Monday, December 04, 2006

Leonila Sevilla, 43

Let me take this opportunity to remember my dear aunt, Tita Leny Sevilla, whom we lost to Aneurysm. She died on the dawn of November 30, 2006. She was 43.

She will always be remembered as the simple, jolly Tita Leny who never fails to utter a big smile despite all the hardships and pain she endures day after day. Complaint and despair are delisted from her vocabulary, as she never ceases to see the bright side in every obstacle that come along the way. She is a good provider, a cheerful friend, a loving daughter, a faithful wife, an excellent mother...

Tita, your memory shall forever be in the hearts of the many many people whose lives you touched. May you find eternal rest...

Gone too Soon

Like A Comet
Blazing 'Cross The Evening Sky
Gone Too Soon

Like A Rainbow
Fading In The Twinkling Of An Eye
Gone Too Soon

Shiny And Sparkly
And Splendidly Bright
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like The Loss Of Sunlight
On A Cloudy Afternoon
Gone Too Soon

Like A Castle
Built Upon A Sandy Beach
Gone Too Soon

Like A Perfect Flower
That Is Just Beyond Your Reach
Gone Too Soon

Born To Amuse, To Inspire, To Delight
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like A Sunset
Dying With The Rising Of The Moon
Gone Too Soon

Gone Too Soon

Monday, November 27, 2006

Knee injury - Out for season

It was a career-threatening injury for me (as if I have a basketball career!) last week when I took a bad fall during one of our semi-final games in the PBA (Philamlife Basketball Association).

It was the second quarter of semi-final game 1 vs. the Red Team. Oh, by the way, we were the green team. Although it pains to don the jersey color of Ateneo's Arch-rival, I somehow got used to it and found it quite amusing. :) We were teailing by ten points in the second quarter so I got a little excited and added a little more intensity in my game. I was not really used to saving balls a la Dennis Rodman, but this time, I did. Unfortunately, when I twisted my body to save prevent the ball from going out of bounds, my knee wasn't able to support the 204-pound physique, causing a bad fall. After that, I think everything went pitch black and I just found myself grimacing in pain, trying to keep myself from crying. It was quite a bad twist. I thought my basketball days were over...

I was carried to the sidelines since I could no longer put more weight on my badly injured left knee. Luckily, I realized it was that bad after all, since I could move my leg up and down. That means it was not fractured. A few minutes later I was able to walk, though limping. That means it was not a patella injury. I quickly packed my things and left the gym to Bubbles' house to get my knee iced (to prevent swelling and inflammation). Thank God for their ice stock, I was able to ice my knee immediately. After that I went straight home to get it iced again. And that evening was one of the most frightening evenings in my basketball injury history...

Well a week after that dreadful incident, I am already able to walk straight ( a little limping at times), thanks to the ice, Omega painkiller and Alaxan Gel, bandages, and tons of prayer... I just hope the injury heals completely soon.

By the way, we lost in that game. Luckily, we were twice to beat so we had a second chance yesterday, and fortunately, we are going to the finals on December 8!!! Hopefully I could come back to playing 100% on that day...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

And the curse continues...

My congratulations to the UST Growling Tigers for putting up a good fight and winning the coveted UAAP Men's Basketball Championship yesterday, October 2, 2006.

It is quite difficult to say that the Ateneo Blue Eagles will fight their way back to the championships next year, following the graduation of three of their star players this year: Miracle Man Doug Kramer, Royal Eagle Macky Escalona, and JC "The Rocket" Intal. Hopefully their new recruits would still put up a good fight. Halikinu next year to the future standouts Chris Tiu, Jai Reyes and Eric Salamat.

UST deserved the crown... They were composed all the way. But the Blue Eagles also gave a good show. All it took was one clean shot... 76-74...

Better luck next year (hopefully not in 10 years).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It only takes a second...

Need I say more? Probably it's the most written basketball "phenomenon" to date... Three lead changes in 24 seconds, and one game that will forever be remembered in the history of Basketball. What is there to forget?

For my personal purposes, let me refresh my memory. I was at the upper box B of the UAAP Basketball Finals Game 1 at the Araneta Coliseum. We were already seated and despaired after seeing Allan Evangelista take that supposedly game-winning basket with only four seconds remaining. My daw was already chatting with his seatmate, telling him that we should just look forward to the next game, which is on Thursday, September 28. I can see from afar Sen. Dick Gordon telling the crowd to keep their hopes up and signalling the Blue Babble Battallion to keep cheering for the team.

Then, that moment. The buzzer sounded and we saw the top three pointers of Ateneo entering the court, with Doug Kramer posting at Center. As Macky Escalonae received the ball from the dear referee, my dad remained seated as I stood up, still praying that my efforts for getting the ticket will not be for naught.

I was expecting that either Chris Tiu or JC Intal would get the ball from Macky. Well that was what the UST boys expected as well. As the play executed, UST left open the only non-shooter of the Ateneo five, that is Doug Kramer. His defender, Allan Evangelista, double-teamed Chris Tiu, who posted as decoy receiver. After that, I saw the ball fly towards the center of the Ateneo court, with Doug wide open. in less than a second, he caught it, and gave it a simple bankshot. Then, there was pandemonium. Ateneo won by a point, 73-72.

