The City of Muntinlupa made waves in the field of science and technology recently as Muntinlupa-based wine maker Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. and Southville 3 Homebased Producers Association Inc. (SHBPAI) snagged three major awards in the recently held 2019 National Science and Technology Week (2019 NSTW) by Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
As a result, Mayor Jaime Fresnedi formally congratulated Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. and SHBPAI whose officials were presented before City Government officials at the grounds of City Hall during the July 22 flag raising ceremony.
To put things in perspective, the 2019 NSTW showcased the latest innovations in technologies, products, and research that contribute to national development. During that particular showcase, Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. won the Best Packaging and Labelling Innovation in the regional and national level. Further, it also represented NCR as the regional winner in the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program national category.
For its part, SHBPAI emerged as the winner in the Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology or CEST Program in NCR and became the finalist in the national category.
Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. and Muntinlupa SHBPAI received S&T assistance such as package development, training, laboratory and consultancy services from DOST to improve their operations and boost their productivity and competitiveness.
Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. owner Luke Deogracias Macabbabad, also a beneficiary of the City Government’s zero-interest loan assistance, expressed his thanks to the City Government for its assistance to local Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises. Also present during the same ceremony SHBPAI president Nympha Palafox and DOST MuntiParLas Cluster Director Kim Atienza.
In line with the DOST’s thrust, Muntinlupa City supports budding entrepreneurs and MSMEs to scale up their businesses through various programs, having the Tulong Negosyo zero-interest loan assistance as the flagship project which provide financial assistance from 2,000 up to 150,000 pesos depending on business capital ceiling and payment record.
The DOST and the City Government continuously work towards providing innovative solutions for the communities. DOST MuntiParLas Cluster Office is located at Muntinlupa City Technical Institue in San Guillermo St., Barangay Putatan.
Back in the 1990s, there was a flood of superhero comic books that introduced brand new heroes, teams and even anti-heroes. A strong contributor to this was the market presence of Image Comics, Valiant Comics, Malibu Comics and other smaller publishers that tried their best to gain shares in what was back then the highly lucrative superhero comic book market which was long dominated by Marvel Comics and DC Comics.
With Malibu Comics, their Ultraverse franchise of superhero comics was a blast and I had a lot of fun reading comic books of The Strangers, Prime, Hardcase, UltraForce, Mantra, etc.
For this review, here is my look back at the Ultraverse team comic book The Solution #1 (September 1993).
Written by the late James Hudnall and drawn by Darick Robertson (inked by John Lowe), the story begins when Russian personnel get killed by a team of deadly people whose purpose is to raid the nuclear storage buildings.
As a result, several nuclear warheads were taken away without a trace. A KGB agent discusses the tragedy with an Aladdin agent and seeks help. In response, the Aladdin agent recommends to him The Solution.
“We’d like to (help) but our agency can’t give you any direct assistance. You know how it is. However these people might be what you need. Just remember…I never told you about them,” the Aladdin agent said.
In Hong Kong, a member of the triad instructs his hired assassins to distribute a shipment of illegal substances without getting any interference from The Solution. Predictably, the said team happens to be with them in their secret venue which starts a wave of martial arts, shooting and use of magic.
Enough with the plot. The Solution is a team of super-human mercenaries composed of Lela Cho/Tech (the leader), Eara/Shadowmage, Vurk/Outrage and Dropkick. Quite literally, whenever a major problem happens someone will call The Solution (the answer) to solve it for a fee.
In terms of character design, The Solution has a rather visceral look which was clearly emphasized on the cover art. Outrage, for example, looks very monstrous and one could easily mistake him for an evil figure.
Illustrator Darick Robertson’s art is nice to look at and when the action happens, he sure delivers the goods making the hard action moves look intense. Even showing characters firing their guns look intense. The violence in this comic book is quite bloody and the opening scenes really show that.
Even with the non-action, talking scenes, Robertson’s art makes the members of The Solution look believably human. Facial expressions are good and they quite match the dialogue written. The team shot on page 21, which shows Lela Cho in the foreground talking to her teammates in the background, really looks nice.
In terms of writing, I found this comic book to be a bit bloated in terms of details and plot. Most notably, the pace of the story moves very fast and while it does its job establishing The Solution (and part of its purpose as a team-for-hire), the circumstances and the team’s place within the Ultraverse, the story felt really crammed even though there were 28 pages of story and art. I noticed that while the comic book is about The Solution, it ended up showing a total of three different teams (including the hired assassins).
