Pampalamig

Marami lang akong na-engkuwentrong nakakainis na bagay nitong nakaraang linggo sa aking panonood ng balita, pagbabasa-basa at paggala sa Internet. Kesa naman sa sumulat pa ako ng isang napakahabang blog, idadaan ko na lang sa mga larawang nakita ko sa Internet (yung iba eh ginawa ko lang) ang aking mga gustong sabihin. Tutal, sabi naman nila, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

Heto lang ang mensahe ko sa mga taong gustong pumalpak ang kasalukuyang administrasyon dahil “butthurt” pa rin sila na hindi ang kandidato nila ang nanalong Pangulo kaya pati personal na buhay eh pinapakialaman, pati na rin sa mga patuloy na nagkakalat ng kasinungalingan tungkol sa Reproductive Health Bill, partikular na si G. Teddy Locsin Jr., na nagsulat pa ng kalokohang artikulo sa Philippines Free Press. Isasama ko na rin ang coach ng Vietnamese football team na si Henrique Calisto, na nilait ang football team ng Pilipinas, ang Team Philippines-Azkals, matapos silang talunin sa kasalukuyang ginaganap na 2010 AFC-Suzuki Cup. Pati na rin pala ang mga Supreme Court justices na nagdeklarang “unconstitutional” ang Truth Commission na dapat sana ay magsisiyasat sa mga kalokohan ng nakaraang administrasyon.

Iyun lang.

Butthurt Troll Nation

Sa aking paglilibot sa malawak na mundo ng Internet dahil sa paghahanap ng kahit na anong broadcast  (video o audio streaming) ng basketball sa 2010 Asian Games na kasalukuyang ginaganap, napapansin kong nagiging aktibo na naman ang mga fans, dahil alam naman nating numero unong sport sa Pilipinas ang basketball. Bago pa lamang ganapin yun eh kanya-kanya nang kuru-kuro at saloobin ang mga fans. Dumadami at umiingay ang Internet boards, blogs at ang Facebook page ng Smart Gilas Pilipinas habang palapit ang Asian Games, at lalo na nung nag-umpisa.

At sa bawat laro, may nananalo at natatalo. Nang dumating na ang turn ng Smart Gilas Pilipinas na matalo, maraming lumabas na mga comments at blogs na nagsasabing “Umuwi na lang kayo!“, “Mag-resign ka na Coach Rajko Toroman!”, “Dapat si <insert name of player or coach here> na lang ang ipinadala, nanalo pa tayo!”, and all that kinds of shit. Pero noong nananalo naman ang Smart Gilas, puro papuri naman ang maririnig mo sa mga bugoy.

Sa aking mahigit na 10 years nang pagkaka-expose sa Internet (ang primary email ko nga eh ginawa using yung Netscape Navigator browser pa), nakita ko ang buti na idinulot nito sa buhay nating mga Pilipino. Subalit naging “channel” din siya sa numero unong “pastime” ng Pilipino, ang magreklamo, ngumawa at manghila ng ibang tao pababa. Sa Net-speak, libangan na nating maging “butthurt” at maging “troll”.

Parang araw-araw ganito ang ibang Pilipino.

Ayon sa Wiktionary, “butthurt” is a slang adjective meaning “annoyed, bothered, or bugged because of a perceived insult“. Pwede din syang noun na ang ibig sabihin ay “annoyance because of a perceived insult” o “upset because of a perceived injustice“. Ang “troll” naman, ayon sa Wikipedia, “is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response, or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion“. Sa madaling salita, ang taong “butthurt” eh yung mga tipo ng taong feeling nila ay telenovela ang buhay nila.

The two greatest sources of butthurt feelings in the Philippines.

Ang mga “trolls” naman eh yung layunin lang eh manggulo. Magiingay tungkol sa isang topic para mapansin, o matabunan ang maayos na diskusyon tungkol sa isyung yun, or hatiin ang isang grupo.

The most recent troll magnet.

