Hard lesson learned about voter’s registration in the city.

Yesterday, I woke up as early as 3:30 am. I prepared the things I need, then at around 5:00 am, I left home. The destination: Quezon City Hall. Reason: To register for the upcoming 2013 Elections.

I arrived at City Hall and already, thousands of people have already settled in lining up for the voter‘s registration which will begin at 8:00 am. I also heard from fellow registrants that some people came in lined up as early as 11:00 pm, the previous night. So I settled in for the long wait. Well, I belong in what is at the moment is the largest congressional district in the country. The second district of Quezon City which has a population of 1.5 million people. However in the upcoming elections, the 2nd district will be split into three separate districts. Batasan Hills (where I belong), Commonwealth, Holy Spirit, Payatas and Bagong Silangan will remain in District 2 with the population reduced by 60% to around 600,000+, while the Fairview and Novaliches areas will become District 5, and the Tandang Sora area becomes District 6. Both districts will have over 400,000+ residents each. So there were a lot of people who lined up in our district unlike the other districts in the city because their voting populations are relatively smaller than in District 2, and the fact the lines for these districts are not too long as we had.

I was able to meet people who were there also taking a shot on getting registered for the upcoming elections. A few hours after I lined up, we were able to get close enough and had a view of the district office. I though I‘ll be able to register.

Then the worst happened. The security guard at the asked all of us to “GO HOME”. We would not be able to register today. There is a quota per district of only 600 registrants per day. Judging by the population of the district, it was too small as the voting population is four times greater than the other districts in the city. I never lost hope. I was still hoping to get the opportunity to register. But then, something happened that made me more pissed about registering on that day. 

The whole system was really poor! The people in the COMELEC office were very rude in dealing with the people, not minding the people’s causes. They could have told us to leave earlier if they knew that we were not going to make it through the line and we’ve not met the quota. They could have given us spots or numbers to register on a later date. Instead, they asked the people who did not make it through to simply GO HOME! and try your luck until the last day on the 31st.

Well it could also be a fault on my part, for not registering early when the lines were not long and when I had time in the summer. It’s just for most of the registration period after the summer, I was in school working through the everyday struggles of school life in and out of the university. I did not have plenty of spare time for other commitments outside of school work. It was unfortunate on my part, to register in a very huge district population-wise and not knew about the thousands of people were coming in for their registration.

Disappointed, well I can’t do anything to resolve it anymore. So afterwards, I went back to my high school Alma Mater. Claret School of Quezon City to take a glimpse of the campus. Took time to visit the church next door, and went out around Matalino Street and check on the different spots. A lot has changed there from the last time I was roaming this street.

For now, I won‘t be able to vote next year in the upcoming elections. I’m not going back on the last day tomorrow to push my luck to get registered, because I know a lot of people will come in the most inconvenient times of the day. Though, the upcoming election is not for a new president as only the senators and the local elections from representative to the city councilor will be elected next year. It was a hard and tough lesson learned for me. Despite that, I’d still have my voice to be heard about the upcoming elections. So, in the next election in 2016. I would come in to register as early as possible. I hope by that time, the COMELEC offices for the newly formed districts will be up so that the lines would not be as long as this year.


A new season is upon us.

After the craze of collegiate basketball in the Philippines has come and go for the year. As well as the continued battle for Philippine basketball supremacy in the PBA. Basketball never stops.

As another season of the world’s best basketball league is upon us. In a few days, the 2012-13 NBA season will begin and a lot of basketball fans from all over the world will be on watch once again as the best basketball players in the worldcompete for basketball supremacy.

In a lockout-shortened season. The Miami Heat, withstood the odds, as well the millions of “haters” who rooted for their demise all-season longas they were able to bring a second NBA title
to South Beachat the expense of the young Oklahoma City Thunder. Giving LeBron James his very first NBA title and a Finals MVP trophy to complement alongside his third season MVP trophy of his career as well as a Olympic Gold Medal which he won at the 2012 Summer Games in London accomplishing a feat that was also done by Michael Jordan in 1992. It also gave Dwayne Wade a second NBA title alongside Udonis Haslem who are the two members of the Heat who remain from the team that won the title in 2006.It also gave Chris Bosh his very first alongside LeBron, Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller, Shane Battier, Norris Cole and other players their first NBA titles.

The off-season also saw a lot of player movement,
here are some to name a few:

  • Dwight Howard and Steve Nash leave Orlando and Phoenix respectively to done the purple and gold of the Los Angeles Lakers.  
  • Jeremy Lin taking “Linsanity” from New York to the Houston for the Rockets where memories of Yao Ming are still fresh on the heads of Rockets fans.
  • Ray Allen leaving Beantown for South Beach to play for the Heat.
  • Andrew Bynum leaving Tinsletown to play in Philly for the 76ers.
  • Andre Igoudala heading to the Mile High City to play for the Nuggets.
  • Joe Johnson leaving the ATL to play with the new-look and newly-relocated Brooklyn Nets.
  • Jason Terry taking his talents from Dallas to Boston for the Celtics.
  • Jason Kidd also left Dallas, this time to play for the Knicks in New York.
  • Luis Scola leaving Houston to play for the Suns in Phoenix.
  • OJ Mayo, Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Darren Collisonheading to Big D to play for the Mavericks.
  • Jamal Crawford going to the Clippers from Portland.
  • Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields heading north of the border for the Raptors.
  • Most Improved Player Ryan Anderson as well as Robin Lopez going to the Big Easy for the Hornets.
  • And more recently, reigning Sixth Man of the Year James Harden as well as 3 other playersheading to the Rockets from the reigning West Champions OKC Thunder for Kevin Martin and rookie Jeremy Lamb.
We also players, make their returns back into the NBA, as well as players returning to their former teams. Here are some notable returns:
  • Brandon Roy who retiredat the end of the 2011 season returns to action. This time, he will play for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
  • Andrei Kirilenko also joins the Timberwolves after playing in Europe.
  • Goran Dragic returns to the Phoenix Suns after spending a season and a half in Houston.
  • Lamar Odom returns to the Los Angeles Clippers after a disappointing year in Dallas.
  • Mo Williams returns to the Utah Jazz, the team that drafted him to the NBA.
  • Raymond Felton returning to the New York Knicks from Portland.
  • Kirk Hinrich returns to the Chicago Bulls after playing in Atlanta.
  • and here’s a shocker for me. Rasheed Wallace comes out of retirement to play for the New York Knicks.

