Tuesday, April 30, 2013

No matter how busy you are, you must take time to make the other person feel important.

Our loved ones actually don't demand to be treated like VIPs. They are happy to be remembered from time to time, not really all the time. There are many ways to skin a cat in this age of technology: a text message, a miscall, a Facebook inbox message. Being "busy" is not an excuse to take a person that gives us genuine happiness for granted.
Love is when the other person's happiness is more important than your own.

The amount of happiness we poured on our loved ones is an emotional investment that can never be recovered once they betray us. The kind of investment loss that will leave us badly bruised and wrecked emotionally.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Crucial vote that made Ninoy Aquino senator

Crucial vote that made 
Ninoy Aquino senator

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." MELODY BEATTIE  

By Alex P. Vidal

The person responsible for the rise of the Aquinos in national politics was the late former Senator Rodolfo "Roding" Ganzon, who had also served as Iloilo second district congressman and Iloilo City mayor.
It was the late former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr., father of President Noynoy, who started the serious political juggernaut of the illustrious family from Tarlac in Luzon when he became the youngest mayor in the country and the youngest senator in 1967.
Liberal Party's (LP) Aquino was not qualified to sit as senator based on the age qualification for the position under the 1935 constitution. Born on November 27, 1932, Aquino was only 34 when he was elected, but was 35 by the time he took his oath. Thirty five was the age qualification for senator.
The Electoral Tribunal, composed of court justices and representatives from the Senate and the House of Representatives, tackled Aquino' s case and ended in a deadlock. Ganzon's deciding vote favored the brilliant politician from Tarlac and paved the way for Aquino's meteoric  rise in national politics. Ganzon's vote angered President Ferdinand Marcos, who was with the Nacionalista Party (NP).  


When Martial Law was declared in 1971, both Aquino and Ganzon were arrested and charged with sedition, illegal possession of firearms, and murder. Ganzon was found guilty of murder while Aquino was found guilty of all three charges. 
Hilarion Henares, Jr., who ran for senator together with Aquino in 1967 and lost, recalled that  while a battery of lawyers of national stature defended Aquino, "no one volunteered to help Roding. While Ninoy was in isolation in a comfortable cell, Roding was in a crowded cell in Cebu with hardened criminals, in his underwear, soaked in sweat, vomit, urine and feces." 
Henares said Ninoy was rich and his family lived normally. Ganzon, on the other hand, had P2,704 in his bank account when he was jailed, and his 10 children stopped schooling for the duration.  "One day his wife realized he was gone and fainted from sheer shock, hit her head on the cement floor: no one helped with the medical bills. She is 80 percent inutile, can’t talk, urinates and defecates with her clothes on. Roding still pays P5,000 a month for her operation," recalled Henares. 


This political utang na loob (debt of gratitude) of Aquino to Ganzon, dubbed as "Timawa prince" and "stormy petrel of the south," has been mentioned several times in various national dailies during that period until Aquino's wife, Corazon, became president via EDSA Revolution in 1986.
"During the snap election," recalled Henares,  "Marcos told Roding that he was a marked man along with Evelio Javier, unless he campaigned for Marcos in Iloilo. My wife and I met him at the house of Eva Kalaw, as we tried vainly to convince Eva to join Cory in Urdaneta. Roding was then agonizing over his decision to join or not to join Marcos, to live or to die, and realizing what happened to his family when he was in jail, he choose to survive." 
"Ganzon campaigned for Marcos for 14 days. He was persecuted by Marcos for 14 years. When he ran for mayor of Iloilo, he won overwhelmingly over the Lopez-Salonga candidate by 10,000 votes; the candidate of Paul Aquino by 20,000; and that of Laurel by 20,500."