For me, it was the best play I have ever seen in college basketball. And it was the loudest Ateneo crowd ever. All we could say (My dad and I) in that moment was: YEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! And the rest was history.

But I gotta give it to the UST boys... They fough their hearts out. Kudos to them as well...


Let me share an article I received over email this morning...

This was authored by Ateneo fanatic Enzo Flojo (HS
1999, AB 2003). Astig. One Big Fight!!! =)

The Game That Would Never End
A Tale of Two Teams

God really is the best scriptwriter in the universe.
Forget Bill Shakespeare. Forget Art Miller.
Forget Romeo and Juliet. Forget Death of a Salesman.
Game 1 of the UAAP Season 69 Finals was a certified
Two squads from opposite ends of the track?
One out to regain lost glory, and the other out to
prove it deserves its own legacy.
One with nothing to lose, and the other with
everything at stake.
One was unexpected, and the other was heavily favored.
Yet, the ironies didn't end there.
The UST Growling Tigers, seeded 3rd in the Final Four
cast, were eerily reminiscent of the last 3rd seed
that won the UAAP Title ? the 2002 Ateneo Blue Eagles.
After reaching rock-bottom in the standings with a 2-5
card, nobody gave UST a chance in hell to make the
Final 4, but still they managed to win 6 of their last
7 games to book a date to the Big Dance with Ateneo.
The Eagles topped the standings all throughout with a
10-2 slate and disposed of the stubborn Adamson
Falcons in the semifinals. Now, after waiting for 3
years, they have another crack at that illusive UAAP
crown. This time, however, they are not the underdogs
? the tables have turned and the Loyola-based
hoopsters are the odds-on bets to win it all.
The battlefield was a familiar arena and the last time
UST played Ateneo here they were waylaid 114-78.
Surely that wouldn't happen again, not if Coach Pido
Jarencio can do anything about it.
And so the cards of fate were dealt, the drumbeats
shook the Coliseum's very foundations and with 15,974
in attendance the Tigers of España and the Eagles of
Katipunan were on a collision course of championship
Chris Tiu has played with passion all season long,
displaying his best when the team needed him the most.
On this day, however, he would not wait for the game
to come to him.
He opened up the clash with a sweet 3-pointer from the
elbow that injected TNT into the Ateneo gallery. Looks
like things would not be so bad afterall.
That is until Jervy Cruz and Allan Evangelista of UST
combined to stay in-step with the Blue-blooded cagers
at 8 apiece with time down to 6:36 . The Tigers' hot
start continued with sub Chester Taylor chipping in to
peg the score at 13-9 in favor of Jarencio's wards.
Then magic.
Rocket-powered magic.
JC Intal stole the ball on the ensuing play and
coasted to an unmolested Slamma Jamma, which resulted
in the Blue & White fans erupting in ecstasy. More
importantly though, it started a 10-2 run, with 6
points coming from Tiu-rrific and punctuated by a Jai
Reyes buzzer-beating floater, that handed the lead
back to Ateneo, 19-15, at the end of the first canto.
Square One All The Way
The second quarter began splendidly for the Ateneans
as Doug Kramer, Martin Quimson and Jai Reyes
collaborated for a 7-2 spurt that built a comfortable
9-point bubble, 26-17.
That would be the biggest lead of the game. And it
would last for barely a few seconds.
In their last meeting, UST mercilessly controlled the
boards with their height and efficient box-out
strategy. In Game 1 of the Finals, things wouldn't be
much different. Using their rebounding advantage, the
Tigers clawed back and trimmed the deficit to just 1
at 29-28 behind the heroics of former RP-Youth
standouts Jervy Cruz and Dylan Ababou.
The following sequences featured an extremely
compelling shootout between MVP candidate Intal and
super sophomore Anthony Espiritu, with the latter
nailing a difficult in-your-face 3-bomb that tied the
count at 33. Past Juniors Division rivals Japs Cuan
(using a fastbreak lay-up) and Macky Escalona (hitting
two gift shots) ended the first half scoring at
After the Blue Babble Battalion and the Salinggawi
Dance Troupe thrilled the crowd with their delectable
half-time displays, the guns were blazing again.
Wary of letting Ateneo have another good start,
Espiritu and Cuan hit 6 and 4 points respectively in a
10-5 blast that handed the former Glowing Goldies a
5-point cushion at 45-40. After a Blue Eagle timeout
UST continued to hold the fort behind the steady hands
of Mark Canlas and Cruz, 53-48, further adding to the
anxiety of the Ateneo supporters.

