My Observations: Mang Pandesal with SPAM

Let me start by making clear to you all that I love eating the pandesal (a roll of bread common in the Philippines) sold by Mang Pandesal located at El Grande Avenue corner Tropical Avenue in BF International, Las Piñas City. Every day they sell freshly baked pandesal that is both affordable (at P2 each as of this writing) and very delicious. Mang Pandesal is so good, many times lines of customers are formed just outside of their store, as well as vehicles suddenly parking nearby with a driver or a passenger coming out to line up and buy pandesal. If you are not familiar with Mang Pandesal, check out my opinion piece.

This past weekend, I passed by Mang Pandesal to take home freshly baked bread. Look at the pic below…

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Freshly baked pandesal at Mang Pandesal! Highly recommended!

Normally, I ate Mang Pandesal’s bread standalone because each and every pandesal tastes great. There never was a time I had any bad bread from the BF International baker. This time around, I decided it was high time to experiment something that could be very enjoyable. As such, upon arriving home, I placed the Mang Pandesal bread on the table and pulled out a can of the worldwide favorite meat SPAM.

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The world-famous SPAM canned meat, just with less sodium.
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Some of the Mang Pandesal bread arranged on the small plate for SPAM.

So step by the step, I pulled out some pandesal and carefully cut out slices of SPAM and divided each slice of the meat into three. Each pandesal from Mang Pandesal were cut into half to resemble clamshells. Then carefully I placed each SPAM portion into each pandesal.

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Mang Pandesal’s bread with SPAM meat inserted.
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A shot from above.

With the best tasting pandesal and the best tasting canned meat combined, the result was, unsurprisingly, a very delicious experience and totally enjoyable eat! This is an experience that food enthusiasts should have whenever they have Mang Pandesal bread and SPAM available!

And then out of curiosity, I decided to try another experiment…I decided to try pandesal with SPAM with a thin layer of white cheese added.

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Thin layers of cheese added.

The result? A very creamy taste that’s also very nice for consumption!

Depending how you like your Mang Pandesal bread and SPAM together, you will definitely get a great taste of the two. If you want the cheesy or creamy taste, that is what you will get with pandesal and SPAM with white cheese added.

As such, having Mang Pandesal’s pandesal and SPAM’s meat together is highly recommended! That being said, whether you like meat with your pandesal or you simply want the best pandesal around, I recommend you to go to Mang Pandesal in BF International now and buy.

Let me end this piece with a scripture from the Holy Bible, the Passion Translation to be precise.

Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.

1 Corinthians 10: 31 (TPT)


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

A Look Back at V #1 (1985)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book, watching the V mini-series (Original Miniseries and The Final Battle) and the 1984 TV series, and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Back in the 1980s – a time when Netflix, Blu-ray, social and other forms of digital entertainment were not yet realized – watching a special show on television was really something. During that particular decade, science fiction in cinema was already popular (thanks to George Lucas and Star Wars plus the resurgence of Star Trek) but there was still room for growth on the TV market.

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The cover of V: The Original Miniseries. (source – IMDB.com)

Then came the very memorable sci-fi TV mini-series titled V (also referred to as V: The Original Miniseries) in 1983 which not only became a big hit with viewers but also brought the sci-fi concept of reptiloids (reptilian humanoids) to the mainstream. The mini-series also had parallels to the Nazis and the Holocaust. The original mini-series was such a big hit, it spawned a sequel mini-series titled V: The Final Battle (1984) and even a TV series (1984-1985).

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Jane Badler as Diana, Faye Grant as Julie Parrish and Marc Singer as Mike Donovan. (source – IMDB.com)

Created by Kenneth Johnson, V became a popular franchise and made stars out of Marc Singer (The Beastmaster), Faye Grant, Michael Ironside (Total Recall) and Jane Badler. Even though there never was a movie made, V was popular enough to have a line of novels, a video game and even a comic book series!

With the history lesson done, it’s high time to start taking a look back at V #1, published in 1985 by DC Comics with a story written by Cary Bates and illustrated by Carmine Infantino.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the city of Los Angeles, California, with millions of locals try to co-exist with the visitors (reptilian beings disguised as humans) who are armed and still have power over Earth’s people. Los Angeles stands as a so-called neutral zone but some things are not what they seem.

Inside a restaurant, Mike Donovan, Julie Parrish, Ham Tyler and Chris Farber talk about their situation. For Ham and Chris, the neutral zone stinks but for Mike, the current situation spares the city from turning into an open battlefield. Suddenly, three men wearing trench coats standing by the bar pull their guns out and fire at Mike and his companions who take cover…

Quality

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The struggle between the resistance and the visitors goes on.

Before discussing the quality of this comic book, I should state that having sufficient knowledge about the two TV mini-series and the TV series is required in order to understand what has been going on in the literary tale and who the characters are.