But instead of joining forces when President Ferdinand Marcos, common Martial Law  tormentor of Aquino and Ganzon, was ousted by People Power after the 1986 snap elections, President Cory and Ganzon parted ways and traded barbs  like arch enemies. As Iloilo city mayor, Ganzon became a constant thorn in President Cory's administration accusing the first woman president of political persecution and promoting the "illegal" small town lottery (STL) through then interior and local government Secretary Luis Santos.
Ganzon and President Cory became bitter enemies even after they retired in politics and up to their death, they never reconciled.
Without that crucial vote by Ganzon in the Electoral Tribunal, Aquino would not have become senator. Tita Cory would not have been President; Kris Aquino would not have been a famous actress; Noynoy Aquino would not have been noticed and would not have been President.
Interestingly, Ganzon's son, Jeffrey, is running for vice mayor of Iloilo City in the May 2013 elections versus the incumbent,Jose Espinosa III.  President Noynoy is supporting Espinosa, not Jeffrey. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

We produce country's quality lawmakers, governors

We produce RP's quality lawmakers, governors

"The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been." HENRY A. KISSINGER 

By Alex P. Vidal

Before we further insult Ilonggo history and culture by electing more mediocre and incompetent leaders into public office in the May elections, we must always remember that Iloilo was once the chief producer of the country's quality executive leaders, legislators and even diplomats. 
This was the era when the electoral system was not yet impaired, when leaders were chosen based on their competence and qualifications, when political zarzuela wasn't yet at fever-pitched. 
Good leaders elected even without the help of deceptive and confusing propaganda machine that blurred the demarcation line between reel and real world, when chaffs were separated from the grains. 
We had Amado Avanceña (first district), Nicolas Jalandoni (second district), Salvador Laguda (third district), Adriano Hernandez (fourth district) and Regino Dorillo (fifth district) as our first representatives in the Philippine legislative body in 1907. A pride of Molo, Avanceña became governor of Iloilo.
The first Speaker pro tempore in history and the youngest in the first Philippine legislature was Nicolas Jalandoni of Jaro. The famous general of the Revolution was Adriano Hernandez of Dingle, Iloilo who became the first secretary of agriculture. During the first world war, he was the commander of the Second Regiment of the Philippine National Guard. He would have been sent to Germany during the first world war.


The famed Evangelista brothers -- Daniel and Jose, simultaneously represented the fourth district of Iloilo in the Philippine Legislature
An Ilonggo delegate to the 1935 Constitutional Convention, Tiburcio Lutero had been assemblyman in third and fourth districts of Iloilo. Former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo's grandfather, second district Assemblyman Jose Ma. Arroyo also became senator. His brother, Mariano, served as governor.
Senator Ruperto Montinola had served governor and assemblyman in the second district of Iloilo. He was also delegate and vice president of the 1935 Constitutional Convention. His daughter, Gloria Montinola Tabiana, became congresswoman. According to lawyer and historian Rex Salvilla, President Manuel Quezon called Montinola "El Coloso del Sur" (Colossus of the South) for being a principled oppositionist.
Wartime Panay and Romblon Governor Tomas Confesor also was assemblyman in the third district of Iloilo and delegate to the 1935 Constitutional Convention. Known as the Stormy Petrel in the Legislature, Confesor became senator and the first secretary of commerce and interior and senator. His brother, Assemblyman Patricio, also became governor.
Assemblyman Jose Ma. Lopez Vito Sr. of the second district was governor, justice of the Supreme Court and first chairman of the Commission on Elections. His grandson, Rafael Lopez Vito, became the first congressman of the lone district of Iloilo City.


