Men in Suits

A man is always his sexiest when wearing a suit. Consider these two case studies:

Xabi Alonso:

Tom Hiddleston:

Nothing needs to be said further.


Three syllables to describe “On The Job”

Tang Ina

My favorite scene from the movie and my reaction to the film after. It’s not just a great Filipino movie, it is a great movie. It has a lot of texture, from plot to characterization to multiple levels of conflict, and an awesome musical scoring to boot.

(Credits to the person who made this .gif. If you are reading this, holler, so I can duly acknowledge.)


Sergio Ramos in Men’s Health

Here’s the swashbuckling Sergio Ramos in his denims and underpants on the cover of Men’s Health in Spain. Really, I think they got the wrong publication for The Ramos to grace. This photo shoot reads more like Playgirl—after all, do the men of Spain aspire to be Sexio? I don’t think so.

Pacific Rims (yes, I took a break from football)

I recently finished (re)reading Rafe Bartholomew’s “Pacific Rims” in time for the August 2012 book discussion of Flips Flipping Pages. Before I get into details about that, let me explain a few things:

1. I actually started reading the book in one of those “I have a couple of hours to kill” lulls, and being the dork that I am, I spent them inside Fully Booked.

2. I loved basketball way, way, way before football. My dad was an ardent LA Lakers fan (Magic Johnson was one of my childhood heroes). I secretly rooted for Alaska in the 90s (because Tim Cone lived in the same village as I did). I live in constant hope and despair with the UP Maroons.

3. I should participate more and regularly in Flips Flipping Pages, but: a) I don’t have enough time to read; or b) I cannot be usually bothered to grab a book that’s not in my general reading range.

That said, I breezed through “Pacific Rims” and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I know some readers (non-basketball fans) had their eyes glazed over some parts of the book, particularly the parts on the inner workings of the sport itself. As for me, it felt like being transported back to my childhood, when the TV just shuffled between NBA and PBA games. I was reading familiar names, ones that I remember watching all those years and ones that I read about as part of annals of history.

The book, essentially, is a recounting of Bartholomew’s year with the Alaska Aces, offering glimpses of the team’s trials and victories, capped by a PBA championship. Bartholomew explores the challenges faced by imports, team dynamics, and the relationship between a team and its fans, among many other sub-topics (including an interesting take on the sport with, uh, unusual players).

However, beyond being “just a basketball book”, what I find most interesting about “Pacific Rims” was that basketball was used as a lens to illustrate Philippine culture. It explored how a country that did not have competitive advantage in the sport embraced it as its own, adding its own flourishes to the sport, creating its own unique brand of play.

Bartholomew is a skilled storyteller, showing the Philippines and its people through the eyes of a foreigner that has somehow assimilated within the three years of his stay in the country. I suppose it also helps that his humor is pretty much in synch with Pinoy humor—and good grief, that “Bakekang” stint!

The biggest treat for fans during the book discussion? The author himself was present via Skype. My only lamentation—the one-hour discussion was not sufficient!

Dear David Cook…

Dear David Cook,

I wanted to tell this to you last night, when I met you for a grand total of 60 seconds—but I couldn’t, because I feared I was going to start crying.

My mom and I are huge fans of yours. When you first came to Manila, she had just been diagnosed with cancer and couldn’t watch your show. I know that was an even more difficult time for you, with your brother just passing on days before due to cancer (damn cancer).

What I really wanted to say (beyond a tragic, “Hi! It’s so nice to finally meet you!”) is that Permanent helped me at my worst. It was redemptive, and it helped me understand what my role was as a beloved fought a crippling disease.

Your concert in Manila still seems surreal to me (don’t get me started on briefly seeing you in person—you are too glorious). All I could have wished for was for my mother to be with me, and we could have danced and sang along to your songs (she did so with Michael Johns—if only you came earlier!).

Thank you for your music—which I find to be tragic, hopeful, comforting, inspiring, and redemptive (yes, I am a word nerd).



P.S. Devin’s guitar pick hit me on the face. I managed to retrieve it after the show. That’s the first time I caught anything during a concert. You guys are amazing.

What an ovary explosion looks like.

And because this is primarily a football blog, the Azkals were also in attendance at the NKOTBSB concert. I wonder how awkward it must be for them, not being the hottest items in the room.

Yup, you can see Rob Gier, Denis Wolf, Patrick Reichelt, and Juani Guirado in here. They were a few rows in front of me, obviously.