Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Coming home...

I was getting ready to have dinner with my college friends last Friday when I began to feel a sudden excitement and soothing calm. Then I thought to myself, "I guess this is what the word homecoming means". The thought of seeing and being with these people whom I consider life long friends and family once again really made it feel like I was 'coming home'.

And why wouldn't I feel this way when it was these people I studied, partied, disagreed, cried and rejoiced with back in college - the best 3 years of my life (3 years because of the trimestral system). And even years after college we remained friends and allowed ourselves to be part of each others lives.

I remember in those days we even made a plan to meet up for lunch once a month. Obviously, with everyone's busy schedule, the monthly plan has become an at least twice a year event (sans getting together for our kids' birthday parties).

This dinner was particularly special because we celebrated Dada winning her company's international achievement award which will be taking her to London in a few days. For me, aside from celebrating Dada's success, it was my first time to return to Kit's house after Reyster passed away and it was a part of my process of coming to terms with his passing. Even if he was not physically present, I was so sure he was there with us.

I was happy that at least our core was in complete attendance. It's usually difficult to get everyone to attend and actually stay. We arrived at Kit's around 8pm and were treated to her yummy home cooked lamb chops, liempo and a variety of pasta dishes. Then we shared on oreo cheesecake with cookies and cream ice cream on the side (ooh, i can still remember the taste!). Afterwhich, our ever so creative host Kit prepared and served mojitos. In between all of these we shared stories, updating each other of current events in our lives.

What was enjoyably surprising was that after all these years, there would still be stories that would come out that the other members of the group didn't know of, and it's these stories that would allow us to piece together little bits of information that would complete another story or an unresolved mystery(for that night, it was Torts on the hot seat). We laughed so hard, couldn't stop the tears from flowing down my cheeks.

This went on until about 1:30am. Rob and I had an early morning the next day so even if I didn't want to leave, we had to go ahead, leaving the rest to reminisce and continue the night.

I left Kit's house that night feeling as if I was leaving my family after a reunion. And as I initially felt, that's just what it was, a homecoming.

I look forward to the next time we meet up, with tissue in hand, ready for another round of hard laughter, with tears. It always feels comforting to come home.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A young boys dream comes true

In our household it is normal to hear slapping of slipper soles on the floor. One slap, then another. This goes on and on. When you follow the source of the noise, you will find a 6 year old boy making phantom basketball shots. When he isn't doing this, he is making real shots in his small court in the backyard, or at RFM when we play on Sundays.

You could say that our son Rocco is hooked on the game. From playing on the PSP, to watching old videos of Michael Jordan, to watching La Salle play in the UAAP, he has developed a passion for the game that neither Rob or I had when we were his age.

Call us proud, doting parents (as we are of our kids), but we see a potential that may or may not be, and I believe it is our duty to nurture and encourage (without unhealthy pressure) it. When you ask him who his idols are, two names are mentioned, Michael Jordan and DLSU's Jvee Casio.

So when we heard that the Green Archers were going to attend Mass at Rocco's school, we decided to hear Mass there as well so that Rocco could get see and possibly meet his idol. After the Mass the players were gracious enough to sign autographs and pose for photos.

We walked up to Jvee and asked for a picture and autograph.

Then a small voice softly said to Jvee "I want to be like you". We then saw a shy but heart warmed smile from his idol and he softly answered "Wow, thank you."

After that surreal encounter, Rocco wanted photo's with the other members of his favorite team, and the players obliged.

As parents, we were just as happy so see the dream of a young boy come true on a warm Sunday morning.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

UAAP Men's Basktball Season is over

The UAAP Men's Basketball Championship for Season 71 is over. Crummy that there's nothing to look forward to on TV every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Congratulations Ateneo. You have a real good team this year and you played well. We had so many chances to score and close the gap, but again, the shots just didn’t fall. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Personally, I am happy that our team got this far and anything more is just gravy. But never did I imagine that it would end this way.

In all my years of playing and watching basketball games, I am usually not one to blame the officiating. But on this occasion I’m in shock at how the game was manipulated by people other than the players and in such blatant fashion. If they wanted to decide the outcome of the game, then they could have spared us all this drama.

It’s not that Ateneo does not deserve the victory, they do. But what gets my goat is that our team was not even given a chance. The officiating controlled the game rather than letting the players play. Calling that second technical on Rico decided the outcome of the game. And what was it for? Something that LOOKED LIKE taunting! I painfully watched the replay of the game just to see if Rico Maierhofer did make a dirty finger on Rabeh AL Husseini, you would see Maierhofer doing that same signaling to his teammates for most of the game, and at that instant right before the refs called the T, he was signaling at Jvee Casio.

So, I wonder if the ref will get suspended for that? Throughout the season, referees were suspended for making supposedly erroneous calls (incidentally on teams playing against La Salle). This one should take the cake, but since the Commissioner is from Ateneo, let's see if any form of action is taken.