Escalona had enough though as he nailed a pull-up
jumper to cut the deficit, then Zion Laterre collected
his fourth shot block of the game and Jainamite buried
his second triple to bring the Blue & White back in
the thick of things, 53 apiece.
No team would have a clear edge immediately afterwards
as Cruz, Kramer, Evangelista and Laterre all traded
twinners, in that order. After 30 minutes of
adrenaline-pumping action, both schools were back at
square one, 57-57.
MVP High
It was clear that somebody had to take control and be
accountable for the victory.
It was apparent that someone had to step up.
After a tentative start to the last period that
resulted in a 60-57 deficit, JC Intal made his
strongest case for Season 69 MVP.
The former Letran High School star rattled in 10
straight points on a variety of moves to give Ateneo
the upperhand at 67-66. Compounding Coach Pido's woes
were the foul trouble of his wards as Ababou fouled
out and Evangelista amassed his fourth.
He would get a shot in the arm though as Ford Arao and
Kramer missed wide-open gimmes underneath the basket,
prolonging the agony of the Katipunan faithful. Both
teams would trade baskets from then on as they set the
stage for a classic endgame windup, 71-70, Ateneo on
False Endings
For one reason or another, the game just never seemed
destined to end.
In the consequent inbounds play, JC Intal managed to
tap the basketball and grab it with under 24.0 seconds
left. He landed squarely on the hardwood.
What should have happened was Intal would get fouled,
he would hit 2 free-throws, Ateneo would play good,
honest defense and preserve the win. Game over. Dinner
But the referee wasn't that hungry yet.
In what appeared to be a very dubious call, a sideline
official tagged Intal with a backcourt violation. Boos
resounded, but he stood by his decision.
More to come folks.
After Jojo Duncil missed what was reminiscent of
Patrick Cabahug's "for-the-win" miss last week, Lady
Luck smiled on UST and gifted them with another
possession via Kramer tapping the ball out of bounds.
4 seconds left.
This time the Tigers knew what they had to do. They
handed the ball to the cool Allan Evangelista, who
dribbled once then threw a prayer over Kramer's
outstretched limbs.
Bedlam for UST.
Silence for Ateneo.
Any fan wearing blue was shell-shocked after that play
as Evangelista made a proud pose in front of the Black
& Gold gallery.
What many assumed was that was it ? a bitter ending
for Ateneo. Game over.
However, as people always say, one second can make all
the difference.
Beaten Black and Blue
There are a myriad of stories explaining why Ateneo is
called the Hail Mary Team.
For what it's worth, the following events would
certainly be added to the lore.
Only one entity was powerful enough to save the day
for the Eagles with just 1 second remaining, but since
it was a Sunday (the 7th day), He was resting and
resigned Himself to just watch from a distance.
But I guess He was wearing blue that day.
The plan was actually very simple.
The game-long excellence of Tiu and Intal made them
So another guy had to step to the plate.
GOD chose DOuG.
After setting a pick for Tiu, he slid underneath the
Escalona, struggling for the first 39 minutes and 59
seconds, made the best pass of the day.
A stroke of genius from Norman Black.
A kiss off the window from Doug Kramer.
Another improbable win for the Hail Mary Team.
In the long history of the game, many moments of glory
have materialized.
A plethora of winning shots and career-defining plays.
That Sunday though, that game, belonged to Ateneo.
Sheer brilliance ? unbridled passion.
And so, one win remains to be had.
One more game, one more victory.
Until that time though, we must hold our breaths?
And as for me I have to get going?
The dinner bell is tolling?
And I believe Lechon Baka is the main dish.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!

You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Two thumbs way up

Respeto na lang po, mga kaibigan.

Sa lahat ng taga-UP na nanggagalaiti sa mga salitang binitawan ng “Kagalang-galang” na Kalihim ng Kagawaran ng Katarungan (o ang kawalan nito) na si Raul Gonzalez, hayaan na lang po natin siyang magsalita.

To Sec. Raul Gonzalez, if you mean destabilizer as being a person who is socially aware, assertive, critical and actively participating in our nation’s development, a person who does not tolerate mediocrity and apathy, a person who selflessly protects the rights and freedom of the people through involvement in various political, social and economic activities, then I am guilty as charged. By all means crucify me and a number our nation’s civil servants, political leaders, and businessmen who strive hard to make this country a better place. Do this, and you will be left with people like yourself who epitomize self-righteousness and utter arrogance.

May I also take the opportunity to thank you for acknowledging the efforts of the Scholars of the Land. This just means we UP alumni are making a dent on Philippine society. Mabuhay ang mga Iskolar ng Bayan.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Di Lumusot Sa UAAP (board)...

It’s the UAAP (69th) season once again and I can’t seem to feel it in the air. I have to admit, La Salle’s absence in the hard court this year gave the league its expected gloom. And it has certainly crippled the league in terms of ticket sales, promotions and sponsorships.

I have to admit that La Salle provides a gargantuan crowd in a given stadium. Other teams are always overpowered by the heat-thumping drums and overwhelming applause of the La Salle crowd. Scalpers are dying to hoard tickets for a La Salle game, especially if the game is against rival Ateneo. La Salle just gives a new meaning to school spirit. Too bad, the drums aren’t rolling this year.

