Monday, February 28, 2011

My War Movie Collection

One of my favourite hobbies is collecting War and Historical Movies (mainly, war movies). Particularly, movies about the Second World War and Vietnam War.

This is the list of my War Movie Collections (I will be updating this collection whenever I get a new one).

War Movies:

Other War Movies*:
[*] Not in modern war setting

[**] Philippine-made war movies

Check Out:

Friday, February 25, 2011

People Power and Elite Democracy in the Philippines


This is one of the most viewed entries from my old defunct blog. I decided to move this entry here. I modified it to suit the date. Some of the terms used in this research paper might offend some Filipino readers (both pro-Marcos and pro-Aquino) but those terms are quite common in the academics. I tried my best to be neutral as much as possible on this one but its hard to be neutral when you are a Filipino writing about your own country.

My views about the People Power Revolution have changed over time. The more I read about this People Power phenomenon from different authors from around the world the more I realize how deceiving the Philippine educational system and why many Filipinos still hasn't move on since that very day.

Anyway, the quotes (from academic scholars and authors) I used in this research paper will be in italics.

Please read the whole article before you start complaining about why EDSA this, EDSA that.



Today is 25th anniversary (February 25) of the fourth and final day of the so-called “People Power Revolution”. Though, in my opinion, the four-day revolution is no revolution at all but rather an uprising since it never change the Philippine society and it remain as it was before 1972 or during the semi-authoritarian government of Ferdinand Marcos.

About three years ago, I took a Political Science paper about Nationalism and Democracy in Southeast Asia. One of the requirements was to write a research paper about a political event in a country of my choice. Of course, as a Filipino, I choose the Philippines and picked the “People Power Uprising”.

Here is the question I came up with: How did the success of the people’s power uprising help change Philippine society? Did the uprising help return the political power to the traditional elites?

I got a pretty good mark on this paper and though, it ain’t that perfect but its all worth it. I notice some mistakes after reading it for the first time in three years since I submitted the paper but I intend to leave it as it was. I also notice that I didn’t exactly answered my own question. Also, I don't know where to put the footnotes here, so I decided to put the sources at the end of the research paper instead. Anyways, here is the paper.

