Saturday, December 31, 2011

Deschanel, Gordon-Levitt, And Close Shaves

As today is the last day of A.D. 2011, this video couldn't be any more apropos:

For those who have been living under a rock, that's the duo of Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt of (500) Days of Summer fame performing "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"

Now what I can tell you is what I won't be doing New Year's Eve: handling fireworks or firecrackers. I've had a couple of close calls, and those have sufficiently scared me off from just about everything—even those giant sparklers they tell you are safe to hold in your hand while they, well, sparkle.

Once when I was still in elementary I tried the "macho" move of lighting a "five star" in my hand then tossing the firecracker away. That isn't too wise, especially if you have fingers sticky with sweat like I did that time. I was barely able to get rid of that firecracker before it exploded in mid-air. Then years later I also had a "fountain" blow up inches from my face immediately after I lit it.

So yeah, have a safe New Year's Eve celebration, everyone. Have a happy New Year too!

[Hat tip to O. Reyes on Twitter.]

[1 January 2012 Edit]

I spoke too soon—last night I was put on kwitis duty. I was laughing the whole time because after I lit their fuses I ran away from the kwitis as fast as I can.

Friday, December 30, 2011

My 2011 In Movies

This year I saw the following films:
  • Megamind (2010)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
  • Tangled (2010)
  • Kick-Ass (2010)
  • Valentine's Day (2010)
  • The School of Rock (2003)
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
  • The Princess Bride (1987)
  • Despicable Me (2010)
  • Robin Hood (2010)
  • Black Swan (2010)
  • Knight and Day (2010)
  • (500) Days of Summer (2009)
  • Youth in Revolt (2009)
  • Ded na si Lolo (2009)
  • Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington (2011)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
  • Step Up 3D (2010)
  • Up in the Air (2009)
  • Zombieland (2009)
  • The Social Network (2010)
  • Con Air (1997)
  • I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009)
  • Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010) (V)
  • Star Trek (2009)
  • Red (2010)
  • The Expendables (2010)
  • Predators (2010)
  • Juno (2007)
  • Easy A (2010)
  • Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)
  • Flight of the Phoenix (2004)
  • The American President (1995)
  • The World is Not Enough (1999)
  • Avatar (2009)
Just like last year, I only saw two movies that came out this year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My 2011 In Books

These are the books I finished this year:
  • Valediction by Robert B. Parker
  • Hunting Fish: A Cross-Country Search for America's Worst Poker Players by Jay Greenspan
  • The Head Game: Baseball Seen from the Pitcher's Mound by Roger Kahn
  • The Associate by John Grisham
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  • My Imaginary Ex by Mina V. Esguerra
  • No Strings Attached by Mina V. Esguerra
  • Paper Cuts: Dodging deadlines, celebrity run-ins and other stories i told the internet by Pam Pastor
  • The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  • Poodle Springs by Raymond Chandler and Robert B. Parker
  • Salvation in Death by Nora Roberts writing as J. D. Robb
  • The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams
  • To the Stars: The Autobiography of George Takei, Star Trek's Mr. Sulu
  • by George Takei
Wow, the total didn't even reach fourteen titles. That's just sad.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Former WWE Divas And Superstars To Visit Manila In 2012

After WWE's Raw and SmackDown rosters came to Manila and did a couple of house shows—sorry, live events—each in 2006, and wrestlers—er, Divas and Superstars—from the SmackDown and ECW brands flew in for a one-off gig in 2009, it stands to reason that another three years later WWE would come back to the Philippines, right?

Um, no (so far).

Pinoy pro wrestling fans can watch the next best thing, though, when the World Wrestling Fan Xperience (WWFX) Champions Showcase Tour 2012 comes to the Araneta Coliseum on 4 February 2012: wrestlers whom Filipino audiences know from their past stints in WWE.

[Image grabbed from here.]

Here's the lineup according to the laughable blurb from the Ticketnet website:
Come see all your favorite former WWE superstars such as former WWE United States Champion Ken Anderson who performed as Mr. Kennedy on RAW and SmackDown!, former WWE Tag Team Champion M.V.P., former WWE Intercontinental Champions Carlitos and Shelton Benjamin, former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Hurricane Helms; Chris Master who performed as 'The Masterpeice,' Snisky, Luke Gallow, former ECW World Champion Rhino, Daivari, Jimmy Yang, Billy Gun, and the beautiful women's wrestlers of WWFX; April Hunter who will challenge former WWE Divas Champion Jillian Hall!
According to the Tour's Facebook page and the poster above, John Morrison, Melina, and Scott Steiner are also set to arrive.

I wouldn't be surprised, though, if this Champions Showcase Tour isn't as well-attended as the WWE tours in the past—after all, the wrestlers arriving in February no longer regularly appear on Philippine TV since WWE future endeavored them. Still, I hope they fill enough seats to show that there is a market for pro wrestlingsorry, sports entertainmentin the Philippines and help convince WWE to stage shows here oftener than once every three years or so.

[16 January 2012 Edit]

Check out the WWFX YouTube channel for promos of the visiting wrestlers.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kiefer Ravena Organizes A Charity Game

I've said this before and I'll say it again: Kiefer Ravena of the Ateneo Blue Eagles is something else, on and off the basketball court.

A few months back he co-founded a shoe donation drive called Generous Soles. Then in the wake of the natural disaster that recently struck Mindanao, Ravena pondered staging an exhibition game for the benefit of those damaged by tropical storm Sendong.

[Screen grab from here.]

A mere five days later, Ravena's brainchild has already attracted enough participants from the entertainment and collegiate basketball circles. How's that for putting one's celebrity to good use?

The game will be played on 6 January 2012 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City. Tickets will be available at the arena on game day for PHP100 and PHP300.

[28 December 2011 Edit]

To reserve tickets to the event, email

[29 December 2011 Edit]

I've been reading online that there are also PHP50 tickets available for what's being called the "Fastbreak charity game."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

PBA To Stage 2012 Ateneo-La Salle Dream Game

The Philippine Basketball Association has a pre-Valentine's Day treat for followers of the Ateneo-La Salle collegiate rivalry: the "PBA Blue vs. Green Dream Game 2012" featuring former Blue Eagles and Green Archers who now play in Asia's oldest professional basketball league. The exhibition game will be held on 5 February 2012 at the Araneta Coliseum.

"Blue vs. Green"—what, the organizers couldn't get permission to use "Ateneo" and "La Salle"? Also, how fortunate is it that "Ateneo" and "blue" come first before "La Salle" and "green" in a dictionary? As a result, my favorite team always gets billed first.
[Image grabbed from here; alternate poster here.]

Based on the poster above, suiting up for the Blue side are: Doug Kramer (Powerade); Nonoy Baclao (Petron); Rich Alvarez (Talk N' Text); Japeth Aguilar (Talk N' Text), who is a curious choice because he's billed in the PBA as being from Western Kentucky University, the US NCAA Division I school he left Ateneo for after his sophomore year in Loyola Heights; Rabeh Al-Hussaini (Petron); Larry Fonacier (Talk N' Text); Paolo Bugia (Alaska); LA Tenorio (Alaska); Magnum Memberere (Talk N' Text); Wesley Gonzales (Alaska); JC Intal (Ginebra); Eric Salamat (Alaska); and Enrico Villanueva (Ginebra). They will be mentored by Norman Black, who has led the Ateneo Blue Eagles to the last four UAAP championships.

The lineup for the Green side: Rico Maierhofer (Ginebra); Don Allado (Barako Bull); Carlo Sharma (Petron); TY Tang (Rain or Shine); Jerwin Gaco (B-Meg); Mike Cortez (Ginebra); Willie Wilson (Ginebra); Mac Cardona (Meralco); JV Casio (Powerade); Renren Ritualo (; Ryan AraƱa (Rain or Shine); and Joseph Yeo (Petron). Brian Ilad ( completes the lineup, according to a different poster. They will be led by head coach Franz Pumaren, who coached the Green Archers to five UAAP titles, including four straight from 1998-2001.

This latest Ateneo-La Salle alumni exhibition game makes some sense given that 2005's "Ateneo-La Salle Dream Games" resulted in a 1-1 tie and 2008's "PBA Ateneo vs. La Salle Showdown" ended in a 90-all draw. That being said, I'm wary of the possibility that the altercation that marred the 2005 Dream Games will be repeated, especially since Enrico Villanueva and Joseph Yeo have a long-running feud that might or might not have ended. There better be no untoward incident at that February game, though, or organizers will think twice before staging another one of these "all-star" games again.