It was reported that major sponsors have abandoned the league this year because of the absence of the largest crowd-drawer school. Some of the biggest sponsors who are missing in this year’s league are Telecoms giant Globe and Nestle, the number one sponsor of the cheerdance competition. Luckily, the league got sponsorships from the Gokongwei group, led by its Telecoms arm, Sun Cellular. That's why the traditional “MILO Three-point shot” is replaced by “Sun Cellular Three Point shot.”

La Salle is sorely missed this year. But that does not mean that their league suspension was a bad decision. Rules are meant to be observed and obeyed at all times. Plus, the value of academic education at par with sports excellence should always be adhered. Taking from what Samuel Jackson said in the movie “Coach Carter,” in college always comes first when you say college basketball, so education should never be taken for granted. Anyone breaking this discipline should be penalized with the strictest of penalties.

Let’s just hope this incident will never happen again. And as for La Salle, they have all the time to practice for Season 70.

As for the other teams, La Salle’s suspension is greater chance to gain a final four slot.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Chicken Soup-type of an entry...

One incident struck me last night, upon going home from my lady’s abode. I rode in front of a jeep going to Sta. Ana bridge, and accidentally eavesdropped at the conversation between the driver and his backrider (a backrider is a person who rides with the driver, and in charge of collecting fees and calling passengers). They were talking about preparing for their children’s future. I was amazed at how determined the driver was to provide for his children’s education. He told the backrider that he gave his kids a free hand to select the courses they want to take. “Kung gusto nilang mag-Nursing, kakayanin ko ‘yan.” He was ready and willing to finance for them, no matter how expensive their chosen course would take. He even jokingly uttered, “Malakas mangarap ano? Samantalang jeepney driver lang ako.” He seems to take everything lightly and confidently. Not to mention, with full optimism, disregarding the challenges of the difficult times. Let’s just hope he is not into something illegal.

Kidding aside, this exchange between two people with relatively ordinary lives (at least compared to squandering yuppies in Makati and Eastwood) has struck me. All along, people complain of low wages, harder way of life, more difficult times. But this man looked at the world in a totally different perspective. He was taking life in a stride, and was determined that he could bring his children to college, no matter what it takes. It just made me reflect that sometimes, we complain too much at things small things, making us so pessimistic about the current situation. However, just like the jeepney driver, we can always look at the bright side of life and work to face the challenges ahead. Instead of complaining that we have less food, we could always look forward that things will be better in the future. There is always a light in every tunnel. “My children will finish college no matter what.”

On the second thought, baka nga mayaman yung driver. Nagpapalipas oras lang sa pag-dyidyip… Oh well… My reflection stays… hehehe.

With this, I remember a quote with the same theme: “I was complaining I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet.”

Despite the hard times, we should never stop dreaming and believing.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Kris and the PBA

I have to thank Kris for giving a new spark to the Philippine Basketball Association. Before she came into James Yap’s life (and for this matter, the entire association’s life), the PBA was in the middle of its declining popularity. Special thanks to Kris, and not to mention Filipinos’ penchant for gossips and showbizness, the PBA was revived into another one of those must-see shows on Philippine boob-tube.

You can tell by the number of advertisements and the capacity crowd that the Purefoods’ popularity is constantly improving, almost to the point that it outnumbers the die-hard fans of Ginebra Gin Kings.

Before, the PBA board becomes financially weary if the Gin Kings are not going to the finals because Ginebra provides the most number of seats in the stadium. But now, Purefoods has emerged into one of the biggest providers of ticket sales in the PBA. And all these I give credit to the star-studded ladies everytime they play, and of which, the biggest one is Kris. Aside from James Yap’s lady, showbiz personality present in every game was Marc Pingris’ beau Danica Sotto.

Below are the winners of this year’s PBA Awards:

Most Valuable Player – James Yap

Mythical 1st Team:
James Yap
Kerby Raymundo
Enrico Villanueva
Lordy Tugade
Roger yap

Mythical Second Team:
Dorian Peña
Mike Cortez
Marc Pingris
Marc Caguioa
Danny Seigle

All-Defensive Team:
Marc Pingris
Topex Robinson
Wynne Arboleda
Nic Belasco
Dorian Peña

Rookie of the Year – Larry Fonacier

Most Improved Player – Marc Pingris

Energy Player – Topex Robinson

Sportsmanship Award – Tony de la Cruz

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

First Filipino(a?!) in Mt. Everest

So the rumors were true. Leo Oracion was not the first Filipino atop the highest peak in the world... Nor was the controversial Dale Abenojar who is about to lose his big toe in Nepal due to frostbite.

It was this person (neither man nor woman)... Please see below.

First Filipina in Everest

Congratulations to the first Filipino(a) to set foot on the summit of Mt. Everest...


Congratulations to the REAL "summiteers" Leo Oracion, Erwin Emata and Romi Garduce for making it to the top of the world. You really make Filipinos proud. Soon, you will be endorsing more products than you can ever imagine... hehehehe...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Imeldific birthday party...

