Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Project Exodus: September 2003

Before I say goodbye to 2008, here are the entries from September 2003, the second month of Counting Down To Five. Like the wise man said, "Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, kung matinik ay malalim."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


If Wordle is to be believed, these are the words that have appeared in this blog the most as of December 2008.

[Image grabbed from]

"School" is in the Top 3. Eeep.

[Hat tip to Wysgal.]

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Lesson In Aerodynamics

I helped get balloons for a birthday party yesterday. Since there wasn’t enough space in the car, I held half the balloons out the front passenger window. That wasn't very smart. We didn’t speed yet the drag almost tore my arm from its socket. My hands cramped up. The people who saw us pass scratched their heads or chuckled at my expense. I didn't mind; I was in too much pain to be offended.

Friday, December 19, 2008

JLC Word/s Of The Night 5

"Pernicious." Right after the opening prayer he called me for recitation. Two questions later he asked me to sit then lectured the rest of the way. I didn’t get a grade, which I hope isn’t a bad thing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


My high school batch's Yahoo! Group is active again after a long spell. It must be because December is Alumni Homecoming month.

This year we're planning to make batch jerseys. Our school colors are blue and gold so the designs being floated play around that theme. To illustrate:

[Image courtesy of A. Verdadero]

I prefer the next design over the first, mainly because the front logo isn't humongous.

[Image courtesy of A. Verdadero]

The next one is a football jersey. I like it for the color. Unfortunately, there's little preference for it because my batchmates are more into basketball.

[Image courtesy of V. Nierva]

We'll see what the batch finally decides.

Monday, December 15, 2008

[Post 100] Mo-pho: Truth In Advertising

This graffiti I found in the men's room of a dive along Xavierville Avenue, Quezon City.

Photo taken with my trusty Sony Ericsson K600i.

That same night, I sent J the pic via MMS. He didn't protest too much.


[4 July 2009 Edit]

Egad, I forgot to note that this is my 100th entry since I started this blog in mid-2008.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Yes, Ma'am

M saw my post about her and her blog. It made her laugh. She then gave me a writing assignment.
What’s the loneliest time of the day for you? Write it & write on.
If that's not the professor in her speaking, I don't know what is. The only things lacking are instructions for font and paper sizes, line spacing, and page margins. But since there's no deadline I can, and will, submit when able.

Friday, December 12, 2008

JLC Word/s Of The Night 4

None, because we had a free cut last night. Actually both my classes were free cuts. I will can my rant lest I sound like a nerd.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ideas For The Shopping Season

All I want for Christmas is this shirt. For it I'll even trade my two front teeth.

The ladies, on the other hand, might find something good in the latest business venture of my college blockmate Anna Meloto-Wilk.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Stolen Thunder

GMA 7 scored a coup with its exclusive coverage of the Manny Pacquiao-Oscar De La Hoya fight. But as it aired an undercard bout, the headline People's Champ Manny Pacquiao Panalo Sa Round 8 Laban Kay Oscar De La Hoya scrolled on ABS-ABN. And by the time singer/actress Karylle sang the Philippine National Anthem before the fight, ABS-CBN had already aired a breaking news bulletin. Ah, isn’t the network wars fun?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Name Dropped

I Google myself once in a while to check if someone’s badmouthing me on the Internets. It's heartening to see there's no one—so far. For the longest time, the only search results were Jowett’s blog, Vic’s blog, and my high school batch’s website. And then a few weeks ago I found this. I first met the author of that blog at a Naga City-wide journalism contest. We were representatives of our respective high school papers. Months later we represented Naga and Bicol at the regional and national levels, respectively, of the same competition. We lost contact in college but I'm not surprised she pursued a literary career. Today she's variously described on the Net as "much-esteemed," an "illustrious author," a "poet and essayist," an "SF writer," and a "genre fiction maven." How cool is that?

Friday, December 5, 2008

JLC Word/s Of The Night 3

"Salient," as in the quiz question, What are the salient features of R.A. No. 9003? Farks.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mo-pho: Ouch

I was on the Ateneo-National Bookstore overpass when I took this photo.

Photo taken with my trusty Sony Ericsson K600i.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Colorum No More

Finally, after four weeks of attending classes as a colorum student, I’m now officially enrolled! This school is starting to grow one me—I mean, what other academic institution would still accept this late an enrollment?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Second Call

The Big G really wants to talk. I was supposed to have back-to-back quizzes yesterday and barely made it on time for the first. Sweaty from half-running, I took out my handkerchief. Something else fell out. It was a pamphlet some guy on the street handed to me around noon. I didn’t look at it—I just stuffed it in my back pocket. When I finally saw what it was, I thought, Is this a sign or what? After my first quiz I hurried to my next classroom. It was empty so I went to the College Secretary's office. They told me my classmates had choir practice. The class—and the quiz—was canceled!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Don't Beat Around The Burning Bush

Why is there a lot of "We need to talk—God" billboards along the NLEX? It's creative but it doesn't work with me. In my experience, see, nothing good has ever followed "We need to talk." That four-word series is the verbal equivalent of an executioner's wind-up. Then the ax falls: There is no Santa Claus. It's not you, it's me. We've run out of beers. So if God says He and I need to talk, I think I'll pass. I won't waste our times; I'll just book myself a one-way trip to wherever it is the must-do tourist activities are wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Illustrating “Insult To Injury”

Someone had the bright idea of pruning the trees along the northbound lanes of the NLEX, just past the Sta. Rita exit. And wherever they cut, be it on a main branch or the trunk itself, they put what looked like fluorescent orange paint on the stump. Those who can’t pass there to see for themselves can just dab their fingertips in paint to get an idea how the trees now look like. Then again, if what they actually put wasn't fluorescent orange paint but some sort of medicine, we’ll have confirmation that I’m an ignorant ass with an overactive imagination.

Monday, November 24, 2008

C And C

How can one not be touched with a welcome note like this? Your new pad is beautiful; it's the farthest thing from a lungga or Bilibid. Apologies for feeling too at home, though.

I Missed You Not

Within minutes of my arrival in the Metro, I was reminded of some of the things I had to put up with when I lived there. For instance, Metro Manila drivers are too honk-happy. Hey, guy, if the car in front of you isn’t budging, look out first and keep your hands off the hair-trigger car horn. It’s traffic; there’s always a non-moving vehicle ahead of the non-moving vehicle ahead of your non-moving vehicle. Honking won’t make those ahead VTOL-capable, so quit it. Please. Also, anyone who doesn’t want to pass passengers’ fares to the jeepney driver ought not to sit near him in the first place. I’m sure you’re not so deaf you can’t hear me say, “Bayad po, pakiabot.” I’m even more sure you’re not lost in thought, nor engrossed with the road ahead or the wonderful sights out the window. Lastly, what’s with these guys who, as soon as they hit the men’s room door, immediately start unbuttoning, unzipping, and reaching into their pants? You’re nowhere near the urinal so spare me the sight of your bacon underpants. You’ve already made it to safety, what’s a few more seconds? Besides, real men hold it in!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Survey Says

If Pulse Asia's latest survey results are to be believed, three out of every five Filipinos consider themselves “losers.” I disagree; we Filipinos are glass half-full people. Maybe the majority of those surveyed were La Sallistas still in a blue mood over their team's loss to the Eagles in the UAAP basketball finals. Kidding! I'm practicing my alaska skills because tomorrow I'm going to see my La Sallian friend, Syd. It's been years since Ateneans had gloating rights over their side, so I have to make the most out of it.

She Shoots, She Scores!

What's up with kids nowadays? Last night, something I haven't encountered in my eighteen years inside classrooms happened: someone threw something at the professor! From where I sat it didn't look unintentional. JLC teased a female classmate while she recited; next thing I knew something was flying from her hand to the desk at which he was seated. Oh shit, I thought. My classmate was horrified when she realized what she'd just done. The rest of us were stunned, including JLC. There are things a student shouldn't do, and pelting a professor is one of them. I don't care if your hand is too fast for your brain. You. Just. Don't. Do. It. It was fortunate Lloydie was in a good mood and didn't fly off the handle. When he just laughed it off, I felt the class' collective sigh of relief. It reminded me of the time in high school Physics when I flew a paper airplane while the teacher was writing something on the board, but that's another story.

