January 30, 2009

Cebu City Public Library, R.I.P.

The Cebu City Public Library (aka Rizal Memorial Library), 69, is dead.

All because of the skewed perspective of some of our officials and so-called education consultants.

Before the distorted perspective (e.g. putting up a museum, library hubs, and satellite libraries as "alternatives" to the city library) came the lame excuse for the closure of the city library: resources have been dwindling and users have become scarce. This alibi is simply outrageous. If
Naga City can modernize its city library; if Butuan City can invest in a new building and triple its public library's visitors and users; if Davao City can develop an outstanding learning space that is its public library; I do not see why the proud Queen City of the South can not.

Fellow blogger Mindanao Librarian scores further the absurdity of such decision to close down Cebu City's public library. I am sure other librarians and reader development advocates share her lamentations. I am also sure others, not to mention a good section of Cebu City's community, are even more outraged by this development.

I echo the same grief and indignation. But I fear more the immediate repercussions. I cross my fingers (and toes!) other LGU's (especially in my own locality) will not look up to the folly of their counterparts in Cebu City and take this as an example of good governance.

January 26, 2009

Gas is way cheaper in Davao!

Don't ask me why. Fuel is way cheaper in Davao City. I was there just this weekend and diesel costs only P26-P27 a liter. In Gensan, the same would cost around P30/L and in Koronadal P31/L. I've read somewhere that diesel in Metro Manila costs between P28-P30/L.

I forgot to take note of the prices of the other fuel products but I am sure these are lower as well. So if you are from anywhere near (e.g. Soccsksargen) and are planning to go to Davao in your car, load up just enough to get you to the city. If your car has a 60-liter fuel tank, you can save a lot when you gas up full on your return trip.

If you are coming in from Manila... take the plane :)

POSTSCRIPT: Fellow Soccsksargen blogger Donna Mae says gas is even cheaper in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan!

Lamenting a Margarito vs. Pacquiao

Yesterday, American "Sugar" Shane Mosley pounded Antonio Margarito of Mexico all through eight rounds (of a scheduled 12) and 43 seconds of boxing and wrested the world (WBA) welterweight title in a stunning upset of "El Tornado de Tijuana".

Again, after Dec 7th of last year, except for the extra (ceremonial) 43 seconds this time, a world boxing championship fight ended in the eighth round.

Again, less than two months after Dec 7th, another boxing crowd went home counting their tears instead of their money. Margarito was the overwhelming favorite of the boxing fans who watched the fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Again, it was speed that did it for the winner; adding credence to the philosophy of some sportspeople who firmly (or are beginning to) believe that the sport of boxing is all about speed.

Our very own Manny Pacquiao almost did the same thing when he mauled into submission world boxing hero Oscar De La Hoya last December.

Manny, in increasing demonstration during his last nine fights, has shown the world that a power punch can turn into an atomic bomb inside the ring if trained and used with speed. Shane Mosley has just said "ditto".

That's why I would have wanted Manny to fight Margarito after DLH. I wanted Manny to formally tuck-in a world welterweight belt -- his fifth weight division title (excl. The Ring Magazine featherweight) -- from the more prestigious World Boxing Association.

Well, I knew then that such a matchup was not going to happen in the immediate because Mosley was already slated to fight the Mexican. But some analyst said it was not going to happen at any time simply because of the difference in size between the two (and this was right after a super-featherweight Pacquiao demolished a lightweight Diaz and a super-welterweight/light-middleweight DLH in quick succession!)

Margarito was ripe for the picking for Manny. The former had just earned his own prestigious place in boxing history after a sensational dethroning of the equally amazing Miguel Angel Cotto of Puerto Rico. He is of the same age as Manny (30) and has fought almost as many professional fights as DLH (44). He is big -- almost the same bodily dimensions as that of Oscar. And yes, he is Mexican -- just like all of Manny's recent trophies. Quick and strong as he is, I saw Margarito as just too slow for Manny. It's just sad that it is Shane Mosley who was able to prove this.

During the post-fight yesterday, ringside commentators pondered on what's next for both Margarito and Mosley. They were one in saying a Margarito-Pacquiao is an interesting fight to see; and even toyed on a long-shot Mosley-Pacquiao.

For me though, both scenarios are now long-shots. There is no more stake for Manny to fight Margarito; and Mosley would be better off fighting next Miguel Cotto in a grudge rematch and then retire (his age was beginning to show in his last fight). Besides, both prospects will not give Manny the money he wants (or needs) in a match. Manny would rather fight IBO champ Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. , and then hang up his gloves for good. The buzz is that Manny will be guaranteed at least $12 million in his fight against The Hitman on May 2. It does not take a boxing pundit to infer a Pacman-Pretty Boy bout next will be double the financial fun.

Manny will breeze by Hatton in May. He is going to get his fifth world title in as many weight divisions (despite IBO being a relatively obscure sanctioning body). He will then give Pretty Boy Mayweather a pretty good fight and, win or loose, will retire as one of the world's greatest fighters in the square ring.

