AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2018: Sharapova to face Angelique Kerber in Rd. 3

Sharapova is to face Angelique Kerber in the third round of the 2018 Australian Open after victories over Tatjana Maria (6-1, 6-4 Rd. 1) and world number 15 Anastasija Sevastova (6-1, 7-6 Rd. 2).

Germany’s Kerber, meanwhile, is on a roll as she chalked her 11th consecutive win for 2018 after beating Donna Vekic (6-4, 6-1 Rd. 2) and would likely be another tough match for Maria Sharapova who still seems to be finding her way since her return nine months ago.

See, though Sharapova if you recall had been fantastic at the recent US Open as she reached the fourth round while beating now world number 1 Simona Halep in the opening round, the farthest that Sharapova has gone in her next tournaments was just the semifinals — well of course, she won a non-grand slam in Tianjin against unseeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus that time. But then, that was just Sharapova’s first WTA title in two years!

In round 2 of this Australian Open, while Sharapova had her moments against Sevastova of having more net points won, the bulk of her points were actually just the result of her winners wherein she had 30 against Sevastova’s six.

Match Summary: Sharapova v Sevastova round 2

Still, if Sharapova wants to get past world number 16 Kerber, she better take note of her unforced errors (31) wherein she was either a little slow to the ball or just had less control over her shots. Regardless if she only made two more double faults than her next opponent Kerber, the German only had 17 unforced errors against Croatia’s Vekic. So, time for your A-game, Maria!

Their third round match will be on January 20 at 4 in the afternoon.

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Review: New Found Burger

Guess what, there’s another burger joint in town! Well, at least in the neighborhood that I am in. And you know what it’s called?

New Found Burger.

Well, new found indeed! And so, I got to the joint and asked about the place. To my surprise, they have in fact existed for around three, four months now. Really? Hmm. I just noticed it like a day or two ago. But after really looking around, well, no wonder — their place is sort of hidden. They may be along the road but not along where the foot traffic is, not where motorists pass.

Could you see the little sign at the far left? And we’re just at the corner street at that

Incidentally, they are just about 50 meters away from the other burger joint that we introduced to you about six months ago — 21 South Burger. Guess New Found Burger is trying to compete against them, huh?! So, we compare.

More spacious

They basically serve the same menu, however, here are their differences.

PRICE. Though 21 South Burger have burgers priced up to P179, New Found is more expensive and that’s comparative to both their ingredients and size. At New Found, I ordered their Cheezy Chezo Burger (P125, their priciest) but this is actually made up of the same stuff as the Classic South Burger (P99, the cheapest) of 21 South Burger.

The Menu

INGREDIENTS. While the ingredients are generally the same with those cheese and fries, New Found though has a little more fries than 21 South Burger — but then, is that what you’re after? Besides, it’s not that much.

Less beefy in taste and just a little more fries compared to their competitor

TASTE. The patty of 21 South Burger is beefier, therefore, more delicious.

FACILITIES. Here is where New Found Burger has the edge if only they fix the broken. One, they got a comfort room. Two, their place is more spacious and restaurant-looking, however, it needs improvement like it’s still bare and lacks some finishing while their aircon can not cool the entire place — and so, they use fans. Also, tho the joint is enclosed with glass windows, thus, more presentable — their door handle is broken. Three, they also got to do some tidying up since a stack of chair is sort of blocking the way to the C.R.. And this goes with cleaning up their tables, like they do not attend to them right away. Four, they got WiFi but then, you could not really connect as they do not know how to fix it. Five, they got an outlet for charging. Six, they got TV, though I do not know if it’s working. And seven, they got parking space.

C.R. to the left

In all, since New Found Burger’s facilities are defective and their food being comparatively pricey, I would then rather go with 21 South Burger which is presently cozier and relatively easier to access in a neighborhood setting.

For people on the go, WiFi and an electric outlet among others is a MUST

In the end, having classier neighborhood food joints has its perks — just wish there would be something like Starbucks, you know. Even a small one.

Music: Welcome to Hell (December 2017)

With all the worms coming out of the cans of many powerful men as of late, an SNL skit or song just came up to address the sexual harassment issue..

Welcome to Hell! Heard of it? Here, just listen and check out the lyrics.

