My thoughts on Miami Heat’s victory over the San Antonio Spurs

Lebron James holding the Larry O'Brien trophy (right) and the Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy (left).

Lebron James holding the Larry O’Brien trophy (right) and the Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy (left).

The Miami Heat won its second consecutive NBA title over the San Antonio Spurs after a tough series, which had to be extended to game 7 in Miami. It was a thrilling series in three years as  they were on the verge of defeat in game 6 until Ray Allen shot a 3-point field goal to secure an overtime and won the game 6 and be decided who should be the NBA champion in game 7. I watched the entire series from game 1 to 7 and had to flood my wall on Facebook that annoyed some of my friends as I had been waiting that series for eight years to happen and had to watch to decide whether Lebron could cement himself to be one of the greatest of all time in the NBA the time by the he retire someday or cement Tim Duncan’s legacy further as one of the best NBA players in this generation.

The path of the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs to get the NBA Finals was different. The Heat’s path to the NBA finals was difficult compared to the Spurs as they had to reach game 7 to win the Eastern Conference Finals because they didn’t have immediate response to Roy Hibbert at the front court, Paul George at the back court, and the athleticism of the Pacers’ players. San Antonio Spurs had the easier path to the NBA Finals as they swept the Memphis Grizzlies, 4 games to nothing as the Memphis Grizzlies was too inexperienced to face the good combination of veteran and youth players of the Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder, who could have been the team to face the Miami Heat in the Finals, was eliminated by the Grizzlies due to Russell Westbrook injury in his right knee, rendering Thunder’s dream to have a Finals rematch with the Heat impossible.

The entire Finals series was close as crucial games had to be decided with razor-thin margins in game 1, 6, and 7 while both teams had to win over each other with overwhelming margins in game 2, 3, 4, 5. The series was considered a relatively low-scoring and defense focused for both teams as starting and reserve players like James, Wade, Bosh, Chalmers, Miller, Allen, and Battier for the Heat and Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Green, Neal, Diaw and Leonard for the Spurs had defend the ball just to win the series, therefore, the NBA title.

Many fans and especially band wagoners had expected the Heat to win the series in an ease way, but they were wrong as the Spurs showed their courageous and tenancy efforts to fight for another NBA title despite of having their starting players way older than them. During game 1, the Spurs showed to the world that they could still made them tired and tougher to defend their title in 2012. The Heat accepted their challenge and proved the world that they were the best by forcing the game 6 into an overtime through Ray Allen’s 3-point field goal in the remaining seconds of the fourth quarter of the same game. Had Ray Allen’s 3 missed, the Spurs would have been the NBA champion, but of course, it didn’t happen.

Spurs’ defeat was not really because of Ray Allen’s 3-point shoot, but because of fatal mistakes of their head coach, Gregg Popovich of playing Manu Ginobili too much minutes, who was inconsistent throughout the series and playing Tiago Splitter in the start of fourth quarter that gave an opportunity for the Heat to destroy their defense at the front court. The same mistakes were committed by Popovich in game 7 as Ginobili played the fourth and he got tired probably that’s why he missed passes and shoots that would have been a victory for the Spurs in game 7.

The reason on why the Heat could not defeat the Spurs in 5 games was because of their weakness at the back court and the front court where Tim Duncan of the Spurs dominated the them on the latter. Lebron James still had his weakness at the perimeter (although improving throughout the years), Dwyane Wade was not 100% healthy, and Chris Bosh was inconsistent at the back court. They had to rely Chalmers, Miller, Battier, and Allen to win the series to match Spurs’ strength at the back court.

The moral lesson of the series is that we need to have a sort of consistency to win the series and if the momentum is almost in our hands, never fumble it. The series was the proof that any veteran teams can still have chances to reach NBA finals or even winning the title itself.

Ways to maintain our independence as a nation in the future

Happy 115th independence day, Philippines.

Happy 115th independence day, Philippines.