[23 December 2011 Edit]

Reservation of tickets to the PBA Blue vs. Green Dream Game 2012 may be made online via the Ticketnet website. Ticket prices are as follows:
Patron A (Reserved seating) - PHP1,200
Patron B (Reserved seating) - PHP1,000
Lower Box A (Reserved seating) - PHP1,000
Patron C (Reserved seating) - PHP750
Lower Box B (Reserved seating) - PHP750
Lower Box C (Reserved seating) - PHP750
Upper Box A (Reserved seating) - PHP350
Upper Box B - PHP200
General Admission - PHP50

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pedro Calungsod's Canonization Is Imminent

In one of her earliest films (perhaps 1988's Wake Up, Little Susie) child actress Aiza Seguerra's character finds herself inside a church. Upon seeing a statuette of Lorenzo Ruiz, the only Filipino saint to date, she says, "San Lorenzo Ruiz, sa 'yo 'ko nagdadasal. Kasi 'yung ibang santo, imported. Hindi nila 'ko maintindihan (St. Lorenzo Ruiz, it's you I pray to. That's because the rest of the saints are imported; they can't understand me)."

Almost a quarter of a century later, the Philippines will finally have its second saint.
Cebuano martyr closer to sainthood
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Catholic Church has recognized a miracle that should soon lead to the canonization of a second Filipino saint, Cebuano martyr Pedro Calungsod, the Vatican said Tuesday.

According to a report from the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI met last December 19 with Angelo Cardinal Amato SDB, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and approved the decree recognizing the miracle required to make Calungsod a saint.

Calungsod is set to be canonized with six others but the Vatican has yet to announce it.

Full story…

I've said this before and I'll say it again: Shape up, Wikipedia layout artists.

Trust me, that's not him.
[Screen grab from here.]

This may be the eight years of Jesuit brainwashing talking, but my favorite saint is St. Ignatius of Loyola, if only because of his cool back story: he used to be a soldier like you, then he took a cannonball in the leg.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Greg Slaughter Rides A Train

If this photo Ateneo forward Nico Salva shared on Twitter is any indication, it looks like the Blue Eagles are having a blast abroad:

[Screen grab from here.]

Greg Slaughter has a gentle giant/kenkoy vibe off the court. No wonder he's a fan favorite.

Friday, December 16, 2011

San Sebastian Bests Ateneo For The 2011 PCCL Championship

The philosopher Ric Flair once said, "To be the man you gotta beat the man." Well, if that's truly the case then the San Sebastian Stags have just become the man. It's just too bad they became that at the expense of my favorite team.
Stags trim Blue Eagles for PCCL title
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Wiping out any doubt, San Sebastian captured the championship that even coach Topex Robinson thought might be improbable to clinch.

The Stags showed solid form throughout to down an erratic Ateneo Blue Eagles crew, 73-67, Thursday at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan and become the first NCAA team to rule the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL).

Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang again barreled their way against the four-time UAAP champion Blue Eagles, finishing with double-double figures in the winner-take-all title showdown.

Full story…
The Stags' win isn't as colossal an upset as some think, as they've actually pwned the Blue Eagles this year. San Sebastian is one of only four teams that have beaten Ateneo in tournament play in 2011 (after La Salle in the FilOil Flying V Hanes Preseason Premier Cup, NU in the Fr. Martin Summer Cup, and Adamson in the UAAP) and the only team to prevail in a championship series. Even more impressive, the Stags beat the Blue Eagles three out of four times, once in the FilOil and twice in the PCCL.

And having reached the 2011 NCAA finals (where they lost to eventual champions San Beda) San Sebastian is not exactly chopped liver. It's a good thing they play in the NCAA or Ateneo's fourth straight UAAP title might've been in jeopardy. Nevertheless, the tapes from the Ateneo-San Sebastian matches this year are now a must-watch for the rest of the UAAP squads hoping to derail the Blue Eagles from annexing a fifth straight title in Season 75.

Bacon Austria, Kirk Long, and Emman Monfort end their tours of duty in Ateneo with a loss. But don't cry for them, Argentina, as they've all had collegiate careers for the ages. Austria and Long were part of four UAAP champion teams while Monfort was part of three. And aside from helping lead the Blue Eagles to a four-peat in the UAAP, they also won multiple championships in the Nike Summer League, FilOil, Fr. Martin, Philippine University Games, and PCCL tourneys.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fatal Posporos Drummer And Her Husband Jam With Metallica

Does anyone else remember the now-defunct band Fatal Posporos? They rose to prominence in the mid-90s as an all-female trio, but were joined years later by Aia de Leon of Imago and Jason Caballa of Twisted Halo. I saw them play live a couple of times when I was in college.

Over the weekend FP drummer Annette Ortiz and her husband Dennis Diaz (who play together in a Metallica cover band and are members of the band's official fan club) were picked by Metallica to perform a song with them during the last leg of the legendary metal band's 30th anniversary concert series.

Hanep. Talk about the ultimate fan experience.

[Hat tip to Francis Brew Reyes.]

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mrs. Defensor-Santiago Goes To The Hague

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago's long-time dream finally came true.
Sen. Santiago wins seat in International Criminal Court
By Maila Ager

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has been elected to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the senator herself confirmed on Tuesday.

Santiago said she won a seat in the ICC but could only leave her seat in the Senate once she would be called by the ICC to report to her new work.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, through spokesman Raul Hernandez, also relayed the good news.

Full story…
Back in the late '80s when she was still the head of the Bureau of Immigration Santiago supposedly said, "I eat death threats for breakfast." Then over 20 years later she declared: "Please post all death threats on my Facebook wall." Here now are her latest thoughts on the subject, as shared in the November 2011 issue of Esquire Philippines:
Well I don’t eat death threats for breakfast because I don’t receive them anymore. I think the senders have realized the futility of it anyway. I tend to see them as sources of humor. "Oh, here’s another one, and look at all the bad spelling!" I don’t know why they make death threats in very bad grammar. Anyway, now I get threats that cases will be filed against me so I eat threats of legal action for breakfast. But all of them have been dismissed so far.

Full story…
Whether you like her politics, you can't deny that the lady is a character and always good for a laugh or two. I can't wait to read about what happens once Santiago assumes her post at The Hague. I bet hilarity will ensue.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington Out Soon On DVD

And just like that, Christmas 2011 became a bit funnier (and scarier).

[Image courtesy of K. Flores.]

I think the best bonus feature of the Zombadings DVD will be the scenes that didn't make it to the final cut but yeah, the "Baklese/Bekimon" subtitles will be an intriguing first.

[13 December 2011 Edit]

The Zombadings DVD costs PHP500 and may be ordered from the "Zombastore" here. There's a bonus for early birds: the first 500 orders gets a free Zombadings t-shirt worth PHP250 (maximum of 3 shirts per order).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Toto Sorioso Sings "Stay"

Award-winning singer-songwriter Toto Sorioso has a music video out for "Stay," his take on "Stay (I Missed You)" off the 90s Music Comes Alive covers album from MCA Music. I think he did the Lisa Loeb original justice but you don't have to take my word for it—here's the video that music channel MYX is now airing:

You can request the video from MYX via SMS; just type MYX [space] REQUEST [space] STAY and send it to 2366.

There's a different song from the 1990s that I associate with Toto: TQ's "Westside," which we (read: I) used to request during his gigs back in the day at the now-defunct Border Grill along Katipunan Avenue Extension in Quezon City.

[18 December 2011 Edit]

So this happened:

[Screen grab from here.]

This I know: Lisa Loeb is a class act.

[19 December 2011 Edit]

In my original post I wrote that people didn't have to take my word for it that Toto Sorioso did a good job with "Stay." Hopefully, they'll believe Lisa Loeb:

[Screen grab from here.]

There can be no higher praise than that.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Charles Tiu On The Blue Eagles' Chances In UAAP Season 75

Smart-Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach and former ADMU Team Glory Be member Charles Tiu tweeted something cryptic and tantalizing yesterday:

[Image grabbed from here.]

Basketball blog Chinoy Hoops Fan thinks Tiu is referring to Ateneo center Greg Slaughter (whose height is approximately 213 centimeters), which is likely the answer since Slaughter's teammate Tonino Gonzaga couldn't have been more emphatic over the weekend that the 7-footer will return for his last year of eligibility and play in UAAP Season 75.