“People Power and Elite Democracy in the Philippines”
In February 1986, the combined forces of the military and the civil society, known as the people’s power uprising, ousted the dictatorial government of Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, who ruled the Philippines for 20 years. This phenomenon of people power have a huge impact to the Philippine society as the people began to raise their voices demanding more reforms but despite the success, the traditional elites reassert themselves back to power through the Presidency of Corazon Aquino. In this research paper, I am going to talk about how the uprising had just pass the political power from one group of elites to another and how the Filipino society remained unchanged from pre-Martial Law era despite the success of the so-called Philippine People Power Revolution.
The people’s power uprising help restore democracy in the Philippines and democratic system was re-introduced but despite the hype, Philippine democracy remained dormant and the Aquino regime were not interested to overhaul and reform the current system. The reason for this was that Corazon Aquino herself was part of the traditional landed elites and she partly owed her rise to power from the anti-Marcos elites, whom the dictator dismantled during the Martial Law era. According to Sheila S. Coronel, “Corazon Aquino, née Cojuangco, a direct descendant of the old oligarchy, in the end remained loyal to her family, her friends, and her class. Her government restored the oligarchy, including her kin, to the traditional cradle of its rule: a noisy, perennially wrangling Congress.” Stanley Karnow added that, “Cory was not a revolutionary determined to renovate the society from top to bottom. Essentially conservative, as befit a member of her class, she sought to resurrect the institutions dismantled by Marcos rather than construct a new system. In the process, she revived the old dynasties he had dispossessed, including her own family, and they jockeyed to regain their former positions of privilege.” Thus, the rise of Corazon Aquino to presidency and the success of the people’s power uprising signals the return of the traditional elites and this time competing with the pro-Marcos elites. Aquino restored the old order that started back to the American era. 
The contemporary Philippine politics, where powerful traditional elites dominate, traced its origin from the American colonial era when American colonial government sought to assimilate Filipino leaders to help run the country. The Americans relied to the local elites in governing the masses and running the bureaucracy, in exchange the Filipino landed elites took this kind of opportunity and used it to advance their wealth, and to gain political power. According to Sheila S. Coronel, “American officials were already coddling a native elite that was to prosper under Washington’s patronage. The sons of these elite were tutored in the art of governance by Americans who wanted to create a Pacific showcase for U.S.-style democracy.” Coronel added that, “Since 1907, a landed elite has relied on state resources and American support to sustain its rule, securing its dominance of local and national elective posts by dispensing patronage.” Niels Mulder added that, “Because of American dependence on the cooperation of the local elites, the latter acquired a good measure of the political power with which they could strengthen their hold on the political economy; soon they came to see the country as their private preserve.” Thus, the elites, who were the first of the natives to collaborate with the Americans, were able to establish themselves in dominating Philippine politics right from the start.
Post-war Philippine politics, after independence, was a continuation of the Commonwealth politics. However, unlike the Commonwealth era, where the most dominant and influential leader (Manuel Quezon) dominates the pre-war politics through patronage and nepotism, the political power in the post-war period was competed or shared between the elites or by their puppets. In addition, traditional elites continued to dominate the bicameral Congress of the Philippines and made sure they were able to cement their power and influence. Their political dominance questioned the democratic system claimed by these so-called leaders and that the Congress never represents the interests of the majority. According to Viberto Selochan, “The small elite who controlled the political process realized that each party would have its turn in government. The Nacionalista and the Liberal parties, which differed little ideologically, dominated politics, and politicians switched parties to gain office. But the democratic system that developed did not represent the majority of the population.” People power uprising restored this Philippine-style of democracy where the local, regional and national politics are dominated by these so-called elites. Thus, Philippine society destined to remain unchanged, after the people’s power uprising, because of the restored dominance of these powerful political and economic elites. Their dominance caused discontent among the masses and the military establishment.
Alan T. Wood points out that, “On the surface, therefore, Philippine democracy appears successful. It is only by looking more deeply that the serious limitations begin to appear.” On this, he was right, democracy in the Philippines failed right from the beginning and displeasure from the other elements of the society, such as the military, bound to threaten the old order. Most of the Philippine presidents from the American period to the independence, from the independence to the declaration of Martial Law and from the Martial Law era to the people’s power republic, were part or at least associated with the traditional elites. Though directly elected to the top, most of them were bound to break their promises and they never represented the interests of the majority. Most are members of powerful political dynasties (Osmeña, Roxas, Laurel, Marcos, Aquino) or at least bound to start their own dynasties (Magsaysay, Macapagal, Estrada), and this is just at the national level. Most of them appointed members of their own class and many of those appointees were able to hold higher positions, in Philippine bureaucracy and polity, without merits. Such habit of patronage and nepotism caused discontents within the ranks of the military. Many military officers served the government of Ramon Magsaysay in the 1950s and subsequently or partly emulated, by Presidents Ferdinand Marcos, Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. However, their appointments to government positions cut shorts by the time their political patron (as in the President who appointed them) finished their term, political appointees from the traditional elites replaced them. Their disappointment and their experience leads them to a belief that they, in the military, can run the government more properly than the traditional politicians and their clans, and that democracy in the Philippines did not represent the majority of the Filipino people. Viberto Selochan points out that. “Some officers also believed that these civilians had achieved their positions as a result of political patronage rather than merit.” Selochan added that, “Democracy in the Philippines, according to many of these officers, benefited the elite who controlled the political process. The majority of Filipinos, they argued, did not understand the concept of democracy; for them it meant being paid to vote for a candidate at elections.” Their discontent has lead to several military coup attempts in the late 80s and the first decade of the Twenty-First Century. Thus, the military’s discontent can undermined the so-called elite democracy and the continuing dominance of the elites belittled the success of the people’s power.
In the local and regional level, political elite clans competed for local positions from Councillors to Mayors and from Congressmen to Governors, while others aspired for a seat in the Senate. Before, during and after Martial Law, most of these elite politicians went as far as assassinations, briberies, patronage and nepotism, in order to be elected. Sheila S. Coronel points out that, “The elite has done little but undermine confidence in democratic processes. To elite factions, democracy means no more than the struggle for political domination through elections fought with violence and patronage.” The elite dominated bicameral congress, the House of Senate and the House of Representatives, blocked any attempt of land reforms and favoured their class interest over the majority of the population. According to Walden Bello, “While favouring the restoration of formal democracy, the elite reformists retain a strong interest in maintaining the country’s landlord-dominated semi-feudal agrarian structure and keeping the economy structurally tied to the US.” Alan T. Wood added that, “Since the members of the Senate are largely drawn from the influential families, they are unlikely to support reform efforts that would undermine their own power and status.” Stanley Karnow also added that, “elections are actually contests between rival clans, and the “showcase of democracy” is a façade that only transparently conceals the rule of an elite that has consistently refused to surrender its privileges.” Coronel also added that, “Since the 1950s, land reform has been viewed as the key to rural productivity and national prosperity. But reform has been repeatedly blocked by elite-controlled legislatures or by presidents who owe their office to landlord patrons.” Thus, the return of the elites has remained one of the biggest factors that halted development and changes in the Philippine society.
Philippine society remained unchanged, largely because of the continuing dominance of the traditional elites and that the myth of the Philippine democracy. The people’s power uprising in February 1986 help restored democracy in the Philippines and along with it was the traditional elites return to power. Despite the hype of the success of the people power and the restoration of democracy, according to Sheila S. Coronel, “The Uprising did not break with the past: In that respect, February 1986 was not a revolution but a restoration, not a revolt against history but a reaffirmation of its continued hold over the Filipino people.” Walden Bello added that, “Despite the unrestrained use of the word ‘revolution’ by Aquino partisans, who took place in those glorious February days was not a revolution but essentially a transfer of power from one faction of the Philippine elite to another.” The majority of the Filipino people are delusion with the belief of and misunderstood the word of “democracy” and the elites exploited such ignorance to get themselves to office and access to public funds. Niels Mulder points out in his article on how Filipinos perceived themselves in the public,  “‘The Filipinos have developed a somewhat confused concept of this thing called democracy... most Filipinos believe that when you have freedom of speech and of the press, freedom of worships and periodic elections, the requirements of democracy are substantially complied with.’ Therefore: ‘Our problem is that we regard politics and government as a spectator sport. We simply cheer and condemn, while the politicians and officials provide the entertainment’; ‘What we have is a fiesta democracy’, or, more to the point, ‘Do we have democracy? What we have is skull and bones dressed up to look like Glorietta’; ‘We... spending money on fraudulent elections and referendums, outright stealing and expensive junkets.’” Thus, despite the success of the people’s power uprising, the myth of democracy continues to halt social and economic progress amongst the majority of the Filipino people.
Democracy in the Philippines after the people’s power uprising benefited the elites more than the majority. The majority of the people have little chance to gain political power and if they do, the elites made sure to limit their influence or attempts for reforms. Alan T. Wood points out that, “The first weakness is lack of access to positions of power by the vast majority of the population. Most of the power in the Philippines is concentrated in the hands of a small number of families who own the bulk of the land in the countryside and who control most of the political power and patronage in the country as a whole.” The failure of the people’s power to bring change were proven in 1987 election, “The first national election under the 1987 Constitution shows similarities to the pre-Marcos era where many elected candidates were former elected officials, relatives of powerful political families and/or members of the powerful economic elite.” The Philippine democratic culture and society remained unchanged, and continuing dominance of the traditional elites will always halted the progress of the vast majority of the Filipino people. Stanley Karnow summed up the Filipino society that, “Despite its modern trappings, it was still a feudal society dominated by an oligarchy of rich dynasties, which had evolved from one of the world’s longest continuous spans of Western imperial rule.” In addition, “The late Ninoy Aquino, himself, describes the Philippines as a land of traumatic contrasts, a land in which few are spectacularly rich while the masses remain abjectly poor. The Philippines is a land where freedom and its blessings are a reality for the minority and an illusion for the many. The Philippines is a land consecrated to democracy but run by an entrenched plutocracy. The Philippines is a land of privilege and rank - a republic dedicated to equality but mired in an archaic system of caste.... While the Filipinos were depressed and dispirited without purpose and without discipline, sapped of confidence, hope and will. Filipinos profess love of country, but love themselves - individually - more.” Overall, “The political culture in the Philippines, in terms of its commitment to democracy, is mixed. On the other hand there is a strong popular faith in the justice of democratic institutions that was manifested in the People’s Power movement that overthrew Ferdinand Marcos. On the other hand, the Spanish legacy of local ‘family power,’ the stifling and corrupt bureaucracy of government, the lack of competition among industries, the inability of the ruling elite to put the public interest above their private profit, all undermine the public’s confidence in democracy.”
The success of the people’s power uprising in February 1986, failed to deliver its hope of changing Philippine society from the past but instead elite dominance was restored and the majority’s interests were ignored. The ouster of Ferdinand Marcos and the rise of Corazon Aquino symbolize the transfer of power from one-group elite to another. The myths of the Philippine democracy will always delusion the people because of those in power have the lacked of will to impose reforms but instead took advantage of their positions in local, regional and national level. However, many of the blames goes to the corrupt elite politicians but the masses also have to share the blame because they let themselves to be exploited and to be corrupted in a society that is already corrupt from top to bottom. Overall, the people’s power uprising, though it brought hope to many, but it failed to deliver radical changes in the Philippine society.
  • Bello, Walden, 1986, ‘Aquino’s Elite Populism: Initial Reflections’, Third World Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 1020-1030, Retrieved 26 August, 2008, from
  • Coronel, Sheila S., 1991, ‘Dateline Philippines: The Lost Revolution’, Foreign Policy, No. 84 (Autumn, 1991), pp. 166-185, Retrieved 26 August, 2008, from
  • Karnow, Stanley, In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines, (New York: Random House, 1989)
  • Mulder, Niels, ‘This God-Forsaken Country’: Filipino Images of the Nation, in Asia Forms of the Nations, ed. Stein Tønnesson and Hans Antlöv (Richmond: Curzon Press, 1996), pp. 181-204
  • Selochan, Viberto, ‘The Military and the Fragile Democracy of the Philippines’, in The Military and Democracy in Asia and the Pacific, ed. R.J. May and Viberto Selochan (Bathurst: Crawford House Publishing and London: C. Hurst and Co., 1998), pp. 59-68
  • Wood, Alan T., Asian Democracy in World History, (New York and London: Routledge, 2004)
25 Years since EDSA: Are we better off since? Are people still blind or high about the people power phenomenon that they expect yellow miracles to do the change for them? Gising Pilipinas, time to open a New Chapter!
Check Out:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Christchurch Quakes (22 February 2011)

