First interview...


Didn't necessarily went as planned, but I wasn't expecting much. Especially after an emotional conversation with a friend the night before (more like the early morning before the interview) which left me thinking.

Maybe I'm just doing this for selfish reasons, but I would be the first to admit that I'm doing it just for the money. So, we got that settled. I'll problem time management when I get there. I'm not good with it right from the start.

Anyway, set my alarm at 7:15am and went up at 7:30-ish. Not bad for me in my own standards.

The party didn't start until about 8-something. Was out of the house past nine. With the interview set at 9:30am and with a more than 40-minute expected travel time, I'm friggin' myself on the ash. Bad cheetah.

Took the FX from Avon Gabby's to MH del Pilar. Alighted at the first sight of that street. Forgot to realize that Diamond Hotel is still two blocks away. Murphy's Law starting to kick in.

Arrived at about 10:15. Was lost like a dog. Good thing Elaigh was there to help out (thanks for the trouble). Upon first sight of me, criticized me left and right. I didn't mind. I need all the reminders for future engagements.

Ended up last in line. Had a CR break to fix myself up and regain my bearings. Nerves starting to kick in. Had an SMS discussion with Elaigh. Needed to keep my mind somewhere else.

Half an hour later, it was my turn. Didn't last long. Good for ten minutes. Maybe even less. Didn't count the time. Didn't want to.

First question, "Tell something about yourself." Went quite well. Didn't notice myself stuttering. Was still articulate and quite comprehensible (in my point of view).

"When would you graduate?" From there, it went downhill. Nothing bad. The interviewer just encouraged me to finish my studies first. She got a point but... I needed the money as well. Pled/Pleaded my case.

Said she'll find a way because waiting tables require shifting slots. Apparently, something that would conflict along the way if I enroll in school.

Nothing much else to say. Left. Elaigh couldn't entertain me that much since she's busy herself. Proceeded to HF to do some stuff. Like updating my entries.

Might call up people when I get home later. Expect a ring from me anytime soon, you people.


There were ‘manny’ problems from the start

“It doesn’t matter whether you win by an inch or a mile. Winning is winning.”
- Quote from The Fast and the Furious.

Before you put the blame on Manny’s gloves or his reluctance to deliver his killer blows, have you ever considered that this is the “noisiest” campaign Manny Pacquiao embarked? What do I mean by that?

This is the first time in Pacquiao’s career that we had a daily update of how his training was going on. It’s good to know what he is up to or how he is doing, but has it ever dawned on you that we probably gave away too much?

Articles regarding the Filipino southpaw’s training were on local broadsheets everyday. Some of them were even posted on boxing websites and reportedly, videos of Manny training could be downloaded on the net for free.

I don’t think Erik Morales’ handlers are dumb enough not to surf the net to scout the opposition, especially if his opponent is getting all this unwanted attention weeks before the fight.
At the same time, what did we hear from Morales? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Do you know what happened to the vaunted “Manila Ice”? It was supposedly a right hook to the body that would set up Manny’s powerful left. Morales’ stance countered it. How could Pacquiao deliver the punch when the Mexican’s torso was positioned away from the trajectory of the punch?

Notice that whenever Manny released his right to Erik’s body it usually caught nothing but air. With Pacquiao’s guard down, Morales would hit him solid on the face that would stun our bet and would send our man retreating. Either that or Morales would crouch so low to hide his abdomen while at the same time sidestepping to evade Pacquiao’s flurry of punches.

What’s the point of this rant? Simple. Why didn’t we leave Manny alone with Freddie Roach in the Wild Card Gym to prepare for the bout? Did we really need to trace his every step?

It is so unusual for Roach to allow these many people watch Pacquiao punch the mitts. And it seems that he tolerated this by entertaining the media. Either that or the reporters lounging around the ring were so persistent in having their bylines printed that Roach broke down and started telling everything to everyone. It’s a chicken or egg scenario, but this could have been prevented if the bespectacled former boxer barred them from the start.

I hold Roach in high regard because he made champions out of the boxers he handled, but I think this is the first and biggest mistake he has committed as a professional trainer.

This is the time I feel that media overdid its purpose. Didn’t you find it uncanny that sports headlines were about Manny’s preparation instead of the preparation we are supposed to be doing for the SEA Games? It came to the point that one legislator even pointed this out (pun unintended).

