As a skinny teenager I would often be left out of the intramural basketball team. Height and heft was needed coupled with a must in basketball skills. Sadly, I was never one of those hand-picked by our Captain Ball to join the team. I played basketball but basketball didn't seem to like me.
That was when football came to my rescue. It turned out that I was very good at it, eventually making it to the school varsity team in 3rd year high school. I resumed playing in 1st and 2nd year college and even after I graduated. It was enjoyable to play the world's most popular game.
But then, it was all just that. After high school or college there were no offers from big league football clubs nor continuing programs that were available for landing a pro or even a semi-pro contract. The fact was that football is not our sport. Basketball is. There were rumors of corruption along the PFF ranks then, with every PFF President taking turns in pocketing the country's budget for football despite how measly it was. No one can really confirm those rumors but it may have been true since there was nothing stellar that came out of the PFF except for the 1995 SEA games when the whole Rizal Stadium celebrated when we drew against Malaysia.
Yes, we celebrated, i.e. danced on the football field when the final whistle sounded ---over a draw.
That time, to many of us school footballers, the competitive play ends in school. The Philippine team was mostly reserved for the great players from Visayas or Mindanao which I consider as the bedlam of Philippine football. Office leagues are mainly for basketball and volleyball only. Football was never in the spotlight, except of course, when the World Cup was in season and many of those half-baked Filipino fans just want to get a share of the action. Once the World Cup ends, the excitement of these fans dies with it.
Fast forward to 2010, a resurgence in the form of the AZKALS, the Philippine football team sent to the AFF Suzuki Cup, has awakened the minds of the basketball/boxing-crazed Filipino. The draws against powerhouse Singapore and Myanmar, and that unforgettable 2-0 beating unleashed to Vietnam in the group stages, had made me believe that somehow, Azkals football has bitten the minds of its people that football IS really the way to go.
They put up a valiant effort in the away and away semifinal legs (not home and away since there was no home football field available that met the AFF's standard; FIFA might've said the same way) versus football-crazy Indonesia. The score on both legs was 0-1 which is highly-respectable. Obviously, the Azkals defense was relentless inspite of the stadium filled to to the brim of Indonesians jeering and booing at every Azkals play.
They end the AFF Suzuki Cup campaign not in defeat for I believe that they've accomplished something far better and that is to wake up the basketball-drugged Filipino and say that "HEY! We CAN be football greats if we want it to be!"
I sincerely hope that the PSC or the PFF takes notice of this great achievement. Let it not remain a brief spark. I ask that the PSC/PFF keeps the light of football alive in our country since the Azkals have made the other SEA countries respect Filipino football. Scores of 0-13, 0-10 against us could be a thing of the past if the right support is given over these lads and future players that can represent us in upcoming inter-country meets.
And, who knows, we might finally get our place in the World Cup Finals. Maybe not in my lifetime, but I hope and dream that we'll get to that place someday.
Impossible you say? Try saying that to the Azkals.
For good measure, I also downloaded Super Junior's "Sorry Sorry" to cap up my planned dance remix. Yes, it's a Korean dance hit. Here it is in case you don't know:
The reason for downloading these songs is that I've been assigned, get this, to make sure that the seniors of our department participate in the forthcoming Department Christmas party on Monday. I believe I'm the youngest of the lot, with the others ranging from 40-45 years old.
I doubt if they could recall BSB's songs, but I think they'd definitely had an opportunity to watch the Kanto Boys on ASAP XV in one Sunday or another.
Yup, that's what we'll be doing (assuming there'll be no rheumatism or gout attacks during practice). The performance is not really to kick-ass and dance like the Jabawockeez or those contestants from those group dance shows in the US or UK. We'll just try to practice to dance jokingly serious to put a smile or laugh to our peers' faces. Imagine that time when you were laughing with tears in your eyes as you watched your senior managers, AVPs or up performing during your Christmas party?
I guess I'm part of that group now.
I just pray to the heavens above that our would-be performance does not end up in YouTube or worse, the evening news.
And yes, you too will grow old.
I find it amazing, for my standard, how well-written the blogposts from my years in Malaysia came to be. It was witty, funny, and oh, did I say witty? Probably the stresses of this workplace that I've moved into since July 2006 had eroded my writing skills to mere objective phrases that are mostly required in office emails. I may have simply lost the art of writing. My English professor from 2nd year college, who'd ask DAILY for essays, could be disgusted if she sees how dormant this blog and how low my level of creative(?) writing has been.
My writing has been preoccupied with my other blog which is on running. I love running. As that New Balance ad said, running saves me from all the stresses in life. And it helps, really, to put things into perspective. It helps me relax (yes, even on those hard running workouts) and be prepared for the stresses at work (a side note: people here in the office really drive me nuts!). But there is not much to tell. It's mostly about I ran here, I ran there, I ran this long, and oh, I'll be running here or there. Too bad my weight (165lbs) had not descended from some time now (although I lost 11lbs since Malaysia based on my old blogposts).
Another one of my staff is resigning. That's the 3rd one this year, and 6th in my 4yrs of stay in this Company.
The reason for leaving is not me, of course, but the lure of earning big bucks abroad. Such is the predicament that we have. A high percentage of job hopefuls end up in this Company and use it for training for 2 or 3 years then venture out to work abroad hoping for a better life.
I've been there.
Without further ado, here's a rundown of what we had there:
For the main dish, I ordered the Moroccan Spiced Fish (P379.00). With a glass of white wine on the side (P240.00), this dish was superb!
