Life as it happens. Time as it passes.

Archive for August, 2009

UP Out of Final Four Bid for UAAP 72

The UP Fighting Maroons were finally taken out of the race for the last spot of the final four with an 86-74 loss to the number 2 team, the FEU Tamaraws.

Although the season for UP has three more games left, not even winning them all would be enough for them to barge into the fourth slot up for grabs between UST and La Salle.

All that is left is to improve their current standings.

UP still has Ateneo, UE and Adamson to tackle. UP needs to win one game to improve their win-loss record from last year’s 3-11. As for their standings, UP will have to win all of their games if they want to escape the number 7 spot. A win over Adamson might eventually put them at 6, but it will take a vengance win over UE and another upset of Ateneo if UP wants to grab the 5th spot from La Salle, who is still at the moment fighting and hoping to get the 4th spot from UST.

The last time UP came close to making the final four was in season 67, where UP had a 7-7 win-loss card. That stat was just good enough for number 5, but mainly because La Salle won their game over UP, giving UE that time an automatic pass to the final four.

It’s not yet over for UP to still end the season with a strong finish. Go UP Fighting Maroons!

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Batis Ng Diwa: Kulturang Freshie (part 2)

I Curie

Palibhasa’y mga bagong salta sa buhay high school, ang aming mga bag noong unang taon nami’y medyo mabigat-bigat pa’t makapal-kapal pa; masipag-sipag pang magdala ng mga textbook at mga makapal na notebook, pati na yung mga kung anu-anong gamit sa eskuwela. Pagka minsan pa nga’y nagtataka kami sa mga nauna sa aming mga MaScians kung bakit maninipis ang mga bag na nakasukbit sa likod nila. Ang ilan pa nga, imbis na notebook ang laman ng bag eh puro make-up kit, burloloy sa katawan, at pabango ang laman. Taon rin ang lilipas bago namin mainitindihan yun.

Usung-uso pa noong mga panahon na yun ang maglagi sa library. Sa unang buwan pa lang eh nag-uunahan na ang ibang mga estudyante na magpalit na ng borrower’s card dahil napuno na sa dami ng nahiram. Hindi pa ganoong kasikat ang internet at medyo ka-iinstall pa lamang ng Windows 95 nung mga panahong iyon.

Nagmula ako sa isang mabababng paaralan na lima lang kaming nagtapos. Kaya medyo kakaiba ang pakiramdam na may 36 anim kang kaklase sa isang section pa lang. Kung dati’y makakatatlong ulit ka sa recitation, may mga araw na ni isang beses ay hindi ka matatawag.

Nagkalat ang mga freshies sa buong MaSci noong unang taon namin. May mga nakatambay sa grandstand, sa ilalim ng CompSci Building, sa lobby ng Bordner, sa hallway ng main building, pati sa second floor ng THE Building. At noong mga panahong ‘yon, ang dahilan ng mga kumpulang ito ay mas madalas na pag-aaral.

Siyempre, bilang isang tinitingalang institusyon, may mga patimpalak ang MaSci para sa lahat ng mga estudyante. Nariyan yung sabayang bigkas, choric interpretation, carol fest, at marami pang iba. Sa mga pagkakataong ito lumulutang ang ilang mga pangalan ng mga freshies na potensyal para sa mga laban sa labas ng paaralan. Ito ang unang hakbang para ang pangalan mo, balang araw, ay maisulat ng mga malikhaing kamay ng mga estudyante sa Practical Arts, sa mga blackboard na nagkalat sa buong hallway, ihinahayag ang tagumpay na napanalunan para sa paaralan.

Pero, siyempre, hindi rin kapani-paniwalang walang ibang ginawa ang mga freshies ng 1996 kundi mag-aral. Nitong mga panahong ito rin nagsimulang mauso ang Magic the Gathering sa paaralan, at ang mga first year ay agad nakisawsaw sa larong ito. Minsan nang nahuli at na-guidance ang mga estudyante mula sa isang section dahil nahuli silang naglalaro ng Magic. Hulaan niyo kung sino ang nakahuli?

Si Ms. Eva Dolormente.

Hwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Mula dito’y nabuo ang Tropang Guidance Bring Parents.

