Nothing Beats the Original Never Say Die team, Ginebra

What’s the fuss about another team claiming they are the new Never-Say-Die team in the league? A lot has been compared, some of them has shown exceptional performance and similar attitude, but no team can be named the same. There’s only one team who will be honored as the “Patay Kung Patay,” “Never Say Die” team and that’s Ginebra. We do recognize Air21’s talent, Global Port’s character and RoS’ muscles. But for the love of balun-balunan and bull sisig, why say bagong Ginebra? Duh. Totally insane and unacceptable. How about a NO. And, does it ever cross their minds, there’s such thing as “originality” and it is a good thing.

Vampire Love in my Eyes

Wouldn’t it be nice if you’re not ageing? Not having to worry about getting exposed to sun because of sunburn, thus preventing you from wrinkles and other skin problems? Not having to worry about white hair when you reach 50s? The idea I have in my mind is as awesome as the image this whole vampire thing has imprinted on me. Too strong I can’t contain it. So I’m a fan of the Twilight Saga, The Vampire Diaries and True Blood. All of these awesome masterpieces have greatly impacted my desire to know what it’s like to be a vampire. The whole thing. Love, physical strength, god-like appearance, having one unique gift, everything. It’s Twilight Saga season, Breaking Dawn Part 2 is out in the cinemas so I am back to reading the book again and I am back to that familiar daydreaming feeling again. It’s amazing how the author Stephenie Meyer can get you to really love the characters in the book and inspire you to look at love, family, friendship, responsibility and all other things in a whole new perspective. The book inspired me. I fell inlove with Edward, Carlisle, Emmett and Jasper. I loved Bella, Esme, Rosalie and Alice. And maybe, just maybe, somewhere, in a remote or quiet place here on Earth, a coven like The Cullens, do exists.

Breaking Dawn, Ginebra at Billy Mamaril

Too happy to ignore what I feel now. Last night, Ginebra continues its winning streak as they beat Alaska in a heart-stopping action-packed game, 96-93 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Although Mangki and I weren’t able to watch the game from the start, we went ahead and watched it anyway. Thanks to Sir Fidel Mangonon, also known as The PBAologist for the complimentary Lowerbox tickets. We were at Megamall, just finished watching Breaking Dawn Part 2 when I saw the SMS Sir Fidel sent me asking me if I’ll be watching — found out he has reserved tickets and I took advantage. Who in his/her right mind would say no to it? Ha! Ha!

Second quarter has already started when we arrived and it’s a close game. Ginebra will get four-points advantage, after two turnovers, then it’s Alaska who’s up. It has been the scenario until the game reached its final canto.

What made the game more exciting to watch? What made that experience even more amazing to me as a fan? Billy Mamaril’s display of never-say-die attitude. This young man, never afraid of anyone, never mindful of the physicality of the game, never backing down to any defender. He ended up with 16 points, 12 rebounds & 2 assists. According to Sir Fidel, PBA’s Head Statistician, this was his highest output over the last four seasons. Although this awesome performance didn’t entirely surprise me, as I am a huge believer of the younger Mamaril, I still felt proud of him. He has been the unsung hero many times in the past and no one can deny that fact. Lagi nyang ginagawang asintahan yung nasa harap nya. Alam na alam mo na pag bumato sya, papasok yun. Consistent. He is that amazing. Personally, I am happy with the playing time he is getting in Ginebra. Ipagdadasal ko pa na bigyan sya ng kalakasan ng katawan, maayos na kalusugan at pag-iisip para malagpasan nya ang ibang pagsubok na kinakaharap nya sa buhay hindi lamang sa basketball.

Nagsisisigaw ako, nagtatatalon, tumawa at tumili sa panalo ng Ginebra. Happiness is an understatement. Sana ganito ulit next game.

Ginebra at Caguioa kong Sinta.