On quality, let’s start with the storytelling done by Cary Bates. It is clear Bates carefully researched the TV materials to make a comic book script that pretty much captures not only the essence of V but also the notable differences of each character (examples: Tyler is sarcastic, Mike is determined, Willie occasionally speaks with a misplaced word, and Diana is sadistic). This comic book’s plot was written to be aligned with the events of the TV series as it is clear that its tale took place some time after the climax of V: The Final Battle.

When it comes to translating V’s essence from TV to comic book format, Bates script worked surprisingly well and more importantly there was a careful balance between exposition, plotting, spectacle and suspense. When it comes to character development, what you get from the TV series (in terms of doing characterization) is also present here.

When it comes to visuals, Carmine Infantino’s work is serviceable. The artist did what was possible with the script provided although there were key moments in which the panels and drawings were structured to be a little disorienting. Was this Infantino’s way of trying to be dynamic with the visuals? Lastly, don’t expect to see the major characters resemble their TV counterparts. Ham does not look like Michael Ironside, Mike does not look like Marc Singer and Julie does not look like Faye Grant.

Conclusion

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Recognize Mike, Julie and Ham here?

I can say it straight that V #1 is a solid science fiction comic book that specifically will strongly resonate with fans of the V franchise’s entertainment of the 1980s. This comic book strongly captures the essence of the V franchise, specifically the TV series itself, and the good news is that the major characters are nicely dramatized which should delight fans. That being said, it’s tricky to recommend this to people who did not grow up with nor knew the V mini-series and TV series. When it comes to trading and making money out of this comic book, you could be in luck.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of V #1 (1985), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $28 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $33.

Overall, V #1 (1985) is highly recommended specifically for the fans and the collectors. Those who are not oriented with the franchise need to see the mini-series and TV series first in order to realize this comic book’s value.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

The Lord is always watching us

The Lord is always watching us and there is simply no hiding from Him. What ever happens around the world, He sees them clearly. There is no doubt about that.

According to a news report by CBN News (with details sourced from KOIN News), the radical activists burned copies of the Holy Bible and an American flag in front of a federal courthouse in the city of Portland, Oregon, in the United States. While the protest movement involved with rioting and looting has lasted for months in America mainly due to the tragic death of George Floyd, the burning of the Bible is clearly very wrong and sinful.

That being said, it is unwise and wrongful for anyone to do the same thing committed by the radical activists. Burning the Bible is precisely what Satan wants to happen because he knows that when people know God through His Word, the evil one will be defeated.

Be assured that the Lord saw what the radical activists did in Portland, He saw the persecution towards Christians, He knows Christians got murdered, and He knows about the protesters’ invasion into a neighborhood.  Be assured that the Lord saw those acts of disobedience and wickedness!

Be assured that He will definitely punish the disobedient and the wicked in due time. When the Lord punishes, the punishment can NEVER be avoided!

Let’s take a close look at key segments of Chapter 28 of the Book of Deuteronomy regarding disobedience.

“But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.”

Deuteronomy 28: 15-16 (NKJV)

As seen in the above holy scripture, God is watching each and every one of us. While those who are faithful will be blessed, protected and loved by Him, those who are disobedient or rebellious or simply evil will be punished!

To all the protesters, all the rioters, all the looters, all the crooks, all the radical activists, all the terrorists and anarchists reading this, take note of the words from the above scripture: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.

Now we continue with Deuteronomy below…

“Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit for your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doing which you have forsaken Me. The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. The LORD will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew they shall pursue you until you perish. And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heave it shall come down on you until you are destroyed. The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away.”

Deuteronomy 28: 17-26 (NKJV)

To all the protesters, all the rioters, all the looters, all the crooks, all the radical activists, all the terrorists and anarchists reading this…Deuteronomy 28: 17-26 makes it very clear that if you keep on committing evil and disobedience, you will not only be punished by the Lord for sure but you will suffer very severely. You guys think that radical rebellion and disrupting societies will make your world better? Wrong! You guys believe that defunding the police will make society secure and stable? Wrong! You guys believe that rebellion is the answer to everything? Absolutely wrong!

You are only digging deep holes for yourselves, holes that you will have trouble climbing out of later. Even if you managed to climb out of the holes, your suffering will only keep lasting for as long as you keep on being wicked and disobedient. You may not realize it now but the undeniable truth is that God created you and it is your destiny to realize your true purpose under Him, a destiny that you failed to realize because you limited yourself to your own understanding and because you got carried away by evil influences. You really need to study the Holy Bible (God’s Word) to start your path to become good and reformed under the Lord.

If you insist with sticking with disobedience and wickedness, then you will keep on suffering as revealed more in the Book of Deuteronomy…

“The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall only be oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you.”

Deuteronomy 28: 28-29 (NKJV)

To all the protesters, all the rioters, all the looters, all the crooks, all the radical activists, all the terrorists and anarchists reading this…you joined rebellious movements and allowed yourselves to be manipulated by your political/social/radical idols? You practice idolatry? That is sinful! Who exactly are your idols right now? Has it occurred to you that your political/social/radical idols are serving Satan and they lied to you and manipulated you to be evil? Has it occurred to you that idolatry is exactly what Satan wants you to do to prevent you from realizing God is your true creator? Did your political/social/radical idol influence you to burn copies of the Holy Bible? You keep on being idolatrous, you will only keep suffering and you will never inherit the kingdom of God. Learn from the following scriptures below.

