The 2013 French Open ended with Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal taking home the trophies in the women’s and men’s events, respectively.
I am completely thrilled to have Rafa bag it for the eighth time in his career. Prior to the finals, the media and tennis observers noted that, should he win it, the championship would be sweeter for David Ferrer who made it to his first ever grand slam final in his tennis career.
I did not expect that Rafa would wax emotional with this win. He was in tears after the match. At the awarding ceremonies, as the Spanish national anthem played, he shed tears again.
Meantime, Serena was the toast of the press because of her exceptional tennis at 31 years old and also for the on-court interviews she conducted in French. Such was her determination to display her newly acquired language skills that she no longer bothered to speak in English for the benefit of her English-speaking fans and her own mother, no less. As Serena thanked her mother ( in French ), her mother had to be told that her daughter was referring to her.
It’s always impressive when someone knows a foreign language. But isn’t Rafa a Spaniard who speaks French and English (when he could not early in his career)? Likewise, Maria Sharapova, the other finalist in the 2013 French Open, is Russian who speaks English quite well. Funny that when English-speakers learn a foreign language, it’s NEWS. However, when Europeans can speak in English, it doesn’t make the headlines.
Maria Ressa of Rappler.com tweeted the link to her interview with new Philippine senator Nancy Binay. It was hard to resist not clicking on the link. I mean, Nancy Binay has been tremendously criticized, maligned and harassed in social networking sites. Her qualifications were questioned, her competence derided, and her dark skin ridiculed. She is a mother of four, and a Tourism graduate of the University of the Philippines. She does not have an employment record to speak of other than being her father’s and mother’s assistant for the past 20 years that their family has been governing Makati. The fact that she stayed away from the debates did not make her popular among the netizens. However, she surprised everyone by taking the 5th spot in the senatorial race of 2013 beating other more established personalities in Philippines politics.
I did not understand the rage that Nancy Binay attracted throughout Philippine media. People depict her as incompetent and unintelligent when, in fact, the likes of Freddie Webb, Robert Jaworski, or worse, Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla have been voted into the hallowed halls of the Philippine Senate. Are we saying that actors and basketball players are more qualified to become senators than, say, the eldest daughter and personal assistant of an extremely successful city mayor of the country’s premier city for 20 years? Strangely enough, Nancy expressed during the interview that none of the hatred being circulated in online sites was felt when she was campaigning on the ground. Is this an issue of class? Is there a sector of Philippine society that does not like her skin color? On the other hand, another sector, which numbers quite a lot, seems to believe otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty years since that summer of 1992. It was a most unforgettable year mainly because it was the year I finished my studies. After handing over my thesis, I thought I would reward myself for all the “hard work” I had done the past four years…
The only fitting reward I could think of then was to allow myself the unbridled pursuit of my passion for the outdoors.
And so that summer, my friends and I decided to join the federation climb of the Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines, Inc. (MFPI). We were to fly to Iloilo in the Visayan Islands of the Philippines to meet up with all the mountaineers from all over the land.
This event coincided with Holy Week in the Philippines and that only meant one thing – travelling would be a challenge. Not only was school out, but it was also a time when everyone went back to their hometowns to spend the summer and to attend Holy Week activities.
There were four of us going to Iloilo – me, my good friend EB and our couple friends B and R. For some reason I can’t quite remember now, only EB and B got their air tickets to Iloilo confirmed. R and I had scheduling issues and could not depart Manila together with EB and B. Anyway, after EB and B landed in Iloilo, I recall R and I going to the PAL office in Makati and trying our best to secure our tickets. The ticket office looked more like a cockpit arena. It was chaotic. The people would not line up and there were just too many people inside. At one point, the short-haired, diminutive female ticket agent had to scream at the clients just to get them to line up. Of course, thinking back now, that problem-solving technique would be deemed inacceptable these days given the extreme competition in the local airline industry. Scream at us, you become tomorrow’s headline. But back then, hearing her scream left me petrified with fear that I nearly told my friend to abandon the fed climb. We were getting too exhausted already. And yet, we hadn’t even started climbing any mountain yet. Read the rest of this entry »
How many times have we seen the UP Fighting Maroons start off well in a UAAP game, take the lead, lose the lead, narrow the opponent’s lead, then in the final minutes, implode?
Last Sunday’s match against De La Salle University was no different. With rougly 2 minutes left in the game, UP managed to bring the DLSU lead down to 1 point. Then, with UP looking to take the lead for the first time, they end up bungling the possession. We’ve seen this countless times before, haven’t we?
