The Dance

“Dance is your pulse, your heartbeat, your breathing. It’s the rhythm of your life. It’s the expression in time and movement, in happiness, joy, sadness and envy.” ~Jaques D’ambroise

Dancing has long been known as the synchronized movement of the mind and body. It’s the rhythmic swaying of the body to the hypnotic beat and ballad. Dancing has long been known as the form of art performed in various cultures as a form of social interaction, exercise or emotion in the performance and spiritual setting. Even Hollywood films and reality television series have depicted dancing as an exquisite form of art.

Street Dancing as portrayed in the Hollywood Film, Step Up 2

Nowadays, dancing has gone from the studio to the streets and from private settings to public gatherings. One of the oldest and most popular types that is quickly gaining an international audience is Exotic Dancing.

Who wouldn’t enjoy seeing sexy women dressed in sultry outfits dancing oh-so sexily? Not only is exotic or sexy dancing considered an artistic form of entertainment but believe it or not, it has been known to represent sexuality, fertility and femininity.

Now if you’re part of the population that enjoys watching hot women dance sultrily on the dance floor or you are one of those extremely talented women gifted with the dance moves, then AppLabs Digital Studios Inc. in the Philippines has something set for you!

Sexy Dance Competition of 2012, promoted by AppLabs Digital Studios, aims to find only the best and the sexiest dancer in the Philippines. Do you think you have what it takes to win? If you’re an extremely talented individual with looks and the body to kill, then show us what you’ve got.

Head on to our Facebook Page to find out more!

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Friday the 13th Spooks

It’s Friday the 13th! While some may dub this day as extremely unlucky, it’s the total opposite for me. I love the number 13 and every time it hits my favourite day, Friday – my luck increases up to 200%. And because it’s Friday the 13th, to scare the wits out of you dear readers, allow me to share my all-time favourite game which you MUST play tonight – given you have a Play Station 1 or 2. *Insert evil laugh here*

~Le Camera Obscura

Ever heard of the game, Fatal Frame? Did I see you nod, “no”? Well, here’s all you have to know. Basically, it’s a role playing game where you simply take pictures of ghosts. Yes, you read that right, ghosts. Nope. You won’t find any other weapon here but the Camera Obscura – used to  exorcize ghosts by simply taking a picture of them. There are three games in the series (fourth if you count the Fatal Frame game created for the Xbox 360).

Fatal Frame Game Characters

In Fatal Frame I (girl on far left of image), you control the girl named Miku who searches for her brother, Mafuyu Hinasaki in the Haunted Himuro Mansion. The twist? Miku gets stuck inside the house and you have to help her search for Mafuyu and a way out using only the camera and a small flashlight. For Fatal Frame II (Crimson Butterfly), the gameplay is exactly alike but this time you control two individuals which in this case are twins (image in the middle). There are three alternate endings (For the Play Station Game): one you leave your twin behind; two you kill your twin to get out of the mansion alive; or three you and your twin both escape alive. Peachy, isn’t it? As for Fatal Frame III (The Tormented), all three games are tied up together and this time you control three different people namely Miku from Fatal Frame I, Kei (cousin of the twins) from Fatal Frame II and Rei (girl on the far right). The game has two endings, one: all three characters come out alive and two: Rei is the only character left.

Oh hello there! Yes, I am your test subject. Now snap a picture of me quick!

It’s a total scream fest for some parts. CG animation and the background music is enough to keep you glued to the chair in fear of Fatal Frame ghosts actually appearing beside you. Try turning up the volume, placing the controller on vibrate mode and play the game with the lights off to get yourself into the mood – which I did, oh and yes, by myself. *insert evil laugh here again*

And if you’re thinking this game is pure fiction, think again. The game was actually based on a real life event that happened in Japan. Even the name of the mansion in the game exists in Japan.

The Himuro Haunted Mansion is known as the most haunted spot in Japan. Located just outside the busy city of Tokyo, is the Himikyru Mansion. According to urban legends, it was home to the most gruesome murders in modern Japanese history. The family, who lived there, the Himuro family, participated in twisted rituals, Shinto or Strangling Ritual, to allegedly seal off bad karma within the earth.

