Back from the grave, we never say die!

The UST Growling Tigers together with the UST crowd celebrate as the Tigers beat the Bulldogs in overtime at the Smart Araneta Coliseum 58-57.
Photo ©Yahoo! Sports Philippines

After the devastating 27 point defeat at the hands of the FEU Tamaraws, call these Tigers once again the “Comeback Kings” of the UAAP as they pull off their 4th come from behind victory in UAAP Season 75 as they defeat the NU Bulldogs in overtime at the Smart Araneta Coliseum 58-57. With the win, the Tigers go up to 7-2 tied with the Tamaraws and keeping their sight on the league-leading Ateneo at 7-1. The Tigers were down by as many as 17 points during the game and were held to only 14 points in the first half. However, the Tigers once again showed their “never say die” attitude in coming back from large deficits to pull off big victories this season.

Aljon Mariano sets another career high in scoring this season with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block including the game winning shot in overtime with 4.4 seconds left in the overtime period. Jeric Fortuna scored 8 points, a season high 8 assists and 5 rebounds including the three pointer which sent the game into overtime. Karim Abdul finished with a double-double 10 points and 10 rebounds with 3 blocks and 2 steals, but fouled out in the overtime period and was limited by the imposing defense of the Bulldogs big men like Emmanuel Mbe and Henri Betayene. Jeric Teng and Clark Bautista also scored 8 points each. While Kevin Ferrer only scored a basket which was off a missed three by Jeric Teng to keep the Tigers afloat in the 4th quarter, however he did a spectacular job of defending Bobby Ray Parks throughout the game.

Parks led the Bulldogs with a double-double 15 points (9 of them were at the line), 11 rebounds with 4 blocks, 2 assists and 2 steals. Mbe also finished with a double-double 10 points and 13 rebounds but had to go through cramps in the final moments of the game. Mark De Guzman scored 8 points.

Next game for the Tigers will be against the De La Salle Green Archers in Round 2 of the Battle of the Tengs as UST’s Jeric once again squares off against his younger brother DLSU’s Jeron at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 12pm (delayed telecast on Studio 23 at 2pm)

Also, there was a revision in the upcoming schedule for the second round of the UAAP. Here is the new schedule for the games of your UST Tigers: 
vs DLSU Green Archers: August 29, 12:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay
vs AdU Soaring Falcons: September 1, 12:00 pm, Smart Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City
vs UP Fighting Maroons: September 8, 2:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay
vs ADMU Blue Eagles: September 15, 4:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay
vs UE Red Warriors: September 20, 2:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay


Adventure Time, my second childhood.

Photo ©Cartoon Network
My childhood years have gone and passed, not too long ago. Gone are the days when I watched  a lot of cartoons on television. However, even though I’m already 18 years old, there is one show that is giving me a “second” childhood and reasons to be happy and enjoy cartoons once again. That show is Adventure Time on Cartoon Network.
Adventure Time was created by Pendleton Ward and revolves on the story of the two main protagonists of the show, Finn the Human (voiced by Jeremy Shada)and Jake the Dog (voiced by John DiMaggio) as they head out on adventures throughout the Land of Ooo which will test their brotherhood, determination and willpower to become true heroes of the land.
Other characters include Princess Bubblegum, Lady Rainicorn, Marcelin the Vampire Queen, Lumpy Space Princess, Beemo, the Flame Princess and the main antagonist of the show The Ice King (voiced by Tom Kenny, the man behind the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants).
Adventure Time is truly one of the best cartoons that I have ever watched in my entire life. Who says you’re too old for cartoons? Why not watch this show and prove that it’s never too late to enjoy some cartoons in your life.
Photo ©Cartoon Network
What time is it? ADVENTURE TIME!

USTET season begins anew.

Starting tomorrow, the series of dates for the USTET (University of Santo Tomas Entrance Test) begins. Aside from tomorrow August 26, other USTET exam dates will be on September 30, November 4 and December 9.

The USTET has been interpreted by some people as “easy” as compared other major college entrance examinations like the UPCAT of the University of the Philippines in which applies not only to the campuses in Diliman and Manila but also to other campuses of the UP System across the country, the ACET of the Ateneo de Manila University and the DLSU-CET of the De La Salle University. Despite that label, the fact remains that each year, only 25% of the USTET takers will enter the university as students.

Three years ago, I took the USTET. I remember it was on October 25, 2009 in the morning at Room 405 of the St. Raymund’s Building. Home to the Faculty of Arts and Letters and the College of Commerce and Business Administration.

