Friday, April 26, 2013

A 1st Round Performance to Remember

Playoffs has started and so does the excitement. We are just in the very first round of playoffs and we could already see a lot of players on fire. Speaking of that, what’s your favourite 1st round match-up of all time? Is it AI’s 55 points against the Hornets way back 03’, Mt. Mutombo’s  1st seed upset against the Sonics, Golden State Warriors upset Dallas on 07’, or was it when the Bulls swept the defending champs the same year?  

Played as good as advertised, the 1st round of the playoffs is home for jaw dropping performances that captivated the past, the present, and the future.  And for us to see the best among the rest, in this case, we need to go back to time when Michael Jackson was still hitting his moonwalk, the Guns n’ Roses was still intact, the old Converse was still the majority choice for basketball shoes, men wore short shorts (still freaks me out until now), and practically the time when HD TV’s aren’t yet invented.  It was that classic performance and not those short shorts made me wish to see the matchup live. I’m talking about the greatest single game scoring performance set by an individual in playoffs history and still stands far from reach. It is from no other than,  Michael Jordan’s 63 point game at Boston Garden on April 20, 1986.

After finishing the season with an awful win/loss record of 30-52 yet made it to the playoffs and Jordan missing 64 games in the regular season due to a broken foot; it’s no surprise that the Bulls would face in the first round the eventual NBA champions, Eastern Conference 1st seed Boston Celtics. 

Losing by 19 points in the 1st game against the Bird-led Celtics, which regarded by many as the greatest team of all-time, Jordan bounced back on game 2 with an effort remembered as the greatest playoff performance. Then the bombardment on Boston materialized with MJ dropping 63 points on a double overtime showdown. Though they end up being swept despite MJ’s 43.7 ppg, his airness’ lights out performance still stands out until now as the greatest playoff performance of all time.

Jordan's spectacular numbers provided a sure lift for the Bulls and almost succeeded on making an upset against the Celtics. Larry Bird himself, Celtics ace player, expressed his awe to MJ's epic performance that he even said that it was God disguised as Michael Jordan.

Remarkable, isn't it? But wait there's more! Jordan didn't attempted a shot beyond the arc. 63 points without a 3-point basket? Well, I guess the shoes has something to do with it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Playoff picture

After a long and brutal 82 game season, only 81 games for Boston and Indiana, we now come down to the much anticipated +NBA PLAYOFFS . Filled with injuries, roster shakeups, renewed hope, record setting and breaking performances, and a whole lot more, playoffs is where the drama continues. If you're looking for "where amazing happens", brace yourself as we draw near to the playoff atmosphere. Set to begin on Sunday, 21st of April (Philippine time); let's check out the playoff picture and its schedule.

Eastern Conference

+Miami HEAT  vs +Milwaukee Bucks
This is technically the game that features the best team in the league against the team that made it to post season with the least number of wins. 66 wins for Miami and just 38 wins for Milwaukee. On this game, one doesn't have to be a basketball nerd to predict the outcome of the game because this will surely be a one sided affair. Stop right there, ask Brandon Jennings of the Bucks and you'll have your second thoughts.
"... If you ask me, that's who I would want to play in the first round, Miami. Just the fact over the years, a lot of games have gone down the wire with us and Miami. Right now we haven't really played well against the Knicks. I just feel better if we play Miami first round, just the fact that we have good game against them.  I don't know if it's because they're champs or what,  but we always play harder against Miami," says Jennings on his thoughts on facing Miami.

A sweep is still very much likely to happen on this 1st vs 8th match up. Whatever is going to happen on this series, for sure Milwaukee will learn a lot from it. By the way, Milwaukee has an audacious plan to make upset. Check it out here.

Key facts
If you're to translate what Jennings said from American English to basketball lingo, it would be "I'm ready to witness a massacre." The first round match for the Heat is just nothing but a warm-up for a long and promising exclamation point to what has been a spectacular season. Larry Sanders, Buck's defensive anchor, gears up to test his 'A' game against the explosive wing men of the Heat while Dwayne Wade sets his mind to add another ring.

