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Pinoy woke artists sing of tyranny, rage and hope

Artists have up their collaboration to turn out music videos that have become a powerful tool for awakening and raising the people’s consciousness. The visuals sure do aid the music and the lyrics come for easy retention. The internet affords the listeners to revisit the videos anytime and share it to others, much more so in this pandemic where online connectivity has become the norm. The post Pinoy woke artists sing of tyranny, rage and hope appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Source: Bulatlat BulatlatCategory: NewsSep 10th, 2020Related News

Playboy na personality problemado sa dami ng karelasyon

Sa tuwing sumasapit ang araw ng kanyang birthday, Pasko at valentine’s day ay problemado ang ating bida. Sa mga ganitong panahon ay nauubos ang kanyang araw sa pag-iikot sa kanyang mga mahal sa buhay. At kapag sinabi kong mahal sa buhay ito ay nangangahulugan na mga karelasyon bukod pa sa kanyang misis. Ngayong valentine’s day […] The post Playboy na personality problemado sa dami ng karelasyon appeared first on Bandera......»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: NewsSep 9th, 2020Related News

Things You Didn’t Know About The Juans

ALTHOUGH they have been a band since 2013, it is only recently that their music has been slowly recognized. The Juans, whose songs like “Hatid”, “Sirang Plaka”, “Hindi Tayo Pwede” and “Manalangin” has been serenading listeners for the past months. The lyrics of their songs and the wonderful melody makes them such a big hit […] The post Things You Didn’t Know About The Juans appeared first on Pinoy Parazzi......»»

Source: Pinoyparazzi PinoyparazziCategory: NewsAug 30th, 2020Related News

GREATEST PERFORMANCES: Arellano U’s sweep of thrice-to-beat SSC-R

Arellano University has been the dominating force in the NCAA women’s volleyball for the past three seasons. If not for the cancellation of Season 95 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Lady Chiefs would’ve made a strong case for a four-peat. But while the Lady Chiefs displayed great character to extend their reign, it was Arellano U’s impressive showing in Season 92 Finals series that built the solid foundation of its grand slam. Three years ago, the Lady Chiefs redeemed themselves from surrendering the crown the previous season by dethroning College of St. Benilde in the stepladder semifinals. Arellano U thus earned a return ticket to the Finals. However, the Lady Chiefs had to face an uphill climb in the championship series as they took on an unbeaten Grethcel Soltones-led San Sebastian College armed with a thrice-to-beat advantage. The Lady Stags handed Arellano U its only loss in the elimination round, before coming into the Finals with nine straight wins. Led by the graduating Soltones backed by a veteran crew, SSC-R looked poised to avenge its humiliating defeat the season before when they squandered the same series advantage. But the Lady Chiefs proved that they were the hungrier team. Using the death of head coach Obet Javier’s wife, Amy Marie, after a long bout with lung cancer as added motivation, Arellano U pulled off a shocker in the series opener. The Lady Chiefs swept the Recto-based squad, 25-18, 25-20, 25-16, with Rialen Sante, Jovie Prado, Andrea Marzan and Mary Anne Esguerra leading the way. Drawing first blood, Arellano U quickly shifted momentum to its favor. They played spoiler to Soltones’ third straight Most Valuable Player award in Game 2 when the Lady Chiefs survived a thrilling five-set match, 18-25, 25-16, 25-11, 26-28, 15-13, to inch closer to its second title since joining the league in 2009. Arellano kept its composure in a very tight fifth set breaking a 13-all deadlock with Regine Arocha’s off speed. SSC-R was the first top blink when Dangie Encarnacion committed an attack error that brought back the nightmare of the Lady Stags’ Season 91 Finals defeat. Then in Game 3, the Lady Chiefs celebrated Valentine’s Day by breaking the hearts of the Lady Stags, 25-15, 22-25, 25-23, 25-16. “Napakalaki sa amin ito kasi 'yung mga bata, pinaghirapan talaga namin ang taon na ito," Javier said then. "Noong first round, natalo kami sa Baste kaya nag-set kami ng goal na hindi na dapat mangyari ito. Nangyari naman."    That feat set the tone for Arellano U’s next two conquests. From there, the Lady Chiefs established its current domination of the country’s oldest collegiate league.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 13th, 2020Related News

TikTok lovers rage against Trump threat of US ban

A TikTok star pounds a beat as she weaves lyrics mocking the idea of US President Donald Trump banning the short-form video sharing app......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: NewsAug 4th, 2020Related News