Once the results came out, among the three college entrance examinations I took, I failed to pass the UPCAT (It was my goal to be a UP student.) and the ACET, and the USTET was the only exam I passed.

However, before I became a Thomasian taking up Travel Management, there was interview conducted by College of Tourism and Hospitality Management to all aspiring students of both Travel Management and Hotel & Restaurant Management programs. Unfortunately, I failed the interview the first time around. 

So that’s one tip for those aspiring to get into Travel Management and HRM. You may have passed the exam, but you still have to get through the interview before you can be a full-pledged CTHM student. So on the day of your interview next year, look good and be smart in answering questions. Competition will be tough as there are limited slots.

Knowing that Travel Management was my dream course I went for a reconsideration. I was still going to be a UST student, even if I failed the reconsideration. I would have been a Engineering student taking up Computer Science which was my second choice. Fortunately, I made it through the reconsideration and now I’m in my third year taking up Travel Management, and that’s another tip, if you fail the interview in CTHM, you can reconsider, however slots are limited and of course the 1st time passers of the interview will be given top priority.

Of course, if you’re taking up CFAD and/or Architecture, there is a drawing part at the end of the written exam as it will also be used to getting into these colleges.

Each college of the university has its own limits and set of rules in accommodating aspiring students. Some, would accept students right away. While others have extra tests for aspiring students just like I said in CTHM.

All I can say is, don’t be complacent when taking up the USTET, and don’t forget your test permits and Mongol #2 pencils and get to know early where are you going to take up your exams.

I would like to give a special mentionto all the USTET takers coming from my high school Alma Mater of Claret School of Quezon City. I wish you guys all the best and I hope to see you in campus next school year.

Good luck and God bless to all aspiring Thomasians.
We hope to see you inside the UST campus next year.

A painful loss. Streak-busters.

So, I’m blogging just days after I wrote a blog on UST’s hot streak in UAAP basketball, and just last Thursday, the UST Growling Tigers suffered a blowout loss at the hands of the team that gave them their only defeat in the 1st round, the FEU Tamaraws with the score of 60-87 which snapped the Tigers’ 6 game winning streak and sent them down into 3rd place right now at the standings.

It was a painful loss for the Tigers, as the Tamaraws took them out early in the game by the performance of Terrence Romeo in the first half scoring 16 of his 19 points during the half. The Tamaraws’ did not just rely on Romeo, but other players stepped up as well, Roger Pogoy and Anthony Hargrove each scored 13 points. The Bringas brothers Arvie and Mark gave bonus points for the Tamaraws scoring 10 and 8 respectively. The Tamaraws led by as many as 31 points and never looked back.

MVP candidate Karim Abdul was held to 11 points and 9 rebounds, thanks to the imposing defense the Tamaraws big men gave on him which took him out of his usual performance and wore him out of the game. Aljon Mariano led the Tigers with 15 points while Jeric Fortuna added 12 points and 6 assists. UST’s three point shooting which has been their forte all season long deserted them against FEU as they shot only 6 of 30 from 3 point range (20%). In the first half, they never made a single three pointer on 14 attempts.

I remember I was pumped of getting home early to watch the whole game on TV. However, I had to settle some things at school which would make me miss the start of the game. As soon as I came home from school, I checked the TV screen for the game and I was shocked, the score was UST 19 FEU 47, and it was like “Oh wow.” I never expected that the Tigers would be down big on the early part of the game. But as with many Thomasians who watched the game, I never lost hope and faith until the final buzzer when aTamarawvictory was well secured.

Next up for the Tigers are the NU Bulldogs led by another MVP candidate in Ray Ray Parks tomorrow at 4pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum as they would look to bounce back after this devastating defeat.

As with the poster of Coach Pido Jarencio shown at the half in that game, there were the words NEVER SAY DIE! and WE STILL BELIEVE!

Red hot Tigers. Comeback kings.

The first round of basketball in UAAP Season 75 has come to an end, and as many people know right now. The UST Growling Tigers finished the 1st round in 1st place at 6-1. Though they are tied with the Ateneo Blue Eagles who also finished the 1st round at 6-1, the Tigers are on top by virtue of their 71-70 victory against the Blue Eagles last July 19. The Tigers’ only defeat in the first round came at the hands of the FEU Tamaraws on opening day last July 14, 72-73 on a RR Garcia layup off the steal. But after that setback, they went on a tear and won the last six games of the 1st round.

