TARSIER 6: WETTER AND WILDER





I had a lot of great expectations for Tarsier 6. I did not get the chance to cover it last year due to tournament schedule conflicts, but AAU Photographer Nico Primaleon did a fantastic job in covering Tarsier 5. I've always wanted to visit Bohol ever since I was a kid. Never had the chance to go on trips around the country back then since I  don't have the means to do it, but Ultimate gave me the opportunity to see the beauty of our country and the hospitality of every people in different regions. I guess I am one of the lucky ones to witness the Majestic mountains of Bukidnon, the beautiful weather in Sagada, the Gentle people in Dumaguete, the powdery white sands of Boracay, Surf spots in Baler, La Union and Mati, the historic Vigan, the San Juanico Bridge connecting Samar and Leyte, the cheapest Durian Fruit in Davao, the sweetest pineapple I've ever tasted from Ormoc City, The Quatro Islas my personal heaven on earth, don't forget the sisig in Pampanga, and yes the most delicious Palapa, and some of the gigantic waterfalls in Iligan. And now, I finally saw the Tarsiers in their quiet habitat. The Chocolate hills that will first burn your fats out climbing the observation deck before seeing the tasty looking hills and of course the Man Made Forest that makes you feel like you've been teleported to a different planet. Bohol has some of the most amazing sceneries in the country. Beautiful historical churches and the most delicious peanut kisses and kalamay you'll ever taste. Big thanks to my Brother and Sister from another mother, Edong and Ga Larrazabal for giving me a ride all the way from Ormoc city to see all these Bohol spots. Yes, I already had my Bohol side trip fixed, a day before the tournament.







From a  five minute ride from Sunset Villa where we stayed for the three-day tournament, there stands the CPG sports complex. CPG stands for Carlos P. Garcia, the Former president of the Republic of the Philippines who was born and raised in Bohol. I have to say, the sports complex sure did see some better days.  But the building is still in good condition to accommodate the twenty-four energetic teams that participated this year. The teams were a mix of seasoned veterans and first-timers. I've seen a lot of very familiar teams that weekend (Welcome back Roaches!), but I was pretty excited to see the newer teams and players battling it out against Kyrah, April, Bruno, Popoy, Bullet, Jordan, just to name a few of the many amazing athletes  who played under the heat of the sun and under the heaviest rainfall that gave us a field of mud pools.






You can immediately feel the excitement in the air the moment the first pulls were thrown. The first two games went into full battle mode as the cheers and battle cries on the sidelines echoed around CPG. With a cup of freshly brewed coffee, a plate of Danggitsilog and a couple of sweet Moron from Leyte for breakfast, I was also excited to bust my camera gears out to start my first Tarsier experience. The best part of every Day 1 in a tournament is the smiles and the morning greetings of players on the sidelines. Together with the smell of grass, the heat of the sun burning your skin to charge you up and the weight of your camera giving your body a heads up that its going to be another long day of Ultimate, the smiles, and greetings of the players gives you the sense of comfort that you are again with the company of our ever-growing family.




The weather was perfect on Day 1, but rain clouds came to cover up the whole CPG in the afternoon of Day 2, its arrival was perfectly timed during the pool A Quarterfinal games of FASA vs BLU and SSG vs ULMIGAS. Still, the teams continued to battle it out like the rain was the eighth player on their defensive lines. They struggled on the field and us folks from the media struggled to find some plastic bags to cover our gears as well. I managed to find shelter under the big Tarsier tarp in the middle of the two pitches together with friends from One CDO, and worked my way to reach the stands near pitch 2 and stayed there until the rain died down. It was still a good day of shooting with a pair of wet socks, shoes, and shorts.







