Hi! Welcome to my official site and blog. I’m Mel, a Filipina artist and writer. I love to think up new ideas, and I take great joy in seeing them come to fruition.
Pabili Po: What we’ve been up to for My First Game Jam and beyond.

Pabili Po: What we’ve been up to for My First Game Jam and beyond.

“My First Game Jam” has come and gone, and… we didn’t manage to finish our demo. But we’re looking forward instead of down, because it got us to start something, at least! Here, I wanted to share a few of the things we managed to test in our first foray into gamemaking.

Why did we try to join this jam?

I’ve always wanted to learn how to code for games, or at least make some mini-games for fun in my spare time. Since late last year, we’ve been itching to do a game that incorporated items from our daily life as Filipinos… so we saw this 2-week jam as the perfect opportunity to try making our first game and make some sprite art for items.

I recently picked up RPG Maker 2003 during the Steam Holiday Sale for a little less than $3 (dang!), so I’ve been poking at the program and figuring out how it works. Due to its age, it has its limitations, for sure, compared to RPG Maker VX Ace or RPG Maker MV (but alas, I had not the budget for the newer ones), but I consider picking up the basic version as a stepping stone into learning the more complicated updates. I have a tendency to get overwhelmed when I try to learn a Big New Thing such as programs – I feel that sticking to a more rudimentary version would help me focus on understanding the basics vs. making something extremely complicated. Fea

Not that I haven’t run into some coding errors that made me want to whimper – but hey, I’m learning!

I’d like to give you guys more on the story, but I don’t want to spoil it because a lot of the fun is how absurd we’re trying to be about the plot… ;)

Without further ado, I’d like to present our work in progress, tentatively titled “Pabili Po!”

Concept Sketches!


What’s next for this game?

We took a break in the meantime because of life, but I told my partner we should focus on using sketches so that if we decided to change anything in the game, we could still easily test different iterations out. I was afraid that making pixels out of everything could make us feel disappointed about scrapping stuff…

This game is also looking larger than we intended, even though we were planning on finishing at least the first mini-boss battle. I think most of it is due to me having to learn how to work with RPG Maker 2003. I’ve been contemplating waiting for another sale and grabbing a copy of the latest RPG Maker MV, but I’ve read that it now uses 64×64 sprites and not 16×16. I’m not entirely sure if we can hack the game to use 16×16 sprites, which we’re fond of.

We’ll be sure to update you all in case we come up with any more updates to the game. In the meantime, I think we’ll try working on mini-games limited to 1-3 screens so as not to overwhelm ourselves. :)

Thanks for reading!!!

January 24, 2016 0 comments Read More
The uneventful but insightful end to my New Year’s eve.

The uneventful but insightful end to my New Year’s eve.

(Content notes: mention of creepy crawlie insects, in case that isn’t your thing, as it is also not my thing.)

On my way up the staircases going to our floor, I overheard, in one of the condo units, a father playing something along the lines of hide and seek.

In regular intervals, the father would shout “BAUGHH!!!” (or a variation thereof, which I believe he intended to be more like ‘boo’), and a little girl would shriek (with delight, I cannot ascertain.)

It was the only floor where the lights were on.

This continued as I made my three-floor trek home. The father would go “BAALAAUGHHAUGHHH”, which sounded utterly ridiculous to me, but was the equivalent of Freddy Kruger to said child.

As I ascended to the second floor, I found myself in complete darkness. I flipped the light switch on, only to find a solitary cockroach lazily crawling around on the stone floor.

My initial reaction was to freeze in place, as I have the greatest fear of cockroaches. Even the tiniest ones send chills crawling up my spine. I’d like to think the roach paused, too, but that would have been wishful thinking.

I observed it for a moment, and, feeling inspired by the lively father faintly yelling “BOOOAAAUGHH!!!” one floor below me, decided the proper course of action was to say:


The cockroach continued its lazy crawl as if it never heard me.

I felt quite rightfully insulted. How dare it ignore me! Almost to the point of lecturing it: I can be quite terrifying if I want to be, I’ll have you know.

But then I wondered: what if it were the other way around, and the cockroach thought it was scaring -me-? What if I’m the one it was expecting to see scream and run away? Well, not so fast, I won’t fall for -that- trick.

So I promptly went on my way up the last staircase to our unit, snubbing the little guy (or gal, or both, or neither, I never did want to find out), feeling quite proud of myself.

Of course, as I struggled to put the key the right way into our lock (oh, my pride), I laughed at how silly it all was. Thus this overcomplicated, overthought status was born, all thanks to an overzealous parent and an insect that, while I normally loathe them, was otherwise minding its own business, and inspired this silly drabble. I ought to write more on the mundane moments of my life, I thought, and at least possibly entertain other people in the process.

So goes my New Year’s resolution, to write more often, with less excuses and more words. Smartphones have made it easier to type prose compared to the number keypads which required much labor on my part, whenever I was stuck in lines. Perhaps I won’t make 100 words a day like I said I would this year, but I will make 100+ more words than I did before starting each day.

Happy New Year’s Eve to everyone!

(Yes, even you, little roach. Even if you snubbed me. Hmph!)

