Wednesday, December 09, 2015

My Papa, My Hero and Our Tatay



It was late evening in December, when I had my last conversation with Papa. He was eating pineapple and was telling me about a palm plantation in Malaysia. It was a weird topic coming from him, but it was quite expected since he got sick. I am pretty sure he read about it before, because indeed Malaysia has one of the biggest palm plantation in the world. Then I went offline, before midnight, I called my Mama again because I noticed there was a missed call in my Facebook messenger. I talked to her and I and my family said our goodnight to Papa as well. That was the last time I talked to him alive...he left us early morning of Dec 9, 2014.

He had not accomplished that much in the society to be remembered and honored. He never achieved so much to be admired. However, in my childhood he was my HERO. He was my inspiration. He was the reason why I insisted to become an engineer even I was having difficulty with Mathematics. Today December, 09, 2015 is his 1st death anniversary and I would like to honor him by writing my memories of him.

A PATIENT MAN
The most patient man I have ever known. He was not the story teller type of father, and most of the stories I knew were all snippets of anecdotes from my Mama and relatives. He loves children so much, that he would passed as Santa Claus by his size and kindness. He was never a disciplinarian and always the one protecting us whenever we got punished. We would have grown as spoiled brats if not for my mother. I still remember clearly, whenever my sisters got whipped and punish, he would cover them with his body and usually end up being the hit instead. He seldom speak about his personal life or give advice. He sat, listened and spoke only when asked.

HE IS KIND
I remember one day, he came home with a small boy. He said he found him in the streets and is helping him as a “konduktor” of the jeep he was driving. He brought the boy home and fed him. Papa was like that, very unreasonable and trusting especially to kids. I don’t remember what happened to that boy afterwards. I remember stories about him from my grandmother, that whenever he arrived in his hometown from the city, he would bring a lot of candies for the children of their barangay. The children would run and meet him.

HE CURSED
Whenever a child was being punished in our neighborhood, he cursed us and would not stop walking around our house. He hated the sound of a screaming kid who is being whipped by their parents. He despised it. He loves to curse whenever he wants something to be done quickly. But in spite of his cursing, many who assisted him in his electrical projects learned a lot from him. And to think of it, he never taught me. Perhaps, he cannot afford to curse me on the job.

HE SMOKED
Papa is a cigarette addict. He can finished a pack of cigarette in a day and I would know if he was already home because I can smell the smoke. One of the reasons why I don’t smoke. Cigarette was his greatest comfort whenever he was stressed or tired. One time, we were trying to scare him about the effect of smoking. We ended up laughing, because he replied that he won’t get sick of smoking because he drinks a lot of water.

THE REAL DEAL ENGINEER
He finished only high school and never went to college, but I was always in awe with his electrical and electronics skills. He can repair the smallest transistor radio up to a huge truck. Until now I still don’t know how he had done it. I never got his skills when I graduated from engineering. I was much better in talking and teaching. I had a better technical understanding but not really in hands on skills. He was the real deal. If he had finished a degree, I wonder what would he accomplished. I can still remember the number of appliances brought to our home for repair. He would even pick up appliances in the garbage and make it work again.

A GOOD MANONG
He was the eldest in the family and I remember that he was known not to keep ill feelings towards his siblings. No matter how they fought, he would always come and visit them whenever he has the time. He always loved his sisters and brothers. It is just sad that he never saw them again before he died. He had always missed them.

A SUPERMAN
When I was a kid, I can still remember how proud I am whenever he will bring his hand-made fishing gun to the sea and come back carrying a lot of fishes and seashells. I have always been amazed with his talent in diving undersea and catching fish with his bare hands. He was my Aquaman and Superman combined.

HIS ULTIMATE REGRET
The only time I saw him really cried when my grandfather died. He cried for days. It was the time where we all really in the midst of crisis. I was reviewing for my engineering board examination, and he was struggling to take care of Tatay Paking.

MEMORABLE GIFT
We never had so much before, and we are always struggling with poverty but there is one gift from him that I would never forget. It was the moment that has never fade in my memory. It was a fine day when he came home with a shiny BMX bike. That was my happiest moment and it is just funny because he never taught me how to ride a bike afterwards. I learned it myself after several bruises in my ankle.
 
