Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I Rossoneri e Wie

The AC Milan side goes to Holland with a 2-0 advantage in the second round of the semis against PSV Eindhoven in Champions League play.
Here's from


Milan take an important 2-0 lead into their Champions League semi-final second leg against PSV Eindhoven, thanks to goals at the end of each half of the home first leg. Andriy Shevchenko put the Rossoneri ahead on 42 minutes in a first period that Carlo Ancelotti’s side dominated. However, the Dutch champions were much more dangerous coming forward after the break and the Milan defence were under plenty of pressure, but the course of the tie changed in the dying moments as substitute Jon Dahl Tomasson swept home a loose ball from close range to send the San Siro into raptures of delight.

. . . . . and look at the opportunity for Michelle Wie, from bbc

Wie could be first woman at Open

Wie could gain qualification at the John Deere Classic
American teenager Michelle Wie could become the first woman to play in The Open at St Andrews later this year.

Organisers have agreed for the first time to allow women to enter if they qualify through the normal channels.

The ruling opens the door for the 15-year-old, the only female golfer who has so far targeted an Open place.

She has accepted an invitation to play at July's John Deere Classic, which gives an Open place to the leading player who hasn't already qualified.

Until Tuesday's ruling, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club would have been forced to refuse Wie entry even in the unlikely event she had won the John Deere Classic because it has a "men-only" restriction on the Open entry form.

The only Olympic sport where the two sexes compete together is equestrianism and it is not surprising therefore it is taking a long time
Peter Dawson
R&A chief executive

The R&A has already voted to remove it in time for next year's tournament at Hoylake near Liverpool although it was too late to remove the restriction for this year's event.

But on Tuesday officials said they would waive it if the Hawaiian youngster qualified.

Monday, April 25, 2005


The Rossoneri are still tied with Juve on points, but on top under the quotient system.
Here's from


Milan turned on the style to record a 3-0 win over Parma at the San Siro. It was the first time the side had scored three times at home since January. In what was an all-round quality performance, the Rossoneri opened the scoring through Kaka for his seventh goal of the season. Jon Dahl Tomasson then doubled the lead, getting back on the scoresheet for the first time since the trip to Messina and Marcos Cafu hit his first of the campaign to round-off the evening. It was also a night of celebration for Pippo Inzaghi who came on as a late substitute. However, the only black marks were the first-half injury which forced Jaap Stam off and the bookings for Kakha Kakaldze, Massimo Ambrosini and captain Paolo Maldini who all miss the next league game at Fiorentina.

Spurs lost to the Nuggets at home. Golly.

Thursday, April 21, 2005




Milan are back joint-top in Serie A after a 1-0 win over Chievo as Juventus lost at home to Inter. Clarence Seedorf scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half after playing a neat one-two with Kaka on the edge of the area and breaking two challenges to fire home. The Dutch star was playing in the Andrea Pirlo role following injury to Rui Costa and then Massimo Ambrosini but did not disappoint. The Rossoneri enjoyed the majority of the possession but the visitors proved difficult to breakdown and were dangerous on the counter-attack although the defence held firm and once again Carlo Ancelotti's men proved that this title chase will go down to the wire.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI

Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope, and takes the name Benendict XVI.

Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope, John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the Lord's vineyard.

The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers
In the joy of the resurrected Lord, we go on with his help. He is going to help us and Mary will be on our side. Thank you.

Sometime in the past, he had said (about his confidence in the Magisterium) . . .
“I can be obedient because it is my fundamental conviction that my intelligence is limited and the church is wiser.”

