Watch List: NBA All-Star 2012

I did not even realize that it was already the NBA All Star Weekend. I was not able to cast in my vote!!

The West All Stars won, 152 against the East All Star’s 149.  My man Kevin Durant took the game MVP home.

LeBron James scored 36 like Kevin Durant. If the East would have won, I bet he would have taken home the MVP.

Kobe is now the all time leading scorer in the All Stars, surpassing Michael Jordan (G.O.A.T), with 27 points in the game, 271 points all time. Here is the dunk that gave him the title, from NBA.com.

Here are the rosters:

Shortened season or not, the All Star game is still a fun event to watch, even if I am a thousand miles away.

Watch List: The Vow

Here is another case of “see the movie for yourself” thing…..

I have heard of this movie from co-workers, and also read the reviews online, and people and critics were not impressed with the movie.  The trailer:

Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum are the leads in this movie. Marla and I watched this as a Valentine’s Day Movie, although we watched it on the 18th (yes, I know… I am only posting it now…) It was not a movie that I wanted to see at first, not because it was a romance movie, I am perfectly fine with romance films. I am a guy who watches chick flicks all the time, as long as it is a good movie. I was hesitant because of the negative feedback.

My co-workers said, they only watched the movie because Channing was in it. They were a bit disappointed with the movie though, and was expecting more from it.

Mr. Tatum

IMDB, the site I normally go to for movie ratings, only gave it 6.5 stars (out of a possible 10). Rotten Tomatoes had an average of 4.9 out of 10 for the movie, although 66% of the reviewers liked it.  A description going like this, would leave you doubtful too:

The Tomato Rating

  Once inside the movie house, Wrath of the Titans’ trailer greeted me, and I forgot the reviews, and waited for the film to start. I was not disappointed at all, and liked the movie very much. Paige’s (McAdams) memory loss was very scary, especially when you think of the “what if” scenario: What if it happens to us??

  I am a bit distracted with Channing though. Whenever I see him, I always expect him to break out in a dance number anytime. Maybe the Step Up movies made him a bit stereotyped.

  The opening sequence was very memorable, with Paige going through the windshield. Her parents in the movie also convinced me that they were against Leo (Tatum).

Ms. McAdams

Rachel McAdams’ portrayal of the real life Paige was okay too. I guess I am biased, since I wanted another actress for the role. I just forgot her name, and I only realized it after seeing a couple of scenes of Leo and Paige.

Oh, and this was based on a true story too! I was not aware, until I saw the acknowledgement at the end of the movie. The real Paige  (SPOILER ALERT) was not able to regain her memory, but they still ended up together, which is a good thing.

My favorite bit in the movie? When Leo was feeling a bit out of place in the rich crowd of Paige’s family and friends. I can relate a bit, since I felt out of place all the time  when I was still in high school and college, with a lot of spoiled students.

I saved the tickets too:

from Market! Market!

Different Sides of A Coin

It’s not unusual for me to see foreigners waking around, especially if I am on my way to Ayala, the place where I work. But I must admit that when I was younger, it is a mini surprise when I see non-Filipinos walking around the place where I usually go.

A friend of mine, who also happens to be my foreign boss, told me a very interesting observation: she gets ogled a lot more than the other Asian countries that she visits. “Is it because I’m black?” was her punch line.  I did a little observing of my own, too.  When we went out to eat, people did stare a bit, longer than usual. We even made it a game to count how many people would give a stare, or even a second or third look at the tall lady walking alongside small, and “regular looking” Filipinos.

"They think I'm Oprah or something!"

We talked about it all day, and we told her that Filipinos are not really  used to seeing foreigners. We still have this xenophilic attitude, that we automatically assume that all foreigners are here for a couple of reasons. One is because they’re looking for a relationship (long term or short), or that they are on vacation, like they only go to the Philippines to have rest and recreation, which sort of goes back to point 1.

just an example - no offense meant

People also have this idea that if you are with a foreigner, you might be just mooching his or her money. So imagine that ogles that my boss is getting, then imagine that judgmental looks that we get after that. You get the idea why I would want to avoid even having a conversation with any foreign counterparts, bosses, or even subordinates outside the office.

Even the waiters in the place where we ate automatically assumed that our foreigner would be footing the bill. The first time we sat down, he gave the menu to our guest, and only to our guest. When he was taking orders, he was talking strictly to my boss. He just acknowledged us when our guest told him to take our orders.  My boss noticed it, and yes, it is a bit insulting, but that’s how it really is, I told her.  When we asked for the bill, he gave it to our guest and asked if she was going to pay for our orders, too. I took the bill from the waiter’s hand, I admit that I got mad at this point. I literally snatched it from him, put the payment in, told him to “keep the fucking change” and slammed it on the table. We walked out from there and never went back.

