Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tibibord In A.D. 2009

Based on the entries on this blog, this is how my 2009 looked like.
January
Took pictures of imported "domestic" cheese and alliterative cleaning materials. Witnessed failures of intelligence. Bought replacement eyeglasses lenses. Endured the groping of paranoid mall cops. Received a Susan B. Anthony dollar. Noted highfalutin words. Was asked to chip in to a "goat fund."

February
Took pictures of Spongebob underpants and grammatically incorrect signs. Welcomed the 1,001st visitor to The Past and the Spurious. Wondered about the correct conjugation of a Filipino verb. Transferred more posts from my old blog. Forgot the key to my room again. Answered a meme. Was awed by Sean's writing. Read good and bad news about Megan Fox and Adriana Lima.

March
Took pictures of addictive food and grammatically incorrect signs. Answered a meme. Discovered a groovy religion. Noted some more highfalutin words. Grew old. Was told I had a celebrity look-alike. Discovered the ultimate movie bucket list.

April
Discovered what Gretchen Barretto meant by "BFF." Answered a meme. Saw proof that barristers broke the Internets. Transferred some more old blog posts. Terminated myself. Cheered when a college blockmate had a book published. Took pictures of book covers. Found something in common with singer Karylle.

May
Stumbled on BB Gandanghari's blog. Watched Manny Pacquiao break Britain's heart. Transferred more old blog entries. Had a blast reading the oddest court order ever written. Posted my blog disclosure policy. Heard about Candy Pangilinan's faux pas. Stumbled on Lourd de Veyra's blog. Commented on the media games lawyers play. Read that there will be no Tanduay shortage in the near future.

June
Transferred more old blog entries. Discovered Shanelle Loraine. Noticed something different about the new Pilipinas Kong Mahal! banners. Answered memes. Cheered when another college blockmate had a book published. Heard that the Candy Pangilinan incident had a happy ending. Discovered the ways the new US President is cool. Celebrated the LA Lakers' NBA championship win. Learned that one never crosses the Chief Justice of the Philippines. Attempted to learn the Moonwalk. Read Olivia Munn's crack at Cebu's dancing inmates.  

July
Transferred more old blog entries. Kept tabs on the campaigns of the Blue Eagles, the Lady Eagles, and the Fighting Maroons in UAAP Season 72. Had a near-encounter with the A(H1N1) virus. Discovered Jessica Mendoza. Started my UAAP "Jerseyvaluation" series. Was amused by Chot Reyes. Contrasted aspiring nurses with aspiring lawyers. Beat someone to a taxi. Celebrated this blog's first anniversary.

August
Transferred more old blog entries. Kept tabs on the campaigns of the Blue Eagles, the Lady Eagles, and the Fighting Maroons. Confirmed a meme. Applauded the late Cory Aquino's honor guard. Continued my UAAP "Jerseyvaluation" series. Discovered that my old college professor Fr. Adolfo Dacanay, S.J. is also an avid Blue Eagles fan. Learned that Neil Gaiman nearly wrote a Sandman anniversary story. Answered a meme. Remembered an Oasis-related memory.

September
Transferred more old blog entries. Kept tabs on the campaigns of the Blue Eagles and the Lady Eagles. Gave my two cents' worth on the blogging versus tweeting question. Unearthed amusing videos from Nirvana and Ron Artest. Was disgusted by Malacañang's spin doctors. Wished barristers good luck. Continued my UAAP "Jerseyvaluation" series. Was mistaken for a foreigner. Transacted business in government offices. Heard that the Peñafrancia festival was marred by violence. Was saddened by the fatal shooting of my old high school guidance counselor Bong Bio.Cheered that the Blue Babble Battalion finally finished in the money at the UAAP cheerdance competition. Discovered ways the new US President is cool. Learned that the trains will run in my hometown again. Saw a looonganisa up close. Answered a meme. Received a cool shirt as a gift. Was relieved that my old stomping ground in Marikina survived tropical storm Ondoy. Hear about Rain Love on Manila.  