With another set of Danggitsilog and brewed coffee for breakfast and a little kick of hangover from Saturday night, I was ready to tackle the final day of the tournament. I was expecting a lot of action from the power teams, but the teams that really impressed me the most during the weekend was the high school teams, Mercenaries and Gladiators of Bohol and Team Tenacious from Gingoog who traveled for ten long hours; Tarsier 6 was their first ever tournament outside Gingoog. I had the chance to chat with some of the Tenacious players and I really wish them good luck and hope to see them again soon. Talk about passion towards the sport, these high school players from Bohol have tons of it. I encountered a lot of great ultimate stories before, but the story of Mercenaries will definitely stick with me for a very long time. The whole Mercenaries team saved up their extra allowance for their sinking fund for 3-4 months until they have enough money for their downpayment. Beryl (Tarsier Organizer) showed me a bag full of coins during the tournament fresh from the hands of these high schoolers, and until now, they are still saving up their extra school allowance to pay for their remaining balance. It was quite amazing to see that there are still people in our community willing to save up every centavo from their pockets in order for them to play the sport they love without the help of anyone but themselves. It was awe-inspiring, really.






Day 3 weather was as promising as the morning weather of Day 2, but the sheet of rain clouds again covered the already muddy fields of Carlos P. Garcia during the Pool A semifinals. The games of SSG-Mohawks and Fasa Fuego-UTI became a water polo grudge match under the afternoon rainfall. Again, I  found shelter in the stands near Pitch 2 where Fasa Fuego and UTI went for a swim, grabbing and hammering the disc from one watery end zone to the other. Unfortunately, I slipped and fell walking down the stairs, but managed to keep my camera from serious damage. On the bright side, I captured the back of Kyrah's layout bid in the final moments of their game when the rain calmed down, so I guess everything turned out just fine.







The Finals between Fasa Fuego of Cebu and South Side Guerillas of Davao was expected to be a battle to the end, but the mud pools on Pitch 1 made the game slower than I expected giving both teams a hard time to move. It was wild in every sense of the word that even Philippine Ultiverse photographer, Dodong Dela Cruz thought about Spam when he saw SSG's white uniform smothered with brown mud. Fasa Fuego went for the kill in the early stage of the game and never looked back. Fasa became the Tasier 6 Pool A Champs.







And here I thought my Bohol side trip was over. The awarding/socials night was held at Bohol Divers Beach Resort in Panglao. Panglao vibe was pretty much similar to Boracay with fewer people walking down the beach. After the awarding, the community went wild and danced the night away. The next day was very relaxing walking by the beach with friends during sunset, enjoying a scoop of Bee Farm Malunggay Ice cream. It was indeed a great way to end a successful three-day tournament in Bohol.

The best part of traveling and shooting Ultimate was seeing a lot of players that have the talent and skill to be great. But sometimes these individuals need a lot of guidance and support in order for them to reach their full potential. And Bohol Ultimate was one of the cities that has the talent and the skill to be great. The only problem is the venue. The facility. If only they have the appropriate and a less injury-prone facility (Playing field) to play on, I'm sure these young players will surprise us in the coming years. With two additional high school teams participating, the Bohol Ultimate Community is growing, and it would be nice to see a better playing field for these players, not just for Ultimate but for other sports like Soccer, and other sporting field events in Bohol. In my own honest opinion, Fiesta Carnivals need to have their own spot in the city, Not in the middle of the field of CPG sports complex.




My first trip to Bohol was definitely worth remembering. Congratulations Beryl and to the rest of the Tarsier 6 organizers. To all the Marshals who braved the heat and the rain. To everyone who became a big part of the event. Congratulations, and hope to see you all again soon!


For more Tarsier 6 Photos:





7th Sugar Ultimate: A Taste Of Sugar







After a whole day of non-stop traveling from Iloilo to Cebu, a boat ride that will make you recite the Our Father twice and ten Hail Marys, top it off with zero sleep, with Optimus Prime-Bumblebee fight scene on the television, we are finally back in Ormoc city. 
The city almost copied the same blueprint of last year’s weather. Last year was a zero visibility championship game and this year we haven’t even started the tournament, the tail of typhoon Paolo almost brought the house down during the U24 tryouts at the Ormoc City Central School Oval. 

I am not gonna lie, I thought I will be experiencing a typhoon disaster in Ormoc. But It’s time to talk Ultimate with a few sprinkles of Sugar!

As part of the Ormoc City charter day, the 7th Sugar Ultimate Frisbee Tournament welcomed guests and athletes from all over the country in the city; as their beloved Mayor Hon. Richard Gomez says it, The City of Beautiful People. 20 teams graced the fields last October 21-22, 2017 with around  350 energetic Ultimate players (More or less) in attendance. It was indeed an exciting Day 1 as few of the games ended in universe point in the early stages of the tournament. 

