Month: July 2011

The Resurrection of a King

The Fast and Furious duo of Barangay Ginebra has always been incomplete since about three years ago. After pocketing a championship against Arwind Santos and Air21 in the 2008 Fiesta conference, Mark Caguioa has been sidelined for what seemed like forever due to tendonitis. Since then, Ginebra has not won any championship. For about a year now, just when Mark Caguioa began rejuvenating his deadly form again, Jayjay Helterbrand got shelved due to some hamstring injury.

Helterbrand was in uniform at the start of the current Governor’s Cup but was not seen playing in the first four games of Ginebra. Many were doubtful if he will get to play after that destructive injury and rookie guards like Robert Labagala and John Wilson making themselves known in the white and red uniform during the runner-up finish of Ginebra in the last conference.

Ginebra looked awful since losing the championship against Talk ‘n Text. They lost Rudy Hatfield and had Billy Mamaril and Enrico Villanueva injured, limiting Ginebra’s big men to Yancy de Ocampo and Erik Menk. They lost their import after their fourth game due to an injury. They split their first four games, standing at 2-2 at the first half of the elimination round.

Sporting pink Nike shoes and a new hair-do, The Fast was finally seen in limited action last July 8 against Air21. Helterbrand played only for 16 minutes and had five points, five assists, three boards, and a steal to help in Ginebra’s 89-87 win. His numbers does not seem so much and were obviously way off compared to his MVP conference not so long ago. But the more important thing is that Ginebra’s offense looked better with Helterbrand manning the point-guard spot (Curtis Stinson, the import, was injured and did not play). It was organized and had fluidity. Plays were executed properly and points seemed so easy. Helterbrand was back. He was resurrected.

Since then, Ginebra won three out of its last four games to finish second with a 5-3 slate in the eliminations. Helterbrand was seen more often and even started against Rain or Shine. To date, Helterbrand is averaging six points, 2.8 rebounds, and four assists. It may still be way off from what we, Ginebra die hards, used to see, but seeing him play again draws our cheers louder, boosts our confidence for another championship, and strengthens our undying faith to Ginebra’s Never-Say-Die motto. With the other half of one of the league’s all-time best backcourt tandems, we continue to believe that the Barangay Big Dome is indeed our home, the home where we witness excitement after every Helterbrand assist and helter-skelter moves, Tubid kalawit rebounds and three point shots, Caguioa ankle breakers and tear-drops, and now Canaleta slam dunks.

Barangay Ginebra’s campaign for another crown starts on July 24th as they face B-Meg in the semis. Our hopes are high not only because Helterbrand is back, but also because our team is there slowly getting back into winning form, the form we fans are always proud of. Despite all injuries and departures, our “Gi-ne-bra!” chant would never fade away and would continue to rock Araneta Coliseum one championship after another.

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Scents…

21 July 2011 | Day 100

It had been two weeks of up and down, of words and curses. Like the Harry Potter series, some things need to end…

It was a blessing that classes were suspended this afternoon because of an academic thing. I managed to spend time to play basketball again and the first time with some block mates. As always, I sucked. But it was worth the experience to play with friends – with new friends – which I haven’t done since I high school ended.

I also managed to get some sleep after being deprived from it with papers and readings and tests these past days. Too bad it will end this week. Next week is exams week once more.

Finally, I have watched the last of the Harry Potter movies. And more importantly, I watched it with someone whom I haven’t seen since forever and whom I have shared great moments with. I am happy she still has that smell, that scent…that smell that seem so unforgettable that it never left my senses since back then. I am happy I got to see her again, and she looks prettier with glasses on.

Sometimes, life is but a matter of scents and smells. There are instances when you smell fragrance and that particular scent is cherished for what you think would be eternity. But scents fade away, and sometimes, even the most important scents, no matter how good they are, mix with the air that you can’t recognize them anymore, no matter how hard you sniff and try. But for every scent that is gone, a new one will come or maybe an old one will become recognizable again. And hopefully, that comeback won’t fade away,  unlike that of what you thought would remain forever but eventually reached its conclusion. Maybe, this time, you should not let it fade away…

– Erson (∞)

Warning: Explicit Content

20 July 2011 | Day 09_

I caught your attention with the title did I not? You might want to continue reading…

Zombie. Blogging was almost impossible these past few days. While everybody was talking about the latest Harry Potter movie during the weekends, I, together with my co-Political Science majors, was trying to digest a dead man’s literature – Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Some days before that, I was hoarding thick books in the library for my five-page expository essay in Political Theory. I was doing a lot of things. Well, finally, today I’m a little bit free.