Tuwing palitan naman ng mga guro at subjects, parang langgam ang mga estudyante na lilipat ng mga kuwarto. Minsan pa nga’y minamalas ang isang section na magkasunod ang nakakapagod at nakaka-tagaktak-pawis na PE at ang Com Sci (na ginaganap sa isang air con na kwarto). Aba, sino ba namang hindi mapapagod atpagpapawisan, matapos mong career-in ang Ruggamuffin Girl?

At marami pang mga pangyayari at kaganapan sa buhay freshie sa MaSci ang maaari ko pang isalaysay, ngunit kukulangin ang isang buong sesyon ng usapan para mabuo mo lahat ng mga kakatuwang alaala. Sa ngayon, ito muna ang ilan na nagpapaalala sa atin sa halos nalilimot at nabubura nang mga larawan ng ating buhay freshie.


Batis Ng Diwa: Balik-tanaw Sa Buhay MaSci (part 1)

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Ang taon ay 1996. Sa unang lunes ng aming unang taon sa paaralang ito, ang lahat nakapila sa labas ng gusali, abala sa kanya-kanyang mga isipin at gawain. Ang isa’y inaayusan pa ng nanay bago lumampas ng gate. May isa namang inaabutan ng ama ng pamasahe pauwi sa kanila. May mga ilang sinisilip ang loob ng bag upang matiyak na kumpleto na ang dalang notebook. Ang iba’y maingat na inaayos ang bagong plantsang uniporme. May mga pagala-gala, naghahanap ng kaklase sa section. At may ilan na magkakakilala na noong sila’y nasa elementarya pa, at ngayo’y pinalad na magkasamang tatahakin ang bagong yugto ng buhay nila–buhay high school.

Kasama’t kasabay namin sa pila ang mga ka-eskuwelang lamang na sa amin sa karanasan sa buhay MaSci. Ang mga may pink na ID ay nakaranas na ng isang taong hamon mula sa pinagpipitaganang institusyon na ito. Ang may asul na ID nama’y nasa ikatlong taon na nila ng pamamalagi sa MaSci. At ang mga estudyanteng dilaw ang ID… ahhh… sila ang mga beteranong malapit nang magsitapos sa kanilang pag-aaral dito. Sila ang mga tinaguriang matibay, astig, mga bihasa sa pasikot-sikot ng buhay na ngayon pa lamang namin haharapin.

Ilang saglit pa at papasok na kami sa Quad A, upang tuparin ang makabayan na mga ritwal ng isang estudyanteng Pilipino. Pero bago yun, dadaan muna kaming lahat sa metikulosong mata ng mga guro’t puno ng mga kagawaran na nag-aabang sa amin sa lagusan papasok ng Quad. Ang dahilan? Upang inspeksyonin at tiyakin na ang bawat isang estudyante ay tama ang suot, postura, at kilos: sumasalamin sa prestihiyosong dignidad ng Mataas na Paaralang Pang-agham ng Maynila.

Pinalad akong makapasok at pumasa sa pag-uusisa ng mga guro, habang may ilan na pinaiwan dahil sa mga labag nilang kaayusan. Ilang saglit pa at nagkasama-sama na ang mga magkaka-section. Hinanap ko ang lupon ng mga mag-aaral sa section na ilang linggo lamang ang lilipas ay pamumunuan ko bilang halal na pangulo ng klase–I Descartes, isa sa walong section ng First Year. Ang iba pang mga section ay Curie, Fermi, Euclid, Galileo, Archimedes, Armstrong at Lavoisier.

Matapos ang lahat ng mga kanta at panata, lumitaw mula sa kung saan ang isang babaeng may puting nag-uubeng buhok. Matapang ang tono ng kanyang mga tinig. Madiin at mabigat ang mga paalala, lalo na sa mga lumang estudyante. Siya ang punong guro ng MaSci–si Mrs. Daisy Banta.

Ilang saglit pa’y lumakad na ang mga mag-aaral sa kani-kanilang mga kuwarto. Simula na ng panibagong yugto ng aming mga buhay. Sa aming hinaharap ay naghihintay na ang maraming bagay: mga bagong karanasan, bagong kakilala, bagong kaibigan, bagong guro, bagong tunggalian, at marami pang iba.

