Monday, April 26, 2010

UAAP 2010 Preseason Jerseyvaluation: UP Fighting Maroons

The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons are doing well so far in the FilOil-Flying V Tanduay First Five Pre-Season Invitational Cup. Since losing their opening match the Maroons have strung up two straight wins, including one against the De La Salle Green Archers. I think it's the uniform.

[14 May 2010 Edit]

Here's how it looks like from the back:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mo-pho: Again, Again, Again

Photo taken with my trusty Sony Ericsson K600i.

Explain it to me like I'm a four-year-old.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

You're Still Not Rid Of Me Yet

Yahoo! Movies has come up with their list of "100 Movies to See Before You Die: The Modern Classics" focusing on the best movies of the last twenty years. The ones in bold I've seen from end to end.

Beauty and the Beast
The Silence of the Lambs
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Thelma & Louise

Hard Boiled (Lat sau san taam)
Malcolm X
The Player
Raise the Red Lantern (Da hong deng long gao gao gua)
Supercop (Ging chat goo si 3: Chiu kup ging chat)

Dazed and Confused
Groundhog Day
Schindler's List

Chungking Express (Chung Hing sam lam)
Ed Wood
Forrest Gump
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Pulp Fiction
The Shawshank Redemption
Red (Trois couleurs: Rouge)

Before Sunrise
Living in Oblivion
Sense and Sensibility
Toy Story
The Usual Suspects

Big Night
Dead Man
Ghost in the Shell (Kokaku kidotai)
Lone Star
Secrets & Lies
Sling Blade

Boogie Nights
Eve's Bayou
L.A. Confidential
The Sweet Hearafter

The Big Lebowski
Fireworks (Hana-bi)
Out of Sight
Saving Private Ryan
There's Something About Mary

All About My Mother (Todo sobre mi madre)
American Beauty
Being John Malkovich
Fight Club
The Matrix
Princess Mononoke (Mononoke-hime)
Run Lola Run (Lola rennt)
The Sixth Sense
Three Kings

Almost Famous
Best in Show
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo hu cang long)
Yi Yi

Amelie (Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain)
Donnie Darko
In the Mood For Love (Fa yeung nin wa)
The Lord of the Rings
Mulholland Drive
The Royal Tenenbaums

The Pianist
Y Tu Mama Tambien

City of God (Cidade de Deus)
Finding Nemo

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Shaun of the Dead

The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Brokeback Mountain
A History of Violence

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Children of Men
The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)
Pan's Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno)

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile)
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le scaphandre et le papillon)
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
I fared better with this list than with the original "100 Movies to See Before You Die," but it seems I can't die just yet. Thank goodness for small mercies.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

UAAP 2010 Preseason Jerseyvaluation: DLSU Green Archers

This is the jersey the De La Salle Green Archers are using in the FilOil-Flying V Tanduay First Five Pre-Season Invitational Cup. Not bad.

[26 April 2010 Edit]

Here is the green "away" version.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

UAAP 2010 Preseason Jerseyvaluation: ADMU Blue Eagles

In preparation for their defense of the UAAP Men's Basketball crown the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles are playing in the FilOil-Flying V Tanduay First Five Pre-Season Invitational Cup. Just last Saturday they opened the tournament with an 84-73 win over the San Beda Red Lions. More importantly, they debuted their brand spanking new uniforms.

Are these the jerseys they will use in UAAP Season 73? They're starting to grow on me, and I can't wait to see the blue "away" version.

[14 May 2010 Edit]

Here's the "away" jersey:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What Would Lt. Dan Do?

The Ateneo Board of Trustees has rejected Manny Pangilinan's offer to resign as its chairman in the wake of the controversy stemming from the latter's graduation speeches to the Batch of 2010. This is not a surprise, considering that Ateneo president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, S.J. had earlier expressed his doubts that resignation was the principled thing for Pangilinan to do under the circumstances.

But while I believe that his speechwriters were the ones at fault and not Pangilinan himself, I think my alma mater dropped the ball on this one. By not accepting the resignation, the Board of Trustees denied Pangilinan his sought-for martyrdom.

I am reminded of the following exchange in Forrest Gump between the title character and his commanding officer in Vietnam, after the former saved the latter from death during a gunbattle:
Lt. Dan: Now, you listen to me. We all have a destiny. Nothing just happens, it's all part of a plan. I should have died out there with my men! But now, I'm nothing but a goddamned cripple! A legless freak. Look! Look! Look at me! Do you see that? Do you know what it's like not to be able to use your legs?

