Monday, July 31, 2017

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Thoughts)

Men harm others by their deeds, themselves by their thoughts.
 -- HARE BROTHERS :


When we squarely tackle down known enemies, there's a chance we can shield ourselves from mortal blows and even defeat them. But if we mess up with our thoughts and become paranoid, we don't need a warm body to deliver the knock out blow that would bring us to kingdom come. Our lunacy itself will expedite our destruction.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Character Assissination)

Never tell evil of a man, if you do not know it for certainty, and if you know it for a certainty, then ask yourself, 'Why should I tell it?'
-- JOHANN K. LAVATER :


It's a moral obligation to warn others about the obnoxious character of certain individuals. It's a moral courage to reveal their shenanigans in order to protect others. But it's downright immoral to expose them to shame and embarrassment while trying to rebuild their shattered lives and bury their sordid past.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Forgive, Friend, Enemy)

It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.
-- WILLIAM BLAKE :


It is more honorable to lose and lick a wound inflicted by a known enemy after a fierce battle. It is twice an agony and humiliation to be defeated after being stabbed in the back by a friend.
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Mistake)

Strong people make as many mistakes as weak people. Difference is that strong people admit their mistakes, laugh at them, learn from them. That is how they become strong.
-- RICHARD NEEDHAM :


It isn't how many mistakes we commit that defines our worth and competence. It's how we pick ourselves up after a bad fall, how we rebound from an almost catastrophic slump, and how we turn despair into hope that counts.
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

'Mansion'

"The place of chess in the society is closely related to the attitude of young people towards our game."
--Boris Spassky


By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- An avid reader of my blogs and other news websites from Manila in the Philippines once asked this writer, "Where is that mansion? What kind of mansion?" 
THE MANSION on Britton Street
She was referring to the "mansion" mentioned in a series of chess articles I wrote early this year about a place on Britton Street in the Queens' Elmhurst neighborhood here.
In the mind of any reader, the word mansion conjures a large dwelling house derived from the Latin word manio "dwelling" through Old French, an abstract noun derived from the verb manere "to dwell".
The English word "manse" originally defined a property large enough for the parish priest to maintain himself, but a mansion is no longer self-sustaining in this way.
The mansion in our subject matter here is neither a large dwelling nor a Roman medieval villa, or a haunted house frequented by ghosts and dead spirits like in Hollywood movies.


APARTMENT

It is a modest three-storey apartment, its basement the mecca where dreams are--and still--being made; where talent is abundantly brimming; where brilliancy is executed with head-turning incredulity; and where comradeship is forged and strengthened over bowls and plates of native pulutan (appetizers like shark and tuna meats, spaghetti, adobo, Chinese pancit taken with beer or fruit juice) amid card games and friendly chess matches.
Mansion's main conclave is the 30-square meter wide wi fi-powered basement frequented by a coterie of Filipino chess kibitzers and serious players, considered as the strongest in New York and the East Coast, if not the best in the entire United States.
Its amenities include a kitchen, dining table and chairs, study/playing area with a large TV set, freezer, toilet room, and four collapsible beds. 
(L-R) Demetrio Lopez, Rainier Labay, Alex P. Vidal, Gerson Caballero, NM Mario Rebano

"We are open (only to invited guests and chess players) every Thursday and Saturday evening," enthuses Rainier Labay, Mansion's de facto chief and official chef.
The place has been a regular venue of "underground" clashes by Filipino non-masters, national masters, FIDE masters, grand masters, "has been-masters" and "also-masters."
Non-Filipino hustlers are welcome to participate, Labay confirms.
When matches romp off, the main door isn't locked so that those who come late can sneak in without interrupting the players' concentration.
Games can be accessed "live" from Labay's Facebook account so that players still in workplaces and unable to participate can monitor and join the heckling in the running commentary.


SHOWDOWN

Meanwhile, the July 22 blitz showdown, or a chess match with a fixed time (usually three minutes per game), was ruled by Grandmaster Mark Paragua (Fide 2520) with seven points.
He was followed jointly by Labay, a former coach of the De La Salle University in Manila and the only player to convincingly whip Paragua in the first match, and Fide Master William Aramil with four points each. 
SALIMBAGAT VS RIVIERA
Other top finishers were Fide Master Rico Salimbagat, Philippine National Master Mario Rebano, Albert Riviera, Cesar Apalla, and Gerson Caballero.
Aramil, 2004 American Collegiate Championship winner and a regular New York visitor, came all the way from Chicago to join the Mansion chessfest.
"Gusto ni Rico (Salimbagat) mag invite ng ibang masters galing sa ibang states para magkaroon ng challenge ang tournament at mag improve and upgrade ang skills namin lahat (Rico Salimbagat wants to invite masters from other states to join us in the tournament from time to time so we can upgrade and improve our kills)," sighs Rebano, who is based in New Jersey.