Absolutely not! However, I am implying that when an unbeliever offers a sacrifice to an idol, it is not offered to the true God but to a demon. I don’t want you to be participants with demons!

1 Corinthians 10: 20 (TPT)

Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived! People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse, or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (TPT)

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah; and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers. However I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying ‘Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!’ But they did not listen tor incline to their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense to other gods. So My fury and My anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as it is this day.”

Jeremiah 44: 2-6 (NKJV)

More on the issue of disobedience and rebellion against authorities, the Holy Bible is clear about people’s relationship with civil authorities. Let me share to you that disobedience is simply wrong and God is always watching! If you are always rebelling and being disobedient, have you ever thought about having a clean conscience and being a good citizen? If not, the holy scripture below will enlighten you.

Every person must submit to and support the authorities over him. For there can be no authority in the universe except by God’s appointment, which means that every authority that exists has been instituted by God. So to resist authority is to resist the divine order of God, which results in severe consequences. For civil authorities don’t intimidate those who are doing good, but those who are doing evil. So do what is right and you’ll never need to fear those in authority. They will commend you for your good citizenship. Those in authority are God’s servants for the good of society. But if you break the law, you have reason to be alarmed, for they are God’s agents of punishment to bring criminals to justice. Why do you think they carry weapons? You are compelled to obey them, not just to avoid punishment, but because you want to live with a clean conscience.

Romans 13: 1-5 (TPT)

To all the protesters, all the rioters, all the looters, all the crooks, all the radical activists, all the terrorists and anarchists reading this…you surely spent a lot of your energy and time believing in the falsehood that looting, rioting and destroying businesses and properties are just ways of reforming society. Wrong! You seriously believe it is right to harm people who don’t share your radical views? Very wrong! You seriously believe it is right to bring down crosses because of your distorted views about racism? Very wrong! What you have committed (and keep on committing) is wicked and unjust! You are trapped by evil and the spirit of rebellion! You should learn that Adam’s rebellion towards God is the root cause of the chaos in this screwed-up world we live in and God sent His Son Jesus to redeem the world. Be assured that the Lord will punish those who stay wicked as well as those who keep on committing injustice! Read the scriptures below…

“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the despicable, the murderers, the perverts, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all deceivers, they will find their place in the lake of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Revelation 21: 8 (TPT)

Lovers of God hate what is phony and false, but the wicked are full of shame and behave shamefully. Righteousness is like a shield of protection, guarding those who keep their integrity, but sin is the downfall of the wicked.

Proverbs 13: 5-6 (TPT)

There are six evils God truly hates and a seventh that is an abomination to him: Putting others down while considering yourself superior, spreading lies and rumors, spilling the blood of the innocent, plotting evil in your heart toward another, gloating over doing what’s plainly wrong, spouting lies in false testimony, and stirring up strife between friends. These are entirely despicable to God!

Proverbs 6: 16-19 (TPT)

Now the LORD gave me knowledge of it, and I know it; for You showed me their doings. But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised schemes against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be remembered no more.”

But, O LORD of hosts, You who judge righteously, Testing the mind and the heart, Let me see Your vengeance on them, For to You I have revealed my cause.

Jeremiah 11: 18-20 (NKJV)

Very clear is the truth in the Holy Bible that God will punish the wicked and the disobedient. Those who decide to stay wicked and disobedient are destined to be punished by Him very severely.

There is good news however…it is not too late to save yourselves in front of the Lord who Himself is just, gentle, forgiving and caring. Let me reach out to those who have been wicked and disobedient reading this…you can still save yourselves not within the screwed-up world we live in but in the presence of God. It is only through the Lord you can become Christian, get reformed and experience peace. Learn from the words of Lord Jesus Himself below.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3: 3 (NKJV)

“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Mark 16: 16-18 (NKJV)

“I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!”

John 14: 27 (TPT)

How? Firstly, you have to stop being wicked and disobedient. Next, you must open your heart to the Lord. Next, you confess your sins straight to Him. Finally, you must submit to Him by getting born again and become Christian (a Child of God and a believe of Jesus). To be clear, you are not being forced here. Nobody is forcing you to submit to the Lord. The decision is all up to you.

As for the others reading this, if you have made your final decision to get born again, we can do it right here, right now!

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God as the Holy Spirit is in you! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward!

With your new life realized, make an effort to acquire a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born-again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family. Worship the Lord together with them and remember that each of you has a personal relationship with Him. Understand that your personal relationship with God is strictly off-limits to everyone, even to your biological family. Always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God. Take note that the Lord blesses the faithful abundantly.

The Holy Bible – the Word of God – is the ultimately authority to follow. God’s Word is essential, sacraments and radicalism are not! Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father.