October
Kept tabs on the campaigns of the Blue Eagles and the Lady Eagles. Was awed by my alma mater's unprecedented post-Ondoy move. Transferred more old blog entries. Received this blog's 5,001st visitor. Saluted the Filipino. Celebrated the Blue Eagles' second straight UAAP championship. Wrapped up my UAAP "Jerseyvaluation" series. Read some good and some bad news. Googled stuff. Wrongly thought that my old college teacher Ruey de Vera got into an accident. Read about the PBA's version of the Malice at the Palace. Reposted a friend's thoughts on Erap's second run at the presidency. Watched what the LA Lakers have been doing in the preseason. Congratulated champion coach Ato Agustin. Encountered a Girl Scout. Found an interesting item on the Supreme Court website. Learned Sen. Noynoy Aquino's stand on the creation of a new congressional district in my home province. Discovered that Manny Pacquiao and Sen. Manny Villar are buddies. Started to warm up to Ron Artest.   

November
Learned that a college batchmate is launching a line of luxury caskets. Watched BatManu in action. Transferred more old blog entries. Suffered through the lowest recorded temperature in decades. Did someone a favor. Learned of Manny Pacquiao's latest achievement. Commented on the composition of the UAAP's All-Star team. Read that Filipino fighters won some and lost some in the same weekend. Started watching my steps. Ghostwrote a police report. Read about a good weekend on the international stage for Filipinos. Encountered an old, award-winning  short film again. Was not sold on Joey de Venecia. Discovered another way the new US President is cool. Said goodbye to my old TV set.

December
Transferred more old blog entries. Read that Rain Love on Manila is starting to make waves. Remembered Loyola Gym-related memories. Gave my two cents' worth on Proclamation 1959. Found Ateneo de Manila commemorative stamps online. Read about the people running against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Greeted my alma mater on its sesquicentennial. Celebrated the Blue Eagles' latest championship. Empathized with Judge Luisito Cortez. Saw karma at work. Found a six year-old check.Was told that an old college teacher was never in an accident.
On the other hand, here are the books I read and the movies I saw in 2009.

My 2009 In Movies

  • Ninja Scroll (1993)
  • Tropic Thunder (2008)
  • Meet the Parents (2000)
  • Biker Boyz (2003)
  • Iron Man (2008)
  • Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
  • Monsters vs Aliens (2009)
  • My Sassy Girl (2008)
  • Crying Ladies (2003)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
  • Equilibrium (2002)
  • Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
  • Sister Act (1992)
  • Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)
  • Bringing Down the House (2003)
  • Bruce Almighty (2003)
  • Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000)
  • Armageddon (1998)
  • Cast Away (2000)
  • Sky High (2005)
  • Hancock (2008)
  • The Producers (2005)
  • Men in Black (1997)
  • Cars (2006)
  • The Spirit (2008)
  • The Scorpion King (2002)
  • Ready to Rumble (2000)
  • Moulin Rouge! (2001)
  • Kung Fu Panda (2008)
  • Shrek the Third (2007)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)
  • 300 (2006)

My 2009 In Books

  • Go Phish by Dave Thompson
  • Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man by Tim Allen
  • Wrigleyworld: A Season in Baseball's Best Neighborhood by Kevin Kaduk
  • This Pats Year: A Trek Through a Season as a Football Fan by Sean Glennon
  • Wide Open: A Life in Supercross by Jeremy McGrath with Chris Palmer
  • Nothing Like it in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863-1869 by Stephen E. Ambrose
  • Private Parts by Howard Stern
  • True Story: A Novel by Bill Maher
  • Asterix in Belgium by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
  • Asterix in Britain by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
  • Asterix at the Olympic Games by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
  • Something Under the Bed is Drooling: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection by Bill Watterson
  • Pugad Baboy 7 by Pol Medina, Jr.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • Scientific Progress Goes "Boink": A Calvin and Hobbes Collection by Bill Watterson
  • Asterix and the Secret Weapon by Albert Uderzo
  • The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman
  • Miss America by Howard Stern
  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
  • Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams
  • Reversible Errors by Scott Turow

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Erratum

Quoting and linking to an Inquirer.net article bylined "Ruel S. De Vera," I blogged back in October that our old college teacher had figured in an accident. A good friend read that post, so she was relieved to see Sir Ruey in perfect health when she bumped into him.