Maitatanong nyo, anong kinalaman ng mga Internet terms na yan sa buhay natin? Para sa akin, malaki. Marami kasi sa atin ang butthurt sa mga bagay na hindi naman dapat. Butthurt dahil hindi nanalo ang Ginebra, butthurt kasi hindi napili ang idol na makasama sa National Team, butthurt dahil pinalitan ang ka-loveteam ng idol na artista, butthurt kasi nagtaas na naman ang presyo ng langis, butthurt dahil hindi nanalo ang kandidatong sinuportahan. At sa kadahilanang iyan, nagiging troll sila. Binabato ng piso ang referee, sine-secondguess ang mga magagandang hangarin ng kandidato, binabantaan ang bagong ka-loveteam ng idolo, nagra-rally sa kalsada, nagpo-post ng kung anu-ano sa Twitter at Facebook, naghehenyu-henyuhan, at kung anu-ano pa.

 

Magbigay kaya ng ganito ang gobyerno sa bawat Pilipino?

Hindi masama ang pumuna sa kung ano ang sa palagay ng isang tao ay hindi dapat, pero ibang usapan na kung lahat na lang ng makikita ay mali. Tinatabunan ang tama at pinapalaki ang kahit na ang maliit na pagkukulang. Isa pa, kung may nakitang mali, eh di gumawa ng bagay para itama iyun, sa halip na magngangangawa.

Taragis na yan, nagutom ako ah. Masarap kaya ang talangka bilang hapunan? Ah…hindi na siguro, baka masira ang tiyan ko at maging literal ang butthurt ko…XD

Working Man Blues

Posted On July 14, 2010

Filed under Personal Stuff

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“People choose the paths that grant them the greatest rewards for the least amount of effort”–Dr. Gregory House

I have a confession to make.

My family and most of my friends know that I am still working in a call center. The reality is that I have severed my links to the industry. Since last May. However, I still hold my part-time job as a proofreader, so I still have money at times.

I know some of my friends would ask, “Bakit? Malaki ang sweldo sa call center, ah. Bakit mo binitawan yun sa hindi naman ganun kalaki ang kita?” I think I can answer it through this post.

First, I think I got bored stiff by working in a call center. Sure, you get to speak with other people, but it’s mostly about business. Another thing, you don’t get informed about things around you, since most of the centers I have worked for ban the use of the Internet on the work terminals, and I am too tired at the end of the day to even surf. For a person that is an information addict, it is like being a smoker being without cigars. Lastly, I felt na pumurol ang utak ko since I entered the industry. I haven’t been able to write as spontaneously as before, and I am still trying to get my groove back.

Second, money no longer motivates me as much as before. It’s not that money ruled my life, but it became enough motivation for me to accept my first call center assignment, even though I lived in Marikina and the office was in Market! Market!, Fort Bonifacio. Right now, I don’t think I can bring myself to work for one.

Third, I don’t think that my body can handle the schedule of the industry, at least for now. I know that I am a night person, and years of working in the industry has ensured that it will be that way for a long time, but even night persons have times that they have to sleep at night. You can’t have those nights if you are in a call center.

Fourth, I wanted to have a life. Hindi yung bahay-pasok na lang ang ginagawa ko. During these past few months, I have been somewhat making up for lost time. For instance, last week I was finally able to attend the screenings of Eiga Sai (Japanese film festival), and I was able to watch all 10 of the features. I have also been to Enchanted Kingdom twice this year (and a third is in the works), as compared to the period between 2006-2009 (zero).

Lastly, it might sound absurd, but I am satisfied with my part-time job. Sure, it pays per essay that I edit, but I found some things in this job that I never found in any of the companies that I have worked before. Malcolm Gladwell wrote in a book that to be satisfied with your job, you need three things. Those are Autonomy (you get to have a say on what you do everyday, at least on how you will do your job), Complexity (as the book says, it should “engage both your mind and imagination”), and Connection between Effort and Reward (the harder you work, the greater your income). Let me compare my present and past gigs based on these three things.

Autonomy:

Past (call center): Almost everything is by the book. You need to follow scripts, you can’t eat at your workstation, you can’t browse the Net, you can’t bring your phone, etc. Maraming bawal.