Monday, April 18, 2005




Milan fell to a 2-1 defeat at Siena to put a dent in the title chase with Juventus who moved to three points ahead at the top of the table following victory over Lecce. Coach Carlo Ancelotti had called for nine points from the next three games and Milan certainly enjoyed plenty of possession against a home side that were very dangerous on the break. Sheva had an early goal ruled out for adjudged offside while Nelson Dida was forced to watch an Igor Tudor header hit the bar. The Rossoneri had chances throughtout the second-half as Sheva saw a shot blocked and Kakhaber Kaladze went close with a header. However, Hernan Crespo made the breakthrough on 63 minutes, scoring from a tight angle, for the Argentinian’s 11th goal in the league. Just as it looked as if the game was there for the taking, Enrico Chiesa drew the Tuscans level and with time running out, Francesco Cozza headed in the winner at the end of a quick counter-attack.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Forza Milan

Milan move into last four
Tuesday, 12 April 2005

By Matthew Spiro at Giuseppe Meazza

AC Milan booked their place in the last four of the UEFA Champions League in unsatisfactory circumstances after the second leg of their quarter-final with FC Internazionale Milano was abandoned due to crowd trouble.

The Rossoneri will play the winner of the PSV Eindhoven vs Olympique Lyonnais second leg quarterfinal in the Champions League semifinal round..

Monday, April 11, 2005

Forza Rui Costa


Rui Costa celebrated his contract renewal with a wonderful goal to put Milan ahead against Brescia, but it was not enough to take all three points as the visitors scored a late equaliser. The Portuguese midfielder followed the lead of Andriy Shevchenko, Clarence Seedorf, Kaka and Serginho, who all netted after extending their deals. The Rossoneri were looking for their ninth consecutive league win, but came up against a well-organised Brescia side that conceded little in all areas of the field. Coach Carlo Ancelotti was without injured captain Paolo Maldini, while Jaap Stam and Kaka were both suspended, but Milan started brightly and Rui opened his account for the season in delightful fashion, curling a spectacular shot into the top corner of the net. However, on a heavy pitch, the exertions of the mid-week Champions League tie against Inter started to play their part and Brescia came back into the game and overall, were well-worth their eqauliser which came with just three minutes left of the game.

Oh, I just got an acmilan shirt, not the play shirt, but a shirt from Adidas. With the 10 at the back (my favorite number). That's Costa's number.


Tiger Woods birdied the first play-off hole against Chris DiMarco to win the Masters at Augusta. He should be No.1 again.

Friday, April 08, 2005

John Paul II: Santo Subito!!!

John Paul II: Santo Subito!!!
What can I say? Subito! Subito!


4/6/2005 10:41:00 PM
Milan took control of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Inter after a 2-0 first leg win thanks to headers from Jaap Stam and Andriy Shevchenko. Coach Carlo Ancelotti welcomed back Shevchenko for the striker’s first outing since fracturing his cheekbone back in February. The Ukrainian lined up in attack alongside Hernan Crespo in a more familiar 4-3-1-2 formation. Paolo Maldini reverted to left-back, leaving Stam and Alessandro Nesta in the centre of defence.

After this win, the Rossoneri are preparing for their game against Brescia in Serie A play. They still tie Juve on top in points.

Tiger is out of the first "sheet" of the leaderboard at the Masters. Whew.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Go Tiger!

Here's from . . .

Tiger to the rescue when Parnevik forgets his clubs

Tiger Woods to the rescue
Tiger Woods was nice enough to deliver Jesper Parnevik's clubs on Monday -- and not charge him a courier's fee.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- Jesper Parnevik brought a week's worth of his outrageous outfits to the Masters. And he made sure his wife, four children, nannies and friends were all accounted for.

But when he arrived at Augusta National, he realized he left something behind: his golf clubs.

"I flat out forgot them in the garage," Parnevik said Monday. "I don't know how you could go to Augusta and leave them in the garage, but I managed to do that.

"I will make history one way or another. I'm sure I'm the only one who's ever done that."

Parnevik pleaded chaos in his defense.

He had to lease two private planes to get his crew to Augusta. He wasn't in charge of loading the luggage, and a set of clubs did make the trip -- but they belonged to his business partner, Chris Rosen.

Only after a call to his neighbor in Jupiter, Fla., did the Swede confirm his clubs were still in the garage.

Parnevik called an old friend -- Tiger Woods -- to return a favor.

Woods was in Palm Beach County, and agreed to swing by Parnevik's house to pick up his clubs. He brought them Monday morning, and all was well in the zany world of Parnevik.

"I called him up and asked if he could do it," Parnevik said. "After he laughed for about 10 minutes, he said, 'I'll do it.' Everything worked out."

