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.