Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Head and the Heart

     A prominent "0" stands under the Win column of the Philippines' standings in the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball.  As the group stages come to a close, however, it's prominence is overshadowed by something else.  The Philippine Men's Basketball Team, Gilas Pilipinas, has captured the world's attention.

     Oftentimes, we are warned that letting our hearts decide over our heads is a prescription for disaster.  Being too emotional leads to poor decision-making; it clouds judgement.  The head is stable; it protects you from being hurt by telling you to avoid any possible pain.  To live with your heart on your sleeve is to open yourself to tremendous hurt.  Yes, following your heart to pursue your passions, your childhood dream, your one great love, is a recipe for incomparable heartache.  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Drive

      Today, I woke up late.  I woke with a start because I was going to be late for lunch shift at Quirky Bacon but as I started to get up, I checked my phone and I was shell shocked by the news.

      In the world of sports, the athletes most people remember are those who win titles, but the athletes most athletes remember are those who battle with a fire so contagious it affects everyone's game. Former National Bowling Team player and International Bowling Champion Ernesto "Joonee" Gatchalian was both.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fighting the Good Fight

     The only goal a good documentary should have is to shine the light of truth on an otherwise hidden or unknown subject.  Whether it's to expose a government's ineptness to handle a terrorist attack or the terrifying effects of eating fast food everyday, documentaries need to surprise and move people and their emotions with an unadulterated dose of the truth.  The problem that faced the directors, Oscar winner Leon Gast (When We Were Kings) and Filipino american Ryan Moore, was that their only subject, Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, is one of the world's most recognized faces.  Pacquiao's day to day routine and life story have been well documented, too well documented , in fact, that showing a new side, a new truth is a herculean task.

     Predictably, the documentary tracks Pacquiao's rags to riches story, from a small fishing village in General Santos to the small city in Saranggani and then later the streets of Malabon.  It also predictably tracks Pacquiao's amazing (and still ongoing) boxing career, from his early Philippine and Asian wins to his startling rise to greatness on the world stage.  But to say that the documentary is a predictable reel with the hopes of bolstering Pacquiao's future political career would be just too lazy.  The documentary provides a hidden, unexpected gem that only real silence will allow.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Perils of Being a Visionary

     Being a visionary is tough. By definition you alone (or at most, a couple of people) see the vision of greatness you have in mind and most of the time, you're labelled as insane, arrogant or foolish. (Props to you if you get all 3.)

     When Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) took over the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), he saw a grand vision. He then put us on the road to that vision by setting up the Gilas program. Gilas 1 was the 1st crack. Rajko Toroman, himself a trail blazer who led Iran to the Olympics, gathered a group of amateur stars to form a national team who would play only for the national team. It was ambitious. Gilas 1? A fourth place finish, courtesy of yet again a heartbreaking loss to Korea, was the Philippines' best FIBA Asia finish since 1985. No Olympic berth? No PBA stars? Internet 'experts' and 'pundits' had a field day.

     "Insane, arrogant and foolish," they said. They didn't get it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cooking Up a Champion

     Chefs worth their salt always seek to modernize their dishes. They know its importance in order to stay relevant, hip and most importantly, competitive. Before this sports blog gets confused for a food blog, let me get into it now.

     One of the keys to modernizing a dish is to tweak the cooking method. After braising the adobo, you can choose to fry or even grill the meat. Change up the method and you change up textures and taste to improve the dish. As Coach Luigi Trillo stepped in as the Alaska Aces coach, he made it known the Triangle Offense would be back. What he did, though, was tweak it. Same principles but their offensive plays no longer always started at the post. A double high screen here, a cut there, it was clear this wasn't your dad's triangle. Even triangle pioneer Tim Cone admitted, "They're (Aces) doing things we don't do. He (Trillo) has made it into his own."