For whatever I can share to inform, inspire, enlighten, and bring joy and hope to others, then this blog has best served its purpose.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A short poem for Nelson Mandela

"Freedom fighter, prisoner, moral compass and South Africa's symbol of the struggle against racial oppression...Warm, lanky and charismatic in his silk, earth-toned dashikis, he was quick to admit his shortcomings, endearing him further in a culture in which leaders rarely do." --CNN News

"Mr Mandela led South Africa's transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison for his political activities...The Nobel Prize laureate was one of the world's most revered statesmen after preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years." --BBC News

What seest thou who bringeth light
To shine upon the black and white;
From which the colours could blend well
Thine eyes, for sure, must see the will?

To change the world where ignorance
Could eat up all the furtherance
Of living free, equality,
And joy for all humanity.

What though when eyes already shut
From what is seeing meant a lot?
Thy flesh the night could only claim
Yet thou would be a precious gem.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The super typhoon that is Pacman: Rios should be bracing against a great disaster

If super typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) which hit the Philippines last November 8, 2013 reduced everything on its path to rubble, boxing’s own version of such a great force of nature will be replicated by no other than the 8 division world champion Manny Pacquiao to wreak havoc upon his much younger opponent Brandon “Bam-Bam” Rios in a few hours from now in Macau. The super typhoon that is “Pacman” will be at his fiercest version ever knowing he will have a reputation to redeem, a loss to avenge, and a mockery to punish (Rios camp insulted Pacman’s trainer Freddie Roach by imitating his impaired speech and movements due to his suffering of a Parkinson’s disease). Rios’s only chance will be determined at how prepared he was to brace against such a disaster of great magnitude. His puncher’s chance will be devoured, like all the rest that he could do against, by the eye of the storm’s unforgiving, relentless ferocity.

It will be a one-sided, brutal, carnage that will have made many boxing fanatics to feel pity, instead of thrilled, at Rios. The fight, of course, will be finished within six rounds. Or, if Pacquiao pushes on to put more pressure early, will be shorter than imagined. Rios will be there, tailor-made for Pacquiao, to serve as a standing target for the Pacman whirlwind. “I’m praying for him,” said Pacquiao about Rios in an interview. The Pacman will be at his best transformed beast ever, for sure, when the bell rings.

I’m worried for Rios’s health but I hope he won’t get hospitalized as a result of that fight. I hope he will be just okay after having absorbed the Pacman’s wrath poured down on him. Like Pacquiao, he has a family to wait for him back home: A caring wife, beautiful kids, parents, siblings, close relatives, and friends.

But Rios is tough. And we will come to see a new form of toughness to sprout upon him, not the physically-sourced toughness we usually see him about. He may be flattened like Tacloban in that fight, but he will rise back from the ruins and face every opponent with much confidence knowing he has already faced and survived the worst.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Super typhoon Yolanda’s aftermath: The case with blame game and dysfunctional functionalism

The aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that
has hit the Philippines on November 8, 2013.

"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in moment of crisis, do nothing."--Dante Aleghieri in his Inferno

Exactly a week after the world’s strongest typhoon for the year 2013 has hit the central Visayas region and neighboring provinces in the Philippines, people from some of these hardest hit areas (most particularly Tacloban city) were angered by the fact that the lousy response and lacking of organized system from the national government resulted to the delay in the distribution of aids to meet their daily basic of necessities. Days before Yolanda made its historic landfall, as it breaks record to be the strongest storm to make landfall in recorded history, in the small town of Guiuan in the southern stretch of eastern Samar, Philippine president Benigno Aquino announced that his government was all the way prepared and ready to deal with Yolanda.

Preparation, in my opinion, is a two-way street. It is to anticipate the incoming danger and to apply precautionary measures that could negate or lessen the effect or impact it can potentially create. There should be Plan A, B, and C for this, in case Plan A failed to work.  Another way to prepare is to be focused on the aftermath of the danger.

If the roads and bridges are totally destroyed making it impossible for supplies to reach their destinations on time by land, then sending them through air will be the best option. The use of helicopters will be the key, reaching in as many and as far as the most remote of these places. If ever there’s not a portion of a land left safe enough to make landings, then these choppers will be dropping off their loads of life-sustaining bags to the ground where survivors have long waited in desperation for the help to come. It’s all about FFD, not a Find, Fix, and Destroy as it usually be, but a Find, Fix, and Deliver.

This is a war by which we will become the foe ourselves depending on the way we react to such a situation caused by such a force of nature coming to destroy us and our dear land. The president, being the commander in chief, must have declared war against and used all the machinery of the government especially the armed forces to reach its full function for its own advantage. Our noble soldiers will have fought with much pride and honor as in the actual combat in the battlefield, except that in that fight they will be saving lives instead of taking them.

No one can say that, at this point of time, everything in Tacloban city is under control: There’s looting, chaos, and desperation among the survivors everywhere. Foods and water in some areas are still a scarcity despite the flooding in of aids from other countries willing to help. For the survivors of this storm-ravaged city, time is of the essence to get the most basic of their daily needs: Food, water, shelter, and medicine. We cannot make them wait too long to fill their empty stomachs, quench their thirsts, and heal their wounds.

Blaming anyone won’t help the present situation in Tacloban but tolerating the lapses in the long run neither would. Some people must be held accountable for the lapses committed so as to prevent things like these from happening again in the future. Yolanda exposed the notion of how well prepared or not the Philippine government was in dealing with such a catastrophe of this magnitude. The country’s disaster preparedness has failed at some point; the disaster response was as well disorganized and slow. The Aquino administration lacks the leadership to assist the situation with great efficiency and speed. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Three landings, two different eras, one place

An American soldier rescued an injured Filipino girl
during the Liberation of the Philippines in 1945.
Leyte has been home to three historical landings in two different eras. American general Douglas MacArthur, one of the only five military generals in US military history to be promoted to five-star ranks, with his combined American and Australian liberation forces during World War II, has stormed the beaches of Palo, Leyte and liberated the island and later on the entire Philippines from every Japanese imperial army who occupied the land and took control for a period of a little over three years.