In ending this, here are some Christian worship YouTube videos for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved  and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa imposes liquor ban for all levels of community quarantine, stricter QPass system

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa imposes liquor ban for all levels of community quarantine, stricter QPass system

In a bid to slow down the transmission of COVID-19 in the city, the City Government of Muntinlupa will be enforcing a liquor ban during all levels of community quarantine and stricter home quarantine pass system.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi approved City Ordinance 2020-111 ordering a city-wide liquor ban for the duration of all levels of community quarantine as determined by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

This initiative aims to prevent gathering opportunities of city residents and minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Under the local ordinance, sale, trade, delivery, and consumption of liquor and other alcoholic beverages are prohibited in Muntinlupa City with a penalty of P5,000.00, suspension or revocation of business permits, and one year imprisonment for violating establishments.

Individuals who will consume liquor during the ban will be meted with P500.00 for first offense, P1,000.00 for second offense, and P2,000.00 for third and subsequent offenses. While violators who are minors, charges shall be fined against their parents or guardians: stern warning for first offense, withdrawal of scholarship grants from the City Government or P500.00 (non-grantee) for second offense, and P1,000.00 for third and subsequent offenses.

Muntinupa City Council Majority Floor Leader Coun. Raul Corro said the liquor ban will only be lifted if the city is no longer under any community quarantine. He noted that the City Council decided to impose stricter regulation on alcoholic beverages because many residents still violate quarantine and health protocols despite the alarming increase of COVID-19 cases.

Corro added that the measure also responds to the call of the national government and medical frontliners for stricter home quarantine measures.

Members of PNP Muntinlupa, Public Order and Safety Office, City Security Office, Muntinlupa Traffic Management Bureau, Business Permits and Licensing Office, and Barangay Chairpersons shall take the lead in enforcing the liquor ban. Local homeowners’ associations, including security guards, will also be deputized to augment operations.

Further, the City Council has also passed ordinances imposing tougher implementation of home quarantine pass system and curfew hours during the Enhanced and Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

Qpass holders in the city are required to bring a government-issued ID for verification and can only purchase essential goods from 6:00AM to 12:00PM. Establishments and Homeowners Associations are mandated to inspect quarantine passes from persons entering or exiting their premises. Violators of the Qpass system may face penalties of up to P1,000.00.

Curfew hours in Muntinlupa during ECQ and MECQ have been reverted to 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM. Authorized Persons Outside their Residence (APOR) and other individuals determined by the Joint Task Force COVID Shield are exempted from the curfew.

Curfew violators may face penalties of up to P1,000.00 and withdrawal of scholarship grants from the City Government for minor violators.

As of August 6, Muntinlupa City has 1,849 confirmed cases with 1,035 recoveries, 736 active cases, 78 reported deaths, 971 suspect cases, and 726 probable cases.

+++++

Key references: 2020-111 Liquor Ban     2020-112 Quarantine Pass

2020-113 Curfew Hours


Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, no distorted views and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

A Look Back at Batman versus Predator II: Bloodmatch #1 (1995)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

If there is anything I love about the comic book format in relation to creative fiction, it is the fact that the said format allows certain crossover match-ups (that could not be realized in movie or TV format) to happen. In this case, I’m talking about having the science fiction monster warrior Predator in conflict with Batman.

Historically, in the early 1990s, DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics teamed up to publish the highly memorable crossover Batman versus Predator with the creative talents of Dave Gibbons, Andy Kubert and Adam Kubert.

The two publishers did not stop there. In 1995, they teamed up again to bring the two pop culture icons together but with a brand new story, a new creative team and with the involvement of the Huntress to support Batman. I was in college back in 1995 and you can’t imagine how surprised I was to see the first issue of the 2nd Batman-Predator crossover displayed on the shelf of the comic book store I visited. I was surprised because there was not much media spotlight for it in the comic book industry magazines I read.

That being said, here is a look back at Batman versus Predator II: Bloodmatch #1, published in 1995 by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics with a story written by Doug Moench and drawn by Paul Gulacy.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the city where three guys are about to complete an illegal drugs deal by the dock. As one of the dealers fires his gun at the other party, Batman breaks into the scene to bring him down and pressures him to reveal the location of Terraro. As the downed thug tries to shoot Batman, an arrow fired by the Huntress hits his arm which caught the Dark Knight by surprise.

After knocking the thug out, Batman and the Huntress talk. It turns out both of them are after Terraro. The Huntress leaves as Batman remains to do some detective work on the three men.

Meanwhile from a far distance, a Predator reviews archived video footage of Bruce Wayne/Batman’s final encounter with a Predator (as told in the final issue of the first Batman Versus Predator series) and listens to the audio recording. The Predator is preparing himself to fight Batman by doing research (including familiarizing himself with how Bruce Wayne and his butler Alfred sound like) and he uses his deadly disc to cut off the head of a statue resembling the Dark Knight…

Quality

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The Predator in action!

Let me start with the story. This comic book essentially tells a crime story mixed with some sci-fi elements. Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of exposition used to help build-up the expected conflict between Batman and the Predator. That’s not to say that the story is hollow. In fact, I still found it compelling even though some of the spotlight was spent on the Huntress who is clearly involved in the crime tale. To say the least, the Huntress adds variety to what could have been a typical Batman-does-all-the-detective-work story.