Salvilla said there was a time when three Tomases served simultaneously in the Legislature – Tomas Confesor of the third district, Tomas Buenaflor of the fourth district and Tomas Vargas of the fifth district. Confesor later became senator and Vargas governor. A grandson of Buenaflor, Roberto Armada was former vice governor.
Congresswoman Gloria Montinola-Tabiana of the third district is the first Ilongga lawmaker. She succeeded her husband, Ramon C. Tabiana, a second termer. She was a daughter of Senator Ruperto Montinola. Congressman Ricardo Y. Ladrido of the fourth district was the only dentist lawmaker in Iloilo. Congressman Pedro G. Trono of the first district was the only pharmacist-doctor legislator in Iloilo. His wife, Lourdes Trono, was delegate to the 1973 Constitutional Convention. Congressman Licurgo Tirador of the third district was delegate to the 1973 Constitutional Convention, governor, mayor and provincial broad member. His father, Federico Tirador, Sr. was assemblyman of the fourth district. Congressman Jose C. Zulueta of the first district was the President of the Senate. He was also governor.
Fernando Lopez was senator and the only three-termer Vice President of the Philippines, city mayor and secretary of natural resources. His son, Alberto Lopez was congressman of the third district and daughter-in-law, Emily Lopez was governor and first congresswoman of Guimaras. Congressman Oscar Ledesma of the second district was senator, governor and ambassador to the United States. He was one of those who refused to receive his backpay as assemblyman after the war. Congressman Fermin Caram, Jr. of the second district was the son of Fermin Sr., governor and delegate to the 1973 Constitutional Convention. His daughter-in-law Tita Caram was city mayor. Congressman Pascual Espinosa of the second district was the only labor leader lawmaker of Iloilo.


Assemblyman Venancio Cudilla of the fifth district opened northern Iloilo by building the San Nicholas mountain road from Barotac Viejo to Ajuy, added Salvilla. Before this, people from the northern towns go to Iloilo City by a circuitous route via Roxas City or by sailboat from various ports of Ajuy. Assemblyman Atanacio Ampig of the third district died during the sinking of SS Corregidor in Manila Bay at the outbreak of the war.
Assemblyman Esperidion Guanco of the fourth district became senator. Assemblyman Francisco Villanueva of the second district was a high ranking official of the Estado Federal de Bisayas during the Philippine Revolution and later senator.
With all these Ilonggo greats carving a niche in national politics in the pre-internet epoch, the responsibility rests on our shoulders to elect the most qualified if not the best mayors, governors, congressmen and representatives in the May 2013 elections. We deserve only the kind of leaders that we elect. No ifs. No buts. 
Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.

Silence in any conversation ceases to become an art if there was inferential hostility and animosity before everything turned into silence.
Not to be loved is a misfortune, but it is an insult to be loved no longer.

If someone has stopped loving us, either we have become complacent and did nothing to refurbish our marketability or our appeal, value and substance have diminished -- or the person who had professed love to us was really a nincompoop from the very start.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.

No one will touch us with a ten-foot pole when we allow our thoughts and emotions to engage in civil war. The internal conflict will do the damage in our respiratory, digestive, circulatory, reproductive, endocrine, and nervous systems.
The best revenge in the world is success.

While we count our blessings and dance with angels in heaven, our tormentors carry heavy rocks in hell in a self-inflicted punishment brought by their demagoguery.
A great mind becomes a great fortune.

Our ability to stretch our mind to a higher level until it reaches the plateau of creativeness and productiveness will produce fecundity and bring us both material and intellectual wealth.
Oppression is more easily endured than insult.

People who lack talent and self confidence resort to oppression because they can't measure up to our mental strength and principles. Those with low self esteem use insult because they think we are inferior or suffering from shortage of ideas.
We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.

The more we become great, the less we should feel superior. The more we feel small despite our greatness, the more that we will be adored, loved and respected.
We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature.

Law of change is the best evidence of growth and improvement. It can neither be repelled nor legislated. Its implementing rules and guidelines is absolute obedience. 
Men are not great or small because of their material possessions. They are great or small because of what they are.

Wealth, or lack of it, can not compensate for our deficiency in values, character and talent. Rich or poor, our handicap is when we start to doubt our competence and barricade our learning process.
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.

He has abundance in life who is able to maximize a meager resources for his needs and quantify extra amount for his wants. 
Most bad behavior comes from insecurity.

Insecure characters feel naked and are feverishly tormented by the thought that even dimwits will soon dislodge them from their imagined throne. Thus they give themselves away by unconsciously gnashing their teeth to amplify their paranoia.
I believe the first test of a truly great man is in his humility.

