Thursday, May 3, 2012


It was a dream come true for every basketeer to have a face-to-face training with the king of the ring, Craig Hodges. Such desire become a reality  during the  Hodge on Hoops Philippine Tour 2012 entitled:  The Power of Effective Shooting, a basketball clinic held in Sorsogon City last April 20 to  21 this year. 

Craig Hodges atop of a pick-up car during the motorcade

A candid photo with the excited kids of BAS
  It was participated in by more or less 300 kids who passionately enjoyed  the shooting clinic conducted by an NBA legend - Craig Hodges.

“I brought two championship to Chicago but  was never welcomed  this way.” Said by Craig Hodges as he was overwhelmed by a very warm welcome given to him by the Sorsoganons.
Immediately after his first step in Sorsogon, he was paraded along the city proper convoyed by 21 cars with enjoying BAS kids and parents who are rejoicing as it is their  first time to be visited by an NBA basketball icon.
The kids as they listen to an inspiring message of Team Hodge
He then proceeded to Villa Isabel for a press conference by 35 mediamen coming from 11 radio and  tv stations  from the province of Sorsogon. Representatives from the three print media were there also enjoying every answer Hodges is throwing  to them.
Mr. Hodges with Kevin Gray (left) during the press conference
Craig Hodges, a two-time champion (Chicago Bulls) in NBA, 3-time NBA 3-point Shoot-out and a former shooting coach of LA Lakes  stressed the importance of grass-root development so that Filipinos can develop better basketball program for the youth. He then pointed out that basketball is not all about heights but the most important thing is improving shooting skills.

A message from Sal Gupilan Jr and Craig Hodges
The 10-man Team Hodge, with Coach Dayong Mendoza and his coaching staff has imparted  scientific techniques and valuable inspiration to  Sorsogon basketball in this two day sports clinic brought by the LEaD (Lee, Escudero and Dioneda) Integrated Sports Program, Basketball Academy of Sorsogon and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas – Sorsogon Chapter.
Craig Hodges is giving his thoughts and wisdom to the young basketeers
The provincial gym was filled with entertainment especially at night when the black American clinicians displayed impressive power lay-ups and dunks. Craig  Hodges showed his accurate shooting powers.
In the second day, Craig Hodges went to Basia Auditorium, Bacon, Sorsogon City. There, the participants were almost doubled as they intensely wanted a first hand training from an NBA legend.
Kevin Gray, Hodge promoter extended his huge thanks to Sorsogon City for giving them such appreciation by the Sorsoganon.
A luncheon moment sponosred by Mr. Michael Sulit
“If not to  Mayor Leovic Dioneda, Cong. Sonny Escudero and Gov. Raul Lee with Mr. Michael Sulit, we were not able to bring and mark a history in basketball here in our province. From this day, any  participant  had a very significant stories to tell to his  children and grand children that there was a time Sorsogon was visited by an NBA Icon – Craig Hodges... and I was trained by him.” Said by Mr. Edgar Balasta, the project director of LEaD.

A photo session of  the kids with Craig Hodges
Craig Hodge event is the first project of the LEaD Integrated Sports Program aimed at providing Sorsogon a sustainable sports development program to help uplift sports performance of the athletes of the province.
Craig Hodges, inculcated the basics of shooting as he wanted every young child to memorize it, “Foundation, form, follow through.” These are the three words the three-pint shoot king left to the Sorsoganons.
Craig Hodges and Sir Ed Balasta photo session
Later, he proceeded to Naga City for a similar clinic and went to Metro Manila for his University tour. A week after, a news in Manila Bulletin came out that he is under a negotiation for coaching consultancy in San Miguel Beer team in Philippine Basketball Association. 
Spin! Spin!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Are we ready when earthquakes and tsunamis strike?