Batman, who by this time gained tremendous knowledge about the Predator, turns out to be targeted as “dead meat” by a gang leader and it’s nice to see him solve the crime problem while being at odds with the Huntress whom he finds to be too eager and reckless.

As for the Predator, unsurprisingly the alien warrior appears sparingly but that’s not a problem at all. In fact, the writer implemented the spotlight on the Predator without ever overdoing it which added nicely into the anticipation of the so-called rematch with Batman. I also liked how the Predator was portrayed in dealing with the criminal and law elements of the city.

As for the visuals, this one is a mixed bag for me. Firstly, I like the more vibrant and stylish use of colors which made this comic book look radically different from the dark, gritty and less colorful visuals of its predecessor. Secondly, Paul Gulacy’s art on drawing people lack punch and consistency. There were times that his drawings of Batman and Huntress were good, other times not. His work on the Predator is good, however. What Gulacy excelled in was drawing action scenes which are not only dynamic in presentation but also went strong with the violence (lots of bloody scenes, weapons penetrating the body, etc.) which reminded me a lot about the first two Predator movies. Gulacy’s take on the Batmobile looks corny.

Conclusion

6
The Huntress watches as Batman takes action.

Way back in 1995, I enjoyed reading Batman versus Predator II: Bloodmatch #1 the day I first bought it. Today, I still find it enjoyable to read. It has a nice mix of suspense and spectacle, and the creative team was granted a lot of creative freedom to tell the story with mature readers in mind. The story was well paced and the build-up was worth the time.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Batman versus Predator II: Bloodmatch #1 (1995), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $23 while the near-mint copy of the promotional version with a poster costs $40.

Overall, Batman versus Predator II: Bloodmatch #1 (1995) is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa offers mental health e-consultation for COVID-19 patients, frontliners

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa offers mental health e-consultation for COVID-19 patients, frontliners

Providing a holistic approach for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and in a bid to help local frontliners to de-stress from heavy workload, the City Government of Muntinlupa offers free psycho-social support and mental health services via online and limited face-to-face consultations.

The Muntinlupa Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) provides psychological first aid and psychiatric check-up, including psychotherapy,  through the Mental Health and Wellness “Alay Malasakit” Program for city residents who tested positive for COVID-19, suspect cases, frontliners, and the general public experiencing anxiety and stress during the pandemic.

In a Facebook post, MHPSS invited city residents who are experiencing fatigue, depression, fear of COVID-19, difficulty in sleeping due to anxiety brought about by stressful situations, or having suicidal thoughts to send them a message and avail of their free online mental health consultation.

Mental Health Psychosocial First Aids and online counselling are administered via Muntinlupa Mental Health Psychosocial Support Services Facebook page.

Psychiatric and Mental Health Crisis e-prescription for self-injurious/suicidal and acute amphetamine psychosis, among other related concerns are also available via MHPSS FB page or through Dr. Nicanor Echavez’ Messenger, Viber (0977 277 4402), or email (echaveznicanor@gmail.com) from Mondays to Fridays 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

While, limited face-to-face check-up for psychiatric consultation is offered at Poblacion Health Center every Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

The MHPSS Team is composed of a psychiatrist, registered psychometrician, nurses, social workers, a SPED teacher, barangay health workers, and other staff members from the City Government of Muntinlupa.

As of August 5, MHPSS Team has free provided free mental health service and referrals to 900 clients. The project is facilitated by the City Health Office, Social Service Department, Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office, Schools Division Office – Muntinlupa, Office of Senior Citizens Affairs, and Muntinlupa City Technical Institute.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said the City Government recognizes the need to support the people’s mental health as fear and anxiety grow from various factors including the virus’ threat to public health, the implementation of strict quarantine, and a wave of social media misinformation, among others.

“We are taking a holistic approach in the COVID-19 health emergency by also providing psychological support for our constituents. We made it accessible online so Muntinlupeños can consult with our medical personnel in the comfort of their homes during the quarantine period,” Fresnedi added.

The Muntinlupa Mental Health and Psychosocial Support program was established last 2016 to cater to persons in crisis such as fire victims and displaced families during calamities. Social workers has provided counselling in evacuation centers and self-care seminars for calamity victims.

As of August 4, Muntinlupa City has 1,686 confirmed cases with 893 recoveries, 716 active cases, 77 reported deaths, 767 suspect cases, and 789 probable cases.


Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, no distorted views and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

 

 

A Look Back at Hardcase #13 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

As you know by now, I really love following the stories of the Hardcase series of the Ultraverse published by Malibu Comics. Issue #12 had a very intriguing conclusion which gave the first fully year of the series a worthy ending (one that will compel readers to go back to issue #1 and search the origin story of Hardcase and The Squad) while setting up the anticipation for the next story in a compelling way.