The largest naval battle in history was fought in the Philippines from October 23 to 26, 1944. It was called the Battle of Leyte Gulf which was fought in four major naval engagements almost simultaneously: The Battle off Samar, Battle of Surigao Strait, Battle of Sibuyan Sea, and the Battle of Cape Engano. Four months prior to that, the largest aircraft carrier battle in history and was also considered by many military historians to be the largest single naval battle of World War II was fought in the Philippine Sea.

Super typhoon Yolanda (international name is Haiyan) made landfall in Guiuan, a small town in the southern part of eastern Samar on the early morning of Friday, November 8, 2013. Super typhoon Yolanda, packing winds in excess of 300 kilometers per hour was the world’s strongest storm for the year 2013. It also breaks record as the strongest storm to make landfall in recorded history. Super typhoon Yolanda was in the level of a category 5 storm.

The United States has sent the USS George Washington aircraft carrier to the storm-ravaged Leyte and neighboring provinces as a show of support. USS George Washington has some 5000 sailors on board including over 80 supersonic aircrafts. Other warships of the US Navy would also accompany the aircraft carrier to the Philippines.  

Three landings, two different eras, in one same place: History repeats itself in devastation, struggle, and cooperation. Yolanda’s landing in Leyte five days ago was this era’s version of Japanese occupation of the Philippines. But the liberation forces are coming to bring hope, support, and freedom. Almost two thousand miles northwest across the South China Sea, a bully dragon slowly building her Empire of Greed should have considered this message seriously. Some of our own corrupt crocodiles occupying the high seats of the government must as well contemplate.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Land of hard knocks: The making of a Filipino

This morning, I came across an article (dated October 21, 2013) written by a certain blogger who introduced himself as Joe America expressing his opinion about why the Philippines must be considered this planet’s most dangerous land. The blogger’s notion only highlights the fact that the super typhoon Yolanda’s aftermath (international name is Haiyan), which has just recently hit the Philippines wrecking destruction beyond measure, must have added some grounds to validate his claim with conviction.

Although he has hit on some many good points especially that of the Philippines’s response to disaster and natural calamity being a short-term reactive one rather than a long-term pre-planned, I would like to say that, in my opinion, his calling of the Philippines as the most dangerous land on the planet is just an exaggeration--could even be a misleading one. There are some places in the planet which are labeled too dangerous for any tourist to visit, I’m sure the Philippines is not among them. I don’t need to name all of these places one by one but had to mention a few, just in case. Syria, Somalia, Sudan, North Korea, Afghanistan, Yemen. These places are just too risky for foreigners (especially if you are an American) to spend their vacation or even pay a short visit.

What makes a place dangerous is not the place itself, but the people living in it. The Philippines might be geographically situated in the danger zone area and the people’s approach to disaster are sometimes riddled with lapses and flaws, but these are making the Filipino people a bunch of survivors learning for the best while, at the same time, keeping their good faith alive and intact, rising back from the ruins. Filipinos are tough, friendly, hospitable, family-oriented, resilient, and one of the world’s happiest of people.

Instead, the Philippines, for me, should be called the land of hard knocks. You only have to be here because you’re tough, because you’re brave enough to accept whatever it is that life throws at you. Sometimes, you don’t have a choice but to choose. You have to choose to be strong because it is necessary, to be full of hope because it helps. You have got to work very hard to get the things you want because nobody would be handing it free or easy for you. That’s the making of a Filipino--made of sterner stuff.

There was a time when the Philippines became the training ground for future American military generals and political leaders. Douglas MacArthur has been here. William Howard Taft. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Arthur MacArthur (father of Douglas MacArthur). John Joseph Pershing. Dwight Eisenhower.

Dwight Eisenhower has been, for a time, assigned in the Philippines before World War II broke out. During the Second World War, he commanded the greatest armada ever launched of the Allied forces against Hitler’s Nazis in Europe. It was believed that the years he has spent staying in the Philippines were the formative phase that contributed a lot to boost his confidence. He was able to further hone his decision making skills as well as his ability to command a large multi-national army.

A human person is a complex machine capable of transforming himself into one of the most feared of creatures. The world is a dangerous place to live if the good men living in it do nothing to stop the evil. Except for that, Joe America, you’re safe to go everywhere. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Donaire-Darchinyan II: Will it be repeat or revenge?

Donaire dropped Darchinyan with a left hook to the face
in the fifth round of their first outing six years ago.
Photo source: Google.

In a few hours from now, Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire will be facing an old foe in Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan in the super flyweight division after six years of waiting. The Filipino Flash knocked out the heavy handed Australian-based Armenian champion with a vicious short left hook to the face of the champion in the fifth round to capture the IBF and IBO flyweight belts from the hands of Darchinyan on July 7, 2007 in Connecticut.

Donaire, who was coming off a decision loss to the very technical Cuban fighter Guillermo Rigondaeux in New York last year, wishes to make it to boxing’s top pound-for-pound list again by duplicating the victory he has had with Darchinyan six years ago. Darchinyan, on the other hand, vows to avenge that loss and to never commit the same mistake again. “It was not him who was pushing me in the corner in that fight, but I was the one pushing him and looking for a knockout. I jumped on a punch. Even Pacquiao, who was faster and stronger, do the same thing as I did. He jumped on a punch and got knocked out. That’s how it is in boxing, it happens,” explained Darchinyan about his loss to the Filipino Flash in 2007.

