Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Man from Manila - Episode 7 - A Friend


Resgram initiated PROJECT GENESIS on Kiko in order to save his life, using a combination of Bio-organic and Nano Technology infused as Alibata Tattoos. Over-all it will take 5 years before the entire process will be finished.

Outside the house, the altar where Nikka's boss placed her ashes stumbled upon his sight; he approached it and said "I am so sorry I wasn't able to protect you as I have promised. I promise you now that I will not just protect Kiko, he will be more than a son to me now, he will become like me.

A young boy approached him from the back “Are you Kiko’s father?”

Episode 7 – A friend

Who are you? Why do you know Kiko?
“I met him on the fields a few weeks ago. He was a very articulate and sharp kid for his age.”
What’s your name boy?
“Harold sir! Harold Casaclang. I live just around the hill sir, near the grassland.”

Resgram was puzzled on why Kiko never mentioned Harold before. Kiko often play in the grassland due to the wide open space where he can run and fly his kite. Harold is a few years older than Kiko, he could never have had played with him but knowing Kiko; he has always been observant of things around him.

How old are you boy? Aren’t you too old to be playing, especially with a 7 year old?
“I am 12 sir, we actually don’t play. He asks a lot of questions, I just watch and occasionally have conversation with him, as I said he is quite sharp.”
Humnnnn…. You say your name is Harold Casaclang. Are you related to a certain Miguel Casaclang?”
“I don’t think so, I have never heard of it sir. As annoying as it is, I do miss Kiko. Who is in the grave?”

Resgram was in a stand still, he doesn’t know whether to answer the boy or not. He looked at him, Harold was a timid kind of a boy, although he is in a conversation; he weighs his question as if he was hesitating but curious. Tears slowly drop from Harold’s eyes. He was more disturbed than he was a while ago.

Why do you cry?
“I feel great pain sir! The person in the grave holds a special place in your heart.” [pause] “Its Kiko’s mother! Has anything bad happened to Kiko? Pls do tell me sir!”

Resgram is amazed by Harold’s intuition, who could he have known? And how come he knows or understands how he feels. Resgram closed his eyes and concentrated; he wanted to tap on the boy’s emotion, his heart. In his mind it was all clear, white as snow – blank… then there was darkness slowly the white is taken into darkness until there was nothing – a void. He sees Harold falling and just in the middle of nowhere, Kiko grabs his hand and stops him from falling. And then there was lightning and thunder… both were confused on what was happening; until a flash of light overtook everything and Resgram opened his eyes.

Resgram shook his head and was very dizzy from the trance he was in. “Sir? Are you alright?” Resgram waived his hand OK and stood in front of Harold. He held his hands on his shoulder, looked him in the eyes and said.

Yes, that is Kiko’s mother. Something bad happened and Kiko is inside resting. Soon, you will see your friend again. You are a good boy I can see and feel that, never look away from the light in your heart and everything will be ok.

“I will be going to Manila tomorrow to study. Please tell Kiko that I will miss him. I will try to visit him as soon as I get back. [walks away from Resgram] Thank you for the advice sir, I will keep that in mind.”
Yes, keep it in your heart as well.

Harold walks away and goes back home, in the gate her Aunt who has also been Harold’s nanny for quite some time asked where he had been? Harold smiled and said “I went to the kid nearby and said goodbye. He was the same kid you saw with me in the fields flying kite.” Her Aunt is very happy that Harold had found someone to be a friend but is wondering isn't the boy too young?

Harold smiles at her Aunt; he remembers every time when Kiko’s mother would go call him from the field as they fly kite and gives them a snack or call them in for a meal. Harold envy Kiko; in his mind upon seeing the love of Kiko’s mom for the child, Harold remembered his own parents, who were both abroad working for him to have a better future and only his Aunt was the one there for him as a companion. Since then, Kiko looked upon Harold as an elder brother, calling him “kuya”, and would greet Harold and walk with him as the latter goes to school.

Meanwhile a shadowed figure in a cloak was looking over at the house of Resgram, it was almost invisible with glowing yellow leaf shaped eye and smoke like trail, it was some sort of a spirit gazing at Resgram while he was talking with Harold up to the time he left. Resgram felt something different and looked at the tree where the spirit was, as his eyes is about to catch a glimpse of the mysterious shadow it vanishes with the wind like smoke.

