Give Up Tomorrow

Give Up Tomorrow at Cinemalaya 2012. Visit for info.

Two women go missing. A massive search is organized. One body is found, barely recognizable, tortured, and gang raped. The police have no apparent leads. Pressure mounts for the police to find the criminals. In a swift, stunning move, they swoop in and arrest 7 young men for the crimes. A couple of them come from prominent name families.  All of them deny the accusations. One of the accused, claims he was nowhere near the place when the crimes took place. The police detain them anyway.

After 6 months, no sufficient evidence is found to link these boys to the crime. People start to worry that nothing will happen to the case or that their is a cover up.
The most powerful figure in the land makes his presence felt.
Suddenly,  a witness surfaces. He says he was part of the group that  committed the crime. He implicates all 7 men. All of them deny even knowing this witness.

With his testimony, and no other evidence,  the trial begins. The defense casts doubts on the corpse that was found. Was it one of the girls? An expert is brought in, but the kangaroo court judge dismisses it, and the defense takes a huge blow. The defense lawyers quit and public attorneys replace them. The trial proceeds with the prosecution throwing paid witness upon paid witness to the accused.
When it was the defense’s turn, their witnesses were mocked, and accused of lying.
The verdict was a foregone conclusion.
Eventually the death sentence is issued on all the accused.
Sounds like the plot of a movie or tv mini series right ? Or maybe something John Grisham would have written. The sad part is that THIS is a true story.

Last Sunday Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco presented their documentary film , “Give Up Tomorrow,” at the 2012 Cinemalaya at the CCP Little Theater. The two men have put together a riveting tale on a young man’s struggle to maintain his innocence. This was the Asian premiere of this film.

Give Up Tomorrow, exposes shocking corruption within the judicial system of the Philippines and one of the most sensational trials in the country’s history.

Fifteen years ago, sisters Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong, were kidnapped in Cebu.Supposedly Marijoy’s body had been found, raped and killed. Arrested and charged with the crime were seven young men, including 19-year old Francisco “Paco” Juan Larranaga, a young student attending a culinary school in Metro Manila. At the time the crime was allegedly being committed Paco was with his friends in Manila. Multiple eyewitness accounts of friends and teachers, swear that Paco was with them in Manila. They even had pictures.

The film follows the (mis)trial of the century, the media circus, and demoralizing events that followed.

Give Up Tomorrow,  is Paco’s slogan,telling his fellow inmates, “Don’t waste time, don’t give up on the present, but give up tomorrow.”

Give Up Tomorrow, has received worldwide critical acclaim, as winner of the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival’s Audience Award and Special Jury Prize for Best New Director. In addition, the film won the Audience award at the Sheffield Doc/Fest, the Human Rights Award at Docs Barcelona, and the Activism Award at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival.

You will feel sad, angry, shocked. You will be riveted to your seat.

This is not just a movie, this is the truth.

And the truth hurts.

During the open forum, one last person stood up to seemingly ask the last question of the night. There were murmurs, whispers from the audience. It was Hubert Webb.

Webb,was imprisoned for 15 years at the New Bilibid Prisons,along with five others for the 1995 “Vizconde massacre,” where a mother and her two daughters were killed. In 2010, the Supreme Court acquitted Webb and his co-accused. After spending 15 years in jail, and with eerily similar settings (a star witness, prominent family member accused, accused was nowhere near crime, witnesses discredited)Webb seemed to be in the best position to share his thoughts on the movie.

“I met Paco in Muntinlupa,” Webb said. He expressed gratitude for what the film makers were doing: “The best defense is letting the world know what really happened.”

Applause accompanied Webb as he made his way back to his seat and was hugged by Mimi, the sister of Paco.

Give Up Tomorrow will have it’s last showing on Sunday 3;30pm at the CCP Little Theater.

Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco addressing the crowd at the reception for their film

Here is the film’s trailer.

Multi-awarded film Give Up Tomorrow at Cinemalaya 2012. Visit for info.


