World Cup Watch

The ongoing FIFA 2006 Soccer World Cup in Germany has brought back good memories of my childhood.

Football, or soccer, as most people call the game, is one of my favorite sports.

I’ve been hooked on it since I was a kid. When I was in gradeschool, we used to play it during recess and lunch breaks in any one of (then) Don Bosco Pampanga’s three football fields. I was even a member of the school’s varsity team at the time. Although I wasn’t the star player of the team, I could pretty much hold my own.

Before basketball’s popularity took over the sporting scene in the country, there was a popular school saying that went: “Hindi ka Bosconian kapag hindi ka marunong mag football.” — “You’re not a Bosconian if you don’t know how to play football.” — which I took to heart.

And being a Bosconian had an influence in my choice of soccer teams. Since St. John Bosco, and the Salesian order, came from Italy, it was but natural for the Italian Salesian priests, and most Bosconians, to root for Italy, the Azzurri.

And my stint as a player soon allowed me to study and follow the soccer world in detail. Which led me to discover the legend that was, and is, Pele, who became my sporting idol. This again led me to pick up another favorite team, the mighty Seleção, the Brazilians.

I have my list of favorite professional clubs too. On the top of the list is Ajax of Amsterdam. Then there’s Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus.

Going back to the World Cup, now that both Italy and Brazil made it to the next round, I hope that either one of them wins it all. Although it could be a rough road to the finals with the powerful Argentines and the inspired Germans.

Should neither team make it to the finals, which I hope not, then it’s still fine with me, as long as the sport that is so dear to my heart will reach and inspire the world’s people from all walks of life, and most especially the youngsters.

When that happens, then old coconuts, cloth-filled socks, makeshift cardboard shin pads, and empty lots would have served their purpose-filled days showered with children’s laughter, soaking up some rain, or basking in the sun.

CJ’s 7th month

Let’s see….. November 22, 2005, and uhm, June 22, 2006, wow, CJ’s 7 months old today! Yey! He’s growing up real fast. And I could barely keep up with him when he’s walker-sprinting.

And I’m stuck here in Clark while they get to celebrate and have a good time. I sure wish I could be home today to be with them. 🙁

Ei mahal, hug CJ for me, ok? I love you son! Hugz! Hamishu guys………

White hot Heat!

Congratulations to the Miami Heat for winning the 2006 NBA Finals!

Since both teams are my favorites (along with Phoenix), it doesn’t really matter to me whichever team wins. Although my preference shifted a little bit towards Miami’s way since I wanted its veterans, Payton, Mourning, Williams, Walker, Anderson, and the rest, to finally win one. They should have won it last year.

I am a big Shaq and Dwyane Wade fan. D-Wade was totally awesome! He’s a certified superstar, there’s no doubt about that. And he deserves to win the NBA Finals MVP plum. Shaq and Riley have really been great influences. 15 strong does it! Wooooooooooooooooott!!!

To Nowitzki and the rest of the Mavs, you have every reason to hold your heads up high. It was a wonderful series. And besides, there’s always next year! Way to go coach Johnson! And way to go Mark Cuban! 🙂

Father’s day fun

June 18, 2006. I finally got to celebrate my first father’s day event. We hied of into the Calamba, Laguna highlands and spent an entire day swimming, communing with nature and having a picnic.

Our destination? The breathtaking community of the Ayala Greenfield Estates.

Had I known how much beautiful the place was, I wouldn’t have gone through my usual reluctance of leaving the bed and spending the entire day perfecting my couch potato retirement routine.

I was so keenly intent on spending spending the entire day at home that I often found myself grumbling all the way to the venue. — Take a bath.. *grumble grumble*.. Grab breakfast.. *grumble grumble*.. Prepare the car.. *grumble grumble*.. Loading… Loading some more… *grumble grumble* *yawn*.. And off we went…. *What could possibly be better than celebrating Father’s Day sleeping, watching TV and basically just bumming around, right?* Wrong! I was dead wrong.

After tanking up on gas, which I noticed has gone up a few cents, again(!), we headed down south of Manila’s busy urban jungle.