Sometimes, organizing a successful tournament would not be as exciting as you expect it to be without a few bumps and bruises along the way. (Especially if we talk about pack lunches). But, with a committee as passionate as these bunch, there’s no such thing as a tough mountain to climb. It wasn’t the organizer's fault, to be honest. They did their part to give the players what they need. It was the other party who didn’t keep the end of the bargain.  But then again, the opening day of Sugar Ultimate was a blast as the teams came in not just to witness what Ormoc city has to offer but they all stepped on to the field to play their hearts out.






As expected, Day 2 games were off the hook as the top 4 teams (Vice Boss, Fasa Fuego, Blacklist and OrmocCannons) displayed their full potential in the pool A quarterfinals. Defending champions Fasa Fuego of Cebu city went on to defeat the home team Ormoc Cannons in an intense semifinal match, and a chance to win their second straight Sugar Ultimate championship trophy. Unfortunately, the 2016 first runner-up, Blacklist of Dumaguete came in short for a rematch with Fasa Fuego as super ringer team, Vice Boss handed them their only loss in the tournament, giving the Bosses a big chance to win it all this year. 

Without any doubt, the pool A teams delivered some amazing plays and highlights, however the Pool C champions; First timers, Team Nirvana of Tacloban city together with Team Captain, Taboy Gaspay performed amazing ultimate all throughout the weekend. With great guidance, these young kids will go for the long haul in the future. And let's not forget the Pool B champions of this year's Sugar Ultimate -Breakfast Club(BC). BC has been around for quite awhile now in the Ultimate Scene in Manila, and it was nice to see one of the oldest teams in the country visiting provinces. They were battling it out with some of the younger teams and bringing home the championship trophy was an addition to BC’s Ultimate collection of success.






With players like Bruno, Oyok, the two Paloys, Ronan, Chuby, Jak-Jak, Alex, and Dongie, the Pool A finals of Sugar 2017 between Fasa Fuego and Vice Boss became a blueprint on what the provincial ultimate teams have to offer in this ever-growing ultimate community in the Philippines. It was exciting. It was fast, high-flying bids, risky plays, a few calls here and there (Like most other intense finals game), and fierce close games up to the last point. Vice Boss led the whole time in the finals,  though Fasa Fuego did a few small runs of their own late in the game. The Noel, Franco, Russel, Chuby, Gaga, Ronan, Jessica, line was smooth as silk almost all throughout the game giving Vice Boss its very first championship and spoil Fasa Fuego’s Back to Back campaign.








Sugar Ultimate showed us the whole weekend not just how progressively developing Ormoc is (the newly opened Coast Resto Bar was cool and relaxing sitting by the bay with good food, music and friends), but also, it showed us how talented Ormocanons are in the field of music. Five performers including a local Rap Group rocked the house down of Bistro Bai during the Awarding/Socials night last Sunday. The players were entertained by 5 different genres of music to cap the weekend.

Ormoc is a fast-moving city. For the past three years that I have been covering Sugar, it seems like there are at least a couple commercial buildings being built every year. Congresswoman Lucy Torres, Mayor Richard Gomez, and Vice Mayor Toto Locsin are such a powerhouse team molding Ormoc to be one of the most beautiful cities in the country. And you know what that means for Sugar Ultimate. Sugar will just get bigger and bigger every year.  Not in the number of teams participating per se, but for being one of the most successful and well-supported tournaments in the country. It’s amazing how the government of Ormoc supports Ultimate and the development of sports programs as a whole. 

Congratulations Boss Edong Larrazabal , Ga Larrazabal and Voltaire Conejos for organizing yet another Sweet Sugar Ultimate weekend. To Mike Sabdao, and all the marshals who braved the weather all weekend long, and the rest of the unsung heroes of Sugar, hats off to you all as well. 

This is just a taste of Sugar for you. There will be more sweetness in the coming years, no doubt about it



For more photos and stories:












Seven On The line with Anton Del Rosario







If you are an Azkals fan, you most probably know this guy. 

