Heat beats Pacers 90-79 to take 3-2 series lead

MIAMI (Updated) – A brilliant third quarter by LeBron James and the Miami Heat turned the game around and lifted the hosts to a 90-79 win over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, taking a 3-2 lead in the NBA Eastern Conference finals.

James scored 16 of his 30 points in the third, helping to turn a six-point deficit into a 14-point lead and put the Heat within one win of a third-straight trip to the NBA Finals. (READ MORE)

KAC alumna is Athlete of the Year

KAC Athlete of the Year

Mikaela Calamba poses with Landolf Villanueva, a Youth Development Programs facilitator of RAFI’s Kool Adventure Camp, after she was interviewed at her training center.

FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD Mikaela Calamba, alumna of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.’s (RAFI) Kool Adventure Camp (KAC), was named Athlete of the Year during the 31st Sportswriters Association of Cebu-San Miguel Brewery Inc. Cebu Sports Awards.

“When I heard my name being called to receive the award, I could not believe it at first. I was thinking it was another Mikaela. But when the crowd cheered for me, I felt blessed that my sacrifices paid off,” Calamba recalled.

Walking upstage to receive her award brought back an experience—her Pamper Pole experience during her training with KAC last year.

Calamba referred to one of the high elements in Challenge Ropes Course (CRC). Pamper Pole is about twenty-five to thirty-five feet high where a person stands on the platform and dives for a target rope that is suspended from a cable.

CRC consists of an aesthetically designed series of ropes, cables and wood poles combine in such a way as to stimulate challenges that might be found in a natural setting. Furthermore, CRC is an experiential adventure program which offers groups and individuals the opportunity to participate in a series of activities involving mental, physical and emotional risk taking.

Before named Athlete of the Year, Calamba won a gold medal over older competitors from Vietnam, India, and USA in the individual freestyle event in the World Taekwondo Poomsae Championship last December in Colombia.

“I felt fulfilled that I have achieved my Pamper Pole goal — to be a gold medalist in an international taekwondo competition,” she said.

“Superstone,” Calamba’s camp name, added that KAC has enriched her mentally, spiritually, physically, and socially.

“I’m Superstone because of its being strong and unbreakable,” described Calamba.

She continued, “I learned to face the challenges and realized that anything is possible. Through hard work, determination, and commitment, I will be able to achieve something.”

Calamba did not expect she will be doing taekwondo.

“I just wanted a productive summer so I took up voice and dance lessons but I got bored so I went out until I was influenced by my brother to enrol for taekwondo,” she recalled.

Landolf Villanueva, Mikaela’s facilitator during the camp, said that he immediately congratulated her after knowing her feat.

“When I saw Mikaela in the newspaper, I spread the good news right away to all KAC staff,” Villanueva said.

Calamba also shared that she had given up some family affairs and other extracurricular activities just to train hard.

“When I knew that I will be sent to Colombia for the competition, I know I have to do my best because it will lead me to success,” Calamba remarked, citing her two-month training in Manila aside from regular training in Cebu.

“Training hard and dedication will really lead you to achieving what you want. With my experience in KAC, I became optimistic, more committed to what I am doing, and I learned a lot of things, which I have applied in sports. I know I have done something new every practice,” she shared.

When asked about her next Pamper Pole goal, Calamba said she wants to win more taekwondo titles and be an honor student.

“You need to trust yourself. Trust others also that they may help build your success. If you lose trust, you will create your own downfall, which is really hard in sports,” she stressed.

She also encouraged young people to join in a KAC program since it is once-in-a-lifetime experience that provides a wide variety of valuable life lessons.

Calamba is currently training for the Asian Junior Championships to be held in Indonesia this June.

KAC has been offering adventure education programs for leadership and team development for youth and professionals for the last decade. It is currently building the Philippines’ first fully dedicated adventure education center, which is set to open this year.

For more information on KAC and its services, contact 260-9000 local 1001 and look for Althea Santillan, or visit www.rafi.org.ph/kac-professional or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph.

SM Summer Kids Collection

It was a launch at the breezy poolside of the Dusit Hotel in Makati that I got to preview the new summer collection of SM. I have to hand it to the Sys for hiring incredibly talented people who are upping the standards of merchandising at the department stores of the biggest mall company in

Economy up 7.8% in first quarter

MANILA (2nd Update, 11:12 a.m.) – The Philippine Statistical Board reported a 7.8 percent growth in the country’s economy for the first quarter of 2013, a 1.3 percent increase compared to year ago data.

The 7.8 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) was attributed to the upbeat business and consumer sentiment, and sustained government capital expenditure. Read more

San Lorenzo Ruiz statue unveiled at Markham School

By Gerald Misa

MARKHAM, Ontario, Canada — A Markham school named in honor of San Lorenzo Ruiz has scored a statue of the iconic Filipino saint five years after it opened.

