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.


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.


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.

Good Friday Procession in Baliuag (Part 1 of 3)

I’m not a devote Catholic but what I love about the Holy Week is visiting 7 churches aka Visita Iglesia and endless procession depicting the events of the Crucifixion. One of the most detailed and the longest procession I’ve attended was the Good Friday Procession in Baliuag, Bulacan.


More than 100 karo (carroza) take part in this annual procession which happens every Holy Wednesday and Good Friday. I’ve seen it a couple of times since I lived in Baliuag during my boyhood years but it’s only last year that I was able to take pictures of the karo. Most of these karo have lifesize statues and almost all events in the life of Christ is depicted.

This is definitely THE procession that all Filipino Catholics should see at least once in their life.


Sunday, March 4, 2018

My Cats

Mirana and Rikimaru will turn 1 year old in a few more months. They have completed 2 shots of 4-in-1 vaccine (against the famous cat leukemia), 2 shots of anti-virus, and several deworming. The 4-in-1 vaccine cost P900 while the anti-rabies and deworming cost P350.

They also gained weight significantly – from 0.40 (Mirana) and 0.70 (Riki) during their first visit to the Greenwoods Pet Hospital – their weight is now at 2.2 kilograms (Mirana) and 2.5 kilograms (Riki). They're now consuming 1.5 kilograms of VitaPet cat food (P250) in roughly 15 days.


Before, they're eating Special Cat Food (from Italy) but the nearby stores where I can buy it is in Eastwood Pet Shop and from the Greenwoods Pet Hospital (inside Greenwoods Executive Village). VitaPet on the other hand, is being sold at Rustan's Supermarket in Mercedes, Pasig. It's along the Pasig Palengke-Tramo jeepney route when I'm going to the office. They're open as early as 7:00 AM.

I changed cat food last January out of convenience, but I might return to Special Cat because I noticed that their poop smelled a lot with VitaPet. Special Cat comes in 1-kilogram package and cost P155 which is slightly cheaper. Special Cat is made from chicken and turkey, while VitaPet is tuna-flavored. The main ingredient is not mentioned in the label.

One of my regret on how I raised my cats is the use of sand in their litter box. It's a bit of a hassle because they sleep occasionally on my bed. Plus, it requires frequent change of sand because the urine stays in the sand. I recently tried VitaPet's litter which cost P200. It is 5.5 lbs and fit's the Familia box perfectly. The label suggests changing the litter once a month. I do hope that I can still transition the cats into using the new litter box.

[Edit: March 5, 2018 – I removed all the sand litters and replaced it with the VitaPet Clean Paw and my cats transitioned to the new litter box with no problems.]

Quick Bio

Mirana -- female kitten purchased from a breeder in Novaliches last July 24, 2017. Date of Birth: May 26, 2017

Pugna (+) -- male kitten purchased from a breeder in Manggahan, Pasig last August 11, 2017. Date of Birth: Unknown. Died: September 2, 2017. Cause of death: Feline Leukemia.

Rikimaru -- male kitten purchased from a breeder in Malate, Manila last September 30, 2017. Date of Birth: July 11, 2017

Sand Litter Boxes

In the first few months of taking care of my kittens, I used sand litter boxes. Half a sack of sand cost P30 and the transportation to and from the hardware store is P50. Compare that to the cost of a commercial cat litter at P200.

I had the litter boxes set up in July 28, 2017 and just replaced the sand today, October 16, 2017 (roughly 3 months). I should replace the sand at least a month because the kittens will stop using it if it's really stinky.

(Update: Replaced the sand again today November 4, 2017)

The problem with sand litter boxes is that sand is scattered through the room. Also, the cat’s urine remain in the sand litter boxes until you empty it and replaced with new sand. It’s tiring to replace it that is why I switch to VitaPet’s Clean Paw in 2018.

Cat Food

I bought the new kitten, Rikimaru, last September 30, 2017 -- a little over 2 weeks. His breeder used to give him chicken breast and Bear Brand sterilized milk, which I continued. My 1st kitten Mirana, likewise ate chicken breast. Before, Mirana is only given dry cat food and Friskies wet food (mackerel mostly).

Mirana gained wait ever since eating chicken breast. On her first visit to the vet, she has a weight of 0.70 kilograms. That's the time she was given deworming meds. On her 2nd visit (for the 1st set of 4-in-1 vaccine and anti-rabies) she weighed 0.90 kilograms. On her 3rd visit (for deworming), she weighed 1.10 kilograms.

Before, I used to feed Mirana with the less expensive Princess brand of cat food (P25 per half-kilo) but cat lovers in forums doesn’t recommend this brand due to its high salt content. I tried other brands as well but it is Special Cat and VitaPet that I’ve stick to. VitaPet is available at Rustan’s Mercedes which is very convenient location for me.


Rabisin (against Rabies) – P350. Anti-rabbies vaccine is done every 3 months (twice) during the 1st year and then yearly.

4-in-1 Vaccine a.k.a. Purevax (against Feline Rhinotracheitis, Calici-Panleukopenia, Chlamydia Psittaci Vaccine, Modified Live Virus and Chlamydia, collectively label as Merial) – P900. 4-in-1 vaccine is administered twice in the 1st 6 months of a kitten's life.

Nematocide (against Ectoparasitic & Endoparasitic) a.k.a. Deworming – P350. Deworming is more than 5 times in the first 6 months.

Pugna [+]

September 2, 2017 -- Today my male Siamese cat Pugna died. He was diagnosed 4 days ago to have Feline Leukemia. He stopped eating. I tried to force feed him as suggested by the vet but he really won’t eat. I purchased him from a breeder in Manggahan, Pasig. He will surely be missed.

He opened my eyes to the responsibilities of a cat owner. Cats are really not just toys to play with. They are real beings with health issues as well. I should have researched more about owning Siamese cats.

All my cats are customers of:

Greenwoods Pet Clinic
Greenwoods Avenue, Greenwoods Executive Village, Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City 1603
Telefax: 5711130