HE WAS A SIMPLE MAN
He has his flaws and shortcomings. He was just a simple man with extraordinary adventures.I grow up knowing that I have a father who will always protect me. I would have never been complete without him in my childhood. My memories of him holding me when I was a kid, his laughter and smile, his big appetite, his pride when I told him I passed the board, his loud fart and his extraordinary patience would always stay with me as long as I live. He may not have been very verbal about it, but I know that he loved us so much. He loved my Mama and my sisters. He may not be perfect but he tried his best. He may have become moody when he got weak and sickly, but we always remember him as a silent man.

DOTING GRANDFATHER
A Tatay to all of his grandchildren. The sight of his grandchildren would always put a smile in his face. He does not have enough to give but we all know how he dotes on all of his "apos". His trademark is his bull cap and his bike. The riding Tatay as he is popularly known by his grandchildren. There is no as much as exciting for him than hearing their laughter and seeing their smiles.

A GOOD COOK
Definitely one of the best cook I have known. I still remember him during my childhood days in Punta Cruz, when he was usually asked to cook for huge feast for wedding, fiesta and even funerals. His big belly was a sight to see as he would taste the dishes. It was like watching Santa Claus cooking for us. He was a character to see and I can still remember how proud I am.


 I only hope that in his lifetime, I had made him proud. He never talks about his feelings and he was not expressive with his appreciation. He knows how I loved him, and I did try my best to take care of him in spite of my daily struggles from afar. I never got his patience, and I do hope one day when I grow old, my children would love me as much as I loved him. I am writing this blog, so if there is any one who knew him by name, someone out there who may have been his colleague or his friend in the past. He is Policarpio Ventures Anquillano. He was my FATHER and I am proud to be his SON.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

New Year, New Challenges, it is 2013



The Mayan predicted apocalypse ended without any fanfare and had people greeting each other on Facebook “Happy End of the World Day!” 2012 was finally ended and another year has passed. It was a memorable year indeed and it has brought so much joy and challenges to my life. And guess what I found on New Years Day at Punggol Beach when we went for biking…yes 2013 is the year of the SNAKE! :-)



MY 2012 MEMORABLE MOMENTS

Singapore International A cappella Festival 2012
This is my second time to perform on this annual a cappela festival with VocaBlends last October 13, 2012 at Fort Canning – Black Box Theater. It was fun as always, enjoying each new song, our Meastro Earl had taught us. We have improved well after performing many times in front of the stage. Though, this year, the concert venue was quite small and could accommodate only 100 persons inside. The venue was grander in SOTA last October 2011 where we performed for the first time in this said event. However, as performers, we did our best to entertain our friends and families who watched the show. 


Vocal Weekend Show at Esplanade Concourse
videoLast December 8 to 9, our group VocaBlends performed at Esplanade Concourse. This was a dream come true for VocaBlends, considering that Esplanade is a world class and renowned theater where most of popular artist around the world performs. It was not the concert hall yet however performing in the free concourse venue, is already great honor for any amateur performing groups. It was a thrilling experience to be in the Esplanade Dressing Room knowing that some of the popular artist has been in this room before us. The event was memorable also, because it was the first time we have performed Vocal Pop songs, different from the usual choral arrangements we performed. It just felt so good when you perform and hearing he applause afterwards. It may not be my best performance, but I was happy about it. The video below was when we I sung Jason Mraz "Im Yours" with Vocablends providing the a cappella background. We also performed Telephone, Somebody That I used to Know, Change the World, Nobody and Seasons of Love.


5th PinoySG Badminton Open 2012
This tournament was quite memorable to me though I have been an officer of PinoySG Badminton club since 2007, because this is the first time I was leading that annual tournament as their Club President. It was very successful indeed as we introduced the Challenge Cup trophy which was awarded to the badminton who garnered the most number of wins in the 2 days event. I did not win any trophy but the success of the event was more than enough recognition for me and my team of officers who worked so hard to make it a successful event. I also got reelected for another 2nd term as their Club President and which is a first in the history of the club since 2007 and after 4 Presidents that served the group. Another highlight is when PinoySG Badminton Club was featured in Lianhe Zaobao local newspaper here in Singapore. I have kept the newspaper clip though it was written in Chinese.