ALBUM REVIEW: ‘Folklore’ is signature Swift but minimalist

Taylor Swift Taylor Swift dropped a bomb recently with the announcement and release of album “Folklore” on the same day. The set is a collection of 16 tracks penned by the 30-year old singer-songwriter and produced with long-time collaborator Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner (of The National) in the first few months of lockdown. Critics have hailed it one of her best albums. Well, Swift has always been about the lyrics, and here and there an interesting line pops up and conjures an image and corresponding emotion. “I’m doing good/I’m on some new s**t” she sings on opener “The 1.” A simple piano motif shape the first few stanzas and I could almost swear that first chord is same as Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Thunder Road.” Less is more as Swift conveys how life goes on after the one that got away, but there’s definitely a hint of regret there as she sings “But it would’ve been fun if it could’ve been me.” “Cardigan” is a sentimental, lo-fi sounding flashback about a loveable but two-timing rascal. “A friend to all is a friend to none /Chase two girls, lose the one,” she sings. ‘Folklore’ album art “The Last Great American Dynasty” is signature Swift. It’s a potent mix of country-tinged pop and drum machines as TS sings about 20th century American socialite Rebeka Harkness, and draws parallels to her own life put under a microscope. Easy fave “Exile” features Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon in a piano-decked ballad. Vernon sings in that low, Nick Cave-drone that is sweet contrast to Swift’s honeyed tones. Swift and Vernon sing from the perspective of two lovers who have realized that it won’t work. They take turns singing the regretful line, “I think I’ve seen this film before/And I didn’t like the ending.” “Mirrorball” glimmers with Swift’s radiant melodies as she intones “Hush, when no one is around my dear/You’ll find me on my tallest tiptoes/Spinning in my highest heels love/Shining just for you.” And there’s more: “August” (“Lost in the memory/August slipped away into a moment in time/‘Cause it was never mine”’), melancholy folk song “Seven” (“Your braid’s like a pattern/Love you to the Moon and to Saturn”), and a bit of hilarity in “Invisible String” (“Cold was the steel of my axe to grind for the boys who broke my heart/Now I send their babies presents”). Closing song “Hoax” sees Swift on piano with a spare string section just barely in the background. She sings, “Don’t want no other shade of blue but you/No other sadness in the world would do.” Compared to previous albums, “Folklore” is noticeably minimalist. The spotlight is on the singer and the songs. At this point in her career, Swift has become a master of weaving songs into little stories that resonate with our psyche and touch the soul. That might seem overly generous compliment to a legit mega celebrity who’s already received accolades to last her a lifetime. But that’s the thing: huge as she is, at her core, Swift is a songwriter who serves the song. And that dedication to her craft, her desire to be the best at it, not only for herself but for those who listen to her—you gotta respect her for that!.....»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsAug 2nd, 2020Related News

‘On Vodka, Beers and Regrets’ nina JC Santos at Bela Padilla, mapapanood na sa Netflix

BONGGA talaga sina JC Santos at Bela Padilla, huh? Lahat ng pelikulang pinagsasamahan nila bilang magkapares ay laging ina-acquire ng Netflix. Simula bukas, July 5, ay mapapanood na ang pelikulang ‘On Vodka, Beers and Regrets‘ sa nasabing video streaming website. Mula sa panulat and direksyon ni Irene Villamor, ipinalabas ang pelikula bilang Pre-Valentine presentation ng […] The post ‘On Vodka, Beers and Regrets’ nina JC Santos at Bela Padilla, mapapanood na sa Netflix appeared first on Pinoy Parazzi......»»

Source: Pinoyparazzi PinoyparazziCategory: NewsJul 5th, 2020Related News

All set for SERVE AS ONE Variety Show for volleyball gameday personnel

The country's volleyball idols are ready to put on a show on Friday and Saturday. But instead of trading spikes, the players will showcase their off-court talents online in the much-awaited SERVE AS ONE Variety Show, a fundraising effort for volleyball personnel presented by Volleyball Community Gives Back PH. The show is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. on the ABS-CBN Sports Website, ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page and ABS-CBN Sports YouTube Channel.. One of the best young open spikers in the country, Eya Laure is raring to display her talents - in singing. "Ready na ba kayo marinig ang maganda kong boses? HAHAHA," said Laure on her Twitter account. Teaming up with Alina Bicar, Laure will pit against Gel Cayuna and Ced Domingo in a "complete the lyrics" challenge. Other volleyball stars will also show their prowess like Kalei Mau, who is expected to sing with her guitar in tow, while Panpan Pantino, Beauty Denila and Bia General are also ready to jam for a cause. Erstwhile collegiate rivals Alyssa Valdez and Ara Galang will reconnect through the "GaDez Reacts" segment where both of them will react to some of their most iconic plays during their UAAP days which will also highlight the first day.        It will be also an exciting second day on Saturday. Fans will find more about Jema Galanza and Deanna Wong in “Storytime with GaWong” where the duo will find out who is better at recalling their memorable moments together. Beach volleyball standouts Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons and AJ Pareja and Pemie Bagalay will reunite online where they will know their teammate better in this segment. For more fun challenges in the two-day event, please visit Volleyball Community Give Back on Facebook and @vcgbph on Instagram and Twitter. Donations can be sent to Ryan Sordan through BPI bank account 8069 0632 77, GCash at 0917-5003390 and PayMaya at 0917-5003390.       There will be also a virtual after-party on the VCGB PH Facebook page featuring DJs Rammy Bitong, Sir Scratch and James on Friday, and Jon Tupaz, Ivan Constantino and Boyet Evangelista on Saturday......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 4th, 2020Related News