STRONG

Some of the strong players who missed the recent tournament but are regular habitues of the mansion were: Anthony Gallon, Gilbert Gonzales, Leo Buencocillo, Vincent Umayan, Bert Labuac, Jan Vincent Paragua, Mike Adarlo, Gerry Salazar, and Manuel Jurado.
GM Oliver Barbosa and 2017 World Open Under-2200 champion Ramon Manon-og were absent.
Before mansion became their official chess hub, Pinoy players gathered every Monday evening for the "Ilonggo Night" at the residence of Elmhurst Chess Club founder and godfather Camelo "Jun" Galinea on Elmhurst Street.
Salimbagat, a highest rated player like Labay, also occasionally hosts the gathering of Pinoy woodpushers in his residence across the park. 
SALIMBAGAT VS LABAY
When they don't play via individual knockout system, they tangle as team against team: "Britton boys versus Hampton boys" or "Tagalogs versus Ilonggos."
The former is composed of players who live in the mansion: Salimbagat, Labay, Labuac, Caballero, Riviera, Adarlo; the latter is composed of players who live on neighboring Hampton Street composed of Rebano, Gallon, Apalla, Umayan, Gonzales, Buencocillo.
The spirit of professionalism, brotherhood, and sportsmanship is always best exhibited and further enhanced by their active participation, cooperation and discipline like phalanx which became Alexander's anvil when he conquered Darius III in the Battles of Issus and Gaugamela.
If the World Chess Olympiad is held in the United States and the Philippines is hard-pressed to send a team, the talented Elmhurst boys can always fill in the blanks; and possibly give some of the world chess superpowers like USA, Russia, China, Germany, and Ukraine a run for their money.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Is it possible for a person to shoot himself twice?

"The only difference between suicide and martyrdom is press coverage."
--Chuck Palahniuk

By Alex P. Vidal


NEW YORK CITY -- The answer is yes.
There have been suicide cases where the persons shot themselves two times or even more before they were killed.
This happened when the first shot wasn't fatal and the person intending to kill himself got another chance to pull the trigger.
If the first shot isn't fatal, there may be cases where the person can still pull the trigger as he twitches due to muscle spasms caused by the disruption of communication between neurons.
It depends heavily on the angle of the barrel to the body or head and the caliber of the gun, which can be best explained by Iloilo police investigators who are the experts on this matter.
Arnel Rebeta, a DPWH district engineer in Antique in the Philippines, who was recently found dead inside his boarding house at Bankers’ Village subdivision, Barangay Dungon B, Jaro district with gunshot wounds on the chest and on the nape, could have killed himself, according to the initial investigation of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO)’s Special Investigation Task Force (SITF) headed by Superintendent Rogen Morales who faced reporters on July 18.


UNIQUE

An Australian who committed suicide on parkland in Canberra in February 1995 had the most unique method in killing himself.
He shot himself in the chest using a pump action shotgun. Without hitting a single rib, the load passed through his chest, and went out the other side.
Sensing he was alive, he pulled out a pistol and shot himself in the head while walking for 15 meters.
He was still alive, thus he reloaded the shotgun, leaned it against his throat, and pulled the trigger, hittinf the throat and part of his jaw.
He survived anew.
He reloaded a final time and walked 200 meters to a hill. He sat down on the slope, held the gun against his chest with his hands and operated the trigger with his toes.
This time, the shot entered the thoracic cavity and punctured his heart. He died, finally.


-o0o-

Is there really a hell, heaven and purgatory litterally?
Religion tells us they exist.
Many independent thinkers and philosophers believe they don't exist literally.
One of them is lawyer-philosopher Ernie J. Dayot of Dingle, Iloilo in the Philippines, who exhorted this writer to read more about Italian poet Dante Alighiere or simply called "Dante."
In the book, Who's Who In The Middle Ages by Dr. John Fines I acquired from Barnes and Noble in Manhattan for $7.98, Dante was described as "a voracious reader of vernacular as well as classical literature, and he claimed to know the Aeneid by heart. He also studied painting and music."
Fines describes Dante further: "By 1287, he was at Bologna--possibly at the university, but his whole heart was set on poetry, and at this young age he dared to submit a sonnet for criticism to the leading poet of the age, Guido Cavalcanti. At the same time he led a rich social life, and (as was normal for young nobles of the time) twice appearing on the field of battle."


MAJOR WORK

Born in Florence in 1265, Dante's first major work was the Vita Nuova, a striking piece of self-psychologizing, set in the form of a critical exposition of his sonnets.
"These were concerned with his strange relationship with Beatrice, with whom he fell in love at the age of nine (she was only eigth). With all the devotion of Courtly Love that demanded purification through a kind of self-denial and worship usually accorded to the Divine, he pursued Beatrice with adoring glances, being rewarded with one famous salutation on the bridge," narrates Fines.
Dante's devotion, however, was obviously real, Fines adds, "for when she died in 1290 he changed his mode of life considerably in reaction."
Dante married and had children, and indulged in a certain amount of dissipation and free-thinking, which he much regretted in later years, according to Fines.
Dayot says religion copied the theory of hell, heaven and purgatory in Dante's long narrative poem, Divine Comedy.
The Divine Comedy is composed of 14,233 lines that are divided into three canticas (Italian plural cantiche) – Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise) – each consisting of 33 canots (Italian plural canti).

An initial canor, serving as an introduction to the poem and generally considered to be part of the first cantica, brings the total number of cantos to 100.
It is generally accepted, however, that the first two cantos serve as a unitary prologue to the entire epic, and that the opening two cantos of each cantica serve as prologues to each of the three canticas
.

