You have not known what you are.
You have slumbered upon yourself all your life.
Your eyes have been as much as closed most of the time.
What you have done is already in mockeries.

The mockeries are not you.
Underneath them
And within them,
I see you lurk...

-Walt Whitman


animas fall prey to growling tigresses

They just lost it…and in a very frustrating way. After playing a dismal game on Game 1, you would’ve taught they’d be able to finally adjust and address the flaws in their plays. But they didn’t. It was the same story for La Salle on Game 2 and it cost them the Championship in 4 sets (18-25, 14-25, 25-16, 15-25).

Unforced errors, poor reception, and imprecise sets were written all over the 1st set for the Lady Spikers. Since the team couldn’t receive well, Martinez, setter, wasn’t able to set up killing plays. Middle attacks were neutralized and drop shots weren’t good enough for the UST floor defense. Service errors, net interference, and attack mishits piled up giving free points to the Tigresses.

Through the course of the 2nd set they still weren’t able to regroup and build momentum. Even though they gained an early lead, faulty reception and sets kept on creeping in and crippling their game. It was the same story for Set 2… only it had gotten worse.

On Set 3, Coach Ramil took a risk by positioning Cha Cruz, an open spiker, to do setting chores instead of Martinez; an act of desperation to save the game, perhaps, but Cha really delivered to set up plays effective enough for her spikers to penetrate the UST block and score points. It came out as a surprise because I didn’t know she was an alternate setter. Cha Cruz really turned the gears for La Salle, contributing in both setting and blocking duties. And as the set went on, errors suddenly came pouring in from the opponent’s side giving them free points. Momentum had finally shifted. The girls in green could block more. They were able to receive better, and with Cha Cruz’s excellent sets, were able to bring down balls on the UST floor. Open, middle and running attacks came to life piling up the points for them to win the crucial set.

The Lady Spikers, once again took an early lead by the start of Set 4, but they failed to keep up the momentum they gained from the previous set. With Cha setting for most of the set, they fought for every point. But after the first technical time-out, La Salle was once again haunted by the old ghosts from Sets 1 and 2. They just lapsed into E-R-R-O-R-S. I think it is safe to say that they gave away the game with the way they played that set. Hays.

Even though it breaks my heart, I really applaud the UST Team. They deserve it. They were able to master the pressure and just play their game. One thing remarkable about the Tigresses is their consistency, which La Salle fell short of. La Salle finished on top by the end of the eliminations but they weren’t able to peak up their game unlike UST, which peaked at the right time. But that’s a game. Someone should lose, right?

I’m looking forward to see these girls play again next season. But of course, there’s still the Shakey’s V-League to look forward this coming April.


...and another heartbreaker...crap

The DLSU Lady Spikers have fallen prey to the UST Tigresses yesterday on Game 1 of best-of-three finals series of UAAP Season 72—26-24, 23-25, 16-25, and 21-25.

There was an obvious lapse on the La Salle’s game yesterday and it was really frustrating because I know how good they really are. And it turned out Kaye Martinez, setter, is nursing a shoulder injury she got from their last match against Adamson and opting to use Garbin, alternate setter, didn’t help their cause. Her plays were just slow and predictable allowing the Tigresses to set up appropriate defence both on the net and on the floor. Also, MaraƱo was a non-factor in the game and her dinks weren’t sufficient enough to fool the opponent’s defence. Cha Cruz’s attacks weren’t spot on as they usually are and she also committed a couple of errors on her spikes and serves. But I still love her. Unforced errors really killed La Salle’s game last night and very crucial ones they were.

UST’s reception was better converting chance balls into points with the aid of their libero, Curato. She’s way better than Fortuno I think. La Salle really needs to work on their reception especially when playing balls served by Rhea Dimaculangan. She really deserve that Best Server Award, doesn’t she? But last night, even Din-Din Santiago’s and Angeli Tabaquero’s serves proved fatal to their defence. There were times when even Melissa Gohing failed to up balls to set up plays.

One key factor in UST’s gameplay was Aiza Maizo. On their previous match, they were able to neutralize her spikes but on this game, varying sets by Dimaculangan to middle and open attackers fooled the blockers allowing the leftie drill balls on the floor. Good thing they were able to manage the Ortiz attacks, a feat they failed to do on their previous game. But only one player outshone everyone on the court—Angeli Tabaquero. Man, that girl could really spike! Her leaping ability was just superb. She was able to elevate herself in an incredible height to pound the ball over the blockers and down hot on the floor where defenders couldn’t do anything about it.