Badminton is my favorite sport, though I still missed the adrenaline pumping paintball games I used to have. Hopefully, time will come that it would not be that expensive and restrictive in terms of buying your own gear, so that sport may flourish. Since 2007, where I was part of the founding members of the club, I have always rallied to make our membership open to everyone. So for the last 5 years, we were the known club who accepts beginners and intermediate players alike. It is just my personal way of giving back the joy I had when I first play the sport here in Singapore. It is also one way of helping our Filipino OFW's here cope up with homesickness and loneliness they felt being away from their families. So it is my rule that everyone is welcome to join the club even if the don't even know how to hold a racket for the first time. I am proud that for the last 5 years, we have been instrumental in the growth of Filipino badminton community here in Singapore. The newbies have improved and some even created their own competitive badminton groups. Some have become the best groups in the competition, but knowing they all started in our club, is enough for us to feel pride of what they have turn to.

Charity Moments

Cagayan de Oro/Iligan  Flash Flood Dec 2011

I am not really that “big time” engineer here in Singapore when it come to salary, so I never had more than enough to share. I had my first calling in helping others when a flash flood struck my hometown which is Cagayan de Oro City. I rallied all my groups to raise funds for all the victims who died that time. I personally visited the location with all the donations I got from the fund we raised from our Filipino badminton community. It was devastating and tragic, especially the children who were left behind by their parents killed in the flash floods. It was the first time that I really put all my efforts in leading the donation drive to help. Then, I realized that in my own little way, I could help. I have been a leader since I was high school, and I just realized that this may be the reason why I lead. So I may be able to help others by creating awareness. BisdakSG had been also a big part of the donation drive, where we remitted all the donations through Xavier University to help in their evacuation efforts that time.

Typhoon Habagat in Manila
The typhoon has brought thousands of evacuees when Manila was flooded. Together with our Filipino badminton community, we lead a badminton game where we collect voluntary game fee from the players. We remitted the money to Red Cross Philippines to assist in their evacuation and relief efforts.

Typhoon Pablo –Tabang Comval
Together with my officers in BisdakSG, we raised funds to help the victims of floods and landslides in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, Mindanao. Hundreds have died and buried alive because of that disaster.It was as worst as what happened in Cagayan De Oro Coty but we were surprised that it was not given enough exposure in the media. We never had that much response when co founder Bernie Mantos decided to donate a big chunk of his personal income from his business. So from that amount we were able to share enough money to buy school supplies and food for the victims of the typhoon after the holiday season.


Yes, I may have grown matured by each passing year, I guess. With my family joining me here in Singapore after 6 long years, I have felt more calm and happy nowadays. I am very thankful for that reason. My experience with VocaBlends was a blessing and being able to serve others through my badminton club and BisdakSG, was enriching and self fulfilling. As time passes by, I just realized that what matters in life really is what you want to do and how you find joy on it. It does not matter how people would looked at you, or how they would want to know you. The best gift in life is your personal happiness and knowing that you have done well in spite of your misgivings and mistakes. Each one of us is capable of doing great things, no matter how small it is. A simple act of kindness will go a long way. The joy of looking at someone who was enjoying your song performance. The smile you brought to a person after a tiring and perspiring game of badminton. In serving others, we should know that we cannot please everyone. I too had gain haters along the way perhaps because of jealousy, or it is just their attitude. But as I have said, haters are born to challenge and to test you. They are there for a purpose, so that you would know how strong you are when face with adversity.  As my favorite saying to my badminton club, "KEEP THE FLAME BURNING!!". It means to keep your passion alive, live life and cherish all the memorable moments.


 






Thursday, August 23, 2012

One badminton game for the Habagat Flood Victims


An unexpected disaster in Philippines, which puts the whole city of Metro Manila submerged in the flood, is enough for the Filipino badminton community here in Singapore to respond in the call for help. This is the 2nd badminton for a cause game in which the Filipino badminton community had begun when a flash flood struck Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City last December 2011.