I mean, what’s unfortunate is that you know that the UP Maroons have enough talent to beat the better teams in the league and that it doesn’t have to content itself with being at the bottom of the ladder all the time.
What’ s most bothersome isn’t the fact that the UP men’s basketball team is a perennial loser. It’s the quality of basketball they play when it comes down to the wire. One gets the sense that the team finds it hard to persist whenever it’s ahead or when it counts the most.
So what does the team need? Perhaps, a course in mental toughness will help the team focus and stay the course. In any sport, mental toughness is a necessary skill that sets champions apart from those teams or athletes that stay in or fade into obscurity. This is what keeps the team focused on the goal in the face of injury, a huge deficit, or other challenging situations.
I know I said last year that with a little bit of work, Andy Murray is bound to get there. And get to the Gentlemen’s final he did this year against The Roger Federer.
Spotted in the stands were not just tennis greats, but the who’s who of British society. No less than British Prime Minister David Cameron, Kate Middleton with sister Pippa, David and Viktoria Beckham Rod Laver and Martina Navratilova count among the well-known personalities who showed up to witness what could have been history unfolding before their very eyes.
History was made, yes. But in Roger’s favor who, with his win over Murray in 4 sets, obtained a record 7th Wimbledon men’s single’s title and regained World no. 1 position, tying Pete Sampras in number of weeks (286) at no. 1. He will surpass Pete Sampras by mid-July 2012. Other records currently held by Roger is oldest finalist since Jimmy Connors in 1984 and oldest winner since Arthur Ashe in 1975.
Andy was emotional and found it hard to speak during the awarding ceremonies, having come very close to the title but losing out to his great opponent in the end. He said that people had counted on him having a good chance as Roger was not so young anymore. However, Roger’s age did not seem to be a problem during the match. After being broken and losing the first set, Roger took the second and never looked back. The rain delay in the third set did not help Murray’s chances in taking home the Wimbledon trophy. The pressure on Murray was immense, to say the least, and to have Roger for an opponent, did not make things any easier. Read the rest of this entry »
Is there anybody who was not disappointed by last Sunday’s match results? I actually kinda felt like I was taken for a ride – insulted.
Of course, we all know that Manny, at some point, will grow old, lose steam, be beaten and retire. But last Sunday’s match was a reminder that boxing is, above all, big business. The decision didn’t seem to hurt Manny at all. Can you hear Bob Arum’s cash register going kaching-kaching? Manny Pacquiao will likely be the first to tell his saddened fans that, Hey, it’s all right. We are having a rematch. There goes kaching- kaching again… Manny’s
It’s obvious that boxing promoters need to stir up interest elsewhere while Mayweather Jr. is out serving jail time. With a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight still up in the air, and with impending retirement, promoters are starting to build up Bradley as the next guy to watch.
Like Manny, Bradley also has a story that might earn one’s admiration and sympathy. But he appears to lack the most important component — power in the ring.
For how could one not be incredulous about the split decision, even as the fight stats showed Manny landing more punches on his opponent? I thought the fight would be done by Round 5. But Manny seemed to pull back after that, as if following a script. And Bradley, appearing to get a second wind, stretched Manny all the way to Round 12.
But we would not be fooled. We have watched him long enough and know our People’s Champ all too well to decipher that this one is not the real deal.
After five months, the Senate, acting as an impeachment court, is set to decide tomorrow on the fate of Supreme Court Chief Renato Corona.
If memory serves me right, this is the first time for the Senate to conclude an impeachment trial. The whole nation will thus be intently awaiting the verdict of the senator-judges, making sure to note who votes to acquit and who votes to remove the Chief Justice from office.
Despite the prosecution team’s seeming lack of preparation and experience, especially in the beginning, the general feeling is that a conviction is in order.
We have followed the senate proceedings and have probably seen and heard enough to make the conclusion that the evidence may not be overwhelming, but we have reason to believe the CJ is possibly guilty of violating the constitution and betraying the trust of the Filipino people when he did not accurately declare his assets and net worth.
Even if he does get an acquittal assuming the required number of senators go along with CJ Corona’s interpretation of the law and argues that foreign currency deposits need not be declared by public officials in their SALN, I highly doubt that anyone would want to entrust the Philippine judiciary to a lawyer who is a bad example of public service, having given all public servants a lesson or two on how to evade penalty by hiding their assets in foreign currency deposits, co-mingled accounts and whatnot.