The Decay of Lying

“My dear fellow, I am prepared to prove anything.”
-- Oscar Wilde


NEW YORK CITY -- Below is the final conversation between Cyril and Vivian in an essay, The Decay of Lying -- An Observation by Oscar Wilde included in his collection of essays titled Intentions, published in 1891.
Vivian tells Cyril of an article he has been writing called "The Decay Of Lying: A Protest". In the article Vivian defends Aestheticism and "Art for Art's sake". As summarized by Vivian, it contains the following four doctrines:
-Art never expresses anything but itself;
-All bad art comes from returning to Life and Nature, and elevating them into ideals;
-Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life; and
-Lying, the telling of beautiful untrue things, is the proper aim of Art
The essay ends with the two characters going outside, as Cyril asked Vivian to do at the beginning of the essay. Vivian finally complies, saying that twilight nature's "chief use" may be to "illustrate quotations from the poets." 

CYRIL. Then we must certainly cultivate it at once. But in order to avoid making any error I want you to tell me briefly the doctrines of the new aesthetics.
VIVIAN. Briefly, then, they are these. Art never expresses anything but itself. It has an independent life, just as Thought has, and develops purely on its own lines. It is not necessarily realistic in an age of realism, nor spiritual in an age of faith. So far from being the creation of its time, it is usually in direct opposition to it, and the only history that it preserves for us is the history of its own progress. Sometimes it returns upon its footsteps, and revives some antique form, as happened in thearchaistic movement of late Greek Art, and in the pre-Raphaelite movement of our own day. At other times it entirely anticipates its age, and produces in one century work that it takes another century to understand, to appreciate, and to enjoy. In no case does it reproduce its age. To pass from the art of a time to the time itself is the great mistake that all historians commit.
The second doctrine is this. All bad art comes from returning to Life and Nature, and elevating them into ideals. Life and Nature may sometimes be used as part of Art's rough material, but before they are of any real service to art they must be translated into artistic conventions. The moment Art surrenders its imaginative medium it surrenders everything. As a method Realism is a complete failure, and the two things that every artist should avoid are modernity of form and modernity of subjectmatter. To us, who live in the nineteenth century, any century is a suitable subject for art except our own. The only beautiful things are the things that do not concern us. It is, to have the pleasure of quoting myself, exactly because Hecuba is nothing to us that her sorrows are so suitable a motive for a tragedy. Besides, it is only the modern that ever becomes oldfashioned. M. Zola sits down to give us a picture of the Second Empire. Who cares for the Second Empire now? It is out of date. Life goes faster than Realism, but Romanticism is always in front of Life.
The third doctrine is that Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life. This results not merely from Life's imitative instinct, but from the fact that the selfconscious aim of Life is to find expression, and that Art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realize that energy. It is a theory that has never been put forward before, but it is extremely fruitful, and throws an entirely new light upon the history of Art.
It follows, as a corollary from this, that external Nature also imitates Art. The only effects that she can show us are effects that we have already seen through poetry, or in paintings. This is the secret of Nature's charm, as well as the explanation of Nature's weakness.
The final revelation is that Lying, the telling of beautiful untrue things, is the proper aim of Art. But of this I think I have spoken at sufficient length. And now let us go out on the terrace, where "droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost," while the evening star " washes the dusk with silver." At twilight nature becomes a wonderfully suggestive effect, and is not without loveliness, though perhaps its chief use is to illustrate quotations from the poets. Come! We have talked long enough.




Who gave us hell, heaven, purgatory?

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighiere

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Is there really a hell, heaven and purgatory litterally?
Religion tells us they exist.
Many independent thinkers and philosophers believe they don't exist literally.
One of them is lawyer-philosopher Ernie J. Dayot of Dingle, Iloilo who exhorted this writer to read more about Italian poet Dante Alighiere or simply called "Dante." 
LAWYER-PHILOSOPHER Ernie J. Dayot and Alex P. Vidal
In the book, Who's Who In The Middle Ages by Dr. John Fines I acquired from Barnes and Noble in Manhattan for $7.98, Dante was described as "a voracious reader of vernacular as well as classical literature, and he claimed to know the Aeneid by heart. He also studied painting and music."
Fines describes Dante further: "By 1287, he was at Bologna--possibly at the university, but his whole heart was set on poetry, and at this young age he dared to submit a sonnet for criticism to the leading poet of the age, Guido Cavalcanti. At the same time he led a rich social life, and (as was normal for young nobles of the time) twice appearing on the field of battle."


MAJOR WORK

Born in Florence in 1265, Dante's first major work was the Vita Nuova, a striking piece of self-psychologizing, set in the form of a critical exposition of his sonnets.
"These were concerned with his strange relationship with Beatrice, with whom he fell in love at the age of nine (she was only eigth). With all the devotion of Courtly Love that demanded purification through a kind of self-denial and worship usually accorded to the Divine, he pursued Beatrice with adoring glances, being rewarded with one famous salutation on the bridge," narrates Fines.
Dante's devotion, however, was obviously real, Fines adds, "for when she died in 1290 he changed his mode of life considerably in reaction."
Dante married and had children, and indulged in a certain amount of dissipation and free-thinking, which he much regretted in later years, according to Fines.
Dayot says religion copied the theory of hell, heaven and purgatory in Dante's long narrative poem, Divine Comedy,  "to instill fears in the hearts of the faithful."


