Monday, September 22, 2014

One Day Down

And that's it for Monday! Go enjoy the official music video for the Eraserheads' new song, "1995":

I love the shout-out to UP Diliman at the end:

[Screen grab from YouTube]

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UAAP Season 77: Blue Eagles Win Top Individual Honors

Kiefer Ravena and Arvin Tolentino of the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles are your Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year, respectively, in Men's Basketball for UAAP Season 77. They are the first Blue Eagle teammates to win MVP and ROY in the same year since Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Ryan Buenafe accomplished the feat in 2008.

UAAP Season 77: Ateneo Blue Eagles vs. NU Bulldogs, July 26
[Photo credit: Inboundpass]

Ravena earned his first MVP trophy in Men's Basketball after averaging 21.2 points (1st in the league), 5.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists (1st in the league), and 1.5 steals (2nd in the league) per game in towing his team to a league-best 11-3 card and the top Final Four seed after the elimination round.

He is the first Blue Eagle to win MVP honors since Al-Hussaini in 2008.

UAAP Season 77: Ateneo Blue Eagles vs. FEU Tamaraws, Aug. 3
[Photo credit: Inboundpass]

Tolentino was 22nd and the highest-placed freshman in the MVP rankings with his averages of 8.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game after the eliminations. He is the first Blue Eagle to win the ROY trophy since Ravena did it in 2011.

It's time to chase the biggest trophy of them all, guys.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

UAAP Season 77: Commissioner's Office Upholds Ateneo's Win Over FEU

The biggest UAAP basketball news yesterday (aside, that is, from UE beating UST to earn at least a tie for the last Final Four slot, and Adamson beating UP to avoid a winless record) was Commissioner Andy Jao's denial of the FEU Tamaraws' protest of the result of their game last Saturday against the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles.

It will be remembered that the Blue Eagles rallied from a double-digit deficit late in the fourth quarter to beat the Tamaraws in overtime and nab the top Final Four spot. There was, however, a minor commotion in the last seconds of regulation when play was halted and Blue Eagle Von Pessumal's basket with 3:20 remaining in the fourth quarter, which was earlier scored as a two-pointer, was adjusted to a three.

In his post-game presser after their enervating loss, FEU head coach Nash Racela was gracious in defeat and attributed his team's loss to, among other things, their numerous missed free throws.

But something apparently changed between then and Monday, when the FEU camp filed a protest questioning the propriety of what they thought was a review of the Pessumal basket. They obviously wanted another crack at that top spot and, just as important, to avoid the circuitous route of going through a playoff for the second Final Four slot and the twice-to-beat advantage that goes with it.

In all fairness, I think the "controversy" arose from simple misunderstanding.

An Ateneo Sports Shooters photo that made the rounds clearly shows that from the start, the nearest referee ruled Pessumal's basket a three-point conversion. (The ABS-CBN Sports broadcast panel also also called it a three, although it's unclear whether the coliseum barker announced it as that.)

But for one reason or another, those at the scorer's table missed the referee's signal and incorrectly added just two point to Ateneo's score. Commissioner Jao and his people, meanwhile, attempted to call the referees' attention to the scoring miscue, but only succeeded with 27.4 seconds remaining .

The coliseum barker then added to the confusion when he announced, "There is a challenge on that shot of Von Pessumal a while ago. We will review it," although there was really neither a challenge made (least of all from the Ateneo side, as it was the Commissioner and his subordinates who were attempting to correct the score to reflect the true tally) nor a review to be done, just a score correction.

I loved Commisioner Jao's tart "Lastly, I would like to let you Coach know that the Commissioner's Office does not violate the rules, we enforce them for the benefit of all the teams in the league. Please inform the FEU management and community [of] this fact," reply to the protest.

Turnabout is fair play; after all, the protest said, "The FEU community has expressed its disappointment regarding the inappropriate violation of specific UAAP ground rules."

FEU has accepted the Commissioner's decision but went on to cite some lingering concerns.

Monday, September 15, 2014

UAAP Season 74: Cheerdance Competition

The NU Pep Squad won the 2014 UAAP Cheerdance Competition for their second CDC victory in as many years. It was a dominant win as reflected in the official tally sheet; they really pulled out all the stops.

Crowd darling UP Pep Squad fell just short for the second straight year and again placed first runner-up. But they captured the hearts of many with their bold "Equality" theme, which they illustrated at certain points with the ladies supporting male flyers and their switching dance parts.

The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe rounded out the Top 3.

Finishing out of the money were the Adamson Pep Squad, FEU Cheering Squad, DLSU Animo Squad, UE Pep Squad, and ADMU Blue Babble Battalion, in that order.

An ALS Story

This touching article is a must-read (and I'm not just saying that because the writer is my college batchmate):
ALS claimed my mother’s life–but didn’t snuff out her light
By Maria Angela Socorro S. Cruz | Philippine Daily Inquirer

Thanks to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that has been trending in the US and has made its way to Manila, the ALS Association ( has already raised over $100 million.