December 31, 2015 0 comments Read More
New Project: Drabble a Day

New Project: Drabble a Day

Hello! I started a new project this year, similar to Doodle a Day, but for the writing side of things. I’ve decided to call it “Drabble a Day,” a personal challenge where I will try to write at least 100 words per day, no matter how raw or unrefined they are in their unedited state. I have also created a subsite for it, which you can find under “Other Projects” from the menu.

I hope you enjoy the stories I have to tell! I’m already looking forward to expanding some of these into full stories, or ideas for other media.

Click here to visit the Drabble a Day website!

February 23, 2015 0 comments Read More
Doodle a Day 2015: February Compilation Post

Doodle a Day 2015: February Compilation Post

Hello everybody! This post will consist of artwork made during the Doodle a Day 2015 project for February.

If you’d like to see these as soon as I finish them, please Like my Facebook Page, or follow me on TwitterTumblr, and Instagram.

February 10, 2015 0 comments Read More
[Illustration] Electricopolis: lonesome night

[Illustration] Electricopolis: lonesome night

Madamluna - Lonesome Night (WEB)

Hello everybody! I got the opportunity to illustrate something for my friend, Pauli Kohberger/Madamluna. This is Margaret King and Bob Sparker from her short story, “lonesome night,” which is part of her Electricopolis series. Please go check it out!

I created this piece entirely in Manga Studio 5, using Ray Frenden’s brushes and a WACOM Intuos 4.

January 22, 2015 0 comments Read More
Drabble a Day 2015: January Compilation Post

Drabble a Day 2015: January Compilation Post

Hello everybody! I’ve also been doing Drabble a Day, where I try to write at least 100 words a day, no matter how rough or unedited they turn out to be. I currently post my drabbles into individual entries on my Dreamwidth journal under the tag “Drabble a Day”. I’m still figuring out whether I should move them somewhere else or not, but for now, I’ll compile the results for the month of January 2015 here by linking to their equivalent Dreamwidth entries. I’ve placed the tentative project/universe title in brackets, then the first sentence or phrase of each drabble next to the equivalent day.

01: [Less Talk, More Robots] Yna thought it was strange that Gen. Hendrickson stopped coming to the bi-weekly board meetings.
02: [Henna Hotel] You didn’t have to do that, Julius.
03: [Less Talk, More Robots] Why do you get to be Glynn, but I have to be Glen?
04: –
05: [Less Talk, More Robots] It was difficult for Nathan to find the words…
06: –
07: [N/A] She didn’t know what to do about it…
08: –
09: [It Takes Two] What a spineless coward.
10: [N/A] She never really understood what it meant whenever he made a joke at her.
11: –
12: –
13: –
14: –
15: –
16: –
17: [N/A] (secret :P)
18: –

January 19, 2015 0 comments Read More
Doodle a Day 2015: January Compilation

Doodle a Day 2015: January Compilation

Hello everybody! This post will consist of artwork made during the Doodle a Day 2015 project for January.

If you’d like to see these as soon as I finish them, please Like my Facebook Page, or follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.

January 18, 2015 0 comments Read More
TravelNow Bucket List Issue Feature

TravelNow Bucket List Issue Feature

TravelNow Feature: Mel G. Cabral, Mt. Manalmon

Hey everybody! Please do pick up a copy of TravelNow’s Bucket List Issue, which just came out this August. I have a small feature in the magazine, where I talk about a few of the best things to do based on our hike to Mt. Manalmon. :D I definitely want to have more trips so I can write a lot more about travel, too!

August 19, 2014 0 comments Read More
Back to School, Closed for Freelance Work

Back to School, Closed for Freelance Work

Hi everybody! Official heads-up that I’ll be lying low from taking on new freelance work starting August 2014 because graduate school’s starting up again this week. :)

I’ll be working on finishing off my current backlog and commitments in the meantime. I’ll definitely let y’all know when I’m available again, maybe in a few months’ time.

It’s an important (and loaded!!) semester for me, plus my first time balancing a regular job with my studies. Thank you so much as always for your understanding and support, everybody! ♥

August 3, 2014 0 comments Read More
New Project: Icon Day 05

New Project: Icon Day 05

It’s time for Icon Day 05! Come in and request an icon in exchange for a signal boost. Everyone’s icons start out as sketches. With every tip, we unlock group incentives such as inked, flat colored, shaded, and extra icons. Tip certain amounts and you can upgrade your icon from 100×100 to an ACEO, full body illustration, or digital painting. Woah!

Request on DreamWidth (preferred) or Request on Livejournal

Spread the word, and let’s have another great icon day! Thank you so much as always for your support! ♥

FREE requests until 11:59pm (UTC +08:00) of July 7, 2014.
Tips for incentives will be open until 11:59pm of July 14, 2014.
Anyone who tips by July 14, 2014 is guaranteed an icon even if free requests are closed.

Click the tip jar below to leave a tip directly via PayPal! You don’t need an account to do so. A debit card or credit card works just as well. :)

 Spread the word and let’s make those stretch goals happen! Thank you so much!

July 3, 2014 0 comments Read More