It’s actually kind of cute in using such a playful song to get the attention of the powerful — not just in the entertainment industry but in whatever field they may be in. You know, most of these guys do not really care and are just too busy collaborating and trying to, like, hoard the earth’s wealth and resources that they need something unusual to happen or someone out of the blue just to tell them of the consequences of their actions before they — hopefully — listen, change and start really caring for others.

Certainly, sexual harassment is never good. It’s traumatic. It’s degrading. It’s something that needs to be addressed even before gender equality in the workplace. Why? For this equality propaganda, as in Lean In, is basically about women’s pay and opportunities which, in reality, is only possible for highly connected women. Ordinary women would not be able to truly relate to this — that’s sad and so, another story all together.

Meanwhile, sexual harassment is an issue that most every woman on earth could be at risk of. From the streets to public transports to the workplace and to just about anywhere; and where these ‘habitual predators’ come in the form of a drunk, an addict, a pervert or yes, a powerful entity. So, thanks to the brave who came out, this could now be the start of a long but positive battle.

In the end, we are not really surprised that this kind of harassment has been happening since time immemorial but what we’re surprised of though is — at this time and ‘liberal’ age?? Sure, we are only human and biological needs are understandable — that’s why, get married or just keep things to yourself!

Fornication as well as orgies have been around even before we knew the term ‘sexual harassment’ — and they are all NOT good for the soul. (Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS)

Hmm. If only for sin, how about addressing fornication as well? Rom. 1:29,32

Review: Justice League (2017)

Well, it’s still showing. Justice League that is. And presumably most DC fans must have watched it already — what with the gathering of six of your favorite superheroes in Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman, the Flash and of course, Superman!

But did you know that the movie needs to gross between $600 to 750M just to break even?? As of this writing, it has already made $485M. Could they make it? Sometimes, trailers gives us that sign. So, let’s see.

The Synopsis. Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes — Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash — it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Justice League: The Super Friends

Hmm. Sounds like an ordinary superhero movie actually, don’t you think? Like, recruiting those with super powers or talents, meeting resistance then realizing the gravity of the situation before finally agreeing to take part in the fight against world domination by some sick alien or so.

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Aquaman: With his control of the ocean and its creatures, he could be the most interesting superhero for DC

And that perhaps is the first reason why Justice League is below expectations. Save for Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman — the other 3 members are not really known particularly to non-DC diehards. As in if only the producers did not rush its film production, instead, made way for movies that would introduce the 3 ‘new’ superheroes first — independent of each other that is — then there would have been an emotional build up towards this film. Like, imagination would then run wild with excitement just thinking of the super friends’ formation! What more if even Green Lantern was included??

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Newcomers: The Flash (L) and Cyborg (R)

Second. Didn’t Superman just take so long to return? I mean, more than the way he came back to life, like he actually returned to action just when the movie was about to end. As in during the ‘final battle’ already. It’s like the movie tried to kill him off through amnesia. This is not really good since it’s like saying he’s not the beacon of hope that he used to be, instead, made us scratch our heads in the kind of complex plot that resulted. You know, Batman became the lead here but he still needed Superman whom he had huge differences with to beat Steppenwolf and those countless parademons. See, if Superman was really important then they should have given some scenes where Batman and Superman would makeup instead of just calling Lois Lane to help Clark Kent remember who he is. After all, the film is not about the ‘Man of Steel’ alone but of a group of superheroes.

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The Cast: Notice the ‘bearded’ rivals — Batman (Ben Affleck, C) and Superman (Henry Cavill, R)

Oh, enough of that Henry Cavill’s moustache teasing or Ben Affleck’s on-and-off portrayal of Batman. What’s really sort of pitiful though is the role of the Flash. Hey, did they just turn him into some ‘weakling’ just to get the laughs? That’s the third thing. It’s like even before these 3 newbies could make their own mark, they were already misrepresented. Aquaman even feels so comfortable fighting high up in the air?!

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More impactful if Aquaman fought in his territory, the ocean

Okay, while the chemistry between the cast was good, the switching storylines of a thousand years past and the present only confused observers about the production. For one, how could the unified army gather just like that?