Hasn't PCGG Commissioner Ricardo Abcede heard of the word delicadeza? During his birthday party just last week, he had a rather unforgettable guest. Unforgettable not just to him but to the flabbergasted citizens upon hearing the news. It was no less than the widow of the very reason why his office was created. Yes, it was Madam Imelda indeed. Seems like Abcede got so starstruck that he forgot to realize that he was already sleeping with the enemy.

it was like seeing hubert Webb attending the late Senator Rene Cayetano's diamond birthday party. Or seeing Lucio Tan being a guest-of-honor in Liwayway Chato's. Yes, it was unthinkable. But it did happen.

Whoever invited Imelda Marcos in his party is totally out of his mind. Abcede should put him in solitary confinement, or better, feed him to the lions. Well, that is assuming it was not Abcede himself who invited Imelda to his bitrhday party.

People in highly sensitive positions should learn the value of discernment. The entire nation is watching and for people in these key positions, there is no room for "avoidable" mistakes, nor sheer stupidity.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Da Vinci Hype

It is appalling to hear everyone riding the "Da Vinci Code" controversy. Bishops, Civil leaders, and just now, newspapers say that even the Executive Secretary wants Da Vinci Code banned from local cinemas. It is sometimes disturbing and confusing where the paranoia is coming from.

I have read The Da Vinci Code and I must say that Dan Brown has crafted a literary masterpiece. With its fast-paced, action-packed plot and highly controversial issues, you wouldn't want to stop reading until the end. The book has touched a few sensitive issues on Christianity, the Opus Dei sect, the Gnostic Gospels, and Jesus Christ's human side, irating the faithfuls.

For one, Dan Brown has already cleared it out that his book was fiction, thus beliefs, rituals and facts stated were not true. End of controversy.

Second, being a devout Catholic, I don't think Dan Brown insulted, nor questioned the divinity of Jesus Christ. He just gave Christ a more human nature. Everybody could have made several assumptions on the life of Christ during the hidden years. After all, it was not written in the bible.

I admired Bro. Mike Velarde's statement over the issue, saying that the Filipinos are too secured towards their faith so there is no need to ban the movie. Also, MTRCB Chairperson Consoliza Laguardia was absolutely correct in saying that a simple two-hour video will not change a person's faith overnight.

This is not the first time that a movie has somewhat questioned the facts about the Christian religion. There was the movie Stigmata, which became famous for the line "How's your faith these dyas, Father?" The movie also questioned the validity of the Catholic Church, however, it was never banned by the MTRCB.

Another controversial movie is "The Body," starring Antonio Banderas who played the role of a priest investigating the site where they allegedly found the corpse of Jesus Christ. If I could recall correctly, the movie ended with a scene of Banderas and a bishop, where the bishop weeps and tells Banderas, "A priest is sworn to secrecy" after having found out that the body was indeed Christ.

All these media hype just a) puts the Catholic Church on the defensive, and b) creates interest and enthusiasm in the movie, which would later on convert into ticket sales.

There are more urgent concerns in this country that needs attention.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Pure Shores...

I wasn't supposed to start with this entry until I get the pictures but for lack of anything else to do, I decided to start it with a teaser photo taken from my phone...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Panglao Shores...

Truly exhilarating...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Live and let live?

I don't see the reason behind the administration's sensational announcement of commutation to hundreds of death convicts. This might be a show of conscience as a result of the Cabinet's weekend reflection during their retreat in Baguio City. Probably in the midst of their prayerful recollection, one of them just thought of a brilliant idea of doing one good deed for the Holy Week. However, due to budgetary constraints, they were unable to provide remarkable Gawad Kaling-like projects as good deed so they decided to give love through the least expensive way: Pardon the dead-men-walking.

This is the only logic I see in this decision. I do not see what is the big fuss about this announcement. In the first place, the President has had millions of reasons for these convicts not to die during her empire. First, there was this moratorium in 2001 (I think). After Leo Echegaray and several others' deaths during Erap's time, GMA, during her term, decided to put a halt to all the killings. This decision ignited anti-crime advocates. Yes, the same people who are protesting the current decision.

Years after the moratorium, probably just to gain support from the anti-crime advocates who might gather enough votes for her securing reelection, the President declared that death penalty shall take place, but only to those convicted with kidnapping. This means the convicted rapists, murderers, economic saboteurs, terrorists, and drug traffickers shall stay in death row until further notice. This utterly weird decision came after anti-kidnap (mostly Chinese) groups requested the resurgence of death penalty. Again, to gain the favor of those Chinese businessmen with big funding potential (read: 2004 elections). Amen.

And now, this decision. What prompted the decision? Taking from the two previous events about capital punishment, I can surmise that the reason behind the surprising announcement is still the same: politics. This could probably be a wager to regain the church's trust and confidence. Or this could just be a publicity stint, showing the administration's "merciful" side. But for me, this is just another one of the government's circus acts where they will acidentally shoot themselves in the foot.

I personally believe capital punishment is never a direct means to end crime and violence. As long as the law is bended, as long as the justice system is as slow as Pluto's revolution to the Sun, as long as brilliant lawyers' principles are blinded by millions of pesos cashed in by their wealthy criminal clients, and as long as judges are paid handsomely by filthy rich criminals, criminality and violence will linger the country. How can criminals fear death penalty if they haven't even experienced being in jail?