Walang PBA follower ang di napahanga ng Ginebra (ang kumontra, nagtanghalian ng ginisang ampalaya.). Walang PBA fan na di nakakakilala kay Mark Caguioa. Sa taglay niyang galing at kakaibang karisma, walang hindi mapapahanga sa kanya. Sa tapang ng loob, diskarte at basketball IQ, bigay-todo at buong puso kung maglaro, sa patay kung patay “never-say-die” attitude, tunay ngang siya ang nag-iisang The Spark.

Winakasan ng Ginebra ang limang sunod na pagkatalo noong gibain nilang muli ang Global Port Batang Pier sa Cuneta Astrodome nitong nakaraang Biyernes sa iskor na 81-79, sa ikalawa nilang paghaharap nitong komperensyang ito. Sa pangunguna nya, napanatili ng koponan ang composure at sinungkit ang panalo sa kasiyahan ng libo-libong tagasuporta. Linggo ng gabi, sa Mall of Asia Arena, nasaksihan kong muli ang angas ng isang Mark Caguioa. Atake, dribol, salaksak, bangga, harang, sugod. Kahit ang pagdurugo ng kaliwang kilay ay hindi naging hadlang upang bumalik sya sa laro at ipagpatuloy ang labang nasimulan. Sa ilan, nanumbalik ang alaala ng kahapon. Taong 1985 noong ipinamalas ni Living Legend Robert Jaworski Sr. ang never-say-die spirit matapos bumalik sa laro makaraang tahiin ang labi sa malaking sugat na tinamo nito. Kalaunan ay napagtagumpayan ng kanyang koponan ang larong iyon. Just like Coach Jawo himself, Caguioa’s leadership is exceptional. His never-say-die attitude is unmatched. Patay kung patay. Sa pagdapa ng Talk n Text Tropang Texters sa Ginebra sa iskor na 104-101, sinungkit ng paborito kong PBA team ang ikalawang sunod na panalo.

Tumigil na ang pagdurugo. May sugat pa ngunit unti-unti na itong naghihilom. Bumabangon at lumalaban nang muli ang koponang minahal at patuloy na minamahal ng tao ng ilang dekadang lumipas. Resbak na Ginebra!

Taha to Ginebra, Cortez to Air21 and Rob Labagala Gets Reactivated

Hindi pa ako nakakahinga sa sunod-sunod na dagok sa buhay-Ginebra ko, dinunggol na naman ako ng sunud-sunod na balita.

Kung ang koponan mo limang sunod na ang talo, makaka-recover ka pa ba? Sa Ginebra, posible yan. Pero hindi ibig sabihin pwede nyo nang gawin samin yan, team.

Nung Martes, kaluskos pa lang ang trade issue na yan. Mike Cortez ite-trade daw kapalit si Denok Miranda. Personally, I don’t think that’s a wise decision. Mike Cortez is one of the most consistent players in the team. He’s a good defender and he can score decent numbers. Kung magte-trade ng pointguard, bakit sa maliit din na gaya ni Denok?

Sa mga nagdaang trades, mas gusto ko pa ngang na-retain na lang si Enrico Villanueva kesa kay Kerby Raymundo e. Mas solid ang laro ni Enrico. Pumoposte at malakas ang katawan. Mahabang panahon ang binigay na “grace period” kay Kerby para ayusin nya ang laro nya, pero hindi pa rin ako napa-wow. So bakit si Denok? We want need a big man.

Kinabukasan, selyado na pala ang trade. But thank goodness, for a tall guy like Yousef Taha in exchange of our Cool Cat. Meanwhile, Dylan Ababou underwent surgery yesterday because of a torn ACL on his right knee and according to news, he will be missed in the next six months. Just today, my twitter timeline’s been bombarded by news of Rob Labagala getting reactivated to fill in the shoes of an LA Tenorio back-up. Personally, I’m happy and contented with that. I am a huge Rob-believer and I know that he’s got the skills and the heart we need. I am also hopeful that we can bounce back from our five-game losing skid. I can’t take another heartbreak. I just can’t. So please, Ginebra, never say die. 

