This is the first time I spent Christmas day away from Manila and away from my family. I was with my brother Charles though so technically I was still with family. It was an experience that was all worth it.
I left Manila on Christmas Eve after attending our family Noche Buena. In fact, I had two Noche Buenas because I arrived LA on the 24th still. Because I didn't have a ride from the airport, the very kind Pambansang Kamao, who was on the same flight with his 3 playful kids, offered me a ride in his Lincoln Navigator together with Jinkee to his Palazzo apartment where we spent Christmas eve eating and playing games. The first game was a drinking contest and I won a hundred bucks. Actually there were three of us, and we tied so we all got $100 a piece. We kept laughing and laughing all night! We were about 30 to 40 people in his condo. The second game was so unique that you won't see it very often during Christmas day. It involved a Christmas tree decorated with dollar bills, denominated in $1000, $500, $200, $100, $50 and $20. as seen in the picture. When your name is called, you pick a sheet of paper from the box that Manny is holding then whatever amount is written on the paper, that's the amount you pick out from the Christmas tree. Everyone gets to win something. I won $100 and Charles won $20 (The only $20 sheet out of about 100, talk about luck!) Haha! This is just one of the many giving sprees of SANTAcquiao and this is why he is showered with many blessings and victories.
Christmas Day. This is what ultimately convinced me to fly to the US for the holidays. After hearing Christmas mass in his room, we rushed to the Staples center together with about 30 people to catch the first Boston Celtics vs LA Lakers game after the NBA finals last year. This is the first time I felt what it was like to be part of an entourage of an international star! Of course, he got special parking because he is Manny Pacquiao. He had reserved a VIP suite that could fit all of us. ALthough it was a bit high, the view was still good enough to get a glimpse of Kobe, Ray Allen, Pierce, Garnett and the rest. Food and drinks were being served too! I like Boston because of Rey Allen but I'm still a bigger Lakers fan because of Kobe. And i somehow had a hunch that they were going to stop the longest winning streak of Boston in their franchise history. And they did! It was a fantastic game, quite energizing considering it was an elimination round game. Kobe had 27 points and he was just so fun to watch!
Before leaving the Staples Center, of course we had to take a picture with the statue of the man from who was last responsible for the success and stardom of this man we call Pacman. It was truly a Christmas that will be remembered many many years from now. Not only did we get to watch the world's greatest active basketball player but also we get to watch it with ESPN's Fighter of the Year for 2008 and the Philippine's Sportsman of the year for 2008.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
This is the first time I spent Christmas day away from Manila and away from my family. I was with my brother Charles though so technically I was still with family. It was an experience that was all worth it.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I've just read through the comments section of the last entry and I think it's about time i write another entry to update you and all try to answer some questions :)
Again I apologize for disappearing for a while. I think the title of this entry explains it all. I just got back from a very short trip to Hong Kong / Macau with the Ateneo team, as our reward for the UAAP Championship. It was a great trip. Thank you MVP and Tita Debbie Tan for making this trip possible and worthwhile :)It's sad though that this may be my last official engagement with the team and i'll surely miss hanging out with the players, coaches and management alike!
The past weeks have been hectic attending Christmas parties, store openings, giving talks, fixing outreach programs, and shooting a commercial. Imagine if basketball is added to that list. It was indeed tiring physically but not for the soul. For example, weaving through the mountains to get to Tanay, Rizal to give a short talk to Juvenile delinquents was fulfilling. Driving to Pampanga and back to give a short talk about leadership to student leaders of Holy Angels University was just as memorable. I promised the students that I will write about my visit, and I am now keeping that promise. I have to admit that I am very impressed with their campus and facilities, not to mention their very warm welcome. For a moment, I thought that I was in a hotel or corporate office in Makati.
On that same day, I was blessed to have the chance to read to about 80 kids a book entitled Ang Mahiwagang Biyulin by Christine Bellen and published by Anvil. Of course, the event was sponsored by Inquirer and tied up with Barangay Urdaneta who also provided the food for the kids. Thanks to Hapee and Anvil, each kid was able to take home a book and some kiddie toothpastes. Here's a short link about the event which you might want to check out http://inquirer.net/vdo/player.php?vid=2039
Some people were asking why my eye was red during the TAYO (Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations) Awards, where I awarded the winners together with KC. Well, apparently I had an eye allergy/infection which caused my contact lenses to react badly. I felt terrible having to stand on stage and press on my eye all throughout in such a formal event with many distinguished guests. Therefore, i had to survive with one eye wearing contacts and the other without. Felt weird! I didn't want to turn down the press who wanted an interview so I went on with it. Anyway, congratulations to the winners!
Anyway, it's been a very busy but INTERESTING December for me going to so many cool places, driving north to Pampanga, east to Tanay, south to Pila (Laguna)... In the city, i've been to the pier, to the streets of Binondo, to the US Ambassador's residence... In First Pacific's headquarters in Hong Kong and Lang Kwai Fong which is just a few meters away... In Pacman's quarters in LV and LA... and others! Whew! Truly a learning experience for me! I wish I can share the many inspiring and touching stories of the people I've met in these places.
Some of you seem to know already that I won't be spending CHristmas here in Manila for the first time. I will still try to update this blog from time to time but I would like to take this chance to thank you all for a wonderful 2008! Thanks for all the support and encouragement! Don't forget the true essence of Christmas - to love and to share (your self, your time, your resources, etc)! But above all, it is to be united with HIM by creating a new and clean relationship with the Father through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Merry CHRIS-tmas and a HAPEE New Year TIU all of you! (Hahaha! Corny!)
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I still can't believe what Manny had just done! Most boxing experts predicted that dela Hoya would knock out Pacquiao and that Pacquiao will not stand a chance. I'm shocked, the world is shocked! He just raised himself to another level.
I have to admit that I was literally shaking and feeling cold before the fight. My heart was pounding hard when both fighters were entering the ring. I had a great view right at the center of the arena with my two friends. We really felt the pressure of the match and we even said a prayer all together right before the match began.
After the first two rounds, I already felt that Manny was in control and that it was just a matter of time when he would knock out Dela Hoya. He just had to be careful with Dela Hoya's quick power left hooks. His maturity was evident as he was cautious throughout the fight, but still remaining aggressive. Every time Pacman threw a series of punches that threw Dela Hoya off balance, I would get off my seat and start throwing punches in the air as well.