Tale is, every December bad karma would emerge from the ground. To prevent this, a maiden was chosen by the master of the household and was isolated within the house. This isolation would cut off all ties from the outside world to make the ritual actually work. If however, the maiden has ties with the outside world then the ritual would be jeopardized.

The Strangling or Shinto Ritual

During the last recorded Strangling Ritual, it was said that the maiden had fallen in love with the man who tried desperately to save her. This “tie” to the outside world caused the ritual to become impure thus jeopardizing the whole thing. The master of the household found out about the maiden’s love affair and to “save” his family from karma, he brutally murdered all his family members before finally committing suicide.

It is said that souls of the murdered family continuously roam the mansion in attempts to repeat the failed ritual using WHOEVER enters the abandoned mansion. Splashes of blood were reportedly seen on the walls while some have reported figures completely dressed in white roaming the grounds.

Still don’t believe it exists? Well, here’s a quote from Makato Shibata, Chief Producer of Fatal Frame about the Himuro Haunted Mansion.

“In an area outside Tokyo, there lies a mansion in which it’s said seven people were murdered in a grisly manner. On the same property, there lie three detached residences that surround the mansion, all of which are rumoured to have ties to the mansion’s troubled past. It’s said there is an underground network of tunnels that lay beneath the premises, but nobody knows who made these tunnels or what purpose they served. Many inexplicable phenomenons have been reported occurring on the property. Bloody handprints have been found splattered all over the walls. Spirits have been spotted on the premises… even in broad daylight. A narrow stairway leads to an attic where a spirit-sealed talisman is rumoured to be locked away. Men have sought this talisman, only to be found later with their bodies broken and rope marks around their wrists. There’s a crumbling old statue of a woman in a kimono, but its head is missing. If you take a photo of a certain window, a young girl can be seen in the developed picture. These incidents have provoked fear in the people of Tokyo, and many believe that those who live near this area will become cursed. The deaths of those seven people are unexplained to this day.”

Now, who wants to come with me to Japan and take a quick tour of the Himuro Haunted Mansion? *Grin* Anyways, don’t be a baby and try out the game tonight or whenever you please. Take a look at the game trailers below (just to give you an idea of what you’re getting yourself into)

Artsy Fartsy: Making Things Easy in a Digital World

It’s easy to express yourself when it comes to art. You can express your thoughts and feelings through dance, music, a poem or through drawings. For me, I express my innermost thoughts, ideas and feelings through my drawings. I’m not as gifted as Leonardo Da Vinci nor am I the modern day Picasso but I know I’m pretty good with a pen and paper. All thanks to video games, anime and manga, I learned to draw. So why the arts?

A few of my favorite characters from all versions of Final Fantasy

Well, I’ve actually dreamed of working for Square Enix simply because their art is AMAZING.  Working for them is one step closer to my dream of becoming one of the animators for Final Fantasy but where I am now is a bit too far from where I dreamed of being in. Ironic, I know. Another thing to note, I’m more of the traditional artist who draws better with a pencil over paper. Plus, taking up courses on digital art are way too expensive. Oh and since I am talking about art, here are just two of my most recent “deviations”. I have a few more over at my Deviant Art page. Click here.

Zee traditional art. Hihi

Thankfully, there’s a tool that can save us a lot of money. All you need would be the epic tool created by the brilliant minds of Wacom. Introducing “The Inkling”, it’s the Wacom drawing tablet WITHOUT the tablet. Imagine being able to draw on paper and have all your movements recorded and sent directly to your computer. “The Inkling” bridges the gap from traditional to digital.

The Inkling: The Wacom Tablet without the Tablet

The set includes an actual pen with ink plus a sensor that tracks its position. Now, there are limitations to the device, it NEEDS line-of-sight. The tracking area only corresponds with an A4-sized paper plus your pen can’t get too close to the sensor. For a price of $199, you can learn everything there is to know about digital art right in the comforts of your own home. This baby is definitely going into my Christmas wishlist.