JLC Word/s Of The Night 2

Temerity. Propensity. Doldrums. And he used "deleterious" not once, not twice, but six times. My seatmate and I could only laugh when we discovered we were both making the same word lists.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Slip And (Attempted) Slide

May I add a little prayer of my own: Lord, let this merely be a botched attempt at levity and not a Freudian slip.
AT 3:17 A.M.
Obama finally returns Arroyo call
By Christian V. Esguerra, TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—A phone call at an unholy hour Tuesday may have made President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s day, but a prayer at a Cabinet meeting later in the morning came close to ruining it.


A humor-laced prayer delivered by Dureza to start off the meeting apparently upset the otherwise cheerful Chief Executive.

Ms Arroyo appeared and sounded so exasperated that she requested the TV crews not to air their footage of the episode.

“Please keep this off the record,” she told TV cameramen and photographers who were allowed to cover the start of the meeting at Malacañang’s Aguinaldo State Dining Room.

Full story...
Methinks Ate Glo should work on her poker face. She has one, but perhaps she saves it for “I am sorry” addresses on national television. Her “Oh my God” exclamation and visible exasperation—while the prayer was ongoing, no less—made the whole thing grab more attention than it should have.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hello, It Is Me You're Looking

Huli man daw at magaling, huli pa rin.
Obama returns call of Arroyo; Also talks with leaders of Georgia, Turkey
Agence France-Presse

CHICAGO -- US president-elect Barack Obama Monday telephoned Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to follow up her call of congratulation, his office said.

Obama, who has been returning a flurry of calls following his election triumph of November 4, also spoke with Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili and Turkey President Abdullah Gul.

The Democratic president-elect "expressed his appreciation for their congratulations on his election," according to a statement from Obama's transition office.

I just don't know if she should be flattered by the company.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mo-pho: Ugh

Why, LA, why?

Photo taken with my trusty Sony Ericsson K600i.

If I ever disavow my alma mater , I will point to this print advertisement as Exhibit "A." Colossal fail.

Friday, November 14, 2008

JLC Word/s Of The Night

Before the class was halfway through he'd already spouted "stymies" and "conflagration." So when I recited, I hit back with "deleterious." Score!

An Uphill Battle

JLC is going to be a challenge. First off, we aren’t allowed books and notebooks on our desks during recitation. And we each get only a question or two to acquit ourselves well. Second, his notoriety for stinginess is well-earned. Someone got a recitation grade as low as 65. I, who gave four correct answers, received only a hairline pass—I was docked for saying And the next one is... and thereafter drawing a blank (because I realized I'd already covered everything). That hairline pass was the only grade that broke 70!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dog, God, God, Dog

The search for America's First Dog is underway.

Ate Glo must like her chances now of wrangling a meet and greet with the US President-elect. After all, don't rallyists always chant that she's a tuta ng Kano?

Too bad there's a dealbreaker: based on her latest public approval ratings, she's not exactly hypoallergenic.


By the way, wouldn't it be a trip if it turns out Barack Obama is dyslexic and is actually looking for God after ditching that old preacher friend of his?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

He Runs, I Run—For My Life!

Say it ain't so, Jojo.
Jojo Binay wants to do an Obama
By Allison Lopez, Thea Alberto, Maila Ager
Philippine Daily Inquirer,

MANILA, Philippines—Jejomar “Jojo” Binay is embarking on an audacious journey from the “Republic of Makati” to the Republic of the Philippines as the country’s very own “Jojo Bama”—much like US President-elect Barack Obama.

Vowing to turn the nation around as he did in Makati City as its longtime mayor, Binay Tuesday declared his intention to run for the presidency, calling for a “voter’s revolution” in 2010 through change in leadership.

More than 2,000 supporters, some trucked in from the provinces, carried streamers that read “Obama of the Philippines” and “Jojo Binay for President” as they gathered at the Makati City Hall for a 7 a.m. thanksgiving Mass on Binay’s 66th birthday.

I think anyone who reacts to this news story with anything but hysterical laughter needs reattachment to the planet, stat. I'm a bit surprised Nurse Ratched hasn't scheduled Binay yet for an emergency involuntary neurosurgical procedure.

And Jesus, Mary, and Joseph—or in Binay's case, Jesus, Joseph, and Mary—his sycophants really take the cake! Imagine comparing Binay to the US President-elect. Hindi ba sila kinikilabutan? Wake up and smell the coffee, people. About the only things he and Obama have in common are their complexions!

For once in my life, I'm with Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Excuse me, too, for finding it a source of humor.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Boys Are Back In Town

Woohoo, Wolfgang is back like Johann Sebastian!
A ‘Black Christmas’ with Wolfgang
By Gerry Plaza

MANILA, Philippines—Rock band Wolfgang will reunite after six years of dormancy in the Philippine music scene since their 2001 album “Black Mantra” in a show where they would seem to pick up where they have left off—“The Black Christmas Project,” at the Eastwood City Central Plaza on Dec. 10.

The band’s formidable core, which consists of vocalist Basti Artadi, guitarist Manuel Legarda and bassist Mon Legaspi, will again stun audiences with precision riffs, emphatic beats, power-drenched vocals, colorful licks, driving ostinatos, occasionally jazz-styled basslines and imaginative breaks that merge with razor-sharp interplay in their unique style of American-influenced hard rock, heavy metal, grunge and blues-rock. Joining them on drums is Monkeyspank drummer Francis Aquino.

A reunion concert, a soon-to-be-released album... there's nothing more this fan could want—except for the participation of original drummer Wolf Gemora.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thoughts On The Funnies

All the talk about comics and crossword puzzles in the comments section of a previous post led me to take a closer look at the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Comic Relief section.

Because there's, I now buy the paper version only when I'm going to be stuck for hours at some bank or government office. As a result the issues sitting in my room are dated months apart.

On 27 May 2008 the Inquirer's Comic Relief section looked like this, from left-to-right, top-to-bottom:
Shirley's Pets by Robert Magnuson
A. Lipin by Jess Abrera
Tuldok by Papu and Tatum Milambiling
Pugad Baboy by P.M. Junior
Divine Comedy by Steven Pabalinas
Garfield by Jim Davis
Salamin by Darwin Perez
Baby Blues by Jerry Scott
Atomo and Weboy by Lyra Garcellano
Loveknots by Elizabeth Chionglo
Kiko Machine by Manix Abrera
Ben by Daniel Shelton
By 24 July 2008 Shirley's Pets was gone. In its place was Jomike Toledo's Mikrokosmos.

Come 19 September 2008, Salamin and Mikrokosmos were gone as well. They were replaced by Dick Locher's Dick Tracy and Yaroslav Horak's Ian Fleming's James Bond, respectively.

As of yesterday, there's been no change. They just jumbled the placements a bit. However, the only strips that are consistently funny are Pugad Baboy, Kiko Machine, Baby Blues, Ben, and Garfield, a measly 5 out 12. Maybe they ought to rename that section.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Can't Look

Four minutes into our first meeting it occurred to me: They were right, this professor does look like John Lloyd Cruz—or a thinner Allan Peter Cayetano. That's why I stared holes in my desk chair and took notes like my life depended on it until the bell rang.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Render Unto Ceasar 2

I was picking second semester classes Monday afternoon when somebody tapped me from behind. It was the Dean. First he said I got the highest mark in his class. Then he asked what my other grades were. I was caught off-guard, but this was the Dean asking so I gave a rundown. He seemed satisfied(?) with half of my grades and unimpressed (or was it disappointed?) with the rest. He said to try and graduate cum laude, then left. And that wasn't even the hardest challenge posed to me that day: my sponsors said to top my year level. Talk about pressure.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mo-pho: Cloth Ghosts

I took this photo at a mall in Afghanistan a few years back. These mannequins are sporting the latest in burqa fashion.

Photo taken with my trusty Sony Ericsson K600i.