The rookie class of 2012 is also to watch out. Looking forward is the #1 overall pick in the draft for the New Orleans Hornets in Anthony Davis and his famous “unibrow” teaming up withthe #10 pick in Austin Rivers (son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers) leading the cause in the Big Easy. Also to watch out is the #2 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in Charlotte, #3 pick Bradley Beal for the Wizards, #4 pick Dion Waiters in Cleveland, #7 pick Harrison Barnes in Golden State, #9 pick Andre Drummond for the Pistons. Also look out for sleepers in Thomas Robinson, Jeremy Lamb, Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones III to name a few good rookies.

With these in mind here are some games to look out for, and also if available I‘ll also give out the channels to watch here in the Philippines. All dates and times in PHT (Philippine Time) and are subject to change.
Opening Day October 31, 2012:
Celtics @ Heat, 8:00 am PHT on Basketball TV
Championship Ceremony for the Miami Heat
Mavericks @ Lakers, 10:30 am PHT on ABS-CBN
The season debut of the new-look Lakers
November 1, 2012 (Halloween Day in the US):
Spurs @ Hornets, 8:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV.
Anthony Davis makes season debut for the young Hornets against Tim Duncan and the veteran Spurs.
November 2, 2012:
Knicks @ Nets, 7:00 am PHT on Basketball TV
Another crosstown rivalry is born in New York City.
Thunder @ Spurs, 9:30 am PHT
Rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals

December 18, 2012:
Rockets @ Knicks, 8:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
Jeremy Lin returns to New York as a member of the Rockets.
December 26, 2012 (Christmas Day in the US):
Celtics @ Nets, 1:00 am PHT
Atlantic Division rivarly renewed.
Knicks @ Lakers, 4:00 am PHT
Kobe and the loaded Lakers vs Melo and the revitalized Knicks
Thunder @ Heat, 6:30 am PHT
The first game between last season’s finalists.
January 18, 2013:
Heat @ Lakers, 11:30 am PHT on Basketball TV
LeBron vs Kobe. A possible match-up for the NBA title.
January 28, 2013:
Heat @ Celtics, 2:00 am PHT (most likely delayed telecast on ABSCBN)
Ray Allen’s return to Boston.
January 31, 2013:
Lakers @ Suns, 11:30 am PHT
Steve Nash returns to Phoenix as a Laker.
February 8, 2013:
Lakers @ Celtics, 9:00 am PHT on Basketball TV
You can’t miss the greatest rivalry in NBA history.
February 11, 2013:
Lakers @ Heat, 4:30 am PHT (most likely delayed telecast on ABS-CBN)
LeBron vs Kobe Part II

February 15, 2013 (Valentine’s Day Game in the US):
Heat @ Thunder, 9:00 am PHT on Basketball TV
The Heat return to OKC against the team they beat for the title.
February 16-18, 2013:
2013 NBA All-Star Weekend from the Toyota Center in Houston, TX.
March 21, 2013:
Heat @ Cavaliers, 7:00 am PHT
LeBron returns to Cleveland as a champion.
April 8, 2013:
Lakers @ Clippers, 3:30 am PHT (most likely delayed telecast on ABS-CBN)
LA’s cross-town rivalry one last time for the year.
Also you have to consider these two guys returning to the the court from injuries.
Derrick Rose’s return: TBD
Ricky Rubio‘s return: TBD
You can check the full TV schedule of NBA games to be shown in the Philippines on this link and there are good games to look forward to: http://www.nba.com/schedules/international_nba_tv_schedule.html

I‘m hoping a great season for the Red Nation of the Houston Rockets. I cannot wait to see the recently formed “Rush Hour” duo of Jeremy Lin and James Harden. A lot of young players on a completely overhauled Rockets roster this season. I’m hoping that they can get back to the playoffs for the 1st time since 2009. The sky is the limit for these Rockets. Indeed, A NEW AGE has begun for Rockets basketball.

Note: Jeremy Lamb (center right) is now a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder after being traded as part of the deal which brought James Harden to Houston.

For the Rockets, first game is against the Pistons in Detroiton November 1. While their home-opener will be against the Portland Trail Blazers on November 4. (*Dates are in Philippine Time)

So I like to say the best of luckto all the players, coaches as well as the fans of the other 29 teams of the NBA. This season will be more exiting to look forward to.



Tiger to a Knight: "I feel you."

For all the marbles. For championship #17. For the history books. It all came down on one game at the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum. An old rivalry renewed as archrivals squared off once again in the hard court. It‘s the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights battled against the reigning champions the San Beda Red Lions. BLUE against RED. San Beda and Letran once again in the big stage. Let’s get to it!