Humility can be best manifested by how we handle the avalanche of success and blessings we garnered in life, no matter how nondescript may be the characters that salute or heap praises on us.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Elect all women candidates

Elect all women candidates 

"The desire of the man is for the woman, but the desire of the woman is for the desire of the man." MADAME DE STAEL

By Alex P. Vidal 

Now is the right opportunity for us to choose more women leaders to reinforce our nation building. We can best manifest this desire by helping elect all women candidates in the local, regional and national elections. 
In global perspectives, more advanced countries pick women as leaders. Women nowadays are getting much attention in the corporate world; some of the best minds in medicine, diplomacy, legislative assembly, information technology, world politics, education, engineering, among other fields traditionally ruled by men, are women.
Some of us might differ greatly in our attitude toward the status of women as leaders, but I believe that both men and women embody the perfection of the human species. We must start to regard women as in every way the equal of men, save for the petite difference. In this Aquarian age, it can't be denied that some women have eclipsed men in some respects.
Our culture developed in a patriarchal dominance. In fact, it was both the Old and New Testaments in the Bible that placed women in a subordinate position abetted by some ancient philosophers who were little kinder to them. A woman was a mere helper to man, and she was expressly put under man's dominion at the time of the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. 


The Bible says St. Paul enjoined women to be submissive to their husbands, and imposed silence and passivity on them in matters of church government and doctrine.
I personally admire Aristotle whose philosophy was adopted by St. Thomas Aquinas, but history shows he was wrong on two major issues: astronomy and women. Aristotle, a tutor of Alexander The Great and Plato's student, believed in the geocentric astronomy which was proven wrong by Galileo's heliocentric theory. 
Plato disagreed with Aristotle on women. Plato's advocacy of social and political equality for women is the most famous break in the solid front of the ancients against feminine equality. Plato, whose philosophy was adopted by St. Augustine, believed that "there is nothing that a man can do in public affairs that a woman cannot do equally well. 
In Plato's view, intelligent and competent women are superior to men who lack some qualities, and "it is a waste of human capacities not to use her in the administration of the state." 


Aristotle, who represented the typical ancient view, rejected Plato's doctrine in the Republic when he insisted women were necessary for society to run smoothly. Aristotle considered the male naturally superior to the female. The female is a kind of mutilated male, suffering from a natural deficiency, according to Aristotle.
Cervantes' Don Quixote pictured woman as an imperfect creature whose path to virtue, which is her glory, is to be made as easy as possible. Let's listen to the gentle knight:
"She must be treated as relics are; adored, not touched. She must be protected and prized as one protects and prizes a fair garden full of roses and flowers, the owner of which allows no one to trespass or pluck a blossom; enough for others that from afar through the iron grating they may enjoy its fragrance and its beauty."
The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpation on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. Now is the right time that we reverse the hostile treatment on women and elect them as our leaders.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.

Whether our prayers are answered or not, our primordial duty and obligation is to remain faithful to God. Change should come in the form of self improvement rather than in the stability of our faith.

Friday, April 19, 2013

It takes a great man to be a good listener.

Ordinary people aren't exempted from becoming great if they learn the art of listening and incorporate it with the art of learning. Listening will open the doors of knowledge. Learning will open the gates of wisdom.
Envy is an insult to oneself.

Envy is like a simcard that carries a virus. It erases and damages our data bank. The quickest way to stop dishonoring ourselves is to remove and throw away simcards that clog our hearts and impair our ability to think rationally.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.

Laughing at a circus performer who turned a handkerchief into bird is no big deal. Laughing at a fat lady who rolled seven times after slipping on a banana peel means there is a need to tighten some screws in our brains or we need to review our GMRC.
You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.

If we continue to tremble in anger each time we remember those who hurt us, either we are not yet ready to forgive or the stigma of their misdeed continues to hover in our memory.
Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.

People aren't hurt if they get no help after approaching us. It's our poison-laced remarks that torment them and add insult to their misery. No hostile soundbites are necessary if we can't help.
We secure our friends not by accepting favors but by doing them favors.

Some friends disappear from our life surreptitiously like meteors when they feel they can no longer hack out favors from us. We actually have two types of friends: the "give and take" and the "take and take." 
A friend is a gift you give yourself.