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Moral Compass: It’s always good to have Wonder Woman around, she just balances the Xs and Os

Finally, the CGI monster was not really an impressive creation for a $300M budget movie, it’s like he was just all fire. Along with the parademons, they looked like they were just plucked out of a video game. Also, perhaps the timing was just a little bad; coming off Ragnarok, the film’s release just saturated the movie world with superheroes. Ey, if not for Wonder Woman’s charm, this movie would have taken a meltdown.

K-Drama Review: While You Were Sleeping (2017)

Sounds familiar? Indeed. Guess many of you may have already seen the Sandra Bullock starrer back in 1995. Then again, that was a romantic-comedy film. And what we have now is a compelling Korean drama which incidentally just ended last November 16.

Well, this TV series that began last September 27 and starred Lee Jong Suk (a.k.a. Jae Chan) and Bae Suzy (a.k.a. Hong Joo) had a real good script which was basically about a lady reporter (Hong Joo) who could tell future events through her dreams and a prosecutor (Jae Chan) who is bent on stopping those ‘bad’ dreams from coming true and of course, solving those cases. Together they form a formidable duo filled with drama and romance.

Lee Jong Suk still needs more crying practice

Exciting? You bet.

The characters were cool especially Hong Joo, though the lead stars need a little more practice on how to cry naturally. Meanwhile, the romantic meetings between Suzy and Jong Suk brought in tingles. Still, while many could learn something ‘new’ (like, color-blind people are disqualified from police service), there were some scenes that were a little questionable — like, when Hong Joo was tasked to report on the daily routine of prosecutors. Hey, Hee Min (Ko Sung Hee) was just a bit too flirtish there! Also, how come Jae Chan could move so normally so soon when he even got discharged just a day or two after being shot?

The Cast of ‘While You Were Sleeping’

And tell you, the final episodes were just quite lengthy. Like, it became kind of boring already as they went about their regular lives after Lee Yoo Beom (Lee Sang Yeob) was sentenced. The drama could have ended much earlier even with just a few scenes of getting back to a normal and sweet life.

Just one of those nice scenes. Great cinematography.

In the end, we could only confirm that being upright is no guarantee to success as most lawyers would really try to manipulate truth itself just to win their cases. Power of money? Well.. that’s why money and God do not mix — Matthew 6:24; 7:21; 19:20-22 — no matter what anyone says.

2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers: Gilas Pilipinas Lineup

If you are still unaware, Gilas Pilipinas has already released its 23-man pool where they would select their final roster that would compete in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers (Asia) against Japan on November 24 and Chinese Taipei on November 27 of this year.

And as expected many did also have their own say on whom they would wish for the Final 12 — in which we actually considered 9 of their choices, namely: Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, RR Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Raymond Almazan, and Japeth Aguilar while dropping out June Mar Fajardo, Kiefer Ravena and Calvin Abueva.

Why?

While it’s good to have Blatche back, consider excluding Fajardo

While Fajardo is a tall and talented 4-time PBA MVP — this basketball-loving country just has to accept that he is slow for international competitions. Maybe he could be useful against less talented teams but against much better ones, they could just play small ball to Gilas’ demise if Fajardo is on the floor.

Okay, Ravena may have lots of international experience — then again, those were just against fellow southeast Asians, weaker opponents or just in 3-on-3 tourneys — but just like Fajardo, he’s pretty slow. In fact, he’s interestingly slow for a player of his height. Comparing him to 6-foot players back then — Samboy Lim has some hang time which makes him tough to defend while his father, Bong Ravena, was quicker and more athletic than he was. With that, Kiefer’s attacks that were effective against most competition he has faced would, more often than not, find its way to the hoop only through luck especially against Australia whom they are also grouped with.

Gilas is scheduled to play Patty Mills and the Australians on 22 February 2018

Now, Calvin Abueva. Despite his years in playing the game, he is still like awkward — he’s even got poor free-throw shooting; and the only thing that’s actually carrying him in the game is his rough style which suits the Filipino audience but surely not outside the country. Still, if only to choose between him and Ravena, he’d be a better choice since he’s a little taller while his roughness could somehow scare the opponents.

Asian Groupings: 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

In the end, to achieve some measure of success, Gilas should learn to adapt to the international brand of play which is about speed and perimeter shooting more than post presence. And don’t forget defense. These then should be the guide in finalizing their lineup.