Forrest: Well … Yes, sir, I do.

Lt. Dan: Did you hear what I said? You cheated me. I had a destiny. I was supposed to die in the field! With honor! That was my destiny! And you cheated me out of it! You understand what I'm saying, Gump? This wasn't supposed to happen. Not to me. I had a destiny. I was Lieutenant Dan Tyler.
It remains to be seen whether Pangilinan will grab the members of the Board by their collars, quoting all the while Lt. Dan Tyler, but I wouldn't count on it happening.

[5:30 PM Edit]

On the Ateneo website there's a letter that's purportedly "Batch 2010's Official Response to Manuel V. Pangilinan" and attributed to the president of the Loyola Schools Student Council for academic year 2009-2010. At first I thought the webmaster simply got carried away calling it Batch 2010's "official" response, but then I read that the letter says "Batch 2010" this and "the Batch" that a few times.

Now I'm not privy to the process that led to the issuance of that response, but given the diverse reactions of people within and without the Ateneo community, isn't it a bit presumptuous to make it appear that the sentiments in that letter are the "official" stand of a Batch of over a thousand members?

I don't recall now who the Sanggunian president during my senior year was, but I (and hopefully some of my friends) would've given him a piece of my mind if, in connection with a similarly contentious issue, he had spoken for our batch after we had already graduated and his term of office had already lapsed.

The Atenean blogger who was among the first to point out the offending passages in Pangilinan's speeches has changed her Tumblr username. Unfortunately, when a major news website cites your personal blog as a source for one of its articles things can indeed "spiral out of control".

[15 April 2010 Edit]

A number of faculty, administrators, professionals and staff of the Loyola Schools have denounced the the decision of the Board of Trustees:
Accepting Mr. Pangilinan’s offer to retire would have allowed him and the University to move on from this unfortunate incident. Mr. Pangilinan’s offer to retire was an honorable act. Not accepting Mr. Pangilinan’s offer to retire dishonors that action.

Full statement …

[16 April 2010 Edit]

As first reported by Talk 'N Text coach Chot Reyes midday today, Manny Pangilinan has reiterated his decision to resign as chairman of the Ateneo Board of Trustees effective immediately. Let's see how the university responds.

[19 April 2010 Edit]

Fr. Nebres has issued a message to the Ateneo community. The Board of Trustees, on the other hand, has not come up with any official statement.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Not All Publicity Is Good Publicity

Oscar Wilde reportedly once said (or wrote), "There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about." I bet, though, that right now the Ateneo de Manila University will gladly trade the former for the latter.

In terms of news reportage, this week has not been good to my alma mater. It began with the Manny Pangilinan graduation speeches brouhaha, a controversy that to date has not been laid to rest since the Ateneo Board of Trustees has yet to decide whether to accept Pangilinan's resignation. And the dust had barely settled when news came next about the alleged Noynoy Aquino psychiatric evaluation. Thank goodness that issue has been exposed for the hoax that it was.

According to the 8 April 2010 statement of Fr. Carmelo "Tito" Caluag, S.J., the bogus psychiatric evaluation first surfaced on a blog that has since been deleted. It appears, though, that politics isn't the only field the blogger (or is it bloggers?) is an amateur at—as of this writing, the whole blog and the specific entry can still be viewed by the curious.

[28 April 2010 Edit]

Okay, there's now a second Noynoy Aquino "psychiatric evaluation" that's being circulated. Good thing Ateneo's Department of Psychology and Fr. Jaime C. Bulatao, S.J., have been quick in denouncing it as yet another hoax.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Elbridge Gerry Must Be Laughing Now

Last year I anticipated that Sen. Noynoy Aquino will have trouble with the second sentence of Section 5(3), Article VI of the Constitution in his bid to have Republic Act No. 9716, the law that creates a new legislative district in my home province, declared as unconstitutional. Well, my fears have been realized—yesterday the Supreme Court of the Philippine upheld the validity of R.A. 9716. 

In dismissing Sen. Aquino's petition, the Court, speaking through Associate Justice Jose Perez, said in part:
As already mentioned, the petitioners rely on the second sentence of Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, coupled with what they perceive to be the intent of the framers of the Constitution to adopt a minimum population of 250,000 for each legislative district.

The second sentence of Section 5(3), Article VI of the Constitution, succinctly provides: “Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative.