CANTICAS

The Divine Comedy is composed of 14,233 lines that are divided into three canticas (Italian plural cantiche) – Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise) – each consisting of 33 canots (Italian plural canti). An initial canor, serving as an introduction to the poem and generally considered to be part of the first cantica, brings the total number of cantos to 100.
It is generally accepted, however, that the first two cantos serve as a unitary prologue to the entire epic, and that the opening two cantos of each cantica serve as prologues to each of the three canticas
The Roman Catholic Church bases its belief on heaven, purgatory and hell on some main biblical passages in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) and the 14 books of the Apocrypha, supplemented by church wisdom and teaching down through the centuries.

Conservative and mainline Protestant denominations tend to base their belief on their literal interpretation of certain passages of the Bible, and their symbolic interpretations of others. They arrive at very different beliefs from the Roman Catholics because both groups select different passages to read literally. They also reach different conclusions based on how they interpret key passages.

BELIEFS

Liberal Christians generally believe that the beliefs of the authors of the Bible evolved greatly over the approximately one millennia during which the Bible was written. Thus, there is little internal consistency in the Bible about the afterlife. Some liberals remain undecided on the existence and nature of any form of afterlife.
Humanists, Atheists, Agnostics, etc. are generally skeptical about the existence of an afterlife. Most see no evidence for any form of human consciousness existing after death. Findings of research into the internal workings of the brain seem to support this theory. However, a person's influence does live on in their children and in other lives that they have touched.
According to Fines, Dante attended the Mendicant's schools and learnt philosophy; he was sufficiently impressed by Aristotle to quote him some 300 times in his own works, and he became more deeply interested in science and logic.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Tears made him look like a winner

"When I won in 2003, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would win Wimbledon and have my kids seeing me lift the trophy, so this is pretty surreal. And yeah, I was almost shocked in the moment that it all came together so nicely."
--Roger Federer

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY
-- In a nation where tears can change allegiance and generate sympathy like the Philippines, Marin Cilic looked like the conqueror rather than the vanquished.
In fact, if Cilic, a Croatian, were Filipino, his countrymen would have cried, "We wuz robbed!" with alarming intensity as some of them would violently parrot each time boxing icon Manny Pacquiao was beaten on points in a square jungle.
Sports' oft-repeated phrase, "the agony of defeat", was best summed up in the most memorable shot of the Wimbledon men's final on July 16 in London when Cilic's Cinderella-like rise ended in a bizarre episode that saw him sobbing into a towel with two medics and the tournament referee crouched at his feet.
Cilic's tears made him look like a winner, in the eyes of many Filipino fans.


BLISTER

Only Cilic knows how much his tears were owing to the pain of a massive blister on his left foot and how much it was being overcome by the significance of the occasion and his inability to rise to it, observes analyst Martha Kelner.
But ironically, it took an outpouring of emotion to reportedly garner some support from a Centre Court crowd wildly in favor of Roger Federer, who at 35, became the oldest men's winner of Wimbledon's modern era.
Federer claimed his 19th Grand Slam title 6-3, 6-1, 6-4, succeeding Arthur Ashe, who was almost 32 when he won in 1976.
The Swiss superstar’s 11th Wimbledon final, and 29th at the majors, will also be remembered for the moving sight of the popular Cilic breaking down in tears after slipping 3-0 behind in the second set.
The seventh seeded and the 2014 US Open champion Croatian, sobbed inconsolably and buried his head in his towel as his title dream slipped away.


RETIREMENT

Historians recall that only one Wimbledon singles final, both in the men’s and the women’s, has ended in a retirement and that was back in 1911 but it seemed another might be on the cards.
Somehow Cilic composed himself enough to continue and was cheered to the rafters by a crowd keen not to be short-changed as the Croatian made his way to serve.
Of all Federer’s 29 slam finals, this was arguably the most one-sided and a second set was sealed as neatly as his on court attire.
Kelner recalls that the last time someone came from two sets behind to win the Wimbledon final was Henri Cochet beating Jean Borotra in 1927. But this match never felt like bestowing such a heroic comeback.
"A 119mph ace from the Cilic to keep the match alive with the faintest of pulses in the third set was cheered raucously. But the title was soon Federer’s and he too produced the waterworks at the sight of his four children being brought into his box," concludes Kelner.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Clear Malones first before clearing Maasin

"Whoever blushes is already guilty; true innocence is ashamed of nothing."
--Jean-Jacques Rousseau

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY --
It was Mayor Mariano Malones of Maasin, Iloilo in the Philippines, who was falsely accused of being involved in narco-politics.
Malones, his family and political supporters, have endured humiliation for several months now from the wrong accusation.
If there is someone who should be cleared first, it is the mayor.
Maasin, known for its world-class bamboo products, was never considered as hotbed of illegal drugs.
Even residents of Maasin will never believe that cases of illegal drugs in the town's 50 villages are at alarming stage.
It is but proper that the Oversight Committee of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-6) and the Police Regional Office (PRO-6 should first settle the issue on Malones.
The League of the Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP-Iloilo) has been fighting for Malones' innocence after President Rodrigo R. Duterte tagged Malones, along with Calinog Mayor Alex Centena, Carles Mayor Salagunting Betita, and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog as allegedly involved in protection racket of illegal drugs.
The scheduled declaration of Maasin as "drug-free" in a ceremony on July 14 is good, but it's like pushing the cart ahead of the horse.