The ambience was bright and cozy. We loved our first trip so much that we went there weeks after. Below is a run-down of the food we ate for those two trips:
This is no doubt my favorite, Grilled Vegetable Salad with Shoyu Vinaigrette. Ang sarap grabeh!
On my first trip I tried the Aloha Locco(?) (sorry I'm not sure of the name). This was very delicious as well.
On our second trip, I tried the Massaman Beef Curry. This was mighty spicy! Too much for me.
For the missus, for the two trips she ordered the Ziti and the Fish n Chips. Both tasted well too.
This was what the missus had ordered for dessert: the mini walnut cake. She has a thing for walnut cakes. Hmmm, she must've been missing the maple-walnut ice cream that she often eats in Malaysia.
I don't mind the long Mass time, mind you. But if there's truth that the human brain can only retain 10% of the average speech, then Fr. Adlib went overboard ---again. It would've been better if the sermon was interesting but it seemed more enjoyable for him rather than for us.
He should learn that sermons should be "short but sweet" whenever possible. If the sermon needs to be long, then it should be written in advance, not blabbered endlessly until he doesn't realize that he's way way waaaaay off-topic already.
Again, I'm ok with a lengthy Mass as long as the priest doesn't talk too much on his sermon.
Hmmm, I guess I'll mail him.
I know. I've gone/surrendered to jologs-land. At least it's not jejemon-dom. :D
So who do you think was to blame? Here's Piolo while you're thinking about it.
- I conducted a pre-election survey in one of my Yahoogroups. Gibo and Gordon tied for President while Roxas won for Vice-President. My analysis of this is that the group that participated were that of the thinking class. That is, they were never swayed with the ads and other campaigns. What they considered were the past performances that these people have accomplished.
- It took me 2.5 hours before I was able to cast my vote. Seeing how our government had embraced technology in order to provide speedier results, that 2.5 hour wait was well worth it.
- I voted for Gibo and Roxas. I believed in what Gibo stood for. Too bad his association being the Arroyo government's candidate may have affected the votes. Roxas? Hmmm...not really sure come to think of it
- Erap placed 2nd in the presidential race. This means we still have a lot to learn as a people. The masses are still lost in terms of getting a true grasp of the goings-on in the government.
- I agree with Gibo that our country is long overdue for a Constitutional Change. Many people have found ways to go around these laws.
- Gibo's advice to his supporters: "Do the best that [you] can do in [your] own field. We have an obligation to our country to do the best in our respective fields...fairly...legitimately."
- I hope Noynoy does a good job, lest he wants his parents to come back after him.
- Binay as VP? How the hell did he pull it off? Really amazing. I'm thinking that the Chiz Escudero endorsement ad did a lot of damage to Mar's campaign.
- I voted for Val Sotto for Paranaque Councilor. He was the only guy I know fairly well (from his TODAS and VST days).
- Except for some, the presidential and vice-presidential candidates for this term were a good batch. The mudslinging was expected but if you look at each of their credentials, they really did a lot of good (except for you-know-who).
- I voted for Pia Cayetano simply because she's a runner/triathlete. Anyone who can take care of his/her health is a good start.
- I voted for Miriam. We need a whistle-blower in there.
- Conceding is actually a very brave thing to do. Congrats to those who've done it so far!
- The missus is definitely going to be irritated since her hate-hate relationship for Kris will probably grow exponentially now that she is in Malacanang (which was probably why ABSCBN has 1 foot in there as well).
- Non-election thought: as per the missus' observation, Boy Abunda seems to be cheerier/happier evern since Kris left SNN. Tignan mo mabuti mamayang gabi.
- To Noynoy: I didn't vote for you. But I hope that these next 6 years you can prove me wrong. Otherwise, watch out. "Ang bise-presidente ko, may B."
Here's what we ordered:
Tom Yam w/ Noodles (not as spicy as the missus hoped)
Bagoong Rice (yummeh!)
Pandan Chicken (nice!)Shrimp Cakes (kakaiba)
The Tom Yam, as mentioned above, didn't taste as spicy as the Tom Yam the missus normally had in Malaysia. Hence, this led us to think that probably the Thai food at Som's had been "Filipinized" to cater to our taste buds.
The average Pinoy taste normally includes Chinese, Filipino, Italian, and Japanese cuisine when deciding where to dine out. Thai food is normally a once-in-a-long-while option. For Som's, the food was great as it was fairly-priced. However, the missus and I have no plans of coming back there anytime soon. Probably we'd go back after 6 months, just to say that we've eaten Thai food.
Kaya Toast. Again, Toastbox's version is way way better.
Baby James must've been bitten by LSS just like any other kid in the Philippines who has watched Villar's TV commercials. Even my eldest son Lucas has been singing "Nakakita ka na ba..." over and over again after he was able to memorize the lyrics.
Below is a summary of our trip, in pictures:
Strawberries at Burnham Park
Star Rice @ Star Cafe
Choco-Late de Batirol
Our family driver horsing around at Camp John Hay
Filling Station @ Camp John Hay
Can't wait to go up again to Baguio City later this year. ;-)
- A psychosis, named after the second-rate actress
- Attributed to disturbed and untalented people who have the need to be the focus of everyone's attention by dropping their two-cents worth on any hot issue, then proceeds to connect it to their life and go on bantering about themselves in public limelight
The poster reads:
Maawa po kayo sa Akin Iboto niyo si Cantal Pagka Pangulo ng Pilipinas Bata at Matanda Bibigyan ng Sampung Libo Bawat buwan at Habang Buhay
Verdict? Probably 7 out of 10. I asked my officemates who ate with me as well and their grades were either a 6 or a 7.
Still, I might not go back there anytime soon.