Saturday, December 15, 2012

Leverage - Built to Last

This video is to show my gratitude to great Leverage team, the whole cast and crew of this amazing show. As of now, there is still no word yet regarding a 6th season and we are down to the last 2 episodes of the 5th season, possibly, the final 2 episodes of the series.

Gotta admit, I didn’t expect to be a bit teary-eyed as I was putting the video together. Such an amazing group of talented people. It would be such a waste if TNT doesn’t renew the show.

I’m still hoping beyond anything that we will see our favorite Mastermind, Grifter, Hacker, Thief and Hitter take out bad guys next year (and years to come?). But whatever happens, I’m thankful that I was able to ride the fun train in the Leverage-verse.

I chose the song Built to Last by Melee because the chorus, for me, describes Leverage perfectly. It is a great show with just the right mixture of drama and comedy. The chemistry of the cast is impeccable because they are real friends on and off screen. The show is fun to watch. It is a feel-good show and as the lyrics of the song says..

“Cause this is real and this is good
It warms the inside just like it should
Most of all, most of all, it’s built to last.”

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dean Devlin's Open Letter to Leverage Fans

From Dean Devlin
As of the writing of this letter, we still do not know if there will be a season six of our show. Just as we didn’t know when we created the last three episodes which are about to air. Because of this uncertainty, John Rogers and I decided to end this season with the episode we had planned to make to end the series, way back when we shot the pilot. So, the episode that will air on Christmas is, in fact, the series finale we had always envisioned.

This is not to say we would not do a season six should we get the opportunity. Everyone involved with the show, from the cast, the crew, the writers and producers, would like nothing more than to continue telling these stories. But, in case we do not get that opportunity we felt that, creatively, after 77 episodes, we owed it to you, our fans, to end the show properly.

I sincerely hope you watch these last three episodes. They build to our conclusion. And the finale, I believe, is the most powerful episode we’ve ever done.

From all of us who make the show, thank you for watching, supporting and encouraging us. I’ve never experienced a fandom as intense, loyal and wonderful as you all.

Let’s go steal a series finale!
          Dean Devlin 
       Executive Producer/Director LEVERAGE
Now, this just leaves an empty hole in my chest. I admit that TNT’s silence is really not good news for the show. But I believe that this season, the series has explored a different side of the characters and what “jobs” the team can take up. This opens up the opportunity to continue this into the next season(s), but it seems that as of right now, the future is looking rather bleak for Leverage.
That is just so sad as I will truly miss our favorite Mastermind, Grifter, Thief, Hacker and Hitter. I fell out of radar with this show somewhere in the middle of season 3, but after finding the time to catch up, I fell in love with it once again. The story plots are just great, the characters are very interesting people and the chemistry the cast has is just impeccable. It’s a considered a drama but the comedic stuff is just as awesome. Who would have thought that Tim Hutton has a great comedic side in him? And what about Beth and Aldis? Their careers bloomed with this show and we saw how they are diamonds in the ruff, and luckily the Leverage people were able to see their awesomeness (yes!) and introduce them to us. And of course, Christian and Gina. Truly great actors that can change from drama to comedy in a beat.

If these last 3 episodes are really the last, then these last 3 shows are going to be epic. Right now, I just want to say thanks to Dean, John, Chris D., Tim, Gina, Beth, Aldis and Chris for sharing 5 wonderful seasons in the Leverage-verse. Thank you for creating such wonderful characters and bringing these characters to life. But I hope to open another chapter and get a season 6. We are not yet done with Nate, Sophie, Parker, Hardison and Eliot. We want the fun train to continue chugging along. So as long as TNT hasn’t said any final word, Grifters around the world will continue to fight for that 6th season. And yes, if there is one thing that we, the fans, can do to really show our appreciation for the cast and crew of this unique series, we will continue to pile up the votes and hopefully give them that well deserved People’s Choice Award.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Danke Michael

Really couldn't say enough Danke Michael. It's a few hours before his last race, and just as he said, this time, it looks like it is a permanent good bye to Michael in Formula One racing. 