-o0o-

Instead of agreeing to fight WBO 147-lb champion Jeff Horn in a rematch, we suggest that Sen. Manny Pacquiao should retire and give other promising boxers the chance to fight for the world crown.
It will be a good match if Horn will face Amir Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) in his first title defense.
Both Horn and Khan have almost the same hieght and style.
Horn and Khan fight like Marcos Maidana and Victor Ortiz. They move forward like roller coasters and they aren't afraid to slug it out against the aging Pacquiao, who is arguably one of the most destructive prizefighters to ever walk on this planet but who is already past his prime.
Horn shouldn't push his luck by asking for a Floyd Mayweather Jr. duel.
Mayweather, who will fight UFC phenom Conor McGregor on August 26 in Las Vegas, will eat the Aussie alive.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

'I lost my family because of gambling'

"Gambling can turn into a dangerous two-way street when you least expect it. Weird things happen suddenly, and your life can go all to pieces."
--Hunter S. Thompson


By Alex P. Vidal


NEW YORK CITY -- If he can only turn back the time, Francisco, 63, will kneel down in front of his wife, Cynthia, 65, and their two children, Resty, 24; and Analyn, 22, and beg that he be forgiven for destroying their family because of his addiction to gambling.
"But when we sold our house (in Los Angeles) after the divorce, that's when I realized I could not bring back my family together again," laments Francisco, who admitted his refusal to fight for his marriage and save it "was the biggest mistake I would carry in my grave."
Cynthia, a phycisian in L.A., filed for divorce in 2009 after being married to Francisco for 26 years.
She could not anymore tolerate Francisco's addiction to gambling, Francisco discloses.
His "excessive" and "uncontrolled" addiction to gambling was the cause of their constant quarrel.
Francisco's income and savings as hotel security guard had been swallowed by his cravings to regularly bet in the casino.


HOOKED

Francisco says he didn't realize he was already hooked to gambling even if he was losing $3,000 to $5,000 a week in an Industry City Casino in Los Angeles County.
"My addiction started after I won $5,000 in the poker game. I thought I could win again thus I became a regular casino habitue until I lost heavily and abused my credit cards," Francisco adds.
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), problem gambling affects more than two percent of Americans.
Gambling addicts may reportedly feel an uncontrollable urge to buy lottery tickets, visit casinos, play slot machines, bet on sports, or gamble online.
The specific type and frequency of gambling behavior may vary, warns the NCPG. But in general, gambling addicts will be reportedly unable to control that behavior. NCPG says theywill continue gambling, even in the face of negative social, financial, or legal consequences.


MAJORITY

Study shows that the majority of people with gambling addictions are men. But this type of addiction can also reportedly affect women.
"My former wife was so affected with my uncontrollable gambling habits because we maintained two joint accounts in two banks," recalls Francisco, a former seaman.
When Francisco, born in Cagayan de Oro City in the Philippines, filed for bankrupcy in 2008, he left a staggering $109,000 debt.
"There was a time my pockets were empty after I lost heavily in the casino that I couldn't go home because I had no money left to buy a gasoline for my car," Francisco sobs. "I was tired, hungry and trembling."
To avoid "memories of my ugly past", Francisco relocated in Woodside, Queens here in 2010.
"I missed my family after seven years. I blame nobody but myself. If I did not become a gambling addict, I would still be having dinner with my family, something we did regularly before this unfortunate incident happened in my life," Francisco tearfully laments.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fat people

"People will make mean comments. People are going to say that you're fat, that you're this, that you're that. You just have to be comfortable in your own skin."
-- Ashley Benson


By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Do we treat someone shabbily because he or she is overweight or fat?
There are jeepney--and even taxi--drivers in the Philippine who refuse to take passengers that "occupy two seats" per body because of their "over" weight or "big" size.
We have laws against discrimination, of course, and our friends in this subject matter should be equally covered and protected by these laws.
The old expression "Laugh and grow fat" leads many to believe that fat people are always happy.
One reason for this saying may be that the extra fatty tissue under their skin makes their frowns and worry lines less noticeable.


HAPPY

But psychologists claim that overweight people are usually far from happy. So let us not add to their "burden" by being truculent toward their "extra baggage."
Experts are saying that sometimes the glands or chemical make-up of the body need medical attention.

Or, excess weight may be due to upset emotions caused by a lack of love, a feeling of not being wanted, or some frustration.
Another popular (or unpopular?) saying is, "Fat people are lazy."
But we know now that laziness affects fat and thin alike.

A fleshy person appears lazy because his movements are slowed up by the weight he carries.

CURED

Hundreds of seemingly lazy people, both thin and fat, have been cured when fitted with the proper eye-glasses, it was learned.
Others have gained energy after they have had medical care like someone I know who frequently plays chess in the Elmhurst park here.
A third fallacy in regard to fat people is that there are more fat boys than girls. Statistics, however, show the number is about equal.

