La Salle, FEU strong picks

first_imgMOST READ National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles LATEST STORIES Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson A preseason brawl between La Salle and Far Eastern University may have fanned the animosity between the two powerhouse squads, but Green Archers coach Aldin Ayo would rather have his players deal with the absence of their main man.Ben Mbala, last season’s Most Valuable Player, won’t see action with the defending champion Archers when Season 80 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament fires off this weekend.ADVERTISEMENT Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite So beats Colombian; Sadorra loses “It’s a big test playing without Ben,” Ayo said of his Cameroonian center, who may miss two games as he plays for his national team in the 2017 Fiba Afrobasket. “But we don’t rely on one player only, we rely on our system.”Ayo, as well as new FEU coach Olsen Racela, said their teams had moved on from last week’s invitational game that resulted in an ugly free-for-all in Davao City. It’s the second straight year the two schools figured in a preseason altercation.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“What I always preach and tell my players in basketball or in life is not to dwell on the past—move forward, be mindful of the present,” said Racela.All’s well between coaches Aldin Ayo of La Salle (left) and Olsen Racela of Far Eastern U after a recent offseason brawl among their players in Davao City. —Sherwin VardeleonThe Archers and the Tamaraws stand as favorites this season along with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, who reached the finals last year despite the graduation of several veterans. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Our team caught a lot of people by surprise,” said Sandy Arespacochaga, deputy of Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin. “We did well so it’s also a challenge for us to be consistent.”For University of the Philippines coach Bo Perasol, the challenge is dealing with the absence of key recruits Ibrahim Quattara and Rob Ricafort, who were declared ineligible Monday, just hours before the league’s press conference at Mall of Asia Arena.“We don’t know yet how our team will look like,” said Perasol, noting UP will appeal the league’s decision that his players need to serve one more year of residency.The season kicks off with University of the East and National U battling at 2 p.m. this Saturday at MoA Arena, followed by the 4 p.m. clash between Ateneo and Adamson.ADVERTISEMENT Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles View commentslast_img read more

My Mother’s Birthday (Dedication: to all mothers)

first_imgI stood at the flower shop on Benson Street with a smile on my face. “I need a nice bunch of flowers for my mother and beside the fact that she loves flowers today is her birthday.”  “You lucky man,” the flower seller, a woman in her thirties, said also with a smile. “This bunch of flowers your mother will love.”   I said, “You started this business not too long ago?”    “Yes,” she said, “about two years ago.”   “How well is going for you?”   “Pretty much,” she replied, “I did not realize that people here love flowers.”   “How easy is it to be in such a business?”   She kept the smile in place and swept her head back, rolled her eyes, turned to look at me and said, “As I said I’ve been in this business for the last two years and my patrons have been people who have class, and love and remember how important their parents are in their lives.”  “You get customers from all over the country?”  “Not all over,” she said, sitting down behind the counter, “there are people here who love flowers and want them at various occasions.”  “Quite right,” I said. “I need flowers during an occasion like this when it is that of my mother’s birthday.”   She smiled.   I could not hide my appreciation for the woman’s remarkable interest in her flowers. Besides, I knew she wanted me to buy her product anyhow.  “My family loves flowers,” I told her, “and my mother’s birthday is today. Can you send the flowers to my mother’s residence?”  “Yes,” she said, and her sweet smile raced across my face.  “I want you to send the flowers to my mother.” “Where does your mother live?” “Tubmanburg,” I said, “the address is easy to find.”  Still keeping her smile in place, she said, “I know Tubmanburg, a small town. I have a business contact in there and we can deliver your purchase to her.”  “It’s about eight fifteen,” I glanced at my wristwatch.   She said, “Yes, the flowers can be delivered at 2p.m today. She will be contacted on her cell-phone once the flowers are in Tubmanburg.”   “That’s wonderful,” I said.   While the discussion went on, I noticed a young boy with a blue shirt and in black trousers standing further away from me, watching me. I became curious when I saw that he had tears in his eyes. I could not figure out what was happening to him and was inclined to find out.   So when I concluded the arrangement for the flowers to be sent to my mother, I walked to the boy and inquired from him the reason for the tears.  “Today is my mother’s birthday,” he said, “and the woman,” he pointed his right hand to the woman in the Flower Shop, “said the flowers cost L$1,000.00. And I’m just seven.   “She would not accept my twenty dollars.” I looked directly in his face, with personal sympathy and told him, “Ok, friend, no need to shed tears I can help you with this.”    I took him to the flower shop.  “Give this boy the flowers he needs for his mother,” I told the woman, “and I’m going to pay for it.”   She said, “Yeah, he’s been here the last couple of minutes but I told him the money he has could not purchase any bunch of flowers.  “But since you said so, ok I will let him have what he wants.”  The boy looked at me with a grin, and lowered his heard, lifting his right hand to wipe away tears that had formed there.  Few minutes later, the woman handed the little boy a bunch of neatly organized flowers. As soon as the boy received them, he began to run to the opposite direction without even saying a word to me. I regarded him with some further curiosity and smiled, remembering when I was at his age.   Several seconds later, I felt someone tucking at my clothes, and when I turned around, it was the same boy.  “’Thank you, mister,” he said, with a smile, “thanks for the flowers.” I nodded in anticipation, saying, “No problem, son, have a nice day.”  He smiled and ran off. I could not understand the little boy’s interest in flower and that the day was her mother’s birthday got me thinking about my mother. I could also not get it clear about the boy’s love for flowers for his mother. To my knowledge, it was not common for kids to show an exceptional interest in their parent’s birthdays. It was a thought I could not get out of my mind. But in these days of Ebola virus disease that had resulted into many deaths, I could agree that even a child could show gratitude towards his mother. Times were changing, I thought. Meanwhile, I felt a sense of admiration for the little boy and I wished I had known him a little better to know the kind of mother he had. In any case, he was gone and that was it.  The Monrovia weather was getting hotter, now that we were in the dry season. In the wake of the declining Ebola infections people’s confidence was creeping back to their lives. The sun was early and hitting gradually hard and many people were surprised at its early appearance.  Thirty minutes later, I made my way towards Slipway, just across from the Gabriel Tucker Bridge. The hot weather was losing its power due to the Mesurado River’s proximity to my location. The river flowed silently into the Atlantic Ocean. The sudden change of weather gave me some courage that nature had its own way of bringing reassurance that all was not lost. I began to think about nature’s provision for our existence and wondered how wonderful things, particularly happen to bring changes in the environment for our own good.   I was in such deep thought when I was suddenly attracted to the location where a small figure sat before an old cemetery that I thought had been abandoned many years ago.  What also got me interested was the blue shirt, for it was clear that it was the little boy I had encountered nearly thirty minutes ago. The boy knelt before what seemed me to be a recently constructed grave in an old cemetery. The boy sat beside a fresh bunch of flowers inserted in front that particular grave.  “What’s he doing there?” I said to myself. My curiosity got the better me and therefore I chose to find out what he was doing alone beside the grave. I descended the steps leading to the cemetery and strolled towards him. Closer, scattered graves came in view and I realized that the most recent graves could be any of the people who might died but not really from the Ebola virus disease; meaning from other natural causes and were interred there. But for a seven-year-old boy to be here alone was a mystery that pricked my attention, particularly so since I had encountered him sometime earlier.  The echoes of my footsteps drew the boy’s attention. He turned around slowly, and realizing who it was, said, “This is where mother lives,” as he pointed to the grave he sat behind, “and she is very grateful for the wonderful flowers.”  Suddenly, a lump jumped in my throat, as I was overwhelmed with emotion. I could not get over the demonstration of gratitude and love that this little boy had shown by example to celebrate his dead mother’s birthday.  Without saying a word, I began to walk away from him, and my destination was of course to the flower shop. I arrived at the shop few minutes later and met with the beautiful lady who had assisted me earlier. “Have you sent the flowers?” “Not yet,” she said, “they are about to leave the office.”  “I will take them with me,” I said, “so that I can personally deliver them to my mother.”   She wanted to know why the sudden change of mind, but I was not prepared to go into it. I felt some guilt about it somehow, especially when I compared it with the little boy’s life lesson that I had just received. The little man taught me a great deal about a child’s love for his mother even if she was no more alive. Some questions began to come to my mind: how many of those whose parents are living really appreciate them? There are some friends that I know who care little about their parents, and I realized that the little boy’s instructive lesson would leave a large mark on my person and I would not be the same again, that was for sure.  I then had some fill of excitement that I never experienced before in my life. I held the bouquet flowers neatly wrapped and held it close to me. I began to think about the days gone by when all my attention was to my mother as hers had been on me when I was a little boy. I knew I could not keep this story away from her, because by the afternoon, I would be with my mother as she would celebrate her birthday.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more