+New York Knicks  vs +Boston Celtics
There's no better feeling than seeing the Boston-New York rivalry relived after so many years. It is important to note that Knicks, two seasons ago, got swept by the Celtics and this year the new look Knicks could plausibly return the favor. This is going to be an interesting match up in the Eastern conference first round between the 2nd seeded Knicks and 7th seeded Celtics, and the Melo-KG dispute would most likely result to an ugly old school type of basketball. With Rajon Rondo out of the scene for the rest of the season, the Celtics will never be the same but with Jeff Green on a breakout season taking over Rondo's responsibility, the Celtics could still pose a threat to the Knicks. Meanwhile, emerging as the new scoring champion - Carmelo Anthony - snapping Kevin Durant's three season dominance, 'Melo will be Knicks most potent weapon and with an ample support from team mates, this playoff bound Knicks can finally get passed the 1st round since Houston-Sprewell era.

Key facts
Rasheed Wallace retired after the same foot injury hits  back on a road against the Bobcats. Knicks waived Kurt Thomas and signed Solomon Jones. Knicks signed Quentin Richardson. Pablo Prigioni injured his ankle on their last home game against the Hawks. Jeff Green injured his hand after a dunk against Miami. Jared Sullinger and Rajon Rondo will not see action for the C's.

+Indiana Pacers  vs +Atlanta Hawks
No Granger, no problem! The Pacers season is definitely way beyond what was expected, with their star player out for the rest of the season who would thought that on his absence Indiana has gotten deadlier than ever. First time all-star Paul George, talented center Roy Hibbert, and veteran forward David West were responsible to this team's under the radar emergence. Topping the list on teams that could give a hell of a fight to Miami and New York on the eastern conference division, the Pacers is a team to watch out this playoffs. Ranking 1st on the rebounding department with 45.9 rebounds per game and 2nd on points allowed with a scary 90.5 points per game according to, they sure could steal the national spotlight.

First dose of a Joe-less season for the Hawks. After Joe Johnson left them for Nets, spitfire guard Jeff Teague and flexible forward Josh Smith were left to take care of the franchise. Although plagued with injuries, Larry Drew's boys still fought hard to yield an impressive 5th spot for the playoffs. They love to play fast phase type of game so you better make sure not to commit silly turnovers or else... you'll see a hawk flying on the fast break. You slow the game and they could still hurt you, averaging 24.6 assists per game these guys know how to take good care of that ball and find daylight during stifling 'D'.

Key facts
As of this writing, two of the Hawks' front court are listed on injured list and are considered day-to-day; Al Horford and Josh Smith. Already without Zaza Pachulia and Louis Williams, putting someone sidelined due to injuries is fatal as this team relies on the depth of the roster and not on individual basketball. On their 4 meeting this season, Pacers' defense hasn't really clicked as the Hawks got +8 on  their scoring average .470 on FG%, and .381 on 3-point FG%.

+Brooklyn Nets vs +Chicago Bulls
Every team is a contender during the playoffs as we all know but the odds of winning are almost always given to a higher seeded team.  However, this match-up is different from the usual ones. Out of 4 encounters this season, Bulls has won 3 games against the Nets. Nonetheless, playoffs is and will always be different from regular season games so let's see who will make it and who will shatter. 

Think of the Bulls, think of the playoffs, fuse the two and the thought of Derrick Rose wouldn't be left untapped. Who could forget last year's unfortunate tale of events for the Bulls that changed the tide of the whole playoff picture. Now the D-Rose is cleared and ready to go, rumors has spread that his return would take place at the 1st round of the playoffs. Scoring with an average of 93.2 points per game, ranking as the league's second worst scoring team, Derrick Rose’s return would surely provide a lift. Just like any other team in the league they were also plagued with injuries but the more shorthanded they've become, the more unrattled they've been. In fact, I'm getting used to call them the 'streak busters' rather than calling them Bulls for what they have done to Miami's 27 game winning streak and to New York's 13 game winning streak. Armed with stifling defense designed by the defensive tactician, coach Tom Thibodeau, the determined Bulls could once again rise up to the occasion. 

Hungry for a distinction against fellow a New York based team, Knicks, the Nets has found a very appreciable spot in the playoffs that would enable them to enjoy home court advantage, at least for the first round. Instead of enjoying, they better worry because the Bulls is not an easy assignment after all. Limited to an average of 87.5 points per game on their season series by the Bulls's defense, coach P.J Carlesimo has got pull out something to make it to the next leg. Already suffering one of the league's worst 20.3 assists per game, the charging Bulls has even made the matters worse for them as they force the Nets only to dish out only 17.5 assists per game. If you let the numbers speak, you would clearly understand why the Nets has fallen thrice against the Bulls this past regular season. If numbers decrease when they play against Chicago, not all-star center Brook Lopez. Lopez loves playing against the Bulls averaging 22 points per game against them, he will provide a steady numbers as expected.

