Farewell to Castro

Castro

We only know him as the main man of the Cuban Revolution together with Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

A full-bearded man smoking tobacco in fatigues and one of the few world leaders who had the big cojones to defy the United States, the Man is no other than Fidel Castro.

If Filipinos are still enraged with the surprise burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the national cemetery or Libingan ng mga Bayani, lucky for Castro he will have his burial without question and delay because Cubans won’t dare to oppose his burial.

Halfway around the world people living in the United States particularly Cuban-Americans in Miami are celebrating his demise. Because for them his death serves as justice to their sacrifice to get out of Cuba and free themselves from the oppression of communism that Castro has when he took power from the US-backed regime of Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

Before his demise, I once considered him as a strong stubborn man that is just too bad to die. I say this because first he survived more assassination attempts than Adolf Hitler, second he shaped the twentieth century not only with his encounters with the United States during the early 1960s but the Cuban Revolution that truly placed him in power by adapting Soviet communism as the political framework of his country.

If Guevara was least known for being a physician before he became a revolutionary, Castro was least known for being a lawyer and politician that already has that rebellious reputation.

In his lifetime however, he lived under eight Popes beginning with Pius XI who began his Papacy in 1922 and had encounters with three Popes with Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. He outlasted ten United States presidents from President Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush before he stepped down due to his ailing condition. He witnessed the fall of his country’s closest ally, the Soviet Union in 1991 to which his country suffered in the economic aspect. Although he stepped down in power due to his ailing condition in 2006, he is witness to how the United States elected and re-elected the first African-America president in Barack Obama then almost elected the first woman president in Hillary Clinton.

In his lifetime also, he was able to tell the world the demise of his fellow revolutionary, Che Guevara after Guevara was captured and gunned down in Bolivia in 1967. Thirty years later, Guevara’s remains together with his compatriots in Bolivia were recovered and presented to Castro to be buried properly in Santa Clara, Cuba.

As a lover of video games, I find it amazing on how the people behind ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ depicted his failed assassination attempt during the Bay of Pigs invasion. It was not one of the difficult missions when you play the game but it gives you the feeling of what is like to kill one of the biggest pains in the neck of the United States and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Communism may no longer be that relevant in this world marred by terrorism to counteract western ideology, his ideals will live on in Cuba and to neighboring Latin American countries that admires his vigilance against the US.

Beyond Latin America, Russian president Vladimir Putin salutes him for his staunch ideals against the US. Which is no surprise to me for Putin was a former KGB.

Cuba may no longer be a force to reckon with in this world since 1962, we must not forget that a communist country like North Korea and China can instill fear worldwide.

The comandante truly lived his life to the fullest simply as a revolutionary just around his late twenties. Even in his twilight years as a leader and a person, he continues to divide his people from those who want to live and die in Cuba, to those who do not want to live in his rule. He truly made his mark in this world.

It’s just sad that Castro has gone to the next life while people like Juan Ponce Enrile are still given the chance to walk this earth. Even Imelda Marcos who outlived her husband, and it’s just too bad Imelda won’t get to be it buried next her better half because there’s no place her. In fact, why did we even let Ferdinand Marcos give that chance to be buried there.

The world may have lost a dictator in Castro but there will come a time where revolutions as well as revolutionaries will be brought back to the streets and guerilla warfare would continue for those smart enough to risk their lives no matter political ideology it may be to fight imperialistic countries.

It will take time. We will never know how and when it will be presented to us.

An Election Like No Other

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(C) CNN International

With the United States presidential elections drawing closer and the world awaiting the outcome, it is really for the world to see.

For a Filipino like myself I only look forward on how President Rodrigo Duterte will coordinate with the winner of that election despite his declaration before the People’s Republic of China that he is separating us from the US in military and economic relations. I don’t expect that president-elect of the United States to deploy their forces just to help us in upholding The Hague’s ruling on the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea. Because America whoever the seating president is only putting their interest first more than anything.

Points to Remember

One reason why our president is separating us from the Americans is the Bud Dajo massacre in 1906 that took place Jolo, Sulu. For a man that hails from the southernmost region of the Philippines, Mindanao; he does not want to forget of this event because like he said, the events of the massacre happened like it was yesterday for the Moros.

Another issue on why he wants to separate us from the US is the practicality that we are closer to China and Russia.

In the long history of this love-hate relationship between the Philippines and the United States, the US has gained more on this mostly in a negative manner dating back to the Filipino-American war. For it is in the Filipino-American war that General Emilio Aguinaldo pledged to the stars and stripes, then assumed that the Americans would treat us fairly even assuring his compatriots that time the Americans are the country’s new friends. But I don’t want to go that far on detail of Aguinaldo.