Just kidding. This is how the Lacoste(?) outlet in Gateway Mall looks like after closing time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Project Exodus: August 2003

In a previous post I asked whether it would be good to transfer the entries from my old blog to this one. I even put up a poll to help decide the matter. Well, the people have spoken, so from hereon out I will be resurrecting my old blog entries. I will re-post them in batches, according to the months they were originally posted. For now, here are the posts from August 2003. At the time my blog was called Counting Down To Five. And though I couldn’t resist making spelling and capitalization corrections, these posts are pretty much as I originally wrote them, down to the dates and times. Enjoy.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Countdown: Three Things I Do Everyday

1. Sleep on my stomach 2. Play "Pokermillion The Masters - Texas Hold Em" on my phone 3. Hum the theme from "Hawaii Five-O"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Project Real Mail: Light Bulb Moment

This past Wednesday there was a sudden shower at quitting time. I didn't have an umbrella so I decided to wait out the rain in SM. I ended up in Booksale; it's been a while since I adopted an orphaned book. Thirty minutes later I walked out with three: The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw, Small Vices by Robert B. Parker, and Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand. The total damage? Sixty-five pesos. I practically skipped my way out of there. When I opened the Parker book at home I found a sticker with the previous owner's name. There was also a Benicia, California address. It gave me an idea for a small project: write the previous owner. I intend to ask how the book ended up halfway around the world. Who knows, maybe the previous owner still lives at the same address. At best, I'll get a reply. At worst, I'll have material for a blog post or two.

Five Hundred And First

Tonight's top story:
On 25 October 2008, at 2:26:10 a.m. Philippine time, The Past and the Spurious welcomed its 501st visitor.
And now, some words from our sponsors.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

411 On Legs

For the second time in two weeks, I was stopped during my morning walk to the office by people asking for directions. Last week there were three middle-aged ladies looking for the Victory Bus terminal. Yesterday it was a man looking for the way to Teachers Camp. In all likelihood it's just coincidence. Or maybe because I seem approachable. But I'd like to think that at last, I'm starting to look like I'm from around here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Have Book, Will Read

The semester has come and gone. I had access to a library yet I didn't borrow a thing aside from textbooks. How... sad. Growing up, the reading itch was easy to scratch. My grade school had a small reading room full of folk tale books. After dismissal I'd read for a few minutes until I finished everything. At home there was an encyclopedia set waiting. I think I read that sucker from A to Z. I had access to a larger collection in high school–heavy reading like Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Bobbsey Twins. I also read some Clancy, Ludlum, and Forsythe. That's when I got my populist taste. I always made it to the library's list of top borrowers. In college I filled up a lot of library cards. Whenever I hit the maximum number a student can take home I dragged my boardmates to the Circulation Section and put the books on their cards. My eyesight went downhill from there.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mo-pho: Boy At The Rock Show

This is a mobile phone photo from the last concert I ever attended.

Photo taken with my trusty Sony Ericsson K600i.

It's not very clear, but that's The Dawn onstage. The gig was at the Marikina Riverpark way back in 2007. Or was it 2006?

I remember they put on a great show. Afterwards my companions and I spoke and took pictures with bassist Buddy Zabala backstage. Good times all around.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I See A Feeding Frenzy

When it rains, it pours.
Ateneo, UP rise in 2008 world university rankings
By Kris Danielle Suarez

Two local universities, the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and the University of the Philippines (UP), saw their rankings rise in The Times Higher Education - QS (THE-QS) World University Rankings 2008, a leading global ranking of higher education institutions.

In the overall rankings released Monday, Ateneo rose from number 451 in 2007 to number 254 this year, while UP rose from 398 last year to 276.

The THE-QS World University Rankings are based on data gathered in the following categories: peer academic review, recruiter review, international faculty ratio, international student ratio, student-faculty ratio, and research citations per faculty.

Ateneo had an overall score of 48.0 out of 100, up from 30.8 last year, while UP posted a 45.9 overall score, up from 34.7 last year.

But what's this I see, Ateneo outranked UP? If that's not chum in the water, I don't know what is. Monitor the local Interwebs, people. This is going to get bloody.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Project Exodus: Toss Coin

Some of the regulars here would remember that this is my second attempt at blogging. The first blog began in late 2003. I renamed it two or three times. At first I blogged in English, switched to Filipino, then went back to English. I also tinkered with the template quite often. Finally I got bored and shut it down in mid-2006. Flash-forward to 2008. My semester's over and I have a little extra time on my hands. I'm toying with migrating the posts from the old blog to this one. Should I? Do me a solid, guys, and take the poll in the sidebar.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Countdown: Five Things I'm Afraid Of

1. Drowning 2. Palakol grades 3. Dying old 4. Snakes 5. The intro to "Silent All These Years"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Not In And Loving It*

Why is it that I can't stick my head out the window, throw a five-peso coin in the direction of the local main street, and not hit a person wearing one of these? Looks like I missed another memo. But it's all good; I can't rock the Arafat look, anyway. *Disclaimer: This was written by someone who wears camo pants to school, even if he's not a member of the Armed Forces. But at least he was able to use it for airsoft. Once.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Newspaper Trail

When reading a newspaper I go to the sports section first. After that I read the entertainment, lifestyle, and business sections. The front page I leave for last. Typical, you might think, but you would be wrong. That order has less to do with being a guy than with force of habit. I started reading newspapers in the late 80s. Ever since the 'rents had dibs on the front page; everyone else had to wait for them to finish. Thus, the ingrained back-to-front reading. The Philippine Daily Inquirer is my broadsheet of choice. If it isn't available I don't buy a paper at all. That came from the 'rents as well. And besides, PDI's blue and white have been my school colors since nursery. I'm loyal and/or Pavlovian.

Monday, October 6, 2008

UAAP Season 71: Bonfire Of The Insanities

This morning I got the surprise of my life when I opened this e-mail:
Three days ago, photos of wooden planks bearing the names of the DLSU Green Archers stuffed together with those to be used for the Victory bonfire last Tuesday, 30 September were circulated on the Internet. To set the record straight, Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, SJ sent a letter of apology to Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC of De La Salle University last Thursday, 2 October 2008 . The second letter is from Mr. Jessie Paredes, HS'54, AB'58.

- The Office of University Development & Alumni Relations

Letter of Fr. Nebres, SJ to Bro. Luistro, FSC

2 October 2008

De la Salle University System
2401 Taft Avenue

Re: Ateneo Bonfire

Dear Bro. Armin,

I would like to extend my deepest apology to you and to the La Sallian community for what some alumnus or student did at the Ateneo Bonfire, namely, write the names of the La Salle players on the wood. Unfortunately, none of us saw it ahead of time, because the wood pile was covered by a tarp against the rain until the time came to light it.

Despite our rivalries in sports, we are both committed to Christian values and what was done is certainly a violation of values we share.

Once again, my deepest apologies to you and to the La Sallian community. We are trying to find out who is responsible for the act.

Sincerely yours,


Letter of Mr. Paredes to Fr. Nebres

3 October 2008

Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, SJ
Ateneo de Manila University

Dear Fr. Nebres,

I write this letter for two reasons. The first one is to own up to producing the materials with the names of the Green Archers and placing them prominently in the woodpile before the bonfire for all to see.

Secondly, I sincerely apologize to you for the queasy situation you are in as a result of the backlash it created.

While the nature of this letter is a personal apology to you, please feel free to extend it to parties you may deem fit to receive it.


Jesse Paredes
HS'54, AB'58
Man oh man oh man. What a colossal bummer!
Ateneo apologizes over bonfire incident
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—A recent Ateneo bonfire celebration has added fuel to the varsity animosity between the Blue Eagles and the De La Salle University Green Archers, prompting an apology from top officials of the Loyola-based school.

Ateneo de Manila University president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ, recently apologized to the La Sallian community for an irreverent incident during the bonfire on the Ateneo campus last Sept. 30 to celebrate the UAAP championship won by the Eagles at the expense of the Archers.

Some of the firewood used at the bonfire had the names of the entire La Salle roster bannered by JV Casio, Rico Maierhofer and coach Franz Pumaren.

Atty. Punzi has written eloquently on the matter, and I have only one word to add: Ditto.