[UPDATED as of March 01, 2011]

Well, an earthquake hit Christchurch once again and I am sure it was a separate earthquake (not an aftershock) to the Big One on September 4, 2010. The new quake was a Magnitude 6.3 on the Richter Scale and we got several aftershocks that followed. Right now, there are about 200 people still trapped in some collapsed buildings and is reported that there are serious fatalities (166 death toll and 200 people in grave concerns).

I am lucky to live in a Christchurch suburban area but still scary. My heart  and condolence to the family of those who perished.

Anyway, Christchurch's symbol and landmark the Cathedral collapsed today along with the heart of the city. If the government plans to rebuild the Christchurch Cathedral, it’s a good opportunity to build along with it a memorial for those who perished in today’s earthquake and aftershocks.
The Christchurch Cathedral (the symbol of the city)

From my brother's iPhone:

"Roses are red, chalice is blue,
The Cathedral has fallen many buildings too.
You can rattle our bones, you can rip streets apart,
But you will never defeat our red and black hearts!
For we are Cantabrians and together we know,
We stand tall together against anything - we can regrow."

Add this to your Blog and Facebook wall to remember those who have fallen and to remind us all stand tall 22/02/2011

Check Out:

Previous Blog Entries:

People Power: A Definition

February 22, 2010 is the 25th Anniversary of the first of the four-day people’s power uprising in the Philippines. The uprising spontaneously started through a failed military coup but for 25 years since the overhyped revolution did the military coup really failed?

One of my political science lecturers once asked: “Define people power?”

In the Philippines, Filipinos will immediately recall the event in 1986 that ousted Ferdinand Marcos. Many defined people power as a series of nonviolent and prayerful mass street demonstrations. Outside the Philippines, people power is nonviolent mass-based revolutions that ended the Cold War and brought democracy to Eastern Europe. Some scholars attributed the uprising in the Philippines as instrumental in inspiring subsequent nonviolent revolutions from the late 1980s to early 2000s.

Of course, there are different types of people power. The 1986 people power’s uprising in Manila was basically standing in the streets waiting for a miracle and the real action was the tag-of-war (who can recruit more officers and soldiers) between two most powerful generals in the Armed Forces. Another form of people power is the active mass demonstration where the people willing to clash with the authority. The EDSA Tres (a.k.a. People Power III) in May 2001 was a perfect example of that form of people power. The EDSA Dos (a.k.a. People Power II), on the other hand, was a mixed version of the original and the new form of people power. 

Anyway, EDSA Tres’ version of people power also happened (since 2006) in Myanmar, Thailand, Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain where the people willing to clash with the authorities or the authorities (military or police) are involved in suppressing the mass demonstration. Some failed (e.g. Myanmar, Thailand) while others succeed (Tunisia, Egypt).

Let's go back to my lecturer’s question: “Define people power?”

I defined people power as a combination of a military coup and civil disobedience. The 1986 uprising and the ouster of Estrada in 2001 are the examples of that definition. Without the military, those two events are just another mass protest and of course, without the people it is just another military coup. We have seen thousands of mass protests in the Philippines since February 1986 and many of those attempts to emulate people power yet they all failed. We also seen several military coup attempts after EDSA and yes they all failed as well. Yet when we combined both mass protests and military coup it succeeded in January 2001 just as it succeeded in February 1986. The only difference between the two events was that in 1986, the military needed the people while in 2006; the people needed the military to topple the leader.

