Happy and free

What are your #siblinggoals?

Happy and free

By Jose Bayani Baylon

June 14, 2017

SO says the text on an Independence Day special edition mug issued by Bo’s Coffee for June 12. I smiled upon reading the text because I had some friends in mind who have chosen to remain free (and, they claim, happy) all their lives. (These are the ones who divide their friends by saying half are married and half are happy!) And then I started thinking about the country - and whether indeed Filipinos are happy and free. 

Out of curiosity I took a very unscientific survey - of six young Filipinos who represent some of the sustainability development goals of the UN. For their own sake I will hide their identities, but they were in Palawan recently to see for themselves the surface mining operations in Rio Tuba that earned praise from former DENR secretary Gina Lopez.

We were sharing a meal after their observation tour and while listening to their impressions of Rio Tuba I digressed and told them about the Bo’s Coffee mug. Are we happy and free?, I asked the millennials, which made them crease their brows and look at each other as they pondered their individual responses. I stirred the pot even more by asking: Do you think you would be in a happier state today if we were a State of the United States?

I noticed some hesitation in speaking up, and had to goad the most quiet among them to start the discussion. He said “Nationalistic fervor aside I guess my answer would be yes”, and his reply opened the floodgates for the others to answer. They now felt free - if not in fact happy - to admit that well maybe they would indeed be happier if by some quirk of history we had become the 50th or 51st State of the United States of America.

Imagine if that had happened. Donald Trump wouldn’t be President of the United States, I think. Ours would have been the most populous of all the 51 states and the one with the biggest number of electoral votes. There would have been, by now, a Fil-Am elected as President of the United States – and all around the White House you’d see very Philippine Islands souvenirs as a Last Supper wood carving and the “Weapons of Moro Land” wall decoration, with a huge wooden spoon and fork also in the main dining room. 

The national Christmas Tree would be up by September.

Imagine the Constitutional crisis that the President’s mother could provoke by insisting on an annual Marian celebration and the praying by the White House staff of the Holy Rosary for a whole week, kneeling before the image of the Virgin Mary in the middle of the East Room. Or plucking a Sto. Niño in a corner of the Lincoln Bedroom - at least a Sto. Niño dressed in the uniform of the Union soldiers to be politically correct.

Balut, sisig, and dinuguan would be served during White House State dinners. 

Malacañang in turn would become the official residence of the Governor of the State of the Philippine Islands. 

On a more serious note: Would China be daring to meddle in the South China/West Philippine Sea had we been a US state? Would the Maute brothers get as far as they have? Would North Korea point missiles out way? Would Hershey’s Kisses be cheaper? 

And in these islands we would be marking on June 12 the “Day of Insurrection” in the Philippine islands, with our history books teaching the next generation how silly those brown rebels were to even want to be apart from the great United States.

Oh well. How history both in these islands as well as in the continental United States would have changed! In the world as well. For better or worse is debatable, but changed for sure. 

Belated happy Independence Day to every freedom loving Filipino. And to those who truly believe we would have been better off as part of the United States, there’s always the immigration route, yes, even under Donald J. Trump.

Basketball

  • Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving might have been teammates in 2014 if not for LeBron James

    James’ return to Cleveland caused Cleveland to abandon its pursuit of Hayward.

    The best moment of the entertaining Celtics introductory press conference for Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward came when Hayward suggested LeBron James “squashed” a potential Hayward-Irving duo in Cleveland three years ago. Quoth Hayward:

    “I went to Cleveland on a visit when I was a restricted free agent [in 2014]. Kyrie came in and was saying how much fun it’d be if I was on the team, kind of recruiting me to go there. Then LeBron came and that kinda squashed that whole thing. It came full circle, and here we are now.”

  • Manu Ginobli returns to Spurs on reported 2-year, $5 million deal

    Ginobili will be headed back to the only team he has ever played for.

    Manu Ginobili will return to the San Antonio Spurs on a 2-year deal worth $5 million, according to Shams Charania of the Vertical.

Model of the Month

Canada

Pinoy Calvelo wins 3rd in Canada Open chess
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Google Plus

Filipino Jelvis Arandela Calvelo settled for 3rd overall in the 2017 Canadian Open Chess Championship (Under 2200 section) at the Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.

The Dasmarinas, Cavite native Calvelo tallied 7.0 points on six wins, 2 draws and a loss in 9 outings. The said event was held last July 6 to 16, 2017.

Read more ...
Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal victorious in women’s half marathon of Ottawa Race

Running Olympian sets new Philippine record for 21K race

Ottawa, Canada – Logging another record-breaking feat, MILO Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal has clinched first place in the women’s division of the half marathon category of the Ottawa Race. The elite runner from Cebu not only bested her personal record, she also marked a significant milestone for breaking the Philippine record time for the 21K race. The Ottawa Race slot was Tabal’s grand prize for winning the 40th National MILO Marathon National Finals in Iloilo last 2016.

Read more ...
Moving in 2017

VANCOUVER, CANADA -  The new year always brings new hope, opportunities, and changes. “Move” looks like the theme of 2017.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Filipinos and Canadians make their new year’s resolutions and express their hopes for the year of the fire rooster.

OPM star Joey Albert who is now based in Canada prays for more concerts in Manila and more quality time for her two daughters who are both athletes.

Read more ...

Boxing

  • Arum moving Crawford & Bradley to Showtime?

    Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is interested in moving several of his top fighters – Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko and Tim Bradley – to Showtime Boxing in order to get them fight dates. According to Arum, HBO doesn’t have the available budget to get fight dates for all of these guys.