“I felt that aura before, it was a long time. How could it be?”

The mysterious shadow reappeared as Resgram walked inside the house. The figure slowly became clearer into a full figured person in a cloak. The figure pulled his sleeves up and Alibata symbols were tattooed in his fist. The left fist tattoo reads as “Kalasag ng lupa” or Sword of the land scribed in Alibata while the right fist “Wangis ng Tao” or Image of Man also in Alibata.

“Could he be the same being that gave me these tattoos before? Why does he know me…. Why does he know Miguel Casaclang?

To be continued...

Harold and Miguel Casaclang is a character created and developed for this Original Pinoy Hero Mini-Series by PTK Marvel Division Member Dirv de Venecia.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Cosplay Event

The Dark Knight Rises Cosplay Event
by Planet Krypton Philippines and ROMS Computers

Since last year and up to the recent Annual Philippine Toy Convention 2012 at the SM Megamall there have been a lot of buzz going on for The Dark Knight Rises movie.  Exhibited and one of the main display was the authentic costume of actor Christian Bale as Batman.  It was awesome to see and have picture taken with it, seeing it in person is surreal and was awesome specially for those who are fans of the Nolanverse Batman.

July marked the showing of the third installment of the Dark Knight franchise under Christopher Nolan as usual, a friend of mine is having his personal event for the movie.  This is the only time I will write an article regarding his hobby despite of the other movie event he organized simply because this time I was invited. No offense meant but aside from that my Best Friend Mike Alfante was asked to play as Bane.

Meet ROMM-EL, a business man, comic book enthusiast, collector and cosplayer all rolled into one. Independent, smart and quite a hobbyist if I may say. He owns ROMS Computer (you can find them in favcebook via in BF ParaƱaque and PLANET KRYPTON The Philippines' No. 1 Source of Super Hero Arts, Lifesize Statues & Lifesize/Scaled Busts, Prop Replicas, and Other Comic Memorabilia. Their website

ROMM-EL is wearing an authentic costume of the Dark Knight as played by Christian Bale in the movie. It's awesome to see costume replicas that are not only authentic but can be worn by its owners. I am amazed by the craftsmanship of this costume since I only saw the original on display.

Meet our special guest for the night, Ms. Jahziel Manabat.  She has bee introduced to the Toy community last Toycon when she made an appearance for one of the toy group exhibitors, this time she played Catwoman as portrayed by Actress Anne Hathaway.  She is wearing an authentic mask belt and headgear as depicted in the movie courtesy of PLANET KRYPTON. You can check their website for availability or for orders, but I have to remind everyone that these are authentic products.

An of course my best friend Mike Alfante, he is the in-house technician at ROMS Computer. The mask he is wearing is a professionally crafted poly resin replica of the mask worn by the villainous Bane in the hit film “The Dark Knight Rises.” Made from Task 16 resin (rubber), it is highly durable and maintains form extremely well. It is also well painted to be screen accurate.

All of the costumes are provided by ROMM-EL for accuracy and authenticity. Mike had to wear a bald cap to depict the character, although the coat and vest are different from the film, it is still clearly depicted as Bane.

Me, my eldest son Dave and his cousin Jasond went there as support to Mike in his first cosplay gig. It was fun and a learning experience. I remember my son being very enthusiastic about the costume and his cousin Jasond about how pretty Jahzel was.

My son and his cousin enjoyed this experience a lot, we get to have first hand account of what's happening.  Both ROMM-EL and Jahziel were very accommodating with everyone who wanted to take their pictures with them.

Mike had fun despite saying it wasn't a joke to be a part of this, staying in character and sweating because of the bald cap and thick jacket.

It was nice to know that many people appreciates and accept cosplaying now-a-days.  It was something that took time before it came to acceptance, before grown men wearing costumes or portraying their favorite character was something bizarre and only was a kid only thing.