As of today,  hundreds of people are found dead and countless  are missing in Japan after being hit by M8.9 earthquake and the east coast cities and towns were savaged by a 13 meter-high tsunamis. That was the worst earthquake in Japan. 
The earthquake and tsunamis had created a whirlpool in seabed of Fukushima
 At least Japan has developed earthquake-proof buildings, and synchronized alarm systems that have helped evacuated millions of people before the tsunamis savaged the city. If not, maybe millions of dead people will float in the coasts of their cities. Remember, Tokyo alone has 30 million populations.
The busy city of Sindai, caught by a tsunami
Philippines is so blessed. Although we are in the so called “ring of fire,” we did not experience as big as this natural disaster. I cannot figure out if this happened to our country, maybe millions of people will die. Thanks God! 
A disastrous tsunamis heavily savaged this village
Yet, Japan’s disaster is a precaution to us. Such catastrophe may happen to us anytime, anywhere.
The question is how ready are we if these calamities strike our country? 
The shanty area of Manila, with  thousands of poor Filipinos living in poverty
In the Philippines, look at the shanty areas along the coastal areas of Metro Manila where millions of impoverished Filipinos are living. Though they are aware of the danger but  still, they risk their lives of staying along the seashore or they will die in hunger. 

Along the seeashore, our impoverished Filipinos squate riskily
According to Architect Palapoc, one of the best architects in the Philippines, it is safer to stay in a high-rise building rather than being trapped in a three or two storey edifice. He said, at least the government is strict in implementing the policies for tall buildings but not in low-rise structures. 
Philippines is too prone for tsunamis, too. Yet, people choose to live along the bayside for their daily living. 
The very poor conditions of houses prune to eartquake, fire and even tsunamis
Our concern is not only about taking care of the environment because natural disaster strikes like a thief in the night. Readiness and saving lives are among the key concerns we have to do.
Are we prepared when earthquakes come?  At least we can be warned with tsunamis yet nobody knows when earthquakes will strike. Nobody knows!
Imagine if an earthquake and tsunamis strike this city?
Earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruption, will be with us forever. They happened in the past and they will happen tomorrow and the next millions of years hence.
We can only hope that the Earth sciences of geology, seismology and related fields will keep improving in order to allow us to better understand and better prepare for the impending natural geological movements.

Again, are you ready when tsunamis and earthquake strike?

Monday, March 7, 2011


Millions of Filipinos leave the country to find a descent living in foreign lands. Approximately, there are nearly 11 millions of OFWs worldwide. Majority of them are domestic helpers and personal service workers. Others work as doctors, physical therapists, nurses, accountants, IT professionals, engineers, architects, entertainers, technicians, teachers, military servicemen, seafarers, students and caregivers.
Significantly, they had contributed a lot to the Philippine economy. In 2009, about US$17.348 billion in remittances was sent to the Philippines by overseas Filipino representing 13.5% of the country’s GDP.

More than 4 million OFWs are in the United States and 500 thousands are in Canada.
Europe became a working place and an alternative home for Filipinos. The UNited Kingdom is home to around 200,000 OFWs, while Italy has 131,000 Filipino migrants. Spain has 40,000; Greece , 40,000; Ireland, 11,500 and Norway, 12,000.

Australia has 127, 000 and New Zealand has 17, 000.

In our Asian neighboring countries, most OFWs are in Japan, 250,000; Singapore, over 150,000; Hongkong 140,000; Taiwan, 160,000 and South Korea, over 70,000;

Filipinos make up about 30% of the entire population of Sabah and they enumerate up to 900,000. They work in construction industries, fisheries, and other labor intensive sectors in hopes of a better living. Sad to say, they squatted in slum areas.

In the desert, we have more than 2 millions of OFWs mostly in Saudi Arabia and UAE. 3,000 mostly men working in military bases in Iraq. As many as 30,000 OFWs are in Lebanon. 28,000 OFWs are in Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen. These countries are in political unrest.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda urged the government to pass a P750 million emergency supplemental budget for the repatriation of OFWs in the affected mid-east countries.

Statistics show that there are 669,042 OFWs in the Middle East of which 28,000 Filipinos are working in Libya with 10,383; Bahrain – 15,001; Yemen – 1,417 and Egypt with 483 Filipino workers. These countries are currently under volatile political situation.

With the repatriation of 28,000 OFWs in the Middle East,  the country would loss $112 million in yearly remittances which could give a negative impact to the country’s economy.
At least the Aquino government aimed at “Zero Casualty” among our OFWs who were caught by the rising conflict in the Middle East.

