Month: November 2010

Lotto: 20 pesos for a dream

So there I was, falling in line again in a lotto outlet in Mandaluyong with my six-digit number combination. For the nth time, there was no winner in the almost 700 million pot of the 6/55 Grand Lotto.  The line was already long. Like the people ahead of me in the line, I am also paying 20 pesos to dream, to hope. 

Yes, I am paying to dream. I am paying to hope. For only 20 pesos, the dream of an instant infinite material gain may come true. For only 20 pesos, lotto adds a little plausibility to our dream of becoming insanely wealthy even if the chance is only one is to 28 million. 

For majority of  Filipinos in C and D bracket, like me, we dream for a better life. We strive for hope that one day we “instantly” get out of the dump we struggled to survive everyday which I think many call it life.

Everyone has its own hell to live with and to live by. The devil in this hell is not the evil one depicted in biblical stories. The devil here is , as philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer puts it, desire. Desire is the devil. We always desire for something that we don’t have. Desire is human nature. It’s an urge to want more than what people already have. We desire for a better life and 700 million pesos can buy us everthing that we desire materially.

Let’s dream. Imagine you win the lotto. You are now 700 million richer. What would you do? Ofcourse it is only logical that the first thing you would do is address all the basic needs in Maslow’s heirarchy of needs such as shelter, food and others. If you are in business, perhaps you will grow it into an empire with all the capital in your hands. If you are a struggling minimum wage earner or if you are employed, you will most likely to resign and say goodbye to everything and everyone that has given you all the negative adjectives that can be said to a person directly or indirectly.

And what would I do if I win the lotto?  I would be an existentialist and ponder on the meaning of life. I always want to become an existentialist but the need to earn a living prevents me from becoming one.  But this is another topic.

Like what I said in my previous blog about lotto, it’s not about winning the grand prize, it’s is about hoping your dreams would become reality. And we pay at least 20 pesos for that.

My Rule of Thumb for another shot at the 700 million lotto grand prize: THUMBS UP.

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Heads up

Heads up.  It’s not yet the end of the road.

What we witnessed last night was a mistmatch. The way I saw it, the Alaska Aces had only five players on the floor while the opponent had 9 including the three referees and one in the official table.  The referees did not call it down the middle and someone in the official’s table did not call a time out when Coach Tim and LA Tenorio were asking for one in the crucial part of the game.

Last night was really a heartbreaker. I was really disappointed that we lost.  But I was not disappointed with the team. Perhaps last night was really not our night. Perhaps something better awaits us before the elimination ends.

We’ve been here before. I would rather experience what we did last conference to lose during elimination and eventually win the crown than be on top of the ladder but only to falter during the actual championship series which we did twice (vs. Talk & Text and Purefoods).

Our team is much stronger than today than a year ago or even a year before that.

Hope is not lost.  Hope is within us. Hope is always alive. Hope and they shall win again.

Please don’t stop believing in our team.


My Rule of Thumb for the officiating last night: THUMBS DOWN!

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To my fellow Alaska Aces fans

It was a come from behind rally when the Alaska Aces won its 13th championship in 25 years against San Miguel last conference this year. Our team, the Alaska Aces, was last behind great PBA teams such Ginebra, Talk & Text and San Miguel. We thought it was another lost cause, another round of disappointment.

But we BEL13VED and won!

After the euphoric championship victory came the 25th anniversary kick-off of the team in the PBA. Together, we remembered the glory days of yesterdays when winning PBA championships became ordinary. We celebrated. We were proud. The celebration was broadcast live at the Alaska Aces website which is the most active and update-to-date PBA team website today. The number of fans in our Facebook fan page grew from a mere 8,000 to 28,000++.

No other PBA team gives its fans importance the way the Alaska Aces does. We were one with our team. At the start of the ongoing PBA Filipino Conference, we were upbeat and confident  after winning three consecutive wins. We thought our Alaska Aces was invincible. We thought the winning days were back. Then we lost four consecutive games. We won one. Then we lost again before winning our last game.

Today, we face a crucial game against BMEG Derby Ace led by James Yap. This game will determine the solo fourth place of the conference. This game is important. We were complacent in all the games we lost after our winning streak thinking that the Alaska Aces will win every time. Because of this complacency, we lost our championship spirit, our hunger to be the best team out there.

My fellow Alaska Aces fans, it is not yet too late. I urge everyone who BEL13VED last conference to believe again this season, to believe again tonight.

My fellow Alaska Aces fans, beginning today, starting tonight , let us treat every game like it’s a championship game. Let us bring back the spirit of our winning tradition that made our team win 13 championships.

Let us show our team that we too are determined and disciplined to support them, our Alaska Aces.

Starting tonight, we aim for 14!

If you believe we can win please put GO A14SKA ACES! in your FB status message.



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Though newspaper headlines today tackles the condemnation, remembrance and justice about the Maguindanao massacre, one other issue made it to the front pages of major national dailies, condom. 

Pope Benedict is allowing the conditional use of condoms for married couples wherein one must have HIV first.  This is historic considering the hard line stance of the Catholic Church. Conditional as it may seemed, it’s the first small step hopefully for reforms.

The issue of the reproductive health particularly the use of condom is not black and white the way the Catholic Church wants it to be. It’s a gray area. The church’s argument of having a preconceived notion that life already begins during the act of conception is debatable.

I just don’t like when pro-life groups started calling the pro-RH groups demons because of their stand on the issue.

My personal take on this is that human life starts when an actual human form begins to develop during pregnancy but not before.  A sperm cell alone though alive is not a human life and the same goes for an egg cell.  Thus, preventing an attacking single sperm organism by using condom from merging with an accomodating egg cell is not murder. 

My Rule of Thumb for RH Bill: THUMBS UP!

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Evil: The Ampatuan Massacre

I will make this short.

Today, this blog pays tribute to the 57 Filipino journalists who were brutally massacred in Maguindanao a year ago. This blogger strongly condemns the inhumane acts of the perpetrators against the rights to press freedom and the basic right to live.

The Ampatuan’s total and complete disregard for human life is a blatant manifestation of what is evil. There is no need for ethical and moral debate here. The issue is black and white. Killing a human being cold blood is a plain act of evil, murdering 57 lives is an absolute act of EVIL.  

My rule of thumb seeks JUSTICE.

Why do we love MANNY PACQUIAO?

Filipinos love Manny Pacquiao. The media both local and international love Manny Pacquio. The users behind all social networking sites love Manny Pacquio. Everyone loves Manny Pacquiao.

But why do we love Manny Pacquiao?

Manny Pacquiao is still sweeping the consciousness of millions of people worldwide four days after his  victory against Mexican powerhouse Antonio Margarito.  Manny Pacquiao is still dominating the headlines of international and local media and the trends of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.  He is also the topic in coffee shops, bars, barbershops and small chit-chats around the globe.

So many things have been said about Manny Pacquiao.  So many reasons can be said why we love him. That he is one of the greatest boxers of all time, if not the greatest.  That he inspired so many people with his rags-to-riches story.  That he can act, sing and create laws in the congress.  

However, it is a misconception that the phenomenal boxing skills of Manny Pacquiao jumpstarted his unprecedented elevation to immortality in the consciousness of millions of people.  We have to realize that what made Manny Pacquiao great are not only his super human abilities inside the ring but his values as a Filipino that defined his being.

We should remember that he was not as skillful when he fought Juan Manuel Marquez and Eric Morales the first time. He was called by many boxing experts as one dimensional fighter. Yet, over time having strong faith, determination, discipline and hard work, he developed his boxing skills.

These values are the metaphysical attributes that power his almost superhuman abilities inside squared circle which we all choose to believe.