Monday, July 10, 2017

It's time to move on, the WBO has spoken

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Now that Jeff Horn's win over Manny Pacquiao was finally confirmed July 10 after a scoring review by no less than the World Boxing Organization (WBO) declared the 29-year-old unbeaten Australian the clear winner, it's time to move on and accept defeat.
In our capacity as a licensed professional judge/referee, we also explained in details in an article earlier why Pacquiao lost after fans of Pacquiao ran berserk even in the social media.
With this development, we respectfully request the Games and Amusement Board (GAB), which earlier wanted to join the fray, to stop exacerbating the imbroglio by calling for an investigation of the alleged cheating on July 2 in Brisbane, an accusation which was unfounded and had no basis at all.  
Here's part of the Agence France-Presse story entitled "WBO review rules Horn beat Pacquiao":
"The WBO -- which does not have the power to reverse a decision unless fraud or law violations are proven --set up a panel of independent judges who were asked to watch the bout without sound and determine who won each round.
The results were tabulated to show clearly the rounds each fighter won using an average scale based on 60, 80 and 100 percent, with three of the five officials needing to be in agreement.
A similar method has been used to review WBO title fights before.
“Upon the analysis, the findings stated that Pacquiao won the 3rd, the 8th and 9th by 100 percent; the 5th round was won by 80 percent; and the 11th round by 60 percent,” the WBO said in a statement.
“Horn won the 1st, 6th and 12th rounds by 100 percent; rounds 2, 4, and 7 by 80 percent; and then, the 10th round by 60 percent.
“From the results, it can be established that Pacquiao won five rounds while Horn won seven rounds. Based on this analysis, Jeff Horn was the winner of the bout.”
Horn welcomed the review when it was announced, and said he was ready for a rematch, an option specified in the Brisbane fight contract.
“Let them review it,” the 29-year-old told Queensland’s Courier Mail newspaper.
“They will see it on a TV screen and probably see the same thing everyone else saw — me winning the fight.”
Both the Philippine board and Pacquiao had criticised American referee Mark Nelson for supposedly allowing the underdog Australian to get away with illegal tactics without giving him warnings or point deductions.
The loss sparked calls in the Philippines for the 38-year-old Pacquiao, a national icon after rising from poverty, to retire and concentrate on politics.
Pacquiao briefly retired from boxing last year to pursue his long-held political ambitions and was elected senator. But he quickly made a successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in November, saying he still felt like a youngster."

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Favor)

To refuse graciously is to confer a favor.
 -- PUBLILIUS SYRUS :


We shouldn't feel guilty after saying "no" for no one can give what one doesn't have. Our mental and emotional health would be at risk if we forced ourselves to say "yes" when, in truth and in fact, it's beyond our capacity to help. By being gracious, frank and honest, we protect our well-being and preserve our self respect.
  
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Friday, July 7, 2017

Death of Pinay nanny after surgery puzzles community

By Alex P. Vidal

HASBROUCK HEIGHT, New Jersey -- The "sudden" death of Filipino nanny Salvadora "Dorie" Losabia Roxas after a surgery at the University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey on June 28, has puzzled the Filipino communities in New Jersey and New York.
Friends brought Roxas, 62, to the hospital on June 26 for treatment of uterine prolapse.

After a robotic surgery on June 27, she complained of severe pain in the stomach, said Nora Arcilla, a friend who took care of Roxas in the hospital.
Uterine prolapse occurs when the womb (uterus) drops down and presses into the vaginal area, it was learned.
Another surgery was reportedly performed on June 28 allegedly "to remove an embedded needle left behind inside Roxas' stomach."
Hospital authorities could not be reached to confirm this report.


SOURCE

The embedded needle could be the source of Roxas' pain, surmised Arcilla and Roxas' other friends, Alma Santander and Ernesto Uy, who visited her after the first surgery.
"After the first surgery, Dorie was complaining of severe pain while holding her stomach. We were so affected and couldn't do anything to help her so we asked to leave the hospital," Santander recalled.

Arcilla said Roxas' stomach had been bloated and she couldn't urinate. Doctors reportedly gave her pain reliever.
Arcilla said doctors assured her "everything would be fine" after the second surgery where the alleged embedded needle had been reportedly located and removed.
But at around three o'clock in the afternoon on June 29, Roxas was dead, said Arcilla of Virac, Catanduanes.
Roxas had been unconscious since 11 o'clock in the morning on that day, she added.
Arcilla learned that Roxas' intestines had been ruptured. Doctors could not confirm the report pending autopsy results.


SHOCK

"She was still okay when we left," sobbed Uy of Tacloban City. "I was shocked to learn of her sudden death."
Results of autopsy conducted by the hospital on June 30 will be known after 45 days, said Trinidad Oliquino, Roxas' niece.
Oliquino said Roxas' former employer was planning to file a lawsuit. She did not elaborate.
On July 6, Roxas' relatives, friends and former employers held a wake at the Hennessey Heights Funeral Homes and Cremation Service here, where her body was displayed in an open casket.
Roxas, a widow who arrived in the United States in 2007, was a member of Iglesia Ni Kristo, a religious church in the Philippines.
Roxas' body was preserved and would be sent to her family in Guinobatan, Albay via Tandang Sora, Quezon City on July 9 via Philippine Airlines.
Friends and former employers chipped in for the $10,000 freight expenses. They also set aside funds for Roxas' children, Lorelie Aguilar, Bernie Roxas, Marlon Roxas, and two grandchildren, who are all in Bicol.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.-- JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER:

Any laborer can be looked up to as producer and builder, but only an artist can be hailed as genius and visionary.
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Don't judge the mind by his muscles

"I judge people based on their capability, honesty, and merit."
--Donald Trump


By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY
-- At first glance, Fil-Am Jay Abellanosa can be mistaken for a bodybuilding champion: he looks tough with strengthened and enlarged muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno.

