Thursday, January 30, 2014

KarateKid teams bag silver and bronze at 5th Asian Underwater Hockey Championships


Team Philippines (Blue team), backed by Japanese fast-food chain KarateKid, emerged victorious with a 3-2 sudden death score against Singapore to bag second place in the Nation’s Cup (Men’s Division) of the 5th Asian Underwater Hockey Championship.

The action-packed competitions at the Olivarez College in Paranaque City, organized by the Citadel Underwater Hockey Club in cooperation with the Philippine Underwater Hockey Confederation, drew teams from China, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Australia.

Team Philippines (Blue team) Nowie Cornelia, Milo Tan, Kelvin Tan, Boyet Santillan, Philippine Coast Guard’s Edcel Guzman, JL Santos, T-Boy Rodriguez, Rey Co, Abhishek Chand and team captain Raymond Ilusorio-Yap each took home a silver medal.

In the Challenge Cup (Mixed Division), Team KarateKid composed of Manuel “Junvie” Valdes, Raymond Ilusorio-Yap, Milo Tan, , South Africa’s Kristibel Van Wyk, Bubs Cailles, Roy Aldous Arayata, Bem Lim, Singapore’s Jovie Lim, Pin Cheoh and Joey Carpio took home bronze medals after beating other international teams.

One of the country’s fastest growing water sports, underwater hockey is a challenging team sport played at the bottom of a swimming pool. Two six-player teams (black vs. white) wearing masks, snorkels and fins compete by maneuvering a puck on the pool floor with their playing sticks, with each team attempting to score by shooting the puck into their opponents goal.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

47 Ronin

When I heard about the 47 Ronin, I thought it was a remake of the Last Samurai starring Tom Cruise in the early 2000. I just found out later that the 47 Ronin holds a much different story. I always enjoy watching films with historical values that entails to it, because it gives me a sense of excitement that such movie actually happened longtime ago. 

Al though the film adaptation was more fictionalized from the real story, I still find it intriguing to watch it. Plus, I always love the creativity of Japanese film making, most especially the animated ones, particularly Ghost in The Shell, Voltes five and a likes. 

A couple of days ago, I was fortunate to be invited to watch the advance screening of 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves. It’s actually my first movie this 2014 and there is no better way to watch it than in the company of my wife.  It was like our first date in 2014. 

Last December, me and my boys were craving to watch a foreign film but we got too disappointed because it’s MMF F season. It’s a good thing that frenzy film festival is all over now and people will get to watch movies made in Hollywood. 

Okay, now, about the film. 47 Ronin is an adaptation of a historical folklore about 47 leaderless Samurais who avenged the death of their lord, which happened in the late 1600s. On a short trivia, a Ronin is a Samurai whose leader or lord died or killed in a battle. The Samurai’s duty to protect his Lord ends on the death of the leader.

The film was way different from its previous version because of some fictional / fantasy component the film maker added into it. Though in many artifacts, Lord Asano, the Samurai leader was bewitched that lead to un-explained assault to a court-authorities. So that explained why they put some magical play in to the movie. 

But as I read through some folk-tale of the 47 Ronin, although each story has its own version, none of them mentioned a “half-blood”, in which Keanu Reeves played in the movie. So right now, I’m starting to wonder where they got that idea to put a “Half-blood” character in the film.

As an over-all impression, I really enjoyed watching the movie. Japanese celebrities like Hiruyuki Sanada who played Oishi displayed an exemplary performance and so does Rinko Kikuchi who played the witch. Rinko was also seen in the movie Pacific Rim, another adaptation of a famous Japanese animation – Evangelion

To date there are about six to seven 47 Ronin films was made and each one of them has its own unique version and feature. Probably, that feature is what makes the story more intriguing and mysterious, because no one knows the exact story behind it.  


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