CJ Corona and his lawyers have tried with all their might to prove that he is innocent by interpreting the constitution and the law in ways that are most disadvantageous to the motherland.
His appearance towards the end of the impeachment hearings was a lame attempt to solicit sympathy from the Filipino masses by depicting himself as a defenseless enemy of the current administration being persistently tormented by Pnoy and his men.
Granting that politics is behind all of this, the problem is, when he appeared last Tuesday before the impeachment court, he came with a poorly written script and bereft of any acting ability.
Yes, Filipinos may be suckers for underdogs and telenovelas but, goodness me, in case he loses his job, we do not see a bright future for CJ Corona in acting.
If his speech on Tuesday addressed to the Filipino people should have been a reflection of his intellect and lawyering prowess, then I have to say that there wasn’t much of it that we saw or heard. It was frivolous and inconsistent.
It appears that CJ Corona’s appearance at the Senate, his “opening statement”, his arrogant behavior, his challenge to other lawmakers to sign waivers, his unceremonious departure from the Senate halls, and ultimately, his feigned illness only served to worsen public perception of him.
Even if he does get an acquittal, he is better off resigning, if he truly loves our country and if he wants to restore honor to the once esteemed judiciary.
His censure of the Azkals following a sexual harassment complaint filed by Ms. Cristy Ramos appears to have done little to help Ms. Ramos’ case.
Arnold Clavio’s statements about the Azkals merely pretending to be “kayumanggi” (brown-skinned) has directed attention more to himself than it has solicited sympathy for Ms. Ramos. Worse, he has earned the ire of many Filipinos with his unintelligent remarks.
Saying that the Azkals are not true Filipinos raises a lot of issues, and ones that are beyond the influence of the Fil-foreign Azkals themselves. Whose fault is it that football previously did not receive enough attention in the country and that there is an inadequate supply of locally-based talented players for the national team? Should we blame our dual citizenship laws for the presence of Fil-Americans, Fil-Europeans and such? Should we blame government for being unable to provide sufficient and satisfactory employment opportunities in the homeland, necessitating a decades-long diaspora to other countries and continents?
The assault on UP student leader Lordei Camille Hina on February 1, 2012 inside the Student Council office stung the UP Diliman campus and threw the community in a state of shock and anxiety.
Sure, there have been crimes committed on campus before but this is the first one in my memory where the incident took place inside an office of the university. That’s disturbing. The nurse doing the graveyard shift that night at the University Health Service spoke in essence for the rest of the UP population when she said that, “I don’t feel safe anymore. This means I could be attacked while on duty here at the Emergency Room.”
The fact that I happened to be amid the goings-on on this fateful day is quite a story.
I had just asked hubby to drop me off at the UP Health Service as I was feeling some shortness of breath that day. When I noticed a police car parked on the emergency driveway, I hesitated. “I think there’s something strange happening inside. Why is there a police car?” To this, husband promptly responded by checking with the guard. After a little chat, he reassured me that things were all right. There was only ONE patient at the emergency, he said. Good, I thought. I wanted this over as quickly as possible. Husband dropped me off with the reminder to call him when I was ready to be picked up.
At the emergency room, I stared at the man being examined by the doctor. I saw about three police officers inside and wondered if they were assigned to secure the place. I started to feel strange when I saw that the man was in handcuffs. When the doctor lifted the man’s shirt, a heavily tattooed torso was revealed. I gasped, “Who is this person?!” Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever been to a place where you felt like you weren’t welcome or where the people make you feel like you’re up to no good? This is exactly what happens to me each time I enter Fully Booked Bookstore at Gateway Mall in Cubao.
I actually do not choose to go there. My children love being surrounded by books and my 6-year old son has made it a routine to drop by this bookstore after taking a roundtrip on the LRT-3 which we do every so often.
What’s the point of having a Kid’s Section with hundreds of colorful books nicely arranged but NOT to be browsed by kids? Imagine the children’s frustration and the parents’ disappointment the moment they discover that the books here are sealed. I mean, unlike with books for grown-ups, the decision to purchase a book for our children hinges a lot on whether they are attracted to what’s written or drawn on the pages or not. Uhhm, this is impossible when the book is all wrapped up in plastic. I mean, even Amazon.com, in spite of being an online store, does not have this challenge, having made it possible electronically for customers to take a peek at the inside pages of the books they sell. Read the rest of this entry »