Yesterday, I had a feeling that I will be called for the usual one-hour one-to-one recitation in Political Theory since I was not well prepared and have read only up to Book II (we were asked to read until Book V). I was telling my classmates that I had bad vibes that I will be doomed yesterday. Lo and behold, I was right. Sir RR asked me to stand for one hour to answer all his questions. Well, things did not turn out so well. I may have answered some, but I myself was not confident of my answers. I even have a feeling that Sir RR does not like me and wanted to grill me to death yesterday. One of my classmates even told me in my face after the class something like “ang loser ng mga sagot mo” and another second the motion by explaining what I did. I feel no anger with them, what they said were true. But nonetheless, I thank God because I survived.

Today, I received my first long test in POS51. I got 41/50 and I am happy to get such. Honestly, I was lost in thoughts, out of myself, and certainly distracted during the time I took that test. I expected and have prepared myself to get only around 35 to 37. It is God’s grace I almost got a B.

Broken chains. They say people come and go. Sometimes they are by your side, sometimes they go. People always go and you have to be prepared when they do so. When they go, new people come into picture. People whom at first you won’t fit with but as time walks by become essential to your life. Old people may enter the frame as well. People from the past whom you promised to never to interact with again to prevent people to go.

I am happy to finally fit with my blockmates as the clock of my sophomore year began ticking. I appreciate that I am included in the group already and congratulate myself for exerting effort to do so. I believe I am friends with them already.

But then, good things always partner with the bad. I have made friends but to the expense of letting those previous important people in my life go. Those people whom I once considered friends but proved to be friends only in times of glee. Those friends who laughed at me and made fun of my conflicts with other people instead of trying to help resolve them; those who won’t include me in their gala and gimik but one day will chat me on Facebook saying “pare, favor…paki-explain naman ‘to oh…

I remember those high school days when these friends would come to me to borrow books and ask me to help them in Math or explain an English story. I was happy to  help them back then. I was happy to make  them understand Math unlike anyone else in campus. I was happy to be their takbuhan when they need anything.

Twice I asked for a mini-reunion, a getting-together at SM. I wanted to see them again but every effort was turned down with bullshit excuses. One day, one friend’s dad visited at our house and said “O Roger, di ka kasama sa kanila? Gumala sila sa Maynila ah.” I was rendered silent, looking down at my dog, who paradoxically looked so happy.

Once I have expressed my opinion on a status in Facebook that eventually led to a mini-debate. Two minutes later, I saw them starting the same argument, making fun of it, making it look like I am blind to see updates in Facebook, making me look like a dumb shit in my room.

I have to let them go, as much as I do not like to. Years and years of friendship have come to an end and chains have been broken at last. I continue to wonder if once in a while they remember me when they are having a hard time in school. I wonder if they have reflected on turning my offers down when I have patiently helped them in school back then. I wonder…I wonder if they are looking at those graduation pictures when we were all happy. For me, I think I don’t exist at all in their minds and hearts. Maybe it is just right that they forget me already, that I be erased in their memories.

The end? Old people say teen relationships never last and it is only when you get a little bit older that a relationship would finally nail in. I was horrible these past two to three weeks and continue to be a lonely figure until this day and maybe until the next long periods of time. I have been misunderstood as I am all the time. We have quarreled twice in a row and she says it is because of me not being true to my words. Maybe she is right, but for me I am not. I have always been true to my words but it seems that I am wrong all the time these past weeks. We have even talked about these fucking things even before entering college and I remember them all. But then what?

I was not able to concentrate on my school things because of these arguments. I thought my expository essay in Political Theory is senseless and trash, and maybe that is why RR magically inserted the topic of writing papers while I was reciting. I blabbered unnecessary things to my teacher during my graded recitation. You’ve read what my classmate said right? Once in a while I see myself staring at nothing, doing nothing, making nothing, and later realizing that I was thinking the happy moments that we used to have and asking myself “where did I go wrong?”

I have always said things for her but then this morning I found out that she experimented on exposing her legs. I was trying to get concerned, get mad, or feel anything. But then…I found out that I don’t care anymore. “It’s your fault,” I imagined telling her if she got into trouble and complain at me.

It has been almost two years since we found ourselves in that situation of falling with each other everyday. Two years have almost passed since we promised to never give up on each other. Two years may soon mean nothing at all…

Maybe it is my fault. Maybe there’s something in me that continue to put barricades between us. Maybe I am shit. Maybe I suck. But once in a while, my other self would tell “maybe not” and once in a while I believe he is right.

What’s next? Well, I don’t really know. I am here in the Ateneo library, reminded of my friends by people  who do not really care whether I am here or not. I am here, reminded of her by sweet couples holding hands and looking happy. Maybe I need a break. Maybe Harry Potter tomorrow would somehow lessen my worries. Maybe if we go back to what we used to be, but that is impossible. Maybe if she goes back to that time that I fell for her. Maybe if she would not act like dirty. Maybe.

I remember writing in one of my essays that I was never happy. I thought I was happy with having my friends before. I thought I was happy when we became us. But maybe they are just thoughts, just impulses. I was never happy. And maybe when all of these end, I would be.

