Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hockey Is Canada?

"I don't care whether you're black, white, green, or purple I want my offensive players on this bus and the boys trying out for the defense on that bus."

Herman Boone from Remember the Titans

Two of the major themes in my blog have been bandwagon jumping (on and off) and intrinsic value. I can't help but take shots at the typical Filipino sports fan and two examples of those are here and here. Now if there is a bright side to that sometimes the Canadians are not too far behind the Filipinos in being so bush league about sports.

I was listening to CBC News how they try to portray that the hockey season is over for Canadians coast to coast because Ottawa the last Canadian NHL team in the playoffs got eliminated.I am sorry to all my Canadian friends who may read this but then you are admitting Hockey is not Canada. You all know that I think sports is a stupid arena in which to define one's national identity. But you know what's even more exponentially stupid is using professional sports to define one's national identity.

For those of you who do not know, professional sports is not about local culture. It's about business. A business that caters to the cities that a league is in and a business that provides TV programming to whatever locale on Earth that will tune into that sport. General Managers of any team will fill up their roster based on logistics like budget, quota, salary cap space, parity rules , need etc. It has nothing to do with nationalism or civic pride. Despite all that, tradition is somehow produced from that very cold process. Tradition like the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Montreal Canadians, Boston Celtics, Green Bay Packers etc.

But let's take our example of the myth of the "Canadian" team in the NHL. The Ottawa Senators were Canada's last hope in the playoffs in 2012. How Canadian was Ottawa? Which is the capital of Canada for those of you who don't know.

Their roster was comprised of 6 from Sweden, 7 from the USA, 17 Canadians, a Frenchman , two from Czechoslovakia and finally two Russians.

I then took the roster of a random "American" team that is still playing. The St.Louis Blues. a Swede, 6 Americans, 19 Canadians , 3 from Czechoslovakia and a Russian.

You may draw your own conclusions from that but mine is, if you can play hockey then you can end up on an NHL playoff team regardless of nationality. Does it matter what city that team is in?

A study based on 2010-2011 NHL said that roughly half the league was Canadian, one fourth of it American and the rest from various places in the European continent. Canada is supposed to be Hockey but 1/4 of their league is compromised of people from a nation that cares more about football, basketball , baseball and NASCAR than hockey.

So Canada. Explain to me why you are hockey? You provide a slim numerical majority to the best hockey league on the planet. Your national network put out a story defining hockey as over after the first round with your own people on the street saying it. The playoffs are just getting going. There are thirty NHL teams and you have less than a third of them.

Actually I was in Canada when the systematic poaching of Canadian hockey teams began and it made anybody who gave a lick about tradition sick. That was the ultimate bandwagon moment. Taking teams that were part of the community fabric and plunking them in hockey hotbeds like Arizona and Nashville. In case there is a real hockey historian reading this , I know Nashville was an expansion team but it goes to my point that Quebec City and Winnipeg don't deserve big time hockey but Tampa Bay and Nashville do??? Hockey of the National Hockey League variety kept trying to be something they are not and they paid the price.

Actually over the years I have met many Canadians who do love their hockey. Guys who could tell you who was on the third line of the Colorado Avalanche. Does not change the fact the majority of people are bandwagon jumpers who do not care about the intrinsic beauty of a sport that is hockey. All they care about are being on the bandwagon.

For those of you who not familiar with the real Canadian tradition of hockey, a ten minute video can tell you more about it than a thousand of me. And that I will provide for you here. And if there was a thousand of me, run for your lives!!!!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Out Of The Goodness Of My Heart

BBQ Chicken and Beer in Burgos Circle 



There is rarely any info on this online. Don't you hate it when you are willing to go somewhere to spend money and they barely have info? BBQ does not stand for barbeque by the way. Somebody already posted about it here. But I thought I would give my version. Again tapping from that endless reservoir of love that is in my heart. If you do go there (BBQ Chicken not my  heart) , tell them you got the info from me and hopefully it would lead to some free chicken for me and 25 of my closest friends. Oh yeah, I don't have 25 friends. Well some free chicken anyway.