Key facts
All-star center Joakim Noah could miss the whole series.

Western Conference

+Oklahoma City Thunder  vs +Houston Rockets
Harden behind Westbrook and Durant on the bench feels like just a day ago. Old pals meet once again and the whole scenario has completely change. Harden already a starter and no longer a sixth man but a top 5 on the MVP talk, and Durant, sadly no longer the scoring champ. Expect a high scoring game as two of the top scoring clubs clash in this epic 1st round match-up, Houston 2nd in the league for scoring average and OKC 3rd in the same department respectively. 

It's redemption time for the Thunder! Time to get back to the Finals and take what should have been for them a year ago. Headed by Durant with 28.1 points per game and a heads up year for the highly criticized sidekick for being a ball hog, Russell Westbrook, he has now statistically improved his passing skills dishing out 7.4 assists per game compared to a lowly 5.5 APG last season. With the 'Beard man' out and Kevin Martin in, everyone's pretty much excited to see how the Thunder is going to bounce back.

Jeremy Lin never appeared to a single post season game last year with the Knicks and though his numbers weren't as 'Lin'pressive when Linsanity took the basketball world by storm, shades of his game still remains. Houston is a bad ass team on the paint despite being an underdog on size and on talent but ranked as 7th in league for rebounds per game with 43.4 somebody really has eaten his heart out. Turkish big man Omer Asik should take much of that credit grabbing 11.7 rebounds per game, making him the 3rd busiest player on crashing the boards. Last but not probably the least, James Harden, 1st time all-star and his first trip to the playoffs being the face of the franchise. With only Asik and Harden entitled with a valid playoff experience, Harden will lead this young Rocket team to contend for the time since 2009.

Key facts
Thunder won 2 of their 3 games with a margin average of 25.0 points. On Houston's only win, Harden exploded with 46 points to go along with a triple on the late seconds of the game to save the Rockets. 11-20 is the all time playoff record of the Rockets versus the Thunder.

+San Antonio Spurs  vs +Los Angeles Lakers
And they meet once again, the purple and gold versus the kings of Texas. Sure be another classic match-up between the two. With the old school type of basketball the Spurs has wowed us again with their brand of basketball. On the other hand, this Laker team now rests their fate to all star center Dwight Howard as leading scorer Kobe Bryant injures his Achilles tendon and missing the rest of season.

With Tony Parker back from injury, the Spurs can now rely on TP's 20.9 points per game performance and with Manu getting healthy, he sure could provide a spark off the bench. At the age of 36, Duncan found the fountain of youth as he powers his way to the playoffs with a remarkable 17.8 ppg, 9.9 rpg, and 2.7 bpg. Distributing the ball as good as no other team, San Antonio tops the league in dimes per game with 25.1, making them tough to defend as they could hit from all angles. All factors contribute to exploit Lakers' weakness - defense.

Coach Mike D'Antoni just won the coach of the month. Yes, you're reading it right. The Lakers this season finally made things right in the late season. Lakers are in but Kobe's out which is still subject for talks if they're better with him or without. There is a photo of a Laker team in the midst of a joyous celebration with a meme "Kobe is out, we can shoot now" that has gone viral in a social media site right now. No matter what your say is, Lakers without Kobe is just completely strange. Strange as it is when Lakers won three straight and two of it are against playoff bound teams (GSW & SAS).   With the ball going to Howard now more often than not, the Laker nation has witnessed the vintage Dwight and with Pau Gasol standing tall, they are slowly forming a new face of twin towers. When Superman maintains his stellar 12.4 rpg and 2.4 bpg, and Gasol to increase his numbers on the stats sheet, we might witness a Cinderella story.

Key facts
Spurs signed veteran forward Tracy Mcgrady. Spurs waived Stephen Jackson. Lakers were 3-0 after Kobe's season ending injury and it was Dwight and Pau who rescued them. On their last game against the Spurs, Dwight stepped up and so does Steve Blake when Blake sweeshed 23 points.