She tried to make light of the situation. She told me that Filipinos always think that she has money, just because she looks different. When she tried to shop, she was given steeper prices. Good thing that she has one of my teammates with her. She finds it hard most of the time, because even she needs to watch her budget.

As much as we want to have this stigma removed, it is not an easy task since most of the ladies that I saw with foreigners fit the stereotype.

Sad, but the stereotype is not a stereotype. It’s a fact, and because of that, it’s a burden for everyone else.

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I met an Aussie lady last Friday, on a bus, on my way to work. Her name is Emilé, though I am just basing the spelling on how she pronounced it.   She was on her way to the mall, a few meters where my office is located. She went in the bus hesitantly since she was not sure if she was boarding the right bus. She has good reasons to be hesitant, since our buses are a bit scary.

I was sitting in the front, just behind the driver’s seat. I did not notice her until she stood next to me and motioned that she was going to take a seat. I moved a little away, and proceeded to mind my own business, which is observing the people’s reaction to her.

Stares of disbelief. I even heard a couple say: “Wow nagbus siya! Bakit kaya?” (“Wow! I wonder why she took the bus?”). 

I couldn’t help but to shake my head.

She paid the bus conductor, and she asked for directions. The conversation was going nowhere fast, so I decided to butt in. I asked her where she was going.

The look on her face was priceless. It’s like “you speak English??”

She apologized and told me that she tried talking to people and no one was able to understand her. I told her that not everyone in the Philippines can speak English, but that not everyone does not know how to speak  English.

I gave her the direction, and she felt relieved. I told her that most foreigners get lost because they do not ask the right people. I also assured her that the mall she’s going to should have more English-speaking natives.

I asked her if she knows any Filipino words. She said no, since it was her first time here. I advised her to try to learn a few words, since she was on another country.

It is going to be for the better too.

We walked the same direction. She asked if there was anything else she needed to know.

I told her to just be careful and enjoy her stay. I did warn her of one thing though.

Stay away from shopping malls. She would not be able to avoid the temptation.  

The J-Lin Fever

My LA Lakers is not doing good, so my attention has been deferred to another. Jeremy Lin of the New York Knickerbockers has been on a tear lately. What’s more surprising is he was not even supposed to be playing for NY. He was supposed to be released from the team, but he was given an opportunity to play, and he delivered, way above the expectations. I also know that this also became a bigger hype because he’s Asian, so the Asian community all over the world started to tune in, including me. NBA is an American’s sport, and European players are now becoming as dominant or as good as their US counterparts. Asian basketball, admittedly, is not on the same level as the 2 mentioned countries, and Yao Ming was the only representative of All Star caliber, so it is a breath of fresh air (or relief) that J-Lin has stepped up.

He has been scoring more than 20+ points since he started for the Knicks, an to cap off his meteorical rise, he hit a game winner on Toronto’s home turf. Here’s the YouTube video:

It’s like the exclamation point to signal that he would be able to continue what he is currently doing, and that he is not a one-hit wonder.

Looking back at the video, it’s odd that the home town crowd of Toronto was cheering for Lin of the opposing team. I played competitive basketball too, and it would suck big time if the crowd at our place would be supporting the other team.

Pet Peeves in the Office 1

 Part of my rant week:

I just hate it when my co-workers start to “talk rich”. All they ever talk about are their car/s, their vacations, golf, and how they just have an overall better life. Crap, it makes me think about my “regular” life. They do not even talk to me directly about it, mind you, they just talk to each other with their regular tone of voice, which usually means that you’d be able to hear what they’re talking about even if you were 2 rooms away. This is normally accompanied by cuss words with a bit of accent, and high pitched laughs. They’re ladies, if you care to ask, and no offense meant.

Another thing I hate is when people at the office give tips on how to stay healthy, then they cite their sources, which turns out to be Facebook. Plus the people that would give health “advice” does not look so healthy either. Sometimes they ask for my opinion, just because I work out and have a health care background (3 years of nursing, which does not make me an expert). I politely decline and just tell them that I am not sure. I don’t want to be responsible for any wrong information resulting to their weight staying the same, or increased weight.