The statue was unveiled at the San Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic Elementary School during the Solemn Blessing and Official Opening of New Addition celebrations held last May 6.

The statue, a mid-size sculpture measuring 40″ tall was carved from plaster, according to its sculptor, artist Mogi Mogado. It stands atop a 32″ pedestal that will be installed permanently to grace the school’s foyer area.

“At this height, it is at a comfortable eye-level that is just perfect for the school children to enjoy,” he said.

His version of San Lorenzo incorporates more of Filipino features, the artist explained. Its form was adapted from the gigantic monument that dominates the San Lorenzo Park in front of the Binondo Cathedral in the Philippines.

Unlike the common, generic version that looks anything but Filipino, Mogado said he modeled it from a Filipino priest from the local St. Patrick’s Church, who was of part-Chinese facial features, reflecting the lineage of San Lorenzo.

In blessing the statue, the officiating priest, Rev. Chris Lemieux, said that “idols and statues are primarily symbols of faith that serve to facilitate the connection between the devotees and God.”

He said they are not objects of veneration themselves. “Rather they are the powerful intercessors on our behalf. If I pray and ask San Lorenzo and the other saints to help me pray to the Lord, in my faith I believe my prayer will have a better chance to be heard and answered,” he said.

School Trustee Marlene Mogado and principal Teresa Lombardo, who both did the unveiling, were happy to welcome the statue. The statue was a gift to the school jointly by Trustee Mogado and the School Council.

“With this statue, I feel there is a sense of closing the circle, a sort of giving wholeness to the school,” Trustee Mogado said. “When we talk San Lorenzo to the kids, it will be easier for them to relate to the subject by visualizing him through the statue.”

Principal Lombardo was most grateful as she acknowledged the gift to her school.

“It’s wonderful. It will be like having the blessed soul of San Lorenzo pacing our corridors, his presence among us in every classroom and every school activity,” she said.

“Seeing the new statue will instill more pride in being Filipino. I feel that way, I’m sure it’s the same with the other kababayans,” remarked Madeleine Ong, a Filipino lay church leader active with the St. Patrick’s Church and the Block Rosary Crusade of Toronto.

Among the honored guests present were Director of Education Patricia Preston, and Superintendent of Schools Nancy DiNardo, both of the York Catholic District School Board, and Chair of the SLRCES Council Nathalie Gonsalves.

San Lorenzo Ruiz is the beloved patron saint of Catholic Filipino migrants and overseas Foreign workers (OFWs). He was beatified by Pope John Paul in Manila in 1981, and later canonized in Rome in 1987 making him the first saint from the Philippines.

At the San Lorenzo Ruiz CES gym a satellite church mass, part of the St. Patrick’s Parish, is held at 10:15 every Sunday morning. Since news spread that there was a San Lorenzo church here, devotees from neighboring communities have been flocking to attend the masses, pushing the numbers of Filipino attendees into the majority among the congregation.

Local Filipino community leaders are campaigning for kababayans to attend mass here. Trustee Mogado said that if sufficient numbers are maintained, it may justify building a San Lorenzo church in the area.

For artist Mogado, it will be his latest major artwork that goes into public view. A few blocks away in the same community as SLRCES is the Don Cousens Public School that proudly displays a bust statue sculpted by Mogado of the former city mayor of Markham in whose honor the school is named after.

Mogado also has a bust statue of the Philippine Hero Jose Rizal enshrined at the Filipino Center Toronto, and one of the late founder of Fiesta Filipina Dance Troupe George Aguinaldo at the Fiesta Filipina Community Center in Mississauga. Not to mention numerous art pieces in private collections and at his home, including a backyard gaggle of Canada Geese sculpture and totem poles in his front yard.

Mogi is active in the community. Among his involvements are as Balita associate editor, past president of the Philippine Artist Group of Canada, past treasurer of the Philippine Press Club of Ontario, and as past chancellor of the Canada Region Knights of Rizal. (PR)

Forum links environment to happiness

WHAT does it take to be happy? Simple but very thought provoking, the question elicits diverse answers from people. “According to an Oxford Clinical Psychologist Survey, there are only three sources of genuine happiness, relationships, work, and leisure,” environmental lawyer and advocate Antonio Oposa said. Oposa was one of the guest speakers during a forum

Comelec stopped from proclaiming party-list winners

Five remaining seats in the party-list race will not be allocated yet after the Supreme Court issued a stay order on Wednesday in favor of disqualified group Senior Citizens, whose accreditation was cancelled because of an alleged term-sharing agreement for its two sets of nominees.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno issued the temporary restraining order (TRO) on behalf of the Court, whose sessions will resume next week following a month-long decision writing break. Read the rest of this entry