December 8, 2010

A vote for Life With Ria

and my vote goes to Life With Ria.

Consider this vote an affirmative action

for women, for Mindanao...

If you feel like doing the same, click HERE for the voting mechanics.

If you want to know more of Ria click on the image

December 2, 2010

A feast awaits you at the BLOGFEST 2010 SOCCSKSARGEN

Blogger? Where will a couple of hundreds and a fifty pesos take you these days? To Jollibee or McDo for a hearty meal? No, you won't find anything good for your heart in those places. I'd rather that you have your hard-earned money take you to the Grand Ballroom of East Asia Royale Hotel in General Santos City come next weekend. What awaits you there is a feast that will not only satiate your heart and stomach, but your mind and spirit as well.

On December 11, 2020, Mindanao's Funnest, the SOCCSKSARGEN Bloggers (more gamely called the Sox Bloggers) holds BLOGFEST 2010 SOCCSKSARGEN, a convention of bloggers and new media enthusiasts from the region and various parts of the country.

The whole-day affair will feature fun, food and freebies. But the real headline of the event is the presence of some of the biggies of the blogosphere who are slated to share their valuable thoughts on a range of new media-related topics. Consider these:

You do not want to miss this. For more details and updates on the event, visit To register for the event. click HERE.

November 13, 2010

Pacquiao-Margarito: Are you excited?

Lamenting a Margarito vs. Pacquiao. Well, not anymore. Not a day's time from now, the fight will finally happen and is going to get done.

Are you excited? Me, I am a Filipino; and if only for the fact that compatriot Manny is about to carve another milestone in world boxing history, another unprecedented feat, I am excited. Eight (8) world titles in eight (8) weight divisions. Only the macho Hector Camacho's record comes near - 7-in-7; never mind if half of his came from fighting bouts sanctioned by pro boxing governing bodies you and I have never heard of (e.g. IBC, NBA). But outside of this prospect? Well, there's still history - a first in Philippine history, at least - in having a Philippine congressman winning a world boxing championship during his term of office.

Again, are you excited? Me, frankly, not exactly. I lamented 2 years ago over a Pacquiao vs. Margarito non-prospect because I wanted them to fight 2 years ago. Before the Mexican was demolished by American Shane Mosley. When there was real glory ripe for Manny's picking. When Margarito was still the world's (WBA) best welterweight; handwrap gizmos and all.

Tomorrow is far from this ideal. Margarito is still struggling to regain form (after being beaten to a pulp by Mosley in late 2008) as evidenced by his so-so performance in his last fight against Roberto Garcia in May this year. I even would want to believe he is already past his prime. Tomorrow's fight will be for the vacant WBC 154-lb light middleweight (or super-welterweight) belt; Margarito, now a natural middleweight, barely made the required catchweight (150 lbs) at yesterday's weigh-in. Some say this negotiated catchweight thing highly favors Manny. I say, this fight is all set up for the Pacman; especially after the failed negotiations with Pretty Boy Chicken.

Two years ago, a Margarito-Pacquiao would have been a classic. Tomorrow's version of it will be a rather predictable one. But who knows? In boxing there is also what they call a lucky punch. Now, I am excited.

August 28, 2010

Remembering Kagawad Osting

Kagawad Osting would have been 82 today had he not succumbed to a liver ailment on February 27 at the turn of the century. No, I did not write this because I remembered him on his birthday today. I remember him all the time. If I will write of things about him every time I remember him, I will never be able to do any other thing for the rest of my life; for there are many sides to the life of Kagawad Osting worth writing theses about. It will probably be a breeze for my older siblings to recall and write about his early life in Bohol, his birthplace; and his earlier sojourn to this place which then had just called itself General Santos. Me, I always associate him with his being a farmer (and a gardener!) and a public servant (the original meaning of "government official") at the same time.

You find that hard to believe? How can one be a farmer and a government official at the same? My Grade 3 teacher could not believe it either. She had our class bring some farming/gardening tools to school and I was assigned to bring a pala (shovel/spade). I failed to bring in one the next day because, I reasoned out, the tool was being used by my father. My teacher could not hold back her exasperated wonder: "Ano'ng ginapala ng tatay mo sa city hall (What's your father using a shovel for at city hall)?". I had forgiven my teacher for her momentary ignorance.