As such, here is my look back at Hardcase #13 published in 1994 by Malibu Comics with a story written by the late James Hudnall and drawn by Kelly Krantz.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Hardcase and Choice agonizing over the shocking revelation from Lela Cho /Tech (The Solution) who helped them access crucial information they worked so hard searching. What they do not know is that they are constantly spied on by sinister figures.

“I knew it! I knew it! Those scum-sucking weasels! I’ll kill them,” said Hardcase in reaction to the shocking information. Lela Cho tries to calm him down as Choice agonizes on her knees.

As their emotions eased, Lela prepares her computer for their research of the highly detailed files that Aladdin has about them…

Quality

13
The story of Choice…

To make things clear, this comic book’s narrative is dominated by information-heavy references presented like computer files with accompanying images. There is actual little present-day story regarding Hardcase and Choice but that’s not a problem as the heavy exposition of background stories relating to Choice, Aladdin, Hardcase and others are very well written by Hudnall. By the time I finished the story, I got enlightened and also excited for the next story of Hardcase.

What I love about the heavy exposition was how it efficiently explained the details and completely avoided getting boring. The exposition also emphasized the specific roles Aladdin, the Choice Corporation, Ultratech and NuWare had in the Ultraverse and how they impacted the lives of people. This is comic book universe building crafted excellently by Hudnall.

Conclusion

10
More from the past of Choice.

The best way to describe Hardcase #13 is that it is an exposition-heavy, characterization-focused story that succeeded in its goal of enlightening the reader. James Hudnall’s writing is excellent which, by this time, is not surprising to me. As such, this comic book is worth reading more than once and like issue #12, it will compel you to go back to issue #1 and look deeper at the background of Hardcase and his time with The Squad.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Hardcase #13 (1994), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $11.

Overall, Hardcase #13 (1994) is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

COVID-19 Crisis: Checkpoints installed in Muntinlupa City boundaries, City Government limits physical transactions

COVID-19 Crisis: Checkpoints installed in Muntinlupa City boundaries, City Government limits physical transactions

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Mayor Jaime Fresnedi convenes the city’s Barangay Chairmen and members of Muntinlupa City Council on Tuesday to discuss MECQ guidelines and amendments with local ordinance to respond to the change of community quarantine status. Fresnedi orders local execs to implement stricter quarantine measures in the communities in a bid to curb COVID-19 in the city. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The Muntinlupa City Police Station has installed checkpoints in city boundaries while the local government has limited its physical transactions as Metro Manila shifts back to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine starting August 4.

Public Information Officer Tez Navarro said Muntinlupa Police has installed checkpoints in city boundaries while quarantine passes will be required again to limit movement.

Navarro noted that old quarantine passes are still valid and can be used by residents in checkpoints while the City Council is yet to convene for the final quarantine guidelines. Those who will travel to work can still use their company identification cards or certificate of employment in checkpoints.

Checkpoints in Muntinlupa City are situated in Tunasan, Muntinlupa – San Pedro, Laguna, Susana Heights SLEX Toll, and Filinvest Alabang. The local police shall also put checkpoints in barangay boundaries to restrict non-essential inter-zonal travel.

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At the Muntinlupa-San Pedro Laguna check point. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)
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At Susana Heights SLEX toll area. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The Muntinlupa City Council will hold a Special Session on Wednesday to discuss amendments on the implementation of curfew hours, reinstatement of liquor ban, issuance of quarantine passes, and mandatory use of face mask.

Some offices in the City Government have also imposed limited physical operations starting August 4. The Muntinlupa Public Employment Service Office temporarily suspended processing of applications from walk-in applicants. PESO announced that it will only cater online requests for referral to companies and will continue to post job vacancies in their Facebook Page.

Muntinlupa Scholarship Program has also suspended its Drop Box applications following the placement of Metro Manila back to MECQ. MSP will only accept email applications during the period.

Taxpayers in the city can also process their transaction online. Muntinlupa Business Permits and Licensing Office and Muntinlupa City Assessor’s Office have announced electronic transactions for the processing of request for quarterly local business tax assessment, real property tax order of payment, copy of Assessor’s certification, among others, to limit physical transactions.

Meanwhile, the City Government will continue to enforce market schedule regulating the operations of Alabang Public Market. The implementation of the market schedule aims to limit interactions in public places which are hot spots for the transmission of COVID-19.

District 1 and non-Muntinlupa residents are scheduled on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. While District 2 residents can buy groceries in Alabang Public Market on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Monday is designated for disinfection and sanitation of stalls and other areas of the market.

Further, tricycles will be allowed to operate in Muntinlupa despite restriction of public transportation during MECQ.

Tricycle drivers can only transport frontliners, workers of industries allowed to operate during MECQ, and heads of households buying essential goods. Only one passenger per tricycle will be allowed with an exemption for emergency cases with a fare of P25.00 per trip.

Minimum health protocols will still be followed including installation of transparent plastic sheet barriers, disinfection of tricycles at least twice a day, provision of alcohol-based sanitizers, and implementation of “no face mask, no ride” policy.

