Defining what I do, in four sentences or less

This morning, my two bosses and I went through our professional bios (to be used for game conferences and such). After struggling to make my description sound interesting, I asked if I could just have a short version. This is what I came up with:

Short version:

Paraluman Cruz has over 10 years of experience in the game industry as a designer, producer, and writer. She currently designs casual adventure franchises for Boomzap, and previously helped create their Awakening, Dana Knightstone, Otherworld, and Botanica series. Her other passion besides games is krav maga, which she trains under International Krav Maga Federation Philippines.

“Well, that’s me,” I said.

“I fixed it a bit,” my boss Chris Natsuume replied.

Only version:

Paraluman Cruz has over 10 years of experience in the game industry as a designer, producer, and writer. She currently designs casual adventure franchises for Boomzap, and previously helped create their Awakening, Dana Knightstone, Otherworld, and Botanica series. Her other passion besides games is krav maga, which she trains under International Krav Maga Federation Philippines. She also has big floppy ears.

“I hate you.”

WordPress annual report: 2012 in review

You know what’s sad? My most viewed post this year is STILL “How to install Mass Effect 3 from PC discs (without downloading)“. Nice work, EA. -Luna

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 29,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Introducing Isagani Cruz at Read Lit District

Isagani R. Cruz

This morning, I had the opportunity to surprise my father by introducing his keynote at Read Lit District (3rd Philippine International Literary Festival) at Ayala Museum. The National Book Development Board asked me last week if I could do it, and told me not to tell him. I thought the surprise was blown when he saw me walk through the door, but he just thought I was there to watch his speech 😉

I only had five minutes to introduce him, so I decided to share how I related to him over the years. How I knew he was a writer, but didn’t understand he was famous until he wrote an angry article in the newspaper about me reading Sweet Valley High when I was in grade school. How I tried to distance myself from him so people wouldn’t treat me differently because I was his daughter. How I got a scholarship to De La Salle University on my own, even if I didn’t need one because he was a professor there. How I would ride home with him while he was the publisher of the De La Salle University Press or the Undersecretary of Education (though while he was the latter, we had a bodyguard in the passenger seat, which I thought was very cool).

And how it was only as I grew older that I understood the amount of influence my father had. I recounted my high school graduation, when my dad gave the parents’ address, and made me cry by apologizing for the world we graduates were about to enter. “We have made a mess of our world,” he said. And now I understand that everything he does (whether it was fighting for K to 12, or promoting Philippine literature around the world) was about fixing that mess, and making the world (and the Philippines in particular) a better place.

Father and daughter!

My introduction was over in five minutes, and I almost made my dad cry — mission accomplished!

I’ve never actually attended any of my dad’s conference lectures, and I saw him recover from an emotional father to a total pro in about 10 seconds. He blazed his way through two very amazing Powerpoint presentations (I got schooled on terrible Philippine English, and how amazing the K to 12 literature curriculum is). And of course, he ended right on time. I was really proud to be his daughter! Here are some of my favorite slides:

"Langue Pricks Public Cant: Fact and Friction" by Isagani Cruz "Langue Pricks Public Cant: Fact and Friction" by Isagani Cruz "Langue Pricks Public Cant: Fact and Friction" by Isagani Cruz "Langue Pricks Public Cant: Fact and Friction" by Isagani Cruz "Screwing Literature into the K to 12 Curriculum" by Isagani Cruz "Screwing Literature into the K to 12 Curriculum" by Isagani Cruz

Thanks for being awesome, Dad! We can cry now.

English vs. Filipino

I finally read James Soriano’s controversial article, “Language, learning, identity, privilege”, that was published on (and removed from) Manila Bulletin Online. (You can find a reposted copy here.) I heard about it because people were posting one of my dad’s old speeches as their angry retort. His speech is all over Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ now — way to go, daddy!

I have to admit, the article didn’t upset me as much as it did everyone else. I, too, went through a similar upbringing. I was trained in school to be good in English; my elementary and high school years were spent training for English writing and public speaking competitions. I spoke English with my friends. I traveled a lot, and still do; English has gotten me friends around the world, a job in Singapore, and hell, even a boyfriend in the United States. I think and speak and write in English, just like Soriano. I love the language.

The difference is, while I am grateful for the opportunities English has given me, I am not as proud. I wish I was better in Filipino. All the damn time. It’s one of my few, true regrets, the fact that I (unknowingly) gave up Filipino as an opportunity cost when I was growing up. Sometimes I wonder if I should study it in school again, just so I could catch up. Do they have refresher courses for adults?

My feelings toward my national language have become more evident here in the States, where I’m confined to speaking in English 95% of the time. Like last year, I find myself slipping into Filipino unknowingly the longer I stay. (Much to the confusion of the Americans I talk to, I bet.) I’ve frequently resorted to telling my boyfriend, “We have a word for this in Filipino; it’s _____.” I hear Filipino so rarely now that if I hear strangers on the street speak it, I have to resist butting into their conversation just to get more of it. Whenever I see my sister, we speak in Filipino as much as we can, regardless of how awkward we might sound. Why? Because it sounds nice. It feels nice, when it rolls off your tongue. It’s home. And you really don’t know how much you miss home until it’s gone.

That’s what I don’t get about the article. Sure, I’m better at one language than the other. But that doesn’t mean one language is better than the other. It’s not a battle; it’s not English vs. Filipino. I’m a child of both; why can’t they just coexist?

Besides, if you really wanted to pick a fight (for example, by saying Filipino is not the language of the learned), then I’ll throw my father at you, and see who wins.