Somehow, many Filipinos today, from historians to even participants downplayed the vital role of the military in people’s power uprising in order to glorify certain individuals and covering up the restoration of the old oligarchy. In Philippine history textbooks today, the main hero of the 1986 uprising (to some the only hero) was the housewife who only turn up in EDSA after the majority of the military swung their support to the Ramos faction. She then restored not just a very flawed democracy but also her own social class (the political landowning elites) back to power instead of creating a completely new system.

The events in February 1986 are still celebrated today by many Filipinos who are still blinded by the yellow ribbon. In fact, they even elected the son of the housewife to the presidency using her and her husband’s legacies as enough merit in electing the current president.

Anyway, did that military coup attempt in 1986 really failed?

The answer is NO. It did not.

General Fabian Ver and General Fidel Ramos
Prior to 1986, the Philippine military was divided into separate factions and cliques. One obvious division was the rivalry of two powerful generals, General Fabian Ver and General Fidel Ramos. Both are Marcos cousins and both personified the division in the military between the reserved officers (ROTC) and the professional soldiers (academy graduates). Ver was an ROTC-commissioned officer who rose through the ranks of the military through political patronage and personal loyalty to Ferdinand Marcos. Ramos, on the other hand, was a West Point (USMA) graduate, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars; he trained and created elite military units such as the Philippine Army’s Special Forces and the Philippine Constabulary’s Special Action Force.

The division leads to factionalism in the military, junior officers began forming their own cliques in the armed forces. The most prominent was the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM); compose of junior officers (academy graduates). Another group was the Guardian Brotherhood, composed of enlisted men and non-commissioned officers. Along with the emergence of factionalism in the military is military adventurism.

In 1983, General Ramos and his protégé Colonel Renato De Villa created the Philippine Constabulary Special Action Force, the only military unit directly under the control of Ramos after his rival General Ver re-structured the entire Philippine Constabulary into regional commands. The moved weakened Ramos control over the Constabulary service in attempt by Ver to reduced his rival’s influence in the military. Throughout the 1980s, Marcos was sick and weakened by his kidney surgery, and some officers in the military feared that General Ver and First Lady Imelda Marcos might takeover Malacanang once the President died. As a result, General Ramos and his officers designed a coup plot, known as the “Exercise Ligtas Isla”. The plot will only be operational once Ver and the First Lady takeover the leadership.

At the same time, a group of junior officers associated to Ramos and Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile formed the Reformed the Armed Forces Movement (RAM). The group demands reforms and restoration of professionalism in the Armed Forces. Many of the junior officers are academy graduates who spent a big deal of their careers facing the brunt of communists and Moro insurgencies. Many of them were prevented from promotion because of the promotion blockage from the overstaying generals and the favoritism of reservist officers. After the assassination of Ninoy Aquino, the group decided that the problem is Marcos and that reform and professionalism will not happen as long as Marcos is in Malacanang. The RAM officers then plotted their own coup against Marcos and plan to set up a military junta with Enrile as the country’s president. The plot was set to take place at the end of 1985 but was postponed after Marcos announced a Snap Election.

After the announcement of the snap election, the RAM officers decided to launch the coup after the election. However, on February 22, 1986, General Ver and his men discovered the plot and coup plotters were forced to announced their defection from the Marcos government. When the Archbishop of Manila calls for the people to go to EDSA and protect the military rebels, thus combining an open military mutiny with the already existing civil disobedience it becomes people power. The military coup failed at first but it did succeed at the end with the help of the people not because of a woman in a yellow dress.

Next: “People Power and Elite Democracy in the Philippines”

Check Out:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Crusaders in the 2011 Super 15 Rugby

Well, Super Rugby is here again and with the Rugby World Cup just around the corner, time to gear up and support the Crusaders in the Super 15 Rugby, home to bone crunching, head smashing, eye-gouging hardcore rugby.

The Crusaders are marching for their 16th Crusade in Super Rugby competition and the Red-and-Black machine will be looking forward to win their eighth Super Rugby title. The Canterbury dynasty will be one of the favourites to win the newly formatted Super 15 competition.

The new format put the Crusaders in the New Zealand Conference and will be facing all other New Zealand franchises twice this year in a home and away internal conference matches. They will only play against four Australian and four South African franchises in cross-conference matches. Thus, the Crusaders will miss out on one team from the Australian Conference and one team from the South African Conference.

The squad for the 2011 season:

- Nicholas Barrett
- Wyatt Crockett
- Ben Franks
- Owen Franks
- Andrew Olorenshaw

- Corey Flynn
- David Hall
- Quentin MacDonald

- Chris Jack
- Luke Romano
- Brad Thorn
- Sam Whitelock
- Reuben Thorne

Loose Forwards
- Richie McCaw (c)
- Jonathan Poff
- Matt Todd
- Kieran Read
- Joe Wheeler
- George Whitelock

Half Backs
- Andrew Ellis
- Kahn Fotuali'i
- Willi Heinz

Fly Halfs
- Matt Berquist
- Tyler Bleyendaal
- Dan Carter

- Ryan Crotty
- Robert Fruean
- Tom Marshall
- Sonny Bill Williams

- Zac Guildford
- Sean Maitland
- Adam Whitelock

Full Backs
- Israel Dagg

2011 Wider Training Group:

Steve Alfeld (Academy) - Scrum Half
Codie Taylor (Academy) - Hooker
Sam Prattley (Academy) - Prop
Brendon O'Connor (Academy) - Flanker
Luke Whitelock (Academy) - Flanker
Tom Taylor (Academy) - Centre
Dominic Bird (Academy) - 2nd Row
Tu Umaga-Marshall (Academy) -Wing

Coach: Todd Blackadder

[italic bold] key players

Home Stadiums:
  • AMI Stadium (Christchurch, New Zealand)* [formerly known as the Lancaster Park/Jade Stadium]
  • Trafalgar Park (Nelson, New Zealand)
  • Alpine Energy Stadium (Timaru, New Zealand) 

[*] Due to the damages caused by the Christchurch Quakes (February 22, 2011) to AMI Stadium, the Crusaders will no longer used the facility for the rest of the 2011 Super Rugby season.

