Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Durable Clint Eastwood

The Durable Clint Eastwood
              He was 'The Man with No Name' in The Good,The Bad and The Ugly. But he had a monicker: Blondie. Though Clint Eastwood was still a virtual unknown, the movie was a blockbuster, with SROs in almost all movie theaters where it was shown in Metro Manila. That was in 1968 and I was then a 2nd year college student at the DLSU.  He was a tall cowboy who talked less and when he talked, I missed several words he was saying. Amidst the sounds of the flute, ocarina, human voices, gunfire and a coyote howling, there was suspense throughout the story with Blondie occasionally trading shots with rugged men with dubious motives. He would later have a confrontation with Angel Face and Tuco. All were in search of gold. Musical scoring was superb. With two other films-- For a Fistful of Dollars and A Few Dollars More -- the trilogy turned out to be a commercial success. Eastwood attained stardom. I was cutting classes just to watch his movies.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly was shown in movie theaters in Metro Manila in 1968. (demonsresume)

He is The Man with No Name.  But Tuco calls him "Blondie". (g'gle)
Lee Van Cleef is Angel Eyes. (potpourri)

Eli Wallach is Tuco Ramirez.  He steals the thunder from the veteran actors. (theguardian)

The final face-off at the cemetery where Confederate gold is hidden. (freerepublic)
           He was a tough cop named Harry Callahan in a series of films about a member of the San Francisco Police Force who had the propensity to apply controversial and arbitrary measures in fighting lawless elements. Armed with guts and a Magnum 44, Callahan engaged a psychotic killer on the loose in Dirty Harry, foiled hold-uppers in a downtown restaurant and uttered that famous line "Go ahead, make my day" in Sudden Impact and single-handedly wrote finis to hitherto unsolved crimes traceable to a gang of merciless motorcycle cops in Magnum Force. This was in the 70s and 80s and Eastwood was now a superstar. I was already working by this time.

Clint Eastwood is Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry. (moviefone)

Scorpio is the mad killer in the movie Dirty Harry. (g'gle)

"Go ahead, make my day", Callahan tells bad guy in Sudden Impact (1983). The gun is a Smith & Wesson Model 29. (

            In the 90s, Eastwood played National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid in the movie adaptation of the best-selling novel Bridges of Madison County.  Kincaid had a 4 day romantic liaison with middle-aged Iowa housewife Francesca Johnson played by Meryl Streep.  With Eastwood as director, the film received critical acclaim and earned $182,016,617at the box-office.  Through the years, he has established his reputation as a durable star, with no signs yet of fading away. In 2003, he directed Mystic River starring Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon. He was named Best Director for 2003 by the National Society of Film Critics. In 2006, he directed Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. Million-Dollar Baby won for Clint an award for best director in 2007. I was nearing retirement.

The critically acclaimed Bridges of  Madison County was shown in movie theaters in Metro Manila in 1995. (g'gle)

The Roseman Bridge in Winterset, Iowa (movielocations)

National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid's assignment is to take photos of the Bridges of Madison County. (g'gle)

Kincaid and Francesca have a 4-day romantic affair.(g'gle)

Directed by Clint Eastwood (g'gle)

Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank in Million Dollar Baby

             Clint Eastwood turns 83 on May 31st.  He is still active and physically strong. Separated from Dina Ruiz Eastwood in 2013, Clint is presently linked to Erica Tomlinson Fisher who is about 40 years younger. Clint had a 14-yr-relationship with actress Sondra Locke who was his co- star in Sudden Impact.  Through the years, Clint has contributed enormously to the movie industry. Upon scrutiny, Clint's movies, all in all, have grossed a total of $1.68 billion. Now a senior, all I do almost everyday is watch old Eastwood films.


Carmel by the sea in California where Eastwood served as mayor. (modern wayfarer)

Hole four of the 18-hole course at Clint Eastwood's Tehama Golf Club in Carmel, California. Membership is limited to 300 only.  (architectural digest)

Tehama's Clubhouse (arch digest)

Suite at Tehama (arch digest)

Clint is a good golfer.  He was once a golf caddy. (arch digest)

Clint with wife Dina Ruiz in happier times.  They have separated. (sf gate)

Clint's Family -- Daughters Francesca and Morgan with wife Dina Ruiz. Clint and Dina have separated. (g'gle)

Actress Sondra Locke (Sudden Impact) had a 13-yr relationship with Clint Eastwood.

