‘URCC 27: Rebellion’ Rocks the Local MMA Scene!!!

Photos courtesy of abs-cbn sports and richard esguerra.

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FEU Lady Tams Heat Up the UAAP Women’s Volleyball Season!!!

Hold your horses, folks!!! But the FEU Lady Tams have just made the UAAP Women’s Volleyball Season  a tad more interesting…

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Lady Tams whoop it up after upending La Salle in a thrilling marathon saga. (courtesy of abs-cbn.com)

Just as close to everyone had been getting ready for another gigantic Ateneo – La Salle clash in the league’s showcase volleybelle wars, the late-surging FEU Lady Tamaraws shellacked the La Salle Lady Spikers with a gut-wrenching 15-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 16-14 come-from-behind shocker; forcing a winner-take-all match-up for the right to move to the Finals against the defending champs Ateneo Lady Eagles.

Bernadeth Pons, FEU’s brutal banger, announced to all and sundry her clear intentions to challenge Ateneo’s venerable Alyssa Valdez. Bernie took control of the game in the pivotal third set, collecting 22 solid net screamers, some of them reminiscent of Baldo’s booming 2nd-line sneak attacks. It is just a matter of time, folks, before this young lady achieves full stardom in the game of booms and caroms.

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Bernie is ready to challenge the booming Baldo. (courtesy of arvin lim)

La Salle’s Lady Spikers were comfortably ahead 2 sets to nil, and 17-12 in the 3rd set, when the Lady Tams unveiled a witchcraft similar to the Tai Bundit potion in Ateneo. Inspired no end by their cool and confident coach, Shaq De Los Santos, the Lady Tams played loose, played happy, and banged in winner after winner like a team possessed. And as the FEU crowd became louder and more boisterous as the game teetered and tottered, La Salle’s guns started to stammer, shooting duds and misfires where they used to be laser-sharp.

It was a character win for the lightly-regarded Lady Tams. Not given much of a chance against La Salle’s vaunted offensive line, the Lady Tams would squeeze out every little advantage, while making La Salle bleed for every single point they took. Bernie was ably supported by their mind game-playing team captain, Remy Palma, their silently-effective opposite hitter, Toni Rose Basas, and the steady setter, Giselle Sy.

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Remy Palma, playing mind games with the opponent. (courtesy of abs-cbn.com)

But La Salle’s Lady Spikers aren’t waving the white flag either. They have too much power and pride to concede the right to play in the UAAP finals. Led by veterans Ara Galang and Mika Reyes, backstopped by hitters Kim Dy and Majoy Baron, plus league-leading setter Kim Fajardo, La Salle is loaded from the 1st team to the last. And they will certainly not give up without a fight.

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Ara and company are ready to bounce back. (courtesy of philstar.com)

And so it is that the volleybelle titular match will have to wait awhile, as the girls in green and white match booms and bangs with the ladies in green and gold. Expect a sellout crowd at the MOA tomorrow, Wednesday April 20. Expect both schools to bring in everyone including the mothers-in-law. Expect the cheers, the jeers, the noise, the excitement.

This ain’t the Finals yet, folks, but if the 5-set nail-biter of an elimination match is any indication, this will be another one of those unforgettable experiences you will hate to miss.

Which marquee match-up would you come to watch? Will it be the alluring Alyssa against the unfazed Ara? Or will you go for a booming Baldo versus a banging Bernie? Which middle face-off would you want to see? Would you go for the steady Mika Reyes, or the smiling Remy Palma, against the solid Amy Ahomiro? And whose sets and dinks would you marvel at? Shall we go for the charismatic Kim Fajardo – or the diminutive but equally deadly Giselle Sy – to match wits against the cerebral Jia Morada?

The match-ups are cool. The line-ups are healthy. Bring out the beer. It’s time to go party.

Come one, come all!!!. And don’t forget the popcorn.