Filipino veterans of World War II are not even recognized after all their efforts keeping the Japanese at bay for Douglas MacArthur to escape back to the United States. But the man did keep his promise coming back.

The remaining veterans of World War II in the country rather than go to the United States to fight for their right are still hopeless for compensation. I couldn’t bear to see a group of Filipino veterans protest outside the Villamor air base when President Obama made a official state visit years ago. While some well-off veterans that have raised their children very well to exercised their right to go to the US and claim whatever right they deserve from the United States Arm Forces in the Far  East (USAFFE).

Of Donkeys and Elephants to the Philippines

The political party that the US president represents does not play much of a factor but it is an important detail any spectator should pay attention to.

In the long history between the Philippines and the United States, seating US presidents coming from the Republican Party have been more involved with us mostly negative and less positive. This dates back to President William McKinley who was the president when the Benevolent Assimilation took place following the Filipino-American war followed by his successor Theodore Roosevelt, the president when the Bud Dajo massacre happened. William Howard Taft, governor-general of the Philippines from 1901 to 1903 before elected US president in 1909. Taft only did minimal help to make Filipinos independent. President Herbert Hoover was one president who refused the independence of the Philippines until the US congress rejected him.

Republicans like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were pretty much involved with enriching Ferdinand Marcos, especially Richard Nixon who was rumored that he gave Marcos the green light to declare Martial Law on September of 1972. As for Reagan, he didn’t see any reason for Marcos to stay in 1986.

There’s not that many Democrat presidents that were involved in shaping the Philippines but Franklin D. Roosevelt was one Democrat president who paved the way for the 1935 Commonwealth constitution of the Philippines. President Jimmy Carter is one Democrat president who kept Marcos in power after Nixon and Gerald Ford, Nixon’s successor Nixon resigned after Watergate. Then Barack Obama, a president so reluctant to keep the Chinese away from our waters in the West Philippine Sea.

Whether it may be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, president Duterte would be reluctant to cooperate with either of them. The secretary of foreign affairs, Perfecto Yasay, Jr. would have his hands full when it comes to the Philippines and America. Yasay was already in Duterte’s place in an official photo op with other world leaders at Laos months ago. It’s really going to be hard for the secretary when the US president-elect makes a visit.

If I were an American

If I were a citizen of the United States, I only look forward for a candidate competent enough to rule as president.

I don’t care what kind of emails one candidate deleted, hacked or whatever and I don’t care how un-presidential one is for harassing women, as well as having his own world. Just get it done.

With the US dubbed as the most powerful nation on earth for so long, the main duty of President Obama’s successor in its first one hundred days is to regain that reputation because America is losing their ground not only in Syria but everywhere in the world where they have their interest. They are not only losing their military might, they are also losing their economic dominance to China.

This is one reason why Donald Trump is donning that slogan, “Make America great again”. It is always easier said than done.

As for Hillary Clinton, one of her objectives is to uphold the programs of the Obama administration that has already made America great already from her perspective. Just today, she’s really in the clear to run for president after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cleared her of charges for her actions towards sensitive emails when she was secretary of state.

Whatever those emails may be, influence to the FBI does play a role.

One thing’s for sure

Whoever that president may be, the people behind Saturday Night Live have a lot of work to do with their political satire.

President Duterte will ensure independence that we will no longer depend on the US for anything and that he will anything in his power to get US forces out of here. Just like how US bases and its were brought out of Zambales.

What’s very certain is that their war on terror would still go on.

The Islamic State of Iran and Syria (ISIS), won’t be simply eradicated overnight and neither one of them can minimize the growing number of its members.

Eliminating its key members is not really helpful for the US because of the kind of succession these kinds of groups have.

The global economy might even go down if one does not really know its economic policy.

Their issue of domestic violence would only grow worse day-by-day because they have good reforms on their gun control laws.

Counting the Days and the Issues

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As much as I do not want to elaborate my perception towards the bombings in the Davao Night Market, I simply think that the explosion is a terrorist plot against President Rodrigo Duterte and the motive for me is psychological because it surely hit his stronghold and to redirect the president’s attention from his war on drugs to securing his stronghold, Davao and the country.

For the moment, the Abu Sayyaf Group is the one to blame for they are the closest terrorist group. Unless the Islamic State of Iran and Syria (ISIS) has truly invaded the country through influence. Another thing that made the incident possible is drug lords that sought refuge to groups like the ASG for the right price.

 

International spotlight

The one angle that made the Davao explosion happened is the president’s all out war on drugs. Through his close ally, Philippine National Police director general, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, that really caught the attention of the international media through which Senator Alan Peter Cayetao and Leila de Lima told their versions of what happening to Christiane Amanpour on CNN. Senator Cayetano is cleary on the president’s side since he was Duterte’s running mate, while Leila de Lima is on the contrary.

