On Higher Ground

​I have the opportunity to climb the peak of the mountain which took us about 4 hours just to get there. The path was to steep and nerve-wrecking but it was a satisfying experience. 
We climb there on Lenten Season, time for reflection, and I did. The experience was so memorable to me because that was the first time I engaged in an activity after I got injured with an ACL. Also we met our housemaid (back when we were young) living in the small barangay near the peak of the mountain. 

It made me realize a lot of things especially on Family and People. 


  • I came there with my family and relatives. We’re the young ones getting excited with the trip to a place we never imagined going. With us are our parents, uncles and aunts, they were also taking on the challenge of climbing there despite their age and numerous reasons not to. Being with Family makes the climb bearable. Family tend to encourage one another and lift each other up (figuratively and literally speaking). Family is an important component of life that we tend to neglect but it is on of the things that is constant in a changing world. 


  • As I mentioned earlier, We met our ex-housemaid. We spent almost 3 years with her taking care of my younger sibling among other things. We liked her since she was one of those who lasted more than a month (believe me it’s a very short list) but due to the request of her father she went back home to marry the one her father had arranged for her. She was from a mountainous area from our town and there she was in a mountainous area of another town. She was happy as we was seeing her. Now, she has 5 children and she’s working with her husband in the other side of the mountain. Seeing and experiencing a bit of their life made me think that there were still unfortunate people who were deprived of access to health care, to a nearby school since her eldest child had to walk for an hour or so just to reach the bottom of the mountain to go to school in the next barangay, and access to opportunities that may elevate the quality of life they had. At the same time, I felt that they were perks of having a lif such a theirs. One of those is the cold and pure water coming from the springs, bountiful harvest of crops that they grew there and the clean air that I surely miss. They have a simple life and have simple dreams. I hope that most people would realize that there were others such as Manang (who we call her) that lived with even less than what we normally have. We should be thankful for what we have and appreciate the strength of people despite of adversities or unfortunate circumstances.

God really do wonders in things even if we least expect it. More than reaching the peak and seeing the magnificent view from above, I gained experiences, learnings, realizations and most of all seeing a familair face in an unexpected place. This makes me believe in more on God, family and people.



UAAP Story: Rise of Underdogs

​Underdogs are schools that have relatively new line-up due to the loss/graduates of some key players while some may have new coaches.

Teams that I consider underdogs are the Adamson Lady Falcons, Ateneo Lady Eagles, University of the East Lady Warriors, University of the Philippines Lady Maroons and University of Santo Tomas Lady Tigresses. These teams are relatively new in terms of group dynamic and adjustments ranging from change of coaches to loss of key players and having additional players.
Adamson team shows promise since the comeback of almost all of their players who plaued the Season 78 and were not able to play in Season 79. I’m talking about Paat, Dacoroon and Emnas who were full of potential but always fell short during their stint in the previous seasons. They struggled and then they cameback at the right time helping Galanza to win games and recently defeating the defending champions in 4 sets. This only shows that the Lady Falcons are stronger and in better shape than their previous years. They are the team that will not be taken lightly.

Ateneo Lady Eagles is a team who lost their setter and their team captain of the previous season, Morado and Morente respectively. Though veteran players Maraguinot, Madayag and De leon are still with the team, they have to adjust because not only did they lost the playmaker but also their defensive specialist, Gequillana, earlier the season because of an ACL Injury. The team has to build a strong connection and regain their team dynamics with the new setter and libero. They may seem to be starting from scratch but remember the time when the Lady Eagles had their first title, they lost the Fab Five, their starters yet they won a championship for two consecutive years. This simply shows that this team has that power to go against all odds and prove themselves to be worthy opponents in this season.

UE Lady Warriors is a new team with a new coach entering midseason. In the past, they were the team that is being played by the bench players from other teams. A “sure win” if not an “easy win” for their opponents but this season they show that they can also be lethal. They even stole a set from almost all teams during the first elimination round and having a five setter match against strong opponents. Veterans, Arado and Adorador, lead their teams to have confidence and to eventually win sets. Although winless at the moment, they pretty showed a great fight and giving the other schools a hard time to get their win. 