Photo ©Karl Carandang
This is the very first NCAA game I got to watch live and living up to the history between these two proud institutions both the Letran and San Beda faithful at the Big Dome were all out cheering for their schools at the same time jeering on their opponents. One thing was, security guards were “demarcation lines” between the Letran and San Beda sides of the Big Dome because of the heated rivalry and the history of brawls between members from both institutions. I was seated on the Letran side of the court since I was with one of my former professors in UST who is now teaching at Letran.
In the game however, it was completely a one-sided affair from the get-go until the end of the game as the Red Lions had full control of the game from start to finish. 
In the first quarter, the Red Lions led the Knights 10-18 even if San Beda’s Nigerian import Ola Adeogun was plagued with foul trouble as San Beda’s backcourt of Baser Amer and Anjo Caram caught fire for the Mendiola-based cagers. It was still manageable for the Knights, however the Red Lions doubled the Knights’ output in the by halftime with the score of 34-17. At halftime, only San Beda’s cheering squad were able to perform as Letran’s cheering squad was banned to perform in Game 3 for breaking an NCAA rule for half-time performances. Despite that, the Letran faithful on hand managed to find a way to pump themselves up even though the deficit by their team was huge. Once the third quarter began, the Knights came up swinging as they were able to cut the deficit to 11. Unfortunately for them, they were not able to sustain their momentum and the Red Lions took full advantage of Letran’s sloppy game as they took a 45-25 lead heading into the fourth quarter where they never looked back. Well, I never got to finish the game, because with less than 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter and San Beda. Me and my old prof left the arena for good knowing the game was already decided. We couldn’t bear the burden of witnessing a lopsided defeat. By the time the game was done the Red Lions secured their second three-peat in 7 years and the score was not even close:
San Beda 67-39 Letran
Box Score:
Letran (39) – Cruz 12, K. Alas 11, Cortes 6, Racal 3, Almazan 3, J. Alas 2, Almario 2, Belorio 0, Gabawan 0, Luib 0, Cudal 0
San Beda (67) – Caram 17, Amer 14, J. Pascual 10, Adeogun 6, dela Rosa 5, Koga 4, K. Pascual 4, Mendoza 2, Abarcar 2, Ludovice 2, dela Cruz 1, Bonsubre 0, Lim 0, Villaruz 0, Moralde 0
With their 6th championship in 7 years. San Beda overtakes Letran for the most number of men’s basketball championships at 17. Sophomore guard Baser Amer won the Finals MVP trophy for the Red Lions which is his first in his collegiate career after winning two Finals MVP trophies for the Red Cubs in 2009 and 2010. It was also rookie coach Ronnie Magsanoc’s first championship as a head coach in the collegiate ranks. Magsanoc took over from then head coach Frankie Lim who was handed a 2 year ban by the NCAA the previous season. It is also a sweet ending for the three graduating players for San Beda namely Anjo Caram, Jake Pascual and Melo Lim. As Caram and Pascual leave the Red Lions with four championships while Lim earned three championships. Just like in Katipunan this year, there will be a Bonfire for a third straight seasonat Mendiola today.
Apparently, in all years of my collegiate life so far. It has been the same champion from first year until today in the UAAP and NCAA. In the UAAP it’s Ateneo and in the NCAA it’s San Beda. I hope by next season there will be a new champion in both leagues. I have nothing against Ateneo and San Beda, yet it’s time for a change.
Also with the win, the San Beda Red Lions clinch a spot in the Final Four in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League as they are joined by the UAAP Champions Ateneo Blue Eagles. The other two teams who will complete the Final Four will be the winners of the Metro Manila/Luzon bracket and the Visayas/Mindanao bracket.
As for the Letran Knights, it was a valiant effort from them this season.Outside of the players, the coaching staff and the whole Letran community, nobody expected the Knights to enter the Finals. They even started the season bad. But were able to bounce back and make it back to the Final Four with the #3 seed. In the Final Four, they defeated the San Sebastian Golden Stags twice to punch their ticket to the NCAA Finals. In the Finals, they pushed the Red Lions to a decisive third game. However, their dream run came to a bitter end as theylost Game 3 in a lopsided game which makes it look like a game in the elimination round more than a Finals game.
This was also the final game for two players of the Knights as Jam Cortes and Jonathan Belorio will end their collegiate careers without a championship. 
Today also marked the final game for Letran head coach Louie Alas who announced his resignation after the game. Alas called the shots for the Knights since 1998 where he won a championship in his rookie season as head coach as well as two more championships with the Knights (2003 and 2005). So I give a big salute for the man who was not even an alumnus of Letran (Alas came from Adamson University) as he brought glory to the Muralla-based squad in his 12 seasons as coach for the Knights.
Also another guy from Letran whose future is uncertain is Coach Louie’s son Kevin who is the “heart and soul” of the Knights and the main reason for Letran’s magical run to the Finalsas he is pondering on whether to return to the Knights on his final playing year next season or not at the heels of the immediate departure of his father as head coach of the Knights.
Well, Letran suffered the same fate as the UST this year, both are Dominican institutions who made it to the finals of their respective leagues but both teams were unable to bring home the championship. Both Letran and UST fought opponents with a lot of experience when it comes to the finals. Both teams played their hearts and gave all their own on the harcourt.Both institutions suffered from painful defeats in their bid for championships. Both lost against apparently “Manny V. Pangilinan-backed institutions” (San Beda is MVP’s Alma Mater, while he supported Ateneo until this season when he severed his ties with the university). I even got to say to my former professor’s current students in Letran whom we caught up after the game: “I feel you.” As a fellow Dominican, both Thomasians and Letranites shared the same feeling. However, I believe both the Tigers and Knights will be back even better next season.
An interesting note, in the PCCL, there will be a “Battle of the Dominicans as the runner-up in the NCAA, the Letran Knights will face the runner-up in the UAAP,the UST Growling Tigers to determine one of the two teams who will compete in the Finals of the Metro Manila/Luzon bracket.
Meanwhile in Bacolod City, our heroes the UST Growling Tigers faced off once again, against the Ateneo Blue Eagles at the Sandugo Unigames. The game went into overtime, however the Growling Tigers fell short as hometown hero Clark Bautista missed a potential game winning three pointer as they lost to the Blue Eagles 56-58.
So that ends another season of NCAA Basketball.
Once again, Congratulations to the San Beda Red Lions for their second three-peat in 7 years.
Congratulations as well to the Letran Knights for a valiant effort all season long. They literally came back from the grave at the bottom of the standings to make it back to the Finals.
Until next season.
Arriba Letran!
Animo San Beda!

For the love of the game.

Yes as you may know and see on most of my blog posts. I always talk about basketball. Well, basketball is my favorite sport as stated in my previous blog entry from last April (Me and my basketball. We take it all the way.),when I have free time, I always take to the basketball court and work on my skills. I have come a long way from the time I started playing basketball when I was a little kid. The semestral break has given me the time to get out every morning to play basketball and do some jogging afterwards. Playing a sport is a good exercise. Especially I badly need to get activity going into my body system.