After the referee stopped the fight after the 8th round, i raised my arms and got goose bumps. What a great feeling! Filipinos in the Grand Arena in MGM Grand were giving high fives to each other, hugging and rejoicing out loud! The match was clearly one-sided. Dela Hoya just didn't have the legs and the endurance to keep up with Manny's speed and power. Sadly, some Mexicans and Americans were booing dela Hoya for a poor fight. He was gracious in defeat though.
It's a great feeling for all Filipinos! I just feel so proud to be a Filipino, and moreover, Manny's co-host. I was lucky enough to have dinner with him in his suite the night before the fight. Actually I was still stuffed from a heavy merienda, but of course i didn't want to pass up the chance to eat with Manny in his Mandalay Bay (The Hotel) suite before the fight after he invited me. At least this time it's not in the Pinoy Records studio. So i ate his tinolang manok, fried fish, pork and beef. He even invited me to watch the Celtics vs Lakers game this December 25 in the Staples Center with him and his family since he bought box seat tickets. Too bad I won't be in the states at that time . The whole time he was so relaxed and cheerful as if there was no fight the following day. He was very confident that he would win because he told me to join him in his convoy going back to L.A. because it will be very very fun in the bus. I'm still thinking whether i should join them or not because i also want to stop by an outlet mall on the way back to L.A. Manny's really such a funny guy, i wish i can tell you more but i have to go.
We didn't join the after-party anymore in Rumjungle in Mandalay Bay since it was just sooo packed!! Instead, we went to Manny's room and luckily, bumped into Manny without having to brave the crowd. Again, lucky Chris gets to hug and congratulate his idol right before he went into his bedroom and locked it :)
It's 4am now and i think i have to sleep so i can attend the mass at 10am . So please pardon my very messy and incoherent entry. My mind isn't really functioning anymore. I'll update when i have more time :)
some other personality i saw in the match: Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Usher, Mike Tyson, and the Golden Boy boxers,(they announced that the following were in the arena as well although i didn't see them: JLo, Marc Anthony, Eva Longoria, George Lucas, Russel Crowe, Magic Johnson, and others) Of course lots of Filipino celebrities and politicians too :)
Congratulations Manny! Congratulations to all Filipinos! Mabuhay! :)
Friday, December 5, 2008
Hello everyone! First of all, thank you for all your congratulatory messages! It's 12:15 am now here in California of December 5, just one day before the Dream Fight between Manny Pacquiao and Oscar dela Hoya. Everywhere I go here, everyone talks about the fight. Can't wait for the big day! I just hope and pray that Manny doesn't get hurt whatever the outcome will be. Anyway, we just finished our Pinoy Records taping in L.A. I'm now in San Diego spending a night here with an uncle then we'll drive to Vegas tomorrow morning in time to catch the Weigh-in! That I wanna see too. I hope that you all try your best to watch the fight , support Manny and our country! Times likes these are rare when all Filipinos come together for to cheer for a common cause! That's why Manny is such a national icon. I hope that we have more of these events and people.
That's all for now . I'm gonna hit the sack. Update you guys soon, hopefully with pictures :) Btw, I will try to upload a video of my short speech after receiving the Nickelodeon award. ALSO, I'm on the cover of the December issue of MEG Magazine. So for those interested, get a copy :)
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Thank you very very much to all of you who voted for me as Favorite Athlete! Winning the award really means a lot to me especially if the other nominees are world class athletes like Manny Pacquiao, Efren Bata Reyes, Japoy Lizardo and Miguel Molina. To all those who texted and voted through the internet once, ten, twenty and even a hundred times, thank you so so much!! This is the first time I've won such an award at this large a scale!
Other winners were Dingdong Dantes for Favorite Actor, Kim Chiu for Favorite Actress , Marimar for Favorite Show. I wasn't able to take note of the other winners as I was backstage most of the time. Anyway, I just wanted to inform you guys right away and I have to go now. So thank you once again :)
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Because I haven't been posting entries for the past weeks, I will post two entries today to make up for my disappearance. Thank you to all those who still continue to monitor this blog despite the UAAP season being over. I hope I am still able to keep you interested even if i'm not talking about basketball.
Anyway, I don't watch a lot of movies in the cinemas because of the lack of time. But for this movie premier, I made sure to block off my calendar so I won't miss out on this, even if i had to drive all the way to Mall of Asia. Not because I am a twilight fan, but because Volvo is the major sponsor of the event. In fact, I have never opened a page of the book despite raves from my sister, my friends and the general public. I'm usually a non-conformist (which explains why i don't have multiply, friendster nor facebook, at least for the moment). All i know is that there is this hot, god-like character named Edward which girls are crazy about who supposedly drives a Volvo C30, and that the movie is about vampires. I'm not exactly a fan of fiction stories and more so when I heard it was about vampires, I wasn't exactly excited to watch them suck out living blood. I was pretty sure that I will fall asleep during the movie because I had only slept for two hours the night before as a result of a shoot that ended at 430am and an early morning call for Ripley's taping.
I invited my family and friends to watch with me and we first proceeded to the 2nd floor of the iMax for cocktails and a short program, as well as some photo ops. I was surprised to see so many high school girls present. I was thinking, don't they have school tomorrow? Movie was scheduled to start at 8pm. Thanks to the Volvo staff, I had a whole row of seats reserved for my family and I with a great view. Finally the movie started...
I was ready to take a nap because finally no one would notice... then I heard giggling and shrieking from girls (even ladies) around the cinema. What was so special about a group of white, pale-skinned people walking into a cafeteria?? Then, the last guy walks in and his name is Edward. More shrieking occurred! Including my sister. I didn't think he looked hot, unlike a Brad Pitt for example. He looked lanky and had weird hair. My seat mates thought he was okay though, but not as god-like as the book had described. As the story progressed, i thought it was getting interesting and I was not sleepy anymore. A lot of kilig scenes, more giggling. Finally, they kiss! I was waiting for a hand to cover my eyes but apparently, my mom was 3 seats away and could not cover my eyes like she used to when we were younger.
The scene that I remember so vividly is when Bella was rescued using the sleek silver Volvo C30. The car's exhibition was beautiful! Makes one a proud Volvo driver! I heard that Volvo didn't have to pay a thing for that free showcase because that was what the author actually used in the book. Overall, the movie was pretty fun all throughout! There was no boring scene and I was kept awake the whole time (coffee can't even keep me awake). It made me want to anticipate the next sequel. Now, i'm also looking forward to reading the book to have a more detailed understanding of what was really going through the minds of the characters. For those who haven't seen it, it's a chick-flick movie, but surprisingly, i enjoyed it! I think if you are below 30 years old, you should make sure to watch it :) Now I know what this "Twilight Fever" is all about.