When the Philippines makes the international headlines in this manner, I’m not that thrilled because simply because it is negative but on the bright side, we are telling the world that we are taking action no matter what it takes.

President Obama was supposed to meet with Duterte in Laos while the G20 summit is taking place. I heard the news that it didn’t push through while I was on my way to school. Which makes me think that Obama is neither ready to face the rough-talking president or they are both occupied with their own obligations. It kept me wondering why didn’t the meeting push through.

This supposed meeting takes me back to what my professor in theology said in his liberal view last Friday. In which he said that Obama wants to meet with Duterte not to tell him of how he should handle the war on drugs properly but to ask Duterte if he could bring back US troops and reestablish bases here.

It’s not simply helping out the Armed Forces of the Philippines to make the Chinese forces run with their heels but for the US to pursue their interests here in the Philippines.

As the exaggeration begins on why President Duterte called President Obama a “son of a *****”, I am now thinking that our president deliberately called it off because he does not really want a foreign power like Obama and the United States to tell him how he should really address the war on drugs and this makes the Philippines defiant for some people. And the action driving the Americans away for us to be left vulnerable against China.

 

Towards Day 100

The president is beyond his fiftieth day in office for his first one hundred days. The one thing I’m glad about this is how his administration is taking action in each department.

Although questionable of the manner they carry out their operations, I have no issues with the police. The transport department is getting things done slowly but surely. I just hope that with Duterte’s term, they can truly restore the train lines and place more trains.

The justice department should really expand city jails. I pity the criminals detained for they are trying their best to make the most of the spaces they are in. And Jay Taruc’s documentary in GMA7’s i-Witness is enough evidence that city jails and penitentiaries across the Philippines need some expansion. More important is how one prisoner has been detained longer than he should have been because of how slow the process of justice here in the Philippines and reforms should be made to make the process beneficial for both sides.

 

It’s just a few weeks away before his first one hundred days are over. It’ll be over quick if one person would just sleep on the succeeding days or a person is preoccupied with academics that he fails to check the news.

There are more issues bigger than this in the days to come, and they have yet to unfold.

When they Bear Arms

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It was a shooting spree in the United States days ago. And for a guy like me who lives half-way around the world with access to the internet and cable, it’s disturbing for a Filipino like me, to see the news or hear headlines that shooting incidents like the Orlando shooting at the Pulse nightclub and Christina Grimmie getting shot before that. Not to mention the other countless shootings that occurred in the last fifteen years seems to be more of a routine than a crime prevented. Even President Obama’s press releases have become a routine for him as well. The same goes for his predecessors.

It does not matter what drove the killers to shoot those innocent lives. Because whenever this shows up when I switch our TV to CNN, Fox, BBC and many other news outlets; I can’t understand why such incident have to take place.

 

In the Philippines, there are a few mass shootings that truly made our people mad the same way the world is right now towards hate crimes and shootings.

There was the Hacienda Luisita in 2004 in which farmers demanding for the rightful land that they’ve earned after years of planting and harvesting sugar. The massacre claimed the lives of those farmers. No thanks to the outgoing president Benigno S. Aquino’s family who are too greedy to give up a piece of their land to those rightful owners.

Years later the Maguindanao massacre on November 23, 2009. That placed the Philippines as one of the danger zones or hot spots for journalists around the world. The massacre was politically motivated that claimed the life of Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu’s wife and many others in that convoy.

Then there was the Kidapawan Massacre that killed people who only wanted their god-given rice. But instead of that, they were hurled with bullets.

 

When these situations happen, I really can’t understand the United States on why guns are so accessible to some states.

I asked my uncle living in the States, particularly in Texas. He said that owning a gun in Texas is a must and they are living up to the saying that “Don’t mess with Texas”.

I just thought that my uncle, being a veteran and mechanic for the US Army he has the privilege to own a gun but the state of requires him to do so. Not only because he is a veteran.

 

The problem that I see in the laws of the United States towards gun ownership and gun control is that they do not perform a background check towards some people who wants to avail any gun before giving them their desired firearm and making profit for their store.

It is not only in the real world that this problem occurs.

The idea may seem to be far-fetched but in video games like Grand Theft Auto, guns are truly accessible not just affordable if you activated a cheat code. The violence is closer at home and easily adapted when the adrenaline of playing a video gets the better of us.

So for a country like theirs, video games like that reflect what their society really is.