The odd-even scheme for tricycles will continue to be implemented where Tricycle Regulatory Unit (TRU) numbers ending in odd numbers will be allowed to operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while those with even number can operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

To augment transportation, the City Government will continue to offer “libreng sakay” to commuters.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi continues to urge city residents to stay at home and follow health protocols such as frequent hand-washing, physical distancing, wearing of face masks, proper cough etiquette, and other precautionary measures.

As of August 3, Muntinlupa City has 1,634 confirmed cases with 803 recoveries, 756 active cases, 75 reported deaths, 705 suspect cases, and 802 probable cases.


Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, no distorted views and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa Rescue Unit resumes operations following one-week temporary shutdown

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa Rescue Unit resumes operations following one-week temporary shutdown

The Muntinlupa City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MCDRRMO) announced yesterday the resumption of Muntinlupa Rescue’s operations and Emergency Medical Services following a one-week temporary shutdown.

MCDRRMO chief Erwin Alfonso confirmed that Muntinlupa Rescue resumed its full operations (on August 2) after the completion of disinfection activities and testing efforts of the emergency response unit.

On July 26, Alfonso ordered the temporary closure of the rescue unit due to three staff members to have tested positive for COVID-19 after conducting RT-PCR tests.

He noted that while MCDRRMO awaits five (5) remaining test results, Muntinlupa Rescue has enough personnel to continue with its daily operations.

During the one-week shutdown, 26 personnel of Muntinlupa Rescue were placed under quarantine and went to swabbing. Two additional staff members tested positive for COVID-19 and were isolated for treatment.

The local Rescue Unit augments the City Health Office in handling the management and transportation of suspect and confirmed cases of COVID-19. This is in addition to assisting people during disasters, accidents, and emergency cases, and taking them to hospitals.

Emergency services and transportation of patients using Muntinlupa Rescue’s ambulances were temporarily handled by Barangay Emergency Response Teams (B.E.R.T).

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi says that stricter measures and quarantine protocols will be implemented in local government offices to ensure the safety of the public. The mayor urged city residents to continue to observe health protocols such as wearing of face masks, physical distancing, and hand hygiene.

As of August 2, Muntinlupa City has 1,541 confirmed cases with 745 recoveries, 721 active cases, 75 deaths, 869 probable cases, and 775 suspect cases.


Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, no distorted views and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

Looks like Xbox will be the haven for fantasy RPG enthusiasts in the 9th console generation

Looks like Xbox will be the haven for fantasy RPG enthusiasts in the 9th console generation

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A shot from the trailer of Avowed.

With the Xbox Games Showcase behind us all, it is becoming clear that Xbox as an ecosystem is turning into a haven for gamers who love playing fantasy role-playing games (fantasy RPGs).

Let me emphasize my point starting with a key development from the 3rd party support that I never anticipated, a development announced during the pre-show period prior to the Xbox Games Showcase of July 23.

I’m referring to the announcement of DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition by Square Enix coming this December to Xbox One (note: the Xbox Series X guarantees backward compatibility), Windows 10 PC and the fast-growing Xbox Game Pass subscription service! Watch the video below and check out Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii make his verbal presentation.

While Dragon Quest XI was previously released on other game consoles since 2017, its announcement for Xbox is still highly significant not simply because the game’s Definitive Edition will come with a lot of extra stuff and fun content but mainly because it marks the first-time ever that the Dragon Quest franchise becomes part of the Xbox ecosystem.

“I’m hugely pleased to finally see DRAGON QUEST make its Xbox debut,” Horii stated.

For the bigger picture, the Dragon Quest RPG franchise is over 30-years-old. While the Final Fantasy RPG franchise is wildly popular in the West in terms of video game sales, the same cannot be said with the Dragon Quest franchise of games.

Square Enix’s decision to release Dragon Quest XI’s Definitive Edition on Xbox One, PC and the XGP service could not only help itself sell more games (both physical and digital copies) to Xbox and Windows users who understand English, but also set the foundation they need to potentially release even more Dragon Quest games in the Xbox ecosystem.

While I can only speculate on what exactly was discussed in the business negotiations between Microsoft’s Xbox team and Square Enix (note: Xbox head Phil Spencer confirmed visiting Japan to meet game creators and publishers there), in my view Microsoft tried hard to earn the trust and support of Japanese game creators/publishers to add variety of games for Xbox/PC users. The debut of the Dragon Quest series on Xbox is most likely the result of that.

When it comes to fantasy RPGs, Dragon Quest itself is highly significant given its commercial history and cultural impact with Japanese gamers. If the Definitive Edition of Dragon Quest XI (which is now up for pre-order) sells enough with Xbox gamers, it may lead to even more DQ games released in the future.

Next reason why Xbox as an ecosystem will be the haven for gamers who love fantasy RPG is because of the confirmed revival of Microsoft’s very own Fable RPG franchise being developed by a team within Playground Games (Forza Horizon series) for Xbox Series X and Windows 10 PC.

