From Araneta to Arena

My collection of tickets (UAAP CDC Season 71 to 75)

Many folks tag the annual UAAP Cheerdance Competition as the perfect event to showcase school spirit, but for the thousands of students, alumni and avid fanatics, it is considered a tradition.

True to this year’s theme – “Unbreakable” – I was able to purchase a ticket to this event which was held for the first time at the Mall of Asia Arena and continue what I have started in 2004.

What You Shouldn’t Miss
Aside from the usual “awwwwsss” and “whoooaaaas” when stunts fail, nothing beats the intensity of team spirit. I can’t help but laugh whenever I hear side comments ranging from over-biased praises to utterly rude (whispered) criticisms.

You shouldn’t miss these types of persons in the crowd:

a. The Ultimate Fanatic – the one wearing the school color with matching props and seated at the center part of the Lower Box (expecting that Boom Gonzales and the crew would stand beside him for instant nationwide mileage)

b. The Commentator – You will always hear this guy comment on the costume, props, choreography and even the school’s cheer.

c. The Standing Ovation – Blocks your view throughout the whole competition. (Take note, he/she has his/her own seat)

d. The Historian – knows the history of the whole UAAP Cheerdance Competition, what stunts were copied, what music was used in 1999, and the chronological order of winners of the past decade.

e. The Documenter – takes pictures or videos most of the time. I wonder if this person appreciates being there “live.” He/she should have watched at home and recorded the whole event instead.

Pros (+) and Cons (-)
1. Ticketing (-)
Just when everyone thought they can buy via SM Departments Stores/SM Ticket outlets, the experience was worse. I myself relied on a so-called ‘scalper.’

2. Venue (+) – bigger, better, and brighter. The LED surrounding the whole arena was superb.

3. Cameras (-) – all DSLRs were surrendered to the guards upon entry. After the competition, hoards of photography enthusiasts and wannabe photographers swarmed the frontdesk as if there was a “DSLR Tiangge sa MOA”

4. Hosting (-) – I don’t know if something went wrong with Jessy Mendiola’s microphone or she was simply overshadowed by the energy of Boom Gonzales.

5. Program (-) – Probably one of the draggiest.

1. UST’s classic moves –  classic (but longer) fouette and pirouette

2. UE goes blond – uhmmm, we’ve seen that last year!

3. Samsung stage mats (The blue color is already uneven. When are they going to buy some new ones?)


1. Boom’s co-host

2. Gangnam, Call Me Maybe and K-Pop

See this link:

3. UP Pep Squad hairstyle

Photo by Roy Afable of InterAKTV

InterAKTV/Roy Afable

Congratulations to the University of the Philippines Pep Squad for a well-deserved win.

PS. Bleeding black and gold and a mix of blue is not easy. But when it comes to cheering, I go for USTe!





Thanks to some sources:

And (still) the reliable source of UAAP Cheerdance Competition History:

How not to plagiarize

The ‘plagiarism’ issue strikes back on Filipinos. After business giant Manny Pangilinan was charged of copying parts of speeches delivered by prominent US personalities, here comes a comedian-turned-Senator Tito Sotto facing the same raps for allegedly using parts of an American blogger’s post.

For years, I have been writing reports, speeches, and messages for myself (and for others) and I have always feared of being called a plagiarist.

Thanks to the numerous Chemistry Lab reports I made in college wherein I was bound to include an APA-style reference list every report (once a week), I became more patient in ensuring that those who must be given due credit are included in the bibliography.

Add to that, the “Ateneo Guide on Plagiarism” released immediately after the MVP ruckus reminded me to become extra careful in “copy-pasting.”

Below, I have enumerated my personal tips on how ‘not’ to plagiarize:

1. Have your own outline. No matter how raw your ideas are, nothing beats having your own outline drafted just to make sure that your main idea comes from your own mind.

2. Open a separate file for references. Write down all your sources on a separate sheet or document file (I use Notepad) to jot all websites, authors and references. A blank sheet of paper comes in handy as you write all the titles, authors and pages of the books you use.

3. Review citation styles. Whether APA, MLA or Chicago, you should always follow the standards in citing references.

4. Mention it. If you do not want to give credit to the person who originally wrote an idea, it is better not to mention it at all.

5. Google it. Look it up over search engines, or better yet, you may check it via (the one SEO writers use) and see to it that you get 0%.

