Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Son or Daughter Shapes The Father

Becoming a father is a great feeling and experience. But what I realized by having two kids with different genders is that a son and a daughter have so different impacts to how you act as a father. Or maybe just for me, I'm not sure. Let me know if you can relate to this.



When my wife gave birth to our first born, Mik, it felt like I was looking at myself. I wondered what I was like when I was at his age and size. Then I thought about my silliness when I was young and the mistakes, failures and heartaches that I experienced which made me into who I am now. I am torn between shielding him and from hoping him to experience them but with the proper guidance. I wanted him to be better in all aspects while not forcing him to do things he does not like. It's like the stereotyped disciplinarian father with high expectations on his eldest son became me. And I don't want to be much like that so I control myself. But at times, the disciplinarian in me shows up which I try to balance with a show of care and affection that some dads are embarrassed to do with their sons.

Then came our daughter, Kayla. I saw the extremes of me. The softest of me while carrying her in my arms and the hardest of me at the same time who's ready to protect her from bad external forces. I've been over protective while being the spoiler by trying to give her whatever she asks for. And in her, I see the two most important women in my life, my mom and my wife. Combine that and she's Kayla. So I'm afraid of what I could do if anyone tries to do something bad to her.  So the other stereotype, the overprotective dad to his daughter, it also became me. 

It seems that these generalizations of dads are true. We will not be able to understand it until we become it. And we won't become it unless we have children.  We laugh at these characters until we realize we are already like them. And we laugh and understand that we are like them simply because of one reason. Love.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Everybody's Getting an Award

I got knocked out when I was in Grade 2.  A big older bully from another section punched me on the face. I did not know what happened and why he punched me. What I remember is that I fell backwards after he landed his fist on my face. I went there because I was asked by my teacher to give this document to their adviser and unfortunately she was not there and then that thing happened. I did not tell my teacher about it but my mom noticed the crack on my lips when I got home then I told her what happened. Then I cried. Then she went to my teacher the following day which then talked to the bully's class advisor about what he did. I can't remember what happened next.

It was also the last time I was given a first honor award at school. After that year, I still was able to get some academic awards. There were 23 sections so being part of the pilot section was already an achievement, what more when you get to the honor roll. There were few recognitions given at that time every end of school year. The honor roll and some "best in subjects" awards. There was prestige, but I never thought about it really at that time.

But compared to what we see now, almost everyone at school gets an award. You can even see on your social media feeds that all parents are posting their kids' awards. 



This ain't limited to school. Even on other things, everyone seemed to be getting an award. If there are no awards existing for someone, they will create him a new one. And award giving bodies are also sprouting like mushrooms. Before, schools are begging for recognition from the industry leaders. Now, it's the schools who are the one giving awards to industry leaders. Like in media for example. Professional and veteran newscasters are chosen and given commendations by students who haven't even completed their studies yet about the field of these personalities whom they are giving recognition.

Then there are competitions where mere participation were given awards and prizes. No one's going home empty handed nowadays.

Everyone's a winner, so it seems. No one's losing. No one's failing. But the problem with this set up is on how we truly appreciate winning without knowing what it's like to lose.  It's like talking about darkness when light is the only thing you experience since birth. Another danger that we are playing with this thing is by making the young ones feel that awards and recognitions are rights rather than privileges for the few who worked harder and better than the rest of them. I think some of us can say we are already reaping its fruits in the workplace.

And the irony that award giving bodies and the award itself gain more prestige and mileage than the awardees is a big irony . Like what happens when mere students are the ones making criteria for recognitions to be given to people whom in the present they are only just dreaming to work for.

For sure, there will be comments or reactions like "these awards aren't important though later on in your life" and "you can't use this awards when you're working, etc". I agree with you. But that's not the point of this write up. Let's all admit that awards have impact on people's confidence and behavior later in life. They are meant to foster a competitive environment that will motivate people bring out their best. It also gives satisfaction to those who made it. But due to the "mass production" of it, it seems to lose its meaning and purpose, and actually defeating it.  People are becoming soft and whiners because of it. A lot feels they are entitled to get one without doing much effort because everyone seems to be getting some anyway.  Everybody's getting an award. Awards are dead.

If I could give an award to that guy who punched me before, I'll give him the heaviest fist award. He was the only person who was able to knock me out from all the fist fights I went through when I was young. I can still feel the impact up to this day.  I hope to meet him again soon. I hope he's not yet dead.




Sunday, October 4, 2015

Kasaysayang Magilas

Naging tampulan ng tukso at katatawanan
Sa sports na atin pang kinahuhumalingan
Ilang dekada ba namang walang pinatunguhan,
Pinapadala sa FIBA ay mahihinang koponan

Dati na rin kasi tayong naging mga hari,
Mula 50s hanggang 70s tayo'y natatangi.
Powerhouse ng Asya, lumalaban sa mundo,
Nung 1954, sa World Cup nagbronze pa tayo.