Woods didn't even charge him a courier's fee.

Then again, Woods is still in debt, because it was the Parneviks who introduced him to his future wife, Elin Nordegren, once a nanny for the Parnevik kids.

"I still think I'm on the credit side with him," Parnevik said. "I have a few mishaps to go without being even."

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

John Paul II

Many things have been written about the Pope John Paul II. One that is most said of him is that he had the courage to remain steadfast in what he believed was right. I think we have to qualify this, otherwise it would be an understatement of who he really is. In matters of faith and morals, John Paul II had the courage, the steadfastness to fight for what is TRUE and GOOD, not only because he believed them to be so. Believing does not make things true and good. The truth and goodness make us believers.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Lucky 13 encounters with John Paul II

Lucky 13 encounters with John Paul II

1. Urbi at Orbi, St. Peter's Square, Easter Sunday, April 15, 1990
2. UNIV '90 get-together at Cortille San Damaso, Vatican, April 15, 1990
3. Inauguration of the Olympic Stadium, Rome, sometime June 1990 (preparation for the World Cup 1990)
4. Sunday Angelus, Castelgandolfo, sometime August 1990
5. Wednesday Audience, Aula Nervi, sometime September 1990
6. Priestly Ordinations, St. Peter's Basilica, September 1990
7. World Youth Day 1995, Manila Apostolic Nunciature
8. World Youth Day 1995, UST
9. World Youth Day 1995, Luneta Park, encounter with the youth, January 14, 1995
10. World Youth Day 1995, Luneta Park, Holy Mass, January 15, 1995
11. Audience for St. Bridgit, St. Peter's Basilica, October 4, 2002
12. Canonization of St. Josemaria Escriva, St. Peter's Square, October 6, 2002
13. Thanksgiving Mass and services on the occasion of the Canonization of St. Josemaria Escriva, St. Peter's Square, October 7, 2002

