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Monday, July 16, 2018

Being A Volunteer For The Philippine Heritage Map

Last year, I saw this advertisement asking for volunteers for The Philippine Heritage Map. Since I regularly upload my pictures of buildings to Wikipedia, I decided to be a volunteer. As far as I understand it at that time, we're going to donate our pictures of heritage structures to The Philippine Heritage Map website www.philippineheritagemap.org

PHM main page 

I later found out that it's more than that. Uploading the pictures to the website is easy work. Gathering data about those heritage structures is where the work begins. The Philippine Heritage Map website will ask very detailed information about the picture that you'll be uploading such as the name of the current owner, when was it build, what's the current condition of the structure, and what needs to be done in order to preserve it. It will be very helpful to the visitors of the website if you could provide more information about the structure like architectural features, history of the house and important personalities that is associated with the house/structure.

The road to being a certified volunteer for the Grupo Kalinangan Inc (the entity behind The Philippine Heritage Map) is attending the 2-day workshop. Our workshop last year was held at the Ortigas Foundation Library last year and I'm part of Batch 7. We were around 20 during the 2-day workshop but not everyone made it as certified volunteers. Day 1 is all about using the Philippine Heritage Map website. We don't have a user guide last year, but a few days ago, I got hold of the 312-pages PDF user guide of the site. A laptop is highly recommended during the lecture on how to use the site since it's hands on. You can still use a smartphone (like I did last year) or tablet but it will be slower. Not to mention that the website is not designed totally for such devices.

At the end of Day 1, we are asked where we want to do the mapping. There were already towns identified for mapping and we just need to volunteer for those towns. The choices last year where South of Manila (Laguna and Batangas towns), North of Manila (Nueva Vizcaya towns), CAMANAVA, Manila, Pateros, etc. I chose North of Manila since I have been to those towns. That will be hitting 2 birds with one shot. Three other volunteers also signed up for North of Manila. Other volunteers that are not into mapping signed up as volunteers for other activities of the organization. The last activity of this day is to pass a paper detailing the project that we signed up for, possible timeline to finish the project/mapping and limitations to our project.

Our Day 2 was the practice mapping. It was held in the town proper of Marikina City around the Our Lady of the Abandoned Church. It was a half day event and we were able to map a lot of old structures along its primary road. We went as far as crossing the Marikina River to a small, little-known chapel. Our culminating activity happened in the park along the Marikina River (Marikina Riverbanks I believe). Certificates were given and instructions were further given on how we'll go about being a full-pledge, certified volunteers. That is, to complete our mapping project in the next 6 months then upload all the information on the website.

In the span of 6 months, we were able to visit the 5 towns we were assigned to -- Bayombong, Bambang, Solano, Dupax del Sur and Gapan (Nueva Ecija). We took photos and get as much information as possible (mostly from research because we were too shy to have face to face interview). Not to mention that most of the houses we visited were hidden behind tall gates.

We were 4 volunteers for our group and we're located far from each other -- Quezon City, Pangasinan, Zambales and Pasig City. So we uploaded the pictures on OneDrive along with an Excel sheet that contain the information about the site -- address, coordinates, etc. During the actual uploading of information on the website, we also identify the style and possible date when it was build. It was hard to know this information but we're thankful that one of our team mate is an interior designer. Our final hurdle before we became certified volunteers is the presentation of our work. We used PowerPoint to highlight the things we did for the North of Manila towns and also showed these buildings in the actual Philippine Heritage Map website. We were able to pass and all of us in our team became certified volunteers.

This coming July 20-22, 2018 there will be another workshop for would-be volunteers. This year, the Board decided that it will be 3 days. The first day will be a whole day seminar on how to identify a heritage structure including its style, features. This will greatly help us in identifying the structures that we'll encounter during the mapping. Day 2 will be the actual hands-on in using the Philippine Heritage Map website (laptop use is highly recommended). Day 3 will be the actual practice of mapping and this year, it will be in the heritage district of Sta Ana, Manila. I'll be one of the volunteer marshal during this mapping and I'm pretty much excited to meet the new volunteers. I wonder what towns will they map this year -- hopefully I'll be able to join them.