– Erson (∞)

Hate History no more

11 July 2011 | Day 098

7:23 pm

I hated my History back in high school. It used to be a huge pain in my behind and usually gave me headaches, both literally and figuratively. But things eventually change. I hate History no more.

When things go according to plans; when things go on your favor be happy about it. Today, I got another A for another paper in Asian History. Ms. Coo showed our reflection papers on the book Princess by Jean Sasson today and it made my day to see a 35/35 mark. Despite all the coming “doom” – two long tests, five-page expository essay, and tons of readings – it is always a good idea to have something to be proud of and be happy at the present.

Well, I can’t blabber anymore. I just came back from school and need to cram my paper for Thursday. Please enjoy reading my A paper here.

– Erson (7:32 pm)

Forms

7 July 2011 | Day 098

3:17 pm

FORMS. This word is everywhere, at least for me. Ever since Political Theory introduced Plato’s The Republic, this very word did not abandon me even for a single day. Even in Tae Kwon Do today, coach said: “Erson, you have a good FORM”. This is really weird, even scary to some extent.

Form of the Good. That’s what Plato is saying. In attaining justice, one must master all the forms until he reaches the Form of the Good. Is Plato here somewhere…saying that I be just? Haha. Plato, how scary you can be!

This day is a bit tiring. Tae Kwon Do tired me out. We had practical test about the Foundation Form Number 1. Whatever that is, I can’t explain it to you. Other than that, this day is a little fun too with Political Theory proving to be fun sometimes. We had something like knowing who your enemies are (per group) then assigning a leader to act as a president to deliver a speech. I did not know speeches could be fun too.

– Erson (3:27 pm)

Sweet “A”

6 July 2011 | Day 097

3:04 pm

What else could a student ask for after a hot Wednesday with two organization interviews and lengthy discussions that overload the brain? For me, it’s having fun in these discussions and getting an A on a paper you exerted every effort you can.

This day I celebrated my first A-paper day. I got an A mark (25/25) on my Asian History paper on the video Lost City of Shang. I remember watching it on Tuesday, the day after I got the video from the History Department office. Back then, I really didn’t understand the video that much even if I did take notes of the important narratives and scenes. I was also worrying about my Political Theory paper, which has yet to be postponed that time. Despite all worries on unrelated fields and how-on-earth-do-I-reflect-with-narratives issues about the video, I wrote the paper saying bahala na si Batman.

—> Click here to view the paper.

I doubted what I wrote that time. I was not satisfied with the output and even questioned myself my writing skills and capabilities. “All throughout high school I have been writing and winning contests. How on earth could this paper win?” I remember telling myself these words. I was frustrated, desperate…

RR Raneses would later postpone the paper for Political Theory after the Preamble last Saturday. It was a big relief that I placed all my concentration on the History Paper last Sunday. I did not know if it was good or not. I just let all the thoughts flow and asked my dorm’s printer (pertaining to a person here) to print it.

Well, after all prayers and hard work, I got an A. I wasn’t expecting any high score – I wasn’t even expecting that it has been checked already after two days – but lo and behold God never left me. I got an A, the first after writing lengthy papers during my freshman year.

Today I also received my first quiz in POS51 (Introduction to Political Science) with a 10/10 mark. Another A! Thank You mighty God! This day seemed like a miracle for me. I used to get high score in high school but never in college – never in Ateneo – until this day. This was just as sweet as I could ever imagine.

I learned something today: All the best things are results of hard work and prayers. So, for you guys who love copy-paste, may you be placed in paradise in the afterlife.

– Erson (3:45 pm)

The great turnaround

3 July 2011 | Day 096

2:41 pm

Posting yesterday was not possible since I got home around 11:30 or so. The Assembly’s Preamble, though boring and failed to meet what I had expected, turned out to be a blessing in disguise and a prayer answered by the heavens.

My five-page, Garamond 11, single-spaced paper in Political Theory was postponed to July 14, a week after the original deadline, not so long after the end of last night’s activity. It was originally postponed to July 12th but then, maybe thanks to Cantina, Sir RR mailed another postponement.  It was a big relief to me and to everybody in my block, especially to those who witnessed the “miracle of Sir RR”. I am only down to three papers due this week and needs only to do two more.

I also had the opportunity to hang out with some of my blockmates last night and finally made steps to not being “outcast” anymore. In coat and tie and dresses, we invaded Starbucks last night as if some weird professionals. Professional that did not buy anything – that’s me.

But then, as they say, it is always Yin and Yang. When good things happen, when you’re in that state of extreme relief from an otherwise unfinished paper, extremely annoying events come invading one’s happy disposition. Is it that difficult to understand that an event’s time can be flexible and not finish exactly at the time previously set? Is it not a reality that Philippines’ mobile promos are always delayed as hell when one subscribes to them? Or is it really the nature of some people to be stocked inside the box and not see beyond futile emotions and conceited opinions?

I may have enjoyed last night and even today. I may have had…

– Erson (3:02 pm)