As of today, our forced balikbayans continue to surge in the NAIA terminal. Thanks God, they are home safe now. Some went home unpaid of their salaries. They are getting at least P10,000 from OWWA and a promise that there are jobs waiting for them in the Philippines.

It is a sad reality, that Filipinos get greener pasture in foreign lands.  The Philippines is endowed with rich natural resources and skilled human race but cannot earn descent living here! Why?

While Philippines is said to be a champion of freedom and democracy, it is evident that people do not enjoy the material blessings of a free economy because of unbridled corruption in the government.

Rich countries in Middle East are fighting to overthrow dictatorship in their governments, but the Philippines is impliedly suffering totalitarianism in most local governance.

How many decades our local governance mostly in far flung provinces is being controlled by few, rich families? In reality, it seems that position in the government is something that is inherited. Are our leaders being elected based on their performance? Or, is it because they have more pesos to buy votes during election?

If our leaders performed well, there were no 11 million Filipinos who submit to be enslaved abroad in exchange of bread and honey.

Our desire is to see our people transformed into a group of performance-oriented community who install leaders based on what they achieved and what they can contribute for the betterment of the country.

I believe in the saying, “What starts well, ends well.” If we want a truly prosperous community, we should start promoting clean and good governance now!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Who's to be blamed?

As requested by some of my readers, I am now updating my blog with my articles published in my opinion column, VOX POPULI  in BUSINA BIKOL NEWS EXPRESS.

Filipinos are no excuse to the political chaos the world is  experiencing today particularly in the Middle east. 

Libya is in the headline of most international media because of the conflict between Gaddafi government and the protesters. As of today more than a thousand  people were dead because of this unrest. 

In Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is now 32  years in power  is facing street demonstrations both from organized opposition parties demanding reforms.

In Bahrain, protests continue to surge as Shi'ite majority wants to overhaul the government and overthrow the al-Khalifa dynasty which ruled Bahrain for 200 years, and the family dominates a cabinet led by the king's uncle, who has been prime minister since independence from Britain in 1971.

We have thousands of OFWs in the Middle East who are seeking for a rescue.

Last week, we are bothered of Taiwan and Hongkong’s indifference to our OFWs. In China, many overseas Filipinos workers are in death row because of drug-related crimes.

These are the undesirable situations our OFWs, our biggest revenue providers are facing today.
Although, President Aquino with his administration is also addressing these problems but its negative effect to our OFWs and to their families can never be under-estimated. As Filipinos, they deserve to have a peaceful life. Out of the country, they sacrificed to earn a living for their family because our government failed to provide them a better employment in their own land.

Last February 25, we celebrated EDSA People Power – the day that gave the Filipino people a big hope that Philippines will be a better country after it. Democracy has been restored! After two decades and a half, Philippines became one of the poorest countries in the world and I think the least improved nation in the Southeast Asian region.

Look around you. Who are getting richer and who gets poorer? Is this the kind of life our government is promising.

I believe, what is happening to us has the consent of our voting populace. We are embracing democracy, but during election most of us instantly submit themselves to be fooled by politicians who buy every vote either at P500 or P200, or even at a kilo of rice and a sardine.

Then, after the election people blamed the administration for incompetence and corruption. Abuse of power in the government is so deafening. Some of us became naïve and numb of malpractices in our government because of hopelessness.

I could say, we never learned from our lessons in the past. Unless we increase our self-worth and dignity, the kind of growth and development we desire for our country can never be attained.

Let us have a good start now. Increase self-respect and stand as men and women of democracy who are created by God with equal worth to anyone.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

CCDI champs in PCCL South Luzon- Bicol

CCDI: The Champion of South Luzon Bicol

 The Computer Communication Development Institute Wildcats marked 4-0 straight win in the recently concluded South Luzon – Bicol Championship of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League held last October 4 – 6, 2010 in Sorsogon Provincial Gymnasium. Such performance landed CCDI into the championship title of the South Luzon elimination.

