Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Filipino Nation: In the Face of Tragedy

Typhoon ‘Ondoy’ struck the northern part of the Philippines and flooded most of the Metro Manila areas. Rainfall that didn’t fall for six months poured in just a matter of six hours causing loss of lives and devastation in the hard hit areas.

The initial death toll was at 73, and still rising as more and more bodies are pulled out from flooded regions. There’s countless number of victims who are still missing; and displaced families ran in thousands.

Is the country and its disaster preparedness agency ready enough to tackle the huge task of helping all who are directly affected by the tragedy? It might have been too much but the president promised that ‘it didn’t break’ the resolve of the nation.

It’s too early to tell because as I write this blog there’s a good portion of the region that is still under water and has no electricity and probably has no water resource safe enough for human consumption.

This is not the first time that heavy torrential rains brought about by a typhoon has drenched the countryside and flooded the region. In fact the number of casualties doesn’t even come as a surprise at all. Landslides and flooding have already claimed a many lives in the past.

In all these, the Filipino nation of course is uniting to help out those who are in dire need. Overseas workers are even extending support thru a relief drive. The global community is also helping through the Red Cross.

Was there anything that could have been done to lessen the damage of this recent disaster? Who knows? I’m sure the poorest of the poor who are probably among the casualties would have no choice but to live in uninhabitable areas, building shanties made of cardboard boxes, a makeshift of a floating abode with a luxurious view of the bay, yet was in all sense is and was a tragedy waiting to happen.

It was not uncommon to build a tent on top of a slightly covered sewer system and call it home. And when the downpour ravaged the land, these people had nowhere to run to seek refuge or at least stay out of harm’s way as the threat of the typhoon looms.

That’s the biggest tragedy! These people would have easily awashed with just the rising of the tide because they were in a place where they weren’t supposed to be.

Time and time again, tragedies have occurred in this poverty-stricken country and it’s always the poor who suffered. Did the leaders learn their lesson?

I doubt it. This is not the first time that the nation is bruised and left helpless with a tragic event, and certainly, this will not be the last. The country’s leaders need to be proactive to the obvious need of the poor, if things have to change. Until then, I, being a Filipino feel that I can only watch in horror as tragic events like this unfold.

On the lighter side, I believe that pain and suffering are the common strands that bind all of humanity. We all at some point in our lifetime have to deal with pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering makes us more humane every time, if only we see the silver lining.

For anyone who wishes to help, you can contact the International Red Cross hotline.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Great Political Icon: Corazon C. Aquino (1933-2009)

The Filipino nation is mourning today the loss of a great leader and a beloved past Philippine president ‘Cory Aquino’. Cory died at 3:18 a.m. on August 1, 2009 (Philippine time) after she was diagnosed with colon cancer over a year ago.

Cory Aquino is notably remembered for changing the face of Philippine politics after ousting a former dictator-president Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 through a people’s revolt on the streets. She then became the first lady president of the Philippines.

She was an intelligent, courageous and a morally-conscious leader who openly waged a war against the ugliness that hounds the face of Philippine politics. After her reign as president, she continued to be an ambassadress for the masses.

The Filipino nation owe her a lot for all the lessons she has imparted being a true Filipino in spirit, defending and fighting for the cause of democracy and together with her husband, Ninoy Aquino, gave so much to us all--the Filipino nation.

She is a great hero, and she will be remembered as one.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pacquiao vs. Hatton: KO at 2:59 of Round 2

Tonight’s boxing match between two great fighters in the boxing arena was sweet and short.

Like he normally does, Pacquiao was brilliant in his boxing techniques that led to a premature end of a match that was slated to go for twelve rounds. For all Hatton fanatics, it was a surprising and disappointing end after Pacquiao brutally pounded Hatton with his left and right hooks, at lightning-fast speed.

I have watched the pre-fight documentary, Pacquiao-Hatton 24/7 which highlighted both fighters’ unique journey to prepare for tonight’s match. It was entertaining to listen to the exchange of words between two camps. It was obvious, that there was intent to psyche out each other. Hatton’s camp in fact claimed a sure win over Pacquiao, made visibly clear by Mayweather Sr.’s remarks. He was very dramatic over the certainty of their victory that he even made poetic rhymes to mock Pacquiao’s camp.

