Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mhel's Gurlz: STIHQ Chapter

The STI Headquarters company outing at Canyon Cove was a very relaxing trip for me. Luckily the Mhel's Gurlz STI HQ chapter provided me with the much needed care during the trip. Going to Canyon Cove in Nasugbu we stopped by Starbucks Tagaytay to eat some breakfast. I was quite surprised that Jade Reyes prepared a yummy refrigerator cake for my merienda. At the same time Mina Consignado brought some fruits to complement the food. Diane Babaylon, Shy Bringino and Jen Del Rosario went to my room to see if I was okay as they called me in for breakfast. RJ Marasigan and Always Cruz were both busy as they were in charge of the outing but we spent quality time together. I enjoyed relaxing in this trip and mah gurlz made it all the more exciting. Thanks Gurls for taking care of me.

RJ was busy
but spent valuable time with me

Always was just there for one night
but we spent quality time together

Diane was her usual sweet self

Mina provided the laughs
that complemented my jokes

Shy was always there
to give the hugs and the kisses

Jen inspired me for one night

Jade made a comeback
thanks for the merienda

Me and Mah Gurlz enjoying the pool

Quality time with my sugar

STI Summer Outing

It is the time of year when all operations are at a stand still and STI HQ employees take a break. The STI HQ summer outing this year was held at Canyon Cove in Nasugbu, Batangas last March 29-31, 2010. The only thing different this year was that the employees were given a choice to stay for two nights or only overnight. There were no more team building games but the drafting for Vision Compass 2011 and the awarding of Vision Compass 2010 was held. There was more free time that gave us a lot of time to relax and have fun. Looking forward to next year's outing.

Mhel's Gurls traditional
Summer outing jump

Yours truly delivering the goods

The STI HQ Girls getting ready to take a dip


Canyon Cove in Batangas

This year we discovered a tropical community cradled with lush forest landscaping. The place that our STI Education Services Group chose for this year's company outing is the CANYON COVE in Nasugbu Batangas. It is a one and a half hour ride from Manila, roughly around 120 kilometers from our house in Quezon City. It is just 30 minutes from Tagaytay city.

The pool is big and can fit in at least 400 people at the same time. In the middle there are visible lines that you can use if you want to have a swimfest. For me what made it all the more relaxing were the seats provided at the middle of the pool. I enjoy just sitting around and relaxing and then take the occasional swim from one point to another.

The rooms are clean and can easily fit three people at a time. The beds are big and there is an extra portion of the room where you can relax and transpose into a bed in the evening. The view of the pool and the beach is great from the veranda. Cable Television is provided and the bathroom has a separate shower room and bath tub in it.

Mediterranean inspired Villas are also being rented out while the restaurants area scattered all over. For companies holding their outings this place is perfect for groups from 100- even 300 people. The rooms can fit 3 people and the variety of the rooms are seem to be quite exciting since there are other rooms that have a kitchen and sala inside. There are various places to have lunch or dinner since they have function rooms that can fit abig group.

The facilities are great and so is the price. Obviously its a beach resort that is quite expensive and most of the amenities are above middle class standards. At first, we from STI are happy for the experience of being in a first class resort, but going back to this resort for personal reasons will not be my priority, there are a lot more inexpensive resorts with the same facilities.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Olympians lose to Philippine 18 & under Team

The STI College Olympians fought tooth and nail against the 18 and under Team Pilipinas basketball squad but unfortunately folded in the endgame to lose 85-78. It was a game that the Nationals took control 90% of the time as Coach Eric Altamirano was trying to see how the nationals would respond and how the others would show how good they are as 24 players suited up for the National Team.

The Nationals started like a house on fire as Rusell Escoto, Jeron Teng, Ael Banal and Cedric Labing-isa orchestrated a 17-2 start as the Olympians groped for form after missing their first six shots in the first five minutes of the game. The Olympians then regrouped, and sent in their shock troopers who gave the Nationals a harder time orchestrating. Former Tiger Cub Storm Riva matched up well with former team mate Cedric Labing-isa as he rallied the Olympians who also unveiled their new recruits namely Cameroonian Henry. The quarter ended with the National on top by only six 25-19.

The second quarter was another see-saw affair after the Olympians got back from a 19 - 29 deficit. Since both teams wanted to play most of their players since the Nationals have 24 and the Olympians have 18 players, the game was played for 12 minute quarters. Maclean Sabellina was firing on all cylinders for the Olympians as he teamed up with another veteran Norman Ihalas to give the Olympians a chance to stay close as the quarter ended with the National still on top 44 - 40.