Check out the video bellow and start puking rainbows. Haha

Person-apps-ity: My Top Five Favorite Apps

I’ve only started using my iPod for eight weeks. In that span of time, it has gone from being a music player to becoming the ultimate photography tool. Like everyone else, I’m attached to the device and it is a must-have in the bag.  The iPod, like any other device, is only useful with apps. So here are my top five personal favorites of which I have on my iPod and a few of which are on my Android phone as well.

One: Evernote

The Evernote App

Being a writer at heart, I am used to bringing a notebook or sketchpad with me wherever I go. Thanks to the Evernote app, all I need is my iPod or Android device. It’s like having a pen and paper at the ready without the additional weight. Its other features include: to-do lists, voice reminders, capture photos and attach to notes – all in the palm of your hand. The best part is that the notes are easily searchable. Unlike with the actual notebook where you have to go through the trouble of physically flipping through the pages to find the exact note. To date, I have 17 notes in my “notebook” entitled, “Ramblings & Reminiscing”. The Evernote app is installed on both my iPod and Android phone.

Two: Kindle

The Kindle App

This is the perfect app for book worms like me who can’t live a day without reading. While I enjoy reading “actual” books, my books,”Dracula” or “Sherlock Holmes”, are too heavy and big to fit into my everyday work bag. Thanks to the Kindle Book Reader, I can enjoy reading e-books on my iPod. Like tangible books, the Kindle app has a “bookmark” to keep you updated on the page from where you last left off. The only downside would probably be not being able to sniff the addictive scent of new books. Haha

Three:Camera360

The Camera360 App

I’m not really good with cameras. Fact is, I don’t own one nor do I plan to get one for myself. Why? Well, I suck at taking good photographs with a professional camera. Yet, like anybody else, I’m a shutterbug when it comes to a handheld device such as the iPod or cellphone. With the Camera360, all the photos I take look as if they’ve been taken with a professional camera. Photo editing is as easy as counting from one to three. So who needs a DLSR when you have this app on your iOS device?

Four: Picstitch

The Picstitch App

Again another photo editing tool perfect for iOS users. Got a lot of pics you want to compress into one frame? Well, with the Picstitch app, you get to choose from a range of layouts to put in all the photos you want. It also offers photo editing tools perfect for your taste. It’s easy and definitely a must-have on any iOS device.

Five: Instagram

The Instagram App

Now who doesn’t have this app? I’ve got this installed on both my iPod and Android phone. Apart from the ease of taking photos, it allows you to edit and share these photos to hundreds of users. Instagram makes photo editing an easy and uber fun activity.

So there you have it, my top five favorite apps that best sum up me as a person – a bookworm, a writer and a wannabe photographer.

Perks of Being an Applab-er

Getting the job you’ve always dreamt of having isn’t really easy. I would know because I’ve been in over three to four different jobs in a span of three years. Why the jobs shift every now and then? Well, my principle is: Why Work if you aren’t having fun at it?

I’ve tried working at a call center to being a shadow writer. I’ve heard the words “Good Job” and “The Hell is this shit?” from bosses. I’ve cried in bathroom stalls because of negative feedback and enjoyed hefty incentives on jobs done well. Yet, I’ve never lasted more than a year or so in a company. Why? If I don’t see growth in myself within the company or if I notice I’m not really happy with the work, I leave.

Thankfully, now I have managed to find not only one job I’m really happy in but two. So what’s the first job?

That would be being a news writer for an Australian based company. The best part about this job is all I have to write about are articles on the latest Hollywood news. So if you guys want to know all the latest about Hollywood celebrities, movies and books, then you know who to ask (apart from Google that is).

What’s my other job? Well, being a blogger for two awesome app development companies in the Philippines – AppLabs Digital Studios Inc and Kid Apps Inc.