First of all, I apologize again for disappearing for quite a while. I was out of the country for a while and I had to finish some important shoots. Before I write about my trips, i want to share with you a book that I am part of. I contributed an essay about "Volunteering" in the book BE HANDS ON, which is published by Hands on Manila. The book includes personal stories from other personalities who have engaged in volunteer work, like Margie Moran-Floirendo, Marc Nelson, Karen Davila, Carlos Celdran and others. It really is inspiring!
Hands On Manila, for the past seven years has trained and sent out over 6,000 volunteers to projects from painting schoolhouses to being big brother or sister to indigent children. We may not have the money to help but Hands On helps us to give and share our time which is just as valuable. The 22 stories in the book are all different: One volunteer went to China to teach English. Another builds houses. Another teaches cancer prevention. There’s even one that shares her dog among sick children in a hospital. There’s incredible reading in this book all with one theme: When you give, and share, and help others, there’s a wonderful feeling of having been of service to our country.
This Christmas, instead of giving gifts that will disappear after a few days, how about trying to give something that will truly touch the soul and inspire? This is what Christmas is about anyway... giving, sharing ourselves!
Your purchase goes back to Hands On and will help them continue their great work of recruiting more volunteers. The book is available at all Powerbooks stores for just PhP 275 or you can call Hands On and get the book in a gift box for just PhP 250. The numbers are 473 7458 or 386 6521.
Merry Christmas :) But before that... Happy Thanksgiving! I'm grateful to have all of you readers. Together, let's inspire others and make our country a better place to live in :)
Monday, November 10, 2008
The team spent the All Saints Day week end at Boracay as part of the series of celebrations after the championship. For some, it was their first time to step on the powder-like sand of Bora. Everyone was so excited. After winning the championship in the University Games in Dumaguete, they (I didn't join them in Dumaguete) flew back to Manila in the morning of the 31st of October then flew out again to Caticlan after a few hours of waiting in the airport. Most of the players didn't leave the domestic airport anymore. I met the guys in the airport then we flew together to Boracay courtesy of SEAir. We left in two batches.
Upon arriving in the Caticlan airport around 430pm, we were greeted by the hospitable staff of Discovery Shores, wearing their customized t-shirts "Discovery Shores welcomes the champs!" Then, all 30 of us (including some family members of the coaches and players) hopped in the sleek-white, air-conditioned private speed boat of the resort. The short 5-minute boat ride dropped us off the pier where we were picked up by the Discovery shuttles. For the first night, all the players (excluding Jobe who is missing in action, and Jai who followed the next day) were checked in Discovery. 3 players to a room. I was with Rabeh and Eric. And everyone was extremely impressed to see each room with a greeting posted just below the ceiling which says "Congratulations to the 2008 UAAP Champs!", not only that, each room also had their own Ateneo cookie, which i ate right away (see picture below). More than the iPod docks and flatscreen TVs in each room, what got the boys more excited were the white bath robes and fisherman's hat which they immediately wore out to the balcony right after settling in.
Overall, the trip was real fun! Weather was fantastic almost all throughout our stay except for the first night when it rained for a short while. I stayed in the resort most of the time to avoid the crowds in station 2. We saw various celebrities including Heart. Geoff, from the Amazing race also played volleyball with us. The Discovery beachfront was pretty festive as well with our noise and energy. We also played football and for the first time, i learned frisbee! That was fun! This trip will surely be remembered! Next stop for the team... Hong Kong and Macau! But that will have to wait :)
I didn't bring my own camera, so thank you to Bacon, Rissa, Coach Jon, and Rabeh/Ghen for the photos :) Please pardon the poor layout of the pictures. Don't really have much time to fix it up.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I've been trying to conceal my excitement for weeks now and finally it's November! This is the first time that the entire team is placed on a cover spread of a magazine, but not just wearing ordinary basketball jerseys, this time in fine, black suits! How often do you see that?! I myself haven't seen most of my teammates wearing suits. In fact, for some, it was their first time to wear one. You'd be surprised that many of the members don't own a blazer, a pair of slacks or even a pair of black leather shoes! That's why the Lifestyle Asia staff was desperately looking for sponsors who can provide size 13 to 15 leather shoes, as well as extra extra large suits! That was only the first part.
The shooting day... We did the shoot at Fort Santiago in Intramuros. Why Intramuros? Well, you'll have to purchase the magazine to know why. It has something to do with Jose Rizal, our National hero who happens to be an Atenean as well. Anyway, we arrived in several batches after lunch time. We did our make up and hair in a closed air conditioned tent about 16 sq meters big, then we had to resort to creative ways of changing into our suits in the public park. Luckily it was not very sunny when we started but it was extremely humid. After a few hours, without any warning, the rain just poured and we all had to squeeze in that little tent together with all the staff, equipment and clothes. The rain was so strong that it was already flooding inside and the leaking through the edges. Some players, together with the photographers, were stranded between the large arcs of the Fort Santiago Gate. After about an hour, the rain finally stopped but there was not enough sunlight to finish the shoot. Some guys had to come back the following day to finish the shoot, it was really troublesome especially since it was exam week and we just won the championship, thus, a series of invitations. But I have to give due credit to the guys who did it again without complaining, Yuri, Bacon, Eric, Nico, Mike and Oping (I hope i didn't miss anyone). Overall, it was fun! The guys look great in suits, at least a fresh new look for a change!
Thanks to the Lifestyle Asia group, of course my dearest sister and her team who worked so hard to make this happen!
This is a bit out of place, but I'd like to share a link that I find very inspiring. Makes me proud to be his co-host! One of the greatest athletes in the world :) http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/video/videopage?categoryId=2491554&brand=null&videoId=3669223&n8pe6c=2
Oh, and keep posted for an entry about our recent Boracay trip!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Before I continue with part 2 of my China trip, I would like to make a short plug. I have been receiving text messages from my friends informing me that I have been nominated for the Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards for favorite athlete. At first it didn't strike me as something that's a big deal, but then I realized that this is the first time to have a Philippine edition and that I was nominated alongside my very own idols like Lea Salonga and even my co-host Manny Pacquiao. It would be such an honor to be able to stand on stage with those other nominees but that won't be possible with Manny since we're both nominated in the same category. Anyways, awarding will be on November 29 at the Aliw Theater.