Anyone signed up for Batch 8 of the Philippine Heritage Map training?

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Grand Chase Dimensional Chaser Launches July 3, 2018

The sequel to the PC game Grand Chase will be launch in mobile version on July 3, 2018 in the Philippines. It will be called Grand Chase Dimensional Chaser and it’s a real-time Role Playing Game (RPG). Are you guys excited? I am.

The number of pre-registrations for Grand Chase Dimensional Chaser also reach 100,000 in the Philippines. This was announced by KOG Chief Executive Officer Jong-won Lee recently.

Grand Chase PH 2

On June 23rd, “GrandChase – Dimensional Chaser” was introduced for the first time in the Philippines through a Press Conference held in Marco Polo. Rafael HS Noh, Director of KOG, said it was a great opportunity to feel the love of the gamers in the Philippines and it was the reason why KOG strove to launch the game in the country as soon as possible. Thanks to the accomplishment of 100K pre-registrations in the Philippines, all the users who participated would be able to receive monthly rewards of check in the game such as S Rank Hero Package, 200,000 Gold, 3,000 Prana, and ★3 Monster Card x 10.

“GrandChase – Dimensional Chaser” is an official sequel to the hit online game ‘GrandChase’ and it has been produced by the Original GrandChase Online Development team. It inherits the original game’s spirit and was released in January in Korea. Since the launch in Korea, it had achieved the top game in the Apple App Store and Top 2 of Google Play Store. And “GrandChase – Dimensional Chaser” will be be released through it’s local publishing partner, Elite Games.

If you want to participate in the pre-registration for “GrandChase – Dimensional Chaser”, it can be done through the official website (https://www.grandchase.net/event1) and the events on Facebook may be checked here (https://www.facebook.com/GC.Mobile.PH)

[KOG]

KOG is a game company started in 2000 with the aim of creating world-class games based on its excellent and cutting-edge technology. Today, GrandChase-Dimensional Chaser and Elsword is not only present in Korea, but also in North America, Europe, Japan, and have been in service in more than 20 countries. In 2012, KOG established a corporation in the United States and in the Philippines providing direct Elsword services. KOG is a company that keeps a lot of people around the world engaged year after year by making games that are fun for everyone. (KOG official website: http://www.kog.co.kr)

[ELITE GAMES]

ELITE GAMES is the Local Publishing Partner of KOG for its critically acclaimed Mobile title, “GrandChase - Dimensional Chaser”.

Founded in 2016, ELITE GAMES is one of the leading international Game Service and Marketing Providers based in the Philippines with its regional HQ located in the Silicon Valley of Asia, Pangyo, South Korea.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

GrandChase Makes A Comeback… As A Mobile Game

It seems that the former games of Level-Up are making a comeback. It started with the re-launch of Ragnarok Online and RF Online. Now, GrandChase is making a comeback… in mobile version.

GC

I played GrandChase before and the PC version is a 2D scrolling type (similar to Maple Story). The effects are awesome and the characters are cute. There were the usual class of swordsman, archers and mages… but I never got the chance to explore the game to the max.

I got news in the mail that it’s making a comeback and I’ll probably try it for the nostalgia. Hopefully, I’ll be able to explore its entire story this time. I’m publishing the full article here:

KOG, GrandChase-Dimensional Chaser Pre-registration begins in the Philippines!

- GrandChase is Coming Back on Mobile Soon!

KOG Inc. CEO, Lee, Jong-Won announced that the Real-Time Strategy Action RPG Grand Chase-Dimensional Chaser, the globally renowned Korean game, will start pre-registration on June 13th.