 

If such incident happened in the Philippines, I really don’t know what to do with myself if someone fires a sub-machine like an M4 carbine anywhere possible. Because if someone does; the only thing I know is to hide in the men’s room if it happens in a shopping mall, but knowing how malls have been tight with their security since the attack of the “Martilyo Gang” who stormed a jewelry shop by smashing their glassware and taking the jewelry. The same goes for that group who stormed Greenbelt in Makati years ago, carrying military grade weaponry to rob that jewelry watch store. But some malls have a gun shop located in underground floors. I don’t know how I’m going to protect myself if I’m far away from the men’s room with someone firing at will.

 

Mass shootings in the United States also took place in some schools across the US. But for the Philippines; schools like the one I’m attending, don’t fall in that category. Simply because we are not that “conyo” like those people studying in Taft Avenue, Katipunan Avenue or even that school in Dasma Village. And for the people studying in our institution; to drive a pimped ride and carry a gun at the same time is really dangerous. As for that conyo school in Makati, it school surely made the headlines years ago when some person brought a gun inside the school and tried to aim it towards someone.

More important is the people in our institution who always project themselves like those people would rather show off their automobiles than risk their lives wielding and concealing firearms, now that our incoming president is more than willing to bring someone to jail for any crime committed.

 

As for hate crimes like the one that occurred in Orlando at the Pulse Nightclub, I just hoped it won’t happen in the Philippines.

Hate crimes like the one that is just unimaginable and it’s definitely a nightmare, if it does take place here.

 

No one in Metro Manila can bring a military grade weapon and fire it before a crowd because NCR is no place for extremists. Not unless you are a radical agent of the NPA (New People’s Army) who knows how to hide his arsenal or an Abu Sayyaf agent that knows how to blend with the civilians after years of hiding in the woods to blend with the city.

 

There’s really not enough words and thought to ponder on why did those shootings happened. . .

The Man Who Made His Last Sting Before Floating Like a Butterfly: A Tribute to Muhammad Ali

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It was Saturday morning here in Manila when I first saw a link posted on Bleacher Report’s Facebook page that Muhammad Ali is in his critical state. Later that day, I was on my laptop trying to find inspiration for something to write and I was thinking of a way express my true feelings to someone, until I switched on our TV and streamed on the channels then I saw a headline on Aljazeera that says “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali has already passed away.

The next day, I didn’t really know how to react towards the photo that Michael J. Fox posted on his Twitter account, in which he wore a boxing gear posing as if he is about to punch Ali, while Muhammad Ali was just standing defending himself by holding his head. Basically it shows two people battling Parkinson’s disease but unfortunately, the other just ended his fight.

 

I was not born yet when Muhammad Ali proclaimed that he is “The Greatest” and also when he said the immortal words “Float like a butterfly sting like a bee” in an interview while he is at the gym — training. And I was not born yet when he beat Sonny Liston and George Foreman in different occasion and even when he lost to Joe Frazier especially when he beat Frazier in ‘Thrilla in Manila’ held at the Araneta Coliseum on October 1, 1975.

As a kid growing up, I got to know Muhammad Ali as a fighter that a gamer can play in Fight Night on PS2 or Xbox. It didn’t matter to me if I win or lose with Muhammad Ali, because back then, my only goal was to make a good hurl of combos and give that knockout punch.

 

As I grew up, I got to know more about Muhammad Ali, as more than just a game character that you get to play in a video game or watch in a highlight reel on YouTube from his best fights against Liston, Foreman and Frazier. Because like Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther Kingmuhammad_ali_dr._king_ap_img; he was also an advocate of civil rights during the civil rights movement, in and out of the ring.

 

In his prime and the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, his sporting counterparts in each sporting league in North America were also fighting for their rights and not just climbing their way up.

 

Jackie Robinson is starting to pave the pave way for African-Americans to join professional sporting leagues, breaking baseball’s color barrier in April of 1947 when he was called by then Brooklyn Dodgers to play in the Major League. But this won’t be as steady as it seemed.

In those days, African-American a basketball player like Bill Russell had to play his best in both ends of the court and if it wasn’t for Boston Celtics legendary head coach Red Auerbach, the Celtics may not have built that Celtic dynasty from the1950s to the 1960s, and many others would soon follow in each sport and in each decade that came by.

 

It has been said that he refused to fight in the Vietnam War, because he does want to be involved in a war that America should not have fought. Since America was fighting the threat that is communism at that time. Sooner or later America ended up losing lives until it gave up in the early 1970s.

Ali paid the price for his refusal which cost him his world title and he was prohibited from fighting, until he got the green light to fight again then eventually reclaim the title that was deprived of him.

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The meeting of top African-American athletes in June 1967. Seated from the left most side; Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics, “The Greatest”, Cleveland Browns’ running back Jim Brown, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who was then Lew Alcindor an undergraduate and playing basketball for the UCLA Bruins.