Here's how to vote: Voting is only until November 15. I believe you can vote again and again haha!
1) go to http://kca.nicksplat.com then click vote
2) you can also Text NICK to 2623 to vote (P2.50/txt for Globe and Smart/ P2/txt for Sun per text)
Here are the categories:
Favorite Actor: Dingdong Dantes, Gerald Anderson, John Lloyd Cruz, Piolo Pascual and Richard Gutierrez;
Favorite Actress: Angel Locsin, Iza Calzado, Kim Chiu, Marian Rivera, Sarah Geronimo;
Favorite TV Show: “Bubble Gang,” “Goin’ Bulilit,” “Marimar,” “The Singing Bee” and “Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan”;
Favorite Athlete: Miguel Molina, Chris Tiu, Efren Bata Reyes, Japoy Lizardo and Manny Pacquiao;
Favorite Cartoon Show: “Avatar, The Legend of Aang,” “Ben 10,” “Dora The Explorer,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and “Tom & Jerry”;
Favorite Musical Act: Christian Bautista, Gary Valenciano, Parokya ni Edgar, Sandwich, and Yeng Constantino;
Pinoy Wannabe 2008: Charice Pempengco, KC Concepcion, Lea Salonga, Marc Nelson and Vhong Navarro
Maybe I'll tell you my votes some time in the future :)
Thanks for all your support! Spread the word :)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I am really sorry for writing again just now. As most of you might already know, I was in China for 10 days. It was purely a leisure trip. I went with my Tita to visit my cousin who is currently studying in Beijing. Most of the time we were in Beijing but we also took trips to Lijian and Shangrila in the Yunnan province down south. We had to take a 4 hour plane ride to get there. I will talk more about those trips in my next entry. It was my 2nd time in Beijing and 3rd time to visit China. The first thing i noticed upon landing in the Beijing airport was the pollution. At first I wondered why it was fogging during a very sunny day in the city. Then I was told that it is actually the smog. Now i got worried how I am going to spend the next few days especially with my allergic rhinitis and asthma. Nevertheless, I had lots of fun just taking time out to unwind and visiting tourist/scenic spots! I was also able to meet up with some friends over there who took me out at night to experience the night life in a Chinese speaking land. I've decided not to pursue studying Mandarin anymore in Beijing because of my various commitments here in Manila. Anyways, i was able to practice my Mandarin a bit while talking to the taxi drivers, waiters, sales people, etc. I wasn't so bad after all. I guess the Mandarin I learned back in Xavier high school and in Ateneo really paid off. Some even thought that I was a local and couldn't believe that I was from a foreign country. The only internet access i had there was in my cousin's dorm room, which i hardly visit. That explains my blogging absence.
First stop, the Great Wall. This wall isn't great for nothing. It stretches from east to west for about 7000km. What makes this so special is the fact that this wall was built along mountain slopes rising and falling, twisting and turning in the Northern part of China. It served as an impregnable military defense for the Chinese dynasties against invaders. This wall was first built in 7th century B.C. and reconstruction continued throughout the following dynasties which lasted for almost 2000 years. What makes it even more amazing is, if you think about it, that it was built without any sophisticated machinery and equipment. There were no trucks nor cranes back in the 7th century to be used through the winding and extremely steep slopes, especially during the freezing winter. As a result, thousands of men lost their lives. Sadly, their bodies were said to be used as pavement too. My Tita and I went to the Badaling section, which is about 1 and a half hours away from the city. Anticipating the cold weather, I brought 3 layers of clothing but luckily i only had to wear 1 layer since the sun rays were very intense up in the mountains. Also, climbing up and down made me feel warm. It was really tiring but i didn't give up because i saw all these 60 to 70 year olds weaving their way through. If they can do it, we can do it too! We stayed for about 3 hours then headed back to the city.
That same night, after having the best Peking Duck at LiQun Kaoya in some alley, we strolled around Tian'anmen Square to help digest the food. Tian'anmen is located right at the center of Beijing proper and it literally means Gate of Heavenly Peace. It is the largest public square with a total floor space of 440,000 square meters, it can accommodate up to a million people. The Tian'anmen massacre also occurred in this square where possibly thousands of innocent people where killed while protesting for democratic reforms in 1989. Right across the road is the Forbidden City, the largest wooden cluster in the world today. The picture displays the gate of the empire. I did not enter its premises due to the lack of time in this trip (it will take one about 4 hours to really go around), but I have been inside before and I have to say that it is indeed a masterpiece in itself. Its construction began in 1406 during the Ming dynasty and it was completed 14 years later. 24 emperors lived and executed their supreme power over the nation from here. It is rectangular in shape and covers 72 hectares. Inside the city are 8,704 rooms and it is surrounded by 10-meter-high walls. For the emperor's security, It was said that the emperor sleeps in different rooms every night (of course with his concubines) and only his closest aides know where he will be spending the night.
That's enough for now. Keep posted for more China pics and stories :) When people hear the word China, you normally think of cheap labor, cheap goods, 1.2 billion people, etc. I hope this entry, together with the next few ones will help you appreciate the beauty and richness of China and its history :)
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I took this blog from my brother's multiply website http://charlestiu.multiply.com/journal/item/41/Theres_no_difference_between_GREEN_and_BLUE:
Seriously, apart from the physical properties, there isn't really anything different between these two colors, or for that matter DLSU and ADMU.
I am probably one of the few people who thinks that this rivalry is over the line. Apart from the usual battling of the players in the court, a lot of extra curricular activities are going on, from the fans bashing one another, their genuine hatred (for some at least) for one another, looking for reasons to make fun of the other and stuff like that. I wish people just left all the emotions on the court and let go of them right after the game (okay i admit i may be guilty!). Of course when i say this, it doesn't apply to all of the supporters, there still are those sensible ones. Maybe it's just me, since i don't believe that people need to fight one another. I feel that the cheering during the games get out of hand sometimes, especially when it becomes so personal. Like during game 2 of the series, some die-hard Lasalista shouts terrorist to Rabeh! I mean come on! what did he ever do to you to deserve being called that? And Ateneans who always love to make fun of Walsham, Rico or Cardona and others where's the breeding there? And when people shout Tangina Mo, its like what did my mom ever do to you?! As a player, you have to learn how to block it all out but man, sometimes it's gotta hurt too. But of course i've got to make it clear that not everyone does this. It's probably just a few of those super crazy die-hard fans!