Countdown: Six Things I Believe In

1. Tanduay Rum 5 years 2. David Letterman 3. Friends 4. San Miguel–the beer and the PBA team 5. St. Ignatius of Loyola 6. My grammar

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Incognito No More

Has anyone else tried Google's oldest available index? According to it, as late as 2001 I didn't exist on the World Wide Web. Back then you couldn't get hits based on my full name, my nicknames, or any other handle I've used for various online stuff. That's no longer true today. I'm not incognito. Damn you, cyberspace!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Render Unto Ceasar

Last night I was outside my classroom reading the school paper when the Dean came up to me. "Mr. Tibibord," he said. Dean is one of my teachers this semester so out of habit I stood up. "Good evening, sir," I said. "You don't have a class?" "All done, sir." "You know, Mr. Tibibord, you answer well." My cheeks grew warm. "Thank you, sir," I said. "But you must improve your handwriting." "Sir? It's too late to learn new tricks. I'm old." "No, you can still change your handwriting." "Oh. Okay, sir. I'll try my best." "Devise a new handwriting," he said again, and walked off. It took me a while to process that brief exchange. Had I just been insulted, complimented, or both?

Who's Pulpol Now?

Ooops. A day after I blogged about her, Jasmin Ouschan got eliminated. And by an unfortunately-last-named Filipino, too! This is so rich.
Pulpul stuns female pool star
By Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—About the only thing not going Demosthenes Pulpul’s way at the World Ten Ball Championship is how much people are trying to find negativism in his name.

But the unheralded Filipino has been nothing but a picture of brilliance—although he needed luck before toppling blonde bombshell Jasmine Ouschan to reach the last 32 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City Thursday night.

The 23-year-old from Cagayan de Oro City prevailed in a long, tense and error-filled battle with the curvy Austrian, the women’s world No. 1, needing one lucky break late in the 17th frame to pull off a 9-8 victory and send Ouschan off the television table crying.

Congratulations, Demosthenes "Plong-Plong" Pulpul. I'm almost sure the hometown crowd was cheering against you.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

[Post 50] As The Ouschan Calls Your Name

The WPA World Ten Ball Championship is ongoing at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila.

Unfortunately, the Philippines' top pool players like Efren "Bata" Reyes, Francisco "Django" Bustamante, Ronato Alcano, and Alex Pagulayan skipped the event so it's not as sold out as last November's WPA World Pool Championship held at the Araneta Coliseum.

But if there's anyone who will draw the crowds, it will be Jasmin Ouschan, the only woman still in contention.

[Photo taken from The Flexi-Rest website]

In Ouschan's official website I found the following short profile:
Name: Jasmin Ouschan
Birthday/-place: 10. January 1986 in Klagenfurt/Kärnten/Österreich
Family: Evelin & Albin (parents), Albin jun. (brother)
Nickname: Jassy
Color of hair: darkblond
Color of eye's: green
Sign of zodiac: Capricorn
Favorite color: blue
Music: a little bit of everything
Favorte food: italian, chinese food and Sushi
Favorite drinks: Ice-tea, Sprite
Hobbies: Sport/Fitness, Movies, fast cars
She had me at "blue."

[4 July 2009 Edit]

I forgot, this is my 50th entry since I started this blog in July 2008.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

UP 100 On The 100

Q: How can anyone spend this?

A: Easily!


The 100-peso UP Centennial Note was launched last June but I got hold of one only recently. Isn't it cool?

Too bad there can be no commemorative note to mark Ateneo's sesquicentennial in 2009. First, it's not a state university. Second, the Philippines doesn't have a 150-peso bill. For Ateneo's bicentennial in 2059 there's the Diosdado Macapagal 200-peso bill, but I probably won't be around for it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Countdown: Seven Ways To Win My Heart

1. Be funny 2. Love movies 3. Text back on time 4. Root for my favorite sports teams (or at least pretend to) 5. Pull off the shirt-jeans-sneakers look 6. Be a good conversationalist 7. Win my friends over

Saturday, September 27, 2008

UAAP Season 71: Closing The Books

This is most likely the last post about the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles in Season 71 of the UAAP.

I really am going to miss the basketball tournament, if only because it was a good source for at least one post a week. Now that it's over I'm going to be hard-pressed for things to blog about, hehe.

Obviously, Ateneo's 2008 run was magical. The season's highlights are too numerous: sweeping La Salle for the championship, winning all four games against the Green Archers, losing only once the entire tournament, Blue Eagles copping all major individual awards... The list goes on and on.

This last post, then, is about recording for posterity the team's near-perfect run in Season 71.

First off, the people responsible:
4 Yuri Escueta
5 Jai Reyes
6 Chris Sumalinog
7 Nonoy Baclao
8 Bacon Austria
10 Jobe Nkemakolam
11 Eric Salamat
12 Kirk Long
13 Ryan Buenafe
14 Nico Salva
15 Vince Burke
16 Mike Baldos
17 Chris Tiu
18 Justin Chua
19 Rabeh Al-Hussaini
20 Tonino Gonzaga

Head Coach
Norman Black

Assistant Coaches
Gene Afable
Sandy Arespacochaga
Jamike Jarin
Gabby Severino
This, meanwhile, was the Blue Eagles' route to the championship:
Eliminations, First Round
Sunday, 6 July 2008, 79-73 win over DLSU
Thursday, 10 July 2008, 72-48 win over AdU
Sunday, 13 July 2008, 64-58 win over UE
Saturday, 19 July 2008, 83-66 win over UP
Sunday, 27 July 2008, 74-62 win over NU
Thursday, 31 July 2008, 66-72 loss to FEU
Sunday, 3 August 2008, 64-57 win over UST

Eliminations, Second Round
Saturday, 9 August 2008, 78-74 win over FEU
Thursday, 14 August 2008, 85-76 win over UST
Sunday, 17 August 2008, 78-59 win over AdU
Thursday, 21 August 2008, 61-57 win over UE
Sunday, 24 August 2008, 79-58 win over UP
Saturday, 30 August 2008, 83-58 win over NU
Saturday, 6 September 2008, 65-57 win over DLSU

Final Four
Sunday, 14 September 2008, 70-50 win over UE

Sunday, 21 September 2008, 69-61 win over DLSU
Thursday, 25 September 2008, 62-51 win over DLSU
These were the standings after the eliminations:
ADMU Blue Eagles (13-1)
DLSU Green Archers (10-4)
FEU Tamaraws (10-4)
UE Red Warriors (9-5)
UST Golden Tigers (6-8)
UP Maroons (3-11)
AdU Falcons (3-11)
NU Bulldogs (2-12)
Lastly, these are the Blue Eagles who stood out:
Rabeh Al-Hussaini
Most Valuable Player
Most Improved Player
Champ of the Season
Member, Mythical Team

Nonoy Baclao
Finals Most Valuable Player
Defensive Player of the Year

Ryan Buenafe
Rookie of the Year
Member, All-Rookie Team

Eric Salamat
Court Colonel Award

Nico Salva
Member, All-Rookie Team

Chris Tiu
Maaasahan Player
Member, Mythical Team
There, that ought to do it. See you next season.

Friday, September 26, 2008

UAAP Season 71 Finals: On The Shoulders Of Defensive Giants

In the immortal words of famed La Salle basketball player Zandro "Jun" Limpot, "We are the championship!"
The Band of Blue dethrones Green Archers
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—It was a championship that marked a regime change for the country’s most fabled and fancied school rivalry.

In a remarkable group effort by this band in blue, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles dethroned the De La Salle University Green Archers Thursday, completing a two-game sweep of the UAAP Finals with a 62-51 victory Thursday night in front of an overflow crowd at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The Eagles, frustrated by the University of Santo Tomas Tigers two years ago, accomplished their return to glory by refusing to lean on one dominant performer and showing the same kind of heart that made them this year’s top seed.

“We did not win this game in offense tonight, we won it at the defensive end,” Ateneo coach Norman Black said. “We’re a pretty intelligent team this year. We could actually execute defensive strategies that I’ve never been able to execute for other teams in Ateneo. A lot of credit goes to the players for being dedicated to defense.”

The following are my notes from the game:
Second Quarter
I tune in just in time to see Nonoy Baclao sink two free throws for an 18-12 Ateneo advantage.

La Salle cuts the lead to three before Chris Tiu buckles down to work. He scores seven straight points to increase the lead to ten points.