Menu 1

Menu 2

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Comedy From Today's Headlines April 19 2012

I am not ashamed to admit it. I fear driving in the city where I live. It may have to do that I drove for 16 years in a slightly more courteous place. I will do almost anything to get out of driving in real traffic. Some people ask me why I am the way I am and I just said for my first sixteen years of driving I never once had to share a road with a jeepney driver. Don't get me wrong because I ride on jeeps every once in a while. I just know that to understand a jeepney driver's mentality just remove the "ity".

Jeepney drivers were kamikaze pilots in a previous life. That is just my belief. To paraphrase Steven Wright, Manila drivers do things you thought were only possible in cartoons. When I moved here my grandmother said to me " you will learn to drive our way". I felt like answering like Captain Williard in Apocalypse Now "I don't see any method at all, sir."

I need improvement in my prayer life. I should pray more when I eat, sleep and wake up. The one time I pray regularly is when I get into the front seat of a car. I have seen things done here that do not make me the list bit curious about what ingesting LSD would be like. If they ever held Death Race 2000 here, I am not sure we would even notice it.

I would like to close this thought by asking you to read the rest of that headline. A more High Definition version of the picture is here.

Ironically another story that shares the front page with this one is "Pinoys biggest believers in God". Well they all drive like they want to meet him soon.

Ed (headline full resolution) (Death Race 2000)

Manila named 3rd worst city for driving
( Updated April 19, 2012 07:31 AM Comments (4) View comments

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine capital of Manila has been tagged by the "CNNGo" travel and lifestyle website as the world's third-worst city for driving.

The website cited Filipinos' concern about traffic congestion as their number one problem, followed by air pollution, garbage collection, flood control and the need for security.

"So, Filipinos care more about getting to work on time than they do about respiratory ailments, mounting trash heaps, drowning or being assaulted?" it said.

CNNGo said that in 2001, Manila borrowed US$60 million from the World Bank for transit-related activities.

"Among other things, the funds were meant to 'promote the use of non-motorized transport,'" it added. "A campaign asking locals to 'Please stop driving,' however, wasn't necessarily the best approach to traffic management."

The website believes that authorities may be doing something to solve the traffic mess in the city. "Redeeming quality: You're in a country in which smooth-flowing traffic is apparenly of utmost importance to residents. So, you gotta figure somebody, somewhere is working on the problem. Right?"

Beijing in China topped the list as the world's third-worst place for driving, followed by New Delhi in India.

The other cities in the world on the list are Mexico City in Mexico, Johannesburg in South Africa, Lagos in Nigeria, S�o Paolo in Brazil, Moscow in Russia, Toronto in Canada and Monaco.

MMDA doubts report

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) officials expressed doubts the report.

"Siguro hindi naman totoo iyan. Ano bang basehan nila? Convenience? Travel time?" said MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino.

"Ang ginagawa natin sinasama na rin natin ang mga residente para sila rin ang gumawa ng paraan against traffic," he added.

He said that while some Filipino drivers need more discipline on the road, the country is not being left behind with regard to the state of roads and vehicles.

"MMDA, under Chairman Tolentino's strong leadership, is working hard to improve Metro Manila's traffic situation," said the agency's traffic discipline unit head, lawyer Yves Gonzalez.

"We've implemented speed limits, motorcycle lanes, installed traffic light timers, utilized social media, and mobile apps to inform motorists," he told

"All projects aimed at improving Metro Manila's traffic situation. All this in less than 2 years, and we have a lot more ahead," Gonzalez said. - Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How One Man's Big Mistake Enraged an Entire Culture and What You Can Learn From It

"Words as weapons sharper than knives
Makes you wonder how the other half die
Other half die"

INXS Devil Inside

Make a long story short Ozzie Guillen told Time Magazine he loved Fidel Castro. What he was trying to say or so he claims is that he admired his spunk able to last as long as he has. Maybe projecting his warrior spirit on him. There are many articles out there about it and I have included some here. The problem being that Ozzie's city of employment is the one city in the world you can't say that.

I totally sympathize with the Cuban Americans and what they are feeling. But for the rest of us, this is a good chance to boarded our perspective on history and culture. I have included clips of prominent Cuban Americans speaking on this topic and how Guillen's declaration has affected them. This is your chance to hear the issue from a unique perspective, in their own voices. One Two Three.

From my hindsight is 20-20 department: The Marlins knew they were getting a loose cannon with Ozzie. He does not back down from any opinion. They really should have sat him down and familiarize him with his market. This is not the first time Guillen expressed "admiration" for Castro. He declared it in 2008. But he was still in Chicago. That context makes all the difference. Florida Marlins should have picked up on that and prepped him.

Human beings are complex characters.Somebody can be totally despicable but will have traits that you wish you could peace meal transplant to yourself or other people who are lacking that specific admirable quality. Guillen just admired the battler in Castro. Unfortunately that battler side of him lead to some very consequences for many people. If you don't get what I am trying to say I have included a scene from an episode of Star Trek that captures exactly what I mean. Mccoy and Kirk as usual let their passion and humanity get the better of them and Spock points out the fallacy by applying his logical framework. The issue is that a despot even if their motives are heinous still has leadership and strategical qualities that can garner admiration. That is why the original Star Trek (which came out the same year I did) is such a brilliant show.

Pontius Pilate once said "What I have written, I have written.". In this Twitter/ Facebook world , what is said is instantly written and will "echo in eternity". Guillen as we speak is making amends. As a long time baseball fan, I have never seen Guillen make amends about anything. Which leads me to think he is being sincere. That's just me. But what Ozzie has done has given a people a voice and you can hear them here through the power of the blog.Through a man's mistake you can learn. And you will not be the only one.


Orestes Destrade and Dan Lebetard Audio (original blog with all multi media as attachments)

A large picture of their guest in on a screen)
KIRK: Name, Khan, as we know him today. (Spock changes the picture) Name, Khan Noonien Singh.
SPOCK: From 1992 through 1996, absolute ruler of more than a quarter of your world. From Asia through the Middle East.
MCCOY: The last of the tyrants to be overthrown.
SCOTT: I must confess, gentlemen. I've always held a sneaking admiration for this one.
KIRK: He was the best of the tyrants and the most dangerous. They were supermen, in a sense. Stronger, braver, certainly more ambitious, more daring.
SPOCK: Gentlemen, this romanticism about a ruthless dictator is
KIRK: Mister Spock, we humans have a streak of barbarism in us. Appalling, but there, nevertheless.
SCOTT: There were no massacres under his rule.
SPOCK: And as little freedom.
MCCOY: No wars until he was attacked.
SPOCK: Gentlemen.
KIRK: Mister Spock, you misunderstand us. We can be against him and admire him all at the same time.
SPOCK: Illogical.
KIRK: Totally. This is the Captain. Put a twenty four hour security on Mister Khan's quarters, effective immediately.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Reflection on the Easter Season and Bandwagon Jumping

I hope you all reflected with the time you have been given this Easter season. One of the topics I consistently explore in my blog is how internal values affect external actions. The lack of internal values leads to mob mentality. As Kenobi puts it " The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded. "

A manifestation of mob mentality is bandwagon jumping. making choices more to fit in with people around you than to align your actions with your personal beliefs. Of course if your beliefs are not really convictions then you will easily be swayed into mob mentality. Anthony Robbins said that you make every decision to get closer to pleasure to avoid pain. If you voluntarily experience pain it's with the belief that you are avoiding a greater pain.

When your values do not have roots, then you allow yourself to morally drift with the crowd. Hence the mob mentality. Hence the bandwagon jumping. Sometimes not wishing to conform to those who easily conform is seen as being stubborn.


Ever since I was a young lad and I started paying attention to the story of the Passion of Jesus Christ it always struck me the contrast between the people's behavior hailing Jesus on Palm Sunday and then come Good Friday they were calling for his head. The video I have provided below.  Please note in the third scene where Pilate gives the people a chance to vote who among Barabas or Jesus will be set free, the intimidation tactics used to manipulate the outcome of a vote does not seemed to have changed in two thousand  years. Once again proving the relevance of the Bible today.  And on a slightly less humble note, I saw the actor that plays Pilate on the plane, twenty years after this movie was made. 

In previous blogs I have quoted Tom Cochrane and Red Rider to explain mob mentality:
 ”People do some strange things
When they're all together
They wouldn't even dream of
By themselves” .

Just  like there is strength in numbers. Mob mentality also proves there is weakness in numbers.

I have no problem admitting you that I am a very flawed human being. One thing about watching and reading the story of Christ this Lenten season once again reinforced to me that the Church as we know it was built on flawed human beings. I told you last month that last year I was introduced to the School of the Word. Where we study scripture and apply it to our thinking, experience and our lives. One thing I will not forget Fr.Gerson say was that the Bible is not naive.

The Bible accounts for human flaws. Otherwise it would be impossible to have redemption stories. It's all there. Whether it's Moses or David or others. Trials and difficulties abound in the Bible. And wouldn't you know it , we all go through trials and difficulties.



Peter was all vim and vigor about Jesus when times were good. He denied Christ when the going got tough even when he was warned that he would . Peter himself jumped on the bandwagon when it was convenient. But Peter ultimately rebounded for his moment of weakness to be the Rock he was predicted to be. The Apostles scattered like roaches when you turn on the light at the time of Jesus' arrest. But they overcame that weakness and sustained the courage to build the Church. People of weak or no faith will be quick to point out the current weaknesses of humans in the Church and ignore any good they have done. If you will dwell on the bad, try to see the good.


All through out the story of Jesus. There are elements that want to subvert what Jesus stood for and his message and his following for their own purpose. What hit me while watching Jesus of Nazareth is that the story happens with the backdrop of the land being occupied by the Roman Empire. As in any occupation that requires military means to perpetuate it, there are always dynamics in play in everyday life. This affects the Gospel. If Jesus did not stick to his guns, the fundamentals of his teachings then they would have been subverted. For the record his teachings were love, faith, obedience , humility, caring for one another. It's all there in the book. Remember that when people of today speak in his name or claim to be his followers and want to subvert you . What values do you see in their actions? 

Warning the following are examples that hit me as mob mentality. Sorry if you disagree but read my explanations before you violently react to me. It would not be mob mentality if only  very few bought into it. I had to pick examples that were conspicuous. If the example bothers you I will listen to a well said rebuttal. My previous observations of people jumping on bandwagons:

Noynoy Aquino. His meteoric rise to the highest elected office in the land is proof of bandwagon jumping and mob mentality. He has no internal values that lead to concrete deeds. Like I said a while back pre election, he is wallpaper. He is just there.

You could not convince me in a million years that the people who jumped on the Noynoy bandwagon valued integrity, leadership and action. Noynoy was not any of those things yet he won the election. They valued ephemeral family ties and counterfeit patriotism. People jumping on the Noynoy bandwagon for me was the ultimate mob mentality. Supporters glossed over leadership and tangible evidence of crisis management. Look at Noynoy's campaign. All he did was anchor himself to the past. His parents' past. Not even his own. The color yellow, the 'L" sign, his dead mother's picture over his shoulder. Things he had nothing to do with.  And our nation rewarded him for that. Electing as your ultimate leader one who does not fit the traditional framework of  a leader is not exactly the Filipino's shining hour .

Efren Penaflorida - pinoys jump on his bandwagon not because they value what he does but they value the attention he gets. So they pretend they value his mission of education.

Azkals   - nation pins their hopes on people who are not even from this nation to represent this nation.

Pinoy Drug Mules- yeah, true leadership is jumping on the bandwagon of countrymen who go to other countries and break their rules. Instead of using it as a teachable moment for being accountable.

Using Death as an excuse to jump on the bandwagon

Crab Mentality- question bandwagon jumping and you get accused of being a crab

This Easter Sunday I hope you took the time over the break to reinforce your values through thinking and prayer so that you are not easily shoved into a convenient bandwagon. The deeper your values are the less room there will be for you in the bandwagon.