Friday, September 30, 2016

Remembering ‘Thrilla in Manila’

“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”-- Muhammad Ali

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- On October 1, 1975 or 39 years ago, the biggest heavyweight boxing title fight in the world was held at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.
It was a duel that defined Muhammad Ali both as sports icon and as human being.
Ali (48–2, 35 KOs) settled his feud with Joe Frazier on a spectacular 14th round TKO (technical knockout).
Frazier (32–2, 27 KOs) did not fall flat on his face from Ali’s barrage of howitzers.
Trainer Eddie Futch refused to let him continue before the 15thround sensing the fight Frazier and Ali were in no longer was a sport.
Referee Carlos Padilla terminated the bout as Frazier loudly protested to no avail wailing at Futch, “I want him, boss.”
"It's all over. No one will forget what you did here today," Futch barked at Frazier, whom Ali slandered earlier and called “ape.”
Both ring titans were exhausted and standing only on survival instinct.
Frazier’s lips had been busted and his face was crimson.


Ali also suffered a black eye in both eyes.
Ali described that third duel with Frazier as “next to death.”
The charismatic heavyweight champion admitted later that he asked Frazier to quit after 10 rounds.
“C’mon, Joe, that’s enough. There's still life after this fight,” Ali allegedly whispered to his nemesis while they were swapping bombs.
I asked Padilla if he heard those words when I had a chance to work with him in 1996 during the 12-round WBF welterweight fisticuffs between Amerasian William Magahin and Australian Brad Moderidge.
Padilla, who was the referee while I was a judge in the fight, told me he didn’t exactly hear the sentence uttered by Ali, but confirmed Ali was saying something that only the two boxers had understood.
I was a kid wearing shorts at that time of the historic tussle between two of the heavyweight’s most feared fisttossers.
We watched the fight on a black and white TV set in Molo district, Iloilo City after our classes at the Iloilo Central Commercial High School (ICCHS) in the morning.
My recollection of the astonishing showdown was based on the journals, magazines and newspaper clippings I gathered.
I also watched some of the videos of the fight and interviewed some personalities involved in the epic battle here and in the United States.


Three years ago, I met Sports Communicators Organization of the Philippines (SCOOP) president Eddie Alinea, who acted as Frazier’s press liaison officer, when we covered Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Joshua Clottey in Arlington, Texas.
Alinea said he was assigned by the Office of Media Affairs (now the Philippine Information Agency) to accompany Team Frazier while the boxer was in Manila.
He described challenger Frazier as “a monster in the ring but a gentleman outside.”
Alinea showed to me a black and white photo of a press briefing taken at the Manila Hotel where he sat beside the behemoth champion from Louisville, Kentucky who called himself as “The Greatest” and was formerly known as Cassius Clay.
Alinea, now in his 60s, also kept some souvenir items bearing the signature of Frazier who thanked Alinea for the Filipino scribe’s services and presence in Team Frazier.


According to some boxing experts and historians I met in the United States, the “Thrilla in Manila” is the greatest ever world heavyweight championship in history.
In terms of heated rivalry, intensity, brutality, action and courageous display of skills, talent and spirit, nothing can beat the “Thrilla in Manila.”
There have been great marquee names in world heavyweight that emerged after Ali's exit.
Trevor Berbick, Greg Page, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, Mike Tyson, to mention only a few.
But none of them could match his charisma and impact in the hearts of sports fans all over the universe.
The record established by “Thrilla in Manila” has not been broken until today.
As a member of the world boxing fraternity and as a sportswriter, I agree.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

We stop killing people if we embrace Janism

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”―Voltaire

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- I learned from my 70-year-old Indian-American chess rival here in Queens that in order for the EJK or extra-judicial killings in the Philippines to end, Filipinos may embrace the religion of Janism.
"Master Sam" said followers of this ancient religion wouldn't even hurt a fly--literally. 
He was saddened by reports that more than 2,000 suspected Filipino drug addicts and traffickers of illegal substance "have been murdered like animals" in the streets and in their houses in raids since the Duterte administration launched a "no-nonsense" battle against illegal drugs in the Philippines.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) boss, Chief Supt. Ronald "Bato" De la Rosa, handpicked by President Duterte to "cleanse the country with criminal elements," denied the PNP had initiated the mass killings saying "they adhere to the due process and respect the human rights of the suspects."
Janism is one of India's three ancient religions, along with Buddhism and Hinduism.


