Monday, February 27, 2012

Papier Mache Shorties

Our boys are at it again!
This time, they're making movies with their homemade papier mache characters as top film actors.
I don't mind seeing them toss these 'artworks' in the air --and eventually end up on the work bench's intensive care unit.  The important thing is that they're building something out of them.  They were made not just to grace the shelves after all.  They're meant to be played with.  They're meant to make childhood stories.

Armed with papier mache and a camphone --these boys are unstoppable.

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Harry Potter vs. Voldemort
That spine-tingling final duel scene from that magically epic movie franchise is reenacted by Kenji --complete with a resonating, deep voice that's making me think he's following my footsteps in voice acting.  Heee...
What I like about this kid is his talent at camera handling.  He puts in crazy angles, swish pans, all the stops to hold that suspenseful moment.  The comical twist he threw in the end is equally cool!

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Dementio vs. Count Bleck
(Please ignore the sleeping whale in the first frame --that's me.  Videobomber!)
Miro is our resident storyteller.  So he's got his Super Paper Mario papier maches living out a cute little sitcom he cooked up himself.  What I like about this --aside from the voice changes in between characters which again prove that both my kiddos either have a future in voice acting or demomnic possession movie roles-- is that he used cuts to edit his material while shooting.  Neat director's treatment there!

Let's pause for that proud momma moment. :)

You know what, I think it's great parenting to give your kids a camphone nowadays.  Really.  It not only sparks their creativity.  It also allows them to record memories.  This time, the way THEY see it.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

First Things First

Ah, my all time favorite stress source --Summer Camp Hunting! :)
As always, Miro's summer choice proved to be very challenging.  After 2 years in Robotics, now he wants to move up the technological ladder and battle it out in the exciting world of Computer Animation. Egad!  I just felt a migraine coming on.

But thanks to my good, geeky friend, Charie, this creative parenting quest turned out to be a cinch.  Let's give it up for a fresh find --the First Academy of Computer Arts!

Seriously, I didn't even know there was this kind of school here.  So I was seriously pumped to check it out.  Now, I know Miro is no stranger to computers and art, but being a completely annoying stage mom, I didn't want him diving into strange, new territory.  So last Saturday, I took the hyper giddy kid to a free animation workshop First Academy put up... just to test the waters.
And, the digital water is fine!

The peachy hallway
The snazzy lounge
It started with a tour of the cozy school.  It's techy and homey --a weird yet welcoming combination.

The drawing room
Comic wall
You can feel the talent everywhere.  And the people were all friendly and accommodating.  Good plus!

Finally settled into one of the colorful classrooms, Miro got a quick demo and a riveting hands-on.  It was his first stab at flash animation and the teacher said he was quite a fast learner.  Oh yeah, Miro ate that comment up! :P

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The objective was to get the little cartoon character to walk smoothly, and realistically.  Realism in a cartoon is important, apparently.  You don't just get the cartoon's legs to move.  You have to make his shoulders and upper torso move, even his hair.  Because that's what happens in real life.  And that's what makes your character ultimately relatable. 
(Yeah, I learned a thing or two in that workshop, too.  Ha!)

Only one of the school's 2012 summer courses
The workshop gave Miro (and I) a delicious peek into what First Academy's summer program holds for little geekatrons like my boy.  And just like that, I signed him up for the Jr. Digital Arts course.  Usually, I decide after a series of trips to a variety of options.  First Academy was the first summer camp I decided on, on the first try. 

If your kid is ready for the future, then you should be ready for a trip to the First Academy of Computer Arts.  If you don't think this should be your first choice, please take the time to ogle and drool at the masterpieces First Academy students made here.

Thanks again, Charie!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Valentines

A serenade and flowers, no less!
And they told me they were all leaving for a haircut.  Pshaw!  Haha!

The song my boys sang for me was the very same kundiman that was sung as I walked down the aisle.  *glub*  I bet it took forever for my kids to learn this song.  Props to my incredibly romantic husband.  You rock sweet chunks, luv!

Minamahal Sinasamba Ang katulad mo'y isang awit ng pagsinta 
Minamahal, manalig ka  
Nasa piling mo lamang ako liligaya
Bawat sulyap 
Bawat ngiti 
Ang igawad mo ay pangako ng pagliyag 
Irog ikaw lamang ang tangi kong mahal 
Minamahal Iniibig Kita

Nothing beats Valentine surprises.  They're the best in my book.  And these boys, I just love them more than humanly possible.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY EVERYONE!

Monday, February 13, 2012

At The War Museum

One of the best family trips we've ever had was just around the corner.