Movie Review: Noah (2014)

It’s been 3 years already and surely, many of you must have heretofore seen the movie Noah — what with the said Biblical epic almost tripling its box office returns against its budget! Still, it’s too controversial that it needs something like a follow-up, or some kind of reminder to humanity.

Their Synopsis. When God decides that mankind has become too sinful and must be wiped off the Earth, he chooses Noah (Russell Crowe), a pious man, for a great task. Noah must build an ark large enough to hold his wife (Jennifer Connelly), adopted daughter (Emma Watson), sons (Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Leo McHugh Carroll) and their wives — plus breeding pairs of every animal. When the task is completed, Noah and his family witness God’s wrath in the form of an apocalyptic flood.

Well, nothing’s wrong with the synopsis really. It’s what’s in the Bible save for one — there’s no mention of an adopted daughter but wives for each of them. Hence, what’s wrong is that writer, director and producer Darren Aronofsky did not really follow it — instead, he messed up the story! My, there’s just so many errors that this review would end up like a series just for us to tackle them all! And so, we decided to just go through some of the more glaring, otherwise, spiritually ‘endangering’ ones.

Noah’s family — simply erroneous

But before that, if you have read or heard of most of the reviews even during the film’s release, many of them in fact sang praises for the supposed artistry in Aronofsky. Like, he brought to life a timeless tale to fit the modern day.

What? Tale?? Sounds like God should not really be taken seriously that even a ‘modern day’ version could be adapted! Hey, even the Bible says, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb 13:8) This means, God’s laws of yesterday still applies today and even tomorrow. It has never changed, never will. Else, there would have been 3 books — Old Testament, New Testament and Modern Testament. See? It’s man who only says he’s got a personal relationship with God — but then chooses to go with ‘modern day’ as some alibi to suit his perversion. As Jesus says, woe to you!

The ark design makes sense since there were no modern tools at that time and God only provided measurements to go with the kind of wood to be used

Anyway, the only thing Biblical in this film is the flood! Everything else, wrong. Basically. Read from Genesis chapter 6 and onwards.

  • The Bible did NOT mention that stone watchers or fallen angels helped build the ark. It was just Noah and his family who worked on it.
  • The Bible did NOT mention any violence or of preventing people to enter the ark — tho logic tells us that there could have been wailing during the flood.
  • NO ONE ELSE except Noah’s family along with the pairs of animals entered the ark before the flood. However, as we saw in the film, there was one who did; and even sparked hatred and betrayal between Ham and Noah?!
  • Noah’s family INCLUDES his wife, his 3 sons and their wives. Or 8 in all. In the film, only Noah and Shem had a wife, Ham doesn’t which made him leave the ark to look for one that Noah did not even approve of. Meanwhile, Japeth is not even an adult yet? Wow, look what messing up with the ‘roots’ bring!
  • Tho Methuselah died in the same year as the flood, there is NOTHING in the Bible that says he died during the flood which would have made him like an unbeliever. If so, this explains Methuselah’s supposed witchcraft in the film where he healed the ‘barren’ (??) wife of Shem. Else, he could have been the last believer outside of Noah and his family — where his ‘natural’ death was the final sign before the flood. Do NOT be confused — speculation only.
  • Most of all, Noah was NOT something like an uncaring, ‘mad man’ who even tried to kill his family as he ‘misunderstood’ (??) the command of God.

POSITIVES 

Stone watcher giants — quite misleading

The cast played their roles well while the graphics were okay except for the stone watchers who looked like a joke. Meanwhile, the narration on the fall of Adam and Eve onto the multiplication and division of man through Cain and Seth were adequate. And if only the plot was not taken from the Bible, yes, it was creative; there were twists that it showed the good and dark side of a ‘chosen one’, who’s after all, still human.

NEGATIVES 

Noah, the rebel, and Methuselah

Did Hollywood run out of stories when they thought of filming Noah and so turning it into the ‘Lord of the Rings’? Remember, when it comes to the Bible — NEVER change anything. Do as it says, and if ever you want to insert your creativity — tinker with graphics but NEVER the story.

Your soul — and the souls of weak faith — are at stake here, so do it right.