In 2010, when Abellanosa transfered here after living for 26 years in Los Angeles, he sauntered in Elmhurst Park on Broadway, Queens.
Fellow Fil-Am park habitues, thinking he was a push over because of his built, challenged him for chess matches.
"Bodybuilder lang yan walang alam yan sa chess (he is just a bodybuilder and doesn't know how to play well in chess)," Abellanosa quoted one of the punks as murmuring.
Abellanosa accepted the challenge and routed them all in blitz and slow game.
To their shock and horror, Elmhurst chessers realized they had been bombed out by a three-time category World Open chess champion.


Abellanosa, 64, copped the World Open Under-16, Under-18, and Under-19 titles held in Philadelphia and Long Beach respectively more than 20 years ago.

CLUB

Born in Lapasan, Cagayan De Oro City where he used to maintain a modest chess club, Abellanosa arrived in the US in 1985 as a seaman.
"Nag jump ship ako, frankly speaking," he revealed.
In California, Abellanosa married an American citizen and they produced two children: a male, now 24; and a female, now 21.

In ruling the three category championships in different years and venues, Abellanosa pocketed some $35,000 cash, making him one of the winningest unrated Filipino chess players in the US circuit in the 90s.
He credited Rodrigo Atutubo, a Philippine national master and former Olympian from Silay City, as the Filipino chesser with highest earnings in US chess at $50,000.
"They were wondering who I am and where I came from because in the Philippines, I am a nobody. I never won a major title in the Philippines, and nobody knew me there as a chess player," Abellanosa explained.


SERIOUS

He became a serious chess player only in the US after he met cracked Philippine masters Reylan Magbanua, Sammy Labrador, Juliebert David, Oscar Tan, and International Master Angelo Young in Los Angeles' McArthur's Park.

"They were the ones who helped hone my skills. They were the ones who egged me to be serious in chess so I could also win in tournaments," disclosed Abellanosa, who openly campaigned for Donald Trump even during a chess tournament in Manhattan in September 2016.
While preparing for big tournaments in the 90s, Abellanosa worked as security guard in Hotel Belmont and in Dun Bar armored vehicle in L.A. alternately.
"I studied hard. I made a research of the games of grandmasters. I really did my homework and all my sacrifices have paid off," he narrated. "I was so serious with chess at that time."
Abellanosa goaded Filipino chessers who crumbled in the recently concluded World Open in Philadelphia held from June 29-July4, not to lose hope.


HIGHEST

GM Oliver Barbosa (FIDE 2589) was the highest Filipino finisher at 14th with 6.5 points in Open category won by GM Tigran L Pitrosian (FIDE 2595), who steamrolled Barbosa in the final round.
"(They should) research and study more; continue to play with stronger players and set aside their pride," he enthused.
"Even (former world champion and American genius) Bobby Fischer lost during his early years in chess. He also cried and his mother mollified and egged him to move on until he became a world champion."
Abellanosa' philosophy in life: "I will respect a person because he is a human being, not because he is somebody in society; not because he is a champion, a doctor, a politician, or a person with big name and title."

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Defeats of Onyok, Pacquiao explained

“Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart, and that’s in rhythm or you’re in trouble.”
– Sugar Ray Robinson

By Alex P. Vidal

FAIRFAX, Virginia -- In simple analysis, let us explain why amateur boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velas Jr. and professional fighter Manny Pacquiao lost on points in championship duels many Filipino fight fans thought they won.
Bulgaria’s Daniel Petrov Bojilov outclassed the Philippines’ Velasco Jr. , 19-6, for gold in the five-round lighflyweight finals of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, but many Filipino fans called it a “The Robbery in Atlanta”.
It was not.
The five feet and two inches tall Velasco was simply clobbered by five feet and six inches tall Bojilov under the old International Boxing Association (AIBA) scoring system.
Many punches thrown by Velasco landed accurately, but not all of them could be translated to points. Bojilov may have thrown lesser punches as compared to Velasco, but many of them were enough to be translated to points.

COMPUTER

Before the computer system was changed on March 13, 2013, each judge in amateur boxing gave an individual score for each boxer. The score given to each boxer would be taken from three out of five judges either by similar score or trimmed mean.
The computer scoring system has been abandoned, with amateur boxing instead using the 10-point must system, similar to professional boxing.
The scorecards in the Manny Pacquiao versus Jeff Horn for the 12-round WBO welterweight tussle in Brisbane on July 2 read 117-111, 115-113, and 115-113 all for Horn, who statistically landed far fewer punches than Pacquiao. 
But CompuBox showed Pacquiao was statistically more accurate.
The controversy lies on the fact that CompuBox isn’t necessarily always dead-on accurate with its punch-tracking and not all fans know this.
In a 10-point must system, three judges, facing the ring from different angles, decide in every round to award 10 or 9 points to each boxer.
The decision to award 10, 9, or 8 points is anchored on the following: effective hits, defense, ring generalship, and knockdown.
A fighter who goes down from a legitimate punch but survives in one round gets an automatic 8 and his rival gets an automatic 10.