The picture featured is one of my favorite, it features a Dark Knight fan with cerebral palsy.  They were very happy to have pictures with the characters.  Its fulfilling in a way that we get to make dreams a reality in our most simple way.  A lot of kids, I know I was one who wanted to meet these characters in person.  Somehow I feel we accomplished something.

Sorry for the poor picture quality, wrong setting while I was taking the picture.  Ms Tessa Prieto-Valdes was also in the area and as fun as she is, she took a pose with the most wonderful smile. As a fashion designer, columnist and social-philanthropist known for her flamboyant outfit; it is an honor having her join us for a pose.

Also adding star power to our event is Ms Daphne Osena Paez whom I personally admire for her wit and simplicity.  This TV Host, Producer, Model and Businesswoman sets a high standard in journalism for me and you can join her in her personal blog at (I will e-mail you a high resolution copy after publishing this)

I am amazed on how accommodating Ms Daphne was and asking some questions regarding this event.  She was even surprise to learn that it was a personal thing and no sponsors backing-up since the costumes are highly detailed and authentic.

Thank you for your courtesy and simple support to our cause.

Of course there are the kids to whom this was really intended. I feel the heart of a child in ROMM-EL in organizing this, for his daughter to remember; for his nephews to cherish. Its like a meet and greet gig by big companies but since its a personal gig, there are no fuzz and restrictions for a photo-op.

There were also few item from Maxi Collector featured in the Rockwell Cinema.  Hot toys 1/6 scale items and a bust of the Dark Knight.  I highly recommend Maxi Collector as a retailer in high end collectible figures, I got my 1989 Michael Keaton Batman there and they are awesome.

You can check-out there latest collectible figures on sale or pre-order at their Facebook account or you can visit their local stores for more info.

Here are more pics of the Dark Knight Rises Even by ROMM-EL of PLANET KRYPTON Philippines featuring Ms. Jahziel Manabat as Catwoman and Mike Alfante as Bane.

The Dark Knight  is all tied-up by this Pussy....Catwoman!

Its a fight for the ultimate price...the Cat!


copyright njvelasquez 2012
Batman and all related characters owned by DC Comics and Warner Bros. Inc.
No copyright infringement intended in the making of this article. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Man from Manila - Episode 6 - Risk

After a tragic event that leads to the death of Nikka, Kiko's life is on the line with Resgram doing everything to save him.  Resgram is using all his resources from different planet and timelines, hopefully there is time and way to save Kiko.

After initiating Gene Splicing Experiment and a specially formulated serum, Kiko's body slowly stabilize, but for how long?

Episode 6 - Risk

Resgram is drained by all the stress and frustration regarding Kiko's condition, he fell asleep as the computer stated "Host body stabilizing... Vital signs - Normalizing".  He may just save the boy's life and left that silver lining despite the death of his mother Nikka. After a few minutes "Alert - Alert! Reaching critical mass!" sirens were on and lights were red.  Resgram was shocked "What happened, I thought vitals are normalizing?” "Yes sir, but host body is to fragile for the transfused blood" the computer answered. "You’re dense and unique DNA structure is too much for the host to handle. Our mechanical life support is the only reason why host body stabilized, still vitals are fluctuating" the computer explained.

"It is futile to insist that the host body will adopt you blood sir, estimated chance of survival 0.00067% without the containment" the computer explained.  "How long without containment life support" asked Resgram "Immediate sir!". He is in despair regarding Kiko's situation despite gene splicing techniques, he is failing to save the boy. "Initiate Project Genesis" Resgram commanded.

PROJECT GENESIS is an experimental procedure that was being experimented way back the Egyptian time when Resgram first arrived at the planet.  Early Annunaki's had already tried such during the early ages, it was slow and tedious.  It was the cause of evolution between primates to the early stages of man, it was the Annunaki's way of developing human for slaves or followers.  During the Egyptian time the experiment was first put to test as leaders of the Alien race posed as Pharaoh and built sophisticated structures as beacons for future invasions.  Slaves were specifically marked and was genetically altered to posses certain traits such as strength, levitation and durability.  Since humans are fragile and can only take so much, the said project was terminated after several hundred of years.