UAAP Season 75 Senior Men’s Basketball Preview

The 75th season of the  UAAP starts this coming weekend.  Ateneo is going for a 5th straight men’s seniors’ basketball title and every other team is determined to prevent that from happening.
Here is my preview of the upcoming season.

Ateneo Blue Eagles
The Blue Eagles are the favorites the win their 5th straight crown. Ateneo has depth,experience and Norman Black. The big question mark this year is in the leadership.  Juami Tiongson, and Nico Elorde are the main point guards. Kiefer Ravena will probably do more than his share of ball handling duties. Coach Norman Black returns for his last season as coach, and his players will give it their all to give their coach a rousing swan song. The frontcourt is solid with Greg Slaughter, Nico Salva, JP Erram, Justin Chua, and comebacking Ryan Buenafe. Outside shooting is expected from Oping Sumalinog and Tonino Gonzaga aside from their defensive prowess. Five peat or bust!

Big 3: Slaughter, Salva, Ravena

Player to watch: Greg Slaughter. The 7 footer actually improved. He looks stronger, has more polished post moves and has shown he has a respectable jumper.

Player on the hotseat :Kiefer Ravena. Ravena looked “human” in pre-season games as defenses now know his game and have been doing decent jobs in limiting his production. Every Atenean is hoping he can avoid the sophomore jinx.

X-Factor: Ryan Buenafe. Is he the Ryan Buenafe, clutch scorer, spectacular passer or the player who was overweight, sulks on the court and looked uninspired?

National University Bulldogs
The NU Bulldogs showed they are legitimate UAAP contenders by going undefeated and winning the recently concluded FilOil Pre-season cup. Bobby Ray Parks is scary good. He has shown an improved jumpshot, post moves, and more importantly leadership. Jean Mbe has also improved as he has apparently learned not to foul everyone who goes in the lane. The biggest reason for their success is in the coaching. Eric Altamirano has convinced all, ALL his players that they are ready to the next stop, and his players are oozing with confidence. Dennice Villamor, Jeff Javillonar, Gelo Alolino ,Glenn Khobuntin, and rookie Mark de Guzman provide solid support and have all shown they are not afraid to take a big shot. The NU Bulldogs have got it all for you!

Big 3: Parks,Mbe,Alolino

Player to watch: Bobby Ray Parks. He sure looks ready to repeat as UAAP MVP. He is probably the most complete player in the UAAP right now.

Player on the hotseat: Jean Mbe. Will he continue his stellar play that he showed in the pre season league? He was part of the Mythical 5 and won the best defensive player of that tournament. The Bulldogs are hoping so.

X Factor: The MOA Arena. What? The Bulldogs have been practicing in their spanking new arena, and probabaly have a home court advantage. They even have their own locker rooms in the Arena.

FEU Tamaraws

The  Tamaraws have been bridesmaids the past 2 seasons to the Blue Eagles. Is the 3rd time the charm? RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo form arguably the most potent backcourt in the league. Russel Escoto,Carl Cruz, The Bringas brothers, Arvie and Mark,and Roger Pogoy will try to make up for the losses of Aldrech Ramos and JR Cawaling to graduation. The Tamaraws are still experienced, have the smarts, and have the firepower to reach the top, as long as their top 2 guards co-exist. Let’s go Tamaraws, lets go!

Big 3: Garcia, Romeo,Tolomia,

Player to watch: RR Garcia. Mr Cool. Mr Clutch. When RR’s game is on, just sit back and watch him hit loopers, push shots, 3 pointers from the corners and his free throws. The expression on his face rarely changes.  Only his hair color does.

Player on the hotseat: Terrence Romeo. He was wild in the finals a year ago. Apparently he wanted to do too much to help his team win, and it meant not making proper decisions as the teams point guard. If he is under control and plays within the system, FEU will be formidable.