+Denver Nuggets vs +Golden State Warriors
When coach George spoke that a team doesn't necessary need a superstar to contend, he was clearly referring to his team after 'Melo left for Knicks,  coach Karl was more than correct. Looking at mile high Denver this season, being 1st in the league for points per game, 2nd in rebounding, 3rd in the assist department, and set a franchise record for most wins in a season,  the Nuggets just might be the force to be reckoned with this 2013 playoffs.

Where were we? Oh! We're at the best shooting team in the league yo. Coach Mark Jackson's boys now enters the playoffs spotlight for the first timeExpect an aggressive young team with contributions from all star forward/center David Lee, sharpshooters Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, and sixth man Jared Jack. Up and down? They could give you that. Half court set? Still, they have that. Down the wire? The more, you know what Steph Curry is capable of doing. There's only a big setback though, expect rookie mistakes down the stretch.

Key facts
Now that Gallinari is out for the rest of the season, the Nuggets will have to find someone willing to fill his role because it was Gallo who chipped in 20.8 points per game against GSW in their 4 outings. The man-nimal is still questionable for game 1 as he is still nursing a sprained ankle. Also look out for Australian center Andrew Bogut, known for being haunted by injuries. AB will play for the first time in the playoffs after his last playoff appearance with the Bucks.

+Los Angeles Clippers vs +Memphis Grizzlies
For the first time, Clippers won the division title and now set to face a familiar foe - Memphis Grizzlies. A review of last year's nail biting 7-game 1st round match, watch this if you love the physicality.
The Clipps already emerged as champions on 'Battle Los Angeles' but the way these guys were playing since the start of the season, they probably wanted more than that. Already learned a lesson from the Spurs last playoffs, they toughen up their roster by adding notable veterans to add more sting to their half court game and mobility on their defense. Now that the pick-n-roll of CP3 and Blake Griffin has more variations to choose from, opponents would have to choose if it’s going to rain with threes or let the highlight factory roll.

First it was O.J Mayo and recently, Rudy Gay. Thought they lost morale after the trade which was evident on their first game without Rudy at OKC.That mid-season trade surprisingly made this grizzly bear's claw sharper and cutting deeper. During the post all star period it was Mike Conley who stepped up to light up the scoreboard. The addition of Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye provided a boost on their defensive prowess aiding Tony Allen on the floor. Not forgetting Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol's presence inside the paint, Memphis Grizzlies registered themselves as league's best defensive team only limiting 89.3 points per game. The grit n' grind brand of basketball has already been labeled a big threat for post season games, this year, what happened to the Spurs against the Grizz could also happen to the Clipps. Just saying.

Key facts
Both starting point guards average at least 2 steals per game, each steal leads to a lob or another ball possession. Take note of that. If it's a low scoring game, then the game is to be handed to the Grizz and vice versa. Watch out for Deandre Jordan and Marc Gasol collision. Blake Griffin versus Zach Randolph match-up. I'm sure you're excited how they'll play if a cross match would ensue.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Madness to Sadness

With the recently concluded NCAA tournament’s March Madness, and Louisville Cardinals bringing home the bacon against Michigan Wolverines; it’s not surprising how the world stops as it holds its breathe as two elite team clashed. Disregarding Kobe’s arrogant statement, “I ain’t watching shit! They should be watching me” when asked if he’s going to watch the March Madness’ final four, many of you for sure, still enjoyed all the thrilling actions it has given to all basketball fans.

We all love basketball for so many reasons whether be it from a simple street ball game, collegiate hoops, up to professional leagues and we  all have variety of reasons why. Despite the euphoria it has given the world of sports we still have to bear in mind that when one’s victorious, the other has to embrace defeat and learn from it. When you cheer for your favourite team and at the late push, someone from the other team drains a game-winning-buzzer-beater (GWBB), it pisses us off our mood; it irks us and leads us to curse the late game hero, and can’t help to talk about it all night.  It happens, it happens all the time when you compete. No doubt about that.  In fact, no true champion has ever reached the peak of its career without encountering heartbreaking and unescapable losses during the course of his/her competitive sporting vocation. Inevitable in its very nature too, we human beings have the inherent emotional attachments to things and people we adore. That is also the reason why we fans mourn when we see our team suffer an ‘L.’ A fan’s anguished on a matchup where his team fell short is completely no matched to the athletes’ feelings that played the game themselves, which is why we often see ace players anew after a tough season because losses, when viewed objectively, could play a great impetus for another aspiring season. For those who haven’t tasted defeat – maybe you’re not human at all, and those who’d testify how devastating losses are – don’t worry, you don’t have to waste a single calorie uttering your very own experience because probably we have the same.