The provision draws a plain and clear distinction between the entitlement of a city to a district on one hand, and the entitlement of a province to a district on the other. For while a province is entitled to at least a representative, with nothing mentioned about population, a city must first meet a population minimum of 250,000 in order to be similarly entitled.

The use by the subject provision of a comma to separate the phrase “each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand” from the phrase “or each province” point to no other conclusion than that the 250,000 minimum population is only required for a city, but not for a province.

Plainly read, Section 5(3) of the Constitution requires a 250,000 minimum population only for a city to be entitled to a representative, but not so for a province.

Full decision …
I think I shall end here before I write something I would later regret.

[11 April 2010 Edit]

On this issue former Chief Justice of the Philippines Artemio V. Panganiban says that "the administration flexed its brawns again when it convinced the Court to legitimize legislative gerrymandering thereby assuring another GMA son, Rep. Dato Arroyo, of his continued stay in Congress."

Legal luminary Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., however, is more emphatic: "What we have here is a Supreme Court approved assault on the equal protection clause. It is an assault which inflicts a deep wound on our democratic system."

[18 April 2010 Edit]

Fr. Bernas really feels strongly about this issue. In a second article he writes: "R.A. 9176 is not an attempt to implement the Constitutional command that the distribution of districts should be reviewed periodically. It is not even an attempt to balance the numbers among the different districts within Camarines Sur. It is a simple case of doing political allies a favor. But, alas, the Arroyo Court blessed it."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fr. Bonoan Memories

(R) Fr. Raul J. Bonoan, S.J. [3 July 1935 - 6 April 1999]
with (L) Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., 29th Superior General of the Society of Jesus

[Photo credit: Toots Rugeria]

A post on the Ika, ano an naroromduman mo sa Ateneo de Naga?* Facebook page reminded me that it was Fr. Raul J. Bonoan's eleventh death anniversary yesterday. He was the school president of Ateneo de Naga during my high school years there, as well as the first president when it finally became a university. I am ill-equipped to write an earthshaking profile of that beloved Jesuit—such a task is best left in more capable hands—but I deem it apropos to share a personal anecdote or two about him.

First, a disclaimer: I didn't know know Fr. Bonoan. He was never my teacher; what limited interaction we had didn't go beyond that which is usual between a school president and an ordinary student. Truth to tell, I was already in college when I discovered that he was a former Dean of what used to be known as the Ateneo de Manila University School of Arts and Sciences, or that he was a preeminent Rizal scholar. The extent our relationship can be summed up by the fact that unlike some people, I've never been comfortable enough to refer to him as "Fr. Rolly."

In 1996, though, I had two notable encounters with the great man. The first was when I was summoned to his office soon after the release of the ADMU College Entrance Test results, but before our high school graduation day. There were eleven of us who passed, easily beating the previous batch, and Fr. Bonoan met with all of us individually.

I don't remember now how our conversation went exactly, but I do recall Fr. Bonoan asking whether I was going to ADMU, and whether I needed educational assistance. In response to the first question I said that I was still undecided; to the second, if it were possible to have the financial aid that ADMU offered be increased from 75% tuition and fees to a full scholarship with allowances. I did not hesitate with my request because I was confident that if anyone had the pull with ADMU, it would be the president of another Ateneo.

Eventually, of course, I decided to go to ADMU. Even if my request was denied—I did not have that much pull with Fr. Bonoan, heh—I never dwelt on it. I was too ecstatic to have been accepted to a great institution.

A few months after that meeting, Fr. Bonoan visited us eleven to check how we were coping with life in the big pond. He treated us to dinner at the Shakey's branch along Katipunan Avenue opposite ADMU and let me tell you, he was not pleased to see the majority of us now sporting earrings.

Summertime three years later, he passed away. I went to the wake at the James J. O'Brien, S.J. Library but I couldn't bring myself to approach the coffin—it could not have been the occasion Fr. Bonoan had in mind when, in his speech during our high school graduation, he exhorted us, "Come home to Bicol."

*Loosely translated, "What do you remember about Ateneo de Naga?"

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010


In town I keep being given this black-and-white comic titled Jun Labo: Noon, Ngayon, at Bukas …. It's a throwaway—inside is a poor-boy-makes-good storyline that's en vogue these days—but the back cover pictured above got me reminiscing about the Mang Pidol movie posters and Larry Alcala cartoons of old.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Project Exodus: December 2004

These impatient posts from December 2004 have decided to go back to Egypt. They've also agreed to fashion a golden calf idol they will bring back to appease Rameses.