Donaire-Darchinyan II is a fight expected to be one that’s explosive and exciting. One is seeking redemption for a devastating loss six years ago, and the other wanting to regain pound-for-pound stature after being schooled by a very technical fighter happening a year ago. The pressure will be on the Raging Bull though, which might lead us to ask: Would it be a repeat or revenge? But the answer may no longer be important though, as long as it delivers and keeps true of a promise on either of the two would surely be getting knocked out as a result.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Random thoughts, super typhoon Yolanda, and me

The super typhoon Yolanda with international name Haiyan is considered the world’s strongest cyclone for the year 2013. Unfortunately, it hits the Philippines and made  landfall on early morning of Friday, November 8, 2013 (the 24th typhoon to hit the country for this year). Part of my preparations (aside from the most basic of all which is storing food), having lived in Cebu city which super typhoon Yolanda is expected to pass through, are to make sure the cellphones, flashlights, and other gadgets that rely on battery for power are fully charged.

Prayers are also a source of strength and motivation especially in times of great danger or need. I found a different way in anticipation of super typhoon Yolanda’s coming though. I’m thinking about some random thoughts I could possibly write for as a blog post. Some of these thoughts may have been recycled, but these are words forming a thought still worthy of reading--and sharing:

In math of life, more is less. It's not how much you have; it's all about what you can do with what you have, in your own little way, to make this world a much better place in which to live. The important things in life are not things. But they are good relationships you are going to establish with everyone.

While it may be true about finding your happiness to make the most of your life (which is often in the form of acquiring material things), to some extent, it is actually but joy you are looking for. Joy is to feel the happiness in the much deeper sense of it. It is not something that the material things can only provide; it is a higher form of confidence springing from within.

Joy is to see the light of hope in your darkest nights. It is to make good use of sorrow by which the happiness can truly blossom upon. That’s joy: To be able to feel the happiness even in sorrow.

Super typhoon Yolanda may rock you from all points and make you feel the full fury of her wrath, but remember she’s not going to tarry long, or to stay forever with you. Like all the storms in life, she comes and leaves. She will either break or make the stronger person out of you. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Super typhoon Yolanda to test Philippine disaster preparedness and response

CALM BEFORE THE STORM. Cebu city's tallest buildings, the Crown Regency Twin Towers, could be seen pointing their proud peaks toward a cloudless sky of blue. In less than 24 hours, a super typhoon brewing in the Pacific ocean is expected to enter Philippine area of responsibility. Photo taken by Napoleon Nalcot.

A super typhoon called by its international name Haiyan is now named Yolanda as it entered Philippine area of responsibility. Yolanda, classified as a super typhoon by the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center or the (JTWC) with a maximum sustained winds of 130 knots or 241 kilometers per hour (kph), is the strongest typhoon to visit the Philippines this year and was predicted by weather forecasters to be stronger than Pablo, another super typhoon which wrought havoc in the Philippines last year and has also killed more than 1000 lives.

Yolanda will make landfall on Friday in the Samar-Leyte areas and will leave Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday morning. Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA has released warnings that storm signal number 4 could be raised to areas directly hit by the said super typhoon. People from earthquake-stricken areas like Bohol and some parts of the Visayas are advised to stay away from sinkholes caused by last month’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Landslides are also expected from these affected areas.

Unlike in an earthquake where it strikes unpredictable, a typhoon’s path could be tracked from the very beginning by the people in charge in the Philippine Weather Bureau using state-of-the-art weather instruments and also with the aid of a satellite.

Super typhoon Yolanda is going to test the country’s disaster preparedness and response. Typhoons are not new in the Philippines, in fact, they are a frequent visitor. As a typhoon-prone country, preparation should always be the first priority. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Do you believe in ghosts?

Do you believe in ghosts? When I was younger I used to believe in ghosts. Upon reaching college, my belief in ghosts was slowly weakened by my reading of philosophy books, political science, and the application of logic to every situation or experience. I believe that everything I feel or experience must have some kind of scientific explanations. I was like that for so many years since college although I have considered divine intervention to also play a role and as an exception. But lately, I had this unusual experience for the first time in my life that somehow convinced me to revive my lost belief in ghosts.

My partner's uncle died a couple of days back but we only were able to pay his wake a visit on Sunday since Monday to Saturday are working days. We traveled by bus towards the southern part of Cebu province, central Philippines. Upon reaching my partner's uncle's house, I didn't immediately went on to take a glimpse of his face inside the coffin but followed and taking a look at my one year old son becoming very busy walking and playing around during that time. We stayed there for several hours, my wife talking to her cousins in tears, but the time for us to leave was wearing thin as we're planning to get back to the city right on that very same day before the sun sets because the next day would be local election day which we're both going to cast our votes as registered voters of the city of Cebu.

The moment we're about to leave the house I took some amount of money and looked for the donation tray. It took me a few minutes to figure out where the tray was being placed. It was placed just beneath the coffin on the floor crowded with colorful flowers. I reached out to put the money in the tray, my body bent to some degree so as to form an arc with my back, but my forehead accidentally bumped hard at the coffin at that.

While we're about 5 minutes since leaving the house of my partner’s uncle on the way to the bus stop bound for the city, I smelled something. It was like a very strong perfume. I remembered it was the same kind of odor I smelled during my paternal grandmother's wake when I was only 10 years old. Yes, it was exactly the smell of a particular make up used by embalmers for a deceased person.

At first, I ignored about the scent I had smelled thinking maybe somebody else along the way has been using that kind of perfume and I just mistakenly recalled it to be something that's commonly used for deceased people. It was not until when we're inside the bus that my suspicion grew. The smell's still there, never gone.

My partner also smelled that same kind of strong scent even while we're inside the bus already. The odor followed us through the usually two hour travel by bus which was extended to three after a one hour traffic jam at Naga, Cebu following a vehicular accident happening ahead of us involving a bus, isuzu elf, and a multicab.