Clint's Mission Ranch Inn in Carmel, Californa. (mail online)

Australian Erica Tomlison Fisher  is allegedly Clint's new girlfriend. (daily entertainment)

Clint, 83, is still active as a film director. (dailymail)


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Ol' Blue Eyes and Jack Daniel's Whiskey

Ol'  Blue Eyes and Jack Daniel's Whiskey

            Dubbed Ol' Blue Eyes and The Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra was in his element that night. Performing before a jampacked crowd, Sinatra was doing a rendition of George Harrison's song: "Something in the way she moves...Attracts me like no other lover...Something in the way that she woos me....Don't want to leave her now....Better believe, and how...." The crowd was mesmerized.  Sinatra brought the house down. And as in previous appearances, he held a glass of his favorite Jack Daniel's whiskey and offered a toast to the appreciative viewers.  Jack Daniel's whiskey had always been part and parcel of Sinatra's concerts all over the world.
The Chairman of the Board (parallax pic)

Frank Sinatra with a glass of Jack Daniel's during a concert (speakeasy)

Frank with his favorite Jack Daniel's whiskey (fastcocreate)

            With approximately more than 11 million cases sold yearly, Jack Daniel's is the most popular American whiskey. Jack Daniel's is produced by an old distillery bearing the same name.  It was established by Jasper "Jack" Daniel in 1859  in the state of Tennessee.  The original factory is still there and has a manpower of about 400 employees.  Jack Daniel's bottles are mostly square shaped. Jack Daniel's whiskey has four versions: Jack Daniel's Old No.7, Gentleman Jack, Tennessee Honey and Single Barrel. 

Old No. 7 is often called Black Label

The four versions:  Gentleman Jack, Tennessee Honey, Old No. 7 and Single Barrel (thetowndish)

             After many years in operation and when the company was already stable, owner Jack Daniel, who remained unmarried and was childless, bequeathed ownership of the company to his two nephews surnamed Motlow, one of whom took complete control after several years. The Jack Daniel's Distillery in Tennessee is now included in the National Register of Historic Places. It is a major tourist attraction in Tennessee. It is now owned by Brown-Forman Corporation.

Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee established in 1859. (wiki) )

Lem Motlow's house within the Distillery compound in Tennessee.  It is open to tourists. Motlow, nephew of Jack Daniel, was owner until 1947 when Brown Forman took over. (wiki)

              Frank Sinatra died on May 14, 1998 at the age of 82.  When he was buried at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California, a flask filled with Jack Daniel's whiskey was slipped in his pocket.  It was a final endorsement of his favorite Jack Daniel's whiskey.  It was daughter Nancy who did it when the coffin was about to be lowered.  Aside from the Jack Daniel's flask,  ten dimes,  a pack of Camel cigarettes and a Zippo lighter were kept in his suit.  These things were identified with Frank in his lifetime. While Ol' Blue Eyes reached the pinnacle of success, still etched in his grave stone was the short line "The best is yet to come."      


Funeral of Frank Sinatra (upi)

Sinatra's grave in Cathedral City, California.(toptenz)

Stainless steel Jack Daniel's hip flask (aliexpress).  When Sinatra was buried, a similar flask was slipped in his pocket.

Sinatra Select, a special edition of Jack Daniel's whiskey, came out after his death.  It is a tribute to Frank Sinatra. (hutchins)

Another advertisement of Sinatra Select. Sinatra often referred to Jack Daniel's Whiskey as "the nectar of the gods."(google photo; caption is mine)

Frank Sinatra's home in Palm Springs Desert Resort in California (bon voyage)

Sinatra's favorite steak at Riccio's in Palm Springs (bon voyage)

Frank Sinatra with 4th wife Barbara.  Barbara says that Frank "took a bath 12 times a day and smelled of lavender." (daily mail)


* most pics/ pertinent details from g'gle

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Jojo Lastimosa and The Alaska Power Camp

Jojo Lastimosa and The Alaska Power Camp
             Jojo Lastimosa, one of PBA's 25 greatest players, stood in front of countless young basketball enthusiasts. He was demonstrating the right move in attacking the basket, dribbling to the right and, before making that final halt, making one big hop.  The player then, Lastimosa continued, can either go all the way to the basket or make a pass to an open teammate. That is a typical Lastimosa move, reminiscent of his prolific playing days many years back. This time, he acts as Camp Director of the much-sought after Alaska Basketball Power Camp.

