I'm not really sure if The Hangover card counting scene is possible in real life. However, for all the hilariousness the movie offers, I am more than ready to say it is. Whatever the case may be, a card game requires a certain degree of concentration and skill if one is to have a chance of winning. This scene left quite an impression that I felt an urge to indulge in a no-stress card game. 


Since I watched this movie to relax, I am not about to destroy that mood in playing anything but fun games that will also test my skills. Now, what card game do I play alone? Solitaire quickly came to mind, and so Solitaire it is for me today.


What better way to find one than online, right? I was really surprised by the variety of game types. I used to think that a game of Solitaire is a lonely one but boy, was I mistaken. I quickly settled with Solitaire.org and found myself enjoying the many games it offers.


Here are some of my favorites:


Klondike Solitaire 


The main goal of this game is to stack cards in the proper sequence from highest to lowest. Its challenge lies in moving the cards within the given set of rules to achieve the goal. Without a strategy, you can actually find yourself blocking your own win. 



There lies the fun. A better score is obtained when the least time is used to complete the game. I actually found myself raring to go to the next game over and over, the determination to win much more after every failed game. 

Tripeaks Solitaire

This game is won by clearing all the cards from the three peaks to the waste pile. Players can move a card that is either higher or lower. You lose when there are still cards remaining after the stock has run out.



Background Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash


Frustration can get the better of you though when you're almost to the end and you cannot remove that single card remaining on the pyramid. My efforts paid off when I finally won the game. Because of that, this game made it to my favorite list. This game is winnable once you get the hang of it. 


Freecell Solitaire


Among the three games that made it to my list, this is by far the most challenging. Strategy is the main factor to win. A higher score is achieved with fewer moves to clear the table.



You need to switch cards with the aim not to get stuck because being stuck surely means you lose. As the game name implies, adding "free cells" will give the player more options to move the cards, thus increasing the chances of winning. Every move causes you a point from a starting score of 500. 


My overall experience of playing these Solitare games can be described as pleasantly challenging. I have many other games to try and I'm certainly looking forward to trying them all. 

Here is the video of that movie scene I mentioned earlier.



 


The FEU Film Society, a university-wide student-led film organization of the Far Eastern University, is hosting Sinepiyu - a nationwide film festival showcasing the authenticity and artistry of Filipino films.

In its 8th edition, the Film Development Council of the Philippines co-presents this film festival which aims to celebrate emancipating and unshackling Filipino short films from narrative, experimental, and documentary categories.

These films are now streaming FOR FREE on the FDCP Channel website until July 16, 2021, only.


The films for the Narrative Category are as follows:



The films for the Experimental Category are as follows:


And lastly, the films for the  Documentary Category are as follows:


To watch, just visit the FDCP Channel Website at  www.fdcpchannel.ph,
log-in (if you are an existing subscriber), or create an account for FREE
(if you are not a subscriber yet), then click on the BASIC tab.

For existing FDCP Channel users, simply do the following:



For new users, here's how you can watch the following movies for free:


Remember: When you support a short film, you support a dream.

Register and subscribe now!

Mabuhay ang Pelikulang Pilipino!


Film Development Council Of The Philippines
855 T.M. Kalaw Extension, Ermita Manila
T: (02) 256-9948 



Dear Survivor,


With the hundreds of movies you've watched that imitated life, who would have thought that you'll see the day when real life imitates movies. You thought the fear built up in every scene of a suspense or horror movie was the most gripping. That was before Facebook became an obituary of sorts and chat groups became sources of warnings for the spreading virus.


Background Image

Nothing spreads like fear, so goes the by-line of a movie. Fear is exciting in movies but not in real life. It is crippling, even damning. You feel it creeping on you and you can't help it. Unlike movies, no one gets to shout "Cut!" while you contemplate the possibility of "The End" of life as we know it.