Anton Del Rosario, a Filipino-American Footballer, who now plays for the Ilocos United in the Philippine Football League (PFL), has something to share with you. 

To all Fitness and Sports Enthusiasts, Anton created an app to keep us updated on all the fitness and sporting activities in our neighborhood. We can actually use this to schedule our Ultimate training and Events as well! 

It's called "LARO"

Anton Del Rosario is on the hot seat today to answer the Seven Questions.


Read On!





1) Who is Anton Del Rosario?

I'm a Filipino American born in San Francisco, Ca. Lived there for most my life but the last 8 years have been out here in Manila. 





2) How is it playing for Azkals/ the Philippines? 


Playing for the Azkals was a dream come true. Representing the country doing what I loved most was amazing and because of it, I was able to get a scholarship to college. 





3) Do you still play football? Coach? 



Yes, I'm playing in the PFL for Ilocos United. Eventually, I'd like to coach but more into training. I cannot play full time anymore because of the focus on my company. 







4) What is Laro? 



Laro is a FREE social fitness platform that brings people together through exercise. Laro allows users to either; find or create fitness classes, events, professional training sessions and pick up games






5) Who can benefit from Laro and what can we benefit from it?



Laro can benefit everyone in the fitness community, and I mean everyone. 

Company Classes

- Free Marketing

- Free Booking & Reservation system
- Seamless payments

- Easy organization 


Events

- Free Marketing

- Hassle free registration all in the palm of your hand

- Focus on selling more, stressing less

- Seamless payments

- Database collection and distributed 

Trainers

- Make extra money

- Become their own boss

- Manage their own time

- Market yourself

Organizers for Open Play 

- Fill up games

- Organize ahead

- Seamless payments

- Database


As a user

- Exercise anytime anywhere!

- Find games, classes, events, & trainers by location and/or by time
- Hassle-free payments and registration

- No need to travel out of your way






6) How can we register?

Laro is free to download and use. Just click the link below:







7) We have several young athletes who aspire to play for the country, do you have any advice or message for them?




There's always a point where you're going to want to give up, the only way to get to the next level is to push past it and never give up!





Use the link on questions 6 and Download LARO now!

Thanks, Anton!




All photos are grabbed from Anton's Facebook Page.


Cabalen Ultimate Open 2017: Where Rain Never Stops







For four straight years, we see each other every October. You gave me one of the nicest lighting conditions and the most beautiful overcast skies during these weekends in Pampanga. And because of that some of my photos turned out iconic. But because of you, for four straight years, you kept me on my toes every time I feel that cold wind touching my skin. I learned my lesson and for the past three years, I have garbage bags in my camera bag, ready to keep my gears dry. And two years ago, you finally broke my heart as you short-circuited the LCD screen of my two-year-old camera. I thought this year would be the year that I will be flying back home, writing this blog telling everyone how sunny it was during the 2017 Cabalen Ultimate Open in the beautiful and dry fields of the Villages in Clark, Pampanga.... Turned out I went home with a heavy check-in bag full of wet pair of undies.

Yes, RAIN, you did it again. You never fail to pay us a visit every Cabalen.  So let’s talk about that wet and wild weekend in Pampanga.




What I like about Cabalen Ultimate Open (CUO) is seeing their yearly progress. I have been covering this tournament since its humble beginning 4 years ago on a small park in one of the subdivisions around the city with only 8 teams. And then it became 24 teams the following year. Last year was the biggest, and because of the bird flu issue, a lot of teams backed out this year. But the organizers still managed to have 24 teams (or was it 26?) last weekend of September 30-October 1st. And of course, the Rain was still in attendance. 

The night before the storm was calm and easy for most of us probinsyano folks. We were the ones who usually check in first at The Villages together with Jansie, Russ, and the rest of the organisers and a few marshals; but the exciting part is always the early mornings of day 1, when you wake up at 6 o’ clock in the morning and you see all these Parked cars that weren't there a few hours ago, players checking in and lacing up their cleats, hugging and kissing one another as if they haven’t seen each other for years. Carrying their bags with discs and Nalgenes on their hands, marching on to their designated field assignments talking about their sleepless road trip from Manila to Clark, while some are knocking on villas for coffee and something to fill up their empty stomachs. It was indeed a typical Cabalen morning. And it always makes you smile every single time you witness all these commotions in the early hours of Day 1. 