The last time I smelled the odor was inside the taxi we're riding from the bus terminal towards the place we lived. The moment we entered the gate of the house, we could no longer smell it. I was thinking about anything I could put some logic on with that kind of thing I experienced, but it would only lead me to one thought: A ghost was accompanying us through our entire trip home to keep us safe.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Provodnikov is the man to watch

Provodnikov connects with a right hand to Bradley's face.
Photo source: Google
Hours before the heavy slugfest happening between defending WBO light welterweight champion Mike Alvarado and Russian challenger and former Pacquiao sparmate Ruslan Provodnikov last Saturday night, October 19, 2013, I made a wild prediction that the fight will not go the distance and that the Russian will stop Alvarado within round 6 to 8. Alvarado, being the champion, was the highly favored one in that fight, having gone through in a high octane action-packed war twice with Brandon Rios with both of them acquiring a loss and a win each card.

The fight being held in the champion’s hometown of Denver, Colorado would have only added more to Alvarado’s advantage, but the Russian came to fight and unloaded right before him the answer to a question on why he was the man to watch out for and fear of.  I was expecting Provodnikov to knock Alvarado out within round 6 to 8. What I wasn’t expecting though was the fact that Alvarado was tough enough to carry the fight on and to even extend it to two rounds more. That was a high-caliber fight, beautiful as it entertains--the kind of fight that’s all worth your money and time. We’re not watching sparring sessions, after all (like some of these so called sweet scientists engaged in boring fights), but a real slugfest.  

Provodnikov’s last outing before the Alvarado fight was a controversial decision loss to Timothy Bradley by whom he has one time floored the Desert Storm (it was actually twice but the referee ruled the other one out as a slip). Bradley suffered concussion issues a week after the fight. Now, after Provodnikov’s convincing win against Alvarado, what’s next for the warrior nicknamed as the Siberian Rocky?

Names like Pacquiao, Bradley, Marquez, and even Matthysse have suddenly surfaced to help shape the landscape of his future as a prizefighter. Boxing’s not a dying sport, as what some people would have claimed it to be, but only needs to keep enrolling fighters in that really fight. The warrior in Provodnikov is why he must be the man to watch in the sport where brutality is one of its main ingredients. He’ll be boxing’s next big star.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Elegy for a damaged treasure (The bell tower falls)

Last Tuesday's 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Cebu, Bohol, and neighboring provinces of Central Philippines and some parts of Northern Mindanao, left us with many collapsed churches, houses, bridges, roads, and school and office buildings. Some precious lives as well have been lost.

Philippines’s oldest church--the Basilica of the Holy Child Jesus--has lost its bell tower. We hope the experts could bring it back to its original form and make it stronger than it has been. We mourned for this unfortunate event that brought destruction upon our most kept treasures.

These collapsed, or partially damaged old churches were considered national treasures of the Philippines. They played a very significant role in our nation's history so that they have become an inseparable part in the weaving of our unique heritage as a people. It will be very hard for the experts to repair some of them.

And now, watching some of them totally flattened to the ground, we could only recall the part of those memories by which the physical structure we have come to see or contact with before they were destroyed may have caused us to feel why it is important to preserve and treasure them.

The destruction of these old churches by the force of nature might be a sign and not a punishment; a sign by which we have to deepen our faith in God even more, and to build stronger churches to house God’s people. I’d like to share to you a poem of my original composition titled “Elegy for a damaged treasure (The bell tower falls)” upon seeing the Basilica del Sto. Nino de Cebu sans a belfry:

It’s gone: The vintage symbol in a span of seconds fell to the ground.
Let someone else worry about it. It saddened me. The pilgrims are nowhere to be found.

If I can do something about it, from out of such a cluttered debris, I'll care
Picking a piece of pebble and throw it in the air

Or to return from a walk the imagery would’ve given me some thoughts.
The fragments I would have looked at I’d become one pure astute

Observer of the whole mess: Sadly, within His household.
I’ll have this thing to the whole world be told.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thanking God for everything, even in adversity

It is important to thank God for everything even in your most unfortunate of situations or time. All things had the potential of becoming a blessing for everyone. All things are created with the original purpose of glorifying His Holy name. So whatever it is that life throws at you is something that you must be thankful about.

You must count your blessings. Doing so will give you a psychological boost which attracts positive energies that can impact upon your overall health. Spend a little portion of your time each day remembering the things you would be grateful for.

You have to give thanks to the Lord because He has instructed you to do it. In the book of 1st Chronicles chapter 16 verse 8, it said: “Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name and make known His deeds among the people.”

Giving thanks is one way to help you see more blessings. The world is never run out of beautiful things, things that you often ignore because they may seem so small or ordinary. If you try to look and feel around you, you’ll be surprised to find about the lots of things that are making you rich: Azure sky, rustle of the leaves, flowers in the garden, the air that you breathe, beautiful sunset, song of the birds, and so on and so forth.

You have to thank God because ingratitude may be the prelude to your complaining. If you will try to recall the Israelites in the days of Moses when God set them free from bondage in Egypt, where God has performed many wonderful things before them while they were wandering in the desert, and yet they complained to the Lord. But they were complaining because they cannot appreciate the works of God in their favor. Their ingratitude paved the way for their asking for more.

To thank God is to appreciate the good things that are at work in you. To thank God is to breed more blessings. "And for those who love God all things work together for good," to quote from the book of Romans 8:28 in the Holy Bible, "for those who are called according to his purpose."

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Can Marquez do it again?

With his stunning sixth round stoppage win over Pacquiao last Decemder of 2012, Mexican warrior Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez will no doubt be the highly favored to win when he faces American Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley on October 12, 2013. Both fighters have been fighting a common foe in Pacquiao and each of them won, the only difference was in the manner by which they have snatched the victory. Bradley won on points in what was a controversial decision while the Dinamita, on the other hand, turned the lights out from Pacquiao with his crashing Heredia-transformed right hand that sent the Filipino champion falling face first towards the canvas and motionless in the dying seconds of round six. But before the knockout happened, Pacquiao was ahead on points on all score cards and was obviously dominating the fight.

