Pinoy Hobby Gamers’ Circle

May 4, 2009

Book Blockade of the Philippines

Filed under: Gaming Community Issues — pinoygamers @ 10:52 am

Books are an integral aspect for the lives of many geeks all over the world: Pen-and-paper RPG players carry around thick tomes of rules, graphic novels are part of many comic book collections, and of course, most geeks keep copies (some would say hordes) of literary works both classic and contemporary.  Even with the boom of the Internet well underway, nothing beats the feeling of perusing your books, flipping page after page as you digest its content.

However, the acquiring of books just got a lot tougher for pinoy geeks an gamers. Until recently, we’ve experienced relatively affordableand accessible books, thanks to the Florence Agreement, a U.N. treaty that was signed by the Philippines way back in 1952. It aims to promote the circulation of educational, cultural, and scientific maerials between countries; among the benefits that the import such materials should be duty-free.

The Philipinnes’ brilliant Customs officials have recently bagan to disregard the Florence agreement, a story that I first read over at Philippine Genre Stories. Apparently, the clause that allows them to “legally” subject the books to duty is ambiguous:

“…the tax and duty-free importation of books or raw materials to be used in book publishing.”

It seems pretty clear, right? But apparently, since the law was not written as,”…the tax and duty-free importation of books, or raw materials to be used in book publishing” (note the comma) means that only books to be used in book publishing should be duty-free.

Clearly, the pinoy gaming community cannot stand for such an inane interpretation of a law. We should take a stand for this, and not let government corruption taint the essence of our beloved books.

February 10, 2009

Pinoy Gamers in UP

Hobby Gamers Logo

Hobby Gamers Logo

Reposted from Hobbygamers in UP, an entry from bjsilver’s Multiply account:

Back in 2005, fifteen geeks from the University of the Philippines founded a student organization called the Hobbygamers’ Circle. Originally conceptualized as a student organization that caters to the players of Magic: The Gathering in UP, their first meeting came up with the novel idea of expanding their focus. Instead of just one particular collectible card game, HGC will cater to hobbygames in general. This broadened HGC’s scope widely, and today, the organization attracts more and more people to join our group.

I have recently come upon Squidoo, and I immediately thought that it was a good way to finally get an official web page for UP HGC (of which I am a founding father). As such, I set up Pinoy Geeks in UP, a webpage that tells the world of our goals, accomplishments, and current projects. I also included a few silly stuff; this emphasizes that UP is a group dedicated to having fun.

What is UP HGC, exactly? Simply put, we are a group of UP students aiming to let pinoy geeks know that they are not alone. You see, being a geek has introduced a certain negative stereotype that we do not approve of; that geeks are apparently losers who hang around in their basements, having no social life whatsoever. This is simply a lie. Games are, by its very nature, a social experience. We encourage playing these games as a means to hone social skills that are necessary in today’s world.

Are you a geek? Don’t be afraid to show it to the world, and visit Hobbygamers in UP now!


Founder, UP HGC