To put things in perspective, Fable is composed of three main fantasy RPGs developed by Lionhead Studios for the original Xbox and Xbox 360. While the main games (Fable, Fable II and Fable III) were flawed respectively, they resulted mostly positive reviews from the critics and many millions in game sales. Since after Fable III, however, the series went downhill in terms of quality and reception. Not only was Fable Legends canceled, Lionhead Studios itself closed down.

The trailer that end the Xbox Games Showcase of July 23 confirmed that it was indeed true that Fable as a franchise was being revived with the Forza Horizon studio doing the hard work.

Now there were concerns raised by gamers about Playground Games’ ability to not only make the new Fable game but how it will live up to the legacy and the factors that defined the game franchise.

Pay close attention to what Xbox executive Matt Booty said in an article by The Guardian related to Fable: “I just look at what Playground has done with the Horizon series – that attention to detail, the ability to represent these naturalistic landscapes. They also have a real passion for the IP and a unique point of view on what’s core to Fable. Everything I’ve seen as the game progresses tells me this is going to be a very high-quality release.”

In addition, the upcoming new Fable game will NOT be an MMO (massively multiplayer online) game but an action-oriented RPG with the single-player experience in mind. Having finished Fable and Fable III myself, this is great news and anyone looking for compelling single-player campaigns in the fantasy RPG genre can be confident with the new Fable game.

For those of you who never played any Fable game before, below is a retro review of Fable III for your viewing pleasure.

Of course, how exactly Playground will craft the new game and decide what kind of features it will have, and how it will balance between old features and new features for gameplay remains a mystery. Still there is hope that it will be high quality product since the Forza Horizon developer have people who previously worked on big projects that have nothing to do with racing games. Listen to the excerpt in Dealer Gaming’s video below.

“With any kind of franchise like that, where you’ve had existing versions, there’s always that balance between what you’re going to bring forward, what still stands up, and what you want to add that’s new,” he says. “It’s like the challenge of making a new Star Wars movie – there’s stuff that everyone wants you to bring along, but then you’ve got a responsibility to take that to new places and I trust Playground has a good vision for that,” Booty added in The Guardian.

If the new Fable game turns out great, it should inspire other game developers to make more action-oriented fantasy RPGs for the next-generation Xbox Series X.

Finally, the other factor as to why the future is bright for fantasy RPG enjoyment on the Xbox ecosystem is Avowed, the ambitious new first-person fantasy RPG developed by RPG specialists Obsidian Entertainment for Xbox Series X and Windows 10 PC.

Beyond the trailer, here are some details. The game is set in the world of Eora which itself is part of Obsidian’s established Pillars of Eternity games franchise. In terms of gameplay, not much has been revealed but the trailer suggests first-person movement and action will be the core way of playing which is fine by me since I played Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4. Potentially, Avowed will feature exploration of a large fantasy world laced with mysterious creatures, magic, varied locations and eventually varied quests to take part in. There is no release date yet although it is speculated it will be released in 2022. As it is being made for Xbox Series X, gamers sticking with their aging Xbox One consoles should upgrade if they really want Avowed.

Having enjoyed The Outer Worlds (a sci-fi, first-person shooting RPG) so much on my Xbox One, I really believe Microsoft made the right move on acquiring Obsidian and providing them the resources and time to make something that will be enjoyable and engaging. I also believe that from a business point of view, the Xbox executives know there is a huge group of gamers/consumers who are willing to spend good money on big budget, content-heavy, deep exploration fantasy RPGs like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I am confident Team Xbox knows their history that a great majority of the 3.4 million copies of Skyrim sold within the first two days of release in 2011 were on Xbox 360 (more than double what was on PS3).

As such, by now the Xbox executives should believe that making similar ambitious games like Skyrim makes great business sense and Avowed being made for Xbox Series X alone adds great value to the Xbox brand and ecosystem.

With Microsoft heavily investing in Avowed, this should attract the attention of other game publishers/developers who have vested interests in making fun, lengthy single-player RPGs to make such games on Xbox Series X.

Conclusion

With the new Fable, Avowed and the Definitive Edition of Dragon Quest XI coming in the foreseeable future, the Xbox as an ecosystem will be the hot spot for gamers who love fantasy RPGs. Apart from those future RPGs, there are already several Final Fantasy RPGs already available on Xbox not to mention the past Fable games and past RPGs developed by Obsidian such as Dungeon Siege III, Pillars of Eternity and Pillars of Eternity II.

Be confident, gamers! Xbox’s appeal to gamers will no longer be limited to Halo, Forza and Gears of War. Microsoft’s two fantasy RPG franchises will break the mold and raise the level of enjoyment and engagement for Xbox fans and new gamers. Do not forget that there are other Xbox game studios that have yet to reveal their upcoming exclusive games on Xbox Series X. Who knows? There could be even more fantasy RPGs coming from those studios! What else? If the 3rd party game developers and publishers are watching the rise of prominence of Xbox in the 9th console generation, they may go ahead in bringing even more video games to Xbox Series X!

In ending this, posted below is Colteastwood’s newest video about the next big Xbox digital event…


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com