I've said this before and I will say this again. We are lucky to witness the career of one of the best racers in this lifetime. I believe it only happens once in a lifetime to experience and see how a man changed a sport. He became the benchmark for everyone to beat. Even when he was not doing well during his comeback, 2nd career as some might say, the drivers on track still want to beat him whether they are fighting for podium, points or way down in 15th or 16th places. But his comeback was not a failure. As one blogger said (Siebens from tumblr), statistically, it may have been a failure, but his comeback allowed us to see a different Michael. A more relaxed, human Michael. As Siebens said, who would have known that the "Robot" they called before would now be waving and winking at the cameras during qualifying. His 3-year comeback allowed us to understand and see the real Michael. The person, not the racer.

Michael, you say thank you to us for sharing your passion with you. But it is us who say thank you to you for doing what you love best, and allowing us to see how one's passion can turn dreams into realities. Indeed you showed us that dreams do come true. Achieving 7 World Driver's Championship in the highest pinnacle of motor racing and in a span of 21 years in the sport is but a dream to any ordinary person. But you were able to do it. And the best thing is you never forgot the people around you. You were always a team player and have always said that without the team, there won't be any victories to celebrate. 

Cheers Michael! In 2006, I didn't say goodbye. I said I'll see you around. And this time, I'm doing the same. See you around Schumi! Remember today, as you cross the finish line for the last time, an era in motor racing ends but your legacy lives on. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Leverage - Let the Games Begin

The longer it takes for TNT to announce the fate of Leverage, the scarier it gets. Seems like they really are walking towards the path of cancellation. I hope the producers and creators will find a way to keep the show running. If it means going to another network, then be all means, do it! They have a solid fanbase and it would be such a shame to let go of this awesome ensemble. 

Anyway, my first video for November and this was inspired by Nate's statement in TNT's promo for the remaining 5 winter episodes. Enjoy!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Thank you Lord

The past 3 days have been very hard. Very down. 

I have been having these bad thoughts..Depression feels like quick sand where the more you struggle the harder it is to get out.

A desperate soul asked God to just give me something..a sign that everything will turn out fine. That everything will soon be alright. 

And then I got this from my facebook application. I know it is computer-generated. But it hits the spot. 

On this day of your life, Tet, we believe God wants you to know ... that everything will be alright.
It may seem dark at the moment, but don't lose hope. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, keep moving and you'll get there. God won't abandon you; let God be your light. It may take some time, but in the end, everything will be alright.
Thank you Lord. Thank you. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Leverage - All These Things That I've Done

So this is my third fanvid in a month! Yep, I'm enjoying that Windows Live Movie Maker is able to recognize mkv and mp4 videos. And yes, it shows that I'm obsessed with Leverage right now. Well, as said before, I loved the show when it first came out, but due to our network not supporting it, I got lost and fell behind. But having caught up, I rediscovered my joy in watching the show. 

So more about this video! There's not much to say really. The title, the song and the clips say it all. A killer song (Killers' song? no pun intended) for a bad-ass show! Oh, and Kaniacs will love the bridge part of the song.

Hope you enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed doing it! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Nate/Sophie - What About Now

Okay, my creative juices are running on an ultimate high for the past few days. Maybe because I also want to forget the worries for awhile and think about something else. Whatever is the reason behind it, my latest creation is this Nate/Sophie fanvid.

Since I have rediscovered my love for Leverage in the past few weeks (as I stated in a post below), I can say that the love story between the Mastermind and the Grifter is one of my favorite story arc of the series. The writers made a great job of pacing their relationship in the 5 seasons that the show has been airing. This allowed the characters to grow, get to know each other, and the audience was also able to understand them better. Tim and Gina just have awesome on-screen chemistry, thanks to the fact that they both admitted that they are indeed best of friends off-screen as well. And they are just terrific actors because they don't need to say something to actually convey a message to the audience. The subtle looks, the longing looks, the frowns, the smiles and the tears they both share when they are in the Nate/Sophie moments tell the whole story about these two characters. They are the best at the work they do, but in the end they tend to always need each other and find each other when the going gets tough. They know each other's flaws and understand each other..probably much better than they understand themselves. 