I, on the other hand, am irrationally hoping that Tiu is hinting that Ryan Buenafe, who was a vital cog in the Blue Eagles' championships from 2008 to 2010 but was kept off this year's roster ostensibly due to weight- and academics-related issues, is now down to 213 pounds. The chances for that scenario are slim to none (and slim went out of town) but a fan can dream, right?

[7 December 2011 Edit]

Blue Eagles head coach Norman Black has confirmed that the prized big man will indeed return: "[Greg Slaughter] will be back to play for us next year. He still has one year of playing eligibility."

Coach Black will have to forgive the Sixth Man, though, if they greet his announcement with guarded optimism. After all, it hasn't been that long since Mark Tallo ditched the team about a month before Season 74 started (then transferred to archrival La Salle). A lot can still happen from now until Season 75 opens in July 2012.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Parokya Ni Edgar For Tulong-Dunong

Here's the music video for Parokya ni Edgar's "Kuya," which retools the APO Hiking Society classic "Saan Na Nga Ba'ng Barkada" to drum up support for Tulong-Dunong.

The video features ADMU students and alumni Suzi Entrata-Abrera, Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, Dingdong Dantes, Nikki Gil, Wesley Gonzales, Gretchen Ho, Jessica Mendoza, Rolando Laudico, and Kiefer Ravena, who have all been part of TD at one time or another.

Fr. James J. O'Brien, S.J. actually founded the Tulong-Dunong program at the Ateneo de Naga High School. During my senior year there, we tutored students at the Abcede Elementary School in Bagumbayan Sur, Naga City. I learned as much as I taught, if not more—I discovered that I wasn't cut out to be an elementary school teacher.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Roger Gorayeb Versus The San Beda Red Lions

So I mention Roger Gorayeb, local volleyball legend and current head coach of the Ateneo women's volleyball team, and the very next day he gets into a fight with nearly an entire basketball team.
Fight erupts in 87th NCAA volleyball match

A melee broke out at the sidelines of the women's volleyball match Friday between University of Perpetual Help and San Sebastian College in the 87th NCAA. The brawl involved Lady Stags coach Roger Gorayeb and several members of defending men's basketball champion San Beda College.

NCAA officials were forced to stop the match.

Witnesses took pictures of the brawl as it took place and then uploaded them on various social networking sites. The skirmish was also recorded by closed-circuit television cameras installed inside the SBC gym.

Gorayeb, according to reports, got into a heated argument with San Beda big man Dave Marcelo and Red Lions coach Frankie Lim inside the SBC gym, where Friday's volleyball matches were played.

The argument escalated to a shouting and shoving match until punches were thrown that resulted in a free-for-all.

Full story…
I wonder if and how Ateneo and Shakey's will respond.

Here is Coach Gorayeb's version of what happened, pieced together by sports blog BallersPinas from Tweets of NBN's Snow Badua (who is himself no stranger to these things).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fille Cainglet And Roger Gorayeb Shilling For Shakey's

You know the Ateneo women's volleyball team is doing well when its head coach and team captain for UAAP Season 74 appear in a TV commercial for a leading pizza restaurant chain.

Even if she doesn't have a solo speaking line, Fille Cainglet is always in the center of the frame. Good for her. On the other hand, I find Coach Roger Gorayeb's wacky expressions extra funny because he's rarely like that during games—TV cameras almost always catch him with his game face on, looking like he's in perpetual danger of collapsing from coaching his butt off.

The Ateneo Lady Spikers are currently 2–0 after after their straight-set victories over Season 73 second placer UST and UE. Next up, a barometer game against defending champion DLSU at 4 p.m. on Saturday, 3 December 2011.

[4 December 2011 Edit]

Coach Gorayeb missed the game against DLSU after figuring in a brawl the day before. The Lady Spikers lost in four sets after taking the first.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On A Bus With Boyzone And Aegis

The other day I found myself on a proverbial bus ride from hell.

Instead of screening a movie as is typical, the conductor played DVDs of a Boyzone reunion concert in Manchester, England (I know this because they kept thanking the city and saying that it had been years since their last concert) and an Aegis performance in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (I caught the opening credits) back-to-back.

Needless to say, I tried my best to sleep through the entire trip. I didn't succeed.

Each time I woke up from napping I heard the dude seated behind me singing along to whatever song it was playing. And it was half-hilarious, half-admirable how he sang along to Aegis: he would aim for the lower and middle registers, attempting to harmonize with the two lady singers who seemed hell-bent on torturing all dogs within a half-mile radius.

Unfortunately the dude didn't know all the lyrics. He could sing along with the band, but whenever the singers stopped singing, shouted, "Kayo naman!" and pointed their microphones at the crowd for a bit of community singing, he would falter or mess up words or the timing.

Confession time: based on what I saw from that DVD, I think I wouldn't mind too much if someone paid me money to sit through an Aegis concert. They play diverse covers (Asin, Celine Dion, Evanescence, Sarah Geronimo, Bamboo, Mariah Carey, and Mike Hanopol, among others) so it's possible that I'll hear a song I actually like. Bottomline, the band knows how to make their fans happy, whether it's through their signature type of music or their comedic antics.

(Of course, there is one other explanation: Pinoy audiences are very easy to please.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sinag Pilipinas, 2011 SEA Games Champs

Congratulations, Sinag Pilipinas!
Sinag five raps Thais, secures cage gold
The Philippine Star

JAKARTA – The country’s amateur cagers proved more than enough to get the job done in winning the SEA Games men’s championship, routing Thailand, 85-57, last night to complete their golden mission here.

Sinag Pilipinas, a mix of collegiate stars and PBA D-League mainstays, just won’t let the gold medal that mattered most slip away, posting an unassailable lead right in the first half en route to scoring another blowout win to cap a masterful five-game sweep.

“This means a lot to us, not just for me but the whole team. We’re very happy to win the gold and make the country proud,” said Sinag Phl coach Norman Black.

Full story…
Congratulations, too, to the past and present Ateneo Blue Eagles personnel on the team: Sinag players Kiefer Ravena, Greg Slaughter, Emman Monfort, Nico Salva, Chris Tiu, and alternate Justin Chua; head coach Norman Black; and assistant coaches Sandy Arespacochaga and Jamike Jarin.

Up next for the Blue Eagles: their title defense in the ongoing Philippine Collegiate Champions League.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kaye Abad In Kamikazee's "Halik" Music Video

Start your week right and watch the music video for Kamikazee's "Halik," the first single from their latest album, Romantico.

Wala pa ring kupas si Kaye Abad, ano? But I'm disappointed the Pinoy Raiden uses a table knife instead of a lightning bolt.

Abad is a frequent Kamikazee collaborator. This is (at least) her third time to appear in the band's music videos after "Martyr Nyebera" and "Director's Cut". I guess it pays to be the lead singer's sister-in-law?

For my money, though, Abad's best performance in a music video to date is still the one for The Pin-Up Girls' "A Cold and Better Place." Too bad that vid isn't available on YouTube.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ely Buendia Sings "La Paloma"

The old timey vibe of this song is perfect for this lazy Sunday.

"La Paloma" is the theme song from Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story, an entry in next month's Metro Manila Film Festival. That's Pupil frontman Ely Buendia, who appears at the 1:54 mark of the music video, singing.

Manila Kingpin is topbilled by Laguna governor E.R. Ejercito a.k.a. George Estregan, Jr., who is known for his over-the-top kontrabida portrayals in Pinoy action flicks in the '80s and '90s. Estregan seems to be fixated on the true-to-life role originated in the 1960s by his uncle, former President Joseph Estrada; the former had already essayed the role of Nicasio "Asiong" Salonga in 1990's Asiong Salonga: Hari ng Tondo).

I think if I decide to watch the movie it will be because of its excellent production values. It was directed by the multi-awarded Tikoy Aguiluz, (probably) shot digitally, and color graded in black-and-white. More importantly, it's the return of the Pinoy action film!

Here's the slick-looking Kingpin trailer:

Very promising, right? The running-gun-battle-on-calesas at the 1:47 mark is an especially nice, albeit unintentionally hilarious, wrinkle.

[Hat tip to Video 48.]

