Of celebrity encounters and getting over the hump of sorts.

One of the causes closest to my heart is TEN Moves, which aims to raise funds for the construction of 10,000 classrooms all over the Philippines. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit several parts of the country and witness for myself the transformative power that a structure can have to the life of a student and to the community as a whole.

TEN Moves kicked off 2013 with a bang, staging “Run for 10”, a fun run aimed to ramp up the fundraising, especially as Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) devastated a number of classrooms in Mindanao, affecting over 200,000 schoolchildren. I’m glad that we were able to raise a significant amount of funds to contribute, and I look forward to visiting more communities this year.

While I was slightly bummed I wasn’t able to run (hazards of being part of the organizing team), I was lucky enough to get to meet some of TEN Moves’ celebrity advocates (and no, they aren’t earning a single cent from this advocacy work)—Derek Ramsay, Dingdong Dantes, and apl.de.ap. The guys nailed the messages when they went onstage.

Dingdong noticed my Spain NT shirt, and randomly commented, “Nice shirt,” while I was briefing them. And after I has my photo taken with the guys, Derek gets my iPhone, shows off the Union Jack skin to Dingdong and says, “This is so British!” “Between the two of you, I really am pandering to celebrities this morning,” I wryly say. Meanwhile, I got to interview apl.de.ap separately. He said he’s supporting TEN Moves because he wants other kids to be given a better start in their lives, like what was given to him—he definitely wants to inspire more kids.

Here’s a photo of Eunice and myself with the guys. I know some of you will be placing your own watermark on this, and I really don’t care anymore. Just make sure to spread the TEN Moves advocacy!

Runfor10celebs

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I was able to catch the PFF-Smart National Club Championship Quarterfinals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium yesterday. Put it this way—it has been a day of getting over the hump of sorts.

Ceres is fast becoming the giant killers of this tournament. After beating UFL Cup champions Stallion the week earlier, it edged out Global, 1-0, much to my part-Ilongga self’s delight. I missed the early goal, but with what I saw, Ceres was generally stifling on defense. Global had a couple of good chances at the second half, including a shot from Carli de Murga that went just over the bar—seems like lady luck wasn’t on their side? Ceres could have made it 2-0, but they squandered a perfectly good chance to edge Global further.

But really, I was there for the second game between Kaya and Loyola. So they may be two big clubs, Loyola had a psychological advantage, given that Kaya hasn’t been able to beat them since Loyola came from behind to beat Kaya 5-3 in the 2011 edition of the UFL Cup. That said, this was an interesting match for a team that defends generally well (Kaya, albeit without Aly Borromeo and Anton del Rosario) and a high-scoring team.

Loyola was testing Kaya early on, but neither side failed to score in the first half. Loyola experimented with James Younghusband in the center midfield, Phil Younghusband coming from the left, and Chad Gould up front. I thought that while introducing Freddy Gonzalez in the second half added much-needed firepower (and seriously, only Freddy G really tested Saba), his entry came at the expense of Loyola’s defense—and OJ Porteria capitalized on that, from a cross by Jonah Romero—giving Kaya the lone goal of the game, enough to see them through the semifinals against Ceres.

As for me, I was just all too happy to see Chris Greatwich play. He’s doing well in the role of Kaya’s midfield general, and it may be his presence plus the new coach and all, but I haven’t seen Kaya this organized in quite a while. Naysayers can prove me wrong, but I really think this Greatwich may just prove to be all too influential for this club. Gotta appreciate the quality he brings on the pitch.

That said, I just may have had that moment of finally realizing a semblance of emotional investment in a local club. Uh-oh.

***

P.S. It’s so awesome we get Henderson, Suarez, Sturridge, and Gerard on the scoresheet versus Norwich City. Now that’s the Liverpool I need to see more of.

***

P.P.S. Real Madrid thrashed Valencia 5-0 as well. I’ve been spoiled with this weekend’s football results.

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