In terms of character development, there was clear focus on Lela Cho which is not a surprise since she is the team leader. It turns out Lela has lots of vested interests in the corporate world and instead of being in a fancy office, she goes out in the field to get things done. She has a very direct, personal access to information online by means of wetware embedded in her skull. She also has a touch of business in her approach with leading The Solution.
“Our potential client has a problem with some Ultras. They want us to take care of it,” Lela Cho said on page 23.
While it may not look as prominent as The Strangers or UltraForce as far as Ultraverse superhero teams go, The Solution stands out nicely for it is unique and its team-for-hire concept is very interesting. When I first read this comic book long ago, I was convinced to pursue the succeeding issues. Even by today’s standards, this old comic book remains fun and engaging.
Remember when Israeli actress Gal Gadot revealed that she auditioned for a role at Warner Bros. not knowing that she would eventually get hired to play Wonder Woman?
Such a development like that happened here in the Philippines as ABS-CBN formally announced on July 17 that they hired 20-year-old actress Jane de Leon as the new cinematic Darna (finally replacing Lisa Soberano) and this puts the much delayed Darna live-action movie back on track.
In an interview with Preview.ph, de Leon revealed that she went through a process that involved a public audition, a special audition for artists, the final call, the panel meeting and the big meeting with the bosses at ABS-CBN. Along the way, she remembered auditioning for a villain role and the audition involved the participation of around three hundred candidates (according to ABS-CBN’s official announcement).
In the network’s official announcement, there was the final deliberation in which the network management asked the actress how committed she is in getting the role. De Leon replied that she would “everything and anything” for it and added that she believes “in what Darna stands for.”
Olivia Lamasan, who is the ABS-CBN Films managing director, asked De Leon (translated from Tagalog): “Are you ready? Are you ready to hold the stone? Are you ready to be Darna? This is because we are giving you (the role of) Darna.”
Unsurprisingly, De Leon got shocked with getting the role. Darna, after all, is a Philippine superhero icon that started way back in the 1950s and multiple comic books, movies and TV episodes were made featuring the character. The late Mars Ravelo created Darna.
Lamasan stated to ABS-CBN News that the Darna movie is a “genesis story” (origin) with a coming-of-age theme. She added that having someone “young and with an air of innocence” as well as “strength of character.”
Personally, I am not surprised that an origin story is the concept of the still unmade movie. This is, after all, the newest version of Darna under ABS-CBN and the new actress has to not only play the icon but also make her relevant with today’s moviegoers, including the many Filipinos born just before or just after the year 2000.
Behind the scenes, experienced filmmakers were involved in the selection process and they carefully made their choices. Darna movie director Jerrold Tarog said that De Leon was their unanimous choice.
Beyond the casting for the icon, it remains to be seen what kind of quality moviegoers will get once the Darna film project finally gets made. We moviegoers have to ask: how much spectacle will the film have? Will the script have childish humor? Will the Darna costume for Jane de Leon still be the traditional 2-piece swimsuit with boots, helmet and that front loincloth? Will the movie serve as a platform for the possible launch of single, shared cinematic universe of Mars Ravelo’s superheroes?
From this point on, the producers and filmmakers should be able to move forward at last with making the Darna movie while Jane de Leon prepares herself.
Details of De Leon
A native of Laguna province, Jane de Leon stands 5’3 and is talented with acting, singing, dancing and playing drums and guitar. She also took part in modeling. With regards to movies and television, her credits include The Debutantes (2017 movie), Ipaglaban Mo (TV series), Maalaala mo kaya (TV series), and Halik (TV series).
If there is anything I like most about Marvel Comics’ True Believers line of comic books, it’s that I get to read reprints of past stories without having to pay a whole lot of money to buy the original comic books or those pricey paperbacks.
A few years ago, out of curiosity, I bought a copy of True Believers which reprinted the first appearance of Deadpool in New Mutants #98.
This time around I got to check on the first-ever encounter between Spider-Man and the vicious supervillain Carnage with True Believers: Absolute Carnage – Carnage #1 which is currently available for for only $1.