"Never was it experimented before on this scale and magnitude sir, almost 50% of the host blood is alien" the computer reminded Resgram. "Now would be the best time to try.  I will not let this boy die in my hands." Resgram will be using a mixture of nano tech and bio-infused tech scribe as invisible "battuks" (tattoo), placed and marked on strategic places all over Kiko's body.  The tattoos will serve as a mediator link between the alien and human DNA thus allowing it to live inside the host body harmoniously. Since Kiko is a Filipino, Resgram used an old form of symbol used by the Annunakis in marking their warriors; later on it became a Filipino tradition as a mark of bravery the - Alibata Scriptures.

The Alibata tatoos will be his armor and protection, hopefully since Kiko's is too young it will take more than just a while before we can remove him from the chamber but this will be enough and sufficient as it will adopt and grow also further enhance him as he ages. The Alibata will be concealed from the skin and inserted under the epidermis so he can live and have a normal life. "Computer, compute estimated time of containment for the entire process to be completed?" Resgram asked the computer.  "Due to the complexity of the pattern and vast distribution - - - - five (5) years". Resgram looked at the screen "Initiating initial pattern insertion, computer give me a progress report on the estimated chance of survival after the adoption of Project Genesis"

The first pattern was to be infused on the wrist part going to the hands stating "Kamao ng Bato" or Fist of Stone. Little needle like attachment from a mechanical arm carefully infused Kiko the Alibata markings with Annunaki Bio-Nano Tech specifically formulated and develop for his experiment.  Kiko was twitching while every puncture is made, Resgram could feel the agony of the child even in its state of coma.   After the incision "Computer! Re-calibrate everything to new settings and give me a, estimate chance of survival." Computer shows the host body on the screen with numerical values and computations as well as the alibata symbols that were scribe "Estimated chance of survival 9.05%, values have grown significantly. Vitals are fluctuating but manageable." Resgram was relieved to hear such progress "Earth culture - Standard Primary Education"  Resgram wanted Kiko also to learn as he is held in suspended animation, five years would make him 12 by the time the experiment is over.

Resgram is taking a risk for both Kiko's life and future in having this experiment on him, likewise he knows that the Annunaki Royal Army and King back in his home planet has been closely monitoring Earth's activity to capture him and return him to his home planet.  Kiko's re-emergence would engulf him with abilities that will make him different but still human, hopefully this will not point at him for him to be captured or else he will put the entire planet at risk of an alien invasion that we have never experienced before.

"I have mapped the host body on where to put the Alibata signs... commence infusion." said Resgram "Sir it will take exactly 36 hours before another 24 character symbol can again be injected.  The host will need ample time to regenerate and heal" the computer explained.  Resgram bowed and acknowledge the situation and went out of his laboratory.  Outside the house, the altar where Nikka's boss placed her ashes stumbled upon his sight; we approached it and said "I am so sorry I wasn't able to protect you as I have promised. I promise you now that I will not just protect Kiko, he will be more than a son to me now, he will become like me."

To be continued...

Monday, July 09, 2012

Popeye The Sailor Man


POPEYE? Who among us who grew in the 80's don't know him?  He was the reason why we were all persuaded to eat vegetable. It was a common saying for our moms back then "Eat your vegetable so you can be strong like Popeye" or whenever we came from a fight, looses and started to cry; our mom would say "Now you understand why you need to eat your vegetables? To make you strong!  Look at Popeye, whenever he eats spinach he beats Brutus."

Those were the days of Saturday morning cartoons meant a lot for kids, most of us collecting had experienced this.  Our parent couldn't take us away in front of the Black and White TV until it was on commercial break, and whenever we do our chores, we would hurry-up and finish before the show resumes or worse, we stop and continue later.  I remember our TV was like a big cabinet with sliding doors and dials to change the channel, I would wait patiently for the picture to slowly come-out so I could watch my favorite cartoons. 

Now, here's a little history I learned about Popeye's origins:

Popeye the Sailor is a cartoon of a fictional character created by Elzie Crisler Segar.  Popeye has appeared in comic strips and cartoons on both TV and Movies, including a live-action version depicted by Robin Williams during the 1980's.  He first appeared in the Daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre on January 17, 1929.  Popeye also became the strip's title in later years.