1954 RP Team FIBA World Championships Bronze Medallist
 



Nagsimula ang PBA, kumpetisyon ay tumaas,
Subalit sa FIBA games tila nawalan ng oras.
Sa Asian Games na lang tayo nagconcentrate
Sa ABC competition, mga players ay di pa graduate.

Kahit sa Asian Games, tayo ay nahirapan,
Namulat din ako noon sa katotohanan,
Ang ating paghahari unti-unti nang nawala,
Lakas ng mga kalaban ay sadyang nakakalula





  



Hindi inaasahan ang ating pagkakagising,
Nang nagulat sa nangyari itong si Mang Peping,
"National team" nating lumalaro sa lokal na liga,
Tinalo ng koponan ng ating mga artista.

Mga visionaries ng Pinoy basketball nagsimulang magplano
Si Chot at si Noli para mabawi na ang trono.
Mga basketball fans ay agad ding nabuhayan,
Sa FIBA tayo'y babalik at makikipagbakbakan.

Subalit hindi ito lahat naging madali,
Mga basketball bodies ay nagkahati-hati,
Preparasyon ng team na ipapadala natin sana,
Nahinto ng kaunti dahil sa suspensyon ng FIBA.

BAP-A, BAP-B, PB,  ATBP
Mga letrang sa forum at internet mababasa,
Hindi maintindihan kung bakit di magkaisa,
Mahirap talaga pag nahahaluan ng pulitika.

Itong si MVP naman biglang to the rescue.
Pagbuo ng programa ay kanyang inasikaso,
Pati ang puso ng FIBA kanya ring napalambot,
Naalis na ang suspension, tagumpay itong naabot.

Hindi naging maganda ang ating pasimula,
Pagbalik sa FIBA Asia, tayo ay natulala.
Group of death ang ating agad napuntahan,
Eliminations round pa lang, pag asa ay nawalan.

Subalit hindi naman tayo susukong basta basta,
Pagpapadala ng malulupet na players natin sa FIBA,
Pang 9th at pang 8th sa ating mga unang sultada,
Nakakadisappoint pero una lang yan kabarkada.

Nagkaroon bigla ng pagbabago sa ating programa,
Ng ilang teams sa PBA ay ayaw makisama,
Kaya kumuha agad ng mga kabataang manlalaro,
At naturalized player at foreign coach na mamumuno.

Dito nagsimula ang tinatawag nating Gilas,
Nagsimula nating ipakita ang programang pang-alas.
Ang kanilang training ay talagang matindihan,
Kahit na mga bata, kitang-kita na lumalaban.



Gilas 1 with Coach Rajko Toroman


Minanduhan silang maigi ni Rajko Toroman,
Si kuya Marcus Douthit, sa loob ang ating hitman,
Kasama ng ilang pros, sila Kelly, Jimmy at Asi
Sa mga malakas ng team ng Asia, lumaban tayo ng matindi.

Subalit sa ating target, tayo pa rin ay kinapos,
Sa dulo ng labanan, sa fourth place tayo ay nagtapos.
Hindi na rin masama kung ating titingnan,
Mga bata pa nga halos ang players na ating pinanlaban.

Sinagad na din natin ang sumunod na labanan,
Ang bakbakan sa court dinala sa ating bayan,
FIBA Asian Championships 2013 sa Manila,
Buong bansa ay makikitang tunay na nagkaisa.

Gilas 2.0 ay binuo at todong naghanda.
Walang sinayang na oras, hindi tayo ipapahiya.
Sa harap ng taumbayan, dugo't pawis ang inialay,
Ticket pabalik sa World Cup, itataya ang buhay.

Umabot sa labanang kalaban ay pamilyar,
Ilang beses tayong pinaiyak sa marami nang lugar.
Laban sa South Korea sa semis ay tila isang sumpa,
Hanggang sa dulo ng labanan, ayaw nilang kumawala.

Buong bayan ay nagalak ng atin silang nagupo,
Ticket papuntang Spain naseguro ng hukbo.
Sa Finals naman ay naghihintay na ang team Iran,
Ang ating koponan ay mga sundalong sugatan.


Gilas vs Senegal, FIBA World Cup 2014

Kahit na kulang-kulang hindi sila basta nagpatalo,
Ang Gilas Pilipinas ay lumaban pa ng todo.
Subalit sa dulo tayo pa rin ay kinapos,
Pilak na ginto, pagkauhaw sa medalya'y tinapos.

Pagtuntong sa World Cup, atin muling nasaksihan,
Gilas Pilipinas vs Croatia, hindi ko mapaniwalaan,
Kinurot ang aking sarili dahil baka panaginip lang,
Subalit totoo pala ang aking minamasdan.

Kumuha pa ng resbak na malakas sa NBA,
Blatche ang apelyido, pangalan nya ay Andray,
Malaking mama na panentro, ang galaw ay parang forward,
Ang pagsama nya sa Gilas ay dagdag sa ting reward.

Unang laban sa Croatia, ang score agad na lumayo,
Naisip kong baka ganito ang ating ilalaro,
Masyadong malakas na kasi ang ating mga kalaban,
Pero ako ay nagdasal, kahit sana dumikit man lamang.

