The past week, amidst all the talk of coup attempts and a reprising of EDSA, one of our own was busy with a problem that struck closer to home. Tini's mom was admitted to the ICU of the Medical City after suffering from pneumonia and a mild stroke. She's been there for over a week now.

And during this time, there has been an overwhelming outpouring of support and prayers for Tini and his family. I guess that this really defines the character of our class. I mean, Tini has always been the unfortunate victim of many a rib or two from many of us (I admit that I'm one of the usual suspects) but in this time of trouble, we were all there. Some of us have called or texted. Some have gone to visit. Many have prayed. It just goes to show that when push comes to shove, we've got each others' backs. I love that.

Anyway, let me end this with a message Tini sent me via text last night.
"Thank you my brother & to all my other 4J brothers for the concern you have shown during these trying times & for all the prayers. My mom knows that all of you are praying for her speedy recovery. Please let the other 4J boys know that their concern is well-appreciated. Thank you very much my brothers!"

Nuff said.


So This Isn't an Annual Thing?

I know this is late but what the hey, right? (And since another game's been set up tomorrow, I better do this quick...)

So the 2nd round of the 4J93 Texas Hold 'Em Poker SHUT UP AND DEAL! was held last Saturday at-- where else?-- Budoy's place. This time around a lot more people showed up: aside from Budoy, there was myself, Ching, Conci (and Tini upstairs), Rhoch, Rjay and Leslie, plus [identity-protected] and her friends Basha, Steph and Katz.

Good thing too as the 2nd round proved the 4J Poker Night wasn't an annual thing: the first game was last year and after the 1st round this January, I thought that was it.

Anyway, it was Budoy's turn to shine as he took the first game of the night, beating out me, [identity-protected], Katz, Conci, and Rhoch to take the pot. I gotta admit it was pretty exhilirating since I had to go up against Budoy (who had most of the chips at that time) as the last two players standing. Declaring "all-in", I beat Budoy thrice before my luck ran out.

The second game had Budoy, Leslie and Rjay, Rhoch, Ching, Basha, Conci and [identity-protected] playing. Since there were more players, it took a short bit before people got eliminated. In the end, it was down to Budoy against and Basha with an almost equal number of chips each. But it was Budoy who had the better cards, becoming the champion of the night.

Hmmm... so I suppose the winners' round-up of the 4J93 Texas Hold 'Em Poker SHUT UP AND DEAL! would include:
  1. [identity-protected] for the single round last year
  2. Dino and Conci tied for the 1st round, 2006
  3. and Budoy for the 2nd round, 2006.

Congrats people!


On a Saturday night...

TC trying to impress Elena with his knowlege during the 2nd 4J Annual Poker game.


Regular viewers of Celebrity Poker challenge would recognize this as a play on the usual battlecry of "Shuffle up and deal".

We just had to give it that indomitable 4J touch of class.

I'm referring of course to the newly-established 4J Poker Nights. We held the first one at my place this past weekend and were able to squeeze in two rounds. Dino hustled his way to victory in the first game and Conci took the second. I, sadly, always made it to the final two of both matches.

The invitation is out for 4J poker Night 2. Conci, Elena and I each have a set so we can actually have three tables with the winners facing each other for the grand prize. It's all in the spirit of fun (and to a certain extent, greed). Think of it as "Murder" with money involved. You just have to play your cards right


Speaking of playing the right cards, Carlo took a gamble of his own and proposed to Maita at the Rockefeller Center last weekend. She of course said "yes" and we now have another wedding to look forward to. Details to follow. Just hope that they do it here in the Philippines.

Congrats Carlo and Maita!


School Pride

On the somewhat frequent occasions I am asked where I obtain my law degree, I practically swell up with pride as I answer "UP." On the considerably less frequent occasions that I am asked where I obtained my college, or undergraduate degree, I also feel no small degree of pride as I answer "UP." I enjoyed majority of the nine years I spent at the University of the Philippines, and I wouldn't trade them in for anything.

That said, I find myself raising a brow rather frequently as I walk by UP Manila, which is right next to my office, and catch a glimpse of what's printed on many students' t-shirts. It seems that, in UP Manila at least, there are a number of kids who seem to take UP's reputation as the last bastion of intellectuals a tad too seriously. The t-shirts read:

"I think, therefore I am from UP."

I realize there have been a great many jokes (most of them at the expense of La Salle and its students) depicting the aforementioned La Sallites as dumb, Ateneans as arrogant, and UP kids as smart. I wouldn't be surprised if these jokes were dreamed up by UP students or graduates, but the fact that they've gained widespread acceptance among a great many people says a lot. Still, other than those jokes and the occasional crack about which law school is the best, I had never really heard about UP students lording, or attempting to lord, their stature over other schools. Truth be told I found myself offended by that t-shirt, UP grad though I may be.

Why? Well, it always struck me, from my undergraduate days to my law school days, that UP students in general were relatively secure about their cultural identity and didn't really feel the need to crow about it. Ateneans may have acquired a reputation, over the years, for arrogance, just as La Sallites have acquired a reputation for being, well, slow, but I never really imagined that people from UP would overtly proclaim to the world that they're smart. God, if this keeps up then Ateneo grads will have competition in the arrogance department.

Yes, I am from UP and I am proud of that fact, but I'm not about to put down other schools just to make a point. I know that UP folks have a reputation for being intellectual snobs, but it takes the game to a whole new, much more unpleasant level now that they have an in-your-face attitude about it.

This, and naked (Korean?) chicks running around during the oblation run. What is UP coming to?