I've been thinking about stuff and i realized that these two schools are no different from one another. Both schools are constantly looking for things against the other and when they do find something, it's like a time bomb waiting to explode. There will be non-stop taunting and teasing and all those stuff, and it goes back and forth. Let's see, Ateneo was having a blast by making fun of La Salle for their mistake in the spelling of La Salle during the cheering competition (i've always thought this was pointless. gee!) and they had their share of cheering wrong spelling! They've also had the pleasure of making fun of La Salle for their "cheating" (fielding ineligible players) and they've been saying bad stuff about La Salle for that. La Salle on the other hand, have had the pleasure of boasting their numerous championships through the years and they have this new bonfire incident to take against Ateneo (I must say this was a stupid move by some alumni who did it. Disgrace. To whoever did it, imagine if it were our own players? That would be below the belt)
La Salle calls Ateneo mayabang. Ateneo calls La Salle bobo. I don't know what the basis for this is because i believe that the education of both schools are equally as good (Yes ateneans, gotta admit La Salle has a helluva good engineering course, plus accounting too!) even though the rankings may differ (before La Salle was higher but now it's Ateneo) and as for the mayabang claim of La Salle, i'm sure there are tons of mayabang people from DLSU too.
Ateneo makes fun of Brian Ilad for throwing a punch during a game, gee could they have forgotten that our very own beloved LA Tenorio once threw a punch too, (a sucker cheap-shot punch for that matter) against La Salle pa!
Ateneans despise La Salle players like Maierhofer, Yeo, Cardona, Malabes and the other "mayabang" ones. La Salle despise Ateneo players like Salamat, Buenafe, Villanueva and those others they call mayabang too! But i bet one thing is for sure, as long as those players perform on the court, their own schools would love them no matter who they are (as long as they don't do anything to ruin the school's image) and they would stick with them. So i bet if those players changed teams and were playing for the other school, like lets say Rico played for Ateneo, it would be the other way around. Ateneo would love him and La Salle would hate him! haha that's just the way it works.
Players have to work hard and prove themselves to gain the respect of both schools. Ateneo and La Salle both have certain players that they like to make fun of or criticize (im talking about the fans) but of course once they do well then it all ends. I remember hearing non-stop criticism before for Rabeh, Ford Arao, even Jai Reyes and their very favorite Chris Tiu. But where are those naysayers now? Haha. I also knnow from my La Salle friends that they do this too. Kish Co was always being criticized until he showed up big and played well during last year's finals. People from DLSU keep on critcizing Walsham, Malabes, Ferdinand and others too. I remember they used to criticize my good friend Ty Tang back when he was still a rookie (i still used to root for La Salle cause of him hehe until Chris went to Ateneo) but after delivering a championship on his final year, i doubt they have anything bad to say about him anymore! So see? The way we act and treat players are alike! After all, we are all Filipinos still!
When Ateneo loses they blame the referees, when La salle loses, they blame the referees too. Both communities come up with really good explanations as to how the officials made them lose, but the bottom line is the outcome won't be changed. Both schools accuse each other of sourgraping when they lose.
I thought all the while that it was just Ateneo saying that DLSU buys players and gives alot of stuff under the table. I also thought na it was only Ateneo accusing DLSU of having double standards for the players, finding ways for them to enter the school even if they fail the entrance test and giving alot of special privileges and stuff like that. Apparently, as i stumbled upon some DLSU thread, i found that they too accuse Ateneo of exactly the same thing. I found it funny. I mean, both sides would go on debating and finding evidence to prove that they are right and rest assured that they will both defend themselves and claim that this doesnt happen in their school. But i bet that it does happen, in both schools! Funny though that the threads of both schools accuse the other about the same thing! Amusing and amazing.
I know right now that DLSU is having the last laugh especially after the bonfire incident. They can make fun of our breeding. But Ateneo has been saying the same thing through the years (not coming out for the championship awarding?). I don't think it will ever stop but i do wish that it were less volatile! Sure that might take the fun out of the UAAP, but it would hurt less people too!
And one more common thing is that both schools love to generalize. When one Atenean makes a bad goof-up (bonfire!) its generalized to the whole community! When one Lasallite makes a mistake or when there is a bad incident (awarding, illegitimate players) it is generalized to the whole community too! And i personally think that it is not fair. No matter what sort of education each school gives to their students, one way or another, there will always be those immature boneheads who deviate from the norm. And they are the ones who do these stupid acts that unfortunately people automatically generalize to the school. So no matter how much Ateneans love to say that they are superior over DLSU when it comes to education, i do not believe that one bit! (for the record, i have never made fun of DLSU when it comes to that wrong spelling incident, as well as i am never personal to any of their players when i cheer. I cheer for my school, not against another school.)
On a side note, i must say that i am deeply disappointed and embarrassed by that bonfire incident. I would like to apologize to the La Salle community for that act. But as i said in the preceding paragraph, the action of one alumni (who wrote their names on the wood) must and should not be generalized to that of the whole school. I believe Fr. Ben was very angry upon finding out about it and he will issue an official letter of apology to DLSU. I was talking to Rabeh about it and he said that yeah, it really was below the belt and we both agreed that if that were done to our players we would be outraged too, so i understand where the DLSU community is coming from, but learn to direct your anger please. It is not the team who did it nor is it any school official/administration. Oh yeah, and regarding that article on Rabeh almost transferring to LSGH but didn't because he didn't pass; well, his comment to that was that it was "a bunch of BS" :)
So there you have it, i don't know maybe it's just me who sees it that way. I'm sure alot of people will beg to differ. Unfortunately for you, if you want to beat me up for writing this, you'd have to wait til next year since i'm in far far away land :)
One thing i do know is that no matter what each school says about the other and no matter what wrong actions the school may have done, a Lasallite will always be proud to be a Lasallite and an Atenean will always be proud to be an Atenean too.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
It was a pretty stressful day but very fulfilling nonetheless! I was already stressing out because I was running late for my 430pm interview with Jessica Soho, who was waiting for me at Moro Lorenzo. It was my first time to meet her. She is a very warm lady and asked intelligent questions. Immediately after the interview, I had to make sure that my Chinky Chickens was already being setup in the soaking and muddy Bellarmine field. Then, I arrived just in time for the mass at 6pm. Because we were seated in front, I didn't notice how the crowd was already starting to pile up. After the mass, Alingal Hall served as our safe haven allowing us to relax a bit and eat peacefully before storming out to the field. I was amazed to see the number of people who attended the grand event despite the weather, traffic and muddy conditions. Here are some of the highlights of the night, for me:
- I was given a citation to possibly be inducted into the Ateneo Hall of Fame. But, l'll still have to wait 20 years from now. I'll be 43 by then and with much less hair.