Bitin

      NAKAKA-GOOD vibes ang video ng duet ng mag-amang Dingdong at Zia Dantes. Kinanta nila ang classic na “Stand by Me.” Ani Dingdong, pampatulog song nila yun. Katuwa si Zia dahil kabisado niya ang lyrics ng kanta at nasa tono ang pag- kanta niya habang naggigitara ang kan- yang tatay. Kay Yani Yuzon […].....»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsJun 3rd, 2020Related News

Vegetable song

  “SCARBORROUGH Fair,” popularized by Simon and Garfunkel in the ‘60s, lists down several vegetables in its lyrics. They are “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.’’ In the Philippines, we have something similar in the folk song, “Bahay Kubo,” which enumerates some veggies needed to cook pinakbet including “talong, sigarilyas, bataw, sitaw, patani.’’ Pinakbet is an […].....»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsMay 31st, 2020Related News

Time to say goodbye

There was a time when tenors and sopranos were unknown to the ordinary man, and only the so-called “cognoscenti” appreciated them. That was probably because they sang in Italian mostly, and the music, but for those whose lyrics were translated in English and made popular by Hollywood cinema and recording artists, were too high-brow......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: NewsMay 27th, 2020Related News

DO YOU REMEMBER... the Lady Stags’ not so perfect seasons?

It’s not uncommon to see a team squander a huge advantage. A defeat like that will surely sting. But what more in a championship series and in a situation where a squad holds a thrice-to-beat advantage? San Sebastian College found itself on the wrong side of history after its infamous collapse in the NCAA women's volleyball finals. Twice. Not only did Lady Stags came up short of winning the crown while holding a thrice-to-beat advantage in consecutive seasons, but in those two series the Lady Stags only won one game. In a thrice-to-beat scenario, the team holding the advantage need only two victories to wrap the series. The disadvantaged side must win three times. Getting in that position is not easy. It means, a team must sweep the elimination round. And if you did brush off all your rivals that would mean you're the dominant team. Easily, the title favorite According to the NCAA Season 91 and 92 rules, the sweeping team gets an outright Finals seat armed with a twice-to-win advantage. A 1-0 lead in a virtual best-of-five series. The rest will have to duke it out in a stepladder semifinals to earn a championship seat. The unbeaten team will have fresh legs as it gets enough rest while waiting for its Finals opponent. For the other team, it means more games and no time for rest plus the possibility of wear and tear. The odds were stacked in favor of the Lady Stags. Or so they thought. SSC-R was a force to be reckoned with in those two seasons. Leading the Lady Stags was power-hitter and bulk-scorer Grethcel Soltones. She had a solid supporting cast in Nikka Dalisay, Jolina Labiano, Dangie Encarnacion, Kat Villegas, setter Vira Guillema and libero Alyssa Eroa under multi-title head coach and NCAA legend Roger Gorayeb. In Season 91, SSC-R fielded a well-experienced roster which came from two unsuccessful championship trips in the previous three years. The Lady Stags crushed all of their nine competitions in the elims including the CJ Rosario, Jovielyn Prado and Dana Henson-bannered Arellano U, which the year before beat SSC-R for the title. SSC-R completed its elims sweep after beating College of St. Benilde in four sets and got a nine-day rest. The Lady Blazers took the long route to secure a Finals seat, beating University of Perpetual Help in first stepladder semis before dethroning the Lady Chiefs. The Lady Stags came in the Finals brimming with confidence as they faced the same squad they defeated before their break. SSC-R barely escaped a tightly-contested extended first set but the Lady Stags unraveled in the next three frames. CSB coach Macky Carino knew that SSC-R will live and die with Soltones so he sent his best net defenders Jeanette Panaga, Janine Navarro and Ranya Musa to clog the net. SSC-R was also plagued with errors and miscues in their reception. The second game followed the same pattern with only Soltones scoring in double figures and the Lady Stags finding themselves on the brink of collapse. Soltones, upon receiving her second straight Most Valuable Player award, saved SSC-R from total collapse as she scored 31 points in a four-set escape in Game Three. But it all just delayed the inevitable doom that would befall the Lady Stags. In the series decider, CSB showed no signs of fear as it already faced two do-or-die matches before. SSC-R crumbled in the first two sets, showed life in the third before eventually yielding as the Lady Blazers claimed a historic breakthrough title in vanquishing a more seasoned rival. It was the same nightmare that the Lady Stags encountered the following season. Again, Soltones rallied SSC-R back to the Finals outright on her swan song. Once again with a thrice-to-beat advantage. Arellano U, on the other hand, got its revenge over CSB in the last stepladder match to book a championship showdown against the Lady Stags. The Lady Chiefs, behind Andrea Marzan, Regine Arocha and Mary Anne Esguerra, stunned SSC-R in straight sets in the series opener. It was Rialen Sante and Prado who did most of the damage in Game 2 as Arellano U beat the Lady Stags in a come-from-behind five-setter. And on Valentine’s Day 2017, SSC-R absorbed another humiliating defeat. Thrice-to-beat. Thrice beaten.        Soltones closed her NCAA career as a three-time MVP and one of the most decorated players in the league. But she will always be haunted by the ghost of her past. A legacy stained by the misfortune of leading a team found wanting in titles. The Lady Stags since then failed to recover their lost glory as they bowed out of the final four the following year for the first time in decades. SSC-R followed the same dark path the year after.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 21st, 2020Related News