On the other hand, Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer knew better. He casually brushed aside the remarks by saying, “I have the best fighter.”

I couldn’t agree more. Pacquiao is the best pound for pound boxer not only in this era but probably throughout the history of boxing. Pacquiao from six years ago has annihilated boxing’s notable names: Barrera, Marquez, Morales, de la Hoya one by one.

Tonight’s performance by Pacquiao surely shut out doubts about how far Manny Pacquiao can go as a boxer. Pacquiao has evolved from a regular boxer-puncher to one who knows priceless techniques inside the ring, studying his opponent quite artistically as he throws his quick damaging punches.

I could go on and talk about how great Manny Pacquiao is as a boxer, but I wouldn’t even go there. The boxing match tonight said it all.

I am amused though, at hindsight, remembering Hatton’s trainer’s comments.

Talk is cheap. And for some, they can talk the talk, but can’t quite walk the walk.

What matters inside the ring is performance and results. Pacquiao delivered what was expected of him and more.

It couldn’t get any better than that.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Francis M: Farewell

I recently learned that Francis Magalona recently passed away on March 6, 2009 due to complications of leukemia at the young age of 44. He is survived by his wife and eight children who surprisingly remained strong amid the great loss.

What can I say? Francis M. was an icon in the Filipino entertainment arena. His one famous rap song “Mga Kababayan Ko” left an indelible imprint in our memories after it has topped the music charts during the rap-song music era.

I really haven’t followed much of his recent music contributions, but I would just like to say that Francis M. was a great talent who carries himself with pizzazz and a sense of class.

Unlike other artists out there, he stands out because he is not only talented but he is also obviously intelligent. His persona always commands some serious respect. Don’t get me wrong though. He was a guy who loves to have fun and have a good laugh. In fact he was a regular at a noontime show “Eat Bulaga” for a long time.

He died at a young age, but from all he’s done, it would be fair to say that he has lived his life’s worth by doing what he enjoyed doing and imparting and sharing his talent to the Filipino nation.

If there’s any consolation in all of this, his life was a life lived with enthusiasm, talent, and enormous zest for life and humanity.

His songs and his legacy will be remembered in our hearts for a long time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Manny Pacquiao: Boxing’s Most Beautiful Fighter

Wow! What a performance by Manny Pacman Pacquiao in tonight’s most criticized boxing match against the ‘Golden Boy’ Oscar de la Hoya.

The dream match turned into a nightmare for de la Hoya when Manny ruled the fight since the opening round until Oscar’s camp could stand no more the sight of the ‘Golden Boy’ being shamelessly shackled in one corner by Pacquiao’s endless quick punches.

Pacquiao’s agility and beautiful footwork was a tango that de la Hoya couldn’t dance up to the 12th round.

It was a fight that indeed, proved once again, that a good training and passion for the sports of boxing almost always rule the game.

Oscar’s height advantage was easily discounted by Manny’s quick elusive movements.

In tonight’s fight, it wasn’t height that mattered. It was speed.

Manny has always pulled all boxing fanatics around the world towards the sport of boxing with his unequaled beauty as a fighter in the ring.

Couple to that his ever humble persona that is always magnificently displayed by how much he praises his opponents even when they deserve none—and I mean that—yeah, none . . . nada.

The better fighter is almost always the one who trained harder.

To Manny, the challenge was bigger because he had to climb up one weight level higher, which is always an uncomfortable upgrade for most boxing fighters.

Despite all the predictions, favoring the former middleweight champion, Oscar de la Hoya, Manny was easily able to unload his guns right from the start of the fight. In the end, the ‘Golden Boy’ wasn’t able to pull the trigger; he was sent packing after the eighth round.

Who would have thought that the fight would end so abruptly, without even giving the Mexican boxing fans, a little something to get excited about?

To Manny, you rule the ring. You rule the sports of boxing. And to say the least, you rule our Pinoy hearts.

Kudos to a great and beautiful fighter!