[15 December 2011 Edit]

The trouble with 'Asiong'
By: Bayani San Diego Jr., Marinel R. Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer

What’s up with this gangster movie?

Director Amable "Tikoy" Aguiluz VI wants his name removed from the credits of "Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story," an entry in this month’s Metro Manila Film Festival. And female lead star Carla Abellana has been banned from promoting it.

Aguiluz made the request to strike his name—from billboards, posters and other promotional materials, including those posted in social media—in a letter drafted by his lawyer, Angel Enrico Mira Jr., and addressed to "Asiong" producer Scenema Concepts International. Aguiluz explained that the final version of "Manila Kingpin" can no longer be described as his film.

Added scenes

"Additional scenes were shot without the knowledge and presence of our client," the letter said. Aguiluz, Mira pointed out, wasn’t involved in the film’s "reedit, re-shoot and music mixing."

Full story…
Tsk. This is why we can't have nice things.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

GPOYW: An Elephant Never Forgets

It took a long time (and countless stops and starts), but I finally made good on what I told a friend some years back.

That's a nearly six-year-old cell phone photo I haven't found a use for until now, exactly a year removed from my last.

Monday, October 24, 2011

You Are Remembered, Mr. Roddenberry

Gene Roddenberry
[Photo credit: Brian Wilkins on Flickr.]

Go find someone to beam you up. Today is Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's 20th death anniversary.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

UAAP Season 74: Ateneo Blue Eagles Championship Video

The Season 74 mission having been accomplished, the Ateneo Blue Eagles may now clown around. Here's their championship video put together by assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga, student manager Jon Jacinto, and Ateneo Lady Eagles assistant coach Jover Chavez. The appearance of the coaching staff and team managers at the 6:16 mark is especially funny.

[Hat tip to Hoop Nut.]

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

UAAP Season 74: Farewell, And Thanks

These three Blue Eagles, which include two members of Ateneo's 2011 starting five, have finished their UAAP collegiate careers. May they find even more success in their future endeavors.

UAAP Season 74: Ateneo Blue Eagles vs. NU Bulldogs, September 3, 2011
[Photo credit: Diana Moraleda for Inboundpass.]

So long, Kirk. The Sixth Man will miss you (just as the UST Growling Tigers won't). Keep away from the black hair dye.

UAAP Season 74: Ateneo Blue Eagles vs. UE Red Warriors, August 25, 2011
[Photo credit: Diana Moraleda for Inboundpass.]

Emman Monfort was often the smallest player on the court, but almost always the one who played with the most heart.

Oh, and Mr. Atayde? The player you dubbed "Eman One Fourth" just brought your least favorite team to its fourth straight title. He wins.

UAAP Season 74: Ateneo Blue Eagles vs. NU Bulldogs, September 3, 2011
[Photo credit: Diana Moraleda for Inboundpass.]

Say what you will about Bacon Austria, but in grade school, high school, and college he brought home the proverbial bacon to Loyola Heights. As of today he may well be the player with the most basketball championships won for Ateneo.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Public Service Message From The Ateneo Blue Eagles

Here are the Ateneo Blue Eagles with an off-the-court assist to victims of Typhoons Pedring and Quiel.

Good job, champs.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Finals: Just One More

[Image designed by Tina Araneta; Grabbed from here.]

In about two and a half hours the Ateneo Blue Eagles will take the first of two chances to annex four consecutive Men's basketball title and gain a share of history. May "The Fourth" be with them, indeed.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Paaram, Metal

Last month my high school batchmate Joniepher, a fellow Citizen's Army Training officer, Dazer, and Kikoy, passed away. Today is the 40th day since his passing, so I thought I'd share how he came to be known—by our batch, at least—as "Metal" (pronounced the Filipino way, which makes his moniker that much more tough-sounding).

I first came to know Metal during the summer that bridged our sophomore and junior years in high school, when we and some twenty others from our batch started training as drum and bugle corps* members on our way to becoming CAT officers senior year. He was assigned the "taho," a drum that got its name because of its resemblance to the deep container taho vendors use; I was given the bass drum.

Metal had an atypical given name (which I thought was probably a portmanteau of his parents' names) but I couldn't bring myself to call him that—it sounded a lot like "Jennifer," and if there ever was anyone who didn't look like a Jennifer it was, well, Joniepher.

There was an obvious reason for that: he was the most muscular in our troop. He was only of average height but Metal was ripped for a 14- or 15-year-old, which was yet another reason why his alias was so apt. All those push-ups and chin-ups we had to do for exercise or punishment were nothing to him; he could do those all the livelong day. The rest of us could only wonder what it was he did back in his hometown of Pamplona, Camarines Sur that gave him that physique.

For that summer training we were required to use our Type-B CAT uniform, which included a military web belt with a buckle, and was inspected daily. One day Metal showed up wearing a leather belt with a "western-style" buckle, the type that is invariably described as "ga-plato" and would make a very handy weapon in a "puksaan" or rumble. After our upperclassmen officers saw it during inspection, they decided to dub him "Metal." At first it was only them and all of us DBC members that called him that, but eventually our entire batch followed suit.

He may or may not have hated his moniker, but Metal never stopped us from calling him that to his face. He eventually dropped the nickname, though—those who knew him from college at the University of Nueva Caceres call him "Ref," which was short for his family name. But to this day our high school batch knows him as Metal.

*We were actually a drum and lyre corps, not a DBC, since we didn't have bugles or other brass instruments. I didn't dare tell our upperclassmen officers or our commandant that, though.

[13 October 2011 Edit]

Sometimes it's a good idea to allow other people to have access your social networking site accounts, sometimes it's not.

I looked at Metal's Facebook page a couple of minutes ago and got creeped out: there was an entry from around noon today saying that he has updated his current city to Naga City. I knew it was probably his widow who did it, but that didn't stop me from getting goose bumps.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Finals: Ateneo-FEU Game 1 Results

What a game. What. A. Game.
UAAP Finals: Blue Eagles draw first blood Salva leads rout of Tamaraws
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo coach Norman Black had said that those who question the Blue Eagles’ desire may be in for a surprise.

The Blue Eagles gave Far Eastern University quite a shock with a dominant second-half show to post an 82-64 rout Saturday and move within a victory of a historic fourth straight UAAP men’s basketball crown.

Nico Salva had a perfect game from the field as the Eagles also got away with a lot of baskets from underneath in Game 1 of the best-of-three series that drew a packed crowd of 18,972 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Full story…
One statistic trotted out once the UAAP Men's basketball Finals come along is that the winner of Game 1 of the best-of-three series almost always goes on to win the crown. Pardon the Blue Eagles, though, if they do not take comfort in that stat—it was Ateneo, after all, that, in 2006 against UST, was the last team to lose in the Finals after winning the first game of the series. I wouldn't be surprised if the team basked in the victory for just a few hours then went back to work this morning to prepare for Tuesday's Game 2.

Yesterday's loss may well have shattered FEU's morale. The Tamaraws took their best shot, but Ateneo drew upon its championship experience and chipped away at an early 10-point deficit, forced a tie at the half, played with poise and broke the game wide open after the intermission, and emerged with an 18-point victory.

Ateneo's starters were simply awesome. Four of the five scored in double digits, led by Nico Salva who played great all game long and tallied 24 points (8-8 field goals, 8-8 free throws), 6 rebounds, and 1 block. Presumptive Season 74 Rookie of the Year Kiefer Ravena had 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals, and helped the team recover from a double-digit deficit in the second quarter and pull even. Kirk Long didn't neglect his offense this time, scoring 8 points and adding 2 assists and 1 block. Emman Monfort continued his mastery of last year's Most Valuable Player RR Garcia on defense while notching 11 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Greg Slaughter had 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block. And I think he still hasn't forgotten that FEU led the charge to bar him from suiting up this year, as he had three monster dunks. Ravena and Long (with the imprimatur of the coaching staff?) even looked to helped the big guy get some small measure of revenge by throwing him alley-oop passes (Slaughter converted one).

Even the reserves had their moments: Tonino Gonzaga had 2 assists and a rebound; Juami Tiongson nabbed 4 points, a rebound, and an assist; Justin Chua had 2 points and 4 rebounds; Bacon Austria had 2 rebounds, an assist, and a nice block just before halftime; and JP Erram had 4 points (two of them coming after he shot-faked a Tamaraw player out of the latter's shorts), 2 rebounds, and a block that reminded everyone of the great Nonoy Baclao.