In 1933, Fleischer Studios, the same studio who made the early animations of Superman adapted the Thimble Theatre characters into a series of Popeye the Sailor theatrical cartoon shorts. It was one of the most popular cartoons during the 1930s and was continued throughout the years as far as I can remember in the 80s.  It was a household name and was a favorite Saturday morning cartoon during my younger days along with Super Friends, He-Man, Thunder Cats and the Transformers.

I used to watch Popeye when I was a kid regularly, it was one of those Saturday morning cartoons which my Grandma recommends. I guess everybody had their Popeye escapades in their life, Popeye was a household name and was popular among parents due to his source of strength - SPINACH!

I really thought I had outgrew Popeye and Friends, It was similar to Tom & Jerry with simple comedic antics and was light to watch - It was fun.  Until I went to the 2012 Philippine Annual Toy Convention, It was my first time to go to such big event.  Like any other collector, I was looking around for some great buys, not expensive and hard-core stuff but are figures that I need to complete my line at affordable price or cheap and out of the ordinary.  It was a fun and exhausting afternoon, then I stumbled upon a box with old toys from one of the seller which I never got the name and there it was - a vintage rubber and articulated Popeye, Olive, Sweet Pea, Brutus and Lumpy as a set.

The toys were in an old transparent plastic bag, dirty and dusty; I looked at it closely and saw that a little cleaning these would still look great. "Manong, magkano dito? (Sir, how much for this set?)" I asked.  The seller was ignoring my query because he was more attentive with the other buyers looking at the more expensive stuff he was selling "P600 na lang (P600 for the set)" the seller said, I was in awe for the bargain, but as I say let's try to push our luck a bit "Wala na tawad? P500 na lang? (Any discount? Can I have it for P500?)" i said "Sige! (Ok)" he said; I pulled out my wallet and paid the man.  My friend said "Wow! Nice haul!", and it surely is.
My friend said it was a promotional toy way back from a local fastfood joint so we checked the figure for authenticity; and it was engraved that It's an official merchandise and made in the Philippines but with no marking of what so ever that it was made for the local fastfood company.  After cleaning the figures, they came out in excellent condition, tight joints, paint details in tact, there were some paint scratches and wear but bearable due to its age, over-all it was awesome.

POPEYE is the main character for this set, he is a sailor and is married to Olive Oyl and has one child Sweet Pea. The set is even made bigger with the Brutus figure which is the main villain and with Lumpy the burger munching extra, I would say its a decent Popeye cast set.  All of the figures are hollow rubber with minimal articulations in the hand and head.  I was staring at these figures for a while and fragments of my childhood would pop-out my head, it was harking me back to the 90s while I was enjoying these characters as I watched them on our old black and white TV.

Copyright Njvelasquez 2012
Popeye and all Related Characters mentioned are properties of King Features Syndicate and the Hearst Corporation
No Copyright infringement intended in the creation of this article 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Man from Manila - Episode 5 - Silver Lining


It was supposed to be a great day for Nikka and Kiko as it was the first time he could come to his Mom’s work.  Little did they know that it would be a tragic day for them; Nikka was sent to deposit money and sent the rest of the day-off to spend with his child when they were robbed and shot.

Chapter 5 – Silver Lining

Two gunshots were the last thing that Resgram heard before he saw Nikka on the ground in blood; she wanted Kiko to run to safety and save himself.  Resgram’s intuition was spot-on, there was something bad going to happen, but he did not expect this tragedy.

Everything happened fast, Resgram swooped and disarmed the robbers but it was a little too late before that gunshot was fired against little Kiko who was fleeing away.  Kiko dropped on the ground, he was hit in the midsection, dropped on the ground and blood was gushing from the wound. “Noooooooo!” Resgram shouted then grabbed the gun and hit the robber unconscious with a bloody face.  Resgram immediately went to the boy and checked. “Still alive, but barely.  I need to take you back to the house and save you.”

Resgram rushed to go back; Kiko is losing so much blood, at this rate and his age he will not survive if it will not be treated immediately.  Everything was fast, as they entered the house; he rushed Kiko in his room which is also his laboratory.  He injected Kiko with a serum that pushed the bullet out of its flesh.  The bed was transformed in to cylinder type glass containment; Resgram put oxygen and other apparatus to monitor Kiko’s vital signs.