Michael Adamos dominated the rebound against
the towers of Bicol College
CCDI did an impressive performance after sweeping the giant universities in South Luzon - Bicol area in the basketball league held last October 4 - 6, 2010 in Sorsogon Provincial Gymnasium, Sorsogon City. It has defeated the Manuel S. Enverga University of Lucena City, Ateneo de Naga Unveristy, Bicol College and Amando Cope College of TAbaco City

Dharen Lacdao, Wildcats captain ball did his defensive role 
to his team Wildcats
The CCDI Wildcats upset the Bicol College Maroons with a score of 90 - 63 in the final game. The Maroons were rattled of the run and gun offense strategy of the Wildcats.

The leap and the power of Adamos, an advantage of the
 Michael Adamos lead the Wildcats’ score making 16 points. Julius Jayona also did an impressive performance of 13 points. Jay Diesta and Shelby Gobris helped the scoring with 12 and 13 points, respectively in this regional tilt sponsored by the Rotary Club of Metro Sorsogon and Rotary Club of Pasig Sunrise.

“I am happy to say that Sorsogon college basketball has improved a lot. This team, though composed of a small lineup is characterized of great courage and huge heart for basketball, that is why they win,” said by Coach Joe Lipa, PCCL Executive Director.

Man-to man defense: The brick of the game
 Coach Ron Ryan Jalmanzar took the advantage of his power point guard, Shelby Gobris who orchestrated the game dominating the Maroons point guards in this league brought by Smart Communications and PLDT.

Basketball is not all about height. It's about heart.
 The Maroons were unsuccessful of making use of their height advantage over the Wildcats who did sustain stamina until the last quarter of the game. The lead continue to escalate as the key players of the Bicol College dropped to the ground one by one, when Coach Ron use his trapping defense and running attack.

Visuals, reflections must be used to win the game

Coach Ron, his authority over his men supreme in court.
 The Manuel S. Enverga University Foundations, Inc. landed runner-up for making 3-1 game standing. Enverga U failed to bring home the coveted championship trophy because of its defeat against CCDI Wildcats in the opening game.

The Ateneo de Naga University Knights submerged to fourth rank with 1-3 standing. The Knights were heavily savaged by CCDI with a score of 61-79. Ateneo was followed by Amando Cope College with 0-4 record.

Shelby Gobris was declared the Most Valuable Player while Julius Jayona (CCDI), Avila (Ateneo) Pelaez (Enverga) and Salinas (Bicol College) were rowed in the Mythical Five

Vice Mayor Bobet, Coach JOa Lipa and Sir Edgar Balasta
entertained, learned from the enigma of this game.

The sixth man of the game, its the crowd.

The Wildcats, inspired to play as the faculty memebrs and students
cheer for them.

Almost near to championship! Coach Ron, happy... very happy!

The celebration.. the cheers... it pumps up!

“PCCL is my most awaited league. I know how strong our opponents are. That is why, I keep my stamina strong. Thanks God, our sacrifices worked,” Gobris exclaimed.

“PCCL has helped developed our team become more competitive. My team knew where they will be going. They always look up to challenging UAAP and NCAA teams,” quoted by Coach Ron Jalmanzar.

The joy! Afther hardship... it's success!

The Wildcats, subsiding energies after the game.
It was the best game so far!

Together.. we won!

The mythical five... the MVP... Shelby Gobris

The Mythical Five: Shelby (CCDI) Julius Jayona (CCDI), Pelaez (Enverga), Salinas (BC)
and Avila (Ateneo)

It takes two to tango.. the MVP and the Best Coach

We started as One..
We win as One...

Life is worth celebrating for!

A snap photo with the father of collegiate basketball...
Coach Joe Lipa.
 The CCDI Wildcats will represent the South-Luzon in the Zonal Elimination which might be scheduled on November 8 – 12 to be held in ULTRA, Pasig City. Expected to compete with CCDI are National University and the University of Manila.

The future of Sorsogon Basketball
... Dandan and Mark

Proud to be our home grown  coach, Ron Ryan Jalamanzar
Player noon... BEst coach na ngayon!
It has been noted that CCDI was the Bicol’s official delegation for basketball men of the CHED National Games held in Manila last February, 2010.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

CCDI experiences in CHED Games 2010

CCDI delegation composed of 20 participants , had valuable experiences in CHED Games 2010 that deserves to be shared of.