The comic book is a reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #361 which was released in 1992 just months before Marvel’s official celebration of the 30th anniversary of Spider-Man happened.
The story begins when Carnage causes trouble at the Agro-Lab Empire State University. He messes with a man named Chip (who claims to have done nothing wrong), cause property damage using his symbiote and eventually kills. This opening scene clearly shows that Carnage is a more troubling than Venom (who in turn was being turned into an anti-hero figure by Marvel’s creators).
Peter Parker/Spider-Man meanwhile spends quality time at home with his Aunt May. Unsurprisingly, a telephone call interrupts his private life causing him to go to the university to determine, secretly in costume, what happened. Peter personally knows Chip and the guy’s death only adds to his concern about the rise of brutal murders.
“Chip’s dead. And I’m worried that these serial killings may partly be my fault,” Peter told Mary Jane.
Using his access as a freelance photographer, Peter conducts computer research at the office of the Daily Bugle and discovers Cletus Kasady’s prison profile. Knowing that Kasady (Carnage) was a cellmate of Eddie Brock/Venom, he digs deeper and goes around the city to investigate. This sets up his first encounter with Carnage. What exactly happened between them? You just have to read to find out.
Even by today’s standards, the story remains gripping, intriguing and entertaining at the same time. David Michelinie really knows how to balance spectacle, exposition and suspense with the Spidey-Carnage conflict as the highlight. Michelinie also showed Kasady’s insanity clearly and, even by his look, the villain is clearly a creative rip-off of DC Comics’ insane villain The Joker. Artist Mark Bagley’s art is still good to look at and he managed to pull off the daunting task of visualizing the present along with drawing images from Spidey’s past with original symbiote and Venom. The action scenes still have good visual impact.
Overall, if you are even a bit interested in Spider-Man, Carnage and 1990s comic book culture, then True Believers: Absolute Carnage – Carnage #1 is recommended. For only $1, this is one engaging and entertaining comic book to read.
Take note that there is a chance that Carnage will become the next popular supervillain in the movies once the character appears fully in the sequel to 2018’s Venom movie. Remember the mid-credits scene in Venom? Carnage could literally rise in pop culture.
Back in 1991, Marvel Comics successfully launched X-Men #1 (Volume 2) which arguably marked what was back then a new era of the X-Men. That comic book was written by Chris Claremont and the art was done by Jim Lee with ink work by Scott Williams.
Lee was granted a lot of creative freedom and that could be seen in the way he redesigned and modernized the looks of the X-Men, especially with Cyclops (with that suspender), Rogue (that yellow-green tight suit plus brown jacket), Jean Grey (technically a swimsuit with those padding on the legs), etc.
Those re-designs were eventually adapted by the producers behind the memorable X-Men animated series of the decade which lasted five seasons.
Of course, Marvel Comics itself wanted to make more money as the said animated series launched. Alongside it, they launched a new comic book series that adapted stories from the animated series (which itself were adaptated stories from the past comic books, mainly Uncanny X-Men). This resulted the X-Men Adventures comic book series and here, I review the launch issue.
Released in 1992, X-Men Adventures #1 adapted the memorable launch episode of the animated series. The story begins with the Watcher doing some expository dialogue as Sabretooth causes some destruction in a city. As it turned out, it was a TV news feed of him as the narrative shifts into a home in suburbs wherein a married couple talk about Jubilee. The husband Martin thought about registering Jubilee with the government which turns off wife Martha. Jubilee overheard them and predictably agonizes over her situation (note: she melted the VCR and mutants like her have been viewed negatively).
Then a Sentinel arrives in the neighborhood searching for her. Strangely enough, the Sentinel simply crushes the bedroom of Jubilee only to find out she was not there and registered an “identification error.”
Jubilee then spends time in the shopping mall only to discover the Sentinel crashing in to find her. Within that place, X-Men members Storm, Gambit and Rogue decide to take action against the Sentinel. This is where the story really takes off.
Creatively, this comic book retells the events of the launch episode of the animated series. Writer Ralph Macchio did a serviceable job translating the episode into a decent flowing comic book. Like the animated episode, the aspect of mutants living in fear (expressed through Jubilee) was nicely captured.