While Roach was predicting a knockout, didn’t you find it weird Pacquiao was all coy and humble in the last pre-fight article printed in the Philippine Daily Inquirer? He didn’t predict on what round the main card would end, rather he just mentioned that he would do his best for his countrymen. Coming from Pacquiao, or from any other boxer, humility is the last thing we would want to hear. Where was the confidence, the spunk, the aura that said, “I would send him to sleep in three rounds.”

Unarguably, Manny’s a modern day hero, a living legend even. But should we be treating him as a commodity? I mean weeks before the Fahsan 3K Battery bout in Manila, he was playing in an invitational billiards tournament and was shooting commercials and a reality program.

All the while I thought that training in Wild Card was a good thing for the “Pacman” because he would be isolated away from prying and curious eyes. Apparently, what happened was the exact opposite.

During his time in California, a documentary, snippets of interviews, and daily written updates were made to chronicle his every move. Just shows that we are suckers for “blah” news.

Was this a sign of arrogance coming from Team Pacquiao that they let his workout be a public spectacle? Was Philippine media ignorant not to realize that every article they release or every interview they broadcast could reach Morales’ brittle hands?

We basically gave away our fight plan. Now you know why the bemustached left-hander couldn’t land his so-called “Manila Ice.”

And let’s not even get into the gloves, please. And whether the gloves mattered to the outcome or not, it was, in the first place, an oversight on the part of Pacquiao’s higher management. Finally, what’s this rumor I heard that Pacquiao had his medical exam the day before the match? What gives?

So who am I putting the blame on? Go figure. As much as I don’t want to sound sourgraping because looking at the bright side, what we witnessed that Sunday afternoon was a resilient warrior not willing to give up. Bloodied up and still raring to go, that’s the Filipino race personified in one individual.

But obviously, there was something wrong right from the opening bell, and by that, I just didn’t mean the bout but from the very start.


It couldn’t get any closer than that. It was anybody’s ballgame. The match could have gone either way with the manner Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales were trading punches.

At the middle of the bout, Pacquiao suffered a devastating cut above his right eye, which came from an accidental headbutt. It might have slowed him down a bit but it didn’t deter him nor it crimped his style.

Personally, I scored it 155-113 also, but in favour of our hometown hero. Two things. One, I was giving Manny sympathy points by handing him rounds too close to call. Two, I was trying to deny the floating news that Pacquiao lost when the broadcast barely started on TV.

With these factors taken into consideration, I may not be the perfect boxing judge as I am also to partial to aggressive fighters who hit hard and hit a lot. But then in reality, some judges work with that mindset. So, in essence, what I’m doing is emulate them and ‘predict’ what their probable final score would be. And yes, I do also get swayed sometimes by the commentary.

But I still need a lot of work to get there. In this fight alone, I was off by four rounds as I gave two rounds to Pacquiao, which should have been Morales’ instead. But I’ll justify why I give the bout to Manny.

Counting out the fact that he is Filipino and just basing it on aggressiveness, Manny was throwing more punches (thus being the aggressor) although Morales was hitting the cleaner blows. Erik also concentrated on evading Pacquiao’s attacks usually by sidestepping. He would connect here and there with a counterpunch, and yes, I agree that most of them were solid or Manny would not be reeling back and retreating every now and then.

Basically, it was a case of who landed more punches or who hit the cleaner blows.
This style of ‘scoring’ I picked up in the Felix Trinidad-Oscar dela Hoya match. Trinidad did a tirade of punches although not all of them landed squarely while dela Hoya was getting the cleaner looks although his hits were few and far between. In the end, Trinidad won by unanimous decision.

In my opinion though, this practice of scoring (and its other derivatives, eg, some judges just focus on who had better defense or who was more technical without considering the other facets) should cease.

This uppercut was brought to you by Darlington

For this one moment in time, I agree with Al Mendoza’s column he wrote about excessive TV advertisements in big time boxing matches, citing the Pacquiao-Fahsan broadcast that finished at 12 midnight when the actual fight ended at about 10pm.

I timed one break during the Morales-Pacquiao telecast and I discovered that the ads totaled about nine and a half minutes showing 24 different products from alcohol (both the rubbing and drinking type), cellular service providers, food, medicinal stuff (alternative or otherwise), car batteries and other vehicular maintenance what-have-you’s, sports apparel, and a myriad of poultry feeds. And yeah, add in the 15-second plug enumerating the major sponsors.

To simplify the math, those who or more less ran for 15 seconds (including 20-seconders) would count as 15-seconders, while those who are a bit over 30 seconds would just be 30 seconds flat (the Purefoods Chunkee Corned Beef TV ad with Kris Aquino actually ran for about 33 seconds).