You were a College Freshman when the first lockdown was announced. At first, it wasn't a big deal. It was just temporary anyway. You'll be back in school, your dorm, and your friends in no time. And so you thought ...


Days turned into weeks, weeks to months, and now it's months to years. Many people tend to dismiss your fears as the least of concerns. Many others are losing their jobs, even their lives. It isn't as if your frustrations can kill you.


You're still studying, right? You eat on time? You're safe with your family? They don't understand. You need to go out into the world. That was the plan. You're young. You are supposed to be chasing your dreams, not cloistered at home and just dreaming about what could be.



Background Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels


It's quite frustrating not to be able to be where the action is. Your dream to be a provider of news is calling you to where the risks are, but safety dictates otherwise. You were already starting to live the dream as the news editor of your school paper before the brutal interruption.  To a young spirit like you,  this pandemic feels like the final nail in the coffin of your dream.

The future which used to be so exciting and promising is now covered in gloom. You are almost afraid to plan so far ahead lest it leads to more frustration. It took one serious realization to pull you out from the depths of inaction.


You remembered your passion. No one took it from you. You still have the power to make it happen and so you did.


There are a lot of newbie writers just seeking guidance and you gave them that. Opportunities to improve your craft abound online and you found what worked for you and used them. The time that was being thrown away with your frustration is now put to good use in helping yourself and others. 


You became more understanding of the fear felt by your loved ones which you initially thought was meant to restrict you. They want you to accomplish your dreams but you have to be safe and alive for that to happen. Finally, you understood that you do not let the situation decide for you because you decide for yourself. This pandemic will not define what you can do.



Just like the movies you love to watch where the protagonists go through a lot of ups and downs before triumphing at the end, you went through yours and survived. You know like the movie sequels you anticipate so much that there will be more complicated challenges to face, but you are now more prepared to face them. Knowing how fond you are of prequels, I wouldn't doubt that you might be tempted to change some things from the beginning but you know better. Life is made up of right and wrong decisions.

When you look back to this moment of survival many years from now, this particular survival may appear trivial compared to earth-shattering matters that come with more responsibilities. Remember though how it prepared and molded you. Today simply prepared you for tomorrow. 

Congratulations on surviving this phase of your life. This is just one of the many.

- Self



This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project Season 2: Dear Survivor”. The initiative continues to respond to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis.  The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. The “Write to Ignite Blogging Project” Season 2 is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, with Eastern Communications and Jobstreet as co-presenters, with AirAsia and Xiaomi as major sponsors, and with Teleperformance as sponsor.




Greetings from the Film Development Council of the Philippines!

Together with CREATE Philippines, the Film Development Council of the Philippines offer you a curated selection
of 10 short films from around the country. This sampling of films from
regional festivals highlights the diversity of Filipino narratives
and shows the future of our local film industry.

Catch these 10 short films and the vibrant spirit of Filipino filmmakers as they make their way to CREATIVE FUTURES starting today,
June 28, until June 29, 2021, on FDCP Channel.


CREATIVE FUTURES is a 2-day online conference that will gather the Filipino creative community and establish a path towards the future of the Philippine creative economy. The conference will focus on the current state of the creative economy and the future of the industry.

You can enjoy watching these 10 films by:


or by

To maximize your experience, just go to www.fdcpchannel.ph and http://bit.ly/creativefutures2021 to register now for free!

YOU CAN ALSO WATCH THE FILM TRAILERS HERE: https://bit.ly/CreativeFuturesFilmShowcase

Mabuhay ang Pelikulang Pilipino!


Best Regards,

Film Development Council Of The Philippines
855 T.M. Kalaw Extension, Ermita Manila
T: (02) 256-9948

 

The year is 21XX. Advanced humanoid robots known as Reploids (a portmanteau of replicant and android) flood the streets of this brave new world. In every factory or kitchen, in every diamond mine and farmland, Reploids, programmed to act and think almost entirely like humans, have kept society stable.