  • Terence Crawford dominates Viktor Postol

    THIS is a match-up of the highest calibre. After winning a world title at lightweight against Ricky Burns, and subsequently defending in style against Yuriorkis Gamboa and Ray Beltran, Terence Crawford stepped up to super-lightweight to win the WBO title there.

MMA

  • WSOF GLOBAL MMA FIGHTER FROM GENSAN MARIO SISMUNDO, MORE THAN JUST MANNY PACQUIAO’S DOPPELGÄNGER

    SISMUNDO READY FOR THE BIGGEST FIGHT OF HIS LIFE ON JULY 30 

    AT SMART ARANETA COLISEUM

    ONE LUCKY TICKET HOLDER ON JULY 30 WILL WIN ONE MILLION PESOS

    TICKETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE AT TICKETNET.COM.PH

    19 July 2016 - MANILA: Mario Sismundo, who will fight on July 30 for the World Series of Fighting Global Championship 3: Philippines vs. the World card at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, says that he is more than just Manny Pacquiao’s doppelgänger.

    Mario, who once doubled for Manny Pacquiao for a TV commercial, and also hails from General Santos City, also has plans of his own to be a world-renowned fighter.   

    The resemblance is striking, in fact, when he trains at Fitbox Gym in Makati, he is often mistaken as Manny Pacquiao.

    Sismundo says, “Sobrang na inspire ako na kamukha ko si Manny Pacquiao kasi yung kamukha ko o kahawig ko ay di ordinaryong tao, kungdi, sikat sa buong mundo dahil sa kanyang galing sa boxing, at isa pa siyang Senador ngayon.  Baka sa pagtiyatiyaga at sipag sa mga laban ko, isang araw, masundan ko rin ang yapak ng idolo ko.”

    Sismundo continues, “Malaking bagay na nakasali ako sa ganitong kalaking organization, na galing pating Amerika.  Tulad sa akin, na galing sa General Santos City na matagal nang naghintay ng pagkakataon makalaban sa malaking audience, malaking bagay po talaga.  Matagal ko po itong pinangarap at dinasal.”

    This will be Mario Sismundo’s biggest fight in his entire boxing and MMA career, fighting for the first time in a 15,000-seater stadium in Quezon City, alongside fighters from all over the world.

    Sismundo says that his family, specially his father, has been supportive of his career all this time.  

    It is bittersweet though that at the biggest fight of his life, wherein his fight will be the co-main event on July 30, that his father won’t be able to watch it since he passed away just weeks ago. 

    “Sa pinakamalaking laban ng buhay ko, na matagal niyang hinintay, wala na siya…pero hindi iyon hadlang para ako manghina o mawalan ng gana lumaban, bagkos, lalo ko pang pag-iigihan ang training ko para manalo sa laban na ito, dahil inaalay ko sa kanya ang laban na ito”, Sismundo says.

    “At alam ko kahit wala na ang aking ama, manonood siya kahit nasa ibang mundo na siya”, adds Sismundo.

    WSOF-GC will host WSOF-GC 3 Philippines at Smart Araneta Coliseum on July 30, 2016. Tickets start at PHP300 with ringside seats available for PHP4000. Tickets are now on sale at http://www.etix.com/ticket/p/2988982/wsof-global-championship-3philippines-quezon-city-smart-araneta-coliseum. Smart Araneta Coliseum has been host to many great events over the years, but is most notably known for Ali vs Frazier III ‘The Thrilla in Manila’.

  • Dana White responds to 'biggest dirtbag in all of sports,' Bob Arum: I look forward to continuing to kick his ass

    Top Rank Boxing CEO Bob Arum recently took a handful of swipes at the UFC, claiming not only that the promotion is paying off lobbyists to avoid added government regulation but also that drug use in the sport far outweighed that of boxing.

Sports Bisaya

  • Blue girls beat Czechs

    The Philippines' Blu Girls  Softball Team beat strong opponent Czech Republic to remain in the top 16.

    The team is in Surrey, BC to compete against 30 other counties.

  • SI BUTLER O RUSSELL SA TIMBERWOLVES? CONGRATS HANNAH SAJULGA

    Ni Daniel Quindao Guden 

     

    Maple Grove City, Minnesota - DUHA ka mga NBA players ang gipili-an si Jimmy Butler o si D'Angelo Russell, kini ang gitutokan karon pag-ayo ni Tom "Thibs" Thibodeau ang bag-ong head coach ug president sa Basketball Operations sa Minnesota Timberwolves.

    Sa ni-aging semana nagbansiwag sa mga Mantalaan sa Minnesota State ug Online news ang taho nga si Chicago Bulls guard/forward Butler ang gitinguha sa Timberwolves management nga mahitapo sa Land of Ten Thousand Lakes Minnesota team bugti sa no. 5 overall pick sa rookie drafting sunod semana.

Lifestyle

  • Nazal is new Rotary Prexy

    By Robbie Pangilinan

    Robert Gerard Nazal II, president of YSA Skin Care Corporation, is the new President of Rotary Club of Sta. Mesa, Quezon City. He will assume leadership following the awards night at the One Shangri-la Place, Ortigas on July 27.

  • Sangyaw was a success
    By Robbie Pangilinan
    Tacloban City’s celebration of its 127th Sangyaw Festival was a success.

    The month-long festivities capped off with the inauguration and oathtaking of Mayor-elect Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez and the members of the local city government on June 30.