Kristian Anquillano, President of PinoySG Badminton Club, in cooperation with Carlos Gavieta of Team SBL and Ronel Galapate of Samahang Pinoy Racqueteers led the donation drive last August 12, 2012. All the leaders of badminton teams and groups were invited to join the game for a cause. Achiles Iglesias, PSGBC officer mentioned, “This is our 2nd successful badminton game for a cause, and the Filipino badminton groups has always been very cooperative when it comes to helping our kababayans”.

The open badminton game was scheduled last August 12, 2012 at Yishun Secondary School where 40 players came to show their support. Others who have not played just gave their donation to the organizers.

Pinoy Shuttlers leader, Eric Cruz who is fondly known as “Mayor” to the badminton community also quips. “Our group is always at hand and in support for any events that aims to help our fellow Filipinos. Isang tawag niyo lang, andiyan na kami”.

Players from PinoySG Badminton Club, Pinoy Shuttlers, Pinoy Shuttlecockers, Samahang Pinoy Racqueteers, Singapore Badminton Ltd(SBL) and United Pinoy Badminton, came in full force and joined the open game at Yishun Secondary School. Other badminton groups like Tropang Smashers, KBG, Hotshots and Laklakers were not able to make it due to conflict of schedule, however pledges to send their own donation. The Filipino badminton community here in Singapore has grown tremendously in terms of the number of Filipino professionals here, embracing the sport.  The community has been very active in promoting badminton to all the Filipino OFW and also making friendship with other local Singaporean badminton groups.

For that one day game, the groups were able to raise 1,027sgd or an equivalent of 32,864 Pesos. The amount was given to Philippine National Red Cross in support of their relief and rescue operations.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Life Stories: Stucked in Queshm Island, Iran

Place: Queshm Island, Iran
Year : 2001
 
I came to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  last 2001, when I was hired as a test engineer by an agency to work in an Alcatel hybrid fiber broadband network project for Etisalat. It was my first time to work abroad and I was very worried and scared of whatever that may happen to me. I came to work as a quality test engineer even though  I don't have any experience nor knowledge on fiber testing. And what was more scary is that I am working on a Visit Visa, and I was appointed as Test Engineer. The agency that handled us, was telling us that we need to wait another 3 months before they will apply us for a working visa. Trusting them enough, we settle for a 3 months Visit Visa temporarily.  Visit Visa holders are considered illegal workers in the kingdom of Abu Dhabi, so working on field is quite risky. As for myself, being caught by the police, is just like taking a suicide, imagining the gory things that would happen to me in jail. We worked and lived in fear everyday.


With 6 days work in a week and Friday as the only rest day, I manage to learn everything about my job from scratch. I have to wake up at 6am, study the manuals, go to work by 8am, comes home at 9pm and study again until 12 midnight. We work on field, so we have to battle the scorching heat outside, especially when the Fiber Nodes are installed in a non air conditioned rooms.

 After 3 months, our Visit Visa has expired, and the agency have told us that we need to "exit" to renew our visa and to start the processing of our working permit. Yeah, it has been 3 months already and yet that elusive working permit has not yet arrive,as they claimed. There are two islands in Iran where most of the foreign workers traveled to process their visa. It is called Kish and Queshm Island. There is a remote hostel there in the middle of the desert where you can stay temporarily until your visa has been renewed. If lucky, you would be able to leave after days, or if not you might end up stuck in that place for quite a long time, if your employer decided to abandon you.

I was sent to Quesm Island, a far flung island in Iran. We boarded a worn and old, small airplane in Dubai. By the appearance of the plane alone, it could make you say a lot of prayers, the moment you come inside. It was this plane that you usually see in WW2 movies, It has 2 propellers on its wings. Before it takes off, a manual air conditioned pump has to blow the  air inside to make it cooler. Once the plane cools down, the door is shut down immediately, to keep the cool air inside enough for the 30 minutes flight. Tsug.. tsug.. tsug.. tsug..tsug! tsug! Yes, thats the sound of engine.The plane runs, and together with all the Pinoys with me, we said our prayers. History wise, the plane did crash before, killing a lot of passengers on board, because the plane had malfunction in midair. It was a scary flight.