Our learning from this game has molded us become better athletes and sports leaders. Nevertheless, the throttling discomfort and dismay due to lack of preparation and proper communication cannot be disregarded as part of learning experiences.
CHED Games is an initiative of Sec. Emmanuel Y. Angeles through the NAHEI or National Higher Education Institutions participated b three biggest nationwide sports association, the Private School Athletic Association (PRISAA), State Colleges and Universities Association (SCUAA) and the Local Colleges and Universities Association (LCUAA).

Bicol delegation was confronted by tremendous challenges in its participation to CHED Games. Amongst the issues were:

1. Lack of funding support of CHED to the Regional delegations in which was not the usual arrangement in the previous PRISAA-SCUA unified games, specifically those that were held in 2004 in Bacolod City (as I personally experienced) and in the previous years. In my opinion the supposed assistance to sports has been given to the first-ever National Academic and Cultural Competition, which was again initiated by the CHED Secretary.
2. Due to the first concern, Ateneo de Naga University (with 6 athletes) and the Universidad de Sta. Isabel (44 athletes) back-out in the participation to CHED Games. USI still sent delegates to the Academic and Cultural Competition. For whatever reason they had, we do respect their non-support to CHED Games.

3. Bicol delegation was informed to have a shuttle service vehicle, but found out to have nothing in its arrival to the venue. The issue was eased, when Dr. Villanueva informed us that Sec. Angeles pledge to help the delegation who does not have their own transportation vehicle of the athletes during their actual games.

Bicol delegation is composed majority of athletes from PRISAA having almost, 90% of athletes and the rest from SCUAA (Bicol University and Bicol Central University of Agriculture) and LCUAA. I thank Atty, Marito Bernales, President of CBSUA for personally taking care of the Bicol Delegation. Director Peralta was so supportive to our delegation ensuring that our athletes are safe from harm and that everything is in order. He was backed up by his education supervisors, Dr. Manny Mendoza and Mr. Mediavillo.

Officials of the delegation were composed of five (5) from PRISAA, 19 from SCUAA and three (3) CHED officials. Yet, in the actual games, some of the officials did not arrive in the venue! I just wonder why there are more SCUAA delegation officials considering that most of the athletes are from private school.

Bicol team was housed in Philippine State College of Aeronautics (PhiISCA). Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Ramirez and the dedicated support of his staff, students and security personnel. Our security is strict, but we understand it’s for our athletes’ safety.

Expectedly, our athletes was discomforted by severe heat in Manila. The very warm temperature was weakening us. I think it was 37 Celsius. Thick dusts from the nearby ongoing construction of Marriott Hotel annoyed the athletes. As a regular occurrence in Metro Manila, water supply became scarce and was aggravated by El Nino phenomenon. PHILSCA maintenance immediately responded by asking the help of the Barangay 185 of Pasay City which supplied us additional water.

Our delegation was peaceful. At 10:00 pm, everyone is inside the billeting area. The security officers are checking regularly seeing that everyone is around.

At 4:00 am, most of the athletes are awake preparing to the action of the game…

After that restless night of March 21, we were entertained by its Opening Ceremonies held in Rizal Memorial Complex.

These performance from nearly 2,000 performers of PHILSCA really did amaze the particpating athletes and the crowd as well

Amids the heat of the sun, the delegates from 17 regions of the Philippine archipelago stayed during the Opening of CHEd Games.

Though some are frustrated of the absence of President GMA, who is supposed to be the Guest of Honor of the CHED Games. The Philippine President was in Palawan that time.

Western Visayas (Region VI)

Region 8: EasternSamar:

REgion 10: Northern Mindanao


I should say one of the strongest competitor of NCR in sports is CEBU or Central Visayas. I really did admire the glamour and the personality of their delegation. It seems that there athletes are well-funded by their respective schools and LGUs.

REgion 7: Central Visayas

Region 5: Bicol Region

REgion 5 was not the smallest delegation in CHED Games despite of the absence of 44 USI athletes and 6 Ateneo de Naga athletes. Yet, our delegation was not as bubbly as the other regions.

I noticed that our parade attire is not uniform. Anyway, we have the same colors naman, black and gold.

I hope so, we should have brought our local leaders so they saw the difference of the sports of other regions compared with the Bicol Region.

Though we are pushing for sports development and its active integration in community activities, still our efforts became unwanted and less priorities.