- I was shocked to see U.S. Ambassador Kenney, who normally prefers to remain very diplomatic regarding her choice of team. I guess she, too, believes that there is much reason to celebrate and that there is no need to hide her true feelings :) Moreover, she proudly wore the blue Ateneo jacket which Kirk and I handed to her a couple of weeks ago, and she even acknowledged that it was given to her by a "friend". I was touched.
- I was given the honor, together with co-captains Yuri and Nonoy, to light up the grand Bon Fire.
- We hardly realized it but we were signing and taking pictures for about 4 and a half hours. We ended at 230.
- I was informed that electricity kept fluctuating in the Chinky Chickens tent, which caused a shortage in production. Furthermore, we ran out of rice and styros at one point because they apparently lent hundreds to the nearby stall who didn't return them immediately. More stress!
- I signed my name on this guy's brief. Afterwards, he told me he had just won P1000 from a dare. He seemed to be a straight guy. Hilarious!
- It was 1:30 am, and it started to rain again. I stood up and saw the line, still about 50 meters. People were holding up their umbrellas. At 2:15 am, it was still raining, and still people were lining up with their umbrellas.
- I don't know exactly how long the waiting time is for those queuing. Coach Sandy overhears two people who had just come out of the tent saying: "Sulit na sulit ang hintay natin!" (It was all worth the wait.)
Those words said it all. Our efforts in signing and smiling were all worth it too even if we were extremely tired. In fact, I started getting all energetic again after midnight, maybe because I saw how we were able to put little smiles on their faces just by posing with them, signing posters, t-shirts and even body parts! We really appreciate everybody who came and supported the team all the way! It is really because of you people that move us to keep going and going until we can finally soar like an eagle.
My messed up self and the owner of the photos :)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I still cannot describe what I am feeling right now. The closest word to describe it is probably "surreal". Before the game on thursday, I kinda had a strong hunch that we would come out victorious but at the same time i had a very heavy feeling. But i wasn't sure exactly what it was - stress, pressure, suppressed excitement? I really didn't know. One thing I knew was that this 2008 Blue Eagle team is destined for something so special. The character of the team is so amazing - hardworking, selfless, focused, fierce! During that last game, I was so excited already but i had to hold back 'til the final buzzer. In one way, i wanted to hit a game-winning shot to seal my college career with a memorable play. But it didn't happen that way, instead, we created a huge lead that just symbolized the dominance of this team throughout the season. There was no "Jec Chia-like" play that turned the tables for the team, but rather it was a very consistent journey for us except maybe for that loss against FEU in the first round.
After that unbelievable monster performance by Rabeh in Game 1, Coach Norman already predicted what was gonna happen in Game 2. They would try to shut down Rabeh by all sorts of double teaming (maybe even taunting) just to get him out of his game, although it was his foul trouble that made him sit almost the entire first half. Coach therefore told me that it's my turn to be aggressive and just fire away! Rabeh then made me realize that this is game #17 for us this season, that's why he knows that it's my time. I knew this # would always be special for me :) Rabeh just displayed that he is truly MVP by coming off the bench in the 2nd half very focused and prepared, not overly excited to score - a sign of maturity. Jobe Nkemakolam also stepped up big time in the 1st half filling in for Rabeh's absence. Of course, Defensive Player of the Year Nonoy Blocklao proved once again that he is dependable as the last line of defense - truly deserving of the Finals MVP award and sending a very important message to the basketball community that scoring alone does not win championships but rather defense. What a role player! I want to acknowledge all my other teammates as well but I'll save that for my future entries.
When Jai made that running jumper with 1 minute something left in the game, I knew we had it! All of a sudden the gallery in blue, as if choreographed, held up signs that said 'Champions' which filled the entire lower portion of Araneta. And I got goosebumps! I've never felt such happiness that it forced me to tears as the game was still on-going. Then, Nonoy and Rabeh hugged me in the center court while Jai was icing the game in the free throw line. Ryan Buenafe passed me the ball as the final seconds ticked and I just threw the ball as high as i could as the buzzer sounded! I wasn't thinking anymore. I hugged everyone that came my way! I just loved everybody! If I remember correctly, the first person i saw and hugged was Coach Jamike. I almost squashed his glasses upon my shoulders but I didn't care anymore! then I looked for my buddy Eric Salamat who came from the bench because of his cramps. But all the physical pain just went away at that instant. As I promised to Rabeh, I will look for him as the buzzer sounded and jump on him. But he was just too surrounded. Then I hugged Coach Norman, to whom we offered this victory greatly. For the first time, he said "I love you Chris" and I responded "I love you too Coach!" Very uncharacteristic for both of us who always appear very serious and with no reaction.
It was a "mission accomplished" after 6 years of hard work and pain combined. More than the sense of fulfillment, i felt like the weight which i had to carry with me was relieved once and for all. From now on, i'll be merely a spectator. How I will miss wearing that blue and white jersey with the name "Ateneo" on it. It was a fairy-tale ending for me and I thank everyone but most especially I thank the Lord for this wonderful gift! I know that He has bigger plans for us and that there is a deeper purpose for all of this. Thank you Lord for making this dream come true! This win is for You, for Your greater glory!
P.S. See you all at the Bonfire (as I mentioned before) on TIU's day, September 30, the last day of the RABEHdan @ 6pm at the Church of the Gesu (Haha corny!) Be prepared for the possibility of rainfall. :) It's time to party!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I hope this will be my last blog entry before I can write about the feeling of winning a UAAP championship. I don't really have much to say right now but I just want to ask all of you, who will be reading this before the game tomorrow, to pray for us. This is what we worked extremely hard for, and I hope we can seal it with an exclamation point tomorrow. I truly believe in the power of prayer!
A lot of my friends have been texting me and asking if i am alright because there have been rumors going around that I have been receiving all sorts of threats, even death threats. I just want to say, for the record, that I have not received any such threats and i hope not to receive any in the future. Funny how the media keeps insisting that i am being stalked and threatened. I guess it's all part of the hype of this tumultuous event called Ateneo vs La Salle. Anyway, it's such an honor to be part of it at least for one chapter of my life.