             With the assistance of highly trained mentors, the Alaska Basketball Power Camp seeks to develop the youngsters' skills in shooting, dribbling, passing, rebounding and playing as part of a team.  Alaska Power Camp is emphasizing throughout the 8-day workout that one may turn out to be a good dribbler, or a good shooter, but that is not all there is to it.  One has to work hard, develop the right attitude and blend well with the rest of the team. Alaska Power Camp seeks to inculcate the values of hardwork, discipline, determination, excellence, teamwork and sportsmanship, among others.

              Sponsored by Alaska Milk, the Alaska summer camp is held every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Ateneo de Manila's college covered courts.  Participants' ages range from 12 below, and 13 yrs old up to 18 yrs old. Aside from the basic drills, campers undergo situational drills, where one is taught how to act and react in a given situation. And who else is in the best position to teach but the man they call Jolas who fought in countless court battles.

             In retrospect, I remember one instance, many summers ago, when Jojo was playing for the Alaska Aces.  And the Aces were playing against crowd favorite Ginebra San Miguel at the Philsports Arena. Jojo was guarding the legendary Robert Jaworski.  As Jaworski barreled his way to the basket, Jojo stood his ground and, in the ensuing play, the Big J took a spill and lost ball possession.  No calls were made.  In the next play, it was Jojo attacking the basket and the Big J guarding him. As Jojo was up in the air with his patented move, the wily Ginebra sentinel gave him a hefty shove and Jolas tumbled down the floor. Jojo picked himself up, smiled and positioned himself in the stripe for two shots. He did not retaliate. As he once said in a training session at the Alaska Power Camp, one has to be not only physically strong but also mentally tough.  After all, basketball is not only about skills.  It is also about attitude. And attitude is manifested in one's behavior on and off the court.  


Main road inside the Ateneo campus leading to the College Covered Courts

The College Covered Courts where the Alaska Power Camp is held every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.  There are other camps in selected areas.

One of the many ball racks at the summer camp.  While there are countless balls used during the training sessions or practices, there is only ONE OFFICIAL BALL during a regular game.  There are ten players fighting it out for  one ball.

Call time is 7: 30 AM.  Players start to assemble at a designated area.

Basketball all-time great Jojo Lastimosa starts by giving a pep talk to participants. He begins with senior players and then goes to the other groups. Take note of the white board and black board he uses as visual aids.

Jojo Lastimosa illustrates some important points which he wants to be carried out.

Jojo Lastimosa demonstrates what he has been saying earlier.

Jojo Lastimosa picks several players to join in the scrimmages.

Lastimosa tells participants that after making that one big hop, the player can go for the basket, or if defense is tight, he may opt to pass to an open teammate.  Participants get to interact with the basketball legend.

It is now the turn of the young boys to apply the techniques demonstrated by their mentor.  Lastimosa continues to monitor the activities.  He intervenes to make the necessary adjustments.

Alaska Power Camp seeks to inculcate a set of values which serve as building blocks of character development. One of these values is HARD WORK. You spend a great deal of time and effort to attain your goals.

Come what may, the player is firm in doing everything that will help him become an accomplished player. That is DETERMINATION.

DISCIPLINE is controlling oneself,  submitting to rules and regulations, policies and procedures laid out by authorities and recognizing the powers vested in others. Alaska strives to infuse this value into one's system.

Alaska recognizes the value of SPORTSMANSHIP, that is, acting in a sportsmanlike manner even in the most difficult or trying situation.  Valid complaints can be coursed through the proper channel.

TEAMWORK is what basketball is all about.  It is synchronized movement towards one direction. There are assigned roles that must be carried out.

Drills for the younger ones.  Trainers demonstrate what must be done.

First kid to try it out.

Others take their turns. The exercise involves foot works, hand movements and keeping balance.

Youngest kid in the group (in blue shorts) watches the others do it and he tries to figure it out if he can do it.

It is now the youngest kid's turn.

The youngest kid can simulate what the trainer is demonstrating. He can understand and can carry out instructions.

As there are eight standard basketball courts, see-through nets serve as dividing or separating lines.

The bigger ones doing the drills.

A firm hold of the ball

One group is under the tutelage of a lady coach.

Lady coach MJ is up to the task.  She knows what she is doing.

Groups of five take turns playing offense and playing defense.

Basketball all-time great Jojo Lastimosa poses with participant Andre.

Alaska player RJ Jazul  with Andre.