He always kneels to pray in one corner of the ring and wears a rosary before and after his fight regardless of the results. He always does the sign of the cross at the start of each round. He always believed that God is the source of his strength.  And because God gives him strength and victory in most instances, he acts like a true Christian by being humble and treats his opponent with respect as seen during pre and post fight interviews. He showed compassion to his opponents such as his concern for Margarito in the 11th round which I think was way better than any knockout.

No other boxer does that. As a boxer, you are expected to knockout your opponent.

He always claimed that his faith guided him throughout his entire career. At a young age, Manny Pacquiao already carried a big burden by sacrificing his own body in the ring in order to provide for his family. Several years and a hundreds of millions later, Manny Pacquiao is still carrying a big burden by sacrificing his own body in the ring for our country, for us Filipinos. 

The rich and famous people love Manny Pacquiao. The poor and less fortunate love Manny Pacquiao. Whites, browns, blacks love Manny Pacquiao. Leftists and Rightists love Manny Pacquiao. Christians, Muslims, and other religions love Manny Pacquio. WE ALL LOVE MANNY PACQUIAO.

Millions of people around the world love Manny Pacquiao because Filipino traits and values that he showed represent everything that is proper and good which are non-existent in most foreign cultures. As Filipinos, we love Manny Pacquiao because he is one of us. We love Manny Pacquiao because he is Filipino first before he is the world’s best boxer.

Manny Pacquiao is the only Filipino who was able to breach the walls of existing racial, ideological, political and social hegemonies worldwide. Hegemony, by the way, is the political, economic, ideological or cultural power exerted by a dominant group over other groups, regardless of the explicit consent of the latter.  Manny Pacquiao proved that it is possible to break racial, ideological, political and social barriers.

Not even the great Muhammad Ali was able to do this during his time for his country, for his own kind.

My rule of thumb for Manny Pacquiao: THUMBS UP

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-Jocel de Guzman

Secrets of the Lotto revealed!

The winning number combination for the 6/55 Grand lotto (November 10) was 04 10 29 30 34 35.

Last night and for the nth time, there was no winner of the P382 million prize pot in 6/55 Grand Lotto. For many Filipinos it means that they have another chance to win, that they have another opportunity to be on-top of the social ladder, and that they have another hope to improve their lives in their daily struggles to make ends meet.

Yet the mathematical probability to win the lotto is 1:28 million. There is no formula except faith and sheer luck such as the hope that the combination of birthdates of loved ones and family members can bring home the bacon worth P400 million. And boy that’s a lot of bacon.

The next draw of the 6/55 Grand Lotto will be on Saturday (November 13) with the prize pot expecting to reach at least P400 million. However, the real implication of 6/55 Grand Lotto for many Filipinos is not about the increasing unimaginable amount of the jackpot prize but it’s about hope.

I know someone who has been betting the same number combination everyday in all lotto games for more than 10 years now. The mere fact that he is still betting, it means he has yet to win. But for more than ten years, how will he spend the money still remained the same. He will buy house and lot, car, travel abroad and a Storm Shadow GI Joe action figure which he could not buy when he was young and still could not buy today even if he breaks his back toiling his workplace more than eight hours a day. Yet his idea of the greatest financial emancipation is not by working hard but by the lottery.

Lotto is the ultimate instant gratification where a lifestyle fit for royalty awaits the winner. But the real instant gratification of this number game is more metaphysical than physical where it is basically not about winning but it is actually about the idea of winning.

Many have until Saturday to day dream and plan how they would make use of the winning prize if ever they would win. Many have until Saturday to smile with the hope of a good life. Many have until Saturday to endure the absurd cycle of their respective realities.

Yet the chance of winning is only 1 in 28 million but the hope in the hearts of many is 28 million to 1.

Come Saturday, perhaps someone will finally win it. If  none, the dream continues…

My rule of thumb for the idea of winning the lottery: NEITHER.