Capital punishment is merely a mouse trap kilometers away from the cheese. It will never be felt as long as the walk to justice is long and agonizing.

I am neither for nor against any form of capital punishment. But I am solidly behind the reengineering of the country's justice system.

Maybe they should go back to Baguio and rethink their Easter gimmick.

Belated Happy Easter to all...

Trivia, trivia

Did you know: before politics, Joey Marquez was a noon-time show host of the hit variety show "Kalatog-Pinggan." His entry to politics was the benchmark of other actors who are politicians wannabe. Other noon-time show artists followed suit: Anjo Yllana (kalatog-pinggan), Tito Sotto (Eat Bulaga!), etc.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Bakit ganun? Bakit medyo tinatamad akong magsulat ng entry sa blog ko na ito? Noong una, sinasabi ko sa sarili ko na gagawin ko itong praktisan upang makasulat ako nang maayos eh. Ngayon, wala na. Wala na kaong masulat. Siguro dahil din sa limited access ko ngayon sa internet. O sa dahil masyado na akong napikon sa sistema, ayoko nang magkomento. O dahil din nagtutunog sports nalayst na ako pag nagsusulat. Puro basketbol ang nasa utak. Sige, eto ibang entry... Maninira na lang ako. After all, my site is called slingshot... hihihi Here goes.

Magsusulat na lang ako ng hate entry. Ililsta ko ang mga kinaiinisan ko tungkol sa blog, sa buhay, at sa ibang tao.

On the second thought, I will save it for next time. Holy Week eh. Ayokong magkasala. Pero I will make this entry... Har har har.

I will instead boast (as if there's still somethign to boast) that after months of intermittent reading, I have finally finished the book "Angels and Demons" last month. I have to say that as a non-reader, I have learned to love reading because of fast-paced books such as these. Enough said. Dan Brown is such a genius. i just do not understand why there arose hate mails and reviews about the book. The book was surely a masterpiece. It never did break my perception and faith on the Catholic Church, but instead it gave me a different point of view of how religion and belief could co-exist with the development of science.

I have to stop there because people might kill me if they read to much spoilers in this entry. Oh well. This is such a lazy day...

Trivia, trivia
Did you know: That's Entertainment talent and TV show host Jojo Alejar revived his Philippine movie career by acting in a supporting role to GMA Films' latest movie "Moments of Love."

Monday, March 20, 2006

Team 4F 98: “Game na ba kayo?!”

Special thanks to Mikko Javier

A reunion of sorts

It started out as a weekly reunion of sorts through a game we loved playing most… Every Saturday, basketball aficionados of Ateneo High School 4F batch 1998, along with some friends from the Ateneo College who eventually became part of the family, meet up in the college covered courts to play ball for hours, with the objective of losing some weight and have some weekend fun. Upon learning about the Ateneo Basketball League, one of us just played with the idea of forming a team. What was once a joke eventually became a serious consideration. By the end 2003, the weekend ballers enlisted to become a legitimate ABL team. Thus, the birth of Team AHS 4F98.

Team 4F98 was formed on four fundamental objectives: to have a weekly reunion with our dear classmates (be it players or spectators, we never fail to have a post-game dinner after every game), to have a weekly workout and cardio-vascular exercise, to have a feel of an official basketball game, and to simply have a good time.

Indeed we enjoyed our participation in the ABL and excited a number of batch mates who watched several games from time to time in the course of the 3 seasons. The last and latest season of which, 2006, gave us our first-ever championship.

Three years in the making

In 2004, the team played in the Primitivo Martinez division, wherein we won our first ABL game. This provided us the confidence and determination to play our best in every game. Unfortunately, we fell short of making it to the final four that year. We had a 3-4 win-loss card. We were tied with two other teams in fourth place, however, the quotient system dictated our fate. We were behind by more than 20 quotient points.

We had a rather dismal performance in 2005, when we had a winless 0-7 card. This was the year when all three wins were forfeited because of a roster glitch. Despite a rather disheartening season, the team never ceased to play the ABL, since the main objective was to have fun and just play the game.

Finally, in 2006, we were enlisted in the newly-formed Fr. Cipriano Unson division. Not-so-serious as we all are, we still needed to break the 9-game curse and started the season with gusto and overall enthusiasm. After warming-up, we huddle to say a prayer for guidance and safety of the players. After which, our coach shouts to the top of his lungs: “GAME NA BA KAYO?!” We respond by cheering, “GAME NA!” That sound reverberates around the coliseum after the first huddle, signaling the start of a fierce, but fun, hoop action.

Accomplishments and milestones

And after a 9-game losing streak since 2004, we won our first game of the 2006 season. We were so elated by the first win, the team needed to take pictures because the win may never happen again. One player even took pictures of the final score just to show evidence that AHS 4F98 intermittently wins a basketball game.

We just thought maybe the prayer and pre-game cheer was lucky. We didn’t realize that we got game until the end of the second game. Statistically, never in its three year existence did Team AHS 4F98 experience a two-game winning streak. When the second game turned out to be a win, we had our hopes up.