We arrived in a small airport where most of its building are old and dilapidated. A man came to fetch us and distributed long dresses to the ladies. Jeans and shorts for ladies are banned in the island, and everyone was asked to cover their faces as well. We boarded a van and we traveled for almost an hour, seeing nothing but huge rock formations, cactus and a long barren desert.  We were housed in a compound which consist of several small two story bungalow. Ladies are separated from the guys, because it is their tradition that no woman and man had to be together if they are not married.Although some may try to break the law by bribing the guards at night.

I met a group of young teens of a Pinoy band based in Sharjah, in one of the houses. Feeling bored, I went with them for shopping. They have rented a van to take us to a nearby mall for 50 thousand rial. The mall was an old dilapidated building, which look more like a market than a mall building. Vendors were selling their wares from thousand to a million rials. A branded sounds system cost 2 million rials then. We ate in a food shop which took us 30 minutes explaining to the vendor that we want a cheeseburger without chili. Nobody could speak English in the mall except us and a few Indians also roaming around the area.

Then on my 3rd day, I was called by the receptionist that my Visa had arrived. I was so happy to know I am leaving the place. I was having difficulty eating because they only served Indian curry everyday and nothing else. We have to bribe the cook just to cook plain rice for us. The rest of the rice were cooked the Indian way, spicy and oily. There are times that I got so hungry that I am forced to eat the spicy curry they served in breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

I came running to the receptionist and hurriedly opened the envelope. I had already packed up my bags, because we were told that once we received our Visa, we will be taken quickly to the airport for departure back to Dubai.

As I tore down the envelope, I breathe deeply and slowly read my name..Kristian .....Nationality : INDIAN!!  And yes, until now, I still don't know how it happens. My surname, sounded very Filipino, but the person in charge wrote Indian in my nationality.

I got back to my room, and waited again for another 4 days, to mail back my visa for correction. It was one hell of a week for me, considering that I have not even brought any food to last for a week. I tried to survive for another week by making friends with the newly arrived Pinoys so I could ask for any food aside from the curry being served in the restaurant. There was no other food in the hostel. It is exclusive to Indian curry only and nothing else.

There was one bungalow there which most of the occupants are Filipinos. A middle aged lady was running the house there which she uses to welcome newly arrived Filipinos there. The lady was living there for almost a year because her employer had abandoned her. She welcomes all the Pinoys there, and she would prepare the food for us. She will collect the money from us and she will use this money to bribe the kitchen staff, so we could get the ingredients for cooking and rice. My last 3 days then was not that bad, because I only know about that secret gathering after my Visa was sent back for correction. We also have to bribe the guards at night so that they would allow the ladies also to dine with the guys in the bungalow house.

After 1 week of stay in Queshm Island, I have heard a lot of sad stories about the plight of our kababayans who are trapped there. There were a lot of Pinoys who got stuck there for months because their employer has abandon them. Stories about prostitution to survive is the usual drama of the place, especially for the ladies. That was 2001 then, I don't know now, if it is still the same. Guys who have been there for a year has to settle down on begging from newly arrived Pinoys to survive.

Anyway thats my story back in 2001. :-) Keep the flame burning :-)






Monday, July 02, 2012

Shooting PAIN and PAINTBALLS with PSG Warfreakz in Singapore


 
Operation Velocity Wipeout 2012
Last June 24, my former team mates from the all Filipino paintball team PSG Warfreakz, decided to compete in Operation Velocity Wipeout at Novena Sports mall. We have put up two teams to play against other local paintball teams. Though most of us have not played since 2010, it was still a good game as we were able to capture the 4th and 5th place. Team Alpha as the top 4 proceed to compete in the Grand Finals where they captured the 1st runner up after battling with 16 local teams.