Present (proofreading): Sure, there is a deadline for me to finish my corrections, but I can decide on which time of day or where I can do it. Since it’s Web-based, I can do it at home, or in an Internet cafe, or at a Burger King (I have a netbook, but it’s currently “indisposed”). I can take my lunch or dinner while working, I can play music, hell, I can even drink while working (I just make sure that I do the corrections well).

Huge Advantage: Present.

Complexity:

Past: Okay, I do get varied calls from time to time, but I have to do it according to a certain “call flow”.

Present: Although the job is mind-numbing, in some instances it gives the opportunity to do research, and that is where I can stumble into some new knowledge or information.

Slight Advantage: Present.

Connection Between Effort and Reward:

Past: After all the deductions on your salary, can you still appreciate the hours that you put up? The holidays that you missed? The risk that you take each day while travelling? ‘Nuff said.

Present: Since this is a part-time gig, there are no deductions. Also, you know when it is lean times or fat times ahead of you. To be quite honest, the salary that I will be receiving this month will be less than the electric bill for our house. But it’s okay, because there are few essays to correct. The netbook that I was mentioning earlier?  I was able to buy that during one of those “fat times”.

Considerable Advantage: Present

Despite all of these, wala naman akong masamang tinapay sa call center industry. In fact, I would like to thank all those years, because I earned enough from all the backpay I have received to tide me over (somewhat) during these lean times. In fact, I used to love the industry, mainly because the first call center that I worked for was as flexible as it could be allowed. We can bring food to our stations, we can listen to music, we can surf the Internet. But as they say, some good things never last. Gradually, some rules were imposed. However, I still was able to stay for two years, until I was cut when the account downsized. Last April, I was given the opportunity to come back to that same account. However, as much as the team leaders said that nothing has changed, I saw otherwise. The bright, cheery atmosphere was gone. Sure, some of the guys that I worked with before were still there, but it seemed that they were strangers to me. Also, the aura of the workplace was still and quiet. Para akong nasa sementeryo. So, I used the elections last May to leave, and I have never came back since then.

The only thing remaining is how to break the news to my family. I know someone who will freak out when she learns about this.

Tagged! 15 Random Things about Myself (Part 3)

Posted On July 1, 2010

Filed under Personal Stuff

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Ang katuluyan ng mga bagay na tungkol sa akin…

8.I am a night person.

I accomplish more when I work on things during the night than during the day, specifically from 10 pm onwards. Sometimes, I stay awake until 8 in the morning. However, that doesn’t mean that I just lie around on my ass when the sun is up. May mga nagagawa at ginagawa din naman ako sa araw, pero mas gumagana ang utak ko kapag gabi. I do my job (proofreading essays) better, as well as concentrate more. In fact I am doing this entry at 2 am. The only exception is when I am dead tired from doing something during the day, or when I am blitzed after a drinking spree.

9. I think I am jinxed when it comes to planning.

Seriously, the moment I plan about something, from vacations to stuff like setting up a business, sooner or later something will happen that will force me to postpone or completely scrap it. Things like friends backing out from going on a trip we have planned, money not reaching me in time, and others just puts the breaks on my plans. That is why I do not talk or think much about the stuff I want to do in the near future. Baka mapurnada na naman.

10. I once dreamed to be the President of the Philippines.

Of course, as kids, we all had dreams on what we want to be in the future. I think this happened when I was between 5-8 years old (5 because that was the time of the coups against the late President Cory Aquino, 8 because that was the time when former President Fidel Ramos was campaigning. Either way, I don’t remember which of those really sparked that dream, so then). During that time, I thought that being President was cool; people follow whatever you say, you are always on TV, you get to live in a nice “palace.” It was when my age and wisdom advanced (I don’t want to say the word “older”, kalabaw lang ang tumatanda) that I saw the realities behind being a President and I concluded that it is a thankless bitch of a job, and it is more so today. However, I did not totally junk that dream. Malay natin, maging Presidente nga ako. Isa pa, libre lang ang mangarap. Pero mas gusto kong maging ordinaryong tao.