UPFRONT: Athletes introduce their furry friends

Meet some of your favorite athlete’s furry friends that keep them company during this quarantine period. In this Upfront episode, host Janeena Chan talked to four athletes who are ‘fur parents’ to their lovely pets. Mel Gohing, Kim Fajardo and siblings Kiefer and Dani Ravena introduced their ‘babies’ and gave some pet care tips. Motolite’s Gohing was with her Welsh Corgis Valentine, Arrow and their pup Cloud. “Everybody’s trying to keep themselves sane. Good thing I have dogs, I have company,” said the De La Salle product and four-time UAAP women’s volleyball champion. Meanwhile, Fajardo of F2 Logistics and also a three-time UAAP champion from DLSU considers her cat Kimber, a Perian Siamese, as her stress-reliever. “Isa siya sa stress-reliever ko,” she said of her three-year old pet. “Kapag malungkot ka nasi-sense nila, dinadamayan ka nila.” The Ravena siblings, who were with Blake, a French Bulldog, and Muning, a Yorkshire Terrier, inherited their love for dogs from their parents, former PBA star Bong and ABS-CBN S+A volleyball analyst Mozzy. “Before pa naman when we we’re kids, when we were growing up mayroon kaming chihuahua,” said Kiefer of the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA. “Niregaluhan ako ng parents ko ng chihuahua. Before that may dogs na ang parents ko. That’s how it all started.” Kiefer added that there was a time that their dogs numbered more than 20. Aside from keeping themselves fit or bonding with their families, these athletes show that quarantine life is not boring especially with pets around......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 18th, 2020Related News

Be Like Mike jingle almost didn t happen, says creator

By GARY GERARD HAMILTON Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — “The Last Dance,” ESPN’s docuseries detailing the 1998 and final season of the Chicago Bulls championship dynasty, has served as a reminder to basketball fans of the greatness of Michael Jordan on the court. While it’s showcased Jordan’s dominance between baselines, it’s also shed light on his worldwide marketing allure. Although the Hall-of-Famer starred in many memorable commercials throughout the 1990s for major brands such McDonald’s “Nothing But Net” spot and Nike’s “Failure” ad, one of his most famous may be Gatorade’s “Be Like Mike” commercial. But if it weren’t inadvertently for the Walt Disney corporation, the melodic jingle would’ve never been made. “My whole goal in advertising, I told my wife right when I got into it, was I just wanted to create a little sliver of pop culture somewhere along the line,” said Bernie Pitzel, the advertising executive who created the song. “Everybody knows I’ve been saying that for years. And they go, ‘Well, I think you did it'.” In 1992, Pitzel was working for Chicago-based ad agency Bayer Bess Vanderwarker and tasked with overseeing a spot for Jordan that they had already created. Pitzel thought it was lackluster and too similar to Jordan’s early Nike commercials. But he became inspired as his children watched Disney’s 1967 film “The Jungle Book.” After changing a few lines of the song “I Wanna Be Like You” and presenting a mock-up, all parties settled on his idea. After filming visuals for the commercial, there was one last hurdle to cross: convincing Disney to allow them to use the “Jungle Book” music; Pitzel said they wanted too much money to approve it (a rep for Disney said they could not confirm Pitzel's account as it was decades ago). With the season scheduled to start soon and the agency unsure of the next move, Pitzel went to a favorite restaurant where he frequently brainstormed. He jotted down the lyrics for the jingle on a paper tablecloth, and then faxed a few music production houses while still at the restaurant. He settled on a melody the next day with the music and singing all performed by session singers. “I heard that instrumental opening that I’m like, ‘Oh, my God. We got it,’ Pitzel said. “As it turned out, it was way better that I wrote the song because that’s what people remember. If we’d just done it with the ‘Jungle Book’ music, it would have been a cute little spot, but it never would have resonated like it did.” Now retired in Phoenix, Pitzel had fond memories of working on that project—his kids appear in the commercial and played one-on-one with Jordan during takes. While he thought the spot was great and witnessed it become a pop culture staple, he couldn’t have predicted it would still be discussed nearly three decades later. When asked what goes into a creating an iconic ad, he says it’s not much different than the ingredients of winning a championship. “You just gotta believe in it. You gotta put your soul into it,” Pitzel said. “You gotta put your heart in it, and then you’ve gotta get some luck.” ___ Follow Associated Press entertainment journalist Gary Gerard Hamilton at twitter.com/garyghamilton.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 13th, 2020Related News

Jagged bitter pill

“A man can tell a thousand lies, I’ve learned my lessons well…” lyrics from the song “Live to Tell,” from the Queen of Pop Madonna sets the mood appropriately for the love of the unrequited kind and the resulting tempest with Awra Briguela and Feng dela Cruz as its main starrers. .....»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: MoviesMay 10th, 2020Related News