    Crusaders Schedule (Fixtures):

    Round 1 (February 19): Blues 24 vs. 22 Crusaders [Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand] L [highlights]
    Round 2 (February 26): Hurricanes 0 vs. 0 Crusaders [Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand] D [game cancelled]*
    Round 3 (March 4): Crusaders 33 vs. 18 Waratahs [Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand] W [full game]
    Round 4 (March 11): Crusaders 52 vs. 10 Brumbies [Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand] W [highlights]
    Round 5 (March 19): Highlanders 13 vs. 44 Crusaders [Carisbrook, Dunedin, New Zealand] W [highlights]
    Round 6 (March 25): Crusaders 44 vs. 28 Sharks [Twickenham Stadium, London, England, United Kingdom] W [highlights]
    Round 7: -BYE-
    Round 8 (April 9): Crusaders 27 vs. 0 Bulls [Alpine Energy Stadium, Timaru, New Zealand] W [highlights]
    Round 9 (April 15): Chiefs 16 vs. 34 Crusaders [Baypark Stadium, Mt. Maunganui, New Zealand] W [highlights]
    Round 10 (April 23): Crusaders 18 vs. 26 Highlanders [Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand] L [highlights]
    Round 11 (April 30): Western Force 30 vs. 42 Crusaders [Nib Stadium, Perth, Australia] W [highlights]
    Round 12 (May 7): Stormers 14 vs. 20 Crusaders [DHL Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa] W [highlights]
    Round 13 (May 14): Cheetahs 33 vs. 20 Crusaders [Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein, South Africa] L [highlights]
    Round 14 (May 21): Crusaders 25 vs. 19 Chiefs [McLean Park, Napier, New Zealand] W [highlights]
    Round 15 (May 29): Reds 17 vs. 16 Crusaders [Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia] L [highlights/extra]
    Round 16: -BYE-
    Round 17 (June 11): Crusaders 23 vs. 16 Blues [Alpine Energy Stadium, Timaru, New Zealand] W [highlights]
    Round 18 (June 18): Crusaders 16 vs. 9 Hurricanes [Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand] W [highlights]

    2011 Super Rugby Regular Season Record: 11-4-1
    [W] - Win
    [D] - Draw
    [L] - Loss
    [*] Due to the Christchurch Quakes (February 22, 2011), the Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Crusaders was cancelled. All of the Crusaders players, team management, staff and board members have been directly affected by the earthquakes and aftershocks. The match was declared by SANZAR a draw with both teams earning 2 points each in the points table.


    The Crusaders finished the 2011 Super XV Rugby as the New Zealand Conference champions and third in the overall standing. The New Zealand champions advance to the semi-finals for the tenth season in a row after defeating the Sharks in the first round of the play-offs.

    Play-off Schedule (Fixtures):

    Qualifiers (June 25): Crusaders 36 vs. 8 Sharks [Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand] W [highlights]
    Semi-finals (July 2): Stormers 10  vs. 29 Crusaders [DHL Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa] W [highlights]
    Finals (July 9): Reds 18 vs. 13 Crusaders [Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia] [highlights]
    2011 Super Rugby Play-off Record: 2-1-0


    Crusaders’ Record in Super Rugby:

    1996: 12th place
    1997: 6th place
    1998: champions
    1999: champions
    2000: champions
    2001: 10th place
    2002: champions (unbeaten)
    2003: finalists
    2004: finalists
    2005: champions
    2006: champions
    2007: 3rd place (semi-finalists)
    2008: champions
    2009: 4th place (semi-finalists)
    2010: 4th place (semi-finalists)
    2011: New Zealand Conference champions, finalists (3rd place overall)

    Crusaders Legends (too many to mention):
    • Reuben Thorne
    • Andrew Mehrtens
    • Justin Marshall
    • Todd Blackadder
    • Aaron Mauger
    • Greg Somerville 
    • Caleb Ralph 
    • Brad Thorn
    • Richie McCaw
    • Dan Carter

    Check Out:

    Christchurch Aftershocks Basketball Team at the 2011 Christchurch All-Filipino Cup Basketball League

    Well, after two years of absence, I am coming out of basketball retirement and play for my fourth season in the PCSCI Christchurch All-Filipino Cup Basketball League (CAFC). I will be playing for my fourth CAFC team since the league’s inaugural on September 2006.

    My new team is a remnant of my old team, the FILSOC Lizards Basketball Team (University of Canterbury Filipino Students Society). The team was literally formed off facebook and text messaging.

    The name of the new team is the Christchurch Aftershocks Basketball Team and well, when we formed the team we did not thought of a name until the last minute. The deadline was on December 26, 2010 (the Boxing Day) and well at that time; Christchurch was hit by “aftershocks” (though I thought the first one that day was an earthquake followed by its own aftershocks rather than being a reaction to the big quake last September 2010). So I decided to put “Christchurch Aftershocks” in the registration form.

    Anyway, this season will be the 6th Christchurch All Filipino Cup and the team to beat is the two-time defending champion Kiwifino.

    CAFC Teams:
    • Kiwifino - back-to-back defending CAFC champions (2009, 2010)
    • Christchurch City Thunders
    • Christchurch Aftershocks
    • Zenors
    • Gideon 300
    • 69ers
    • Cardinals
    • Etomaks - 2011 CAFC champions
    • D'Assemblers

    Team Name: Christchurch Aftershocks Basketball Team

    Team Manager: Donmar Pineda
    Team Captain: Scot Meek

    Players (confirmed):
    • Donmar Pineda [#8]
    • Scot Meek [#3]
    • Nemuel Magno [#4]
    • Carmelo Mondala [#1]
    • Paolo Valerio [#2]
    • Mark Aldrin Sy [#5]
    • Mark Alexander Sy [#6]
    • Paul Estacio [#9]
    • Andrei Peñafiel [#7]

    Team Schedule (REVISED*)