Other things that I dreamed about when I was a kid included being a basketball player (hindi tayo pinalad sa height), a spy, a sports analyst (those guys who call basketball games on TV), and a journalist (was actually planning to take up Journalism in college, but my parents stepped in, telling me, “ayaw naming magkabutas-butas ang katawan mo”).

11. I used to drink a lot of softdrinks and coffee.

When I say a lot, I mean a lot. As in nakaka-isang litro ako ng Coke sa isang araw. Sa kape naman, may mug dati ang tiyuhin ko na parang makakapuno na ng tabo sa laki, at nakaka-dalawang tasa ako nun sa isang araw. However, since my mother passed away from complications resulting from diabetes, I have cut down on my soda and coffee intake. Hindi na rin naman kasi gumagana as pampagising. Lalo lang akong inaantok. Nowadays, I just drink coffee when I want to, and I would most likely drink pineapple juice or water than cola. However, if I would drink cola, I want it to be rootbeer.

12. I once stopped from schooling just for the heck of it…

Yup, before my recent “academic leave” (which is already, according to my calendar, running for 4 years, 8 months and change), I did take a leave from my college studies. I told my parents that I was stopping for a semester to help my older sister (which was in college too), which was true. The other reason, which I did not tell them, was I wanted to take a breather. Medyo na-burnout din kasi ako nung mga panahong yun. Siguro dahil sa environment ng eskwelahan (a school known for its business courses somewhere in Quezon City). I mean, I had few friends, and you need friends to help you from the tedium. I did come back after a semester, but our financial situation was still fucked up, so we moved to the province, where I continued my studies, until it was interrupted again, this time not of my will.

Which leads me to…

13. …but I still want to finish my studies.

Though I have learned more things outside the walls of the school than inside it, I still want to finish it, and at the last college that I attended. Of course, iba pa rin ang may natapos na kurso. Isa pa, sayang naman kasi isang taon na lang ang bubunuin ko.

As for the “last college that I attended” part, you might ask, “Bakit doon pa? Marami namang magagandang eskwelahan dito sa Manila?” Well, I just consider it as an unfinished business, and I think it would be great if I finished what I started in the college where I studied the longest. Another thing, college here in Manila can be very stressful. Traffic pa lang, uubusin na ang enerhiya mo. At least my former college is just a walking distance away from our place in the province. Really.

Did I mention that this is one of the things that I can use as an example for Random Thing about Me #9?

14. I am currently making a “Bucket List.”

I am in the process of making a compilation of the things that I want to do before I kick the bucket (which could be anytime, anywhere). However, I intend to make it more organized, and some would have numbers (e.g. I want to go to this place X number of times), like an “achievement list” in games.

Baka i-post ko siya dito kapag nagawa ko na siya.

15. I had a really difficult time filling this up.

Honestly, it was hard to think about things that are random and interesting at the same time. Marami pa kasi akong hindi napupuntahan, hindi nagagawa, hindi nararanasan. There are also things that I’d rather keep to myself, or with the people really close to me. That’s why I took a long time finishing this.

Malapit na pala akong mag-time. Salamat sa pagbabasa!



Tagged! 15 Random Things about Me (Part 2)

Posted On June 29, 2010

Filed under Personal Stuff

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Napahaba iyung naisulat ko noong una, kaya naisip ko na ring i-divide ang post na ito into sections para hindi gaanong matrabaho basahin. Anyway, eto na yung katuluyan ng “15 Random Things About Me…”

15 Random Things about Me

3. I express myself better through writing than speaking.

That is right most of the time. I tend to stammer and forget things whenever I talk, but I can give more ideas if I put it in paper. Isa pa, ang isinusulat, pwede mo pang baguhin. Ang nasabi mo na, hindi mo na mababawi. Maybe that’s the reason why I don’t talk too much. The only exception is when I am drunk.

