San Nicolas and Santa Teresita: Historic and Folkloric Notes about some of its Barrios

Exploring forgotten stories about the barrios of San Nicolas and Santa Teresita.

Balandis: the Slanted Houses Along a Road in Cuenca/Alitagtag

Exploring this quaint area in Cuenca and Alitagtag where the houses are slanted away from the road.

Mataasnakahoy: Historical and Folkloric Trivia about some of Its Barrios

Revisiting obscure barrio histories of the barrios of the Municipality of Mataasnakahoy.

An Old Tourist Spot in Taal Called the Pansipit Fishery

A throwback to a by-gone era, when tourists around Luzon visited this resort in Taal and Lemery.

The Hitchhiker who Gets on at the Zigzag in Cuenca Batangas Lipa

A tall tale familiar to all who drive through this curving road in Cuenca. Is it really a tall tale, though?

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31 July 2011

The Etheridge Factor

We will all without a shadow of a doubt remember for as long as we live that ballistic missile with which Stephan Schrock properly introduced himself to Kuwait in that second leg match at the Rizal Memorial last Thursday. We may also remember – although, for the wrong reason – the 51st minute shot with which Phil Younghusband should have scored and sent Kuwait dazed and well and truly backed into a corner.

30 July 2011

Winds, Rains

Sometimes, people just do not get it. There is a lot people in very crucial agencies can learn from the humble public elementary school teacher. When the teacher attempts to impart knowledge, he or she does it in at least in two ways – verbally, or the use of the spoken word; and visually, by way of the blackboard, a book, a manila paper or other itty-bitty things that can hopefully create the correct imagery inside a student’s head.

28 July 2011

Against Kuwait, We Are the Winners!

If you are feeling the pain of the two wicked shots that flashed past the excellent Neil Etheridge’s outstretched arms, let me invite you to allow your mind to dwell, instead, on the goal by Stephan Schrock that had all of us jumping up and down with our arms up in the air wherever in these 7,000 islands we might have been.

25 July 2011

The Will to Compete

It is being pointed out in blogs and Internet bulletin boards that I have been browsing after the World Cup qualifier first leg match that the Philippines was soundly beaten by a superior team – meaning Kuwait – and one that has more skilful individual players. I am not about to disagree with the obvious; do we not all have eyes, after all? But when this is pointed out within the context of the Philippines simply accepting the inevitable and taking the plaudits for having come this far, that is when I will have to disagree.

23 July 2011

Welcome Kuwait into Istanbul, Not Manila!

Those among you who have read my earlier post saying that Kuwait is beatable will probably be wanting to know how I feel after the Philippines was comprehensibly beaten 3-nil in the first leg match. I have not changed my mind. Kuwait was beatable; and the scoreline flattered the host team.

The Trials of Coaching Football in Lipa

Two or three years back, while I was with my college team for a weekend match in this league that was organized by San Beda College in Mendiola, Aris Caslib – former Philippine National Team coach and long-time overseer of San Beda’s excellent football program – told me that he was citing Batangas in a report to be submitted to FIFA for its ability to produce national players despite the province not being a hot bed of football in this country. I have known Caslib since way back; he played with as well as coached many of the boys from my high school teams who went on to play for the Mendiola-based school. Between us, the reference to Batangas was really just Lipa; or, and this is all modesty aside, my team.

21 July 2011

Political Quotes

Despite my undergraduate background in History and Political Science, I am not exactly enamoured with politics because often, the way we do things in a political sense in this country can sometimes be a long way from what one is taught inside the classroom.

19 July 2011

Ugly Football vs Kuwait Will Be Beautiful!

Before leaving for Bahrain, Philippine National Team Coach Michael Weiss intimated to news crews that the way the Azkals will be approaching the Kuwait game will be far different from the Sri Lanka encounter in the first round of World Cup qualifiers. In fact, he went so far as to state – as reported by one of the local Internet news sites – that we will probably be playing the 4-5-1 formation. To those new to the game, that means a formation that has four defenders, five midfielders and just one attacker.

17 July 2011

LSFC’s One-Armed Warrior

In 1986, some seniors in my high school History class who were friendly with me asked if that one-armed sophomore in my Under-15 team had any chance of really making it in the game and in my team. I will let everyone in on a 25-year old secret: I said no!

Many of those who had played under me will know that I could tell just by looking at the way a fresh-faced new try-out stood if he would ultimately be a star player or just another one to complete the numbers.

15 July 2011

Pajero Reminder of Human-ness

Life, as we live it, has this habit of once in a while issuing stark reminders that put how we look at things in a different perspective. Sort of like cutting through the crap just to say what really is rather than what we think is…

14 July 2011

Dreaming of Lipa to Manila by Train in Style and Speed

A European high-speed train.

Has anyone here ever wondered what it will be like to travel from Lipa to Manila in style?

12 July 2011

My All-Time LSFC Dream Team

I have coached hundreds of players over the years. There were teams that were complete, like those of 1989, 1999 and 2011. There were those that were one or two players short of being great.

On more than just a few occasions, I had wondered what it would have been like to have had all these players all at the same time, instead of distributed over three decades. What team would I have selected?

10 July 2011

All Is Not Well Among the Azkals?

Suskupô Rudeh! The things people will cook up just to generate mileage!

In this gloomy weather that we are having, the television screen offers solace. Channel-hopping, I caught Azkals vice-captain Emelio “Chiefy” being interviewed in a GMANews Channel talk show.

06 July 2011

Whatever People Say, Kuwait is Beatable!

A lot is being said lately, now that we have confirmed our passage into the second round of the Asian World Cup qualifiers, about how substantially more challenging the next round opponent will be. That will be Kuwait, of course; as dictated by the draw made in Kuala Lumpur over the summer.

04 July 2011

The Bottom Line

Those who are wise, in reference to how DLSL grew from a tiny school to a large college inside 15 years, will ask the question, “How did they do it?” The wise will ask that question without malice, prejudice or suspicion; but instead, with the inquisitiveness of someone who genuinely wishes to learn something new that can be used to his or her own benefit.

03 July 2011

How the Devil Did This Happen?

More than thirty years ago, I used to play at the Rizal Memorial Stadium for DLSU-Manila in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. First of all, whatever grass there was more often than not was golden from sheer lack of water; and there often appeared more gravel than grass.

In today’s World Cup qualifying match against Sri Lanka, the Rizal Memorial pitch was totally unrecognizable from what I remembered it to be. It looked – at least on television – good enough for an English Premiership match!

In those days, a large crowd would be something like 50 spectators; including the homeless who lived at the stadium. How did it ever come to this? I have seen the Rizal Memorial filled with spectators before: in the 1991 Southeast Asian Games in a match against Indonesia. But those who attended were there not for the football! Admission was free and those who had time just sort of hopped from one arena to the other.

WC Qualifier: Philippines 4 Sri Lanka 0

In the Colombo leg of the World Cup qualifier against Sri Lanka, I thought we were – as Elton John would have described things – utter drek. I dreaded the prospect of squaring up against Kuwait – who had been to the World Cup, by the way – in the next round if we were ever so lucky to get past the Lankans.

After today’s performance, when we put Sri Lanka to the sword 4-nil, I am a believer all over again. Perhaps Kuwait, with a pedigree that we still do not have, may be a bridge too far. At the very least, we have swept through to the second round of the World Cup qualifiers – which we had never done before – with flying colours.