    6th Christchurch All-Filipino Cup
    Regular-Season Schedule:
    Week 1 (February 19): 02:00-03:00 PM Aftershocks 20 vs. 53 Gideon (L)
    Week 2 (March 12): 01:00-02:00 PM Kiwifino 72 vs. 33 [37] Aftershocks* (L)
    Week 3 (March 19): 01:00-02:00 PM Cardinals 54 vs. 33 Aftershocks (L)
    Week 4 (March 26): -BYE-
    Week 5 (April 2): 02:00-03:00 PM Aftershocks 29 vs. 44 Etomaks (L)
    [April 9]:  Originally scheduled for Week 6 of the CAFC but postponed for another week due to miscommunication between the organizers and YMCA
    Week 6 (April 16): 12:00-01:00 PM 69ers 68 vs. 52 Aftershocks (L)
    Week 7 (April 23): 12:00-01:00 PM Thunders 47 vs. 38 Aftershocks (L) [Originally scheduled as the Easter Break but since the league’s schedule was already pushed back several times due to the Christchurch Earthquake, the break was cancelled to accommodate the lost times]
    Week 8 (April 30): 03:00-04:00 PM Aftershocks 44 vs. 57 Zenors (L)
    Week 9 (May 7): 01:00-02:00 PM D’Assemblers 82 vs. 45 Aftershocks (L)

    2011 Season Record: 0-8 (9th place)

    [*] Due to the Christchurch Earthquake (February 22), CAFC League schedule pushed back and revised two weeks after the opening games (Week 1)

    Pinoy Cantabrians Sports Club Inc. (PCSCI)


    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Baller for Life: My Basketball Story

    For the last 25 years (or should I say, ever since I understand what I watch in TV) I have followed a lot of sports from basketball to football (soccer), from rugby union to rugby league, from netball to American football, from boxing to billiards, from tennis to cricket, the list goes on. I supported many teams that caught my attention, some I supported to these days while I changed my allegiance from one team to another in other sports.

    As a Filipino growing up in a basketball-crazed Philippines, it is natural for me to love basketball. Basketball is part of the Filipino culture and something you grow up with. We cannot just presume that basketball not meant to be for Filipinos because we lack the height. That is just wrong mentality. Sure, we do not have the height but Filipinos are born to dribble basketball just as Europeans and South Americans are born to kick football, Indians are born to bat a cricket ball, and Kiwis are born to hold a rugby ball. It simple as that its part of being a Filipino. Even some of our top athletes in other sports play or watch basketball during their spare time. Of course, that does not mean there is no room for other sports for Filipinos to excel in. That is another wrong mentality and you cannot certainly say that to Filipino sporting legends such as Paeng Nepomuceno, Efren “Bata” Reyes, Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, Paulino Alcantara, and Manny Pacquiao.

    Anyway, back in my high school days in the Philippines, I never get the chance to play for my high school basketball team since the school built makeshift class rooms in the school’s basketball court because the some of the old buildings were going to be demolished. In addition, during the time when the Moro rebels attacked my province, they need space for the refugees.

    My High School Football Team
    When I moved to New Zealand, I was able to play for my high school basketball team and did not play as many games as I want because the school sports co-ordinator was very disorganized that we ended up having one of my classmates as coach. My friends and I then tried the Canterbury Basketball Association Under-20 league and just like the high school basketball team, it was much disorganized as well. However, I am more of a footballer in my high school days in New Zealand and my team reached two consecutive finals in a row but that is another story.

    During my football playing days, basketball was not my number one sport. I watched the Spanish La Liga and the Champions League, I supported Real Madrid’s original Galacticos and the number one sport I watched on TV then was not even the NBA, its rugby. The local Crusaders rugby team went unbeaten in the first time I watched the Super Rugby competitions and supporting the team to these very days. Of course, just because I lived in a distant land of New Zealand that does not mean I did not look back to my home country. Since I cannot relate much of the local club sports in the Philippines anymore, I started supporting the national teams. I join a website voicing for the Philippines to send all-pro national team to the FIBA-sanctioned tournaments. I became a fan of the Azkals (national football team) way before the moniker “Azkals” was invented and I was a fan of the Philippine Volcanoes (national rugby team) when most of the players are migrants from other countries living in the Philippines.

    Talking about national teams, just because you do not like a certain sport like basketball (because you prefer football) that does not give you the right to bash the Philippine national basketball team. Same thing applies to basketball fans who do not understand football. Regardless of what type of ball the players are dribbling or kicking as long as that national team carries YOUR Flag and Country you have to support it. It is your NATIONAL TEAM.

    Anyway as I was saying football was my number one sport in high school and I love watching it to this very day, but despite all that, my love for basketball came crawling back. It never goes away simply because I am a Filipino. After high school, my friends and I played pick-up basketball in different basketball courts but all that change when we meet group of Filipinos playing basketball. We meet new friends and get to play the game we love. We ended up playing for a newly formed all-Filipino basketball team. The team’s name was Christchurch Pinoy Rebels Basketball Team. Little did we know the team attracted many basketball-loving Filipinos in the city that we ended up having two teams in the second year. We played an all-Japanese team in a three game series (some of my teammates intentionally started a brawl just to see how it is like). We then represented Filipinos in Christchurch and Canterbury during the 2005 Labour Weekend tournament (a Philippine National Basketball Championship for Filipinos in New Zealand). We finished fifth but it was a great experience.

    Christchurch Pinoy Rebels at the 2005 Labour Weekend tourney

    Me at Edgar Center in Dunedin
    In 2006, we started the year touring the Southern City of Dunedin and played the Filipino team over there. The stadium staffs disrupted the game because we made too much noise. Around that time, there was a netball game (Canterbury Flames vs. Otago Rebels) just in the next court and that was an official game for New Zealand’s netball championship. So the stadium owner decided to move our game to another court. I always thought our game took some of the netball audience attention. Anyway, we ended up merging the Christchurch and Dunedin team to play against the Otago Wildcats Masters Basketball Team. The Otago team was a team of ex-pros and yes, we were wasted. A lot. Lol!

    Playing for the College of Arts Football Team
    Later that year, we have the Gawad Kalinga-sponsored Christchurch Filipino Sports Festival (later to be renamed as the Christchurch All-Filipino Cup Basketball League). The basketball team finished fourth but our mixed volleyball team dominated and won the volleyball tournament. That was one of my busiest weeks ever since I was also playing for my University’s College of Arts Football Team in an Inter-College Tournament. Anyway, I played my last games for the Pinoy Rebels at the end of the year in a pre-season tournament.