But with another Pacquiao conqueror Tim Bradley, whom he would be trading punches tonight, can the Dinamita do it again? Would he be able to cast the spell so that his right hand will once again do the magic for him? Or he would simply become just like what he usually is best at doing: counter punching. Although he was a master counter puncher, the 40-year-old Mexican warrior is not known, in his entire boxing career, as a one punch knockout artist until his fourth outing with Pacquiao. Coincidentally, it suddenly happened when he hired former PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) dealer Angel “Memo” Heredia to be his new strength and conditioning coach. Heredia nicknamed him as “The Hulk,” which suggests something if you’re quite curious enough to make some kind of thinking. Marquez looked more of a body builder than a boxer when he fought Pacquiao the fourth time.

Contrary to what the majority of people thinking Marquez could beat the Desert Storm, I see a slower version of Marquez got beaten badly in this fight. This will, of course, surprise a many boxing fanatics and loyalists. Bradley’s speed is the key; his athleticism as well is another. So the question on whether or not Marquez can do it again is answered. I say, no, he can’t. But he can still fight Pacquiao again if he’s brave enough.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

A fight for redemption: Pacquiao will slug it out against Rios

If there is a fight that will give Manny Pacquiao the chance to bring back his boxing career’s lost spark following back to back losses to American Timothy Bradley and that of Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, then it will be his fight against Brandon “Bam-Bam” Rios this coming November 23 (November 24 Manila time) in Macau. It will be his most important fight as the result of that fight will decide on whether or not he must continue to be fighting. We could expect Pacquiao’s best form when he slugs it out with Rios.

Meanwhile, two of Pacquiao’s former foes will be facing each other this coming Saturday, October 12, 2013 (October 13, Manila time). Both Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley have fought and beaten Pacquiao. A rematch with either of the two against Pacquiao is possible, hopefully next year, depending on his performance against Rios.

I would like to see Pacquiao walking over Rios within six rounds to pepper the young hungry lion, in staccato bursts, with shots of vicious blows coming from all directions, but going the distance towards the twelfth canto is also a possibility. Rios is a durable fighter and one who has a bottomless stamina. It will be a heavy slugfest, for sure, and one that will become the sport’s own antithesis to the Mayweather-Alvarez boxing clinic.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

World War 3: The clear and present danger of this generation

Before going to the main topic of this post, allow me first to express the only one wish I had in mind concerning this issue. And that is wishing that whatever information I’m going to share below won’t come as true; that this is all but just a lie we are made to believe with as true. That somebody else just made a mistake in telling it would come. I hope our prayers could stop it from happening.

Will the war in Syria and the horrible chemical attack on civilians in its capital city Damascus the beginning of World War 3? The book of Isiah in the Holy Bible has it written about the city: "See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. (Isiah 17:1)"

It seems like the powerful countries of the world today are gearing up for something big to come. The United States of America, the only remaining superpower country in the world today after rival Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, was pivoting its war machines to Asia to check on the growing might of Communist China that are slowly grabbing territories from among its neighbors.

The two Koreas are always on the watch/guard against each other and any mistake or miscalculation to be made from either of them could lead to the nuking of each other out. Russia, Syria, Iran, and China became each other’s ally. You can add to it the North Koreans who will always be at China’s back. Israel is in danger and would most likely be attacked by Russia by way of Iran and Syria.

Although we may be hearing some peace negotiations going on to try to settle differences between these quarreling parties/countries/people, most of them are just a front, a sugar coated one. We’re now in the age of hypocrisy, a time where the devil is actively working to deceive a many; a time where the King of Darkness transforms himself to become like the Angel of Light.

If World War 3 erupts, it would most likely be fought between the U.S.-Japan-Israel and allies versus Russia-China-Iran and allies tandem. Israel would be left undefended although she was a loyal U.S. ally. It would come as a surprise to people who have great knowledge in history seeing the U.S. and Japan--two former enemies in World War 2--are now backing each other up. Meanwhile, Russia and Iran--two countries which are known to have some kind of rift in the past--are now collaborating.

This wouldn’t quite surprise me though, having read the Holy Bible as what was prophesied in the book of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. Iran, together with Russia and their allies would invade Israel. World War 3 is getting real--the clear and present danger this, or perhaps the next, generation will have to face.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

When boredom strikes: 20 things you should be doing to get rid of it

Boredom is, in my opinion, a state by which your mind is not fully engaged, focused, or interested on something or anything. The only thing needed to get rid of boredom is to keep both your mind and body busy or active at that particular moment. If you keep yourself busy or so much interested on something, then you won’t be getting bored at all. However, I’m going to suggest just 20 things you should be doing when boredom strikes. This will not only help you out from whatever boring things you’re in, but also contribute something to making your day worthwhile.

1.     Plant a tree. It will help our mother earth.

2.     Write a poem, or write about just anything. It will enhance your creative side.

3.     Read a book or the Bible. The more you read, the more you learn.

4.     Get out into the open. Take a walk in the park and do sight-seeing. It will relax your toxic mind.

5.     Go shopping, even window shopping when you’re out of budget.

6.     Watch a movie.

7.     Call a long distance friend on the phone and talk about random of topics.

8.     Go to the church. You can meditate there and pray.

9.     Treat yourself. Buy yourself an ice cream or anything you like eating.

10.  Clean the house.

11.  Listen to your favorite music.

12.  Sing in the karaoke bar.

13.  Get yourself a relaxing massage or a spa.

14.  Cook something delicious.

15.  Give something good to someone, even complete strangers.

16.  Go to the gym. Sweat that thing out.

17.  Visit a friend. Make sure he or she is not a boring friend to be with.

18.  Engage in your favorite of sports. If it’s boxing, then go, find a sparring partner and box it with him. If it’s chess, then go blow out your mind thinking for the next nice move.