Another thing that made that game so depressing was the entrance fee. From P80.00 it increased to P150.00. It would’ve been worth it if only the game ended in 5 sets, but it didn’t. And the 4-hour long bus ride home was just crazy. I feel so tired and dirty when I got home and to think I still had nursing duties.

I’d really like to see La Salle make up for this loss and win Game 2 and hopefully the Championship. But I think I’m just gonna watch the games on TV. It seems like La Salle always lose a game whenever I’m in their presence. Haha!

Eineemow, Luh’sohl!


the time capsule

SHE HELD UP THE LAMP while he dug the soil with a trowel. The night was dying fast against the creeping twilight that lined the horizon. The moon and the stars watched over them and time stood still sending ripples of solemnity in the cold calm air. It was a beautiful night slowly breaking into the lights of dawn.

The boy stopped digging. Then, with both set hands on the box they laid the box into the hole in front of them, smiles illuminated by the lamplight.

“What did you put in the box?” The boy asked.

“I won’t tell you. You just have to wait for fifteen years to find out.” The girl replied.

“Fifteen years? That’s a very long time.” The boy said, a faint hint of impatience in his voice eyeing the fresh mound of earth.

“I guess that’s enough time to forget the things we buried; enough time even for me to forget you or for you to forget me.” She said not with impatience but with sadness. The boy could see it in her face.

“That’s not likely, miss. I will never forget you. I could never do that.” He replied his eyes on his hands.

. We’ll see.” A smile came swiftly over her face and when the boy saw it; his heart seemed to skip a beat it almost ached.

“I am not really sure what time capsules are for, but this is fun.” Said the boy.

“Well it’s simple really. Time will make us forget. And these time capsules will help us remember one day—the things that are once important to us or even who we were.” She explained her eyes to the retreating darkness. “The most exciting part is the element of surprise and the key is to forget.”

The boy stood up and carved two letters on the bark of the tree beside them. He looked into her eyes and offered his hand.

“Promise me we’ll open time capsule together.” He said.

“I promise.” He helped her stand up, and with hands intertwined they watched the sun rise above the horizon, lifting the mist around them on its way up. It was a beautiful day.

. . .

Fifteen years flew by like a speeding train and fifteen years more like shadows running away from the light. Time flew by like a thief in the night, moving in stealth, stealing memories at will. Thirty years went by, so swiftly that it couldn’t be more than just a deep sigh. A man was digging a small patch of gro
und underneath a tree. He soon retrieved a box. And with a wave of discernment he finally understood what the girl had said once to him on that very same spot. He grazed his hands the initials carved on the tree that shade him from the sun as memories came flooding back. He opened a window to the past and for a moment he reveled into a different lifetime, sweet but out of reach. He was a kid again.

. . .

On a grassy slope the man solely stood, carrying a box and a white rose. The wind played with his gray hair as it did on the dancing blades of grass that surrounded him. With his head on a bow he looked like a man waiting for something that wouldn’t come.

“You are wrong, miss. Fifteen years is not long enough to forget. Thirty years had passed and I still haven’t.” He whispered with a teasing smile.

“I brought you something. Hope it could help you remember.” He laid the box and the rose by the tombstone before him. “Because it seemed like you have forgotten.”

“I didn’t open it. A promise is a promise, right?” The old man fell into his knees and broke into sobs. Time slipped by as the world spun. Lights retreated and the darkness slowly crawled over him. Everything is still and the moon and stars were watching once again. It was a beautiful night.

The old man walked away wondering what the girl had placed on the box. And he knew he would never find out. He buried his heart in a time capsule a long time ago, and thirty years after, he’s surprised to know that it never stopped beating for the little girl that taught him about time capsules. In the end, he left his heart to the place where it really belongs.

Love—you can choose to bury it deep on the ground or hide it from the eyes of the world, but it will not cease to exist. It’ll still be there, just waiting to be unearthed. For true love pierces time like it pierces the hearts of men, inflicting lasting aches and persevering happiness. It will never alter for it cuts too deep, down to a place alteration will never find.


heartbreak on the day of hearts

THE (2) UST TIGRESSES AND (1) DLSU LADY SPIKERS battled it off yesterday at the San Juan Arena. Being a big fan of the game, I decided it would be stupid to miss this powerhouse match. So I, together with a couple of friends, went to San Juan and saw the games live.

Watching live volleyball action featuring your idols (namely Cha Cruz and Paneng Mercado) in the flesh was a very thrilling experience. It definitely beats watching them on HD TV! It felt really nice to revel once more in that familiar addictive school spirit. I was rooting for La Salle and for a day I felt like I got to be one of them, shouting Animo, La Salle! and singing along with their chants.