But, when a powerful computer virus compels Reploids to “go Maverick” against human kind, only one hero stands between peace in our times and total annihilation. Players take control of the titular Mega Man X, a pacifist Maverick Hunter who uses an arm cannon to fight crime and can absorb and replicate the powers of other Reploids. However, his blue-colored exterior hides his true power: his heart.


Reploid uprisings, apocalyptic events, and conspiracy theories haunt the world of Mega Man X. Not a single moment in the game showed any moment of peace. If there was one, it would either be immediately interrupted by scenes of mechanical carnage or be preludes of darker things to come.


The titular X himself is barely seen to have had any chances at peace, awakening 100 years after his creator, robotics pioneer Dr. Thomas Light, placed him in a stasis chamber to test his morality. Thrusted into one life-or-death situation after another, X is ultimately burdened with the daunting task of prioritizing the wants of his human masters over the needs of his fellow machine-kind (with almost all Reploids being based on X’s own designs, therefore he serves as the Reploids’ version of Adam). 


Even when he is constantly forced to charge-up his arm buster and blast his enemies to hell, X is always shown as being a conflicted soldier. He hates violent means but he knows that, given the lines he walks, there is only one way to end the conflict. His dedication to justice and his nearly limitless potential to be compassionate makes X “more human” than machine. In fact, it’s been said by X’s former commanding officer and the series’ main antagonist Sigma that X’s own empathy is the key to Reploids’ “evolution.”


There has been no shortage of stories focusing on a prophesied chosen one who is the key to a party’s future because of their upright moral compass, especially ones involving robots turning against their machine selves to embrace their more human aspects.


However, in the case of Mega Man X, while the series is quite clearly non-political and is not at all interested in exploring the social implications of X’s actions, this instead acts as more of an ode to the status quo.


Laws of the concrete jungle


His ... worrying ... That is precisely the quality that will prove beneficial to our cause. He alone possesses that ability. He thinks more deeply than the rest of us. He feels ... normal Reploids are no match for his art. But ... he is unaware of his incredible power.”


- Sigma in The Day of Σ



To better understand how the games implicitly enforce the importance of a status quo, one may look at the series through the Marxist concept of the base and superstructure model. This refers to the cyclical relationship between the means of production and the workers involved in that area (base) and those that attempt to dictate the sociocultural and economic dynamics and standards of the base (superstructure), and how each affects each other simultaneously.


Reploids are built to accomplish feats humans could not do, including being able to to perform construction in harsher environments and to be able to accomplish more military goals efficiently. Since Reploids are barely seen outside of industrial areas such as factories and power plants and are seen being designed for other purposes such as mining and construction, these are enough to suggest that these mechanical beings are representations of the base.


However, the games subtly take this a step further by designing most of the Mavericks as animals. 


Although it was never explicitly stated as to why there would be a need for animal-themed Reploids, there are two possible interpretations that can both explain this and can support the base and superstructure model.


The first of which is that the world of 21XX is one that has long been ravaged by environmental collapse (not counting the eventually, explicitly detailed apocalypse that takes place in the fifth game and Mega Man Zero, the sequel subseries). Besides the complete absence of organic animals, all forest-themed levels across the series show pieces of technology integrating with trees in the background. Again, what these are were never explored, but one can assume that the technology is some form of growth-enhancement or botanical life support (or like in Mega Man X5, the integration may be of “natural” occurrence”).



The second and perhaps the one that I found the most plausible being that by designing Reploids as animals, it would be easier to treat them as being “beneath” humans, therefore making it possibly easier for humans to treat Reploids as mere gears in a machine (outside of the Mechaniloid mooks faced before the bosses, which were confirmed to function more like appliances than sentient beings).



According to anonymously posted fan theories in TV Tropes, the animal-themed Reploids are generally frowned upon as they may be parts of a lower social class. Though this was somewhat debunked by the fact that most of these bosses held high ranks, this does not negate the possibility that they face discrimination because, perhaps as a case of unintentional irony, they are just parts of an artificial ecosystem and robbed of free will completely.


