Ball Is Life

I still find it surreal that I'm playing real basketball with Lucas, my eldest son turning 11 this month, at our small makeshift half court at home. Matteo, now 8, also plays but not as intense and as dedicated as Lucas (he plays hours in the afternoon and waits for me in the evenings to play 1on1).
At the missus' friend's house a few weeks ago. Our court at home doesn't look better, hehe.

The missus and I bought a standard sized hoopset (with matching NBA logo) at one of the sports stores in Robinsons Magnolia last Christmas. It was our gift for them then, in the hopes that maybe they could be the next Teng brothers sensation in La Salle in the future. ;-) I set the height of the ring as standard as possible ---maybe a difference of 6 or so inches from the standard height. But it serves it's purpose as the boys make full use of it, especially Lucas.

Last night's 1on1 game against Lucas was typical as in any other night we played. It was preceded by a 2vs1 game wherein Matteo and I teamed up, beating him handsomely (as usual).

Onto the 1on1 game, it was as competitive as before, with me trying my best to emulate Kobe's turnaround shot and step back jumpers. I may have slightly went overboard on the taunts as the shots went in ("swoosh!") but Lucas didn't seem to mind....

...until he was getting crushed on the score line.

The game ended at 10-5 or 10-7 I think, with me winning the game. By the time I went off to rest, I saw Lucas about to cry but, like a man, tried his best to keep it to himself as he practiced his shots.

I challenged him to a recovery game of 21 which he obliged. He whispered to me "[Give me] no pity."

Again, I beat him (21-17). He grabbed the ball and was dribbling and shooting to recover. But this time the disappointment of his 3 game loss was more obvious, with Lucas almost about to pour his eyes out with matching hikbi.

I talked to him on how he should approach this setback, that he should man up, that it's just a game, and that there'll be a winner and loser in every game. I forgot the other phrases that I said, but I hope he got what I was driving at. The missus talked to him for a few minutes too when I left.

As a parent it is automatic that we should give all the best that our children should have. They are our most precious blessings and as such, we want to make sure they get everything ---including winning. But in basketball, I will NOT go easy on him for this is the only way he'll learn and improve. In basketball and in life, nothing is fair. He must learn to accept that. If I always set myself to lose, he won't be able to cope out there when the going gets really tough.

Just like how Michael Jordan's brother would beat him in their backyard games, I will take that role (with a heavy heart) of beating Lucas in basketball for this'll be the only way that he will try to find a way to beat me.....and perhaps become one of the best basketball players EVER to carry the Punsalan name on his jersey.

Lucas, if you find this post later on, know that I want you and Matteo to be the best that you can be ---whatever you want to pursue in life. Don't give a damn on what other people say ---especially if you lose. Just pick yourself up, get back into the game, and do your hardest (and smartest) to win!


Hell Week

Feb 13-19, 2017 will go down in my book as one of the worst weeks that will ever happen in my life.


Driving to work, I hit another car as I was turning left from Gil Puyat to Tordesillas. The opposing driver immediately called to my attention that I was on the 3rd lane trying to make a left. I quickly proposed to settle it without the need of going to the traffic bureau as his car only had a minor scratch on the front bumper. Paid the amount of P2,500.00 the next day.


Dad suffered a mild stroke after hours of driving between Paranaque and Ortigas. He was slurring heavily on the other end of the call and started making his usual habilins so I decided to drive from my Makati office to their house in Paranaque. He would normally resist invitations to take him to the hospital since he regularly encounters such episodes but this time he felt that this was different. He had loss of balance, his right arm felt numb, aside from the slurring thus we rushed immediately to Makati Med.

The ER tests confirmed what we suspected: acute stroke. There was a clot in his brain, detected by the MRI which, fortunately, can be treated thru medicine. He was released from the hospital last Sunday ---not after daily sermons from his cardiologist to change his obese lifestyle.


After visiting Dad with the missus, we were hit from behind by a Grab driver who quickly admitted that he was not focused on the car in front which was me. The car in front of me made a stop so I did the same. Unfortunately, Mr. Grab driver didn't and slightly crumpled the back of our Mazda.

Body repair costs P7,000.00 which he was able to pay last Sunday but will take 2-3 days to repair. This'll mean Uber rides for me to and from the office for the mean time.


After parking the missus' car in the gym to get the vital parking space due to high-demand of Zumba Titas for popular (and fortunately gay) instructors, I did my usual run around the neighborhood. After about 3+ kms of running, I realized that my shorts' back pocket had a hole and that my LTO license was missing. I ran an extra 2kms on my usual 6k run to trace my steps but couldn't find it. I went home and grabbed my road bike to do another sweep. Fortunately, with the help of our newspaper boy slash weekend roadbike warrior, it was found in a wet spot in the corner where he and his boy were resting after a day's delivery of newspapers.

If you look into all the mishaps that happened, you can see that there was always a happy ending to it. The two car accidents were settled amicably, my LTO license was found, and most importantly, Dad is all well and hopefully back to full recovery. Often the initial reaction to such incidents are shock, disbelief, and anger ---all of which are understandable at first. But once these things figure themselves out after some time, you just have to be amazed at how blessed you are to get things moving normally again.

Maybe a reminder from God that we need to be more thankful (AND more careful!) of what we have.


My Dad and Mr Ito

On our way to Tokyo after Christmas last month, I was able to watch the Japanese film "My Dad and Mr. Ito" via the Japan Airlines entertainment facilities. We were flying Economy but the good people of Japan Airlines made it a point to make the passengers in our class comfortable with in-flight entertainment and a good (complete) meal.

The movie was in Japanese but fortunately English subtitles were available. I enjoyed the film since it played out as how I expected it to be: a soft/quiet story of a young woman, her father, and her boyfriend, and how they go about living their lives under one roof.

I love to watch these types of soft films, devoid of the usual loud drama dialogues or action-packed scenes that most (major) productions employ. It is probably ones' longing for peace and quiet amidst the everyday hustle and bustle of life, the need to make the mind and soul relaxed and rejuvenated that watching these sort of films makes it enjoyable......like yoga.