It's nearly impossible to beat Ateneo when everyone's clicking. Even the FEU head coach had to concede that the Blue Eagles played a "perfect" game. As a result, they are now one more big fight away from having a share of history.

[Hat tip to for the stats.]

Saturday, September 24, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Finals: It's Go Time!

[Image grabbed from Chinoy Hoops Fan.]

At 3 p.m. today Game 1 of the best-of-three UAAP Season 74 Men's basketball Finals will tip off. The series will not lack for interesting storylines, the least of which is that it features a rematch of last year's Finals that Ateneo won, 2-0.

How awesome is that Angry Birds-themed graphic? I think I'm missing (most of) the FEU-specific references, though.

Friday, September 16, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Final Four: Ateneo-UST Game Results

Ateneo is back in familiar territory, the Men's basketball Finals
Eagles return to Finals; Tamaraws force do-or-die showdown vs Adamson
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo booked a fourth straight Finals appearance Thursday even as Far Eastern University forged a winner-take-all duel with Adamson for the last title berth in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.

The Eagles bucked the absence of the cramps-stricken Greg Slaughter in the endgame to eliminate gutsy University of Santo Tomas, 69-66.

The Tigers unloaded three consecutive triples to trim the Eagles’ 63-53 lead to just a point, 67-66, with 5.8 seconds remaining before Nico Salva sealed the win with two free throws, with 2.7 ticks left.

Full story…
After the Blue Eagles' sorry loss to the Adamson Soaring Falcons that ended their hopes for a perfect season, Ateneo head coach Norman Black predicted that in their next game, a Final Four encounter against the UST Growling Tigers, they'll find out what the Eagles are made of, what the team's character is when faced with adversity.

Well, we found out, alright: the Blue Eagles are warriors (sorry, University of the East).

After taking both their elimination round games against the Growling Tigers by an average margin of 19 points, the Blue Eagles narrowly escaped with a 3-point victory, their second Final Four win in three years over their Season 69 Finals tormentors. So now, for the fourth straight year the road to the Season 74 Men's basketball championship will have to go through Loyola Heights.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Eliminations, Round 2: Ateneo-Adamson Game Results

All good things must come to an end, right?
Adamson ends Ateneo agony, trashes rare 14-game sweep
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA—Adamson hammered out a historic feat in a game where Ateneo tried to make history.

Coming out in full throttle from the get-go, the Falcons foiled the Blue Eagles’ bid to complete a rare 14-game sweep with a surprise 62-46 rout Saturday in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.

Aside from playing spoiler to Ateneo’s bid of jumping straight to the Finals, the Falcons secured the No. 2 spot, which comes with the remaining twice-to-beat semifinal advantage. Moreover, the Falcons snapped their 14-year losing skid against the Blue Eagles.

Full story…
The Soaring Falcons were simply the better team in this game. After holding a slim lead at the half, Adamson blew the game wide open in the third quarter, the stretch of the game the Blue Eagle almost always dominated this season, outscoring Ateneo, 23-7.

The 2011 Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles thus missed a golden opportunity to become only the third UAAP squad to sweep the eliminations after the 1993 UST Growling Tigers and the 2007 UE Red Warriors, and with it, automatic entry to the Finals where they would've held a thrice-to-beat edge. The Sixth Man shouldn't be too broken down about the loss, though. By topping the eliminations with a 13-1 card, the Blue Eagles still met one of head coach Norman Black's goals for the team year in and year out: enter the Final Four with a twice-to-beat advantage.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

GPOYW: Tripod

I didn't get what I was going for exactly (the mirror had a border and I didn't hide my left leg well), but I got a semi-amusing photo nonetheless.

[Hat tip to TnB.]

Sunday, September 4, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Eliminations, Round 2: Ateneo-NU Game Results

Ateneo's unbeaten streak is now at 13 straight games.
UAAP: Ateneo Blue Eagles within a win of sweep; UST Growling Tigers crush Adamson Falcons, near Final Four
By Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA—As expected, Ateneo cleared another road block—and how—in its determined march to a title sweep in the UAAP Saturday.

Playing with their usual unforgiving defense, the Blue Eagles held the National University Bulldogs to their lowest output ever in a 61-39 rout that moved Ateneo to within a win of an elimination sweep and three more from a rare unbeaten championship run in men’s basketball at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“Now we’ll definitely go for it, no question,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black of the Eagles’ bid to become the first team to capture a fourth straight championship by winning 16 games in a row.

“I guess we can’t avoid that now. That’s something worth striving for.”

Full story…
What Coach Norman said.

Friday, September 2, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Eliminations, Round 2: Ateneo-UP Game Results

Ateneo's unbeaten run now stands at 12 straight.
Ateneo Blue Eagles 2 wins off sweep; Adamson Falcons down UE Red Warriors
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA—A big fourth-quarter push helped Ateneo shake off University of the Philippines, 73-58, Thursday to move within two wins of sweeping the UAAP men’s basketball tournament eliminations at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Banking on the strong games of their big men, the Blue Eagles relied on their half-court play in pulling away for good from the Maroons, who were still within striking distance at 54-47 going into the last eight minutes.

“We’re at the point of the season where statistically I’m not really that concerned anymore,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black after his defending champions roared to their 12th straight win and inched closer to an outright Finals berth, the bonus for a 14-game elimination sweep.

Full story…

Monday, August 29, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Eliminations, Round 2: Ateneo-La Salle Game Results

Ateneo's unbeaten streak goes to eleven.
UAAP: Fiery Blue Eagles clobber Green Archers; Growling Tigers roar
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA—Ateneo easily brushed fierce rival La Salle out of the way Sunday to move within three wins of a two-round UAAP sweep and an automatic title berth.

The defending champion Blue Eagles dumped the skidding Green Archers, 79-62, and clinched the twice-to-beat Final Four bonus with their 11th straight victory in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the jampacked Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Although seven-foot rookie Greg Slaughter rode the bench almost the entire first half due to early foul trouble, the Eagles remained in complete control with superb efforts from Nico Salva, Kiefer Ravena and Emman Monfort.

Full story…
A lot of things have to happen for this to come true, but I want Ateneo and La Salle to face each other in the Season 74 Finals. If that isn't possible, I want the Blue Eagles and the Green Archers to end up No.1 and No. 4, respectively, after the eliminations so they'll meet in the semifinals.

Yes, I know I sound off my rocker. I'm probably the only Blue Eagle supporter who's wishing for at least one more Ateneo-La Salle games this year. But remember, the Green Archers were the last team to win four straight Men's basketball championships. It's only fitting that the Blue Eagles' quest to achieve its own four-peat should involve the squad from Taft Avenue.

Friday, August 26, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Eliminations, Round 2: Ateneo-UE Game Results

The Blue Eagles are now a perfect ten-and-oh.
Ateneo overthrows UE, sets UAAP record for 13th straight Final Four stint
By Mark Giongco

MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo coach Norman Black gave a warning: “They (University of the East) sneaked up on La Salle and they could do the same thing to us.”

His thoughts almost came true as the Blue Eagles needed to survive the Red Warriors, 74-70, in the 74th UAAP men’s basketball tournament Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The four-peat seeking Ateneo, which already assured itself of a Final Four spot and boosted its outright Finals bid, squandered a 72-64 lead it built 42.2 ticks left.

Full story…
I know moral victories don't count in the standings, but the Red Warriors can take comfort in the knowledge that on a good day, they can hang with the best of them. Twice now in Season 74 UE has given Ateneo all that it could handle, although the Blue Eagles have again found a way to win. A Final Four appearance might be out of the question, but the Red Warriors now have a well of confidence they can draw from in their remaining games.

Also, does anyone think Ateneo center Greg Slaughter has forgotten that UE was one of the three schools that tried (and failed) to keep him off the Blue Eagles' roster this year? The big man had a good day, tallying 19 points (8-of-9 FG), 10 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks. He also added to his personal highlight reel with a monstrous alley-oop dunk off a Nico Salva pass.

The Arrival Of James Soriano

Earlier today someone sent me a link to the now-infamous Manila Bulletin article entitled "Language, learning, identity, privilege" by James Soriano, a student from my college alma mater who writes a column called "iThink" in Bulletin's Students & Campuses section.