"Master Sam" said because of this religion, he could not even get mad at chess hustlers in the park who bilked him.
"I'm a peaceful person. When I beat you in a chess match once, I felt I humiliated you in front of your friends. When it was your turn to beat me (eight times in another meeting), I felt it was necessary to compliment you and tell people around that you are a better chess player," enthused "Master Sam," who once lost $1,500 to Filipino chess hustlers at Elmhurst Park in Queens.
Despite the fact that it has only a few million adherents and is confined almost entirely in Southern India, Janism's philosophy of non-violence has spread through the world, according to "Master Sam."
To Janists, he said, the world is divided into the living (or the soul) and the non-living.
They believe that the soul is invaded by karmic matter, or negative passions, that can dominate people's lives.  These include violence, greed, anger, and self-indulgence.
This karma reportedly bonds to the soul and impedes the search for perfect understanding and peace.


To reach the heavenly stage, "Master Sam" said Janists must stop the inflow of bad karma and shed the karmic matter that has already bonded to their souls.
Once this has been accomplished, he explained, they reach moksha or a level of pure understanding where the soul is liberated from all earthly matter.
Master Sam said achieving this heavenly stage is quite an ordeal. An individual must spend 12 years as a Janist monk and go through eight reincarnations in order to get there.
Along the way, each must also adhere to the Three Jewels of Right Faith, Right Knowledge, and Right Conduct. More extreme worshippers deny themselves even the most basic of life's pleasures by fasting and wearing only the simplest clothing.

Opinions: Clinton rips Trump in first debate

"I love argument, I love debate. I don't expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that's not their job." -- Margaret Thatcher

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Fil-Am voter Delia Gatmaitan of Queens did not cook dinner and "we decided to eat what was left in the refrigerator so we won't miss the debate" last night (September 26) between presidential nominees Hillary Clinton of Democratic Party  and Donald Trump of Republican Party.
Gatmaitan, 66, and live-in partner, Raul, 28, a Hispanic immigrant, both Clinton supporters, have been waiting the first presidential debate since August. 
Their housemate, another Fil-Am voter, Darcito Bartolome, 70, a Trump supporter, was also glued to his TV set monitoring the event at the Hofstra University in Hempstead on NBC channel, one of the networks that broadcast the "live" debate.
Like many partisan observers, they were divided on who won the first of the series of debates.


According to Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of history and Italian studies at New York University, "Civility went south fast in Monday's debate."
She said, "Donald Trump lost his composure early, ranting, interrupting (over 20 times) and sniffing. (Under the weather, or out of his comfort zone?) Hillary Clinton started out soft, playing the grandmother card, but quickly escalated to tough talk and occasional sarcasm. It could hardly have gone otherwise. Clinton hit hard at Trump, bringing up his admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin, his 'long record of engaging in racist behavior,' his denial at having supported the Iraq war, and his refusal to allow the American people to see his tax returns."
A specialist in 20th-century European history, Ben-Ghiat added: "In doing so, Clinton did Americans a big favor: she revealed Trump's limitations. He is simply unable to make those leaps of imagination and generosity necessary to transform from a businessperson to a national political leader." 


She stressed further: "The candidate who claims to do everything big showed the smallness of his thinking tonight. With his off-key rejoinders, he demonstrated repeatedly how he sees everything -- people, properties, cities, and entire countries -- in terms of how they factor into his business and personal universe, which seem to be one and the same. I'll get to Pennsylvania Avenue one way or another, he said tonight, as though the White House and his new Trump hotel are entities of equal importance. Perhaps they really are, in his mind."
"Clinton alone demonstrated the composure, wisdom, and broad vision necessary for executive office. She won the debate hands down," she explained.
Activist and television commentator Sally Kohn said "Trump's train went off the rails."


Donald Trump's supporters like to refer to his movement as "The Trump Train." Well, tonight The Trump Train went off the rails. Big time, Kohn pointed out.
"Admittedly, to many observers, the train was already way off track. Maybe it started the moment his campaign began, when he dismissed Mexican immigrants as 'rapists.' Or maybe it was when he attacked Sen. John McCain. Or later, when he attacked a Gold Star family. Certainly, many Americans have paid attention to the media's attempts at fact checking -- including one report that Trump only tells the truth 22% of the time, and another that found in five hours of talking, Trump outright lied an average of every 3 minutes and 15 seconds," she observed.
Kohn added: "But for those who somehow thought, up until Monday night, that Donald Trump might somehow be qualified to be president, Monday's debate was a wake-up call. He seemed like a defensive, petulant bully who could only insult Hillary Clinton and America -- and couldn't offer a single solution, let alone details. He came across as not only dreadfully unprepared for the debate, but dreadfully unprepared to be president. Which is the truth. And it's high time all Americans know it.


