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i am lenekenpunk and i live in world 11.

friends, ladies and gentlemen, good evening.

carmen, my village is located in 68/49, continent 0 of world 11. It was a village given by my aunt. she owned too many already. so, she let me inherit one of them.

this is no ordinary village. to get to my village, traveling by foot or using a car just won’t do. it is a virtual village afforded to me by an online game. and this game is called tribal wars.

tribal wars creates a virtual atmosphere set in the middle ages. true to form, the icons on the game are akin to the castles of the medieval period. in fact, the images, like swords and spears, bows and arrows, seem as if they have been plucked out of the movie braveheart and made into computer graphics.

at present, there are more than 500,000 players from all over the world.

upon registering as a player, one begins with a village with 26 points. this lowly village has a small hut as its headquarters. This headquarters allows the player to construct various buildings. once fully upgraded, the modest cabin eventually transforms into a huge castle.

buildings such us barracks and stable enable the training of troops and horsemen. other buildings like the farm and the warehouse allow growth in quantity and enhancement of capabilities.

to train warriors such as spearmen and archers, and put up buildings, a player would need resources. a timber camp cuts wood, the clay pit collects clay and the iron comes from the mines. the more these sources are upgraded, the more wood, clay and iron they produce.

but developing a village is not the only objective of the game. once your village is strong enough, you can start conquering other villages. this can be done through brute force or diplomacy.

now the game would not be called tribal wars without the presence of tribes. tribes are groups of players huddled together for the growth of the player and the tribe as a whole. thus, if you find yourself enmeshed in a battle with another village, you can always ask help from your tribe, if you have one.

i play for several reasons.

i am fascinated by the game. i have always been a fan of computer games and this is no exception. the high-tech gaming capabilities juxtaposed with a medieval setting unceasingly capture my attention and imagination.

i also enjoy the thrill of having control and being in control. i can choose to go to war or gain allies. the strategies one reads in the sun tzu’s the art of war or machiavelli’s the prince come alive and find application in tribal wars. I have to outwit, outsmart and outplay my opponent. and my decisions will cost me my village or it may also cost my opponents’ theirs.

finally, world 11 is an alternate reality that allows me to make friends from all over the world without even having to meet them. there’s dreadeagle from cambridge, lohoz from singapore, martinrhr from spain and so many others. they know me only as Lenekenpunk. but in that alternate reality, we fight together, we learn from each other and we grow alongside one another.

carmen was one a 26-point village. now, i have more than 26,000 points with a total of 7 villages: carmen, patag, puntod, bugo, bulua, lapasan and macasandig.

friends, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my world!

i’m having a major dilemma over something really stupid. should i purchase a pair of havaianas (you know, the rubber slippers!) here or should i just wait ’til i get to brazil and buy them there? after all, they are made in são paulo where i will be a couple of weeks or so from today.

i don’t own a pair and i never thought i’d be compelled to buy one. i told myself that they were too “mainstream”. everybody owns a bloody pair so i made a pact with myself not to join the bandwagon.

when the havaianas trend started in the philippines, i bought a pair of blue nike slippers instead. its price was twice that of a better-than-basic pair of havaianas. that’s extremely expensive for a mere pair of rubber flip-flops. they only lasted for a little over six months. then the straps started disintegrating. ok, fine. they didn’t disintegrate but they did snap. and gone were my pricey blue nike slippers.

enter my favorite über-ordinary ‘spartan’ slippers which i purchased for 30 pesos from a local sari-sari in siargao two years ago. but they too have given up on me.

so when i went to mindoro in november of 2007, i asked my friend misael to buy me another pair of slippers. she did. she got me a pair of ‘hawaianas’ for 42 pesos. i could very well just choose to bring this pair with me to brazil. i don’t mind, actually. but the customs officers might. i’ve heard enough horror stories about people being held captive in foreign customs offices for toting fake LVs. creepy.

so perhaps it’s time to start caving in, flaking out and succumbing to the trend — something i promised myself i’d never do.


a week and a half ago, lottie and i ran some errands and so i had to drive all over town. we passed through cogon market and we were surprised to see people lining up towards a certain store. they were there for nfa rice, i was sure. the queue was definitely more than 200 meters long. with an average of 3 persons to a meter, that’s 600 persons easy!

after all our chores were done, we headed to la cabana to reward ourselves with a nice massage. as luck would have it, traffic was so heavy that i had to go around agora just to get to la cabana. we passed through the market and the same long line struck us as we circled the block. old people with kids along their side, young fair skinned girls talking to each other, dark muscled men sporting their paunches, 12-year olds toting their plastic bags… all of them lining up for that precious commodity. rice.

i personally don’t have a problem with rice. i’m not a big rice fan. but i can eat rice when i want to. it’s on the table during breakfast. it’s there again at lunch. we have it for dinner as well. that is, when we’re not eating spaghetti, bruschetta or some other italian dish. no, i do not have a problem with rice.

my dilemma arises because i think my beverly might have a problem with this rice ‘non-problem’.

let me digress a little. i say ‘non-problem’ because while we’re in a huge food crisis now and there’s a looming rice shortage, the government chooses not to admit having one. the prices have skyrocketed to unbelievable heights. and still, the secretary of the department of agriculture would have us think it’s business-as-usual. it is a ‘non-problem’, riiiiight?

moving on, i suppose this so-called ‘non-problem’ might actually be a problem to beverly and her relatives, especially to baby viva who has just recently started eating rice. you see, they love rice. the entire clan can finish two kilos a day. grace, our trusty househelp, is tasked to ensure there is enough supply of nfa rice for them. so grace lines up almost everyday at carmen market to meet the two-kilos-a-day quota for bev, viv and the rest.

now, if bev has a problem, i have a problem. i love my beverly. it makes me think though… does my love for bev come before the need of the rest of my fellowmen-and-women? does bev take precedence over the hordes of people lining up in cogon, carmen and agora markets?

tough choice. but in a perfect country with a perfect president who pursues perfect policies, i wouldn’t even have to choose between bev and the rest of the people. after all, food is such a basic commodity that it should not even be a choice. it’s a way to survive.

i had originally thought (and i am still wishfully thinking) that posting is not that difficult a matter. and i have also successfully convinced myself that writing a blog everyday is the way to go.

sigh. i thought wrong. it is wishful thinking.

it has been close to a month since my last (and, take note, first ever!) post. i seem to have so many things to say. too many that i can’t decide which one to talk about first. or, perhaps it’s because underneath all the many things i have to say, there’s really nothing in particular that i want say. or at least, nothing that’s important enough that i’d like to let you know about. you wouldn’t be interested anyway…


i voted today for the future leaders of barangay carmen. i had some difficulty picking out who to vote for from the long list supplied by comelec… i hope i chose well.

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August 2020

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