The Olympians started the third quarter with superb defense as Henry, Sabellina and former SSC Staglet RK Morales leading the pack. The Nationals turned the ball over as the Olympians blocked shots and stole the ball that they translated to fastbreak points to take the lead 52-49 with five minutes left in the game. Russel Escoto and Kevin Ferrer battled back as the Nationals showed their take on defense as the quarter ended with the Nationals still on top.

In the fourth quarter, the Nationals pulled away 72- 62 as their defense forced the Olympians to turn overs and missed shots. The Olympians on the other hand did not give up easily as they came to just four points and was still into the game in the last minute as the score stood at 78-82. Unfortunately, the seasoned Olympians buckled under pressure and missed their shots which gave the Nationals win. Over all it was a good game for the Olympians since they are still months away from gelling as a team. With what I saw, the forthcoming Father Martin's Cup would be interesting.

Tatlong Hari reunion

Joey V., Aga and Cholo
Tatlong Hari sa Robinsons

FRANCE - Friends Remain And Never Could End. This is true for my Dulaang Sibol friends, Cholo Mallillin and Joey Valdez. Athough they have been best friends since grade school and Cholo has been a classmate of mine twice, the friendship we established as members of the famed Dulaang Sibol still holds till this very day.

Together with friends we met along the way
Cholo's wife and Therese

Cholo Mallillin has gone from being at the Student Affairs Department of the Ateneo to various companies like Philam Life, ESA and GLobe Telecoms. Today he is back at the Ateneo and what a great place to work in considering you are actually working with the one of the best minds in the country. If there is something I envy is that he is working in a place where it all started for us.

That's us being normal

Joey Valdez on the other hand works abroad. Sometimes being there works to his favor because everytime he goes home we try our best to see each other and have fun. Funny thing is that I don't usually bump into Cholo every so often, the only times I see him is when Joey is in the country. Joey has a daughter who he always creates websites for and asks us to give greetings and messages. We've been doing that for the past ten years and just like a facebook account, we literally saw her daughter grow online.

As you can see I am now called Aga

It was a nice Sunday afternoon when we all came together. Joey even brought with him his mom, Tita Ampie and his dad. Cholo brought his mom and kids as well. Wow it was really a blast since his part of us growing up was being guided by their parents. It was really great seeing them. And as the afternoon went to evening, it was time to bid them farewell and wait again until the next reunion comes along. Its been twenty five years since we staged the Tatlong Hari sa Cubao play at Dulaang Sibol and being with Joey and Cholo makes it look like it was just yesterday.


Brent International School

I just recently had the chance to go to the Brent International School located in Laguna. I was quite excited to see the place since STI is just in front of the International school at the fort and the facilities from a far were impressive. That was what greeted me at Brent. From the picture above you can see the track oval.

Also, an official size football field is just in front of the great gym that we were going to. The football field and the running track is of international standards. Their gym actually has three basketball courts which also houses other sports like volleyball and badminton to mention a few.

As we enter we saw a swimming pool. Unluckily we were not able to look at the whole building since we were just there to watch the basketball game. The NIKE Elite camp was also there since they have the best young basketball players camped out for a three day basketball camp with American Coaches.

In one of the gyms the STI College Olympians battled the Philippine 18 and under national team. It was the first time the Olympians were complete and we hope that this summer they can gel and have a good team by the time the season starts. I was just happy also to see former Olympian John Macalma who is part of the coaching staff of the Brent basketball team. Hope next time I can have a longer tour of the place.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Li'l Earth Angels

Bujoy and Jeanne Harn

My good friend Jeanne Harn, Ms. STI 2001 and Ms. Philippines Earth 2007 gave me a visit at our STI office at the fort to discuss our sponsorship for the Ms. Philippines Earth pageant in April. While discussing the pageant she asked me if I know of young girls aged 6 - 10 who can join a search for Little Earth Angels or L'il Earth Angels which is sponsored by the Ms Philippines Earth candidates and a precursor for the Ms Philippines Earth pageant on April 25. I told Jeanne that I can enter my niece who just turned 10 last September. Here are highlights of that pageant.

I am
Maria Angelica
"Bujoy" Garrido

Dancing the Pearly Shells
from the Ocean
in the Talent Portion

Bujoy looks like
a beauty queen here

Unfortunately she placed
1st Runner up
Good enough for a first timer

Team Panlilio: That Championship Feeling

Jonjie Deomano, Bong Berbano & yours truly is very proud of this one

Hope springs eternal. Team Panlilio opened the 2010 ABL season last January staring at a 22 – 37 deficit after the first half in a game against Team Cheekee. It was unusual that the season started with only seven players present while the rest of the team members arriving late for the game. It was beginning to look like another long frustrating season for Team Panlilio. It looks like another season where friendships would be strengthened but no basketball wins would take place. Images of last year’s opening game came to view as it was the same scenario last year when Team Panlilio had more than 12 players on opening day but unfortunately got clobbered by its opponents not only from opening day but until the end of the season. Fortunately this year proved to be something different.