For some extraordinary gentlemen they view defeats as opportunities in disguise. For them, failures force them to re-evaluate their goals and priorities, and often propel them forward much faster than continued success. These failures, defeats and losses we’re referring to are outcomes of subpar performances in the field of sports. In basketball for example: failing to close out a shooter beyond the arc during clutch times, failing to crash the boards, and failure to communicate during a pick-and-roll. All those are just few of the many ingredients that produce inevitable losses for games that should have been won. To ballers possessed with a competitive spirit and used or obsessed to winning, ending a game shorthanded not in skills but the will to win resulting to a loss, absolutely drains them emotionally.  Good thing disheartening losses causing depletion of morale can be healed by replacing them with good memories to look back. Superseding a tainted record by means of championship calibre kind of return, superstar type redemption, and setting the bar high by a performance one of a kind are just few ways how achievers, not just in basketball, silenced their respective haters.

But what happens when failures are no longer entitled for redemption? When defeat has gone beyond the unthinkable? And, when a loss destroys a part of you hampering you to compete for another try? This is when failure is associated to giving up and this is when defeat is linked to natural tendencies that has gotten beyond the unimaginable. You failed when your body has given up rising to the occasion and you were left defeated because all what’s left in you is only a dream, now unreachable.  This is a sad flip side of basketball – yes, injuries. I’m talking about, career bothering, if not career ending injuries.

To be frank, I think I just saw the worst basketball injury in my life.  

March Madness has given historic games and unforgettable upsets throughout the whole course of the tournament.  However,  a historic and an unforgettable turn of events transpired during an elite eight game between Duke and Louisville that shocked the world, at the midway point of the 1st quarter when Kevin Ware attempted to close out and blocking Tyler Thornton and landing badly causing his shinbone to pop out of its skin. The crowd visibly stunned by the gruesome incident more especially to Kevin Ware’s team mates sitting on the bench ( Kevin landed in front of the bench as he injures himself) when they witnessed Kevin on an excruciating pain. Let’s get more of that later.

I have in list my edition of basketball injuries that has completely changed the way people view the sport. This is devised for scholarly purposes, to all students of the game and also to those concerned spectators whose only wish is for the continued elation brought by basketball. For those who are not immune to gross incidents that may make you grimace on looking at the scene, I would respect your decision to take a graceful exit on this blog post, and please as you leave don’t forget to include Kevin Ware to your prayers for his speedy recovery then recommend this whom you think would benefit reading.


Now... For those brave and willing to see it for themselves my list of basketball injuries that has completely changed the way people view the sport, let's bring it on:

Edgar Sosa Injury

Kevin Ware and Edgar Sosa of Dominican Republic had one thing in common, they both played in Louisville during their college basketball career. Edgar Sosa played with Charlie Villanueva of the Detroit Pistons together for the Dominican Republic men’s national basketball team. I just knew that there was a similar injury to Ware’s only after to the actual incident due to a article that gone viral because it draws similarity to Ware’s injury. 

Anrew Bogut injury

Honestly, if only Kevin Ware didn’t got injured this should’ve been on the top of the list. Being the first Australian to receive an all-NBA honours, this Aussie’s has gone south after this horrifying injury. Diagnosed with a dislocated right elbow, broken right hand, and a wrist sprain – this was really a hard fall indeed. This injury nags not just Bogut but also me every time I step on the gas on a fast break opportunity. He has always been bothered by injuries on the same arm ever since clearly limiting his minutes and subsequently, efficiency on the floor.

Kevin Ware injury

If a picture is worth a thousand words, looking at the photo, the word ‘painful’ should be on the record. You might wanna take a look how it happened here. 

During a nationally televised game Ware accidentally suffered a mind blogging injury that rarely happens in basketball. Contact sports e.g entertainment wrestling like WWE, mixed martial arts, and motocross will have injuries like this only once in a blue moon, and for a game like basketball, chances are astronomically uncommon. He wasn’t tripped nor was the incident predetermined as soon as he left his off the ground due to the fact that the action is routinely done by defensive players. Nonetheless, Kevin Ware’s injury triggered a chaos to college athletes’ health insurance . A relief on his side when his team proceeded to another bracket of the tournament when Louisville routed Duke and eventually being crowned as champion when they battled the Wolverines in the championship, not an insult to injury. It was Ware’s injury that motivated his team mates to do the extra mile but more credit has to be given to the injured player when he encouraged his pals not to worry about him and told them to focus on the game.