I will continue to lament the fact that Manny chose to embrace a different philosophy in capturing boxing greatness. Manny did not care about "defending his title the longest", "winning unification bouts", or even "gaining multi-division titles". For him, these have become mere incidentals in a quest that is more defined by his vision of becoming a more relevant hero in the eyes (and stomach, if I may say) of his countrymen.

Manny himself has long admitted (since beating Barrera in 2003, I reckon) he is already a "made" man in boxing -- his dreams as a professional boxer already fulfilled. He is on to some grander mission. For Manny, it is not enough that his rags-to-riches story is already an inspiration to many. He wants to be in the Philippine Congress by 2010 because he wants to "serve his kababayans more". He has in fact switched battlegrounds (from the Gensan-South Cotabato 1st District to the lone district of Sarangani) to improve his chances; and, in what seems to be part of a contingency, his lawyer (Atty. Jeng Gacal) is reportedly throwing himself back into the political arena once again and has trained his eyes towards the 1st congressional district.

Manny and his team will certainly need all the cash he can muster now and from his next two fights if he wants to break through the current political dynasties' foothold in his hometown. These dynasties themselves are built on wealth and are made formidable by strong influence and patronage politics.

If he will be successful this time in this quest and things will eventually turn out for the better for Manny's hometown and for this country, I wouldn't mind if a Margarito versus Pacquiao and similar matchups for Manny will never happen in history.

January 24, 2009


My ex-girlfriend is frustrated; why has there not been any movement in my blog posts for some time now. Knowing she is the most loyal follower of this blog, I do not think I can afford to just ignore her disappointment. I owe her an explanation.

I am sure another soul or two among the few readers of this blog are also feeling the same way; exasperated over the deprivation of their regular dose of catharses derived from reading Redeemed Spirit. I am not about to let go of these avid fans.

[canned laughter... again]

Seriously now. The past month or so, I have been suffering from a serious case of this sickness that also afflicts many Filipinos; called procrastination. I would like to assume though that mine is a mild case; because apart from my blogging functions, my other normal tasks (like my regular exercise regimen and my photo-shooting) have not been quite affected.

The past month I have been writing blog posts but did not care to finish and publish them. Believe it or not (and humility aside) besides those currently posted, I have written over a dozen entries to my blog since early December of last year. These have all remained in draft status as I have yet to write 30 to all of them. Most will no longer have the chance to "see the light of day"; their subjects are already passe to merit publication. The rest will have to be revised, infused with more and updated information (and more wisdom and less emo).

Here are a few samples of the subjects (and gist of how I intended to tackle them) that have been "gathering fungi" in the drafts section of my blog:

  1. Karylle (Tatlong Hari)'s "splendid" (if you know what I mean) Lupang Hinirang performance during the Pacquiao-Dela Hoya fight opening ceremony; and the hypocrisy that came after: "Ang galing-galing ni Karylle!". OMG! Please spare us.
  2. Karylle (again!)'s smiling gimmick when asked about Marian Rivera's alleged pregnancy. It was pure and simple cheap dirty gimmick hatched by ABS-CBN/The Buzz and everyone fell for it.
  3. DReAM Children Project's sad Christmas as its major partner, the Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), has inexplicably suspended its support for the project. A company's folly, however, should not get in the way of a good advocacy. DReAM Children deserves a more committed partner.
  4. (A blog contest entry of mine that did not beat the deadline) A song only has to have good music (acoustic, rhythm, with emphasis on the guitar sound) to become my favorite. Sometimes it only has to have good lyrics. That's why I have many favorite songs. Do They Know It's Christmas by Band Aid is among them.
  5. All those noise and riotous revelry are understandable during New Year's eve. But firecrackers (and gunfire) on the supposedly silent and holy night of Christmas?
  6. I and my family met our first good souls of the new year. They are Eugene Pascual and Alfonso Gonzaga. Eugene is a neighbor who offered his ride and helped us find an open shop (in the dead calm new year's morning) at the other end of town to have our spent car battery re-charged. Mang Alfonso, on the other hand, is a tricycle driver who delivered us back home and helped us hard-start our car (a pickup truck) when our "newly charged" battery proved to be a fluke. Good souls, good sign.
  7. It is only now that I have come to know that polar bears and penguins, in their natural existence, never meet. Polar bears are natives of the northern polar regions while the penguins are found only in the southern hemisphere. Source: my son Ivan.
  8. (Video Post) Koronadal's LCE Hon. Fernando Q. Miguel leads in the promotion of the city's forthcoming Hinugyaw Festival by appearing in a TV commercial inviting everyone to join in the fun. The honorable mayor excitedly enumerates the kinds of festivities and other pertinent info about the festival, except for one crucial thing: when is the festival going to happen.

Here's my (Chinese) New Year's resolution: I will cleanse the drafts section of my blog in the coming week, and will never again leave an unfinished post in it.