Though it may seem sweet to Ateneo, I can't help but feel that this victory is somehow hollow because someone else helped win it for them. Still, enjoy your victory. You deserve it if we will base it on the whole season. NOT on this game.

I feel most for Jvee Casio. I saw his game face (one I don’t remember ever seeing before) when he received his Mythical Five award. And I saw the frustration and the mumbled words (which looked like “patay ako”) when he got his 4th foul.

I commend the team, especially those that stepped up until the very end. Keep your heads up! We are all proud of you!

The intensity that most of us have been waiting to see from our team was shown in the 1st quarter…now THAT was La Salle basketball (a little over emotional maybe, but that Animo, the hustle, the desire was there)…it was what I have been waiting to see all season long…but it possibly came too late…and as we saw, didn’t last long enough.

And as we have done in the past, from the ashes we must rise up and learn from this. Massive player build up/training should be priority. Is it possible that we were caught flat footed because most were still celebrating last years victory? May be, may be not. But it’s definitely a wake up call.

Nevertheless, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Let’s give it to the Blue Eagles to relish this one as it will be another few years before they feel this way again.

278 days to go until Season 72!

It will always be ANIMO LA SALLE!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

a new addition to the family

Nope, that isn't Snoopy. It's our new baby! A 3 month old Siberian Husky named Shadow. A birthday gift to my brother but since dogs aren't allowed in his condo, he had to leave Shadow at home with us to the delight of everyone in our household. He now joins our reliable askal Ampon.

Though he is a real hyper pup and wreaks havoc now and then, he has brought much joy to us, just like a new baby. We were able to teach him to sit, lie down and jump up. He still loves to bite or nib since he is still teething so we have to keep directing him to his chew toys.

We went to Tiendesitas a week ago to look at other Husky's and we saw this real huge one. We hope he would grow that big (obviously not thinking about his food requirements by that time). We are also thinking of having him train as a a search and rescue dog. I heard their breed are good at that. For now, he is the darling of the house.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Solar Sports All Access???More like Solar Sports All Commercials!!!

"Buti pa si Onyok at Monsour, mas mahaba pa ang sinabi."

This was the hilarious text I received from a friend as she referred to the commercials that showed former Filipino Olympians talk about their experiences. This came after seeing a literal several second GLIMPSE of the RP contingent as they paraded for the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. I think we saw them in about 2 blinks of an eye.

At least her text brought some humor to a very irritating and frustrating evening. After waiting for this night for some time now, it ended in a very anti-climactic manner.

With all the commercials that Solar showed (and is still showing at the time of this writing) during the live coverage of the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics on C/S (RPN 9), they were probably late in switching over to the live coverage and missed showing the RP athletes as they came into the stadium and was introduced by the announcer. The most we saw was Manny Pacquiao holding the flag, and he isn't even a participant!

We were actually fooled by Solar when they practically showed the entire artistic program prior to the parade of athletes. Once the parade began, so did the continuous and recurring commercials.

Was the motto of Solar for this coverage "let's show a barrage of commercials but hide it behind the name: "Live Coverage of the Opening of the Beijing Olympics!" ?

The entire telecast seemed like more of a slot machine for Solar! A total disservice to the Filipino people!

What I don't get is that Solar probably made a killing already with the pay-per-view tie ups with different cable operators. They had to bombard the coverage with sponsors. Fine, they need to make money. But why couldn't they even get the showing of the RP athletes right??? That's what the Filipinos watching were patiently waiting for, and they fumbled it. I even saw more of the Moroccan team than our own. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!

Special TV Broadcast? or Special Commercials Broadcast?

I don't understand why you couldn't think of your fellow Filipinos and just had a scrollbar at the bottom of the screen so sponsors could just appear there? This event happens once every 4 years and you couldn't even give a decent broadcast to your fellowmen.

And don't tell me that I should've availed of the pay-per-view. After seeing the line-up of sports...duh?it isn't worth my Php2,500(and besides, my area isn't serviceable).

My sentiment is that we were robbed of witnessing probably the best Olympics Opening Ceremonies ever.

Now the question is, will Solar redeem itself in the coming days. I highly doubt it...KA-CHING! KA-CHING! KA-CHING! While the viewers are left memorizing the Coke jingle and Gran Matador commercial.

I wonder if it would've been different had SkyCable got the rights to the coverage. I'm pretty sure they would've done a better job at in the least, timing the commercials. I used to feel sorry for Solar when they were supposedly booted out from Sky. But after what you guys did tonight..hay naku!

Okay...at least you showed the lighting of the torch until the fireworks display without a break. But then even before the ceremonies ended, you just had to take another break.

I wanted to see our athletes. That was their moment and you took it away from them by giving in to your sponsors! What a way to support Team Philippines guys!