Who exactly are we? Established in 2011, AppLabs Digital Studios Inc. is a technology-based media company headquartered in Eastwood City, Philippines. The company aims to be THE premier applications development company on the planet. Chairman of the Board Azhar Khan and Managing Director Oliver Ian Atienza are the founders of the company.

The company is behind the first ever Filipino made application, Maddie & Matt’s A to Z’s of Good Manners and Values. It’s a brilliant application available for free at the Apple App Store that teaches kids of today all there is to know about manners and values.

So, what’s so good about being an AppLab-er? Apart from the work not being stressful, the workplace is a totally awesome place to work in. It doesn’t even feel like work when I come into the office. Hilariously, even AppLabs shares the same sentiments and principles as mine: Work should be a fun and an enjoyable job.

If you’re ever in the Philippines and worrying about not having a job, fret not, because the answer lies within AppLabs Digital Studios & Kid Apps Inc. See you around here then. Crossing my fingers!

Hugs & Kisses: My sister gives the best hugs

There comes a time in any person’s life when they would simply and oh so easily give up. I admit that I’ve gone through those times. When that would happen, I wouldn’t have second thoughts throwing all the hard work away to just get the relaxation I need. But like the saying always goes: there’s always a silver lining to every gray rain cloud. In my life, that silver lining is my sister’s hugs.

Hugs are the best gifts anyone can give and receive but my sister’s hugs are the best presents for me and my family. Dyzelle, our family’s little angel, despite being autistic shows the best of her emotions at times when you least expect it from her.

At age 3, my mom was the first to notice that she still had not spoken clear words. The only words she had managed to verbalize clearly were “No” and “Mama”. I also noticed that when she wanted something, she’d simply point at the object or use us as her “tools” to get what she would point at. When hugged or kissed, she’d scream and run away, which at that time we thought were rebellious acts of a three year old who wasn’t given what she had wanted.

Dyzelle at four years old still had not spoken clearly and her temper tantrums were the worst. Unlike other kids that were disciplined easily with “the look”, like me and my brother, it had no effect on my sister and it only made the temper tantrums worse. Dyzelle also had no fear of fast moving vehicles or rabid dogs. She’d simply laugh and try to get closer. She was a daredevil as my dad would say.

I had convinced my mom to take her to a specialist to have her checked out because we weren’t making any progress in controlling her temper tantrums and her daredevil stunts. The thing I dreaded the most had been confirmed when my mom came out of the room crying. Dyzelle was indeed autistic. We were devastated – our hopes of having a normal life had been thrown out the window. Now we had to bring her to a SPED school everyday where utmost attention to her speech development and attitude were to be given. At home, everyone had to adjust with the changes and live with it.

It was a rough time and at those times I was sure to give up hope that there was any cure to my sister’s “disease”. One time I found my mom crying in the bathroom asking God what she had done wrong. Yet, we knew that no one was to blame and that no one had wanted this for my sister.

Dyzelle now five years of age still continues her education and training at a SPED school in the province. Her teachers and her nanny say she has been doing great. She’d no longer have temper tantrums and she’d do as what she’d been told to do. SPED school had indeed helped. Dyzelle, unlike before, now shows willingness to learn. I enjoy teaching her how to pronounce words. We’d all laugh when she would say “ice cream” instead of “igloo” when I showed her the flash card of the letter I with the drawing of an igloo.

While she learns, we too learn from her. We look at the world in a different point of view whenever she’s around. Nowadays, whenever someone cries in the bathroom about to give up on life, Dyzelle would barge in and simply look at you. But she’d surprise you with the best present you’d least expect from her – a hug. She’d laugh and say incoherent words and run out the bathroom leaving you laughing and crying at the same time.

So she’s autistic, who cares? We love her just the way she i. Unlike any other kid I know has the greatest and loving heart. At times when I think of giving up, I go to the bathroom and wait for a little girl to barge in and give me the greatest present I need.