    Christchurch Pinoy U-22
    At the beginning of 2007, I have no idea if I ever going to play again. I tried to distance myself from some people and I ended up playing for Christchurch Pinoy Under-22 Basketball Team. I was the oldest in the line-up but I was not really needed. We ended the season with a third place finished and a bronze trophy. We missed the final after a buzzer-beating attempt missed the target. Still, I was glad that the two Pinoy Rebels teams (my former club) made it to the finals. I also played for my university’s varsity team and since we hosted the New Zealand University Games, the team manager made sure to put all the veterans in one line-up and the rookies in the other line-up. My all-rookie team did not do well but at least we won the University Shield that year.

    University of Canterbury All-Rookie Varsity Team
    Later in 2007, we formed a Filipino Students Society (FILSOC) in my university with members from different educational institutions in Christchurch. Though, the main objective was to unite young Filipino intellectuals we ended up forming a basketball team for FILSOC. We named the team FILSOC Lizards Basketball Team and we dominated the pre-season tournament despite having only six players at that time.

    The FILSOC Boys
    By 2008, the team was one of the favourites after a strong showing in the pre-season and a very young line-up. We loss our first game to my former team Christchurch Pinoy and we ended the season a disappointing 7th place due to least committed players not turning up while only 5-6 players turning up every game. Whenever we played, it was a high scoring game compare to the other games where we are not playing. Still our opponents ended up winning the game simply because we do not have a bench and if we do, the one poor guy ended up playing for different positions throughout the game just to relieve the starter. Despite the poor finished, some of our players were nominated to some individual awards. Anyway, during this time I found out that some Filipinos in the league were sore losers. One guy from another team won an individual award went outside and threw his trophy without even appreciating the hard work and efforts of the organizers. It was disrespectful.

    After the awarding ceremony, we build up for the inaugural South Island Filipino Sports Festival and the team was loaded with too many players. We ended up third equal in the tourney and missed the finals. The core of the team disbanded after that and it was never been the same. The remnants of the team tried to play one last time in an import-laden tournament later that year and we finished fifth equal. That was the end of FILSOC.

    In 2009, I have no team at all and watching in the sideline while my friends were playing was just too much to bear. I was glad that they won a tourney but at the same time felt left out. I decided to focus on my studies for the rest of the year and not to play basketball anymore. I was just contented watching NBA and ANBL, and supporting the Philippine national team and the New Zealand Tall Blacks.

    In 2010, not much happening at all, just like the year before. Anyway, at the end of 2010, a friend of mine asked me if we can form our own team and that story is for another entry…

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    Michael Jordan and the Backboard-shattering Dunk

    Michael Jordan scored 30 points and shattered the backboard in a Nike Exhibition Game (Italy): Stefanel Trieste vs Juve Caserta on August 25 of 1986.

    Here is the shorter version if you're too lazy to watch the rest of the highlights of that game.

    Today is Michael Jordan's 48th birthday (February 17, 1963).

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Happy Anti-Valentines Day

    February 14 is a day of celebration for some people and a day of mourning for others. Most people celebrate the Valentine’s Day while some people are in Anti-Valentines mood simply because they are being reminded that they are alone.

    Anyway, I am in that mood and I would like to share some songs in my music library to get you into the Anti-Valentines mood.

      Well, Happy Anti-Valentines Day!

      "Wounded" by Good Charlotte

      by Good Charlotte

      Lost and broken,
      Hopeless and lonely.
      Smiling on the outside,
      and hurt beneath my skin.

      My eyes are fading,
      My soul is bleeding.
      I'll try to make it seem okay,
      But my faith is wearing thin.

      So help me heal these wounds,
      They've been open for way too long.
      Help me fill this hole,
      Even though this is not your fault,

      That I'm open,
      And I'm bleeding,
      All over your brand new rug.
      And I need someone to help me sew them up.

      I only wanted a magazine,
      I only wanted a movie screen,
      I only wanted the life I'd read about and dreamed.
      And now my mind is an open book,
      And now my heart is an open wound,
      And now my life is an open soul for all to see.

      But help me heal these wounds,
      They've been open for way too long.
      Help me fill this hole,
      Even though this is not your fault,

      That I'm open and I'm bleeding,
      All over your brand new rug.
      And I need someone to help me,
      So you come along,
      I push you away,
      Then kick and scream for you to stay.
      Cuz I need someone to help me,
      Oh I need someone to help me,
      To help me heal these wounds,
      They've been open for way too long.
      Help me fill this hole,
      Even though this is not your fault,

      That I'm open,
      And I'm bleeding,
      All over your brand new rug.
      And I need someone to help me sew them,
      I need someone to help me fill them,
      I need someone to help me close them up

      [*] Originally part of the song "Meet My Maker" by Good Charlotte

      "Valentine's Day" by Linkin Park

      "Valentine's Day"
      by Linkin Park 
      (Minutes To Midnight)

      My insides all turn to ash
      So slow
      And blew away as I collapsed
      So Cold
      A black wind took them away
      From sight
      Another darkness over day
      That night

      And the clouds above move closer
      Looking so dissatisfied
      But the heartless wind kept blowing, blowing

      I used to be my own protection
      But not now
      Because my path has lost direction

      A black wind took you away
      From sight
      Another darkness over day
      That night

      And the clouds above move closer
      Looking so dissatisfied
      And the ground below grew colder
      As they put you down inside
      But the heartless wind kept blowing, blowing

      So now you're gone
      And I was wrong
      I never knew what it was like
      To be alone...

