HEART STRONG: A UAAP Season 76 Women’s Volleyball Wrap-up

Ateneo for championship point. *toogsh toogsh** “Ateneo.. back to Valdez. Valdez..” Alyssa leaped high like an eagle out there. *TOOGSH! TOOGSH!*

And in a few seconds, she hit and slammed the ball down there and Boom Gonzales was like: “AND THAT’S IT! ATENEO HAS DONE IT! THEY MADE HISTORY!”

AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!

*Clears throat*: HAIL the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball tournament CHAMPIONS: THE ATENEO LADY EAGLES!!

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YES. I’ve always wanted to say that, and it just feels oh-so-good to finally being able to say that again and again! Continue Reading

On Alyssa Valdez, the Lady Eagles and Heart Strong

I’m writing this post since I just can’t move on from yesterday’s epic volleyball match between Ateneo Lady Eagles and National University Lady Bulldogs in UAAP Season 76’s do-or-die semifinals match. We all witnessed an exciting showdown between two of the most loved and most powerful players in Philippine women’s volleyball history: NU’s Dindin Santiago and of course.. Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez. I already ran out of words to properly describe Alyssa Valdez’s game but my previous post Alyssa Valdez and her rise to stardom will summarize what I have to say about this phenomenal Batangas native.

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REBUILDING TEAM
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At the start of the season, sports enthusiasts predicted the Ateneo Lady Eagles to flunk in the standings with the graduation of five of their starting six players in the persons of the famous Fab Five — Fille Cainglet – Cayetano, Gretchen Ho – Domingo (in the making LOL), Jem Ferrer, A Nacachi and Dzi Gervacio.  In fact, I wrote Farewell Ateneo’s Fab Five to express my thoughts which to this date, is the most read article of this blog. Their exit was definitely a big loss to the Ateneo community. To make the long story short, we started the season with little to no expectations.. AT ALL. In season 76, we saw new faces and bodies suited up for the Ateneo jersey, namely: Jia Morado, Michelle Morente, Kim Gequillana and Ana Gopico. Given that they’re rookies, many expect that it’s still gonna be an Alyssa Valdez-heavily laden show for the Ateneo de Manila University and that they might end up in the lower end of the rankings. Continue Reading

Alyssa Valdez and her rise to stardom

10/13/13 UPDATE: SMART-MAYNILAD team advances to the Finals round in Shakeys VLeague X Open Conference. First game is this Tuesday against Cagayan Rising Suns in San Juan Arena! Be there and support Alyssa Valdez, PNok Kesinee, Wanida Kotruang, Dindin Santiago, Gretchel Soltones, Maru Banaticla, Lizlee Gata, Liz Gohing, Sue Roces, Nica Guliman, Rubie de Leon and of course.. Charo Soriano! SEE YOU THERE!! 🙂

We all waited for this to happen and we can actually see it beaming in the horizon already.. the rise of Philippine volleyball! But what we are actually seeing right in front of our nose today is the undeniable dominance and popularity of Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles’ Alyssa Valdez! 😀 DISCLAIMER: I AM A BIG FAN OF ALYSSA VALDEZ. So to her haters, you can click the back button now or read on to realize what you’ve been missing! Chos! 😛

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A MONSTER SPIKER. CLUTCH PLAYER. SCORING MACHINE. A CUT ABOVE THE REST. PHENOM. SUPERSTAR.

What’s the perfect description for one Alyssa Valdez? Everybody asks.

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It is no question  that Alyssa Valdez is this generation’s greatest Philippine volleyball player. Not to be mistaken as downplaying rival teams’ respective stars, (c’mon, I love Ara Galang of De La Salle Lady Spikers, Pau Soriano of Adamson University, sisters Dindin and Jaja Santiago and Myla Pablo of National University) but I think her legions of fans would serve as the number one answer to anyone who would ask why she is currently the sport’s most talked-about and adored player. Continue Reading

Ateneo CPA Convocation 2013

Super late post. I wrote this article last June but failed to publish this right away. So, hayaan nio na.  HAHAHA 😛

Hiatus mode is over. Your favorite not-so-straight blogger is back.. now with a three-letter longer name.

This is JAN – PATRIK B. LAROYA, CPA. (I’ve long wanted to post this. Finally, now I can! Haha)

As I write this, I still have a hangover from last night’s Ateneo CPA Convocation at F213 which was then continued at The Pinnacle Hotel. Not exaggerating or anything but, it is by far, THE BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE. (read: BEST). Since I was in second year college, I always look forward to watching my ates and kuyas in their Convocation and tell myself that one day, I will be the one to walk in that red carpet. True enough. Last night, June 15, 2013 was OUR Convocation as new CPAs. And as I walked with my girl escort (oh yes a girl, sheeeshh :P) everything is just surreal.

How happy I was and how the event went? Let the pictures do the talking. *wink*

I arrived at Coiff It Up Salon Center at around 4pm then went straight to Ateneo Jacinto Campus and heard the 5:00pm Thanksgiving Mass. At around 6:30pm, the program started.

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While delivering my short message. Thanks to Jowe Posadas of Ateneo Samahan Creative Team for this nice shot! I love it! 🙂

JPIA CPA CONVOCATION 2013 SHORT MESSAGES

Watch me at 2:44. Haha Thank you ADDU Samahan Creative Team!