For three!
Today, I played basketball at the UP Gym with a few of my friends from my high school troupe, it’s the first time we played basketball again after we graduated three years back. Unfortunately, not every one were able to come due to other commitments. We spent a good portion of more than 2 hours inside the gym. I’m impressed that my friends improved their basketball skills from the last time we played together. I played my best, even my friends saw a bit of change from me since the last time we played. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a smooth ride for me. I “flamed” out and was not able to put my best effort in the ballgame. My shots weren’t falling and I was playing bad defense. Well, fatigue is my worst enemy when playing the game. I always get exhausted quickly. So whenever we play a regular game I would like to come off the bench and not play as a starter. Still, I would like to thank my friends JL, Gelo, Baña, Josh, Hansel (Gelo’s classmate) and JC (Josh’s friend) for spending the afternoon playing hoops.
I hope the next time we play hoops, the whole troupe will be there. For now, it’s back to the drawing board for me, and I’ll be back on the court soon to practice and improve my skills once again.

Playing for the love of the game.


The toughest one yet. Aiming for a comeback.

Yesterday, the “mad scramble rolled along as thousands of Thomasian students took to their computer sets to check on their grades for the 1st semester of AY 2012-13 on the myUSTe Portal. Some students stayed up well into the night of Friday until the early hours of yesterday to check on the grades. For the next 12 or so hours, there were no updates of the grades. At around 1:00 pm, the first round of students were able to check on their grades. Unlike the previous semester, where access was relatively smooth. It was a mixed theme this semester, for some people were able to access quicker than others. Some had to wait for a long time before they get their chance on the site. Generally, my friends had positive outlooks on their grades. Some excelled, while others were happy they made it through. However, there were some who had a difficult time in dealing with their grades.

As for me, well it was a case of “Thank God! I survived!. Well because, I did not return to the Dean’s List for a second consecutive semester and this was the lowest semestral average I got in my last five semesters in UST. Yet despite those setbacks, I never failed any subject thus I keep my status as a regular student
. I have not tasted a grade of 3.0 (on-the-nose passed) so far in any of the subjects I have taken, and I’m still in the running to graduate with honors. 

I admit, this semester was the toughest one so far in my España journey
. Because it came to a point where I almost failed a couple of subjects, and the fact that the semester tested me both on and off the classroom. A notable happening was when I played the role of a “Devil‘s Adovcate” in the conceptualization of our event for one of our subjects where I got into arguments with my blockmates and to points during the whole process that tested each and every one of us to the limit. Yet despite these things that happened, it ended successfully and we were all given high marks for it. A thing about this semester is that I excelled in some subjects more than others. These things happened because of my own decisions and work. I gave my heart and mind into everything that happened this semester. These were the best things that I can do and there is nothing I can do to turn it back again.

Five semesters down, three more to go. We’re coming to the conclusion of our own España journey. All I need to do now is to get enrolled for the next semester and as soon as I get back to continue my journey at the university, I’m going to aim for a BIG COMEBACK!
Next semester for sure will be a challenge for each and every one of us, I‘ll be coming in smarter to get back stronger.But that is easier said than done. It’s on me to make it all happen. I’m hungry and more determined than ever to come back smarter and stronger.

In the meantime, I can now sleep at peace for the rest of our semestral break and enjoy life free from tons of school work and the hassles of waking up early to get to school.

to those whoexcelledat the same time to those who are happy they made it through the struggles of school life.

A pat to the back to those who were not so fortunate with the results.
Keep the faith and come back next time stronger!



Let the "grades blitz" begin.

In a couple of hours from the time I‘m writing this blog entry, thousands of Thomasians will take to their computer sets, open their internet browsers and once again browse through the myUSTe Student Portal Website.

myUSTe Student Portal

As you may know already, the myUSTe Student Portal is where thousands of Thomasian students check their status in the university which includes their grades from every semester they took up, Wi-Fi account status, class schedules, course offerings, online evaluations as well as online enrollment.

Last semester, browsing through the website when the grades came out was relatively easy as students were able to see their grades much faster. I got to see my grades in less than a minute after I logged in to check out my grades.

Unlike in previous years, where the site always crash and students would have to wait from minutes to hours before they can pull through the heavy site traffic which the site can not handle back in those times to log in and see their grades.

A new feature that can be seen in the website is called Student Deficiencies. It shows the subjects a student has yet to take in order to graduate at the university. If a current subject you are taking shows up on the list. It could mean a couple of things, it’s either you fail, you’re incomplete, or the professor has yet to encode your grades.

As of this moment I write this blog entry, the GWA (General Weighted Average) of some of my Thomasian PEEPS had already changed, most notable would be from Pharmacy. So the grades are starting to be placed into the website.

So here we are once again. The long wait is over, our España journeys are on the line. Right now, all I can hope for is to PASS all subjects and still be a regular student. Being back in the Dean’s List (which I was a part for the first 3 semesters of my Thomasian student life) will be a bonus for me if Ill ever be back. But still I’m pursuing to finish with Latin Honors. A Cum Laude will be good enough for me. But as I say this, I believe that grades do not measure how good a person can be in life.

As I end this blog entry, I want to say to all the Thomasians out there, Good luck! and I hope we get through with flying colors.


We are well under way. Take out the boredom.

We are well within the semestral break which will last for the next 3 weeks. It’s an opportunity for the students to take their well-deserved rest after a grueling yet fun first semester of classes. It’s also gives students who live in the provinces to come home to their respective hometowns after living in dormitories or condominiums all-semester long.

For me, my semestral break did not start early. As I had to finish some schoolwork that has been left behind after the final examinations. Due to this, I was unable to go back to our province of Batangas to visit my relatives, celebrate the debut of my cousin and spend time in a resort by the Taal Lake and has a great view of Taal Volcano. After that, once I passed everything. My semestral break is now well under way.

Of course, the semestral break gave me an opportunity to do things that I was unable to do during the whole semester due to the busy schedule I have all semester long, and that was to play basketball early in the morning or take a jog if other people are playing at the basketball court. It gave me an opportunity to practice my shooting from inside and outside, at the same time it keeps my body active and in good shape. I really hope I can play basketball with my high school friends. It has been a very long time since I stepped on the court with my friends from high school.

Aside from that, I really hope in this semestral break, I can secure an original copy the PC version of NBA 2K13.