It turns out that there had been a mistake: the story was written by another De Vera. I checked the Inquirer website again, and the article is now under the byline "Ruby de Vera."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Eighty

Look what I found between the pages of a Scott Turow book I rescued from Booksale last Wednesday:



I bet there's an interesting story behind that check and how it ended up here in the Philippines.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Tis The Season To Be Evil

This morning a co-passenger refused to pass my fare on to the jeepney driver. She was using her cell phone (or was pretending to), pressing buttons like she was entering code to avert a nuclear missile launch; I had to reach across her to the next passenger who was also reaching across to get my money.

Only after a few minutes did the lady look up from saving the world. She looked out the window, realized she'd missed her stop, and shouted, "Para!" Before alighting she accused the driver of not following his route.

What can I say, karma is a bitch.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Easy Way Out

DoJ, senators hit QC judge; SC orders new raffle
By Norman Bordadora, TJ Burgonio, Christine Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—The secretary of Justice and at least three senators slammed the judge who refused to try the Ampatuans, the patriarch and his four sons, suspected brains behind the massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao out of fear for his and his family’s safety.

Chief Justice Reynato Puno ordered a new raffle of the case, following a dialogue with trial judges a day after Judge Luisito Cortez of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court inhibited himself from the case, said Gleo Guerra, the tribunal’s deputy spokesperson.

“The brewing crisis, if you want to call it that, has been defused,” Guerra told the Inquirer.

Continued...
My first reaction was, What the hell, Judge? But when I imagined myself in Judge Cortez' place I had second thoughts. It's hard to be cavalier when the lives of your family could be at stake. Some may say they eat death threats for breakfast, but how would they feel about their loved ones being served the same dish? 

That's my problem with the statements of the Justice secretary and the four Senators quoted in the news story. They didn't say it in so many words but it is clear they think the Judge Cortez is a coward. Sure, they're correct, but they took the path of least resistance by offering nothing but clichés. None of them were proactive and said something along the lines of, say, You and your family can have my police protection detail so you can do your job.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For The Road

The consensus at the start of UAAP Season 72 was that Ateneo and FEU would contest the men's basketball crown.

As the defending champions the Blue Eagles were favored but were handicapped by the loss of the popular Chris Tiu. The Tamaraws, on the other hand, were coming off an excellent preseason where they won the Fr. Martin Cup and the Filoil Flying V Cup, and three of them also suited up for the PBL Unity Cup-winning Oracle Residences Titans and the Smart Gilas Pilipinas national team that competed abroad.

Fate had different plans, however.

FEU, hampered by the loss of a key player on game-fixing allegations, fell to the UE Red Warriors in the Final Four round. Ateneo, on the the other hand, only lost twice and beat the Tamaraws' tormentors in a three-game championship series. 

Collegiate basketball fans were therefore tickled when Ateneo and FEU made it to the finals of the 2009 Philippine Collegiate Championship. The two teams did not disappoint: the Tamaraws claimed Game 1, but Ateneo struck back in Game 2 before finally claiming the title in Game 3.
Eagles rule Champs League
Ateneo nips FEU in series decider; Jai named MVP
By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo de Manila University collected one more major title in a season replete with achievements.

The Blue Eagles, winners of back-to-back UAAP crowns, captured the Philippine Collegiate Champions League title for the second time in three years by nipping the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 74-70, Sunday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Diminutive guard Jai Reyes ended his collegiate career with a flourish, finishing with 17 points to win the Most Valuable Player award of the tournament that gathers the best collegiate teams in the country.