For every zoo, there is a zookeeper. Enter X.



X, based on this model, can be seen as the superstructure incarnate. Since factors involved in the superstructure, from cultural norms to even religious and philosophical beliefs, are keen on maintaining order, it makes sense that X can be viewed as some form of a police stand-in. This is only made more blatant by the fact that X’s blue contrasts his partner and series secondary lead Zero’s red.


X is bound to avenge the unseen humans who have been killed or harmed in the chaos, to dispense his understanding of justice as he sees fit. Even with his hesitations, he (and by extension players) are compelled to outright kill all enemies, and are even rewarded by doing so with health regeneration collectibles, power-ups, and even upgrades.


Although this is due mostly to the game’s linear design, wherein players are not free to make certain choices outside of the basic mechanics of side-scrolling mayhem, it can be interpreted that this is completely X’s doing and players are simply viewing his adventures the way that he wants us to see it: one that is dictated by “necessary” violence. This is further enforced by certain attempts at “humanizing” enemies that are mostly kept at a bare minimum (mostly through brief cutscenes of the villains monologuing), leaving players barely any chance to see the Mavericks as nothing more than violators of the social order.


One nation under Sigma


" ... We're going to build a nation for the Reploids. That's our ultimate goal. We'll fight anyone who tries to interfere with our independence."


The General from Mega Man X4


Once one of the best Maverick Hunters in the organization, Sigma became the overall main antagonist after becoming infected with the Maverick Virus. Now obsessed with the idea of evolution, Sigma has made it his goal to be a ruler of a Reploids-exclusive society, but not if X or Zero had anything to say about that.


But what exactly is the virus? In-universe, it was revealed to be a debugging program gone awry. As most players have seen, the virus almost always compels hosts to commit genocide on humans or be subservient to Sigma.


While this may be the case at face value, perhaps this may just be a case of the games showing us what they want us to see: a chaotic world that needs the help of a pro-democratic hero in X. As we have only ever known the story through X’s eyes, perhaps we can even interpret the virus as a non-existent threat to justify the Maverick Hunter’s actions? After all, we never truly understood the virus beyond its barest, conflict-inciting core.


If X is the villain, then why are we supposed to root for him? Because Sigma’s actions go against the status quo. If we are to look at the story through this view and if we are to look at the story through Sigma’s perspective (without the megalomaniacal tendencies), then we can see the threat was never an epidemic of rogue machines all along, but a crackdown on individualists.


David Easton’s Political System Analysis can add some depth to the otherwise surface-level study on a seemingly typical tyrannical overlord in the making. As detailed beforehand, the environment that both Reploids and humans live-in is one driven by industry and quite possibly survival in a growingly unsafe ecosystem. The presence of these needs led to the mass-production of Replloids, creating a world that is seemingly better just because it had a helping hand.


The continued support for this system, however, is flawed and unfair for Reploids in general because this framework cancels out their needs, reducing their existence to products.


The need for independence is what forces Sigma to rebel and organize a movement. One that almost functions like a nation in the making, due to their use of both political and in this case military power to assert their autonomy against the more dominant force. If one were to subscribe to the Marxist thought, this idea of nation building would be quite humorous if one were to notice that mines, factories, and even military bases are the stages (as this subtly suggests the idea of workers taking back the power from their oppressors).


Alas, subversion is treated as a virus, and for all intents and purposes and the game’s limited focus on the political undertones, Sigma’s quest for liberation is treated as a villain’s journey. A perspective that harkens back to the radical Western view on democracy, with X being the “liberator” of those who have been swayed by the devil’s influence (which is even more fitting, considering Sigma did take on such form in the eighth game).