X Factor: Arvie Bringas. Bring as to the promised land, the La Salle faithful chanted. Alas Arvie did not deliver. So he takes his talents to FEU,and after sitting out a year, he is now ready to bang bodies again with the league. If he plays to his potential, he might be the next Vic Pablo, if not, the next Mike Otto.

De La Salle Green Archers

The Green Archers are itching to make it to the top again. Last season’s disapointments are behind them and a new era beginning with new Coach Gee Abanilla calling the shots and fearless rookie gunner Jeron Teng (Tengsanity!) a notable addition to the team. A runner up finish in the Fil Oil pre season tournament showed what this team is capable of. Norbet Torres has done his homework and is a terror in the low post with his jump hooks and face up jumpers and is a tireless rebounder. Yutien Andrada, Ponso Gotladera, Papot Paredes and (injured) big man Arnold Van Opstal, are lean, tall, and all defensively imposing. The backcourt of LA Revilla, Almond Vosotros, Jed Manguerra and Mark Tallo are fast, and all are ready to take the big shot. The Green Archers are locked and loaded for the upcoming season!

Big 3: Revilla, Torres, Teng

Player to watch: LA Revilla. He is the team leader. He will take the big shot and will not back down. He is arguably the league’s best point guard.

Player on the hotseat: Jeron Teng. He is undeniably talented. But some feel he takes too many shots and it may irk the veterans on the team. He is already clutch. (See Ateneo game 3point shot)If he plays under control and takes his shots in the rhythm of the game, he is a lock for rookie of the year.

X Factor: Gee Abanilla. The Pumaren era ended and after a whole lot of coaches names were rumored to be taking over (Cone,Uichico, Villanueva), DLSU entrusted their team to their long time assistant.The public will scrutinize what system he brings to the school, how he handles a team he inherited and how he responds to alumni pressure.

UST Growling Tigers

The Tigers MAY have overachieved last year by making it into the final four. Nobody had them making it that far, except maybe for Coach Pido Jarencio. They lost Chris Camus to a mathematical error, but gain back sharpshooter Clark Bautista, and slasher Aljon Mariano. The two Jerics, Teng and Fortuna are still around and along with Melo Afuang, will be the leaders of the team. Karim Abdul, has slimmed down, and also has shown an improved low post game. Here’s to hoping he won’t run out of gas at the end of games, and won’t be in foul trouble. When he sits down the other UST big men (Paolo Pe, Afuang) have to step  up.UST was flying low on everybody’s radar last year, but this season everyone will be watching them as they had moderate success in pre season tournaments. Go USTE!

Big 3: Fortuna,Teng,Abdul

Player to watch: Jeric Fortuna. He has shown he is clutch in some big games last year. But in some games he just plain disappeared and got tired. This year he will play more consistently, now that Tata Bautista is back to relieve him. Last year he logged heavy minutes as the Tigers did not have a suitable backup. He will probably make it to the mythical five. He is that good.

Player on the hot seat: Jeric Teng. With small bro on the other side of the fence, Kuya Jeric has to prove to the league that he is  the better Teng. Last year he was MIA in some games as was his outside shot. But he quickly adapted and learned to drive and draw to get his numbers. This year he needs to be more consistent.

X Factor: Kevin Ferrer. The high school superstar looked lost last year. He has been mentioned in the same breath as Kiefer Ravena in terms of talent, so this year the tall 6’3” shooting guard will be expected to vastly improve to live up to the hype he rightfully deserves.

Adamson Soaring Falcons

Coach Leo Austria has his job cut out for him this year. Twin point guards Lester Alvarez and Jerick Canada are gone. So are Janus Lozada, Jan Colina,and Austin Manyara. But Alex Nuyles, Eric Camson, Rodney Brondial, Allen Etrone and gunner Roeder Cabrera,are still aound. This team is no pushover and will give teams a run for their money. But with no proven point guards and no legit low post players, they will be hard pressed to equal last years’ accomplishments. For me, Adamson is no longer a final four contender but this team will continue to battle and will go down fighting.

