Saturday, 22 June 2013

Miami Heat Clinch 2013 NBA Title

Miami Heat Clinch 2013 NBA Title

              Playing for all the marbles, Lebron James displayed tenacity throughout Game 7, scoring 37 points, hauling down 12 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists, as Miami Heat beat San Antonio Spurs in a close fight determined only in the closing minutes. It was the 2nd championship for Miami in 3 consecutive finals appearances and 3rd overall for the ball club. Final score was 95-88.

             With his supposed greatness and legacy on the line, James was grit and determination personified as he orchestrated Miami's offensive plays, burying 5 triples and penetrating the shaded lane time and again.  Dwayne Wade scored 23 points while Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers added 18 and 14 points, respectively.

              With a tight defense, Miami held San Antonio at bay in the dying minutes as they double teamed on Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan.  James sealed the win with a steal on Manu's pass to Duncan in the last 25 seconds of the game.

              True to his promise to win more championships for Miami, Lebron has finally silenced his critics and has solidified his place among the world's best cagers of all time. He is, at the moment, at the pinnacle of his career.  As the multi-titled San Antonio Spurs' coach Greg Popovich would describe him:  " He is the best basketball player in the world."  Well spoken.

             And commendation, too, is in the offing for Miami's cool and calculating bench tactician Erik Spoelstra who has steered the team to two NBA titles in 3 years.  Erik is Filipino-American. Mabuhay ka !!


In full support for the Heat (AP)

Before the start of Game 7  (AP)

2013 NBA Champions (Mail Online)

King James holds 2013 Championship trophy and Finals MVP trophy.(Irish Times)

Dwayne Wade is sprawled on the hardcourt amidst confetti (Mail Online)

Lebron and Dwayne are all smiles after winning two titles in a row. James was Finals MVP (Mail Online)

James displaying tenacity throughout the championship series (G'gle)
Ray Allen's 3 pointer that sent the game into overtime in Game 6
YouTube video

Chris Andersen shone brilliantly during the Miami-Indiana series as well as during the NBA  finals. He made timely followups and hauled down crucial rebounds.
Coach Erik Spoelstra is Filipino-American. Mabuhay !!

President Aquino receives a Miami Heat jersey from Fil Am Coach Erik Spoelsra. (G'gle)

How much they get paid (G'gle)

$9 million Coconut Grove home of Lebron James (Sun Sentinel)

House interior (G'gle)

Lebron's car (G'gle)

James' flashy car (G'gle)

Lebron's girlfriend (G'gle)

Lebron James X 10 shoes 2013 (G'gle)
Young Miami Heat fans from Caroline Springs, Melbourne

**All captions by Konted

Friday, 21 June 2013

Hotel California

Hotel California

            I still remember vividly, a long time ago,  when our small group would drive up to the mountains of Antipolo, mostly on Saturday nights, to unwind. We would park our cars at a vantage point where the glittering lights of the Metropolis could be seen. It was a spectacular view, one that made everyone gaze and gaze for hours on end.

            I also remember when we would listen, over and over again, to a rock song that was one of the most popular songs at that time. We were then using the cartridge, not the cassette yet. It was a long song.  About 7 1/2 minutes.  But it was a song everyone loved to listen to, again and again.

" On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night. "

           Hotel California was popularized by the group Eagles.  It was released in December of 1976 and after only 3 months, it was certified as GOLD with more than a million copies sold. Hotel California was voted # 49 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. The song tells of life in the 70's, specifically some of the vices of that era. Colitas, as mentioned in the song, refer to weeds.

" Mirrors on the ceiling
the pink champagne on ice
And she said: 'We are all just prisoners here of our own device
And in the masters chambers,
As they gathered for the feast
They stabbed it with their steely knives
But they just can't kill the beast. "

              Two nights ago, I was listening to some songs at You Tube and I chanced upon that classic song Hotel California.  It was uploaded on February 3, 2012 and I was surprised to find out that total views have reached 39,507,295.  And nearing the 40th million mark.  Ergo, to this day, this rock song is still popular.