Not only that. The team experienced several milestones this year. Most significant of all is the 7-0 card, which led us straight to the finals. And of course, extending the winning streak to 8 by winning the first-ever Fr. Unson Division championship. History tells that we were only the second team to have made a comeback 7-0 sweep from a 0-7 win-loss card the previous year.

Also, AHS 4F98’s win is regularly judged by its performance in the third quarter. When we are behind at the end of the third quarter, we lose the game. We experienced a couple of third-quarter deficits, where our opponents led by as much as 5 points. But this time, we won on those games. Our third-quarter curse was broken this year.

Finally, most of our team members led in the division’s statistical records. Jayvee Reyes’ steady shooting made him the best three point shooter of the division in terms of percentage. Marc Martinez proved that he is truly the best defensive player of the division, posting a division-best 3.38 steals a game. Playmaker and playing coach RJ Militar provided the necessary assists, making him the best passer of the division. And of course, the awards: four of our players, Marc Martinez, Jayvee Reyes, Jervin Reyes, and Juaqui Gutierrez made it to the mythical five; Marc Martinez was given the Best Defensive Player award; and Juaqui Gutierrez was the runaway winner of the Most Valuable Player award.

First-ever finals experience

Thanks to the 7-0 run in the eliminations, Team AHS 4F98 went straight to the finals and played against Team Macaraig, the team that rose from 4th place to the finals by defeating Team Ledesma and the powerhouse Team Genuino. We were rather uneasy at first, due to the fact that our star player and Most Valuable Player Juaqui Gutierrez is out due to an ankle injury, while our solid rebounding support Alfred Vargas is unavailable. However, we kept our composure and focus in the game.

Special thanks to our air-tight defense in the first half, Team Macaraig was held to a low scoring first half (under 20pts.), while we found ourselves leading by 20 points because of the 3-pointers launched by 4F98’s sweet-shooting gunman Jayvee Reyes.

Team Macaraig managed to make a comeback in the second half by their run-and-gun game. Their fast break points eventually cut our lead to 8 pts. 4F98 scored only a measly 3 points in the third quarter. Team Macaraig failed to erase the deficit 4F98 provided early in the quarter, but they came to as close as 5 points away.

Feeling the pressure and needing to stop the momentum, Team Captain and Best Defensive Player Marc “Macho Mitch” Martinez stepped up and scored numerous fast break points off several steals early in the homestretch. JC Aliling, 4F98’s secret weapon, rookie and go-to guy sealed the deal by bombing Team Macaraig with two consecutive 3-pointers with under 3 minutes to go in the 4th Quarter. This gave back 4F98’s double-digit lead. Team Macaraig held on by giving intentional fouls but had no bearing on the score or hope of reducing the lead. Team AHS 4F98 won by 9 points.

Seeing the convincing lead with less than two minutes left, Team 4F98 could not contain their ecstasy and the bench was going crazy out of eagerness to win the championship for the first time.

This was a fruitful season for 4F98. Eight-straight wins and a championship. Truly a memorable year for the team.

Above every victory and championship accomplished in the ABL, Team 4F98 is successful in its primordial objective in joining: to relive the memories of high school and keep in touch and bond with friends and classmates through the sport that binds us all.

“GAME NA BA KAYO?! GAME NA!” Team 4F98, congratulations on our unprecedented ABL Unson Division Championship. Until the next season…

The players

Team Ateneo High School 4F98:
Marc Martinez (Team Captain) – Best Defensive Player
Juaqui Gutierrez – Most Valuable Player
Jayvee Reyes
Jervin Reyes
RJ Militar
JC Aliling
Mikko Javier
Arnel Reniedo
RT de Jesus
Smiley Mateo
Paul Ochinang
Ron Margallo
Alfred Vargas
Anton Changco
Dingdong DantesMark Santos

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tragedy of the Commons...

This is yet the most tragic experience the Philippines has seen in the entertainment industry. More or less 74 people dead, more than 200 injured, and scores of people shocked. That was what the tragedy known to many as the Wowowee Anniversary tragedy left ULTRA last Saturday, February 4. Seeing the footages on TV makes us feel shocked, distressed and disturbed. I could only imagine how Willie Revillame feels right now. As I watched the coverage on TV, I can’t help but feel awed and depressed with the thought that people died trying their luck to win some money.

Reports showed that hundreds of people have already flocked the front gate of ULTRA as early as Wednesday, February 1, hoping to be one of the first three hundred people to win an instant 20,000 pesos. As I have heard, Wowowee promised to give P20,000 each to the first 300 people to enter the ULTRA. In a place where there is very little opportunity for the poor, people would grab promotions such as this just to earn extra cash, even if it means toill and trouble from falling in line to pushing and shoving. This alone is a tragedy waiting to happen. And then, at around 7:45 in the morning, a few hours before Wowowee’s Anniversary show, the stamped occurred.