What really stands out here is the artwork by Andrew Wildman. Not only did he do a good job drawing so many characters and giving them nice facial expressions, he pulled off a good effort to insert spectacle into the comic book. The Sentinel’s crashing into the shopping mall, Rogue’s punch on the Sentinel’s head, and Wolverine’s strike against a wall using his claws all have that strong impact.
I also like Wildman’s way of capturing the spirit and look of the X-Men, especially during the Danger Room sequence showing Beast, Morph and Gambit doing exercises. Even the scenes that feature no action but lots of talk had an interesting look and Wildman did not even rely on the method of making the characters beautiful. No single boring moment with the art here.
Overall, X-Men Adventures #1 is a fun read. As of now, this old comic book from 1992 is not really valuable but that just might change if ever the Walt Disney Company (which now has the other media rights to X-Men due to their acquisition of 20th Century Fox) decides to have Marvel Entertainment revive or even continue the X-Men animated series.
Whether there will be a significant development or not, X-Men Adventures #1 is recommended.
During the recent Toycon at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, I took time out to take a look at the displays of the Transformers.
To be clear, the Transformers I got oriented with as a youth was way back in the 1980s when the animated series (specifically Generation One) was released which also saw the rise of the popularity of the accompanying toy line. I also have fond memories of the 1986 film The Transformers: The Movie.
Frankly speaking, I’m not too fond of the modern Transformers that appeared in the movies directed by Michael Bay. As such, I took pics of the Transformers at the exhibits of Toycon with nostalgia in mind.
To enlarge, just click the pictures.
And then I found more Transformers on display for sale (along with other figures) at one of the vendors at the main exhibition hall during Toycon.
Going back to the exhibit, there were two sets of the Transformers that really caught my attention as they expressed strong messages.
In ending this, I’d like to read a verse from the Holy Bible for all of you readers.
So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”(Acts 16: 31)
To the guys who prepared the Transformers carrying messages opposing drugs and expressing God’s love during the exhibit at Toycon this year, you did the right thing! Praise the Lord always! Believe in Him! Never let your faith in the Lord weaken!
Apart from being a very long road named after the family that owns Banco Filipino, Aguirre Avenue inside BF Homes subdivision in Parañaque City is famous for being home to multiple types of businesses. Among those businesses are restaurants which easily attract both villagers and many outsiders to try out their meals, beverages and special stuff.
Recently my friends and I, on different times, got to visit an Italian restaurant along Aguirre Avenue called NYSM Pizzeria located at 262 Aguirre Avenue. Specifically the pizzeria is a short drive away from the Starbucks Phase 3 coffee shop and from a certain famous pizza restaurant.
The first time I visited NYSM Pizzeria was purely out of curiosity. After struggling with deciding what to pick from their menu, I ordered a pizza – the New England’s Best pizza.
Composed of ground beef, pepperoni, mushroom, onions, bell pepper and sausage, the New England’s Best pizza tasted great! It was well cooked and its crust has that peculiar texture. It feels much more filling than a thin-crust pizza and yet it’s not as thick as a pan pizza. It just feels right to chew on and be satisfied.
In further visits, this time with friends, we tried their other pizzas and more of their meals and appetizers.
The El Taco pizza pictured above truly lives up to its name as it almost perfectly captures the taste of the taco of Mexico. I like the way NYSM Pizzeria’s cook prepared the ingredients that gave it a very unique flavor for a pizza. I’ve tried other taco-inspired pizzas in other restaurants but NYSM Pizzeria’s El Taco really captured the Mexican flavor.
NYSM Pizzeria also has a nice lineup of pasta. What stood out for me was their spaghetti served with meat balls and bread with garlic. For P300, it was both very tasty (note: condiments were not needed at all) and satisfying. I also liked the fact that the meat balls had a layer of melted cheese touching them.
Having tried at least three flavors of pizza, two of their pasta, their salad and a few appetizers, I can say that NYSM Pizzeria’s kitchen personnel really know how to prepare the meals and make them delicious and satisfying. I would not hesitate to return to their restaurant for more of their meals.
NYSM Pizzera’s interior, by the way, has an eye-catching New York-style subway train decoration with a door that leads into their bar (inside is a nice window facing Aguirre Avenue). Check out the picture below.
You must be wondering, “What does NYSM mean?”
It means: New York State of Mind.
Check out NYSM Pizzeria inside BF Homes. For inquiries, call landline 576-0330.