The music I used in the video was Westlife's What About Now. I was actually originally going to use the Daughtry version, but found that the Westlife version just had enough "cheesiness", if I may call it like that, that provided the perfect dramatic touch. Their version seems to just have more longing and desperation that fit the clips that I included. Clips were more from the earlier seasons of Leverage, when Nate and Sophie were still trying to patiently know themselves and each other.

So there goes another creative attempt. One really gets to do a lot of different things when there is just so much time in their hands.

Friday, October 5, 2012


I saw it coming when Mercedes announced last week that they have closed the deal with Lewis Hamilton for a drive in 2013. 

I thought I will be ready for it as it is the second time around, but apparently, I was not. It still hit me hard. Hit me strong. Like a blow to the stomach and a crushing feeling in my heart. I felt sick and gutted. 

I really never understood my passion for Michael. Never understood why I follow him with so much intensity. But I love the way he makes me feel, makes me feel alive whenever I watch him race, battle, or just a simple wave or wink to the camera. I guess his passion for his sport exudes him that we are able to feel it and see it whenever we see him. 

I blame Michael for making me feel this way. His comeback opened up the fire inside of me and his magic captivated me again. And now, he breaks millions of hearts again for the second time around, and mine is not exempted. I thought 2006 will never happen again, and I was happy to be able to finally move on from the great emptiness and void that Michael left during that year. But here we are again, just like deja vu. It's all happening anew and it is just as painful as it was 6 years ago. I had moved on, Michael. But you came back. And then you leave us again so soon? I hate you for doing this. But you know, for this time only..the saying "the more you hate, the more you love" applies. That is just the way I feel.  How can I hate the one I look forward to every fortnight, stay up late if I have to, just to see you finish the race? Your announcement to retire came at a time in my life where everything felt like falling apart, and I was able to gather strength from your retirement speech on "how losing can be both more difficult and more instructive than winning..that you have to live your convictions." I always felt you were special, but this just made you extra special. You were able to reach out to someone without realizing it. And for that I thank God for you. 

I have written before of how thankful I am for all the things you did for me, and I write it again this time. I thank you for making every other weekend a weekend to look forward to, for making each race exciting (whether you are up there in the front or way back), for making me forget my worries once in a while. I thank you for coming back and allowing me to watch you race live, meet you and feel star-struck for the first time in my life. So star-stricken, that I forgot what happened and couldn't speak clearly when you were right there infront of me. Good thing, I got my souvenir signed so I thank you for that as well! And simply, I thank you for being the hard core racer that we knew all along. It's hard to be your fan, to defend you from the intense Schumi-haters, but I never regretted being your fan and will do it again and again if I have to. 

And so, I look forward to your remaining races. I desperately wish you win one because you truly deserve it. This comeback may not have been successful statistically, but always remember, you are a 7-time Formula One World Champion. You've got nothing to prove to anyone. Danke Michael.   

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


So, I rediscovered my love for the TV show Leverage these past few weeks. I've been off the loop for the past seasons and finally caught up with the latest episodes. I found out why I enjoyed watching this series several years ago, way back in 2009 when they started showing it in our cable TV network, AXN Asia. The stories, the characters, the drama, the humor and the wit are combined in the best way possible and it gives a relief to the usual crime series that we see in television these days. Don't get me wrong, I am an NCIS fanatic (not NCIS LA, I find it trying too hard to be NCIS), but Leverage sits right up there with NCIS on my list of best television series. 

I just hope that TNT continues airing this show and renews the show for at least another season or 2. We are just in the 5th season ("just" compared to the 10 seasons of NCIS) and the characters and their relationships with each other are just getting more interesting. I'm a Nate/Sophie fan, but I love the chemistry of the whole team. I believe when the cast and crew says that they really are great friends because it shows in the onscreen performances of the Tim, Gina, Christian, Beth and Aldis. Their banters are hilarious and their dramatic moments are intense. 

