Thursday, July 27, 2006

The unmaking of All Star Struck 3

BASKETBALL HAS BEEN part of my vocabulary long before I strummed the first chords of a 6-string guitar. Back then, I would summon all my powers and use all the available hand tools my father owns to put up a 4-inch diameter hoop on the trunk of an avocado in our backyard. All day, I would exhaust my energy flushing a rugged green tennis ball by all means, and by all moves.
From there on, basketball has been a source of life’s inspiration and desperation.
I love reading stories that revolve around basketball. Call me pathetic, but I easily get nostalgic whenever I watch a movie that shows bouncing basketballs. Space Jam, Like Mike, Coach Carter, Glory Road, these are some of the flicks that crank my brain and heart gears going.
It has also been part of my dream playing for the ultimate game with all the sweat and sparkles combined. That’s where the desperation comes in. (And I guess that’s another story).
I set aside basketball once but being in a group that knows this game so much, and talks about it for countless times, is enough reason to bring back the excitement it creates.
Three years ago, a band of young and fun loving men, and women too, met and worked in a company with a lot of differences in their own baggages. Some came and then went. Others stayed longer and still quit. While the rest of us are still here, working the same field, singing the same tune and still loves to play the same game.
That’s where the story of All Star Struck began...
Merging the celebrated All Star Circle and Star Struck tv shows, they coined HGST All Star Struck or HGST ASS as its unique name for a basketball team that will participate in the company’s festival of sports.
“Sali ako sa pangkat na nabuo, hindi lang dahil sa kagustuhan maglaro kundi dahil sa samahang tunay at totoo”
They played to the heart! They struggled and lost, but played for fun. The ladies were very supportive and they appeared more hyper than the LA Lakers cheerdancers.
The original roster consisted of the majority of the guys, but several others joined the team only on its second year along with other reinforcements.
I can say, the ASS second run is more prolific and refine than the team’s initial year. They played their best. They won games. They’ve given the others hard time before losing out. Most importantly, they prove that they indeed can play ball!
They didn’t reach the playoffs, though, but I guess they achieved more than what they expected.
The year after was a period of recession that marked a permanent wound to the ASS Dream-Believe-Survive theme. A lot of engineers quit in several months period including 4 ASS cagers that hammered the nail into the coffin. Either they found their dream jobs elsewhere and immediately packed their bags, or were disappointed and raised the white flag over something which will definitely lead to the company’s endless list of shortcomings.
It appears that All Star Struck 3 is no more a reality. Five or six players remained but only three vowed to stay.
I am one of the three.
The options are getting smaller by the tick of the clock, and the only thing I had in mind is form another team along with the two. Never give up until the fight is done.
The difficult part is scouting for players who would dive for a looseball. Of course, the best fishes in the ocean may have already been caught, so we have to stick it out with those who are willing to run with us.
Kickyo’ass is now our new team! I just hope that it’s our opponents asses that will be kicked when we start playing.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I COME TO think of all the reasons why I love and hate sta. rosa. Then all of a sudden, an astounding thought hit me.

In order for me to gauge this two measures of the place I currently stays in, I need to have a point of reference. So, why not Sta. Rosa meet Angeles City in a seemingly Morales-Pacquiao tale of the tape fashion? On hindsight, this is to further prove that Sta. Rosa is immature to have labeled itself as a “city”.

Positive (+) -->only 5 points

~Sta. Rosa is known as the little Detroit, or the motor city of the Philippines housing several car making facilities.
>Angeles don’t have car makers but duty free shops, and heaven knows these may have already shut down as of this writing due to Henry Sy’s hobby of absorbing the money of all mall goers and SM shoppers.

~Sta. Rosa is the location of the Enchanted Kingdom and the loveable Anchors Away
>Angeles City don’t. Only perya and fly-by-night carnivals

~Sta. Rosa is a 30 minute to 1 hour drive to Metro Manila. That’s if and only if you have a car!
>Angeles City is approximately 1 hour to two hour drive.

~Sta. Rosa is 30 minutes away from Tagaytay. Again, that’s if and only if you have a car. (Are you getting my point already?)
>Angeles City is a 4-hour travel to Baguio, the nearest cold place

{At this point, I was already struggling and squeezing my thoughts to write something that will encourage a positive note for Sta. Rosa}

~Sta. Rosa is part of the Laguna Technopark. Which simply means more jobs and huge government tax every payday automatically converted into pork barrels, bribe money and corruption paraphernalia.
>Angeles developed Clark Special Economic Zone

>Negative (-) --> a whopping -11 points

~Number 1. Traffic is terrible. Worst ever maybe here in the Philippines. The time that one will consume in travelling from Complex to, say, Laguna Belair during rush hours is ten years!
>Travelling the same distance in Angeles City will only prick you for 30 minutes to 1 hour. I highly do not recommend high blood people to go to Balibago at any hour of weekdays.

~Mode of public transport within Sta. Rosa
Jeepney = 5%(maybe)
Tricycle = 95% (of this rate, maybe 30-50% are dilapidated or smoke belchers, some drivers will even charge a novice job hunter in LTI for 75 to 100 pesos
>Angeles City
Jeepney = 100%
Tricycles are limited within villages.

~Since there are virtually no Jeepneys plying in all the routes of Sta. Rosa, you are so unlucky if you stayed too late outdoors. The cost of going home definitely hurts the pocket especially when you’re alone. A 50-peso fare will take you from point A to point B.
>If you stayed late in Angeles City, you can go home with a 50 peso stash and still buy yourself a coke and a hotdog over at seven eleven.

~So if you have a car, that’s an affirmative. Otherwise... hehe
>Owning a car in Angeles City contributes to the desecration of the Ozone layer

~Sta. Rosa -> Paseo de Sta. Rosa
>Angeles City -> Fields Avenue {need I say more?}

~Sta. Rosa boasts three malls in its geography: Henry Sy’s SM, Robinson Mall, and Target Mall
>Angeles City have countless malls, namely: SM Clark, Robinson’s Angeles, Nepo Mall, Jenra Mall, Saver’s Mall, Jaypee Mall, Bart Mall, Sandra Mall(this mall is so tiny, it can vie for the Guinness Record of smallest mall), etc

~Sta. Rosa has Dela Salle Canlubang, Saint Scholastica Westgrove (these are only high school and college institutions)
>Angeles City has Holy Angel University, Angeles University Foundation (these two are universities)

~Sta. Rosa are geographically divided. Rich people live in suburbs like villages, while the not so rich and poor hide in the shacks of Tagapo
>Angeles City builds bridges as shelter of the poorest of the poor

~Fishballs, Kikiam, Kwek-kwek, One-day Old and Tukuneneng are rarities in Sta. Rosa.
>In Angeles, there is a rendezvous of these vendors in almost all major places where people gather, and you can spot a wheeler selling this best Filipino food in any road or street corner.

~Sta. Rosa has Tudings
>Angeles City pride is the Crossings!

~Sta. Rosa speaks the following languages: English, Taglish, Tagalog
>Angeles City blabbers in 4 different ways: English, Taglish, Tagalog, Kapampangan

Angeles City wins by unanimous decision (11-5)!