As soon as I heard news of the failing health of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, like many of us, I started to pray for him. And when finally he left us for his reward in Heaven, I started praying to him, a great intercessor for all of us in Heaven.
Together with these prayers, I began to recall the occasions when I was fortunate enough to be close to him, to be in the same venue, the same event as Pope John Paul II. I know there are more of you who have been more fortunate than me in terms of the number, proximity, and duration of encounters with this Pope, whom many have started to call John Paul the Great. Nevertheless my encounters with him, thirteen as well as I can remember, have left me with the thought that, yes, I am blessed to have had those opportunities.
All of those encounters have been memorable to say the least. What everyone has said about those occasions with the holy John Paul II are true. One is in awe.
The first time I saw that Pope in person was on Easter Sunday 1990, April 15, at his Urbi et Orbi message and blessing. I was in St. Peter's Square, my seventh day in Rome, as a participant to the UNIV Congress sponsored by ICU. I wasn't close to him at all, but close enough to feel his warmth and love for the faithful. I would have wanted to be closer, but this wasn't the time. Later, I told myself.
Later was at 5:00 pm, a special get-together that the participants of the UNIV had with the Pope. We had lined up for sometime at the area of the right columns of St Peter's Square. When the doors were opened, I remember we were hurrying up some steps that, like in many places in the Vatican, seemed endless. At the end was a courtyard, the Cortille di San Damaso. There was a small balcony at the far end, with a chair in the middle of the balcony. That was his place. We found our places (not very far from the balcony, just behind the first group of ladies. Not long after, John Paul II came out, with a red cape over his shoulders. It was just about spring, and the weather was still cold.
That get-together lasted about an hour. Chosen participants performed for the Pope and for the rest of us. I do not remember much of those except for the clown and his antics -- the same clown that we saw on Fox News Channel on Saturday, that made the Pope laugh heartily, that was UNIV 1990. My eyes were fixed on the Pope. After the presentations, the Pope spoke. I remember that he said that he had a prepared speech, but that he was not saying it but will speak what his heart wanted to tell us in that gathering. He was true to form.
I had to stay in Rome for six months as part of the preparations for the technical school ( the we were putting up in Cebu, through the help of the Italian Government. I had four other opportunities to be with the Pope, as if living in Rome, very close to him, was not enough.
Sometime in June, Centro ELIS Scuola Sportiva (sports school) received an invitation to the inauguration of the newly-refurbished Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Italy was hosting the 1990 World Cup of football, and renovated the Olympic Stadium for that purpose. But more than that, Pope John Paul II was to bless it. We were carrying white or yellow plastic sheets (the Vatican colors) to wave. After some formalities, the Pope entered in his open limousine, blessing the crowd and the stadium. He must have said something later, but the noise (joyful noise) from all of us was too much. Several videowalls were set up (something not many of us in the Philippines were familiar with) and these helped us see close-ups of the Pope.
In the summer, the Pope spends time at his summer residence in Castelgandolfo. It was not far-fetched that I would have to go there that summer. And so it was, one Sunday in August, a lawyer friend Mario brought two Italian-African high school students staying in the student residence at Centro ELIS (Bortot and de Coelho), and myself to pray the Angelus with the Pope and listen to his Sunday message to the pilgrims. We entered the covered courtyard (with a white polyester sheet, it seems) shortly before 12:00. At noon, the Pope came up to his window and led the Angelus. In his message, he talked about the gospel of that day, the story of Martha and Mary, and the Holy Father talked to us about being of service to others and of being humble in our endeavors.
In September, I was invited to attend the priestly ordinations at St. Peter's. John Paul had been doing annual ordinations at St. Peter's. Some friends of ELIS were to be ordained then; who will refuse an invitation like this. I was hoping against hope to receive communion from the Pope. It wasn't meant to be, but again, being with the Pope, only about 50 meters away was enough to be thankful for.
Parishes in Rome get regular invitations to the Wednesday audiences with the Pope. The Parish of San Giovanni al Collatino, the parish church close to ELIS, and under the care of priests of Opus Dei, in the Tiburtina District south of Rome Centro, were given invitations sometime in September. With my Filipino companions undergoing training at ELIS, Ben and Domeng, and our invitations secured, we went to Sala Nervi, the Paul VI Auditorium on the left of St. Peter's Square. He greeted the people in many languages, because as always there were many pilgrims (this was summer in many parts of the Western world). Later he went down the center aisle to greet the pilgrims, talk to some of them, shake hands, like any father seeing his children again. That is usually when all hell breaks loose (forgive the words)! I was near the aisle so I was a little calmer, for I know I could be very close. But when everyone started to move closer to the aisle, I had to make my move as well. I remember these German girl scouts on my right with the aisle to my left, in an instant they were at my left jostling for positions -- standing on the chairs (although we were told not to) to get a better view and a better picture. I am sorry for those that I had to nudge. I would not have been able to touch the hand of the Pope, if I were too slow. And I did. I have a picture that shows precisely that moment. The Vatican through its newspaper L'Osservatore Romano usually sends out proofs of these pictures to some photo shops in Vatican City, and anyone can select pictures and order copies of them -- it took me about an hour to find three pictures from the shop called Foto FELICI in via Scipioni, 53, and waited a couple of weeks to get them. They may also send them to your home, yes, even in the Philippines, if you are in Rome only for a short stay -- with the proper fees of course.