As we await for the renewal of Leverage for a sixth season, I channeled my anxiety to do a fan-video to plea for a 6th season. Be kind, as this was a spur of the moment creative attempt and I did it within 2 hours, so don't expect fancy things with it :)

Enjoy and kudos to the Leverage Team! Looking forward to more cons!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


It was a fairy tale ending that saw the Philippines back on top of an Asian championship tournament since 1998. 

Last August 27, 2012, the Smart Gilas 2.0 Philippine National Team became the 4th Philippine National Basketball Team to win the gold medal in the 34th William Jones Cup in Taipei. The Gold Medal match against the USA was one nail-biting game and in a game where height matters, ironically, the smallest man on the court made the biggest impact. LA Tenorio probably played the best game of his life as he lifted the Philippines to victory. He took the biggest shots and even got the most important rebound after a miss from the US team that would have given them the lead in the dying seconds. As LA said, "This game is different because we are playing for the country this time. Hindi ko na pangalan ang dala dala ko dito, hindi Alaska, kundi Pilipinas."

But it was not an easy feat. The Gilas 2.0, as said by Coach Chot Reyes, was the weakest Philippine Team that was sent in the Jones Cup. In fact, the team was built around 2 weeks before the tournament. Before leaving for Taipei, Coach Chot said that they do not expect to win the tournament. Their main goal is to learn each other's game and build team chemistry. 

But the team proved to be one of the best pool of players from the basketball loving nation. True, not one of the players have been an MVP for the Philippine Basketball Association. But this does not mean that they are not good. What made the team succeed was that the playing style of each player complimented each other. No one was bothered to play minor roles for the team. But everyone was prepared to be the go to guy when the need arises. In all the 7 wins of the team in the tournament, one player always stood out for the team. One day it was Douthit, the next it would be Lanete. Then there were games where Norwood carried the team or David, Chan or Tenorio. The opposing teams would guard one man, but another Filipino player will rise up to help the team. It proved that you don't need superstars to make a super team. All you need is a team with a lot of heart and the will to win with a never say die attitude. Filipinos loved the never-say-die mantra when it comes to basketball. And the Gilas 2.0 just showed that they are a team that gets knocked down but will get up again. In their last games against Japan, Iran, Chinese Taipei A and the USA, the team clawed their way back up from a deficit to eventually win the game. No one knows the meaning of giving up, thus, they were rewarded with a win each time. Fate was probably on our side as well, because after losing to Lebanon (which they said should have been an easy win), the powerhouse teams also lost their succeeding games giving the Philippines the chance to win the Gold in its last game. 

The Philippines became known again in the international basketball scene after years of "could haves", "almosts", and "sayang". And to cap it all off, isn't just fitting enough that Gilas 2.0 arrived back from Taipei while the Philippines celebrated the National Heroes' Day? 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Light bulb moment

The 2012 Formula One season has been very exciting from the beginning. Seven different race winners for the first 7 races of the year, 2 of which belongs to first time grand prix victors, namely Nico Rosberg and Pastor Maldonado. The Championship table for both Driver's and Constructor's championships are both very close. And a big part of this is due to the 2012 Pirelli Spec Tires. Drivers also have the KERS and DRS in their cars to aid in overtaking which has been very difficult for modern formula one cars.

After the 2012 British Grand Prix, I suddenly had a light bulb moment. It is true that the championship is as close as ever. Overtaking manouvres, which have been an "endangered species" in the past few years, have increased significantly starting last year, which is honestly speaking, have been fun to watch. But I am also feeling something is missing. I am missing the old F1 era where drivers are able to push to the limit during the race. The races this year has become a lottery because the best driver who is able to conserve and look after his tires has the best chance of doing well in the race. A lot of drivers have said their opinions about this because what happens in the race is you try to preserve your tires and as a result, you are not able to attack right from the start. I feel that current F1 races has become more of an endurance race and strategic race rather than a race of pure speed.

Gone were the days when the drivers battle each other without thinking about tire degradation and fuel consumption. One of my favorite season is the 2000 season where Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen were just completely on a world of their own during races, swapping fastest laps with each other, not allowing one driver to gain too much advantage and leaving the rest of the field behind them like they were in a different class of racing.