The Green Archers again creep to within seven but the Blue Eagles drop a quarter-ending 8-0 bomb to take a 15-point lead into the dugout.

That Ateneo manages to lead big is remarkable. League MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini is forced to ride the bench due to early foul trouble. More impressive, seven Blue Eagles, led by Tiu and reserve Jobe Nkemakolam, score at least two points in the second quarter.

On the floor with the Blue Babble Battalion are female cheerleaders and members of the Blue Babble Band's Drumline. Very nice.

Stats show Ateneo ahead on field goal percentage, assists, fast break points, and bench scoring.

Third Quarter
La Salle opens the second half with five straight points to cut the lead to ten. In the third they outscore Ateneo 21-9 on the strength of six three pointers, four coming from JV Casio. At the end of the quarter what was once a fifteen-point lead is now down to three.

Fourth Quarter
Ateneo's offense continues to stall. But behind free throws from Tiu and Rookie of the Year Ryan Buenafe, the Blue Eagles erect a seven-point lead.

The Ateneo defense, however, is peerless. They hold La Salle to just four points the entire fourth quarter. Baclao, the Defensive Player of the Year, leads the way with two late-game blocks to thwart the Green Archers.

With the Blue Eagles still up by eight at the two-minute mark the TV commentators can no longer be heard. The Ateneo crowd is hog-wild!

Jai Reyes scores the Blue Eagles' last five points for a final winning margin of eleven points. Ateneo is the Season 71 seniors division men's basketball champions!

Player of the Game honors went to Chris Tiu, who bounced back from two consecutive tepid games against UE and La Salle. He tallied 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. In his last season as a Blue Eagle, he can finally call himself a champion.

"I Am Nonoy" Baclao took home the Finals MVP trophy. He averaged 7.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.5 blocks in the two victories over La Salle and anchored Ateneo's defense.
Ateneo now has a 27-35 win-loss record against their arch-rivals. But more important, they are up 3-1 against La Salle in championship match-ups.

The Blue Eagles' next task: repeat as champions in Season 72. The prospects of that are good, as only Tiu and co-captain Yuri Escueta are set to leave the team. I can't wait for next year!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

UAAP Season 71 Finals: To Watch Or Not To Watch

Less than four hours to go before Game 2 of the Ateneo-La Salle championship series. My team will attempt to convert on the first of its two chances to bring home the title. I, on the other hand, have a quiz that'll start at the exact same time. Decisions, decisions. Is there a Good Samaritan out there who's going to watch the game? Just the end-of-quarter scores via SMS and I'm good.

Setting The Record Straight

All of a sudden everyone in America is being truthful.
Clay is gay: Aiken comes out of the closet

Lindsay Lohan: Says she is dating Samantha Ronson
Is there a bug going around? Then let's send our "leaders" on a junket just so they can catch it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

UAAP Season 71: MVP

Now it's official:
Rabeh lives up to his name, bags MVP title
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Quite fittingly, his name literally means “winner” in Arabic.

That’s exactly what Rabeh Al-Hussaini will be when the UAAP honors the Ateneo de Manila University center as the Most Valuable Player of Season 71 on Thursday.

“He’s exceptional,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black. “If there’s any question about the award, I think he answered those questions [in Game 1].”

Whether Al-Hussaini becomes a winner twice over on Thursday will all depend on the outcome on the match that follows the awards ceremony.

The last Blue Eagle to win league MVP was Enrico Villanueva. That was in 2002, the last year Ateneo won the championship. We'll see if history will repeat itself.

Michael V. Is A God

Imagine the Eraserheads' "Alapaap," but replace the lyrics with this:
"Hala Pack-Up"
By Eraseyourheads
Lyrics by Bitoy

may sikat na banda
na ngayo’y
kaya nga halika
sa harap
o ano?

kailangan una sa pinto
baka maubusan ako
walang tiket na makuha
'kala ko libre
‘di pala

oh sabog aking mata
sa mga nakikita
andami-daming video
atsaka may fireworks pa
sobrang lakas
ng tama

di kaya nailang
ang grupo’t
parang nahiya
o di kaya
mas sanay silang
kasama ay iba
kahit ayaw mag-group hug
di naman yun
di pa nga
nakakarami ng mga
may naganap
na drama

pa-pa-pack up ba?

ha? malala ba?

hu hu hu

biglang natigil
ang tugtog
at ang tagal nakatayo
ilang minuto
ang lumipas
hindi pa rin
natuyo aking mata
'di ko na s'ya nakita
ako’y humirit pa at
mga fans nabitin na

gusto ko pa

wala na
The accompanying video, a spoof of the abbreviated Eraserheads reunion concert last August 30, aired on the September 19 episode of the GMA 7 television program, "Bubble Gang." Hours later the video was already on YouTube.

Unfortunately, in the days after the airing a few people thought it was disrespectful to the 'Heads, especially to lead vocalist Ely Buendia, whose collapse backstage during an intermission led to the "packing up" of the concert.

I disagree. The spoof was not disrespectful at all. The lyrics were but a narrative of the events before, during, and after the concert.

Besides, we all know what the highest form of flattery is.

Monday, September 22, 2008

UAAP Season 71 Finals: Rabeh-dabba-do!

One down, one to go!
Blue Eagles claw Archers in Game 1 of UAAP Finals
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo de Manila University’s blueprint for success this season has Rabeh Al-Hussaini’s name written all over it.

From strong inside plays to soft perimeter touches, Al-Hussaini again proved too dominant for De La Salle University’s frontline as he powered the Blue Eagles to a 69-61 Game 1 victory over the Green Archers in the UAAP men’s basketball competition Sunday before a boisterous, sellout crowd at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Al-Hussaini finished with 31 points and nine rebounds as Ateneo moved to within a win of capturing the UAAP crown.

He took over the game in the closing quarters by scoring 20 of Ateneo’s 33 points in the second half as top gunner Chris Tiu, for the first time, picked up more fouls than points and was relatively ineffective against La Salle.

The following are my game notes:
The Blue Eagles come out of the dugout wearing black "24" shirts. Perhaps it's a tribute to Ateneo coach Norman Black, who wore that number as a Philippine Basketball Association import for San Miguel Beer.

Ateneo is favored in this game as it has beaten La Salle twice this season. Chris Tiu carried the Blue Eagles in their first victory while Rabeh Al-Hussaini led the charge in the second.

First Quarter
The Blue Eagles take the early lead on a basket and an assist from rookie Ryan Buenafe. La Salle, however, storms back to tie the game. Their dreaded press forces Ateneo into a spate of turnovers.

Tiu and "I Am Nonoy" Baclao see little action due to early foul trouble but Buenafe comes to the rescue. Behind his surprisingly mature play, the Blue Eagles end the quarter up by three.

Second Quarter
Another turnover-filled quarter for Ateneo. La Salle's defense is definitely causing them headaches. Super sub Eric Salamat joins the list of Blue Eagles in foul trouble.

On the offensive end, the Green Archers take a three-point lead, their first of the game. However, Al-Hussaini, Buenafe, Kirk Long and Jai Reyes unload a 10-0 blast to end the half ahead by seven points.

Stats show Ateneo ahead on field goals made, field goal percentage, assists, and fast break points. Sadly, they are also ahead on turnovers made.

Buenafe is the best player for the Blue Eagles. At the half he already has 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Not bad for his championship game at the college level.

Third Quarter
Back-to-back baskets by Al-Hussaini to open the third stake Ateneo to an eleven-point lead. Foul trouble continues to keep Tiu, Salamat and Baclao on the bench for long stretches. The lead gets as high as 14 but La Salle manages to trim it to ten points at the end of the quarter.

The third canto was an all-Rabeh show. He makes a legitimate case for league MVP, scoring 12 of Ateneo's 19 points in the quarter.

Fourth Quarter
La Salle manages to cut the lead to six points but that's as close as they would get. Al-Hussaini continues to dominate, accounting for eight of Ateneo's 14 points in the fourth.

On the defensive end, Baclao, despite having four personal fouls, collars two late-game rejections that help preserve the lead. He ends the game with 7 blocks and 5 points.

The lead gets as high as thirteen, and the Blue Eagles hold on to win by a final margin of eight points.

