Friday, October 31, 2008

Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards 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 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

China Part 1 (Beijing)

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

There's No Difference Between Green and Blue (By Charles Tiu)

I took this blog from my brother's multiply website

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

Bon Fire (September 30, Bellarmine Field)

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 :)