"But don't believe me. I'm obviously biased. Believe Frank Luntz. In his live focus group of undecided and leaning voters, just six people thought Trump won while 16 said Clinton was the victor. In moment after moment, the focus group preferred Clinton. For instance, Clinton's response to Trump's attack on her stamina scored better than Trump's attack. And Hillary's plan to defeat ISIS actually scored better with the Trump leaners in the group than with the Clinton leaners.
"In moment after moment, Hillary Clinton presented a knowledgeable and clear-eyed vision for how to help working families and continue America on the path to security and prosperity. Donald Trump, in contrast, lied, and got defensive. He was petty and insulting, and then lied some more. Lies apparently can only get the Trump train so far. Eventually it runs out of steam.
"Hillary Clinton showed herself to be the kind of person you want in the White House. And Donald Trump showed himself to be the kind of kindergartner who should have his train taken away and instead given a timeout."

Monday, September 26, 2016

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Enemy)

Observe your enemies, for they first find your faults.

There's a whale of difference between a critic and a fault finder. A critic will help us correct our mistakes while a fault finder will wish for our downfall and destruction.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (God's Love)

God's love is too great to be confined to any one side of a conflict or to any one religion.

Religious conflict is a war among dolts, spiritual scoundrels, and misguided men and women. God will never sanction it. God will not play a loaded dice just to please and favor one religion and split and antagonize another.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Love)

Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life.

Some of us may have missed the last flight, the last bus, the last train, the last show, the last waltz--but nobody who is alive today, for sure, has missed the Love ride!

Apelo captures Atlantic Open Under-2100 chess title anew

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- To prove that his 2013 victory in the same section in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was not a fluke, Filipino-American chess guru David Asuncion Apelo captured the 48th Annual Atlantic Open Under-2100 title held from August 26-28, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia.
APELO: "The future of Filipino chess players is here in the United States, not in the Philippines."

The 58-year-old former Army in the Philippines romped off with the $2,000 top prize by submitting 4.5 in a 5-round Swiss System held at the Hilton Crystal City Hotel.
He also collected another $1,000 by winning the mixed doubles team title together with Grace Calapati by scoring 8 points.
Apelo, described by fellow Queens-based chess player Gilbert Gonzales as "strike anywhere", won $1,185 when he ruled the 45th Liberty Bell Open Under-2100 chess tournament held from Jan. 18 to 21, 2013 at the Sonesta Hotel in Philadelphia.
He scored six points in seven rounds. 


"Apelo is one of the most feared Fil-Am chess players in the East Coast and is very well-known in every chess park in New York," said Gonzales of Silay City, Philippines. 
Camelo "Jun" Galinea, the godfather of Elmhurst Park chess, said Apelo is an old timer and is respected in the New York chess community.
Apelo, who tots a United States Chess Federation (USCF) rating of 2085, said he will skip the "expensive" Millionaire Chess Open at the Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City on October 6 - 10, 2016.
"I can't afford," he stressed, estimating that a player has to spend at least $1,000 to cover his registration, transportation, food, and hotel accommodation.
Apelo said he will continue to play in other major tournaments in the US. He teaches chess in different schools and acts as coach for students and unrated players.
Apelo said some of the best chess players in the Philippines are now playing in the US "because the future is here, not there."

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Unlocking our hidden genius

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see." -- Arthur Schopenhauer

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- A self-help book copyrighted in 2000 promises to multiply our mental power with "simple and enjoyable" exercises scientifically designed to make us smarter, more creative, more intuitive, and more successful in achieving our goals.
Author Jean Marie Stine explains that the exercises in his book, Super Brain Power, will help readers turn their minds into a mental tape recorder that captures every word they hear and read; jump-start their intelligence at will and leapfrog to logical solutions to the toughest problems.
It also promises to help increase the readers' creativity by pre-programming their unconscious idea processor; win the enthusiasm and cooperation of others and form a personal championship team.
It will also help readers learn physical tasks instantly by tapping into their physical intelligence; develop an emotional radar that automatically steers them toward success; and expand their vocabulary--without word-of-the-day lists or dictionaries.