Tito Panlilio passes the torch

Team Panlilio’s team leader is Dennis Manalo who happens to be the most senior among all of us. He is a lawyer by profession and an Arnie Tuadles wannabe whose alarm clock is somewhat always 30 minutes late. Arriving just a little after the first quarter Dennis went to work immediately by talking to the team. His emotional approach on how we can improve our team defense and his encouragement on offense boosted the team’s confidence. After that emotional pep talk during halftime Team Panlilio was a different team all together – a group of hungry wolves with fire in their eyes. In every opportunity they got they devoured their enemy and eventually came up with a convincing 62 – 49 win. After the game, Dennis said “So where will we celebrate our bonfire!” Everyone smiled and told him that it’s so early to celebrate since we have been in a similar situation before and came out empty handed.

Mythical 5 member Dato Arroyo with MVP Jun Castro

There is a saying that goes like this “Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records!” After racking out three consecutive wins Team Panlilio suffered a big blow as the team’s leading scorer Peter Gonzalez suffered an ACL injury. Peter is a Triathlon champion and is the Team’s go to guy whenever points are needed. He runs the floor like a gazelle to score off fastbreaks, has a decent shooting touch and a knack to score the difficult undergoal reverse lay in when inside the paint. We lost him for the rest of the season. But instead of sulking or letting the season go down to the drains Team Panlilio took it as a challenge, talked about what to do and let fate decide our season. The result was a humbling loss to Team Adolfo – it was the first time the team felt down.

Dennis Manalo, Dato Arroyo, Bong Berbano,
Jun Castro, Dino Ponce-Enrile
The Fab Five

After that loss, Team Panlilio realized that the most important aspect of the team is to trust one another and sacrifice one’s personal interest in order for the team game to come in. We realized that by putting in together our strengths and helping each other overcome each one’s weakness, then what we have is a team that will never give up and a team that is focused on something bigger than just a decent finish this season. After that humbling defeat to Team Adolfo, Team Panlilio regrouped and this time had a better grasp of how the team can win. Dato Arroyo and Jerome Buhay took the lead during fastbreaks as Dino Ponce – Enrile would man the point, run the ball and hit the two finishers. ON the other hand Jun Castro and Buboy Go pounded the ball inside and was very effective in getting three point plays. When the big guys were doubled, Bong Berbano would shoot the lights out from three point land while Dennis Manalo would provide the points, the spunk and the motivation when needed. The other role players included Jonjie Deomano, Marvin Tiburcio, Tabs Tabora, Bong Marquez, and Johan Ramos whose defensive presence was the edge of the team during the championship game.

Game 1 Confidence

Just like reading the script of a movie that featured Larry Bird or Magic Johnson, redemption was in the eyes of Team Panlilio in the final four as it faced the only team that has beaten them – Team Adolfo. Faced with a defensive game, the dull low scoring affair went to the vengeance seeking Team Panlilio to the tune of a 43 – 39 victory. By this time the Team felt that it had its left feet inside the door as it waited for its finals opponent which happened to be the Mark Molina led Team Jalandoni. The championship as they say was just formality as the journey towards the finals was harder since the adversities faced by Team Panlilio helped them strengthen their character and helped them believe in themselves one final time. Down 30 -36 in the third quarter, Team Panlilio uncorked a paralying 15 – 2 run to take the third quarter and eventually the game as they shut down Mythical 5 member Mark Molina and the rest of Team Jalandoni to finally get their first ABL Title in ten years. The journey of then Team Sevilla which is now Team Panlilio is complete and as we hoisted our championship trophy in the air and raised our glasses during our own version of our championship bonfire we felt like we were Enrico Villanueva and Wesley Gonzalez who broke the 14 year title drought of the Blue Eagles in the UAAP 2002 season.

Final Four win over Team Adolfo

The Team Panlilio of last year that missed the final four and the Team Panlilio this year that won the championship is basically the same, the only difference is that this year everyone was willing to make sacrifices for the team’s sake. At the same time the attitude that Dennis Manalo brought is something priceless. For him the attitude of a champion came on the first day and on the first game. As a lot of coaches say “You have to want it and will it for it to happen!” Ten years is such a long time and we are very happy that we have found the way to win a title. The people then and now are the same the pieces have always been there it was just up to us to make it happen. We just hope the next title would come a little sooner in the next ten years.