Singapore Paintball Novice Series 2008
PSG Warfreakz has been quite popular already in the paintball community of Singapore. We were one of the pioneers of paintball here when Paintball Association of Singapore in cooperation with Red Dynasty Part organized the first ever Singapore Paintball Series last 2008. There were a few players that time and most of us were just relatively beginners of the game. PSG Warfreakz was composed of 40+ Filipino paintball enthusiasts that time. We had organized several speedball and jungle games in Johor Bahru for all the members. Our group was then represented by a team in several paintball tournaments.

Red Seven (http://www.redsevenspaintball.com/) was the first local paintball team of Singapore who have represented the country on all of the international paintball events around the region. They were the first local Singaporean team that inspired most of the home based teams to compete and train for paintball. Red Seven local paintball players were also instrumental in giving us the opportunity of competing as a Singapore based foreign team during the Singapore Paintball Series 2008.  Their initiatives in bringing all paintball players around Singapore had allowed the sport to flourish in spite of the limitations in the ownership of paintball markers here.

Singapore Paintball Series 2010
PSG Warfreakz was my team, when we did try our first ever paintball match last 2008. And yes, we were hooked on it, the first moment we ran and shoot around that inflatable bunkers. Adrenaline rush to the highest level, is what I could describe, the feeling when you’re playing the game. We were the first Series Champion after 3 legs of Singapore Paintball Series 2007. We did have some few-seconds-of- fame moments when we were mentioned in Strait Times sports news, seen in Channel News Asia evening news, and invited by UNTV cable for an interview. It was our golden year as we proceed to win championship and podium places in several tourneys in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. PSG Warfreakz then was well known for being the most aggressive attacker in the field and playful when not on field. We were also the first to put up an all women paintball team who also competed during the Singapore Paintball Series games and in Johor Painball leagues.


Malaysian Paintball Official Circuit 2008
Most of our tournament players before had stopped playing, but we reunite once a while for some minor tourneys in the country. Just like the recent Operation Velocity Wipeout organized by Red Dynasty and Novena Velocity Mall. It was a close quarter battle setup, where each player has to hide and shoot around room cubicles and obstacles. A car in the center field was an added visual challenge, as you will feel ,the reality of the battle as you climb and crawl around it, while engaging your opponents in a heated shootout. It was fun indeed, and I hope that the organizers will have that kind of tourney next year.

So how does it feel to play PAINTBALL? If you’re not fond of pain, then this sport is not for you. The hit is usually followed by swelling and sometimes blood if it is being shot in a close range. It is painful, but that's what make the sport very exciting. I’m sure; you will have the highest respect to those soldiers fighting in war once you experienced the game. It is very fast pace, action packed and the high adrenaline rush will test your speed, agility, focus and calmness during the battle. Please see this old video clip during the 2008 Leg 2 SPS Finals. This was our first tourney playing in a 3 on 3 battle. Old times...

video
I have been playing badminton for a long time already but nothing compares to the excitement I felt when I am out there shooting paintballs in the field. Team work is MUST in this game. This is where you learn to communicate, analyze and work as team under extreme pressure from the hail of paintballs flying around your head. And when you’re hit, damn sweet painful indeed. This is not for the weak and not for the poor (lol). Reason why I only played few times only. It is quite an expensive sport though.

So that’s it for now, in my resurrected blog, till we meet again my readers. Keep the flame burning.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Promoting Racial Harmony through Badminton


Last September 3, 2011 at Clementi Sports Hall, PinoySG badminton Club met with the popular and very strong local Singaporean team of Twister Badminton Club. The “Twisters” is a local group who were widely known for their skills in badminton community. They were usually seen in Jurong East Sports and Recreation Center every Tuesday and Friday evening.  Their members are multi racial, who are mostly from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, etc.
Twister Badminton Club is under the leadership of Lydia Tan and Boon Ng Oon. They have a thread in Badminton Central forum where you could invite them for fun matches. They are bunch of smiling "twisters" whose speed in court corresponds with their hospitality in their home court.