4. I read a lot, and I plan to have a personal mini-library.

I like reading stuff. Newspapers, magazines, books. Kahit siguro pambalot ng tinapa, basta interesante ang nakasulat, papatusin ko. However, I have my preferences. For non-fiction books, I like history books, as well as autobiographies (official or unofficial) and those that discuss a specific event or topic that I’m interested in (The Last Season: A Team In Search of Its Soul is a good example). For fiction, that would be a toss-up, though I like the Thomas Harris series (The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising) and the works of Tom Clancy and Dan Brown.

As for the mini-library, I think I can pull that off whenever I have the money and the right place. XD

5. I am afraid of heights and depth.

Oo, takot ako sa matataas na lugar at sa malalim na parte ng dagat.  Mahihirapan kang mapasakay ako sa Wheel of Fate (yung Ferris Wheel sa Enchanted Kingdom) at may oras na mamumutla ako kapag sumasakay ako sa Anchors Away. Curiously, nakaya ko namang magtrabaho sa 26th floor ng isang building sa Eastwood at ang dalawa sa pinakagusto kong destinasyon ay Baguio at Antipolo.

Ayoko naman sa malalim na parte ng dagat dahil hindi ako marunong lumangoy. Kinda ironic, kasi nanirahan ako sa Pangasinan, at may kalapitan ang beach sa amin.

6. I like taking walks.

Sabi nga nila, walking is great exercise. Para sa akin, magandang paraan din ito para matuto tungkol sa paligid. Kung maglalakad ka kasi, mas madali mong mahahanap ang isang lugar kumpara sa kung sasakay ka ng jeep o bus. Makikita mo rin ang mga bagay na mami-miss out mo kung nakasakay ka sa umaandar na behikulo. Nakaya ko nang maglakad mula sa Ortigas hanggang sa bahay namin sa Marikina, as well as mula sa Ayala hanggang sa SM Megamall, mula sa bahay hanggang sa Crossing-Shaw, at mula sa bahay hanggang sa Antipolo. Iyung unang tatlong instances, kinailangan dahil wala akong pamasahe. Iyung huli, eh trip lang.

7. I have a love-hate relationship with the rain.

Just as it says, I love the rain at times, but I hate it most of the time. I love it because it helps me sleep, and it’s a good time to drink with friends. I hate it because it makes travel (whether to work, home or somewhere else) hard. Sa taong hiyang sa paglalakad, nakakainis ang tag-ulan. Another reason why it makes travel harder, aside from the usual aftereffects of a shower, like floods and traffic, is that it makes public transport stuffy. Nakukulob ang body heat sa loob ng jeep. Hindi naman ako biniyayaan ng kotse, kaya kung walang mahanap na FX o taxi, o kaya naman walang pamasahe para dun, eh magtitiis ka talaga.

Oops, may gagawin pa pala ako. Pero pagbalik ko eh tatapusin ko na ito. Pramis.



Tagged! 15 Random Things about Myself (Part 1)

Posted On March 8, 2010

Filed under Uncategorized

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Habang ako ay wala sa blogging ay may mga nag-tag pala sa akin. Sa una akala ko eh para lang siyang picture sa Facebook na may notification and what not, pero I learned na parang simpleng “Oy, taya ka!” iyun. Since tatlo na silang nag-tag sa akin dito, sasagutin ko na nga (though I doubt kung aabot ito ng 15, masyadong boring ang buhay ko)…

15 Random Things about Myself
1. Food is my greatest vice…

Hindi po ako nagsisinungaling, hindi rin ito typo. My greatest vice is not drinking (not even the second-greatest, it’s reading). Hindi man halata sa katawan ko, but I love to eat. Every payday at natapos ko nang mabayaran lahat ng bills (or even before that), I splurge on food. Kaya nga paborito kong puntahan ang Banchetto sa Ortigas. I also like trying out different kinds of food. However, hindi ko nga lang siya ma-satisfy minsan kasi kulang sa budget.

Honestly, nakainan ko na siguro at least once ang mga major food chains sa Pilipinas–Jollibee, McDonalds, KFC, Greenwich, Chowking, Tropical Hut, Burger King, Mang Inasal, Pizza Hut, Shakey’s, Yellow Cab, Goldilocks, Red Ribbon, etc. Pero kumakain din naman ako sa turu-turo at sa “tusok-tusok” (term ng isang college friend sa mga nagtitinda ng kwek-kwek, fishballs at iba pang street foods).