Today is the 115th anniversary of the independence of our country from 333 year rule of the Spaniards. 115 years ago, Emilio Aguinaldo waved the our flag for the first time in his residence balcony in Kawit, Cavite. The independence declaration was made possible because the Spanish rule in our country was crumbling due to American’s intrusion at the Manila Bay and a decade-long insurrection by the Filipinos to  overthrow the Spanish rule. However, Emilio Aguinaldo’s declaration of independence was not recognized by either Spaniards nor by the Americans as when the United States handily defeated Spain, the Spanish government decided to cede Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico into American control with $20 million (1898 price) payment by the US to Spain after 333 years of Spanish rule in the Philippine archipelago. Filipinos tried to kick the Americans out of the country in the early 20th century, but they never succeeded it because of American’s’ superiority on warfare and the cholera outbreak that killed lots of Filipino civilians as much as the casualties at the battlefield. The Americans controlled our country for almost 50 years, with the exception of 3-year Japanese occupation during WWII, and granted our independence on 4 July 1946.

However for the past 66 years, we have not achieved the real vision of our founding fathers to have our citizens a sense of independence like well-off life for example. Many of our compatriots thinking that we would have been a lot better right now had the Americans never granted us a political independence, but for me, that is wrong because from the start, Americans did not want to rule our country and they only colonized our country to serve as a platform for American business interests to have a trade with our larger neighbor, China. Many of our compatriots have left the country and prefer to be servants of American, Chinese, European, Japanese, or other employers because our government due to our rotten constitution, does not give an opportunity for businesses especially foreign to generate jobs for our compatriots in the remote areas. Our government for the past 66 years have failed us of fulfilling their empty promises during election campaign periods and swindle our tax money paid for them to supposedly spend for social services.

For the recent years, our neighboring countries like China, Taiwan ROC, and Malaysia have threatening our sovereignty while we Filipinos cannot properly think on how to counter them because of our inferior economy and lots of our compatriots are working with those countries. Our political and economic systems enshrined in our 1987 constitution are inadequate to address these external threats. Our shallow sense of knee-jerk national pride does not help either.

A month ago, I posted on my Facebook account and forum my suggestion to maintain our independence as a nation in the future like reserving the economic model we have right now from exporting our workers to importing foreign MNCs with 100% control of their investments across economic sectors and flooding our country with African, American, Chinese,  European, Indian, Japanese, Korean immigrants to strengthen and diversify our country’s culture. While the first suggestion was acceptable, the second one was intriguing for most commenters on my FB account and especially the suggestion of mine of flooding our country with Chinese immigrants where some of them branded me as “racist” or so on.  Diversifying our culture and demographics are the most essential way for our country to adopt and survive with this global cultural, economic, and perhaps, political integrations. I want to have skilled immigrants from around the world to develop our country’s economy that current Austronesian Filipinos cannot fulfill at most.

I have come to think with that because it will be impossible for our country to defeat China, Taiwan, and Malaysia if we agitate for a war which no one will win but more casualties.  Defeating them especially China will be futile if we never understand their culture because their civilization has existed for more than 5000 years and it will not demoralize them if our demographics are mostly Austronesian, but rather it will motive them to harass our national sovereignty. I believe the only way to defeat China is not fighting them with our firearms but aping their culture to be like them because China will only stop threatening our national sovereignty if our culture and demographics are at least similar to them.

Vacation is over; classes will start again

University of San Carlos, Cebu City.

University of San Carlos, Cebu City.

Vacation is over and classes of entire schools and colleges have to start classes tomorrow. Summer vacation (from late March to early June) is the funniest period of the year for any students at all levels, from kinder to college.  My Facebook news feed of today has been flooded with statuses by my friends (mostly at the college level) about the last day of long summer vacation and the first day of class tomorrow with sadness that vacation is already over. I myself almost didn’t spend summer vacation because I had to take summer classes with subjects where I haven’t taken during the regular school calender for the past two years of attending Political Science at the University of San Carlos.  This was the second consecutive year where I had to attend summer classes, but it was necessary for me to graduate by March 2015 at earliest or by October 2015 at latest.  We understand on why lament about vacation’s last day however, life is not all about relaxing anywhere with our friends but it is all about achieving our ambitions we want in the future that cannot be achieved without resorting to hard work like attending school to finish a degree then gain a stable job or start a business to support ourselves and perhaps, our future respective families. Without to resorting hard work for most of a year, I don’t think we would finish our studies, let alone achieving our ambitions.