      On a valentine's day
      On a valentine's day
      On a valentine's day
      On a valentine's day

      I used to be my own protection
      But not now
      Because my mind has lost direction

      I used to be my own protection
      But not now
      Because my mind has lost direction

      "Whiskey Lullaby" by Brad Paisley (featuring Alison Krauss)

      "Whiskey Lullaby"
      by Brad Paisley (featuring Alison Krauss)

      She put him out like the burnin' end of a midnight cigarette
      She broke his heart, he spent his whole life tryin' to forget
      We watched him drink his pain away a little at a time
      But he never could get drunk enough to get her off his mind
      Until' the night

      He put that bottle to his head and pulled the trigger
      And finally drank away her memory
      Life is short but this time it was bigger
      Than the strength he had to get up off his knees
      We found him with his face down in the pillow
      With a note that said, "I'll love her till I die"
      And when we buried him beneath the willow
      The Angels sang a whiskey lullaby

      La la la la la la la, la la la la la la laa
      La la la la la la la, la la la la la la laa

      The rumors flew but nobody knew how much she blamed herself
      For years and years, she tried to hide the whiskey on her breath
      She finally drank her pain away a little at a time
      But she never could get drunk enough to get him off her mind
      Until' the night

      She put that bottle to her head and pulled the trigger
      And finally drank away his memory
      Life is short but this time it was bigger
      Than the strength she had to get up off her knees
      We found her with her face down in the pillow
      Clinging to his picture for dear life
      We laid her next to him beneath the willow
      While the Angels sang a whiskey lullaby

      La la la la la la la, la la la la la la laa
      La la la la la la la, la la la la la la laa
      La la la la la la la, la la la la la la laa
      La la la la la la la, la la la la la la laa

      Wicker Park and "The Scientist" by Cold Play

      Well today is the Valentine's Day (February 14) and it sort of an anniversary of one of the biggest mistakes and regrets in my life. However, that should not stop everyone from celebrating the occasion and I like to share/recommend a "valentine" movie to everyone.

      One of the most unappreciated romantic movies I ever seen was the movie "Wicker Park" (2004). However, if you are not into movies then you might not get the story straight (or you will get confuse and lost from the plot). The movie shows the perspectives of the three characters (Josh Hartnett, Diane Kruger, and Rose Byrne) involved in a love triangle.

      Anyway, I am not gonna tell you what happened in the movie. Here is the song "The Scientist" played in the final scene of the movie (spoiler alert!), one of the most romantic movie endings I ever seen.

      "The Scientist" 
      by Coldplay
      (also by: Johnette Napolitano and Danny Lohner)
      Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry
      You don't know how lovely you are.
      I had to find you, tell you I need you,
      Tell you I set you apart.
      Tell me your secrets and ask me your questions,
      Oh lets go back to the start.
      Running in circles, Comin' in tails
      Heads on a science apart.
      Nobody said it was easy,
      It's such a shame for us to part.
      Nobody said it was easy,
      No one ever said it would be this hard.
      Oh take me back to the start.
      I was just guessin' at numbers and figures,
      Pulling the puzzles apart.
      Questions of science, science and progress
      Do not speak as loud as my heart.
      And tell me you love me, come back and haunt me
      Oh and I rush to the start.
      Runnin' in circles, Chasin' tails
      Comin' back as we are
      Nobody said it was easy,
      Oh it's such a shame for us to part.
      Nobody said it was easy,
      No one ever said it would be so hard.
      I'm goin' back to the start.
      Ohhhh oooooo
      Ahhhh oooooo

      Related Video:

      Some Recommendations:
      [*] These two movies contained some level of intellectual discussions.. if you have empty-brain you will not get what they are talking about and you will not understand the stories. (I'm serious!)

        Thursday, February 10, 2011

        "King of Ithaca: The Adventures of Odysseus" (Book Review)

        [This was from my old defunct blog and one of the first book reviews I am attempting to blog about. I am not a good reviewer but I will try my best.]

        Glyn Iliffe wrote the book and it is the first part of his series about the life and adventures of the Greek hero Odysseus. As a student of Classical Studies, I always believed that authors or movie directors should always be chronologically accurate about their writings or their films about ancient histories and mythologies. That simply because people, who doesn’t study Classics, can easily say to their children and grandchildren that Herakles was the squeaky-clean hero that Disney World was trying to portray or that Hades was evil and the bad guy.

        This book is one of those that lack the chronological accuracy of the Greek mythology and the errors are very visible to those who studied Classical Studies.

        Here are some errors I found in the book “King of Ithaca”:
        1. The author mentions in the book that the meeting between Odysseus and Iphitus took place during Odysseus’ journey to Sparta as a suitor of Helen while Iphitus was on journey to Tiryns looking for Herakles. The chronological error of that line is that Iphitus and Herakles should have been long dead by the time the suitors of Helen marched to Sparta.
        2. Part of the book leads up to the courting of Helen and the King of Mycenae was Agamemnon. Therefore, the hero Herakles should have been long dead, not during the courting of Helen and at least one Herakleids (sons and descendants of Herakles) invasion should have already taken place at the time of the reign of Atreus (Agamemnon’s father).
        3. If the hero Herakles were alive then, he would not waste his time courting Deianera or Iole since he can have the beautiful Helen to himself just southwest of Tiryns, forcefully if he wants to.
        4. In this book, Spartan King Tyndaerus hates Herakles. Why would the Spartan king hate Herakles when the hero himself helps restored Tyndaerus to the throne of Sparta from his brother/uncle Hippocoon.
        5. In this book, Telamonian Ajax (the Greater Ajax) and Achilles were not cousins. In most primary sources of Greek mythology, Ajax and Achilles were cousins. Their fathers, Telamon and Peleus were exiled brothers; both were Argonauts and founded their own respective kingdoms.
        6. The old swineherd Euamios is younger than Odysseus.
        7. Herakles’ arrows are magical according to the author. However, Herakles’ arrows are not magical, but rather poison arrows dipped from the deadly poisonous blood of Hydra.
        8. In this book, the Dioskouris (Castor and Pollux), the brothers of Helen were not mention at all.

        Despite the errors and inaccuracy, the book is a good reading and a great story for the non-Classics students. I would say its way better than the Percy Jackson series. period.

        Anyway, as a Classical Studies student, I learned to accept the story in the book and that modification of the Greek myth is necessary to spark interests to non-Classics students. I realize that Greek Mythology are bound to be modified in this modern times and that not because to degrade it but rather to enrich it. I am already looking forward to read the sequel “Gates of Troy”.

        This review was also posted at Goodreads.


        Sunday, February 6, 2011

        When sad - Psalm 46

        Psalm 46 (The Bible, King James Version)

        The presence of God in calamity
        To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A song upon Alamoth

        [1] God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
        [2] Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
        [3] Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
        [4] There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
        [5] God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
        [6] The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
        [7] The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
        [8] Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
        [9] He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
        [10] Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
        [11] The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.


        Popular Posts


        This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.



        This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.