That’s a lot of leeway already considering the fact that some of them ran two to three seconds more. All in all, there was one one-minuter, nine 30-seconders, and the rest were 15-seconders.

So, that makes nine minutes, right? Literally, the commercial gaps were even longer than a round of boxing (and they do the breaks between the rounds). That would be a drag to watch if that was real time. Besides, how could the boxers gain momentum if in-between round stops were that long?

Back during the Sugar Ray Leonard days, it wasn’t that bad. Out of boredom, my brother once counted the number of advertisements in a gap. It averaged between eight and nine. It sure does pale in comparison with the nine-minute breaks we currently have. You didn’t need the patience (and it also didn’t take that long) of a snail trying to traverse ten feet to watch a boxing main event.

Tell me if the Harry Potter references are crimping my style…

Harry was having an unusually rough day after going through an emotional breakup with Cho Chang. He was ranting in the Gryffindor common room with Hermione and Ginny as unwilling audience on how life is askew.

Hermione, in her usual feisty and opinionated self, shared her thoughts while Ginny butted in a line or two whenever she could. Then Ron walked in and sensing what the topic was about said nonchalantly, “Cho’s now going out with that Cedric Diggory guy.”

“Okay,” Harry screamed in defeat and frustration. “That’s it. Game over. End of discussion.”

“You just don’t get it, don’t you?” Hermione snapped back.

“Why? What is it there to get? Obviously, I don’t have any chance to get her back,” Harry stomped in disgust.

“That’s the idea. Wait for her,” Hermione then proceeded explaining until Harry absorbed and ingested everything she was saying.

But Harry was just half listening as his thoughts were somewhere else. With just a book (actually, it was the office divider – JP) separating them, their faces inches of each other, and their eyes engaged unblinking, his mind was racing.

While the part of his brain that was listening to Hermione’s sermon was telling itself, She does have a point and I want to cry, the other half was thinking, This scene looks familiar. What if I suddenly lunge forward and kiss her?

However, he returned to his senses and urged to restrain himself before anything rash happened.

Now as Harry contemplates this is in present time, he asks, “What if?”

How’s this for a stab in fiction? I would most likely get comments first from the Lit majors who get to read this.

Now to write more of this so that I could create a novel noble novel.

First date: Shaky

But it’s actually McDowell’s (For copyright purposes, the name of the restaurant would be withheld. You know how sensitive them guys can get).

A Sunday has passed since we first met. Odd conversations through SMS were our only correspondence.

We tried to plan a rendezvous, but none materialized until we agreed just to meet during her shift behind the counter.

Speaking of, she personified the song title Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town, although she is nowhere near elderly. She’s actually just 17. Other than that, it’s no bar. It’s a restaurant with a big box of French fries as its entrance. And it’s no small town, either. It’s where the Philippine Sports central nervous system is located.

I let the day pass by watching some NCAA basketball, Serendipity, and WWE Raw. I then dressed up and grabbed a bite. My intestines were turning to knots every now and then.

Best wardrobe in the closet: check. No gel, bring the cap. Bring a book. Grab the keys, and this time, leave home the key chain. It makes the pants pocket bulgy, a fashion no-no.

I was unusually generous in paying the fair (I paid the adult fare), although I think I shortchanged the driver in the P. Faura PUJ by a peso. The public transport to Harrison Plaza had the radio blaring in the station-that-needs-not-to-be-memorized.

An interesting mix that played and I was also unusually tolerant at the same time. Although memories flashed when Sandara Park started “inning and outing”, the song that proceeded brought a smile on my face. It was this French-sounding dance tune that one nerd decided to create a choreography and post his moves on the net.

As I mentioned, I was unusually giddy. I actually laughed at a lame joke. “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “Spell.” “Spell, who?” “W-H-O.” Got me there. Also took a mental note of the “Our German chef said, ‘George, can you taste my Hungarian sausage?’” line I got from Elaigh. Might come in handy.

I ordered the driver to stop and I alighted in front of McGonagall’s. “Sakto,” I muttered.
I felt like walking on clouds, but at the same time, my legs felt like lead. A taxi entering almost caught as I broke to a run towards the entrance.

I surveyed the area. She’s nowhere to be found. Then the manager called her name and she emerged from under the counter. The manager playfully pulled her head and told her to take the orders of a soon-forming queue.

I leisurely lined up at the very back and patiently waited for my turn even if the other counters had shorter lines. By this time, I was a bundle of nerves. I could feel my heart beating. I looked down and saw my chest thumping from within my New Found Glory shirt.