For the past 15 years attending school, I would say that I am doing the right thing to continue with it until I finish my studies in two years, despite of temptations to quit schooling which I could have after my elementary graduation due to my severe depression I suffered when my friend of mine suddenly quit from schooling, a year before I graduated from elementary. For the past 15 years attending school, I am not aiming for accolades like being an honor student, let alone of being a dean’s lister, but I am only aiming to fulfill all curricular requisites given to me for a particular year in order to go further until right now, where I am an incoming third year college student and hopefully, I could finish my studies in two years time.  For the past 15 years attending school, I have learned my things in my life that a decade ago, I’d expect not to learn it because of the availability of the internet where I could obtain lots of information from it and share it to everyone online through social networking sites, online discussion groups, and many more.

What I wish for the next 15 years or beyond is that for myself of course, I could get a stable job anywhere in the world and for my countrymen, my advocacy that I have been fighting for can be implemented for real change of our country that every Filipinos have wish for it for many years. I have already accepted the predicament that I cannot be a leader of my country someday because I am just a merely average middle-class citizen who does not have a political connection with the government, let alone having a political family name, but what I and most Filipinos who are aspiring for real change in our political and economic system want is to have our and future leaders to listen our sentiments for change.

My colleagues, I would like to say that if you have a determination and money to attend school, do not waste the money and time given by your parents for unnecessary things like excess nightlife, taking illegal dangerous drugs, having a sex with someone without knowing future responsibilities, skipping school classes, and many more and give your utmost effect on schooling because finishing of it will assure you a better future and an assurance to live within your means until you die.

Juan Ponce Enrile resigns as Senate President

Excerpt of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile's resignation speech as Senate President.

Excerpt of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s resignation speech as Senate President.

Just few hours ago, Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile announced his resignation as the President of the Senate. I wasn’t surprised with his announcement as the ruling party of President Benigno Aquino III has gained an upper hand in the upper house during the recently-concluded senatorial elections last 13 May where 9 senators from the ruling party have won over only three from Enrile’s United Nationalist Alliance. His own son, Jackie, never won the election because of allegations that he killed a certain a certain Ernest Lucas had unveiled during the campaign season that doomed his own candidacy. On Senator Enrile on his part, he faced several criticisms on what he did of giving “cash gifts” to some senators including Miriam Defensor Santiago during Christmas season.  He also gained several ire from his younger colleagues like Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV where he unveiled the former’s father debt obligations when he was alive while for the latter, he exposed his “connivance” with the Chinese government regarding the Spratly and Scarborough issue which of course, Trillanes was angry on Enrile’s revelations.

During his resignation speech as the Senate president, he expressed on regrets on what he did during his 5-year Senate presidency which I think a typical political warrior should say. He lambasted of course, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV. He defended his actions like giving cash-gifts to some senators. He defended his son, Jack from accusations that doomed his  candidacy like killing certain Ernest Lucas Jr. and Alfie Anido during Martial Law days.  He also vowed to clean-up his name for the remaining three years as a senator.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said that Enrile should explain his issues on Senate funds. Senator Antonio Trillanes said that Enrile’s resignation speech as the Senate president was just a “Drama for the media” to gain sympathy for him.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada as the Senate president Pro Tempore, was designated as the Senate president for the meanwhile.

Senator Franklin Drilon, a close ally of President Benigno Aquino III, was rumored to take over the Senate presidency by the start of the 16th Congress session in July.

I think his resignation was honorable way to give-in to the newly elected senators and of course, to the strengthening PNoy coalition in the Senate. His resignation has signaled the beginning of the end of long and colorful political career of Juan Ponce Enrile from being a Defense minister during the Martial Law years of Ferdinand Marcos, being one of the protagonists of EDSA I, and up to the present senatorial career. His resignation should be a reminder that we cannot last forever in a certain position in the government and have to give way for younger and yet deserving ones to lead our government. I would like to say, good hindrance to Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.