Kagawad Osting in one of his stints as acting mayor of Gensan

Kagawad Osting was a farmer. During his prime, he had in the backyard of his household a Green Revolution. His farm in the barrio was planted to coconuts, vegetables and a staple of corn (maize), sorghum, cotton and tobacco, season in season out. Kagawad Osting was a also public servant. He had served the government in many capacities - from being a barangay captain (teniente del barrio), a city councilor, to being acting mayor of General Santos City on a few occasions. Ask me not how he was able perform such multi-roles (including being the head of his household) for I cannot provide you a definite answer. All I know is that Kagawad Osting's life had always been driven by industry and diligence. One moment I see him weeding and felling "excess" vegetation in his backyard; the next he is on a tricycle/pedicab going to city hall.

When I am in General Santos City I remember Kagawad Osting. When I see the big building that is the City Hall, I remember Kagawad Osting and how it used to be the old smaller edifice at the back which now houses the COMELEC office among others. When I see the public market I remember Kagawad Osting and how it had moved back and forth between its present location and across the boulevard; and how he (being chair of the public market committee at the city council) had to parry not a few bribery attempts from local big businesses for premium spaces inside the market. When I see the ubiquitous tricycle/pedicab, I remember Kagawad Osting for he was the only tricycle-riding member of the Sanggunian during his time. Not that if city hall, the public market and the tricycle disappear will I also forget Kagawad Osting; for there will always be something in Gensan which will remind me of him. Besides, how can a son forget his father?

My mother quips time and again, whatever good there are in General Santos City now owe something to Kagawad Osting and the others who have honestly served the city in the past. I guess only a handful knows. Even fewer will remember.

January 31, 2010

Our Philips takes a bow

Philips TV Model 14GX8510/71R. Google it and most probably you get pointed to sites that provide service manuals or schematics or remote control replacements for it. For this is an old TV. Fifteen (15) years since it was bought; by my ex-girlfriend a year before we tied the knot (formally, that is). Since the day when it became my TV set too (thanks to the absence of a pre-nup) this 14" has been my constant source of news, movie re-runs and other TV entertainment crap. Since that day up until about a week ago.

I am always of the opinion that a small television set is enough (if not a better option) for a family that lives in a small house. By small house I mean no more than like those in most low-cost housing where living rooms (yes, we always place our TV in the sala) measure just around 3x4 meters. I always find them funny finding gigantic TV sets competing for space against giant sofas and other equally enormous muebles in the tight salas of households that I visit; not to mention seeing children's faces glued to these sets just inches away quite literally. Annoyingly funny.

This thought is shared by my family. That is why the last 15 years we have never thought of replacing our Philips 14" color TV. Why, it has never failed us. Except for the battered remote control and a broken indoor aerial (which became useless when we moved in where we are now in this part of the world, really), every button on the thing is still working like the way it was when it was brand new. The quality of its picture and sound has diminished very little. A small TV for a small family (although we now live in a house with a bigger living room); it's all we need.

Until one day a few months ago when a former househelp paid us a visit and amusingly exclaimed to herself and to her kid daughter upon entering our sala "Ay, kaliit pa rin ng TV nila!" (roughly: "Wow, they still have their small TV!"). Now we know why our other previous guests would glance at the same TV every now and then with a similar though more suppressed bemusement; even in times when the set was turned off. Ah, we could almost hear the thing screaming, embarrassed by the unwanted attention: "Please get me inside the bedroom!"

We had to respond to the silent revolt.

Our Philips with its successor in the background

Our Philips' replacement  is a larger Samsung (21") TV but is nowhere near the quality of its predecessor, pound for pound, that is. It's the cheapest in the market, and no one seems to be selling a Philips brand in these parts. We bought it through credit so what more can we ask. We just wanted our Philips to retire. A way of saying thanks to it for virtually bringing the world into our sala through the years.

January 24, 2010

Coca-Cola Tigers' one-miss-you-die and Brian Viloria

I got reminded when I opened today's Sunday Inquirer. Two local sports news that matter; at least to some of us including me.

One is about boxer Brian Viloria's hospitalization after losing his title yesterday to Colombian light-fly Carlos Tamara.