As the games progressed, the Arena was booming with every point from both sides. The crowd oooh-ed with every drop, block, and spike as bass drums amplified the intensity of the game. I really learned to appreciate the work and the effort exerted by the Pep Squad. Imagine shouting Animo, LaSalle in a full and booming voice for two hours. Mine started to break in the 3rd set and I felt a shooting pain in my left lower chest. I thought one of my lungs had collapsed. Hehe!

The game seemed longer than it usually does on television. But after two hours of a five-set match, the ladies in gold defeated the ladies in green, (25-23, 20-25, 28-26, 16-25, 12-15) earning the bragging rights and probably tipping the scales to their advantage for the Championship. It was a heartbreaker. I feel for Melissa Gohing (libero) for a crucial error in the end setting the opposing team at set point. She maybe the defence specialist but she fell victim to Rhea Dimaculangan’s sharp floater.

The match was a no-bearing game. Its outcome will not change the two teams’ positions as they enter the semi-finals. But man, they really delivered and gave their all. I’m definitely going back to watch them live again. I’m also looking forward to watch the Ateneo Lady Eagles; another very promising team. It would be really interesting if they could steal at least a game from the Tigresses. The semis will start next week on the 20th.

It was a long and rough 3-hour journey home. I got home tired, voiceless, sleepless but happy. And I still got to watch the replays on Balls. Hehe! By the way, there’s a volleyball league in town and I’m wondering if I’d join. I know I’m really rusty but somehow I’d like to. ANIMO! –Can anyone tell me what this means?


confrontation with a masked metaphor

DO NOT FORCE THOSE WORDS into my mouth and those thoughts into my head. I fear not the face you wear but the monsters that lurks behind your teeth. I can smell the stench whenever you exhale. They are stuck on your gums, rotten and scabbed like the secret I have long kept. Reminding me is pointless so I pray you—stop telling me things that I should be afraid of for I have long memorized the list. I could recite them to you even in dreams—the places where they usually stay and breed like flies; haunting me in my own subconscious awareness and the fear they inflict carried on till I open my eyes. But I know this attempt is futile. You will not give up that easily. I can feel you breathing on my neck, crawling underneath my feet. You dig the ground deep and eagerly with your fingernails to make me a hole where I would surely trip and fall. It will be a long way down; an endless free fall worse than the bone-crushing impact against the bottom. But I still have to try. You can stop strangling me for I grew numb to physical pain. You can let go because it’s only a matter of time before I amass the sufficient courage to voluntarily jump into the void myself. I fear the uncertainties lurking in its depths, but the darkness has also been a great ally, motivating me to see myself from a distance. In its eerie presence, I do not a have face or imperfections. I could only see is a heart, beating the questions to find the answers it seeks. In the end, everything will be revealed: truth, lies and everything that blurs those two, clear as illuminated by a thousand burning suns. Once again I am asking you; shut that word whole in your face and dance your way into the masquerade. Do not remove that mask as will I; for we both know that a secret is made by hiding something… and people are revealed by hiding themselves…


when the open closes...

AFTER WATCHING LIVE week-long tennis and hearing men and women grunt and moan while whacking balls with their rackets, the Australian Open 2010 had finally crowned its new victors—the Master, (1) Roger Federer and (1) Serena Williams.

It’s been a great tournament this year. Lots of drama, starting with Rafael Nadal who had to retire from his Quarterfinal Match; the US Open Champions, Juan Martin del Potro and Kim Clijsters, ousted in the earlier rounds; Maria Sharapova who played stellar tennis against Dementieva in the 1st Round (but lost to Kirilenko); the two Chinese players dominating the semifinals, Na Li and Zheng Jie, and of course the return of the former number 1, Justine Henin, who really gave Serena a run for her money in the Women’s Final. I was really rooting for her. I believe she remains to be the female tennis player with the deadliest backhand. But she really needs to work those services out. But that’s okay. There are still three majors to go: The French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. I feel sorry for Murray though. I really thought this would be his year. But Roger really demolished his plays to win his 16th major singles title and first as a father. He really deserved it. I admire Roger as a sportsman, but I admire him more for his social responsibility. He initiated a charity for the victims of Haiti, which mustered an amount up to 650,000 dollars.

One tournament down, one to go (
the UAAP of course!), and one more coming up—Vancouver 2010! Thank goodness for Cable TV! Hehe!