You can see Resgram’s worry as the wound heals and closes as if the flesh is re-generating itself, the serum is working.  Suddenly his instruments beeped and red light flashed in his computer; the boy was crashing, the lost of blood was too much that Kiko’s blood pressure is rapidly going critical, he needed blood transfusion immediately.

Resgram took no time and had no second thoughts; he programmed his machines to adjust on the needs on the boy.  There was no other one available as a donor but himself, he needed to calibrate the computer to make adjustments as he transfuse his blood to the boy.  He hooked himself up in the other table that also transformed into a containment unit.  The computer automatically raised the two, injected tubes, hoses and raised the containment units; both fell asleep at the computer draws blood from Resgram to Kiko.

Resgram programmed the computer to regulate his vital signs and provide necessary supplements to be injected as the transfusion is going.  Plasma filled the containment unit as they entered a state of coma.  Vital signs of the two fluctuate from time to time, Kiko would twitch and struggle at a times; heart rates would amplify then regulate.

Meanwhile, the police had arrested the robbers and had found Nikka’s body.  Her boss was looking for the boy “Officer, my employee that was murdered was with her boy; Kiko.  Have you seen him? Was he hurt?”  The Officer-in-Charge replied “There was no child ma’am, we were also surprised when we came because the robbers were all unconscious and seemed to have had a beating already.  Even your money was intact, nothing seemed to be missing, and the only thing we had to facilitate was the victims.  We have also sent people to the female victim’s residence but there was no one answering, it looks like she was living alone.”  Nikka’s boss decided to have her cremated and latter sent to her house, she made an altar just outside Nikka’s house and placed the urn as a token of respect; still she wonders what had happened to the boy; she was thinking of providing a new home for the boy.


Resgram’s containment chamber lit green, plasma was removed and chamber was transformed as a regular table platform, the computer automatically made a system’s check on his vital signs; upon checking that everything was optimal ha was injected a chemical waking him up from the induced coma.  “Welcome back sir! I have scanned and check your vital signs, everything is in optimum level.” A computerized voice said.  “How about the boy? How is he coping-up?” Resgram asked. “The boy is having difficulty adjusting to the transfused blood, it has been 4 weeks since the incident the boy’s vital signs are barely coping… suggesting immediate gene splicing procedure.”

Resgram took a pause “Everything will be worthless if I don’t save the boy.” He changed and went out of the room.  Everything was dusty and there were dry leaves almost everywhere; he went to the window to see what else changed.  He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, and then his eyes came upon the altar within it the urn of Nikka’s ash and an envelope.  Curious on what the envelope is about, he went to get it.  Tears dropped as he saw the urn, a message was placed on the Platform is says “Aiyanikka was more than just an employee, she was a trustworthy friend. Nikka is family.  May her soul rest in eternal peace with the Almighty God.  She will always be remembered.”

Resgram waisted no time, he rushed inside and went back to the room.  He placed the envelope in his table and went to check Kiko’s vital signs. “Prepare for gene splicing process.” Computer screen displays the boy’s vital signs plus another window for the process. “Gene Splicing initiated” the screen again displays the DNA composition of Kiko side by side with the DNA of Resgram.  A complex device that mixes chemicals and converts it to serum is activated.  Resgram placed 50cc of his blood in the chamber. “Initiating Gene Splicing… mixing chemical…processing DNA…adoptive serum acquired.” The computer said as a series of computer render appears on the screen. “Inject serum” Resgram said to the computer.

Kiko’s vital signs dropped “Critical level” the computer prompts as the boy twitch and struggles. “What is happening?” Resgram said; “Host is rejecting adoptive serum, transfused blood reaching critical mass”.  Resgram immediately programmed the computer and inserted another serum from his experiments.  “Vital signs are normalizing, host body accepting serum, host adapting to transfused blood.”  Resgram sat in front of his computer exhausted.

To be continued…

Copyright njvelasquez 2012
All characters mentioned are all original concepts for this Mini-Series.