I was able to catch the second half of the fight over Solar TV's delayed telecast yesterday. I was prompted to do so after seeing a real-time bulletin in another channel that announced his defeat. I was not surprised of the flash bulletin knowing Viloria's tendency to lose big fights (announce his retirement and come back winning again). But I wanted to know how he lost this time.

I caught up with the fight midway (Round 6) and all the more I got intrigued about the turnout as it was Viloria I saw pounding his opponent. And the mauling (of Tamara) went on for another 2 rounds. The commentators were flashing their scorecard showing a sweep by Viloria since round one.

It was on the ninth round when the wind suddenly swept reverse. Viloria went like a freshly drenched pulp while Tamara looked as if he had just guzzled a gallon of Cobra energy drink. It was all downhill for Viloria from then on. Made me scratch my scalp: what's happening, did the Colombian Mafia made a call to either camp expressing its disagreement of how things were turning out in the first half?

Viloria could still have won the fight (on points) had he survived the final round. But we all should thank referee Bruce McTavish for saving the Fil-Am's life. The fight had to be halted as all Viloria could do in the final minute was to act like a worn-out punching bag to Tamara.

Now, Viloria is undergoing observation at the Makati Medical Center where he was brought after he collapsed in the dressing room after the fight. His CT scan results reportedly showed negative of any alarming injuries. Thank God.

The other news is Philippine basketball's (PBA) own knockout games tonight. A double-header at that. Rain or Shine vs. Sta. Lucia and Coca-Cola vs. Burger King. Will watch the latter game on TV.

No, I am not back to my old PBA-fanatic self once again like I used to when Alvin (Patrimonio) and Jolas (Jojo Lastimosa) were still leading Purefoods. It's just that I have grown some affinity with the present Coca-Cola Tigers after watching them play live three posts ago.

Ok, I know it must be because I have kababayans in the team. On the other hand though, you have to give it to the Tigers. They were on the brink when I last saw them play, 1-11, but now are 6-12. If my math is right, that's five games won against a single loss since then. Truly they have made good so far with their promise that 2010 is going to be the year of the Tigers.

An interesting dimension to Coca-Cola's do or die game tonight is they are facing the team (Burger King) whom they have recently traded key players with. It will be a curious thing to see how Alex Cabagnot (G) and Wesley Gonzales (F) will work towards eliminating their former colleagues.

The winners of tonight's double-header will face each other on Wednesday for another KO game.


UPDATE: The Tigers won, 118-112, after a scare - squandering a 21-point lead in the final quarter. Had they lost, they would have clearly deserved it. They will face Rain or Shine on Wednesday.

photos above by Pat Roque/AP and respectively

January 21, 2010

Photojournalism Workshop 2009: It's the person behind, not the camera...

My first post for 2010, and it is about an event of a year ago (and I mean it only because it happened in 2009!)

It was on December 21, 2009 (a month ago today) when bloggers from all over Soccsksargen gathered to do mainly two things: (1) take lessons on basic photo-journalism and (2) exchange Christmas gifts.

The event was initiated by world-famous Gensan blogger Avel Manansala and was made possible through the benevolence of Orman Manansala of Asia United Bank and the inspired contributions of other Gensan bloggers like Sheng Dumalay and Sir Gilbert Tan.

The Farm @ Carpenter Hill, a hotel-resto garden resort in Koronadal City, provided the food and venue for the 1-day event; and served as an excellent subject and backdrop for the blogger-participants' practicum during the photojournalism workshop.

The workshop (which intentionally did not delve into the technical side of photography) was handled by veteran and renowned photojournalist Jojie Alcantara who ably provided input on several key guiding theories and principles on taking good photos (e.g. rule of thirds, looking for patterns and leading lines, using perspectives, etc.). With Ms. Jojie were co-photography artists Joyce Mariscal and Bogsy San Juan.

Here are some of the blogger-participants' raw photos taken during the workshop (mind you, only two of these photos were taken using a DSLR, the others were shot from a point-&-shoot cam, a China phone, and an early P&S model with a 16MB memory card):





The above output along with the gigabytes of other photos brought home by the participants after the workshop once again has reaffirmed the perpetual photographers' dictum "It's not the camera, it's the person behind the lens..."

The Farm's Asst. Manager Mr. Jovic Ferrer


I got a coffee mug and a t-shirt as Christmas gifts :)


The Pax