19.   Go online and surf the internet. Check out your favorite social media sites and update your status. Chat.

20.  If you’re at the working place and you get bored, then it’s either you have to quit the job or learn to live with it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The best things in life are free

You probably may have heard about that adage a countless time already. Yes, the best things in life are free. Everyone can have them, you can have them too. You deserve the best of things that life can offer you. But what are these best things in life that you need to know about?

I would like to summarize them below and I hope that once you had found and possessed these things you would not just let them go that easy. In other words, keep them for as long as you can. You have got to treasure these things because, although they’re free, they’re considered a rarity nowadays in a sense that not all people can quite put them into good use.

Love is one of the best things in life. You can be the wealthiest man or woman in the world but without such a feeling of love in your heart to guide you, you would end up always chasing happiness and contentment.

Family is another best thing in life. Your family is something you have to treasure more than what this life could give you. It is where you belong and it is where you will have to lean on with no matter what.

Relationships define the best things in life. Yes, relationships are what life is all about. If you couldn’t build up good relationships with some people, then, at least, don’t ruin whatever good one that you have had with either.

Be a guiding light to others. Give free advice to people who need it most. Don’t just tolerate bad things or situation to unfold before your very eyes. Do something about it in your own little way. If you could do something good, then do it regardless of circumstances or whatsoever. Otherwise you’ll always regret not having done something good when you could have.

Dream, it’s free. Dreams can have some impact on the emotional, psychological well-being of a person. But while it is free to dream, it is always good to make the dream a reality. Set realistic goals for your dreams and live for them.  

Friday, September 27, 2013

The best of all prayers: Lord’s Prayer

"This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’" (Matthew 6:9-13)

The Lord’s Prayer, the one Jesus taught to his disciples (Matthew chapter 6 verses 9 to 13), is the blueprint by which all prayers must be patterned. You can recite it the way it is, verbatim. Or you can substitute it with your own words to best fit with your present situation or needs. It is a complete prayer.

Before you could even start to say a word of your prayer to God, He already knows what it is. So what’s the use of a prayer? What’s the point of telling it all to Him when He knows everything in the first place? What is your definition of a prayer? How do you pray? Why would you pray and to whom? Is it really effective? These are but just few of the questions the answers may vary from person to person.

You can pray any way you like any time of day, it is all up to you. But see to it though that when you pray, don’t forget to praise God, to thank Him for everything, to ask for His blessings and forgiveness, and for protection. Make it as private as possible.

To pray is to talk to God. To pray is to make your own person humble before the Lord. To pray is to glorify God’s name. To pray is to invite God into your life. To pray is to show how dependent you are to God.

The effectiveness of a prayer depends much on the sincerity of a person praying and not in its length. The best prayer is one that is short and direct to the point. It is not always expecting so much from Him to answer your every prayer but if you are righteous enough, to quote from the Holy Bible in the book of James chapter 5 and verse 16, your prayers will be heard.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mayweather puts Alvarez to boxing school

Mayweather connects with a right to Canelo. Photo source: Google.
In what was one of Mayweather’s finest performances in his fight against Canelo Alvarez, he was able to put the young Mexican to boxing school. Canelo is simply being just outclassed; Mayweather is too much for him to handle. But what is to be appreciated from the Mexican fighter though was his toughness as he remained standing for the whole 12 one-sided rounds in favor of Mayweather.

Mayweather is, at least, no doubt this generation’s Sugar Ray Leonard or could also be a combination of two or more great fighters of the decades past. But while there is a Leonard, there could also be a Hagler or a Duran or a combination of these two fighters this generation has produced. He is no other than the Filipino champion Manny Pacquiao.

These two fighters must fight each other. They are the best that this sport has produced for this generation and seeing them facing each other inside the squared circle will be one of the biggest and richest events in the history of boxing. It’s a fight everyone wants to see.

With Pacquiao’s two consecutive losses, Mayweather now tops boxing’s pound-for-pound list again. Pacquiao is scheduled to face Brandon Rios in November in Macau. A convincing win against Rios would once again bring Pacquiao back to the spotlight and a fifth fight with arc nemesis Marquez would be possible or a fight that everybody wants to see--a superfight with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. That would all become possible next year.

Unless Mayweather faces Pacquiao and beat him, then I would say he's truly one of the greatest boxers of all time. His unbeaten record is only because he knows how to pick a fight where he knows he'll surely win. But against the Pacman, through his honest assesment, he will have to expose the risk of getting beaten.

Canelo Alvarez is overrated although he has an impressive record, too. But against Mayweather he's just not ready to face him yet. All these people thinking he is the one who could give Mayweather his first loss are just exagerrating. 

Pacquiao is the only one who could beat Mayweather. And Mayweather knows that, that by the moment he will give Pacquiao a chance to fight him, his record will no longer be unblemished. That's why he has to do everything to avoid a Pacquiao fight. Or perhaps I was just wrong.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mexican Canelo Alvarez battles Floyd Mayweather Jr. in The One tonight

Mayweather and Alvarez during the weigh in. Photo source: Google.
Can the young Mexican fighter Canelo Alvarez pulls out one of boxing's greatest upsets by giving Floyd Mayweather Jr. his first loss? Although Canelo should be considered a legitimate threat to Mayweather, it would end up just another boring fight with Mayweather proving once again his excellent display of sweet science prowess--hit and don't get hit. The Mexican fighter Canelo--the young hungry lion--would be then reduced into a desperate brawler which Mayweather would take advantage of by making him a standing target for precision punching and perfectly-timed combinations. But, still, I hope I was wrong and the fight would have lived up to every boxing fanatic's expectations.