The timing of this social media phenomenon could not have been better because it is raising public awareness of a cruel disease that slowly and silently kills its victims.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative condition that has been largely invisible to the world, but not to me and my family. ALS claimed my mother’s life two months ago. She was only 64 and had battled ALS for 17 years.

My mother was Matea Angela Santiago Cruz, Mitzie to family and friends. To my brother Mico and me, she was simply Mama, the steady, radiant sunshine in our lives.

Full story…

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sabado Bukas

Start your weekend with the comical music video for the new Eraserheads song "Sabado" that Esquire Philippines shared:

I thought I saw Ateneo Blue Eagles forward Chris Newsome!

[Screen grab from YouTube]

I did!

[Screen grab from YouTube]

I did see Ateneo Blue Eagles forward Chris Newsome!

[Screen grab from YouTube]

(It goes without saying that the Sunshine Cruz cameo is awfully nice, too.)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Esquire Philippines Brings New Music From The Eraserheads

So aside from a feature on last April's Eraserheads reunion concert in London, England, Esquire Philippines' September 2014 issue includes a collector's item specially commissioned by the magazine: a CD with two new songs, the band's first with Ely Buendia as frontman since their 2001 album Carbon Stereoxide.

Here's the first track, "Sabado:"

It looks like the E-heads recast it from an old song (perhaps from their drummer Raymund Marasigan) that in turn may have been a tie-in with Team Manila Lifestyle's "Buti Na Lang Sabado Bukas" product line:

Marasigan shared as much in an interview with Dig Radio:
"'Sabado,'" Marasigan told this writer, is "from the so-called vaults," though he could not recall the precise period when it was first written. It has since taken on a different form. "It was an old song, but they reworked it. I didn’t care; [I said] 'Change it,'" he said. It was, to insist on a Fab Four connection, their post-active-years "Free as a Bird."
The second track is "1995:"

Those two songs will surely be parsed by those trying to decipher their "meanings," latent or otherwise. For instance, it might be fun to review history to see how 1995 was significant to the band or the local music scene. Good thing the probability of that stupid mid-90s backmasking controversy recurring is remote now. (Or is it?) 

For now, we await the wide release of the two Erik Matti-directed music videos that premiered last week during Esquire's launch of the Travel issue. During that event "Not The Eraserheads"* played a surprise set ("Magasin," "Sembreak," and "Alapaap") with a little help from their friends in the local music scene, to the delight of the audience that understandably lost its collective shit:

*This might be a wink at the rumored contract with a telecom giant that allegedly bars the quartet of Buendia, Marasigan, guitarist Marcus Adoro, and bassist Buddy Zabala from performing locally under the Eraserheads name until at least 2019, a stipulation that may explain why all of the band's reunion concerts after 2009's "The Final Set" have taken place abroad.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Gilas Finally Gets One

Gilas Pilipinas ended their 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup campaign the same way they started it: with an overtime game. The result, however, was different this time around as they beat Senegal, 81–79.

The win was extra sweet after an unpleasant encounter Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny Pangilinan and company had in Seville:
Pangilinan, the source said, was walking the streets of this charming, laid-back capital of Andalucia in the company of PLDT president and CEO Polly Nazareno, Meralco CEO and president Oscar Reyes, and Meralco vice president and MVP Sports Foundation head Al Panlilio when they came across a group gathered in a roadside eatery.

"Go home," came the taunt.

The MVP camp, the insider said, didn't recognize anyone from the group but was certain they were members of the Senegalese delegation, judging from the colors that they wore as well as IDs that are only issued by Fiba to officials of each competing nation.

Pangilinan, the source said, felt insulted by the taunt but still kept his cool.

However, Reyes picked up the cudgels for the group, not letting the taunt go unanswered. "We'll go home after we beat you," came Reyes' calm but emphatic response.

Gilas placed last in their six-nation Group with a 1–4 record, but at least they won't be leaving Spain empty-handed.

The captain feels the love.
[Photo credit:]

It has been over 40 years since the last time the Philippines won a game at this level of international competition, an 87–86 victory over the Central African Republic on 12 July 1974 in the classification round of the World Championship for Men held in Puerto Rico, and nearly 36 years since it last qualified.

Gilas' road to the next Basketball Word Cup in 2019 and/or the 2016 Summer Olympics lies ahead, but first, there's the 2014 Asian Games basketball tournament that starts in just over 2 weeks in Incheon, South Korea.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Gabe Smash!

Pambansang wallpaper.
[Photo credit:]

World No. 3 Argentina beat the Philippines, 81–85, for Gilas' third straight loss in the Group phase of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. However, the lasting image from that game is Gabe Norwood dunking on NBA veteran Luis Scola:

Then for good measure, Norwood also posterized Marcos Mata: