Thursday, March 31, 2011

A brave young Jedi named Eli

I learned about Eli Lana's rare blood disorder from a post ("The Force is Strong in Him!") by TK-9849 of Action Figure Empire. In an interview with, Eli's mother Mary Ann Lana revealed that Eli suffers from Fanconi Anemia, " an inherited disease that prevents your bone marrow from making platelets and red blood cells, making white blood cells the way it should and you body needs all those things to fight off infection heal cuts and things like that.”

A bone marrow drive as well as a Toys for Eli drive was initiated by the community (the Lana family lives in Hilton, NY) and good friends such as TK-9849 and the 501st Legion.

Eli is only 6 years old and I could empathize with the Lana family, having a 6 year old son myself, Gboy, who was also diagnosed with a congenital heart disease when he was 5. According to the article, Eli is a passionate Star Wars fan and although I may not be able to send him toys because of the distance, I wanted to give him something that would at least cheer him up...

In case any of you would like to send toys, donations or get well cards, please check out the post from AFE, Reach Out With the Force: Another Way To Help Eli And His Family!

May the healing Force of the Lord be with Eli!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Galvanized Force

Just playin' around with some image editing software. Here's my take on the Skywalkers, the most famous family in the Star Wars universe. Only this time, instead of Anakin, Amidala, Luke and Leia, it's me, Marissa, Gboy and Yamee, haha!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chewie in Clone Wars Season Finale!

Guess who graces the one hour season 2 ender of the Clone Wars? None other than our favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca!

According to the Yahoo teaser  "the young Jedi Ahsoka Tano is taken captive and stranded on a planetary game preserve, where she finds herself on the run from merciless Trandoshan hunting parties. With the odds stacked against her, hope for rescue dwindles -- until her escape efforts receive an unexpected boost from a friendly (and furry) fellow captive.

Now I'm curious how Ahsoka and Chewbacca would deal with the Trandoshans, a reptilian race where Bossk, one of the most feared bounty hunters, came from, and who are known to hunt and scalp Wookiees for game.

You can also check out a hilarious Yahoo video where Chewie reports to his Skywalker Ranch office and answers fan questions in his own  lovable Wookiee way:  

Chewbacca Returns to 'Star Wars' and Answers Fan Questions

This is one great episode where you'll definitely let the Wookiee win!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Force Unleashed: Azkals obliterate Bengal Tigers 3-0

It was bound to happen. After two frustrating draws in the Group A qualifying matches for the AFC Challenge Cup, the Azkals finally pieced together a brilliant game to deliver its most dominating win yet, making kittens out of the shellshocked Bengal Tigers of Bangladesh.

(Original photos taken by Craig Burrows of, photoshop effects added by jedi_randy)

Ian Araneta finally broke his scoring slump by netting in the first RP goal at '41.

Angel Guirado Aldeguer, the 6'2" Fil-Spanish forward and newest Azkal recruit lived up to his billing as a dangerous striker by scoring two more goals in the second half ('53 and '79), putting the game out of the Tiger's reach and securing a place in the AFC Challenge Cup final 8 for the first time in Philippine history.

Despite the absence of a live television broadcast due to strict media regulations by the Myanmar government, the whole nation turned to Twitter to get game updates from Dyan Castillejo of ABS CBN, and Azkals fanatics Roy Moore and Craig Burrows, foreigners who are more Pinoy in heart than some full blooded Filipinos, who went to Myanmar on their own expense just to support the RP team.

March 25, 2011 - a glorious day in Philippine football history!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

An Ewok adventure and a galaxy of fun at Cosmic Kidz Mall of Asia - Part 4

After exploring the first two levels, Yamee, Gboy and I proceeded to LEVEL 3. The section shown in the photos above and below is called The Gaming Cannon Area.

Here you load soft balls into the cannon and try to shoot them into the funnel (shown below).

This tunnel leads to....

...the Helicopter Cockpit.

Gboy inside the Helicopter Cockpit.