How sweet it is

TEAM Panlilio cops Francisco Division Title

Team Panlilio with Tito Panlilio

Being a part of a champion team is nothing new to Cristino “Tito” Panlilio since he was a member of the 1969 Ateneo Blue Eagles that won for the blue and white its 12th NCAA title. And as if lady luck has a way to put things into order, the ABL team named after Ateneo Hall of Fame awardee Tito Panlilio has 9 out of 14 players born in 1969. Giving inspiration to Team Panlilio in the finals of the Andres Francisco Division in the Ateneo Basketball League, Tito was not disappointed as Team Panlilio translated its excellent defense into precious points to carve out a masterful 62-47 win against Team Jalandoni to win its first ever ABL Title. And just like in storybook fashion, this championship was not without the drama that goes with every win that comes from shattered dreams that is translated to fulfilled goals.

Dennis Manalo with his own rendition
of the Arnie Tuadles jumper

Dato Arroyo started the game with eight consecutive points for Team Panlilio as he sank two three pointers and a field goal to give the favored team the early 8-6 lead. The plan was for Dato to score the first 62 points, unfortunately he got tired. Team Jalandoni, bannered by three former Ateneo Junior standouts namely Brando Cristi who manned the paint, Prim Nolido who directed the offense and Mark Molina who scored the points. The three were instrumental in giving Team Jalandoni a finals berth as they matched every offensive outburst of Team Panlilio as the quarter ended with Team Panlilio on top 14-12.

The Panlilio Defense

The second quarter was a test of character and defense as both teams engaged each other in boxing match that saw the rest of their bench pour everything out to limit each team’s scorer. Both teams ran for fastbreaks but had a hard time converting. At the same time, turnovers and botched plays were more common than conversions. By the end of the quarter Team Panlilio was now on top by just a solitary basket 26-25.

Bong Berbano for three

By the third quarter, the entire complexion of the game would change hands and just like a pendulum each shift made the team with the momentum try to break the game open. Team Jalandoni drew first blood as Mark Molina continued his impeccable shooting as he socred from everywhere in the court. Molina scored 12 of the 14 3rd quarter points of Team Jalandoni as they threatened to pull away on the account of their 36-30 lead. That was enough to wake up Team Panlilio as the secret weapon was about to unleash hell. After a few years in hiatus, defense specialist Johan Ramos came in just the nick of time to swat the ball away from anyone who dared to enter the shaded lane. The intimidating presence of Ramos gave point guard Dino Ponce Enrile the go signal to run the ball and find the open man. At the same time, Ponce Enrile also nailed down three triples to offset the off night by resident three point specialist Bong Berbano. The result of that momentum shift was a 13- 2 run that broke the hearts of Team Jalandoni as Tito Panlilio’s boys took the third quarter 45 – 38.

Jerome Buhay on the fastbreak

After scoring 12 first half points and 13 third quarter points, Team Jalandoni’s scoring machine was shut down in the fourth quarter as bull strong power forward Jun Castro put the cuffs on Mark Molina as he went scoreless the rest of the way. On the other hand, Jun Castro provided the fourth quarter spark that Team Panlilio needed as the team that was always proud individually, finally played as a team and the result was a rout on the championship game. Not to be forgotten are the contributions done by the rest of the team namely Dennis Manalo, Jerome Buhay, Buboy Go, Deo Deomano, Tabs Tabora and Tibs Tiburcio. Their all out hustle, sacrifices and determination helped each other play with a lot of heart.

Yo Ramos ready to turn around and shoot

As pioneers of the Ateneo Basketball League, it took us ten years to realize our dream of winning an ABL division title. There was no doubt from the start that this season was ours and even though we were sidetracked since our best player Peter Gonzalez got injured, that did not deter us to reach our goal but more importantly it inspired us to go the extra mile since we all know that we can do anything as long as we put our minds together. We hope that the success that we gained this year will continue and we pray that as proud as we use the name Team Panlilio, we can emulate the success of Tito and carry it on to greater battles ahead of us.

The Boxscores:


Castro 18, Arroyo 16, Ponce-Enrile 9, Manalo 6, Berbano 5, Buhay 4, Go 2, Ramos 2, Tabora 0, Tiburcio 0,


Molina 25, Quimson 6, Nolido 5, Cristi 4, Santos 2, Ambrosio 2, Guanio 2, Rondon 1, Baltazar 0, Cabuquit 0, Zialcita 0

Quarter scores: 14 – 12, 26 - 25, 45 – 38, 62 - 47