As what our column writers have already written in their respective columns, this tragedy just reflected how much poverty-stricken our society is now. Our people have become even more desperate to the point that they rely on chance, risking their time and lives to win some. If you could examine closer, lines in lotto stations have become longer. Off track betting stations are flocked by more bettors. Game shows continue to thrive the local TV stations, even in the most obscure channels. People have somehow shifted to chance as a way to improve their lives because, in a way, they have lost faith in relying on legitimate sources of income.

Considering this current state of society today, it is rather unfortunate to see networks capitalizing on the needs of the poor to get high ratings and revenues. These shows continue to exploit the people’s dire need for money in the guise of charity and games with big jackpots. People are being used for popularity contest. Afterwards, networks brand it as if they are helping uplift the lives of the poor. This “messianic complex” has an even more negative effect on the poor. Now, joining game shows and betting on chance have been a way of life for some.

If there is one thing to blame for the tragedy, it’s the network’s irresponsible treatment of their flock. Providing help for the poor does not end in giving cash prizes. It extends to proper treatment and care. And I think that is more important. Treating them nicely makes them winners in their own right even before they get to win cash prizes. Proper management of contests is one thing to consider when it comes to game shows.

I remember that during the time of the Pera o Bayong success, Magandang Tanghali Bayan hosts kept on boasting that the ABS-CBN studios were being flocked by thousands of people just to join their game. They said that the people sleep on the streets just to get their chance to win a million pesos. Mind you, it was not worth noting.

I am not biased over Eat Bulaga or anything, but they exemplify the more responsible management of a game show. In their segment Laban o Bawi, they pre-draw the 20 or so people that will join their elimination round, will make them wear shirts specified for the contest, and will honor only those with complete requirements. According to informal sources, people who want to join Laban o Bawi will have to leave their names in a piece of paper and give them to the officers-in-charge in the studio, and will just wait for their names to appear on TV. In this way, the show prevents the risk of a raucous crowd hours before their shows. They even provided the people the feeling of being winners by exposing their names on screen.

This is a painful lesson given to all shows nationwide. The ULTRA tragedy teaches us that poverty is prevalent, but providing people with temporary relief through giving out prizes in games shows does not solve the problem. It does not end in giving money…

I like what Conrado de Quiros wrote in his column last Monday, February 6, to quote: “But as many Filipinos know by now-courtesy of the text messages that flew thick and fast after the event-the real culprit in this disaster is poverty. A friend of mine put it this way, "Grabe pare, the only things that are keeping the poor going these days are luck and alms." That sounds even more plaintive in Tagalog. Another said the tragedy showed the true face of the economy. It is not 51 to 1, which is the conversion rate of the peso, it is 74 to 1, the conversion rate of lives to survival.”
“What can I say? I agree completely. What differentiates the tragedy last Saturday with the ones that came before it is that people went there out of dire straits, out of desperation, out of need to make some money. And they pushed and shoved and trampled with a ferocity reserved only for their life-and-death struggles. Kapit sa patalim. Surviving by the skin of your teeth. At least the victims of the collapse of the Colgante Bridge in Naga were there to show religious devotion to their Ina. At least the fans that were stampeded to death at Amoranto were there to show devotion to their rock gods. The children, women and men who were crushed to death at Ultra were there to cling to life. They were there trusting in God, luck and gratuity. That is the greatest tragedy of all.”

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Ateneo Basketball League 2006

We’re almost halfway through the ABL season 6. So far, things have been going our team’s way. The Year of the Dog must be a lucky year for team AHS 4F 98. (Background: Our ABL team, Team AHS 4F98 has been joining the ABL for three years now. It was named such because we were classmates under section 4F and graduated in 1998. Not all players of this team are from 4F, but they were, in a way, adopted by our section.)

We made sensational records for our franchise team this year (yes, franchise! Feeling NBA! Hehehe). First, we made three consecutive wins this season. This has never happened before, except the other way around. We experienced losing twice in a row. And thrice, and four times. Even five. And six. And seven… darn…

Second, our team has a player vying for MVP. That is, ladies and gentleman, Mr. Juaqui Gutierrez. He is, I think, 2.5 statistical points higher this week than his MVP rival, Erwil Pasia. We also have at least five players in the statistical leaders, myself included… hehehe…

Third, We recorded the most wins in a season, tied with our career best, that is two years ago. Hopefully, we break the record by winning the next game.

Fourth, we broke barriers in terms of winning a game despite trailing in the third quarter. Historically speaking, we never won a game where we were trailing by the end of the third quarter. However, last Sunday, despite an 8-point deficit, we came back in the fourth quarter and won by 7 points, special thanks to the treys delivered by Jayvee Reyes, our team’s Sharpshooter.

And lastly, it is in this season where we posed the most pictures!!! Juaqui never fails to take a good shot of our final score and our team in the end game. Ayos! Hehehe…

A series of achievements and a winning streak… With this trend we might be able to take our first trip to the final four, and finally to the finals!!!


4F98 at Game#2 vs. Team Genuino


Trivia, trivia

Did you know: The only Filipino who has beaten our current-day hero Manny “The Pacman” Pacquiao during his early days was Rustico Torrecampo. He won by way of knock out! Today, Torrecampo sells bicycle-mami in his hometown and has given up boxing.