‘GrandChase’ is a popular Action RPG game loved by the millions of users in the Philippines for many years. Since its inception 15 years ago, the game captured 20 Million users around the world and is considered as the PC Online Game that defined the 2000s.

GrandChase-Dimensional Chaser is the Official sequel to the popular online PC game 'GrandChase', a new mobile game that is developed by KOG's GrandChase PC online dev- team members. It was first released in Korea in January of 2018 and immediately became popular after its launch that it ranked 1st place in the Apple App Store and the 2nd place in the Google Play Store.

Mobile GrandChase-Dimensional Chaser, it has all the elements of the original GrandChase loved by millions of players worldwide plus new and exciting features. This includes an exciting combat system wherein players can attack numerous enemies with a simple tap and drag operation, a strategic team combo battle system up to a team of four members, directional skills and various sequence combo control makes this game action packed and intuitive. The background music "Hope" (BGM) and the original characters of GrandChase will makes users nostalgic. In addition, there are new 60 characters, new and enormous storyline for mobile version.

GrandChase–Dimensional Chaser Dev team said,

"We are very pleased to announce that the official sequel of GrandChase in Mobile will be released to our dedicated Filipino fans who have nostalgic memories of the original game."

"It is not just about memories, but this is a game filled with new experiences and fun for new players as well. You’ll be able to experience the unique and familiar charm of GrandChase while embarking on new and fresh adventures."

In cooperation with ELITE GAMES (KOG’s Philippines Publishing Partner), KOG will be commencing registration through the official homepage and SNS (Facebook) at the same time when the GrandChase - Dimensional Chaser pre-registration starts with a countdown for its upcoming official release.

For more information about <GrandChase-Dimensional Chaser>, please visit the official website (http://www.grandchase.net) and the official SNS (https://www.facebook.com/GC.Mobile.PH).

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[KOG]

KOG is a game company started in 2000 with the aim of creating world-class games based on its excellent and cutting-edge technology. Today, GrandChase-Dimensional Chaser and Elsword is not only present in Korea, but also in North America, Europe, Japan, and have been in service in more than 20 countries. In 2012, KOG established a corporation in the United States and in the Philippines providing direct Elsword services. KOG is a company that keeps a lot of people around the world engaged year after year by making games that are fun for everyone. (KOG official website: http://www.kog.co.kr)

[ELITE GAMES]

ELITE GAMES is the Local Publishing Partner of KOG for its critically acclaimed Mobile title, “GrandChase - Dimensional Chaser”. Founded in 2016, ELITE GAMES is one of the leading international Game Service and Marketing Providers based in the Philippines with its regional HQ located in the Silicon Valley of Asia, Pangyo, South Korea.

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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Gravity Releases Dragon Saga Philippines

Yesterday, I attended the Philippine launch of Dragon Saga Philippines – an action pack 3D side-scrolling Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) – from the same company that developed Ragnarok Online. Gravity Interactive also launches the Philippine Warp Portal website www.warpportalph.com and Dragon Saga Philippines is the 2nd game that is available for download on that website (the first being Ragnarok Journey).

IMG_9108

Dragon Saga PH is another PC game that is set to get gamers ready for a new adventure in a realm where dragons roam the heavens and earth. Join the fast growing community of Dragon Saga PH as we explore the depths of Aether – the exiled dragons’ homeland – and save the world from impending war.

Most of the players who tried the game yesterday can say that Dragon Saga PH is very similar to Grand Chase when it comes to graphics – the only difference is that Dragon Saga PH is in 3D. It also has the cutesy “chibi” art style that reminds us of cartoons and anime. It will surely catch the gamers’ attention from all ages.

Dragon Saga PH has all the features of Ragnarok Online – open-world and dungeon run mode scheme (offering various PVP modes like Ranking/Ladder and Guild vs Guild). It will surely keep casual and competitive gamers highly immersed into the game experience. There are 4 base characters – Warrior, Magician, Archer and Thief (for humans). There are 2 additional characters for the Dragonkin class – the Shaman and the Twin Fighter. Dragon Saga PH is completely with other features like Pet System, Marriage/Couple System, Guild and Market.