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Theme Song “Party Legends” Launched

As Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) gears up to celebrate its global wide campaign 515, the most popular mobile MOBA game launches this year’s theme song ‘Party Legends’ during MLBB’s Music and Dance week. The theme song talks about the journey and the challenges being experienced by every MLBB player.  After introducing the song on MLBB’s official Facebook, Youtube and Spotify accounts, TV Personality Eric “Eruption” Tai aka FitGamer even releases a dance tutorial of the song and encourages every gamer in the country to post their own version while staying home during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). “We know that Filipinos love to sing and dance and we’re very happy and overwhelmed with the feedback and appreciation that we’re getting. We saw that the fans and celebrity streamers even started posting their own song and dance covers on their social media accounts. It only means that the lyrics of the song ring true to every MLBB gamer,” shares Hanqing Mei, Moonton Marketing Manager of Moonton, the game developer behind the massively popular game. Meanwhile, gamers can enjoy and participate in several ‘515’ activities Painting and Bottle of Truth Week (April 30-May 6) and Cosplay Week (May 7-May 14), where fans and cosplay enthusiasts can use their creativity while at home and create a costume based on their favorite MLBB heroes.  Fans and players are in for a treat and receive a free hero when they log-in on May 16. They can also collect materials for weekly check-ins in-game with the biggest check-in to win physical rewards like Airpods, Beats Solo, and Nintendo Switch. Winners will be raffled off during the finals of Community Hero: City Rival. Mobile Legends Bang Bang and Moonton is asking everyone to stay at home and for more info on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, follow its official Facebook page. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 2nd, 2020Related News

CAMPEONE: Year of the Tiger (2010)

(This story was originally published on May 09, 2019) University of Sto. Tomas head coach Shaq delos Santos looked at his squad inside the dugout of The Arena in San Juan one last time. It was a cool Saturday afternoon. He took a glimpse at his graduating hitter Angge Tabaquero, who was all pumped up, but was feeling under the weather and could barely speak because of a sore throat. Delos Santos then shifted his eyes towards fourth-year team captain Aiza Maizo, Maika Ortiz, libero Jessica Curato, then to his prized rookies Dindin Santiago and Maru Banaticla. From their closed locker room, the Tigresses could hear the drums outside and felt the vibration that followed. The weekend crowd packed the venue in a sea of yellow and green. Excitement filled the air. It was electric. Less than an hour before, coach Emil Lontoc celebrated the Tigers’ conquest of Far Eastern University to complete a three-peat in the men's division. With his eyes closed, Delos Santos murmured one last prayer. Then there was a soft tap on their dugout door. It was time to march to the court for the official warm-up for Game 2 of the UAAP Season 72 women’s volleyball tournament.   THE YOUNG AND THE BOLD Delos Santos knew that they’re in for ride in Season 72.   They prided themselves with three pre-season titles, but those conquests meant nothing when it comes to their mother league. “Before mag-start (ang season), for me, hindi ko napi-feel na magtsa-champion agad kami,” said Delos Santos. “Kasi ang adjustment kailangan makita mo muna ang lahat ng naglalaro. So depende pa rin sa nilalaro ng every team na makakalaban mo.” And besides, the mentor will be navigating with a young crew, mostly in their early collegiate careers save for Maizo and returning Tabaquero, two of the remaining heroes of UST’s Season 69 championship run. Maizo was named team captain while Tabaquero, who skipped Season 71 for personal reasons, brought in the needed veteran presence to guide the squad. “Ako personally ang mindset ko sobrang hungry lang rin ako personally and I think si Aiza rin kasi halos pa-exit na rin siya nun,” said Tabaquero. “Ako sobrang gusto ko lang for myself na maka-graduate sa UAAP on a high note.” “On a high lang ako nun kumbaga, ‘Last playing year ko na ‘to wala na akong balikan pa, ibubuhos ko na lahat,’ she added. “Plus the fact na hindi ako nakapaglaro noong Season 71 dagdag gutom sa akin ‘yun.” But then again, the Tigresses remained relatively young. Dimaculangan was just in her third year, her first two saw the bitter memory of losing the title in the semifinals at the hands of the Rachel Anne Daquis-led Far Eastern University and then another Final Four heartache against the same tormentors the following year. Ortiz, Hannah Mance and Curato barely had enough experience on them so did Judy Ann Caballejo.   Then there were the young bloods. UST got a pair of blue-chip recruits in a small but high-flying power-hitter in Banaticla and a lanky 6-footer Santiago.   The Tigresses were parading a decent squad, but not a super team that they had before with Mary Jean Balse and Venus Bernal.       “Nagkaroon kami ng mga rookies noon,” said Dimaculangan. “Nu’ng time na ‘yun kumpiyansa naman ako sa team kasi bakit ka pa maghahanap ng mga wala o bakit ka pa hahanap ng mga naka-graduate na? So kung ano na lang ang meron kami siguro doon na lang.” Delos Santos, himself, was just on his second year as head coach after taking the reins from legendary mentor August Sta. Maria, who suffered a stroke in 2008. Expectations were high from the UST faithful. For the Tigresses, they just have to deliver.   STRUGGLE WITHIN The Tigresses began the season with an early litmus test. Their first game: against the defending champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers. UST faced a squad assembled to build a dynasty. DLSU was denied of a four-peat three years ago when the league suspended the school in Season 69 because of an eligibility issue with its men’s basketball team. In Season 70, the Lady Spikers were forced to forfeit games because of another eligibility issue with Jacq Alarca. The following year, in Manilla Santos’ final year, DLSU reclaimed the throne. Now, looking to for a repeat, the Lady Spikers just need to break the will of one of their threats. DLSU paraded a formidable team centered on its ‘Big Three’ in Alarca, skipper Paneng Mercado, daughter of Asia’s Sprint Queen Lydia De Vega-Mercado, and versatile hitter Cha Cruz. Then there’s the great wall of Michele Gumabao and rookies Aby Marano and Joanne Siy, who would eventually win the Rookie of the Year and Best Blocker awards. UST was facing a nightmare. But the Tigresses were undaunted. They clung on the confidence of bringing down the same giant they slew in the UniGames championship before the start of the season. With guns blazing and adrenaline in their veins, the Tigresses were able to control the match as they led, 2-1. Then comes their Achilles’ heel. UST was a determined team, but the Lady Spikers had in them the championship experience, the veteran composure of a battle-tested squad. The Tigresses had no answer to that. DLSU walked away with a 20-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11, victory to start its amazing elimination round winning streak. UST recovered in the next three games, walking past University of the Philippines, a rebuilding FEU, and cellar-dwellers National University. Then came another big challenge. The Tigresses collided with a feisty young team in Ateneo de Manila University bannered by a hyped Fab Five of sophomores Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio, Fille Cainglet, setter Jem Ferrer and A Nacachi. The result was a shocker: the Lady Eagles upset the Tigresses. It may not show inside the court, but the Tigresses were struggling from the inside.   Delos Santos admitted that being a Tigress under his watch was not for the faint of heart. His relationship with the players was not smooth. He was a blacksmith trying to sharpen a deadly weapon. He needed to put his players into the blazing fire of his Spartan-like training, hammer them into shape and sharpen them into a weapon ready for brutal war.       “Napaka-strict ko kaya medyo ano sila sa akin pero at the end of the day na-realize rin nila na ang lahat ng sinasalihan naming tournament, lahat ng paghihirap namin, kapag naglalaro kami talagang quality,” he said. “’Yung pinaghirapan namin talagang nilalabas namin sa game.” Dimaculangan recalled that that season was marred with conflicts within the team. “’Yung year na 'yun ang dami talagang pinagdaanan. Ang daming naging issues,” she said declining to divulge what the problems were. “Lahat kami takot sa kanya (Delos Santos). Tapos my time din na feeling namin nabe-burnout na kami.” “Baliktad nga eh kasi kung kailan ang dami naming issue doon pa namin nasabi na ‘Ay kailangan nating mag-champion.’ Ganoon ang feeling namin,” Dimaculangan added. Tabaquero would simply describe that Tigresses team as ‘shaky’. “On the rocks ang team and noon may internal issues din,” she revealed. “Medyo magulo siya pero as players, ‘Kung may mangyari man dyan, labas na sa volleyball ‘yan. Kung ano ang pini-perform natin maglaro tayo ng maayos.’ Siguro yun na lang ang tumatakbo sa isip namin.” Whatever the issues were inside their team, the Tigresses were able to put them aside as they made an amazing run to close the eliminations. “Nagulat kami kasi sobrang nakasabay ang mga bata,” said Tabaquero. “Kami ni Aiza halos ang nag-lead sa team na ‘yun pero kasi experienced na ang mga bata na ‘yun kasi coming from UST program sila eh.” “So medyo kumbaga ang pinanggalingan nilang team mataas din so I guess doon na lang din sila humugot from their experience sa high school. Nadala na lang din siguro pagdating nila,” she added.   ENTERING THE END GAME Valentine’s Day. With most of the country looking forward to celebrate that special Sunday, the Tigresses were preparing for something bigger. It was their most-awaited rematch with the Lady Spikers, who heading into that game were already ravaging the league with 13 straight victories. One win and DLSU will enter the Finals outright armed with a thrice-to-beat advantage.   The Tigresses didn’t allow that. UST prevented a Lady Spikers elims sweep by slipping past DLSU in a thrilling five-setter. The Tigresses avoided a stepladder semifinals. UST ended the elims with a nine-game winning streak and second-best 12-2 win-loss record. From there everything changed. “Kasi nakuha nila (ang panalo) sa first round then February 14 tinalo namin sila so dun tumaas ang kumpiyansa namin na ‘Ah kaya namin itong La Salle,’” said Tabaquero. The Tigresses came in the Final Four armed with a twice-to-beat advantage against Ateneo. They split their elims head-to-head but now UST wanted to settle an old score. It was Maizo and Tabaquero who did most of the damage in the Final Four as the Tigresses crushed the Lady Eagles, 25-12, 25-23, 25-20, all while playing without starting libero Curato, who was out because of typhoid fever. “I guess kung ikaw mayroon kang chance na makapasok sa championship siguro ibibigay mo ang lahat. Laban kung laban,” said Tabaquero. “’Yun talaga ang mentalidad namin nu’ng time na yun. ‘Yun ang nag-push sa amin na, ‘For championship ito, ibibigay namin ang lahat 110%.’” Earlier that playdate, the Lady Spikers took the other Finals berth after booting out Adamson University, 16-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-22.         "EH ANO NGAYON KUNG DEFENDING CHAMPION KAYO?" Maizo and Tabaquero were UST’s contrasting leaders. They're yin and yang. Maizo was a silent operator. She would rather let her work do the talking. Tabaquero was from a different world. She will get under your skin, play with your head and she was just plain nasty. “Season 69 pa lang salbahe na ako maglaro,” she admitted. “Dun lumabas ‘yung moniker ko na ‘Pamewang Queen’. Sobrang intense lang din ng game namin ng FEU nun. Parang sobrang thrashtalkan. Hindi mo man makita on-cam pero doon pa lang talagang may verbal.” She’s no different in Season 72. “Hindi naman sa mayabang ako pero nasa utak ko nu’ng time na yun, ‘Ay kaya namin kayo kasi tinalo namin kayo nu’ng eliminations,’” Tabaquero continued.  “Doon ako humugot ng lakas na, ‘hindi tayo papatalo rito.’ Sobrang inspired lang din siguro akong maglaro noon kasi ang daming tao nun. Grabe puno itong San Juan Arena,” she recalled.    Facing DLSU, Tabaquero knew they can rip the crown off the Lady Spikers’ heads. “Ako personally, ‘Eh ano ngayon kung defending champion kayo?” she said. It was 2010 and UST just needed to look at the Chinese calendar for an inspiration.    “Year of the Tiger yun, sumakto,” said Dimaculangan. “Iba ang kompiyansa namin na parang amin ‘to.” The Tigresses could see the stars aligning for them, the opportunity was there. Then came the best-of-three series opener. Delos Santos was not new to the Finals. He worked as Sta. Maria’s deputy before. But this was his biggest challenge. His shining moment. Looking back, he felt that Sta. Maria molded him for this situation. “Before nakakuha rin kami ng isa pang championship eh. Sina Bernal, Balse pero si Coach August ang head coach pa nun that time,” he said. “Ang ginawa niya that time sobrang gusto niyang mag-grow ako. Noong Finals namin against FEU, umalis siya. Hindi siya nagpunta ng game tapos nung mag-start na ang game hinahanap ko siya,” Delos Santos continued. “Tinawagan ko siya, sabi ko, ‘Boss nasaan ka?’ Nasa norte siya eh parteng norte." "Sabi ko, ‘boss nasaan ka?’ Sabi niya, ‘kayang-kaya mo na ‘yan. Ikaw ng bahala dyan,’” he said. “’Yung time na yun doon ko na-feel na grabe ang tiwala niya sa akin.” Against a taller Lady Spikers side, Delos Santos needed just one key to success: speed. “I think that time sobrang lucky ko rin kasi ang mga players ko. Yun nga sina Rhea na, sina Tabaquero, sina Aiza. So that time yung system na gusto naming mangyari, more on lalo na kailangang maging speedy kami. Mabilis kami, nakuha namin that time. Siguro yun ang naging key,” he said. “Kasi knowing La Salle ang no. 1 weapon nila is blocking eh. Bukod dun sa service nila na napakabigat, yung blocking. Mayroon silang malalaking players and ang ganda lagi ng line-up nila,” Delos Santos said. As the battle ensued, Delos Santos felt that they had the upper hand. “I think nu’ng time na ‘yun medyo na-feel ko na makukuha namin,” he said. “That time na naglaro na kami sabi ko, sa galawan na nangyayari nakuha namin yung magandang diskarte.” And that strategy was to exploit the height disadvantage of DLSU setter Kaye Martinez. For Delos Santos the best way to stop the Lady Spikers’ deadly arrows was to break their bow.  “That time malalaki sila pero meron silang maliit na setter. Maliit ang setter nila so more on dun kami nagsi-set play ng nagsi-set play,” he said. “Nagkaroon din kami ng magandang receive and then si Rhea nabibigay niya ng maayos sa mga spikers.”  It was shocker. UST recovered from a set down to beat DLSU, 24-26, 25-23, 25-16, 25-21.   For the first time in Season 72, the Taft-based squad got its back against the wall.   SHAQ THE WORLD The Tigresses were on a high as they arrived at the game venue in the last weekend of February just three days after shocking the Lady Spikers in the series opener.     Entering the venue, the Tigresses were greeted by a huge crowd of UST faithful, all hoping for the clincher.  Tabaquero was feeling ill that day. “Naalala ko may sakit ako nu’ng Game 2. Wala akong boses nun,” said the senior, who skipped Thursday’s practice to rest. But Tabaquero was determined to play one last time, give her team the firepower and angst it needed, to finish her collegiate career on top.   “Wala ng sakit-sakit, di pwedeng may sakit. Di ko na siya nararamdaman. Minsan napapagod pero wala kailangang magsakripisyo. Saka yung adrenaline ko sobrang taas nun,” said Tabaquero. As the Tigresses trooped to the court for the warm-up, they were showered by loud cheers from the UST fans. “Go USTe! Go USTe!” echoed inside the arena like a rolling thunder signaling the arrival of a storm. A serenade for conquering heroes. There was a huge banner that read: ‘Kami po ang University of Sto. Tomas.’ It added fuel to the Tigresses’ burning desire to reclaim the throne. The squad came into the venue brimming with confidence but with their supporters egging them on even before the opening serve, the Tigresses felt invincible. They were. UST dismantled the confused Lady Spikers in the first two sets, dominating DLSU with sharp angled attacks and frustrating its blockers. Defensively, the Tigresses were punishing DLSU’s attackers. “Dumipensa lang talaga kami noon saka nagkaroon kami ng first ball. ‘Yun talaga ang edge namin nun,” said Dimaculangan. “Kumbaga parang hindi ako masyadong nahirapang dumiskarte kasi alam kong darating sa akin ang bola.” The Lady Spikers’ defense was also in disarray. Even DLSU’s celebrated libero Mel Gohing, the rookie of the year the season before, was already struggling to keep up with the Lady Spikers’ net defense collapsing. “Yung mga spikers ko ang gagaling din dumiskarte and alam din nila kung ano ang gagawin nila sa bolang ibinibigay ko sa kanila,” added Dimaculangan. The Tigresses were already smelling blood.   But the Lady Spikers regrouped in the third as hitters Cruz and Mercado’s hits found their mark. Gumabao, Siy and Maarano were holding their own. DLSU took the third frame in dominating fashion. It may have turned the tides around for the Lady Spikers. It didn’t.      DLSU built an early five-point cushion in the fourth frame, but the Tigresses raced to a 16-11 lead before Gumabao stopped the bleeding with a crosscourt hit.  Maizo then landed an off speed hit over blockers Siy and Martinez, then the lefty again scored another heady off speed this time over Alarca for an 18-12 lead. Then came the deluge of errors by DLSU. The Lady Spikers crowd went quiet in the pivotal run of the Tigresses. A kill block by Ortiz put UST at championship point, 24-13, as the DLSU faithful froze, seemingly awaiting an inevitable defeat. “Parang pa-last point pa lang ata naiiyak na kaming lahat,” said Dimaculangan. An overexcited Tabaquero sent her serve long then Maizo’s attack was turned back. Two match points saved by DLSU. The Lady Spikers tried to hold on. But it was too late. Nerves got the best of Emeli Zuno as she made contact with the ball at the service line.       It sailed long. Pandemonium broke out. “Nagtatalon na kami nu’ng moment na yun, na ‘Heto na ang pinaghirapan natin.’ Ang sarap sa feeling na mag-champion ulit,” said Tabaquero after the final whistle of the season was called with UST completing the sweep with a 25-18, 25-14, 16-25, 25-15, victory.   For Delos Santos that championship was the fruit of their hard labor. “Sobrang happy kasi siyempre nagkaroon kami ng championship sa UST,” said Delos Santos of his only title for the Tigresses as head coach. “Sobrang memorable. Marami rin kaming pinagdaanan (bago makuha),” he added. UST accomplished a double-crown feat in volleyball that year, its fifth since the 1976-77, 1985-86 at 1987-88 and 1992-1993 seasons. As a reward the Tigresses earned a trip to Hong Kong. But even that trip had some good anecdotes for Delos Santos, Dimaculangan and Tabaquero. “Nag-trip to Hong Kong kami for two to three days sa Disneyland at Ocean Park,” said Delos Santos. “Sila lang mahilig mag-rides eh. Ako may phobia ako sa heights. Nung sumakay kami ng cable car para akong mahuhulog na ewan dun sa cable car.” Dimaculangan remembered vividly their flight. “Nag-Hong Kong kami noon tapos sakto pa na bumabagyo noong umalis kami noon. Buti nga natuloy kami noon eh,” she said. As for Tabaquero, unfortunately, she had to skip the trip. “Nagpunta sila ng Hong Kong pero ako di ako nakasama kasi late yung Hong Kong trip. Di ako nakasama kasi na-ACL (left injury) na ako nun sa Shakey’s V-League, yung sa championship ng San Sebastian,” she said. “Naka-schedule na ako ng surgery nun sa UST hospital kaya di ako nakasama.” “May incentive naman ako nun kahit di ako nakasama nun,” Tabaquero cleared. Ten years ago, UST ruled Season 72. It was the year of the Tiger. The year of the mighty, mighty Tigers.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

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