Yes, they had strategic calls during these times as well, but in the track, you don't see them settle down and preserve their tires till the end of the race. They are both able to lap full speed all the time. And this is what I miss in the races this year. I miss the way drivers used to be able to attack another driver without reservations, without worrying that he might run out of fuel or that his tires might degrade faster than the other drivers' tires. It was pure modern racing.

I'm not saying the races this year have been boring. They actually have been exciting and fun to watch. It's just a different kind of "fun and excitement" because you know that the other driver is on a different tire strategy that's why there is a difference in the car speed. Formula One racing has evolved in the last 10 years, and speaking from my heart, I love the F1 racing before more than the one I am seeing now. But I am not saying I don't like the current style of racing. I'm still happy to watch races every 2 weekends. I just miss the old F1 and actually feels lucky that I was able to watch it during those times.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


We never doubted, we never lost faith...we knew that sooner or later, Michael will be able to step back on the podium. But recent circumstances made it seem that it would be more later rather than sooner. In 5 out of 7 races of the 2012 season, Michael has failed to finish a race due to mechanical failures. It seemed that the curse will not break and the bad luck just continue to pile up. The doubters increased in number, the team came under scrutiny by the fans as it seemed there was some conspiracy going on behind closed doors.

But Sunday's European Grand Prix in Valencia became part of Michael's success story. It was an action packed race, thanks a lot to the unpredictable 2012 Pirelli spec tires. The street race in Valencia was traditionally a snore-fest, but last Sunday, it was just the opposite of that. After the disappointing qualifying in Saturday where Michael failed to make it to Q3 (which was, according to him, due to his own error), I, like other Schumi fans didn't expect much during the race. Some say it will just be damage limitation from here—assuming his car holds up and doesn't breakdown. Even Michael said himself that he didn't expect anything from the race during the start of the race or even during the race itself!

But Lady Luck finally decided to smile down on Michael this time. Thanks to 4 drivers dropping away in the last stages of the race, a different strategy from the rest of the drivers' infront and great driving despite under pressure from Webber's RedBull for the whole last stint (yeah, yeah, it's just Webber, but still there must be some pressure there..), Michael gobbled up 8 places in the last 14 laps to end up in third place at the very last lap of the race! Some say he was lucky because of the DNFs of Vettel and Grosjean and Hamilton's coming together with Maldonado, but that is part of racing. When presented with opportunities such as those given to Michael last Sunday, he did not waste them, but instead took advantage of them. The Meister was so busy overtaking drivers whose tires were just gone, that he didn't even know where he finished when he crossed the finish line. And it was a pleasant surprise to hear from his team that he was “Third! On the podium!”.

It was an extremely happy feeling, it was as if Michael has won the race or another championship! Everyone was congratulating him, even the Ferrari mechanics who were waiting for Alonso to arrive at the parc ferme were cheering him on.

And even before Michael got out of the car, he was already grinning from ear to ear!

Just like the old days, he congratulated, hugged and kissed his every mechanic that was waiting for him in parc ferme. It was just 3rd place but after all the hardships and criticisms they have faced, you couldn't blame Michael and his team for being extra happy for just making it on the podium. It took him 45 races since his comeback and 99 races since 2006 to step back on the podium.

And joining him on the podium was no other than the 2 drivers that succeeded him in Ferrari. Kimi and Alonso. I generally do not like Alonso, but I didn't mind him winning this one as he did deserve the win (and he respects Michael now than during his Renault days, so I don't hate him as much as before—yet).

Michael was truly and genuinely happy during the podium ceremonies and during the press conference. He thanked his team and everyone who continued to believe in him even though it seemed that things will never get better. He was probably so excited to express his gratitude that when asked to say something in his native language, he automatically expressed his feelings in fluent English! When he realized he was speaking English rather than German, everyone laughed with him!

This podium finish was just amazing after waiting for it for so long. For once, we, Schumi fans didn't have to mend our broken hearts after the Sunday race. For once, the team didn't have to say, “we'll do better next race and give Michael a reliable car”. For once the critics and doubters were silenced. It is such a happy feeling to see Michael so happy and elated. This podium finish would truly help his mechanics believe that they indeed can do it and work with Michael to produce great results. I'm sure this just made them all hungry for that 92nd win. I'm sure they all would want to taste that champagne again.