Muhammad Ali is a larger-than-life figure. He is beyond sports.

He did not just inspire fighters that wanted to fight like him and become world heavyweight champion. Muhammad Ali is a life coach himself and we just don’t know it. Even if we do not hire his services, just like how Bruce Lee is often quoted for saying “Be water, my friend” or how others also quote Biblical verses.

Ali and his quotes serve as motivation in all aspects. More important is that it leads us to a certain perspective that we must understand the best way that we can.

 

The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

As an aspiring writer, I try my best to imagine, and create ideas for me to get that wings Muhammad Ali speak of.

I do not just want to write with what I’m really capable of doing right now, since I started writing for this WordPress account. I try my best with my best friend and former EIC to start up ideas, and be able to write short stories that I hope to finish for a certain season later this year.

More important is that we must imagine something that would really give meaning to our lives for us to fly with those wings.

 

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

True enough because Muhammad Ali as boxer has already maximized that. As a humanitarian he has done more than enough through for the marginalized anywhere in the world that made his stay worthwhile. Most important is the help that he provided in finding the cure for Parkinson’s disease.

As ordinary people, no matter what the line of work is, we must serve everyone to the best of our abilities so we can really make our stay on earth truly great.

 

“The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”

In connection with the previous quote, we must always have a different view of the world as we grow old so we can truly pay for our rent here on earth.

We should not just view the world differently at fifty simply because we aged and reached that particular age. We must always change our views or perspective. So we cannot waste the remaining years that we have before some of us reach fifty.

I’m twenty seven years away from fifty. I do not just want to waste my time and life by writing for this website. Because there will come a time, that I may have to stop and do something else. In which I have to discover for myself along the way.

 

“I know where I am going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

This quote from The Greatest just brought me back to the moment when I was deciding on what I really want to take up before I set foot on college. Also in deciding on what I really want to study in college. Then my issue of shifting or transition from being a psychology major to journalism major.

Other than that, this is also standing up for what you really know is right. It’s giving one’s self that freedom on what they really wanted to be. Or what really want to do with their life.

This is also reflective of how Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali when he decided to change his spiritual belief to Islam in the early sixties. Another is his decision not to join the army after he was drafted for Vietnam.

Lastly, the truth in that quote is that Ali’s war is in the ring, not in Vietnam. More important according him, Cassius Clay is his slave name and as a citizen of a free country like the United States, he had the freedom of changing his spiritual and political belief.

 

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

He did take a risk and again it’s his decision not to join the army after the draft.

He is more than courageous to trash talk before and after his fights, because his fighting style truly back up his trash talk.

He is the grand daddy of trash talking I must say.

The trash talks of UFC fighter Connor McGregor to undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (vice-versa) in any medium are nothing. Even Baron Geisler’s trash talk towards Kiko Matos here in the Philippines,  whether it is scripted or not are nothing to what Ali has said to anyone that he has fought throughout his career.

With all the trash talk that he has said, he did accomplish a lot in the ring.

 

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

I was not really going to include this because it’s overly used, like some song to become a soundtrack for a movie.

Ali truly lived up to these words because of his hand speed, agility, and footwork that many have tried to replicate particularly, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Unlike Mayweather Jr., Ali does not give a lot of hugs the way Mayweather Jr. does when he fought Manny Pacquiao until his last fight. More important is the punching power.

This quote is not only applicable in the context of sports particularly boxing and mixed martial arts. This quote can also be applicable to any team sport like basketball and volleyball. For teams to have that Muhammad Ali state of mind, of course not to the point where players also have to do the trash talking and punching towards their opponent in each game.

Outside sports, we can apply this towards love for both boys and girls. Who seemed to look like wallflowers then one day they become dressed so good, and so beautiful that you can’t recognize them.

That’s really floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.

 

With that, may he inspire more people not only people who dream to become world champion in any sport but also in all aspects of life.

 

REST IN POWER

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Leo and the Others Who Deserve It Too

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When I heard of the news that he won best actor at the Golden Globes then he won the award same category at the Screen Actors Guild Awards I knew it’s his time.

It’s been days since Leonardo DiCaprio won his Academy Award for best actor on a leading role for his recent movie ‘The Revenant.’ But Years before this monumental event here in the internet and for every single fan of the cinema and the arts, I didn’t like how the people wanted Leonardo to win the award that bad in the previous years because I used to perceive him as this typical Hollywood actor or heartthrob relying on his looks then I turned into one of the people demanding to give Leo his Oscar already for he truly deserves the award. I also realized that he is no Aga Muhlach who keeps on playing the same roles over and over having the same routine in a romantic comedy or just plain romance.

