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What are my Hobbies?
I’ve had a lot of hobbies before and most of them just come and go depending on my mood or how good I am at it. I easily get tired of doing something often that I have to take my mind off of it and find a replacement. Out of all these hobbies, there are three which I consider as permanent. These hobbies are Gaming, Photography, and Writing. I’m not the best in all of these things but I have the passion in doing them. I try to do my best when I’m doing these things but the most important thing for me is that I am happy, so let’s take a look at these favorite hobbies of mine.
Family Computer / NES / SNES
As far as I can remember, I have always been a gamer, not really a hardcore one. I started playing with the Family Computer, the predecessor to Nintendo’s NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). Back then, it was the most fun thing to do, sit in front of the TV and play with the Family Computer. The games I could remember playing on this console was Contra (a Rambo-like game), Life Force (Flying ships and shooting enemies down, this is also the game where I used the famous cheat – Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, B, A, Select, Start which would then give me 99 lives and helped me finish the game), Bomber Man (where you plant bombs and time it so it kills the enemy when they pass through it), Duck Hunt (where you attach a gun to the console to shoot flying ducks in the swamp with the help of your sarcastic dog), and many more but these four are the best ones I’ve played that’s why I could still remember them. I think my time playing outside with other kids was reduced but I also had my brother to play with on the computer. I was also acquainted with the NES and SNES but I did not have too many hours on them as I did not have one of them. A lot of fun games on the SNES too but I only played them once the emulators on the PC got popular. Mostly played a lot RPG games because it’s no fun playing action/arcade on the keyboard.
Sega also came with their game console Genesis but sadly enough, I wasn’t able to get my parents to buy me one, so I either had to pay to play in computer shops in the middle of the wet market or have the chance to play when we were at my cousin’s house. Now this is where things got a little more exciting and this is where I was introduced to Mortal Kombat. I also got introduced to Sonic the Hedgehog and Rockman. Those are the only games I could remember as I didn’t have one at home.
I think it was after Sega Genesis that I knew and played with a Game Boy. I played a limited amount of games on the Game Boy because the cartridges were a bit expensive back then and my parents doesn’t want to spoil me with a lot of them or that I just didn’t know a lot of popular games on the Game Boy back then. Also considering the fact that the internet wasn’t known to me yet. (I grew up in a small province in the Philippines, that’s the reason I was a bit out-dated). Guess what I first played on the Game Boy? It’s not Pokemon but Kirby. This is what I ended up playing for a very long time before I bought Pokemon Yellow. I was forced to play the game because it was the only game that came with the Game Boy which was a hand-me-down from my cousin in the states.
PS One / PSP
Things got a bit more addictive when the PS One™ came into action. This was one of the most addictive gaming years I’ve ever had. I would play the most popular arcade games up to the most played RPG. I remember playing Tekken 3, Final Fantasy franchise, my favorite action game Crash Bandicoot, The Legend of Dragoon, my favorite RPG Suikoden II, and me wishing to be a farmer in Harvest Moon Back to Nature, and my favorite racing game Gran Turismo. My favorite game of all time on the PS One is still Monster Rancher 2. It’s still my favorite because I played it on my PSP (Playstation Portable), and even emulated it on the PC just to keep playing it. I would still play it even up to this day. There were a lot more games I played but too many to mention. The PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One also came but I never owned any one of them so I’m not going to talk about them (bitter much).
Then the best thing happened, I got hooked to the PC. I still remember the first “real game” I played on the PC which was Doom. I was very knew to the FPS (First-Person-Shooter) genre and didn’t know a thing what I was doing. I was very young back then and believed I wasn’t even supposed to play that game in the first place. I managed to beat the game and Doom II as well. I still remember the first time I played an FPS game, my head was about to explode from all the screen moving back and forth and also coordinating the use of the keyboard and mouse at the same time. I really appreciate what my father did back then because he sent me to computer school during one summer and I was the youngest one in the batch. The things I learned from there gave me an advantage over other PC users and has made me an advanced PC user and tech-savvy as well. So if you see your child having an affinity for computers/technology, make sure to support them because you’ll never know they might become the next Mark Zuckerberg.
Now let’s talk about the real PC game that got me deep into the hobby of gaming which is Counter Strike. The first time I played Counter Strike was in a computer shop and I couldn’t press the keyboard and move the mouse at the same time when I started. I played a lot of hours before I was sniping my way through the game. I was never the best at it but I’m confident I played as one of the best back in the days. The computer shop I played in hosted computers of more than a 100 so I would play in 50 vs 50 servers. It was really fun especially the trash talking. Most of my opponents were in high school and some in college/universities. You know how you always press tab just to see the rankings on the kills/deaths, well my high school classmate would always be on top of that list even though he’s only played for a short while. He used the nickname kid and when I would press tab, I would always look for his name on top then I’ll know he’s playing.