Rabeh Al-Hussaini's monster play nets him Player of the Game honors with 31 points and 9 rebounds.
For the second straight time, Tiu only managed to score 2 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. But with the way his teammates, especially Al-Hussaini, have been playing, the team is in good hands.

Countdown: Eight Things I Want To Do Before I Die

1. Win the lotto 2. Have a kid 3. Complete Robert B. Parker's Spenser series 4. Go to a foreign country 5. Get a tattoo 6. Read War and Peace from cover to cover 7. Reach my ideal weight 8. Streak

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Finding Emo

At book sales I judge a book by its cover—literally.

If the title is amusing, the author familiar or the cover art striking, that's it, I no longer scan the pages. If I open the book and find a bookmark, a scribble along the margins or perhaps a highlighted passage, I'm extra-satisfied. They're footprints, as it were, across space and time. They give me a glimpse into the person/s who had the book before me.

Dedications provide the best kicks. One time I bought a book signed "Rob Wright, All best" by the author Robert B. Parker. Nice, if er... incomplete. A lot like that song which went, "When you need a friend/that you can depend..."

The following dedication I found in a copy of Gretzky: An Autobiography. It was written in the looping scrawl of a kid not more than eleven years old.
Dear Peter,

Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy this book. From the interest you've shown and watching the Kings games, I think you'll really enjoy this book. Maybe you'll show the same interest in Wayne Gretzky and the Kings as I do in Magic and the Lakers, wouldn't that be scary? Well, anyway enjoy the book!



I wonder if that thoughtful girl is still alive. Is she still a Lakers fan? Is she still on speaking terms with Peter?

The answers I'll never know, but half the fun is in the asking.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mo-pho: Haves And Have-Nuts

Another mobile phone photo.

Photo taken with my trusty Sony Ericsson K600i.

Anyone who has a caption in mind, feel free to leave it as a comment to this post. Top marks for not using "salty" (unless absolutely necessary).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

UAAP Season 71 Final Four: No Class

I only caught the last quarter of the FEU-La Salle game last Sunday but the little I saw was very entertaining. Hats off to the Green Archers for the come-from-behind victory. Their poise and experience really spelled the difference. However, there was an on-cam incident that left a bad taste in my mouth. While FEU's Mac Baracael was attempting—and missing—two potentially game-tying free throws with seconds to go, a La Salle player (L.A. Revilla?) was shown celebrating with finger guns. Those who followed this season's basketball tournament would remember that a few weeks into the season Baracael was shot by still-unknown assailants. He missed a number of games. A fellow Tamaraw who was with him during the shooting even quit the team out of shock (or perhaps fear) over the incident. Baracael's valiant return to the FEU lineup three weeks ago for his team's Final Four push is therefore one of the Season 71's feel-good stories. So for that La Salle player to make those gestures was uncalled-for. It was disrespectful and unsportsmanlike, to say the least. Notice that I didn't use "thoughtless." Because really, that would be redundant.

UAAP Season 71 Finals: Match Made In (Scalper) Heaven

Three hours. Beat that, PBA.
Ateneo-La Salle game tickets sold out in 3 hrs
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Sold out in just over three hours.

That was how fast tickets for Sunday’s UAAP championship showdown between Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University were gobbled up Monday, underscoring the intensity of their age-old rivalry and the rabid loyalty of the fans of the two elite schools.

TicketNet, the ticketing network of the Araneta Coliseum, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that it had to close the box office at 12:30 p.m. Monday after opening the ticket booths at 9 a.m.

“There were people who camped out overnight, there was already a line by 4 a.m.,” said a TicketNet representative.

I have fond memories of camping out at the Blue Eagle Gym the night before they sell Ateneo-La Salle tickets. And those were for mere elimination round games!

Monday, September 15, 2008

UAAP Season 71 Final Four: Do Or Jai

Wow. That's all I can say; I still can't wrap my brain around the implications of yesterday's game results.
Archers, Eagles seal dream clash
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The dream showdown just got sealed.

Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University ousted their final Four opponents in contrasting fashions to arrange the much anticipated title duel between the country’s fiercest collegiate rivals.

The Green Archers earned a shot at defending the UAAP crown by ousting Far Eastern University with a dramatic 67-62 escape in the 71st men’s basketball semifinals yesterday at the jampacked Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

And it seemed that the Blue Eagles couldn’t wait to lock up the blockbuster finale as this season’s top seed trampled on the University of the East Warriors, 70-50, in the other Final Four duel.

In any case, here are my notes from the game:
This encounter promises to be a low-scoring affair as Ateneo and UE are the league's top two defensive teams.

The Blue Eagles have a twice-to-beat advantage and are favored to prevail. They are are on an eight-game roll and they swept both meetings against UE this season.

The Red Warriors, however, are no slouches. They're on a three-game win streak of their own. Their two losses to Ateneo were only by an average of five points.

Most Valuable Player candidate Rabeh Al-Hussaini is the Blue Eagle to watch in this game. UE doesn't really have anyone who can match up with him, and in the two games against the Red Warriors he averaged 18.5 points and 14 rebounds.

First Quarter
The Blue Eagles look out of sorts and fall behind by six early on. Perhaps the eight-day layoff got to them. However, they right the ship and go on a 12-0 run to end the quarter up by six.

Second Quarter
Ateneo opens with an 8-2 blast and leads by as many as twelve. UE tries to catch up but only gets as close as eight points. The Blue Eagles close with a 3-0 run for an 11-point lead at the half.

The Blue Babble Battalion mixes it up this time and lets three cheerleaders perform with them. Whoop-de-do!

Despite the slow start, stats show the Ateneo ahead on field goals, field goal percentage, assists, fast break points, and turnovers forced.

Third Quarter
Nonoy Baclao goes on a 5-0 run to start the third. The rout is on! Everytime UE scores Ateneo answers back.

A 7-0 run puts the Blue Eagles ahead by 21 after three quarters. Their defense is so stingy UE only manages to score 7 third quarter points and 28 total.

Fourth Quarter
Ateneo begins the quarter with seven straight points, five coming from Baclao, for the game's biggest lead at 56-28. Coach Norman Black fields his second- and third-stringers.

The final winning margin: 20 points. Bring on La Salle!

Jai Reyes garners Player of the Game honors with 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist.

But if it were up to me, I would have picked Nonoy Baclao. His scoring bursts to start each of the last two quarters really took the fight out of UE. Ateneo also got solid games from Al-Hussaini, Eric Salamat, and Ryan Buenafe.

The biggest surprise in this game was Chris Tiu scoring only two points. He also took only a few attempts. My twenty says those won't happen against La Salle.
The Blue Eagles get a week's rest before they play arch-rival La Salle for the championship. I just hope they don't start slow again. They dodged a bullet this time; they can't afford to do it again.

Countdown: Nine Places I've Visited In The Philippines

1. Baguio City 2. Koronadal, South Cotabato 3. Calapan, Oriental Mindoro 4. San Fernando, La Union 5. Cebu City 6. San Luis, Batangas 7. Tagaytay City 8. Kawit, Cavite 9. Floridablanca, Pampanga

Friday, September 12, 2008

UAAP Season 71 Final Four: Preview

This Sunday the semifinal round of Season 71 will begin. The pairings are: top-seeded Ateneo versus fourth-ranked UE, and second seed La Salle against third-ranked FEU. To reach the finals, Ateneo and La Salle need only to beat their opponents once whereas UE and FEU have to prevail twice. Both match-ups promise to be low-scoring affairs. Ateneo, La Salle, UE and FEU are the league's top four defensive teams. The Blue Eagles lead the pack, limiting opponents to an average of 62.3 points per game. UE is second, FEU third, and La Salle fourth. I like my team's chances. Aside from limiting opposing teams to a measly 33.7 percent field goal percentage, Blue Eagles also lead the league in two defensive categories. Nonoy Baclao shares top blocker honors by averaging 2.6 blocks a game while Eric Salamat leads in steals at 2.1 per game.

UAAP Season 71: MVP Race

This is no surprise.
2-way fight for MVP title shaping up
Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—A tight battle for the UAAP most valuable player plum is shaping up between the reigning leader and this season’s surprise performer.