Gusto ko ring makatikim ng international cuisine, like Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and all that. Pero bago iyan, tatangkilikin ko muna ang sariling atin. Gusto kong makatikim ng authentic na sisig Pampanga, longganisang Lucban at Vigan, lechon Cebu, pancit Lucban, bakil patong (aka pancit Tuguegarao), etc. Kaya ideal job ko ang trabaho ni Anthony Bourdain, travelling and eating. Nga lang, unlike him, dehins ako marunong mag-luto.

2. …but I hate vegetables.

Yup, I dislike vegetables, though there are times na kumakain ako ng leafy vegetables (like adobong kangkong, pechay sa nilagang baboy, and lettuce sa burger). Isa lang ang vegetable dish na kaya kong kainin nang hindi nagbubukod masyado: munggo.

In fact, there are times na naiinis ako sa ibang tao na magsasabi na “Hindi ka kumakian ng gulay? Kumain ka nga ng gulay!” Hello? Inaabala ba kita sa pagkain mo? Let a man enjoy his meal.

Siguro nanggaling iyung dislike ko for vegetables nung bata pa ako. Talagang force feeding kasi iyung ginawa sa akin eh. So then.

(to be continued…)

Pagbabalik

Posted On February 8, 2010

Filed under Uncategorized

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Medyo matagal din akong hindi nakapag-post ng bagong entry dito. Maraming dahilan kung bakit–busy sa buhay, “writer’s block”, at kung anu-ano pa. Pero ang pinakamalaking dahilan diyan eh ang patuloy kong pakikipagbuno (naks, ang lalim!) sa mga “kumplikasyon” sa buhay ko. “Wrestling with my personal demons”, sabi nga sa English.

Sa totoo lang, may mga panahong medyo “depressed” ako dahil siguro sa hindi ko gaanong nagustuhan ang takbo ng 2009 para sa akin. Hayun, most of the times eh hindi ako makapag-isip ng mabuti. Maraming ideas, maraming gustong isulat, pero hindi mahanap ang salita.

Pagdating naman ng January 2010, naging busy naman ako sa trabaho ko, o para maging mas accurate, sa dalawang trabaho ko. Ngayon lang ako medyo nalibre.

Sana naman tuluy-tuloy na akong makapagsulat…

A “Literary” Break…

Posted On September 4, 2009

Filed under Literary Tries, Personal Stuff

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(Blogger’s Note: Well, the past few blog posts have been about serious topics, and the next few posts would be more of the same, since I want to cover some of those topics I wasn’t able to (like the FIBA-Asia Championships final stages, the Japeth Aguilar fiasco, and Mar Roxas’ withdrawal from the presidential race, to name a few). So, I decided to post a couple of my attempts at poetry here, just to break the tedium. Pagpasensiyahan nyo na po. Thanks.)


Beyond Words


I try to explain it, but could not

I try to ignore it, but can not

I try to run from it, but would not

I try to fight it, but dare not.

You seem to come out of the sky

To take me out of my dream

And place me under your spell

Binding me with your charm.

You peeled away at my facade

And showed that I needed care

You tore away at my walls

And showed that I wanted love.

I don’t know how you did it

But you had me long for you

Way beyond I had expected

Or what I planned for…

Gantimpala

Nitong nakaraang mga araw ay nabahiran ng kontrobersiya ang National Artist Award dahil sa pagtutol ng ilang mga alagad ng sining sa ilang mga napili ngayong taong ito, partikular na kay Carlo J. Caparas (Visual Arts and Film) at Cecille Guidote-Alvarez (Theater). Ayon sa mga tumututol, na kinabibilangan ng mga National Artists na sina Bienvenido Lumbera,  F. Sionil Jose, Virgilio Almario at iba pa, may mga mas karapat-dapat na maging National Artists subalit nawala sa pinal na listahan. Ibinigay nilang halimbawa ang eksperto sa musika na si Dr. Ramon Santos na siyang nakakuha ng maraming boto sa “selection process” pero hindi napili.