Continued...
The newest addition to the Blue Eagles' trophy case will sit next to the 14th UniGames men's basketball title they won in late October.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy 150th

[Image taken from ASFI website]

"You're not getting older, you're just getting better."

(Naks.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Wide Divide

Three brave people stand in the way of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's coronation as representative of the province of Pampanga’s second congressional district: Liberal Party bet Adonis Simpao, and independent candidates Filipinas Sampang and Feliciano Serrano.

So how big is the disparity between Arroyo on one hand, and Simpao, Serrano, and Sampang on the other hand?
Simpao is an architect with an unfinished house in Barangay San Matias in Guagua town.

The construction of the family’s bungalow, started seven years ago, is done depending on his earnings. In contrast, a house attributed to Arroyo and built in Lubao under the Arroyo family’s Eva Development Corporation took less than 10 months to finish.

Full story...
Serrano filed his candidacy all by himself Monday last week in the same venue in the polls body’s dark provincial office on the second floor of a building along Mendoza St. in downtown San Fernando.

Serrano’s filing of COC was different from that of Pres. Arroyo. The President’s filing was attended by fanfare that started in a Mass concelebrated by 12 priests at the San Agustin church in her Lubao hometown through a balloon-festooned rally and then a motorcade to the Comelec.

Full story...
...

While media outlets deserve credit for featuring Arroyo's competitors, they should get their Five Ws (and one H) right.

For instance, they ought to quit referring to Simpao as an architect. Sure, he has a degree in Architecture, but Simpao himself has already admitted that he never took the architectural board examinations.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Stamp Of Approval

[Image credit: Manresa Jesuit Retreat House website]
Pinoy Kasi: Jesuits on stamps
By Michael Tan
Philippine Daily Inquirer

With Ateneo de Manila University’s sesquicentennial coming up, I began to read up on the history of the Jesuits in the Philippines. There were numerous publications on this topic in libraries—real and virtual—but the most entertaining one I found was on the Internet, with the Jesuits’ story told in stamps.

The story is posted on the website of the Manresa House, a Jesuit retreat center in the United States, and is managed by Fr. Peter Fennessy, who has included stamps from all over the world as long as it has something to do with the Jesuits. The collection is immense, with one webpage after another, divided into three sections: Jesuits, Jesuit Institutions and Jesuitica.

Click on Jesuit Institutions and you have an index listing the many countries in the world where the Jesuits are present. Click on the Philippines and you have 10 pages of materials, providing an excellent overview of the Jesuits in the Philippines. The many stamps that our Post Office has issued to commemorate Jesuit institutions is in itself a testament to the strong impact of the Jesuits on the Philippines.

Continued...
I checked it out, and indeed the Manresa Jesuit Retreat House website has an impressive collection of Society of Jesus-related postage stamps, including Ateneo de Manila commemorative stamps.

To date there's none issued for my other alma mater, Ateneo de Naga. Perhaps next year when ADNU celebrates its 70th year?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Some Points To Consider

Here's an excerpt from "Martial Law is Not a Substitute for Competent Police Work: Statement on the Reported Proclamation of Martial Law in Maguindanao," the 5 December 2009 statement of UP College of Law dean Marvic Leonen regarding the issue du jour:
Under the 1987 Constitution, martial law can only be declared in cases of invasion or rebellion and only when public safety demands it. Rebellion requires that there is at least a taking up of arms publicly directed against an existing government. Martial law cannot be declared because the state has failed to prevent massive human rights violations by leaders that the national government itself has nurtured. Martial law cannot be proclaimed to cover up the lack of professional competence in the gathering, preservation, evaluation of evidence and in the arrest and detention of the perpetrators. Martial law is also not the proper legal response to the issuance of a writ of amparo in favor of the Ampatuan family.