DOMINANT

A dominant boxer in every round gets 10 and his rival gets 9.
A 10-10 score for each round is allowed, but judges are discouraged from giving an even score. They have to find a winner in each round.
Computer statistics, or the the CompuBox records used by those who protest Pacquiao’s defeat to Horn, are not always the metric basis to determine the winner in a professional bout.
This explains why Oscar De La Hoya defeated Pernell Whitaker in 1997: 115-111, 116-110 and 116-110; Floyd Mayweather won over Jose Luis Castillo in 2002: 116-111, 115-111 and 115-111; Felix Trinidad beat De La Hoya in 1999: 114-114, 115-113 and 115-114; Whitaker drew with Julio Caesar Chavez in 1993: 115-113, 115-115 and 115-115, among other controversial fights.



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Read the handwriting on the wall, Manny!

“It is also a warning. It is a warning that, if nobody reads the writing on the wall, man will be reduced to the state of the beast, whom he is shaming by his manners.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

By Alex P. Vidal

FAIRFAX, Virginia -- I knew Jeff Horn was about to shock the world as early in the seventh round, but I was able to muster enough courage to first declare in my Facebook page that the unbeaten Aussie would upset WBO welterweight king Manny Pacquiao when the fight entered the 10th stanza of the 12-round championship tussle in Brisbane on July 2.
The scores: 117-111, 115-113, 115-113 didn’t surprise me. I scored it 116-114 for Horn.
Pacquiao got distracted by pressures to score a knockout.
He needed a knockout to bring back his invincibility and convince fight fans he wasn’t yet over the hill.
But boxing isn’t always about knockout.
It can be won also on points.

HOMETOWN

Horn, egged by a hometown crowd, was determined to snatch the WBO tiara off from his head, thus he engaged the 38-year-old superstar in a toe-to-toe brawl without fear and hesitation.
In the sixth round, Horn, 29, showed that he could swallow Pacquiao’s best punches and didn’t retreat.
The white fighter from Brisbane Queensland stuck to the game plan: pressure the Pacman from pillar to post and avoid fighting him from the distance.
Taller by three inches at 5 feet and nine inches, Horn, an orthodox, complicated matters for unorthodox Pacquiao when he swapped bombs side by side instead of stepping backward while Pacquiao was digging on Horn’s body.   
Refusing to be intimidated, Horn was ahead entering the eight round.
The senator from Mindanao has not sent to dreamland the last nine customers he beat in eight years.
The loss to Horn (17-0-11 KOs) was also his fourth in the last eight years.
Pacquiao’s last TKO win was on Nov. 14, 2009 when he stopped Miguel Cotto in the last round for the WBO 147-lb bauble in Las Vegas.

FOUR

After a scintillating Cotto TKO win, Pacquiao rolled past Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, and Juan Manuel Marquez (third meeting) all on points.
Then came back to back setbacks to Timothy Bradley Jr. On June 9, 2012 and a shock five-round KO loss to Marquez (fourth meeting) on December 8, 2012.
Followed by three straight wins against Brandon Rios, Bradley (rematch), and Chris Algieri before Pacquiao succumbed to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2, 2015.
He should have retired after the Mayweather debacle after bankrolling $100 million.
Pacquiao’s third meeting and second victory over Bradley and another win against Jessie Vargas all in 2016 were meant to deodorize his marketability after a not-so-impressive performance against Mayweather.
Pacquiao’s No. 1 marketing man, Bob Arum, made sure Pacquiao wasn’t tainted when he and Mayweather failed to satisfy the paying fans who protested the “lackluster” duel.

STOCK

The twin wins over Bradley and Vargas, however, didn’t improve his stock.
Pacquiao did not only stagnate, he declined as manifested by his diminishing work rates en route to scoring his last two wins before the Horn shocker.
He could not paddle his canoe as senator and ribcracker in two rivers.
At 38, his speed and power could no longer send fears in the hearts of younger and hungrier welterweights today.
The Horn defeat was a handwriting on the wall for Pacquiao that it’s time to finally hang up his gloves even if Bob Arum and the Top Rank will run berserk.
There’s no more reason for him to stay in the fistic business.
He has achieved titanic stardom that can’t be duplicated by any Asian fighter today.
He has earned gargantuan millions of dollars that no other prizefighter in his generation other than Mayweather has achieved.
His political career has been a success while riding on fame and glory he garnered through years of giving the Philippines pride and respect in the world of prizefighting.
Pacquiao should have quit when he was ahead.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Lie)

By a lie, a man annihilates his dignity as a man.
--IMMANUEL KANT :

Lying degrades our personality. Habitual lying destroys our character. Perpetual lying demolishes our soul. 
--ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Right Decision)

There's no wrong time to make the right decision.
-- DALTON MCGUINTY :

Timing is a circumstance. Decision-making is a choice. We can never make a choice without being aware of what is right and wrong. Ergo, “wrong timing” can't be a valid excuse, alibi or justification for a wrong decision. 
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Love what we do)

In doing something, do it with love or never do it at all.
-- MAHATMA GANDHI :
Success of our tasks hinges on the degree of enthusiasm and passion we hammered out while doing them. Satisfaction is the byproduct of amount of love we injected while performing them.
-- ALEX P. VIDAL

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Listen)

It is greed to do all the talking but not to want to listen at all.
-- DEMOCRITUS :
In any conversation, no one holds the franchise to exclusively talk non-stop before a captive audience. Conversation is a two-way street. If our intention is to unload heartaches, worries and soap opera-type predicaments, we must also be willing to lend our ears when someone is trying to make a point. Like crossing a railway, we must learn to stop, look and listen.
-- ALEX P. VIDAL