 To everyone asking me, I can’t disclose the name of the reviewer who said that quote. Bawal daw kasi baka masira image niya. Haha Clue: Love ko siya. HAHAHA Continue Reading

In defense of Kris Aquino

Recent TV news items are quite similar to that of the reports years back: Kris Aquino and her ever interesting lovelife. 😀

In the interest of full disclosure, allow me to say that I am a hardcore Kris Aquino fan since I was a kid. I have been following Kris since her Today with Ms. Kris Aquino days, Game KNB? days up until now. These past few days, we are again bombarded with Kris Aquino news, from mainstream TV programs, daily broadsheet papers down to local tabloids.

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Image credit: welovequinofamily Facebook fan page. This pic caught my attention so I’m including this one. LOL 😀

As a fan, it pains me to see my idol cry on national TV. But it pains me all the more when people who hate and don’t like her lambast her on on social media. Partly, I’m frustrated with media organizations for constantly airing this controversy. C’mon, we have far more important issues to deal with: we still have pending claims on the West Philippine Sea, our Muslim brothers are still struggling fighting for their land in Sabah, the May 2013 midterm election is fast approaching, among others!

FACT: WE WERE NOT THERE.

We’re not personally ‘in-the-know’ in the lives of Kris Aquino and James Yap. We were not there when it happened. Only Kris, James, Bimby and God know what really transpired in their residence on December 3, 2012. My point is: WE WERE NOT THERE. Who are we to judge and lambast either parties when we do not have first-hand info of the incident? WE ARE NOT in the proper position to accuse either Kris or James as a liar, depending on which side you’re taking.  Continue Reading

My gay perspective on being gay

Let me start this blog post by saying I am not a psychiatrist, I am not a clinical psychologist,  nor am I an expert in any medical discipline.. I am just a simple guy living a happy gay life for many years now. 😀

I’m pretty sure that by now, many of you have already read the infamous article, “Being Gay” written by former ABS-CBN anchor Tintin Bersola-Babao.  Bersola interviewed clinical psychologist Dr. Camille Garcia on homosexuality and related issues. Due to its sensitive nature, the article drew flak as Bersola and Dr. Garcia’s words did not rest well with members of the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender(LGBT) community.

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Image credit: sodahead.com

Couple of hours after the article drew flak, Filipino pride and singer Lea Salonga posted this online:

“The only people that can claim to be experts on gay people are gay people.  In their diversity, humanity and general awesomeness. Shame on anyone that dares to think that gayness is a disease, something to be ashamed of, or is something to abhor in the name of Christianity. Can’t we all just be human beings, men and women navigating this earth in search of the goodness in this world, and adventurers out for enlightenment and understanding?”

— Lea Salonga

I couldn’t agree more with Ms. Salonga that she deserves my standing ovation after I read it. Though it’s unclear whether she posted this as a response to the “Being Gay” issue or not, she did make a very strong statement enough to offset my frustration over the original article. True, I believe only gay people can be experts on gay people. After all, how can one understand the dynamics of one’s sexual orientation given the diverse and complex world gay people have? Continue Reading

Farewell and thank you, Ateneo’s Fab Five!

Honestly, I had a hard time putting all my thoughts into this blog post since writing a farewell story isn’t as easy as writing the usual topics I blog about, especially when it’s about my idols. I haven’t witnessed the Fab Five in their rookie year, but soon as I watched them play back in season 73, I became an instant fan. 🙂

For those who do not know, Fab 5 is comprised of Fille Saint Merced Cainglet, Jamenea Ferrer, Angeline Gervacio, Gretchen Ho and Aillysse Nacachi. Along with Alyssa Valdez, they led the Ateneo Lady Eagles to a first runner-up finish back in season 74. They played their last game in the UAAP Season 75 in the championship match against DLSU Lady Spikers last March 6, 2013. For all the Lady Eagles fans, it was a sorrow-filled game as the match ended on a third set. But that’s not the point of this blog post, but the very fact that we’ll all be missing the Fab 5 playing in the volleyball court!

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The Ateneo Fab Five

I was supposed to post this after the game. But honestly, I wasn’t able to muster the courage to finish this as I was being emotional after the game. Yes, call me melodramatic, but seriously, I cried. But I know I’m not alone as one random user tweeted:

“If you cried after their game, don’t be ashamed. It’s normal. It just proves how much we love them.”

Without exaggerating, it was a very very painful experience seeing the Lady Eagles cry at game’s end, but it’s another story seeing the Fab 5 cry knowing that it’s the end and it’s over for them.

As I watch them cry and hug their teammates, I can only WISH I WAS ALSO THERE TO HUG THEMCOMFORT THEMAND LET THEM KNOW AND FEEL THAT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF FANS  LOVE THEM AND SUPPORT THEM. To make them feel that in this journey, they’re not alone. 🙂

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Fille Cainglet, A Nacachi and Dzi Gervacio in tears. Isn’t this just sooooo sad? It pains me to see my idols cry.

If there’s someone who could most perfectly identify with what the Fab Five’s last game experience was like, that would have to be me. Continue Reading