The tunnel shown below leads to...

 the topmost "capsule" of Cosmic Kidz.

The kids spent more than two fun-filled hours inside the play area, and although it took every bit of my energy to climb, slide, crawl, jump, take photos and keep up with them, I must admit I had the time of my life as well.  I think I did my wife proud by taking care of  the kids on my own inside the giant playpen, and bringing them back unscathed and all in one piece.

Special thanks to Kristen Lana (in the middle, wearing the striped red shirt) and her family for inviting us to her 7th Birthday party. May you have many more birthdays to come and May the Force be with you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Shake and Stalemate

We take a break from our regular posting for some important updates...

March 21, 2010 6:30 pm
THE SHAKE - I just arrived at the office and was settling down to check on my emails when I noticed my Mcdonald's Stormtrooper and Kobe Bryant Bobble Heads "nodding" on their own.

Earthquake! The tremor lasted for about 6 seconds, and although I tried to stay calm, images of the recent Japan disaster flashed inside my head. Everyone inside the room slowly stood up, we looked at each other, and had the same question in mind: "Did you feel that as well?" Thankfully, the quake that was felt in Metro Manila only registered a magnitude 4 according to the news flash (epicenter was in Mamburao, Mindoro), and we all returned to our business tasks afterwards. I offered a silent prayer of thanks and texted my wife and mom just to check on them and let them know that everything was fine.

THE STALEMATE - Around the same time that the earthquake was felt in Manila, James Younghusband of the Azkals scored on a penalty kick in the 2nd half to put the Philippine football team up 1 goal over host Myanmar in the AFC Challenge Cup group stage.

James Younghusband 

Myanmar however capitalized on a well placed direct kick off a foul by Simon Greatwich to equalize in the closing seconds of injury time to deny the Azkals the victory and 3 points. The match ended at 1-1. Studio 23 was not able to broadcast the game live due to strict media regulations by the military controlled Myanmar government.

The Azkals will be facing Palestine on March 23 and Bangladesh on March 25. The support of Filipino fans will once again bolster the Azkals' bid to advance to the next round of The AFC Challenge Cup.

One Big Bite! Growl for Goal! Let's Dog it Azkals!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

An Ewok adventure and a galaxy of fun at Cosmic Kidz Mall of Asia - Part 3

So far so good, I managed to keep up with my Ewoks on the ground. Now on to the next level!

Kid-friendly cushioned stairs going to LEVEL 2

Two alternate routes to Level 2...

Gboy had a blast exploring the Interactive Section which is really intended for children of his age group.

Trying out the drums, Gboy might yet be the next Mike Portnoy or Lars Ulrich...

Here it's perfectly safe to use the phone and drive at the same time...

An animal kiddie-go-round...

A "funny mirror"...

Obstacles that look like colorful punching bags...

Some floor sections are transparent. Here's a view of Yamee (who's on Level 3) from Level 2

Airballs - a chamber filled with balloons. For the kids, in basketball parlance, it "hit nuthin' but net!"

Orbitz - A pool of itty bitty orbs...

Two levels done, two more to go. Part 3 of An Ewok adventure and a galaxy of fun at Cosmic Kidz Mall of Asia coming right up!

An Ewok adventure and a galaxy of fun at Cosmic Kidz Mall of Asia - Part 2

The adventure began as soon as I registered my two Ewoks and deposited our shoes (note: kids and guardians are required to wear socks inside the play area).

The Plasma Pool - resembles a 7x7ft kiddie pool and creates the illusion that you're walking or floating on water... without getting wet.

Giant tubes filled with colorful bubbles...

They call this ride the Spectrum Crossing, although it doesn't cross anything since it only goes up and down...

The Slingshot - a Merry Go-round of multicolored balls. Word of advice, if you're a guardian like me - Get out of the way!

The Space Warp is a trampoline area where kids can get really spaced out! It looked like a lot of fun and I had to restrain myself from trying it out...

Up next: LEVEL 2!