And for us, no doubt we will continue to wait patiently for that elusive first win of the Meister in a Silver Arrow. We got a taste of the good times once again. It is drug that gives us a natural high! No doubt we want to experience it again. But whatever happens, our support for Michael will never waiver. In fact, it has just been notched up again. It may sound cliché to say we are behind Schumi in good times and in bad..but that's simply the way it is!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Good Ol' Days

Schumi fans have been frustrated this season due to the absurd amount of bad luck Michael has so far for the 2012 season. He has got more DNFs in the first 5 races than race finishes. And what makes it more frustrating is that we can see that the potential to finish strong is always there, but sadly, the gremlins were always there as well.

But last Saturday in Monaco, I got reminded once again why I am and still a Schumi fan. With everything that has happened this season for Schumi, it was no doubt that all odds are against him to do well during the weekend. In fact, he has been handed a 5 place grid penalty before the weekend has even started. The bad luck can't wait for the weekend to start, it actually went ahead of Michael and got there before him. And so as Michael said, he has nothing left to do but to attack and get pole during the qualifying. I knew deep inside that Michael will really fight till the end and do his best to get the best grid position he can. Monaco always leveled the playing field in modern F1 cars today due to the nature of the track and because of this, I always believe that the driver's skills are a bigger factor in this track among any other race tracks in the F1calendar. 

Michael was one of the last ones to go out in Q3 and that meant that it was a pole or nothing lap for him. The moment that he crossed the finish line and the red number 1 appeared beside his time and name gave absolute joy to me and I believe, to millions of Schumi fans out there. I can't describe the feeling. It was mixed joy and relief and then more jubilation again. I was just so glad to see Michael get a very good result and to see him so happy was a great feeling as well. His critics were silenced and his co-drivers acknowledged his great drive to get the pole. It was an awesome feeling to see him sit in the middle of the press conference table. After all the criticisms and the let downs since his comeback, his Monaco pole just erased all that and made all the hard work worth it. It was a great result to boost his confidence. I know he is motivated than ever, but if the great results just never come despite all the hard work, no doubt frustration will set in eventually. The pole made me so happy I actually got teary-eyed seeing Schumi wave to the crowd after the lap. It was as if we were back to the good ol' days. It was a happy feeling and it is the reason I watch F1 more intently whenever Schumi is racing. It is the reason I stay a Schumi fan because I relish every Schumi moment like this.

The race turned out to be what Michael's season has been for 2012. Another DNF. But it wasn't as bad as before as I believe the highlight of the weekend for Michael was the pole. Sure, it would have been so much better to finish the race in the podium, but it seems that it is not yet his time. Slowly but surely, Michael's luck in the race will turn and his podium and win will come. But right now, his pole in Monaco is the best part of the season for him so far.

Michael's comeback has not been what we have envisioned it to be. We thought he would have a win or at least a podium around this time when he is in his last year of his contract. With the bad races, the DNFs, the racing incidents that have happened since his return, it is so much easy to put the guy down and root for another driver or team. But that is just not the case for the true Schumi fans. These bad times separates the true fan from the bandwagoner.

Canada is just 7 days away and this time last year, Michael almost had his best finish in his comeback career. No doubt we, Schumi loyalists, will once again put the last bad race away and look forward to the start of the Grand Prix weekend with anticipation that Michael will finally get a break from his spell of bad luck. You may ask why we never tire of supporting when he never gets a good result. I say, it is in these times that we should stand by him whatever happens because if we are not there for him, who else will be?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mico Halili: The Others. by Chuck Araneta

I exactly feels the same way. Kudos to Chuck Araneta for writing this. I honestly still feels betrayed by Cone. But he has moved on and so shall I. But still, in my basketball heart, wala pa ding tatalo sa Alaska. :)

Mico Halili: The Others. by Chuck Araneta: A loyal fan braces for the painful end of Chicago's season and the hopeful start of another Alaska campaign. By Chuck Araneta (@chuck_...