If that friend is toxic, better postpone or cancel the gift-giving ceremony for thyself. No gift, no stress and headache! 
To know that one has a secret is to know half the secret itself.

To know the remaining half or complete detail of one's secret is not anymore necessary--unless we want to embarrass the person or teach that person to avoid us.
A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.

We actually don't need suffering to experience fear. Suffering is a priori while fear is a posteriori. The caveat is to conquer fear even if there is no suffering in sight.
Suspicion is the cancer of friendship.

Once we allow the seeds of mistrust to grow in the garden of suspicion, we will soon produce a tree that symbolizes the death of friendship and the beginning of hostility. The final harvest: best friends turning into best enemies!
False friends are like our shadow, keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine, but leaving us the instant we cross into the shade.

Our shadows at least just disappear when there is no more sunshine. Aside from abandoning us, false friends also stab us in the back and gossip against us--when sunshine turns into darkness. Traitors!
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.

Love will give us inspiration; money security; fame gratification. Truth will give us peace of mind.
Faith makes all things possible... love makes all things easy.

It's not impossible to dream big as long as we are realistic with our expectations; it's always possible to use love as harbinger to achieve our dreams. After all, God is love.
Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves, 

Instead of wasting our time passing judgment on others, we should start scrutinizing our own selves, reassess our strengths and capabilities, and reexamine our own values and character. Let's mind our own business.
Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin. 

The kind of life that hasn't romped off is the one that is lived by characters whose hearts are made of rocks and who possess the brains of reptiles and rapscallions.
Never take a person's dignity: it is worth everything to them, and nothing to you 

Some people value their dignity so much that they are willing to die for it. Taking it away from them is tantamount to taking away their life. 
Freedom is never letting your fears stop you from following your heart. 

Because of fears (toxic shame actually) many promising hearts have ended up in the abyss instead of sallying forth in the rose garden where they rightly belong. It is in pursuing the dictates of our hearts that freedom is not absolute owing to some parental, moral and religious barriers.
The worst thing that can happen to a man is to lose his money, the next worst his health, the next worst his reputation.

If we lose our money, we can still recover it. If we lose our health, our life would be in danger. If we lose our reputation, our life would be meaningless.



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Don Juan tragedy: 33 years ago!

"It's a terrible thing wishing that it can be someone else's tragedy." JOHN DYER

By Alex P. Vidal

On April 22nd, families of those who died in the sinking of M/S Don Juan, a commercial vessel owned by the Negros Navigation (NN), will commemorate the 33rd year of the tragedy.
In a narration on skycrapercity during the tragedy's 31st anniversary two years ago, Boy Mucovado vividly recalled what happened on the evening of April 22, 1980 in "The Day The City of Smiles Wept":
"Around 1 pm of April 22, 1980, a jampacked M/S Don Juan of Negros Navigation (NN) carrying at least 1,000 passengers, left Pier 2 at the Manila North Harbor. It was bound for Bacolod City. Within her were vacationers, students coming home after graduation or a break in big universities in Manila, families of wealthy and illustrious Negrenses, who accompanied newly bought cars in its cargo and businessmen with bulk of their goods. 
"The Don Juan was famous for its cruising speed, cutting traveling time to 18-19 hours for a Manila-Bacolod trip which was usually 22-24 hours on other vessels at that time. It featured the elegant "Admiral Class" Cabins. A signature of first class travel for NN's fleet. It was the first of its kind to have watertight cabin and compartment doors.
"At 10:30 pm the vessel was traveling beneath a full-moon over the calm Tablas Strait between Tablas and Maestre de Campo Island with most of the passengers asleep. The rest were awake having a great time with the band at the ferry's disco. But all of a sudden it was rammed hard on its portside by oil tanker M/T Tacloban City of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC). It left a large gaping hole from its lower deck bunks to the Admiral Class Cabin decks. The impact jammed most of the cabin doors sealing the fate of their occupants. Fortunate ones were on the Economy Class upper decks and disco-goers. It didn't take long and Don Juan took in seawater, listed hard to the portside then dipped forward. Screaming, terrified and wailing passengers even without life-jackets jumped to the sea. 