Manila Bulletin first published the controversial article two days ago. When I read it today, I immediately thought its author was merely being sarcastic. After all, how can anyone write, "[Filipino] was the language of the streets: it was how you spoke to the tindera when you went to the tindahan, what you used to tell your katulong that you had an utos, and how you texted manong when you needed 'sundo na'" and not be kidding? It only goes to show how little I knowit turns out Soriano had expressed similar sentiments as early as December 2008 and February 2009.

As can be expected, the local Interwebs has blown up. I'm surprised no one has started a Facebook page yet. And because of the widespread interest in what Soriano wrote, by mid-afternoon today the article can no longer be accessed on (although Google's cache of the page is still good).

I can already see where this is going: Soriano will either claim that his statements are being taken out of context, or say "Bazinga!" In fact, the spin has already begun. But a lot of good that will do. When he submitted that particular piece Soriano must have foreseen the level of hysteria it could cause. After all, in a 19 May 2011 blog entry he wrote:
Because to write it down is to acknowledge its existence, to make it real. To write it down is to record it as part of your history. It is to create the monster, let it take shape, and bring it to life.
Very prescient.

Somewhere out there, Malu Fernandez (remember her?) and Christopher Lao are scooching over to make room for the latest Flavor of the Week.

[Hat tip to TnB, L. Castro on FB, and O. Reyes on Twitter.]

[5:48 PM, 27 August 2011 Edit]

A comment to this post reminded me of the subtitle of this blog: "One thing about bullshit, it's fertilizer, too." I must therefore concede that there may yet be something useful in what Soriano wrote. Maybe, just maybe, there's a method to his apparent madness.

For instance, a former boardmate who's now an instructor in our high school alma mater thinks that the article is a good take-off point for discussion in the classroom. Atty. Theodore Te, meanwhile, says that Soriano did a good thing by getting people to think and reflect.

[Hat tip to V. Dancel on Twitter.]

[11:28 PM Edit]

Ron Capinding, one of Soriano's Filipino teachers in high school, has weighed in and asked that everyone give the young man the benefit of the doubt. He makes a convincing case.

[Hat tip to J. Salvosa on FB.]

[12:03 AM, 28 August 2011 Edit]

Okay, what Soriano perhaps attempted to do, the daughter of a sitting Supreme Court justice did earlier (and more elegantly).

[Hat tip to TnB.]

[10:26 PM, 1 September 2011 Edit]

Soriano has written a follow-up article entitled, "Wika bilang gunita".

Sunday, August 21, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Eliminations, Round 2: Ateneo-UST Game Results

Nine games in, the Blue Eagles are still undefeated.
Blue Eagles rip Growling Tigers, nail ninth straight
By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA—An Ateneo squad claiming it has yet to reach its full potential dumped University of Santo Tomas, 82-57, for its ninth straight victory in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Blue Eagles held the sloppy Tigers to six points in the first quarter and the defending champions went on to lead by over 30 points twice to highlight their dominating show.

Nico Salva fueled the early assault and finished with 20 points and seven rebounds as the Eagles sustained their bid for an elimination sweep and an outright championship berth.

Full story…
For years now Ateneo's Kirk Long has had the well-deserved reputation of being a Growling Tiger tamer. As a rookie in 2007, he scored 9 points in the fourth quarter then sank a buzzer-beating, game-winning jumper over Season 70 MVP Jervy Cruz to beat UST in the second round. It was the victory that started the Blue Eagles' unbeaten streak over the Growling Tigers that now stands at 10 games spanning 5 seasons. Then two years ago, in yet another second round encounter Long dropped a then career-high 21 points on UST built around a 5-of-6 shooting clip from three-point territory.

With Long's UAAP career ending after this season, it looks like Ateneo center Justin Chua could inherit the mantle of being UST's tormentor. In the Blue Eagles' first round win over the Growling Tigers in Season 73 he had a breakout game, tallying then career-highs of 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks. And in yesterday's blowout victory, Chua contributed 18 points (on 5-8 FG and 8-8 FT), 3 rebounds, and 1 block in only 17 minutes of action.

It was great to see Justin Chua finally have his breakthrough game of the season, especially since what I anticipated last year has come true. With the arrival of his more celebrated teammate Greg Slaughter, Chua has ridden the bench after playing major minutes in Season 73. All of his numbers (4.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 0.4 blocks in 10.1 minutes per game) are down from last year (8.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks in 19.5 minutes per outing), and his body language has regressed to pre-2010 levels. Prior to yesterday's game he hasn't smiled much during their games this season.

Lately, though, it seems that Chua has started to come to terms with his fewer minutes. For instance, in Ateneo's last 3 wins he scored 4, 9, and 18 points after notching just 10 over their first 6 games. That speaks highly of Chua's level of maturity in dealing with his reduced role, and bodes well for when the Blue Eagles play the games with greater stakes.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Eliminations, Round 2: Ateneo-FEU Game Results

The Blue and White rolls on to an 8-0 record.
Blue Eagles survive toughest test, nip Tamaraws in OT
By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA—Ateneo used another strong finish to survive its toughest test yet.

Finding their rhythm in the second half, the Blue Eagles completed a come-from-behind 74-67 overtime victory over the Far Eastern U Tamaraws last night for their eighth straight win at the start of the second round of the 74th UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Pushed to the wall by an FEU side determined to avenge a week-old defeat, the Eagles responded to the challenge with a workmanlike effort in the last two quarters, before finishing the Tamaraws off with another solid defensive display in the extension.

Full story…
Forget about the comeback from 7 points down in the fourth period against Adamson. Forget about the wire-to-wire annihilation of archrival La Salle. Forget about the 24-point rout of NU, or even the 20-point beatdown of the same FEU squad just six days prior.

Yesterday Ateneo earned its signature victory of the season—so far.

Playing catch-up almost the entire game, down by as much as 16 points in the second quarter and by 6 with 61 seconds to play in the fourth, the Blue Eagles battled back to force overtime and prevail in the extra period.

It's already a day later yet I'm still too overcome with pride and jubilation I can't write a coherent recap except to say that it was a beautiful, beautiful victory.

The Ateneo crowd at yesterday's game responded—and how!—to the appeal for them to cheer louder at games. All throughout the telecast I could hear the Sixth Man's "Get that ball!" whenever FEU had ball possession.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

An Appeal To Ateneo's 6th Man

Here's a message purportedly from Mr. Jun Dalandan of ADMU's Office of University Development and Alumni Relations:
13 August 2011


Our 3-peat champion Blue Eagles got the job done in the first round. But how about the Ateneo's 6th Man? Sadly not so. When our team was struggling, when we were most needed, there was hardly a peep from us. We wake up only after spectacular plays, strange calls, or non-calls, stirring runs.

Are we getting spoiled by all the titles, all the wins? Are we content to let our players leave it all out on the floor while we sit back in our reserved seats and smugly spectate? Are we there just to be entertained?

The price of admission = the privilege and the responsibility to CHEER! Our players, band, and cheerleaders need us. For we're part of the fabled Blue Babble Batallion.

The second round starts today. Our brave Blue Eagles are bracing for more spirited and physical opposition. And so much, much more is demanded of us boosters and fans. So, as we face FEU anew and in every game thereafter, wear your favorite Ateneo Blue shirt (Not just any of your weekend shirts, please! Don’t you think it’s time to buy an Ateneo shirt?) and CHEER! CHEER! CHEER! until victory is at hand.

When we are on the offense, shout out our storied one-word yell, FIGHT! When we are on defense, there's none better than GET THAT BALL!

Just like during the good ole' days, we, the Ateneo 6th Man, should show our might with thunderous and sustained Fabilioh! Halikinu! Blue Eagle Spelling! Go Ateneo! and One Big Fight!

All Out, All Heart ... that's the Ateneo 6th Man's way!
It has been years since I last watched the Blue Eagles play live. Ever since I moved here in the mountains, I have had to content myself with watching their games on TV. And from watching the Studio 23 telecasts this season I've noticed that the Ateneo Sixth Man has often been out-cheered by the opposing gallery. During those instances I find myself thinking, "If I were in Araneta for this game I'd be cheering my butt off."

But maybe that's just me.

See, my four-year stay in ADMU coincided with the last few years of the Blue Eagles' so-called "Dark Ages," which included almost all of the '90s. I learned to cheer for them at a time when Ateneo fans didn't have much to cheer for: the men's basketball program wasn't the multi-championship-winning powerhouse it is now, the team wasn't as loaded and well-coached as the competition, and the future nucleus of the 2002 champion team—players like Enrico Villanueva, Rich Alvarez, Wesley Gonzales, Paolo Bugia, and Jec Chia—hadn't hit their primes yet.