A Day at the Manila Ocean Park

We’ve planned about this trip 3-4 weeks in the making. Since we’re all busy at home we really can’t find the right time to go out and spend time together. Finally, November 2, 2012, we decided to give it a go. Mama, my brother Danilo, my nephew Kharl and myself. 

We checked out the sea lion first. We all enjoyed watching the sea lion swim to and fro inside his big aquarium. We even saw someone cleaning sea lion poop underwater. Kharl enjoyed watching it, his first time to see a sea lion.

Then we checked out the famous Oceanarium where we saw different kinds of fishes. Big, small, very small, tiny ones, sea horses, sharks, sting rays.

After that, we headed to the penguins, according to Mangki, the penguins were the newest additions to the park. I would have wanted to try the “feed them” part but there’s a separate fee for it which will cost me about 500 pesos but can admit up to 3 people. Nah, I had to say no to it. I was contented seeing them inside that big aquarium. About a few weeks ago, I saw an episode on MARS, where Camille Prats went to Manila Ocean Park with his son and they fed the penguins. It was fun watching, and as I’ve said, I was contented seeing other people feed them penguins. My 500 pesos goes to feeding.. myself. Ha! Ha!

After that Antarctica experience, we entered a medium-sized room called The Snow Village. We were given winter jackets as according to the staff, the temperature of the room we’re about to enter dropped to -20degrees. Yes, that cold. So I was ecstatic, we were all excited to enter The Snow Village. True enough, the place was beyond cold. Snow everywhere. We sat on a bench there, took picture on that side. We saw Snowman on one corner, a funny-looking vehicle on that part of the room. We even saw Santa Clause. I personally enjoyed the experience, remembering our trip to a similar theme park when I was in grade school. I was with Danilo then. But it was an entire theme park then, so we did a lot of things then. So we had to go out as Kharl was already freezing and Danilo’s hands were already shaking. I think we were inside that room for about 10-15 minutes only. 

We went out and did a short carbo load. Donuts and sodas. Then went to see other stuff inside the huge park. We entered the Jellies room where we saw different kinds of jellyfish. It was fun to watch them bounce up and down but it’s boring, for me. Mama enjoyed watching them, though. We also checked out the Penguin Talk Show – don’t ask what happened, we left after 2 minutes. Hahaha! I thought had I stayed for a few more minutes, I would have died of boredom. I realized then Kharl’s already grown-up when he agreed it was boring. Not even funny for a 9-year old kid. 

We would have wanted to stay a little more but Danilo needed to go back to his office. We drove away from the place and went to Market Market to buy food for our cats. And since it was almost dinner time, we headed to Bonifacio High Street to eat at Bon Chon, Mama’s favorite. While walking past these restaurants and boutiques, we saw Ginebra’s Willie Wilson and Mark Caguioa. Ginebra, in case you don’t know was on a four-game losing skid then, I knew in 2 seconds, a hug tight will help. I hugged Willie, also my kumpare — I am his daughter’s godmother, by the way. Mark on the other hand gave Kharl a high five. We moved on and ate at Bon Chon. 

I would consider that day one of the funnest days this year. I got to spend time with my family (although we’re not complete), visit Manila Ocean Park, ate at a restaurant I love and hey, bumping into my favorite basketball players do not happen everyday and it’s a beautiful thing! Come December, when our schedule at home gets a little sweeter, we will go back to Manila Ocean Park. I’m sure our little princess Thalia will love the place. 

My Mangki <3

Mangki.

Sweet, generous, thoughtful. Basketball player, band vocalist, artist.

He likes curry, mocha, milk tea and Ginebra.

Kobe, LeBron, Ray Allen are his favorites, but a huge Miami and DWade fanboy.

He loves collecting shoes, shorts, jersey tops and caps.

Umiindak, sumasayaw, maharot, magulong tao.

He loves to crack jokes and he loves my BGK Jamships Family.

My Mangki is family-centered and he loves children.

I love my Mangki so much. Happy birthday, Babe!

You are an amazing person and I thank God I have you.