The game started at 6:15pm, with PSGBC Tourney head Brenda Vistan and Vice President Nino Amores preparing the game and lineup for both groups. All players were in a very warm disposition as both leaders from PSGBC and Twisters welcomed the players.  First game was started and the Twister did not fail our expectations as their players were quite strong and very fast. Intense smashes and sharp drop shots were exchange but the Twisters were dominant in most of the games.


This game as initiated by PinoySG Badminton Club is aim to develop friendship and harmony with different races in Singapore through Badminton. This program was started last 2009 with the club playing against Badminton Mates and Lion Badminton Group(Clementi).

With a lot of Filipinos playing badminton sport nowadays, it is the objective of the leaders to use this sport as a medium for harmony with different races here in Singapore.

Last May 2012,  PSGBC Badmintoneros, arranged another 2 legs of friendly game with Chua Chu Kang Group lead by Clifford, which is composed of recreational players from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. Game 1 was played at Chua Chu Kang Sports Hall, the home court of the CCK players. It was a tough game and CCK was able to win most of the games. Game 2 was then played at Endeavour Primary School, home court of PSGBC. This time we have some guest players from other Filipino badminton groups. We were able to secure enough wins but by the end of the day, CCK team still has the highest number of wins.

Another fun and fulfilling experience, as we made new friends with other nationalities through badminton sport. This is a very nice way of initiating friendship and camaraderie among local and foreigners here in Singapore.

One very nice lesson learned indeed is that we were ONE in having fun. When the shuttlecock is on play,  each one of us is bound by similar excitement and passion.

We were badminton shuttlers and we speak ONE language at court…BADMINTON. Long live the sport and the players.


Filipino Shuttlers rises to the Challenge during the 5th PinoySG Badminton Open 2012




The most prestigious, anticipated and awaited all Filipino annual badminton open ended with a big bang last June 9 to 10, 2012 at Jurong West Sports and Recreation Center. The crowd roared and cheered their respective teams amidst the sweltering heat inside the huge sports hall.

There were 12 different badminton groups who came to compete for the events in Singles, Mens Doubles, Womens Doubles and Mixed Doubles category. The players were divided into 3 different levels of skills, in which Level A as the highest and followed by Level B and Level C.

Almost 300+ players came to represent their respective teams, bringing their own banner and wearing their uniforms. The 12 badminton groups were led by the host PinoySG Badminton Club, followed by Pinoy Shuttlers, Tropang Smashers, Team Hotshots, Team Laklakers, UPAAS-Pinoy Shuttlecockers, Team SBL, Samahang Pinoy na Racqueteers, United Pinoy Badminton, Team WinWest, Team BisdakSG, and Team Kigwa.

The two day event ended with Pinoy Shuttlers winning the Challenge Cup. The challenge cup was awarded to the team who garnered the highest points for the overall player performance, attendance, discipline and sportsmanship. PinoySG Badminton Club captured the coveted Best Support Group, as the team with the most number of cheerers and supporters. 

Trophies and cash prizes were given to the winner on the last day of the event. The championship singles event was played by both veteran players, Jeremy Maniago and David Batalla. The game ended with Jeremy taking the last match point, successfully defending his Singles title last year. Level B Singles Finals saw Mark Canillo conquering Joshua Batula in the 3rd set.

Mens Doubles Level A Finals was heart stopping duel between Jeremy Maniago/Sherwin Suratos of Tropang Smashers/Kigwa tandem against Luis Gomez/Frederick Pabustan of Pinoy Shuttlers. The final match point in the 3rd set ended with TS/Kigwa tandem wins by their non stop onslaught of offensive tactics.

The last game for Mixed Doubles Level A Finals was another high intensity match in which Jeremy Maniago with new partner Andrea Tongco against the PSG Open 2011 defending mixed doubles champion last year, Roland Amores and Armhi Sumalinog. Nino chose to change his usual aggressive attacking strategy by adopting a very slow pace game, opting for more pushes and drops shots at the midcourt. The game ended after 2 sets with Roland Amores and Armhi Sumalinog still undefeated at Mixed Doubles.

