Celebrating your birthday on live video

What a great day! Thanks to everyone for your greetings. Will blog more about this day and post pics, but for now just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you. Special thanks to my wife Ellen and daughter Sam.

I’ll leave you with this excerpt from my CNET Asia blog post.

And since today also happens to be Day 3 of our company’s very first Christmas online show, LIVE! The Show: Merry LU! Christmas!, I’ll be celebrating this day not just with my wife Ellen and daughter Sam, and with my friends and colleagues, but also the members of the big LU! online community who will be tuning in to the live video stream and reading the live blog.

If you have time, do tune in and join in the fun, while also getting some insight into the big online gaming community in the Philippines. The video stream and live blog will start at around 10 am everyday until Friday, Dec. 19.

Frankly, I believe this kind of virtual celebration will be the norm for many of us in the near future, since our loved ones may be in other countries and a growing number of our friends may be people we’ve never even met in real life. Welcome to birthday celebrations in the digital age.

Missend, missed call

Here’s an excerpt from my latest CNET Asia blog post ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you answer text messages (SMS) that get missent to your mobile phone? Just to inform the person that he or she sent the message to the wrong person?

I used to, particularly when the message seemed important. No, nothing as dramatic yet as a life-and-death situation–and seriously, wouldn’t you call rather than text if it’s an emergency–but stuff like someone asking the recipient if he or she has already arrived at the meeting place, or why he or she hasn’t called.

Have a Merry LU! Christmas!

As a way of saying thanks for all the support our loyal community has given Level Up!, we’re launching our very first Christmas online show, LIVE! The Show: Merry LU! Christmas! on Dec. 15-19.

Time sure flies. We launched our very first Level Up! Live Blog on Oct. 4 during the Road to LIVE/Ragnarok Philippine Championships 2008 at the SM Mall of Asia.

Then, for the very first time, we had an official Live Blog and live video stream for Level Up! LIVE 2008, the country’s biggest online gaming event, which we held on Oct. 18 and 19 at the World Trade Center. LIVE 2008 drew a crowd of over 20, 000 at the WTC, while the live video stream was seen by 55, 000 viewers from 27 countries and the Live Blog was read by more than 12, 000 unique users.

It’s this kind of online success and overwhelming support of the LU! community that led us to launching another milestone — our very first online show, Reliving LIVE: The LIVE 2008 Experience. This time, we were creating an online project even in the absence of a major offline event, combining video footage from LIVE 2008 with live video segments in our studio, tying all this together with a Live Blog. Again, we were touched by the support of the community, who urged us to launch another online show this Christmas and in fact make online shows and video chat sessions with our GMs and other guests a regular offering.

We aim to please, and so here we are with LIVE! The Show: Merry LU! Christmas! This is our Christmas gift to the LU! community, so you can be sure we have a lot of fun segments, cool giveaways and exciting surprises in store for our viewers. So tell all your friends about it and make sure you watch our online show, which starts on Dec. 15 at 10 am, Philippine Standard Time.

In fact, you can use this e-mail reminder, so you won’t forget the date ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks again to the members of our Multimedia team — Online Platforms Manager Kevin Codamon, Producer Niel Caruncho, Editorial Assistant Mel Villanueva, and Video Specialist Gelo Obosa — for all the hard work, passion and creativity they’ve poured into our portal and our online shows.

We’ll have segments for our different games — Ragnarok, RF Online, FlyFF, FreeStyle, Perfect World, Crazy Kart, and Grand Chase — plus find out more about the two new games Level Up! is bringing to the Philippines, Rohan Online and Hello Kitty Online.

Even if you’ve yet to play one of our games, I’m sure you’ll find the show entertaining and it will give you an idea of how fun online gaming is and how much it has become part of the lives of many Filipinos, particularly among the youth.

So keep visiting the Merry LU! Christmas! page to find out the complete sked and confirmed guests.

Sama na kayo, and have yourself a Merry LU! Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚

Life without tech (sort of)

I had a great time in Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija — we went on a roadtrip there Friday night and came home Sunday morning. Thanks again to myย kumpare Joel Pinaroc, his brother Jay, and their Tito Dan and his family for their warm hospitality.

I blogged about our “escape from urban life” for CNET Asia. Here’s an excerpt:

I’m not sure how many of you have been to or grew up in a rural area, but we’re talking a house (though a modern one) surrounded by ricefields, with a stream, piggery, carabaos (water buffalo) ducks, chickens–the works. It’s a different kind of experience, particularly for someone like me who lived his whole life in the city, and I always welcome opportunities like this to get away from it all and forget about my complete immersion in the digital world, at work and at play.

In a world where many of our friends and colleagues are people we’ve only interacted with online, it’s good to just spend time talking (well, OK, drinking and talking–we arrived there at 11:30 pm and proceeded to drink a lot of brandy and beer until 4 am) with friends and meeting new people whose lives don’t revolve around technology.

Oh, and if you haven’t tried bulalong kalabaw yet, trust me, it’s better than bulalong baka! ๐Ÿ™‚