It took us about 20 minutes to reach the site. And I was immediately impressed by how it was developed. The landscaping was great. It clearly wasn’t one of your average, run of the mill, insta-matic residential projects. As soon as we entered, we went straight to the clubhouse, admiring the view along the way of course. It was about a couple of kilometers from the estate entrance gate.

If the scenery from the gate all the way up to the clubhouse was amazing, with its rolling hills and elegantly pristine design, the view from the clubhouse was equally as impressive. From there, you could see Laguna de Bay, the Manila skyline, Mt. Makiling and Tagaytay Ridge.

I had so much fun that day. And also hit me that I have indeed become a dad, pop, papa, father, daddy, tatay, itay, ama, and whatever term you call that man who you looked up to while growing up, who disciplined you when you needed to be disciplined, who secretly stood by you when mom was on a rampage, and who let you have the honor of bearing his last name.

And I realized that I had so much to live for. Being a dad is such a challenge. But being a good dad is an even daunting task. If I’m up to it, I don’t know. But I’m sure as hell going to give it a damn good try.

:: Sharkey’s Top 10 ::

1. I got to celebrate being a first time dad with Conne, CJ and my family.
2. I got to eat a lot!
3. I got to swim.
4. I got to play billiards.
5. I got to play basketball.
6. I got to play badminton.
7. I got to burn off the excess food intake because all of the activities that I did.
8. I got to teach Conne how to drive through uneven, and often steep-angled terrain.
9. I got to go to church and hear mass. I wasn’t able to go to church for a couple of weeks.
10. And finally, the coup de grace, I finally got a new wallet courtesy of Conne! (I jokingly begged her for one, a couple of times in the past, and she remembered!) I don’t know how she does it, but she always manages to surprise me.

To: My Dearest Mahal, 

Happy 1st Father’s Day!
Congrats for a 7 months job well done… and for
more years to come! We love you! Muah!

Love, Conne & CJ

I love you too mahal!

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Whoa! Somebody forgot to chage the camera date settings again! Yaiks! 🙁

Budgeting the Cost of Fuel

I find myself frequently picking up a calculator and crunching numbers figuring out how much it costs me to drive to and from work. I spend my weekends in Manila with my family, and on weekdays, live and work a hundred-plus kilometers up north, in Clark.

Milk Money

I normally spend about two thousand pesos a week on unleaded gas and toll fees. A month ago it was roughly five or six hundred pesos less, equivalent to the price of a big can of my son’s milk. And a month from now? Add another five, six hundred maybe? Talk about spilled milk, it’s another can down the drain. And where do we go a few months hence? I don’t even want to think about it.

This makes me drool over those new hybrid cars in the market right now, that could go for 50 or so kilometers per liter. Mine could go for a little over 11 km per liter, which, compared to other vehicles in its class, boasts of being one of the best in terms of fuel consumption. Go Innova! 🙂

I’m glad that I’ve even learned a couple of driving tricks and techniques to maximize fuel economy and savings (thanks to the internet and driver’s ed sites). And the experience that I gained from crashing 130kph into a racetrack wall did have its benefits after all.

The reality is every price increase in basic goods can be attributed to the increase in fuel price. If only these so-called economic think-tanks could figure out a way to stabilize things, and fast!

Which all leads me to think that I better start saving up for these car hybrids (Prius here I come!), or get a job closer to home, or perhaps re-activate my temporarily offline business. To sum it up, fuel-for-milk isn’t exactly my idea of securing my family’s future.

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Related Blog Entry:
Gas Station Blues

All things CJ

 

 

 

 

 

We celebrated CJ’s 6th month last May 22. Here he is posing with mom.

 

 

 

 

 

CJ’s a toddler on the run. He learned to use the old-fashioned wooden baby walker (no wheels here) when he was just 5 months old – which was quite a feat considering his age. Toddlers normally use walkers, without assistance, from 8 months onwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With mom and dad at Pagudpud. CJ really loves the beach. He really loved the water the last time I took him out for a swim. He kept on splashing sea water and loved it when I partially submerged him. He’s my baby shark alright! 🙂