               Again, in retrospect, I remember my good friend Seven.  He was called Seven as he was born prematurely in the 7th month. As our small group would leave the Antipolo mountains as the break of dawn was nearing, he would usually throw the car keys on the dashboard, position himself at the passenger seat and would tell the group:  " Ayan ang susi.  Ayoko ng magmaneho.  Kayo naman. "  Everyone else was in stony silence. And as we would begin our descent, with two fingers, he would press the cartridge and listen once more to the Eagles' rendition of Hotel California. Again and again.

" Last thing I remember, I was 
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
'Relax'  said the night man 
We are programmed to receive
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave  " 
"Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place, 
Such a lovely face....."

- Konted

Hotel California by The Eagles (YouTube video):

Album cover of Hotel California released in late 1976

The Eagles:  One of the greatest rock bands of all time

Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Don Felder & Randy Meisner

2007 photo of The Eagles, from left, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Timothy Schmit & Don Henley

The famous rock band members regrouping

2010 photo of Don Henley

Glenn Frey and Scott Crago on drums (2010 photo)

Don Felder was an original member of the group.

The Eagles performing in Dubai

The Eagles Band celebrity dollar bill

1994 baseball cap

Eagles License Plate

Electric guitar sheet music

Named after the song
**Pics from G'gle

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Hundred Islands in Pangasinan

The Hundred Islands in Pangasinan
             The Philippines boasts of beautiful places that can qualify as wonders of the world. While Palawan has the Underground River and Bohol has the Chocolate Hills, the province of Pangasinan takes pride in The Hundred Islands which is within the territorial jurisdiction of Alaminos City. Alaminos City is about 220 kilometers away from Metro Manila via the Romulo Highway in Camiling, Tarlac.

             The Hundred Islands is such a stunning beauty that President Quezon declared it as a national park and a protected area. Total number of islands is 123. These islands are said to be 'ancient corals' that once formed the seabed of an 'ancient sea'.  The clean, clear waters surrounding the islands and the fine sands make island hopping enjoyable. Sturdy outrigger boats can accommodate 15 persons. Rental fee is  P2 thou per boat for an approximately one and a half  hour ride.

              Most tourists prefer to stop and alight at selected islands and spend some time frolicking under the sun and wading at the foreshores. The sights are enthralling and the marine environment is amazing.  The beauty of The Hundred Islands is comparable to that of The 12 Apostles in Australia.

               When touring Alaminos and The Hundred Islands, one does not have to take a plane, ride and endure several kilometers of bumpy, dirt roads and transfer to a motor boat for another hour ride.   Not in Alaminos. The travel to Alaminos is trouble free as the traveler negotiates not so many turns and bends and sharp inclines as he rides through good roads.

                If one does not feel like driving, he can take a bus ride to the City of Alaminos. Victory Liner provides daily services to commuters bound for  the towns of Western Pangasinan.  An airconditioned Victory Liner bus has lazy boy seats and provides free video and wifi.  Fare from Cubao to Alaminos City is P393 per person. 

               Book now and find out for yourselves why The Hundred Islands is considered  one of the wonders of the world.


The Hundred Islands is about 15 minutes away from the welcome arch of Alaminos City in Western Pangasinan.
Free water for motorists at the national highway in Alaminos City.
Wharf at one of the islands.  The Hundred Islands has been declared as a protected area.  
Clean, clear waters
The boat ride around the islands is usually a smooth one.  
Approaching some more islands
Rental fee per boat is P2thou.  This is still negotiable.
The small islands are said to be ancient corals.
Boat approaches a big island.
There are resorts and inns at two of the islands.  There are also hotels at Lucap which is the jump off point.
Abaca rope is being readied as boat approaches island.
Time quickly passes by as you hop from one island to another.
Capture the beauty of The Hundred Islands through your digicam.
The City Officials of Alaminos and the Dept of Tourism ensure the safety of tourists and regularly check on the overall cleanliness of the area.
Outrigger boats are sturdy and steady boats.
More beautiful places to see
Alaminos City is part of Western Pangasinan.
U can do your island hopping in 1 1/2 hours.
Boatmen are experienced in their line of work.
Really a sight to behold
Souvenir shot
Cool inside the cave
Bats at Bat Island
Fun-filled day for tourists
One of the few developed islands
What more can u ask for?
Another souvenir shot
Victory Liner's waiting lounge in Cubao, Q.C.
Well-maintained air -conditioned buses
Smooth ride
Free video and wifi access