me.

I don't think I'll be able to join this year, though, because I'll be in Singapore from Nov. 15 to 20 to cover the World Cyber Games grand finals. Yeah, excuses, excuses, I know, hehe.

Good luck with NaNoWriMo, guys!

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drooling over dvds

I'm a huge "Friends" fan, and I'm really looking forward to the upcoming release of the "Friends: The One with All Ten Seasons" limited edition DVD collection.

Say what you will about Joey, Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel and Phoebe, but I love this series and these characters. Favorite Friend? Joey (and it pains me how much the spin-off series sucks). Least favorite Friend? Ross... or should I say Dr. Geller.

The limited edition DVD is scheduled for release on Nov. 15. Also scheduled to ship on that day is the PC game Friends: The One with All the Trivia. Hosted by supporting characters Gunther (James Michael Tyler) and Janice (Maggie Wheeler), this game is supposed to feature over 3, 000 "Friends" trivia questions. Oh. My. God.

Nov. 15 is also the day that the DVD collection of another one of my favorite TV shows, "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer," will be released. Check out "Buffy the Vampire Slayer -- The Chosen Collection" (40 Disc DVD Set) and start drooling. By the way, speaking of Joss Whedon, have you seen "Serenity" yet?

If you're also a fan of World Wrestling Entertainment, then you'd want to get your hands on the "WrestleMania 1-21 Holographic Box Set." It's every single WrestleMania moment captured on DVD -- hell yeah!

Too bad I don't have the dough to get all these, particularly since I want to buy an Xbox 360, heh. But a guy can drool, right?

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 6:16 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

hiphop + basketball

I talked to Level Up! content director for International Phil Cahiwat last Saturday during the Philippine ROSE Online official launch and he confirmed that the company will soon introduce its second casual game in the country -- the hiphop three-on-three basketball game Freestyle.

Here's an excerpt from my INQ7 Infotech story:

Phil Cahiwat, content director for International of Level Up!, told in an interview during the Philippine ROSE Online official launch on Oct. 29 that the company is confident that the three-on-three online basketball game will appeal to many Filipinos.

"It's probably our first mainstream game," Cahiwat said, pointing out that Freestyle does not harness only the popularity of sports games and street basketball, but also the youth's interest in hiphop music and culture.

You can check out the South Korean site for the Freestyle international client.

Read the full article.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 1:37 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

soup, anyone?

Here's a video clip we took of Sam last year, when she was mixing up "soup" and "soap" (her bubble solution).

This was back when she was still pretending the bookcase was her kitchen counter and microwave oven.

Free video hosting, video codes at

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 7:03 PM :: 2 Comments:

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from vat to worse

As if we didn't have enough problems, now Filipinos have to brace for even harder times as the controversial expanded value-added tax took effect today.

I don't know if the government has a macabre sense of humor, but it's ironic that this is taking effect on the Day of the Dead. Maybe because they want to tax Filipinos to death?

Here's an excerpt from the Philippine Daily Inquirer article which is the current banner story:

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. today, unleaded gasoline will retail at an average of P38.42 a liter, regular gasoline at P36.37 a liter, diesel at P33.17 a liter, and kerosene at P34.91 a liter, according to initial computations by the Department of Energy.

Cooking gas prices should range between P486.17 and P492.77 per 11-kilogram cylinder. Gasoline, diesel and kerosene would have cost more had oil firms not cut prices today by 60 centavos a liter. The price of cooking gas was cut by P1 a kilogram. The decrease came in the wake of softening crude oil prices in the international market.

Electricity rates in the franchise area of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will go up by an average of 58 centavos per kilowatt-hour based on the September rate of P7.30 per kWh, the company earlier said.

Because petroleum products and electricity are major inputs in many industries, the prices of other basic commodities and services are also expected to rise.

Actually, if you did your groceries yesterday, you'd already have noticed that prices have gone up significantly.

Is there any light at the end of this tunnel? And no, I don't mean Gloria talking about how the Philippines will be a first world country in 20 years.

Read the full story.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 2:11 PM :: 0 Comments:

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blast from the past

I'm trying out this nifty free video hosting service, vidiLife.

Here's a clip of Sam when she was just a little over a year old.

Free video hosting, video codes at

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play those drums

Sam really enjoyed playing this rhythm game in TimeZone a few weeks ago.

Now she wants a drum set for Christmas. Sigh.

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swing of things

Sam loved the giant swing at Clearwater Country Club. With her is our helper, Auntie Rose.

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Monday, October 31, 2005

watch your step

Here's Sam checking out the staircase of the Holiday Inn Resort Hotel in Clark Field, Pampanga.

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sammy hammock

Here's Sam enjoying the hammock at Clearwater Country Club in Clark Field, Pampanga with Maite Alvarez of PR firm Corporate Image Dimensions.

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new look

Hope you like the new look of The Babel Machine. I got the new template from Blogger Templates by Caz.

As you may have noticed, I've ditched my tag board for now, because I'm getting tired of all the spam. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Happy Halloween, everyone.

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