This brings to mind the experiences of Cold War paranoia as the doomsday clock nearly crossed all the way through midnight. The fear of subversion is not brought on by the possibility of apocalypse, but because the powerful fear the possibility of freedom from their control. Given this, perhaps it may not be a coincidence that there hasn’t been a single stage or scene in the games that showcased a moment of peace the moment Reploids go Maverick. It’s always a scene of devastation and destruction in the wake of the machines breaking free from their initial programming.



Democracy is an anti-virus


"Your dedication to what you refer to as ‘justice’ is what first got me thinking ... I realized the imperfection of this world, and decided I must change it."


- Sigma in Mega Man X8


The story of Mega Man X is a series of games that shines thanks to its timeless gameplay and classic narrative. However, implicit, underlying messages in the game suggest that we were never meant to be the hero of the tale all along. The game is fashioned like a fun side-scroller, but the joy that comes with it may very well be the result of one democratic lie.



Career advancement is something everyone hopes to achieve in the fastest and surest way possible. People have different ways of achieving this goal. Let's try to see this through movies.


Cheat Your Way


Not exactly a recommended option, cheating one's way to the top has worked for some. Similar to what was shown in the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, some work their way up through questionable means, if not outright fraud. Unfortunately, very few escape the eventual downfall that comes with such a choice. 



Impress the Boss

Others choose to impress the boss in the hope of getting the much-desired promotion. In SpongeBob Squarepants The Movie, we see that it does not always get the desired results. Some bosses can be blind to an employee's capabilities and lead to an otherwise qualified worker being bypassed.



Tap on Intelligence

There are job positions that really require innate intelligence and developed capabilities. In Hidden Figures, the careers of the main characters eventually did advance after much difficulty. They are actually the brains behind the accomplishments attributed to others. The quest to be more equipped in knowledge and skills through training and getting certified can be initiated through sample questions.



Pursue Education

The traditional way of even landing a job is through education. The main character in the movie Legally Blonde found success by pursuing further studies even if it was not initially expected of her. For those who are particularly challenged with traditional schooling, considering certification courses can be a good option. 



Train and Work Hard

Important certification questions can be answered by a simple inquiry if this proves to be of interest. As seen in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, hard work, perseverance, and willingness to learn and training pays off in the long run. This is usually the most rewarding route to career advancement. 

 


Watching movies has always been my go-to relaxation activity at any given time. Sometimes though, I feel the urge to try something different. It was one lazy afternoon after watching a Filipino 3D Computer-animated adventure film entitled RPG Metanoia that I decided to search for web games. After all, a little time out from movie watching definitely won't hurt.


Like in the movie, web games somehow bring their players to another world, depending on the genreMy search led me to Plays.org and I actually found some interesting games to match my need for a fun time out.


The first game I tried was Kingdom Defense. This is a 39-level medieval castle defense action RPG. In this game, I became an archer shooting at different enemy attackers. I also got to use various magic attacks to hit a number of them at once. 


Generally, the gameplay gets repetitive but becomes increasingly difficult as the game progresses. I played it several times before I moved on to the next one. It required more effort to persist on it but will probably play it again.


Flight Sim was the second game I tried. It is an air traffic control simulation game, where I had to help planes and helicopters land without them crashing into each other. 


Don't be fooled by the simple presentation and absence of flashy graphics. I consider it a very challenging game as it tests my ability to focus. Pressured by the possibilities of airplanes and helicopters crashing onto one another, winning requires effective strategy on the part of the player. 


My personal favorite among the games is 2 Minutes to Escape. As its name suggests, this is an escape game where players have to make it out of an exploding rocket. Talk about time pressure.


The degree of difficulty is balanced and it tests the player's ability to think quickly. Though I would personally prefer for the game to have more sound effects, the game is still exciting to play. 


Playing these games serve as perfect breathers in between movie reviews. Games and movies have some parallelism. I certainly wouldn't mind shifting from one to the other. 