They are also dubbed the “Comeback Team” of the UAAP, as most of their victories came off  large deficits. In the game against the Ateneo Blue Eagles, the Tigers trailed by as many as 19 points in the 1st half, but the Tigers led by returning forward Aljon Mariano came alive in the 3rd quarter and manage to pull off the victory and snap a 12 game losing streak against the Eagles dating back from 2007. Then in the game against the NU Bulldogs, the Tigers trailed by as many as 14 points, but the Tigers led by Jeric Teng were able to grabe a 77-71 victory over the Bulldogs. Then in the final game of the first round against Adamson Soaring Falcons, the Tigers struggled and trailed by as many as 9 thanks in part to the Faclons’ suffocating defense, and were down by 6, 54-60 with 3:22 left in the game. But the Tigers came back on a basket by sophomore Kevin Ferrer, a three by veteran point guard Jeric Fortuna and a basket by big man Karim Abdul to escape with a 61-60 victory over the Falcons.

Of all the games in the first round, there was one game that I was able to watch live at the venue, and that was the game against the De La Salle Green Archers on August 4 at the new Mall of Asia Arena which featured the battle of the Teng brothers. As UST’s Jeric faced off against his younger brother DLSU’s Jeron. The game was a treat, both teams battled neck-to-neck in the 1st half. UST made their run in the 3rd quarter on Clark Bautista’s triples to give them a 56-48 lead at the end of 3. But La Salle made their run in the 4th taking a 71-69 lead against the Tigers in the final moments of the 4th, but Aljon Mariano scored a basket which tied the game at 71. La Salle’s veteran point guard L.A. Revilla scored a basket at the buzzer, but the replay showed that his shot came after time expired. So the game went into overtime and once again both teams were neck-to-neck. With the game tied at 80, UST had a chance to win but they failed to do so. So the game went into another overtime period. La Salle scored first on a Revilla jumper, but Mariano responded with 2 baskets to give them a 84-82 lead. The Archers had two chances, the first one was Yutien Andrada inside shot which was blocked by Karim Abdul, and the second one was Revilla’s last second three which came up short as the Tigers held on for the win 84-82 in double-overtime.

Photo ©Karl Carandang
This season is a breakout year for the 2nd year center out of Cameroon Karim Abdul, who has improved his game from last year as he is averaging 17.6 PPG (which is 2nd best in the UAAP), a league-leading 13.6 RPG, 1.6 steals per game (which is 6th best in the UAAP) and 1.6 blocks per game (which is also 6th best in the UAAP). Aside from Abdul, other players have stepped up as well from the likes of veteran guard Jeric Teng who in the 4 games he played before sitting out the last three games with an injury averaging 16 PPG (which is 6th best in the UAAP) and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 48% from 3 point range, returning forward Aljon Mariano who is averaging 12 PPG and 6.7 rebounds per game, and veteran point guard Jeric Fortuna who has been orchestrating the offense for the Tigers averaging a league-leading 5 APG (with Ray Ray Parks of NU). Other players have also stepped up like Clark Bautista, Kevin Ferrer, Louie Vigil, Kim Lo, Melo Afuang, Ed Daquioag and Paulo Pe.
Of course, UST head coach Pido Jarencio have done wonders with this very seasoned and very deep roster. Truly living up to the “never say die” attitude he carried as a player for the famed Ginebra squad of the PBA in the 1990’s. While staying humble as a head coach during this winning stretch they are having right now.
The second round of eliminations will begin on Thursday, and here is the schedule:
vs FEU Tamaraws: August 23, 4:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City
vs NU Bulldogs: August 26, 4:00 pm, Smart Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City
vs DLSU Green Archers: August 29, 12:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay
vs AdU Soaring Falcons: September 1, 12:00 pm, Smart Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City
vs UP Fighting Maroons: September 8, 4:00 pm, Venue TBD
vs UE Red Warriors: September 13, 4:00 pm, PhilSports Arena, Pasig
vs ADMU Blue Eagles: September 20, 4:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay
UAAP Cheerdance Competition: September 16, 1:00 pm, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay

It will be a challenge for these Tigers to finish the eliminations strong and get a better positioning for the Final Four, but as they say. The sky is the limit for this team and it’s up to them if they are going to bring the title back to España for the first time since 2006 during Coach Pido Jarencio’s rookie season as the coach of the Tigers and featured players like Dylan Ababou, Jojo Duncil,  Jervy Cruz, Japs Cuan, Anthony Espiritu, Allan Evangelista, Mark Canlas and Jun Cortez.