Big 3: Nuyles, Camson, Brondial

Player to watch: Eric Camson. He is one of the better forwards in the league. He has improved every year he has been in the Uaap. This year expect his scoring and rebounding numbers to be even higher.

Player on the hotseat: Alex Nuyles. Nuyles may be the most exciting player in the league. He can quickly change the game with his 3 point shots, slashing drives, and spectacular dunks. He should step up and be one of the leagues’ top scorers. He should also accept the leadership role that Coach Leo expects from him.

X Factor: Roeder Cabrera. If he learns to take better shots, not more shots, he will be one the best scorers in the league. A notorious streak shooter, he is the typical “when he’s hot watch out player,” and a typical “when not, sit him down.”

UP Fighting  Maroons

The Maroons’ record the last 5 years is 8 wins-70 losses, and included 2 winless season. This year, they won’t go winless, but won’t go the final four either. They look like a lock for the bottom 2 of the standings this year,(sigh!) Mike Silungan will again be asked to carry the scoring load for the team. Last year was a down year for him, as the losses looked to take its toll on him as looked to be coasting in some games. Mark Lopez, makes a comeback this year, and along with Alvin Padilla, Mike Gamboa, UAAP most improved player Jett Manuel and Jelo Montecastro are back to try make UP’s campaign a decent one this year. Center Magi Sison is gone, and only sophomore Paolo Romero looks to be the only experienced big man in the frontcourt. So the center slot is definitely a problem. UP’s Pep Squad continues to be more exciting than the men’s team. I hope this year they do better. UP Fight!

Big 3: Silungan, Padilla, Manuel

Player to watch: Mike Silungan. He probably owns the best looking jump shot in the league. Last year his shot was off.  I think he will be one of the top scorers this year, his last year in the league.

Player in the hot seat: Alvin Padilla. He is UP’s best all around player if he keeps cool and does not lose his temper.

X Factor: Mark Lopez. He has missed the last 2 years due to an injury. He showed great promise in the pre season tournaments and could be the all around “glue” player this team needs.

UE Red Warriors

This team lived up to their nickname. The Red Warriors were always fighting and giving their all. This year expect more of the same, in terms of attitude and results. No final four this year guys. Roi Sumang, Adrian Santos, Chris Javier, and Erwin Duran, will do their best to spring some surprises at the contenders. The Red Warriors need a lot of work on both ends of the court.  The veterans on the team have to do their share or they’ll end up in the cellar. Maybe Coach Jerry should suit up again. UE is in for a long season. Go UE!

Player to watch: Roi Sumang. He has improved every year and will continue to improve and make defenses pay when he is left alone.

Player on the hot seat: Chris Javier. He was a highly touted big man coming out of San Beda HS. This year he needs to show the UAAP that he is a legit big man.

X Factor: Jerry Codinera. Will he be able to motivate his team? I’ts hard to do considering the coach is the best player on the team.

My prediction:

Ateneo, NU, DLSU and FEU final four bound.

Ateneo over FEU, NU over DLSU

Ateneo over NU.

Ateneo season 75 champs.

MVP: Parks

Finals MVP: Slaughter

Most Improved: Gelo Alolino NU

Rookie of the Year: Jeron Teng DLSU

Defensive Player: Jean Mbe NU

Mythical Teams

First team: Ravena, Parks, LA Revilla, Slaughter, Garcia

Second team: Salva, Torres, Nuyles, Fortuna, Abdul

Get into the team spirit. Wear your school colors. Grab yourself a pair of limited UAAP themed Havaianas.

I’m Back Again! With Sports GNews!

Welcome back. Haha! It’s been more than a year since i wrote on my blog. Why start again, well for one thing, now I have time, or shall i say found time to write. Secondly, i just missed writing and telling you stories.