Here are some of the pictures I took of the event.

IMG_9107IMG_9109IMG_9111IMG_9116IMG_9121IMG_9123IMG_9130IMG_9133IMG_9142IMG_9144IMG_9146IMG_9147IMG_9149IMG_9152IMG_9158IMG_9159IMG_9165IMG_9171IMG_9178

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The UniPin Event at High Grounds Café, QC

There’s a new payment system for online players that promises to be better than our current way of loading game credits. I usually play strategy games on my smartphone and currently, I’m loading up game credits and items directly using Google Pay. I’m not getting any discounts or perks whenever I do so. With the new UniPin system from Indonesia, it promises all the benefits of our current method plus rewards whenever we top up.

Sounds enticing? Here’s the complete information:

Indonesia’s UniPin Ventures into Southeast Asian Gaming Market

IMG_8782


Manila, 15 May 2018 - UniPin Online Game Voucher, Indonesia’s biggest and most favorable brand in the Indonesian online gaming industry strengthen its presence in the Southeast Asian Gaming Market by venturing into the Philippines.

Today the online game market for the Southeast Asian gaming industry is experiencing a tremendous growth and this has motivated UniPin to a new chapter in its digital journey to move its expansion to the Philippines to cater to the growing online gamers of this region. Demand in the online gaming market further geared us to develop and build the greatest gaming community for this region, in particular to provide a regional eSports platform for the local Philippines gamers to connect with Southeast Asia gaming communities and to support the creation of a healthy eSports lifestyle among the young generation.

To kick start its Southeast Asian vision, UniPin is partnering with Philippines local partners, such as SM Cyberzone to organize eSport competitions across the Philippines, and among others TNC Philippine Holdings Inc. being one of the distributors, in the distribution of UniPin Online Game Voucher for the Philippines’ gaming market.

Mr. Ashadi Ang, the CEO of UniPin, said”There are numerous questions as to why we chose the Philippines as our first milestone to enter the Southeast Asian countries". With Philippines’ population of more than 100 million people coupled with the percentages of residents possessing bank accounts at 14% - 16%, according to the research conducted by BPS survey (The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), position Philippines to be the ideal platform to launch UniPin due to many similarities in terms of market trends and gamers characteristics between the Philippines and Indonesia.

"A vision, a dream to merge the gamers experiences in Southeast Asian countries, even though sounds impossible, but with our experiences, commitments and high dedication, we are optimistic to make our dream come true " concurs Mr. Ashadi Ang . "A big dream starts with a leap of faith and the courage to act, and we start this leap with the Philippines. We foresee that UniPin will merge and connect both the Philippines’ gamers’ experiences with the Indonesian’s gamers community and together bring forth the gamers’ community in both countries to a higher level."

“Currently UniPin partners with more than 300 game publishers worldwide and has a total of 10,000 game titles. This enables us to serve 30 million gaming communities which is in line with our slogan ‘’One for All, All for One,” as announced by the CEO of UniPin with much enthusiasm and confidence at the Press Conference delivered on the 15th of May 2018 in Manila.

With its vast game titles, UniPin is committed to create the greatest online gaming community in the Southeast Asia region, by first embarking with the Philippines, through its international-class flagship and favorite products such as Mobile Legends Bang Bang, Player Unknown Battleground (PUBG), Dota 2, League of Legends, Battlenet Club, Nexon Karma Koin, and many more games to come.

In its starting debut for the Philippines, UniPin will collaborate with SM Cyberzone by hosting a nationwide eSports tournaments starting in June 2018. The winners of such tournaments will then be flown to Jakarta to compete in UniPin’s eSports Cup for the Southeast Asia, which will take place sometime in October 2018.