 ©2K Sports
I’m pursuing an original copy, because the last time I purchased which was NBA 2K12. There were a lot of glitches which stalled my progress as I played the game. Though it will be a pain on the pocket if I purchase an original copy. At least, it would be all worth the price. I cannot wait to try out Linsanity playing Rockets uniform. The many roster changes like Dwight Howard and Steve Nash going to the Lakers. Ray Allen in a Heat uniform. Brandon Roy’s return to the NBA and many more. Other things I want to try are the NBA All-Star Game which will be played in Houston. “The Dream Team” and the 2012 USA Olympic Team. The new myTeam mode as well as a reloaded myPlayer mode. NBA 2K has already made a lot of huge steps, from the time they were behind EA’s NBA Live series to being the best basketball game on the planet. I can’t wait to try it out for myself.
In the meantime, I will go back to being a child again, because of the Lego Digital Designer we just downloaded to build virtual Lego designs. However, nothing beats building a Lego in real life with the bricks and pieces. Well, The Lego Story on YouTube, shows the history behind a classic.
Aside from these, I cannot wait for the the upcoming 2012-13 NBA season, which will begin onOctober 31. This season will be very interesting from the many roster changes that had changed the landscape of the NBA to the new rookies coming into the league. It will also be the debut season of the Brooklyn Nets who moved from New Jersey and are donning new uniforms and a new stadium for the season. Games to watch out are the returns of players to the homecourts of their old teams like Dwight Howard in Orlando. Steve Nash in Phoenix. Ray Allen in Boston. Joe Johnson in Atlanta. Jeremy Lin in New York. Andre Iguodala in Philadelphia. Andrew Bynum in Los Angeles. Brandon Roy in Portland and a host of other players who changed teams this season. Also to watch out are the many rivalry gamesthat will happen all-season long. As well as the returns of injured players in the middle of the season like Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard and Ricky Rubio. As well as the upcoming 2013 NBA All-Star Game to be held in Houston. This upcoming season will be a sure hit.
It’s been a couple of days since the semestral break began. I really hope I can make the best out of these days before we head back to school this November.
Let’s make the best out of this.

Another chapter comes to a close.

The first semester of A.Y. 2012-13 at the University of Santo Tomas, has come to an end. This has been a semester full of stories. Stories that I will share with you in this blog entry.

First up I would like to call: “Winning for Santo Tomas.”

I competed in two quiz bees this semester representing the university at this year’s PHILTOA Quiz Beeand the International Tourism and Trade Expo Quiz Bee. As one of the three representatives of the university, it was a great privilege for me to compete for the university in competitions. 

At the PHILTOA Quiz Bee that was held on July 11 at the Department of Tourism building in Manila, in which we competed individually. All of us made it to the semi-final round. Unfortunately, none of us made it into the Top 10 of the competition who would have competed in the Finals that was held in August. It was a very good learning experience for me, shaking off the jitters I had before the competition, knowing it’s been a long time

A few days after, we competed at the International Tourism and Trade Expo Quiz Bee at the SM City North EDSA Skydome in Quezon City. This time, we competed as one team. It was a tightly-contested competition. All of our fellow competitors put up a great show. In the end, Team UST came out on top. It was my first quiz bee victory as a college student.

Photo ©ITTE
It was a great victory for all of us, and made me proud to win a competition for the name of the university and our own college, the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management. Once again I will thank my senior teammates Kriskyn Cabrera and Marian Buenaventura for being supportive and helping me shake off the jitters I have before these competitions. As well as to my ever-supportive coaches Ma’am Amy, Ma’am Jane, Ma’am Joreen and Ma’am Connie as well as to the admin, our Dean Ma’am Tioc, Sir Win and Sir G (the latter two were my class advisers and know a lot about me well). I cannot wait for the competitions that we will join come next semester. This is just the start of something BIG!The next thing I would like to talk about,  I would call: “Shining in the Dark.”

The first semester was also marked with our Meetings and Events Management class. Where as one section, one 3T5. We came up with the event entitled “Silhouette: A Glint in the Dark, The Search for the Next Miss Tourism Ambassadress 2012”. As one section, we had to go through at the most, 3 months of conceptualizing, preparation and the final execution of the event itself. From practices, photo shoots, prep work, setting, promotions and marketing, pre-pageant, the event proper, and a lot of things in between, there were a lot of work put on by each and every one in the class. There were a lot of challenges along the way that tested the camaraderie of the entire section to pull off an event that will be remembered by many. Even I had to “play with fire” during the whole process, sharing my own suggestions, even to points where I get into disputes and play the role of a “Devil’s Advocate”.  

Photo ©Riana Frazil de Guzman

But in the end, all the hard work was all worth it as on one Sunday afternoon on the 23rd of September. It all came down to this event and fortunately, the event was generally a resounding success! Even though the event is finished, my work is not done. As a member of the Documentation committee, my work still continues today until all the documentation work is done and well on their way to the record books. It was also a great learning experience not only for me, but I think of all of us in the class, despite some setbacks and times when it was bad, this experience is considered as one of the best memories of my college life. 3T5 indeed, WE SHINED IN THE DARK.

Next on the list I would like to call: “One For UST!”

As a huge basketball fan, this UAAP basketball season will be one in the record books, especially if you are coming from UST. The 75th season of the UAAP is in my opinion, one of the best years to be a fan of UST Growling Tigers basketball. Where the Tigers finished 2nd in the elimination round with 10 wins and 4 losses, marking their first 10 win season since 1999. They were also call the “Comeback Cats” of the UAAP as most of their victories came off from coming back from huge deficits. The Tigers punched their ticket to the Finals by defeating the NU Bulldogs in the Final Four where they faced the four-time defending champions, the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Unfortunately, despite a valiant effort by the team and a tightly contested Finals series, the Growling Tigers were unable to repeat their feat in 2006 where they defeated the Blue Eagles coming back from a 0-1 deficit to take the championship. The Blue Eagles would sweep the series 2-0 on their way to a 5th consecutive UAAP men’s basketball title