"I don't think any of us, with what we had to witness, could overcome it if it wasn't for Kevin Ware saying to the guys repeatedly, 'I'll be fine. Win the game'," says Louisville Cardinals coach Rick Pitino.

Ware was with them sitting on a wheelchair during the championship and the Cardinal who cut the net off the ring as a basketball tradition for the winning team.

As I was surfing the net and I didn’t know why I was routed a men’s magazine site, God, I don’t know if it was my ISP’s going faulty again or it’s just my notebook requiring a reformat  now. Ahem! I suddenly noticed an article pertaining to Ware’s injury, how’d it happened, and how to prevent it so I’m sharing it to you guys so you’d be aware too. Credits to Philippines’ most famous men’s magazine for this photo, I’m still overwhelmed how a men’s magazine site could help men take good care of their bones. Yeah! Up to now I’m still on the verge of convincing myself about this. 

That wraps it up hoop junkies. I hope this blog post offered a great public service reminder to all of you. Please include Kevin Ware in your prayers, let’s hope this is the last of the worst, and take good care of your bones.

On the other side of the court, playoffs is fast approaching so support your teams and expect more blog posts to come from me. So long!

Monday, April 1, 2013

My Problem with People’s Participation

My problem with people’s participation permeates on governmental affairs such as, but not limited to the practice of the right of suffrage, involvement on national/local legislation, and adherence to rules and regulations. This tackles a vast extent of concern to the very gamut of good governance  itself where rule of law, transparency, responsiveness, consensus oriented, equity and inclusiveness, effectiveness and efficiency, accountability, and participation should be observed in totality to achieve the utmost public service served to the hoi polloi. The lack or the mediocre participation of the citizens towards nation building doesn’t only impede progress but also to losing the sense of a democratic scheme. Poor people’s participation for one nation state leads to the election of corrupt officials, elected corrupt officials then in return would disperse unpleasant public service which then clamoured by the people who they elected by themselves. Not only that, bad people’s participation also disrupts national/local legislation through referendum and plebiscite, and consequently leading to non-adherence or no familiarity to statutes enacted. To sum-up the damage of what an awful people’s participation could provide, headache or hell maybe the term appropriate to give as it leaves the type of the government which is for the people, by the people, and of the people into a fiasco.

One fresh example of this problem dates back to March 30, 2013. In the midst of the holy week, a barangay assembly was set pursuant to presidential proclamation no. 342, declaring the last Saturday of March as Barangay Assembly days. All eyes were set for one of the grandest nationwide synchronized activity designed for the purpose of a getting the government closer to the people. 

According to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG):

The proclamation is also in accordance with Section 397(b) of the Local Government Code of 1991, which mandates all barangays throughout the country to hold simultaneous Barangay Assemblies at least twice a year and undertake the following activities: Presentation of accomplishment and financial reports; discussion of problems, issues, and concerns affecting the barangay, particularly on solid waste management and the proliferation of illegal drugs and other illegal activities; discussion on effects of and mitigating measures relative to the El NiƱo phenomenon; and other prevailing concerns. Being the basic political unit of our country, the barangay is an important vehicle for eliciting citizen opinion on pressing issues affecting the local community and mobilizing participation in local and national programs and projects.
The Barangay Assembly is the most appropriate venue for clarifying issues, discussing community concerns and problems, offering suggestions to improve the delivery of basic services, and proposing income-generating projects to improve the quality of life of local residents. Punong barangays would do well to utilize the day to update their registry of inhabitants, especially in barangays located in the metropolis where there are many transients, and in areas just outside Metro Manila where housing developments have mushroomed. Residents of barangays are encouraged to participate in this twice-a-year activity to air their concerns and problems, offer suggestions to improve their local communities, and propose livelihood, sanitation, beautification, and peace and order projects. All residents should be involved in community initiatives to make this basic political unity fully functional and productive.