Sa kanilang parte, iginiit nila Caparas at Alvarez na karapat-dapat sila sa karangalang iyun. Sinabi pa ni Caparas na mga “elitista” ang mga tumututol sa kanyang pagkakapili bilang National Artist at dapat siyang maging National Artist dahil sa inilapit niya ang sining sa masa sa pamamagitan ng kanyang mga komiks.

Para sa akin, ang ipinupunto naman nina G. Lumbera, et al. ay hindi ang karapatan o ang kakayanan ng mga napili, kundi ang paraan at ang “circumstances” sa likod ng pagkakapili sa kanila. Alam naman ng lahat na sina Caparas at Alvarez ay mga masugid na taga-suporta ng administrasyong Arroyo, at aminin man nila o hindi ay malaki ang papel na ginampanan ng suportang iyon sa pagkakapili sa kanila. Isa pa, bakit may naalis na kandidato para sa parangal na nakakuha naman ng maraming boto? Halatang binigyan sila ng espasyo ng pumipili ng National Artist. Sino nga ba ang namili ng mga pararangalan ngayong taong ito? Hindi ba si GMA?

Hindi ko alam kung matatawa ako o maiinis ako sa banat ni Carlo J. Caparas na elitista raw ang mga may ayaw siyang maging National Artist at karapat-dapat daw siya sa parangal dahil sa kanyang “paglalapit ng sining sa masa”. Una, kung aalamin niya ang buhay ng kanyang dalawang pinaka-mahigpit na kritiko sa usaping ito, hindi naman maituturing na mariwasa o marangya ang pinanggalingan nila. Si G. F. Sionil Jose ay nanggaling sa pamilya ng mga magsasaka sa Pangasinan samantalang si G. Bienvenido Lumbera ay naulilang lubos at inalagaan ng mga kamag-anak. Pangalawa, kung ang pagiging malapit sa masa ang magiging sukatan ng pagiging National Artist, bakit hindi pa National Artist si Dolphy? O kaya si Mars Ravelo, na mas sikat ang mga gawang komiks kaysa sa kanya? Babanat na nga lang, sablay pa. Napapatunayan lang na tama ang mga kritiko niya.

Para naman kay Gng. Alvarez, isyu ito ng delicadeza. Ikaw ang pinuno ng ahensiya ng gobyernong naatasang pag-aralan ang mga kandidato sa parangal, bakit mo ibibigay ang parangal sa sarili mo? Granted na marami po kayong naiambag para sa pagsusulong ng sining sa bansang ito, bakit hindi nyo na lang po hinintay na matapos ang termino ninyo bilang pinuno ng NCCA (National Center for Culture and the Arts) bago po kayo maghangad na maparangalan? Konting nipis lang naman po ng mukha ang hinihingi namin.

Subalit ang higit na nakalulungkot at nakakapagngitngit isipin ay ang katotohanang ang isang parangal na kasing-prestihiyoso ng National Artist Award ay para na lamang isang piraso ng karne sa ilalim ng rehimeng ito–ibinabato bilang pabuya sa mga pinakamasusugid na alagang aso. Hindi na nakuntento sa paggamit ng pera at puwesto sa gobyerno, pati mga parangal ay ginagamit na rin bilang panuhol ng administrasyon. Pero ano pa nga ba ang aasahan mo sa isang gobyernong iniluklok ng pandaraya at binubuhay ng panunuhol at panggigipit?

Kung ayaw nilang ibalik ang parangal na nakuha nila kay Gloria, ayos lang. Hayaan na lang natin silang magsaya sa nakuha nilang gantimpala sa pagpapakatuta at pagpapakaputa sa isang maruming gobyerno.

Iyun lang.

2009 FIBA-Asia Quarterfinals Preview

I was actually planning to post a preview of the ongoing 2009 FIBA-Asia Championships, but the unfortunate death of former President Corazon Aquino happened, so I just waited until the preliminaries were done until I make a preview. As of this writing, the quarterfinal pairings are all set, after a two-round elimination part. So,  I will try to look at my “crystal ball” and see what will happen on August 14.