University of Santo Tomas’ Jervy Cruz found a strong challenger in his campaign for back-to-back MVP crowns as Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Ateneo de Manila University’s much-improved slotman, finished a close second at the end of the 71st men’s basketball elimination round.

Cruz continued to rule the league both in scoring and rebounding after 14 games for a total of 75.07 statistical points (SP) highlighted by double-double averages of 19.8 markers and 13.7 rebounds.


Al-Hussaini came in as a close contender with 71.14 SP after norming 18 points per game—five more than his combined average of 13.1 markers in the last three seasons—9.6 boards and 1.3 assists.

Full story...
I'm rooting for Al-Hussaini to win MVP honors. Aside from my obvious bias for an Ateneo player, he's brought his team to the Final Four. Cruz's team, on the other hand, is done for the season.

One other piece of good news is that two other Blue Eagles are in league's top ten in terms of statistical points. Chris Tiu is third and Nonoy Baclao seventh with 62.14 and 50.71 points, respectively. And although it's a longshot that either of them will be awarded MVP, to be in the running is achievement enough.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hope For The Flowers

Outside of legal circles this development will probably not make much of a ripple.
SC dismisses CA justice in bribery case; 4 others penalized
By Leila Salaverria, Tetch Torres, Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- The Supreme Court has dismissed an associate justice for violating the Code of Judicial Conduct and penalized four others in the bribery controversy at the Court of Appeals.

In a 58-page per curiam decision, the high court, voting 12-1, dismissed Associate Justice Vicente Q. Roxas because of his “undue interest” in the Manila Electric Company’s case against the Government Service Insurance System.

At the same time, the high tribunal said Roxas failed to rule on several motions, including a motion for his inhibition before issuing a ruling that voided the Securities and Exchange Commission order stopping Meralco from including proxy votes in its board elections on May 27.

The high court -- citing multiple violations of the canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct, grave misconduct, dishonesty, undue interest and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service -- also ordered the forfeiture of all his benefits except accrued leave credits due to. He is barred from working in any branch of the government, including state owned and controlled firms.

Why am I blogging on this? Perhaps it's because I'm desperate for any bit of good news. I want to remind myself that something still works in this godforsaken country. But mostly, it's because I'm up to my neck in schadenfreude.

Thank you, Supremes. You rock.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Countdown: Ten Random Things About Me

1. I was named after Dindo Fernando's character in "Flor de Luna." 2. On my left forearm is a birthmark that'll identify my body in the off chance it is separated from my head. 3. I have no musical talent whatsoever. 4. I'm addicted to sleep. 5. I know James Kirk's and Samuel Jackson's middle names. 6. I'm a first grandchild on my mother's side of the family. 7. With shoes on I'm a six-footer. 8. I can't swim. 9. I had a couple of cameos on an MTV Philippines program. 10. My nickname is short for Tiburcio.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

UAAP Season 71 Eliminations: Ateneo Game 14 Results

This was a no-bearing game for Ateneo as far as the standings were concerned. But no matter what the actual stakes, a game against arch-rival La Salle is always played as if it were for all the marbles. I'm simply ecstatic my team took this one.
Ateneo defeats La Salle, 65-57
By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- Ateneo forced De La Salle into an awful shooting night as the Eagles hammered out a gutsy 65-57 win over the Archers that completed a regular season sweep of their blockbuster rival before another sellout crowd at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Big men Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Nonoy Baclao delivered the impact points in the second half and the Eagles shutout the Archers in the final 3:34 to finish the elimination-round at 13-1, a feat highlighted by a sweep in the second round.

The 6-foot-4 Baclao, who grabbed eight rebounds and had four blocks, hit 11 points, including a nifty lay-up off Rico Maierhofer with 2:22 left to push Ateneo's lead, 64-57.

The Eagles made some key defensive stops from there with Baclao swatting away a late Maierhofer effort, before Jai Reyes wrapped up the win with a split from the free throw line with 20.9 ticks remaining.

Next up, a Final Four meeting with UE. Ateneo will have a twice-to-beat edge there.

However, by the time they face off the Eagles and the Red Warriors will not have played for eight and ten days, respectively. We'll see how the long vacation affects both squads, but I'm willing to bet the first quarter of that encounter will be ugly.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Huwag Mo Nang Huwag Itanong Sa Akin

Today the Philippine Daily Inquirer ran "Head to ’Heads," a series of interviews with members of the Eraserheads regarding their abbreviated reunion gig last weekend.
THE DRUMMER WILL DRUM: Raymund Marasigan



THE SESSIONIST: The fifth e-head
The good news? They've practically guaranteed a sequel!

You're Not Getting Older, You're Just Getting Better 2

Does anyone know where I can get a good deal on Sustagen Premium? This is serious, because for the second time in three days I've had a memory gap moment. It's no longer funny. Yesterday I was walking to school when I realized I didn't have my ID. I checked my pants pockets and rummaged through my backpack. No joy. I could've entered the campus on a temporary pass but I didn't want to. I'd done it twice before, and the College Secretary had already warned I would be reported to the Student Affairs Office for a third infraction. I had to go home and get my ID. At this point y'all can guess how this story will end: halfway home I discover the damn thing was in my shirt pocket.

Friday, September 5, 2008

No Holds Barred

She has that professorial look going on, but don't let it fool you: Sarah Palin can get tough (or at least talk tough).

This past midnight NBN Channel 4 aired her speech from the Republican National Convention. By chance I caught the tail-end of it.

The vice presidential candidate tore into Democratic Party standard-bearer Barack Obama. Part of her speech said:
In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers.

And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.

Full speech...
Nasty! That was a swipe at Obama's chosen campaign theme, of course. When I heard it I blew an imaginary whistle and called a foul.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Name Game

I've changed the title of this blog from The Past and the Prurious to The Past and the Spurious pending verification from an actual dictionary that "prurious" is a real word. That is all.

You're Not Getting Older, You're Just Getting Better

I must have had a lot on my mind yesterday. That's the least embarrassing explanation I can come up with why I went out without a wallet, a cell phone, and a room key.

The first two I realized I'd forgotten soon after I stepped out of my room and locked the door behind me. But since I'm prideful—okay, lazy—I thought I'd survive without them. I was right too, I didn't have a need for them yesterday.

The key I only realized I'd forgotten at the end of the day, when I was mere steps away from my room and fumbling through my pants pocket.


Had it been physically possible I would've kicked myself upside the head. Since it wasn't I settled with imagining it. It still hurt.

Good thing I watched "MacGyver" as a kid. Using a borrowed Mandarin Oriental keycard I was able to open my door in no time. That was a relief; I had already hatched elaborate back-up measures that would make Wile E. Coyote scratch his head.


[3:58 PM edit]

Yes, I realize I've practically told the whole world how to break into my room. I'm smart that way.

Monday, September 1, 2008

There's Been A Cold Day In Hell

Who says these two can't peacefully co-exist?
Ateneo, La Salle to offer post-grad courses on outsourcing
By Lawrence Casiraya

MANILA, Philippines –The De La Salle University (DLSU) Graduate School of Business and Ateneo de Manila Professional Schools will pilot a postgraduate courses intended to help produce supervisor and middle managers for the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) will start several training programs this October, according to BPAP chief executive Oscar Sañez.

In a separate interview, Jamea Garcia, executive director for talent development, said a basic supervisory program will start in October. This program will run for about 4 to 5 days.

Garcia said De La Salle in Greenhills and Ateneo in Makati will hold the supervisory program. "Eventually, we want to expand it outside of Metro Mania," she said.

In November, De La Salle and Ateneo will hold a 16-day certificate program for middle managers that could be credited to an MBA degree program, she said.


Mo-pho: Scare Tactic

September is bar exams month so I thought I'd share this photo I took with my mobile phone:

Photo taken with my trusty Sony Ericsson K600i.

I pass this area almost every day and it's never dirty.

Who would dare?

If anyone has a caption in mind, please leave a comment to this post.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Humumpay Na Ligaya

Does anyone get the feeling the universe is conspiring against an E-Heads reunion?