Forget about about winning the championship; the most Ateneo fans could hope for during that era was for the Blue Eagles to finish with a .500 record and maybe sneak into the Final Four. The squad's moniker "Hail Mary Team" couldn't have been more apt then—the Blue Eagles lived on a prayer and needed all the energy they could feed off from the blue side of the arena, while the Ateneo faithful had to besiege the heavens with prayers for the team to get a win.

So when my college boardmates and I used to watch games live, win or lose we never failed to cheer (and heckle) ourselves hoarse. Once that ball was tossed up to start the game, we only sat down during timeouts and at halftime.

But now, despite the consecutive championships and Final Four appearances school officials still have been reduced to practically begging the Ateneo crowd to cheer. How…sad.

[Hat tip to user on Blue Eagles' Nest.]

UAAP Season 74 Eliminations: UP Fighting Maroons 2nd Round Schedule

Here's the second round schedule for the UP Fighting Maroons:
Sunday, August 14
1 PM - UP vs. UST

Thursday, August 18
1 PM - UP vs. FEU

Sunday, August 21
1 PM - UP vs. NU

Saturday, August 27
1 PM - UP vs. AdU

Thursday, September 1
3 PM - UP vs. ADMU

Sunday, September 4
3 PM - UP vs. DLSU

Saturday, September 10
1 PM - UP vs. UE

Friday, August 12, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Eliminations: ADMU Blue Eagles 2nd Round Schedule

Here's the second round schedule for the Ateneo Blue Eagles:
Saturday, August 13
Araneta Coliseum
3 PM - ADMU vs. FEU

Saturday, August 20
Araneta Coliseum
3 PM - ADMU vs. UST

August 25, Thursday
Araneta Coliseum
1 PM - ADMU vs. UE

August 28, Sunday
Araneta Coliseum
3 PM - ADMU vs. DLSU

September 1, Thursday
Araneta Coliseum
3 PM - ADMU vs. UP

September 3, Saturday
Araneta Coliseum
1 PM - ADMU vs. NU

September 10, Saturday
3 PM - ADMU vs. AdU
Squads that will have the gall to complain that Ateneo intends to sabotage their chances by saddling them with tough schedules better look at the schedule the Season 74 host made for itself: in a span of seven days bridging August and September the Blue Eagles will play La Salle, UP, and NU on three straight playdates.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

UAAP Season 74: Ateneo First Round Recap

Tournament Standings
ADMU Blue Eagles (7-0)
AdU Soaring Falcons (5-2)
FEU Tamaraws (4-3)
DLSU Green Archers (4-3)
UST Growling Tigers (3-4)
NU Bulldogs (2-5)
UP Fighting Maroons (2-5)
UE Red Warriors (1-6)

Ateneo Game Results
Sunday, July 10 - 55-51 win over AdU
Saturday, July 16 - 81-72 win over DLSU
Thursday, July 21 - 86-62 win over NU
Saturday, July 23 - 73-61 win over UE
Saturday, July 30 - 77-57 win over UP
Thursday, August 4 - 66-53 win over UST
Sunday, August 7 - 69-49 win over FEU

Ateneo Statistical Leaders
Kirk Long, 28.0 mpg
Greg Slaughter, 27.4 mpg
Kiefer Ravena, 26.0 mpg
Nico Salva, 25.4 mpg
Emman Monfort, 24.7 mpg

Kiefer Ravena, 14.6 ppg
Greg Slaughter, 14.0 ppg
Nico Salva, 11.7 ppg
Kirk Long, 9.9 ppg
Emman Monfort, 7.1 ppg

Greg Slaughter, 8.9 rpg
Nico Salva, 5.7 rpg
Kiefer Ravena, 4.9 rpg
Frank Golla, 4.0 rpg
Emman Monfort, 3.6 rpg

Emman Monfort, 4.3 apg
Kirk Long, 3.4 apg
Kiefer Ravena, 3.1 apg
Nico Salva, 1.6 apg
Bacon Austria, 1.3 apg

Kiefer Ravena, 1.7 spg
Emman Monfort, 1.7 spg
Bacon Austria, 0.6 spg
Kirk Long, 0.6 spg
Oping Sumalinog, 0.3 spg
Juami Tiongson, 0.3 spg

Greg Slaughter, 2.1 bpg
JP Erram, 0.5 bpg
Justin Chua, 0.4 bpg
Frank Golla, 0.4 bpg
Oping Sumalinog, 0.3 bpg

[Hat tip to]

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Bunch of Three-Year-Olds

Eleven days after I started The Past and the Spurious my friend ST began his own blog. From the 50 Peso Seats turns three years old today.

And come to think of it, two more of my friends' blogs—Tales of a Good Life and Kidding Aside—also started in 2008.

What was it with that year?

Monday, August 8, 2011

UAAP Season 74 Eliminations, Round 1: Ateneo-FEU Game Results

What the Blue Eagles have just done wasn't easy. But it doesn't mean they can't do it again in the next round.
Ateneo hammers FEU, sweeps first round; Growling Tigers overwhelm Fighting Maroons
By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA—Ateneo achieved something it has not done in its past three championship seasons: Sweep the first round.

The Blue Eagles, finding their lethal form just as the Far Eastern U Tamaraws lost their composure, hammered out a 69-49 rout yesterday to cap a 7-0 romp in the 74th UAAP basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Standout rookies Kiefer Ravena and Greg Slaughter pumped in 19 and 15 points, respectively, as Ateneo, seeking a fourth straight championship, ended the first round without a loss for the first time since the Final Four format was applied in 1994.

Full story…
Greg Slaughter wasn't able to dunk on FEU, but that's alright. He was still able to put the hurt (15 points, 11 rebounds, 1 block) on the team that led the campaign to keep him from playing in the UAAP this year. Besides, Slaughter has at least one more shot at the Tamaraws, which will come as early as this Saturday when Ateneo faces FEU in the second round.

The Ateneo-UP double victory I had hoped for didn't happen. And the less I say about the Fighting Maroons' dispiriting performance, the better.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hitler Finds Out About Christopher Lao

Unless you've been living under a rock this past week, you must've heard about law graduate Christopher Lao's misadventure, which, unfortunately, was caught on tape by a TV news crew. And thanks to one of his law school blockmates, we now know that Lao actually had strong reasons for throwing caution to the wind and braving that flooded street.

After enduring days of being hammered on the Interwebs for his on-camera actions, Lao issued an official statement wherein he said "sorry and thank you to people who matter." It was a well-crafted statement (with a Filipino translation), although the apology didn't resonate with me because Lao did not identify what was it about his behavior that he needed to apologize for.

For your delectation and delight here's a Christopher Lao-themed subtitle spoof of the movie Downfall. I wouldn't be surprised if this was made by someone with ties to UP.

It's the first time I laughed this hard at a Filipino-made version of the Downfall meme since "Hitler Galit sa San Beda" from way back in 2008.

[Hat tip to M. Tan on FB.]

[8 August 2011, 10:30 PM Edit]

GMA News Online has posted the full 24 Oras news item (complete with transcripts) containing the interview with Lao.

[14 October 2011 Edit]

Lao has a commercial out that parodies the original news clip. Well played, sir,very well played.

[8 November 2011]

Lao sat down for a lengthy interview with I guess he's really a celebrity now.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Obliging The Green Mind

I know that the recent post about the Ateneo Blue Eagles on The Green Mind by Tony L. Atayde is just a bald-faced attempt at trolling and driving traffic to that blog, but I'll bite.
"Ateneo Peaking Too Soon?"*
Post title pa lang, flamebait na. It's so sensationalistic people don't notice it actually doesn't have anything to do with the rest of the blog entry.
"Arrneo," I get—I use it myself sometimes—but "Brrue Eagrre"? Is that supposed to be an insult? Nobody says that, apart from maybe the Japanese of caricature.
After watching the last 2 games of Ateneo, I don't believe in their so called "invicibility".
What a coincidence, I don't believe in their invisibility too! But what do I know, I only catch their games on TV. Maybe they're invisible to those who see them live in Araneta? I doubt it. The Blue Eagles are fast on the break, but they're not that fast so as to be practically invisible.