6. Don’t steal photos. Include the name of the photographer/source of the photo you use to supplement your write-up. Now you have a good reason to use watermark option or font size 8.

7. Invest on time, paper and effort. Before publicizing your masterpiece, re-read it, include all your references (even if it entails you extra pages) and review all the contents.

PS. I “Googled” the title of my blog and found two articles of the same title but with different contents. For reference purposes, visit the following sites:

This post was reviewed by and revealed the following results:
Matched phrases in Google and Yahoo: 0%

Ninoy in the time of “Gangnam” and “Random Girl”

I had a hard time looking for a yellow long-sleeved polo shirt for tomorrow’s Ninoy Aquino Day. The yellow ‘fad’ may be waning, but with PNOY and Kris around, their father’s memory will always be alive.

While a lot of Pinoy netizens are talking about a Korean dance craze and a random singing sensation, the long weekend should remind us of Ninoy’s heroism. Are we still worth dying for despite of the  fact that our country has ‘electioneering’ wannabe politicians helping out in times of calamities, a so-called “lying thief” in the Senate, and a worsening Metro Manila environs?

Ninoy is viral
As a good communicator, Ninoy would definitely go ‘viral.’ Even before the advent of YouTube videos, all his speeches were documented. His Los Angeles speech is one of the most-played on TV:

Reminders about our ‘Yellow Hero’ in San Fernando, Pampanga:

  • Ninoy Aquino Mini Theater at the Heroes Hall
  • Benigno Aquino Hall at the Pampanga Capitol
  • Ninoy Aquino Street at St. Dominic Corinthian Subdivision
  • There is an “Aquino” street in DAVSAN Subdivision

By the way, I just subscribed to NinoyAquinoTV. I saw a link dedicated to Ninoy (I’m just wondering what Charice Pempengco had to do with this site).

What would be his comments on The RH Bill and what would be his advice for the family of Secretary Robredo? In the midst of crises, today is the right moment to be reminded of Aquino’s heroism. Filipinos surpassed years of dictatorship and hardships, and I’m sure we’ll survive these trying times.

Tomorrow is the 29th commemoration of the assassination of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. He is still alive in the time of “Gangnam” and “Random Girl.”

Lessons from ‘habagat’

All we really need to know, we learned from Pinatubo, Ondoy and Sendong experiences (Dissecting the “Habagat” story in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga)

The damp eve of August 7 signaled the start of a series of events that seriously affected the City where I live in. Continuous downpour of heavy monsoon (habagat) rains and the breaching of a major dike caused floods and affected more than 18,000 families. Water levels in major thoroughfares rose and vital road networks became impassable.

Memorandum Circular 33 from the Malacanang Palace announces that all classes and government offices are are suspended. During this time, families from  affected areas (22 out of the 35 villages) in the City were evacuating their homes. Flood waters started to rise in the Poblacion Area (City Hall and Metropolitan Cathedral area), Lazatin Boulevard, and Jose Abad Santos Avenue.

Non-stop rescue and relief operations continues as the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office led by Mayor Oscar Rodriguez himself together with Executive Officer and City Administrator Ferdinand Caylao.

Heroes Hall became the ‘staging area’ and operations center. Hotline 961-HELP got disconnected but was immediately replaced by new hotline numbers. The Official Facebook page of San Fernando ( became the most reliable source of information for netizens and “Likes” spiked from 10,000 to 12,000++ in just 3 days.

Memo enjoining employees of City Hall to serve as “Emergency Workforce” to lend a hand to the rescue and relief operations was released.
Immediate and long-term solutions to the flooding problem caused by dike damages and the need to re-channel the waterways were resolved during an emergency meeting at the Heroes Hall with the Provincial, City and Municipal Governments’ officials, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the private sector leaders who were also notable personalities during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption (Save Pampanga Movement) such as Mr. Levy Laus.

Resolutions (Quoted from the actual resolution signed)

1. Immediate re-channeling of the waterway from Gugu Creek down to San Francisco and Labuan rivers;
2. Immediate closure, thereafter, of the two breached portions of the tail dike;
3. The rehabilitation and or reconstruction of spillways 1 and 3 located in the western portion and the center of the transverse dike;
4. The revival of the waterways of the Pasig Potrero River from the upper portion of the transverse dike particularly from the Maliwalu portions;and
5. Continuing yearly allocation of the necessary funds for the maintenance of the above indicated river channels.