GO USTe! Go! Go! Go! Go!

Goodbye Multiply as a social networking site. Why good leaders go early?

Photo ©Karl Carandang
The day was February 15, 2006, it was a couple of days before I finished my elementary education and heading into high school. When I stumbled upon a site named Multiply which allowed users to build a webpage of their own, and well it all began from there.
Before there was Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr, there was Multiply was one social networking site where it allowed users to share their photos, blogs, videos and all other things while giving users an opportunity to customize their own sites.
For three years, majority of which was during my days in high school at Claret. I ran the site with great honor and dignity. I shared my stories even if sometimes it could be “absurd” as the title of my page says “Where ABSURD thoughts come to LIFE”. It also gave me an opportunity to use and practice my HTML and CSS skills as I was able to give my site a custom look.
At one point, Multiply was king in social networking here in the Philippines and a lot of my friends used the social networking site aside from Friendster which was back then the king of social networking.
Unfortunately, I had to put the site in inactivity as the “Facebook revolution” in the Philippines had begun and the audience share for my posts on Multiply site was dropping.
Three years later, I just browsed the site to relieve some great memories of my site. Multiply has now become a e-commerce site, and then I read the news that on December 1, the site’s social networking feature was shutting down for good while focusing more on their flourishing e-commerce business.
Personally, I was saddened by this development, I had a lot of great memories running a Multiply page. From every good and bad thing that happened from running the site, it was all worth it. So for now I’ll wait for the time when the option to retrieve my photos, blogs, videos and all other things out of my page before they clear everything this December.
Like the saying goes “All good things must come to an end.” and I’m sure running a Multiply site was a pretty good ride and one of the best moments in my life.

I am also writing this blog in honor to the late Secretary of Interior and Local Government Hon. Jesse M. Robredo. He is one man in the cabinet of President Noynoy Aquino with whom I have a lot of respect for he was one man who proved to everyone that good governance is possible and canbe achieved. He was an inspiration not only to the Bicolanos, not only to all Filipinos, but also the entire world.

Sec. Robredo passed away last August 18 after his chartered plane carrying him, his aide and the 2 pilots crashed off the coast of Masbate City on a afternoon flight from Cebu City to the secretary’s home town of Naga City. His body was found this morning after almost 3 days underwater. His aide survived the crash.

Salamat Sec. Robredo.
Thank You Multiply.

Light at the end of the tunnel.

This has been a compelling week in the Philippines. As torrential rains brought by the Southwest Monsoon or Hanging Habagat battered Luzon for the past couple of days sending most areas around the island in deep flooding especially here in Metro Manila, from La Mesa Dam overspilling towards the Tullahan River, to the water level at Marikina River rising almost to a point when Typhoon Ondoy struck the country in 2009 sending most of the riverside in floods as high as the 2nd floor, to tunnels submerged in very deep water, even a landslide just a couple of kilometers from our home. Even in provinces around Luzon like Bulacan, Pampanga, Pangasinan to name a few were submerged in deep flooding.

The bad weather also affected classes in many schools, colleges and universities scattered across Luzon as well as work in offices. The bad weather also happened at a time when we are taking our major examinations at the university. Thus, causing the postponement of exam schedules for next week as UST was submerged in deep flooding over the past few days. As of the time I’m writing this blog. The university is not flooded anymore, which is good news as cleaning operations can push through over the weekend.

Despite this tragedy that struck our nation. There is “light at the end of the tunnel” as the title of this blog entry states. Stories of hope and camaraderie in this time of challenges in our country. As rescuers stepped out putting their own lives on the line to save a lot of people in this time of tragedy. Ordinary Filipinos, stepping out and donating food, clothing, and cash to help the victims of this challenging time in our nation. The “bayanihan” spirit we Filipinos have been known for came out in full force as people came together and helped each other get through this tragic time.

These turn of events will serve as a lesson for the Filipino nation to rise up from this tragedy and rise as one. As I finish this blog entry, I leave this photo.

Photo ©Karl Carandang

As the song by the band Hale goes “There’s a BLUE SKY waiting tomorrow, waiting tomorrow, shining and shimmering…” There is hope that our nation will rise again from this challenging time in our history. Let this also serve as a lesson, that we don’t need to wait for tragic events to show our “bayanihan” spirit, but we must continue doing it each and every day.

We will rise as one nation.