Ng sumunod na mga quarters, pumutok ang outside shooting,
Mga Croatian players ay nagsimulang mapailing,
Mga Pilipinong players na di nila kilala kung sino,
Umabot sa overtime, nakuha natin ang respeto.

Natalo man tayo sa Croatia, ginulat natin ang mundo,
Pati laban sa Greece, Argentina at Puerto Rico.
Sa huling laban natin sa Senegal, nasungkit natin ang panalo,
Apat na dekadang hinintay, wala nang tatamis pa dito.

Dahil napasarap, sinubukan pa nating itodo.
World cup na susunod, bakit di natin gawin dito.
Nagbid tayo sa hosting, subalit sa dulo ay natalo.
Sa China napunta, o ang sakit naman nito.

At para sa Olympics na gaganapin sa Rio,
FIBA Asia na kasunod, sa bayan pa rin ng Tsino.
Gilas 3.0, sinimulan nating ikasa,
Akala mo'y ok na, dami pa ring problema.

Ang namuno naman dito ay si Coach Tab Baldwin,
Mahusay na coach at talagang sobrang inspiring.
Subalit ng nilabas na, list ng players na isasama,
Marami ang umatras, nakakawala ng gana.

Pero hindi ito dahilan para tayo ay sumuko,
Tayo pa rin ay lalaban, kahit pa nadedehado.
Nagtraining ang bagong Gilas, sumali sa mga torneyo,
At dito nasilayan ang tikas ng ating grupo.

Nagsimula ang FIBA Asia, malaki ang ating pag-asa.
Subalit sa first game, agad tayong nadisgrasya.
Palestine na unang beses sumali sa FIBA Asia,
Ginulat ang buong mundo, nawala bigla ang saya.

Tulad ng isang mandirigma na mas lalong tumatapang,
Pag nabahiran ng dugo at nasusugatan.
Kanilang inilampaso ang mga sumunod na mga kalaban,
At dinurog ang malalakas, pati depending champs Iran.

Natapos ang round 2, na tayo ang number 1.
Biglang parang napadali ang ruta ng ating koponan.
Mga kalabang iniiwasan, napunta sa kabilang bracket.
Pero sabi ni Coach Tab, teka muna hold it.

Hindi naging madali ang laban natin sa QF at Semis,
Lebanon at Japan, tila baga di nagmimintis.
At sangkaterbang freethrow na kanilang itinira,
Ang laban ay dikit, di tayo makarekta.

Subalit tayo pa rin ang syang nagtagumpay,
Laban sa Finals kung saan China ang nag aantay,
Homecourt advantage, at kung ano ano pa.
Siguradong kakaharapin kaya sila ay naghanda na.

Unang quarter ay dikit, hanggang gitna ng 2nd quarter.
Subalit lumayo bigla, ang laro nawala sa order.
Mga kwestyonableng tawag ng referee ay sunod sunod,
Pati mintis natin sa freethrows, tayo'y nagkakandahilahod.

Papunta pa lang pala sa venue, ang team pala'y na late.
Bus na sasakyan, hindi nacharge so they had to wait.
Then nung nagwawarm up na, biglang inayos pa ang net.
Sinadya nga ba ito o may balat lang tayo sa pwet.

Balik tayo sa laban, unti unti silang lumayo.
Pero di tayo nagpagapi, lumaban pa rin at tumayo.
Didikit na sana tayo, pero may travelling pa na tinawag,
Palo sa mukha at katawan, sa team ako ay nahabag.

Natapos ang laban, tayo nga ang syang natalo.
Nalusaw ang pag-asa na makakalaro sa Rio.
Sumabog ang Twitter at Facebook sa mga fans na Filipino,
Imbes daw kasi basketball, ang nangyari'y cooking show.


Gilas 3.0, Silver Medallist, FIBA Asia Championships 2015

Ang hirap man makamove-on dapat na nating tanggapin,
Talagang di pa panahon ng ating Olympic dream.
Pero sa tamang panahon, Gilas din ay papalarin.
Ang gintong medalya sa Asia ay atin ding susungkitin.

Sana rin ay dumating na ang ating bayan ay magkaisa,
Lalo na ang mga lider ng sports na ating sinisinta.
Sa ating mga players, sa skills  ay walang problema.
Kailangan lamang natin ng maayos na programa.

Sa mga fans ng Gilas na Pilipinong tulad ko.
Lalo sa mga bata, alam nyo ang suerte nyo.
Mga heartbreaks ng Team noon, hindi nyo na naabutan.
Consistent na winning team ang inyo ngayong nasasaksihan.

Wag sana nating pagsawaan na sila ay suportahan,
Ang kalibreng pang worldclass, atin nang nasaksihan.
Malay natin sa susunod, magagamit na natin ang ating play.
Laban sa kinatatakutan ng lahat, yan ang Team USA.

Laban Pilipinas! Puso!







   

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