To support its presence in the Philippines, UniPin also cooperates with other Philippines local companies to provide a comprehensive payment channels such as 7-Eleven, Globe, Smart, Dragon Pay, TNC cybercafé, SM Dept / supermarket, Bayad Center, Axiapedia, Globe G-Cash & BPI Bank, and many other payment channels.

For more details please go to our website at www.unipin.com

Media Contact: pr@unipin.com

Here are some of the pictures from the event.

IMG_8787IMG_8792IMG_8806IMG_8812IMG_8824IMG_8826IMG_8830IMG_8833IMG_8836IMG_8837IMG_8838IMG_8840

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

DotA Plus

Popular game DotA 2 recently released its premium service called DotA Plus. Somehow it's a replacement for the Battle Pass.

Welcome

My coworkers are also into playing DotA 2. Three of us (out of 6) tried DotA Plus which is a VIP subscription service available for 1 month (around P200), 6 months (around P1,000) and 1 year (around P2,000).

DotA Plus comes with a ton of updates but the things that struck me the most are the Shards Pointing System (and awards) as well as Hero leveling. Heroes now have the ability to level (up to 25) and have an icon beside the name (representing the Tiers like Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, etc. Your hero gains 50 experience points (XP) even if you lose a Ranked match. That’s 100 XP if you get lucky enough to win. Playing Turbo mode doesn’t add to your hero’s XP.

DotA Plus initially introduces 6 Mythical sets (Exclusive New Hero Sets) that can be bought by Shards. These initial set include items for Earth Shaker, Anti Mage, Clockwerk, Tusk, Magnus and Sniper. I don't know yet how often are they going to introduce new items. Each of this bundle cost 75k shards. Good thing is you get 21,600 shards if you complete the Welcome Quests.

The DotA Plus subscription also comes with free entrance to the battle cup. A weekly tournament that you can join once a week. You can play in any of the 4 servers --- SEA, Europe, NA and SA. If you're not subscribe to DotA Plus, the cost of ticket (that you can only use once) is P49.

For players new to DotA 2, now is the best time to subscribe to DotA Plus because it includes Plus Assistant. It will give you tips and suggestions on the hero that you’ll select (at the start of the match). It will also give you suggestions on the lane that you’ll take, as well as items and skills that you will take as you progress into the match.

Lastly, DotA Plus introduced the concept of having unique stones/gems for each hero. We don't know the full details but so far I see it as a detailed analysis of your hero's performance. For Ogre for example, he has a stone that will track the number of times he killed using his Fireblast.

1st DotA Cup

Battle Cup requires minimum level 25 to join.


Analytics

This is just one of the several analytics added for DotA Plus subscribers. There’s even a real-time analytics in-game that will compare your progress to the Global Average.


Battle QuestCaptain's MatchHero Challenge

I’ve heard that there is already a Battle Cup in last year’s Battle Pass but this is my first time to participate in this Once-A-Week tournament.


Hero Progress Rewards 2Hero Progress Rewards

Hero Progress

Hero Progress is a new feature in DotA Plus. It will let you level your hero up to Level 25. You’ll get Shards for progressing your Hero and at the same time, you’ll get an icon next to your hero’s name with the color for Bronze, Silver, etc. There are 5 levels in each Tier and there are 5 Tiers.


Plus Rewards

Exclusive New Hero Sets – initially comes with these 6 Heroes. We don’t know yet when is the next set of Hero Sets be released. I hope by the time the Exclusive Hero Set for Ogre Magi is released, I already accumulated 75,000 Shards.


Quest UR

The Welcome Quests comes in 3 Parts each has 6 items. It has certain rewards (Shards) when completed and it will give you 21,600 Shards by completing these quests.


Relics aka Stones

The Hero Relics (aka The Stones) is something that we need to explore further. It cost 800 Shards to get a random stone and it pretty much collate your hero’s information – like the Kill Assists that Ogre Magi performed in all of my matches.


Spring Terrain

The Spring Seasonal Terrain (and other seasonal terrains) is already included in the DotA Plus subscription.

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