"The crew frantically handed out life-jackets and tried to put them into lifeboats. Collapsible lifeboats were released for those already at sea. But time was too short. In 15-20 minutes Don Juan was swallowed by the sea, with it were dozens still trapped in cabins and bunks, crew members who held to their posts and those already in lifeboats but were never released on time. 
"Hundreds of survivors thrashed and called for help for in the shark-infested waters. The crew of the tanker Tacloban plucked out as many survivors as they could and those killed instantly by the impact. After two hours, another PNOC tanker, M/T Laoag City, arrived after Don Juan's distress call and took the remaining survivors and more corpses. Smaller ships and fishing vessels within its vicinity also came and helped out. Most of the survivors were brought to the port of Batangas in the morning, April 23, 1980.
"Bacolod City and the rest of Negros Occidental was shocked. It came very untimely when the province was suffering from the fall of worldwide sugar prices that heralded the collapse of the monocrop sugar industry of the province."


Joeval Brodit came from a national dancing competition on a famous noontime TV show. he was at the disco during the collision. Jostled and was able to take a life-jacket but was grabbed off from him by a panicking passenger. While at the sea, he huddled together with a dozen more survivors on a capsized collapsible lifeboat, But he was one of those instant heroes who swam back to the sea and grabbed more survivors. One of them was Sharon Tumaliuan of Iloilo City which landed him on the front page of Manila Bulletin. It was so sad that some of those dead he took were young students, others just graduated from high school and college.
Dr. Linda Sanson, an OB-Gyne traveling with her three toddlers and two babysitters after buying stocks for her boutique in Bacolod,they instantly got out of the cabin and grabbed two lifejackets in which they shared together until rescued.
Ethel Ferrer, an elementary school teacher at the University of St. La Salle (USLS), was pregnant and traveling with her eldest son. She got separated from her son while at sea but was miraculously reunited with him after an hour despite the panic and swimming with sharks.
Jocelyn Panisa and her twin brothers Jesus and Reynaldo traveling home from a wedding with their uncle. Boarded the vessel as "chance passengers" and were at the economy class upper deck. Three of them survived clinging on the sides an overloaded lifeboat but their uncle was unlucky to be on a lifeboat that never came off the ship


-Mother of lawyer Renecito Novero. She  attended her son's (Atty. Novero) graduation from law school at UP and took the trip home; 
-Alunan Family, a pride of Bacolod in the field of swimming remained missing and believed to be trapped inside one of Don Juan's cabins;
--Montalvo Family -- Nora Montalvo wife of then mayor Rodrigo "Digoy" Montalvo of Bacolod their daughters Mylene, 17; and Yvette, 7; and mother-in-law, Anicia Kilayko, were never found and believed to have died inside their cabins. It was remembered by the Bacolodnon's that the mayor was at a sorrowful state traveling to Northern Negros, Capiz and as far as Romblon and Oriental Mindoro to look for his missing family members. As described by some "he would open every casket, body bag and blanket and call out their names"


Lawyer Rex Salvilla recalled that MV Tacloban City rescued 320 passengers and picked out 12 dead. Its sister tanker, MV Laoag City had 506 survivors and 10 dead. Both tankers left the tragic place at 1:00 o'clock in the morning and landed at daylight at Batangas City MV Don Julio, a sister ship of MV Don Juan which left Manila, passed the place and joined in the rescue work and brought back to Manila 80 dead and transferring 62 survivors and 74 dead to another sister ship, MV Doña Florentina en route to Iloilo City.
"The horror of the tragedy is in seeing many people die before one's eyes. A 21-year old student saw 'many persons die before my eyes.' But most horrible is to see a loved one die. A man hugging his 8-year old daughter lost his grip on her. Before his eyes, she slipped and disappeared into the dark sea. A teenager witnessed the drowning of her teenage older sister. A man saw his father swallowed by the sea after their raft capsized," Salvilla remembered.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pheidippides and Boston Marathon