The fight titled The One will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather will be earning a guaranteed purse of $41.5 million for this fight not to include the pay-per-view shares he would be earning which will also be in millions of dollars while Canelo will be paid a guaranteed $5 million plus pay-per-view shares. Both Canelo Alvarez (42-0-1 30 KOs) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0 26 KOs) are undefeated. The two will be fighting at a catch weight of 152 pounds, just two pounds short for the junior middle weight limit. 

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been boxing’s top pound-for-pound until Pacquiao dethroned him for quite a time but with Pacquiao’s devastating sixth round knockout loss to Marquez last December of 2012, Mayweather tops the list again. One of boxing’s biggest fights ever, if that would ever happen, will be Mayweather to fight the Filipino champion Manny Pacquiao. It will not only be the biggest, but perhaps the richest fight in the history of the sport. But it’s a fight that would remain a dream fight unless the two camps--the Mayweather and the Pacquiao camps--would finally settle their differences out and start negotiating. Boxing needs that fight and it’s the fight every boxing fanatic would like to see.

Pacquiao will be fighting Rios in November in Macau while the Mexican dinamita Marquez will be facing Timothy Bradley in October. A fifth fight with Marquez and a possible Pacquiao-Mayweather encounter will be the big things to watch out for in the sport next year. Once these fights happen, boxing wins. The fans win as well!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Asia’s premier Latin city under siege

Philippine troops on guard. Photo by Reuters.
It was reported as of this writing that there are already 4 people dead, 14 hurt, and 220 civilians held hostages in Zamboanga siege. At least 100 heavily armed MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) rebels, a group founded by former University of the Philippines professor Nur Misuari in the 1960s to fight against the Marcos regime which became one of the world’s longest rebellions and one that has already taken more than 150,000 lives, stormed the coastal barangays of the city at dawn of Sunday, September 8, 2013, to declare independence.

MNLF Nur Misuari had once signed a peace pact under the administration of the then president Fidel Ramos in 1996 and became the governor of the (ARMM) Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao. The ARMM was a failed experiment as it not only failed to remedy poverty but the peace and order situation as well worsened. The present administration of Benigno Simeon Aquino now recognized the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), a breakaway group of MNLF founded by Hashim Salamat in 1977, to become the front runner of the peace and development in the ARMM.

The MNLF leader, Misuari, may have had an ill feeling for having him set aside by the Aquino admistration and the attack of Zamboanga might be just his own way of getting attention. Still, he can’t just violate the law of the land and get away with it. It’s about time (although I would personally suggest this should have been addressed and done a long time ago) the government must decide what to do with him and his rebellion. Enough has been done and a lot has already been sacrificed. If the government has already given all the options but still it wouldn’t work, then why not destroy the subject once and for all?

Zamboanga city or Ciudad de Zamboanga in Spanish is Asia’s premier Latin city located in the southwestern part of Mindanao island, southern Philippines. It’s a beautiful city with Hispanic influences and culture could still be seen today. For the Moro rebels to just destroy it at will is what we all cannot allow to happen.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Political solution, not military action in Syria

The world wants peace in Syria. Photo source: Google.
The US military strike in Syria, if it pushes through, will be the beginning of a much larger conflict to come by which to include the powerful countries of the world. The Syrian dictator Assad has warned the US to refrain from getting involved in his own war or face the bitter consequence of retaliation.

Syria has been on its second year of civil war that has already taken the lives of over a hundred thousand of people mostly of which were civilians consisting of women and young children. It’s a civil war that went ugliest and should have been intervened by the UN for human rights violations and other war crimes committed by both the rebel fighters and the Syrian army.

It was only after the chemical attack on civilians that killed more than a thousand of people as reported last month that the US expressed the desire to intervene by way of a military strike against Assad’s regime. Based on the sample taken from the blast site, it was confirmed that a “sarin” nerve gas has been used. But the question as to who fired that lethal gas is still to be confirmed although there are speculations already blaming Assad for the attack but as well the rebels.

The Syrian civil war has become a complicated one as it evolved to become a proxy war for those with personal interests in mind to device a need to get involve, sectarian, and the combined military-political adventurism of the powerful few. The US should have learned the lessons of the past that military actions do not always solve problems; it will only, in the case with Syria, worsen the situation.

The US will have nothing to gain from this, not unless it will bring this case to be discussed and negotiated between these quarreling people and offer solutions. Regime-change in some of the Middle-Eastern countries, as what the US has been known best of doing through the work of its CIA, has never been helping scrape the very core of the problem.

At least 60% of Assad’s opposition, according to a report, is composed of terrorist groups linked to Al Quaida. If the US strikes Assad’s regime, it helps these terrorists to gain power in Syria—the same terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attack on American soil a little over a decade ago. But Iran, which is Syria’s important ally in the region, is Uncle Sam’s enemy so he will have a hard time weighing up his thoughts as to whose camp he will be siding with. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

10 things to remind yourself on a daily basis

The purpose of living is to make the best of what a human being is capable of doing that can give glory to his Creator. It is to harmonize with nature, to be productive in a positive way, and a source of a new abundance and light to be readily passed on to another. Life should be the links between simplicity and constructive functionalism.

The secret of life is through balance, and moderation best supports it. From eating to drinking, lifestyle, work, leisure, and so on and so forth, balance and equilibrium play a very significant role for a particular sphere of activity’s continuous progression. Imbalance is the great spoiler--the source of all the negative things it can potentially impact upon its host.

Every day (wherever you are and whatever life it is you’re living) is a constant grind for such a chance to remind yourself of what you can do to make it all better for you. I said “every day,” on a daily basis, that is, because a poor memory is often the case why you sometimes do the things you’re not supposed to. The following are, in my own opinion, 10 things you need to remind your own self each passing day to make the best of your life:

  • You don’t own anything, everything else is just borrowed. From day one of your life, everything else became possible because it was provided to you. The air that you breathe, sunlight, water, food, everything, even your own talent or skills, are all borrowed. And since these are all borrowed, you need to take good care of them and to put them in good use.