 Photos ©Karl Carandang

This season for me, I was able to watch 3 games. The first one was the 1st round battle between the Growling Tigers and the De La Salle Green Archers in the very first meeting between the Teng brothers in the UAAP as UST’s Jeric faced off against his younger brother DLSU’s Jeron. It was also my first game watching from the Patron side of the court, and I watched it together with one of my previous professors in UST who had his education in La Salle and we share Claretian roots. The gamewas tightly contested and went into two overtimes, before the Tigers would pull away for an 84-82 victory. I was able to watch both games of the UAAP Finals between UST and Ateneo, both on the nosebleed sections of the arena (Game 1 at the Mall of Asia Arena, Game 2.at the Smart Araneta Coliseum). In both games, I was able to watch them with my fellow blockmates. Two years ago and last year, I would not expect them to watch a basketball game, but now it has happened and I thank them for it. Aside from them, I also saw my other friends around the arena and outside before and after the games. Whether the game ends in victory or defeat. Nothing beats the Thomasian crowd during the game. From the thousands of Thomasian students, faculty and alumni who come to watch the games to the trademark “Go USTe!” cheer accompanied by yellow ballons as well as the loud roars and cheers  from the crowd. Even a flashback from the 1990s with the Thomasian wave inside the arena during timeouts. Watching UST games this season has been a rewarding one for me, it’s a great feeling every time you watch a game live together with your friends and the entire Thomasian community in attendance at the games. I hope next season, we can do this again and the crown will go back to España!

Up next I would like to call: “Happenings in España.”

In times where there are no games at MOA Arena or at the Big Dome, and times when I’m not competing in a contest. A lot of other things has happened both inside the classroom and around campus. Inside the classroom, every subject this year has been a challenge. With most of the free time being used for the preparation of the event we organized this semester. It has been a tough challenge to take time and focus on other subjects. From the continuation of learning the French language to the calculations made in Accounting class. From the life lessons of PDSR class to the responsible acts for the environment in Ecotourism class. Even a visit on a passenger vessel for one of our school projects. Every subject this semester, has tested each and every one of us to the limit. I had to endure times of brilliance as well as times of misery, all semester long. I’m hoping I can make it back alive and well, and be back better than ever once the next semester comes.

Around campus a lot of things has also happened as well. There were plenty of suspension of classes due to bad weather and flooding not only inside and around the campus, but also in other places across the metropolis. It caused our semestral break to start a full week late than expected and also caused the postponement of the.annual Thomasian Welcome Walk for our freshies, not once, not twice, but three times when the freshies finally. get to pass the arch on September 24

Another defining moment around campus this semester was when Queen Sofia of Spain made her visit to the UST campus. I was one of the thousands of Thomasians who were there to see her during her visit. But before the convoy arrived, a crew from Solar News arrived and asked UST students about the queen’s visit and I was one of those who were interviewed. Unfortunately, when I checked their news program later that day. They did not show it on television. Fortunately, a friend of mine took this photo when I was interviewed by the news crew.

Photo ©Kaiz del Mundo
Also, it was a great honor to meet the players of UST around campus. Finally, after almost 2 years and a semester in campus. I got myself pictures with two members of the Growling Tigers. First, with the graduating court general, “The Captain” Jeric Fortuna. Second with dead-eye shooter Clark “Tata” Bautista.
Photos ©Fats Infante
Just like previous years, I also see other UST players around campus like Aljon Mariano, Karim Abdul, Kevin Ferrer, Kim Lo and the rest of the team. Two moments I won’t forget this semester was when I saw Jeric Teng the daybefore Game 1 of the UAAP Finals. I said to him “Good luck bukas!” “Good luck tomorrow!”He replied by saying “Thank You!” and seeing UST coach Pido Jarencio inside the UST Chapel as I was saying my prayers.
I also got to meet a lot of friends this semester, not only inside of our own college CTHM. But also, in other colleges of the university. It’s always a great feeling to get out of your normal comfort zone and step out to meet a lot of people along the way.
To cap this blog entry, I will call this: “What’s Next?”
Yes, my 5th semester as a Thomasian Travel Management student has come to an eventful end. Now begins, the semestral break which will last for three weeks. However, one week from now, the grades will be out, and the following week, it’s time to enroll for the next semester. I really hope for the best as this chapter of “My España journey” closes and a new chapter begins very soon. Right now, I can finally take that long and deserving rest from all the fun and challenges brought by this semester. To cap off everything, I take one final salute by the Manila Bay.
 Photo ©Riana Frazil de Guzman
k-smoove is all in.


After 5 days of all the verbal battles off the court, even controversies shaking the relationship of both schools (even La Salle was involved in the mix). The action resumed at the Smart Araneta Coliseum for Game 2 of the UAAP Finals between the UST Growling Tigers and the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

But before the action, there was an awarding ceremony for all the individual award winners of the UAAP season. Where the Rookie of the Year award was given to Jeron Teng of the DLSU Green Archers. The Mythical Five included FEU’s Terrence Romeo, DLSU’s Jeron Teng, NU’s Ray Ray Parks, ADMU’s Greg Slaughter and UST’s own Karim Abdul, and the season’s Most Valuable Player Award once again went to NU’s Ray Ray Parks for the second straight season. One cool thing about was when Jeron Teng was awarded with the Rookie of the Year, the UST Yellow Jackets played the “Animo La Salle” cheer. Showing the respect and camaraderie between UST and La Salle.

After the awarding ceremony, it’s GAME TIME! It was a tightly-contested game as both teams battled out of the gates trading baskets and leads. At halftime, the game was tied at 29. Both teams also kept in step in the 2nd half taking leads and making comebacks for control of the game. However, all the breaks in the end game went to the Eagles as 4th year guard Juami Tiongson delivered heroics both on offense and defense where he made a big shot with under 2 minutes left in the game, and with the game at 62-65 with 7 seconds left in the 4th. the Tigers having a chance to tie the game with a three pointer he intercepted Clark Bautista’s pass intended for Jeric Fortuna as the Blue Eagles melt the clock to secure a five-peat winning over the Tigers 62-65, and also redeeming their loss to the Tigers in 2006.

Box score:

UST (62) –  Fortuna 20, Teng 9, Lo 8, Abdul 8, Ferrer 7, Bautista 6, Mariano 4, Vigil 0, Pe 0, Afuang 0
ADMU (65) – Ravena 25, Slaughter 15, Tiongson 10, Salva 8, Chua 6, Gonzaga 3, Sumalinog 1, Golla 0, Elorde 0, Buenafe 0

The 5th championship trophy for the Blue Eagles also marks the end of an era in Ateneo basketball. As head coach Norman Black, after spending 8 seasons with the Blue Eagles bids farewell with a resounding “BANG!” as he secures his 5th UAAP title and leaves the team to come back to the PBA to coach for the Talk ‘n Text Tropang Texters. He also surpassed the feats of legendary UST coach Aric Del Rosario who led the Growling Tigers to four titles from 1993 to 1996 and also the legendary DLSU coach Franz Pumaren who led the Archers to it’s version of a four-peat from 1998 to 2001. However, he will not be able to surpass the feat of the legendary UE coach Baby Dalupan who led the Red Warriors to seven straight UAAP titles from 1965 to 1971(including the 1967 season where they were named co-champions with UST). It is also a sweet farewell for Nico Salva who wins his second straight Finals MVP trophy in his final season with the team, Salva alongside Justin Chua, Tonino Gonzaga and Oping Sumalinog as they are the four players who were there from the beginning of their five-peat in 2008 until this season. Also bidding their farewell for the Blue Eagles are Greg Slaughter and Ryan Buenafe as both menwill not be back next season due to eligibility. However, Buenafe leaves the UAAP with four UAAP titles including a Finals MVP award which he won in 2010, and Slaughter will leave the Eagles with two UAAP titles, and yes, there will be another Bonfire for the 5th straight season in Katipunan.

Next season, a lot of questions are in the air for the Blue Eagles, with MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan), Ateneo’s then-devoted sports patron cutting his ties with the university and coach Norman Black’s exit from the UAAP. Who will call the shots for the Blue Eagles? and how will Kiefer Ravena fare next season without Salva and Slaughter? Ateneo, would still haveplayers from this championship season. Yet they will be coming in next season very young as 6 of their veterans will leave the team at the end of the season.

As for our heroes the UST Growling Tigers, despite falling short this season. They overachieved and exceeded expectations, as most critics thoughtthe Tigers would just be in the mix for the Final Four. Nobody outside the players, the coaching staff and the Thomasian community thought the Tigers will make it to the Finals. This is a very huge learning experience for our heroes, and I’m sure they will be better next season. 

However, this is the last game for two of our heroes in the UAAP, “The Captain” Jeric Fortuna, who was the steady court general who orchestrated UST’s offense and the one delivered some of the biggest baskets this season for the team. Another player who played his final game was Melo Afuang who was a steady rebounder despite his lack of height at the power forward position. Both Fortuna and Afuang went through the ups and downs of the Tigers for the last five years. They were there when times were rough when the Tigers failed to make the Final Four in 2008 and 2010 (in which they ended the season at 4-10). They were also there when the Tigers made their resurgence last year and this season. I wish them the best of luck on their future endeavors. The chants of “Fortuna!” rained down the coliseum as the Thomasian crowd on hand at the Big Dome showed their love for the court general who led his team through every challenge that stood in their way and considered as one of the best players to ever wear a UST uniform.


As for the other players who will be back in the fold next year, players like Jeric Teng, Aljon Mariano, Clark Bautista, Karim Abdul, Kevin Ferrer, Kim Lo, Louie Vigil, Paulo Pe and the rest of the team. We’re sure that they will gain from this experience of being in the Finals of the UAAP, and doing it against no less than the reigning champions is something in itself an achievement. They will be back stronger and more inspired next season, as their quest to bring the glory back to España will have to wait for at least the next season. Finally to Coach Pido Jarencio, who has been marred in controversy for the past few days. He did a great job this season, because he led UST to it’s first 10+ win season since 1999 where they also finished in 2nd place in the standings before falling short in the Finals against the De La Salle Green Archers in three games. He also kept his players in check and has served as an inspiration, not only to the players, but also to the entire Thomasian community for his humbleness and humility which has won the hearts and support of the whole Thomasian community over the years. I hope he stays for next season to lead the Tigers back to the promised land. At the end of the day, In victory or defeat, we are still proud of our heroes.

Photo ©Karl Carandang

Watching the UAAP Finals this season, has been a rewarding one for me personally. Even though, the story-book ending I wished for did not happen this year. It was a great feeling to be in one with the Thomasian community inside the arena, showing their support for our heroes. From the yellow ballons on the cheer of “Go USTe!” to the fansigns and bobbleheads, to the loud cheers, and to the crowd wave which was a flashback moment from the 1990’s during UST’s legendary run of four championships. Either we celebrate in VICTORY or suffer in DEFEAT. Nothing beats the UST crowd showing their full support for the team. Even Ateneo coach Norman Black quotes:

“I coach for Ateneo but I’m in love with the “Go USTe” cheer! I hear it in my sleep.”

Also, I got to watch these games with my blockmates and friends which is a great thing for me. Knowing the fact, two years ago and last year, I never expectedto watch a basketball game with them, because back then, they do not share the same love of basketball as I do. Thank God, it happened this year, and I hope by next season, we’ll be there to watch the games again this time with more friends coming along with us.

So that concludes another season of UAAP Basketball.
Once again, congratulations to the Ateneo Blue Eagles for winning their 5th straight title.

Congratulations as well to our heroes, the UST Growling Tigers for a great season nonetheless.
See you next season!

Go USTe! One for UST! Viva Santo Tomas!
Go Ateneo! One Big Fight!

A good game that could have been great.

A dream was realized by the thousands of Thomasian students and alumni, as for the first time in six years. The UST Growling Tigers are back in the UAAP Finals for Men’s Basketball, and they faced off against no less than the team they defeated the last time they were in this scenario, the current four-time reigning champions, the Ateneo Blue Eagles. The players may have been different from the time these two teams last faced off in the Finals, but the feeling is still there. It was a dream for me to see the Tigers on the hunt for the UAAP title in my Thomasian student life. I’m happy it has finally happened on my third year at the university.

I was one of the lucky 20,686 in attendance at the Mall of Asia Arena who got to witness the very first game of this great series. Even though I was seated in the General Admission section of the arena, I still had a good view of the game and it was all worth the three hour wait that me and my friends had to go through to get tickets for the game. Notable people were there as former UST and Ateneo players from their battle in 2006 were featured. People like UST’s Dylan Ababou, Jervy Cruz, Japs Cuan, Jojo Duncil as well as Ateneo’s JC Intal, Doug Kramer, Macky Escalona, Chris Tiu to name a few. Even La Salle’s Jeron Teng came out to support his older brother Jeric.

The game was a treat, a beautiful game from the start as in the 1st half, the Tigers were bringing their A-game on the Eagles and at halftime, UST was leading 38-31. However, in the second half the Eagles went on a 17-0 blitz to take the lead heading in to the 4th quarter. In the 4th, the Tigers living up to their moniker as the “Comeback Cats” of the UAAP made another comeback from a 10 point deficit at the end of the 3rd, Taking a 64-63 lead on a Karim Abdul dunk. However, the Eagles would not be denied from that point despite a furious run by the Tigers, as the Eagles escape with a Game 1 victory 83-78 taking them to a 1-0 lead in the series and a victory away from their 5th straight UAAP title in men’s basketball.

Nico Salva had a career night for the Blue Eagles scoring 30 points on an excellent shooting night for the graduating forward and last year’s Finals MVP. Kiefer Ravena only scored 13 points, however he sank the dagger shot which sealed the victory for the Eagles. Guard Juami Tiongson added 12 points and Ryan Buenafe scored 10 points.

Jeric Teng led the Tigers with 25 points, while Aljon Mariano added 22 points and 11 rebounds. Kevin Ferrer scored 13 points. While Karim Abdul was only limited to 9 points before fouling out in the final seconds of the game. On a side note, forward Melo Afuang was sidelined at the hospital and missed the game.

Box Scores:

UST (78) – Teng 25, Mariano 22, Ferrer 13, Abdul 9, Fortuna 4, Lo 3, Pe 2, Bautista 0.

ADMU (83) – Salva 30, Ravena 13, Tiongson 12, Buenafe 10, Chua 9, Slaughter 5, Gonzaga 2, Elorde 2, Sumalinog 0, Golla 0.

Quarter-by-quarter scores: 24-18, 38-31, 51-61, 78-83

With these great statlines and moments, the game’s finish was marred with controversy. The last two calls of the game, one was about Karim Abdul’s fifth and final foul which was shown on the replay drew flak among the UST gallery on had at the venue as Abdul had a clean swipe of the ball on Kiefer Ravena who selled the call well, and the second call in which Jeric Teng shot a three pointer over Ryan Buenafe in which the referee signaled for a foul, yet no free throws were given. As the final buzzer sounded off, UST coach Pido Jarencio showed his disappointment with the calls of the referees and the whole UST gallery inside the arena were jeering the referees. Let’s make that clear, the UST gallery were not jeering the Blue Eagles and the Ateneo gallery inside thearena.

At the post-game interview, coach Pido Jarencio showed his disappointment over the bad calls. Here are some quotes from his interview.

“I’m not against Ateneo. Pero bakit ganun? Unfair naman sa min, dahil UST lang kami ganun ang tawagan? Sana ayusin nila. Kundi baka magkaroon ng people power dito.”

“Sa akin, basta kami nag-e-enjoy lang kami. We enjoy the game. Ako positive ako sa team namin. Binigyan namin ng magandang laban ang Ateneo. Pero wag naman ganun. Sa atin lang, parehas naman tayo lumaban. Sana kung tinuturuan ko yung mga player na saktan mo ito. Saktan mo iyan, duraan mo ito, duraan mo iyan. Tayo fair and square ang laban natin. Yung mga players, kaya mahal ako niyan at kaya mahal ko rin sila, kung ano yung tinuro ko, yun ang nilalabas nila. Walang kalokohan. Walang bahid na pagdududa sa mga tinuturo ko. Kaya yung mga players ang puso buong buo.”

“Second coming. Tapos na nung elimination, may pangalawa na naman. Ganito na naman. Nakakasawa rin”

“No, walang complaint. Basta ako umakyat ako, bumunot ako ng referee as sinabi ko sa kanila. Physical game ito Let the players decide the game not the referees.”

“Ang ninipis ng tawag, ang kakapal ng mukha. Sana marinig lang din nila ako. Eh kasi naaawa ako sa mga estudyante babayad 250, pipila madaling araw. Ala una ng madaling araw nandyan na para mapanood lang kami. Mapanood Ateneo-UST game tapos gaganunin lang. De-deprive kami ng fair officiating. Bahala na sila. Ma-ko-konsensya din yang lintik na yun.”

People had mixed reactions with Coach Jarencio’s statement, some showed sympathy with him. While others called him a “sore loser” for the statement he made with the media. But as we know, coach Jarencio did not have complaints on officiating until this game which has higher stakes than a elimination round game.

Coming off from a perspective of a Thomasian student who watch the games for the love of basketball. Even though the game did not end in UST’s favor, It was still a “good” game. Both the Tigers and the Eagles gave their hearts out all game long and the fact I still have a lot of respect for the Ateneo community knowing I have friends having their education with the university. However, the game could have been “great” if not for all the bad calls whether the game ended with an Ateneo victory or a UST victory. What all Thomasians want is “One Clean Fight!”and we hope that in Game 2 when Ateneo is just a victory away from a five-peat and UST hoping to force a winner-take-all Game 3, we get a clean and great game. I’m sure if Ateneo ended up in the same situation, they’ll also show their disappointment with the outcome.

Game 2 of the UAAP Finals will be played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on October 11, Thursday. TV coverage begins at 3pm on Studio 23. If the Blue Eagles win, they will clinch their 5th consecutive UAAP title. However, if the Growling Tigers win, they will force a winner-take-all Game 3 on October 13, Saturday back at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Remember, the Tigers this season had not lost at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. They are at 7-0 which included their 71-70 first round victory against the Blue Eagles, and in the 2006 UAAP Finals. Ateneo took Game 1, but UST came back to win the next two games on their way to their first UAAP basketball title since 1996 when they capped of their version of a four-peat with legendary coach Aric del Rosario who is now calling the shots for the Perpetual Altas of the NCAA.

Ironically, I was in 1st year high school when UST and Ateneo squared off in the UAAP Finals in 2006 and I chose the Blue Eagles to win the title. But as we know, fate had other things in mind. Now, six years later, I’m a Thomasian student rooting for the Tigers to win this season. We know that these guys have what it takes to bounce back from adversity.

Go USTe! One for UST! Viva Santo Tomas!
We are Fueled for UST!