I digress. But then again, what can I say, I was mesmerized -- I held the Pope's hands! The feeling was awesome. There is a Hallmark thank you card that said: Thanks. I was touched by your kindness. Oh, not like if I was touched by a movie star and never washed that spot again, but touched. Well, I held the Pope, and vowed never to wash again. That kind of experience!
Shortly thereafter, I had to come home to the Philippines to start the school. I never thought that I would not see him again. Somehow, I knew there would be other occasions.
In the 1994 World Youth Day in Rome, the Vatican announced that the next World Youth Day was going to be held in the Manila. That was the chance to see the Pope again! And maybe get close to him again!
So it came, January 1995. I was with a small group of students and young professionals. We were planning to go to the airport or the Roxas Blvd area to see him pass, but decided later on to just wait for him at the Apostolic Nunciature. It was a good move. We positioned ourselves on the road opposite the Nunciature. Everyone was upbit. When he finally came, the cheers were deafening (John Paul II, we love you! Viva el Papa!). But it was a quick entry to the nunciature grounds and we were not satisfied. Someone suggested that we cheer even more. I could not remember how long we did that. Everyone believed that the Pope will come out, greet us from the balcony. Well, he did. They had set up a microphone, he spoke some words, but I do not think any of us heard what he said. The cheering was extraordinary.
The following day, we positioned ourselves near UST, not having secured any invitation to the gathering there. We saw him pass by on the Popemobile, waving to us, blessing us. We were with him in the encounter with the youth on the afternoon of Saturday, the 14th of January, and stayed on for the Holy Mass the following day, the feast of the Sto. Nino -- it was better to be there than in the Sinulog, huh?
I had to wait until 2002, on the occasion of the canonization of St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, that I will be able to visit Rome and see the Pope again.
On October 3, I left with friends for Rome. We arrived the following day. Four of us had to stay in a smaller hotel (Scott House), a lesser star, and right smack at the area of Stazione Termini, Rome's central train station. The area isn't precisely the best place to be staying in Rome, nevertheless, we realized as well that being a short walk away from the train and subway station was consolation enough (since we were not with the main group, we had to fend for ourselves, no special buses or pulmini -- their version of the v-hire, fx, and the like). Since we could not check in into our rooms at the hotel since we were early, we went to the Basilica of Saint Eugene, where the remains of then Blessed Josemaria was transferred from the central offices of Opus Dei. We decided to go to St. Peter's later in the afternoon to attend Holy Mass after we had finally checked-in. I was certain that there would be many masses in the different altars and chapels of St. Peter's Basilica.
When we reached St. Peters, we observed that the chairs were arranged, with the wide central aisle barricaded. That was unusual. I thought that probably the arrangement was related to the canonization. So we sat. I took the booklet that resembled many of the missals used in special masses in the Vatican. I realized it was not going to be a mass, but a special prayer service for St. Bridgit of Sweden. To be officiated by His Holiness Pope John Paul II. I told the guys. We stayed near the barricade. The Pope was definitely walking down that aisle. He wasn't.
At about 5:00, many more lights turned on. We readied our cameras. Near the entrance of the basilica, cameras started clicking. The Pope was coming. He was standing on a cart that was being pushed fromn both sides by Papal aides. He was slumped. Deep in prayer. He was not waving back or blessing us. Later on I thought that he could not do his usual greetings because he had to support himself. The prayer service went on. I was distracted. I was making sure my cameras were ready when the service ended, ready to click away again. When the ceremony ended, he left by another way.
On October 6, he presided over the canonization of St. Josemaria. Many have said that he was stronger that day and he led the rites serenely but full of joy. Many were doubting that he would make the rounds, considering that the ceremonies must have tired him so. But true to form, he did.
There was some confirmation of that when I saw the Italian police was making sure that the barricades along the Via della Conciliazione were secure. I was at the end, or I should say, the entrance to the Via (the farthest from the sqaure) where a little cul-de-sac was formed by barricades. That was the point he would have to make a u-turn.
He came around on an open popemobile, amidst the clapping and the cheering, and the picture snapping. Riding behind him was Arch. Stanislaw Dziwisz and Bishop Javier Echevarria, the Prelate of Opus Dei.
The following day, also at St. Peter's, His Holiness also came around after Holy Mass in Thanksgiving for the canonization of St. Josemaria was celebrated by Bishop Echevarria. I could not get close to the Pope this time, but I saw all the movements of the Pope on the video monitors that were set up in the square.
Those were my lucky 13 encounters with Pope John Paul II, the Great. For pictures:

Grazie, Il Papa!

Oggi, sabato 2 aprile, alle ore 21.37
il Signore ha chiamato a Sé

Ci hai lasciati, Padre Santo.
Ti sei consumato per noi.
In quest'ora
- per Te gloriosa, per noi dolente -
ci sentiamo abbandonati.
Ma Tu prendici per mano e guidaci
con quella Tua Mano che in questi mesi
si è fatta in Te anche parola.
Grazie, Padre Santo!