I'd also like to invite everyone to attend MEG Magazine's 10th anniversary party this Friday, September 26 from 6 to 11pm @ Club Ascend (2nd floor Bonifacio High Street). I might drop by as I am supposed to receive an award, but that will depend on the outcome of tomorrow's game. So pray that we close it out! For more details, check out www.meggurl.com
Monday, September 22, 2008
It wasn't the prettiest of victories, but a win nevertheless! A game played with a lot of intensity and emotion! Jai and Yuri again chased Casio all over the floor and tired him out, forcing him to take difficult shots. Nonoy again anchored the defense highlighted by an exclamation point rejection on Maeirhoffer that sealed the game! It's rare to see him let out all his energy after a spectacular block, but that just goes to show how intense and emotional this game really is! Nothing personal. Defense was key again today. Offense just followed. I believe Rabeh just showed the world today who the true MVP of the league is. Hats off! I felt that La Salle wanted him to score at will and make him beat them all by himself, and he did! Of course, with timely assists from Nonoy, Jai, Eric and Ryan. Expect DLSU to adjust in the next game.
I spent more than half of the game on the bench because of foul trouble and scored only 2 points. Well, I think i got too excited and i wasn't able to adjust to the calls. That just goes to show how deep our team is and that the rest of the guys can indeed step up when needed. During the 2nd quarter, Nonoy, Eric and I were merely spectators but the guys were able to hold the fort and even extend the lead to 7.
Upon waking up, my little brother was pointing to the headline of the Philippine Star and I was shocked to see a huge photo of myself and JV Casio on the front page! That's something I can share with my grand kids when I'm older, my next dream is to make it to the cover of Time Magazine! haha! There were like 4 or 5 write ups about this series on both the Inquirer and Star, all with their own story angles. That's just how big a deal this series supposedly is. In fact, there have been rumors going around that I have been receiving all sorts of threats , even death threats! haha! And that I even hired bodyguards for that matter.
I think I've said enough for now. Series is not yet over. Just one more game and i'm sure DLSU will come out stronger and tougher! We promise all of you supporters out there that we will play even harder this Thursday to try to close out the series. We offer the game to all of you but most of all for His greater glory - AMDG! Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. For God's Greater GLory!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The upcoming finals series is just getting so intense. It's being overly hyped up by the media. All sorts of angles are being looked at to create the perfect story. For me, I try as much as possible to stay away from all sorts of distractions and to lay low on publicity interviews. But some things, we just can't refuse. Just today, I did 4 interviews. The first interview was on Boom's show on Magic 89.9, and we had to do it over the phone to save on travel time. My first time to do such a thing. Then I went to school to meet up with my group mates to create a short skit on video for our Chinese class. I don't think I'll ever make it to showbiz in China! I just kept on stuttering. After that, i went to practice and to my surprise, 3 networks were there waiting for me to be interviewed. Funny how 3 major networks were all there under one roof, ABS-CBN/ANC, Studio 23 and of course, my home network GMA7! I guess there are ways to get around a "closed-door" practice. Anyway, i had fun doing the interviews with buddies like Boom Gonzales, TJ Manotoc and Chino Trinidad. Got some advice from Chino too about my career. I'll save that for next time.
Inviting everyone out there to support a former Blue Eagle and teammate who is part of the 2008 MYX VJ search. He's now part of the 12 finalist who will become the next MYX VJ. Vote for Mr. Macky Escalona by texting "myxvj5" and send to 2366 for all networks!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Honestly, I didn't expect the outcome to be a 20 point blowout, 50-70. I was actually surprised at how formidable our team can be if we play as one unit. Rabeh and I didn't even score much, but the others rose to the challenge in the scoring department, particularly Jai and Eric. People were asking if i was injured or what because I only made 2 points. In fact, there were even rumors the day before the game that I was injured. Funny how people know more things about me than I do. Well, i didn't have a very settled stomach when i woke up on the day of the game, but that really didn't bother me. I struggled at the beginning of the game so I didn't try too hard to look for my points. Anyway my teammates were doing really well so i supported them. But one thing was really notable during the game, our defense was solid! It annoys me when people ask if the UE players actually 'sold' the game. Well, I highly doubt that even if Marcy scored 0 and others didn't play up to par. But you have to give credit to our defense! They only had 21 points at half time. I hope that we can continue this level of play throughout the championship series, and even raise it some more.
At the start of the season, I didn't expect to have an Ateneo La Salle finals. These next few games will be the biggest games of my career and my greatest wish is to end on a high note! How sweet it would be if... you know... I don't wanna jinx it. People ask me how i'm feeling right now. I tell them i'm excited but i don't wanna get too excited because we haven't achieved anything yet. We can do all the celebrating after the job is done. Now it's all about focus and having the right mindset. There are indeed a lot of distractions, appearances, interviews, comments, etc. especially with all the hype that's being created! Tickets will be a problem again. Just have to block all of these. FOCUS is the keyword. We can only do so much, but with God's grace, I believe we can reach our goal. So thank you to all of you who have been praying for the team and i continue to ask you to pray for a smooth and FAIR game, and may the best team win! One big fight!
P.S. thanks to all those who stayed up late last night (Monday night) to catch Ripley's. We rated well, 21.5, way ahead for that time slot!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
One reason why I enjoy the UAAP so much is because I intensely feel a sense of school spirit and competition! This is manifested through the attendance and cheering during the games. I believe that one great way to show your support to your university and show that you are truly proud of it is by wearing its T-shirts, more so if you are not a student nor alumnus of the institution. In my case, it's the Ateneo T-shirt! Here are some of my favorite Ateneo shirts that you might want to purchase before the season ends.
1) I find this shirt very attractive and unique. Very colorful. It has the names of all the players, which can serve as a souvenir for Blue Eagles Season 71 as well. This is the mini-business of a friend and part of the proceeds will go to charity. You can check this multiply site for details. http://getbluefever.multiply.com/
2) I not only like this shirt because of the #17 but because of the cute Eagle patch. I usually use this for warm-ups before a game. It comes in different designs and different numbers as well. Available at the A-shop inside the Ateneo campus.
3) "Magis, this time for the environment" I find the message very significant to each one of us. It comes in royal blue as well. Available at the Loyola School Bookstore in the MVP Building of the Ateneo campus.