University of the Philippines, this team has the youngest players. The players have to step-up their game and they did. Despite losing their coach before the season starts, this doesn’t made them weak rather it made them stronger. They keep that as a motivation as they move forward. They may be the least mature team in terms of handling the pressure, the crowd and the situation in the court per se but they won matches and every game must be a learning experience for them. They have the highest potential to outshine other teams when they peak at the right time. 

UST Tigresses has also an intact line-up from last year except from the unfortunate loss of Laure due to shoulder injury before the season began. I consider them as underdogs because they were considered as underrated by many. This team has the right people with the right skills that they need it’s just that they have to polish things and when they do they could be lethal. Looking at the form and on how these girls play, it’s no doubt that they wanted that final four spot. The will of these girls are like a fire that can’t be stopped which makes them an opponent that is hard to beat.

This Season 80 all teams have the same goal but only Four teams will be moving towards that championship. This is just the first round of elimination and it’s not done yet but the scoring is so close that you don’t know what more to expect other than this year is an exciting season to watch.

Game of Politics

Human Rights. This is sensitive and most talked issue in the Philippines right now. This is due to allegations of human rights violations from the present government. Philippines had a history of a governement wherein human rights is not upholded and rampant violations were made because of the declaration of Martial Law. Because of this, people feared to experience the same treatment. They associate martial law with human rights violations. They even associate martial law with extrajudicial killings which is often associated with police force under the present government. 

I feel pity for all the victims of these, us. Victims in the sense that we are being used as a front for advocacies with hidden agepndas. Yes, we condone extrajudicial killings and human rights violotions. We are totally against these actions and people rally to make their vioces heard but the reality is we are used as pawns in the game of chess called the politics. 

PAWNS. They are the most weakest yet if overlooked they can be the greatest weapon if used well. Pawns are used as first line of defense. They are utilized to slowly gain enough space and pressure the opponent.to make a wrong move. This is where rallies are born. Leaders of groups have different kinds of personalities, there are some who are principled and rightious who would take a fight to the end. These people are being used by ambitious people who are aiming for power and authority, even for momentary fame. They are fueled by some persons who are working behind the scene and would like to finance whatever activities the activist group would do just to disrupt the peace and create a diversion for them to be placed at the ideal area, they are the bishops.

BISHOPS. They don’t refer to the head of a church rather as a chess piece. They focus on an area of target, and manuever the pieces to make way for when the timing is right, they would move toward their target. They are the ones who work behind the scenes. Politicians who are more ambitious and power greedy but with an introverted attitude belongs to this category.

ROOKS. They are comparable to the muscles of the queen. They are second best when it comes to power but with limited options. It is better to have it in pairs to make it more powerful. Tower is another name for it. They also are the eyes and guard of the castle. Rooks are those people who are well connected and best in guarding their allies best interest. They can compensate for the lacking queen which makes them a threat if not treated well by their masters, the queen.

KNIGHTS. They move from place to place even in closed game givem with enough space to go to. They are the trickest and most decisive pieces because one move can cause ripples of effect. They can create a multiple threat to multiple people or circumstances. They are the people who are powerful enough but tend to suppress or hide their identity or involvement. They act as spies who can easily move undetected or not considered as a threat until it’s too late.

QUEEN. This is the powerful figure in the game. Its presence can determine victory over the opponent. Yet they can be blinded by power itself. One who is believed to be irreplacable becomes dispensible and be sacrificed for nothing. They is the strongest yet they can be a liability if not used properly. They are the type of people who lead the group and have the greatest authority bested upon yet can be easily put down if th need arise. They only stand because of their image and sympathy of the people. They are the heart of the game or the darling of the crowd.

KING. He only serves as a backbone of the game. The main goal and public figure. They can either hold the pieces together towards victory or defeat. The most guarded yet the most vulnerable. The most powerful yet with limited resources and space. They usually can’t control what happened but theycan dictate the tempo of the game. They are the people who have the same characteristics as that of the king. 

We have these people in our society and their using the advocacies, stories and voices of ordinary people to manipulate and fight their battles against their opponents. 

In the end we are all pitiful people who are used and violated without our knowledge. We are exploited without our consent. 

Are we still going to play the game of Politics as pawns? Do we still wanted to be used as Pawns? Are we allowing others to used us as weapons? 

If not, then let’s criticise and create a solution. Change doesn’t only occur if we pick on the little things, good or bad. Change occur because of an action and a solution. So let’s do our part by giving solutions to our country’s problem rather than talking bad things about it.