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Don’t you just hate it when you’re rushing to the elevator and someone presses the ‘close’ button? How about when you are halfway in the elevator and someone still presses the ‘close’ button and almost have your nose or head trapped between the doors?

I try to prevent this from happening to others, just to get my karma straightened out, but some people would still press and hold the close button.  Unfortunately, most of the time I would always look like I was the one closing the doors, too. Then the person who is actually closing the doors would look at me with the “What the hell are you thinking?” face. I would love to smash him/her.

Working is a lot of fun, but pet peeves are pet peeves. Although sometimes I am thinking that it’s just me.

Scratch-Your-Head-News Week #2

Another week, another case of newspaper articles that left me hanging my head in dismay.

The editorial headline:  Philippine Cops Cannot Shoot Straight.

  I read it right, and you are too. Majority of our “cops” cannot shoot straight even if their lives depended on it. More importantly, they would not be able to shoot straight even if our lives depended on it.

Unless they get the training that they need.

NINETY per cent of Philippine police cannot shoot straight or clean their guns properly, according to recent firearms proficiency tests, an official said.

That’s a big deal, considering that a lot of them does not even have firearms.

To give them the benefit of the doubt, some policeman “sharpshooters” (not sure if there are really more than one) mentioned that the course was really difficult, and not even they could ace it.

In another part of the world:

I still don’t get why riots would come after a sporting event…..

Scratch-Your-Head-News Week #1

 

I have been busy rattling my head with a new post (or posts) last week that I have failed to recognize that most of the articles that I read had been very, for a lack of a better term, cringe-worthy. I do not know how I came across these articles, but I was very thankful that I did, since most of it would affect me, if not today, in the future, one way or another.

Here’s the first one, off one of our local newspaper (Manila Bulletin):

     The Department of Education (DepEd) has decided to drop SCIENCE from the roster of subjects taken by incoming Grade 1 pupils in line with its efforts to decongest the basic Education Curriculum and to make learning more enjoyable to young learners. 

Also, according to the article, the subjects for the first graders under the new K-12 curriculum would be:

  1. Mother Tongue
  2. Filipino
  3. Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao
  4. Music, Art, Physical Education and Health (MAPEH) 
  5. Mathematics
  6. Araling Panlipunan
  7. English – which will be taught in the second semester and will mainly focus on fluency.

I am not entirely sure what their plan is, but if you read “decided to drop Science from the roster subject” for Grade 1 pupils, I am pretty sure you would also be scratching your head, and ask a lot of questions. My questions are as follows:

  1. How is Science going to be discussed in the Second Grade if the basics, which was supposed to have been covered in the First Grade, would not be part of the new curriculum?
  2. How is removing Science going to make learning fun?
  3. What the hell is Mother Tongue doing in this list if Filipino is already part of it?
  4. Even English – it’s going to have a different route?

Now, I am not an educator, or even someone who knows how to run education related programs, but I do know that science was a big part of my first few years of school. If they want to really make learning “more fun” for the students, why not add more competent teachers? Create more classrooms/schools so the students have a shelter while studying? The picture below is a sample:

I have a few more suggestions: Update the text books, and make sure that there are no factual errors (for the Love of God!), create something that would alleviate the tuition fees, and maybe then, the students would have fun in learning.

And I also need to research more about the Mother Tongue subject. As far as I know, this subject would teach Tagalog. My only concern is, I don’t think this would be necessary, since we have a lot of people living in different areas that has their own dialect/s, and they would not have much use for it anyway, unless they plan on going to Manila or somewhere predominantly Tagalog. 

   A bit more reading told me that the DepEd is planning to just “integrate Science in other subjects”. Uh, I wonder HOW? One minute, a student will be learning about our National heroes (just for example), and then the next minute, a bit of Science would be introduced.

  “Dr. Jose Rizal, our Pambansang Bayani, was executed by Spanish Firing Squad. Did you know that the blood that came out of Jose Rizal is composed of RBCs, WBCs…?”

 Kids would be left scratching their heads, and their seatmates’ heads too.

Another thing, what if the kid is interested in science? What if the kid is fond of watching educational information channels like Nat Geo and Discovery, but was not able to supplement his/her interest at school? Wouldn’t that be “not fun” for that kid?

There are a lot of loopholes in this curriculum, and there are a lot of questions too. Maybe the Department should also start hiring “Secretaries” that knows something about education.

I don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist, but are these people (in the government) planning to dumb down Filipinos bit by bit so their sons/daughters/relatives can stay in power? Seems so.