I WAS born to be a Thomasian.

* * *

Irony makes everything around us a little bit more interesting.

For instance, there’s the circus hoopla that amateur basketball presents to us such as the Ateneo-De La Salle rematch for the UAAP men’s basketball championship. Supporters and wannabes filled the Araneta Coliseum to the rafters. Some even resorted to buying tickets from scalpers just to support their beloved teams. Fast-forward to the recent UAAP-NCAA Showdown for the benefit of the Bantay Bata.

I was looking forward to watching that tournament because the idea of seeing the top four teams of both leagues slugging it out to prove which team was “the team” excited me.

But after seeing the lean crowd turnout during the first few games, I changed my mind. I was appalled by what I saw on television—a lot of empty seats. I also skipped watching the “All-Star Game” for that matter.

What happened to the loyal support that the fans had shown year-in and year-out in the UAAP and the NCAA? Even Ateneo and De La Salle games failed to attract the viewers.

On internet message boards, specifically greenarcher.net, forums on the Bantay-Bata Showdown showed why there was so little interest generated by the fans. A certain “GreenArrows,” an administrator for greenarcher.net, said that Studio 23 is only milking the UAAP by organizing the Benefit Games and the All-Star Games.

To quote GreenArrows regarding the Benefit Games: “Regardless, this looks like another gimmick of Studio 23 to ‘milk’ further the UAAP and the NCAA. Remember, with the demise of the MBA, Studio 23 has no substitute sports program in their program line-uo. Most of their daytime programming is devoted to music videos, which pale in comparison to MTV and other cable music video stations. Studio 23 does not have the PBA and it does not even have the PBL, which has gained tremendous popularity with the collapse of the MBA.”

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I can’t help but agree with GreenArrows somehow. After the Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA)’s fold-up, Studio 23 has no more marketable basketball shows to air and the UAAP is undoubtedly the fattest cow in the field. Yet it is quite sad that the fans do not wish to help contribute to the Bantay-Bata cause.

Business-wise, the UAAP is a huge moneymaking enterprise. Rather than help amateur sports, it seems that Studio 23 has made the UAAP another treasure vault it can exploit until, maybe, its broadcast coverage contract expires.

* * *

Another irony in the local collegiate basketball front is the overkill that media gave to Ateneo De Manila University and De La Salle University.

Before the start of the season, the two teams were already being “hyped“ as the teams that would meet for the UAAP men’s basketball championship.

Even newspaper advertisements (i.e. telecommunication companies) had nothing but the colors blue and green in them. Honestly, it was really sickening.

I mean, how about the colors black-gold, black-white? How about the color maroon or even the host university’s color of blue and yellow?

It is really ironic that UST, University of the Philippines and National University are being denied some of the limelight when in fact, the three are the founders of the UAAP. Ateneo and La Salle joined the league only in 1978 and 1986, respectively. Now think about that.

* * *

Trust is very hard to earn. It is beautiful when it is gained but once lost, it can result into something really, really ugly.

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Some people take advantage of it. The problem with trusting too much is that if you give someone your trust, you also give the person the power to hurt you.

This is exactly what I experienced last semester. I don’t want to exaggerate too much on this issue because the people involved don’t deserve to be famous.

I’ve always lived by the DTA credo: Don’t Trust Anybody. But the problem with me is that I’m too trusting to remember.

My only word of advice to those who inflamed me is that you had better change your ways. If I shake your hand, that means you can count on me to help you out every which way I can. But if you stab me in the back, be warned that I won’t back down. You’ve just earned an enemy.

* * *

On a bright note, I was quite surprised how friendly the people in the Dean’s office were when I enrolled last week.

Except for someone who told me to return the next day when, after waiting in line for 30 minutes, and it was already my turn, all they had to do was give me the registration form so that I might fill it up. And to think that there were still 10 minutes left before the office closes. Oh well, I guess old habits die hard.

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