I love PC Gaming so much that I would later turn into the first MMORPG of it’s kind, Ragnarok. This game really got me hooked as it is very addictive in terms of character building and competing with others. I would play countless hours after class (I didn’t know how to cut classes in high school back then) and then get home to my boarding house because I studied far away from home. I would day-dream about how my character would level-up and have these weapons upgraded to it’s maximum like a +10 pike. I can talk all day about this game but we’ll move on to the more recent game which is Defense of the Ancients (DotA).
DotA is a very popular game right now especially in eSports. I still remember the first time my classmate in nursing taught me how to play the game, it was still in World of Warcraft III (Frozen Throne) and he was just dismantling me and another classmate of ours because we were new to the game. I learned the game pretty fast but I did not study it like some hardcore gamers do. I just play it and enjoy the game, not really timing the kills so the gold will be mine. I haven’t played the game in years and I wouldn’t even know how things work now, but yeah, that’s how I got influenced by gaming.
I never knew I loved to write until I met my wife almost 13 years ago. I didn’t write that much, neither did I read a lot but the inspiration I got from meeting Kaye was all I needed to ignite my passion in writing. I think I’m not a very good writer but my imagination can sometimes lead me to write things I never thought I could. I would just write whatever my mind was thinking at that exact moment. I don’t give myself time to think about how it would read or if it was grammatically correct. As long as I write them down so I don’t forget about the thought, I can just worry about the errors later. To start with my writing hobbies, I’ll talk to you about blogging.
Blogging has been popular over the past 7-8 years but I only started my first blog last 2009 under the Blogger platform and according to Google, a blog is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style. Well, in my last blog I was able to update it regularly in the first couple of years but as I got busy with studying Nursing and video games (which for me are more fun), I lost interest in updating my blog and somehow left it alone only updating it less than 20 times in one year. In the blog’s six year life, it has only gained 80,000 views but I thought to myself, if I had only worked hard on the blog and updated it regularly, it would have been a little bit of success by now. I wrote a lot of tips and tricks on that blog but the post that got the most number of views were the practical how to’s I made which are actually based on my own experience so the content is really original. I have redirected my previous blog www.notesonhobbies.blogspot.com to this new website so I could still make use of it’s content and I’ve also imported my posts into WordPress so hopefully you could still read some of my old posts from when I was just starting out.
Another thing I love to do is write poems. I love writing them because they are entertaining and romantic which meant I have only been writing them for my wife ever since, but I will try to write some in this blog as well. I don’t know how I got into creating poems but I guess my inner romantic and love for my ex-girlfriend-now-my-wife made it all happen. It just seems very natural for me to be writing them, it’s just like writing a normal sentence but of course with a little bit of creativity.
The next challenge for me, well my wife is encouraging me actually, to write a short story/novel. I believe I can do it but I also know it would take a lot of time and dedication plus a whole lot of imagination.
I have always loved Photography. I believe I had the passion in this art since I first held a camera. I think I got it from my mother because she always paid importance to taking photos for memory keeping because up till now, she still looks at the albums we had when we were younger. She would even direct us to pose for photos but of course she only used a cheap one and with the use of films. I would see lens flares and over exposed images when I browse through the album but the memories in those photos were my life’s best.
The photo on the left shows my newly acquired Nikon D5500 18-55 VR II Kit, 35 mm lens, 55-200 mm lens, two 32gb Sandisk HSDC, Lowepro Medium Camera Bag, and a Camera Armour Tripod. It has been my life-long dream to own a DSLR and it only happened on my 27th year of existence, thanks to my amazing wife Kaye. Before then, I have only used a compact digital camera (an unknown and cheap Chinese brand) or my cheap cellphone. I have managed to endure using these gadgets before and it resulted in trying hard edits of photos and videos. I won’t showcase them here as they’re not really worth your time. What I’m trying to say is that you can never give up on your dreams/passion, you can only try harder because in the end it’s just going to get better.
I was so excited starting out in Photography using a DSLR that I quickly made it a goal to not use auto and go straight to manual by going through aperture/shutter priority first. I am so glad I made the fast jump from using non-DSLRs to full manual on a Nikon D5500. I’d like to share a few of my photos to you guys so I’ve uploaded them on Flickr here.
There’s really so much I have learned and understood about photography in a week after I bought my D5500 compared to what I have learned since I had a thing for photography. Just take for example the hundreds of useful YouTube videos out there ripe for the watching. I finally understood how the exposure triangle – aperture, shutter speed, and ISO works in conjunction with each other. Take for example the videos of Jared Polin. He’s the Fro guy on YouTube with a fork-comb coming out of his hair. He’s got his website and is famously known for wearing different colored shirts that read I SHOOT RAW.
There’s also this couple on YouTube named Chelsea and Tony Northrup. They’ve also got their website featuring their portfolio and their products. They currently have the book Stunning Digital Photography which is amazing because it is constantly being updated according to today’s standards. It is an amazing book and I’ve only started to read it, so hopefully I could apply it to my photography hobbies and improve in the near future.
There’s so much more I could learn from all the professionals out there and my main focus is to keep on shooting photos and making them. Here’s a few of my work from all that I’ve learned so far which is not a lot.
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