The paramount aim of the barangay assembly is to make the government closer to the people. This is the right time to redress their grievances and to be closely seated to the officials, looking at their eyeballs and given the chance to ask their stand on a public interest. The barangay assembly permits you to hold the mic and, for a moment, be the media man of your own. But when what should have been a flawless system turns out to be just purely an idea, this 21 year old political animal calls for dire after a brunt on a traumatic scene seen firsthand.

I attended the event myself as I always do. Been attending semi-annual barangay assemblies since my term as an SK chairman ended. To my dismay, again, the barangay assembly was taken for granted by many of the residents of our barangay. There are some who attended were more concerned about the raffle prizes, some were present only for the compliance of 4P’s policy to attend barangay assemblies, and some just signed in and left afterwards. Well, there are those who attentively participated in the activity though they were only a handful. I am not even sure if it was officially declared as quorum. The most frustrating part was those members of the community who were successful professionals of their own lives weren't there and most of those who attended where from the ordinary laymen sector. The most common response when asked why they did not attend the activity is that, they don’t like the officials who, according to them, were only seated in the position only because of money. Who elected those bastards at the first place? By choosing not to vote the right candidate or influencing an ocean of voters to choose the right man on the right job, men and women who possess the intellect to persuade the voting public to do the right move  but chose to hide on their shell reluctant of their ideas are indirectly voting the wrong politicians.

Looking at the barangay assembly in a political perspective, the Republic Act 7160 or also known as Local Government Code of 1991provides:

Section 397. Composition; Meetings. -

(a) There shall be a barangay assembly composed of all persons who are actual residents of the barangay for at least six (6) months, fifteen (15) years of age or over, citizens of the Philippines, and duly registered in the list of barangay assembly members.

Section 398. Powers of the Barangay Assembly. - The barangay assembly shall:
(a) Initiate legislative processes by recommending to the sangguniang barangay the adoption of measures for the welfare of the barangay and the city or municipality concerned;

(b) Decide on the adoption of initiative as a legal process whereby the registered voters of the barangay may directly propose, enact, or amend any ordinance; and

(c) Hear and pass upon the semestral report of the sangguniang barangay concerning its activities and finances.

Sec 397, par. A, reminds me of “the youth is the future of our motherland” by Dr. Jose Rizal. Politics is not an old man’s game and the youth sector should be involved in it for a better foundation of the future generation. Sad to say, aside from me only toddlers who were with their mothers were deemed to be the members of the next generation were present in the assembly. 

It’s very enticing to think that the Local Government Code of 1991 arranged an activity, somehow, to consult the stakeholders of every ordinance to enact, projects to propose, basic services needed, and to correct shortcomings and mismanagement. I remember the time when I had my OJT in Municipal Planning and Development Office when we were keeping an eye on a joint project of the LGU concerned and an academic institution called Community Based Monitoring Survey (CBMS) when we were tallying pieces of information vital for legislation. In that point I realized how crucial for a Local Government Unit to take an in-depth view of the community’s standing. If the quality of life of the people depends on the public service they receive, the quality of public service lives and dies with the info it has with its people. We complain a lot, we get involved a little – true!

In line with the conduct of Barangay Assembly Day, the barangays shall undertake compliance to DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2010-149 dated December 14, 2010 re: Posting of Barangay Budget, Statement of Income and Expenditures and other Barangay Financial Transactions and Annual Procurement Plan. 

If in chase of the realm of good governance and advocating a zero corruption, the barangay is the best place to start.  Planning to help lessen an uprooted problem of graft and corruption in the diverse facets in government? I suggest you begin in the grassroots level, the barangay, as the basic political unit of the state. To shun corruption, a wary ear to public disclosure of all public transactions is the best way to do it, and the barangay assembly which happens twice a year divulges income, expenditures, and transactions to the constituents are very much worthy to dissect.

With the May elections fast approaching, we will soon be hearing campaign jingles and a lot of political rallies on the streets. Soon to be showered with promises and idealism, electing a new set of leaders isn’t the main answer. We can’t expect change in the society if we leave it all to them. Allowing government watchdogs to be solely responsible for corrupt officials, they can’t do it alone and perhaps they are with the bad guys. Sovereignty resides from the people and all government power emanates from them (Art. 2, Sec. 1 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines) and we should at least remember that.  You don’t need to be an activist to make a change, throwing paints on the walls of an embassy, and worst, mudslinging on alleged corrupt officials. Let’s do it in a non-barbaric manner and I assure you “yes we can.”