Lots of interesting things have happened since personally since my last blog.
We moved to a new home in Pasig,  I am now the dad to two teenagers (15&13), one is in 2nd year in AHS, while the other is graduating from grade school. My youngest, my daughter started  with the K to 12 program.
So many stories to share let me start with sports, my favorite topic.

The Recent NBA draft had me reminiscing about previous NBA drafts.

Anthony Davis was selected #1 overall in what is considered to be a deep draft. Will he be the next Patrick Ewing, Tim Duncan, or Blake Griffin? Big men who were chosen #1 overall and who made an impact in the league. Or will he join the likes of Pervis Ellison, Michael Olowakandi and Kwame Brown who were complete busts ?

Coincidentally,  the NBA draft also made me think about the PBA draft. The NBA draft lottery and the PBA draft started the same year in 1985. Here is a side by side comparison of those chosen number one overall.

I wanted to have more fun so I highlighted the players who has had a better impact in the league, to their respective teams and who has had a better career.

                                  NBA                                                                                 PBA
1985   Patrick Ewing Georgetown-New York Knicks             Sonny Cabatu-Lyceum- Shell
1986   Brad Daugherty- North Carolina-Cleveland Cavs         Rey Cuenco- Arellano-Alaska
1987    David Robinson- Navy- San Antonio Spurs                   Allan Caidic- UE- Great Taste
1988  Danny Manning- Kansas- LA Clippers                           Jack Tanuan- FEU- Purefoods
1989  Pervis Ellison- Louisville- Sacramento Kings                   Benjie Paras- UP- Shell Helix
1990 Derrick Coleman-Syracuse-NJ Nets                         Peter Jao-USJ-R- Great Taste Coffee
1991 Larry Johnson-UNLV- Charlotte Hornets                    Alejandro Araneta-Ateneo- Alaska
1992 Shaquille O’Neal- LSU- Orlando Magic                       Vergel Meneses-JRU-Presto Tivoli
1993 Chris Webber – Michigan- Orlando Magic              Zandro Limpot Jr.-DLSU-Sta. Lucia
1994 Glen Robinson – Purdue- Milwaukee Bucks            Noli Locsin-DLSU-  La Tondeña
1995 Joe Smith -Maryland- Golden State Warriors            Dennis Espino-UST-Sta. Lucia
1996 Allen Iverson-Georgetown-Philadelphia 76ers    Marlou Aquino-Adamson-Gordon’s
1997 Tim Duncan-Wake Forest-San Antonio Spurs         Andy Seigle- New Orleans- Mobiline
1998 Michael Olowakandi- Pacific- La Clippers              Danny Ildefonso-NU-San Miguel
1999 Elton Brand –Duke-  Chicago Bulls                            Sonny Alvarado- Texas- Tanduay
2000 Kenyon Martin- Cincinnati-NJ Nets                           Paolo Mendoza-UP-Sta. Lucia
2001 Kwame Brown-Glynn  HS-Washington Wizards       Willie Miller-Letran-Red Bull
2002 Yao Ming-China-Houston Rockets                               Yancy de Ocampo-St. Francis-FedEx
2003 LeBron James-St. Mary HS-Cleveland Cavs                Mike Cortez-DLSU- Alaska
2004 Dwight Howard-SACA HS-Orlando Magic                      Rich Alvarez-Ateneo-Shell
2005 Andrew Bogut-Univ of  Utah-Milwaukee Bucks                  Jay Washington-Eckerd-Air 21
2006 Andrea Bargnani-Italy-Toronto Raptors                     Kelly Williams-Oakland-Sta. Lucia
2007 Greg Oden-Ohio St. Portland TrailBlazers                           Joe Devance-UTEP- Welcoat
2008 Derrick Rose-Memphis-Chicago Bulls       Gabe Norwood-George Mason-Rain or Shine
2009 Blake Griffin-Oklahoma-La Clippers                         Japeth Aguilar-WKU- Burger King
2010 John Wall- Memphis- Washington Wizards              Nonoy Baclao-Ateneo- Air 21
2011 Kyrie Irving- Duke- Cleveland Cavs                              JV Casio- DLSU- Powerade
2012 Anthony Davis- Kentucky- New Orleans Hornets         Greg Slaughter-Ateneo- ????
  • The results. NBA- 17 PBA- 5 Tie-5
  • Some matchups were total mismatches and had obvious winners  (’85,’88,’89,’91,’92,’93,’97,’98,2000,’01-’04,’06,’08-’11)
  • The ties were interesting: 1987 featured 2 excellent game changers who play different positions. The Admiral vs The Triggerman. Both mvps, both left handed lethal scorers and both champions. 1990– Coleman, talented headcase, Apet Jao, who was this guy? I remember him as a tweener, too slow for a small forward, not a huge scorer to play off guard. Both were disappointments. 1999 -Brand vs Alvarado. I call this a tie because Brand posts numbers but really hasn’t made much of an impact. Alvarado made huge waves when he came into the league forming an imposing frontline with Eric Menk. It all turned sour when he was exposed as a Fil- Sham, as he had no Filipino lineage. 2005– Bogut and Washington. Two brilliant players, if healthy. Injuries have hampered their careers, and have had few shining moments. 2007- Greg Oden and Joe Devance. Much was expected after stellar amateur careers. As pros, Oden has been injured while Devance, while putting up respectable numbers, hasn’t been the star the league thought he will be.
  • Top 5 best NBA top lottery choices: O’neal, Duncan, Ewing, Iverson, James. Top 5 busts: Brown,Olowakandi,Ellison,Smith,Oden.