Why exactly am I sharing this? Well, in this society where special children like my sister tend to be “mis-cared” for, people just shrug their shoulders and move on. Thankfully, there are special schools established in certain parts of the Philippines (with people who actually care) where my sister can get the appropriate care and education she needs.

Now, with two app development companies in the Philippines, AppLabs Digital Studios Inc and Kid Apps Inc, who are working on apps for special children, education can be done at home. With positive reviews on Maddie & Matt’s A to Z’s of Good Manners and Values, I so am looking forward to AppLabs and Kid Apps releasing the app set for their “special” audience.

Learn more about Maddie & Matt by clicking here.

Raising Respectful Kids in a Rude World: Seven Short Easy Steps

Nowadays, kids have the ease and luxury of life. At a snap of their fingers or at the stomp of their feet, everything is immediately handed to them. While some parents see this as “normal” kid behavior and call these tantrums “part of growing up”, it is this kind of behavior that makes me not want to have kids.

Rude and spoiled kids are everywhere. You see them on your trip to the mall or even at church seated right beside you. Sometimes you’d wonder if the mom or dad are just too nice, too busy or to simply put – still too young to raise a kid themselves.

Becoming a parent is part of my plans but not for the next six years. I may not know all there is about proper parenting but here are seven quick steps to dealing with rude spoiled kids. These seven steps have been based on Gary D. McKay’s book, “Teaching Your Children the Power of Mutual Respect & Consideration”, plus a few personal principles from which my parents have raised me from.

Step 1: Start Early. If you notice your kid acting all spoiled, well you must realize that it’s your fault. As early as the stomps, rants and screams start, practice saying “NO” and sticking to it.

Step 2: Prioritize and Set Limits. Spoiled kids have gotten their way with just about everything and anything. By limiting their resources and their activities, you give them room to prioritize the vital tasks at hand.

Step 3: Reward Good Behavior. I won’t go on an all out psychological theory to explain this. The simple thing is if the kid does something good, reward them. Once they are rewarded they are latched onto the thinking that good behavior equals gifts, goodies and games.

Step 4: Ignore Bad Behavior. Ironically, spoiled or rude kids act ruder when they notice that people give them the time of day. Let them stomp, scream and cry all they want. Ignore them at such instances. Kids will immediately stop once they see that they aren’t noticed.

Step 5: Find the root of the problem. Spoiled kids are the product of any of the following: rich parents, lenient parents, very young parents or busy parents. The problem varies with each kid and it’s just a matter of finding out what triggered the behavior.

Step 6: Observe your behavior. I’m no parent but from what I’ve observed from parents younger or my age, they tend to spoil their kids. Ask yourself: Will buying my kid a PSVita really push him to study harder at school?

Step 7: Download an educational game to teach them all the basics. With the advancement in technology, learning is easy in just a touch of a button. Kids nowadays are so tech savvy that they have access to everything on the web. If you’ve got a problem with your kid and their “spoiled” behavior, then the application, “Maddie & Matt’s A to Z’s of Good Manners & Values”, is your best bet. “Maddie & Matt” was created by a team of Filipinos from two application development companies in the Philippines namely AppLabs Digital Studios and Kid Apps Inc.  

What’s so good about it, you ask? It’s an interactive storybook that teaches kids of all age all 26 letters of good manners and proper conduct. With other fun features like picture me, coloring time, live objects and trivia, your little tot will be prim and proper by the end of “Maddie & Matt’s” adventures. Reviews are already in and basing from all of the feedback, “Maddie & Matt” are a big help to their little kids. Allow me to translate one review stated in Filipino which says, “I noticed my niece/ nephews change in behavior. He/she became well-behaved and his/her manner of speaking changed greatly all thanks to the application Maddie & Matt. To those who are reading this comment, I am stating the truth and am very happy with the results of the app. I also take pride in the fact that Filipinos were behind this ingenious app.The best part about this app – it’s free for download on the Apple App Store for the iPad 1, 2 and 3. So if you’ve got a “little” problem at home, then “Maddie & Matt” are here to help re-establish all 26 letters of good manners and values in your kid.