Pheidippides and Boston Marathon

"If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon."  EMIL ZATOPEK

By Alex P. Vidal

Many of us saw the actual video on the internet when the two blasts occurred near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon (117th edition) on Monday (Tuesday morning in the Philippines), and it was evident the real targets of the bombers weren't really the 23,181 participants in the world's most prestigious full marathon (42.195 kilometers). 
The bombs exploded and killed three people in a crowded area where cheering fans and passersby converged just minutes after Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa breasted the tape in the men’s race in three-way sprint down Boylston Street to finish in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 22 seconds.
Marathon, the most dramatic event in the Olympics (because it is traditionally held in the penultimate day of Olympic Games), became a sports event in honor of Greek soldier Pheidippides who ran from Marathon to Athens to announce Greece's victory in a battle against Persia.
The defeat at Marathon marked the end of the first Persian invasion of Greece, and the Persian force retreated to Asia. The Battle of Marathon was a watershed in the Greco-Persian wars, showing the Greeks that the Persians could be beaten; the eventual Greek triumph in these wars can be seen to begin at Marathon


From the poem of Robert Browning detailing Pheidippides' heroism, Baron Pierre de Coubertin and other founders of the modern Olympic Games invented a running race of 42 km called the Marathon. Below is Browning's poem entitled "Pheidippides" written in 1879:
So, when Persia was dust, all cried, "To Acropolis!
Run, Pheidippides, one race more! the meed is thy due!
Athens is saved, thank Pan, go shout!" He flung down his shield
Ran like fire once more: and the space 'twixt the fennel-field
And Athens was stubble again, a field which a fire runs through,
Till in he broke: "Rejoice, we conquer!" Like wine through clay,
Joy in his blood bursting his heart, - the bliss!

The definitive distance for the marathon race was determined in 1921 by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF). The distance chosen was the one ran in London in 1908 : 26 miles 385 yards or 42.195 km, according to Ahotu Marathons.
It is commonly said that the distance was set to 26 miles 385 yards because of the Royal family, added the Ahotu Marathons. During the preparation of the summer Olympiads, it had been agreed that the organizers would include a marathon of about 40 km or 25 miles. The British officials, desirous to accommodate the King of England, started the race at Windsor Castle and finished at the Royal box in the Olympic Stadium—a distance of precisely 26 miles 385 yards.
But that only explains why the London marathon’s distance was 42. 195 km. It doesn’t tell us why this distance was chosen as the definitive marathon distance.


The Boston Marathon is the United States’ oldest marathon, and the most important and iconic race that started in 1897 with 18 runners.
In order to join the race, you have to qualify, according to New Yorker's Nicholas Thompson.  
"A New York Marathon shirt means someone got lucky in a race lottery. A Boston Marathon shirt means they’ve run fast. The finish line today was one of the saddest, most terrible athletic scenes ever. But in an ordinary year it’s extraordinary. Well-trained amateurs from all over the world: sweating, straining, slowing, sprinting," Thompson said.
"The course was chosen to humble you. You start way off in Hopkinton, a town so far out on the Massachusetts Turnpike that it seems like it must be farmland. Then you run east. There are cheers at the beginning, and then it falls quiet for a spell. Families sit in lawn chairs clapping for the runners and listening to the Red Sox on the radio. At Wellesley College, at mile fourteen, the students come out en masse and cheer."

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Uncle Bob loves Rigondeaux more than Nonito Donaire

Uncle Bob loves Rigondeaux 
more than Nonito Donaire

By Alex P. Vidal

It is no secret in boxing community that between Guillermo Rigondeaux and Nonito Donaire Jr. , Top Rank boss Bob Arum considers the Cuban more bankable and manageable. 
Although Donaire (31-2, 20 KOs) fights under the tutelage of Top Rank, Uncle Bob has a special preference for the 32-year-old reigning WBA super bantamweight champion from Santiago de Cuba, Cuba who just collected the Filipino Flash's WBO title on a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision win on April 14 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
There was no doubt the Cuban fighter fought with a big heart and wisely weaved and bobbed en route to nailing the biggest win in his fistic career since the Olympic avalanche.
Donaire's love affair with Uncle Bob turned sour two years ago when about two weeks after scoring a sensational second-round knockout of Mexico's Fernando Montiel to pocket the world 118-lb diadem in his first HBO appearance, Donaire dumped Top Rank and cavorted with Oscar dela Hoya's Golden Boy.