In his previous nominations, particularly when he was nominated for the best actor category for ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ it was one nomination that he could have really won because his acting for me on Wolf of Wall Street was beyond expectation. At first you would think that he would just live out Jordan Belfort in the movie and bang these girls but no, because for me he made me feel like a true billionaire and truly gave me the feeling that with money you can really get the women. As for getting high, he should have just used weed than cocaine because I feel sorry for that white Ferrari. I haven’t really seen Matthew McCoughney on ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ and see why he won the award that award that year but man I feel Leo’s pain for he shared the same scene with he him at ‘Wall Street’ even if Matthew only did a cameo.

His nomination for ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ was a nomination that recognized him as an actor. Obviously the other nominees alongside with him were actors who have been in the industry before him like Tommy Lee Jones who won the award for The Fugitive. John Malkovich for his performance in the movie ‘In the Line of Fire.’ Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort to others) for the acclaimed Schindler’s List, and Pete Postlethwaite for, In The Name of the Father.

DiCaprio was young and he had so much ahead of him because after that nomination he did a never-ending adaptation of Romeo and Juliet with Claire Danes. He boarded the Titanic with Kate Winslet. Wore an iron mask based from the character of Alexander Dumas. He made a fool out of Tom Hanks in Catch Me If You Can making Tom Hanks a different version Forrest Gump by chasing DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale, Jr. and he ran a gang in New York and many other films.

His nomination in 2005 was not really for him in his nomination for The Aviator because Jamie Foxx really nailed his portrayal of Ray Charles especially wearing those sunglasses and singing as well. Leonardo portraying Howard Hughes was not really meant for the audience of that time I must say because of what Howard Hughes is and if the movie The Aviator were shown around the late 2000s to the 2010s he could have won the Oscar already but what can we do? He already won it with ‘The Revenant’.

In the movies that he gave a good performance but didn’t really get nominated, it still bugs me that he was not nominated for Django Unchained because Christoph Waltz was already in that category for his role of King Schultz. Leo was the bad guy. It seems to be very unfortunate that Leo’s performance was not enough for a nomination after all that blood and wound on his hand for doing that dining table scene which really is out of the script. Another performance in which he could have been nominated was Catch Me If You Can. Another is Inception then The Great Gatsby.

With DiCaprio winning the award, I can’t think of any actors or actresses that deserve that kind of demand for an Oscar. But if I were to name a few these are the people I think deserving of a demand like Leo:

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  1. BRAD PITT

Brad Pitt AS AN ACTOR deserves an Oscar even if he has already won an Oscar for being one of the producers of ’12 Years a Slave’ but who really gets to keep the Oscar for being one of the producers?

His acting resume may not look that hefty for some of the people in the Academy nominating and awarding these Hollywood actors but he deserves one. I’m even shocked that he’s already fifty years old.

In the year that he got nominated for ‘Benjamin Button’, he did not won the Oscar because Sean Penn’s performance and portrayal of gay rights and politician Harvey Milk in Milk in 2009. I’ve seen both movies and after watching both movies I can see why Sean won the award.

 

  1. Helena Bonham Carter 1656088_10153881355997488_2680616092357324609_n

Helena Bonham Carter for me deserves one because her choice of films and roles are just worth praising. She seems to be okay with her other awards and she better have a movie worth another Oscar nomination because she only has two Oscar nominations first was for The Wings of the Dove and The King’s Speech.

I don’t find her underrated. It must be the casting that makes her look underrated.

 

 

 

  1. Jonah Hill The-Wolf-of-Wall-Street-Jonah-Hill-Leonardo-DiCaprio21

Jonah Hill for me deserves an Oscar because he has been already been nominated twice first with Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street.

I like Jonah Hill doing movies as serious as the two movies he got nominated for an Oscar and he should lessen doing comedies but if you’re someone who made their mark doing comedies, he should keep on doing it for it is his trademark.

Casting him next to big name stars is really the key for him getting those nominations and he should deliver a better performance.

 

  1. Amy Adams  28920301_adams_ench_422158c

For someone who have been romanced and conned by Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can, a Disney Princess who crossed between the animated world and reality, Clint Eastwood’s daughter working as a lawyer with a knowledge and understanding on baseball in ‘Trouble with the Curve’ who also made out with Justin Timberlake in a lake late at night, Christian Bale’s and Bradley Cooper’s side chick in ‘American Hustle’ and the new Lois Lane for Man of Steel and the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Amy deserves an Oscar for her acting because she never gives me a dull moment.