I just hope someone looks into this. As usual, kawawa nanaman mga Pinoy.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rocco's first UAAP game!

It really isn't a surprise that Rocco has become fascinated with basketball. What with Rob and I being passionate players ourselves (okay, maybe I am more passionate than Rob - we play every Sunday at RFM). Within the last month, he has made it a point to join us at RFM so he could try shooting in a real court as opposed to his 7-foot goal at home. When he found out that some UAAP games are played at the Phil. Sports Arena (which is 5 minutes away from our house), he excitedly asked if he could watch a live game and see his idol, Jayvee Casio .

Yesterday was La Salle's game against UP and so we trekked to the ULTRA to have Rocco witness his first UAAP game - live. You could see the excitement in his eyes, even if at times he was trying to conceal it. La Salle won of course, but it didn't matter what the score was, it was enough that he got to see his idol and the rest of the players plus sing the Alma Mater song. He even imitated the players as they prepared to take free throws. As a parent, I was so happy just to see him beam with joy. It's one of those proud Mama moments. You never know how this will affect his life later on.

I haven't been to a UAAP game since the La Salle-Ateneo game last year(which La Salle lost). Fortunately for us, most games this season are played at the Phil. Sports, but tickets are still hard to come by. These are the times I miss the perks of being on the women's team - free access to the playing venues and most especially, joining the team dinners after their game. Those were some of THE best times!

You might wonder why out of all the games, we chose the vs. UP game -- well, we also wanted to enjoy the halftime show of UP. They always put on an entertaining show. Where will you find the spectators of the opposing team cheering for the UP dancers? That just shows how talented and entertaining they are.

The next game was UE vs. FEU. Rocco was in awe just watching Elmer Espiritu of UE make one dunk after another during the round robin, but he lost interest once the game started. We headed home after the 1st quarter (watched the rest of the game on TV, and boy! what a game it was!). Rocco is hoping to watch another game and no way are we going to deny that request. To see the same excitement in his eyes will be well worth it.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

let's talk couch potato

Okay, so I haven't really been talking much about my relationship with my TV and DVD player. Not to worry, Rob so approves. In fact, he's pretty much in on the whole thing. And I call my blog Couch Potato Corner? Fine, fine...I AM A COUCH POTATO! Though I do share the TV time with my kids, most especially Rocco, who is just mesmerized with "Shaun the Sheep"(downloaded both seasons), and it is pretty funny!

Charmed is waaay over. And as I wasn't really able to catch up with Dawson's Creek and Gilmore Girls, let's skip talking about that. Heroes needs no further discussion, but can't wait for Season 3.

Everyday is like...what's on TV? Ever since I was granted a TV in my room (which was around high school), it was, what's on? what did I miss? My teacher in college, Ayi Magpayo asked us one day why we liked watching TV. My answer, though he didn't seem to appreciate it as it wasn't probably the idea he was driving at was "I just didn't want to miss anything", and it still holds true today.

I TV surf. Checking if there's breaking news on CNN, any interesting topics or guests on Oprah and Ellen, documentaries on history, weather, earthquakes and volcanoes on Discovery or NGC. 6:30pm is news time then on to what programs are on for the night. Monday there's House, Wednesdays and Thursdays are American Idol (when it's on) and CSI. The other days are pretty much random. But every night from 9-10pm is E-News and The Daily 10. I don't mind watching re-runs on HBO or Star Movies as long as I like the movie.

For quite a while now, I've been hooked on One Tree Hill and recently Gossip Girl(and Rob is too--I can't watch new episodes without him). I am also at the beginning stages of Summerland (a pretty interesting take on parenting).

One Tree Hill began similar to Dawson's Creek with a bunch of high school kids either in love or fighting all the time, but has evolved beautifully into a mature take on life. Unlike its contemporaries like The OC, etc. which are still stuck on sex and switching partners(yecch!), OTH has gone beyond that (yes, they began that way) and transcended into a weekly "food for thought" about life and love. Kudos to the writer's for it's evolution. And may I say that the epilogues or afterthoughts (mostly done by Lucas, Chad Michael Murray's character) really get you thinking. It's on it's 5th season and personally, I think its at its strongest (and little Jamie Scott played by Jackson Brundage is soooo cute!). Plus they have 3 things I am passionate about - basketball, writing and music! Can't wait until September when it returns for Season 6.

Gossip Girl on the other hand, is like "Clueless++" in TV series form. As a mom, I was a bit concerned with the storyline and its target audience. All the sex, deceit and elitism I feel, is too much for young audiences. Suffice to say that I don't let Alexa watch it yet. But as an adult, it's pretty interesting to watch. Season 1 just ended and Season 2 also starts in September.

So with those 2 shows on a break, what now? Still waiting for Heroes. And, I still need to catch up with Summerland so maybe I'll do that first.