Armis takes over Kipp Academy

As Roger exited the Kipp Academy school bus, he felt something exciting and new was in store for him today.

It was on his way to his advanced Geometry class that he saw an old friend.

“Hey Anthony,” Roger called out.

“Hey dude … ” Anthony acknowledged. “I was looking for you, want to see something really cool?” Anthony said with a hint of subdued excitement in his voice.

That was all Roger needed to hear as he leaned over, trying to take a peek at the game box that Anthony kept clinched under his arm.

“Last night my dad got in from OPEC’s 50th Anniversary convention ... you know my dad’s with Exxon Mobil right?” Anthony asked

“Sure” Roger said as he nodded.

“He told me he met a Shell exec from Detroit who showed him this really cool game, then he bought it at the Airport as soon as he landed.” Anthony said

“So, dude, what exactly is it?” Roger said, running out of patience.

“Well, it’s called Armis, apparently it’s new and getting big!” Anthony said, as he showed Rodger the game box. “It sorta like chess on steroids, it’s really strategic but its also really fast, we can play during lunch -- wanna play?”

Roger didn’t need to hear more. He loved Chess and has playing it with Anthony many times, so he was confident that if Anthony was so excited about Armis, he was in store for a really exciting game.

Father and Son Bond Over Armis

Mr. Hoffman, a Human Resources manager who recently transferred from Hewlett-Packard to Microsoft, just got back from a two-week work assignment in New York. As he stood on the front porch of their house, he couldn’t be more excited.

“Dad? Is that you? Mom, dad’s finally here!” the young boy asked as he peered through the window.

“Hey buddy! How’s school? Did you take care of your mom?” Mr. Hoffman said as he knelt down to ruffle his son’s hair.

“Welcome back, dear. That’s an awful lot of baggage there. Did you buy a lot of toys for Spencer again?” said Mrs Hoffman, “I told you not to anymore…”

“Don’t worry, I have something entirely different for little buddy here,” said Mr. Hoffman in an assuring voice.

Just then, Spencer’s eyes glistened with excitement: “Really dad? Is it about that movie we watched? A military game? With helicopters?””

“Even better son,” Mr. Hoffman grinned.

Then with excitement and reverence, he slid out an elegant board with pieces wrapped in soft silk.
Mr Hoffman said, “Spencer, it’s about time you know how Armis is played.”

Engineers Love Armis

At the surface, Arnold and Kevin seem to be living in entirely separate worlds. Arnold worked as an engineer for Facebook. Kevin was in the same profession, although he worked for an entirely different company, Google. Sure, the two were miles away from each other, but this didn’t stop them from connecting to each other once a week. Every Saturday afternoon, Arnold and Kevin would meet at their hang-out spot in UCLA.

The two go way back in their college days; they used to be dorm mates back in first year and has since then become best friends. Out of their many vast differences, they had two in common: the passion for software engineering, and this board game called Armis. It is a high-octane war game that allowed them to strategize and sharpen their wits, perfect for these two engineer best friends.

The date was December 18, 2010. That Saturday afternoon would’ve been no different from any other. The Armis board has been set: the Flag has been placed, the pieces are arranged side by side, and the Reserve is already beside the Flag. Minutes into the game, a boy sat beside Arnold watching intently—shifting his focus from the board game to the players. Once Kevin’s initial turn was over, the boy blurted out, “I’m going to go to UCLA and be an engineer. What is this game all about anyway?”

That Experience

The best part about this is knowing that there are people who love you enough to go that extra distance.

Knowing that you worked with some of the most brilliant minds.

And knowing that your group did the best thing they could pull out of their asses. And it was enough. :)

Busy busy

I can think of a million things going wrong in my life now. I go to my classes late at least 80% of the time, I turn over the most mediocre papers across hands down all subjects (and I mean all!), and I'm never gotten as close to hating writing.

I'm in the point where there's simply so much to be done, so I choose not to do anything.
I don't even know how to start ranting.

Nonetheless, I shall pick up the pieces, write all mandatory blog entries, pass my Chapter 1, write a fantastic reflection paper, finish all my work deliverables, and do everything a usually diligent boy does on time.

Hay. Life's cruel.

Lipat Bahay

Though I haven't entirely moved, I've been blogging more at

Drop by and let's exchange links! :)

I therefore conclude: I am lucky to be alive.

Let me start with the banner statement: a lot has been happening in my life lately.
I won't even try to sound dramatic--it's almost 2am, and I just feel the need to document stuff.

1. You know the people who would randomly approach you and tell you they have no jeepney fare, someone stole their wallets, or give whatever sorry excuse to get money from you? Well, I'm convinced they're crazy fucktards who should all go to jail. My brother just got victimized--he lost his phone and wallet because of this scam. It was shit scary--he was stupid, but then again, these people appeal to pity and there's always that chance somebody'd feel a tinge of mercy for them. My brother was one of them.

2. I have come to the conclusion that surrounding yourself with the most beautiful people is the only way to ward off stupidity and negativity. By beautiful, I mean people who'd immerse you in enthralling, and yeah sometimes emotive, conversations and just make you realize there's still good in this world. People who'd make you understand that passion is still there, however unfair the circumstances may be. People who make you realize that good is still feasible. I only have my groupmates and sister to thank for that.

Earlier today, I went home with a friend, who ranted and raved about, well, about a LOT of things. It made me realize that some people are just so insecure--yet there are those who still cling on and act with such dignity and self-respect.

I realized later after that, through another conversation, that life is just unfair. People get sick for just no apparent reason--other than that they've been given trials. It pains me to think that some people have to go through such painful and difficult trials that's just impossible to overcome. And how they fight tooth and nail to get through it. The implication is astounding: what I'm undergoing right now is nothing. The trials God is giving me are nothing compared to the big world out there.

3. In the end, I guess I have nothing to complain about. I have everything I can possibly wish for--I just have to be.. mobile. Sometimes, I forget to be grateful--so forgetful, in fact, that I just skipped Church today. I've been surrounded by so much love, so there basically is no excuse for me to be evil and not to help out as much as I can.

4. We've gone so far. I'm fascinated at how much immature I realized myself to be. But I'm holding up, holding on. And something tells me that I can do this--not without the help of very supportive allies--again, a show of just how lucky I really am to have such real friends and family. I'm even surprised that I'm getting advice for this.

I'm going to take a lot of work to hit the road to selflessness, I admit. I'm getting there, though. And in the unlikely event that I don't, I know I have beautiful people who'll help me deal.