Sa ngayon, paisa-isa’t dahan-dahan muna ang kilos. Ibaba muna ang bag, pumirme muna sa napiling armchair, at kilalanin ang katabi sa kaliwa, kanan, harap at likod. Wala pa naman ang guro: marahil abalang naghahanda para sa unang araw ng taon. Natiyak ko na namang dala ko na lahat ng kwaderno, papel, lapis at iba pang gamit para sa araw na yun. Maayos naman ang pagkakabalot ng nanay sa aking baon. Andito na lahat at handa na.

Unang lunes ng unang taon sa Batis ng Diwa.


MaSci to be Changed to Cory Aquino High? Napag-uusapan Lang Naman 6

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Just recently, rumors have been circulating that Manila mayor Alfredo Lim is planning to change the name of Manila Science High School into Pres. Corazon Aquino High School.

My answer: ABSOLUTELY NO!

Don’t get me wrong, or the rest of the MaSci Community, wrong: we honor, respect, and admire the life, legacy and leadership of Mrs. Corazon Aquino. She is indeed a great woman. But in relation to renaming the first ever science high school of the Philippines after her, here are some arguments I’d like to give, in behalf of the rest of my friends, batchmates and fellow alumni:

1. There are so many other ways of honoring Mrs. Aquino other than renaming a 46-year old institution, whose historic tradition and reputation rests on the very fact that it is named Manila Science;

2. If the records will bear us out, I don’t think Mrs. Aquino had any thing directly to do with what Manila Science is;

3. The name of the school is a result of a charter, not by any person’s declaration. If Mayor Lim wishes to rename the school, the move would have to go through the same legislative procedure when the name was first accorded to MaSci 46 years ago;

4. The school has established, and continues to establish, its respectable reputation through its name. Changing the name of the school is like erasing all the reputation annexed with the name; and finally

5. I think Mayor Lim, instead of renaming the school, ought to first of all show strong support for the school by alloting a chunk of Manila’s funds for the development of MaSci’s facilities. Yun muna ang unahin niya, hindi yung pupulitikahin pa pati pangalan ni Mrs. Aquino.


Atet: A True Story (part 3)

Just like that, life took a different turn for Atet.

Before all of these seeming tragedies came her way, Atet was no more than a simple housewife. Kuya Jojo believed that the wife has no business earning a living for the family, because it was the husband’s job to do so. All she knew back then was to take care and raise two beautiful daughters, Bianca and Trisha. Perhaps the closest thing she ever was to being a working person was her being a part-time Math teacher for the church’s Christian school. It was actually more of a pasttime for her than work.

While her husband was busy taking care of two businesses, Atet made sure Kuya Jojo would always come home to a place that removed his mind and body away from all the stress, even at least just overnight until the next day. She never had anything to do with her husband’s work, and both kuya Jojo and she liked it that way. For many years, Atet just watched from a distance how her husband handled the load of earning for the family. The only business she knew was making a house a home.

That was, until kuya Jojo suffered THE seizure.

Without even a single iota of business acumen, Atet was clueless as to what to do, now that the doctors have ruled out kuya Jojo’s comatose predicament for the rest of his life. For someone who had just been dealt by a very serious blow, Atet should have folded herself down in a dark corner, murmured and wished that her life would be taken away from her. She should have allowed herself to take some lengthy space to try to make sense of all the injury she had incurred.

But time and chance cannot wait on her.

She immediately picked herself up, and charged the daunting task at hand: of filling the very big shoes that had been left by her husband. Any survivor of such a predicament would say it’s easier said than done. And indeed it was.

Without the slightest idea of how to go about business management, Atet assumed the role of manager and CEO that was left vacant by Kuya Jojo. With the cutthroat competition intensifying for the packaging industry, Atet took the challenge of carrying out a responsibility that required a whole lot more than just expertise in housemaking. She was faced with critical decisions in the company that no one else could tackle but her. She needed to learn how to deal with people that she only knew from a distance. Now she had to make the necessary adjustments to be socially adept with the people and circumstances she was about to deal.

But even the heaviest of workload would pale in comparison with the more important role that kuya Jojo left for Atet to assume: as a father. TheĀ  task that she needed to do first was to make sure the two kids understood with their elementary understanding the unusual situation they were in. She had to be the obvious source of strength and reason for this perplexing condition for her kids. She did not even have time to convince herself that all these were indeed happening to the family. She just had to bite the bullet and move on.

