Who is Ramon Fernandez?

The NBA lockout did what everyone feared it could do to the NBA season: postponed training camps, cancelled preseason games, and the Smart Gilas Pilipinas out of the FIBA World Championships and the Olympics anew, which is not related to the NBA lockout but sucks, too.

As I mourned these losses, I thought about posting something on the NBA website (where I read the horrible news) about me applauding a young Philippine team that lost its remaining hopes of getting to the World Championships. And then I thought, what could have happened if the team had the likes of Robert “Sonny” Jaworski and any other legend in their prime? Could they have faired better against the current teams of China? Europe? The NBA All Stars?

So I googled Mr. Jaworski and found out about how old he was the last time he was in a basketball court either as a player or a coach (or both!). Scrolling down Wikipedia, I stumbled upon the name of another legend I’ve first heard of back in college. One of my classmates said our professor who has the same last name as the player looked just like him and when asked how he’s related to the player, he didn’t say a thing.

This player was described by Wikipedia as “generally [sic] the greatest basketball player (and certainly the best and most revolutionary player at the center position) produced by the Philippine Basketball Association”.

I haven’t been much of a fan of Philippine basketball and the local players as I know for a fact that most of the guys are not made the way they were back in the days of old. A friend of mine once said that in the past, basketball players were trained to play ALL five positions from point guard to center. Nowadays, they’re trained to play their designated positions, often in accordance to their height and weight. So I’m obviously not a fan of high scorers. Although my favorite player is strictly (and arguably) the best point guard in Steve Nash, I’m also a fan of Oscar Robertson, a retired triple-double machine in his prime.

Ramon Fernandez is not your typical basketball player. Tall enough for the forward and center positions, but with the dribbling, passing and shooting skills of a combo guard. Leader in career points, rebounds and blocks total, and number two overall in career assists and steals. Had four MVPs on four different teams, nineteen championships (the equivalent of six championships in the NBA as the PBA runs three championships a year), one Grand Slam Title or won all three championships in a single year, six all-star games, thirteen Mythical First Selections, three Second Team selections, included in the PBA’s 25 Greatest players list and the Hall of Fame. He was a member of the 1973 FIBA Asia championship and the 1990 Asian Games silver medal teams. So who’s to say we didn’t have anyone who can compare against NBA stars? For more info about this behemoth, just google him.

It’s tough not to wish athletes don’t age at times when your local favorite can’t make it in the international scene, isn’t it? The Philippines was one of the best teams in Asia a long time ago, finishing First Place in the FIBA Asia Championships several times and is the only Asian country to have a FIBA Championship title albeit a bronze one. Forget the fact that no pure blooded Filipino has been to the NBA. We still have the halfblood prince of defense, Mr. Rodman, don’t we?


The number of 0s I got for writing something stupid.

How many times have I used a question lead at the beginning of an essay?

This would be the nth time, probably. This would be the nth time I’d get on my teacher’s nerve, too, if he/she were to read this.

I cannot remember the last time I got scolded for writing pieces of crap. But I do remember the last time I did so and got an ovation for it. At that time, I actually wrote nothing. Actually, it was part of three articles I wrote for a feature writing class homework. College, in laymen’s terms. Every time I talk about this, I remember all those times in my whole school life that I didn’t listen to the teacher’s instructions. You see, the instruction was to write a how-to article, one that’s similar to those things written for dummies published with a yellow cover. (Somebody actually had the knack to use that color for a book he entitled after a people’s knack to read a book upside down. He got rich, that bastard.)

So I wrote something out of my strange urge to get everyone’s attention in class aggravated by the cold of the room I lived in back then. My mind should have gone blank if not for three things: one, my grades and two, my failure in arithmetic—I had to repeat counting sheep over and over because I can’t get past 2.

I can’t remember what the first article was about at this moment. I’ll try to dig it out of my email sometime. The third one, probably the second stupidest part of that mistake, was entitled “How to Eat a Cookie” and featured Cookie Monster, that blue muppet who doesn’t know how to share, who I imagined was with me the whole time I wrote the trio of articles that should soon fail me.

And the second one. That was the bomb. It was entitled “How to Fail a Feature Article”. That’s where I forgot to write anything. Or maybe I intended to do that to get on my teacher’s nerve. Guess I got his attention. I didn’t get an 0, though. So much for appropriate titles.

Dark Goya

I have not the answers to the question of the hammer-smashed, chainsaw-shredded, and C4-blasted heart pertaining to what kind of evil person would put the picture of some actress on the wrapper of an already perfectly good chocolate.

Before and After Dec 21 2012. Courtesy of KRAMmed

After taking all that crap from the big screen shift of The Last Airbender, I get a payload one day while taking a stroll around the supermarket looking for chocolate–yes, there’s more wordiness where that came from. I find one of my favorite brands of the bitter sweet delight vandalized by the face and signature of some celebrity I’m not a fan of.

First thing’s first: I do not have any problem with these mass media-produced personalities as long as I don’t have to see them while I eat. This kind of low-blow advertising should keep itself attached to hair products, facial cleansers or whiteners, or soaps–pardon the stereotyping but that’s just reality. I just can’t eat shampoo. It’s not that I’m trying to protest the candy maker’s advertising tactics. But my brain is against every unethical allegory one can think of while eating the chocolate bar. The main ingredient itself is enough aphrodisiac. Why ruin that? That’s like putting sprinkles on good ice cream! Didn’t they listen to Numbuh 5 of Sector V?

Kidz Next Door aside, somebody ought to tell Goya to stop this madness.To make matters worse, I heard that lady in the picture just got her heart broken by some jerkass. Now what’ll her fans do, eat chocolate while crying?