Other game results:

Mens B : Johnwin Custodio / Joshua Batula
Mens C: Larry Demelites/ Jhayr Rodriquez
Womens A: Barbara Macaraig/Michelle Cadiz
Womens B: Czarina Jimenes/ Mary Grace Andres
Womens C: Arlyn Cirujales/Dio Ann Pena
Mixed B: Mark Canillo/Ady Doctolero
Mixed C: Jhayr Rodriguez/ Karen Dogilio


PinoySG Badminton Open started last 2007 and initially started with few competitors from the Filipino badminton community. After a year, the competitors dramatically increased after private companies started supporting the event and the organizer, PinoySG Badminton Club.

PinoySG Badminton Club is the first Filipino badminton club in Singapore which was registered with Registry of Society of Singapore last 2008. For 5 years, the group has initiated several badminton friendly games among the Filipino community and as well with other local Singaporean badminton groups. The group is currently under the leadership of club’s co-founder and current President Kristian A. Anquillano with his top officers, Roland Amores as Vice President, Victoria Jane Parot as the secretary and Dr. Lira Dumaguing as the treasurer. As a registered society, PinoySG Badminton Club is governed by their By Laws and Constitution and has to submit an Annual Returns to the Registry of Society of Singapore.

PinoySG Badminton Club would like to thank the whole Filipino badminton community of Singapore for their participation, BAGONG BAYANI (Modern Day Hero) magazine as our official media partner and Singapore Badminton Association umpires.



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Singing with VocaBlends (Singapore)


Last October 28, 2010, a new a Capella group called VocaBlends was born under the leadership of Earl Stanley Lazo. Though I have been rehearsing with them for the past 1 month, its the day that we officially named the group.

"Voca" stands for voice and "Blends" is the literal meaning of the word itself. A blending of voices to form a beautiful music. There was a discussion before we decided with the name, since it sounds like a coffee blends which we usually found in Starbucks. However, with the objective of creating an impression of being cool and fun singing group, we thought, the name may be the proper representation to what we are trying to project.

I was invited before by other choir groups, but never did I attempt to join one, because I was too busy with my sports. I have been a very active badminton and paintball player for the past 3 years here in Singapore. Yet the passion in singing never fade away from me.

Though my usual videoke jam with friends, ended up with appreciation and encouragement for me to join singing contest, I never thought of joining a singing group. Personally, my housemates can determine my mood through the songs that I sing at home. When I am so down, I will open my laptop and sing all sad songs from youtube.

I remember there was a moment last Christmas 2007, I was so lonely of not being able to come home on Christmas, I started singing "Sana Ngayong Pasko" in the living room. One of my housemates came out of her room, crying. I did sing it well, but never did I realize that I can make someone cry with the way I sing.

So then last September, a badminton partner invited me to join a Pinoy acapella group. I was hesitant at first, for my impression on choir is really more of old classical songs that I would have a hard time to relate. Yeah, I sing from the heart..I don't like to sing songs which I do not understand. So I came to the rehearsal to observe, not really planning to join them.

Then they sang " Change the World and Now that I Have You". It was not perfect yet, but I was amazed that a simple doo, daa and doom, could create a good sound if sang together in different tune. Speaking of my inexperience in music, I was astounded by how this "Maestro Earl" could memorize each tune and allow us to sing it altogether.

It was a good timing for myself, that was the time that family pressures came like torrents. And I just realized that even my sports does not have the power to calm me down. I am sleepless and restless. I would exercise, run and play non stop for a week, in an effort to calm me down. But then, my body gets tired..but my mind does not.

This new passion has brought ways for me to relax. I realized that after all this years, singing has been my innermost flame that has never been fully utilized. I got to accept that this is a talent, and its time for me to share it with everyone else. And with this new group, I aim to sing to my very best and share joy to my "kababayans" who are here, and just like me is trying to provide good life for their families back in Philippines.

Similar to the badminton club I started, I will pursue this passion with the same objective. To entertain and provide joy to others. A smile is more than enough than the biggest trophy you could find in the world. What feeling in the world is greater than knowing that you have made someone smile and enjoy your talent.

Hopefully, by next year, we would be ready to perform for the Filipino community here in Singapore or even the local Singaporean community. God, Thank you for the music :-)