First there was the rumored cancellation after the original sponsor, a cigarette company, bowed to anti-smoking lobbyists and withdrew as promoter. Now this:
Eraserheads concert cut short, Buendia rushed to hospital
By Erika Tapalla

MANILA, Philippines – The Eraserheads Reunion Concert was cut short Saturday night when lead singer Ely Buendia was rushed to the Makati Medical Center after collapsing backstage during a 20-minute intermission of the planned 30-song concert.

The concert’s sudden end was announced by Buendia’s sister Lally who went onstage with Ely’s band mates Raimund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala, Marcus Adoro and concert organizers stating that the band’s lead vocalist and songwriter was in poor health. The band members apologized to the audience for cutting short their performance.

MTV Philippines President Francis Lumen asked the crowd for a minute of silence to pray for Buendia’s health.

“He had a slight attack because of stress due to the recent passing of his mother (Lisette Buendia), and their sound check which lasted till 3 a.m. today (Saturday),” said MTV Philippines and Radiohead director for marketing Ronald Esguerra in an interview with “But we have received word that Ely is now in stable condition.”

Hear that? That was the collective sigh of relief of Pinoy rock fans that Ely lives to play another day, and hopefully, another reunion.

UAAP Season 71 Eliminations: Ateneo Game 13 Results

The decision to miss this game was easy to make, as the opposing team is a cellar-dweller.
Ateneo overpowers NU, 83-58
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- After struggling from beyond the arc early in the season, Ateneo rode on a three-point surge to overpower the National University in an 83-58 victory that awarded the Blue Eagles the first semifinal incentive in the UAAP men's basketball competition Saturday at the PhilSports Arena.

The Eagles closed out the first half by draining 12 of their last 18 points from three-point range to run away with a 49-37 spread at the half after trailing at 31-32.

That crucial run set the tone for the one-sided match-up where Christ Tiu drained three triples to finish with 16 markers on top of six rebounds and three assists.

By beefing up their record to 12-1, the Eagles not only pocketed the twice-to-beat bonus, but also locked up the top spot in the Final Four.

I like Ateneo's seven-game win streak. The part where the Blue Eagles got outscored 25-10 after leading at 21-7, I don't.

Despite that, so far so good. The team has now officially secured a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.

Next up is the much-awaited rematch with arch-rival La Salle. It ought to be a nail-biter. That game will determine whether the Blue Eagles enter the semifinal round on a high note.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Insert Spandau Ballet Track Here

Pundits all over say the Philippines' participation in the Beijing Olympics was an exercise in futility. Athlete Willy Wang, however, has 5,500,000 reasons to disagree.
Wushu star gets P5.5 M from Arroyo
By Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—How much is Willy Wang’s wushu gold medal worth? As far as the President of the Philippines is concerned, it’s worth P5.5 million.

The nanquan champion during the Beijing Olympic special event along with three other medalists Friday received cash bonanza from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during a courtesy call in Malacañang.

President Arroyo handed a check from the government casino firm Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. worth P5 million to Wang. The reward was on top of the P500,000 cash given by First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo.


The President also handed P1 million to silver winner Mary Jane Estimar and P500,000 each to bronze medalists Benjie Rivera and Marian Mariano.

Full story...
In Beijing wushu was a "special" event. Had it been an "official" sport the Philippines would've tied Finland at 44th place and beaten 43 other countries in the overall medal standings.

You may have noticed the use of quotation marks. That is in order not to denigrate the wushu team's hard work and preparation.

There should be no asterisks, no qualifications placed on their achievements.

Did they go to the Olympics? Yes.

Did they compete? Yes.

Did they win? Yes.

Whichever way you cut it, they are Olympic champions.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Blast From The Past 2

Twelve years ago today, a friend wrote this in my planner while I was asleep:

Nox sheds no vigor
But ichor; she 'lone in war.
Pan vanquishes her.

Dear Diary,

Ang oras, 2:27. Aug 29, 1996. Medyo maulan at kumukulog. Heto si ___—nagmimistulang yagit na api-apihan ng mga heneral ng kadiliman, tuloy ay nababaon sa pighati na umaama sa sunog na balat sa Ozone. Napagbulay-bulay ko, I still need to make ulirat my personal oppulence. You know, I mean, right? Sh—! that fu—ing coquette is doing it again. No wonder I can hear numerous dirges and necrolatries. But it doesn't matter, for that does not vex me although the chit dissimulates her real sagacity, suppressed by pitch of a dozen pipes. Now I look like a senator cocking his pistol for no reason at all, as if marauders were standing on a high dais, as tall as a pylon. Brouhaha! Havoc! I must run amok! It is time to depart. The epoch at hand have just suffused to remind me of the eradicated stigma. Time is waning so I must prepare myself, even if it means to dissemble in the midst of a crowd smeared with suavity. What is this? I'm talking about trifles and I am foaming. Will somebody kick me from behind. I insist, with matching violent gesticulations. Don't worry, all i have is a crevice on my head.
Till here. Bye!

Dax Imperial, wherever you are, man, you must have been smoking some weird shit back in the day. Who woulda thunk it?

Monday, August 25, 2008

UAAP Season 71 Eliminations: Ateneo Game 12 Results

My other team tried, but they ran into a brick wall.
Ateneo overpowers UP, 79-58
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines--By the second half, the Ateneo Blue Eagles did what coach Norman Black wanted done.

But it was the second unit that responded to the challenge as the Eagles hammered out a 79-58 crushing of the University of the Philippines to move within a win of a semifinal bonus in the 71st UAAP men's basketball competition Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

"In the beginning we wanted to draw a knockout punch early; they just didn't fall," said Ateneo coach Norman Black. " It became more difficult for us because of it. We were kind of rushing things. Everybody was trying to do it on their own, taking shots on their own. We settled down in the second half. We played as team in the second half."

Despite leading the entire game, the Eagles just couldn't brush off the rallying Maroons until backup guard Jai Reyes started the Eagles' hot streak for a 54-39 advantage in the third period.

Here are my notes from the game:
Both squads come into this game with momentum. Each pulled off a big victory last Thursday: Ateneo eked out an overtime win over UE while UP routed Adamson.

The Blue Eagles beat the Maroons by seventeen in their first meeting, helped by a 20-point advantage in fastbreaks.

For some reason the Maroons are wearing black, which is not one of their traditional colors. Let's see if that'll bring them luck against the league-leading Eagles.

First Quarter
Ateneo scores first but UP rallies to lead by two early on. The Blue Eagles strike back and lead by as many as five. They can't shake the pesky Maroons, however. The low-scoring quarter ends with UP down by just one.

Second Quarter
The Blue Eagles open with a 4-0 run. They fall behind by one due to missed free throws and the hot shooting of the Maroons from three-point land.

Ateneo starters then buckle down to work. Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Chris Tiu and Ryan Buenafe combine to give the Blue Eagles a lead as high as nine points.

The Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion gets on first. Only the latter part of their routine makes it on air, though. I only saw them form the letters "U-L."

Good thing Studio 23 aired only the first part of the UP Pep Squad's routine. The Blue Babble Battalion didn't look too outclassed.

Stats show the Blue Eagles missed more than half their shots. However their rebounding and inside scoring advantage, 27-18 and 22-8, respectively, stake them to an eight-point lead.

Third Quarter
An excellent quarter for Ateneo. The Blue Eagles stretch their lead to as many as 15 thanks to the scoring of Al-Hussaini, Buenafe, and Jai Reyes. They end the quarter up by twelve.

Highlight play of the quarter: an alley-oop conversion from Tiu to Al-Hussaini.

Fourth Quarter
Six different Blue Eagles score and the rout is on. Another strong quarter scoring-wise from Al-Hussaini and Tiu. Ateneo also gets ten fourth quarter points from its second- and third-stringers.

The lead balloons to as much as 27 points, but UP brings the final deficit down to twenty-one.

Al-Hussaini is chosen as Best Player with 24 points, 17 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Tiu gets Player of the Game honors with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 10 assists, the most by one player since 2006.
The Blue Eagles now have an 11-1 record thanks to their sixth straight win. They are assured of at least a play-off for the last twice-to-beat advantage. But they still have to win either of their last two games since it is still mathematically possible for the second- and third-ranked teams to reach 11 wins.