The author asks the following:
-Have we ever struggled to memorize a list of complicated names, dates, and rules for a forthcoming exam, or felt at a loss when unexpectedly called upon to provide the solution to a difficult problem during a company or group meeting?
-Have we ever puzzled over a problem for hours or weeks without a clue and later realized the solution was right before our eyes all the time?
-Have we ever been fooled by deceptive advertising, or been misled by a corporate prospectus, or overlooked an important flaw in our own or someone else's position -- and ended up feeling sorry for it later?
-Have we ever longed for a creative way to tell someone we love them, needed a world-class inspiration to save a tottering business, or been challenged to come up with a new theme for the parish fundraising campaign?


-Have we ever struggled to learn how to repair a drainpipe, master a tennis stroke, give a permanent wave, or work with an unfamiliar keyboard configuration?
-Have we ever had an abrasive relative we just couldn't find a way to deal with, or been unable to figure out why we failed to "click" at an important job interview, or failed to see what was preventing us from welding a promising group of people into a team that realizes its potential? Of course we have. Everyone has.
Even Albert Einstein, possibly the supreme genius of the 20th century, wished he were smarter when he found the math underlying his Unified Field Theory, intended to explain and unify all physics, was wrong, stresses Stine.
Stine explains that the super brain program is designed to take much of the work out of expanding our six intelligences.


There are three ways in which Stine's program will help unlock the readers' our brain power: 1. Only logical intelligence was developed and rewarded. 2. The other five intelligences were devalued and unexploited. 3. Those who did not excel at this kind of thinking saw themselves as less able and intelligent than others. 
Here are the power of our six intelligences, according to Stine: 1. The power of our verbal intelligence 2. The power of our visual intelligence 3. The power of our logical intelligence 4. The power of our creative intelligence 5. The power of our physical intelligence 6. The power of our emotional intelligence. 
Power professions where verbal IQ counts: Journalist, novelist, poet, playwright, editor, advertising sparkplug, sales rep, marketing director, spin doctor, stand-up comedian, humorist, news commentator.
Restaurateur, hotelier, publican, politician, clergyperson, motivational speaker, attorney, judge, paralegal, translator, diplomat, mediator, psychotherapist, counselor, facilitator, television anchor, disc jockey, talk-show host, publisher, printer, bookstore owner.


Power professions where visual IQ counts: Mechanic, inventor, engineer, electrician, sailor, pilot, astronaut, race-car driver, athlete, acrobat, jockey, daredevil, surgeon, paramedic, radiologist, paleontologist, anthropologist, geologist, photographer, sculptor, painter, architect, cartographer, genealogist, television, motion picture or theatrical director or producer; photographer; actor; lighting or scenic designer; cinematographer, photographer or video and film; fashion designer, hairdresser, makeup artist; guide, scout, soldier.
Power professions where logical IQ counts: Scientist: biologist, physicist, chemist, astronomer, zoologist; physician, medical researcher, laboratory technician, computer designer, programmer, repair technician, mathematician, statistician, accountant, CPA, banker, financial analyst, market-fund manager, stock broker, clerk, cashier, bank teller, time-management, performance, productivity or systems analyst, personal assistant, secretary, office manager.
Power professions where creative IQ counts: Enterprenuer, small-business owner, CEO, graphic arts: illustrator, photographer, designer, inventor, creator, idea person, manager and marketer of art and artists, electronic media: radio, television, cable, video; live theater: plays, performance art, improve comedy; music: singer, instrumentalist, composer, landscaper, architect, community planner, advertising, marketing, salesperson, fashion designer, cosmetician, coiffeur, toy and game designer, children's books and records artist.


Power professions where physical IQ counts: Singer, actor, "slaptick" comedian, craftperson, jeweler, computer repairperson, plumber, mechanic,  carpenter, butcher, gardener, anyone who works with his or her hands; chauffeur, truck driver, airline pilot; gymnast, ballplayer, swimmer, ice skater; sculptor, muralist; law enforcement officer, anyone serving in the military, firefighter, surgeon, nurse, paramedic; naturalist, veterinarian, animal trainer, anthropologist, archeologist.
Power professions where emotional IQ counts: Teacher, mentor, consultant, politician, attorney, minister, psychologist, peer counselor, social worker, marketing person, salesperson, public relations person, customer service manager, receptionist, greeter, negotiator, mediator, conflict manager, manager, administrator, team leader.