It would seem nothing worse than all these could ever happen to her.

But, then, the worse did happen.

(to be continued…)


Best Hopes for UP’s Last 4 Games This Season

When UP first barged into the win column this season with a victory over top-seed Ateneo, I was already satisfied with the performance of the team. Even during the time that they dropped their last three games in round one, I wasn’t as disappointed because they were all played with brilliance and resilience I have never seen before.

Round two kicked off, and UP opened their rally with a vindication win over NU. That was another reason for elation for all of us UP fans. That victory, however, was followed by a loss to UST. But they never came down without a fight, as they waged a come-from-behind rally to cut a blow out 31 point lead down to just 5. That was, for me, the Maroons’ toughest game as yet.

Just last week, UP seesawed back into the scene with a convincing 5-point win over the Green Archers. They fought their way back into the final four contention. Now they’re just four games away…

…four tough and challenging games.

They’re going up against the top three seeds, Ateneo, FEU and UE. Though Ateneo incurred a loss from the Maroons in round one, it will definitely be hard to come by with another one against a team who is just steam-rolling past all other teams. And definitely the Blue Eagles wouldn’t want to be schooled again by their Katipunan neighbors. FEU, on the other hand, is playing with broken hearts as their strong rally was spoiled by the UE Red Warriors. They might just pour out all the heartbreak on the Maroons on their upcoming face-off. As for UE, they’ll try frustrate UP just like they did when they sent the game to over time and eventually won the scrimage.

Despite these tough games ahead, the only thing unchanging about this season is, still, its unpredictability. Anything can happen in the next games.

But if there is one crucial game here, it would be UP’s square-off with Adamson.

Adamson is also set to fight Ateneo, FEU, UST and UP. That means, if ever both teams drop all their top-seed fights, it will boil down to their duel. Last time, Adamson escaped with a win over the Maroons. Will this round be different from the last one for UP.

The similarity of UP and Adamson’s rallies is that their wins so far into the second round came from the same two teams they’ve beaten: NU and La Salle. They’re also carrying each a single loss into theis phase. They’re right now tied in the standings. One win or loss of one spells a break-away from the other.

As with any other UP fan, my highest hope is that UP wins all four games. If not, then hopefully they can end the season with a modest record, an unforgettable run, and incomparable resilience.

However it goes for the next four games, we will stay by our pride as Maroons.

Go UP! UP Fight!


Oo Nga Naman 15

8156May dalawang baliw na nagplanong tumakas mula sa kanilang confinement cell. Sa kanilang “pag-iimbestiga” nalaman nilang naka-padlock lamang ang kanilang kuwarto, at maaari nilang sirain ito upang tumakas. Kinagabihan, nagdala sila ng pangtungkab ng padlock at isinagawa ang binalak na pagtakas.

Naunang nilapitan ni Bonyok ang pinto upang tungkabin ang padlock. Ilang minuto, binalikan niya si Impeng, malungkot na mangiyak-ngiyak.

“O, bakit? Anong problema?” sabi ni Impeng.

“Eh, kasi,” hagulgol ni Bonyok, “yung padlock hindi naka-kandado! Hindi na natin matutungkab yun!”

“Eh, baliw ka pala eh!” bulyaw ni Impeng. “Simple lang ang solusyon dun! Eh di ikandado mo ulit yung padlock para pwede mo nang tungkabin!”


Oo Nga Naman 14

I was set to teach the virtue of honesty to my class. And so I began with the usual “here’s your assignment” statement.

“OK class, for our lesson on honesty this week, I want you to read John 22, OK?”

And so I dismissed the class.

The following week, pinataas ko kung sinu-sino ang nakabasa ng John 22. Sa 20 estudyante ko 4 lang ang hindi nagtaas.

I soon got my class records placed some high grades on it, and said, “Yung apat na hindi nagtaas ng kamay, uwi na kayo. Exempt na kayo sa exam. Kayong nagtaas ng kamay, maiwan, at may 100 item exam kayo.”

Akala nila maiisahan nila ako… wala namang John 22 eh!