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 www.pba.com 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