I bought my scooter five and half years ago, about the same time I started this blog. The red and white Yamaha Mio Fino you see on the blog header is Chocobo, named after the gigantic bird-like creatures in the Final Fantasy video game universe which protagonists use to explore the world. Chocobos provide a faster way of getting from Point A to Point B than going on foot. They give you access to hard to reach areas, and open up new areas to explore.
Just like exploring a new dungeon in a video game, there’s something so fulfilling about spelunking or exploring caves in real life.
You have to navigate through small tunnels and chambers, find the best route so that you don’t hurt yourself, come face to face with creatures like bats and snakes and overcome all the obstacles in the dark to find the cave exit. It’s not as glamorous as Lara Croft makes it look, but it’s one of the most fun and exhilarating adventures you can do. Particularly if you’re in Samar, the Caving Capital of the Philippines.
If the UNESCO World Heritage site Shirakawa-go is the starting village or hero’s hometown in a classic video role-playing game, Takayama is the peaceful yet bustling trading town you go to when you want to upgrade your gear and buy all the rare items.
Takayama is a city in the mountainous region of the Gifu Prefecture, about 2 hours away from Nagoya, Japan. It is home to a beautifully preserved Old Town with buildings and whole streets of houses that date back to the Edo Period (1600-1868), when the city still thrived as a wealthy town of merchants.
On our first day of biking around Siem Reap, we rented a couple of mountain bikes to explore Angkor’s ancient temples. On our second and third day, we decided to take it slow and just rent city bikes instead. As hardcore as the mountain bikes look, we found out that most of the terrain was pretty flat. We also found ourselves spending more time on foot, channeling our favorite archaeologist-adventurers as we ventured into ancient temples and ruins. Who knows what hidden treasure we might stumble upon?
Many role-playing video games start out in a remote place hidden deep in the mountains. The hero’s home town is often depicted as a rustic village full of wooden houses with thatched roofs. Outside each house, you pass rice fields surrounded by rivers, perfectly landscaped gardens and trees with fruits ripe for the picking. Okami, which is one of my favorite video games of all time, has all these elements of the classical Japanese countryside.
Walking through the streets of Shirakawa-go felt like I was transported into a fantasy world right out of a video game.
The game is afoot!
Want to practice your detective skills and see if you have what it takes to be a super sleuth like Sherlock Homes? Check out Escape Hunt in Makati, the “ultimate live escape game” where players get one hour to play the part of famous London detectives and figure out classic murder mysteries.
I’m a big fan of point and click room escape games online and horror video games with puzzle solving elements like Silent Hill and Resident Evil. But there’s really something different when you get to play these in real life. You can’t just pause the game to check for walkthroughs if you get stumped. The time element and pressure feels so much more real. It’s up to you and your companions to figure out everything.
Are you a Filipino gamer who wants a taste of life in the fast lane for real? You’ll want to join this!
Nissan Philippines Inc. finally launches its international virtual-to-reality competition known as the GT Academy here in the Philippines! Gran Turismo (or GT) is a series of popular and critically-acclaimed racing video games developed by Polyphony Digital exclusively for PlayStation systems. The GT Academy takes the country’s best Gran Turismo players and turns them into professional race car drivers.
The Hunger Games Trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire & Mockingjay) was one of those things I could not put down. I must have spent one weekend just reading through all three books. I love the character of Katniss Everdeen in the books and how she was portrayed in the movies. Her skill with the bow and arrow is just so badass. The same goes for Tauriel in The Hobbit. Though she doesn’t appear in J.R.R. Tolkien’s original book, the woodland elf in The Desolation of Smaug shows off awesome archery skills comparable to Legolas. I’ve always hated the “damsels in distress” stereotypes in movies so it’s refreshing to watch movies with strong female warrior characters.
Trying to channel Katniss in a Hunger Games District 12 training jersey
However, my previous experience with archery has been somewhat limited to virtual adventures. In Skyrim, (aside from shouts & destruction magic) bows are the most useful ranged weapon you use to damage the legendary dragons when they’re in flight. My demon hunter character in Diablo III also uses a variety of crossbows and bows to battle the minions of The Lord of Terror.
As dusk fell, the towering trees lit up, tiny lights flickering like fireflies in between metal branches. Inspiring orchestra music started to play as the alien-like trees shifted colors. The blend of moving music and lights transformed the grove of metal trees into a magical rainforest. Everyone watched silently, their eyes transfixed at the spectacle above above. From below, I could see figures standing still along the curved skyway connecting the trees.