When it was my time to give my order, I gave out this sheepish smile while she reciprocated with a wide grin herself. We were staring for a moment, looking for words to say. “Ano nga ba?” referring to my order was all I could say then gave out another toothy beam.

I went for the usual. Cheeseburger meal. She asked if I want to Go Big Time. I inquired if I could just Upsize the drink without Going Large on the fries. With my stomach in a twirl, I didn’t actually have the appetite of a horse that time.

Had a little moment of chitchat. Queried where I came from. Asked her how she was. Then offered if I should wait for her until closing. She declined, stating that she would go out with her fellow crewmembers with a walk in Baywalk. Besides, they leave at 12mn.

Got my tray, went to the nearest table then sat with my back turned to her. It’s an achievement I didn’t drop my order. I was shaking like a leaf. I could see my burger tremble in my hands.

Mind was racing. Chomped the sandwich in record time. I used the cheeseburger wrapper as catsup saucer for the fries. I usually ask for three packs but it took me five packets to finish an order of medium fries. But we’re getting ahead.

Taking a semblance of control, decided to pick up the book and look for the page I last read. Yeah, Larry Bird’s first games as an Indiana Pacers head coach, I remember.

Was leisurely nibbling my fries and flipping through the biography when the catsup ran out. Went to the counter to ask for more. Unfortunately, she was taking orders. So I had to ask from her companion, Mia. The cleaning crew might get my tray when I’m not through with my meal yet.
Went back to my seat and again took my time. Fries extinguished. Was now sipping my soda to extinction.

Looked at their clock. Only an hour has passed since I entered. It felt like two hours. I already leafed through two chapters. Either the book was good or time just stopped.

I sighted the people beside me tonguing their cones. Decided to give it one more shot but I wouldn’t go for King Cone or McFlurry anymore. Have to budget. Still have a gig to go to (which got cancelled).

“May sundae cone pa kayo?” “Oo, meron.” “Sige, isa.” “Yung may chocolate?” “Ano pinag-kaiba?” “Yung isa may chocolate, yung isa wala.” More exchange of wide grins. “12 pesos. Yung isa ten.” “O sige, yung may chocolate.” “Nasa cone yon, diba?” she remarked. That how was our clumsy exchange went.

She handed me my order. “So, kelan ka next na free?” “Hindi ko alam. Text-text na lang,” she replied. Not the answer I’m actually looking for.

Remember my fear that the crew might dispose my tray? It did happen while I was waiting in line. Good thing I saw him just in time and called him out so that I could retrieve my drink back.
Was now on the chapter in the life of Larry Bird awing coaches, teammates, and fans in college. This guy’s an arrogant prick because he knows he is good, I thought to myself.

After crunching my cone, I was devising of a lame excuse to get to converse with her again. Oh yeah…

Stood up and in front of the counter were a bunch of disgruntled customers clamoring for a rice meal, which unfortunately they don’t offer anymore at that time. As she calmly explained the situation to the irate group, Mia asked what I had in mind.

Asked feebly if they had a washroom. She directed me outside towards Harrison Plaza, which was already closed.

I winced. Hesitated for a moment, then directed Mia to catch her attention. Bade my farewell.
Stopped at Starbucks Vito Cruz to do what I had to do. Also SMSed telling her how an interesting time I had.

Rode a PUJ to EDSA to proceed to Ortigas. Finding out that the gig didn’t push through, alighted at Crossing, then went straight home.

Updated her how she’s doing while listening to the Midnight Countdown, she replied that they didn’t go on with their gimmick. Then I ran out of load.

Dumb luck.


Where do I go from here?

Should I look for a job? Should I start becoming a bum? Would my brother and mother still fund my education? Should I consider a higher position in the school paper Editorial Board (seems that the rest of HF Sports didn't have any plans of moving up)? Can I go to Zamboanga and cover the PRISAA-Nationals, and at the same time visit my cousin in Davao? Would anyone go out with me? Would you go out with me? :D

Vague questions having vague answers right now.


I'm so untouched...

As Touch Mobile is having this unlimited calls and text promo, I go through my phonebook and find out that none of them are TM subscribers.

I feel so unloved.

Text/call me at 9263795107. Touch numbers begin with 926... and 9168...


It's not the content, it's the frequency.

One basis if one's blog is 'alive', the number of times new entries are put in in a certain amount of time. Now I remember why I don't want to put up a blog prematurely until 'the time is right'.

Yes, I'm still alive. Thanks for the concern. As if anyone's reading.

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