A report on how the proclamation was executed must be made within 48 hours of its proclamation to both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Congress must convene within 24 hours after it is proclaimed. Any proclamation of martial law by the President can only have a maximum effectivity of 60 days. This can be revoked (or extended) by Congress. Any revocation by Congress cannot be overturned by the President. In case martial law has been proclaimed, the electoral ambitions of all members of the House of Representatives and the Senate should be put aside so that they can observe their obligations required in the Constitution.

The proclamation of martial law does not supplant the civilian bureaucracy. It does not supplant the operation of the Constitution including its provisions for the protection of individual and collective rights. It does not supplant the operations of local government nor the fact that local governance is subject to existing law. Martial law does not automatically suspend the writ of habeas corpus or justify illegal arrests and detention. In other words, it is not authority for the Commander in Chief or the military to replace civilian government. Certainly, the public should be encouraged to engage the courts should there be any violation of any provision of law or the constitution.

Full article...
...

Sophistry.

Up until a few minutes ago I didn't know the exact meaning of that word ("subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation), but it was the first that came to mind after reading Proclamation No. 1959, which declared a state of martial law and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the province of Maguindanao.

The Office of the Press Secretary's online copy of the Proclamation mistakenly cites an innocuous law—Republic Act No. 6986, "An Act Establishing a High School in Barangay Dulop, Municipality of Dumingag, Province of Zamboanga del Sur, to be Known as the Dulop High School, and Appropriating Funds Therefor"—as basis for its definition of rebellion or insurrection. It also identifies the rebel group MILF as the "Motor Islamic Liberation Front."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sixty Years' Worth

The Blue Eagle Gym turns 60 years old today. To mark the occasion Ateneo is staging a photo exhibit, and an exhibition game by players from the university's past and present UAAP Men’s Basketball championship teams.

[Photo credit: ADMU website]

Ateneo alumni inevitably wax nostalgic about the Quonset hut-inspired campus landmark.
Old gym turns 60
By Sev Sarmenta
Philippine Daily Inquirer

In a country where sports facilities do not rise as swiftly as condominiums or townhouses, there is a tinge of nostalgia when you look at and feel the old sports venues. They represent a fraction of our youth, of good times spent playing or cheering ourselves hoarse. Many of them are worn out and tired and yet buoyed by the memories of yesteryear.

Such is the case for the Blue Eagle Gym. Built in 1949 as the first structure on the Ateneo Loyola Heights campus, the gym came to life with the cool winds of the hilly area as its natural ventilation.

Continued...
Some have even tried to recreate it.


I, of course, have my own memories of that gym. Most of them are good.

For instance, I've always called it "Loyola Gym" instead of "Blue Eagle Gym." I'm not sure why; perhaps it was because the former rolled off the tongue better. And even though I only played on that court twice, from 1996 to 2007 I saw tons of Blue Eagle games there.

It was at the Loyola Gym where I watched a tune-up game where the Ateneo crowd cheered more for a visiting player—Mark "The Spark" Caguioa—than for the home team. Caguioa was a newcomer to the country at the time, yet was already tearing up the PBA as a rookie for the Barangay Ginebra Kings. He was persuaded to address the crowd at halftime, and the fans cheered all the more when the supposed "Amboy" began speaking in Filipino. Caguioa then brought the house down by revealing that he almost played collegiate ball for Ateneo instead of in the US.

[Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chadmeow/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]

It was also at the Loyola Gym where I once stood in line overnight to get good seats to an Ateneo-La Salle match. But not only did the Blue Eagles lose the game, the lady I watched with kept cheering for former neighbor, Green Archer JV Casio. And to think that we were seated at the Ateneo side of Araneta Coliseum!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Love Rain O'er Me 2

[Screen grab from Nylon Blogs]

My old college friend's Rain Love on Manila project is getting much-deserved and -needed (virtual) ink. Nylon Blogs, for example, recently said some nice things about the initiative.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Project Exodus: August 2004

Moses has again raised his staff to the heavens. These posts from August 2004 are looking on, wondering what will happen next.