It was Donaire himself who announced that he was a free agent when he "left" Top Rank after the "expiration" of his contract. The jumping of ship resulted in an ugly legal fracas between the two top promotional outfits in the world. 
Donaire was forced to go home to Top Rank like a prodigal son when the court upheld Top Rank's contract and enjoined Golden Boy from promoting Donaire when the case went to arbitration.
Despite the reunion, Uncle Bob wasn't happy about the negative publicity whipped up by the Donaire caper. While the wily lawyer-promoter was having a good working relationship with Manny Pacquiao, he felt that he had to deal with a spoiled brat in his ward in the person of Donaire. Up to last Saturday's showdown with Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KOs), Unlce Bob was reportedly harboring "mixed" feelings with 30-year-old Donaire who now lives in San Leandro, California.


Top Rank president Todd duBoef was adamant that Top Rank still had a valid contract. He did not want to do a financial settlement with Golden Boy. He wanted to retain Donaire's services and was pleased to get it done, according to ESPN's Dan Rafael, who followed the controversy from start to end. 
It took 10 months before Top Rank brought back Donaire into action winning the WBC and WBO bantamweight crowns with a 12-round unanimous decision win over Omar Andres Narvaez at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on Oct. 22, 2011.
Aside from the fading Jorge Arce whom he blasted in three rounds for WBO super bantamweight title in Houston, Texas on December 12, 2012, Donaire's four other opponents, including Rigondeaux, were meant to torment him in his reign as world champion. And Uncle Bob never gave a hoot. The boxing patriarch's attitude towards Donaire was "I-don't-care-whether-you-survive-or-not-as-long-as-record-shows-I-performed-my-obligations-to-promote-you."


Unlike Manny Pacquiao who enjoyed the "protection" of Uncle Bob (he made sure Pacquiao's opponents were mostly semi-retired if not senior citizens), Donaire was abandoned like a leper in a snake pit to be feasted by cobras and reptiles. Because of his talent and ring prowess, Donaire managed to eat alive those vermin. 
When Top Rank and Uncle Sam paraded the dangerous and slick-moving Rigondeaux against Donaire, they made sure the Filipino Flash could not anymore sustain the winning streak against quality customers Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Jeffrey Mathebula, Toshiaki Nishioka, and Arce. And his reign of terror had to end when he rammed into Rigondeaux Express.

Thursday, April 11, 2013



"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." BERTRAND RUSSELL

By Alex P. Vidal

While reading the Aspects of Western Civilization (Volume II) Problems and Sources of History (fourth edition) Chapter 6 on The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Era, compiled by Perry M. Rogers, I came across a very impressive poem written by Wilfred Owen, the greatest writer of war poetry in the English language.
Owen wrote out of his intense personal experience as a soldier and wrote with unrivaled power of the physical, moral and psychological trauma of the First World War. All of his great war poems on which his reputation rests were written in a mere 15 months.
From the age of 19, Owen wanted to become a poet and immersed himself in poetry, being especially impressed by Keats and Shelley. He was working in France, close to the Pyrenees, as a private tutor when the First World War broke out. At this time he was remote from the war and felt completely disconnected from it too.


Even when he visited the local hospital with a doctor friend and examined, at close quarters, the nature of the wounds of soldiers who were arriving from the Western Front, the war still appeared to him as someone else's story, according to The War Poetry website. Eventually he began to feel guilty of his inactivity as he read copies of The Daily Mail which his mother sent him from England. He returned to England, and volunteered to fight on October 21, 1915.
He trained in England for over a year and enjoyed the impression he made on people as he walked about in public wearing his soldier's uniform. Owen was sent to France on the last day of 1916, and within days was enduring the horrors of the front line. Here's Owen's famous poem:


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.