4) Not only can these jackets be used in the games, they're perfect for the rainy weather too! I love the hoodie that Lia is wearing, very sporty! Available at Adidas shops nationwide.
P.S. This is not a paid advertisement. Just sharing my love for my university :) sorry for the lack of better pictures
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Sometimes I still wonder why people do all sorts of wild things just to get hold of that DLSU-ADMU ticket. I heard that Ateneo supporters were already lining up along the Blue Eagle gym as early as 2am to get hold of the limited upper A and B tickets being sold there. When I asked what time they start to sell the tickets, i was told... 6pm! Wow!! Last year, I remember seeing people setting up tents to spend the night there just to be the first ones in line. I also heard that scalpers were already selling tickets as early as Monday at a price range of 5,000 to 10,000 for patron seats. Deep inside I was thinking, no wonder we players can't get any tickets! I didn't get my 4 ticket allocation (2 patron and 2 upper A which i had to pay for) not until 6pm of Friday, the night before the game. When I requested for more, I was told that they had 5 upper B tickets for me. Fine, I'll take those. It's a common misconception that if you're part of the team, you have more access to tickets. In fact, our coaches only get 2 Upper A tickets. I already have a generic reply to all of those people who all of a sudden text me for tickets when an ADMU-DLSU is fast approaching... "best effort!" I even ALMOST resorted to buying scalper tickets at the last minute because I was already desperate. Somebody is just such a lifesaver! Let's just call her my secret weapon :)
Now, about the game, I had to admit that I did feel nervous before the game. I don't know why. It's no bearing for us. It's my 14th Ateneo La Salle game in my UAAP career, the 7th since last year (I just found out after watching the replay). I guess it's just the fact that it's an Ateneo La Salle game and that there are approximately 23,000 people watching in Araneta and much more in their TV screens here in the Philippines and all over the world. There's just so much hype! Almost everyone I know stops to watch (since my friends are mostly from either of the two schools). It gave me goosebumps when the Ateneo crowd was cheering upon stepping out on the court. But after I was able to warm up, i felt settled and ready to go!
I won't go to the details of the game. But overall, it wasn't our offense that won us the game, but our defense! We held them below 60 points. Many would argue that it's because JV Casio was so out of sync. But he wouldn't be struggling that much if it wasn't for the defense that Jai and Yuri put up on him plus the help defense provided by the big men underneath. Basically, I felt that JV had to carry the weight of the world upon his shoulders and that he tried to take it upon himself today. Unfortunately, he got very little help from his teammates except for Rico. I say the 'weight of the world' because not only does he have to lift his team past the 16 players of Ateneo but also the rest of the de La Salle community. It is difficult to lose and play horribly when much is expected of you, especially if you're playing for ADMU or DLSU - two communities that can comprehend the game of basketball well, plus both are very passionate but can be critical as well. But I believe that everyone is entitled to having an "off night" and i'm sure he will bounce back! So beware FEU. I don't want to say more because there's still a possibility that we might play each other in the Finals. Let's just save the analysis until after the championship :) If not, then this will be my last Ateneo La Salle game :(
For now, it's still a long journey for us! I'm so thankful for the victory and I believe that this is the best way to show our appreciation to all the Blue supporters who were present today, most especially those who had to queue for hours and those who had to cash out a huge amount on tickets. No such thing as a 'no bearing game' against La Salle. I just ask ask and pray that we continue to improve, stay injury-free and keep our focus coming down the stretch, especially since 'hell weeks' and exam weeks are coming up right smack during the Final 4 and championship series, IF we make it! That's actually the disadvantage of having a two-semester system. But like they say, adversity makes champions! One big fight!Oh and if you have the chance, please go and support our Blue Babble in the UAAP Cheerleading Competition today at Araneta Coliseum starting 2pm! Audience impact weighs a lot in the criteria for judging.
P.S. I'd like to apologize for not being able to entertain the fans outside the South Gate after the game as I was prevented by Araneta Security to do so, as a result, I had to take an alternate way out. Next time! :)
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I'm sorry it took me a while to finally write something about the Trinoma experience last Sunday. I have to say it, i was so overwhelmed with the turnout! I totally didn't expect anything close to the number of people who showed up that day. And I am very much delighted of course!
The team gathered together at around 3pm in Abe for a quick bite, courtesy of Adidas. While we were still eating, we were told that the line was starting to pile up in the Adidas shop in the 2nd floor of the mall. I couldn't quite picture the crowd because i was expecting students and alumni supporters of Ateneo to be there to catch a glimpse of the team. At 4pm, we all went down to the shop wearing the clean White Adidas jacket. When we got the store, we were like "Wow! This can't be real!" Not only was the store filled with people inside, the crowd was building up outside as well. What was interesting to note was that most of the people present were not Ateneans. A lot were young high school and college students, mostly girls i should say. There were some cute kids too :) It sure doesn't hurt to feel like the Philippine version of the Jonas Brothers for an afternoon, well at least even 1/10th of their stardom! Haha!
When we entered the shop, we were introduced one by one by the hosts Lia Cruz and Andrei Felix, who also happen to be Adidas endorsers and Ateneo alumni. Then, we proceeded to a long table that's shaped like a letter "U" in order to give everyone a chance to get their posters and apparel signed by each one in an orderly and organized manner. After signing for about 30 minutes, we noticed that the lines weren't getting any shorter. And we were told to sign faster so that the line could progress rapidly. Signatures were getting shorter as well. Jai was beside me and i saw his signature from "Jai Reyes #5" it became "Jai #5". I got tired as well, so from "Chris Tiu #17", it became "Chris T #17". Apparently, two letters make a huge difference. The first few ones in line were still able to get pictures with some of us, but the organizers got stricter and disallowed picture taking so that others could get the chance to get our autographs as well. I do feel bad to see the fans get disappointed, but over the years, i've learned that it's really difficult to please everyone. The next time i checked my watch, it was already 6pm. It was exhausting. I've had two bottles of mineral water during the 2 hour period and i had to take off my jacket because the temperature was rising! I was talking to Oping Sumalinog beside me and he said that he wouldn't mind doing this the whole day if we win the championship!
It was truly an experience that made us feel really grateful for the support coming from the fans from all over! Some even waited as early as 12nn. I thought that those who would be following the Blue Eagles would be mostly Ateneans. It's even more touching to know that the base has extended outside of that circle. And we really appreciate it all! Thank you!
If you guys wanna get your chance as well, I guess you'll have to wait 'til the Bon Fire! :)