  • You’re not alone. If you’re feeling happy right now, some people are also feeling the same way. If you’re feeling sad right now, some people are feeling sad as you do. You are not alone. No matter how hard you’ve gone through in life, somebody else just did. So don’t feel too bad about yourself when things aren’t going well your way because somebody else out there may have just experienced something worse than you are.

  • Simplicity is beauty. The most beautiful thing is the one that is natural and simple. You can see it everywhere in nature. Nature is the best depiction of beauty: natural, simple, and pure. The same as true with life enmeshed with the simplicity of living making it all the more beautiful and natural.

  • Inspiration multiplies inspiration. You need to surround yourself with what can inspire you. This way, you will not only be inspired, but a source of inspiration to others.

  • Live to love, love to live. As simple as that, yet as hard to do: You have to live to love and love to live. You don’t only have to love your work, the things that passed your approval, or the people close to your heart, but you have to also love, most importantly, the unlovable. Love is the chalk that you can use to write on anyone’s board. The darker the board becomes the better for you to write on it.

  • You can’t be perfect, but you can still be good. Don’t push too hard on perfection, but strive to be good. There’s no such thing as a perfect thing here on earth. There’s always got to be a flaw you can find in everything sooner or later. The almost perfect beauty of a blossomed flower is short-lived, good looking people grow old, paradisiacal landscapes change, and so on and so forth. It seems like everything is heading towards destruction and decay. Life is designed for anyone to make up for what it lacks in perfection.

  • You don’t live forever, but you can live forever. Life on earth is but a temporary one. You’re only here to live for several decades. You won’t be here for long. But you can live forever though. The Holy Bible teaches us how it is for a human being to become immortal. (John 3:16)

  • The way you live is the meaning to your life. Stop searching for the meaning of life elsewhere; you won’t be able to find it that way. Live your life the way you would like it to be--that is the meaning.

  • You are rich no matter what. Just because you are not financially rich doesn’t mean you’re poor. Real poverty springs from a corruption within and not from what one is deficient on the outside. Material wealth is temporary and could be taken or stolen away from you any time. But the wealth that comes from within yourself will be there for as long as you wish.

  • You need someone, just like everybody else. You will always find someone who will be there for you even when sometimes you think no one else just cared. Some of them will come in the form of disguises, some will be just too real to deny. You need someone, he or she needs you as well.
  • Tuesday, July 30, 2013

    Everyday life and a sonnet

    Life is a journey; living is a battlefield. That’s true. Each passing day is a new battle you’re going to engage with, whether you like it or not. That’s just the way it is. So, from that point of view, life is a journey of everyday battles. But you will be surprised to see and find out that, in spite of it all, you were able to survive, thrive, and continue on waging an indefinite war with what you cannot avoid.

    In this battle, winning is not the only thing that should matter but also in how well and gallantly you have fought the fight. But while it takes enough courage to win life’s important battles, the ability to accept defeat is something else (it is a higher form of courage.) You have to deal with both the win and defeat so you could become a better fighter every next time (as there’s always a second chance in life.)

    Having been inspired with the idea of such a perspective I had for life, I came up with a sonnet I only wrote this afternoon. Yes, life is a journey of everyday battles and you (each one of us) shall die each day for others to live:

    You will die each day for someone to live
    If God gives you but so many a life;
    Yes, with whatever kind of death to brave:
    Natural, sickness, guns, or through a knife;
    Your blood shall be the food that nourishes
    The weary souls—to those who need it most;
    It’s sweeter to die for what one wishes
    To bring back, the glory, what has been lost;
    The kind of thing to feel when you’re inspired
    By such a thing you are destined to do:
    Like all of the martyrs known and admired.
    You will die for others to live and you.
    Death is what the valiant can truly win;
    Yet, to risk is what the cowards abstain.

    Sunday, July 28, 2013

    The ABC of love: Learning from the basics

    Every learnable thing has its own basics. It is a process or a device by which every prospect must undergo or comply to achieve expected or desired results. Love, being a learnable thing, is no exception. The ABC of one of the most powerful of emotions should be something that unlocks the key to better relationships and, most importantly, directs one to do so.

    Love is what everybody else is feeling or experiencing, yet only a few people truly understand what it is all about. But the best thing about it is that you don’t have to understand about it just so you could feel it. You love because that’s just what you’re feeling towards something or a person and that’s the only thing that should matter.

    But then, in spite of that, you have to learn its basics. And while love could best grow in the freedom of making it just as natural as it can possibly be; it will still fall in the way you carry it out with your own hands. What you will do is what you will get in love.

    Love is all about giving—the generosity that springs from appreciating the goodness of a person or a thing. Anyone else can give without loving, but to love without giving is impossible. From this “giving” thing emerged the ABC of love, the basics needed for anyone desiring to love and mean it:

  • Accept. Acceptance is the first move that leads to love. If you couldn’t accept a person as he or she is, then there’s no way that love could develop. To accept is to allow a little space in your heart for this person to stay as you evaluate the potential qualities that he or she can possibly impact upon you. Once you learn to appreciate the value or beauty of a person in your own unique way of observing, then there’s a great possibility that love could develop out of that.

  • Build. Once you have accepted the person, you will then start to build up relationship with this person. Building up a relationship with someone requires your ability to engineer what you would like of your relationship to look like or become. If you would like it to last forever then you will have to make strong foundations of your design.

  • Commit. Everything is intact now and you know you’re in for the best of what you have built up, it is then that commitment enters. And, to tell you frankly, it is very important. This is where most lovers failed, even the good ones. To commit is to seal your relationship with the purity of what love can provide.
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