More help arrived as President Noynoy Aquino visited the City to distribute relief goods in Brgy. Sto. Nino. Earlier that day, Cabalen and PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan together with Team Pilipinas also visited the City.

More calls on relief operations were received by the CDRRMO. More donations and assistance also came. Updates were continuously forwarded to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Office of Civil Defense. Media were kept informed through ‘situationers’ and a website page was added for easy access on updates –

Sadly, at around 1:00pm, rumors of lahar flow caused panic in the City’s downtown area. This is confirmed to be a ‘false alarm.’

What we learned from this, we learned in Pinatubo, Ondoy and Sendong:

1. Power of Information. Call, text, Facebook or tweet. Listen to authorities and do not be misinformed.

2. Resiliency. This is not the first time. We should be stronger and braver.

3. Preparedness. The need for a rescue team and disaster center. We are living in “abnormal” times. Every household should also be prepared.

4. Unity. Let’s do things together.

5. Faith in God. Pray.

I admire the San Fernando Rescue Unit (SAFRU) led by Raymond del Rosario. Kayo ang tunay na “water-proof.” Special thanks to the many Fernandinos on Facebook, especially Mr. Alwyn Balingit from St. Jude, you are our ‘digital warrior.’ And to to the officials and employees of the City Government of San Fernando, number one saan man magpunta!

To the coverage team, Rudy, Rico, Errol and Pot plus the PAMPU boys Alvin, Jed, and Daniel, iba kayo!  To the rest, salamat! To my colleagues who were affected, malalampasan natin ‘to! 

Photo credits:

CSFP-CIO (Public Affairs and Media Production Unit)


People’s television

I guess the Twitter-inspired logo is a good sign that the government network, People’s Television, is geared to improve in the next coming years. I am happy that public officials (or those in charge of the network) finally appreciated the value of communication. From the establishment of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office to the major makeover of the Philippine Government website, the communication strategy of the current administration has hurdled issues on procurement of Blackberry phones and Apple computers and PNOY’s relationship with Grace Lee. Very promising indeed.

July 2012 logo of PTV 4

One attention-grabbing tourism music video became sort of viral this week. And I stand by my comment in response to Carlos Celdran’s post regarding the promotional video of Pagsanjan, Laguna:

I think the video is not that bad. I watched the video three times to analyze, well of course, the coming of Nicki Minaj had an effect on my judgement, hehe 😉 but generally, it is Ok – the music and the choice of shots. of course, we have see better promotional videos. The mayor really made an effort. there is still time to improve (maybe a better one will be released next year)

Pagsanjan Music Video ft. The Mayor

The death of Dolphy is really significant. After hearing the eulogies and watching all the tributes offered to him on TV, I’m sure that Filipinos will never forget his legacy. Read related post:

Among the channels of communication, television remains one of the most powerful. Truly, it’s the people’s television.

Burger and traffic

So KFC’s CheeseTop “Streetwise” ad parody on the Jimmy Kimmel show became a hit – thanks to Pinoy ingenuity. It is as effective as the the cathcy local TVC produced by TBWA\SMP (the Philippine Agency of the Year for 2010).  It made me want to taste the product soon. But this post isn’t totally dedicated to this marketing campaign.

Last Tuesday morning, it took me almost three hours to reach Makati City driving from my hometown. (I know others experienced worse) On a regular Saturday, it only takes half the travel time. And I heard a radio ad say, “Manila traffic is something we should live with.”

While choosing the right radio frequency to listen to and glancing at the bumper-to-bumper traffic in front of me along EDSA, I thought of some ways on how to be ‘streetwise’ in times of insanely heavy traffic:

1. Music. Just make sure that you choose the songs that will keep you awake. I prefer the rock alternatives or the ‘songs I grew up with’ and sing-along.

2. Overly wild imagination. Make fun of the things around you. Be entertained by the massive billboards. That’s their purpose.

3. Food (not drinks). Eat but don’t drink too much, or else, you’ll end up swerving and hating MMDA’s pink signpost that says “Huwag gumitgit, makakarating din kayo sa pupuntahan.”

4. Never check the time. You’ll get more impatient when you do. (Unless you are running late for an important meeting, better call it off)

5. Smile. It won’t hurt.

After reaching my destination, I gave myself a “big” treat – McDo’s Big N’ Tasty (although I expected it to be bigger):

It has been a very unhealthy “burger week” for me.
I have to control myself. This may be the effect of too much traffic and gloomy weather.