My top 5 NBA #1 Overall picks since the lottery began

My top 5 NBA #1 Overall worst picks since the lottery began

  • PBA top 5 best: Paras, Caidic, Meneses,Miller,Williams. Top 5 busts: Cabatu, Jao,Tanuan, de Ocampo, Mendoza

PBA top 5 best # 1 overall picks since the draft lottery

PBA top 5 worst # 1 overall picks since the draft lottery

NBA or PBA drafting is not an exact science. Teams spend on research and scouting. At the end of the day, it’s still fifty fifty chance of bust or boom. Who among the current crop of US NCAA collegians is the next star? Who among the NCAA or UAAP will change the PBA?


I am very happy for Fil Am Coach Eric Spoelestra. We can only imagine the stress he goes through managing the minutes (and egos) of these NBA players. Good job and congratulations Coach Spo. Mabuhay ka! I bet San Miguel Beer will get him to do a beer ad.

Erik-Spoelstra Big-three

Erik-Spoelstra With the Big-three

Some numbers of note from the Miami Heat’s 121-106 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the 2012 Finals, giving the Heat their second championship: (taken from

  • LeBron James became the 14th player to win a championship in the same year he won the MVP award. The last was Tim Duncan in 2003.
  • James tied a postseason career high with 13 assists in Game 5.
  • The Heat are the first NBA champion to have trailed three in three of their playoff series. They were down 2-1 to Indiana, 3-2 to Boston, and 1-0 to Oklahoma City.
  • The Heat became the third team to sweep the middle three Finals games at home since the 2-3-2 format came into play in 1985. The others were the 2004 Pistons and the 2006 Heat.
  • The Heat’s 14 3-pointers in Game 5 tied a Finals record, set in the 1995 Finals by both the Rockets and Magic.
  • Game 5 was the first time in the 2012 postseason in which James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade each scored 20 or more points.
  • Juwan Howard won his first title in his 18th season. The only player to go more seasons before wining his first championship was Kevin Willis, who won with the Spurs in 2003, his 19th season. (Howard is the only member of the famous Michigan Fab Five to get a championship ring)
  • The Thunder won Game 1 and then lost the next four games. It was their first four-game losing streak since April of 2009.

Congratulations to Miami and Oklahoma for a well played series!

Miami Heat 2012 NBA Champions

Sinong big three gusto niyo?