Oh, he meant "invincibility"! My bad.

I don't think Mr. Atayde and I watched the same games. Because he couldn't have missed that the Blue Eagles actually won those two games by a combined margin of 33 points, could he?
We can beat this team.
The Green Archers can, and the Green Archers did—twice, even, over the summer. But that was then. Whether they will beat the Blue Eagles in Season 74 is another story. Like Ateneo coach Norman Black said back in June, "It’s summer. Our main focus is the UAAP. We’ll stay focused, and get better in July, and get better in September." It's August now. Looking at the standings, I can say that the Blue Eagles are doing just fine.
Too bad we played them early and of course that was because the host makes the schedule and you know who the hosts are.

After that opening day fiasco where it turned out to be more a lesson in "How to Hold a UAAP Opening Day Ceremony With Rain and Mud", their manipulation will continue all throughout the season.
Yes, Ateneo is this year's host and makes the schedule for the ongoing basketball tournaments. But Mr. Atayde neglects to mention that when La Salle hosted Season 73, it did the exact same thing he implies Ateneo has done and will do in Season 74: make a tournament schedule that doesn't conform to the UAAP Rules and Regulations.

Allow me to explain.

The Men's basketball tournament employs a double round-robin format, i.e. each team plays all others twice, for the eliminations. Here is the competition pairings under the UAAP Rules:
1st Round Pairing
1 vs. 3
2 vs. 4
5 vs. 7
6 vs. 8

2nd Round Pairing
1 vs. 5
2 vs. 6
3 vs. 7
4 vs. 8

3rd Round Pairing
1 vs. 4
2 vs. 3
5 vs. 8
6 vs. 7

4th Round Pairing
1 vs. 6
2 vs. 7
3 vs. 8
4 vs. 5

5th Round Pairing
1 vs. 7
2 vs. 8
3 vs. 5
4 vs. 6

6th Round Pairing
1 vs. 8
2 vs. 5
3 vs. 6
4 vs. 7

7th Round Pairing
1 vs. 2
3 vs. 4
5 vs. 6
7 vs. 8
For the first round of eliminations, the pairings are determined using the order of finish from the previous year. In Season 72, the season-ending standings were:
1 ADMU (Champion)
2 UE (Losing finalist)
5 AdU
7 NU
8 UP
So for the first round of Season 73, defending champion Ateneo was supposed to face the following teams, in order:
5 AdU
7 NU
8 UP
2 UE
That's exactly how the Blue Eagles' schedule turned out.

Now for the second round of eliminations, the pairings are determined using the order of finish from the just-concluded first round. In Season 73, the standings at the end of the first round was:
T2 AdU
7 UE
8 UP
Ateneo and Adamson ended up tied for second place at the end of the first round. If Ateneo was considered No. 2 its second round schedule should've been:
6 NU or UST
3 AdU
7 UE
8 UP
5 NU or UST
1 FEU.
On the other hand, if Ateneo was No. 3 its schedule should've been:
7 UE
2 AdU
8 UP
5 NU or UST
6 NU or UST
The schedule DLSU made?
8 UP
5 or 6 NU
7 UE
2 or 3 AdU
5 or 6 UST
Did the Ateneo side raise a hoot then? No, because it's the host school's prerogative to tinker with the tournament schedule for its own reasons, which could include scheduling "big" games on weekends so more people can watch live. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Going back to our team in comparison to theirs. I saw their game vs UST, a very small team, and their mercenary rookie Greg Slaughter looked like a walking Meralco post.. Slaughter looked like he was trained by La Salle's "big man coach". He literally stood out like sore thumb. He is weak and will back down when played physical. Van Opstal, who is progressing very well, can eat this guy and spit him out. Put Andrada along side AVO and Slaughter will be slaughtered.
First: the Growling Tigers aren't "a very small team." They only have four players—the same number as Ateneo—who stand 6 feet tall or lower, and their average height is not grossly disproportionate to that of the Blue Eagles. But since the sole 7-footer in the entire league plays for Ateneo, people (lazily) conclude that the Blue Eagles tower over the rest of the UAAP teams.

Second: I'm curious how Mr. Atayde defines "mercenary," because off the top of my head I can name more than a few La Salle "greats" whom that word would describe better than it would describe Slaughter.

Third, Slaughter will always look like a walking Meralco post and stick out like a sore thumb. He can't help it—he's 7 feet tall!

Fourth: Yes, Van Opstal (6'8" tall, 215 lbs., 6.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.0 spg, 0.3 bpg, 1.7 topg) is progressing very well. But if he can eat and spit Greg out (ano daw?) in the first place, why the need for Andrada to help out?
As for the perceived "god" of the Ateneo team, Keifer Ravena, he can be neutralized if defense on him is focused. Keep him away from the ball. A box 4 zone defense with one bigger player sticking to him like a cheap suit will take away his game.
First: Ravena must be kept away from the ball? He will be ineffective if the defense on him is focused? Howobvious. The way La Salle is playing, that's one big if right there. Besides, there are so many things Kiefer can do that don't require him having the ball in his hands.

Second: Did Mr. Atayde mean a "box-and-one defense"? Because it seems to me that a "box 4 zone" would require eight people (four to make the "box," plus four more) to execute. But a team is only allowed to field a maximum of five players at a time. Where would La Salle get the three extra guys on the court?

Hey, wait a minute….

Third: Nothing would make me happier than La Salle employing a box-and-one defense. That's because that defensive formation has a built-in weak spot: the center of the "box." Ateneo has enough good passers (and the league's only 7-footer) to use and abuse that gap.
If Webb can get his act together, he can guard Ravena and if he succeeds Kiefer might end up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because Webb can get into his mind and if Webb does that, Ravena may never recover.
There are three ifs, one might, and one may in that sentence. Hedging much? Hell of a way to hype his own guy.
As for Eman One Fourth, he is effective at the top of half court. Push him to the either left or right and he won't get the assists that he has.
Wait, because Emman's last name is Monfort and he's listed at 5'6" he's dubbed "One Fourth"? Wow, such wit!

In case anyone has forgotten, Emman's one-fourth has been worth two straight titles, which is more than people can say about about the one whole of any current player on La Salle's lineup.
Kirk Long is a good transition player. He should be stopped before he gets to mid court. He is a dirty player and we should give him a bath.
Let me get this straight: Gusto niyang paliguan si Kirk Long? That is just…wrong. Yet a man old enough to be someone's grandfather thought that. Published it, even. On the Internet. In 2011.

But hey, what did you expect from a self-confessed "green mind"?
Our biggest problem will be Salva, (a former Lasallian). However, he can't do anything if he does not have the ball.
We just had to mention Salva's La Salle roots, didn't we? I wonder, though, if Nico himself brings that up, especially since after his sophomore year in high school he left La Salle Greenhills and moved to San Beda College.

And don't you just hate it when people think a player has to have the ball to do something positive in-game? How about the part where Salva can draw a defender out and help space the floor? Or the part where Nico could set a pick so hard the opposing is knocked back to kindergarten?
We cannot use the full court press against Ateneo. Coach Dindo has to think up of something that Black has never seen. I also noticed that the Ateneo players knew our play signs. When one of our players would call our plays, they would make their adjustments and be ready for it. It shows that Ateneo has been diligently watching our games and is one step ahead of us.
A compliment!
As for their bench, they are no match for ours. Austria, Golla, Tonito whatever, Whammy Teongson (where do they get these monichers) and Chua dont will get nowhere with our bench.
Yes, the Ateneo reserves are certainly no match for a La Salle bench that has 13 combined championship rings fewer than the five Blue Eagles just mentioned.

And is not knowing (and misspelling) people's name supposed to sting now?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Tiongson was nicknamed Juami because his given name is Juan Miguel. "But you already know that," to borrow from the philosopher Alberto del Rio.
Dindo should slowly be preparing for the Ateneo game. Man for man, La Salle is a better team. Now show Black that he ain't got nothing on you.
I suppose that Coach Norman's three straight championships, not to mention his PBA coaching titles, don't count?

Any claim that La Salle, man for man, is a better team than Ateneo is just plain wrong. Even if it is assumed for the sake of argument that the claim is true, then that's a backhanded compliment if I ever so one—it can only mean that the Blue Eagles have succeeded more than the Green Archers this season because they're greater than the sum of their parts.

*That particular blog entry has been edited since it was first posted.