After the long chit chats and hugs and smiles, and the moment the first few pulls of the tournament begin to fly, the fields of The Villages in Clark, Pampanga become a battleground for these 24 teams. Or was it 26???







As expected the games are exciting, and it is always nice to see some familiar faces and a new bunch of people to shoot. The overcast sky really helped, keeping my camera exposure in check, and the weather was surprisingly cooperating in the first set of games.  I was seriously hoping and praying every minute that I was out on the field that the rain will spare us this year, but the opposite of dryness really doesn’t want to miss the fun even if you completed all the mysteries of the holy rosary and offered dozens of eggs for sunny skies and dry grass. 

The rain came in with a smile.  

 Not a single soul has a pair of dry socks at the end of Day 1. And not a single player had a bad day either. Seems like everyone expected the rain to drop anyway, so the teams are all ready to get wet and still manage to have a fun day 1. After a nice shower, some dry clothes to wear and a few bites of my fish fillet sandwich, Nico and I went to the Socials. Another Cabalen tradition was to invite local rock bands to entertain the guests. These three young kids tried to entertain the community with success, but the moment the DJ turned up the volume (or was it somebody’s Spotify account?), the hall exploded and the players rocked the house down.

Sometimes, all that you really need are cases of beers and bottles of spirits to keep everyone busy in the early stages of the night, a sound system with tunes for the people to dance on, a bunch of TSP (and SP) players to lead the dance showdown and you have a party! And yes, don’t forget the rain. 





I still have high hopes for a sunny and dry day 2. I talked to Jesus. I said, “Jesus, just give me one day of no rain and sunny skies and I will not shoot Cabalen 2018.” Jesus didn’t listen. In fact, the rain came in stronger and brought her close friend with her for a few minutes, the wind. At one point we even tried to hold on to our tents because the wind came in too strong. I guess I will be coming back to shoot Cabalen next year if ever the CUO organizers want me to. 


The games are more exciting in day 2 with a few upsets here in there. The most noticeable upset was when Panay Intensity (PI) of Iloilo city defeated the defending Champions, Tandang Sora Pleasure on a very dominating quarterfinal win. With Qhuenjune Villanueva spearheading the charge, PI continued their Cinderella story trying to record another upset win against Sunken Pleasure Kids in the semis, but the Kids are just way too tough to beat.  On the other side of the playing field, FrisBEERepublic of Davao almost had their sweet payback against Sid Vicious who gave them a beating in Day 1 on a very intense semifinal battle, but Vicious came in victorious to seal the deal on universe point. 






And then we have a classic Manila tournament finals. Sunken Pleasure (Kids) going up against Sid Vicious for the 2017 Cabalen Ultimate Open Championship. It was all about the Kids the moment the game started. The SP Kids came out firing with Gabbey Rodil, Jam Macaraeg, and the two Paolo’s (Peralta and Bautista) leading the pack of young guns. Will Steadman and the Vicious tried to bounce back, making their own run, but there’s only one name that put a huge mark on the playing field during the Pool A finals... Paolo Bautista. 











After a successful weekend of Ultimate, another Cabalen tradition is the Kapampangan dinner buffet. It’s the moment that most of us are waiting for during the weekend.  Popoy Pascua was excited, he didn’t eat his lunch in preparation for the REAL battle in Clark, Pampanga. Even some of the winners didn’t care about their medals and trophies because they all know that Sisig was much more important than anything. The Kapampangan Dinner Buffet never fails. 

The past three Cabalens was a struggle for me and the other media people covering the event. But it seems like everyone this year came out prepared. I guess you just have to keep in mind that it will never be the same Cabalen without a single drop of rain. The rain will always be there. The number of teams will just get bigger. And I believe that Cabalen will get better and better every year. 

Congratulations to all the winners. Kudos to Jansie, Russ, Ken and Ced for a job well done.  And to all the marshals and all the people involved who worked hard and braved the rain all throughout the weekend.

Until Next Time Mga Cabalen!





For more photos: