Today, the 2014-15 Houston Rockets season came to a bittersweet end as the Golden State Warriors advance to the NBA Finals to face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Well, with this one it’s time for me to ponder back on what happened over the last year. After all, it’s been four months since I last posted an entry here.
It all began with how the season before this one ended, when Damian Lillard sent the Rockets and Red Nation home early with a three point dagger that broke a lot of hearts. I have to admit, I was severely heartbroken afterwards. It was tough to end a season like that. I had to go all-black on all my social media accounts afterwards.
Anyways, then came an off-season to “remember”. Rockets unloaded a lot of players like Jeremy Lin (to the Lakers) and Omer Asik (to the Pelicans) in the chase for Miami’s Chris Bosh who was a free agent. Unfortunately (Fortunately), that didn’t pan out as Bosh decided to stay with the Heat for a hefty contract. Then came the bolting of Chandler Parsons to Dallas after the Rockets did not match the Mavericks offer sheet.
But for all the significant roster subtractions, Rockets brought in Trevor Ariza who last played for the Wizards and entered into a second stint in a Rockets uniform after spending a full year back in 2009-10. They also brought in the veteran Jason Terry. They drafted Clint Capela and Nick Johnson in the draft. They brought in Kostas Papanikolaou and Joey Dorsey from the Euroleague.
No one knew what was going to happen next. Pre-season predictions by the media gave the Rockets the 7th or 8th seed in the Western Conference and a first round exit to match.
Before you knew it, in October, the season was rolling along. These Rockets surprised us all, they went 6-0 to start the season good enough for a share of the lead in the Western Conference. Then the streak was snapped against Golden State. They finished November at 13-4. Then in December they made some roster changes. Gone were Tarik Black, Francisco Garcia and playoff hero Troy Daniels. But they brought in Corey Brewer from the Timberwolves and signed Josh Smith after being waived from Detroit. They finished 2014 with a 22-9 record. Come 2015, they finished January at 33-15. They made roster changes as they brought in Pablo Prigioni and K.J. McDaniels. Gone was another fan favorite in Isaiah Canaan. James Harden was named to the All-Star Game and later became a starter after vote-winner Kobe Bryant went down with an injury. He played well in the All-Star game, he took part in the Three Point Shootout in a losing effort. Patrick Beverley won the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. While Kostas Papanikolaou had been given a stint in the Rising Stars Challenge. February ended with the Rockets at 40-18. Then in March, they ended at 50-24 at the same time clinched a playoff berth. Then on the last day of the regular season. They managed to win the Southwest Division title for the first time ever and finished at 56-26. Good enough for the #2 seed in the Western Conference.
All the while, this team was carried by James Harden who came out and led the Rockets through some tough stretches all season long. Attacking the rim, scoring stepback jumpers, lighting it up from three point range, distributing the rock at will to put up a legendary run in the race for the season MVP while stepping up on the defensive end. Then everyone on the roster chipped in to the cause with the “Headband of Brothers” in Corey Brewer, Josh Smith and Jason Terry. Donatas Motiejunas had a breakout season. Trevor Ariza was a defensive force. Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones and Patrick Beverley had some good games when on the floor. The Rockets also became the most prolific three point shooting team in NBA history as they made 933 three pointers during the season.
But this season came along with adversity as they were riddled with injuries all season long. Dwight Howard missed half of the regular season to multiple injuries. Patrick Beverley was in and out of the line-up before eventually losing him to a wrist injury. Donatas Motiejunas also went down before the playoffs. Terrence Jones missed significant time. And of course, there were some terrible defeats along the way.
Also came the media and other NBA fans’ displeasure of what the Rockets have accomplished all season. Turning them into the league’s villains after that title has been settling in Miami the last four season.
All was now set for the Rockets playoff run to begin when they opened the post-season faced off against I-45 and Texas triangle rivals in the 7th seeded Dallas Mavericks. The Rockets took care of business in the first two games at home. Then in Game 3, James Harden put up a master performance to send the Mavericks to a 3-0 hole. Dallas would respond in Game 4, but the lack of synergy within the Mavericks team caught up as the Rockets took the series for their first playoff series win since 2009.
Next up for the Rockets were the 3rd seeded Los Angeles Clippers who came off a thrilling 7 game series to knock off the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. The Clippers stunned the home crowd as the Rockets went flat-footed in Game 1. They evened up the series in Game 2. But suffered two straight losses in Los Angeles as they now trailed 1-3 in the series. They responded in Game 5 to extend the series. In Game 6, Clippers had a 19 point lead in the 3rd quarter, as it looked like they are now setting up for a date with the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. A Game 7 back in Houston was slipping away. Then came one of the most heart raising comebacks in NBA playoff history. As the Rockets went on a 48-17 the rest of the way to force a Game 7 back home. In Game 7, they completed the comeback as Red Nation was given a nostalgic trip to the Clutch City era of the franchise as for the second time in franchise history and the ninth time in NBA history, they came back from a 1-3 deficit to win the series. They also advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1997.
Then came a date with the best team in the league, the MVP in Stephen Curry, his Splash Brother Klay Thompson and the rest of the Golden State Warriors whom they failed to beat once during the regular season. Rockets fought hard in the first two games in Oakland, but suffered heartbreaking defeats in both games as they only lost a combined 5 points over the Warriors. Then as the series shifted to Houston, the Rockets got caught flat-footed as they fell in Game 3 by 35 points sending them in a 0-3 hole. In Game 4, they finally got over the hump as they forced a Game 5 in Oakland beating the Warriors for the first time this season. Then in Game 5, they had opportunities to steal a victory and send the series to Game 6. It was evenly matched through 3 quarters, but the Warriors proved to be the better team and at the worst moment, James Harden had his biggest cold spell of the season. Ending the Rockets season.
Now here are some thoughts.
Yes, it was indeed a tough and heartbreaking way to bow out. I mean, the emotions of the outcome has been overwhelming to bear and ponder upon. It was not the storybook ending we wished for. The “What if’s” are still in my head. We were 7 wins away from an NBA championship. But when I look back at everything again, I cannot help myself but to be proud of what this team has accomplished this season. This has been the best season the Rockets have ever played out in the 13 years I have been a member/soldier of Red Nation. And to think nobody outside of us in Red Nation thought they would go this far into the season. I’m still glad I get to see them play out until the end of May, because at this point of the year in previous years, the off-season is under way. They overachieved and exceeded expectations.
Give our coach Kevin McHale and his staff a ton of credit. Sure, we’ve been all around his head as fans all season long. But he did a great job this season. He had bright moments this season coaching this squad. Give our general manager Daryl Morey credit. He turned around a tough off-season, by bringing great pieces in-season to get to where we are right.
As for James, Dwight, Josh, Trevor, Jason, Terrence, Corey, Pablo, Patrick, Donatas, Kostas, Clint, Nick, K.J. and Joey. You all made Red Nation proud. Thank you for all that you have done over the past year. Come back stronger next season!
In capping off this entry. I would like to thank all the members of Red Nation that I have met over the years whether its at home in the Philippines, Houston, the rest of Texas, Hawaii, Arizona, Norway, or anywhere else around the world. Each and every one of you made it special for me to be a Rockets fan. I had a blast talking to each and every one of you for the team we all love and root for. For sticking through all good and bad that has happened over the past year. Thank you for allowing this crazy 21 year old kid from of all places the Philippines to be a part of a great family. Stay tight, and I’ll see you guys next season.
I lived through three Popes in my lifetime. I was just 8 months old when then Pope now Saint John Paul II visited the Philippines for the second time (first time was in 1981, a good 13 years before I was born in this world) as part of the World Youth Day festivities in Manila. When I was about to turn 11, he passed away and was succeeded by now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. 8 years later, he stepped down and passed on the reigns to Pope Francis.
From the time he became the Pope he has gone away from tradition at the same time transcended borders that we people made for ourselves. He loved the children wherever he goes. He reached out to people in sickness. He helped resolved conflicts around the world. He has his words on current issues that every one of us face on a daily basis from poverty to corruption, from LGBT issues to scandals that have rocked the Catholic church over the past couple of years, from technology to climate change. He touched not only Catholics, but also non-Catholics, agnostics and atheists. Even though it’s only been less than two years into his tenure as the leader of the Catholic Church. He has indeed changed a lot of people’s lives, and continues to do so every single day.
When it was announced months ago that he was coming to the Philippines as a part of his trip in Asia, I could not help myself not to miss this opportunity. After all, you don’t often see these events come in your lifetime. I admit, I was not that much serious about planning what to do in that event. I didn’t have much for my own to make a better plan.
Then came his arrival on a cool Thursday night in Manila, as the SriLankan Airlines jet that took Pope Francis and his entourage from Colombo to our nation. Filipinos knew that something special is about to happen over the next five days. And true enough, everything took off from the time he stepped out on the plane and do his work on our home soil. I wanted to be there at his arrival, to do two things in one. One is to continue my hobby of plane spotting with my good friend as the jet that took the Pope was an airline that doesn’t have flights in and out of the country, and seeing the Pope live and in living color. Unfortunately, prior commitments prevented me to do so.
I knew I could not go into every event during his visit to our nation. I live far from his motorcade routes and the places he’s going around Manila. It would be a shame on my end if I did not go to at least one event to see him live in person. I really wanted to live the moment and share my stories for the next generation when the time comes.
So on a cool and rainy Sunday morning, together with my mother we went to one of the events of the Papal Visit, which was held in my Alma Mater of the University of Santo Tomas, which bears significance as it was given the titles “Pontifical” and “The Catholic University of the Philippines”. From a drop-off point, we walked around two kilometers to the university. At first, we’d just settle outside of the university and on to the motorcade route to see the Pope. However, due to my insistence we tried our luck getting inside the university to bear witness to the event.
They closed the gates 30 minutes earlier than expected since people were pushing to get in before the gate closes for good. Fortunately for me and my mother, around 15 minutes after the gates we’re supposedly be closed for good until the event ends. Out of my huge fighting spirit to get inside, contrary to a warning from one of my uncles living around the area of not taking a chance of getting inside. We managed to get inside the campus grounds.
For two hours, we waited for his arrival on campus, I was able to catch up with my once history prof who got in earlier, as well as one of my college batch mates who joined me and my mother at a chance to get in. Then he arrived, he passed by the Arch of the Centuries which has been as old as the university itself, and the very place where as freshmen we are ushered in and as graduating students go out and into what lies in life after college.
Like the millions of people who attended the events of the Papal Visit, I tried my very best to get closer to the Pope. It is no surprise that in our generation, tablets, smartphones and cameras were rampant everywhere during the course of the Papal Visit in Manila. I admit, I had my smartphone ready trying to get a close shot of him for it will be a good memento for not only myself but for my entire family. Unfortunately, that was not to be as I the closest as I was to him was a good 20-30 meters away. I was unable to take a good close shot of the Pope for my own. However, despite the setback, I was able to see him with my very own eyes live and in living color. That was all good and fulfilling for me, as well as for my mother.
Throughout the event, we listened through the select youth that were given a chance to speak to the Pope as well as his message for the youth which was delivered in his native Spanish as it was an impromptu message, far from the original message that was written in English.
Here a few quotes from the event that have left a mark for myself. I’m sure, I’m not alone with these inspirational quotes.
“What you think, you must feel and put into effect. Your information comes down to your heart and you put it into practice. Harmoniously. What you think, you feel and you do. Feel what you think and feel what you do. Do what you think and what you feel. The three languages…Can you repeat this? To think. To feel. To do. And all in harmony…”
“So when the next pope comes to Manila, please let there be more girls.”
“This is the first thing I want to say: let us learn how to weep as she has shown us today and let us not forget this lesson. The great question of why so many children suffer, she did this in tears. The response that we can make today is: let us really learn how to weep.”
“Today, with so many means of communications, we are overloaded with information. Is that bad? Not necessarily. It is good and it can help. But there is a real danger of living in a way of accumulating information… We run the risk of becoming museums of young people that have everything but without knowing what to do with them. We don’t need youth museums but we do need holy young people.”
After the event, me and my mother went home and witnessed the papal mass in Luneta with the rest of my family on television. I thanked her for accompanying me to the event in UST, if it wasn’t for her, I would have missed the opportunity to see the Pope in person. For majority of the events of the Papal Visit, I had to settle on watching the television for it. Even so, each event left an impact on myself. From his arrival until his departure back to the Vatican. From his visit to Malacanang to the mass at Manila Cathedral. From the meeting of families at the Mall of Asia Arena to the meeting with the youth in UST. From the emotional mass on a stormy and tragedy-hit Leyte to the rainy Papal Mass in Luneta in which more than 6 million people bear witness to. From wearing a transparent rain jacket in
Here are a few quotes that have left a mark from the other events of the papal visit.
“So many of you have lost everything. I don’t know what to say to you. But the Lord does know what to say to you. Some of you have lost part of your families. All I can do is keep silent…But please know, Jesus never lets you down. Please know that the love and tenderness of Mother Mary never lets you down.” – at the Papal Mass in Tacloban Airport, Leyte
“We forget to remain, at heart, children of God. That is sin: to forget at heart that we are children of God. For children, as the Lord tells us, have their own wisdom, which is not the wisdom of the world. That is why the message of the Santo Niño is so important. He speaks powerfully to all of us. He reminds us of our deepest identity, of what we are called to be as God’s family.” – at the Papal Mass in the Luneta Grounds
“To dream how will your daughter or son be. It is not possible to have a family without such dreams… When you lose this capacity to dream, then you lose the capacity to love and this energy to love is lost.” – at the Meeting with Families in Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City
The Papal Visit to the Philippines renewed the hope and faith of the Filipino nation to live a life that is full of love and prayer. Pope Francis as he has said many times before asked for prayers for him. Let us never forget the lessons of this visit.
Sure, there have been unpleasant experiences and reactions during the course of his visit. Yet, the radiant optimism that this event brought on will forever be on the lives of the people who bear witness to these five days in our nation.
These fateful five days will live on for the rest of my lifetime. I will tell stories of these days for generations to come. This experience will also be an inspiration for myself in my future endeavors in life. We won’t know if he’ll be able to come visit our nation again, but as he said.
“Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by God… …God reveals himself through surprises.”
I am forever thankful and grateful for this once in a lifetime experience.
Your radiant smile will forever live on with us all. You truly are the real MVP! Our “Most Valuable Pope“
“I cannot believe it was all over.”
“Just like that, I’m screwed!”
In that kind of fashion, and way too early than I thought it would and I was not there to see it all. I was away from the buzz of the metropolis. I went to a place with no television screens and computers. All I had, was my phone and went browsing using the mobile internet out of insistence that I cannot miss this game no matter where I am. For after all, the season was on the line. A win would send this series to a 7th game, a loss would send my team home for the early offseason.
I did not saw the shot. As I saw each time I reload the NBA Game Time App just to see the score change every time. When it all mattered, 0.9 seconds was all it took from watching my team play a Game 7 today to right now with compelling thoughts on what just happened to my team.
In 0.9 seconds, it was all over. The 2013-14 Houston Rockets season is nothing but history. I did not see what happened afterwards at the Moda Center on the TV screen. I did not saw the euphoric Portland crowd erupt with joy happiness as their Trail Blazers moved on to the second round of the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2000. 14 years of heartbreak for them finally ended. I did not saw the words their hero said to one of our guys after the game. I did not saw the whole team get down on their knees in sadness amidst the celebrations. Just like that, I’m a screwed fan.
I saw two scenes on social media, after the game. I kept the lines open even with the loss. Amidst the sadness I was experiencing as a fan.
On one side, people celebrating the Blazers win in that kind of fashion and saying the name of the hero who propelled the team into the second round. People who were glad and ecstatic to see the Rockets season come to an end all for different reasons. Like seeing a guy on the team fall short on the playoffs after his controversial move or the thought they do not like the team in the first place. Some would go out and post/tag me on my wall about what happened like my team got owned/upset, videos of other Rockets fan reactions on the loss and pictures of the game.
I would not bother myself watching these things. But, I’ll keep it on my wall. Because someday it has it’s purpose. There is a good reason for me to keep it.
Then on the other side, were those who supported the team. The Red Nation! The people who were passionate about the team. Some of them, which I met in the last playoffs that have been fans of the team longer than I am. It was a mutual feeling throughout. Everyone was shocked and saddened with those 0.9 seconds that ended the season for the team we all love and die to root for. None of us thought our season will be ending early. Unfortunately, the basketball gods gave us the heartbreaking truth of not having to witness our team play forward for the season. But without them, I would be all alone in the healing process from this heartbreak. Something I have experienced for most of my years as a fan of the team.
We are all entitled to our own opinions and which teams to root for. You can root for a team that has a documented history and lore. You can root for a team because your favorite player is playing for it. You can root for a team for a lot of other reasons. We have our teams to root for with every season or for the long-term. Sometimes, that passion can lead us to crossing the line on those we trample with whenever our team wins against another team.
It just so happened in my case, I chose a team that did not have a large following in this country. Even with the player changes, the following was growing slowly but still smaller than other followings. I can count my fingers on my friends here who are as passionate to the team as I am. It was a weird feeling when I watched the team play in October last year for the pre-season. The crowd at hand was jeering one guy of the team, while they’re cheering the other guy who was his teammate. I had a thought, how many of these people in attendance were die-hard fans like me? I’m sure most of them came just to be a part of history. To be witness to the first NBA-sanctioned game in the Philippines. I’m sure most of them want another team playing. A team that has a huge following in this country. I can’t blame them for it for we know that this country is more passionate about this sport than any other place on the planet (take Lithuania with us also).
Now, if someone asks me “Are you gonna watch the rest of the Playoffs?”. Well, I will do my own best to keep updated with what’s happening. One thing is for sure though. I would not root for any other team still playing in this playoffs. I could care less, if one team gets the three-peat, or another team getting back on top of the mountain after a bitter loss last season, or another team driven by not just a city but an entire state to their first professional title, or a team whom we least expect to win it all shock the world and pull off a magical run. It’s going to be tough for me to watch a game from here on out until the season comes to an end with the NBA Finals next month.
Just like that, the “our” season is over. The most compelling season I have witnessed in my 12 years as a member of Red Nation is nothing but over. The team admitted on their page that they fell short of the fan base expectations. What most of us who believed, thought would be the rise of the team would turn out to be the collapse of biblical proportions. No one saw we’d go down in Round 1 of the playoffs. Yet we did in a fashion no one saw coming.
Even with all the heartbreak and sorrow, I’m still proud of what I stand for. I will always believe in the team that I have passionately rooted for more than half of my life so far. There will be journeys ahead with this team. Time will eventually heal all the wounds and heartbreaks I am having right now. I have learned a lot of things with every year that passed. I went through good times and experienced plenty of heartbreaks along the way.
It will be a long and cold wait until the next season begins. But, I always believe that one day, this team will raise the championship and I along with everyone in Red Nation will be witness to it.
Regardless, of what the people around me say. And the fact I’m 13,744 km (8,540 mi) away from Houston. My blood is RED, and I’m a member of Red Nation for Life from the Philippines!
Thank You for another season Houston Rockets!
After 82 regular season games and 6 playoff games, the 2012-13 season is over for my favorite team in the NBA, the Houston Rockets. Well in this blog entry, we look back on what has been one season for the books for these “Youngbloods” and what to look forward come next season.
After three seasons of sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference standings despite having winning seasons in all three of those season, the off-season began when Rockets GM Daryl Morey making a large roster overhaul. He brought in players like Jeremy Lin who was coming off the “Linsanity” fare in New York, Omer Asik who was playing as the back-up center for the Bulls. He also brought in players like Toney Douglas, Carlos Delfinoas well as drafting Jeremy Lamb, Terrence Jones and Royce White in the draft. Gone were players like Goran Dragic, Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, Samuel Dalembert and Marcus Camby. However, all that was overshadowed when the Rockets pulled a trade with the Thunder sending Kevin Martin and Lamb to Oklahoma City for Sixth Man of the Year awardee James Harden, together with Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward. When the dust settled, only Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson, Greg Smith and Marcus Morris remained from last year’s roster as the season began. The Rockets would make moves during the off-season as Patterson, Douglasand Morris were sent elsewhere and they brought in players like Francisco Garciaand Thomas Robinson. They also signed players like Patrick Beverleyand Donatas Motiejunas as well as bringing back 2010 Most Improved Player awardee Aaron Brooks who was a part of that 2009 Playoff run.
James Harden had a breakout year for the Rockets, from a sixth man in Oklahoma City to becoming the face of the franchise in Houston. He finished the season 5th in scoring in the NBA. He alsois one of the league leaders in free throws made and attempted. He was named to his first All-Star selection at homeand is on track to become a part of this year’s All-NBA team.
Jeremy Lin had a nice season with the Rockets on his first full year playing starter‘s minutes. He showed his durability as he was able to play all 82 regular season games while putting up respectable numbers. He also came out as one of the league leaders in steals as well as keeping his turnovers down which has been a problem throughout his entire career. He participated in All-Star weekend at the Skills Challenge.
Chandler Parsons came out big in his sophomore campaign. Being one of the two guys (Greg Smith) left from last year’s roster, Parsons came out as the second leading scorer for the Rockets this season behind Harden. He also shot the ball better from three point range as he led the Rockets this season in 3 point percentage. He also played in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend.
Omer Asik also came out hugewhen he got starter’s minutes for the Rockets. He finishes the season as one of the leaders in rebounding, as well as providing a defensive presence for the Rockets all season long. Like Lin, he was able to play into all 82 games during the regular season and was able to play in all six playoff games.
Carlos Delfino and Francisco Garcia provided a veteran presence on a very young team. These two players live and die with the three pointer. They also have been great elder statesmen as they have been in the league for a long time now. Patrick Beverley and Aaron Brooks brought along speed and pure heart on a season which they never played from start to finish. It would be great to see them back in a Rockets uniform for a full year. Greg Smith, Terrence Jones, James Anderson and Donatas Motiejunas will have time to develop their game in the seasons to come.
Give a ton of credit also to head coach Kevin McHale who in his second year as the man calling the shots for the Rockets. He was able to find a style of play which made the Rocketsa very exciting team during the course of the regular season despite going through a large roster overhaul during the off-season and the regular season.
The Rockets finished 45-37 this season and were seeded 8th in the Western Conference ending a four year playoff drought. They would push the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder to six games before bowing out.
So yeah, it’s been a great time being part of Red Nation this season. This is a a season to remember for me in the 10 years I’ve been a part of Red Nation. No one else though that this team, the youngest team in the NBA today would come up with a ton of heart and grit all season long. Now the off-season begins for them. With a cap space large enough to lure a big name in. These “Youngbloods” will be out to make a ton of noise come next season.
To cap this blog entry, let me share to you this banner made by the Rockets for the Red Nation. Truly the New Age has only just begun.
RED NATION for LIFE.
See you in October here in the Philippines.
So yeah, another year ends in my journey. April 30has come again on the calendar sheets, and I usher in a brand new year of this journey called LIFE.
As the title states, I’m already 19 years old starting today. Well, this April 30 was a bit different than in previous years. In the past couple of years, I threw parties for all my close PEEPS. However, this year I spent my whole day with my entire family. Since I‘m saving my party money for the NBA game this October here in the Philippines. Because my team, the Houston Rockets will be playing in that game against the Indiana Pacers.
We went to SM North EDSA to have my birthday lunch at Shakey’s. Well, I didn’t ask for their birthday choir which they do on birthdays of people who dine on all their branches nationwide. Afterwards, we went buying a few clothing. Then before we went back home for the rest of the day. We bought some desserts like pastillas, brownies and ice cream to enjoy for the rest of the day. It’s a shame though I wasn’t able to take photos along the way since our camera has been lost and we can’t find it along our home for the past month. Though I didn’t get to spend it with other people in person, it was worth spending time with my family on my day. Add to that, I got a nice birthday win from the Houston Rockets as they won Game 4 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Playoffs 105-103 to keep their season alive. I was watching the game until halftime, but I had to bail out since we had to go on that trip for lunch. At least, they got the win and no brooms were sweeping on my birthday.
I’ll take this moment to thank those who remembered my birthday with all the greetings and best wisheson Facebook & Twitter, as well as those who texted my phone for their well wishes. You all have played a part in my life and I’m always thankful to each and every one of you. One thing that made my day is that I was greeted by my “crush” as well as a good old friend of mine. It truly made my day even special. Sorry I can’t throw a party this year because like I said earlier, I‘m saving for the game. I hope I can throw one next year as I finish the mission which is to graduate.
Of course, I’ll thank my familyfor always being there for me in my life from the start until the very end. Finally, I thank God that I made it through another year of my life, and I’ll always look up to you every step in my life. I’m hopeful that this year will be filled with a lot of blessings.
Danke! Merci! Thank You! Salamat!
19 years on, I still got a lot to prove.
A.Y. 2012-13 has come to an end. Junior Year, Third Year, Year 3 of my España journey has come to an end. Six semesters have come and go, time really flew by very fast. It was like yesterday when we lined up and hoped that we will get accepted into UST, now it’s down to one final year as a Thomasian student. But before all of that, here are some of the stories that I would like to share from the second semester of Year 3 of the España journey.
Picking up where I left off the previous semester, I was back competing in quiz bee competitions for the university. I competed in three competitions this semester, all of which happened within a span of a month.
First was the 2nd National League of Tourism Students of the Philippines Skills Olympics Quiz Bee last February 9, 2013, where we went up north to the University of Baguio campus in the “City of Pines” in Baguio City. Our team topped the elimination round, however in the Final Round we were unable to duplicate our feat from the elimination round and we had to settle for 3rd Place. It wasn’t only us who competed there, my blockmates Jeanie Tan and Kimberly Tecson won 2nd Place in the Domestic Tour Package Proposal competition, while our fellow batchmate Rolando Sio Jr. won 1st Place in the International Tour Guiding competition. Also competing was another batchmate of ours Lyka dela Cruz who competed in the Domestic Tour guiding competition. At the end of the day, we did not go home empty.
A week later on February 16, 2013, the team was back again to compete at the UP Club for the Environment & Tourism Domestikwhiz 2013 held at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Social Hall in Quezon City. That competition also had a chip on our shoulders as it will be the last time we’ll compete as one team. As both of my teammates after the competition will prepare for their graduation. It was a tightly contested quiz bee. We thought we had lost it. However, we got a blessing as we came out as CHAMPIONS! It was the second time we as a team came out as champions. We won the cash prize of P6,000 which the three of us got to share with, medals for all three of us, a trophy we get to send back to España, and a Moonleaf planner for each of us (I would give mine in a raffle afterwards.) It was indeed a great way to cap off our run as one team with a BANG!
Finally on February 28, 2013, we went to the campus of Treston International College in Taguig City as we competed in the 7th National Tourism Students Congress Skills Olympics organized by UFTE/UFTS. It is the biggest competition of the year. This time however, I competed all by myself in the Quiz Bee competition. On that day was the elimination round for some of the competitions. As for me, I was able to get through to the elimination round as I finished second among the 11 who made it through to the final round. That day would turn out great as it wasn’t just me who got through to the eliminations, as all of us who competed that day made it through to the eliminations. Then the following day, March 1. We all came back, this time we brought along new faces who will only compete on that day. Then came the Final round of the Quiz Bee. It was a tightly contested battle, but in the end, just like in the eliminations, I settled for a runner-up finish. Aside from that, my blockmates Trudeece Ramos and Katlyne Bundal also won 2nd Place in the International Tour Package proposal, it was also a victory for our class 3T5 as all of us contributed to the success of the proposal in the competition. Then our batchmate Rolando Sio Jr. won 3rd Place in the International Tour Guiding competition. The others who competed were my blockmates Jeanie Tan and Kimberly Tecson in the Domestic Tour Package proposal, Shane Prepotente and Sheila Lao in the Poster Making competition, Trixia Alda who wore the costume designed by Justine Navato in the Kasuotang Pinoy competition and our batchmate Jhie Berbano who competed in the Domestic Tour Guiding competition.
It was indeed a great way to cap off a great year of competition for all of us, and I’m so happy that all of us at 3T5 made a lot of noise this year through the competitions we competed all year long, and what great way to cap off the year was at the CTHM Awards 2013 held last March 12, when together with my teammates won the Benavides Outstanding Achievement Award as well as medals and certificates for bringing honor to the University and the College. Not only that, our class 3T5 took home the Outstanding Homeroom Class Award for the Travel Management Department as well as the Outstanding Class President Award for our class president Kimberly Tecson.
So for the last time, I’ll thank my senior teammates Ate Kriskyn Cabrera and Ate Marian Buenaventura. Being a part of this team has been a great honor and privilege. I’m happy we’ve achieved a lot of great things as one team. Congratulations as well on your graduation from the University. We’ll find time to hang out soon. Maybe this summer will do. You two may be signing off now with a BANG! We’ll continue what the three of us started together!
Also I would like to thank our mentors from the Dean Ma’am Tioc, our chairperson (one-time class adviser) Sir Win and our secretary (also a one-time class adviser) Sir G for all the opportunity to represent the university in competitions this year. I couldn’t have asked more. I would also like to thank our coaches this semester, Ma’am Jane and Ma’am Tin for being there for us throughout the preparations until the competitions themselves. But let me not forget our previous coaches in Ma’am Connie, Ma’am Amy and Ma’am Joreen (who is now in De La Salle Lipa). I hope to come back next year better than ever and once again bring glory to the university.
When I’m not in competitions, I had to go through the every day life of a Thomasian Travel Management Student. Our seniors always say that 3rd Year, 2nd Semester is the “most difficult” semester for a Travel Management student. Indeed it lived up to it’s word. From formulating a Business Plan/Feasibility Study in our Entreprenurship and Business Planning class which we were to defend in front of a panel of judges, it also gave us a lot of sleepless nights, but Thank God it came out better than expected. Also we had to go through writing booking files in our Galileo class which also comes with a shot at a certificate for the usage of the Galileo software. As well, to our French class which will be the last foreign language course we will take at the university, to our Statistics class with a twist, to our Tour Packaging class where we created an international tour package proposal and we used in competition, to the Tourism English class which was lively and very energetic, to the TTOM class where we went inside the basics of a travel company, and to the never forgiving Tour Planning class. Each subject gave all of us a set of challenges we had to endure over the past 5 months of the second semester. Most of the time, all was well, but of course there were times where we were pushed to our very limits. I’m really hoping with all the hard work that I gave all semester long, it will translate into positive results.
Aside from the school work, there were a couple of events that happened around the campus this semester, one of which was the annual Paskuhan event which happened on December 21, 2012. The day they say the world will come to an end. But we’re all standing here at this moment in the year 2013 alive and well. But anyway, during the Paskuhan we all had a great time together with my classmates, batchmates and friends as we spent the entire night having a blast. Also, some of my classmates and batchmates went on an International Tour to Seoul, South Korea. Unfortunately, I was unable to come due to the high costs to make the trip. So while they’re away in another country, we still found a way to have some fun for us who got left behind in the Philippines as I threw a pizza party with my blockmates. Then, there was The Search for the Ideal Thomasian Personalities competition in which Mr. and Ms. CTHM came with a first runner-up and fourth runner-up finish respectively. Aside from that, the USTET results came out where the list of prospective Thomasians came out including those who were given a chance to an interview for a shot to get into CTHM. Also, there was the annual student elections both on the university-wide and college level. Finally, yesterday was the Baccalaureate Mass for the graduating students of the university as they passed by the Arch of the Centuries for the last time as Thomasian students. Next year, it will be us who’ll be passing by the Arch and sitting on those chairs.
Yeah! So my third year as a Thomasian Travel Management Student has come to an end, and Summer vacation has arrived. It will be my last summer vacation as a student. I have to make this one count! The grades will be out soon, and once summer vacation has ended, it will be the start of Senior Year in my España journey. Thesis and then Practicum. Yeah it will be one busy Senior Year for me. But for now, I’ll savor the moment and relax over the hot summer heat. I’ll leave with a photo of mine with all the things I was able to achieve this year.
JUNIOR YEAR, thanks for the memories.
Soon, HELLO SENIOR YEAR!
all in for the win.
It all began last July, when I was called in to compete for the very first time. Seven months later, four competitions in tow, already tested and proven, battlescars all over. It all came down on this hot Friday morning in Taguig. It was my last competition for the school year. As I represented the university at the 7th National Tourism Students Congress Quiz Bee organized by UFTE and UFTS.
But before all of that, on the day before probably, the biggest day of my life, with a team of 7 including 1 coach, we began our journey from UST to the campus of Treston International College in Taguig City. As we all had to go through the elimination rounds of the competition. With me competing the Quiz Bee, I was joined by my blockmates Jeanie Tan and Kimberly Tecson who competed in the Domestic Tour Package Proposal, Trudeece Ramos and Katlyne Bundal who competed in the International Tour Package Proposal. We were also joined by our batchmates Jr Sio who competed in the International Tour Guiding competition, and Jhie Berbano who competed in the Domestic Tour Guiding Competition. Accompanying us was our coach/mentor/mother Ms. Jane Devanadera.
When all was said and done, we all came home happy as all of us made it through the eliminations and we‘re all coming back tomorrow to compete in the Finals. I finished second in the elimination round of the Quiz Bee. Three points separated me and the one who topped the elimination round. While the others did a very good job in advancing to the Final Round. Aside from that, we saw some of our former mentors like Ms. Joreen Rocamora who is now in De La Salle Lipa and is one of the reasons I was able to get this far and the one who believed and gave a lot of faith and confidence in all my abilities, as well as Chef Ayie Cordova who is now in FEU.
Also, as the inner hoop junkie kicked in, I was thrilled to see the San Mig Coffee Mixers starring James Yap, Marc Pingris, PJ Simon, Joe Devance, Coach Tim Cone, among others, and I also got to see GlobalPort’s twin towers of Japeth Aguilar and Alex Crisano on the elevator. Too bad I did not have a camera with me so I was unable to take a picture with them.
Then it all came down to that Friday morning, with the seven of us back to compete, we were also joined by three of my blockmates, Shane Prepotente and Sheila Lao who competed in the Poster Making competitionand Trixia Alda who modeled the work of Justine Navato in the Kasuotang Pinoy competition. Aside from them, members of the Students Tourism Society Executive Board also joined us with Brandon Esperancilla and Korine Sanchez.
At around 11 am, together with 10 of my competitors in the Final Round, I stepped into the stage, took a seat, prayed for one last time, and the Quiz Bee began. It was a tightly contested competition, but in the end, I came very close to victory. I would settle for a runner-up finish. Four points separated me from the champion, while the one who finished thirdwas also four points behind me. Afterwards, I congratulated the champion who sat behind me as well as my other competitors for a good fight. The champion who I got to talk to afterwards came from De La Salle University–Dasmariñas, while the third placer came from Lyceum of the Philippines University-Manila.
When the day was over, we also bagged in other awards. My blockmates Deece and Kat won second place in their International Tour Package Proposal of New Zealand which was a class effort by all of us at 3T5 who conceptualized the Itinerary, Costing, Marketing Video and Brochures that were used in the competition. Also, our batchmate Jr won third place in the International Tour Guiding competition. Jeanie and Kim on the Domestic Tour Package Proposal, Shane and Sheila on their Poster Making competition, Trixia on modeling at the Kasuotang Pinoy competition and Jhie on the Domestic Tour Guiding all did a good job and a valiant efforteven though they did not make it to the Top 3. Aside from that, we finished 4th Runner-Up Overall in the Skills Olympics which was won by Lyceum of the PhilippinesUniversity–Manila.Afterwards, we all went for one thanksgiving dinner in Chowking at the nearby Market! Market!
So yeah, what has been a great year for me competing has come to an end. I competed in five competitions this year. The last three all came within a span of less than a month. Two championships, one runner-up finish, one third place finish and one semi-finals appearance. It was indeed a great and learning experience for me.
I would like to thank all our mentors Ma’am Jane Devanadera who was a “motherly” figure to all of us through the last few days as well as Ma’am Christine Cabigao. Also, we would like to thank our families, our classmates (especially my block 3T5), our batchmates, and the entire CTHM and Thomasian community for all their support and prayers throughout the last couple of months in the journey we all took to this moment.
Finally we Thank God for all the blessings and the inspiration you have given us throughout these past few months. It is indeed very overwhelming on my part to have made it this far from the time this all began last year.
Next year, I wish I can play a part on improving our chances in winning competitions, especially now, I’ll be the only one left from our quiz bee team this year as both my teammates will be graduating this month. I took into heart what our mentors both old and new said over these two days in Taguig. Like every opportunity that I had this year, I hope I’ll get the opportunity once again to be a part of something BIG and bring glory to the university once again. That’s why I‘m saying to myself time and time again I’m all in for UST!
Now, it’s back to reality for me as we wind down on this school year. There is plenty more work to do right now. Projects to pass, papers to defend, exams to pass, get certifications and all those things. For now, I’ll savor this moment. For tomorrow, it’s back to work again!
Thankful and Blessed! Opportunities taken have bear fruit.
One month in 2013 is in the books, now the month February has arrived. Well, it’s the love month as most people would say because of Valentine‘s Day coming up a few days from now, but in this blog entry, saying that it’s the love month is too mainstream. I say, that February will be the busiest month for me.
I rant about it all the time every time this time of the year comes, because Valentine’s Day for me is “JUST ANOTHER DAY in my LIFE.” Well because, I got no special someone to spend it with. Others may not agree with what I say, but that’s how I see things on that day. Ask me a Valentine‘s Day question and I will not answer. It’s my personal choice of doing this every year. So when that day arrives, expect no flowers nor chocolates coming out from me as well as me making a move on a lady, well because I’m not into giving gifts because I don’t have enough money with me most of the time. Maybe one day, I could say that it’s really the love month, but now it’s just too mainstream in my view.
So that’s enough of the love talk, like the title says, February will be the busiest month for me. That’s because I got a lot of things to do. I’ll be joining competitions once again this year, not one, not two, but three! A week from now, we’re off to Baguio to compete for a quiz bee as a team(it’s also a consolation for me to get some cold weather since I’m not joining my classmates and batchmates who will go to Seoul, South Korea this month) and some of my friends who will also compete in other contests will join along, then a week later we’ll be competing again in UP for a Ecotourism quiz bee, it will also be the last time our team over the past year will compete together since both my teammates are graduating this March. Then finally, it’s The Big One!, as I will compete at the end of the month in the UFTE Quiz Bee at The Fort. With all of that, I’m now into intense training and preparation every after class until the end of the month to prepare myself for these things. I’m hoping for the best in all the competitions I’ll be joining this month. I made this and got some inspiration from shirt designs and slogans of adidas.