For more women’s volleyball action, read:

Ateneo’s Lady Eagles Believe They Can Fly

Unheralded FEU Cops Shakey’s Volleyball Crown

Here Comes the Sun(s)

(Pics courtesy of spin.ph, abs-cbn.com, tiebreakertimes.com, fox news)

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Pacquiao – Bradley 3: Is This Really The End of The Road For Pacman?

People say that this could be the last fight in Manny’s illustrious boxing career. Some say that he has lost a step or two, and are quick to conclude that this 3rd edition of the Pacquiao – Bradley clash will no longer produce the same brand of excitement that has been Manny’s trademark. Some say that he has actually beaten Bradley twice, though the first was a bum decision awarded to Bradley. And that the ‘Desert Storm’ was handpicked for Manny’s last fight precisely because he will not cause much of a problem to Manny.

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April 9: Will this be the day Manny hangs up his gloves? (courtesy of philstar.com)

And then there are those who say that Pacquiao has lost that fire in the belly, that warrior’s hunger to inflict – as well as to absorb – pain. That ever since the Pacman became involved with religion, he has become such a softie, hence the lack of a thrilling knockout after so many years. There are those who say that Pacquiao has grown old and tired of competing, and has acquired other interests. Such as politics, religion, pro basketball, and so on. All these forebode a lackluster fight and spell ‘Retirement’ at the end of the Bradley bout.

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A mellowed Pacquiao. (courtesy of ucnlive.com)

But I daresay that, on the contrary, this will be an exciting fight to witness. And that you better be ready for some slam-bang action, for this will be a fight to remember. For if indeed this were to be Manny’s farewell fight, he will all the more want to leave the fight scene with a bang.

But then again, I daresay that this will not be Manny’s last fight. I believe that a decisive outcome in this fight will convince Manny to milk his illustrious career a little bit more before hanging up his gloves for good. I daresay that a reinvigorated and inspired Pacquiao will surprise us with some vintage moves. And that the fans’ clamor for more will coax him back into the ring.

More attack.

A decisive win could spell a new beginning. (courtesy of bleacherreport.com)

Manny hasn’t lost his love for the smell of the mitts. It’s been almost a year of hiatus from Boxing, and he realizes that he still misses the activity, as well as the environment in the gym. He may get tired from hard workouts, but he still delights in the fan frenzy. And he knows that he can never acquire the same adulation from fans discoursing in the Senate floor as he can by banging bodies in the ring.

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This is what Manny is all about. This is what he will be remembered for. (courtesy of boxingscene.com)

That said, he knows that his bid for the Philippine Senate will depend much on how he fares in this bout. A win will not be good enough. A smashing success, complete with a highlight knockout, is what the fans demand from him. It cannot be just another W on his record, but a blockuster WIN with an exclamation point!

With his right shoulder completely healed, Manny is determined to provide us just that – a dramatic spectacle that will put him back in the consciousness of the fight crowd. A performance that will erase the ignominy of that sorry loss to the Money Man. A show that will once again herald his preeminence as the sports’ reigning superstar in the absence of his dancing partner, Floyd.

This fight will be crucial to the Pacman. He could win big…. or he could kiss his boxing career goodbye.

Gentlemen, place your bets.

(Pics courtesy of fightword.com, badlefthook.com, commdiginews.com, philboxing.com)

 

 

 

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April 9, 2016 · 3:40 pm

Pacquiao – Bradley 3: Expect More Fireworks!!!

Yes, folks, come April 10 (Apr 9 in the boxing mecca of Las Vegas), expect lots of fireworks as the Philippines’ Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao, and good ole US of A’s Timothy ‘Desert Storm’ Bradley bang bodies for the 3rd and final time. This will be an exciting match-up, folks, with both promising to bring out everything they’ve got – and possibly more – on the table.

The climactic end to a trilogy. Watch it! (courtesy of boxingscene.com)

In one corner, you have the Philippines’ pride, the first and only 8-division boxing champion of the world, the ‘Fighter of the Decade’ for the 2000s, a grizzled veteran in the squared arena, an elected congressman of Saranggani Province, and now, a senator-in-waiting.

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His boxing career soon to close? (courtesy of interaksyon.com)

Facing him in the other corner, a two-time world champion, one of only a handful of distinguished gladiators to have pinned a loss on the mighty Pacman; a recipient of the prestigious ‘ESPN Fight of the Year’ Award for 2013; and a consistent member of Boxing’s elite pound-for-pound list.

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Bradley bares his bad-ass abs. (courtesy of boxingscene.com)

The 2013 FOY was an epic duel between two modern gladiators, with blood, sweat and pure guts spilled all over. It cemented Bradley’s stature as a true warrior, and erased the stigma of the controversial split decision win he had taken from the popular Pacman in 2012. The gallant stand he showed, fighting courageously despite being concussed by the power-hitting Ruslan Provodnikov, would finally earn for him the recognition and respect of an appreciative fight crowd.

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The grueling Fight of the Year Award that elevated Bradley to the elite warrior class. (courtesy of kofightposters.com)

These credentials combined make the fight a mouth-watering cinch for the big bucks. Certainly, this clash of legitimate pound-for-pound stars will be far more entertaining than the sleeper-of-a-bout offered in the Mayweather – Berto farce face-off.

This fight could become another highlight tussle far better than most previous fights the Pacman has had. This will be an exciting, give-and-take, cat-and-mouse, surprise-a-minute smashfest. Possibly even a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate. Here’s why:

First, Pacman’s injured right shoulder is now fully recovered. That torn right rotator cuff had been a bother for quite some time, possibly having affected the results of his previous bouts. With that out of the way finally, expect the right leads to be crisp, sharp and fast. Expect the right thuds to be harder, digging deeper.

Second, the long lay-off has provided Pacman a new hunger for the squared arena. He is fresh, he is excited, he is mended, he is revved and ready to go.

Third, it’s not the old Bradley he’s facing in the other corner. Bradley has been reinvigorated as a fighter after enlisting the services of Teddy Atlas as his cornerman. Based on his 9th-round total demolition of that big bad bully, Bambam Rios, last November; the new Bradley is now quicker, more mature, more vicious, yet more deliberate. This souped-up version of a physically and psychologically better Bradley makes for a more dangerous opponent for Pacman.

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Rios took a UD loss from Pacman. Against Bradley, he took a humiliating 9th rd KO loss. (courtesy of examiner.com)

Teddy Atlas has done wonders to rewound, retool and re-oil the old boxing armaments of his fighter. He has not only taught old Tim new tricks, he has worked wonders on the psychological side of the Desert Storm.

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Bradley is all eyes, all ears on his new trainer, Teddy Atlas. (courtesy of boxingnews24.com)

Fourth, with the senatorial election looming in the Philippines, Pacman needs to produce not just a win, but a truly impressive performance that will leave the fans spellbound. An ordinary, forgettable decision win will not resonate well come election time. Pacman knows only too well that it was his highlight boxing performance that endeared him to the country’s millions of fans. Take away boxing, and his political performance alone will not hold a candle against the other senatorial candidates. If Pacman exudes the energy, the youthful exuberance, and demonstrates the fighter’s fury that fans are hungry for, expect the crowd to vote him in. If he comes out old and soft, so does his chances for the Philippine Senate.

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Win big and he’s sure to win a senate seat this summer. (courtesy of irishtimes.com)

Fifth, there is the intriguing possibility of this becoming the Pacman’s last fight. That said, Pacman will definitely want to leave the boxing scene in a spectacular fashion, with both guns blazing.

Finally, more than the money and the recognition this bout provides, there is the pride and the legacy that each fighter wants to grab hold of. This fight is not about the money anymore. This is the last episode of the trilogy; the very summit to that long, hard climb; the climax after 24 seemingly ‘forever’ rounds of hurts and pains. Each one wants to ride off into the sunset with the scalp of a worthy foe tucked neatly in his pack. The survivor bloodied, battered, but unbroken; relishing the sweet taste of blood on his smashed lips; satisfied yet mindful of the wounds, the aches and pains. After a glorious battle, this weary warrior is going home now.

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Our victorious warrior goes home. (courtesy of pinterest.com)

Who shall this warrior be?

More on the Pacquiao – Bradley Trilogy:

Pacquiao’s Long Road to Redemption 

Pacquiao – Bradley 2: Redemption or Vindication

Pacquiao Joyride Gets Back on Track

PacquiaoPrepares for His Final Fight

(Photos courtesy of mmafighting.com, theshadowleague.com,bloodyelbow.com, totalsportek.com, sherdog.com, boxingnews24.com, examiner.com, craveonline.com, boxingscene.com, fansided.com, qbsports.ca)

 

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Manny Pacquiao Prepares for His Final Fight

On April 9, or exactly 15 days from now, Manny Pacquiao steps in the ring to do battle for the final time. After a brilliant boxing career that spanned 22 long but rewarding years, after giving and taking a million booms and bangs of hurts and pains, after giving our country more than a decade of pride and glory, Manny Pacquiao is finally set to display his superb skills in the squared arena one last time.

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Getting ready for Pacquiao’s last hurrah. (courtesy of interaksyon.com)

It has been an auspicious 2 decades, not just for Manny, but for the country as well. Manny has almost single-handedly put the country on the global sports map, making our flag and anthem recognizable the world over. With scintillating performances that made him the world’s first and only 8-division world champion, and with 3 Ring and BWAA ‘Fighter of the Year’ Awards; 2 ‘Best Fighter ESPY’ Awards; and the ‘Fighter of the Decade 2000s’; Manny has become not just a celebrity, but an an inspiration to millions, an icon worthy of emulation.

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The country’s best and most recognizable fighter ever. (courtesy of cagepotato.com)

For many, the impending retirement is something to be sad about. Sad in that Manny had always been able to provide us temporary relief from many of our day-to-day problems. His departure will no doubt leave a huge void in the hearts of millions of boxing fans the world over, most especially here in the country. Still, there are those who cling to the hope that Manny will continue to provide us more of his swashbuckling fights – for at least a few more years.

For his family however, his ride into boxing’s glorious sunset is a big relief. Now, they can finally rest easy from the possibility of witnessing another nightmare ending similar to Manny’s last fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. There are many living examples of boxing’s wear-and-tear finally surfacing late in life. There’s the legendary Muhamad Ali, now suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Not far from home, there’s Gensan’s prodigal son, Rolando Navarrette, former world champion and crowd favorite; reduced to begging for Manny’s support. Before Manny’s boxing injuries become truly serious, retiring while ahead is a great insurance.

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The iconic Muhamad Ali, now saddled with the Parkinsons disease. (courtesy of blackdoctor.org)

But there are reports of a waning interest in Manny’s incoming fight with Timothy Bradley. The two had clashed twice before. The first had ended in a controversial split decision win by Bradley; while the second was a vindicating unanimous decision win by Manny. Boxing pundits believe that Bradley is obviously way below Pacquiao’s caliber. Many would have preferred new faces such as the undefeated WBA welter champ, Keith Thurman (26 wins, 22 by KO, no loss, 1 no contest); or the ever-popular British ex-world champ, Amir Khan (31 wins, 19 by KO, 3 losses).

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Keith Thurman, young, strong, undefeated, oozing with confidence. (Courtesy of craveonline.com)

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Amir Khan, former stablemate, brash, flamboyant, articulate. A crowd-drawer. (courtesy of birminghamail.co.uk)

Then, there is the controversial statement Manny dished out against the gay community. This would cause an uproar worldwide, forcing his main sponsor, Nike, to terminate his contract. While Manny had subsequently apologized for the unintended derogatory remark, the damage has been done, Many have expressed their disappointment and dismay over Manny’s statement. And this will not help generate interest in the Pacquiao-Bradley clash.

Finally, there is the issue of the shoulder injury in his last fight with Mayweather. A lot of unknowing fight fans lost money betting on him on that mega-fight with Floyd. Manny had his reasons for keeping mum about the injury, and most fans understood him for pushing through with the fight. But the bottom line remains: not a few felt betrayed and shortchanged by the non-disclosure, and quite a number lost huge sums of cash.

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Manny’s injury caused his punch rate to dip significantly. (courtesy of larrybrownsports.com)

These issues are expected to cause gate receipts to dip a bit. But I believe that true boxing fans will continue to watch the fight in the hope of catching a glimpse of the vintage Pacquiao performance that has thrilled us no end.

Up front, let me say that at the very least, the fight will be far more exciting than the last Mayweather fight. Floyd’s choice, the gentle Andre Berto, pales in comparison to the challenge posed by Tim Bradley. Tim will certainly provide a much more competitive fight for Manny, than Andre did to Floyd.

On top of that, Manny’s shoulder injury is now fully recovered. Reports have it that Manny has been showing great progress as his training reaches its peak. And then, there’s the election fever ongoing. I believe that Manny will try his best to provide us an abbreviated ending. An exciting win will certainly merit much more attention in the country, and Manny knows that this will translate to more votes for his senate aspirations.

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Manny on the campaign trail. ( courtesy of thestar.com.my)

Obviously, Manny knows that it was – and is – his dramatic boxing story that catapulted him to national and international recognition. Boxing opened up the inroads to new endeavors, eventually leading to Manny’s new career in politics. His hold on politics however remains unstable, and only time will tell how strong this voter loyalty will last. That said, there remains that tempting desire to milk his boxing career to its fullest.

If Manny is able to provide us a vintage knockout performance, we will surely find him in the halls of the Senate in the years to come. And for those who remain enamored by the magic of his mitts, Manny may just be enticed to push his boxing career a little bit farther. Who knows, we may still see Manny rallying the boxing community in its losing fight against the very aggressive MMA. (But that’s another big story on its own.)

(Photos courtesy of dailymail.co.uk, zeenewsindia.com, sportal.com.au, abc.net.au, latimes.com, craveonline.com, theballsofwrath.com, boxrec.com, hbo.com, boxingnewsonline.net, theboxingvoice.com, boxingtopics.com, shawsports.net, beda7882.com)

 

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Unmasking the Philippine Sports Mafia

 

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My Oslob Adventure

On the recommendation of my good friend, Pons Alvarez, we went to Oslob in southern Cebu to see the huge, gentle whale sharks up close.

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Oslob, in southern Cebu. (courtesy of en.wikipedia.org)

We had to leave Cebu City early, as we were informed that the whale sharks would show up only from 6am to 12 noon. Hmmm…. after that, they were off for their afternoon beauty nap, I surmised. Probably took time like some Hollywood stars to do some shopping and have their make-up done after siesta too.

And so off we went, after a quick shower and an early breakfast. After a 3-hour plus drive going south, we reached Oslob. Long ride, but it really wasn’t bad at all as the view was good and the ride comfortable. Later, it would turn out to be all worth it.

We got a short brief from the Oslob Tourism guys. We were told not to use any sunblock lotion so as not to contaminate their waters. We were told not to use any camera flash so as not to startle them or perhaps strain their eyes. We were also instructed not to go within 4 meters of the gentle creatures, not to touch them, and not to feed them anything, lest we cause undue injury on them.  It was truly commendable that the local people were imposing stringent measures in order to protect the whale shark.

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A briefing before the show. (courtesy of emjaefotos.com)

Indeed, even as conservationists have been expressing concern over the welfare of the whale sharks, I could see the locals doing precisely that, knowing full well that the whale sharks were their source of income as well. In fact, I’d say that eco-tourism is one of the driving forces in the preservation of nature, and I’d say it has helped surface the plight of the whale sharks and promote their well-being.

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Protecting the whale sharks. (courtesy of bestofcebu.sunstar.com)

After the brief, off we went to the bancas. What amazed me was that the motorless bancas were just teeming around 50 to 100 meters away from the shore, unlike in Donsol where we had to take a motor-driven banca over miles and miles of sea. (And we didn’t get to see any ‘butanding’ at all then.)

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Here they come. (courtesy of youtube.com)

Lo and behold! The big gentle giants were right there, and the locals even had names for them. The big fella coming close to us was… Bubbles! Wooweee! Big, bad… Bubbles!??!!!

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Swimming with the whale sharks. (courtesy of Oslob Whale watching FB Page)

Bubbles was eager to make friends. We tried to keep the 4-meter distance they imposed: but no, Bubbles would have none of that. Bubbles wanted to be up close and personal, probably wanted to know who our presidential candidate was, why there were only crocodiles and clowns, but no sharks among the candidates. Hey, she probably wanted to make sure someone out there was gonna take care of her interests as well.

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I didn’t jump into the water. Somebody pushed me off the boat.😦

It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Another item scratched from my bucket list of must-tries. So if you guys have a chance to come down to Cebu, here’s another must-do in your list. My friend, Rose Sabangan, who came all the way from New York,  was thrilled and entertained by Bubbles and the gang.

Enjoy Bruno Mars’ song while watching more pics on Oslob. After pressing the song, just press on the pics and sing along.

(Video courtesy of Bruno Mars under Moonshine Jungle Tour; Photos courtesy of Oslob Whale Watching FB Page, triptheislands.com, gocebu.travel, greenpeace.org, youtube.com, cebutravelnow.com, trover.com, bikecebu.com, bestofcebu.sunstar.com, misterumbz.com, byaherngbarat.com, krzuy.com, lostintravelblog.com, tutuontherun.com, pinterest.com, positivelypinoy.com, fargazer.wordpress.com, msindependentmitch.blogspot.com, fueledbycaffeine.com,  islandtrektours.com, backpackerbanter.com)

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Alluring Aguinid

A good friend of mine, Pons Alvarez, has been tirelessly promoting the wonders of Cebu. And for good reasons. From its abundant waters to its lush forests and scenic mountains; from its rich history to its many adventure-filled destinations to its food and culture trips, Cebu’s tourist offerings are enough to last you a lifetime of great experiences.

I kid you not. There are so many sights to see in Cebu. It’s not just the beaches and the diving. And today, I’m taking you to one of them.

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Awesome, yet vibrant and enjoyable. (courtesy of geemiz.com)

Aguinid Falls is located about 150 kilometers south of Cebu City. It may not be as grandiose as the Niagara or other huge internationally-acclaimed falls; but its natural beauty, its simplicity and its availability makes it a great fun-filled experience that’s unique, yet affordable on the pocket.

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Aguinid is located in the southern tip of Cebu, where the Oslob whale shark viewing and other canyoneering adventures are located. (courtesy of mikelaagan.com)

It used to be one of the inexpensive secret hangouts for locals before backpackers and intrepid tourists discovered it. Since then, the place has been teeming with foreign and local tourists who simply enjoy Aguinid’s pristine setting.

Enjoy! But do be careful and listen to your guide all the time. (courtesy of happysoulride.wordpress.com)

Unlike other falls whose beauty you can only view from afar, Aguinid’s allure stems from the fact that it allows you to frolic in its fresh waters, even as it provides a novel mystic experience. And it’s not just one lone falls, but a series of spectacular falls that provide different challenges, different marvels and thus, exact different emotions.

Wash away those fears and troubles. (courtesy of ridealltheway.com)

Aguinid is a series of waterfalls that traverse the Tangbo River.  From Level 0 to Level 5, it provides its viewers a wonderful connection with nature. Imagine the rush of cool water gently nudging your head,  massaging your shoulders, tickling your back, sliding down your hips, washing your whole body, cleansing your inner being.

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A wonderful connection with nature. (courtesy of youtube.com)

Words can never fully express the beauty of the Aguinid. Hence, I will leave you to watch the pics below. Enjoy. And imagine. She’s wet. You’re wild. Agui and you. What a wicked combination!!!

Enjoy Stevie Wonder while browsing the pics. Just press on the pics.

(Pics courtesy of travellingphilippines.info, happysoulride.wordpress.com, iheartph.com, bydetails.com, geemiz.com, adrenalineromance.com, youtube.com, bisdakexplorer.com, sunstar.com, wonderfulboy.blogspot.com, panoramio.com, outoftownblog.com, cebuislandtours.com)

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An Incomplete, Unfinished Peace

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The Grandest Granola of Them All

My eldest daughter, Bianca, is slowly making heads turn with her new creation, Wit’s Sweets and Savouries Granola. The snack was recently featured in a foodie blog in ‘When in Manila’. It has also been selected as one of only five fresh new products worth trying out in Manila Bulletin’s Lifestyle section under ‘Best Food Forward’ last November. And it also got great raves in a new product video advisory by Busyqueenphils.

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Introducing: the one, the only, the best, the grandest granola ever!!! I kid you not.

So what’s all the rave about this treat? If you’re looking for something new that’s delicious and healthy; something that surprises your palate, and then  leaves you craving for more; and if you’re looking for something that’s proudly Pinoy, then this granola’s got everything – and more – for you.

Now meticulously prepared in four different variations (spiced, tasty, zesty and tangy), it’s got an all-star line-up of ingredients which include dried mangoes from Cebu, crisped rice locally produced, chili flakes from the recently-flooded farms of Davao Oriental (we’re helping them get back on their feet too), rolled oats from Australia (the only import in our squad), and a bunch of other role-player ingredients all handpicked by food enthusiast Bianca. It’s got no nuts (perfect for those who have problems with uric acid like me), and even the sweetness is enhanced solely by brown sugar and honey.

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After you go through the different flavors and textures – sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy – a burst of piquancy startles you…

But the star of the team will have to be the cacao nibs. They are the very reason Bianca came up with the granola, as the beans are produced direct from Gran Verde, my wife Wit’s farm in Calinan, Davao City . Wit and her siblings inherited the farm from their father, who was also cacao grower and a ‘sikwate’ aficionado. That makes three generations of cacao cultivation in the family. Besides the dried and roasted beans, the farm also offers quality seedlings, budwood and even cacao workshops conducted by Wit herself. But that’s another story in itself.

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Cacao doctor Wit, with some of her cacao workshop studes.

An Indonesian cacao expert once said that while Indonesia may have huge farms that produce great quantities of cacao for the world’s chocolate needs, the Philippines’ cacao farms are by far producing better quality cacao, and a lot of these farms are found in Mindanao, particularly in Davao.

If you’re fond of chocolates, but would like to acquire more of cacao’s health benefits, cacao nibs are the way to go. All the anti-aging, anti-oxidizing, brain-boosting, mood-enhancing and cardiovascular health perks championed by dark chocolate can be found even more potent in the roasted cacao nibs.

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A breakfast joy, an energy booster, a mood changer, a snack treat.

And that is what Wit’s Granola is all about. A new healthy option that’s hopelessly addictive, with a smooth slow blend of abundant flavors. With each bite, you wonder which part of your taste buds will celebrate next. Once you get to the heat, you’ll want to put it out with more. So what are you waiting for? Come and try it!!!

(Noticed how packed the granola station was compared to its neighbors?)

 

 

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