 

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  1. Johnny Depp

The man has done so much movies and he has played so many characters that we love from an emo version of Wolverine in Edward Scissor Hands, a gangster protégé under Al Pacino in Donnie Brasco, Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a devilish pirate named Jack Sparrow, The Mad Hatter, a bloodthirsty barber and many others even a mediocre director in Ed Wood.

I really find his choice of roles and movies very weird but when you get to watch it you will just be amazed that he pulled it off.

Johnny Depp has had more People’s Choice Awards and Teen Choice Awards in his resume and various awards as well that are not known to many like the London Critics Circle Film Awards and other international award giving bodies and even awarded for worst actor. It’s about time people call out for Johnny Depp’s Oscar the way people did for Leo’s before.

 

  1. Edward Norton MSDFICL EC011

I’ve never been a fan of Edward Norton but he never fails the audience.

For a guy who has shot himself in the mouth to kill Brad Pitt in his head and beat up Jared Leto through Brad Pitt’s personality in Fight Club. Double crossed Matt Damon and Charlize Theron in The Italian Job, the last actor to portray The Incredible Hulk in his own movie before placing him in the Avengers and Emma Stone’s over aged lover in ‘Birdman’, Edward Norton deserves an Oscar already for these movies I must say.

The characters that he play fits him and it’s gonna take him a lot of movies at this point to get a nomination worthy being nominated.

 

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  1. Steve Buscemi

This guy deserves to be cast in a movie that is worth an Oscar nomination not just his performance. Too bad he did not get nominated for Reservoir Dogs which for me is worth a nomination not just an Oscar but also any award giving body at that time.

The guy has already won a Golden Globe for the HBO series ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and as a fan of gangster theme shows or movie I can really say that he deserves the award. For others at the time that he received the award for them it was long overdue.

What I don’t like about Steve Buscemi is that he is typecast to certain roles from a hobo to a jerk off person in Adam Sandler movies to short appearances in movies that people won’t be watching which reminds of someone being cast as this bimbo or broad for how she dresses up. More important is that people do not seem to offer him roles that he could pull off because how he looks making him do voices which is not bad because he gave us Randall Boggs in Monsters Inc and Monsters University. But still where’s the justice in this?!

For me Steve also deserves to be cast to another Quentin Tarantino film but with the rumor that I’ve read and heard that he will only be directing a few films after The Hateful Eight, Quentin should really call back this guy again because he had called back Michael Madsen who I have not seen in a Quentin Tarantino film since he got bitten by a snake in Kill Bill Vol. 2 and with the trailer a couple months back, I almost didn’t recognize Michael Madsen.

 

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  1. Stanley Tucci

I first saw him as Stanley Kubrick for the biography film of Peter Sellers in ‘The Life and Death of Peter Sellers’ starring Geoffrey Rush but I didn’t get to know his name even after the credits. I finally got to know his name after playing the doctor who buffed Steve Rogers in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’.

Like Andy Garcia, he’s been cast to good or big ticket movies but never gets the recognition even a nomination for like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, The Lovely Bones, Captain America: The First Avenger, the entire Hunger Games franchise, Transformers: Age of Extinction and the recent Oscar best picture Spotlight. Unlike Andy Garcia he got nominated for his performance in, ‘The Lovely Bones’.

These actors are not getting any younger. We just hope they get the award that they deserve. We should not just enjoy the plot or storyline when we get to watch their movies. We should also wish for a movie deserving of a nomination from their performance.

CANCER MAKING US SAD AND STRONG

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Luckily my zodiac sign is not cancer but on a serious note, why must terminal illnesses or diseases like cancer take the ones near and dear to us?

The world is having a rough week with the passing of David Bowie and as of this writing, Alan Rickman popularly known as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series has died with the same disease as Bowie and at the same age of 69 and before 2016 in the latter days of 2015, Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead died of cancer but a year older of both Bowie and Rickman.

Suddenly, I remembered the George Harrison, the youngest member of The Beatles died of cancer just at the age of 58 in 2001. Twenty one years just after John Lennon’s death in 1980. Dirty Dancing and Ghost lead star, Patrick Swayze died of pancreatic cancer in 2009 at the age of 57 so as Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011. Here in the Philippines, Johnny Delgado died of cancer in 2009. President Cory Aquino also died of the same disease and many others even the late education secretary and senator Raul Roco.

When I was in high school, I had a teacher in English who was always happy to be with us every day of the week. She was Miss Bonn Vibar. I first met Miss Bonn when I left my umbrella in school then when I was about to claim the umbrella from her because she has used we had a little talk and told to take care of my umbrella and the rest were history and every day of school were no longer dull. It’s not even that obvious that she was sick. It’s almost six years since her passing because of cancer and I just wish that as one of her students I could have known her better and spent more time with her not just within Angelicum but also outside the school.