First Match: Jordan vs. Team Pilipinas

Key Players: Rasheim Wright, Sam Daghles, Zaid Al-Khas (Jordan); James Yap, Asi Taulava, Willie Miller (Philippines)

Tournament Record: Jordan: 4-1, #2 in Group F; Philippines: 3-2, #3 in Group E

Analysis: Jordan has been playing impressively in this tournament, going unbeaten (and winning big too, with all their victories decided by 12 points or more) and pushing Asian powerhouses China to the edge before losing by six. On the other hand, Team Pilipinas lost to Korea by 13 and to Iran by 10 points. With Jordan’s chemistry clicking and the Philippines having problems with their shooting, not to mention the 31-point plastering that they got from this same team in the Jones Cup last July, coach Yeng Guiao’s team will be hard-pressed to find a way to win.

Prediction: Unless Team Pilipinas shows the shooting they had against Chinese Taipei and Japan in the preliminaries (and do it all game long) and they find a way to shut down Rasheim Wright (the tournament’s leading scorer), sad to say, it will be the end of the road for them. That is why I am praying for the team to get its shooting touch on that game. Pahingi po ng konting tulong sa Team Pilipinas, Bro. Kahit sa game lang na ito, make Team Pilipinas play like superstars. Jordan by 12 points.

Second Game: Qatar vs. Iran

Key Players: Saad Ali, Mustafa Elsayad, Yasseen Musa (Qatar); Hamed Ehadadi, Samad Nikkah, Mahdi Kamrani (Iran)

Tournament Record: Qatar: 2-3, #4 in Group F; Iran: 5-0, #1 in Group E

Analysis: Iran, the defending champions, seems determined to keep it, even with China looming in the distance. Proof of which is that they are one of the two teams left unbeaten after the preliminaries, along with–who else?–China. With Memphis Grizzlies player Hamed Ehadadi leading the charge, this should be a cakewalk for the Iranians.

Prediction: There is not much the Qataris can do, except to pray that Ehadadi gets injured or something. Iran by 20+ points.

Third Match: Chinese Taipei vs. China

Key Players:  Chang Tsung-Hsien, Tseng Wen-Ting, Wu Chien-Lung (Chinese Taipei); Yi Jianlian, Wang Zhizhi, Zhu Fangyu (China)

Tournament Record: Chinese Taipei: 2-3, #4 in Group E; China: 5-0, #1 in Group F

Analysis: This is a very interesting match-up, if only because of the political relationship of the two countries. Otherwise, I don’t see any way for the Taiwanese to pull the rug from under their mainland cousins, not even with newbie coach Guo Shiqiang handling the Asian powerhouses. The height and talent advantage is just too much, just like almost everything else.

Prediction: This is the first time I’ll see a China vs. Taiwan match ever, but it’s not as close as it would seem. China by 15+ points.

Fourth Match: Korea vs. Lebanon

Key Players: Ha Seung-jin, Kim Min-soo, Bang Sung-yoon (Korea); Fadi El-Khatib, Jackson Vroman, Matt Freije (Lebanon)

Tournament Record: Korea: 4-1, #2 in Group E; Lebanon: 3-2, #3 in Group F

Analysis: The most exciting and interesting of the quarterfinals matches. Lebanon upended the Koreans in the semifinals of the 2007 edition in Tokushima, Japan and the Koreans would like to have some measure of revenge. With the 7-3 Ha Seung-jin and 6-7 Kim Min-soo manning the middle, and Bang Sung-yoon providing the outside sniping, they are sure to give problems to the Middle Eastern powerhouses. But Lebanon has added some ceiling with Jackson Vroman and Matt Freije. The two newcomers, along with veteran anchor Fadi El-Khatib and able support from Brian Feghali, Ali Mahmoud and Rony Fahed, should counterbalance the other side.

Prediction: Korea wants to have the win this time around, Lebanon wants to keep the streak going, and both squads will fight to the finish. Lebanon by 2 points (again).

I’ll check back in a couple of days to see if I got it right….


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