 


The Cinekabalen Film Festival 8.5: Here Comes Sinukwan is now happening at the Film Development Council of the Philippines' Channel.  It started last April 14 and will end at April 21, so you still have a couple of days to watch and show your support for these promising and enjoyable short films worthy of your time for free by just registering an account at the FDCP channel's website.  Here's how:





Watch the grandest film festival from the Culinary Capital of the Philippines and support the films of these aspiring talents as seen from these Kapampangan’s excellent films and stories. 



The synopsis for some of the competing films under the Kapampangan and Central Luzon Category that you can watch for free are:


Amigo by JL Mallari (City of San Fernando)

Thomas, who’s caught up in a drug dilemma that had him going out on an escapade, goes back to his hometown to relive his carefree life and reminisce the days he had with this lifelong friend.


Kalinguan Tane Ing Lutu Nang Ima (Time To Forget Mother's Cooking) by EJ Gagui (Minalin)

Letty goes home to her hometown for her mother's first death anniversary. Her relatives begin calling her and requesting a bringhe, the specialty her mother has been known for in their family. From that, Letty is forced to attempt her mother’s cuisine and realize its good taste despite their mourning.


Mipasoso (Carried Away) by Raven Manalese (Bacolor)

A deprived photographer takes his bike away from heartbreak, peer pressure, and his weary at school. Worn out of everything, he meets another biker who will shift his discontent to peace of mind.


Quing Lalam Ning Aldo (Under The Sun) by Reeden Fajardo (Floridablanca)

Budang, a gay sampaguita farmer, decides to renovate their neglected kitchen as soon as he hears that his son is coming back home. But things will not work as planned.


Saingsing (Complaint) by Chic Mirano (Sta. Rita)

An unhappy mother locks up her naïve and helpless daughter in a room away from fears and judgment.


Sangkan (Reason) by Morissey Hans (City of San Fernando)

Struggling to accept the inevitable, a man tries to go on through his day, but fails to keep his composure and feelings intact. This is the day he fears to come yet cannot do anything about it.


Yellow by Stephen Canlas (Mabalacat City)

Two long-time bestfriends, Bert and Tasho, have a very meaningful conversation about one’s overthinking problems. The night ends up tragically when Bert took a shot of the ‘magical’ potion Tasho offered him.


Ang Huling Hantungan (The Last Destination) by Vahn Pascual (Bulacan)

Atiya, a 17-year-old girl, battles her conscience as she paces towards the house where she plans to give up the unborn child. However, various scenarios come rushing, clouding her mind with uncertainties.


Babuyan (Piggery) by Aaron Alsol (Bulacan)

A story where a mother and her child, and their three little pigs, struggle to make it through life.


Coda by Tristan Castañeda and Denice Quimbo (Bulacan)

A short film about a young boy who is inspired by his late older brother to start playing the piano and his father who disapproves of it. The story follows the young boy through his school and home life as he finds his passion for music.


Habulan (Run) by Rey Tamayo Jr. (Pampanga)

An action-comedy film focusing on a hot pursuit shared between the police and a group of bystanders deep in the slums. The chase ends when the police follows the bystanders to their hideout.


Home For The Ages by Yuuka Tanaka (Bulacan)

An aged mother lives in a house that is passed onto her by her parents. Her attachment to her home and her farm gives her enough contentment and safety. Her son Anthony, however, has a different plan in mind that he thinks is best for his mother. Anthony tries his luck into convincing his mother once again into making her go to a home for the aged.


Huling Hiling by Michaella Anne Ancheta (Pampanga)

A man gets convicted for a merciless crime, and is placed on death row. But on the day before his execution, he makes one unusual request.


Kibo (Response) by Jay Francis Letrillard (Zambales)

Before the last day of school, a mute teenage boy plans to confess his feelings towards his long-time crush.



What are you waiting for? Visit https://fdcpchannel.ph and register FOR FREE!