Another person that I know back in high school that died of cancer was a school mate named Joshua Lipana and for a young guy like Joshua, I never thought of him bearing that sickness. Joshua was a dear friend to my friend Ingrid. Joshua was vocal but not radical about his political views. If not for him, I would not have given a damn about social issues.

People here in the Philippines often say that cancer is only exclusive to the rich but it’s not that true because cancer does not choose the people that they want to deteriorate. The issue is that rich people truly have the means for their check up, treatment, and that they are diagnosed properly while the middle class and the third class are hardly diagnosed properly because they don’t have the means to afford check up, the treatment then the medication. It is the third leading cause of death in the country.

As we live our lives, we have certain habits that could contribute to develop a certain disease. It may not be cancer but we always have to watch our balance and the very reason why we must eat healthy, have a balanced meal and have a healthy lifestyle.

There are a lot of bad habits that causes cancer such as smoking and drinking. I don’t deny that sometimes I smoke out of stress and during the times that I smoke, I would always think of myself then I would regret that I smoked and I disrespected our pediatrician in the times that I smoke but I just want to find a way out of a certain problem and I found the wrong way.

The last time I met with my pediatrician was when was still studying psychology. I asked a favor by asking if she knows some psychologists in the hospitals that she works. She gave the names of the doctors that she knows. After I caught up with her in UST Hospital on the day I met one of the doctors she suggested, I promised myself not to smoke again because she helped me conquer asthma until I smoked again out of stress. I just owe her big time and I don’t want her effort towards me and many other patients out there wasted. I don’t want her to know that one of her asthmatics like me died of cancer. Other than the fear of getting lung cancer, I also don’t want to lose my voice and talk like a Battle Droid from Star Wars.

As for drinking, I no longer drink that much alcohol the way I did during my teens but man I don’t want to die of liver cancer for my drinking. Which is why no matter how much we drink moderately, it would still contribute negatively to cause not just cancer but also hepatitis and many other sicknesses known to man.

Cancer does not go away that easy after many medications or quitting smoking and drinking because it’s not just these two common causes that can causes cancer. Cancer is sometimes caused by sun exposure, radiation and UV exposure which caused Hugh Jackman’s skin cancer. If he was not Wolverine he might not have cured himself but kidding aside Hugh Jackman was more than lucky that he immediately took care of himself and it was only skin cancer.

It is sometimes hereditary. One parent would be diagnosed of a certain type of cancer then one child would have the same type cancer. It’s hard for some people to be like this and I wish that people won’t have to be like this.

If I were studying medicine or med tech I would do my best in my academics to finish my program then earn my degree and when I get to graduate school and finish graduate studies I would do my best to work with people doing certain researches on finding an effective cure for cancer because chemotherapy for all I know costs so much and sometimes it’s not helpful in curing cancer.

I have never met a cancer survivor but if there was one person I know someone who kept fighting and never backed down is the mother of my brother’s basketball teammate here in our place.

It was just last summer when I saw her wearing a headdress that resembles a female bonnet but knowing how a cancer patient looks like, I didn’t just assume right there and there if she really has cancer but secretly I asked one of our friends on what happened with his mom and he told me that she has cancer.

She’s very supportive of her son and my brother whenever they get to be teammates for a certain inter-barangay league for summer since basketball tournaments are always a thing for the summer in certain areas here. She even treats us like her relatives for greeting us every time she gets to see us in our community and as for this writing, we haven’t seen her but we always give her a place in thoughts and prayers for her recovery.

Another story of fighting cancer that I am amazed is the story of Andi Manzano-Reyes’ mom where in a long post that she posted on her Facebook fan page not more than five years that she has to be strong for everyone in their family being the eldest and the day that her mom was cured, she was more than happy that her mom was cured and after reading that post, I almost cried. I could only hope and pray for everyone suffering to recover and be cured of the disease.

I really hate this sickness because this sickness has taken a lot of people away from us whether it is one of our beloved celebrities or relatives and friends. It is really heartbreaking to know that someone died because of the sickness. We would always wish that we won’t feel poor because having a little money makes us helpless to help ourselves save money and for others.

So for cancer, please leave us alone. Stop taking the people we love away from us whether they are an aging celebrity or a relative and friend that makes us happy to live and thankful for the gift of life.

For the people doing things that lures cancer closer to them every minute and every second of the day, quit smoking now and smoking e-cigarettes is not even an alternative for it can also cause tubercolosis. Quit alcohol because alcohol is not an alternate for water but if you can’t quit then at least drink responsibly then eat a balanced meal by eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, a whole lot of rice more than just meat because meat can also damage our colon and cause colon cancer.