One sorry, two Aquinos and three SONAs

The month-end has been colorful in the Philippine political arena (as it has always been). Let us welcome the second quarter of 2012 and the next election cycle with positivism and hope. Cheers to a chunk of [relatively] good and interesting news and developments.

Public Apology of Mayor Sara Duterte
It has been a year since Filipinos heard about the sensational ‘smacking’ incident between Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and a sheriff. It’s not too late to say sorry. She kept it short and sincere.  [Complete news here]

Bam Aquino for Senator
I am excited that Ninoy’s look-alike, Bam Aquino, made it to the LP’s “long” shortlist of senatorial candidates for 2013. After reading so much about this multi-awarded social entrepreneur and youth advocate and hearing him speak in several fora , I’m convinced that he is ‘worth voting for.’ How about a second ‘Aquino’ in another branch of government?

Two Years of ‘Tuwid na Daan’
What would be the contents of this year’s SONA? Just like the statement of Deputy Presidential Spokesperson said: The message remains the same: honest and accountable governance is the anvil upon which our people can forge better futures for themselves. This will be PNOY’s third SONA. Carry on.

Dolphy days

For the past three days, the country’s king of comedy “Dolphy” has been trending on Twitter. News of his critical health condition became a worldwide talk of the town with people requesting the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to bestow upon him the National Artist Award.

According to the guidelines set by the controversial NCCA, the awardee of such honor shall enjoy the following benefits:

The following privileges are provided to those conferred with the Order of National Artists:

  1. The rank and title of National Artist, as proclaimed by the President of the Philippines;
  2. The National Artist medallion and citation;
  3. Lifetime emolument and material and physical benefits comparable in value to those received by the highest officers of the land such as:
    1. a cash award of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00), net of taxes for living awardees;
    2. a cash award of Seventy Five Thousand Pesos (P75,000.00), net of taxes for posthumous awardees, payable to legal heir/s;
    3. a monthly life pension, medical and hospitalization benefits;
    4. life insurance coverage for Awardees who are still insurable;
    5. arrangements and expenses for a state funeral;
    6. a place of honor, in line with protocular precedence, at national state functions, and recognition at cultural events.

The shake-up at the NCCA during the time of President Arroyo damaged the credibility of the organization (back in 2009). But we must also respect this body and Dolphy’s nomination should follow the procedures.

On the other hand, we cannot deny the fact that this should have been awarded to Dolphy several years ago. His contributions to film and television are countless and his achievements deserve to be immortalized.

For me, “Home Along Da Riles,” will always be part of my childhood days.

He deserves it. Confer it, now.
Not for the privileges, but for respect.

“I’m interested. I’m political and I have opinions” – Lady Sybil Crawley (Downton Abbey)

*Photo from

Rizal 150 ends

One year already passed since I started completing stamps for my Jose Rizal Passport / Heritage Trail Map from the Department of Tourism and I wasn’t able to complete it.

Anyway, visiting six out of the 26 sites isn’t bad. Oh, and it should have been seven. I didn’t get a stamp at the San Fernando Train Station but I pass by it almost everyday.

Chapel Cell of Rizal
Prison Cell and Rizal Shrine
Rizal Execution Site
Rizal Monument and Park
Rizal Fountain
Fort San Pedro

Anyway, Rizal will always be my favorite hero.

I’m excited for tomorrow’s Birth Commemoration at the City of San Fernando where a Rizal descendant, DOH Undersecretary Dr. Teodoro Herbosa, is invited as Guest Speaker.

Democracy, kindness and peace

Twenty one years later, Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi renders her Nobel Peace Prize speech. I haven’t heard such an inspirational speech until today. Her message is not only applicable to Burma, but also to many countries around the world. We Filipinos should be proud that we are living in a democratic country. And the most powerful lines that struck me:

“Absolute peace in our world is an unattainable goal. But it is one towards which we must continue to journey, our eyes fixed on it as a traveler in a desert fixes his eyes on the one guiding star that will lead him to salvation. Even if we do not achieve perfect peace on earth, because perfect peace is not of this earth, common endeavors to gain peace will unite individuals and nations in trust and friendship and help to make our human community safer and kinder.”

Thank you for being an inspiration to the world.