The Philippine Airforce Museum!  I cannot believe we missed this for years!  It's a top notch educational outing if your kids have a knack for history, or if they're just crazy about airplanes.  Our boys were pretty much both.

So let's start the tour!
First blast got us instantly breathless.  The lobby had actual war planes in it --including the majestically bad ass, Shark of Zambales.

Moving along, Miro and Kenji ogled over vintage stuff in glass casings while Jing and I annotated facts.

At the ammo wing, they had close encounters with authentic war items.

And, to cap it all off, had the coolest hands-on experience at the museum's Aircraft Park.  Now this place was insanely huge!  The war-torn fighter jets were beyond awesome!  You can feel the history everywhere!

And all for just Php20.00.  How incredible a deal is that!

And we even got to take home some Airforce badges.
Educational.  Exciting.  Patriotic.  Told ya --best family trip ever.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Keep the FIRE alive

At the young age of 14, I was already that Old Cat Lady.  I've had a thing for rescuing kittens.  Those unwanted ones thrown in the trash, those left for dead under parked vehicles.  Whenever I hear a meow for help, I take that little fluffy, dirty thing home.  In total, I've had 14 grown cats.  All happy, all well taken cared of.

Noble, huh?  But what I did then is nothing compared to the story of Lei and Fire.

Lei is a good friend with a good heart for animals.  Fire is a stray cat and a victim of inhumanity.
He may have meowed a tad too loudly one night --who knows?-- but some jerk thought the best way to shut him up was to douse him with boiling water.  I bet the jerk is feeling wonderfully macho right now.  And I bet karma is on its way to his house with a vat of boiling radioactive waste.
The rash and highly uncalled-for act made a sad, painful mess of one of Fire's hind legs.  The scalded area is left without fur and skin, with the flesh horribly exposed to the elements. 

But where there are evil people, there are good ones.  And that's when Lei came into Fire's life.

Lei scooped the helpless cat into her arms and took him to a nearby animal clinic where he was treated, cleaned, and prepped for amputation.  Sadly, the damaged and now infected leg will have to go.  It will take days for Fire to regain enough strength for surgery and months to recuperate after that, but Lei and and all of us are confident he will pull through.  Lei, after all, named him Fire because of the relentless fight in his eyes.

Today, Fire is stronger ...and cuddles a lot!  It's clear that even though he found fear and hatred in humans once, he's also found security and love in humans since being saved.

Today is also the day Fire is scheduled for the crucial operation.  In behalf of Lei, this blog calls for all animal lovers to find the heart and time to help out.  You may send love by visiting Fire at Vets In Practice in Mandaluyong City, and you may also send much-needed donations to FIRE's Metrobank Savings Account # 3343 1000 95.  

This is one way for man to show that despite the ugliness some people do, there IS love for animals deep within most of us.  Let's keep that fire alive.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Who's up for a Journey 2 adventure?

Journey 2:  The Mysterious Island ... is it really blog-worthy?  Somewhat.

Spoiler alert from here on end so stop yourself if you want to keep the mystery mysterious.

I do think the movie's concept of merging three phenomenal books (Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, and Mysterious Island by Jules Verne) into one compelling story is way cool.  Merging the three map images from the three hardbounds to form a single map to the Mysterious Island complete with coordinates is way cooler.

Production design earns serious thumbs up from my art director husband.  Although some swimming and flying scenes where matting proves to be a little off garnered thumbs down.  Although these may be forgivable.  My husband is too kind.

I wasn't too hot on the script as well.  Some of the dialogues were tired, unfortunately.

My kids caught on a continuity flaw, too.  Every bug in the movie came out big, except for the fireflies.  Why were they were immune... hmm?

But the adventure all throughout scored high on the entertainment meter.  Giant lizards, giant spiders, giant bees, giant killer birds, giant electric eels --how can you possibly not jump for joy with that!  Discovering the lost city of Atlantis?  THAT sent my kids to insanity!  And the Nautilus!  Wow --seeing the Nautilus in its fully-operational glory was the high point in our children's movie-viewing career!

There were great parts of the film, but the best were already pre-empted in the trailer.  The tiny elephant, for one.  And, of course, Dwayne Johnson's signature Pec Pop of Love --which for me was the funniest sequence in the movie.  "C'mon... pop a berry!"  --best line delivery EVER!  Eventually, I will get over those self-moving boobies, but not today.

All in all --if you're not as whiny as I am, LOL!-- Journey 2 is indeed a wild, fun ride!  So, who's up for an adventure?